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4th July 1999

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A poignant moment for a mother who had fed and clothed her children from birth. The time had come to part. The young man joined theSri Lanka Air Force as an airman and has just completed an 18 month training course. That was perhaps the last meal from motherís own hand. He will soon be at the battle field to serve the nation. A moment from last Fridayís passing out parade at the
Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Diyathalawa. Air Force Commander,
Air Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody, was pleased at the response for the SLAF recruitment drive last year. Both officers and men who passed out will now move to operational areas.
Pix by J. Weerasekera
Contents
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LSSP and CP join JVP in protest

By Shelani de Silva

The LSSP and the CP, two constituent parties of the ruling People's Alliance, are expected to join a massive JVP protest rally on July 15 to demand the abolition of the executive presidency.

This comes after the LSSP warned the government it would withdraw support, if the promises to abolish the executive presidency and solve the ethnic conflict were not fulfilled.

The PA manifesto of August 1994 had described the executive presidency as the greatest evil and Ms. Kumaratunga had promised she would abolish it by July 15, 1995.

A JVP spokesman told The Sunday Times that the protest would begin on July 15 and would continue till the government abolished the executive presidency.

He said the PA constituent parties, the LSSP and the CP, would join the protest along with trade unions, other parties and civic action groups.

Rebel LSSP parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara told The Sunday Times he was confident that several parties including the LSSP would take part.

Last week the LSSP and the CP openly accused the Government of going back on its promises by failing to abolish the executive presidency.

The LSSP is yet to receive a reply to the strongly-worded letter it sent to the PA General Secretary D M Jayaratne, challenging the policies and direction of the government. Politburo member Wimalasiri de Mel said party Leader Batty Weerakoon was expected to take up the issues at the Cabinet meeting.


Police raid Bamba brothels

By Frederica Jansz

Nineteen Sri Lankan girls were arrested on Friday, when police swooped on two brothels at Vajira Road and Kotalawala Avenue in plush Bambalapitiya areas.

In this organised and lucrative operation, each customer was charged Rs. 2,000 for two hours of sex.

The girl gets only Rs. 500 while the pimp walks away with Rs. 1,500, police said.

The pimp who resides at Wattala had even employed two other youths who served as Managers for the girls. A three wheeler driver who drove the girls from one rendezvous to another has also been arrested.

Police told The Sunday Times the girls were farmed out to eager clients, who are mostly businessmen. All below the age of 25 years, the girls hail from a range of areas - Eheliyagoda, Hakmana and Peliyagoda to name a few.

The girls told police that easy money enticed them to indulge in the oldest profession in the world. One said she had to smoke at least four joints of heroin before selling her body.

Colombo DIG T. N. De Silva, , is convinced regular police raids on such vice dens will finally help curb illegal activities. "Many of these people have already gone underground as a result of the police now being more vigilant," he told The Sunday Times.

A month ago, police used decoys to track down foreign 'call girls' who sold themselves for an exorbitant rate of Rs.7,000 for two hours of sex.

Two Russian girls were deported as a result while others were arrested and released on bail.


Army says sorry over assault

By Chris Kamalendran

Three soldiers who allegedly assaulted civilians in the Chavakachcheri area, following a Claymore mine blast, which killed three army men, have been remanded till Wednesday and the Brigade Commander has apologized to the victims.

The soldiers were arrested after the Human Rights Commission's Jaffna representative K. Sritharan was called in by the Army to look into the complaints made by the residents.

He and Brigade Commander Mahesh Samaraweera visited the hospital to speak to the assault victims.

The civilians were passing by when the Claymore mine laid by the LTTE went off killing three soldiers instantly and injuring seven others. The civilians had been allegedly assaulted until they were unconscious and later rushed to the Jaffna and Chavakachcheri hospitals.

Col. Samaraweera later visited the victims in the two hospitals on the instructions of Major General Nanda Mallawaarachchi and apologized on behalf of the Army. He also assured that the victims would be compensated.

The suspects were produced before the Chavakachcheri Magistrate and an identification parade will be held on Wednesday.


Police Chief censors news

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

Police Chief Lucky Kodituwakku has imposed his own media censorship, warning officers that leaking information to the media could seriously hamper police operations.

In a circular, the IGP has issued orders to prevent disclosure of information to the media with the embargo covering policy matters, sensitive or controversial matters, significant happenings and serious crimes.

He has prohibited any interviews with electronic or print media without his approval. He has permitted disclosure of strictly non-controversial information but bars disclosure of information on the personal life of those under investigation.

Similar instructions had been issued earlier by former IGP W.B. Rajaguru. He had criticized the blatant and wanton release of 'crucial intelligence wilfully or carelessly' and warned that violations of instructions would result in serious action. New gate for Wanni civilians


New gate for Wanni people

Mankulam, the Northern most town under Army control on the A-9 Kandy-Jaffna highway, will become the new exit and entry point between controlled and uncontrolled areas.

The new gateway to facilitate civilian travel and movement of food supplies to the uncontrolled Wanni will be opened from Wednesday.

Arrangements for this purpose have been worked out by Wanni Security Forces Commander Major General Lionel Balagalle in conjunction with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ICRC is learnt to have obtained concurrence of the LTTE for this route.

Mankulam is the furthest point under Security Forces control from the Wanni end of the North.

It is separated from the next Security Force installation at Elephant Pass by 28 kilometres.


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