The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 23, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 108

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
Nine rebels killed in Sri Lanka suicide attack on air base
Yahoo Singapore, July 24. At least nine Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a suicide attack against Sri Lanka's main airbase and the country's only international airport here Tuesday, the defence ministry said.Ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said they recovered the bodies of nine men believed to be members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."Some of the men had been shot dead while the others had blasted themselves," karunaratne said. "It appears that they were suicide cadres of the LTTE."It was not immediately clear if any security personnel or civilians were killed or wounded in the pre-dawn attack which began at the airbase and spread to the adjoining Bandaranaike International airport. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:44:51 EDT 2001


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State television reporters hit by cross fire at Katunayake
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. A reporter of the state television was hit on the leg in a cross-fire between the army and the Tamil rebels in the Katunayake International Airport.

The crew was taken in by helicopter to cover the attack on the Sri Lanka Air Force air-base and the Colombo airport.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Airlines said that four of its Air Bus planes have been completely destroyed as Tamil Tigers fired rocket propelled grenades into the air crafts.
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:40:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Another loud explosion at the Colombo International Airport
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 0900 slt 24.07.01. Another loud explosion rocked the Colombo International Airport around 0830 Sri Lanka time amidst reports that a crack Army Commando unit was trying to clear the Airport terminal building. Unconfirmed reports say upto four Tamil rebels are suspected to be holed up in the terminal. One Tamil suicide bomber has already exploded himself inside the terminal. Reports say at least three Sri Lankan Airline aircrafts; one Airbus 330 and two Airbus 340's have been damaged. The daring attack on the Air Force base adjacent to the International Airport came on the 18th anniversary of the of the black July riots. Hundreds of Tamils were killed on the 24th of July 1983 when the Sinhalese went berserk after rumours that Tamil rebels were attacking the Colombo Fort. This was five days after the infamous 83' riots had started. The Air Force has lost two Kafirr supersonic ground attack aircrafts, one MI24 helicopter gunship and three trainer aircrafts. Casualty figures on both sides are not known yet. end
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:14:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bullets fly at Sri Lanka airport leaving tourists in a panic
Yahoo Singapore, July 24. Passengers and tourists told Tuesday of terrifying scenes at Sri Lanka's only international airport as they cowered from bullets during a pre-dawn attack by Tamil rebels.Maldivian newspaper editor Ali Rafeeq and his wife were in transit at the airport when they were rudely woken up by the sound of gun fire. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 23:49:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka Airport-3: 8 Rebels Killed, 11 Aircraft Damaged  - Yahoo Singapore

Suicide bomber explodes himself inside airport terminal
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. A Tiger suicide bomber exploded himself inside the airport terminal of the Katunayake International Airport this morning.

The extent of the damage to the terminal is not yet known. Reports say that up to ten aircraft - seven military planes and three planes belonging to Sri Lankan Airlines were damaged when fierce fighting broke out early this morning between the Sri Lanka Air Force and suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.
Published: Mon Jul 23 22:03:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka's key air base, airport under attack, jets destroyed
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, July 24 9:05 AM SGT . Suspected Tamil rebels launched a massive attack against Sri Lanka's main air base and the only international airport Tuesday, destroying a civilian jetliner and six military aircraft, officials said. Six military aircraft, including two Israeli-built Kfir jets, a Mi-24 helicopter gunship and one Ukranian MiG-27 were believed to have been damaged in the pre-dawn raid on the airforce complex at Katunayake, 35 kilometresmiles) north of here. The defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said six military aircraft and a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A-330 passenger jet were hit by in the heavy fighting. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 22:43:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Key Sri Lankan air base attacked  - BBC

Fighting in Sri Lanka Spreads to Civilian Airport
Yahoo, July 24. A major predawn attack on a military airbase by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday has spread to Sri Lanka's only international airport, with an Airbus plane on fire on the tarmac.``It is probably a SriLankan Airlines aircraft,'' said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne.``It appears to be spreading to the international airport.'' Six military planes could also be seen burning after the attack, a senior air force official said.``We believe about 20 LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) cadres infiltrated the security cordon and used rocket-propelled grenades and small arms to carry out the attack,'' he said. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 22:05:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Flights to Sri Lanka diverted to India amid rebel attack  - Yahoo Singapore
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Fighting/Sri Lanka Airport -2: Flights Diverted  - Yahoo Singapore

LTTE attack marks Black July,1983
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.48 AM SLT Tuesday July 24, 2001. The daring attack on the Colombo military airport at Katunayake this morning seemed to be the LTTE's way of marking the July 24, 1983 anti-Tamil riots,Tamil sources said.

The riots,which were a watershed in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka,started at midnight July 23 and became a major conflagration on July 24,the sources said.Since the LTTE became a force in the second half of the eighties, it has been regularly staging attacks,whether against military or civilian targets,to mark what has come to be known as "Black July" in Sri Lankan politics and history.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:49:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Fighting spreads to airport perimeter as LTTE attackers withdraw
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.20 AM SLT Tuesday July 24,2001. Fighting has spilled over to the outer perimeter of the Katunayake airport,as the LTTE infiltrators are apparently withdrawing,according to Wing Com.Ajith Wijesundera of the Sri Lankan Air Force.

He said that the LTTE infiltrators were using small arms,grenades and shoulder held rockets.He had no idea if any suicide bombers were involved.About of the damage caused to aircraft, whether military or civilian, he said that some aircraft were on fire,but could not give details.As regards the number of attackers he said that it was difficult to say, given the fact that the attack took place in total darkness.All lights had gone off.

Meanwhile,CNN said that six military aircraft,including MIG-27 and Kfir fighter bombers and MI-24 helicopter gunships, were destroyed and two Sri Lankan Airlines planes were damaged.

The Bandaranaike International Airport,which adjoins the military airport,has been closed.Morning flights to Paris and London have been cancelled and all incoming flights have been diverted to India.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:21:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Tamil rebels attack air force base near Sri Lanka's capital  - ABC News
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Sri Lanka's key air base under attack  - Yahoo Singapore

Indefinite curfew in areas surrounding Colombo Airport
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.30 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. An indefinite curfew has been imposed with immediate effect on all areas surrounding the Katunayake International Airport in Colombo.

The curfew is in place in Ja-ela, Peliyagoda, Wattala, Seeduwa and Katunayake.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:28:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lankan Airlines A330 damaged
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Sri Lankan Airlines staff this morning confirmed that a Sri Lankan Airlines A330 airbus was hit when fierce fighting broke out between the Sri Lanka Air Force and suspected Tamil Tiger rebels at Katunayake early this morning.

Chandana de Silva, Senior Manager for Sri Lankan Airlines confirmed that two planes had been hit early this morning when the fighting broke out. "We do not yet know the extent of the damage to the Airbuses," he said.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that at least seven military aircraft at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base adjoining the Katunayake International Airport are on fire.

Fighting ended about one and a half hours after the attack was launched at around 3.50 a.m. this morning. Air Force spokesman are unable yet to confirm the extent of the damage or give casualty figures.
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:14:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Attack at Katunayake under control
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.45 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Wing Commander, Ajith Wijeysundera of the Sri Lanka Air Force said that the attack on the Sri Lanka Air Force Base at Katunayake is now under control.

Wijeysundera confirmed that an attack from suspected Tiger rebels was launched at around 3.50 a.m. this morning at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base. The adjoining Katunayake International Airport has been closed as a result and all incoming flights to Colombo diverted to India.

Wijeysundera confirmed that aircraft at the military base had been attacked and set on fire.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:45:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top


LTTE attacks Colombo airbase
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 5.15 AM SLT Tuesday July 24,2001. Heavily armed LTTE cadres today attacked the Colombo military airbase at Katunayake about 35 kms not of the capital early this morning.Reinforcements were rushed,and the battle was on,said the military spokesman,Brig.Sanath Karunaratne.He had no information on the casualties or the damage to aircraft.

Katunayake airport,adjoining the Bandaranaike International Airport,is the base for the Kfir jet fighter bombers of the Sri Lankan Air Force,which have been effective in blunting the LTTE's fighting capabilities in recent times.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:21:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Two Sri Lankan Airlines planes hit at Katunayake
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Two Sri Lankan Airlines planes were hit at around 5 a.m. this morning when gun fire between the Sri Lanka Air Force and unidentified gun men believed to be from the LTTE intensified at the Katunayake International Airport in Colombo today.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:08:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Military aircraft destroyed in suspected LTTE attack on Katunayake Air Force base
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 0455 slt 24.07.01. War planes are reported to have been destroyed in suspected LTTE attack on Sri Lanka Air Force base in Katunayake adjoining the international airport. Eye witnesses said military aircraft were burning on the ground. Fighting is continuing at the moment while the area has been cordoned off by the military. The Colombo international airport has been closed with no flights taking off or landing. Air Force's advance super sonic ground attack aircraft such as MIG-29s and Kefir jets as well as the helicopter squadron is based at the Katunayake base. end
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:04:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

All Colombo bound flights diverted to India - as fighting rages
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. All Colombo bound flights into Sri Lanka have been diverted with immediate effect to India. As fighting broke out a short while ago at the Katunayake Air Force Base adjoining the Katunayake Airport, between the Air Force and unidentified gun men, the Colombo airport has been sealed and all staff are being evacuated.

Chandana de Silva, Senior Manager Sri Lankan Airlines told Lacnet News that the airline has already effected its emergency operations and all staff at the Colombo airport will be pulled out and brought to the airlines head office at the World Trade Center in Fort - Colombo.
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:01:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka cancels order for ship from India
The Hindu (International), 24-07-2001 . Sri Lanka has cancelled an order for a second Sukhanya class off- shore patrol vessel (OPV) from India due to paucity of funds, officials said.The first OPV was bought late last year at an estimated cost of about $ 20 millions to bolster the navy's capability to police the island's northeastern waters, used by the LTTE to bring in weapons. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 20:38:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Gun fire reported from Katunayake Air Force Base - near Airport
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.45 a.m. SLT Tuesday July 24. Gun fire was reported a short while ago from the Katunayake Air Force Base adjourning the Colombo airport. The Sri Lanka Air Force are reported to be shooting at an alleged ground attack on the Air Force Base in Katunayake, placing a MIG Aircraft and a Helicopter on fire.

There are no further details. The enter area meanwhile has been sealed and the airport closed.
Published: Mon Jul 23 18:51:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Military aircraft reported burning in Sri Lanka
MSNBC, Tuesday, July 24 6:43 AM SGT . Military planes were burning after a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel attack at an airbase early on Tuesday morning, closing Sri Lanka's only international airport next door, officials said. ''There are military aircraft burning on the ground,'' said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. ''It looks like a very major attack.'' The predawn attack was at an airbase right next to the international airport about 30 km (20 miles) north of Colombo. ''Operations at the international airport have been suspended,'' Karunaratne said. Passengers at Bandaranaike International Airport also reported seeing the attack. ''We can see a huge fire burning and hear heavy gunshots,'' said one traveller who was on his way to the airport when he was turned back by the authorities. There was one flight arriving from Male in the Maldives at about the time the attack began at 4 a.m. (2200 GMT) with the next scheduled departure not until 5:30 a.m. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:55:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka main air base under attack  - Yahoo Asia

Cracks in anti-Chandrika coalition
The Hindustan Times, Tue 24th July 2001 00:00GMT. SEVERAL POLITICAL parties which had pledged support to the opposition United National Party's campaign for the impeachment of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the unseating of her Peoples' Alliance (PA) government are now having second thoughts. any of these parties opts out, the UNP will not be able to carry through a no-confidence motion or get the speaker to accept a motion to impeach the president. With 115 MPs in a total of 225, the combined opposition has a thin majority. A no-confidence motion as well as an impeachment motion requires the support of at least 113 MPs. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 18:46:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Presidents says last years draft constitution will not be used
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has reiterated that the draft constitution presented last August to Parliament will not be used again this time when she plans to bring in a new constitution.

Kumaratunge has vowed that after ascertaining the peoples mandate at the August 21, referendum she will consult with the Mahasangha, clergy, minor political parties and intellectuals to discuss clauses to be included in a new constitution.

Her Justice Minister, Batty Weerakoon however asserts that the President will refer to her original draft thrown out of parliament last year and discuss various amendments suggested at the time to be included in a final new constitution this year.

The President yesterday asserted to PA party members that she is determined to implement the new constitution even without a two third majority in Parliament.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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I have a 'secret formula' to overcome crisis: Kumaratunga  - The Hindustan Times

Kumaratunga tells government dissidents to leave
yahoo, July 23. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, under siege from a joint opposition move to oust her, ticked off ruling party dissidents and told them if they were dissatisfied they could leave. Kumaratunga told members of the ruling People's Alliance and its main constituent, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, that "if they were not content, they were most welcome to leave immediately without causing sabotage or destruction from within," the state-run Daily News said Monday. Kumaratunga summoned supporters for a powwow on Sunday, three days after six opposition parties and several trade unions staged a pro-democracy march in the capital Colombo against the suspension of Parliament. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 15:35:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Referendum may prove divisive
Yahoo India, 24 July 2001. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the August 21 referendum on the need for a new constitution called by the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, is likely to be a highly divisive exercise for Sri Lanka. There is little doubt in the minds of most Sri Lankans that the present constitution, which vests enormous, authoritarian powers with the President, should be changed. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 19:56:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP charges that cops used old tear gas
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. The United National Party today accused the government and the police of using tear gas canisters that were at least 12 years old to quell a massive anti government demonstration last Thursday July 19.

The UNP says that the tear gas when old, turns toxic, and as a result a large number of demonstrators including innocent bystanders and school children were seriously affected.

Two people were killed and over 60 injured last Thursday when police acting on orders from the government, used tear gas, rubber bullets and 'live' ammunition to stop thousands of people from protesting against the decision of President Chandrika Kumaratunge to prorogue parliament and call a referendum.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Does JVP have a tacit understanding with PA ?
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 8.00 PM SLT Monday July 23,2001. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP),which could play a pivotal role in the coming weeks,is clearly distancing itself from the opposition United National Party (UNP).And it may well be having a tacit understanding with the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) even while denouncing it from public platforms across the island.

The JVP says that it will sign the motion of impeachment against President Chandrika Kumaratunga only if (a) the motion is based on valid grounds (b) it had been signed by all the members of the opposition.

" Firstly,we have to study the motion before we agree to support it.Secondly,we will not sign it unless every opposition MP had signed it.We will be the last to sign it.This is because we do not want a repetition of the motion against the Chief Justice which did not have the signature of the UNP leader Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe and a few others," top JVP leader,Mr.Nandana Goonetileke said.

The JVP is opposed both to the Peoples' Alliance (PA) government and President Kumaratunga and would want both to quit.But at the same time,it is not overly enthusiastic about toppling either of them and installing the UNP." We believe that the problems of the country will not be solved till a socialist government is established," Mr.Goonetileke said.

Asked if this meant that the JVP would topple a UNP government too,he said that it would depend on the policies and peformance of that government." At any rate,the JVP would never join any government.It would be in the opposition,giving support to the pro-people policies and opposing anti-people policies," Mr.Goonetileke said.

Political circles here sense the emergence of a tacit understanding between the PA and the JVP.The JVP is still keeping its options open in the matter of the no-trust motion;it has not committed itself on the impeachment motion against the President,and it did not participate in the UNP led rally of last week.On sunday, it told the Inspector General of Police that its anti-referendum public rallies in several places in the island on monday would be entirely within the bounds of the law.There are rumours that Somawansa Amarasinghe,the shadowy supremo of the JVP who is said to be living in London, favours a tacit understanding with the PA.

The JVP's stance has its basis in its past relations with the UNP.In the late eighties ,the UNP regime had ruthlessly crushed its violent movement.Not surprisingly,minister S.B.Dissanayake has suggested that the PA should exploit the contraditions between the JVP and the UNP.At the meeting of PA leaders at the Race Course here on sunday,President Kumaratunga had reportedly exhorted them to contact JVP supporters.Clearly,the ground is ready for exploitation.

The other sign of the government's softening towards the JVP is the absence of any anti-JVP propaganda in the state media in recent weeks.Earlier,the government had had no hesitation in recalling the JVP's violent past in all its gruesome detail.It had even organised a public exhibition of pictures of JVP terror.
Published: Mon Jul 23 10:11:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Opposition demands ouster as Sri Lanka President vows "secret formula"
Yahoo Singapore, Monday July 23, 7:32 PM. Sri Lanka's main opposition Monday stepped up a campaign to oust beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga as she said she had a "secret formula" to overcome the country's unprecedented political crisis. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was joined by 70 smaller political parties, trade unions and professional organisations in demanding the restoration of parliament which Kumaratunga has shut down until September 7. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 09:43:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Kumaratunga has "secret formula" to sidestep constitution  - Press Trust of India
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Sri Lanka president has "secret formula" to sidestep constitution  - Yahoo Asia
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'New constitution without two-thirds support'  - Hindu

Sri Lankan Opposition vows more protests
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 23. (Reuters). Sri Lanka's Opposition vowed today to press ahead with a protest campaign against the suspension of Parliament despite bloody clashes that marred demonstrations last week. Two people were killed and 80 injured as police used live ammunition, teargas and rubber bullets to quell protests against the suspension of Parliament on July 11, just before a no- confidence vote in the President Chandrika Kumaratunga's minority Government. "The protests will continue," Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference in Colombo as the capital braced for the funeral of one of the slain protesters. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:36:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka opposition campaign goes on  - BBC South Asia

Lankan police gives new spin to Indian defeat
NDTV/MSNBC, july 23. Every cricket fan will have a theory on why India lost by six runs to Sri Lanka in a nail-biting finish last night, but a police inspector here blames two political activists who invaded the pitch during the Indian innings.Inspector S A Suraweera told a magistrate's court that the two opposition United National Party activists had "frightened" the Indian batsmen so much they may have ultimately lost the match because of the interruption. Asked about this later, he replied with a chuckle, "it was only my suggestion." More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:30:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka police gives new spin to Indian defeat  - Yahoo Asia
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Ganguly's Indians are under pressure to deliver  - Yahoo India

23 incidents of LTTE Pistol group firing reported so far in the East.
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.40 p.m. SLT Monday July 23. The military today said that one Policeman and a Home guard were killed by the LTTE pistol group in the general areas of Kattankudy, about 04 Kms. South of Batticaloa and Kalmunai in the Ampara district on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July respectively.

So far there have been twenty three incidents of killings in the East, allegedly by the LTTE's pistol gang. Batticaloa and Kalmunai Police are reportedly making inquiries into the murders this last weekend.
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:39:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka releases second batch of Indian fishermen
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 23. (UNI). Sri Lanka today released a second batch of 16 Indian fishermen from custody, taking the total to 38 out of the 66 languishing in a Jaffna prison for almost three months for poaching in their territorial waters. Indian High Commission officials said these fishermen would be taken by the Sri Lankan Navy to the International-Maritime line boundary and handed over to the Indian Coast Guard. The first batch of 22 fishermen, who were released on July 10, was handed over to the Indian Coast Guard. A Jaffna Magistrate, who heard their petition, ordered their release on humanitarian grounds. But the 18 boats in which they had entered Sri Lankan waters have not been released. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 14:35:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

VIRUS WARNING!!
Chennaionline , July 23. This worm arrives as an e-mail message with a random subject. This could be the same as the attachment in the e-mail. The Message would start as "Hi! How are you?" and ends with "See you later. Thanks." The worm picks up a random document from the "My Documents" directory, Appends itself to it, Adds any one of the following extension - .BAT, .EXE, .COM, or .PIF (eg. Financials.DOC.EXE). This new file is then mailed to all the addresses that the worm collects from the Address book and .HTML files found in the system. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 12:11:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo's street people stand up to be counted
Asia Times , july 23. A beggar walks up to Punyasiri Manawaduge and asks him, "Sir, can you count me?" After his initial surprise, the young law undergraduate gathers his wits and responds, "Of course ... come let me get some details." Manawaduge is at the Town Hall in the heart of the Sri Lankan capital on census night, July 17, with a group of 12 enumerators, dubbed "the outdoor team" collecting details of Colombo's street people and the homeless. The response to the survey has been surprising, because many expected reluctance, hesitance, indifference, apathy and most of all ignorance. None of this happened. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 10:57:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Woes
ABC News, 07/23/2001 8:09 am ET . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) The Associated Press reported on July 21 that soldiers killed two people and injured 70 during a demonstration in the capital last week. The army, sent into the streets to support police during the demonstration, said Monday that soldiers never fired their weapons during the July 19 protest. Reporters did not see soldiers fire their weapons. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 10:50:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

United States finances US$ 8 Million loan to Sri Lanka
US Embassy , July 23. The United States of America and Sri Lanka today signed an agreement by which the U.S. will make available an additional US$8 million in concessionary loans to allow Sri Lanka to import approximately 60,000 metric tons of high-quality U.S. wheat over the next twelve months. The United States Embassy Chargé d' Affairs W. Lewis Amselem and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning signed the formal agreement today. Under the program, known as "PL480, Title 1," the Commodity Credit Corporation of U. S. Department of Agriculture agreed to finance US$8 million in wheat sales to Sri Lanka during the current fiscal year. The wheat provided under this agreement or the funds generated by the sale of this wheat can be used, according to the terms of the agreement, "to improve food security, alleviate poverty, and promote broad based equitable and sustainable agriculture in Sri Lanka, including measures to foster the growth forage, feed and livestock industries." This amount of wheat - 60,000 metric tons - represents about 7% of total annual Sri Lankan consumption of wheat, all of which must be imported. Last year Sri Lanka received 37,205 metric tons, valued at $4,725,00, under this PL 480 Food for Peace program. Since 1950, the United States has now provided Sri Lanka with a total of nearly US$1 billion in such concessional wheat sales.
Published: Mon Jul 23 11:27:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Leftist Party Plans Anti-government Rallies
People's Daily, Monday, July 23, 2001, updated at 09:23(GMT+8. Sri Lanka 's leftist JVP or People' s Liberation Front said on Sunday that it has planned to hold a series of rallies in the war-torn country to demand the reconvening of parliament prorogued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week. The JVP said it would hold rallies in 21 towns islandwide on Monday to pressure Kumaratunga to immediately reconvene parliament. The party also said that it opposed Kumaratunga's call for a referendum on a new constitution scheduled on August 21. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 23:36:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Political Strife Could Isolate Sri Lanka Econ -Analysts
Yahoo India, 23 July 2001. Upheaval in Sri Lanka politics may further isolate the island's already war-battered economy from much-needed foreign investment and even derail proposed lending from international agencies, analysts said Monday. Foreign investors, lending agencies and even tourists have had to contend with the island's 18-year ethnic war that places government troops against the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 07:37:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo readies for funeral of pro-democracy protester
Kyodo News, 23 July 2001. White flags of mourning dressed the Sri Lanka capital Monday as opposition supporters readied for the funeral of a man killed last week when police attacked demonstrators protesting what they said were ''dictatorial'' actions of President Chandrika Kumaratunga More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 06:12:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition promises more protests
MSNBC, 23 July 2001. Sri Lanka's opposition vowed on Monday to press ahead with a protest campaign against the suspension of parliament despite bloody clashes that marred demonstrations last week. ''The protests will continue,'' opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a news conference in Colombo as the capital braced for the funeral of one of the slain protesters. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 06:17:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka Opposition Parties Demand Pres' Ouster  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka Censors News on Referendum
yahoo, July 22. The government warned local publications Sunday that printing or broadcasting any ``false'' news related to a coming referendum on the war-torn island's constitution could attract prosecution.An official notice did not call it a censorship, but said that news originating from ``any false statement'' made by a political party or a person on the conduct and management of the Aug. 21 referendum was banned.It did not say what the government meant by ``false statement'' nor did it specify the punishment for violating the order. Publication of any such news would be deemed illegal, it said. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 13:16:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka warns on false reporting on referendum  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka Imposes News Censorship On August Referendum  - Yahoo India

De Mel discusses cricket development with Dalmiya
Yahoo India, Monday July 23, 6:11 PM. Kolkata, Jul 23 (PTI) Former test cricketer Asantha De Mel, the secretary of the interim committee which oversees cricketing activities in Sri Lanka, today met the chairman of the Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF), Jagmohan Dalmiya to discuss various issues related to the development of cricket in the region. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 09:42:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Oppn to protest change in Constitution
indiainfo, july 23. The joint Opposition in Sri Lanka has decided to oppose the August 21 Referendum seeking to change the country's Constitution and urge the people to pay no heed to the government's call for change. Opposition parties are to embark on a common plan of action by holding protest rallies and demonstrations throughout the island.At a meeting on July 20, Opposition parties decided to take on the government collectively to defeat the Referendum.Some leaders suggested a boycott of the Referendum, while the others felt that rejection by the public would hurt the government more. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 23:44:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Temple in Sri Lanka to Display Relic of Buddha
LA Times, July 21. The country's holiest place of Buddhist worship plans to exhibit what most Buddhists believe is a tooth relic of the founder of their religion, said the custodian of the Temple of the Tooth.The relic of the Buddha, which is usually kept within the temple's inner sanctum and out of public view, was last shown in 1995.It will be the first exhibit of the tooth since Tamil rebels damaged the temple in a 1998 suicide bombing that killed 17 More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 01:08:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Malwatte prelate condemns police action on UNP demo, says there’s no SLFP now
The Island , july 23. The Most Ven. Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte, Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi has expressed grave displeasure over the high-handed manner the PA government used force to crush the UNP led anti-government demonstration in Colombo last Thursday.In conversation with the Labour Minister Alavi Moulana last Saturday afternoon Ven. Sri Vipassi Mahanayake said the manner the police acted was so cruel that day that the ordinary police personnel could not face the people of this country. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 23:57:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Political turmoil takes the sunshine off Sri Lanka holidays
yahoo, july 22. Sri Lanka banked on foreign cricket teams to bring their cheer squads and fill empty hotel rooms, but unexpected political instability is playing spoil sport.When England came to Sri Lanka for a Test and One-day series, they brought an army of some 10,000 fans which helped the recession-hit tourism industry to hope for better times.Tourism Minister Lakshman Kiriella who also oversees sports, thought cricket could take a prominent place in promoting the island republic.But the gambit appears to have failed. Attempts to entice India and New Zealand fans to follow their national teams for the current tri-nation tournament here have flopped. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 23:51:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Find New Hero
Yahoo India, 23 July 2001. Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka continued its exemplary record against arch-rivals India at the Premadasa stadium. The day will be remembered for a brilliant all-round display by the previously unheralded Suresh Perera. Ever since Perera was on the 1998 tour to England, where I served as manager, it was clear that this lad had the potential to be a genuine all-rounder. Despite his inconsistency in the last few years, there was no doubt about his talent. He turned the fortunes of the match with some aggressive late-order hitting, a feature that has been lacking in Sri Lankan cricket for some time. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 05:03:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Downslide for India continues, lose cliffhanger to Lanka
chennaionline, july 22. India failed to hold their nerves in a cliffhanger against Sri Lanka to concede a six-run defeat in their second one-day match of the tri-series here on Saturday night.Set to score 222 off 50 overs after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat, India caved in to pressure as they battled regular fall of wickets and dwindling number of overs despite a 69-run knock by skipper Saurav Ganguly and a gritty 49 runs by Rahul Dravid to finish on 215 for 7 off 50 overs.Fortunes tilted to either sides throughout the edge-of-the-seat thriller but Sri Lankan bowlers struck the right blows to throttle the Indian challenge. More...
Published: Mon Jul 23 00:04:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Cricket-India's six-run loss inexcusable, says skipper Ganguly  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-Sri Lanka beat India by six runs  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka president vows to ram through reforms
MSNBC, july 22. Sri Lanka's embattled president vowed on Sunday to push through controversial constitutional reforms without parliamentary approval if she won a mandate at a referendum next month, state radio said. ''The present constitution could be amended without a two-thirds majority (in parliament). How this will be done will be revealed in due course,'' the radio quoted Kumaratunga as telling a meeting of ruling party delegates in Colombo. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 12:08:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pro-democracy activists hold up Sri Lanka match
123India.com, Jul 22 2001 20:27 IST. Pro-democracy activists briefly held up India's innings in a one-day cricket international against Sri Lanka Sunday when they invaded the pitch in a protest against the government.Play was held up for a few minutes at the R. Premadasa Stadium as two men ran to the middle of the pitch and held up posters denouncing the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga."Defeat dictatorship, madness and protect democracy," said a banner in English. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 12:04:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Colombo protest at cricket match  - BBC South Asia

PA's referendum campaign begins: Chandrika raps Doubting Thomases and hints at a good deal for minorities
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 4.04 PM SLT Sunday July 22,2001. The Sri Lankan President Mrs.Chandrika Kumaratunga today exhorted the leadership of the Peoples' Alliance (PA) to plunge into the campaign for the August 21 referendum on a new constitution with the firm faith that she is on the right track.Throwing the gauntlet at the Doubting Thomases within her fold,she said that the pessimists were free to leave the party.

Mrs.Kumaratunga said that she was not counting on the seven defector MPs of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) to come back to the PA,but she was reasonably confident that the Tamils and those Sinhalse with leanings towards to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) would back her if they were wooed.Addressing the Tamils and other minorities directly,Mrs.Kumaratunga said that she had a solution to their problems.

She did not spell out the details of the deal for the Tamils and the minorities, but partymen said that she would incorporate in the constitution a devolution package - a scheme which she had been working on since 1995, a scheme which was aborted by the United National Party (UNP) when it was tabled in parliament on August 3,2000.

Mrs.Kumaratunga has apparently judged the mood of the Tamils and perhaps even the JVP correctly.To take the Tamil parties first: The Tamil parties have begun to feel uneasy about the UNP's tendency to take them for granted.They would like the UNP to spell out what solution it has for the Tamil problem.Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) chief,Mr.S.Adaikalanathan,one of the most outspoken anti-government Tamils in recent times and an ardent supporter of the UNP's no-confidence motion in parliament,said that the TELO or the Tamils could not support the UNP led movement blindly." We,as a Tamil party,have certain demands.We want to know from the UNP what it has for the Tamils.We want this to be given to us in writing," Mr.Adaikalanathan said.Significantly,TELO did not participate in the massive demonstration organised by the UNP late this week.Nor did it attend an earlier meeting in parliament.

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) did participate in the rally,with its Senior Vice President and MP,Mr.V.Anandasangaree,on the podium.But the TULF has told the UNP that will not go the whole hog against the government if the UNP continues to side-step the ethnic problem and concentrates only throwing out the PA government or impeaching President Kumaratunga.

"We were annoyed with the PA government because it did not meet our basic demands in regard to the ethnic question.If the UNP is to have us on board, it should publically declare that,if it came to power, it would immediately order a ceasefire,lift the ban on the LTTE and beging peace talks," said Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham TULF MP for Batticaloa."We cannot be with the UNP just to enable it to capture power," he said.The official stand of the TULF will be known after the party's Central Committee meets on August 5.

That what is going on is a ruse to capture power is seen very clearly by neutral observers.In an interview to the August issue of "Business Today" ( a preview of which was published in the Sunday Observer today ),Mrs.Kumaratunga alleged that the UNP chief Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe had told her at a one on one meeting on July 4,that he would cross over with 40 MPs and help her form a "National Government" if he was made Prime Minister.Mrs.Kumaratunga,who had allowed her Prime Minister and other ministers to explore the possibility of a National Government,recoiled at this demand.She told him point blank that it would be very difficult for her to work with him because she was no D.B.Wijetunge ( the docile UNP leader who was President when Mrs.Kumaratunga became Prime Minister following the 1994 parliamentary elections).

According to many MPs,the JVP may not go along with the UNP to the extent of putting it in power.If the JVP abstaints in the no-confidence vote or does not affix its signature to the motion to impeach the President,the UNP will be in a soup.The opposition will become a minority vis-a-vis the government.The JVP has bitter memories of UNP rule in the late eighties when thousands of its cadres were slaughtered in cold blood by the security forces as well as state sponsored thugs.Being a Marxist party,the JVP is also at sharp odds with the unabashedly right wing UNP.

Political pundits say that behind an apparent slacking of suppport for the UNP's destabilising efforts, is a deepseated fear that Mrs.Kumaratunga,who is an Executive President,may dissolve parliament and put everybody,except herself,in hot water.No MP wants a fresh election in the near future.
Published: Sun Jul 22 06:03:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Marxists, police call truce for protest
MSNBC, July 22. Sri Lankan Marxists said on Sunday they had reached a deal with police for a peaceful protest against the suspension of parliament, averting bloody clashes that had marred demonstrations by other groups.Police gave the radical leftwing Peoples' Liberation Front (JVP) assurances that protests planned for Monday would be protected, the party said in a statement. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 12:12:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-India 112-4 in 30 overs against Sri Lanka (221-9)
Yahoo India, july 22. India were 112 for four wickets in 30 overs in reply to Sri Lanka's 221 for nine in their allotted 50 overs in the third game of a one-day tri-series tournament on Sunday. Skipper Saurav Ganguly was batting on 44 and Rahul Dravid was on 12. Vangipurappu Laxman (17) was the last man out. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 12:14:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ranil wanted to be PM: Chandrika
NDTV/MSNBC, July 22. Sri Lankan Prsesident Chandrika Kumaratunga has aleged that opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted her to make him the country's Prime Minister and offered to bring 40 MPs along to support a national government. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 08:53:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Ranil wanted Premiership: Chandrika  - Press Trust of India

Muralitharan, the mystery bowler
Yahoo India, july 22. While various theories have been propounded about Murali's areas of weakness, or more appropriately, lesser strength, by and large he has dominated all batsmen, except on rare occasions. It is generally felt that players in the sub-continent have played him better than others and Azharuddin, Sidhu and Tendulkar of India, Salim Malik and Anwar of Pakistan and the former South African captain Hansie Cronje have had very little difficulty in handling him and posed problems to the diminutive spinner, and their records against him have been impressive. Different players and teams have approached Murali in different ways and some More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 12:16:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Marxists gear up for anti-government meetings
123India.com, Jul 22 2001 13:57 IST. COLOMBO, July 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main Marxist party Sunday announced plans to stage a string of public rallies to demand the reconvening of parliament shut down by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The opposition JVP, or People's Liberation Front, said it would hold meetings in 21 towns Monday to pressure Kumaratunga to immediately summon the legislature, where her People's Alliance has lost its majority. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 08:49:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan troops kill two rebels setting up ambush on key highway
123India.com, Jul 22 2001 15:17 IST. COLOMBO, July 22 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops killed two Tamil Tiger rebels planting landmines along the main military supply route in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the defence ministry said Sunday. Troops shot dead the two rebels following a tip-off from a man who was forced to help in setting up the two mines and three gand grenades along the road leading to the Kain airbase at Palaly on Saturday, the ministry said. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 08:44:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika appoints truth panel
Deccan Herald, COLOMBO, July 21 (PTI) Sri Lankan President. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appointed a 'Truth Commission' to probe the July 1983 riots that left hundreds of Tamils killed in Colombo and other areas of the country. The three-member panel, headed by former Chief Justice S Sharvananda, will also investigate the nature, causes and extent of violations of human rights and destruction of property in the course of the ethnic violence from 1981 to 1984, with special reference to July 1983. Named 'Truth Commission on Ethnic Violence', the probe panel, which includes two senior lawyers S S Sahabandu and M M Zuhair, will have a mandate to inquire into and report on persons, groups and institutions responsible for the violence, The week-long carnage against the ethnic minority in July 1983 is widely seen as the main reason for the birth of the 18-year-old civil war between the government and the LTTE. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 08:55:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Referendum move unites Lanka opposition parties
Asianage, 22 July 2001. Beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s decision to hold a referendum on changing Sri Lanka’s Constitution has united rival political groups that decided on Saturday to campaign against next month’s vote. Election commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front, in a turnaround, decided to oppose any changes to the Constitution. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 00:41:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Courts orders arrest of three Lankan policemen
thenewspapertoday, 22 July 2001. A court in Colombo has ordered the arrest of three policemen for allegedly killing an unarmed protester even as the Sri Lankan government continued to draw flak for its crackdown on an Opposition rally against President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International joined the local Opposition parties in severely condemning the government for its use of 'excessive force' against unarmed crowds that milled into the capital on Thursday to protest the closure of Parliament under Kumaratunga's executive powers. Colombo Additional Magistrate Ayshani Jayasena directed on Friday that two police inspectors and a constable of the Kotahena precincts be taken into custody and produced for an identification parade on July 23. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 00:31:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ministers clash over police attack
Sunday Leader, 22 July 2001. The government was sharply divided on Friday following Thursday's attack on an opposition protest campaign with several ministers criticising the high-handed action taken by the defence ministry. Several ministers expressed their shock and revulsion at the high-handed police action under instructions from the defence ministry at Friday's cabinet meeting presided over by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Among the ministers who were critical of the action were Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris and Public Administration Minister Richard Pathirana. Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandupulle too had been sharply critical of the government over the issue. More...
Published: Sun Jul 22 02:01:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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