The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 16, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 4, NO. 285

TLA FEATURE CORNER
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
Armitage to host donor meeting on Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.10 A.M Saturday 17 January. Deputy U.S Secretary Of State, Richard Armitage has invited his fellow co-donors to a meeting in Washington on 17 February to discuss the current development in Sri Lanka. Armitage will chair the meeting, which will be attended by Oslo, Japan and the European Union. Ambassador, Yashushi Akashi would represent Japan and State Secretary Vidar Helgessen would represent Oslo at the meeting. EU's commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten is expected to send a representative to attend the meeting in Washington.

The co-chairs would discuss what had happened between the Tokyo donor conference and now at the meeting, which is described as a stocktaking meeting. The meeting would be attended strictly by the co-chairs and there would be no representatives either from the government or the LTTE. The Island sources revealed that the meeting of the four countries in Washington would be critical for Sri Lanka and it could mould the donor thinking, their programmes and the role to be played by the international community in Sri Lanka, in the future considering the current political developments in the country.

In the recent weeks the international community has expressed its dissatisfaction on the developments in the country and on the current stalemate between the President and the Prime Minister and on the peace process. One diplomat told The Island " It is time Sri Lanka moves on before the country is pulled out of the radar screen. It is sad that the people are not getting what they are interested since the politicians are fighting to get more seats for their parties." He questioned " Does your politicians really care for your people?" The meeting in Washington comes in the wake of minister Moragoda's recent visit to Washington, Oslo and Brussels where he met with the co-chairs.
Published: Fri Jan 16 14:13:50 EST 2004


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Former interior Minister blames President over church attacks
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 17, 2004, 12.41 am. Former Interior Minister John Amaratunga has ‘indirectly’ blamed President Chandrika Kumaratunga for the recent attacks on several Christian churches. The former Minister is reported to have told a national daily that, “Though the government had repeatedly assured the church authorities that protection would be provided to the churches nothing much appeared to have been done by the police which now functions under the President.”

President Chandrika Kumaratunga took over the Defence, Interior and Mass Communication ministries in November last year, citing security concerns.

Meanwhile several powerful nations such as the United States, Britain and several other European countries have expressed concern over the recent attacks on the Christian churches.

These attacks have been carried out by unidentified groups citing unethical religious conversations as the reason, an allegation vehemently denied by Archbishop Oswald Gomes who insists that the Catholic Church has no connection with unethical conversions.
Published: Fri Jan 16 13:48:10 EST 2004 Back to the top


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Opposition Muslim party lashes out at Hakeem over LTTE-SLMC agreement
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 16, 2004, 11.58 pm. The National Unity Alliance, a Muslim constituent of the Opposition People’s Alliance has lashed out at Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem for abandoning the LTTE-SLMC Memorandum of Understanding matter without much fuss, following the LTTE’s announcement that the MOU has been cancelled.

The Unity Alliance has said that Rauff Hakeem soon after the LTTE announcement assured that he would write a letter to the LTTE Leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran to verify the true situation of the MOU he signed with Prabhakaran in April 2002, but has failed to write the letter and has conveniently forgotten the issue.

"The SLMC has to seek an explanation as to why the LTTE political leader Thamilselvam made a statement last year that the MOU has been cancelled. Muslims were given hope when this agreement was signed. It was also termed a historic document, but now it appears to be something null and void," the party’s media spokesman A. Kalam said.
Published: Fri Jan 16 13:16:11 EST 2004 Back to the top


Lanka likely to hold elections in April
Dawn, COLOMBO, Jan 15. With the signing of an agreement between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) of President Chandrika Kumaratunge and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) just days away (Jan 20) , political sources are speculating that the next move by the president would be to call elections in April... Back to the top

Sri Lanka heading for polls
brunei-online.com, January 16, 2004. Sri Lanka was headed for snap elections as the president cut a deal with hardline leftists amid a worsening political crisis and fears of a return to war, political sources said Thursday... Back to the top

UN Post- Tyrone's Name Not Endorsed by The Cabinet
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Friday 16 January. The Cabinet of ministers had not endorsed the name of minister for foreign affairs Tyrone Fernando as a candidate for the post of United Nations Secretary-General to contest from Sri Lanka in the year 2006... Back to the top

New political pact shatters peace hopes in Lanka
hindustantimes.com, January 16, 2004. Analysts believe that Wednesday's decision to sign a pact between Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the firebrand Marxist political party -- Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) -- has dealt another blow to the fractured peace process, and may trigger anarchy in the island nation... Back to the top

Chandrika party, Marxists form alliance
Gulf News, 16-01-2004 . President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Marxist JVP (People's Liberation Front) have sealed the alliance between the two sides drawing the country closer to snap parliamentary elections... Back to the top

New head for Sri Lanka truce team
bbc.co.uk, January 16, 2004, 7:50 EST. The head of the Scandinavian ceasefire monitoring mission in Sri Lanka is being replaced... Back to the top

Peaceful image helps Sri Lanka to tourism record
deepikaglobal.com, January 16, 2004, 7:50 EST. COLOMBO, Jan 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourism industry, battered by years of civil war, hit a record last year as the island's image as a safe, exotic destination grows after a ceasefire was signed in early 2002... Back to the top

LTTE may use snap poll to get support for self-determination
hindustantimes.com, January 16, 2004. A proposal to make the next Sri Lankan parliamentary elections a referendum among the Tamils on their right to self-determination is being discussed at the highest levels in the LTTE, informed Tamil sources say Back to the top

Tamils celebrate Thai Pongal in Colombo.
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 12.25pm, SLT Jan.15, 2003. A Sri Lankan Tamils worship in a New Kathiresan Hindu temple at Welawatha, on Thursday, January... Back to the top

20,000 School dropouts have returned to schools in North/East
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.45 A.M Friday 16 January. Nearly 20,000 school dropouts have returned to schools in the North East after the ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE... Back to the top

“Don’t worry” Balasingham tells Solheim
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 15, 2004, 10.56 pm. LTTE Theoretician Anton Balasingham has pledged that the LTTE would continue to safeguard the Memorandum of Understanding signed between them and the Sri Lankan government and will not defect from the peace process... Back to the top

10,000 girls in Sri Lanka face incest: study
newindpress.com, January 16, 2004. COLOMBO: Every year a staggering 10,000 girls in Sri Lanka face sexual abuse by relatives in families where the mother has taken up overseas employment, with most rapes committed by fathers, reports OneWorld... Back to the top

Group attacks Christian church
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 15, 2004, 10.42 pm. Grand Thaipongal celebrations were overshadowed when a group attacked a Christian church in Pannipitiya today morning... Back to the top

Battling incest: Protecting girls from their fathers in Sri Lanka
hindustantimes.com, January 14. Every year a staggering 10,000 girls in Sri Lanka face sexual abuse by their relatives in families where the mother has taken up overseas employment, with more than half the rapes committed by fathers, says a recent sample study by the Center for Women's Research (CENWOR)... Back to the top

Kumaratunga's party enters into pact with JVP
hinduonnet.com, January 15, 2004. Colombo, Jan. 14 (PTI): Amidst speculations of snap polls in Sri Lanka, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party today announced it had finalised an electoral pact with the leftist Janatha Vimukti Paramuna (JVP). Back to the top

Sri Lanka President sets date for deal with Marxists
channelnewsasia.com, January 15, 2004, 8:15 EST. COLOMBO : Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party said it had finalised an electoral pact with a leftist party as the country moved closer to snap elections amid a bitter power struggle... Back to the top

New Political Pact Shatters Peace Hopes in Sri Lanka
oneworld.net, January 15, 2004, 12:00 PM EST. COLOMBO, Jan 15 (OneWorld) - Analysts believe Wednesday's decision to sign a pact between Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the firebrand Marxist political party -- Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) -- has dealt another blow to the fractured peace process Back to the top

United States gives Sri Lanka mine-detecting dogs
Associated Press, Thu January 15, 2004 08:27 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The United States has donated six mine-detecting dogs to Sri Lanka - to help remove thousands of land mines planted during the country's civil war, the U... Back to the top

India, Lanka hold talks on bilateral defence pact
hindustantimes.com, January 15, 2004. India and Sri Lanka on Thursday held high level talks to discuss a bilateral defence agreement between the two countries covering military training and arms sales Back to the top

Medical test for rape claim maid
Gulf Daily News, Bahrain's leading English newspaper, January 15. Manama: SRI Lankan housemaid Fatima Reshana, who claims she was raped three times in five hours by her employer, was sent for medical tests yesterday by public prosecutors... Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebels pledge to honor cease-fire despite power struggle between government leaders
Associated Press, Thu January 15, 2004 01:22 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebel group has promised Norwegian peace brokers it will honor a cease-fire with the Sri Lankan government despite a power struggle between government leaders that has blocked peace efforts, a pro-rebel report said Thursday... Back to the top

Rift over Chandrika's plan to extend term
Gulf News, 15-01-2004 . Sri Lanka was heading for another political and constitutional crisis after President Chandrika Kumaratunga admitted that a second swearing- in ceremony was held after the last Presidential elections and declared that she could carry on until 2006 – a year later than she was expected to end her term... Back to the top

Mobs smash church in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu January 15, 2004 06:08 EST . - - COLOMBO,Sri Lanka - (AP) Mobs smashed furniture and statues in a Roman Catholic church before setting it ablaze Thursday in predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka - , a policeman said... Back to the top

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