The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 22, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 108
 

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THE SUN GOD'S CHILIDREN & THE BIG LIE
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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Opposition leader walks out of Lanka talks
TOI, July 22. Sri Lanka's minority Tamil and Muslim parties said Saturday they no longer have hope of a consensus between the opposition and government on constitutional changes to end the Civil war. Four months of dialogue between President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government and the opposition United National Party took an unpleasant turn Friday when opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stormed out of the meeting.Wickremesinghe protested to President Kumaratunga about a police probe, claiming it attempted to establish that he had ties with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Kumaratunga denied knowledge of an investigation, said Gamini Atukorale, UNP secretary. Wickremesinghe nevertheless walked out, followed by the rest of his delegation. "We are not fools," said Atukorale, referring to Kumaratunga's denial. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 17:01:05 EDT 2000

Talks to formulate new Lankan constitution break down
PTI, july 22. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's efforts to formulate a new constitution in consultation with the opposition United National party (UNP) have suffered a setback with UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe walking out of the talks protesting police investigations to establish his alleged links with the LTTE.At the end of today's talks, Wickramasinghe reportedly drew the attention of Chandrika towards police questioning the sister of a Tamil businessman Gnanakoon, whom he met in Singapore last month. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 17:22:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Reforms process in Sri Lanka facing uncertainty  - Hindu

Pessimism Over Ending Sri Lanka War
Reuters, Saturday July 22, 16:29:24. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Minority Tamil and Muslim parties in Sri Lanka said Saturday they no longer have any hope that the government and opposition will agree to constitutional changes aimed at ending the island nation's 17-year civil war. The government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the main opposition United National Party have been trying to reach an accord on clauses to give more autonomy to provinces in a bid to end the ethnic conflict. The plan has already been rejected by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 16:39:04 EDT 2000

India still reaping benefits of 1987 pact, says Lankan expert
HT , July 22. "The accord is by no means moribund because India continues to enjoy the geo-political gains made through it," says Dr John Gooneratne, former Sri Lankan ambassador and author of A Decade of Confrontation: Sri Lanka and India in the 1980s, to be launched here on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the accord on July 28. Dr Gooneratne told The Hindustan Times that India had retained its supremacy over Sri Lanka as envisaged in the letters exchanged between President Jayewardene and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as part of the accord. "And with Sri Lanka firmly in its sphere of influence, India has secured its southern frontier," he pointed out. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 22:08:09 EDT 2000

A decade of confrontation Sri Lanka and India in the 1980s
Island, july 23. Close focus is drawn upon the "how" and the "why" to India’s direct role in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. The author discusses the contradictory policy that the Indian government adopted. On the one hand it provided military training and arms to the Tamil militant groups who then began mounting attacks against Sri Lanka from safe-havens in South India. On the other hand, India initiated a process of mediation to bring about a political solution to the ethnic conflict. This contradictory approach of India ensured that the mediation process lacked transparency. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 22:32:51 EDT 2000

Tigers destroy second school bus
BBC, july 22. Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have destroyed a school bus for the second day running near the northern town of Vavuniya.Police said they didn't have a motive but a government spokesman, Ariya Rubasinghe, said the attack had been carried out to force schools to close so that the rebels could recruit children.The Tigers have been criticised by human rights groups for forcibly recruiting children into their ranks, some as young as ten. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 14:00:38 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka offers concessions, opposition leader quits peace talks
123India, July 22. Sri Lanka's crucial talks aimed at ending decades of ethnic bloodshed have run into more trouble with a key negotiating partner walking out as the government tried to present a draft statute in 12 days.Kumaratunga had offered a key concession to minority Tamils by agreeing to allow a temporary merger of the northern and eastern provinces as one administrative council for a period of 10 years, a Tamil legislator said.The UNP said a campaign led by the state-run newspapers and the police to link their leader and former prime minister Wickremesinghe to the Tamil separatists had angered it. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 12:51:18 EDT 2000
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Political bickering hits Sri Lanka peace talks  - 123India

UN recommends measures to curb use of child soldiers and protect children in war
ABS-UN, July, 22. The United Nations outlined recommendations Friday to better protect children caught in war, saying they have increasingly become the "innocent victims of the persistent gap between law and practice." The 55 proposals cover a range of issues confronting children in war zones, including their recruitment into armies, their risk of harm from land mines and their vulnerability to sanctions applied in times of conflict. The United Nations estimates that some 300,000 children have been recruited, mostly by rebel groups, to fight wars from Sierra Leone to Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 07:56:45 EDT 2000
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Tamil Tigers Bait Children, Parents  - IPS
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S.Lanka rebels break pledge on child recruits -UN  - MSNBC-Reuter
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UNICEF slams Tigers on child soldiers  - Hindu
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War hits Sri Lankan children  - BBC
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LTTE forcibly recruiting children: Report  - HT
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Sri Lanka rebels recruit children forcibly-report  - MSNBC
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Tigers' refugee children returning home in coffins  - Yahoo-afp

Sri Lanka Foils Rebel Attempt to Blow Up Oil Tanks
XINHUA, July 21. COLOMBO (July 21) XINHUA - An attempt by the Tamil Tiger rebels to blow up oil tanks of the Sri Lanka Petroleum Corporation in Colombo has been foiled, the official Daily News reported Friday. A special police team conducting investigations into rebel activities on Thursday arrested a suspected suicide bomber of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who had allegedly come to blow up the oil tanks, said the newspaper. According to a senior investigator the suicide bomber Maheswaran, who had come to Colombo from Mannar in northern Sri Lanka on July 14, had in his possession a forged National Identity Card under the name of Thambimuttu Makillaran. The investigators had also found three cyanide capsules concealed in his travelling bag. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 21:32:18 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan police arrest suicide bomber: report  - 123-India AFP

Sri Lankan general charged
BBC, Saturday, July 22 10:23: 22. The Sri Lankan Government has defended a decision to bring charges against a retired army general accused of torturing and murdering left-wing rebels. The general, Ananda Weerasekara, is accused of presiding over a spate of disappearances against members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front). The general, and two army sergeants, are accused of playing a key role in what the government says was the running of a detention camp in which JVP members were tortured and killed. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 10:34:05 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka killing fields ghosts return ahead of polls  - Yahoo-afp
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Senior general to stand trial  - BBC
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Ex-General Faces Trial in Sri Lanka  - yahoo-ap
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Former Sri Lanka officers held over disappearances  - MSNBC
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Lanka ex-General held for killing youth  - TOI

South Africa slip towards defeat in first test
123India, july 22. South Africa, forced to follow-on for the second time since their return to international cricket eight years ago, were battling defeat with 112 for two Saturday in their second innings against Sri Lanka. At close of play in their second innings on the third day of the first cricket test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium here Saturday the South Africans were in a spin brought about by Muttiah Muralitharan. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 14:03:06 EDT 2000

World Bank warns Sri Lanka on continuing civil war
IndiaToday, July 21. The World Bank said today Sri Lanka's economic development will continue to be held hostage by the war for a Tamil homeland despite meaningful progress in some key areas.In a comprehensive assessment of Sri Lanka's economy, the bank said the country needs to start on the second phase of privatisation and financial and public sector reforms to achieve high growth rates and reduce poverty levels."The biggest concern is the prolonged nature of the civil conflict," said the report, obtained by Dow Jones newswires. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 13:03:38 EDT 2000

S.Lanka Launches Massive Skills Development Project for Youth
XINHUA, July 21. COLOMBO (July 21) XINHUA - The Sri Lankan government has initiated a massive skills development project with the aim to address the issues of skill mismatch and unemployment among urban and rural youth, the Ministry of Vocational Training and Rural Industries said Friday.

"A competency based training system will be introduced by the project to ensure trainees acquire the correct competence needed," said the ministry in a statement, adding nearly 70 percent of training courses offered by vocational training institutions are not up-to-date, resulting in a severe mismatch between the supply of skills by these institutions and the needs in the industry.

The statement said that the project worth some 38.5 million U.S. dollars will extend for a period of six years from 2000 onwards with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, Nordic Development Fund and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 21:40:56 EDT 2000


Two lakh Tamils of Indian origin to get Lankan citizenship
HT, July 21. THE SRI Lankan President, Mrs Chandrika Kumaratun-ga, has agreed to give Sri Lankan citizenship to those Indian Origin Tamils (IOTs) who were forced to take Indian citizenship in 1964 as a result of the India-Sri Lanka pact on the stateless people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka.

Mr M S Sellasamy, leader of the Ceylon National Workers' Congress (CNWC) told The Hindustan Times here today that the President's agreement was secured on Thursday when ten IOT parties and organisations had met her. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 21:27:50 EDT 2000


Muralitharan forces South Africa to follow-on
AFP, July 22. GALLE, Sri Lanka, July 22 (AFP) - Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took six wickets for 87 runs as South Africa crashed to 238 all out on Saturday and were forced to follow on for only the second time since their return to Test cricket in 1992. South Africa followed on in the Durban Test against England in December last year when they were dismissed for 156, but then batted well in the second innings to draw the match by scoring 572 for seven, of which Gary Kirsten scored 275. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 08:02:20 EDT 2000
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Pictures from Galle- RSA vs Sri Lanka 1st Test  - Yahoo-ap etc..

Buddhist monks oppose Chandrika's autonomy plan
Times of India, July 21 . COLOMBO: President Chandrika Kumaratunga's hope to end the Tamil homeland war hit a new snag on Friday when Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist monks opposed the government's proposed constitutional changes to allow Tamils more autonomy.

Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy preach nonviolence. Yet they urge the government to carry on its war against Tamil militants as part of protecting their religion and say the country's minority Tamils, who are mostly Hindus, should not be given any special privileges. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 21:22:58 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
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All-Party Talks on New Constitution to Be Held in Sri Lanka  - XINHUA
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TULF backs Govt dialogue with Buddhist monks  - HT
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Lanka parties to discuss reforms package  - DECCAN HERALD
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Chandrika calls meeting on draft constitution  - TOI
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Talks on Sri Lankan reform plans  - BBC
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Chandrika calls meet on July 25 on statute  - Deccan Chronicle

Tamil secession ruled out
Jeffrey Phillips, BBC, in Washington DC, Friday, 21 July, 2000, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK. Sri Lanka has voiced concern at a proposal that the United States consider a negotiated Tamil secession as a way to end the island's conflict. A spokesman for the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington said there could never be a negotiated secession for the Tamils, as the government would never enter into such discussions. The suggestion came in a private letter to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright from Congressman Ben Gilman, chairman of the House International Relations Committee. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 18:07:14 EDT 2000
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US should support all options including secession - Ben Gilman  - TamilNet

Opposition leader pulls out of peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.30 a.m. SLT Saturday July 22. Sri Lanka's Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe yesterday pulled out of peace talks with the government alleging the government has initiated a smear campaign against him.

The joint discussions between the United National Party and the Peoples Alliance aimed at resolving Sri Lanka's 17 year old war, ended when the Opposition Leader said yesterday that unfair allegations are being levelled against him claiming that he held secret talks with the LTTE on a recent visit to Singapore.
Published: Sat Jul 22 02:46:24 EDT 2000

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Cracks surface in Sri Lanka peace talks as opposition leader quits  - 123India
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Sri Lanka opposition leader pulls out of peace talks  - 123India

LTTE steps up fund-raising drive in Paris
India Abroad, July 21, 2000 11:20 Hrs (IST) . Paris: Sri Lanka's rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is reported to have stepped up its fund-raising activities here, faced with the prospect of a prolonged battle for the control of Jaffna town in the northern part of the island nation. Most Tamils regularly contribute a portion of their income to the Tigers every month, with shopkeepers and businessmen donating every week. However, of late, the collection drive has been intensified, admit some grocers in Rue de Faubourg St Denis in central Paris, which is almost entirely a Tamil area or La Petite Eelam. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 15:06:04 EDT 2000
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LTTE steps up fund raising drive in Paris  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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LTTE launches fund collection drive in Kerala  - Rediff
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LTTE fund raising in Kerala, India  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
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Canada's Tamils Work for a Homeland From Afar  - NYT
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Tamil Tiger Fundraising in Canada Protested  - India-West

S.Lanka industry chief urges new political culture
Reuters, Fri July 21, 8:54:20. COLOMBO, July 21 (Reuters) - The chief of Sri Lanka's top industry body on Friday blamed politicians for the country's woes, urging them to move quickly to end the island's ethnic war and seek sustained economic growth. Ken Balendra, the outgoing chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, told its annual general meeting that Sri Lanka was plagued by unemployment, lack of infrastructure development, poverty and ethnic conflict. The two parties, along with mainline Tamil groups, are now currently trying to achieve a consensus on constitutional reforms aimed at devolving powers to regions, including one administered by Tamils. The government proposes to bring the draft constitution to parliament before its six-year term ends on August 24. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 09:08:06 EDT 2000

Flamboyant Sri Lankans make record total against South Africa
Yahoo-afp, July 21. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 524 shortly before tea on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at the Galle International Stadium here on Friday.The players took an early tea, after Sri Lanka had made their highest-ever total against South Africa - beating the 331 at Moratuwa in 1993-94 - with Mahela Jayawardene joining Sanath Jayasuriya (148) by scoring a century.Jayewardene made 167, his third Test century totalling 331 minutes and faced 288 balls hitting 22 fours and two sixes, sharing in an eighth wicket stand of 117 with Chaminda Vaas which was a record for Sri Lanka against any country.The stand improved the previous highest of 76 between Aravinda de Silva and Vaas against Pakistan at Sinhalese SC grounds in 1996-97.Vaas's contribution was a patient knock of 54, his fourth test fifty, which occupied 170 minutes.He frustrated the South African bowlers hitting seven fours and saw Sri Lanka top 500 for the first time in a test against South Africa. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 12:44:37 EDT 2000
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Muralitharan holds key  - BBC
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Sri Lanka gets South Africa in a spin with two early blows  - Yahoo-afp
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Cricket-Sri Lanka v South Africa first test scoreboard  - Yahoo
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Sri Lanka 522 all out v South Africa, first test  - Yahoo

Ranatunga's retirement gets politicians in a spin
Yahoo-afp, July 21. Cricket supremo Arjuna Ranatunga's surprise announcement that he is to retire from the game has sent Sri Lanka's parliamentarians into a spin amid reports that he may enter the political fray. Family friends said that Ranatunga, 36, may take a short break from public life at the end of the ongoing three-Test series against the visiting South Africans and would then enter the political arena."He is well placed to become a good politician because he has moved with a wide cross section of society," a close family friend said of Ranatunga on Friday, a day after his announcement to leave the international cricket scene.Rumours of Ranatunga's political ambitions have been fuelled by his appearance at the launch of a new nationalist party, the Sihala Urumaya, or Sinhalese Heritage, in April.The Sihala Urumaya on Friday welcomed Ranatunga's decision to retire and said they were waiting with "open arms" to welcome him into the party. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 12:33:15 EDT 2000
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Ranatunga calls it quits after sharp rise is followed by sharper fall  - Yahoo-afp

94 human rights abuses in Uva
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Friday July 21. Senaka Dissanayake, Coordinator for the Uva Province said today that 94 cases of human rights abuses have been reported in the Uva Province. Mr. Dissanayake claimed that 70 cases are against government authorities alleging discrimination in the promotion, transfer and granting of employment to certain persons not supportive of the present government.

He said that 11 cases are pertaining to human rights abuses committed by law enforcement officers while 13 complaints have been received against the arbitrary arrests and detention of persons under the present emergency regulations.

Mr. Dissanayake asserted that 64 of these complaints are already being investigated by the Human Rights Commission.
Published: Fri Jul 21 02:13:07 EDT 2000


World Bk: Sri Lanka Econ Hurt By War, Slow Reforms
Yahoo-JowJones, July 21. The World Bank said Friday Sri Lanka's economic development will continue to be held hostage by the country's civil war despite meaningful progress in some key areas. In a comprehensive assessment of Sri Lanka titled "Recapturing Missed Opportunities," the bank also said the country needs to start on the second phase of privatizations and financial and public sector reforms in order to achieve high growth rates and reduce poverty levels. "The biggest concern is the prolonged nature of the civil conflict," said the report, obtained by Dow Jones Newswires Friday. "Realizing Sri Lanka's enormous potential will first require an end to the war," it said, referring to the 17-year-old civil conflict between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military. The bank said the conflict had drained at least two years of gross domestic product growth and caused humanitarian problems of great proportions. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 12:46:29 EDT 2000

Flying sergeant from Lanka
Yahoo, July 21 . TYPICAL of the most prestigious event in any athletic meet, the 100 metre race provided all the drama in the 78th MAAU Open in Penang.South Asian champion Chintaka de Soysa ran like a man possessed last night to take the men's title in 10.58s as Watson Nyambek's challenge floundered in the last 30 metres.A sergeant major in the Sri Lankan Army, de Soysa blazed the track as if he were being chased by wild dogs to outsprint Watson and Thai duo Sittichai Suwonprateep and Ekkachai Janthana at the City Stadium.While the 27-year old de Sosya celebrated his first major victory in the region, Watson said the muscle pull he sustained during the semifinals hampered his chances. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 12:48:20 EDT 2000

LTTE men call off fast
july 22, july 22. The five LTTE inmates of the special refugee camp, who were on an indefinite fast for the last five days demanding speedy trial in the cases against them, called off their fast late last night.Three of them were admitted to the Chengalpattu government hospital after their condition deteriorated. More...
Published: Sat Jul 22 14:06:26 EDT 2000
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TN: Sri Lankan refugees go on fast  - Hindu
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LTTE prisoners on indefiite fast  - ChennaiOnline

Swiss consider accession to UN Convention
SL Government, July 21, 2000. With reports of the LTTE shifting its bases to Switzerland, the Swiss government is considering accession to the UN Convention against terrorist financing, sources said.

Two Sri Lankan groups, which met with Swiss Foreign Ministry officials recently were assured of this consideration. The two groups included The Committee for Peace in Sri Lanka and the Committee for a United Sri Lanka, two activists groups in Switzerland. More...
Published: Fri Jul 21 06:29:48 EDT 2000


Chapter on Buddhism to be retained in package
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.05 a.m. SLT Friday July 21. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge in a press release issued yesterday stated categorically that the present chapter on Buddhism as defined in the 1997 constitution will be retained with no changes in the new constitutional reforms. The President' s statement came after Buddhist organizations accused the government of ignoring the status of Buddhism in its proposed new legislation.
Published: Fri Jul 21 02:13:08 EDT 2000

AI says increase in human rights abuses in Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m.SLT Friday July 21. Amnesty International in a press statement on Thursday July 20, 2000 said that the present emergency regulations in the country is having a detrimental effect on human rights.

The statement maintains that an increase in torture, "disappearances" and deaths in custody have been reported in Sri Lanka since new emergency regulations were introduced by the President in May 2000. Amnesty International is concerned that wider powers given to the security forces under these emergency regulations may have contributed to the increase. The regulations confer powers of arrest to "any authorized person" in addition to the police and armed forces, and considerably extends their powers to detain.

Amnesty International last Thursday July 20, released a report entitled "Sri Lanka: New emergency regulations -- erosion of human rights protection". In particular, the report highlights the removal of several safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention and the danger this poses for the safety of detainees.

In May this year AI emphasized that civilian life must be protected as fighting in the northern Jaffna peninsula escalated. The human rights organization on May 12, appealed to the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to respect international humanitarian law.

AI asserts that previous escalations in this long conflict have brought widespread violations and abuses to the civilian population. "Half a million civilians live in this contested area," Amnesty International said. "Every effort must be made to respect their security."

International humanitarian law lays down clear standards in the conduct of any war, and applies equally to all parties to a conflict. Both the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE have a responsibility to uphold these standards.

In an apparent response to the heightened conflict, the Sri Lankan authorities introduced new Emergency Regulations on 3 May 2000, granting the police and armed forces wide powers of arrest and detention and allowing for restrictions on freedom of assembly, and extensive censorship of the local media. This, AI adds makes assessment of the true situation in the conflict zone all the more difficult.

Amnesty International has reminded the Sri Lankan government of its obligations under international human rights law not to derogate certain fundamental rights, even in a state of emergency.

"Even in a national emergency, some rights are fundamental," Amnesty International said. "No one shall be subjected to torture or ill-treatment, and the right to life must also be upheld."

In a recent statement welcomed by Amnesty International, the Sri Lankan government said that steps have been taken to protect the lives of ethnic Tamil civilians in the south of the country, against any possible backlash.

Amnesty International takes no position on the causes and nature of the conflict and its appeal is based on humanitarian concerns for the lives and safety of civilians and in view of widespread human rights abuses reported in the context of previous offences.
Published: Fri Jul 21 02:13:07 EDT 2000

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Sri Lanka Rights Violations Cited  - yahoo-ap
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Lanka flouting international treaty obligations: Amnesty  - HT

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

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

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
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Bomb explodes on railway track in Trincomalee  - TOI

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

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

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Jayasuriya, snake rattle South Africa  - Pioneer
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Jayasuriya hammers 148 off 156 balls  - Hindu
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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’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
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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

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
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Lanka Oppn wants Buddhist clergy nod on peace plan  - TOI
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Status of Buddhism bone of contention in Lanka  - HT
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Kumaratunga's reforms are a sell-out: Sinhalese  - TOI
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Buddhists oppose draft constitution  - TOI

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
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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

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Tigers lost 1,000 fighters, says Lanka govt  - TOI

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
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Sri Lanka to adopt proportional system  - HT
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Lanka polls in Nov under new Constitution  - HT
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New Constitution will be passed: Chandrika  - Hindu
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'Lanka polls after adoption of new Constitution'  - TOI
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Chandrika sets terms for holding elections  - Deccan Herald

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
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Did Wickremesinghe meet LTTE leader on the sly?  - Hindu
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Wickramasinghe met LTTE leader: reports  - Hindu
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Sri Lanka opposition denies Tamil Tiger links  - 123India-afp

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
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Sri Lankan government claims 1,000 rebels killed during the past three months.  - Roy Denish in Colombo
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18 Tamil rebels killed in army attack  - TOI
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91 LTTE men killed in Army offensive  - 0
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Tamil rebels attack temple in northeast Sri Lanka  - MSNBC

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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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


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
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Lankan lives on hold due to LTTE extortion  - TOI

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
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Defence shopping spree sees prices on essentials soar  - SCMP
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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

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

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

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