The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 326

Headline Summary
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Norwegian FM Says Push The Negotiations Forward
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 A.M Friday 27 February. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen has urged all the parties involved in the Sri Lankan peace process, mainly the donors to remain engaged and push the negotiations forward. Petersen has expressed hope that all sponsoring donor countries would continue to focus on development and reconstruction issues in Sri Lanka. The Norwegian Foreign Minister had complimented the Norwegian led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) for a good job done, maintaining stability within the island. Peteresen says ,Although the peace process had stalled pending the April 2 general election, the ceasefire monitoring team was doing a "good job" maintaining stability within the country. Petersen has said " I am confident the negotiations between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE would soon be back on track after the April 2 elections." The Norwegian Foreign Minister is currently on a visit to Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
Published: Thu Feb 26 19:31:30 EST 2004

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Tiger ban forces Tamils to keep off fray
gulf news, february 26. A Tamil guerrilla ban on the main political parties fielding Tamil candidates in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka seriously affected the political parties contesting in the region as nominations for the April 2 snap parliamentary poll closed. As a result of the ban imposed by the Tamil guerrillas most minority Tamils showed reluctance in contesting elections under the main parties from the north and eastern provinces prompting the parties to field candidates from other communities. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's newly-formed alliance with the Marxists was able to field only one Tamil candidate in the north eastern Trincomalee district and the northern Wanni district. The majority of the candidates were Muslims from their party. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party and Kumaratunga's alliance did not field candidates from the northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Thu Feb 26 01:34:29 EST 2004 Back to the top

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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 Back to the top

Related News Stories
US slams Sri Lanka rebels for rights abuses  -

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... Back to the top

Inter-party clashes overshadow Sri Lankan election campaign, February 26, 2004. * 40 people are wounded, 12 arrested * Record 6,024 candidates contesting for 225 parliamentary seats COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s national election campaign got off to a violent start, with at least 40 people, including a Buddhist monk, wounded in inter-party clashes, police said Wednesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president launches election campaign in ancient Buddhist holy city
Associated Press, Wed February 25, 2004 21:13 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - ANURADHAPURA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president launched her campaign Thursday for re-election in April polls after dissolving parliament in her rift with the prime minister, a political power struggle that could mar the nation's chances for peace with Tamil rebels... Back to the top

Chandrika, Ranil to begin campaigning, February 26, 2004. Colombo, Feb. 26. (UNI): Sri Lanka's two major political parties, led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe respectively, will launch their campaign today for the April 2 snap general elections, with a record number of nearly 6000 candidates running for 225 parliamentary seats... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to deploy troops as poll violence soars, February 26, 2004. Sri Lanka's police have asked the army, navy and air force to help stop rising poll-related violence as the main political parties prepared to launch their election campaigns, officials said on Thursday... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

HL:No jail time for man who kidnapped cousin in courtship ritual, lawyer argues
Associated Press, Wed February 25, 2004 20:38 EST . - - In arguing for a conditional sentence served in the community, defence lawyer Matt McGarvey said Nadarajah had engaged in a practice that, while illegal even in Sri Lanka - , was widely accepted in some quarters of their community... 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

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

West Indies, India win to reach semi finals
Associated Press, Thu February 26, 2004 10:43 EST . - - DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) Xavier Marshall smashed 106 runs off 133 balls Thursday as the West Indies beat South Africa by 34 runs, while India defeated Sri Lanka - by 56 runs in their final super league matches to advance to the semifinals of the Under-19 World Cup... Back to the top

Australia looking right at home in Sri Lanka
org, February 26, 2004. The Australian cricketers have started their month-long tour of Sri Lanka in promising form, continuing their blistering run of form from their summer back home... 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

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

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

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