The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 199

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The Lanka Academic is delighted to introduce the second guest for our online "Question and Answer" session: Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, the spokesperson of the United National Party. Answers to the questions 1-42 have been posted.
ENDS OCTOBER 22, 2000 More...
· Overview of Results
· LAcNet Election Center
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 by Mr. Moonesinghe here.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
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Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. She has done so much for the country's arts, culture, environment, and its society. She was a member of the Environmental Authority and continues to run the organisation 'Rukrekaganno' from her house. That too because she was asked to vacate the premises the organisation occupied earlier. Once Gamani Fonseka said of her "With her talent she could have won many Oscars if she had been born in America." President Chandrika calls her affectionately 'Chandi Nanda' and Ranil Wickremasinghe is her close relation too. She is the inimitable Irangani Serasinghe. More...
S. L. Gunasekera. On Thursday the 12th instant while a Central Committee Meeting was in progress we received information that a seat on the National List had been allotted to Sihala Urumaya. No sooner this unexpected news was confirmed Prof C M Madduma Bandara (a Deputy President) suggested that I be nominated to Parliament. There were objections to a decision on this matter being taken by two committee members, Messrs Kamal Deshapriya and Sujith Akkaraiwatta who said that the decision should be taken only after considering the preferences polled and ascertaining the views of the Maha Sangha and other supporters. Mr Thilak Karunaratne our General Secretary then pointed out that preferences were not a relevant consideration in making an appointment to a seat on the National List. 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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SL Army needs 10,000 soldiers- but can they make it?
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.00 p. m October 21. Sri Lankan army will launch a campaign to recruit ten thousand soldiers from Monday 24 October military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told The Lanka Academic today. The campaign will go on until the 10th of November. Brigadier Karunaratne said that the Army will carry out a very aggressive recruitment drive in the villages and they hope to get the support of religious leaders to carry out the recruitment campaign this time.

Jaffna security forces commander Major General Anton Wijendra told The Lanka Academic on 9 October that the LTTE can be defeated militarily and it was only a matter of time. He said that the Sri Lankan army needed more soldiers and weapons to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Army has been carrying out recruitment campaigns at different times but, so far failed to get the required numbers to join the forces. It will be interesting to see how the religious leaders support Army’s recruitment drive. In 1997 the Army went round the country having mini tattoos as a part of their recruitment drive. However they didn’t achieve the desired results at the time. A sixteen-year-old boy Chaminda who spoke to this correspondent at the Army tattoo in Puttalam in 1997 questioned “ Why should we join the army to protect the people living in Colombo?” This is a problem facing the Sri Lankan army now. Many soldiers are of the opinion that the country is not behind the army, especially people living in Colombo.

Paul Harris of the Jane’s Defense Weekly who was in Sri Lanka recently endorsed this view. He told this correspondent while touring Jaffna, that the war will go on unless the elite in Colombo stop living in the clouds, realize the futility of the war and extend their fullest support to end it. Harris believed that the whole country should back the army and the people living in Colombo too must join the army, not only the poor villagers. “It is important to begin conscription,” Harris said.
Published: Sat Oct 21 11:59:56 EDT 2000

Ask Karu! Ends Oct. 22nd Send in your questions to the spokesperson of UNP, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku. Answers 1-42 now in.
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Chandrika to bring in new electoral system
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, October 21. PRESIDENT CHANDRIKA Kumaratunga, has vowed to replace the Proportional Representation (PR) electoral system in Sri Lanka by the First Past the Post (FPP) system because the latter will allow a popular political party to get a two thirds majority. In a statement issued here last night, the President said that October 10 parliamentary elections had very clearly indicated that the people wanted, among other things, that the present “fraudulent” electoral system be amended. Meanwhile, the Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP) has condemned the assassination of the well known Jaffna journalist Nimalrajan Mayilvahanam on Thursday and denied allegations of being involved in the murder. In a statement issued here today, the EPDP’s secretary general Douglas Devananda said the accusation was “wild” and added that they were being made by “certain sections” which had no guts to point an accusing finger at the LTTE when it carried out assassinations. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 19:17:50 EDT 2000

Thousands mourn slain Jaffna journalist
TamilNet, October 21. More than four thousand mourners took part in the funeral of the slain Tamil journalist Nimalrajan Saturday as he was laid to rest in the cemetery of the church of Konjanji Maatha this afternoon in Jaffna town around 3.30 p.m. Posters condemning his killing came up in many parts the peninsula. Black flags were also flown in the town. Meanwhile, in Colombo, the opposition Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) charged that the EPDP was behind the Nimalrajan's killing. A leaflet issued by the Jaffna University Students' Association titled "Is this Rehabilitation in Jaffna" charged that a group that feared the truth will come out from Jaffna murdered Nimalrajan. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 16:03:20 EDT 2000
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All Paramilitary Groups Should be Disarmed- Trade Minister
Saroj Pathirana in London, Saturday 21 October 1730 GMT. "We condemn the long term practice of governments supplying arms to paramilitary groups; Not only the TELO should be disarmed, but also all the other armed groups", Minister for Shipping, Trade and Muslim affairs Rauf Hakeem said. Reacting to Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), who secured three seats in recent general elections, claims that the government is disarming them in revenge for voting against the PA in the parliament, the minister said that SLMC strongly condemns government’s practice of supplying arms to militias. Therefore other groups who support the government should also be disarmed, he added.
Published: Sat Oct 21 13:31:31 EDT 2000

Security threat looms over new Lankan Cabinet
Times of India, 22 October. The ``jumbo Cabinet'' in Sri Lanka has added to the woes of the already hard-pressed Ministerial Security Division (MSD) in providing security to all its 43 members following intelligence reports that the LTTE suicide bombers may target the ministers on every possible occasion. The security division has asked the ministers not to participate in events conducted at hotels or private locations. Soon after the 43 members of the cabinet were sworn in on Thursday, Prime Minister Ratansiri Wickremanayke warned the ministers to strictly adhere to the security guidelines provided to them. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 15:22:26 EDT 2000

Suicide Terrorism
Janes Defence, October. Traditionally viewed as a problem affecting the Middle East and South Asia, the threat posed by suicide terrorism is spreading around the globe. Rohan Gunaratna assesses the nature of the threat, preventive and reactive security measures, and examines future trends.Examination of suicide terrorism across a range of groups has revealed that terrorist groups use suicide bombers when they are both strong and weak. In terms of military and economic power, Hizbullah and the LTTE lead the list of suicide operations. In terms of numbers, the LTTE has conducted the largest volume of suicide operations, followed by Hizbullah, Hamas and the PKK. In terms of range, only some of the groups have operated beyond their territories. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 16:16:28 EDT 2000

Lanka businessmen call for national government
Times of India, 22 October 2. The country's top industrialists on Saturday urged the ruling alliance and main opposition to form a "national government," a concept the country's justice minister called "unrealisable."The Joint Forum of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Employers' Organisations and Trade Associations of Sri Lanka carried full-page advertisements in all national newspapers calling for "a bipartisan approach to form a government of national unity and reconstruction." More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 15:24:30 EDT 2000

SRI LANKA: Journalist assassinated in his home - A letter by CPJ Director Ann Cooper
CPJ, October 20. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the murder yesterday of veteran journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, a Jaffna-based journalist who reported for various news organizations including the BBC's Tamil and Sinhala-language services, the Tamil-language daily Virakesari, and the Sinhala-language weekly Ravaya. CPJ appreciates today's announcement that Your Excellency has ordered defense authorities to initiate an immediate inquiry into the assassination.Local journalists suspect that Nimalarajan's reporting on vote-rigging and intimidation in Jaffna during the recent parliamentary elections may have led to his murder. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 01:42:15 EDT 2000

Prasanna Vithanage boycotts presidential film awards
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8. 45 p.m October 21. Sri Lanka's award winning film director Prasanna Vithanage boycotted the Presidential film awards ceremony held today at Temple Trees where President Chandrika Kumaratunge was the chief guest. Vithanage's film 'Pauru Walalu' won six presidential awards including the best actress award which went to Neeta Fernando.

Vithange said it was not possible for him to attend the ceremony as he was a man with a conscience. It was in reference to his banned movie 'Purahanda Kaluwara'

Vithanage's award winning movie 'Purahanda Kaluwara' ( Death on a full moon night) was banned by the government this year. The movie produced in association with NHK in Japan deals with the realities of war in Sri Lanka . It brings to light the poverty of the soldiers fighting the war up North.
Published: Sat Oct 21 10:52:22 EDT 2000

Poll results, a mandate to eradicate terrorism: Chandrika
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on October 21, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 21. (PTI): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said re-election of the People's Alliance (PA) Government reaffirms the people's mandate for her policies to find a political solution to ethnic war with LTTE, even as she blamed the Proportional Representation (PR) system for the Government falling short of the majority. ``The people have given us the fullest cooperation for the total eradication of terrorism and the provision for a political solution to end the ethnic crisis in the north-east,'' she said in a statement published in the official media today. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 14:55:04 EDT 2000

Comfortable victory for Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 20:59 GMT 21:59 U. Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu produced vital half-centuries to guide Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the Champions Trophy in Sharjah. Their second wicket partnership of 157 had the biggest bearing on the whole match, with Jayasuriya making 78 off 84 balls, including eight fours and one six, while Atapattu made 90 off 138 deliveries. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 18:05:21 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka wins!!!  - Cricinfo
SL vs Zimbabwe  - yahoo-ap
Cricket: Sri Lanka in a strong position against Zimbabwe  - NDTV/MSNBC

Do not vote for traitors who betray their country and people in exchange for their lifeand power! An interview with Somawansa Amarasinghe
The JVP website, October . Every action-taking place inside the People Alliance government seems to be a conspiracy. The election of the SLFP General secretary was taken place across an operation of conspiracy. It is absolutely clear that it is not a United Front, they are cutting each other’s throats and soon it will conspire against other parties especially there are reports of brutal conspiracies against the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. There was a conspiracy of slander by leaders of the Peoples Alliance government to misguide people that the JVP is forming an armed group in the South. But people in our country know that our party is a responsible and well disciplined party that this bankrupt government will not be able to mislead or misguide the people. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 16:23:32 EDT 2000

A parliament of 88 ministers and deputy ministers
The Island, October 21. Sri Lanka may enter the Guiness Book of Records with the largest cabinet of ministers comprising 44 members being formed in the new millennium. The Kumaratunga government which pledged to keep the cabinet at twenty before the 1994 polls, accusing the UNP of having large cabinets and wasting state funds, had thirty one members in the cabinet they ruled the nation for the first six years. Now they have increased it further by another 13 members. When 44 deputies are appointed, the total of ministers and deputies will rise to 88. It is learnt that there would be more than 44 deputies in this government. In the last government though the cabinet was 31, the deputies totalled 43. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 01:55:58 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Rejects Rebels' Claim
Yahoo, October 21. OLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - The military said Saturday it repulsed a major assault by Tamil Tiger rebels, who claimed to have captured a crucial supply route after breaking through army defenses in the northern Jaffna Peninsula. The rebels said they had captured the supply route in Nagar Kovil along with military defenses south of Nagar Kovil town, but the military denied that claim, saying several days of heavy fighting had left them in control of the area. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 18:09:26 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan military rejects rebels' claim of battle successes  - ABC News
112 killed in LTTE, Army battle  - India Abroad
Over a hundred killed in Sri Lanka fighting  - Virtual New York
Lankan troops regain lost territory  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Latest Sri Lanka fighting  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka battle kills 112  -

Nimalarajan: Reporting from the frontline
BBC, October 21. Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan, who has been shot dead in his home, spent most of his 38 years working as a journalist in Jaffna, the epicentre of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict which has destroyed over 60,000 lives in the past decade.Nimalarajan remained in Jaffna during the time when the town fell under the control of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). And he continued to do so after government forces recaptured the city.When other journalists stopped reporting from northern Sri Lanka, Nimalarajan did not join them because there was a story to be told. In the past 12 months, most journalists in Jaffna have been silenced by threats they have received - mainly from political parties created by former militants.

During the recent election campaign, which ended last week, he is said to have received many such threats. His loss will mean a complete news blackout from the peninsula and there will be no one to inform the outside world objectively of what might be happening in the area. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 01:37:00 EDT 2000

Media Minister condemns assassination of Jaffna journalist
CDN, October 21. Information and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa yesterday vehemently condemned the brutal assassination of the Jaffna-based Journalist Mylvahanam Nimalarajan who was a correspondent for Veerakesari and Ravaya newspapers and also a regular contributor to the BBC' Tamil and Sinhala services. At a time when the Government has asserted the freedom of journalists, no responsible person would tolerate such a cowardly act of terrorism and it should be condemned unreservedly, the Minister said. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 02:04:40 EDT 2000

Neelan remembered today
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.25 a.m October 21. International Centre for Ethnic Studies remembers moderate Tamil politician late Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam today with the third lecture in the Neelan Tiruchelvam millenium lecture series . It will be held at the BMICH in Colombo.

The lecture will be delivered by Patricia Viseur Sellers attached to the office of the prosecutor, International tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in the Hague, Netherlands. She will speak on International Tribunals, Justice by Prosecution. First lecture in the series was delivered by Blandine Keigel professor of philosophy , university of Paris and the second by by Michael Ignatieff a London based Journalist.

Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber on July 29 last year down Kynsey road in Colombo ,while he was on his way to his office, International Center for Ethnic Studies.
Published: Sat Oct 21 00:33:59 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan doctor fears hand, foot, mouth epidemic
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on October 21, 2000. Colombo, Oct. 21. (Reuters): Some 150 Sri Lankan children have contracted hand, foot and mouth disease and doctors said today quick action was needed to prevent an epidemic. "This could reach epidemic proportions if speedy action is not taken by the Health Ministry," Dr. Dimuthu Weerasooriya of the Lady Ridgeway Children's Hospital in Colombo told Reuters. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 08:45:47 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka doctor fears hand, foot and mouth epidemic  - ABC News

Airlines reduce fares to India, Sri Lanka
gulf news, october 21. Several airlines have reduced their fares to India and Sri Lanka, to help expatriates from these countries benefit from the current amnesty and leave the island. Gulf Air, followed by Kuwait Airways and Air India, first announced a 50 per cent fare reduction to India and Sri Lanka.Gulf Air reduced the return economy fare to Mumbai from 220 to 130 dinars, while Air India reduced the fare by BD120 and Kuwait Airways by 109 dinars. These three airlines also reduced the one-way fare from 155 to 65 dinars, 60 and 65 dinars, respectively. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 02:35:57 EDT 2000

PA, UNP hold talks to forge consensus
The Hindustan Times, Colombo October 20. SRI LANKA'S ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) and the Opposition United National Party (UNP) have been holding behind-the-scenes talks to forge a consensus on major national issues. In the past few days, three meetings had been held between Prime Minister Mr.Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and the UNP's parliamentary whip, Mr.Tyronne Fernando. "The Prime Minister is in an upbeat mood and something concrete might emerge next week. Both parties want to see an end to confrontational and acrimonious politics," Mr.Fernando told The Hindustan Times here today. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 18:45:04 EDT 2000

Government says no to Journalists
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 20 October 1730 GMT. A request made by journalists including Warren Karunatilake of Free Media Movement and Sunil Jayasekara of Ravaya to attend murdered journalist Nimalarajan's funeral, has been turned down by the Sri Lankan government. Although the Ministry of Defence had agreed to grant permission in the morning, few hours later their request was rejected without giving any reason. The group of journalists have also spoken to the Media minister as well as the Director Information about this request and was told by them that they would arrange for them to visit Jaffna. Journalist, Jayasiri jayasekera of Ravaya told BBC's Sandeshaya, that this shows there is no freedom in the country even to attend a funeral and government's unwillingness to bridge the gap between the people in the north and south.
Published: Fri Oct 20 13:44:36 EDT 2000
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Tilak Karunaratne denies cross over rumours
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.35 p.m October 20. Sihala Urumaya general secretary and parliamentarian Tilak Karunaratne denied today that he was planning to cross over to the Peoples Alliance government . There were wide spread rumours today that Karunaratne had been offered a cabinet portfolio in the new government.

Speaking to a private television channel Karunaratne said " I am not a power hungry man and I will never betray my party. Interested parties would have spread this story because Sihala Urumaya voted with the government yesterday to extend the state of emergency. Sihala Urumaya believes that emergency must be extended to fight the war.That is the only reason I voted to extend the emergency"

Karunaratne also slammed the government of President Kumaratunge and said that she had established a world record by appointing 44 cabinet ministers.
Published: Fri Oct 20 10:38:52 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka Tamil party slam president over disarming, Oct 20 2000 18:13 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 20 (AFP) - A Tamil political party Friday slammed President Chandrika Kumaratunga for disarming them in revenge for voting against the ruling party in the hung parliament. The former militant-group-turned-political party, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), said the government had Thursday removed some 75 automatic rifles given for the protection of its members."This is a revenge action which is politically motivated," TELO leader Nagalingam Srikanthan said. "If any of our cadres are killed because of this, we will leave the corpse at the door of President Kumaratunga." More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 09:27:08 EDT 2000
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Lanka Tamil party slams Kumaratunga  - Times of India

Troops thwart LTTE advance at Nagarkovil
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.55 a.m. SLT Friday October 20. Miiltary Spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said that troops had successfully thwarted an LTTE attack at Nagarkovil last evening. He said the fighting had claimed the lives of four soldiers and injured 44 including 2 officers. He said the rebels too had suffered heavy casualties but declined to give details.

Karunaratne meanwhile confirmed that during the attack a MI - 24 Helicopter gunship was shot down by the Tigers. But its three crew the Pilot, Co-Pilot and Gunner escaped death.

Meanwhile the Navy had also attacked 8 identified LTTE vessels off the seas of Challai yesterday. Brigadier Santha Karunaratne said that two boats of the SLN incurred minor damages, while two other boats of the LTTE got away.
Published: Fri Oct 20 00:10:10 EDT 2000

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Sri Lanka rebel attack 'repulsed'  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka troops resist rebel offensive, 24 dead  -
Sri Lanka troops resist heavy rebel onslaught: military  -

Sri Lanka says wins back ground lost to rebels
MSNBC, october 21. Sri Lankan troops have won back ground lost in this week's latest round of battles with Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's northern Jaffna peninsula, military officials said on Saturday.''We have recaptured three bunker positions and have cleared the area where the fighting developed,'' military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters in Colombo. ''In total, over 80 rebels are believed to have been killed in the ground fighting while 15 guerrillas died in the naval battle,'' Karunaratne added. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 02:19:39 EDT 2000
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20 LTTE men killed in fighting  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka battles for ground lost in rebel strike  - ABC News

Sri Lanka shine despite Tendulkar ton
BBC South Asia, Friday, 20 October, 2000, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK . Sri Lanka shrugged off Sachin Tendulkar's 26th one-day hundred for India to clinch a comfortable five-wicket win in Sharjah. India failed to capitalise onTendulkar's 26th one-day hundred as they totalled a modest 224 for eight in their 50 overs. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 17:04:52 EDT 2000
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Tendulkar ton highlight of lacklusture Indian innings  - Cricinfo
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Sri Lankan media condemns journalist slaying in Jaffna, Oct 20 2000 18:26 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 20 (AFP) - Sri Lankan journalists and political parties Friday condemned the slaying of a reporter working for foreign and local news organisations in embattled Jaffna and demanded an immediate probe. Unidentified attackers stormed the home of local journalist Mailwaganam Nimalarajan, 38, in the heart of Jaffna town Thursday night, opened fire and escaped after letting off a grenade, colleagues said.No group has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.However, a Tamil political party, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) accused a pro-government Tamil party of responsibility for the killing.Newly appointed Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the government would not tolerate such "cowardly acts of terrorism" and that he was condemning it unreservedly. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 09:28:37 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka journalists condemn killing  - BBC South Asia

Press group condemns murder of Tamil journalist in Jaffna, Oct 20 2000 17:52 IST. VIENNA, Oct 20 (AFP) - An international press lobby group condemned Friday the killing of a Tamil journalist in Sri Lanka's embattled Jaffna peninsula, saying his reporting could have led to his murder. The Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga to investigate the murder of Mailwaganam Nimalarajan, who worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) among others. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 09:28:07 EDT 2000
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Sri Lankan media condemns journalist slaying in Jaffna  -
BBC journalist killed in Sri Lanka  - The Times, UK
Tamil journalist working for BBC killed in Jaffna  - MSNBC
BBC reporter killed in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
Sri Lankan Tamil Journalist Working For BBC Killed  - Yahoo
Sri Lankan media condemns murder of journalist in Jaffna  -
Veteran journalist gunned down in Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sky-high success for Sri Lankas poor farmers
Sri Lanka NewsWeb, Friday, 20 October. When passengers on Sri Lankas national carrier eat their meals high up in the sky, little do they realise that the fine food has come from the countrys poorest region. The high quality vegetables and fruit, which were once mainly imported from Singapore, Australia and the US, are now also being supplied to Sri Lankan Airlines by farmers in the Indian Ocean island nations central Uva region. There is a huge demand from Sri Lankan Airlines for vegetables and fruits produced by farmers from the Uva region, says Asoka Kasturiarachchi, assistant resident representative at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) office in Colombo, which has helped make this possible. They will probably stop their overseas sources of supply once the airline is assured of an unlimited supply from Uva farmers, he adds. An anti-poverty programme, led by the UNDP, is helping the farmers grow produce for which there is a demand in national and international markets, and then sell directly to such buyers. This includes high-quality vegetables, fruit, pesticide-free rice and bee honey. The UN agency is working with Sri Lankan government agencies, private companies and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on this. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 05:08:32 EDT 2000

Police detain five Tamil suspects in suicide bombing attack
CNN, October 20. Police on Friday detained five Tamil men for questioning for suspected involvement in a suicide bombing that killed three people and wounded 21 others a day earlier, police said.Police carried out a night-long search for suspects in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, said Bodhi Liyanage, the deputy inspector-general of police. "We detained the men and they are undergoing interrogation." More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 15:15:01 EDT 2000
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Sri Lanka braces for more suicide bombings  -

Cricket: India takes on Sri Lanka in the Coca Cola trophy
NDTV/MSNBC, 20 October 2000. The Indian cricket team will play Sri Lanka today in the first round of the Coca Cola trophy in Sharjah. Zimbabwe is the third team in the competition. Each team will play against the other twice before the top two teams advance to the finals on October 29. India was relatively successful at the ICC Knockout Tournament in Kenya, but will need to tighten up its game if it is to reach the finals. India has a few of the world's best batsmen in its line-up. Sharjah is Tendulkar's favourite hunting ground, and with support from Ganguly, who is in fine nick, they will need to play solid cricket so that the pressure is taken off their bowlers. More...
Published: Fri Oct 20 00:42:57 EDT 2000

Nedumaran’s LTTE baggage triggers off a controversy
HindustanTimes, October 21. The recent foray into the forests to rescue Dr. Rajkumar from the clutches of Veerappan saw the emergence of a second force among negotiators – P. Nedumaran, leader of the Tamil Nationalist Movement, breaking Nakkeeran Gopal's monopoly. However, Nedumaran's involvement has triggered off a controversy as his pro-LTTE baggage has become a convenient stick for Karunanidhi's critics to beat with.Even as the Supreme Court and other alarmists envisaged an LTTE-Veerappan nexus being facilitated by Nedumaran, Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna sought to distance himself from the new emissary, saying that he was Karunanidhi's choice. More...
Published: Sat Oct 21 01:25:50 EDT 2000
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TMC demands white paper on kidnap crisis  - The Hindu (Southern States)

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