The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 23, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 140

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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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All Aye
Asian Age, August 24. Buddhist monks raise their hands to approve the party’s five-year vision plan at a special convention. The JVP, a former insurgent group but now in mainstream politics, will contest its first general elections when the country goes to the polls on October 10. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 19:08:01 EDT 2000
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Thousands attend the JVP special convention to launch general Election campaign  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

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A UNP supporter shot dead while pasting posters in Rabukkana
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1420 SLT 23 August 2000. A UNP supporter pasting election campaign posters in Rabukkana was shot dead early this mon ring in the second such killing since Parliament was dissolved. The UNP has accused the governing PA of been responsible for the murder. The death comes 72 hours after a JVP activist was killed. Ther JVP accused Sports Minister S.B. Dissanayake's police body guard of been responsible for the killing. Thousands of people are expected to attend today's funeral of the JVP activist.
Published: Wed Aug 23 04:29:17 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Thousands mourn victim of Sri Lanka poll campaign  - Altavista

Opp activist killed in run-up to Lankan polls
Times of India, 24 August 2000 . Thousands gather to mourn Samankumara's death COLOMBO: A main opposition party activist was killed by unknown assailants while he was pasting campaign posters on walls ahead of parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, police said Wednesday. The killers, carrying automatic guns, struck for the second time in the past week. Chathura Samankumara, 20, was killed in Kegalle, a town 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, said W.S. Malalasekera, a party official. Three other party activists were wounded in the attack. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 17:29:03 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Second killing raises fear of more poll bloodshed in Sri Lanka  -
Second poll-related killing in Sri Lanka since government dissolved  -
Police orders crackdown on pre-poll violence  - India Abroad
Ruling party blamed for violence  - BBC South Asia
Second killing raises fear of more poll bloodshed in Sri Lanka  -

Pre-poll violence in Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 12:32 GMT 13:32 U. It is the second killing believed to be related to the general election scheduled for October. UNP member Chatura Saman Kumara was killed while he was putting up election posters. The funeral of the other murdered opposition activist, a member of the Marxist JVP, was held in Colombo. Chammika Sudantha Silva was a member of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front). Mr Silva's family say that he and four other JVP members were attacked by armed government supporters dressed in plain clothes. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 11:05:41 EDT 2000

Chandrika tries to save coalition
The Asian Age, Colombo, Aug. 23 . Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s ruling coalition was on Wednesday scrambling to patch up differences ahead of parliamentary elections set for October after a key Muslim partner quit the alliance. Government politicians said that shipping minister Mohammed Ashraff, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, resigned from the Cabinet on Tuesday in protest over criticism from his colleague, transport minister A.H.M. Fowzie. The ruling People’s Alliance, unwilling to lose the SLMC’s crucial support, quickly distanced itself from Mr Fowzie, who said that Mr Ashraff’s party was unable to win seats without the support of Kumaratunga’s party. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 18:50:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Political crisis deepens for Kumaratunga  - Times of India
Savvy Chandrika moves fast to repair cracks in Muslim base  - The Hindustan Times
Ashraff goes abroad, uncertainty in PA  - The Hindu (International)

Indian envoy presents credentials -a day after the ceremony was cancelled
India Abroad, Aug. 24, 2000 5:47 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: The new Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, presented his credential to President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday, a day after the ceremony was cancelled because she failed to turn up.. Officials said Gandhi and the new envoys from China and Japan met Kumaratunga today, but there was no statement from the government on yesterday's postponement. Indian diplomats said Gandhi and a protocol officer from the foreign ministry waited for over four hours for a message from the President's House to leave for the evening ceremony. But the call did not come, although the foreign ministry sent three separate statements, saying that the envoys had presented their letters of credence. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 22:46:04 EDT 2000

Paedophile cases rising in Asia: Experts
Asia Age, August 23. he number of tourists in Asia seeking sex with children is on the rise, and more of the paedophiles are Asians themselves, officials and experts said on Tuesday. While countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam have been well known a destinations for such tourists, Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka are gaining similar reputations, said Christine Beddoe of ECPAT, an organisation that fights the sexual exploitation of children. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 19:09:57 EDT 2000

A $5 billion plan to save world's forests
San Jose Mercury News, August 20, 2000. After a decade of crunching databases and poring over hundreds of scientific papers, biologists have come to a startling conclusion: Save just 1.4 percent of the planet's land surface and you can save the bulk of life on Earth. The 25 hot spots -- named by Norman Myers, an Oxford ecologist who originated the concept in 1988 -- make up 524 million acres, an area three times the size of Texas. Sixteen are found in tropical climates near the equator, including Costa Rica, Burma and the jungles of Ghana, areas where food and light are plentiful and plants can grow year round. Also included are islands like the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and heavily altered regions of the developed world like California and parts of the Mediterranean.
[ Hotspots article][References to Sri Lanka: Page 6  Page 12  Page 15] More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 16:07:37 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka monks demand end to bloodshed, Aug 23 2000 19:40 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist hierarchy Wednesday demanded President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other political leaders unite to end the escalating election-related violence. The monks issued a joint statement here after a second opposition activist was shot dead by alleged government supporters in the run up to the October 10 parliamentary elections.The greed of power is leading people to resort to violence," said the holy leaders of the Malwatte, Asgiriya, Amarapura and Ramanna Buddhist sects. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 11:29:45 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
Sri Lankan monks fear blood-splattered polls  -

No solution in sight for dispute between the Muslim Congress and the Government
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1415 SLT 23 August 2000. The leader of the Muslim Congress Port Minister AHM Ashraff is demanding intervention by President Kumaratunga to withdraw his letter of resignation. Ashraff tendered his letter of resignation after Transport Minister Fawzi said the Muslim Congress is a spent force which cannot get more than five seats in the forthcoming General Elections unless they contest with the PA. Negotiations between the SLMC and the President was deadlocked after two rounds of talks with no agreement in sight.
Published: Wed Aug 23 04:29:16 EDT 2000

Disgruntled Lanka minister leaves for Mecca
India Abroad, Aug 23, 2000 22:25 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: A key Muslim party leader, who resigned from his ministerial post and withdrew his party's support to the ruling People's Alliance (PA) causing a crisis in the Sri Lankan government, left for Mecca on Wednesday stalling moves to mend the rift. Doubts arose over the speedy resolution of the split as officials of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said that Ports Minister M.H.M.Ashraff left on Wednesday morning. His departure came after calling for the firing of another government minister, who had made a scathing attack on the SLMC. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 15:40:51 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan Muslim party wants minister fired  - India Abroad
Crucial talks between the Muslim Congress and President Kumaratunga deadlocked  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
- If Ashraff gets more than 5 seats, I’ll quit politics - Fowzie  - AsiaGateway
S.Lanka rulers try to limit damage as ally quits  - MSNBC
Muslim ally demands pound of flesh amid deepening Sri Lanka crisis  -
Ashraff drops election gauntlet  - tamilnet
PA in trouble after 3 Ministers resign  - The Hindu (International)
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  -

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  -

China, India, Japan diplomatic ceremonies resume after fiasco, Aug 23 2000 15:00 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Wednesday received new envoys from China, India and Japan after a fiasco that forced an embarassing postponement of the diplomatic ceremonies, officials said. The new Indian high commissioner, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, China's ambassador Jiang Qinzheng, and Japan's top envoy Soiichirou Otsuka, presented their credentials to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, officials said. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 06:13:49 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Gopal Gandhi presents credentials  - The Hindu (International)
Gopalkrishna Gandhi takes over as envoy in Colombo  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Gopal Krishna Gandhi presents credentials  - The Hindu NUS
Gandhi credential ceremony ends in fiasco  -
Gandhi's grandson becomes India's new envoy to Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
China, India, Japan credential ceremonies end in fiasco  -

Sri Lankan air force bombs rebel bases
TOI, august 23. Sri Lankan MiG-27 fighter jets bombed rebel bases in the northern Jaffna peninsula and inflicted heavy damage, a government spokesman said Wednesday.Newly acquired aircraft attacked rebel hide-outs Tuesday in Kaithady, 6 kilometres (4 miles) outside Jaffna city, said Ariya Rubasinghe, government spokesman. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 11:27:51 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka kills nine  -

UK delays decision on Lanka's request to ban LTTE
Island, Wednesday, 23 August. Sri Lanka?s highly ambitious request to the British government to proscribe the LTTE, under the recently passed Anti-Terrorism Bill will not have any immediate impact, diplomatic sources said yesterday."The Bill will not come into operation until early next year," a diplomatic source said yesterday pointing out that the Foreign Office will take a decision on Lanka?s request only after the Bill becomes law. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 03:49:24 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
British government delays proscribing LTTE  - PRIU

Cricket-Pakistan-Sri Lanka one-day series in Dubai called off
Altavista, Wednesday Aug 23, 09:59:31. DUBAI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - A three-match one-day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka scheduled for Dubai next month has been called off after the ICC failed to approve it. ``We have not yet received approval from the International Cricket Council, though we applied for it well in advance,'' said Vikram Kaul, secretary of the Dubai Cricket Council (DCC). More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 10:05:29 EDT 2000

Ten more political parties seek recognition
PRIU, Wednesday Aug 23, 10:03:23. Ten more political parties, including new combinations of present political parties, as well as new parties, submitted applications to the Elections Commissioner seeking registration as recognised political parties for contesting at the forthcoming General Election.There already are 42 recognised political parties. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 10:09:12 EDT 2000

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

Eelam tigress at 7: The girl who forgot to die
AsianAge, Wednesday, 23 August. Shuffling her sandal-clad feet in the dust, 14-year-old Arumuyam Malar confesses that she has been a naughty girl: She did not kill herself.Trained since the age of seven to fight till 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: Wed Aug 23 04:11:27 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
A Tamil Guerrilla's Story, Starting at Age 7  - IHT

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

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

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

Lankan tea sold for record price
Times of India, 24 August 2000 . COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan tea believed to have strong aphrodisiac properties sold for an all-time record price here, tea traders said. A parcel of "Golden Tips" tea sold for 15,000 rupees a kilo, or 150 times the price of mass-consumed ordinary black tea, Forbes and Walker tea brokers said Tuesday. "This is the highest price achieved for any grade of tea," the brokers said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 17:23:39 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Libido boosting Sri Lanka tea fetches record price  -

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

UNP torpedoes Constitutional Reform
CDN, august 22. The attempt at constitutional reform by the People's Alliance has been effectively torpedoed by the United National Party. This was despite the very large contribution the UNP made, in substance and formulation, to the final draft of the reform bill. The volte face of the UNP confirmed the fears of the UNP's own Parliamentary members voiced as was done by its "Alternate Group". It was made known to the country in advance when Ronnie de Mel, a member of the UNP's chosen team to negotiate with the PA on constitutional reform, quit the UNP and joined the PA. More...
Published: Tue Aug 22 11:58:41 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

Indian envoy presents credentials to Kumaratunga
India Abroad, Aug. 24, 2000 5:47 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: The new Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, presented his credential to President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday, a day after the ceremony was cancelled because she failed to turn up.. Officials said Gandhi and the new envoys from China and Japan met Kumaratunga today, but there was no statement from the government on yesterday's postponement. Indian diplomats said Gandhi and a protocol officer from the foreign ministry waited for over four hours for a message from the President's House to leave for the evening ceremony. But the call did not come, although the foreign ministry sent three separate statements, saying that the envoys had presented their letters of credence. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 22:47:16 EDT 2000

US-Lanka extradition pact before Senate
India Abroad, Aug 24, 2000 12:10 Hrs(IST) . Washington: President Bill Clinton has forwarded the US-Sri Lanka extradition treaty to the Senate for ratification, and diplomatic sources here hope it will be voted on in the first few weeks of the Senate?s return from summer recess on September 7. Upon entry in force," Clinton predicted, "the Treaty would enhance cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of both countries, and thereby make a significant contribution to international law enforcement efforts." The Treaty "would supersede the 1931 United States-United Kingdom extradition treaty currently applicable to the United States and Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Aug 23 16:18:38 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Clinton sends Lanka extradition treaty to Senate  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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