68 Reports

SLMM office to open in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 March 2002, 19:59 GMT]
The office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Vavuniya will start functioning from Monday, 1 April, at an office that has been established at Vairavar road in Vairavapuliyankulam, said the Government Agent for Vavuniya Mr.S.Ganesh.
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SLA harassment continues -Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 March 2002, 19:57 GMT]
Tamil civilians residing in villages in the Eachilampathu division of the Trincomalee district, held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were being subjected to severe body checks and interrogation by government troops stationed at the Sri Lanka Army checkpoint at Mahindapura said Mr R Sampanthan, who personally witnessed these activities Saturday.
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NE school library development programme neglected

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 March 2002, 19:09 GMT]
Principals have complained to the provincial education ministry authorities that, Colombo officials do not take keen interest in the implementation of the library development programme in northeast Tamil medium schools. Books allocated to northeast school libraries are lying at Colombo line ministry office. As a result three hundred newly constructed school libraries in northeast have not been put to use, said a provincial official.
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Vadamarachchi public urge army camps' removal from schools, temples

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 March 2002, 11:57 GMT]
Several people's organisations have appealed to the Sri Lanka Army to vacate two Hindu temples, one church, two schools and about twenty houses in Vadamarachchi area in the Jaffna district, according to the cease-fire agreement signed by Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and the LTTE leader, Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan last month.
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SLA said exacerbating Vadamaradchi fishermen's suffering

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 March 2002, 20:39 GMT]
Spokespersons for fishermen's societies in Jaffna's Vadamaradchi division told TamilNet that the Sri Lanka army curtailed fishing hours Saturday to punish them for putting up posters and banners welcoming the Liberation Tigers to the northern peninsula. They said that the military intelligence unit of the SLA's 52-4 brigade removed the banners and posters and questioned civilians.
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"No difference with UNF over peace talks" -SLMC leader

[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 March 2002, 19:10 GMT]
"It is the duty of Muslims to extend their support to the present peace process initiated by the United National Front government which is now gaining momentum," said Mr. Rauff Hakeem, the leader of the SLMC and the Minister of Port Development and Shipping, Eastern Development and Muslim religious affairs addressing a meeting at Maruthamunai in the Ampara district Saturday, denying a media report that his party has issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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Housing hope for lives ruined by counter-insurgency

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 March 2002, 17:08 GMT]
The Minister for Housing and Estate Infrastructure, Mr. Arumugan Thondaman, laid the foundation for the construction of a hundred houses for the residents of Santhosapuram, four kilometres southeast of Mutur Friday. Santhosapuram is a settlement named after Lt.Col. Santhosam, a senior commander of the Liberation Tigers from Trincomalee who was killed in a battle with the Indian army in 1988. Houses in a section of the settlement were damaged in Sri Lanka army shelling in November last year.
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Vavuniya prepares welcome for LTTE members

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 March 2002, 15:36 GMT]
Members of the Liberation Tigers' political wing will arrive in Vavuniya on Friday to begin work in the northern town, in accordance with the cease-fire agreement signed by the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE. The eight-member team will be welcomed by the public at Omanthai, civilian sources in Vavuniya said.
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Diplomats of forty nations shown Jaffna by FM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 March 2002, 15:28 GMT]
Diplomats from forty countries visited Jaffna Thursday, accompanied by Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr. Tyronne Fernando and Minister for Rehabilitation Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena. The high commissioner of India, Mr. Gopalakrishna Gandhi, was among the diplomats who toured Jaffna Thursday. The group saw the burnt out shell of the Jaffna public library and the ruins of the Chavakachcheri town before visiting the SLA's Forward Defence Line on the A9 highway at Eluthumadduval where work on the entry point to the peninsula scheduled to open on 8 April is in progress.
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UNF budget unfair by war ravaged NE - Gajendrakumar

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 March 2002, 07:44 GMT]
"The United National Front (UNF) government's first budget has failed to treat the war ravaged northeast as a special zone for the development. The budget treats the northeast or rather, equates the northeast with the rest of island. Is this possible? Is this fair? How can a war zone for over twenty years be equated to other parts of the island?, asked Mr. Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Tamil National Alliance MP for Jaffna speaking on the United National Front government's first budget which was passed in Parliament Wednesday.
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Villagers in east surround SLA, smash MI camera

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 March 2002, 17:36 GMT]
People in the village of Kinnaiadi, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa, smashed up a camera belonging to the Sri Lanka army intelligence and refused to let the SLA interrogate three members of the Liberation Tigers who had visited the area Wednesday. The SLA unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate with the Kinnaiadi villagers to convince them that the three members of the LTTE would be released after being questioned briefly in the local army camp. The SLA then gave safe passage to the three across the lagoon to the region controlled by the LTTE.
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SLMM officials arrive Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 March 2002, 16:03 GMT]
The Norwegian monitoring team held discussions Wednesday morning with the Trincomalee Government Agent Mr.N.H.K.Nelumdeniya and government military authorities at the District Secretariat. Ms Victoria Lund, a Norwegian who is to head the Trincomalee District Monitoring Committee with another monitor Mr. Pontus Westrom, a Swedish national arrived Trincomalee Tuesday evening.
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CPJ criticizes tardy investigation of journalist's murder

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 March 2002, 22:36 GMT]
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report on 'Attacks on the Press 2001' released Tuesday that Sri Lanka Police ignored evidence suggesting that militias backed by a pro-government party may have murdered Nimalarajan in retaliation for his reporting on vote rigging and intimidation during the 2000 parliamentary elections in Jaffna.
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Negotiations to resume soon - LTTE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 26 March 2002, 12:14 GMT]
Political negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers will resume soon when the terms and conditions of the permanent ceasefire agreement between the two sides are implemented and conditions of normalcy are restored in the Tamil homeland, LTTE sources told TamilNet Tuesday.
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Thousands of Tamils rally outside UN

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 March 2002, 21:24 GMT]
Several thousand Tamils rallied Monday outside the United Nations building in Geneva to voice their support for the principle of Tamil self determination and the Liberation Tigers. The annual rally, which was preceded by a march, drew Tamils from across Europe. It was organised by the International Federation of Tamils. An estimated ten thousand people participated, the IFT said.
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Paramilitaries handover weapons partly

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 March 2002, 20:50 GMT]
Tamil paramilitary groups operating with the Sri Lanka army began handing over a section of the weapons in their possession from Sunday in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The EPDP, a close ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, turned in the largest number of weapons to the SLA on Sunday, including mortars and Rocket Propelled Grenades. Addressing the function to mark the handing over of weapons by the EPDP Sunday, Sri Lanka's Security Forces Commander for Jaffna said that the group had rendered yeoman service to the army to fight the war in the north.
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'Pongu Thamil will continue'- Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 March 2002, 20:02 GMT]
"We, the Tamil people held 'Pongu Thamil' (upsurge) rallies in Vanni, in Batticaloa, in Trincomalee and shall continue to do so in other districts of the northeast province to demonstrate our support for peace, to demonstrate our commitment to peace," said Mr. R. Sampanthan, the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group leader, taking part in the budget debate in parliament Monday afternoon. Mr. Sampanthan said: "we, the Tamil people on whose behalf a very strong and powerful military organisation has waged an armed struggle, are trying our best today to resolve our problem peacefully."
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Balasingham returns to Vanni

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 March 2002, 10:22 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers' chief negotiator and political strategist, Mr. Anton Balasingham, returned to the Vanni Monday, arriving from the Maldives in a seaplane which landed on the Iranamadu irrigation tank in the LTTE controlled region. Accompanied by his wife, Adele, and an official from the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, Mr. Balasingham was upon arriving met by the LTTE's leader, Mr. Vellupillai Pirapaharan, head of the movementís political section, Mr. Thamil Chelvan and senior LTTE military commanders.
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Thamileelam Police celebrates decade of service

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 March 2002, 13:33 GMT]
The Police Service of Thamil Eelam, which is responsible for maintaining law and order in the regions held by the Liberation Tigers, celebrated the tenth year of its founding in Puthukudiyiruppu Saturday, according to a press note issued by the Tamileelam News and Information Service.
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Kumaratunga rails at UNF government

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 March 2002, 08:13 GMT]
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's efforts to promote amicable cohabitation between his United National Front (UNF) dominated Parliament and President Chandrika Kumaratunga of the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) suffered a setback this week when the latter launched a bitter attack on the government's conduct of the local council elections in which the UNF crushed the PA.
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Govt., TE request ICRC's help to open A9

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 March 2002, 12:05 GMT]
The government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have officially requested the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to assist in opening the A9 highway to Jaffna from Killinochchi. "We received the official request from the government and the LTTE on Friday. However we have not decided on the date of opening the A9 highway," said Mr. Arjuna Ranawana, Information Officer of the ICRC addressing Trincomalee district journalists Saturday morning at Seven Islands Hotel.
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Legality of SLA's Buddhist shrines in NE questioned

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 March 2002, 22:26 GMT]
Lt. Col. V. R. L Anthoniz, the commanding officer of the SLA's 23-3 Brigade in Batticaloa, addressing the press in the eastern town Friday to explain his position on the Annai Poopathy memorial said that he had advised the Government Agent of the district that the structure should be legal, with due permission from the Urban Development Authority (UDA). Mr. Paramasamy Wijendran, a journalist from the 'Thinakkathir', the Tamil daily published in Batticaloa, told Lt. Col
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Flame lit at LTTE war dead memorial in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 March 2002, 20:49 GMT]
More than a thousand people, Jaffna University and students undergraduates Friday gathered at the memorial for the LTTE's war dead in Kopay in Jaffna to clean the site and light the 'flame of sacrifice'. In 1996, the SLA destroyed and levelled with bulldozers Kopay war memorial, the largest built by the Liberation Tigers in the northeast. The SLA was criticised at the time for violating universal military norms on monuments for the war dead.
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UNF abolishes war levy

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 March 2002, 20:23 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Finance Minister, Mr.K.N.Choksy opening the budget box in parliament, Friday.
The United National Front (UNF) government in its maiden budget presented in parliament Friday said the National Security Levy (NSL) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be abolished from 1 June. The defence levy of 6.95 percent on all goods and services that was imposed by President Kumaratunga's government to finance the war on the Liberation Tigers has been blamed for the rapid rise of the cost of living in Sri Lanka.
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Unenthused paramilitary turns in some weapons

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 March 2002, 19:49 GMT]
The People's Liberation Organization of Thamil Eelam (PLOTE), a paramilitary group operating with the Sri Lanka army, handed over some of its weapons in Batticaloa, Friday under the terms of the cease-fire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo. Mr. Raj Maama, the PLOTE chief in the eastern district told TamilNet that the weapons handed over today were from the group's camp at the Black Bridge entry point 18 kilometres north of Batticaloa.
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PM says polls vote for peace

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 March 2002, 21:19 GMT]
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Thursday said that the majority of the people in the south have accepted the government's peace efforts and have given their consent to make it a success. Meanwhile the veteran trade unionist and the national organiser of the Democratic Left Front, Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakara said, "local government elections have greatly undermined the leadership of President Chandrika Kumaratunge."
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Four thousand demonstrate against SLA in east

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 March 2002, 13:47 GMT]
More than four thousand people Thursday demonstrated against the Sri Lanka army in Kiran, 26 kilometres north of Batticaloa, blocking traffic on the main road to Colombo from the eastern town for more than an hour. The demonstration and meeting were organised by civil society groups, NGOs, students and trade unions in the area to condemn the SLA for stripping and pulling down Annai Poopathy commemoration pandols and decorations in the villages of Kiran and Santhively Wednesday.
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Northeast local elections postponed for Sept. 25

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 March 2002, 13:41 GMT]
The Election Commissioner Thursday postponed elections to local government bodies in the Northeastern province except the Ampara district for September 25. The Commissioner announced earlier that the elections to north-east local councils would be held on March 25. The Commissioner of Elections Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake made the announced Wednesday after consultations with the Attorney General.
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UNF's local polls victory endorses cease-fire agreement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 March 2002, 13:22 GMT]
The ruling United National Front (UNF) swept the local government elections held Wednesday, routing the People's Alliance (PA) led by President Chandrika Kumaratunge. The UNF won 218 of the 222 local bodies, including 14 municipal councils and 25 urban councils. The Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, which hinged its election campaign on denouncing the peace deal the UNF made with the Liberation Tigers as an insidious conspiracy against the Sinhala people got an ignominious drubbing with only one local body to show in the southern Hambantota district.
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Explosion destroys Vavuniya ammo dump

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 March 2002, 19:20 GMT]
An ammunition dump of the Sri Lanka army exploded Wednesday evening in Vavuniya, military sources in the northern border town said. The SLA said that the reason for the explosion was not known but added that it may have been caused by accidental ignition. A large stock of 7.62 ammunition was destroyed in the blast, the sources said.
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SLA pulls down Poopathy remembrance pandols

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 March 2002, 17:18 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers Wednesday stripped decorations and pulled down wood and paper memorials in the Kiran and Santhively, 26 kilometres north of Batticaloa, that were put up to mark the 14th death anniversary of 'Annai' Poopathy, the woman who fasted unto death in April 1988 in a protest against atrocities by the Indian army in the island's northeastern province.
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Elthumadduval families seek resettlement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 March 2002, 17:03 GMT]
Seven hundred forty families displaced from the southern Jaffna have written to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe urging him to allow them resettle in their villages of Eluthumadduval and Karambaikkurichchi as part of the effort to restore normalcy in the north and east under the terms of the cease-fire agreement between his government and the Liberation Tigers.
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Fifty thousand at Trinco 'Pongu Tamil'

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 March 2002, 16:57 GMT]
(News Feature) More than fifty thousand people thronged the eastern port town of Trincomalee to attend the 'Pongu Tamil' (Tamil upsurge) rally held Tuesday, urging the Sri Lankan government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and to recognise the Tamil people's right to self-determination.
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JVP demonstrates against cease-fire agreement

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 March 2002, 23:07 GMT]
More than a one thousand Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) cadres and activists, including a large number of buddhist monks demonstrated Monday afternoon in Colombo protesting against the cease-fire agreement signed by the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers.
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Court rejects Ratwattes' medical certificates

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 March 2002, 23:05 GMT]
The Teledeniya Magistrate Ms Inoka Ranasinghe Monday rejected special medical reports submitted on behalf of former Deputy Defence Minister Gen.Anuruddha Ratwatte and his sons Lohan and Chanukah in the Udathalawinne massacre case, stating that they were unable to attend courts due to ill health. The Magistrate further directed the Judicial Medical Officers of Colombo and Kandy and the Government Analyst to appear in courts at the next date.
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"Hill country Tamils support NE peace efforts" -Thondaman

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 21:46 GMT]
"The upcountry Tamils would extend their wholehearted support to the northeast Tamil to win their legitimate rights," declared Mr.Arumugam Thondaman, Minister of the Estate Infrastructure and Housing Development addressing the mammoth rally held Sunday at Nuwaraeliya. Earlier thousands of upcountry Tamils participated in a peace walk, which was organized to express support to the United National Front government's peace efforts and the cease-fire agreement signed by the Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, and the LTTE leader, Mr.Velupillai Pirapaharan.
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Batticaloa GA complains ceasefire violation

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 21:43 GMT]
The Government Agent for Batticaloa, Mr. S.Shanmugam, told Scandinavian cease-fire Monitoring Mission Sunday that the Sri Lankan army is violating the terms of the agreement signed by Colombo and the Liberation Tigers in the eastern district. He said that the SLA is harassing civilians at Mylambaveli, 8 kilometres north of against the terms of the agreement and that it is still imposing undue restrictions on the supply of unregulated commodities.
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"Tamil teacher vacancies being filled by Sinhalese" -CTTU

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 15:52 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) Sunday blamed the Education Ministry for filling vacancies exist in Tamil medium schools in provinces ,except Northeast, in the country with Sinhalese teachers who have been found excess in Sinhala schools. "Ministry officials in Colombo are adopting this ruse to show the World Bank (WB) that no excess Sinhala teachers are employed in Sinhala schools," said Mr.T.Mahasivam, General Secretary of the CTTU.
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"Remove PTA from Statute Book" -Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 March 2002, 10:38 GMT]
"The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) should no longer continue in the Statute Book," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group, in a letter to the Prime Minister. "We would strongly urge that the rigorous impact of the PTA on the lives of Tamil detainees and people should not continue," he stressed.
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Top US official meets PM

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 March 2002, 19:43 GMT]
US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Christina Rocca Friday afternoon held a discussion with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe at Palaly air force base, where Jaffna District's main army headquarters is situated.
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Jaffna University undergraduate Thiviyan freed

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 March 2002, 19:13 GMT]
The Jaffna High Court Friday discharged university undergraduate, Krishnasamy Thiviyan as two vital witnesses failed to attend the inquiry for the second time. When the prosecuting Counsel informed the court that the two army officers, cited as main witnesses in this case had gone to Vavuniya to attend courts, Mr.K.P.S.Varatharaja, High Court Judge made order discharging the accused stating, "this shows that the SLA witnesses were not interested in this case".
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"Ministry discriminates Tamil medium teachers" - CTTU

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 March 2002, 19:13 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) has informed the United National Front (UNF) government that it would launch trade union action if its fifteen demands are not met by March 25. The demands included that the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs should take immediate steps to stop all discriminatory acts of the Education Services Board (ESB) against the interests of Tamil medium teachers in the country. The Education Services Board comes under the purview of the Public Services Commission.
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Tamil paramilitaries pose risk to truce – Karikalan

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 March 2002, 16:11 GMT]
(News Feature) The deputy leader of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the head of its Batticaloa - Amparai section said this week that the movement was committed to the terms and conditions of the permanent ceasefire agreement and that the LTTE was engaging in the peace process from a position of strength. In an interview to TamilNet at the LTTE’s district political head office in Kokkaddicholai, Mr. Karikalan said that harassment of civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the Batticaloa-Amparai district was continuing and Tamil paramilitaries working with the army had not been disarmed yet.
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'Graduates' protest to destabilize govt' -UNF

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 March 2002, 21:17 GMT]
About two thousand unemployed graduates and their parents demonstrated in front of Temple Trees, the Prime Minister's official residence, Wednesday night, demanding appointment within twenty hours. "If no action is taken to find employment for all thirty thousand unemployed graduates we would go on a hunger strike", organisers of the protest said. United National Front sources said that nationalist forces were behind the graduates' agitation with a view to destabilizing the government.
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"State forces' cease-fire violation would harm govt." -PM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 March 2002, 21:10 GMT]
"Cease-fire violations by the State armed forces knowingly or not, would cause irreparable harm to the Sri Lankan government," the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe told soldiers and commanders of the Sri Lanka Army at Palali main base in the Jaffna peninsula Thursday. Mr.Wickremasinghe arrived Jaffna morning by a special Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter accompanied by Defense Minister Mr.Tilak Marapane and Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Minister Dr.Jayalath Jayawardene.
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Cease-fire monitors visit Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 March 2002, 17:40 GMT]
Two Scandinavian cease-fire monitors were on a familarisation visit to Batticaloa Thursday. Mr. Lars Tio Beck, a Swedish national who earlier worked with a Norwegian non-governmental organization FORUT in Batticaloa in the early 1990s and Quaker Peace Movement and Mr. Ola Kristian Hegge, a Norwegian are to serve on the local monitoring committee to be established in Batticaloa and Ampara respectively.
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Pall over last obstacle on road to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 March 2002, 17:14 GMT]
The defence lines of the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army in Eluthumadduval are separated by less than 200 meters of the A9 highway. A high tarpaulin hides everything behind the SLA's defence position which straddles the road, the last obstacle on the northern peninsula's main land link to the rest of the island. "We have cleared all the mines on our side as you can see. We got ready to open the road to Jaffna soon after the cessation of hostilities was announced.
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US envoy's concern for children said hypocrisy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 March 2002, 20:12 GMT]
"More than hundred and fifty innocent Tamil children under five are being held in Sri Lankan prisons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Scores of little children were massacred when the Sri Lanka Air Force bombed the Nagar Kovil School in Jaffna. Thousands of Tamil children whose parents were murdered in cold blood by the SLA are destitute orphans in the northeast today. The US ambassador's humanitarian concern was blind to the plight of these Tamil children until this week.
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Governor restrained from dissolving CPC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 March 2002, 19:59 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Wednesday issued restraining order on the Provincial Governor preventing him from dissolving the Central Provincial Council (CPC). The Appeal Court made this order on a petition by the Leader of the Opposition of the Council, sequel to a power struggle between the People's Alliance and the United National Party.
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Police out of Koneswaram demands Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 March 2002, 22:11 GMT]
Mr.R.Sampanthan, Trincomalee district parliamentarian Tuesday urged the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Eastern region) to permanently remove the police barrack from the 'madam' (pilgrim's rest) of historic Koneswaram temple in the eastern port town.
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LTTE denies accusations of truce violations

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 March 2002, 11:54 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Monday denied categorically the accusations levelled against the organisation that it is involved in activities that could jeopardise the permanent truce reached between the Sri Lankan government and itself and which came into effect on February 22.
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Vavuniya Tamil groups ordered to hand over firearms

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 March 2002, 17:49 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Saturday ordered all Tamil paramilitary groups in Vavuniya district to surrender their firearms before 10 a.m. on Monday. At a conference held Saturday at the Vavuniya SLA headquarters, the Vanni SLA commander told the representatives of the Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) wing that all firearms they possess should be handed over to the SLA within forty-eight hours from Saturday morning.
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Grenade attack kills 5 at UNP meeting

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 March 2002, 06:59 GMT]
Five civilians were killed and at least twenty others were wounded in a grenade attack at the ruling United National Party (UNP) election meeting held at Kohuwala area, a suburb of Colombo, Friday night, police said.
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Restriction on Colombo Tamils lifted

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 March 2002, 17:41 GMT]
The United National Front (UNF) government Friday decided to suspend immediately the practice of providing information about Tamil civilians residing in Colombo and its suburbs to the Police. Till Friday permanent residents and owners of boarding houses and lodges in Colombo had to furnish information about Tamil civilians who come from outstations, especially from the Northeast province and stay with them, to the police.
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SLA armoury on fire

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 March 2002, 06:07 GMT]
Fire broke out in the armoury of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at Kankesanthurai in the northern Jaffna peninsula 4.45 a.m, Friday morning, army sources in Colombo said.
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"UNF to take constructive decision on LTTE ban" -PM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 March 2002, 21:03 GMT]
A parliamentary delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Thursday held a wide ranging discussion with the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe on several issues, including the lifting of ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the postponement of the local government elections in the Northeast province scheduled to take place on March 25. A spokesman of the TNA delegation told TamilNet that the Prime Minister had assured that the government would take a constructive decision in regard to the lifting the ban on the LTTE at the appropriate time.
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SLN personnel produced in disappearance case

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 March 2002, 20:59 GMT]
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials in Colombo Thursday produced three Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel before the Trincomalee Additional Magistrate Mr.T.L.A Manaf for an identification parade, in connection with the alleged disappearance of a young Tamil fisherman, Vairamuthu Jeyakili of Salli in Trincomalee. Jeyakili and two others were arrested by SLN personnel near Pigeon Island, close to Nilaveli sea, on 5 March 2000 while they were fishing.
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HC rejects confession, acquits PTA accused

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 March 2002, 22:14 GMT]
"The court has come to a conclusion that the confession purported to have been made by the accused was obtained by the Police on the promise that he could be released once he signed the confession recorded in the Sinhala language. Hence the Court holds that the confession of the accused was not a voluntary one and rejects it," said the Eastern High Court Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan Wednesday when acquitting the accused in a case indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
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LTTE leader compliments Norway for historic peace agreement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 March 2002, 15:10 GMT]
Mr Vellupillai Pirapaharan, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Wednesday hailed the truce agreement between the Sri Lanka government and the Tamil Tigers as a historical achievement that laid a strong foundation for the peace process and negotiated political settlement. The LTTE leader praised the Norwegian facilitators for their sincere and untiring effort to bring peace in the island when he met the head of the Norwegian monitoring mission, the retired Norwegian army general Trond Furuhovede in Killinochci, northern Sri Lanka Wednesday evening.
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Parliamentary debate on truce concludes

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 March 2002, 20:22 GMT]
The two-day Parliamentary debate on permanent ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers concluded Tuesday evening with a winding up speech by the Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris. "The cease-fire agreement signed by the United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is the best to end the war in the country," he insisted.
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Appeal Court to inquire JVP's petition

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 March 2002, 17:43 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Tuesday decided to take up the petition filed by the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) against the cease-fire agreement signed by the Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mr.Velupillai Pirapaharan for inquiry on Friday 14th March 2002.
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Parliament debates permanent truce

[TamilNet, Monday, 04 March 2002, 12:23 GMT]
The two-day debate on the permanent cease-fire agreement signed by the United National Front government (UNF) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on February 22 began Monday morning in Parliament. "The agreement signed last month by me and the LTTE leader Mr.V.Pirapaharan was a cease-fire agreement and not the final step in arriving at a political solution to the ethnic crisis. However, the agreement is a vehicle for moving forward and addressing the needs of the LTTE and the problems put forward by the Tamil people,", said the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe in a special speech made during the debate.
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TNA to launch campaign demanding repeal of PTA

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 March 2002, 21:55 GMT]
"A mass campaign should be launched to demand the United Front National Government to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in the Tamil dominated Northeast province and the upcountry areas in the central province soon after the completion of holding 'Pongu Tamil' (Tamil upsurge) rallies," said Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan, Vanni district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian addressing a seminar held Sunday in Trincomalee Social Service Centre.
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Monitoring Mission Chief arrives Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 March 2002, 12:06 GMT]
The Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Retired Norwegian Army General Trond Furuhovde arrived in Colombo Saturday morning, accompanied by four other Norwegian monitors. Monitors from Finland and Sweden are also expected to arrive shortly, government sources said. The sixteen-member Monitoring Mission comprising officials from Nordic countries was set up according to the permanent cease-fire agreement signed between the Sri Lanka government and the Liberation Tigers last month.
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LTTE accuses Kumaratunga of conspiring to sabotage ceasefire

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 March 2002, 08:34 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Saturday accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her adviser Mr Laksman Kadirgamar of conspiring to sabotage the historic truce agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE brokered by Norwegian facilitators and hailed by all major international governments including India, the Commonwealth and the European Union. When contacted by TamilNet over the President's comments Friday, Mr Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator and the political strategist of the LTTE, categorised Kumaratunga's response to the truce agreement as "irresponsible, injurious and ill-advised."
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Isolation blamed for Kumaratunga’s CHOGM absence

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 March 2002, 18:11 GMT]
(News Feature) Increasing international isolation rather than government persecution of her supporters compelled Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to abort her participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this weekend, government sources said Friday. Dismissing the President’s accusations that the newly elected United National Front (UNF) was harassing supporters of her opposition People's Alliance (PA), the sources said Kumaratunga “was unable to face” the Commonwealth’s other leaders due to her opposition to the ceasefire accord between the government and the Tamil Tigers.
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Kumaratunga flays truce agreement

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 March 2002, 17:02 GMT]
(News Feature) Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday condemned the Norwegian-facilitated permanent ceasefire agreement between the government and the Liberation Tigers. In a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, her first formal comment on the landmark truce hailed by the international community, Kumaratunga said the agreement jeopardised Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and national security. Kumaratunga’s letter, which was reportedly drafted by Lakshman Kadirgamar, the former Foreign Minister and a close confidante of hers, again denounced the Premier’s signing of the pact as “improper and unconstitutional,” blamed Wickremesinghe for the friction between Parliament and her office and, with acidic sarcasm, also criticised what she felt were undue powers the agreement accorded Norway.
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Thousands swarm Vavuniya for self-determination rally

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 March 2002, 16:50 GMT]
Mr. P. Chandrasekeran, Minister for Plantation Community Development speaking at the 'Pongu Thamil' rally.
More than thirty thousand people gathered in Vavuniya town Friday afternoon for the Pongu Thamil upsurge rally and cultural program. Five large processions led by Tamil National Alliance politicians and community leaders in Vavuniya converged on the grounds of the northern border town's urban council Wednesday afternoon. The highlight of the rally was the burning of a large cardboard replica of an army boot on the grounds, symbolising the military oppression of the Tamils by the Sri Lankan state.
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