The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 325

Headline Summary
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LTTE Continued To Commit Serious Human Rights Abuses- US Human Rights Report
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.15 A.M Thursday 26 February. The US Human Rights report of 2003 released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour by the State Department yesterday says that the LTTE continued to commit serious human rights abuses and the LTTE was responsible for arbitrary arrest, torture, harassment, disappearances, extortion, and detention. Through a campaign of intimidation, the LTTE continued to undermine the work of elected local government bodies in Jaffna and the east. The Report points out that on occasion, the LTTE prevented political and governmental activities from occurring in the north and east. There was overwhelming evidence that the LTTE killed more than 36 members of anti-LTTE Tamil political groups and alleged informants during the year. There were also instances of intimidation of Muslims by the LTTE, and there was fighting between LTTE personnel in the east and Muslims that left several Muslims dead. The LTTE continued to control large sections of the north and east. The report adds that the LTTE permitted journalists some access to the areas of the country it controlled. Some LTTE-imposed restrictions remained on freedom of movement of citizens. The LTTE denied those under its control the right to change their government, did not provide for fair trials, infringed on privacy rights, used child soldiers, and discriminated against ethnic and religious minorities.

The State Department report says the during the year, there was credible evidence that the LTTE killed more than 36 members of anti-LTTE Tamil political groups and alleged Tamil informants for the security forces, mainly in the north and east. Both current and former members of anti-LTTE Tamil political parties were targeted by the LTTE. In one high-profile case, the deputy leader of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front was shot and killed in Jaffna in June. The report notes that the LTTE also targeted alleged Tamil informants to the military, killing several during the year. A police officer was also killed in Colombo in an apparent LTTE attack.

The Report says that the LTTE continued to use high school-age children for work as cooks, messengers, and clerks, as well as soldiers. In some cases, the children reportedly helped build fortifications. In the past, children as young as age 10 were said to be recruited and placed for 2 to 4 years in special schools that provided a mixture of LTTE ideology and formal education. The LTTE used children as young as age 13 years in battle, and children sometimes were recruited forcibly. Compulsory physical training, including mock military drills even for children and the aged reportedly occurred. According to LTTE spokesmen, training was meant to keep the population fit; however, it was believed widely that the training was established to gain tighter control and provide a base for recruiting fighters. Individuals or small groups of children intermittently turned themselves over to security forces or religious leaders, saying that they had escaped LTTE training camps throughout the year.
Published: Wed Feb 25 21:29:41 EST 2004

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Leave the People Of Sri Lanka Alone -Kadir To O' Brien
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Thursday 26 February. Media Minister and Advisor to President Lakshman Kadiragamar has asked the British Foreign Office Minister Mike O' Brien to leave the people of Sri Lanka alone and let the people of Sri Lanka conduct elections as they wish. Responding to O' Brien's call for free and fair elections in the country and his warning not to undermine the peace process in the island Kadiragamar said " I as a former foreign minister would have never presumed to give unsolicited advice to any other country on how to conduct its political processes"

Kadiragamar also said " The people of Sri Lanka, men and women have been voting since 1931. We are not political adolescents who require to be nursed through an election. The people of Sri Lanka are not foolish as needlessly to undermine the peace process. The LTTE is a pragmatic and a realistic organization. They too will needlessly not do anything to undermine the peace process. In the name of the alleged 'fragility of the peace process' legitimate democratic debate cannot be stiffed" He pointed out that the politicians may be foolish but the people are wise and they will in due course deliver their judgment on the political parties who come before them to ask for their votes" On Tuesday O' Brien urged Sri Lanka's political parties to keep their rhetoric down in the run up to April elections. He also warned against undermining the fragile peace process with the LTTE.
Published: Wed Feb 25 19:46:49 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Britain warns Sri Lanka parties not to undermine peace process  -
Britain calls for fair election in Sri Lanka  -

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SLMC ready to support UPFA
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 25, 2004, 11.06 pm. Sri Lanka’s predominant Muslim Political Party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress’s (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem today revealed that he was prepared to join the United People’s Freedom Alliance, if they agreed to allocate more parliamentary seats to his Muslim congress.

“We are ready to consider supporting the Sri Lanka Freedom Party-Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Alliance if they are willing to give us a good deal,” he said. Rauff Hakeem’s announcement came despite his party signing an agreement with the United National Front early this week, which secured the SLMC’s support to the United National Front.

The SLMC will contest seven districts under the UNF’s banner. They will however contest the conflicted North East province on their own under the SLMC’s ‘tree’ symbol. The Muslim Leader will also contest from the Ampara district, which is incidentally the party’s base.
Published: Wed Feb 25 12:13:26 EST 2004 Back to the top

State media told to stick to guidelines
Gulf News, February 24. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has set out guidelines to the state-run electronic media and cautioned them that he could name a competent authority to manage the broadcasts related to elections, in the event of any violation of the regulations... Back to the top

Nominations for polls close today
Gulf News, February 24. Nominations for Sri Lanka's snap Parliamentary elections close today as the main parties prepare for a grueling five week long election campaign... Back to the top

Lanka poll campaign begins on violent note, February 25, 2004. Sri Lanka's election campaign got off to a violent start with at least 40 people wounding in poll-related violence and LTTE rebels warning of "serious consequences" if Tamils were prevented from voting in April 2 elections... Back to the top

LTTE warns of serious consequences if Tamils denied voting ..., February 25, 2004. Colombo: The Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday of ''serious consequences'' if the Sri Lankan army restricted free movement of voters from the rebel-held areas to cast their votes in the government-held areas... Back to the top

Sri Lankan political party to field 260 Buddhist monks in upcoming elections
Associated Press, Wed February 25, 2004 03:39 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A radical nationalist party said Wednesday it will field 260 Buddhists monks as candidates in the April 2 parliamentary elections the first time monks have entered the political fray in an organized way... Back to the top

Lanka govt sees chaos if opposition wins poll, February 25, 2004. Colombo: Sri Lanka faces chaos if the president's alliance wins approaching elections, the prime minister's party warned on Wednesday, saying the coalition could not agree on how to pursue peace moves with Tamil rebels... Back to the top

I am no Jehovah's Witness- Kadiragamar
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 4.30 P.M Tuesday 24 February. Media Minister and Advisor to the President Lakshman kadiragamar has squashed rumours that he is a member of Jehovah's witness... Back to the top

Rebel - backed candidates running in Sri Lanka vote, 24 Feb 2004 10:44:16 GMT. Rebel-backed candidates are among several thousand who filed papers on Tuesday for Sri Lanka's third election in four years, a vote that will focus on how to resume a peace bid with the Tamil Tigers after decades of war... Back to the top

Record number of candidates contest Sri Lankan poll, February 24, 2004. Nominations for Sri Lanka's snap elections closed on Tuesday with a record 6,024 candidates in the running for 225 parliamentary seats amid fears for the island's fragile peace process... Back to the top

Fragile Sri Lanka prepares for polls, February 24, 2004. Candidates for Sri Lanka's first parliamentary elections under a ceasefire after 20 years of war will be completing nomination forms today... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's top Buddhists against monks in politics
Gulf News, February 24, 2004. Sri Lanka's highest Buddhist authorities oppose a bid by a group of monks to contest elections, saying monks should advise the rulers, not run for parliament... Back to the top

Mendis new Sri Lanka chief, February 25, 2004. Duleep Mendis has been named the new chief executive of Sri Lanka cricket, the former captain replacing Anura Tennakoon on 1 January... Back to the top

Australia wins third limited-overs match against Sri Lanka by five wickets
Associated Press, Wed February 25, 2004 11:25 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Australia beat Sri Lanka - by five wickets in the third limited-overs match Wednesday... Back to the top

Cricket-Lehmann thankful for Sri Lanka tour, February 25, 2004. ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) - Senior Australian batsman Darren Lehmann says he was fortunate his return to the Test squad coincided with next month's tour to Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka may have tourism website in Hindi, February 25, 2004. If all goes well, Sri Lanka may soon have a tourism website in Hindi... Back to the top

Lanka IOC plans IPO in Colombo this year-chairman, February 25, 2004. NEW DELHI (Reuters) - State-run Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) subsidiary in Sri Lanka plans an initial public offering in Colombo this year, N... Back to the top

Gilchrist found guilty of breaching code of conduct, Symonds cleared
Associated Press, Tue February 24, 2004 07:37 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing Tuesday of showing dissent following an umpire's decision in Australia's second limited-overs international against Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's tangled politics and peace
Yahoo, February 24, 2004 11:30 EST. The electoral alliance of January 20 between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) - the two largest parties in Sri Lanka's present parliamentary opposition, both with their support bases mainly in the Sinhalese segment of the electorate - has been subject to intense analysis and debate, producing a wide diversity of mutually irreconcilable views on its possible impact on the country's prospects for peace, stability and progress... Back to the top

Muslims divided as LTTE consolidates dictatorship, February 24, 2004. The already dwindling democracy in the North and the fragmentation of the country's principal Muslim party based in the East are some of the casualties of the snap polls announced by President Chandrika Kumaratunga... Back to the top

Lanka probes middleman s local business connections, February 24, 2004. Sri Lanka has begun probing the local business connections of one of its nationals, Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, the middleman who acted for Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr... Back to the top

Lankan PM seeks fresh mandate
Dawn, COLOMBO, Feb 23. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a fresh mandate to pursue his peace efforts with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE)... Back to the top

Socialist Equality Party to stand in Sri Lankan elections, February 24, 2004. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka has decided to stand a slate of 23 candidates in the district of Colombo in the general elections scheduled for April 2... Back to the top

Britain urges Sri Lanka 's politicians to avoid damaging peace process
Associated Press, Tue February 24, 2004 09:23 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Britain on Tuesday urged Sri Lankan politicians to ensure their electioneering does not damage the island's fragile peace process, already threatened by squabbling between rival leaders, as nominations for April 2 polls drew to a close... Back to the top

Elections will strengthen LTTE s position - Samp . ., February 23. "We openly state that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is contesting the forthcoming general election on behalf of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)," said Tamil National Alliance lead candidate in Trincomalee district, Mr... Back to the top

Sri Lanka down South Africa, February 25, 2004. Dhaka: Sri Lanka defeated South Africa by 29 runs yesterday in the super league of the Under-19 World Cup cricket... Back to the top

Reliance wins Sri Lanka tender, February 24, 2004 7:45 EST. Reliance Industries has won a tender to supply Sri Lanka with 180,000 barrels of gas oil and 120,000 barrels of gasoline for March, an official from state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) said on Tuesday... Back to the top

Buddhist monks under fire for entering Sri Lanka election+
Associated Press, Tue February 24, 2004 03:27 EST . - - COLOMBO, Feb. 24 (Kyodo) Two of Sri Lanka - 's most influential Buddhist monks have expressed disapproval over the decision by a group of militant priests to contest the April 2 parliamentary elections. Buddhists from the Sinhalese community, comprising 69% of the country's 18.6 million people, are the dominant religious group in Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

India s private carriers fly to Sri Lanka, February 24, 2004. NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) -- India's private airlines can begin flying to neighboring Sri Lanka under a new policy, the civil aviation minister said, breaking a decades-old monopoly of state-owned carriers over international routes Back to the top

Australia's Gilchrist fined for dissent
Yahoo India, Tuesday February 24, 8:36 PM. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist was fined half his match fee for dissent on Tuesday after a disciplinary inquiry into the second one-day international against Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka name unchanged one-day squad, February 24, 2004. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka have named an unchanged squad for the third and fourth one-day internationals against Australia... Back to the top

Lanka may not always use one pacer: Coach, February 24, 2004. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka won't always play just one fast bowler against Australia's strong batting line-up in the ongoing One-day cricket series, coach John Dyson said on Tuesday... Back to the top

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