The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 12, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 98
 

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Lanka to ask Britain to ban LTTE
PTI, July 12. Sri Lanka will ask Britain to ban LTTE which is using the country as a base for its operations, outgoing Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Mangala Moonesinghe indicated today."That will be one of the issues I will focus on," Moonesinghe, who is taking over as Sri Lankan's new High Commissioner in London, told 'Star News' tonight. The Sri Lankan envoy said he would try and persuade the British Government to move in this direction. Britain was considering a legislation to put a halt to funding of terrorist outfits, he added. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:39:44 EDT 2000

LTTE's soldiers getting younger
Hindu, June 12. `All that matters is whether the boy or the girl can carry a gun. Although compulsory training begins at grade 9, those from the lower classes who are bigger made are also asked to join military training.''The child soldiers of the LTTE are the focus of the current report, titled `The Sun God's Children and the Big Lie'. The title is a reference to the LTTE leader, Mr. V. Prabhakaran, who is sometimes referred to by his followers as ``Surya Theivan''. ``The sunrays that do the Sun God's bidding are today mainly children, often 14 or 15 years old, and increasingly girls,'' the report stated. Of 15 students from one school in Mallavi who joined the LTTE between April 1999 and early 2000, nine have died. The bodies of six were brought back to the school for display. ``This is intended to give the dead an aura of heroism and to make the others guilty about not joining,'' the report said.The report said that after the attack on Elephant Pass, the LTTE had instructed schools not to teach. `Now that taking Jaffna has proved more difficult, he (Mr. Prabhakaran) has to go for broke in the Vanni, break every sense of community, all human values and all fundamental loyalties to make everyone who can physically carry a gun a fighter,'' the report said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:11:41 EDT 2000

Jaffna parents grieve as children forced to join Tigers
TOI, July 12. A mother became hysterical when she was told a sealed coffin contained the remains of her 13-year-old son whom she had placed in an orphanage run by the separatist Tiger rebels. A father keeps a shark jawbone to defend his daughter, who escaped from a rebel camp for new recruits. Teachers are browbeaten and parents are forced to hide their grief and let their children, some as young as 10 years, join the guerrillas. Weeping children are taken from schools and are brought back a few months later in coffins.Three days a week, all school children (14/15 age group and above) are required to do military training," said the report and added that within a month the children are taught to dismantle and assemble guns and grenades. The rebels are using fear and intimidation to quell any protest made by teachers and parents, the UTHRJ charged, adding that there is groundswell of anti-LTTE feeling building up among civilians in the northern Jaffna peninsula."The whole exercise from December has cost the LTTE about 1,500 dead and many more injured. The LTTE's problem was not arms or money of which its global reach provided more than enough. It needed considerably more recruits to make another attempt at taking Jaffna," the human rights group said.During the one and a half months following 5th May, about five per cent of the school children targeted have been recruited. Another source of recruitment comes from orphans and destitutes brought up by the LTTE in their 'Chencholai' (Red-Blossomed Garden) homes for children." "Here brainwashing and adulation of the Leader (Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran) begins from the time they are in. We have no estimate of the number, but children as young and 10 and 11 can be seen walking about in LTTE uniform," the report said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 17:33:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka rebels recruit children forcibly-report  - MSNBC

LTTE forcibly recruiting children: Report
HT, July 12. The report went on to say that the LTTE had declared that the liberation was more important than education. Schools in the Wanni have, as a result, virtually stopped functioning. Very young boys and girls are used as “helpers” during battles. Many die caught in the crossfire and shelling. The report says that from one school in Pudukudiyiruppu, nine of the 15 kid recruits were killed in the Elephant Pass battle and bodies of six of them were brought to the school to give them an aura of martrydom. But the LTTE went a step ahead and took away the brother of one of the dead girls as a substitute. “They took away my daughter when she was 14 and now they have taken away my son too,” cried the mother. Government officials and school teachers are reduced to helpless on-lookers because they know what will happen to them if they raise even a finger. It is the LTTE which determines who shall get the dry rations sent by the Sri Lankan government and who shall get exit passes to get out of Wanni. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:29:29 EDT 2000

LANKAN RIGHTS
VOA, July 12. A group of Sri Lankan Tamil academics has accused the country's Tamil Tiger rebels of forcibly recruiting young children in their fight against government forces for a separate homeland. And -- as Vandana Chopra reports from Colombo -- the Sri Lankan government has also come under rebuke.A human rights group -- The University Teachers for Human Rights -- says girl soldiers as young as 13 are being drafted into the rebel ranks.In its report, the rights group -- mostly made up of Tamils who formerly taught at Jaffna University - says a new child recruitment drive began May Fifth, soon after the rebels captured the key Elephant Pass military complex.The academics say only five percent of the children are voluntary recruits.The 18-page report criticizes the government for using censorship to cover up atrocities on civilians by security forces. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 14:45:07 EDT 2000

Tiger child soldiers ending up in sealed coffins: rights report
yahoo-afp, July 11. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels were increasingly forcing boys and girls as young as 10 years to become soldiers, with many ending up in sealed coffins, a rights group said Tuesday.The UTHR in an 18-page report said nine out of 15 children who were recruited from a school in the rebel-held town of Mallavi had died, underscoring the high mortality rate among child warriors."Unlike in the earlier phases of fighting where small arms played a dominant role, most of the young being killed on the LTTE side are now brought home in sealed coffins as they had been mangled by shelling," the UTHR said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 23:33:19 EDT 2000

War hits Sri Lankan children
BBC, July 12. The Jaffna branch of the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) - which reports say is made up of Tamil intellectuals - also criticised the army in its report. t said the army had carried out extra-judicial killings and torture and failed to punish officers responsible for deliberate attacks against civilians. But the BBC's correspondent in Colombo, Alastair Lawson, says the strongest criticism in the report was directed at the Tigers. In one example, the UTHR report said nine out of 15 children who were recruited from a school in the rebel-held town of Mallavi had died. In another instance, the Tigers were alleged to have burnt the uniforms of 20 schoolgirls who were recruited and forced to undergo military training. Five girls who said they wanted to return home were "isolated, taken to a room, stripped, mercilessly assaulted and pushed onto the ground," the report said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 09:02:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Rights Group Cites Sri Lanka Rebels  - yahoo-ap
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Sri Lanka child soldiers ending up in coffins  - Kyodo News

Cholera and Diarrhoea spreads in Jaffna refugee camps
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Wednesday July 12 . Infectious diseases are reported to be spreading in refugee camps in Jaffna due to inadequate medical and health facilites. Sources in Jaffna said today that 21 children had been admitted to the Jaffna hospital from a refugee camp in the Valigamam area due to being afflicted with contagious diseases.
Published: Wed Jul 12 03:38:49 EDT 2000

Tamil groups reject draft constitution
Hindu, July 12. Former Tamil militant groups, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) and the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamils (PLOT), now represented in the Sri Lankan Parliament, told the Government today that the fresh draft Constitution was unacceptable to them. ``We said we could not support the draft in its present form,'' said Mr. Dharmalingam Sithadthan, parliamentarian and leader of PLOT. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:13:35 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka wildlife officials net Hilton peacocks
123India, July 12. Sri Lankan wildlife officials raided the deluxe Colombo Hilton here and seized five peacocks and three star tortoises, officials here said Wednesday. "We have taken in custody five peacocks, three star tortoises and 22 peacock eggs," Gunasekara said adding that a hotel employee was arrested and was due to be charged before a magistrate Wednesday.A spokeswoman for the hotel said the animals were kept in a well-run pool-side zoo for the entertainment of the guests and not for consumption. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:18:59 EDT 2000

Lanka's Deputy Speaker to be Envoy to Austria
Xinhua, July 12. Sri Lankan Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anil Moonesinghe is tipped to be the country's new ambassador to Austria, Foreign Ministry sources said Wednesday. Moonesinghe, who is a nationalist Member of Parliament of the ruling People's Alliance, is expected to resign shortly to take up the new appointment, said the sources, adding that he will succeed C. S. Poolokasingham who returned to the island a few months ago.it is widely believed that Vartharajah Perumal, former chief minister of Sri Lanka's North Eastern Province, will be brought in to Parliament. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 20:23:02 EDT 2000

Lankan refugee arrested at Chennai airport
TOI, July 12. A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee was arrested while trying to board a plane headed for Brussels without valid documents from here and remanded to 15 days' judicial custody. The 25-year-old refugee, Dominic Suresh, was detained by an immigration official who grew suspicious about his movements and handed him over to the police before he boarded a Sabena Airlines flight on Sunday, police and airport sources said on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 09:27:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Lankan Tamil nabbed at KIA  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Mannar magistrate orders the arrest of warring factions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.30 a.m. SLT Wednesday July 12. The Magistrate for Mannar yesterday order that two suspects of a Tamil political party be remanded after breaking the peace within the town of Mannar.

One warring party belongs to the Varatharaja Perumal faction of the EPRLF, while the other belongs to the Suresh Premachandra faction also of the now divided EPRLF.

Since Varatharaja Perumal returned from India to Sri Lanka a year and a half ago, the EPRLF fell apart, as its power hungry leadership fought to gain control of the party and members chose sides.

According to reports, the Suresh Premachandra faction shot at the party office of Varatharaja Perumal in Mannar early this week.
Published: Wed Jul 12 03:38:49 EDT 2000


International media watch groups censor government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.05 a.m. SLT Wednesday July 12. The Commmittee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in New York and the Reporters sans Frontiers in France have reprimanded the Sri Lankan government for re-imposing a censorship on print, television and broadcast media last week.

The international media rights groups say that they are disappointed with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge as despite a supreme court ruling two weeks ago, which decided the censorship is illegal, the President re-instated the censor two days after the judgement.

The CPJ meanwhile asserts that the President appears to have gone back on assurances she gave the organization when it visited Sri Lanka last month. Though the censor no longer red-penciles the copy's of defence correspondents in Sri Lanka the media have been asked to follow a form of self-censorship that the government maintains will help protect the national security of the country at a time of war.

It is not yet clear if the President will keep to her promise and lift the censorship before the upcoming general elections in August this year.
Published: Wed Jul 12 03:38:49 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka: Government maintains censorship in defiance of Supreme Court ruling  - Roy Denish in Colombo

Heavy fighting grips northern Sri Lanka, 112 dead
123India-afp, July 11. Tamil Tiger guerrillas bombed a village in northeastern Sri Lanka Tuesday, killing at least four civilians as ferocious fighting elsewhere killed another 108 people, the government said. They said the attackers had also wounded a Buddhist monk and damaged his temple before escaping. Two vehicles were also stolen from the village, officials said. The attack came after the military launched a fresh offensive against Tamil Tiger positions in the northern peninsula of Jaffna on Monday. The government's Special Media Information Centre (SMIC) said the guerrillas had lost at least 62 fighters killed and another 118 wounded in the heavy fighting at Ariyalai in the Jaffna peninsula on Monday. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 09:12:09 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Fresh Conflict Claims Heavy Casualties in Sri Lanka  - Xinhua
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Heavy fighting breaks out in Jaffna  - BBC

91 LTTE men killed in Army offensive
0, July 11. Ninety-one LTTE guerrillas and four civilians have been killed in heavy fighting between the Army and the rebels in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka even as the police arrested over 4,700 Army deserters, an official release said today. LTTE wireless transmissions have admitted that 62 guerrillas were killed and 118 others wounded in yesterday's major Army attack on an LTTE bunker line at Colombothurai in the southern outskirts of northern Jaffna town, it said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 23:06:35 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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At least 19 killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - MSNBC
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Fresh fighting erupts in Sri Lanka's north  - MSNBC
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Sri Lankan troops consolidate gains in new operation  - AP
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Sri Lanka troops kill seven Tigers in fresh fighting  - yahoo-afp
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LTTE boat sunk; three rebels killed  - Hindu
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Heavy fighting in south eastern Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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Tamil Rebels Fight Govt. Forces  - yahoo-ap

Tamil rebels attack temple in northeast Sri Lanka
MSNBC, July 11. Tamil Tiger rebels killed four civilians in a mortar attack near a Buddhist temple in northeastern Sri Lanka hours after the military launched an operation in northern Jaffna, the government said on Tuesday.''On July 10, around 9:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) terrorists fired mortars at the Vilgamwehera detachment which is located close to the Vilgamwehera temple,'' it said in a statement. ''A (Buddhist) priest received injuries and four civilians were killed due to the terrorist mortar fire.'' More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 09:05:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Tamil allies demand major overhaul of peace plan
123India-afp, July 12. Tamil militant groups which have joined Sri Lanka's mainstream politics Wednesday called for drastic changes to a government plan aimed at ending decades of ethnic bloodshed. DPLF leader Dharmalingam Sidharthan said they conveyed their objections to the plan during a two-hour meeting with constitutional affairs minister G. L. Peiris.President Kumaratunga was unable to attend the previously scheduled meeting Wednesday as she was indisposed, Sidharthan said. He said his party as well as the Eelam People's Democratic Partywhich together have 12 seats in the 225-member assembly opposed the "unit of devolution" and the control of land proposed under the new constitution. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 09:13:32 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Chandrika-Ranil devolution plan runs into Tamil wall  - The Statesman
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TULF asks Chandrika to amend joint Govt-Opposition package  - HT
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Statute draft not good enough: Tamil party  - TOI
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Convincing Tamil allies no easy job for Chandrika  - Hindu
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Glitches over new Lanka statute ironed out  - TOI

Sri Lanka euphoria turns to despair
Financial Times, July 10. When President Chandrika Kumaratunga launched talks on political reform, Sri Lanka celebrated it as an historic attempt to end ethnic bloodshed. Four months later the euphoria has given way to despair.President Kumaratunga has clinched broad agreement on turning the country into a de facto federal state, but remained at loggerheads with her main political opposition over the most vital issue of implementation.However, constitutional lawyers say that both sides may have already run out of time as the present parliament will be dissolved at the end of its six-year term on August 24. There is little time left for political manoeuvring. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 22:55:35 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Chances bleak for early peace in Lanka  - TOI

Tigers may enter peace talks with guns: report
123India, July 11. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga is willing to hold unconditional talks with Tamil Tiger rebels even if they are not ready to lay down their weapons, a state-run daily reported Tuesday. The government has previously insisted on disarmament of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a prerequisite to open negotiations. "However ... history tells us that its not practical to ask a fully armed organisation to throw down their weapons. If negotiations work out successfully, I expect LTTE would eventually abandon weapons," Kumaratunga said.The Daily News was reproducing an interview Kumaratunga had given the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun last week. Last month, Kumaratunga told the BBC there was no question of talking with the Tamil Tigers unless "certain conditions" were fulfilled. At the same time she said she thought that the rebels were not interested in negotiations. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 09:16:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Olive branch to Tamil Tigers  - BBC
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Kumaratunga ready for talks with Tigers  - Rediff

Thousands of deserters netted in Sri Lanka-media
MSNBC, July 11. Sri Lanka has nabbed more than 4,700 army deserters as the war-torn nation hunts for thousands of absconding soldiers to beef up its campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north, local media reported on Tuesday. The independent Daily Mirror newspaper quoted deputy defence minister Anuruddha Ratwatte as saying special round-up operations were being conducted in the capital since early July to track down another 18,000 soldiers who have not responded to government amnesties. More...
Published: Tue Jul 11 09:07:42 EDT 2000

Constitutional reforms in parliament soon
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.05 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 11. Minister D. M. Jayaratne, also General Secretary for the Peoples Alliance told the media today the the government would soon place in parliament the draft constitutional reforms agreed to between the United National Party and the PA.

The Minister reiterated that the package would be discussed with Tamil political parties this week and any further amendments will be duly considered.

He however asserted that if the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) continued to prevaricate on the issue the government was determined to go ahead with the draft, with or without the support of the TULF.

The TULF has consistently maintained that the LTTE should be included in the peace process, if not, the party says the entire exercise will prove futile.

At a meeting with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge yesterday, the TULF said that they impressed upon the President "the vital importance of the proposed constitutional reforms being acceptable particularly in regard to the structure of the State, the Unit of Devolution and Powers relating to State Land. The TULF have also expressed strong objections to the proposal to hold a referendum in regard to the unit of devolution.

Meanwhile President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge met members of the diplomatic community yesterday and briefed them on the security situation in the North, the state of the economy and the steps taken to resolve the North East crisis.

The President says that she will place the new constitutional reforms in parliament during the first week in August. Sounding optimistic the President has further reiterated that the government has opened the doors for talks with the LTTE and that they would join.
Published: Tue Jul 11 08:12:11 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
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S.Lanka to push constitutional reforms in August  - MSNBC

Separatist rebels steps-up attacks in northern Sri Lanka.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 15: 57 Tuesday.. After almost eleven weeks of lull, separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) stepped up attacks against government troops in northern and eastern Sri Lanka killing at least 25 soldiers and wounding an unknown number in three separate attacks within the last 48 hours.

On Monday night, rebels attacked a large contingent of government soldiers in Colombuthurai and Ariyali sector in embattled northern Jaffna peninsula, when the soldiers were involved in a mine-clearing operation, to pave-away the infantry troops backed by heavy artillery and armoury to mount an assault on rebel bunker lines.

In the attack at least 18 soldiers including a junior officer was killed, a government information news release said. But the rebels claimed that 40 soldiers were killed and over 200 wounded. The claims could not be verified from independent sources.

The government claimed that at least 63 rebels were killed in the confrontations.

Elsewhere in the eastern port of Trincomalee, rebels armed with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms mounted an assault on a military detachment injuring two soldiers.

In another incident on Tuesday, in a land mine explosion, five soldiers were killed along Mannar-Vavuniya road.

The renewed attacks comes in the wake talks of between president Chandrika Kumaratunge's government and opposition political party, the UNP to find a solution to the on going 17 years of bloody conflict in which over 70,000 people have died.

Political observers said that renewed attacks may hurt Kumaratunge's government being re-elected in the general elections that is scheduled to be held within 90 days after the parliament is dissolved. Parliament will be dissolved on August 24.

Military analysts pointed out that Tamil rebels, now believed to have raised a large militia force may launch large scale attacks to decrease the popularity of the ruling PA and pave-away a victory for the opposition United National Party led by less charismatic leader Ranil Wickrmasinghe.

But, however it is yet to be seen whether UNP will able to field strong contenders in the forthcoming general elections as speculations were rife that several members were planning a crossover. Last week, the party's veteran member Ronnie de Mel defied a warning and voted for the government to extend the life of emergency.

The government last month in a bid to prevent the Tamil rebels to gain a foothold in northern Jaffna peninsula armed its soldiers with newly purchased equipment, that were purchased after government jacked the prices of the commodity items such as gas, milk powder and diesel. A Government source said it was essential to hike the prices to supplement the rising defence expenditure.

Government last month went on $ 175 million buying spree to arm its forces in northern Sri Lanka.
Published: Tue Jul 11 07:22:44 EDT 2000


Abandoned, injured elephants get new life in war-torn Lanka
AsianAge, July 10. Wildlife officials at the world’s only elephant transit home in the jungle of central Sri Lanka were emotional as they prepared to bid farewell to their favourite ward. “Komali was really the first elephant to be brought to the home,” says Nandana Attapattu, the home’s founder director. “She is like a child to all of us and we will really miss her.” Komali, a six-year-old female, was one of the five elephants returned to the wild this month in the second phase of a ground-breaking experiment. “The world has many elephant orphanages which rescue injured or abandoned baby elephants from the wild,” Mr Attapattu said. More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 20:38:28 EDT 2000

NDA partners taking anti-national stand: Jayalalitha
IndiaToday, July 10. The President must give a clear direction to the government on the issue of state autonomy and the responsibility of parties in the ruling coalition," Jayalalitha said. She also demanded concrete steps to extradite LTTE supremo V. Prabhakaran to stand trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and denounced suggestions for a Czech model division of Sri Lanka and support to creation of a separate Tamil Eelam for the island's Tamils. She alleged that Karunanidhi had denounced Indian peace keeping force personnel as 'murderers' in 1990 on their return from Sri Lanka and wondered how the BJP, which considered soldiers as heroes, could have links with the DMK. More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 20:55:39 EDT 2000
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Dismiss DMK, throw out MDMK: Jaya  - ChennaiOnline

"I would even say that they (Vaiko and Ramdoss) are paid hirelings of the Jaffna Tamils..." An Interview with Vazhappadi Ramamurthy
Rediff, July 10. I won't say that they are carrying on because of their convictions. I came to know that the LTTE Jaffna Tamils were very close to these two leaders (Vaiko and Ramdoss). They were provided all facilities to run their parties. They are paid hirelings of the Tamils. They are supported on all fronts by the Jaffna Tamils! Vaiko is dubious. Whenever he meets Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, he will tell him, `Sir, your stand on Sri Lanka is very correct. We agree with you.' But once he is back from Delhi, he changes. At Chennai airport itself, he will say, 'A separate Eelam is the only answer to the Sri Lankan problem'. Yes, the MDMK passed a resolution supporting the government. But I don't feel they will be faithful to the resolution. Whenever they get a chance, they will only clamour for a separate Eelam. A proverb in Tamil says, `you cannot straighten a dog's tail!' More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 09:00:21 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka president to discuss key peace plan with Tigers
123India-afp, July 10. President Chandrika Kumaratunga Monday expressed willingness to discuss with Tiger rebels a crucial plan aimed at ending Sri Lanka's separatist war that has claimed over 60,000 lives. "The government continues to be ready to offer for discussion to the LTTE the consensus that has evolved through the consultations amongst all the other parties,"Kumaratunga said at a meeting here Monday with European ambassadors. In a statement following the meeting, Kumaratunga's office said that the president stressed the "door remains open" for the Tamil Tigers who earlier this month rejected Kumaratunga's bipartisan talks."The government intends to present its proposals for constitutional reforms to parliament by the beginning of next month," the statement said.However, on June 18, the government quoted Kumaratunga as saying she was vehemently opposed to allowing the LTTE a place in an interim administrative council agreed during bipartisan talks in the past four months. More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 12:42:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka's moderate Tamil party wants Tigers in peace talks  - yahoo-afp
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Kumaratunga faces stormy session with Tamil parties  - TOI

Sri Lankan Special Envoy Visits Czech Republic
Xinhua, July 10. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sent a special envoy to thank the Czech government for its support during the island worst military crisis, a government statement said Monday. Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Czech President Vaclar Havel on Sunday, said the statement, handing a letter of thanks from Kumaratunga. "President Havel expressed his appreciation for this kind of gesture and promised continued support," said the statement. Samaraweera will meet Czech officials during the next two days to discuss matters of mutual interest, especially trade between the two countries. More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 13:47:37 EDT 2000

Lankan elections chief against foreign monitors
TOI, July 10. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, whose agency is to oversee elections due in October, said he has reservations about international election monitors because they did not have the "whole picture", the Sunday Times newspaper quoted him as saying. "They come from countries where they have different scales of democracy," he told the newspaper. More...
Published: Sun Jul 9 19:20:17 EDT 2000
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Polls overshadow Sri Lanka peace bid  - yahoo-afp

'The LTTE will wet their pants when they see my army...'
Rediff, July 10. Ranjan Wijeratne was a daredevil defence minister. If the LTTE did not like him, it was with good reason. He never minced words. He did make anti-IPKF statements to pander to President Premadasa's short-sighted policy of luring the LTTE into agreeing to peace talks. But shortly before the IPKF left, he apologised saying he appreciated the sacrifices of the Indian army. When the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army broke out, he emerged as the country's leading spokesman. He invited foreign journalists to cover the war and "tell the world the truth". He even announced that LTTE chief Vellupillai Pirabhakaran was dead and he was replaced by a double. He worked out of a heavily fortified office. At three different points, security men frisked visitors. They even checked their ballpens. Ranjan Wijeratne was the most guarded man in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Jul 10 09:05:40 EDT 2000

South Africa in final as Terbrugge knocks Pakistan cold
yahoo, July 12. Unheralded David Terbrugge caused a dramatic Pakistani collapse here on Wednesday to hand South Africa a seven-wicket victory and a place in the Singer Cup final against Sri Lanka.The 23-year-old fast bowler from Gauteng claimed four wickets in only his second one-day game and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher snapped up five catches as Pakistan were shot out for 153. Opener Gary Kirsten then hit 46 as South Africa overtook the modest target in the 38th over to set up a title clash against the hosts on Friday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 12 09:43:16 EDT 2000
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SRI LANKA HUMILIATES SOUTH AFRICA  - Cricinfo
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Cricket is the national sports obsession in tiny Sri Lanka  - Dallas Morning News
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Waqar Younis suspended for ball-tampering  - TOI
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Sri Lanka hand Pakistan another loss in the Singer Triangular.  - Crickinfo

Sri Lankan women second in suicide list.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 12 : 56 Sunday.. Suicides among Sri Lankan females are ranked second highest in the world. With their male counterparts ranked eighth in the listing, a report titled Human Development Report 2000 revealed.

The comprehensive report revealed that Chinese women were ranked first in the list of suicides.
Published: Sun Jul 9 03:10:33 EDT 2000


A top Sri Lankan official under investigations.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 12 : 50 Sunday.. The Chairman of the Sri Lankan board of investment is under investigations by the department of bribery to determine whether he allegedly sought commissions to approve investments by foreign investors.

He was brought under investigations after an acquaintance forwarded an affidavit to the department of bribery that suspect sought commissions to approve a flour-milling project.
Published: Sun Jul 9 03:10:33 EDT 2000


Erecto instead of Viagra?
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 12: 29. Sunday.. An Indian drug believed to be alternative for Viagra to hit the Sri Lankan market shortly, a local newspaper reported today.

The drug, Erecto manufactured by a Mumabi based company will available in the local market for a price of Sri Lankan rupees 75 (one US $), the newspaper The Sunday Leader said.

A pharmacist in Colombo said that, the drug composed of Sildenafil Citrate, would be same as the blue diamond shaped Viagra from world Pfizer.

The newspaper said the drug will hit the local market only after it is approved by the country's Drug Technical advisory committee.
Published: Sun Jul 9 03:10:33 EDT 2000


Lankan lives on hold due to LTTE extortion
TOI, July 9. Kaumeldran Balendran, 54, a resident of Batticaloa is a harassed man. Though an owner of nearly a 100 acres of land which yields a rich coconut crop, a stately house and many businesses, he is a prisoner in his sprawling estate. The reason? A novel form of extortion recently put into practice by the LTTE by which the "pistol groups" of this group land up in the houses of well-heeled Batticaloa landlords, forcibly confiscate their identity cards and demand ransom money in return for the IDs.The ransom amount varies between Rs 3-4 lakh Sri Lankan rupees, depending on the paying capacity of the victim. "I have become a prisoner in my own land, and by the very people who promise me liberation", says Balendran. More...
Published: Sat Jul 8 17:11:39 EDT 2000

S.Lanka works for peace, but rebels have other plans
MSNBC, July 9. Sri Lanka's ruling coalition and the main opposition may have struck a common chord over ways to end the ethnic war, but the rejection of constitutional reforms by Tamil Tiger rebels means peace still remains a distant dream. 'A lot is being said, but it all eventually depends on whether the government is able to sell the package to the Tamils. More important is the LTTE response,'' a Western diplomat said. More...
Published: Sun Jul 9 13:14:17 EDT 2000
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Contradictions and doublespeak  - Frontline
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Lanka interim solution in final stages  - TOI
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Lanka may amend Constitution to devolve power  - Rediff
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S.Lanka hopes to pass devolution plan by end-Aug  - MSNBC
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Sri Lanka's reform plan set for long haul  - 123India
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TULF rejects new Draft Constitution  - Hindu
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Tamil Party Rejects Peace Proposal  - yahoo-ap
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Boost for Sri Lankan peace  - BBC

Politics and peace process
Frontine, July 8. It was no surprise that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) ideologue, Anton Balasingham, in an interview in London to the United Kingdom-based journal Tamil Guardian, rejected the proposed devolution package as falling far short of the aspirations of the Tamil people, which are enshrined in the Thimphu declaration of 1986. That declaration includes the recognition of the Tamil's right to self-determination and the existence of a Tamil nation.For its part, the Sri Lankan government under President Chandrika Kumaratunga holds the view that any basis for negotiation has to be the devolution package now being discussed by the ruling coalition, the Opposition and the Tamil parties. More...
Published: Sat Jul 8 01:26:27 EDT 2000

Opposition table a motion of no confidence against the speaker of parliament
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1630 SLT 07.07.00. The Main Opposition United National Party (UNP) today tabled a motion of no-confidence against the speaker of Parliament MR.K.B.Ratnayake. Parliament was in uproar yesterday after the speaker allowed UNP's Ronnie De Mel to wind up the emergency debate although the party had listed Rajitha Senaratna as its last speaker. In his speech Mr. De mel broke a party decision and announced that he would support the extension of emergency. The move comes following weeks of speculation that Mr.De Mel would cross over the governing People's Alliance.
Published: Fri Jul 7 06:47:19 EDT 2000
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No confidence motion against speaker  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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Sri Lanka Speaker faces no-confidence vote over defection  - afp

Key UNP member crosses over
Hindu, July 7. In a major blow to Sri Lanka's Opposition United National Party (UNP), one of its senior parliamentarians broke ranks and supported a Government motion to extend the emergency, effectively crossing- over to the ruling People's Alliance. Mr. Ronnie de Mel, who held the Finance portfolio in the J.R. Jayewardene Government, became the seventh UNP parliamentarian to support the PA in recent times when he declared his intention to defy party whip and vote for the extension of the emergency. More...
Published: Thu Jul 6 19:34:49 EDT 2000
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Leadership crisis rocks Ceylon Workers Congress  - Hindu
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Opposition UNP facing leadership crisis  - TOI
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Sri Lanka opposition faces cracks ahead of polls  - MSNBC
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Defection turns spotlight on UNP crisis  - Hindu

Ottawa confirms terrorists raise funds in Canada
National Post, July 8. As demonstrators urged Ottawa yesterday to join the United States in choking off the flow of money to the Tamil Tigers terrorist group, newly released government documents confirmed Canada has become a fundraising base for foreign extremists.Angry at what they called Canada's lack of action against fundraising by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group, more than 100 people, including 15 Buddhist monks, demonstrated outside the Canadian consulate in Los Angeles yesterday.The demonstrators called for the resignations of Paul Martin, the Finance Minister, and Maria Minna, the Minister of International Co-operation, for attending a May 6 dinner for the Federation of Associations of Tamil Canadians, which the U.S. State Department branded a "front organization" for the Tamil Tigers."Paul Martin, terrorist guardian," they chanted. More...
Published: Sat Jul 8 21:07:17 EDT 2000
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Alleged assassin ordered released  - National Post
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CSIS warns Canada could be aiding terrorism  - NationalPost
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One year later: Slaying linked to Tamil gangs  - National Post
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Store clerk a terrorist, Ottawa says  - nationalPost

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