The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 29, 2000 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 146

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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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Tigers attack military camp in northern Lanka
Times of India, 30 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a military camp in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, wounding at least 20 government soldiers, a defence ministry spokesman said. The rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fired several artillery shells into Uylankulam area in Mannar, 220 km north of Colombo, said Brig. Sarath Karunaratne. The army shot and killed one rebel whose body was found in a subsequent search of the area, Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 16:34:10 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
United States cautions citizens in Sri Lanka, Aug 30 2000 02:30 IST. WASHINGTON, Aug 29 (AFP) - The United States on Tuesday cautioned its citizens in Sri Lanka to take extra safety measures and to be on the alert for violence in the run-up to parliamentary elections in October. In a public announcement, the State Department noted that previous polls in the island nation had been marred by violence, arson, beatings and killings. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 18:25:19 EDT 2000

Lanka tightens censorship ahead of polls
India Abroad, Aug 29, 2000 19:20 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is clamping down harder on the press ahead of parliamentary elections and issued the first warning to a pro-opposition newspaper for reporting grumbling within the army. Government censor Ariya Rubasinghe rapped Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramatunga on the knuckles for carrying a story about Major General Janaka Perera who was not made the army commander despite being next in line for the top job. The story was titled 'Unhappy Jaanaka wants to call it quits.' Rubasinghe said he was "warning" Wickramatunga that his virulently anti-government newspaper had violated the latest censorship regulations, which came into force on July 1. "I am of the opinion that this news item tends to create dissension among the members of the armed forces, thereby affecting their morale," Rubasinghe wrote. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 12:27:14 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gags press over military squabbles  -

Parties gearing up for October 10 poll in Lanka
Deccan Herald, COLOMBO, Aug 29 (UNI). As nomination for the October 10 parliamentary election began, the first nomination was filed from the war-tern Jaffna yesterday. While the minor political parties are ready with nomination lists, main political parties are still grappling and struggling to accommodate and finalise candidates of their own choices. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 18:29:31 EDT 2000

7 more independent groups hand in nominations
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday August 29. Seven more made deposits for nominations for the upcoming general elections was made today by independent political groups.

These groups will contest six electorates which include Dimbulagala, Colombo, Kegalle and Matara. All nominations are expected to be handed over by 12 noon on Monday September 4.

Meanwhile the Democratic Left Alliance led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara and the New Leftist Alliance led by Dr W. Wickremabahu have formed an alliance and will jointly contest the forthcoming polls.

Sources have further revealed that parties which have aligned themselves with the Peoples Alliance are facing some problems in nominating members due to the fact that some senior PA members are of the opinion that only Sri Lanka Freedom Party members should contest key electorates.

It is rumored that one senior PA Minister for the Badulla district has already voiced objection in this regard saying that only SLFP members should be nominated on the PA ticket to contest Badulla.
Published: Tue Aug 29 11:27:06 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Nominations for General Elections begins today  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Lankan poll authorities begin accepting nominations  - Times of India

Grenade lobbed at police in Colombo 4
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.55 p.m. SLT Tuesday August 29. A grenade was lobbed at three police officers travelling in a jeep at around 1.45 p.m. at Bambalapitiya today. One police officer was injured in the attack. The grenade was thrown at the police jeep which was chasing some underworld suspects who were travelling in a Trishaw.

The police officers had been travelling from the Wellawatte police station when the grenade was flung at the police vehicle. The police have arrested one suspect and the driver of the Trishaw.
Published: Tue Aug 29 11:27:06 EDT 2000

House of UNP activist comes under attack
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.55 p.m. SLT Tuesday August 29. The home of George Milton, a United National Party activist in Puttalam came under attack at around 12.30 p.m. today. No one was hurt in the attack. However there was some damage to the house.

Police say that around 16 empty cartridges were found inside the house soon after the attack. The main suspect at present is a politico of the area. Police in Puttalam are conducting further investigations.

Last Wednesday August 23, a UNP activist 20-year-old Chathura Saman Kumara was killed by a rival group while putting up election posters at Molagoda in Kegalle.

Since Parliament was dissolved two weeks ago, three persons have been killed in pre polls violence.
Published: Tue Aug 29 11:27:06 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka troops kill 10 rebels in fresh clashes, Aug 29 2000 13:54 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 29 (AFP) - Government forces shot dead at least 10 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting while the guerrillas continued shelling military positions, officials said Tuesday. The 10 members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamwere killed by troops in five confrontations Monday, the military said in a statement issued by the Special Media Information Centre. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 07:14:44 EDT 2000

Chandrika not to attend public rallies
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on August 29, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 29. (UNI): President Chandrika Kumaratunga would not attend public rallies due to security constraints. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake would attend all rallies on her behalf. Kumaratunga would attend district conferences of her Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of the ruling Peoples' Alliance, the party's General Secretary D M Jayaratne was quoted by the local media as saying. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 12:19:53 EDT 2000

Police jeep attacked with grenade in Sri Lanka capital
Yahoo, Tuesday, August 29 4:03 PM SGT . A police jeep was attacked with a hand-grenade in the Sri Lanka capital Colombo Tuesday, leaving at least one constable wounded, police said. A police emergency unit said it was alerted to a "hand-grenade attack" at Colombo's Dickman's Road area and found that one of its own vehicles had been the target. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 07:09:40 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Police jeep bombed in Sri Lanka capital  -
Bomb attack in Sri Lanka capital  -
Policeman injured in Lankan grenade attack  - The Hindu NUS
Policeman hurt in Sri Lanka grenade attack  - ABC News

Sri Lanka calls for more women in parliament
ABC News, 08/29/2000 05:11:00 ET. COLOMBO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s Women"s Affairs Minister said on Tuesday political parties should take steps to increase the number of women lawmakers in the new parliament to wipe out "political thuggery and unruly behaviour." Hema Ratnayake in a letter to the leaders of 41 registered parties asked them to ensure that at least 25 percent of their candidates nominated for forthcoming parliamentary elections were women. "In the 10th parliament of Sri Lanka the female representation was only 4.9 percent," Ratnayake said, adding that it should be at least 25 percent in a country which gave the world its first woman prime minister. The elections for the 225-member parliament are scheduled for October 10. "When election activities are conducted under the leadership of womenfolk, there is a tendency to lessen thuggery and unruly behaviour," Ratnayake said in her letter. Election campaigning in Sri Lanka in the past has been generally violent and three people have already been killed in inter-party clashes before nominations opened on Monday. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 07:07:55 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan media warned
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 29 August, 2000, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK . Sri Lanka's chief censor, Ariya Rubasinghe, has warned the country's media not to publish or broadcast news stories which could affect the morale of the armed forces. He says that journalists would not be allowed to report stories which could create dissent among the security forces or contravene Sri Lanka's emergency regulations. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 09:16:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Govt warns press for reporting dissensions in Army  - The Hindustan Times

General writes account of Sri Lankan battle with rebels
Virtual New York, Tuesday, 29 August 2000 1:09 (ET). A former Sri Lankan general has written a detailed account of his experience as an officer in the army, a tale that spares no one. In the first book written by an army officer on the ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 70,000 lives in the past 17 years, Maj. Gen. Sarath Munasinghe has neither spared the politicians nor his colleagues and superiors for the setbacks suffered by the army. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 03:47:43 EDT 2000

Muslim partners of Kumaratunga's ruling alliance resigned, Aug 29 2000 09:10 IST. Colombo, Aug 28 (UNI)- General Secretaries of two Muslim parties, partners in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance, Monday resigned from their posts following a directive from Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader M H M Ashraff. Mr Rauff Hakkim, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, and Mr Hisbulla, Deputy Minister and General Secretary of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), tendered their resignations Monday. The NUA is a partner of the SLMC. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 03:47:11 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Central Bank Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Yahoo, Monday, August 28 11:09 AM SGT . Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor, Amarananda S. Jayawardena said the ongoing 17-year war has channeled huge amounts of money into defense, which could otherwise have been utilized for development work. The new building, which will house the central bank, was built to replace the old headquarters that was destroyed by a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Tamil Tigers in 1996. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 03:51:21 EDT 2000

LTTE shells Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday August 28. The LTTE yesterday shelled the town of Puttur in Jaffna using long range missiles which official sources say killed many civilians. The LTTE attack followed soon after Sri Lanka Air Force helicopters pounded Tiger bases in the northern peninsula. Sri Lanka's new Army Commander Lionel Balagalle on Friday August 25, said the Tigers despite continuing to hold areas in Sri Lanka's North, have recently suffered heavy casualties as a result of offensives conducted by the armed forces. The Tiger attack yesterday came after a brief lull in fighting between security forces and the LTTE.
Published: Mon Aug 28 03:16:13 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE launches long-range attacks  - Deccan Herald
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers shell Jaffna amid air attacks  -

Sri Lankan Muslim party faces uncertainty
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, August 29, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG. 28. The nominations process for the October 10 general elections began amidst uncertainty over the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) whose general secretary stepped down from his post today. Mr. Rauff Hakeem resigned as general secretary of the SLMC on instructions from the party leader, Mr. M.H.M. Ashraff, who is on a pilgrimage in Mecca. More...
Published: Mon Aug 28 16:56:30 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan Muslim leader at loggerheads with party officials  - India Abroad
Lankan Muslims slam ministers for one-upmanship  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka Muslim ally keeps government guessing  -
Sri Lanka's Muslim party row enters self-destruct mode  -

Chandrika seeks fresh mandate to enact Statute Bill
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on August 28, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 28. (UNI): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sought a fresh mandate from the people to enact the aborted Constitutional Bill saying she has ``not given up hopes'' for a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict. ``Emergence of the hostilities in the north and east has hampered our economic development. I want to develop the country's economy,'' she said in a message on the occasion of the Central Bank's 50th anniversary. However, this is contrary to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka's statement that the Constitutional Bill needs major changes before enactment. More...
Published: Mon Aug 28 11:00:49 EDT 2000

Lankan poll authorities begin accepting nominations
Times of India, 29 August 2000 . COLOMBO: Sri Lankan election authorities have begun accepting nominations from political parties and their respective candidates who intend to contest next month's general elections. The handing over of nominations began on Sunday. Nominations were accepted at rural courts and divisional secretariats throughout the island as the police and paramilitary security forces maintained a cautious alert. No reports of violence were reported throughout the day. Nominations close on September 5, and by that time, at least 35 political parties and independent groups are expected to join the race for the 225-member House. More...
Published: Mon Aug 28 19:37:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Nominations for Lanka poll begin  - India Abroad

LTTE, a deciding factor in Parliamentary polls
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on August 28, 2000. Colombo, Aug. 28. (UNI): The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will certainly be a deciding factor regarding the future of Sri Lanka's 11th Parliament, though they are neither contesting nor have they put up proxy candidates for the October 10 Parliamentary elections filing of nominations for which commenced today.Tamil political parties could have won 20 seats from the north and east had they contested unitedly, but that is not the case at present. More...
Published: Mon Aug 28 10:56:17 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE still deciding factor in polls  - Times of India
?LTTE will not contest elections?  - The Hindustan Times
LTTE dummies likely in polls  - Statesman
Tigers enter Wanni to plan poll strategy  - DeccanHerald

Sri Lanka's political parties race to form alliances before polls
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Monday August 28. Sri Lanka's political parties are racing to cobble together alliances before handing in nominations by September 4. The ruling Peoples Alliance has already formed an alliance with an ultra nationalist party while Sri Lanka's other opposition parties are all in a bind trying to cut deals and form alliances with political counterparts before the deadline for nominations expires next Monday.
Published: Mon Aug 28 03:05:11 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka to Hold International Conference on Preventing Blindness
xinhua, august 28. Sri Lankan Ophthalmologists have organized an international workshop from September 14 to 16 on preventing blindness in South Asia, the Daily News reported Monday. In addition to eye surgeons from six regional countries, eye doctors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Switzerland are also due to participate. More...
Published: Mon Aug 28 11:35:54 EDT 2000

S.Lanka hijacker to contest polls under plane symbol
ABC News, 08/29/2000 04:32:00 ET. COLOMBO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan man jailed in the 1980s for hijacking a plane will contest October"s general election as a candidate for a party which has an aeroplane as its symbol. Harishchandra Wijetunge, leader of the nationalist Sinhalaye Mahasammata Bhumiputra Party, told Reuters that Sepala Ekanayake would stand as a candidate from southern Hambantota. "The legality will be decided by a court if somebody challenges the nomination. As far as the party is concerned, we want him to contest," Wijetunge said. Under the law, a jail term of under seven years is no bar to standing for election. Ekanayake took 261 passengers of an Alitalia Boeing 747 hostage in 1982 and threatened to blow up the plane which was on a flight to Bangkok from Rome. He was demanding a ransom of $300,000 and a visa to return to Italy to join his Italian wife and son. Ekanayake released the hostages after getting the money and was allowed to return to Sri Lanka, where he was arrested, had the ransom taken away and was jailed for life. His sentence was reduced to five years on appeal in 1986 and he moved to the central hill town of Nuwara Eliya where he grew vegetables and worked as a tourist guide. Soon after the hijacking, Ekanayake"s Italian wife sued for divorce. He was reunited with his son only in 1998. The general election is on October 10. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 07:05:38 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Former Sri Lankan hijacker seeks election -- with aircraft as symbol  -

Buddhist prelates want to be poll watchers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 a.m. SLT Monday August 28. The Elections Department is confused and surprised over a request made by leading buddhist prelates from the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters who have asked for monks to be nominated as poll watchers for the forthcoming general elections on October 10.

The verbal request was made yesterday to Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake who says he can make no decision with regard to the monks unusual request until it is made officially in writing.

Meanwhile all leading Buddhist prelates have condemned the recent pre polls violence which has already claimed the lives of three persons.
Published: Mon Aug 28 03:05:11 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka bans import of apples in wooden crates
BuisnessRecorder, august 29. The President, Pakistan Apples and Citrus Board, Abdul Wahid, on Monday urged the government to take up the issue of Sri Lankan ban on import of apples in wooden crates with Colombo. He said apples and other fruits like mango, citrus fruits are exported in wooden crates to the US, UK and other countries. More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 09:22:45 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka polls: Fear keeps away potential candidates
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, August 30, 2000. COLOMBO, AUG. 29. Tamil political parties contesting the October 10 parliamentary elections from Jaffna are scouring the peninsula for prominent citizens to include in their nomination lists, but the fear of getting killed is keeping many potential candidates away. ``We have asked some people to be on our lists. At first they agree, but when they go home, their wives and children cry, and they change their minds,'' the leader of one political party, now camping in Jaffna, told The Hindu over the telephone. ``After seeing what happened to Sarojini Yogeswaran and Dr. Neelan, very few outsiders want to enter politics.'' More...
Published: Tue Aug 29 16:36:06 EDT 2000

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