The Lanka Academic

APRIL 17, 2000 PST
VOL. 1, NO. 12

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LAcNet's new Linux server, a Gateway server class computer, is now on line. Loaded with RAM, this computer carries a SCSI-based disk interface enabling it to supply LAcNet visitors with fast updates of news and multimedia files. The DNS transfer took place on Wednesday, April 12, at 9:30pm Eastern Standard Time. It is a sister server to LAcNet's existing server,, which will be soon moving to a new location from University of Maryland.

Government doctors contemplates of going on strike.

State-hospitals doctors in Sri Lanka are expected to lay down their tools wihin the next 48 hours over arrears of payaments, reports here said.

The reports added that doctors will go on strike on Wednesday. But the reports could not be verified at the time this news going on line.

Government deploys specially trained policemen on the streets of Colombo.

In an attempt to prevent LTTE strikes in Colombo, the government assigned specially trained policemen on the streets of Colombo, just 24 hours after the Sinhala-Hindu New Year celebrations ended.

The policemen will be deployed in six sectors around Colombo and each team will be headed by a senior policeman.

State-newspaper calls for the Sunday Leader editor to quit.

The state-run newspaper, The "Daily News" today called

the Sunday Leader editor to quit journalism after, the French Ambassador in Sri Lanka Elizabath Dahan in a statement to the local newspapers said that President Chandrika is a graduate of Sorbone University.

Dahan was reacting to the article in The Sunday Leader, which stated that President Kumaratunge was not a graduate and she was only a Diploma holder in International Relations. The newspaper, aligned to the main opposition party the UNP, stated that President should say "sorry" to the public since she lied about her educational qualifications.

The Editor of the newspaper Lasantha Wickramatunge previously stated that he would quit journalism if he is proved wrong. The Daily News,said that editor was slinging "mud" at the President by publishing false statements and based on the French ambassador's statement he should quit.

Wickramatunge is presently in England on official business.

Civilians say fighting goes on, but military says no.

Civilians in northern Jaffna peninsula told LAcNet that heavy fighting was raging along the A9 highway but the military officials in Colombo said that the fighting had reached a stalemate since the New Year.

New Year marred by violence.

Just 48 hours after the New Year celebrations fizzled out, the police headquarters said here today that at least 540 persons were admitted to the state-hospitals due to injuries sustained from violence.

The headquarters spokesman said that amazingly this year there were only a fewer victims involving fire-crackers but large number were admitted due to violence.

New Police unit to counter LTTE

Senior Superintendent of Police, Bandula Wickremasinghe has been put in charge of a special Police unit to fight the LTTE in Colombo. The special police force formed in the wake of recent suicide attacks by the Tigers, will help counter the threat of Tiger operations in Sri Lanka's capital and prevent suicide attacks against key targets. Mr. Bandula Wickremasinghe who is also chief of the Criminal Detective Bureau said more than a hundred specially trained policeman will be deployed to combat and counter future terrorist attacks. He asserted that the primary function of the unit is to fight underworld gangs operating in and around Colombo while the hand picked officers will also receive special training to face dreaded LTTE attacks within the city.

Fire fight in Muhamaalai

The Sri Lanka Army today denied that any big firefight had erupted last night between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Independent reports from the northern peninsula today said that a fire fight broke out between the two factions in Muhamaalai at about 10 p.m. last night and continued until 5 a.m. this morning.Brigadier Palitha Fernando however maintained that such confrontations on the A9 is a regular feature."Its a continuous process.Every ten minutes we fire mortars and they (the LTTE) retaliate. It does not suddenly erupt and then stop. It's a constant and continuous battle," he said.

Residents living Southeast of Jaffna today reported that Sri Lanka Airforce planes also bombed Chempiyanpattu, an area controlled by the LTTE. The army meanwhile has acknowledged that the A9 is still not safe enough to use as a Main Supply Route the Voice of Tigers claim the LTTE are in control of a major section of the A9 highway in the Thenamaratchi division.

Expat workers are the largest exchange earners.

Expat workers are the largest net foreign exchange earners for Sri Lanka bringing an annual Rs 74 billion (1.05 billion dollars) into the country. This amount has been increased by Rs. 106 million over the previous year. A number of Sri Lankans work in the Middle East as well as in Cyprus, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The majority of them work as housemaids.

The cost of the War

Sri Lanka has incurred a war cost amounting to two years of annual GDP (at 1996 rates) the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) said in a new report finalized last week.The report titled "The Economic Cost of the War in Sri Lanka" states that up to 75,000 people have died in the north and east while the war, since 1983, has wrecked havoc on the country's economy, dissuaded foreign investors and tourists and led to thousands of Tamils fleeing to the West and seeking political asylum. The IPS report maintains that estimating the full cost of the conflict is near impossible."The human and social costs, disability, dispossession and psychological trauma associated with violence and terror are not really quantifiable." On the other hand, in assessing the costs of war to an economy, one would ideally calculate the destruction of production factors to determine the country's potential output without war and then compare this information with the actual output," it said.

IPS said that military spending by the Government between 1984 and 1996 totaled 287 billion rupees or was equivalent to 41 percent of Sri Lanka's 1996 GDP while on a conservative estimate military spending by the rebels would have been around 10 percent of the government costs.

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