The Lanka Academic

APRIL 17, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 12

2004 ELECTION RESULTS TLA predicted the outcome using a mathematical model. How did we do? Send us your comments and feedback.
Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
TNA opposes President’s move to change the constitution
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 17, 2004, 5.15 pm. Amidst strong opposition by many minorities political parties against President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s decision to change the constitution, the LTTE backed Tamil National Alliance has also declared their strong opposition to her decision to change the constitution.

The TNA has accused that the President is trying to change the constitution not for the benefit of the country but merely for her own personable benefits. According to TNA’s S. Addaikalanathan, “President Kumaratunga is trying to change the constitution, for her own personal gain,” he has claimed.

The TNA, which contested under the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi at the recent General Elections, secured 22 Parliamentary seats and will sit in the Opposition, when it resumes on the 22nd.

President Kumaratunga early this week appointing a panel comprising: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, President’s Councils M.M. Zuhair and Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Professor Ranjith Ameresinghe, Mr. R.K.W. Gunesekera, Professor Gamini Keerawella and Mr. Nigel Hatch, as her first step towards amending the constitution.

She is also scheduled to meet this panel, shortly, to discuss the ‘recent people's mandate’ to repeal and replace the 1978 Constitution, the Presidential Secretariat claimed this week..
Published: Sat Apr 17 07:16:32 EDT 2004

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Army rejects LTTE request to carry arms in cleared areas
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 17, 2004, 5.13 pm. The LTTE is reported to have requested the Sri Lankan Army to allow them to carry weapons in cleared areas, in the North and East province, sources said. However, the Army is reported to have strongly rejected to this LTTE appeal. The LTTE made this request, early this week (15th), during an LTTE – Army meeting held in Vavuniya. The meeting was chaired by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Chief Major General Trond Furuhovde.

The security forces also emphasized that the LTTE should not kidnap persons or recruit children for war, while also requesting them not to extort money from the public, famously known as ‘Tiger Tax’.

Brigadier Vajira Wijeyagoonewardena and Col. Laksiri Amaratunga represented the Sri Lanka Army, while the LTTE was represented by leaders Kausalyan and Ramesh.
Published: Sat Apr 17 07:14:29 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka 's president says resumption of peace talks is ``top priority''
Associated Press, Sat April 17, 2004 02:12 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A resumption of peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels is the ``top priority'' of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's new administration, despite claims by a pro-rebel party that the hardline president is neglecting the peace process, her spokesman said Saturday. The Tamil National Alliance, the rebels' proxy political party, won 22 seats in Sri Lanka - 's 225-seat Parliament in April 2 elections, becoming the third-largest party. It accused Kumaratunga on Friday of not making serious efforts to restart the peace process.

``The president has failed to take any meaningful step to resume peace talks,'' the TNA said in a statement.

Kumaratunga's political alliance was the biggest winner in the polls, defeating her bitter rival, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who initiated peace efforts with the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam two years ago.

Kumaratunga, who was left blind in one eye by a Tiger assassination attempt, accused Wickremesinghe of making too many concessions to the rebels.

But in her election platform, Kumaratunga promised to revive the stalled peace talks with the rebels, who began fighting in 1983 to carve out a separate state for the minority Tamil ethnic group, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

More than 65,000 people died before a cease-fire was signed in February 2002.

``A resumption of peace talks with the LTT is our top priority and we are taking steps to restart the process,'' Peiris said Saturday. He did not elaborate, but other sources said Kumaratunga will take concrete steps after the new parliament convenes on April 22.

The LTT presented a blueprint for self-rule last October. It called for a largely independent territory with control over its own administration, police and legal system, unrestricted access to the sea, and the right to collect taxes and receive direct foreign aid.

The proposal was shelved after Kumaratunga seized control over three vital ministries from Wickremesinghe in November 2003. Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament in February and ordered elections more than three years ahead of schedule.
Published: Sat Apr 17 03:24:27 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Rebel-backed party criticises Sri Lanka president, 17 Apr 2004 07:11 . COLOMBO (Reuters) - A rebel-backed party has accused Sri Lanka's president of being insincere about resuming peace talks with the Tamil Tigers to end 20 years of civil war, after she made their arch-rival a cabinet minister... Back to the top

Former Sri Lankan prime minister's party faces first postelection dissension
Associated Press, Fri April 16, 2004 03:25 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was attacked by his former foreign minister on Friday for his handling of peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Two female Tamil Tigers, recruited as child soldiers, killed in factional fighting in Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri April 16, 2004 10:30 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two female guerrillas recruited as child soldiers were killed in fighting between rival Tamil Tiger rebel factions in eastern Sri Lanka - last week, the U... Back to the top

UNICEF once again appeals to LTTE to release child soldiers
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 16, 2004, 10.19 pm. Following the killing of two child soldiers during the LTTE internal battle in the Eastern Province, the United Nations today strongly demanded that the LTTE immediately stop child conscription, while also urging the Tiger Organisation to release 13,000 child combatants... Back to the top

President to discuss relief measures for Eastern Province IDPs on Monday
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 16, 2004, 10.14 pm. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today summoned Service Chiefs, Government Agents of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee Districts, the representatives of UNICEF and UNHCR for a meeting on Monday, to discuss matters relating to the relief measures for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Eastern Province, the Presidential Secretariat announced today... Back to the top

Thugs Destroy Murals of Giniwella Purana Vihara
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 P.M Friday 16 April. Hired thugs have entered the Giniwella Purana Vihara yesterday and destroyed the recently painted murals of the temple... Back to the top

LTTE Admits, they Developed a Sophisticated Military During Truce
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 3.30 P.M Friday 16 April. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has admitted that the organization developed a sophisticated military machinery since they signed the ceasefire agreement with the government of Ranil Wickreamasinghe two years ago... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger party blasts Sri Lankan president for failing to restart peace talks
Associated Press, Fri April 16, 2004 08:44 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer-COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A political party representing Tamil Tiger rebels slammed President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday for not taking steps to restart peace talks after her alliance won parliamentary elections earlier this month... Back to the top

Peace prospects bleak in Sri Lanka, April 16, 2004 7:30 AM EST. A violent split in the Tamil Tiger rebels and the shaky re-election of nationalist president Chandrika Kumaratunga have combined to cast a shadow over Canadian-supported peace efforts in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lankan army denies providing escort to Tamil rebel leader, Friday, April 16, 2004. The Sri Lankan government has categorically denied reports that its army has provided escort to a leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels to a destination in capital Colombo after his downfall by the main rebel group from the north,the official Daily News reported Friday... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger s top spy shot dead by Karuna, Friday 16 April 2004 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have admitted losing a top spy linked to the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi while fighting a breakaway faction, rebel sources and military officials said yesterday... Back to the top

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