The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 5, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 61
 

Jaffna Peninsula
Jaffna Peninsula
SRI LANKA: THE BATTLE FOR JAFFNA
June 01, 2000
South Asia Monitor. The 1995 proposals called for greater devolution of power within a structure closely resembling the present Sri Lankan provincial arrangement. A loose confederal structure, with some kind of explicit recognition of the Tamils as a collective group within it and with stronger guarantees of their inclusion in power at the national level, might be more successful. More...
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Kachcha Theevu: fishermen plan stir in August
Newindpress, June 5. The Tamilaga Meenavar Thannurimai Iyakkam and the Akila Indhiya Meenavar Peravai are planning to launch an agitation in August, demanding reannexation of Kachacha Theevu with India to save fishermen from attacks by Sri Lankan Navy. According to P.M.Thamizhmanthan, State president of the Iyakkam, who has undertaken a propaganda tour from Kanyakumari for the preservation of marine wealth, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi handed over Kachcha Theevu to Sri Lanka in 1974. Subsequently Sri Lankan Navy personnel not only have not been allowing Tamil Nadu fishermen to fish in the area but also have been gunning them down. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 23:09:16 EDT 2000

Why TN politicians back Lankan Tamils' cause
newindpress, June 5. While Karunanidhi has called for a Czech model, Ramadoss welcomes third party mediation. The call for a separate State may be the result of past frustration as devolution packages are only announced but never implemented. One thing these parties understand well is that LTTE never comes to the `talking table.' What the Tamil Nadu voters will think of the Sri Lankan solution will be at the back of these leaders' gestures and utterances. As the other alliance in the State, led by AIADMK and TMC, is totally against the LTTE and is for the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, the coming events there might well decide the outcome of the next elections to the State Assembly. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 23:06:00 EDT 2000

Shedding tears for Lankan Tamils not a crime: Ramadoss
June 6. PMK founder president Dr S Ramadoss has regretted over the attitude of a few that shedding tears for the innocent Lankan Tamils is itself a crime.He said the blood relationship between Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils is dates back to over 2000 to 3000 years. In fact, the Tamils ruled that country in yesteryears, but after that the Sinhalese dethrown them and harassed them.So, the present conflict is a battle of those who lost their lands and rights and those who snatched their freedom. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 23:01:41 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi's turnaround stuns BJP
Rediff, June 5. Dravida Munnetra Kazagham chief K Karunanidhi's abrupt albeit controversial turnaround Sunday suggesting the division of Sri Lanka on the lines of Czech and Slovakia if its political leadership did not grant more powers to the ethnic Tamils has sent Bharatiya Janata Party leaders scurrying for cover.Tamil Nadu Congress general secretary E V K S Elangovan, who was appointed state Pradesh Congress Committee chief by party president Sonia Gandhi today, was besieged with questions on Karunanidhi's statement. He said his personal stand was in consonance with his party's. He said Sri Lanka's sovereignty and territorial integrity was non-negotiable and the alliance partners of the NDA better reconcile themselves to this. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 22:55:53 EDT 2000

Slain girl's dad buoyed by discovery of evidence
Globe and Mail, June 5. Toronto -- It will soon be a year since Sharmini Anandavel left her parents' Don Mills Road apartment in search of a new job. Her father, Eloornayagam, says the family has found some peace since the discovery of the 15-year-old's skull and several bone fragments in a North York river valley in October.However, Mr. Anandavel said he knew nothing about media reports that new evidence -- a piece of his daughter's clothing that may contain a suspect's DNA -- was found in the east Don Parklands late last week.And he hopes to return to his native Sri Lanka later this year to visit his family. "I want to see my mother and my sister. My parents and family are very sad. We are very close." More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 22:48:49 EDT 2000

Czech-mating Tamils
Times of India, June 5. The war in Sri Lanka has always been good for a sideshow in Tamil Nadu. Each regional party wants to do one better than the other. Mercifully, Jayalalitha's AIADMK is silent. So the game of one-upmanship is between the DMK of M. Karunanidhi and the Kazhagams-come-lately such as the MDMK of Vaiko and the PMK of Dr Ramadoss. In his anxiety to put one over the MDMK and PMK, Karunanidhi has pulled out of his hat the idea that Sri Lanka should be split like Czechoslovakia was between the Czechs and the Slovaks. What he suggests is territorial separation between the Tamils and the Sinhalese. In other words, Eelam for Sri Lankan Tamils. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 22:33:37 EDT 2000

Govt disagrees with Karunanidhi to control damage
Indian Express, June 6. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's baffling turnaround on the Sri Lankan issue has put India in an embarrassing situation, forcing it to reiterate that the ethnic conflict should be resolved within the framework of the island nation's territorial integrity.At a time when two other allies of the BJP and the DMK in Tamil Nadu, the MDMK of Vaiko and the PMK led by S Ramadoss are openly defying the Indian position on Sri Lanka and supporting the cause of the Tamils being espoused by the LTTE, Karunanidhi may have succumbed to their pressure to an extent. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 19:28:41 EDT 2000

Delhi dash to defuse DMK bomb
The Telegraph, June 5. A red-faced government today scampered to play down ally M. Karunanidhi’s “Czechoslovakia-type solution” to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis, saying there was no shift in its stand that the Tamil problem should be resolved without violating the territorial integrity of the island-nation. Colombo has reportedly been asked not to take Karunanidhi’s statement too seriously. The chief minister is alleged to have made the remark to appease hardliners demanding a Tamil Eelam.and marginalise MDMK chief Vaiko. , a known Tiger sympathiser. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 19:23:08 EDT 2000

LTTE’S MENACE An Impossible Negotiator -An Editorial
The Statesman, June 5. RESPONDING to clamour, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has offer-ed to parley with the LTTE supremo, V Prabhakaran. She knows, even if others more generous with advice than aid do not, that neither on the immediate crisis nor on the main problem do talks offer much hope in the present situation.Prabhakaran is as starkly realistic as Khruschev was when he said at Leipzig on 7 March 1959: “History teaches us that conferences reflect in their decisions an established balance of forces resulting from victory or capitulation in war or similar circumstances.”As the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi, courageously said on 15 May, Prabhakaran is no champion of the Tamils. He is a fascist who has eliminated by murder any Tamil who he perceives as an alternative. Neelan Tiruchel-vam had to be done away with last July because his outstanding qualities made him the one Tamil leader who could have bridged the gulf between Tamil aspirations and Sinhala fears. The march of gore from the EPRLF’s Sabaratnam’s killing in 1986 is revolting — K Pathmanabha also of EPRLF, two TULF leaders in 1985, and another two, including its leader A Amirthalingam, in 1990, two former benefactors — Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and President R Premadasa in 1993, Foreign Minister Ranjan Wijeratna, Navy Chief Admiral Clancy Fernando, former Minister Lalith Athulath-mudali, Gamini Dissanayake, the UNP’s presidential candidate, who was killed along with 55 others, including two former Cabinet Ministers, and the general secretary of the UNP. The LTTE is not a liberation movement that uses terror as a weapon, but essentially a terrorist unit. Prabhakaran is South Asia’s Pol Pot. The attempt on the life of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, only last December during her election campaign, just after the LTTE’s military victories in November, was a bid to bring the state to its knees. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 19:00:30 EDT 2000

Czech envoy joins issue with Karunanidhi
Hindustan Times, June 5. TAMIL NADU Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi got his facts wrong when he recommended a "bloodless territorial separation" of the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka on the pattern of the separation of the Czechs from the Slovaks after the collapse of the communist structure in Eastern Europe, a Czech diplomat said. "There is no parallel between the Czech-Slovak case and the Sri Lankan case. The historical context is very different," the diplomat told The Hindustan Times over phone from New Delhi. He said that the Czechs and Slovaks were separate most of the time in history except for a period in the 8th-9th century and later, from 1918 to 1993. Generally, the Czechs were under the Austrian Empire and the Slovaks under the Hungarian Empire. After the collapse of the communist structure in the late eighties, the Slovaks wanted more autonomy. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:52:41 EDT 2000

Wrong view -Editorial
Deccan Herald, June 5. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader, Mr M Karunanidhi`s comment on a Czechoslovakian model of division of Sri Lanka will not be accepted as right and suitable for the island nation either by the people of that country or by India. Mr Karunanidhi has made it clear that he had expressed his views on the Sri Lanka situation not as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu but as the leader of the DMK. Tamil parties are often constrained to take a pro-LTTE position because of the compulsions of politics.The position of the Indian government and the mainstream Opposition parties has been that the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka has to be resolved within the framework of the Sri Lankan Constitution. The public opinion in India has also favoured a peaceful settlement of the issue, without endangering Sri Lanka`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.The Indian government, State governments or political parties have no right to propose a formula to resolve the conflict in Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:46:39 EDT 2000

An irresponsible stance -Opinion
Hindu, June 5. THE TAMIL NADU Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi's recent pitch on Sri Lanka is unwarranted and unwelcome. To have argued that Sri Lanka should agree for a separation on the model of Czechoslovakia (in the event that Tamils are not granted more rights) is to peddle a solution that is, at best, very vague and, at worst, extremely irresponsible.Far more important is the not-so-oblique endorsement of the idea of the island nation being divided along ethnic lines. This runs contrary to India's commitment to a united Sri Lanka, a position which has been the cornerstone of the country's foreign policy since the mid-Eighties. It also runs foul of what is often unstated but is arguably a concomitant of the above position - namely, that the establishment of Eelam would be against India's larger interests in the South Asia region. What if leaders of other countries were to make similar suggestions about Kashmir or parts of the Northeast? The belief that there is considerable support within Tamil Nadu for the LTTE or Eelam is one of the myths that a number of political parties in the State continue to subscribe to. One result of this is a game of competitive politics or the phenomenon of political parties vying with each other to play what they regard as the Sri Lankan Tamil card. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:41:51 EDT 2000

No Czech, mate -Editorial
Daily Pioneer, June 5. It runs totally contrary to the Indian Government s frequently reiterated stand that a settlement has to be found without compromising Sri Lanka's territorial integrity. Any departure from this would not only mean reneging on a long-standing commitment but setting a precedent extremely dangerous for India. The separatists in Jammu & Kashmir and north-eastern India would then be able to argue that New Delhi should accept a similar settlement at home and grant them independence. And, their morale would receive a massive boost if Eelam becomes a reality. One hopes that the military situation in Jaffna which has not yet fallen and where the Sri Lankan Army is now better equipped and motivated to fight makes the LTTE more accommodating than they have been so far. It is here that leaders like Mr Karunanidhi have a role. Instead of talking about the splitting up of Sri Lanka, they should be persuading the LTTE to see reason. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:36:29 EDT 2000

Dangerous game: DMK chief's 'divorce' plan could have serious fallouts -Editorial
Hindustan Times, June 5. this ostensibly reasonable prescription suffers from many flaws. One: a marriage suggests a coming together of two distinct entities; Sri Lanka was and continues to be a single entity. Two: marriage counselling is not necessarily a perfect guide to global politics. And three: unkind cynics may well want to remind Mr Karunanidhi that for some men there is an alternative — why go in for a divorce when you can have two wives? Obviously, Mr Karunanidhi’s prescription is unacceptable. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and an Indian minister has no business making pronouncements that seem to encourage secession.Past experience with Mr Karunanidhi suggests that this statement is part of a deliberate strategy of obfuscation. He does not want to support Eelam — both because of his awareness of the duplicitous nature of V. Prabhakaran and because he is responsible enough not to want to break with the government’s line on this issue — but is aware that his constituency has strong views about the plight of Lanka’s Tamils.The divorce advice, he says, comes from the president of the DMK. The responsible statements emanate from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The distinction is essentially bogus but Mr Karunanidhi reckons that he has to be on both sides of this issue if he is to retain his position as head of the Dravidian forces. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:31:28 EDT 2000

DMK chief out on please-all mission
Hindustan Times, June 5. BY MOOTING the Czechoslovakian model of separation for Sri Lanka's warring ethnic groups, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi appears to be on a course to please all and prevent the Opposition from pinning him down on the issue. Did Mr Karunanidhi make the statement because he discerned revival of support in Tamil Nadu for the suffering Tamils in Sri Lanka? Although, there is no sympathy for the LTTE since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the plight of 1 lakh people in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu is a sob story. Certainly, Mr Karunanidhi, who built his politics as a champion of the Tamil pride, cannot afford to be accused of betraying the Sri Lankan Tamils' cause when the Assembly polls are nine months away. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:24:52 EDT 2000

Cong., Left criticise Karunanidhi's proposal
The Hindu, June 5. The Congress(I) demanded a categorical statement from the Prime Minister clarifying the NDA's position. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, who looks after the party's Tamil Nadu affairs, said the Congress(I) was firmly opposed to a division of Sri Lanka and believed that its territorial integrity was ``sacrosanct''. The CPI(M) pointed out that the creation of a separate Eelam would have ``dangerous consequences in the region and serious implications for India''. It demanded that the Government ``immediately condemn'' Mr. Karunanidhi's statement, as also similar statements by other NDA allies. The CPI general secretary, Mr. A. B. Bardhan, termed the statement ``unwarranted and uncalled for'' saying it indicated the ``confusion'' in the NDA. ``By talking about the Czech model, Mr. Karunanidhi has shown his ignorance of what led to the division of Czechoslovakia'', he said, reiterating his party's ``commitment'' to Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic and territorial unity. Mr. J. P. Mathur, BJP vice-president made it clear that the BJP ``did not want Sri Lanka to be divided'' Czechoslovakia style or any other way. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:19:41 EDT 2000

Govt. stand unchanged
The Hindu, June 5. India's position on Sri Lanka has not changed and Colombo has not raised

the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi's controversial remarks on the situation on the island with New Delhi, the Foreign Office said today. ``There is no change in our position'', the Foreign Office spokesman said when asked to comment on Mr. Karunanidhi's assertion that Sri Lanka should either devolve more rights to the Tamils or follow the Czech model ( of carving out two new independent states) to resolve its ethnic crisis. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:19:42 EDT 2000


Crucial Sri Lankan meeting today
The Hindu, June 5. Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance (PA) coalition and the opposition United National Party(UNP) are expected to cross swords over the most contentious issues in the draft constitutional reforms at a meeting tomorrow. The President, Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga, has set a June 15 deadline for finishing consultations with the UNP on the reforms, of which devolution to the Tamil minority forms the centre-piece. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:19:42 EDT 2000

Tamils not for separate state'
The Hindu, June 5. `The partitioning of Sri Lanka will be the beginning of balkanisation of India,'' warned the Media Minister and Government spokesman, Mr Mangala Samaraweera. ``If Mr Karunanidhi knows the wishes of the Tamils, he should know that most of them do not want a separate state.'' Mr. Dharmalingam Sithadthan, MP and leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamils (PLOT), said while such statements would certainly put the Sri Lankan Government under pressure to give maximum concessions concessions to the Tamils, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also had ``an obligation to put pressure on the LTTE'' to accept a political settlement. More..
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:19:42 EDT 2000

Jaffna battle shatters Lanka's revival hope
Times of India, June 6. As Sri Lankans tighten their belts in the wake of the sharp increase in gas, electricity and communication tariffs, economists warn that rising prices will shatter hopes of an early economic recovery for the war-weary island. With government troops set to face Tamil separatists in a long drawn out battle in the northern Jaffna peninsula, conservative estimates peg this year's inflation rate at about eight per cent, compared to last year's official figure of 4.7 per cent. However, analysts say these figure is likely to shoot up further as the months go by. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:06:45 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi's remarks: Tamils cheer, Sinhalas fret
Times of India, June 6. ``Karunanidhi is a politician and should not be taken seriously; he's trying to save his own skin vis-a-vis the LTTE,'' Karunaratne added. ``Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee made a statement that the Sri Lankan government should start talks with the LTTE, why doesn't the Indian government open up dialogue with the Kashmiri militants?''``We welcome his speech. That is what was expected from India in any case,'' EPDP member of Parliament, S Thavarajah told TOINS. Adds TULF leader, V Anandsanagari: ``Earlier the local Tamil newspapers had started ridiculing Karunanidhi's stand on the issue, especially since other local leaders in Tamil Nadu were being so proactive. But with this, his stock has gone up in Sri Lanka.'' More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 18:04:17 EDT 2000

BJP differs with Karunanidhi on Lanka issue
Times of India, June 6. Differing sharply with its key allies the DMK and PMK, the BJP on Monday asserted that the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka should be resolved upholding that nation's territorial integrity, even as Opposition parties sought to embarrass the government on the issue."Our stand is clear that territorial integrity of Sri Lanka should be maintained and Tamils in that country should get their rights and be treated equally," BJP president Kushabhau Thakre said here.

The CPI-M criticised the government for its "silence" on the stand of DMK and other allies of the BJP favouring division of Sri Lanka, saying it was contrary to the country's stand on the issue.AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters that it was strange that the DMK, which is an important constituent of the ruling NDA, should have made such a statement and wanted the prime minister to clarify the NDA's position on the issue. Stating that the Congress was not for division of Sri Lanka, he said the party wanted a solution to be found to the ethnic issue while maintaining territorial integrity and sovereignty of the island nation. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 17:59:46 EDT 2000


Divorce, DMK-style - Editorial
Times of India, June 6. "How can a husband live with an incompatible wife?". The logic is impeccable, except that if applied in India, it might leave this country holding on to only one bit of territory -- the Hindi heartland. there was a time, many, many years ago, when Mr Karunanidhi's DMK was all fire and brimstone on precisely this point. If memory serves us right, his party had then talked about a separate flag and a separate Tamil state. Fortunately, better sense prevailed and the DMK dropped secessionism from its agenda.Indeed, if this is accepted, it would be perfectly legitimate for a Kashmiri Muslim to support Pakistan on the grounds of pan-Islamic emotionalism. It might have been understandable had Mr Karunanidhi premised his support for Eelam on human rights, though even that could be tricky considering our own human rights record in Kashmir. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 17:54:18 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi's non-solution
Indian Express, June 5. The `solution' suggested by M. Karunanidhi to Sri Lanka's ethnic problem is a hard riddle to solve. He should know, for example, that the analogy of the East European state, which split into Czech and Slovak republics in the wake of historic developments in the Second World headed by the Soviet Union, does not apply to Sri Lanka at all. Soon after suggesting a Sinhala-Tamil `divorce' on the ground of `incompatibility', he asks the Centre not to interfere in other's `family affairs'. Is it his case that Chennai alone has a mandate to meddle in these affairs? All things considered, the fuzzy formula would appear to be Kaurnanidhi's solution, not so much to the neighbouring nation's problem, as to a peculiar predicament of his own party. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 17:46:05 EDT 2000

Analysis: Playing Tamil politics
BBC, Monday, 5 June, 2000, 14:51 GMT. Around 60m Tamils live in Tamil Nadu, and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's position on Sri Lanka is closely watched by them and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Ever since the Tamil Tigers were accused of murdering the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, the government of Tamil Nadu has been in something of a problem in relation to the Sri Lankan war. On the one hand, the DMK is sympathetic towards many of the grievances cited by the Tamil Tigers. But on the other hand it disapproves of many of their methods. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 16:09:09 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka sailors missing in friendly fire
MSNBC-Reuters, June 5. Two Sri Lanka gunboats were destroyed on Monday, one of them by friendly fire, military officials said. Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed the other when they attacked a naval convoy off the country's northern coast. At least 23 naval personnel were reported missing from both boats. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 13:51:38 EDT 2000

Sea battle in Sri Lanka
BBC, Monday, 5 June, 2000, 15:50 GMT. The two Israeli-build Dvora attack crafts were said to be on patrol when they came upon a cluster of rebel boats. The two gunboats were destroyed by the Tamil Tigers in the ensuing battle. Earlier officials said the second craft had been accidentally destroyed by an air force jet, but a defence ministry spokesman denied this. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 13:00:30 EDT 2000

Pakistan beats Sri Lanka by 7 wickets.
cricinfo. Scores.

Sri Lanka 192/9 (49overs) Pakistan 193/3 (48.3Overs)

Full Scores
Published: Mon Jun 5 12:26:17 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka says partition will lead to 'Balkanisation of India'
AFP, Monday, June 5 10:13 PM SGT . Sri Lanka Monday warned that a partition of the tiny Indian Ocean island, as demanded by Tamil rebels, would lead to a "Balkanisation" of neighbouring India which has close cultural links with minority Tamils.Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he was surprised by remarks attributed to a powerful partner in India's coalition government who called for the partition of Sri Lanka along the lines of the Czech and Slovak republics. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 11:54:15 EDT 2000

BJP says no differences with its allies on Centre's Sri Lanka policy
NDTV, June 5. BJP President Kushabhau Thakre said today that he doesn't agree with Dr. M Karunanidhi's view that Colombo should agree to 'territorial separation' along the model of the Czech and Slovak republics. He reiterated the government's stand that a solution is possible only within the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Mr. Thakre, however, added that the Tamil Nadu allies are free to voice their opinions and their stand had not embarrassed the government. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 10:21:46 EDT 2000

Pro-LTTE rally planned for June 15
Chennaionline, June 5. Tamil Desiya Iyakkam president and Tamil Eelam Supporters Coordination Committee organiser P Nedumaran today announced processions in the city and in the districts on June 15 to press the centre to recognise the current liberation movement by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 10:08:52 EDT 2000

Tigers prepare for new Jaffna offensive
Tamil Guradian, June 2. The Liberation Tigers are massing their units in the Jaffna peninsula for a new offensive thrust, amidst consolidation in newly captured areas, reports from the northern peninsula said.Earlier, reports said the LTTE had augmented its artillery on the peninsula, and is now shelling areas along Jaffna's northern coastline, disrupting the SLA's supply lines to the peninsula, press reports said. LTTE artillery shells are hitting coastal areas to the west of Kankesanthurai (KKS), the SLA's only harbour in Jaffna, press reports said. Meanwhile, in the Thenmaradchchi sector, since capturing Chavacachcheri, the second largest town on the peninsula, two weeks ago, the Liberation Tigers have advanced into areas to its north such as Madduvil and Sarasalai. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:58:52 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Claims 1,000 Rebel Deaths
AP, Monday June 5 9:42 AM ET. ``We have come to this figure after monitoring terrorists' transmissions and from information from our units,'' Fernando told The Associated Press. He said 800 of the deaths were in the first three weeks of May. A lull in the fighting during the past two weeks has resulted in only 200 deaths, he said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:54:17 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan postal union ousts leader for agreeing to government restructuring
WSWS, June 2. In the midst of Sri Lanka's deepening military conflict in the North and political crisis in Colombo, a longstanding postal union leader has been suspended from his post on charges of collaborating with the Peoples Alliance government in implementing its restructuring plans. The incident not only reflects a deep hostility to the union bureaucrat in question, but a combative mood among sections of workers to the government and its attempts to use the war as a means of making drastic new inroads into living standards. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:44:35 EDT 2000

President confident Tigers can be beaten
SCMP, June 5. "Every year I was increasing the defence budget a little but certainly not as much as the defence establishment would have liked because we are a poor country," she said. "Also, over the past two years or so, probably we did not have a strategy that could effectively meet the LTTE's [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] challenge." Mrs Kumaratunga said contacts with the Tigers were continuing through the Norwegians and they could come into the discussions at any time. But she said there was no question of talking unless certain conditions were fulfilled. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:42:43 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan lesbians, gays to move against media watchdog
CNN, June 5. A former Roman Catholic priest who is now a gay rights activist said Sunday he will take Sri Lanka's press council to court for clearing a newspaper that published a letter saying lesbians should be raped.The council fined him 2,100 rupees ($30) for supporting homosexuality, which is illegal under a 114-year law.A few days after The Island newspaper reported in August that a lesbian convention was coming to Colombo, it published a letter from an irate reader who opposed lesbianism. The writer signed his name as P. Alles. In his letter, Alles urged police "to let loose convicted rapists among the jubilant but jaded jezebels when their assembly is in full swing so that those who are misguided may get a taste of the real thing."The Island, in its reply to the council, said just as lesbians have a right to hold a meeting, readers opposed to the practice have a right to criticize it. Merely highlighting such opinion does not amount to encouraging violence against women, the newspaper argued. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:31:41 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's civil war and the Canadian connection
National Post, June 3. he Tamil Tigers aren't the only international terrorist group that raises money in Canada, but they have certainly been one of the most effective, generating by one estimate more than $22-million last year to finance a wave of ethnic warfare in northeastern Sri Lanka that has left 60,000 dead. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:25:31 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka boosts security around sacred tree, bans photography
123India-afp, June 5. Sri Lankan security forces have bolstered security around one of the country's holiest Buddhist shrines which houses a tree reputed to be the world's oldest. The shrine's holiest monk, Pallegama Siri Sumana Dhamma Rakkhita, told AFP Monday the government had deployed extra police and army troopers to guard the temple following a sharp escalation in the country's civil war. "Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus and Christians all use to live under the same umbrella. It was always very friendly. Now that has changed," he said More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:25:26 EDT 2000

Navy gunboats sunk as Sri Lanka says peace talks look distant
AFP, June 5. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed an explosives-laden navy gunboat in a suicide attack Monday marking an upsurge in fighting in the island's north, officials said. The suicide-boat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked the Israel-built Dvora gunboat, killing five sailors, as it escorted a naval convoy off the island's north-eastern coast, officials said. They said a second Dvora, which went to the aid of the crippled craft, was bombed and destroyed accidentally by an air force jet called in to bomb rebel craft in the area. Around 15 sailors from that boat were missing More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:13:26 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka lifts censorship on foreign media
AFP, June 5. Sri Lanka Monday announced the lifting of tight censorship regulations on the Colombo-based foreign media, but continued the restrictions on the local media. Chief censor Ariya Rubasinghe said that the government decided to ease the restrictions on the foreign press with immediate effect. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:04:45 EDT 2000

Two Naval gunboats sink
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.50 p.m. SLT Monday June 5. Two naval Dvora fast attack gunboats escorting a ship carrying Lankan troops was shot at by the LTTE at around 10 a.m. this morning at Mullaitivu, east of Vadamarachi on the northern coastline. One boat was hit and sank.

When troops called for air support, a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jet which came to the aid of the soldiers under attack, dropped a bomb on the second naval gun boat. It is believed that nearly a dozen naval soldiers were killed as a result of the Tiger attack and the accidental bombing of the SLAF.

Meanwhile sources revealed that fresh fighting has broken out between government soldiers and the LTTE at Nagarkovil southeast of the Jaffna Peninsula.
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:02:07 EDT 2000


Censorship on foreign correspondents removed
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.55 p.m. SLT Monday June 5 . The press censorship on foreign correspondents was removed by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today. All local news continues to be strictly monitored by the government competent authority.

The President however told a foreign news service yesterday that she will soon lift censorship on the local media in view of upcoming general elections which she retierated will not be postponed. The elections are scheduled to be held before August this year.
Published: Mon Jun 5 09:02:07 EDT 2000


Lanka lauds Thailand: Sees backing for rebels on decline
Bangkok Post, Monday, June 5. Sri Lanka praised Thailand for helping it break down the Tamil separatists' network and said domestic and foreign sympathy for the group was on the decline. Deputy commerce minister Kingsley Wickramaratne said Thailand was helpful over the past few years in restraining local networks of Tamil Tigers while bilateral relations also rapidly improved. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:51:52 EDT 2000

Lankan troops kill 200 Tigers in northern Jaffna
Broadcastindia.com/Doordarshan, Monday, June 5 12:51 PM SGT . Sri Lankan defence ministry has said that its troops have put the Tamil rebels on defensive in northern Jaffna peninsula, after killing at least 200 guerillas and knocking out some of their heavy artilleries. A defence ministry spokesman said this brought calm in the rebel camp. The rebels have not listed any casualty or other fighting details on their website. More... [Watch]
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:47:53 EDT 2000

Homeless Tamils crave peace in Sri Lanka
AFP, Monday, June 5 12:51 PM SGT . On the outskirts of Trincomalee, 500 families share a United Nations camp for internal refugees, a dusty village carved out of second-hand corrugated iron, bamboo and rattan.Their lives are based on three common factors. All were made homeless by Sri Lanka's civil war. All are long term residents, and the entire camp is made up of ethnic Tamils. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:33:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan Military: 1,000 Tamil Rebels Killed
AP, Monday, June 5 3:46 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's military said Monday it has killed 1,000 Tamil Tiger rebels in two weeks. The Defense Ministry's senior spokesman, Brig. Palitha Fernando, said 1,000 rebels had been killed and an equal number wounded in the past two weeks in fighting in the northern Jaffna peninsula More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:28:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan navy loses two gunboats in rebel attack
AFP, June 5 2000 15:39 IST. Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed a navy gunboat in northern Sri Lanka Monday while another navy craft that went to the aid of the first one was sunk in a friendly-fire accident, diplomatic sources said. The Israeli-built Dvora class gunboat came under intense attack from a flotilla of boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) off the coast of Vettilaikerni in the Jaffna peninsula early Monday, the sources said. However, a second Dvora which went to the rescue of the first one was hit by a Kfir ground attack aircraft which tried to provide cover to the navy vessels, the sources said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:21:25 EDT 2000

Seven Tamil Tigers killed, talks rejected
AFP, Monday, June 5 6:00 PM SGT . Government forces shot dead at least seven Tamil Tiger guerrillas in northern Sri Lanka as President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the rebels had again rejected peace talks. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:15:33 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government to lift the censorship on foreign media.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 17:53 Monday.. Plans are afoot by government of Sri Lanka to lift the censorship on foreign media with immediate effect, information ministry sources told Lacnet in Colombo.

An official of the ministry said that the censorship on foreign media will be lifted today and an official statement will be released at local time 1800 hours. Government imposed strict media censorship on May 3 this year, just ten days after, separatist Liberation Tigers rebels took control of Elephant Pass military complex, the country's most valued real estate in northern Jaffna peninsula.

The censorship was aimed at preventing local newspapers and foreign news agencies reporting on the war that raging in northern Jaffna. Two newspapers alleged to have violated the censorship were sealed by the government two weeks ago.
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:11:22 EDT 2000


Sri Lankan Media Resists Censorship
AP, Monday June 5 2:31 AM ET . ``Censored.'' The Sunday Times splashed the single word across the op-ed page after the government censor spiked its entire report on the escalation of the war against Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula. Iqbal Athas, the author of the article, submitted his manuscript to the censor ahead of publication, as all journalists reporting about the civil war in Sri Lanka are now obliged to do. It came back with a rubber stamp: ``This article, picture/map are censored and NOT permitted to be published.'' As soldiers fight Tamil rebels in the north and bombs go off elsewhere in this small island nation, such government screening has become common. Every day, Sri Lanka's English, Sinhala and Tamil language papers publish truncated news reports and opinion pieces with ``Censored'' in bold type sprinkled across the pages, representing portions deleted by the government censor. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 08:11:13 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka talks 'with conditions'
BBC News, 09:59 GMT Monday June 5. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga says Tamil Tiger rebels can enter peace talks -but there would be certain conditions. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 06:14:37 EDT 2000

Keells says hotels, transport drive profit
Reuters, SLT Monday June 5. COLOMBO, June 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's biggest blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings Ltd (JKH) said on Monday its transport and leisure divisions drove its 29 percent growth in earnings for the year to March 2000. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 06:05:28 EDT 2000

Cricket-Sri Lanka win toss, bat against Pakistan
Reuters, Monday June 5. DHAKA, June 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat against Pakistan in the last league match of the four-nation Asia Cup cricket tournament on Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 06:03:06 EDT 2000

33 LTTE Lt. Colonels, 60 Majors killed during military operation - Major Gen. Janaka Perera
SL Government, SLT Monday June 05. North East Operations Commander Major General Janaka Perera revealed recently, that 33 Lieutenant Colonels and 60 Majors of the LTTE were killed in fighting during the military operation "Unceasing Wave III" launched by the army last month, in the northern peninsula, to recapture the lost territory. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 05:58:35 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers sink a navy ship.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 12.42 Monday.. Separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked a Sri Lankan naval convoy northeast of Jaffna peninsula sinking a fast attack craft known as Super Dvora.

The convoy was attacked at Nagar Kovil, an area now under control of LTTE. Military officials said another craft was sunk and when Sri Lankan air force fired at the craft accidentally. At the time of writing the casualty figures were not available, but military officials said heavy fighting was continuing between LTTE Sea Tigers and the Sri Lankan naval men.

The attacks forced the convoy to return to Trincomalee. The convoy was carrying dry rations and military hardware to the soldiers now involved in fighting with LTTE cadres in Jaffna.
Published: Mon Jun 5 02:54:06 EDT 2000


Lankans enjoy life longer than Indians: WHO
05 June 2000. WASHINGTON, June 4. — The 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. The figures are calculated from the expected number of years to be lived in “full health”, with years of very bad health subtracted from the overall life expectancy. — PTI
Published: Mon Jun 5 00:20:44 EDT 2000

DMK moots ‘territorial separation’ in Lanka
05 June 2000. CHENNAI, June 4. — In a sudden shift in the DMK’s stance vis-a-vis ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, the party president, Mr M Karunanidhi today suggested that the island nation should either agree to “territorial separation” like that of the Czech and the Slovakia republics or give equal rights to the Tamils in the country. The volte face by the DMK chief comes in the wake of his advising the MDMK leader, Mr Vaiko, on Friday to call off the 5 June rally in support of a Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.The Tamil Nadu chief minister said he was for the Czechoslovakian model of a “totally peaceful resolution without shedding a drop of blood” to resolve the Lanka crisis. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 00:18:42 EDT 2000

Chandrika denies having offered CM's post to Prabhakaran
Monday, June 5, 2000. COLOMBO: 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.Chandrika first disclosed the offer during an interview with the 'Time' magazine in 1998. The disclosure, however, led to a major controversy with the principle Opposition United National Party (UNP) criticising her for attempting to hand over the northern Jaffna peninsula on platter to Prabhakaran. More...
Published: Mon Jun 5 00:09:47 EDT 2000

MDMK calls off rally in support of Sri Lankan Tamils
Monday, June 5, 2000. Chennai : The MDMK called off its rally 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". MDMK general secretary Vaiko, an active supporter of the LTTE's (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's) goal of establishing a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, said in a statement here that the rally was being "postponed" in the light of Karunanidhi's appeal on the eve of his birthday. Even though Vaiko used the word "postponement", he did not give any other date for the rally. The MDMK's move saves the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) at the Centre and the DMK in the state, considerable embarrassment, as a pro-Eelam rally in the state capital by a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) might have affected the NDA's image.
Published: Mon Jun 5 00:01:48 EDT 2000

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


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