12th January  2003, Volume 9, Issue 26















We wish our readers a Happy Thai Pongal! 


How peace process was saved

By Suranimala

While pressure was mounted on the government in the run up to the fourth round of talks in Thailand last week, the anticipated blow up over the High Security Zones (HSZ) was skillfully defused by the Norwegians with both the LTTE and the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration agreeing on a compromise formula.

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A meeting on the integrity of the judiciary was convened on Friday at the Lanka Oberoi with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in attendance. Outside, placard carrying journalists demanded the removal of Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. Picture shows Premier Wickremesinghe with Chairman, UN Human Rights Commission, P. N. Bhagwati, while Co-ordinator, Judicial Integrity Programme, Dr. Nihal Jayawickrema looks on. Chief Justice Sarath Silva did not attend the meeting Photos by Berty Mendis and Asoka Fernando

• Balasingham in shock exposure

LTTE reveals story of Mias

The LTTE last week charged that President Chandrika Kumaratunga and former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte refused to accept bodies of dead soldiers killed in battle because it was politically damaging and instead characterised the dead as Missing In Action (MIA).

LTTE Chief Negotiator, Anton Balasingham made this disclosure during the peace talks when the government delegation called for the release of soldiers held in LTTE custody.

The government delegation raised the issue of soldiers missing in action numbering almost 2,500 when issues relating to human rights came up for discussion.

Balasingham told the government delegation and the Norwegian facilitators the LTTE does not have in captivity any soldier taken into custody during battle.

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Alliances in the making

By Amantha Perera

The government last week ran into some rough weather right at the beginning of the week, in fact on the first day of parliamentary sittings for the year. The trouble began when Labour Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe presented four labour reform bills that included one dealing with the termination of employment.

From the word go the opposition was at his throat criticising the bills. Opposition party leaders had met before the commencement of sittings and decided to oppose the bill. The opposing ranks initially included the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well.

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Today's Top Stories

If PA returns to power under Chandrika, it is back to war - Bala

Reprieve gained for HSZ problem

Karuna: a disruptive factor in the peace process




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