The Lanka Academic

 
AUGUST 20, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 137
 

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A BILL
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
(The proposed new constitution)
 
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US GREEN CARD LOTTERY
DV-2002
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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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Ranil confident of consensus
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, August 20. Leader of the Opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that an "intelligent" leader can bring about an understanding between the apparently irreconcilable Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels and the Buddhist Maha Sangha and that he is confident of bringing about such an understanding if voted to power in the October 10 Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections. "If you are an intelligent leader, you can do it. I think I can do it," he told the media here today. The LTTE wants much more autonomy than the Sri Lankan Government has offered, and the Maha Sangha considers what has been offered to be too much, making the people wonder if the UNP's demand that both be taken into confidence is only a clever means to scuttle efforts to solve the ethnic conflict. But Mr Wickremesinghe's contention is that a national consensus is both imperative and possible, if sought intelligently. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 17:55:56 EDT 2000
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Ranil starts election campaign  - The Hindu (International)

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Oppn atacks Chandrika for attempt to change statute
Deccan Herald, COLOMBO, Aug 20 (UNI). With the battlelines drawn for the October 10 parliamentary elections, Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today launched a scathing attack on Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for attempting to ''impose`` a new constitution on the people without a ''national consensus.`` ''After the government miserably failed to muster the required strength to pass the new constitution bill, some senior government ministers are now hoping to get it passed in parliament through some strange ways. It is a violation of democracy,`` he said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 17:53:09 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Lankan oppn rejects constituent assembly plan  - Times of India
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Lankan political battlefield hots up  - Times of India
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Cessation of hostilities if elected -Ranil  - Tamilnet
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Chandrika's method is undemocratic: Wickremesinghe  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka fighting kills another 12
123India.com, Aug 20 2000 18:29 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 20 (AFP) - Security forces shot dead at least 12 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the island's northern and eastern regions, the government said Sunday. Troops killed five members of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Jaffna on Saturday while another seven were shot dead in Trincomalee, the government's Special Media Information Centre said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 10:20:53 EDT 2000

Lankan army chief's appointment to be contested
Times of India, 21 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's new army chief may find himself in the line of fire even before he assumes office as questions are raised about the legality of his appointment. Major General Lionel Balagalle's appointment is to be contested in court on the grounds that he has been promoted to the top post after his retirement although the Army Act does not provide for this, said the Sunday Leader newspaper. "The appointment is to be challenged on the basis that an officer who has received an extension of service after reaching the retirement age of 55 cannot thereafter be promoted to a higher office in the service," the newspaper said. The Sunday Leader said it had learnt of the move but did not say who was going to file action. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 17:58:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Pitch queered for Lanka’s new army chief  - India Abroad

Lankan opposition accuses police of frame-up
Times of India, 21 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's main opposition on Sunday accused the government of trying to frame its leaders on murder charges and arrest them ahead of crucial parliamentary elections in October. Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government engineered the return to the country of a fugitive police officer and had "scripted confessions" implicating him and several other opposition leaders. "The script has been written by the CID (police Criminal Investigations Department) but the play is not going according to plan," Wickremesinghe told reporters here as several of his aides were questioned by police. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 18:00:16 EDT 2000

Chandrika's bid to 'impose' new Statute flayed
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on August 20, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 20. (UNI): With the battle lines drawn for the October 10 Parliamentary elections, Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today launched a scathing attack on Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for attempting to ``impose'' a new Constitution on the people without a national consensus. ``After the Government miserably failed to muster the required strength to pass the new Constitution Bill, some senior Government Ministers are now hoping to get it passed in Parliament through some strange ways. It is a violation of democracy,'' he said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 12:52:43 EDT 2000

Lankan poll campaign off to violent start
Times of India, 21 August 2000 . COLOMBO: At least one man was killed in an election campaign-related clash as political parties braced for more violence ahead of Sri Lanka's October poll, officials said Sunday. Unidentified men attacked members of the leftist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, while they put up posters at Colombo's Kirulapone area on Saturday, police said. They said one of the victims died in hospital Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 17:57:42 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka poll campaign off to violent start  - 123India.com

Jaffna flush with pre-poll funds from Lankan govt
Times of India, 21 August 2000 . COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan government has suddenly infused funds to the embattled northern Jaffna peninsula as campaigning for the October 10 parliamentary election gets underway. The ruling People's Alliance has released an unexpected Rs. 750 million for "reconstruction and rehabilitation work" in the north, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. Jaffna bears the scars of 17 years of bloody fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) demanding the peninsula and the eastern part of the island as a separate state for the 2.5 million-strong ethnic Tamil minority. The newspaper quoted a government official saying that the funds had been allocated four years ago but the money had not been given by the government so far. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 17:58:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Lankan govt pumps poll funds into Jaffna  - India Abroad

Sri Lankan women demonstrates
123India, Sunday, 20 August. Sri Lankan women activists demonstrate in the capital Colombo supporting the government's plans to press ahead with a controversial ethnic peace plan. The demonstration came a day after the opposition staged a similar protest against the plan. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 07:42:00 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka MPs scramble to grab duty-free cars
123India, Sunday, 20 August. Sri Lanka's legislators had rushed to snap up permits allowing them to import luxury cars duty-free, hours before the 225-member assembly was dissolved, parliamentary officials said Sunday. Among the car-crazed members of parliament were five who had been legislators for barely two weeks, officials said.Sri Lankan MPs enjoy a host of parliamentary privileges, including two free landlines with free local and international calls and part of their cell phone bill paid for.Other benefits include free travel, housing, computers and fax machines, armed bodyguards, cheap gasoline and cut-price meals.Legislators had already been granted duty-free permits, but the government decided to allow another round before President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved parliament Friday, six days ahead of schedule. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 07:37:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka opposition accuses police of frame up
123India.com, Aug 20 2000 14:40 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 20 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Sunday accused the government of trying to frame its leaders on murder charges and arrest them ahead of crucial parliamentary elections in October. Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government engineered the return to the country of a fugitive police officer and had "scripted confessions" implicating him and several other opposition leaders. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 07:28:48 EDT 2000

UNP to oppose plans for a Constituent Assembly
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on August 20, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 20. (PTI): The battle lines for the October 10 general elections in Sri Lanka were drawn today with principle Opposition United National Party (UNP) announcing it would firmly oppose President Chandrika's decision to convert the next Parliament into a Constituent Assembly in order to ratify the new draft Constitution. Criticising Kumaratunga's decision to briefly convert the next Parliament into a Constituent Assembly if her ruling People's Alliance won the elections, UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said such a move was ``undemocratic, unconstitutional and anti- people.'' More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 07:30:43 EDT 2000

Lanka Seeks Intel. Observers to Monitor Upcoming Elections
Peoples Daily, august 19. The Movement for Free and fair Elections and Peoples Alliance for Free and Fair Elections, which were involved in the election monitoring process during last December presidential election, have once again joined their hands for the task. The two bodies are currently seeking two teams of international observers from the United States and the European Union. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 13:30:11 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka opposition starts poll bid, promises peace
ABC News, 08/20/2000 03:44:00 ET. COLOMBO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s main opposition party launched its election campaign on Sunday with a strong attack on the government, accusing it of escalating the ethnic war and attempting to destroy the political rights of the people. Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the United National Party (UNP), told a news conference that if the opposition won the October 10 election it would seek a national consensus on the government"s failed constitution and reduce the intensity of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 05:01:46 EDT 2000

Lanka MPs scramble for perks
Chennai Online, Aug. 19. As the news of dissolution of Parliament spread like wildfire, there was a virtual scramble among Sri Lanka MPs to cash in on their duty-free vehicle permits and other perks. Parliament was a beehive of activity with almost every member trying to cash in on his or her acquired privileges. As a parting gift, the government had decided to provide permits to MPs, who had completed five years, to buy duty-free luxury vehicles. The MPs entitled for these permits could now import vehicles, including Toyota and Mitsubishi, without having to pay any duty, since the permit given to them is 100 per cent tax-free. More...
Published: Sun Aug 20 05:13:58 EDT 2000

Lanka's Buddhist clergy says it will guard voters' rights
Times of India, 20 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist clergy on Saturday expressed fears of vote fraud in the coming general elections. "We will ask monks to supervise polling in their respective areas if politicians do not behave in a manner that permits a democratic vote," Maduluwawe Sobitha, president of the National Council of the Buddhist Clergy, said. On Friday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament and set the general elections for October 10 after failing to win passage of a new constitution that would have granted autonomy to Tamil regions. She hopes to win over the support of Tamil moderates in the coming elections, marginalising the rebels fighting for a separate Tamil nation since 1983. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 21:02:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka parties gear for polls under emergency  - 123India.com

Back to the freezer
Frontline, august 19. Last fortnight was a sad one for Sri Lanka, one of political mismanagement and failure of leadership at all levels. In the drama that was played out, none of the actors emerged smelling of roses. Not Kumar atunga, who failed to take the nation into confidence in a task as important as formulating a new Constitution for the country, in the belief she could bring it off by purchasing a few parliamentarians. Even the most eminent constitutional experts in the country were in the dark about what the document would contain, while vested interests found it easy to spread misleading stories about its substance, setting the stage for chauvinistic fervour. In the end, the disregard for due process was one of the r easons for the failure in Parliament. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 23:39:09 EDT 2000

'Next Sri Lankan Parliament will be a Constituent Assembly'
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on August 19, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 19. (PTI): A day after Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved Parliament and announced fresh elections in October, ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today said it would convert the next Parliament into a Constituent Assembly to pass the new Constitution Bill even without Opposition support. The Government could convert the next Parliament into a Constituent Assembly and pass the new Constitution with a simple majority followed by a national referendum to get the direct approval by the people, new SLFP general secretary and Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs S B Dissanayake told the State-run newspaper The Daily News today. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 20:59:28 EDT 2000

Govt neglect drives farmers to suicide in Sri Lanka
Hindustan Times, august 19. OVER THE years, successive Sri Lankan governments have throttled domestic agriculture and driven farmers to suicide by denying them vital subsidies and resorting to imports only to satisfy the powerful trader lobby and the urban consumer, experts say. After the United National Party (UNP) liberalised the economy with gusto in 1977, 17 badly hit farmers committed suicide. "Sumithrayo", an organisation fighting suicidal tendencies in Sri Lankan society, found in Kurunegala district that the suicide rate shot up when agriculture there failed, or when the market for the produce crashed. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 23:22:38 EDT 2000

Varatharaja Perumal to contest from Jaffna
The Hindu (International), Sunday, August 20, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG. 19. The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's short-lived North-Eastern Provincial Council, Mr. A. Varatharaja Perumal, has decided to contest from Jaffna in the October 10 general election. Mr. Perumal, who leads a dissident group within the Eelam People's Liberation Front, said his group would contest the election independently in Jaffna and the Vanni, and in alliance with friendly parties in the three other electoral districts of the Tamil-dominated north-east. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 21:00:45 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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LTTE shadow over Sri Lankan elections  - The Hindu (International)

Memories of the Peradeniya Campus - By V. Vamadevan (Retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police)
The Island, august 20. Romance was rife and the banks of the Mahaweli provided convenient retreats for young lovers. Much of the gossip was about those goings on. There were quite a few staff-student affairs which were the subject of the spiciest stories going the rounds. There were young lecturers (men) back from Oxbridge or Berkely in their new designer trousers who were the cynosure of all especially the girls. There was a Miss Tourqiot a French lady from the South of France, who was teaching French for those of us who had to do a paper in French translation for the Honours course. One of her classes had 12 students on the list, but when she came for the class she found about 100 students seated ready for the class. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 23:51:37 EDT 2000

Media censorship in Sri Lanka to continue
Times of India, 20 August 2000 . COLOMBO: The government on Saturday rejected the newspaper editors' demand that the media censorship be lifted in view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. "The government does not need to lift the censorship because it only concerns sensitive military information," Deputy Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. Yapa said the censorship does not bar editors from criticising the government's performance. More...
Published: Sat Aug 19 21:01:26 EDT 2000

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