The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 16, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 133

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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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Bomb at Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday August 16. A bomb exploded on a group of excise officials returning after conducting a raid in the Pudthotum area in Vavuniya yesterday. One person who had been arrested for brewing illicit liquor died in the explosion while five others were injured. It is not yet known who was responsible for the attack. Police in Vavuniya are conducting investigations.
Published: Wed Aug 16 05:19:56 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Blast in Sri Lanka town  -
One killed, three injured in S.Lanka suicide blast  - MSNBC
Suicide bomber blasts military vehicle in Sri Lanka  -
Sri Lanka suicide bombing injures six  - BBC South Asia
Suspected suicide bomber kills one in northern Sri Lanka  - MSNBC
Tamil Tiger suicide bomber ambushes military  - BBC South Asia
Suicide bomber blasts military vehicle in Sri Lanka  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Former Norwegian PM in Colombo today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.20 a.m. SLT Wednesday August 16. Kjell Magne Bondevik, former Prime Minister for Norway will arrive in Colombo this afternoon. The Prime Minister is expected to deliver the key note address at a commemorative ceremony at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall tomorrow to mark the first death anniversary of the late Minister for Foreign Affairs, A. C. S. Hameed. Mr. Bondevik is also scheduled to meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, and Tamil political party leaders.
Published: Wed Aug 16 05:19:56 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's deadly bombers
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK . Suicide bombings have taken place in the Sri Lankan civil war ever since it began in the early 1980s. Perhaps the most well-known incident is when the Tamil Tigers were accused of using the tactic to kill the former Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991. Some commentators argue that unlike many suicide bombings in the Middle East, attacks in Sri Lanka are carried out for ideological rather than religious motives. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 15:12:26 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
The ethnic divide  - BBC South Asia
An unwinnable war?  - BBC South Asia

SLA inflicts heavy casualties on LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Wednesday August 16. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are reported to have inflicted heavy casualties on a group of Tiger rebels yesterday in the northern Jaffna Peninsula.

An official media press release from the Special Media Information Center said today that the SLA killed and wounded over 40 LTTE rebels when they opened heavy artillery fire on the rebel group.

Harsha Gunawardena, Spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) however said the humanitarian organization has not been contacted by either warring faction to hand over the dead. He said the ICRC also has no independent verification of the incident and the number killed.

Meanwhile the government this week facilitated a trip to Jaffna for foreign correspondents who met with the Jaffna Army Commander and were given a tour of cleared areas.
Published: Wed Aug 16 05:19:56 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka jets step up attacks against Tigers  -
S.Lankan Military Confirms 18,000 Tamil Tiger Deaths Since 1982  - AsiaGateway
Lankan air force bombs rebel bases  - Times of India (Breaking News)
'Four LTTE leaders killed in sea bombing'  - The Hindu NUS

Sri Lanka opposition under pressure ahead of polls
MSNBC, Wednesday, 16 August. Sri Lanka's main opposition party was under pressure on Wednesday ahead of forthcoming elections as the government tried to tie its leader with death squads which operated during a leftwing insurgency in the 1980s. Government newspapers have since last week been reporting on an affidavit filed by a former police officer accusing Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP) of having links with or knowledge of the groups that were responsible for the killings of hundreds of people. Wickremesinghe, a former prime minister, has been quoted by local media as saying the government newspapers were ''engaged in a vicious mud-slinging campaign'' against him. His party has also denied the allegations. Some 60,000 people were killed between 1987 and 1990 by the leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP) and counter-insurgency groups linked to the then UNP government, of which Wickremasinghe was a minister. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 08:35:51 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Wijeyapala calls for suspension of Ranil's UNP membership  - AsiaGateway
Sri Lanka politician denies killings link  - BBC South Asia
UNP financier Mahroof slips out of the country  - CDN
Deputy mayor of Colombo flees country  - The Hindu (International)
Lanka oppn leader linked with `killers'  - Times of India
Humiliated Chandrika tries to 'fix' Ranil  - The Hindu (International)

Tiger rebels being closely monitored
Bangkok Post, august 16. The Sri Lankan military has been closely monitoring the smuggling of arms from southern Thailand to the battle-scarred Jaffna peninsula, the base of the Tamil Tiger rebels, in an ongoing effort to step up measures to prevent acts of sabotage in Colombo.Maj-Gen Lionel Balagalle, chief of the Army Headquarters, told Thai reporters and foreign correspondents invited by the Sri Lankan government to visit the country that the military was fully aware of the arms smuggling. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 09:36:05 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Suppression of the financing of terrorism  - AsiaGateway
Philippines on alert for possible Tamil Tiger fund-raisers  -

Country sitting on an economic volcano’ Elect govt. that can manage economy better, says UNP
AsiaGateway, Wednesday Aug 16, 11:32:14. UNP media spokesman and Parliamentarian Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku in a news release said that the country’s economy was heading for disaster and the country was sitting on a volcano due to the mismanagement of the economy.The economic data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has indicated the official gross foreign exchange reserves of Sri Lanka of July 31st as US $1386 million. This is sufficient for only ten weeks of imports. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 11:37:41 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to raise 319 million dollars in additional loans
123India, august 16. Sri Lanka Wednesday raised the government's limit on borrowings by another 25 billion rupees (319 million dollars) as the defence budget shot up unexpectedly by over 50 percent. The parliament voted to hurriedly amend the annual budget to accomodate the additional defence expenditure, triggered by a feriocious offensive launched by Tamil Tiger guerrillas in April.= More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 09:39:40 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gets US loan to buy wheat  -

Sri Lanka to Launch Power Project for Remote Rural Area
XINHUA, August 16. Sri Lanka plans to start a power generating project for electricity supply to 105,000 rural homes in 60 remote villages at a cost of 2,371 million rupees (around 30. 2 million U.S. dollars), the Daily News reported Wednesday. The state-owned newspaper said that the Ministry of Irrigation and Power is to implement this project by using funds obtained from the governments of Sweden and Kuwait. The amount of the money from the two countries is 1,600 million rupees (around 20.3 million dollars) and 771 million rupees (around 9.8 million dollars), respectively. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 06:30:03 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka in bid to revive 'gerrymandering' bill, Aug 16 2000 13:15 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka was attempting to revive a bill to change the country's electoral system, benefiting President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling party, press reports said Wednesday. The government had earlier shelved the "gerrymandering" bill as the ruling party failed to muster the required two thirds majority in parliament to expand the numer of seats in the assembly by 73 seats to 298. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 06:21:26 EDT 2000

Sex, lies and tapes feature in Sri Lanka's vote fiasco, August 15. In a plot that would itself not disgrace a Hollywood blockbuster, a defecting opposition politician charged with guaranteeing a vital majority in Sri Lanka's parliament has been rewarded by becoming the country's minister for films. But for the turncoat minister the plot -- equal parts farce and tragedy -- has taken an alarming twist after his failure to deliver the necessary votes has seen him lambasted equally by both sides. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 01:23:35 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan politician gets ministership for buying votes  - Deccan H

BIA to be modernised
Daily News, Wednesday, 16 August. The Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayaka will be modernized as a dynamic aviation hub renowned for excellence in the Asia pacific region, a senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. Measures will be taken to provide user-friendly state of the art airport and navigation services and to create a competitively advantageous facilities and services to all air passengers. Arrangements have been finalised to expand and improve the aviation infrastructure at the Bandaranaike International Airport at a cost of 100 million U.S. dollars, in order to provide better and modern facilities to the public. Under this project new departure gate lounges with direct access to the aircraft via aero bridges will be provided. The import and export cargo facilities will also be modernised and expanded. The air cargo storage capacity has been increased by 50,000 metric tonnes with the opening of the new air cargo stores complex at the Bandaranaike International Airport recently. A new three storeyed security complex was also opened to improve the safety aspects at the airport. It will also help to increase the aviation handling capacity at the airport. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 04:11:39 EDT 2000

EU to report on Lanka polls
Times of India, 17 August 2000 . COLOMBO: A four-member, high-level team of officials from the European Commission headquarters in Brussels is presently preparing a fact-finding report on the need for election monitors in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. Organised in collaboration with the European Union office in Colombo, the team has conducted detailed talks with members of all political parties including the opposition, United National Party and various non-governmental organisations to prepare a detailed report on the impending general elections. T More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 16:13:32 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
10 political parties to contest general Election in the North.  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Tamil parties gear up for the next general election  - PRIU
Speaker summoned to Colombo amidst speculation of imminent dissolution of parliament  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

As Peace Plan Falters, Sri Lanka's War Has No End in Sight
Buddhist monks of Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese ethnic group demonstrated against a plan to grant more autonomy to the minority Tamils.
Celia W. Dugger, New York Times, August 15. This war-haunted nation's president, blinded in her right eye by a suicide bomber's attack, still talks of peace. But many ordinary Sri Lankans are more convinced than ever that no end to the country's 17-year conflict with the Tamil rebels is near. President Chandrika Kumaratunga hoped that a new constitution she proposed on Aug. 3 would preserve Sri Lanka as a unified nation while satisfying the demands of the Tamil minority for greater authority to rule themselves in the north and east, which the Tamils regard as their traditional homelands. Members of Parliament from Mrs. Kumaratunga's party were whisked to Parliament in helicopters to avoid feared attacks while the proposed constitution was debated. Streets around it were closed to cars. The only approach was on foot. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 13:56:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga in trouble as monks go on the warpath  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Dj vu in Sri Lanka as monks burn reforms bill  - India Abroad

Tension and fear prevail in Trincomalee as Sri Lankan political crisis deepens
NDTV/MSNBC, August 15. As the political crisis in Sri Lanka deepens over giving autonomy to its Tamil regions, there's fear and tension. The eastern city of Trincomalee is a tinderbox. While it is meant to be part of the proposed Tamil region, it also has a large population of Sinhala Buddhists.On Trincomalee beach road, an army tank weaves through traffic. In a nearby auditorium, art imitates life. Tamil students rehearse a new play they've written called AK-47. It is a vivid reminder of how the violence has gradually crept even into their imagination. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 15:21:56 EDT 2000

Lanka's opposition blasts Indian diplomats
Times of India, 16 August . Sri Lanka's main opposition party has accused Colombo-based Indian diplomats of "interference" for having lobbied Tamil politicians to support President Chandrika Kumaratunga's political reformbill. A senior United National Party (UNP) member, Tyronne Fernando, said the Indian officials' attempts to persuade vacillating Tamil legislators ahead of last week's crucial vote on the draft bill were "unfortunate," the Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 15:33:58 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Gopal Gandhi takes charge as envoy to Lanka  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka rebels attack Indian government plank  - Virtual New York
Sri Lanka oppn blasts Indian diplomats  - India Abroad

IPKF ignored Lankan intelligence inputs
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, August 15. IN THE beginning of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF)'s tenure in Northeast Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Army officers attempted to warn the Indians about the behind the scenes doings and the agenda of the LTTE, but there was little or no response from the IPKF, says Maj. Gen. Sarath Munasinghe in his book "A Soldier's Version" released here recently. "Some of the senior Indian officers did not want to trust their Sri Lankan counterparts. Sri Lankan military intelligence officers were very keen to brief the officers of the IPKF. But the Indians were not keen to listen to them. Instead the Indians relied mostly on their own experienced intelligence officers and, of course, the LTTE," Gen. Munasinghe says. The relations between the Indian officers and the LTTE were close. Some people in Jafna had even seen LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran travelling in an Indian Army jeep heavily escorted. "Mahattaya of the LTTE was busy providing jumbo prawns and Gold Leaf cigarettes at least to a few Indian officers," Gen. Munasinghe recalls. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 18:02:40 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Book reveals how the LTTE bloods its Baby Brigade  - The Hindustan Times

Sri Lankan Army repels LTTE mortar attack
The Hindu NUS, august 15. Sri Lankan troops came under mortar attack by Tamil Tiger rebels but the military retaliated to hold on to its defences in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the Government said today. The Government did not give casualty figures from the exchange of fire in the Colombuthurai and Puttur areas in Jaffna yesterday. It said in a statement, however, that four LTTE rebels were killed in skirmishes elsewhere on the peninsula. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 13:50:51 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka troops, Tigers trade fire  -
Sri Lankan army repels Tamil Tiger mortar attack  - MSNBC

Belated motion on media law reforms in Parliament today
AsiaGateway, Tuesday Aug 15, 10:53:14. A motion calling on the necessity to reform media laws in the country to suit the modern age had been lying in the parliament order book for around an year will now be taken up for debate in the afternoon session of the parliament today.The motion was presented by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Srimani Athulathmudali, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, D. Sithadthan, P. P. Devaraj, S. Sivathasan, A. Adaikkalanathan, A. M. M. D. Rajan and M. Chandrakumar in October last year. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 10:59:26 EDT 2000

S.Lanka Launches 1st Optical Fiber Telecom Transmission Ring
AsiaGateway, Tuesday, 15 August. Sri Lanka has launched its first optical fiber inter- province telecommunication transmission ring at a cost of 1,500 million rupees(around 19.1 million U.S. dollars), the Island newspaper reported Tuesday.Under the project, an optical fiber cable was laid connecting the telephone exchanges of 15 major cities and urban centers encompassing four provinces.The ring circles the capital city of Colombo, Gampaha, Negombo, Chilaw,Kurunegala, Kegalle, Matale, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Nawalapitiya, Avissawela, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Mt Lavinia with a total route length of about 700 kilometers.The system is equipped with a sophisticated Network Management Center in Colombo which can monitor the entire network and enables it to give necessary instructions for the delivery of service in each part of its system. More...
Published: Tue Aug 15 03:47:00 EDT 2000

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