The Lanka Academic

 
MARCH 14, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 4, NO. 343

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Lankan president says she regrets snap polls
TOI/AFP, March 14. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga apologised Sunday for calling snap elections but said the polls were needed due to the failure of her attempted political cohabitation with a rival premier. The president said in a televised nationwide address her efforts to work with the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had been unsuccessful, prompting her decision in February to seek a fresh mandate from the people. "I sincerely regret having to call a third parliamentary election within four years," Kumaratunga said, referring to polls held in October 2000 and December 2001. Wickremesinghe lost the 2000 vote, but came to power a year later to form an uneasy cohabitation with a president elected separately in December 1999 for a six-year term. More...
Published: Sun Mar 14 23:42:39 EST 2004

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120,981 Families Affected in Anuradhapura - Red Cross Appeals for Drought Relief
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Monday 15 March. The Sri Lanka Red Cross has made an urgent appeal for drought relief to help 120, 981 families affected by the drought in Anuradhapura. Red Cross President Jagath Abeysinghe told The Lanka Academic that 120,981 Families have lost their crops and many are without any income for the past three months as the cultivation activities of the district is at a complete standstill. He said " The rich agricultural land in Anuradhapura is completely destroyed by the drought prevailing in the district for the past three months as the last rainfall received was in August last year. All the wells and reservoirs in the villages have completely dried up, and many more wells and small lakes are in the process of disappearing." The drought has also affected the cattle farmers and the milk collection in the area has dropped drastically.

Abeysinghe said a Red Cross assessment team was sent to Anuradhapura on Friday. Having met with the Government Agent Anuradhapura U.D.Yapa, AGA's Herath and Chulananda and the farmers the team had reported to him that the drought had severely affected all 23 AGA Divisions of the Anuradhapura district destroying the entire paddy cultivation, Chenna Cultivation and all Vegetable crops and also coconut trees. He said, "The water levels of 30 Small 15 Medium and 3 large water tanks has completely dried-up. According to the Government officials and the Village communities this is the first occasion in last 50 Years such a sever drought is experienced in this district."

Red Cross President said that they were in immediate need of relief assistance and also essential food items such as sugar, dhal and rice. He requested people to contact Ananda Lecamwasam of Sri Lanka Red Cross on 0777/721629, 5370726 or 5376966 to help the affected.

The farmers in Anuradhapura District have complained that the water storage facility of the water tanks have been reduced considerably in the past 50 Years due to non maintenance of these tanks and mismanagement of the Mahaweli system which supports 6% of the farmer communities in Anuradhapura district. The farmers had been deprived of continued water supply during the past year. They complain that more water in excess of the need had been diverted to Polonnaruwa district due to political interference. Leader of the Red Cross assessment team J. Ravindrean pointed out that relief assistance has been promised only for the month of March by the Government and the situation may be critical in the coming months if the drought continues. He warned that there may be a outbreak of disease in the district soon.
Published: Sun Mar 14 20:09:37 EST 2004 Back to the top


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Prime Minister says LTTE suicide cadres safer than UPFA
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 15, 2004, 12.43 pm. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared that the United People’s Freedom Alliance, which constitutes the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is much more dangerous than the LTTE suicide cadres.

He reportedly made this statement during a public rally in Kurunegala. The Premier also said that the SLFP-JVP Alliance is making various attempts to disrupt the future of the country. Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the alliance has introduced disruptive policies far more dangerous than the LTTE suicide cadres. “ Suicide cadres destroy people and their property but the freedom alliance destroys the future of the country,” he alleged.
Published: Sun Mar 14 13:46:24 EST 2004 Back to the top


Finally, Lanka to enshrine IPKF, says it fought terrorism
newindpress, march 14. Sri Lanka will finally mitigate some of the anger that continues to simmer in the Indian Army over its humiliating withdrawal from the island nation 14 years ago, when it lays a foundation stone for a memorial to the Indian Peace-Keeping Forces (IPKF) in Colombo next month... Back to the top

Politicians are responsible for the high crime wave
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 14, 2004, 11.55 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today alleged that all politicians were directly responsible for the escalation of violence in the country during the past two years... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president rejects war, seeks talks with Tamil rebels
Associated Press, Sun March 14, 2004 09:39 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president on Sunday rejected a military solution to the country's ethnic conflict, and promised to resume peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels if her party is elected in elections in April... Back to the top

ISGA Proposals Would Have Created an Internal Conflict- Karuna
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 2.45 P.M Sunday 14 March. LTTE's rebel eastern commander, Karuna says had the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) had been accepted there would have been possibilities of internal conflict based on discrimination... Back to the top

Tigers in mud-slinging war
Gulf News, March 14. Tamil guerrilla rival factions have started exposing each other over major scandals which have rocked their movement with no immediate signs of the two sides settling their disputes... Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace hopes dim as Tiger leadership fractures
abc.net.au, March 14, 2004. Sri Lanka's hopes of ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed and emerging as Asia's latest tiger economy have been shattered by a shock rift in the leadership of the Tamil Tiger rebels, analysts said... Back to the top

World News Sri Lanka may scuttle anti-poverty programme
newkerala.com, March 14, 2004. Colombo, Mar 14 (IANS) : A possible change of government in Sri Lanka could threaten the future of a $125-million poverty alleviation programme that is already mired in politics and allegations of corruption, reports OneWorld... Back to the top

War scars slowly heal in Jaffna peninsula
reuters.com, 14 Mar 2004 03:25 . JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - The road from the airport into town is often a good indicator of what a place is like... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebel faction confident in jungle lair
reuters.com, March 14, 2004 10:00 AM EST. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - The rebel soldier looked about 16, dressed in black with a machine gun slung across his back... Back to the top

No bloodshed due to our internal rifts assures Thamilselvam
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 13, 2004, 6.39 pm. LTTE political wing Leader S.P. Thamilselvam has pointed out that since the LTTE split there have been no reports of deaths... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to increase international poll monitors
abc.net.au, March 14, 2004 10:00 AM EST. Sri Lanka's elections department plans to increase the number of international observers to monitor next month's parliamentary election in a bid to discourage cheating and violence... Back to the top

Sri Lankans playing into Warne's hands, says Gilchrist
Associated Press, Sun March 14, 2004 02:50 EST . JOHN PYE - AP Sports Writer - KANDY, Sri Lanka - (AP) Shane Warne will revel on pitches custom-made for his archrival Muttiah Muralitharan, and Sri Lanka - 's curators are playing right into his hands, says Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist... Back to the top

Committee appointed to investigate Ven. Soma Thera’s sudden death
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 13, 2004, 6.30 pm. A three member committee has been appointed to inquire into the sudden demise of the Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera... Back to the top

Karuna sends his loyalists to kill Prabhakaran?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 13, 2004, 5.18 pm. A group of Karuna loyalists has begun a fast unto death, demanding LTTE Leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran to reinstate Karuna Amman as the Military Commander for the Eastern Province... Back to the top

LTTE man blames foreign hand for Karuna ’ s revolt
navhindtimes.com, March 14, 2004 10:00 AM EST. Colombo March 13: A top leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, formerly a close confidante of the renegade rebel, V Muralitharan, has charged “hostile foreign forces that are keen on subverting the Tamil national struggle” Back to the top

Premier Wickremesinghe says only he can bring permanent peace
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 13, 2004, 4.55 pm. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared that it is only a government led by him that can achieve permanent peace in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

LTTE leader accused of embezzling funds
indiatimes.com, March 13, 2004, 1:45PM EST. COLOMBO: A senior leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas has accused a renegade commander of splitting the group because he feared disciplinary action for embezzling Back to the top

LTTE rebel not hopeful of independence
Dawn, COLOMBO, March 13. Renegade Tamil Tiger leader Karuna has said the LTTE would never be able to create a separate state in Sri Lanka's north and east, according to an interview given to an Indian newspaper... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to change pace against Australia
reuters.com, March 14, 2004 10:00 AM EST. KANDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka will abandon their one-pace bowler policy for the second test against Australia, which starts on Tuesday... Back to the top

Rajiv assassination the gravest mistake: Karuna
Hindu, March 12. From the beginning, there have been severe problems between the Jaffna man and the Batticaloa man... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels step up criticism on breakaway leader
reuters.com, 13 Mar 2004 07:29 . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers stepped up a war of words on Saturday against a powerful breakaway rebel commander in an internal fight that threatens efforts to end the island's civil war... Back to the top

Former CBI Director to publish book on Rajiv assassination
Hindu, march 12. The former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, D... Back to the top

Australians crush Sri Lanka after incredible fight back
org, March 13, 8:05 AM, EST. The Australian cricket team has pulled off a superb come from behind win to comprehensively beat the Sri Lankans in the final day of the first test in Galle today Back to the top

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