52 Reports

UK ban imposes restraints on peace process - LTTE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 February 2001, 16:23 GMT]
Britain’s decision to include the Liberation Tigers on the list of proscribed terrorist organizations “will impose severe restraints” on the Norwegian initiative, the LTTE said Wednesday. The ban will “adversely affect Tamil interests and severely undermine the current peace initiatives [and] will encourage the repressive Sri Lankan regime to be more uncompromising, intransigent and to adopt a military path of State violence, terrorism and war” the LTTE’s chief negotiator Anton Balasingham was quoted as saying in a statement. However, the LTTE said that “irrespective of the British ban the Tamil Tigers would continue with the peace process and co-operate with the Norwegian facilitatory efforts.”
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Students condemn Batticaloa Brigadier's comments

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 February 2001, 11:56 GMT]
Undergraduates of the Eastern University demonstrated Tuesday condemning the statement of the Sri Lanka army's Batticaloa brigade commander that their 'Pongu Thamil' program had been organised by the Liberation Tigers. Col. V.L.R Anthonis, the SLA commander for Batticaloa, charged Monday at a meeting for local journalists and school principals that the Liberation Tigers had organised the 'Pongu Thamil' rally by students and teachers of the Eastern University on 20 February. .
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Bribe demands worsen villagers' woes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 February 2001, 01:24 GMT]
Jaffna Municipal Council Mayor Mr.N.Raviraj alleged Tuesday that Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers are demanding bribes from civilians who are seeking permission from the SLA to go back to their war ravaged towns in Thenmaradchchi in Jaffna peninsula to collect personal belongings.
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SLA clamps total embargo on Vaakarai

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 February 2001, 08:55 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army clamped a complete embargo on the Vaakarai region, 60 km. north of Batticaloa, Tuesday, preventing people from taking even essential goods such as rice, sugar, milk powder, kerosene, flour etc., which were permitted under severe restrictions on supplies to this region earlier. Soldiers at the Maankerni check post, currently the sole entry point to this large poverty stricken area in the northern corner of Batticaloa, seized all goods in the possession of civilians going to Vaakarai Tuesday morning, mostly their weekly and monthly provisions allowed in limited stipulated quantities by the SLA, purchased in Valaichenai. "I spent almost all my weekly wage on basic provisions for my family. Now I have neither money nor the provisions," lamented Manikkam Thangarasa, a wood cutter from Vaakarai who returned to Valaichenai Tuesday afternoon all the food stuff and kerosene he was taking home was seized by the army at the Maankerni check post.
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Media helps us stay on track- Col. Anthonis

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 February 2001, 23:36 GMT]
The condition of education in the north and east was discussed by the Sri Lanka army at its headquarters in Colombo said Colonel V.L Rohan Anthonis, the commander of the 23-3 brigade in Batticaloa, addressing a meeting with local journalists and school principals Monday. He emphasised that students should not take part in anti-government activities. "We want to make sure we are on the correct track" officer said, speaking about the importance of monitoring the media. Col. Anthonis, a former cricketer from St. Thomas' College, the island's most prestigious private school for boys, claimed that he and his staff look up the press daily to check whether army has wronged anyone in Batticaloa.
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Collusion, apathy said skewing medical legal reports

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 February 2001, 22:02 GMT]
"There is inordinate delay in getting medical reports on rape and torture from the Batticaloa hospital" said Suganthi Kandasamy, state counsel, addressing a seminar on Community awareness and aspects of the law Sunday in the eastern town. She noted that it is very difficult to prosecute cases involving torture and rape in Batticaloa because medical legal reports are either not available or in some important cases, even the preliminary examination of the victim is not done by medical officers assigned for the purpose at the Batticaloa hospital.
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7000 more soldiers needed to end war - PM

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 February 2001, 17:30 GMT]
"About 3500 youths have been enlisted in the Army in the recent days following a request by the government. The enlistment of 7000 others in three-year period would help to end the war," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister (PM) Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Sunday while addressing a gathering after declaring open a new operating theatre in the army hospital in Colombo. The operating theatre has been constructed at a cost of 6.2 million rupees by the institutions coming under the Plantation Ministry.
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Poster taunts SLA for massacre apology

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 February 2001, 07:56 GMT]
A poster showing a Sri Lanka army soldier shedding tears over a heap of skulls with the caption "the army repents the Batticaloa massacres for the first time" appeared Sunday morning in the heart of Batticaloa town's high security zone.
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"Let us fish free in our waters"- federation

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 February 2001, 18:06 GMT]
"The Sri lankan government should allow us to fish freely in our waters", fishermen of the Vadamaradchi division of Jaffna told a visiting delegation of Christian clergymen and lay activists from the southern parts of the island Saturday. "The Liberation Tigers have announced a ceasefire unilaterally for the third time. The Sri Lankan government should avail itself of this opportunity by reciprocating their ceasefire and starting negotiations with them (the Tigers)" said Mr.S.Sooriyakumar, the secretary of the Federation of fishermen's Co-operative Societies of Vadamaradchi, addressing the delegation which comprised 24 persons, including seven Sinhala Christian priests, laity and a clergyman from Scotland.
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Konesar procession concludes in Trinco

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 February 2001, 01:37 GMT]
Amidst tight security provided by armed police personnel, the chief deity of the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple, Lord Konesar, was taken in a colorful procession throughout the port city on Thursday night. Streets of Trincomalee town were gaily decorated to receive the chief deity Lord Konesar. Thousands of Hindu devotees assembled along the roadside to worship the deity of Konesar Temple.
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Man "arrested" in Anuradhapura missing

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 February 2001, 15:25 GMT]
Thabirajah Yogarajah, 30, who was allegedly arrested by Sri Lankan police personnel in Anuradhapura on 19 February has been reported 'missing'. According to a witness, Yogarajah, a native of Kantalai in the Trincomalee district who had recently been living with his wife and two children in Ukulankulam in Vavuniya, was arrested while he was travelling from Colombo to Vavuniya.
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LTTE extends unilateral ceasefire

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 February 2001, 11:32 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Thursday they would extend their unilateral ceasefire by another month, and called on the international community, particularly the United States, Britain, the European Union and India to persuade the Sri Lanka government to reciprocate favourably to its goodwill gesture. "We wish to reiterate that our liberation organisation is prepared to enter into peace negotiations when the Sri Lanka government reciprocates favourably to our unilateral declaration of cease-fire and agrees to implement the Norwegian 'Memorandum of Understanding' aimed at the de-escalation of war and the normalisation of civilian life," the statement said. The LTTE's unilateral ceasefire was due to expire Saturday night.
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Plantation protestors light lamps

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 February 2001, 21:43 GMT]
Sri Lanka's plantation sector workers lit lamps Wednesday night in Hatton, a large town in the island's tea producing central province, on the third day of a protest fast campaign demanding an increase on their current daily wage of 101 rupees (1.14 US Dollars). Hundreds of workers, mostly ethnic Tamils, joined the 'satyagraha' fast Wednesday afternoon despite being advised by their trade union, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), that they should not stay away from work. The CWC is major coalition partner of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) government in Colombo.
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Prayer meeting held in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 February 2001, 14:15 GMT]
A large number Tamil orphaned children participated in an inter-religious prayer meeting at the Hindu Cultural Hall in Trincomalee Wednesday morning, organised by the Graduates' Union in the eastern town. The meeting was held to urge the Sri Lankan Government to take immediate steps to stop the war and to initiate peace moves to alleviate the sufferings of the people. These children are inmates of 'Anbu Illam', and 'Thapovanam', two main institutions in the eastern town, dedicated to maintaining children who have lost their parents and relatives in the ongoing war.
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Eastern Tamil protestors demand self-determination

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 23:40 GMT]
Eastern University Community, concluding 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) programme on Tuesday declared that a solution to the island's ethnic conflict should recognise the Tamil people's right to self-determination, their traditional homeland and their distinct national identity. Until then the Tamil people would continue their agitation vigorously. More than three thousand students, staff and people took part in the event at the Eastern University in Batticaloa.
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Top LTTE official escapes ambush

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 19:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army commandos Monday ambushed senior LTTE officials as they were leaving after meeting an inter-religious peace group at Madhu in the Vanni, sources said. The LTTE officials' vehicle was caught in a claymore blast which badly damaged it, but the occupants escaped unhurt, the sources said.
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Solheim, Balasingham in lengthy talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 17:56 GMT]
The Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim Tuesday met the Liberation Tigers’ chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham in London, for lengthy discussions, sources close to the movement told TamilNet. The discussions were said to have been cordial and positive.
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Trincomalee students boycott classes

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 12:40 GMT]
Tamil students in Trincomalee town boycotted their classes Tuesday in support of the 'Pongu Thaml' (Tamil Upsurge) program at the Eastern University in Batticaloa. An effigy of Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was set on fire by the students at the conclusion of the rally.
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'Pongu Thamil' draws thousands in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 05:07 GMT]
More than three thousand students, staff and people took part in the 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) program Tuesday at the Eastern University in Batticaloa. An effigy of Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was hung near the campus entrance. Hundreds of people and school children from nearby villages and towns began arriving at the University from early morning. The program began at 9.31 a.m. with the lighting of a flame aloft a pedestal near the stage.
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Religious delegation visits Madhu, meets LTTE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 February 2001, 03:35 GMT]
A 60-member inter-religious delegation comprising 36 Buddhist monks, two Bishops and several catholic and muslim priests visited Madhu in the LTTE held Vanni Monday, sources said. The visit was arranged by the northeast Bishops Association.
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'Pongu' Tamil continues in East

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 February 2001, 20:50 GMT]
The Independent Students Union in Batticaloa has called on pupils and teachers to boycott schools and take part in 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge) programmes scheduled to be held at the Eastern University campus on Tuesday. Tuesday's event, organised by the Eastern University community and more than 50 non-governmental organisations, will begin at 9 a.m by lighting the 'freedom- flame', organizers said.
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Magistrate orders investigation into cyanide death

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 February 2001, 20:42 GMT]
The Vavuniya Magistrate on Monday instructed the Police to conduct investigations into the death of a 25 year-old woman to ascertain how she had got cyanide capsule after being brought to the Sri Lanka Army's Brigade Headquarters in Vavuniya. Jeyanthi Veerasingham entered Vavuniya on February 16 from the LTTE controlled Vanni region. She was summoned to army detachment at Sanasa transit camp for an inquiry, on the following day. Later, the army handed over her body to the Vavuniya hospital claiming that she had committed suicide by swallowing cyanide.
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Police aiding 'kasippu' trade in Kalkudah

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 February 2001, 19:32 GMT]
The distilling and selling of illicit liquor (kasippu) is flourishing at Kalkudah, a hamlet in the Valaichenai area with the assistance of local police, according to a complaint filed by the villagers with Members of Parliament for the Batticaloa district. The villagers alleged that the Officer-in-charge of Kalkudah Police is openly supporting illicit brewing and police personnel are being financially rewarded monthly for their assistance.
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Four Jaffna undergrads arrested

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 February 2001, 11:32 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police arrested four Jaffna university undergraduates who were collecting signatures on a memorandum urging the British government not to ban the Liberation Tigers around 2.45 p.m. Sunday afternoon near the entrance of the medical faculty. The arrested students were at of one of the offices set up by the students for receiving signatures of the public on the memorandum.
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Jaffna University undergrads collect signatures

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 February 2001, 07:21 GMT]
(photos) Jaffna university students continued collecting signatures on the memorandum urging the British government not to ban the Liberation Tigers Sunday despite the Sri Lanka army exhorting the public against the campaign. A student spokesperson said that the campaign is expected to reach all the villages and towns in the peninsula soon. He said that the two students arrested by the SLA at Navindil near Vathiri junction Saturday morning were released later in the day.
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Body of Jaffna youth identified

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 February 2001, 06:17 GMT]
The body of a youth found near the Nanthavil Amman temple in Kondavil in Jaffna on Friday was identified by relatives Saturday evening as that of Kutaalam Muraleetharan. Residents found the body with its hands and feet tied up and eyes blindfolded. A relative of the youth said that Muraleetharan had earlier complained to the Human rights Commission in Jaffna that he was facing a dire threat from a paramilitary group working with the Sri Lanka army.
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Thousands march for peace, self-determination

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 February 2001, 12:23 GMT]
More than twelve thousand people marched in Vavuniya and Mannar Saturday urging the Sri Lankan government to stop the war, start Norway mediated peace talks with the Liberation Tigers and recognise the Tamil peopleís right of self determination. Thousands marched through the Vavuniya and Mannar towns and in Murunkan. Christian and Buddhist clergymen, Members of Parliament of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, local leaders of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Peopleís Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam etc., teachers, traders, students marched crying slogans and carrying banners and placards.
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SLA exhorts against memorandum, arrests two

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 February 2001, 09:29 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army exhorted the people of Jaffna over loud hailers Saturday not to put their signatures on the memorandum by students of the Jaffna University urging the British government not to ban the Liberation Tigers and stymie the peace process in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the SLA arrested two Jaffna University students who were collecting signatures for the memorandum at Navindil, near Vathiri junction, 23 kilometres northeast of Jaffna, around 10.30 a.m. Saturday morning. The two students have been taken to the Udupiddy SLA camp for interrogation, a University official said.
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State to reconsider indictment on tortured prisoner

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 February 2001, 08:47 GMT]
The state counsel in the Colombo High Court moved Friday for a date to consider withdrawing the indictment on a Jaffna youth who was tortured in detention and is currently being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) at the remand prison in Kalutara. The report of the judicial medical officer who examined the prisoner two years after his arrest said in his report that the youth, Thambiraja Pathmanathan, 29, of Puthu Veethy, Aarukaal Madam, Aanaikottai, had been burnt with cigarettes and had scars on his head and other parts of the body from injuries caused with a blunt weapon. “At least 16-18 PTA cases involving torture are heard in the Colombo High courts every week. But in many instances the medical reports of the prisoners do not give the correct picture,” an attorney at law who appears for Tamil political prisoners said.
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Sri Lanka's PM decries insurrectionary Marxists

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 21:49 GMT]
"The murder of human beings is considered a crime in any society. It is totally against the principles of Buddhism" said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka Friday, addressing the opening of an exhibition of photographs of people allegedly killed by the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in Piliyandala, an outer suburb of Colombo, in 1988-89.
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Wife asks officials to produce missing husband

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 19:17 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Judge has ordered the respondents to a Habeas Corpus application to submit their objections to the application by March 27. The application was filed by a young mother desiring to know the whereabouts of her husband, Vairamuthtu Jayakili of Salli, who was arrested by Sri Lanka Navy personnel on 25 February last year. Mr.A.N.Ramachandran, Eastern High Court Judge presiding over Trincomalee sessions made the above order on Thursday when the application was taken up for further inquiry. Salli is a fishing hamlet in Trincomalee district.
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SL diplomats, US officials visit north

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 17:35 GMT]
Fourteen diplomats working in Sri Lankan missions abroad visited Jaffna Friday to assess the situation in the northern peninsula. They had discussions with the Government Agent for the district, local officials and the public. Meanwhile, the deputy chief of mission of the US embassy in Colombo was also in Jaffna Friday along with two officials.
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Youth shot dead in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 16:27 GMT]
A youth was shot dead by the Sri Lanka army in Nanthaavil, north of Jaffna town Friday morning. SLA sources told Tamilnet that the youth was shot near the checkpoint at the Amman temple in Nanthaavil. The area was searched by the SLA following the incident.
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Demonstration against British ban

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 February 2001, 12:53 GMT]
A big demonstration was held in Kokkadichcholai in the Batticaloa district on Friday urging the British government not to proscribe the Liberation Tigers under the Terrorism Act and demanding the Sri Lankan government to begin negotiations with the Tigers. The protesters also burnt effigies of Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime MinisterRatansiri Wickremanayake, Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar said sources.
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UNP wants to know, Chandrika says opportunism

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 February 2001, 17:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s main opposition party said Thursday that the government should keep it informed of the Norway mediated effort to begin negotiations with the Liberation Tigers. Addressing a press conference in Colombo this afternoon, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) said that the government was bound to do so under a bilateral agreement brokered by the British in 1997. During a phone in program Thursday evening on a state run TV channel, the Sri Lankan President dismissed the UNP’s claim, pointing out that the opposition leader did not abide by the terms of the agreement in the past unless it suited him.
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Court provides language reprieve to Tamil defendants

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 21:19 GMT]
The Trincomalee Magistrate on Wednesday instructed the Police to file plaints and issue summons in Tamil language in cases filed against Tamil speaking people. Mr.S.Thiagendran, Magistrate and Additional District Judge made this order when an Attorney-at-Law pointed out to him that his Tamil client had received summons in Sinhala language, contrary to the Section 44 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1979.
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Over 18,000 arrested under ER, PTA in 2000

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 20:54 GMT]
(News Feature) More than 18000 persons, mostly Tamils, were arrested under the draconian Emergency Regulations (ER) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) last year said a senior human rights worker in Colombo Wednesday.
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US security officials, ambassador visit Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 20:37 GMT]
The US ambassador for Sri Lanka, Ashley Wills, visited Batticaloa Wednesday with the mission’s Defence Attaché and its Regional Security Officer. The US embassy delegation held a two-hour discussion with SLA officers at the headquarters of the 23-3 brigade in Batticaloa town about the security situation in the district. The delegation also met Air Force and Police officers of the region thereafter. The ambassador later called on Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Tamil United Liberation Front MP for Batticaloa. Security was tightened in places the US delegation was expected to visit in the town.
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Sri Lanka taps Lover's Day to fight war

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 14:35 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government Wednesday launched "let's love our armed forces" campaign to raise funds for its cash strapped defence establishment. The program was started on Valentine's Day to "foster a bond of love" between soldiers fighting the Liberation Tigers in the north and east and the youth in the other parts of the island, according to the organizers of the campaign.
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Student signature campaign suspended

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 February 2001, 12:02 GMT]
A signature campaign, organised by the students of Vavuniya campus of Jaffna University, appealing to the British Government not to proscribe the Liberation Tigers under the Terrorism Act was suspended Wednesday morning following intervention by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Police said student sources. The police detained three students who were collecting signatures around 10.30 a.m. Wednesday and confiscated a list containing about 500 signatures, the sources said.
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Administrative devices said undermining Tamil areas

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 February 2001, 07:18 GMT]
Eechchilampattu, an agricultural region in the southern interior of the Trincomalee district, remains acutely underdeveloped because discriminatory administrative policies aimed at keeping it under the Seruvila local government body, local civil society activists said. Mr.S.Gunanayagam, a Justice of Peace and former chairman of the Kaddaiparichchan Village Council told TamilNet that the interior roads of the region are dilapidated or unusable and that there has been no local development work here for almost a decade because the Sinhala dominated Seruvila Pradeshiya Sabha refuses to allocate any funds for Eechchilampattu. "This is a general strategy adopted by Sinhala bureaucrats to undermine several isolated Tamil administrative units in the northern and eastern parts of the island", Mr. Gunanayagam said.
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British ban will scuttle peace process - LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 February 2001, 09:19 GMT]
The proscription of the Liberation Tigers by Britain would “seriously undermine” the ongoing Norwegian peace initiative, the LTTE’s chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham said this week in an interview to the Tamil Guardian newspaper. “A serious indictment of one party by Britain as ‘terrorists’ at this stage would be considered as a partisan intervention in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict and therefore destroy trust in the Norwegian peace initiative,” Balasingham told the London based weekly.
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Kilinochchi schools face acute teacher shortage

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 February 2001, 10:00 GMT]
Tamil schools in Kilinochchi district with an attending student population of 34,300 is short of 970 teachers, said P. Ariyaratnam, Director of Education, Kilinochchi, yesterday when speaking as Chief Guest at the price giving ceremony at Bharathi Vidyalayam. He added that Sri Lankan Government's unwillingness to make timely appointments is one of the reasons for the present staff shortage.
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Massive anti-government protest in Colombo

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 February 2001, 22:21 GMT]
(Photos) More than one-hundred thousand supporters of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) poured onto the roads of Colombo as a five-day long protest rally which began in the hill town of Kandy arrived in the capital Friday. The rally was organised by the UNP to denounce government's economic policy, opposition activists said. Protesters carried coffins and shouted slogans mourning the death of the rupee currency, which was floated last month. The opposition has threatened a general strike and demanding the government step down.
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Jaffna, Batticaloa students lobby against UK ban

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 February 2001, 15:23 GMT]
Jaffna university students have organised a signature-campaign to urge the British Government not to proscribe the Liberation Tigers under its new anti-terrorism legislature, said student sources. The campaign, which began on Friday, is a part of 'Pongu Thamil' (Tamil Upsurge), the sources said.
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Fishermen arrested in Mannar

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 February 2001, 15:17 GMT]
At least twenty-five Tamil youths are reported to have been arrested by Sri Lanka Navy personnel in the north-western Mannar district between 1 and 5 February. Their relatives have complained to the International Committee of the Red Cross that naval authorities have failed inform them where they are being held.
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Woman raped by STF soldier

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 February 2001, 16:00 GMT]
A woman was raped by a Special Task Force (STF) elite soldier at Cheddipaalayam in the eastern Batticaloa on Monday police and hospital sources said. The victim, a mother of two, was admitted to Batticaloa hospital.
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Peace hopes dim as Sri Lanka hardens stance

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 February 2001, 22:43 GMT]
(News Feature) Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge hardened her stance on the island's ethnic conflict Sunday, dismissing the Liberation Tigers' extended unilateral ceasefire as "meaningless" and insisting the war would only be stopped when negotiations "progressed satisfactorily," dashing hopes amongst Tamil political parties of possible peace talks between the government and the LTTE.
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Black flags, empty streets mark Independence celebrations

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 February 2001, 00:20 GMT]
Government agent of Jaffna, S. Shanmuganathan raised the national flag in Jaffna Kachcheri (administrative office) to mark the 53rd anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence on the morning of February 4. Only 15 employees of Kachcheri participated in the ceremony. Other officials including Pradhesiya Sabai members were conspicuous by their absence, sources in Jaffna said.
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February 4, a day of mourning - student body

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 February 2001, 14:49 GMT]
Tamil people must observe 4th of February, Sri Lanka's Independence day, as a day of mourning, said Student's Freedom Front, in a leaflet distributed today in Batticaloa. "It is the day when rights were denied to Tamil people, when national aspirations of Tamils were denied and when Tamil people lost their freedom and reduced to slave status," the leaflet further said.
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Three arrested in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 February 2001, 16:20 GMT]
Three youth who went to purchase tickets to travel to Colombo at the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority for the North office in Jaffna town were arrested and detained by the Sri Lanka army, the Human Rights Commission said Friday. The youth, who were taken into custody on Wednesday, are being held at the 51-2 brigade headquarters, the HR office said. The three are from the village of Atchelu, north of Jaffna town.
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Batticaloa University appeals over possible UK ban

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 February 2001, 12:00 GMT]
Hundreds of students, and members of the academic and non-academic staff of the Eastern University in Batticaloa picketed Thursday urging the British Government not proscribe the Liberation Tigers under the new Terrorism Act. The protest was also in support of the Tamil people's right to self determination, organisers said.
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Latest 15 Reports