The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 13, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 4, NO. 282

2004: TLA wishes you a very Happy New Year!
TLA FEATURE CORNER
Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka 's president reveals unannounced swearing-in that can extend her term
Associated Press, Tue January 13, 2004 10:35 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Further complicating Sri Lanka - 's political crisis, the president on Tuesday revealed an unannounced swearing-in ceremony that could allow her to stay in office until 2006.

Chandrika Kumaratunga took her oaths in December 1999 after winning an election for a second and final six-year term, which was to expire in 2005. But the president, whose actions cannot be challenged in a court of law, now says she held another ceremony the following year.

``It is up to me to take a decision whether I am to continue in the office of presidency till 2006 or not,'' Kumaratunga said in a Sinhala language interview with the state-owner Independent Television Network.

Kumaratunga's stunning revelation comes amid a bitter power struggle with her political rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had no immediate comment.

The president and prime minister have been deadlocked since Nov. 4 when Kumaratunga fired three Cabinet ministers after accusing Wickremesinghe of jeopardizing the country's security by giving too many concessions to the rebels.

Wickremesinghe runs the government's day-to-day affairs but Kumaratunga, who heads a different political party, controls the military and has the power to sack the government.

Kumaratunga said she was compelled to take oaths in 1999, days after escaping a Tamil Tiger rebel suicide bombing, to squash rumors that she was physically unfit to hold the office of presidency.

``I had to do it to calm down the people who had already taken to the streets in protest of my attack,'' she said.

Kumaratunga denied any secrecy in the 2000 swearing-in ceremony, but admitted it was administered in the presence of only the Chief Justice and her confidant Lakshman Kadirgamar. She argued there was no need to make it a public ceremony since it was done within the framework of the constitution.

``There are two plausible and legally justified interpretations that can support both arguments,'' said Rohan Edirisinha, a top constitutional expert.

He said by operation of law and constitutionally the president's term begins in 2000. Similarly, it can be argued that since Kumaratunga took oaths a year earlier, her office commenced from 1999.

The stalemate between Kumaratunga and Wickremesingh has stalled attempts to forge a lasting peace with the Tamil Tiger rebels and end a two-decade civil war that has killed more than 65,000 people. Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002.
Published: Tue Jan 13 15:11:20 EST 2004

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Sumathipala evades arrest, Chief Magistrate withdraws from case
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 13, 11.53 pm. Colombo Chief Magistrate T.B. Boyagoda who was expected to give a verdict on the issuing of a warrant to Sri Lanka Cricket and Telecom Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala, withdrew from the case and requested another judge to take up the matter today morning.

Even though Judge Boyagoda reportedly claimed that he had decided to excuse himself as certain media had questioned his hearing of the case, he also added that he was unable to issue warrants to Sumathipala as he was hospitalised. Following Mr. Boyagoda’s request for another judge to take up the matter, the next hearing has been set for January 19.

When the case was called at 11.00 am today, Mr. Sumathipala’s Lawyer Lakshman Ranasinghe said his client has undergone an operation at a private hospital and submitted documents for proof. State Counsel Vijith Malalgoda, who raised objections pointed out that a proper document for its consolidation was necessary. Thereafter, the magistrate ordered that the case be taken up again at 2.30 pm and to submit a report to prove that the suspect had undergone surgery. However, this document was produced only at 3.35 pm. This medical report revealed that Mr. Sumathipala had not been operated. State Counsel Malalgoda said this was an attempt by the suspect to evade the arrest. As such he urged the magistrate to issue a warrant for his arrest, to which the magistrate replied that a warrant could not be issued as medical reports indicate the suspect is hospitalised.
Published: Tue Jan 13 12:58:29 EST 2004 Back to the top


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DMK-PMK-MDMK political lobby of LTTE: Subramanian Swamy
deepikaglobal.com, Jan 13 . Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy has said the DMK-PMK-MDMK Front in Tamil Nadu is an exclusive political lobby of the LTTE in India and should be isolated in the elections. In a statement, Dr Swamy said the exit of the PMK from the NDA and the decision of the party to join the DMK-led Front is no surprise to anyone who realises that the LTTE wants an exclusive political lobby in India. More...
Published: Tue Jan 13 22:40:19 EST 2004 Back to the top

Black day in Jaffna on February 4
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 13, 2004, 11.59 pm. Several frontline pro-LTTE organisations in the Jaffna Peninsula have passed a resolution to observe the country’s Independence Day as a day of mourning... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to present special CD Rom to German Minister
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.20 A.M Wednesday 14 January. Foreign Minister Tyrone Fernando is to present a special CD Rom Produced by the Sri Lankan embassy in Berlin to the German state minister for foreign affairs Kerstin Mueller today at special ceremony to commemorate 50 years of German- Sri Lanka Diplomatic relations... Back to the top

German Minister to Meet LTTE Member in Colombo
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.10 P.M Wednesday 14 January. Visiting German State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kerstin Mueller is to hold discussions with a prominent member of the LTTE in Colombo according to a press release issued in Germany... Back to the top

SLFP & JVP goes solo at PC elections
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 13, 2004, 11.25 pm. The alliance between the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has undergone yet another set back resulting in the two parties deciding to contest the Provincial Council Elections scheduled for April/May on their own... Back to the top

Public outcry compels LTTE to stop fuel levy
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.45 P.M Tuesday 13 January. LTTE had backed out from imposing a fuel levy amidst growing public criticism in Batticaloa and allowed the resumption of the regular supply of fuel by the Petroleum Corporation... Back to the top

Refugees Fear To Return to LTTE Areas
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Tuesday 13 January. The latest report released by the Refugees International Say that one important factor keeping many refugee families from returning is the fear of many families that their sons, including teenagers, will be induced to join or will be impressed into the LTTE's army... Back to the top

Public trustee banned from leaving the country
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 12, 2004, 7.56 pm. Public Trustee N.S.A.S. Seneviratne has been banned from leaving the country until further notice; the order was issued today by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court... Back to the top

S.Lankan president says snap poll under consideration with leftist alliance, XINHUA
Associated Press, Mon January 12, 2004 14:23 EST . COLOMBO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that she was considering a move to hold a snap parliamentary poll by forging an alliance with main leftist party, state radio announced here Monday. The Sri Lanka - Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) controlled by Kumaratunga said in its nightly news that President Kumaratunga while addressing a group of provincial politicians of her main opposition People's Alliance (PA) had advised them to be ready for a snap parliamentary election... Back to the top

Provincial polls in Sri Lanka to be held on same day
Gulf News, January 13, 2004, 9:00 EST. Sri Lanka is preparing for a crucial provincial election after the ruling United National Front (UNF) government and the main opposition parties, in a rare show of solidarity, agreed to have the polls on the same day instead of a staggered poll... Back to the top

ICC officials investigate unclaimed money from Sri Lankan cricketer's room
Associated Press, Tue January 13, 2004 09:27 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two officials from international cricket's governing body are in Sri Lanka - to investigate 1.1 million rupees (US$11,500) found in the hotel room of a Sri Lankan national player, a local official said Tuesday... Back to the top

SLC chief in the dock: Sumathipala's day of reckoning looms
Cricinfo, January 13, 2004. Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), faces an anxious week... Back to the top

Japan supports de-mining project in Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Mon January 12, 2004 12:00 EST . COLOMBO, Jan. 12 (Kyodo) A Japanese nongovernmental organization with support from the Tokyo government will launch a de-mining program in Sri Lanka - 's war-devastated northeast in March, the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention (JCCP) announced Monday. It said that Japanese specialists trained in Denmark by the Danish De-mining Group (DDG), an international mine clearance organization, will join a 45-strong Sri Lankan team in the de-mining work in the Vavuniya area in northeastern Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

Court refuses to issue arrest warrant for Sri Lanka 's ailing cricket chief
Associated Press, Tue January 13, 2004 07:59 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A court on Tuesday refused to issue an arrest warrant for Sri Lanka - 's cricket chief after he failed to appear last week to face allegations of fraud and passport forgery... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Telecom Powers Wi-Fi Hotspot at BIA Airport
wi-fitechnology.com, January 13, 2004, 9:00 EST. Colombo, Sri Lanka, /The Wi-Fi Technology Forum/- Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) recently launched a Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Mobile Internet Zone, popularly known as a Wi-Fi Hotspot, at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) terminal... Back to the top

TRADE PUSH: Govt urged to speed Lanka FTA
com, Tuesday, January 13, 2004 . Agreement seen as model for South Asia Business leaders have called on the government to expand its freetrade agreements to cover member countries of the BIMSTEC in anticipation of a marked increase in trade within the South Asian grouping... Back to the top

Power feud threatening Lanka talks says rebel
gulf-daily-news.com, January 13, 2004, 9:00 EST. A feud between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister is testing the patience of Tamil Tigers in their bid to end 20 years of war but they would not break the island's truce, a rebel leader said... Back to the top

Rs 1 cr heroin seized, Sri Lankan held
com, 12 January. A 40-year-old Sri Lankan man was arrested after he was found to be in possession of one kg of heroin worth Rs one crore... Back to the top

Sri Lanka likely to extend IOC contract
hinduonnet.com, January 13, 2004, 9:00 EST. A feud between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister is testing the patience of Tamil Tigers in their bid to end 20 years of war but they would not break the island's truce, a rebel leader said... Back to the top

Indian firms help bring Bryan Adams to Sri Lanka
hinduonnet.com, January 13, 2004, 9:00 EST. Colombo, Jan. 13 (PTI): Two Indian entertainment companies are jointly organising a concert of Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams in Sri Lanka to support the island's peace process. Back to the top

From Sri Lanka to Ballarat - a sign of things to come
theage.com.au, January 12, 2004, 11:00. Two years ago Dr Shirani Gamlath and her husband Jayantha moved from Sri Lanka to Ballarat - and they couldn't be happier... Back to the top

Clinical Trials Update: Jun. 19
Associated Press, Mon January 12, 2004 10:35 EST . - - A research study of an investigational medication for high cholesterol... Back to the top

World News : Sri Lanka Sri Lanka disagrees with most LTTE ...
newkerala.com, January 12, 2004, 7:35 EST. The Sri Lankan government has acknowledged it does not agree with most proposals of the Tamil guerrillas on an interim administration in the country's north and east, a newspaper said Monday... Back to the top

Colombo Talks between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to work out modalities for an understanding on the peace process with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and on how to run a cohabitation government have all but collapsed, Gulf News was told. An official communication from the President's Office to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asking Cabinet ministers who were recently stripped of some of their portfolios to present themselves to be sworn-in again by Chandrika for their reshuffled subjects has drawn an angry response from the Wickremesinghe government. Lanka president, premier reaching point of no return
gulf-news.com, Dubai:Monday, January 12, 2004. Colombo Talks between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to work out modalities for an understanding on the peace process with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and on how to run a cohabitation government have all but collapsed, Gulf News was told... Back to the top

Sri Lanka power struggle threatens peace, rebels say
reuters.com. 12 Jan 2004 09:37 By Scott McDonald KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - A feud between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister was testing the patience of Tamil Tiger rebels in their bid to end 20 years of war but they would not break the island's truce, a rebel leader said... Back to the top

How Lanka paved the way for Indo-Pak dialogue
hindustantimes.com, January 12, 2004, 7:35 EST. India and Pakistan seem to have made a breakthrough towards a historic rapprochement on the sidelines of the SAARC summit at Islamabad... Back to the top

India News: Karunanidhi raps Vajpayee over DMK-LTTE ties
keralanext.com, January 12, 2004, 7:35 EST. Chennai, DMK leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi Monday gently took on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after the latter mentioned the DMK's alleged links with Sri Lankan Tamil guerrillas while attacking the Congress party... Back to the top

Caring for Sri Lanka's wounded rebels
bbc.co.uk, Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 07:37. By Frances Harrison BBC correspondent in northern Sri Lanka It is just after dawn and a group of Tamil Tiger fighters lines up in front of the flagpole at a camp in rebel-controlled northern Sri Lanka... Back to the top

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