The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 171

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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...
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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Irangani Serasinghe ask Chandrika to include two verses in Tamil in the national anthem
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 a.m September 24. Sri Lanka's most respected actress and activist Irangani Serasinghe appealed for National unity and has requested President Chandrika Kumaratunge to include two verses in Tamil in the National Anthem. Serasinghe who is a close relative of both President Kumaratunge and opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe speaking to Lacnet said that she had asked only one favor from the President "I asked her to include two Tamil verses in our National anthem. It is only then that all Sri Lankans will sing the national anthem with feelings. It is important today to build a very strong bridge between the two communities."

Serasinghe said that she made the same request from Lalith Athulathmudali when he was the Minister of Education in the UNP government. Irangani Serasinghe is affectionately refereed to as 'Chandi Nanda' by both Wickremasinghe and Kumaratunge. When Lacnet asked if she could bring both President Chandrika Kumaratunge and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe together Irangani Serasinghe said " I wish to god that I could bring them together"
Published: Sat Sep 23 20:39:46 EDT 2000

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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LTTE collects $ 4m monthly
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 23. THE LIBERATION TIGERS of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) collects anything between $ 3 million and 4 million every month from fellow Tamils residing overseas for its armed separatist movement in Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshaman Kadirgamar. Kadirgamar, himself a Tamil, told the International Conference on War Affected Children in Winnipeg, Canada, last week that with the huge amount of money collected overseas, the LTTE was not only arming itself to the teeth, but recruiting and deploying boys and girls as young as ten in combat roles. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 14:18:03 EDT 2000

Navy kills six Lankan fishermen at Trinco
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.45 p.m. SLT Saturday September 23. The Sri Lanka Navy last night shot dead 6 Lankan fishermen who had strayed into a high security area close to the harbour at Trincomalee. The altercation took place at around 11.30 p.m. at Sri Lanka's eastern port between Fort Frederick and Foul Point.

Six other fishermen are reported to have been seriously injured while the Navy arrested another six. One boat was sunk in the attack.

Wounded fishermen who were admitted to the Base Hospital at Trincomalee say that some 50 fishermen were in the area South of the Trincomalee Bay when the Navy indiscriminately opened fire. At least two Sinhalese died together with four Tamils.

The Sri Lanka Navy meanwhile have maintained that they opened fire on a rebel flotilla of boats.
Published: Sat Sep 23 10:10:30 EDT 2000

Nine killed, four injured in northern Lanka
Times of India, 24 September 2000 . Sporadic clashes in northern Sri Lanka killed nine Tamil Tiger rebels and injured two, while two army soldiers were also wounded in the fighting, the government's principal spokesman said Saturday. Meanwhile, Vishwalingam Vijayalakshimi, a 15-year-old school girl who had been kidnapped by the LTTE, escaped and arrived at a military camp in Batticaloa, asking for help More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 16:41:50 EDT 2000

War-weary Sri Lankans in Jaffna yearn for normalcy
ABC News, 09/23/2000 03:43:00 ET. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Miles of devastated space stretch out where a proud city once stood. Now, it"s just a gutted hulk, dotted with dilapidated buildings, caved-in roofs, walls pocked with bullet holes. Jaffna, along a slim peninsula that juts from this teardrop shaped island off India"s coast, has been so battered by 17 years of war that it"s hard to believe hundreds of thousands of people still live here. Residents who spoke to journalists during a rare visit allowed by the military said they yearned for peace. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 07:06:33 EDT 2000

Democracy receives the kiss of life?
The Island, september 23. The courage and resolve of the Commissioner of Elections, Mr. Dayananda Dissanayake, to ensure a free and fair election no matter what the obstacles might be will find him in a very distinguished place, like the still remembered Mr. Felix Dias Abeysinghe (Commissioner upto 1977), when the history of democracy in Sri Lanka is written. The brave and just stand he has taken on the conduct of the General elections, 2000, along with the pledges made by several political parties to abolish the Executive Presidency, reduce the duration of parliament to five years and set a fixed date for re-election, offer much hope for Sri Lanka to resuscitate its moribund democracy and perhaps, lay to rest the grand fraud of facade democracy that was perpetrated on the people for so long. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 20:02:15 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka navy kills five suspected rebel fisherman, Sep 23 2000 16:16 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 23 (AFP) - Sri Lankan gun boats opened fire at a flotilla of boats outside a strategic naval base in the island's northeast Saturday and killed at least five fishermen, officials sources said. The navy suspected the fishermen to be members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) trying to enter the port of Trincomalee under the cover of darkness and then opened fire, the sources said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 07:10:34 EDT 2000

‘State broadcasters slanted towards ruling party’
India Abroad, Sept 23, 2000 15:45 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka's state-owned radio and television organizations have been slammed by the opposition for giving too much airtime to candidates of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) coalition. The opposition United National Party (UNP) has filed action complaining that the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) have allegedly violated election laws by giving excessive publicity to the PA's campaign ahead of the October parliamentary elections."This arbitrary practice of the SLBC and the SLRC is prejudicial to the UNP's ongoing election campaign," said the opposition petition to the Court of Appeal. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 10:24:40 EDT 2000

Susanthika wears yellow band, wins heat
The Island, september 23. Susanthika Jayasinghe injected politics into the Olympic Games in Sydney yesterday by wearing a yellow head-band, to campaign for a free and fair election in Sri Lanka, in the fourth heat of the 100 metres, which she won in a time of 11.15 seconds, the fifth fastest in the heats, behind Chryste Gaines of the USA, who clocked 11.06 in heat 10 . More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 20:07:56 EDT 2000
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Susanthika strikes blow for Sri Lankan democracy - An Editorial  - The ISland

PA accuses UNP leader of backing LTTE
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on September 23, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 23. (UNI): A ruling People's Alliance candidate Ratnasiri Wickremanayke today threw an open challenge to the Opposition and United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to publicly state whether he would support the elimination of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran militarily. ``I am directly posing this question to Wickremesinghe for an immediate answer. It is a simple answer, is it yes or no,'' Wickremanayke asked. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 14:21:07 EDT 2000

Lankan Navy sinks two rebel crafts
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on September 23, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 23. (Reuters): Sri Lankan forces sank two suspected Tamil Tiger rebel boats off the northeast coast on Saturday, the Navy said. A flotilla of rebel attack boats including a suicide craft was intercepted by the Sri Lankan Navy while it was headed towards Chalai, a Naval statement said. ``During the confrontation one enemy log craft and one attack craft was destroyed,'' the statement said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 16:36:10 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says sinks two rebel boats  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka says intercepts rebel flotilla  - MSNBC

Fishermen issue
The Hindu, Sunday, September 24, 2000. NEW DELHI, SEPT. 23. India and Sri lanka today decided to consider setting up a monitoring mechanism which could periodically review the problems concerned with fishermen in custody in both the countries. At a high-level meeting here today, both sides agreed that the problem of fishermen should be dealt with in a spirit of compassion and understanding and that the release of those in custody should not be delayed More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 16:24:56 EDT 2000

Tamil leader given kidney transplant in Norway
Norway Post, September 22. One of the leaders of the LTTE guerillas on Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers, was last winter brought to Norway and given a kidney transplant at the National Hospital in Oslo. The LTTE chief negotiator and spokesman, Anton Balasingham, who is also the movement's chief ideologist, was brought from Sri Lanka to Oslo in secret, and and operated on. The transplant was successful. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 07:23:41 EDT 2000

On Govt. Printer’s decision: Two Govt. Press officers removed
Island, Saturday, 23 September. Two officers attached to the Government Press have been prohibited from attending to the printing of ballot papers, the Government Printer, Neville Nanayakkara said yesterday. The officers concerned are Deputy Government Printer, Lalith de Silva and Assistant Government Printer, Adihetti. They have also been debarred from entering building of the Government Press where ballot papers are being printed. Mr. Nanayakkara speaking to ‘The Island’ said that complaints have been received to the effect that Deputy Printer, Lalith Silva is presently serving as a technical officer at Lake House and that his appointment is purely political. More...
Published: Sat Sep 23 06:40:30 EDT 2000

Election Commissioner meets reps of all political parties today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo. Dayananda Dissanayake, Elections Commissioner today met withrepresentatives of all political parties to discuss modalities which willensure a free and fair election on October 10. The Commissioner informed the political parties that a sticker which hesecretly ordered pasted on polling cards has gone out as planned despitehis secret plan being busted on the 8th of this month.

The Commissioner has also detailed a plan to paste a sticker on ballotboxes in order to prevent tampering with the boxes that will carry thepolling cards.
Published: Fri Sep 22 11:36:49 EDT 2000

S. Akileswaran who is serving a prisonsentence is nominated for Batticaloa District
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, September 22. The newly formed National Unity Alliance (NUA) founded by the late MinisterM. H. .M Ashraff and now headed by co-leader Rauf Hakeem, have nominatedfor the Batticaloa District S. Akileswaran, who is serving a prisonsentence and is the LTTE backed ex-Chairman of the Pattippalai PradeshiyaSabha. Akileswaran was arrested at Kandy in 1997 and is being held atthe Mahara high security prison. Akileswaran was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) by theCriminal Investigation Department (CID) , purportedly in connection withthe LTTE bomb attack on the Dalada Maligawa at Kandy. Akileswaran was nabbed in Kandy soon after the bomb blast when the CID received information that the suicide bomber who carried the explosives to the temple had stayed with Akileswaran in Batticaloa and they both traveled together to Kandy. Akileswaran was handed over to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) forinterrogation and is being held indefinitely under the laws of the PTA while investigations into the attack are not yet closed. Highly placed sources within the NUA said that the late Minister M. H. M.Ashraff believed that fielding Akileswaran as a candidate would help securevotes from Batticaloa's uncleared areas. Irrespective whether thecandidate is in prison, out of the country or has not lent his or herconsent. The name is being used to secure a vote base for Ashraff'snewly formed party in order to gather adequate votes for an extra seat.Even if this means using the name of an LTTE suspect, in prison for hislinks with the dreaded rebel force, it is the means that serves theend, and no doubt both Ashraff and SLMC strongman Hisbullahwere of the opinion that this time the NUA must secure not only the Muslimvote but as many Tamil votes as well.
Published: Fri Sep 22 11:59:03 EDT 2000

Ranil challenges Chandrika
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, September 22. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramesinghe today challenged President ChandrikaKumaratunge to put aside her nursery book on economic management and comefor a live debate with him over Television and make her stand clear. The President recently over state television said the UNP promises are allfalse. Wickramesinghe has replied that the sad faces of the peopletell a tale of disillusionment and has challenged the President to proveotherwise on a TV debate with him.
Published: Fri Sep 22 11:52:55 EDT 2000

New Lankan envoy for better ties with India
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 22. THE JUST-APPOINTED Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Professor Senake Dias Bandaranayake, plans to add new dimensions to the relationship between India and Sri Lanka. By this he plans to help strengthen the already close ties between them. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 18:18:36 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's ruling party wants national government
ABC News, 09/22/2000 07:33:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka"s ruling People"s Alliance (PA) party, in its manifesto for the forthcoming parliamentary poll, has pledged to form a national government and push through a new constitution. "Our government"s main task will be to enlist the support of all political parties, religious denominations and numerous other social groups to install a national government," said the manifesto, seen by Reuters on Friday. The PA also said it would push through a new constitution if re-elected to power at the October 10 polls, "with provision to abolish the executive presidency and devolve power to the periphery." More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 10:38:29 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Manifesto promises to defeat LTTE PA to enlist support for National Govt.  - Island

Sri Lanka turns tables against LTTE in Jaffna
Yahoo, September 22. Colombo, Sept 22 (PTI) After a five-month-long hold on the northern Jaffna, the 40,000-strong Sri Lankan army, which was on the verge of collapse in April this year in the face of LTTE's counter offensive, has finally turned the tables on the rebels by recapturing a vast territory including the peninsula's second biggest town, Chavakachcheri. By recapturing Chavakachcheri, an entry point to the densely populated Jaffna and surrounding small towns, the army made the airport and the harbour operational and provided a safe 15 km of buffer zone to defend Jaffna town. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 13:50:17 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Seven LTTE men killed  - The Hindu NUS
Sporadic fighting in Sri Lanka's Jaffna  -
Success spurs the enthusiasm of Sri Lanka's army  - MSNBC

US gifts 45,000 tonnes of wheat to Sri Lanka, Sep 22 2000 16:11 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 22 (AFP) - The United States Friday announced it would donate 45,000 tonnes of wheat worth 5.4 million dollars to Sri Lanka, the US embassy here said. An agreement was signed between the two countries Thursday for the US to gift the wheat, the embassy said in a statement. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 07:16:50 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka's Tourist Arrivals Down in 1st 7 Months
XINHUA, September 22. Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals have dropped 2.9 percent in the first seven months of this year to 238,846 from the same period last year, according to the Tourist Board's latest statistical bulletin. However, Chairman of the Tourist Board H.M.S. Samaranayake has expressed confidence that tourist arrivals will pick up despite the country being placed on a war footing. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 07:23:14 EDT 2000

EU election observers arrive in Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, Friday, 22 September 2000 3:14 (ET). A team of observers from the European Union arrived in Sri Lanka to monitor the Oct. 10 parliamentary elections, but refused to seek security despite mounting pre-poll violence. "We have neither asked nor have been given state security," John Cushnahan, a member of the European Parliament and head of the observers' delegation said. "We are not going to be led by our noses. We will not accept any security either." The 74-member observers' team will visit as many polling centers of some 9,500 on Oct. 10, when Sri Lankans will exercise their democratic franchise to elect the new parliament. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 05:02:26 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan teenager gets death penalty for murder
MSNBC, September 22, 2000. COLOMBO, Sept. 22 — A Sri Lankan teenager has been sentenced to death by hanging for the abduction and murder of a eight-year-old boy, lawyers said on Friday. They said a special three-judge bench of the High Court had on Thursday sentenced the 19-year-old boy, who in October 1999 kidnapped the child for a 2.5 million rupee ($31,500) ransom, before murdering him. More...
Published: Fri Sep 22 05:07:42 EDT 2000

Susanthika goes yellow in Sydney for free and fair elections
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.00 a.m September 22. Sri Lanka's best medal hope Susanthika Jayasinghe who won the 100 meters heats at the Sydney Olympics this morning delivered a message to the world and to her country by running with a yellow arm band and a yellow head band. It was her support for the campaign for a free and fair election in the country.

People here are delighted and expressed happiness that Jayasinghe had the guts and courage to do it. The yellow ribbon campaign is organized by the Alliance for Democracy in Sri Lanka, demanding a free and fair election.

When Lacnet spoke to a representative of the Alliance he refused to comment whether they made a request to Susanthika to wear a yellow band to support their campaign. He said " No. I don't want to talk about it" . However Jayasinghe has gone on record saying that the decision to wear a yellow band was her own decision.
Published: Fri Sep 22 01:18:47 EDT 2000

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