The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 179

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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)
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Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
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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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Sri Lanka 'resists' rebel advance
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 1 October, 2000, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK . The Sri Lankan army says it has successfully resisted the latest attempt of the Tamil Tigers to capture territory east of the town of Chavakachcheri, in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The army says that the rebels used heavy mortar and artillery to try to breach their defences in Eluthumadduval. It says that the rebels were forced to retreat after sustaining heavy casualties. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 12:13:49 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Fresh fighting in Sri lanka kills 54  -
More than 50 dead in fresh Sri Lanka fighting  - Virtual New York
50 LTTE cadres killed in heavy fighting  - The Hindu NUS
Fierce fighting in Jaffna  - BBC South Asia
Heavy battles rage in Sri Lanka, pushing death toll over 56  -

A moment of national unity
Susanthika at Sydney Olympics
Janath Tillekeratne in Colombo.
About ten minutes before 3 PM, I walked down to Main street, Pettah to ... my office and the moment I sat down, the whole area was suddenly ripped apart with the sound of thousands of crackers bursting simultaneously. I thought initially that some rich politician on his campaign trail is coming down 2nd Cross street, but immediately I got a call from my wife who said with an emotional voice (she was probably shedding tears of joy) that Susanthika had won a bronze medal. I immediately ran down the stairs (three stories mind you) in no time and rushed to the store front I left a few minutes ago which was streaming with people by then. All of them were shouting with joy and some were obviously ecstatic. Shops and work abandoned, they all spoke so proudly of "our girl's" achievements in Sydney. I also stood among them with an erect spine and deliberately squared shoulders brimming with pride. I must say it was an explosive moment.

I was thrilled, over-joyed and happey as ever, not just because of Susanthika winning againt all odds, but with the sudden realization at that instant that every Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala in Pettah were shedding happy tears together for our beloved Sri Lanka, without any racial, religious or ethnic bounderies. That particular instant, all of us were one race, one enitity and one identity, though I do not know whether it is the Sri Lankan, Ceylonese or Serendibian identity and I just did not care.

God bless you Susanthika for not only winning us an Olympic medal, but also for giving us this brief moment of a true national identity.

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Sri Lankan President urged to return as violence escalates, Oct 01 2000 12:57 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 1 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Sunday demanded the immediate return to the island of President Chandrika Kumaratunga as another of their activists was killed in election-related violence. Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged Kumaratunga to remain on the island saying it was crucial for her as head of the armed forces to maintain law and order in the face of escalating polls-related violence."I request the president to return to the country immediately," he said. "We want to assure her that she will not face any problems after her party's defeat." "She can function as figure-head president while we run the government," Wickremesinghe said, hinting that the president had left the island sensing a defeat at the October 10 election. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 10:33:14 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Violence continues prior to Sri Lanka vote  - Virtual New York

Susanthika renews sex charge
Sunday Times, October 1. Sri Lanka's Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe has publicly accused a Cabinet Minister of wanting to have sex with her and being victimised for refusing.The newspaper said: "The way Jayasinghe tells it, this ....... Minister — who still holds his position in Sri Lanka — then set in motion a nefarious plan to have her discredited as a drug cheat. She said that in March, 1998, some Government officials showed up at her home and said she had to take an unscheduled drug test. "I said no problem, let's go," Susanthika said. "I had been tested five, six times before. I knew I was a clean athlete." The newspaper said: "But, according to Jayasinghe that is where the skullduggery started.'I took two bottles. I filled two bottles. I closed my bottles and then I said give me the seals,' she contended. They said, 'Oh, don't worry about it. You don't need seals; just give us the samples.' More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 11:46:43 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Excerpts from the LA Times  - LA Times

Lankan media highlights Susanthika's harassment allegations
Yahoo, Monday October 2, 1:45 AM. Controversial Sri Lankan sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe, the lone Olympic medal winner for her country at the Sydney Games has again raised a furore with her comments in the media of alleged sexual harassment by a senior cabinet Minister ahead of the October 10 parliamentary elections. Her comments in The Los Angeles Times about how she was harassed at home and singled out for a bad treatment after she won silver medal in the 1997 World Athletics Chmpionships in Athens, were on Sunday pasted as banner headlines in a number of privately run newspapers in Colombo.Soon after winning the bronze medal at Sydney Olympics two days ago, Susanthika in the company of gold medal winner Marion Jones of US and silver medallist, Pauline Davis Thomson of Bahamas reportedly told the international media about the harassment. ``It was trouble for me, including doping and sexual harassment. After I won the World Championships in 1997, the Minister ... The big guy ... He wanted sex with me. But I refused. I have a husband,'' she said. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 23:52:41 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Susanthika to marry and undergo training  - Daily News
Lankan athlete blames minister of sexual harassment  -
Medallist's remarks may give UNP extra mileage  - The Hindu (International)

Civilians Flee Sri Lanka's North As Battles Rage
ABC News, 10/01/2000 05:23:00 ET. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Civilians began fleeing the war zone in Sri Lanka"s northern Jaffna peninsula after Tamil separatists attacked army defenses, military officials said on Sunday. "The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is using heavy artillery attacks on populated areas to drive the civilians away," military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters by telephone in Colombo. He could not say how many civilians had left their homes, but a pro-rebel Web site ( said 1,500 people had moved out of the war zone on Saturday. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 11:01:37 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Civilians flee North Jaffna after LTTE attack  - Deccan Herald
Fear grips Jaffna following LTTE warning to people to vacate  - SouthNexus

Sri Lankan Minister escapes bid on life
The Hindu (International), Monday, October 02, 2000. A Sri Lankan Minister survived an assassination bid as 50 rebels and four soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in the Jaffna peninsula, with the LTTE attacking some key areas captured by the Army during its recent offensive. The Deputy Minister for Media and Telecommunications, Mr. L. A. M. Hisbullah, escaped unhurt while three of his police guards were injured when their convoy came under LTTE attack in eastern Batticaloa district. Mr. Hisbullah, a senior leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, is contesting from his native Kathankudy constituency in Batticaloa district in the October 10 Parliamentary polls. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 18:41:59 EDT 2000

Yellow ribbon cost Susantika her gold medal - Lankan PM, 01st Oct 2000 16.57 IST . Susantika Jayasinghe could have won an Olympic gold medal for Sri Lanka had she not worn the yellow ribbon at the games, said Prime Minister Ratanasiri Wickramenayake. Addressing an election rally on Friday, Me Wickramenayake in a lighter vein said, '' if she had not worn the yellow ribbon, she would have beaten Marion Jones.'''I am famous at home and abroad and grabbed this opportunity to put the message across,'' she was quoted as having told Sri Lankan journalists at Sydney.When asked if it was her own decision or she was asked to do so, Jayasinghe said ''it was my own decision.'' More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 10:52:46 EDT 2000

Chandrika's alliance leads marginally: Polls
Times of India, 2 October 2000 . President Chandrika Kumaratunga-led People's Alliance (PA) is leading with a narrow margin over the opposition United National Party (UNP) in the October 10 parliamentary polls in Sri Lanka, two opinion polls said. A survey carried out by the prominent Wijeya and Upali newspaper chains said that a 45.6 per cent people in 17 districts in the Sinhalese dominated south said PA's peformance was better than that of the previous UNP government, which was in power for 15 years till 1994. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 18:46:23 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Chandrika continues to have an edge: Polls  - The Hindustan Times

FBI to help Sri Lanka probe chopper crash
Virtual New York, Sunday, 1 October 2000 2:04 (ET). COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Oct 1 (UPI) - A team of officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation is due to arrive in Colombo this week to help SriLanka's Air Force investigate the helicopter crash that killed a federal minister and 13 others.The Sunday Leader newspaper said the FBI team will be joined by a team of U.S. officials from the legal attaché's office of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Both U.S. teams will assist air force authorities in trying to determine the cause of the helicopter crash.The newspaper said the U.S. teams were coming at the invitation of the Defense Ministry. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 03:25:46 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka election: Tamil parties in jitters
The Hindu (International), Monday, October 02, 2000. BATTICALOA, OCT. 1. With 21 political parties and independent groups and 168 candidates contesting for the five seats in this district where 75 per cent of the population is Tamil and the rest Muslim, the Tamil political parties are jittery at the prospect of a divided vote. In the last elections, the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), which obtained 75,000 of the 1.71 lakh votes polled in the district, breezed through with three seats. The party stalwart from the region, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, secured a record 43,350 preferential votes. To add to the TULF's woes, this time, the SLMC, which is contesting as the National Unity Alliance, is also actively seeking to woo Tamil voters by fielding Tamil candidates. Its list has more Tamil than Muslim candidates. Its star campaigner in the district, the Deputy Minister for Telecommunications, Mr. M.L.A.M. Hisbullah, has taken his electioneering to Tamil areas, something he did not do in previous elections. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 18:32:37 EDT 2000

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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels attack naval patrol craft  - MSNBC

'Lankan conflict a struggle among elite'
India Abroad, Oct 01, 2000 10:00 Hrs (IST) . Washington: Sri Lanka's protracted ethnic conflict is essentially a "power struggle among elite" and it is necessary "to go to the ordinary people" to resolve it, according to a research study by the US Institute of Peace (USIP). The study by Arjuna Parakrama, a senior fellow at USIP, argues that the ethnic war is essentially "a power struggle among elite who are using religion and ethnicity as a cover for their ulterior motives." "The elite in Sri Lanka are part of the problem. It is they who are generating the conflict. You have to go to the ordinary people for a solution." More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 01:42:51 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

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

Chandrika campaigns from safety of house
DECCAN HERALD , COLOMBO, Sept 30 (UNI). Hi-tech electronic broadcasting equipment has been isntalled in the ''Temple Trees`` (presidential palace) to enable Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga to have a direct on- line broadcast of her speeches live on television and radio.This has been done to enable the president to address various sectons of the people all over the country as she has been advised not to undertake any election campaign meetings due to a threat to her life. More...
Published: Sun Oct 1 03:35:43 EDT 2000
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Hi-tech campaign for Chandrika  - ChennaiOnline

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

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

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 ‘link’ with LTTE
ChennaiOnline, september 29. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has asserted that her government has not betrayed the country by exchanging letters with LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran.Refuting allegations levelled by the Opposition, the President said as soon she came to power in 1994 she had made an earnest attempt to solve the Eelam issue. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 00:29:58 EDT 2000

113 killed as LTTE mounts counter attack
India Abroad, Sept 28, 2000 19:40 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Intense fighting has broken out in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula as Tamil Tiger guerrillas launched a bloody counter-offensive against government troops with both sides claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on the other. Battles raged around the Pallai and Kilali areas after government troops said they had wrested territory in the Chavakachcheri area in a major operation begun on Tuesday. Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said the military's losses comprised 29 soldiers killed in Wednesday's battle in Kilali. The forces claimed to have killed some 50 Tiger rebels, although the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement sent from its London office that only nine of its members had died in the latest offensive. However, PTI news agency put the toll at 113. More...
Published: Sat Sep 30 10:19:47 EDT 2000

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

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

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

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

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