The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 303

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
President blames Prime Minister over peace process stalling
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 3, 2004, 11.57 pm. The Presidential Secretariat today claimed that despite President Chandrika Kumaratunga acting with ‘honesty and flexibility’ with the aim of reaching common grounds with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on several important issues including the stalled peace process, the Premier’s insistence that the Defence Ministry be returned to his government has led to the present deadlock.

Ms. Kumaratunga in early November last year took over the Ministries of Defence, interior and Mass communication citing security reasons.

The Secretariat also said that President Kumaratunga had agreed to give the government the necessary powers needed to take the peace process forward but had continued to insist that she keeps the defence portfolio, a suggestion turned down by Mr. Wickremesinghe.

According to Presidential Secretariat Director General Janadasa Peiris, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and his government have continued to maintain that the peace process could not be handled without full control of the defence ministry, a claim again turned down by President who cites that the constitution allows her to take charge of defence and any other ministry at any juncture.

“It is the President’s view that inspite of her goodwill, sincerity and flexibility to resolve this issue and arrive at a consensus to recommence the peace negotiations, which have been stalled since April 2003, the Premier’s insistence on the ‘control of the Defence Ministry and its key institutions and functions to carry out the peace process’ is the major obstacle in concluding an agreement and recommencing the peace negotiations,” Mr. Peiris said.
Published: Tue Feb 3 13:06:10 EST 2004

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National Movement pledges to safeguard culture of Sri Lanka
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 3, 2004, 11.13 pm. The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) today vowed to defeat all foreign forces including foreign political influences and take Sri Lanka on a more cultural path. The Movement made this pledged during its maiden convention held in Colombo today morning.

The Movement blasted the ruling United National Front government claiming that they had ruined the country and its culture since they came to power in December 2001. “The government has allowed foreign countries to rule our country,” the movement charged.

The opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Haritha Party also extended their greetings to the movements.
Published: Tue Feb 3 12:19:38 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Anti-Christian Feeling Rises in Buddhist Sri Lanka, February 3, 2004 . The church bells were silent at Christmas across Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka.After 20 years of civil war, Sri Lankans are no strangers to fear and violence, but as the island stumbles toward peace with the Tamil Tiger rebels it is grappling with a new problem -- a rise in anti-Christian sentiment.The conflict has centered on the majority-Buddhist Sinhalese and the mostly Hindu Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), ignoring the 8 percent of the population that is Christian.But that is changing since the death in December of a popular Buddhist monk who preached against conversions to Christianity.His funeral on Christmas Eve drew thousands of mourners. But troops and armed police had to be called in to subdue crowds convinced that a conspiracy was behind the monk's death from a heart attack, prompting pastors to keep the bells silent at midnight mass for fear of attracting attention. More...
Published: Tue Feb 3 13:52:25 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka addresses crucial defense issues aimed at ending political deadlock
Associated Press, Tue February 3, 2004 09:15 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Presidential and prime ministerial aides agreed Tuesday on a proposal addressing a dispute over control of Sri Lanka - 's defense ministry that is threatening the island's best chance for peace in 20 years, an official said... Back to the top

JVP-SLFP alliance heightens political tensions in Sri Lanka, February 3, 2004. Political tensions in Sri Lanka have escalated following the decision of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to form an alliance between her Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)... Back to the top

Chandrika, JVP alliance expands further
Gulf News, 03-02-2004. The newly formed alliance between Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party and the Marxist Janata Vimukti Perumana (JVP) yesterday expanded by getting four more political parties to join them and moved a step closer to a snap parliamentary election... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to parade military strength amid shaky truce with Tamil Tiger rebels
Associated Press, Tue February 3, 2004 07:44 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - paraded its military hardware for the first time in six years at a rehearsal Tuesday for Independence Day celebrations, despite calls to protest by Tamil leaders amid an increasingly fragile cease-fire... Back to the top

Panel in fresh bid to end Sri Lanka feud, February 3, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 3 (PTI): A four-member panel of top aides of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, today made fresh proposals for the two leaders to end their power struggle, both sides said. The panel met after a week's delay and decided on fresh proposals in relation to sharing defence ministry responsibilities, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka PM not keen on polls to end deadlock, 03 Feb 2004 10:09:22 GMT. By Geert De Clercq COLOMBO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is not keen on early polls despite opposition calls for an election to resolve a political standoff with the president, the head of his party said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan rail workers strike to force abolition of reforms
Associated Press, Tue February 3, 2004 08:45 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Thousands of striking railway workers demanded Tuesday that the government drop reforms already introduced at the state-owned institution, which the workers fear could lead to job losses and a withdrawal of benefits... Back to the top

USAID official to visit Sri Lanka , XINHUA
Associated Press, Tue February 3, 2004 14:03 EST . - - USAID official to visit Sri Lanka - , XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Crisis dampens Lanka's economic hopes, 2 February 2004 . Sri Lanka was aiming to be Asia's new economic tiger after sealing a truce with Tamil rebels, but a deepening political crisis is pushing the country into economic trouble as the flow of foreign aid slows down, economists warn... Back to the top

Sri Lanka gears up for Bryan Adams bash, February 3, 2004. COLOMBO : Sri Lankan authorities announced tight security for Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams who is stopping over here for a concert in support of the island's peace drive Back to the top

Four Sri Lankans dead and seven missing in devil-stoning stampede
Associated Press, Tue February 3, 2004 08:21 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Four Sri Lankans were among those killed in a stampede at the Muslim Hajj, the foreign ministry announced Tuesday... Back to the top

The BBC Perceived As an Ally of the LTTE, Feb2 ,2004 . John Pilger in his column in the New Statesman (8th December.2003) ‘’The John Pilger in his column in the New Statesman (8th December.2003) ‘’The BBC and Iraq: Myth and Reality’’ leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader that the BBC is continuing the policy of the first Director general John Reith ‘recorded in his diaries ‘’ that impartiality was a principle to be suspended whenever the established order and its consensus were threatened... Back to the top

Sri Lankan PM denies breakdown of consensus talks, XINHUA
Associated Press, Mon February 2, 2004 12:01 EST . - - The news of the committee resuming its work has thawed speculation that Kumaratunga may dissolve parliament and opt for a snap parliamentary election... Back to the top

Sri Lanka recall Lokuarachchi in training squad, February 3, 2004. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka included rookie leg spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath in a 25-man training pool named on Tuesday for the one-day series against Australia in February and March Back to the top

Sri Lankan opposition alliance broadened, XINHUA
Associated Press, Mon February 2, 2004 11:58 EST . - - Leaders of the three socialist parties - Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Sri Lanka - Mahajana Party and Desha Vimukthi Janatha Party and one Muslim party National Unity Alliance attended the signing ceremony in Colombo on Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lankans Invited To Prayer Meeting With Bush
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.00 P.M Tuesday 3 February. Number of Sri Lankans have been invited for the annual prayer prayer breakfast meeting in Washington DC, which is usually addressed by the President of the United States... Back to the top

Pro-LTTE Leader Vaiko Gets Conditional Bail, February 3, 2004. Chennai, Feb. 3 (NNN): Controversial Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader V Gopalswamy aka Vaiko, who has been detained under the Prevention Of Terrorist Act for over 18 months, was on Tuesday granted conditional bail by a POTA court in the city. Back to the top

Reprieve for Sri Lankan girl, Feb 02, 2004. One of the lawyers for a Sri Lankan girl facing deportation says she has been assured the teenager will not be leaving on Monday... Back to the top

Lanka unity talks to resume tomorrow, Monday, February 2, 2004 : 1930 Hrs. Colombo, Feb. 2. (PTI): The stalled talks to end the political power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will resume tomorrow, officials on both sides said today... Back to the top

Lanka stars in US-Japan talks, February 2, 2004. Sri Lanka, its political conflict and the peace process are expected to figure prominently during the Japan-US talks beginning this week in Tokyo... Back to the top

Kumaratunga calls for early election, February 3, 2004. Sri Lanka Pre-sident Chandrika Kumaratun-ga's party, which sits in opposition in parliament, and allied groups called yesterday for early polls to end a stalemate in government and begin renewed talks with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Does Sri Lanka's Signature Campaign Have Tiger Stamp?, 02 February 2004. Champika Liyanaarachchi OneWorld South Asia COLOMBO, (OneWorld) - Amid suspicion that it is a rebel-backed drive, students in the northern city of Jaffna are launching a signature campaign on February 4 - Sri Lanka's Independence day - with a slew of controversial demands to the international community, including one to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka PM due next Monday
com, February 2, 2004. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will make an official three-day visit to Thailand starting next Monday, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday... Back to the top

Just six months of working together can change Sri Lanka's ..., February 2, 2004. The important members of the international donor community, such as Japan's special envoy to the peace process, Yasushi Akashi, have come and gone... Back to the top

LTTE keen on peace, February 2, 2004. The LTTE has expressed a keen interest in taking forward the peace process in a bid to provide "urgent humanitarian assistance" to their people, said a press release... Back to the top

View from Colombo: Pramuka paints banking system in poor light, February 2,2004. The 16-month-long desperate struggle of depositors of Pramuka Savings and Development Bank, which suspended operations on October 25, 2002, and whose licence was cancelled on December 19 the same year, yielded fruit when the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last week decided not to liquidate but to permit it to resume business conditionally... Back to the top

Sri Lanka cricket chief bows out of race, February 2, 2004. COLOMBO : Sri Lanka 's Cricket Chief Thilanga Sumathipala, in custody on charges of breaking immigration laws, on Sunday announced he would not seek re-election to the governing body... Back to the top

BPCL bids for stakes in two Sri Lankan firms, February 3, 2004. BOMBAY (Reuters) - India's third-largest refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) has submitted bids for the acquisition of stakes in two Sri Lankan petroleum firms as part of its plans to expand operations... Back to the top

Defending champion South Korea swamps Sri Lanka, China downs ..., February 2, 2004. NEW DELHI Feb 1 - Defending champion South Korea started its campaign at the fifth Women's Asia Cup with a resounding 15-0 victory Sunday over field hockey minnow Sri Lanka Back to the top

BPCL submits bids for SriLankan oil firms, February 3, 2004. Bharat Petroleum (Q, N,C,F)* Corporation Ltd(BPCL) has submitted bids for acquisition of equity stake in SriLankan oil firms Modern Petroleum Marketing Ltd, Sri Lanka and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd today Back to the top

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