72 Reports

Conflict deprives children's education -official

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 December 2001, 20:30 GMT]
Most of the children under the age of ten living in welfare centres, slum areas and remote villages in the North-East province, have been deprived of their pre-school and primary education due to the ongoing war, said Mr.Sokkalingam Amirthalingam, Provincial Secretary to the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Social Welfare and Women Affairs, addressing a three-day workshop on the Early Childhood Development Project.
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SLTMA slams military harassment of Thinakathir

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 December 2001, 09:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Tamil Media Alliance Saturday protested to the Ministry of Mass Communication over the attack on Dharmaratnam Sivaram, a well known defence analyst and journalist, by "persons connected with the security forces." Mr. Sivaram, a Colombo-based contributor to TamilNet, suffered extensive injuries in the attack which occurred at the office of the Thinakathir newspapers in Batticaloa town late on Wednesday night.
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Ranil urged to disarm EPDP

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 December 2001, 19:57 GMT]
The Jaffna University Students' Union (JUSU) Friday requested the Prime Minister to take immediate steps to disarm all para military Tamil groups including the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) in areas held by government troops. "The retention of arms by such para military groups, including EPDP constitutes imminent danger to Tamil civilians and journalists in the Jaffna district," the JUSU said in a memorandum sent Friday to the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.
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Ex MP files for annulment of elections in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 December 2001, 19:28 GMT]
A former United National Party parliamentarian Friday filed an election petition in the Court of Appeal, praying that the court declare the poll held on 5th December this year in the Batticaloa electoral district null and void, and to direct the Commissioner of Elections to take action to hold a re-poll as voters from areas held by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were prevented from voting.
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Mutur East denied medical services

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 December 2001, 19:56 GMT]
No proper medical and health service has been provided to Tamil villages in Mutur east areas which are not controlled by Sri Lankan troops in the Trincomalee district, said a report issued Thursday by the Trincomalee regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCS).
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PM officially requests Norway's assistance

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 December 2001, 19:53 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe Thursday officially requested the government of Norway to recommence its facilitator role with regards to bringing about negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Mr. Wickremasinghe made his request in a telephone conversation with the Norwegian Prime Minister Thursday morning, a press communiqué released by the Prime Minister's office in Colombo said.
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Senior Tamil Journalist assaulted

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 December 2001, 09:09 GMT]
Mr.D.Sivaram, a leading Tamil journalist and Mr.Wijetharan, of 'Thinakathir' editorial were wounded when they were attacked by unidentified men, around 10.30 p.m. Wednesday. The journalists were attacked by men armed with clubs who had arrived in a van to the Thinakathir office, a independent Tamil daily published in Batticaloa.
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LTTE official visits SLA held areas in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 December 2001, 13:05 GMT]
An official of the Liberation Tigers visited areas held by the Sri Lankan security forces in Batticaloa south Wednesday. 'Thurai', the official in charge of the LTTE's dissemination division for the Batticaloa and Ampara districts had discussions with an officer of the Special Task Force (STF) at the Paddiruppu Bridge, a main entry point 24 kilometres south of the eastern town, around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning before proceeding to visit Kaluwanchikudy town and the villages to its north with a group of fighters.
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PTA prisoners suffer prolonged detention in east

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 December 2001, 10:16 GMT]
Forty-one Tamil political prisoners have been languishing in the Batticaloa prison for many years with no solution in sight under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Mr. ‘Vellimalai’ Kirushnapillai, Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa, told Tamilnet Wednesday. Their detention is unduly prolonged because the Batticaloa District Medical Officer is refusing to issue them medical legal certificates required by the courts to proceed with their cases, according to Mr. Vellimalai who visited the prisoners in the Batticaloa jail Tuesday.
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Missing youths' parents paralyse Jaffna Kachcheri

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 December 2001, 15:25 GMT]
Protesting parents paralyse Jaffna District SecretariatThe Jaffna District Secretariat was stopped from functioning by more than a hundred parents of missing Tamil youth who sat across the entrance of the district secretariat from Monday early morning 6.30 to 4 p.m. in the afternoon, blocking government officials from entering the premises. The parents of the youth who went missing after they were arrested by the Sri Lanka army in 1997 in Jaffna sat in heavy monsoon shower, demanding that the Government Agent for Jaffna should get a reply from Colombo about the fate of their children in 20 days. The parents rejected an offer by the government to grant death certificates and compensation to 167 youth who went missing in 1997 after being arrested and detained by the Sri Lanka army. The death certificates claim that the youth were killed due to general violence.
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Trincomalee Tamils appeal to Kofi Annan

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 December 2001, 13:40 GMT]
“ Successive Sri Lankan governments have repeatedly disregarded the request for peace talks put forward by the LTTE by adducing various motives while it continued the pernicious war against the Tamils by using all state resources. At the last parliamentary general elections, the entire Tamil community in the northeast province overwhelmingly supported the Tamil National Alliance which stood for accepting the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamils in Sri Lanka”, states a memorandum sent Monday by community leaders, civil society groups NGOs and trade unions in Trincomalee to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with copies the United States of America, United Kingdom, India, Norway, Canada, Australia and member states of the European Union.
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TNA Vadamaradchi office attacked

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 December 2001, 13:01 GMT]
A grenade was lobbed on the Tamil National Alliance office for the Vadamaradchi division of Jaffna Sunday night around 8.30. The office was damaged in the attack. The TNA’s chief organiser for the Vadamaradchi division, Mr. S. Aravindan told Tamilnet that he was the target of the grenade attack. He said that gunmen from the Eelam People’s Demoratic Party, a key coalition partner of the President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s defeated People’s Alliance, had lobbed the grenade. The TNA’s Vadamaradchi regional office is located in the Nelliyadi town.
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No security relaxation in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 December 2001, 20:39 GMT]
Until the modalities of a proper cease-fire between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are worked out, there will be no relaxation in checking at roadblocks and sentry points in the Trincomalee district. Roadblocks and sentry points would not be removed immediately, police sources said.
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Tamils, SLA mull truce implications

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 December 2001, 13:03 GMT]
A "real" ceasefire will not come into effect until the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers negotiate and agree on "concrete modalities" of how it would be observed, military sources in Colombo said Saturday. The Sri Lankan security forces will desist from launching offensives and search operations during the cessation of hostilities declared Friday by the United National Front government, the sources added. A Sri Lanka army officer in the east said that the Tigers cannot enter areas controlled by the military with their personal weapons. "During the cessation of hostilities, we will fire only if we are provoked and we will take defensive action", the officer said.
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Canada refugee “at grave risk of torture” - Amnesty

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 December 2001, 01:48 GMT]
Amnesty International, the human rights group, Friday urged its members to appeal to the Canadian government not to deport a recognised refugee, Manickavasagam Suresh, back to Sri Lanka as “he would be at grave risk of torture.” Noting that Suresh is alleged to be a member of the Liberation Tigers, Amnesty said it “has documented numerous incidences of the Sri Lankan security forces torturing people in their custody, particularly suspected LTTE members.”
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TNA urges Prime Minister to respect Tamils' verdict

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 December 2001, 20:17 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance Friday appealed to the Prime Minister to respect the verdict of the Tamil voters in the Northeast province at the last parliamentary election. A TNA delegation Friday evening told the Prime Minister that "the Tamil voters in the Northeast have very substantially endorsed the policy enunciated in the election manifesto of the TNA, despite the numerous hardships, restrictions and denial imposed upon them even in respect of the exercise of their franchise. The TNA looks forward to the early commencement of the visible implementation of the policy envisaged in its manifesto".
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Colombo announces month long ceasefire

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 December 2001, 12:38 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government Friday responded to the ceasefire unilaterally declared by the Liberation Tigers by announcing a ceasefire from midnight 24 December to 24 January. The month long ceasefire declared by the LTTE also comes into effect from the midnight of 24 December. The United National Front government sources said that the ceasefire announcement was initially expected to be made Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s return from Delhi.
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SLA arrests three from LTTE held region

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 December 2001, 03:16 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Wednesday arrested three officials of a rural development society in the LTTE held region north of Batticaloa. Relatives who came to see them in detention Friday said that the officials were taking money for work on a World Bank funded road project in the village of Kaddumurivu, 62 kilometres north of Batticaloa, when the army intelligence unit at Oddamavadi arrested and detained them for interrogation. The SLA later handed over the three to the Valaichenai police, accusing them of carrying money for the Liberation Tigers. Government officials in the eastern town, however, said that the money was for the road project in Kaddumurivu under the North East Irrigation Agriculture Project (NEIAP) funded by the World Bank.
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Suicide on the rise among NE war victims

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 December 2001, 18:47 GMT]
“The rate of suicide and attempted suicide is on the increase in northeast province. The time has come for the provincial authorities to take immediate steps to arrest this trend by educating internally displaced persons and refugees through field officers of the social services department”, said Mr. S. Amirthalingam, Secretary to the Northeast Provincial Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Social Welfare inaugurating a three day workshop for social services and probation officers in Trincomalee from 19 to 21 December.
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PTA regulations not conducive for talks - Selvam

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 December 2001, 14:14 GMT]
“The United National Front government should take steps remove the Prevention of Terrorism Act and to release Tamil political prisoners if it wants to positively and constructively respond to the ceasefire unilaterally declared by the Liberation Tigers and restore normalcy in the north and east”, Selvam Adaikalanathan MP in a statement Thursday welcoming the LTTE’s truce announcement. “We see the PTA as a serious obstacle to the peace process because the armed forces would remain empowered under its provisions to arrest and detain members of the LTTE even during the period of mutual truce”, he told Tamilnet. The Liberation Tigers were banned under the PTA after the Emergency lapsed in October when the People’s Alliance lost its majority in Parliament.
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Tamils to shun next Parliament if no solution -TNA

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 18:13 GMT]
"No self respecting Tamil would enter the next parliament if a just and permanent solution is not found to the Tamil national question by this parliament," declared Mr. R. Sampanthan, MP, the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 12th parliament Wednesday.
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LTTE declares month-long ceasefire

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 10:40 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued Wednesday from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, announced the declaration of a month long “unilateral cessation of hostilities” as a goodwill measure during the festive season “to facilitate and promote initiatives towards a peace process.” The LTTE’s observation of cease-fire begins at midnight on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2001, the organisation said in a press release. The LTTE said if the Sri Lankan government "reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and takes immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions," it will favourably consider extending the period of cease-fire.
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EPDP abandons PA for UNF

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 00:41 GMT]
The paramilitary Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), a key Parliamentary ally of the former People's Alliance (PA) government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga is offering to switch sides and support the newly elected United National Front (UNF), press reports said. The Gulf News reported Wednesday that the EPDP, widely accused of violence and intimidation in support of the former administration before and during the December 5 polls is now offering to assist the UNF's ìefforts at forming a government of national government.î Last week The Island newspaper reported that the EPDP was offering its military support to the new government against the Liberation Tigers, arguing that it had always done so with successive Sri Lankan governments.
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Amnesty urges human rights agenda for new PM

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 00:34 GMT]
Ahead of the first sitting this week by Sri Lanka’s new Parliament, Amnesty International, the human rights watchdog Tuesday wrote to recently-elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe about human rights concerns in the country, and called for an end to impunity for violators, faster investigations of cases and sought assurances executions would not be resumed. Amnesty also called for a review of Sri Lanka’s notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and “an investigative body fully independent of the police.”
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Tamil Parties Alliance reiterates its commitment

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 December 2001, 14:49 GMT]
The parliamentary group of the Tamil Parties Alliance (TNA) at its first meeting held Tuesday strongly reiterated that "it has come together and obtained the mandate of the Tamil people in the Northeast to pursue the policies enunciated in its election manifesto, in relation to the resolution of the Tamil national question, which primarily requires the immediate commencement of negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with international third party involvement, and to facilitate the commencement of such negotiations, the lifting of the proscription imposed on the LTTE in Sri Lanka."
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Two SLA soldiers killed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 December 2001, 14:43 GMT]
Two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in a counter-ambush by the Liberation Tigers near Mahindapura SLA camp in Serunuwara division, south of Trincomalee district, around 7.30 a.m. Tuesday morning, security sources said.
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Ban on Tamil journalists' awards lifted

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2001, 18:58 GMT]
The ban on conferring the Governor's Award to two Tamil journalists Mr. P. Manickavasagam, President of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and Mr. A. Nadesan, the Tamil daily Virakesari's Batticaloa correspondent, at the annual Northeast Provincial Tamil Literary Festival has been lifted, NE Provincial Council sources said.
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Five SLA surrender over Muslims' massacre

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2001, 18:36 GMT]
A Lieutenant and four soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army were remanded by the Teldeniya Magistrate Monday in connection with the massacre of ten Muslim youths at Udawalathenne in Kandy district on 5 December, the day of the general elections. They surrendered at the official residence of the Magistrate through their lawyer and made statements about the killings. The Magistrate Mr. C. V. Rajapakse then ordered the suspects be remanded till 26 December. Meanwhile a high-powered team of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police led by its Director Monday questioned the former Deputy Defense Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte about the whereabouts of his two sons.
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UNF’s stand on Jaffna fishing ban questioned

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2001, 11:29 GMT]
The federation of Vadamaradchi fishermen’s co-operative societies said that it intends to begin demonstrations and sit in protests soon if the new government does not take meaningful steps to lift the total ban on fishing in the seas off coast between Thikkam and Thondmanar and the five-hour restriction along the Katkovalam coast in Pt. Pedro. A spokesman for the federation said that Sri Lanka army soldiers assaulted the secretary and treasurer of the Munai Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Sunday for setting out to sea before the stipulated time.
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PA divided over national govt. formation

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 December 2001, 23:21 GMT]
A major split in the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) became evident Saturday when the State run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) reported in its night news bulletin that a group of twenty three parliamentarians including several former ministers of the PA has decided to support the proposal of forming a national government. The Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe of the ruling United National Front (UNF) has put forward this proposal to all political parties represented in the new parliament.
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SC orders compensation for tortured youth

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 December 2001, 04:40 GMT]
The Supreme Court Friday upheld the Fundamental Rights (FR) application filed by a Tamil youth of Vavuniya that he was subjected to severe torture when he was in Police custody. A three-member bench of the SC comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justices Shiranee Bandaranaike and Hector S.Yapa after inquiry ordered the State to pay 12,500 rupees as compensation to the petitioner Sivalingam Konesalingam of Koolankulam, Vavuniya.
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Army controls pose acid test for UNP

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 December 2001, 16:50 GMT]
Thousands of farmers face ruin in the northern parts of Batticaloa because of Sri Lanka Army imposed restrictions on tractors, sources said. On 12 November the SLA banned farmers from taking their tractors to plough fields in the western hinterland of the eastern district. The ban was imposed on the eve of the ploughing period. More than 15, 000 acres couldn’t be tilled on time for sowing as a consequence. “Our problem is an acid test for the UNP government which says it will lift such unfair restrictions by the SLA which affect ordinary Tamils like us in the north and east. If the army comes up with its usual excuse that this is a security related matter, will the new government have the mettle and authority to determine the truth and let us carry on with our cultivation?” asked a senior member of the Agrarian Services Committee for Peruvelikandam, the body representing the interests of farmers in this region.
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Police search Gen. Ratwatte’s home

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 December 2001, 13:00 GMT]
A special team from the Criminal Investigation Division of the Police in Colombo Friday searched the residence of Sri Lanka’s former Deputy Minister of Defence, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte. Police said that the CID was looking for Mr. Lohan Ratwatte, the son of the ex-minister, wanted in connection with the murder of ten Muslims on 5 December. The CID team found a windscreen of a ‘Defender’ Jeep in Gen. Ratwatte house in Mahiyyawa, a suburb of Kandy, in the island’s central province. The SLA’s Defender jeeps were used by Gen. Ratwatte’s men for rigging the polls, intimidating and attacking political opponents, Police sources said. The ex-minister was not present in the house when the CID team from Colombo searched it, Police said.
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UNF MPs endorse peace talks, India’s role

[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 December 2001, 15:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to visit Delhi on 23 December on a three-day official visit to hold discussions with Indian leaders, United National Party sources said Thursday. Preparations for starting peace negotiations with the Liberation Tigers would be a central issue in Mr. Wickremesinghe’s discussions with the Indian Prime Minister and senior ministers in Delhi, according to the sources. The Parliamentary group of the United National Front, which met Thursday, resolved unanimously to do the needful to start the peace process soon. Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister Mr. Tyronne Fernando said Thursday’s attack on the Parliament in Delhi wouldn’t change India’s stand on the peace negotiations between the Liberation Tigers and his government. The LTTE and the Tamil National Alliance say that there should be Norwegian mediation in peace talks with Colombo.
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Wickremesinghe appoints cabinet of 25

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 December 2001, 11:57 GMT]
The cabinet of ministers of the United National Front government was sworn in Wednesday afternoon in Colombo. The Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe kept only the Ministry of Policy Planning to himself contrary to the practice of former heads of Sri Lankan governments to hold key several portfolios such as defence. The UNP MP for Jaffna was appointed a Minister for Hindu Affairs sans cabinet rank. The Minister of Defence is former attorney general Mr. Tilak Marapone. The leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress Mr. Arumugam Thondaman was appointed Housing and Plantation Infrastructure.
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Sampanthan, Sangaree meet Indian HC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 December 2001, 11:39 GMT]
Senior Tamil National Alliance MPs Mr. R. Sampanthan and Mr. V. Anandasangaree Wednesday appealed to India to impress upon the new Sri Lankan government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers. “The ban on the Liberation Tigers in Sri Lanka should be revoked first enabling them to participate in peace talks as the sole representative of Tamils and such talks should be held only with the LTTE with the international third party mediation”, a two MPs told the Indian High Commissioner Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi Wednesday morning during a discussion held in Colombo. “The TNAs manifesto been endorsed overwhelmingly by the Tamils of the northeast province at the general election held last week. Hence the new Sri Lankan government should fulfil the demands defined in our manifesto”, the MPs told the envoy. The Indian High Commissioner said he would convey the TNA’s position to his government.
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Mutur SLA intelligence, Valaichenai Police attacked

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 December 2001, 03:16 GMT]
Three soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army intelligence unit stationed at Palathoppur, about five kilometres off south of Mutur town in Trincomalee district were killed and at least six were wounded in an attack by the Liberation Tigers around 11.15 p.m. Tuesday night, security sources said. On Sunday 9 November a group of SLA soldiers of the Palathoppur SLA Intelligence Unit in ambush killed three LTTE troopers in this area, security sources said. Meanwhile, in Valaichenai, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa, the Tigers attacked the main Police camp around midnight, killing six military trained Policemen and wounding eleven. The Tigers went off with the camps armoury, paramilitary sources working with the SLA in the east said.
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President gives in, UNP readies cabinet

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 December 2001, 16:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s new cabinet will be sworn in Wednesday, United National Party sources said. The cabinet will have 20-22 ministers. The President agreed Tuesday to let the UNP have the Defence and Finance portfolios in the new government. “Considerable pressure and sober counsel were necessary to make the President come to terms with the reality. However, she may keep the controversial Presidential Security Division (PSD) directly under her control”, said a UNP spokesman. Meanwhile, the commanders of the armed forces met the new Prime Minister this morning at his office in Colombo.
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New parliament convenes on December 17

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 December 2001, 19:42 GMT]
President Chandrika Kumaratunge has decided to convene the 12th parliament on December 17 at 10 a.m., the Presidential Secretariat said in a news release Monday. Earlier, the date of convening the new parliament had been fixed for January 01, 2002. The decision to advance the date of the inaugural session of 12th parliament was taken under article 70 of the Constitution, following representations made by the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, the press release added.
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SC orders compensation to torture victims

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 December 2001, 19:41 GMT]
The Supreme Court Monday directed the State to pay 500,000 rupees as compensation to a Vavuniya Tamil youth, stating that his fundamental rights (FR) had been violated by the security forces when he being detained at Vavuniya army camp.
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Mutur Tamils appeal to Kofi Annan

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 December 2001, 11:27 GMT]
Hundreds of Tamils in Mutur east in the southern part of the Trincomalee district demonstrated Monday demanding that the Sri Lanka army and Navy should stop bombarding their villages immediately. More than thirty thousand Tamils live in about forty villages in Mutur east. ìWe are unable to fish in the sea because Sri Lanka Navy gunboats attack us. We are unable to cultivate our rice fields because the SLA indiscriminately fires artillery on us day and night. Our children do not go to schools due to traumatic experiences caused by the loss of lives in their familiesî, states the memorandum sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations by the Tamils of Mutur east.
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Jaffna missing youths' parents protest again

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 December 2001, 10:46 GMT]
The parents of more than 600 youth who went missing in Jaffna after being arrested by the Sri Lanka Army in 1996-97 marched in silence through the northern town Monday to protest against "government apathy". The protestors carried lamps and their mouths were covered with black bands. The march was organised by the Jaffna Mothersí Front and the Missing Persons' Guardian Association.
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SLA intelligence operative killed in east

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 December 2001, 09:23 GMT]
An operative of the Sri Lanka army intelligence was killed in a counter ambush by the Liberation Tigers near the Batticaloa town in the early hours of the morning around 3.30 a.m Monday. A soldier was wounded in the attack. The military intelligence operative was identified as Corporal K. S Satkunanathan alias 'Kuyil'. He was a member of the 'Nithi group', paramilitary sources working with the SLA said.
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Sampanthan tells new PM to fulfil TNA demands

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 December 2001, 22:04 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Sunday told the new Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe that it would stick to its demands defined in its election manifesto in evolving a just and durable solution to the Tamil national question.
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Defence portfolio to end war eludes UNP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 December 2001, 04:44 GMT]
The state run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, quoting a communique from the Presidential Secretariat, Sunday denied a report that the leader of the United National Party, Mr. Ranil Wickrmesinghe, who is to be sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister this afternoon, would be appointed the Minister of Defense. The UNP cannot satisfactorily fulfill its pledge to end the war unless it has the Ministry of Defence, particularly because the President is the Commander of the Sri Lankan armed forces, party sources in Colombo said. The Ministry of Finance, however, has been offered to the UNP, according to them. The Tamil National Alliance says that it will give the UNP six months to bring about a cessation of hostilities and lift the embargo on the Vanni. The UNP, however, should have the Ministry of Defence if it were to meet these demands without hindrance, analysts say.
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“No interest in government formation”- Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 December 2001, 12:40 GMT]
“The Tamil National Alliance said Saturday that it has no interest in the formation of the new government. “We will do nothing to derogate from the verdict of the Sinhalese in the south. But we will not allow ourselves to be manipulated in anyway. Beyond this we have no interest in the formation of the new government”, said Mr. R. Sampanthan, MP for Trincomalee and a senior leader of the Tamil National Alliance. “The elections have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the Tamil people are solidly behind the Liberation Tigers. The results are also an endorsement that the Tamils are a distinct nation and that they have the right to self-determination. The Tamils have endorsed that the Liberation Tigers are their sole representatives, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham TNA MP for Batticaloa said.
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US, EU endorse Sri Lanka polls as 'free and fair'

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 December 2001, 12:00 GMT]
The United States Friday condemned the violence during the Sri Lankan elections Wednesday, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The State Department said however, the result of the polls, in which the main opposition United National Party swept the former ruling People's Alliance from power, was "basically free and fair."
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Coalition blues lie ahead for UNP

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2001, 16:27 GMT]
Governing may not be smooth for the United National Party once the euphoria over a victory that evaded the party for seven years settles and the realities of a slim majority upheld with the aid of its coalition partners begin to unravel. The UNP has 15 minority coalition partners. They are the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, (11 MPs), the Ceylon Workers' Congress (3 MPs) and the Up Country People's Front (one MP). Six SLMC members who contested under the UNP symbol have been elected to Parliament. The SLMC got thee seats in Ampara and one seat in Batticaloa. It secured a national seat as well on the total votes it scored countrywide. The UNP has already called the PLOTE leader for a "discussion", sources said.
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JVP shows massive increase

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2001, 14:10 GMT]
The final results of the elections to Sri Lanka's 12th Parliament showed an upswing in popularity not only for the United National Party but also most remarkably in favour of the radical Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). The JVP's popularity has shot up by 296579 votes in the course of a year, mostly at the expense of the People's Alliance. Both the JVP and the PA appealed largely to Sinhala Buddhists during the elections, by persistently attempting to stoke nationalist sentiments among them.
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UNP calls on Police to arrest Gen. Ratwatte

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2001, 12:45 GMT]
The UNP urged the Police Friday to arrest Sri Lanka's ex-Deputy Minister for Defence, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte for allegedly being involved in the murder of ten Muslims in Kandy on Wednesday and for unleashing violence to rig the polls in the district. The poll at 29 stations in the Kandy (Mahanuwara) was cancelled due to the intensity of violence there, Sri Lanka's commissioner of Elections said. The UNP spokesman Mr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku said that armed gangs backed by ex-Deputy minister for Defence, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte, and his son, Mr. Lohan Ratwatte.
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UNP, SLMC coalition faces slim majority

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2001, 11:03 GMT]
The United National Party won 89 seats islandwide, except the electoral district of Kandy, according to the final results released Friday afternoon in Colombo. The PA got 62, the JVP 12, the Tamil National Alliance 14, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 5, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) 2 and the People's Liberation Organisation 1.
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Two EPDP in Jaffna, one PLOTE in Vanni

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 18:20 GMT]
The TNA got 102324 votes in Jaffna, 86284 in Batticaloa and 41959 in the Vanni electoral district, election officials said Thursday. It got more than forty four thousand votes in the Ampara (Digamadulla) district, according to votes counted so far. Only two EPDP MPs were elected in Jaffna with 57208 votes. The EPDP, a close ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s regime, was routed in all other districts of the north and east. Mr. Dharmalingam Sitharthan, the leader of the PLOTE, which came third in the Vanni with 9614 votes, was elected the sole MP from the group. The PLOTE too demands the lifting of Colombo’s ban on the Tigers and starting peace talks with them. The TNA lost the fourth seat in the Vanni by about 1200 votes, a spokesman for the Alliance said.
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Sampanthan, Selvam, Mavai among TNA elected

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 16:41 GMT]
Mr. R. Sampanthan the chief candidate of the Tamil National Alliance for Trincomalee scored the highest preference votes among the alliance candidates who contested the general election for Sri Lanka’s 12th Parliament. He got 40110 votes out of the 56,119 the TNA garnered in Trincomalee, elections officials said.
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Results of Jaffna electorates

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 10:21 GMT]
The TNA got more than hundred thousand votes in the eleven electorates of the Jaffna electoral district. The southern sector of the electorate of Chavakachcheri is under the control of the Liberation Tigers. Kilinochchi, an administrative district in north which is an electorate of Jaffna, is under the total control of the Liberation Tigers. Only a few persons displaced from Kilinochchi by the war since 1996 were eligible to vote. The EPDP scored highest in the Kayts electorate, which comprises all the islands under its military influence. The ballots of Jaffna voters displaced in Puttalam and Colombo are yet to be counted.
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Tamils in Trincomalee score high

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 08:57 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance scored 56119 votes in the Trincomalee district. The Tamil United Liberation Front, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the main constituents of the TNA, were able to garner only 19110 votes between them at the general elections in October 2000. Polling was very high in the Tamil strongholds of the eastern district Wednesday. There are four seats in Trincomalee. The UNP, SLMC coalition got two seats by scoring 62, 915 votes here. If the UNP and the SLMC had contested separately them the TNA would have got the bonus seat for the district, officials said. The massive surge in support for the TNA in Trincomalee was largely due to the stand it took on the Liberation Tigers and the war. The EPDP was ignominiously routed despite offering jobs and cash to thousands of voters.
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SLA, PA blockade costs Tamil legislators

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 07:20 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance officials said Thursday that they might be losing at least three seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament because more than hundred and forty thousand voters were deliberately prevented from voting by the Sri Lanka army in the Batticaloa and Vanni electoral districts. Election officials in Batticaloa said that if the TNA had got 20097 more votes it would have been eligible for four seats in the district. Similarly, the TNA may get only three seats in the Vanni because of the SLA blockade on voters who came to vote from areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers, officials said.
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TNA wins Jaffna, Vanni, Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 December 2001, 02:13 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won in the Jaffna, Vanni and Batticaloa electoral districts, according to results announced until Thursday morning. It came second in the Trincomalee district. Election officials said, according to the votes counted so far TNA would get six seats in Jaffna, four in the Vanni and three in Batticaloa.
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SLA allows EPDP, PA to rig at bridge

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 16:30 GMT]
A lecturer at the Jaffna University and three undergraduates were attacked by an armed gang of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party on the Palam Road near Arasadi junction close to Jaffna. In Batticaloa, a grenade was lobbed at the residence of the Tamil National Alliance candidate Indrakumar Prasanna in the heart of the high security zone in the eastern town. Election officials in Batticaloa said that although the Sri Lanka army claimed that it had barred Tamils from coming through the entry point at Vavunathivu near the eastern town for security reasons, goons of the People’s Alliance and the EPDP rigged thousands of votes at the clustered booths here from morning.
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STF stops voters, assaults TNA candidate

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 11:51 GMT]
The Special Task Force, an elite commando unit of the Sri Lankan security forces, lobbed grenades at the Paddiruppu Bridge, one of the main entry points for voters designated by Sri Lanka’s Elections Commissioner in the Batticaloa district, and fire on voters who attempted to come through again Wednesday afternoon around 2.30 p.m. A large number of voters who came to the point were threatened and chased back by the commandos. Mr. Gnanamuttu Krishnapillai (Vellimalai), the TNA candidate for the area was severely assaulted by the STF when he went to inform election officials in the Kaluwanchikudy polling centre. The commandos threatened to kill him, sources said.
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Voters stopped by SLA demonstrate in Mankerni

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 11:11 GMT]
More than a thousand Tamils demonstrated in front of the Mankerni Sri Lanka army camp, 50 kilometres north of Batticaloa, this morning after the military refused them permission to pass the entry point to cast their votes Wednesday morning. The voters had come in buses, vans and tractors to the Mankerni SLA entry point from the villages of Panichchankerni, Vaakarai, Paalchenai etc., The SLA threatened to fire on the voters and their vehicles, sources said.
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EPDP rigs polls in Jaffna, Mannar

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 09:15 GMT]
Police sources in Jaffna said that the Eelam People’s Democratic Party fired on an opposition candidate and lobbed a grenade at his vehicle near Vaddukoddai junction this morning around 9 a.m. They said that the EPDP had also fired on a bus in which voters were travelling near Chankanai and had smashed a Tamil National Alliance van on Stanley Road in the heart of Jaffna town. Meanwhile, an observer with the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), an independent monitoring group, in Jaffna said that the EPDP cadres were seen rigging the polls in the island of Kayts, Velanai and at the polling centres at the Jaffna Hindu College, St. John’s College and the Nelliyadi Maththiya Maha Viththiyalayam. Some voters who went to these centres found their ballots already cast, the PAFFREL source said.
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SLA bars thousands of Tamils from voting in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 05:44 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army barred thousands of Tamil voters in Batticaloa Wednesday from casting their votes. SLA sources in the east claimed that the main entry points from the district's western hinterland were closed on a special directive from President Chandrika Kumaratunga. More than 45,000 voters would not be able to cast their ballot because of the Presidential directive to shut down the entry points, Mr. Pon Selvarasa, ex-MP for Batticaloa and a candidate of the Tamil National Alliance said.
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Sinhala populism said driving PA, UNP agendas

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 December 2001, 16:53 GMT]
The persistent propaganda by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and senior ministers of her People's Alliance government that the opposition United National Party is conspiring with Liberation Tigers to undermine the Sinhala nation and the opposition's efforts to deny the charge are inexorably transforming the question of ending the war into a taboo, a spokesman for the Tamil National Alliance said Tuesday.
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Polling agents, coffins sent to EPDP stranglehold

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 December 2001, 14:26 GMT]
An opposition party candidate in the north said Tuesday that he would defy the stranglehold of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a key coalition partner of Sri Lanka’s ruling People’s Alliance regime, on the island of Neduntheevu (Delft) off the Jaffna peninsula by sending six polling agents along with six coffins and a doctor to thwart en bloc rigging there. Neduntheevu is held by the EPDP under the aegis of the Sri Lanka security forces. The EPDP attacked the TNA in the island of Kayts November with assault rifles and swords on 28 killing two and wounding four candidates.
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Rigging feared in 'clustered' polling centres

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 December 2001, 13:24 GMT]
Journalists, civil society leaders and politicians in the north and eastern regions of Sri Lanka island told independent and European Union polls observers to pay special attention to 'clustered' polling booths where thousands of Tamil voters in areas held by the Liberation Tigers will have to cast their ballots Wednesday.
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EPDP on rampage in southeastern village

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 December 2001, 08:31 GMT]
Two Tamil National Alliance campaign offices were set on fire and three TNA supporters' houses were damaged by a group of heavily armed cadres of the Eelam People's Democratic Party, a major coalition partner of Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance regime, in Komari, about 96 kilometres south of Batticaloa, Sunday night, Police sources in Ampara said.
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Large crowds attend final TNA election rallies

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 December 2001, 23:25 GMT]
Large crowds attended the final election rallies of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Jaffna and Trincomalee held Sunday evening. About 15,000 people attended the TNA meeting held close to Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, said sources in the peninsula.
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EPDP fires on women's march, four injured

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 December 2001, 10:51 GMT]
Four supporters of the Tamil National Alliance were wounded when gunmen from the Eelam People's Democratic Party opened fire on a march by more than a thousand women at Vinayagapuram, 78 kilometres south of Batticaloa, on the island's southeastern coast Saturday afternoon. People in the villages of Thirukkovil, Thambiluvil, Vinayagapuram, angered by the attack, burnt tires across the main road and smashed an EPDP campaign auto rickshaw. The wounded persons were admitted to the Thirukkovil hospital. The march was organised by a women's group in support of the TNA.
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Explosion at Batticaloa EPDP office

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 December 2001, 09:34 GMT]
At least twenty people were wounded in an explosion at the District Head Office of the pro-government Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) in Batticaloa town around 10.15 a.m. Saturday, said sources in the eastern town.
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School boy killed in retaliatory shelling

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 December 2001, 09:05 GMT]
A 14-year old school boy, Perinpanathan Sivanathan (14) was killed and at least 15 houses were damaged when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers stationed at Kaddaiparichchan camp shelled Tamil villages in Muttur South, Saturday morning. Two civilians were also wounded in the shelling, villagers said.
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Sri Lanka to wipe LTTE out ‘in three months’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 December 2001, 01:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Friday said his ruling People’s Alliance (PA) government, if returned to power, would wipe out the Liberation Tigers within three months, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday.
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'Freedom only during Pirapaharan's time'- Joseph

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 December 2001, 00:56 GMT]
TNA public meeting at Kaluwanchikudi, Friday. (TamilNet Library photo)

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