The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 4, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 89

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
Supporters of the government accuse the opposition of favoring Tamil guerrillas
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 4.30pm SLT, July 04, 2001. Supporters of the government shout slogans in Colombo accusing the opposition of favoring Tamil guerrillas on Wednesday, July.4. Thousands of supporters of President Kumaratunga's government marched through the streets and blocked Lunch-time traffic on Wednesday. Meanwhile, at the parliament the government insisted that the it was not Willing to debate the no confidence motion against it this month and said it would agree to a date in August. However Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the motion be taken up on at the next meeting of parliament in the middle of this month. More... 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 Jul 4 06:47:06 EDT 2001


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Chandrika trying to put off emergency vote
Times of India, 5 July 2001 . Shying away from time the Sri Lankan government on Wednesday tried to buy time firstly, refusing to allow an opposition no-confidence motion to be debated in parliament this month and secondly, by looking to put off Friday's emergency vote which they have little chance of winning.If again on Friday the government and opposition are split on the date for the debate, Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, who is a UNP member and the brother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, will have to take the decision. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 21:15:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government to postpone emergency and no-confidence vote
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3 p.m. SLT Wednesday July 4. The government has decided to postpone the vote on the emergency regulations this Friday. Facing a massive political crisis the ruling People Alliance, today decided it could not risk a vote on extending the emergency regulations after the main opposition UNP and the JVP together with three other Tamil political parties publicly stated they would vote against the extension.

The PA, continues to insist that if the regulations are not extended the ban on the LTTE will be automatically revoked. With a minority vote bank in Parliament, the PA is now probing the legality of proscribing the Tigers under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Meanwhile, parliamentary Chief Whip, Richard Pathirana today caused a stir in the House, when he said the government could not accommodate a debate on the no faith motion until August this year.While opposition parliamentarians roared their disapproval, UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe vowed to push for the debate to begin by the 16th of this month. 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 Jul 4 05:20:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Shaky Sri Lanka government fights to delay no-confidence vote  - 123India.com
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Sri Lanka government battles to delay no-confidence vote  - 123India.com

Tamil parties urge SLMC to vote 'No' for ER
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.20 a.m. SLT Wednesday July 4. At least three Tamil political parties, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the Tamil United Liberation Front and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization have urged the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to vote against the extension of the emergency regulations this Friday.

The Tamil parties say that for the first time the strength of the opposition can be portrayed when it refuses to extend the regulations which political parties claim has targeted innocent Tamil civilians as well as opponents of the government.

The SLMC remain undecided on the issue while the party Leader, Rauf Hakeem and five others have left the country for Mecca on a religious pilgrimage. They are expected to return before the vote is taken on the regulation on Friday July 6.
Published: Wed Jul 4 05:20:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Lanka ticks off India and US for commenting on air raids
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.03 AM SLT Thursday July 5, 2001. Sri Lanka today ticked off India and the United States for criticising the June 30 air raids against LTTE positions in the Wanni and the Jaffna peninsula.

" These decisions are never easy to make.In making them the government must not be deterred by what political opponents and others,including other governments,might say.Each sovereign state is the best judge,the sole judge,of the dangers to its territorial integrity," Foreign Minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar said in an interview,the transcript of which was released by the Foreign Office here.

India had said that it was "greatly disappointed" with the air raids and reminded Sri Lanka that there was no alternative to peace.The US had expressed "concern" and told Sri Lanka that violence tended to beget violence.

Refuting the criticism that the air raids could derail the Norwegian backed peace process,Mr.Kadirgamar said:"The aerial bombing should not have a lasting impact on the peace process.The Sri Lankan government wishes the Government of Norway to remain actively engaged in the peace process and we have again urged the Government of Norway to take that process forward as best as it can and as soon as it can."

Mr.Kadirgamar further said that Norway was very much in the peace process and had recently appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,Mr.Raymond Johanssen, Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr.Jon Westborg,Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Mr.Erik Solheim and Executive Officer in the ministry,Ms.Kjersti Tromsdal,as the new team of facilitators.

Mr.Kadirgamar rebutted the LTTE's criticism that the air raids were meant to whip up Sinhalese nationalist sentiments which could be used by the government to ward off the threat posed by the no-confidence motion in parliament."The air raids had absolutely nothing to do with any political consideration except the national interest," he said.

The raids, he said, were meant to blunt a massive LTTE build up for an assault on Jaffna and capture it." It would have been folly of the highest order and a grave dereliction of duty on the part of the government to have ignored the evidence," the Foreign Minister said.He recalled how, in the past,the LTTE had secretly prepared for war while talking peace,and how it had suddenly launched attacks to scuttle the peace process.

Despite the treachery of the LTTE, the government was commitment to a peaceful settlement,Mr.Kadirgamar said:" We do not believe that a prolonged war is going to settle the problem that Sri Lanka has been facing for the last two decades.The Government of Sri Lanka is determined to go on with the peace process and believes that ultimately there will be a negotiated settlement."

Indicating that the government will not meet the LTTE's condition that the ban on it be lifted ahead of talks,M.Kadirgamar said:" The government again invites the LTTE to come to the negotiating table without any conditions and to commence negotiations in seriousness in order to discuss and resolve finally, the substantive issues involved in the conflict."
Published: Wed Jul 4 14:02:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Govt.may delay Emergency Proclamation to put off vote
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 2.05 PM SLT Wednesday July 4, 2001. The Sri Lankan government might delay the Proclamation of Emergency in order to avoid losing the vote on it in parliament scheduled for July 6,informed sources said.

The Emergency,which has a fixed time period of a month,has to be proclaimed afresh every month and then put to a debate and vote in parliament.This time round, this monthly ritual has not begun yet, touching off speculation that the debate and voting will be put off till the current political uncertainy clears and the government is in a position to win the vote.

The Peoples' Alliance (PA) government of Mrs.Chandrika Kumaratunga is very worried about getting defeated on the issue of the Emergency because if the Emergency goes,the ban on the LTTE goes too.And there is no alternative law under which this organisation, or any organisation for that matter,can be banned,no matter how much of a threat it may be to national security.

As things stand, government will get defeated if the break away seven member faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) finally decides to vote with the opposition and against the motion.The group has just come back from Mecca and is due to take a decision on friday,the day of the vote.

An MP belonging to the group said that much would depend on the kind of "offer" the government may make to it between now and the vote, thereby suggesting that a negotiated settlement is possible.In th afternoon,grapevine had it that a minister was holding talks with Mr.Rauff Hakeem.

The government is trying to win over the Muslims by getting Muslim clerics to give a call to Muslim MPs to support the Emergency and fight terrorism.It is going to be pointed out that the LTTE was banned because it bombed a religious shrine,the Dalada Maligawa.An Islamic delegation from Saudi Arabaia and Libya has met President Chandrika Kumaratunga and a statement supporting her government may be issued by them.Meanwhile, government has mobilised an influential monk,Ven.Elle Gunawansa, to talk to some leading Sri Lankan Maulavis or Islamic clerics and get them to issue statement today supporting the extension of the Emergency.

Government is also trying to build up public opinion in favour of the Emergency and retaining the ban on the LTTE.The ruling party trade unions led by minister Alavi Maulana today held a demonstration in Colombo in favour of the Emergency and against the opposition United National Party's (UNP's) bid to scuttle it." Unlike the Maoist JVP,the UNP has to think of popular electoral support, and it cannot get isolated on a vital national security issue of this sort," said Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon.
Published: Wed Jul 4 04:06:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Lanka divided over extension of emergency  - 123India.com

Four-member Norwegian team replaces Solheim in Sri Lanka peace bid
Yahoo, July 4. A four-member team led by Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Raymond Johannsen will revive a stalled peace bid between Colombo and Tamil separatists, the foreign ministry announced Wednesday. "The Norwegian team which will facilitate the conduct of the peace process will henceforth consist of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Raymond Johanssen, Norway's ambassador in Sri Lanka Jon Westborg, Mr. Erik Solheim and Ms. Kjersti Tromsdal, executive officer, Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs," said the Sri Lankan foreign ministry in a statement. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 16:47:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Norway makes fresh bid to revive Sri Lanka peace process  - 123India.com

Sri Lanka government shelves vote on emergency
MSNBC, Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK . Sri Lanka's minority government on Wednesday shelved plans to extend a state of emergency after the main opposition party said it would vote against the measure in parliament. Sri Lanka has been under almost continuous emergency rule since the island's ethnic war erupted in 1983, but the laws will lapse if they are not ratified by parliament each month. ''I have been informed that the emergency will not be taken up for debate as scheduled on Friday,'' said Dhammika Kitulgoda, secretary-general of parliament, adding no new date had been set. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said on Tuesday it would vote against the motion, raising the questions about whether the ruling Peoples' Alliance, which lost its parliamentary majority last month, would be able get the emergency extended. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 07:19:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt may re-impose Emergency and gain time to secure support
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 4.15 PM SLT Wednesday,July 4, 2001. The minority Peoples' Alliance (PA) may allow the Emergency to lapse on July 6, but only to re-impose it, informed sources say.Indeed,a re-imposed Emergency will have to be ratified by parliament within 10 days, but this process will give the beleagured goverment valuable time to garner support for the national security measure,they say.

There are hopes of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress being brought around.Efforts will also be made to make a political issue of the national security question and force the United National Party into taking a "nationalistic stance",Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon said.Buddhist monks and Islamic clerics are being mobilised in addition to trade unions and other sections of the people.
Published: Wed Jul 4 06:19:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Opposition party to veto emergency laws
Gulf News, july 4. In a major blow to the ruling People's Alliance (PA) facing an opposition initiated no-confidence motion, Sri Lanka's main opposition party announced it would veto tough emergency laws. The United National Party (UNP) said it would vote against the monthly extension of the state of emergency when it comes up for a vote this coming Friday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 19:10:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bukhatir confirms contribution to Sri Lanka stadium
Gulf News, july 4. Abdulrehman Bukhatir, chairman of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) confirmed that he has made a contribution to the development of the stadium in Pallekelle in the Kandy district of Sri Lanka."We have agreed to provide assistance for the promotion of cricket in Sri Lanka. In fact, we will not only be assisting in the setting up of the stadium, but also help Sri Lankan cricket board to have a cricket academy," remarked Bukhatir to Gulf News More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 19:12:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PLOTE member killed in Lanka
The Hindustan Times, 4 July. A SUSPECTED LTTE gunman shot dead a member of the Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) near Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka on Monday night, the Army said on Wednesday. Velu Raman Kumar, the victim, was going towards his house at Thekkilippankulam, seven km south east of Vavuniya town, when he was shot, a military situation report said. PLOTE has a history of bitter rivalry with the LTTE. Elsewhere in the island, eight LTTE guerrillas were killed in different incidents in the north and east in continuing skirmishes between the security forces and the rebels on Tuesday. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 09:53:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Amnesty calls for government accountability
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 a.m. SLT Wednesday July 4. Amnesty International today called for the government of Sri Lanka to probe the disappearances of a number of individuals in Vavuniya. The human rights organization alleges that a Tamil political party, the Peoples Liberation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) maybe guilty of human rights violations in the northern town of Vavuniya including being the cause of many persons gone missing.

AI has faulted the government for harbouring these paramilitary forces who are allowed to carry out extrajudicial activities minus any accountability.

The IA statement follows in the wake of the United States expressing concern over the government's decision to renew aerial bomb attacks on Tiger strongholds in the northern region.

The US maintains that while its respects a country's right to protect its territorial integrity, "violence only begets violence" and that such a move will only serve to halt an already limping peace process.

The government has justified its decision to carry out military offensives against the LTTE, claiming the Tigers were consolidating forces to launch an attack on Jaffna. 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 Jul 4 05:20:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Amnesty Intl accuses PLOTE of training Lankan children in arms  - Press Trust of India
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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Sri Lanka -- Government must investigate paramilitary gro...  - Nothern Light

Government refuses to debate no confidence motion this month
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1325 slt 04.07.01. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake today insisted that the government was not willing to debate the no confidence motion against it this month and said it would agree to a date in August. However Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the motion be taken up on at the next meeting of parliament in the middle of this month. With no agreement at the party leaders meeting to finalise parliament business with Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, another meeting was scheduled for Friday.

end
Published: Wed Jul 4 03:35:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lankan economy heads for more trouble amid political chaos
123India.com, Jul 04 2001 13:18 IST. COLOMBO, July 4 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's war-battered economy is headed for more trouble because of political instability and a severe energy shortage, the central bank said here Wednesday. Economic growth in the first quarter of this year was sharply lower at 1.3 percent from a year earlier compared with 6.6 percent in the same period last year, bank officials said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 04:51:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Amnesty demands inquiry into Sri Lanka disappearances
123India.com, Jul 04 2001 07:45 IST. Amnesty International, the human rights watch dog, has asked Sri Lanka to urgently investigate disappearances and torture linked to paramilitary groups in the island's north. In a statement received here Wednesday, Amnesty accused a pro-government Tamil group, the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), of carrying out atrocities in the Vavuniya region. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 00:22:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

CBI team on trail of LTTE financier KP
TOI, July 4. A CBI team was in New Zealand and Australia recently to find out the whereabouts of KP, the mysterious financier of LTTE chief Prabhakaran.This was in connection with the 1991 assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. CBI investigation have revealed that KP arranged the explosives and devices that killed Rajiv Gandhi. The team interrogated several persons of Indian origin in these two countries who were allegedly close to KP. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 23:19:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US joins India in disapproving Lankan air raids
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 9.05 PM SLT,Tuesday,July 3,2001. Close on the heels of India's expression of "great disappointment", the United States today expressed its "concern" over of the air raids against LTTE positions in the Jaffna peninsula.

While India said that there was no alternative to peace,the United States said today that violence had a tendency to beget violence and reiterated its "strong" support to the Norwegian brokered peace process.

A statement issued by the US embassy in Colombo said:" We have noted with concern the Sri Lankan government's decision over the weekend to bomb LTTE positions in the Jaffna peninsula.While we respect the right of any nation to defend its territorial integrity,it is also true that violence begets violence."

Recalling Secretary of State Gen.Colin Powell's statement in May,the embassy said that the US would "continue to strongly support Norway's attempt to facilitate peaceful negotiations."
Published: Tue Jul 3 11:10:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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U.S. criticises Sri Lankan air strikes  - MSNBC

President may issue fresh proclamation declaring emergency
The Island, July 4. In the event the state of emergency is defeated in Parliament on Friday, the President is empowered to issue a fresh proclamation declaring an emergency islandwide, UNP sources said yesterday.They said that a fresh proclamation as the declaration of the emergency would keep the ban on the LTTE intact and those held in detention under emergency regulations would be further detained. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 22:24:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP to vote against the extension of the emergency regulations
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1 p.m. SLT Tuesday July 3. The United National Party decided today that it will vote against the extension of the emergency regulations by a further one month, when it is taken up for voting this Friday July 6.

The UNP took this decision after meeting with its parliamentary working committee group this morning in the House. The UNP says it will call for the government to step down in the event it is defeated in its attempt to extend the emergency regulations. 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 Jul 3 03:10:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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UNP to vote against emergency extension, asks govt to quit  - Press Trust of India
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PA denies LTTE banned under PTA  - Tamilnet
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Sri Lanka Opposition to Vote Against Extension of Emergency Laws  - Nothern Light
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Sri Lanka opposition moves to lift emergency laws  - 123India.com

Vote to continue LTTE ban: Lanka
chennaionline, july 4. Sri Lanka’s minority government has warned the opposition that if Emergency in the country is not extended by a parliamentary vote this Friday, it will mean the automatic lifting of the ban on the LTTE.The JVP, which also opposes lifting of the ban on LTTE, argues that Emergency regulations are being abused to harass the people and political opponents. The party also claims that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is enough to keep the LTTE beyond the pale of law.However, the government statement said the PTA had no provisions to declare an organisation a terrorist outfit, and LTTE was banned only under Emergency rules. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 21:43:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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UNP told to back extension of emergency by house vote  - Asian Age

Sri Lankan Government Warns Consequences of Lifting Emergency Laws
Nothern Light, Wednesday, July 04, 2001 12:30 AM EST . The Sri Lankan government warned on Wednesday that the war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels will be adversely affected and vital installations in the country will be in danger if the extension of emergency regulations fail to be passed in Parliament on Friday, the state-run Daily News said. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 03:02:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Re-birth monk gives new life to Sri Lanka's national tree
123India.com, Jul 04 2001 07:31 IST. A saffron-robed Buddhist monk who went searching for his roots from a previous incarnation stumbled upon a forest, a pink quartz mountain and ancient temple ruins. Wanawasi Rahula, 47, built a tree house and started life as a hermit in a vast forest near the historic temple town of Dambulla to master what he called skills of tracing his earlier births. More...
Published: Wed Jul 4 02:59:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India uncovers ancient Bhuddist marvel
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 00:22 GMT 01:22 UK . Archeologists in India say they have excavated one of the world's tallest Buddhist stupas in the eastern state of Bihar. The 32-metre (104-foot) high dome-shaped memorial shrine is slightly taller than the famous stupa in the Borobudur complex in Java, Indonesia. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 22:11:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A US offer Sri Lanka might just refuse
AsiaTimes , july 4. Green groups are stridently opposing a United States proposal to swap debt with a program to conserve Sri Lanka's rainforest, accusing the West of trying to control and then spirit away the country's resources. "You touch a rainforest and you destroy it," Nihal Fernando, a longtime wildlife photographer and conservationist complained as government politicians were at pains to explain that no deal has been signed with US authorities despite the tempting offer to write off debts. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 21:19:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Double wicket cricket tourney to be held in USA
TOI, july 2. Zee-TV's very first Double Wicket Cricket Championship will bring superstars like Waseem Akhram, Arjuna Ranatunga and Vinod Kambli to picturesque Lincoln Park West for a weekend-long marathon July 13-15. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 21:28:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Visiting students face tougher time over study visas
smh.com, july 4. Prospective students from China, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Pakistan undergo tougher tests than anyone else to enter the country under new regulations which were introduced on Sunday.The Federal Government has created a ranking of countries, based on both overstay rates of past foreign students in addition to visa fraud, to determine who should face a harder time to get into the country. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 21:23:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

18 Years of war: Sri Lanka on high alert, Jaffna may be target
Asian Age, 04 July 2001. Extra police were stationed around the capital on high alert on Tuesday as Sri Lanka prepares to mark 18 years of warfare that have killed more than 63,000 people. “We have tightened security as July is a crucial month,” said Mr Ratnaweera Ignatius, Colombo’s inspector-general of police. Rebels fighting for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority have set off bombs in the capital during previous anniversaries of the war’s beginning, in July 1983. On July 5 of that year the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam drove an explosives-laden truck into a northern Army camp, killing nearly 40 soldiers. On July 23, rebels ambushed and killed 13 soldiers. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 17:10:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka On High Alert For Civil War Anniversary In July  - yahoo

Sri Lanka claims air attack on Tamil separatists a success
123India.com, Jul 03 2001 14:50 IST. COLOMBO, July 3 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government claimed success Tuesday for a two-day air offensive against Tamil rebels even as the guerrillas warned the attacks would permanently damage peace prospects. The government said a total of 19 targets of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were destroyed during the weekend bombing sorties in and around the Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 07:39:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Celltel Lanka Launches SMS In Natl Language
yahoo, July 3. Sri Lanka's private cellular telephone operator, Celltel Lanka Ltd., Tuesday launched Short Message Services, or SMS, in the national Sinhala language for the benefit of its customers. The company said the new feature, a first in the country, was developed by local software developer WaveNET Ltd. with which Celltel has a strategic partnership. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 12:09:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers free civilian captive
MSNBC, July 3. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels freed a civilian captive on Tuesday, the latest in series of prisoner releases this year. ''One civilian has been released to us in (the northern region of) Wanni and the transfer is still in progress,'' said Harasha Gunawardene, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. More...
Published: Tue Jul 3 11:45:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP or SLMC will determine fate of Emergency
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 3.45 PM SLT,Tuesday,July 3,2001. With the United National Party (UNP) having made up its mind to vote against the extension of the Emergency on July 6, the latter's fate is now in the hands of the seven member Hakeem faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the ten member Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Without the UNP, JVP and SLMC,the motion will get 109 ( the single member Sihala Urumaya is expected to vote for the motion ) for and 114 against, and will get defeated.If the SLMC or the JVP votes for the motion, it will be carried.There is a lot speculation about what the JVP will do, with both the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) and the UNP wooing it.The SLMC too has not made up its mind.But a senior leader and MP told this correspondent that the party was inclined to vote for the motion "in the national interest."

The UNP,which at one time wanted to abstain from voting to enable the motion to be carried (again in the "national interest" ),is now saying that the Emergency is not necessary to fight terrorism."The Sixth Amendment is enough to fight secessionists," said a senior MP."The Prevention of Terrorism Act will suffice," said another.But legal opinion is that both provisions are inadequate.The Sixth Amendment provides for denial of civic rights to separatists but has no provision for arrest,detention,movement restrictions,embargoes etc.

Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon and S.L.Gunasekara PC point out that only the Emergency Regulations give the state (the armed forces as well as the police),adequate powers to search,detain,restrain and restrict the movement of persons and materials so necessary to contain terrorism." Also, there is no law other than the Emergency Regulations under which an organisation can be banned," Mr.Weerakoon pointed out."The lifting of the Emerengcy will give the LTTE a free run of the country and the seas around it," added Mr.Gunasekara.

According to an All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) leader,the LTTE could be banned under the PTA but apparently this is not correct.

"The government could theoretically re-impose the Emergency immediately after a defeat.But it would be ridiculous to do that.Alternatively, the government could enact suitable fresh legislation.But this will take atleast two months.What we are hoping will happen is that public pressure will eventually force the UNP to support the motion," Mr.Weerakoon said.
Published: Tue Jul 3 05:46:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sriyani Kulawansa to compete in UK
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 03/07/01 1910 GMT. Sri Lanka’s hurdle queen Sriyani Kulawansa is to take part in an International Athletics Competition in Loughborough, Leicestershire tomorrow. Ms. Kulawansa, who won the silver medal in 1998 Commonwealth Games and the bronze medal in Asian games the same year is to have a two weeks training session with world champion Colin Jackson’s coach Malcolm Arnold, after the meet.
Published: Tue Jul 3 15:10:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Extension of emergency regulations hangs in the balance
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 3. Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe said yesterday that if the government is unable to collect a majority vote in order to pass the State of Emergency in the country, the Peoples Alliance should resign and hand-over the administration to a political party with a majority.

Wickremasinghe was speaking at a United National Party rally held at Nugegoda last evening when he made these comments.

The debate on the extension of the emergency regulations is to be taken up in Parliament for voting this Friday, July 6.

Tamil political parties including the TELO, TULF and ACTC today denied media reports that it had in anyway influenced the United National Party on its stand with regard to the emergency regulations. The Tamil parties claim they cannot and will not support the extension of the emergency regulations and that the groups have not lobbied the UNP to adopt the same stand.

Parliament is in fact divided on the issue of extending the emergency regulations in the country which lend wide powers to the police and armed forces to arrest and detain any individual suspected to have links with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Peoples Alliance insists that if the emergency is not extended, the ban on the LTTE will automatically be revoked. According to the State, the Tigers were banned under the Emergency Regulations on January 27, 1998, and not under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Parliamentary opposition groups and Tamil political parties allege that the State has grossly abused the emergency regulations and carry out widespread incidents of abuse and torture against innocent Tamil civilians.

The PA argues that if the emergency is not extended by parliament the security forces will have to move back into barracks. The Emergency, the PA says has enabled the deployment of the Army, Navy and Police to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, even as Sri Lanka Air Force bomber jets renewed its attacks on Tiger strongholds, the LTTE has slammed the government for adopting an aggressive escalation in military offensives, claiming the State is resorting to this ploy in order to play to Sinhala extremists as the government faces a no faith motion against its administration.

The government has rejected the Tiger claim asserting that the air strikes are necessary as the LTTE, it says, is preparing a major assault on Jaffna. The government in a statement said that "we have been compelled to act in self-defence to safeguard the territorial and integrity of the State."

Even as the political bickering intensifies between the various factions, the Norwegian initiated peace process is at a complete standstill, with both Indian and western diplomats expressing grave concerns with regard to Sri Lanka's lack of progress in pushing for a negotiated solution.
Published: Tue Jul 3 03:10:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Vote against Emergency will mean lifting of LTTE ban: Govt  - Press Trust of India

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