The Lanka Academic

JULY 10, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 95

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 leader suspends parliament
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK . The government said the parliament, which lost its majority on 20 June, would now reconvene on 7 September. President Kumaratunga, whose People's Alliance (PA) coalition lost its majority when a Muslim party defected to the opposition, also called a referendum on a new constitution for 21 August, a government statement said. 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: Tue Jul 10 21:57:55 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka parliament suspended before vote  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka President Halts Parliament  - Nothern Light
Lankan president Kumaratunga suspends parliament  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka parliament suspended amid government ouster bid  -

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Chandrika will change electoral system to secure majority
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 3.10 AM SLT Wednesday July 11,2001. Though President Chandrika Kumaratunga's statement ordering a referendum on the need for a new constitution did not explicitly say it,the basic aim is to change the electoral system in such a way that a single party can get a two thirds majority.

Such a majority is necessary to bring about drastic changes and to solve long standing and seemingly intractable problems like the ethnic conflict.

The new constitution,which she hopes to bring about,will atleast partially replace the present Proportional Representation System (PRS) by the First-Past-the-Post System (FPPS).While the PRS prevents single parties from getting a huge majority,the FPPS faciliates it.India and the UK have the FPPS.Sri Lanka,however,is unlikely to go the whole hog and completely abolish the PRS.As the President said once,the minority and small parties want the PRS.Even the draft constitution,which was tabled in parliament on August 3,2000, envisaged only a partial switch over,with some seats being filled by the PRS and others by the FPPS.

It has been Mrs.Kumaraunga's refrain that she is unable to give the minority Tamils a devolution package because she lacks the two thirds majority needed to get the package (ie the new constitution) passed in parliament.She had often threatened to tear up the present constitition,which she said,was not only an impediment to progress but had failed to correctly reflect her popular mandate.She would have got two thirds of the seats had it not been for the PR system.In tuesday's proclamation,she reiterated this.

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP, Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham,says that the President will use a favourable verdict in the referendum to turn the present parliament into a Constituent Assembly to draft the new constitution.Alternatively,she could go in for fresh elections after October 10,using the referendum result as the election manifesto.A favourable referendum result would immeasurably enhance her moral authority over the present parliament and its MPs.It would turn the tables on the opposition United National Party (UNP), which had tabled a motion of no-confidence,and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Rauff Hakeem, which reduced the government to a minority and precipitated the current political crisis.

Cornered in parliament,a politically savvy Mrs.Kumaratunga has chosen to use her appeal among the hoi polloi,especially in the Sinhala rural areas,to get a mandate for her broader political programme and to acquire the moral and political muscle needed to subdue her detractors in parliament. 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 10 17:10:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Kumartunga holds trump card on no trust vote  - indiainfo

PM says open to all options
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 10.35 PM SLT Tuesday July 10,2001. The Peoples' Alliance (PA) government is open to "all options" in dealing with the present crisis,the Prime Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has said.

The Prime Minister refused to commit himself on the possibility of a snap parliamentary election or a national government." All I can say is that government is examining all options," he said.

Indicating the possibility of a deal with the opposition United National Party (UNP),Mr.Wickramanayake said that the government was willing to meet the UNP half way on the question of the five independent commissions."The goverment's draft constitution has already said that there will be independent commmisions for elections,the judiciary and the public service.A commission for the police will have to be studied further.The demand for a media commission is new and the matter has to be discussed," he said.

A Deputy Minister said that ordering snap polls would be the last option for President Kumaratunga because no MP wanted it.If a stable government could not be formed, elections would seem to be the only way out,but the PA was confident of coming back to power, the junior minister said.On the other hand, a senior cabinet minister virtually ruled out dissolution because government was confident of getting enough support to defeat the no-trust motion.

There is the possibility that those Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and National Unity Alliance (NUA) MPs ( other than the ring leader Mr.Rauff Hakeem ),who had defected, may come back.The PA General Secretary,Mr.D.M.Jayaratne, said today that all the seven rebels were going to trek back.A cabinet minister said that government was expecting the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to abstain and thus let it win.The JVP,he said,would not like a UNP government given the past animosity.According to him, the JVP is also very suspicious about the UNP's demand for an independent police force because the present force is 85% UNP.

Mr.Jayaratne said that if he wanted to,he could begin the process of unseating three of the SLMC rebels who had fought as PA candidates in the last elections and thus force them to toe the line.Likewise, in the light of the new court order,he NUA chief,Mrs.Ferial Ashraff,could begin the process of unseating the four NUA defectors,including Mr.Hakeem.According to a cabinet minister,Mrs.Ashraff is likely to send a show cause notice to Mr.Hakeem next week.When party representatives meet the Speaker next,the PA is expected to challenge the opposition's contention that it has 115 members and is thus, the majority.

There have been reports that atleast ten Deputy Ministers have threatened to cross over to the opposition if a national government is not formed immediately to avert dissolution.But the convenor of the Deputy Minister's Association,Mr.Shantha Premaratne,ruled out desertions for two reasons: One is that the government will ultimately manage to get the numbers necessary to face the no-trust.And the other is the entrenched belief that a UNP led by Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe is "unlucky" and therefore not worth going to.
Published: Tue Jul 10 12:52:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers use PNG, Solomon Islands
ABC News, Wed Jul 11 08:04:01 SLT 2001. Tamil Tiger rebels from Sri Lanka may be using Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands as routes into Australia. Four suspected rebels were caught recently trying to travel through P-N-G on forged Canadian and Malaysian passports.The briefs reportedly say that smuggling organisers from Sri Lanka have easy access to forged P-N-G passports and visas, and are being helped by local officials and residents. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 22:06:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Oppn seeks no trust move on July 18
indiainfo, july 10. n a rare show of solidarity, the Opposition in Sri Lanka's Parliament on July 10 submitted a letter to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, urging him to take up a no- confidence motion against the Kumaratunga government on July 18 instead of next month as proposed by the ruling party.However, the Speaker will fix a date only at the Parliamentary Party Leaders? meeting on July 12.Political sources said that since the request was made by all Opposition MPs, the Speaker might agree to their wish. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 15:07:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

‘Look for Veerappan in Lanka’
chennaionline, july 10. Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran today questioned the sincerity of the Tamil Nadu government and the necessity in resuming STF operations to nab forest brigand Veerappan.Going by the reported statement by AIADMK general secretary and present Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, immediately after the release of Kannada actor Rajkumar from the clutches of Veerappan, STF operations should have been carried out in Sri Lanka, Nedumaran told a press conference here. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 20:57:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan jurist takes in Capital City
journalonline, july 10. Manicavasakar Elancheleyan is a long way from his home. But this weekend, the 36-year-old judge from Sri Lanka said the temperature hovering near 100 degrees in Lincoln felt just like home. "I am very proud that I am honored by the Lincoln, Nebraska, mayor," he said. "It is an honor to Sri Lanka judicial offices and Sri Lanka government. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 21:25:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S B faces fire from government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.20 p.m. SLT Tuesday July 10. S B Dissanayake, Minister for Samurdhi Affairs and Deputy Minister for Finance, facing the wrath of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge recently, continues to advocate a national government as being vital to the ruling party faces as it one of its gravest challenges since it took office in 1994.

Dissanayake insists that a consensus with the main opposition United National Party is a must, in order to bridge the crisis situation the country is facing and address key issues such as the conflict in the north and east and a limping economy.
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:47:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

TULF Calls for the release of student leader
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 10/07/01 1355GMT. The Student Union Leader of the Jaffna University who is held by security forces should be released immediately says the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). Senior Vice President of the TULF V. Anandasangari says that the Student Leader Krishnaswamy Thivyan was arrested by Sri Lanka Army in Kokuvil Jaffna on Monday, 2 July has been assaulted in detention. The Sri Lankan Army says that he has suspected LTTE affiliations. The TULF statement says that the Student leader should be tried in courts if he is suspected of any crime.

The military authorities in Jaffna Today closed down the Jaffna University where more than four thousand students study. Students in Universities in the North and East demonstrated demanding the release of the 21 year old Jaffna Student Leader. It is feared that the closure of the Jaffna University would lead to more protests in schools and other public and private institutions across the North and East.
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:52:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLA personnel allegedly gang rape Tamil woman
indiainfo, july 10. Close on the heels of the alleged gang rape of a Tamil woman at a security check point in central Colombo last month, another such incident allegedly by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) personnel in Jaffna has been reported by a pro-Tamil Website. he Tamilnet said a Tamil woman was admitted to the Manthikail hospital on July 7after she was allegedly gang raped by soldiers in Meesalai. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 15:11:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Army accuses LTTE of raping Jaffna woman
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday July 10. The army today alleged that it is the LTTE who are responsible for raping a Tamil woman in the area of Meesalai on Saturday night, July 7.

The military says it received a complaint on Saturday July 7, 2001 of an incident of alleged rape of a 42 year old, Tamil woman. The matter was reported to the Army Civil Affairs Office at Kodikamam.

The Army officials claim they in turn directed the complainant to the Kodikamam Police Station to make a formal entry.

The victim had complained that two persons armed with weapons and dressed in uniforms had come into her house and dragged her out of the house and raped her.

Before the alleged sexual harassment she claims to have been abused in filth in both Sinhala and Tamil.

The complainant says the men had also harassed the old mother of the victim as well.

According to the Army, initial inquiries conducted by the Army and the Police had revealed that "this is a deliberate attempt by the LTTE infiltrators to discredit the Army and further to disrupt the resettlement programme now being carried out by the government officials in the area."

Investigations into the alleged crime are being carried out by the police at Kodikamam.
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:47:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

21 Indian fishermen released
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 10. After refusing to release some 21 Indian fishermen, the Jaffna district judge yesterday reversed his order after 66 Indian fishermen languishing in Lankan jails began a hunger strike.

Referring to both the Chief Justice and the Attorney General, the judge later decided to release 21 of the fishermen who were agitating to return back to India.

The fishermen will be handed over to the Lankan Navy who will in turn hand over the men to Indian security forces personnel.
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:47:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Jaffna judge refuses to release Indian fishermen  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Indian arms among seized LTTE weapons
Times of India (Breaking News), 10 July 2001 . Sophisticated weapons worth Rs 15 million were seized from a suspected LTTE bunker by the Sri Lankan police in Jaffna district, police said. Some of the weapons, unearthed with the help of private informants at Manippay, bore the Indian Army crest and other Indian markings, police claimed. An 84 mm rocket-propelled grenade launcher found in the bunker was not known to the be in the armoury of the Sri Lankan armed forces. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 11:58:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka government warns of civil unrest over ouster move, Jul 10 2001 13:13 IST. Sri Lanka's ruling party warned Tuesday of an uprising if the opposition ousts President Chandrika Kumaratunga's coalition and called for a national-unity government. Senior minister S. B. Dissanayake acknowledged in an interview with the Sinhalese-language daily Divaina that there was a possibility of the People's Alliance (PA) government collapsing at a confidence vote, which could take place next week. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 04:42:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bring back Aravinda
yahoo, july 10. Earlier this year when Sachin Tendulkar reached 10,000 runs, it was felt that he should thank Sidath Wettimuny and Brendon Kuruppu for his record. If not for the inexplicable policy of selecting youth for youth sake, Aravinda de Silva would have been the first man to cross the five-figure mark. Since Sri Lanka?s ignominious World Cup campaign in 1999, de Silva has been excluded from 47 one-day internationals. Given his outstanding career average of 35, he would easily surpassed Tendulkar?s record. 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: Tue Jul 10 10:49:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Talks with Oppn for govt of consensus: Lankan PM
Indiainfo, july 10. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has announced the breaking off talks with the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) to discuss the possibility of formation a national government.However, senior minister and Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) general secretary S B Dissanayake said that the only solution to the current political crisis is that the two main and other willing political parties join hands to form a government. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:06:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Police Seize Massive Cache of Tamil Rebel Weapons
People's Daily, 10 July 2001. The Manipay police of the Jaffna police division in the north of Sri Lanka have seized a massive cache of high powered sophisticated weapons worth 15 million rupees (around 166,000 US dollars) belonging to separatist Tamil Tiger rebels hidden in a concrete bunker. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 03:45:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

22 Indian fishermen released in lanka
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Tuesday, July 10, 2001. As many as 22 Indian fishermen detained in a Jaffna prison since mid-April have been released on humanitarian grounds, official sources said here on Monday.A district court in Jaffna ordered their release as they were old and ailing, official sources said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 04:40:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Compete in 8th IAAF World Athletics Championships
LAcNet Special correspondent, July 10. Sri Lanka will be sending a team of twelve athletes to compete in the 8th IAAF World Athletic Championships to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from August 3 to 12th 2001. This is the first time IAAF World Athletic Championships will be held in North America. Sri Lanka team captained by Susanthika Jayasinghe who won a bronze medal at Sydney Olympics will include Damayanthi Dharsha Sriyani Kulawansa Sugath Tilakaratne, Rohan Pradeep Kumara and Hrijan Ratnayake competing in individual events plus two relay teams. It will be managed by Brigadier Palitha Fernando and includes three coaches. Top executives of the Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, President Sunil Guanwardena, Secretary Prema Pinnawala and Treasurer Nimal Perera will also be in Edmonton to attend the Internationa Amateur Athletic Association Congress to be held parallel to Athletic Championships.

Sri Lanka Team: Manager: Brigadier Palitha Fernando Coaches: Derwin Perera, Badra Gunawardena, Anura Bandara Team Captain- Susanthika Jayasinghe Womens Team: Susanthika Jayasinghe 100m, 200m, 4x100 relay Damayanthi Dharsha 200m, 400m, 4x100 relay Sriyani Kulawansa-Fonseka 100m Hurdles, 4x100 relay Nimmi de Soysa 4x100 relay Pradeepa Herath 4x100 relay Anoma Suriyaarachchi 4x100 relay

Mens Team: Sugath Tilakaratne 400m, 4x400m relay Rohan Pradeep Kumara 400m, 4x400m relay Harijan Ratnayake 400m Hurdles Ranga Wimalawansa 4x400m relay Prasanna Amarasekera 4x400m relay Sumedha Arunashantha Fernando 4x400m relay

Published: Tue Jul 10 09:12:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan military close university
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK . The authorities in northern Sri Lanka have told more than 4,000 students at Jaffna University to stay at home until further notice in a bid to end protests against the security forces. Students say they are no longer allowed on the campus and they have been told to vacate their hostels. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:08:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE holds census takers at bay in parts of Lanka
indiainfo, july 10. Tamil Tiger separatists in Sri Lanka are keeping census takers at bay in parts of the island's North and East, using threats and intimidation to stop enumerators from taking the final tally next week. The first nationwide census in 20 years is in danger of being ripped up by opposition from both the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and mainstream Tamil parties, which object to a headcount in areas affected by the protracted separatist war. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:02:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka's Israel ties come under Oppn flak
indiainfo, july 10. Sri Lanka's diplomatic ties with Israel have come under scathing attack from controversial Muslim leader Rauf Hakeem, whose cross-over turned the ruling coalition into a minority government. A little over a year after Colombo and Tel Aviv announced they would establish relations, former Trade Minister Hakeem has denounced the diplomatic move. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:04:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka prime minister breaks off talks with opposition  - Kyodo News

As gulf grows, some nations make high-tech leap
yahoo, july 9. The gulf between the world's plugged-in and the shut-out is widening, but scores of developing nations are using technology to keep from falling further behind in the global economy, a new report has found.Monthly Internet access charges amount to 1.2 percent of average monthly income for a typical U.S. user, compared with 614 percent in the island nation of Madagascar, 278 percent in Nepal, 191 percent in Bangladesh and 60 percent in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:28:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Shares End Flat; Investors Eye Political Devts
yahoo, July 10. Sri Lanka shares ended virtually flat Tuesday on slim volume as investors continued to take a back seat and watch for fresh developments on the political front, brokers said. The All Share Index was up 1.29 points, or 0.3%, at 430.25, according to brokers. The Milanka Price Index, which tracks the most liquid and highly capitalized stocks, ended up 2.73 points, or 0.4%, at 646.36. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 09:00:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US Admiral Visits Sri Lanka To Boost Bilateral Ties
Yahoo Singapore, 10 July 2001. The chief of U.S. Pacific Forces began a three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Monday as part of an ongoing effort to boost bilateral ties between the two countries, state radio said. Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Forces Admiral Dennis P. Blair's visit is in response to an invitation by Sri Lanka's Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Rohan Daluwatte, who oversees combined military operations against Tamil rebels, the radio said. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 04:49:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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US Admiral Visits Sri Lanka  - Nothern Light

Inebriated elephants destroy illicit distillery
Indiainfo, 10 July 2001. An illicit distillery which had operated clandestinely in the thick jungle forests of Kalawewa in central Sri Lanka for over 10 years, was raided and destroyed by a herd of elephants on July 7 night, a local media report said. The elephant herd had evidently been drawn to the distillery by the smell of pineapple and other ingredients used in the manufacture of “kasippu”. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 04:57:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Young web designer eyes US for more exposure
Indiainfo, 10 July 2001. Sri Lankan Canadian Keith Peiris is barely 13 and just out of seventh grade. But he is as much at ease with Prime Minister John Chretien as with his desktop computer. Believe it or not, the computer whiz kid and web designer is the chief of a company called Cyberteks Design and employs several people including his father. More...
Published: Tue Jul 10 04:53:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka military denies fresh rape charges  -

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

Related News Stories
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
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

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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