The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 167

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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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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...
The Ordeal of Civilians in Thenmaratchy
September 7, 2000 University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) People from all communities and from all parts of the country have been through many horrors and ordeals from the time the flames of conflict engulfed this country in July 1983. But seldom has anything been so prolonged and full of constant terror and anxiety as what several thousands of people in Thenmaratchy, the south-eastern sector of the Jaffna peninsula with Chavakacheri as its main town, endured for three weeks and more. 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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Lankan polls chief turns defiant
India Abroad, Sept 19, 2000 23:25 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, who has been charged with violation of human rights for introducing certain measures to prevent rigging in the October 10 general election, said he is not answerable to anyone, not even to the president. His attorney, Elmo Perera, told commission chief Faisz Musthapha that Dissanayake will not answer any questions at the preliminary inquiry. "You may not put any questions to the elections commissioner. He is here only out of politeness to the commission." "He is not answerable to anyone, not even to the president," Perera said. The head-on confrontation between the elections commissioner and the government came even as the first batch of election monitors from the European Union arrived here with a brief to observe and report on the conduct of the polls. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 16:20:58 EDT 2000

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Sri Lanka rights panel in spin over vote-rigging row, Sep 19 2000 19:54 IST. Sri Lanka's top human rights panel Tuesday took up an unprecedented complaint from a ruling party candidate that measures to prevent rigging at next month's polls will violate his fundamental rights. The media co-ordinator of the ruling People's Alliance (PA), Ananda Goonatilleke, told the HRC his human rights were violated by the election chief Dayananda Dissayanake's plan to minimise vote rigging.The elections chief Dissanayake went before the HRC Tuesday, but made it clear that he was only responding to an "invitation" to assist the commission and was not there as a respondent. "I am not answerable to this commission or to any other person, not even the president," he said through his attorney, Elmo Perera. "The complainant has come here with a story and wants me to divulge what other measures I am taking to prevent fraud. This I will not do."One of the human rights commissioners is also a candidate for the ruling party, while another is a member of the executive committee of a ruling party ally.A third member has already publicly taken a stand against the elections chief. A final ruling is expected on September 27. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 11:19:00 EDT 2000

Tamil rebels renew attack, kill 24 Lankan troops
Times of India (Breaking News), 19 September . An anti-personnel mine attack Tuesday killed 24 soldiers and wounded at least one in the northeast hours after Tamil Tiger rebels made a failed second bid in the northern Jaffna Peninsula to wrest back territory newly captured by Sri Lankan troops, a military spokesman and police said.The attack on an army truck took place just outside Trincomalee city, 230 kilometers northeast of the capital, Colombo, Trincomalee police said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 12:34:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
21 soldiers killed in landmine blast  - The Hindu NUS
At least 20 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka  -
Tigers kill 22 soldiers in ambush as Sri Lanka troops dig in  -

Tamil Tiger ambush kills 20
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 14:53 GMT 15:53 . The Sri Lankan Government says at least 20 of its soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Tamil Tiger rebels. The soldiers were travelling in a truck which detonated a mine in the north-eastern Trincomalee district. As survivors crawled from the wreckage, they came under fire from rebel fighters hidden nearby. "It was a bad attack and the casualties are relatively high," military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told the Reuters news agency. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 12:36:58 EDT 2000

LTTE establishes global TV sweep with merger
The Island, September 20. The LTTE in early September signed a memorandum of understanding(MOU) to merge its IBC (International Broadcasting Corporation) satellite radio, based in London with TRT (Tamil Radio and Television Network) based in Paris, signalling a significant addition to its already existing vast global propaganda network giving it satellite radio and television access to Europe, Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, Australia, Mauritius and the French territory of Reunion.Using the monies they have amassed under the pretext of supporting internally displaced Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, the LTTE not only sets up its own communication and media networks, but also buys up those created by others. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:01:22 EDT 2000

Thousands of Government troops consolidate positions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. The Ministry of Defence said today that thousands of government troops are consolidating their positions in newly captured territory after the armed forces secured the town of Chavakachcheri on Sunday following a three hour battle with the LTTE.

Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, Military Spokesman, said that some 75 bodies of rebel cadre lay around the area where the forces faced stiff resistance from the Tigers. Karunaratne further claimed that 18 soldiers were killed in the battle while 20 were seriously wounded. Another 208, he said, had received minor injuries.

Other independent sources however claim that the Sri Lanka Army suffered heavy casualties as it attempted to take Chavakachcheri town. Facing heavy fire from the LTTE, Lankan troops according to these sources are yet on the outskirts of Chavakachcheri at a place called Sankathanai on the A-9 Highway.

The Tigers meanwhile have not issued an official statement on last Sunday's (17th) battle.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

Susanthika dropped from relay team
The Island, september 20. The officials of the Sri Lankan athletic squad, to the Sydney Games, decided to drop Susanthika Jayasinghe, from the 4 x100 metres relay team, at a special meeting held yesterday, presided over by chef-de-mission Sunil Goonewardena.Refusing to attend the team’s baton changing sessions, making the team wait for her till her personal training finished and telling the authorities to seek Tony Campbell’s permission to be included in the team have been the reasons considered for their decision according to Gunawardene. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:18:31 EDT 2000

New visa application procedure at US Embassy
CDN, September 20. The new system effective from September 26 will enable applicants or their representatives to come to the Embassy from 1pm to 2pm from Monday to Friday to set an appointment for a visa interview, submit their application forms and to pay the visa processing fee. Consular Chief William Howe, briefing the press at the US Information Service yesterday said the new system would eliminate cases of abuse by touts who sell places in the queue."They can pay US $ 45 or Rupee equivalent visa processing fee and submit the application form. The appointment can be made personally or through a courier, travel agent, friend, or family member. Applicants have to appear personally for the interview," Mr. Howe said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 20:49:25 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan Olympians can't break red tape
Virtual New York, September 19. Sri Lankan participants at the Sydney Olympics have claimed that excessive officialdom and bureaucracy had contributed to their poor performance. Former Commonwealth gold medal winner Mali Wickremesinghe finished 47th among the 49 competitors in the women's 10m Air Rifle event. She squarely blamed the officials back home for her disappointing show. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 08:10:41 EDT 2000

Contraband for LTTE seized S
ChennaiOnline , September 20. Customs officials in Rameswaram on Monday seized a country boat with contraband worth Rs 3.25 lakh which reportedly was being sent to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:29:16 EDT 2000

Canada Post adds screening measures after Tamil stamp
National Post, September 19. Canada Post has added new security screening measures to its personalized postage stamp program after supporters of a Tamil terrorist faction placed mass orders for stamps featuring their leader and one of their most strident political backers.The postal service confirmed yesterday it had received orders for stamps showing Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the self-declared assassin who leads the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and Kumar Ponnambalam, a pro-Tiger politician killed in January.Although the Prabhakaran stamps were never printed, by the time postal officials were alerted to the scheme, they had already shipped 500 of the Ponnambalam stamps. The 46¢ stamps were sold in Toronto last weekend for $14 each at a Tamil fundraising event. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:39:32 EDT 2000

The children and the Tigers
National Post, September 18. At the International Conference on War-Affected Children held by the Canadian government all last week in Winnipeg, dozens of workshops and meetings dealt with the devastating effects of war on children, and produced a declaration and action plan intended to draw the world's attention to the horrors children endure when they are used both as killers and victims.rtunately, the good intentions of this conference are being undermined in at least one other country by the way the Canadian refugee determination operates. A terrorist organization that has been waging war against the government of Sri Lanka for decades -- the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -- is well-established and operating freely in Canada, and when it comes to producing war-affected children, the LTTE has few equals. One of the most vicious terrorist movements in the world, it abducts and indoctrinates Sri Lankan Tamil children as young as 11 to be used as soldiers and suicide bombers. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:48:50 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka wins bid to host world travel congress.
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5. 40 p.m September 18. Sri Lanka has won the bid to host the prestigious world congress of Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) from 28 October to 2 November. Sri Lanka won the bid to host the 34 UFTAA congress by beating Thailand, Egypt and Tunisia.

The Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association which has its headquarters in Monaco is a world body represented by 101 countries. It had selected Sri Lanka to host the congress after twenty four years despite the troubled situation in the island. Udeni Seneviartne , Manager of Conventions Asia said that all the member countries expressed their confidence in Sri Lanka and described it is a great victory for the country.

The Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka has made arrangements to take all the participants to Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Rantnapura and Galle to show the rest of world that whole of Sri Lanka is not on fire. Seneviratne said that hosting of the world travel congress is well timed and expressed hope that the country will be able to achieve the desired results
Published: Tue Sep 19 07:39:03 EDT 2000

SLAF rules out foul play in chopper crash
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.20 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. A special investigative team from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) today ruled out any foul play in last Saturday's chopper crash which killed Minister M. H. M. Ashraff and 14 others.

The SLAF maintain that there is no evidence to suggest that the chopper was brought down as a result of an explosion or, a shoulder to missile attack fired possibly by the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam.

The SLAF however has not been able to recover the Black Box which is believed will hold vital information on the final few minutes of the ill-fated chopper and those aboard.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

New Lankan high commissioner
Times of India (Breaking News), september 19. Dr Senake Dias Bandaranayake, a noted scholar, has been appointed Sri Lanka's next High Commissioner to India, it was officially announced on Tuesday. Bandaranayake will fill the slot vacated a few months ago by Mangala Moonesinge. Since then, Prasad Kariyawasam has been discharging duties as acting high commissioner. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 10:17:15 EDT 2000

Colombo bracing for LTTE attacks ahead of polls
Times of India, 20 September 2000 . Security forces here are bracing for a series of bomb attacks and other forms of violence by the separatist Tamil Tigers ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, days after a suicide bomber killed seven people in the Sri Lankan capital. After Friday's attack, which also left two dozen people injured, police has picked up vital clues suggesting that at least 13 suicide members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have entered the city and are planning to strike at random ahead of the polls on October 10. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 18:40:30 EDT 2000

CWC to meet PM today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. Leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress, Arumugam Thondaman will meet with Premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake this afternoon to discuss an increase in salaries for estate workers.

Thondaman is expected to seek a Rs. 400/= increase for each worker and has reportedly indicated that he believes the final outcome of this afternoon's discussion will prove favourable.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Millennium IT Enables Internet Trades On Mesdaq
Dow Jones, september 19. Sri Lanka's Millennium Information Technologies Tuesday launched a new trading system that will enable Internet users to trade on the Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing and Automated Quotation, or Mesdaq.The new system, known as the Mesdaq Order Routine and Execution System, or MORE!, will provide the foundation for an open trading architecture that will enable investors to trade at their convenience, the company said in a press release in Colombo. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 11:45:37 EDT 2000

Sporadic fighting reported in Sri Lanka's north
MSNBC, September 19, 2000 14:00 Hrs(IST) . Sporadic fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels was reported on Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula on Tuesday after a fresh round of bloody battles that left scores dead and wounded. 'The rebels keep firing shells at us, but we have repulsed all their attempts,'' Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters in Colombo. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:24:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan troops dig in, return 45 bodies to rebels  -

Colombo braces itself for LTTE strikes ahead of polls
India Abroad, September 19, 2000 14:00 Hrs(IST) . Colombo: Security forces here are bracing for a series of bomb attacks and other forms of violence by the separatist Tamil Tigers ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, days after a suicide bomber killed seven people in the Sri Lankan capital. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 08:05:36 EDT 2000

Tigers launch new attack on Lankan army position
Times of India (Breaking News), 19 September 2000. The Tamil Tiger rebels made a second attempt Tuesday to wrest back northern territory newly captured by Sri Lankan troops, a military spokesman said. The rebel push around dawn was repulsed successfully by the military, said Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, the spokesman. He said troops inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels, but did not give numbers. Soldiers repulsed a similar push on Sunday, about seven hours after they had captured Chavakachcheri, the second largest town in the Jaffna Peninsula, 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Jaffna city. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 02:44:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
126 killed as Sri Lankan troops seize key town  - Telegraph, UK
Sri Lankan troops dig in after key battle  -
LTTE counter-attack unsuccessful: Colombo  - The Hindu
Renewed Sri Lanka violence claims more than 126 lives  -
More than 100 killed in Sri Lanka fighting  - Virtual New York
Fierce battles in Jaffna peninsula  - BBC South Asia
Scores killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - Virtual New York
108 killed in overnight battle: Colombo  - The Hindu NUS
Thirty six killed as Lankan army repulses rebel counter attacks  - NDTV/MSNBC
Sri Lanka rebels said beaten back, many casualties  - MSNBC
93 killed in fresh Lanka fighting  - India Abroad
Heavy bloodshed as Tigers mount counter attacks  -
Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka as Tigers resist offensive  -

Suicide bomber triggered crash?
ChennaiOnline, September 20. An unidentified person on board the Mi-17 helicopter that mysteriously crashed on September 16, killing 15 people, including minister M H M Ashraff, could have triggered the crash by detonating a bomb, local media quoting investigating agencies have reported.According to reports, when Ashraff noticed the youth and inquired about him, he was told that the person was accompanying Thambi. Ashraff's security personnel have told the police about the suspect, but they have not been able to trace him due to the absence of a passenger list. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:27:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Preliminary probe into crash rules out LTTE missile attack  -
'Mysterious person could have detonated copter'  - The Hindu NUS
Who was the mystery youth ?  - CDN

News - "Israel providing valuable intelligence, arms to Lanka’
Island, Tuesday, 19 September. The recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Israel has helped Colombo gain significant advantages in the form of intelligence and access to sophisticated Israeli weapons systems, according to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar."I mean, all these years, we’ve been buying arms from them. Commercially, we were buying arms, but there were other things - intelligence and also speeding up supplies which they have done" - after the establishment of diplomatic relations, Kadirgamar told IANS in an interview.The decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel was certainly "triggered by, I would say, the crisis we were going through," he acknowledged, referring to the onslaught by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on northern Jaffna town. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 04:36:04 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka appoints retired army chief as ambassador to Pak
Yahoo, Monday September 18, 9:01 PM. Sri Lankan government has appointed its recently retired army chief Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasurya as its new High Commissioner to Pakistan. A foreign office communique Monday said that the government has decided to appoint Gen. Weerasurya as High Comissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Pakistan. He succeeds the present High Comissioner Alfred K David. Rumours of Gen. Weerasurya's appointment were afloat here after he retired last month without getting an extension. His place was taken over by Lt. Gen. Lionel Balgalle, who too superannuated while serving as deputy to Gen. Weerasurya. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 02:54:26 EDT 2000

President to take over Ashraff's portfolio
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 p.m. SLT Monday September 18. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge will take over the portfolio of the late Minister M. H. M. Ashraff until the conclusion of the General Elections on October 10.

A special gazette notification today announced the government decision taken 48 hours after the late Minister was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday. Ashraff was Minister for Ports, Shipping, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. The President already holds two other portfolios that of Defence and Finance.

Meanwhile the new joint Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the National Unity Alliance, Rauf Hakeem, at a press conference held this evening said that he had met with the President this morning who had expressed concern over the late Ministers statement hours before his demise which severed his truck with the Peoples Alliance.

According to Hakeem, the President had indicated that some misunderstanding had occured due to "a lack of communication." It is not yet clear if Hakeem will renegade on Ashraff's final decision or stand by it. Mrs. Ferial Ashraff also joint Leader of the SLMC and the NUA was not present at today's press briefing.
Published: Mon Sep 18 11:34:13 EDT 2000

Bomb explosion at Eastern Kalmunai today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 p.m. SLT Monday September. A bomb explosion at Kalmunai in the Batticaloa district today killed three security personnel and injured another eleven. The bomb had exploded when police officers attempted to check-out a suspicious looking van which carried the explosives.
Published: Mon Sep 18 11:34:13 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka President takes job of dead minister amid row, Sep 18 2000 18:23 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 18 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Monday took over the responsibilities of Ports Minister M. H. M. Ashraff, killed Saturday in a mysterious helicopter crash, despite resistance from a key ally. President Kumaratunga's office said in a statement that she had assumed the functions of the ministry of Ports, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, held by Ashraff at the time of his death.The news of President Kumaratunga taking over Ashraff's portfolio came as Hakeem addressed a press conference announcing he was set to take oaths as the new minister for Ports. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 09:43:22 EDT 2000

Ashraff's widow to contest polls
The Hindu, Tuesday, September 19, 2000. COLOMBO, SEPT. 18. Bowing to the established traditions of South Asian politics, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has nominated the widow of M.H.M. Ashraff, the minister who was killed in a helicopter crash last week, to take his place as the main candidate in his constituency in eastern Sri Lanka for the October 10 general elections, and as the joint leader of the party. Announcing this at a news conference today, Mr. Rauff Hakeem, who has been appointed the other leader of the SLMC, said Mrs. Fariel Ashraff would, however, not play any role in the election campaign as she was in mourning. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 19:04:35 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Muslim party fears sabotage in fatal crash, Sep 18 2000 17:06 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 18 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main Muslim party Monday expressed fears sabotage may have caused a helicopter crash in which its leader died Saturday, shortly after he severed ties with the country's ruling party. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said it believed that the transport helicopter that crashed shortly after take-off from a police base in Colombo may have had its engines sabotaged. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 08:41:46 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Party probes Sri Lanka minister's death in air crash  - ABC News
Lanka to probe helicopter crash; explosion suspected  - India Abroad

War of words on in Lanka
Deccan Herald, COLOMBO, Sept 18 (UNI). Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake has said that President Chandrika Kumaratunga would not enter into a debate with a ''second class person`` like Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as he occupied second place among the party`s candidates in Colombo district. This is apparently in reply to Mr Wickremesinghe, who had challenged President Kumaratunga for a public debate with him. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 16:06:57 EDT 2000

CMEV condemns intimidation of polls chief
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 a.m. SLT Monday September 18 . As an independent civil society group committed to strengthening and protecting the integrity of the electoral process, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) is deeply concerned by recent media reports that the integrity and independence of the Commissioner of Elections is being questioned.

This arises from action he felt it necessary to take to prevent the use of stolen or forged polling cards on election day. The Commissioner maintains that he fully intended to inform the political parties of this action at the appropriate time.

The CMEV firmly believes that the electoral process is the basic mechanism for choice and change in a functioning democracy. Accordingly, the independence of the individual and office charged with the responsibility for the conduct of elections, is of paramount importance.

The CMEV maintains that further reports that the Election Commissioner has himself been subjected to threats and intimidation are truly shocking and are a dire indictment of the prevailing political culture. The persistence of such violence will reflect adversely on the Police and call into question both the commitment to and capacity for democratic governance in Sri Lanka.

The election monitoring group says that attempts to undermine the constitutionally guaranteed independence of the Commissioner of Elections and to impede him in the discharge of his responsibilities will gravely imperil democracy in Sri Lanka.

The CMEV has called upon all political parties and civil society groups to extend their fullest cooperation and support to the Commissioner of Elections to ensure a free and fair election on 10 October 2000.
Published: Mon Sep 18 00:44:14 EDT 2000

Bomb kills three in Sri Lanka, Sep 18 2000 18:46 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 18 (AFP) - A van bomb exploded in eastern Sri Lanka Monday, killing three people, including two constables, and wounding eight others, police said. The blast occurred in the town of Kalmunai, police said adding the bomb went off as a search was on for the vehicle with hidden explosives. Four people were arrested after the attack. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 10:32:18 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
At least three S.Lanka police die in suicide blast  - MSNBC
Bomb kills 3 policemen in latest Sri Lanka violence  - NandoTimes/AP

Hakeem and Ferial - joint leaders
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.15 a.m. SLT Monday September 18. Rauf Hakeem and Mrs. Ferial Ashraff have been appointed as joint leaders of both the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the National Unity Alliance. Following a six hour discussion yesterday, barely 24 hours after M. H. M. Ashraff was killed in a helicopter crash and buried according to Muslim religious rites, the hierachy of the SLMC met to appoint a new leader.

A deadlock occured when one faction wanted the dead Minister's spouse to take over the reigns, depite it being a foregone conclusion that Hakeem as Deputy Leader for the newly formed NUA would take over the leadership.

Mrs. Ferial Ashraff has neither accepted nor rejected her new post. Her name has also now been included as the NUA's candidate for the Amparai district, the late Ministers home turf.

Meanwhile, Hakeem has written to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today requesting a full and impartial inquiry into Saturday's crash which claimed 15 lives together with that of the Minister. Hakeem has indicated that he suspects foul play and would appreciate if the Head of State would order a comprehensive investigation.

Hakeem's request is backed by Transport Minister A. H. M. Fowzie who was the first to go public with his suspicions saying initial eye witness accounts indicated that the helicopter was on fire before it crashed into the hill known as 'Urakanda' at Aranayake in the Kegalle district.
Published: Mon Sep 18 00:44:14 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Ashraff's wife to be joint leader of party  - The Hindu NUS
Minister's widow to head Lankan Muslim party  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Widow to share leadership of Sri Lanka Muslim party  -
Sri Lanka's first Muslim political widow battles leadership crisis  -

Vartharajah Perumal - back to get his Eelam
Sunday Leader, September 10. On March 1, 1990 Varathrajah Perumal, Chief Minister of the North Eastern Provincial Council in violation of the sixth amendment which is still in force, was to Declare Unilateral Independence and set up a separate Eelam state.In late 1999 on the invitation of this government the chief ministerial pestilence was back. When he fled Lankan shores ten days after his infamous UDI in March 1990 he was to make a telling threat. "I will never give up the Eelam state. I will prepare for it and be back," he told mediamen. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 13:18:40 EDT 2000

No truck with PA to be strictly enforced
Island, Monday, 18 September. The final decision taken by the SLMC hours before the tragic death of their leader M.H.M.Ashraff not to have any truck with the Peoples Alliance would be strictly enforced, the SLMC politburo decided yesterday. The SLMC politburo met in emergency session to discuss future alliances and also elect a new set of office bearers. An SLMC spokesman said that the election of its General Secretary Rauff Hakeem as their new leader was a mere formality.Shortly before Ashraff boarded an Air Force helicopter MI-17 from Police Park in Colombo around 9 a.m on Saturday he sent a hard hitting letter to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 07:35:00 EDT 2000

Lankan troops take Chavakachcheri
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Monday September 18. Lankan troops yesterday amidst heavy fighting managed to secure Chavakachcheri in the northern Jaffna Pensinula. The Ministry of Defence in a statement last night said that 'Operation RiviKirana' had proved a success, and despite stiff resistance from the Tigers were successful in their thrust to secure rebel held territory.

The fresh military offensive which began yesterday lasted three hours before troops were able to consolidate positions in the town of Chavakachcheri. 30 combatants are reported killed in yesterday's battle, while the military claim that interception of rebel radio broadcasts indicate that 26 Tigers cadres were killed when government troops extended its Forward Defence Lines.
Published: Mon Sep 18 00:44:14 EDT 2000

Naked and Unashamed!
Info-Labs-Weekend Express.., September 10. Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkita, Maha Nayaka of theAsgiriya Chapter: "They come to us seeking our blessings; they fall at our feet and worship us and on their way back they terrorize and kill their opponents!. Probably, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had Sri Lankan politics in mind, when he spoke of 'fig leaf democracy' - for that is exactly what this country has experienced for the past several decades. More...
Published: Mon Sep 18 13:31:32 EDT 2000

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