The Lanka Academic

JUNE 21, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 76

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
Hakeem: shedding status to change status quo in Sri Lanka
Yahoo Asia, June 21 . Muslim leader Rauf Hakeem's rather uneasy role in Sri Lanka's cabinet came to an abrupt end when President Chandrika Kumaratunga booted him out earlier this week -- but now the shoe is now on the other foot.Ruling party strategists believed sacking Hakeem would isolate him within the minority Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) party and help Kumaratunga consolidate her hold on the shaky ruling coalition. The gamble back-fired More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 22:22:52 EDT 2001

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President Kumaratunge sacks Rauf Hakeem
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 4.45pm SLT, June 20, 2001. Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Muslim Congress prays in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday, June.20, hours after President Chandrika Kumaratunga sacked him from her Cabinet giving no reason. Hakeem, who heads the country's main Muslim party with 11 seats in the Parliament is an ally of Kumaratunga?s coalition government, hit back and convinced three deputy ministers of his SLMC to resign from the government. It was not immediately known if all the 11 lawmakers of Hakeem would remain loyal to him. If so it will reduce Kumaratunga?s government to a minority in the Parliament. However Kumaratunga's decision brings with it a fear of political instability at a time when the government is trying to enter peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 07:16:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

I'm not ready to form a government, says Ranil
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 20/06/01 1730 GMT. The removal of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress(SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem from the Cabinet has taken the opposition unaware. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the leader of the opposition says he is not yet prepared to form a new government. With SLMC?s withdrawal from the ruling coalition, for the second time under the 1978 constitution, the opposition makes up the majority of the parliament. But Mr. Wickramasinghe strongly believes that the priority should be given to establish five commissions of reform than forming a new government under his leadership.

"It is the need of the public today to set up electoral, police, public services, judicial and media commissions in order to re-establish the democracy" Mr. Wickramasinhe told BBC?s Sandeshaya. Being continuously criticised for the lack of strategic leadership, the ex-premier lost his temper when asked whether he is not going to make use of this opportunity fallen to his lap without much effort, to form a government.

Sri Lanka saw the first opposition government in 1994 , when Chandrika Kumaratunge became the Prime Minister under the then UNP President D.B.Wijethunge. The country sailed through a crisis, however, as Mrs. Kumaratunge stepped up to the presidency with 62% mandate within three months.
Published: Wed Jun 20 13:28:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Speaker rejects Supreme Court stay order
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike today told Parliament that he will not abide by a Supreme Court order preventing him from proceeding with parliamentary procedure to probe an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice.

Bandaranaike said the document carrying charges against the highest judicial officer in the land, Sarath N. Silva would be placed on the Order Paper today and Parliament would immediately begin proceedings to investigate and assess the charges.

A Parliamentary Select Committee will now be set up to study the impeachment charges. Bandaranaike told the House today that he would not allow for the supremacy of parliament to be violated by the courts.
Published: Wed Jun 20 02:12:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Lanka House defies apex court ban to impeach chief justice  - Deccan Herald
Lanka begins Impeachment Proceedings against Chief Justice  - Press Trust of India
Sri Lanka house defies supreme court, moves to impeach chief justice  -

Two persons jailed for helping journalist into LTTE land
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.55 a.m. SLT Thursday June 21. Two persons were yesterday jailed by the Vavuniya magistrate for secretly helping an American journalist crossover into rebel held territory.

The men were sentenced to six months imprisonment for aiding the London Sunday Times, American born correspondent, Marie Colvin into Tiger land in April this year.

Colvin was shot at and wounded by Army personnel when attempting to cross back into government territory.

Flown out for medical treatment later to the US, Colvin received bouquets and bric-a-bracs for her escapade, including flowers and a get- well-note from Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge.
Published: Wed Jun 20 21:55:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chair crisis amid Sri Lanka's political drama, Jun 20 2001 18:47 IST. A sudden defection by Sri Lanka's main Muslim party from the ruling coalition created a shortage of seats among the opposition Wednesday, parliamentary officials said.The withdrawal of support for the government by 11 members of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led to a demand for more opposition chairs in the 225-member assembly. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 15:20:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

AsianAge, june 20. There are 817,000 tamil refugees or asylum seekers in foreign countries, with Canada topping the list with 400,000 of them, the U.N. High commissioner for refugees said Wednesday. In addition, this small island nation, the size of Ireland or west Virginia, has about 800,000 internally displaced people, or about 4 percent of its population. The refugees are tamils displaced by the 17-year separatist war that has left more than 63,000 people dead. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 21:43:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ferial - Hakeem unite to leave government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. In a surprise move, Ferial Ashraff, walked out of the PA coalition, hours after her compatriot Rauf Hakeem, Leader for the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress was sacked by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge.

Ferial and Hakeem have been at loggerheads battling each other for leadership posts in the SLMC/NUA. Today however the two united in a massive show of strength as Ferial left her ministerial post, no sooner she heard that Hakeem had been given his marching orders by the President.

The situation has unified a divisive SLMC/NUA whose leader, Rauf Hakeem had already secured a deal with the United National Party yesterday.

Meanwhile, reliable sources said that key members from the President's cabinet of ministers are also expected to 'crossover' soon. The moves bode well for the UNP initiated no confidence motion, even as Speaker Anura Bandaranaike today rejected a supreme court Stay Order, which the Speaker said violated the supremacy of parliament.
Published: Wed Jun 20 05:24:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka government loses majority as Muslim party quits  -

Lame-duck government as Sri Lanka Muslim ally quits
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, June 20 8:09 PM SGT . President Chandrika Kumaratunga lost her majority in parliament Wednesday when her main Muslim coalition partner quit, plunging Sri Lanka into political turmoil. The crisis was precipitated when Kumaratunga sacked trade minister Rauf Hakeem, head of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), from her cabinet and the party retaliated by withdrawing its crucial support from the shaky government. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 09:38:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
SLMC may offer issue-based support  - The Hindu
Key Sri Lankan Muslim minister out, instability in  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka walks tourism tightrope
Asia Times, June 20. A British professor walks into the dining room of a posh Sri Lankan hotel for breakfast and is confronted by a restaurant manager dressed in a double-breasted suit who asks, "Sausages, bacon and eggs, sir?" "I was horrified," recalled the professor to a Sri Lankan conservation specialist later. "Look, sausages come from my country. I want some traditional Sri Lankan food, please." The surprised hotel employee simply walked away. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 15:25:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLMC may still vote for govt in no-confidence motion
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 7.17 PM SLT Wednesday June 20, 2001. Though the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC),led by Mr.Rauf Hakeem,has decided to sit with the opposition,there is a possibility that it may not vote against the government on the no-confidence motion to be tabled by the opposition United National party (UNP).

Mr.Rauf Hakeem said here today that though his group was sitting with the opposition, it would function as an "independent" group,and take decisions on specific issues on merit according to the need of the hour.This could be interpreted to mean that he might vote with the government on the no-trust motion.

Though the National Unity Alliance (NUA) leader, Mrs.Ferial Ashraff,also tendered her resignation from the cabinet today,she said that she would have to consult the NUA to take a final view on the matter in the "national interest".This means that the four member NUA may stay put with the government.In the evening,there were rumours that Mrs.Ashraff was meeting President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

If the 11 member SLMC-NUA combine eventually votes with the government, the latter will stay in place.But if there is split and only the NUA votes with it,the government will be in a soup.The government will be a reduced to a minority with only 109 MPs ( PA 96;Ceylon Workers' Congress-4; Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party - 5 and National Unity Alliance-4 ).

Any party to be in government will have to have 113 of the 225 MPs in the house assuming that all members are present and voting.

The opposition,led by the UNP,will have 106,seven short of the need ( UNP-89;SLMC-7; Sinhala Urumaya-1;Tamil United Liberation Front-5;Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation-3 and All Ceylon Tamil Congress -1).

Only the JVP can break the deadlock.If the JVP casts its lot with the government, the latter sails through.On the other hand, if it votes with the UNP,the government sinks.The other way to win will be to get MPs from the other side to cross over.Both the PA and the UNP are trying to get each others' MPs.It was rumoured in the morning that three deputy ministers might cross over to the UNP side.

The JVP has a third option.It could well abstain.If it does,the government will scrape through with a majority of three (109 for PA and 106 for the opposition),because the fate of the no-trust motion is determined by the number of MPs present and voting.
Published: Wed Jun 20 09:11:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian, Sri Lankan leaders security risks at CHOGM
yahoo, June 20. Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been clubbed with his counterparts from India and Sri Lanka as facing maximum security threat at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Brisbane from October 7-8. While Howard has been advised by the Australian security experts that he faces a threat from some socialist fringe organizations, the Indian and Sri Lankan prime ministers would be provided security cover against attempts by terrorist groups from the subcontinent with presence in Australia. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 10:21:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A political quagmire: Sri Lankan government faces two no-confidence motions and an impeachment
K Ratnayake - WSWS, june 20 . Less than a year after parliamentary elections last October, the ruling Peoples Alliance (PA) in Sri Lanka is mired in a political crisis that could rapidly become terminal. In the coming weeks, the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga faces two no-confidence motions as well as an opposition move against the Chief Justice that has the potential to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 10:23:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Hakeem - disillusioned with the government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. Fighting to assert himself as the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Hakeem has crossed swords with his predecessor and mentor's widow, Ferial Ashraff.

Ferial, two weeks ago summoned a meeting of the National Unity Alliance of which Hakeem is General Secretary, without informing the SLMC Leader.

A furious Hakeem later said he would call the shots and change the present status quo if Ferial continued to misbehave. According to the constitution of the SLMC, the Leader of the former must also lead the NUA. The compromise with Ferial however was reached after she demanded that there be a joint leadership for the Muslim political party.

More seriously, Rauf Hakeem has become an embarrassment to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge. His recent stance over the Mawanella riots and his demand for a separate Muslim administrative council in the East, has angered Kumaratunge's cabinet of ministers. So much so, both her Prime Minister, Rathnasiri Wickremanayake and party secretary, S. B. Dissanayake have suggested the formation of a national government hoping that this way the minority parties, and in particular the SLMC can then be side-lined.

Hakeem, disillusioned and depressed, confided that if in fact, S B Dissanayake's call for a national government is to side-line the minority parties then it is a "nationalistic government," Dissanayake and even the Premier are attempting to form.

Hakeem's partnership with the People's Alliance has been fettered with a shopping list of broken promises. Early this year, he chose to eat humble pie, and accepted a face saving gesture from the President, when she appointed him to Chair a Parliamentary Select Committee which purportedly would study piecemeal amendments that would supposedly pass deliberations with regard to the appointment of an independent police, judicial, election and public service commissions.

Hakeem backed out of a pledge he made to quit the government after 100 days if none of the above commissions were appointed. The countdown, which began on October 18 last year and ended on January 28, this year, finally resulted in Hakeem having his face rubbed in the mud. At least where the public were concerned.

When Prof. G. L. Peiris last year mooted an Equal Opportunities Bill, Hakeem on a TV chat-show, hotly defended the controversial bill, emulating the President's far reaching outlook towards ensuring equality for all segments of Sri Lankan society.

The draft bill never saw the light of day. Following protests by schoolboys and some parents, an opportunity to provide equality to all races was laid to rest with barely a murmur from the government, in its defence.

A truly dejected man - Hakeem now believes that Kumaratunge does not have the courage of her own convictions. Instead the moment there is some agitation against any proposal she drops the entire exercise.

His stance last Saturday (June 16)saying the SLMC was not to be played around with resulted in him negotiating a 'deal' with the United National Party.

Kumaratunge who got wind of the memorandum of understanding between Hakeem and the UNP,lost no time in sacking him from office this morning. Twenty four hours before he was scheduled to sign the deal with the UNP.
Published: Wed Jun 20 02:32:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Special Task Force remove Hakeem's vehicles
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. Armed members from the Special Task Force a short while ago removed Minister Rauf Hakeem's official vehicles. Hakeem who was sacked from office by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today said that his security has also been withdrawn.

Hakeem is meeting at present with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress's parliamentary group to assess and evaluate his present position.

Meanwhile, sources divulge that Hakeem has already brokered and sealed a memorandum of understanding with the opposition United National Party.
Published: Wed Jun 20 02:12:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan government loses majority as Muslim ally quits, Jun 20 2001 14:57 IST. COLOMBO, June 20 (AFP) - Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's shaky government Wednesday lost its parliamentary majority when the main Muslim coalition partner withdrew its crucial support. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) announced mass resignation of its members from all key positions they hold in the eight-month-old government after Kumaratunga sacked its leader Rauf Hakeem from the cabinet earlier in the day. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 08:28:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga govt reduced to minority  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Sri Lanka Muslim leader sacked
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK . The Sri Lankan Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga has lost its majority in parliament after a key Muslim ally withdrew support. The Sri Lankan president has sacked a key Muslim ally from her cabinet putting in jeopardy the future of her coalition government. According to repeated broadcasts on state-run radio, Rauff Hakeem has been sacked from the cabinet but no reason has been given. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 05:09:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Key Sri Lanka minister sacked  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lankan government loses majority as Muslim ally quits  -
Sri Lanka's main Muslim party quits government  -

Sri Lanka parliament to impeach chief justice, Jun 20 2001 10:35 IST. COLOMBO, June 20 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's parliament Wednesday clashed head on with the Supreme Court by rejecting a ban imposed on the Speaker and began impeachment proceedings against the country's chief justice. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 08:29:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to impeach chief justice  - Virtual New York
Lanka begins Impeachment Proceedings against Chief Justice  - Press Trust of India

President Kumaratunge sacks Minister Hakeem
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. In a surprise move, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today sacked from her cabinet of ministers, Rauf Hakeem, Minister for Trade and Shipping.

Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has shared a tenuous relationship with the ruling Peoples Alliance, threatening on Saturday, June 16, that he would withdraw his support from the government if pushed against the wall.

The president's decision came less than 12 hours after Hakeem denied holding secret talks with the main opposition United National Party.

The move places the PA on a shaky footing, even as Speaker Anura Bandaranaike will make an announcement today on his decision regarding the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, mooted by two opposition parties the UNP and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Hakeem said this morning, the President's action against him does not surprise him.
Published: Tue Jun 19 23:11:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Lankan President sacks dissenting Minister  - Press Trust of India

India trying to extend sea boundary: Lankan media
Times of India, 20 May 2001 . Sri Lankan media on Tuesday reacted strongly to reports that India was making efforts to expand her sea boundary, but local experts said there was no need to be concerned as they had initiated efforts to make their claim.The independent Island newspaper displayed a banner headline "Move fast or lose territorial claims -- warning to Govt". It quoted a top scientist as saying that Sri Lanka should urgently pursue efforts to expand its sea boundary in order to benefit from vast resources in the Indian Ocean.The reaction came as a result of a report carried the previous day in the state media saying India had begun studies on remarking her sea boundary.Prof Epasinghe, chairman of the National Aquatic Resources and Research Development Agency, told The Times of India that Sri Lanka had also commenced research on the sea area around the country and would prepare a report to be handed to the UN by the stipulated time. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 05:17:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka modernizes Central Bank with support from The World Bank
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 20, 2001 10:26 AM EST . The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will increase effectiveness of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) with support from a US$30.3 million credit announced today by the World Bank. The Central Bank Strengthening Project provides resources and technical assistance to bolster ongoing improvements and modernization within the Central Bank. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 19:25:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka crisis deepens with sacking of key Muslim leader, Jun 20 2001 09:36 IST. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday sacked from her cabinet the leader of a key Muslim ally, plunging the shaky ruling coalition into deeper crisis, state radio said. The radio interrupted a regular program to announce the dismissal of Trade Minister Rauf Hakeem, who leads the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which provided crucial support for Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) government. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 05:01:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka coalition in crisis  - BBC South Asia
Kumaratunga sacks key Muslim minister  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka sacks key Muslim leader  -
Sri Lanka sacks key Muslim minister  -

Sri Lanka Plans Radical Revamp of National Parks
Yahoo, Wednesday June 13 6:28 AM ET . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka, with one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, announced plans on Wednesday to radically reorganize its national parks and zoos to help protect wildlife, particularly elephants. A government statement also said the Wildlife Department and Zoological Gardens had been brought under the control of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. It said the government would implement a host of ``practical and effective'' programs aimed at conserving wildlife, streamlining the management of reserves, protecting rapidly endangered species and preserving the biodiversity of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Jun 20 18:20:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers say 17,200 fighters killed in decades-long battle, Jun 19 2001 21:07 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas Tuesday announced they lost 17,211 of their fighters in their drawn-out guerrilla war for a separate homeland in the island's northeast.The clandestine Voice of Tigers radio of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said 217 suicide bombers known as "Black Tigers" also perished since the first guerrilla cadre was killed in November 1982. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 12:54:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sinhalese urged to have large families
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, June 20, 2001. The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, claims to have the perfect way to protect the country from the LTTE: have large families. Mr. Wickramanayake was quoted in the Sinhala-language daily Divaina today blaming Sri Lanka's family planning drive for the present poor response to army recruitment drives. ``It is because people believe in the small family concept that we do not have the 10,000 soldiers required to finish the war against the LTTE quickly,'' he said, asking people to ignore the 1970s family planning slogan of ``Small Families are Golden.'' More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 21:15:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka political crisis deepens as local council enters fray
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, June 19 8:50 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's political crisis deepened Tuesday with the most important local government body breaking ranks with the government to assert its constitutional authority, officials said. The resolution condemned Urban Development Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the government for taking over the distribution of water and a park run by the smaller Colombo Municipal Council, which is in the hands of the opposition. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 09:58:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka political crisis deepens as local council enters fray  -

Colvin guides held for six months
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK . wo Sri Lankans accused of helping Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin cross in and out of rebel Tamil Tiger territory in April have been brought before a court for the first time since they were detained. Miss Colvin was allowed to leave the country after she was badly injured by security forces while crossing the line on her way out of the rebel territory. The plight of the alleged guides has received only a tiny fraction of the publicity surrounding Marie Colvin herself. But the case raises the issue of what responsibility reporters should take for people whose lives they endanger in the course of their work. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 12:56:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Police to probe plaint against Veeramani
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, June 20, 2001. CHENNAI, JUNE 19. A complaint by the Janata Party president, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, against the Dravidar Kazhagam leader, Mr. K. Veeramani, that the DK leader was behind the episode of a `trick photograph' showing Dr. Swamy with an LTTE sympathiser in 1995, was referred to the City Central Crime Branch police today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 21:16:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kumaratunga likely to face no confidence motion
NDTV/MSNBC, 19 June 2001. In Sri Lanka, the opposition United National Party is planning a no confidence motion against the Chandrika Kumaratunga government. According to sources, the motion could be held as early as the weekend. There have also been reports that a faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), unhappy with the government is planning to pull out of the coalition this week. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 07:31:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Speaker to announce decision on CJ's impeachment motion tomorrow
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike told Parliament this morning that he will announce his decision on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice tomorrow, June 20.

Bandaranaike told members in the house that he had arrived at a decision after a great deal of consideration on the matter. Speculation is rife that the Speaker will ignore the Stay Order issued by the Supreme Court which restrains him from appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the allegations.

On June 6, this month, the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna signed a motion calling for the impeachment of Sarath N. Silva, Chief Justice, on charges of misconduct and abuse of power.

Members from both sides of the House have widely criticized the court Stay Order, asserting it violates the supremacy of the National House.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil web editor faces 'threat'
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK . The editor of Sri Lanka's best known internet news site says his life is in danger after a state run newspaper accused him of being a spy for the Tamil Tiger rebel group. Mr Dharmaratnam Sivaram, who runs the Tamilnet website, says he is not going to be intimidated but he is concerned for his family's safety. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:41:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Envoy could be investigated for war crimes
SMH, June 19. Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission will consider investigating claims that a senior general appointed as Ambassador to Australia is implicated in war crimes.Mr Godfrey Gunatilleke, a member of the official body responsible for monitoring human rights, said the commission would be willing to look into any specific claims of abuses by the departing army chief of staff, Major-General Janaka Perera.But Mr Gunatilleke - who before joining the commission was one of Sri Lanka's most experienced human rights monitors - said he had not previously heard the general's name linked to military atrocities."He was associated with some of the stronger military operations. Sometimes the Tigers make these claims to discredit their most capable opponents," Mr Gunatilleke said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:28:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Asianage, 20 June 2001. Eminent Indian forensic scientist P Chandra Sekharan, has been invited by the widow of a Sri Lankan press baron and businessman to authenticate her husband's signature in a power of attorney executed in 1982. Sekharan's opinion to prove the authenticity of its founder, late Upali Wijewardene's signature had been sought by Lakmani Welgama, his wife, to clear herself and her associates of charges of forgery,'the island' daily reported today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 20:05:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan crisis deepens
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK . The former members of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka are facing the likelihood of a criminal investigation over allegations of financial mismanagement. The BCCSL, headed by Thilanga Sumathipala, was sacked by Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella in March and an interim panel was appointed to run cricket on the island. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:42:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan crisis tests if blood thicker than water
India Abroad, 19 June 2001. SRI Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her brother, Parliament Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, are locked in a constitutional crisis that will test if blood is thicker than water. Bandaranaike is the key figure in a storm stirred up by opposition parties seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice Sarath Silva, a presidential appointee who is close to Kumaratunga. The outcome is a guessing game, given the rivalry between the siblings who come from different political camps. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 04:14:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka plans to carry out seismic survey
Hindu, 19 June 2001. Sri Lanka is planning to conduct a seismic survey of its maritime boundary in the wake of reported claims by a scientist that India has undertaken a similar study in a bid to ``expand'' its maritime boundary. The presidential secretariat called the head of the National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) to review the current status of Sri Lanka's programme to conduct a preliminary study before it can launch seismic data collection, officials said here today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 19:41:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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India's propose extension of territorial waters disturbed Sri Lanka  - Northernlight

Multi-religious delegation tours Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. A multi religious delegation, sponsored by the ministry for ethnic affairs has stressed the need for a peace effort to stop the country's 18 year old war.

The delegation last evening held talks in Jaffna with Bishop Thomas Saundaranayagam, agreeing that all parties must now unite in order to bring about a lasting solution to the embattled nation.

The delegation will also tour areas in the eastern province in order to impress upon various dignitaries and other concerned parties the need for a joint peace effort to end the war.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tiger military build-up and attacks imminent
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Government sources today said that the LTTE have used their four month, one-sided cease-fire, to acquire more weapons and training.

Military intelligence units have reported that the Tigers appear to have bought new 120 mm guns and other artillery fire and are undergoing intense training for probable attacks on government and military installations in the country's north and east.

In the last fortnight alone, the LTTE have carried out 15 to 20 attacks in the East on Army and police checkpoints including areas manned by home-guards.

Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte has been quoted as saying that the security forces will launch an offensive operation at the appropriate time. All aerial attacks on the Tigers have been ceased for the moment.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

12 Dead in Fighting in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 7:10 AM EST . COLOMBO, Jun 19, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- At least 10 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in fresh fighting in the north and northeast of the country on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. It said that government forces launched an attack on a bunker of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Jaffna peninsula on Monday and the bunker was destroyed. Four Tamil rebel were killed in the fighting. In another two clashes in Jaffna peninsula, government troops killed three Tamil rebels but one soldier was also killed in rebel mortar fire and the other one, out of five wounded, succumbed to his injuries. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 08:13:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka fighting kills another 12  -

Sri Lankans urged to multiply
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK . The Sri Lankan Government is urging people to have larger families, to swell the ranks of the army and the clergy. Prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said it was time to ignore the Small is Beautiful family planning programme established in the 1970s. He said the low birthrate meant fewer recruits for the army, handicapping its fight against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 07:25:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lankan Tamils fight in London
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Reports today say that a group of Sri Lankan Tamils attacked each other in London resulting in one death and many wounded. The two groups had reportedly met at a cinema hall on Sunday evening (June 17).

The two parties had a long standing feud and attacked each other at the Cinema hall. Later one group had thrown arson at a trade establishment belonging to another Sri Lankan Tamil.

Both groups were originally residents from Mannar and Ariyalai in the Jaffna peninsula, before migrating to the UK. London police have begun investigations into the attack.

Twenty-four year old Ariyanda Muttukumar, from Ariyalai, Jaffna was killed in the fight.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Delayed South Asian diplomatic meeting to be held in July: diplomats, Jun 19 2001 15:24 IST. COLOMBO, June 19 (AFP) - A meeting of top South Asian diplomats that was put off earlier this month as a sign of respect for the slain king of Nepal may now be held in mid-July, diplomats said Tuesday. Following King Birendra's death, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) postponed its two-day standing committee meeting of foreign secretaries scheduled in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo for June 8. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 06:28:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Corruption triggers Sri Lanka electricity crisis: parliament panel, Jun 19 2001 12:52 IST. Sri Lanka's energy crisis, which has led to a ban on air conditioners, is due to "shocking corruption" at the state utility, a parliamentary panel said Tuesday. The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises that investigated the activities of the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board said the power shortages could have been avoided if not for corruption. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 04:12:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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