The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 168

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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...
The Ordeal of Civilians in Thenmaratchy
September 7, 2000 University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) People from all communities and from all parts of the country have been through many horrors and ordeals from the time the flames of conflict engulfed this country in July 1983. But seldom has anything been so prolonged and full of constant terror and anxiety as what several thousands of people in Thenmaratchy, the south-eastern sector of the Jaffna peninsula with Chavakacheri as its main town, endured for three weeks and more. 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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Foreign Observers Invited to Monitor Sri Lanka's General Election
XINHUA, September 20. Sri Lanka's Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has invited 101 observers from three international organizations to monitor the October 10 general election, the Election Secretariat said Wednesday. The European Union has agreed to send 74 observers, the Commonwealth will send five while 22 observers will be from the Association of Asian Elections Authorities, a spokesman for the secretariat said. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 22:26:26 EDT 2000
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Why has the Sri Lankan government opposed plans to stop ballot rigging? - An article by a Candidate for the upcoming elections.  - World Socialist Web Page.

Ask Mangala Answers 1-37 Now Available. Q&A ends: September 24th. Hurry! Send questions to the H.C. of Sri Lanka to the UK, H.E. Mangala Moonesinghe and receive answers.
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Eschew political violence, revenge after polls victory - President
CDN, september 20. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga urged her party supporters to refrain from election violence and political revenge after the victory in the forthcoming General Election.She said that Government politicians are the most threatened persons and their daring to continue despite such terrorist threat should be paid. "Everyone objects when politicians salaries are increased but without a good pay how can they carry on," she asked.My salary is Rs.24,000 monthly and I have never increased it. Luckily I have some ancestral property to meet shortcomings, she said. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 22:31:02 EDT 2000

Ranil on President’s wastefulness...
The Island, September 20. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga states:"What do you think a labourer in a paddy field in rural Sri Lanka could do with Rs. 19,000,000 (Rs. 19 million). I suspect he would welcome the opportunity. Because that is the amount of money you spend from the taxpayers pocket every day of the year on your Presidential expenses.Your government is callous and uncaring. So wrapped up in its own self congratulatory style. It is typified by Minister Kingsley Wickremaratne’s comment "Sri Lankans eat too much". Or the comment by Minister D. M. Jayaratne, "I do not think anyone will die of starvation. You could survive 60 days only drinking water". More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 22:36:26 EDT 2000

Chavakachcheri becomes a ghost town
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11. p.m September 20. Chavakachcheri, just eight kilo meters off Jaffna has become a ghost town after heavy fighting between the Army and the LTTE. The army recaptured the important communication town on Sunday and successfully repulsed an LTTE onslaught on Monday. Chavakachcheri's sixty thousand people are displaced and they are living in welfare centers now.

The hospital, schools and Chavakachcheris once busy market is completely destroyed. Only a board with the message 'Keep your city clean, this is your town stands erect. It is not damaged at all but, the whole town is. Sounds of heavy shelling can be heard and the army is not prepared to take any chances. It is true that they have captured the town but, the battle is not over yet. Tired but, smiling troupes show their delight by holding their guns high. Their moral is high. One young soldier said. "We won it once, we won it twice".

Colonel Jagi Gallage who is in charge of the operations said that the successful operation to recapture Chavakachcheri was carried out by Army's elite 53 Division. He confirmed that 58 bodies of rebels were found by the army but, believed that number of LTTE rebels who died during action to be 150.
Published: Wed Sep 20 13:39:51 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Army takes back 'ghost town'  - The Hindu (International)

The New Co leader of the Muslim Congress to take oaths as Minister for Ports on Friday
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2115 SLT 20 September 2000. Rauf Hakeem the new co leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is to be sworn in as Minister for Ports on Friday. It is the same portfolio held by the late SLMC leader Ashraff. The SLMC on Monday elected Mr.Hakeem and the wife of late Mr.Ashraff as co leaders of the SLMC. However Mrs. Ashraff who is in mourning for four months and ten days in keeping with Islamic custom will not take part in the election campaign. Soon after agreement was reached with President Kumaratunga over the portfolio Mr.Hakeem pledged the full support of his party to the government. Late Mr.Ashraff had pulled out of the ruling People's Alliance hours before his death accusing the PA of been racist.
Published: Wed Sep 20 11:25:38 EDT 2000

Bombs, bullets and bloodshed scar Jaffna ahead of key ballot, Sep 21 2000 07:21 IST. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, Sept 21 (AFP) - For Sri Lanka's minority Tamil population, this northern town was once a booming cultural capital, but as political parties gear for a key ballot it is once again soaked in blood and tears. Thousands of government troops deployed in this peninsula are on full alert for more attacks from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who are expected to strike again before the October 10 polls. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 22:21:22 EDT 2000

Catholic Bishop of Chilaw express support for the election commissioner and accuse police and state media of pro Government bias
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2100 SLT 20 September 2000. In a letter to the Commissioner of Elections the Bishop of Chilaw as the head of the pastoral council of the diocese of Chilaw has expressed the full support of all the clergy and catholics in the area for steps been taken by the Commissioner to hold a free and fair elections. "We strongly criticise those who are trying to block your efforts" the letter states. Criticising the state media for been a propaganda tool for the government the Bishop has requested the Elections Commissioner to make public the statement criticising the conduct of the state media. Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando has also strongly criticised the police saying the Police in the area are only accepting complaints by government supporters and are refusing to accept complains made by opposition supporters. " It is the supporters of opposition parties who are at the receiving end of violence. We appeal to you to set up a separate mechanism where those who are at the receiving end can make complaints" the bishop said.
Published: Wed Sep 20 11:25:37 EDT 2000

European Union backs Sri Lanka's anti-rigging drive, Sep 20 2000 17:25 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 20 (AFP) - A European Union mission to monitor parliamentary polls Wednesday backed Sri Lanka's top election watchdog who is under fire from the ruling party for his plans to prevent fraud. The EU Election Observer Mission which began its work here Wednesday said it had talks with Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake and was supportive of his efforts. "The Commissioner told us a great deal about it and we are fully satisfied why he has undertaken such an action," the European Observer mission leader John Cushnahan said. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 08:47:32 EDT 2000
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Lankan elections chief gets European backing  - India Abroad
101 foreign observers for General Election  - AsiaGateway
Lankan polls chief turns defiant  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka rights panel in spin over vote-rigging row  -

Sri Lanka urges curbs on separatists' funding
MSNBC, september 20. Sri Lanka's foreign minister called on Wednesday for concerted global action to curb funding for separatist movements, which, in his country, he said, abducted children to use as soldiers. Children as young as 7 were being recruited by the Tamil Tiger guerrillas to fight government forces, but more than 100 of them had surrendered, Kadirgamar said. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 21:16:50 EDT 2000

Rebels Attack Sri Lankan Army Again
Yahoo, Wednesday, September 20 4:29 AM SGT . By DILSHIKA JAYAMAHA, Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Tamil rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine, killing 24 soldiers Tuesday in northeastern Sri Lanka, a military spokesman and police said. The attack on an army truck took place just outside Trincomalee city, 140 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo. Rebels fired at the vehicle soon after the Claymore mine went off, killing some of the soldiers injured in the explosion, police said.More lethal than a land mine, a Claymore mine is packed with 11/2 pounds of plastic explosives and fires a lethal spray of steel pellets when set off. Claymore mines are triggered manually by a trip wire or with a remote-controlled detonator. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 06:54:36 EDT 2000
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Tamil Tiger ambush kills 20  - BBC South Asia
Tamil rebels make second attempt against Sri Lankan army position  - CNN/AsiaNow
21 soldiers killed in landmine blast  - The Hindu NUS
Tamil rebels renew attack, kill 24 Lankan troops  - Times of India (Breaking News)
At least 20 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka  -
Tigers kill 22 soldiers in ambush as Sri Lanka troops dig in  -

Rocket explodes near Red Cross team in Lanka
Times of India, 21 September 2000 . A rocket explosion in a no-fire zone of Sri Lanka's embattled north forced the International Committee of the Red Cross to abandon the handing over of Tamil Tiger rebel bodies out of fear for their own safety, a spokesman said Wednesday."We were compelled to call off Tuesday's transfer due to the tense situation," said Harsha Gunawardene, ICRC spokesman. The army and LTTE usually exchange bodies through the ICRC. The government blamed a "technical malfunction" for the misguided multibarrel rocket. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 16:49:40 EDT 2000

Ruling party orders its candidates not to appear in talk shows in private TV and Radio
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2110 SLT 20 September 2000. The Ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party has ordered candidates of the People's Alliance not to take part in political talk shows in privately owned TV and radio stations. The General Secretary of the SLFP and Minister of Sports S.B.Dissanayake has written to candidates saying that there is a conspiracy to embarrass government candidates taking part in these talk shows. All candidates have been ordered to first get approval from him personally. However just hours after issuing the order the sports minister appeared in a talk show on Swarnavahini. Political talk shows are hugely popular specially at election times.
Published: Wed Sep 20 11:25:37 EDT 2000

Lankan politicians grapple to win over war-weary Jaffna voters
India Abroad, Sept 20, 2000 17:20 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Politicking in the battle-scarred northern Jaffna peninsula is no piece of cake for candidates campaigning ahead of the October polls with Tamils there terrified of the war and indifferent to the elections. As fierce fighting erupted again between the security forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), politicians have had to make do with alternatives to mass rallies and public meetings, party officials said. With the almost daily barrage of shelling ringing in their ears, Jaffna's 500,000 residents live in fear and have little time for pressing flesh and chatting to contestants, most of whom have rarely, if ever, visited the north. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 09:25:10 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka bans private TV for government ministers, Sep 20 2000 09:11 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 20 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's ruling party has banned its top members, including ministers, from appearing on private television talk shows ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, officials said Wednesday. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which is the main constituent of the ruling People's Alliance coalition said in a letter to all its members that there was a "conspiracy" to embarrass them over the airwaves. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 00:22:14 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan ruling party bans private TV for ministers  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Sri Lanka rebels shell army lines in Jaffna
ABC News, 09/20/2000 07:54:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said on Wednesday that Tamil Tiger rebels fired artillery and mortar bombs in a bid to breach the army"s new defence lines in the northern Jaffna peninsula. "Terrorists fired mortars and artillery during the day at troops manning defences in general area Chavakachcheri," the government said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 08:55:39 EDT 2000

LTTE terrorism prevents Lanka from signing anti-mine treaty
Island, Wednesday, 20 September. Sri Lanka will not be able to sign the Ottawa Convention that seeks to ban the manufacture, sale and the use of mines due to legitimate national security requirements, government officials said yesterday."We believe the global ban on mines has been proposed in good faith but the current war situation here does not permit the government to enter the treaty," an official said pointing out that different types of mines constitute a part of the defences against LTTE terrorist attacks.At the second meeting of the parties to the Ottawa Convention in Geneva last week, two members of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation [SAARC] ratified the treaty. Diplomatic sources said that at the meeting to review progress of the landmark December 1997 treaty aimed at imposing a global ban on mines with SAARC countries, which ended on Friday (15), Bangladesh and Maldives and also four other countries came on board. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 05:42:05 EDT 2000

Computer technology to boost Lanka cricket team performances
CDN, Wednesday, 20 September. The Sri Lanka cricket team will be provided with the latest computer technology as part of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka's (BCCSL) policy to provide the national cricketers with the maximum requirements in order to make them the best cricket playing nation in the world. "We have decided to provide at least three to four lap top computers with the latest software to the team from the Sharjah tournament in order to enhance their performances," said BCCSL president Thilanga Sumathipala, addressing a press conference at the Jaic Hilton Tower to mark the first 100 days in office of the current administration yesterday. Sri Lanka are due to take part in Sharjah for the Champions trophy from October 20 with India and Zimbabwe. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 06:35:39 EDT 2000

S.D. Bandaranayake named Sri Lankan envoy
The Hindu, New Delhi, Sept. 19. (PTI):. Dr Senake Dias Bandaranayake, a noted scholar, has been appointed as Sri Lanka's next High Commissioner to india, it was officially announced today.Bandaranayake will fill the slot vacated a few months back by Mangala Moonesinge. Since then, Prasad Kariyawasam has been discharging duties as acting High Commissioner. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 04:18:20 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
New Lankan high commissioner  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Prof S. D. Bandaranayake new Sri Lankan High Commisioner to India  -

Floods kill two, leave 10,000 families homeless
AsiaGateway, Wednesday Sep. 20, 07:45:24. Two children were reported to have drowned at Akuressa and over 10,000 families have been displaced due to floods in Galle and Matara districts after heavy rains lashed those areas during the last few days. The Social Services Ministry through the Social Services Department has released Rs. 1.3 million to provide shelter and essential food items for the displaced families Social Services Ministry Secretary W. P. W. Weerawardena told the Daily News yesterday. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 07:51:26 EDT 2000
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Two killed, thousands homeless in Sri Lanka floods  - ABC News

Airforce attacks destroy LTTE boats and vehicles
PRIU, Wednesday Sep. 20, 07:32:14. Airforce ground attacks aircraft destroyed three LTTE boats and three Land Rovers at Sangupiddy in the Wanni mainland yesterday afternoon adding to the long list of severe losses borne by the LTTE in the face of the recent massive assaults by the security forces. Armed forces spokesman Brigadier Karunaratne said that aircraft, which were on some other targets, were ordered to engage the boats and the vehicles. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 07:38:33 EDT 2000

Colombo bracing for LTTE attacks ahead of polls
Times of India, 20 September 2000 . Security forces here are bracing for a series of bomb attacks and other forms of violence by the separatist Tamil Tigers ahead of next month's parliamentary elections, days after a suicide bomber killed seven people in the Sri Lankan capital. After Friday's attack, which also left two dozen people injured, police has picked up vital clues suggesting that at least 13 suicide members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have entered the city and are planning to strike at random ahead of the polls on October 10. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 18:40:30 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Colombo braces itself for LTTE strikes ahead of polls  - India Abroad
Police warned of LTTE threat to Ministers Ashraff and Samaraweera  - PRIU

Profile:Susanthika Jayasinghe, 21 September 2000. Sri Lanka fell in love with its "dazzling gazelle," Susanthika Jayasinghe, when she edged out world champion Merlene Ottey of Jamaica for the 200-meters silver medal at the 1997 Track and Field World Championships. Jayasinghe, who holds the 100- and 200-meter records in her homeland, was the first Sri Lankan in 49 years to win a track and field medal at a global sporting event and the first South Asian ever to win a world championship medal in track and field. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 08:34:01 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan Olympians can't break red tape  - Virtual New York
Susanthika dropped from relay team  - The Island

S.Lankan army says expects more fighting in Jaffna
MSNBC, JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, Sept. 20 . The Sri Lankan army said on Wednesday it expected more heavy fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels in country's north throughout the period leading up a general election on October 10."There are no plans to stop the offensives (ahead of the election) and I don't think any need exists,"Jaffna commander, Major General Anton Wijendra, told a news conference at Palaly military base on the Jaffna peninsula."There are certain military conditions required to launch an operation and on September 3 those conditions were met,"he said."As a military officer for me, there was no connection to the election campaign." More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 07:05:52 EDT 2000

LTTE establishes global TV sweep with merger- Continuation from Yesterday..
The Island, September 20. However, the LTTE may be seriously underestimating the determination of the French Interior Ministry to combat terrorist related activity. French police began questioning several people last week and in one incident asked a Tamil girl to identify Ilanko, Jeya and Manoharan from photographs. She said the police had brought several LTTE receipts and cheque copies with them. Those going in and out of the offices of TRT have also been video recorded. These investigation may also be linked to a recent incident of gang violence between the LTTE controlled Eelavar Sports Organisation and the well respected Padummeen Sports Organisation in Paris. More...
Published: Wed Sep 20 22:39:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE establishes global TV sweep with merger  - The Island

Thousands of Government troops consolidate positions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. The Ministry of Defence said today that thousands of government troops are consolidating their positions in newly captured territory after the armed forces secured the town of Chavakachcheri on Sunday following a three hour battle with the LTTE.

Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, Military Spokesman, said that some 75 bodies of rebel cadre lay around the area where the forces faced stiff resistance from the Tigers. Karunaratne further claimed that 18 soldiers were killed in the battle while 20 were seriously wounded. Another 208, he said, had received minor injuries.

Other independent sources however claim that the Sri Lanka Army suffered heavy casualties as it attempted to take Chavakachcheri town. Facing heavy fire from the LTTE, Lankan troops according to these sources are yet on the outskirts of Chavakachcheri at a place called Sankathanai on the A-9 Highway.

The Tigers meanwhile have not issued an official statement on last Sunday's (17th) battle.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

New visa application procedure at US Embassy
CDN, September 20. The new system effective from September 26 will enable applicants or their representatives to come to the Embassy from 1pm to 2pm from Monday to Friday to set an appointment for a visa interview, submit their application forms and to pay the visa processing fee. Consular Chief William Howe, briefing the press at the US Information Service yesterday said the new system would eliminate cases of abuse by touts who sell places in the queue."They can pay US $ 45 or Rupee equivalent visa processing fee and submit the application form. The appointment can be made personally or through a courier, travel agent, friend, or family member. Applicants have to appear personally for the interview," Mr. Howe said. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 20:49:25 EDT 2000

Contraband for LTTE seized S
ChennaiOnline , September 20. Customs officials in Rameswaram on Monday seized a country boat with contraband worth Rs 3.25 lakh which reportedly was being sent to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:29:16 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
2 LTTE men, prisoners escape from jail  - The Hindu NUS

Canada Post adds screening measures after Tamil stamp
National Post, September 19. Canada Post has added new security screening measures to its personalized postage stamp program after supporters of a Tamil terrorist faction placed mass orders for stamps featuring their leader and one of their most strident political backers.The postal service confirmed yesterday it had received orders for stamps showing Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the self-declared assassin who leads the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and Kumar Ponnambalam, a pro-Tiger politician killed in January.Although the Prabhakaran stamps were never printed, by the time postal officials were alerted to the scheme, they had already shipped 500 of the Ponnambalam stamps. The 46˘ stamps were sold in Toronto last weekend for $14 each at a Tamil fundraising event. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:39:32 EDT 2000

The children and the Tigers
National Post, September 18. At the International Conference on War-Affected Children held by the Canadian government all last week in Winnipeg, dozens of workshops and meetings dealt with the devastating effects of war on children, and produced a declaration and action plan intended to draw the world's attention to the horrors children endure when they are used both as killers and victims.rtunately, the good intentions of this conference are being undermined in at least one other country by the way the Canadian refugee determination operates. A terrorist organization that has been waging war against the government of Sri Lanka for decades -- the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -- is well-established and operating freely in Canada, and when it comes to producing war-affected children, the LTTE has few equals. One of the most vicious terrorist movements in the world, it abducts and indoctrinates Sri Lankan Tamil children as young as 11 to be used as soldiers and suicide bombers. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:48:50 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka wins bid to host world travel congress.
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5. 40 p.m September 18. Sri Lanka has won the bid to host the prestigious world congress of Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) from 28 October to 2 November. Sri Lanka won the bid to host the 34 UFTAA congress by beating Thailand, Egypt and Tunisia.

The Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association which has its headquarters in Monaco is a world body represented by 101 countries. It had selected Sri Lanka to host the congress after twenty four years despite the troubled situation in the island. Udeni Seneviartne , Manager of Conventions Asia said that all the member countries expressed their confidence in Sri Lanka and described it is a great victory for the country.

The Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka has made arrangements to take all the participants to Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Rantnapura and Galle to show the rest of world that whole of Sri Lanka is not on fire. Seneviratne said that hosting of the world travel congress is well timed and expressed hope that the country will be able to achieve the desired results
Published: Tue Sep 19 07:39:03 EDT 2000

SLAF rules out foul play in chopper crash
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.20 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. A special investigative team from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) today ruled out any foul play in last Saturday's chopper crash which killed Minister M. H. M. Ashraff and 14 others.

The SLAF maintain that there is no evidence to suggest that the chopper was brought down as a result of an explosion or, a shoulder to missile attack fired possibly by the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam.

The SLAF however has not been able to recover the Black Box which is believed will hold vital information on the final few minutes of the ill-fated chopper and those aboard.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

CWC to meet PM today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday September 19. Leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress, Arumugam Thondaman will meet with Premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake this afternoon to discuss an increase in salaries for estate workers.

Thondaman is expected to seek a Rs. 400/= increase for each worker and has reportedly indicated that he believes the final outcome of this afternoon's discussion will prove favourable.
Published: Tue Sep 19 05:33:32 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Millennium IT Enables Internet Trades On Mesdaq
Dow Jones, september 19. Sri Lanka's Millennium Information Technologies Tuesday launched a new trading system that will enable Internet users to trade on the Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing and Automated Quotation, or Mesdaq.The new system, known as the Mesdaq Order Routine and Execution System, or MORE!, will provide the foundation for an open trading architecture that will enable investors to trade at their convenience, the company said in a press release in Colombo. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 11:45:37 EDT 2000

Sporadic fighting reported in Sri Lanka's north
MSNBC, September 19, 2000 14:00 Hrs(IST) . Sporadic fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels was reported on Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula on Tuesday after a fresh round of bloody battles that left scores dead and wounded. 'The rebels keep firing shells at us, but we have repulsed all their attempts,'' Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters in Colombo. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 09:24:21 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan troops dig in, return 45 bodies to rebels  -

Tigers launch new attack on Lankan army position
Times of India (Breaking News), 19 September 2000. The Tamil Tiger rebels made a second attempt Tuesday to wrest back northern territory newly captured by Sri Lankan troops, a military spokesman said. The rebel push around dawn was repulsed successfully by the military, said Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, the spokesman. He said troops inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels, but did not give numbers. Soldiers repulsed a similar push on Sunday, about seven hours after they had captured Chavakachcheri, the second largest town in the Jaffna Peninsula, 10 kilometers (six miles) east of Jaffna city. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 02:44:53 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
126 killed as Sri Lankan troops seize key town  - Telegraph, UK
Sri Lankan troops dig in after key battle  -

Suicide bomber triggered crash?
ChennaiOnline, September 20. An unidentified person on board the Mi-17 helicopter that mysteriously crashed on September 16, killing 15 people, including minister M H M Ashraff, could have triggered the crash by detonating a bomb, local media quoting investigating agencies have reported.According to reports, when Ashraff noticed the youth and inquired about him, he was told that the person was accompanying Thambi. Ashraff's security personnel have told the police about the suspect, but they have not been able to trace him due to the absence of a passenger list. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 21:27:25 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Preliminary probe into crash rules out LTTE missile attack  -
'Mysterious person could have detonated copter'  - The Hindu NUS
Who was the mystery youth ?  - CDN

News - "Israel providing valuable intelligence, arms to Lanka’
Island, Tuesday, 19 September. 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: Tue Sep 19 04:36:04 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka appoints retired army chief as ambassador to Pak
Yahoo, Monday September 18, 9:01 PM. Sri Lankan government has appointed its recently retired army chief Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasurya as its new High Commissioner to Pakistan. A foreign office communique Monday said that the government has decided to appoint Gen. Weerasurya as High Comissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Pakistan. He succeeds the present High Comissioner Alfred K David. Rumours of Gen. Weerasurya's appointment were afloat here after he retired last month without getting an extension. His place was taken over by Lt. Gen. Lionel Balgalle, who too superannuated while serving as deputy to Gen. Weerasurya. More...
Published: Tue Sep 19 02:54:26 EDT 2000

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