Hakeem calls for silent diplomacy
Minister Rauff Hakeem has suggested that the government and the LTTE engage in "silent diplomacy" away from the public gaze to get the peace process back on track. "The next step is to start talks about resuming talks, perhaps behind the scenes," he said in an interview after international donors pledged $4.5 billion over four years to the country.

The unprecedented aid pledge was a "necessary milestone" in the vital transitional phase leading to a final resolution of the conflict, he said. "I suggest we follow the South African formula where the ANC and the apartheid regime continued talks behind the scenes without publicity whenever official talks broke down, as they did several times," Mr. Hakeem said.

"We must move into silent diplomacy behind the scenes. We have well-meaning friends who can help us overcome the current impasse. Let us remember that this window of opportunity will not always remain open since there are enough trouble spots in the world to which the international community's focus can shift."

Mr. Hakeem also said the two sides should stop the exchange of correspondence which he said "leads us nowhere" and that President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the opposition consider a "new approach" to cohabitation.

"I'm sure the prime minister would be ever too willing to co-operate." Mr. Hakeem said he was also pleased that the Muslim dimension to the peace effort had been recognised in the opening statement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the final declaration of the international community at the donor meeting.

"They very clearly urged the LTTE to include the participation of a separate Muslim delegation in the peace talks as has been agreed earlier," he said. "In any negotiations, recognition of stakeholders and elevation of their status as a necessary party is imperative. I'm pleased with the fact that the PM was very sensitive to this important dimension and he lent support to me to articulate my point of view."

Four Bills in House next week
By Chandani Kirinde
Four Bills including the Local Authorities (Special provisions) Bill are scheduled to be taken up for debate in Parliament during the coming week. Several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court against the Local Authorities Bill which seeks to call for fresh nominations and holding of elections in respect of 60 local bodies including three Municipal Councils, six Urban Councils and 51 Pradeshiya Sabhas in the northern and eastern provinces where elections to such bodies have been postponed due to unforeseen and urgent circumstances.

The Courts determination is expected to be conveyed to the Speaker to be announced in Parliament this week. The other three Bills to be debated are the Information Communication Technology Bill, the Betting and Gaming Levy (Amendment) Bill and the Common Amenities Board (Amendment) Bill.

Meanwhile, a Bill to provide for the exploration and recovery of petroleum resources in Sri Lanka and for the regulation of the same was presented to Parliament by the Minister of Power and Energy recently.

The Bill entitled 'Petroleum Resources Bill' vests ownership of all petroleum resources to the state but allows partnership with the private sector in accordance with international practice.

Dead petitioner's mother gets compensation
By Laila Nasry
The Supreme Court in a landmark order in a fundamental rights application awarded relief to a dependent of a person who had died in custody whilst his case was pending for inquiry, leave to proceed having been granted by court.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices Shirani Bandaranayake and Ameer Ismail awarded Rs. 25,000 as compensation payable by the State to the mother of a young farmer who died in custody subsequent to filing an FR application for which leave to proceed was granted for the alleged torture, cruel or degrading treatment.

Josephine Mary Kanmany was awarded compensation for the torture inflicted on her son, the petitioner, 31-year-old Anthonypille Jesudasen who died at the hands of prison guards in the Kalutara prison where he was detained for 44 days.

In a twist of events 47 days subsequent to the death of the petitioner, the Attorney General's Department had indicted him in the Vavuniya High Court under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the recording in the journal indicated that the indictment had been served on the dead petitioner and his finger prints had been recorded.

Mahinda-Anura war hots up
By Harinda Vidanage

The tussle for supremacy within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party between Anura Bandaranaike and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has taken a new turn with Mr. Rajapakse appointing two SLFPers as his advisors.

The most important has been the appointment of Newton Gunaratne as the new media advisor to the Opposition leader along with Anura Siriwardena. Mr. Rajapakse confirmed these new appointments.

Sources close to Mr. Rajapakse said that he had also appointed an advisory committee headed by a Cambridge scholar to co-ordinate all his activities in the context of an election as well as to advise him in future political decisions.

The fortification of the Rajapakse camp comes in the wake of reports that Mr. Bandaranaike also had formed a group of experts to advise him on image-building.
Meanwhile the other camp in the SLFP is trying to bring Anura Bandaranaike to the fore at the national convention of the SLFP at a ceremony organized to commemorate 75 years in power of the Bandaranaike family.

Out of hand
Negotiators of the proposed SLFP-JVP alliance have decided to look for a new symbol after senior SLFPers threatened legal action if the hand symbol was taken, political sources said.

The much favoured hand symbol as the possible election symbol was earlier proposed informally by the SLFP and accepted by the JVP.

The sources said the two sides would look for a new symbol besides taking up other important issues like electoral arrangements when they meet again tomorrow.

Warm Heart, Cool Head and Deep Breath
"A Warm Heart, a Cool Head and a Deep Breath", a collection of speeches made by Minister Milinda Moragoda and published by the International Democrat Union (IDU), will be launched on Thursday in Thessaloniki, Greece by Norwegian Foreign Minister and IDU Vice Chairman Jan Petersen during the 20th IDU party leaders' meeting.
Edited by former civil servant M.D.D. Peiris, the book will be launched in the US by Senator John McCain on June 25 at the International Republican Institute, Washington D.C.

Former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujaral in his foreword has said that Mr. Moragoda's speeches, in Parliament and elsewhere, "are a fine example of parliamentary energy" and that they "bespeak an earnest study of subjects, a commitment to democratic methods of inquiry and redressal".

Senator McCain, writes in his introduction that "the collection will entertain, aggravate and energize readers who recognize that it is not only a scarcity but a failure of leadership that has condemned too many people around the world to enjoy neither prosperity nor security."

Australian Prime Minister John Howard observes that Mr. Moragoda has set out the fresh challenges that Sri Lanka is facing along with new opportunities as the country emerges from decades of bitter conflict. Mr. Moragoda, according to him, "offers answers, opens thought-provoking debate along the way".

According to Mr. Petersen, "inspiring speeches collected in this book" flow from "the ideas of democracy, human rights and free enterprise as well as the desire to promote the peaceful resolution of the conflict; ideals shared by Sri Lanka's United National Party and the Norwegian Conservative Party."

Esto perpetua, sir
S. Thomas’ buries one of its longest serving wardens
The funeral of former S. Thomas' College Warden Wilfred Michael Neville de Alwis who died last Thursday will be held today at Christ Church, Dehiwela. The fifteenth Warden of S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia passed away in the early hours of Thursday. His body remains at his residence at Mt. Lavinia and will be brought to the school today where it will be kept from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A student of S. Thomas' Mt. Lavinia from 1946 to 1957, he had a distinguished academic career and won many coveted prizes and was a School Prefect. Upon leaving school in 1957, he was invited to join the tutorial staff. After a short stint as a teacher, he proceeded to read for his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Ceylon. After graduation he once again served as a teacher from 1961 to 1964 before he went on to pursue his Bachelor of Laws Degree as an external student while serving as a Research Assistant at the Official Languages Department.

He was called to the Bar in June 1969. From 1970 to 1971 he served as a Crown Counsel at the Attorney-General's Department and later joined the Legal Draftsman's Department in 1972 where he rose to be a Senior Assistant Legal Draftsman.
He was associated in drafting several important legislations.

He resigned from his post in 1982 to join his alma mater. The third longest serving Warden after Canon de Saram, and Warden Stone, Neville de Alwis held office for fifteen and a half years. Born on June 25, 1937, as the youngest son of the late Wilfred and Gladys de Alwis of Mt. Lavinia, he had four brothers and two sisters.

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