The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 270

2004: TLA wishes you a very Happy New Year!
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
Call To Safeguard the Life of Anandasangaree
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.45 A.M Friday 2 January. The Forum for regaining democracy for Tamil speaking people had appealed to all human rights activists and organizations to safeguard the life of TULF leader V. Anandasangaree since he is receiving continuous death threats from the LTTE. The appeal says that the TULF leader has earned the wrath of the LTTE for his unwillingness to act according to the bidding and the behest of the LTTE. The organization warns that LTTE cadres have infiltrated the TULF by posing as drivers, bodyguards and office assistants.

The organization say it is the duty of peace-loving people all over the world and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the ICRC to take necessary steps to intervene and to make use of all possible and persuasive methods to prevent the LTTE from laying their hands around the neck of Anandasangari. They call upon all democratic organizations to unify against any extra judicial killings and other anti-democratic activities.
Published: Thu Jan 1 23:08:16 EST 2004

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Former Diplomats Say FM Is Trying To Pass The Buck
Ranmali Wijesuriya in Colombo, SLT 7.50 A.M Friday 2 January. Former Diplomats say that foreign minister Tyrone Fernando and his spokesperson is making an attempt to cover up his mistakes and trying to pass the buck. Referring to media reports of Fernando’s spokesman’s accusations leveled against former foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamar without naming him, for opening new missions in Poland, the Philippines, Los Angeles, Toronto and South Africa and it has contributed to costs of the ministry the diplomat said “ Kadiragamar did a good job and he had a vision. He also appointed people who could deliver not jokers like the ones Fernando has appointed to missions abroad.” The former senior diplomat added, “ Tyrone Fernando cannot say that he has saved money and reduced costs. He must prove it. To prove it he must table all costs, reasons for his foreign trips, why he went on those trips and the names of the people he took with him”

Another former diplomat pointed out that the appointments made by Fernando in recent times must be made null and void. He said, “ According to the 17th amendment, the minister has no right to make appointments. All appointments must be made by the Public Service Commission and the appointments of the Ambassadors can be made by the President”

Fernando had accepted media reports that political appointments were made to Sri Lankan missions abroad. Media reports said that Minister Tyrone Fernando's political supporters have been dumped at popular foreign missions without considering their educational and professional qualifications.
Published: Thu Jan 1 20:59:50 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Plans to formulate an Interim Constitution covering the entire country
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 1, 2004, 11.10 pm. Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party today announced plans of formulating a comprehensive interim constitution covering the entire country. Addressing a hurriedly called news conference in Colombo today afternoon, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem said that his party was looking into possibilities of incorporating the Muslim set of proposals on the Interim Administrative structure for the North East also in the constitution.

He said that his party would consult all other Muslim representatives over the suggestion to draw up an Interim constitution. He pointed out that the North East interim administrative structure should not be confined to northeast only and any interim administration proposals for a single province will not be effective.

He also said that his party, had considered the government’s proposals and the draft constitution bill presented by the peoples alliance in the year 2000 when preparing their alternate proposals to settle the ethnic conflict, in their set of proposals.

This interim constitution would be prepared with the consent of all parties and a final decision will be reached after discussing with all Muslim parties, the constitution will mainly focus on issues affecting the Muslim community.
Published: Thu Jan 1 12:15:22 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka lost a lot in financial assistance due to President’s actions
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 1, 2004, 10.45 pm . Peiris today reiterated that the present political and economic crisis erupted after President Chandrika Kumaratunga took over the ministries of Defence, Mass Communication and interior in early November last year... Back to the top

Sri Lankan govt says president's tenure to end in 2005
People's Daily, January 1, 2004, 22:00. The Sri Lankan government said on Thursday, Jan. 1, that President Chandrika Kumaratunga's term of office will come to an end in December 2005 as the Sri Lankan people voted in her favor on the basis of a six-year term in the presidential elections in December 1999. Back to the top

Sri Lanka urges Norway to help resume aid, January 1, 2004, 10:15 EST. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has opened talks with peace broker Norway to help resume the flow of millions of dollars in foreign aid suspended due to the power struggle here, a government spokesman said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka starts informal talks with Norwegians to help resume peace talks
Associated Press, Thu January 1, 2004 02:12 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it has started informal talks with a Norwegian envoy so that stalled peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels can resume and the country get some of the US$4.5 billion pledged by donor countries... Back to the top

Chandrika rejects US criticism on peace talks
Gulf News, January 1, 2004, 10:15 EST. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has rejected US criticism that she was responsible for delaying the peace process and declared that on the contrary she was 'doing everything possible to get the process started'... Back to the top

Year 2003: the best year in tourist arrivals
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 31, 2003, 8.09 pm . Sri Lanka tourism saw a boost today when the country’s Tourist Board waited with open arms to welcome the 500,000th tourist to the island... Back to the top

Lanka's president hints at snap polls, January 1, 2004, 10:15 EST. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumar-atunga hinted yesterday she may call snap parliamentary elections to end a power struggle with the prime minister that has set back the island's peace process... Back to the top

Opposition MP appeals to leaders for unity
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 31 2003, 8.07 pm. Senior Parliamentarian A.H.M. Fowzie appealed to President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to shed petty political differences and act together to establish permanent peace in the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka revelry injures 345, January 1, 2004, 10:15 EST. Colombo - At least 345 people were wounded in New Year-related accidents in and around the Sri Lankan capital Colombo while seven others tried to commit suicide, the main hospital here said on Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka business leaders push for political truce+
Associated Press, Thu January 1, 2004 03:03 EST . - - COLOMBO, Jan. 1 (Kyodo) A powerful business lobby in Sri Lanka - urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday to resolve the country's political crisis, warned that the political confrontation could lead to ''utter chaos'' in the country. The warning was sounded by the Joint Business Forum, which groups the country's biggest chambers of commerce, industry and trade associations... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Eyes Anti-Conversion Law, January 1, 2004, 22:00. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, JAN. 1, 2004 ( Sri Lanka hopes to introduce a law that will limit conversions from one religion to another, the country's Minister of Religious Affairs announced. The Colombo government will promote a legislative disposition directed to those who use a variety of "incentives" to convince others to change their religion... Back to the top

South Asian countries discuss steps to ban terror financing+
Associated Press, Wed December 31, 2003 10:24 EST . - - SAARC comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's political stalemate threatens foreign aid, Januay 1, 2004 10:15 EST. Sri Lanka is trying to persuade donor countries to resume billions of dollars in foreign aid, suspended due to a political stalemate in Colombo... Back to the top

Chandrika to resist US pressure to loosen control over defence, December 31, 2003 . With the United States giving the distinct impression that it has thrown its weight behind Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the ticklish defence portfolio issue, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to recall past practice to disprove the contention that a peace process cannot be conducted without having control over the defence portfolio... Back to the top

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