The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 21, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 138

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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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Sri Lanka All-Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) to contest in the north and east as speculation amounts that it is a proxy for the LTTE.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1500 SLT 21 August 2000. Sri Lanka All- Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) have launched their election campaign in the Jaffna peninsula amidst growing speculation that it is a proxy for the LTTE. The party which have not had any presence in the Jaffna peninsula is reported to be campaigning strongly. The party is also expected to contest in the eastern provinces as well. ACTC leader Kumar Ponnambalam a vocal supporter of the LTTE was killed in January. The media has reported that senior officials of the government were behind the assassination.
Published: Mon Aug 21 05:14:05 EDT 2000

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Massive funeral expected for the murdered JVP activist.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1450 SLT 21 August 2000. The JVP was making plans for a massive funeral for their activist who was killed by supporters of the Sports Minister S.B.Dissanayake on 18th night. The JVP supporter was assaulted by a group putting up posters of the Minister and died three days later in hospital. JVP sources said the funeral would be held in Colombo on wednesday after its nation convention. Up to 10.000 people are expected to attend the funeral. All opposition political parties and civil society groups have condemned the murder saying it was the first sign of massive violence during elections.
Published: Mon Aug 21 05:14:05 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan poll campaign off to violent start  - Times of India
Sri Lanka poll campaign off to violent start  -
JVP claims supporter killed in Kirulapone: Police to take tough line on election violence  - AsiaGateway

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in Crucial meeting to decide election alliance
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1445 SLT 21 August 2000. The Politburo of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is to meeting later today to decide whether it is going to contest the forthcoming General Elections alone or as part of the governing People's Alliance. Port and Port development Minister and leader of the SLMC Mohammed Ashraff was to meet President Kumaratunga before the meeting demand three seats in the national list if the party is to contest with the PA. A large section of the party is demanding that the SLMC contest the election on it own.
Published: Mon Aug 21 05:14:04 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Muslim Cong says will back Kumaratunga  - Times of India (Breaking News)
SLMC rules out support for UNP  - Island

Reforms process: it's a matter of trust - A commentry by Victor Ivan
Sunday Times, August 20. Under the banner of a solution to the ethnic problem, the new constitution was in fact a crafty insidious endeavour aimed at continuing in power. The President's father too, in 1956, and in a similar manner, made use of Sinhala grievances with the aim of coming to power. His daughter's attempt has been to retain the power which she might lose, by making use of the minority grievances, the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka is like an illness which cannot be cured without a surgical operation.The hidden aims of power beneath the process launched for getting the constitution passed, the provisions for retaining the executive presidency until the end of her second term of office, and retaining immunity even after her term of office and even to the end of her life instead abolishing it turned the entire programme of constitutional reform into a ridiculous project for power.Although the intention of President Kumaratunga might have been to become a Mandela, finally she could not even become a 'de Klerk'. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 22:18:19 EDT 2000

This will be my last bid: Chandrika
The Hindustan Times, Colombo August 21. In a frontal attack on the Opposition United National Party (UNP), she said that it had "lost the right" to rule Sri Lanka after it scuttled her efforts to give the country a new Constitution and bring about peace. UNPers behaved like a "pack of beasts" on August 3 when the Constitution Bill was introduced in Parliament, she said. "I don't care about the insult that they hurled at me. But I am deeply sorry about the way the MPs of the UNP behaved in Parliament," the President said. During the presentation of the Bill, as the UNP kept up an incessant chant drowning her voice, Mrs Kumaratunga had asked the hecklers not to "howl like foxes" but behave more "responsibly," given the fact that Parliament was discussing the all important question of solving the ethnic problem and ending the war. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 16:41:27 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Chandrika to quit politics after resolution of strife  - Deccan Herald
Sri Lanka Head Seeks No Re-Election  - Yahoo
Sri Lankan president says this is her final term  - ABC News
Chandrika vows to replace ?78 Constitution  - The Pioneer
Kumaratunga to quit politics after resolution of ethnic strife  - The Hindustan Times
S.Lanka president says to opt out after ending war  - ABC News

Buddhist stand on war by Bhikkhu T. Seelananda
The Island, august 21. After reading some statements that had been made by some elites of our country including certain monks, I was motivated to write this article to express the Buddhist stand on war. My clear intention of writing this type of article is only to reveal the Buddhist stand . Buddhism from the beginning to the end is against war. It is obvious that, there is no single place where the Buddha at least, had given an indirect indication that supports waging a war. I am not using either a jargon or a slogan. There are very clear reasons why Buddhism directly opposes war and also why it does not commend war.There is a concept of "just war" in some religions. But all kinds of wars are roundly condemned in Buddhism. In Buddhism there is nothing to gain through violence. War brings forth nothing but disasters. Finally, in short what we can state clearly is that Buddhism is totally opposed to war. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 22:23:45 EDT 2000

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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka opposition starts poll bid, promises peace  - ABC News
Chandrika's method is undemocratic: Wickremesinghe  - AsiaGateway
UNP does not oppose devolution of power: Ranil  - AsiaGateway
Ranil starts election campaign  - The Hindu (International)

Two-way threat to Tamil politicians
IndiaAbroad, august 21. Sri Lanka's Tamil politicians campaigning in the island's north and east for the upcoming parliamentary polls fear not only the marauding Tamil Tiger rebels but also gun-toting members of the mainstream Tamil political parties. The main Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) said it would press the Elections Commissioner to order all Tamil political parties to disarm. "We are going to ask the government to withdraw all the arms given to the Tamil parties, ourselves included. Let the government give us all the security we need," said TULF senior vice president V. Anandasangari. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 20:50:52 EDT 2000

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
UNP to oppose plans for a Constituent Assembly  - The Hindu NUS
Chandrika's bid to 'impose' new Statute flayed  - The Hindu NUS
Lankan oppn rejects constituent assembly plan  - Times of India
Lankan political battlefield hots up  - Times of India
Cessation of hostilities if elected -Ranil  - Tamilnet
Chandrika's method is undemocratic: Wickremesinghe  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka's new army chief under fire, Aug 21 2000 17:00 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 21 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government was criticised Monday over the appointment of a new army chief and overlooking the commander who defended the northern town of Jaffna against a rebel onslaught. The nationalist Sihala Urumaya, or Sinhalese heritage party, slammed President Chandrika Kumaratunga for naming major general Lionel Balagalle as the new army chief from Thursday. Balagalle who was due to have retired in June was given an extension to ensure that the next man in line, Jaanaka Perera, would not be able to get the top post, the Sihala Urumaya said. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 12:39:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan army chief's appointment to be contested  - Times of India
Pitch queered for Lanka’s new army chief  - India Abroad

Rice Farmers Go Hungry to Save Themselves
IPS-Orientation, august 21. Wimala Nona could not stand it any longer. The 65-year-old grandmother had to choose between watching her Sri Lankan rural household starve, or joining the protest.Nona, along with 10 other, mostly elderly people, lies on a straw mat, on the ground outside a Buddhist temple in Hingurakgoda town, some 240 km north-east of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.The group is on a hunger protest and has refused to eat till the government accepts the demands of thousands of rice farming households in the region. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 19:25:38 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan Army Braces For Major Rebel Offensive
Thomas Crampton, International Herald Tribune, August 21, 2000. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - The Tamil Tigers, the guerrillas fighting for an independent state in Sri Lanka, are poised for a major offensive intended to consolidate their hold on the Jaffna Peninsula, the commander of government forces on the peninsula warned over the weekend. Speaking with the first group of journalists permitted to visit the northern Sri Lankan peninsula since the rebels inflicted a series of key strategic defeats on government forces in April, General Wijendra said the guerrilla offensive would probably begin ''within the next few weeks,'' after the university entrance examination period and a local Hindu festival that ends late this month. The leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has said Jaffna will be taken before the celebration of the Tigers' heroes day, Nov. 27. He earlier declared this the ''Year of War.'' More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 03:35:34 EDT 2000

Ruling party blamed for violence
BBC South Asia, Monday, 21 August, 2000, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK . Two opposition parties in Sri Lanka have accused supporters of the governing People's Alliance of carrying out pre-election violence. It was the first such violence since President Chandrika Kumaratunga announced the dissolution of parliament on Friday.The leader of the main opposition United National Party, Ranil Wickremasinghe, joined a spokesman of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party, Wimal Weerawansa, in blaming the government for an attack on five JVP members on Saturday in Colombo in which one person died. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 04:58:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Police to strengthen law on election violence  - PRIU

SECOND POWER SYSTEM EXPANSION PROJECT PROCUREMENT OF CREW CABS, August 21. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has received a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) toward the cost of the Second Power System Expansion Project. It is intended that part of the proceeds of the loan will be applied to eligible payments under the contract for which this invitation for bids is issued. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) now invites sealed bids from eligible bidders from ADBs member countries for the purchase of 20 Units of 1500 kg Crew Cabs, which must be in conformity with the Motor Traffic Act of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 06:34:05 EDT 2000

Private Zoo Raided in Sri Lanka
XINHUA, August 21. Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation last week raided an unauthorized private zoo adjoining a tourist hotel at Moratuwa in the southern suburb of Colombo, the official Daily News reported on Monday. Department officials were quoted as saying that at the time of the raid there were more than 10 birds and animals including peacocks, hawks, parrots and cranes at the zoo. The caretaker of the zoo has been taken into custody and is awaiting legal action. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 06:29:10 EDT 2000

12 killed in Lanka fighting
Times of India, 22 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Government troops killed nine Tamil Tiger rebels and lost one soldier and two policemen in clashes in Sri Lanka's north, a government spokesman said Monday. Soldiers killed four rebels in gunbattles in Chavakachcheri in the northern Jaffna Peninsula on Sunday. Five militants were killed a day earlier in three separate incidents in the peninsula, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo, Ariya Rubasinghe, the spokesman said. Troops seized some arms, ammunition and communication equipment belonging to the rebels. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 19:33:22 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka kills 12 more  -
Sri Lanka fighting kills another 12  -

Sri Lanka opposition accuses police of frame up, 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
Related News Stories
Lankan opposition accuses police of frame-up  - Times of India

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
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
Related News Stories
Lanka MPs scramble for perks  - Chennai Online

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

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