80 Reports

Tamil teachers urge Colombo to recognise self-determination

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 March 2001, 13:56 GMT]
"We urge the Sri Lankan Government to find a permanent political solution to the ethnic problem by having peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with Norwegian facilitation. We also urge the Sri Lankan government to recognise the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a nation, the existence of an identified Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka and the self-determination of the Tamil people with the right to secede in order to prevent the division of the island" states a resolution unanimously passed at 27th annual convention of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union held Saturday morning in the Trincomalee St.Mary's College auditorium.
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Girl describes bizarre Police torture in SC petition

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 March 2001, 10:01 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court this week granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition of a Tamil girl from Kayts in Jaffna who says Policemen tortured her in detention by repeatedly inserting a plantain flower soaked in chilli powder into her vagina. The girl who is currently being held in the Negombo remand prison states in her petition to the Supreme Court that she was hung on a pole inserted between her thighs and arms which had been tied together below the knee and that he body was made to swing in that position; that she was hung from the roof and battered with a cudgel; that Policemen tortured her by pricking under her finger and toe nails with paper pins until she bled; that she was mercilessly assaulted with poles and wires and trampled with boots. The girl also states in her petition that although she had appealed to the Human Rights Commission and the Presidential Committee on Unlawful Arrests and Harassment, they had not taken any action regarding her predicament. The case was fixed for hearing on 7 June 2001.
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Batticaloa undergrads condemn state terrorism, rape

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 March 2001, 17:28 GMT]
More than a thousand students of the Eastern University in Batticaloa Friday staged a protest against the rape and torture of Sivamani and Wijikala, the two women who were tortured and raped in the custody of the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Sri Lankan Police in Mannar on 19 March. The student protestors condemned the attitude of the Women's rights groups in the north and east, which, according to them, deliberately choose to ignore the atrocities perpetrated on women like Ida Kamalitta, Koneswary, Sivamani and Wijikala.
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CTTU holds Annual Convention

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 March 2001, 02:44 GMT]
"There is no normalcy in the north and east. Hundred and thirteen schools have been closed down here as a consequence. There are army in camps schools in the north and east. More than hundred schools have to function in temporary sheds. Nevertheless, Tamil teachers are doing their duty with dedication amidst these adverse conditions.
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Jaffna Mayor condemns US ambassador's speech

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 17:46 GMT]
Jaffna Mayor Mr.N Raviraj, Thursday said at the monthly meeting of the Municipal Council that he strongly condemns the comments of the US ambassador Ashley Wills on the rights of the Tamils in his speech at the Jaffna public library on 7 March. The Mayor said that the people of Jaffna were very much angered by the US ambassador's attitude.
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Schoolgirl abduction causes alarm in Vadamaradchi

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 17:45 GMT]
Kandasamy Sasindraani, an 18-year-old school girl, was blindfolded and abducted off the road in Vadamaradchi on Monday 26 March by Sri Lanka army personnel while she was on her way to a tuition centre, according to a complaint lodged by her mother at the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jaffna town Thursday. The woman told the ICRC that her daughter was blindfolded and forced into an army vehicle uniformed men.
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VVT protestors get concession

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 16:34 GMT]
Hundreds of men and women gathered in front of the Sri Lanka army camp in Valvettithurai in Jaffna Thursday morning, demanding that they be allowed reasonable time for fishing in the seas off the coast of this coastal town. “Allow us to fish or kill us all”, the protestors told the army. They said their families, which depend on the sea for their livelihood can no longer survive if the SLA didn’t extend the time for fishing. The crowds dispersed after the SLA assured them that they can fish in the sea from midnight to six a.m. everyday. The relaxation of the restriction, however, is limited only to Valvettithurai, military sources said. In all the parts of Jaffna, fishing in the sea is restricted to two hours- from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.
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SLA calls off battle for strategic road point

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 14:30 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Thursday afternoon called off a major operation to capture a strategic point between Eluthumadduval and Nagar Kovil in Jaffna's southeastern sector amidst heavy resistance from the Liberation Tigers. The SLA launched the operation in the early hours of the morning around 3 a.m. Thursday to capture the Sudalaippiddi Pillaiyar Kovil area on the road linking the Eluthumadduval junction on the A9 and Nagar Kovil.
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Proscription list passes "all or none" debates

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 10:16 GMT]
(NEWS FEATURE) Britain's Home office Wednesday formally introduced the list of organisations proscribed under Britain's new Terrorism Act after the list was approved by the House of Lords. Some of the members, as in the House of Commons earlier this month, protested that they were not allowed to oppose the inclusion of individual organisation but could only support or oppose the entire list. Others said the list, which was debated for only an hour or two in each house had not been sufficiently discussed in depth.
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Mannar CSU rapes pregnant woman

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 March 2001, 18:07 GMT]
"Wijikala was screaming inside the building. I heard her pleading 'I have nothing to do with the Tigers. I am a family woman. Please do not do this to me'. Then some CSU men came out and told me that they were forcing Wijikala to have sex with them and threatened to rape me as well. One of the men tried to strip my clothes. When they saw that my son was asleep on my lap, a Policeman dragged him away into one of the buildings in the CSU compound as I begged them not to hurt him. Two men then pinned me down on the van's floor while another stripped me and raped me. I was screaming and pleading when a Policeman put his foot on my mouth to stifle me. Inside the building they forced Wijikala, who was standing naked, to strip my underwear. I was hung upside down in a knot from a pole placed between two tables, with my hands and feet tied. Then the men in the room poked our genitals and tortured us until dawn", said Sivamani Sinnathamby Weerakon, the young mother of three who was arrested by the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Police in Mannar on 13 March. Wijikala Nanthan, 22, of Alavetty in Jaffna who was arrested with Sivamani, is pregnant.
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Southern courts prove safe ground in rights cases

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 March 2001, 20:53 GMT]
"Members of armed forces who have been cited in Habeas Corpus applications or who have been indicted in criminal cases filed in the eastern courts adopt the ploy of seeking the transfer of cases for them to Colombo so as to dissuade the affected parties from actively pursuing the establishment of their rights" said a human rights activist in Colombo who did not want to be identified.
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SLA warns of more air strikes in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 March 2001, 13:51 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army warned civilians Tuesday to stay at least four kilometres away from the military positions of the Liberation Tigers in the Batticaloa district. In a leaflet issued in Batticaloa town Tuesday, the SLA said that it intends to attack areas in which Tiger bases are located with new Air Force jets and modern weapons. The leaflet also warned the people of Batticaloa to sever all their links with the Liberation Tigers.
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Mannar judge strikes at ER abuse

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 March 2001, 06:16 GMT]
The Mannar district judge, M.H.M Ajmeer, Monday ordered that two Sri Lanka Navy personnel, accused in the murder of a civilian, be kept for fourteen days in fiscal custody, rejecting a submission on behalf of the Navy that they (the SLN personnel) should be allowed to remain in the care of the armed forces until the conclusion of the investigations because Sri Lanka's Emergency Regulations (ER) provide for considering 'wrongs' committed by Sri Lankan security personnel under 'exceptional judicial circumstances'. The judge observed in his order that although arresting and detaining persons by Sri Lankan security forces personnel are legal under Emergency Regulations there is no provision anywhere in the ER that allows security forces personnel to cause the death of any person in their custody.
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SLA operation in Mannar south, three missing

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 March 2001, 14:30 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army is on a deep penetration operation in the jungles and coast in the southern extreme of Mannar, which is contiguous with the Puttalam district's border, sources said. Mrs. Philippu Calistus 40, who came to Mannar town Monday from the interior jungle village of Neelamadu in sthern Mannar said that three persons, including her husband Philippu Calistus Cruz, 45, who went to the coastal village of Pookkulam on the Puttalam-Mannar border on Saturday 24 March where hundreds of troops had moved in, have gone missing.
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Jaffna play slates 'philosophy of submission'

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 March 2001, 17:11 GMT]
"The philosophy of compromise and submission is being forced upon us. The spectre of fear surrounds us, preventing us from speaking about the suffering in our land. We are frozen by fear. As a consequence, we have buried many things deep in our heart. .
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Eastern Tamils march against eviction

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 March 2001, 13:39 GMT]
Hundreds of Tamil men and women of Linganagar, a settlement in Trincomalee town on land which the Sri Lanka army claims to own, marched through the streets of Trincomalee Sunday morning amidst tight security by armed police shouting slogans and carrying banners and placards demanding the government that they should be allowed to live on their land.
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Tiger posters put up in security zone

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 March 2001, 20:11 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers put up posters to mark the annual month long commemoration of 'Annai' Poopathi which began this week, in the heart of the Sri Lanka Army's high security zone in Batticaloa town, Saturday morning. 'Annai' Poopathi fasted to death at a temple in Batticaloa in 1988 demanding the withdrawal of the Indian Army.
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Colombo's ceasefire intransigence censured

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 March 2001, 16:22 GMT]
"The Sri Lankan government can be no longer unconcerned with the safety and security and well being of the Tamil people, particularly when the other party to the conflict, the Liberation Tigers, has extended its unilateral ceasefire for another month. The safety, security and the well being of the Tamil people must no longer be subordinated to the exigencies of military strategies", Mr. R. Sampanthan, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front told Tamilnet Saturday.
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CTTU speaks up for predicament of Vanni education

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 March 2001, 14:22 GMT]
An acute dearth for teachers, textbooks and furniture prevails in the schools of the Vanni region, irreparable damaging the educational development of the childrenî, Mr. T. Mahasivam, General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) told Tamilnet Saturday, commenting on his official visit to the north last week. The majority of the students in Vanni schools sit on mats supplied by the UNICEF. Most of the teachers do not have chairs to sit and teach. They have to be on their feet from morning till closing time, according to him. Mr. Mahasivam was in the Vanni for a week to attend meetings of his trade union branches in the Liberation Tigers controlled region. He returned Friday.
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Vavuniya Pass violates fundamental right- Ilancheliyan

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 March 2001, 18:30 GMT]
The Vavuniya district judge Mr. Manickavasagam Ilancheliyan ordered Police officers in charge of the checkpoints in Eeratpaeriyakulam and the town’s railway station Friday that they should forthwith stop sending back to persons, almost exclusively Tamils, from Colombo and other parts of the island on grounds that they do not have documents demanded by them or issuing such visitors passes that limit their stay only within Vavuniya. He told the Police that they have no authority in law to issue limited temporary residence passes to persons coming to Vavuniya from Colombo and other parts of the country or to refuse them permission to enter this northern border town. The judge pointed out in his order that there is no basis in law to issue to such passes.
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Three killed in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 March 2001, 13:18 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army at Santhively, 24 kilometers north of Batticaloa, Friday handed over to the Eravur hospital the body of a civilian who was shot dead by troops lying in ambush in the interior of Korakallimadu, a hamlet near Kiran Thursday night. The family of Paththakkutti Nallarasa, 49, father of four, told Tamilnet that he was returning home with two friends last night around 8.30 p.m. when an SLA ambush party from the Santhively camp opened fire on them.
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Tigers extend cease-fire, warn Sri Lanka over attacks

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 March 2001, 11:44 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Thursday extended their unilateral cease-fire for another month, till April 24, but warned they would resume armed operations if the Sri Lankan government refused to reciprocate and continued military operations against the LTTE. Pointing out that it has not launched any offensive operations either in the north-east or the southern provinces or capital, Colombo, during the three months of its unilateral cease-fire, the LTTE said in a statement that 133 of its fighters had been killed in attacks by the Sri Lankan military in the same period.
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Air-strikes in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 March 2001, 11:02 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force jets carried out an hour-long air raid on the eastern remote villages of Miyankalkulam and Kudumbimalao (Thoppikale) in the Batticaloa district Thursday morning said villagers who came to the eastern town. They said four Kfir jets dropped several bombs in the villages in the western hinterland began at 7 a.m.
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Blair urged over Jaffna journalists

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 March 2001, 07:21 GMT]
British Prime Minister Tony Blair was Wednesday urged by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) to raise the issue of press freedom in Sri Lanka and in particular the murder of the BBC journalist for Jaffna, Mayilvanagam Nimalarajan, with visiting Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumratunge. In a letter Wednesday, RSF’s General secretary, Robert Menard, urged Mr. Blair also over the abusive detention of another Jaffna journalist by Sri Lankan security forces since January 2.
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One Dvora captured, weapons stripped - VOT

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 March 2001, 17:07 GMT]
The Voice of Tigers (VOT) said in its night news broadcast Wednesday that a battle erupted in mid sea when the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) attacked patrol craft of the Sea Tigers off the coast of Mullaithivu this morning. The Sea Tigers counter attacked, sinking one Dvora Fast Attack Craft and capturing another, the radio said. The Sea Tigers stripped the captured FAC of a 23 mm cannon, a 20 mm cannon, two 40 mm grenade launchers, two 50 calibre heavy machine guns etc., and sank the vessel, according to the VOT. Two Dvora’s in the SLN flotilla were damaged in the sea battle, the radio said.
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Civilians killed in air-strikes

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 March 2001, 12:53 GMT]
Four civilians were killed and 11 others were wounded when Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) jets and Naval gun-boats attacked the coastal villages of Chundikulam and Puthumaathalan in the north-eastern Mullaithivu district Wednesday morning, reports said.
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SLN gunboat sunk

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 March 2001, 09:19 GMT]
A Sri Lankan Naval gunboat was sunk in a sea battle between the Sea Tigers and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) off the coast of Mullaithivu in the north-east of the island, security sources said.
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Young mother stripped, tortured by Mannar CSU

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 March 2001, 18:12 GMT]
A young mother arrested by the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Mannar Police Monday night was stripped naked, assaulted and tortured by five men in her cell, sources said. The woman's five-year-old child is also detained with her at the CSU. The young woman, Sivamani Weerakon, was arrested from the Aasika Lodge in Uppukkulam, a suburb of the Mannar town. Her husband was away in Vavuniya at the time of her arrest, the sources said. Policemen from the CSU had arrested her and her child around 11 p.m. Monday night. They had also arrested Wijayakala Nanthan, another young woman who was at the lodge. Both are being held at the CSU in Mannar town.
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Anuradhapura players pique Batticaloa SLA

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 March 2001, 15:10 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Monday stopped a street play performed by a Sinhala group in Batticaloa, objecting to a character of the skit who was in military uniform. The group, Saama Sevaya Cultural Forum from the village of Talawa in Anuradhapura, was scheduled to perform the play, Tears of Blood, in several parts of Batticaloa Monday. The SLA at Santhively, 24 kilometres north of Batticaloa town, interrupted the play and took away all 16 members of the troupe performing in the premises of Thadakam, a social service organisation in the area, to its camp for questioning around 11.30 a.m. this morning.
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Jaffna fisherman protest sea ban

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 March 2001, 10:45 GMT]
More than 2000 thousand fishermen sat in protest in front of the Assistant Government Agent's office in Pt. Pedro Monday demanding that the Sri Lankan government should lift the decade long draconian restrictions on fishing in the seas off the Jaffna coast.
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Chandrika’s mistrust of media manifest in censorship- CPJ

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 March 2001, 08:26 GMT]
The Committee for the Protection of Journalists, the New York based media watchdog, said Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's censorship policy “is just one manifestation of her basic mistrust for the media” and that she had introduced emergency regulations that included “some of the harshest censorship measures ever imposed in the country” in a statement ‘Attacks on journalists 2000’ issued Monday. CPJ said that in Sri Lanka, “Violent attacks against journalists were typically committed with impunity”. “Even when the government has paid nominal attention to pursuing justice, it has come up short”, notes the statement.
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Want of food said afflicting war traumatised children

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 March 2001, 18:58 GMT]
"How can a traumatized child be rehabilitated psychologically when there is bombing and shelling daily in the war zone?" asked Mr.S.Subramaniam, Director of Education North East Provincial Council speaking Sunday at a meeting in Trincomalee town for officials of the Provincial Department of Social Services trained under a counseling program sponsored by Save the Children Norway (SCN) to rehabilitate children traumatized by war in the northeast. " We do not know how traumatized children in the war torn areas of the northeast are fed. Ninety percent of the children here would be psychologically sound if they are properly fed before they reach the age of 5. If they aren't fed properly before 5 they cannot be rehabilitated psychologically", said Mr. S.M Croos North East Provincial Director of Social Services in his address.
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Lawyers slam Emergency, PTA wrongs

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 March 2001, 17:30 GMT]
(NEWS FEATURE) "The war and emergency cannot be excuses for completely denying all the rights of citizens. Human rights activists who speak of the limits of the government's power are looked upon as enemies of the state", said Mr. V.TThamilmaran, senior lecturer in law at the University of Colombo, addressing a two-day seminar on human rights education in Trincomalee Sunday. "Persons arrested and detained under the Emergency Regulations are remanded few months later by the Trincomalee courts under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, on applications made by the Police. Is this not a violation of human rights? Is it not contrary to the law?" asked Mr. Arumugam Jegasothy, President of the Trincomalee Bar Association, in his inaugural address Saturday.
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TID arrests human rights lawyer

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 March 2001, 14:40 GMT]
The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police Sunday arrested Mr. Kanaka Namanathan, a human rights activist and lawyer in Batticaloa. A special unit of the TID that came to Batticaloa Sunday arrested Mr. Namanathan at his residence in Kallady, a suburb of the town this afternoon around 2 p.m. family members said. The lawyer was taken to Colombo by the TID unit soon after his arrest.
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"Kadirgamar betraying Tamils for mess of pottage" - Maheswaran

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 March 2001, 15:21 GMT]
Mr. Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, opposition MP for Jaffna, Saturday accused Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar of betraying the Tamil people to make a living. The MP, speaking on the People's Alliance budget, said Mr. Kadirgamar is urging countries to ban the Liberation Tigers in order to keep his job by begging the government.
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Judge forbids use of ambulance for arrests

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 March 2001, 12:23 GMT]
The Vavuniya District judge, Mr. Manickavasagar Ilancheliyan Saturday ordered the Vavuniya Police to stop using an ambulance for arresting persons in the northern border town. He noted in his order that it has come to light that a group of Policemen led by an Inspector was responsible for the abductions in Vavuniya town this month by armed persons operating in ambulances, a white van and a jeep sans number plates. The judge told the Police that it was against the Geneva conventions to use ambulances for arresting people and ordered them to stop the practice forthwith. The order sheds light for the first time on the abduction of hundreds of persons by armed groups operating in ambulances in towns controlled by the Sri Lankan security forces in the north and east since the mid eighties.
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Mutur magistrate sets a precedent

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 March 2001, 10:23 GMT]
The Mutur Magistrate this week issued certificates that the deaths of seven Tamil farmers in the Poomarathadihchenai massacre in Trincomalee district were due to gunshot and cut injuries. Representatives of the International Committee of Red Cross on Thursday went to Poonagar and handed over the death certificates to the families of the dead, enabling them to claim compensation and relief. Magisterial inquests are not held for Tamils who are killed thus in border villages. As a consequence, hundreds of Tamil families in border villages that have lost their sole breadwinners are denied poverty relief as they cannot produce death certificates for the diseased required by the authorities to accept and process their applications.
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SLAF bombs Vanni villages

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 March 2001, 18:03 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force jets bombed several villages in the Vanni this afternoon. A refugee was wounded when bombs hit the village of Kombavil in the Puthukudiyiruppu area, according to reports reaching Vavuniya Friday evening. The jets flew four sorties over the area, as civilians in the villages which they bombed fled their homes for shelter, the reports said.
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World Bank visits Batticaloa, deplores project

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 March 2001, 14:47 GMT]
The World Bank is not satisfied with the progress of the development work it is funding in the Batticaloa under the ëNortheast Irrigation and Agriculture Projectí (NIAP) said Bank officials Friday, winding up a three day visit to this eastern district. ce.
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Tigers release four Sinhala farmers

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 March 2001, 12:38 GMT]
Four Sinhala farmers from Padaviya, a region lying close to the Mullaithivu district, were released by the Liberation Tigers in the Vanni Thursday, Harasha Gunawardena, press officer of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told Tamilnet. He said they would be handed over to their families in Padaviya tomorrow. Meanwhile, the chief incumbent of the Buddhist temple in Vavuniya Ven. Siyambalagaswewa Wimalasara Thero told Tamilnet that the release comes in the wake of a promise made to him by the Liberation Tigers when he met them in the Vanni on 19 February as a member of an inter-religious delegation.
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Nedunkerni OPD reopens, residents resettle

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 March 2001, 17:36 GMT]
The OPD of the Nedunkerni hospital reopened Wednesday after more than three years, according to reports reaching Vavuniya. The peripheral hospital was mostly destroyed and thousands of families in this Vanni town were rendered refugees overnight when the Sri Lanka army captured the general area of Nedunkerni from the Liberation Tigers in May 1997, during the first phase of Jaya Sikurui, the biggest military operation ever attempted by Colombo. The Tigers retook Nedunkerni, 42 kilometres northeast of Vavuniya, in November 1999. More than a thousand families have been resettled here since January this year after extensive clearing of anti personnel mines (APLM) in the town and its hinterland, government officials in Vavuniya said.
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CWC calls off protest, settles for Rs.280

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 March 2001, 13:04 GMT]
The Ceylon Workers Congress called off its Satyagraha (protest) campaign Thursday, settling for a nine-rupee raise in the daily wage for tea workers. Instead of granting the 400-rupee monthly cost of living allowance demanded by the protesting work force and the CWC, the tea companies agreed to a 9 rupee (11 US cents) raise and also to pay a 5-rupee per day conditional work incentive (the current daily wage is 107 rupees-1.24 USD).
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Official apathy, malnutrition plague Trinco refugees

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2001, 21:30 GMT]
(NEWS FEATURE) Over 75 percent of refugee children under five living in conflict zones of the northeastern province suffer from malnutrition, according to preliminary surveys by government and NGO officials presented at a three-day workshop inaugurated Wednesday morning at Trincomalee Town Hall under the auspices of Sri Lanka's Ministry of Planning and Implementation. The surveys indicate that the majority of mothers among the displaced in these regions suffer from malnutrition during pregnancy and after childbirth.
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Deserter obduracy gets amnesty extension

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2001, 18:48 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army extended until midnight Thursday 15 March a general amnesty for thousands of its deserters who are still at large. An amnesty was announced in January this year and another from 6 March to Wednesday 14 midnight. Frequent amnesties, harsh measures against businesses employing deserters, search operations by Police and exhortations and pleas by leading Buddhist priests have brought few deserters back to the ranks. Military analysts say that 15000 to 20000 deserters are at large at any given time. According to a report in the Colombo press, at least 7000 soldiers deserted their units with weapons. Police point the finger at these for the growing crime rate and the rise of well-armed underworld gangs in many parts of the island, mainly in the capital Colombo.
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SLN punishes Mannar fishermen again

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2001, 17:19 GMT]
Five fishermen from the Mannar town’s coastal suburb of Panangkatti Kottil who were severely beaten up by the Sri Lanka Navy sailors were remanded until 27 March by Mannar district judge M.H.M Ajmeer Wednesday. The fishermen were produced before the judge by the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the Police this evening. The Navy had assaulted and arrested them in the sea off Mannar town early morning Tuesday, seizing the three boats in which they had set out; accusing them of possessing more fuel than what is permitted under the unwritten restrictions of the Vanni embargo. The five men were bruised all over, with broken skin, swellings and contusions.
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CWC makes offer to end tea crisis

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2001, 11:04 GMT]
The Ceylon Workers Congress leader Arumugan Thondaman said Wednesday following talks Wednesday with Minister for Labour Mr. Alavi Moulana MP that his union might settle for 250 rupees cost of living allowance instead of the 400 demanded by workers in Sri Lanka's tea plantations.
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No funds for analysis says CID

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2001, 19:46 GMT]
(Correction) The Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lankan Police told the magistrate hearing the Chemmani case Tuesday in Colombo that the DNA and forensic reports on the Chemmani skeletal remains were not available because the Ministry of Defence had not allocated funds for sending the bones for forensic examination abroad. The CID had got quotations for the forensic examination of the skeletal remains and the DNA tests of the blood samples taken from the next of kin of the persons who were believed killed and buried in Chemmani.
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Managing war, not economy central question –Minister

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2001, 18:36 GMT]
“Today it is no longer a simple question of managing an economy. The real and predominant question is the managing of the war”. “A war as is waged by the LTTE has its several facets. The LTTE is quite a military machine that can very competently engage in conventional warfare with the added advantage of innovative tactics which they derive from the guerilla aspect of their war organization. A Combination of these two aspects can be deadly especially when they (the Tigers) had the time from about 1987 to 1993 to consolidate their positions in the open and in the jungles” said Mr. Batty Weerakon, a senior cabinet minister of the People’s Alliance government, speaking in Parliament Tuesday on his government’s budget.
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Northeast doctors protest discrimination

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2001, 15:50 GMT]
“Refusing to grant a section of employees working in a government department allowances because of their place of birth despite their equal standing with the other employees is discriminatory. This action compels us to the conclusion that the permanent residents of the north and east are second-class citizens” said a statement issued by doctors on strike in government hospitals in the north and east Tuesday.
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Police arrest released Tamil political prisoner

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2001, 18:31 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Police in Valaichenai town, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa, arrested Monday a youth who had spent more than three years in the Kalutara prison and was released by the Colombo high court six months ago. Relatives said the Police arrested the youth on being told to do so by a Sri Lanka Army informant. “The re-arrest and detention of Tamil political prisoners who have been cleared and released by the courts makes a travesty of the judicial process in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, the Police and the army do it often for arbitrary reasons, purely on the strength of the powers given them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations”, a lawyer in Batticaloa told Tamilnet.
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SLA detains three in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2001, 18:21 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army arrested three youth Sunday night in Jaffna town. Nallaiah Navanilavan, 20, Kandasamy Kunaaharan, 27 and Gnanamuttu Anton Amalathaas, 23, were cycling towards the town when they were halted and arrested by soldiers near the Chundikuli checkpoint last night around 7.30 p.m. relatives said. They are being held at the 51-2 brigade headquarters in Jaffna town, according to them.
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Bindunuweva commission’s mandate queried

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2001, 18:16 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government said Monday that it would appoint a one-man commission to probe into the massacre of the inmates of the Bindudunuweva Rehabilitation camp near the hill country town of Bandarawela. Young Tamils, mostly former guerrillas from the eastern province, were hacked to death by a well-armed Sinhala gang on 25 October last year. Some inmates were thrown into a timber-sawing machine that chopped them to pieces. The Sri Lankan Police or the government are yet to name the culprits. In statement issued Monday night the Sri Lankan government said that the President has appointed P.H.K Kulatilake, a judge of the Court of Appeal, to probe the massacre. This is the second commission of inquiry ever appointed by Colombo to probe a massacre of Tamils. “The merit of this commission and its effectiveness can be judged only when its mandate as stipulated by the government is clearly laid out”, a human rights lawyer in Colombo said.
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SLA offensive thwarted in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 March 2001, 13:28 GMT]
Heavy fighting erupted along the Eluthumadduval -Nagarkovil axis in Jaffna from around 10 p.m. Sunday night to 2 a.m. Monday morning when columns of Sri Lanka army infantry backed by armour and heavy artillery attempted to overrun and break through the Forward Defence Localities of the Liberation Tigers, sources in Jaffna said.
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For a few litres more....

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 March 2001, 14:22 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy barred more than eighty fishermen in Pallimunai, a coastal suburb of Mannar town, from setting out to sea since Thursday 8 March for taking in their boats 10 litres of kerosene above the quantity permitted under the unwritten restrictions of the Vanni embargo. A spokesman for the Pallimunai fishermen said Sunday that they had got special permission from the Police for taking the additional 10 litres per boat as they were going to fish in the seas near Iranaithivu and Naachchikudah, more than forty sea miles north of Mannar.
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War victims organize in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 March 2001, 10:34 GMT]
A Sinhala fisherman who lost a limb when the Sri Lanka Navy attacked his boat in the seas off Trincomalee was elected President of an association of persons disabled due to the war that was formed in the eastern port town this week. War and torture victims in the north and east get little assistance from the Sri Lankan government, due to red tape and sheer discrimination.
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Tamil parties join hill country protest

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 March 2001, 14:38 GMT]
"Many want the Tamils to be slaves in this country. The Tamils of the north and east have problems and the hill country workers have their problems. We should give a fitting answer to the injustices committed against the estate workers by throwing out those who are trying to oppress us", said Selvam Adaikalanathan MP, the leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, addressing the Ceylon Worker's Congress' Satyagraha (fast) campaign in Hatton Saturday. The Satyagraha for a 4.5 Dollar raise in monthly wages has been on for 20 days with no solution in sight. It has snowballed into an unprecedented protest movement in Sri Lanka's tea producing hill country, cutting across party and trade union differences. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, said that the plantations have lost 400 million rupees so far because of the protest movement.
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SLA detains eight from refugee camp

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 March 2001, 12:29 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army arrested thirteen persons from the Poonthottam refugee camp in Vavuniya between Monday 5 March and Thursday this week, a human rights activist in the northern border town told Tamilnet Saturday. Troops rounded up the Poonthottam junction on Monday and arrested 10 young men and women when they were ascertained to be inmates of the refugee camp from their special identity cards. Five were released the following day. Relatives said the SLA has so far not permitted them visit the others who were detained. The army searched the Poonthottam refugee camp both during daytime and nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, arresting three.
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SLAF celebrates golden jubilee with air show

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 March 2001, 12:33 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Air Force celebrated its golden jubilee in Colombo Friday with a show by more than fifty aircraft, including a group from the Indian Air Force and Colomboís recently acquired Mig 27s and Israeli built Kfirs . A seventy-member team from the Indian Air Force was a special feature of the air display.
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Increased taxes finance war machine

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 March 2001, 01:51 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government increased the National Security Levy (NSL) it imposes on goods and services by one percent, introduced a 25 percent surcharge on corporate taxes, doubled airport tax, hiked up taxes on punters and casinos, among a series measures to raise revenue to manage the island's cash strapped economy and to finance an unwieldy war machine. Prof. G.L Pieris, Junior Minister for Finance, said that his government has allocated 75 billion rupees for defense this year. Analysts said that this figure would eventually be much higher.
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War widows said increasing because of war

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2001, 22:19 GMT]
"Several young women live in the district, unable to come to a decision whether they are widows or not, as they do not know whether their missing husbands are dead or alive", said North-East Provincial Chief Secretary, Mr. G.Kirushnamoorthy, addressing a public meeting organized by the Provincial Ministry of Women Affairs at the Trincomalee Town Hall Thursday in connection with the International Women's Day.
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SLA arrests three in Jaffna, one missing

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2001, 18:28 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army arrested a village officer at his home in Jaffna Thursday morning around 7 a.m. Nagalingam Sunthararajah, 44 was arrested by a SLA special forces motorcycle unit which neither gave a receipt nor reason for his arrest, his relatives said. Sunthararajah is the village officer for section J.486 in Jaffna.
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Marxists, UNP mark women's day, NGO flops

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2001, 16:30 GMT]
The women's wing of Sri Lankas radical Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front) staged a street play in the heart of Colombos business hub to mark International women's day.
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‘Prolonged detention of Jaffna journalist worrying’ - RSF

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2001, 11:30 GMT]
In a letter to the Sri Lankan Minister of Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Integration, Professor G. L. Peiris, Thursday, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders RSF), the Paris based media watchdog, called for the release of Subramaniam Thiruchelvan, the correspondent for the state run Tamil daily Thinakaran in Point Pedro in Jaffna. The journalist has been detained by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) since 2 January 2001. Robert Ménard, general secretary of RSF, notes in his letter that “this prolonged and excessive detention of a journalist from the Jaffna peninsula is a very worrying warning to all media professionals working there, especially since it has occurred a few months after the still unpunished crime against reporter Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan from Jaffna.”
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S.C Judge says Tamil rights were snatched away

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2001, 06:58 GMT]
"The vast majority of the denizens of the north and east seek the restoration of their rights and not devolution of power. These are the rights which were snatched away from them by virtue of a mathematical innovation where the majority in the two provinces were added to the majority in the seven provinces and thus made a minority in the nine provinces" said Justice C.V Vigneswaran in his ceremonial acceptance speech Wednesday on being appointed as judge to Sri Lanka's Supreme Court.
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US ambassador visits mass graves site in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 March 2001, 19:11 GMT]
"If you say that the LTTE is a terrorist organization then you must also accept that the Sri Lankan government is promoting terrorism in the country", representatives from the University of Jaffna told the US ambassador for Sri Lanka, Mr. Ashley Wills, during a discussion Wednesday in the northern town.
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Saw navy men strangling Uthayakumar -daughter

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 March 2001, 17:34 GMT]
"I saw the soldiers beating up my father with a club and he cried out in pain. My brother and I cried when we saw this. Our father told us that he was being taken to the Tharapuram Navy camp and asked us to come there in the morning. The soldiers then took him away. We saw our father being walked down the street later around 10.30 p.m." said Anusiya Uthayakumar, 16, the daughter of the man who was allegedly beaten and strangled to death by Navy personnel who arrested him on the night of February 28, in her evidence in the Mannar court Wednesday. Answering a question by Inspector of Police (Mannar crime branch) S.Abeyawardena during her evidence, Anusiya said that she also saw the naval ratings strangling her father while they were beating him up.
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Rivals join to pressure Sri Lanka's tea companies

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 March 2001, 22:16 GMT]
Long time political rivals in Sri Lanka's plantation sector, Mr.Arumugam Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress and Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, the leader of the Upcountry People's Front, joined forces Tuesday in a march from Holbrook Bazaar to Agarapatana in the Nuwara Eliya district in the island's tea producing central province.
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US ambassador confers with Jaffna SLA, GA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 March 2001, 19:21 GMT]
Several NGOs in Jaffna who met the US ambassador for Sri Lanka Tuesday told him that the people of the peninsula want peace and that America should help them to achieve it. The NGOs discussed the human rights situation in Jaffna with the ambassador. The US delegation had a conference for about an hour with the Sri Lanka army earlier in the morning at the Palaly military base. The US ambassador and other mission officials met the Government agent for Jaffna to assess the situation.
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Solheim leaves after meet with President

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 March 2001, 17:16 GMT]
Norwegian peace envoy Mr.Erik Solheim left Sri Lanka Monday evening after meeting Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, Minister Professor G.L.Peiris and Indian High Commissioner Mr.Gopalkrishna Gandhi, diplomatic sources said.
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SLN clubbed, murdered father of seven -MP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 March 2001, 22:01 GMT]
The murder of Kandaiah Uthayakumar, father of seven, who was arrested Wednesday 28 February by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in Savalakaadu in Mannar should be investigated and the persons responsible should be brought to book, said Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, MP for the Vanni, in an appeal sent to the Sri Lankan President Sunday. He told TamilNet that the SLN personnel had surrounded and searched Uthayakumar's house around 9 p.m. Wednesday. They had accused Uthayakumar of smuggling banned commodities to the Vanni and assaulted him in front of his crying children.
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Indian HC visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 March 2001, 18:43 GMT]
The Indian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Mr. Gopalakrishna Ghandi, visited war ravaged Chavakachcheri sector of Jaffna Sunday. Earlier in the morning the high commissioner had discussions with the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) MPs for Jaffna Mr. Mavai Senathirajah and Mr. E.R Sivamaharajah and Jaffna Mayor N.Raviraj about the situation in the north. The TULF told Mr. Gandhi that his government should take constructive steps to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
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SLFP stages massive show of strength

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 March 2001, 16:25 GMT]
In a massive show of strength the Sri Lanka freedom Party (SLFP) gathered more than hundred thousand supporters and members for its golden jubilee celebrations and 13th national convention Sunday in Colombo. The SLFP, the chief constituent and convenor of Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance (PA), was established in 1951 by the President Chandrika Kumaratunga's father Mr. Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (1899-1959) and was led by her mother, Sirimao Ratwatte Dias Banadaranaike (1916-2000), after his death. Addressing the rally at the Colombo racecourse grounds, the Sri Lankan President reiterated her stand on the ethnic conflict that peace talks could begin with the Liberation Tiger without her government declaring a cease-fire.
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Eastcoast temple invokes peace

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2001, 22:05 GMT]
More than five hundred people took part in a special Yaga ceremony for peace Saturday at Naavalady, a coastal village on the outskirts of Batticaloa town. Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham and Mr. Pon Selvarajah, the Tamil United Liberation Front MPs for Batticaloa, senior government servants and the town's leading businessmen were at the Gayathri temple where the Yaga (raising of sacrificial fire) was held.
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23 beaten up for wanting to see homes

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2001, 20:34 GMT]
Twenty three civilians who attempted to visit their homes in Nunavil and Manthuvil, east of Jaffna town, were assaulted and beaten up severely with clubs and wires by Sri Lanka army soldiers on Thursday 1 March. "The soldiers seized our national identity cards and chased us away" one of them said. Several others who went Saturday to visit their homes in this sector were assaulted too. SLA personnel at the Kaithady civil affairs office of the military interrogated and reprimanded the 23 who went Saturday to get back their identity cards. The chairman of the Chavakachcheri Palmyrah Co-operative Society, Mr. T Poopalasingham among those who were beaten up on 1 March.
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Suicide among children, young on the rise in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2001, 12:59 GMT]
There is an alarming increase of suicide among children and young people in Vavuniya, according to study released this week. The Vavuniya Medical Officer of Health and the Nelukkulam Public Health Inspector, the researchers who did the study said that war related poverty, stress and displacement were the main causes for suicide among the young. Seventy-nine children under 10 who had attempted to commit suicide were admitted to the Vavuniya Hospital last year.
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Plantation protest spreads

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2001, 17:55 GMT]
Shops and businesses were closed in Hatton, a main town in Sri Lanka's tea producing central province, Friday in support of a spreading protest by plantation workers demanding a long due wage raise of four hundred rupees. More than 2000 tea workers in Kandy district went on strike Friday and held protest fasts in local Tamil temples, a spokesman for the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) told TamilNet.
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Counselling session for war victims in Trinco

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2001, 17:36 GMT]
A group of war victims, mainly villagers of the Trincomalee district who had lost their limbs and were mentally affected, attended a one-day counselling program held by the Family Rehabilitation Center (FPC). The counselling program was held at Trincomalee New Silver Star Hotel on Wednesday. A FRC spokesman said that his organisation is engaged in conducting training and rehabilitation programs and medical clinics in the war-torn areas in the island.
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Fifteen Batticaloa undergraduates's lives at risk -union

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2001, 17:29 GMT]
The students' union of the Eastern University in Batticaloa said Friday that it fears for the safety and lives of the undergraduates who were involved in organizing the Pongu Thamil program urging peace and expressing the political aspiration of the Tamil people. In a statement issued Friday evening the union said the lives of 15 students are at risk and appealed to the international community and human rights organizations that they face a threat from the army and paramilitaries. The statement said that the Pongu Thamil is a democratic, free and peaceful expression of the deepest political desires of the Tamil people and students.
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Tigers release Sinhalese fishermen

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 March 2001, 15:52 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers on Friday morning released two Sinhalese fishermen (on the left) who had been in their custody since last December. ICRC representatives transported D.U.Chandrabala and Ajith Kumarasiri to Vavuniya and handed them over to their relatives. Photo:TamilNet
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Mayor condemns pornography distribution in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 March 2001, 12:00 GMT]
The Jaffna Municipal Mayor claims that some powerful elements, with vested interests, are trying to pollute the minds of younger generation in the peninsula by flooding the area with obscene literature and films. Mr.N.Raviraj made this warning when S.Mangalanesan, a Councillor, brought to the notice of the council meeting held Tuesday that some security personnel were seen distributing handbills and films of an obscene nature to youths.
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