The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 15, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 101
 

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Lanka Tamils to be called for talks on constitutional change
Deccan Herald, July 15. With pressure mounting from moderate Tamil political parties who have expressed reservations on constitutional proposals, a tripartite meeting among leaders of the ruling People`s Alliance (PA), opposition United National Party (UNP) and various Tamil parties would soon be called to iron out differences and work out a compromise.Hitherto, talks on the proposed constitutional amendment were only between the PA and the UNP with frequent briefings to the Tamil parties. The Tamil parties are claiming that the 1997 draft of the government on the Constitution has been watered down extensively and the consensus solution agreed upon by the PA and the UNP was unacceptable to them. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 19:19:24 EDT 2000

Status of Buddhism bone of contention in Lanka
HT, July 15. THE PLACE of Buddhism in Sri Lanka has again become a bone of contention between political parties and ethnic groups here. The debate is about whether the clause giving special status to Buddhism has been retained or deleted in the proposed Constitution and why it should be retained or deleted.The Sinhala-Buddhist groups, however, do not buy this explanation. They believe that to appease the Tamils, the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) and the Opposition United National Party (UNP) have conspired to "omit" the clause. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 18:57:33 EDT 2000

Army says it has hold on Tamil Tigers
The Guardian-UK, July 15. The Sri Lankan military says it has brought the Tamil Tiger rebels' offensive to a halt around the main town in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, after what it reports as the heaviest fighting the area has seen for more than a month. The army says it has killed up to 100 rebels this week on the outskirts of Jaffna town. The Tigers say they have repulsed the army's advances and killed up to 50 soldiers.The Sri Lankan army's spokesman, Brigadier Pallitha Fernando, said troops were staging hit and run attacks against the Tigers - including the use of snipers - and causing heavy casualties on the Tamil side. "In recent skirmishes the rebels on average lost between seven and eight men a day," he said. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 11:18:49 EDT 2000

11 killed in sporadic clashes in Lanka
TOI, July 15. The troops killed 10 Tamil Tigers rebels in the northern Jaffna peninsula during sporadic clashes, which left one soldier dead, the government said on Saturday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) lost eight of their members on Friday during a gunbattle with troops at Nagarkovil, government spokesman Ariya Rubesinghe said. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 11:00:48 EDT 2000

Cong. hits out at stand on Sri Lanka
Hindu, July 15. The Congress today hit out at the BJP- led National Democratic Alliance stand on the Sri Lankan issue, charging that Indian policy on the matter had been `diluted' as the BJP wanted to stick to power at the Centre with the help of regional parties like DMK, MDMK and PMK. He said sri Lanka should not be divided on any account. ``We should not allow a Cyprus-like situation in Sri Lanka. Its repercussions will not confine only to Sri Lanka but also to the entire world,'' he said, adding a solution to the Tamils issue should be within the framework of an united Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 10:53:59 EDT 2000

One million children in Sri Lanka affected by the war
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Saturday July 15. The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) yesterday said that a study concluded by UN agencies has found that one million Lankan children have been seriously affected as a result of Sri Lanka's 17 year old war.

The report asserts that the children suffer from a lack of education, health, food and clothing. The findings state that large numbers of children are also dis-placed due to the ongoing fighting between Lankan soldiers and the LTTE.

Mr. Colin Glennie, Resident Representative for UNICEF in Sri Lanka, addressing a group of local journalists on Friday said that despite the LTTE having given assurances to Mr. Olara Otunnu, Special Rappoteur to the Secretary General of the United Nations in May 1998, that they would stop using child soldiers, the recent study has found that the rebels continue to recruit children as young as ten years old to help fight their battle for a separate state in Sri Lanka's North-East.

Out of an estimated 900,000 children in the North and the East UNICEF and Save the Children Fund (SCF) found that an estimated 300,000 children have been displaced prior to the LTTE offensive of May 2000. The statistices reveal that 270,000 Sri Lankan children remain displaced today.

For example, in Mannar, the goverment estimates that only 13,000 of the population within the uncleared areas is living in their own homes. The population of Vavuniya town has doubled as a result of the influx of displaced people.

In Jaffna alone it is conservatively estimated that 81,000 houses have been damaged by militarized violence. While in Batticaloa according to government statistics for the year 1999, 25,955 houses have been completely destroyed, while 29,087 have been partially destroyed.

Both UNICEF and the SCF maintain that the destruction of the homes of children and families is but one factor contributing to the fear and insecurity that ultimately pushes people into the precarious existence labelled 'Internal Dis-placement.'

Children within this sub-group are considered among the most vulnerable on the island whether they live in welfare centers, towns or villages through-out the country. The findings claim that children and families have suffered profound loss and uncertain future as certain children and their families have been dis-placed again and again.

According to the SCF UK working in Mannar, some children and their families have been dis-placed as many as seven times.
Published: Sat Jul 15 02:50:29 EDT 2000


190 illegal immigrants including Lankans arrested in Greece
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.30 a.m. SLT Saturday July 15. Greek police yesterday arrested some 190 illegal immigrants including Sri Lankans off the coast of Greece. The refugees had been travelling in a Turkish owned cargo ship and when detected were found to be sick.

According to Greek police eleven of the passengers were in need of medical attention have been warded in a hospital in Greece while the police are conducting investigations into the incident. Two crew members are being held for further interrogation. Among the 190 asylum seekers were 18 women and 22 children.
Published: Sat Jul 15 02:50:28 EDT 2000


TAMIL TIGERS-Vessel looks familiar, says Lanka envoy
Bangkok Post. The submersible being built in a Phuket shipyard is similar to a vessel used by Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lankan ambassador Karuna Tilaka Amunugama said yesterday.The envoy, who made a one-day trip to the province where he was briefed by Phuket Governor Charnchai Soontornmust, said later that the vessel, once completed, could accommodate two to three people.Earlier, a senior Sri Lankan diplomat said the vessel was believed to be of the same type as the one seized by Sri Lankan government forces from the Tamil Tigers in Jaffna in the early 90s.The Seacraft yard is owned by Christy Lawrence, a Jaffna-born Tamil with a Norwegian passport. Mr Lawrence was arrested in April when police found military uniforms, provisions and propaganda material linked to Tamil Tiger rebels aboard his speedboat. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 23:56:19 EDT 2000

Debating Physical Punishment in Schools
IPS, July 15. Child rights activists and school authorities in Sri Lanka are arguing over the continuance of physical punishment in schools with the government unable to make up its mind.The debate has heated up after the teacher of a leading Colombo school was booked last month by police for child abuse. Accused of damaging a student's ear-drums by slapping him hard for indiscipline, the teacher was charged with cruelty and causing grievous hurt, for which a minimum two-year jail term is prescribed.''We need to draw attention to this issue because it gets swept under the carpet,'' said Harendra de Silva, a leading child rights advocate who chairs the government's National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 11:29:26 EDT 2000

Lanka suspects submarine in Thailand to be LTTE's
TOI, July 15. Thailand: A half-built miniature submarine discovered at a shipyard on a southern Thai island is similar to a vessel once used by Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka's ambassador to Thailand was quoted as saying on Saturday.Sanan Kajornklam, the defense ministry spokesman, said Saturday that Thai military believed the vessel was designed for underwater viewing of coral reefs, but added that they had not received further information from the Sri Lankan embassy after its visit to Phuket. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 11:04:56 EDT 2000

Chandrika should never have consulted UNP: TULF
HindustanTimes, July 14. SRI LANKAN President Chan-drika Kumaratunga told the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) on Thursday, that she had to water down her devolution proposals at the instance of the opposition United National Party (UNP) because that party’s support was required to secure two thirds majority in parliament. She appealed to the TULF and other Tamil parties to understand her compulsions and co-operate and not reject the package outright as they had done. “She should not have consulted the UNP in the first place,” fumed Mr V. Anandasangaree, TULF’s Senior Vice President. He said that Mrs Kumaratunga should have by-passed the UNP and gone straight to the people and convinced them that her package was necessary. When asked how the President could push the package through parliament with the required two thirds majority without the UNP’s support, Mr Anandasangaree said that the present parliament could be by-passed and a referendum on the question held. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 23:13:03 EDT 2000

Sri Lankans on song
BBC, July 14. An exhilarating batting display and five wickets from Mutthiah Muralitharan saw Sri Lanka to a 30-run victory over South Africa in the Singer Cup final. Skipper Sanath Jaysuriya and Russell Arnold scored half centuries as the home side piled up 294 for seven in their 50 overs, and Muralitharan then took five for 44 as South Africa fell short in their run chase. It was their fifth successive win in the tournament and Jayasuriya said: "It shows out strength as a one-day side. But I am hoping we will have the same success in the Test series." More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 13:27:48 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka discard de Silva  - BBC
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Sri Lanka go into final with positive attitude  - HT
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Pak cricket chief orders probe after Singer Cup debacle  - HT
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Sri Lanka wins by 30 runs  - Cricinfo
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Sri Lanka set South Africa 295 runs to lift Singer Cup  - 123India
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Sri Lanka off to flying start in Singer final  - CRICINFO

Need Tourists? Sri Lanka's Solution
Marketplace, July 11. Sri Lanka, a tiny island country in the Indian Ocean, boasts sunny beaches, tropical weather, beautiful coral reefs and less than half a million tourists a year. News of an active rebel movement in the northern tip of the country has traveled far and has left the tourism industry badly wounded. But the country's hotels, airlines and tour operators are starting to learn. They have a formula for attracting tourists. Manisha Aryal has this story. Editors Note Please forward to the 7.00 minute of the audio clip to listen to the portion on Sri Lanka More... [Listen]
Published: Sat Jul 15 02:21:32 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka -EP delegation arrives
BBC, July 15. A delegation from the European parliament arrives in Sri Lanka later today on Saturday to asses the political situation in the country. The British MEP's Richard Hewitt and Robert Evans say they'll be examining the plight of displaced people in the Northern Jaffna peninsula and assessing the prospects for peace in the Sri Lankan civil war. Their arrival follows the departure of a senior British diplomat, Peter Westmacott, who held talks with senior members of the government and opposition on Thursday and Friday. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 01:40:00 EDT 2000
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Top British official in Sri Lanka for talks  - 123India

Cricket Match Pictures
Yahoo, July 14. Pictures of the recently concluded Singer Cricket Cup matches in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sat Jul 15 01:22:11 EDT 2000

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
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Chandrika seeks Tamil parties' support  - Hindu

LTTE launches fund collection drive in Kerala
Rediff, July 14. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has launched a fund collection drive in plantations and estates of Kerala's hill ranges, where Tamil-speaking people constitute the largest workforce."We have information that, on orders from the LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka, pro-LTTE Tamil employees at these plantations are trying to collect money from Tamil labourers," a senior police official told rediff.com.Another estate owner said that many workers at his field are Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. "I employ 200 Tamils, but I do not know who really is a Sri Lankan refugee and who is an original Tamil," he said. "Whenever there is some action in Sri Lanka, Tamil workers here organise unusual activities. They hold closed-door meetings. Strangers come and meet them," he said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 23:28:52 EDT 2000

Switzerland asked to probe Tamil groups
BBC, July 14. Sri Lanka has asked the Swiss authorities to investigate Tamil Tiger fund-raising activities in Switzerland. But the Swiss want definite proof from the Sri Lankan government. The Swiss police estimate two-thirds of the 30,000 Tamils living in Switzerland support the movement for independence. They say they have strong suspicions that the support groups, acting under the cover of cultural associations, are raising money to fund the 17-year-old war, but they have no evidence. Neutral Switzerland is seen as an attractive base for groups such as the Tamil Tigers, because it is not subject to UN or European Union efforts to ban fund-raising activities. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 13:29:00 EDT 2000

Fresh Sri Lanka fighting kills nine
123India, July 14. Fresh fighting between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tiger rebels has left eight guerrillas and a soldier dead, the military said Friday. Six members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and a soldier were killed in a battle at Nagarkovil on the northern Jaffna peninsula Thursday, the military said in a statement.It said another two Tigers were killed in the north-eastern region of Weli Oya the same day. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 07:50:40 EDT 2000

Kumaratunga's coalition faces dissension
TOI, July 14. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's governing coalition suffered a setback on Friday when one of its six partners decided to contest the next parliamentary elections on its own."The rationale is based on the need to project the Muslim dimension in national politics," said Rauf Hakeem, secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.The Muslims comprise 6 per cent of the island nation's 18.6 million people and they can influence the election outcome in the troubled northeastern region. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 17:30:33 EDT 2000
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Muslim party to battle alone  - BBC

Pending Tobacco Lawsuits
Yahoo-AP, July 14. Analysts predict the verdict in Florida will spur further class-action lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Tobacco companies already face the following court challenges: - Foreign class-action: Lawyers have filed lawsuits against the industry on behalf of citizens in Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 22:49:07 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
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Lankan lives on hold due to LTTE extortion  - TOI

Sri Lanka May Forex Reserves $2.352B Vs $2.582B End Dec
Yahoo-DowJones, July 14. Sri Lanka's total reserves, or official assets plus funds held by commercial banks, totaled $2.352 billion at the end of May, down from $2.582 billion at the end of December, the central bank said Friday. Gross official reserves, or foreign assets held by the nation's government and central bank, stood at $1.386 billion at the end of June, down from $1.639 billion at the end of December. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 07:39:48 EDT 2000

Lanka army chief discusses military ties with Pak
TOI, July 14. Sri Lankan Army chief met Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf and discussed enhancement of friendly military ties between the countries, the official APP news agency reported on Friday. Lieutenant General Sirilal Weerasooriya, chief of the Sri Lankan Army, and General Musharraf met for 30 minutes on Thursday, the news agency said. It gave no details of their talks. ``During the call, views were exchanged on matters of professional interest and the means to further enhance existing friendly ties between the armed forces of the two countries,'' APP said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 14 17:33:01 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka's army chief meets Pakistan military ruler  - 123INDIA

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
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Sri Lanka party urges help against rising costs  - abcNews

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

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


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

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Tamil groups reject draft constitution  - Hindu
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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
·
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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Sri Lanka Tamil allies demand major overhaul of peace plan  - 123India-afp
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Glitches over new Lanka statute ironed out  - TOI

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
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UNICEF slams Tigers on child soldiers  - Hindu

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
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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

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
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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

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

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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
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Tamil rebels attack temple in northeast Sri Lanka  - MSNBC
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Separatist rebels steps-up attacks in northern Sri Lanka.  - Roy Denish in Colombo
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91 LTTE men killed in Army offensive  - 0
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Fresh fighting erupts in Sri Lanka's north  - MSNBC
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At least 19 killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - MSNBC
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Sri Lanka troops kill seven Tigers in fresh fighting  - yahoo-afp
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Tamil Rebels Fight Govt. Forces  - yahoo-ap
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Heavy fighting in south eastern Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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Fresh Conflict Claims Heavy Casualties in Sri Lanka  - Xinhua
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Heavy fighting breaks out in Jaffna  - BBC

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
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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
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Olive branch to Tamil Tigers  - BBC
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Kumaratunga ready for talks with Tigers  - Rediff

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 Lanka's moderate Tamil party wants Tigers in peace talks  - yahoo-afp

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


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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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

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

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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