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VOL. 1, NO. 197

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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. Answers to the questions 1-42 have been posted.
ENDS OCTOBER 22, 2000 More...
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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 by Mr. Moonesinghe here.
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Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. She has done so much for the country's arts, culture, environment, and its society. She was a member of the Environmental Authority and continues to run the organisation 'Rukrekaganno' from her house. That too because she was asked to vacate the premises the organisation occupied earlier. Once Gamani Fonseka said of her "With her talent she could have won many Oscars if she had been born in America." President Chandrika calls her affectionately 'Chandi Nanda' and Ranil Wickremasinghe is her close relation too. She is the inimitable Irangani Serasinghe. More...
S. L. Gunasekera. On Thursday the 12th instant while a Central Committee Meeting was in progress we received information that a seat on the National List had been allotted to Sihala Urumaya. No sooner this unexpected news was confirmed Prof C M Madduma Bandara (a Deputy President) suggested that I be nominated to Parliament. There were objections to a decision on this matter being taken by two committee members, Messrs Kamal Deshapriya and Sujith Akkaraiwatta who said that the decision should be taken only after considering the preferences polled and ascertaining the views of the Maha Sangha and other supporters. Mr Thilak Karunaratne our General Secretary then pointed out that preferences were not a relevant consideration in making an appointment to a seat on the National List. 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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Gunmen kill Sri Lanka journalist in Jaffna, Oct 19 2000 23:26 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 19 (AFP) - Gunmen in northern Sri Lanka shot dead a journalist working for several local and foreign media organisations, family members and colleagues said Thursday. Unidentified attackers stormed the home of journalist Nimalan Rajan in the northern town of Jaffna, opened fire and escaped after exploding a grenade, colleagues said.They said Nimala Rajan who worked for local radio and television stations and newspapers as well the BBC's Tamil and Sinhala services had recently filed reports critical of a former Tamil militant group. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 15:47:20 EDT 2000

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Journalist killed, father critical in Jaffna
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 19 October 1900 GMT. Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan, the only journalist reporting to the international media on war events from the Jaffna peninsula, was killed late Friday night in a gunshotand grenade attack on his residence. Braving heavy odds, Nimalarajan had been reporting on war developments for the BBC Sinhala and Tamil Service radio broadcasts as well as Ravaya and Virakesari newspapers.

Nimal's widow said he was writing an article at the time of the attack which took place around 2030 hrs just before the curfew time. Unidentified persons shot him and later lobbed a grenade at his house. He and his parents, who were also injured in the attack, were rushed to the Jaffna Hospital by the government army, but he was declared dead there. A senior Tamil political leader (V. Anandasangari MP, TULF) in the peninsula alleged that there was reason to suspect that this attack was the handiwork of the only militant group, namely the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), allowed by the Sri Lankan government to freely move about along with the army even during curfew in the Jaffna peninsula. The attack coincided with the swearing-in of EPDP leader Douglas Devenanda as the minister for Northern Rehabilitation and Tamil affairs in Colombo thursday morning. During the recent elections, Nimalarajan had been extensively covering the Jaffna situation including alleged widespread rigging and problems of people displaced by war and was known to have been associated with the Colombo-based Committee for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV).

Nimalarajan had been reporting for foreign media for more than six years. He was neither threatened by LTTE nor by Sri Lankan army for his work.

In a twist of irony, he had already breathed his last, when his last despatch on shooting of a Sri Lankan airforce helicopter gunship by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam earlier in the day was being broadcast by the BBC Tamil Service.
Published: Thu Oct 19 15:13:48 EDT 2000

Journalist shot in Jaffna
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 19 October 17:30 GMT. Mailvaganam Nimala Rajan, a freelance journalist in Jaffna, was shot and grenades were thrown to his house late tonight, family sources confirmed. Nimala Rajan, one of the few journalists reporting from war-torn Jaffna peninsula, is a much-loved and down to earth journalist who was doing an exclusive coverage to many media institutions including BBC’s Sandeshaya and Tamilosai. He was writing a news article at about 8.00 p.m. SLT, has gone out to check why dogs barked and within minuets shots were heard. He was seen lying on the ground with head and leg injuries. He and his parents were taken to hospital by the army.

Family members confirmed that his situation was critical. The motivation and who carried out this attack is not yet clear.
Published: Thu Oct 19 13:34:36 EDT 2000

Journalist killed in Jaffna-EPDP suspected
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2315 SLT 19.10.00. Nimal Rajan a free lance journalist working in Jaffna for the BBC sinhala service and Ravaya newspaper was killed tonight when a hand grenade was thrown into his house. Informed sources in Jaffna said the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) headed by Northern Development Minister Douglas Devananda was suspected of been responsible for the murder of the journalist.The EPDP won four seats in Jaffna district in the October 10th general elections amidst allegations of widespread rigging and intimidation. The EPDP is the only party allowed to carry weapons in the Jaffna Peninsular. end
Published: Thu Oct 19 13:25:32 EDT 2000

Minister sets ultimatum
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 19 October 17 GMT. The government should meet the three demands made by EPDP within eighteen months, says paramilitary leader turned parliamentarian Douglas Devananda. Talking to BBC’s "Sandeshaya", and "Tamil Osai" after taking oaths as the new minister for Northern Area Development, Reconstruction and Tamil Affairs, Douglas Devananda said that government should establish a political leadership in the North and East, implement agreed proposals of the constitutional reforms and once these are accomplished everyone involved in the conflict should sit and talk.

Earlier, NUA co-leader Rauf Hakeem, minister for Muslim affairs, External & internal trade and shipping, demanded government to implement the constitutional reforms bill and establish new institutions like police and electoral commissions within hundred days.
Published: Thu Oct 19 12:59:49 EDT 2000

LTTE attacks two choppers
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on October 19, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 19. (PTI): Tamil rebels today shot down a Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter with an anti-aircraft missile and claimed they had overran a key military base in Jaffna peninsula amid heavy fighting in the north. The LTTE, in a press release from London, also claimed that five crew members of the Russian-made MI-24 helicopter were killed in the attack. But the Army said the crew was rescued after the chopper crashed in an Army-held area. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 19:57:33 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Heavy fighting in Northern Jaffna  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

S.Lanka air force helicopter shot down by rebels
MSNBC, Colombo, October 19. COLOMBO, Oct. 19 - A Sri Lankan air force helicopter was shot down during a fierce Tamil Tiger rebel attack in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, military officials said. ''The situation is not very favourable to us. Fierce fighting still continues,'' military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters by telephone in Colombo. Karanaratne said the fighting was taking place in the Nagarkovil area of the northern Jaffna peninsula -- some 320 km (200 miles) north of the capital. He said the pilot of the Russian-made MI-24 helicopter had escaped, but the fate of four others on board was not immediately clear. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 11:32:44 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan helicopter downed in fierce rebel strike  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka Tigers down helicopter gun ship amid fighting  -
Sri Lanka Tigers down helicopter gunship  -
Helicopter gunship shot down  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka president keeps defence, finance jobs in new cabinet, Oct 19 2000 18:45 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 19 (AFP) - Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Thursday inaugurated a record 44-member cabinet, finalising a shaky coalition government in which she retains the key defence and finance portfolios. The appointments had clearly upset several senior ministers in her former government, and within hours Kumaratunga was forced to make two changes. Party strongman S.B. Didssanayake was demoted by being deprived of two of his previous portfolios -- sports and youth affairs -- and given only the Samurdhi, or a poor relief program, and rural development posts.However, by the afternoon Dissanayake was was given another brief -- parliamentary affairs.Former Aviation Minister Reggie Ranatunga, initially humiliated with a ministership without a portfolio, also had a new responsibility -- food and marketing."The appointments show that the government is behaving like a greedy man holding the spoon and generously helping himself to everything on the tablem," the JVP said in a statement. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 10:40:43 EDT 2000

Prestigious Bruno Kreisky prize for Radhika
The Island, October 19. Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy received the Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights at the Austria Center in Vienna on October 16 before a large gathering of politicians, human rights activists and media personnel. She was hosted to a reception by the President of the Austrian Parliament Heimz Fisher and received the key to the City of Vienna from the Mayor Dr. Michael Haupl. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 19:40:04 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka cabinet sees changes within hours, Oct 19 2000 20:18 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 19 (AFP) - Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Thursday installed an unprecedented 44-member cabinet in which she retains the key defence and finance portfolios, but made two changes within hours. Kumaratunga retained Lakshman Kadirgamar, a member of the minority Tamil community, as foreign minister and accommodated members of two minority Tamil and Muslim parties which are propping up her coalition government. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 11:28:47 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Two ministers take oaths with new portfolios  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo

New Sri Lankan ministry sworn in
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, October 19. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday administered oath of office to a 44-member Council of Ministers amid tight security after an LTTE attack in central Colombo that killed the suicide bomber and injured 24 others. Despite the bomb attack outside the Town Hall, Chandrika reached the President's house in the fort area amid tight security and administered oath to the new ministry, retaining the important portfolios of Defence and Finance for her Peoples Alliance (PA). More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 11:31:02 EDT 2000

New ministers sworn in
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.40 p.m. SLT Thursday October 19. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today finalized her new cabinet when she swore in new Ministers this morning at Temple Trees. The President was forced to offer key portfolios to members of her coalition party. Rauf Hakeem, co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) was sworn in as Minister for Internal, External Trade, Shipping and Muslim Affairs. Douglas Devananda, Leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) was sworn in as Minister for Northern Rehabilitation and Northeastern Tamil Affairs. The latter is a new portfolio which did not exist in the previous government.

Lakshman Kadirgamar again took oaths as Foreign Minister, together with Anurrudha Ratwatte who again was given Minister for Irrigation and Power while A. H. M. Fowzie was also sworn in again as Minister for Transport.

Prof. G. L. Pieris was sworn in as Minister for Industries and Dinesh Gunawardena, Leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna as Minister for Transport.

Meanwhile, UNP General Secretary, Gamini Atukorale says that it is obvious the the new cabinet has been appointed for personal gain only. He asserts that it is the largest in the history of Sri Lanka. With over 40 ministers appointed today, Atukorale has pointed out that all expenses to maintain the cabinet of ministers will have to be born by the people of Sri Lanka.
Published: Thu Oct 19 10:03:36 EDT 2000

The Bandaranaikes set world record
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, October 19. WHEN ANURA Bandaranaike was elected Speaker of the Lankan parliament on Wednesday, the Bandaranaikes set a world record. Their's is the only "nuclear" family (comprising father, mother, sons and daughters) in the world to have occupied all the top political posts in the government and parliament of a democratic country. Every member of the Bandaranaike family has held one or the other of the high constitutional offices, like President, Prime Minister, leader of the Opposition and Speaker of parliament. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 19:52:20 EDT 2000

Pictures from the Sucide Bomb Attack.
Yahoo-AP, October 19. Barbara Barker, of the U.S., is admitted to the general hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka Thursday, Oct.19, 2000. Barker is one of the three Americans who were wounded in the suicide bomb explosion in Colombo Thursday More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 09:13:13 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Suspected suicide bomber wounds 23 in Colombo  - MSNBC
Suicide Bomber Attacks in Sri Lanka Capital  - ABC News
Suspected suicide bomber wounds 16 in Colombo  -
Suicide bomber rocks Colombo, wounds 19, as Cabinet sworn in  -
US embassy says 3 Americans injured  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo

Suicide bomber kills three outside Sri Lanka cabinet ceremony, Oct 19 2000 17:52 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 19 (AFP) - A suicide bomber blew himself to pieces in the capital Colombo Thursday, killing two others and wounding 21 on the day President Chandrika Kumaratunga inducted her new cabinet. The bomber, almost certainly from the separatist Tamil Tigers, detonated explosives strapped to his body as two plain-clothed constables were about to search him at gun point, police said.The Colombo National Hospital said 23 people, including three Western women, later identified as two Americans and one Briton, were wounded in the blast outside Sri Lanka's Town Hall and were admitted for treatment.Two of them succumbed to their injuries, hospital director Hector Weerasinghe said. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 09:29:20 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Three Americans hurt in Lanka blast  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka PM warns of more suicide bombings  -
Suicide Bomb Rocks Colombo  - ABC World News
Bomb set off near Sri Lankan town hall  - Virtual New York
Black Tiger suicide bomber mars Sri Lanka cabinet ceremony  -
Bomb blast in Colombo  - Yahoo-AP Photo

Sri Lanka's new cabinet
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 12. 25 a.m. October 19.

President Chandrika Kumaratunge- Defence and Finance

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake- Buddhasasana, Religious affairs and Plantations

D. M. Jayaratne- Agriculture

S.B. Dissanayake- Samurdhi affairs

Batty Weerakoon- Justice

Indika Gunewardane- Higher Education and Information Technology

Arumugam Thondaman- Estate infrastructure and livestock development

Dinesh Gunewardane- Minister of Transport

Wijepala Mendis- Minister without portfolio

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle- Civil Aviation & Airport development

Ronnie de Mel- Port development & Southern development

Mahinda Rajapakse- Fisheries and aquatic resources

Richard Pathirana- Public administration and home affairs

Douglas Devanada- Northern area development, reconstruction and Tamil affairs in the North Eastern province

Amrasiri Dodangoda- Vocational Training

Anurudha Ratwatte- Power and energy

Nimal Siripala de Silva- Posts and Telecommunications

Mangala Samaraweera- Urban development and constructions and public utilities

A.H.M. Fowzie- Highways

Lakshman Kadiragamar- Foreign affairs

G. L. Pieris- Constitution and Industrial development

Maithripala Sirisena- Mahaweli development

Alavi Moulana-Labour

Nandimithra Ekanayake- Local government and provincial councils

John Seneviratne-Health

Sumedha Jayasena- Women affairs

Mahinda Wijesekara- Forestry and Environment

Sarath Amunugama-Irrigation and water resources

Reggie Ranatunge- Minister without portfolio

H.B. Semasinghe- Co-operative development

Monty Gopallawa - Cultural affairs

Milroy Fernando- Social services and minister in charge of fisheries housing

Jeevan Kumaratunge-Youth affairs

Pavithra Wanniarachchi-Plan implementation

Lakshman Kiriella- Tourism & Sports

Reginald Cooray- Ethnic affairs and national integration

Salinda Dissanayake- Land development and Small industries

Anura Priyadarshana Yapa- Information & Media

Tissa Karaliyadde- Indigenous medicine

Rauf Hakeem- Muslim affairs, External &internal trade and shipping

Mahipala Herath- Rural industrial development

Susil Premajayantha- Education

Leslie Gunewardane- Science & Technology

Published: Thu Oct 19 02:27:03 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka names cabinet  -
New Cabinet assumes office in Sri Lanka  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka cabinet ceremony marred by suicide bombing  -
A suicide bombing as Sri Lanka Cabinet installed  - ABC News
Sri Lanka Cabinet Sworn in After Suicide Blast  - ABC News
Sri Lanka president keeps defence, finance jobs in new cabinet  -
Sri Lanka names 43-member cabinet  -

20 Lankans - 3 Americans injured in blast
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Thursday October 19. Three American women together with 20 locals were injured in a blast that rocked Colombo's City Town Hall at 10.05 a.m. this morning. Three policemen were also seriously wounded when they attempted to search a man believed to have been carrying the lethal explosives. Reports suggest the man belongs to the LTTE's most feared squad of suicide bombers. His real target is not yet known.
Published: Thu Oct 19 01:19:15 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Suicide bomber injures 23 people in town hall  -
Suicide bombing in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Explosion in Town Hall  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Bomb explodes at Town Hall  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Foreigners too injured in the bomb blast  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo
Three Americans injured in Sri Lanka suicide bombing  - ABC News

Suicide attack rocks Colombo
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 06:02 GMT 07:02 U. A suicide bomber has set off a powerful explosion in the centre of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, minutes before the country's new cabinet was sworn in.Police and hospital officials said the bomber died on the spot and 23 other people were injured, including three policemen and three American tourists. The explosion took place outside the main town hall in the capital, about a mile from President Chandrika Kumaratunga's residence where the installation ceremony was being held after the recent general elections Witnesses said the bomber triggered explosives strapped to his body when police challenged him. Police said that plainclothes officers had spotted him "acting suspiciously" near a Buddhist temple, on a road that some cabinet members were using to reach the ceremony. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 05:05:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan cabinet sworn in, suicide bomber injures 23  -
Chronology of Sri Lankan suicide bomb attacks  -
Suicide bomber kills 23 near Chandrika's residence  - The Hindustan Times
Suicide bombing shatters calm near Buddha statue  -
Powerful bomb rocks Colombo  -
Bomb blast in Colombo  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo

Sri Lanka set to name new cabinet, Oct 19 2000 08:31 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 19 (AFP) - President Chandrika Kumaratunga was due to appoint a new cabinet Thursday, a day after the parliament was sworn in, officials here said. The appointment of ministers in the new government comes nine days after parliamentary elections resulted in a hung parliament with no single party winning an absolute majority.Kumaratunga was expected to give several portfolios to members of two minority Tamil and Muslim parties who are giving her crucial support to form a coalition administration, officials said. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 23:23:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Cabinet to be sworn in today  - CDN
Sri Lanka party ends row, cabinet to be sworn in  - MSNBC
UPDATE 2-Sri Lanka party ends row, cabinet to be sworn in  - ABC News

Sharjah Cup: A lot at stake for India
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on October 19, 2000. Sharjah, Oct. 18. (PTI): Having stumbled at the finishing post after performing admirably in Nairobi, India open their campaign here against Sri Lanka tomorrow in the triangular cricket series, also involving Zimbabwe, with a lot at stake. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 11:30:22 EDT 2000

Anura B. tipped to be speaker
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Wednesday October 18. Sri Lanka's eleventh Parliament will meet today at 2.30 p.m. (SLT) and will vote in a new speaker, deputy speaker and deputy chairman of commitees. The hot favourite for the seat of Speaker is brother of President Kumaratunge, Anura Bandaranaike.

Bandaranaike is being backed by the UNP and has been accepted by the rank and file of the PA as the most suitable candidate. The truce appears to have come about after the death of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, where brother and sister appeared to have patched long standing political differences.
Published: Wed Oct 18 00:53:00 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Anura Bandaranaike new Speaker  - Island
Anura Bandaranaike chosen Speaker of Lankan Parliament  - India Abroad

Anura B. Speaker
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and her brother Anura Bandaranaike holding each other, with eldest sister Sunethra looking down while mourning the loss of their beloved mother. Daily News, October 13, 2000
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday October 18. The inaugural sessions of Sri Lanka's eleventh Parliament began today at 2.30 p.m. The posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees were elected uncontested.

Anura Bandaranaike was unanimously appointed as Speaker. His name was proposed by Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake and seconded by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr. Bandaranaike today pledged to protect the dignity and traditions of the new Parliament.

Brigadier Sarath Munasinghe of the People's Alliance from the Kurunegala district was appointed as Deputy Speaker. Munasinghe retired from the army as a major general and functioned as Commissioner for Essential Services for the North until the hustings began.

Lalith Dissanayake of the People's Alliance was appointed as Deputy Chairman of Committees. His name was proposed by Rauf Hakeem who held this post in the last parliament.

The new cabinet of Ministers will be sworn in tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Rauf Hakeem, an hour before the new parliament was scheduled to meet today publicly announced that in his capacity as co-leader for the National Unity Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress the two parties would lend their fullest support to the President and her government.
Published: Wed Oct 18 08:40:35 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Second Opposition Speaker in Sri Lanka  - The Hindu
Chandrika's estranged brother elected Speaker  - The Hindu NUS
Opposition speaker for Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

Chandrika urges Norwegian Govt. to revive peace talks
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on October 18, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 18. (PTI): Hopes of a fresh initiative to revive peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE increased as President Chandrika Kumaratunga has written to the Norwegian Government asking it to renew efforts to resume the peace process. In a special message to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, delivered during the recent visit of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to Norway, she said Norway's role in Sri Lanka's peace process was an important facet in the growing relationship between the two countries and the Government looked forward to the `continuing engagement' by Norway to restore peace in the island. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 11:51:33 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Kadiragamrar urge Norway to take a positive stand  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo

A verdict for consensus
Deccan Herald, October 18. The outcome of the just concluded Parliament elections in Sri Lanka may be seen by casual observers as yet another divided verdict as the ruling People's Alliance has ended up with a tally of just 107 in the 225-member House, that is only two more than its strength in the previous House but still short of a simple majority, and is ruling on with the support of two minority parties representing the Tamils and Muslims. On the other hand, by not giving the PA a runaway victory that executive President Chandrika Kumaratunga had so desperately sought though she knew it was not possible under the proportional representation system, the people have mandated her to adopt a consensual approach to ending the festering ethnic conflict that has claimed over 60.000 lives in the last 17 years. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 23:08:44 EDT 2000

The New Gridlock
India Today, October 23. Kumaratunga's own position as president, a post she was re-elected to recently though with a reduced popular vote, remains unchanged despite the lack of a decisive verdict. But she needs parliamentary support to push through legislation required to govern her troubled country. A patchwork government with smaller parties whose loyalties Kumaratunga can no longer rely on could be the price the PA has to pay to stay in power. Kumaratunga is no stranger to such a scenario, having wooed parties like the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the Indian Tamil-dominated Ceylon Workers Congress and the former Tamil militant group, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), to help swell the PA's 105-seat haul in the 1994 general elections. Though nominally holding a one-seat majority, the PA enjoyed the support of other political parties, including the mainstream Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 23:41:54 EDT 2000

UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka troops regain camp after rebel attack
ABC News, 10/18/2000 05:38:00 ET. COLOMBO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Tamil Tiger rebels launched a fierce attack on an army camp in northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday, hours before the country"s newly elected parliament was to meet for the first time. "There were only a few soldiers in the camp at the time of the attack, so we had to re-group and fight back to regain lost ground," military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters by phone in Colombo. Karunaratne said troops now had full control of the Ganeshapuram camp, which lies on the main highway linking the government held towns of Mannar and Vavuniya, about 250 km (160 miles) north of Colombo. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 15:28:16 EDT 2000
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Military - LTTE clash at Vavuniya  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka's new parliament endorses emergency rule, Oct 18 2000 19:09 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 18 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's new parliament began its routine business Wednesday by rubber stamping a nation-wide state of emergency imposed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga in an extraordinary gazette notification had used her executive powers earlier this month to extend tough laws which give sweeping powers to the police and security forces. : News : Regional Sri Lanka's new parliament endorses emergency rule Oct 18 2000 19:09 IST COLOMBO, Oct 18 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's new parliament began its routine business Wednesday by rubber stamping a nation-wide state of emergency imposed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

Kumaratunga in an extraordinary gazette notification had used her executive powers earlier this month 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 overlapped the October 10 parliamentary elections.

Parliament voted 113 in favour and 19 against to approve the emergency while the main opposition United National Party abstained. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 10:26:03 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's parliament elects opposition speaker
MSNBC, Oct 18 2000 17:31 IST. Sri Lanka's new parliament elected President Chandrika Kumaratunga's politically estranged brother and opposition lawmaker as speaker on Wednesday.But the announcement of a cabinet has been delayed because a key party is split over its support for Kumaratunga's ruling alliance, hobbling the government in its first week in office. Anura Bandaranaike, a member of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), was elected unopposed by the 225-member house in which no party has a working majority after last week's elections. ''I promise to uphold the highest traditions of this house,'' said Bandaranaike before swearing-in the other lawmakers. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 08:29:27 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gets opposition speaker in hung parliament  -
Sri Lanka set to get opposition speaker in hung parliament  -
Opposition speaker appointed in Sri Lanka parliament  -
Sri Lanka's hung parliament gets opposition speaker  -

Statesmen Needed Urgently
AsiaWeek, October 17. Sri Lanka's politicians are not known for statesman-like qualities. They lack the political will to reach compromises that would help pull their war-torn country out of its pitiful plight. In August when the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga proposed legislation to grant further autonomy to the country's Tamil minority in a bid to end the 17-year civil war, deputies hurled insults at each other on live television. But just weeks before that, they had come together to rapidly approve pay rises and luxury cars for themselves. This made many Sri Lankans, burdened by high additional taxes to finance the war, angry and disgusted. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 08:56:38 EDT 2000

NUA to withdraw support if Goverment backs down on MOU
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.15 a.m. SLT Wednesday October 18. The National Unity Alliance said today that it would withdraw its support to the Government in the event a Memorandum of Understanding detailing conditions was not signed by 2.30 p.m. this afternoon.

Rauf Hakeem, said today that this decision was arrived at last evening when the party's polit bureau had met. Hakeem was unanimously appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the NUA and chief spokesman for the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress at this meeting. He said that reports today which claim that former minister Ashraff's Widow has promised the President her fullest support and cooperation does not reflect the view of the NUA and the SLMC.

President Kumaratunge broke protocol yesterday and paid a personal visit to Ferial Ashraff who is observing a four month period of mourning after her husband died in a helicopter crash. Kumaratunge and Ferial Ashraff had a one to one chat for a period of two hours. The outcome was that Ferial Ashraff pledged her cooperation and support to the ruling party.

Rauf Hakeem and Ferial Ashraff were both appointed as co-leaders of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress soon after the late leader, M. H. M. Ashraff's untimely demise.
Published: Wed Oct 18 00:53:01 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan troops repel LTTE attack
Times of India (Breaking News), october 19. Lankan troops beat back a fierce Tamil militant attack early Wednesday and rescued nearly 40 soldiers trapped in a camp in the north, an army spokesman said.One soldier and one rebel were killed in the fighting, said Brig. Sanath Karunaratne.The rebels retreated when a military patrol from a nearby camp joined the fighting, he said. "It was a fierce attack by the terrorists, but they had to retreat because our troops attacked them from the rear," Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Oct 18 08:28:04 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Rebels attack Army camp in northern Lanka  -
Tamil Tigers attack Army camp  -
Two killed as Army repulses LTTE attack  - The Hindu NUS
Tiger rebels kill three soldiers in camp attack  -
Rebels attack army camp in northern Sri Lanka  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea to get 21.6 mln dlrs in loans from ADB, Oct 19 2000 18:37 IST. MANILA, Oct 19 (AFP) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it would extend a total of 21.6 million dollars in loans to Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea for wildlife conservation and a microfinance projects. More...
Published: Thu Oct 19 19:20:04 EDT 2000

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