The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 156

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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 24th, 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...
 The Lanka Academic News stories are provided by independent correspondents. Views expressed are not necessarily those of LAcNet. Updates are triggered by events, 24hrs a day. Funding is provided by LAcNet. Redistribution is strictly prohibited. To ensure our continued existence, please support LAcNet.
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'LTTE plans to kill top leaders ahead of polls'
Times of India (Breaking News), 8 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan police has revealed that LTTE operatives had visited residences of some cabinet ministers and politicians in the recent past and warned them of possible attempts on their lives during the run-up to the October 10 parliamentary elections. Inspector general of police Lucky Kodituwakku and other senior police officials met the ministers recently and informed about the threat to their lives. He told the ministers that according to available intelligence information, LTTE operatives had visited residences of several key ministers in the past few months as part of their efforts to gather information on VIPs. A top minister was informed of at least three attemps to assassinate him. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 08:56:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Security beefed up for new S.Lankan prime minister  - ABC News
Sri Lanka prepares massive election security net  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka Police Uncover Plot To Assassinate Ministers  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka rebels said plotting election attacks  - Altavista
IGP says LTTE operatives visit ministers homes  - Island

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.
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No love lost between Jaffna people, LTTE: Rights body
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 8. THE CLAIM of the LTTE and the Tamil diaspora that people of the Jaffna peninsula want the LTTE back in their midst is unfounded, says the latest report of the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna). Referring to the April-May period this year when the LTTE made a determined bid to take Jaffna, the UTHR(J) report says the Tigers were "shocked" to find that the people, who ought to have been "grateful" for being "liberated," were using every available means or trick in the book to run away from them.To push people out, the LTTE had to adopt stratagems like provoking the Army to shell refugee shelters by themselves firing mortars from these shelters. The incident in Nunavil's Kollankirai Ganesh temple is a point. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 15:15:32 EDT 2000

Chandrika under fire for nominating Perumal
Times of India, 9 September 2000 . Sri Lanka's main opposition has slammed President Chandrika Kumaratunga for nominating a Tamil politician, who once threatened to declare a separate state for Tamils, as a candidate of her ruling People's Alliance (PA) for the coming parliamentary polls.Flaying Kumaratunga's move, Anura Bandaranaike said, "My father (assassinated Sri Lankan prime minister Solomon Dias Bandaranaike) will turn in his grave at the inclusion of Varadarajaperumal in the PA national list". More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 15:20:52 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government partially withdraws media censorship
ABC News, 09/08/2000 09:49:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka"s government temporarily withdrew parts of its tough censorship regulations Friday but retained a media ban on reporting military operations, a government spokesman said. Until the Oct. 10 parliamentary elections, journalists will not be subject to restrictions on stories related to "national security and public interest" if they are not linked to military operations, said chief government spokesman and censor Ariya Rubasinghe. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 13:05:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka eases censorship  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka President slaps emergency ahead of polls  -
S.Lankan parliament recalled to approve emergency  - MSNBC
President summons dissolved Sri Lankan parliament  - Virtual New York
President extends nationwide Emergency  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Kumaratunga extends Emergency, reconvenes House  - Times of India
Sri Lanka extends Emergency, Parliament reconvened  - The Hindu NUS
Lanka emergency extended ahead of polls  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka emergency extended  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka lifts ban on meetings, eases censorship amid polls campaign  - Yhoo

LTTE, government have exchanged 2,112 bodies
The Asian Age, Colombo, Sept. 8 . A total of 2,112 bodies of combatants, both of the Army and the LTTE, have been transferred by delegates of the International Committee of Red Cross in the north-east region since 1995. ICRC spokesperson Harsh Gunarawardene said with the Wednesday’s transfer of 36 bodies of LTTE cadre killed in action early this week in Colobuthurai, a total of 753 bodies have been returned to the LTTE. He said 180 bodies were transferred in 1995,68 in 1996, 149 in 1997, 142 in 1999 and 82 this year. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 23:17:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Marxists promise blow to astrologers, boost for cricket, Sep 08 2000 10:58 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Marxists who staged two unsuccessful armed rebellions against the state are contesting next month's elections with a promise that augurs ill for the country's much consulted astrologers. The JVP, or People's Liberation Front, said it would ensure future polling dates were pre-determined as in the US. This would take away work from astrologers who decide auspicious times to hold elections.The party is also promising to a cricket revolution by setting up an international academy to train young players. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 02:36:08 EDT 2000

Concern over Jaffna refugees
BBC South Asia, Friday, 8 September, 2000, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK. Concern is growing over the plight of about 10,000 internally displaced people in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula. They have been forced to live in camps to escape heavy fighting earlier this year between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels. Aid agencies in the Jaffna peninsula say that roughly one fifth of the population of around half a million is internally displaced. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 11:14:46 EDT 2000

Monk opposes Sri Lankan gay bash
Bandula Jayasekera in Sri Lanka, 6.45 a.m SLT September 8. A respected Buddhist monk expressed his unhappiness on the bash organised by few Sri Lankan gays today at a resort hotel in Colombo. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thero said "It is a shame that the authorites are turning a blind eye and allowing this type of activities to take place in a Buddhist country like ours." He said that it must be stopped and that he is deeply saddened by the whole issue. Sobitha thero also alleged that the new constitution proposed by the ruling Peoples Alliance government too had shown leniency to the gays of the island.

According to the laws of the country, gay activities are illegal and a person could be jailed for 12 years if found gulity. An organisation founded by a former catholic brother is now trying to fight for the rights of the gays in Sri Lanka. The big bash planned today is to celebrate the organisations fifth anniverssary.

It is said that the gay organisation has invited the Colombo based diplomats to attend its function today. A spokesman for one Western diplomatic mission said that they will not attend the gay celebrations and a high commissioner of a neigbouring country said " This is very insensitive. What will the world think of Sri Lanka when gay bashes are held at a time like this? It is not your biggest problem" Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Mount-Lavinia hotel said that the gay bash will not be held in their hotel. She said that it had been alleged that the bash is to be held at the Mount-Lavinia hotel and the hotel has no such knowledge.
Published: Thu Sep 7 21:36:49 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Lankan activists push for legalising homosexuality  - The Asian Age
Sri Lankan activists push gay rights, dowry change  - MSNBC

Increased violence marks the run-up to October 10 poll in Sri Lanka
NDTV/MSNBC, 8 September 2000 . Violence is increasing in Sri Lanka in the run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10. An independent watchdog group, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, said that it has recorded 103 violent incidents in the past one month, including four murders, assaults, threats and intimidation. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 09:41:36 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Abducted poll candidate assaulted  - The Hindu NUS

Sri Lanka troops, Tigers trade fire, toll hits 15, Sep 08 2000 18:01 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 8 (AFP) - Government forces traded fire with Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka killing at least 14 guerrillas, the government said Friday. Troops ambushed groups of rebels from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Thursday in the Jaffna peninsula killing 11 of them while another three were killed elsewhere in the north, the government said. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 09:25:19 EDT 2000

Siblings swipe at each other in run-up to Lankan polls, 08th Sept 2000 13.33 IST . At a time when Sri Lanka is gearing up for the October ten Parliamentary polls, family relations and influences are conveniently used for political mileage and it is so even in Bandaranaika family. Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, the estranged brother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, contesting on the main opposition UNP ticket in the Parliamentary elections, has slammed his sister for including former Northeast Chief Minister Varatharaja Perumal in the ruling Peoples Alliance's national List candidate. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 08:55:39 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Telecom frets about its poles
ABC , Friday Sep 08, 08:04:20. COLOMBO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka Telecom on Friday appealed to political parties contesting October"s general elections to stop putting up propaganda material on telephone poles as it was interfering with the distribution network. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 08:10:34 EDT 2000

Kumaratunga urges Lankan scribes to learn from India
India Abroad, Sept 07, 2000 16:45 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has taken local journalists to task for not having "a backbone" and urged them to emulate the Indian media, which she said had a "high standard of media morality". "What we lack very much in this country today are media persons with a backbone who can stand up to what is right and wrong and not heed every order of their bosses whether they be in the state media or private media," the state-owned Daily News quoted her as saying. Kumaratunga's remarks to a small group of journalists at what the newspaper called an annual, friendly get-together with private and state media personnel came two days after a newspaper editor was sentenced to a two-year jail term for having defamed her. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 12:05:55 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Journalist(s) killed in SRI LANKA  - Newseum
Sri Lanka lacks journalists with backbone: president  -
Kumaratunga defends suing journalist  - The Hindu NUS

Jaffna limps back to life
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 7 September, 2000, 13:28 GMT 14:28 . An uneasy calm has descended on the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka after the recent heavy fighting. Hundreds of Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in two days of fighting this week. Evidence of the election campaign, which is currently gripping the capital, Colombo, isn't to be found here. People on the streets say they are more worried about important things, such as securing enough food for their families and ensuring that the education of their children is interrupted as little as possible. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 10:19:48 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka: The Political Logic of Violence
NZZ Online, september. Even Sinhalese admit that 46-years-old Tiger leader Prabhakaran, who comes from a lower caste of fishermen and lives somewhere in the jungles of Vanni, is almost frighteningly clever in his conduct of the war. Coupled with the iron discipline and high level of loyalty among his fighters, who include many young women, this explains the LTTE's astonishing successes in the field. The Tigers are also abetted by the fact that Colombo often enough conducts the war in the north more in accord with election-campaign politics than military considerations and has not shown a particularly skillful hand in its past appointments to command positions. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 22:39:42 EDT 2000

National Christian Council calls for free and fair polls
AsiaGateway, Friday Sep 08, 08:12:30. Amidst rising general election related violence, the National Christian Council [NCC] yesterday told the government that the independence of the Elections Commissioner, Police and the Judiciary is fundamental for a free and fair election. Police headquarters said that approximately 75 election related incidents including four killings had been reported so far. More...
Published: Fri Sep 8 08:19:15 EDT 2000

Poll violence continues in Lanka
Times of India, 8 September 2000 . COLOMBO: A candidate for the October 10 parliamentary elections was abducted on Tuesday night outside a private hospital.His daughter informed the police that her mother, father and the sister went to a dispensary at Kalutara, some 40 km south of Colombo. While the mother and sister were seated inside the dispensary, her father had gone to the verandah. ``Then suddenly there was a black out due to electricity failure. After some time my father was missing,'' she said. Bystanders at the scene told them that they had seen a man ``being pushed into a van and taken away,'' local media reported, quoting police. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 17:06:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Poll candidate in Lanka abducted  - The Asian Age
Poll candidate kidnapped in Lanka  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka police chief cancels leave, falls ill, Sep 07 2000 20:04 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's police chief Lucky Kodituwakku Thursday cancelled leave for all police officers ahead of the October 10 polls, but didn't count on falling ill himself, officials said. Kodituwakku told the ranks that they would not be allowed to take leave in the run up to the elections amid fears of more poll-related violence.Police officials said shortly after issuing the circular banning leave, Kodituwakku fell ill and was admitted to hospital. He was suspected to be suffering from hepatitis. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 12:39:52 EDT 2000

We’ve got the key ground, claims Army
Hindustan Times, september 7. IN THE most recent offensive in the north, the Sri Lankan armed forces had secured a "key ground" east of Jaffna town from the LTTE and made the town safer than it was last week, the military spokesman, Brig Sanath Karunaratne, told The Hindustan Times here today. According to the Army, 230 LTTE cadres, including some Majors and Lt-Colonels were killed. The Army itself lost 109 men, including eight officers.However, according to Iqbal Athas, of Jane's Defence, the Army lost 200 men and 800 were wounded,600 of them seriously. As all this happened in just eight hours, the operation was one of the costliest in Sri Lankan military history. "The Army had again under-estimated the enemy due to poor intelligence inputs," Mr Athas told The Hindustan Times. Critics, like Mr Athas, do not grant an advance of more than half or one km on the ground. In the political circles, the operations were quickly seen as a political stunt to create a favourable impression among the voters in the run-up to the October 10 parliamentary elections. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 20:07:00 EDT 2000

More mortar battles, airstrikes in S.Lankan north
ABC News, 09/07/2000 09:03:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged mortar and artillery fire on the northern Jaffna peninsula on Thursday as the airforce attacked guerrilla positions for a second straight day. "These exchanges in Jaffna are continuing and will continue at least until we have consolidated our positions," a senior military official told Reuters. He said troops were securing territory captured in a brief offensive earlier this week which sparked the fiercest fighting on the peninsula since a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) offensive to re-capture the area appeared to run out of steam three months ago. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 12:44:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka troops, Tigers escalate attacks in Jaffna  -
Tigers escalate mortar attacks in Jaffna  -

Buddhist prelates to play key role in elections
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.20 p.m. SLT Thursday September 7. Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist Clergy are to play a prominent role in the forthcoming elections and will serve as polls monitors in key electorates. Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake agreed to the strange request made by the monks three weeks ago after the monks explained that it is imperative Sri Lanka witness a free and fair election on October 10.

Leading Buddhist prelates who met early this week at a Convention have also decided to seek an apology from President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge for disparaging remarks made by Minister S. B. Dissanayake, who soon after the draft constitution was thrown out of Parliament last month, allegedly said, that discussing the new constitutional proposals was beyond the purview of the Buddhist monks.

The prelates maintain that if the President could have apologized to Minister A. H. M. Ashraff for remarks made by yet another fellow Minister, then the Head of State should make a public apology to the monks for the remarks made by Minister S. B. Dissanayake.
Published: Thu Sep 7 04:35:26 EDT 2000

Poll campaign hotting up in Jaffna
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on September 7, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 7. (UNI): Election campaign is hotting up despite the escalated fighting between security forces and the LTTE in Jaffna. President Kumaratunga today summoned a special sitting of the Sri Lankan Parliament on September 14 to extend the state of emergency in force since 1995 in the ethnic violence-scarred island nation. Meanwhile, security cover around Ratnisiri Wickremenayake has been intensified with his elevation as Prime Minister, it being reported that he is one of the top targets on the LTTE's hitlist. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 19:23:58 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Another Tamil candidate pulls out of polls in Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka arrests illegal Indian porters, Sep 07 2000 19:50 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's immigration authorities Thursday arrested five Indian men who had entered the island on tourist visas and were working illegally as porters in the capital Colombo, officials said. The five were arrested at Colombo's wholesale market of Pettah where they were employed as porters, officials said adding that they were aware of up to 400 Indians who were illegally employed in the area. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 11:47:22 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka dead handed over
Yahoo, September 7. The Sri Lankan Government has handed over to the Red Cross the bodies of 36 Tamil Tiger separatists killed in two days of heavy fighting in the northern Jaffna peninsula. "We have taken 36 bodies today to be given over to the LTTE (Tamil Tigers)," Red Cross spokesman Harsha Gunawardena said. More...
Published: Thu Sep 7 06:27:44 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
110 LTTE cadres killed, army hands over bodies  - Deccan Herald
Armed forces launch fresh attacks on LTTE strongholds  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

344 killed 2000)
Yahooo, 5 September 2000. 344 killed and 1100 injured in fierce fighting in Lanka-Video. More... [Listen]
Published: Thu Sep 7 22:37:30 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan jets destroy rebel sea base  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Lanka's MiG-27s destroy rebel sea base  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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