The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 248

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Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka Parliament suspended for a second day amid chaos
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 04:16 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka(AP) Sri Lanka's parliament was suspended for a second day Thursday after opposition lawmakers protested the legislature's decision to pass several budgets without a vote.

Lawmakers from the Tamil National Alliance blocked parliamentary officials from erecting a staff that symbolically opens each session, prompting Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to suspend Thursday's proceedings.

The legislators were protesting a decision by the ruling United National Freedom Alliance on Wednesday to approve budgets for the ministries of agriculture, power and environment without bringing it up for a vote.

Each ministry's budget can be passed without a vote unless lawmakers object. Tamil National Alliance lawmakers said their request for a vote was ignored.

Parliament was also halted Wednesday when opposition lawmakers protested against the speaker's refusal to let a jailed senior colleague attend the meeting.

Legislator S.B. Dissanayake was sentenced to two years' hard labor after being convicted Tuesday of contempt of court for critical comments he made about the Supreme Court.

Opposition lawmakers Thursday called for Dissanayake's return to Parliament.

``There is no legal provision whatsoever to deprive him of his seat,'' Mahinda Wijesekera, a legislator of the main opposition United National Front, said in a letter to Lokubandara.
Published: Thu Dec 9 06:05:01 EST 2004

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Grenade explosions rock northern and eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 03:31 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Unidentified attackers hurled grenades at a newspaper office in eastern Sri Lanka and at a building in the north belonging to a political party opposed to the Tamil Tiger rebels, police and military officials said Thursday. There were no casualties. The party targeted Wednesday was created from a former separatist group that renounced violence and joined Sri Lanka's political mainstream a decade ago. The group opposes the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam rebels.

Separately, a grenade exploded overnight in restive eastern Batticaloa 220 kilometers (140 miles) east of the capital, Colombo. Sporadic violence has broken out there since a renegade rebel commander led 6,000 guerrillas in an unprecedented split from the Tigers in March.

Although the breakaway guerrilla group was crushed in April by the mainstream rebels, shootings, clashes and other violence continue in the region.

``Initial investigations indicate that a Tamil newspaper office was the target,'' said Neville Wijesinghe, police chief in the area, adding that there were no casualties but the building was damaged.

No one has claimed responsibility for either attack, military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said, and no one was hurt.
Published: Thu Dec 9 06:06:20 EST 2004 Back to the top

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LTTE suspect nabbed with Rs. 6m worth heroin, Thursday, 9 December 2004. A suspected LTTE cadre who tried to smuggle 3.2 kg of pure brown sugar worth over Rs. 6 million to Colombo was nabbed by Murungan Police at the Parayanakulam junction Police post. Vavuniya SSP T. G. Miskin told the Daily News yesterday that investigations had revealed that the suspect was a Mattakuliya resident. Police who searched a Colombo bound bus at the Parayanakulam Police barricade along the Mannar-Vavuniya route found the heroin packed inside the suspect's travelling bag, the SSP said. More...
Published: Thu Dec 9 06:28:53 EST 2004 Back to the top

SRK concert to go ahead in Sri Lanka, Thursday, 09th Dec, 18:20 GMT. Despite strong protests from Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka regarding the day of Shah Rukh Khan ís concert in Colombo, the show would be held as previously planned... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to intensify security for foreign embassies, Thursday Dec. 9 18:20 GMT. Sri Lankan government has decided to implement a special security program to provide protection to foreign embassies in the country, the national television station reported Thursday... Back to the top

Report: Sri Lankan artist in high-society drug bust leaves Singapore, may have gone missing
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 01:44 EST . - - Chanmugam's lawyer, Subhas Anandan, was quoted as saying his client had applied for a visa from the Australian High Commission in Singapore but was rejected because of the pending criminal charges... Back to the top

Families in uncleared areas flee due to Wanni LTTE threats
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, December 8, 2004 05.26 p.m. Nearly 40 families living in LTTE held areas in Vakaneri have vacated their homes and arrived at a school close to the cleared areas for shelter, due to the Wanni LTTE threats... Back to the top

NGO vehicle arrested with mines
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, December 8, 2004 05.25 p.m. A Land Cruiser jeep, belonged to a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), engaged in humanitarian de-mining in war hit areas is reported to have been taken into custody by the security forces while it was transporting five mines without obtaining prior permission at Kodikamam in Jaffna... Back to the top

Sethusamudram: Sri Lanka will consult India, Dec 9, 2004 Thu. Chennai, Dec 9: Sri Lanka would consult the Indian government regarding the Sethusamudram canal project on which some apprehensions have been expressed in the Island republic... Back to the top

War fears rise as Sri Lanka beefs up security, Wed 8th December. Fears that Sri Lanka may be drifting back to war mounted Tuesday amid sporadic violence, a day after the government vowed to strengthen its military to meet any security threat... Back to the top

Workers brace for worst blow in textile trade, THE INDEPENDENT
Associated Press, Wed December 8, 2004 09:30 EST . - - Real problems are probably in mid-2006 and mid-2007... Back to the top

No Pak support for Lankan Tamil separatism, Wed 8th December. Pakistan does not support Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka, and stands for the unity and integrity of that country, Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Iftar Hussain Andrabi told Hindustan Times here on Tuesday... Back to the top

Warrants issued against Ranatunga, Ibrahim Ahmed :, Wed 8th December. A local court today issued bailable warrants against former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga and ICC match referee Ibrahim Ahmed of Zimbabwe for their alleged role in the cancellation of a one-day match between India and Sri Lanka scheduled to be played here on December 25, 1997... Back to the top

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