The Lanka Academic

JULY 13, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 99

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Kumaratunga's reforms are a sell-out: Sinhalese
TOI, July 13. The Tamil Tigers may not be the only ones to snarl at President Chandrika Kumaratunga's package for Constitutional reform. Slowly but surely, the Sinhalese clergy in Sri Lanka appears to be reasserting itself in its opposition to any form of devolution to the Tamil minority.In a phenomenon, sociologists would describe as a resurgence of Sinhalese chauvinism, the mantle for opposing any form of devolution to the Tamils is being taken up by proactive Sinhalese leaders with the overt support of the clergy. For in Sri Lanka, religion has not only played an important role in state politics but is also a touchstone identification and culture. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:26:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka’s party suggests changes in new Constitution
HT, July 13. Nothing is gained by outrightly rejecting the Government-Opposition proposals, the EPDP is said to feel in the context of the rejection of the proposals by the LTTE, TULF and TELO. Outright rejection would only put the clock back on the torturous political process which culminated with a historic agreement between the ruling Peoples' Alliance (P A) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) on July 7. The EPDP believes in going step by step. It feels that it is wrong to think that what the Government and the opposition are now offering the Tamils is the final solution and that it is the end of the road for the Tamils. The LTTE and TULF want the Constitution to state explicitly that it is a Federal one. But the major Sinhala dominated parties find the term "Federal" unacceptable, given the entrenched fear of Tamil secession. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 21:06:44 EDT 2000

Tamils fed up with Lankan war
TOI, July 13. Although 20 per cent of the 22 million people of Sri Lanka are Tamil, fewer than a million now live in the LTTE-dominated North. More than 80 per cent of the Tamils live in areas with a significant - if not overwhelming - Sinhala population, including the cities of Colombo and Kandy. These individuals have the most to lose in case Eelam becomes a reality. "The Sinhalese and the Muslims will chase us out of what is left of Lanka. Where will we go?" asked Sundaram, a trader. Most Tamils are unwilling to relocate to the LTTE-controlled areas, "where Prabha (Pirabhakaran) is the King", said his brother Perumal. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:34:58 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's army chief meets Pakistan military ruler
123INDIA, July 13. Military ruler General Pervez Musharraf met with Sri Lanka's army chief, Srilal Weerasooriya, here Thursday and discussed "matters of professional interest," officials said. The meeting, which came as Sri Lanka battles Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's north, lasted more than one hour, they said.They exchanged views on "matters of professional interest and means to further enhance existing friendly ties between the armed forces of the two countries," an official statement said. It gave no details. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:45:20 EDT 2000

UNP to hold mass rally next week
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Thursday July 13. The United National Party (UNP) will on Tuesday July 18, hold a mass rally in protest against price hikes of essential items. Mr. Gamini Athukorale, General Secretary, for the UNP, at a press conference held today said that not only party supporters of the main opposition party, but villagers and other grass root level organizations from around the country, will join forces on Tuesday to condemn the rising cost of living in the country.
Published: Thu Jul 13 11:34:07 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka detains five suspected suicide bombers
MSNBC, July 13. Sri Lanka, on alert for possible attacks by Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the capital Colombo, has detained five suspected rebel suicide bombers, police said on Thursday. A senior police official told Reuters by phone that the five -- two of them women -- were taken into custody in the past two days during a special search operation in the capital.In June, a suicide bomber killed Industrial Development Minister C.V. Gunaratne and 21 others during a parade in Colombo during War Heroes Day. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 08:57:00 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka party urges help against rising costs
abcNews, July 13. Sri Lanka"s main opposition United National Party (UNP) said on Thursday it would launch country-wide demonstrations next week to protest against the rising cost of living due to tax hikes and rupee depreciation. The increase in prices is expected to push up the average annual inflation rate to around eight percent this year against an initial projection of around six to seven percent. Inflation was 4.7 percent last year. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 08:59:31 EDT 2000

JVP protest against the President and rising cost of living
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Thursday July 13. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday organised a mass rally at Nugegoda in protest against the rising cost of living. The party further accused President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge of attempting to divide the country with the proposed new constitutional reforms and sell the nations national assets to foreign conglomerations.

The JVP also condemned the role the United National Party (UNP) has played in joint discussions with the Peoples Alliance (PA) on the peace package which the left wing group claims will split the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
Published: Thu Jul 13 11:34:07 EDT 2000

5 million to be paid to C. V.s' family
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Thursday July 13. The Association for Parents and Children of Missing Persons today condemned a government decision to pay Rs. 5 million to the family of the late Minister C V Gooneratne killed in a suicide bomb attack this year. Both the Minister and his wife were killed by a suspected Tiger suicide bomber along with 22 other victims at Ratmalana on June 7, the country's first official commemoration for Lankan soldiers killed in battle.

The Association maintains that the highest compensation paid for persons killed in bomb blasts does not exceed Rs.150,000/- and that the exorbitant sum of money being paid to the family of the late Minister for Industries is unfair and appalling.
Published: Thu Jul 13 11:34:07 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Navy to begin intercepting LTTE supplies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.05 p.m. SLT Thursday July 13. The Sri Lanka Navy is to begin a search and detection operation on the Mannar coastline which will sources say, help intercept a supply route to the LTTE. Reports allege that LTTE cadre posing as fisherman and traders in the area are smuggling banned items to the Tigers.

Iron and metal rods, including batteries and kerosene are some of the items being smuggled via the Mannar coast to Tiger camps. According to the military the Navy has been placed on high alert and asked to prevent such supplies from reaching the rebels in Vanni.
Published: Thu Jul 13 11:34:07 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka go into final with positive attitude
HT , July 13. After a superb performance against Pakistan, South Africa's fast bowler David Terbrugge has Sri Lanka worried as the two teams prepare for the final tomorrow of the Singer Cup. "We will play our natural game, but South Africa is a tough side at any time," Sanath Jayasuriya said today ahead of the day-and-night final tomorrow."Our successes were based on team efforts. We are now playing as a team and this is one of the main reasons why we are winning matches," said Jayasuriya, one of the best-known hard hitting batsmen. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 21:09:29 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Pak cricket chief orders probe after Singer Cup debacle  - HT

PLOTE / EPDP unhappy with govt proposals
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 p.m. SLT Thursday July 13. In addition to the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) voicing dis-satisfaction with the government's proposed new constitutional reforms, the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) this week also voiced dis-pleasure with the draft devolution package.

Representatives from these two Tamil political parties on Wednesday told government officials, that the PLOTE and EPDP would not accept the referendum to determine the continuation of the northeastern province as one unit.

The minority party groups also said they would not agree to proposed reforms on the powers relating to state land in the devolution proposals agreed upon at joint discussions between the People's Alliance and the United National Party.
Published: Thu Jul 13 11:34:06 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Tamil groups reject draft constitution  - Hindu
Chandrika-Ranil devolution plan runs into Tamil wall  - The Statesman
TULF asks Chandrika to amend joint Govt-Opposition package  - HT
Statute draft not good enough: Tamil party  - TOI
Convincing Tamil allies no easy job for Chandrika  - Hindu
Sri Lanka Tamil allies demand major overhaul of peace plan  - 123India-afp
Glitches over new Lanka statute ironed out  - TOI

UNICEF slams Tigers on child soldiers
Hindu, July 13. The United Nations Children's Fund, (UNICEF), today accused the LTTE of breaking a commitment not to recruit children for combat in its war against the Sri Lankan state. The UNICEF representative in Sri Lanka, Mr. Colin Glennie, told journalists that the situation for children in areas held by the LTTE had worsened since the promise given by the group's representatives in 1998 to the visiting U.N. special envoy on children and armed conflict, Mr. Olara Otunnu. The LTTE's political representative, Mr. Tamil Chelvam, had told Mr. Otunnu then that the group would not recruit those below 17 and would desist from using those below 18 for armed combat. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:40:48 EDT 2000

Muslim party to battle alone
BBC, July 13. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress party has announced that it will compete as an independent party in certain areas of the country in the forthcoming general election.The BBC correspondent in Colombo says the move provides the party with an escape route if the coalition performs poorly in the election. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:56:32 EDT 2000

S.Lanka rebels break pledge on child recruits -UN
MSNBC-Reuter, July 13. The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels had reneged on a two-year-old promise not to recruit children under 17 to fight in their war against the government. Colin Glennie, UNICEF's representative in Sri Lanka, said the Libration Tigers of Tamil Eelam had yet to announce measures to prevent children being recruited despite a promise made to the U.N. special representative on children and armed conflict, Olara Otunu, during his visit in 1998.He later told Reuters UNICEF knew the LTTE were recruiting children for the war. ''Some parents have reported to us that their children have been recruited,'' he said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 09:21:33 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka President winning Nobel peace prize "fiction" says Clarke
123India-afp, July 13. Science fiction guru Arthur C. Clarke, under criticism for predicting that Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga would win a Nobel Peace Prize, admitted Thursday it was merely fiction. Clarke, who has made Sri Lanka his adopted home since 1956, lamented that his "speculative fiction" about a 2007 Peace Prize published in Asiaweek magazine last year had attracted considerable media commentary.Clarke was presented with the "award of Knight Bachelor" by the British High Commissioner Linda Duffield at a ceremony here in May, two years after he was accused of having sex with Sri Lankan children. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 09:04:03 EDT 2000

Human smugglers working in Sri Lanka
Globe-UPI, July 13. Human smugglers in Sri Lanka were reportedly using the west African coast to send illegal immigrants to European nations. Nearly 10,000 immigrants, mostly Tamils from the north and east of the island nation, fled the country to seek asylum in Europe through west African nations. Airline sources claim that a large number of human smugglers set up shop in the Sri Lankan capital to facilitate illegal immigration. The operators, they said, charge from $20,000 to $50,000 per person to provide documents, visas and arrange for their arrival in Europe. A Sri Lankan Tamil flying to some destination in Far East Asia is not suspected by immigration officials, so many immigrants fly to other destinations and then go to Africa or Europe," a government official said requesting anonymity. Last month the Sri Lankan government cautioned Western nations of a possible influx of separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas as asylum seekers using human smugglers to enter these countries. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 09:48:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan refugee arrested at Chennai airport  - TOI
Lankan Tamil nabbed at KIA  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

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

Top British official in Sri Lanka for talks
123India, July 13. A senior British diplomat arrived here Thursday for talks with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other leaders, diplomats said. Deputy Secretary of the Foreign Office, Peter Westmacott, arrived here on a brief overnight visit during which he will also meet with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and minority Tamil leaders, diplomats said. The visit comes amid moves from Sri Lanka's ruling party to forge a consensus with Wickremesinghe's United National party and minority Tamil groups in a bid to end the country's dragging separatist war. Britain has supported efforts by Norway to bring the Colombo government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the negotiating table. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 13:35:22 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
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

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
Rights Group Cites Sri Lanka Rebels  - yahoo-ap
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

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 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

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
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
Fresh Conflict Claims Heavy Casualties in Sri Lanka  - Xinhua
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
Separatist rebels steps-up attacks in northern Sri Lanka.  - Roy Denish in Colombo
At least 19 killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - MSNBC
Fresh fighting erupts in Sri Lanka's north  - MSNBC
Sri Lankan troops consolidate gains in new operation  - AP
Sri Lanka troops kill seven Tigers in fresh fighting  - yahoo-afp
LTTE boat sunk; three rebels killed  - Hindu
Heavy fighting in south eastern Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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 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
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
Olive branch to Tamil Tigers  - BBC
Kumaratunga ready for talks with Tigers  - Rediff

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
S.Lanka to push constitutional reforms in August  - MSNBC

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
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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

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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S.Lanka hopes to pass devolution plan by end-Aug  - MSNBC
TULF rejects new Draft Constitution  - Hindu
Tamil Party Rejects Peace Proposal  - yahoo-ap
Boost for Sri Lankan peace  - BBC

Dutch Treat - The walled city of Galle...A feature article
Far Eastern Economic Rev., July 13. WHEN DUTCH COLONIAL Governor Petrus Vuyst first arrived on Sri Lanka's southern coast in 1726, he wasted little time charming the inhabitants of Galle. His first act was to cover one eye and declare that he did not need two eyes to rule such a small colony. The Dutch East India Company had arrived on the island in 1640, overrun Galle, which was then a Portuguese outpost, and secured control over the lucrative spice trade. For the next 150 years, Dutch colonizers created an enclave that remains one of Sri Lanka's endearing destinations. The British wrested Sri Lanka from the Dutch in 1796, but somehow, the Dutch presence left an indelible mark on Galle. Even the names of its current residents still have Dutch spellings, like Hubert Weerasooriya, an octogenarian lawyer. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 09:53:17 EDT 2000

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

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
Opposition UNP facing leadership crisis  - TOI
Sri Lanka opposition faces cracks ahead of polls  - MSNBC
Defection turns spotlight on UNP crisis  - Hindu

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 To List Malwatte End-July; Elpitiya IPO In Aug
Dow Jones, Wednesday, July 12 5:54 PM SGT. The Sri Lankan government said it plans to get Malwatte Valley Plantations listed on the exchange by the end of this month and launch an initial public offering of shares for Elpitiya Plantations Ltd. in August. In June 1997, the government sold a 51% stake in Malwatte to Wayamba Plantations, a local company, for 622 million Sri Lankan rupees (US$=LKR78.91). Analysts say with the escalation of the internal conflict between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military in April and May, investors were unwilling to lock up their funds in a hurry. More...
Published: Thu Jul 13 20:21:16 EDT 2000

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