78 Reports

Northeast GAs brief Prime Minister

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 January 2002, 14:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe held discussions Thursday with the government agents of the north and east about situation in their administrative districts in the context of easing the economic embargo on the Vanni and relaxing the restrictions on Tamil civilians in other areas, including Jaffna. The Government Agents for Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu told the PM that there has been no significant improvement yet in the supply of essentials and medicines on which the decade long embargo was lifted earlier this month.
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Fishermen's protest shuts down Jaffna secretariat

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 January 2002, 12:03 GMT]
More than a seven hundred fishermen began a protest sit in front of the Jaffna district secretariat Wednesday morning from 7.30 a.m. The fishermen blocked government officials from entering the Jaffna district secretariat. They vowed to continue the protest if the government doesnít take steps to lift the ban and restrictions imposed by the Sri Lankan security forces on fishing in Jaffna.
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EPDP MP further remanded for Kayts murder

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 January 2002, 18:05 GMT]
The non-summary proceedings in the Naranthanai election murder case commenced Tuesday before the Jaffna Magistrate Mr. R. T. Viknaraja. Three persons, including Mr. N. Mathanarajan, the Eelam People's Democratic Party MP for Jaffna, have been charged on 29 counts including murder, attempted murder, causing grievous hurt by assaulting candidates and supporters of the Tamil National Alliance with iron rods, weapons and clubs and unlawful assembly in Naranthanai in the island of Kayts off Jaffna on November 28.
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SLA assaults fishermen in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 January 2002, 18:04 GMT]
Two fishermen were severely assaulted by the Sri Lanka Army personnel Tuesday morning in the coastal village of Munai in Vadamaradchi, Jaffna, sources said. SLA soldiers assaulted Viknaraja Iyangaran, 16, and T. Tharmu, 40, who returned to shore in their traditional catamaran with. The soldiers confiscated their fishing gear and the day's catch in their vessel.
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JVP steps up protests against autonomy for Tamils

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 January 2002, 17:27 GMT]
Hundreds of Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) cadres and activists demonstrated Tuesday in Colombo suburbs against granting regional autonomy to Tamils in Sri Lanka. The JVP emerged as a powerful third force in Sinhala politics with sixteen MPs at the general elections on 5 December last year. The JVP, a self styled radical Marxist party that draws on Sinhala nationalist sentiments to augment its popularity, says that it will oppose tooth and nail any solution to the ethnic conflict in the island based on federalism.
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Optimism grows over permanent ceasefire

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 January 2002, 18:14 GMT]
Substantial progress has been made in the ongoing facilitatory efforts by the Norwegian government to formalise and finalise a stable and structured ceasefire between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the organisation's chief negotiator and political advisor Anton Balasingham said Monday.
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SLN assaults fishermen in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 January 2002, 17:51 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy assaulted and tortured four fishermen in the sea off Pulmoddai, about 50 kilometres north of Trincomalee Sunday morning Mr. R. Sampanthan, the Tamil National Alliance MP for the district, told TamilNet. He said that he has brought the matter to the notice of the local SLN commander. Meanwhile, in Jaffna the Sri Lanka army has barred five fishermen in a coastal settlement in Thumpalai, near Pt. Pedro, from fishing as punishment for setting out to sea one hour before the stipulated time.
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Moragoda hears Trincomalee fishermen's plight

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 January 2002, 16:14 GMT]
Officials of Trincomalee District Fisheries Co-operative Societies told Tamilnet Monday that they have informed the United National Front (UNF) government that Fishermen in the eastern district are not seeking any relief from the State but only want it to lift the restrictions and ban imposed on fishing in the region.
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Amnesty slams zero prosecutions for rape in military custody

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 January 2002, 12:48 GMT]
Complaints of rape in custody by army, police and navy officials increased markedly in Sri Lanka last year, Amnesty International said in a new report published Monday. Amnesty said rapes in the context of armed conflict "are now recognized as a war crime and, when committed on a systematic basis or large scale, a crime against humanity."
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Vanni citizens committee slams block on reconstruction

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 January 2002, 05:11 GMT]
(News Feature) The Chairman of the Vanni Citizens’ Committee, Rev M X Karunaratnam, last week said the Sri Lankan government’s much publicized easing of its economic embargo on the region was “mere eyewash.” He said the Vanni region’s infrastructure was devastated and it was impossible to improve it by rebuilding, as the requisite materials were not being permitted.
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Thondaman meets LTTE in Mutur

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 January 2002, 17:02 GMT]
Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, a senior cabinet minister of the United National Front government, had discussions with the Liberation Tigers in Sampur, a village held by them south of the eastern port town of Trincomalee, Sunday. Mr. Arumugan Thondaman who is also the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress, a powerful trade union in the island's plantation industry, is the first minister of the UNF government to visit an area in the northeast province held by the LTTE. Mr. Arumugan Thondaman is the Minister for Housing and Estate Infrastructure.
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Kilinochchi struggles to limp back to life (photos)

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 January 2002, 01:16 GMT]
The TamilNet correspondent for Vavuniya visited the Vanni recently after the Sri Lankan government eased the ban on local and foreign journalists visiting the LTTE held region. The following are a glimpse of the war-devastated land and its battle scarred life.
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HRC chairman meets Jaffna press, NGOs

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 January 2002, 10:57 GMT]
A delegation from Sri Lanka's National Human Rights Commission on a fact-finding mission to Jaffna met local journalists and representatives of the consortium of NGOs in the northern peninsula Saturday. The journalists and NGO representatives told the HRC delegation which is led by its chairman Mr. Faiz Mustapha that human rights violations by the Sri Lankan security forces continue in Jaffna largely because of the arbitrary controls imposed on civilian life.
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Buddhist leaders oppose lifting ban, urge colonisation

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 January 2002, 23:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s hardline Buddhist clergy Thursday urged the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe not to de-proscribe the Liberation Tigers and to continue the colonisation of Tamil areas in the north and east, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday. The PM had vowed that the newly elected United National Front (UNF) government will never take any action detrimental to the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and rejected the Tamil homeland concept, the paper said. The Prime Minister agreed to look into the matter of colonisation.
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Commandos camp in hospital despite peace promise

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 January 2002, 07:00 GMT]
In Thirukkovil and Thambiluvil, the large Tamil villages on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast, few believe that the dividends of the current peace process in the war torn island would come their way. "We are like people in the land that time forgot. We have survived here amid draconian controls for more than sixteen years", says Mr. S. Vivekanandan, a local journalist. The only civilian hospital in this region is inside the camp of the Special Task Force (STF), an elite commando unit of the Sri Lankan security forces. The STF moved into the Thirukkovil hospital in early 1986.
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Opposition mounts to lifting of LTTE ban

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 January 2002, 01:54 GMT]
(News Feature) Sri Lanka’s Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP), the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Sinhala right wing MEP, a constituent of the main opposition People’s Alliance (PA) are to jointly campaign against the de-proscription of the Liberation Tigers, The Island newspaper said Friday. The day after Sri Lanka’s newly elected United National Front (UNF) government said “deep thought” should be given to de-proscription, the JVP - the third force in Sri Lankan politics - said that they have initiated talks with the PA to oppose such a move, the paper added.
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SC orders compensation to woman raped at checkpoint

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 January 2002, 19:33 GMT]
The Supreme Court Thursday directed the State to pay one hundred and fifty thousand rupees as compensation to a Tamil woman who was raped by three soldiers of the Sri Lanka army at a checkpoint in Maradane, near downtown Colombo on 24 June last year in a fundamental rights application filed by her. Tamil political parties launched protests in the north and east against her rape and the rape and torture of two young mothers in Police custody in Mannar and the general harassment of Tamil women at Sri Lankan security forces checkpoints. The protests culminated in a general one-day shutdown in the SLA held parts of the north and east.
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Kadirgamar's conduct in peace initiative suspect -Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 January 2002, 17:17 GMT]
"When your own conduct in the matter of negotiations with the LTTE with the aid of Norwegian involvement is subject to grave suspicion, I would consider it quite imprudent that you cast aspersions on the other party (the LTTE) and think that you can get away with it", the Tamil National Alliance's parliamentary group leader Mr. R. Sampanthan told former Foreign Minister Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, while addressing the Parliament Thursday during the special debate on the Prime Minister's policy statement Thursday. The TNA leader said President Chandrika Kumaratunga "missed the wood for the trees" when she resorted to the military option against the Tamils.
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Ex-garrison town schools await succour

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 January 2002, 13:31 GMT]
More than forty schools in the Kilinochchi education zone were damaged by floods in the region during the recent monsoon, officials said. Most of these schools were functioning in temporary sheds as their permanent structures have been destroyed in heavy bombing and shelling since 1996 when the Sri Lanka army captured and garrisoned the town. Education officials said they have not received funds for repairs although damaged to the temporary shacks and partially destroyed buildings in which children study has been estimated at 5 million rupees (53,000 USD). The Liberation Tigers overran the large SLA garrison in Kilinochchi in September 1998.
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LTTE welcomes de-proscription moves

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 January 2002, 13:35 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers' chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, Wednesday welcomed the Sri Lankan government's decision to review its proscription of the LTTE so as to pave the way for future negotiations with the organisation. Contacted by TamilNet over Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's comments in Parliament Tuesday, Mr. Balasingham said the de-proscription of the LTTE was a long-standing impediment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He also criticised comments by former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar urging the new government not to lift the ban on the LTTE.
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(Photographs) Tigers release 10 POWs

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 23 January 2002, 08:59 GMT]
Ms. Vishaka Dharmadasa, the leader of the organisation for women affected by the war, speaking to one of the released men at the LTTE's political wing office. (Photo:TamilNet)
The Liberation Tigers released 10 prisoners of war as a good will gesture towards strengthening the peace process with the United National Front government on Monday in the northern town of Kilinochchi.
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Norway works on permanent ceasefire draft

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 January 2002, 15:08 GMT]
A delegation of the Norwegian government Tuesday met the Liberation Tigersí chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, for another round of discussions regarding the formulation of a structured, mutually acceptable ceasefire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces, sources close to the LTTE told TamilNet.
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Don't exploit LTTE ban for narrow gains -Ranil

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 January 2002, 14:28 GMT]
"We have no right to play around with this last chance we have to achieve peace in Sri Lanka. We also have no right to indulge in narrow political aims making use of the ban on the LTTE. Like with the war the economy has deteriorated by serious proportions. For the first time in three decades the country's economy is set to show a zero or even a negative growth. It may even be as much as seven points below zero. The country is near bankruptcy," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Tuesday in his first policy statement to the Parliament since coming to power.
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LTTE for strengthening UNF peace initiative -Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 January 2002, 11:45 GMT]
"We respect the reasonable feelings of the Sinhala people. We only want our people to live in their land with honour and freedom and to enjoy all their rights sans military restrictions and intimidation. We want our people to have the freedoms and rights which the Sinhala people are able to enjoy now.
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Police translator found wanting

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 January 2002, 11:25 GMT]
The East High Court Monday held that the policeman who translated the confession purported to have been made by a woman arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in Tamil into Sinhala was not competent in both languages. The Police translator could not give the correct meanings of the Tamil and Sinhala words that were put to him by the Defence Attorney during the cross examination. In cases filed under the PTA, the confession of the accused is the sole production required for indictment.
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Court rejects torture-induced confessions

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 January 2002, 06:08 GMT]
The East High Court Monday held that the confession made by a Tamil youth of Trincomalee charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act had been made under duress due to torture by the security forces who had arrested and detained him. "Hence I acquit the accused from one case following the Voire Dire inquiry and discharge him from the other twelve cases as the prosecution has withdrawn indictments against him," said Mr. S. N. Ramachandran, Judge of the East HC.
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Teacher appointments cancelled in North-East

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 January 2002, 23:16 GMT]
"The cancellation of three thousand Tamil medium teacher appointments has caused severe setback to northeast education," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, Trincomalee District Parliamentarian Monday in a letter of protest to the United National Front (UNF) government. His letter followed the withdrawal of the approval granted by the government for the recruitment of three thousand Tamil medium teachers to fill school vacancies in the Tamil dominated North East province.
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Mutur ICRC office open again

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 January 2002, 12:36 GMT]
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Monday reopened its office in Mutur town, south of Trincomalee, according to a press release issued by the organisation. The Mutur office was closed down in September last after unidentified men attacked it with grenades, damaging the office building and a vehicle.
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"Lift ban on LTTE, postpone local elections" -TULF

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 21:30 GMT]
The Tamil United National Front (TULF), main component of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Sunday appealed to the Government to lift the ban imposed on the Liberation Tigers in Sri Lanka before the commencement of peace talks and not to hold elections to local authorities in the northeast province. " At the last general election the Tamil people have overwhelmingly endorsed the lifting of the ban on the LTTE in Sri Lanka prior to the commencement of peace talks. Furthermore the TULF urges the Government to postpone the holding of the local poll in northeast as the conduct of the election in the current situation could have the effect of retarding negotiations between the Government and the LTTE", said a press release issued by the TULF Secretary General of the TULF Mr. R.Sampanthan Sunday.
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Two Tamil journalists receive Governor's award

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 19:47 GMT]
The three day Tamil Literary Festival of the North-East Provincial Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs Sunday evening came to a close with the presentation of Governor's Award to forty seven recipients, including two Tamil journalists whose names were struck off earlier from the original list and later included by the Provincial Governor.
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UNF govt. urged to repeal PTA, release detainees

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 19:44 GMT]
The All Ceylon Government General Employees Union (ACGGEU) Sunday appealed to the United National Front (UNF)Government to take immediate steps to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and to release all Tamil detainees held under the PTA in several prisons in the island.. A resolution to this effect stated that "the State armed forces use this PTA act to commit various crimes including torture and human rights violation on Tamil people under the pretext of safeguarding the sovereignty of the country".
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LTTE extends unilateral ceasefire

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 13:04 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an official statement issued Sunday from its headquarters in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, extended its unilaterally declared cessation of hostilities for another one month, from midnight 24 January to midnight 24 February 2002.
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"Northeast children's rights affected"- UNICEF representative

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 00:59 GMT]
"It has been estimated that about 14 percent of children between age 5 and 14 do not attend school in Sri Lanka. This is a national average and we all know that non-attendance in many areas in the northeast province is much higher. In some areas as many as one out of five children do not attend schools," said Ms Elroy Gabrielle, UNICEF resident representative, Saturday evening addressing the second day North East Provincial Tamil Literary Festival at Trincomalee St.Joseph's College auditorium.
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Kumaratunga claims authority “on all actions regarding war and peace”

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 January 2002, 00:30 GMT]
(News Feature) Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga this weekend warned that key decisions related to efforts to end the island’s protracted ethnic conflict would ultimately rest in her hands and not with the Parliamentary government. In an interview published in the Daily Mirror newspaper Saturday, she also questioned the competence of the newly elected United National Front (UNF) government to handle the ethnic question, while at the same time paradoxically saying that her Peoples’ Alliance (PA) - which was crushed at the last elections by the UNF - would support its efforts to find a peaceful solution.
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Tamil Festival begins in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 January 2002, 21:08 GMT]
"The administrative language of the North-East province is Tamil. Once the implementation of proposals devolving powers to the province is completed, people will see tremendous progress in economic, cultural and social spheres," said Mr.K.Shanmugalingam, Provincial Secretary to the Ministry of Education when inaugurating the morning session of the Tamil Literary Festival in Trincomalee St.Joseph's College hall, Friday.
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SC decides to hear Vanni,Batticaloa voters' grievances

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 January 2002, 17:40 GMT]
The Supreme Court Friday announced that the six fundamental rights (FR) applications filed by voters of Vanni and Batticaloa electoral districts would be taken up for inquiry on March 15. In these applications the petitioners residing in areas held by the Liberation Tigers have sought order of the SC nullifying the elections held in the Vanni and Batticaloa districts and to order new poll.
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Batticaloa NGOs want PTA repealed

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 January 2002, 14:53 GMT]
Members of the consortium of NGO’s of Batticaloa demonstrated in the eastern town Friday morning urging the government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (RTA), release Tamil political prisoners and remove restrictions on fishing and street blocks in the district set up by the Sri Lankan security forces. Addressing the demonstrators, the president of the consortium, Mr. A. Selvedran, said that the United National Front government should create conditions of normalcy in the district and that the army and Police should vacate the schools, temples and libraries which they occupy in Batticaloa.
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'Pongu Thamil nailed Chandrika's canard' - Students' Union leader

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 January 2002, 18:16 GMT]
More than 1500 undergraduates, teachers, school students and members of the public took part in the ''Pongu Thamil'' rally at the Jaffna University Thursday morning. Addressing the rally on the campus grounds the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Pon Balasundarampillai, said "Life should return to normal among the Tamils before the government begins talks with the Liberation Tigers."
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Tamil parties unite in Constitutional Council nomination

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 January 2002, 16:19 GMT]
A retired High Court Judge Mr.T.Suntharalingam has been nominated to the eleven member constitutional council which is to be appointed under the 17th amendment to the constitution. Leaders of Tamil political parties represented in the parliament Thursday unanimously nominated Mr.Suntharalingam as the representative of the Sri Lanka Tamils in the Constitutional Council.
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Trinco fishing ban drives thousands to destitution

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 January 2002, 11:16 GMT]
(News Feature) More than five thousand fishermen of Kinniya, China Bay and Mutur in the Trincomalee district have been deprived of their livelihood due to the ban imposed currently by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on fishing in the Koddiyar Bay and in the waters off the eastern port town, fisheries officials said Thursday. Fishing is banned by the SLN in the waters off the coast from Mutur to Kinniya China Bay and the Trincomalee town. Inland fishing in the district is prohibited after dusk.
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SLA persists on restrictions in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 January 2002, 19:49 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army in Batticaloa said Wednesday that government officials have to obtain due clearance from its brigade headquarters in the eastern town to transport relief supplies to refugees and the poor who receive assistance under the state's poverty alleviation program. The Government Agent for Batticaloa, Mr. Sinnathamby Shanmugam, said that the SLA is still stipulating that government departments in the eastern district should obtain due permission from the military for taking essential goods and food to areas that are not under its control.
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Tamils' confessions in Sinhala: a travesty of justice - Judge

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 January 2002, 19:32 GMT]
The East High Court Judge Mr. J. Visvanathan Wednesday allowed an application made by the defense counsel in a case filed under the Prevention Terrorism Act that a Tamil translation of the confession purported to have been made by the accused should be provided to him (the accused) before the commencement of the proper trial.
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Mylanthanai massacre case before Sinhala Jury

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 January 2002, 18:40 GMT]
The Colombo High Court Wednesday ordered that the Mylanthanai massacre case should be heard before Sinhala speaking Jury. In this case twenty one army personnel have been indicted with the murder of 35 Tamil villagers of Mylanthanai in Batticaloa district on 9th August 1992.
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Norway discusses permanent ceasefire with LTTE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 January 2002, 22:16 GMT]
Efforts to hammer out a permanent stable ceasefire between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka government continued Tuesday as a Norwegian delegation returned to London to meet the LTTE's chief negotiator and political advisor, Anton Balasingham, following discussions with the government in Colombo, sources close to the LTTE said.
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Judge rejects skewed reports on torture victims

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 January 2002, 20:03 GMT]
The Trincomalee Magistrate Tuesday ordered that two Tamil youths, allegedly tortured in detention by the Sri Lankan security forces, should be examined by the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer, when it transpired during the proceedings that the District Medical Officers who had examined the young men had stated in their reports that there were no fresh wounds on the two suspects who have been arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)
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SC rejects Ratwatte sons' FR applications

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 January 2002, 19:58 GMT]
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected the two fundamental rights applications filed by the two sons, Lohan and Chanuka of former Deputy Defense Minister and presently Kandy District Parliamentarian General Anurudha Ratwatte. In their FR applications they sought order preventing their arrest by the police in connection with the massacre of ten Muslim youths at Madawella on the election day, December 5 last year.
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Vanni ban relaxed, rules limit flow

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 January 2002, 14:47 GMT]
Six hundred civilians would be permitted to travel from the LTTE held Vanni region through the Sri Lanka armyís entry point at Piramanaalankulam from Monday to Friday under new regulations by the Sri Lankan government which came into effect Tuesday as part of a move to ease the 12 year old embargo and travel restrictions in the war torn northern parts of the island.
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PTA detainees complain to HC Judge and MP

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 January 2002, 21:45 GMT]
Tamil detainees held under the Prevent of Terrorism Act (PTA) appealed to the Eastern High Court Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan and Trincomalee district parliamentarian, Mr.R.Sampanthan to take steps not to send them back to prisons at Boosa, Kalutara and Anuradhapura. The detainees were taken to Trincomalee prison to be produced in courts Monday and requested that they not be sent back to prisons in the south of the country.
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Jaffna fishermen urge minister to lift restrictions

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 January 2002, 19:20 GMT]
"Remove the total ban on fishing from Thikkam to Thondamanar and let us fish freely at night. There is no point in granting us a short time concessions and relief", said Mr.S.Thavaratnam, the President of the Federation of Northern Fishermen's Societies, addressing a meeting Monday at Hartley College in Pt. Pedro between the Minister for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana and representatives of fishermen's organisations in Jaffna. The Sri Lankan government announced Friday that it would allow Tamil fishermen two extra hours to fish in the Jaffna lagoon and in the seas off a small part of the peninsula's eastern coastline.
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CTTU urges govt. to improve education in NEP

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 January 2002, 15:28 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has sent a memorandum to United National Front government urging it to uplift educational standard of the northeast province. "The government should take prompt steps to remove all sentries and camps of State armed forces from schools in the northeast province," said Mr.T.Mahasivam, General Secretary of the CTTU in the memorandum sent to the Minister of Rehabilitations, Reconstruction and Refugees.
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TNA said standing on Thimpu foundation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 13 January 2002, 20:53 GMT]
“The Thimpu principles were upheld by Kumar Ponnambalam. His stand was called preposterous by some (Tamil politicians) at the time. But the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) now stands on the firm foundation of the Thimpu principles. His struggle was not in vain”, said Mr. Nallaiah Kumarakurparan, the general secretary of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, a constituent of the Tamil National Alliance, addressing a meeting in Trincomalee town Sunday to mark the second death anniversary of Mr. Ponnambalam who was assassinated in Colombo in January 2000. An independent English language paper reproduced a Police report last week alleging that Mr. Ponnambalam was killed on the orders of the former Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte’s son.
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Vanni flooding misery continues without relief

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 January 2002, 20:22 GMT]
(News Feature) The effects of heavy flooding two weeks ago in the Mullaitivu and Kilinocchi districts of the Vanni are still being felt across the regions, with roads rendered impassable, schools and settlements flooded out and residents suffering a lack of support from the government and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) based in the area, Tamil press reports this week said. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected, with many being displaced from their homes and refugee camps as a result of the deluge. Vital supply routes have been cut, aid workers said.
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LTTE refutes reports Nepal is talks venue

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 January 2002, 13:30 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers’ chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, Saturday dismissed press reports suggesting that the LTTE and the government were looking at Nepal as a suitable venue for negotiations. Contacted by TamilNet over comments attributed by Indian satellite channels to an ‘LTTE spokesman in Paris,’ Mr. Balasingham said the Himalayan kingdom was logistically “completely unsuitable” as a venue for peace talks.
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Norwegian delegation "cautiously optimistic"

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 January 2002, 19:32 GMT]
The Norwegian peace delegation Friday expressed cautious optimism over finding a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict in the island. The delegation leader Mr.Vidar Helgeson, Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister, said there was increased level of confidence between the parties concerned.
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CJ directs AG to expedite PTA cases

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 January 2002, 11:45 GMT]
More than six hundred Tamil youths arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are languishing in prisons at Boosa, Kalutara, Welikada, Bogambara and Anuradhapura without being brought to trial. " I direct the Attorney General to take immediate steps to clear this backlog of cases", said the Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva Thursday when a fundamental rights application was taken up for inquiry.
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Picketing at Eastern University for permanent cease-fire

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 January 2002, 22:11 GMT]
Students, academic and non-academic staff of the Eastern University Campus in Batticaloa picketed Thursday noon, urging the government to declare a permanent cease-fire, and to lift restrictions on fishing and agriculture. A large number of demonstrators picketed at the entrance of the campus for one hour from 12.20 p.m., holding placards and shouting slogans, said sources.
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TNA outlines its policy to Norwegian delegation

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 January 2002, 13:35 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Thursday reiterated its stand to the Norwegian government delegation that the ban imposed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka should be lifted immediately to facilitate the commencement of peace negotiations. "No parallel talks should take place with any other Tamil political formation when negotiating with the LTTE", stressed the TNA delegation led by its parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan.
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Trinco Tamil detainees' plea rejected

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 January 2002, 21:05 GMT]
The Trincomalee Magistrate Wednesday turned down a plea made on behalf of 22 Tamil youths who have been detained at various detention centres in the country under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) that they should be kept in the Trincomalee prison for a few days, so that their parents and relatives could visit them on 'Pongal' day celebrations, which falls on January 14.
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Jaffna students warn of protests

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 January 2002, 00:08 GMT]
The Jaffna Technical College Students' Union (JTCSU) has appealed to the Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe, to take immediate steps to release Jaffna university student Mr. Krishnasamy Thivyan who has been detained since 2 July 2001. "Students of the Jaffna Technical College and Jaffna Higher Technical Institute would organise a mass agitation in the peninsula if Thivyan is not released immediately," the JTCSU said in a memorandum sent to Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Tuesday.
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LTTE suggests India could host talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 January 2002, 12:52 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers have suggested to the Norwegian government that future negotiations with the Sri Lankan government could be held in southern India, press reports said Tuesday. The Hindu and the Tamil Guardian reported Tuesday that the LTTE’s suggestion is being conveyed to the Sri Lankan and Indian governments by a Norwegian delegation expected in South Asia later this week.
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PTA arrests expose covert operation - paper

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 January 2002, 00:49 GMT]
(News Feature) The arrest last week of members of an elite commando unit of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on suspicion they were planning to assassinate the Prime Minister has blown the cover of an important covert operation to assassinate senior members of the Liberation Tigers, the Sunday Time reported this week. The arrests of members of a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) group came despite efforts by the SLA high command to prevent the raid on the soldiers’ safe house, the paper said.
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Nine FR cases against SLA for barring voters

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 January 2002, 19:59 GMT]
Two fundamental rights applications were filed in the Supreme Court Monday praying that the election held on December 5 in the Batticaloa electoral district be annulled and that the court should order the Election Commissioner to conduct re-poll there.
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EPDP MP wanted for murder surrenders

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 January 2002, 19:56 GMT]
Mr. Nadarajah Mathanarajah of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) who was elected as a Member of Parliament for Jaffna at the general elections on 5 December last year surrendered to the Jaffna court Monday. Mr. Mathanarajah, a close confidante of the EPDP leader Mr. Douglas Devananda was wanted by the courts in connection with the attack on Tamil National Alliance candidates and supporters on 28 November in which two were killed. The EPDP is a key coalition partner of President Chandrika Kumaratiunga's People's Alliance. It has two seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament.
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SC dismisses application by Gen.Ratwatte's sons

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 January 2002, 19:39 GMT]
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Monday rejected an application made on behalf of the two sons of the former Deputy Defense Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte. The sons sought to prevent arrest in connection with the Udathalawalawinne massacre on the Election Day. "The police and judiciary should act in accordance with the existing law. The court will not show favoritism," said Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, in dismissing the application.
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UNICEF vehicle for Mutur held up in Colombo port

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 January 2002, 19:05 GMT]
The vehicle donated by the UNICEF to the North-East Provincial Ministry of Health to conduct mobile medical service in the villages in Mutur east region in Trincomalee district is being held up in the Colombo port for more than five months. "We are unable to get clearance from the authorities concerned to remove the vehicle from the port," said an official of the NEPC Health Ministry Sunday.
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"No solution within unitary constitution" -TULF President

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 January 2002, 18:43 GMT]
"We have clearly told the United National Party (UNP) and the People's Alliance (PA) that no political solution could be found to the Tamil national question within a unitary form of government", said Mr.M.Sivasithambaram, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front and the Tamil National Alliance national list parliamentarian at a press conference held Saturday in Colombo.
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Sri Lanka military step up recruitment

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 January 2002, 03:30 GMT]
(News Feature) Despite ongoing efforts to revive the stalled Norwegian efforts to bring the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government back to the negotiating table, the new United National Front (UNF) administration has authorised its military and police to continue with recruitment drives aimed at strengthening the fighting forces, the Island newspaper reported Saturday. The elite police commando unit, the Special Task Force (STF), Saturday launched a major new recruitment drive to strengthen its forces deployed in the north and east , the paper said quoting authoritative defence sources. The STF’s campaign comes amid a major drive by the Sri Lanka Army’s regular infantry divisions and Special Forces, as well as the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).
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Another FR application for re-poll

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 January 2002, 18:35 GMT]
One more fundamental rights application has been filed in the Supreme Court Friday praying to annul the election held on December 5 in the Batticaloa and Vanni electoral districts, and to order a re-poll, stating that the voters residing in areas held by the Liberation Tigers were prevented from exercising their franchise by the Sri Lankan Government troops.
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Provincial ministry officiails to visit LTTE held areas

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 January 2002, 18:33 GMT]
North-East provincial ministry secretaries and heads of departments have decided to tour the Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi districts in the Liberation Tigers held Vanni region to obtain first hand information about the sufferings of the people. At the last meeting of the Provincial Planning Council of the Northeast Province (NEP), its chief secretary Mr.G.Kirushnamoorthy tabled a resolution to this effect.
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Vanni voters file FR applications

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 January 2002, 17:13 GMT]
Three Tamil voters from Vanni region held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Wednesday filed fundamental rights applications in the Supreme Court praying to declare that the poll held on December 5 in the Vanni electoral district is null and void, and to order repoll as they with several other voters were prevented from voting by the Sri Lanka Army.
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Batticaloa Tamil voters file FR applications

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 January 2002, 16:54 GMT]
Three Tamil voters residing in areas held by the Liberation Tigers in the Batticaloa district Thursday filed fundamental rights applications in the Supreme Court praying to declare the election held on December 5 for the Batticaloa electoral district null and void and to order re-poll as they and several other electors were prevented from voting by the security forces thereby violating their fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 12 (1) and Articles 14 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
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Defence Ministry says embargo eased

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 January 2002, 20:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry said Wednesday that it would allow the transport of restricted amount of diesel, petrol, cement and steel bars to the areas held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the North-East province effective January 15.
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SLN re-imposes briefly eased fishing restriction

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 January 2002, 19:19 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy Wednesday re-imposed the restriction on fishing off the Vadamaradchi coast of Jaffna that it had partially eased following the United National Front government's decision to make good will gestures towards creating a conducive atmosphere for starting the peace process. Fishermen in Katkovalam and Sakkottai alleged that the SLN had demanded part of their daily catch in return for easing the limit on the hours allowed for fishing off this coast. All fishing in the seas off the Vadamaradchi coast from Thikkam to Thondamanar is still banned.
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LTTE leader calls for Norwegian engagement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 January 2002, 12:08 GMT]
Mr Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of the Liberation Tigers has written to the Norwegian Prime Minister Mr Kjell Magne Bondevik, calling for Norway’s continuous engagement as the facilitator between the LTTE and the new Sri Lanka government to find a peaceful settlement to the ethnic conflict. In a press release, the LTTE said Wednesday that Mr. Pirapaharan also complimented the Royal Norwegian Government for its impartial and neutral approach in the facilitatory process. The statement also said a Norwegian delegation headed by Mr Helgeson, the Deputy Foreign Minister, will meet Mr Anton Balasingham, the official spokesman and chief negotiator for the LTTE in London on 4 January.
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LTTE removes 132,328 APLMs, booby traps

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 January 2002, 16:19 GMT]
The de-mining division of the Liberation Tigers has removed 132,328 anti-personnel land mines (APLM) and booby traps left behind by the Sri Lanka army in the villages and towns of the Vanni region in northern Sri Lanka according to the Voice of Tigers news broadcast Tuesday.
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Local elections on March 1

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 January 2002, 14:58 GMT]
The United National Front government Tuesday decided to hold the local government elections on March 1 this year, including in the northeast province, authoritative sources said. Elections to fourteen municipal councils, thirty-eight urban councils and two hundred and fifty eight 'pradeshiya sabhas' (village level councils) would be held on the same day, UNF government said.
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UNF minister Atukorale dead

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 January 2002, 12:26 GMT]
A senior minister in the newly formed United National Front (UNF) government Mr.Gamini Atukorale (50) passed away Tuesday early morning at his residence, party sources said. Inmates found him unconscious in bed about four in the morning. Immediately medical officer was summoned. Medical sources said he succumbed to death due to massive heart attack.
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Army tightens security in Mutur

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 January 2002, 09:26 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army and Police have tightened security at sentry points at Kaddaiparichchan and Mahindapura and civilians were thoroughly searched before they were being allowed to enter government held region in the Trincomalee district, said sources.
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