The Lanka Academic

VOL. 6, NO. 302


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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
SLMC collects petition to appeal Udathalawinna decision
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 2, 2006, 7.24 p.m.. In an attempt to persuade the Attorney General to appeal against the recent High Court verdict on the Udathalawinna massacre, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is expected to hand over a petition signed by the victims families to the AG shortly.

However, SLMC said that when they had approached the victims families soon after last Friday's judgment they had been reluctant to sign a petition due to fear for their 'own security', as they did not want to antagonize 'certain people' and take the matter any further.

"However we have spoken to our district organiser and other party members in Kandy, and they are scheduled to meet these families again either this week or next week, to persuade them to agree to sign this petition," SLMC High Command member Nizam Kariapper said.

On January 20, Colombo High Court acquitted Anuruddha Ratwatte and his two sons, along with five others, while handing down the death penalty to five army personnel charged in connection with the Udathalawinna murder case.

Delivering the Judgment, High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera said that there were serious defects in the indictment regarding the first and the second accused.

This case was heard before a Trial-at-bar in the High Court with three judges, but at the latter stage it was heard by two Judges; Deepali Wijesundera and Sunil Rajapakse.

Anuruddha Ratwatte, his sons Lohan and Chanuka and twelve others were alleged to have been engaged in the murder of ten persons at Udathalawinna, on December 5, 2001, the General Election day

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Published: Thu Feb 2 08:24:53 EST 2006

Bomb scare in Sri Lanka Parliament suspends sittings
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, February 2nd, 2006, 11:00 am. A bomb scare at the Sri Lanka Parliament on Thursday, minutes before sessions began, sent shock waves and prompted sittings to be postponed until Feb 14, police and officials said.

The scare took place during the course of a security check with sniffer-dogs, said Inspector General of Police Chadra Fernando. He said one of the dogs had caught the scent of something underneath a carpet in the Parliament Chamber and refused to move.

"It may have been some glue or some such that must have given the smell of explosives," Fernando said. "But when the carpet was removed, it proved to be nothing at all."

The incident occurred close to an opposition bench moments before sittings were to commence. Subsequently, Parliament convened but was adjourned barely two minutes later until Feb. 14.

The Chamber was emptied and the area was sealed as investigations commenced, Fernando said.

The bomb scare took place as opposition lawmakers of the Tamil National Alliance prepared to stage a protest in the well of the House over the alleged abduction of 10 ethnic Tamil aid workers.

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Published: Thu Feb 2 00:58:25 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Parliament suspended due to security concern  - BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI , Associated Press
Sri Lanka names peace envoys as scare shuts parliament  - Reuters

Sri Lanka names de Silva to head peace talks delegation
DILIP GANGULY , Associated Press, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. Sri Lanka on Thursday named Nimal Siripala de Silva, a veteran politician and lawyer, to head a government team at upcoming peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced the appointment at a news conference but declined to give any other details.

``He will be the leader of the Sri Lankan delegation,'' Samaraweera said.

The talks, stalled since April 2003, are to be held later this month in Switzerland and are aimed at preventing the island from descending back into civil war.

The rebel delegation will be led by London-based theoretician Anton Balasingham.

Norway - which brokered a 2002 cease-fire and helped with subsequent peace talks - convinced the government and rebels to resume the peace process after escalating violence killed at least 150 people in two months.

No firm date for the talks has been announced.

De Silva, 61, studied law in England and has handled hundreds of constitutional and human rights cases. He was also a legal adviser to former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first female prime minister.

He was active in politics from his school days and was first elected to Parliament in 1989. He has held several key portfolios, had a seat on the executive board of the World Health Organization, and was WHO's vice chairman in 1998-1999.

De Silva narrowly escaped death in 1996 during a visit to the northern rebel-held stronghold of Jaffna when a bomb blamed on the rebels exploded, injuring him and killing seven others.

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Published: Thu Feb 2 07:57:32 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka names parliament leader to head team at peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels  - Associated Press

Sri Lanka accuses TRO of failing to cooperate in investigation of missing workers
Associated Press, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. The Sri Lankan government on Thursday accused a Tamil relief agency of failing to help investigate the alleged disappearance of eight Tamil relief workers... Back to the top

Disarm Karuna before talks, says UNP
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. UNITED National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the scheduled talks in Geneva, between the government and the LTTE, would fail unless the government agrees to disarm the LTTE break-away group led by Karuna Amman... Back to the top

Dissident lawmaker joins govt
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. Dissident Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) member of parliament Faiszer Musthapa has said that he has joined the government unconditionally “without accepting any ministerial portfolio and solely to strengthen the hands of President Mahinda Rajapakse to take the country forward”... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil aid agency says more workers missing
Reuters, Thu 2nd Feb 6:50GMT. A second group of workers from an aid agency linked to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are missing, the agency said on Wednesday, a day after the rebels warned that the abductions could make talks with the government difficult... Back to the top

300 factories to be set up in rural areas
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. SOME 300 factories are to be set up in all divisional secretariats under a programme launched by the ministries of industrial development and investment promotion... Back to the top

For mine-clearing expert, Lanka truce is a godsend, Thu 2nd Feb 13:00GMT. While a Norwegian peace envoy held talks with Tamil Tiger leaders in northern Sri Lanka last week, one man waited anxiously for hours for news that the government and the rebels would resume peace talks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says Indian government taking steps to release 24 Sri Lankan fishermen
Associated Press, Thu February 2, 2006 00:47 EST . India will soon free all 24 Sri Lankan fishermen accused of straying into its territorial waters as part of an agreement between the two countries to increase cooperation in the fishing industry, Sri Lanka's government said... Back to the top

Aviva acquires Lankan co Eagle for Rs 117 crore, February 02, 2006 - 07:40 EDT. MUMBAI: UK’S largest insurer Aviva has acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka’s third-largest insurer Eagle Insurance for an amount equivalent to Rs 117 crore... Back to the top

Minister blames local media for ethnic problem
Sassanka Samarakkody,, Thu 2nd Feb 6:50GMT. Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister D E W Gunasekera has attacked the local media saying that it had created the ethnic problem and later aggravated it... Back to the top

Human rights violations plague five tsunami-hit countries, report says
ROBIN HINDERY, Associated Press, Wed February 1, 2006 16:01 EST . UNITED NATIONS (AP) : More than a year after the tsunami in Southeast Asia, many of the most vulnerable survivors are plagued by discrimination in aid distribution, forced relocation and violence against women, according to a report released Wednesday... Back to the top

On-the-spot report from a Sri Lankan fishing village, February 02, 2006 - 07:40 EDT. The daily lives of people in the Thoduwawa fishing village near Chilaw in the northwestern province of Sri Lanka provide a picture of the hardships facing much of the island’s rural population... Back to the top

Two abducted aid workers return, eight missing amid threats to Sri Lanka's peace bid
Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, February 1st, 2006, 8:00 pm. Two aid workers allegedly kidnapped by unidentified gunmen returned Wednesday, but eight other remained missing amid threats by Tamil Tiger rebels to pull out of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government... Back to the top

Douglas loses heavyweight
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, February 1, 2006, 10.51 p.m.. In what appeared to be one of the most surprising splits, K... Back to the top

Sri Lanka in lingerie battle of the fittest, 2/2/2006 . Sri Lanka wants to be a world hot spot for lingerie and make clothing its main dollar earner, but local manufacturers are feeling hemmed in a year after export quotas were lifted... Back to the top

Refugee influx from Lanka worries Jayalalithaa, February 1. Expressing concern over increase in the influx of refugees from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said it showed that the situation was not conducive in the island republic... Back to the top

Tamil legislators boycott Sri Lanka Parliament, Feb. 1 . Colombo, Feb. 1 (PTI): Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party today staged a walk out in the national assembly to protest against "escalating" attacks against the Tamil minority. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is seen as a proxy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), staged the walk out after making a statement condemning security forces for attacks against Tamils and rebel supporters... Back to the top

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