The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 27, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 112

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
Parliamentary Speaker leaves for USA without announcing return date.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 0348 slt 28.07.01. Parliamentary speaker Anura Bandaranaike left for the United States last night without announcing a return date despite the on going political crisis. Mr.Bandaranaike a UNP member of parliament and the younger brother of President Kumaratunga is not expected to return until the referendum on August 21st according to his confidants. His departure coincides with plans by the opposition which controls 115 seats in the 225 seat parliament, to hand over a motion impeaching President Kumaratunga. The motion signed by a simple majority of MPs can only be accepted with the consent of the Speaker. Otherwise two thirds of MPs must sign the motion. The speaker departed despite appeals by the UNP leadership not to do so in the midst of a crisis where the parliament is locked in a battle with the Executive President.
Published: Fri Jul 27 18:03:23 EDT 2001


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Lanka oppn snubs Chandrika's invite to meet
TOI, July 28. Sri Lanka's opposition parties on Friday snubbed a surprise invitation by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to discuss the current developments, following Tuesday's LTTE airport attack. Kumaratunga, a day after blasting the main opposition United National Party (UNP), called on them and other political parties for separate meetings on Friday but most declined the late invitation which they believed had no true purpose. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:54:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Annan Condemns Attack on Sri Lanka Airport
Nothern Light, Friday, July 27, 2001 5:51 PM EST . United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the recent attack by the rebel Tamil Tigers against Sri Lanka's international airport, urging all sides to make efforts for peace. The U.N. chief "is dismayed" at the attack in the country's capital, Colombo, said a statement issued by his spokesman on Friday. Annan called on "all sectors of Sri Lankan society to make every effort to initiate and sustain a viable peace process," the statement said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:21:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President cancel meeting with UNP chairman saying she wants to meet the Opposition leader.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1913 slt 27.07.01. President Kumaratunga today cancelled a scheduled meeting with Chairman of the UNP Charitha Ratwatta saying she wanted a meeting with Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. A official of the President Secretariat has asked the Opposition leader to give a time of his convenience to meet the President. However, Wickremesinghe has refused to meet the President and instead asked her to write to him saying he would respond in writing. President Kumaratunga accused the opposition leader of "begging for the Prime Minister's post" at a secret meeting last month between the two. The state media also said Wickremesinghe had said he and 41 of his loyalists were willing to form a government with the PA. Wickremsinghe strongly denied the allegations but the President's public comments heart his reputation in the country and in the party end
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:27:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Defeat UNP-LTTE conspiracy - Mangala
CDN, july 28. SLFP Media Spokesman, Urban Development, Construction and Public Utilities Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday called on all patriotic forces to join hands irrespective of class, creed and race to defeat the UNP-led conspiracy to turn the Parliament into a LTTE catspaw. According to him it has been revealed that Tigers are also attempting to have control over certain racist elements within the Government through the business mafia. He says that traitors behind this conspiracy have already been exposed. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 23:40:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

'LTTE entered airbase via secret entry'
Indiainfo, July 27. While the Sri Lankan Air Force has admitted security lapses, investigations into daring assault on Katunayake International Airport and the adjoining airbase revealed that Tamil Tiger guerrillas had entered the premises through a secret passage near the entrance to a playground. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:26:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Insurance blow for airlines flying to Sri Lanka
123India, July 27. Foreign airlines flying to Sri Lanka's rebel-hit international airport are to face higher insurance premiums, aviation sources said Friday. European and US re-insurers who are evaluating possible risks following Tuesday's devastating Tamil Tiger attack against the Bandaranaike International Airport have indicated reviewing their rates. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:46:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan President Faces Opposition To Referendum Plan
Yahoo Singapore, July 27. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's plans to hold a referendum next month to change Sri Lanka's constitution suffered a setback Friday with a governing alliance partner opposing the move. The Ceylon Workers' Congress controls four seats in 225-seat Parliament. But its support is crucial for Kumaratunga's government that has been reduced to a minority with 109 lawmakers on her side. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:41:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President Kumaratunga finds new voluntary apologist - inside story of NSSP
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 27/07/01 1700GMT. The latest U-turn by Dr. Wickramabahu Karunarathne, General Secretary of Nawa Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), to campaign "Yes" vote for the August 21 referendum has once again shocked the political circles with Dr. Karunarathne regularly appearing in state media. While many other opposition parties including main opposition United National Party (UNP) campaigning for "No" vote, NSSP has joined the "left" forces with Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), known as main voluntary apologist for the President, along with Sri Lanka Communist Party (CP) and Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP). The NSSP general secretary says that they are the force that can activate the left elements within the Peoples’ Alliance (PA). Earlier the party rejected the PA as a Racist Rightwing Nationalist alliance of the capitalist classes.

Dr. Karunarathne, who earned a reputation as the only Sinhala dominant party leader to campaign for the self determination of the minority Tamils, is himself a controversial figure, according to Colombo’s political analysts. His ambition to become the chairman of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) made him to allegedly make a pact with then leader of the opposition Karu Jayasuriya, though Dr. Karuanrathne was known as a severe critic of the UNP. NSSP leader’s earlier controversial decision to sack a Tamil Municipal Councillor (MC) and appoint himself as the successor in the Colombo MC also raised concern. Moreover, once Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) accused Dr. Karunarathne of volunteering to be their Presidential candidate, which JVP did not entertain at all.

"We are not campaigning for the President. We neither support forces with S.B. , G.L. and Rathnasiri. There is a significant leftwing force within the PA. We are working to unite these forces in order to force, to encircle, and pressurise Chandrika to take steps to establish a Constitutional Assembly which includes the LTTE." Dr. Karunarathne told BBC’s Sandeshaya. He also said, "these forces will Force the President to the left."

He also admitted that he had discussions with government ministers about the NSSP role in the referendum campaign. Since then, he is seen in many discussion programmes on state Television campaigning for the yes vote in the referendum.
Published: Fri Jul 27 13:01:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Colombo-bound passengers say airlines abandon them
Gulf-News, July 26. Passengers stranded in Dubai as a result of the attack on Colombo's international airport by Tamil militants have complained that they are being forced to pay for hotel rooms and meals through no fault of their own.The passengers, en route to the Sri Lankan capital, were put up in a local hotel until flights resume. Many of them were in transit, travelling on various airlines, when their flights to Colombo were cancelled.Bandula Jayasekhara,* 41, a Sri Lankan journalist who was flying from New York to Colombo via Amsterdam and Dubai on Monday, said, "We were asked to pay $55 for each night which doesn't include food. They were even asking for a deposit whenever we went to make a phone call."

*Bandula Jayasekara works for Lanka Academic among other publications

More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:35:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President seeks a united front against Tamil Tigers
The Scotsman, July 27. SRI LANKA’S president, facing growing opposition to her rule, appealed yesterday for political support to end an ethnic war that a day earlier hit her country’s only international airport. Chandrika Kumaratunga, who suspended parliament this month before a no-confidence vote in her minority government, said her political opponents should work with her to "end the challenge of terrorism". More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:49:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Renewed fighting in Sri Lanka's north kills 11 - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, Friday, July 27th 16:26 GMT. COLOMBO, July 27 Kyodo - Eight Tamil Tiger rebels and three government soldiers were killed Friday in renewed fighting in Sri Lanka's northern war zone after a three-day lull, government officials said. (22 :44) More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 12:26:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Fighting In Sri Lanka Resumes; Eight Killed, 18 Wounded  - Yahoo Singapore

Nepali Government Condemns Bombing in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Friday, July 27, 2001 11:59 AM EST . The Government of Nepal Friday condemned the recent bombing incident in Sri Lanka's International Airport. "It is with deep shock that the government of Nepal has received the news of the recent bombing incident at the Colombo International Airport resulting in the damage of military and commercial aircraft," the Nepali Foreign Ministry said in a press statement issued here Friday. "The government of Nepal condemns all such reprehensible acts and calls for the imperative need of preserving and safeguarding of peace and order in public life," the statement said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 22:21:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President orders investigation into Samurdhi Minister's wealth
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1910 slt 27.07.01. President Kumaratunga has ordered the Inland Revenue department to investigate the wealth of Samurdhi Minister S.B.Dissanayake, the Ravaya newspaper reported today. The Minister is leading a 20 string dissident group including two other ministers that are having talks with the Opposition leader to form a broad base government.
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:27:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka police defends tough action against "illegal" demonstrators
Yahoo Asia, Friday, July 27 9:07 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's police Friday said it had acted in the "interest of civilians" when it fired at anti-government protestors and killed two people. Deputy Police Inspector General, D.S.C. Kombalavithana said police acted only to break up the "illegal" demonstration which took place last week. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 10:02:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Little hope of govt-opposition rapproachement:But understanding with CWC likely
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 3.10 PM SLT July 27,2001. There was little or no hope of a rapprochement between the Chandrika Kumaratunga government and the opposition led by the United National Party (UNP) even as the President held a series of meetings here today.

On thursday evening,President Kumaratunga had invited the opposition parties for separate meetings to discuss the national situation in the wake of the LTTE's devastating strike at the Kaunayake airbase and the international airport on tuesday.The opposition too had written to her seeking the immediate convening of the prorogued parliament to disuss the national crisis.They wanted the August 21 referendum on the need for a new constitution called off.

But the response to the President's invitation was poor,though she had a fruitful dialogue with the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC),which had been threatening to become an opposition party if some of its demands were not met.The two agreed to meet again on Monday.

The UNP sent its chairman Mr.Charitha Ratwatta to represent it.But as a UNP MP put it,this represented a downgradation as Mr.Ratwatta is neither a MP nor a top leader.The UNP top brass chose to be away at a party rally in Kandy today.The excuse they trotted out was that the President had not given adequate notice and that the invitation was not worked out on the basis of mutual convenience.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) did not attend the meeting on the grounds that the notice was too short.But the party was ready for a meeting at a later date.The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) wrote to say that it would have to first discuss the issues threadbare at a meeting of its Central Committee to be held in Colombo on August 5.The party was ready to meet the President on any day after that.

The Malvayaga Munnetra Munnani (MMM) of former Deputy Minister Mr.Chandrsekharan refused to meet the President saying that the President's invitation was a devise to circumvent the real issues facing the country like the prorogation of parliament at a moment of grave national crisis.It also said that the idea behind meeting the parties separately was to strike deals with individual parties and break their unity.

The CWC had presented to the President the Indian Origin Tamils' case for the retention of the Proportional Representation System (PRS).The delegation pointed out to the President that under the First Past the Post System (FPPA) which prevailed till 1978,the Indian Tamils had only one seat in parliament.The PR system had given them ten,though even this was less considering the fact that they were 7% of the population who should get sixteen seats out of 225, the CWC said.

The President said that it would not possible for her to retain the PRS in toto but she had thought of ways of meeting the legitimate demands of the Indian Origin Tamils.She said that she had a blue print of a suitable electoral system which she would like to discuss with the CWC on monday.The CWC agreed to this.

Meanwhile the JVP's Wimal Weerawansa said that neither the Peoples' Alliance (PA) nor the UNP should take his party for granted.He lambased the President for proroguing of parliament and ordering a referendum on a not-so-important issue like the constitution.He said that the JVP wanted Sri Lanka to be a unitary state.He also wanted government ministers and deputy ministers to forgo their salaries for two years as a sign of their commitment to the country's cause.

Mr.Weerawansa did not spare the UNP either.He said that the UNP was only interested in capturing power.It wanted the re-opening of parliament only to get it to vote on the no confidence motion.The UNP had made no moves on other issues like the referendum and impeaching the President, Mr.Weerawansa pointed out.
Published: Fri Jul 27 08:40:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top


President Kumaratunge refuses to meet UNP chairman
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 27/07/01 1205GMT. President Chandrika B. Kumaratunge has refused to meet Charitha Ratwatta, chairman of the United National Party (UNP), to discuss the recent LTTE attack on Katunayake airbase, party sources revealed. UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has declined to attend the meeting with the President, on her invitation, and assigned party chairman Mr. Ratwatta as the representative. According to informed sources, all opposition parties, apart from the "marxist" Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), have decided to send party officials instead of the leaders to meet the President. Those officials are also advised to request the President to reconvene the prorogued parliament while discussing the security situation.

Meanwhile the JVP, who maintains a view that the President’s decision to prorogue the parliament is constitutional, has requested another time to meet Mrs. Kumaratunge.
Published: Fri Jul 27 08:07:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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UNP chairman to represent the party at the meeting with President  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

SriLankan Airlines struggles after Tamil airport attack
Yahoo Asia, Friday, July 27 8:24 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's rebel-hit national carrier SriLankan Airlines was Friday battling mounting cancellations amid an expected drop in tourists travelling to the island. The airline said cancellations had begun pouring in from European travel operators as foreign governments, including those of Britain, Germany and Australia, warned their nationals against visiting Sri Lanka following Tuesday's devastating attack on the international airport. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:09:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan Air/Planes -2: Temporary Reduction Of Routes
Yahoo Singapore, Friday July 27, 7:23 PM . COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--SriLankan Airlines said Friday that it will start replacing lost planes over the medium-term, and that would depend on demand for flights over the next few months. "The replacement of lost aircraft would largely depend on how quickly business returns to normal," SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Peter Hill told a press conference. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:13:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan hopes to get grounded planes back soon
Yahoo India, Friday July 27, 3:40 PM. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's national airline, which lost half its fleet in a rebel attack on Colombo's airport this week, was hopeful three of its damaged airliners would be flying again within a few months, officials said on Friday. The suicide attackers, targetting an air force base and the adjoining international airport, destroyed three of the 12 Airbus aircraft in the SriLankan fleet and damaged three others, leaving the firm scrambling to meet flight schedules. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:06:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Airbus begins probe into Sri Lankan aircraft losses  - 123India.com

JVP to launch its no campaign at the referendum on August 1st
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1135 slt 27.07.01. The JVP is to launch its campaign to defeat the August 21st referendum on the 1st of August with a party delegates meeting in Colombo. " We have planned for about 20.000 village level meetings and 20 large rallies" JVP Parliamentary leader Wimal Weerawansha told Lacnet news this morning. The ruling PA launched its campaign to win the referendum yesterday with a rally in Anuradhapura. end
Published: Fri Jul 27 01:49:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UN: Secretary-Genera... condemns attack by Tamil Tigers on Colombo Airport
Nothern Light, Friday, July 27, 2001 4:12 AM EST . Jul 27, 2001 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan: The Secretary-General has continued to follow closely developments in Sri Lanka and was deeply dismayed by the recent attack of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) against the international airport in Colombo. The Secretary-General condemns this terrorist act and the disregard by the LTTE for the lives of civilians. The Secretary-General urges all sectors of Sri Lankan society to make every effort to initiate and sustain a viable peace process. He reiterates his support for the efforts of the Government of Norway to facilitate a negotiated political solution to the destructive conflict in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 06:06:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP asks for time for meeting with President.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1045 slt 27.07.01. The JVP has informed President Kumaratunga that time given to meet her to discuss the current crisis after LTTE attack in Katunanayake was insufficient." We ask the President for a another time to meet. The meeting was requested late evening yesterday and the appointment was for this morning" JVP parliamentary leader Wimal Weerawansha told Lacnet this morning. The President is meeting leaders of political parties in the opposition individually to discuss the current crisis.
Published: Fri Jul 27 01:06:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

2 Airforce men held over Lanka Airport attack
Asian Age, 27 July 2001. Police detained on Thursday two Air Force men who had been on guard duty when Tamil Tiger rebels carried out a devastating attack on the international airport and adjoining Air Force base. A senior Air Force official said, on condition of anonymity, that the troopers had been detained for questioning as officials try to find out how the 13 rebels , armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons got onto the base without being detected. The police said earlier on Thursday they had seized the minibus they believe the rebels had used, and detained the driver and three other Tamil men in overnight raids. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 21:56:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Spies may have paved way for air base attack: Sri Lanka daily - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, Friday, July 27th 13:24 GMT. COLOMBO, July 27 Kyodo - Investigators probing Tuesday's devastating rebel attack on Sri Lanka's main air force base and its only international airport are probing whether spies inside the facilities helped the rebels penetrate their targets, a state-owned newspaper said Friday. (21 :25) More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:21:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SriLankan Airlines appeals to Emirates for help moving stranded passengers
Nothern Light, Friday, July 27, 2001 6:27 AM EST . Jul 27, 2001 (AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION via COMTEX) -- Emirates Airline of Dubai, UAE has been asked by SriLankan Airlines to help accommodate its passengers after about 50% of the Sri Lankan airline's fleet was knocked out of action by a Tamil Tiger rebel attack at Sri Lanka's main airport on Tuesday (24 July). Emirates holds a 40% stake in SriLankan Airlines. The Sri Lankan carrier has indicated that some 4,000 passengers have been stranded by the loss of 4 of its aircraft. It is hoping to use Emirates' hubs in Dubai and Singapore to move people from Sri Lanka to the Middle East, Europe and other destinations. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 07:27:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Air Force Makes Inquiry Into Tamil Rebel Attack on Base
People's Daily, Friday, July 27, 2001, updated at 15:50(GMT+8. Sri Lanka n air force have launched inquires into a pre-dawn attack on their main base and adjoining international airport by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday to ascertain whether air force personnel were involved in spying for the Tamil rebels. Air force sources said that stern action will also be taken against anyone found guilty of neglecting their duty or failing to act on available information in connection with the rebel attack. A witness at the Magisterial inquiry into the rebel attack said that he had informed two airmen on duty at a check point about a group of suspicious men alighting from a bus with heavy baggage but no action had been taken. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 04:56:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Foreign airlines return to Sri Lanka
NDTV/MSNBC, 27, July. The Sri Lankan Air force has said that it will investigate the breach of security at the Bandarnaike international airport in Colombo on Tuesday. An attack by the LTTE at the Katunaike military base, which adjoins the international airport, had destroyed 11 aircraft. Three Air Force personnel were killed and eight others, including three civilians, were wounded in the attack.President Kumaratunga had ordered a full-scale inquiry into how the Tamil tigers penetrated the high security cordons round the airport area. She described Tuesday's daring Tamil Tiger assault on the island's only international airport as the "most horrendous ever" against an economic target in the island. International airlines on Thursday resumed flights to Sri Lanka's rebel-hit airport, which banned private aircraft and refuelling stops in a bid to clear a backlog of stranded passengers, officials said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 03:08:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Technical Experts to Assess Damage to Sri Lankan Aircraft  - Nothern Light

Shakeel angry at cricket score, tells bookies to stop payment
Yahoo India, 27 July. MUMBAI hosted an unusual meeting on Thursday evening. Scores of bookies in the city got together to discuss a threat they received from Karachi-based gang lord Chhota Shakeel.Sources say Shakeel issued an order to bookies to stop payments against the bets placed during the match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand held on Wednesday in Colombo. Shakeel, who would have lost crores of rupees with the Sri Lankan victory, believes the match was fixed, say police sources.More than 120 bookies in Mumbai have received threats from the don. Police sources say Shakeel has asked them to follow sauda fok, which in betting terms means no payment. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 03:17:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indo-Pak Foreign Secretaries to meet in Colombo on August 10
Press Trust of India, Islamabad,Friday, July 27, 2001. Pakistan Thursday said there was "good possibility" of the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan to meet during the SAARC's Standing Committee meeting beginning in Colombo on August 10 and if the meeting takes place they could focus their discussions on how to carry the Agra peace process forward. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 03:07:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka airlines shifts hub, battles backlog
TOI, 27 JULY 2001. Sri Lanka's national airline was on Thursday battling to clear a backlog of thousands of passengers, as President Chandrika Kumaratunga described the rebel attack on the international airport as the most horrendous ever. She thanked state institutions for managing the crisis efficiently and reopening the country's only international airport quickly to ensure minimum inconvenience to thousands of stranded passengers. Organs of the state demonstrated a "brilliant exercise in crisis management by bringing possibly the most horrendous attack on a public facility ever seen in Sri Lanka under control within a few hours," she said. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 03:41:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President invites opposition leaders for a meeting tomorrow to discuss the crisis after LTTE attack on air base and international airport
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2125 slt 26.07.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has invited leaders of opposition parties in Parliament for a meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss the crisis after the LTTE attack on the Katunayake air base and the international airport. Meanwhile leaders of the seven opposition parties in Parliament today wrote to President Kumaratunga demanding that parliament be resummoned immediately to discuss the current crisis. In a joint letter signed by leaders of the UNP,SLMC,JVP, Sihala Urumaya, TULF,TELO and ACTC, they demanded that parliament be re summoned "so that it can exercise its sovereign powers entrusted it by the constitution in the present crisis"
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Kumaratunga invites opposition for talks  - Press Trust of India

Travellers see aftermath of Tamil raid
National Post , July 27. Passengers cheered and applauded as the first airliner touched down yesterday evening at Sri Lanka's international airport 36 hours after a suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels.But within seconds of landing, they were gasping in horror as the SriLankan Airlines Airbus taxied to the terminal past the charred remains of the 14 military and civilian aircraft the rebels had bombed and damaged in Tuesday's pre-dawn raid. Thirteen rebels and seven military personnel died in the attack."I feel like crying when I think of all the times I flew in these burned-out planes,'' said Peshani, a flight attendant. "It's too horrendous to believe what has happened.'' More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 01:29:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka May Tourist Arrivals Up 15% On-Year
Yahoo Singapore, Friday July 27, 4:53 PM. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in May rose 15% to 26,924 compared with the same month last year, the Ceylon Tourist Board said Friday. The board said the number of tourists from most regions increased. Leading the arrival numbers was Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 06:37:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt. rejects Opposition’s call to reconvene Parliament
Island, 27 July 2001. The government yesterday rejected the joint Opposition’s call for the resummoning of Parliament. General Secretary of the PA Minister D. M. Jayaratne said that the prorogation would stand and Parliament would reopen as originally scheduled. "We will only reopen Parliament on the already scheduled date, September 7. We will not reconvene before that, the decision stands unchanged," the Minister said. Asked whether Tuesday’s attack did not warrant the immediate summoning of Parliament, he affirmed that the prorogation would stand. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:23:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ganguly banned; injured Laxman to miss Test series
Yahoo India, Friday July 27, 5:54 PM. India will be without skipper Sourav Ganguly and may miss Venkatsai Laxman and Zaheer Khan in their crucial triangular one-day cricket series match against Sri Lanka here on Saturday. Ganguly has been suspended for one match for dissent, while middle-order batsman Laxman (right knee) and left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan (right shin) are doubtful starters due to injuries and will return home after Saturday's match, Indian manager Anant Mate said on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jul 27 09:08:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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The blanket effect  - Yahoo India
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Oops, they did it again!  - Yahoo India
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Sidhu gets Sri Lankan praise  - TOI

Chandrika asks Opposition to drop confrontation
The Hindu (International), 27-07-2001 . By Nirupama Subramanian COLOMBO, As Sri Lanka began putting together the pieces from the LTTE attack on its only civilian airport, the President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, reiterated her government's commitment to a peaceful resolution of the ethnic conflict and appealed to the Opposition to join hands with her in the task of nation-building. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:13:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan police arrest more Tamils
Asianage, 27 July 2001. Police said Thursday they have seized a minibus they believe was used by Tamil Tiger rebels who carried out a devastating attack on the international airport and adjoining air force base. Police detained the driver of the minibus, and three other Tamil men in overnight raids. That brought the total number of men arrested to seven in the investigation of the Tuesday attack, which left seven military men and 13 guerrillas dead, and 13 aircraft damaged or destroyed. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 22:05:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

We’ll cover our losses by insurance claims - SriLankan Airlines CEO
Island, 27 July 2001. A team of international assessors arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport on Wednesday evening to assess the damage to SriLankan Airlines fleet, airline sources said yesterday. Of the 12 aircraft in the fleet, six were lost in Tuesday’s attack. "Three of them were totally written off, one A 340 Airbus and two Airbus A 330 aircraft. The other three were damaged, some more than others, but they are repairable, the sources said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:28:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chennai IA resumes Colombo flights
The Hindu (Southern States), 27-07-2001 . After suspending flights to Colombo for two days, Indian Airlines today resumed its scheduled services, flying a full complement of 252 passengers, including those stranded in Chennai. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:24:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan airline cuts service
BBC, Fri 27th July 2001 00:10GMT. Sri Lanka's national carrier says it will only fly passengers to Dubai and Singapore after it lost half its fleet in an attack this week by Tamil Tiger rebels. From now on, passengers to Europe will have to change on to an Emirates plane in Dubai and the Far Eastern market will be served through Singapore while the airline tries to work out a weekly schedule for flights. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:12:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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News Update: CEO's Statement  - Sri Lankan Airlines

Prime Minister says the government would appoint a constitutional commission to get views of the people
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2130 slt 26.07.01. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake announced today that the government would appoint a constitutional commission to get views of the people on a new constitution. He said the commission would not have any powers to draft a new constitution but would forward its recommendations to the President after consulting the people of the country. He was speaking at a inaugural rally in Anuradhapura of the People Alliance campaign to win support for the August 21st referendum end
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Dept of Foreign Affairs Advises Australia's to Avoid Sri Lanka
Yahoo Singapore, 27 July 2001. The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Australians to avoid travelling to Sri Lanka following a terrorist attack on a major airport near the capital. Although international flights have resumed to Colombo since Tuesday's attack that left 13 people dead, DFAT advises both holiday-makers and business travellers to look at changing their plans. "Following the 24 July terrorist attack on Bandaranaike International Airport Australians should consider deferring all holiday and normal business travel to Sri Lanka," DFAT said in its upgraded travel warning. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 22:07:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PA’s inaugural referendum rally shows divisions in the party
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1715GMT. Ruling Peoples’ Alliance’s (PA) inaugural campaign rally for the scheduled referendum seem to be unsuccessful as divisions in the party were clearly visible, reports from Anuradhapura say. Absence of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) secretary general S.B.Dissanayake is seen as a clear "rebellion", according to informed sources. President Chandrika Kumaratunga herself was also absent from the rally and Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake announced that the helicopter carrying the President has been "forced to revert" due to bad weather.
Published: Thu Jul 26 13:18:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's economy reels after raid
BBC, Fri 27th July 00:10GMT. At best, the attack on Sri Lanka's only international airport and a military base next door by separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas has cost the impoverished country $350m. At worst, it could set the economy back years, Sri Lankans fear. The $350m is the sum the government estimates it will cost to replace the eight military jets also lost in the attack. Three brand-new Airbus jets belonging to state flag carrier Sri Lanka Airlines, were burnt to cinders, while a further three were badly damaged. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 20:07:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP advises "political strategy" to business leaders
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1745GMT. Leaders of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have secretly met the local business leaders to discuss the strategy over the current political turmoil. The JVP, whose refusal to protest the government’s moves to prorogue the parliament has humiliated the joint opposition, is currently playing a " secret political game", according to political analysts. "The essence of the moment is to join hands to protest the referendum than centring attention to the parliament" JVP propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa, MP told BBC’s Sandeshaya. Asked what JVP had to discuss with business leaders, Mr. Weerawansa said the business leaders are also embarrassed with the situation and the JVP "advised" them how to come out from the current deadlock.

The JVP did not take part in last week’s opposition moves to reconvene the parliament ignoring President Kumaratunge’s order to prorogue the session. The United National Party (UNP) led opposition therefore had to satisfy only with an unofficial meeting as they did not have the parliamentary majority without the JVP’s support. Asked whether UNP see this as a barrier, UNP spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku told Sandeshaya they understand that the JVP has its own difficulties finding solution safeguarding its own identity.
Published: Thu Jul 26 13:48:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Airport attack real damage revealed
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 26/07/01 1700GMT. Tuesday’s devastating predawn suicide attack by Tamil Tigers to Sri Lanka’s only international airport has destroyed and severely damaged many more air crafts than estimated, apart from the three Airbuses and eight Kfir fighter jets, The Lanka Academic reliably learns. Informed sources revealed that Two Bell 412 helicopters were destroyed and two more VVIP Bell 412s severely damaged; One MIG- 27 fighter jet and Two Kfir fighter planes also were destroyed. Four Kfirs and One Bell 412 helicopter were severely damaged. This brings the total number of damaged air crafts to at least 26. All those air crafts have been stored in the aircraft hangers and the real damage therefore is far more than the initial estimate.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Airlines today announced that it is to temporarily shift its operational base to Singapore and Dubai as a part of its attempt to clear the backlog after the attack.
Published: Thu Jul 26 12:58:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Lanka carrier picks up pieces  - The Pioneer

Lankan Air Force to probe attack on airbase
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, July 26. (UNI). The Sri Lankan Air Force has appointed a special committee to probe Tuesday's assault by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Katunayake airbase and the Bandaranaike international airport even as police have arrested seven suspects. Official sources said the committee would concentrate on checking the possibility of any assistance to the terrorists from within the airbase. The committee would also question personnel who served at Katunayake earlier. A senior Air Force official said the possibility of internal assistance could not be ruled out due to the fact that the LTTE cadres penetrated the high security zone and made a planned entry into the airport. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:16:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Exports To Dip In 2001 -Trade Assoc
Yahoo Singapore, Thursday July 26, 12:52 PM. Sri Lanka's export earnings will dip this year due to slower demand from key markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan, said the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka. A.S.M. Muzzamil, the association's chairman, said at its annual general meeting late Wednesday that high interest rates and steep energy costs were also eating into exporters' earnings and resulting in several closures of export firms. "I cannot recollect facing a situation such as the one we are facing today where everything seems to be against us - the markets, prices, the country's political and economic stability and costs of production," Muzzamil said. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 18:54:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mani Rathnam to shoot his next film in Sri Lanka
Hindustan Times , July 26. Just when the unstoppable Dev Anand confirmed that he was making a film on the Nepal tragedy, pushing people into asking when he will finally retire, comes another news. Known for being adventurous in his choice of themes, director Mani Rathnam's next venture will be set in Sri Lanka.Shooting in Sri Lanka is a different ballgame. The island is strife-torn, and making a film in the country is not the simplest thing to do. But for one to deliver a hit even in a regional film, taking risks has become increasingly necessary. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:33:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Airport Reopens As Police Detain 3 Men
Yahoo Singapore, Thursday July 26, 1:50 AM. Sri Lanka's international airport reopened Wednesday and police detained three Tamil men as suspects in a daring rebel attack that left 20 people dead a day earlier. Soldiers fired at another man in a field near the airport, but he escaped, a few hours before the first flight landed.

It was a Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A340 bringing 180 passengers from Madras, India, where they had been diverted Tuesday by the rebel attack. "We were pretty scared," said Philip Labrooy, an Australian arriving on the flight for a 12-day holiday. Ten minutes before they were due to land in Colombo on Tuesday, their captain said they were being diverted to another airport.

More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 19:01:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Ceylon Workers Congress says it will oppose the referendum for a new constitution
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2120 slt 26.07.02. The CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman said today all estate trade unions including the CWC have decided to oppose the August 21st referendum for a new constitution. In a live interview with Swarnavahini TV the Minister said he would inform the President of this decision tomorrow. The CWC has four seats in parliament and is the most powerful trade union in the planation sector.
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:37:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka airline cuts service
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK . Sri Lanka's national carrier says it will only fly passengers to Dubai and Singapore after it lost half its fleet in an attack this week by Tamil Tiger rebels. Three Sri Lankan Airline planes were damaged and three others were completely destroyed in a fierce gunbattle at the country's only international airport between the military and suicide rebel attackers. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:52:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muscat flight leaves for Lanka
Yahoo India, 27 July 2001. The Sri Lankan Airlines Muscat-Colombo flight, diverted here after Tuesday’s LTTE attack on the Bandaranaike international airport in Colombo, left here yesterday to complete its original flight schedule with 139 passengers on board. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 23:31:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S.Lanka intelligence red-faced after airport raid
MSNBC, Thursday, 26th July, 14:11 GMT. COLOMBO, July 26 — Sri Lanka's intelligence community was feeling acutely embarrassed on Thursday after Tamil Tiger guerrillas breached one of the country's tightest security cordons and wreaked havoc at its international airport. As pressure mounted on the defence establishment, two airmen were detained for questioning over allegations they ignored a vital clue to the presence of the rebels around Bandaranaike International Airport hours before the attack. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 10:08:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans private aircraft after rebel attack
123India.com, Jul 26 2001 18:07 IST. COLOMBO, July 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka officials Thursday announced a temporary ban on all private flights and re-fuelling stops at the country's only international airport following a Tamil rebel attack. Civil aviation officials said the measure was taken to give priority to scheduled commercial flights in the aircraft parking area, where space was restricted after Tuesday's attack wrecked several planes. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:46:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition seeks parliament restoration
123India.com, Jul 26 2001 13:39 IST. COLOMBO, July 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's combined opposition demanded Thursday the immediate restoration of parliament to discuss the devastating Tamil rebel attack against the island's only international airport. The seven political parties which represent 115 members -- a majority in the 225-member assembly -- called for the immediate summoning of parliament which President Chandrika Kumaratunga has shut down till September 7. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 06:24:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Airline battles backlog as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism
Yahoo Singapore, 26 July 2001. Sri Lanka's national airline was Thursday battling to clear a backlog of thousands of passengers, as President Chandrika Kumaratunga described the rebel attack on the international airport as the "most horrendous ever." SriLankan Airlines, which announced it was shifting hubs to Dubai and Singapore, said it was trying to arrange a weekly schedule with its depleted fleet, but warned it will not be able to meet full demand. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:45:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Air traffic picks up at Sri Lankan airport  - Yahoo Singapore
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Colombo airport back in business but chaos reigns  - Yahoo Singapore
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Sri Lanka battles to clear passenger backlog  - Yahoo Asia

Foreign airlines return as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, July 26 10:10 PM SGT . International airlines Thursday resumed flights to Sri Lanka's rebel-hit airport which banned private aircraft and refuelling stops in a bid to clear a backlog of stranded passengers, officials said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga described Tuesday's daring Tamil Tiger assault on the island's only international airport as the "most horrendous ever" against an economic target in the island. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 11:47:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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International airlines return as Sri Lanka vows to fight terrorism  - 123India.com

Tiger attack at airport - an inside job?
Island, 26 July. The Airforce has appointed a special committee to investigate the Tiger attack on the Airforce camp and the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake last Tuesday.This committee will concentrate on checking the possibility of any assistance to Tigers from inside the Katunayake Airforce camp. The committee will also question those of the Airforce who served at Katunayake Airport earlier, Wing Commander, Ajith Wijesundare said.He further said that the possibility of inside assistance to Tigers could not be ruled out due to the fact that the Tiger cadres entered the high security zone without any fear and had made a planned entry to the airport. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:00:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Crippled SriLankan airline shifts hubs to Dubai, Singapore
Yahoo Singapore, 26, July. Sri Lanka's national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, Thursday announced it was shifting operations to Dubai and Singapore after a Tamil rebel attack knocked out half its fleet.Sri Lankan Airlines, which is partly owned and fully managed by Emirates of Dubai, said it was struggling to work out a weekly schedule after Tuesday's Tiger rebel attack on Sri Lanka's international airport put six of their planes out of service.Peter Hill, the airline's Chief Executive Officer, said they would not be able to operate direct services to Europe and the Far East and would be using Dubai and Singapore as new operational hubs.The airline's 40 percent equity partner Emirates will pick up Sri Lankan passengers from Dubai and Singapore to onward destinations, Hill said.He said SriLankan would also be banking on other airlines out of Singapore to carry their passengers to other destinations."We hope to establish hubs in both Dubai and Singapore and mount regular services between those two centres to enable us to feed customers from Colombo through the Middle East and onto Europe." More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 03:19:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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SriLankan Airlines crippled by Tamil attack  - Yahoo Singapore

President can go directly to the people - CA
Island, 26 July. Why ask the question posed in the referendum from the representatives of the people when the President can go direct to the people. Justice Asoka N. de Silva President of the Court of Appeal observed yesterday when the referendum case came up for hearing before a two member bench panel which also comprised Justice Gamini Amaratunga. The sovereignty of the people are inalienable the Judge noted. He was responding to submissions made by Attorney-at-Law Dharmadasa Gomez that a fundamental charge in the constitution has to be approved first by a two thirds majority in Parliament prior to consulting the people in a referendum. The Lawyer is seeking a Writ of Prohibition to prevent the Commissioner of Elections from holding the referendum on grounds that the proclamation was made under a wrong provision and as such the Commissioner was not bound to act. He said the Commissioner has to exercise discretion in such instances. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:06:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Siege of Colombo
TOI-Editorial, 26 July 2001. The devastating attack on Sri Lanka's only international airport and the air force base by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a horrendous reminder that things could get a lot worse in the island republic before they get any better. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 06:17:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Emirates Air-SriLankan Schedule-Attack -2:Fully Insured
Yahoo India, 26 July 2001. SriLankan Airlines said Thursday that Dubai's Emirates Airlines, which holds a 40% stake in the national carrier, will help it meet schedules after half its fleet was damaged or destroyed in a rebel attack on the islands' only international airport Tuesday. "...we will be looking to count on our investor partner Emirates to support us in a very big way with their hub in Dubai," SriLankan Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Hill said in a statement. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 01:25:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Air traffic increasing at Sri Lanka airport
MSNBC, 26 July 2001. Flights at Sri Lanka's only international airport picked up on Thursday, but schedules were still in tatters two days after an attack by Tamil rebel fighters destroyed three airplanes and left thousands of tourists stranded. Airport officials said flights from airlines other than the national carrier had started to arrive. ''We had a Qatar Airlines flight this morning and a PIA (Pakistan International Airline) flight will land later today,'' said an official at the airport duty manager's office. ''So far most of them are SriLankan Airlines flights,'' he said, adding schedules were still being put in place after the suicide attack by Tamil Tiger rebels that left 20 dead. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 01:27:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan president appeals for unity to fight terrorism
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, July 26 4:02 PM SGT . President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appealed for political unity to fight terrorism after describing the Tamil rebel attack of the international airport days ago as the "most horrendous" ever. Kumaratunga, whose People's Alliance government has been reduced to a minority in parliament, called for the main opposition to support her efforts to bring in a new constitution and fight the Tamil separatists. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 05:23:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lankan President Calls for Joint Fight Against Terrorism  - People's Daily

Go for it boys!
Yahoo India, Thursday July 26, 3:04 PM. WINNERS are never quitters. The Sri Lankans proved so, continuing their winning march in the competition by literally grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat. With defeat staring them in the face, the young Lankan brigade of Marvan Attapatu, Russell Arnold and Suresh Perera showed tons of courage, tough character and superb temperament to overcome what at one stage looked an impossible total. With the Sri Lankans tottering at 27-4 with all their frontline batsmen cooling their heels in the pavilion, it seemed only a miracle could save them from losing the match. A fantastic partnership to start with, between Attapatu and Arnold, saw them building a platform for the young lion, Perera, to launch an offensive not seen often these days in international cricket. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 07:18:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indians humiliated again in Colombo
NDTV/MSNBC, Thursday, July 26, 2001 . India lost their third successive league match of the Coca Cola tri-series today when they went down to New Zealand by 67 runs chasing a modest target of 201. The Indians were all out for 133 in 39.4 overs, the last six Indian wickets falling in the space of just 34 runs. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 09:17:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Nash, Oram star in New Zealand's win over India  - Yahoo India
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Cricket-New Zealand beat India by 67 runs  - Yahoo India
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Team for Test series to be picked on Aug 2  - Yahoo India

Re-open parliament before country disappears in chaos, says Colombo Archbishop
Island, 26 July 2001. Archbishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando in a statement issued yesterday with regard to the LTTE attack on the Katunayake airport, called upon the government to summon parliament to solve the crisis. The statement added: "Every Sri Lankan today is facing the dilemma of a referendum that has been foisted on the people so suddenly. Consulting the people at the grass roots level looks like democracy. But when the subject of the referendum is veiled in mystery, it is tantamount to taking the people for a ride. It can be likened to the bait that hides the hook which the dumb fish is expected to swallow. How many of us want to be dumb fish? More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 00:07:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP to file case in courts against referendum
Island, 26 July 2001. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna will take its protest against the proposed referendum to courts today when it files a plaint claiming that the plebiscite is against the constitution, a party spokesman said yesterday. The JVP, in a plaint to the Appeals Court, will also point out that Parliament has not approved the release of funds for the exercise and will call on courts to reject the referendum, said Anura Dissanayake, JVP parliamentarian. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 00:07:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Rupee Higher Late As Exporters Sell Dollars
Yahoo India, Thursday July 26, 3:46 PM . COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The Sri Lankan rupee was higher against the dollar late Thursday mainly due to dollar selling by some exporters, traders said. They added that the absence of import bills in the market in the past few days has also pulled the U.S. unit down. At 1005 GMT (6:05 a.m. EDT), the dollar was at 90.05 rupees, much lower than LKR90.15 at Wednesday's close. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 07:20:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-India hit back after early onslaught by New Zealand
Yahoo India, 26 July 2001. Opener Matthew Sinclair and pinch hitter Jacob Oram shared a 64-run stand before India hit back to restrict New Zealand to 111 for four after 25 overs in a one-day international on Thursday. The triangular tournament match was reduced to 48 overs after the start was delayed due to dew on the pitch. More...
Published: Thu Jul 26 04:49:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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