The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 287

Headline Summary
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Underworld Thrives On Political Patronage
Ranmali Wijesuriya in Colombo, SLT 6.30 A.M Monday 19 January. A report says that as long as politicians in Sri Lanka depend on the underworld the crime and the brutal killings in Sri Lanka would continue. The report warns that with the elections round the corner, political patronage is to be revived. The report points out that underworld gangs in Sri Lanka boasts of right connections and governments reward them with lucrative contracts and the leader of the underworld gangs are always assured of political patronage which also makes it a major obstacle for the police to nab them.

The Sunday Times report laments that with the degeneration of standards in politics in the country, power hungry politicians are known to be openly courting underworld figures with some providing hideouts to gangsters when they were being hunted by police, while others had sent wanted criminals abroad or pressurized the police to abandon their investigations. There was a classic case during the Peoples Alliance government when the then justice minister Prof. G.L. Pieris opened a court complex in Kesbawa with a member of parliament who had a criminal case pending in that same court.

According to the report, the emergence of the underworld in Sri Lanka is a dangerous by product of the 20-year ethnic war. Army desertion, easy access t and availability of deadly weapons, police preoccupation with LTTE terrorism, the lucrative heroin trade had contributed largely to this situation.

Way back in 2001 former United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Disarmament Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala warned about the situation in Sri Lanka on the eve of the United Nations conference on “Illicit trade in small and light weapons” He said “ The situation in Sri Lanka is very typical of a developing country beset by an internal conflict where it has been mistakenly assumed that by importing more arms and by giving arms to more civilians for their protection you could have a solution to the problems. Dhanapala warned that so clearly having security forces that are not legitimately members of the law enforcement agencies also being armed would only lead to a cult violence being encouraged.
Published: Sun Jan 18 19:18:49 EST 2004

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US Says, Cong Rep did not meet with the LTTE
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.30 P.M Sunday 18 January. The United States Embassy in Colombo denied todays news reports that the US Congressional Representatives had a meeting with the representatives of the LTTE at the German embassy in Colombo. US Embassy spokeswoman Cody Taylor said, "The story is a fabrication, members of the delegation of the congressional staff members did not meet LTTE representation at the German embassy or elsewhere. The LTTE is a United States designated foreign terrorist organization and for that reason the congressional staff delegation would not have met with them.''

The news report said that the US Congressional team met with, Pulithevan, the Director General of the LTTE's peace secretariat last week at the German embassy in view of the ban on the LTTE by the US, resulting inhibitions against meeting a LTTE representative at the American Embassy.
Published: Sun Jan 18 02:27:56 EST 2004 Back to the top

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India and Sri Lanka to sign defence agreement
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 19, 2004, 12.43 am. India and Sri Lanka are scheduled to sign a ‘defence corporation agreement’ within the next two months. Defence authorities from both countries are currently holding discussions on the matter.

The agreement is expected to be finalised before end of this month, according to sources, but the final decision on the matter would be arrived by the countries two leaders.

Accordingly the agreement will include matters pertaining to the security situation in Indian and Sri Lanka as well as the Asian region, and ways to fight terrorism.

Accordingly if the agreement is signed between the two countries the Indian government will also assist Sri Lanka to repair the Palali Air Force run way in Jaffna, situated in the North of Sri Lanka which has undergone a two decade long war between the Tamil tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan security forces.
Published: Sun Jan 18 13:49:07 EST 2004 Back to the top

Akashi back in Colombo to review peace process
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 18, 2004, 11.36 pm. Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi will arrive tomorrow on a seven-day visit... Back to the top

Central Bank Governor and senior Minister calls for unity in crisis ridden political sector
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, January 18, 2004, 11.13 pm . Central Bank Governor A.S. Jayawardena had stressed that political stability is essential for a sound economy in the country... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president welcomes appointment of new chief truce monitor
Associated Press, Sun January 18, 2004 07:28 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has welcomed Norway's appointment of a retired army officer to lead the mission monitoring the cease-fire between Sri Lanka - 's government and Tamil Tiger rebels, a spokesman said Sunday... Back to the top

Chandrika consults leading Indian lawyer on LTTE proposals, Jan 18. Colombo, (UNI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga held a four-hour consultation with Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court K K Venugopal yesterday with regard to the LTTE's proposal for an Interim Self-Government Authority (ISGA) for the war-ravaged North-East... Back to the top

LTTE to meet Colombo-based diplomats in Kilinochchi tomorrow, Jan 18. Colombo, (UNI) Several representatives of foreign missions here are scheduled to attend a meeting organised by the LTTE in Kilinochchi tomorrow to discuss future plans on the rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the war-torn North and East Sri Lanka... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

LTTE expresses strong opposition to India-Lanka Defence Pact, January 17, 2004. The Sri Lankan Tamils in general, and the LTTE in particular, are strongly opposed to the proposed India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (ILDCA)... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Aid on agenda despite Sri Lanka political woes
Yahoo India, Sunday January 18, 3:03 PM. By Scott McDonald COLOMBO (Reuters) - Diplomats will try to boost humanitarian aid for Sri Lanka this week despite a political fight between the president and prime minister that has sidelined the island's peace process... Back to the top

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... 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

World News Sri Lanka denies spread of SARS-like flu, January 17, 2004. The Sri Lankan Health Ministry has denied reports that a flu similar to SARS is spreading in the country and assured that a strict surveillance mechanism was in place to counter any outbreak of SARS... Back to the top

Sri Lanka headed for a rift over president's extended term, January 17, 2004. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka was headed for a constitutional crisis after the president admitted an undisclosed investiture giving herself an extra year in office, political and legal sources said Wednesday... Back to the top

Chandrika dares PM to challenge extended term in Supreme Court, 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

India, Sri Lanka hold talks on bilateral defence agreement, 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

Retired Norwegian general reappointed chief truce monitor in Sri Lanka , XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri January 16, 2004 14:37 EST . - - Retired Norwegian general reappointed chief truce monitor in Sri Lanka - , XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... 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

Sri Lanka Cricket no-balled, 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

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