The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 17, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 4, NO. 286

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
General election: “We are ready” says SLFP
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 18, 2004, 12.38 am. With the alliance between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) expected to be officially sealed next week, the Sri Lanka Freedom party has announced that it is ready to face a general election; this announcement was made by former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, also a senior SLFPer.

He had however pointed out that President Chandrika Kumaratunga had no intention of dissolving parliament immediately. “It is the duty of everyone who loves the traditions and culture of Sri Lanka to support the alliance and defeat the United National Front government. We invite all patriotic people to come forward to defeat the common enemy irrespective minor differences,” he told a gathering.

The SLFP and the JVP will sign a Memorandum of Understand on Tuesday morning at the BMICH. Unconfirmed reports state that the JVP’s self exiled leader Somawansa Amarasinghe is also expected to arrive in the country to take part in the signing ceremony. The MOU will be signed by the general secretaries, namely Maithripala Sirisena of the SLFP and Tilvin Silva of the JVP.
Published: Sat Jan 17 13:43:24 EST 2004


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President orders probe on church attack, tells IGP “show no mercy on those responsible”
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 18, 2004, 12.34 am. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva to immediately investigate the church attack and show no mercy in arresting those responsible for the attack, which occurred on Thursday morning.

Ms. Kumaratunga has also ordered that tough action be taken against those responsible for the incident. The interior ministry now comes under President Kumaratunga after she sacked the government minister in charge in November last year, citing security concerns.

Meanwhile Opposition Spokesman Sarath Amunugama has said; "We are for the firm maintenance of law and order and we can't tolerate such action irrespective of the party, religion, caste or social standing of the people involved.”

The latest attack was on Thaipongal day when a group broke into the church premises at Katuwana and destroyed statues and crosses and then set fire to the building. Certain Buddhist groups have been demanding a law to ban what they call "unethical conversions". They say some Christian sects offer cash to poor people to persuade them to convert, an allegation vehemently denied by the Christian groups. Meanwhile police said that one person has been arrested in connection to Thursday’s church attack.
Published: Sat Jan 17 13:41:06 EST 2004 Back to the top


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SLMC defends their silence over MOU issue
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 17, 2003 . The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has defended its silence over the LTTE-SLMC MOU by putting the blame on the Norwegian Facilitators.

SLMC insiders told the Lanka Academic that even though their leader Rauff Hakeem was expected to write a letter to Prabhakaran to verify the actual situation of the MOU, the idea never materialised as the Norwegian facilitators pulled out of the peace process temporarily owing to the political crisis in the South.

Rauff Hakeem was to send the letter to Prabhakaran through the Norwegians, but as they are currently out of the process, there was a communication issue with the LTTE leadership, SLMC sources claimed.

“Hakeem was deprived of the communication link as the facilitators have pulled out of the peace process,” the sources said. SLMC leader Hakeem vowed in December last year that he would write to LTTE leader to find out where the MOU he signed with Prabharakan stands, following LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam statement that the MOU has been annulled.
Published: Sat Jan 17 12:59:24 EST 2004 Back to the top


Activists say Sri Lankan rebels still recruit children despite cease-fire
Associated Press, Sat January 17, 2004 03:39 EST . NEELESH MISRA - Associated Press Writer- BOMBAY, India (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger guerrillas are still recruiting children and students even though a cease-fire with the government halted the country's two-decade civil war two years ago, peace and human rights activists said Saturday... Back to the top

Chandrika dares PM to challenge extended term in Supreme Court
dailytimes.com.pk, January 17. The party of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga insisted Friday her term of office would be a year longer than expected and challenged her rival, the prime minister, to settle the matter in court... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

India, Sri Lanka hold talks on bilateral defence agreement
manoramaonline.com, January 17, 2004, 2:20 EST. New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka decided to continue their talks on a proposed defence cooperation agreement to expand their military ties... 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

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 Lankan main opposition, leftist party to form government, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri January 16, 2004 14:57 EST . - - COLOMBO, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's main opposition party said Friday that they were hoping to form a government soon with the help of the main leftist party. Mangala Samaraweera, the spokesman for the Sri Lanka - Freedom Party (SLFP) which is the dominant party in the main opposition People's Alliance, said that they have agreed with the leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front to enter into an alliance based on five basic principles... 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

Sri Lanka Cricket no-balled
dailymirror.lk, January 17, 2004, 2:20 EST. LONDON (AFP) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday dismissed reports from Sri Lanka suggesting the investigation into the discovery of money found in a room that had been occupied by Sri Lanka batsmen Marvan Atapattu had been completed... Back to the top

Norway appoints new head of Sri Lankan peace monitoring mission
Associated Press, Fri January 16, 2004 10:08 EST . DOUG MELLGREN - Associated Press Writer - OSLO, Norway (AP) Norway appointed Trond Furuhovde, a retired major general, on Friday to lead international monitors keeping track of a cease-fire in Sri Lanka - between the government and Tamil rebels... 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

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

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