The Lanka Academic

JULY 20, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 106

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Information Bulletin No 23, The University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR). Elephant Pass fell to the LTTE on 21st April 2000 and there followed a month of grave anxiety when the fall of the entire Jaffna peninsula seemed imminent. The January-February issue of 'Liberation Tigers' published in the Vanni asked in its lead item, 'What is Next? War or Peace!' It had a picture of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran pointing at Jaffna on a map of Tamil Eelam with his left forefinger. Beneath it was the verse, "Where Sooriya Thevan (Sun God) points with his finger, thither the sun rays will hasten, to enfold Thamil Eelam in the brightness of his glory!" There was a far greater tragedy that lay unseen and was carefully suppressed. The sunrays that do the Sun God's bidding are today mainly children, often 14 or 15 years old, and increasingly girls. More...
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Chandrika calls meet on July 25 on statute
Deccan Chronicle, July 20, 2000. A crucial tripartite meeting between leaders of the ruling People’s Alliance, opposition United National Party and Tamil groups has been convened by President Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 25 to iron out differences on the proposed constitutional package. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 22:52:36 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers Bait Children, Parents
IPS, July 21. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger insurgents are drawing children into their ranks with false promises of restoring them to their families or sending them abroad after some time, say aid workers.'In the eastern Batticaloa region, the rebels showed films of their battlefield successes and urged youngsters to join the war effort against what they labelled as 'foreign invaders' (the Sri Lankan army). Within days, 14 youngsters had joined the rebels,'' said an aid worker from the region.''The rebels offer new recruits a chance of going abroad after three years of voluntary service or promise to return the children after they have served five years,'' an international aid worker told IPS. The child soldiers are paid a monthly wage of about 3,000 rupees (40 U.S. dollars) for frontline battle duties while their parents are supplied regular food rations. The child recruit's family also gets farm land and parents are helped to get daughters married without paying dowry.While poor parents find the offer tempting, the young boys and girls are drawn by the chance of going abroad. ''Who would resist the temptation to be sent abroad by the rebel group to various countries as political refugees?'' he noted. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 20:23:01 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
S.Lanka rebels break pledge on child recruits -UN  - MSNBC-Reuter
UNICEF slams Tigers on child soldiers  - Hindu
War hits Sri Lankan children  - BBC
One million children in Sri Lanka affected by the war  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Jaffna parents grieve as children forced to join Tigers  - TOI
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
LTTE's soldiers getting younger  - Hindu
LTTE forcibly recruiting children: Report  - HT
Sri Lanka rebels recruit children forcibly-report  - MSNBC
Tigers' refugee children returning home in coffins  - Yahoo-afp

Talks on Sri Lankan reform plans
BBC, July 20, 2000. The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has invited opposition parties, including the United National Party and some parties representing the minority Tamil community, to discuss her plans on reforming the constitution. The talks are expected to focus on the President's proposals to give autonomy to the Sri Lankan provinces in a bid to end the long-running war with Tamil Tiger rebels who are fighting for an independent homeland in the north of the country. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 22:43:00 EDT 2000

Chandrika calls meeting on draft constitution
TOI, July 20. Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga has convened a tripartite meeting of government officials, opposition United National Party (UNP) and moderate Tamil parties on July 25 to iron out differences on the new draft constitution. Also as a prelude to July 25 meeting, Chandrika invited Wickramasinghe for talks on Friday to fine-tune the constitutional proposals to meet the demands made by Tamil parties, media reports here said on Thursday. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 19:12:30 EDT 2000

Lanka parties to discuss reforms package
DECCAN HERALD , July 20. A crucial tripartite meeting between leaders of the ruling People`s Alliance, opposition United National Party and Tamil groups has been convened by President Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 25 to iron out differences on the proposed constitutional package.The three parties are meeting together for the first time since talks on constitutional reforms started in March this year in a bid to finalise the draft, sources said.Before the July 25 meeting, the president has called the Tamil parties tomorrow. The Tamil United Liberation Front (Tulf) will meet the president separately while the remaining Tamil parties will have a combined meeting with her. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 18:53:46 EDT 2000

Ranatunga calls it quits after sharp rise is followed by sharper fall
Yahoo-afp, July 20. Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga, who led the country to a cricket World Cup victory four years ago, announced his retirement Thursday, exactly a year after he was sacked as team captain. Ranatunga, 36, said it was difficult for him to retire from cricket after completing the current three-test series against South Africa under the captaincy of the younger Sanath Jayasuriya."This has been a painful decision," he said in a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket. "I arrived at it after a great deal of consideration and thought."His team went from World Cup tops in 1996 to World Cup flops in 1999 with fans turning angry over his performance and blaming him for not quitting earlier with honour and dignity. From the most successful of captains, he fell from grace overnight despite an impressive 10 years leading the Sri Lankan team. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 14:12:03 EDT 2000

More Sinhalese than thou
Hindu, July 20. The pre-election ``more Sinhalese than thou'' syndrome seems to have gripped the ruling People's Alliance (PA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) within days of the two agreeing on a document to share power with the Tamil minority. If the UNP leader, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, has been denying reports in the state-owned press that he is consorting with the LTTE, the Government is preoccupied with denying rumours that ``safeguards'' to protect the pre-eminent status of Buddhism have been removed from the new draft constitution. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 16:05:10 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's constitution reform bill seen delayed
MSNBC, July 20. Sri Lanka's constitutional reform bill aimed at trying to end the country's long-running ethnic war is unlikely to be presented in the next session of parliament as expected, officials said on Thursday. Parliament officials said the draft, now being discussed by the government, the main opposition party and minority Tamil groups, was not listed to be tabled when parliament meets again on August 8, weeks before its six-year term expires on August 24. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 09:49:37 EDT 2000

TULF backs Govt dialogue with Buddhist monks
HT, July 20. THE MODERATE Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has said that it is not opposed to the government's discussing the proposed devolution package with the Buddhist clergy because no section of the Sri Lankan public should feel that it has not been consulted. The opposition UNP had pointed out that the Govt had failed to discuss the joint Government-UNP draft Constitution with the Buddhist Sangha so far. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 16:18:50 EDT 2000

NDDB pulls out of joint venture in Sri Lanka
Hindu, July 20. In a development that does not bode well for joint ventures between Indian and Sri Lankan companies, the Indian milk giant, National Dairy Development Board(NDDB), has pulled out of an ambitious but star-crossed partnership with a State-owned milk manufacturer here. The Hindu has learnt that the NDDB pulled out of the joint venture Kiriya in March this year after a series of labour problems. It is now trying to recover its 51 per cent equity in the project amounting to $2 million. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 16:06:32 EDT 2000

Lanka flouting international treaty obligations: Amnesty
HT, July 20. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (AI) has slammed the Sri Lankan Government for not meeting its international treaty obligations in regard to detention, inquests and judicial remedies, and extending the State of Emergency island-wide after the country was put on a "war footing" in May this year. In its report on Sri Lanka released on Wednesday, AI said that while national security concerns in the north were evidently critical following the LTTE's assault on Jaffna, government had given no reason for the imposition of the emergency, with its sweeping powers, island-wide. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 16:21:49 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Rights Violations Cited
yahoo-ap, July 20. Human rights violations have increased in Sri Lanka since the government imposed emergency regulations in May to fight Tamil Tiger rebels, and at least two people have died as a result of torture, Amnesty International said Thursday. ``The methods of torture reported appear to have become more severe,'' the London-based group said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 09:36:40 EDT 2000

LTTE rebels blast bus
The Hindu, July 19. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels exploded a bus after disembarking all passengers in northern Vavuniya today while twelve terrorists were killed in sporadic clashes with security forces in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula during the last 24 hours. The bus carrying 19 passengers and some schoolchildren were proceeding from the main Vavuniya bus depot to a nearby place when terrorists stopped the bus and asked the passengers to get down. Thereafter, the bus was exploded. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 12:00:57 EDT 2000

Fresh Sri Lanka fighting kills 12
123India, July 20. Tamil Tiger rebels blasted a school bus in northern Sri Lanka Thursday as government troops claimed they had killed another 12 Tiger guerrillas in fresh fighting. Two armed men from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamordered students out before exploding grenades in the state-owned bus in the northern district of Vavuniya, officials said. They said there were no casualties and the attackers escaped before troops could arrive at the scene. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 09:23:42 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka, Thailand agree on intelligence exchanges
123India, July 20. Sri Lanka and Thailand have agreed to exchange intelligence on Tamil Tiger rebels who reportedly made Thailand their new base for gun running, the government said Thursday. Sri Lanka's defence secretary Chandrananda de Silva visited Thailand and held talks with deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Banyat Bautadtan recently, the government's Special Media Information Centre (SMIC) said."At the discussions between Sri Lanka delegation and the deputy prime minister the two sides decided to exchange intelligence reports about the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) activities," the SMIC said.It quoted the Thai minister as saying: "We will never allow any foreign terrorist group to use our country as a base or transit point." More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 09:26:19 EDT 2000

All-Party Talks on New Constitution to Be Held in Sri Lanka
XINHUA, Thursday, July 20, 2000 6:27 AM EST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will hold all-party talks next Tuesday (July 25) to finalize the proposed new constitution which is due to be tabled before the parliament in early August, The Island newspaper reported on Thursday.

President Kumaratunga for the first time will meet delegations from the ruling People's Alliance, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil parties together, said the newspaper. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 06:29:14 EDT 2000

Jayasuriya hits form for Sri Lanka
BBC, Thursday, 20 July, 2000, 06:00 GMT . Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya lashed an unbeaten 96 before lunch on the opening day of the first test against South Africa on Thursday.

The Sri Lankans, who won the toss and opted to bat on a grassless pitch, were 145 without loss at the interval. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 06:06:49 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Jayasuriya, snake rattle South Africa  - Pioneer
Magisterial Jayasuriya gives Sri Lanka early initiative  - Yahoo
Jayasuriya hammers 148 off 156 balls  - Hindu
Cricket-Sri Lanka v South Africa first test scoreboard  - yahoo

Sri Lankan defence spending to rise
BBC, Thursday Jul 20 5:44 2000. Officials in Sri Lanka say defence spending is set to rise by nearly 50% per cent this year to cover the huge arms purchases the government has made to halt the advance by the Tamil Tiger guerrillas.

After the past year of major offensives by the Tigers, the government has increased its allocation for defence spending from $700m to nearly $1bn. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 05:58:17 EDT 2000

US raises anti-terrorism aid to Lanka
IndiaAbroad, July 19. The United States has increased its anti-terrorism aid to Sri Lanka in the wake of the assassination attempt on President Chandrika Kumaratunga in December by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Alan Eastham, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, told the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, "With Sri Lanka, a friendly government that has been fighting an insurgent group that employs the deadly weapon of terrorism, we have enjoyed excellent cooperation in a number of areas related to counter-terrorism." He noted that the US had designated the LTTE a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 and renewed that designation last year, "and we have been providing anti-terrorism assistance to the Sri Lankan government since 1994." Eastham said, "Following the December assassination attempt against President Kumaratunga, this assistance has included offers of training in VIP protection and post-blast investigation." More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 11:08:39 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to adopt proportional system
HT, July 19. SRI Lankan parliamentary elections, likely to be held in the first week of November, would be under the proportional representation (PR) system as now, Jayampathi Wickramaratne, advisor to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs told The Hindustan Times today.Wickramaratne said that the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP),who were jointly working on a new constitution for the country, had no differences on this, though the PA, in its draft constitution made public in October 1997 had proposed that a section of the seats in parliament be filled under the first past the post system. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 18:59:05 EDT 2000

US should support all options including secession - Ben Gilman
TamilNet, July 18. "The process of negotiations begun by Norway could begin to move forward due to the Tigers likelihood of taking over Jaffna. Although New Delhi and Colombo publically state that they will not support independence for the Tamils, it is unclear what the parties, including the Tigers are willing to accept. The Norwegians have the agreement of all the concerned parties to help begin negotiations and Norwegian diplomats have made several visits to both India and Sri Lanka. The U.S should make it clear that we would support all options including secession to be discussed in the negotiating process. If all preconditions are lifted then all the parties could get on with the process of resolving their differences. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 08:57:11 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka’s constitutional problem
Island, July 16. When in early May 2000 Sri Lanka turned to India for help to fight back the LTTE’s menace to the country’s integrity, India’s response was not only to refuse military assistance - none asked for its troops - but to project its own mediation ousting the Norwegian facilitator, loudly offer help in the evacuation of Sri Lanka’s forces - provided they accept a ceasefire to the LTTE’s advantage - and proceed to lecture to Sri Lanka on the dire need for conciliation with the LTTE.In the entire month and a half - May to mid-June 2000 - while Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh lectured to the Sri Lankans — the latter in Colombo itself on June 11 and 12 — not once has either denounced a murderous outfit which assassinated India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and whose leader, V. Prabhakaran’s extradition India was demanding as late as in 1996. The LTTE is a universally acknowledged terrorist organisation. The BJP government spares it from its condemnation of terrorism. Nor would it insist, as it does in the case of the Hurriyat in Kashmir, that it first accept the Sri Lankan constitution or at least the unity of the country as a precondition to parleys. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 21:56:19 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
A chance for peace - An editorial  - HindustanTimes

Luxury ride for Sri Lankan MPs
BBC, July 18. The Sri Lankan Government is reported to be making arrangements for ministers and members of parliament to be allowed to import luxury cars duty free. Newspaper reports say that if the move goes ahead it will enable lawmakers to save thousands of dollars. The government is known to approve the scheme because, it says, the money MPs will earn from reselling the duty-free permits will enable them to finance their election campaigns.The government is also under pressure from MPs to introduce the scheme because it will enable those who lose their seats to be compensated with a large cash bonus. That pressure has come from government and opposition MPs, who are looking for financial security amid the uncertainty of election results. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 08:51:05 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka MP's get duty free cars ahead of polls
123India, July 18. Sri Lanka's legislators are set for a bonanza by way of duty free luxury limousines barely a month before the 225-member assembly stands dissolved, press reports here said Wednesday. Sri Lankan MP's who are probably the most pampered law makers in the world already enjoy free telephones, travelling, housing, computers, fax machines, armed bodyguards, free gasoline and subsidised meals.The Daily Mirror newspaper said that legislators from both the government and opposition sides were expected to benefit from the new duty free permits to import any vehicle.There was no immediate reaction from the treasury which had earlier called for austere measures in the face of mounting defence expenditure to battle Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's north. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 12:27:01 EDT 2000

Ministers and MPs to get permits to import luxury vehicles
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. 1645 19.07.2000

Ministers and MPs are to get permits to import luxury vehicles and a hundred percent duty waiver before the dissolution of parliament. The permits would enable ministers and MPs to import any vehicle of any horse power and with luxury options, totally duty free. Such permits fetch up to two million rupees in the market.
Published: Wed Jul 19 06:53:32 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan Supreme Court wants censorship rules modified
CNN-ap, July 18. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the government to modify censorship rules in consultation with the editors of independent newspapers. The editors of 10 newspapers in June petitioned the court to lift censorship laws imposed under an emergency decree during the government's battle against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 21:21:53 EDT 2000

Lanka Oppn wants Buddhist clergy nod on peace plan
TOI, July 20. Sri Lanka's main Opposition on Wednesday demanded that President Chandrika Kumaratunga present her controversial peace plan, seeking to end the country's ethnic strife, to the influential Buddhist clergy for approval. The Opposition United National Party (UNP) at a meeting of its legislators on Wednesday asked to see the constitutional reform plan, which seeks to turn the country into a de facto federal state in all but name More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 09:33:27 EDT 2000

The State counsel gives undertaking to the Supreme Court to review censorship regulations with the Editors Guild
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1635 SLT 19.07.2000. The State counsel today gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the government would hold a meeting with the Editors Guild within ten days to review censorship regulations. The under taking was given when a fundamental rights case filed by the Editors Guild against the censorship regulations was taken up for hearing.
Published: Wed Jul 19 06:53:31 EDT 2000

Opposition demands Buddhist green light for peace plan
123India, July 19. Sri Lanka's main opposition Wednesday demanded that President Chandrika Kumaratunga present her controversial peace plan seeking to end the country's ethnic strife for the approval of the influential Buddhist clergy. The opposition United National Party (UNP) at a meeting of its legislators Wednesday asked to see the constitutional reform plan, which seeks to turn the country into a de facto federal state in all but name.The influential Buddhist clergy had generally opposed Kumaratunga's reform plan, first unveiled in August 1995 and currently being discussed with the opposition UNP. On July 7, President Kumaratunga announced she had clinched a broad agreement with the UNP -- which holds the balance of power in parliament -- to make or break the proposed plan in the 225-member national legislature. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 11:16:11 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Status of Buddhism bone of contention in Lanka  - HT
Kumaratunga's reforms are a sell-out: Sinhalese  - TOI
Buddhists oppose draft constitution  - TOI
Monks give money to boost Sri Lanka war effort  - 123India

Muralitharan holds key
BBC, July 19. South Africa will face an ordeal by spin when they begin their first Test series in Sri Lanka since 1993.

The home side are looking to Mutthiah Muralitharan to bowl them to victory in the opening Test, which starts on Thursday at the International Stadium in Galle. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 11:57:18 EDT 2000

SL government accuses Tamil rebels of sending elderly to the battlefront.
VOA, July 18, 2000. Government officials say Tamil rebels have pressed elderly civilians into military training. The government says many of them were killed during recent confrontations with security forces in the northern Jaffna region. The government statement says at the time the elderly people enlisted, the rebels promised them that they would be deployed to protect only their own villages. More...
Published: Wed Jul 19 03:00:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Tigers send elderly people to front line  - The Straits Times

Killed LTTE cadres revealed
SL Government, 20 July 2000. According to the Special Media Information Centre, the number of LTTE cadres killed in battle between April and mid-July has been revealed by LTTE transmissions, recently.

Tiger cadres killed between 1st April and 15th July include 13 Lt.Colonels, 59 Majors, 63 Captains, 68 Lieutenants, 70 2/Lt, 115 Tiger Heroes and 555 ‘Not Known’. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 06:19:02 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Tigers lost 1,000 fighters, says Lanka govt  - TOI

UNP against Chandrika as Executive President
HindustanTimes, July 18. The opposition United National Party (UNP) has decided to tell President Chandrika Kumaratunga that it will not agree to her retaining the Executive Presidency under the new Constitution which is a Westminster style parliamentary system in which the President can only be a titular one. "We will not agree to the continuation of the Executive Presidency in any form, even for a transitional period. The UNP Executive Committee has called for the abolition of the Executive Presidency," Mr Mahinda Samarasinghe, UNP MP and member of the party's delegation at the Government-UNP constitutional talks, told The Hindustan Times. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 17:17:13 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
President says UNP vote for reforms ‘not sure’  - Island

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
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga's coalition faces dissension  - TOI
Muslim party to battle alone  - BBC
Lanka polls in Nov under new Constitution  - HT
New Constitution will be passed: Chandrika  - Hindu
'Lanka polls after adoption of new Constitution'  - TOI
Chandrika sets terms for holding elections  - Deccan Herald

Bomb explodes on railway track in Trincomalee
TOI, July 18. Suspected LTTE militants detonated a bomb planted on a railway track in eastern Trincomalee, minutes before a passenger train was to pass through but no damage was reported, while, nine terrorists were killed in sporadic clashes in the north and elsewhere. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 17:01:54 EDT 2000

Ex-General Faces Trial in Sri Lanka
yahoo-ap, July 18. A retired general has been charged in the deaths and disappearances of thousands of leftists, the first high-ranking military officer to face trial in the more than decade-old murders.The men are charged with murder, abduction and unlawful detention in connection with the disappearances of members of the People's Freedom Front.Weerasekera was the commander of an army camp in Anuradhapura when JVP members disappeared from the area. A state appointed commission found Weerasekera and his subordinates responsible for the disappearances and deaths of JVP members, prompting authorities to order a trial.he JVP, which has rejoined mainstream politics, says 60,000 of its members and supporters were killed during the uprising and 10,000 during a previous revolt in 1971 More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 12:13:56 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Senior general to stand trial  - BBC
Former Sri Lanka officers held over disappearances  - MSNBC
Lanka ex-General held for killing youth  - TOI

Lanka minister discharged in contempt case
TOI, July 18. A three-member bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva ruled that Sports Minister S.B. Dissanayake, a close confidante of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, did not have mala fide or bad intention when he remarked that the courts would be closed down and the judges could go home if they did not agree with the government's political reforms package. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 17:03:25 EDT 2000

Wickramasinghe denies meeting LTTE leader
TOI, July 18. Sri Lanka's main opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe on Tuesday denied any links with the LTTE and accused the government media of launching a smear campaign ahead of elections.He said the government media was making these allegations in order to denigrate him and his party before the parliament elections which were scheduled to be held later this year. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 17:05:36 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Did Wickremesinghe meet LTTE leader on the sly?  - Hindu
Wickramasinghe met LTTE leader: reports  - Hindu
Sri Lanka opposition denies Tamil Tiger links  - 123India-afp

NIIT to aid Lanka to become world's leading software player
123India, July 20. Under a franchise agreement with NIIT, India's leading information technology giant, two Sri Lankan companies will invest Rs 80 million to set up six information technology centres in the country. For NIIT, a global major in computer software and training, the tie with the MMBL Cyberskills will be an expansion of its world class education centres in Sri Lanka.Mercantile Merchant Bank and Maharajas group have the holdings of 51 and 49 per cent respectively in the new joint venture.During the launch of the company this week, MMBL Chairman Milinda Moragoda said ''we will leverage NIIT's expertise and experience in building a pool of trained software professionals, NIIT will add to the country's intellectual pool and make Sri Lanka a leading software service player in the world.'' More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 22:46:40 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
NIIT to open 6 centres in Sri Lanka  - TOI

Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees - Research And Resentment
India-Today, July 18. For the first time, two qualified academicians have researched the magnitude of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee problem in Tamil Nadu. The study, which has brought out various aspects of the much-politicised Sri Lankan Tamil refugee problem in the state, strongly advocates 'a national legislation on refugees'.The study divides the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Tamil Nadu into three categories: 1) Refugees in Camps 2) Sri Lankan Tamils living outside the refugee camps 3) Tamil militants detained in special camps. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 22:44:46 EDT 2000

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

Sri Lanka troops claim killing nearly 1,000 Tigers
123India-afp, July 18. Sri Lankan security forces killed some 943 Tamil Tiger rebels between April and the middle of this month, the government said in a statement Tuesday. The 943 separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were killed in fighting concentrated mainly in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the government's Special Media Information Centre (SMIC) said.It said the figures were obtained by monitoring radio communications between LTTE units. The fatalities included 13 self-styled lieutenant colonels, 59 majors, 63 captains, 68 lieutenants and 70 second lieutenants, the SMIC said, adding that most of those killed were Tigers from the eastern Batticaloa region. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 09:28:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan government claims 1,000 rebels killed during the past three months.  - Roy Denish in Colombo
18 Tamil rebels killed in army attack  - TOI
Heavy fighting grips northern Sri Lanka, 112 dead  - 123India-afp
91 LTTE men killed in Army offensive  - 0
Tamil rebels attack temple in northeast Sri Lanka  - MSNBC
Separatist rebels steps-up attacks in northern Sri Lanka.  - Roy Denish in Colombo
Fresh fighting erupts in Sri Lanka's north  - MSNBC
At least 19 killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka troops kill seven Tigers in fresh fighting  - yahoo-afp
Tamil Rebels Fight Govt. Forces  - yahoo-ap
Fresh Conflict Claims Heavy Casualties in Sri Lanka  - Xinhua

Sri Lanka accused of rights abuse
BBC, July 18. Two British members of the European Parliament have strongly criticised the Sri Lankan Government's human rights record. The MEPs, Richard Howitt and Robert Evans, say the government has not done enough to protect civilians caught up in the war against Tamil Tiger rebels and is covering up their suffering.The men accuse the authorities of implementing an oppressive press-censorship policy and of not allowing essential supplies, including baby food and medicine, to be distributed in areas controlled by the Tamil Tigers. Mr Evans denied suggestions - prompted by the large number of Tamils in his London constituency - that his visit to Sri Lanka was opportunist. The findings of the MEPs are likely to be warmly welcomed by the Tamil Tigers, who in recent months have themselves been strongly criticised by a variety of human-rights groups. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 14:40:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka price protest
BBC, july 18. Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, to protest against rising prices. The rally was part of a nation-wide protest organised by the main opposition United National Party (UNP). Demonstrators carried placards criticising the increase in the prices of food products, diesel, cooking gas and electricity. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 20:33:57 EDT 2000
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UNP to hold mass rally next week  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Thousands protest against Sri Lanka price hikes  - MSNBC

Massive demonstration in commercial city of Sri Lanka.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 17: 07 Tuesday.. Hundreds of thousands of pro-opposition party supporters jammed the streets of Colombo to protest over the rising cost of living on Tuesday amidst a tight security.

The supporters of the United National Party (UNP) converged opposite the Maradana police station bringing rush-hour traffic to a complete standstill. The protestors demanded president Chandrika Kumaratunge's government to halt hiking the prices of the commodity items and take steps immediately to end rampant corruption.

A spokesman for the police headquarters said that at least 10,000 men, women and children were took part in the protest march and policemen were ordered to take extra precaution to prevent any demonstrator sneaking into high security zone, which houses the official residence of president Kumaratunge.
Published: Tue Jul 18 07:36:39 EDT 2000

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JVP protest against the President and rising cost of living  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Sri Lanka party urges help against rising costs  - abcNews

Sri Lanka says rebels send old people to frontline
MSNBC, July 18. Sri Lanka, which often accuses Tamil Tigers of using children to fight government troops, said on Tuesday the rebels were sending old people to the frontline. ''The LTTE has been compelled to enlist elderly civilians for military training and subsequent deployment... Fifty-three such persons have also been killed during recent confrontations with security forces in Jaffna,'' Director of Government Information Ariya Rubasinghe said in the statement. ''At the time of the enlistment of these elderly people, the LTTE had promised them that they will be deployed to protect their own villages,'' the statement added. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 08:35:13 EDT 2000
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Tamils fed up with Lankan war  - TOI
Lankan lives on hold due to LTTE extortion  - TOI

Opposition halts traffic in Sri Lanka capital
123India-afp, July 18. Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets here Tuesday to protest against escalating living costs, blocking a key intersection. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 opposition activists thronged the Maradana railway station junction, halting traffic for nearly two hours as opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the crowd. "We will stop the agitation we have launched today by establishing a government that will ensure people can live without the unbearable prices that we are facing today," Wickremesinghe said.His wife, Maithree, stood among the thousands of party loyalists and cheered as a petition to the gods was read out slamming the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 08:41:49 EDT 2000

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
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More taxes to fund larger Lanka defence budget  - TOI
Defence shopping spree sees prices on essentials soar  - SCMP
The growing cost of war  - The Economist

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

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
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Tamil political parties reject package  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Several Tamil groups reject Sri Lanka draft reforms  - MSNBC
Lanka Tamils to be called for talks on constitutional change  - Deccan Herald

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
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Parents of MIAs send message to Sri Lanka's president  - Globe

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
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Hit-and-run tactics 'halt' Tamil Tigers  - SCMP

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
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Cong. hits out at stand on Sri Lanka  - Hindu

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
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Switzerland asked to probe Tamil groups  - BBC
LTTE launches fund collection drive in Kerala  - Rediff
LTTE fund raising in Kerala, India  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Canada's Tamils Work for a Homeland From Afar  - NYT

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
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Devolution package ignores Tamils of Indian origin’  - HT
Devolution deal: too little for Tamils, too much for Sinhalese  - Hindu
Britain Urges Sri Lanka's Tamil Parties to Support Consensus  - Xinhua
Sri Lanka -EP delegation arrives  - BBC
Top British official in Sri Lanka for talks  - 123India
Lanka to ask Britain to ban LTTE  - PTI

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 Lanka banking on Scottish connection -- again
yahoo, July 18. When Sri Lanka's coffee crop was wiped out in a blight in 1849, a Scotsman came to the rescue and introduced tea growing. A hundred and fifty years later, the island is banking on another gift from Scotland -- golf.The country has built its first international-level golf course in this picturesque central mountain region, and officials believe it will help woo upmarket holiday makers, especially from Japan and Arab countries.The Victoria Golf Club, which borrows its name from a nearby dam, is already up and running. Its pro, Nishantha Sumith, is coaching several Japanese executives working in Sri Lanka. He says the Japanese golfers find the 27-dollar weekend greens fees an attractive bargain. More...
Published: Tue Jul 18 09:40:34 EDT 2000

LTTE prisoners on indefiite fast
ChennaiOnline, July 21. Five LTTE inmates of the special refugee camp for Sri Lankans in Chengalpattu have gone on an indefinite fast from yesterday demanding speedy trials in cases pending against them. Today, 20 Sri Lankan refugees in the camp joined the fast in support of the LTTE men while 21 fasted on Wednesday to express sympathy. Balan (44), Vivekanandan (57), Muralidharan (31), Sivam alias Sivathampi (46) and Mahendra Sigamani (36) were arrested by the Indian naval police in 1991 along with a cache of arms. More...
Published: Thu Jul 20 22:35:10 EDT 2000

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