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JUNE 4, 2000 EST, USA
 
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VOL. 1, NO. 60
 

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Aid workers evacuate injured from Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Monday June 5. Aid workers in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula are using a lull in fighting to evacuate seriously injured civilians from the northern peninsula. Since Lankan forces counter attacked Tiger offensives this last week, reports claim that hundreds of civilians have been injured in cross fire and shelling between the rebels and government troops.

Hospitals in Vavuniya and Anuradhapura are being used to provide medical attention to the war wounded.

Meanwhile the military claim that an additional 4000 troops have been sent to Jaffna to help strengthen some nearly 30,000 men already based in the war stricken peninsula.

A daily nearly 24 hour curfew which has been in effect in Jaffna since fighting intensifed between the LTTE and troops, has now been reduced to less than 15 hours. The curfew is now imposed from 4.30 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.

Deputy Defence Minister, Anuruddha Ratwatte told a radio station on Saturday that the President has sanctioned some Rs. 24 billion for the purchase of new weapons.
Published: Sun Jun 4 23:34:52 EDT 2000


Masked men help army spot tiger suspects
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.12 a.m. SLT Monday June 5. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) together with the police continue to use masked men to spot possible Tiger cadre as search and cordon operations have been stepped in Colombo and Sri Lanka's East.

On Sunday (June 4) masked men helped the SLA to 'spot' Tiger suspects in a village north of Batticaloa town, where tensions have increased since the LTTE launched sporadic attacks on armed force bases in and around the eastern township. Eight youth were arrested.

Last week the Army in Colombo was assisted by 'spotters' when a search operation was conducted in 'Sea Street' Pettah, the heart of the city's business centre for the trading of gold. Some 30 Tamil youth including girls, were rounded up in this instance.
Published: Sun Jun 4 23:34:52 EDT 2000


President says general elections are on
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Monday June 5. Speaking to the BBC's Sandeshaya Service last night, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge said that general elections will be held as scheduled before August this year. The President reiterated that all obstacles will be overcome in order to hold a democratic election.

She agreed that the present press censorship is not conducive towards holding a democratic election and that strict laws now in place to muzzle the media, will soon be lifted.

On Friday, the President lifted a country wide ban on meetings and processions.
Published: Sun Jun 4 23:34:52 EDT 2000


PA-UNP talks on unit of devolution draw to a close
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 am. SLT Monday June 5. The PA-UNP talks on new constitutional reforms will tomorrow discuss some of the more important aspects of the unit of devolution and the nature of the Sri Lankan State.

With the deadline for such discussion extended to June 15, the two parties will deal with matters pertaining to land and the issue of changes to constitutional councils.

President Kumaratunge will chair the government delegation while Ranil Wickremesinghe will lead the UNP side.
Published: Sun Jun 4 23:34:52 EDT 2000


Tamils can have separate province within Lanka: BJP
HINDU, June 4. BJP Tamil Nadu unit President Dr. S P Kirupanidhi today suggested a separate province for Tamils within Sri Lanka, with equal rights. "Not a Tamil Eelam as a separate country, but a separate province, not seceding from Sri Lanka, by providing equal opportunities to Tamil people in all spheres of life," Kirupanidhi told a press conference. They should be given more rights and concessions, he said. Favouring negotiations and talks between the Sri Lankan Government and "aggrieved" Tamils to find a concrete solution to the ethnic strife there, he said various groups representing Tamils should also be consulted before arriving at any solution. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 22:48:32 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Makes Significant Diplomatic Changes
Xinhua, Sunday, June 04, 2000 1:35 AM EST. The Sri Lankan government has made two significant diplomatic changes with effect from the middle of this month, officials said Sunday. They said Mangala Moonesinghe, the longest serving high commissioner (ambassador) under the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, moves to London from New Delhi while close relative of the president Senaka Bandaranayake moves to New Delhi from Paris. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 22:22:39 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's other worldly battle
FT.com, June 4 2000 16:54GMT. With Sri Lanka's army still locked in desperate battles against Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the authorities have turned their attention to another source of hostility - this time a divine one. The problem, they believe, centres on the centuries-old Srirangam Hindu temple across the sea in India. The Gopuram, a tiered structure at the entrance to the temple is bringing bad luck to Sri Lanka, according to believers. Legend has it that the structure, which faces south-east towards Sri Lanka, was not finishedfor centuries because it would augur ill for India's island neighbour. However, in 1983 it was completed. Whether the completion of the Gopuram had anything to do with it or not, anti-Tamil riots broke out in Sri Lanka in July 1983, marking a watershed in the country's ethnic conflict. Hindu scholars have scoffed at the idea that the temple in India could have any malevolent effect on tiny Sri Lanka, but politicians here - even members of the Buddhist majority - have taken it seriously. Counter-measures are under way. On reclaimed land in the Muthurajawela marshes on Sri Lanka's north-western coast the government is building a Hindu temple that will be the epicentre of the divine offensive to ward off the negative vibes from India. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 22:15:47 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to acquire Israeli missile craft
PTI/The Hindu, June 4. After inducting fresh troops to stem the tide of military losses in northern Jaffna, the Sri Lankan Government has said it will reinforce its Navy with more Israel- made missile-fitted combat craft along with equipping the Army with new ground weapons from Europe. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 21:49:48 EDT 2000

'India better suited for Lanka negotiations'
Times of India, June 4. A Sri Lankan minister has said that India is better suited to be a facilitator than a Western country in holding talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels to find a political solution to the island's ethnic problem.

``I have reservations about Norway because there is evidence that Oslo sympathises with the LTTE. Anton Balansingham (LTTE theoretician) was helped in seeking treatment. The Norwegian official who is involved in the peace talks has openly got involved in the LTTE activities,'' said Mahindra Rajapaskse in an interview with the Sunday Times. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 19:06:55 EDT 2000


India toughens stand on Lanka
Deccan Chronicle, June 4. Hinting at a clear shift in Delhi’s thinking on the cursed war that has so far claimed over 60,000 lives during the last 17 years, Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had on Saturday told a public meeting at Keylong in Himachal Pradesh that Colombo must change its policy against the minority Tamils in the island and negotiate peace. The implication is clear: India thought that the Chandrika government should take more blame than the Tigers for the ongoing war and was also clear in judging that peace could be worked out only if the Tamils got their due from a hitherto unfriendly Sinhala-dominated regime. If the Prime Minister’s statement came as a sharp slap on the face, Colombo had yet another shocker within 12 hours when the powerful NDA partner and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in Chennai told a mammoth rally that since the Sinhala government and the minority Tamils were unable to co-exist in Sri Lanka, they could as well split the country on the Czech model. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 18:09:54 EDT 2000

PMK differs with Centre on Lanka
DEccan Chronicle, June 4. The Pattali Makkal Katchi, a constituent of the NDA, on Sunday differed with the Centre’s perception of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, that any solution to the ethnic strife in the island republic should be within the framework of a unified country.“We in India cannot dictate terms to Eelam Tamils to accept slavery and second class citizenship under a policy of upholding territorial integrity,” he said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 18:07:17 EDT 2000

Lankans enjoy life longer than Indians: WHO
June 5. he World Health Organisation has placed India behind Sri Lanka and Pakistan relating to the number of years its people can expect to live in “full health”. India (‘healthy life’ expectancy of 53.2 years) figures near the middle on a list of 191 countries, topped by Japan (74.5 years). Sierra Leone is last at 25.9 years. This is how some of India’s neighbours have done: Sri Lanka 62.8; Pakistan 55.9; Bangladesh 49.9; Nepal 49.5; Afghanistan 37.7. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 18:04:05 EDT 2000

Pakistan have the edge
June 5. Having already made it to the final, Pakistan and defending champions Sri Lanka clash tomorrow in an inconsequential league match of the Asia Cup four-nation cricket tournament — each hoping to gain psychological advantage going into Wednesday’s summit clash. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have well-balanced sides with a mixture of young and experienced players. Pakistan openers Saeed Anwar and Imran Nazir had made good starts for their team while their Sri Lankan counterparts, Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva, also delivered the goods. However, the middle and lower order and the bowling strength give Pakistan a slight edge over their rivals. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 18:04:05 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi for breakup of Lanka on Czech lines
The Asian Age, June 4. Having made it clear that India would not intervene militarily in the Lankan conflict, it seems that New Delhi has hardened its stand and might even place the onus for peace upon the Chandrika Kumaratunga government and ask it to strike a deal with the LTTE without delay. Dropping its hands-off policy towards the Lankan war, the NDA government seems to be ready for an pro-active stance and is clearly leaning towards the Tamil minority in the island nation.Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Saturday had told a public meeting at Keylong in Himachal Pradesh that Colombo must change its policy against the minority Tamils and negotiate peace. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 17:51:52 EDT 2000

DMK chants a new tune
The Daily Pioneer, June 5. The Sri Lankan armed forces success in at least temporarily stemming the advance of the Tamil Tigers has set off a recaliberation within Tamil Nadu politics with the Dravid Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) subtly suggesting that the time for negotiations could be at hand.There has been an inherent unease within most sections of Tamil Nadu politics over the likely ascendency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Jaffna peninsula. The stand-off in the fighting and the shoring up of Jaffna's defences is being seen as an opportunity to bring a settlement short of a de facto state of Eelam. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 17:44:19 EDT 2000

Balkanise Lanka: DMK chief
Hindustan Times, June 5. WHAT BETTER occasion than one’s birthday to re-establish and renew one’s credentials to the cause of Tamils, even if it amounts to proposing the Balkanisation of a neighbouring nation.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, nay, DMK president M. Karunanidhi did exactly that while winding up his 77th birthday celebrations on Saturday. The speech was yet another masterly performance by the Dravidian chieftain on Sri Lanka where he has consistently obfuscated to confuse friends and foes alike. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 17:39:44 EDT 2000

Chandrika rules out 'talks' with LTTE
Hindu, June 5. In an indication that Sri Lanka is fast regaining its military confidence, the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, has said there was now no possibility of holding ``unconditional'' talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. ``At the moment, there is no question of any of that. For six years we have tried to talk to them and for six years they have lied (that) they are going to talk, and up to date, they have refused. Now there is no question of talking unless certain conditions are fulfilled, so we can't even think of it,'' she has said in an interview to the BBC which is to go on air on Monday. Asked what those conditions might be, Ms. Kumaratunga said they would have to be considered when the time arose. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 17:34:12 EDT 2000

Link ceasefire to immediate talks: Kadirgamar
Hindu, June 5. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, has said the Government is willing to declare a ceasefire in the ongoing fighting with the LTTE in northern Jaffna, provided it is linked to immediate commencement of peace talks. ``The LTTE wants a ceasefire linked to withdrawal of troops which is not agreeable to the Government but a ceasefire linked to commencement of (peace) talks is a possibility,'' Mr. Kadirgamar told PTI here. The Government is not willing to consider a ceasefire without proper linkages as it has had bad experiences with the LTTE in the past. ``They regroup and start (fighting) again. We are wary of ceasefire,'' he said, adding ``if the talks begin, the Government is willing to discuss anything except `Eelam.' More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 17:32:22 EDT 2000

Israeli weapons to boost Sri Lanka anti-Tiger drive
123India-afp, June 4. Sri Lanka is buying Israeli gun boats and air craft and introducing other modern weapon systems to boost its battle against ethnic Tamil rebels, press reports here said Sunday. Gun boats fitted with guided missiles were being purchased for the Sri Lankan navy, which is also upgrading its current fleet of Israeli-built Dvora class gun boats, the state-run Sunday Observer newspaper said. "Some of the navy's fast attack craft are equipped with computer guided weapons systems," the Observer said. "This includes video-aided automatic targeting capability. The navy now plans to provide such computerised, accurate weapons systems for the whole fleet of Dvora craft." More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:53:49 EDT 2000

Lull before the storm
June 11. It is well known that Prabhakaran has concentrated most of his forces in Jaffna peninsula. Any other country would have considered this an opportune moment to open a front in Vanni. The Lankan army has bases in Vavuniya and Anuradhapura, but this is not being considered because of the confusion which pervades the hierarchy. Elephant Pass is one instance which shows Prabhakaran's remarkable strategy and planning. The water supply to the Pass was cut off; a few bodies of soldiers indicate that they died of dehydration. At Elephant Pass, Prabhakaran also used forest cover to fire long-range mortars, but to use these weapons against the Palali air base, the LTTE will have to come into the open, exposing them to aerial attack by the newly-acquired Israeli planes. The LTTE's operation in India is at two levels: the propaganda through 'drummer boys' like Nedumaran, Vaiko, Dr Ramadoss, Dr Krishnasamy and K. Veerappan and the clandestine network consisting of smugglers and businessmen. The political group doesn't know what the clandestine group does. For example, while Kasi Anandan and Sithamparam met Rajiv Gandhi to give the impression that the LTTE is prepared to live down its past, the clandestine network under the leadership of Pottu Amman was planning Rajiv's assassination. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:48:38 EDT 2000

Empower Tamils or give Eelam: CM
Chennaionline, June 4. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, striking a harder posture on the Sri Lanka Tamils issue last night, called upon the island Government to either grant more powers to its Tamils or establish a separate Eelam. He, however, disfavoured Indian military intervention in what was essentially a dispute between “husband and wife”. If the Sri Lankan Government is interested in marital harmony and wants to continue the wedlock, it must provide more powers to the island Tamils. If the Government did not want this option, it should go in for a peaceful separation on the lines of Czechoslovakia without any further bloodshed, he said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:30:15 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan 'plan' for Tiger defeat
BBC, June 4. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga says the security forces have a clear operational plan to defeat Tamil separatist guerrillas in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The president also said the Tamil Tigers could still come into the Norwegian-brokered peace process, but there was now no question of holding unconditional talks. Six weeks of intense fighting have led to growing international calls for the government and Tamil Tigers to come to the negotiating table More... [Listen]
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:26:46 EDT 2000

Chandrika denies having offered CM's post to Prabhakaran
Indian Express, June 4. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today denied having made a fresh offer to LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran to make him Chief Minister of northern province in a recent televison interview,reports PTI. Stating that the media had completely misquoted her on this issue, an official statement here said all that Chandrika referred to during her interview to the New Delhi Television was the offer she made to Prabhakaran during her first peace talks with the LTTE in 1994, soon after she was elected as President. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:16:50 EDT 2000

Civilian casualties evacuated as Sri Lankan fighting eases
yahoo-afp, June 4. First aid workers are taking advantage of a lull in the fighting to evacuate the worst casualties from the recent escalation in Sri Lanka's ethnic-based civil war.Nearly all are civilians who said they were seriously injured by government shelling when the military launched a series of strikes against the rebel Tamil Tigers, which ended Tuesday last week.The most critically injured were dispersed between hospitals behind the fontlines in the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavunya and Anuradhapura in the north-central part of the country.Another several thousand internal refugees were placed in camps between Irattaperiyakulam, near the town of Vavuniya, and the Jaffna peninsula further to the north. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:03:54 EDT 2000

India's ruling coalition partner suggests Sri Lanka's partition
yahoo-afp, June 4. A powerful partner in India's coalition government Sunday called for the separation of Sri Lanka along the lines of the Czech and Slovak republics to end the island nation's bloody civil war. Muthuvel Karunanidhi, chief minister of southern Tamil Nadu state, whose DMK regional party is an influential partner in the Indian government, said Colombo should alternatively offer more rights to minority Tamils. "We must ponder how long can a husband carry on with an unwilling wife," Karunanidhi told a rally in Tamil Nadu, home to 55 million Indian Tamils."Rather than continuing with the unhappy marriage, the two can split on the lines of Czechoslovakia which divided itself into Czech and Slovak republics without a drop of blood," Karunanidhi said More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 13:01:50 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan lesbians fight ruling labelling homosexuality "sadist"
AFP, Sunday, June 4 12:19 PM SGT. Sri Lanka's gays and lesbians have long struggled against an archaic penal code outlawing homosexuality, but an extraordinary ruling, refusing to condemn a newspaper that proposed lesbians be raped to introduce them to the "pleasure" of heterosexuality, has caused uproar. In a shock judgment, the quasi-judicial Press Council ruled last week that lesbianism equalled sadism and was therefore a social evil. Hate mail against same sex relationships had been published in good faith, the council ruled. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 10:17:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka jets pound Tiger bases, refugees return to Jaffna
AFP, Sunday, June 4 3:36 PM SGT. Sri Lankan air force jets pounded suspected Tamil rebel targets near the Jaffna peninsula as civilians who fled the regional capital trickled back to their homes, officials said Sunday. Ground troops killed 14 members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in two clashes in the peninsula on Saturday, the government said in a statement. At the same time, air force jets bombed Pooneryn and Sangupiddy areas just south of the Jaffna peninsula, officials said, adding that there were no immediate reports of casualties. Gunboats fitted with guided missiles were being acquired for the navy, which would also upgrade its present fleet of Israeli-built Dvora-class gunboats, the state-run Sunday Observer said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 10:14:20 EDT 2000

Indian Tamil leader suggests separation in S.Lanka
Reuters, 04:50 SLT Sunday June 4. MADRAS, India, June 4 (Reuters) - The head of India's Tamil Nadu state has suggested that Sri Lanka separates along the lines of the Czech and Slovak Republics or grant more rights to minority Tamils to end ethnic strife.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi, whose regional Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party is a member of the federal coalition led by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, said the Czech-model offered the means to a ``completely peaceful resolution without shedding a drop of blood,'' The Hindu newspaper reported on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 08:44:57 EDT 2000


Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka,government boosts navy
Reuters, 04:50 SLT Sunday June 4. COLOMBO, June 4 (Reuters) - Government troops killed 14 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in northern Sri Lanka as the state media reported on Sunday the purchase of gunboats from Israeli to boost the navy's firepower.

A government statement said 14 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas had been killed on Saturday in three separate skirmishes in the northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 08:41:06 EDT 2000


Tamil Rebels Said Put On Defensive
Reuters, By DILIP GANGULY, 02:05 SLT Sunday June 4. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's military on Sunday said it has put Tamil Tiger rebels on the defensive in the country's northern Jaffna Peninsula after killing at least 200 guerrillas and knocking out some of their heavy artillery.

"This explains the calm on part of the terrorists. They may be trying to regroup, but it looks like we have given them a good beating,'' Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Palitha Fernando told reporters.

Fernando estimated that soldiers have killed 200 to 250 rebels in the past two weeks. About 150 rebels were killed May 22 when they launched a major attack on the soldiers, he said. The army killed the rest in other attacks, including ambushes on 10 rebel positions, he said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 08:34:23 EDT 2000


Lanka govt rushes 4,000 troops to Jaffna
India Today, Posted June 3, 2000. The Sri Lankan government has rushed over 4,000 more troops to counter the rebel offensive in Jaffna peninsula where an estimated 30,000 troops are resisting the LTTE, even as seven more rebels were killed in fresh fighting. Reports from Trincomalee said that the roads leading to the town's harbour were filled with soldiers and heavy military equipment awaiting shipment to Jaffna. Meanwhile, civilians in Jaffna town who managed to establish contact with relatives in Colombo said that there were no food shortages and the town continued to be peaceful. A reporter from Jaffna said that the town's two lakh odd civilians, who had left to safer areas, had begun returning as the peninsula had not witnessed any heavy fighting. More... [Watch]
Published: Sun Jun 4 03:59:08 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka withdraws controversial film
BBC, Saturday, 3 June, 2000, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK. A private television station in Sri Lanka says it cancelled a screening of an Indian Tamil-language film on the grounds that it could spread religious hatred. It tells the story of a romance between a Hindu man and a Muslim woman against a background of sectarian riots in Bombay in 1993. More...
Published: Sun Jun 4 03:53:07 EDT 2000

The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi: Unanswered questions and unasked queries - A Book Review
Island, June 4. Claiming that Indians and Indian political groups, including members of the Congress party, are involved in the assassination, he says that "till the Supreme Court delivered its landmark judgement in 1999 there was an eight hour disinformation campaign launched and conducted in the media and through the Jain Commission to enable the murderers, the LTTE, to escape responsibility for the assassination by trying to pin it on either foreign intelligence agencies or Indian political personalities, or both, in alleged collusion".. He says this disinformation campaign was launched on the instructions of LTTE’s second in command, Pottu Amman, and through Indians who were amenable to LTTE persuasion.George Fernandes, India’s Defence minister, who he describes as a dubious character, comes in for much flak as he was the patron of an organisation that collected money to defend those accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Law Minister Jethmalani also gets a tongue lashing for defending a religious person who ran a LTTE safe house, who was convicted of rape and murder.Swami says its not fair for these two prejudiced ministers to be present when the Sri Lanka issue is discussed by the Indian cabinet. He wants the killing of Rajiv to be regarded as a crime against India, a challenge to India’s sovereignty and an insult to India’s self respect. He wishes that India should make it so hot for the LTTE that never again will a foreign organisation dare take assassination of an Indian leader so lightly in future. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 02:05:09 EDT 2000

Appreciation - Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson (1928-2000) "The Brahmin of Brunswick"
June 4. Wilson’s research output was extensive, as a glance at any uptodate library of books on political affairs would indicate. He was particularly focussed on Sri Lankan politics: Susili Chelvanayakam, devoted to her father and very alert and sympathetic to his political views, had chosen in Wilson, one of the most brilliant graduates of his time, ‘an ideal husband’ for herself and an ideal son-in-law for the Father of the Federal Party. It was inevitable that his marriage to the only daughter of the Federal Party’s founder and his own ethnicity should have drawn Wilson, a political scientist by profession, into the vortex of Sri Lanka’s murky politics. But he maintained his relationships across the emotionally charged ethnic divide and counted individuals from all of Sri Lanka’s communities among his numerous close friends.

More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 01:59:35 EDT 2000


Advani must quit, says Swamy
June 3. In a separate statement, party's state unit president V S Chandralekha demanded that the centre sack Union ministers George Fernandes and Ram Jethmalani for their pro LTTE stand and show that it was not siding with LTTE which she described as a terrorist organisation. Pointing out that the Marumalarchi Dmk, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam and Dravidar Kazhagam were carrying on a pro LTTE campaign in Tamil Nadu, she demanded that the state government recommend to the Centre to ban these pro LTTE political parties and organisations. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 01:59:35 EDT 2000

Indian mission plays cupid for Lankan Tamil brides
India-Abroad. The vicious war being fought in Jaffna peninsula between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebels is changing life in Colombo. You can't switch on air conditioners, you can't have a party with lights. The government has placed the country on a "war-footing." But, for the island's minority Tamils, life had changed long before.The Tamils, who have an ancient culture, rich language and hold on to their traditions very dearly, have found a way to get married within their ethnic group.The bridegroom obtains a visa from the Indian mission in the country where he lives and travels to Chennai. The bride and her family joins him there and the marriage is solemnized. More..
Published: Sun Jun 4 00:15:02 EDT 2000

Lanka appeals to youth to join Army
Asian Age, June 4. Deputy defence minister Anuruddha Ratwatte told the Sri Lankan broadcasting corporation that the people of Jaffna have requested the government not to withdraw forces from the peninsula as they do not want the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to take over their homeland. The minister said he recently received a petition with 10,000 signatures to this effect. General Ratwatte, who spent 12 days at the battlefront from May 18 to 30, said the morale of the soldiers was high and they were in fighting spirit after the government supplied them with latest weaponry. The Sri Lankan government on Saturday appealed to all parliamentarians to persuade at least 100 youths from each of their constituencies to enrol in the Army and vowed that the government will never allow the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to take control of the Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 22:53:45 EDT 2000

Misshapen Sri Lankan policy - An editorial
Tribune, June 4. New Delhi firmly believed that Jaffna would fall like a ripe mango, forcing it to rush both relief supplies and naval ships to take the defeated soldiers to safety. This has not happened and it appears that the Sri Lankan army may hold out for some more time. The offer of help in organising an orderly retreat now sounds premature and an inexplicable panic reaction. India earned the wrath of all sides with its promise of food and medicines.If the army loses Jaffna, the government loses the urgency to talk with the LTTE. If it wins, the ferocious Tigers will have no stomach to talk peace.Eelam is out of the question; barring two splinter groups in Tamil Nadu nobody will recognise it. India should deploy Mr Vaiko and Dr Ramadoss to impress on Prabhakaran his shrinking options and exploit the high degree of international interest to wrest maximum concessions. Alas, this does not find a place in the blurred policy papers of New Delhi. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 22:36:59 EDT 2000

Records never bother me: Jayasuriya
Hindustan Times, June 4. How do you fancy Sri Lanka’s chances in the Asia Cup? Jayasuriya: I think we have a good chance. But I never like to take things for granted. We have won against India but we still have the match against Pakistan. Then again there would be the final. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:16:23 EDT 2000

Jaffna MPs want India’s ‘humanitarian military aid’
Hindustan Times, June 4. MEMBERS OF Parliament (MPs) from Jaffna belonging to the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) have appealed to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to render "humanitarian military assistance" to the Sri Lankan security forces to help them save the civilians of Jaffna from the LTTE. All the Jaffna MPs, barring one, belong to the EPDP. Explaining the term "humanitarian military assistance", the EPDP's spokesman Dr K.Vigneswaran said that it involved a "limited military intervention" in the form of a "pre-emptive military assistance" to help the Sri Lankan Army and air force meet the LTTE's challenge. "India can, for example, give air support to the Sri Lankan Army. Without air support, it would be hard for the Sri Lankan forces to stem the LTTE onslaught," Dr Vigneswaran told The Hindustan Times. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:06:31 EDT 2000

Lanka rushes reinforcements to Jaffna
Broadcastindia.com/PTI/Doordarshan, Sunday June 4, 2000. Sri Lankan government has rushed over 4,000 more troops to counter the rebel offensive in Jaffna peninsula where an estimated 30,000 troops are resisting the LTTE, even as seven more rebels were killed in fresh fighting. More... [Watch]
Published: Sat Jun 3 18:01:15 EDT 2000

DMK chief's formula for solving Sri Lankan crisis
Hindu, June 4. In a dramatically major shift in the DMK's approach to resolve the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the party president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, tonight said Sri Lanka should either agree for a `territorial separation' on the lines of the Czech and Slovakia republics or grant more rights to the Tamils to enable a ``permanent solution'' to the ethnic strife there. Asserting that there was ``nothing wrong'' in making this suggestion ``on behalf of the DMK if not on the behalf of the Tamil Nadu people, as other political parties have different views,'' he mooted the Czechoslovakian model of a ``completely peaceful resolution without shedding a drop of blood'' to resolve the Sri Lankan crisis. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 17:56:58 EDT 2000

Tamil 'psychopath' on the brink of key victory
New Zealand Herald Online, June 4, 2000. NEW DELHI - Communal fear and hatred following Sri Lanka's independence 52 years ago bred a monster named Velupillai Prabhakaran. Today, after a lifetime of murder and 17 years of civil war, the 46-year-old guerrilla leader of the Tamils is poised for a victory that could plunge the whole island republic into mayhem. In the process of building the Tigers, Prabhakaran has exploited certain tendencies which, other Tamils suggest, are morbidly present in their community. Chief among these is a willingness to follow leaders blindly and unquestioningly, and a readiness to sacrifice their lives in what they consider a righteous cause. But take the view of an Indian Tamil politician who knows the man well, and has had only friendly dealings with him. "Prabhakaran can never be a politician or a president," he told me. "He cannot learn politics - it requires too many compromises. He can only be a fighter. He will have to die in the fighting. That is the only answer." More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 17:39:16 EDT 2000

U.S. Sri Lankans protest fundraising in Canada
National Post, June 3. New York police set up barricades outside Canada's United Nations mission yesterday to allow American Sri Lankans to protest against alleged fundraising in Canada for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, one of the world's most ruthless terrorist organizations. In a letter addressed to Robert Fowler, Canada's Ambassador to the UN, the protesters said: "It is difficult for us to comprehend how the government of Canada hopes to convince the world that it is committed to international peace, considering the current laxity with which terrorist groups are treated there." The letter also alluded to a recent dinner organized by a Toronto-based Tamil group alleged to be a front for the rebels, and attended by Paul Martin, the Minister of Finance, and Maria Minna, Minister for International Cooperation. "Politicians who openly support these organizations need to be reproved," the letter said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 12:31:16 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's civil war and the Canadian connection
June 3. FACT was registered as a non-profit corporation in 1993 to act as an umbrella organization for the WTM and several other Tamil groups. The program handed out at the dinner attended by Mr. Martin listed the World Tamil Movement as one of eight "important constituent members" of FACT. The WTM received at least one government grant, $18,690 from the province of Ontario in 1994 to hire a volunteer co-ordinator for six months. The links between the LTTE and the WTM are so substantial that when arguing before the Canadian courts, Crown lawyers have referred to the groups simply as "WTM/LTTE," as if they were a single entity. "WTM is the leading front organization for the LTTE in Canada," writes Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, a leading authority on the Sri Lankan conflict, a contributor to Jane's and a research associate at both the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence in Scotland and the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy in Israel.

More..
Published: Sat Jun 3 12:30:11 EDT 2000


“LTTE support embarrassing Centre”
Chennaionline, June 3. “LTTE support embarrassing Centre”

Chennai, June 3: Bharatiya Janata Party Tamil Nadu unit President S P Kirupanithi today said that certain constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Tamil Nadu, were putting the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government in a dilemma by speaking in support of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and hailing its leaders.In a statement here, Kirupanithi said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Tamil Maanila Congress president G K Moopanar and the Congress (I) leadership at the national level had supported Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's Sri Lanka policy. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:42:56 EDT 2000


Nedumaran picks pro-LTTE team
Chennaionline, June 3. Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam president P Nedumaran today nominated hardcore Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporters as office bearers of his organisation. The Iyakkam itself is seen as a strong pro-LTTE outfit and is lobbying for lifting the ban on the LTTE. All the new office bearers are members of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation coordination committee which was once headed by defence minister George Fernandes when he was not in office. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:40:36 EDT 2000

Tiger 'submarine' found at Thai resort
SCMP, June 3. Thai authorities are evasive about the arms-smuggling charges, with spokesmen saying they know little about what is going on. Defence Ministry spokesman General Sanan Kachornklam denied Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai had ordered the army not to talk about the Tamil Tigers' activities. However, Sri Lanka believes Phuket is being used as a conduit to smuggle heavy weaponry to the Tigers from the Indochina region. However, the Government is wary about openly criticising Thailand and damaging relations.

A Sri Lankan Government source said the Tamil Tigers were engaged in numerous illegal fund-raising activities. "The Tigers have a worldwide network and smuggle arms, humans and drugs from the Golden Triangle and the Indochina region to the West," he said.

He suspected the separatists were linked to corrupt military officers in the region and he appealed to the West to pressure Thailand into doing more to clamp down on their activities. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:33:40 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka lifts meeting ban
BBC, June 3. The Sri Lankan Government has announced that it is lifting a ban on public meetings and rallies imposed last month as part of emergency war regulations with immediate effect. There had been widespread protests about the ban from opposition politicians, trade unions and human rights workers. Other regulations, which include stringent censorship of the media, still remain in force. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:21:16 EDT 2000

PM rules out military intervention in Lanka
Rediff, June 3. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee Saturday iterated that India would not send its military to Sri Lanka to solve the ethnic problem of that country. At a public meeting in Keylong (Himachal Pradesh), he said India wanted a peaceful solution to the Lankan crisis and that Colombo should change its policy against Tamils and adopt peaceful means. Meanwhile, a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam vehicle laden with explosives caught fire and exploded after security forces directed artillery fire at the vehicle Friday night even as seven Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed in sporadic clashes in Jaffna. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:16:28 EDT 2000

MDMK calls off rally on Sri Lankan Tamils' issue
Hindu, June 3. The MDMK today called off its proposed rally here on June 5 in support of the struggle of the Sri Lankan Tamils, saying it was being "postponed in deference to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's appeal to avoid problematic issues." More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:07:46 EDT 2000

Indian film Bombay gets the chop in Sri Lanka
123India-afp, June 3. COLOMBO, June 3 (AFP) - A private television station has cancelled a screening of an Indian film, Bombay, following representations that it could create racial hatred in the island nation, officials said on Saturday. The film, depicting clashes between Hindus and Muslims in India, was due to be shown on the network on Friday night, but the station removed it from the schedule voluntarily. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:04:55 EDT 2000

Trincomalee heralds old times as military overides tourist buck
123Indiaafp, June 3. TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, June 3 (AFP) - As a tourist mecca Trincomalee, on Sri Lanka's northeast coast, has been forced out of business and back to the days where it originally found fame -- as a bustling wartime port. The Rotary and the YMCA still welcome travellers into town. But gone are the tourists, hippies and Asia's nouveau riche. Only fishermen, monkeys, sacred cows and stray dogs roam the idyllic beaches and deserted resorts. The hoteliers groan that no one comes. "There's too much trouble," they say.

That trouble is blamed on the Tamil Tigers who have staked "Trinco" as the a key town in their sovereign state Eelam. It lies in the centre of the coastal strip along the eastern seaboard which the rebels say is also theirs. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 11:02:05 EDT 2000


No Way Out; The pressures are growing for outside help to end Sri Lanka's bloody civil war
FEER, COLOMBO, Issue dated June 8. TERROR HAS A WAY of attracting attention. Every year when the international focus on the 17-year-old civil war in Sri Lanka starts to wane, a fresh onslaught by the Tamil Tigers puts it back in the news headlines. This time round, though, it's more than just the media that's interested. Sri Lanka's re-emergence on the international agenda was underscored at the end of May with a visit by U.S. Under-Secretary of State Thomas Pickering. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:46:03 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers preparing for another push.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 17.15 Saturday.. Separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam announced that its fighters are preparing for another massive offensive against government troops in northern Jaffna peninsula.

The announcement was made today over Tigers clandestine radio, the Voice of Tigers (VOT) in Wanni. The radio said the offensive would focus on liberating Jaffna peninsula from the clutches of government troops, who are presently poised for a major push against the rebels.

"It would be another phase of ongoing operation "Unceasing Waves-3", the radio said, but it did not say where or when the new offensive would begin.

Separatist Tamil Tigers are fighting to create an independent homeland for minority Tamils. The 18 years of ongoing conflict has claimed the lives of over 75,000 people.
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:36:42 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka pours in 4,000 more troops for Jaffna battle: minister
AFP, COLOMBO, June 3. Sri Lanka has deployed another 4,000 soldiers to defend the northern peninsula of Jaffna where some 30,000 troops are resisting a major Tamil rebel offensive, a senior minister said Saturday. "This is a very critical period, a very decisive moment," Ratwatte said in a phone-in program over state radio. He said a large number of deserters were rejoining as the military was gaining the upper hand. Some 4,000 troops were already on their way to Jaffna via the north-eastern port of Trincomalee, the minister said. He said several organisations, some with government backing, had led an anti-war campaign in recent years and that had helped to demoralise soldiers as well as discourage youngsters from joining the military. "They keep saying that the war is cruel, war is bad. Perhaps they were not aware that this war is an extension of a political strategy to bring peace to the country," Ratwatte said. He urged legislators in the 225-member national parliament to send at least 100 young men and women from each constituency to join the army to boost the battle against the Tigers. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:31:40 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers shifting Southeast Asia base to Thailand
AFP, BANGKOK, June 3. Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamhave made Thailand a hub of their Southeast Asian gun-running and fund-raising activities, sources close to Thai military intelligence said. The source told AFP the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, had been operating a sizeable base on a Thai island 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the southwest coast tourist resort of Phuket. Following Thai newspaper reports relating to the existence of the base in mid-May, Thai police engaged in a cover-up to prevent details of the Tigers' presence being revealed, the source said. Thai government officials have denied the existence of the base, although army chief General Surayud Chulanont has told reporters the military has known of Tiger operations in southern Thailand for some time. Sources told AFP the alleged base near Phuket was just the tip of the Tiger iceberg in Thailand, with LTTE funding activities and arms smuggling also taking place in Bangkok and in waters just off the Thai coast. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 07:22:29 EDT 2000

Role only if Colombo requests: Jaswant
The Hindu,By P. S. Suryanarayana , Saturday June 3 . SINGAPORE, JUNE 2. The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, who is here on a three-day official visit, today reaffirmed India's commitment to uphold the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and expressed the view that this could also be best preserved if the aspirations of all the people in Sri Lanka were met. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 06:55:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Censorship Challenged
AP, 00:35 SLT Saturday June 3 . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Editors of ten independent newspapers have petitioned Sri Lanka's Supreme Court to lift censorship laws imposed under an emergency decree, a newspaper said today. In a plea filed Friday, the editors alleged the censorship was "discriminatory, unreasonable and arbitrary,'' reported the Daily Mirror, whose editor is among the complainants. "Emergency regulations have resulted in censoring of news and comments that (do) not affect national security or public order,'' the petition said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 06:51:01 EDT 2000

U.S. Buddhism Leader Havanpola Ratanasara Dies
Elaine Woo, Times Staff Writer, LA Times, Friday, June 2, 2000. The Venerable Havanpola Ratanasara, a monk who strove to build an American style of Buddhism and led Buddhists, Catholics and other denominations in interfaith dialogues, has died. At 80, Ratanasara was believed to be the oldest Buddhist monk in Southern California. He suffered from diabetes and heart problems and died in his sleep last Friday surrounded by monks in his apartment at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles.

In the United States, Ratanasara began to ponder how Buddhists could join the mainstream of American society. Largely because of immigration, the nation has the largest variety of Buddhist traditions in the world, but Ratanasara saw differences of language and culture as major obstacles to unity within American Buddhism as well as to dialogue with other faiths. "How can we become Americanized, yet hold to the core of Buddhism? How can we develop an American Buddhism, which will be vital and appropriate to this society and still retain our individual, unique traditions?" Ratanasara asked in an interview several years ago.

In 1988, Ratanasara and his colleagues took a bold step by ordaining a Thai woman. The action revived a practice that had died out centuries ago in Ratanasara's Theravada Buddhist tradition, which is mainly practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 03:03:47 EDT 2000


Women's groups slam Lankan Press on gay ruling
Times of India, Saturday 3 June 2000. Human rights activists and women's groups reacted angrily Friday to a ruling by the Sri Lanka Press Council branding lesbianism as an act of sadism and commending a newspaper for publishing a virulently anti-lesbian article.

"It is extremely offensive to have responsible people (in the press council) making statements like this, irrespective of sexual orientation. The question was: did the letter incite someone to commit rape? The ruling is a hate speech (against lesbians)," said Kumudini Samuel of Women and Media Collective. She said women's groups and human rights groups were "absolutely appalled" and Sri Lankan activists attending a United Nations parley on women's rights in New York had been informed of the council's statements.

"We hope they bring it up there at a caucus on violence against women," Samuel said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:47:13 EDT 2000


New Delhi rules out UN role in Sri Lanka
The Dawn, Singapore, June 2. Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh on Friday ruled out a role for the United Nations in the war-torn Sri Lanka and reiterated that New Delhi would only get involved in the conflict there if asked by Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:34:32 EDT 2000

Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara passes away
CBS/AP, Los Angeles, June 02, 2000 22:05. Havanpola Ratanasara, a prominent Southern California Buddhist monk who led efforts to unite culturally diverse believers and to ordain women as monks, died May 26. He was 80. Ratanasara was a United Nations delegate for Sri Lanka in 1957. Ratanasara also was the Buddhist representative during Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles in 1987, and he co-founded the Buddhist-Catholic Dialogue with the Roman Catholic archdiocese. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:13:43 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka loosens restrictions
United Press International, June 03, 2000 01:14. The Sri Lankan government Saturday lifted a ban on public meetings, demonstrations and protests clamped down a month ago under public security ordnance. The government had said it would not continue the ban if the situation improved. It has revoked the ban, honoring the word it had given to the political parties in the country. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 02:08:23 EDT 2000

15 LTTE rebels, 3 soldiers killed in fighting
India Express, Saturday, June 3, 2000. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan government today said 15 LTTE rebels and three soldiers had been killed in heavy exchange of mortar shelling between the army and the guerrillas in Chavakachcheri area, south of Jaffna town, since yesterday, and claimed that the Tamil Tigers had withdrawn most its cadre and mortars from Vavunathivu area,reports PTI. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 01:03:48 EDT 2000

Tamil Nadu tightens security along coast
India Daily, Saturday, June 3, 2000. Chennai : The Sri Lankan Navy's weekend action against the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE, has forced Tamil Nadu to further tighten security along its coast to check smuggling and a renewed refugee influx. The Sri Lankan Navy on Monday said it had sunk seven "barges loaded with supplies" More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 01:00:45 EDT 2000

Lesbians sadists, Sri Lanka press council says
The Staits Times, June 3, 2000. COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's Press Council has ruled that lesbianism is an ""act of sadism'' and that a letter in a paper calling for convicted rapists to be unleashed on lesbians was published in the interest of the community. More...
Published: Sat Jun 3 00:50:53 EDT 2000


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