The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 123

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Malaysian News. LABUNORUWA, Sri Lanka, Aug 1 (Bernama) - The dusty track in this village is like another village path in Sri Lanka's harsh dry zone except that the nameboard has some unique features unlike normal nameboards and bears some unusual names. "Our young are just dying away in the war," laments rice farmer Heen Appuhamy, who himself lost a son in the war. If losing their sons or husbands is enough grief to the village, it is worst when government compensation schemes don't reach them. More...
US State Department. Colombo, 4 August 2000 - The U.S. State Department announced on July 31 that the mail-in period for the next U.S. Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program (DV-2002) will run from noon, October 2, through noon, November 1, 2000. There is no application fee and no special application form is required. The application with the necessary information can simply be typed on a blank sheet of paper. More...
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Security beefed up around Sri Lankan Parliament ahead of crucial vote
Yahoo, Sunday Aug 6, 18:26:10. Colombo, Aug 6 - Security has been beefed up around the Sri Lankan Parliament with debate on President Chandrika Kumaratunga's controversial political reforms bill due to begin tomorrow. Heavily armed policemen took up positions along the main roads and armed forces were put on alert, officials said. With opposition mounting inside and outside the house, Members of Parliament (MPs) were told by the government to take all precautions and were warned of possible attacks "by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other extremist groups on our families and our homes", the Sunday Times newspaper quoted a ruling People's Alliance (PA) member as saying. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 18:19:45 EDT 2000

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Weekend encounters in Lankan war leave 55 dead
Times of India, August 6. Sri Lankan troops killed 53 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh offensives over the weekend, the government and military officials said on Sunday. A government soldier and a civilian also died in other fighting that started on Friday night and continued through Saturday, military officials said. Another 16 soldiers were wounded. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 16:57:50 EDT 2000

Bombers of Buddhist monks get instant justice
123India-AFP, August 6. Buddhist monks were preaching non-violence and calling for unity in ethnically-fractured Sri Lanka when a powerful blast ripped through the venue in Colombo. An attacker crouched behind a car and aimed at the second floor auditorium, but as he swung his hand to throw the explosives, he hit the car behind him and the bomb went off instantaneously. Three others believed to be accomplices of the attacker were also wounded in the blast as some 200 monks and political activists deliberated on their protest against government plans to vote on a new constitution on Wednesday. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 09:30:15 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Grenade lobbed at anti package meeting  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Bomb rocks Sri Lanka monks' meet ahead of constitution vote  - 123India

Sri Lanka take control
BBC, August 6. South Africa 194-7 v Sri Lanka, Colombo

Sri Lanka are in control after a rain-affected first day of the third and final Test with South Africa in Colombo.

Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock battled hard down the order to put the South African innings back on track after a poor start.

Klusener survived until the close to make fifty, but he lost his partner in crime Pollock just before the rain struck when Muralitharan got one through his defences for 33. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 09:25:49 EDT 2000

Latest Sri Lanka fighting
BBC, August 6. The Sri Lankan government says that its troops killed thirty-nine Tamil Tiger rebels in a new offensive in the north of the country.

The government says troops pounded rebel lines in Omanathai, in the Jaffna peninsula, on Friday, killing twenty Tigers. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 09:20:17 EDT 2000

Blast near Sinhala meeting venue
The Hindu, August 6. On the eve of a crucial parliamentary debate on changing the Constitution, a bomb explosion, at the venue of a meeting of Sinhala nationalist organisations, opposed to the proposed change, injured three people here. The bomb went off on Sunday evening, outside a building where members of the National Joint Committee (NJC), an umbrella organisation of Sinhala nationalist groups, were meeting to chalk out plans for protests over the next three days when the new Constitution would be debated and put to vote. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 19:46:17 EDT 2000

S.Lanka police wounded by rebel landmine
ABC, Sunday Aug 6, 09:03:10. COLOMBO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - A landmine laid by Tamil Tiger rebels exploded under a bus in north Sri Lanka on Sunday wounding at least seven policemen, state radio said. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said the police bus was on the outskirts of Vavuniya, 220 km (140 miles) northeast of Colombo, when the mine exploded. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:57:34 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops kill nine rebels
123India, Sunday Aug 6, 08:56:10. COLOMBO, Aug 6 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops shot dead nine Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the island's north while another six guerrillas were either killed or wounded, the government said Sunday. Troops shot dead eight members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at Sarasalai in the Jaffna peninsula Saturday while the other was killed at Welioya, the government's Special Media Information Centre said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:52:00 EDT 2000

TULF says ‘No’
The Island, Sunday, 6 August. The TULF is not expected to support the government’s constitutional proposals that will be debated in parliament this week despite tremendous pressure being mounted on the party, senior TULF sources said.With six MPs, the TULF’s support or the lack of it can make a vital difference to the required two thirds majority.The single TELO MP, A. Adaikalanathan, said that he would be voting against the bill. But 3 other minority parties - the SLMC (7 MPs), EPDP (9), DPLF (2) and the CWC (8) will be voting with the government."There was intense lobbying to persuade us to vote with the government with several ministers working behind the scene. A big businessman is supposed to be putting up a lot of money,’’ a TULF MP who asked not to be identified, said.He said that the draft now before parliament failed to satisfy the basic aspirations of the Tamil people particularly on three fundamental issues - the structure of the state, the unit of devolution land the question of land."We will therefore vote against the bill. No respectable Tamil can accept these proposals which will enforce majority rule on the minorities,’’ he said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:04:53 EDT 2000

I am in danger says Vasudeva
Sunday Times, Sunday, 6 August. LSSP rebel Vasudeva Nanayakkara who is opposing the draft constitutional bill said yesterday he had been warned that his life was in danger.

Mr. Nanyakkara told The Sunday Times the threats could be serious but he was not asking for state security.

He said he saw the draft constitution bill as something similar to the dictatorial Jayawardene constitution while he believed the devolution proposals did not address the roots of the conflict. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:10:43 EDT 2000

US training for Lankan armed forces gets underway in South
The Island, Sunday, 6 August. US and Sri Lankan forces have begun a month long training exercise here, highly placed defence sources said yesterday. The exercises began on July 31 under tight security at airforce and naval facilities outside the North and the East.Advisors from different branches of the US forces have been engaged in training exercises with army’s elite 53 Division comprised Commandos, Special Forces and the Air Mobile Brigade and a 40 man group of navy officers and men, the sources said. The exercise was the third and the last of the exercises scheduled for year 2000, the sources said adding that the ongoing "security programmes" will considerably help the Lankan forces.The 53 Division, since it’s establishment in 1995 has been engaged in all major operations, both offensive and defensive including combined offensive, Riviresa that brought the Jaffna peninsula under the government’s control.Four officers were among the almost 100 member strong 53 Division group taking part in the exercises, the sources said adding that Sri Lanka was among several other countries benefited from the Extended Relations Programme [ERP] under which the US provides advance training to forces of friendly countries. The US in 1995 included Sri Lanka in the Pacific Command More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:03:02 EDT 2000

Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena to be elected professor
The Island, Sunday, 6 August. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena’s name has been forwarded to the Vice Chancellor of the People’s Friendship University of Moscow to be elected as a Professor of the Russian Government University. Dr. Jayawardena has been working as a Senior Consultant to several medical faculties of the State Universities of Russian Federation. He has also been functioning as a Senior Member of the selection boards of Moscow Medical Academy and Russian State University to select Sri Lanka students to these universities. He was honoured by the Russian State Medical University for his excellent contribution in the field of medical education in 1993.

In 1997 Dr. Jayawardena was appointed as a Project Coordinator of Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (Deemed University) of India by its Vice Chancellor. He was appointed to the Visiting Academic staff of Edenlale College of Medical Sciences in South Africa in 1998. He was awarded the Membership in the International Medical Parliamentarian’s Organisation (IMPO) which is affiliated to WHO recently. He is a life member of Sri Lanka Medical Association. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:06:05 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan MPs lodged in hotels, safe houses
The Hindu, Sunday, 6 August. As the numbers game intensified for the parliamentary vote on Sri Lanka's controversial Constitution Bill, the ruling People's Alliance (PA) tried to secure its strength in the House by sequestering its MPs in five-star hotels and other safe houses in and around the capital. One PA parliamentarian was reported to have resigned on Friday due to his reservations about the proposed new Constitution. The PA is expected to nominate a replacement before the Bill is put to vote next Wednesday. The Bill, which the President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, says is the foundation for a lasting peace in Sri Lanka, will be debated for three days beginning Monday, August 7. The Government, on its own, does not have the two- thirds support that is required for the passage of the Bill. The Opposition, United National Party (UNP) has said it will not support it, but a Cabinet Minister told The Hindu earlier this week that several Opposition members were expected to switch sides soon. In order to woo more UNP parliamentarians, the Government has dangled the carrot of an expanded House which will enable the ruling coalition to accommodate UNP defectors in the list for the next general elections without antagonising its own members. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 07:38:01 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of constitution vote
123India, Sunday, 6 August. Sri Lanka was placed on red alert amid fears of bloodshed as President Chandrika Kumaratunga tried to rally support for a radical constitution change, officials said Sunday. Security forces and the police were put on maximum alert fearing a backlash against the statute that seeks to turn the country into a de facto federal state in exchange for ethnic peace, officials said.The Buddhist clergy warned they would march to parliament Tuesday, a day before the crucial vote, to protest against Kumaratunga's bill. The main opposition United National party (UNP) has also said it will oppose the bill and is preparing to boycott the debate.Kumaratunga needs a two-thirds majority or 150 votes in the 225-member assembly to pass her bill. She is still 10 votes short of achieving that but the government has said it was confident of engineering at least 20 defections from the UNP opposition, which is equally optimistic that the reforms will fail. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 07:35:41 EDT 2000

S.Lanka gov't said desperate for key charter votes
ABC, Sunday Aug 6, 03:12:13. Colombo, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s People"s Alliance government, short of a two-thirds majority to push a new constitution through parliament, is offering opposition lawmakers houses and cars to secure their votes, an opposition leader said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga"s government presented its constitution aimed at ending the long ethnic war in the house last week. It will be debated from Monday and a vote is due on Wednesday. "The government is short by a few votes. Horse trading is on. There is too much at stake here," a diplomat told Reuters. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 03:06:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Minister flays Electoral Reforms Bill  - The Hindu
Sri Lankan MPs lodged in hotels, safe houses  - The Hindu
Sri Lanka horse-trading escalates ahead of decisive vote  -

Farewell to Arjuna
The Sunday Times, Sunday 6th August 2000. A decisive Test Match and a historic occasion where Sri Lanka's most illustrious cricketing son Arjuna Ranatunge bids farewell to Test Cricket will unfold at the Sinhalese Spots Club ground today as Sri Lanka meets South Africa in the third and final Test.

After a pulsating and nerve wracking second Test where South Africa snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, today's Test is destined to be fought tooth and nail by both sides in a bid to clinch the Test series. Sri Lanka are expected to strengthen their batting with the inclusion of Aravinda de Silva. Apart from Marvin Atapattu and Arjuna Ranatunge, the rest of Lanka's top order have been guilty of constantly performing below expectations. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 06:00:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka bank on big farewell Ranatunga knock
AsianAge, Sunday Aug 6, 03:01:20. Sri Lanka will look for one last big innings from Arjuna Ranatunga on his Test farewell at his Colombo home-ground in the third and final Test against South Africa starting on Sunday. Ranatunga, 36, is to retire from international cricket after the Test, ending an illustrious 18-year career during which he became Sri Lanka’s most successful captain and the second-highest run-getter after Aravinda de Silva. Ranatunga nearly won the second Test for Sri Lanka with his brilliant 88. On Sunday, he will be playing his 93rd Test match since making his debut at the age of 18 against England in Colombo in 1982. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 02:56:03 EDT 2000

Refurbished Army braced for showdown with Tigers
Island, Sunday, 6 August. Sri Lanka has boosted its firepower with new combat aircraft and field guns ahead of a possible show down with Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, officials said.The military has begun using four MiG-27 ground attack aircraft and the army has deployed multi-barrel rocket launchers to force the rebels to pull back their own long-range guns, which had threatened a strategic airfield, the officials said."The new jets are being fine-tuned for combat operations and more equipment is on the way," a military source here said.The military is awaiting more aircraft and armaments ordered in May after the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) overran the main army garrison guarding the entrance to the Jaffna peninsula.The Tiger rebels then advanced to the outskirts of the town of Jaffna, which security forces wrested from rebel control in December 1995 after dismantling a de facto separately run there by the guerrillas for nearly five years.After ferocious fighting in April and May, a lull in the fighting ensued but analysts see it as simply the calm before the storm."The Tigers have managed to tie down the army along a broad front in the More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 08:01:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka fighting kills 41  -
39 LTTE rebels, soldier killed in Lanka  - HT

Senior police officer arrested over killing-fields murders
123India, Saturdday Aug 5, 08:46:30. COLOMBO, Aug 5 (AFP) - A senior Sri Lankan police officer has been arrested in connection with extra judicial killings carried out during a leftist uprising 12 years ago, state-run media reported Saturday. Police arrested superintendent Douglas Peiris as he returned to the country on Thursday and was under interrogation, the Daily News said, linking the officer to opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:41:40 EDT 2000

Peaceful Protest
AsianAge, Saturday, 5 August. Thousands of people, including Buddhist monks, took to the streets in protest against the introduction of the new Constitution. More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:16:17 EDT 2000

National Sangha Convention in support of new Constitution
Daily News, Saturday, 5 August. A group of the Maha Sangha led by Ven.Prof.Kumburugamuwe Vajira Nayake Thera will hold a National Sangha Convention to pledge the support of Buddhist clergy for new Constitution. They informed Buddhasasana Cultural and Religious Affairs Minister Lakshman Jayakody yesterday at his office in Colombo that they will elaborate on certain controversial issues including the status of Buddhism, land ownership and the protection of the majority Sinhalese under the new Constitution during the sessions at the BMICH on August 8. Ven Prof.Vajira Thera said that rights of the Sinhalese are protected and Buddhism is safeguarded while the just rights of the minorities have also been assured under the new Constitution. Some prejudices created by false propaganda of certain political forces will be corrected to convince the Maha Sangha during this Convention, Ven.Thera said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:24:41 EDT 2000

New electoral system to be introduced
AsianAge, Saturday, 5 August. A new electoral system will be introduced in Sri Lanka and if the Parliament approves the legislation in the current session, the strength of the next house will go up to 298 from the present 225.The cabinet at a special meeting on Thursday approved the electoral reforms increasing the number of seats with a combination of the proportional representation system and the first-past-the-post system. According to the new system, the country will have 160 members of Parliament as provided for under the 1972 Constitution with eight multi-member seats. Another 100 more members will be elected under the district proportional representative system, while 30 members will be nominated on the national list as prescribed under the 1978 Constitution. The bill, known as 17th amendment to the present Constitution will be sent to the Supreme Court for its jurisdiction.(UNI) More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:13:53 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government seeking constitutional victory
Asiaweek, Saturday, 5 August. The Sri Lankan government is confident of mustering enough votes in parliament to push through its new constitution, which is aimed at ending the nation's ethnic war, even without support from the main opposition United National Party. "We have the numbers and there is no way the constitution is not going to be passed in the house next week," a senior minister told Reuters on Friday. The minister, who declined to be identified, said the UNP's full support was not needed in next week's vote as several of its lawmakers were ready to break away and back the government. The new constitution aims to devolve powers to the regions, including one administered by minority Tamils in an effort to give them a political alternative to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel group. The LTTE have been fighting for a homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east since 1983. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance needs 150 votes in the 225-member parliament. More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:39:30 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Chandrika confident new statute bill will be passed  - AsianAge

Sri Lanka suffers jolt as legislator quits in protest
Asian Age, August 6. Sri Lanka’s ruling People’s Alliance government has suffered a jolt with one of its legislators resigning in protest against the Constitution bill. Mr Jayasena Rajalkaruna of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party, quit after expressing reservations over the new bill and its provisions to devolve powers to Tamil-dominated northeastern province.

Mr Rajalkaruna is the first ruling party MP to resign following policy differences with the government which has been banking on mass defections from the Opposition United National Party to get two-thirds majority in Parliament for the passage of the bill. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 09:41:27 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan MP quits protesting new Statute  - The Hindu
Sri Lankan constitution plans: MP resigns  - BBC

Sri Lankan general protests innocence
BBC, Saturday, 5 August. A Sri Lankan general who faces allegations of murder and torture during a left-wing uprising in the late 1980s has strenuously protested his innocence. In an interview with the BBC, Major General Ananda Weerasekera said accusations that he had presided over a spate of disappearances in between 1987 and 1990 were a shocking distortion of the truth. The general said that he never resorted to extra judicial means to suppress the uprising, during which he ran numerous detention centres for captured rebels near the central town of Anuradhapura. More...
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:04:54 EDT 2000

Controversial package will be debated on Tuesday.
Roy Denish in Colombo, SLT. 16: 51 Saturday.. Sri Lankan government's controversial devolution package will be debated at the parliament on Tuesday August-8 as scheduled amidst opposition from the leftist and right wing political parties, who accused the government for betraying the Sinhala nation.

Last week, the Buddhist monks rejected the package and threatened to block all roads leading to the parliament on Tuesday. The leftist Nava Sama Samaja Party's (NSSP) general secretary Dr. Vickrmabahu Karunarthna in a statement said that package do not offer anything to the Tamils and the proposals were "humbug" to divert attention from the rising cost of living.

On Thursday, the main opposition party, the UNP accused the government for "buying" its members to vote in favour of the package that needs 2/3 majorities in the parliament. But the government denied such claims and stated that the members of the opposition were "crossing over" to the PA government due to a rift within the UNP.

However, sources said that 40 double-rooms have been booked at a five-star hotel in Colombo to house the defectors. But a government official denying such allegations said rooms have been booked for ruling party members for security reasons. "The opposition to the package is so severe that government fears attacks on its members", the official said.

The controversial package has come under severe criticism even by the Tamil political parties. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to hold talks with the Tamil political parties on Monday to coax them to vote in favour of the package.

Last week, when the package was tabled at parliament, the opposition party members threw paper balls and set fire to official documents as a sign of protest. The behavior of the opposition party members at the supreme political institution of the country came under severe criticism from the public who claimed that members behaved like a "bunch of kids".

Meanwhile police assisted by troops threw a tight security in and around Colombo and established snap roadblocks along the highways leading to the parliament in an attempt to prevent any untoward incident on Tuesday.
Published: Sat Aug 5 08:01:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops kill nine rebels , Sunday Aug 06 2000 14:31 . COLOMBO, Aug 6 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops shot dead nine Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the island's north while another six guerrillas were either killed or wounded, the government said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Aug 6 05:46:45 EDT 2000

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