The Lanka Academic

JULY 5, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 90

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
Sri Lankan anti-terrorism laws still need MPs' vote: experts, Jul 05 2001 19:48 IST. COLOMBO, July 5 (AFP) - The call on security forces to maintain public order in Sri Lanka following the end of emergency rule Thursday will still require parliamentary approval, legal experts said. Lawyers said the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Public Security Ordinance would also require parliamentary ratification, although unlike the emergency laws they need not go before the legislature every month. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 12:06:25 EDT 2001
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PSO and PTA invoked to ban LTTE and beef up security
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 5.25 PM SLT Thursday July 5, 2001. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today re-imposed the ban on the LTTE,declared every district in the island as a security area,mobilised the armed forces to maintain law and order and acquired powers to restrict the movement and supply of goods and services, by invoking the Public Security Ordinance (PSO) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Now, the ban on the LTTE need not be ratified by parliament because it has been imposed under the PTA, an act already passed by parliament.The government has also doubly fortified itself by saying that the action taken cannot be questioned in a court of law.

Government had to resort to the PSO and the PTA because the State of Emergency,under which it was tackling LTTE terrorism,had lapsed and the Peoples' Alliance government had no parliamentary majority to get it ratified again.Earlier,the ban on the LTTE and other restrictive security measures were subject to ratification by parliament every month because the Emergency Regulations themselves had to be ratified by parliament every month.Now government need not go to parliament every month because the PSO and PTA had already been passed by parliament.

The President has invoked the appropriate sections of the PSO to declare a virtual Emergency.They give the government powers to deploy the armed forces throughout the country and restrict and regulate the movement of strategic goods and services so necessary to fight terrorism.
Published: Thu Jul 5 07:26:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Anti-terrorism law invoked to ban LTTE after Emergency lapses  - Press Trust of India

Emergency lapses but fresh proclamation on the cards
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 3.18 PM SLT Thursday July 5, 2001. Emergency lapsed in Sri Lanka on wednesday because there was no proclamation extending it till the evening of wednesday,officials said.However, political circles expect a fresh proclamation to be issued shortly because government is hell bent on having the Emergency Regulations, to be able to tackle the LTTE.

As per law,a proclamation of Emergency has to be ratified by parliament within ten days.A fresh proclamation is expected between July 6 and 9th.The 11 or 14 extra days the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) will get as a result of this "lapse" are expected to be used to garner support in parliament for the motion extending the Emergency.

Government is working particularly on the seven MPs of the breakaway Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Mr.Rauf Hakeem.

Grapevine has it that the ruling party's emissaries,including ministers,have met SLMC leaders and MPs.A rebel SLMC MP told this correspondent that the faction had adopted a "wait and see" approach."Let them make a credible offer and we will consider it," he said. He further said that both Mr.Rauf Hakeem and Mrs.Ferial Ashraff were basically fighting for the rights of the Muslims and the minorities, but in different ways.While Mrs.Ashraff was doing it from within the government,Mr.Hakeem was doing it from outside, he said."If Mrs.Ashraff is able to coax President Chandrika Kumaratunga to meet some of the basic demands of the Muslims we could consider going back," the MP said.
Published: Thu Jul 5 05:17:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka replaces state of emergency with terrorism act  -

Sri Lanka Minister/Stoned -2: Supported President
yahoo, jul 4. Sri Lanka's first Muslim woman Cabinet minister was stoned Thursday by members of a rival party while she was on her way to a meeting in the country's eastern town of Ampara, police and witnesses said. Fariel Ashraff escaped unhurt, but four of her supporters received injuries in the attack, said the witnesses who declined to be named. Ampara is located city 200 kilometers east of Colombo and is a Muslim majority area. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 12:34:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rajiv Gandhi murder: CBI seeks Prabhakaran aide
IndiaInfo, July 4 . India has launched a massive international hunt for a key aide of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who allegedly financed the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.KP is one of the few LTTE leaders who report directly to Prabhakaran. KP, who was once based in India and had set up safe houses for the LTTE in the country, is known to be the group's de facto banker. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 14:36:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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3 Kiwi Indians probed on Rajiv Gandhi murder  - IndiaInfo

Students Protest Sri Lanka Army's Arrest Of Tamil Student
yahoo, july 4 . Students at Sri Lanka's Jaffna University walked out of their classes Thursday to protest the arrest and alleged torture of a fellow Tamil student by the army earlier this week. Over 1,500 students, almost all of them belonging to Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamil minority, left their classes and gathered at the university's main gate asking the army to free Krishnasway Thiviyan, who was arrested by the army Monday. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 12:35:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE marks suicide anniversary
Indian Express, July 5. he Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday marked the 14th anniversary of their first suicide bombing with religious services for 217 "black tigers".The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said a total of 217 suicide bombers, known as "black tigers", had died while carrying out attacks in the past 14 years. 59 of them were women. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 12:37:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka ends state of emergency, Jul 05 2001 15:37 IST. COLOMBO, July 5 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Thursday ended a state of emergency that gave sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects, the information department said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 08:13:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka ends state of emergency  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Jay-walking jumbo killed by truck in Sri Lanka, Jul 05 2001 17:23 IST. COLOMBO, July 5 (AFP) - A jay-walking teenage elephant was killed in a road accident in northeastern Sri Lanka, local officials said Thursday. The 15-year-old jumbo was knocked down by a truck when it tried to cross the road that runs through a teak forest in the Habarana area on Tuesday night, a local wildlife official said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 08:12:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

StarLink Bio-Corn Found in White Corn Products
yahoo, July 5. StarLink corn, the genetically modified yellow variety whose presence in food products last fall resulted in widespread recalls, has been found for the first time in a white corn product.``Millions of people may have thought they were avoiding eating StarLink corn by eating white corn. So now we see it's contaminated too,'' he said.He noted the continuing spread of StarLink into human food products had already prompted some countries like Sri Lanka to ban any use of the biotech corn. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 09:10:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India, US statements cause resentment in Lanka
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Thursday, July 05, 2001. Stung by apparent criticism from India and the United States about its air attacks on LTTE positions in the Jaffna peninsula, Sri Lanka on Thursday stoutly defended the bombings, saying it will not be deterred by what its political opponents and other governments might say. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 10:13:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

We will win no-trust vote, says Lanka opposition
Asian Age, 05 July 2001. Sri Lanka’s main Opposition party on Thursday said it had secured enough defections from the ruling coalition to win a no confidence vote next month. 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 said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 03:40:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Court suspends enjoining order, Ferial to function as NUA leader
Island, 5 July. The court yesterday suspended the enjoining order issued on June 28 restraining Ferial Ashraff from functioning as the leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA).The restraining order was issued by court last week following an application made by the SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem.Following yesterday’s order Messrs. M. L. A. M. Hisbullah and Asitha Perera will now function in their earlier posts in the NUA.Mrs. Ashraff addressing the media last evening reiterated that she would now re-commence to function as the leader of the NUA and none could now challenge.The highcommand of the NUA has taken a decision to request the minister to take back the cabinet portfolio and other members of the NUA to function in their positions. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 04:05:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Stringent visa regulations for Indian, Sri Lankan students
ndtv/msnbc, 05 July 2001. Students from India, Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka, coming to study in Australia, face tougher tests under the new visa regulations of the country. "The regulations are to crackdown on visa scams. The new package of reform merely lays down in more transparent terms the conditions required for securing a student visa," an Immigration Ministry spokeswoman said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 05:49:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ferial to sack Hakeem today in Ampara
Island, 5 July. National Unity Alliance leader, Ferial Ashraff, will sack Rauff Hakeem from the politburo and high command of the party at a delegates’ conference in Ampara today, informed political sources said. The move comes just two days after district courts lifted an enjoining order obtained by the Hakeem faction, restraining Ferial from functioning as NUA leader.Ferial left yesterday for Ampara where she is to chair the party delegates’ meetings, comprising such members as district organisers, at the Ampara Town Hall. She is expected back for the crucial Emergency vote tomorrow. "The NUA high command will decide on the new office bearers and it will be approved by the delegates, as is provided for in the party’s constitution," she confirmed to ‘The Island’ before her departure for Ampara.Asked whether she will expel Hakeem as NUA general secretary, Ferial pointed that the former had last week made himself leader of the party and appointed another general secretary. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 04:03:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka in fresh offensive as Tigers mark suicide anniversary
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, July 5 3:05 PM SGT . Sri Lanka army commandos killed 12 Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday as the guerrillas marked the 14th anniversary of their first suicide bombing, officials said. A commando unit moved nine kilometres (6 miles) into territory held by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Wanni area to stage the surprise assault, officials said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 05:07:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka in new offensive as Tigers mark suicide anniversary  -
Sri Lanka army kills some 12 Tamil rebels in raid  - MSNBC
Tigers mark suicide anniversary  -

US Pacific commander to visit Sri Lanka, Jul 05 2001 11:28 IST. The commander of the US Pacific fleet is due to visit Sri Lanka next week for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and military leaders, a press report said Thursday. Admiral Dennis P. Blair will be the first Commander-in-chief of the Pacific fleet to visit Sri Lanka, the Island newspaper said, adding he will hold several rounds of talks with the military top brass. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 03:00:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE camp razed, 12 killed
The Hindustan Times, 05 July 2001. SRI LANKAN troops attacked a Tamil rebel camp at dawn Thursday, killing at least 12 rebels in a surprise assault, a military spokesman said. Five government soldiers were also wounded in the attack that took place near Mannar, 208 km north of Colombo, said spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne. Mannar town is under government control, but the rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam control areas around the town. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 03:12:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pachyderm paper makes a statement
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK . The next time you are in the Sri Lankan capital and you receive an invitation to cocktails, watch out. Your embossed card may just be published on paper made out of elephant dung. A company in the island nation is now finding new ways to recycle elephant waste, turning it into a moneyspinner and a great conversation starter. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 10:51:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top
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Pro Govt demos in Colombo as no-confidence motion stalled  - Asian Age

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  -
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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

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Sri Lanka slams US, India over air raid concern  -

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  -

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  -

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

PLOTE accused of training children in arms
NDTV/MSNBC, 05 July 2001. Amnesty International has accused the Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) of committing human rights abuses in northern Sri Lanka and training children in arms in its camp. In a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the organization asked her to rein in PLOTE, which it alleged, was being paid and armed by the government. Fifteen children, who were allegedly being trained by PLOTE at its "Lucky House" camp, have been transferred to an unknown PLOTE camp, the human rights watchdog said and urged the government to locate the children and return them to their families. More...
Published: Thu Jul 5 03:08:52 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
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.

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

Sri Lankan economy heads for more trouble amid political chaos, 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, 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

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, 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

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