The Sunday TimesFront Page

1st June 1997



Mirror Magazineon line today!

Operation Jaya Sikurui: troops continued consolidating along the Forward Defence Line in the captured Omanthai area last week. Picruer shows two soldiers engaged in the operation.


Wounded rebels among fleeing refugees

T'Nadu factor looms over Wanni operation

By Christopher Kamalendran

Tamil rebels wounded in the current 'Jaya Sikurui' military drive are reportedly being smuggled in to South India for medical attention raising concern among Indian authorities about a big influx of LTTE cadres amidst growing protest in Tamil Nadu against the military action.

With few if any hospital available in the areas under LTTE control, the rebels are reported to be sending their injured cadres for treatment along with civilians fleeing the ongoing offensive.

At least 92 Sri Lankans were arrested by the Indian navy at Dhanushkody on Tuesday and some of them had injuries, raising suspicions that they had been involved in the fighting. They were handed over to coastal guards who are screening them.

The wounded persons had gun-shot injuries, indicating that they might have been injured in close quarter battles.

More than 400 civilians are known to have crossed over to South India since the latest military offensive began.

Military sources also said that during the past few weeks a large number of LTTE cadres had suffered injuries and the possibility of the wounded being taken to India could not be ruled out.

During previous military operations the LTTE was known to have made use of government hospitals in areas under its control. However in recent military operations, the LTTE has gradually lost control of territory in which the hospitals were located.

Meanwhile a hartal campaign has been organised by 30 political parties in Tamil Nadu protesting against the current military offensive in the Wanni region.

Earlier this week a protest was held opposite the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioners office in Chennai against the offensive, claiming that civilians had been badly affected by the operation.

Meanwhile troops continued to consolidate positions in the captured areas including Omanthai and Rampaikulam over the past week.

Where have they gone?

The Govt. parliamentary group has not met for the past few months raising concern and protests from coalition partners in the PA.

Ravi Karunanayake of the NDUNLF told 'The Sunday Times' he had protested to the Chief Govt. Whip Richard Pathirana against the failure to hold these important meetings for several months.

He said he had appealed that the meetings be resumed immediately.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara of the NSSP said he personally didn't attend group meetings as Cabinet ministers seldom or never gave proper answers to the matters he raised. But for the sake of the other members he felt that group meetings should be resumed.

PA General Secretary D.M. Jayaratne told 'The Sunday Times' group meetings were not held because there had been few parliamentary sessions.

PC appointments: Romesh seeks role for legal troika

Bar Association President Romesh de Silva PC has urged President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to consult him along with the Chief Justice and the Attorney General when appointing future President's Counsel.

Mr. de Silva has said the threesome, representing the judiciary, the official bar and the un-official bar should be "properly consulted" meaning that it should not be a sham consultation.

The letter has been written on the eve of fresh appointments for this year and in the aftermath of angry protest last year over the appointment of some President's Counsel.

President's Counsel are usually picked from amongst lawyers commanding a large practice and have been more than 20 years at the bar. The Chief Justice was also usually consulted.

The practices have all broken down over the years apart from some genuine cases. A large number having political clout with the incumbent president have been appointed as PCs.

Meanwhile, Mr. de Silva has also written to the Chief Justice G.P.S. Silva requesting that ceremonial sittings of the superior courts be held before court hours so that they do not interfere with the public.

Police plotters in the net

The group of policemen who plotted a strike in the police service from today have been identified and tough disciplinary action is being taken against them, acting Police Chief Dharmadasa de Silva said yesterday.

DIG de Silva told The Sunday Times several police stations had received anonymous letters and fax messages asking policemen to go on strike in support of various demands.

The DIG, who is in charge of Police Administration said the Police service was essential and any strike in it were prohibited.

Mr. de Silva, acting for Police Chief W. B. Rajaguru who is out of the country, said the policemen behind the strike were allegedly involved in various rackets and the strike action was apparently aimed at disrupting the service to cover up their frauds.

The unprecedented call for strike action had caused concern among sections of the police.

The group calling for the strike had put forward various demands including a 60 per cent pay hike, travelling expenses, promotions on merit , land and housing facilities and duty free vehicles for officers .

Culture Minister disowns romantic Vesak card

An allegedly forged Vesak greeting card carrying the stamp of the Cultural and Religious Affairs Minister along with a controversial message has caused a major stir.

The greeting card sent to hundreds of individuals and groups, including The Sunday Times, carries the stamp of Minister Lakshman Jayakody with messages such as 'sansare yali ek wemu api denna,' (let us hope both of us meet again in 'sansare'). Buddhist scholars say such messages are romantic and generally sent by lovers.

When contacted by The Sunday Times yesterday, Minister Jayakody said this was the first time he was hearing about such a card and he knew nothing about it. Mr. Jayakody said the forgery was apparently intended to cause some mischief and he would order a probe. Ministry officials also told The Sunday Times that they too were unaware of such a card and felt some one must have forged the minister's stamp on it.

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