The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 308

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
My Goal Is a Well Balanced Media- Kadirgamar
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.15 A.M Monday 9 February. Newly appointed Media Minister of the Caretaker cabinet Lakshman Kadiragamar says that his goal is to have a well balanced media in the country, provide room for healthy debate and let young people have a say in the nations affairs. . Kadiragamar said " I would encourage academics, citizens at large, members of the civil society to come out and have their say and participate at all public debates We need new faces on television." " We need to freshen up the public face, he emphasized. He called upon all people concerned with the affairs of the nation to come forward. The minister also said that though he is a caretaker media minister he was adamant to see a balanced and a fair media culture developed even during two months.

The new media minister and Senior Advisor to the President said he would see to it that fair distribution of time and space in public media be allocated to all political parties contesting the elections. Kadiragamar added that he would encourage intelligent debates and discussions on television and the President is keen to conduct the elections in a sensible manner. He said This may be a watershed election, an election where we could show the world that we can hold elections in a fair manner."
Published: Sun Feb 8 17:53:37 EST 2004

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President was ‘forced’ to dissolve parliament by her party stalwarts
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 8, 2004, 11.45 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga was immensely pressurized into dissolving parliament, political sources told the Lanka Academic. Ms. Kumaratunga, who is the executive president of the country, was ‘ forced’ to dissolve parliament by her party’s stalwarts.

While she continued to contemplate the decision of dissolving parliament and despite several undertakings at numerous occasion that she would not dissolve parliament, Ms. Kumaratunga was virtually forced to call a general election by a group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party members who had been continuously campaigning for the SLFP-JVP alliance.

Bad came to worse, soon after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna on January 20, with mainly the SLFPers pressurizing her at many instances asking her to call fresh elections.

Ms. Kumaratunga however before making a decision whether or not to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections, met with elections commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake for several hours yesterday afternoon at her residence, it was after this meeting that President decided to dissolve parliament.
Published: Sun Feb 8 12:52:47 EST 2004 Back to the top

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SLFP-JVP alliance meets to plan election campaign
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 8, 2004, 11.33 pm. Barely 15 hours after President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament and announced snap polls, members of the newly formed United People’s Freedom Alliance convened a meeting to discuss details pertaining to their election campaign and how to win the forthcoming general election, which is four years ahead of scheduled.

The Alliance represents the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, and several other minority parties. Matters regarding ‘ways of governing the country in a responsible manner if the alliance is elected to power’ were also discussed at today’s meeting.

The two parties also focused attention on the present situation in the country after the dissolution of parliament. The SLFP was represented by Presidential advisor and Minister of media Lakshaman Kadirgarmer, and its Media spokesman Mangala Samaraweera while JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, general secretary Tilvin Silva and propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa represented their party.
Published: Sun Feb 8 12:40:32 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels say election a setback to peace, Monday, February 9, 2004 . COLOMBO, Feb 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said a snap poll called by the president at the weekend was a ''grave setback'' to peace efforts, but added they would stick to a February 2002 ceasefire with the government... Back to the top

LTTE comments on Sri Lanka Parliament dissolution, [TamilNet, February 08, 2004 16:17 GMT] . ''The Tamil people and the Liberation Tigers wish a change of government in Sri Lanka that would provide a permanent political solution to the problems of the Tamils'', said Mr S Elilan, the head of the LTTE's Political divison in Vavuniya Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan PM's party requests foreign, local monitors for parliamentary polls
Associated Press, Sun February 8, 2004 07:30 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The prime minister's party urged Sri Lanka - 's elections commissioner on Sunday to invite foreign and local officials to monitor parliamentary elections scheduled for April... Back to the top

UNP Confident of Winning Elections- Malik
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 12 20 P.M Sunday 8 February. The chairman of the UNP Malik Samarwickrema stated that the UNP is confident of winning the forth coming elections and the party was not unsettled by the President's decision to dissolve the parliament last night... Back to the top

Lawmakers, analysts says elections could block solution of Sri Lanka 's ethnic war
Associated Press, Sun February 8, 2004 03:40 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan president's call for early elections could derail chances for ending the country's long-standing ethnic strife, lawmakers and analysts said Sunday... Back to the top

Chandrika broke promise of not dissolving Parliament: UNP, Sunday, February 8, 2004 | Updated: 17:56 IST. PK Balachanddran Colombo, February 8 A senior leader of the ruling United National Party (UNP), Dr Rajitha Senatatne, said in Colombo on Sunday,that President Chandrika Kumaratunga had broken a solemn promise she had made to the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament in August 2002, not to dissolve the House so long as the present Government enjoyed majority support in it... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Sri Lankan election will not overshadow Australian tour, cricket official says
Associated Press, Sun February 8, 2004 08:18 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan cricket authorities are confident that public interest in the much-anticipated Australian tour will not be diminished by the heat of local parliamentary elections... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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

' 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

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

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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