The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 159

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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.
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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...
Kesara Ratnatunga, The Sunday Times, Colombo. The computer screen was their window to the rest of the world and they were having a field day. Exploring with wide-eyed wonder what lay beyond their horizons, were the grade seven and eight students of Nivaththaka Chethiya Maha Vidyalaya, Anuradhapura, the first beneficiaries of the Lanka Academic Network's (LAcNet) 'Computers for Sri Lankan Schools' project. 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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117 killed in Lanka fighting
India Abroad, Sept 11, 2000 23:20 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: At least 117 people have been killed in heavy fighting between Sri Lankan troops and the LTTE in the Jaffna peninsula and elsewhere in country's north and east, the army said here on Monday. It said the death toll for the LTTE in the renewed fighting rose to 92 after 17 rebels were killed during exchange of fire with the troops in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts on Sunday. The army offered to hand over 14 bodies to rebels, recovered from the scene of fighting in Jaffna, through the International Red Cross. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 15:14:26 EDT 2000

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Chandrika's brother escapes bid on life
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, September 12, 2000. The convoy of main opposition United National Party (UNP) leaders, including Mr. Anura and Mr. Jayasurya, was proceeding for a rally organised to drum up support for the October 10 parliamentary polls when it came under attack near Ragama, 20 km north of Colombo. Mr. Jayasurya said their convoy was attacked with AK-47 rifles and grenades, leaving four party activists, including two party co-ordinators injured. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 16:25:18 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka opposition rally bombed  -

Sri Lankan police investigate polls chief for trying to stop fraud, Sep 11 2000 19:00 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 11 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's chief elections commissioner was under police investigation for his attempts to eliminate fraud at next month's parliamentary polls, election officials said Monday. Police had raided a printing press and seized security stickers elections chief Dayananda Dissanayake had secretly ordered in a bid to prevent malpractice at polling booths, officials said."This plan was kept secret in order to prevent any unscrupulous persons from attempting to sabotage the plan," Dissanayake said in a statement. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 10:14:55 EDT 2000
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Probe ordered into anti-fraud poll stickers  - India Abroad
Lankan police probe polls chief for checking fraud  - Times of India
Inquiry ordered into anti-fraud poll stickers in Lanka  - Times of India
CID upsets secret anti-rigging plan  - Sunday Times
Threat of printing secret stickers  - PRIU

'Jayawardene attacker to enter Lanka ruling party'
Times of India, 12 September 2000 . COLOMBO: A left-wing activist accused of trying to assassinate former President Junius Jayewardene has left his Marxist group and was set to enter the right-wing ruling party, a press report here said on Monday. The Daily Mirror newspaper said Ajith Kumara, the man who allegedly lobbed a grenade in the Sri Lankan parliament, killing a minister and another in August 1987, was set to join the ruling People's Alliance. Kumara, a member of the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, was tried for murder under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, but was acquitted due to a lack of evidence, the newspaper said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 15:15:46 EDT 2000
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Would-be assassin to enter Sri Lanka ruling party: report  - 123India

Sri Lanka vote fears voiced
BBC South Asia, Monday, 11 September, 2000, 16:56 GMT 17:56 U. Sri Lanka's main opposition party has accused the government of trying to intimidate election officials and sabotage their efforts to ensure free and fair parliamentary election next month. It says the government is trying to put pressure on the Elections Commissioner, Dayanada Dissanayake, by placing him under police investigation for making a controversial decision. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 13:21:59 EDT 2000

Battle to retain family fiefdoms in the tea estates
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, September 12, 2000. NUWARA ELIYA, SEPT. 11. In the true tradition of South Asian politics, two political heirs from rival parties are fighting to retain their family fiefdoms in Sri Lanka's tea country in the coming general elections. But intra-party rebellion as well as the peculiarities of the electoral system have pitted them not so much against each other as their own party members. From his little fortress of an office in Kotagala near Hatton, a key town in this district, the leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress, Mr. S. Arumugam Thondaman, can see not only lush tea gardens on neatly terraced mountainsides, but also the ruins of a party he inherited after the death last year of his grandfather, Sauvmiyamoorthy Thondaman. The other dynastic successor in the district, Mr. Navin Dissanayake, main UNP candidate and party organiser for the district, is quite candid about his reliance on his father's memory to win this, his first election. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 16:24:02 EDT 2000

Jaffna hospital struggles to cope
BBC South Asia, Monday, 11 September, 2000, 19:42 GMT 20:42 U. A hospital director in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula says the ongoing war between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels has led to worsening conditions. In an interview with the BBC, Dr Kanagaratnam said the Jaffna training hospital - the largest in the peninsula - did not have many of the drugs and medicines required by patients. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 16:20:06 EDT 2000

At least 92 killed in Sri Lankan fighting
Yahoo, September 11. At least 92 people, including 75 LTTE rebels and 17 Sri Lankan army personnel, were killed and 54 troops injured as the army launched fresh offensive to expand its defences in the outskirts of Northern Jaffna town by pushing the rebels out of their well entrenched position. Army spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said one officer and three soldiers died in addition to the 12 announced by the army Sunday night. Also four officers and 54 other personnel were injured in the army's limited offensive on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 13:20:08 EDT 2000
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98 LTTE men die in Lanka  - The Asian Age

70 - 75 LTTE cadres killed yesterday
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.45 a.m. SLT Monday September 11. Lankan security forces launched a fresh offensive in the Jaffna Pensinsula yesterday. The offensive called 'Rivi Kirana' (meaning Sun Rise) which began last Sunday September 3, suffered massive setbacks when Lankan troops lost a huge number of fighting men. The exact figures remain conflicting but it has been confirmed that at least over 300 were killed and hundreds more injured as the rebels pushed backed armed forces who were attempting to reach the area of Chavakachcheri. The military claim the Tiger losses too were heavy last week and say the rebels lost some 230 cadre.

Yesterday's fresh onslaught by the military began at around 6.15 a.m. and ended at 10 a.m. In that time the Operational Headquarters of the Defence Ministry state that Lankan forces were able to consolidate an area of around 3 square kilometeres. The offensive began at Colombothurai and ended close to Navathkuli which the military say will seriously hinder the LTTE's supply route from Ariyalai.

According to the forces, some 70 to 75 rebels were killed in yesterday's attack. The military are reported to have lost a dozen men while according to the Defence Ministry press release 62 were injured.

Army sources said the operation yesterday was called off nearly four hours after it began due to the armed forces facing stiff resistance from the LTTE. Since Operation Rivi Kirana began on Sunday September 3, Lankan troops faced huge losses in terms of fighting strength. So much so, that Operations Commander Rohan S. Daluwatte offered to tend his resignation at the Security Council meeting chaired by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge who also serves as Defence Minister.

In the bloody offensive yesterday the Sri Lanka Air Force are reported to have straffed 4 Tiger boats at Ariyalai killing all on board.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:31 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Child injured in Tiger landmine blast – Civilians live in fear  - PRIU
Lankan troops-LTTE clashes leave 87 dead  -
75 rebels killed in fresh army offensive in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
75 rebels reported killed in fierce fighting in Jaffna  - MSNBC
92 killed in Sri Lankan fighting  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka army 'pusing forward'  - BBC South Asia
Fighting erupts in Sri Lanka to capture territory lost to Tamil rebels  - NDTV/MSNBC
Fresh fighting as Sri Lanka troops launch new push  - ABC News
Military offensive leaves 85 dead in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
New Sri Lanka battle kills 98, generals under fire  -

Sri Lankan police ban election meetings on main streets
MSNBC, 16.00 hrs (IST) on September 11, 2000. Political rallies will be banned on the main streets of Sri Lanka's capital ahead of the country's national election because of security threats, police said Monday. Political gatherings in preparation for the Oct. 10 balloting will be permitted on side streets, Deputy Inspector General of Police Bodhi Liyanage said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 09:05:34 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan Cops Ban Election Rallies  - Yahoo

Lankan MP's to be disarmed on Oct. 9
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Monday September 11. A senior Police Officer said today that all Members of Parliament will be disarmed on the eve of the October 10 General Elections. The police say that all MP's should have been relieved of their weapons when Parliament was dissolved on August 18, but that the politicos had been allowed to keep their firearms as Parliament needed to be re-convened for an extraordinary session to pass the extension of special emergency regulations.

The local MP's will also lose their police bodyguards when their weapons are taken away from them on October 9.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:34 EDT 2000

Yellow Ribbon campaign kicks off
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.50 a.m. SLT Monday September 11. A 'yellow ribbon' campaign initiated by the Peoples Alliance for Democracy will kick off today in a bid to muster the support of at least one million voters to insist on a free and fair general election in October this year.

Some 70 organizations and civil rights groups who are all part of the Alliance will begin by tying a yellow ribbon around the wrists of political party leaders while thousands more are expected to wear or sport a yellow ribbon on their person, vehicle and homes in a bid to ensure a free and fair poll on October 10.

Following an increase in election related violence which has already claimed the lives of at least 5 persons and left many others injured, the Peoples Alliance for Democracy is determined to use the yellow ribbon campaign to sway and counter a rising tide of violence and election rigging which many citizens of the strife torn island have come to accept as part and parcel of any election.
Published: Mon Sep 11 04:17:33 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
S.Lanka activists launch drive for free, peaceful polls  - ABC News
AD launches first countrywide Yellow Ribbon Campaign  - PRIU
Yellow band campaign for fair polls in Lanka  - Times of India
Lankans want free and fair polls  - India Abroad
Yellow ribbon campaign for free and fair polls  - The Hindu NUS

S.Lanka rebels attack in east after push in north
ABC News, 09/11/2000 02:56:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Tamil Tiger rebels launched attacks in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday as government troops consolidated their positions in recaptured territory in the Jaffna peninsula in the north. Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said eight members of the security forces were killed and 11 wounded in clashes with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the eastern Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 06:53:04 EDT 2000

Lankan army-air force offensive leaves 87 dead, Monday,September11,2000. COLOMBO: Eighty-seven people, including 12 soldiers, were killed and many others injured in a Sri Lankan offensive on Sunday which aimed to ensure safety of the Jaffna town ahead of the parliamentary elections, military said. Three square kilometres were brought under a new defence line closer to Navathkul, near Jaffna, during a three-hour security operation that began at 6.15 AM local time on Sunday , military spokesman Birg. S G Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 07:00:18 EDT 2000

Tamil Tigers escalate attacks in Sri Lanka, Sep 11 2000 09:54 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 11 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels escalated attacks against troops in northeastern Sri Lanka as the army launched a fresh offensive in the north, leaving dozens dead, officials said Monday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out three attacks in the northeastern district of Trincomalee overnight, killing seven security personnel, officials said. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 01:15:15 EDT 2000

Army renews attacks on Tigers
BBC , september 11. The Sri Lankan army has been launching more intensive air and artillery bombardments against Tamil Tiger positions in the northern Jaffna Peninsula. Helicopter gunships flew low over Jaffna town throughout Sunday as they fired missiles at rebel positions.While there is little concrete information as to exactly how much ground the army has retaken from the rebels, aid agencies say that it appears they are now on the defensive and fighting a rearguard action. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 01:00:49 EDT 2000

Strike stops work in Sri Lanka tea plantations
Virtual New York, Monday, 11 September 2000 9:27 (ET). Hundreds of thousands of workers Monday went on strike paralyzing work in hundreds of sprawling tea estates in Sri Lanka. According to reports reaching the capital nearly a million workers stayed away from work demanding a hike of Rs 500 (U.S. $ 6.40) a month. The Ceylon Workers' Congress, the trade union representing a large section of plantation workers, has threatened that the strike would continue until the plantation companies and the government agreed to pay the devaluation allowance demanded by the workers. More...
Published: Mon Sep 11 10:18:07 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka's estate workers strike over pay  - Altavista

LTTE kills two ruling party candidates
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 10. Two Tamil candidates of the ruling Peoples' Alliance in Batticaloa district, Sezhian Perinbanayagam and Manoharan Pillai, were shot dead allegedly by the LTTE in Pandiruppu on the Battcaloa-Kalmunai border today, a report from Batticaloa said. Perinbanayagam was a former mayor of Batticaloa town and Pillai was the PA organiser for Batticaloa district. They were out campaigning this morning when a two-wheeler borne LTTE pistol group shot them dead at point blank. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 18:06:45 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka candidate shot dead  - The Asian Age
Candidate assassinated in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
Sri Lanka government candidate, supporter shot dead  - India Abroad
Ruling party candidate killed in Sri Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Violence governs Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections, two politicians shot dead  - NDTV/MSNBC
Two PA supporters killed in Sri Lanka  - The Hindu NUS
Ruling party candidate killed in eastern Sri Lanka  - ABC News
Candidate gunned down in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
Lanka ruling party candidate shot dead  - India Abroad
Candidate gunned down in Sri Lanka's blood-stained election run-up  -

Lanka goes hi-tech for polls; ex-mayor killed
Times of India, 11 September 2000 . COLOMBO: E-mail has become the latest mode of campaigning for the October 10 elections in Sri Lanka with several cabinet ministers and senior party leaders sending E-mails to voters in order to woo them. Although the E-mail facility is available mostly to the wealthier classes, political parties are fast using this facility in their campaigns. Ministers G P Peiris, Mangala Samaraweera and Kingsley T Wickremaratne are just a few who are using E-mail at present while many more candidates are likely to follow the practice. People's Alliance media campaign chief Sripathi Sooriyachi said ``it is a very effective method and the cost has to be borne by the candidate. However, it is mainly used in Colombo.'' UNP spokesperson Karunasena Kodithuwakku said that using E-mail is effective for candidates with a professional background. ``We used fax and telephone during the last presidential election. This is a new method and very effective,'' he said. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 16:19:28 EDT 2000
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Nearly fifty foreign monitors due to arrive next week  - PRIU

Sri Lanka Army launches second operation against rebels
Virtual New York, Sunday Sep. 10, 09:43:12. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Sept 10 (UPI) - The Sri Lankan armed forces Sunday launched massive operation in the northern Jaffna peninsula to flush out separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas ahead of parliamentary elections in the country. The operation, second in the past eight days, began early Sunday with troops moving out of the defenses southeast of Jaffna town attacking rebel positions with multi-barrel rocket launchers and heavy artillery. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 09:50:46 EDT 2000
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Army launches fresh offensive against LTTE  - The Hindu NUS

Generals under fire in Sri Lanka over bloodbath offensive
Yahoo, Sunday Sep 10, 09:19:20. COLOMBO, Sept 10 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's military commanders have come under severe criticism for their latest anti-rebel drive that cost the lives of 360, but with little military gain, officials said Sunday. The political leadership raised questions about responsibility for the debacle last week when thousands of government troops tried to recapture territory from Tamil Tiger rebels but were stopped by intense resistance. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 09:25:59 EDT 2000
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Lankan generals under fire over failed offensive  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka's top general offers to step down  - Virtual New York

Executive presidency may go as Sri Lanka parties vow reforms, Sep 10 2000 09:50 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 10 (AFP) - Whatever the outcome of Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections next month, the all-powerful executive presidency may give way to a prime ministerial system, analysts say. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) has vowed to scrap the executive presidency and adopt a new constitution within two months if it wins a second six-year term in the October 10 poll. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says Kumaratunga will have to learn to live with an opposition-led parliament which will restore the supremacy of the legislature using existing constitutional provisions."From the 11th of October, we will ensure that Chandrika will only be a nominal president," Wickremesinghe said, referring to the October 10 elections. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 12:39:27 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Executive presidency may go as Sri Lanka parties vow reforms  - Yahoo

Lanka Army chief offers to step down
The Asian Age, September 10 . Sri Lankan soldiers carry out a search operation in the Jaffna peninsula, which saw the fiercest fighting earlier.(AP) For the second time in a week, Sri Lankan Army has launched a fresh offensive in the outskirts of Jaffna town to push back the LTTE rebels, even as reports said that chief of defence staff Lt. Gen. Rohan Daluwatte has offered to resign owning responsibility for the last week’s aborted operation in which 125 soldiers were killed and over 800 injured. Army spokesman Brig. Sarath Karunaratne told reporters here on Sunday that the Army has launched a new limited operations at Navatkuli in the outskirts of Jaffna on Sunday to consolidate its defences. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 21:52:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan general offers to quit for military fiasco  - India Abroad
Gen. Daluwatte offers to quit: media report  - The Hindu NUS

EU prepares for Sri Lanka poll monitoring bid
123India, Sunday Sep.10, 09:29:10. COLOMBO, Sept 10 (AFP) - The European Union (EU) was finalising plans to send an independent mission to monitor the October parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, diplomats here said Sunday. The 15-member European grouping was already carrying out technical work to assemble a team of 88 monitors to observer the October 10 parliamentary elections at the invitation of Sri Lankan authorities, the diplomats said. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 09:38:39 EDT 2000

Lankan MPs to be disarmed on poll eve
India Abroad, Sept 10, 2000 19:25 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Both government and opposition legislators are to be disarmed on the eve of the October 10 parliamentary polls, a senior police official said. Under the election laws, Members of Parliament (MPs) should have returned the arms issued by the government soon after the House was dissolved. Their police bodyguards were also to be withdrawn. But this was not done as Parliament has to be summoned again before October 10 for an extraordinary session to approve the extension of the state of emergency by another month and this gave the MPs the right to retain their weapons. Consequently, the MPs will practically campaign armed to the teeth and along with their police bodyguards. Each MP is assigned four police guards. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 12:49:01 EDT 2000

'LTTE needs to be challenged politically', 10th Sept 2000 13.05 IST . The Sri Lankan government needs to pose a political challenge to the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Elam (LTTE) rather than seek a military solution to its nagging ethnic strife and Colombo's initiatives on this leave much to be desired, says a latest book. One positive outcome of the recent crisis is the insistence by the international community, underlined by New Delhi, that the island nation must forge a political consensus on devolution of political power to the Tamil-dominated region, says Apratim Mukarji in his book ''The War in Sri Lanka: Unending Conflict''. He laments India's inadequate, belated and disappointing response is leaving an impression that domestic politics had replaced security concerns and national interests as prime determinants in formulating foreign policy.It showed that India's foreign policy formulations are yet to strike a balance between its strategic and foreign policy requirements and the compulsions of domestic politics linked to the very survival of the NDA government, the author says. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 12:43:44 EDT 2000

Lanka to seek fishermen’s release
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 9. WITH PARLIAMENTARY elections due on October 10, the ruling Peoples' Alliance has woken up to the question of 134 Sri Lankan fishermen languishing in Indian jails for a year or more. A high-level delegation, led by a Cabinet minister and two deputy ministers, is to leave for India on Sept.12 to persuade New Delhi to release the fishermen. Minister for Plan Implementation Jayaraj Fernandopulle said here on Saturday that apart from him, the delegation would include Deputy Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Deputy Minister Milroy S. Fernando and director general of fisheries K.Nagodavithana. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 12:51:30 EDT 2000

Lanka censorship ease welcomed
The Asian Age, Colombo, Sept. 9 . 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. A copy of the letter was made available in Colombo. More...
Published: Sun Sep 10 12:58:23 EDT 2000

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