The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 161

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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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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...
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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Colombo going yellow today
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.10 a.m September 14. The campaign to tie one million yellow ribbons towards a free and fair election will begin in Colombo today. The campaign is organized by the Alliance for Democracy. Members of the Alliance will first tie yellow ribbons on their colleagues and then take positions at all main junctions in Colombo. The Alliance will also hold a peaceful demonstration near the Fort railway station and the Pettah bus stand in the morning to create awareness among the general public about the present situation in the country .

Election related violence are on the increase in Sri Lanka. The Alliance for Democracy is a non political movement and their sole objective is to promote a violence -free election.

The Police election secretariat had received 190 complains about election -related incidents upto yesterday.
Published: Wed Sep 13 22:32:31 EDT 2000

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Mob surrounds Elections Commissioners house
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.20 a.m. SLT Wednesday September 13. For the first time in Sri Lanka's political history the Commissioner for Elections has come under fire and is the victim of organized thuggery and victimization. In an explosive turn of events, since it was discovered that Mr. Dayananda Dissanayake, was attempting to hold a free and fair election by inserting stickers on polling cards without the knowledge of political parties, events took a turn for the worse when on Tuesday September 12, a mob of around 150 persons surrounded the residence of Mr. Dissanayake at Talawatugoda and refused to allow him to leave his house.

The mob strangely enough fell in line with government thinking and demanded the resignation of the Polls Commissioner for secretly printing election security stickers.

At loggerheads with the Government for privately printing the stickers, the polls chief has locked horns with his namesake S. B. Dissanayake, who as General Secretary for the SLFP and a powerful minister in Kumaratunge's cabinet has openly criticized the Commissioner for his actions. S. B. Dissanayake has insinuated that Dayananda Dissanayake should resign from his post. The trouble-shooting Minister has stopped short of calling for the Commissioner to be removed, which can only take place by a Parliamentary vote.

The Inspector General of Police, Lucky Kodittuwakku has ordered tight security measures for the polls chief following reports of the Commissioner having received telephone threats and unidentified men have been spotted roaming around his residence.

Meanwhile almost all other political parties in the fray for the October 10 polls, have in a statement, declared solidarity and support for the Elections Commissioner who they say is being unfairly castigated by the Government.
Published: Wed Sep 13 09:36:42 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Polls chief becomes Lanka's blue-eyed boy  - Times of India
Sri Lankan CEC's house 'sieged'  - The Hindu NUS

Family invades Ajith Kumara's press conference
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.25 p.m September 13. A press conference held by disgruntled JVP member Ajith Kumara was invaded today by his mother, sister and brother-in law. Ajith Kumara was accusing the JVP (Peoples Liberation Front) leadership of trying to be dictatorial and misleading the youth when his family members invaded the press conference. The press conference was held in Colombo. Kumara's mother said that JVP had done no wrong to his son and his son is trying to defect to another party because of his greed for money. An angry Ajith Kumara said that it had nothing to do with his family and challenged either General Secretary Tilvin Silva or Publicity Secretary Vimal Weerawansa for a public debate.

Earlier in the week there were reports that Ajith Kumara is likely to cross over to the People's Alliance led by president Chandrika Kumaratunge.

Ajith Kumara an active member of the JVP for over twenty one years rose to fame as the first suspect of the parliament hand grenade case in 1987. He had lobbed a hand grenade at the UNP parliamentary group meeting chaired by late president J.R Jayawardane . It killed Matara district UNP member of parliament Keerthi Abeywickrema and seriously injured National Security Minister late Lalith Athulathmudali.

However Ajith Kumara was acquitted due to lack of evidence
Published: Wed Sep 13 10:49:28 EDT 2000

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Bomber in PA for mess of pottage- mother  - TamilNet

Rights panel backs Sri Lanka's beseiged polls chief, Sep 13 2000 11:59 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 13 (AFP) - A media rights group Wednesday announced plans to defend Sri Lanka's chief elections commissioner who is under mounting pressure from the ruling party to resign over his attempts to prevent rigging. The Free Media Movement (FMM) said it hoped to stage demonstrations to express solidarity with commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake whose plan to prevent fraud has attracted the wrath of the government."This is a very dangerous trend," said FMM leader Victor Ivan. "We must show that people who want free and fair elections support the actions of the elections commissioner." More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 03:16:43 EDT 2000
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Opposition backs Sri Lanka's besieged polls chief  - 123India
Printing of stickers - violation of fundamental rights?  - AsiaGateway
Nine parties pledge support for Election Commissioner  - Island
Stickers sticky for Lanka poll chief  - ChennaiOnline
Sri Lanka shows the door to polls chief amid deepening crisis  -
Lanka poll chief threatened for anti-rigging plan  - MSNBC

Rights group condemns poll violence in Lanka
Times of India, 14 September 2000 . COLOMBO: The London-based human rights group, Article 19, on Wednesday condemned the escalation of election-related killings in Sri Lanka and asked the government to lift restrictions on the news media before the October 10 parliamentary polls. "The government has an obligation to ensure that elections take place in an atmosphere where a wide range of opinions may be expressed peacefully," said a statement by Andrew Puddephatt, executive director. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 16:22:18 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Human rights group condemns Sri Lanka election violence and calls on Government to lift expression restrictions  - Article 19

G. L. Peiris initiates high tech electioneering
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Wednesday September 13. Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister G. L. Pieris has initiated a high tech election campaign with giant screens, e-mail and Internet used to maximum in order to convince a passive Lankan public that he is the man for the job.

One of the first to resort to pasting his poster all over Colombo and her suburbs, the Minister lost face when Police pulled down a majority of the placards and cut-outs.

Not to be outdone, the Minister has now resorted to Information Technology in a bid to boost his image to a public saturated with the names and faces of over 5000 election candidates and political parties.
Published: Wed Sep 13 09:36:42 EDT 2000

Conversations: 'A Separate State for Sri Lanka's Tamils is the Only Solution'
CNN, September 12. Vaiko Gopalasamy, leader of the Tamil Nadu political party Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), is a prominent member of India's Parliament and a close ally of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. But he is most often in the news for his vocal support for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority and their calls for a separate state. Vaiko spoke to Time Asia contributor Maseeh Rahman in New Delhi recently. Edited excerpts: More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 20:01:33 EDT 2000

Ranil challenges Chandrika for a debate
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 p.m September 13. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe today challenged President Chandrika Kumaratunge for a public debate on television. In a letter addressed to the president , the opposition leader said Kumaratunge is trying to portray that the UNP and the LTTE have formed an alliance and she is trying to stop as many Sinhalese from voting with the UNP.

Wickremasinghe further states " We both know that no such alliance exists between the UNP and the LTTE. But, the inclusion of Vartharaja Perumal on the PA national list (a former chief minister and the only individual to have attempted to have declared a separate state of Eelam during his tenure) makes mockery of your commitment to a united Sri Lanka. I challenge you to debate all this with me in public on Television"

But, in the same letter the opposition leader expressed his doubts as to whether Kumaratunge would accept his challenge for a public debate. He went on to say that she will wriggle her way out of every attempt in meeting with him as she did during the presidential election campaign.
Published: Wed Sep 13 08:34:44 EDT 2000

Marxist defector faces family wrath in cross-over bid, Sep 13 2000 17:42 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 13 (AFP) - A left-wing activist accused of trying to assassinate a former president faced unexpected opposition from his family after announcing he would cross over to Sri Lanka's ruling party. Ajith Kumara, a former member of the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, had called a press conference here Wednesday to explain his move, but was taken aback when heckled by his mother and sister.Kumara, alleged to have lobbed a grenade into parliament, killing two people in August 1987, was flabbergasted as his mother, S P M Aslin, and sister, Thanuja Nishanthi stormed the press conference. Aslin accused her son of taking money from President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance party to defect from the Marxist JVP ahead of the October 10 parliamentary polls. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 09:19:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka president challenged to TV duel, Sep 13 2000 17:27 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 13 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Wednesday challenged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to a live television debate as campaigning for next month's poll became more violent and acrimonious. Former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe called on Kumaratunga to "put up or shut up" over allegations he was linked to extra-judicial killings during a crackdown against leftist rebels between 1988 and 1990. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 09:16:30 EDT 2000

Lanka team to visit India to negotiate release of fishermen
The Asian Age, Colombo, Sept. 13 . The Sri Lankan government is sending a high-level delegation to New Delhi to negotiate the release of some 130 fishermen. The Lankan fishermen, along with some 30 boats, were taken into custody by Indian authorities for allegedly trespassing into India?s territorial waters over the past some months. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 16:24:50 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan envoy visiting India to seek fishermens' release  - The Hindu NUS

'Israel providing valuable intelligence, arms to Lanka'
India Abroad, September 13, 2000 19:40 Hrs(IST) . Washington: The recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Israel has helped Colombo gain significant advantages in the form of intelligence and access to sophisticated Israeli weapons systems, according to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. "I mean, all these years, we've been buying arms from them. Commercially, we were buying arms, but there were other things - intelligence and also speeding up supplies which they have done" - after the establishment of diplomatic relations, Kadirgamar told IANS in an interview. The decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel was certainly "triggered by, I would say, the crisis we were going through," he acknowledged, referring to the onslaught by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on northern Jaffna town. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 13:36:14 EDT 2000

Plot to assassinate Chandrika unearthed
PTI, Wednesday, 13 September. Sri Lankan police has claimed to have unearthed a plot to assassinate President Chandrika Kumaratunga and some other leaders ahead of the October 10 polls and arrested seven hardcore LTTE militants in this connection.The seven arrested LTTE cadres were plotting to assassinate Chandrika and Deputy Defence Minister Gen Anurudha Ratwatte during campaigning for elections, a media report said. The LTTE men were arrested from Colombo, Batticaloa, Negambo, and Pussellawa, 'The Island' daily reported.Meanwhile,Chandrika has ordered a probe into the controversial order by Chief Election Commissioner More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 05:17:15 EDT 2000

Foundation stone laying for New Cyber Campus at Malabe
Daily News, Thursday 14, September 2000. The foundation stone would be laid for the building complex of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology's Cyber Campus at Malabe in Kaduwela today (14). One nine storeyed and two other buildings will make up the nucleus around which the new campus will grow. It is estimated to cost Rs. 500 millionand the major share is being contributed by the Mahapola Trust funds. The 10-hectare (25 acre) site is a Mahapola Trust Fund land that has been made available to 'grow' South Asia's first information and communications technology campus. It is hoped to develop it into a benchmark for IT education in Sri Lanka with links already established with the prestigious Uppasala University in Sweden and Curtin University in Australia, global IT gaint, IBM, and with Microsoft, to ensure the highest standards of professional excellence. This institution, according to SLIIT chairperson, Professor Sam Karunaratne, would be: "a big leap in the education and training of IT professionals." More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 19:03:04 EDT 2000
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Malabe will be ‘Cyberpura’, Kingsley  - Island

Discontent in Sri Lankan tea estates
The Hindu (International), Thursday, September 14, 2000. NUWARA ELIYA, SEPT. 13. With his secondary education, 29-year-old Rajamurthy once considered himself overqualified to follow in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents and become a tea plucker. He never did find other employment, and is now desperate for any job, but can only find casual work on a tea estate. Rajamurthy is an Indian Tamil, the ethnic community, distinct from the Sri Lankan Tamils of the north-east, that has lived and worked in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka since the 19th century. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 16:14:50 EDT 2000

ADB approves 50-M-dollar loan for Sri Lanka
CDN, Wednesday, 13 September. The Asian Development Bank said it has approved a 50-million-dollar loan to modernize Sri Lanka's secondary education. The money will be used to improve quality, access and management of some 2,300 Sri Lankan secondary schools to accommodate thousands of poor students, More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 06:17:59 EDT 2000
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Asian Development Bank approves 50-mln-dollar loan for Sri Lanka  -

9 rebels killed in clashes with Lanka troops
The Asian Age. By P. Mohan Das Colombo, Sept. 13

Nine LTTE rebels and one soldier were killed and seven people, including four civilians, injured in isolated clashes between security forces and the LTTE in north and east Sri Lanka during the past two days. One soldier was killed and two were injured when an Army camp was attacked in Kalkunda in eastern Batticaloa Tuesday night by Tiger guerillas, the police said. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 16:23:26 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka troops return bodies of 16 rebels  - 123India
Sri Lanka troops kill seven more Tiger rebels  - 123Inida

Sri Lanka poll chief seeks protection
Virtual New York, Wednesday, 13 September 2000 0:43 (ET). Police on Tuesday night beefed up security for Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissnayake after he complained of threats on his life. Dissanayake informed police that he had received threatening telephone calls, while his neighbors said they had spotted armed motorcyclists in the area. Dissanayake told police that he received threats after the revelation that he had a secret plan to prevent impersonation in postal voting during the Oct. 10 parliamentary elections. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 03:26:08 EDT 2000

‘Chandrika most expensive president’
ChennaiOnline, september 13. "The cost incurred by the State to maintain President Chandrika Kumaratunga is nearly ten times the cost for previous three Presidents," Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said.During the United National Party regime, Rs 2,489 million was spent on Presidents J R Jayawardene, R Premadasa and D B Wijetunga, whereas for President Chandrika Kumaratunga the State had spent Rs 22,428 million from 1994. This year alone, Rs 7,000 million was spent, Wickremesinghe said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 21:21:16 EDT 2000

Ad-hoc polling centres in the North
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. Ad hoc polling centres which will be established within the "cleared" areas of the Jaffna Peninsula to accommodate voters living in "uncleared" regions as well as those displaced due to the recent offensive has raised some concern with election monitoring groups.

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) at a press conference held today said that this measure does not provide any relief to the voter who is currently resident in "uncleared" areas, nor does it provide any safeguards against voting under the same name in more than one such centre.

Dr. Arjuna Parakrama, Director for the CMEV, said that this alternative does not have any systematic verification of identity, which will then allow for impersonation on an organized scale on the one hand, while depriving hundreds of legitimate voters who have no physical access to any polling centres on the other.

Based on discussions with relevant officials in the area, the CMEV estimates that the resident voter strength in the peninsula at present is between 200,000 and 250,000.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:15 EDT 2000

There is remarkable support for the UNP throughout the country - Anura
AsiaGateway, Wednesday Sep. 13, 08:24:13. "No force in this country can go against the advice of the Maha Sangha. It goes on record the steps taken by the Mahanayake Theros of the three Nikayas led by the Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya raising an undivided voice against the PA government’s constitutional reforms, observed the former UNP Member of the Parliament (MP) Anura Bandaranaike in Kandy yesterday (11). More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 08:36:24 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan elections official under fire for anti-vote rigging plan
Yahoo, September 13, 2000 . Sri Lanka's preparation for next month's general elections ran into trouble on Tuesday after the elections commissioner became embroiled in a controversy over polling cards. Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake is under fire in the state media for a plan to put secretly printed stickers on the cards which voters use to identify themselves on election day.But Dissanayake said he was only trying to prevent vote rigging. The statement said Dissanayake had decided on the plan after he was informed by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) that forged polling cards had been printed to rig the October 10 elections. More...
Published: Wed Sep 13 06:30:24 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Elections Chief to use special sticker on poll cards  - AsiaGateway
Commissioner `personally satisfied' with honesty of sticker printer  - CDN
Anti-rigging plan for Sri Lanka poll comes unstuck  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka's polls chief accused of \"violating human rights\"  - Yahoo
Lanka’s poll chief accused of 'rights violation'  - India Abroad
Complaint lodged against Elections Commissioner with SLHRC  - PRIU
Sri Lanka polls chief reported to rights panel for fraud moves  -

Jaffna polls an irrelevant luxury, say monitors
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 12. THE CENTRE for Monitoring Election Violence has said in its first report on the campaign for the October 10 Sri Lankan Parliamentary elections that with war, displacement and disruption of normal life, the elections in Jaffna district are but an "irrelevant luxury". The conditions there were not conducive to the free and fair exercise of the franchise, the report said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 15:34:27 EDT 2000

PA responsible for high use of firearms
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.25 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. According to election monitoring organizations the ruling People's Alliance is responsible for a high incidence of firearm use. With electioneering hardly begun, the PA stands accused in 46% of these incidents, the UNP in 13% and unknown persons in 14. Of these cases in which the alleged perpetrator has been identified, the PA allegedly accounts for 72% or nearly three-fourths of using firearms to intimidate opposition candidates.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:15 EDT 2000

Misuse of state resources by PA candidates
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. The misuse of state resources for electioneering by candidates of the PA, notably official vehicles and infrastructure, has been reported from the Badulla, Ratnapura and Colombo Districts. It is alleged that attempts have been made to use professional and other organizations of state employees to canvass for votes on behalf of the PA.

For instance, it is alleged that PA candidate Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra convened a meeting of the Colombo Zonal Principal's Association on September 8, 2000 at 7.30 p.m. at the Manel Festival Hall in Dematagoda in order to obtain their assistance in his election campaign.

In Badulla it is alleged by the JVP and the UNP that PA candidate Nimal Siripala de Silva has trained a cohort of approximately 60 young men and women to conduct his election propaganda activities in the districts, paying them a stipend of Rs. 250/= per day from Health Ministry Funds. It is further alleged that these youth have received jobs in the Ministry of Health, on the basis of which they have been deployed for Mr. de Silva's election campaign.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:14 EDT 2000

Election related violence on the rise
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 12. As the October 12 hustings draw near, there is a rising spiral in election related violence. As at September 11, the Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) recorded a total of 204 incidents of election related violence and violations. The CMEV notes that the campaign period of the 2000 General Election is only one week old but it already shows signs of being one of the most violent in Sri Lanka in recent times.

The attack yesterday on a motorcade of UNP candidates Karu Jayasuriya, Anura Bandaranaike, Jayalath Jayawardena and John Ameratunga at around 5.30 p.m. on September 11, 2000 at Alapitiwela junction on the Mahabage - Ragama Road, resulted in three persons being admitted to the Colombo National Hospital with gunshot injuries. One of those was Mr. Ranjith Bandara, Coordinating Secretary to Karu Jayasuriya. The UNP alleges that PA candidate Sunil Mendis and his supporters were responsible for this violent act where a grenade was also exploded.

The rapid escalation of violence is evidenced from the fact that September 11th alone produced 59 incidents, which is more than twice the number of any previous day in the campaign.

Of the 124 major incidents reported, murders account for 06, attempted murders for 04, acts causing hurt 31, grievous hurt 02, assault 40, threat & intimidation 26, arson 04, and misuse of state resources 11. The People's Alliance is allegedly responsible for 68 major incident or 55% of the total.
Published: Tue Sep 12 09:31:14 EDT 2000

Neo-liberalism excludes the poor from health and medical care
The Island, september 13. Two soul-stirring cases of suicides in two countries separated geographically by thousands of miles; one in rural Sri Lanka and the other in urban Argentina, one by a small-scale farmer named R. G. Somapala at the bottom end of the professional ladder and the other by a brilliant cardiac surgeon named Dr. Rene Favaloro at the top-rung of the professional scale; one because the structural adjustment policies of the IMF and World Bank had made it increasingly difficult for him to meet his basic domestic and social needs as a small-scale farmer, the other because the adoption of the Neo-liberal economic policies by his government in 1990, resulted in subsidies given to the Heart Institution he set up, where ground breaking research as well as sophisticated organ transplants and coronary surgeries were performed, were slashed as a consequence. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 21:16:21 EDT 2000

Indo-Lanka ties couldn't be better: Kadirgamar
India Abroad, Sept 12, 2000 22:30 Hrs (IST) . Washington: Sri Lanka-India relations now are governed by "absolute candour and mutual trust" and couldn't be better, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has said. Consequently, he said, sympathy for the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in some quarters in Tamil Nadu was insignificant and the stand of state politicians like Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko Gopalasamy, who support the rebels, is an "anachronism." "Our policy with India has now been, over the last six years, one of no hide and seek," Kadirgamar said. "No pussyfooting. None of that nonsense. It is absolutely candid and I can say that our relationship, like that with the United States, even more so with India today, is completely open," he told India Abroad News Service in an interview. Kadirgamar asserted that "there is virtually nothing that I can't discuss with (External Affairs Minister) Jaswant Singh very openly and he with me. And the same applies for the heads of state and heads of government" of Sri Lanka and India, he said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:42:26 EDT 2000

Bollywood hits Lankan film industry
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 12. THE SRI Lankan film industry - spanning five decades - is struggling to survive against an onslaught from India's Bollywood, television, videos, rising costs and a Tamil insurgency that tends to keep people away from movie theatres at night. With as many as seven television channels regularly exhibiting Indian films and videos of latest Western films widely available in the market, local filmmakers and artists have been fighting an uphill battle to keep the local industry going. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:47:31 EDT 2000

Lanka right-wing party seeks to scrap FTA pact
Times of India, 13 September 2000 . By Charu Lata Joshi The Times of India News Service COLOMBO: Chauvinistic Sinhalese outfit Sinhala Urumuya, one of the first few parties to make its campaign issues known to the public, released its political manifesto on Tuesday. If the salient features of the terse charter are anything to go by, the right-wing Sinhalese party is all set to scrap the Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement and undertake "speedy measures to reorganize external and internal trade to enable Sinhalese people to own their due share in it." More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 18:51:40 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan north quiet after recent fierce battles
ABC News, 09/12/2000 08:56:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s northern Jaffna peninsula was mostly quiet on Tuesday after a series of fierce battles between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the past week, military officials said. "Things have been comparatively quiet today (Tuesday), but there were a few incidents yesterday," military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, told Reuters in Colombo by phone. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 12:17:16 EDT 2000

Opposition leaders survive assassination bid in Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, Tuesday, 12 September 2000 1:15 (ET). Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's younger brother and the chairman of the opposition United National Party survived a bomb attack Monday, in which five people were injured. Unidentified assailants attacked Kumaratunga's brother and an opposition party leader, Anura Bandaranaike, UNP chairman Karu Jayasuriya and another opposition parliamentarian John Amartunga with hand grenades. Jayasuriya said that the convoy of vehicles in which they were traveling came under attack. "It was an attempt on our lives," he said. "The police intervention came at the right moment." The UNP blamed the ruling People's Alliance for the attack. It said that PA supporters had blocked the road with burning vehicle tires and then lobbed grenades at the convoy. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 02:15:23 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Four opposition supporters wounded as political violence escalates in Sri Lanka  - CNN/ AsiaNow

Sri Lanka set for bloody polls: monitors, Sep 12 2000 14:50 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 12 (AFP) - Sri Lanka should brace for further violence ahead of next month's elections with six people being killed in the first week of campaigning, a watchdog panel warned Tuesday. The private Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said 204 incidents of violence had been reported to them since campaigning began in earnest last week. More...
Published: Tue Sep 12 07:20:06 EDT 2000
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‘War, violence may disrupt polls in Lanka’: monitors  - The Asian Age
War and violence threaten S.Lanka polls - monitors  - ABC News

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