The Lanka Academic

 
SEPTEMBER 2, 2000 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 150
 

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ASK MANGALA!
The Lanka Academic, will carry a series of online "Question and Answer" sessions with prominent Sri Lankan personalities. As the first guest in the series, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe will answer questions submitted by you. A moderator will maintain the decorum of this online forum. While the scope of the questions is wide open, it's expected that the questions submitted would fall within the areas of expertise relevant to Mr.Moonesinghe's background as a politician, scholar and a diplomat. The guidelines and instructions for sending in questions and viewing answer are posted at current issue of The Lanka Academic here. The current Question and Answer session will end on September 17th, 2000.
A BILL
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
[PDF Version]

(The proposed new constitution)
 
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WEATHER CENTRAL
Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
Satellite pix (visible)
Satellite pix (infrared)
Where is MIR today?
 
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 GREEN CARD LOTTERY
DV-2002
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's main opposition pledges to strengthen army
Times of India (Breaking News), 2 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The main opposition party unveiled its election manifesto on Saturday, promising to strengthen the army in its 17-year-old battle against Tamil Tiger rebels and to share more federal power with regional authorities. If voted to power in the October 10 parliamentary election, the United National Party said it would set up a war council consisting of retired army officers and experts to advise the government on the conduct of war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The UNP and President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party, the People's Alliance, have not been able to agree on how best to resolve the Tamil separatist war. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 12:54:52 EDT 2000

Ask Mangala: Send in your questions to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe and receive answers.
No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Chandrika charge false, says Ranil
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 2. THE LEADER of the United National Party (UNP), Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, has denied President Chandrika Kumara-tunga's charge that he was privy to the details of the LTTE's plot to kill her on December 18, 1999. The President had lost an eye in the suicide bomb attack. "I deny this false allegation completely and without qualification," Wickremesinghe said in a letter to the President, who had challenged him to deny the allegation publicly. He deprecated Kumaratunga's using Presidential immunity against prosecution to make wild charges against him. "Such acts show you’re desperate,” he added. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 16:54:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Ranil refutes Chandrika's allegation  - The Hindu (International)

Political Commentary from The Island.
The Island., September 2. SLMC Leader M. H. M. Ashraff looked a happy man Thursday night when he received an apology from President Chandrika Kumaratunga over an error which Ashraff claimed was committed by his cabinet colleague, A. H. M. Fowzie.The matter does not appear to end there as Mr. Ashraff has now dragged three more persons in the cabinet into his tangle with Mr. Fowzie.With the apology coming from the highest place, the PA has gone on its knees to Mr. Ashraff for the sake of winning the election. Since the office of the Executive President was created, no apologies have come from that office in the past. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 14:07:48 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka: Another poll, same issue
Times of India, 3 September 2000 . By Ashwani Talwar In 1994, when Chandrika Kumaratunga last sought votes for her party, she talked about sweeping constitutional reforms. Six years later, as Sri Lanka prepares for another election, she is still asking for support for a reforms package.Interestingly, UNP says it too has not abandoned the idea of Constitutional Reforms. Only it will wait for a consensus of all concerned, including the monks and the Tamil Tigers. This could take the issue to the next Parliamentary polls. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 17:00:19 EDT 2000

Sinhala right-wing party to contest from Jaffna
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on September 2, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 2. (PTI): A Sri Lankan right-wing Sinhalese party and a staunch opposer to the Government's devolution package, the Sihala Urumaya, would contest the October 10 parliamentary polls from northern Jaffna and other districts in the Tamil-dominated north and eastern province. Three officials of the Sihala Urumaya flew to Jaffna yesterday by the Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter to file their nominations, the party general secretary Tilak Karunaratne told the State-run newspaper Daily News. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:03:39 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sinhalese party to contest from Jaffna  - The Asian Age

Gandhi's would-be assassin becomes legislator-hopeful
123India.com, Sep 03 2000 08:24 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 3 (AFP) - A Sri Lankan naval rating who tried to assassinate former Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi is contesting the October parliamentary polls under the banner of a new nationalist party, officials said Sunday. Disgraced sailor Vijithamuni Rohana de Silva had switched from the Bhumiputras, or Sons of the Soil party, and joined the Sihala Urumaya, Sinhalese Heritage Party, which has a bow and arrow as its symbol. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 23:31:22 EDT 2000

Lankan General's daughter in selection spat
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on September 2, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 2. (Reuters): A Sri Lankan General has taken the country's Olympic Committee to court for omitting his daughter from the swimming squad for the Sydney Games, lawyers said today. A petition filed in the court of appeal on Wednesday challenged the selection of 16-year-old Theekshana Ratnasekera over Radiesha Daluwatte, the teenage daughter of Joint Chief of Defence Staff General Rohan Daluwatte. Both girls compete in the women's 50 metres freestyle. ``Daluwatte's times may have been better overall and she may have won the official trials, but Ratnasekera has consistently beaten her in the 50 metres freestyle,'' R M K Ratnayake, Secretary of the Sports Ministry said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:12:40 EDT 2000

The constitutional reform process Greatest betrayal of the Sinhalese after 1815 - An analysis of the Bill presented to Parliament on the of August 3 - K.H. Wijedasa
The Island, september 3. The constitutional reform process was launched in 1994 with a view to achieving three avowed objectives; firstly, further devolution of power to the regions as a means of resolving the North - East problem and ending the war; secondly, to abolish the Executive Presidency and revert to the Westminster system of government; and thirdly, to introduce electoral reforms including the abolition of the preferential voting system. Unfortunately, the Bill to repeal and replace the Constitution presented to Parliament on the 3rd of August 2000 does not offer satisfactory solutions to these 3 major issues. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 23:38:22 EDT 2000

Pakistan, Israel rescued besieged Lankan troops: report
buisness Recorder, september 2. Access Lanka, the multi-storeyed building in the heart of Sri Lankan capital Colombo houses a number of consultants. They range from telecommunications and software experts to dealers in military hardware.Close relatives of a number of Lankan army generals and the country's defence minister sit pretty in their cosy offices in Access Lanka to conduct the lucrative business.The building, which came up in less than 18 months short time by local standards is where Sri Lanka's dealers in military hardware made contacts with their counterparts from Israel and Pakistan to augment fledgling armament stocks of the Lankan army..I wouldn't be surprised if Pakistani and Israeli pilots have flown joint sorties over Jaffna to flush out Tamil tigers, another journalist remarked when asked about whether Israeli military personnel was also physically present to assist the Lankan army. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:53:50 EDT 2000

Mine blast kills 15 airmen in Sri Lanka
123India.com, Sep 01 2000 17:53 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 1 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels blew up a military vehicle in northern Sri Lanka Friday, killing 15 airmen as government forces killed five guerrillas in a battle elsewhere, the defence ministry said. The powerful landmine attack in the northern district of Vavuniya was aimed at air force men returning home on leave, defence officials said, adding that the victims were travelling in a tractor-trailer. More...
Published: Fri Sep 1 14:38:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Explosion kills 15 air force men in Lanka  - The Hindustan Times
·
Bomb blast kills 14 in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com
·
14 Lankan air force men killed in LTTE attack  - India Abroad
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14 Lankan Airforce men killed in LTTE attack  - The Hindustan Times
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Tigers attack Lankan air force vehicle, kill 13  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Sri Lanka rebel landmine toll rises to 13  - MSNBC
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Sri Lankan air force vehicle attacked, 14 killed  - ABC News

CPJ.
CPJ, September 1. Within the last two weeks, at least five newspapers have received warning letters signed by Director of Information Ariya Rubasinghe, who is in charge of enforcing the censorship regime. The letters all came in response to press coverage of controversy surrounding the appointment of a new army chief. The Sinhala-language newspapers Lankadipa and Divaina, and the English-language newspapers The Daily Mirror, The Island, and The Sunday Leader have each received separate warnings, according to CPJ sources. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:59:10 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Media calls for lifting press censorship  - India Abroad
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CPJ demands end to press censorship ahead of polls  - India Abroad
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Sri Lanka asked to lift censorship ahead of polls  - 123India.com
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Media watchdog wants end to S.Lanka censorship  - MSNBC

Lankan ruling party ally goofs up
Times of India, 2 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The key Muslim party in Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's coalition government suffered an unexpected blow on Friday in the lead up to October parliamentary polls due to a bungling in the presentation of their candidates' nomination papers. Following intense talks between President Kumaratunga and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) they agreed to field their candidates in common lists in most of the districts, but it was observed to have breached the rules. Three key Muslim members were to be included in a list of eight candidates to contest the Batticaloa district where there is a considerable Muslim population.However, the People's Alliance (PA) party leader of the area presented an older list ignoring the electoral pact Kumaratunga had reached with the SLMC, officials said More...
Published: Fri Sep 1 16:49:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka Muslim ally suffers nominations debacle  - 123India.com

Norwegian envoy visits Colombo
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Friday September 1. In what is seen to be renewed efforts at negotiating a peace settlement to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict Norwegian Special Envoy, Eric Solheim, paid a quiet three day visit to Colombo early this week.

In the city since Monday, Mr. Solheim met with government leaders, the Leader of the main opposition UNP and other Tamil political party representatives.

Meanwhile it is believed that the LTTE will break the military stalemate that has occurred in a bid to wrest Jaffna from government control before the October 10 General Elections. The LTTE are reported to have stated that the rebel group will consider negotiations with the Government only after the fate of Jaffna has been determined.
Published: Fri Sep 1 02:39:56 EDT 2000


Sri Lanka opposition leader slams President over Tiger allegations
123India.com, Sep 01 2000 15:04 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 1 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Friday accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga of political trickery and hiding behind her political immunity to launch a smear campaign ahead of the October polls. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe accused President Kumaratunga of trying to link him to the December 18 suicide assassination attempt on her blamed on the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Fri Sep 1 07:09:07 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
·
Sri Lanka opposition denies charges on murder bid  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka to buy 350 Indian buses
India Abroad, Sept 01, 2000 19:15 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved the purchase of 350 buses from India, which are to be delivered in the next four months, transport ministry officials said. The latest batch of fully assembled buses are being ordered from Tata and Ashok Leyland, which will send 175 vehicles each. The 32-seat, single door buses will be imported at a cost of $6.2 million under an already existing line of credit given by the Indian government, the officials said. The Sri Lankan cabinet gave the green light to the purchase at its meeting on Thursday, officials said. More...
Published: Fri Sep 1 14:39:58 EDT 2000

14 airmen killed in Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Friday September 1. Fourteen airmen were killed today when the tractor they were travelling in at Vavuniya was blown up by a landmine. Seven others are reported to be seriously injured. A search and cordon operation for Tiger rebels has been launched in the Vavuniya district soon after the explosion.

The attack follows two weeks after a suicide bomber attempted to blow up yet another military convoy also at Vavuniya. Both the suicide bomber and a nine year old girl were killed in this attack.
Published: Fri Sep 1 02:39:55 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
At least eight S.Lankan airmen killed in blast  - ABC News

Lankan author held of book on Virgin Mary
The Hindustan Times, september 2. THE SRI Lankan police on Friday arrested the author of a controversial book that the island's Catholic church says insults the Virgin Mary. Local journalist Manjula Wediwardene was arrested for conspiring to subvert religious and ethnic harmony, but was later released on bail by a magistrate pending further investigation, his lawyer said. "This book is very offensive to Catholics," Bishop Malcolm Ranjith, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, said by phone. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:18:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan police arrest writer over semi-nude woman on book cover  - 123India.com

AI says human rights violations on the rise
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Friday September 1. The human rights watchdog Amnesty International in a statement issued today has maintained that human rights violations in Sri Lanka's North appear to be on the rise. According to AI, nine individuals last seen being arrested by the military in the Vavuniya district, disappeared in August this year.

AI asserts that violations of human rights rose after strict Emergency Regulations were imposed in May this year following a ferocious onslaught by Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula.
Published: Fri Sep 1 02:39:57 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
·
Amnesty slams Lanka over rising disappearances  - India Abroad
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Amnesty says disappearances on rise in Sri Lanka  - ABC News

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