111 Reports

SLMM chief in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 May 2002, 23:41 GMT]
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Retd. Major General Trond Furuhovde Friday held extensive discussions with Sri Lankan Navy officials at the Karainagar naval base in the Jaffna district in a bid to defuse the ongoing tension over the Navy’s refusal to permit access to the islets off Jaffna for political cadres of the Liberation Tigers.
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Swedish Foreign Office delegation meets Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 May 2002, 22:27 GMT]
The Director of the Asia department of Sweden's Foreign Office, Mr. Borje Ljunggren met the head of the Liberation Tigers' political section, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan on May 25 to discuss the ongoing peace initiative in Sri Lanka, sources said.
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US denies military alliance amid Tamil suspicion

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 May 2002, 10:04 GMT]
(News Feature) The United States denied Friday it was planning to enter into defence pact or treaty with Sri Lanka and said the proposed Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), “does not ally the two countries in any formal way.” Sri Lankan and Indian press coverage of increased defence cooperation between Colombo and Washington, including the supply of two radar-equipped surveillance aircraft, had drawn protests from Tamil politicians and media that the move would damage prospects for peace.
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'Strategic’ camps to remain despite ceasefire terms - Army chief

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 May 2002, 01:07 GMT]
Amid renewed pressure for the Sri Lankan armed forces to vacate schools, places of worship and other public places as stipulated in the ceasefire agreement, Army chief Lieutenant General Lional Balagalle said Friday that his troops would not withdraw from camps ‘of strategic importance and those within the high security zones.’ These withdrawals would happen only if “the two parties agree on disarmament,” he told the state-owned Daily News.
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"Rules for islands humiliating, wont enter" - LTTE

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 21:43 GMT]
"We will not enter the islands of Jaffna in compliance with the conditions that the Sri Lanka Navy has imposed on us now. The Navy's action is aimed at further subverting the peace process and creating a fear psychosis among the people of the islands," said Mr. Ilamparithi, the head of the political office of the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna, responding Thursday to the 12 conditions stipulated by the Sri Lanka Navy for allowing his colleagues to engage in political work in the islands of the northern peninsula.
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Jaffna visits of ministers said futile

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 21:40 GMT]
Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr.M.K.Sivajilingam Thursday said that several ministers of the United National Front government visit Jaffna as mere tourists and leave without taking any concrete steps to alleviate the sufferings of the people here while participating in several engagements with the School Education Minister Mr. Suranimala Rajapakse who arrived Jaffna Thursday on an official visit.
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Sri Lankan troops ‘enter LTTE territory’

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 20:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers crossed into territory held by the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa on May 24, violating the terms of the permanent ceasefire, press reports said Thursday. LTTE officials have lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) the reports added.
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STF ‘deliberately’ violated ceasefire - SLMM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 20:13 GMT]
The arrest and torture of a member of the Liberation Tigers by the elite Special Task Force (STF) constituted a deliberate breach of the permanent ceasefire according to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), as the troops had penetrated over one kilometre into LTTE-held territory to carry out the attack.
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Islands imbroglio continues amid new conditions

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 18:52 GMT]
(News Feature) The Sri Lanka Navy continued to resist entry of political cadres of the Liberation Tigers into the islands off the Jaffna peninsula, press reports said this week. In the latest development in the acrimonious and long running saga, the Sri Lankan government backed the Navy, insisting that the LTTE's activists must accept twelve conditions if they are to get access to the tens of thousands of Tamil people who inhabit the islands.
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Jaffna fishermen say military restrictions not lifted

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 16:18 GMT]
Fishermen in Jaffna this week protested that the Sri Lankan military was refusing to lift restrictions on their livelihoods, in breach of the terms of the permanent ceasefire signed by the government and the Liberation Tigers. The Navy meanwhile said that irrespective of the ceasefire agreement, it retains the right to impose restrictions at its own discretion.
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More Tigers begin political work

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 16:03 GMT]
Scores of cadres from the Liberation Tigers’ political section arrived in Jaffna and Vavuniya earlier this week, Tamil press reports said. Forty-nine LTTE cadres arrived in Jaffna this week whilst twelve entered Vavuniya. More LTTE volunteers are expected to arrive in Vavuniya and Mannar soon.
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SLA exacerbates war fear in east

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 15:47 GMT]
Residents in the east coast villages of Kiran and Maankerni said Thursday the actions of the Sri Lanka army here is exacerbating fears among them that the war might erupt again soon. Soldiers from the SLA camp in Kiran, 28 kilometres north of Batticaloa, told people in the area Tuesday to make coffins and expect the war to break out again anytime. Residents of Maankerni, 47 kilometres north of Batticaloa, said that the SLA is photographing the members of every family in the village and has bulldozed the local cemetery to reinforce its defences.
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Persistent Police absence frees PTA accused

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 15:43 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Thursday discharged a Tamil youth arrested in 1998 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act when the Police officer who recorded his purported confession failed to appear in court for the sixth time. Hundreds of Tamil youth languish in Sri Lankan prisons for long years because Policemen who record their confessions are often transferred out by the time their cases are eventually taken up for hearing. Tamil human rights lawyers say that this is inevitable in Sri Lanka's PTA cases where the confession of the accused is the sole production and the Policemen who record and translate it are the sole witnesses.
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Canadian HC calls on Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 May 2002, 05:01 GMT]
The High Commissioner of Canada in Sri Lanka, Ms. Ruth Archibald, had discussions with Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan on the current state of the island's peace process at the headquarters of the political division of the Liberation Tigers in Kilinochchi Wednesday, according to the Voice of Tigers broadcast from the Vanni. The Canadian High Commissioner conferred with Mr. Thamilchelvan also about development priorities in the war ravaged northern region, the radio said.
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US treaty seen encouraging subjugation of Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 May 2002, 18:34 GMT]
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, senior Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa told a US official Wednesday that a proposed defence treaty between Washington and Colombo would support the majority Sinhalese "continue the discrimination and subjugation of the Tamil people." The US and the Sri Lankan government are scheduled to sign the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement in July. Sinhala nationalists have welcomed the treaty.
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CID questions Kumaratunga's ex- media advisor

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 May 2002, 18:15 GMT]
Top officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Wednesday questioned controversial Sinhala film actor Sanath Gunatileke who has been accused of abductions, intimidation and malpractices during the People's Alliance regime, whilst serving as the media spokesman for President Chandrika Kumaratunge for about six years, police sources said.
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Sri Lanka details amendments to strength Parliament against President

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 May 2002, 14:16 GMT]
Sri Lanka this week published details of proposed constitutional amendments that it says will bring about “a new political culture.” The main feature, according to the government, is the creation of an executive committee system which will comprise the elected representatives of both the ruling and the opposition parties. But the amendments are clearly designed to protect Parliament from Sri Lanka’s powerful Executive Presidency.
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Military intransigence, LTTE ban thwart direct talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 May 2002, 11:09 GMT]
(News Feature) The Sri Lankan military's continuing refusal to implement the terms and conditions of the 3-month old permanent ceasefire and the government's back-pedalling on the issue of deproscription of the Liberation Tigers is thwarting the holding of direct talks between the two sides, the Tamil Guardian newspaper quoted Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE's chief negotiator and political advisor as saying Monday.
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STF threatens war, tells village to make coffins

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 May 2002, 17:40 GMT]
Residents of Veeramunai, 52 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa, said Monday that the Special Task Force has threatened to kill people in the village whom it accused of taking part in the general shut down and protest against the elite commandos in the southeast coast of the island last week. "The STF commandos told us families in the village should make two coffins each. They said we would need the coffins after a month," a local community leader said. The STF threat has spread apprehensions here that war may break out again after a month, he added.
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SLA leaves five schools, unusable say officials

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 May 2002, 12:45 GMT]
Education officials in Jaffna said Monday that they cannot commence classes in two schools vacated by the Sri Lanka Army in the Kopay division because most of the buildings in them are damaged. "We haven’t got any assurance from the military or the education ministry that the two schools are free of landmines and booby traps", one of them said. The Sri Lankan security forces occupy more than 80 schools in the Northeast province of the island, but have vacated only three in the north and two in the east so far.
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SLA strengthens Jaffna coastal defences

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 May 2002, 12:39 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army is constructing new bunkers and check posts in the coastal areas of Vadamarachchi division in Jaffna, residents said Monday. The military began strengthening its coastal defenses in the villages of Polikandy, Thikkam, Sakkottai, Manalkaadu and Kudaththanai. The SLA is also engaged in fortifying its camps in the interior sectors of the division, sources said.
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Police assault protest youths

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 May 2002, 11:50 GMT]
Nine youths were assaulted by Sri Lanka police for participating in a general strike observed in Batticaloa last Friday to protest at the police's arrest and assault of a Liberation Tiger cadre earlier in the week, press reports said.
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'S.L Security forces still in temples' - Hindu body

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 May 2002, 14:37 GMT]
The Federation of Hindu Temples in Batticaloa and Amparai said Sunday that the Sri Lankan security forces in the region continue to encompass more than 15 places of worship in the two districts within the defence perimeters of their camps. The trustee boards of fourteen Hindu temples in Batticaloa and Amparai complained to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Saturday that their precincts and environs are still occupied by Sri Lankan security forces.
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LTTE to compensate Businesses affected by

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 May 2002, 14:29 GMT]
"Traders in Thenmaradchy district who had to abandon their stocked goods when the Liberation Tigers captured areas under the control of Sri Lanka security forces during the phases of operation Unceasing Waves in 2000 will be compensated," said Mr. S. Thamilenthi, head of the financial section of the LTTE.
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Tigers prepare for economic development

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 20:07 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers are making preparations for economic development and infrastructure reconstruction in the north and east, a senior LTTE official said Friday. Mr. S. Karikalan, deputy head of the LTTE's political section, was speaking at a seminar for Government departmental heads held in Kokkaddicholai, 16 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa.
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Army urged to quit Jaffna hotels

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 19:38 GMT]
Sri Lankan military personnel occupying the well known Subash Hotel in Jaffna have been asked to vacate the premises, press reports said this week. In letters to the military authorities, Mr. Ranasinghe, Principal of the Sri Lanka Schools of Hotel management, requested that soldiers be withdraw from the Hotel so that it could resume functioning.
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Navy strengthens camps in Trinco north villages

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 18:13 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy has started strengthening its camps in coastal Tamil villages to the north of Trincomalee from Sambalthivu to Pulmoddai. Navy personnel deployed in several camps in these villages have intensified their daytime patrolling. Tension prevails among Tamil people live in villages of Sambaltivu, Salli, Nilaveli, Gopalapuram and Kuchchaveli due to aggressive patrolling and interrogation by navy personnel, local residents said.
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Norwegian Deputy FM in Colombo

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 18:09 GMT]
Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgessen, arrived Colombo Saturday early morning ahead of meetings with Sri Lankan government and opposition officials. He was accompanied by Mr. Jon Westborg, Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka who also returned after two weeks in Oslo, sources said.
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Jaffna forces expand positions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 May 2002, 00:04 GMT]
The Sri Lankan armed forces in the Jaffna peninsula are building new camps and bases close to homes and schools, press reports said this week. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has begun constructing a new artillery base in Idaikurichchi, Varani, the Thinakural newspaper reported. The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) set up a new camp Suruvil, Kayts, the Uthayan reported. Meanwhile the military has declared new areas in Chavacachcheri as ‘military zones’ the Virakesari reported.
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SLA urged to stop environmental destruction

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 17:43 GMT]
The Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. S.Jebanesan, Friday appealed to the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to take immediate steps to stop wanton destruction of coconut and Palmyra trees in the Jaffna district for military purposes.
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General Ratwatte released on conditional bail

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 17:39 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Friday ordered the release of the main suspect in the Udathalawinne massacre case, former Deputy Defense Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte on conditional bail. General Ratwatte has been banned by the court from travelling abroad. He was asked to surrender his passport at the Teldeniya magistrate's court.
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TNA awaits action despite assurances

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 14:30 GMT]
(News Feature) An alliance of four Tamil parties said Friday that Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, had “responded positively” to the three key issues they had raised: the deproscription of the Liberation Tigers, setting up of an interim administration in the northeast province and the full implementation of the cease-fire agreement before the commencement of the direct peace talks. Despite the Premier’s assurances the Tamil delegation said they remained concerned about his government’s ability to meet the promises.
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Tamil schools close in protest

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 12:44 GMT]
More than 90% of Tamil medium schools did not function Friday in the north and east when over twenty thousand teachers and principals staged a one-day token strike putting forward a list of demands to the Sri Lankan government. Students also stayed away from their schools.
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General shut down in east as protests mount

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 May 2002, 06:17 GMT]
Schools, government offices, shops and businesses were closed Friday in the Batticaloa district and the coastal region of the Ampara district as protests against the Special Task Force (STF) for firing on a demonstration in Thirukkovil on Wednesday, 22 May. Sri Lanka Police sources in the east said there was no traffic Friday morning because protestors were continuing to block main roads with heaps of burning tires.
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Anti-STF protests erupt on southeast coast

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 May 2002, 19:38 GMT]
More than ten thousand students from 52 schools in the Thirukkovil education zone, 78 kilometres south of Batticaloa, marched and demonstrated Thursday against the Special Task Force (STF), the elite counter insurgency arm of Sri Lanka's defence establishment. Angry protestors who came out in support of the students blocked traffic on 34 kilometres of the main road on the island's southeast coast by burning tires at key junctions between Neelavanai and Akkaraipattu.
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Thondaman visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 May 2002, 19:02 GMT]
Estate Infrastructure and Housing Minister Mr.Arumugam Thondaman arrived in Jaffna via the Kandy-Jaffna Road (A9) on a two-day official visit. He held a conference with Government officials at the Jaffna Secretariat Thursday and was told that more than five thousand houses in the Maruthankerni division and Thenmaradchchi area alone had been destroyed and damaged due to military operations by the Sri Lanka Army.
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Point Pedro students protest army presence

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 May 2002, 11:39 GMT]
Hundreds of students from two high schools in Point Pedro Thursday protested demanding the immediate removal of Sri Lanka Army camps from their schools’ premises. The demonstration, which started at 9 a.m. and ended at 1 p.m., was held in front of the Hartley College, but students from the nearby Vadamaradchi Methodist Girls' College also joined in, sources said.
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Conditions "not conducive for refugees’ return" - UNHCR

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 May 2002, 02:37 GMT]
Despite the voluntary return of 71,000 internally displaced people [IDP] to their homes this year, the United Nations’ leading refugee agency maintains that “conditions in Sri Lanka are not yet conducive to promote or facilitate large-scale, organised [displaced people’s] return or repatriation of refugees,” a UN working group said this week. The report said that major concerns remain regarding the risk of landmines and unexploded ordinance in both actual and potential areas of return.
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STF commandos fire on demonstration

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 May 2002, 19:45 GMT]
A 12 year old student was injured Wednesday when commandos of the Special Task Force opened fire on a large public demonstration in Thirukkovil, 78 kilometers south of Batticaloa. The protest was sparked off when the STF assaulted a member of the Liberation Tigers who was arrested by the commandos in the general area of Kanjikudichcha Aaru Wednesday morning. The spokes person for the Tigers in Batticaloa, Mr. K. Thurai, charged that the STF made the arrest in the interior dominated by them. "We see this as a deliberate provocation aimed at undermining the peace process," he added.
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Discussions with LTTE ‘cordial and constructive’ - PM’s office

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 May 2002, 19:30 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s office said Wednesday that the discussions on Tuesday between officials from the Peace Secretariat and the Liberation Tigers were constructive and held in a cordial atmosphere.
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Death threat to Magistrate investigated

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 May 2002, 16:59 GMT]
A "top level" investigation is being conducted into the death threat received in the mail by the Teldeniya Magistrate Ms. Inoka Ranasinghe, who is investigating the Udathalawinne massacre case, said State Counsel Achala Vengapuli, appearing on behalf of the Attorney General when the case was taken up by the Magistrate on Wednesday.
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HC rejects confession, acquits accused

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 May 2002, 16:58 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Judge Wednesday acquitted an accused indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act case, stating that the confession purported to have been made by the accused was not a voluntary one. "The court considers the confession submitted to court as having been obtained from the accused under severe torture. Hence the court rejects the confession and acquits the accused from all charges," said Judge Mr.J.Visvanathan in his order delivered after trial.
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Sri Lanka govt. peace team meets Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 May 2002, 23:21 GMT]
The Chairman of the Sri Lankan government's Peace Secretariat Mr. Bernard Goonatilake Tuesday evening briefed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the two hours discussion he had with Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan at the headquarters of the LTTE's political division in Kilinochchi earlier in the day, government sources said.
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Pandemonium in Sri Lanka Parliament over local polls

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 May 2002, 15:51 GMT]
Pandemonium reigned in the Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday when the Speaker refused permission to the leader of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Mr.Wimal Weerawansa to speak against alleged malpractices in Monday's local elections. The Speaker adjourned the sittings for fifteen minutes as the situation in the house was beyond his control, with MPs of the main opposition Peoples Alliance and the JVP shouting slogans and holding placards in the chamber denouncing the manner in which local elections were conducted Monday.
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'Last chance for peace' - Karikalan

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 May 2002, 08:36 GMT]
"This is the last chance for peace. The Sri Lankan government should firmly grasp this opportunity and make the most of it to settle the conflict. We, the Liberation Tigers, are resolutely committed to peace.
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Posters in Colombo denounce 'Norway-Ranil plot'

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 May 2002, 22:21 GMT]
Sinhala nationalist groups in Sri Lanka this week stepped up their campaign against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's attempt to strike a peace deal with the Liberation Tigers. Thousands of posters put up all over the city by one group say, "Let's defeat the Norway-Ranil plan to hand over the country to the Tigers".
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Tamil mine-clearers struggle without equipment, funds

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 May 2002, 18:20 GMT]
(NEWS FEATURE) The estimated 1.4 million pieces of live ammunition, including 86,700 anti-personnel mines, remaining in territory formerly controlled by the Sri Lanka Army are taking a long time to clear due to the lack of equipment and funding, according to the official in charge of clearing the unexploded ordnance.
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Tamil teachers urge govt. to lift LTTE ban immediately

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 May 2002, 17:34 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union Saturday decided to call its members for a one day token strike on May 24 demanding the government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers in Sri Lanka immediately, to take prompt steps directing the State armed forces to strictly observe the permanent ceasefire by vacating schools and places of worship and to expedite the peace efforts without further delay.
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Jaffna villagers write to Ranil

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 May 2002, 17:28 GMT]
Residents of Varani, Maaseri and Kudamiyan in Jaffna wrote to Sri Lankaís Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe Saturday asking him to relocate the Sri Lanka army camp blocking the main road through their villages in accordance with the ceasefire agreement between his government and the Liberation Tigers. More than five hundred villagers have signed the letter. The SLA camp is in the midst of the village, straddling the main road. The military occupies twelve houses in Varani.
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Won't leave public buildings in Batticaloa - SLA

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 May 2002, 17:41 GMT]
"The Sri Lanka army will not leave public and private buildings and houses until permanent peace is established", said Lt. Col. Gunasekera, the civil affairs officer of the SLA's 23-3 Brigade in Batticaloa, Friday addressing government and municipal officials and more than a hundred locals whose homes are occupied by the military.
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SLA, SLN said promoting fishing by Sinhalese in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 May 2002, 17:39 GMT]
The Federation of fisheries co-operative societies of Vadamaradchi complained to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Jaffna Friday that the Sri Lankan armed forces are backing Sinhala fishermen to engage in deep sea fishing off the coast of the northern peninsula while hindering local fishermen from plying their trade freely.
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HC acquits PTA accused in conspiracy case

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 May 2002, 17:22 GMT]
The Colombo High Court Friday acquitted an accused indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for conspiring to assassinate President Chandrika Kumaratunge in 1995.
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'Peace saboteurs must be defeated' - SLMC

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 21:53 GMT]
"The Muslims will co-operate with the Liberation Tigers to annihilate the evil forces which are all out to sabotage the peace initiatives mooted by the present government with Norwegian facilitation," declared the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarian of the Trincomalee district, Mr.K.M.Thowfeek, addressing the opening event of the Kuchchaveli Political Office of the LTTE at Nilaveli held Thursday evening.
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Sinhala opposition to peace deal gathers momentum

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 18:55 GMT]
More than five thousand protestors Thursday afternoon thronged the Virodhaya (oppose) campaign by Sri Lanka's main opposition alliance against the ruling United National Front's policy on peace talks, the economy and style of governance at Nugegoda Junction, a busy intersection in greater Colombo.
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Prisons check disappoints missing youths' parents

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 16:38 GMT]
The Missing Person's Guardian Association (MPGA) of Jaffna said Thursday after visiting Sri Lankan government prisons outside the northern peninsula that it would launch fresh protests to demand that Colombo investigate the fate of more than 600 youth who went missing after being arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna in 1997-96.
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TULF urges govt. to lift LTTE ban immediately

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 09:25 GMT]
Mr. Murugesu Sivasithambaram, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance Thursday issued a strong appeal to the United Front National Government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers immediately.
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Jaffna fishermen complain continuous navy harassment

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 09:24 GMT]
The security forces are still harassing fishermen in Jaffna district, according to complaints lodged at the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission by several fisheries co-operative societies. Fishermen who are engaged fishing in Jaffna lagoon are subjected to body check by the navy before they enter their boats, sources said.
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Maruthankerni, Pallai AGA offices in LTTE held areas opened

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 09:20 GMT]
The offices of the Assistant Government Agents in Maruthankerni and Pallai divisions in the Liberation Tigers held areas have started functioning since Wednesday after an interval of eleven years. Maruthankerni is in the Jaffna district. Pallai is in the Killinochchi district
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Displaced fast demanding immediate resettlement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 09:17 GMT]
The displaced people held a one-day token fasting in front of the Tellipalai Assistant Government Office Wednesday demanding the government that it should take immediate steps to resettle them in their own villages, which are located in the high security zone.People from Tellipalai, Myliddy, Kankesanthurai, Vasavilan, Maviddapuram, Kadduwan and other areas participated in the fasting, reports from Jaffna said.
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Linganagar Tamils complain army harassment

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 May 2002, 05:08 GMT]
The residents of Linganagar, a crowded suburb of Trincomalee town have submitted a memorandum to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in the eastern port city that the Sri Lanka Army has not changed its routine checking and has not relaxed the ban on taking materials such as bricks, cement, tin sheets, poles and cadjans for repairing their houses even months after the permanent ceasefire came into effect.
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Proactive TNA role seen essential

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 May 2002, 19:20 GMT]
Nineteen civil society groups in Trincomalee Wednesday urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to play a proactive role in bringing to light continuing violations of the ceasefire by the Sri Lankan security forces and to take concerted steps to counter the efforts of Sinhala nationalists to discredit and scuttle the peace talks to end the conflict.
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SL armed forces said violating children's rights

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 May 2002, 17:38 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army and the Special Task Force haven't come up with a schedule for leaving more than eighty schools occupied by them in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai although they should have started doing so soon after the ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers came into effect on 24 February 2002, Northeast Provincial Education Ministry officials said Wednesday.
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Support urged for LTTE’s political efforts

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 May 2002, 00:18 GMT]
The leader of Sri Lanka’s largest Muslim party Monday slammed opponents of the Norwegian peace initiative and urged support for the Liberation Tigers’ political efforts, the Thinakkuaral reported Tuesday. Speaking in the parliament, Mr. Rauf Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), urged political parties to support efforts by the LTTE leader, Vellupillai Pirapaharan, to end the island’s ethnic conflict, the Tamil language daily said.
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Sinhala nationalist MPs vow to fight peace deal

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 22:07 GMT]
A large gathering of Sinhala Parliamentarians Tuesday resolved before the statue of King Duttu Gemunu in the island's ancient capital of Anuradhapura to struggle against what they called a conspiracy to divide Sri Lanka through peace talks with the Liberation Tigers. Duttu Gemunu was an ancient warrior extolled in Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition for killing Ellalan, a Tamil king of the island in the 2nd century BC, and for unifying the island under Sinhala rule.
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PA councillor arrested with firearms

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 21:25 GMT]
The Veyangoda Police Tuesday arrested a provincial councillor of the main opposition People's Alliance and three others for possessing firearms and ammunition.
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Army refuses to quit Jaffna schools

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 15:02 GMT]
Sri Lanka military commanders in Jaffna Monday refused to move troops out of several schools as required under the terms of the ceasefire agreement, Tamil press reports said. Civil administration officials who met the military to discuss moving army units out of school premises were told that troops would not be moving out of 32 schools “for the foreseeable future.” Sri Lanka defence officials said that these schools were in ‘high security’ zones and reopening them to the public would pose security risks.
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Traders warned against dealing with Tigers

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 15:00 GMT]
Sri Lankan military officers have warned traders in Kaluvanchikudy against doing business with Liberation Tigers as they would suffer the consequences when the war resumes, the Thinakural newspaper reported Tuesday. “No one should think the ethnic troubles are over. We are neighbours. we deal goods with each other, therefore should be loyal to each other,” security officials told traders at a recent meeting, the paper said.
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Civilians complain STF harassment

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 May 2002, 01:14 GMT]
Civilians in the eastern province are complaining of increased harassment by the elite Special Task Force (STF), Tamil press reports said this week. Protests have been lodged with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) over the incidents, the reports said.
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Air Force flights are "negating confidence" - LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 May 2002, 10:33 GMT]
In the wake of a series of low-level flights over the Vanni by Sri Lanka Air Force surveillance aircraft which have raised fears amongst residents, the Liberation Tigers Monday lodged a formal protest with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). The causing of panic amongst civilians by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is "a negation of the confidence building exercise undertaken by the government of Sri Lanka," the LTTE said in a letter to the SLMM.
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Ratwatte, his sons remanded again

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 May 2002, 10:24 GMT]
The Teldeniya Magistrate Monday further remanded for former Deputy Defense Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte, his two sons Lohan and Chanuka and fifteen other suspects till May 22.The Magistrate, Ms Inoka Ranasinghe, discharged twenty-one suspects including nineteen Sri Lanka Army soldiers from the Udathalawinne massacre case in which ten Muslim youths were shot dead on the day of general election held in
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Kovilkandy returnees struggle to survive

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 May 2002, 10:19 GMT]
Fisherfolk who recently resettled in Kovilkandy in the Thenmaradchi sector of the Jaffna peninsula complain that the Sri Lanka armed forces are harassing them and preventing them from fishing, press reports said Monday. Around thirty families live have resettled in the area, having initially fled the heavy fighting there in early 2000, the Thinakural reported.
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Navy assaults fishermen at sea

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 May 2002, 10:13 GMT]
Sri Lankan gunboats surrounded Tamil fishing boats far from shore and forced the occupants to jump into the sea in continuing harrasment by the Navy, press reports said Monday. Thirty five fishermen were assaulted and ordered to jump overboard 15km from the Mullaitivu shore on May 9, the Jaffna based Tamil daily Uthayan reported.
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SLA said occupying 274 temples in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 May 2002, 05:17 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army continues to occupy two hundred seventy four Hindu temples in the Jaffna district, according to initial estimates, sources in the Ministry of Hindu Affairs said Sunday. The Sri Lanka army should have vacated 'places of religious worship' by 26 March 2002 under the terms of the cease-fire agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers. The SLA continues to occupy hundreds of temples and churches in other parts of the northeastern province despite the lapse of 46 days since the deadline set by the agreement for vacating them.
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Buddhist monks meditate against truce

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 May 2002, 22:10 GMT]
About one thousand Buddhist monks Saturday took part in a demonstration and group meditation against the ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers. The protest was organised by the National Bhikku Council ('Jathika Sangha Sahba').
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TNA delegation meet Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 May 2002, 22:07 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Saturday requested the Tamil National Alliance to pressurise the Sri Lankan government for the speedy implementation of the permanent cease-fire which came into effect on February 23.
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TRO office opened in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 May 2002, 07:16 GMT]
The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) has commenced its activities in the Trincomalee district with the opening of its office in the east port town Friday. Dr.Dedo Geinitz, Team Leader of the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) in Trincomalee declared open the TRO office.
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Monks' protest leads to suspension of Temple reconstruction

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 May 2002, 07:10 GMT]
Reconstruction work of the centuries old Kanniya Pillaiyar temple has been suspended by the Trincomalee Government Agent on representations made by some Buddhist priests, who claim that the bricks found at the site belonged to the Anuradhapura period.
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Fonseka resumes command of Jaffna SLA

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 19:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army Major General Sarath Fonseka took command of troops in Jaffna Thursday, returning to a post he was transferred out of in 2000 following infighting in the SLA high command.
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Ashraff slammed for opposing truce

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 19:27 GMT]
(News Feature) Reflecting increasing irritation amongst Sri Lanka’s Muslim community over ongoing opposition by some Muslim politicians to the permanent ceasefire between the government and the Liberation Tigers, another Muslim organisation this week hailed the truce and condemned those supporting Sinhala nationalist forces opposed to peace.
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Vanni MP alleges conspiracy to derail peace talks

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 17:48 GMT]
A leading MP of the Tamil National Alliance, Mr. 'Selvam' Adaikalanathan, alleged Friday that there is a conspiracy by anti-peace Sinhala nationalist elements in the opposition and in the Sri Lankan armed forces to destabilize the United Front Government and its peace efforts. He said that there are patently systematic moves in sections of the Sinhala media and in the armed forces to discredit the UNF's peace initiative among the Sinhala masses.
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Tamil fisherman wounded in navy firing

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 17:40 GMT]
A Tamil youth was Friday admitted to the Trincomalee general hospital with gunshot injuries in his stomach. Thirty five year old Vilvarajah Jeyakanthan of Thirukdaloor, a fishing hamlet made a complaint to the local Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission that was shot and wounded by some navy personnel while he was fishing with two of his colleagues Friday morning around 9.30 a.m. in the Trincomalee sea close to Koneswaram temple, sources said.
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PA 'to oppose country's division'

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 01:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition People's Alliance Thursday vowed to step up its campaign against the Norwegian peace initiative, saying it was decided to oppose "the division of the country and suppression of fundamental rights of opposition political activists." Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, leader of the Opposition told a press conference held at his office Thursday that the cease-fire agreement currently in force is one sided and favoured the Liberation Tigers.
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Paramilitaries blamed for UNP candidates murder

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 00:58 GMT]
Members of a Tamil paramilitary group working alongside the Sri Lanka Army had shot and fatally wounded Mr.Thambiraja Jeyakumar, a United National Party candidate, during last December's parliamentary elections, an inquiry learnt Thursday. The Batticaloa Magistrate ordered that the firearms and ammunition recovered from those suspected of involvement in the murder should be sent to the Government Analyst.
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PA leader slams truce agreement

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 00:49 GMT]
(News Feature) Sri Lanka’s main opposition People’s Alliance (PA) party Thursday launched a bitter attack in Parliament on the permanent ceasefire signed by the ruling United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers in February, accusing the international truce monitors of being biased towards the Tigers.
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SLA recruitment campaign in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 May 2002, 20:39 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army called on Muslim and Tamil youth in the eastern district of Batticaloa to join up from Thursday. The SLA campaigned for recruits in the villages of Eravur, Chenkalady, Vantharumoolai, Sithaandy, Mavadivembu and Kaluwankerny in vans fixed with loud hailers Wednesday urging youth to enrol in the military.
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Thamilchelvan says A9 should be open 24 hours, slams SLN

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 May 2002, 06:57 GMT]
"The Liberation Tigers want the A9 road to be open 24 hours, on all days of the week, to ensure the free flow of goods between Jaffna and the other parts of the island," Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, the head of the LTTE's political division, told TamilNet Thursday.
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Spy planes return to Vavuniya skies

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 May 2002, 00:18 GMT]
Flights over Vavuniya by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF)caused surprise amongst residents this week, Tamil press reports said. The small reconnaissance drones were last seen in the area during the height of bitter fighting in the Vanni between Sri Lankan forces and the Liberation Tigers.
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Jaffna forces strengthen defences

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 May 2002, 23:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s security forces in Jaffna have strengthened their defences and increased their security checks on civilians, press reports said Wednesday. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) are building new defence lines and bunkers in the Thenmaradchi, Vadamaradchi and Valigamam sectors according to the Tamil language Thinakkural.
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Parliament to debate cease-fire agreement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 May 2002, 22:50 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s government Wednesday agreed to hold a full day debate in Parliament with the main opposition People’s Alliance (PA) on the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), officials said. The debate will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. till 4.30 p.m.
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Malaria outbreak in Vanni

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 May 2002, 21:23 GMT]
Northeast provincial health authorities Tuesday warned about an outbreak of malaria in the Vanni region. More than 3000 people were treated for Malaria during the past two months at the Killinochchi government hospital alone, medical sources said.
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AG's views sought on anti-NE merger petition

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 May 2002, 21:20 GMT]
The Court of Appeals Tuesday decided to obtain the views of the Attorney General about a petition filed against the permanent merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces, before holding a referendum on that matter.
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Islet residents protest military zone to SLMM

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 May 2002, 15:26 GMT]
A community group representing residents in the islets off Jaffna has appealed to the ceasefire monitors to allow Tamil Tiger cadres there and to put an end to harassment by the Sri Lanka Navy stationed into the area. The Jaffna based Tamil daily Uthayan said the residents’ two demands are detailed in a report the islanders were to hand present to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in a meeting Tuesday.
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More LTTE offices open in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 May 2002, 15:12 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Monday opened an office in Vathiri in the Vadamaradchchi sector of the Jaffna peninsula, local press reports said. Another LTTE office to serve the Thenmaradchi sector was scheduled to open in Sangaththanai Tuesday. These and other LTTE offices are being set up in Sri Lankan government controlled territory under the terms of the permanent ceasefire signed between the two sides in February.
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More LTTE activists in Trinco

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 May 2002, 05:52 GMT]
The second group of Liberation Tigers authorised to engage in political activities in government held areas under the permanent ceasefire agreement arrived in Trincomalee by sea from Mutur on Monday. The group comprising twelve LTTE members, including four women, was headed by District Political Secretary Mr.A.Ruban.
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Children returning to Trinco suffer malnutrition

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 May 2002, 20:44 GMT]
Sixty eight percent of the children returning from Vanni with their parents to be resettled in Trincomalee have been found underweight, their growth stunted by malnutrition, according to a medical survey done by the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) in the eastern district.
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Pilots picked Balasingham’s flight path

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 May 2002, 12:20 GMT]
Mr. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE’s chief negotiator and political advisor, Sunday denied reports in sections of the Colombo press that he had violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government by directing his seaplane over the Trincomalee seas on April 24 during a tense standoff between Sri Lanka Navy gunboats and Sea Tiger craft.
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LTTE slams "grave" truce breach by Navy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 May 2002, 10:19 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Sunday accused the Sri Lankan Navy of a “grave and serious violation” of the indefinite ceasefire when gunboats destroyed several civilian fishing vessels and killed two Muslim fishermen in the seas near Vaharai, Batticaloa on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan Navy is “deliberately creating conflictual situations to disrupt the peace process,” the LTTE said. “We call upon the Sri Lanka government to prevail upon the naval authorities to abandon its hostile attitude and strictly follow the peace agreement,” the Tigers said in a statement.
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'Hartal' in Mutur condemning Navy atrocities

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 May 2002, 21:06 GMT]
More than fifteen thousand people took part in demonstrations and public rallies held Saturday in Mutur east, south and west protesting against the shooting incident by the Sri Lanka Navy in Nilaveli, about 14 km north of Trincomalee town, wounding two Tamil women on April 29th night. A 'hartal' (general shut down of shops and other institutions) was also observed Saturday in the Mutur and Eechilampattai divisions covering LTTE held areas and army controlled areas, sources said.
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Muslim, Sinhala fishermen describe SLN attack

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 May 2002, 23:16 GMT]
"A shell fired by the Navy gunboat hit our trawler. Mohammed Sabeek was killed on the spot. The trawler blew up. Mohammed Hayath and I jumped into the sea and swam amid heavy firing by the Navy. Hayath who was seriously wounded in the attack died while swimming ashore around 1 a.m.
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Shun terrorism epithet says UNF minister

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 May 2002, 23:00 GMT]
"We must work hard to remove the word 'terrorism' from the dictionary. We should avoid using the word 'terrorism' in this atmosphere of peace", said Minister for Fisheries Mr. Mahinda Wijesekara, addressing fishermen in the Trincomalee Urban Council hall Friday. Minister Mahinda Wijesekara said he was able to visit Trincomalee without any security because of the cease-fire between the government and the Liberation Tigers.
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SLMM head discusses violations in Trinco

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 May 2002, 22:51 GMT]
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major General (Retd) Trond Furuhovde Friday held extensive discussions with officers of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Army in Trincomalee regarding complaints of alleged cease-fire violations in the district.
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Truce poses threat to country, President tells Maha Sangha

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 May 2002, 10:55 GMT]
President Chandrika Kumaratunga this week swore to Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist clergy that she would protect the country’s unity and territorial integrity. In a letter responding to the Maha Sangha's concerns about matters related to the Norwegian peace initiative, Kumaratunga said terms of the indefinite ceasefire signed in February posed a threat to Sri Lanka’s security. She also accused the Sri Lankan government of conspiring to suppress opposition to the peace process.
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SLA concedes on cyanide capsules

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 May 2002, 00:48 GMT]
Twenty-eight Liberation Tigers entered Jaffna last Monday under the terms of the permanent ceasefire, but only after disagreements with Sri Lanka soldiers manning the checkpoint at Muhamalai over body searches, press reports said this week. Following a heated argument over the LTTE cadres’ cyanide capsules, the Army commander has reportedly accepted that the carrying of these was henceforth not to be opposed.
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SLMM rules Sea Tiger convoy did not breach truce

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 May 2002, 17:01 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has informed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership that it does not consider the sailing of a Sea Tiger convoy which was intercepted and challenged by Sri Lankan navy gunboats near Trincomalee seas Wednesday last week as a breach of the indefinite ceasefire agreement.
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Navy fire sinks fishing boats

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 May 2002, 12:49 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Navy Wednesday fired on fishing boats of the coast of Vaakarai, destroying at least two vessels and killing several fishermen, residents in the coastal village said. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has been sent a strongly worded protest by the Liberation Tigers, sources in Kilinochchi said Thursday. Reporting the incident Wednesday the Sri Lanka military claimed the boats were LTTE craft and that one had blown itself up.
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"Settlement sans traditional homeland concept" - PM

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 20:04 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe said that a system of devolution of power must be found at the negotiating table without dividing the country and without accepting the concept of a traditional Tamil homeland. He was addressing the first May Day rally of the United National Front (UNF) government held Wednesday at Colombo Municipal Council grounds.
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NDF urges govt to lift LTTE ban

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 19:50 GMT]
The New Democratic Front Wednesday appealed to the United National Front government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and hand over the administration of the interim administration of the northeast province to a council headed by the LTTE.
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"Muslims will join LTTE's struggle" - SLMC organiser

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 19:48 GMT]
"The leader of the Liberation Tigers has recognised that the Muslims also have a right to this land. We, the Muslims, have a right to live on this soil. Therefore, we too shall join the struggle if the war starts again," said the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress's chief organiser for the Vavuniya district, Mr. Aariff, speaking at the May Day rally in Vavuniya Wednesday evening.
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Thousands at May Day rallies in Northeastern province

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 19:05 GMT]
More than ten thousand people took part in the May Day rally in Kumarapuram in southern Trincomalee Wednesday afternoon. Thousands also gathered for May Day rallies in Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaithivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna. Mr. Karikalan hoisted the flag of the Liberation Tigers at the rally of more than fifteen thousand in Palugamam, 30 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa.
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Tamil journalists still face danger - RSF

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 19:02 GMT]
The Reporters Sans Frontiers, the French media watchdog, said in its annual report on press freedom released Wednesday that working conditions for Tamil journalists remain very dangerous in Sri Lanka, especially when they report on human rights violations. "They are easily accused of supporting the Tamil Tigers guerrilla movement. The 1998 Emergency Law allows security forces to arrest anyone suspected of maintaining relations with this banned separatist organisation. But how can anyone work in the north and east of the country without having contacts with the Tamil Tigers, who are everywhere?" the RSF report said.
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More LTTE cadres arrive in Vavuniya, Mannar

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 May 2002, 14:53 GMT]
Twenty-four cadres from the Liberation Tigers' political section entered the government-controlled towns of Mannar and Vavuniya Tuesday to begin work under the terms of the indefinite ceasefire which began on February 23, reports said. They are part of the 100 cadres scheduled to enter government controlled territory 60 days after the truce began, in addition to the fifty who assumed duties a month ago.
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