The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 172

Headline Summary
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JVP hails peoples power
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday September 25. The Marxist oriented Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today hailed what it termed the people's power' after a bill lending sweeping powers to an independent constitutional council was passed in parliament last night.

The JVP have been pushing hard to have the council established, after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ruling Peoples Alliance, helping prop up a political administration that was sinking in the face of a no confidence motion, mooted by joint opposition political parties.

The MOU between the JVP and the PA states that the constitutional council must be established by October 5, 2001. Thereafter, the council will nominate persons to four other independent commissions for the police, judiciary, elections and public service.

Despite the main opposition United National Party (UNP) stating yesterday that it would not vote in favour of the proposed bill, the UNP late last night arrived at a compromise with the government.

Mahinda Samarasinghe UNP parliamentarian, speaking on behalf of the UNP said the party came to this decision on the basis of negotiations that were successful for the UNP.

This, he said, was after the government agreed to a UNP proposal to incorporate three members to the constitutional council who will represent the minority communities.

The constitutional council will now comprise of the Speaker, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition as ex officio members.

The President will be allowed one nominee. Five other members will be independently nominated by the premier and the leader of the opposition.

Out of this 5, three members will represent the ethnic communities. In order to appoint these 3 members the prime minister and the leader of the opposition will be obliged to consult members of political parties representing the respective ethnic communities.

The three members nominated, will thus comprise of a Tamil, Muslim and one person representing the Indian plantation community.

The other two members out of the five, will be nominated by the premier and the leader of the opposition who will individually nominate one person each.

Another individual will be nominated to the council by Members of Parliament who do not belong to the two major parties, namely, to the ruling Peoples Alliance or the main opposition United National Party.

Hence, the final composition of the constitutional council will comprise of 10 members.

All nominations for members to the constitutional council and the four independent commissions will be appointed by the President.

Three, Tamil political parties, the Tamil United Liberation Front, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization abstained from voting on the bill for the 17th amendment.

The sole representative in parliament for the Sihala Urumaya also refrained from voting on the bill last night.

The Tamil parties asserted they would not vote for the establishment of the constitutional council or independent commissions as the independent bodies would not address Sri Lanka's main issue, which is the ethnic conflict.
Published: Tue Sep 25 00:22:11 EDT 2001

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Police recruit more men
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 2.30pm SLT, Sep.25, 2001. A Police constable measures the chest of Amith Jayakody at a police recruitment center in Colombo... Back to the top

US Consulate- Sri Lanka, September 25. Terror is terror, whether it is in New York, Washington, London, or Colombo... Back to the top

Toothless, at home and abroad
National Post, September 25. Intelligence gathering is another field in which we are doing little to help the fight against terrorism... Back to the top

Asian Airlines Run For Cover As Insurance Coverage Thins
Yahoo India, September 25, 1:16 PM. Sri Lanka's national carrier briefly grounded its aircraft, but other Asian airlines remained airborne after governments pledged to back airlines whose war-coverage insurance policies expired Tuesday... Back to the top

World Trade Center worm calls for vote on war
Northernlight, September 25. Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection, issued an advisory about a mass-mailing computer worm that calls for a vote on whether America should go to war... Back to the top

"From Concept to Funding to Market" - An Information Session in Washington, DC.
Laksoft, September 25. An information session for entrepreneurs living in the US who are interested in Sri Lanka's IT workforce and funding opportunities will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 6th, 2001 from 2.30 pm to 4.30pm... Back to the top

Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka find place on landmark reform council
yahoo, September 25. Tamils of Indian Origin in Sri Lanka have won a place on a groundbreaking constitutional council that is set to usher in political reforms and clean up public life... Back to the top

US DEPT OF STATE: Daily press briefing -- Part 2 of 2
M2 Comm.Inc, September 25. MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I can define it any further for you at this point, because clearly the first -- the campaign is being targeted first and foremost on the al-Qaida organization... Back to the top

Asian airlines still flying
CNN, September 25. Sri Lanka's national carrier briefly grounded its aircraft, but other Asian airlines remained in the air after war-coverage insurance policies expired Tuesday... Back to the top

No "Divaina" and "The Island" Wednesday, too
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 25/09/01 1750 GMT. As staff of Upali Newspapers Group continued their strike, Divaina and The Island will not be published for the second consecutive day... Back to the top

Sri Lanka government faces no-trust vote after reforms, Sep 25 2001 11:04 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 25 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Tuesday moved to topple the Marxist-backed government through a parliament vote a day after the assembly approved reforms to de-politicise key institutions... Back to the top

'LTTE still on terrorist list'
The Hindu (International), 25-09-2001 . The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will continue to be in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations, in which it was included in 1996, the U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka parliament approves reforms
MSNBC, September 24. Sri Lanka's parliament on Monday voted to change the constitution to introduce key democratic reforms, handing the new ruling alliance victory in its first major test since being formed... Back to the top

All Sri Lanka Airlines flights grounded
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.30 p.m. SLT Monday September 24. All planes belonging to Sri Lankan Airlines have been grounded with immediate effect... Back to the top

UNP, JVP support PA in voting for the 17th amendment
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 24/09/01 1535 GMT. Sri Lanka's parliament just now approved the seventeenth amendment to the 1978 constitution... Back to the top

Organized crime said to launder billions for terrorists Money for groups has risen sharply in past decade
SF Gate, September 24. For the United States and its allies to wage a global war on terrorism, and not merely on those responsible for the attacks on New York and Arlington, Va... Back to the top

Tamil parties against "piecemeal" changes in constitution:Nine MPs walk out of debate on Constitution Council
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.07 PM SLT Monday September 24, 2001. The Tamil parties in the Sri Lankan parliament,barring the pro-government Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP),today walked out of the debate on the 17 th... Back to the top

Sri Lanka backs US battle against terrorism, Sep 24 2001 19:44 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 24 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Monday formally announced its fullest backing to the United States in its battle against terrorism following the terror attacks in New York and Washington... Back to the top

Support from West fuels raging fires of terrorism
Toronto Star, September 25. For years, Americans have watched news clips of bomb blasts, suicide attacks and other acts of terrorism aimed at civilians, from all over the world... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger mine wipes out family of six in Sri Lanka, Sep 24 2001 14:58 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 24 (AFP) - At least six people from the same family were killed Monday when their three-wheel taxi blew up after hitting a pressure mine in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula of Jaffna, the defence ministry said... Back to the top

Parliament begin debating the 17th amendment amidst opposition threats of a boycott
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1114 slt 24.09.01. Parliament began a marathon debate on the 17th amendment to the constitution amidst threats this morning by the opposition to boycott the vote... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Towers Tall After '96 Bomb
yahoo, September 25. Four years after being shattered by a truck bomb, the twin towers of Sri Lanka's World Trade Center are proudly in business, their windows shining from the tropical sun... Back to the top

Illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka deported from Russia
Nothern Light, Monday, September 24, 2001 4:12 AM EST . Thirty-seven illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka have been detained at the "Rossiskaya Polyana" border check point in the Omsk region... Back to the top

vote on the 17th amendment today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Monday September 24. The main opposition United National Party had decided at a group meeting held this morning that it would vote in favour of the 17th amendment bill only if suggested amendments to the final draft presented by the government are accommodated... Back to the top

Fate of the constitutional council continues to hang in the balance
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 a.m. SLT Monday September 24. K. N. Choksy, Presidents Counsel, and Member of Parliament for the United National Party, said that the areas of dispute still prevalent between the UNP and the government is the issue of the constitutional council... Back to the top

Emirates resumes flights to Colombo
Yahoo Singapore, september 24. Emirates has announced it will resume services between Dubai and Sri Lanka from this Thursday, following a move by the Sri Lankan Government to lower the insurance rates levied on aircraft landing at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport... Back to the top

Independent commissions to continue with political appointees
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.40 a.m. SLT Monday September 24. The final draft on the 17th amendment agreed upon by the Peoples Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, will not seek to reconstitute the present Public Service Commission or the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption... Back to the top

SAF Games off indefinitely
Yahoo India, Monday September 24, 4:35 AM. Islamabad, Sept. 23: Another casualty of the recent crisis in the region were the ninth South Asian Federation (SAF) Games, scheduled for October 6-15. They have now been put off indefinitely... Back to the top

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