The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 27, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 144

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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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Lanka opposition refuses to cooperate in probe
India Abroad, Aug 27, 2000 14:40 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Leaders of Sri Lanka's main opposition party will refuse to cooperate with the police investigating their links with death squads and a notorious torture chamber and will court arrest instead, newspaper reports said. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and other United National Party (UNP) bigwigs will not comply with requests from the police to present themselves for questioning nor will they make any statements, said Gamini Atukorale, the party's general secretary. Describing the government's sudden interest in the "Batalanda torture chamber" as a political witch-hunt on the eve of the elections, Atukorale told the Sunday Times newspaper: "If they want they can arrest me, but I will not cooperate with this propaganda probe." More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 07:39:24 EDT 2000

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Monks ask vote oversight role
Virtual New York, august 27. An unusual request by Buddhist monks has baffled Sri Lanka's election commission ahead of Oct. 10 parliamentary elections.The religious conscience keepers of the majority Sinhala community want to play the role of democracy monitors. They have asked the election commission to allow saffron-robed monks to be poll watchers."So far we have not received any written request, but the chief priests of the prominent Buddhist temples have communicated to the commission that they wish to have monks as poll observers," a senior official at the election commission said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 16:01:04 EDT 2000

Human rights groups and LTTE fronts - A feature article
Island, august 28. Infiltrating Human Rights organisations, setting up bogus parallel Human Rights organisations and issuing news releases etc. setting up front news organisations ( Tamil Net, IBC, Tamil Guardian, Hot Spring etc.) are normal deceptive behaviour of the LTTE. In 1996 virulent LTTE supporters (Tamil expatriate students) of Carlton university in Ottawa, Canada, where the pro-LTTE Prof Elagu V Elaguppillai was a lecturer, set up the Amnesty International Carleton University chapter, and started issuing news releases, headed "Amnesty International", not with the intention of enhancing Human Rights in Sri Lanka, but with the intention of damaging Sri Lanka and supporting the LTTE. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 19:39:20 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Records 6.9 Percent GDP Growth in First Half
XINHUA, August 27. Sri Lanka recorded a 6.9 percent growth rate in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) terms during the first half of this year due to buoyant exports, according to provisional estimates. "The annual growth rate appears to be somewhat higher than the original estimate of 5.5 percent of the Central Bank. It is now estimated to be in the region of six percent," a highly placed Central Bank source was quoted as saying by the Sunday Observer here More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 07:54:03 EDT 2000

Get tough, Chandrika tells police
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on August 27, 2000. Colombo, August. 27. (PTI): In an effort to check pre-poll violence, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has issued a stern warning to all parties including her own ruling People's Alliance to steer clear of bloodshed. The warning follows the killing of three people, including a People's Alliance cadre, in clashes between rival parties in different parts of the country after the Government declared elections on October 10. Several persons have also been admitted to the hospital with injuries. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 15:12:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
PA politico forces OIC quit, flee  - Sunday Times
Kumaratunga warns party members on poll violence  - Times of India

Realignment of political parties
The Hindu (International), Monday, August 28, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG 27. With the nomination process for the October 10 general election due to begin tomorrow, several parties and splinter groups in Sri Lanka have rearranged themselves in preparation for the battle at the hustings. On top of the trouble for the People's Alliance (PA) with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), five important members of another ally, the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), have joined hands with the United National Party (UNP) for the election. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 17:04:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan parties rush to forge poll alliances  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka parties rush to cobble up poll alliances  - ABC
Sri Lanka's parties scramble to form pacts ahead of polls  -

LTTE may contest 31 seats in Lanka elections
The Asian Age. By K. J. M. Varma Colombo, Aug. 27

Speculation is rife that the LTTE may field independent candidates to contest 31 Parliament seats in the Tamil-dominated north and eastern provinces even as a flurry of activity was reported in the rebel-held Northern Vanni region following the declaration of elections. Media reports here on Sunday quoted intelligence reports as saying that LTTE had shifted hundreds of its cadres from northern Jaffna to safer Vanni region in north-east after elections were announced for October 10. “It is not quite clear what their intention is but the Vanni is far more strategic location from which the cadre can be moved quickly to strike any of the battle zones, including the Vanni itself, the east or even back to Jaffna,” the Sunday Island reported. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 18:18:18 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
SL polls: LTTE may back independents  - The Pioneer
LTTE begins its own election campaign  - Island

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)

Lankan troops kill 5 Tigers
Times of India, 28 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Sporadic confrontations in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast killed five Tamil Tiger rebels and injured one soldier, a government spokesman said Sunday. Two rebels were killed Saturday in a gunbattle with soldiers in Senkappadai in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, said Ariya Rubasinghe. He said one government soldier was injured Saturday in rebel mortar fire at Chavakachcheri, nearly 10 km east of Jaffna city, the former capital of the rebels, which they are trying to recapture. More...
Published: Sun Aug 27 15:15:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Nine LTTE rebels killed in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka fighting kills another 11  -
Sri Lanka troops kill five rebels in fresh clashes  - 123India

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

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

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

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

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