The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 26, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 143

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The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
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(The proposed new constitution)
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CYBERSPACE - Virtual Communities and the "imagi"nation
Thushara Peiris, The Colombo Chronicle. The global system of computer networks that make up the internet have had a profound effect on how diasporic communities relate to each other and their homeland. A typical Sinhalese user of the internet, is Agashan Dias, aged 34 a Supply Chain Manager who lives in Sydney, Australia. He spends about 10 hours each week on the internet and often communicates through email with his family in Sri Lanka as well as other Sri Lankan friends in England and New Zealand. 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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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Lanka to introduce fresh Constitution Bill, says PM
The Hindustan Times, Colombo August 26. The powerful Buddhist Maha Sangha will be consulted in the constitution making process after the October 10 parliamentary elections, new Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wicremanayake has said. He told Daily Mirror today that the constitution would not be re-introduced in the same form. "It will be subjected to discussion between the Maha Sangha and us. This is a promise we have made," the Prime Minister said. According to Mr Wickramanayake, the draft bill is dead because the parliament in which it was tabled has been dissolved. "There is no bill for us to talk about now. We have to being a new bill again. Whether it is going to have the same shape or not will be decided later," he said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 17:25:03 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka PM to introduce new statute bill after polls  - Times of India (Breaking News)

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka fighting kills another 11, Aug 26 2000 16:53 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 26 (AFP) - Security forces shot dead at least nine Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka in fresh clashes as a soldier killed himself and a civilian following a quarrel, the government said in a statement Saturday. The nine members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were killed by troops in the Jaffna peninsula and the Wanni mainland Friday in three clashes, the government's Special Media Information Centre (SMIC) said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:00:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Nine LTTE rebels killed in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Perk up, general tells Lanka Army
The Asian Age, Colombo, Aug. 25 . Sri Lanka’s new Army commander took office on Friday and told the war-weary Army to improve its discipline and its readiness to do battle with the Tamil Tiger rebels. Lieutenant General Lionel Balagalle said in a speech there was a need to strengthen the Sri Lankan Army’s manpower, modernise weapons and train the soldiers better. “The acquisition of modern equipment is already in progress and will continue with the blessings of the government. Limited training as far as possible is being conducted,” he said. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 21:41:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
New Army Commander Takes office  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Sri Lankan Army must be 'more professional'  - The Hindu (International)
Lanka's new army chief denies rift  - India Abroad
New army commander says morale high  - BBC South Asia
New Army Commander assumes duties  - PRIU
Sri Lanka's new army chief plays down dissension, vows offensive  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka army lacks manpower to fight rebels  - Virtual New York
New Sri Lanka army chief tells soldiers to perk up  - ABC News

Unhappy Janaka wants to call it quits
SundayLeader, august 26. Major General Janaka Perera credited with preventing the fall of Jaffna following the Elephant Pass debacle said on Friday he thought his efforts would be recognised and rewarded but that unfortunately they were not.Major General Perera who is also the army's chief of staff speaking informally during refreshments after the new Army Commander Major General Lionel Balagalle took office told journalists it was only human for him to expect his efforts to be rewarded and equally human for him to be disappointed when they were not.Referring to the recent lull in operational areas, Major General Perera pointed out that history has proven that before major operations the LTTE had always remained quiet. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 22:43:46 EDT 2000

Testing times for Kumaratunga - A Commentry
rediff, august 26. Shuffling commanders is a favourite pastime of the establishment. The day the news of Janaka Perera's removal was made public, there was a minor uproar in Colombo with Buddhist monks demanding his reinstatement. Not since Sri Lanka's war hero General Denzil Kobbekaduwa, who was killed in a landmine blast in 1993, has SLA produced a soldiers' general till Perera appeared on the scene with a string of gallant actions behind him.During the panic and crisis days of a possible evacuation from Jaffna, Perera is reported to have told his commanders that there would be no withdrawals, adding that in that event "we will become fertilizer for Jaffna's soil." More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:34:22 EDT 2000

Five Tamil MPs defect from Lankan ruling party
India Abroad, Aug 26, 2000 13:55 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka's ruling People's Alliance (PA) has lost five Tamil legislators who have decided to cast their lot with the main opposition United National Party (UNP) in the October parliamentary polls, party officials said. The legislators who are all deputy chairmen of the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), which largely represents Tamil plantation workers of Indian origin, will contest on the UNP ticket, a statement issued by the UNP said. The five legislators, P.P Devaraj, A.M.D. Rajan, S. Satasivam, V. Sennan and S. Rajaratnam, have long had differences with CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and their defection underscores the internal divisions in the CWC, party sources said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:03:40 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
5 Chandrika alliance MPs join UNP  - The Asian Age
Five MPs from Kumaratunga's coalition join UNP  - The Hindu NUS
Lanka's ruling party ally splits  - Times of India
Sri Lanka's ruling party suffers another setback ahead of polls  -

Canadian postal dept in fix over Prabhakaran stamps
TOI, august 26. An order for a large number of personalised postage stamps with the photograph of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, has placed Canadian postal authorities in a fix.Although the identity of the person or organization responsible for placing the order has not been established as yet, investigations are in progress. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 14:23:46 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka War Victim: Free-Market Policies
IHT, august 26. Ask Sri Lankans about the economy, and topic No. 1 will be the war.The government's long-running battle against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has killed 62,000 people, consumed precious national resources, set back development and scared away millions of potential tourists. Now, with the country nearing its second decade of conflict, economists fear the war is also taking a toll on the free market beliefs of what has long been South Asia's most open economy. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:18:53 EDT 2000

Kumaratunga wins support of nationalist party
Times of India, 26 August 2000 . COLOMBO: President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday won the backing of a nationalist party, which earlier opposed her plan to give wide autonomy to the minority Tamil-dominated areas to end the 17-year-old civil war. "We decided to support her (Kumaratunga) because she is the only leader who has made a genuine effort to end the civil war," Dinesh Gunawardena, leader of the United People's Party, told reporters. The UPP will contest the Oct.10 parliamentary elections as a partner of Kumaratunga's People's Alliance. Kumaratunga abandoned efforts to win the parliamentary approval for the autonomy plan earlier this month after she found that the governing alliance was 12 votes short of the required two-thirds majority. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 18:40:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
PA welcomes hardline Sinhala party into coalition  - The Hindu (International)

Lanka vets its police's rights record
India Abroad, Aug 26, 2000 16:25 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is ascertaining the human rights records of 40 senior police officers before their promotion to the next rank as part of a move to beef up security for the coming parliamentary polls. The move is seen as an attempt to stave off criticism of the government after at least three people were killed in separate incidents of violence since Parliament was dissolved a week ago to pave the way for fresh elections on October 10. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:02:31 EDT 2000

Reforms in Sri Lanka on the backburner
EconomicTimes, august 26. The proposal has been postponed, indefinitely, though in reality, it has been virtually jettisoned, because of the hostility it roused among the majority Buddhists (73 per cent of the total national populace).In an obvious bid to molly-coddle the majority community, Kumaratunga ruthlessly and abruptly sacked her own mother Sirimao Bandaranaike, an ailing 84 year old `grandma’ and `political battle-axe’ of the `isle of Serendip’ from her prime minister’s position and drafted a right-wing conservative Buddhist, Ratnasari Mahanayake, her home minister, as the new Prime Minister. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:23:55 EDT 2000

Catholic bishops urge politicians to rise above party politics to solve the ethnic crisis and call for free and fair elections.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1735 SLT 25 August 2000. The Catholic bishops conference today urged politicians to rise above party politics and petty differences to find a solution to the Island's ethnic crisis. The bishops said the separatist war has caused death and destruction and millions of people were living in hardship due to the conflict. The bishops also urged that measures be taken for a free and fair General election where people can vote without intimidation.
Published: Fri Aug 25 13:28:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's bishops call for end to war  - ABC News

Two killed, eight wounded in S.Lanka grenade blast
MSNBC, august 26. A Sri Lankan soldier on leave exploded a grenade after a quarrel, killing himself and a civilian and wounding eight others, the government said on Saturday. The government said in a statement that the incident occured on Friday at Arapattai in the eastern Batticaloa district. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 12:59:58 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government exploits allegations of murder and torture against opposition - A News Analysis
World Socialist Web Site, august 26. In the lead up to parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka in October, the arrest of former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Douglas Peiris at Colombo airport on August 3, after four years in exile, has directly raised the issue of the murder and disappearance of thousands of rural youth in the country's south in the late 1980s by death squads linked to security forces.Peiris also implicated UNP general secretary Gamini Athukorale, the UNP leader's top advisor Milinda Moragoda, assistant UNP secretary Bodhi Ranasinghe and UNP financier and businessman M.H. Maharooff. He stated that they had helped him flee the country in 1996 by arranging a forged passport and providing financial aid. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 13:40:46 EDT 2000

Post office halts 'vanity stamp' linked to terror group
National Post , august 25. Canada Post has halted production of a batch of personalized postage stamps that seem to bear the likeness of the leader of the Tamil Tigers -- an order apparently placed to augment the terrorist organization's international propaganda campaign.The stamps appear to feature a photograph of Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the 45-year-old mastermind behind the notorious Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the terrorist army that has fought a 17-year guerrilla war against the government of Sri Lanka.The publicity opportunities represented by the stamp program appeared to immediately attract Tamil Tigers supporters: An article advertising stamps -- these ones bearing a likeness of Kumar Ponnambalam, a Tamil politician who was assassinated in Colombo last January -- appeared in a recent issue of The Uthayan, a Tamil newspaper based in Toronto.Canada Post has since been unable to locate an order for stamps showing Mr. Ponnambalam, regarded as a martyr by Tiger supporters. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 10:22:46 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Canada clamps down on LTTE stamp racket  - The Island

No Tiger attack soon, says new Lankan commander
Times of India (Breaking News), 25 August 2000 . COLOMBO: The new commander of the Sri Lankan army, Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle, said Friday he does not expect a major assault soon by the Tamil Tiger rebels. "It is doubtful that the rebels will go for a major show immediately," Balagalle told a news conference. "They have no answer to our superior firepower yet." The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam captured large tracts of the northern Jaffna Peninsula in April and May in a series of assaults aimed at retaking the former rebel capital, the city of Jaffna. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 14:11:11 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka 'needs more troops'  - BBC South Asia
Recapturing Elephant Pass a priority for new Lankan army commander  - The Hindustan Times

In Sri Lanka's Civil War, a Stately Town Has Already Lost
IHT, august 25. Once a fashion capital where both Tamil and Sinhalese women strolled in the latest saris amid stately colonial-era buildings, Jaffna now has been militarized, polarized and physically flattened by a 17-year civil war.''We were so happy and serene back when it was calm,'' said C. Kuharajan, who like many Sri Lankans prefers to use only an initial as a first name. ''Now even the railway tracks are destroyed, and my youngest daughter has never seen a working train in her life.'' More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 10:37:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's elephant population rising
News24, august 24. Sri Lanka's elephant population is growing, despite the threat of poachers and land mines, officials said on Wednesday. Sri Lanka's elephant population now numbers between 4 000 and 4 500, with nearly 1 500 born in the past five years, the Wildlife Conservation said. The elephants are doing well in the wild, said Nandana Attapattu, the deputy director of Wildlife Conservation. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 15:53:50 EDT 2000

- SEANZA Governors meet in Colombo to discuss Central Bank Independence
Island, Saturday, 26 August. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will be hosting the South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia (SEANZA) Central Bank Governors’ Symposium on 26th August at Hotel Hilton. The SEANZA group of central banks, founded over 40 years ago, is one of the oldest such groups in this part of the world. The membership now stands at 20 and consists of both developed and developing economies. The SEANZA generally meets once in two years to discuss issues relating to central banking and promoting cooperation among the member countries. More...
Published: Sat Aug 26 09:10:20 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan pop group suffers anti-climax with Viagra, Aug 25 2000 16:42 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 25 (AFP) - A Sri Lankan pop group has suffered an anti-climax after their latest release, Viagra, faces opposition from the US manufacturer of the sexual potency drug of the same name. Pop group Gypsies said Friday that their new album, Viagra, was withdrawn following an objection to the title by drug manufacturer Pfizer. More...
Published: Fri Aug 25 09:24:02 EDT 2000

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