The Lanka Academic

APRIL 1, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 4, NO. 361

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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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Karuna Faction Say Interested Parties Creating Problems im the East
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Friday 2 April. Karuna faction of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) denied report that they have ordered all Jaffna Tamils to leave the Eastern Province and they were distributing leaflets containing the order. Spokesman for Karuna, Varathan said that reported incidents may be taking part in areas under the control of the government and that parties with vested interests may be behind it. He said " We are helpless since things are happening in areas under the control of the government. All we could do is to request the security forces to maintain law and order and not to allow interested parties to create problems." Rebel eastern commanders, spokesman also said that LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran would not hesitate to do anything to establish his dominance and authority in the area.

A senior defence official also discounted the reports of an exodus from the area. The official said " Very few families have left. Others are still there."

Meanwhile, commenting on reports that Karuna faction has become weakened, the rebel Commander's spokesman said " No. We cannot see any change as it was on the very first day of the split between the two leaders. Even though the Wanni administration is determined to remove us they cannot do it." Varathan accused the LTTE leadership of targeting innocent civilians. "It shows to what extent they would go and how they would operate," he added.
Published: Thu Apr 1 19:40:28 EST 2004

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Sri Lanka will elect its 13th Parliament today
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 2, 2004, 12.07 a.m.. Sri Lanka will today decide on its 13th 225-member legislature. All preparations for today’s general election have been finalised, Elections commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka said. The number of registered voters in Sri Lanka is 12, 899 032 (twelve million eight hundred and thirty two voters). Voting will take place at 10,667 polling centres throughout the country today beginning from 7.00 a.m., and will go on till 4.00 p.m, under tight security.

One hundred and ninety six Parliamentarians will be elected under the preferential voting system, while 29 MPs will be elected from the national list. A record number of 5698 candidates are contesting today’s elections, from 24 registered political parties and 192 independent groups.

However Political Analysts say that unlike other elections this election has shown signs of apathy. “The people it seems are fed up with the political tug-a-war and frequent elections”, they say. President Chandrika Kumaratunga in February dissolved Parliament and called for elections, nearly four years ahead of schedule. The last General Election was held in December 2001. The first election results are expected to be released by 1.00 a.m. (local time).
Published: Thu Apr 1 13:08:55 EST 2004 Back to the top

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A 64,000 strong police force to ensure a trouble free election tomorrow
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 1, 2004, 11.39 pm. A strong police team consisting 64,000 personnel have been deployed to all polling centres around the country to provide security and maintain law and order at all election booths tomorrow. The main responsibility of this 64,000 police force is to provide security from the commencement of voting till the end of counting of votes including the transportation of ballot boxes. The Elections Commissioner has also sought the assistance from the Sri Lanka Army to ensure a peaceful poll, while police mobile patrols and anti-riot squads have also been deployed to maintain law and order during the period of voting tomorrow.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Gamini Navaratne said that the police have been given orders to shoot anybody creating disturbances at the election booths tomorrow. He also said that more than 70 persons have already been taken into custody for allegedly planning to engage in corrupt practices and violence tomorrow. The police have also appealed to the public to extend their fullest cooperation to ensure a violence free election tomorrow.
Published: Thu Apr 1 12:41:06 EST 2004 Back to the top

Re-poll if any irregularities at polling booths, says Elections Commissioner
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 1, 2004, 11.33 pm. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake today announced that if any irregularities occur in polling centres tomorrow, he will call for a re-poll... Back to the top

Ensure a trouble free election, urges President and Prime Minister
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 1, 2004, 10.55 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today called upon the masses to ensure a ‘free and fair’ trouble free election tomorrow... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s leaders face voter anger, April 1, 2004, 13:50 AM EST. On the eve of one of Sri Lanka's most crucial elections in recent times, PMK Mulawathi, a resident of the capital, Colombo, says she can no longer understand what is going on in her country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka braced for tense polls, April 1, 2004, 13:54 EST. Sri Lankans vote in parliamentary elections on Friday amid concerns about rising insecurity Back to the top

Some Fear Tensions Between Sri Lanka Rebels will Disrupt Peace Process
Voice of America (VOA.COM), April 1, 2004, 14:00 EST. Two factions of the Tamil Tiger rebel group are staring each other down across a river in eastern Sri Lanka, threatening to fight after an unprecedented Back to the top

Official: Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers to travel to Switzerland
Associated Press, Thu April 1, 2004 09:51 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers escorted at least three Tamil Tiger rebels to Colombo ahead of a trip Friday to Switzerland, a senior government official said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka votes again, April 1, 2004, 13:54 EST. For the third time in four years, the people of Sri Lanka will be going to the polls on Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka election may give swing vote to Tamils, 01 Apr 2004 06:23 . COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Tamil rebel-backed party could hold the key to forming Sri Lanka's next government if, as predicted, Friday's general election produces a deadlocked parliament... Back to the top

Tamils face displacement ahead of poll in Sri Lanka, April 1. The United Nations condemned on Thursday the displacement of northern Tamils from Sri Lanka 's east, a region destabilised by a split in the Tamil Tiger rebels and facing tight security ahead of Friday's general election... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Tamils in rebel areas prepare to vote for first time in decades
Associated Press, Thu April 1, 2004 01:51 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - VAVUNATHIVU, Sri Lanka - (AP) Buses will drive voters to polling stations on Friday, and tractors will bring them in from far-flung villages without proper roads... Back to the top

Tense Sri Lanka region gears for vote under the gun, April 1. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka : Preparations for Friday's general elections got underway under tight security in this tense eastern Sri Lankan region threatened by a factional war among Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Buddhist monks may become the third force in Sinhala politics
HIndustan Times, April 1. If the Buddhist monks's party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), gets three to nine seats in the April 2 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections as predicted by pollsters, it has a chance of becoming the "third force" in the politics of the majority Sinhala community... Back to the top

Peace at stake in Sri Lanka s elections, April 1, 2004, 07:40 AM EST. Sri Lankans are going to the polls on Friday for the third parliamentary election in four years... Back to the top

Lanka tightens security, April 1, 2004, 07:40 AM EST. BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka (AFP) - More than 1,000 Sri Lankan soldiers in full battle gear took positions in the tense eastern town of Batticaloa Wednesday a day after gunmen killed a candidate, raising fears of factional war... Back to the top

2 LTTE suspects held at city airport
com, April 1, 2004, 07:40 AM EST. Two men, suspected to have links with banned LTTE and a travel agent were picked up with fake passports in the wee hours of today by personnel of a security agency at the Chennai International Airport... Back to the top

LTTE Wants 140 Cadres Moved to East Soon
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Thursday 1 April. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has made a request from the Peace Secretariat in Colombo to move 140 LTTE cadres from the North to the East, immediately... Back to the top

Ethnicity takes centre stage in Lankan polls
Dawn, April 1, 2004, 07:40 AM EST. As Sri Lankans prepare to elect a new parliament on Friday, the island nation's 20-year-old ethnic conflict has figured prominently in election campaigning , with strong assurances from the two main parties that they will make peace with the Tamil rebels... Back to the top

LEAD: Hung parliament widely expected in Sri Lanka election+
Associated Press, Thu April 1, 2004 09:23 EST . Sri Lanka - goes to the polls Friday for the third time in four years in a national election that is widely expected to return a hung parliament... Back to the top

Troops out in force as Sri Lanka goes to polls
2.162.45, April 1, 2004, 07:40 AM EST. The Sri Lankan military today began deploying soldiers to help police maintain security on the eve of parliamentary elections that could result in a hung Parliament with no clear winner... Back to the top

Tamils flee east Sri Lanka, April 01, 2004. TAMIL residents began fleeing this eastern Sri Lankan town overnight as hundreds of troops poured in amid arson attacks and fears of a factional war between Tamil Tiger rebels, residents and police said... Back to the top

Karuna Says No threat to Jaffna Tamils
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 4.45 P.M Wednesday 31 March. Spokesman for LTTE's rebel eastern commander Karuna Amman, denied reports published today, that they have ordered Jaffna Tamils living in the east to leave... Back to the top

POLITICS-SRI LANKA: Tamil Areas on Edge as Voting Day Nears
IPS - Niranjan Fernando , March31. COLOMBO, Mar 31 (IPS) - Tamil voters in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, dominated by the Tamil Tiger rebels, have been receiving flyers highlighting the ''dangers'' ahead if Tiger-backed candidates sweep the Apr... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s shadow play, Thursday, April 01, 2004 . Thursday, April 01, 2004 Sri Lanka has had a long record of election campaign violence with about 70 people being killed in the last elections in 2001... Back to the top

Atapattu appointed Sri Lanka Test captain, Thursday, April 1. Sri Lanka has appointed Marvan Atapattu as Test captain to replace Hashan Tillakaratne, who resigned on Sunday after a 3-0 series whitewash by Australia... Back to the top

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