The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 10, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 127

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The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
(The proposed new constitution)
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A classical and folk dance concert at San Jose Stage Theater, San Jose, California on August 13, 2000 at 4:00pm, featuring Heshma Melvani, Keshini Samerawickreme, Mangala Jayatilake, Piyumi Ahangama and the Sri Lankan Women's Dance Troupe of New York. For tickets click here.
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Where is MIR today?
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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Lanka President drops Bandaranaike, makes Ratnasiri PM to appease Sinhala Buddhists
The Hindustan Times, August 10. IN A shrewd move meant to retrieve the support of the dominant Sinhala Buddhist community in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga today installed the veteran Sinhala Buddhist leader, Mr Ratnasiri Wicrkemanayake, as the Prime Minister. Mr Wickremanayake, who held the portfolio of Home and Public Administration in the Cabinet, replaces Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who has been dropped from the Cabinet. “It’s a shrewd move and a good choice. It’ll boost the PA’s campaign in the coming elections,” said Mr Dayan Jayatilleka, political analyst and secretary of the Premadasa Centre. “Ms Kumaratunga needs to retrieve lost ground. The debacle suffered by the Constitution Bill in Parliament is akin to the fall of the Elephant Pass to the LTTE,” said Mr Jayatilleka. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 18:40:22 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Wickramanayaka is new Lankan PM  - Times of India
Ratnasiri appointed prime minister today  - AsiaGateway
New prime minister in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
Three Ministers sworn in today  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

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Ailing Sri Lankan prime minister resigns
CNN/Asia Gateway, August 10. Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first woman to head a national government in modern history, resigned Thursday at the age of 84 to allow her daughter, the president, to reorganize the Cabinet ahead of elections. Born Sirimavo Ratwatte on April 17, 1916 into one of the Indian Ocean island's wealthiest families, she was educated in a Catholic convent and never intended to become a politician. In 1940 she married Soloman Dias Bandaranaike, a senior politician in the United National Party, which was then governing the soon-to-be independent country that used to be called Ceylon. A deranged Buddhist monk assassinated him three years later. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who had stayed out of the limelight, found the mantel of party leadership thrust upon her. She rode a wave of public sympathy to a landslide victory at the next election in 1960, becoming prime minister. She asked the U.S. Peace Corps and the Asia Foundation to leave the country in 1970. The Israeli Embassy was also closed on her instructions. Only this year did Sri Lanka and Israel restore diplomatic relations. Suffering from diabetes, and repeatedly undergoing minor surgery to correct a bone problem on her left foot, Bandaranaike reduced her political activities. In November of 1994, the daughter, Kumaratunga was elected president, and appointed her mother to what had become the largely ceremonial prime minister's post. Respected by the party faithful, she wielded great influence. She has one other daughter, Sunethra. Her son, Anura, crossed over to the opposing United National Party in 1993 and briefly served as a Cabinet member. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 12:58:49 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
So long, say Lankan icons  -
Sri Lanka PM Bandaranaike retires  - The Hindu NUS
World's first woman premier resigns  - BBC
Sri Lankan crisis intensifies as Prime Minister Bandarnaike retires  - NDTV/MSNBC
World's oldest PM retires at 84, Sri Lanka expands cabinet  -
World's oldest PM retires at 84, Sri Lanka in reshuffle  -
Veteran Sri Lankan PM resigns  - BBC South Asia
Bandaranaike: From housewife to Record-setting politician  - 123INDIA.COM
World's first woman head of government retires in Sri Lanka  - ABC News
Sri Lanka prime minister to retire  - 123INDIA
Sri Lanka prime minister retires  -

Chandrika Kumaratunga: Politics in the blood
BBC South Asia, AUgust 10. Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power as president of Sri Lanka in 1994. Her family credentials for the job were impeccable. Both her parents were prime ministers of Sri Lanka: her mother, Sirimavoh Bandaranaike, was the world's first woman prime minister. At the time of her election she said that politics was in her blood, even though her father was assassinated when she was 14 years old, and her husband was gunned down in 1989. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 09:50:01 EDT 2000

Ranatunga exits
CNN/SI, august 10. Ranatunga was given a standing ovation as the match ended. Tears rolled down his eyes as he walked back to the pavilion. Ranatunga, 36, went straight to his parents and touched their feet. Ranatunga, who played for Sri Lanka for 19 years, is the only cricketer in the world to have represented his country in both its inaugural and 100th test matches. He was an 18-year-old schoolboy when he made his debut in Sri Lanka's first-ever test match against England in Colombo in February 1982. He subsequently represented his country in 93 tests, leading the team in 56 matches. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 22:43:42 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Emotional farewell to Ranatunga  - The Hundu

Sri Lanka Extends State Of Emergency
AsiaGateway, Thursday Aug 10, 10:10:14. COLOMBO (Aug. 10) XINHUA - The Sri Lankan parliament passed Wednesday a government motion to extend the State of Emergency for one more month by 124 to seven votes, the Island newspaper reported Thursday. The State of Emergency is considered necessary to contain the ongoing ethnic conflict in the north and east of the country where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been waging a 17- year war for a separate state during which over 60,000 persons have been killed. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 10:07:45 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan parliament extends emergency powers  -
Emergency extended  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Umpire clubbed to death over runout decision
TOI, august 10. A local umpire officiating in a village cricket tournament at the southern coastal town of Ambalangoda last Sunday was clubbed to death by players over a disputed run out, the Daily Mirror reported on Thursday. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 12:36:19 EDT 2000

Sea Tiger base detroyed by SLAF
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Thursday August 10. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is reported to have destroyed a Sea Tiger base at Challai in the Jaffna peninsula yesterday. The SLAF are reported to have used new aircraft accquired soon after fresh fighting broke out in April this year.

According to the Special Media Information Center (SMIC) a Sea Tiger training camp for women and a fuel dump were also destroyed in the attack. The SLAF reported no casualties despite retaliation from the LTTE.
Published: Thu Aug 10 00:25:11 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka jets smash rebel sea-base  -

Parliament to be dissolved this week
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 9. The government which was unable to pass the proposed new draft constitution is planning to dissolve parliament this week.  Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake met with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today to discuss the possibility of dissolving Parliament two weeks before its term is scheduled to end on August 24. Reportedly a decision to dissolve Parliament has been taken after this meeting. 

The Special Media Information Center (SMIC) however in a press release said that the Government has decided to re-activate the debate on the proposed draft constitution.  The SMIC said the government will recommence the debate on the draft on a nearby date and conclude with a vote before August 23.  The government is expecting to muster the support of more members of the United National Party (UNP) in order to secure a 2/3rd majority.  The Government was forced to postpone the vote today as it did not have the required number of votes to pass the new Bill.
Published: Wed Aug 9 11:43:16 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to pursue peace effort
BBC South Asia, August 9. The Sri Lankan Government has pledged to pursue efforts to end the 17-year war with the Tamil Tiger rebels. The statement comes a day after it was forced by parliament to postpone a proposal to reform the constitution, which would have devolved greater powers to Tamils in the north and east. The defeat embarrassed the government which is now conducting a post mortem into why it failed to attract enough support."Thousands of people took to the streets of Colombo on Wednesday celebrating the government's failure."We will ensure the constitution is withdrawn even if we have to shed blood," one placard held by a protester read. support. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 16:29:58 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka may rue scuttling of Constitutional Bill: TULF  - HT
Lanka govt to present reform bill again  - Times of India

Sri Lanka increases defense budget to fight rebels
Virtual New York, Wednesday, August 9. The Sri Lankan parliament Wednesday approved an additional $356 million to buy weapons to fight the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas. In a statement read out in parliament, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that the government needed the money to pay for sophisticated weapon systems, military hardware, aircraft and other equipment recently purchase to fight the separatists in the country's north. The newly acquired MIG 27 fighters, flown by foreign pilots, attacked several rebel positions in the northern Wanni mainland Wednesday, soon after the rebels exploded a landmine killing four soldiers in the east and ambush am army patrol in Mannar killing one officer and five soldiers. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 02:23:02 EDT 2000

Ranatunga bids adieu
TOI, august 10. Sri Lanka's most successful but controversial skipper Arjuna Ranatunga bowed out of international cricket here on Thursday at his home ground, the Sinhalese Sports Club ground, amid a tearful farewell. The gates were thrown open shortly before tea on the fifth and final day of the third Test against South Africa by the Sri Lanka cricket board to give the public free entrance to show their appreciation for this great cricketer More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 18:52:01 EDT 2000

Maha Sangha says two PA Minister are national traitors
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 9. The Maha Sangha have described two Ministers of the Peoples Alliance as "national traitors" saying that the two Ministers made derogatory statements against the Maha Sangha during the Parliamentary debate yesterday. The two Ministers, S. B. Dissanayake and Sarath Amunugama the Maha Sangha say, said in Parliament that the Sangha are uneducated and do not understand the contents of the proposed new draft constitution. Meanwhile a fast unto death by the Ven. Hendigalla Wimalasara Thero ended this morning. The monk was rushed to a private hospital as he had taken a turn for the worse due to being weak after beginning his fast yesterday. The Sihala Urumaya said the fast was cancelled following the postponement of the draft constitution.
Published: Wed Aug 9 11:43:16 EDT 2000

NPC appeals for an ethical political process for peace
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 9. The National Peace Council in a statement released yesterday said  government’s decision to postpone the debate on the constitutional bill provides a new space to defuse growing political tensions in the country and accommodate the demand for a greater dialogue on the proposed reforms.

The draft constitution presently put before Parliament by the government is a document that has been produced during a time of  severe ethnic conflict, polarization, erosion of democratic values and war.  Despite the efforts to reach a balance of interests, it is incomplete and controversial, failing to address many of the fears both real and perceived of the ethnic communities inhabiting this  country.  

The National Peace Council views the decision of the UNP to cease to positively engage in the bipartisan constitutional reform process in Parliament at this time and the government's plans to proceed unilaterally with the passage of the draft constitution as having been major setbacks to a consensual peace process. Without cooperation, there can never be a "win-win" outcome in which all communities feel that they have gained.

The present initiative which may or may not recommence soon has been  an attempt to gain majority support within Parliament.  The NPC believes that the framing of the permanent constitution with full people's participation can only commence when a socio-political environment conducive for all major actors in the conflict to negotiate with parity of status is created.  

The NPC appeals to the political parties to use the time and space made available by the postponement to join hands to work out an ethical political process for the future using the constitution-making process that has been initiated.  This should be directed to finding a negotiated solution to the ethnic conflict.
Published: Wed Aug 9 11:43:16 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Lanka govt to present reform bill again  - AsiaGateway
Give up slogans, propose viable alternatives: Puravasi Peramuna  - Daily News
Lanka shelves reforms bill  -
Sri Lankan reform shelved, but not dead yet  - MSNBC

India to sell military hardware to Lanka
NewIndPress, august 10. India has decided to sell military hardware to Sri Lanka and negotiations are on to clinch the deal on an offshore patrol vessel for the Sri Lankan navy. The navy has earmarked an offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ęiINS Shardaęr, made at Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Vishakhapatanam for sale to the island nation, sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. MoD officials refused to be drawn into a controversy about certain sections within the country opposed to the sale of military hardware to Sri Lanka and said it was ``beneficial for the government financially and marked a quantum jump in the growth of the defence industry in the country. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 13:31:11 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
UNP raps India for ?interfering? in Sri Lanka  - HT

10 military personnel killed at Vavuniya this morning
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 9. One officer and 9 other military personnel were killed at Vavuniya at around 6 a.m. this morning when attacked by the LTTE. At least 8 other military men are reported injured in the attack. The incident happened after a week and a half when there were no major confrontations.

The army personnel were attacked while on a routine patrol on Forward Defence Lines at Thirimanakulam, Vavuniya. LTTE casualties are not known.
Published: Wed Aug 9 11:43:16 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Eight killed, 30 injured in LTTE attacks  - The Hindu NUS
13 killed in LTTE attacks  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lankan Rebels Launch Attacks  - Reuters
At Least 30 Wounded in Sri Lanka Rebel Mine Blast  - ABC-Reuters
Sri Lanka Attacks Leave Seven Dead  - AP
11 killed, 40 injured in rebel attacks in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
Tiger rebels stepped up attacks  - Deutsche Welle
Tigers attack bus carrying soldiers; 1 dead, 32 wounded  - Times of India
At least 30 wounded in Lanka rebel mine blast  - ExpressIndia
Tigers ambush military bus in Sri Lanka  -

Ranil says he will not support constitution minus a consensus
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 9. Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe today said he will not support the new draft constitution until the Government has secured the necessary consensus from all sections of society.  He said, that moves are already underway threatening members of the United National Party and attempting to "buy them over" in order to muster the required number of votes needed to pass the constitution. 

Mr. Wickremasinghe said he will join other organizations in a bid to prevent the draft being brought again to Parliament before August 24. Meanwhile the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) this evening held a mass protest meeting at Borella junction in Colombo 8, against the draft constitution.  General Secretary of the party, Tilvin Silva, addressing the one hour meeting said that the JVP  had successfully defeated the government's decision to split Sri Lanka. The Democratic United National Front (DUNF) also in a statement said today that the postponement of the draft constitution is a "massive defeat to the government." The DUNF said that all democratic forces must unite and destroy the proposed new draft constitution.
Published: Wed Aug 9 11:43:16 EDT 2000

Oppn, Buddhist monks turn the heat on Chandrika
Times of India, AUgust 9. Sri Lanka's main opposition and the powerful Buddhist clergy have turned the heat on President Chandrika Kumaratunga, calling for her government's resignation and the complete withdrawal of the contentious draft constitution. Hours after the government announced indefinite postponement of a vote on the draft statute in Parliament on Tuesday, opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the People's Alliance (PA) step down as it had suffered a 'constitutional defeat'. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 16:25:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Mahanayake Theras warn MPs not to vote new Constitution  - PRIU
Monks keep up death fast alive as Sri Lanka puts reforms on hold  -
Buddhists turn heat on Chandrika  - The Asian Age
Monks want Reform Bill withdrawn  - Hindu
Monks warn Kumaratunga not to restore Sri Lanka reform bill  -

S.Lanka says rebels fire missiles at airforce jets
ABC News, Wednesday, 9 August. Sri Lanka said on Wednesday Tamil Tiger rebels fired surface-to-air missiles at its newly acquired airforce jets when they attacked the rebels" main sea base on the northern coast, but the aircraft escaped damage. It did not say what jets carried out Tuesday"s strike, but military officials have said the Sri Lanka Air Force has recently acquired at least four new Mig-27s from a former Soviet republic, besides several Israeli-built Kfirs. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 08:47:20 EDT 2000

TRC alleges nexus between Veerappan and LTTE
Pioneer, august 9. Tamizhga Rajiv Congress (TRC) on Wednesday alleged a nexus between fugitive Veerappan and international terrorist organisations like the LTTE, giving him access to modern weapons.TRC president and former Union Minister Vazhapadi K Ramamurthy told reporters that the volunteers of Tamil Nadu Retrieval Troop (TNRT) who were with Veerappan now, had got arms from the LTTE, before the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. TNRT leaders were also patronised by the Pattali Makkal Katchi, he alleged. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 17:20:24 EDT 2000

Analysis: A setback for peace?
BBC, August 9. The postponement of the constitution reform bill is a serious blow to President Chandrika Kumaratunga's pledge to end the fighting. The postponement of the constitution reform bill is a serious blow to President Chandrika Kumaratunga's pledge to end the fighting. She has consistently said that her proposals for constitutional reform are the best hope for ending the long-running war. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 06:12:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka raises defence budget by more than 50 percent  -

Sri Lanka postpones vote on key reform bill
Yahoo, Wednesday Aug 9, 07:23:10. Sri Lanka's government has postponed indefinitely a parliamentary vote aimed at ending the bloody Tamil separatist conflict. The bill, which will see Sri Lanka turned into a de-facto federal state if enacted, was due to be debated and voted on late Tuesday. But amid mounting protests and demonstrations, Sri Lanka's parliamentary speaker announced the postponement of the vote. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 07:21:56 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka govt to present new draft of constitution  - Times of India

Defeat for Sri Lanka peace plan
The Guardian, August 9. Disgruntled ministers allege that the reason they were forced to postpone the vote was because 10 opposition members who favoured the new constitution were flown out of the country by their party to prevent them from voting. "It looks as if the opposition has won this battle of the backroom negotiations." a government minister said. More...
Published: Wed Aug 9 21:12:37 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan government crisis deepens as Kumaratunga "postpones" constitutional reform bill  - WSWS
Plan for Pro-Tamil Constitution Stalls in Sri Lanka  - NY Times

Sri Lanka draw test as Jayewardene hits century
The Hindu NUS, AUgust 10. Sri Lanka drew their third and final test against South Africa today despite losing three early wickets in their pursuit of a victory target of 263 on the last day. Sri Lanka were 195 for 4 off 67.1 overs when stumps were drawn. Jayewardene scored an unbeaten 101 and was concerned in an 82-run partnership with P A De Silva who hit 41. More...
Published: Thu Aug 10 09:52:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka draw final Test  - BBC South Asia
Final test heading for a draw as rain washes out play  - Yahoo-afp
Under-15 cricket: India vs Sri Lanka in plate final  - The Hindu NUS

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