The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 223

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Where is MIR today?
Bandula Jayasekera in Colombo. I was at Ranavirusevana in Ragama, house of Sri Lanka's disabled soldiers. A young Spanish dancer was performing for them. She danced among the soldiers trying to cheer them up. But, most of them were unmoved. Seated next to me on a wheel chair was a soldier in his regulation-striped sarong and short sleeved shirt. He looked blank. He was that Unknown Soldier until he started to speak. Jayatissa is 28 years old. He hailed from a traditional family in Embilipitiya, third of five boys and girls. More...
Bandula Jayasekera in Colombo. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam too have commenced a recruitment drive after the army launched their Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam carry out their recruitment drive. At present both the army and the LTTE are facing a severe man power shortage to continue with the war. Sri Lankan army is trying to reach out to the youth with a mass scale publicity campaign in the national media. It is interesting to find out how the LTTE is carrying out their recruitment drive. More...
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Board of Control for Cricket suspends CEO
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 15. The Sri Lanka Board of Control for Cricket has suspended its Chief Executive Officer, Dhamikka Ranatunge yesterday. Brother to former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunge, Dhamikka recently locked horns with the Boards powerful President Thilanga Sumathipala, when he informed the Sports Minister, that the awarding of a contract for radio and TV rights for Sri Lankan cricket was being conducted in a shady manner.

The entire matter has been placed on hold since Lakshman Kiriella, the sports minister referred it to the Attorney General. Sumathipala meanwhile who also subsequently met with the Sports Minister insisted there was no irregularities with the awarding of the television contract and that the entire matter was being conducted "above board."

In an Executive Committee meeting held last evening at the Cricket Board, the decision was taken to suspend Ranatunge. No official reasons have yet been made known for his suspension.

Dhamikka Ranatunge also said that he has not yet been informed of the reasons for being temporarily thrown out of the controversial Cricket Board, which is also trying to clear the names of two of Sri Lanka's leading cricketers on match fixing charges, Arjuna Ranatunge and Aravinda De Silva.
Published: Tue Nov 14 20:16:37 EST 2000

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NSSP condemns Government moves to issue separate IDs to Up Country Tamils
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 14 November 1740 GMT. The Sri Lankan government has had discussions with officials in the plantation areas on issuing separate identification for Tamil workers of Indian origin. Agriculture minister D M Jayaratne told the BBC Sinhala Service " Sandesaya" that he has had discussions with police and plantation authorities in the hill country on ways of facilitating authorized photo cards for those had not yet been granted Sri Lankan citizenship. These cards, which will be kept with the Police and plantation authorities would enable them to move around and get their work done in government offices said the Minister. It may be recalled that Tamils from India had been brought more than a century ago by the British to work in Sri Lankan tea plantations. Almost all of them had been granted citizenship during 1987-89.

Criticizing the government's recent proposal as "apartheid", the leftwing Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) issued a statement stating that the government was trying to find a scapegoat for the recent violence in the plantation areas and play into the hands of Sinhala chauvinism. Speaking to BBC "Sandesaya" Neil Wijethileka polit-bureau member of the NSSP said that the government has taken a step towards victimizing militant plantation workers.
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:42:01 EST 2000

Confusion over cabinet culture
Island, 15 November 2000. There appears to be infighting among ministers in the large cabinet of President Chandrika Kumaratunga while some new ministers are hunting for office space these days. Some ministers are unhappy over the manner the institutions under ministries have been reshuffled leaving them with ones that have nothing in practical terms. These problems are expected to prop up at this week’s cabinet meeting, reliable government sources disclosed.Adding insult to injury. Ministries which have two deputy ministers are reported to be in conflict where deputies fight to get their share of the cake. A senior minister who took up a new ministry said. "The entire administration is in a mess with the reshuffle of institutions". More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 20:27:50 EST 2000

Slain MP’s LTTE links being probed
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, November14. The Sri Lankan police are probing slain Tamil MP's possible links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP A. Nimilanayagam Soudaranayagam's PA, Sellathamby Loganathan, was arrested in Batticaloa on Monday, the Tamil daily Virakesari reported today. He was taken into custody when he emerged from the hospital where he had gone for treatment of injuries sustained during the assassination. The MP was killed by unidentified gunmen in Kiran last week. He and his PA were on a motorbike. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 17:36:10 EST 2000

Film Director’s request turned down by SL Airlines
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 14 November 1750 GMT. Sri Lanka’s National Airline has refused to offer a complementary ticket to a film director who represented Sri Lanka at the London Film Festival. While many others including film stars and journalists who came to view films in this event received concessions including free tickets, Sri Lankan Airlines has declined giving the same treatment to the award winning director "The Lanka Academic" learns. Asoka Handagama, who attended London Film Festival with his latest film "Me Mage Sandai" (This is my moon) has been refused to offer even a concession on his visit to London, claiming the newly-formed company is facing "financial constrains". The Producer and the Director of the film had both being recommended by the National Film Corporation to be given a concessionary fair.

Asoka’s controversial film on Sri Lanka’s long running ethnic war was screened twice at the London Film Festival. Sri Lankan film industry was honoured this year by the festival organisers offering two representations for the country. Somaratne Dissanayake’s "Saroja" was the other film. Handagama told "The Lanka Academic" that he and the film’s Producer Iranthi Abeysinghe tried all the possible ways to get at least a concession, but there efforts were rendered unsuccessful.
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:42:01 EST 2000

Banned film in London public screening
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 14 November 1745 GMT. Prasanna Vithanage’s award winning Pura Handa Kaluwara (Death on a full moon Day) is to again be screened in London on Saturday the eighteenth. The screening will be held at the London’s commonwealth Institute at 1600 GMT. Pura Handa Kaluwara which is banned in Sri Lanka by the PA government, made its first public appearance in London last year, at the London Film Festival. The government said it would harm the morale of Sri Lankan soldiers fighting in North and the East and endanger the ongoing recruitment drive.

A controversial film featuring the impact on the seventeen year long ethnic war "Death on a Full Moon Day" won the Grand Prix, the Golden Unicorn award for the best film at last year’s Amiens Film Festival in France. It is the first time that any Sri Lankan film secured this prestigious award.

Prasanna Vithanage is challenging the government’s decision to ban his film in the courts.
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:42:01 EST 2000

Sinhalese party wants talks with LTTE called off
Times of India, 15 November . Sinhalese extreme right-wing political party Sihala Urumaya has asked the Sri Lankan government to call off the Norway-proposed peace talks with LTTE and demanded severing of diplomatic ties with the Scandinavian country for "interfering" in the country's internal affairs. The party's national organiser Champaka Rawawaka told reporters here Monday evening: "Norway is a country which has a very racist constitution and rigid attitude towards the minorities there". More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 17:39:33 EST 2000

Snakes kill over 600 people in Sri Lanka every year, Nov 14 2000 13:00 IST. Colombo, Nov 14 (UNI) Snakes kill more than 600 people, most of them women, every year in Sri Lanka, says Dr Anslem de Silva, a leading researcher and herpetologist. The fatality rate in Sri Lanka from snake bites was still one of the highest in the world although anti-venom awareness campaign had had reduced it considerably, Dr de Silva said. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:27:18 EST 2000

Special security limits in the hill country
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 14. The Government has decided to establish a special security limit to ensure the safety and security of Sinhalese in the plantation areas. Special armed forces contingents will set up security posts at various points to ensure the safety of plantation Sinhalese.

A large number of Sinhala families were displaced as a result of the recent riots upcountry. The government has set aside Rs. 16 million to commence building some 29 houses and trade establishments in the hill country that were damaged by angry mobs. Some of the worst areas that were affected were Talawakelle, Ginigathena, Lindula and areas around N'Eliya.
Published: Tue Nov 14 10:23:09 EST 2000

Police take over former GPO
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 14. The police is to take over the historic Dutch building which housed the postal building in Fort. The decision has been made in order to provide special security measures to President Chandrika Kumaratunge.

The postal building more than 100 years old, was vacated when the President decided to occupy President's House at Fort and hand over Temple Trees to Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake.
Published: Tue Nov 14 10:23:09 EST 2000

Cuba to help Sri Lanka combat mosquito menace
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 14. Cuba has come to the aid of Sri Lanka to combat a deadly mosquito menace sweeping the country. Cuba has offered a special chemical to combat the mosquitos. John Seneviratne, Minister for Health said that a cuban official has already held negotiations with the ministry of health and a decision will soon be taken after considering the price and safety of the chemical.

More than 200 persons have been hospitalized as a result of contracting the deadly Dengue virus while 8 have succumbed to the illness. A nationwide campaign has been launched to alert the country on preventive measures that should be effected to destroy breeding grounds of the killer mosquito.
Published: Tue Nov 14 10:23:08 EST 2000

Air Force to commence passenger flights to Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.05 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 14. The Sri Lanka Air Force is to commence civilian flights to Jaffna on Friday November 17th. A Russian built Antonov will be specially chartered by the Air Force and can carry 48 persons.

Passengers from Colombo will need to get security clearance from the Defence Ministry while passengers from Jaffna must get clearance from the security forces high command in Jaffna before being allowed passage on the flight. The price of an air ticket one way is priced at Rs. 3,500/- while a return air ticket will cost Rs. 6000/-.
Published: Tue Nov 14 10:23:08 EST 2000

A total of 12 murders reported in 24 hours
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 14. A total of 12 killings around the Island have been reported to police in the last twenty four hours. Six people were gunned down while travelling in a van at Matara at around 9.30 a.m this morning. They were on their way to the Matara courts to give evidence in a murder case when a gang allegedly blocked their vehicle and shot them all dead.

A three wheeler driver was also found dead in his taxi scooter also in the Matara area early this morning. Two bodies were found at a house in Homagama last night after a gang had broken into the house and murdered the inmates.
Published: Tue Nov 14 10:23:08 EST 2000

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5 gunned down on way to court in Sri Lanka  - Times of India

ICRC suspend escorting of vessels to Jaffna
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 3.45 p.m. November 15. The International Committee of Red Cross has temporary suspended the escort of the twice weekly voyage of the passenger ferry ‘City of Trinco’ from Trinco to Jaffna as well as the weekly voyage of the ICRC chartered vessel ‘Jaya Gold’ used to transfer serious patients from the North to hospitals in Colombo.

ICRC spokesman in Colombo, Harasha Gunewardane told ‘The Lanka Academic’ “The prevailing monsoons have made it impossible for us to load and off load passengers at the off shore point in Point-Pedro” He added, that earlier the ICRC used Kankasanthurai as their loading point however, since June the ICRC was unable to use the point due to the military situation and lack of mutual agreement between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army”.

Gunewardane said, “ The ICRC is deeply concerned about the plight of the sick and civilian passengers and fervently hope that a humanitarian solution is found soon for the ICRC to resume escort of the vessels”.

However ‘The Lanka Academic’ learns that the Sri Lankan government has no objection to the ICRC using KKS as their off shore loading point.
Published: Tue Nov 14 04:52:20 EST 2000

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Red Cross suspends mercy missions to Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula  -

Lankan monk to stage death fast in US
India Abroad, Nov 14, 2000 15:00 Hrs (IST) . IVE Sri Lankans, including a Buddhist monk, left for Washington Tuesday to stage a death fast outside the World Bank building to protest cheap food imports, a spokesman for the group said. The group, comprising two tea growers, two rice farmers and the monk, will launch their protest later this week to highlight how cheap food imports had hit small producers in the island hard, said Ratna Gamage, a small scale tea producer who is leading the delegation. The monk, Khemananda, comes from the predominantly rice-growing region of central Anuradhapura and is participating in the protest as a gesture of solidarity, Gamage said. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 08:22:38 EST 2000

Sri Lanka call for pork insulin ban
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 14:45 GMT . Health officials in Sri Lanka say a Muslim minister has asked them to ban the import of pork insulin which is being used to treat diabetic patients as a cheaper alternative to beef insulin. The minister, AHM Fowzie, said he wanted the measure to be taken in deference to the religious sensitivities of Muslim patients. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:28:54 EST 2000
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Lanka minister slammed for pork insulin import  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka calls for ban on pork insulin  -

Sri Lankan jets bomb rebel bunkers
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on November 14, 2000. Colombo, Nov. 14. (Reuters): Air Force jets bombed Tamil rebel positions in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula today, Air Force officials said. Israeli-built K'FIR aircraft bombarded bunkers and other defenses of the LTTE in the peninsula's Pallai area, the officials said. ``The targets were given to us by the Army, but we have no assessment of the damage we caused,'' said one Air Force official, speaking on condition of anonymity. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 12:31:06 EST 2000
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Sri Lankan air force jets bomb rebel bunkers  - ABC News

SAARC will overcome problems - Kadirgamar
CDN, 14 November 2000. South Asian nations will bury their differences and move SAARC along, overcoming the problems that beset it now, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said yesterday. "The future of SAARC will not be in the hands of the Governments. It will be in the hands of the people. They will insist that SAARC must be kept alive, functional and positive," Minister Kadirgamar told a meeting of SAARC senior officials in Colombo.He observed that "SAARC has moved a long way" from the initial decision to ban contentious issues from its agenda. SAARC now allows a process of informal consultation on such issues. Referring to the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, he said some prophets of doom predicted the end of SAARC at that time. "They ignored the overwhelming wish of the peoples of South Asia that SAARC should not only survive but prosper." More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 02:36:27 EST 2000
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Stress on continued, collective action  - The Hindu (International)
SAARC urged to bury differences  - The Hindu NUS
SAARC summit not now  - The Hindu
SAARC Officials meet after a two year break  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Cricket Board to suspend CEO
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. 2130 13.11.00

The Executive Committee of the Cricket Board is expected to suspend the CEO Dammika Ranatunga on tuesday, senior board official said. Board President Thilanga Sumathipala last week accused Ranatunga of complaining against the EXCO to Sports Minister regarding the procedure adopted to select a company for TV rights. Sumathipala said the Minister had informed him that Ranatunga had made this complaint.
Published: Mon Nov 13 20:04:42 EST 2000

Sanath — second Lankan to become UNAIDS goodwill ambassador
Island, Tuesday, 14 November. Sri Lankan cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya will be appointed UNAIDS Ambassador of Goodwill on Friday (November 17). Country programme advisor for UNAIDS, Dr. Hemamal Jayawardene, told "The Island" that Jayasuriya will be awarded a special gold award on his appointment by Chairman of UNAIDS and WHO representative in Sri Lanka, Peter Hybsier, on Friday at a special ceremony at the BMICH. Jayasuriya was chosen for the post by a UNAIDS special committee and signed an agreement last week with UNAIDS to serve as goodwill ambassador for Sri Lanka for a period of two years. Sri Lanka’s only other ambassador of goodwill is former Mrs. World, Rosy Senanayake. "Since this year’s International theme for Aids is "Men and Aids’, we were looking out for a male" Dr. Jayawardene said. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 04:11:43 EST 2000

Elephant Pass movie screened in Oslo
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 a.m. November 14. The LTTE has finally shown the movie on their victory at Elephant Pass on Sunday 5 November at Filmenhuest a Theatre in Oslo which screens mostly English and Norwegian films. ‘The Lanka Academic’ sources in Norway said that it was the most advertised and long-awaited Tamil movie in Norway especially by people who had contributed large sums of money to Prabhakaran who promised to take Jaffna after the fall of Elephant Pass.

The movie had been advertised heavily by supporters of LTTE by way of posters in Gronland area with leaflets distributed through Tamil shops in the area with an announcement that VHS tapes would be sold after the movie. Leaflets also had been sent to families particularly in the East with the message that at least one person from each family should attend. Those who couldn’t show up had been asked to give valid reasons.

‘The Lanka Academic’ sources also revealed that they had seen much bungling in the filming of the battle. The camera that had captured the fall of a soldier had simultaneously shown the fall of a LTTE cadre. Voice cuts of Prabhakaran also had been included in the movie. One such cut had been “ The snake must be hit on the head and hard”

However most LTTE supporters had complained regarding the delay in screening the movie. Our sources also revealed that when the LTTE was on the offensive in May this year their supporters in Norway held special concerts and pocket meetings and even discussed as to how they will economically develop Jaffna.
Published: Mon Nov 13 19:34:43 EST 2000

600 die of snake bites in Sri Lanka, Nov 14 2000 12:12 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 14 (AFP) - More than 600 people were killed annually in Sri Lanka as a result of snake bites, recording one of the highest rates of fatalities in the world, a press report here said Tuesday. The state-run Daily News said the number of women killed as a result of the venomous attacks was twice the number of men who succumbed to snake bites with the problem most acute in highly rural areas. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 02:29:27 EST 2000

Talk to LTTE, Not to us-TULF
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 13 November 1730 GMT. It is time that the government spoke to the Tamil Tigers instead of talking to other Tamil political parties to solve the ethnic crisis said a senior Tamil politician today. " The government knows our position; We have had meetings with the government several times earlier and we clearly stressed our demands in those discussions" Senior Vice President of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V.Anandasangari , said talking to the BBC’s "Sandesaya" and "Thamil Osai". He was rejecting the opposition United National Party’s proposal that the Government of Sri Lanka should talk to Tamil political parties before entering into any negotiations with the Tiger rebels.

Mr. Anandasangari, MP for the Jaffna said that Tamil political parties of Sri Lanka had made their representations to consecutive Governments since 1983. Therefore the stance of those parties regarding the demands of the Tamil people should be clear to all the majority Sinhala parties who ruled the country, he pointed out.
Published: Mon Nov 13 12:33:46 EST 2000

Chief justice ask foreign ministry to settle case out of court
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.10 p.m November 13. When the fundamental rights application filed by former foreign ministry spokesman Ravinatha Aryasinghe against foreign secretary Lionel Fernando on what he termed as a punishment transfer to Jakarta was taken up today, Chief Justice Sarath Silva asked the foreign ministry to try and arrive at a settlement out of court.

Chief justice Silva said that the petitioner Aryasinghe has a lot to serve the country and it was regrettable that such matters could not be soughted out within the institution concerned and asked the foreign ministry to suggest an alternative position which might be more suited.

Aryasinghe In his petition said that his transfer was instituted within two weeks to a mission where there was no provision for additional cadre and it was viewed as a punishment for a mix up of a map available to the public during the Elephant Pass debacle.

The case was postponed for 7 December
Published: Mon Nov 13 06:20:02 EST 2000

LTTE screens Elephant Pass battle movie in British schools to raise funds
The Island, November 13. Last weekend, the LTTE screened a movie showing its terrorists attacks on the Elephant Pass military base in Northern Sri Lanka in two British schools in North London and raised several million rupees.There were two screenings at Copland Community School, Cecil Avenue, Off High Road, Wembley HA9 7DX, at 7.00 and 9.30 p.m. on Friday 3rd November. On Sunday 5th November, the same movie was screened at Nower Hill High School, George V Avenue, Pinner HA5 5RP at 7.00 p.m. J. Winter, the caretaker at Nower Hill High School, confirmed that the event had taken place and that between 300 and 350 persons had attended. More...
Published: Mon Nov 13 18:57:38 EST 2000
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Sri Lanka Business Briefs: France To Promote Trade Ties
Yahoo Asia, Monday, November 13 6:18 PM SGT . COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The Board of Investment said a trade delegation from France will visit Sri Lanka between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18 to promote joint venture projects between the two nations. More...
Published: Tue Nov 14 01:58:37 EST 2000
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Future of SAARC is in the hands of the people-Kadiragamar
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.15 p.m November 13. Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamr said today the future of SAARC is in the hands of the people and will not be in the hands of governments. Delivering the key not address at the meeting of senior officials of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation at the BMICH in Colombo Kadiragamar said " One of the real achievements of SAARC over the past years has been the bonding of professions, all kind of professions, doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, teachers all kind of professions and vocations working together. It is a natural process for peer groups to collaborate in the pursuit of shared interests, I wish and hope very much, and I am confident, that they will strengthen the links between them. There is more business being done jointly in the region. Out of this intricate network of contacts strong ties will grow that governments will not be able to ignore. The future of SAARC, I would say will not be in the hands of governments. It will be in the hands of the people. And it is the people, I am confident who are going to see it, who are going to ensure, who are going to insist that SAARC must be kept alive, functional and positive. It will happen believe me"

The last SAARC summit which was scheduled to be held in Kathmandu this year did not take place due to what is believed as pressure from India sighting that its neighbour Pakistan has no elected government.
Published: Mon Nov 13 06:20:04 EST 2000

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Lankan foreign minister rules out early SAARC summit  - India Abroad

More cops needed to provide security for ministers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Friday November 10. The functions of the police department need to be expanded to provide security for Sri Lanka's large number of 44 ministers and some 36 deputy ministers. Senior SSP Jayantha Jayasinghe, Head of the former Premiers security division has been appointed to head the formation and recruitment of more policemen to provide security for the local politicos.
Published: Mon Nov 13 05:10:56 EST 2000

CM justifies inclusion of Nedumaran
The Hindu (Southern States), Tuesday, November 14, 2000. CHENNAI, NOV. 13. The Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, today justified the inclusion of the pro-LTTE leader, Mr. P. Nedumaran, in the emissaries' team to negotiate the release of the Kannada actor, Mr. Rajkumar, with the brigand Veerappan, even as the Opposition training its guns on the ruling DMK in the Tamil Nadu Assembly lost its fire-power midway. An extensive Opposition discussion on the 106-day abduction crisis took a restrained turn, with the TMC's most vocal speaker, Mr. S. Azhagiri, eventually agreeing to the controversial, pro- LTTE Tamil leader, Mr. P. Nedumaran, being given a second negotiating chance if it could clinch Mr.Rajkumar's release. More...
Published: Mon Nov 13 20:15:51 EST 2000

JVP slams Norway's peace initiative
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Friday November 10. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in a strongly worded letter to the Norwegian Ambassador today, told Norway to keep their hands off Sri Lanka's internal problem and that the Norwegian peace initiative is partisan since the LTTE are allowed to run its offices and conduct its operations out of Norway.

The letter which was sent by the Politburo of the JVP also rejected an invitation from the Norwegians to visit Norway.

Explaining their reasons for turning down the invitation the JVP says it is convinced Norway is interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and violating its sovereignty by allowing the offices of the LTTE to function in Norway. The JVP claims Norway has become the mouth piece of the LTTE and that this has become clear after Norwegian representatives met with Tiger leaders recently in the Vanni.
Published: Mon Nov 13 05:10:56 EST 2000

Next Local Government polls under first-past-the-post system
CDN, Monday, 13 November. Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake revealed that the Government has decided to hold the coming local government elections under the old first-past-the-post system. The Commission appointed by the Government to review the present Local Government Election system and recommend suitable reforms has already handed over to the Government its report. The next Local Government Elections would be conducted on a system recommended by that Commission, said Minister Ekanayake. Minister Ekanayake who was in conversation with Most Ven. Rabmukwelle Sri Vipassi Mahanayaka Thera having called on the latter with Central Provincial Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake explained that the only setback they were facing at the moment in holding the local elections under the old Ward system was the problem of demarcating Pradeshiya Sabha wards though there was no problem in demarcating Municipal Council and Urban Council wards. In case they failed to complete that task in time the More...
Published: Mon Nov 13 04:34:53 EST 2000

SAARC rules out early summit amid Indo-Pak tensions, Nov 13 2000 13:14 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 13 (AFP) - Tensions between South Asian neighbours are holding up a summit of a seven-nation regional grouping which is already a year overdue, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Monday. The summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) had been due to take place in November 1999, but there were no prospects of an early meeting amid bilateral problems, Kadirgamar said. More...
Published: Mon Nov 13 04:33:19 EST 2000

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