The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 178

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The Lanka Academic carried an online "Question and Answer" sessions with the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr. Mangala Moonesinghe from September 1, 2000 through September 24, 2000. You can view the questions from visitors like you and the answers 1-46 by Mr. Moonesinghe here. We will post all answers soon.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
[PDF Version]

(The proposed new constitution)
Latest Results
Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
Satellite pix (visible)
Satellite pix (infrared)
Where is MIR today?
Bandula Jayasekera, in Jaffna. Bearded face of PLOTE leader Dharmalingam Sidharthan can be seen all over the city of Jaffna. Hand drawn posters with the fish symbol supposed to be of an independent group are widely displayed. Posters of TULF are not to be seen. EPDPs Douglas Devanandas posters were clearly visible but, I saw more of the PLOTE leader. There are no poster wars even though few posters are tarred at some places. No body gave the reason as to why people had done it. People of Jaffna say that posters are displayed side by side but no one tries to kill one another because both sides are armed, meaning the EPDP and PLOTE. They are no political meetings, only distribution of handbills and the people of Jaffna say that they are in no election mood. More...
Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. He is soft spoken, kind hearted and extremely gentle. He wants to keep a low profile even though he is doing a very high profile job, representing his country as High Commissioner. He is a true son of the great land and the youngest grandson of the greatest man of this millenium, Mahatma Gandhi. 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...
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Tamil Tigers sink navy craft in northwestern Sri Lanka, Sep 30 2000 15:44 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 30 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels fired a rocket-propelled grenade and sank a navy patrol craft in northwestern Sri Lanka Saturday, officials here said. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked the navy craft as it persued the rebel boat at Kalpitiya, officials said adding that two navy personnel were missing after the attack. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 07:24:40 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels attack naval patrol craft  - MSNBC

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Fear grips Jaffna following LTTE warning to people to vacate
SouthNexus, October 1. Fear gripped Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna province as LTTE, currently under pressure from a series of offensives by the army to retain hold on parts of the peninsula, warned people to vacate areas in the vicinity of Chavakachcherias where it plans to intensify attack to regain the lost territory. The LTTE warned the people living in Thenmardchchi area, near Chavakachcheri, where it suffered heavy manpower and territorial losses early this month, to vacate the areas and go to safer places. Army spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said though there was no overnight fighting, people in the peninsula appeared worried after the Tamil rebels warnings. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 22:27:42 EDT 2000

LTTE gets shipload of weapons
ChennaiOnline, september 30. The LTTE has brought a shipload of heavy weapons and unloaded them at Mullaitivu in the east early this month, the local media has reported, quoting army intelligence.The arms and ammunition, including long-range weapons, artillery rounds and mortars, were reportedly purchased from a South American country. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 13:56:10 EDT 2000

Susanthika's Husband reminds the world about unscrupulous sports officials.
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.00 a.m September 30. Dammika Nandakumara husband of Susanthika Jayasinghe said yesterday that his wife could have performed better if unscrupulous officials at the ministry of Sports did not harass her. He alleged that officials of the Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka had forced her to leave the country and do her training overseas after they clashed with her.

He spoke of the mental trauma that Susanthika had to put up with , even before the Olympics when local officials attempted to take her focus away from the 200 metres.

Meanwhile the newly formed Sihala Urumya party in a message said that Susanthika would have definitely achieved the ultimate honor of a gold medal if she was not mentally harassed by a powerful political personality who broke Jayasinghe's spirit. It said that she was forced to leave the country but, she fought against all odds for her motherland. Sihala Urumaya urges the government to confer the highest national honor upon her for the credit and glory she valiantly brought to Sri Lanka.
Published: Fri Sep 29 23:22:07 EDT 2000

Susanthika to marry and undergo training
Daily News, Saturday 30, September 2000. SYDNEY, Friday - There is good news on Sri Lanka's dream girl Susanthika Jayasinghe from this Olympic City of Sydney. First, wedding bells will ring for the Olympic Games medallist when she marries former Sri Lanka athlete Dhammika within the next few months and then she will return to the United States for special intensive training.Jayasinghe and her coach Tony Campbell broke the good news here today. "My wedding will come soon. I think it's the right time to think of my marriage and I will marry Dhammika aiya (as she calls him) very soon. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 07:43:06 EDT 2000

Chandrika leaves for London
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on September 30, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 30. (PTI): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga left on a private visit to London this morning during which she was expected to undergo treatment for her right eye which was seriously hurt in an LTTE suicide bomb blast in December last year, sources close to her said. She was expected to return early next week, the sources said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 07:26:12 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan president on foreign visit ahead of polls  - India Abroad
Kumaratunga goes abroad ahead of polls  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka president goes abroad ahead of key poll  -

Chandrika rules out talks with LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo September 30. SRI LANKAN President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that her government will not attempt to have any further peace talks with the LTTE. Addressing leading members of the Muslim community and professionals here on Friday, Kumaratunga said: “We are not trying (to talk) any more. We are fighting their terrorism to the end.” The President’s declaration fits in well with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake’s announcement that the Army will take Elephant Pass by October 10, the date of polling in the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 19:36:24 EDT 2000

Hi-tech campaign for Chandrika
ChennaiOnline, september 30. Hi-tech electronic broadcasting equipment has been installed in the ‘Temple Trees’ (Presidential palace) to enable Chandrika Kumaratunga to have a direct on-line broadcast of her speeches live on television and radio.An Opposition parliamentarian has charged that holding election meetings in the Temple Trees premises is an abuse of power. While Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is going round the country and addressing public meetings, the ruling Peoples' Alliance leader is electioneering in the backyard of the Temple Trees by bringing in people by government company buses, said A H M Azwer. “The President sets life in film settings, switching from one scene to the other by replacing different decors to address farmers, fishermen, government servants, teachers and students,” the local media quoted him as saying. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 14:00:52 EDT 2000

All subjects in English medium from next year: President
Daily News, September 30. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga announced on Thursday the Government plans to teach all subjects in schools in the English medium beginning next year. The Government has already accepted as a national policy the introduction of English medium as a stream of instruction which is now confined to privately run international schools, the President told delegates of Muslim Women Organisations who met her at the Temple Trees. All subjects for G.C.E. Advanced Level will be taught in English medium under the first stage of this program. It will be introduced to classes upto year six later and by year 2003, the program will cover classes from Year One, she said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 14:03:33 EDT 2000

UNP files contempt of court charges against Sports Minister
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1830 SLT 29 Sep 2000. The UNP today filed contempt of court charges against Sports Minister and SLFP General Secretary S.B.Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake is accused of ridiculing a court order last week banning Samurdhi officials from carrying out political activity during work hours. The Appeals Court on a peitition filed by UNP Chairman Karu Jayasuriya and MP Ravi Karunanayake said Samurdhi officials cannot take part in political activity during their office hours. The Minister went on national television to criticise the order and told Samurdhi officials that they can indulge in political activity at any time they wanted. Opposition parties have alleged that Samurdhi officials are been used to rig elections. The Commissioner general of Samurdhi was also ordered by court to publish in the newspapers, orders to Samurdhi workers that they cannot indulge in political activity during work hours. However the ordered advertisement has not been placed on newspapers to date. The appeals court is expected to take up both matters when it hears the case again on the 5 th of October
Published: Fri Sep 29 09:30:07 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka rebels ask civilians to flee north
MSNBC, Friday, September 29, 2000. Tamil Tiger rebels asked civilians to evacuate large areas of Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula on Friday as intense fighting with government troops entered a fourth day. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 07:29:33 EDT 2000

LTTE holds sway over candidates, voters
The Hindu (International), Sunday, October 01, 2000. BATTICALOA, SEPT. 30. The approach to this town in eastern Sri Lanka is dotted with military checkposts, each a mini-Army camp on its own. Buffels, South African-made armoured cars, patrol the highway. In the town, soldiers block traffic and pedestrians on all sides of the main clock tower to allow a military convoy to pass. Twice in the recent past, trucks carrying soldiers have come under attack from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) not far from the town, and the Army now takes no chances. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 19:34:34 EDT 2000

A bit of foolishness to ease the tension
The Record Online, Friday, September 29, 2000. They had waited a long time to get a medal, and Pauline Davis-Thompson and Susanthika Jayasinghe weren't going to let this five-gold-medal-chasing icon steal the stage Thursday night. Maybe the world wanted to hear it. Maybe it couldn't care less. Just sit there, and be still, Mrs. Jones. They had stories to tell. In a whisper, this slight, shy runner talked to a packed news conference. "I can't explain," Jayasinghe said. "You wouldn't understand. They give me, trouble, trouble, trouble. I give them bronze medal. It'll make them sad." So, someone asked her again: Trouble? What trouble? "It was trouble with me," she said. "Doping and sexual harassment.After I won the world championships in 1997, the [Sri Lankan] sports minister . . . big guy . . . He wants sex with me. I have husband. "I told him no."And so, she told a story about the officials coming to her house, giving her a drug test and refusing to seal the urine specimen with her watching. So, Jayasinghe refused to sign the release. Later, they told her she had tested positive for C.J. Hunter's drug -- nandrolone. No longer would officials let her train in Sri Lanka. No longer was she welcome.The greatest runner in Sri Lanka moved to Los Angeles, and somehow, found a coach to train her for the Olympics.Now cleared of the drug charges, Jayasinghe was in the Olympics, had a bronze medal, and wanted to tell her government what it could do with it. "Find me another country," she said. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 15:50:38 EDT 2000

EPDP terrorising Kayts voters: TULF
ChennaiOnline, september 30. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has charged the People’s Alliance government with assisting an armed political group to terrorise the people of Kayts, one of the ten constituencies in Jaffna, to win the parliamentary elections.In a letter sent to heads of all diplomatic missions based in Colombo, senior vice-president of the TULF V Anandasangari drew their attention to the crimes perpetrated by the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 13:57:38 EDT 2000

Four Sri Lankans caught fishing in Indian waters
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, September 30, 2000. TUTICORIN, SEPT. 29. The Coast Guard (CG) personnel today apprehended four Sri Lankan nationals and seized from them a sophisticated mechanised boat while they were illegally fishing in the Indian waters in the Gulf of Mannar region (GoM) on Friday morning. Briefing presspersons, the Commandant of the Tuticorin CG station, Comm. K. S. Sheoran, said here this evening that the Sri Lankan craft - `S.T.Jeradu' - being fitted with a high frequency communication equipment and sophisticated global positioning navigation system raised suspicion that it might be involved in some `nefarious activities' along the IBL. The Sri Lankans - all Sinhalese - had been identified as Malcom Nicolas Fernando, W.Peter Fernando, W.Joseph Martin Sovice and Jeyanth Delsil. They belonged to the Kalpatiya region in the island. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 03:31:59 EDT 2000

If India can’t, Pakistan might
Himal Magazine, september. There are now strong indications that Sri Lanka is turning to Pakistan for military help against the LTTE after getting a less-than-enthusiastic response from India. The Lahore-based Friday Times says in a special report filed by its correspondent who was in Colombo late August, that he has been told by unidentified senior officials of the Sri Lankan Army that it were actually Pakistan Air Force pilots who helped the Sri Lankans neutralise a recent major Tiger offensive that had threatened to undo gains made by the military. Significantly, no official denial has been forthcoming from the Pakistani authorities on this report, thereby giving credence to the fact that the Pakistani army is indeed assisting the Chandrika Kumaratunga government in actual field operations, (which involve potential bodily risks to Pakistani military personnel), and not only in an advisory capacity. There have also been reports that Pakistan has been a regular supplier of small arms and ammunitions to Colombo for several years. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 00:58:47 EDT 2000

Chandrika denies secret pact on Eelam
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on September 29, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 29. (PTI): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumarantunga has denied having secretly agreed to the formation of a separate State for Tamils during her five-month-long talks with the LTTE in 1994. ``At no stage has the ruling People's Alliance Government agreed to Eelam although we removed restrictions....on the essential items for civilians. Our government has never made secret pacts with the LTTE and the negotiations were aimed at achieving durable peace,'' she said yesterday. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 14:27:07 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Chandrika denies ‘link’ with LTTE  - ChennaiOnline

Over 120 LTTE men killed
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on September 29, 2000. Colombo, Sept. 29. (UNI): At least 120 Liberation Tigers and 31 soldiers were killed so far in the on-going battle in Jaffna since Tuesday even as security forces foiled four unsuccessful attempts at two of the security defence lines inflicting heavy casualties. Military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said more than 120 terrorists were killed and several wounded in the Eluthumdduval sector after they mounted a fierce attack on the security forces. With two casualties yesterday alone, a total of 31 soldiers were killed and 164 were injured. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 14:25:59 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
113 killed as LTTE mounts counter attack  - India Abroad
113 killed in lanka fighting  - Times of India

LTTE casts shadow on Jaffna polls
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, September 29. THOUGH THE LTTE has said that it does not support any of the contestants or parties in the parliamentary elections in the Tamil North East province, it has cast a long shadow on the poll scene there. Parties across the board either claim LTTE support or are accused of having its support. No Tamil party, except the EPDP, PLOTE and EPRLF (Perumal), thinks it fit to criticise the LTTE because of the belief the Tamils will not like it. Some parties even claim LTTE’s blessings, albeit tacitly. The EPDP openly says that the TULF is only dancing to the tune of the LTTE. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 00:10:00 EDT 2000

LTTE bid on politicians foiled
ChennaiOnline, september 30. An LTTE plan to assassinate candidates of several political parties contesting the October 10 election in Jaffna was foiled thanks to the timely action by security forces and intelligence services.The plot was revealed following the recovery of a large number of documents from a bag left by two terrorists who defied a halt order at an army checkpoint in Kokuvil, Jaffna on September 18, a government spokesman said. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 00:27:54 EDT 2000

A Mandate for Reform
AsiaWeek, october 6. When Chandrika Kumaratunga was elected president six years ago, she set as her main task the ending of Sri Lanka's vicious civil war. Re-elected to a second and final term of office last December, she finds that time is running out. The conflict in the north remains as intractable as ever - on Sept. 26 government and rebel forces again engaged in fierce attacks and counter-attacks. Despite recent government successes. Kumaratunga's plan to end the war peacefully by devolving local powers to the Tamil minority runs up against an equally immovable political barrier. She doesn't have the votes in Parliament to pass the necessary reform. The country's legislature election on Oct. 10 will be a test to see if she can get them. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 16:30:21 EDT 2000

Sinhala Tigers - A Commentry
Himal Magazine, September. Soon after the government withdrew its draft constitution from Parliament on 8 August, the gaunt face of Hedigalle Vimalasara Thero appeared in a rash of posters. He staged a fast-unto-death during the mass protest campaign, which derailed the government’s ambitious 17th amendment. The Bill sought to end a costly civil war and guarantee the rights of minority Tamils through a package of devolution. Printed in Sinhala, the poster hailed the monk as a hero of the Sinhala Buddhist race who prevented the great tragedy that would have befallen on the Sinhala nation had the government pursued the reforms, which also needed two-thirds majority in Parliament to become law.Saffron-robed men such as Wimalasara epitomise the virulent opposition that is mounting, not only against President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s recent efforts to find a political solution for the country’s ethnic tangle, but against any such attempt by governments that have been dominated by the southern Sinhalese. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 00:56:08 EDT 2000

JVP to hold protest against murder of its activist
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1920 SLT 29 Sep 2000. The JVP will hold a protest demonstration in Colombo tomorrow morning before the funeral of its activist who died two days ago after a police shooting in Matale. The activist was killed when the police opened fire on a JVP demonstration against the burning of its office in Matale. Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in the funeral in Kurunagela.
Published: Fri Sep 29 09:30:07 EDT 2000

Obit-M.H.M. Ashraff, 1948-2000.
Frontline, September 30. THE tragedy of September 16 involving an MI-17 helicopter of the Sri Lanka Air Force above the Urakanda mountain range in the Aranayaka area in Kegalle district of Sabaragamuwa province resulted in the death of a dynamic political leader of the island - Cabinet Minister M.H.M. Ashraff. Along with him were killed 14 others including crew members, security personnel, personal staff and political supporters. Investigations are on to ascertain whether the crash was an accident or the result of sabotage. Wha tever the outcome of the probe, there is no denying that the demise of Ashraff, the founding president of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the island's largest Muslim party, has created a political vacuum. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 14:28:01 EDT 2000

Pecs Appeal For wealthy women in Sri Lanka, the Mavericks add a little steam to an evening's entertainment
FEER, October 5,. IN THE LIVING ROOM of a swanky bungalow in a posh part of Colombo, a group of smartly dressed young women are sitting around, sipping wine, giggling and talking in hushed tones. They come from a privileged, upper-middle-class world--some are business executives, others are married to corporate high-flyers.Meet the Mavericks--Sri Lanka's only troupe of male dance-strippers who perform at exclusive, private parties for the Laroche and Lancome set. Started by 27-year-old Harsha, a college drop-out turned entrepreneur, the team consists of Tushan, 24; Michael, 26; David, 20; Sharrad, 27, and Shanara, 25. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 16:27:15 EDT 2000

Postal voting ends without major incidents
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The two day period for postal voting for Government servants ended today without any major incidents been reported. 295,000 people were eligible to vote today.
Published: Fri Sep 29 09:30:07 EDT 2000

Bye Bye Mrs.B
Himal Magazine, september . The 84-year-old matriarch, near crippled by arthritis, had not been able to function for much of her last lap in office. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to communicate effectively, Mrs. B, as she is popularly known in political circles, was unable to even marginally take part in governance. Although the office is without real power under Sri Lanka’s Constitution where a directly elected executive president is both head of state and head of government, the prime ministry remains the number two slot hierarchically.Keeping her mother as prime minister despite her very visible disabilities proved useful to Chandrika. That way she could keep other aspirants at bay without antagonising some by choosing another. Chandrika’s opponents say that she would like to keep the seat warm for one of her two children. Daughter Yasodhara is studying medicine at Cambridge and son Vimukthi is due to train as a veterinarian also in England. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 01:06:42 EDT 2000

Heavy fighting in Northern Jaffna Peninsula
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1825 SLT 29 Sep 2000. The Sri Lankan army reported heavy fighting in Northern Sri Lanka overnight as Tamil rebels continued their offensive. The army says the rebels launched four attacks on Army lines in Killali Nagarkovil sectors last night. " We repulsed the attacks " a spokesman said. The army says intelligence sources have indicated that the rebels are aiming to capture Kodikamam. The special media information unit said 32 soldiers have been killed and 162 wounded since the fighting began on tuesday. The army says it has killed 120 rebels. However rebels say they have killed nearly 200 soldiers and wounded over 600. A rebel communique said only 25 of its cadres have been killed. Meanwhile the military also said its aircraft have bombed the Elephant Pass sector. Military sources in the North said 75 soldiers have been killed since fighting began on Tuesday.
Published: Fri Sep 29 09:30:07 EDT 2000

Two killed in Sri Lanka election violence-party
MSNBC, Friday, September 29 7:40 PM SGT . Two opposition supporters were killed in political violence as Sri Lanka prepares for next month's parliamentary election, party officials said on Friday. A man died and at least two were injured in a bomb attack on the house of a candidate from the main opposition United National Party late on Thursday at Medirigiriya, some 220 km (140 miles) northeast of Colombo. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 11:17:18 EDT 2000

Susanthika wins Olympic medal for Lanka after 52 years
Island, 29 September 2000. Sri Lanka’s Susanthika Jayasinghe holds her nation’s flag after running her 200m women’s final at the Sydney Olympic Games September 28, 2000. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 01:29:09 EDT 2000

Heavy battles as Tigers try to overrun Sri Lanka defences, Sep 29 2000 17:10 IST. COLOMBO, Sept 29 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops used ground attack aircraft and artillery to beat back renewed attempts by Tamil rebels to smash army defences, leaving heavy casualties on both sides, officials said. Air force jets carried out bombing sorties just outside the northern peninsula of Jaffna in support of ground troops resisting the rebel onslaughts, defence officials said.The ruling People's Alliance has promised that troops will regain lost territory by October 10 when the country goes to the polls to elect a new parliament. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 08:14:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rebels 'repulsed'  - BBC South Asia
Tamil Tigers make fresh bid against Sri Lankan defences  -

Sri Lanka celebrates first Olympic medal in 52 years
yahoo, September 29. Sri Lanka heaped praise on sprinter Susanthike Jayasinghe here Friday after the athlete bagged the country's first Olympic medal for 52 years.Jayasinghe bagged bronze in the woman's 200 metres Olympic on Wednesday, delighting press and politicians in her homeland.Gifts were also pouring in for Jayasinghe with newspapers reminding that the Sports Ministry had earlier promised 10 million rupees (130,000 dollars) for any Sri Lankan athlete making it to the finals of an Olympic medal. Sri Lankans took to the streets to burst crackers as Jayasinghe narrowly missed silver by becoming third by one hundredth of a second behind Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas in an event won by Marion Jones. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 07:57:04 EDT 2000

Tigers tell civilians to leave Jaffna villages, 29th Sept 2000 21.35 IST . The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have asked civilians living in the army-controlled areas of Thenemarachchi division of Jaffna to leave their villages and find safer places even as 120 Tamil Tigers and 31 government soldiers were killed so far in the ongoing battle in the peninsula since on Tuesday. The Voice of tigers (VOT) in its morning news bullet in said the request was being made because Sri Lankan Army is concentrating forces and setting up new defense lines which are unsafe for the people. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 13:12:38 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Tamil Rebels Tell Civilians To Evacuate  - yahoo/ap
Sri Lanka rebels warn civilians as battles rage  - MSNBC

Sri Lankan rebels kidnapping children
Virtual New York, Friday, 29 September 2000 3:29 (ET). Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels kidnapped school children early this week to use as soldiers as fighting intensified in the northern Jaffna peninsula. Reports reaching the capital Colombo indicate that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam abducted some 30 school children as they were returning from school in the eastern Batticaloa district. The incident came to light when a 15-year-old girl allegedly escaped from the guerrillas and walked into a government garrison.The military spokesman, Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, told United Press International that the rebels were forcibly inducting school children to fight the war. "They push the children to the battlefront after training then for a week in handling weapons," he said. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 07:50:30 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka seeks US, Russia help to fight rebels
Virtual New York, Friday, 29 September 2000 7:50 (ET). Sri Lanka has sought help from the United States and Russia to fight the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the country's north and east. A senior four-member team from the U.S. National Guard is currently in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. The team is advising Sri Lankan officers on ways to deal with the print and electronic media under the present circumstances.Besides the current program on media relations, Sri Lankan troops receive regular training from the U.S. Pacific Command. Under the extended-relations program, the US Pacific Command conducts combat-training exercises for Sri Lankan forces. Sri Lanka also signed an agreement last week with the Russian federation to develop military-technical cooperation between the two countries. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 08:15:44 EDT 2000

Alliance MPs feint left, right, lead with chins
NationalPost, september 29. Mr. Day said he'd found a memo from last May in which Canada's high commissioner to Sri Lanka warned that "a Minister of the Crown" was about to attend a dinner for a group that the U.S. State Department says is linked to Tamil terrorists."Why did the Finance Minister ignore this warning and attend the meeting anyway?"Cute, but misleading. In fact, the memo he had just quoted doesn't mention Mr. Martin, the Finance Minister, at all. The "Minister of the Crown" it mentions is Maria Minna, the junior international-development minister. Still, Mr. Martin took the question."I am pleased that I attended a meeting of Canadian Tamils celebrating their feast," he said blandly. This brought more applause from the Liberals than you might think. Mr. Day was on delicate ground; they could feel it. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 11:03:48 EDT 2000

Bangladesh, Sri Lankan Cos To Form First Diamond Venture
yahoo, september 29. Bangladesh will become an exporter of processed diamonds next year if it succeeds in launching a new venture with Sri Lanka and local companies to be called Brilliant Hera Ltd.Two Bangladeshi companies, JW Worldwide and HRC Bangladesh, signed a deal Wednesday with Sri Lanka's Asia Global Investments Ltd. to establish an export-oriented diamond-cutting and diamond-polishing business at Savar, an industrial town outside the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 07:58:54 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Ctrl Bk Won't Intervene To Prop Rupee -Official
yahoo, september 29. Sri Lanka's central bank said Friday it won't intervene to curb the U.S. dollar's sharp gains against the rupee, which has risen about 1.4% against the local currency since Sept. 11, a senior official told Dow Jones Newswires. R.A Jayatissa, the bank's chief economist, said the bank wasn't overly concerned over the sharp rise of the dollar and expected the exchange rate to stabilize soon. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 08:00:18 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka advance in men's 4x400 metres relay
reuters, september 29. Sri Lanka's 4x400 metres men's relay squad turned in a gritty run at the Sydney Olympics on Friday to move into the semifinals, but India failed to qualify. The Sri Lankan performance was another boost for the tiny country, buoyed by the bronze medal grabbed by sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe on Thursday night in the women's 200 metres behind Marion Jones (news - web sites) of the United States and Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas. Manura Lanka Perera, Rohan Pradeep Kumar, Ranga Wimalawansa and Sugath Thilakaratne clocked three minutes 06.25 seconds as Sri Lanka edged Kenya into second place in 3:06.77 in the second heat of the 4x400. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 02:29:57 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Pres Warns Candidates Against Election Violence
yahoo, September 29. Sri Lanka president Chandrika Kumaratunga pledged Friday to personally inquire into complaints of election violence and warned all candidates of the governing People's Alliance that disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty. "I have no doubts that we will win and I want to stress, in no uncertain terms, that there will be no seats in the next Cabinet or government posts for those involved in election violence," Kumaratunga said on national television late Friday. Elections to the 225-seat Parliament are scheduled Oct. 10. More...
Published: Fri Sep 29 16:38:12 EDT 2000

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