The Lanka Academic

JUNE 29, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 84

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
UNP to help govt retain Emergency
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.03 AM SLT Saturday June 30, 2001. The United National Party (UNP),which is straining every nerve to topple the Peoples' Alliance (PA) government through a motion of no-confidence in parliament, will nevertheless help the government extend the State of Emergency, according to a senior party leader and MP.He said that the UNP would abstain from voting on the motion to extend the State of Emergency when it takes place on July 6.

Though the UNP has taken the help of the Tamil parties singing the LTTE tune to topple the government,it does not want to be party to lifting of the Emergency.This is because lifting of the Emergency would automatically lead to the lifting of the ban on the LTTE.The LTTE was banned under the Emergency Regulations.At no time has the UNP entertained thoughts of getting the ban lifted.In fact, when President Chandrika Kumaratunga accused the UNP leader Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe of asking for the de-proscription of the LTTE during their one to one meeting last week,Mr.Wickremesinghe described the charge as a canard.

Although the UNP has unabashedly taken the help of the pro-LTTE Tamil parties like TELO and ACTC,it does not want to go the whole hog and support all their demands.The UNP,being a mainstream Sinhala dominated party like the SLFP,cannot afford to ignore the dominant sentiments in the majority Sinhala Buddhist community.People with political sense would say that the issue of lifting the ban on the LTTE is a very sensitive one,especially because the ban was imposed because the LTTE brazenly and pre-meditatedly hurt the sentiments of the Sinhala Buddhists by bombing the holiest of the holy Buddhist shrine, the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy in 1998.

If because of its stance in parliament, the Emergency could not be retained, and if as a result, the ban on the LTTE had to be lifted,the UNP will have to pay a heavy political price.The immediate consequence would of course be the floundering of its move to topple the government through a no-trust motion.

At any rate, any move to prevent the continuation of the Emergency is not going to have the support of the UNP's new bedfellow, the Rauf Hakeem faction of the SLMC."In the national interest the SLMC will support the continuation of the Emergency," said Mr.Noordeen Mashoor,an SLMC MP who had defected to the opposition with Mr.Hakeem.

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: Fri Jun 29 14:09:33 EDT 2001

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Chandrika expected to return by Sunday
Times of India, 30 June 2001 . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to return to the island by Sunday and one of her first tasks as she arrives will be to meet parliamentarians of her weakened party to discuss their chances when the opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion comes in for vote.Kumaratunga will use the upcoming meeting to test the pulse of her MPs and her main aim will be to coax all of them to stick with the government. Trying to keep all her MPs happy may result in doling out more ministerial posts which is likely to see her 44-member cabinet grow bigger. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 23:21:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Karunanidhi In Custody
Outlook India, june 29. Amidst high drama, DMK chief M Karunanidhi was roughed up by police and arrested at his house around 1.45 a.m. Karunanidhi was physically lifted by the police and he was screaming that police was attempting to kill him. He was dragged down the stairs of his house. As he protested against the arrest, one of the police officers pushed him down, DMK sources alleged. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 22:38:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika turns 56 in London
chennaionline, june 29. Far away from the din of a political crisis back home, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today celebrated her 56th birthday in London in the company of her daughter and son.Chandrika, who left the country suddenly two days ago after naming Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake as acting President, is expected to return in a day or two, official sources here said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 22:37:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PA,UNP leaders discuss formation of united Sinhala party
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 11.33 PM SLT Friday June 29,2001. Even as the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) is under seige with the opposition United National Party (UNP) pressing a motion of no-confidence against it,some top leaders of the two outfits are busy discussing the prospect of forming a united Sinhala party to be named the United Sri Lanka Party (USLP).

A top leader of the PA revealed that those from the PA who were participating in the informal discussions were drawn mainly from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP),the principal constituent of the PA." Powerful sections of the SLFP and the UNP are of the view that it is time the Sinhalese banded together to shake off the dependence on the parties of the minorities.Many Sinhalese outside these two parties share this view as they believe that unless the Sinhalese consolidate themselves politically, it will be difficult to maintain their primacy,identity and culture.Buddhist monks and university dons are lending respectability to the move," the PA leader said.

However,leaders at the apex of the SLFP and the UNP are not part of this move.President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who heads the SLFP,will not endorse the move,though she had told a gathering in Nittambuwa recently that she would not let down the majority community and would protect its interests against the extremist sections of the minorities.The UNP's chief,Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe,had categorically stated that he would not support a "Sinhala hegemonistic National Government." The PA leader who spoke to this correspondent also said that a Sinhalese consolidation would only sharpen the alienation of the minorities and "would not be good for the country."

There is little chance of such a consolidation taking place in the immediate future because the PA (read SLFP) and the UNP are currently at daggers drawn over the no-trust motion.The UNP's top brass are fully preoccupied with toppling the government with the help of the Tamil parties and the extremist section of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).The UNP's leadership believes that the foremost task now is to capture power and bring about some democratic reforms which would help it come to power in the next elections.The ruling PA,on its part,is busy painting the UNP as being pro-LTTE,unabashedly promoting communal extremists like Rauf Hakeem of the SLMC.

But political analysts say that with the splintering of votes due to the declining popularity of both the PA (SLFP) and the UNP,smaller parties and the parties of the minorities are likely to appear more and more in the foreground.This would,in turn, strengthen the argument for Sinhala consolidation.Furthermore,the Sinhala oriented and radical leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is gaining ground.According to a Colombo university survey, the JVP's support base has expanded from 12% to 17% between the last parliamentary elections and April this year,while there has been a marginal decline in the support bases of the PA and the UNP.

With the JVP beginning to pose a challenge from an ultra-nationalist (that is,Sinhala) stand point,the mainstream moderate parties might, in course of time,feel constrained to sing a Sinhala radical tune themselves.

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: Fri Jun 29 13:33:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE ban will be lifted automatically?
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 29/06/01 1645 GMT. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) will vote against the emergency regulations further fuelling the current political turmoil, a senior UNP leader hinted. As the party has earlier also voted against the emergency regulations, it will not be a new move to topple the government, party's assistant leader Gamini Athukorale told BBC's Sandeshaya. Mr. Athukorale was commenting on the Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon's claim that in case the emergency extension bill is not passed, it will automatically lift the ban on the Tamil Tigers. He accused the government of playing the "pro-LTTE" card against his party to mislead the mass in the South.

The UNP and the PA were having secret talks to form a national government, Sri Lanka's new king maker Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna's propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa was quoted in the Daily Mirror. "We categorically declined to join with PA to form a government of national unity, further enlarging the 44-member cabinet" he said.
Published: Fri Jun 29 12:49:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil rape protest
BBC South Asia, Friday, 29 June, 2001, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK . Tamil opposition parties in Sri Lanka have called for a day of protest next Friday agaist what they say are the increasing number of gang rapes of minority Tamil women by the security forces. The Tamil and Muslim parties say nine-tenths of rape cases go unreported for fear of reprisals and social stigma. The parties want the government to change the law to deny bail to alleged rapists and introduce the death penalty for gang rape. 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: Fri Jun 29 13:20:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Five rebels, one civilian killed in Sri Lanka
Times of India, june 30. Government troops shot to death five Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's northeast in sporadic confrontations and rebels killed one civilian, said a government spokesman on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 23:22:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government minister warns of unrest if the opposition topples the government
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1755 slt 29.06.01. The Minister Samurdhi and Parliamentary Affairs and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party S.B.Dissanaake has warned that the people would take to the streets if the opposition topples the government. In an interview with the state media, the minister said if the opposition defeats the extension of emergency regulations, it would create a major crisis in the country with the armed forces not been able to continue the war. He said the government was confident of retaining power since the executive president would continue to be President Kumaratunga.

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: Fri Jun 29 08:33:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka warns civil unrest over opposition moves  -

Opposition finalise draft on media commission
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1800 slt 29.06.01. The Opposition parties are in the process of finalising the independent media commission to run the state controlled media. A draft bill is been circulated among civil society groups for comment. The draft bill is expected to be tabled in parliament along with the four other independent commissions for the Police, Judiciary, Administrative service and the Elections Commission. The JVP proposed the establishment of an independent media commission to run e state media as part of the democratic reforms programme of the opposition.
Published: Fri Jun 29 08:33:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Pro-Govt Grp Protests Against Pvt TV Network
yahoo, june 29. A pro-government group demonstrated against Sri Lanka's largest private media company Friday, accusing it of funding an opposition campaign to defeat the ruling coalition in an upcoming confidence vote in Parliament. More than 100 people shouted slogans and waved banners against the Maharaja Organization, which owns several television and radio stations, accusing it of bribing ruling party lawmakers to vote against the government in the mid-July vote More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 22:42:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Pro government group demonstrate outside private TV and radio station  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Award winning writer dies
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1812 slt 29.06.01. Award winning writer Kulasiri Fonseka passed away today. Mr.Fonseka penned 13 novels and one short story. He was also a prolific translate of books and articles from English to sinhala.
Published: Fri Jun 29 08:33:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Electricity cuts to be introduced from monday.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The Government is to introduce electricity cuts from Monday. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said one and a half hour power cuts will be introduced through out the country from Monday. The Board said essential services such as hospitals and water supply centers would be exempted from the power cuts. The CEB said the power cuts have to be introduced due to lack of adequate power generation capacity in the hydro power centers due to low rain fall.
Published: Fri Jun 29 08:33:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka's SLMC suspends dissidents
TOI, 29 June 2001. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has suspended dissident leader Ferial Ashraff and three MPs supporting her decision to remain loyal to the ruling People's Alliance, even after the party withdrew support to the government. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party's high command on Wednesday, an SLMC spokesman said. SLMC's working committee had earlier recommended disciplinary action against the four dissidents, but party leader Rauff Hakeem delayed the action for three days in a conciliation attempt. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 08:30:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No-trust motion to be taken up in Sri Lanka
The Hindustan Times, June 29. N OPPOSITION sponsored no-trust motion against the Peoples Alliance government in Sri Lanka will be taken up for debate on July 16 and voting may take place on July 19, acting President and Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has announced. "The no-confidence motion will definitely be debated in Parliament from July 16 to 19," Wickremanayake said at a Buddhist function near Colombo on Thursday. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 08:31:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Opposition to present Bill in Parliament to set up five independent commissions  - Island

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
S.Lanka Sets Date for Debate on No-confidence Motion Against Govt  - Nothern Light

CEB monopoly to be broken
CDN, 29 June. The Government will implement a major reforms programme in the power sector within the next three years where the monopoly of the Ceylon Electricity Board will be broken, CEB General Manager D.C. Wijeratne told the 'Daily News' on Wednesday. By this method, there will be new legislation presented in Parliament where through a new Electricity Act where there will be three companies for power generation, four companies for distribution and another for transmission, he said. The new companies will be wholly owned by the Government and there is a possibility of them being divested to the private sector at a future date, he said. This process will enable the country to meet the future power demands which is gradually growing at an annual rate of eight, he said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 05:55:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Peacock feathers netted before Sri Lanka take off, Jun 29 2001 11:51 IST. COLOMBO, June 29 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's customs officials have seized some 1,840 peacock feathers that were due to be smuggled out of the island disguised as snake-gourd, a press report here said Friday. The colourful feathers were detected at the airport just before they were to be flown to London on Thursday, the Sinhalese-language Lankadeepa newspaper reported. More...
Published: Fri Jun 29 04:08:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

Kumaratunga will return soon to tackle crisis
Deccan Herald, 29 June. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who left for London on Wednesday, will be back soon, the state media reported today, ending speculation about the duration of her stay abroad in the present context of political uncertainty. The President, who will be turning 56 tomorrow, 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.

Published: Fri Jun 29 03:46:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Chandrika in UK for daughter's graduation  - The Pioneer
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

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