The Lanka Academic

MARCH 30, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 359

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2004 ELECTION LIVE COVERAGE LAcNet will be carrying 2004 election results live. As we successfully did in 2001, we will also predict the outcome of the election based on our analysis. See here for details.
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Wanni Administration Behind Sathyamoorthy's killing- Karuna Faction
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Wednesday 31 March. Varathan, spokesman for LTTE's rebel eastern commander, Colonel Karuna, says that LTTE's Wanni administration is behind the killing of Batticaloa's Tami National Alliance (TNA) candidate, Rajan Sathyamoorthy. Sathyamoorthy (61) and his brother-in-law Kandaiah Kangasabey (64) were killed by two unknown gunmen at about 8.30, yesterday morning (30th). The candidate and his brother in law were shot at point blank range when they came out of the shrine room at Sathyamoorthy's house after their morning pooja. Another person Sinnathamby Thambipillai was also injured during the incident

Karuna Amman's spokesman said that Wanni administration is carrying out an organized campaign to eliminate intellectuals and key figures of the eastern province and their immediate purpose is to paralize the east and weaken them. Varathan also cited the shooting of the Dean of the Agriculture faculty of the eastern university Dr. Thuruchelvam early this month. Dr. Thiruchelvan who was tipped to be the vice chancellor of the eastern university was shot and critically wounded by unidentified gunmen in Batticaloa. The spokesman said, " It is a very systematic operation of elimination. No civilized society will tolerate and accept this kind of savage activities" Varathan said that the election monitors were helpless in the face of these attacks of candidates and they had no immediate need to speak to the monitors. At the time of his death TNA candidate Sathyamoorthy, was also the President of the Batticaloa traders association. He was a popular figure in the area.

Sathyamoorthy openly supported Karuna and his eastern cause. Reports said that LTTE's political wing leader Thamil Chelvam had being critical of the support extended by Sathyamoorthy to Karuna. Karuna Ammans spokesman also said that there is a strong possibility of Wanni administrations involvement in the shooting of UNP candidate T. Maheshwaran in Colombo on Sunday.
Published: Tue Mar 30 19:14:25 EST 2004

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Sri Lanka president blasts Tamil rebels as campaigns end for Friday vote
Associated Press, Tue March 30, 2004 12:16 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - KULIYAPITIYA, Sri Lanka - (AP) Toughening her stand against Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka - 's president on Tuesday wound up campaigning ahead of parliamentary elections by blaming the Tigers for a series of recent political killings. ``They have started killing Tamil people. Soon they will start killing us,'' she said, referring to Sri Lanka - 's Sinhalese majority.

Four anti-aircraft guns and hundreds of commandoes with drawn guns protected Kumaratunga, and every spectator was frisked. The level of security was unsurprising. In her last public rally in 1999 elections a suicide bomber tried to assassinate her, leaving her blind in one eye and killing at least 26 others.

Campaigns ahead of Friday's parliamentary polls have largely revolved around the question of who is best suited to negotiate an end to decades of civil war with the rebels: the president or Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka - 's two main parties, one lead by the president and the other by the prime minister, have both offered themselves as the best choice to restart stalled peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam.

Two decades of war with the Tigers has cost this tropical nation some 65,000 lives. The rebels are seeking an autonomous Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka - 's north and east.

A Norwegian-brokered cease-fire went into affect in Feb. 2002, and several rounds of peace talks now stalled followed.

The president, who profoundly distrusts the Tigers, has long argued the prime minister gave them too many concessions while getting little in return.

``Where is the peace the prime minister promised?'' she demanded during her speech. ``The prime minister doesn't mind even if the country is divided, as long as he can stay in power.''

Kumaratunga insisted she still wanted peace, saying she would invite the Tigers to return to peace talks.

``But we want peace with honor and not at the cost of sacrificing our sovereignty,'' she said referring to rebel demands for broad autonomy.

While the president is not a candidate in the election, and will remain in power until 2005 regardless of its outcome, each side is hoping a parliamentary majority will give them more political power to set the tone for the negotiations.

But that doesn't appear likely.

Analysts and opinion polls indicate that neither of the two parties will win a majority of the 225 parliamentary seats, making it necessary for them to rely on minority parties to form a coalition government.

The prime minister also made his final address Tuesday evening, though his was more low-key. Wickremesinghe urged his supporters to back him, saying his ``is the only party that can bring peace to Sri Lanka - '' but also insisted that they not resort to violence, no matter the result.

Campaigning during the last 48 hours before the election is banned.

Political violence has surged in recent days. On Tuesday, gunmen killed a Tamil parliamentary candidate in the country's east who was allied with a renegade commander, police and witnesses said.

No arrests have been made but a spokesman for renegade leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan blamed the Tigers, who denied involvement.

The rebel movement has been sharply divided since Muralitharan broke away with nearly half the groups' fighters last month. If peace talks resume, the split will complicate negotiations.

Kumaratunga called the elections three years ahead of schedule as part of her long-running power struggle with Wickremesinghe. In recent months, she used her constitutional powers to seize control of the defense, interior and media ministries.
Published: Tue Mar 30 14:16:21 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Neither UNF nor UPFA alone can find a solution to the ethnic problem - UTHR
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 30, 2004,. 11.50 pm. The University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) issuing a statement today declared that for the first time in history the LTTE is been challenged as never before. “Its outmoded reliance on violence to maintain political control over a frightened and beleaguered population has worn thin. Tamil politicians, journalists and ordinary members of the public are openly defying the LTTE’s blatant death threats, and more importantly, many are surviving. But the LTTE will not go down without a fight. It is up to all democratic forces – in Sri Lanka and in the international community -- to ensure that these dissident voices continue to be heard, and that the LTTE death squads are not allowed to carry out its leaders’ murderous intentions. It is particularly critical that, whatever the outcome of the election is, the country’s main two parties, the United National Front and the United Peoples Freedom Alliance commit to work together towards a political solution and acknowledge the urgent need for that process to be one that promotes democratic plurality,” the statement said.

The UTHR also pointed out that even though the leading Southern contenders, the UNF and the UPFA are each portraying themselves as the more credible party to solve the ethnic problem. Both have shown in practice that they would sidestep the human rights situation in the North-East and play along with the international community by covering up abuses by the LTTE. “The reality is that neither party alone can find a solution to the problem”, the statement declared.

It is time to demand responsible actions by each of these parties in the context of escalating LTTE violations of the Tamil people’s rights. Both parties must cooperate on the ethnic issues, regardless of the election’s outcome; they must be prepared to invite the respective opposition to take an active role, one that is clearly defined. Both parties must agree to work together towards a political solution if the LTTE resumes war and refuses to abide by the MoU and other accepted international human rights norms, the statement added.
Published: Tue Mar 30 12:59:52 EST 2004 Back to the top

Police ordered to shoot at anyone involved in illegal activities on Friday
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 30, 2004, 11.18 pm. The police have been given strict instructions to shoot at any person involved in election violence at polling centres on Friday... Back to the top

TNA and LTTE condemns Batticaloa candidate murder
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 30, 2004, 10.59 pm. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the LTTE today strongly condemned the assassination of TNA Batticaloa District Candidate Rajan Sathiyamoorthy, who was also a close confidant of LTTE rebel Leader Karuna Amman... Back to the top

LTTE split to intensify after elections?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 30, 2004, 11.06 pm. Tamil sources have warned that the LTTE split may take a turn for the worst after the April 2, General Election... Back to the top

Voters from Uncleared Killinochchi to Travel to Cleared Areas
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8. 30 P.M Tuesday 30 March. Voters from uncleared area of Kilinochchi district and party Maruthankerny A... Back to the top

Tamil candidate for Sri Lanka's Parliament slain in eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press , March 30. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday stormed the home of a Tamil parliamentary candidate who was allied to a renegade rebel leader, killing him and one of his relatives, police said... Back to the top

Tamil National Alliance candidate Mr. Rajan Sathyamurthy Killed , March 30. Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance candidate Mr. Rajan Sathyamurthy was shot and killed inside his house on Thirumalai Street in Thandavan at 8:45 am on Tuesday, March 30, 2004... Back to the top

Chandrika will urge Tamil Tigers to let other parties take part in negotiations
Gulf News, March 30. Colombo: President Chandrika Kumaratunga has declared that she would try to convince the Tamil guerrillas to agree to accommodate other political parties during proposed negotiations aimed at ending the Tamil minority ethnic conflict... Back to the top

World News Sri Lanka poll campaign goes hi-tech, March 30, 2004, 11:20 EST. Colombo, Mar 30 (IANS) : Deprived of the right to plaster public places with posters, Sri Lanka's politicians have turned tech-savvy in their campaign for the April 2 parliamentary polls, reports OneWorld... Back to the top

Japanese election observers arrive to monitor Sri Lanka 's elections
Associated Press, Tue March 30, 2004 00:31 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A 10-member Japanese election observer team arrived Tuesday in Colombo to help monitor this week's Sri Lanka - 's parliamentary elections, which have been marked by violence and fears of vote-rigging... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's president: a terror survivor who wants peace on her terms
Associated Press, Tue March 30, 2004 02:26 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga knows the toll that terror can take... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's prime minister fights snap election in his bid for peace
Associated Press, Tue March 30, 2004 02:28 EST . DILIP GANGULY - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Soft-spoken Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a tough election battle against rivals from the party of Sri Lanka - 's powerful president is campaigning on his pledge to restore tranquility to this war-scarred tropical island... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Poll Campaign Goes High-Tech, march 30. COLOMBO, Mar 29 (OneWorld) - Deprived of the right to plaster public places with promotional posters, Sri Lanka's politicians have turned tech-savvy in their campaign for the April 2 parliamentary polls, inundating citizens with Short Message Services (SMSes) and electronic mails extolling their virtues... Back to the top

Cracks appear in Tamil Tigers' power
Reuters, March 30. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - A splash of motor oil on a monument honouring a Tamil Tiger martyr is a rare sign of dissent in northern Sri Lanka, where the rebels have run things for two decades... Back to the top

Election commissioner takes over Sri Lanka 's state media ahead of vote
Associated Press, Mon March 29, 2004 10:49 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's independent election commissioner took control of state-run television and radio Monday in an unprecedented move, following allegations of media bias toward the president's party ahead of Friday's parliamentary elections... Back to the top

Election related political propaganda ceases
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, March 29, 2004, 11.14 pm. All political propaganda broadcasted on the electronic media relating to the forthcoming General Election on April 2, ends at midnight today, 72 hours before the election day... Back to the top

Monks set to steal protest vote in Sri Lanka poll, 29 March. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy looks set to win a key protest vote at Friday's election, tapping nationalist sentiment in the face of concessions to Tamil rebels and bolstered by a country fed up with mainstream politicians... Back to the top

Renegade Tamil rebel leader says rival group infiltrating his territory
Associated Press, Mon March 29, 2004 01:24 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A renegade Tamil Tiger commander on Monday accused the rebel movement's leadership of sending fighters to infiltrate his territory, boosting the danger of factional fighting... Back to the top

Hung parliament predicted in Lanka, March 29, 2004. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's third election in four years is likely to result in a hung parliament that could cause more political instability and undermine the already troubled peace bid, the Sunday Times reported... Back to the top

Ranatunga sees conspiracy against Murali, March 30, 2004, 8:00 AM EST. Colombo: Sri Lanka's former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has lashed out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for bringing Muttiah Muralitharan's action under scrutiny once again... Back to the top

ICC president rejects claims of bias over Murali bowling action
Associated Press, Tue March 30, 2004 08:33 EST . - - Muralitharan was reported on Sunday after Australia won its test series in Sri Lanka - 3-0... Back to the top

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