The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 17, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 134

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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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24 farmers fast unto death
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m SLT Thursday August 17. A fast unto death launched by 24 members of the farmer community at Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa for the past four days took a turn for the worse today when one farmer was rushed to the Polonnaruwa hospital in a serious condition. The farmers will not call of their death fast until the government agrees to meet some 29 requirements of the farmer community. The seriously ill farmer, despite protests, was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the Polonnaruwa hospital today as his condition medical officers said, had seriously deteriorated since Monday, when the farmers began their fast.

Trade establishments at Hingurakgoda town remained closed today as a mark of protest against the government not having acceded to the requests of the farmers. Thousands of other civilians carried out a protest campaign at Hingurakgoda this morning in a show of solidarity with the fasting farmers. Meanwhile Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake met with four members of the farmer community today in Colombo in a bid to stem the escalating crisis situation. The farmers however even after meeting with the Prime Minister have not yet called off their fast.
Published: Thu Aug 17 11:26:33 EDT 2000

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Police officers to be transferred
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Thursday August 17. Large numbers of police officers are to be transferred before the upcoming General Elections this year. Sources within the police department said the transfers are not due to administrative reasons but to serve political masters. Two Assistant Superintendents of Police, two Police Inspectors and two Chief Inspectors of Police have already received their transfer orders. Sources revealed that more officers will be transferred before the country goes to polls.
Published: Thu Aug 17 11:26:32 EDT 2000

Sihala Urumaya and MEP to join forces
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Thursday August 17. The Sihala Urumaya and the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) are conducting joint discussions with an aim to form an alliance before the upcoming general elections.

Tilak Karunaratne, General Secretary for the Sihala Urumaya said the move was initiated after both parties in one voice opposed the recent new constitutional draft. A joining of forces Mr. Karunaratne said will help bring together Sinhala Buddhists and form a strong united front together with the mahanayake theros.
Published: Thu Aug 17 04:57:18 EDT 2000

Muslim MP's sacked
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.15 a.m. SLT Thursday August 17. Two Parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have been expelled from the party for not adhering to the constitution of the SLMC.

The two parliamentarians Dr. I. M. S. Illiyas and Mr. S. S. M. Abu Bakr faced a disciplinary inquiry before their expulsion from the party yesterday. Mr. Abu Bakr who at the time was serving as Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Social Services was replaced by Mr. U. L. M. Mohideen who is also a member of the SLMC.

Mr. Mohideen took his oaths before the new Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayke in Parliament yesterday together with 40 other MP's who also reaffirmed their oaths before the Prime Minister.
Published: Thu Aug 17 04:57:17 EDT 2000

Lankan jets strafe bases to stop 2,000 Tigers near Jaffna
Deccan Chronicle, August 17. The Sri Lankan Air Force intensified strikes on rebel bases following information that the Tamil Tigers were regrouping and would resume their campaign to retake Jaffna, their former capital, military officials said here on Thursday. Newly acquired MiG-27 aircraft carried out a 2-hour bombing mission on suspected rebel bases in the Jaffna peninsula for the third straight day.The extent of damage, or the success of the raids, was not immediately known. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 20:14:00 EDT 2000

U.S. Signs Two Aid Agreements With Sri Lanka
XINHUA, August 17. The United States of America has entered into two aid agreements with Sri Lanka, according to the state owned Daily News on Thursday. Under the first agreement the U.S. will make available five million U.S. dollars this year in very low interest loans to allow Sri Lanka to import nearly 40,000 tons of high quality U.S. wheat. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 20:10:08 EDT 2000

Suntel of Sri Lanka selects Airspan Networks to supply residential and business customers with new wireless services
Airspan, August 17. M2 Communications - London -- Airspan Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRN), the provider of fixed wireless telecommunication systems, today announced that Suntel, a leading service provider in Sri Lanka, has selected Airspan's AS4000 wireless fixed access system to provide a new range of voice and data services to small and medium-sized business and to residential customers. Suntel has steadily expanded in Sri Lanka since its launch in 1996. The Airspan system allows Suntel to satisfy the increasing customer demand for high-speed access to the Internet and to public and private data networks. The Airspan terminals will also enable new applications such as ISDN dial backup, video conferencing, wide area LAN connectivity, and support for frame relay overlays. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 20:07:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan President consolidates power
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK. The governing party in Sri Lanka has elected a new general secretary, who is one of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's staunchest supporters. The Sports Minister, S. B. Dissanayake, beat his main rival, Maithripala Sirisena, by sixteen votes to twelve. His election came as a surprise; most party members had expected Mr Sirisena to win before the snap, secret ballot today Thursday. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 13:52:45 EDT 2000

Wickremsinghe’s aide flees Lanka
The Asian Age, Colombo, Aug. 17 . Opposition leader Ranil Wickremsinghe, clashing head on with the Chandrika Kumaratunga government over the new Constitution, now finds himself in an embarrassing situation after his personal assistant Bodhi Ranasinghe fled the country. The state-run Daily News reported that Mr Ranasinghe is the second United National Party man who had left the country after Colombo deputy mayor and party’s central organiser Mohammed Mahroof who said to have gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca last week. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 19:04:07 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Ranil aide questioned, scribe held  - The Hindu (International)

Sri Lanka opposition protest
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK. The opposition United National Party in Sri Lanka has taken part in a big rally organised by Buddhist monks in protest against proposals by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to alter the constitution. The party fears Mrs Kumaratunga may try and push the plan through parliament, even though the government said earlier this month it had been indefinitely shelved. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 12:16:58 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
Related News Stories
Government has not abandoned peace efforts, President  - PRIU

'Four LTTE leaders killed in sea bombing'
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on August 16, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 16. (UNI): Four senior LTTE leaders were among several Tiger guerillas killed when Sri Lankan Air Force jets bombed Sea Tiger locations, north of Chalai in Mullaituvu yesterday. An official release said ground attack aircraft of the Air Force bombed several locations during day time yesterday. The LTTE has announced the death of a senior leader Palaniraj and three junior leaders in the air attack. More...
Published: Wed Aug 16 11:25:29 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE leaders killed in bomb attack  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka President tightens grip on ruling party
123India, Thursday Aug 17, 08:27:30. COLOMBO, Aug 17 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's ruling party Thursday elected as its general secretary a man who is staunchly loyal to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, officials said. Until the surprise secret vote called Thursday, most party members had expected Sirisena to become the general secretary who plays a key role in appointing as well as removing legislators. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 08:32:01 EDT 2000

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
Child dead in another suicide bombing in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
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  -

Toronto trip for Sri Lanka?
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK. The Sri Lankan cricket board has been informally approached by the tournament organisers with a view to filling the vacancy left by India's withdrawal. India pulled out of the competition citing the recent killings in Kashmir, which the Indian government blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 07:29:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka may replace India at Sahara Cup  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Depressed economy hits Kentucky fried chicken sales
AsiaGateway, Thursday, 17 August. The Management of Cargills (Ceylon) limited (CCL) said that the reason why fast food businesses such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) being unsuccessful, is the prevailing depressed economic conditions in the country.The losses from the KFC had affected the performance two of company’s subsidiaries, Cargills Food Processors and Cargills Food Services, which hold the franchise for KFC, CCL said. Despite the setback, CCL had performed impressively to increase its profit over the previous year by 25%. states its annual review had increased to reach Rs.46,804,000/- during the year ending March 31,2000, compared to its previous year’s profit of Rs.37,512,000/-.The company’s turnover had increased by 12% to record. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 04:13:48 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Country sitting on an economic volcano’ Elect govt. that can manage economy better, says UNP  - AsiaGateway

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)

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

Ranatunga did not let team, fans down
Hindustan Times, August 18. August 10, 2000 was no doubt an emotional day. A great cricketing son of Sri Lanka had played the last time for his country. The gesture on the part of the Cricket Board of Sri Lanka to let people in free after three afternoon only spiced the entire event with almost 5000 to 6000 people for whom Test match is otherwise a luxury turning up. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 21:35:39 EDT 2000

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

U.S. Signs Two Aid Agreements With Sri Lank
XINHUA, August 17. The United States of America has entered into two aid agreements with Sri Lanka, according to the state owned Daily News on Thursday. Under the first agreement the U.S. will make available five million U.S. dollars this year in very low interest loans to allow Sri Lanka to import nearly 40,000 tons of high quality U.S. wheat. More...
Published: Thu Aug 17 07:41:04 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to raise 319 million dollars in additional loans  - 123India

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

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

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