The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 186

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The Lanka Academic is delighted to introduce the second guest for our online "Question and Answer" session: Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, the spokesperson of the United National Party. Send in your questions and receive answers!
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 by Mr. Moonesinghe here.
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Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. Anuradha Yahampath, a 37 yearold mother of three children, (her youngest child is only two weeks old) is the deputy secretary of Sihala Urumaya. She is also in charge of the party's publicity campaign. Yahmapath was educated at Visakha Vidyalaya in Colombo and graduated from the University of Leeds with a B. A. (Hon) degree in textile design. She is a company director and is involved with her family business. Yahampath is contesting from the Colombo district as a candidate from Sihala Urumaya. `Lacnet' met up with Anuradha Yahampath who seems to be making an attempt to breath fresh air to the election campaign in the island. 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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Sri Lanka to vote under emergency and war, Oct 09 2000 06:50 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 9 (AFP) - Sri Lanka will vote in parliamentary elections held under tough emergency laws even as Tamil rebels remain locked in combat with government forces. Balloting is due to get underway on Tuesday to elect the 11th parliament since independence from Britain amid a campaign marred by violence which has claimed at least 58 lives.For the first time in recent years, the election is being conducted under tough emergency laws which give sweeping powers to police and security forces to arrest and detain suspects.Apart from violence, early on the campaign took a bizarre twist when the ruling party reported the chief elections commissioner Dayanda Dissanayake to the human rights commission.The case was withdrawn amid mounting public criticism and remarks by European Election monitors that they fully supported the commissioner's bid to ensure a free and fair election.Both parties are promising to revise an unpopular goods and services tax. The government has also resisted pressure to raise fuel prices ahead of the election despite the escalation in global oil prices. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 22:43:08 EDT 2000
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50 people killed in Sri Lanka on the eve of elections  - NDTV/MSNBC

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Sri Lanka polls attract highest number of candidates, Oct 09 2000 06:49 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 9 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's general election for its 11th parliament since independence from Britain in 1948 has attracted a record 5,477 candidates vying for 225 seats in the legislature. Voting is to be conducted Tuesday October 10 at 9,500 polling booths spread across the 22 electoral districts in this Indian Ocean island republic located just south of India.The 5,477 candidates in the running Tuesday is the highest number for any parliamentary election. The 1994 August election attracted 1,440 candidates.Among the candidates on Tuesday are a former plane hijacker and a disgraced sailor, convicted of trying to assassinate India's prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 22:45:35 EDT 2000

LTTE the biggest perpetrator of election violence
CDN, October 8. The most number of incidents relating to election violence have been committed by the LTTE and not by any other mainstream political party, sources at the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) told the Daily News yesterday. They said that 48 murders have been committed by LTTE cadres. Fifty eight killings were reported from the nominations day until yesterday. According to CMEV, supporters of the PA and UNP are allegedly responsible for six of the other seven killings. A JVPer was killed in a police shooting at Matale. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 18:41:24 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Election Tue Will Make Or Break Peace Plan
Yahoo, Monday, October 9 8:44 AM SGT . President Chandrika Kumaratunga regards the election as a referendum on a proposed new constitution that would give more power to the regions, including the north and east where separatists are fighting for a Tamil homeland. The 55-year-old president, who herself carries the scars of her country's violence, hopes to win over moderate Tamils, dim the appeal of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and bring an end to the war which has claimed more than 63,000 lives and added an extra strand of instability to an already restless, newly nuclearized region. On Wednesday the government abandoned a Norwegian-mediated peace effort and announced it would "eradicate" the Tamil Tiger leader.The next day a suicide bomber killed himself and 12 other people at an election rally for Kumaratunga's party in Medawachchiya, 120miles northeast of Colombo. There have been several other bombings and assassination attempts during the campaign. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 23:24:47 EDT 2000

Violence erupts in parts of Sri Lanka in a bid to intimidate opposition supporters
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2100 SLT 08.10.00. Election monitoring organizations and Opposition parties report that violence has erupted in parts of the country. The sources say government supporters have begun to cause violence to intimidate opposition activists. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said armed men have come on to the streets and begun firing into the air in Haguranketha, the electorate of Sports Minister S.B.Dissanayake. In Pahatha Dumbera in the Kandy district-the electorate of Deputy Defense Minister Anurudha Ratwatta, similar incidents have been reported.CMEV said a UNP activist was killed in Polgahawela today while a bomb was thrown into the house of a UNP activist in Beliatta in Hambanthota. In Mahiyangana electorate CMEV reports that in five places armed gangs have assaulted and threatened UNP supporters. A bomb was thrown at the house of a National Unity Alliance candidate in Kolonnawa in Colombo.
Published: Sun Oct 8 14:31:11 EDT 2000

Polls Chief issues stern warning against vote rigging
Tha Island, 09 OCtober 2000. Amidst allegations of planned attempts by certain quarters in the government to rig tomorrow’s parliamentary poll, the Elections Commissioners Department said yesterday that it has taken all measures within its powers to ensure a free and fair election.Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissananayake warned that anyone who who fails to obey the law within polling centres would be hauled up before a Magistrate.Asked what steps have been taken regarding the complaint by Minister and PA General Secretary D.M.Jayaratne that a powerful Cabinet Minister has planned to rig the poll in Kandy, the Government Agent Kandy S.Baddewela said they have informed the police. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 19:26:40 EDT 2000

Monitors admit high level of violence during Sri Lankan campaigning.
ABC Australia, 09 October 2000. At the invitation of Sri Lanka's National Election Commission, the polls are being monitored by observers from the European Union. Members of the E-U mission have been deployed around the country to monitor campaigning and polling. More... [Listen]
Published: Sun Oct 8 21:13:07 EDT 2000

Minister accuses Minister of planning to rig
Sundy Times, October 8. PA General Secretary D.M. Jayaratna has appealed to President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Commissioner of Elections to take prompt action to prevent alleged moves by a cabinet colleague to rig polls in the Kandy district."There are 35 state run buses at the Mahaweli Digana Village hotel in Kundasale. About 800 persons are stationed there. At nights poll cards are being collected. 'The plan was to enter the polling booths the previous night and stuff the ballot boxes on the day of elections with ballot papers marked for one candidate. Petroleum Corporation and State buses are going to be used for the purpose.' 'These plans are not a secret in Kandy. Even if we win, people will claim we have rigged the election. The people believe that due to family connections you were not taking action "It is good if you could take steps to prevent this." More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 15:43:15 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's bloody campaign ends amid fears of Yugoslav-style uprising, Oct 08 2000 16:13 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka parties have ended a blood-soaked campaign that killed 60 people as the main opposition Sunday warned of Yugoslav-type uprising if the government tried to rig Tuesday's crucial parliamentary polls. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said that violence had escalated in the past 48 hours raising fears of attacks against voters and candidates in areas unfavourable to the ruling party. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:48:35 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Yugoslav-type agitation threatened  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka opposition warns of Yugoslav-style crisis  -
Lankans edgy and undecided as bloody polls campaign ends  - India Abroad
Campaigning ends in the October 10th general elections  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

UNP - LTTE nexus revealed in plot to assassinate the President
Ceylon Observer, October 8. Continuing investigations by the CID have clearly revealed material establishing the strong links that existed between the LTTE and UNP during the Presidential Election campaign of last year, and how these contacts were intensified immediately prior to and after the attempted assassination of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the Town Hall Grounds and Gen. Lucky Algama at Ja-ela on December 18 last. The investigations so far show far reaching understandings between members of the UNP and LTTE, over a long period of time, and the involvement of well-known UNP members in transporting explosives from LTTE camps. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 15:46:21 EDT 2000

Chandrika seeks mandate for war as campaigning ends
The Hindu, Sunday, October 08, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 7. Campaigning in the bloody run-up to the October 10 parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka ended today after public meetings by all the major contesting parties. The final rallies of the big three in this election - the ruling People's Alliance (PA), the opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) - continued late into the evening. While the JVP, the acknowledged ``third force'', hopes to tap into voter disillusionment with the two main parties, the main plank of the UNP throughout the campaign has been the increase in the cost of living under the PA Government. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 18:16:17 EDT 2000
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Chandrika Kumaratunga: Battle between war and peace  -
Sri Lanka Pres Says Victory Assured In Polls - Report  - Yahoo-DJ
LTTE faking interest in talks: Chandrika  - The Hindu (International)

32 combatants killed in LTTE attack in Jaffna
Times of India, Sunday 8 October 2000 . COLOMBO: More than 32 combatants were killed when the Tamil Tiger rebels launched a massive pre-dawn attack on troops in the Jaffna Peninsula, a government spokesman said Saturday. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:38:12 EDT 2000
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30 rebels killed in attack on Nagar Kovil  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

What election observers will be looking for
Nilan Fernando in Colombo, 4:45pm SLT Sunday October 8. Experts advising the thousands of Sri Lankan election observers and dozens of international observers that will observe the October 10 parliamentary elections have warned of the variety of ways that unscrupulous candidates try to cheat. One method is for thugs of candidates to go to people's homes the day before the election and demand their polling cards. These are then used on election day for organized impersonation. Voters in Sri Lanka are not required to show their polling or national identity cards in order to vote, but having the polling card makes it easier for presiding officers to locate a voters name on the registration list. Voters with these cards are rarely challenged by polling agents unless it's an obvious case of impersonation, the main reason the Chief Election Commissioner went to great lengths to safeguard against their misuse. Another tactic is outright intimidation, where thugs chase away the polling agents of opposing parties or prevent them from reporting. Thugs will also 'capture' a polling station outright, chasing away all polling agents and sometimes even presiding officers, and then stuff the ballots boxes. A presiding officer always has the prerogative of suspending voting if he suspects malpractice is occurring but these situations are often fluid, judgements are not always easy to make, and officers are often pressured into keeping the polls open. Districts where there is a large amount of out-migration are particularly vulnerable to fraud because so many individuals on the voter lists are no longer present, leaving large 'gaps' in the rolls. Based on pre-election violence and malpractice, the electoral districts that analysts consider most "problematic" for the upcoming poll are Kandy, Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, and Puttalam and all four districts of the Northeastern Province (Jaffna, Wanni, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa). If it is a 'dead heat' in the rest of the country, these districts may determine which party enters the next parliament with the most seats.
Published: Sun Oct 8 06:49:14 EDT 2000

Strategic Lankan town prepares to vote under the shadow of the gun, Sunday,October 8,2000. VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka: The shadow of the gun and fears of more bloodshed ahead of national polls loomed large Sunday over the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavuniya, adjoining the stronghold of Tamil Tiger separatists. Residents of this sleepy town of some 20,000 people, the northernmost area under the control of the government in the mainland, say apprehension is the dominant emotion in the run-up to Tuesday's elections. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 14:38:20 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to clear Jayasinghe debts
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 8 October, 2000, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK . A sports foundation dedicated to Duncan White, the country's first medal winner, has urged public contributions to clear the debts of Susanthika Jayasinghe, winner of the bronze in the women's 200 metres in Sydney. Her's was the first medal for a Sri Lankan since 1948, when White won a silver in the 400 metre hurdles. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:50:02 EDT 2000

Govt alleges UNP-Tiger nexus to kill Chandrika
Times of India (Breaking News), october 8. Sri Lanka's ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) on Sunday alleged that the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the LTTE have hatched a conspiracy to assassinate President Chandrika Kumaratunga on the eve of parliamentary elections. Highlighting the allegation in its lead story, the state-run Sunday Observer said the investigations by the CID police have revealed that there were 'strong links' between the UNP and the LTTE before the December, 1999 presidential elections, which culminated in an aborted attack on Chandrika. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 14:35:59 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Ruling PA alleges UNP-LTTE nexus  - The Hindu NUS

Pakistan crush Lanka by nine wickets
Times of India (Breaking News), Sunday 8 October 2000 . NAIROBI: Pakistan outplayed Sri Lanka in every department of the game to score a comprehensive nine-wicket victory and move into the semi-finals of the ICC Knockout cricket tournament here on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:39:39 EDT 2000
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Anwar leads Pak. to semifinal  - The Hindu NUS

Hung Parliament likely in Sri Lanka
The Hindu (International), Monday, October 09, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 8. Sri Lanka appears to be gearing for a period of political uncertainty immediately after Tuesday's general elections with pundits and opinion polls alike predicting a neck- and-neck finish with neither of the two main parties getting a clear majority. At a pre-election press conference today, the leader of the United National Party, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, said he was confident his party would obtain more than 113 seats in the next Parliament and form the next Government. ``On October 11, you will have a new government and it will be a UNP government.'' The President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, also expressed confidence last week that her People's Alliance would win a clear majority. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 16:14:47 EDT 2000
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‘Lankan elections could result in constitutional crisis’  - India Abroad

Tight security at polling booths across Lanka
Times of India (Breaking News), october 8. More than 35,000 policemen, assisted by the Army, have taken up position at 9,945 polling stations throughout Sri Lanka, including the embattled Jaffna peninsula, to ensure the peaceful conduct of Tuesday's parliamentary elections. Government sources said all is set for free and fair elections under the watchful eye of about 150 foreign election observers, scores of local observers and members of the clergy, who have come forward for the first time to keep vigil during polling. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 14:40:43 EDT 2000
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Tight security for Sri Lanka polls  - The Hindu NUS

Key facts about Sri Lanka's parliamentary poll
MSNBC, 18.00 hrs (IST) on October 8, 2000. The single chamber has 225 seats of which 196 are elected through a complicated mix of proportional representation and direct voting from each of the country's 22 electoral districts. The other 29 are allocated to parties on the basis of the number of votes they receive at national level. Parliament will sit for six years. The voters in each electoral district must first vote for a political party or independent group and then cast three so-called preference votes for candidates from the same party or group. The seats are allocated among parties in proportion to the number of votes they receive in each district. The candidates with the highest number of preference votes from each party enter parliament according to the number of seats won by the party in the district. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 14:44:44 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka voters face tough choice at close polls
MSNBC, Sunday 8 October 2000. COLOMBO, Oct. 8 — After one of the bloodiest election campaigns in recent years, Sri Lankan voters will choose on Tuesday between two competing strategies for ending the country's protracted ethnic war. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:42:48 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels seek to disrupt poll
MSNBC, 18.00 hrs (IST) on October 8, 2000. COLOMBO, Oct. 8 — Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are using ruthless tactics to try to prevent President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party returning to power at parliamentary polls onTuesday. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:41:12 EDT 2000

India face Lanka in Coca Cola cup opener
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on October 8, 2000. Sharjah, Oct. 8. (UNI): India will take on Sri Lanka in the opening encounter of the tri-nation Coca Cola tournament, also featuring Zimbabwe, beginning October 20, it was announced here today. Addressing a press conference here, Cricket Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) chief Abdul Rehman Bukhatir said Sri Lanka would play against Zimbabwe in the second match on October 21. The next match on October 22 would be between India and Zimbabwe. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:36:50 EDT 2000

UNP confident of forming government
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on October 8, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 8. (UNI): United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today predicted the Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga will face the same fate as that of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, after Tuesday's parliamentary election. Addressing a press conference, Wickremesinghe said ``if Mrs. Kumaratunga defies the Constitution and tries to pass the constitutional bill in Parliament, I am sure she will meet the same fate of Mr Milosevic.'' Wickremesinghe said his party was confident of winning the election and forming a stable government. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 13:34:26 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Wickremesinghe: Struggling for success amid bombs and bullets  -

Strategic Sri Lankan town prepares to vote under the shadow of the gun, Oct 08 2000 11:36 IST. VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka, Oct 8 (AFP) - The shadow of the gun and fears of more bloodshed ahead of national polls loomed large Sunday over the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavuniya, adjoining the stronghold of Tamil Tiger separatists. Residents of this sleepy town of some 20,000 people, the northernmost area under the control of the government in the mainland, say apprehension is the dominant emotion in the run-up to Tuesday's elections. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 05:07:01 EDT 2000

Free legal aid for election officials who are harassed for doing their job
Nilan Fernando in Colombo, 11.30 am SLT Sunday October 8. The Institute of Human Rights (IHR), a non-governmental organization in Colombo, will give public servants involved in election administration free legal aid if they are harassed or punished by their political superiors for discharging their responsibilities too independently during the October 10 parliamentary election. The program covers employees who resist improper usage for the benefit of political parties; resist election malpractice on election day; act impartially in preventing election-related crimes; and face dismissal or transfer for acting independently. Attorney J.C. Weliamuna, the project director, told The Lanka Academic that the program was conceived after election officials were threatened with dismissal or transfer for standing in the way of malpractice during the local government and presidential elections last year. The period to apply for this service began on September 28 and will continue through October 28. Lawyers throughout Sri Lanka, coordinated by IHR, have volunteered to provide this pro bono service. IHR is working closely with the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (COPSITU), which comprises 24 public sector trade unions representing most government employees in Sri Lanka, to inform election officials of this service and provide follow-up support to those who request it. Mr. Weliamuna said that about 100,000 government servants are directly involved in election administration with another 110,000 providing ancillary support.
Published: Sun Oct 8 02:02:18 EDT 2000

Countdown to general elections in Sri Lanka begins as campaigning ends
NDTV/MSNBC, Sunday,October 8,2000. Campaigning has ended in Sri Lanka and there are two days to go before the general elections. Despite the two main parties, the ruling People's Alliance Party and the opposition United National Party, having differences, clearly a solution to the Tamil problem can only come about if the two work together.Campaigning came to an end in Sri Lanka amidst tight security with the ruling People's Alliance Party in its last election rally accusing its main rival, the United National Party of sabotaging the peace process. Ms. Sarath Kogamage, People's Alliance Party said, "The government is fighting the LTTE and trying to weaken it militarily and find a just peaceful solution. But the UNP is not cooperating and is hoodwinking the government More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 02:17:30 EDT 2000

Prabhakaran: Sri Lanka's champion of suicide bombings, Oct 08 2000 07:23 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 8 (AFP) - For Sri Lanka's top rebel leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, the deadliest weapon is young men and women who believe that the greatest glory is in blowing themselves to pieces. Suicide bombers, known as Black Tigers, have already staged two attacks this month in the run up to Tuesday's parliamentary elections and claimed the lives of 35 people. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 23:59:00 EDT 2000

Wickremanayake: An outsider in Sri Lanka politics, Oct 08 2000 07:21 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 8 (AFP) - When low-profile plantations minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was named prime minister, even cabinet colleagues were stunned, but two months later he is seeking re-election. Wickremanayake, 67, dropped out of a London law school to take up a political career 40 years ago, but remained a regional figure rather than a national leader until he was made prime minister in August. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 00:01:39 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's President Chandrika: battle between war and peace, Oct 08 2000 07:19 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 8 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power promising peace in her ethnically divided nation. Six years later, she is vowing an all out war as her party faces a stiff re-election challenge. Kumaratunga, 54, is not a candidate at Tuesday's parliamentary polls, but she is leading her People's Alliance (PA) coalition in an acrimonious election campaign marred by killings and mudslinging. More...
Published: Sun Oct 8 00:02:15 EDT 2000

Latest Sri Lankan Poll Shows Election Race In A Dead Heat
Yahoo, October 7. Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance and the main opposition United National Party are in a dead heat in the race for seats in Parliament, according to the latest opinion poll. The UNP led by Ranil Wickremesinghe was ahead of the People's Alliance party 37.5% to 36.5%, according to pollsters Org-Marg Smart, a local and Dutch-Indian joint venture. Org-Marg said the UNP's lead was rendered insignificant by the margin of error in the poll. Moreover, the company said the poll showed that 18% of the respondents were still undecided, a percentage of voters likely to decide the final outcome of the elections. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 18:35:06 EDT 2000

Survey shows 7 per cent swing towards Lanka’s ruling alliance, 07th Oct 2000 19.58 IST . A seven per cent swing towards the ruling People's Alliance (PA) of President Chandrika Kumaratunga was shown in an independent pre-election public opinion survey conducted recently. The survey, under the direction of Prof S Y Hettige of the University of Colombo was conducted among 3000 voters from the administrative districts outside the North and East the last week of September.The standing of the political parties varied depending on the issue concerned. Asked which party was more capable of addressing the main issues, 25 per cent expressed confidence in PA while 18 per cent felt that the United National Party (UNP) is capable of solving the issues. About 7 per cent of the respondents had faith in the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 14:12:30 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Survey predicts 7 per cent swing for PA  - The Hindu NUS

TULF, EPDP may dominate other Tamil parties
The Hindu (International), Sunday, October 08, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 7. After nearly two decades of liberation struggle against the Sri Lankan state, more and more Tamil politicians seem to have accepted that they now have little option but to work within the space offered by the country's Sinhala-dominated polity. That is evident from the number of Tamil aspirants in the race for the upcoming parliamentary elections. A record number of 965 candidates, representing a plethora of political parties and independent groups, the majority of them Tamil, are vying for 31 seats in the embattled north-east Sri Lanka. However, in the poll that will take place on October 10, only two of them, the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), are expected to win a respectable share of votes and seats. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 18:24:17 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka polls campaign ends amid tight security
MSNBC, octobe 7. Campaigning for Sri Lanka's parliamentary election ended on Saturday, overshadowed by fears of rebel Tamil Tiger bombings that have already claimed dozens of lives in the run up to Tuesday's poll. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and main opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremasinghe attended final rallies despite police warnings of possible attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A tight security cordon was thrown around Horana, about 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital, where Wickremanayake addressed the final rally of the ruling People's Alliance (PA). Even policemen were thoroughly searched before being let into the park where hundreds of supporters clad in blue, the party colour, cheered the Prime Minister's fiery oratory from behind steel barricades a safe distance from the stage. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 15:10:11 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka poll campaign comes to an end  - Times of India (Breaking News)

42 killed in heavy fighting
The Hindu NUS, 19.00 hrs (IST) on October 7, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 7. (UNI): At least 42 people, including 38 LTTE cadres, were killed in heavy fighting in north and eastern Sri Lanka during confrontations between security forces and LTTE even as yet another attempt by the tigers to capture Vadamarachchi area was foiled by the army. A Government Information Department release said 30 tigers were killed in fighting when terrorists attacked Nagarkovil area on Thursday evening. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 14:17:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
45 killed in heavy fighting in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
Army 'repels attack' in Jaffna peninsula  - BBC South Asia
Fighting continues in Jaffna peninsula  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka troops kill 35 rebels in fresh attacks  -

On island of death, war is a way of life
The Age, October 7. The Sinhalese-speaking Buddhists, who outnumber the Tamils five to one, could long ago have introduced conscription to overwhelm the Tigers by sheer weight of numbers. They have chosen not to. "The Colombo-based middle class would not like to send their children to war," says Sugeeswara Senadhira, associate director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. While fashionably dressed teens learn to drive their new Alfa Romeos in Colombo, the burden of war sacrifice falls on the poor, uneducated villagers of southern Sri Lanka, who have provided most of the estimated 18,000 troops killed so far. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 19:30:17 EDT 2000

Bomb Fears Haunt Last Day of Sri Lanka Campaigning
ABC News, 10/07/2000 07:24:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Campaigning in Sri Lanka"s parliamentary elections drew to a close Saturday, overshadowed by fears of rebel Tamil Tiger suicide bombings that have already claimed dozens of lives in the run up to Tuesday"s poll. Police warned top politicians against attending final party rallies after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) struck at two campaign meetings of the ruling People"s Alliance party this week. But several leaders were expected to ignore the warnings. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and the leader of the main opposition United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe were to address rallies around the capital Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 14:59:05 EDT 2000

President Kumaratunga refuses to negotiate with the LTTE
NDTV/MSNBC, October 7 . As Sri Lanka prepares for general elections, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has asserted that her government would not negotiate with the LTTE. She however, accepted India's role in the peace process. Chandrika Kumaratunga, President, Sri Lanka, said, "The LTTE leaves the government no other alternative but concluding the war successfully."Accepting India's role in the peace process, President Kumaratunga stated, "There is a lot of cooperation between our governments on intelligence and security matters and that goes on." More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 15:05:47 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga goes all out for war against LTTE  - India Abroad

Women have contributed more to National Income than men - President
CDN, Saturday, 07 October. "Women have contributed more to develop the country's National Income than men, said President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga addressing members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women Front on Thursday. She said the PA Government has given more opportunities for women than any other Government which has to enabled them to come forward and get jobs under this Government. It has appointed women as Supreme Court judges, University Vice Chancellors, Appeal Court Judges, Ministry Secretaries, Ambassadors and bank heads. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 08:05:44 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan refugees skeptical, say outcome of general elections irrelevant
NDTV/MSNBC, october 6. With the countdown to the elections in Sri Lanka having begun thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka do not see the electoral process with optimism or anxiety. Whether elections are held or not their life seems to go on unchanged.According to some of the refugees, "We do not expect anything from the forthcoming elections. Nothing good is going to come about due to the elections. I do not think that these elections are of any use unless there is peace."

Kailasapillai, Former Sri Lankan MP, said, "It means that the travesty of justice and the mockery of democracy is perpetuated still more."K.Sachidanandam said, "The elections in Sri Lanka have really no meaning to us and the electoral process has led to the erosion of human dignity in Sri Lanka." More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 14:14:33 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka conflict is election issue
BBC South Asia, Saturday, 7 October, 2000, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK. It's the last day of campaigning for next week's parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, which have been marred by separatist violence. Both the governing People's Alliance and the main opposition United National Party planned to hold final rallies in the capital, Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 07:58:38 EDT 2000
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Chandrika set to meet fourth Force LTTE in polls
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, Oct 7. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said the role being played by the LTTE as an "insidious force in a bizzare way" is the greatest stake at the next week's parliamentary elections in the country. Addressing reresentatives of the foreign media at her official residence last evening, the President said in a democratic country, elections have to be periodically held but in this general election there are some matters at stake. She said the LTTE has in the run up to the election killed more than 100 civilians and three PA candidates. One deputy minister has had two narrow escapes. The LTTE is sabotaging democracy and targetting the very force that re-established democracy six years ago in the country. More...
Published: Sat Oct 7 14:19:08 EDT 2000
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