The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 232

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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...
Ranjita Misra, Ph.D., CHES., Ohio University. The health promotion era began in the mid 1980s with government policies focused on disease prevention and health promotion behaviors (Green and Ottoson, 1994). The national goal is to attain better health for the people through lifestyle changes that would decrease the prevalence of chronic disease and increase life expectancy. The Surgeon General has placed highest priority on strategies to eliminate destructive personal habits and to promote lifestyles conducive to health. Economic, medical, and social concerns are the reasons for the increased attention to health promotion and disease prevention activities. More...
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Britain pushes Sri Lanka peace bid, mulls Tiger ban, Nov 23 2000 17:17 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 23 (AFP) - Britain Thursday pushed Sri Lanka's warring partners to open Norwegian-backed peace talks and said London was also considering a Colombo government request to ban Tamil Tiger rebels. Britain's junior foreign minister Peter Hain who held talks with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and other leaders that Colombo had asked London to proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 11:39:13 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Britain mulls banning LTTE, backs peace bid  -
Britain mulls banning Tamil Tigers, backs peace bid  -
Britain steps up pressure to get Lanka peace talks going  - India Abroad

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Mount-Lavinia hotel terrace one of world's best gathering places- Newsweek
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.20 p.m November 23. November 13 issue of the Newsweek magazine has named The Terrace at the Mount-Lavinia hotel as one of world's best gathering places.

This is what Newsweek had to say about a legend of Lanka where Film maker David Lean had a love affair and actor William Holden flew kites while filming the epic 'Bridge on the river kwai'

'For many people the romance of the East is inseparable from the old world charm of its colonial-era building and none is more romantic than Colombo's Mount-Lavinia hotel. An enduring monument to illicit tropical passion. The early 19th century house was intended to be a country residence for British governors of what was then the Crown Colony of Ceylon. It is widely believed however,that the second governor, Sir Thomas Maitland, actually built it as a love nest to share with his dancing girl mistress, Lavinia who gave her name to the rock on which it stands. A lasting reminder of their tryst runs beneath the Mount Lavinia hotel a secret tunnel that legend has it was intended to provide a discreet route for the lady to visit the plenipotentiary.

Today the hotel's terrace bar offers much more than just a romantic history. Connoisseurs of gracious living come from the heart -stoppingly beautiful panorama of the Indian ocean. But, equally potent attractions are the ice-cold beers, gin and tonics and whisky that slip down so smoothly with the setting of the sun'

The legendary hotel will reach its 200 land mark in 2006.
Published: Thu Nov 23 09:19:39 EST 2000

Rohan Jayakody arrested by CID
The Island, november 24. Rohan Jayakody, son-in-law of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, was arrested on late Wednesday night by sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and was remanded after being produced before a Magistrate at the latter’s bungalow in connection with the missing Mulkirigala painting from the President’s House in 1992, Police said yesterday. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 22:34:42 EST 2000

LTTE chief sent word to release Rajkumar
TOI, november 24. LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is responsible for Kannada actor Rajkumar's release from the clutches of forest brigand Veerappan. He sent a message through Kolathur Mani, who went into the forests along with the emissaries, asking Veerappan to bring the curtains down on the kidnap episode. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 22:43:17 EST 2000

Rohan Jayakody arrested by CID
Island, 24 November 2000. Rohan Jayakody, son-in-law of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, was arrested on late Wednesday night by sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and was remanded after being produced before a Magistrate at the latter’s bungalow in connection with the missing Mulkirigala painting from the President’s House in 1992, Police said yesterday.The Mulkirigala painting done in 1891 which was hung by the staircase at President’s House during the Premadasa administration went missing and former President D. B. Wijetunga ordered the CID to commence investigations into the issue.The missing Mulkirigala painting was later detected by the then Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Britain at a London auction and he immediately contacted the Secretary, Defence Ministry and informed. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 22:04:34 EST 2000

Aged Sri Lankan cat gets grand send-off
ABC News, 11/23/2000 05:13:00 ET. COLOMBO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A grieving expatriate family on Thursday hired a Sri Lankan funeral parlour to bid an elaborate farewell to their 24-year-old cat. Local residents said the undertakers dodged municipal authorities to cremate the cat at a suburban cemetery, after Colombo"s main Borella cemetery refused permission to conduct an animal funeral. Residents said the remains of the aged feline were carried into the cemetery in an elaborate casket. "The body was wrapped in expensive linen before the cremation and the funeral ritual was quite elaborate. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 23:09:02 EST 2000

Two children killed 10 injured in mortar attack
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Thursday November 23. Two children were killed and ten more injured when a mortar hit a school at Muttur, East of Trincomalee today. The mortars fired at around 7.50 a.m. (SLT) hit the school and a nearby post office.

Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, spokesman for the military said that the LTTE fired two rounds of mortars from Sampur to Muttur just before 8 a.m. this morning. One mortar fell close to Al-Manar college and another shelled the post office at Muttur.

Two boys, aged 11 and 9 years old were killed in the attack. Of the balance 10 children who were injured, two were admitted to the Muttur hospital with minor injuries while another eight were transferred by the Sri Lanka Navy to the hospital at Trincomalee. Two children at Trincomalee hospital are reported to be in a critical condition.
Published: Thu Nov 23 01:18:59 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Two children killed in mortar fire in Sri Lanka's east  - MSNBC
2 children killed in LTTE firing  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Two children killed in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Tiger mortars kill two children in Sri Lanka, Jaffna stage protest  -
Sri Lanka: mortar attack kills two  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka to make more arrests over camp carnage
ABC News, 11/23/2000 06:22:00 ET. COLOMBO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s prime minister said on Thursday the government would make more arrests in connection with last month"s massacre of minority Tamil detainees at a rehabilitation camp. "Our investigations show that around 30 more suspects in the massacre are still at large and need to be arrested," Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 11:55:19 EST 2000

Sri Lankan troops and rebels kill 7 civilians
MSNBC, 23 November 2000. At least seven civilians were killed by Tamil rebels and government troops in Sri Lanka's northeastern war zone, military officials said on Thursday.They said mortar bombs fired from a rebel-controlled area killed two school boys, aged nine and 11, and injured 10 others on Thursday in the eastern Trincomalee district."The mortars hit the school and the nearby bus stand in Muttur town," said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, but local residents said the bomb had only landed near school buildings. Karunaratne said the Sri Lankan Navy had shot dead three Muslim civilians in an ambush at Gopalapuram, which is also in the Trincomalee district."It was a bad mistake," said Karunaratne of the incident which took place late on Wednesday. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 05:16:26 EST 2000

US visit to Sri Lanka unrelated to Oslo peace initiative
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Thursday November 23. US diplomats today said that a visit by top US official, Karl Indurfurth, to Sri Lanka next week is totally unrelated to recent peace initiatives by Norway. Karl Indurfurth, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday, November 27, and will spend two days in the Island.

Indurfurth is on a tour of South Asia and will also visit India, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. US diplomats said he would hold bi-lateral talks with the leaders of the five nations he visits. The US maintains that Indurfurth is on a fact finding mission which is carried out at regular intervals during the course of his work.

Indurfurth arrives less than a week after British Minister Peter Hain was also in the country. Hain is due to leave Sri Lanka today after having met with a number of political party leaders and other organizations. Hain, reiterated at a speech given by him at the British Council yesterday that Britain was ready to help Sri Lanka "in any way possible and fully supported the Norwegian peace effort," to bring the government and the LTTE to a negotiating table.

Hain was met with some opposition, when the Sinhala nationalist party, the Sihala Urumaya, staged a protest outside the British Council demanding that Britain stop interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. The protesters accused Britain of funding and harbouring the LTTE.

The Sihala Urumaya further pointed out that soon a team from the United States would also arrive in the country to foster peace talks between the rebels and the government.
Published: Thu Nov 23 01:18:59 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Inderfurth's Lanka visit, Oslo's efforts not linked  - Times of India (Breaking News)

JVP protest outside World Bank office in Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 a.m. SLT Thursday November 23. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will stage a protest outside the Colombo office of the World Bank today. The campaign is to protest against international financial institutions and their policies on economic intentions in developing countries.

The JVP allege the policies of such organizations affect the sovereignty of developing nations dependent on financial aid. The protest is to coincide with a summit of world bank representatives being held in Colombo today.
Published: Thu Nov 23 01:18:59 EST 2000

Camera in the shower gets Sri Lanka lecturer in hot water, Nov 23 2000 09:11 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main university has suspended a lecturer following an investigation into the rigging up of a video camera in a shower room for female undergraduates, officials said Thursday. The Peradeniya University in Kandy this week suspended the lecturer after establishing that he was the owner of the concealed camera. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 00:09:52 EST 2000

Sri Lanka's 'usually late' airline says punctuality improved, Nov 23 2000 10:07 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's national airline, SriLankan, has improved its punctuality record with more than 95 percent of flights taking off within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, the airline said Thursday. The airline said it had set up a "delays committee" to improve punctuality after investigating reasons for delays. SriLankan airlines said it wanted to build a new image as an "on-time airline."The international code "UL" identifying Sri Lankan airlines has been the butt of jokes among air travellers calling it the "Usually Late" and "Unable to Locate" airline.Two years ago, the airline had nearly half of its flights delayed, but in October 81 percent of its flights were on time. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 00:12:33 EST 2000

Britain says feels LTTE knows military option out
MSNBC, november 22. Britain said on Wednesday it felt both the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger separatist rebels now realised they cannot achieve their goals militarily.British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain also hinted that some progress may have been made as a result of Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim's surprise meeting three weeks ago with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 11:42:20 EST 2000
Related News Stories
British minister faces protest in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
British minister in Sri Lanka amid peace moves  -
Nationalists denounce British minister's Sri Lanka visit  -

‘LTTE chief has not committed himself to autonomy package’
India Abroad, Nov 23, 2000 01:40 Hrs (IST) . TAMIL Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran did not commit himself to any possible solution of the Sri Lankan crisis that centered on greater autonomy to Tamil- inhabited areas of the island nation during talks last month with Erik Solhiem, Norway's special envoy for Sri Lanka. Talking to reporters here Wednesday, Solhiem said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief had not committed himself to "any particular solution" to the 17- year-old ethnic conflict. Solheim had met Prabhakaran in a rebel-controlled area of northern Sri Lanka in what was the first meeting between the LTTE leader and a foreign intermediary since the late 1980s. "This is a complex conflict and there can be no quick fixes or easy solutions," said Solheim, who accompanied Norwegian State Secretary Raymond Johansen on an official visit to India. He emphasized that demands like the LTTE's call for the withdrawal of the Sri Lankan Army from Jaffna or Colombo's insistence on a surrender of arms by the LTTE as a pre-condition for peace talks would remain "non-starters." More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:14:44 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Norway envoy says Sri Lanka rebels ready for talks  - MSNBC

Army & LTTE exchange bodies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. The Army and the LTTE have exchanged some 14 bodies of combatants killed in heavy fighting over the last week-end. Military and sources from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the exchanges from both sides had taken place.

The ICRC had handed over some 20 bodies of rebel cadre to the LTTE, transporting the dead from Gurunagar to a village in the Vanni. The military too had accepted the bodies of four soldiers handed over to the ICRC by the LTTE.

The Sri Lanka Air Force meanwhile yesterday pounded Tiger camps south of Nagarkovil and reported that it had destroyed a number of LTTE bases including a key supply line used by the rebel force.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Jaffna students denounce pro-Sri Lankan militia
MSNBC, Wednesday, November 22 3:18 PM SGT . University students took to the streets of Sri Lanka's Jaffna city on Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of a pro-government Tamil militia from the country's war-torn northern peninsula.''It was a peaceful demonstration against the EPDP (Eelam People's Democratic Party) demanding that they get out of Jaffna,'' Jaffna city councillor A. Shanmugarajah told Reuters. The EPDP is a former Tamil militant group which now fights alongside government forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).Shanmugarajah said hundreds of students from Jaffna University held placards and shouted slogans blaming the EPDP for several recent atrocities, including last month's killing of Mailvaganam Nimalaranjan, a Tamil freelance reporter for BBC radio. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 04:14:22 EST 2000

PHOTO:Recent Floods in Eastern Sri Lanka
Yahoo-Reuters, 23 November 2000. Sri Lankan soldiers transport a sick woman to a safer ground away from her flooded home in eastern Sri Lanka's Mannampitiya village on November 21, 2000. Massive floods displaced over 100,000 families in the war-torn Batticaloa and Ampara districts after three days of torrential monsoon rains. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 22:15:58 EST 2000

Tamil diaspora for nothing less than Eelam?
The Hindu (International), Thursday, November 23, 2000. COLOMBO, NOV. 22. The LTTE leader, Mr. V. Prabhakaran, is under pressure from the international community to work towards resolving Sri Lanka's conflict within the framework of its territorial integrity, but he is also under tremendous pressure from Tamils living abroad to continue the armed struggle for an independent state. Opinions expressed on the Internet reveal the alarm that has spread through the Tamil community, from Canada to Australia, at the Norwegian peace initiative. After meeting the LTTE leader earlier this month, the Norwegian peace envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, said Mr. Prabhakaran seemed serious about a negotiated solution to end the ethnic conflict. Mr. Solheim said he had conveyed to Mr. Prabhakaran that the international community was against the division of Sri Lanka, and that a solution had to be found within the framework of its sovereignty. But if Sinhala nationalists believe Norway is going to divide the country into two, Tamil nationalists across the globe fear the peace-makers may force the LTTE to accept Eelam minus. Their disquiet is obvious from the views expressed about the Prabhakaran-Solheim meeting, the current topic on Talking Point, a page on the website More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:30:02 EST 2000

LTTE to celebrate Hero's Day in US schools
The Island, November 22. Despite being listed as a terrorist organisation by the US State Department the LTTE continues to operate in the United States and is to hold their heroâs day celebrations in several US schools this weekend.After the high profile listing of terrorist groups by the US State Department by the Clinton administration, the LTTE ceased to operate in the US under its own name and now operates as the World Tamil Co-ordinating Committee(WTCC). This LTTE front, operates from 170-10 Cedarcroft Road, Suite 1-L, Jamaica, New York 11432. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:23:23 EST 2000

10 killed in sporadic fighting in Sri Lanka
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on November 22, 2000. Colombo, Nov. 22. (PTI): Nine LTTE rebels and a civilian were killed in different encounters between the Army and the rebels in north and eastern Sri Lanka since yesterday. An official release here said six rebels were killed yesterday in confrontation with the troops in Muduvil South, in northern Jaffna Peninsula which was recently captured by the troops. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 10:28:03 EST 2000

New marketing arm to promote tourism in Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.45 p.m November 22. Lakshman Kiriella, Sri Lanka's new minister of tourism has decided to hand over the marketing aspects of tourism to the private sector by establishing a separate company within the tourist board which will function independently. He told 'The Lanka Academic' that the new marketing company will be formed in the coming months.

Kiriella also said " While working with the established markets we want to capture new markets like India as I feel that regional tourism is the best as we have so much in common."New minister also revealed that he will lay more emphasis on Eco-tourism.
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:45:04 EST 2000

World Sport wins TV rights for Sri Lanka cricket
Times of India (Breaking News), Wednesday . 22 November 2000

London and Hong Kong-based international sports marketing group World Sports Group has won the sponsorship and broadcasting rights for cricket matches in Sri Lanka for three years, the local cricket board said. The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said in a statement it had sent a letter of intent to World Sports Group and expected to sign the final deal next month. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 07:48:04 EST 2000

The Biggest Match Sony vs Worldtel
The Island, November 22. The big match now on in Sri Lanka cricket is described by wags as "Sony Vs. Worldtel" The Captains of the two teams who got together to prevent Mr. Clifford Ratwatte’s election as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka are reported to be going for each others jugulars. The cricketing field is said to be a wash with dirty linen while genuine cricketers are looking at it aghast.Another allegation made is that the Cricket Board has purchased a vehicle which had been imported duty free by a VIP and the market price was double the value of the imported price. It is alleged that the vehicle had been imported for the Private Secretary of the VIP who is said to be his wife. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:29:11 EST 2000

Prabhakaran's Number Game
Virtual NY, 21 November 2000. By UWE SIEMON-NETTO, UPI religion correspondent:A Hindu goddess and lucky numbers play a vital role in what some Asians call "a dirty war in paradise." In past interviews with this correspondent, former women guerillas reported that Pirabhakaran fervently worshipped the Hindu goddess Kali. They said the image of this beautiful black deity accompanied him from bunker to bunker in Sri Lanka's dense jungle. Kali plays a dual role in the Hindu pantheon. On one hand, she brings blood, violence and destruction, especially of human life. On the other hand, she is also the giver of new life, and therefore a potent idol for guerillas fighting for what they believe is a just cause."As a result, those young girls willing to sacrifice themselves for the Tamil Tiger cause revere even Pirabhakaran as a kind of an incarnate deity whose mission it is to destroy life so that new life may emerge," Dr. Thomas Savandaranayagam, the Roman Catholic bishop of Jaffna, explained.According to Savandaranayagam, who has met Pirabhakaran several times, Kali is only one aspect of the rebel commander's complex belief system."He is also a numerologist," the bishop said. "He goes to great lengths to avoid the unlucky number eight in the conduct of his war," confirmed Lt.Gen. Lionel Balagalle, until recently commander of government forces in northern Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:41:11 EST 2000

Ravi in a series of private motions Let Lankans living abroad vote to avoid impersonation.
The Island, November 22. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake in a latest addition to the large number of private member motions he presented to the new parliament, submitted one to legislate all Sri Lankans living outside the country be offered the opportunity to vote at elections in the future. "The motion says there are over 1.2 million Sri Lankans working outside the country which is almost around 10% of the registered voters in the country. It further says that this had led to undesirable activities taking place even to the extent of impersonation. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:32:00 EST 2000

Death of deputy Health Minister Lionel Gunawardena
CDN, 23 November 2000. Deputy Health Minister Lionel Gunawardena passed away yesterday at a private hospital in Colombo following a heart attack. He was admitted to the hospital complaining of a chest pain at about 11.45 am while participating at a fuction held at the Pelpola Vipassi Foundation. Born on 13 July in 1942, Mr. Gunawardena received his education at Nalanda Vidyalaya Minuwangoda.He later entered active politics and became the SLFP Organiser for Gampaha in 1983. His first foray into Parliamentary politics was in 1989 when he unsuccessfully contested the Parliamentary general election from Gampaha district. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 19:54:15 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan junior health minister dies of heart attack  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka minister dies after accepting ambulance donation  -
Sri Lanka' Deputy health Minister dies  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sihala Urumaya alleges covert plan by British Minister
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. The Sihala Urumaya in a press release has alleged that the visit of British Secretary of State Peter Hain to Sri Lanka this week is a covert plan to foster talks between the government and the LTTE.

The Sinhala chauvinist party alleges that Hain is to carry out the second phase of an initiative begun by Norway to help negotiate peace talks between the government and the LTTE. The Sihala Urumaya further alleges that phase three in this intiative will bring in a team from the United States also to help facilitate a peace dialogue with the rebel force.

The SU maintains that it was originally British imperialism which bred communalism in this country and as such the British should refrain from interfering further in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. The SU has consistently been of the opinion that the only solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis is to destroy the LTTE militarily, and that the rebel force should not be accommodated at a negotiating table.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Lankan industrial - trade delegation to visit India
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. A high level delegation led by Industrial Development Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris is to leave for India next week to attend an economic development summit in New Delhi. The Minister accompanied by the Board of Investment Chief, Thilan Wijesinghe, will separately from the summit, hold one to one meetings with Indian partners on aspects of the Indo-Lanka Development & Trade Agreement.

The summit is considered of vital importance as key economic development and industrial trade experts will participate to help improve external industrial development in the region.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Business News From The Sri Lankan Press Thursday
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, November 23 11:05 AM SGT . eRunway, a U.S. based local Internet solutions provider, will open its first advanced technology center in Sri Lanka, the Daily News reports. eRunway plans to go for a listing on the Nasdaq next year. The country's Custom's Department has uncovered a racket for importing super luxury vehicles, the Daily News reports. During the past several months, more than 100 vehicles worth over LKR350 million have been imported through the racket. Two government officials have been arrested for assisting in the fraud. More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 05:23:16 EST 2000

Britain Says S.Lanka Waiting for Signal From LTTE
Yahoo, november 23. The Sri Lankan government is looking for a signal from Tamil rebels they are ready for possible talks on ways to end a bitter ethnic war, a British minister said on Thursday.British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain also said the government was watching to see what Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran says on Sunday in his annual speech honoring rebels who have died fighting for a separate Tamil state More...
Published: Thu Nov 23 11:45:16 EST 2000

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