The Lanka Academic

JUNE 27, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 82

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
Reigning uncertainty The JVP has emerged as the kingmakers in Sri Lanka’s political crisis
deccan herald, june 28. As the political crisis in Sri Lanka enters its second week, the fate of the People’s Alliance (PA) government, reduced to a minority with the exit of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), continues to hang in the balance. A no-confidence motion that the opposition United National Party (UNP) has moved is as yet short of the required number of votes to oust the government on the floor of the House. Whether it will muster the requisite support by the time it is put to vote seems to be in the hands of the Janata Vimukti Peramuna (JVP). More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 20:10:12 EDT 2001

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Lanka Muslim party heads for a split
gulf-news, june 27. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) ran into further crisis yesterday with the rift in the leadership widening and the party heading for a split, party sources said.Ferial Asharaff, the widow of the SLMC founder M.H.M.Ashraff yesterday refused to take part in a meeting with her rival Rauf Hakeem dashing hopes of any unity between the leadership. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 19:28:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo court says Hakeem,not Ashraff is head of NUA
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.07 PM SLT Wednesday,June 27,2001. The Colombo District Court today issued an interim injunction preventing Mrs.Ferial Ashraff from functioning as the leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) and said that Mr.Rauf Hakeem,the leader of the parent body the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC),was the leader of the NUA as per the constitution of the NUA.

Though the ruling can be challenged in the Court of Appeal,it cripples Mrs.Ashraff's ability to take action against the four NUA MPs,including Mr.Rauf Hakeem, who had defected from the government side.She cannot replace them.

However, Mr.Hakeem's action can cut both ways.Seven of the 11 SLMC MPs had fought the last elections as candidates of the Peoples' Alliance (PA).Out of these,three had crossed over to the opposition side with Mr.Hakeem.These three could be proceeded aainst by the PA General Secreatry,Mr.D.M.Jayaratne.A show cause notice could be given to them and if no satisfatory reply was obtained,they could be sacked and replaced by the next person in the PA list if the courts would sanction it.

Reconcilitation moves by both Mr.Hakeem and Mr.Jayaratne seem to have failed.Mr.Hakeem appointed Mrs.Ashraff as the chairperson of the SLMC and give her 72 hours to accept it or reject it.Mr.Jayaratne said that no punitive action would be taken against defectors from the PA.But Mrs.Ashraff spurned Mr.Hakeem's offer as an unattractive and inappropriate one.Political pundits expect the two Muslim factions to fight it out in the courts tooth and nail.
Published: Wed Jun 27 08:06:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Hakeem canít be leader of both SLMC and NUA ó Ferial
Island, 28 June 2001. Mrs. Ferial Ashraff expressed bewilderment that Mr. Hakeem was holding on to both Secretary General and leadership positions in the NUA, reacting to admonitions by SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem to refrain from presenting herself as the leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA). "I am still trying to get over the effect of Mr. Hakeem holding both positions in the NUA," she said. Mr. Hakeem in a letter to Mrs. Ashraff declared that he was the leader of NUA by virtue of his leadership in the SLMC and requested her to refrain from "unlawfully presenting herself as the leader of NUA." More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 22:37:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norwegian peace bid threatened by domestic turmoil
India Abroad, June 27. NORWAY'S bid to broker peace has become more tangled with Sri Lanka ruling out lifting of its ban on Tamil Tigers before negotiations amid domestic upheavals. Lifting the three-year-old ban would be "difficult and unwise", said a statement from President Chandrika Kumaratunga, days after the government had strongly hinted a temporary suspension of the ban. "The president explained at length and in detail the reasons which made it difficult and unwise for the government to lift the ban on the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)," the statement said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 08:01:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka political crisis takes steam out of Norway peace bid  -

Speaker leaves for India
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday June 27. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, today left for India on a five day official visit. Bandaranaike will meet with his Indian counterpart as well as preside over a ceremony at India's northern chandra gha.

Bandaranaike and his sister, President Chandrika Kumaratunge who has also gone abroad, at a time the government faces its most serious political crisis.
Published: Wed Jun 27 07:14:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka parliament speaker to visit India  -

Where Sri Lankans fear to tread
Asia Times, 28 June 2001. PIRIMANALANKULAM, Sri Lanka - Rolls and rolls of barbed wire glint in the morning sun as unarmed soldiers await the weary men, women and children straggling along the long gravel path through the no-man's land in this tense northern Sri Lanka village. Carrying a few clothes, bottles of treacle and squawking chickens, these people are being helped by the International Committee of the Red Cross as they cross into government-controlled territory from areas run by Tamil Tigers. "See the suffering the people have to go through," laments Father R Arulraja, a Roman Catholic priest who went to the "other" side to attend his brother's wedding. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 19:28:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President goes abroad - appoints deputy
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 27. Information Director, Ariya Rubesinghe said today that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge left the country this morning for an undisclosed location.

For the first time the President has appointed a stand-in, as the Peoples Alliance faces one of its most serious political crises following the defection of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to opposition ranks last week.

Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake will serve as Kumaratunge's deputy until her return.

Reports have speculated that the President left for a private visit to London this morning. Both the President's son and daughter are studying in the UK.

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: Wed Jun 27 07:14:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Wickremanayake sworn in as Lanka?s acting president  - Deccan Herald
Sri Lanka president appoints deputy  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka PM takes charge as President, speaker leave amid chaos  - Yahoo Asia
Kumaratunga leaves country, makes PM acting President  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka PM takes charge as President, speaker leave amid chaos  -

President on visit abroad , PM to act
CDN, 28 June 2001. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga left the island yesterday morning on a visit to the United Kingdom to attend the graduation ceremony of her daughter Yashodara. She will be spending her birthday on June 29 with her two children and will be back soon. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 22:43:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
S.Lanka president abroad, premier takes on crisis  - MSNBC
Lankan president leaves country unexpectedly  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka president travels abroad, appoints stand-in  - 123india

Five LTTE men killed: Lankan military
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Wednesday, June 27, 2001. Five LTTE rebels have been killed by Sri Lankan troops in northern Sri Lanka, the military said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 09:38:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka: a question of confidence
Asia Times, 28 June 2001. 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. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 19:33:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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

Asia-Pacific nations to discuss effects of globalisation
NDTV/MSNBC, 27 June 2001. Twenty-five Asia-Pacific nations, including India, will gather next month in Sri Lanka to address problems and challenges posed by globalisation. "The organisation will focus on regional trade and WTO issues. Challenges of information technology, e-commerce and e-government will be addressed," informed Colombo Plan Secretary General U Saratchandran. The meeting will open July 1 and be attended by officials from the countries' foreign ministries. More...
Published: Wed Jun 27 05:41:21 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

Related News Stories
Internal rifts add more chaos to Lanka politics  - Times of India
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, 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, 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, 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

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

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
Related News Stories
Seven Tamil Tiger rebels killed in Sri Lanka  -

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, 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

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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