The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 9, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 65
 

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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Rebels appeal for cease-fire in Sri Lanka
CBS/UPI, June 10. Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tigers Friday appealed to the international agencies to broker a cease- fire in the peninsula after six civilians were killed and many more injured in strafing by the Sri Lankan Air Force. A statement issued by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from their London-based International Secretariat said that they have appealed to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross to arrange for a temporary cease-fire to allow civilians trapped in the battle zone to safer areas. ``The LTTE has made this appeal to these non-governmental humanitarian organizations following large-scale civilian casualties sustained in the fighting zone of Thenmarachchi as a consequence of indiscriminate barrage of artillery shelling, multibarrel rocket fire and heavy aerial bombardment by Israeli made Kifir combat aircrafts,'' the rebel statement said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 22:30:10 EDT 2000

Duped by FACT
National Post, June 9. For 17 years, a quarrel has raged in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing. The country is Sri Lanka, and the people are the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Nevertheless, Canada is involved in this conflict -- like it or not. Aside from its assassination and maiming of Sri Lankan and Indian politicians, the LTTE has murdered hundreds of civilians in suicide attacks, extorted money from the very Tamils it claims to represent, and is responsible for the deaths of roughly 60,000 people in its campaign for an ethnically cleansed, independent Tamil state. In no sense can the Sri Lankan crisis be compared to a morally neutral "civil war": This is a gang of mass-murderers attempting to overturn the democratically elected, peaceful government of a Commonwealth nation. Canada's role in the matter is that LTTE fundraising -- some $22-millions' worth -- is tolerated here. The money is then diverted abroad to buy weapons. As documented by the National Post, through the agency of the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), which has been identified by numerous security bureaus as a front organization for the LTTE.Judging by the behaviour of Paul Martin, the Finance Minister, and other politicians who attended a FACT fundraising dinner last month, we were right to be skeptical. Mr. Martin went so far as to describe those who criticized his attendance as "anti-Canadian." The minister is confusing Canada's tradition of tolerance with a relativistic and naive attitude that somehow it is anti-Canadian to criticize a terrorist group.Mr. Martin has made excuses long enough. It is time he, and the other ministers and politicians who went to the dinner, admitted that they were duped by FACT and that they will henceforth strive to live up to Mr. Axworthy's commitments. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 22:11:22 EDT 2000

A deceptive calm
Frontline, June 10. THE curtain, by no means the final one, seemed to have come down on the theatre of conflict in northern Sri Lanka around the end of May. After weeks of intensive fighting, a comparative calm had enveloped Jaffna Peninsula by June 2. The sporadic clashes between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had become somewhat low-key in comparison with the full-scale fighting that occurred earlier. The primary cause for this temporary lull was the absence of any noteworthy military manoeuvres by the LTTE. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 21:54:45 EDT 2000

The Sri Lankan standoff
Frontline, June 10. In Colombo, the earlier mood of a government under siege relaxed palpably as the Tigers lost some military momentum in the Jaffna Peninsula. The one event that really boosted government morale, at least in the capital, was the visit of Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering of the United States, who brought from Washington a powerful message of support for the Sri Lankan government. In what has been one of the most powerful statements against the creation of an independent Tamil Eelam, Pickering said it would be "a dead planet" without recognition by the international community.Although the U.S. stand on the LTTE and an independent Eelam has been known for some years, Pickering's utterances in Colombo were widely welcomed and interpreted as the emphatic last word on Velupillai Prabakaran's political aspirations.The recognition of India's pre-eminence in the region that rankled Colombo. Some commentators were of the view that if India wished to be the South Asian superpower, then it should act like one, and not drag its feet when its own security and that of a friendly neighbour were threatened by a group that it branded as "terrorist". They criticised the "servile" attitude of the Chandrika Kumaratunga government vis-a-vis India. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 21:44:44 EDT 2000

Opposition flays Lankan govt for ill-equipping forces
India Today, June 9. Sri Lanka's main Opposition, United National Party (UNP) has accused the government of not providing troops with modern weapons to effectively combat the LTTE in northern Jaffna. The party claimed it has resulted in the fall of key garrisons and loss of territory to the rebels.Lashing out at the government for withholding funds for weapons purchases, UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said in Parliament on Thursday: "The battle for Elephant Pass was not lost in the slatterns surrounding the area but on the banks of Beira Lake in Colombo, where the government treasury is." "The government has money to subsidise the construction of a terminal building for Shellgas. But has no money to buy weapons." More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 21:19:58 EDT 2000

SRI LANKA BISHOPS SLAM TOTAL DISREGARD FOR LIFE, HUMAN RIGHTS
EWTN News, June 9. The Sri Lankan bishops' conference has issued a message strongly condemning the killing of Government Minister C.V. Gunaratne, one of the country's most prominent lay Catholics, by a suspected LTTE suicide bomber. The bishops remembered the efforts of Gunaratne to forge bonds among different racial and religious groups in the country. "His concern for the just rights of the minorities, his concern for the welfare of the poor, and his particular interest in looking into the just grievances of the Christian community make us particularly respect him as a man who made no secret of his religious convictions and we appreciate the services he rendered to the Christian community," they said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:59:28 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka mourns
Hindu, JUne 9. As Sri Lanka mourned the killings of the Industrial Development Minister, Mr. C.V. Gooneratne, his wife and 20 others by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber, investigators claimed a breakthrough in the case after scores of arrests from around the site of the attack. Of those who were picked up for questioning in connection with the attack, five persons were handed over to the Terrorist Investigation Department for further enquiries. A few Tamil students were being held at a police station near the site of the attack, while the rest have been released. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:46:03 EDT 2000

PA, UNP discuss control of land use
Hindu, June 9. The contentious issue of control of land use was the main issue of discussion when the ruling People's Alliance and the Opposition United National Party (UNP) met this afternoon for consultations on the government's proposed Constitutional reforms. A joint communique issued by both sides said, without going into specific details, that ``agreement was reached on several matters'' relating to the land provisions. It said a sub- committee on the land provisions would tackle the remaining matters, and that dates for more meetings between the two sides were fixed. The UNP's position on the issue is that control over land should continue to be vested with the Centre, while the proposals are for handing it over to the regions. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:44:05 EDT 2000

Colombo security needs a thorough overhaul: Expert
HT, June 9 . IF COLOMBO is to be a safe city for tourism and foreign investment, its security system has to undergo an overhaul, according to a Lankan detective now retired. "Sniffers and snipers should supplement the existing security system, which though large and elaborate, is not effective," the expert told The Hindustan Times. Yes, Colombo is bristling with army and police checkpoints, sandbagged bunkers manned by men and women carrying T-56 rifles and sometimes even RPGs. But these have not prevented the LTTE from smuggling in explosives like RDX and C4 in huge quantities. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:39:43 EDT 2000

Chandrika, Opp discuss peace plan
Times of India, June 10. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga held crucial talks Friday with the Opposition on a controversial peace plan, even as heavy fighting raged in the island's north and the Colombo police detained more than 60 people for questioning after Wednesday's suicide bombing. Kumaratunga had discussions with the main Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on her radical power-sharing plan, aimed at ending decades of ethnic bloodshed, the Colombo-based officials said. "They were discussing the very crucial area of who will control land under a devolved system of administration," a source close to the talks said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:31:26 EDT 2000

Jaswant Singh to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow
Hindu, JUNE 9. . In a significant development, the Minister of External Affairs, Mr Jaswant Singh, is scheduled to arrive here on an official visit on Sunday to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, on the crisis in the island. With New Delhi reiterating its commitment to a united Sri Lanka, Mr. Singh's visit is expected to allay apprehensions here about statements made by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and the BJP's partner at the Centre, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, that he favoured a Czechoslovakian-style solution to the ethnic conflict. Mr. Singh is expected to stress the urgency for a speedy political solution to the aspirations of the Tamil minority of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:20:31 EDT 2000

Turning the Tables on the Tigers
GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE UPDATE, 7 June 2000. Taking Jaffna is critical for both the government and the rebels, but the chances for a Tiger victory are decreasing. After sweeping through the northern third of Sri Lanka in five months, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have lost their momentum. Sophisticated combined-arms tactics have given way to isolated shelling and small skirmishes. Government troops still hold the city of Jaffna, and have been able to receive supplies by air and sea.A massive arms purchasing spree by Sri Lanka is the most likely explanation for this shift on the battlefield. Specifically, multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRLs) and Israeli-made Kfir aircraft have given government troops parity on land and superiority in the air. The addition of MBRLs equalizes the situation on the ground – previously only the LTTE had the launchers, which allowed it to strike at government troops from a distance.If an outside power – such as India, China, the United States or their proxies – ever wanted to gain a foothold in Sri Lanka, now is the time to act. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 20:18:04 EDT 2000

Axworthy to stanch terror funds flow Government on the defensive in wake of Tigers' deadly bomb
National Post, June 9. The government moved swiftly yesterday to repair the political damage caused by Wednesday's deadly suicide bombing in Sri Lanka, announcing that it would amend the Criminal Code if necessary to stop terrorist fundraising in Canada. Ottawa had helped draft, and has signed, a United Nations agreement outlawing terrorist fundraising, and added: "There may have to be amendments in order to provide for the requirements of that legislation, and that's what the government is working on now." "The government of Canada and the people of Canada deplore yesterday's act of terrorism, which claimed 21 lives in Sri Lanka," Mr. MacAulay told the House. "The government strongly condemns terrorism and any group that uses violence to forward their goals." Paul Martin, the Finance Minister, did not respond to questions about his participation in a May 6 dinner hosted by a group that has been widely identified as a fundraising front for the Tigers. Mr. Martin earlier accused critics of being "anti-Canadian." Jim Abbot, the Alliance solicitor-general critic, said although Canada had signed the U.N. agreement outlawing terrorist financing, the practice continues. "In spite of the piece of paper that the minister was talking about, these organizations continue to collect money. They tell us it's over $20-million a year," he said. CSIS and the RCMP say the Tamil Tigers have an extensive fundraising network in Canada that raises money through rallies, crime and front organizations to finance the purchase of weapons. Tigers supporters are planning a rally at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre this weekend. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 15:24:47 EDT 2000

If dollars pay for terror
Globe & Mail, June 9. Thousands of Tamil Canadians are planning to come together Saturday to celebrate, among other things, a recent string of victories by militant Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka. There might even be some quiet gloating over an extraordinary score on Wednesday in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, where a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed 23 people, including a cabinet minister, at a War Heroes Day ceremony.That Canadians can cheer the murder of innocent civilians is often seen as an important element of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whether they should be allowed to finance such murders, and other terrorist activities, is a different question that could soon test the Canadian government's moral resolve.The Sri Lankan government has pleaded with Ottawa to do something about this, saying it is nothing less than the abetting of terrorism and a direct violation of the new International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which Canada helped draft and then signed in February.The U.S. State Department lists FACT as a terrorist organization, which is a belief shared by a succession of Canadian high commissioners to Colombo who have urged Ottawa to shut down FACT, only to be refused by both Conservative and Liberal ministers. Finance Minister Paul Martin, whose prime-ministerial ambitions are well known, went so far last month as to attend a FACT fundraising dinner in Toronto, along with International Co-operation Minister Maria Minna. Small wonder. There are close to 200,000 Tamils in Canada, most of them living and voting in Liberal ridings in the Toronto area. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 14:49:55 EDT 2000

Fierce fighting erupts in Jaffna
Hindu, June 9. Fierce battles between Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels erupted near a key town in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula on Friday, military officials said. They said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had launched a dawm attack on military defences around the town of Koddikamam but troops had beaten back the rebel assault. "We repulsed the attack and chased them away," one senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said by phone. He gave no further details. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 12:55:56 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan troops encounter heavy resistance.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT.22: 18 Friday.. Just 48 hours after Sri Lankan government dedicated Wednesday for war fallen heroes', separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched heavy attacks on troops defence positions on Friday. But the soldiers aided by air cover counter attacked and inched to capture one and half Kilometers rebel-held stretch in northern Jaffna peninsula.

In the fighting both sides suffered heavy casualties, military sources said.

The fresh fighting erupted when Tamil Tiger rebels attempted to advance deep into government controlled territory from Chavakachcheri. But government troops equipped with state-of-art weapons fought pitched battles forcing the Tiger rebels to flee.

The fleeing prompted the battle commanders to order a limited operation against the rebels and push them to eastern coastal lines of northern Jaffna peninsula. But the rebels reinforced with additional cadres prevented the soldiers punching corridors by either killing or wounding a large number of soldiers belonging to a company, military officials added.

At the time of writing heavy battles were raging, with Sri Lankan air force fighter planes strafing LTTE targets north of A9 highway that is dubbed as highway of death. Fresh fighting came just 48 hours after government dedicated the day for fallen war heroes'.

And the fighting also followed after the assassination of minister for industries Clement Victor Gunaratnae by a LTTE suicide cadre. He was killed along with 22 others in a LTTE suicide attack just out side of the commercial city of Sri Lanka.

Military officials said the fighting was centered around Kodikamam, a big town located between Jaffna and Elephant Pass. The fighting also prompted the senior military officials in Colombo to convene an urgent meeting to review the security situation.

Tamil Tigers rebels, branded and banned as a terrorist organisation by the government of United States of America is fighting to create an independent homeland for minority Tamils.
Published: Fri Jun 9 12:44:15 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka's protracted war-Editorial
Dawn , June 9. Yet another Sri Lankan politician, along with 21 civilians, has been killed by a Tamil suicide bomber in a Colombo suburb during a parade commemorating the country's first War Heroes Day. With this latest bombing , chances of peace or even a temporary truce in the near future seem remote. The LTTE is also averse to any kind of dialogue with the government, and showed its contempt for Norway's efforts at brokering peace talks by bombing its embassy in Colombo. With the Tamils hell-bent upon securing their goal of a separate homeland in the north and northeast, and the government's resolve to thwart these aspirations, no respite from the conflict appears in sight. There is also the Indian stance to be considered. While the Vajpayee government does not support the Tamil demand for a separate state, India has supported LTTE guerillas in the past. More recently, the Tamil Nadu chief minister, K.M. Karunanidhi, has added fuel to the fire by proposing the division of Sri Lanka along ethnic lines. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 10:35:50 EDT 2000

CPI moots all-party meet on Sri Lanka
Hindu, June 9. The CPI today said India cannot remain a neutral spectator to the Sri Lankan crisis but has to play a political and diplomatic role for a peaceful solution of the ethnic problem and suggested that the Vajpayee Government convene an all-party meeting for consultations on the issue. Criticising the position of BJP's allies, DMK and MDMK, suggesting division of the island nation on the Czech type model, CPI national secretary D Raja said Sri Lanka cannot be compared to Czechoslovakia. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 10:29:34 EDT 2000

Gibbs out of Sri Lanka tour after confession
Hindu, June 9. South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs was today ruled out of next month's Sri Lanka tour after admitting he had accepted a bribe to under-perform in a one-day international in India. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 10:26:41 EDT 2000

Suicide bomber's aides arrested
India Abroad, June 9. Suicide bomber's aides arrested June 09, 2000 14:00 Hrs (IST)

Colombo: Three people, including a woman, were arrested on Thursday in connection with the LTTE suicide bomb attack here in which a senior minister and 23 others were killed. Police also established the identity of the suicide bomber, media reports said here on Friday.two businessmen and a woman were arrested on the basis of a letter recovered from the suicide bombers' clothes.

Incriminating evidence, suggesting that the three had provided a safe house for the suicide bomber or bombers along with transportation to carry out the attack, was obtained, the report said. A van purportedly used by the suicide bomber to reach the spot was also seized. Police have identified the suicide bomber as one 'Ruben' from the evidence they managed to collect so far, the report said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 10:24:49 EDT 2000


Bombers blast Lanka campaign hopes
India Abroad, June 9. Sri Lankan politicians will have to scale down public appearances and campaigning for parliamentary elections due later this year, as fears grow that they may be easy targets for Black Tiger suicide attacks, officials said. Members of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) were told to cut down on traveling and curtail outdoor activities after Wednesday's assassination of Industries Minister C.V. Gunaratne by a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber, police officials said.Newspapers quoted police as saying that Inspector Mangala Jayasinghe, who was in charge of the minister's security, had repeatedly warned Gunaratne against the walkabout as there were fears that the LTTE would carry out some attack as a show of defiance on that particular day. Jayasinghe was among the seven policemen who died in the explosion. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 10:20:58 EDT 2000

Government troops repulse rebel onslaught in northern Sri Lanka.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT.19: 36 Friday.. Heavy fighting flared-up in northern Jaffna peninsula after three weeks of lull between government troops and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with both warring factions suffering heavy casualties, military officials and independent sources said.

The fighting escalated after Tamil Tiger rebels attempted a push deep into the peninsula from Chavakachcheri. But government troops anticipating the push counter attacked with heavy artillery and armoury forcing the rebels to retreat.

Military officials said the Tamil Tiger rebels were falling backwards with heavy casualties. However they refused to divulge the casualties of government troops. But independent sources said hat both sides suffered heavy casualties and heavy fighting was continuing.
Published: Fri Jun 9 09:17:50 EDT 2000


Bangkok denies submarine is Tigers'
Straitstimes, June 9. A Thai foreign ministry spokesman denied on Wednesday that a half-built miniature submarine discovered in a shipyard in southern Thailand was destined for the Tamil Tigers separatist group in Sri Lanka. The denial was in response to a report in Wednesday's Bangkok Post newspaper quoting a Thai intelligence official saying the 5-metre long vessel was meant to be used for sabotage missions by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerillas.A Thai partner in the shipyard told the Phuket Gazette that the vessel was brought in its unfinished state from Bangkok to the shipyard about five years ago and had been sitting there unattended since. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 09:02:49 EDT 2000

Lankan Parliament further extends state of emergency
Broadcastindia.com/Doordarshan, June 9, 2000. Lankan Parliament has extended the nationwide state of emergency for one more month. Parliament was adjourned early under fears of more assassination bids following the killing of Industry Minister in a suicide bomb blast which about 25 people were killed and 57 injured. Several suspects who had been arrested following the bomb blasts were released yesterday after their identities were established. Meanwhile fresh fighting between LTTE and government troops claimed 13 more lives. More... [Watch]
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:56:47 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers kil two soldiers in fresh fighting
AFP, June 9 2000 13:01 IST. At least two government soldiers were killed and another 12 wounded in a clsh with Tamil Tiger guerrillas in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula of Jaffna, the government said Friday. The clash was triggered Thursday when troops confronted a group of fighters from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) near Columbuthurai, the government's Special Media Information Centre said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:46:31 EDT 2000

Sri Lankans mourn dead minister
BBC, Friday, 9 June, 2000, 11:04 GMT. arge numbers of people in the Sri Lankan capital are paying their respects to the cabinet minister who was assassinated by a suicide bomber on Wednesday. The coffin containing CV Gooneratne's body, together with that of his wife, who died last night of her injuries in the blast, was put on display for public viewing ahead of the state funeral on Saturday. Queues were already growing outside the municipal offices in the Colombo suburb Mr Gooneratne represented politically and where he died, as the two coffins were brought in for what will be a day and night of public viewing. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:40:26 EDT 2000

Sexual abuse of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka is rife, says report
123India, June 9. Sexual abuse of Tamil men in Sri Lankan jails is rampant, including rape, electric shocks to the genitals and forced sex acts with prison guards, according to a study published in Saturday's issue of The Lancet, the British medical weekly. The study was compiled by the London-based Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, which assessed medico-legal reports by 17 doctors investigating allegations by 184 Tamil men. Thirty-eight of them complained of sexual abuse, including severe forms of torture, by prison guards, it said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:39:40 EDT 2000

Heavy fighting breaks out at Kodikamam
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.35 p.m. SLT Friday June 9. After a week in which there was a lull in battle between government troops and the LTTE, fresh fighting broke out this morning in the Kodikamam area in the Jaffna peninsula.
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:38:29 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka peace plan enters crucial stage amid fighting
AFP, Friday, June 9 6:48 PM SGT . Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga held crucial talks Friday with the opposition on a controversial peace plan as heavy fighting raged in the island's north, officials said. Kumaratunga had discussions with the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on her radical power-sharing plan, aimed at ending decades of ethnic bloodshed, the Colombo-based officials said. "They were discussing the very crucial area of who will control land under a devolved system of administration," a source close to the talks said. "They agreed to have another meeting on Monday." More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:32:34 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Economy To Hurt More After Tax, Tariff Hikes
Dow Jones, Friday, June 9 6:57 PM SGT . Sri Lankan economists are downgrading their growth estimates for this year following recent increases in taxes and tariffs which will saddle businesses with higher costs. Although the central bank has maintained its 5.5% growth forecast, saying it is too early to revise the figure, a survey conducted by Dow Jones Newswires this week showed economists have cut their growth forecast for this year to an average 4.6%, down from an average 5.0% prediction at the beginning of the year. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:30:58 EDT 2000

Recalling IPKF was a blunder: JN Dixit
Times of India, June 9. NEW DELHI: Former foreign secretary J N Dixit has said it was a 'blunder' on the part of the government in 1990 to call back the IPKF from Sri Lanka as the problems would have been solved if the Indian Army had been given a few more months.'It was a blunder, because it was a proper treaty between India and Sri Lanka, and the most important point is that our Army had completed more than three-fourths of the task'', Dixit said.He said it was true that the LTTE got support from Tamil Nadu, even from state government officials and institutions. Support was provided in the form of materials and hospitality and it was a big triangle which even involved smuggling and narcotics, he said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:26:24 EDT 2000

`No change in PMK, MDMK stand on Lanka'
Times of India, June 9. PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss said on Friday that there was no change in the PMK and MDMK's perception that the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka could be ended only by the creation of a separate "Eelam" (Tamil state). In an informal chat with reporters here, Ramadoss said though the PMK firmly believed that only a separate homeland for Tamils would provide a permanent solution to the Sri Lankan problem, its views could not be thrust on the ruling National Democratic Alliance which consisted of 22 constituents. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 08:23:50 EDT 2000

Assassin of Sri Lankan government minister identified.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 17.19. Friday.. Sri Lankan police investigating into last Wednesday's suicide attack on a government minister and 22 others have identified the killer, a spokesman for the police headquarters said.

Police named him as Ruban, a native of northern Wanni. In the Wednesday's attack the minister for Industries was killed along with 22 others during a peace rally in the suburbs of Colombo. The assassination sent shock waves through the defence circles, which immediately detailed troops and policemen on to the streets of Colombo to check vehicles and civilians entering or leaving the city.

Aftermath of the assassination, police raided Mortuwa university and apprehended 58 under graduates for questioning. Many of them were released subsequently as no evidence was found that they were involved in the attack.

The killings prompted human rights activists in Colombo to call for a negotiated settlement for the ongoing 18 years of bloody war that has claimed the lives of over 75,000 people.

Against the backdrop, the lull in the war theatre continued except for minor skirmishes between government troops and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Jaffna peninsula.

"It's definitely a calm before a major storm, both sides waiting one of them to make a move", a Colombo based diplomat told The Lacnet. On Thursday, the opposition leader Ranil Wickrmasinghe lambasted ruling-PA government for handling the war in a callous manner and questioned the government ministers of funds received to the fight the war.
Published: Fri Jun 9 07:22:39 EDT 2000


Indian church bombings rekindle Christian fears
ABC News, 03:58 GMT Friday June 08. NEW DELHI, June 9 (Reuters) - A series of bomb attacks on churches in India and the murder of a Catholic priest have re-ignited fears of a fresh campaign against Christians by Hindu militants, church leaders said on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 04:16:02 EDT 2000

Tamil Eelam is not the answer to Lanka crisis: Vajpayee
India Express, Friday June 08. Reiterating that the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam is not the answer to the present crisis in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has said the solution as to be found by the Lankan government within its geographical boundaries. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 04:12:29 EDT 2000

Troops slowly advancing deep in to the LTTE
SL Government, SLT Friday June 09. The government declared yesterday that troops are advancing slowly despite LTTE resistance, turning back the terrorists' 'Unceasing Waves'. Deputy Defence Minister Anurduddha Ratwatte urged the Parliament yesterday to extend the State of Emergency to enable the security forces to fight against the terrorists successfully. More...
Published: Fri Jun 9 04:04:27 EDT 2000

NDA united against any division of Sri Lanka
The Asian Age, New Delhi, June 8 . The Centre on Thursday clarified that there were no differences in the ruling National Democratic Alliance over the Sri Lankan issue and reiterated India’s position of “peaceful settlement of the ongoing ethnic conflict within the framework of territorial integrity of the island nation.” The clarification has put to rest the stir created by Mr M. Karunanidhi, the chief of its southern ally, the DMK, who had proposed the division of Sri Lanka as a possible settlement of the dispute. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 23:39:42 EDT 2000

Mumbai Tamils Sympathise With Lankan Brethren...'lankan tamils deserve their own homeland'
Afternoon despatch and courier, June 8, 2000 . Irrespective of what the BJP at the centre has to say on the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka, the Tamil cell of the BJP in Mumbai is advocating a separate state in the island nation, for the Tamils.According to the head of the BJP Tamil Cell, Mumbai, Mr. S.A. Sunder, the Tamils of Sri Lanka were the original inhabitants of the country and successive Sri Lankan governments had no right to treat them as second class citizens. "The Tamil problem started as far back as in 1954. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 23:35:23 EDT 2000

DMK RETREATS, ONLY HALF WAY
The Telegraph, June 8 . The Centre today managed to get the DMK to publicly fall in line with its Sri Lanka policy, but failed to make it fully retract the suggestion for partitioning the island nation to resolve the ethnic tangle. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 23:04:05 EDT 2000

LTTE men posed as a devotee
The Asian Age, Colombo, June 8 . The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam male suicide bomber, who blew himself up in the suburbs of Colombo on Wednesday killing Sri Lankan industrial development minister C.V. Gunaratne and 22 others, had come up to the minister with a sheaf of betel leaves pretending as a devout, local media reported.Quoting a senior police officer at the site, reports said the suspect male Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam suicide bomber had waited for some time in-front of a temple and had crossed the road and remained at a three-wheeler parking area. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 22:47:20 EDT 2000

Canadian cash flow confirmed as Tigers kill 21 Terrorist suicide bomber: Money collected in Canada may pay for Tamil weapons
National Post, June 8. A suicide bomber suspected by police of being a member of the Tamil Tigers killed a cabinet minister and 20 bystanders in Sri Lanka yesterday in an attack that coincided with confirmation from Ottawa's senior diplomat in Colombo that the terrorist group is raising funds in Canada.The attack, which injured 60 people on the country's first-ever War Heroes Day, came just a day after Ruth Archibald, Canada's High Commissioner, admitted at a national conference that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were active in Canada. She said: "Probably none of the monies collected by the LTTE in Canada ended up in Sri Lanka, but may be going towards the purchase of arms in other countries. We need the co-operation of other countries to look into this." Canada is coming under increasing pressure to curb terrorist support activities. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP have warned that the LTTE has established extensive fundraising networks in Canada that are being used to collect money to finance weapons purchases. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 22:03:24 EDT 2000

Only India can do it. Not Sri Lanka. Not the LTTE Commentry - Part 1
Newindpress, June 9. Pirabhakaran, the LTTE supremo, emerged as the only leader. He became the hope as well as the horror of the Lankan Tamils. He became the Vishnu, the protector, as well as the Shiva, the destroyer, of the Tamils. His destructive potentialities inevitably manifested, finally, in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. This also established the credentials of the LTTE as a rank betrayer not bothered about the consequences of the crimes it authors to the very cause it seeks to serve, that is, the defence of the Tamils. Gradually, but inevitably, and thanks to the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Tamil struggle became a cocktail of crime, terrorism, smuggling, drug-running, and even suspected contract-killing. The criminalisation of the Tamil liberatiomovement symbolised by the LTTE became the greatest impediment to a solution to the problem. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 21:42:29 EDT 2000

Rahul Gandhi trying to get rid of security but Govt says "No"
JAL News, June 5. The Vajpayee Government is understood to have notified to Congress President Sonia Gandhi its serious concern over her son Rahul Gandhi objecting to a close proximity team of the Special Protection Group (SPG) providing him security in London.Sensing the heightened risk to Rahul from the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who had bombed off his father Rajiv Gandhi, the Government is rushing two senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) men to London to take help of the local police in monitoring movements of both Indian and Srilankan origin militants there, a top source in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) disclosed.The Secretary, Security, who called on Sonia Gandhi recently at 10 Janpath, pointed out that the SPG security cannot be withdrawn from Rahul, howsoever strongly he may feel since it may endanger his life. Had there not been perceivable threat perceptions, the SPG could have considered reducing the level of security he is given but the risks are so immense that he must carry around the close protection More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 20:52:36 EDT 2000

Suicide bomb a ploy to halt LTTE losses
The Straits Times, June 9, 2000. With the rebels' offensive blunted in the north, it is in their interest to talk in an atmosphere of fear to drive the best bargain possible from Colombo. Analysts believe the assassination, was probably carried out by an LTTE ""Black Tiger'' suicide bomber, although the organisation has made no statement claiming responsibility. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 20:30:24 EDT 2000

Maran plays down DMK chief remark
The Statesman, June 9. Within days of Mr M Karunanidhi’s suggestion that Sri Lanka could be split into Sinhalese and Tamil sections on Czechoslovakian lines, the industry minister and DMK leader, Mr Murasoli Maran, today denied his party had any differences with the NDA government on the desirability of a united Sri Lanka with democratic choices for all. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 19:26:02 EDT 2000

World Emergency extended in Sri Lanka for a month
The Statesman, June 9. The country’s lawmakers met in parliament to extend the Emergency in force on the island, then adjourned early to rush home before heavy evening traffic threw up more security risks.After a unanimous voice vote, Speaker, Mr KB Ratnayake, declared parliament had approved Emergency rule for another month, giving police and soldiers wide powers to detain people, seize property and shut down newspapers. Police at dawn today carried off from apartments and houses near the bombing site another 15 suspects for questioning at a local police station. They had detained four Tamil youth from a cafe yesterday. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 19:22:15 EDT 2000

DMK to bear with Centre
Daily Pioneer, June 9. The political storm raised by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Karunanidhi's remark on the partition of Sri Lanka blew over on Thursday with the DMK's climbdown and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's categorical assertion that a solution has be be found by Colombo within its geographical boundaries.Mr Maran said, "we want a strong Sri Lanka and we don't want bloodshed at our doorstep. We want the people of Sri Lanka to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the ethnic problem." More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 19:15:11 EDT 2000

Ghosts of the past: Karunanidhi's talk could rock the BJP Govt
Hindustan Times, June 9. Will the government be able to adhere to its known position on Sri Lanka? Doubts have naturally come to be voiced with Mr Karunanidhi, who heads Tamil Nadu’s largest political formation, giving up his initial moderation to endorse secessionism in Sri Lanka. The LTTE suicide-bomber killing of a Sri Lankan cabinet minister in Colombo is in line with its terrorist character. This is doubtless intended to scuttle Chandrika Kumaratunga’s efforts to reach a parliamentary consensus on devolution so as to approach the Tamil entities for purposeful negotiations, even as intense fighting continues. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 19:10:03 EDT 2000

PM causing ‘incalculable harm’ to foreign policy
Hindustan Times, June 9. "Permitting foreign policy pronouncements by Chief Ministers would amount to setting a very dangerous precedent," warned CWC member and former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh. He told newspersons that the NDA Government does not seem concerned about what is happening in the Indian ocean. Among the foreign powers seeking to fish in Sri Lanka's troubled waters, at least one (read Pakistan) is hostile to India." Mr Singh said it appears that Sri Lanka policy of Mr Vajpayee is aimed at keeping Mr Karunanidhi (of the DMK) and Mr Vaiko (of the MDMK) in "good humour" to be able to continue in power at the Centre. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 19:05:58 EDT 2000

U.S. condemns bomb attack in Sri Lanka
Hindu, June 8. The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, today condemned the assassination C. V. Guneratne and called for a peaceful solution to the island's problems. Saying that the suicide bomb attack was the latest in a tragic series of violent attacks on civilians there, he said, ``all friends of Sri Lanka and its people join in condemning this reprehensible act and those who carried it out.'' The President extended the condolences of the people of the U.S. to the relatives of the victims and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the blast. ``The U.S. stands firmly in support of a solution that offers justice and human rights for all the citizens of a united, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.'' More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:57:44 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan MPs condemn killing of Minister
Hindu, June 9. Several members of Parliament here today condemned the killing of the Industrial Development minister, Mr. C. V. Gooneratne, by the LTTE. The strongest of them all came from the Minister for Science and Technology and a stalwart of the leftist Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Mr Batty Weerakoon. He did not mince any words about the LTTE as he spoke during the debate on the extension of the emergency. He described Mr. Gooneratne as one of Sri Lanka's ``ablest'' politicians who was ``on the side of a just and equitable political solution'' to the ethnic conflict. ``Death and mayhem...is just what the LTTE wants. That is part of its terrorist politics. When it kills a Tamil, as it did Neelan Tiruchelvam, it does so because it refuses to allow any voice but that of its terrorism to be heard as the voice of the Tamils. It wants the Sinhalese to identify the Tamils with the LTTE,'' he said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:54:52 EDT 2000

Centre, DMK agree on Sri Lanka policy
Hindu, June 8. The DMK and the Vajpayee establishment claimed today that there were no differences between the Government of India and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister over the policy towards Sri Lanka. However, prime ministerial aides preferred to believe that the DMK had ``fallen in line'' and there was a definite retreat from the stance Mr. Karunanidhi struck last Saturday. The Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, himself told a Hindi television channel today that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's proposal of ``separation'' was not acceptable. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:41:30 EDT 2000

Over 100 Tamil youth held
Hindu, June 9. More than 100 Tamil youth have been taken into custody in connection with yesterday's suicide attack which killed Sri Lanka's Minister for Industrial Development, C.V. Gooneratne, and 22 others. The Minister's wife, Shyama, who was critically wounded in the blast, succumbed to her injuries in hospital this afternoon. Police conducted cordon-and-search operations through the night in and around Ratmalana, where the attack took place and rounded up more than 60 people, including 20 women. This morning, 60 more youth, most of them students at a nearby university, were taken into custody. Four persons were arrested yesterday. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:36:28 EDT 2000

An Annihilationist strategy
Hindu, June 9. This strike in Colombo sends out three clear signals: The LTTE is not interested in peace or negotiations for a political settlement; it may be an attempt to take the heat off Jaffna, where the Government troops have succeeded in halting the LTTE's march towards the town; and above all, the Tamil Tigers may be hoping to trigger a backlash against the Tamils in the capital so that they can document it as another pogrom or genocide by the Chandrika regime. The UNP leader, Mr. Ranil Wickeremasinghe, who has not been averse to dallying with the LTTE for some time, must acknowledge that the Tamil Tigers cannot be trusted. The LTTE must have realised by now that taking Jaffna may have no more than symbolic value. The international community has set its face against a separate state or the Eelam demand. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:33:03 EDT 2000

Tiger terror - Editorial
Deccan Herald, June 9. The death of over 21 persons, including Industries Minister C V Gooneratne, in a suicide bomb attack near Colombo, is another blow to the Sri Lankan government`s efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict in the island. For the LTTE, which is believed to be behind the killing, the attack is a symbolic victory. It was carried out on War Heroes Day -- the day the country was honouring soldiers who have died in the conflict. That the LTTE was able to assassinate a senior member of the Sri Lankan cabinet on a day when security had been beefed up in anticipation of Tiger attacks exposes the chinks in the Sri Lankan security system. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:24:40 EDT 2000

Outrage in Sri Lanka - Editorial
Deccan Herald, June 8. The resort to attacks by “human bombs” is a despicable and cowardly operation regardless of the justness of the cause of those relying on this form of guerilla warfare. Instead of eliciting support and sympathy for its cause, the LTTE is earning only resentment and anger for itself from the people at large in Sri Lanka and India, and more so in Tamil Nadu. But a single act of mindless violence like the one perpetrated by the LTTE on Wednesday resulting in the brutal killing of innocent civilians who were gathered to pay homage to dead soldiers is enough to wipe out all the goodwill it may have earned in the world. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:16:38 EDT 2000

Czechmate: DMK antics will do us in -Editorial
Daily Pioneer, June 8. There is no denying that the think-tank of the DMK has gone global and trendy. In the last few days, they have hit upon a novel analytical device to propagate their own pernicious agenda the reference, of course, is to the so-called Czech and Slovak model of country dismemberment that the DMK worthies are touting all over the place. Never you mind that the comparisons being drawn are totally inaccurate, not to mention dishonest, and that the poor Czechs and Slovaks must be feeling distinctly queasy about the whole thing. After all, it is not pleasant to be cited as role models for a thoroughly blood-thirsty and savage campaign that is tearing apart a country which was once a synonym for tranquillity and beauty. One can hardly forget that the word serendipity is derived from Sri Lanka.This commentator has strong doubts if Messrs Karunanidhi, Vaiko (admittedly a DMK ally) et al can, without expert assistance, even pinpoint the location of the Czech Republic and Slovakia on the world map. It is a sure-fire wager that they will not be able to correctly cite more than two relevant facts about either of these countries. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:08:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka assembly shuts early amid suicide assassination fear
AFP, June 8 2000 18:04 IST. The Sri Lankan parliament extended a nationwide state of emergency Thursday then adjourned early amid fears of more assassination attempts following the killing of Industry Minister C. V. Gooneratne. The legislative assembly extended by a month the state of emergency that gives sweeping powers to government forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 18:05:07 EDT 2000

The Logic of Terror in Sri Lanka
NZZ Online, Thursday, 8 June 2000 . Twenty dead in another terrorist attack close to Colombo. It comes as no surprise that Vellupillai Prabhakaran and his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are again targeting the "peaceful" south of the island. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 15:57:24 EDT 2000

Goonaratne's wife succumbs to injury
Times of India, June 8. Parliament adjourned early amid fears of more assassination bids following the killing of industry minister C V Goonaratne along with 21 others in a blast Wednesday. Goonaratne's wife Shyama and two others, who were among 60 people injured in the blast, succumbed to their injuries on Thursday taking the number of victims to 25, police said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 14:56:28 EDT 2000

DMK falls in line with govt stand on Lanka
Times of India, June 8. Within days of the DMK supremo M Karunanidhi suggesting division of Sri Lanka on ethnic lines, senior party leader and Union minister Murasoli Maran on Thursday said "we are in full agreement" with the government stand against compromising the territorial integrity of the island nation.Vajpayee had on Wednesday mildly ticked-off Karunanidhi, saying his remarks on the division of Lanka were his "personal views" and that there was no change in India's position that the ethnic strife in the island nation should be resolved within the framework of the country's territorial integrity. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 14:43:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka: Terrorist Bombing
US State Department, June 7, 2000. The United States strongly condemns today's barbarous terrorist bombing in Sri Lanka that cost the life of Minister for Industrial Development, C.V. Gooneratne, and at least 20 other people. At least 60 people were injured, including Mr. Gooneratne's wife, who was critically hurt. No one has claimed responsibility, but this terrorist method has been used frequently in the past by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). We extend our condolences to the relatives of the victims and hope for a speedy recovery for those who were injured. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 14:28:20 EDT 2000

Nedumaran flays Chidambaram
ChennaiOnline, June 8. Chennai, June 8: Tamil Desiya Iyakkam president and Eelam Tamil Supporters Co-ordination Committee organiser P Nedumaran Thursday criticised TMC leader P Chidambaram for claiming that there was no similarity between the Czech and Sri Lankan situation.Flaying Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for calling for a Czech-style solution to the ethnic crisis, Chidambaram had said yesterday that unlike in Sri Lanka, Czech and Slovakia were two independent nations forcibly united after the Second World War.Reacting to this, Nedumaran, the most vocal supporter of the LTTE in India, said until the Portuguese established control over Sri Lanka in 1619, Tamil and Sinhala regions were two separate countries. “Only during the British rule Sri Lanka was brought under unified control,” he noted. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 14:03:27 EDT 2000

DMK agrees with government's decision on Sri Lanka: Murasoli Maran
NDTV, June 8. The External Affairs Minister and Mr. Murasoli Maran had an hour-long meeting, at the end of which they suggested that they had buried their differences over Sri Lanka. Mr. Maran said, "The DMK is in full agreement with the decision of the government. What the Chief Minister had said was blown out of proportion; it was only a suggestion. He didn't say he was against the government's decision." Mr. Maran was specially called for the meeting because the government was keen that the allies should not speak against the government line and that any solution to the Sri Lankan problem should be worked out within the sovereignty of the nation. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 13:42:58 EDT 2000

Moderate Tamil parties systematically eliminated by LTTE
NDTV, June 8. The noise of the war in Jaffna seems to have drowned out the voices of Sri Lanka's moderate Tamil parties who have in the midst of the violence tried to carve out a democratic solution to the discrimination against Tamils, only to find their cadres systematically eliminated by the LTTE.On the walls of Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) leader, Douglas Devananda's office hangs the brutal legacy of the LTTE. Men in the pictures stuck on the office wall are all colleagues of the Tamil party, one of them even heads the Eelam People's Democratic party (EPDP), but now they have been killed by the LTTE over the years.Today the EPDP has nine MPs in Parliament, all elected from the war torn Jaffna Peninsula. According to Douglas Devananda, "Prabhkaran's real problem is that it is difficult for him to survive in the democratic setup and that's why he's fighting for a piece of land to be ruled by a dictator.One Tamil politician said, "Let the Tamils of Sri Lanka decide, we challenge the tigers to fight elections."However, every bomb blast in Colombo, every military onslaught in Jaffna is evidence that electoral democracy is the last thing on the LTTE's mind. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 13:27:42 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka suicide bombing provokes international protests
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, June 8 . The human rights watchdog Amnesty International today joined growing international condemnation of a suicide bombing which killed 22 people in Sri Lanka. The London-based organisation said it had written to the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) protesting yesterday's killing of Industry Minister C.V. Gooneratne and 21 other during a parade near here. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 12:55:02 EDT 2000

IBM names Kumar Wickramasinghe a research fellows
NY Journal News, June 7. ARMONK H. Kumar Wickramasinghe was 10 and growing up in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, when he received a rudimentary radio kit. As simple as the Christmas present from his parents was, it was enough to trigger a fascination with science that would last a lifetime. Science seems to indeed have been the right calling for Wickramasinghe, who went on to develop more than a dozen ultra-sophisticated microscopes as a scientist at IBM Corp. And 40 years after getting the first radio kit from his parents, Wickramasinghe, now 50, was yesterday named an IBM fellow, the company's highest designation for its scientists. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 12:39:42 EDT 2000

Separate Tamil Eelam no solution: Vajpayee
Hindu, June 8. Reiterating that the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam is not the answer to the present crisis in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has said the solution has to be found by the Sri Lankan Government within its geographical boundaries. Vajpayee said that while the Sri Lankan Government was in favour of decentralisation, the question of how far it could go in this regard was a decision to be taken by Colombo keeping the island's territorial integrity in view. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:59:06 EDT 2000

Vajpayee Sees No Solution For Ethnic Problem in Sri Lanka
Xinhua, Thursday, June 08, 2000 9:59 AM EST . ndian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said on Thursday that he saw no solution in sight for the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka under the prevailing circumstances and that the problem could only be resolved through devolution of powers, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. "Sri Lanka has to decide how far it can go while maintaining its territorial integrity," Vajpayee was quoted as saying in an interview to a local TV program. "The government there also favors devolution of powers. A way could be found out through that." Vajpayee rejected the suggestion of Karunanidhi, chief minister of south India's Tamil Nadu state, for the division of Sri Lanka, saying that the island country needed to resolve the issue within the framework of its territorial integrity, the PTI added. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:55:36 EDT 2000

MDMK leader condemns Sri Lankan blast
Hindu, June 8. MDMK leader Vaiko today condemned yesterday's bomb blast in Sri Lanka in which its Industries Development Minister C V Gooneratne and 21 others were killed, but said the present crisis was the result of the "genocidal onslaught on Tamils carried out by the Sri Lankans." Reiterating his stand that the only solution to Sri Lankan problem was the creation of a separate Eelam (Tamil State), Vaiko, however, asked the Sri Lankan Government to withdraw the Army from Jaffna and hold talks with the rebels to find a solution. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:52:29 EDT 2000

Vajpayee tries to forge national consensus on Sri Lankan crisis
Indian Express, June 8. The cabinet Committee on Security was due to meet in the evening with, among others, Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli Maran from the regional DMK party, which rules the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Maran's uncle Muthuvel Karunanidhi, head of the DMK and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has stirred up a hornet's nest by suggesting that Sri Lanka's separation on the lines of the Czech and Slovak republics could end the island's protracted civil war.Analysts said Karunanidhi's statements were embarrassing for Vajpayee's government, which has so far followed a "hands off" policy, ruling out military intervention but pledging humanitarian aid if required. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:39:44 EDT 2000

Assassinated Ministers wife also dies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 p.m. SLT Thursday June 8. Minister C V Gooneratne's wife, Sharma Gooneratne, injured in yesterday suicide bomb attack succumbed to her injuries at around 5 p.m. this evening.

The late Trade Minister will be accorded a State funeral. The date is undecided as the family awaits the return of the Ministers two sons from abroad.
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:35:37 EDT 2000


76 Tamils arrested after yesterday's bomb blast
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Thursday June 8. Seventy six Tamils were arrested following yesterday's bomb attack at Moratuwa. Special police and army squads carried out search and cordon operations last night in the Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia, Ratmalana and Moratuwa areas, when the government imposed a local curfew beginning at 7.30 p.m.

The Tamils, including women were taken in for questioning on suspicion they have links with the dreaded Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a seperate state in Sri Lanka's North.

Meanwhile sources at Moratuwa University revealed that 58 Tamil students from the entire University faculties were also arrested in connection with last afternoon's bomb blast.
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:35:38 EDT 2000


Speaker says censor cannot censor parliament
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 p.m. SLT Thursday June 8. Speaker K B Ratnayake today said the Competent Authority has no right to censor parliamentary proceedings. However a special committee appointed by Parliament will monitor the reports of journalists and hansard reporters.

The Deputy Minister for Media, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa will head the special parliamentary committee that will serve as watchdog on all media reports detailing proceedings of the House.
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:35:38 EDT 2000


EU for ceasing of hostilities in Lanka
Indian Express, June 8. "We support Sri Lanka's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but the precise terms of any settlement will have to respect the rights and aspirations of all communities," Hain told the House of Commons.Speaking at an adjournment debate on Sri Lanka, Hain said "Sri Lanka's ethnic problems cannot possibly be resolved by military means. Seventeen years of conflict have made it abundantly clear that the war is unwinnable." More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:32:05 EDT 2000

No threat to NDA govt from TN: Vaiko
Times of India, June 8. COIMBATORE: MDMK general-secretary Vaiko on Thursday ruled out any threat to the Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre on the Sri Lankan issue, even as he reiterated his party's demand for a separate 'Eelam' for Tamils there.When his opinion was sought at a press conference on whether Tamil Nadu would become the cause for the fall of the Vajpayee government for the second time, Vaiko quipped "there are no Jayalalithas in NDA" More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 11:25:52 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government and LTTE urged to end killings and start talks.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT.20:36 Thursday.. A local non-governmental organisation today called both government and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to end fighting and return to the round table to find a last solution to the ongoing bloody 17 years of war.

The full text of the organisation, the Peace council is given below…

The National Peace Council condemns the assassination of the Minister of Industries C. V.Gooneratne by a suspected LTTE suicide bomber. At least 20 others were killed and over 60 others wounded in the blast that occurred at a procession in Ratmalana, a densely populated suburb of Colombo, on war heroes' day declared by the government.

The assassination of the Guneratne followed the removal of the ban on public meetings and the censorship on foreign journalists by the government. These accompanied the lull in fighting in Jaffna that peaked about a fortnight ago.

The experience of the past 17 years is that the parties to the conflict have harboured a hope that the lull would be to their advantage and their opponent's disadvantage. However, time and again this hope has proved to be an illusion, which has camouflaged plans that have led to inevitable escalation of fighting by both sides. This is manifested in the increase, by leaps and bounds, of military budgets and improved war technologies that both sides employ.

Based on the NPC's interactions with people from different sectors of society, we can assert that people are asking for an honorable negotiated settlement. The warring parties are answerable to the people who wish the war and the killings to cease with a sustainable and just political solution. In this context, the recent statement by Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was significant. He stated that the government would be willing to declare a ceasefire with the LTTE in northern Jaffna provided it is linked to immediate commencement of peace talks that could include political principles, such as the Thimpu principles.

On the other hand, President Kumaratunga's recent assertion that peace talks with the LTTE were not possible at this time may have been based on the government's assessment, whether right or wrong, of the LTTE's own unwillingness to negotiate at this time. This assessment will be further strengthened by the suicide bombing at Ratmalana.

With the exception of a statement by its international representative, Dr Anton Balasingham, the LTTE has consistently stated that the evacuation of government troops from Jaffna would be a pre-condition for negotiations to commence with the government. We call on the LTTE to make their intentions clear that they are prepared for peace talks now and without preconditions which will prevent further blood shed and bring a lasting and just political solution.

What is needed now is an immediate end to killings and to military confrontations and not conflicting messages from the government and LTTE about the possibility of negotiations.
Published: Thu Jun 8 10:40:45 EDT 2000


How the LTTE bomber did his deed
Rediff/UNI, June 8, 2000. Quoting a senior police officer at the site, reports said the bomber waited for some time in front of a temple then crossed the road and remained at a three-wheeler parking area. ''When the peace march arrived at the junction, the bomber came up to the minister with a sheaf of betel leaves as if giving it to him and blew himself up,'' the officer said. ''I warned the minister not to walk on the road 20 minutes before the explosion, but he did not listen,'' said the senior police officer. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:54:57 EDT 2000

Rajiv went to Lanka for a purpose
Indian Express, Thursday, June 8, 2000. he reason behind Rajiv Gandhi's decision to send the IPKF to Sri Lanka must be found elsewhere. The army action failed and the loss of a thousand sons of India was a grievous blow. But the Indian blood that was spilled in a country which was not ours, for a cause which again was not ours in fact did great service to our country. One of the reasons which perhaps made Rajiv take the decision was not because he mistrusted Tamils but because he was dealing with a cold-blooded man like President Jayewardene. If India did not go there to fight the LTTE, Jayewardene would surely have asked Pakistan to come over. Sri Lanka is not Afghanistan, but when a call for helping Colombo at its invitation comes, the response cannot be to hide under a soft, warm quilt of indifference. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:48:42 EDT 2000

Civilian casualties unacceptable
Amnesty International, 7 June 2000. Amnesty International condemned today's assassination of the Sri Lankan Minister of Industries, Mr C.V. Gooneratne, and an estimated 15 other civilians in a suicide bomb attack at Ratmalana in the minister's home constituency, about 15 kilometres south of Colombo. Amnesty International has today written to the LTTE London office condemning the attack and appealing for an immediate halt to attacks on civilians. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:24:26 EDT 2000

19 Detained in Sri Lanka Bombing
AP, Thursday June 8 9:08 AM ET . Police today detained 19 suspects in a suicide bombing that killed 23 people, including a popular Cabinet minister, and Sri Lanka's president urged against retaliatory attacks on the Tamil minority. [Note: updated numbers] More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:18:47 EDT 2000

Three killed, four injured in attack on checkpost in Sri Lanka
PTI, June 8. Three paramilitary police were killed and four regular policemen injured today when Tamil Tigers attacked a checkpost near Vavuniya in Sri Lanka's north, residents said. They said the attack occurred at Uliyakulam about 20 km southwest of Vavuniya. Vavuniya lies about 260 km north of Colombo and about 10 km south of front-lines where the military is battling the separatist Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:12:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan police question blast suspects
CNN, June 8, 2000. As angry mobs attacked ethnic Tamils in the Sri Lankan capital, police detained 15 men early Thursday for questioning in the suicide bombing that killed a government official. More... [Watch]
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:10:51 EDT 2000

PM terms Karunanidhi's statement as "personal views"
Broadcastindia.com/Doordarshan, Thursday, June 8, 2000. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has termed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's statement on Lanka as his personal views and said there was no change in India's stand that ethnic strife in the island nation should be resolved within the framework of the country's unity. More... [Watch]
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:05:00 EDT 2000

Death came wrapped in betel leaves
ChennaiOnline, June 8. The LTTE suicide bomber who killed Sri Lankan industrial development minister C V Goonaratne and 22 others in a Colombo suburb yesterday had walked up to the minister with a sheaf of betel leaves, posing as a devotee from a nearby temple, the local media reported. Quoting a senior police officer at the site, reports said the suspect had waited for some time in front of the temple. He had then crossed the road and waited at a three-wheeler parking area.“When the peace march arrived at the junction, the suicide bomber had come up to the minister with a sheaf of betel leaves as if to give it to him, and then blew himself up”, the officer said.“I warned the minister not to walk on the road just 20 minutes before the explosion, but he did not listen and proceeded”, said the senior police officer. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 09:04:42 EDT 2000

Bangkok: We'll not let Tigers have a base
The Star, Thursday, June 8, 2000. 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 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. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:50:04 EDT 2000

US DEPT OF STATE: Daily Press Briefing
NorthernLight/M2, Thursday, June 08, 2000 4:51 AM EST . MR. REEKER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the State Department, everybody. I'd like to begin today with a statement on the terrorist bombing that took place in Sri Lanka. The United States strongly condemns today's barbarous terrorist bombing in Sri Lanka that cost the life of Minister For Industrial Development C. V. Gooneratne and at least 20 other people. At least 60 people were injured including the minister's wife, who was critically hurt. No one has claimed responsibility, but this terrorist method has been used frequently in the past by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. We extend our condolences to the relatives of the victims and hope for a speedy recovery for those who were injured. The US 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 terrorism there. And we'll have that as a written statement for you later. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:43:04 EDT 2000

Twelve dead as Sri Lanka claims LTTE targets mainstream Tamils
AFP, Thursday, June 8 6:04 PM SGT . At least 12 people died in skirmishes in Sri Lanka's north Thursday as the government claimed rebel Tamil Tigers were targeting ethnic Tamils who had sided with mainstream politics. Government information spokesman, Laxman Perera, said the rebels opened fire on K. Navaratnarajah, from the pro-government Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), as he travelled on a motorcycle."It is now evident that the LTTE is gradually destroying the regional Tamil political leadership which had joined the democratic political mainstream," he said in a statement. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:30:51 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan president calls for restraint
BBC, Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 09:46 GMT. President Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka has appealed for restraint in the wake of Wednesday's suicide bomb attack which killed a senior government minister and 21 other people. In a statement, she said Tamil Tiger rebels were trying "to inflame communal passions by provoking the people in the south." Reports said there was sporadic violence in the Ratmalana area of Colombo where the bomb went off. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:27:13 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka creates cyber war memorial for government soldiers
AFP, Thursday, June 8 3:48 PM SGT. Sri Lanka Thursday announced plans to create a war memorial in cyberspace to honour thousands of government soldiers killed while battling separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas.A unit established under President Chandrika Kumaratunga's office said they launched a web site www.helpheroes.lk to receive donations for the welfare of government soldiers and the families. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:24:30 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan Mobs Attack Tamils
AP, Thursday June 8 5:36 AM ET. Police today detained 15 suspects in a suicide bombing that killed 21 people, including a popular Cabinet minister, and Sri Lanka's president urged against retaliatory attacks on the Tamil minority. Mobs on Wednesday threw stones at Tamil-owned shops in Ratmalana, an industrial suburb of the capital, Colombo, where the explosion occurred. There were no reports of injuries, but authorities imposed a nighttime curfew. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 08:16:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka seeking war captives via Internet
Reuters, 02:40 GMT Thursday June 8. COLOMBO, June 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has launched a website it hopes will locate government troops held captive by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, who have been fighting for a separate homeland since 1983 . ``... this site will appeal to the captors to inform of any named persons presently in captivity and thus to relieve the families of their mental trauma,'' the government said in a statement on Thursday. The website (www.helpheroes.lk) is envisaged to include a war memorial honouring troops killed in battles against the LTTE, which is fighting for a Tamil homeland in the country's north and east. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 07:25:11 EDT 2000

Police mount house-to-house search in southern Colombo.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT, 14:17 Thursday.. Police assisted by Sri Lankan army's commando units mounted door-to-door search operation in southern parts of Colombo city following the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide attack on Wednesday in which 22 persons including the minister of Industries Clement Victor Gunaratnae was killed.

The search was mounted after the country's intelligence agencies tipped off that some LTTE suicide cadres were holed-up in some areas just outside of Colombo. Just a few minutes after the suicide cadre detonated the explosives strapped onto her body killing the minister and 21 others, police took into custody three persons suspected of links with Tamil Tigers, now fighting the government troops in northern Sri Lanka in a bid to create a separate state for 18 per cent minority Tamils.

Gunaratnae known as "puggy and Churchill" was killed just a few hours after he attended a commemoration ceremony at the presidential secretariat at Colombo fort. The assassination sparked a minor volatile situation, but local police clamped down an indefinite curfew to crack down those attempting to create violence.

Military observers described the assassination as "divisionary tactic" of Velupillai Pirabhakaran, who had lost more than 700 of his men in northern Jaffna peninsula since December 11 in the ongoing battles with government forces.

The government made repeated appeals to young unemployed men to join the armed forces of the country in an aim to eradicate the terrorist menace that had been dragging for the past 18 years.

" The response is good", an army official said.
Published: Thu Jun 8 04:39:13 EDT 2000


Dmk leader called to Delhi to discuss Lanka
Press Trust of India, New Delhi Thursday June 8. New Delhi,Thursday, June 08,Close on the heels of Tamil leaders seeking a Czech model for Lanka, The central government has invited DMK Leader Murasoli Maran in the capital for a meeting on the Lanka Crisis here today. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 04:34:39 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka hunts for rebels after Colombo blast
Reuters, 01:55 GMT Thursday June 8. COLOMBO, June 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka on Thursday strengthened security in the capital Colombo as police and army searched for suspected Tamil Tiger rebels a day after a suicide bomber killed a senior cabinet minister and 21 others. More...
Published: Thu Jun 8 04:28:25 EDT 2000


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