The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 12, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 68
 

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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Justice Mahajan to head Tribunal to adjudicate LTTE ban
PTI, June 12. Justice S K Mahajan of the Delhi High Court has been appointed Chairman of a Tribunal to adjudicate on whether there was sufficient grounds to declare LTTE as an unlawful organisation. The ban on LTTE was re-imposed on May 14, following expiry of the earlier term. Mahajan was appointed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a gazette notification said here today. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 14:04:37 EDT 2000

India not to get involved to end Lanka's ethnic strife
UPI, June 12. India has firmly told Sri Lanka that it would not get involved in any "fire fight" to end the country's ethnic strife but offered a 100 million U S dollar credit facility as a humanitarian assistance to it to tide over any monetary crisis.External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, who held talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other Sri Lankan leaders, emphatically told them that "India do not want to get involved in any fire fight" to resolve the conflict, Indian officials said. At the same time the doors for humanitarian assistance have been kept open. This included the evacuation of troops, if necessary, from the beleagured northern Jaffna peninsula, they told Indian correspondents here. After his two-day talks with Kumaratunga, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, Singh announced the 100 million U S dollar credit facility as an immediate humanitarian assistance. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 13:23:19 EDT 2000

Where's the Best Place to Do e-business? -India 50, Sri Lanka 51
BUSINESS WIRE, NEW YORK, 06:25 GMT Monday June 12. NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 12, 2000--It's no surprise that the US is the world's most "e-business-ready" country, but a new set of global rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit(EIU) offers some unexpected placements further down the list. Of the 60 countries covered, Japan comes just 21st, India ranks a discouraging 50th, and China rates a mere 51st. Meanwhile, three compact Nordic economies--Sweden, Finland and Norway cluster just behind the US at the top of the rankings. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 10:11:30 EDT 2000

The historical roots of Sri Lanka's civil war- An editorial
WSWS, June 12. Confidence in the viability of a socialist program based on the unity of the Sinhala and Tamil workers and rural masses began to be replaced with the perspective of a Tamil-only movement and the creation of a separate Tamil state. This was part of a trend that was becoming increasingly fashionable all over the world—the identification of the struggle against national oppression with the struggle to establish nominally independent nation states based upon ethnic separatism. It was out of this process that the LTTE arose, styling itself after various movements such as the PLO and the Sandinistas that were achieving a certain success and popularity in the 60s, 70s and 80s. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 10:05:59 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Hikes Diesel Fuel Price By 20% To Boost Revenue
Dow Jones, Monday, June 12 8:17 PM SGT . The Sri Lankan government has raised the retail price of diesel for the second time in less than four months as it tries to boost revenue amid an expensive internal conflict in the northeast, officials said Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 10:05:30 EDT 2000

India gives 100 million dollar loan to embattled Sri Lanka
123India-afp, June 12. India has offered Sri Lanka a loan of 100 million dollars to help ease the financial strain created by its efforts to resist an offensive by Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country. A joint statement issued at the end of an overnight visit by India's Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said that the money was being offered for unspecified purchases at rates to be negotiated later.Singh is the first Indian leader to visit Sri Lanka since New Delhi rejected Sri Lanka's call last month for military assistance to beat back the Tigers' offensive in the northern peninsula of Jaffna. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 10:01:42 EDT 2000

Jaswant Singh & Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.30 p.m. SLT Monday June 12. The Competent Authority in a media release this evening stated that Jaswant Singh, External Affairs Minister for India today held official discussions with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, Lanka's Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe and other political party leaders.

The talks had touched upon the present situation and also the broader issues related to the further strengthening of the existing close and friendly relations that India and Sri Lanka have traditionally enjoyed.

The press release said that President Kumaratunge apprised the visiting Minister of current political developments, including the consultations between the Government and other political parties and the facilitation efforts of Norway.

The President had welcomed India's offer to be of assistance in the humanitarian as well as economic sphere to ease any constraints that may be currently faced by Sri Lanka. Shri Jaswant Singh is reported to have added in this regard that India would be prepared to extend to Sri Lanka a credit facility, on terms to be mutually worked out between the two Finance Ministeries, amounting to US $ 100 million.

The possibilities of Sri Lanka purchasing wheat, rice and sugar on a counter trade basis from India, were also discussed.

The CA statement said that Jaswant Singh left Sri Lanka confident of the depth, strength and direction of India - Sri Lanka relations and their ability to meet the common challenges both countries face.
Published: Mon Jun 12 09:31:33 EDT 2000


India, Sri Lanka talk amid Jaffna fighting and scepticism
AFP, Monday, June 12 7:58 PM SGT . Singh met Kumaratunga at her tightly-guarded Temple Trees residence, officials said. The Indian minister later had a round of talks with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Singh and his Sri Lankan counterpart Lakshman Kadirgamar were earlier due to hold a joint press conference but later it was announced that Singh would go it alone and meet with only Indian journalists here. Analysts saw the calling off of the joint press conference as a sign that the two sides may not have had adequate common ground to project in a positive light. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 09:29:22 EDT 2000

Jaswant Singh holds talks again with Chandrika
Hindu, June 12. After prolonged discussions last night, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh today began the second round of talks on `structured agenda' with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Though both sides were tight-lipped over the overnight discussions, official sources said last night's talks were informal in nature with both sides discussing the ground situation in northern Jaffna peninsula and various decisions taken by the Indian Government in relation to the crisis in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 09:17:32 EDT 2000

Arrests made in Sri Lanka bomb attack
CBS/UPI, June 12. Sri Lankan police arrested five businessmen believed to be associates of the Tamil Tiger suicide bomber who killed a federal minister and 22 other people. Police said Terrorist Investigation Unit officers were interrogating the businessmen, who were nabbed on the basis of a piece of paper found from the spot of explosion along with a business card.The government denied reports in local media that the security forces were unable to use the air force base and the naval base in the Jaffna peninsula because of rebel shelling. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 09:11:09 EDT 2000

India in Colombo crisis talks
BBC, Monday, 12 June, 2000, 12:24 GMT. The Indian Foreign Minister, Jaswant Singh, has held formal talks with Sri Lankan leaders in Colombo, on how to end the civil war. India last month ruled out any military assistance to Sri Lankan troops, who over the past few months have suffered a string of heavy defeats at the hands of Tamil Tiger rebels. Heavy fighting is continuing in the north of the island between government troops and the rebels. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 08:33:13 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka recall Ranatunga
BBC, Monday, 12 June, 2000, 11:46 GMT. Arjuna Ranatunga is poised to make history by becoming the first player to appear in his country's first and 100th Tests. Sri Lanka will reach the 100-Test milestone when they play Pakistan in the first of a three-match series, starting in Colombo on Wednesday. Former captain Ranatunga has been included in a 16-man squad for the game after making his Test debut as an 18-year-old schoolboy in their inaugural Test against England in February 1982. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 08:29:28 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka welcomes Indian humanitarian assistance.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT.17: 32 Monday.. Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunge on Monday welcomed India's offer to be of assistance in the humanitarian as well as economic sphere to ease any constrains that may be currently faced by the country.

Kumaratunge welcomed India's offer, when she met the Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh at her official residence in Colombo on Monday. The Indian FM during his visit met several ruling PA-government politicians and the leaders of the opposition party.

A statement jointly issued by India and Sri Lanka said that at the commencement of the discussions, the visiting minister reiterated the continued committeemen of the government of India to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

He also expressed the good wishes and support of India to the restoration of a lasting peace that could be possible through a political process that produces a settlement that meets the aspirations of all communities.

"The discussions touched upon the present situation and also the broader issues related to the further strengthening of the existing close and friendly relations that India and Sri Lanka have traditionally enjoyed", the statement read.

During the discussions, president Kumaratunge apprised the visiting minister of he current political developments including the consultations between the government and other political parties and the facilitation efforts of Norway.

At the talks, the foreign minister said that his government would be prepared to extend the credit facilities to Sri Lanka, on terms that mutually worked out between the two finance ministers recently that amounts to US$ 100 million.
Published: Mon Jun 12 08:03:53 EDT 2000


Fresh fighting disrupt northern port and airfield
SL Government, SLT Monday June 12. The two main supply routes to the Jaffna peninsula, Kankesanthurai Port and Palaly airfield were disrupted with the continuing artillery and mortar fire in the northern peninsula. These developments came as troops destroyed a row of Tiger bunkers in the Sarasalai area as fresh clashes erupted on Friday killing 24 soldiers and injuring 50. The LTTE had also suffered heavy casualties. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 05:40:33 EDT 2000

Indian minister in Sri Lanka ethnic crisis talks
Reuters, 01:30 GMT Monday June 12. COLOMBO, June 12 (Reuters) - Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh began talks with Sri Lankan leaders in Colombo on Monday as sporadic clashes between government troops and separatist Tamil rebels continued on the northern Jaffna peninsula. With the possibility of an early negotiated settlement considered slim, seculation mounted over India's role in resolving the war-torn island nation's 17-year ethnic crisis. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 05:36:15 EDT 2000

Jaswant Singh arrives in Colombo
India Today, June 11, 2000. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh arrived in the Sri Lankan capital on Sunday amid tight security to hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other leaders with an aim of finding ways for ending fighting between troops and LTTE in Jaffna. Though Singh's visit was widely attributed by the Lankan media as a "damage-limiting exercise" in view of suggestion by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for dividing Sri Lanka on the pattern of Czech and Slovakia, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister has said Singh has come at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. More... [Watch]
Published: Mon Jun 12 02:50:51 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan War Attracting Business
Associated Press, June 12, 2000 01:39. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - On the face of it, Sri Lanka does not appear a great place for businesses to commit investment money. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka is attracting investment from companies looking to expand their reach in the globalizing economy. The government is dangling tariff and tax exemptions and reduced red tape to win commitments from the likes of Sun Microsystems of the United States, Marks and Spencer of Britain and BMW of Germany. The man credited with the achievement is Thilan Wijesinghe, a former banker and stockbroker who was named chief of the national Board of Investment in 1995. He has sweeping powers to overrule city laws, customs rulings and tax department decisions to benefit foreign ventures.

Among deals announced recently, the British retailer Marks and Spencer set plans for investing $100 million by the end of this year, and Sun Microsystems said it would invest $10 million in a software development center. Wijesinghe said BMW plans to set up a car parts factory. More...
Published: Mon Jun 12 02:46:17 EDT 2000


Bangkok cracks down on Tigers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.25 a.m. SLT Monday June 12. News reports out of Bangkok said today that the LTTE have decided to shift its secret base from the Island of Phuket after authorities in Bangkok began to crack down on Tiger activities in the country.

Meanwhile the Canadian National Post reported today that a LTTE sponsored reception scheduled to be held in Toronto yesterday, was cancelled after Canadian police descended on the reception venue a few hours before its was scheduled to begin and ordered that it be cancelled.

An argument is reported to have broken out between the organizers and the police, however the Candian law enforcement authority was firm in its view that the reception could not be allowed.
Published: Mon Jun 12 02:34:05 EDT 2000


Curfew in Colombo suburbs lifted this morning
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 a.m. SLT Monday June 12. A curfew imposed last evening at 7 p.m. in the Mount Lavinia, Ratmalana and Moratuwa areas was lifted at 4 a.m. this morning. The surprise clamp down is believed to have been initiated by police in order to flush out any Tiger suspects hiding in the area.

Search and cordon operations in Colombo's suburbs have continued to be carried out by Police and Army squads following the assassination of Industrial Minister C V Gooneratne last Thursday, and a State sponsored funeral for the late Minister and his wife on Saturday. More that 60 Tamil suspects have been rounded up and are undergoing interrogation since the bomb blast last week.
Published: Mon Jun 12 02:34:05 EDT 2000


CWC continues strike and cripples Lanka's tea industry
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.30 p.m. SLT Monday June 12. The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) continued a massive strike which is believed to have crippled Sri Lanka's tea industry as the organization demands higher wages for its members.

Some half a million members of the CWC work in the plantation sector and are demanding a pay rise of Rs. 131/= per day as against the present daily wage of Rs. 101/=. Employers have agreed to raise wages to Rs. 115/= per day but the CWC have refused to accept the relatively small wage hike, and are continuing with their protest.
Published: Mon Jun 12 02:34:05 EDT 2000


India only aspires, doesn't act like a regional heavyweight - Commentry
Rediff, June 8. Luckily, the Lankan war has not resulted in an outflow of refugees from that island to India, though there is a trickle. The government is caught in a cleft: worried about its political allies and Tamilian sentiments on one side, and about opposing terrorism globally on the other side. A security affairs expert put the case in perspective. "Being a great power means having the ability to overcome your domestic opposition and other problems to act in accordance with your national interests. In Lanka, we simply cannot act since we are being pulled in different directions, and if we can't do anything in our backyard, we are not even a regional power," he lamented. In our backyard, Norway is far more active in trying to secure peace while New Delhi twiddles its thumb. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 20:00:50 EDT 2000

India values Lanka unity: Jaswant
Rediff, June 11. India is understood to have conveyed its ''position and perception'' on the Sri Lankan crisis and stressed the need for an early political settlement to the ethnic problem without affecting the unity and territorial integrity of the island nations. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, who arrived in Colombo Sunday afternoon on a two-day official visit, conveyed New Delhi's stand at a dinner meeting, hosted by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. At his meeting with Kumaratunga, Jaswant is believed to have reassured Lanka on New Delhi's stand that India values the unity and territorial integrity of its neighbour. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:54:16 EDT 2000

Tiger 'victory rally' in Toronto canceled
India-abroad, June 11. A Sri Lankan Tamil community organisation's grand plans to hold a massive event to celebrate the military successes of separatist Tamil guerrillas in their native island nation came to naught when the amphitheater it had hired decided against hosting the rally.The World Tamil Movement (WTM) was greatly disappointed when the Molson Amphitheater here, following a threatening call it received and subsequent consultations with the police, canceled the rally at the last minute, leaving the community high and dry. The organizers were expecting at least 20,000 people to pack the amphitheater yesterday and hoped to raise about Cnd$100,000 at the event. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:49:11 EDT 2000

US journalist body flays censorship
AsianAge, June 11. A journalist’ body in the US has expressed concern over continuance of censorship regulations on Sri Lanka’s local media and urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to lift “all censorship regulations immediately.”“CPJ finds it alarming that Sri Lankan residents now have less access to news and information about the civil war than people living outside the country,” the committee said in a statement.Conveying its concerns to Ms Kumaratunga in a letter, the CPJ said, “as an organisation of journalists dedicated to the defence of press freedom around the world.(PTI) More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:42:57 EDT 2000

‘India should not meddle in Lanka issue’
AsianAge, June 11. Notwithstanding battle of wits among NDA constituents over government’s refusal to intervene in Sri Lanka, experts say India should not meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. “It is an internal affair of Sri Lanka and let them handle their business,” says Bhabani Sengupta, former external affairs advisor to then Prime Minister I.K. Gujral.“My strong opinion is that India should not think of any military intervention,” Mr Sengupta told PTI.However, there are some who say that the decision not to intervene to resolve the ethnic strife could contribute to the unravelling of India’s position as a regional power.“It is very disappointing that the Vajpayee government is not discharging its national obligation. Indian ocean is very much our concern. We cannot be sitting ducks leaving it to others to play,” says former external affairs minister and senior congress leader K. Natwar Singh. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:40:10 EDT 2000

Red alert: More attacks feared in Lanka
Asian Age, June 11. Sri Lankan police have declared a red alert in the city warning about the presence of 25 more LTTE human bombs ready to launch attacks, in the wake of the recent suicide bomb attack here which killed a senior minister and 24 others.Local media reports quoting police officials said here on Sunday that despite frequent crackdown by police on the LTTE hideouts in the city, a well co-ordinated network of the rebel bombers continued tister’s office in Colombo, the police had said that over a dozen suicide bombers had sneaked into the city.One police official even said that they had the identity and photographs of the bombers. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:37:02 EDT 2000

'Special' treatment to TULF irks other Tamil parties
Hindu, June 11. Former Tamil militant groups now in mainstream Sri Lankan politics are in a sulk about their meeting tomorrow with the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh. Representatives of the four groups - Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), People's Liberation Organisation of Tamils (PLOT), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Organisation (EPRLF) - are scheduled to meet the minister jointly. ``Of the Tamil parties, we have the largest number of MPs in Parliament, yet we do not get a separate meeting. But the TULF, which has stopped attending meetings on constitutional reforms, gets to see the Minister alone,'' fumed Dr. Vigneswaran, an EPDP representative. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:24:06 EDT 2000

India may want LTTE on board
Hindu, June 11. According to highly-placed Government sources, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in its last meeting reiterated that the LTTE's participation was necessary for any lasting negotiated deal in Sri Lanka. While endorsing LTTE's participation, India, at the same time, is clear that Tamil secession in Sri Lanka is non-negotiable. Policy-makers, while endorsing Sri Lanka's ``unity and territorial integrity'', have veered to the view that a lasting solution would depend on two factors. The Sri Lankan Government will have to accommodate the maximum autonomy for the Tamil population. On its part, the LTTE has to concede that realising its maximalist goal of a Tamil Eelam is impossible. In the negotiations towards autonomy, which might begin subsequently, a devolution package based on the Thimpu negotiations of 1985 and talks which immediately followed this meeting could become the reference point. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:20:37 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka hopeful as Jaswant arrives
Hindu, June 11. The Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Jaswant Singh, arrived here this afternoon amid anticipation that after a decade of disengagement, India was once again preparing to take the initiative in finding a solution to Sri Lanka's bloody ethnic conflict. The President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, and Mr. Singh held a one-to-one meeting this evening at Temple Trees, the President's official home. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. No aides were present, and details of the meeting were not immediately available. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:15:41 EDT 2000

M. Karunanidhi: Tiger under wraps
Hindustan Times, June 11. Karunanidhi’s Sri Lankan Tamil march skidded to a halt on two counts — his government’s dismissal in 1991 for hobnobbing with the LTTE and the subsequent indictment of the DMK and its chief by the Jain Commission in the aftermath of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination by the Tigers. This led to the fall of the United Front government in 1997 in New Delhi. Curbing his Tamilian instinct, Karunanidhi mothballed the Sri Lankan issue even while distancing himself from the LTTE. Ever since he was voted back in 1996, Karunanidhi has reserved his comments on Sri Lanka, silently toeing the official Delhi line. Till lesser politicians of the state like Vaiko and Ramadoss, and even a new Dalit leader, Krishnaswamy, became leading advocates of the Tamil cause in Lanka. These leaders had no compunction in backing the LTTE with their organisations reportedly funded by Tiger money in their early days. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:09:09 EDT 2000

Tamil Eelam group wants India to lift ban on LTTE
Hindustan Times, June 11. he TELO leader felt that it was time India and the Indians set aside emotions and the various omissions and commissions of the LTTE and looked at the grim reality in Sri Lanka. Millions of Tamils and Sinhalas were suffering because of the continuing war, and India could not just look on passively, he said. But spokesmen of the other Tamil parties said that TELO stood isolated on this issue. The leader of PLOTE, Mr.D. Siddharthan, and the Senior Vice President of the TULF, Mr.V. Anandasangaree, said that it was not possible for India to lift the ban on the LTTE given the fact that only last month New Delhi had reimposed the ban giving very elaborate security reasons. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 19:00:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Sets Curfew After Bombing
AP, Sunday June 11 2:30 PM ET. The government set a curfew Sunday in neighborhoods near the site of a suicide-bomb assassination to prevent revenge attacks on minority Tamils suspected in the attack. Troops killed 11 Tamil Tigers in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, where the rebels have been fighting to establish a homeland for minority Tamils, the government said. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, who arrived Sunday for discussions on the military and political situation, met with Sri Lanka's foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, and then informally with President Chandrika Kumaratunga. They allowed photographs, but no questions from the media. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 17:56:20 EDT 2000

Thilanga Sumathipala elected uncontested to Presidency of Sri Lankan Board.
Crickinfo, June 11. Thilanga Sumathipala was re-elected President for the third successive year at the AGM for the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) today. In a dramatic twist to a controversial period in Sri Lanka cricket board politics Sumathipala was elected uncontested after his three contestants suddenly withdrew from the election. His main rival, Jayantha Dharmadasa is claiming that Thilanga Sumithapala was an illegal candidate. Dharmadasa also declared that he would be taking legal steps. The exact nature of this legal plan is as of yet not clear. The Minister of Sports, Mr SB Dissanayake, finally called for the postponed election after a directive from the Attorney General, and had refused to delay it further despite numerous objections and an alleged request by the Interim Committee to extend their period in office. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 13:28:20 EDT 2000

Jaswant Singh in Colombo
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 p.m. SLT Sunday June 11. Foreign Ministry sources said today that Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, this evening held a one to one discussion with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar which lasted for one hour at Temple Trees, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge's official residence. The Indian Minister thereafter had a brief meeting with the President before adjourning for dinner.

Mr. Singh is scheduled to meet for official discussions with President Chandrika Kumaratunge tomorrow (Monday) at 10 a.m. He will in the afternoon meet with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and other Tamil political party leaders.

The real reason for Mr.Jaswant Singh's arrival in Colombo has been clouded in secrecy. Indian newspaper reports have speculated that the high level meeting in Colombo may possibly carry a proposal to initiate a ceasefire between Lankan troops and the LTTE waging a bloody war in Sri Lanka's far North. Further speculation has suggested that the Indian Minister may carry a message from India's Central government on the possibilities of power sharing within a unitary framework in Sri Lanka.
Published: Sun Jun 11 12:27:31 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka Airforce to get new fighter planes
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.20 p.m. SLT Sunday June 11. Defence Ministry sources revealed today that the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in two weeks will receive four new MIG - 27's and four Kfir Jets with a capacity to carry 1000 kilogram bombs. The present air fleet has the capacity to carry only upto 500 kilograms of explosives. The planes will be flown in battle for the SLAF by mercenary pilots.
Published: Sun Jun 11 12:27:31 EDT 2000

Rebels reportedly hamper Sri Lanka military supply routes
UPI, June 11, 2000 03:35. Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas blocked supply routes to the Jaffna peninsula by shelling the air force base and the sea port in the region. The Sunday Times reported, in a heavily censored report, that rebels fired on the air base at Palaly and also rendered the Kankesanthurai port useless for government troops. The report said that the government stopped flying fixed-wing aircraft to Palaly, which once also served civilians flights. Only helicopters were allowed to fly to the base, located adjacent to the government's largest military garrison on the peninsula. The government reportedly discontinued flights of fixed-wing aircraft to the peninsula fearing that rebels could shell the base or use missiles to shoot down planes. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 11:53:39 EDT 2000

Indian foreign minister in Sri Lanka for crisis talks
AFP, Sunday, June 11 8:38 PM SGT. India's Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh arrived here Sunday for conciliatory talks amid embarrassing calls at home to partition Sri Lanka to end the island's ethnic conflict, diplomats said. Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal told reporters in New Delhi Saturday the visit was "part of a high-level political engagement" between the two countries. "The purpose of the visit is to further buttress the existing appreciation and understanding between India and Sri Lanka. The Indian foreign minister in his meetings will discuss all aspects of bilateral relations," Jassal said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 11:47:19 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops kill 11 Tigers amid truce offer
AFP, Sunday, June 11 5:37 PM SGT. Sri Lankan troops attacked rebel bunkers in the northern peninsula of Jaffna killing nine guerrillas, the government said Sunday. The attack came as the separatists offered a temporary truce in the embattled region. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 11:44:56 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka overhauls VIP security amid suicide bombing fears
AFP, Sunday, June 11 2:29 PM SGT . Sri Lanka was set for a security shake up amid fears that at least 25 Tamil Tiger suicide bombers have infiltrated the capital, police said Sunday. "There is bound to be a shake up in VIP security after such a lapse," a senior police officer said, adding that the minister had been warned he was a potential target for the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). "We can't ask politicians to cut down on their activities because by nature they want to be closer to the people," a senior official who declined to be named said. "It is up to the police to ensure he his given adequate protection." More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 11:42:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka crisis needs resolution, refugees a problem in India: minister
AFP, Sunday, June 11 1:52 PM SGT. Sri Lanka's lingering and bloody civil war must be resolved politically, an Indian federal minister said Sunday, stressing that a huge influx of Tamil refugees was a severe problem for India. Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli Maran from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu told the Hindustan Times daily that lasting peace in the neighbouring war-torn Sri Lankan island could only be reached through a political settlement, preferably within Sri Lankan itself, but did not rule out any foreign involvement. "There has to be a political solution," he said. "The opposition and the ruling party there may come together in Lanka but we do not know what the Buddhist clergy is thinking." More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 11:40:49 EDT 2000

Indian minister visits Sri Lanka
BBC News, 08:29 GMT Sunday June 11. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh arrives in Sri Lanka on Sunday for talks with government and opposition leaders aimed at finding a political solution to the country's long-running civil war.

The two-day visit comes just days after a row erupted over a suggestion by a key ethnic Tamil ally of the Indian coalition government that Sri Lanka should end the war by splitting in two along the lines of the Czech and Slovak republics. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 04:45:53 EDT 2000


Rain prevents play on first day of the tour
Crickinfo, 10 June 2000 . The torrential rains that have drenched Colombo in the last few days have prevented any play on the first day of Pakistan’s tour. The gloomy whether was however unable to dampen the spirits of the Pakistan players who were in a jovial mood today. Perhaps still elated after their triumph in Dhaka they arrived early in the morning, disappeared for some indoor practice before returning for a spot lunch and a gentle sing song. The Sri Lanka selection committee has recently been joined by Dav Whatmore after the resignation last week of Sidath Wetimuny and Asantha De Mel. He will join former opening batsmen and wicket-keeper, Brendon Kuruppu and T.H. Kehelgamuwa in the selection committee. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 01:27:36 EDT 2000

Lankans pin much hope on Jaswant Singh’s visit
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, June 10 . THE VISIT of Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh here on Sunday at the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government, will be taking place at one of the most critical junctures in Sri Lankan history. A Sri Lankan diplomat told The Hindustan Times that both Sri Lanka and India were "desperate" about finding a solution to the ethnic crisis which assumed dangerous proportions after the LTTE threatened to take over Jaffna. And now, after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's statement that "divorce" or separation of Tamil Eelam could be an option, the crisis has assumed a new and perhaps a more dangerous dimension. There was already some intelligence sharing and naval cooperation, but Sri Lanka might ask for the strengthening of such cooperation, the diplomat said. He indicated that the issue of joint patrolling of the seas between the two countries would be raised by the Sri Lankan side More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 01:00:10 EDT 2000

Jaswant dashing to Colombo with PM's 5-point brief
JAL News, 10 June. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh flies to Colombo Sunday afternoon, carrying a 5-point brief from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for personally conveying to Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga to allay all apprehensions about India's stand in the current ethnic Tamil turmoil the island nation is facing.

These points are:

- India respects sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka;

- India also respects the rights of the ethnic Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and favours devolution of powers to restore normalcy in the areas witnessing the Army-LTTE clashes for the past one month;

- India will not intervene in the Sri Lanka crisis and there is absolutely no question of any attempt, covert or otherwise, by India to liberate the northeastern areas of the island nation;

- India rejects and disapproves any Czech-type division of Sri Lanka; and

- India reserves its right to decide on continuation of training to some 2,500 personnel of the Sri Lankan army and para-military forces in various Indian military and para-military organisations which has been put on hold since past one month. (Almost 2400 of the 2500 personnel sent for training in the last batch were Sinhalese while Tamils numbered less than 100, sources said.) More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 00:44:53 EDT 2000


My formula was for Lanka, not NDA: Karunanidhi
NewIndPress, June 10. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday made it clear that the forumla suggested by him to resolve the Sri Lankan crisis was in fact addressed to the Sri Lankan Government and not meant to be imposed on the NDA. ``I had said that if one of the three solutions _ a quasi-federal set-up or a confederal set-up or a Czechslovakia model _ is accepted, it will not pose any threat to South Asia, or India, or Tamil Nadu.'' It was made only as asuggestion and he would not insist that the NDA Government adopt it. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 00:32:22 EDT 2000

Jaswant visit to calm Sri Lanka's nerves
NewIndPress, June 10. In an effort to calm Sri Lanka's nerves over some recent statements, especially by DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who advocated division of Sri Lanka, and reiterate India's official position on the country's unity and territorial integrity, Minister for External Affairs Jaswant Singh is flying to Colombo tomorrow.`I am going as a friend of Sri Lanka, as a friend of peace,'' Singh said here on Saturday. He added that after the recent assassination of Sri Lankan leader C V Gooneratne by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), he wanted to personally convey New Delhi's concern to a nation under siege.Gooneratne's assassination has, however, strengthened the view in Delhi that the LTTE's vision of Eelam cannot be allowed to come to pass. More...
Published: Sun Jun 11 00:28:36 EDT 2000


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