The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 6, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 62
 

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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MEA unfazed in DMK's call for a territorial division of Sri Lanka
Indian Daily, Wednesday, June 7, 2000. A red-faced government scampered to play down ally DMK chief, 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. Karunanidhi had suggested on Saturday that Colombo follow the example of Czechoslovakia which split into two to end civil strife without bloodshed. This is in total contrast to the government's stated position on Sri Lanka.The foreign ministry spokesman merely said : "There is no change in India's position " vis-a-vis creation of the Eelam. The Sri Lankan government had not raised the issue, he said, adding that it was well aware of the position of the Indian government.The party did not disown his statement, though it kept strategic distance to leave ample scope for maneuvering. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 23:53:19 EDT 2000

Deadly weapons, prohibitive cost
The Hindu, Wednesday, June 07, 2000. Sri Lanka's new military hardware, which has helped it stall the offensive of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Jaffna peninsula, carries a price tag that could have serious consequences for the economy. The current arms purchases include K-Fir bomber jets and fast attack boats from Israel and field guns from the Czech Republic. Ammunition and the much talked about multi-barrel rocket launchers that can fire 30 rockets simultaneously or in rapid succession, have been supplied by Pakistan. Immediately, the price of cigarettes was hiked by 50 Sri Lankan cents a stick and liquor by 10 Sri Lankan rupees a bottle.The Government also raised the national defence levy from 5.5 to 6.5 per cent and will issue additional treasury bills this year worth Rs. 10 billion. The prices of water and electricity have also gone up, while the petrol and diesel prices were increased in February. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 23:46:18 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi to Colombo: Reveal plans for Tamils
The Asian Age, Chennai, June 6 . While strongly defending his prescription of a Czech-Slovak type of solution to the Sri Lankan crisis, Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday called upon Colombo to come out with the specifics of the devolution package being offered to the Tamils of Sri Lanka.Pointing out that the Buddhist clergy led a strong third force on the island to oppose anything decided by the government and the Opposition, Mr Karunanidhi recalled that former Sri Lanka Prime Minister S.W. Bandara-naike was shot dead by a Buddhist monk.“How much longer should this war go on? How many more must die on both sides? How many more thousands of refugees should Tamil Nadu receive from there? It is only out of this concern that I had strongly favoured a political solution as the only way out of the crisis, as a military option would lead nowhere,” he said. More... More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 23:36:47 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi remarks suprise Lanka
The Asian Age, Colombo, June 6 . Sri Lanka has warned that a partition of the country as demanded by Tamil Tiger rebels could eventually lead to the “Balkanisation” of neighbouring India.He said Tamils in Sri Lanka did not want a separate state and that constitutional reforms proposed by the government would meet their aspirations for power sharing.Mr Karunanidhi, who is strongly opposed to any military intervention by India in Sri Lanka’s war, said the differences between Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan government could only be addressed through a devolution of powers. More... More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 23:28:58 EDT 2000

New life for war orphans
June 6. It was an all-too familiar day in a seemingly endless ethnic war. Last fall, the military shelled Eetamunai, a farming village in the northern jungle area controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels. Whether by accident or design, government soldiers claimed two more civilians - a husband and wife - and made enemies of their three orphaned sons. The first barrage of shells felled their father while he was knee-deep in their small rice paddy. Their mother shouted for the boys to flee, and while she was frantically gathering their belongings, another bomb blew the roof off their house. The next day, the boys ventured home, only to discover their mother's lifeless body.''We would like to avenge the deaths of our parents by assaulting the soldiers who did it, but there's nothing we can do,'' said Basker Balasingam, 12, tears streaming down his face. More..
Published: Tue Jun 6 23:05:03 EDT 2000

Congress attacks Vajpayee on TN CM Lanka suggestion
AsianAge, June 6. The Congress on Tuesday stepped up its attack on the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre over DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s suggestion to Balkanise Sri Lanka and said the Prime Minister should clarify the Centre’s position and restrain his coalition partners from using “avoidable and unguarded” comments.

Senior leader Pranab Mukherjee told reporters that the hawkish postures of BJP allies like MDMK and DMK, has created avoidable confusion and Mr Karunanidhi’s statements has complicated matters and evoked sharp reaction from Sri Lanka.He alleged that the goodwill which always existed between New Delhi and Colombo was being “squandered” by NDA government’s “ambivalent and inept handling” of the situation. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 22:52:28 EDT 2000


A Strange Collaboration - Opinion by Prem Shankar Jha
OutlookIndia, June 12. Without a word said in public, India and Pakistan have been cooperating to help Chandrika Kumaratunga's government weather the ltte storm in Jaffna and to preserve the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. This cooperation has existed ever since Colombo issued an appeal for help after the fall of Elephant Pass on April 27. Pakistan and Israel came to its help militarily within a matter of hours. Israel supplied Sri Lanka with a fresh batch of Kfir jet fighters and, according to some reports, pilots to fly them. Pakistan has supplied Sri Lanka with thousands of tonnes of ammunition and other armaments. Together, the three countries have succeeded in shoring up Sri Lanka's military capability and morale to the extent of foiling the ltte's thrust at Jaffna.The goal of paving the way for a negotiated solution within the framework of Sri Lanka's unity, by denying the ltte an outright military victory, has therefore been partly served.Pakistan's strategists must surely know that an outright ltte victory would magnify Prabhakaran's already larger-than-life image among sections of the youth in Tamil Nadu to epic dimensions and create the serious possibility of a Punjab-type insurgency among marginalised groups in that state. So shouldn't Pakistan be quietly cheering on the ltte?The fact is that it has done just the opposite. And what's more, it has done so with New Delhi's approval. In concrete terms, Pakistan has kept India informed about everything it's supplying to Sri Lanka. This quiet, constructive cooperation between India and Pakistan to deny victory to what must be the world's most ruthlessly efficient terrorist organisation stands out in the sharpest possible contrast to the lack of it in Kashmir. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 22:37:58 EDT 2000

27 LTTE men killed in fresh fighting
Newindpress, June 7. Thirteen Tamil Liberation Tigers, including their leader, were killed when when Sri Lankan Navy destroyed a flotilla of enemy boats near Vattilakerni in Jaffna peninsula. A government statement said an army fighting patrol spotted a rebel bunker occupied by terrorists, two km north of defences near Omanthai at 3 p m on Tuesday. The troops having moved close to the bunker took the rebels by surprise and assaulted with rocket propelled grenades, killing 13 of them. The slain rebels included leader Kurunja Akka. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 22:13:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka honours 'war heroes'
BBC, June 6. The Sri Lankan Government says ceremonies will be held on Wednesday to show support for its troops fighting the Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The government is calling the occasion "War Heroes' Day". President Chandrika Kumaratunga is due to make an address and there will be a two-minute silence. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 22:02:07 EDT 2000

Four Lankan journalists seek protection
Hindustan Times, June 6. FOR SENIOR Sri Lankan journalists have written to President Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga seeking protection against threats to their lives from an organisation which calls itself the Deshabhaktha Madhiya Viyaparaya (DMM). They told the President that the organisation had made a specious and false charge that they were acolytes of the LTTE and were "national traitors". What the journalists found even more galling was the fact that the charge levelled by the DMM was aired by the state owned Independent Television Network (ITN) in its prime time news bulletin on June 3. The journalists concerned are P Seevagan of the BBC's Tamil service, Taraki, the well known Defense Correspondent of the Mirror, Roy Denish of The Sunday Leader and Saman Waagarachchi, Editor of the now banned Iridi Peramuna. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 21:57:51 EDT 2000

What Delhi must do - Commentry by KULDIP NAYAR
Deccan Herald, JUne 7. ''Delhi can bring the LTTE to the negotiating table.`` This is what Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said nearly three weeks ago. All have been looking towards India since.But its policy is: wait and watch. Neither the Cabinet Committee on National Security nor the Strategic Policy Group of the National Security Council has given any indication of the efforts, if any, to make the LTTE talk with the Sri Lanka govemment.It is nobody`s case that the situation is easy. The solution is, indeed, difficult. But what has New Delhi done to help Colombo when it is, in fact, acting as India`s first line of defence? Prabhakaran said in an interview five years ago: ''Eventually I have to battle India, which will not allow us to create Eelam because of its own 35 million Tamils.`` He wants to be the Prime Minister of Eelam, comprising Northeast of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.New Delhi has said again and again that it supports the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:31:00 EDT 2000

LTTE faces man power shortage
Deccan Herald, June 7. Faced with acute shortage of manpower to fight against government forces in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the LTTE is now engaged in giving military training to a large number people, including women and school children who were foced to move Wanni. A government official, quoting very reliable sources, said today that civilians living presently under the control of the LTTE in Jaffna Peninsula wanted to move into government-controlled areas. Although security forces have made arrangements for these civilians to open entry points for them, the LTTE is refusing to allow them to cross over. Instead, the LTTE is forcing these civilians to move into Wanni.The official said a large number of men, women and school children from the Kaithady and Ariyali areas were forced to move into Wanni during the unilateral cease-fire announced by the LTTE last month. These civilians have been concripted by the LTTE and are presently undergoing military training in the Wanni jungles. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:26:31 EDT 2000

India a factor in resolving ethnic crisis, say Lankan experts
India-Abroad, June 6. Leading foreign policy experts in Sri Lanka have urged the government to involve India at every step as Colombo battles Tamil Tiger guerrillas and seeks a political solution through talks with the help of a foreign mediator.Jayanath Rajapakse, former adviser to President Chandrika Kumaratunga on foreign affairs, emphasized the need for keeping very close contacts with India at every level during this crisis. "I am dismayed to learn that President Kumaratunga had not spoken direct to Indian Prime Minister (Atal Behari) Vajpayee on this issue," he said."Former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Nagendra Nath Jha, who is a BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) foreign affairs adviser, said that the settlement of the Sri Lankan crisis has to address not only Tamil aspirations but also Sinhala concerns," Rajapakse said. "There are many commonalties between Hela Urumaya (Sinhala Heritage Movement) and Hindutva of the BJP." More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:19:31 EDT 2000

George calls for restraint, Karunanidhi gets shriller
Indian Express, June 6. The Centre today continued to deal with the fallout of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's suggestion for partitioning of Sri Lanka by gently ticking off the DMK chief for stepping out of line and reiterated that India did not favour dismemberment of the island nation. But Karunanidhi remained defiant and strongly defended his proposal in a five-page statement, mounting a scathing attack on his critics.The Government, meanwhile, left the task of rapping Lanka for ``overreacting'' to the Chief Minister's proposal to the BJP. The Lankan Government had said yesterday that if the country was split, India too would get partitioned. Ironically, the task of rapping Karunanidhi on the knuckles fell on that old sympathiser of the Tamil cause, Defence Minister and Samata Party leader George Fernandes. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:11:57 EDT 2000

Island of day before - Commentry by J.N. Dixit
Hindustan Times, June 6. New Delhi’s policies so far have been practical, measured and conscious about the limitations under which all parties concerned are functioning. We are politically supportive of the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka, but according to both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government, they wish to decide the issue between themselves by alternating military and political interaction. We should leave it at that for the present. India should become operationally active only if the fall out of the Sri Lankan conflict tangibly and directly affects India’s territorial integrity and security interests. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:06:38 EDT 2000

BJP startled, but is unwilling to offend DMK chief
Hindustan Times, June 6. ALTHOUGH STARTLED by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's latest stand on Sri Lanka, the BJP thinks that the coalition's interests demand that the party is circumspect while clarifying its own support for a united Sri Lanka and the Tamils' rights. Senior BJP leaders believe that Mr Karunanidhi is compelled to take this position because of the local factors that can influence the Assembly elections, which are only nine months away. As a leader of the NDA alliance, Mr Karunanidhi has to charter its course for victory in the polls. The BJP cannot afford to get either offended or criticise the DMK for its posture, they say. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 18:00:59 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi's suggestion 'improper'
Hindu, June 6. Former Defence minister and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav today said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's suggestion for a Czech-type solution in Sri Lanka was "improper" and the issue would become more problematic as the DMK was a partner in the NDA coalition government. Accusing the NDA Government at the Centre of not having any foreign policy worth the name, he told a press conference that it was in India's interest to bring about a peaceful solution to the ethnic crisis in the island nation. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:54:55 EDT 2000

'Compulsions behind suggestion'
Hindu, June 6. The Union Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, today hinted that local political compulsions could have weighed with the DMK leader, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, in advocating a Czechoslovakian-type of peaceful, territorial separation to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, but asserted that there was no change in the Centre's stand. ``The Centre is not going to intervene in any way in Sri Lanka, unless both parties made a request for some sort of assistance on humanitarian grounds,'' Mr. Fernandes told reporters here, responding to queries on the fallout of Mr. Karunanidhi's proposal. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:50:53 EDT 2000

A right medicine, says Karunanidhi
Hindu, June 6. The DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, today defended his Czechoslovakia-type solution to the Sri Lankan crisis, asserting that any ``mutually agreed'' political solution by the parties to the conflict should not pose any danger to India or Southeast Asia. Lashing out at the ``hasty critics'', Mr. Karunanidhi urged that Sri Lanka end the war. It should hammer out a permanent political settlement agreeable to both sides, one way or the other, as the military option was no acceptable solution. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:48:41 EDT 2000

Deadly weapons, prohibitive cost
Hindu, June 6. Sri Lanka's new military hardware, which has helped it stall the offensive of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Jaffna peninsula, carries a price tag that could have serious consequences for the economy. The current arms purchases include K-Fir bomber jets and fast attack boats from Israel and field guns from the Czech Republic. Ammunition and the much talked about multi-barrel rocket launchers that can fire 30 rockets simultaneously or in rapid succession, have been supplied by Pakistan. All this has cost the Government a lot of money. At a recent press conference, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, told journalists: ``There is nothing like a free lunch... there are no donations in the hardware game. We are paying for it, and we are paying very dearly.'' More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:44:55 EDT 2000

North-South rift in BJP over Eelam
The Staesman, June 6. The BJP appears to be facing a North-South divide on the issue of a separate Eelam for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. While some party leaders from the South say they want the Vajpayee government to take a pro-Eelam line, those from the northern part say the government should not risk balkanisation by supporting the Eelam demand. These leaders even go to the extent of saying that the DMK may risk its alliance with the BJP if it persisted with its suggestion for a separate Eelam for the Sri Lankan Tamils.They today privately rejected Mr M Karunanidhi’s suggestion that Sri Lanka could split on the pattern of Czechoslovakia for a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:40:18 EDT 2000

Karunanidhi wants Lanka to spell out stand
The Statesman, June 6. Mr M Karunanidhi today demanded that the Sri Lankan government clarify the exact nature of the devolution package it had drafted to end the prolonged ethnic crisis in the Island nation. “What does the Lankan government offer the Tamils there? Some say the package involves a quasi-federal set-up and others say it envisages a confederal set-up. That government should come out clearly on what exactly it envisaged,” Mr Karunanidhi said in a statement here. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 17:37:03 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka looks for outside help for civilians in battle zone
Virtual NY, June 6. The government alleged that the LTTE cadres were preventing civilians from moving to government-held territory. Last month, the LTTE had accused the government of ignoring a 12-hour cease-fire to allow civilians to move to safer areas.Sources said that the government's effort to shift the civilians from the rebel-controlled region was aimed at resuming an offensive to drive the guerrillas from the peninsula."The government does not want the LTTE to use civilians as human shields," a senior military official said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 16:27:40 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka irked at Indian official's idea to split the country
Virtual NY, June 6. "Tamils would be very comfortable with some more autonomy. We have never advocated separation. That demand we gave up in 1987 when India had intervened. Such statements by Indian Tamil politicians are unwarranted and create lot of bad blood here," a senior Sri Lankan Tamil politician told United Press International. Other Sri Lankan leaders reacted caustically to Karunanidhi's remarks: "Will India give up Kashmir. If it cannot then the Indian leaders should not be making such statements about Sri Lanka or any other sovereign nation," said a leader of the National Joint Commission, an organization representing the majority Sinhala community. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 16:25:13 EDT 2000

Tamil politician rapped for remarks
BBC, Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 17:38 GMT. A statement by a senior Tamil politician in India, M Karunanidhi, suggesting that Sri Lanka be divided as a way out of its ethnic conflict has been widely criticised. India's opposition parties have alleged that the governing coalition in Delhi, of which Mr Karunanidhi's party is a member, is speaking in conflicting tones. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 14:59:49 EDT 2000

India reiterates opposition to Sri Lanka's breakup
AFP, June 6 2000 20:48 IST. India Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the secessionist battle waged by Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka, as a key partner of the Indian ruling coalition said the island's peace hinged on its partition. Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal also said Delhi's hands-off policy towards the ongoing Sri Lankan conflict remained unchanged. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 11:56:52 EDT 2000

Sri Lankans Left in Tug-of-War
AP, Tuesday June 6 11:35 AM ET. About 12,000 civilians are trapped on Jaffna peninsula in a tug-of-war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, a Red Cross official said Tuesday. ``Both the rebels and the government troops agree in principle'' that the civilians should be allowed to move, ``but there is no agreement on where the civilians should go,'' International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman Harsha Gunawardene said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 11:50:41 EDT 2000

Pak multi-barrel rocket launchers sent to Lanka
Indian Express, June 6. The first few pieces of MBRLs that arrived from Pakistan (were) the subject of battlefield gossip,'' The Sunday Times said in an article which was vetted -- and had large chunks of it spliced -- by the government Censor. It said the MBRLs, already deployed in Jaffna, can empty out 30 barrels in one go. The paper said more lethal versions of the MBRLs were due to arrive on the battlefield soon but did not specify if the source would be Pakistan.Meanwhile, while the military has not reported regaining any of the territory lost to the Tigers in recent weeks, the LTTE's ``rolling assault'' appears to have stopped. n Batticaloa, the government said, two Tamils were abducted when their families refused to pay ransom to the LTTE. Three fishing boats had also been seized by the militants, it said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:20:02 EDT 2000

Fernandes downplays Karunanidhi's suggestion
Hindu, June 6. Asked to react to Karunanidhi's suggestion that Sri Lanka could agree to a Czech-Slovak model separation, Fernandes declined to comment, saying it was a "point of view." "Mr. Karunanidhi is the Chief Minister and leader of a large party. I don't believe he needs any kind of advice," he said. Parties, he said, catered to different constituencies, "but as a Government, we have to act together." More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:14:56 EDT 2000

Albright opposes 'monitoring' of foreign students
Hindu, June 6. Washington, June 6. (PTI): US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has opposed the proposal by a congressional commission for monitoring all foreign students in this country as part of the precautions against terrorism. "I obviously have not seen the commission report and obviously we are very concerned with terrorism. But I think that in looking at how we fight it, we have to remember what kind of society we are," she told CNN. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:12:24 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka overreacted: BJP
Hindu, June 6. A senior BJP leader today said the Sri Lankan Government had "perhaps overreacted" to the DMK President M Karunanidhi's suggestion of Czech model to end the ethnic crisis in the island republic as it was not the official view of the Union Government. "I think it is an overreaction by a Lankan Minister to a situation which does not exist. If Government of India or Tamil Nadu Government had made a statement then perhaps Sri Lanka reacting like this is justified," All-India BJP Vice-President Jana Krishnamurthy, told reporters here. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:09:07 EDT 2000

LTTE forcibly conscripting civilians: Govt
Indian Express, June 6. Sri Lankan government today accused the LTTE of preventing large number of civilians from crossing over to army held areas in the embattled northern Jaffna Peninsula in order to conscript the general populace,reports PTI.A large number of civilians, including women and children, who were picked by the rebels from Ariylai and Kaithady in the Peninsula were subsequently conscripted and later taken to Vanni during the one day unilateral ceasefire announced by the LTTE on May 27, the statement said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:04:03 EDT 2000

NDA expects discipline in action from constituents: Fernendes
Indian Express, June 6. Individual parties may have ideas they like to throw out for public discussions. What the NDA expects is discipline in action but there is no censorship on opinion', he said while replying to a question whether individual parties in NDA could air contradictory opinion on the Sri Lankan issue.Asked about his opinion on the Czech model proposed by the DMK chief M Karunanidhi as a possibility to end the Lankan crisis, he said he had no individual opinion but could reflect only government of India's stand, which was that it would not interfere in the unity and integrity of Lanka unless humanitarian aid was sought. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 10:00:29 EDT 2000

DMK chief defends stand on Sri Lanka
Hindu, June 6. Karunanidhi said he realised more than anyone else that nobody had the right to advise another country to divide itself, but "there ought to be a distinction between those who talked of Sri Lanka's unity sitting in air-conditioned comfort and poring over a world map, and those who understood the ground realities." "Nobody will oppose it if Tamils in Sri Lanka were given all rights and considered equal to Sinhala-speaking citizens, and most certainly I will not. However, talking in terms of temporary solutions without conferring rights on Tamils amounts to postponing the problem," he said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 09:57:39 EDT 2000

The lull in fighting in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula continues
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The lull in the fighting in Jaffna peninsula continued today with intermittent artillery and motar fire been exchanged by the rebels and the army. The governments media unit meanwhile accuse the LTTE of blocking civilians living in areas captured by the rebels from crossing over to government controlled areas. The Special Media Unit of the government send thousands of civilians who wanted to cross over to government controlled areas were being stopped by the LTTE<
Published: Tue Jun 6 09:19:21 EDT 2000

Thousands of people demonstrate against draconian regulations restricting political and civil rights.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. Thousands of people belongings to over 30 political parties, trade unions and civil society groups demonstrated in the busy business distract if Fort today demanding that the government withdraw draconian regulations which restrict political and civil rights of the people. The activists distributed 50,000 copies of a statement signed by leading opposition political parties, trade unions and civil society groups in and around fort and Pettah areas warning of the erosion of democracy. The activists followed it up by demonstrating outside the Fort Railway station shouting slogans against the censorship of the media and the sealing of three newspapers by the government. This is the first major demonstration staged in the country after the Government eased restrictions on political meetings and demonstrations four days ago following pressure from local groups and the international community.
Published: Tue Jun 6 09:19:21 EDT 2000

Sunday Leader case postponed by one week.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The Fundamental rights application before the Supreme Court filed by the Editor and Publishers against a sealing of the newspaper group was postponed by a week today after the Attorney general's department asked for more time tom file answers. Today's hearing was to argue the request of the newspaper group for interim relief of lifting the ban until the case is heard.
Published: Tue Jun 6 09:19:21 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's tea workers to pray for wage increase
AFP, June 6 2000 15:48 IST. Sri Lanka's most influential trade union Tuesday said they agreed with two other unions to go ahead with a "prayer campaign" that will cripple the tea industry, the mainstay of the economy. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 08:37:34 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka boosts morale with "War Heroes Day"
AFP, June 6 2000 15:24 IST. Sri Lanka is to observe a nationwide "War Heroes Day" in a bid to boost the morale of soldiers defending the northern town of Jaffna against a Tamil Tiger rebel offensive, officials here said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 08:36:30 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka probes naval loss
BCC, Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 10:57 GMT. The Sri Lankan authorities are investigating an incident on Monday when two of their naval vessels were destroyed in the northern Jaffna peninsula. In Monday's clash, one vessel was rammed by Tamil Tiger rebels but the second was destroyed by the Sri Lankan air force, when it went to the aid of the first ship. "The air force is having its own investigation into the incident," an official said adding that they were trying to find out how the pilot mistook the gunboat for a rebel craft. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 08:32:17 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan's Media Complaint Backfires
PlanetOut Gay & Lesbian News, Tuesday June 06 02:51 AM EDT . A "shameful" ruling finds that the gay leader who complained about an anti-lesbian article is himself guilty of "promoting sadism." More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 08:04:17 EDT 2000

Destruction of LTTE forces, Army's newest strategy -Army Chief
SL Government, SL Tuesday June 6. "Tactically, what we are trying to do is destroy their fighting forces, that is the main strategy, even more than taking over land," said the Sri Lankan Army Chief, Major General Srilal Weerasooriya, speaking to NDTV at Palali air base, for the first time since the recent fighting with the Tigers began in the northern peninsula. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 06:19:51 EDT 2000

Govt unmoved by Karunanidhi's statements
Pioneer News Service/New Delhi, New Delh Tuesday June 6. The Ministry of External Affairs has maintained a neutral response to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's statements on the Sri Lankan situation and said that there was "no change" in its position on the crisis in the island nation. "There is no change in our position", a foreign office spokesman said when the Government's view was sought on Mr Karunanidi's remarks that Sri Lanka should consider that "Czech and Slovak" model of ethnic communities opting for separate nationhood or devolve more rights to Tamils. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 06:13:09 EDT 2000

S.Lanka surprised over Indian Tamil leader remarks
Reuters, 1.11 SLT Tuesday June 6. COLOMBO, June 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has warned that a partition of the country as demanded by Tamil Tiger rebels could eventually lead to the "Balkanisation" of neighbouring India. Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said late on Monday that remarks attributed to the chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu that Sri Lanka should separate along the lines of Czech and Slovak Republics were surprising. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 06:07:38 EDT 2000

Pakistan stun Sri Lanka with lightning display in the field
CricInfo, 5 June 2000. Pakistan rolled to an easy seven wicket triumph over Sri Lanka in a puerile final round robin game at the seventh Pepsi Asia Cup in Dhaka this evening. Set a target of 193, Yousof Youhana was the prime mover in the Pakistani reply as the Lankans tried everything to nip his budding second wicket stand with Mohd. Wasim, including an attempt by Upul Chandana to physically incapacitate Youhana with a throw that homed in on his elbow as he raced between the wickets. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 01:12:02 EDT 2000

Youhana's class act continues
The Hindu, Tuesday, June 06, 2000. It was a contest won by Pakistan but thrust on everyone - from the spectators to the administrators and of course, the players. On a night when competitive flavour was distinctly lacking, despite Yousuf Youhana's innings, Sri Lanka heaped agony on itself by being complacent. In the process, some players may have even earned the displeasure of coach Dave Whatmore for their casual performance. Five run outs in the Sri Lankan innings did not show the team in good light. The response from the stands did not matter since both the teams, already in the final, took things easy by naming line-ups which indicated their approach to the contest. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 01:07:47 EDT 2000

'Tamils not for separate state'
The Hindu, Tuesday, June 06, 2000. The suggestion by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M Karunanidhi, that Sri Lanka follow the Czechoslovakian model and split into two separate countries evoked a sharp reaction from the island today. ``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.'' More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 01:04:47 EDT 2000

Crucial Sri Lankan meeting today
The Hindu, Tuesday, June 06, 2000. 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: Tue Jun 6 01:02:31 EDT 2000

Alter Tamil policy, India tells Sri Lanka
The India Daily, Tuesday, June 6, 2000. New Delhi : The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee today reiterated that India would not send troops to Sri Lanka, and urged Colombo to alter its Tamil policy and adopt peaceful means to end the crisis. In Colombo, the deputy defence minister today said over 4,000 more troops had been rushed to the Jaffna peninsula. An estimated 30,000 troops are already in Jaffna fighting the Tamil Tigers. Reports from Trincomalee said heavy military equipment were awaiting shipment to Jaffna.
Published: Tue Jun 6 00:54:59 EDT 2000

Lanka polls on time: Chandrika
The Asian Age, Colombo, June 5. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said the general election in the country will be held as scheduled. Speaking to Sandeshiya, a Sinhala programme, the President said she was hopeful of overcoming all obstacles, both constitutionally and democratically, before the general election. The term of present Parliament expires in August this year and a new election is to be held October. On the situation in the northern Jaffna, she said the Army is confident but said no time frame can be given. She said the government was prepared to talk to the ltte on devolution of power even at this stage provided they give up violence. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 00:52:05 EDT 2000

Opposition to PM: Clarify NDA policy on Sri Lanka
The Asian Age, New Delhi, June 5. The ruling National Democratic Alliance continues to speak in different voices on the Sri Lankan issue. While the Union government has consistently held that it was committed to the maintenance of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, the DMK, PMK and MDMK constituents of the NDA are getting increasingly vocal in their support for Tamil Eelam and the LTTE. More...
Published: Tue Jun 6 00:48:38 EDT 2000

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


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