The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 26, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 81

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
PA Agrees to establish three commissions
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 26/06/01 1900 GMT. The government has formally agreed to establish three independent commissions apart from media and the police commissions, a senior PA leader said. Agriculture Minister and PA general secretary D.M. Jayaratne told BBC's Sandeshaya that the government held talks with leaders of the JVP and had agreed to form independent commissions for elections, judiciary and public services. He said that the talks were fruitful and he believes the JVP will support the government in the no-confidence motion due to be debated in mid July.Minister Jayaratne maintained a view that it is better to have a coalition with minority parties than forming a national government with main rival UNP.

Editor's Note Comments and feed back on the above article may be submitted by using the Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage.
Published: Tue Jun 26 14:58:08 EDT 2001



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Hakeem Sacks Ferial's supporters; Ferial re-appointed
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 26/06/01 1630 GMT. Further fuelling the current political crisis Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem has sacked seven politburo members of the party. SLMC's high command said that the move has been recommended by the working committee. The appointment of the existing politburo by the late leader M.H.H. Ashroff was unconstitutional, the party leadership said. In an interview with BBC's Sandeshaya Mr S.M.M Yasin, one of the sacked politburo members, said that the intention was to keep Ferial's supporters away from the party leadership.

Mr. Hakeem has, however, re-appointed National Unity Alliance (NUA) leader Ferial Ashroff and , in a surprise move, her son Aman Ashroff also to the politburo. Mr. Yasin, a close ally of Mrs. Ashroff ,said it was a political "trick" by the SLMC leader. Mrs. Asroff was not available for comment. Mr. Yasin said that she will continue to support the PA government.
Published: Tue Jun 26 12:31:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka says no to lifting ban on Tigers
123India, june 26. Sri Lanka's government Tuesday announced it was "difficult and unwise" to lift a ban on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels who have insisted on the move to revive Norway's stalled peace bid here. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's office denied media reports that she had suggested to the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that they should lift the 1998 ban on the Tamil Tigers to get the peace process back on track. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 11:47:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Uncertainty over Lanka no-trust vote
gulf-news, june 26. The opposition initiated no confidence motion was drawn into further uncertainty with some of the crucial parties which would play a vital role in the voting for the motion holding back their decision.The Marxist group with 10 Members of Parliament and the seven Muslim party members who withdrew their support from the government have so far failed to make a clear statement on which way they would vote leaving the fate of the motion wide open More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 18:55:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ferial refuses to meet Hakeem for crucial discussions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday June 26. Mrs. Ferial Ashraff today refused to meet with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader, Rauf Hakeem for crucial discussions that would help unify the party.

Hakeem was scheduled to offer Ms. Asraff the post of Chairmanship of the SLMC in a bid to bridge the barriers created ever since he took over the party leadership. The two have long been at loggerheads with each other, but in surprise move showed unity when Hakeem was sacked from Kumaratunge's cabinet of ministers last Wednesday.

Ferial however did not submit her resignation from her portfolio to the President in writing and to date remains a minister within the Kumaratunge cabinet.

After claiming last Wednesday that she was of the view that the SLMC had been insulted by Kumaratunge's action, Ferial later backtracked on her stance asserting that this was not the time to be toppling governments.

Meanwhile, three members of the National Unity Alliance face expulsion from the party for not crossing over to opposition ranks together with Hakeem and seven other SLMC MPs. The SLMC is soft-peddling the issue of punishing Ferial for adopting the same stance and instead are valiantly trying to win the former leader's widow back into the fold.

Editor's Note Comments and feed back on the above article may be submitted by using the Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage.
Published: Tue Jun 26 04:02:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Internal rifts add more chaos to Lanka politics  - Times of India
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Abdul Cader prepared to step down to accommodate Ferial Ashraff  - Island

Army chief summons Military police top brass over death of Corporal in their custody
Island, 27 June 2001. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle on Monday summoned the top brass of the Military Police for a urgent discussion after a Special Forces Corporal in their custody in connection with the unauthorised removal of four automatic pistols from the armoury of the Koholanwala , Naula Special Forces camp died during interrogation, military sources said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 23:17:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Four photo journalists agree to the terms of CJ
CDN, 27 June 2001. State Counsel representing the Attorney General on Monday agreed to consider a request by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva to pay seventy five percent of the estimated damages claimed by the photo journalists for alleged destruction of their camera equipment by members of the Presidential Security Division during the coverage of an anti-government demonstration on July 15, 1999 in Colombo. Four among the seven photo journalists agreed to the settlement terms of the Chief Justice while the others opted to have their cases heard in full. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 23:38:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Leftist Party Not to Support Opposition
People's Daily, 27 June 2001. Sri Lanka's leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front Tilvin Silva said Monday his party will not support the main opposition United National Party (UNP), the state-run Daily News said on Tuesday. The JVP will also not back the present government at this stage but would support any party that would undertake to implement a socio-economic and religious policy that would be in the greater interest of the masses, he was quoted by the paper as saying. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 19:54:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka troops kill 11 rebels: military
123India.com, Jun 26 2001 17:44 IST. COLOMBO, June 26 (AFP) - Government soldiers killed at least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Tuesday as troops stepped up security following a guerrilla bomb attack. Eelamwere killed in the northern peninsula of Jaffna on Monday while another four were gunned down in the eastern Weli Oya region, the ministry said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 10:52:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's torture shame
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK . Tuesday has been declared a day of international support for victims of torture. But it is of little use to one five-year-old boy from northern Sri Lanka whose naked body was found in a common grave late last year, his hands and legs bound, his throat cut. Fourteen soldiers were arrested in connection with the killing and they have yet to be brought to trial. But human rights activists say there are signs the child was tortured before he was killed. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 11:46:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition seeks control of parliament panels
123India.com, Jun 26 2001 17:05 IST. Sri Lanka's main opposition party has asked for a controlling stake in all parliamentary committees after the government lost its majority in the legislature, officials said Tuesday. The move signalled more problems for President Chandrika Kumaratunga's shaky coalition which is facing an opposition move to oust a minister as well as the entire government next month. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 08:58:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fisher families in Tamil Nadu threaten suicide
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a. m. SLT Tuesday June 26. Family members of some 60 Indian fishermen being held captive by the Sri Lankan Authorities have threatened to commit suicide if the fishermen are not released soon.

The fishermen were arrested by the Lankan authorities for poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. At present, both the Lankan government and the Indian administration are conducting discussions to work out certain modalities which will allow both Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen to conduct their trade in peace.

India too, is holding some 61 Lankan fishermen who had also strayed into Indian waters.

Meanwhile, the families of the Indian fishermen claim they have been left financially destitute as their sole means of earning a living has been stopped as a result of the fishermen languishing in Lankan jails.
Published: Tue Jun 26 04:02:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lankan policemen remanded on checkpoint rape charge
123India.com, Jun 26 2001 19:21 IST. Three police constables were remanded in custody on charges of raping a Tamil woman at a checkpoint in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, court officials said Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 10:46:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Three police reservists arrested for raping Tamil woman  - The Island

PA - UNP making cautious moves towards a national government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10 a. m. SLT Tuesday June 26. Despite the United National Party attempting to bring down the government with a no confidence motion in Parliament, political sources reveal that both the PA and UNP are cautiously exploring the possibility of forming a national government.

Despite both President Chandrika Kumaratunge and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe denying this rumour, political sources from both sides say that party members are attempting to bridge the great divide, hoping that a national coalition will help revive the country's flagging economy and other issues which have reached crisis proportions.

Some cabinet ministers, including Professor G L Peiris, S B Dissanayake and Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake have already sounded out the main opposition UNP on the issue.

Wickremasinghe meanwhile insists that his meeting with Kumaratunge last Friday was confined only to discussing the stalled peace process. He says that other domestic issues were not on the agenda and not referred to by the President.
Published: Tue Jun 26 04:02:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Low intensity PA-UNP talks on National Government
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.33 AM SLT,Tuesday,June 26, 2001. Even though the opposition United National Party (UNP) is trying to topple the Peoples' Alliance (PA) government through a no-confidence motion, the two parties are pursuing the idea of forming a National Government.Hush hush,low intensity discussions are on across the political divide, reliable sources say.

Indeed, both President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe have denied that they are considering the option of forming a National Government.But undeniably,there is an active lobby for the concept in both the PA and UNP.Senior PA functionaries like Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Prof.G.L.Peries,have been urging the formation of such a government.In fact, the UNP has formed a group to liaise with the PA on this issue.Last week's Chandrika - Ranil talks were ostensibly confined to the Norwegian backed peace process, but given the fact that Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake had played a role in getting the two leaders to meet,the agenda might have included the domestic political situation and the formation of a National Government.

The UNP is very keen on capturing power before the next elections, which might be held immediately after the constitutional bar on parliamentary elections ends in October.The UNP wants to go into the next elections with the independent commissions to oversee the work of the public service,the police,the judiciary and the election commission in place.The UNP believes that if these arms of the state are freed from the shackes of the party in power,it will begin winning elections.But these reforms can be made only with the wide parliamentary support.One way of garnering such support is to form a National Government of atleast the two main parties.

Then there is a bi-partisan interest in maintaining the political supremacy of the majority Sinhala-Budddhist community.The PA is tired of pandering to the minority parties.It is the much pampered Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which has brought the PA government to the brink of a fall.And the UNP knows that when it comes to power,the SLMC defectors will extract their pound of flesh from it.The Tamil parties now in the UNP line up will influence government policy.

From the PA's point of view, the formation of a National Government with the UNP will enable it to disentangle itself from the control of the minorities.Only last week,President Kumaratunga lambasted the SLMC and declared that she would never let the majority community down. In the long run such distancing from the minorities will help the PA consolidate or even widen its base in the majority Sinhala Buddhist community.A recent survey by Colombo university showed that the PA (or rather its main constituent the Sri Lanka Freedom Party) was seen basically as a party of the Sinhala Buddhists.The UNP attracts more minorities, but this party too cannot be seen to be a handmaiden of the minorities.Like the PA,the UNP will also have to get the bulk of its votes from the Sinhala Buddhist community.

The rise in the importance of the left radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is worrying both the PA and the UNP.The JVP,with its 10 MPs, decides the fate of the PA government today.It will decide the fate of the coming UNP government too.But neither the pseudo leftist PA nor the right wing UNP wants to be at the mercy of the radical leftist JVP.The formation of a "national" or bi-partisan government is seen as a way out of the tangle.
Published: Mon Jun 25 15:32:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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PA, UNP in secret talks on Lanka national govt  - The Hindustan Times

11 LTTE cadres killed in northern Sri Lanka
Press Trust of India, Tuesday, June 26, 2001. Sri Lankan troops have killed 11 LTTE rebels in different encounters in the island's war-torn northern parts, the military said today. Five rebels were killed in an exchange of fire at Nagarkovil in the Jaffna peninsula, while snipers shot two others in the same area on Monday, a defence ministry statement said. Four LTTE cadres were killed and two others injured in another confrontation at Kokkuthudavai in Weli Oya sector, it said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 08:56:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Seven Tamil Tiger rebels killed in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com

Sri Lanka's big parties grovel before leftist JVP
India Abroad, 26 June. SRI Lanka's two mainstream political parties that were once held to ransom by leftist insurgencies are again at the mercy of the radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), this time in the legislature. Both President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) coalition and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) are virtually groveling before the JVP as an opposition no-confidence motion hangs fire. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 08:42:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Prepare for water-cuts, power-cuts, says Met dept.
Island, 26 June. The Met. Department warned yesterday that catchment areas were not likely to receive rain in the immediate future, as the Ceylon Electricity Board intensified calls for electricity conservation. "The South-West monsoon has been a total failure, where rains are concerned," said G. B. Samarasinghe, meteorologist in charge of the forecast division. "We also cannot see rain in the catchment areas during the next three to four days." The Met. Department was making its prediction from global forecasts and weather information, Samarasinghe said.Meanwhile, latest CEB figures showed that water levels in catchment areas had dropped further, with all six reservoirs holding only 21.3 per cent of their total capacity. This is down from 25.1 per cent two weeks ago. The reservoir most affected was Kothmale, with only 6.7 per cent of its total capacity. Rainfall to the reservoirs — according to Met. Dept. statistics recorded yesterday morning — ranged from between 13.1 mm to a mere 0.5 mm. Norton received the highest and Ukuwela documented the lowest. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 06:41:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Marxists call the shots in Sri Lanka's numbers game
123India.com, Jun 26 2001 08:00 IST. After two armed rebellions that left some 80,000 people dead, Sri Lanka's Marxists are calling the shots again. This time there is no bloodshed, only a deadly numbers game in a red-carpeted parliament. The Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, has emerged a decisive factor in an opposition-led resolution, now before the legislature, to oust President Chandrika Kumaratunga's shaky coalition government. For the first time the JVP is a crucial player in deciding the fate of the government. The 10 seats the JVP has in the 225-member House have given the former insurgents a different kind of lethal "fire-power". More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 01:04:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

GL Peiris hints CBK will continue, even if she loses majority in House
The Island, Tue Jun 26 10:10:00 SLT 2001. Industrial Development Minister and Deputy Finance Minister Professor G.L. Peiris on Friday indirectly hinted that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga would continue in office, even if her Governtment loses its majority in Parliament. Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, he cited examples from the USA and Germany to support this thinking. Peiris said that very often in the USA, one finds the situation where while one party dominates the White House, the other controls either the Senate or the Congress. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 00:13:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The facilitator fracas
Frontline, Tue Jun 26 08:05:00 SLT 2001. THE protracted conflict in Sri Lanka underwent another sharp and dramatic twist in the second week of June when a controversy arose over the facilitatory role played by Norway in trying to bring about negotiations for a peaceful settlement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Erik Solheim, the mutually accepted Norwegian special envoy in charge of brokering peace efforts between both parties on behalf of Oslo, was himself the centre of the fresh crisis that threatened to stall the fragile peace process which had not in any case progressed much in the past few months. Even as the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE adopted antagonistic stances over the status of Norway's facilitatory role in general and Erik Solheim's position in particular, the reconciliatory effort of the intermediary was seemingly destined for a breakdown. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 22:08:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A tightrope walk for Tamil scribes
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, June 26, 2001. Accused, on the one hand, of being agents of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and, on the other, of being puppets of the Government, Sri Lanka's Tamil journalists, whether living here or abroad, have to constantly walk a tightrope between the two sides to the island's conflict. But increasingly, many are refusing to be cowed down. A London-based Tamil journalist, Mr. P. Seevagan, was to begin a hunger-strike today to protest against what he described as the LTTE's ``rowdyism'' against his publication in Switzerland. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 17:29:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government to lift economic embargo and initiate military truce
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Monday June 25. In a bid to boost the stalled peace process President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and her government will offer to lift the economic embargo on northern and eastern territories controlled by the LTTE, as well as initiate a military truce.

The President has decided to give into at least one of the Tiger demands which is the lifting of the economic embargo prior to talks, while she will soft peddle the other demand to lift the ban on the rebels. Kumaratunge has decided instead removing the proscription, to initiate a cease-fire before talks begin.

Earlier, the government refused to observe a unilateral truce by the LTTE which began on Christmas Eve last year and lasted four months. The President has also maintained previously that a de-escalation of the military offensive can happen only after negotiations have progressed successfully with the rebels.

The United National Party meanwhile have not yet responded to the President's request last Friday to Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe to support a public statement by the government calling the LTTE for negotiations.

The President at her meeting with Wickremasinghe last week had made a veiled reference to the 'Liam Fox Agreement' which when brokered between the parties agreed in principle that the UNP would at all times lend support to any peace initiatives begun by the Peoples Alliance which aim to resolve the 18 year old war.
Published: Mon Jun 25 05:11:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Lanka's Marxists oppose lifting of LTTE ban
Deccan Herald, June 25. The powerful Lankan Marxist group JVP today opposed in Parliament lifting the ban on the Tamil Tigers, a key LTTE demand for resuming peace talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government. The tough stand taken by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, or People's Liberation Front, will make it difficult for Kumaratunga to make any concessions to the rebels to get peace talks restarted after a gap of more than five years. Kumaratunga needs the support of the JVP, which controls 10 of the 225 seats in Parliament, to win a vote of confidence. "We are totally against lifting of the ban on the terrorist group," said Wimal Weerawansa, the group's leader in Parliament. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 16:58:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

6 soldiers killed 22 injured in claymore mine blast
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.15 p.m. SLT Monday June 25. Six soldiers were killed and 22 injured when a bus carrying security personnel went over a claymore mine in the Jaffna peninsula today.

The incident took place at around 1 p.m. (SLT) in Maduvil North. Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, military spokesman said that the soldiers were those who had been granted holiday leave and were scheduled to catch a plane which would have brought them to the South.
Published: Mon Jun 25 05:11:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Tamil separatists kill four Sri Lankan soldiers in blast  - 123India.com

15 dead in Sri Lanka fighting, Tigers blow up army bus
123India.com, Jun 25 2001 17:17 IST. COLOMBO, June 25 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger separatists ambushed an army bus in northern Sri Lanka, killing six soldiers, as nine others were killed in fighting elsewhere on the war-torn island, defence officials said Monday. Guerrillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ambushed the bus Monday by exploding a claymore mine at Maduvil in the Jaffna peninsula, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 08:20:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Tamil rebels blow up Sri Lankan army bus, 4 dead  - MSNBC

UN Human Rights commissioner to launch anti- torture campaign tomorrow
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 7.00 a.m Monday 25 June. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson will launch the Global appeal to urge all world governments to ratify the UN convention against torture at a special ceremony to be held in New York tomorrow, 26 June. Robinson will appeal to the world governments to ratify the UN convention and thereby commit to end the problem of torture. The campaign is organized by the International Rehabilitation Council for torture victims and launched under the banner ‘Together against Torture’. The event is organized to coincide with the UN International day in support of torture victims.

On June 26, the foreign ministers of all 69 UN member states that have not yet ratified the UN convention will be urged to ratify the treaty as a part of the global ratification campaign. The global ratification campaign is conducted by the Denmark based International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) on behalf of the Coalition of International NGOS against torture. The main event in New York spearheads a global campaign in which more than 250 commemorative events in support of torture victims will be held in 95 countries worldwide. A release from IRCT stresses the need for as many people as possible to take up the fight against torture on every level. Torture today is widespread in the world today and those who stand firm for human dignity increasingly put themselves at risk of torture. Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN convention against torture and signed the treaty on 3 June 1994
Published: Mon Jun 25 07:04:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Shortwave listeners mourn loss of BBC radio
TOI, june 25. Long before CNN and the Internet were born, the British Broadcasting Corp's World Service radio was a global information force, beaming trusted dispatches past the censors of oppressive regimes, providing in-depth stories to those who craved word of events beyond their own borders. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 14:51:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka: a question of confidence
AsiaTimes , june 25. Sri Lanka is in its worst-ever political crisis in seven years, as opposition parties close ranks to try to oust President Chandrika Kumaratunga's administration after a key government ally quit last week. Both Kumaratunga and the main opposition leader expressed confidence that neither would succeed as parliament prepared for a no-confidence motion against the government. This motion, which is expected to be debated in early July, will decide the fate of the ruling People's Alliance's (PA), which has been in power since 1994 More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 14:12:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S.Lankan Prime Minister Confident Government Can Weather No-confidence Motion
Nothern Light, Monday, June 24, 2001 11:22 PM EST . Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake expressed his confidence on Sunday that the government can weather a no-confidence motion against the government, the state-run Daily News said on Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 04:05:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India to help Sri lanka in computerisation of courts
Yahoo India, 26 June 2001. India today assured all help to Sri Lanka in computerisation of its courts for the benefit of litigants. The assurance to this effect was given by Law Minister Arun Jaitley to his Sri Lankan counterpart Batty Weerakoon in a meeting here, where they discussed various issues including measures for better coordination between the judiciary of the two nations. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 20:18:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian Government: Srilankan Justice Minister calls on Indian Law Minister
Nothern Light, Monday, June 25, 2001 9:51 AM EST . Jun 25, 2001 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- The Srilankan Minister of Justice, HE Batty Weerakoon called on the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping, Shri Arun Jaitley here today and discussed with him measures for a better coordination between the Judiciary of the two nations. Both the Ministers gave an overview of their respective judicial system and the steps being taken for expeditious disposal of cases in each other`s countries. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 11:31:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka congratulates Musharraf
The Hindustan Times, 26 June. SRI LANKAN President Chandrika Kumaratunga has congratulated Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf for declaring himself president last week, the Foreign Ministry said. "I have the pleasure in extending to your excellency our sincere felicitations on your assumption of office as president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," a ministry statement said. The statement was dated June 21, a day after Musharraf took over as president, but released only late on Monday. No reason was given for the delay. Musharraf's decision to take over as president was heavily criticised by the United States and the European Union, but welcomed by rival India.The general stunned Pakistanis by having himself sworn in as head of state and formally abolishing the elected legislatures that he had suspended on ousting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999. More...
Published: Tue Jun 26 04:50:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka congratulates Pakistan's new president  - 123India.com

Sri Lanka Marxists weigh no-confidence vote
MSNBC, June 25. COLOMBO, June 24 - Sri Lanka's Marxist former rebels said on Sunday they had still to decide how to cast their pivotal votes in an opposition bid to topple President Chandrika Kumaratunga's minority government. The leadership of the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) agreed on Sunday to leave the final decision on a vote of confidence to the party's 10 lawmakers who hold the balance in parliament where Kumaratunga's Peoples' Alliance no longer has a majority, the party said in a statement. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 11:40:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE ban should not be lifted - JVP
CDN, 25 June 2001. JVP Parliamentarian and Party Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday, it was the JVP's firm stance that the LTTE ban should not be lifted under any circumstances until the Tigers publicly renounce their demand for Tamil Eelam, and that the JVP was also opposed to the SLMC's demand for separate administrative regions for Tamil speaking people. Weerawansa said that they were giving serious consideration to the views and ideas of all political parties who have signed the no confidence motion against the Government, the SLBC said in its news bulletin last evening. Weerawansa said the JVP was very concerned over the request made by TELO to lift the ban on the LTTE. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 00:17:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

More arrests likely in Fr. Aba murder
Island, 25 June 2001. The outcome of the fresh investigation into the killing of Fr. Aba Costa, parish priest of Thillanduwa mission, Negombo will be revealed very soon, Inspector General of Police, Lucky Kodituwakku said yesterday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 25 00:21:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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