The Lanka Academic

JULY 29, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 115

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Lakdiva. 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...
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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Buddhist monks oppose Lanka's constitutional changes
TOI, july 30. The monks say the proposed constitutional changes give too many concessions to the Tamils, who make up 3.2 million of the country's 18.6 million people. The rebels are fighting to carve out Eelam, a homeland where they say the Tamils will not be discriminated against by the Sinhalese.The public meeting was held a day after President Chandrika Kumaratunga met with Tamil party leaders and pledged to push through the constitutional amendments in Parliament next month. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 18:46:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Monks blast PA-UNP agreement  - hindu
Buddhist monks protest new Constitution  - Hindu

Chandrika woos Tamil groups to get statute ratified
TOI, july 29. With Sri Lanka's main opposition party UNP deciding not to back the new draft constitution, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is wooing moderate Tamil parties for their support before she unveils her bid in parliament next week to end country's ethnic conflict.Chandrika, after returning from London on Friday, met with the leaders of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) to get the proposals approved. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 12:16:53 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to push ethnic peace plan ahead of parliament dissolution
123India-AFP, July 29. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga is set to unveil in parliament Thursday her radical bid to end ethnic bloodshed despite a conditional withdrawal of support by the opposition.

Tamil legislators said Kumaratunga told them that she will have a draft constitution presented to the 225-member legislative assembly on August 3, the fifth anniversary of announcing a "political package" in 1995. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 11:06:06 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka opposition deals blow to devolution plans  - CNN-Reuters
UNP seeks white paper on reforms  - TOI
Sri Lankan president starts peace plan countdown  - 123india

Sri Lankan capital faces water shortage
MNBC-Reuters, July 29. Residents of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo have been told to use water sparingly or face supply cuts to cope with a drought, local media reported on Saturday. ''Consumers would have to use water only for essential purposes if they want the supply to last longer,'' the independent Island newspaper quoted the state-owned National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) as saying. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 11:13:09 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan spinners ready to knock out South Africa again
yahoo-afp, july 29. Sri Lankans are keyed up to push South Africa over the edge by persisting with their policy of three spinners for the second cricket test starting in this hill resort Sunday. Already one up in the three-test series, Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya's men are not prepared to lose the advantage they have on the South Africans after winning the first test by an innings and 15 runs in Galle."We cannot underestimate South Africa at any stage. They are capable of always winning and coming back," said Jayasuriya. "Certainly we will have to play very hard to beat them if we are to win the series." More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 13:56:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's Tigers wary of cricket  - Buisnessday

Growth is on Track Despite War
IPS, july 28. The good news for Sri Lanka is that economic growth is on track despite the ongoing ethnic conflict. But the bad news is that its growth rate would have doubled without the war, say the country's top economic officials.The economy will grow faster this year, although the escalation in the battle between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels is draining government funds, says the Central Bank governor, A.S. Jayawardene.Sri Lanka's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by between five percent and 5.5 percent this year, against last year's 4.3 percent, Jayawardene told IPS in an interview. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 13:09:19 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka falling far short of economic potential: World Bank  - 123India
Why Sri Lanka is not an Asian tiger  - EconomicTimes
World Bank says Sri Lanka's economic growth on a slide  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

21 Lankans drowned in attempt to cross to India
TOI, July 29. At least 21 Sri Lankans are believed to have been drowned while attempting to cross over to neighbouring India via the Palk Straits which divide the two countries, a local radio station said on Friday.

The bodies of 21 persons had been washed ashore off Mannar, 312 km north of the capital and had been detected by the villagers on Thursday, the state-run Lakhanda radio reported. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 11:22:10 EDT 2000

Chandrika to meet LTTE in UK?
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.05 p.m. SLT Friday July 28. Speculation is rife that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge may meet with LTTE Theoretician Anton Balasingham in London this week.

Rumours have been fuelled after the Indian Hindu newspaper carried a column yesterday which speculated on the possibility of such a meeting. The article did say however that reports on a possible meeting between the President and the rebels is as yet unconfirmed.

The President left for the UK earlier this week in what official sources said is purely a private visit to seek further medical treatment for her eye, injured in an LTTE suicide attack last December.
Published: Fri Jul 28 04:12:54 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka president goes abroad for treatment  - MSNBC-Reuters

Central Bank to launch primary dealer surveillance system
AsiaGateway, Friday July 28, 17:05:12. The Central Bank is putting in place a system to supervise primary dealers trading in Government debt instruments, the bank's Superintendent of Public Debt T.S.N.Fernando said on Tuesday. The surveillance system will help investors gain confidence in dealers handling Government securities, he told the seminar organised by the Association of Primary Dealers. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 17:29:28 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka telecom launches fibre optic ring
Buisness Recorder, july 28. Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) on Friday launched its first 1.5 billion rupees inter-province fibre optic ring connecting 15 major cities and urban centres and said it would further upgrade its network using new technology.Officials of SLT, partly owned and managed by Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp, said four more optic fibre rings would be set up connecting the suburbs of Colombo."These rings will be in place by the end of the year," S. Amarasinghe, SLT's director, network planning and construction said at the inaugural ceremony. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 12:36:04 EDT 2000

Vavuniya : LTTE behind students protest - Police
AsiaGateway, Friday July 28, 17:14:10. LTTE is behind the protest of students from all schools in Vavuniya demanding the immediate release of two students detained by the police, one of them being the LTTE suspect sent by the LTTE leader personally to recruit school children, Vavuniya police sources said today. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 17:22:06 EDT 2000

Jaffna telephone services resume
BBC News, Eriday 28 July. Telephone links to the war-torn Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka have been restored after a three-month break.

The services have been cut off since April when the Tamil Tiger rebels More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 13:56:20 EDT 2000

Five die in grenade attack
BBC news, Friday, 28 July. Friday, 28 July, 2000, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK Five die in grenade attack

At least five people have been killed in a grenade attack in the garrison town of Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka.

Two of the dead were children.

The grenade was thrown at police officers who opened fire in retaliation. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 13:51:45 EDT 2000

Lanka urges UK to ban Tamil Tigers
TOI, july 30. Sri Lanka renewed its appeal to have the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) banned just as the British Parliament passed a Terrorism Bill which outlaws "all forms of terrorism, whether Irish, international or domestic perpetrated on British soil," the foreign ministry said.Two weeks ago, the British High Commissioner in Colombo Linda Duffield told a meeting of local businessmen here that the new legislation would come into force in August and it would make it difficult for the LTTE to continue its operations there. More...
Published: Sat Jul 29 18:55:19 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka says UK to consider banning Tamil rebels  - TOI
Sri Lanka urges Tiger ban  - BBC
Britain may ban LTTE  - hindu
Canada's Tamils under scrutiny  - BBC news
Switzerland asked to probe Tamil groups  - BBC news
Sri Lanka has asked Britain  - VOA
Sri Lanka formally asks Britain to ban LTTE  - Reuters-MSNBC
Sri Lanka demands British ban on Tamil Tigers  - 123India

Tribal hunters turn wildlife protectors - by hunting again
Environmental News Network, july 28. Uruwarige Kenda stood in the middle of a small clearing in the harsh scrub jungle of Dambana in eastern Sri Lanka. He proudly drew back the string on his hand-carved bow, demonstrating his hunting skills. The aim of the bearded, loin-clothed hunter was on target, evidence that Kenda once had lots of practice even though hunting in the area has been banned for more than a decade. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 11:03:40 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka: Journalists accused of "treason" by a pro-government newspaper
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 19 :36 Friday.. In a letter sent today to the post, telecommunications and media minister, Mangala Samaraweera, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) expressed its concern about accusations of "treason" and "spying" diffused on State media against four Sri Lankan journalists. RSF called on him to ensure that "this intimidation campaign against opposition journalists stops" and "those responsible for the threats are sanctioned". The general secretary of the press freedom organisation Robert Ménard, said: "This campaign could have dramatic consequences for the journalists concerned". RSF recalled that two opposition journalists were killed in 1999. The murderers have never been identified.

According to the information collected by RSF, on 18 July, the pro-government newspaper The Jana Ravaya published an article in which Roy Denish, correspondent on military issues with the opposition weekly The Sunday Leader, Saman Wagaarachchi, editor of Irida Peramuna (Sinhala edition of The Sunday Leader), P. Sivaram (pen name: Aka Taraki), columnist with the Daily Mirror, and P. Seevagan, reporter at the Sinhala service of the BBC, have been accused of "betraying the country to the Tigers". The Patriotic Journalists Front that issued the press release on which the article is based, affirms that the journalists "gave military information to the Tigers movement" and are "spies based in Colombo". According to one of journalists named, this intimidation campaign is led by a person known as K. A. Sunny Ariyadasa from the pro-government newspaper Jana Handa.

Early in June 2000, following a seminar organised for the Tamil journalists in Batticalao (a town on the east cost of the country), the Patriotic Journalists Front accused the same journalists of being linked to Tamil Tigers. State and pro-government media widely diffused the declaration of this unknown organisation. Since 3 May the government has extended censorship to all "military news". At least five media have been closed or sanctioned by the authorities.
Published: Fri Jul 28 09:39:43 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka editors want censorship removed  - AsianAge

Sri Lanka Opposition Accuses Govt Of Election Corruption
yahoo-ap, July 28. The main opposition accused the government of corruption Friday and called for international observers for parliamentary elections in November. "In view of what we feel are definite government plans to rig the forthcoming elections, we demand the participation of observers, particularly from the Carter Foundation and the European Union," said United National Party Secretary Gamini Atukorale. Sri Lanka, which has a history of election fraud and poll rigging, invited foreign observers from 15 countries for the presidential elections last December. The UNP said the government printing department was illegally releasing polling cards to supporters of the ruling People's Alliance coalition. Polling cards, used as voter identification, are distributed only after the election date and nominations are announced. Neither has been done. "These cards are made by the government printing department under strict security," Atukorale said, waving a sheaf of the polling cards at a news conference. "However, a large quantity of them are already in circulation and are being distributed among government supporters." More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 09:12:47 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Vote rigging fears in Sri Lanka  - BBC News
Opposition accuses government of planning vote-rigging  - BBC

Minority political parties and civil society dissatisfied with PA-UNP position
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Friday July 28. Joseph Pararajasingham, of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) said today that both the Peoples Alliance and the United National Party are not sincere in finding a solution to Sri Lanka's 17 year old ethnic conflict.

The TULF party member reiterated that both main political parties are now prevaricating on issues without making a genuine effort to push through new constitutional reforms that are expected to help resolve the war.

The UNP continue to affirm that they will not lend their support to the proposed package if the government refuses to accede to concerns expressed by minority political party groups and sections of the Maha Sangha. The UNP's statement comes weeks after it sat together with the PA and reached consensus on several key provisions in the draft constitution.

Minister for Science and Technology, Batty Weerakoon said yesterday that for the UNP to take this stand at this juncture "is preposterous." Speaking to a private television station the Minister reiterated that months of joint discussions took into consideration various concerns expressed by the main opposition party, and that it was imperative the government pushed through the new constitutional reforms which he said has been the focus of discussion for the last nearly six years.

The Minister asserted the draft constitution would be placed before Parliament in the first week of August this year.

Meanwhile civil society groups have also voiced concern that the final stages of the constitution making process is taking place behind closed doors without the participation of citizens who, by right, they say, should learn about the current status of the draft constitution in order to be able to register their concerns with their representatives in Parliament.
Published: Fri Jul 28 04:12:55 EDT 2000

S.Lanka opposition deals blow to devolution plans
MSNBC, Thursday July 27, 9:16:20. COLOMBO, July 27 — Sri Lanka's main opposition party delivered a crippling blow to government plans to end the ethnic war, saying it would not back them in parliament unless they are first discussed with the people and Buddhist clergy. The United National Party had earlier appeared to arriving at a consensus with the ruling People's Alliance of President Chandrika Kumaratunga on the constitutional reforms which the government wants to push through parliament before its term ends on August 24. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 09:24:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
UNP will not support constitutional reforms  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Sri Lanka's peace bid set to collapse  - 123India
Stalemate in Lanka Constitution talks  - TOI
Lanka talks on new statute deadlocked  - Deccan Herald/PTI
UNP distancing itself from reforms?  - hindu
UNP ready for trade off on Executive Presidency  - HT
UNP not to support new Constitution  - hindu
Lanka opposition may withhold peace plan  - AsiaGateway
Lanka Oppn demands draft statute be made public  - TOI
Sri Lanka's opposition pulls the plug on Tamil peace bid  - 123India
Sri Lankan parties criticised  - BBC
Statute talks run into fresh trouble in Lanka  - AsianAge
Lanka govt rules out Constitution draft preview  - Times of India

The face of terror that only zealots see
Sydny Morning Herald, july 22. Few have seen him, but a nation fears him.He learned military strategy from West Point manuals, at secret Indian training camps and from Clint Eastwood videos. He cultivated savage endurance by poking pins under his nails, and schooled himself to be merciless by torturing insects to death with needles.He commands cultish devotion from followers, although most have never met him. Their reward for accepting a suicide mission is a first and last supper with the man they call Thavalar, or The Leader."Prabhakaran is single-minded, like a horse with blinders on. He cares more about the Tigers than about the Tamil cause," Dharmalingam Sithadthan, the president of the Peoples' Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam, said. A former Tamil militant who joined the democratic opposition, Sithadthan is on the Tigers' hit list, he said, "because anyone who opposes the LTTE is considered a traitor to the Tamil cause". More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 09:31:06 EDT 2000

Railway strike paralyzes Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, july 28. Railway workers demanding better wages brought life in Sri Lanka to a grinding halt Friday.Thousands of commuters were stranded at railway stations all over the country as trains stopped plying due to the strike called by railway workers. Nearly a million Sri Lankans everyday use trains to commute to work.Railway workers Thursday announced their decision to strike for better wages. A section of workers had staged a massive demonstration in a suburb of the capital, Colombo. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 15:19:37 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan railways lose steam as workers strike  - ABC-Reuters

Sri Lanka troops kill eight Tamil rebels: government
123India-AFP, July 28. Sri Lankan troops kept up mortar attacks against Tamil rebel positions in the northern Jaffna peninsula, killing seven rebels, the government said Friday.

The seven members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamwere killed Thursday near Sarasalai town, the Special Media Information Centre said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 06:36:36 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
12 killed in Lanka as army claims modest success in Jaffna  - India Today

Fishermen in Jaffna protest
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.a.m. SLT Friday July 28. The Vadamarachchi Fishermens Federation Society in a letter to the main Army base at Point Pedro has protested against what it says are strict restrictions which have seriously effected the livelihood of the fishermen.

The fishermen at present are only allowed to fish between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day within a very constricted area around the Jaffna coastline. They also have to moor their boats at the army camps in and around the peninsula in government controlled territory.

The fishermen have asked that the heavy restriction on time frame and the areas in which they are allowed to fish be extended. If not, they have threatened a peaceful protest and fast if their demands are not heeded.
Published: Fri Jul 28 04:12:55 EDT 2000

China for strengthening ties with Sri Lanka
Hindu, july 28. China today said it wants to strengthen bilateral ties with Sri Lanka on the basis of five principles of "Panchsheel". "Over the 40 years since diplomatic ties were forged between China and Sri Lanka, the two countries have supported and cooperated closely with each other," Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said during a meeting here with visiting Sri Lankan presidential envoy D M Jayaratne here. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 15:15:12 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Rongji meets Lankan Presidential envoy  - Hindu
India could help Sri Lanka, If all want it to  - AsiaGateway

Fear of attacks may force Lanka leaders to avoid public meet
HT, july 28. SRI LANKAN political parties are likely to decide not to hold public meetings in the run-up to the parliamentary elections expected to be held in the first week of November, reports indicate. This is attributed to the fact that many Sri Lankan leaders have been killed by terrorists, whether of the Tamil LTTE or the Sinhala Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) variety, during public appearances such as election meetings in the recent past. President Chandrika Kumaratunga had herself been a target of an LTTE human bomb attack on the final day of campaigning for the presidency in December last. UNP's chief defence expert Maj Gen (retd) Lucky Algama, who was campaigning in Ja Ela in the outskirts of Colombo the same evening, was not so lucky. He was blown to bits by an LTTE suicide bomber. In October 1994, UNP presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at a public meeting in Colombo. On May 1, 1993, President R. Premadasa was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber in the run-up to the provincial council elections. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 16:50:39 EDT 2000

South Africans gear up for a better performance
yahoo-afp, july 28. Nantie Hayward, South Africa's quickest bowler since Allan Donald, said his team was moving into top gear for the remainder of the three-test series against Sri Lanka.South Africa lost the first test by an innings and 15 runs at Galle, but more than the inability of their batsmen to encounter the off-spin of Muttiah Muralitharan, it was their bowling that was blamed."All the guys are getting on top of their game from pre-season. It is quite difficult for anyone to come and bowl from ball one and put it on the right area," said Hayward. More...
Published: Fri Jul 28 09:15:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
India juniors rally to beat Sri Lanka  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lankan media criticises umpiring  - HT

Tamil Tigers Turned Down for Separate State
AsiaGateway, Thursday July 27, 20:35:11. The opposition, United National Party (UNP) has decided that it will not support Sri Lanka's controversial new constitution draft, which contains a power sharing plan to end 17 years of bloody fighting between government troops and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 20:43:53 EDT 2000

Army cracks the whip on deserters
Nirupama Subramanian, The Hindu, JULY 27 2000.. After years of hoping that the army deserters will return to the fold if asked politely, Sri Lanka has finally begun a crackdown to round up as many as possible of about 25,000 runaway soldiers. So far, nearly 5,000 soldiers have been arrested in the operation, among them nine officers of the rank of lieutenant, according to the military spokesman, Brig. Palitha Fernando. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 21:14:20 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Over 800 Army deserters arrested  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Safe passage for Jaffna civilians
BBC, july 27. The International Red Cross in Sri Lanka says that it has secured an agreement to enable the movement of civilians in the northern war zone. It says the government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to allow safe passage for a ship transporting civilians to and from the Jaffna peninsula. A Red Cross spokeswoman said that she expected the ship to start operating by next week from the eastern port of Trincomalee. This is one of the few times in recent months that the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers have been able to reach an agreement. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 11:38:45 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Govt., UNP meet postponed
Hindu, July 27. Amid speculation of a possible breakdown in the talks on Constitutional proposals, a meeting between the Sri Lankan Government and Opposition scheduled for today has been postponed. While informing the Opposition about the postponement, no reason was given for the sudden decision, party sources said. Informed sources attribute the absence of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is abroad on a personal visit, for the postponement. She had gone to London for a medical check-up for the injury caused to her eye during an assassination attempt by an LTTE woman suicide- bomber on December 18 last year. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 16:58:53 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's opposition to block 'rushed' peace bid
123India, July 27. Sri Lanka's main opposition party Thursday conditionally withdrew support to President Chandrika Kumaratunga's controversial plan aimed at politically ending decades of ethnic bloodshed. The opposition United National Party (UNP), which holds the balance of power to make or break reforms, decided unanimously at their highest policy-making "Working Committee" to pull the plug on Kumaratunga's initiative. The UNP said it had decided at the meeting, headed by its leader and former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, not to deliver the promised votes in parliament if the government tried to rush a new statute. "We have not completed discussions on several key areas," UNP spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku said. "If the government tries to push this political package through parliament, we will oppose it." More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 09:20:00 EDT 2000

Sri Lankans appealed to join hands to avert a major confrontation.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 15 :38 Wednesday.. A local non-governmental organisation appealed to the Sri Lankan public to join hands to avert a major blood shed in northern Jaffna peninsula following reports that separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and government troops were gearing for a massive confrontation.

The NGO, National Peace council's in a statement released to the media on Wednesday said that…

"Much public attention these days is focused on the prospects of a bipartisan consensus regarding constitutional reforms. However, a major military confrontation with prospects for great violence and bloodshed looms on the national horizon".

In Jaffna, the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE are reportedly gathering their strength for a do-or-die battle for control of the city. For the past three months the situation of the civilian population in Jaffna, a large number of who have been displaced, have been living in anguish and under fear.

Despite the social and human tragedy that could unfold in the weeks ahead, there appears to be a general acquiescence that little can be done to avert the worst-case scenario that is building up. There is a disturbing passivity at all levels of society in which people appear to have surrendered their sovereignty to apparently unreachable decision-makers on the two sides. Nevertheless, the National Peace Council believes that if certain measures are agreed to by these elite decision-makers, a more positive scenario can emerge that could spare the country of brutal and wasteful violence.

With regard to the situation in Jaffna, we appeal to the international community to do their utmost to assist the conflicting parties, namely the government and LTTE, find non-military ways to ensure the democratic right of the people to govern themselves without destroying the city of Jaffna and its people. We also appeal to the political parties, and in particular to the ruling PA and opposition UNP, to de-politicise the search for a political solution to the ethnic conflict.

The National Peace Council is concerned that with the approach of the general elections the political parties are entering into their customary confrontational mode that bodes ill for both consensuses on political reforms And a peaceful poll. We ask that in the context of the bipartisan consensus presently arrived at, the ethnic conflict be taken outside the area of party political debate at the forthcoming general elections. Such an agreement could lead to a joint political effort to avert the impending tragedy in Jaffna.

"We believe that in the midst of the powerful forces of violence they are unable to decisively influence at this time, the vast majority of people aspire for peace and ethnic harmony. We take encouragement in the work of civic organisations, such as those monitoring elections and campaigning on behalf of missing persons, as they have built up large networks of public minded citizens to press for accountability and responsiveness on the part of those in positions of power. Such work which many civic organisations have already commenced needs to be done with even more dedication and creativity, even in the emerging scenario, in the faith that it will provide the basis for peace through people's power in the future". the statement said.
Published: Wed Jul 26 06:03:23 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
NPC calls for consensus to avert major bloodshed  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Fresh clashes recrudesce in Jaffna  - Deccan Herald/Reuters
Lankan PoWs’ kin threaten hunger strike  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka recalls general who defended Jaffna  - 123India-AFP
Sri Lanka troops launch fresh attack on rebels  - MSNBC-Reuters
Lankan Army regains territory from Tigers  - TOI
Northern Sri Lankan military command structure changed.  - Roy Denish in Colombo

Chandrika to present peace plan by August 4
TOI, July 27. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will soon present to Parliament her political plan to end the ethnic conflict in the country, one of her Cabinet colleagues has said. "The discordant notes sounded by the Opposition UNP, the powerful Buddhist clergy and minority Muslim and Tamil parties will soon die down and they will all come around, which could be as early as August 4," the Gulf Today daily quoting Kingsly T Wicramaratne, minister for internal and international commerce and food, said here."The Opposition has always been buying time. With or without their support, the President will make peace. She is committed to it and she was re-elected for a second term on the peace plank," the minister, who was on a stopover on his way back from a four-day tour to Iran, said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 09:29:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
'Chandrika will present peace plan soon'  - The Hindu,

U.N. urged to target those who harm children in war
Aasiagateway, Thursday, 27 July, 09.12 GMT. Those who violate children"s rights in war or collude in such actions should be shamed, disgraced and held accountable, the head of the U.N. Children"s Fund, Carol Bellamy, said on Wednesday. "They must be shamed, disgraced and held accountable for their actions." Some 300,000 children are said to be recruited into armies, mostly by rebel groups, from Sierra Leone to Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 05:11:57 EDT 2000

11 LTTE rebels killed
Hindu, july 27. The Sri Lankan Army today said that 11 rebels and a police constable were killed in separate skirmishes between troops and the LTTE in the country's north and east, an official press release said. Sarsalai along with Chavakachcheri were two semi-urban centres captured by the LTTE during the height of its massive offensive to recapture the Jaffna peninsula in April and May this year. The limited offensive against the rebels at Sarasalai came after the Government made changes in the Army's command structure in Jaffna. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 15:42:14 EDT 2000
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State funeral on Saturday
Current Affairs, Sri lanka, 26 July 2000. The funeral of Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Dharmasiri Senanayake will be held on Saturday, June 29 with full state honours at Independence Square at 2.00 pm. The remains of the minister who passed away on Monday was kept at his residence at No 73, castle Street, Borella for the public to pay their last respects until yesterday. It will be brought to the Sri Lanka Freedom party headquarters at Darley Road on Friday afternoon. The remains will be taken to parliament at 1.00 pm on Saturday and 2.00 pm it will be taken to the Independence Square for cremation. More...
Published: Thu Jul 27 02:53:13 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka Plans State Funeral for Deceased Minister  - AsiaGateway

Controversy over Sri Lanka film
BBC, Wednesday July 26, 11:15:05. A Sri Lankan filmmaker has for the first time shown a large audience in this island nation his film on the impact of the civil war. 'Death on a Full Moon Day' tells the story of a Sinhalese father's refusal to accept that his son has been killed while serving in the army against Tamil Tiger rebels. But it is banned in Sri Lanka because the authorities say it undermines the country's war effort. More...
Published: Wed Jul 26 13:44:59 EDT 2000
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Screening of film on Sri Lanka war deferred  - hindu

Iran, Sri Lanka sign economic cooperation agreements
IRNA, july 26. Iran and Sri Lanka on Tuesday signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) at the end of their Sixth Joint Economic Commission session on Wednesday on removal of double taxation and encouraging foreign investment. Minister of Economy and Finance Hossein Namazi in his capacity as Iranian head of the commission said the MoUs have been signed to pave the way for more activities of the private sector. More...
Published: Wed Jul 26 21:10:47 EDT 2000

July 1983: unanswered questions
CDN, july 26. Sathyaseelan (alias Charles Antony) and Sellakili (alias Chelvanayakam), two well known leaders of the Tiger movement, had unleashed a spectacular series of attacks. A Sandhurst trained Brigadier, Commander of the security forces in the North, launched a counter-offensive and killed Sathyaseelan on July 15, 1983. The loss of Sathyaseelan, the leader of the military wing of the Tamil Tigers, was a severe blow and the leaders of the Tiger movement planned retaliatory action. It is much more likely that this event, rather than the raping by the Army of three Tamil girls from the teacher Training School at Palali in the Jaffna peninsula, was responsible for the subsequent Tiger attack on the Army. More...
Published: Tue Jul 25 20:08:06 EDT 2000
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Relatives of missing servicemen want to visit Vanni
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.10 p.m. SLT Thursday July 27. Relatives of servicement missing in action have requested the government to give them permission to visit the Vanni.  The Association of Relatives of Servicemen Missing in Action in a letter to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge has asked her to let them visit servicmen being held captive by the LTTE.

The required consent from the government has not yet been received though the Association maintains that is has received the 'greenlight' from the rebels to visit their near and dear in the Vanni.

The relatives of those missing in action have asked the President to negotiate a release of the servicemen held by the LTTE by exchanging Tiger prisoners being held captive by the Army.
Published: Thu Jul 27 16:56:06 EDT 2000

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