The Lanka Academic

APRIL 26, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 21

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
Marxists to be sworn into Sri Lankan government after agreeing to compromise
Associated Press, Mon April 26, 2004 12:21 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) An internal power struggle threatening the stability of the new coalition government ended Monday with a compromise between the president's Sri Lanka - Freedom Party and its Marxist partner, officials from both sides said. Provincial elections will be held throughout Sri Lanka - over the next few months and whoever controls the river basin ministry is likely to secure a large proportion of the rural vote. While Kumaratunga retains control of the ministry, she agreed to share some of the ministry's responsibilities with the Marxists.

Tension over the ministry threatened to further impede efforts to maintain Sri Lanka - 's fragile two-year cease-fire and resume peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The peace process was thrown into limbo in November when Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament amid accusations that then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had given to many concessions to the Tigers.

National elections followed on April 2, more than three years ahead of schedule.

On Thursday, Kumaratunga's coalition government lacking a 113-seat majority narrowly lost a key vote for Parliament speaker.
Published: Mon Apr 26 14:29:02 EDT 2004

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Sri Lanka: Former Tamil Tiger Child Soldiers Remain at Risk
org, April 27. New York, April 27, 2004) – The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed opposition group in Sri Lanka, must halt all efforts to recruit recently released child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. International agencies in eastern Sri Lanka should actively monitor the situation to help ensure the safety of hundreds of threatened children. LTTE forces on April 9 defeated a breakaway group under their former eastern commander, known as Karuna. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least two child soldiers, both girls, died in the fighting; unconfirmed reports indicate many more child combatants were killed during the battle or after having surrendered. Both the LTTE army and Karuna’s forces of some 6000 fighters included many child soldiers. An unknown number of the latter surrendered to the main LTTE force. After the families of the children demanded their return, according to UNICEF, 209 were released to their families; a reported 800 others from Karuna’s disbanded force returned home on their own. Thousands more child soldiers are believed to remain with LTTE forces in the north of the country. More...
Published: Mon Apr 26 23:35:00 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Halted major development projects to resume shortly
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 26, 2004, 11.09 pm. Major development projects reportedly halted by the previous United National Front Government, are to resume shortly. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has directed those respective Ministries to submit her a report immediately on such projects. Among those projects which are to resume are: the vital Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project and several express highways, namely the: Colombo-Katunayake, Colombo-Matara, Colombo-Kandy and Katunayake-Anuradhapura express road networks.

The Presidential Secretariat announced that many of these projects which were initiated by the 1994 Peoples Alliance Government, again led by President Kumaratunga, were paralysed due to charges of corruption levelled against many top notches in the previous government led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Ms. Kumaratunga is reported to have instructed the related ministries to immediately resume work on these projects. The Secretariat also said that if the Government failed to resume these projects immediately there was a danger of the country losing Rs. 32 billion received in foreign aid, as they had been given for the construction of these projects.
Published: Mon Apr 26 13:17:12 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Seven Tamil Tiger rebels shot dead in eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Mon April 26, 2004 10:12 EDT . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday blamed supporters of a renegade rebel commander for an ambush that killed seven guerrillas at a rebel camp in eastern Sri Lanka - , military and rebel officials said... Back to the top

Buddhist monk MPs warned with death before May 18
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 26, 2004, 10.52 pm. The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) which is reported to have undergone a lot of harassment, following their decision last week to vote in favour of the Opposition candidate for the Speaker Post, today told a news conference that their lives were very much in danger... Back to the top

American embassy to open an Information Section in Jaffna
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M 27 April. The American Embassy in Sri Lanka has requested permission from the Jaffna Town Council to open an information section of the embassy in the Jaffna Library... Back to the top

Mahaweli Dispute Resolved
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.00 P.M Monday 26 April. The SLFP and the JVP resolved the Mahaweli dispute at a crucial meeting held this evening... Back to the top

Zimbabwe cricket dissidents agree to return
Associated Press, Mon April 26, 2004 12:16 EDT . JOHN KELLEY - Associated Press Writer - They will start on Wednesday, in time for several of them to become available for the final match on Thursday against touring Sri Lanka - in the one-day international series... Back to the top

LTTE invitation to Norway depends on Kumaratunga stand, 2004/04/26. Colombo, A top leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels has categorically stated that the organisation would invite for resumption of the Norwegian facilitation only if the leadership is satisfied with the President, Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga’s stance in key areas of the peace process... Back to the top

Sri Lankan officials say Norwegian delegation to visit Sri Lanka to revive peace process
Associated Press, Mon April 26, 2004 02:04 EDT . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Norwegian delegation will visit Sri Lanka - in the coming weeks to try to revive the country's peace process with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, the president's office said Monday... Back to the top

Tigers renew demand as Sri Lanka seeks peace, April 26 2004 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels demanded Sunday that talks be based on their proposal for self-rule after the president sought to restart negotiations in a move seen as aimed at securing support for her shaky government... Back to the top

Sri Lankan PM faces an uphill task of rewriting constitution
Dawn, 26 April. The new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, would go down in history as the first prime minister to hand over his resignation letter a week after his appointment... Back to the top

Tamil Politician says Lord Buddha Renounced his Throne and the Sri Lankan Monks have come to rule
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Monday 26 April. A senior Tamil politician says that while Lord Buddha renounced his throne and became a Sadhu and gave up all the worldly things some monks in Sri Lanka had gone against the principles of Buddhism and entered parliament to rule, embracing worldly life... Back to the top

ADB approves US $ 1.5 million for rural electrification
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 25, 2004, 11.20 pm. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$ 1.5 million grant from its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which is financed by the government of Japan, to enable more poor households in Sri Lanka to enjoy the direct benefits of rural electrification... Back to the top

Crucial Government meeting over ‘Mahaweli’ put off for tomorrow
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 25, 2004, 11.11 pm. A decisive round of talks scheduled for today between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna over the Mahaweli Ministry has been put off for tomorrow... Back to the top

Sri Lankan President's Alliance Wins Vote
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 00:47 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's alliance won a key regional election Saturday, nearly three weeks after it emerged as the single largest party in parliamentary polls... Back to the top

Hashan Tillakaratne dropped for Zimbabwe tests
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 10:42 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Former captain Hashan Tillakaratne has been dropped for the upcoming two-match test series against Zimbabwe and selectors have included upcapped batsman Ian Daniel in the squad, a spokesman said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil rebels awaiting call to resume peace talks
People's Daily, 25 April. Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebels have said that they are awaiting the Norwegian peace facilitators to inform them the government's request for Norway to continue to play peace role in the country, the official Sunday Observer said... Back to the top

Report: Norwegian delegation to meet Tamil rebels, government in early May
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 08:06 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer- COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A high-level delegation from Norway will travel to Sri Lanka - in early May to try reviving stalled peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, a news report said Sunday... Back to the top

The New Republic, April 24. Veerasingham Anandasangaree's campaign headquarters is a bunker... Back to the top

Premier tells police to step up security for monks
Gulf News, april 24. Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has directed the Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva to step up security for Buddhist monks after making an assessment of the security situation following two separate politically motivated incidents involving monks... Back to the top

LTTE rebel Karuna lost in oblivion, April 25, 2004 . As the LTTE calls upon the Norwegian group to resume mediation in peace negotiations between the militant outfit and the Sri Lankan government, the group insists it first wants to gauge President Chandrika Kumaratunga's stance on the key issues negotiated with the earlier government... Back to the top

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