The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 22, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 139

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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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Lankan army generals mull premature retirement
Times of India, 23 August 2000 . COLOMBO: At least two senior Sri Lankan army generals are contemplating premature retirement in protest against the appointment of a retired army general, Maj. Gen. Lionel Balagalle, as chief of the army, media reported on Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, currently chief of staff and Maj. Gen. Neil Dias, commandant of voluntary forces, are likely to put in their papers soon to protest Balagalle's appointment, according to the reports. Balagalle was appointed as deputy army chief after retirement in June this year, pending elevation to the top post. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 16:31:32 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka's new army chief under fire  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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PA in trouble after 3 Ministers resign
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, August 23, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG. 22. The ruling People's Alliance (PA) is headed for trouble ahead of the coming general elections after infighting surfaced today with three Ministers belonging to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) resigning their posts after disagreement over seat-sharing. The Minister for Ports, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Mr. M.H.M. Ashraff, who is the leader of the SLMC, the Deputy Minister for Telecommunications, Mr. M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, and another Deputy Minister, Mr. U.L.M. Mohideen, resigned tonight after long-standing rivalry with a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Mr. A.H.M. Fowzie, boiled over today. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 16:36:39 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Ashraff drops election gauntlet  - tamilnet
4 Lankan ministers resign over coalition row  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sr Lanka Muslim Party leader quits  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka's ruling party split over Muslim ally  -
Key Muslim ally quits Sri Lanka's ruling party amid deepening crisis  -
Sri Lanka Muslim party leader quits over row  -

Batalanda's ghosts return to haunt Ranil
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, August 23, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG. 22. ``Anil's Ghost'', the new novel by the celebrated Sri Lankan-Canadian writer, Mr. Michael Ondaatje, is based on the orgy of killings and disappearances that swept southern Sri Lanka in the late 80s when government-backed death squads put down an armed insurrection by the Janatha Vimukthi Perumina. Now, one incident from those dark years has returned to haunt the United National Party (UNP), in power then, and its present leader, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 16:32:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's ruling party suffers double blow ahead of key polls, Aug 22 2000 17:22 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling party suffered a humiliating defeat in the highest local council Tuesday while she battled deepening rifts over contesting October parliamentary polls. Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) was defeated in a no-confidence motion against the chairman of the Western Provincial Council (WPC), raising fears of a similar fate in three other councils, officials said. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 09:15:03 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka ruling party suffers setback ahead of polls  - Times of India
Sri Lanka's ruling party chairman loses key council vote  -

Gandhi credential ceremony ends in fiasco, Aug 22 2000 20:47 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government unexpectedly cancelled a ceremony to receive the credentials of India's new envoy, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, diplomats said Tuesday. The cancellation came hours after Sri Lanka's foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the ceremony had already taken place at the tightly-guarded President's House in Colombo. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 12:58:37 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Gopal Krishna Gandhi presents credentials  - The Hindu NUS
Gandhi's grandson becomes India's new envoy to Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
China, India, Japan credential ceremonies end in fiasco  -

Hundreds of trade union activists protest against rising cost of living
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1920 SLT 22 August 2000. Hundreds of trade union activists demonstrated in Colombo today demanding an immediate effort to reduce cost of living. The protestors carried placards and shouted slogans against the government. The leader of the Colombo Mercantile Union (CMU) Bala THampo told Lacnet news that the trade unionist would continue the protest until the government takes action. " There is no point in just increasing salaries of the organised sector. The majority of workers are in the unorganised sector and they do not benefit from salary increases" Thampo said. end
Published: Tue Aug 22 08:35:01 EDT 2000

Crucial talks between the Muslim Congress and President Kumaratunga deadlocked
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1816 SLT 22 August 2000. Crucial talks between the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and President Kumaratunga for the SLMC to contest with the People's Alliance (PA) are reported to be deadlocked with the Muslim Congress demanding three national list seats and two ministries. A fresh round of talks today failed after President Kumaratunga refused to accept the SLMC demands. President Kumaratunga and SLMC leader Port Minister Ashraff held five hours of talks yesterday without reaching agreement
Published: Tue Aug 22 08:35:01 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in Crucial meeting to decide election alliance  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Muslim Cong says will back Kumaratunga  - Times of India (Breaking News)
SLMC rules out support for UNP  - Island

Sri Lankan monks fear blood-splattered polls, Aug 22 2000 13:57 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy Tuesday warned of a major "bloodbath" ahead of the October elections, urging President Chandrika Kumaratunga to stem a rising wave of violence. The influential Buddhist leadership said they were asking all political parties to draw up a code of conduct and restrain their supporters, as a leftist party prepared for the funeral of a member killed in an attack Sunday. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 07:44:39 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan monks warn of pre-poll bloodbath  - India Abroad
Lanka elections can be bloody: Monks  - The Asian Age
Polls Chief gives a seven day deadline  - PRIU
UNP formulating special plan to protect polling booths  - AsiaGateway
Fears of election violence in Sri Lanka  - BBC
Poll violence claims one life in Sri Lanka  - AsiaGateway
Sri Lanka election violence warning  - BBC South Asia

Chandrika walks tightrope on issue of Buddhist monks
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, August 22. Unlike her opponents in the October 10 parliamentary elections, Lankan President Chandrika Kum-aratunga is in the unenviable position of having to walk a tightrope on critical issue of the Constitution and the Maha Sangha, the collectivity of the influential Sinhala Buddhist clergy. While her rivals need do nothing more than criticise her, she has to do a precarious balancing act between the need to devolve power to minority Tamils and bring peace to the country, and the need to be on the right side of the anti-devolution Maha Sangha. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 17:13:25 EDT 2000

Police keep check on underworld criminals in Sri Lanka during polls
Indianexpress, august 22. Police stations throughout Sri Lanka have been ordered to arrest all ''underworld criminals'' during the run up for the October 10 parliamentary election as the campaign began on a violent note, a local newspaper said today,reports UNI.

The directive has been issued by the inspector general of police (igp) lucky Kodithuwakku amid reports that criminals were being sought by political parties for their election campaign work. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 11:26:34 EDT 2000

A Tamil Guerrilla's Story, Starting at Age 7
IHT, august 22. Trained since the age of 7 to fight until victory or death and commit suicide upon capture, she did not have a cyanide capsule or grenade handy when Sri Lankan government troops overran the position she was defending several weeks ago.''If I had had a grenade or cyanide capsule, I would have done it,'' she said through a translator. ''I thought the army would kill me when I was caught. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 09:10:53 EDT 2000

Libido boosting Sri Lanka tea fetches record price, Aug 22 2000 19:14 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 22 (AFP) - A Sri Lankan tea believed to have strong aphrodisiac properties sold for an all-time record price here Tuesday, tea traders said. A parcel of "Golden Tips" tea sold for 15,000 rupees (191 dollars) a kilo, or 150 times the price of mass-consumed ordinary black tea, Forbes and Walker tea brokers said. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 11:15:30 EDT 2000

Steamer in distress
The Hindu, Wednesday, August 23, 2000. AHMEDABAD, AUG. 22. A Sri Lankan steamer with 43 persons on board, has been caught in bad weather in the high seas off the Veraval coast in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. A portion of the steamer became waterlogged after it developed a crack on the rear side. On an SOS from the steamer, the Veraval municipality sent a pumping machine but it could not reach the steamer due to bad weather. A repair team from Mumbai also could not approach the steamer which, carrying coconuts, apples and some other fruits had left Colombo on August 16 and was on its way to Karachi. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 16:29:51 EDT 2000

October polls to be a 'family affair' for most Lankan politicos, 22nd Aug 2000 15.55 IST . The Kith and kin of leading politicians belonging to the ruling and opposition parties as well as several influential businessmen are likely to contest the October ten Parliamentary elections. With barely a Week left for the start of nominations, party source said sons, wives and close relatives of several politicians are vying for party tickets. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 07:36:45 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Political families to overshadow Sri Lanka polls  - MSNBC

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

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
Ruling party blamed for violence  - BBC South Asia
JVP claims supporter killed in Kirulapone: Police to take tough line on election violence  - AsiaGateway

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
Related News Stories
UNP torpedoes Constitutional Reform  - CDN

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

Chandrika's method is undemocratic: Wickremesinghe
AsiaGateway, Monday Aug 21, 10:24:12. Colombo: Sri Lanka's opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said that President Chandrika Kumaratunga's bid to get her government's controversial Constitution Amendment Bill passed by a simple majority in Parliament was undemocratic. "The President is saying she can get the Bill passed with a one vote majority. What the President is saying is that she wants to be another Hitler. She's trying to take away the people's rights by saying this," Wickremesinghe told reporters here. More...
Published: Mon Aug 21 10:31:17 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
UNP does not oppose devolution of power: Ranil  - AsiaGateway

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

Sri Lanka battle back
BBC South Asia, Monday, 21 August, 2000, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK . England's bowlers failed to make the in-roads they had hoped for after putting Sri Lanka in to bat on a rain-affected opening day of the second Under-19s Test at Northampton. The tourists, heavily beaten in the series opener at Trent Bridge last week, rallied from 79 for three to 223 for five at the close. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 07:41:51 EDT 2000

Former Defense Agency chief visits Colombo in place of Mori
AsiaGateway, Tuesday Aug 22, 09:57:34. COLOMBO, Aug. 22 (Kyodo) -- Former Japanese Defense Agency chief Hosei Norota on Monday met Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Colombo and delivered a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, a Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. Kumaratunga expressed hope that Mori would visit Sri Lanka in the near future, noting that no Japanese prime minister has visited the country in the last 10 years, according to the official. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 10:03:18 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka receives Japanese special envoy  - MSNBC

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

TU meet seeks scrapping of sops for Lankan tea
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, August 23, 2000. The two-day `national conference of trade unions in plantation industry,' attended by top leaders of the CITU, INTUC, HMS, AITUC, UTUC and others, took stock of the factors that have led to a crisis in the plantation industry. The meet noted that the WTO agreement and the recent Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement had landed the plantation sector in trouble. The sector was now reeling from heavy fall of prices, low demand from abroad and increasing imports. Tea, rubber, coffee, palmoil, cardamom and several other plantation products were now facing a severe crisis. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 16:35:07 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
Related News Stories
Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka kills 12 more  -
12 killed in Lanka fighting  - Times of India

Public Sector Management Services Authority to function soon
PRIU, Tuesday Aug 22, 09:35:15. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga recently told a gathering of business leaders that a Public Sector Management Services Authority is scheduled to function soon to improve governance and efficiency. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 09:41:50 EDT 2000

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