100 Reports

"General deterioration in human rights" - Amnesty

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2000, 19:18 GMT]
In a letter sent to the President of Sri Lanka Thursday, Amnesty International urged investigations into an increasing number of "disappearances" reported over the last two weeks in northern Sri Lanka. "These "disappearances" have taken place in the context of a general deterioration in human rights following the introduction of emergency regulations in May 2000," Amnesty said.
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SLMC on PA ticket in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2000, 14:25 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Muslin Congress will contest under the ticket of People's Alliance (PA) in the eastern districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee, while it will field its own list in northern Jaffna and Vanni electoral districts, according to an agreement reached between the President Chandrika Kumaratunga and SLMC leader A.H.M.Ashraff.
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Sinhala nationalists contest in East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2000, 14:23 GMT]
Two Sinhala nationalist parties are to contest in the next parliamentary elections in the eastern Batticaloa District. 'Bhumiputhra Party' or Sons of the Soil and 'Runhuna People's Party' filed their nominations Thursday, said sources.
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President toughens stand on war, reforms

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2000, 05:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge said Wednesday that her government was prepared to talk to the Liberation Tigers if they laid down their arms, and would eradicate with every means at its disposal if they refused. She was addressing a rally of her Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) at Wellawaya in the deep south of the island.
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SLMC to stand alone

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 August 2000, 16:02 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) decided Wednesday to contest the forthcoming general election under the National Unity Alliance (NUA). Nomination lists of the SLMC would be submitted by Friday, SLMC sources said. A decision to this effect was made at the party convention held today in Colombo.
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Bodies of missing villagers found

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 19:51 GMT]
Bodies of two villagers who were reported 'missing' after they went to collect fire-wood in the jungles of Maya Oya, about 45 km south-west of Batticaloa town, on 22 August were recovered in decomposed state on Monday said sources.
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Ashraff invited to meet PA, resolve differences

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 14:44 GMT]
The People's Alliance (PA) leadership has invited Mr.M.H.M.Ashraff, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for talks to sort out differences which arose following Minister Fowzie's statements, SLMC official sources said. Mr.Ashraff returned to Colombo Tuesday morning after pilgrimage to Mecca.
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Ex-Jaffna communists for Tamil self determination

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 14:42 GMT]
The Democratic Left Front (DLF) a leftist party contesting elections to the Sri Lankan Parliament held a press conference Tuesday in Jaffna town to explain its stand on political issues affecting the island's Tamils. The group's chief candidate for the Jaffna electoral district, Mr.Kasippillai Senthivelavar, said that the DLF will agitate for an immediate cease-fire and emphasise the right of self determination of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.
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Heavy fighting near Mannar MSR

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 06:13 GMT]
Heavy fighting erupted from the early hours of Tuesday morning in Uyilankulam, about 10 kilometers east of Mannar, when the Liberation Tigers launched an assault on the forward defence lines of the Sri Lankan security forces. Police sources in Mannar town told TamilNet that fighting continued in the area until 10 a.m.
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Court releases Vavuniya Red Cross head

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 16:46 GMT]
Sivanathan Kishore, the head of the Vavuniya branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRC), who was arrested by the Sri Lankan Police allegedly for links with the Liberation Tigers and detained for more than 16 months under the draconian Prevention Terrorism Act (PTA) was released Monday without charges by the Colombo high court.
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SLMC-PA tussle takes new turn

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 15:12 GMT]
The pre-poll tussle between Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance (PA) and its main ally took a new turn Monday when the general Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the general secretary of its popular front, the National Unity Alliance, resigned from their posts Monday.
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EPDP regrets 'grave' blunder

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 10:30 GMT]
The pro-government Tamil group, Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) Monday said it regretted a major blunder in an election ad it published yesterday in the Jaffna dailies Uthayan and Valampuri which may have cost it the patronage of the Sri Lankan President. "Chemmani exposed the Lady" ('Ammaniyai ambalappaduthiathu Chemmani) ran the EPDP's election ad in the Sunday edition of the papers, implicating the Sri Lankan President in the massacre of more than 600 Jaffna civilians arrested by the Sri Lankan security forces in 1996.
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Independent Tamil group to contest in Ampara

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 04:16 GMT]
A last minute appeal has been made to the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) to join the independent group nominated by the Tamil Maha Sabha to contest in the Ampara District in the forthcoming general election.
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Parties flock to contest Vanni seats

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 August 2000, 04:14 GMT]
Twelve political parties and independent groups are to field nominations in the Vanni Electoral District in the forthcoming elections to the Sri Lankan Parliament scheduled to be held on 10th of October.
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PA aligns with hard-line Sinhala party

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 August 2000, 11:19 GMT]
The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and the Peoples' Alliance (PA) have signed an electoral agreement, to compete the forthcoming general elections together. PA General Secretary D.M.Jayaretna and MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardene signed an agreement in this regard Sunday.
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TULF candidates for Trincomalee decided

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 August 2000, 11:18 GMT]
Attorney-at-Law Kasinathar Sivapalan will lead the list of Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) candidates to contest the Trincomalee electoral district during the forthcoming parliamentary election.
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CWC to stand with UNP

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 August 2000, 20:58 GMT]
Five parliamentarians of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a major partner of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) government joined the main opposition, United National Party (UNP) on Friday. They are to contest on UNP tickets in the forthcoming general elections.
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New SLA commander assumes duties

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 August 2000, 20:55 GMT]
Lieutenant General Lionel Balagalle took over as the 16th commander of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) on Friday. In a press conference soon after his appointment, Lt. Gen Balagalle, who had served as the commanding officer of the forces in the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni, admitted that there were problems with the SLA. He said there was a need to strengthen the SLA's manpower, provide better training to the soldiers and modernise the army's weapons. However, he stressed that the SLA was ready for war, and that the current lull had allowed time for the soldiers to regroup.
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Grenade kills three, wounds six

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 August 2000, 20:54 GMT]
Two civilians were killed and 6 others wounded when a grenade carried by a Sri Lanka Army soldier exploded at Kangeyan Oodai, about 10 k.m south of Batticaloa, around 3.30 p.m. Friday. The soldier was also killed in the blast, police sources said.
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Four loggers reported 'missing'

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2000, 19:50 GMT]
Four villagers who went in a tractor to collect fire-wood in the jungles of Maha Oya have been reported missing since 22 August. According to complaints made with the Batticaloa Human Rights Commission (HRC), five others who went along with them had escaped and returned home, leaving behind the tractor, when troops opened fire.
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SLAF steps up bombing in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2000, 19:38 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has stepped up bombing raids in the northern Jaffna peninsula during the past few days. SLAF jets conducted bombing raids in Pallai, Iyakkachchi and Thenmaradchi sector in the early hours of Thursday morning, said sources in Jaffna.
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Killing of student ruled homicide

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2000, 12:26 GMT]
The Batticaloa District Judge Wednesday returned a verdict of homicide in the death of a student who was shot by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on August 18.
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SLMC decision to withdraw stands

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2000, 12:15 GMT]
The decision of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), to quit from the People's Alliance (PA) government, stands until its leader M.H.M.Ashraff returns from a pilgrimage to Mecca, according to SLMC sources.
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Husband 'missing' for two months

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 August 2000, 12:14 GMT]
A fifty five year old woman Sokkalingam Saraswathi has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Kalmunai in the south-east of the island that her husband has been 'missing' for about two months. Sandirapillai Rasangam,60, was working in a jewellery shop at Mutur.
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Ashraff on pilgrimage, resignation stands

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 August 2000, 17:51 GMT]
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Sri Lanka's Ports minister M.H.M.Ashraff left for Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday on a three-day pilgrimage to perform religious rites called UMRA.
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Cooray's party to contest elections

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 August 2000, 11:31 GMT]
'Citizens Front', a new political party led by a former United National Party (UNP) strong man, Mr.Sirisena Cooray has decided to contest in 22 electoral districts out of 25 during the forthcoming general election.
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SLMC to contest on PA list

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 August 2000, 09:17 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has agreed to contest the forthcoming general election under the Peoples Alliance (PA) said Mr.D.M.Jayaratne, General Secretary of the PA in a statement.
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Ashraff drops election gauntlet

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 16:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Sri Lanka's Ports minister M.H.M.Ashraff has withdrawn his resignation letter which had been issued in protest over a cabinet colleague's comments criticising the SLMC's vacillation over contesting the forthcoming elections as part of the ruling People's Alliance.
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Amnesty concerned over new "disappearances"

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 12:48 GMT]
Amnesty International said Monday it was concerned for two Tamil men who have been reported "disappeared" after being arrested by Sri Lanka Army soldiers in Vavuniya this month. The London based human rights pressure group said there has been an increase in reports of torture, "disappearances" and deaths in custody since new emergency regulations were introduced by the President in May 2000.
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SLMC split over election ticket

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 12:47 GMT]
The rank and file of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is sharply divided over the question of contesting the forthcoming general election under the Peoples Alliance banner, SLMC Leader and minister M.H.M.Ashraff said after meeting President Chandrika Kumaratunge on Monday morning at Temple Trees. SLFP General Secretary S.B.Dissanayake and National Organizer General Anuruddha Ratwatte were present during the discussion.
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Former Jaffna GA dies

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 12:41 GMT]
Karhtikesu Manikavaskar, a former Government Agent of Jaffna and Kilinochchi Districts died of a suspected heart attack at a private hospital in Colombo Tuesday morning, said sources.
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Civilians move, fearing barrage

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 15:38 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army opened up a heavy artillery barrage towards areas held by the Liberation Tigers, east and south-east of Jaffna town from around 8.10 p.m. Sunday night. Hundreds of civilians in Jaffna town's coastal suburbs of Paashaiyoor and Gurunagar sought refuge in temples and churches fearing the barrage.
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LTTE ambush kills three

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 15:12 GMT]
A Police officer and two Home Guards were killed in an ambush by the Liberation Tigers at 11th Colony in the boarder between Batticaloa and Ampara Districts Sunday morning. Two Home Guards were also wounded in the incident, sources said.
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Cessation of hostilities if elected -Ranil

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 13:20 GMT]
The United National Party (UNP) will bring about a cessation of hostilities agreement with the Liberation Tigers if it comes to power said party leader Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing a press conference Sunday at the opposition leader's office in Colombo.
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Farmer shot, refugee girl missing

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 12:57 GMT]
A farmer was killed in Vanthaarumoolai, 22 kilometers north of Batticaloa, around noon Sunday when he was hit by gun fire from a Sri Lanka army camp nearby. Meanwhile, a young girl has been reported missing since August 17 in Valvettithurai in Jaffna.
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PA to contest in northeast

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 12:53 GMT]
The ruling People's Alliance (PA) has decided to field candidates in all districts, including northeast of the island in the next parliamentary elections, Mr.D.M.Jayaretna General Secretary of the PA said Sunday.
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School damaged in air raid

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 August 2000, 06:13 GMT]
Ampalavan Pokkanai School in Puthukudiyiruppu in the north-eastern Mullaithivu district was damaged in an air raid by Sri Lanka Air Force's newly acquired Mig-27 jets on 15 August, the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said Saturday.
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SLA troops kill student, wound another

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 August 2000, 11:25 GMT]
"The army shoots civilians whenever it comes into Kaluwankerny. This is why innocent civilians in the village run for their life when they know the army is entering the area. My son went behind the house when he saw people running on the road, shouting "the army is coming into the village". He was killed there by soldiers who shot him and his friend" said Vairamuthu Manikkavel, 48, at the inquest into the death of his son the M.Vijayatharsan, 20, before Batticaloa district judge J. Viswanathan at the Eravur hospital Saturday.
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President asks SLMC to stand with PA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 August 2000, 10:33 GMT]
M.H.M.Ashraff, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), says that his party would on whether to contest the forthcoming general election under the People's Alliance (PA) banner or on the SLMC ticket island wide decide after meeting President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on Monday over a breakfast discussion. Minister Ashraff made this statement in an interview with State Television"Rupavahini" Saturday morning.
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Arrested men disappear

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2000, 16:14 GMT]
Two men arrested by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers in Vavuniya last week have been reported 'missing', and their family members have sought help from the Human Rights Commission in the northern town to trace their whereabouts.
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New SLA Commander

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2000, 15:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army's Chief of Staff Major General Lionel Balagalle will assume duties as the new SLA Commander on 25 August. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has confirmed this appointment.
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Another two skeletons in Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2000, 15:30 GMT]
Two more human skeletons were recovered in Kilinochchi this week bringing the total number of skeletons recovered in this area recently to 55, the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said Thursday evening.
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Parliament dissolved, polls October 10

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2000, 08:11 GMT]
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga issued a proclamation Friday dissolving parliament with effect from midnight under powers vested in her by Article 70 of the Sri Lankan Constitution. Nominations for the polls will be called from August 28 to September 4 according to the proclamation. The date for the general election has been set for October 10. The new (eleventh) Parliament of Sri Lanka will meet on October 18 after the conclusion of the elections.
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Madhu devotees pray in peace

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 August 2000, 06:20 GMT]
Only boy scouts and no members of the armed forces or Liberation Tigers were present in areas surrounding the Madhu shrine, and tranquil atmosphere prevailed allowing people to conduct their prayers in peace, said Christopher Fernando, a devotee from Negombo who visited the Madhu shrine during the August festivals.
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Complaint about PA bribing UNP parliamentarian

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 19:07 GMT]
A complaint has been lodged with the Bribery and Corruption Commission requesting a full investigation in to a 1.5 million rupee bribe said to have been offered to a United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian by a ruling People's Alliance (PA) MP as an inducement to vote in favour of the new constitution bill.
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UNP first to seek Norway's help - Bondevik

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 19:03 GMT]
The United National Party was the first to seek Norway's assistance in the effort to find a political settlement to the ethnic conflict on the island when it was in power in 1990 according to Mr.Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Norwegian Prime Minister. he made this statement when delivering the keynote address at the commemoration meeting to mark the first death anniversary of veteran foreign minister A.C.S.Hameed, held at Colombo Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall Thursday evening.
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Plea to President: help find my husband

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 16:10 GMT]
A mother of five children has appealed to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to help her to trace her husband who was last seen by her when being questioned by some Sri Lanka Navy personnel on the morning of August 11.
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Dissnayake is General Secretary of SLFP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 16:09 GMT]
Mr.S.B.Dissanayake, Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Samurdhi has been elected new General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the major constituent political group of the ruling People's Alliance.
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Former Norwegian PM will not speak to leaders

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 12:50 GMT]
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Mr.Kjell Magne Bondevik will not hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunge, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe as scheduled, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo said Thursday.
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Farming abandoned due to STF action - MP

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 August 2000, 06:08 GMT]
Mr. Pon Selvarasa, Tamil United Liberation Front MP for Batticaloa said Thursday that farmers in Vaalaikkaalai, about 25 kilometers southwest of Batticaloa, have been compelled to abandon cultivation due to the activities of the Special Task Force (STF) commandos in the area.
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SLMC member receives junior minister post

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2000, 18:28 GMT]
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Parliamentarian U.L.M.Mohideen was sworn in Wednesday as Deputy Minister for Social Services in front of the Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. Mr.Mohideen is one of the parliamentarians representing the south-eastern Ampara district.
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Eight Ampara villagers held

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2000, 18:26 GMT]
Eight Tamils from a remote village of Thumbankerny in Thikkodai in the south-eastern Ampara District were arrested by the Sri Lankan police on Tuesday, according to the local office of the government-funded Human Rights Commission, but a senior police officer denied the arrests had taken place.
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Vavuniya blast kills 2, wounds 2

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2000, 12:44 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, including an officer, were seriously wounded in an explosion in the high security zone of Vavuniya town around 5.30 p.m. Wednesday, security sources said. SLA sources in Vavuniya said that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber, who was also killed in the incident. A civilian bystander, Thiruvaathirai Pushpalatha (12), was killed in the blast, sources said.
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Ambush kills 2 civilians

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 August 2000, 12:30 GMT]
Special Task Force (STF) troops lying in ambush fired at two farmers at Vaalakkaalai in the boarder between Batticaloa and Ampara around 5 p.m. Tuesday, killing one them on the spot. The other farmer succumbed to his injuries at the Batticaloa hospital, according to medical sources.
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Former Norwegian PM visits Colombo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2000, 21:45 GMT]
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik will arrive in Colombo on a two day visit Wednesday afternoon. During his stay in Colombo he will have talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunge, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe.
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Media Reformation bill tabled by opposition

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2000, 18:39 GMT]
A motion on Media Reformation tabled by the Leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and eight others was taken for discussion Tuesday afternoon in the parliament.
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SLAF steps up bombing in Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2000, 10:50 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has stepped up bombing raids in the Vanni said sources in the northern border town Vavuniya. The said SLAF jets flew several sorties today towards the northern Vanni region they said.
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Civilians near Jaffna firing range wounded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 August 2000, 10:49 GMT]
Two civilians near an army firing range on the southeastern coast of Jaffna were wounded by gunfire this week. Vallipuram Pakiyaraj, 63 was admitted to the Manthikai hospital in Pt.Pedro with gunshot injury last evening and Kristhurajah Kennedy, 19 was wounded in the leg on 12 August. Both are from the village of Kudaththanai.
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Anti-Tamil protesters threaten Karen Parker at UN

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 August 2000, 14:34 GMT]
Karen Parker, a human rights lawyer was intimidated and threatened by anti-LTTE demonstrators protesting outside the United Nation in Geneva Friday. Some of the demonstrators had pursued her, screaming insults and confronted her when they caught up, Ms. Parker, who is a well known figure in legal circles interested in Sri Lanka, told TamilNet Monday. She had been rescued by a passing Swiss national, she said, adding that the matter had been reported to the Swiss police and would be filed with the UN's Special Rapporteur on the independence of the judiciary.
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Soldiers drank toddy, shot tapper - witnesses

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 August 2000, 20:30 GMT]
"I heard some gun shots near our house around 10.45 a.m on Wednesday. Some people came and told me that my husband was shot dead near the Sithaandy Murugan temple. When I ran to the spot, I saw some soldiers standing near my husband's body. Those who saw the shooting said that the soldiers had shot my husband" Selvarani, mother of four children, whose husband, Thiyagarajah Gnanathas, 29, was shot dead by Sri Lanka army soldiers on Wednesday at Sithaandy, 24 kilometers north of Batticaloa.
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UNP meeting attacked, fifteen wounded

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 August 2000, 17:09 GMT]
Fifteen people were wounded when a masked gang attacked an opposition rally this morning near the Gampaha town, about 40 kilometers northwest of Colombo. The condition of three is serious said Police sources in Yakkala. A gang of masked men had come in a van armed with clubs and had attacked people who had gathered to march in a procession in support of Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, the chairman of the United National Party, near Gampaha town. Mr.Jayasuriya is to be nominated as the UNP's chief candidate in the district of Gampaha which is the family stronghold of the Sri Lankan President. A UNP spokesman charged that the masked men were thugs of the ruling People Alliance.
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Santhiramohan pleaded to spare life

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 August 2000, 11:51 GMT]
"I heard Santhiramohan pleading with the soldiers to spare his life. He was telling them he was poor and was married to a poor girl. Then there was silence. I came out of the thicket where I was hiding after some time when it appeared that the army had left the place.
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Beheaded youth's widow gives evidence

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2000, 18:33 GMT]
"A little boy came running home around 11 a.m. and told me that soldiers had lopped off my husband's head. I ran towards the field where he was working and saw some soldiers taking a human head in a white bag. In the field I found my husband's headless body" said Ambikapathy Santhiramohan, 20, giving evidence at the inquest into her husband's death before Acting Magistrate for Batticaloa, D.C Chinniah, last evening at the Eravur Police station. Ambikapathy was married four months ago to Arunasalam Santhiramoham, 20, who was beheaded in reprisal Wednesday following a firefight at Sithaandy, 24 kilometers north of Batticaloa in which two Sri Lanka army troopers were wounded.
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New constitution with simple majority - President

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2000, 18:23 GMT]
New Parliament will be converted into a Constituent Assembly and the new constitution bill would be passed with a simple majority, declared President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge. The President said that the new Constitution Bill would be approved after the next general election, and added that she was optimistic that the new Constitution will be implemented before January next year.
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SLA troops kill youth, abduct farmers

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2000, 18:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka army troops on a deep penetration operation in the north-western hinterland of the Batticaloa district shot dead a youth on night watch in a paddy field and abducted nine farmers who were in the area Thursday night around 8.30 p.m. Relatives of the abducted farmers said that the SLA troops had come from Welikanda into the Maanikkam Vayal Kandam, a tract of rice fields in the hinterland about 85 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa. The general area of Welikanda in the Sinhala majority Polannaruwa district lies close to the north-western sector of Batticaloa.
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Soldiers attempt rape, assault

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2000, 18:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers who were on duty at a check-post in Vembu, a hamlet in Kalkudha, about 30 km. north of Batticaloa, are reported to have attempted to molester three women and assaulted some men Thursday night. One of the victims has brought the incident to the notice of the officer in charge of Kumburumoolai SLA camp.
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India to sell military hardware to Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2000, 12:30 GMT]
India has decided to sell military hardware to Sri Lanka and negotiations are on to clinch the deal on an offshore patrol vessel for the Sri Lankan navy, according to Indian press reports Friday. The newindpress.com website, quoting sources in India's Ministry of Defence (MoD), said the Indian navy has earmarked an offshore patrol vessel (OPV), INS Shardae, made at Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Vishakhapatanam for sale to Sri Lanka.
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Tigers attack two SLA camps in Mannar

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 22:41 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps located near the Puthukulam junction in the Mannar district were attacked and destroyed by the Liberation Tigers Wednesday, the Voice of Tigers radio said in its night news broadcast today. At least 9 SLA soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in the attacks, the radio added.
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Arrests in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 20:29 GMT]
Four people were arrested by the Sri Lankan Army soldiers during a cordon and search operation at Sasthirikoolankulam in Vavuniya Thursday, according to complaints made with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in the northern town.
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Three civilians wounded in SLA shelling

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 15:10 GMT]
Three civilians, including a Grama Sevaka Officer, were wounded when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers fired artillery shells towards Kaddaiparichchan in the Trincomalee District Thursday morning, residents said.
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Ronnie De Mel receives cabinet portfolio

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 14:16 GMT]
Veteran UNP politician and former finance minister Mr. Ronnie De Mel, who crossed over to the ruling PA recently, was appointed as the Minister of Industrial Development Thursday.
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Prime Minister retires

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 06:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike,84, retired from office Thursday. Minister for Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has been appointed by the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge as the new Prime Minister.
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Five wounded in Valaichenai ambush

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 August 2000, 05:37 GMT]
Four military trained Policemen were wounded in ambush by the Liberation Tigers in Valaichenai town Wednesday night around 11.30 p.m. The Tigers had fired at the policemen who were on a night patrol on the Pansala Road in the high security zone of the town. The general area of Valaichenai is dotted with more than ten Sri Lanka army and Police camps.
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Sri Lanka extends Emergency Regulations

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 August 2000, 12:50 GMT]
Sri Lankan parliament extended the Emergency Regulations for further one month on Wednesday. 117 MPs of the 225 member-parliament voted in favour of the extension and 7 voted against. The main opposition, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians abstained from voting.
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28 billion more raised for war

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 August 2000, 12:12 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government raised 28 billion rupees more for its increasing defence expenditure through five supplementary estimates submitted to the Parliament Wednesday. The government has already raised 26 billion following reversals suffered by the army in the north in April- May in addition to the 41.47 billion allocated for defence in this year's budget.
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Civilian beheaded in SLA reprisal

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 August 2000, 10:31 GMT]
Two civilians were killed in reprisal by Sri Lanka army troops around noon Wednesday following a fire-fight in Sithaandy, 24 kilometers north of Batticaloa. Soldiers of the Morokkoddaanchenai SLA camp beheaded one of the civilians, Arunasalam Santhiramohan, 20 and shot dead the other, identified as Thiyagarajah Gnanarajah, 29, father of four. The SLA has taken Santhiramohan's body to the Morokkoddaanchenai camp.
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Over 40 casualties in clashes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 August 2000, 05:51 GMT]
Five military trained policemen, including an officer, were killed and 20 Sri Lanka Navy personnel, nine police men and two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were wounded in three separate attacks by the Liberation Tigers Wednesday morning, security sources said. 16 civilians were also wounded.
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Conspiracy theory as vote adjourned

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 August 2000, 21:19 GMT]
Two Ministers Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Wijesekara raising a point of order told Parliament today that there was a conspiracy to prevent Parliamentarians from voting for the Draft Constitution Bill. They informed the Speaker K.B.Ratnayake that some parliamentarians were sent abroad.
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Government abandons constitution bill

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 August 2000, 09:04 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government abandoned Tuesday its effort to introduce a new constitution. Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka, Minister for Public Administration and Plantations, informed the party leaders' meeting in Parliament today that the new constitution bill will not be further debated nor put to vote. The decision is yet to be announced on the floor of the house by the speaker.
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Two SLA soldiers killed in LTTE attack

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 August 2000, 07:46 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka army soldiers were killed and one was wounded when the Liberation Tigers attacked a foot patrol on Uppodai road in Vanthaarumoolai, about 20 kilometers north of Batticaloa Tuesday morning around 9 a.m. Reinforcements were rushed to the area following the attack from SLA camps on the Batticaloa-Valaichenai road.
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Another opposition MP joins government

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 August 2000, 06:54 GMT]
Another opposition MP crossed over to the government during the debate on the new constitution bill in the Sri Lankan Parliament Tuesday amidst general pandemonium in the house. The United National Party raised a point of order that the Mervyn de Silva, the MP who crossed over, was given an opportunity to speak as soon as he had sat in the government benches. The UNP accused Silva of taking a large bribe from the government for crossing over.
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Numbers game worries PA

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 August 2000, 18:24 GMT]
A government MP joined the opposition Monday in protest against the new constitution bill. Mr.Dixon J. Perera MP said that he is leaving the government because he believes that the bill will harm the nation. Meanwhile, Mr. P.P Devaraj of the Ceylon Workers Congress spoke critically of the bill in Parliament today, giving rise to speculation that he too might vote against it despite his party's pledge to support the government. Dharmalingam Sidarthan, the leader of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) told the Parliament that his group finds major aspects of the new constitution bill totally unacceptable.
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Protesting monk begins fast unto death

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 August 2000, 18:21 GMT]
A Buddhist monk began a fast unto death Monday to protest against the new constitution at a temple in downtown Colombo. Many Buddhists organsisations will organise protests in support of the fasting monk sources said. Other monks are expected to join the fast tomorrow at the Raja Vihara in Pettah in down town Colombo.
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JVP continues agitation against bill

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 August 2000, 16:36 GMT]
Thousands of radical leftist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) cadres Monday protested in several parts of Sri Lanka against the new constitution bill. The JVP demonstrated against the new system of elections proposed by the government in front of the supreme court in Colombo. Protests by the party against the constitution bill were held today in downtown Colombo and the provincial towns of Kandy, Galle and Matara.
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City of Trinco sails under ICRC flag

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 August 2000, 15:55 GMT]
The passenger ferry "City of Trinco" sailed from Trincomalee Monday evening under the protection of the International Committee of the Red Cross transporting 350 civilians to the Jaffna peninsula. Mr.Harasha Gunewardene, Information Officer of the ICRC said that the organisation has received written security assurances from the Liberation Tigers and the Government for safe passage during the voyages.
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Claymore blast injures seven

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 August 2000, 18:20 GMT]
Seven military trained policemen were injured, three of them critically, when the Liberation Tigers set off a claymore mine at Kudiyiruppu, a suburb of Vavuniya town, around 6.30 a.m. Sunday. The policemen were travelling by bus from Vavuniya to Ponthoddam.
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Batticaloa group said blocking TULF

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 August 2000, 13:51 GMT]
Joseph Pararajasingham Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MP for Batticaloa denied reports Saturday that his party was divided over the new constitution bill. "I am sure that my party will stand united in opposing the constitution bill as it falls far short of basic Tamil aspirations" the MP said.
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Government MP resigns in protest

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 August 2000, 17:35 GMT]
A Sri Lankan government politician Friday resigned from his seat in Parliament in protest against the new constitution bill. Sources close to him said that his resignation will come into effect from midnight Friday. Jayasena Rajakaruna, the People's Alliance MP who represented the Bingiriya electorate in the Kurunagala is currently in Colombo.
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Three soldiers killed in LTTE ambush

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 August 2000, 14:40 GMT]
Three Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed and 2 others were wounded in an ambush by the Liberation Tigers at Sasthikulankulam, 6 km. west of Vavuniya town, around 5.45 p.m. Friday, security sources in the northern town said.
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Package votes secure in Colombo hotels

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 August 2000, 12:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka's opposition charged Friday that the ruling People's Alliance (PA) is making "horse deals" to bribe members of Parliament to vote for the new constitution bill on 9 August. Opposition sources claimed that forty Parliamentarians, including cabinet ministers and some United National party MPs have been put up by the government at the Taj Samudra Hotel and the Oberoi Hotel in downtown Colombo until the date of voting. The government needs 150 votes in the Parliament to pass the constitution bill. There are 225 seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament.
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Changes to electoral system expected

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 August 2000, 11:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Cabinet has approved the introduction of a new electoral reform bill, which seeks to replace the proportional representation system now in force. The new bill is to be sent to the Supreme Court to determine its legality.
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UNP opts out of debating Constitution Bill

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 August 2000, 14:44 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition, the United National Party (UNP) has decided not to participate in the debate on the new Constitution Bill submitted by the Government to the Parliament. This decision was taken at the UNP parliamentary group meeting chaired by Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Opposition Thursday.
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Opposition MPs heckle President, tear bill

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 August 2000, 07:04 GMT]
The Sri Lankan President spoke on the controversial constitution reform bill in Parliament Thursday morning amidst much clamour in the opposition ranks. The bill was tabled by Justice Minister Prof.G.L Pieris. United National Party members tore copies of the bill in protest and threw them at government members in the house sources said.
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Thousands protest against constitutional reforms

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 August 2000, 06:39 GMT]
More than four thousand protestors demonstrated against the constitutional reform bill Thursday morning from 9 a.m on the approach road to the Sri Lankan Parliament near Colombo. The large demonstration was organised by the radical leftist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front). Heavily armed riot Police blocked off the approach road at a junction two kilometers from the Parliament. The draft bill containing the constitutional reforms is expected to be tabled in the national legislature later in the morning.
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UNP will oppose Constitutional Bill

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2000, 13:53 GMT]
The General Secretary of the United National Party Gamini Atukorale said that his party would not support the new constitution bill in the parliament. He added that he has made it clear to the government representatives at a discussion held Wednesday at Temple Trees.
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SLAF searches suburbs of Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2000, 13:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel and police sealed off Puthunakar, Sethukudha and Veechukalmunai, suburbs of Batticaloa, and conducted a house to house search operation from 5 a.m. till 11 a.m. Wednesday.
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Supreme Court to give decision on Constitutional Bill

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2000, 13:45 GMT]
The Supreme Court said Wednesday that it would inform the President and the Speaker of its decision regarding the new Constitution Bill, which it had examined. A panel of Judges comprising the Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, Justices Priyantha Perera and Lakshman Weerasekara examined the new Constitution Bill.
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Tamil parties say autonomy bill disappointing

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2000, 10:44 GMT]
Tamil parties Wednesday reacted with thinly veiled disappoinment and chagrin to the government's decision to table in the Sri Lankan Parliament tomorrow the constitutional reform proposals agreed upon last month by the ruling People's Alliance and the main opposition United National Party which falls much short of their basic expectations about autonomy. "The reform package to be presented tomorrow aims to make the country exclusively Buddhist. We have already objected to three fundamental aspects of this package" said TULF MP for Batticaloa Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham. The leaders of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) said categorically they will reject this 'package'.
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PA reiterates foremost status to Buddhism

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 August 2000, 15:55 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government reiterated Tuesday that the "foremost place" given to Buddhism in the constitution will not in anyway be changed under the new constitutional reform proposals to be tabled in Parliament on Thursday. A government spokesman said that the status of Buddhism would be further strengthened and enhanced in the new constitution.
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Buddhist monks urge Sinhalese to oppose 'package'

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 August 2000, 14:54 GMT]
More than 1500 Buddhist monks marched in the Colombo suburb of Maharagama Tuesday afternoon to protest against the constitutional reforms that will be tabled in the Sri Lankan Parliament Thursday. A large number of lay people also took part in the march which wound its way through the populous suburb to the National Youth Council Auditorium where a protest meeting was held.
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