The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 321

Headline Summary
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SLMC portrays bleak picture on April 2 election, wants more foreign election monitors
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 22, 2004, 12.18 am. The country’s predominant Muslim political party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has urged international monitors to be very vigilant when monitoring the polls at the forthcoming general election on April 2. The party’s leader Rauff Hakeem has also requested the European Union and the Commonwealth to bring in more foreign election observers to monitor the process.

The Muslim leader has said that like the last general election in 2001, this election too was likely to be full of violence, intimidation and stuffing of ballot boxes, which was why there is a need for more election observers to be posted at all polling stations around the country.

The party has also indicated that the impending election could be the most ‘violence prone’ election in Sri Lankan history ever. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress lost 12 of its supporters from the Kandy district at the last general election in 2001. The People’s Alliance’s former Deputy Minister of Defence Gen. Anurudda Ratwatte was accused of murdering 10 of the 12 SLMC youth in Kandy (known as the Udathalawinna massacre). The court case is still pending.
Published: Sat Feb 21 13:25:54 EST 2004

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President tells Treasury to thwart attempts by anyone to use state funds for election purposes
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 21, 2004, 11.50 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has issued strict directions to the Treasury to thwart any attempts by individuals or institutions to use state funds for the forthcoming election purposes.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Charitha Ratwatte, Ms. Kumaratunga’s Secretary W.J.S. Karunaratne has stated, “It has been brought to the notice of this office that attempts are being made to use the budgetary provisions made available under the supplementary recurrent expenses and supplementary capital investment items and Restructuring and Reform expenditure of the National Budget Departments, for election related expenditure programmes. Her Excellency the President has directed that you refrain from incurring any such expenditure and take all necessary steps to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 3 of 2003.”

“Please also note that in addition to vehicles owned by Ministries and Government agencies, all vehicles hired or leased using government funds including funds of corporations and statutory bodies and companies owned by Government are also deemed as public properties and as such should not be used for political purposes. You are requested to issue necessary instructions in this regard to all relevant institutions,” the letter instructed.
Published: Sat Feb 21 13:02:20 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Jathika Hela Urumaya Policy Statement Out on 2 March
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.00 P.M Saturday 21 February. Secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Uduwe Dammaloka says the party would present its policy statement based on the concept of a Dharmarajah to the people on second March. The bikkus are contesting the April general elections under the conch shell symbol. Dammaloka thero said that Jathika Hela Urumaya was confident that the Mahanayakes would give their blessings to the party since they believe in the concept of a Dharmarajah The Mahanayakes are yet to issue a statement on the decision of the Buddhist monks to contest the April elections. The thero said " We will not join any other party if we win any seats in the elections. It is a firm commitment. But, we will not block any party, which would rule the country following the Dharmarajah concept. The leader of the Sinhala Urumaya Champika Ranawake said that his party only facilitated the bikkus to contest the elections since it was a registered party having changed its name to Jathika Hela Urumaya. He said " Our party is still intact. We will help the bikkus in the elections by using our party machinery."
Published: Sat Feb 21 10:14:36 EST 2004 Back to the top

Maheswaran nominated UNP candidate in Colombo, February 21. Mr. Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, former minister for Hindu Affairs and ex MP for Jaffna, will contest in Colombo as a candidate of the United National Party, sources said... Back to the top

Fate of Sri Lankan Nuclear Middleman Unclear
VOA News, 21 Feb 2004, 18:07 UTC. Malaysia has declined to say what will happen to a nuclear scientist police say confessed to helping facilitate a string of deals to trade nuclear technology from Pakistan to Iran and Libya... Back to the top

Anandasangaree to contest from Jaffna!
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.30 P.M Saturday 21 February. Tamil United Liberation Front President, V. Anandasangaree says he is considering contesting the April elections from Jaffna... Back to the top

Jailed Indians end hunger strike in Jaffna, Feb. 20. Sixty-seven Indian fishermen serving jail terms in Sri Lanka today ended a four-day hunger strike following assurances that they would be freed soon, officials said... Back to the top

SLMC Slams Athaullah Group- Hakeem Meets Premier
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 P.M Saturday 21 February. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has slammed the four UNF/ Muslim congress MP's who signed a pact with the Freedom Alliance yesterday... Back to the top

Ratwatte dropped from nomination list
Gulf News, February 21. Sri Lanka's former Deputy Defence Minister and President Chandrika Kumaratunga's uncle General Anuruddha Ratwatte been dropped from the nomination list for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections amidist fears that their alliance would lose some of the minority Muslim votes... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's top Muslim party splits ahead Parliament election
Associated Press, Fri February 20, 2004 10:15 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's main Muslim party split in two Friday, with breakaway members accusing their former leader of compromising Muslim interests in government peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

California brothers guilty in officials' alleged visa scheme in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri February 20, 2004 22:31 EST . SACRAMENTO (AP) Two brothers have pleaded guilty to bribing two married State Department officials at the U... Back to the top

New Zealand Cabinet minister resigns over Sri Lankan teenager deportation row
Associated Press, Fri February 20, 2004 02:24 EST . The document included handwritten notes by the lawyer of the deportee, a teenage girl who had sought refuge in New Zealand claiming that she had been sexually abused by a family member in Sri Lanka ... Back to the top

US Ambassador Says Political Parties Must Remain Committed to the Peace Process
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 12.15 P.M Friday 20 February. US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead says it is vital that the political parties remain committed to the peace process during the election campaign... Back to the top

Kumaratunga tries to justify her anti-democratic actions, 20 February 2004. Last Sunday Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga made her first public statements over her decision to dissolve parliament and sack the government—more than a week after her unprecedented action... Back to the top

Indian Oil to invest 100 M dollars in Sri Lanka, Feb 20, 2004, 17:00 EST. Bangalore, Feb 20 (UNI) The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will invest Rs 100 million Dollars in its Sri Lankan subsidiary in 2004-05 besides operationalising its Mauritius Aviation Turbine fuel complex from March one... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Muslim dissent group joins opposition for snap polls, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri February 20, 2004 13:05 EST . - - COLOMBO, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The dissident group of the Sri Lanka - Muslim Congress (SLMC), the main political party for the minority Muslim community, decided on Friday to join the main opposition led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections, officials said. The SLMC has been faction-ridden for well over a year with dissident leader A... Back to the top

Polls uncertain in Lanka's conflict areas
Dawn, COLOMBO, Feb 19. Sri Lanka's election chief has said he is still undecided about conducting the April parliamentary polls in the rebel-held areas in the north and east despite the no-conflict situation prevailing there for about 2 years... Back to the top

We will encourage LTTE to take the democratic path: Chandrika, February 20, 2004. COLOMBO, FEB. 20. The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has reportedly asserted that a future government under her leadership "will not, in any way, incite or provoke the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to another war," but would "encourage" them to take the democratic path... Back to the top

Lanka faces hung House, says poll, Februray 20, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 19 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s general elections on April 2 are likely to produce a hung parliament, with no party winning a clear majority and a Tamil group holding the balance of power, according to a Reuters poll of 12 financial institutions. The analysts predicted President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Opposition alliance would win a narrow victory but would fail to gain a majority... Back to the top

Ponting warns Sri Lanka over dry pitches, February 20, 2004. DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Australian captain Ricky Ponting warned Sri Lanka that a policy of preparing dry, spin-friendly pitches could backfire on the hosts in the current five-match one-day series... Back to the top

Hogg spins win over Sri Lanka, February 20, 2004. Spinner Brad Hogg has grabbed a career-best 5-41 as Australia capped a superb all-round performance with an 84-run victory over Sri Lanka in the opening one-day international in Dambulla... Back to the top

Sri Lanka consider dropping fast bowler, February 21, 2004. 8:20 EST. DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka are considering playing just one pace bowler in the second match of their five-game one-day series against Australia on Sunday... Back to the top

Australia crush Sri Lanka, February 21, 2004. 8:20 EST. 1st one-day international, Dambulla Australia 262-6 beat Sri Lanka 178 by 84 runs An in-form Australia unit were far too strong for Sri Lanka in the first one-day international, winning by 84 runs... Back to the top

Arjuna Ranatunga hits back at Shane Warne comments, says he is happy with his weight
Associated Press, Sat February 21, 2004 02:24 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Saturday hit back at Australian spin bowler Shane Warne for making fun of his bulk and eating habits... Back to the top

Sri Lankan media says Australia ``torture'' Sri Lankan players
Associated Press, Sat February 21, 2004 01:50 EST . - - DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan newspapers on Saturday described the Australian cricket team's emphatic 84-run victory over Sri Lanka - in their one-day international opener as amounting to ``torture... Back to the top

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