The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 307

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Sri Lanka president dissolves Parliament plunging island into crisis
Associated Press, Sat February 7, 2004 13:01 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president dissolved Parliament on Saturday, paving the way for elections nearly four years ahead of schedule, a top presidential official said.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the vote would be held April 2.

The move came amid the president's bitter political battle with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which started Nov. 4 when Kumaratunga seized control of the key ministries of defense, media and police from the prime ministers Cabinet.

The leaders belong to rival political parties and were elected separately.

The dissolution could mean more violence from Tamil Tiger rebels, who have warned that the uncertain political situation may lead to a resumption of fighting.

The prime minister and Tamil rebels signed a Norwegian-brokered truce in February 2002, bringing a halt to 19 years of fighting that had killed nearly 65,000 people.

The truce led to peace talks between the two sides but the talks are currently stalled over a power struggle.

The Tamil Tigers launched their violent campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in 1983, claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese majority.
Published: Sat Feb 7 13:23:06 EST 2004

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Oppn legislators now in Lanka cabinet, 08 February. COLOMBO : Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed two opposition legislators to the cabinet shortly before she dissolved Parliament and called elections on April 2, officials said.Her international affairs advisor and former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was named information minister while Kumaratunga's People's Alliance General Secretary D M Jayaratne was made minister for Posts. It would be the first time that Sri Lanka will have two opposition legislators in the country's cabinet. More...
Published: Sat Feb 7 21:27:30 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Thamilselvam meets European Member of Parliament John Cushnahan in Brussels
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 7, 2004, 6.29 pm. European Union on Friday assured its unstinted support to meet the urgent needs to develop the North East province irrespective of the conditions prevailing in the south, due to the ongoing political crisis between the country’s executive President and Prime Minister. The assurance was given to the LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam when he met John Walls Cushnahan and other members of the European Parliament in Brussels, LTTE peace secretariat announced today.

Thamilselvam briefed the EU parliament members of the urgent and immediate needs of the people suffering due to the devastation caused by the war in the North East. He explained to them in detail the North East development plans that are designed to meet the necessities required to alleviate the prevailing miseries and regain a normal unhindered living.

The LTTE delegation also briefing the EU members on the reasonable and indispensable importance of extending all support direct to the North East so that the entire benefit could accrue to the people living in the province, the secretariat said.

European Member of Parliament John Cushnahan also reiterated his assurance further to impress the ensuing donor conference in Washington on the reasonability for an arrangement for the North East to obtain the support of the international community directly to the developing organisations in the North East.
Published: Sat Feb 7 07:35:25 EST 2004 Back to the top

Thilanga Sumathipala’s case: Five new witnesses to appear in court on Tuesday
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 7, 2004: 5.56 pm. The Colombo Chief Magistrate has granted permission to the CID to include five new witnesses in the case against Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala, who has been remanded for alleged violation of the country’s immigration and emigration laws... Back to the top

Lankan President-PM talks likely to decide on early polls, Saturday, February 7, 2004 | Updated: 16:23 I. PK Balachanddran Colombo, February 7 It will be "make or break" when key officials of the Sri Lankan presidency and the prime ministership meet in Colombo on Monday to resolve the power struggle going on between the country's top constitutional functionaries... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president becomes leader of new opposition alliance
People's Daily, February 7, 2004. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has been chosen as the president of the new oppositionalliance the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) formed last month by her party and the leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front, local press reported on Saturday... Back to the top

President intervened to save nation from Premier’s anti national sabotage-Opposition Leader
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 7, 2004, 5.38 pm. Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has claimed that if not for President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s timely intervention, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would have bestowed the LTTE a ‘Tamil Eelam’... Back to the top

SLFP-JVP alliance accepted by Elections Commissioner
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 6, 2004, 11.39 pm. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake today accepted the newly formed United People’s Freedom Alliance as a new political party, the alliance is more famously known as the Sri Lanka freedom Party-Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna alliance... Back to the top

' Sri Lanka would be a hard tour for Warne ', February 7, 2004. Sydney: Australian spinner Shane Warne would be facing a tough tour if he made his comeback to international cricket in Sri Lanka, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly warned in Sydney... Back to the top

President calls upon masses to rise against injustice
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 6, 2004, 11.38 pm. While indicating that ‘passive acceptance’ was the main reason for the country’s downfall, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga today called upon the masses to rally and rise up with self-dignity against any injustice... Back to the top

Indian MP jailed for supporting Tamil Tiger rebels freed, February 7, 2004. MADRAS, India: An Indian MP jailed by a special anti-terrorism court for his support of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has been freed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu... Back to the top

Chandrika's party hints at snap poll
Gulf News, February 6. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party yesterday dropped a strong signal that her party was preparing for a snap parliamentary election... Back to the top

Sri Lankans look to the stars for polls date, Saturday 7 February 2004. COLOMBO: Will she or won't she? For weeks now, Sri Lankans have wondered whether President Chandrika Kumaratunga will call snap elections... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels call off key meeting with Sri Lankan security forces
Associated Press, Fri February 6, 2004 06:49 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels canceled a key meeting with Sri Lankan security forces Friday aimed at reviewing the island's fragile cease-fire, a truce monitor said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan railway workers end 11-day strike
Associated Press, Fri February 6, 2004 10:37 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan railway workers ended an 11-day strike on Friday after government ministers intervened to settle a dispute over reforms introduced to the state-owned railroad... Back to the top

Report: Sri Lanka oldest woman dies aged 116
Associated Press, Fri February 6, 2004 03:23 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A 116-year-old woman has died in Sri Lanka - , a professor and state media said Friday... Back to the top

Tamil national unity forum launched in Colombo, February 05, 2004 17:46 . “The greatest challenge before the Tamil people today is the coming together of Sinhala chauvinist forces bent on denying our rights... Back to the top

Pakistani cyclists to figure in Tour de Sri Lanka, February 7, 2004. LAHORE: A 12-member Pakistan squad will compete in the Tour de Sri Lanka cycle race to be run from February 24 to 29... Back to the top

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