The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 152

Urgent Anouncement

LAcNet server came under an attack by an intruder once again. As a result, our server was down since late Friday Sept. 1 through Sunday Sept. 3, Eastern Standard Time, USA. As you may know, our sever is maintained by LAcNet volunteers who have normal day jobs. As a result, we realize that we are not equipped to handle such emergencies in a timely manner in bringing you uninterrupted service. We are exploring all avenues to determine how to avoid similar situations in the future to bring you Sri Lanka news continuously without interruption.

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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.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
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(The proposed new constitution)
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Where is MIR today?
Chulie Kirtisinghe de Silva, LAcNet. This story relates the realization of a dream of a dedicated virtual community of globally dispersed volunteer Sri Lankan academics, who mobilized Sri Lankan Diaspora for funding; and then formed horizontal partnerships with local and international agencies to set up a computer center in rural Sri Lanka. It also relates the metamorphosis of an out of work teacher to be the Digital Ambassador for Sri Lanka through training and empowerment. It is the story of two communities coming together; one virtual in cyberspace, the other a land based poor rural community; one the haves, and the other the have nots; - the empowered, empowering and bridging the digital divide. 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'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

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Sri Lankan journalist seeks asylum
NewIndPress, sepember 3. Keerthi Kalamegam, a Sri Lankan journalist, has sought political asylum in India. He got into trouble after publishing a book `Good-bye Chandrika'. Now he has been forced to say `good-bye' to his own country. Keerthi was with Lake House, which publishes `Sunday Observer.' But he lost his job after he wrote an article on the Lake House's involvement in Lalit Athulatmudali's killing.Interestingly, Chandrika, then Chief Minister of the Western Province of Sri Lanka, wrote to Bar Council President D W Abeykon that Keerthi was well known to her. She also wrote that he lost his job under wholly unjust circumstances and suggested that he was a good case for a Fundamental Rights Application. More...
Published: Sun Sep 3 01:24:25 EDT 2000

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
Sinhalese party to contest from Jaffna  - The Asian Age

Gandhi's would-be assassin becomes legislator-hopeful, 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

Media calls for lifting press censorship
India Abroad, Sept 02, 2000 18:40 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: A New York-based media group has called on the Sri Lankan government to lift press censorship in view of the October ten Parliamentary elections. With the Parliamentary elections less than six weeks away, it is imperative that all journalists in Sri Lanka are free to comment without fear of reprisal on issues of national importance, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a communique to President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The CPJ said it was dismayed that despite earlier assurances by the Media Minister that press restrictions would be lifted by mid-August well in advance of the elections, they were still in force. More...
Published: Sat Sep 2 13:15:04 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Five Sri Lankan papers are warned by sensorship authorities.  - CPJ

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

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

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