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14th November 1999
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Rise of the red force 

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Envied even by its opponents for its discipline and organisational skills, the JVP yesterday held its convention at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre. The event also coincided with the tenth death anniversary of the party's founder Rohana Wijeweera. Picture shows JVP leader Tilvin Silva, Wimal Weerawansa and the party's presidential candidate Nandana Gunatilleke lighting red candles at a monument which symbolised the party's vision and struggle. 

Pic by Kamal Jayamanne


Mervyn Casie Chetty murder

Police say killers still roaming

Mount Lavinia Police are awaiting the finger- print reports through which they hoped to make a breakthrough in tracking down the suspects who killed veteran lawyer, poet and social activist Mervyn Casie Chetty last Saturday.

Detectives said three suspects who had been taken in soon after the killing were later released while a fourth was being questioned.

The 86-year-old Mr. Casie Chetty, doyen of the Colombo Chetty community in Sri Lanka was killed by suffocation when a gang of robbers raided his Mount Lavinia residence.

The robbers took away about Rs. 5000 in cash and some bottles of whisky which the veteran lawyer had got from clients or friends abroad. After the killing the robbers are alleged to have consumed some liquor in the premises and carried away the unopened bottles.

Family members said Mr. Casie Chetty was on a strict diet and consumed little or no liquor but he kept the whisky for visitors.


Expulsion report absurd says FM

The Foreign Ministry yesterday dismissed reports that Sri Lanka along with three other countries faced expulsion from the Commonwealth if the country's human rights record was not improved. The Ministry said press reports concerning the matter were misleading.

The British High Commission in Sri Lanka has said that the report, published by The Foreign Policy Centre, a London based NGO, is not a statement of British Government policy and represented only the views of the authors.The report had expressed concerns over restrictions on media freedom in Sri Lanka.


Tamil vote

A talk by ACTC leader Kumar Ponnambalam on the "The Tamil Votes at the Presidential Polls" will be given on Wednesday at 5.15 pm at the YMCA forum.


Minister says funds sent to Jaffna council 

By S.S.Selvanayagam
Local Government Minister Alavi Moulana has assured Jaffna's Acting Mayor N. Raviraj that their grievances would be redressed but he dismissed the charge that the northern council had not received any money.

The Minister said the council had got nearly seven million rupees for the purchase of seven tractors and other projects. He said that in addition to this the northern rehabilitarion agency RRAN had granted Rs. 12. 5 for various projects of the council. But he admitted they faced some problems in disbursing funds to the Jaffna Municipal Council.

Mr. Raviraj along with Municipal Counsellors S. Aravindan, S. S. Ganendran and D. Muhunthan staged a satyagraha in front of the Local Government Ministry in Colombo on Thursday, demanding that Rs. 30 million promised to the council be released to undertake renovations of markets, raods and the improvement of public amenities. They also demanded that compensation for the families of the two assassinated mayors be paid.

Mr. Moulana assured Mr. Raviraj and other councillors who met him at his ministry on Friday that he would do his best to redress their reasonable grievances and promised to take the matter up with the President.

The Minister and the Acting Mayor agreed to meet again on December 2 to discuss outstanding issues.


Lankan woman in alleged law firm fraud in HK

By Ayesha R. Rafiq
The Hong Kong Law Society is investigating an alleged breach of the Solicitors' Account rules by a Sri Lankan partner of law firm Kwan and Kwan. 

The woman who is a Canadian citizen and resident of Hong Kong, is alleged to have misappropriated money from clients' accounts amounting to more than HK$ 3 million. She was the Managing Director of the firm and took over as senior partner after her husband's death in 1995.

The Hong Kong Law Society is investigating into complaints that she issued dud cheques on the September salaries of the staff, including that of a salaried partner.

Another allegation against her is that she tried to seek the assistance of some of the staff to withdraw cash from the clients' accounts to pay staff salaries. When the staff refused to accede to this request she had paid the staff salaries reduced by 20% with money transferred from Canada. It was however later discovered that the clients' accounts did not correspond with the ledger.

After she had left for Canada, employees of the firm claimed that a large insurance cheque had been dishonoured and that there was a shortage of almost HK$ 140,000 in the clients' accounts.

The Law Society resolution states that the Sri Lankan senior partner failed to comply with the Solicitor Accounting Rules.

The Law Society is expected to refer the complaint to the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong police.

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