The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 9, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 94

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
PM unfazed by impeachment threat:Tells UNP to do its damnedest
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.12 AM SLT Tuesday, July 9, 2001. The Prime Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickramanayake is unfazed by the UNP leader Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe's threat to impeach President Chandrika Kumaratunga if she did not allow the motion of no confidence to be debated and voted on in parliament.

"Let them move a motion for impeachment.Let them do their damnedest.We'll turn up trumps," Mr.Wickramanayake told newsmen Monday afternoon in an informal chat.He said that the talks with the UNP leader on forming a National Government had broken down irretrievably, and in a veiled threat to the UNP and their fellow travellers said that the government had the option of calling for fresh elections any moment.

It is interesting that the Prime Minister should issue a threat of dissolution of parliament at this juncture when it is well known that most MPs of his own coalition do not want another election so soon.The UNP is sure that this threat will make many PA MPs run for shelter under the UNP's umbrella and help it form an alternative government with a comfortable majority.But the PA top brass feel that the threat of dissolution is more likely to trigger a flow in the opposite direction, namely from the UNP to the PA.

The argument is that given the inherent instability,volatility and the utter unviability of a situation where Mrs.Chandrika Kumaratunga is the Executive President and Mr.Ranil Wickremsinghe is the Prime Minister,some UNP MPs may prefer to help the current set up to continue by defecting to the goverment side.Journalists covering the Prime Minister feel that his manifest confidence could mean that the government has already sewed up deals with some opposition MPs.

In an interesting reversal of roles,it is the UNP which is now talking of a National Coalition government and not the PA. A top UNP MP told this correspondent today that there could be a national government sooner than expected and that there may be no need for a vote on the no-confidence motion." There is no way we can give up the Prime Ministership.Chandrika will have no choice but to accept Ranil as the Prime Minister," the MP said.He was basing his theory on the PA MPs' collective demand to keep the present parliament going even if it means forcing Mrs.Kumaratunga to work with Mr.Wickremesinghe.

Political circles in Colombo are bristling with rumours floated by interested parties.One rumour has it that the thirty odd Deputy Ministers are planning to meet the President on tuesday to press her to keep the present parliament going by any means including agreeing to the UNP's demands.The factual position in regard to this move could not be ascertained because the Convenor of the Deputy Ministers' Association Mr.S.Premaratne was out of the capital.
Published: Mon Jul 9 14:13:21 EDT 2001



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Row erupts over Sri Lanka rape
BBC South Asia, Monday, 9 July, 2001, 20:01 GMT 21:01 UK . The army had nothing to do with this. There are Tiger infiltrators in the area and we have no doubt they were responsible Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne Army officials say two men in camouflage uniform assaulted the 42-year-old woman and also beat up her elderly mother who is partially deaf and dumb. Some reports from Jaffna say four men were involved. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 18:44:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Majority of government MPs reject facing elections
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday July 9. A majority of government Members of Parliament today said that they are not prepared to face an election in the present political climate where a no confidence motion against the PA appears to move positively in the direction of defeating the government.

The MPs are scheduled to meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge this Wednesday July 11, and inform her of their refusal to face yet another election poll. If the government insists on going ahead with an election the MPs including deputy ministers and senior cabinet ministers have already decided that they will not canvass votes on behalf of the government.

The state politicos argue that the President and Prime Minister should now seek a consensus with the opposition parties, mainly the United National Party, and reach a suitable compromise on the present situation.
Published: Mon Jul 9 03:13:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Kumartunga holds trump card on no trust vote
indiainfo, july 9. Less than a year after cobbling a fragile coalition government, Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga is battling to keep the People's Alliance (PA) from falling to pieces. However, this time round Kumaratunga may not have all the members of her PA squad rooting for her.Her position as President, elected in 1999, is not under threat in the present turmoil. But Kumaratunga, as the PA leader, is at the head of the battle. She is loath to let go of the reins of power despite strong dissension within the grouping. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 13:17:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No cars, no election - PA MP
CDN, 10 July 2001. PA backbencher Ananda Munasinghe yesterday complained about a lack of vehicles and financial resources for MPs to fight another election and urged for the establishment of a Multi-Party Government to tide over the present crisis facing the country. The Gampaha District MP said in a television interview that he was among the 10 PA backbenchers who wrote to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe explaining the current position and the feasibility of forming an administration including representatives from the PA, UNP and the JVP. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 20:55:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government MPs to defect
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday July 9. Senior government members of parliament are expected to lend allegiance to the main opposition United National Party as the opposition gears for an all out battle to defeat the ruling Peoples Alliance.

Ananda Moonesinghe, PA, MP for the Gampaha District has already indicated his willingness to defect and will notify President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge of his decision today.

The MP is expected to leave the country soon after his announcement is made public in order to avoid being pressurized by State forces to change his controversial decision.

Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing a large public gathering at Borella last evening vowed to impeach President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge if the government resorted to "undemocratic methods" to avoid facing a debate on the no confidence motion.
Published: Mon Jul 9 03:13:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lankan Military Denies Rape Charges
People's Daily, 10 July 2001. Sri Lankan military denied on Monday that government soldiers were involved in the rape of a 42- year-old Tamil woman in Meesalai area in northern Jaffna peninsula on Saturday. Military spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said that the army had nothing to do with the alleged rape. The Tiger rebel infiltrators in the area were responsible, he added. He said that the assailants were reported to have spoken in Tamil, the language government soldiers not commonly speak. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 22:28:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka military denies fresh rape charges  - 123India.com

UN conference on small weapons begins
Deccan Herald, 10 July 2001. Pistols, assault rifles and other small arms are used in the commission of violent human rights abuses in 100 countries around the world, Amnesty International said today in a report released at the start of the first U.N. Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons.The report by the London-based human rights organization also criticized gun-producing nations like the United States, Russia and China for trying to prevent the conference from agreeing on a program of action that would address human rights issues related to the international trade in small arms.Amnesty's report, culled from two years of worldwide research, found that most reported abuses stemmed from firing and exploding small arms and light weapons in circumstances contrary to international human rights and humanitarian law. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 22:14:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Security forces alleged to have raped yet another woman
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Monday July 9. Security forces in the Jaffna peninsula are alleged to have sexually molested yet another Tamil woman in the area of Meesali. The incident is alleged to have taken place on Saturday night at around 8.30 p.m. when the men clad in military uniform had forcibly entered the house of the victim and sexually abused her.

It is the second incident of this nature within the space of two weeks after another Tamil woman was allegedly raped by security forces personnel in Colombo at a security checkpoint.
Published: Mon Jul 9 03:13:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Army, rebels trade charges on latest S.Lanka rape  - MSNBC

Lanka releases 22 Indian fishermen after protest fast
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 7.35 PM SLT Monday July 9, 2001. Following a one day protest fast by fifty Indian fishermen in custody in Jaffna, Judge R.T.Wignarajah today released twenty two of them on humanitarian grounds.The released fishermen are mostly children and the old and infirm.

The Defense Ministry subsequently ordered the navy to return the boats and nets and take the fishermen to the maritime boundary and hand them over to the Indian navy on tuesday.

There are still twenty eight Indian fishermen in custody Jaffna, 16 in Mannar and three in Negombo.Seventy two Sri Lankan fishermen are languishing in Indian jails.
Published: Mon Jul 9 09:42:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Fresh Fighting Kills Seven Tiger Rebels in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Monday, July 09, 2001 7:21 AM EST . COLOMBO, Jul 9, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan government forces have killed at least seven separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the east of the country, the Defense Ministry said on Monday. It said that five Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were killed in a gun battle in the Welioya area on Sunday and there were no casualties to government forces. Government forces killed two more Tiger rebels in another confrontation, it said. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 08:32:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan rebels killed in clashes  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka MPs get free cars amid political turmoil
Yahoo Asia, Monday, July 9 8:07 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's shaky ruling coalition has doled out cars, vans and four-wheel drive limousines to its backbench MPs ahead of a make-or-break vote in parliament, politicians said Monday. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) Monday described the allocation of state vehicles for 27 MPs of the ruling People's Allianceas a bribe to head off possible defections from the government. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 09:01:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna judge refuses to release Indian fishermen
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Monday July 9. A Jaffna magistrate today refused to release 66 Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails after being caught poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. The prosecution argued that relevant papers for their release had not been submitted by the police but are still lying in the Attorney General's department.

A compromise on the issue has yet to be reached even after Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapakse pledged recently that together with Indian authorities the problem regarding the arrest of both Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen would be resolved.

Rajapakse meanwhile has assured Lankan fishermen of strict action against any Indian fishermen found around the Island's waters. The ministers promise was made after fishermen in the Mannar area had complained to him that the Indians were entering Sri Lanka's waters to fish.

At present Sri Lanka has taken into custody 66 Indian fishermen and 15 fishing trawlers. India, too resorts to equally strict measures and 73 Sri Lankan fishermen are being held prisoner on the same charges in Indian detention centers.
Published: Mon Jul 9 03:13:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Muslims protest new Israeli ambassador
MSNBC, 9 July. A Sri Lankan Muslim party on Monday denounced the appointment of Israel's first ambassador to Colombo after the countries re-established diplomatic relations more than a year ago to cement military ties.The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, which deprived the ruling coalition of a majority in parliament last month by defecting to the opposition, issued a strongly worded protest after career diplomat David Matnai presented his credentials to President Chandrika Kumaratunga. ''This act of ideological bankruptcy reveals the duplicity of the government in its claim of advocating peace while implementing the agenda for prolonging the civil war,'' said a statement by the Congress.The Congress has yet to announce how it will vote in a no-confidence motion against the government which is expected in the next few weeks.Sri Lanka announced in May 2000 it was resuming diplomatic relations with Israel. At the time, it was battling to beat back a major assault by Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the island's north. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 08:14:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Trucks banned in Colombo to prevent bombings
Times of India, Monday, 9 July 2001 , 10:00 GMT. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has renewed a ban on all trucks entering Colombo, declaring the capital a "high security zone" to prevent bombings after the lapse of Emergency Rule, officials said on Sunday. Kumaratunga banned all trucks and other heavy vehicles entering this city of one million people and appointed police chief Lucky Kodituwakku to act as "competent authority" to grant exceptions. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 05:55:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Injured Tendulkar to miss Sri Lanka one-dayers
Times of India (Breaking News), Monday, 9 July 2001 13:06GMT. MUMBAI: Sachin Tendulkar will not travel with India for the one-day triangular tournament in Sri Lanka because of a foot injury, an Indian cricket board official said on Monday. "Sachin is unfit. He has been advised two to three weeks' complete rest. The captain (Saurav Ganguly) told us Sachin has a foot injury," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jaywant Lele told reporters. More...
Published: Mon Jul 9 09:00:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Lanka names 5 seamers for India, New Zealand series  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Lanka gives up national govt plan
chennaionline, July 8. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremayake today ruled out any further discussion with the opposition for the formation of a ‘government of national consensus’ and pointed at other options, including dissolution of Parliament.“We have the entire pack of cards with us and we can use it at any time, but we will act within the democratic framework after deliberations,” the premier said, adding, “we can go for any one of them.”Refuting the belief that Parliament cannot be dissolved before the completion of one year after the last general election, he said, “There is no such rule.” 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. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 23:27:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka in political turmoil as govt shuns parliament
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Sunday, July 08, 2001. Frenetic behind-the-scenes activity is on to forge an understanding between the government and the opposition to solve Sri Lanka's grave political crisis, while President Chandrika Kumaratunga shields her minority People's Alliance regime from facing Parliament. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 09:49:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP commands majority in House
Gulf News, July 8. The parliamentary opposition moved in for the kill yesterday, formally informing the Speaker that they commanded the majority in the 225 seat House, and that the date for the motion of no-confidence against the government of President Chandrika Kumar-atunga should be debated on a date fixed by the opposition, not the government. Opposition and United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Gulf News yesterday that they have communicated to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike the fact that a majority of MPs – 115 to be exact – have agreed to sign a petition aligning themselves with the opposition and in view of that majority in Parliament should have control of the conduct of parliamentary business. At present the House Business Committee,which guides the affairs of Parliament is controlled by the government. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 10:49:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Tamils sore with Sai Baba
The Hindustan Times, july 8. A PRO-LIBERATION Tigers of Tamil Eelam e-mail news service has accused the Sai Baba of Puttaparthi of seeking to destroy the Sri Lankan Tamils and asked the latter to "stop worshiping this false teacher." In the July 4 despatch of the Circle Digest, writer Thamilkaavalan said Sai Baba was a "well known friend of the Sinhalas" and counted among this devotees Sinhalese armymen and political leaders like Deputy Defence Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte, Chief of Defence Staff General Rohan de S Daluwatte, former prime minister the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Speaker Anura Bandaranaike More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 23:02:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka halts air strikes on rebel bases
Kyodo, july 8. In what may be a response to strong criticism from the United States and India, Sri Lanka has at least temporarily halted air strikes on Tamil Tiger rebel position in the embattled northern Jaffna peninsula, reliable defense sources said Saturday. After a spate of raids on rebel bases last weekend, the air force has been given no new strike orders, the sources said. This has fueled speculation that the operations have been called off, although another senior defense official said the air force ''is ready to take on more identified targets.'' More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 10:56:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna judge refuses to free Indian fishermen
indiainfo, july 8. A Jaffna magistrate has refused to release the 66 Indian fishermen languishing in jails after being arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.The fishermen, all from Tamil Nadu, had moved an application before the magistrate for their release from Jaffna jail. The prosecution said the relevant papers, which police sent to the Attorney General have not been returned. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 10:44:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka Oppn to press for no-trust vote
Times of India (Breaking News), july 8. Strengthened by defections from the ruling coalition, Sri Lanka's political opposition said Sunday it will press for a no-confidence motion against the government following a meeting next week with the speaker of the House."We hope that democratic norms will be followed and the vote of no-confidence will be taken up next week," said Karu Jayasuriya, a spokesman for the opposition, which includes several political parties and commands a majority in Sri Lanka's Parliament More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 09:52:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt defeated opposition plot: Kumaratunga
NDTV/MSNBC, Friday, July 6, 2001 (Colombo). Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today said the government had managed to defeat what she called an LTTE-backed opposition plot to remove Emergency by voting against it in Parliament. "The government has been able to defeat a treacherous conspiracy hatched at the behest of the LTTE by the United National Party and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to remove the Emergency," she said in a statement. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 23:00:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka renews ban on trucks in capital to prevent bombings
123India.com, Jul 08 2001 12:58 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has renewed a ban on all trucks entering Colombo, declaring the capital a "high security zone" to prevent bombings after the lapse of emergency rule, officials said Sunday. Kumaratunga banned all trucks and other heavy vehicles entering this city of one million people and appointed police chief Lucky Kodituwakku to act as "competent authority" to grant exceptions. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 04:42:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Israel Sends Ambassador to Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Sunday, July 08, 2001 6:41 AM EST . COLOMBO, Jul 8, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Israel has sent its ambassador to Sri Lanka more than a year after the two countries resumed diplomatic relations, officials here said Sunday. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that David Matnai, a career diplomat of Israel, presented his credentials to President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday. The Israeli ambassador to Sri Lanka is based in Bangkok, capital of Thailand. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 09:18:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Israeli ambassador takes charge in Sri Lanka a year after new ties  - 123India.com

LTTE says Sai Baba is anti-Tamil: Report
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Sunday, July 08, 2001. A pro-LTTE electronic bulletin has asked Tamils the world over not to worship Indian religious leader Sathya Sai Baba, alleging that he is against the Tamils' struggle in Sri Lanka.A pro-LTTE electronic bulletin has asked Tamils the world over not to worship Indian religious leader Sathya Sai Baba, alleging that he is against the Tamils' struggle in Sri Lanka. The Circle Digest, a daily bulletin sent by e-mail to subscribers, said in a despatch on July 4 that Sai Baba was a "known friend" of Sinhalese leaders and was trying to turn his Tamil devotees against the Sri Lankan Tamils' movement against the government, the state-run 'Daily News' reported today.Sai Baba has become the latest target of attack by the LTTE, the daily said, while giving extracts of the bulletin, which accused the religious leader of being "false preacher". The bulletin appealed to the Tamils to stop worshipping him as he was asking Tamils to live peacefully with the Sinhalese, without preaching the same to the majority Sinhalese community in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 08:28:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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LTTE says Sai Baba anti-Tamil: Report  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Sri Lanka takes another shot at India over air raid concern
123India.com, Jul 08 2001 11:49 IST. Sri Lanka takes exception to India's concern over air attacks against Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said Sunday, vowing the island will not seek peace at any price. In a second statement issued within three days, the foreign ministry chided India for not making any reference to Sri Lanka's assertion that the bombing campaign was aimed at pre-empting an offensive by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."What one government said is unrealistic and unacceptable," the foreign ministry referring to a statement by New Delhi. More...
Published: Sun Jul 8 04:40:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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