The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 17, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 103
 

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First E-book on Lankan history
Lakdiva, July 16. The resplendent and ever beautiful isle we know as Sri Lanka has a rich historical record. The Divapvamsa an Pali chronical in verse was compiled in 4th century A.D. It was the source for the Mahavamsa composed by a Buddhist monk at the Maha Vihara in Anuradhapura around the 6th century A.D. The Pali text of the epic is available today in the form of a commentary written from about the 12th century A.D which continued the record in the Culavamsa till 1815 on Ola manuscripts. We felt there was an urgent need to post on the world wide web a more detailed history of ancient Lanka. It is useful to select a more readable modern text than the original Mahavamsa but an interpretation old enough to be unbiased by the unfortunate turmoil of the recent past. We have selected the Short history of Ceylon by H. W. Codrington, B.A. (Oxon.) F.R.N.S. of the Ceylon Civil Service published in 1929 since it gives the history till 1833 in about 50,000 words. This E-book was translated to HTML by Rhajiv Ratnatunga in the summer of 2000. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 19:28:14 EDT 2000

Monks give money to boost Sri Lanka war effort
123India, July 17. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka have donated money to the national defence fund to boost the battle against Tamil Tiger guerrillas, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's office said Monday. The monks gave the money to Kumaratunga at her tightly-guarded Temple Trees residence here, the presidential secretariat said in a statement.It did not say how much was given to the fund, but said Kumaratunga was highly appreciative of the gesture of the Buddhist monks at a decisive stage of the war against the Tamil Tigers. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 19:18:40 EDT 2000

Colombo bus drivers face crackdown
BBC, July 17. Traffic police in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, have launched a campaign to clean up the conduct of the city's bus drivers. New figures show that traffic in the city has doubled over the past 15 years, and the vast majority of commuters who struggle to work on the gridlocked roads do so by bus. But the drivers of the city's estimated 3,000 buses do not have a reputation for on-the-road etiquette. Nor are they renowned for their adherence to the highway code. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 19:36:47 EDT 2000

Economic progress only way out of Lanka's woes
TOI, July 17. "People on Sri Lanka have accepted the war. It doesn't really touch them and life goes on," says Nadeem. Life, indeed, does go on in Sri Lanka. Some 320 kilometres to the north, nearly 40,000 Sri Lankan troops face guerrilla onslaughts by one of the world's most violent separatist force - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - in a war which has entered its eighteenth year. But in capital Colombo, apart from stray suicide bombings or the blank, censored spaces in newspapers, there are no daily reminders of a carnage that has claimed more than 70,000 lives till date. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 18:49:27 EDT 2000

New Constitution will be passed: Chandrika
Hindu, July 17. Addressing the annual gathering of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service on Sunday, Ms. Kumaratunga said her Government was committed to strengthening the country's democratic institutions and at the same time, addressing the grievances of Tamils. ``Come what may, we are committed to the cause,'' Ms. Kumaratunga said. Ms. Kumaratunga said the new Constitution would isolate the LTTE by addressing the rights of the minorities. ``We all have a responsibility to end this era of killings, bombs and suffering soon. And we should not pass such a bleak future to our offspring,'' she said. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 18:57:20 EDT 2000

Lanka polls in Nov under new Constitution
HT, July 17. ELECTIONS FOR the Sri Lankan Parliament would be held in the first week of November this year and under a new Constitution, President Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga said here on Sunday. Most political leaders consider this an impossible task given the shortage of time, but at least one political commentator, Dr P. Saravanamuttu, Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives, felt that the President could be posturing to get the opposition UNP and the Tamil parties to hurry up and come to a consensus, on the plea that time was running out. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 19:03:53 EDT 2000

Hundreds attend pet bird's funeral in Sri Lanka
vny, july 17. It was a highly unusual funeral. Hundreds of people, including school children and saffron-clad monks, gathered in a school ground to perform the last rites of a pet mynah bird.The dead bird was placed in a made-to-order coffin and was buried amid the chanting of hymns. Observing the same rituals followed in traditional Buddhist funerals, the owner offered alms to the monks.The chief priest of the local Buddhist temple delivered a sermon on the occasion.``Some narrow-minded people may laugh at this rare act, but it is an example of kindness toward animals,'' the monk said. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 20:10:50 EDT 2000

Festival brings Korean culture to Sri Lanka
TheKorea Herald, July 18. Hoping to raise Korea's profile on the international stage, Korean residents in Sri Lanka are preparing to hold a large-scale cultural festival in the East Asian nation's capital city of Colombo this week.Korea Week 2000 event will kick off to much fanfare tomorrow night and introduce a great diversity of cultural, historical and economic aspects of Korea to the people of Sri Lanka during its six-day run until July 24.Under the sponsorship of the Korean Embassy there, the weeklong program promises to offer rare insight into Korea through 10 comprehensive programs on Korean traditional arts, movies, cuisine, literature and sports. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 20:14:10 EDT 2000

Chandrika sets terms for holding elections
Deccan Herald, July 17. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday said she would hold general election, due later this year, only after passing the new draft constitution finalised by her government recently in consensus with the main opposition United National Party (UNP).Though Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe have reached a broad agreement on the draft new constitution, the two leaders, however, have not reached any understanding on how to get it approved, given the short time available before the dissolution of the present parliament. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 19:53:01 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to become de facto federal state in fresh peace bid
123India, July 17. Sri Lanka is set to shed its "unitary" status and become a de facto federal state in line with a controversial political bid aimed at ending decades of ethnic bloodshed, political sources said Monday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her main opposition have agreed on the contentious issues of devolving power, but moving from the present statute to the new constitution remains a thorny problem, the sources said. President Kumaratunga wants to continue her second six year term in office until November 2006 and exercise her present executive powers, as well as the powers of the Prime Minister elected under the new constitution, during the transition.The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said the transitional provisions setting out how the country will move from the present unitary constitution to the new one was sprung on them 10 days ago.olitical analysts believe that the transitional provisions may be opposed by the UNP as well as by the minority Tamil parties which had wanted a shorter time period to move from the present system to the de facto federal arrangements. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:50:34 EDT 2000

'Lanka polls after adoption of new Constitution'
TOI, July 17. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that that she would hold general elections, due later this year, only after passing the new draft constitution finalised by her government recently in consensus with the main Opposition United National Party (UNP). Addressing the members of the Sri Lankan administrative service here on Sunday, she said that the island's parliament would be dissolved as scheduled on August 24, but did not give a specific indication about when she planned to hold the poll thereafter. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:19:20 EDT 2000

Khatami receives message from Sri Lankan counterpart
IRNA, July 17. ge from Sri Lankan counterpart Tehran, July 17, IRNA -- The special envoy of the Sri Lankan president, Mohamed H. Mohamed Ashroff here on Monday submitted a message from President Chandrika Kumaratunga to her Iranian counterpart President Mohammad Khatami. Referring to Tehran-Colombo friendly relations, The Iranian President expressed the hope that bilateral ties will further expand in the future. The Sri Lankan nation holds in high reverence the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini and eagerly follow up the reform policy of President Khatami's administration, he added. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 10:24:42 EDT 2000

18 Tamil rebels killed in army attack
TOI, July 17. Sri Lanka's army and navy attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bases and bombed a supply vessel in the north and the east, killing at least 18 guerrillas, a government spokesman said on Monday.The infantry, backed by the artillery, on Sunday attacked rebel positions at four places in the north where most of Sri Lanka 17-year-old Tamil separatist war is being fought, Ariya Rubasinghe, the government spokesman said. Fourteen rebels were killed in the attacks. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:15:34 EDT 2000

Lankan elections in first week of November
Rediff, July 17. Parliamentary elections will be held as scheduled in the first week of November, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said. The Island newspaper reported that during a meeting of the ruling People's Alliance at Temple Trees, Kumaratunga's official residence, which lasted more than 11 hours, the president said parliament would be dissolved on schedule and elections held in the first week of November. On Sunday, Kumaratunga reiterated that elections will be held after passing the new constitution and creating an environment where all people can live with respect. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:36:14 EDT 2000

Tamil political parties reject package
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.05 p.m. SLT Monday July 17. Seven Tamil political parties have rejected the proposed new constitutional reforms agreed upon by the Peoples Alliance and the United National Party. The minority parties claim the devolution package aimed at resolving Sri Lanka's 17 year old bloody ethnic war will not meet the aspirations of the Tamil people.

Tamil parties say that issues such as the unit of devolution, the structure of the state and state land and powers given to regional councils does not conform to Tamil aspirations.

The LTTE meanwhile has also rejected the package as has the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge is expected to present the new constitutional reforms to Parliament before it stands dissolved on August 24, 2000. The general elections are scheduled to be held in the third week of October this year.

The President meanwhile informed members of the diplomatic community last week that she will invite election monitors from the European Union in order to ensure a free and fair election.
Published: Mon Jul 17 08:18:44 EDT 2000


Parents of MIAs send message to Sri Lanka's president
Globe, July 17. The fax machine at Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's office was jammed Monday with requests from parents seeking permission visit their sons and daughters in the custody of separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Parents of some 2,000 government soldiers believed to be in the custody of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam faxed requests to the president and her adviser on welfare of soldiers, reminding them to keep the promise of allowing parents to travel to the rebel-held Wanni mainland. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:57:18 EDT 2000

Defence shopping spree sees prices on essentials soar
SCMP, July 17. The island was placed on what the government called a "war footing" in May after Tamil Tiger rebels mounted a ferocious offensive aimed at retaking the northern Jaffna peninsula. Since June, prices of essential goods and utilities have surged by up to 30 per cent, and now the main opposition is rallying to make the cost of living a key issue in parliamentary elections later this year. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) is organising a public protest in the capital Colombo today against inflation, and is demanding workers receive higher wages to make up for the price increases. "The government is blaming everything on the war, but it is due to poor economic management that we are in this sorry plight," said the UNP's general secretary, Gamini Athukorale. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 10:17:22 EDT 2000

Hit-and-run tactics 'halt' Tamil Tigers
SCMP, July 17. Sri Lankan army spokesman, Brigadier Pallitha Fernando, said troops were embarking on hit-and-run attacks against the Tigers, causing them numerous casualties. He refused to say if the army would launch a counter-attack to recover large amounts of territory lost to the separatists in the peninsula this year. "The fact that we have stalled the offensive of the rebels is in itself an achievement because in May and June it looked as if they were going to capture Jaffna," he said More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:22:59 EDT 2000

Tamil Nadu and the Sri Lankan crisis - An Article by G. Parthasarthy
Rediff, July 17. MGR listened patiently to my explanation. He made two salient points. Firstly, that he felt that the Government of India had been overgenerous in giving the LTTE a rather overbearing role in the proposed Interim Administrative Council. He felt the EPRLF deserved a larger representation. Secondly, that I should tell the prime minister he would support him in whatever action the prime minister deemed necessary in the national interest in Sri Lanka. He added that he had no doubt that the prime minister would do whatever was in the best interests of the Tamils. While MGR kept his word and the otherwise pro-LTTE elements in the state administration were directed to fall in line, his political compulsions were such that he did not personally ever attack the LTTE. More...
Published: Mon Jul 17 09:34:36 EDT 2000

LTTE fund raising in Kerala, India
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.20 p.m. SLT Monday July 17. The LTTE, are reportedly demanding funds from Tamil labourers working in tea, cinnamon, coffee and rubber estates in the Indian state of Kerala.

Indian police have been alerted that Tiger sympathizers are persuading the estate work force in Kerala, to contribute to the rebel coffers and help the LTTE in their fight for a separate state in Sri Lanka.

Since the discovery, Tamil Nadu police have also been placed on high alert to guard against the LTTE from infiltrating into South India, as large numbers of Lankan Tamil refugees continue to seek asylum to the South Indian state.
Published: Mon Jul 17 08:18:44 EDT 2000


Jaffna Hindu College students stage protest against killing
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 a.m. SLT Monday July 17. Students at Jaffna Hindu College today staged a protest against the killing of a fellow student, Somasundaram Sanjeevan last Thursday July 13.

An Advanced Level student at Jaffna Hindu College, Somasundaram was allegedly shot dead by Sri Lanka Army soldiers last week when he was returning home after playing a game of soccer at the college.

The Army claim that Sanjeevan was a member of the LTTE. His parents have rejected this claim saying that Sanjeevan did not have any links with the rebels. His funeral will be held today in Jaffna.
Published: Mon Jul 17 08:18:43 EDT 2000


Tamil Tiger Fundraising in Canada Protested
India-West, July 17. Canada ban!" a man shouted into a small bullhorn. "Ter-ror-ism!" responded the more than 100 demonstrators who brandished placards and the national flags of Sri Lanka as they marched outside the offices of the Canadian Consul General here July 7 to protest Tamil Tiger fund-raising activities in that country.Brought together under a group that calls itself the Organizing Committee for Canadian Terrorism, a great many of the protesters carried placards, some of which read: "Toronto's Tiger Terror is Canada's Biggest Error," "Tamil Gandhi Killers Become Toronto's Pillars," and "Canada's Liberals Support Killers of the Worst Sort." More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 21:01:10 EDT 2000

Parents of missing soldiers threaten to enter rebel-held areas
MSNBC-AP, July 17. Parents of missing government soldiers threatened on Sunday to enter rebel-controlled territory in Sri Lanka's north to search for their children.The parents believe that more than 500 soldiers are being held captive by separatist guerrillas in the Wanni jungles. Individuals and organizations require authorization both from the government and the rebels to enter the area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. ''If this time we are not given approval to visit the Wanni jungles where our children are being held, we will do it by force,'' said Chandani Nanayakkara, a spokeswoman for The Association of Relatives of Servicemen Missing in Action. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 20:42:26 EDT 2000

Devolution deal: too little for Tamils, too much for Sinhalese
Hindu, July 16. A bleak future seems to be ahead for the People's Alliance (PA)-United National Party (UNP) agreement on devolution with the Tamils calling it a denial of their rights and Sinhalese extremists dubbing it a sellout to the minorities. All the Tamil parties have rejected the agreement as too little, too late. The three main parties, the Tamil United Liberation Front, the Eelam People's Democratic Party and the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamils that represent northeast Sri Lanka in Parliament, have said the draft document was ``unacceptable'' because it denies the merger of northeastern Sri Lanka and vests control of state land with the Centre. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 20:27:03 EDT 2000

UK plays mediator in resolving Lankan crisis
TOI, July 17. Even as the seven moderate parties rejected President Chandrika Kumaratunga's proposed package for constitutional reform, dismissing it as a ``farce'', foreign mediators continue with their efforts to settle the 17-year-old ethnic dispute in Sri Lanka.Foreign Ministry insiders too remain sceptical of efforts being made by the British government to attempt to resolve the crisis. ``The British government has a strong constituency of Tamil voters and cannot afford to annoy it by pushing the government's offer to the minority,'' says an insider. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 20:37:14 EDT 2000

Devolution package ignores Tamils of Indian origin’
HT, July 16. INDIAN ORIGIN Tamils (IOT) are sore that while other minorities like the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Muslims are being provided devolution or safeguards under a new constitution, the IOTs have been sidelined, ignoring their numerical strength, which is over a million in a total population of 19 million, and their contribution to the island's economy as the backbone of the tea industry, one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country. Pleading for a special provision for political representation, he said that if the Sri Lankan Tamils could get devolution for the North East province, where they were predominant, and the Muslims get special safeguards there, why could not the IOTs get some weightage and special consideration in places where they were an electorally significant minority," he asked. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 20:38:48 EDT 2000

Tigers' refugee children returning home in coffins
Yahoo-afp, July 16. When a wave of children fleeing Sri Lanka's brutal ethnic war took to begging in the streets some five years ago, rebel Tamil separatists gave many of them shelter at a place called the Red Blossomed Garden.Now, a Tamil human rights group is accusing the rebels of turning the children into cannon fodder in their seemingly endless separatist war in the country's north.The Jaffna branch of the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) say the children have been turned into child soldiers and many are coming back from front lines in sealed coffins.Many these children were taken off the streets by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), put into vans and deposited in the Red Blossomed Garden, the report said.This was a "Chencholai" home, one of a group of Tamil Tiger-sponsored orphanages around Jaffna, where, the UTHR alleges, children were indoctrinated into the Tamil Tiger military ethos.It cited the case of a mother who gave her child in 1995 to be brought up at the facility, and three years later was given a sealed coffin said to contain the remains of the 13-year-old. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:55:20 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Jaffna parents grieve as children forced to join Tigers  - TOI
·
LANKAN RIGHTS  - VOA
·
Rights Group Cites Sri Lanka Rebels  - yahoo-ap
·
Sri Lanka child soldiers ending up in coffins  - Kyodo News
·
Tiger child soldiers ending up in sealed coffins: rights report  - yahoo-afp
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LTTE's soldiers getting younger  - Hindu
·
LTTE forcibly recruiting children: Report  - HT
·
Sri Lanka rebels recruit children forcibly-report  - MSNBC

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
Related News Stories
·
UNICEF slams Tigers on child soldiers  - Hindu

Sri Lanka crackdown on deserters
BBC, July 16. The Sri Lankan authorities have announced a series of stiff new penalties for people found guilty of harbouring army deserters. Under new laws introduced by the deputy defence minister, Anuruddha Ratwatte, people who help deserters evade capture now face what he says will be substantial prison sentences. The army estimates that around 20,000 troops have deserted - roughly one quarter of the army's strength. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:34:27 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
·
One million children in Sri Lanka affected by the war  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka's 'war footing' begins to affect economy
yahoo-afp, July 16. Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist war has been dragging for decades, but defence spending has begun to harden its bite on the economy after an unprecedented shopping spree by the military.The island was placed on what the government called a "war footing" in May after Tamil Tiger rebels mounted a ferocious offensive aimed at retaking the northern Jaffna peninsula.Since June, prices of essential goods and utilities have surged by up to 30 percent, and now the main opposition is rallying to make the cost of living a key issue in parliamentary elections later this y More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:58:11 EDT 2000

Several Tamil groups reject Sri Lanka draft reforms
MSNBC, July 16. REUTERS July 16 — Several of Sri Lanka's minority Tamil parties on Sunday rejected constitutional reforms proposed jointly by the government and the main opposition party to end a protracted ethnic war. ''This political mockery should be deemed as a political fraud and rejected and dismissed in no uncertain terms,'' the parties said in a strongly worded joint statement. ''...it ensures that the firm grip of chauvinism on the constitution is further tightened.'' More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:42:47 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Lanka Tamils to be called for talks on constitutional change  - Deccan Herald

Sri Lankan conflict drives many to refugee camps in southern India
yahoo-afp, July 16. Since communal violence erupted in Sri Lanka in 1983, some 150,000 refugees have settled in India in either refugee camps or, after police registration, with relatives or on their own .The latest round of fighting has seen a further influx of some 2,000 more Tamil refugees entering the state of Tamil Nadu in India seeking asylum.One of these refugees is Peethambaram who came with his family ten years ago.He still has his birth certificate, the only proof of where he came from.In Sri Lanka, Peethambaram was a policeman but in India, he is not allowed to work with unemployment already a problem for local residents."The situation we were living in Sri Lanka was much better than here. We have come here because the situation was bad and it does not look like it will improve. We don't know who is wrong and who is right but everyone here wants to go back because here they are struggling. We are not having the same life as we had then," said Peethambaram. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 13:01:48 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan team calls on Pakistan Chief Executive
Buisness Recorder, July 16. An official delegation from Sri Lanka called on Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf here on Saturday. ..........The delegation headed by Sri Lankan Minister for Cultural and Religious Affairs Lakshman Jayakody, delivered a special message of goodwill from President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. ..........The Sri Lankan delegation comprised Principal Secretary to President Balapatabendi, and Commander Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General C. S. Weerasooriya. ..........The Chief Executive reiterated Pakistan's abiding friendship for Sri Lanka and stressed Pakistan's desire to expand bilateral co-operation. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 13:06:34 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka shelves power plant plan
Buisness Recorder, July 16. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has shelved plans for a 300-megawatt coal plant in the island's north-western coast after considering the objections of Catholic dignitaries, state-media said on Saturday. .........."President Chandrika Kumaratunga... has decided not to go ahead with the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant," the Daily News newspaper said. .........."... this decision was arrived at after carefully considering the responses of the leaders of the Catholic community of the area," it said. ..........Sri Lanka's Roman Catholic Church has protested that the project would damage the St Anne's shrine, some 12 km (7.5 miles) north of the proposed site. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 13:04:48 EDT 2000

Musharraf stresses friendship with Lanka
Dawn, July 15. The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, reiterated Pakistan's abiding friendship with Sri Lanka and stressed Islamabad's desire to expand cooperation. The CE was talking to Lakshman Jayakody, special envoy of the president of Sri Lanka and the minister for cultural and religious affairs, according to a statement issued by the foreign affairs ministry here on Saturday. Mr Jayakody delivered a message of goodwill to the chief executive from President Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 13:08:49 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Lanka army chief discusses military ties with Pak  - TOI
·
Sri Lanka's army chief meets Pakistan military ruler  - 123INDIA

Sri Lanka eases war coverage censorship
Virtual NY, July 16. Sri Lanka has relaxed its censorship rules that had limited the media's coverage of the on-going war in the island nation between the government and the Tamil Tiger guerrillas.Under the new regulations issued Sunday, the mere mention of issues that deal with security situation in Sri Lanka will no longer warrant censorship "unless the content is such that it must result in national security being endangered." More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 13:11:38 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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International media watch groups censor government  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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Sri Lanka: Government maintains censorship in defiance of Supreme Court ruling  - Roy Denish in Colombo

Britain Urges Sri Lanka's Tamil Parties to Support Consensus
Xinhua, July 15. A visiting senior British official has urged the Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka to adopt positive approach towards the consensus reached between the government and the main Opposition on proposals to resolve the ethnic conflict, the official Sunday Observer reported Sunday. Peter Westamacott, deputy under secretary of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Britain, was here during the past two days to obtain a first hand situation of Sri Lanka's political situation. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:46:17 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka -EP delegation arrives  - BBC
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Top British official in Sri Lanka for talks  - 123India

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
Related News Stories
·
Fresh Sri Lanka fighting kills nine  - 123India

Tourist Arrivals Decline in Sri Lanka
Xinhua, July 16. A decrease 1.5 percent in foreign tourist arrivals was recorded in Sri Lanka during the first five months of 2000, the latest figure of the Ceylon Tourist Board showed. A total of 186,580 foreign tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in the first five months of this year, a decrease of 1.5 percent from the same period of last year, according to the Board. During the month of May, a total of 23,404 tourists arrived as against 25,212 in the same period in 1999, recording a decrease of 7.2 percent. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:48:11 EDT 2000

Canada's Tamils Work for a Homeland From Afar
NYT, July 16. At Queens Park, a swath of green in front of the legislative building downtown, thousands gathered one recent Saturday for a festive celebration. A band played. Children danced. Volunteers bearing cardboard piggy banks trolled the crowd for donations. Wads of cash were enthusiastically stuffed inside.So oceans away from the mass graves and suicide bombers that have become hallmarks of the civil war, the Tamils of Toronto hold pledge drives on Tamil radio, fill tills on shop counters, and solicit money door-to-door in Tamil neighborhoods and workplaces. Experts estimate they send anywhere from $7 million to $22 million a year in direct and indirect support for the guerrillas. More...
Published: Sun Jul 16 12:38:00 EDT 2000
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Switzerland asked to probe Tamil groups  - BBC

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

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
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Lanka suspects submarine in Thailand to be LTTE's  - TOI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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Statute draft not good enough: Tamil party  - TOI
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Convincing Tamil allies no easy job for Chandrika  - Hindu
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Sri Lanka Tamil allies demand major overhaul of peace plan  - 123India-afp
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Glitches over new Lanka statute ironed out  - TOI

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
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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

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


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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