The Lanka Academic

 
NOVEMBER 20, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 229

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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
Sri Lanka to execute rape, murder and drug convicts
Associated Press, Sat November 20, 2004 09:13 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Saturday that Sri Lanka - will lift a 28-year moratorium on the death penalty after a High Court judge was gunned down at his home.

Kumaratunga said in a statement that the death penalty would be effective immediately ``for rape, murder and narcotics dealings.'' Capital punishment has not been enforced in Sri Lanka - since 1976.

Sri Lankan courts have continued to issue the death penalty since then, but the sentences have been automatically converted to life in prison.

The decision comes a day after High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya who was known to give tough verdicts against Tamil Tiger rebels, gangsters and drug dealers was gunned down along with his bodyguard at his home in the capital, Colombo.

``Hon. Ambepitiya was a judge of the highest integrity and independence. He was called upon to give judgments against several well known drug merchants as well as operators of organized crime,'' Kumaratunga said.

In 2002, he sentenced Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, to 200 years in prison after convicting him in absentia of planning a 1996 truck bombing at the country's Central Bank that killed 91 people and wounded 300 others. The explosion destroyed the bank and other buildings in the capital.

Kumaratunga also ordered authorities to take steps to reorganize the crime prevention wing of the police, strengthen criminal laws and minimize delays in legal procedure, the statement said.

She also discussed a special security plan for judges and law courts which will become effective from Friday, the statement added.
Published: Sat Nov 20 10:56:15 EST 2004

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Sri Lanka reactivates death penalty  - iol.co.za

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Jaffna tense after two youth die in crossfire
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, November 20, 2004, 5.21 p.m.. A tense situation prevailed in Jaffna town area today following the death of two youth caught in a crossfire when LTTE men allegedly opened fire at an EPDP member in Velvetithurai last evening. Military sources said that the gunmen had come in a motorbike and fired at the EPDP cadre, who was in a play ground watching football.

The two victims identified as S. Kumaran 21 and R. Sureshkumar were playing soccer when killed on the spot while the EPDP member escaped with injuries. Meanwhile, several groups allegedly backed by the LTTE have launched a hartal campaign in the Jaffna today accusing the Sri Lanka military of killing the two youth. Shops were kept closed and roads were seen deserted in Jaffna and a tense situation prevailed in the area due to minor clashes between security forces and protestors.

Speaking to the Lanka Academic, Military Spokesman Daya Ratnayake denied any involvement in the shooting incident. “Army has no involvement with this incident”, he said.
Published: Sat Nov 20 06:22:08 EST 2004 Back to the top


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Sri Lanka town protests killings
Associated Press, Sat November 20, 2004 06:43 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Shops closed and public transportation came to a standstill in Sri Lanka - 's Jaffna city on Saturday to protest the killing of two young men by unidentified assailants. Meanwhile, the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported that relatives of the two young men have blamed the killings on ``elements linked to the Sri Lanka - army.''

The Web site also carried a statement from the Tigers' Jaffna political head, C.Ilamparithi, who said the military should take responsibility for the killings.

``It's a premeditated killing. How can the killers escape from the notice of the SLA (Sri Lanka - Army) soldiers located in the area within 100 meters from the scene of crime'', he said.

Human rights groups have accused the Tigers of killing dozens of their political opponents and military informants, even after they signed a February 2002 cease-fire with the government.

The Tigers began fighting the government in 1983 in an attempt to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

About 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before the cease-fire.

Subsequent peace talks were suspended in April 2003 when the rebels withdrew, demanding more autonomy for Tamil-majority areas in Sri Lanka - 's north and east. International efforts to bring both sides back to the negotiating table have so far failed.

On the Net: TamilNet: http://www.tamilnet.com
Published: Sat Nov 20 09:48:37 EST 2004 Back to the top


Sri Lanka steps up security after assassination of judge
channelnewsasia.com, 20 November 2004 1921 hrs. COLOMBO : Sri Lanka has stepped up security in the capital Colombo as police launched an investigation into the slaying of a judge and his bodyguard... Back to the top

High court judge shot dead in Sri Lanka 's capital
Associated Press, Fri November 19, 2004 19:17 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A high court judge who took a tough stand against Tamil Tiger rebels was fatally shot outside his home in Sri Lanka - 's capital, as the government questioned the guerrillas' commitment to efforts to end the island's civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Casinos Hit with Tax Increase
casinocitytimes.com, 19 November 2004. SRI LANKA – As reported by the Agence France Presse: "Sri Lanka slapped sin taxes on casinos, alcohol and luxury goods and increased fines while granting a 40 percent salary increase to state employees despite a ballooning budget deficit... Back to the top

Singhalese monopolise Sri Lanka s national wealth
tamilnet.com, November 20, 2004. “This budget has been made to look after the interests of the Sinhala people... Back to the top

SLA responsible for VVT killings - LTTE
tamilnet.com, November 20, 2004. Mr.C.Ilamparithi, LTTE Jaffna district political head in a statement issued Saturday said that the Sri Lanka Army should be held responsible for the brutal killing of two innocent Tamil youths in Valvettithurai on Friday evening as this dastardly crime had taken place in an area which is surrounded by several sentries and mini-camps of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). Back to the top

Muralitharan to seek all clear for New Zealand series from Australian surgeon
Associated Press, Sat November 20, 2004 07:44 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan will meet his surgeon in Australia next week to discuss the possibility of playing on the tour of New Zealand next month, his manager said Saturday... Back to the top

The Peace Process in Sri Lanka
The US Department of State, Nov 19. Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage spoke this morning with Sri Lankan President Kumaratunga and opposition leader Wickremesinghe to express the United States’ continued support for the peace process and to urge all parties to work together to return to negotiations... Back to the top

Teenager escapes from LTTE custody
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, November 20, 2004, 5.20 p.m.. A 17-year-old youth from Periyapillumalai in Batticaloa, allegedly abducted and detained in an LTTE camp for days in want of his brother who is said to have deserted the group, has managed to escape from LTTE custody... Back to the top

NW-PGTW-NW Significant Tropical Weather Advisory
Associated Press, Fri November 19, 2004 12:56 EST . - - SOUTHEAST OF COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - . RECENT ANIMATED SATELLITE IMA- GERY AND A 191211Z5 QUIKSCAT PASS REVEAL WEAK CONVECTION ASSOC- IATED WITH A WELL-DEFINED LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER... Back to the top

US condemns Tamil Tiger attacks, welcomes Lankan peace efforts
hindustantimes.com, Nov 19. The United States has condemned recent attacks by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers as an "assault" on the country's fragile peace process and welcomed this week's government overture to the separatist rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government blasts Tamil Tiger rebels for fresh killings that violate cease-fire
Associated Press, Fri November 19, 2004 01:22 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government on Friday accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of gunning down two people, including an army intelligence officer, and questioned the guerrillas' commitment to peace efforts to end the island's civil war... Back to the top

Tamil Tigers violated ceasefire
bbc.co.uk, November 19, 2004, 8:45 EDT. Sri Lanka's government has accused Tamil Tiger rebels of breaking the ceasefire by killing an intelligence officer and an informant... Back to the top

Lanka populist budget may pave way for constitutional change
hindustantimes.com, November 19, 2004, 8:45 EDT. The Sri Lankan government's manifestly people-oriented annual budget, presented on Thursday, may have had an eye on winning support for President Chandrika Kumaratunga's plan to change Sri Lanka's Constitution from a presidential to a parliamentary one... Back to the top

Sri Lankan budget eyes brothel gains
bbc.co.uk, Friday, 19 November. Sri Lanka has unveiled its 2005 budget, which as well as cutting sales tax and rising public sector wages, includes a massive increase in the fine for running a brothel... Back to the top

Business groups welcome Sri Lankan budget, but worry over deficit
Associated Press, Fri November 19, 2004 11:14 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Business groups on Friday welcomed Sri Lanka - 's proposed budget for 2005, which balances wider taxation with populist spending and aid for the key garment industry ahead of the end of a preferential trade arrangement with the United States... Back to the top

S.Lanka rupee ends flat, seen weaker post budget
deepikaglobal.com, November 19, 2004, 8:45 EDT. COLOMBO, Nov 18 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed flat on Thursday as importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills were offset by bank dollar sales, dealers said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka : VAT exemption positive budgetary measures brings ...
fibre2fashion.com, November 19, 2004, 8:45 EDT. While announcing the maiden budget, Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama has completely exempted the apparel industry from the Value Added Tax (VAT)... Back to the top

Lankan Tamils avoid taking sides on Kanchi seer s arrest
hindustantimes.com, November 19, 2004, 8:45 EDT. The Kanchi Shankaracharya's arrest and incarceration in a sensational murder case in neighbouring Tamil Nadu have not made any visible impact on Sri Lanka, though the island's Hindu Tamils and Buddhist Sinhalas are ardent devotees of Hindu Gods and seers... Back to the top

Religious leaders meet to discuss how to mobilize communities in South Asia to battle HIV/AIDS
Associated Press, Fri November 19, 2004 07:44 EST . - - The participants, representing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka - , Afghanistan and the Maldives, are expected to later educate people on how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide care and support to those infected... Back to the top

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