The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 157

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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)
Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
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Satellite pix (infrared)
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...
Bob Murray, University of Liverpool, UK. Increasing world population combined with enhanced living standards across the globe will raise energy demands by about a factor of three over the next 50 years. This can only be acceptable in environmental terms if at least half of it is supplied by clean renewable energy sources says Dharme (Dr.I M Dharmadasa) who recently presented the annual International Lecture - 2000 at Sheffield Hallam University. 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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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Record number of poll aspirants in Jaffna despite LTTE threat, Sunday,September10,2000. COLOMBO: Despite artillery shells and tracer fire lighting up the Jaffna skyline at night in the war like situation over the northern peninsula,political activity is picking up ahead of the October 10 elections,reports UNI. Fourteen political parties and six independent groups have put up a record number of 240 candidates for Tamil dominated Jaffna district 's nine parliamentary constituencies. Not a single supporter of the political parties and independent groups contesting the election was present at the premises of the Jaffna secretariat at the time of filing nominations for the elections which are being boycotted by the Liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 17:43:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Despite war, Jaffna has 240 poll candidates  - The Asian Age

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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Sri Lankan Youngsters See Death
Guardian, UK, Saturday, 09 September. Overlooking vast tea gardens and flower farms, a tin-roofed building on a small hill echoes with the laughter of boys playing an unusual game of charades. One gestures as if plowing a rice field. Another playmate hazards a guess: ``He is digging a mass grave.'' ``No,'' says another. ``He is bayoneting a half-dead soldier,'' The boys are former Tamil Tiger child soldiers who have either surrendered or been captured in the civil war that has savaged parts of Sri Lanka for 17 years. To an Associated Press reporter and photographer who were allowed by the Sri Lankan military to visit the rehabilitation camp, the youngsters tell of being lured into action by videos depicting Tamil heroism, of planting mines and of going on reconnaissance missions. One boy speaks of missing his mother's cooking. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 13:08:31 EDT 2000

Left with little choice
Deccan Herald, september 9. Gone are the days when politicians were devoted to their parties, their party leadership and the country. They were, in the past loyal to their parties under any circumstances but todays politics is all about opportunism and political somersaults have become the common thing. In other words political pole-vaulters are the great achievers. They cross over for any thing beginning from money to vehicles and houses. That is the fate of todays politics in Sri Lanka.Most Sri Lankans have already decided to spoil their votes. They do not have any confidence in either the ruling PA or the UNP. But there isnt another strong political force for the people to consider as an alternative. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 12:45:24 EDT 2000

Army chief predicts Jaffna fighting
BBC, september 9. The army officer in charge of Sri Lankan troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula, Major-General Anton Wijendra, says a major offensive earlier this week against Tamil Tiger rebels was successful. But he said he would have preferred to have made greater territorial gains, and predicted that more heavy fighting could be in the offing.General Wijendra said the army had sustained more than 100 casualties, with more than 250 troops injured. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 13:01:12 EDT 2000

Media group welcomes easing of censorship in Lanka
Times of India, 10 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The committee to protect censorship, a US-based media watchdog group, on Saturday welcomed Sri Lankan government's decision to ease censorship restrictions, but expressed regret that Tamil separatist war-related news was still under censorship rules. "We do not think that censorship is ever an appropriate means to handle a national crisis, but we are particularly concerned about the implications of having a censored press during the run-up to the October 10 parliamentary elections," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 22:33:51 EDT 2000

Susantika dropped from Lanka relay team
Times of India (Breaking News), 9 September 2000 . COLOMBO: A woman sprinter who became embroiled in controversy over alleged sexual advances and other harassment by powerful politicians, has been dropped from Sri Lanka's 4 x 100 metre relay team for the Sydney Games, news reports said Saturday. Susantika Jayasinghe, a 200-meter silver medalist at the World Track Championships in Athens, was dropped because she "evaded baton-changing practice with the national team," The Island newspaper reported. Jayasinghe also did not accompany the Sri Lankan team to Sydney. Instead flew to Tokyo, saying she needed to see a physician before going on to Sydney. Jayasinghe was not reachable for comment, but the Island paper said officials were upset with her even before the Sydney Games have started. The paper did not elaborate. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 17:39:35 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Jayasinghe and Thompson enjoy double sprint victories  - yahoo
Susantika dropped from Lanka relay team  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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

'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
LTTE threatens to kill poll candidates  - The Hindu
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

Hardliner group to woo Jaffna's displaced Sinhalas
India Abroad, September 09, 2000 15:25 Hrs(IST) . Colombo: A Sinhalese hardliner group, which raised eyebrows by fielding candidates in the Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula for the October parliamentary polls, says it is wooing thousands of displaced Sinhalese who once lived there. The Sihala Urumaya (SU), or Sinhala Heritage, which has a bow and arrow as its election symbol, is setting its sights on the votes of several thousands of majority community Sinhalese who were driven out of the peninsula in the early eighties, a party spokesman said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:23:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Poll aspirants unfazed by LTTE threat  - The Hindu NUS
Election campaign hotting up in Jaffna  -

Gopalan Trophy tournament advanced by two days
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on September 9, 2000. Chennai, Sept. 9. (PTI): The Gopalan trophy cricket tournament between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, revived after 17 years and scheduled for September 22, has been advanced by two days. This to enable the six Tamil Nadu probables, who are among the 23 players for the ICC's Nairobi tournament, to play in the match in Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 13:38:03 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan government launches a major military offensive to boost its electoral prospects - News Analysis
World Socialist Web Site, september 9. In a calculated attempt to bolster her government's prospects in Sri Lanka's general election next month, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, also the country's defence minister, launched a large-scale army offensive last weekend aimed at taking back areas of the Jaffna peninsula captured by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in April and May. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 22:54:33 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
Lanka relaxes censorship for polls  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka eases censorship  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka lifts ban on meetings, eases censorship amid polls campaign  - Yhoo

Lanka counts 360 dead from heavy fighting
India Abroad, September 05, 2000 14:20 Hrs(IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka on Tuesday counted the dead after two days of fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern Jaffna peninsula left at least 360 combatants dead. The military said it had lost some 132 soldiers, including eight officers, in the massive air and land offensive launched against rebel strongholds on Sunday while 766 had been wounded. The pirate rebel radio station, the Voice of Tigers (VOT), announced on Tuesday that guerrillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had killed over 100 soldiers and claimed they had 50 bodies in their possession. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:21:15 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE, government have exchanged 2,112 bodies  - The Asian Age

Sri Lanka Withdraws Censorship
Yahoo, September 10. 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: Sat Sep 9 11:05:30 EDT 2000

Environmentalists warn of imbalance in Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, Saturday, 9 September 2000 6:02 (ET). Environmentalists in Sri Lanka have cautioned political parties that the election campaign could lead to serious ecological imbalance in the country. According to ecologists, the political parties have begun using material that is not biodegradable for propaganda purposes. These would add to existing non-biodegradable substances already in circulation in the country. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:03:35 EDT 2000

S.Lanka Tamil party says disarm rivals for polls
ABC News, 09/09/2000 02:34:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s main moderate Tamil party demanded on Saturday the government disarm rival minority parties saying it could not contest next month"s general election in the face of armed opposition. "We do not carry arms and therefore cannot take part in an election in which our opponents are armed," Mavai Senathirajah, parliamentarian of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), told Reuters. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:02:47 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka gays mark five years of protest in drag, Sep 09 2000 13:59 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 9 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's hidden gay community paraded in a fashion show and danced till dawn Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the founding of the country's leading gay rights group. Gays from Companions on a Journey were invited to "strut your stuff in drag ... move to the beat in friendly rivalry ... be there or be oblong." More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:27:40 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

Abducted Lankan poll candidate found with injuries
Deccan Herald, COLOMBO, Sept 8 (UNI). The abducted candidate of the Left and Democratic alliance K G Jayantha was found early on Thursday with injuries on his body and is now being treated at a hospital, police said. Mr Jayantha said he was allegedly assaulted and abducted by a gang near the Horana hospital where he had gone with his family on Tuesday night. He said he was held and threatened by the gang who told him to withdraw his nomination for the general election. More...
Published: Sat Sep 9 11:06:47 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Abducted poll candidate assaulted  - The Hindu NUS

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

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

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

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