The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 209

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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
Chandrika on power mission
The Telegraph, OCT 31. New Delhi, Oct. 31: Chandrika Kumaratunga will be here on Wednesday to get Delhi’s assurance that it has no favourites in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan President is trying to garner support to change the existing system of an executive presidency that may allow her to stay in power for a longer period.

Her arch rival and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was here earlier this month for talks with the Indian leadership on a number of developments in the island, including stalled peace talks between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Although her party is a major partner in the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka, Kumaratunga will have to decide by the end of next year if she wants the system of executive presidency to continue or revert to the old one where most of the powers lie with the Prime Minister, not the President.

To stay powerful, she needs the support of several political parties, including those close to the LTTE, to support a constitutional amendment. But observers feel the LTTE may play for time and instead cut a deal with Wickremesinghe to push through their agenda.

If Kumaratunga manages to bring about the required changes in the country’s Constitution, she may then get herself elected as Prime Minister and remain powerful. More...
Published: Sun Oct 31 18:19:14 EST 2004

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Cry for Delhi role in Lanka
The Telegraph, OCT 31. New Delhi, Oct. 30: Several Eelam organisations today urged India to renew its “approach and intervention” in Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil problem by isolating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, the main accused in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. The Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation, the Eelam People’s Democratic Party and the Protection of Tamils of Eelam from Genocide were among the outfits that issued this call today. Making the appeal were S.C. Chandrahasan, son of the “Mahatma Gandhi of Ceylon” Father S.C. Chelvanayakam and the founder leader of the Refugees outfit and Protection of Tamils organisation, and Douglas Devananda, the Democratic Party chief and a Sri Lankan central minister. Addressing a convention here today organised jointly by the Centre for National Renaissance, Chandrahasan and Devananda urged the Congress-led government to take up Prabhakaran’s extradition with Sri Lanka. Devananda said a solution to the Tamil problem was possible only “without Prabhakaran” as “he would not want any solution to succeed as his importance would be reduced in a multi-party democracy”. The minister said the LTTE chief would not allow Norwegian peace efforts to succeed and would use peace talks only to strengthen his rebel outfit. More...
Published: Sun Oct 31 18:22:37 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Family of a Sri Lankan held hostage in Iraq appeals to militants to release him
Associated Press, Sun October 31, 2004 04:51 EST . HENDALA, Sri Lanka - (AP) The family of a Sri Lankan truck driver taken hostage by Iraqi militants appealed Sunday for his release, saying they couldn't live without him. But their fears came true and on Saturday Sri Lanka - 's government confirmed the identity of the hostage.

The Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera reported Thursday that a group called the Islamic Army had taken two truck drivers hostage one from Bangladesh and another from Sri Lanka - , an island nation off India's southern coast.

The report said the two were kidnapped as they entered an undisclosed American base.

Sri Lanka - has had no involvement in the U.S. -led war in Iraq.

``I appeal to the people who have taken my son to please free him back to us and not to harm him,'' said Rajaratnam's father, Karuppiah Rajaratnam, 64. ``He is my only son. All our hopes and expectations are pinned on him.''

He said the family will also appeal to Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Monday to seek government help to secure his son's release.
Published: Sun Oct 31 05:46:57 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka confirms identity of abducted truck driver  - Associated Press
Relatives, Muslim groups appeal for release of Sri Lankan hostage ...  -

Police impose indefinite curfew in eastern Muslim town after clashes
Associated Press, Sun October 31, 2004 07:38 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Police imposed an indefinite curfew in an eastern Sri Lankan town Sunday after a clash between two Muslim groups left one person seriously injured, police and military officials said... Back to the top

Angry Lanka Muslim Congress vows to topple Chandrika
HT, OCT 31. Sri Lanka's largest Muslim party, the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC), has decided to fight President Chandrika Kumaratunga tooth and nail, after she lured three more SLMC MPs into her camp by making them ministers on Saturday... Back to the top

Tamil Tiger rebels postpone talks with Japanese peace envoy to Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sun October 31, 2004 06:47 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels postponed by a day a meeting with a top Japanese peace envoy who is pushing for a revival of peace talks between the guerrillas and Sri Lanka - 's government, officials said Sunday... Back to the top

Indo-Lanka defence pact will be signed in November
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, October 31, 2004, 6.45 p.m.. The Indo-Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) is scheduled to be signed next month, Government officials said today... Back to the top

India must revive Lanka dialogue, Tamil issue: CNR, OCT 30. NEW DELH, OCT 30: India should make a shift from its “hands off” stance on Sri Lanka and adopt a more pro-active policy as relations are intrinsically linked to the Tamil issue, political leaders and foreign policy experts from the two countries suggested at a conference here on Saturday... Back to the top

Three new Sri Lankan ministers sworn in, 2004-10-30 19:32:43. COLOMBO, Oct. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Saturday swore in three new ministers in a bid to further strengthen the government's majority in Parliament. According to the President's Office, the three dissident members of the main Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC),were sworn in as ministers of non-cabinet rank... Back to the top

TNA says Government not keen to resume peace talks, only concerned about Presidential polls
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, October 30, 2004, 6.40 p.m. . The LTTE represented Tamil National Alliance has claimed that the Alliance Government is more concerned about deciding whether to hold a Presidential election or a countrywide referendum, rather than making a concrete effort towards resuming the stalled peace process... Back to the top

LTTE threatens to pull out of regional meeting if security forces do not stop search operations
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, October 30, 2004, 6.30 p.m.. The LTTE today warned the security forces that they would not take part at the regional level meeting in Batticaloa because the security forces continued its search operations in the district... Back to the top

Cricket: Sri Lanka fight back against Pakistan in Karachi Test, October 31, 2004, 10:15 EDT. KARACHI : Sri Lanka's fight back against Pakistan picked up steam on the fourth day of the second Test, with the tourists wiping out most of their 270-run first innings deficit in the morning session... Back to the top

Indian army chief due here on Monday
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, October 30, 3004, 6.32 p.m.. India’s Chief of Army Staff General N.C. Vij will arrive here on Monday in a bid to strengthen defence ties between the two neighboring countries... Back to the top

Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims demonstrate against LTTE in Muttur
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, October 30, 2004, 6.31 p.m.. Several hundreds of civilians yesterday held a peaceful protest campaign at Muttur in Trincomalee shouting ant-LTTE slogans... Back to the top

Several political parties against LTTE urge immediate halt to killings and kidnappings
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, October 30, 2004, 8.20 p.m.. Several political parties and civil organizations opposed to the LTTE yesterday urged all parties to join hands and prevent future LTTE violent acts including killings and abductions... Back to the top

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