171 Reports

'Peace talks enter crucial stage'- Ranil

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 17:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Friday said in parliament that the peace talks between his government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has entered a crucial stage. Concluding the debate in parliament on his presentation during the aid conference in Oslo, he said his government would not allow the peace talks to be derailed at any cost.
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UNICEF-LTTE agree to work to uplift war affected children

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 17:33 GMT]
The UNICEF and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Friday agreed to work together for the welfare of the war affected children in the northeast after a meeting in Kilinochichi lasting nearly two hours between the UNICEF Executive Director, Ms Carol Bellamy, and LTTE political head Mr.S.P.Thamilselvan, sources said.
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SLA presence is ethnic cleansing in another form - MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 14:52 GMT]
“Deploying a Sinhala army in large areas after evicting Tamils from their towns and villages is another form of ethnic cleansing. An army occupying the homes and lands of our people cannot call itself their guardian. Only a foreign army will drive out people and occupy their towns and villages. I therefore consider the army occupying our lands as a foreign army," said Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan Tamil National Alliance MP for Vanni, sources said.
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Rotarians to honour Trincomalee senior citizens

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 12:03 GMT]
The Rotary Club of Trincomalee is to honour four leading senior citizens in the east port town Saturday for their valued services in their field and to the community. The Rotary Governor Rotarian Mr. N.Pathmanathan who is also Deputy Secretary to the Treasury will honour the senior citizens at an event scheduled to be held Saturday evening at the Rotary House in Trincomalee, sources said.
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GA seeks permission to transport rice from Vanni to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 11:54 GMT]
The Jaffna Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan said at the rehabilitation conference held Friday at Jaffna district secretariat that he has sought permission from the Prime Minister to bring rice from Liberation Tigers (LTTE) held Vanni region to be distributed in the peninsula easing shortage, sources in Jaffna said.
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Protests force Minister to cancel Jaffna visit

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 11:25 GMT]
Minister of Rehabilitation Reconstruction and Resettlement, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, cancelled his visit to Jaffna as residents and members of peoples organizations announced in advance to hold black band demonstration in protest to his visit.
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Jaffna Magistrate remands Indian fishermen

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 01:49 GMT]
The Mallakam Magistrate in Jaffna district Thursday ordered remand for ten South Indian fishermen from Nagapatinam who strayed into the high security zone (HSZ) in the northern territorial water of Sri Lanka and were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Wednesday night, sources said.
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WHO to donate eight ambulances to NE

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 01:41 GMT]
The World Health Organization (WHO) is to donate eight ambulances, each costing about Rs 1.8 million, to the North East Provincial Council to conduct mobile medical services in remote villages and difficult areas in the northeast province, provincial health ministry sources in Trincomalee said.
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'UNF govt is helping LTTE to achieve Eelam'-JVP

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 01:27 GMT]
During a debate in the Sri Lanka parliament Thursday on the presentation made by Prime Minister at the Oslo aid summit, the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Mr.Wimal Weerawanse said that the LTTE is adroitlyusing the present peace process to show the world that it has already established a region under their control in the island, parliamentary sources said.
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Jaffna residents to protest against visits by ministers, diplomats

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 January 2003, 01:18 GMT]
The Vadamarachchi Peoples Forum (VPF) Thursday said in a statement that it would show its opposition to the visit of ministers, opposition leaders and foreign diplomats to Vadamarachchi as the authorities have failed to provide basic facilities and haven't addressed problems confronting the resettled the people in the area although one year has passed after the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), sources said.
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GOSL, LTTE hold high-level conference in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 January 2003, 16:35 GMT]
A high level conference between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the LTTE, observed by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, was held from 10:15 am to 3:30 pm Thursday at the Vavunatheevu divisional secretariat, located in no-man’s land in the Batticaloa district, sources said.
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ICRC to focus on missing persons this year

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 January 2003, 05:31 GMT]
As there is a currently a ceasefire in the North-East, the ICRC has stopped many of its war-time humanitarian services, but it will fully involve itself in the search for missing persons this year, according to the resident representative of the ICRC in Batticaloa, Mr. Daniel Scheiwiller.
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Public angered as police removes billboard

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 January 2003, 05:23 GMT]
The police in Batticaloa in the early morning hours Wednesday removed the billboard erected by the public near the Pillaiyar temple located at the entrance to the Batticaloa town, with the sign "Welcome to the land where courage grows," sources said
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ADB provides agricultural machinery to NE agencies

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 January 2003, 02:02 GMT]
The North East Community Restoration and Development (NECORD) project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wednesday distributed agricultural machinery, implements and lorries worth around 117 million rupees among the implementing agencies in the districts of Mannar, Vavuniya, Killinochchi and Batticaloa, sources said.
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Mirusuvil massacre accused remanded, warrant on witnesses

[TamilNet, Thursday, 30 January 2003, 01:00 GMT]
The trial-at-bar comprising three judges of the Colombo High Court in the Mirusuvil massacre case Wednesday ordered remand for the five accused soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and issued warrant on four vital witnesses who had intimated through the State Counsel from Jaffna their inability to attend the trial due to fear, legal sources in Colombo said.
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GOSL, LTTE and WB to meet again in Colombo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 23:38 GMT]
The delegations of the Government of Sri Lanka, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and World Bank are scheduled to meet Thursday (30.1.2003) in Colombo to hold discussions related to the funds pledged at the donor conference in Oslo, Norway last year. Minister and Cabinet spokesman Professor G.L.Peiris informed this at a press briefing held Wednesday.
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Saudi aid for road construction in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 23:30 GMT]
A three member expert team of Saudi Development Fund arrived Trincomalee Wednesday accompanied by Minister and the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Mr.Rauff Hakim and conducted a feasibility study for the proposed construction of a four hundred meter long bridge over the Trincomalee-Kinniya lagoon at a cost of around five hundred million rupees, Port ministry sources said.
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No evidence that ragging took place - LTTE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 17:13 GMT]
In a statement released to the public today, the LTTE political division in Jaffna said that they found no evidence of the ragging incident mentioned in a letter published in the Uthayan on January 16. The statement added that the publication of the letter has given rise to serious differences between the newspaper and the student community, and cautioned that everyone should be alert to identify elements that attempt to create disharmony among our people, sources in Jaffna said.
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Victims of Mahiladi village massacre remembered

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 15:50 GMT]
A memorial commemorating the 86 Tamil people killed in a massacre by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) on January 28, 1987, in Mahiladitheevu, 25 km southwest of Batticaloa town in the Kokkadicholai area, was declared open yesterday in a ceremony organized by the Mahiladi village development council, sources in Batticaloa said.
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'LTTE, IRA have political goals' - British Minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 15:39 GMT]
British Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien said Wednesday that the global war against terrorism may be long drawn out because the Al Qaeda has an agenda with which there cannot be negotiations, unlike the LTTE and the IRA who have political goals. He was speaking on 'New Threats to International Security' at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo Wednesday.
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"Sri Lankan peace process holds lessons for the world" - British Minister

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 12:50 GMT]
The Sri Lanka peace process holds a lesson for the world, that long-lasting conflicts can be resolved if both sides have the courage to put bitterness and mistrust behind them, and find the flexibility and generosity of spirit to reach a compromise which can satisfy all sides, writes British Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien who arrived in Colombo today for a two-day visit.
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ICRC ready to support 24-hour A9 opening

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 January 2003, 12:34 GMT]
If requested by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is willing to support the opening of the A9 highway for 24 hours a day, Danique Lugi, ICRC Director of Communications, said today.
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UNESCO photo-book exhibition opens in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 18:41 GMT]
The Travelling Photo and Book Exhibition sponsored by the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO, was declared open Tuesday at the Trincomalee Town Hall by the North Eastern Provincial Education Ministry Secretary, Mr.R.Thiagalingam.
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SLA collects details of resettled families in Thenmaradchchi

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 18:01 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Monday called for details of displaced persons returned from LTTE controlled Vanni region and have resettled in their own villages in Thenmaradchchi area in the Jaffna district after the opening of A 9 highway since the ceasefire came into force, civil sources said.
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SLMM chief holds talks with LTTE political head

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 18:00 GMT]
The Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Major General (retd) Trond Furuhovde Monday held discussions with the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Mr.S.P.Thamilselvan, and said that the LTTE has fully co-operated with the mission in its tasks.
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New SLA camp in Varani

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 17:57 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has built a new camp in a housing scheme in Varani, Jaffna, local residents said. They said that the playground of the village has also been taken over by the SLA for the new camp. At least ten families in the housing scheme have been moved out by the military from the area demarcated for the camp, the residents claimed.
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ADB provides assistance to NE agriculture, health

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 13:22 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded North East Community Restoration and Development Project (NECORD) is to distribute several hundred thousand rupees worth of agricultural machinery, implements and lorries among the implementing agencies to facilitate the resettlement and reconstruction programme in the districts of Mannar, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Killinochchi, sources said.
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LTTE rejects Indian General's terms on HSZs

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 January 2003, 08:33 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will not accept recommendations from international military experts that link the "critical humanitarian issue" of resettling internally displaced persons and refugees in Jaffna to disarming of its cadres and de-commissioning of its weapons, the movement's chief negotiator and political strategist, Mr Anton Balasingham, told the Tamil Guardian newspaper Monday. The Tigers "will fiercely oppose and reject any proposal that makes resettlement of refugees conditional upon de-commissioning of LTTE weapons," he said further.
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LTTE hands over underage youths to parents through UNICEF

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 January 2003, 17:32 GMT]
The UNICEF Monday played a facilitator role accepting three underage youths from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and handing them back to their parents. Three boys who came on their own to join Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were handed over to the UNICEF in Trincomalee by the LTTE Monday evening, sources said
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Indian trawlers damage Jaffna fishermen's gear

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 January 2003, 17:28 GMT]
Incidents of Indian fishing trawlers entering Sri Lankan water in northern sea and damaging fishing gear belongs to Jaffna fishermen are once again on the increase, said Jaffna Fisheries Co-operative Sources said Monday.
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SLN assaults Tamil fishermen in Vadamarachchi Sea

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 January 2003, 17:26 GMT]
Four Tamil fishermen identified as Venkatasalam Arumaichelvan, Gunam Chandrakumar, Joseph Premadas and Sinnathurai Rajendran were severely assaulted by the Sri Lanka navy (SLN) personnel in Vadamarachchi Sea Monday. They were later admitted to Valvettithurai hospital in Jaffna district, human rights sources said.
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Stop harassing fishermen, Court tells SLN commander

[TamilNet, Monday, 27 January 2003, 15:43 GMT]
The Muttur Magistrate Mr. T.L.A.Manaf Monday instructed the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to assist Muttur Police to arrest SLN personnel who were in the naval craft which rammed the fishing boat, killing one Muslim fisherman on December 31 last year, legal sources said.
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'Peace process will continue uninterrupted'- Minister

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 January 2003, 19:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Interior Minister Mr.John Amaratunge, while addressing a seminar held in Trincomalee Town Hall Sunday morning, said that it is very difficult to find solutions to all contradictions created during the twenty year old war within a year. The seminar was held to mobilize the support of the people for the peace process now being taken forward by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), sources said.
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Exclusive use of Sinhala in Trinco Courts must stop - Lawyers

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 January 2003, 12:28 GMT]
The Trincomalee Bar Association has complained to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLMM) that complaints made by Tamil speaking people in the Trincomalee are recorded only in Sinhala and the police file plaints in law courts only in Sinhala language causing immense hardships to Tamil speaking litigants and lawyers, sources in Trincomalee said.
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STF intimidation in Amparai village

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 January 2003, 12:19 GMT]
"Some officers in the Special Task Force (STF) haven't yet come to terms with the reality that Tamils are not their abject slaves- even after one year of peace," said Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandranehru, Tamil National Alliance MP for the Amparai district, referring to instances of assault and intimidation of civilians by commandos of STF, the elite counter insurgency arm of the Sri Lankan armed forces, deployed mostly on the island's Southeastern coast.
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'Decommissioning of arms after finding political solution'- PM

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 January 2003, 17:09 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe said this is not opportune time, before finding a lasting political solution, to demand decommissing of arms from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), when addressing the annual convention of the pro-government Sri Lanka Estate Workers Union at Sri Kotha, United National Party headquarters, in Colombo Saturday.
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Undergrads protest leads to postponement of VC election

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 January 2003, 14:46 GMT]
The election of new Vice Chancellor (VC) to the Jaffna University was not held as scheduled Saturday when undergraduates prevented a member from attending the Senate meeting. The university authorities had to postpone the Senate meeting for January 29, sources in the University campus said.
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New SLA camp in Chavakchcheri displaces resettlers

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 January 2003, 14:42 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna, is building a new camp in an outer suburb of the war ravaged town where refugee families that fled the war more than two years resettled recently, residents said. Three families, which resettled in their homes by the Kandy Road two months ago, vacated their houses Friday as ordered by the SLA. Four resettled families here left Saturday out of fear, sources in Chavakachcheri said.
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ICRC assumes new role in peaceful Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 January 2003, 01:21 GMT]
Although the country has entered a transitional period towards normality as a result of the peace process, the ICRC will remain in Sri Lanka to implement long term projects in helping to solve 'missing cases' and dissemination of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), said the Head of the ICRC, Trincomalee sub delegation, Ms Lina Milner at the first press conference of the ICRC in 2003 in Trincomalee Friday.
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HRC begins inquiry into Jaffna disappearances

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 January 2003, 01:10 GMT]
A committee of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) Friday commenced its inquiry into the alleged disappearance of more than six hundred persons after being arrested by the Sri Lanka Army during 1996-1997, sources said.
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SLA intelligence said bullying Mannar farmers

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2003, 16:16 GMT]
The Mannar Farmers' Federation said Friday that soldiers from the Sri Lanka army's intelligence unit in the district were harassing and threatening local cultivators and agrarian officials to dissuade them from attending public functions in which representatives of the political and development divisions of the Liberation Tigers take part.
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Fifth Session of Talks in Berlin

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2003, 11:02 GMT]
The fifth session of peace negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will be held on 7 – 8 February at the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, the Norwegian government said in a statement Friday.
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New SLMM head appointed

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2003, 10:47 GMT]
The head of the international cease-fire monitors in Sri Lanka, Norwegian Army Major General (retired) Trond Furuhovde, will be succeeded by Norwegian Army Major General (retired) Tryggve Tellefsen in late February or March, the Norwegian government said in a statement Friday. Maj. Gen. Furuhovde will hand over leadership of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to Maj. Gen. Tellefsen, and continue as an advisor on cease-fire related matters to the Norwegian government afterwards, the statement said.
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Record inquiry in Tamil, MPGA demands

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2003, 02:03 GMT]
Investigations into the disappearance of more than 600 Tamil youths in Jaffna during 1996 and 1997 due to begin on 24 January in the Jaffna premises of the Human Rights Commision (HRC), must be recorded in Tamil, demanded the Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) in a decision taken at a recent meeting and conveyed to the HRC, said sources in Jaffna.
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GA requests data on SLA occupied private properties

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2003, 01:33 GMT]
The Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna, Mr. S. Pathmanathan, ordered the Assistant Government Agents (AGAs) in Jaffna district to obtain details on civilian residences and private lands occupied by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the peninsula, sources in the Northern town said.
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HRC committee to inquire into disappearances in the East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 19:23 GMT]
The chairman of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC), Dr.Godfrey Gunatilake on Thursday said that the HRC is to appoint a committee to look into the complaints of disappearances of persons in Trincomalee and the eastern province, and people in Trincomalee can make their complaints to the committee regarding all disappearances of persons.
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GOSL-LTTE leaders brief diplomats in Colombo

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 19:16 GMT]
Representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) met in Colombo at a well-guarded five star hotel for the first time in twelve years Thursday morning, and briefed the international donor countries on the immediate humanitarian needs.
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Ratwatte's bail petition denied

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 19:14 GMT]
The three-member bench of the High Court hearing the Udathalawinne massacre case Thursday rejected the bail application made by the defence and ordered that former Deputy defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte should be remanded till the trial is over.
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Jaffna undergrads suspend protest campaign

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 19:04 GMT]
Jaffna university students Thursday suspended their campaign of boycotting classes that began Monday to protest the publication of a letter carried by the Uthayan, a leading regional Tamil daily, alleging that senior students were involved in ragging freshers.
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Shortened fifth round of talks in Europe

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 11:59 GMT]
The fifth round of direct talks between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government will be held in Europe on 7-8 February, the Norwegian government said Thursday. The duration of the round has been shortened to enable the LTTE to complete internal consultations before the next stage of the peace process, the statement said. Heavy flooding and the risk of virulent infectious diseases had prevented the LTTE Chief Negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, from travelling to the Vanni, it added.
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DRC discusses participation in NE relief efforts

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 02:42 GMT]
Representatives of Danish Refugee Council (DRC), led by Nelson Benderson from the Asia-Africa Head Office, met with Thamilchelvan, Head of the political section of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in Kilinochchi Tuesday, sources in Vanni said.
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Humanitarian issues stressed in Swiss Ambassador meeting

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 January 2003, 01:23 GMT]
In a meeting with a Swiss delegation headed by the ambassador for Switzerland in Sri Lanka, Hon. Bernardino Regazzoni today, S.P.Thamilchelvan, the political leader of the LTTE, has stressed that the immediate focus of the peace process should be on the humanitarian needs of the people of the North-East, according to the ambassador.
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Jaffna committee on resettlement to commence work

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 18:48 GMT]
The twenty one-member Jaffna district committee appointed to look into the question of resettling displaced in areas outside high security zones is to commence its work Thursday. This decision was taken at a conference held at the Jaffna district secretariat Wednesday, sources said.
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HRC on a fact-finding mission to Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 18:47 GMT]
The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Dr.Godfrey Gunatilake, with two other commissioners, Ms. Manouri Muttetuwagama and Mr. Ameer Zeinudeen, arrived in Trincomalee Wednesday on a two-day fact finding mission, sources said.
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SLN eastern commander ordered to appear in court

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 18:47 GMT]
Notice has been served on the Eastern Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy based in Trincomalee to appear in the Muttur Magistrate's Court on January 27 in connection with the death of a Muslim fisherman, Yakub Jawad of Nadutheivu in Muttur, when his fishing boat was rammed by an SLN speedboat on 31st December last year, legal sources said.
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General Ratwatte further remanded

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 15:52 GMT]
The three-member bench of High Court Wednesday ordered further remand for the fifteen accused including General Anurudha Ratwatte and his two sons Lohan and Chanuka till Thursday in the Udathalawinne massacre case. The Court said it would deliver his ruling whether General Ratwatte should be released on bail or not on the application made by the defence, legal sources said.
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Downward trend in ceasefire violations seen - SLMM

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 13:02 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Commission (SLMM) in a press release issued today observed that the positive and ongoing development in the ceasefire during the last several months has been the decrease in the number of ceasefire violations. Most number of violations occurred in December was in Batticaloa(61) followed by Jaffna(46), Vavuniya(16), Ampara(7) and Trincomalee(1), the release said.
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SLAF unmanned aerial vehicle crashes in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 12:42 GMT]
An Israeli made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) crashed Wednesday morning around eleven into an onion field in Alaveddi, seventeen km from Jaffna town soon after it left the Palaly airbase in the peninsula. No casualties were reported, sources said.
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Families await resettlement in Vavuniya district

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 04:35 GMT]
1795 families displaced from Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas and Liberation Tigers (LTTE) controlled areas in Vavuniya district have requested assistance to resettle in their villages and details of these families have been collected by the Vavuniya civil authorities, sources in Vavuniya said.
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LTTE returns five Batticaloa youths to their parents

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 January 2003, 03:54 GMT]
Five youths under 16 years who approached the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political offices in Batticaloa expressing their wish to join the movement were returned to their parents Tuesday in the presence of members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), sources in Batticaloa said.
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SLMM, SLA to conduct joint visit to Jaffna HSZs

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 22:09 GMT]
The Norwegian Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and high officials of Sri Lanka Army led by Jaffna area commander, Major General Sarath Fonseka, are to commence joint inspection in the high security zones in the peninsula on Wednesday to gather information about civilian houses occupied by the SLA, sources said.
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Student boycott cripples Jaffna University

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 22:06 GMT]
More than five thousand undergraduates boycotted classes Monday demanding that the management of the Jaffna University take immediate steps to exert pressure on the Jaffna-based Tamil daily, Uthayan, to tender an apology for having published a false news story on alleged ragging of freshers by senior students, sources said.
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Sri Lanka's PM briefs Chandrika on peace talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 18:56 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Tuesday briefed President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge about the progress of the fourth round peace talks held in Thailand. Minister Mr.Milinda Morogoda associated with the Prime Minister in the talks, government sources said.
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Udathalawinne massacre accused remanded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 12:16 GMT]
The three-member bench of the High Court Tuesday rejected the preliminary objections raised by the defence in the Udathalawinne massacre case. The High Court further ordered all the accused including former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte and his two sons Lohan and Chanuka be remanded till tomorrow (Wednesday), legal sources inColombo said.
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SIHRN meets to discuss project implementation strategies

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 04:37 GMT]
Discussions involving several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) functioning in the North East on defining strategies to implement projects to be supported by funds from the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN), led by the Director of SIHRN secretariat, Selvin Iranius, took place in Kilinochchi, Monday, sources in Vanni said.
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Uthayan's ragging coverage earns students' ire

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 03:44 GMT]
Jaffna University students protested against story alleging involvement of students in ragging activities published in Uthayan, a leading Tamil news paper in Jaffna, by a campus wide boycott of lectures on Monday, sources in Jaffna said.
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French artist visits Vakarai

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 03:24 GMT]
Didier Bayle, a noted French artist, on his first visit to Vakarai, met with local students and taught them the intricacies of the subject of art. He, through art, encouraged the children to express their inner feelings to discover the psychological impact of war on children, sources said.
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NEPC officials urged to prepare for administrative changes

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 19:36 GMT]
The Chief Secretary of the North East Provincial Council Mr.S.Rangarajah Sunday declared open a two storied new building for the provincial Management Development and Training Department (MDTD) at Uppuveli in Trincomalee. He appealed to public servants in the northeast province to prepare themselves for knowledge base administration.
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Scout group at Trinco orphanage holds festival

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 19:27 GMT]
Orphaned children who have formed a scout group at the Uppuveli Sivananda Thabovanam Children Home in Trincomalee held a Scout-Farmers festival Sunday evening.
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Trial-at-Bar inquiry into Udathalawinne massacre begins

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 15:42 GMT]
The Trial-at-Bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre case commenced Monday before a three-member bench of High Court. In this case former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudhha Ratwatte and his two sons, Rohan and Chanuka, and twelve Sri Lanka Army soldiers have been indicted on several counts, including conspiracy to murder and murder of ten Muslim youths on the general election day on December 5 last year at Udathalawinne in Kandy district.
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UNF government to hold peace seminar in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 15:40 GMT]
United National Front (UNF) government has begun to conduct a series of seminars to enlighten people on the ongoing peace process as well as on a power sharing system for the country. Such seminars were already were held in Matale and the second one at Ampara. During the weekend several such seminars were held at Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, sources said.
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Opposition leader supports UNF-LTTE peace talks

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 January 2003, 13:29 GMT]
Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, Leader of the Opposition Monday said in Jaffna that he would not oppose the present peace talks now being held between the United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), sources in Jaffna said. On his first official visit to Jaffna as the leader of the opposition Mr Mahinda Rajapakse declared open the Hindu Vedic Teaching School constructed by the Ministry of Hindu Cultural Affairs.
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Japanese peace envoy praises LTTE's sincerity

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 January 2003, 18:49 GMT]
Mr.Yasushi Akashi, Japanese special peace envoy said Saturday that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) participates in the peace talks with dedication, sincerity and with open heart.
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New home for war orphans opened in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 January 2003, 17:49 GMT]
A new building constructed at a cost of three million rupees to house children whose parents have been killed in the war was declared open by Mr.S.Rangaraja, Chief Secretary of the Northeast provincial Council, Sunday morning at Trincomalee- Uppuveli Sivananda Thabovanam. Presiding over the event Mr.Kuralamutham Vinayagasothy, Managing Trustee of the Thabovanam, said more than two hundred children are growing up cared for by the institution.
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World Bank to launch needs assessment survey in NorthEast

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 January 2003, 17:40 GMT]
The World Bank said Sunday it is to launch a comprehensive needs assessment survey on Monday (January 20) in partnership with the United Nations and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to identify problems related to housing, education, infrastructure development, resettlement and employment in the northeast province, Colombo sources said.
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'Federalism will unite divided Sri Lanka' – Jaffna don

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 January 2003, 12:48 GMT]
“This country is already divided. This is the ground reality. The Sinhalese people have to be told this. There is no point in talking about history now. The Indo-Lanka Accord, the Banda-Chelva Pact and the Dudley Chelva Pact have recognized the separate distinct identity of the Tamils in the past. The Sinhalese have to be told that the divided country can be united by granting a federal solution," said Prof. S. K Sittampalam, a senior historian, speaking at a seminar on ‘Federalizing the Sri Lankan State’ in the University of Jaffna Sunday.
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TULF urges govt. to expedite displaced resettlement

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2003, 20:42 GMT]
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), main constituent of the Tamil National Alliance Saturday urged the United National Front government to expeditiously take steps to enable the displaced people to recommence normal life in their original places of residence. A resolution this effect was adopted at the central working committee meeting of the Tamil United Liberation Front held in Vavuniya Saturday.
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WHO signs agreement to improve NorthEast health sector

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2003, 13:24 GMT]
The World Health Organization (WHO) Saturday signed a service agreement with the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) to establish its first regional office in the island in Trincomalee to improve the health sector in the Tamil dominated province. Dr.Kan Tun, Sri Lanka resident representative of WHO Sri and Mr.S.Rangaraja, chief secretary of the NEPC signed the agreement at 12 noon Saturday, sources said.
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'We want our land' - Second Pongu Thamil theme

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 January 2003, 12:25 GMT]
The first year anniversary celebrations of Pongu Thamil (Tamil Resurgence) movement in northeast province which was held at the Jaffna University grounds Friday concluded with the declaration of the theme "We want our land," sources in Jaffna said.
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Floods in Ampara leave many homeless

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 January 2003, 21:33 GMT]
About 75,000 families in Ampara have been displaced and have sought shelter in public buildings as a result of heavy rains and flooding for the last few days in the district,ources in Ampara said today.
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World Bank vice president visits Chavakachcheri

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 January 2003, 17:45 GMT]
Ms Mieko Nishimizu, Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia Friday toured the war ravaged Chavakachcheri and other parts of Thenmaradchchi areas in Jaffna district. She earlier held discussion with the Government Agent and other heads of local government departments at Jaffna district secretariat, sources said.
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'Govt. to take final decision on HSZ soon'-Peiris

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 January 2003, 17:38 GMT]
Prof. G.L.Peiris, a senior minister in the United National Front government (UNF) and the leader of Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) peace delegation, Friday said that he expected the report of the Indian defence expert Sathish Nambiar within next few days on the question of resettling displaced in the high security zones (HSZ) in the Jaffna peninsula. Minister Mr.Peiris told diplomats that the government would take a final decision on the resettlement of displaced in HSZ once it received Nambiar report, sources in Colombo said.
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Pirapaharan welcomes Japanese envoy, President cancels meeting

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 January 2003, 12:07 GMT]
Leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Pirapaharan, sent his greetings through LTTE's political head, ThamilChelvan, to the visiting World bank Vice president, Ms Meiko Nishimizu, Special peace envoy of the Government of Japan, Mr.Yasushi Akashi, World Bank Country Director Mr. Peter Harold and other delegates to the meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation (SIHRN) which met in Kilinochchi, Voice of Tigers (VoT), reported in its late night broadcast yesterday.
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Colonel Kittu's tenth anniversary commemorated

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 January 2003, 22:54 GMT]
The tenth death anniversary of Colonel Kittu, a senior commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was observed in northeastern province Thursday. Colonel Kittu and nine other LTTE members committed suicide when the Indian Navy cordoned off the boat in which they were sailing to Sri Lanka. Kittu was the head of the LTTE's International Secretariat at the time of his death.
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SIHRN identifies 11 projects for immediate implementation in NE

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 January 2003, 10:31 GMT]
Mr.Yasushi Akashi, special peace envoy of the Government of Japan and Ms Mieko Nishimizu, World Bank Vice President for South Asia participated at the second day meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN) held Thursday at Killinochchi. Eleven projects have been identified for immediate implementation in the north and east at the SIHRN meeting after eleven hour discussion, said a press release issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
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Vahaneri villagers, children lack basic facilities

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 January 2003, 03:51 GMT]
In a ceremony held Tuesday, Shoah Foundation donated chairs and desks for one hundred students of Vahaneri Kokulum Vidyalam in Kalkudah education district, Batticaloa, who for the past several years had to learn their lessons in school seated on the ground, education officials in Batticaloa said. The gift also included a teacher's chair and a desk, and other school supplies.
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SIHRN discusses resettlement, rehabilitation

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 16:18 GMT]
In the meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) held Wednesday at Killinochchi, a decision was taken to appoint a twenty-one member committee to take steps regarding the resettlement of displaced in Jaffna peninsula, sources said.
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Sinhala opposition to Sri Lanka peace effort mounts

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 15:32 GMT]
Opposition to Sri Lanka’s peace process gathered further momentum as a new Sinhala nationalist organisation comprising powerful opposition politicians and Buddhist monks wowed Wednesday to agitate for separating the northeast into two provinces. Agitation by Sinhala nationalists to de-merge the northeast would be another spanner in the works for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s effort to negotiate peace with the Liberation Tigers to end two decades of armed conflict that has ravaged the island.
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Committee to activate Trincomalee university campus

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 15:31 GMT]
The Prime Minister has appointed a high level committee to activate the functions of the Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka following request made by the Trincomalee district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan. Mr. Sampanthan requested the PM to take immediate steps to develop the Trincomalee campus providing all facilities as it has been ignored by the authorities, sources said.
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CJ lays foundation stone for Trincomalee new court complex

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 15:29 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Mr.Sarath N.Silva Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the new court complex in Trincomalee town, which is to be constructed at a cost of seventy-one million rupees with the financial assistance of the International Development Agency of the World Bank under the Legal and Judicial Reforms Project.
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Omanthai celebrates Pongal after five years

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 13:35 GMT]
In addition to visiting their lands and the remnants of their war ravaged homes, people of Omanthai celebrated Thai Pongal in the famous Varasithi Vinayagar Hindu Temple after a lapse of five years,sources visiting Omanthai said today.
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Akashi in Sri Lanka to promote peace building

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 11:52 GMT]
Mr. Yasuka Akashi, the Representative of the Government of Japan, is in Sri Lanka from the 15th to 19th to continue his mission of peace building, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka, a press release from the Embassy of Japan said. Mr. Akashi will visit Kilinochi, Matara and Hambantota during his visit and will attend the meeting of Sub-Committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN)
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Religious leaders urged to work for peace

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 04:22 GMT]
"Religions have been the cause for more than seventy five percent of the wars that took place in the world. There will be no progress in this country without peace. Religious leaders should play a vital role in bringing peace," said Mr.B.K.Ramesh Bhai Shah of Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre in a meeting at the management centre of the North East Provincial Ministry of Education, sources said.
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Apathy spells bleak future for Jaffna coconut

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 20:25 GMT]
More than hundred and fifty thousand coconut trees were destroyed in Jaffna due to military operations, officials of the state run Coconut Development Board (CDB) said Tuesday. However, only about 15 thousand saplings have been replanted so far, one year after the ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers, the officials said.
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CJ to lay foundation stone for first court complex in NE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 19:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, Mr.Sarath N.Silva, is to lay the foundation stone for a four-storied court complex in Trincomalee, Wednesday, legal sources said.
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TNA demands compensation to Tamil victims of police violence

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 19:14 GMT]
Following a request Tuesday by the Tamil National Alliance that the relatives of the dead and injured during police violence should be paid compensation, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, directed the Interior Ministry to submit a report about the victims of violence that took place at Kanjirankuda in Ampara district, an eastern port town in the outskirts of Trincomalee district, and Nelliayadi in the Jaffna district last year.
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TNA protests new Buddhist shrine in Tamil village

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 19:12 GMT]
A Tamil National Alliance delegation, headed by Mr.R.Sampanthan, Tuesday met with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, and protested the construction of a new Buddhist shrine in Vilankulam, a historically Tamil a village, and the ban on renovating the historic Hindu temple at Kanniya, in Trincomalee, which had been destroyed by the war, sources said.
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UN, GOSL, LTTE discuss refugee return from India

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 18:53 GMT]
Representatives of the UNHCR, Liberation Tigers (LTTE) and the government of Sri Lankan (GOSL) who took part in a workshop on 'Preparations for Voluntary Repatriation of Sri Lankan Refugees from India' held in Kilinochchi Tuesday stressed that further investments in the northeast remains necessary to create conditions conducive to the "safe and dignified organised voluntary repatriation of refugees from India to Sri Lanka."
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Sri Lanka Buddhist monks oppose peace deal

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 18:45 GMT]
Hundreds of Buddhist monks Tuesday vowed to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government if it did not listen to their exhortations against a peace deal with the Liberation Tigers. More than two thousand protestors, led by the ‘Federation of Bikkhus to Rescue the Motherland’, a large umbrella organisation of Buddhist monks, gathered at the Nugegoda Junction, a busy intersection in one of Colombo’s crowded suburbs, Tuesday afternoon to condemn Colombo’s peace negotiations with the LTTE.
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Forced to do Party work, Govt. employees complain

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 18:08 GMT]
Field officers of the para military Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) controlled local bodies in the Jaffna district Tuesday complained to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that they are being forced to distribute EPDP political pamphlets house to house in their areas, sources said.
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Jaffna local bodies to be administered by special commissioners

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 14:14 GMT]
The life term of all local authorities in the Jaffna district, which expires on February this year, will not be extended. Instead special commissioners will be appointed to administer these local bodies. A decision this effect was taken at the discussion between the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary delegation and the government group led by the Prime Minister held Tuesday, TNA sources said.
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SLA cannot deny the rights of IDPs to resettle in HSZ - TNA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 January 2003, 12:50 GMT]
The United National Front (UNF) government Tuesday gave assurances to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that it would take steps to resettle displaced inside the high security zone (HSZ) in Jaffna once the Indian defence expert submits a report on that issue, sources said. TNA stressed that although SLA is empowered by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to prevent Liberation Tigers (LTTE) from entering the HSZ, SLA cannot deny the rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from resettling in their own homes in their own land, sources said.
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Immediate steps to develop education in NE urged

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 January 2003, 20:28 GMT]
Speaking at the conclusion of an education workshop held at Killinochchi Maha Vidiyalyam on Monday, the head of the Thamileelam Educational Development Council (TEEDC), Mr.V.Ilankumaran, said that Tamils should not hesitate to fight for their educational rights, but they needed to take immediate steps to develop education in the North-East with available funds and other resources, without waiting until more money for education becomes available.
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Picketing at Point Pedro harbour resumes

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 January 2003, 18:33 GMT]
Several members of the Jaffna District Private Vehicle Owners Co-operative Association (JDPVOCA) Monday resumed their picketing at the Ponit Pedro harbour, protesting the decision of the Government Agent (GA) to allow private vehicles to transport cargo unloaded at the Point Pedro harbour. The decision by the GA, says the JDPVOCA, violates an earlier understanding that only JDPOCA-owned vehicles would be allowed to transport the cargo.
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Indian fishermen released

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 January 2003, 18:32 GMT]
Four Indian fishermen who were arrested last year after straying into the Sri Lankan territorial waters in the north last year were handed over to the Indian Navy Monday in mid-sea by the Sri Lankan Navy, sources in Jaffna said.
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SLA occupies 3500 civilian homes outside HSZ -Jaffna GA

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 January 2003, 16:45 GMT]
Three thousand and five hundred houses outside the high security zone (HSZ) in the Jaffna district are still occupied by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) preventing thousands of displaced people to return to their homes, said the Government Agent in his report to Colombo authorities, district secretariat sources said.
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Workshop charts educational development for NorthEast

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 January 2003, 19:50 GMT]
Three-day workshop to give final shape to educational development projects to be implemented in the northern province in the year 2003 commenced Sunday at Killinochchi Maha Vidiyalayam in the Wanni region. Twelve zonal directors of education and their deputies in the northern province including Professor A.Shanmugathas of the Jaffna University participated, education sources said.
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'Archaeological finds should be safeguarded' -Ilankumaran

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 January 2003, 19:47 GMT]
Faculty of Archaeology should be established in universities in the northeast to ensure better security to the archaeological finds of our land, said Mr.V.Ilankumaran, head of the Thamileelam Educational Development Division addressing a meeting of Trincomalee writers and critics Saturday evening at Trincomalee Sri Koneswara Hindu College.
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Govt. inaction in Nedunthivu condemned

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 January 2003, 19:46 GMT]
The Jaffna District People's Forum (JDPF) Sunday issued a statement expressing deep concern over the inaction of the Sri Lanka government, parliamentarians and welfare associations to provide peaceful life and relief to the people of Nedunthivu village as their picketing against the presence of para military Eelam People Democratic Party ( EPDP) entered fiftieth day Sunday, sources said.
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Tokyo to host talks, Akashi to meet Pirapaharan

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 January 2003, 12:57 GMT]
Mr. Yasushi Akashi, Japan's special envoy for peace building and rehabilitation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka and Mr.Anton Balasingham, the Liberation Tigers’ Chief negotiator and political advisor, met Sunday in Bangkok to discuss the ongoing Norwegian peace initiative in Sri Lanka and Japan’s aid plans for the country.
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Regional events planned for 2nd Hindu Conference

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 January 2003, 03:07 GMT]
In a meeting held at the Management Centre of the North East Provincial Ministry of Education, Trincomalee, Saturday it was decided and plans discussed to have regional events in the northeast simultaneously when the second World Hindu Conference-2003 is held in Colombo from May 2nd to 5th under the auspices of the Ministry of Hindu Cultural Affairs, sources in Trincomalee said.
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Sri Lanka police collect details of Jaffna LTTE offices

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 17:51 GMT]
The Jaffna District People's Forum and the Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs )Saturday condemned the action of the Sri Lanka Police collecting details of persons working in the offices of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) and the buildings where the organisation's offices are located in the peninsula, sources said.
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Jaffna observes Major Sothia death anniversary

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 17:50 GMT]
The thirteen-death anniversary of Major Sothia, a senior commander of the women wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who died in 1990 after an illness, was observed in Vadamarachchi area in Jaffna district. Saturday. She was the first commander of the LTTE women wing, sources said.
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LTTE hands over fourteen students to their parents

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 17:49 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Saturday handed over fourteen students who voluntarily came to join the LTTE to their parents in the presence of several representatives of the international humanitarian agencies in the peninsula. The handing over event took place Saturday at the district head office of the LTTE located at Potpathi Road, Kokuvil in Jaffna, a non-governmental agency source said.
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A9 rebuilding to begin on Thai-Pongal day

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 14:11 GMT]
Although Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated Rs800 million towards rebuilding the A9 highway from Omanthai to Jaffna, no funds have been made available to clear mines that still lay buried in areas surrounding several segements of A9 which present a potential danger to residents who would want to resettle, a news report from Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in Kilinochi highlighted.
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Agreement on resettlement as talks conclude

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 07:49 GMT]
The fourth round of peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand with parties reaching agreement on accelerated action on resettlement of displaced people and making progress on human rights, the Norwegian government said.
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Court extends remand for SLA soldier

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 03:18 GMT]
The Killinochchi Thamileelam court Friday rejected the bail application made on behalf of a soldier of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) arrested by Tiger cadres for straying into the LTTE territory at Manalaru on December 24 last year and ordered remand for another fourteen days, court sources said.
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JJA, TELO condemn attack on Tamil journalist

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 02:43 GMT]
Jaffna Journalists Association (JJA) strongly condemned the attack on Tamil Journalist, S. Jeyananandamoorthy, in a report published today adding that the carefully planned attack raises suspicion that the perpertrators intended to kill him. Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) in its press release also condemned the attack.
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Grade-1 school enrolments up

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 January 2003, 02:16 GMT]
After a marked decline in admissions to Grade 1 in NorthEast schools for the last twenty years, the numbers have reached a record high this year, said Karunasena Kodituwaku, Minister of Education, in a report published today. In the last two days only the numbers admitted to Grade-1 reached seventy thousand, sources in Jaffna said.
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District Court dismisses action by Athaullah faction

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 21:21 GMT]
The legal action instituted by the Athaullah faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) to prevent Minister Rauff Hakim from holding his faction's eighteenth delegate conference on Sunday was dismissed by the Colombo District Court Friday.
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Sri Lanka judiciary's failure led Tamils to take arms - Ranil

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 17:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe said Friday that the failure of the country's judiciary to fulfill its duties and responsibilities to safeguard the right of various ethnic groups has led the Tamils to launch an armed struggle for a separate state.
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Victims of Tamil Conference '74 remembered

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 16:28 GMT]
Speaking at the 29th year ceremony commemorating the victims of massacre at the International Tamil Research Conference in Jaffna, Rev. Fr. T. Jeyakumar said that some Sinhalese extremists planned the killing when Tamil people showed their love of their language by participating at the conference celebrating Tamil language.
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PTA to stay - Defence Minister

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 15:35 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Defence Minister, Mr. Tilak Marapone, said in parliament Friday that a decision on abolishing the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary provisions) Act would be made only after considering all future repercussions of such a removal. The present situation is "not conducive to doing away with the PTA," said Mr. Marapone.
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Picketing campaign in Tellipalai called off

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 15:33 GMT]
As a result of the understanding reached between the Government of Sri LAnka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the fourth round of peace talk in Thailand related to the settling of displaced in Jaffna, the one week old picketing and fasting campaign of the displaced people in Jaffna district in front of the office of the Tellipalai Additional Government Agent was called off Friday afternoon, sources said.
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Sri Lanka chief negotiator’s stand absurd- PA

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 10:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s main opposition party Friday said the stand taken by Colombo’s chief negotiator Prof. G. L Peiris on the question of high security zones in Jaffna was “absurd” and claimed that it is not endorsed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.
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Batticaloa, Ampara inundated again

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 01:29 GMT]
Continuous rain the last few days in Batticaloa and Ampara districts have flooded several areas, forcing the Water Resources Authorities to open the discharge outlets of Unnichchai and Urugamam irrigation tanks in the Batticaloa district to reduce the dangerous water levels. The discharge has submerged the village of Sithandy under water, sources in Batticaloa said.
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UNICEF program for children in NE inaugurated

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 January 2003, 18:13 GMT]
The UNICEF on Thursday marked the start of a program specially formulated for the children of the war-torn North-East province, the ‘Every Child in School Programme,’ with an inaugural speech by the Sri Lankan government’s minister for human resources development, education and cultural affairs, Mr. Karunasena Kodithuwakku, at the St. Mary’s college in Trincomalee.
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Jaffna missing persons inquiry to begin

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 January 2003, 16:37 GMT]
The one member committee of inquiry appointed by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to probe into several hundreds of Tamil youths who went missing in Jaffna peninsula during 1996 and 1997 is scheduled to begin its sitting from January 24 in Jaffna. A former Jaffna government agent Mr. Devanesan Nesiah heads the committee.
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Mystery fire destroys SLA sentry in Vadamarachchi

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 January 2003, 16:26 GMT]
One of the several sentries of the Sri Lanka Army located on Manthikai-Kodikamam road in the Vadamarachchi area in Jaffna district was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday night. The SLA officials immediately launched an inquiry. At the time of the incident no army personnel was in the said sentry, sources said
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Towards building a next generation voice/data network for NorthEast

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 January 2003, 02:18 GMT]
Building a state of the art Telecommunication infrastructure for North East is vital for development, industrial growth, advancement in education, general economic progress and to maintain a competitive edge in a global business environment. With the emergence of a new political configuration, NorthEast administration is rightly positioned to consider building a well designed communication network to connect the NorthEast with the rest of the globe. This article provides technical possibilites and key strategies to consider when designing such network.
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Equitable distribution of funds for NE schools urged

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 20:51 GMT]
Addressing the concluding session of the three-day education workshop held in Trincomalee on Wednesday, Mr. Arun Master, the deputy head of the Tamil Eelam Educational Development Division (TEEDD), called for equitable distribution of funds for basic facilities to all schools in the North-East.
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Lorry owners picket Point Pedro harbour

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 18:40 GMT]
Unloading of cargo from vessels in the Point Pedro Harbour in Jaffna district came to a standstill Wednesday following picketing by port workers and members of the Jaffna District Private Vehicles Owners' Co-operative Society (JDPVOCS)against allowing non-members to remove unloaded cargo from the jetty, sources said.
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LTTE's commitment to Sinhala rights lauded

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 18:37 GMT]
The zonal director of education for Dehiattakandiya, Mr.W.Kodituwakku, on Wednesday lauded the assurance by the head of the LTTE's Educational Development Division, Mr. V. Ilankumaran, that the rights of the Sinhalese living in the Northeastern province would be safeguarded.
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Massive JVP rally condemns peace talks

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 16:10 GMT]
In a massive show of strength against the peace talks between the Sri Lanka’s United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers, the leftist Sinhala party, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, gathered more than 25 thousand party members and supporters for a march and rally at one of Colombo’s busiest intersections Wednesday. Speakers at the rally denounced the peace talks to settle the island’s ethnic conflict as a western imperialist conspiracy to divide country.
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‘Every child in school programme’ to be inaugurated in NE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 13:22 GMT]
‘Every child in school programme’ sponsored by the UNICEF in the northeast province will be inaugurated in Trincomalee Thursday, 9 January, morning by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Education and Cultural Affairs Dr.Karunasena Kodituwakku.
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Parliament approves two more labour bills

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 13:15 GMT]
Two more labour bills, the Termination of Employment of Workmen (Special Provisions (Amendment) Bill and Industrial Disputes (Hearing and determination of Proceedings Special Provisions Bill were adopted in parliament Wednesday with a majority for 47 votes and 53 respectively.
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Parliament adopts Industrial Disputes Amendment Law

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 06:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday night adopted the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Bill, one of the four draft labour bills with a majority of thirty-four votes.
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Batticaloa journalist's home attacked

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 January 2003, 03:32 GMT]
The home of senior Batticaloa journalist, Mr. Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy, was attacked with grenades around midnight Tuesday. The attackers poured petrol and set fire to the house located in the Sri Lanka army high security zone in Valaichenai, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa. The fire did not spread due to rains and the efforts of neighbours, his colleagues said. Mr. Jeyanandamoorthy had received several death threats in the past from a suspected Islamic extremist group in the area.
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‘Defunct’ SDN is shut down

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 17:56 GMT]
Following several unsuccessful meetings of the Sub-Committee on De-escalation and Normalisation (SDN), at which the Sri Lanka Army refused to reallocate its troops to pave the way for the resettlement of refugees, the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government Tuesday decided to shut down and discuss the matter in future at the direct talks between the two sides.
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400 more schools to be under BOBLEP project in NE

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 17:52 GMT]
Four hundred ninety three more schools are to be brought under the Book Based Language Enrichment Project (BOBLEP) in the New Year 2003 by the ministry of education in the northeast province. The main objective of the BOBLEP is to help pupils improve their reading and language ability in Tamil, English and Sinhala, sources said.
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Parliament debates labour bills amidst opposition protests

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 16:32 GMT]
The parliament began Tuesday debating the four controversial labour bills amidst several protest meetings held in Colombo and several other places in the south organized by trade unions affiliated to opposition parties and independent trade unions. The main protest campaign held Tuesday in front of the People’s Bank Headquarters in Colombo.
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Picketing in Tellipallai continues

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 12:11 GMT]
Several hundred people displaced from high security zone (HSZ) in Jaffna peninsula continued their fast and picketing third day Tuesday in front of the office of the additional government agent in Tellipalai. They launched this campaign Friday demanding that they should be allowed to resettle in their villages, which have been declared high security zone by the State armed forces, Valigamam Peoples Forum (VPF) sources said.
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Father of sixteen identifies headless body as missing son

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 12:03 GMT]
The decomposed headless body of Ponnar Gnaneswaran who went missing on December 31 in northern sea, off Thondamanaru coast when a speed boat of the Sri Lanka Navy rammed a fishing craft was identified Tuesday at the Jaffna teaching hospital by his parents. Ponnar identified Gnaneswaran as one of his sixteen children, sources said.
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NE education development action plan underway

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 January 2003, 00:16 GMT]
Three-day workshop to finalize an action plan to implement several educational development projects in the war torn northeast province commenced Monday at Trincomalee. The head of the Educational Development Unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Mr.V.Ilankumaran made the keynote address at the first workshop held in Trincomalee Monday for twelve zonal directors, their deputies and In-Service Advisors in the eastern province.
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JVP praises army, wows to overthrow Ranil govt.

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 23:14 GMT]
The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sri Lanka’s powerful leftist Sinhala party, Monday praised the stand taken by the Sri Lanka army’s northern command on the question of high security zones in Jaffna and accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of conspiring with the Liberation Tigers to divide the island according to a secret pact. The JVP is the second largest opposition party in Sri Lanka’s Parliament.
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Labour bills provoke general strike threat

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 23:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s opposition trade unions and several powerful independent unions said Monday they will start general agitations and strikes to compel the United National Front government to abandon the tough labour laws it intends to introduce soon. Trade union leaders speaking at a press conference Monday in Colombo, said there will be a one day token strike in all parts of the island except the northeast and if it does not change the government’s mind on the new laws then they would call for a general strike.
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Political solution in Sri Lanka said constitutionally impossible

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 23:09 GMT]
“The nationhood of Tamils and their right to self-determination are non-negotiable. Any political solution that might emerge out of the ongoing peace process cannot go below these. The territory of Northeast is part of the identity of the Tamils of this country. We don't need historical proof for this. We don't need anyone's recognition or consent to exercise our right of self-determination. It is the birthright of each and every nation,” said Mr.V.T.Thamilmaran, senior lecturer in law in the University of Colombo, delivering the third Kumar Ponnambalam Memorial Speech in Jaffna Sunday.
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LTTE, SLA discuss Batticaloa incidents

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 18:32 GMT]
"The Sri Lanka army should supervise the activities of the paramilitary groups and keep them under control. Recent incidents in Batticaloa appear to be aimed at casting aspersions on us and confounding the peace process. Agent provocateurs have been attempting to derail the peace process in the east by instigating violence against communities in Valaichenai, Mutur and Akkaraipattu and by staging abduction dramas," said T.Ramesh, LTTE’s special commander for the Batticaloa-Amparai region, at the conclusion of a discussion with the Sri Lankan armed forces near the eastern town.
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No official talks to form alliance with JVP - PA

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 17:12 GMT]
The People’s Alliance (PA) General Secretary and a former minister, Mr.D.M.Jayaretna, Monday said no discussion took place between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the main constituent of the PA and the JVP, regarding the formation of a coalition. "There were no official level talks between the leadership of the two political parties regarding forming a political alliance. However, both parties would work against the present government jointly whenever need arises," said M.Jayaratna.
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Japanese Foreign Minister visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 14:01 GMT]
The Japanese Foreign Minister Ms Yoriko Kawguchi Monday flew to Jaffna by special aircraft and surveyed the progress of resettlement and humanitarian projects in the northern peninsula implemented with Japanese aid. This was the first visit of a Japanese Foreign Minister to the war torn Jaffna district. She also toured Chavakachcheri and Sarasalai areas in Thenmaradchchi areas, worst affected by the war in the district, sources said.
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Fourth round of talks begin

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 January 2003, 10:31 GMT]
The fourth round of direct talks between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government began Monday at the Rose Garden hotel, 32km west of Bangkok, Thailand. The LTTE and Sri Lankan delegations were led by Chief Negotiators, Mr. Anton Balasingham and Prof. G. L Peiris respectively. The Norwegian facilitators were led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helegesen.
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PA parliamentary group meets after Ranil-Chandrika talks

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 January 2003, 19:39 GMT]
President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge convened an urgent meeting of the parliamentary group of the main opposition Peoples Alliance (PA) Saturday afternoon following a discussion between her and the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe held Friday at the Presidential Secretariat. "The President will consult the United National Front (UNF) government before making any public statement on the peace process," said a statement issued by the Presidential media unit Sunday.
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LTTE leaflets alert residents, invite ex-militants

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 January 2003, 18:56 GMT]
The Batticaloa-Ampara political section of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) distributed two leaflets, one alerting residents of Batticaloa to be aware of nefarious elements who are trying to sabotage the peace process, and the other appealing to ex-militants collaborating with the Sri Lanka security forces and working with anti-LTTE groups to join the LTTE and participate in building peace, sources in Batticaloa said.
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'Sri Lanka is at a crucial stage' - PM

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 January 2003, 17:50 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Sunday in his evening address to people of Sri Lanka said, "arguments over security matters should not be allowed to derail the momentum of the peace negotiation. The country has entered a stage that would decide the future of Sri Lanka."
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Trinco meet highlights poor medical facilities in Muttur east

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 January 2003, 19:11 GMT]
The Consortium of Trincomalee District Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Saturday met at Trincomalee Social Service Centre hall and made an urgent appeal to the North East Provincial Ministry of Health to appoint medical officers to the rural hospitals in Muttur east to provide better basic medical attention to villagers, sources said
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Nedunthivu residents clash with EPDP members

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 January 2003, 18:51 GMT]
Several residents of Nedunthivu Saturday clashed with members of para military group Eelam peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) when they attempted to use drinking water from the tank nearby for bathing. The villagers depend on the said tank for their day to day needs for drinking and cooking, sources said.
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Health issues spur Jaffna officials to act

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 January 2003, 18:50 GMT]
Alarmed by the spread of dengue, typhoid and a virus fever, Jaffna District Secretariat, in an emergency meeting convened yesterday, took decision to institute procedures to keep the peninsula clean and take all measures possible to prevent environment pollution, said sources in Jaffna.
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LTTE criticises SLA over search in political office

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 January 2003, 17:45 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers (LTTE) in Batticaloa Saturday protested against a search operation by the Sri Lanka army (SLA) in the premises of their political office in Kallady, an outer suburb of the eastern town. A stand-off developed when LTTE officials refused to allow heavily armed SLA troops that had surrounded the political office around 8 p.m. Friday night to enter and search the premises, VoT nightly broadcast said today.
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UNF confirms Hakim participation in Thailand peace talks

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 January 2003, 16:31 GMT]
The participation of Mr.Rauff Hakim, Minister and the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress at the forthcoming peace talks scheduled to begin in Thailand on Monday has been confirmed by the United National Front government Friday.
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Court prevents Athaullah group functioning as SLMC officials

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 January 2003, 16:29 GMT]
The Colombo District Court Friday issued injunction on five rebel leaders of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) preventing them from functioning as executive officials of the party. The District Judge Ms Malini Gunaretna made the order after inquiring into the petition by the leader of the SLMC and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakim, legal sources said.
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Tellipalai displaced fast demanding resettlement

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 January 2003, 15:21 GMT]
Hundreds of displaced people from villages surrounding the Sri Lanka Army HQ in Palaly Friday launched a fasting campaign in front of the office of the divisional secretariat at Tellipalai demanding that they should be allowed to resettle in their villages. The Valigaamam People's Forum (VPF) organised the fasting, sources said.
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LTTE slams SLA Commander, says "decommissioning is non-negotiable"

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 January 2003, 14:28 GMT]
Responding to the Sri Lanka Army's reiterated demand that the Liberation Tigers must decommission their heavy weapons before Tamil civilians would be permitted to resettle in their villages now within High Security Zones, the LTTE Friday said the issue was non-negotiable and expressed "deep disappointment" over the Army's "confrontational" position.
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Ponnalai displaced to discontinue picketing for one week

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 January 2003, 22:21 GMT]
Hundreds of displaced people of Ponnalai who have been picketing in front of the office of the Chankanai Divisional Secretariat (DS), Thursday called off the protest for a week on a request by the Jaffna Government Agent, sources said.
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HRC hears police statements on Nelliady attack on picketers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 January 2003, 19:58 GMT]
The Jaffna office of the Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka Thursday recorded the statements of two senior police officers regarding the violence that took place on December 10 at Nelliady in the Vadamarachchi division when several hundred people picketed the office of the paramilitary group Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) demanding their withdrawal from Jaffna district, sources said.
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Search continues for missing fisherman

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 January 2003, 18:16 GMT]
The fisherman who went missing in the northern sea off Thondamanaru coast when a Sri Lanka Navy craft rammed his fishing boat on Monday night has not been traced till Thursday evening. Eight fishing boats were used to search from early morning till the evening Thursday, but the search was called off without success and will continue Friday, civilian sources said.
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VoT expands broadcast to mark Kittu memorial day

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 20:07 GMT]
Voice of Tigers (VoT) announced in its daily nightly broadcast today that it will increase its broadcast time and distance from 16 January marking the tenth memorial anniversary of Colonel Kittu, said sources in Vanni.
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Hakim awaits PM decision to attend peace talks

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 17:08 GMT]
Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Mr.Rauff Hakim, Wednesday said he is not concerned about the accusation that he (Hakim) is not a credible representative of the Muslims to participate in the forthcoming peace talks. "The Prime Minister will take a correct decision at the correct time in this regard," Minister Rauff Hakim told media persons Wednesday.
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Sinhala National Front seeks cancellation of LTTE radio license

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 16:51 GMT]
The Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya (Sinhala National Front) Tuesday filed a writ application in the Colombo Court of Appeal seeking the nullification of the license granted to the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) to operate a radio station in Killinochchi, which is under the control of the LTTE, legal sources said.
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3 fishermen missing, 2 injured as navy rams boats

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 15:08 GMT]
Three fishermen were reported missing and two others seriously wounded when Sri Lanka Navy Dvora gunboats rammed two fishing boats in the northern sea in two separate incidents, Monday night, Jaffna fisheries sources said.
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Permanent peace must become reality - Bishop Swampillai

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 07:39 GMT]
"We are witnessing the dawn of New Year with renewed hope. My fervent hope is that all sides will work with a sense of reconciliation and understanding to resolve issues affecting all communities and work towards establishing permanent peace in this country," said Batticaloa-Trincomalee district bishop Rev. Father Kingsley Swampillai in his new year message.
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HSZ seriously affects displaced Tamils - Bishop

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 January 2003, 00:05 GMT]
The Bishop of Jaffna Tuesday told a government delegation led by a senior minister that the continuance of the high security zones (HSZ) in Jaffna peninsula will not affect the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but would seriously affect the large number of displaced families living elsewhere under difficult conditions, sources said.
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