The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 7, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 63
 

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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Bomber Kills Sri Lankan Official
AP, Wednesday June 7 7:02 PM ET. A government statement said the motive was to mar ``a day that was specially meant to pay tribute to the war heroes battling to maintain the ... territorial integrity of the nation.'' War Heroes Day was declared to boost the morale of the 40,000 troops fighting the rebels in northern Jaffna peninsula.In Washington, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart condemned the ``reprehensible act'' but urged a continuation of efforts to resolve the bitter conflict. ``Such terrorism should not and cannot detract from efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the current conflict in Sri Lanka,'' he said. ``The United States stands firmly in support of a solution that offers justice and human rights for all the citizens of a unified, peaceful, and prosperous Sri Lanka.'' More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 20:05:32 EDT 2000

Tamil Rebels Well-Equipped for War
AP, Wednesday June 7 6:25 PM ET . ``Black Tigers are the self protective armor of our race,'' Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, has said. ``They are the men of flame who can destroy the enemy's armed strength.'' But a good portion of the suicide fighters have been women. They begin training at an early age, sometimes as young as 10 years old. Women often cut their hair like men and wear men's clothes. Male suicide bombers sometimes dress as women. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 20:01:00 EDT 2000

Silence on Lanka -Editorial
Asian Age, June 7. Mr Karunanidhi and the others have been very vocal in their support for the LTTE, with pressure having been put on Delhi not to intervene in the conflict at all. MDMK leader Vaiko in fact, has gone to the extent of stating that even humanitarian aid should not be extended to Sri Lanka. Despite this Prime Minister Vajpayee is expected to steer a course consistent with the national consensus. And this, while ruling out military intervention, does seem to favour a proactive diplomatic role by India in resolving the crisis.The Vajpayee government should realise that this is not the time for double speech, and that it cannot allow irresponsible remarks to cloud its relationship with Sri Lanka. Unfortunately the picture has been allowed to become murky, and the routine Foreign Office assertions of there being no change in policy are no longer sufficient to clear it. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 19:07:36 EDT 2000

Atal signal to silence DMK
The Telegraph, June8. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has summoned the senior DMK minister, Murasoli Maran, to tomorrow’s Cabinet Committee on Security meeting on Sri Lanka in an attempt to send out the signal that the party should keep its own views under wraps.Indian officials, though they will not admit it publicly, agree that splitting Sri Lanka could solve the Tamil problem, but it would set a precedent in South Asia which may also have to be followed in Kashmir. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 18:50:44 EDT 2000

Consensus on Lanka must: PM
DailyPioneer, June 8. In a clear indication that he wants a wider consensus on the Sri Lankan crisis among the member parties of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has invited senior Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) leader and Union commerce and industry minister Murasoli Maran to a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 18:39:20 EDT 2000

'Pak. supplying arms to Sri Lanka by ship'
Hindu, June 8. Pakistan's obsession with India leaves it little time for Sri Lanka. Barring the odd statement that it is committed to Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and sovereignty (a position similar to the one taken by the Government of India), there is little public analysis here of developments on the island. Pakistan, while helping the Sri Lankan effort with supply of arms, has denied the sale of weapons. In response to questions from this reporter some time ago, a Foreign Office spokesman rejected the contention that weapons and ammunition were being sent to Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 18:25:15 EDT 2000

Another blow to peace process
Hindu, June 8. Like all such attacks, one the one hand, it reinforces the hands of the Sinhala right, of the hawks, who are demanding that the Government pursue a military solution to the problem. On the other hand, it also increases the feeling of despondency and helplessness,'' said Mr. Ketheesh Loganathan of the Centre for Policy Alternatives here. Though a political lightweight, Mr. Gooneratne was a popular figure both in his constituency and outside. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 18:21:02 EDT 2000

Left flays Karunanidhi's argument
Hindu, June 8. The Left parties said today the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi's statement ``defending'' his controversial remarks on Sri Lanka had made things worse, and reiterated their demand that the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, rein in his allies. They were not impressed with the Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes' ``rationalisation'' that local political compulsions could have been behind Mr. Karunanidhi's remarks, and senior Left leaders emphasised that nothing could justify the sort of things the DMK chief had been saying. The territorial integrity of a country was too serious a matter to be dragged into the compulsions of political parties. Senior leaders of the ruling coalition should be particularly cautious in commenting on sensitive issues, the CPI(M) and the CPI said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 18:16:18 EDT 2000

Inspired Moin guides Pakistan to first Asia Cup triumph
Crickinfo, 7 June 2000 . The day began with two minutes of respectful silence commemorating Sri Lanka's War Heroes. It ended with the deafening cheers celebrating the first time Pakistan has lifted the Asia Cup. A pumped up, driven Pakistan won an exciting match by 39 runs. A packed crowd Bangabandhu National Stadium yelled themselves sore as Moin Khan's Pakistan dazzled under the lights. The ovation could have been louder only at Lahore. Atapattu played the kind of innings that rarely leaves you stranded in the losing team. He showed why he is considered one of the finer exponents of playing the ball with a straight bat in the game today. In the company of the energetic Russell Arnold, Atapattu brought the required rate close to manageable levels. Arnold timed the ball impeccably, swinging effortlessly through the line. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, Arnold's innings ended just when things were looking up for Lanka. His 44 ball essay included 4 boundaries and 2 clean strikes that sailed over the ropes and yielded 41 runs. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 17:53:45 EDT 2000

Moopanar rejects CM’s solution
ChennaiOnline, June 8. Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) president G.K.Moopanar today described Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s Czechoslovakian model as a solution for Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict as “impractical and unacceptable”.Talking to reporters, Moopanar said Karunanidhi sounded confused on the Sri Lanka issue. The Chief Minister, who earlier said he toed the Centre’s line on Sri Lanka matters, now deviated from the Centre’s stand.He said the view of the DMK leaders that Karunanidhi stood by the Centre’s stand was hollow since leaders of the BJP-led Government had clearly said they were not in favour of division of Sri Lanka and that they wanted a solution within the framework of an united Sri Lanka. Karunanidhi should not speak in two voices, Moopanar said. While he endorsed the view that a political solution should be found to the ethnic conflict, Moopanar said he would be happy if the 1986 agreement formed the basis for a settlement and was even improved upon. The Czech model was not a practical solution. He pointed out that geographically and linguistically it was not possible to divide Sri Lanka as Tamils lived all over the country. Secondly, “just as we want a united India, people there want a united Sri Lanka”. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 17:45:36 EDT 2000

Suicide bomber kills Sri Lankan Minister
Hindustan Times, June 8. A man detonated explosives strapped to his body after embracing Industry Minister C.V. Gooneratne, 65, at a parade organised to collect contributions for thousands of government troops fighting Tiger rebels in the island's north. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 17:42:52 EDT 2000

Chronology of Sri Lankan suicide bomb attacks
AFP, Wednesday, June 7 7:54 . A suicide bombing on Colombo's outskirts which killed a leading politician, the bomber and 19 others on Wednesday was the latest in a long line of attacks against top Sri Lankan officials.Following are the major suicide bombings blamed on the rebels. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 17:39:50 EDT 2000

India continues to be against creation of Eelam
Broadcastindia.com/PTI/Doordarshan, June 8. In a virtual rejection of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally DMK's suggestion that Sri Lanka should be split on the Czech model to resolve its ethnic conflict, India has asserted that there was "no change" in its position and that it was against creation of Eelam, a separate Tamil state. More... [Watch]
Published: Wed Jun 7 16:58:54 EDT 2000

War hysteria mounts while peace talks take backseat
India Abroad, June 7. Life in many parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital, came to a grinding halt for two minutes on Wednesday morning when the nation paid silent homage to soldiers killed in the raging ethnic conflict. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 16:52:29 EDT 2000

US condemns "barbarous" suicide bomb in Sri Lanka
AFP, June 7. The United States on Wednesday condemned what it described as a "barbarous terrorist bombing," which killed at least 21 people in Sri Lanka, including a government minister, earlier in the day. Extending US condolences to the relatives of those killed and wishing a speedy recovery to the at least 60 people who were injured, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said, "No one has claimed responsibility, but this terrorist method has been used frequently in the past by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam." He added that, "The United States strongly supports the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and a political solution to the conflict that would provide dignity and security for all Sri Lankans. But again, we strongly condemn today's barbarous terrorist bombing there." More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 15:57:32 EDT 2000

Annan condemns ''senseless terrorist act'' Sri Lanka
Reuters, UNITED NATIONS, June 7. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday strongly condemned a suicide bombing in Sri Lanka that killed a government minister and 21 other people and wounded more than 60, calling it a ''senseless terrorist act.'' ''The secretary-general is profoundly shocked by the reported suicide bomb attack that occurred today in Colombo, Sri Lanka,'' a statement issued through a U.N. spokesman said. ''He deeply deplores the loss of innocent lives, including Sri Lanka's Industrial Development Minister C.V. Gunaratne. In the strongest possible terms, the secretary-general reiterates his condemnation of terrorism from whatever quarter.'' More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 15:45:39 EDT 2000

Vajpayee says leader's S.Lanka remarks ''personal''
Reuters, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said on Wednesday that suggestions by a coalition partner and Tamil leader that Sri Lanka separate along the lines of the Czech and Slovak republics were his ''personal views,'' the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 15:22:28 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka appeals for calm
BBC, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 17:19 GMT. Sri Lanka has appealed for calm after a suicide bomber killed a senior minister and 21 others. Curfews have been imposed in local areas and the government has warned against anyone instigating retaliatory attacks. A BBC correspondent says the attack has raised tension in Colombo and raised fears of a backlash against the minority Tamil community. Navy gunboats are reported to have been deployed to check a possible attack from the sea. The attack has been widely condemned both within Sri Lanka and by the international community. More... [Watch]
Published: Wed Jun 7 14:35:04 EDT 2000

Indian fishermen in dangerous waters
BBC, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 16:10 GMT. Indian fishermen already face many problems - increased security checks by the Indian navy have created headaches all around. But thousands of fishermen here say their biggest problem is not at the port but on the open seas, where the Sri Lankan navy is under orders to do what it must to stop anyone suspected of helping the Tigers in their armed struggle. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 13:10:43 EDT 2000

India condemns 'terrorist' assassination of Sri Lankan minister
AFP, June 7 2000 19:03 IST. India on Wednesday strongly condemned the assassination of a senior Sri Lankan minister and 19 others and said that such an act of terrorism had no place in a democracy. Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal extended New Delhi's sympathies to the families bereaved by the suicide bombing, suspected to have been carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 13:02:15 EDT 2000

Four arrested after Sri Lanka slaying, appeal for calm
AFP, June 7 2000 19:46 IST. Sri Lanka police arrested four men in connection with Wednesday's suicide-bomber assassination of a senior minister as the government and the main opposition party appealed for calm. Officials said the four men were taken in for questioning shortly after the suicide bombing blamed on the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) while police imposed a local night curfew. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 12:56:33 EDT 2000

Suicide bomber kills Cabinet minister, 21 others in Sri Lanka
CNN,Wednesday, June 7 9:23 PM SGT. A suicide bomber in a Colombo suburb set off an explosion on Wednesday that killed a Cabinet minister and 21 others. Officials said Wednesday's bomber targeted a motorcade that was traveling from the southern suburb of Mount Lavinia to Panadura, 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Colombo, to collect donations. The explosion took place in the suburb of Ratmalana, about 14 kilometers (nine miles) south of the capital. Gooneratne, who was on foot, had stepped into the crowd when the explosion occurred. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 12:51:47 EDT 2000

Suicide-bomber assassination dims Sri Lanka peace hopes
AFP, Wednesday, June 7 9:23 PM SGT . The suicide-bomber assassination of a senior Sri Lankan minister Wednesday was seen by analysts as a blow to Norwegian-backed moves to bring Tamil Tiger rebels to the negotiating table."Talks were far away because of the recent fighting," an Asian diplomat said. "But the bombing will only make it worse. For the moment, we will see action in the battle field, and not at the negotiating table." More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 12:46:11 EDT 2000

India's names Mahatma Gandhi's grandson as envoy to Sri Lanka
AFP, Wednesday, June 7 9:38 PM SGT . India on Thursday named a grandson of its independence hero, Mahatma Gandhi, as its new envoy to Sri Lanka and said the emissary was experienced with the situation in the war-torn nation. The appointment of Gopal Krishna Gandhi as Indian High Commissioner (ambassador) in Colombo is the first political appointment to such a post in recent years, foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 12:44:15 EDT 2000

Slain Lankan Minister's wife critical
Hindu, June 7. Sri Lankan Minister for Industrial Development C V Goonaratne and 21 others were killed today in an LTTE suicide bomb attack in an industrial suburb of the capital during a rally to collect funds for the welfare of soldiers. Over 60 people, including the Minister's wife Shyama, were injured in the blast suspectedly triggered by a woman suicide bomber.Shyama and 14 others were said to be in serious condition. Deputy Mayor of Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Anura Silva was among the killed in the attack that took place hours after President Chandrika Kumaratunga in an emotional address to the nation on the occasion of War Heroes' Day expressed her desire to finish the war with LTTE at the earliest.

Editors Note. Contrary to earlier reports it is the Deputy Mayor of Ratmalana and NOT the Mayor that was killed with the minister. We have confirmed this with our reporters in Colombo. We sincerely regret the error. More..
Published: Wed Jun 7 11:46:32 EDT 2000


Photographs
Yahoo, June 7, 2000. Soldiers search the area of a bomb blast in the suburbs of Colombo More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 11:28:44 EDT 2000

NDA will remain intact despite Lanka
Chennai Online, June 7. BJP general secretary M Venkaiah Naidu today expressed confidence that none of the National Democratic Front (NDA) constituents from Tamil Nadu would withdraw support to the Vajpayee government on the Sri Lanka issue.Addressing a press conference here, he described Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi as a “mature leader”. Naidu said he felt sure Karunanidhi would not take any hasty decision and neither would leaders of other NDA constituents from Tamil Nadu.The DMK, the Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) and other NDA constituents from that state were committed to the broad policy of the Vajpayee government on the issue, Naidu said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 10:40:39 EDT 2000

CM should withdraw statement in view of Centre's stand'
Indian Express, June 7. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi should withdraw his suggestion of Czech model solution to Sri Lankan problem as its was not acceptable to the Centre, senior TMC leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today,reports PTI. In a statement here, Chidambaram said the Chief Minister's suggestion was against the Centre's policy, evolved after taking into consideration South Asia's political situation, country's security and the impact of Sri Lankan Tamils issue on Indian politics.He said it was well-known that the LTTE's objectives did not refelect the aspirations of Tamils living in these areas. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:48:37 EDT 2000

UK in Sri Lanka peace pledge
BBC, Wednesday June 7, 2:20 PM UKT. The UK is throwing its weight behind peace-seeking efforts in Sri Lanka, a government minister has said. The pledge came after a senior Sri Lankan government minister and 20 other people were killed by a suicide bomber in the capital, Colombo. Foreign Office minister Peter Hain said: "A peaceful resolution of the conflict in Sri Lanka is vital and Britain stands ready to help in the searchfor peace if both sides want us to play such a role." More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:37:37 EDT 2000

Bomb kills Sri Lankan minister
ITN, Wednesday, June 7. At least one senior government minister isbelieved to have been killed in a bomb blast in a suburb of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Police say the mayor of the Mount Lavinia-Dehiwala is also believed to have been killed and several more wounded when a bomb was thrown at a procession to mark War Heroes Day honouring soldiers killed in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:30:07 EDT 2000

Death toll in Sri Lankan bomb blast rises.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 18:53. Wednesday.. Tension reigned high in the suburbs of Colombo as the death toll into Wednesday's bomb blast rose to 21 killed and more than 60 wounded. Among those killed in separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil (LTTE) suicide attack was the outspoken cabinet minister C.V.Gunaratane.

Wednesday's suicide attack came following two weeks of lull in fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Jaffna peninsula. "This shows, they are trying to divert the attention of security forces", a military official told Lacnet.

Minister Gunratane was killed when he joined a large crowd of people on a procession as government declared June 7 as war heroes' day. Government declared Wednesday as war heroes' day to seek support from the masses to fight the Tamil Tigers rebels, who had been fighting government forces for the past 18 years.

Investigators said that suicide cadre embraced the minister before detonating the explosives strapped onto his body. Tamil Tigers frequently launched suicide attacks against those who opposed their struggle of creating an independent homeland for minority Tamils.

The attack is fourth of its kind in the commercial city of Sri Lanka. Aftermath of the blast there were reports that some unruly elements were attempting to instigate violence in some areas of Colombo, but heavily armed policemen and troops were immediately detailed to the areas to quell any riots.

Observers pointed out that if any riots would have broken out, it would have led the Tamil Tigers to carry out a massive anti-government campaign in the west. Police said among those killed were artists and supporters of Gunaratnae, who in 1994 urged president Chandrika Kumaratunge to put the country on war footing.

Gunratnae nick named "Churchill" by some sections of the local media was also the minister in-charge Christian religious affairs in the country. Gunaratnae before his death had a long discussions with president Kumaratunge.

The blast occurred just a few hours after, the government held two minutes silence for fallen war heroes. Hundreds of people lined along the streets of Colombo to offer donations in support of government effort to "finish" the ongoing war.
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:27:25 EDT 2000


Tiger suicide strike leaves foul taste on Heroes Day
AFP, Wednesday, June 7 7:57 PM SGT . A suicide bomber detonated himself in front of 5,000 people here Wednesday, assassinating a leading politician and leaving a foul taste among commemorations for Sri Lanka's war dead. The country was marking its first ever War Heroes Day, after a 28-year battle against rebel Tamil Tigers who demand a sovereign state be carved out of one third of Sri Lanka's territory. But the rememberance ended at about 1.45 p.m. (0745 GMT) when a bearded man carried out another dreaded suicide attack, a notorious weapon in the rebels' armament of guerrilla tactics, killing himself and another 20 people. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:25:30 EDT 2000

I am ready for talks with LTTE: Chandrika
Hindu, June 7. President Chandrika Kumaratunga said today that she was ready for talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) if it was prepared to eschew violence and discuss the devolution proposals. The Government had already discussed the devolution proposals with all constituents of the ruling Peoples' Alliance (pa) and Tamil parties. She hoped the main opposition United National Party (UNP) would extend its full cooperation to the proposals, aimed at solving the ethnic problem of the country. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:24:46 EDT 2000

Minister among 21 killed in Lanka blast
Times of India, JUne 7. A suicide bomber caused an explosion in the industrial suburbs of the capital on Wednesday, killing a Cabinet minister and 20 others, a hospital director said. The remains of the bomber - a severed head and limbs - were scattered around a traffic island in the Ratmalana suburb of Colombo, as police officers gathered pieces of flesh and debris from the roadway.The gender of the bomber could not immediately be determined. The disfigured head had close-cropped hair like that of a man, and there were trousers on the body. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:21:29 EDT 2000

Britain condemns Sri Lanka suicide bomb attack
Reuters, LONDON, June 7. ''The British government condemns acts of terrorism of this kind in the strongest possible terms and extends its deepest sympathy to the government of Sri Lanka and all the families of people who have been killed and injured,'' Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain told parliament. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:19:36 EDT 2000

Thailand and Sri Lanka will target tourism, fisheries; First step in more systematic approach
Bangkok Post, June 7, 2000 . Thailand and Sri Lanka have agreed to push forward economic and technical co-operation in a more systematic way, starting with tourism and fisheries as well as co-ordinating efforts in multilateral forums. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:15:00 EDT 2000

Three more mini-subs found in Rawai
Phuket Gazette, Monday June 5, 2000. RAWAI, PHUKET: Mini-sub fever, sparked by newspaper reports of a submarine being built in a Phuket shipyard for Sri Lanka?s rebel Tamil Tigers, reached a new pitch at the weekend with reports of another small sub sighted in the waters off Koh Hey Island, south of Phuket's Chalong Village. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 09:01:13 EDT 2000

Governor checks out mini-sub
Phuket Gazette, Wednesday June 7, 2000. PHUKET TOWN: Phuket Governor Charnchai Soontharamut, accompanied by the Phuket Harbour Master, officers from the Royal Thai Navy and local police officers, went to Koh Sirae this afternoon to examine the mini-submarine located by Gazette reporters. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:53:49 EDT 2000

Sub discovery thwarts sabotage plot; Separatist activity in South confirmed
Bangkok Post, June 7, 2000. "This surprise discovery of the submersible would certainly affect the Tigers' activities in the South," said the intelligence official. The submersible, found in the Seacraft shipyard on Koh Si-rae, is reportedly owned by Christy Reginald Lawrence, a Jaffna-born Tamil who holds a Norwegian passport. Intelligence officials have long suspected Mr Lawrence to be a member of the Tigers. Mr Lawrence was arrested in April aboard a speedboat during operations by local police against oil smugglers in the Andaman Sea. Instead of oil, police said they found Tamil Tigers-related materials including military fatigues and sophisticated equipment that included radar and sonar. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:47:32 EDT 2000

Curfew imposed in Colombo suburbs
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.35 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. An indefinite curfew beginning at 7.30 p.m. (SLT) today will be imposed in the Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia, Ratmalana and Moratuwa areas following the killing of Minister C V Gooneratne this afternoon. Police said that it is not known yet at what time the curfew will be lifted.

Meanwhile special armed forces teams in a search and cordon operation carried out soon after the bomb attack at Moratuwa, arrested four persons from the Soysapura Flats at Moratuwa allegedly in connection with this afternoon's attack.
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:42:31 EDT 2000


Thais vow to cooperate on Tamil Tiger threat
AFP, Wednesday, June 7 1:15 PM SGT. hailand has vowed it will make every effort to stop Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels from using its territory as a base amid a media storm over the discovery here of a half-built mini-submarine allegedly commissioned by the rebels. Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan, however, said that although one person was detained in connection with the submersible -- a Jaffna-born Tamil with a European passport -- authorities had no evidence of criminal activity. "We don't want our territory to be used as a transit point ... for anyone to create problems for any country," he told reporters after a dinner speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:41:38 EDT 2000

Blast Kills Sri Lanka Minister, 21 Others
Reuters, Wednesday June 7 7:52 AM ET . The silence was broken by a deafening explosion on Wednesday as a suicide bomber blew himself up in the southern Ratmalana suburb of the capital, instantly killing Industrial Development Minister C.V. Gunaratne. The latest blast came after President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who escaped an assassination attempt by an LTTE suicide bomber last December, thanked families of soldiers killed in the war. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:33:36 EDT 2000

Terrorism expert Rohan Guneratne
BBC, Wednesday, 7 June. "The element of sacrifice is demonstrated in suicide attacks" [Listen]
Published: Wed Jun 7 08:06:06 EDT 2000

Bomb kills Sri Lankan minister
BBC, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 11:23 GMT. A senior Sri Lankan government minister has been assassinated by a suicide bomber in the capital, Colombo. Industry Minister CV Gooneratne and 20 others died in the attack which took place during celebrations honouring the country's war heroes. More... [Listen]
Published: Wed Jun 7 07:59:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's deadly bombers
BBC, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 09:26 GMT. Suicide bombings have taken place in the Sri Lankan civil war ever since it began in the early 1980s. Perhaps the most well-known incident is when the Tamil Tigers were accused of using the tactic to kill the former Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 07:56:23 EDT 2000

Death toll rises in bomb blast
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. Twenty two (22) bodies are lying at the Kalubowila hospital as a result of this afternoon's bomb explosion at Soysapura, Moratuwa. Nearly 50 are reported to be injured including police officers.

The assassination of Minister C V Gooneratne, the Deputy Mayor, for Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia area and others, by an alleged suicide bomber, happened just hours after President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge addressed the nation to commemorate War Hero's Day.

The Minister's wife, is also reported to have been injured in the explosion and is receiving urgent medical attention at the Kalubowila hospital. All other serious casualties are being transferred to the Colombo National Hospital for medical attention.

The Minister had been part of a procession organised to commemorate War Hero's Day. The day's events was sponsored by the Independent Television Network (ITN) and Lakhanda. The Minister was leading a procession collecting funds to be donated towards the war wounded and families of war hero's.

The President meanwhile in her message this morning stated that a political solution was the only way to help bring about peace in Sri Lanka. She reiterated that the government is still keen to talk peace with the LTTE, provided the Tigers are prepared to join a democratic political framework.

The President said the government would provide all forms of relief measures to soldiers serving in Sri Lanka's war stricken North and to all those who have died protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Published: Wed Jun 7 06:08:04 EDT 2000


Women, children being trained LTTE faces man power shortage
DECCAN HERALD,BANGALORE, Wednesday June 07. 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. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:22:21 EDT 2000

19 killed on war heroes' day in Sri Lanka.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 14:45 Wednesday.. A senior government minister, his wife and a Deputy Mayor of a Municipal council were among the 19 persons killed in a bomb blast just out side of Colombo today. The blast occurred when the country was commemorating war heroes' day

The minister of industries C.V.Gunaratnae and the mayor of Dehiwela-Mount Lavania Municipal council Jayaratane Perera were killed when they joined a peace procession at Ratmalana. The event was by the government controlled media.

Police said the minister joined the procession at Ramalana and was leading them to the Ratmalana airport for the final ceremonies. Gunaratnae, an outspoken minister of the PA government in 1994 urged president Chandrika Kumaratunge to put the country on war-footing since there were no signs of a peaceful settlement to the 18 years of ongoing civil war between the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government troops.

The state controlled media made elaborate arrangements to commemorate the war heroes' day. The national ceremony was held under the patronage of president Chandrika Kumaratnuge, who put the country on war-footing on May 3 this year just a few days after Tamil Tigers took control of the country's most valued real estate in northern Jaffna peninsula, the Elephant Pass military complex.

A spokesman for the police headquarters said that blast occurred when the marchers were at the stage of winding up the peace procession from Nugegoda to Ratmalana. However, there were conflicting reports as to how the blast occurred. Eyewitnesses said that it was a suicide attack, while foreign news agencies reported that a locally made bomb was hurled at the minister's party in which at least 25 others were seriously wounded.

The commemoration ceremonies begun with a two minutes silence and the ministry of public affairs ministry ordered all state and private schools to hold a two minutes silence as a measure of encouragement to the soldiers fighting the Tamil Tigers in north and east of Sri Lanka.
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:22:16 EDT 2000


S.Lanka minister, 10 others killed in suicide blast
Reuters, 01:30 SLT Wednesday June 07. COLOMBO, June 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Industry Development Minister C.V. Gunaratne and 10 others were killed in a suicide bomb blast on Wednesday in a Colombo suburb when they took part in a procession to mark War Heroes Day, police said. Gunaratne was killed as he mingled with the crowd in the southern Ratmalana suburb of the capital. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:16:13 EDT 2000

Cricket-Rain delays Asia Cup final
Reuters, Wednesday June 07. DHAKA, June 7 (Reuters) - Rain delayed the start of the Asia Cup final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka by an hour on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:13:09 EDT 2000

S.Lanka remembers war dead, rebels fire mortars
Reuters, 01:20 SLT Wednesday June 07. COLOMBO, June 7 (Reuters) - Traffic halted, church and temple bells rang and offices and schools stopped work on Wednesday as Sri Lanka remembered thousands of its war dead with a two-minute silence and other solemn ceremonies.But the occasion was marred by a Tamil Tiger rebel mortar bomb attack in the country's eastern Trincomalee district. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:11:23 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Blast Kills 10
AP, 01:55 SLT Wednesday June 07. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- An explosion in the suburbs of the capital killed a Cabinet minister and at least nine others today, a military spokesman said. The explosion killed C.V. Gooneratne, minister for industrial development, said Brig. Palitha Fernando. Another Cabinet minister, transport minister A.H. M. Fowzie, said he had heard 14 were killed in the explosion. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 05:08:33 EDT 2000

Minister C V Gooneratne dead
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.45 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. Minister C V Gooneratne, Sri Lanka's Minister for Industrial Development was killed today when a bomb exploded at a point between the Ratmalana Airport and Moratuwa. Together with the Minister, Mr. Jayaratne Perera, the Deputy Mayor for Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia area was also killed in the blast as well as 13 other civilians.

Minister Gooneratne today was involved in collecting funds to commemorate War Hero's day. He had begun walking in a procession along the Galle Road from Dehiwela at around 11 a.m. this morning.
Published: Wed Jun 7 04:51:45 EDT 2000


At least 13 killed in the bomb blast.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT,14.25 Wednesday.. At least 13 persons including a government minister and a Deputy Mayor was among the dead in the bomb blast that occurred just out side of Colombo.

Police investigators said that the bomb was thrown at the government minister's party at Golumadhu junction at local time 13.30pm, just half an hour before,schools in the area were closed.
Published: Wed Jun 7 04:35:40 EDT 2000


Massive Bomb Blast in Sri Lanka.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 14.05 Wednesday.. A massive bomb went off just out side of Colombo, just a few minutes ago. At the time of writing no details were avilable. The blast occured at Golumadhu junction at Ratmalana.
Published: Wed Jun 7 04:20:01 EDT 2000

Bomb explodes in Colombo suburb
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. A bomb exploded at around 1.50 p.m. (SLT) today, less than a kilometere away from the Ratmalana Airport used by the Sri Lanka Airforce. Police revealed that the bomb exploded close to a Deaf & Blind School in the area. No further details are known.
Published: Wed Jun 7 04:17:04 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to support ban on child soldiers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. Sri Lanka is to fully support a United Nations protocol banning the use of child soldiers. The Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry says that it will ratify the protocol soon, but in the meantime will be a signatory to the UN initiative prohibiting any youth under 18 years of age from being used for purposes of armed combat.

The Sri Lanka government maintains that the protocol is of utmost important to the Island nation in view of the fact that non state parties fighting for a separate state in the country continue to use children for battle against government troops.

Canada, this morning was among the first to sign the protocol which will be ratified in a period of three months after which its conclusions will be implemented. Ten other countries are expected to sign the protocol.
Published: Wed Jun 7 02:34:01 EDT 2000


War hero's day commemorated in Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 7. Two minutes silence was observed in the country today as a mark of respect for all soldiers who have laid down their lives fighting Sri Lanka's 18 year old ethnic war.

Following an appeal made by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, all movement ceased for two minutes at 9.30 a.m. today, silence was observed, while bells in places of religious worship tolled to mark the significance of the moment.
Published: Wed Jun 7 02:34:01 EDT 2000


Euronet Provides Seylan Bank with Integrated Credit Card System
CBS Marketwatch, June 06, 2000 17:05. Euronet Services Inc. (Nasdaq: EEFT), a leader in the development of electronic financial transaction and payment systems, today announced an agreement with Seylan Bank in Sri Lanka to provide the bank with the Arksys Integrated Credit Card System (ICCS). Installation of the software is expected to be complete by October 2000 and will make Seylan Bank Euronet's second credit card system customer in Sri Lanka. Michael Brown, Euronet Services Chairman and CEO stated, "The credit card industry in Sri Lanka is still very much in its infancy and we're see a growing interest in our customer base for this solution world-wide." More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 00:33:40 EDT 2000

Red Cross says civilians in tug-of-war between rebels, military
Asianow, June 7, 2000. 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. The rebels want the civilians to move south into a rebel-controlled area, while the military wants them to move north closer to the city of Jaffna, Gunawardene said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 7 00:09:32 EDT 2000

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


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