The Lanka Academic

JUNE 7, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 62

Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Norway FM leaves after 12-hour visit, Jun 08 2001 08:04 IST. COLOMBO, June 8 (AFP) - Norway's Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland left here Friday after talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Oslo's stalled peace bid in the island, officials said. Jagland, who was accompanied by Norwegian special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, left early Friday ending a 12-hour visit, officials said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 23:43:03 EDT 2001

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!

ValuComOnline: Call Sri Lanka
Send in a question to the veteran Sri Lankan politician, Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara and receive his answer! We are pleased to announce the fifth guest at our online Q&A sessions at The Lanka Academic.

Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara began his political career as a student activist in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party in 1958. He was elected to then National Assembly in 1970 as a member of Parliament from Kiriella in the United Front government of the SLFP, LSSP and the Ceylon Communist Party. In 1975 he split from the LSSP of Dr. N.M.Perera, Dr. Colvin R. De Silva et al. to launch the Nava Lanka Sama Samaja Party along with Dr. Vickramabhahu Karunaratne. Although defeated in the general election of 1977 Mr. Nanayakkara was back in parliament in 1989 as a member of the United Socialist Alliance(USA). He rejoined the LSSP and the PA in 1994 and was elected as an MP. in 199, he crossed over to the opposition. In 1982 and 1999, he also contested as a Presidential candidate. To ask a question, click here.

Do you have a recommendation for a future guest at our Q&A sessions AND you know how to put us in contact with him/her? If yes, email us.

O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka urged to drop ban on Tamil Tigers
Deccan Herald, June 7 . Sri Lanka was urged today to lift a ban on Tamil Tiger rebels to help push forward a stalled peace process as Norway's top diplomat was due to arrive for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga. An umbrella body grouping about 30 peace and human rights organisations issued a statement before the arrival of Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland saying the government should meet a demand by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that a ban on the group be lifted so talks can start. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 18:56:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Minister against shooting at Tamil Nadu fishermen
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 11.54 AM SLT Thursday June 7,2001. Indicating a clash of perspectives between the fisheries ministry and the navy on the question of tackling the intrusion of Tamil Nadu fishermen into Sri Lankan waters in the Palk Strait,the Minister for Fisheries Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse has said that fishermen should not be shot at.

"You can't shoot a fishermen," he told a media conference here today.

Indian fishermen keep complaining that they get shot at and killed by Sri Lankan navy which fears that they may be in cahoots with the LTTE.According to Mr.Rajapakse,there has been no known case of Sri Lankan fishermen being shot at or killed by the Indian navy or Coast Guard.

Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen who get caught in each other's territorial waters,should be treated in a spirit of compassion and kindness, while giving due recognition to the security imperatives of the two countries and the maritime boundary agreements of 1974 and 1976, Mr.Rajapakse said.

While Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu intrude into Sri Lankan waters east of Kachcchativu looking for prawns,Sri Lankan fishermen intrude into Indian territorial waters en route to international waters in the Arabian Sea.

During his talks with his Indian counterpart Mr.Nitish Kumar in New Delhi on June 1, the two sides reached a consensus on a number of remedial steps,Mr.Rajapakse said.

Officials of the two sides recommended the setting up of a Joint Monitoring Committee to expeditiously look into cases of intrusion and the arrest,prosecution and release of intruders.This bilateral committee of officials would meet once in two months in Colombo and New Delhi alternately.A one time amnesty for the 63 Sri Lankan fishermen now in Indian custody and 51 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody and free access to the Arabaia Sea via Indian waters for Sri Lankan fishermen were also recommended.

Mr.Rajapakse said that these would be put together in the form of formal proposal and submitted by his ministry to the Indian government by June 15.

The Sri Lankan ministry of fisheries sees the problem of encroachment as being a perennial one "like traffic violations", as an official put it.Apparently,Colombo is not pursuing the option of joint patrolling by the Indian and Sri Lankan navies in view of the reluctance of the Indians.On joint patrolling,all that Mr.Rajapakse would say was,it was "possible that it would help".About the other option of transferring Kachchativu to India,he said that it was not even discussed in New Delhi.
Published: Thu Jun 7 01:52:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka may have to adopt Indian model to end constitutional tussle
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.53 PM, Thursday June 7, 2001. Sri Lanka may have to consider adopting the Indian system to end the current constitutional tussle between parliament and the Supreme Court over the question of setting up a house committee to investigate charges of misbehaviour and incompetence against Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva made by the opposition United National Party (UNP).

According to Mr.M.M.Zuhair PC, the Supreme Court restrained the Speaker from forming a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate the charges because the members of this committee (MPs) would not have the requisite judicial expertise.

Mr.Zuhair suggests the amendment of Parliament's Standing Orders of 1984 to require the appointment of judicial experts in such committees.He pointed out that in the draft constitution (now in the limbo) this question was addressed and a provision was made for the appointment of judges from the Commonwealth countries to ensure impartiality as well as expertise.

The Indian Constitution could also be a model,other experts said.It allows the Speaker of the Lower house or the Chairperson of the Upper House to appoint a select committee to investigate the kind of charges made against Justice Silva.But the members of this committee would have to be judicial experts.There has to be a sitting judge of the Supreme Court,a sitting judge of a High Court and an eminent jurist in the three person committee.

After this expert panel submits its recommendations to the Speaker/Chairperson, the motion of impeachment will be put to debate and a vote taken.To be carried, the motion will have to have the support of two thirds of the MPs present and voting.

Further defending the Sri Lankan Supreme Court's injunction,Mr.Zuhair pointed out that the Standing Orders of 1984 clearly stated that any order issued under it would have to be in consonance with the constitution. "And the right to interpret the constitution is the exclusive preserve of the Supreme Court," he argued.

Mr.Zuhair said that it was wrong to describe the present conflict as a "constitutional crisis" because the opposition, and not the government, was in conflict with the judiciary.It is,in fact, a conflict between a section of the opposition and the judiciary.The matter now rests with Speaker Anura Bandaranaike,who has said that he will take a decision "in due course."
Published: Thu Jun 7 03:49:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

"Jagland's visit signals forward movement in peace process"
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 3.50 PM, Thursday,June 7, 2001. The presence of the Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr.Thorbjoern Jagland along with the Special Peace Envoy Mr.Erik Solheim here today at the invitation of the Sri Lankan President Mrs.Chandrika Kumaratunga is seen in diplomatic circles as signifying a forward movement in the peace process which had got deadlocked in recent days.

Asked if the President's invitation to the Norwegian Foreign Minister at this juncture meant that the Sri Lankan government was ready to relent on some key issues like lifting the ban on the LTTE,a diplomat, who declined to be named, said that while he was not privy to the Sri Lankan government's thinking,the event definitely indicated that the ice was being broken: "It is a step forward," he said.

Norwegian embassy spokesman Mr.Tomas Stangeland said that Mr.Jagland and Mr.Solheim,had only one item in the agenda so far,namely, a meeting with President Kumaratunga in the evening.The meeting was taking place at her request, he stressed.An Indian High Commission official said that the Norwegians would keep the High Commissioner informed.The Foreign Ministry might issue a press release on the Chandrika - Jagland talks, diplomats said.The peace makers are expected to leave Colombo early friday morning.

The peace process had ground to a halt a few weeks ago, with both President Kumaratunga and the LTTE taking a tough stance on the critical issue of de-proscription.While the LTTE insisted that there could be no talks if the government did not de-proscribe it first,President Kumaratunga described the condition as "ludicrous" and stated that talks could very well take place even while the ban was there,as in so many similar conflicts the world over.

However,media reports said that the international community was gently persuading the two sides to shed their rigid postures and creatively think of ways to break the impasse.The peace lobby in the island,including the Bishops,were touting the idea of a temporary lifting of the ban for the duration of the talks as a half-way house.Simultaneously, they were appealing to the LTTE not to take a belligerent stand.Last week,the government owned Lake House group of newspapers indicated that the President was re-thinking on the matter and a temporary lifting of the ban could be a subject of discussion at a high level meeting.
Published: Thu Jun 7 06:31:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Solheim back with Norway Minister  - The Hindu (International)
Norwegian foreign minister in Lanka to kick start parleys  - India Abroad

Parliament gears for battle with Supreme Court
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.15 p.m. SLT Thursday June 7. Government sources today said that an unprecedented battle is brewing between Parliament and the Supreme Court. After the Opposition handed in a motion to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike yesterday to impeach the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, the supreme court stepped in and issued a stay order against the motion asserting that Bandaranaike does not have the power to appoint legislators to study the allegations.

Some members of the ruling Peoples Alliance have today expressed their dis-satisfaction with the supreme court ruling saying the order has overruled the supremacy of Parliament. The members argue that the supreme court also appointed by the State is not supreme over parliament and in that context the courts have perhaps acted in violation of the constitution.

Yesterday, the supreme court ruled that the Speaker would be acting in violation of Article 78 of the constitution if he chose to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the allegations of misconduct including charges of adultery against the Chief Justice.

Speaker Anura Bandaranaike is expected to make an announcement today in Parliament with regard to his decision on the matter. It is the first time an impeachment motion against the land's highest judicial officer has been entertained in parliament.
Published: Thu Jun 7 04:13:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's parliament gears up for battle with Supreme Court  -
S.Lanka's Supreme Court Issues Order to Prevent Impeachment Again Chief Justice  - Nothern Light
Row over Supreme Court's decision on Lanka judge  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Doctors in the northeast threaten strike action
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.05 p.m. SLT Thursday June 7. Doctors from the Jaffna Government Medical Officers Association say they will go on an indefinite strike from next Monday if the State does not meet their demands for a risk allowance.

The docs say that this allowance is paid to all medical practitioners around the island except to those working in the country's northern peninsula. Despite repeated discussions with health ministry officials, the doctors are yet to be paid the required amount.

The doctors said today that the emergency units of the hospitals will continue to function despite the strike action beginning on Monday June 11.
Published: Thu Jun 7 04:13:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Defence Ministry officials asked to safeguard northern shop owners against extortions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.15 a.m. SLT Thursday June 7. Defence ministry officials have been asked by commercial business enterprises in northern Vavuniya to safeguard their establishments from extortion by Tamil political parties.

The Tamil businessmen allege that members of the Peoples Liberation Of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) collect ransoms in the way of goods and supplies from these establishments crippling business in the northern region.

The Defence Ministry has called upon the owners of trading establishments in Vavuniya to supply full details in order for the Government to take appropriate action against the land pirates.
Published: Thu Jun 7 04:13:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fisheries minister to explore more possibilities for Indian and Lankan fishermen
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Thursday June 7. Mahinda Rajapakse, Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is reported to have said that both he and his Indian counterpart are exploring the possibility of allowing both Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen to fish in each others territorial waters.

Rajapakse maintains that it is extremely difficult for fishermen from both sides to observe the maritime borders in the narrow stretch of water that is the Palk Straits. He points out that fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been shot at and arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy when they stray into Lankan waters on the suspicion that they perhaps aid the LTTE.

The minister says the proposal will be discussed both with the Sri Lankan Navy and the foreign ministers of both nations before a solution is decided.

At present 62 Sri Lankan fishermen are being held in India while 39 Indian fishermen are detained in prisons in Jaffna for poaching in each others territorial waters.
Published: Thu Jun 7 04:13:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Minister calls for humane treatment of fishermen  - The Hindu (International)
Indo-Lankan panel to curb poaching by fishermen  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka seeks joint patrols to stop straying fishermen  -

World Bank Gives Hundred Million U.S. Dollars for Sri Lankan State Universities
Nothern Light, Thursday, June 07, 2001 9:50 PM EST . The World Bank has allocated 100 million U.S. dollars for the infrastructure development of Sri Lanka's state universities, the official Daily News said on Friday. Minister of Education and Information Technology Indika Gunawardena said on Thursday that the money will be used for improving university libraries, research units, auditoriums, hostels and curriculum development in the war-torn country. The restructuring will keep universities in the country up with global trends, he said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 23:00:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

13 Killed in Clashes in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Thursday, June 07, 2001 7:23 AM EST . Clashes between government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north and east of the country on Wednesday have left 13 killed, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday. It said that government forces on an ambush confirmed killing of at least eight rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who were traveling in a vehicle northwest of Welioya on Wednesday. Government forces on a fighting patrol confronted a small group of Tamil rebels in the same area, killing at least three rebels in the crossfire, it added. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 09:20:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers have rejected Norway peace bid: minister, Jun 07 2001 15:11 IST. COLOMBO, June 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have spurned Norway's attempts to bring them to the negotiating table, a senior minister told parliament Thursday. Energy Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte said the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had stepped up their attacks against government forces and civilians despite claims they were keen on peace talks. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 06:17:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka urges India to waive entry fees to Buddhist sites
India Abroad, 7 June 2001. RI Lanka has urged India to waive or reduce the admission fees that pilgrims from the island have to pay to enter Buddhist places of worship there. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, who met India's Tourism Minister Ananth Kumar in New Delhi last week, appealed on behalf of Sri Lankan pilgrims saying that he knew of many islanders who went to India but did not enter the sacred sites as they could not afford the $5 fee. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 07:53:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Judiciary cannot Over ride the Parliament - retired SC Judge
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 06/06/01 1735 GMT. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court(SC) has no constitutional authority over the parliament, a retired senior member of the judiciary said. Therefore the ruling by the panel of three SC judges to stop the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva should be ignored by the speaker, K.M.M.B. Kulathunge, a retired SC judge told BBC's Sandashaya. Mr. Kulathunge was referring to the order issued by the SC to the speaker Anura Bandaranaike to stop him from setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate the allegations raised in a resolution submitted to Mr. Bandaranaike. The resolution has been handed over by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) to remove Mr. Silva on charges of misconduct and immoral behavior.

Mr. Kulathunge strongly criticized Dhammika Kithulgoda, the general secretary of the parliament, for accepting the SC order. "He should have refused to accept the court order and let them know that the parliament is not abide by the law to act accordingly"

Although 77 legislators have signed the resolution, UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe's signature was absent, the informed sources said. According to the concerned parties, the move could lead to a constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka, over the question of whether the judiciary has the authority over the wishes of parliament. " This sort of things only happens in Sri Lanka. The constitution clearly states that no other institution could question the procedures of the parliament which is the sovereign legislative body" Judge. Kulathunge said.
Published: Wed Jun 6 13:36:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka locked in tug-of-war over chief justice  - Yahoo India

New Norwegian peace efforts
Norway Post, 7 June 2001. Norway's Foreign Minister, Thorbjoern Jagland, is travelling to Sri Lanka for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday. The President has asked Jagland to sum up the status for the ongoing peace process in the country. Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, has for two years tried to bring the LTTE guerillas and the central government to the negotiating table in order to come to an agreement on a peace settlement. At the moment, the peace process is deadlocked, because the government has refused to meet the LTTE's demand that the government lift the ban on their organization. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 22:20:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norwegian FM to revive Sri Lanka peace bid  -

Sri Lankan Attorney General stalls on bail application for Tamil detainees
WSWS, June 4. The office of the Sri Lankan Attorney General has so far refused to grant the ba il applications of six young Tamil plantation workers held for more than thr ee years under the country's repressive Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) legisl ation. The six have not been convicted of any crime. Their trial has been repeat edly delayed. On the last occasion in February, it was postponed for another 11 months until January 16. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 15:38:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil gangsters hired to bust union, board finds
may 24, may 24. The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ordered a second union certification vote at a Toronto-area company after finding that two new employees linked to a Sri Lankan Tamil gang used death threats to sway the first vote in 1998. In a written ruling, board vice-chairman Christopher Albertyn said two Tamil men - linked to a Sri Lankan gang, according to the evidence of Toronto Det. Const. Glen Furlong - tried to intimidate Tamil employees into voting against having a union, including death threats. One of the men "threatened that if the union got established in the company, he would not hesitate to do anything, even kill people, on behalf of the company,'' the board said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 22:51:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Supreme court blocks Impeachment motion against chief justice
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 6. A three bench judge of the Supreme Court has ruled that Speaker Anura Bandaranaike does not have the authority or the power to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva.

The impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva was presented to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike in Parliament today.

Seventy seven United National Party and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna members had placed their signatures to the document. The impeachment charges that the CJ is guilty of obstructing justice with independent members of the judiciary, violating the constitution and being guilty of an abuse of power.

Pandemonium broke out in Parliament when the document was presented as government members strongly objected to it being presented to the Speaker stating that the Speaker has no right to appoint a committee to look into the charges and go against the ruling of the supreme court today.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Speaker cannot appoint a PSC as it will be in violation of Article 78 (A) of the constitution.

The opposition has requested the Speaker to entertain the motion saying the supreme court ruling must be ignored.
Published: Wed Jun 6 09:31:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka High Court Blocks Probe Of Top Judicial Officer  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka opposition moves to impeach chief justice  - India Abroad

Threat to Canadians?
National Post - Canada, June 6. While Mr. Nadarajah was living in Switzerland, a Sri Lankan refugee in France named Sabalingam Sabaratnam began writing a book about the Tamil Tigers. The author had been an acquaintance of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the assassin who commands the Tigers, and the LTTE feared his exposť would damage the Tamil independence movement by revealing the leader's unsavory past. Mr. Sabaratnam was shot execution-style in front of his family.During a recent immigration hearing, Sgt. Bowen called Mr. Nadarajah a co-conspirator in the 1994 killing: Sgt. Bowen testified Mr. Nadarajah made arrangements for the meeting where Mr. Sabaratnam was shot in the head by two trained Tiger militants, Mr. Ratnavel and Arianayagam Marianesa (a.k.a. Shukla). No charges have been laid in the shooting because of what is perceived as a lack of witnesses willing to testify More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 21:32:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka heads for constitutional crisis over impeachment, Jun 06 2001 19:19 IST. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Wednesday blocked impeachment proceedings in parliament against the chief justice, triggering an unprecedented conflict between the two institutions. Opposition parties had earlier asked parliament to impeach Sarath Silva, the country's highest judicial officer, on allegations of misconduct which include adultery. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 10:30:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka parliament seeks impeachment of chief justice  -
Sri Lanka Supreme Court locks horns with parliament over impeachment  -

Indo-Lankan move to ease curbs on fishing around Kachchativu
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.05 AM SLT Wednesday,June 7,2001. The fisheries minister of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse and his Indian counterpart Mr.Nitish Kumar have agreed to explore the possibility of allowing fishermen of the two countries to fish in each other's territorial waters in the Palk Strait."When I met Mr.Nitish Kumar during my recent visit to India, I proposed such an access.He reacted favourably and asked me to send a formal proposal," Mr.Rajapakse said here on wednesday.

According to the Sri Lankan minister,allowing free access to each other's territorial waters in the Palk Strait may be one way of easing tension in the narrow stretch of water, where Tamil Nadu fishermen, poaching in Sri Lankan waters or suspected to be running errands for the LTTE,are shot at by the Sri Lankan navy.The minister felt that in a narrow stretch like the Palk Strait it would not be practical to expect fishermen to adhere strictly to maritime boundaries.

Mr.Rajapakse said that because the matter involved the security of Sri Lanka,the navy would have to be consulted and taken into confidence.Only the other day,the chief of Sri Lankan navy's Northern Command Com.Upali Ranaweera had told visiting mediamen that the intrusion of Indian fishing vessels was a "major" security threat.Since the matter involves two countries and the negotiations will have to be conducted by the two foreign ministries, it is imperative that their views on the question also be taken into account.

Mr.Rajapakse saw an opening in the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary agreement of 1974 which,he was told, had a provision for allowing fishermen of the two countries to exercise their "traditional right" to fish where ever they wanted to in the Palk Strait.He said he planned to ask officials and experts to go into the 1974 and 1976 maritime boundary agreements with a fine tooth comb to see if free access could be allowed.

So far, the agreements have been interpreted differently by Indians and Sri Lankans.While Tamil Nadu has been saying that its fishermens' "traditional" right to fish around Kachchativu was implicitly recognised when the island was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974,the Sri Lankans have been consistently maintaining that the agreement allows only a right to visit Kachchativu on pilgrimage and to dry fishing nets there.Nowhere does it say that fishing rights around Kachchativu are protected,they point out.In fact, the second agreement in 1976 explicitly bars fishing in each other's territorial waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone.

But now that the fisheries ministers of the two countries are toying with the idea of allowing fishermen free access,the 1974 and 1976 agreements may have to be re-negotiated and amended.

Earlier,striking an extreme posture,the newly elected Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms.Jayalalitha had asked New Delhi to "retrieve" Kachchativu from Sri Lanka.Retorting,Mr.Rajapakse had said that there was no question of Sri Lanka handing back Kachchativu.Mr.Jayalalitha has since watered down her demand.She said in New Delhi recently that the Indian government should secure for Indian fishermen the right to fish around Kachchativu.
Published: Wed Jun 6 14:00:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

CPJ Welcomes Lifting of War Censorship in Sri Lanka
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 06/06/01 1815 GMT. New York based media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) welcomed the decision by the President Chandrika Bandaranaike to lift the censorship on war coverage. The CPJ expressed its hope that the SL authorities will now work to lift other obstacles that prevent reporting Sri Lankaís civil war.

"As a non-partisan organisation of journalists dedicated to the defence of press freedom around the world, CPJ urges your administration to work with Sri Lankan journalists to develop a system that allows journalists to report first-hand on the course of the civil war" the statement signed by CPJís Executive Director Ann Cooper stated. "Allowing full and accurate reporting is the only effective means to foster the public's understanding of efforts to resolve the current crisis"

The statement has been sent to the President with copies to the Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon and many other diplomats and institutions.
Published: Wed Jun 6 14:15:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

World Bank Grants $30M To Sri Lanka Ctrl Bk Restructuring
Yahoo India, Wednesday June 6, 4:11 PM. The World Bank said Wednesday that it plans to grant a loan of $30 million toward the recently initiated restructuring of Sri Lanka's central bank. "Final negotiations have been completed and the loan package will be going to the board this month," Sriyani Hulugalle of the World Bank office in Colombo told Dow Jones Newswires. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 22:22:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norwegian Government: Foreign Minister Thorbjorn Jagland to visit Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:25 AM EST . The President of Sri Lanka, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, has requested Foreign Minister Thorbjorn Jagland to come to Colombo on Thursdag 7 June to review the peace process in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 12:38:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway steps up Sri Lanka peace effort as troops, rebels clash  -

ICRC hands over the bodies of eleven LTTE cadres
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 6. The International Committee for the Red Cross yesterday handed over to the LTTE, 11 bodies of rebel cadre killed by commandos from the Special task Force (STF) on Monday.

The bodies were handed over to the ICRC at Akkaraipattu and taken from there by the humanitarian organization to Tiger territory. The STF on Monday destroyed an LTTE base in the jungles off Batticaloa where it was reported that 16 Tigers were killed in the attack.
Published: Wed Jun 6 09:31:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No democracy without giving rights to Minoroties -Trade Union
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 06/06/01 1725 GMT. The root - cause of Sri Lanka?s crisis is denial of fundamental rights to national communities and depressed sections of our society as Sri Lanka is facing the most serious crisis in history , said United Federation of Labour (UFL), a militant trade Union in the private sector. "The rights of major national communities have been totally ignored and the social inequalities with regard to the depressed castes have never become critical issues in their political agendas" a statement signed by UFL?s president Linus Jayatilake stated demanding the government to come out with a fresh proposal to devolve power to the oppressed communities.

"If the PA Government vacillates at this moment and delays the peace process, the whole country would be led to a dead-end and become an easy prey to the destructive forces"

UFL is highly critical on Alliance for Democracy?s (AFD) key demands of five commissions of constitutional reforms. The union said that the AFD has not recognised the key issues of the society. " We also would recommend to those who campaign with 5 commissions to revive democracy that, unless those serious issues are addressed, no meaningful gains will be achieved through their piece -meal reforms".
Published: Wed Jun 6 13:26:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A Routine Night When 'All Went Wrong'
Washington Post, Wednesday, June 6, 2001. It was a pleasant family gathering in Nepal's royal palace, a soiree in a garden-side billiard room and adjoining parlor that King Birendra liked to host every Friday night.The king's son, Crown Prince Dipendra, was tending bar. He mixed one of his cousins a drink, and the assembled relatives chatted as they waited for dinner. At about 9 p.m., Dipendra slipped out of the gathering.A short while later, he reappeared, wearing an army uniform, his cap pulled low over his face and an Uzi submachine gun and an M-16 assault rifle in his hands. Dipendra strode into an adjacent room where his father was sitting and shot him with one of the powerful automatic weapons. Through the open door, a witness "could see the king's face with utter astonishment on it." More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 11:45:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Relative gives account of Nepalese royal family massacre  - NandoTimes

Sri Lanka congratulates Nepal's new king, Jun 06 2001 19:43 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday congratulated Nepal's new King Gyanendra on his coronation and said she hoped for closer cooperation between the two nations. Advertisement ' + ' ' + ' '; document.writeln(strbanner); //--> "I am confident that the friendly relations that have always existed between Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Nepal will be further strengthened during Your Majesty's reign," Kumaratunga said in her message. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 11:25:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

12 Tamil Rebels Killed in Attack Against S.Lankan Troops
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 06, 2001 7:40 AM EST . A total of 12 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were confirmed killed when they launched a retaliatory attack against government troops in eastern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, bringing the number of those killed to 21, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. According to interceptions of Tamil rebel radio transmission, 12 rebels were killed and at least another four were seriously wounded in the heavy fighting at a Muslim village in Batticaloa district. Two civilians also died in rebel mortar bomb attacks, the ministry said. The number of government soldiers killed in Tuesday's exchange of fire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels rose to seven after another soldier succumbed to his injuries, it said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 09:49:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
21 dead in Lanka by LTTE attack: Army  - Press Trust of India

Sri Lanka moots Amnesty for poaching fishermen
DECCAN HERALD, 7 June 2001. Sri Lanka has suggested that Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen, apprehended for poaching in each others territorial waters, be granted amnesty to facilitate the release of more than 100 fishermen detained in both countries, official sources said today. The suggestion will be one of the measures that will be considered by a joint committee of officials that will be set up soon to sort out problems relating to fishermen of both countries straying into each others territorial waters, sources said. Sri Lanka's Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapakse had made the suggestion during a recent visit to India when he met Agriculture Minister Nitish Kumar, they said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 7 01:35:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Lanka, India to consider fishermen swap  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka to seek amnesty for fishermen  -

Sri Lankan army on alert in east
BBC, 6 June 2001. Government forces have stepped up security in a village in an eastern town after fighting there left more than 20 people dead. The military says Tamil Tiger guerrillas ambushed them while they were on patrol near Valaichchana town on Tuesday. Military spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said seven soldiers had been killed. He said intercepted rebel radio communications indicated that 12 Tamil Tigers had died. He also said seven civilians had been killed because of mortar attacks by the rebels. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 06:58:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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At least 29 killed after Sri Lanka troops, rebels clash  -

Sri Lanka SEC Says Investigating Richard Pieris Shr Trade
Yahoo India, june 6. The Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Wednesday said it has initiated a probe into the recent heavy trading in shares of Richard Pieris & Co. (P.RPR). More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 21:04:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Urgent, peaceful solution a must to end NE crisis, Jayalalitha tells Ranil
Island, 6 June. Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalitha and had a cordial discussion on Monday.Miss Jayalalitha, appraised Mr. Wickremesinghe extensively on the development projects her new government was planning to implement in Tamil Nadu in the near future. She explained to him the strategies she would adopt to bridge the budget deficit and measures taken to maintain law and order in the state. Her government will focus its attention to introduce a number of water supply schemes in order to solve the scarcity water prevalent in the entire state and kick start new industries to create more employment opportunities. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 04:24:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan troops, Tigers count the dead after heavy battle, Jun 06 2001 11:23 IST. Government troops stepped up security at a Muslim village in eastern Sri Lanka Wednesday after heavy fighting killed 26 people and wounded 23, the defence ministry said. The number of soldiers killed in Tuesday's exchange of fire with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas, rose to seven, after another soldier succumbed to his injuries, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 03:52:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Revenue Up in First Two Months This Year
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 05, 2001 11:43 PM EST . Sri Lanka's revenue during the first two months this year has shown an increase of 12.6 percent to 16,997 million rupees (around 188.85 million U.S. dollars) from 15,096 million rupees (around 167.7 million dollars) in the same period of 2000, according to a government statement. The General Treasury said this was due to income derived from the Goods and Services Tax, National Security Levy, Import Duty and Motor Vehicle Levy. More...
Published: Wed Jun 6 07:00:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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