The Lanka Academic

JUNE 28, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 83

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
Acting President sets dates for No-Confidence motion
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 28/06/01. The No confidence motion against the government will be debated on the 16th, 17th and 18th of July, acting President and the Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said today.Speaking at a ceremony in Piliyandala Mr. Wickramanayake publicly announced the debating dates of the motion, which was tabled by the main opposition United National Party with some other opposition parties.
Published: Thu Jun 28 11:56:16 EDT 2001

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Lankan Govt unleashes UNP bashing campaign
Times of India, 29 June 2001 . Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP), which is trying to topple the government with a no-confidence motion in Parliament, is facing a barrage of nationalist attacks by the government branding their minority backing as a sign of support to the LTTE.The government, annoyed by the support the UNP has commanded from Tamil parties, is trying to tarnish the party's image amongst the majority Sinhala community. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 17:09:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika in UK for daughter's graduation
The Pioneer, june 29. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who left for London on Wednesday, will be back soon, the state media reported on Thursday, ending speculation about the duration of her stay abroad in the present context of political uncertainty. The President, who will be turning 56 on Friday, has gone to London to attend the graduation ceremony of her daughter Yashodara who is studying there. Ms Kumaratunga will be spending her birthday with her two children and will be back soon, probably next week, the reports said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 14:45:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
India refrains from commenting on developments in Sri Lanka  - Press Trust of India
Kumaratunga visits Cambridge  - BBC South Asia

Ratnasiri will not let opposition dictate terms to govt.
The Island, june 29. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, exercising powers of the Office of the President yesterday ruled out the possibility of the PA co-operating with the UNP to tackle country’s problems while it is under threat. In an obvious reference to the UNP sponsored no-trust motion against the government, the Prime Minister vowed that instead of co-operating with the opposition, the government has no option but to overcome the threat with whatever means More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 23:39:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP-TELO MOU on lifting ban on LTTE a "vicious fabrication"
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.30 PM SLT Thursday June 28,2001. There is no Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the United National Party (UNP) saying that in return for TELO's support to the no-trust motion,a UNP led successor government will lift the ban on the LTTE,according to the TELO spokesman,Mr.Sri Kantha.

"It is a mischievous and vicious fabrication. There is no MOU.Our decision to vote against the government was taken independently of the UNP," he said.

According to Mr.Sri Kantha some persons representing the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) had approached him for an understanding,but he had rejected the overtures."The Tamils are so fed up of the PA that they will not support it even if it gives them the moon on a silver platter," the TELO leader declared.

The state owned media and some ministers had been going to town declaring that as per a MOU between the UNP and TELO,the ban on the LTTE should be lifted.To play to the Sinhala hardliner gallery,the PA has been painting the UNP as being pro-LTTE.Even the Presidential Secretariat accued UNP chief,Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe,of asking for the de-proscription of the LTTE in the one to one meeting he had with President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week.

But, as a matter of fact, the UNP has no plans to lift the ban on the LTTE.It does not want to talk about it for fear of alienating the Sinhala Buddhist constituency which associates the ban with the LTTE's bombing of the holiest of the holy Dalada Maligawa shrine in Kandy in 1998.

In fact,the UNP will see to it that the Emergency is renewed when it comes up for voting in parliament on July 6." We will abstain and the motion will be carried," a top rung UNP leader said.If the Emergency is renewed,the ban on the LTTE will remain because the ban is based on Emergency Regulations.

But,as usual, the Tamil parties will vote against the renewal.According to Batticaloa TULF MP,Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham,the mainstream Sinhala Buddhist parties will show their true "anti-Tamil" colour in the voting on July 6.

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: Thu Jun 28 04:44:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil Rebels Execute Two Civilians Accused of Spaying
Nothern Light, Thursday, June 28, 2001 11:34 AM EST . Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels executed two civilian in the east of the country on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels detained the two civilians, who were apprehended in Batticaloa allegedly giving information to government forces, the ministry said. "Both have been shot through their heads. One of the victims had been tied to a tamarind tree before the execution and LTTE has summoned all the civilians in the area to witness this," the ministry stated. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 13:18:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says rebels executed two civilians  - MSNBC
Tamil Tiger rebels kill two civilians for spying  - Press Trust of India

Eight countries agree to turtle protection programs in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia
ABCNews, june 28. Eight countries, including the United States, have agreed to back programs protecting six sea turtle species in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian waters, the U.N. Environment Program said Thursday. The U.S. and the other countries Australia, Comoros, Iran, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tanzania agreed to 24 programs and 105 projects to help reverse the decline of the turtles. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 23:35:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE mollifies protesting journalist
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.50 PM SLT,Thursday,June 28, 2001. Perhaps for the first time in its history,the LTTE has deigned to mollify an independent Tamil journalist who had threatened to sit on fast in front of the outfit's office in London in full view of the world media,if its goons did not stop harassing him.

A top LTTE political wing leader spoke to Mr.P.Seevagan,the editor of "Vaan Murasu", from Wanni and told him that the charge would be investigated and action taken.The leader,who could not be named,requested Mr.Seevagan to give up his plan to sit on a day's protest fast." He was very cordial and I acceeded to his request," Mr.Seevagan said.

The journalist had complained that the LTTE's goons kept seizing copies of the independent Tamil monthly from kiosks in Switzerland and threatening its news agents.Protests to the LTTE's leadership both in Switzerland and London fell on deaf ears and Mr.Seevagan was forced to announce a protest fast and an international campaign."Vaan Murasu" with its wide range of views and fearless comment was selling 20,000 copies in Europe and was posing a threat to the pro-LTTE publications like "Eela Murasu", Mr.Seevagan said.Other independent journalists had been threatened before and they had caved in,he said.

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: Thu Jun 28 09:18:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India to help Sri lanka in computerisation of courts
south nexus, june 26. India 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. Weerakoon sought India's cooperation in computerisation of courts in his country so that litigants could have the knowledge of listing of cases, judgements, proceedings as well as filing of cases online, as had been done in Supreme Court here. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 22:53:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna hospital faces drugs crisis
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK . The hospital in Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka is suffering from a chronic shortage of life-saving drugs. The director of the hospital says they have had stop doing X-rays because the authorities have prevented them from bringing in fresh supplies of the solution used to develop the films. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 07:16:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna phone service to improve
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK . Officials of Sri Lankan Telecom say that telephone links with the northern town of Jaffna will improve drastically from November when crucial new equipment is installed. At present, less than 200 people can talk to Jaffna at any one time and its's virtually impossible to get through during the daytime.Sri Lanka Telecom said that a key relay point was lost and some equipment removed by rebels during last year's fighting at Elephant Pass. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 11:55:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka set for black outs amid energy crisis
123india, june 28. Sri Lanka's electricity monopoly is to enforce nationwide power cuts from Monday in a bid to save energy and prevent a total blackout, officials said Thursday.The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said it will enforce 90 minute power cuts to conserve water in hydro-electricity generating reservoirs which are running dangerously low because monsoon rains failed. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 00:08:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S.Lanka opposition says will win no-confidence vote
MSNBC, 28 June. Several members of the ruling Peoples' Alliance, which lost its majority in parliament last week after the defection of a key ally, had agreed to vote with the opposition, a spokesman for the United National Party (UNP) told a news conference. ''We will definitely win because we now have enough votes,'' said a UNP lawmaker Karunasna Koddituwakku, who declined name the defectors or say how many there were. The alliance has 109 seats in the 225-member house, including five members of a small Tamil party, while the combined opposition has 115 seats, not counting the speaker, a UNP member who cannot vote. The crisis, triggered by the defection of seven lawmakers of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, has turned the political spotlight on the Marxist Peoples' Liberation Front (JVP) whose 10 lawmakers can merely by abstaining cause the no-confidence vote to fail. ''We would welcome the JVP, but we can still get 113 votes without them,'' said Koddituwakku. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 07:51:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP to press for early date to take up no-trust motion
Asian Age, 28 June 2001. Sri Lanka’s Opposition United National Party will press for an early date for the parliamentary debate on its no-confidence motion against the Peoples Alliance government, party sources said on Wednesday. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 05:41:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Census may not show Lanka's actual Tamil population
Times of India (Breaking News), 28 June 2001. Next month's census will probably not give an accurate count of the minority Tamil population because rebels who want to secede will not allow enumerators into certain parts of this island nation, the census director said on Thursday. Sri Lanka's first national census in 20 years is to be held July 17, but areas in the north and east where the Tamil secessionist guerrillas operate are likely to be left out, Director General of Census and Statistics AGW Nanayakkara said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 03:17:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan women angry over Sharjah episode
India Abroad, 28 June 2001. SRI Lanka's foreign employment bureau is under attack for not coming to the aid of 68 women factory workers when they were stranded in Sharjah. The women were holed up in a hostel there without food, money or visas after the owners of a garment factory where they were employed absconded, some of the workers told The Daily Mirror here. The bureau helped some of the women to return to Sri Lanka after they fell ill. But the others said the bureau virtually abandoned them. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 05:29:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Asian Age, 28 June 2001. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga shot down a suggestion from Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last week that the three-year ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam be lifted, her office said on Wednesday. “The President explained at length and in detail, the reasons which made is difficult and unwise for the government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” a statement from Ms Kumaratunga’s office said. More...
Published: Thu Jun 28 05:37:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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 can’t be leader of both SLMC and NUA — 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

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

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