The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 317

Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka Donor Co-Chairs Call for Early Return to Peace Talks
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.30 A.M Wednesday 18 February. The co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka (the United States, European Union, Japan, and Norway) Yesterday called for the earliest possible resumption of peac talks, which has been suspended since April last year. The Co-Chairs met in Washington yesterday to discuss the international community's support of Sri Lanka's peace process. A statement issued by the US State Department said the co-chair group is pleased to note that in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, the parties have largely upheld the ceasefire in Sri Lanka for two years. With each passing month more displaced Sri Lankans return to their homes and more humanitarian demining occurs. The co-chairs applaud these indicators of peace. Co- Chairs say , A return to the peace table, along with strict adherence to the terms of the ceasefire agreement, is essential to sustain the peace process for the benefit of all ethnic communities in Sri Lanka.

The co-chairs expressed their disappointment at the breakdown of "co-habitation" efforts between the President and the Prime Minister. They call on all political figures to work to ensure that parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2 are free, fair, and peaceful, and conducted in an atmosphere free of political violence throughout the country. They underscore the importance that campaign rhetoric must be devoid of religious and ethnic intolerance and must not be used in ways that undermine the important gains that have been made in the peace process. The co-chairs encourage donors to provide support for independent local and international election monitors and call on all parties to ensure that they can carry out their mission in safety. After the elections conclude, the co-chairs urge the political parties to work expeditiously to establish clarity of responsibilities, so that the peace process - and the entire process of governance - can resume, regardless of the outcome of elections. The co-chairs welcomed the LTTE's statements of commitment to the ceasefire and to negotiations. The co-chairs encourage them to act responsibly during and after the election campaign.

The co-chairs reiterated their continued determination to implement their assistance pledged at the Tokyo Conference, based on the principles of the Tokyo Declaration, which makes clear that assistance by the donor community must be closely linked to substantial and parallel progress in the peace process. In the meantime, mindful of the Tokyo Declaration, the co-chairs recognized that there are particularly urgent needs for assistance for people in the war-torn areas and throughout Sri Lanka. The co-chairs call on all donors to continue delivering humanitarian relief and rehabilitation assistance to all needy areas of the country. The co-chairs will convene a meeting at an early date after the elections.
Published: Tue Feb 17 20:55:08 EST 2004

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S . Lanka Marxist chief apologises for past violence, February 17, 2004. COLOMBO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The leader of Sri Lanka's Marxist JVP party apologised for the first time on Tuesday for past bloodshed caused by his party, in a surprise gesture as the JVP bids for power in general elections. The JVP, which led rebellions in 1971 and 1987-89 in which more than 80,000 people died, renounced violence in 1994 and entered mainstream politics. Last month, it signed a pact with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the two will run on a common platform in the April 2 elections. Somawansa Amarasinghe, who has lived in exile for most of the past decade, said his People's Liberation Front (JVP) had learned from its mistakes and was now a different party. More...
Published: Tue Feb 17 17:59:27 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Conflict and Peace Analyst says Peace Process Is Flawed -
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Wednesday 18 February. Head of Conflict and Peace Analysis, of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Kethesh Logananthan says the government’s peace process is flawed and one should re-look at the process. He said the exclusion of the President of the country created conditions to the subsequent developments in the country. Addressing a seminar titled ‘Politics of Peace’ organized by the Bandaraniake Center for International Studies, Loganathan said “ LTTE controlled, Kilinochcchi and Mulativu was excluded from the ceasefire agreement and the SLMM was not allowed to operate. One cannot say that LTTE must be allowed to bring arms to maintain military balance. It is also undemocratic for any single organization to say they are the sole representatives of a community. There should be inclusiveness in the North and the East” He also said that Norway’s playing of a dual role, as a facilitator and monitor could not be accepted. Loganathan accused the Norwegians and the Peace Secretariat of trying to manage information. He said “ We saw series of misinformation and spin in the last two years and mere public relations exercises rather than creating awareness among the people.”

Kumar Rupasinghe, an advisor to the Reconciliation Programme pointed out that the cabinet did not know the suffering of the people in the North and the East and a minister was appalled by the conditions of the people in the North during a visit to the area. Prof. Nick Haysom, former South African President, Nelson Mandela’s Constitutional Advisor who delivered the keynote address emphasized that peace process must deliver at grass root level. He said “ Peace itself is a benefit” Senior lecturer in political science at the Colombo, university Dayan Jayatlleka noted that living conditions of people eroded during the period of negotiations and it allowed extremism to rise and the process of appeasement in the peace process opened doors in the South. “ One must oppose extremism of North as well as in the South. During the April 2 elections two major communities might vote either way and it could lead to politics of war not peace” Jayatileke warned.
Published: Tue Feb 17 18:57:52 EST 2004 Back to the top

President appointed as Leader of UPFA
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 17, 2004, 11.36 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has been appointed as the leader of the SLFP-JVP’s United People’s Freedom Alliance... Back to the top

S . Lanka PM says poll call undemocratic , dangerous, 17 Feb 2004 15:18:04 GMT. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's dissolution of parliament and call for snap elections were undemocratic and a threat to the ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels, the prime minister said on Tuesday... Back to the top

SLMC-UNP likely to sign MOU soon
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 17, 2004, 11.25 pm. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the country’s main Muslim political party, is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understating with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party before mid March... Back to the top

Rupavahini laments Prime Minister’s decision to boycott their channel during address to the nation
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 17, 2004, 11.59 pm. State television ‘Rupavahini’ today disapproved Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to use only private media institutions to deliver his ‘address to the nation’, Premier Wickremesinghe is alleged to have boycotted the state television because it comes under President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s purview and due state media institutions reportedly being very biased when disseminating information to the public... Back to the top

LTTE may emerge as kingmakers in poll
com, 17 February , 2. Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels said Tuesday they would throw their weight behind a moderate Tamil party in forthcoming elections, a move analysts say could turn them into kingmakers in the polls... Back to the top

LTTE asks Tamils to vote only for TNA, Feb. 17, 2004 EST 16:30. Colombo, Feb 17 (UNI) The Tamil Tiger rebels, who are not directly fielding any candidates in the coming general elections on April 2, today said the Tamils should cast their votes only for the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which enjoys LTTE's full backing... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Daily Mirror, February 17, 2004. PM accuses CBK of ‘kicking’ the people Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an address to the nation last night accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga of kicking the mandate of the people by dissolving parliament without consulting the government which had a clear majority... Back to the top

Media watchdog criticizes Sri Lanka 's president for canceling license of independent TV station
Associated Press, Tue February 17, 2004 09:34 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An international media watchdog Tuesday criticized Sri Lanka - 's government for canceling an operating license for a new television station ahead of parliamentary elections... Back to the top

Chandrika's action has stifled economic recovery: Ranil, February 17, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 17 (PTI): In his first address to the nation after sacking of his legislature, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, today accused his arch rival, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, of stifling the economic recovery in the country and jeopardising the ceasefire with LTTE rebels. "The President's action (of sacking the legislature on February 7) has jeopardised the ceasefire agreement," Wickremesinghe said in his speech over privately-owned television stations... Back to the top

Mending Children s Hearts in Sri Lanka, 17 February 2004. A unique private foundation is saving the lives of poor children with congenital heart disease in Sri Lanka, where the treatment cost is thrice the national per capita income and a three-year wait is par... Back to the top

Sri Lanka cabinet says opposition win may hurt peace, 17 Feb 2004 09:51. A two-year-old ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels will be in danger if the opposition comes to power in April 2 elections, the ruling party said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Political parties register their candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections
Associated Press, Tue February 17, 2004 04:50 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Political parties in Sri Lanka - started nominating candidates Tuesday for April 2 parliamentary elections, while a major Tamil alliance discussed poll strategy with Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger say they'll play "major role" in Sri Lanka 's coming election
Associated Press, Tue February 17, 2004 09:18 EST . JOE ARIYARATNAM-Associated Press Writer-KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels said Tuesday they will for the first time play a ``major role'' in the country's parliamentary elections, as political parties began nominating candidates for the April 2 poll... Back to the top

Old murder makes waves in Sri Lanka campaign, 17 Feb 2004 05:54 . Posters asking who was responsible for the murder of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's husband 16 years ago were plastered across Colombo on Monday, raising the temperature ahead of general elections... Back to the top

LTTE wants SLMM to monitor election process in the North East province
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 16, 2004, 10.20 pm. LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam has given an assurance that his organisation will not obstruct any election related activities in the North and East province nor is his organisation against the holding of elections in the province... Back to the top

Faleiro denies major role in Lanka talks
Gulf News, 17-02-2004 . Former minister of state for external affairs Eduardo Faleiro (Congress) is at present in Colombo enroute to Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Lankan president sacks Christian affairs minister, February 17, 2004. Sri Lanka's president has sacked the Christian affairs minister and withdrawn security for 39 junior ministers who were fired last week, police said Monday as the country's political crisis continues to deepen... Back to the top

Elections Commissioner issues strict orders to parties and candidates in connection to the use of public and State property
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 16, 2004, 10.03 pm. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake today gave out strict orders to all candidates, political parties and independent groups to abstain from using moveable and immovable property belonging to the public, to carry out their election campaigns and other deeds in connection to the forthcoming general election scheduled for April 2... Back to the top

Chandrika aims for 'clear mandate'
Gulf News, February 17, 2004. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has declared that she was seeking a clear mandate from the people in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections to initiate discussions with the Tamil guerrillas and the relevant parties to find a political solution through negotiations... Back to the top

LTTE flag raised during state ceremony
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.00 P.M Monday 16 February. A member of the LTTE identified as Kannan has raised the LTTE flag at the opening ceremony of a new co-operative building in Kayts yesterday according to the Kayts police... Back to the top

LTTE refuses to contest Sri Lanka elections, February 17, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have ruled out contest for parliament but are vetting minority Tamil candidates who could emerge kingmakers at the April elections, Tamil politicians said here on Monday... Back to the top

Shocking! Is Congress patching up with LTTE?
com, February 16, 2004. Has Congress president Sonia Gandhi despatched an emissary to Sri Lanka to meet LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran at a secret location in Killonichi tomorrow? It may sound incredible, but Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy has claimed so... Back to the top

Truce With LTTE “ Security Threat ” , Warn Lanka President ..., February 16, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 16 (NNN): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s new allies have warned that the ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels threatens security of the Island nation. Back to the top

Sri Lanka constitution key pawn in stalemate
Dawn, February 16, 2004. As Sri Lanka prepares for its third general election in four years, one theme recurs constantly in newspaper front pages and TV newscasts - the constitution... Back to the top

Aussies win Sri Lanka tour opener, February 17, 2004. MORATUWA - World champions Australia geared up for the one-day cricket series in Sri Lanka with an emphatic five-wicket victory in a warm-up match... Back to the top

Kumaratunga sacks Christian affairs minister
com, February11, 2004. Colombo:Sri Lanka's political scene was thrown into further turmoil on Monday with President Chandrika Kumaratunga virtually sacking the Christian Affairs minister for "not taking oath" and withdrawing his security along with that of the 39 junior ministers removed recently... Back to the top

Kumaratunga’s ally rejects truce with Tigers, February 16, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s faltering peace process was dealt a further blow on Sunday when the Marxist coalition partner of Sri Lanka’s president vowed to scrap a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels if they win April elections... Back to the top

Warne holds no fear for Sri Lanka, Febryary 17, 2004. BRING on Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill or any other spinner for that matter ... Back to the top

Most Indian tourists want to come back to Sri Lanka-, February 16, 2004. The experience of Indian tourists in Sri Lanka is so good that more than nine out of ten want to come back, says a survey conducted by the Ceylon Tourist Board... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says ``No'' to Australia's 15-a-side practice match proposal
Associated Press, Mon February 16, 2004 06:04 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan cricket board on Monday rejected an Australian proposal to allow its entire 15-man squad play in a practice match ahead of their upcoming five-match limited-overs series A lack of practice is not the only problem the tourists are facing; Sri Lanka - 's one-day captain Marvan Atapattu believes the hot, humid weather conditions could be an issue for them... Back to the top

After fatal road accident, Sri Lanka 's promising spinner stages comeback
Associated Press, Mon February 16, 2004 01:14 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's promising legspinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi, coming off a suspension after allegedly causing a fatal accident, will likely return to play in upcoming matches against Australia, the Sri Lankan cricket board said Monday... Back to the top

Lanka hopes to turn the tide with turners, February 16, 2004. Colombo: Sri Lanka's One-day captain Marvan Atapattu has sounded a warning to Australia, saying the world champions will find it difficult to cope with turning tracks and hot weather... Back to the top

McGrath ready to resume playing after injury
Yahoo India, Monday February 16, 3:06 PM. SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has recovered from a persistent ankle injury and is hoping to return to international cricket... Back to the top

England, Pakistan, Bangladesh Sri Lanka win matches
Associated Press, Tue February 17, 2004 07:03 EST . - - Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - also won their respective matches on Tuesday... Back to the top

Ring-rusty Sri Lanka ready for Ponting's Australians
Yahoo India, Tuesday February 17, 12:57 AM. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Coach John Dyson believes Sri Lanka are ready to rise to the challenge of facing Australia despite having played just a single one-day international in eight months... Back to the top

Aussie captain says his players know when to stop sledging
Associated Press, Tue February 17, 2004 00:57 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Australian captain Ricky Ponting refutes his team's reputation for overindulging in verbal mudslinging, saying they know when to stop harassing rival players... Back to the top

Canada slips to 0-2 after loss to Sri Lanka at under-19 cricket ..., February 17, 2004. RAJSHAHI, Bangladesh (CP) - It's been a frustrating start for underdog Canada at the under-19 cricket World Cup... Back to the top

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