The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 182

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The Lanka Academic carried an online "Question and Answer" sessions with the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe from September 1, 2000 through September 24, 2000. You can view the questions from visitors like you and the answers 1-46 by Mr. Moonesinghe here. We will post all answers soon.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
[PDF Version]

(The proposed new constitution)
Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
Satellite pix (visible)
Satellite pix (infrared)
Where is MIR today?
Bandula Jayasekera, in Jaffna. Bearded face of PLOTE leader Dharmalingam Sidharthan can be seen all over the city of Jaffna. Hand drawn posters with the fish symbol supposed to be of an independent group are widely displayed. Posters of TULF are not to be seen. EPDPs Douglas Devanandas posters were clearly visible but, I saw more of the PLOTE leader. There are no poster wars even though few posters are tarred at some places. No body gave the reason as to why people had done it. People of Jaffna say that posters are displayed side by side but no one tries to kill one another because both sides are armed, meaning the EPDP and PLOTE. They are no political meetings, only distribution of handbills and the people of Jaffna say that they are in no election mood. More...
Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. He is soft spoken, kind hearted and extremely gentle. He wants to keep a low profile even though he is doing a very high profile job, representing his country as High Commissioner. He is a true son of the great land and the youngest grandson of the greatest man of this millenium, Mahatma Gandhi. 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...
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Generals to battle it out in court ?
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.45 p. m October 4,. The rift between deputy minister of defence General Anurudha Ratwatte and Army’s chief of staff Major General Janaka Perera has come to light after the Major General sent a letter of demand to Independent Television Network (ITN) through his lawyers today. In his letter Major General Perera has demanded an apology and a sum of Rupees ten million from ITN for telecasting a programme titled ‘Janatha Adikaranaya’ where General Ratwatte made certain remarks about Major General Perera. The chief of staff has said that the remarks made on the programme have harmed his reputation and good name.

In the programme aired on ITN last week, Ratwatte said that he was the one who made a political decision and saved Jaffna during troubled times in May this year. But, when Dr. Bellanwala Vimalaratna thero of the Bellanwala temple questioned the minister “Why not give the credit to Major General Janaka Perera?” the minister said “ No. It is not because of one person. But, Ariyalai and Colombothurai fell after Janaka Perera was sent to Jaffna” Ratwatte also quoted General George C. Patton ‘Wars may be fought by weapons but, they are won by men alone’

Army officers who are supportive of Major General Janaka Perera told Lacnet that the deputy minister of defence had forgotten to complete the saying of Patton which is ‘It is the spirit of those who follow and the man who leads that gains victory’ The same sources revealed that a letter sent by a commander of an offensive brigade to Major General Janaka Perera had said that his soldiers fought hard because of General Perera and their moral was high at the time thanks to his great encouragement. The officers said that it was true that Ariyalai and Colombothurai fell while Major General Perera was in Jaffna h but, it is incorrect to blame Major General Perera as he was sent to Jaffna only at the last moment. They said that Major General Janaka Perera and Major General Sarath Fonseka led from the front and saved Jaffna.

When Lacnet spoke to Major General Janaka Perera he refused to go into detail.He said “ I told ITN that it was wrong to do a programme like that and they repeated it and I had no choice but to send a letter of demand”
Published: Wed Oct 4 13:41:49 EDT 2000

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Behind the Tamil Tigers - A Special Investigative report.
SBS Online, October 4. What they`ve done is abhorrent. It can`t be justified as some kind of national liberation organisation, because they have broken all the rules of the game. But still, they function, they prosper, they network - they get away with the serial assassinations of democratic leaders, of human rights activists.Equally disturbing is the extent to which Tamil supporters of the Tigers have cultivated contact with some of the highest-level politicians in the land - amongst them, Federal Health Minister Dr Michael Wooldridge. Toronto newspaper journalist Stewart Bell dared to report on Tiger fundraising tactics in Canada. For his efforts, he`s been threatened and intimidated. STEWART BELL: All kinds of accusations were thrown around. I had phone calls of a threatening sexual nature about my wife, my mother. I was told to be careful, I was told to stop reporting, I was told that Tamils were praying I would have bad karma, I guess so I`d come back in my next life as I don`t know what. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 19:01:09 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan stock market betting oppostion shed gloom, Oct 05 2000 06:56 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 5 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's war-battered economy has had remarkable success recently, but its still-languishing stock market appears to be banking on an opposition victory to get out of the woods. The legislative elections are set for October 10, and private polls place the main opposition United National Party (UNP) neck-and-neck with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance (PA). "The market has seen a turn around in the past week on the back of expectations of the UNP returning to power," said a trader at the CSE. "Otherwise, there is no change in the fundamentals to reverse the bull run." More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 22:31:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka jettison West Indies with 108-run win
Times of India (Breaking News), Wednesday October 04 2000. NAIROBI: Avishka Gunawardena hit 19 fours in an opening century and Sri Lanka went on to beat the West Indies by 108 runs Wednesday in their opening match of the ICC Knockout Trophy. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 14:11:05 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
West Indies head for home as Sri Lanka cruise to victory  - Cricinfo

Sri Lanka president extends emergency rule ahead of polls, Oct 04 2000 19:36 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 4 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday announced an extension of the nation-wide state of emergency ahead of next week's parliamentary elections. Kumaratunga in an extraordinary gazette notification used her executive powers to extend tough laws which give sweeping powers to the police and security forces.The state of emergency has been in force since early 1983 with short breaks in between, but the latest extension of the tough regulations will overlap the elections. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 11:20:36 EDT 2000

PA's campaign lacklustre without Chandrika
The Hindu, Thursday, October 05, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 4. When the Sri Lankan President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, left on a private visit to London late last week, it might have been out of sheer confidence that her party, the People's Alliance (PA) coalition, was so sure of victory in the October 10 parliamentary elections that her guidance was not required in the final crucial days of the campaign. But surveys published over the weekend have indicated that the two major Sri Lankan political groups, the PA and the United National Party (UNP), are in a dead heat. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 17:20:29 EDT 2000

Time to talk to LTTE is over: Lankan PM
Times of India, October 4. COLOMBO: ``The stage of talking to the LTTE is over,'' Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickeremanayake told a crowded media gathering on Wednesday. In a hastily convened media conference at the Presidential Secretariat in Capital Colombo, Wickeremanayake reiterated his government's resolve to eradicate terrorism and "the leader of terrorism" and firmly stated that the stage of negotiating with the militant groups was over. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 23:52:27 EDT 2000

2001 Year of Information Technology in the education sector
CDN, Wednesday, 04 October. Ministry of Education and Higher Education has declared the year 2001 as the year of Information Technology in the education sector. The main objective is to give utmost priority to the development of information technology in the school system Teacher Training Institutions and Universities in the year 2001, Ministry Secretary Prof. R.P. Gunawardena said yesterday. The Ministry has already launched a programme to provide computer units to over 600 schools. In addition, Computer Learning Centres will be established in 1000 schools through the Secondary Education Modernization Project funded by the Asian Development Bank, effective from January 2001. It is expected to extend this programme to all schools with G.C.E. (A/L) classes (about 2500 schools) through local and foreign funding within the next 03 years. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 13:38:09 EDT 2000

Swamy seeks ban on DK
The Hindu (Southern States), Thursday, October 05, 2000. CHENNAI, OCT. 4. The Janata Party president, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, today called for a ban on the Dravidar Kazhagam for its ``connections with the LTTE'' and the involvement of some of its members in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. Talking to reporters, Dr. Swamy said he had already written to the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, in this regard. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 17:21:19 EDT 2000

Intelligence alerts about more LTTE bomb attacks
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on October 4, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 4. (PTI): The Sri Lankan Army today said LTTE had stopped its week-long unsuccessful counter-attacks to regain lost territory from it in the northern Jaffna peninsula, while the Intelligence agencies have warned of a "brutal campaign" by the rebels to kill Tamil and Muslim candidates contesting the October 10 parliamentary polls. Guns fell silent in Jaffna peninsula yesterday after the LTTE stopped its series of counter-attacks at Elugthamaduval-Killali sector, south of Chavakachcheri, an Army spokesman here said. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 14:06:28 EDT 2000

Tiger shelling stops flights, Lankan troops kill 14
Times of India, October, 4. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels carried out artillery bombardments against government-held areas of Jaffna peninsula, forcing the region's only airfield to shut down, a state-run daily reported Wednesday. Meanwhile, the government's Special Media Information Centre said 14 rebels had been killed by government troops in sporadic clashes in the past 24 hours. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 23:51:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
14 LTTE rebels killed in fresh fighting  - The Hindu NUS

Sri Lanka government moving away Norway's peace bid, Oct 04 2000 21:35 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 4 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Wednesday said it was moving away from negotiating with the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas even though Norway was making efforts to bring the warring sides to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said the government had decided not to negotiate with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and instead vowed to crush the separatists on the battlefield.Wickremanayake Wednesday released copies of what he called an agreement between the Tigers and the UNP, the main party challenging the People's Alliance (PA) coalition at the October 10 elections.he UNP has flatly rejected the PA allegations and described them as propaganda ahead of the elections. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 13:20:36 EDT 2000

Major General Janaka Perera to sue ITN
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.30 a.m October 4. Major General Janaka Perera chief of staff of the Sri Lanka army has sent a letter of demand through his lawyers to the Independent Television Network demanding ten million rupees and an apology. The General had sent the letter in response to comments made by deputy Minister of defense Anurudha Ratwatte during a live programme last week.

Army's chief of staff has said in his letter of demand that the comments made by the minister during the live programme on ITN is an insult to Perera's good name and reputation. A copy of the letter of demand has been sent to the deputy minister of defense.
Published: Wed Oct 4 09:35:13 EDT 2000

Lankan Olympic queen snubs Kumaratunga
India Abroad, October 4, 2000 14:40 Hrs(IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka's only female Olympic medal-winner Susanthika Jayasinghe has snubbed President Chandrika Kumaratunga by rejecting a scholarship offer and said it would be better if the government restored her telephone, which has been disconnected for non-payment of bills. The 24-year-old sprint queen said she had no use for the all-expenses paid sports scholarship offered by Kumaratunga in recognition of her bronze medal at the 200m in Sydney. "I am grateful to the president for making the offer but I don't need it," she said, compounding the embarrassment for Kumaratunga's government over the handling of a sex-scandal involving one of its top ministers. ayasinghe told reporters Wednesday that she had to sell her pick-up truck to raise money to travel to California for training. She said the government was yet to give her the deed to the house gifted to her when she won a silver medal at the Athens World Championships in 1997. There has been no official inquiry into the allegations made by Jayasinghe. However, after she went public with the allegations, the authorities put pressure on sponsors to stop her funding. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 07:48:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops destroy rebel gun threateneing air strip: military, Oct 04 2000 20:48 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 4 (AFP) - Sri Lankan air force planes bombed and destroyed a rebel long-range gun that threatened a vital air strip in the island's north, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Aircraft carried out the bombing raid against a 122mm gun the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had been using to attack the Jaffna peninsula, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 12:13:25 EDT 2000

Suicide bombers terrify Sri Lankan polticians, Oct 04 2000 08:26 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 4 (AFP) - Assassinations of two candidates running in Sri Lanka's upcoming parliamentary elections have terrified politicians across this country ravaged by a violent Tamil separatist movement. A Muslim candidate affiliated to the ruling People's Alliance party, Mohammed Baithullah, and 22 others around him were killed on Monday by a suicide bomber on a bicycle who rode into a rally in the island's northeast. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 23:40:04 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE sends powerful poll message by killing Muslim candidate  - Yahoo

'LTTE to provide security for UNP candidates'
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on October 4, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 4. (UNI): The LTTE plans to intensify a campaign, waged against candidates of all political parties other than the United National Party (UNP), State-run The Daily News reported. The warning comes in the wake of reports that LTTE leader Prabhakaran has given special instructions to all Tiger leaders in the eastern province to provide tight security to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to engage in the party election campaign. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 09:37:46 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Olympic heroine feted on return home
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on October 3, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 3. (Reuters): All that glittered was bronze in Sri Lanka today as the war-torn island gave a tumultuous welcome to its first Olympic medallist in half a century. Susanthika Jayasinghe was greeted by Government ministers as she returned home from Sydney after winning the bronze medal in the women's 200 metres, the first medal for a Sri Lankan since Duncan White won silver in the 400 metres hurdles in 1948. ``God, it's good to be a Sri Lankan today,'' said a factory executive, one of tens of thousands who forgot a 17-year ethnic war to throng the route from the airport to the city. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 12:19:20 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Olympian returns home to political storm  - Yahoo

Tiger shelling stops flights, Sri Lankan troops kill 14, Oct 04 2000 16:04 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 4 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels carried out artillery bombardments against government-held areas of Jaffna peninsula, forcing the region's only airfield to shut down, a state-run daily reported Wednesday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched heavy shelling attacks on the Thenmarachchi and Vadamaracahchi sectors of the peninsula, the Observer evening newspaper said. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 07:21:42 EDT 2000

LTTE plans to step up pre poll terror campaign
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, Oct 4. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) plans to intensify a campaign, against candidates of all political parties other than the United Natinal Party (UNP), state - run The Daily News reported. The warning comes in the wake of reports that LTTE leader Prabhakaran has given special instructions to all tiger leaders in the eastern province to provide tight security to UNP leader Wickremesinghe to engage in the party election campaign. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 07:24:04 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 108 runs
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on October 4, 2000. Nairobi, Oct. 4. (UNI): A buccaneering 132 by Avishka Gunawardene coupled with a deadly three-wicket haul by Zoysa saw Sri Lanka register a resounding 108-run victory over West Indies in the one million dollar ICC Knockout Tournament at the Nirobi Gymkhana here today. Riding on a 170-run partnership between Gunawardene and Mahela Jaywardene, Sri Lanka had set a target of 287 runs at the loss of six wickets. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 13:24:28 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Latest Scores  - Cricinfo
Cricket-Gunawardena's century puts Sri Lanka in driving seat  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka 274 for 5 against W.Indies  - The Hindu NUS

Colombo DIG talks tough
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.00 p.m October 3. Deputy inspector general Colombo, Bodhi Liyanage requested all voters in Colombo to cast their vote without any fear as he will take stern action against any party which attempts to break the law. He said " We will not allow any party to intimidate the voters and provide tight security at all polling booths" Liyanage also made an appeal to all religious leaders to extend their support to the police.

Bodhi Liyanage is known to be a tough police officer. Liyanage clashed with minister Richard Pathirana during the last presidential elections.The DIG ordered the minister to leave his office when Pathirana tried to interfere with his work. Liyanage was in charge of the Southern region at the time.
Published: Tue Oct 3 10:00:38 EDT 2000

FEATURE-Sri Lanka's once radical left resurrected
Yahoo, Wednesday October 4, . Sri Lanka's communists, crushed with great loss of life in two failed rebellions over the past 30 years,now seek to become a political force through the ballot box. The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), or the People's Liberation Front, has put the ghosts of its tormented past to rest and hopes parliamentary elections on October 10 will leave it as the biggest player after the country's two main political parties. "We have a plan to rebuild this country which has been destroyed by the wealthy class," said Chandrasena Wijesinghe, party leader in Galle district in southern Sri Lanka where the group has its base. A portrait of Lenin looked down from behind him in a dimly-lit room, while outside red flags fluttered over the seaside resort town. Groups of party workers, including young girls and a Buddhist monk, knocked on village doors to spread the party message. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 02:21:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Opposition Says Will Boost Ties With Global Cos
Yahoo, Wednesday, October 4 3:24 PM SGT . In a statement to the press the UNP, which is led by Ranil Wickremesinghe, said a series of trade conferences will be held within two months of its election if it wins. The main contest is between the UNP and the governing People's Alliance of President Chandrika Kumaratunga - although 29 political parties and 10 independent groups are running for seats in the 225-seat parliament. There are 11.9 million eligible voters in 22 districts. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 07:19:58 EDT 2000

Hero's welcome for Sri Lanka medallist
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK . Sri Lanka's only Olympic medallist, Susanthika Jayasinghe, has returned home to an enthusiastic welcome - despite being at the centre of press criticism.Thousands of people lined the route from the airport, throwing flowers and letting off firecrackers.On Monday, a pro-government newspaper, the Daily News, accused her of disowning her country because of comments she made at a news conference in which she said that she would have to find somewhere other than Sri Lanka to carry on with her training. The athlete's allegations are highly embarrassing for the government, which has sent numerous messages of congratulations to her in addition to giving her a scholarship for further training.The stance of the Daily News is in contrast to that of the Sunday Times which castigated the sports ministry for the way it says Susanthika Jayasinghe was treated in the run up to the Olympics. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 16:35:20 EDT 2000

SPORTS: Cricket Sri Lanka to take on West Indies at ICC tournament
NDTV/MSNBC, Wednesday, October 4 (Nairobi). Sri Lanka takes on a struggling West Indies in today's knockout match at the ICC tournament in Nairobi. Under Jimmy Adams, West Indies has been playing mediocre cricket with their defeat to England being their latest in an endless stream of losses. More...
Published: Wed Oct 4 02:25:58 EDT 2000

Army launches offensive ahead of Sri Lanka elections
Virtual New York, Tuesday, 3 October 2000 12:19 (ET). Sri Lanka's acting defense minister Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte Tuesday said that the armed forces had launched an offensive against separatist Tamil Tigers in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The defense minister's statement came six days ahead of parliamentary elections in the country. Unprecedented violence has marred the campaigning for the Oct. 10 parliamentary elections in the rest of the country, even as government troops are fighting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the Jaffna peninsula. . More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 16:28:05 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka battles to retake lost ground ahead of monsoon  -

LTTE aiming to disrupt elections: Minister
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, October 04, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 3. The Deputy Defence Minister, Mr Anuruddha Ratwatte, said today that it was not the government, but the LTTE that was planning its offensive in northern Sri Lanka with an eye on the October 10 parliamentary elections. "The LTTE will do everything it can to disrupt the elections," he said at a news conference today. "We are in a continuous process of retrieving land we lost to the LTTE, starting with the peninsula," he said. But unlike the Prime Minister, Mr Ratnasisi Wickramanayake, who recently promised in a campaign speech that the security forces would wrest the Elephant Pass garrison by polling day on October 10, the Deputy Defence Minister refused to be drawn into a time table. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 18:35:52 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Tamil rebel bombers infiltrate Colombo to disrupt polls, say police  - Times of India
Sri Lankan bomb attack warning  - BBC South Asia

European monitors express horror at bomb carnage, Oct 03 2000 18:19 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 3 (AFP) - The European Union monitors observing Sri Lanka's parliamentary vote campaign Tuesday condemned the suicide bomb attack that killed a candidate and 23 others at an election meeting. The head of the EU mission, John Cushnahan, said he was visiting the north-eastern port district of Trincomalee Monday when the blast ripped through a meeting at the nearby town of Muttur. Nothing can excuse and no cause can justify the taking of human life. Violence has no part to play in the democratic process," he said. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 09:35:36 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE suicide bombers out to disrupt polls  -
Lanka suicide bomb blast toll reaches 24  - India Abroad
Suicide bomber gets second election candidate  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Run up to polls tense in the Jaffna Peninsula
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday October 3. The Jaffna Peninsula visited by election monitors namely the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence on September 28 and 29, 2000 concluded that the situation remains non-conducive for the conduct of a free and fair election.

In fact, the offensive and counter-offensive (launched by the LTTE on Sep 28th) has resulted in significant displacement of civilian populations in the Thenmarachchi area and indications on the ground are that this will increase greatly in the days to come. The heavy shelling and counter-shelling in this final phase of the campaign renders even faint hopes for minimal ground conditions for an election untenable.

Notwithstanding the military context, it appeared to CMEV that even administratively the election will face severe problems.

Arrangements to transport voters from camps and other temporary habitations to their home polling stations are dependent on the availability of adequate numbers of buses in the region. It does not appear that these requirements can be met, given the current military situation.

Even the alternate polling centres for displaced voters and clustered polling centres for voters in "uncleared" areas have not been finalized yet, or so CMEV was informed by the Commissioner of Elections on September 29, 2000. However, according to "unofficial" information received by CMEV, the clustered polling centres do not appear to provide a reasonable or equal opportunity for voters in the "uncleared" areas, as well as for those who have been displaced on both the long- and short-term. For instance, the provision of one and only one composite polling centre at Jaffna Hindu College for 37 gazetted polling centres in the "uncleared" Kilinochchi area is a mere charade, given the fact that voters of these centres must travel many miles across the forward defence lines along which a fierce battle is being waged in order to cast their ballot.

Three incidents relating to the snatching of polling cards have been recorded from the peninsula, amounting to well over 1500 polling cards. In addition, due to the fact that voter lists have not been systematically updated since1981 to account for outward migration, the total registered voter population is over 625,000 while the entire current population in the peninsula is approximately 450,000.
Published: Tue Oct 3 06:51:59 EDT 2000

Partisan Cops
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday October 3. Political parties have made complaints to the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence regarding the partisan behaviour of some police officers. The most serious concerns are the allegation of murder against the HQI Matale, KC Hapuarachchi, who is also the brother-in-law of PA candidate for Matale, Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake, and the well-documented instances of systematic collusion between the OIC Puttalam, IP OKD Gunadasa and PA candidate DM Dassanayake. In addition, there are complaints that the Akkaraipattu Police Station displays a strong bias in favour of the SLMC, in recording complaints, follow-up investigation and even in the provision of information.

Here too, in general, the most violent areas are precisely those in which the Police has acted in a partisan and unprofessional manner, providing virtual immunity to many prominent perpetrators, while denying even basic rights and justice to some of the victims.

The alleged interference of PA political leaders in police affairs has resulted in sharply opposing and contradictory outcomes in different instances, where uniformity and consistency are necessary for the restoration of public faith in the forces of law and order. The most glaring example is the contrast between the modus operandi for the accelerated release on Rs 25,000/- personal bail of Deputy Defense Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Chanuka Ratwatte against whom there were allegations of shooting at UNP candidate Keheliya Rambukwella at the Getambe junction on September 24th, and the extended incarceration of the UNP's Rohitha Bogollagama from September 20th onwards on charges of an incident that allegedly took place in December 1999 despite the fact that the Appeal Court has ruled that he be released on bail.

The Galnewa, Eppawela, Talawa, and Galenbindunuwewa Police Stations in the Anuradhapura District have continuously displayed partisan support towards the People's Alliance during this campaign. The JVP's Anuradhapura Office too has officially complained of its dissatisfaction with the Galnewa Police in relation to their handling of the assault of JVP supporter Upali Dharmaratne at his cycle shop on September 18th.They allege that the recording of complaints is delayed and the complaints are not recorded in an impartial manner.

In the Nuwara Eliya District, an incident that took place on October 1, 2000 at the Agrapatana town bazaar provides an example where the Police appear to be powerless in the face of armed militias and influential politicians. The Up Country People's Front meeting in the town bazaar turned into a full-fledged battle between over 200 CWC and UCPF cadres who fought each other for one-and-a-half hours in the heart of the town.

The police attempted to intervene by using teargas and by firing into the air, but eye-witnesses indicated to CMEV that the police officers themselves were stoned by the mobs. One person, UCPF supporter F Kalimuttu received serious injuries in the fracas and has been warded at the Kandy Hospital where he is scheduled to undergo an eye operation to rectify the damage to his retina by stoning. The OIC Police Mr Chaminda Pinto told the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence that he lacked adequate manpower to bring the situation under control and that his men had received injuries in the incident.
Published: Tue Oct 3 06:51:59 EDT 2000

Most number of complaints against PA -UNP
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday October 3. The PA's alleged share of election related violence is 605 incidents or 52.1% which is nearly three times the UNP's contribution of 227 (19.5%). Persons of unknown political affiliation are being held accountable for 281 (24.2%), the JVP for 09and the EPRLF for 08 incidents. In terms of the major incidents alone, the PA is allegedly responsible for 55.3% and the UNP for 20.6%. If you consider only the major incidents in which the alleged

perpetrator has been identified, the PA and UNP taken together account for 94.6% of all complaints.

Regionally, the Western and North-Western remain the most violent areas, recording 230 and 185 incidents respectively. Sabaragamuwa is the least volatile of the provinces, but it too has crossed the 100 mark. In terms of districts, Gampaha has produced 117 incidents, Puttalam 97 and Kurunegala 88. Outside the North-East, the lowest number of incidents has been recorded from Ratnapura and Hambantota (30 each), but the types of incidents recorded even in these areas do not leave any room for complacency as regards polling day. In general, the escalation of violence has affected all of the districts adversely, creating a climate of tension and fear among ordinary voters.
Published: Tue Oct 3 06:51:59 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Violence mounts ahead of Sri Lanka elections  - Virtual New York

Police say polls related violence nears the 1000 mark
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3 p.m. SLT Tuesday October 3. The Police Elections Secretariat said today that polls related violence nears the 1000 mark with the main opposition UNP having made over 400 complaints so far. the PA have made over 300 complaints while the JVP are third in the number of complaints made.

Yesterday the police recorded 26 complaints from the UNP, 20 by the PA and 2 by the JVP.

Meanwhile Centre for Monitoring Eelection Violence has recorded 1162 incidents of election-related violence in the first 28 days of the campaign, 80 of which were reported on October 1, 2000, making it the second most violent day so far. 640 of the 1162 incidents (55.1%) are serious or major ones, and 522 (44.9%) are relatively minor incidents. The reports received on September 29th, September 30th, October 1st and October 2nd - the four most violent days of the campaign by far - include 24 Murders, 05 Attempted Murders, 36 records of Hurt, 06 instances of Grievous Hurt, 67 Assaults, 23 acts of Threat & Intimidation, 05 cases of the Misuse of State Resources, 01 Robbery, and 07 instances of Arson.

Of these 1162 complaints, 517 (44.5%) were reported by supporters of the UNP, 345 (29.7%) by supporters of the PA, 143 (12.3%) by the JVP, and 57 (05.9%) by persons without any known political affiliation. 73 (21.2%) of the PA's 345 complaints were directed against supporters of the PA itself, the only significant examples of intra-party rivalry recorded in this campaign.
Published: Tue Oct 3 06:51:58 EDT 2000

Commonwealth team to observe Lanka polls
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on October 3, 2000. London, Oct. 3. (PTI): A five-member Commonwealth team is visiting Sri Lanka to observe the October 10 parliamentary elections there, it was officially announced here today. The team, led by E N C Hare, former deputy secretary-general (development cooperation) in the Commonwealth Secretariat, will stay in the island country for 10 days from today. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 12:35:42 EDT 2000

Fierce fighting continues in the North
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday October 3. Fierce fighting continued in the North yesterday as rebel combatants kept up an attack on the Forward Defence Lines of the military. The battle claimed 19 lives on both sides while defence ministry spokesmen say that armed forces successfully repulsed Tiger fire. The LTTE are reported to have used heavy artillery, mortar and bombs in a bid to penetrate military boundaries.

The military said that on Saturday Lankan soldiers killed over 50 rebels. The military casualty Saturday was 4 soldiers killed and over 40 injured.
Published: Tue Oct 3 06:51:58 EDT 2000

More suicide bombings feared in Sri Lanka as toll hits 24, Oct 03 2000 11:28 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 3 (AFP) - Sri Lankan police Tuesday warned of more blasts ahead of next week's parliamentary elections as the death toll in an overnight suicide bombing in the island's northeast rose to 24. The bomber detonated explosives strapped to him as a Muslim candidate addressed his supporters in the town of Muttur, police said, adding 54 people were wounded in the attack that killed a total of 24.Tension gripped the towns of Muttur and Trincomalee following Monday's mass killing and most shops remained closed, local residents said by telephone. They said more police and troops were seen patrolling the streets. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 04:06:52 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Toll rises to 23 in Lanka blast  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Amnesty slams Tigers for suicide bombing, Oct 03 2000 09:25 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 3 (AFP) - International human rights watchdog Amnesty International Tuesday condemned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels for a suicide bombing that killed 24 people, including an election candidate. Amnesty said Monday's killings were a "clear violation of international humanitarian law" and it had protested to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have been blamed for the bombing.A suicide bomber detonated explosives he was carrying in the north-eastern town of Muttur on Monday, killing Mohammed Baithullah, a candidate in the October 10 parliamentary elections and 23 others. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 00:23:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
AI slams Tigers for bombing  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Tigers blamed for suicide bombing - Ananova alert  - Ananova
Chronology of Sri Lankan suicide bomb attacks  -

Sri Lanka vote turns into referendum on peace plan, Oct 03 2000 07:43 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 3 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's upcoming national election is turning into a referendum on President Chandrika Kumaratunga's power-sharing plan to appease the country's Tamil separatists. Kumaratunga has said she will implement her plan to turn the country into a de facto federal state within two months of re-election after the October 10 polls.he minority party Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, has said it fears the government may interpret any vote for it as an invitation to rewrite the constitution and adopt a federal charter. "We want to warn the voters of this deception plan," JVP spokesman Wimal Weerawansa said. "They are trying to project the election as a referendum on dividing the country on ethnic lines. We are against it. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 00:26:37 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops repulse fresh rebel assaults
MSNBC, Oct 03 2000 11:28 IST. Sri Lankan troops beat back fresh Tamil rebel onslaughts on the Jaffna peninsula in the north of the country but casualties mounted from rebel attacks elsewhere, military officials said on Tuesday.''Two soldiers were killed and 15 wounded in two overnight rebel attacks on our defences near Eluthumadduval base. We successfully repulsed both attacks, fighting has eased,'' military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 04:13:31 EDT 2000

Furore over peace talks letters
TamilNet, October 02. The letters exchanged between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers during the 1995 peace talks have become an unexpected election issue in the run up to the island's forthcoming Parliamentary polls. The main opposition, the United National Party (UNP), has seized on the hitherto unpublicised letters as evidence the government had not informed the Sri Lankan public about its negotiations with the Tigers, forcing the government to respond with ahe government has been compelled to respond. President Kumaratunge in a broadcast over the state-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) last week denied she had ever been involved in secret negotiations with the Tigers.

counter-campaign. More...
Published: Tue Oct 3 08:24:36 EDT 2000

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