The Lanka Academic

MARCH 25, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 354

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Headline Summary
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LTTE Making Life Difficult in Jaffna Says EPRLF Candidate
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.00 P.M Thursday 25 March. T.Sritharan, a candidate of the EPRLF says that LTTE is making life difficult in Jaffna for democratic candidates and they find it very difficult to carryout their election campaigns peacefully. He said from Jaffna that the situation is worsening by the day. He said, " They are not allowing us to distribute pamphlets or canvass freely. They have burned all our pamphlets. They attack our supporters. The LTTE is also using latest motorbikes to go round the city and instill fear among our supporters. We can only canvass with police and army protection and we cannot move about freely. Newspapers have been asked not to publish any of our advertisements. "

He alleged that the LTTE/TNA are planning a mass scale vote rigging in the Jaffna district and even the security forces will not be able to prevent it. He said the LTTE had already established 450, mini political units comprising fifteen members each to go along with the 450 Grama Sevakas in the area and they are collecting the polling cards of the dead, missing and displaced people. He said the Arts faculty students of the Jaffna University are being used for this purpose by the LTTE. Srithiaran also said "LTTE/TNA are using even a bus gifted by India to the Jaffna university to travel around for their campaign and a scanning machine also gifted by India for their election related work"

Sritharan questioned the attempts of the Government Agents of Jaffna, Vauniya and the Western nations, to provide transport for people living in LTTE controlled areas. He said, "They know very well that it would favour the LTTE and those people will be forced to vote for TNA/LTTE." The EPRLF candidate called for more foreign monitors to be sent to the north, not only from the West but, monitors from India and other Asian countries. TULF leader Anandasangaree and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda also have made complaints of the serious situation prevailing in Jaffna that they are not allowed to campaign freely by the LTTE. Both have complained of serious threats to their lives by the LTTE.
Published: Thu Mar 25 11:54:10 EST 2004

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President says she is pleased that there has been no war for the past two and half years in Sri Lanka
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 25, 2004, 8.44 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday said she was glad that there was no war for the past two and half years. She however claimed that, despite no war in the country, the nation was yet to see signs of ‘peace’.

“I am glad that there has been no war at least temporarily for the past two an half years. But this does not mean that there is peace, we don’t have peace, we are not even close towards achieving peace," she told a mass rally yesterday.

Ms. Kumaratunga however expressed her apprehensions, saying she did not know what were the terms and the conditions agreed upon by the United National Front government, in their bid towards stopping the war, when they signed the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002.

She also pointed out that when the ceasefire agreement was signed between LTTE Leader Prabhakaran and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in February 2002, there was only 6000 LTTE cadres in the Tiger force, however within this last two years this has rose to an alarming 16,000. “If there was peace, and no war, why would they have increased the number of their cadres to such a drastic number," she queried.
Published: Thu Mar 25 09:46:04 EST 2004 Back to the top

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JVP Trade Union behind Kelanitissa power complex fire?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 25, 2004, 8.38 pm. A recent fire at the Kelanitissa power complex in Colombo has been attributed to sabotage. Reports state that a Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna led union under the banner Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya has been behind this act of sabotage. The Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 165 MW of electricity due to the fire. However senior members attached to this union have denied these reports saying they had nothing to do with the incident.

The total loss due to the fire which occurred on Monday morning has been estimated at around US $ 30 million. However officials say that the private company which owns the power plant will be able to recover their loss through insurance.

Reports alleged that the fire was started by a group working in the power complex. Who were reportedly disgusted with the administration, following the government’s failure to grant several demands, including annual salary increases, and salary anomalies since 1997.
Published: Thu Mar 25 09:39:30 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lanka PM Aims to Restart Peace Talks
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 16:18 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - NITTAMBUWA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's prime minister said Thursday he will move quickly to restart peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels if he wins next month's elections, even though a victory would almost certainly prolong a power struggle with the president that threatens negotiations... Back to the top

Sri Lankan govt warns danger of resumption of ethnic war, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 14:59 EST . - - There is a grave danger of war resuming, Constitutional Affairs Minister G... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president's party says it will halt privatization if it wins election
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 04:12 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The political coalition that supports President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Thursday it would halt plans to sell off key state enterprises if it wins an April 2 parliamentary election... Back to the top

AS-POL--Sri Lanka-Election
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 09:07 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - NITTAMBUWA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he will quickly restart stalled peace talks with the Tamil Tigers if he wins an April 2 snap election, saying a dramatic split within rebel ranks and his own bitter rivalry with the country's president have not dashed hopes of ending two decades of civil war... Back to the top

SLMM Trying To Create a War In The East- Karuna's LTTE
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.30 A.M Thursday 25 March. Varathan, Spokesman for LTTE's Rebel Eastern Commander Col, Karuna says that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is trying to create a war situation in the East by helping northern cadres to move to the east... Back to the top

LTTE Pistol Group All Out to Kill Me- Devananda
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Thursday 25 March. EPDP leader Douglas Devananda says that his life is under severe threat by LTTE's pistol groups roaming in Jaffna... Back to the top

Peace doubts in Sri Lanka s election, 25 March. Sixty-seven year old Karunawathie strokes the photograph of her dead son and cries... Back to the top

How to tame the Tigers a key issue at Sri Lanka polls, 25 March. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's political groups enter next week's elections vowing to bring the Tamil Tigers back to the table, but the parties are poles apart on how to end decades of ethnic bloodshed... Back to the top

Commander of Guam-based U.S. air force visits Sri Lanka +
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 07:30 EST . - - COLOMBO, March 25 (Kyodo) Maj. Gen. Dennis Larsen, commander of the Guam-based U... Back to the top

Vow to scrap Sri Lanka presidency
Yahoo, March 25, 2004, 8:35 EST. The alliance of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga says it will act to scrap the presidency if it wins the general election on 2 April... Back to the top

Sri Lanka still undecided about how people from Tamil Tiger rebel areas can vote in crucial poll
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 06:14 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - votes next week in a snap parliamentary election likely to prove crucial to attempts to end two decades of civil war, but it is unclear whether tens of thousands of voters from Tamil rebel-controlled areas will be able to take part... Back to the top

Sri Lanka ratifies prisoner transfer agreement with Britain, 25 March. COLOMBO, March 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lanka has recently ratified prisoner transfer agreement with Britain which was signed in London by the two countries last year, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement available on Thursday... Back to the top

LTTE rebel Leader Karuna extends support to UNP
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 24, 2004, 8.43 pm. The United National Party (UNP) today announced that LTTE renegade Leader Karuna Amman has decided to support the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at the forthcoming General Elections... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Poll Harms Peace Process, Wickremesinghe Tells BBC, Mar 24 20:35 EST. (Bloomberg) -- The Sri Lankan president's call for early elections in April helped undermine the peace effort with Tamil Tiger rebels, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp... Back to the top

Sri Lanka condemns assassination of Hamas spiritual leader, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed March 24, 2004 14:14 EST . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -CONDEMNS sked Sri Lanka - condemns assassination of Hamas spiritual leader, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Poll: Majority of Sri Lankans oppose monks in politics
Associated Press, Wed March 24, 2004 07:56 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Nearly 65 percent of Sri Lankans polled oppose monks in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka - contesting seats in the upcoming Parliamentary election, a survey released Wednesday found... Back to the top

Dr . Sue Bandaranaike – Sri Lanka, March 25, 2004, 8:35 EST. Thousands of people around the world dream of migrating to Australia – but battling the red tape to get permanent residency is just the start of the struggle... Back to the top

Sri Lanka route to go via Jordan, March 25, 2004, 8:35 EST. CYPRUS Airways (CY) has teamed up with Jordanian Airlines to continue providing flights to Sri Lanka after the national carrier announced last week it would be axing its flights to Colombo from the end of this month... Back to the top

SNTV-1715: Cricket Sri Lanka 2
Associated Press, Thu March 25, 2004 11:38 EST . - - AP-SNTV-1715: Cricket Sri Lanka - 2 STORY: Cricket Sri Lanka - 2 - Australian whitewash halted by Atapattu's 12th Test ton LENGTH: 2:58 RESTRICTIONS: SNTV Clients Only, See Script TYPE: Nat sound SOURCE: Taj TV DATELINE: Colombo, Sri Lanka - - March 25, 2004 SOURCE: Taj TV RESTRICTIONS: SNTV clients only... Back to the top

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