The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 309

Headline Summary
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Kadir Says State Media Cannot Be Used by Government As It Pleases
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 12.20 A.M Tuesday 10 February. Caretaker Media Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar says that the state media cannot be used by the government of the day as it pleases and it belongs to the people of the country. Outlining his media policy during a general election to the state media bosses , the new minister said that the state media has a duty to set standards that the private media may follow if they wish to, but the private media belongs to its owners who may use as they please. The new guidelines issued by the minister stated, during a general election, in particular the state media, both print and electronic, should in handling public and political issues maintain a fair balance and the media coverage should be fair and topical, the issues that should be addressed continuously during the campaign is the holding of an election free of violence and to the end every effort must be made to bring together all those like minded persons of whatever political persuasion who shares that aspiration.

The minister emphazies that the topics of public debate should be, among others, the economic and social well-being of the people, ethnic and inter-religious harmony, culture, measures to tackle corruption, strengthen transparency and good governance, law and order, the environment and international relations. According to the new guidelines the state media should help to project views on the kind of Sri Lanka in which people would like to live and to facilitate the expression of such views from the widest cross section of the people of Sri Lanka. When The Lanka Academic questioned if he would be able to achieve his objectives during a short period as a caretaker media minister, Kadiragamar said, “ Some one got to try it and some one got to give a start to it. I am hopeful”
Published: Mon Feb 9 13:31:01 EST 2004

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President planning to reduce powers and staff of UNF ministers before election
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 9, 2004, 10.18 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is planning to reduce the number of ministers and withdraw excessive powers granted to them and lessen the number of their staff before the general election, scheduled for April 2.

The Independent Television Network, which comes under the purview of President Kumaratunga, also claimed today evening that several political parties have requested Ms. Kumaratunga to prevent ministers contesting the forthcoming elections with their powers, staff and official vehicles.

The parties have also claimed that a fair election cannot be expected with such powers and vehicles vested to these ministers. Currently there are more than 100 UNF Government Ministers. They include Cabinet Ministers, Non-Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers. They will definitely be using some official vehicles, staff drawing government salaries and also security officers for their election campaigns and other antics, the pro opposition political parties have reportedly told the President.
Published: Mon Feb 9 11:25:14 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Tamil Tiger rebels call snap elections 'grave setback' to Sri Lanka 's peace process
Associated Press, Mon February 9, 2004 03:25 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels warned on Monday that the Sri Lankan president's decision to dissolve Parliament and call snap elections was ``a grave setback'' to the island's frail peace process. Sri Lanka - 's stock market plummeted 11 percent Monday in reaction to the developments.

It was its second largest drop ever, after plunging more than 20 percent in the first two days after the November crisis.

``This is totally an unethical, immoral and undemocratic move ... causing incalculable damage to the economy and the nation,'' Cabinet spokesman G.L. Peiris said Monday, referring to Kumaratunga's decision.

He said the move would have a ``disastrous effect'' on a crucial aid review meeting set for Feb. 17 in Washington, where donors will decide on disbursement of US$4.5 billion pledged to help rebuild Sri Lanka - .

Rebel negotiator Balasingham said the president's move ``constitutes a grave setback to the peace process.''

``The decision to seek another mandate from the people clearly demonstrates the fact that the Sinhala political leadership lacks the political will and vision to resolve the country's burning issue the Tamil national question,'' he added, referring to the majority Sinhalese ethnic group.

Balasingham called on Sri Lankans to support those who ``are seriously committed to peace and peaceful resolution of the Tamil ethnic conflict.'' He also pleaded to international donors for humanitarian aid for minority Tamils, most of whom live in the war-shattered northeast.

The rebels have been pushing for direct access to donor money.

The Tigers launched a violent campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in 1983, claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese majority.

Nearly 65,000 people were killed before the truce was signed in February 2002.

On the Web:

Tamil Net:
Published: Mon Feb 9 18:48:12 EST 2004 Back to the top

President’s actions criticised by G.L. Peiris
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 9, 2004, 10.11 pm. Cabinet Spokesman G.L. Peiris today strongly criticised President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s decision to dissolve Parliament and thereby call a general election... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's election blues, February 9, 2004. The peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels and the country's economy are likely to dominate the campaign, which kicks off after nominations close on 24 February... Back to the top

Muslim political factions to forge alliance?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 9, 2004, 4.45 pm. Senior Muslim Parliamentarians are contemplating forging a new alliance to contest the forthcoming general election... Back to the top

Sri Lankan govt strongly criticizes president's dissolution of parliament
People's Daily, February 9, 2004. Sri Lanka's caretaker government onMonday strongly criticized President Chandrika Kumaratunga for herdissolution of parliament as "undemocratic" and said they will seek resounding mandate of the people in the forthcoming electionsto continue with peace process and economic development... Back to the top

Nominations for election begins mid this month
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 9, 2004, 4.44 pm. Nominations for the 13th Parliamentary election scheduled for April 2, will begin on February 17 and will close on February 24, 2004... Back to the top

Chronology of Sri Lanka 's political crisis
Associated Press, Mon February 9, 2004 06:52 EST . The Associated Press - - Key events in Sri Lanka - 's political crisis leading to President Chandrika Kumaratunga's dissolution of Parliament and call for early elections: Jan... Back to the top

LTTE not to disturb Lankan polls, February 9. The LTTE has given an assurance that it will not disturb the forthcoming elections to the Sri Lankan parliament... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, February 9, 2004. Dissolution dictatorial: UNP The UNP while expressing confidence in emerging victorious at the forthcoming general election yesterday strongly denounced President's sudden decision to dissolve parliament saying that the people of the country would be the ultimate losers, as all development work would come to a halt... Back to the top

Sri Lankan police say nearly 130 Christian organizations attacked in two months
Associated Press, Mon February 9, 2004 10:52 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Christian churches and charity organizations have suffered nearly 130 attacks in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka - since mid-December, police said Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka News Canvassing by LTTE in South African election ..., February 9, 2004. Reported plans by South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) to use Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers to woo Indian voters in the forthcoming elections have been rejected by an indigenous Tamil leader... Back to the top

Hakeem to Meet With PM Today
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 3. 45 P.M Monday 9 February. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader (SLMC) and Minister Rauf Hakeem is to meet with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe this evening on an invitation extended by the Premier... Back to the top

SriLankan Airlines makes comeback
Thestar online, February 9, 2004. AFTER losing half its fleet of aircraft to terrorist attacks at the peak of Sri Lanka's political upheaval two years ago, SriLankan Airlines was not only undeterred but managed to bounce back to greater heights, thanks to effective cost-control measures, a dependable workforce and a more peaceful Sri Lanka... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Bevan recalled for Lanka tour, February 9, 2004. Batsman Michael Bevan and reserve wicket-keeper Brad Haddin were added yesterday to the Australian one-day squad for this month's five-match tour of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

SNAP ELECTIONS FOR SRI LANKA, February 9, 2004. SYDNEY, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Australia have added a second wicketkeeper to their limited overs squad for the tour of Sri Lanka to ease the workload on Adam Gilchrist... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Ranil's party favours polls over political uncertainty
Gulf News, 09-02-2004 . Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Front (UNP) yesterday said that it was better to go in for fresh elections than rule the country amid uncertainty with unpredictable actions by President Chandrika Kumaratunga... Back to the top

Poll setback for Sri Lanka peace, february 9, 2004. Prospects for Sri Lanka's peace process dimmed yesterday after the president dissolved parliament and called a snap election, the third in four years... Back to the top

Parliament dissolution grave setback to peace process: LTTE, February 9, 2004. Colombo, Feb 9 (UNI) Calling President Chandrika Kumaratunga's decision to dissolve parliament ahead of schedule ''a grave setback to the peace process'', the Tamil Tiger rebels in their official reaction today said they would still stick to the ceasefire agreement 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

World News : Sri Lanka Sri Lankan president appoints two new ..., February 9, 2004. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed two new ministers hours before dissolving parliament and calling fresh parliamentary elections, her office said Sunday... Back to the top

Lanka president calls snap polls on April 2: Third election since 2000
Dawn, COLOMBO, Feb 8. Sri Lanka's fragile peace bid and reconstruction from war were plunged into uncertainty on Sunday after the president sacked parliament and called elections nearly four years ahead of schedule... 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

Poll cloud on Lanka peace, February 9, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 8 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s President called snap elections to try to unseat her bitter rival the Prime Minister, but whoever triumphs, it appeared unlikely to revive stalled peace talks with the Tamil rebels. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who takes a harder line against the rebels than Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, dissolved parliament yesterday and set a vote for April 2 — three years early and the third general election in four years... 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

Lanka far away for Indian oil firms, February 9, 2004. New Delhi : Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee may talk of a common currency for the South Asian region... Back to the top

SriLankan offers Bahrain-Hyderabad link, February 9, 2004. Passengers to India from Bahrain are being offered a new service to Hyderabad by SriLankan Airlines... Back to the top

Sri Lankan envoy assures Malaysian investors, BUSINESS TIMES
Associated Press, Mon February 9, 2004 09:54 EST . - - KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. - Malaysians, especially businessmen, should not be overly concerned about developments in Sri Lanka - following the dissolution of Parliament yesterday as both parties locked in electoral combat have the economic and political interests of the nation at heart... Back to the top

ICC Champions Trophy schedule
Associated Press, Mon February 9, 2004 09:17 EST . - - Sri Lanka - vs. Zimbabwe Wednesday Sept... Back to the top

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