The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 160

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The Lanka Academic, will carry a series of online "Question and Answer" sessions with prominent Sri Lankan personalities. As the first guest in the series, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe will answer questions submitted by you. A moderator will maintain the decorum of this online forum. While the scope of the questions is wide open, it's expected that the questions submitted would fall within the areas of expertise relevant to Mr.Moonesinghe's background as a politician, scholar and a diplomat. The guidelines and instructions for sending in questions and viewing answer are posted at current issue of The Lanka Academic here. The current Question and Answer session will end on September 24th, 2000.
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Where is MIR today?
Chulie Kirtisinghe de Silva, LAcNet. This story relates the realization of a dream of a dedicated virtual community of globally dispersed volunteer Sri Lankan academics, who mobilized Sri Lankan Diaspora for funding; and then formed horizontal partnerships with local and international agencies to set up a computer center in rural Sri Lanka. It also relates the metamorphosis of an out of work teacher to be the Digital Ambassador for Sri Lanka through training and empowerment. It is the story of two communities coming together; one virtual in cyberspace, the other a land based poor rural community; one the haves, and the other the have nots; - the empowered, empowering and bridging the digital divide. More...
Kesara Ratnatunga, The Sunday Times, Colombo. The computer screen was their window to the rest of the world and they were having a field day. Exploring with wide-eyed wonder what lay beyond their horizons, were the grade seven and eight students of Nivaththaka Chethiya Maha Vidyalaya, Anuradhapura, the first beneficiaries of the Lanka Academic Network's (LAcNet) 'Computers for Sri Lankan Schools' project. More...
Bob Murray, University of Liverpool, UK. Increasing world population combined with enhanced living standards across the globe will raise energy demands by about a factor of three over the next 50 years. This can only be acceptable in environmental terms if at least half of it is supplied by clean renewable energy sources says Dharme (Dr.I M Dharmadasa) who recently presented the annual International Lecture - 2000 at Sheffield Hallam University. More...
US State Department. Colombo, 4 August 2000 - The U.S. State Department announced on July 31 that the mail-in period for the next U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program (DV-2002) will run from noon, October 2, through noon, November 1, 2000. There is no application fee and no special application form is required. The application with the necessary information can simply be typed on a blank sheet of paper. More...
 The Lanka Academic News stories are provided by independent correspondents. Views expressed are not necessarily those of LAcNet. Updates are triggered by events, 24hrs a day. Funding is provided by LAcNet. Redistribution is strictly prohibited. To ensure our continued existence, please support LAcNet.
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Sri Lanka shows the door to polls chief amid deepening crisis, Sep 12 2000 22:19 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's ruling party has reported the country's chief elections commissioner to the human rights commission after he moved to stamp out fraud in the upcoming polls. Chief Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake sought police protection Tuesday as his clash with the government deepened and a senior minister asked him to make a "personal decision" over his post.Dissanayake hit back and told party leaders here Monday that he was prepared to face any legal challenge as his actions were well within the law to ensure a free and fair election at the October 10 vote. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 14:47:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Stickers sticky for Lanka poll chief  - ChennaiOnline
Lanka poll chief threatened for anti-rigging plan  - MSNBC

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‘Chandrika most expensive president’
ChennaiOnline, september 13. "The cost incurred by the State to maintain President Chandrika Kumaratunga is nearly ten times the cost for previous three Presidents," Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said.During the United National Party regime, Rs 2,489 million was spent on Presidents J R Jayawardene, R Premadasa and D B Wijetunga, whereas for President Chandrika Kumaratunga the State had spent Rs 22,428 million from 1994. This year alone, Rs 7,000 million was spent, Wickremesinghe said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 21:21:16 EDT 2000

Ad-hoc polling centres in the North
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. Ad hoc polling centres which will be established within the "cleared" areas of the Jaffna Peninsula to accommodate voters living in "uncleared" regions as well as those displaced due to the recent offensive has raised some concern with election monitoring groups.

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) at a press conference held today said that this measure does not provide any relief to the voter who is currently resident in "uncleared" areas, nor does it provide any safeguards against voting under the same name in more than one such centre.

Dr. Arjuna Parakrama, Director for the CMEV, said that this alternative does not have any systematic verification of identity, which will then allow for impersonation on an organized scale on the one hand, while depriving hundreds of legitimate voters who have no physical access to any polling centres on the other.

Based on discussions with relevant officials in the area, the CMEV estimates that the resident voter strength in the peninsula at present is between 200,000 and 250,000.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:15 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka polls chief reported to rights panel for fraud moves, Sep 12 2000 14:03 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's ruling party has reported the country's chief elections commissioner to the human rights commission for his attempts to eliminate fraud at next month's parliamentary polls. The governing People's Alliance (PA) media coordinator Ananda Goonatilleke filed a petition before the commission arguing that the human rights of voters had been violated by the polls chief's plan to minimise ballot stuffing. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 07:18:37 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's polls chief accused of \"violating human rights\"  - Yahoo
Lanka’s poll chief accused of 'rights violation'  - India Abroad
Complaint lodged against Elections Commissioner with SLHRC  - PRIU
Probe ordered into anti-fraud poll stickers  - India Abroad
Lankan police probe polls chief for checking fraud  - Times of India
Inquiry ordered into anti-fraud poll stickers in Lanka  - Times of India
CID upsets secret anti-rigging plan  - Sunday Times
Sri Lankan police investigate polls chief for trying to stop fraud  -
Threat of printing secret stickers  - PRIU

Jaffna polls an irrelevant luxury, say monitors
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 12. THE CENTRE for Monitoring Election Violence has said in its first report on the campaign for the October 10 Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections that with war, displacement and disruption of normal life, the elections in Jaffna district are but an "irrelevant luxury". The conditions there were not conducive to the free and fair exercise of the franchise, the report said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 15:34:27 EDT 2000

PA responsible for high use of firearms
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.25 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. According to election monitoring organizations the ruling People's Alliance is responsible for a high incidence of firearm use. With electioneering hardly begun, the PA stands accused in 46% of these incidents, the UNP in 13% and unknown persons in 14. Of these cases in which the alleged perpetrator has been identified, the PA allegedly accounts for 72% or nearly three-fourths of using firearms to intimidate opposition candidates.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:15 EDT 2000

Misuse of state resources by PA candidates
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. The misuse of state resources for electioneering by candidates of the PA, notably official vehicles and infrastructure, has been reported from the Badulla, Ratnapura and Colombo Districts. It is alleged that attempts have been made to use professional and other organizations of state employees to canvass for votes on behalf of the PA.

For instance, it is alleged that PA candidate Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra convened a meeting of the Colombo Zonal Principal's Association on September 8, 2000 at 7.30 p.m. at the Manel Festival Hall in Dematagoda in order to obtain their assistance in his election campaign.

In Badulla it is alleged by the JVP and the UNP that PA candidate Nimal Siripala de Silva has trained a cohort of approximately 60 young men and women to conduct his election propaganda activities in the districts, paying them a stipend of Rs. 250/= per day from Health Ministry Funds. It is further alleged that these youth have received jobs in the Ministry of Health, on the basis of which they have been deployed for Mr. de Silva's election campaign.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:14 EDT 2000

Election related violence on the rise
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. As the October 12 hustings draw near, there is a rising spiral in election related violence. As at September 11, the Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) recorded a total of 204 incidents of election related violence and violations. The CMEV notes that the campaign period of the 2000 General Election is only one week old but it already shows signs of being one of the most violent in Sri Lanka in recent times.

The attack yesterday on a motorcade of UNP candidates Karu Jayasuriya, Anura Bandaranaike, Jayalath Jayawardena and John Ameratunga at around 5.30 p.m. on September 11, 2000 at Alapitiwela junction on the Mahabage - Ragama Road, resulted in three persons being admitted to the Colombo National Hospital with gunshot injuries. One of those was Mr. Ranjith Bandara, Coordinating Secretary to Karu Jayasuriya. The UNP alleges that PA candidate Sunil Mendis and his supporters were responsible for this violent act where a grenade was also exploded.

The rapid escalation of violence is evidenced from the fact that September 11th alone produced 59 incidents, which is more than twice the number of any previous day in the campaign.

Of the 124 major incidents reported, murders account for 06, attempted murders for 04, acts causing hurt 31, grievous hurt 02, assault 40, threat & intimidation 26, arson 04, and misuse of state resources 11. The People's Alliance is allegedly responsible for 68 major incident or 55% of the total.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:14 EDT 2000

Neo-liberalism excludes the poor from health and medical care
The Island, september 13. Two soul-stirring cases of suicides in two countries separated geographically by thousands of miles; one in rural Sri Lanka and the other in urban Argentina, one by a small-scale farmer named R. G. Somapala at the bottom end of the professional ladder and the other by a brilliant cardiac surgeon named Dr. Rene Favaloro at the top-rung of the professional scale; one because the structural adjustment policies of the IMF and World Bank had made it increasingly difficult for him to meet his basic domestic and social needs as a small-scale farmer, the other because the adoption of the Neo-liberal economic policies by his government in 1990, resulted in subsidies given to the Heart Institution he set up, where ground breaking research as well as sophisticated organ transplants and coronary surgeries were performed, were slashed as a consequence. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 21:16:21 EDT 2000

Indo-Lanka ties couldn't be better: Kadirgamar
India Abroad, Sept 12, 2000 22:30 Hrs (IST) . Washington: Sri Lanka-India relations now are governed by "absolute candour and mutual trust" and couldn't be better, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has said. Consequently, he said, sympathy for the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in some quarters in Tamil Nadu was insignificant and the stand of state politicians like Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko Gopalasamy, who support the rebels, is an "anachronism." "Our policy with India has now been, over the last six years, one of no hide and seek," Kadirgamar said. "No pussyfooting. None of that nonsense. It is absolutely candid and I can say that our relationship, like that with the United States, even more so with India today, is completely open," he told India Abroad News Service in an interview. Kadirgamar asserted that "there is virtually nothing that I can't discuss with (External Affairs Minister) Jaswant Singh very openly and he with me. And the same applies for the heads of state and heads of government" of Sri Lanka and India, he said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:42:26 EDT 2000

Bollywood hits Lankan film industry
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 12. THE SRI Lankan film industry - spanning five decades - is struggling to survive against an onslaught from India's Bollywood, television, videos, rising costs and a Tamil insurgency that tends to keep people away from movie theatres at night. With as many as seven television channels regularly exhibiting Indian films and videos of latest Western films widely available in the market, local filmmakers and artists have been fighting an uphill battle to keep the local industry going. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:47:31 EDT 2000

Lanka right-wing party seeks to scrap FTA pact
Times of India, 13 September 2000 . By Charu Lata Joshi The Times of India News Service COLOMBO: Chauvinistic Sinhalese outfit Sinhala Urumuya, one of the first few parties to make its campaign issues known to the public, released its political manifesto on Tuesday. If the salient features of the terse charter are anything to go by, the right-wing Sinhalese party is all set to scrap the Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement and undertake "speedy measures to reorganize external and internal trade to enable Sinhalese people to own their due share in it." More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:51:40 EDT 2000

‘War, violence may disrupt polls in Lanka’: monitors
The Asian Age, Colombo, Sept. 12 . Sri Lankan election monitors said on Tuesday that escalating violence threatened to undermine next month’s parliamentary polls, particularly in the country’s war-torn north. “The situation in the north is not at all conducive to an excercise of democratic franchise,” Arjuna Parakrama, spokesman for the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, told a news conference. The CMEV said in a statement that recent fighting in the Jaffna peninsula had “caused further dislocation of civil life” while pro-government Tamil militant groups fielding candidates in the north were an equally serious problem. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:54:09 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan north quiet after recent fierce battles
ABC News, 09/12/2000 08:56:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s northern Jaffna peninsula was mostly quiet on Tuesday after a series of fierce battles between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the past week, military officials said. "Things have been comparatively quiet today (Tuesday), but there were a few incidents yesterday," military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, told Reuters in Colombo by phone. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 12:17:16 EDT 2000

Anti-rigging plan for Sri Lanka poll comes unstuck
MSNBC, september 11. Sri Lanka's preparation for next month's general elections ran into trouble on Tuesday after the Elections Commissioner became embroiled in a controversy over polling cards. Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake is under fire in the state media for a plan to put secretly printed stickers on the cards which voters use to identify themselves on election day. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:11:41 EDT 2000
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Commissioner `personally satisfied' with honesty of sticker printer  - CDN

Opposition leaders survive assassination bid in Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, Tuesday, 12 September 2000 1:15 (ET). Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's younger brother and the chairman of the opposition United National Party survived a bomb attack Monday, in which five people were injured. Unidentified assailants attacked Kumaratunga's brother and an opposition party leader, Anura Bandaranaike, UNP chairman Karu Jayasuriya and another opposition parliamentarian John Amartunga with hand grenades. Jayasuriya said that the convoy of vehicles in which they were traveling came under attack. "It was an attempt on our lives," he said. "The police intervention came at the right moment." The UNP blamed the ruling People's Alliance for the attack. It said that PA supporters had blocked the road with burning vehicle tires and then lobbed grenades at the convoy. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 02:15:23 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Four opposition supporters wounded as political violence escalates in Sri Lanka  - CNN/ AsiaNow
Chandrika's brother escapes bid on life  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka opposition rally bombed  -

Asian Development Bank approves 50-mln-dollar loan for Sri Lanka, Sep 12 2000 13:01 IST. MANILA, Sept 12 (AFP) - The Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it has approved a 50-million-dollar loan to modernize Sri Lanka's secondary education. The money will be used to improve quality, access and management of some 2,300 Sri Lankan secondary schools to accommodate thousands of poor students, the ADB said in a statement. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 07:16:55 EDT 2000

Malabe will be ‘Cyberpura’, Kingsley
Island, Tuesday, 12 september. An ultramodern information and communication technology complex is now being established in suburban Colomho at Malabe in Kaduwela. This will be ‘Cyberpura’ or cyber city equivalent to India’s Silicon Valley in Bangalore, Commerce Minister Kingsley T. Wickremaratne said."It will attract people from all over the country who will come here to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become world-class professionals in the business of knowledge and information management. The new campus will train 1,200 persons a year, supplying about 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s needs. Private sector institutions of equal excellence would supply the remainder, he noted."Students as well as specialists from all over the world will come to Sri Lanka to pursue higher studies as well as impart knowledge and techniques. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 04:38:59 EDT 2000

117 killed in Lanka fighting
India Abroad, Sept 11, 2000 23:20 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: At least 117 people have been killed in heavy fighting between Sri Lankan troops and the LTTE in the Jaffna peninsula and elsewhere in country's north and east, the army said here on Monday. It said the death toll for the LTTE in the renewed fighting rose to 92 after 17 rebels were killed during exchange of fire with the troops in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts on Sunday. The army offered to hand over 14 bodies to rebels, recovered from the scene of fighting in Jaffna, through the International Red Cross. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 15:14:26 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops return bodies of 16 rebels
123India, Tuesday Sep. 11, 07:46:12. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops Tuesday returned to Tamil Tiger rebels the bodies of 16 fighters killed in a clash with security forces, the government said. The bodies of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were handed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the government said in a statement. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 07:52:24 EDT 2000

'Jayawardene attacker to enter Lanka ruling party'
Times of India, 12 September 2000 . COLOMBO: A left-wing activist accused of trying to assassinate former President Junius Jayewardene has left his Marxist group and was set to enter the right-wing ruling party, a press report here said on Monday. The Daily Mirror newspaper said Ajith Kumara, the man who allegedly lobbed a grenade in the Sri Lankan parliament, killing a minister and another in August 1987, was set to join the ruling People's Alliance. Kumara, a member of the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, was tried for murder under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, but was acquitted due to a lack of evidence, the newspaper said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 15:15:46 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Would-be assassin to enter Sri Lanka ruling party: report  - 123India

Sri Lanka set for bloody polls: monitors, Sep 12 2000 14:50 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (AFP) - Sri Lanka should brace for further violence ahead of next month's elections with six people being killed in the first week of campaigning, a watchdog panel warned Tuesday. The private Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said 204 incidents of violence had been reported to them since campaigning began in earnest last week. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 07:20:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
War and violence threaten S.Lanka polls - monitors  - ABC News
Sri Lanka vote fears voiced  - BBC South Asia

President to meet business leaders on Thursday
PRIU, Tuesday Sep. 11, 07:57:34. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will meet business leaders at Temple Trees this Thursday, in what will be the ideal opportunity for the private sector to request urgently required initiatives. According to official sources this is the customary pre-Budget meeting the President has with the private sector... More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 08:03:03 EDT 2000

Battle to retain family fiefdoms in the tea estates
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, September 12, 2000. NUWARA ELIYA, SEPT. 11. In the true tradition of South Asian politics, two political heirs from rival parties are fighting to retain their family fiefdoms in Sri Lanka's tea country in the coming general elections. But intra-party rebellion as well as the peculiarities of the electoral system have pitted them not so much against each other as their own party members. From his little fortress of an office in Kotagala near Hatton, a key town in this district, the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, Mr. S. Arumugam Thondaman, can see not only lush tea gardens on neatly terraced mountainsides, but also the ruins of a party he inherited after the death last year of his grandfather, Sauvmiyamoorthy Thondaman. The other dynastic successor in the district, Mr. Navin Dissanayake, main UNP candidate and party organiser for the district, is quite candid about his reliance on his father's memory to win this, his first election. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 16:24:02 EDT 2000

Jaffna hospital struggles to cope
BBC South Asia, Monday, 11 September, 2000, 19:42 GMT 20:42 U. A hospital director in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula says the ongoing war between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels has led to worsening conditions. In an interview with the BBC, Dr Kanagaratnam said the Jaffna training hospital - the largest in the peninsula - did not have many of the drugs and medicines required by patients. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 16:20:06 EDT 2000

At least 92 killed in Sri Lankan fighting
Yahoo, September 11. At least 92 people, including 75 LTTE rebels and 17 Sri Lankan army personnel, were killed and 54 troops injured as the army launched fresh offensive to expand its defences in the outskirts of Northern Jaffna town by pushing the rebels out of their well entrenched position. Army spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said one officer and three soldiers died in addition to the 12 announced by the army Sunday night. Also four officers and 54 other personnel were injured in the army's limited offensive on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 13:20:08 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
98 LTTE men die in Lanka  - The Asian Age

70 - 75 LTTE cadres killed yesterday
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.45 a.m. SLT Monday September 11. Lankan security forces launched a fresh offensive in the Jaffna Pensinsula yesterday. The offensive called 'Rivi Kirana' (meaning Sun Rise) which began last Sunday September 3, suffered massive setbacks when Lankan troops lost a huge number of fighting men. The exact figures remain conflicting but it has been confirmed that at least over 300 were killed and hundreds more injured as the rebels pushed backed armed forces who were attempting to reach the area of Chavakachcheri. The military claim the Tiger losses too were heavy last week and say the rebels lost some 230 cadre.

Yesterday's fresh onslaught by the military began at around 6.15 a.m. and ended at 10 a.m. In that time the Operational Headquarters of the Defence Ministry state that Lankan forces were able to consolidate an area of around 3 square kilometeres. The offensive began at Colombothurai and ended close to Navathkuli which the military say will seriously hinder the LTTE's supply route from Ariyalai.

According to the forces, some 70 to 75 rebels were killed in yesterday's attack. The military are reported to have lost a dozen men while according to the Defence Ministry press release 62 were injured.

Army sources said the operation yesterday was called off nearly four hours after it began due to the armed forces facing stiff resistance from the LTTE. Since Operation Rivi Kirana began on Sunday September 3, Lankan troops faced huge losses in terms of fighting strength. So much so, that Operations Commander Rohan S. Daluwatte offered to tend his resignation at the Security Council meeting chaired by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge who also serves as Defence Minister.

In the bloody offensive yesterday the Sri Lanka Air Force are reported to have straffed 4 Tiger boats at Ariyalai killing all on board.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:31 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Child injured in Tiger landmine blast – Civilians live in fear  - PRIU
Lankan troops-LTTE clashes leave 87 dead  -
75 rebels killed in fresh army offensive in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
92 killed in Sri Lankan fighting  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka army 'pusing forward'  - BBC South Asia
Fighting erupts in Sri Lanka to capture territory lost to Tamil rebels  - NDTV/MSNBC

Sri Lankan police ban election meetings on main streets
MSNBC, 16.00 hrs (IST) on September 11, 2000. Political rallies will be banned on the main streets of Sri Lanka's capital ahead of the country's national election because of security threats, police said Monday. Political gatherings in preparation for the Oct. 10 balloting will be permitted on side streets, Deputy Inspector General of Police Bodhi Liyanage said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 09:05:34 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan Cops Ban Election Rallies  - Yahoo

Lankan MP's to be disarmed on Oct. 9
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Monday September 11. A senior Police Officer said today that all Members of Parliament will be disarmed on the eve of the October 10 General Elections. The police say that all MP's should have been relieved of their weapons when Parliament was dissolved on August 18, but that the politicos had been allowed to keep their firearms as Parliament needed to be re-convened for an extraordinary session to pass the extension of special emergency regulations.

The local MP's will also lose their police bodyguards when their weapons are taken away from them on October 9.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:34 EDT 2000

Yellow Ribbon campaign kicks off
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.50 a.m. SLT Monday September 11. A 'yellow ribbon' campaign initiated by the Peoples Alliance for Democracy will kick off today in a bid to muster the support of at least one million voters to insist on a free and fair general election in October this year.

Some 70 organizations and civil rights groups who are all part of the Alliance will begin by tying a yellow ribbon around the wrists of political party leaders while thousands more are expected to wear or sport a yellow ribbon on their person, vehicle and homes in a bid to ensure a free and fair poll on October 10.

Following an increase in election related violence which has already claimed the lives of at least 5 persons and left many others injured, the Peoples Alliance for Democracy is determined to use the yellow ribbon campaign to sway and counter a rising tide of violence and election rigging which many citizens of the strife torn island have come to accept as part and parcel of any election.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:33 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
S.Lanka activists launch drive for free, peaceful polls  - ABC News
AD launches first countrywide Yellow Ribbon Campaign  - PRIU
Yellow band campaign for fair polls in Lanka  - Times of India

S.Lanka rebels attack in east after push in north
ABC News, 09/11/2000 02:56:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Tamil Tiger rebels launched attacks in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday as government troops consolidated their positions in recaptured territory in the Jaffna peninsula in the north. Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said eight members of the security forces were killed and 11 wounded in clashes with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the eastern Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 06:53:04 EDT 2000

Lankan army-air force offensive leaves 87 dead, Monday,September11,2000. COLOMBO: Eighty-seven people, including 12 soldiers, were killed and many others injured in a Sri Lankan offensive on Sunday which aimed to ensure safety of the Jaffna town ahead of the parliamentary elections, military said. Three square kilometres were brought under a new defence line closer to Navathkul, near Jaffna, during a three-hour security operation that began at 6.15 AM local time on Sunday , military spokesman Birg. S G Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 07:00:18 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers escalate attacks in Sri Lanka, Sep 11 2000 09:54 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 11 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels escalated attacks against troops in northeastern Sri Lanka as the army launched a fresh offensive in the north, leaving dozens dead, officials said Monday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out three attacks in the northeastern district of Trincomalee overnight, killing seven security personnel, officials said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 01:15:15 EDT 2000

Army renews attacks on Tigers
BBC , september 11. The Sri Lankan army has been launching more intensive air and artillery bombardments against Tamil Tiger positions in the northern Jaffna Peninsula. Helicopter gunships flew low over Jaffna town throughout Sunday as they fired missiles at rebel positions.While there is little concrete information as to exactly how much ground the army has retaken from the rebels, aid agencies say that it appears they are now on the defensive and fighting a rearguard action. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 01:00:49 EDT 2000

Strike stops work in Sri Lanka tea plantations
Virtual New York, Monday, 11 September 2000 9:27 (ET). Hundreds of thousands of workers Monday went on strike paralyzing work in hundreds of sprawling tea estates in Sri Lanka. According to reports reaching the capital nearly a million workers stayed away from work demanding a hike of Rs 500 (U.S. $ 6.40) a month. The Ceylon Workers' Congress, the trade union representing a large section of plantation workers, has threatened that the strike would continue until the plantation companies and the government agreed to pay the devaluation allowance demanded by the workers. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 10:18:07 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's estate workers strike over pay  - Altavista

Nearly fifty foreign monitors due to arrive next week
PRIU, Monday Sep. 11, 09:13:20. Nearly fifty foreign monitors from various international Non-Governmental Organisations will be here within next week to observe the forth-coming general elections. They are invited by the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 09:19:20 EDT 2000

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