The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 202

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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...

A tribute to a BBC correspondent killed in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
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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LTTE rob our goods - Says civilians in uncleared areas
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10. 20 p .m October 24. The LTTE has started robbing goods sent to civilians in uncleared areas, civilians coming from such areas have complained. Many civilians have said that the LTTE forces lorries carrying essential items to unload goods in their stores and then issue expired food items from their stores to be used by the civilian population through the co-operative establishments.

The government of Sri Lanka supplies essential food items to people living in uncleared areas with the help of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). Supplies are sent to uncleared areas on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The convoys are checked at the Piramanalakkulam checkpoint by the army and taken up to Madhu with the help of the ICRC. Harasha Gunewardane ICRC spokesman in Colombo told The Lanka Academic "The ICRC merely provides an escort for the crossing of the line as a confidence building measure to the government agent's food convoy. The goods in lorries and the subsequent distribution of food items is not the responsibility of the ICRC" However civilians alleged that from that point onwards over fifty lorries sent each day are checked and taken control of by the LTTE.

Civilians in the area also have complained that while, the governments request is to issue goods worth Rupees. 1500 to them, the LTTE issues goods worth only Rupees 750 to them. They have complained that the rebels take the balance goods to their stores named Seran, Pandian and Solan to be sold to civilians at very high prices. Civilians have accused the LTTE of creating problems by ordering the co-operatives to issue only a litre of kerosene while their entitlement is six litres. It is reported that the LTTE uses most of the goods sent to uncleared areas for the benefit of their fighters and their families.

The minister in charge of North/East Rehabilitation Douglas Devananda was not available for comment . However , a senior government official in Colombo said "Our government is the only government in the world that provides food items to people living under enemy control. It is sad what the LTTE is doing with them."
Published: Tue Oct 24 12:17:36 EDT 2000

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Journalists protest in Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday October 24. The Journalists Association in Vavuniya today staged a protest against the killing of BBC correspondent Nimalarajan in Jaffna last week. The Vavuniya correspondents have written a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunge demanding that a full and impartial inquiry be held into the murder of the Jaffna based reporter. The journalists have further reiterated to the Head of State that she pledge to ensure that the press are allowed a freedom of expression and speech.
Published: Tue Oct 24 02:22:55 EDT 2000
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Northern journalists to protest against Nimalarajan Killing  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo

Sri Lanka's opposition scouts support over constitutional reform, Oct 24 2000 18:16 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 24 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition began talks Tuesday with other parties in a bid to drum up support to pressure the shaky ruling coalition to implement radical constitutional reforms. The opposition United National Party (UNP) issued what it called a "common program for good and clean governance" and asked for support from the ruling People's Alliance and well as other opposition parties. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 09:31:13 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka political deal likely  - BBC South Asia
Lankan opposition issues ultimatum to govt  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka Doctor Fears Hand, Foot And Mouth Epidemic
Yahoo, October 24. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Some 150 Sri Lankan children have contracted hand, foot and mouth disease and doctors said on Saturday 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: Tue Oct 24 22:44:35 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka probes suicide bombing, chopper wreckage found, Oct 24 2000 18:40 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 24 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Tuesday began probing serious security lapses that led to a massive suicide bombing of a key naval base, as divers salvaged the wreckage of a helicopter shot down by Tiger rebels. The authorities were investigating Monday's bombing against the Trincomalee naval facility, which was considered to be one of the most tightly-guarded military bases, to identify where the lapses occurred, officials said. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 12:51:13 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Mi-24 wreckage, bodies found  - The Hindu
Lankan divers recover bodies of copter crew  - Times of India (Breaking News)

More clashes near Sri Lanka port after rebel attack, Tuesday,October24,2000. COLOMBO: Tamil Tiger rebels were still holed up near Sri Lanka's eastern port of Trincomalee after a spectacular suicide attack on the island's largest naval base. "Troops have cordoned off the area and are waiting. There were some clashes early on Tuesday," military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters were taking cover in the Marble Beach area, near Trincomalee port, a day after rebel boats packed with explosives rammed and sank a naval transport ship and damaged a gunboat in the harbour. Residents in the area said on Tuesday they heard gunfire and explosions from Marble Beach as government forces and rebels clashed sporadically. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 09:37:05 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
More clashes near Sri Lanka port  - The Hindu NUS

'TULF not for a separate State'
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, October 24, 2000. COLOMBO, OCT. 23. The Tamil United Liberation Front vice- president and parliamentary leader, Mr. V. Anandasangaree, has said his party would renew its campaign both within and outside Parliament for an end to the war, negotiations with the LTTE and a political solution based on the constitutional reforms proposed by the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, in 1995. In an interview with The Hindu on Sunday, Mr. Anandasangaree said the 1995 proposals needed only a ``few rectifications'' and that if Ms. Kumaratunga was sincere about bringing a political solution to resolve the conflict, she would revert back to those proposals. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 16:18:35 EDT 2000

Military seeks 10,000 recruits to help battle Tigers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Tuesday October 24 . Army Commander Gen. Lionel Balagalle yesterday told reporters that the military would from tomorrow step up a campaign to recruit at least 10,000 more men to Sri Lanka's fighting force to help battle the LTTE. The Army chief reiterated that since the Tigers have intensified its battle with the military the latter required more men to help hold government territory in Sri Lanka's besieged north and east.
Published: Tue Oct 24 02:22:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Army Commander appeals to the youth  - Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo
Sri Lanka army on recruitment drive  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka seeks 10,000 recruits to drive out Tiger rebels  -
Sri Lanka army launches big recruitment drive  - ABC News

UNP give 69 day deadline to Government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday October 24. The United National Party has issued a 69 day deadline to the Government to implement an independent police commission, independent elections secretariat, independent public services commission and judiciary. The main opposition party arrived at this consensus after holding top level meetings with its executive members who met over the last two days to decide whether to cooperate with a government request to help form a national coalition.

The main opposition party's conditions also seek to introduce new media reforms, eradicate the use of criminal defamation laws against the press and to ensure that all government and parliamentary members sign an anti-corruption pledge that would curb the present incidents of bribery and corruption. The UNP will also demand that military activity is de-scaled in the country's north and east and negotiations begin with Tamil separatists rebels to help bring an end to the war.

Among the list of priorities, the UNP has also demanded the seat of premiership for its Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the event it decides to help support the government. The UNP maintain it will consider cooperating with the State only if the latter can prove it is sincere in establishing the above. The 69 day deadline has been counted from the day parliament was convened on October 18 following a stormy General Election.

The UNP's deadline coincides with the demand made by the National Unity Alliance who also issued a 100 day deadline to the President asking that similar conditions be met. If not, the NUA has pledged to withdraw its support to the Government.

Meanwhile Karu Jayasuriya was sworn in as the new deputy leader of the UNP while Gamini Atukorale took over as assistant deputy leader UNP.
Published: Tue Oct 24 02:22:54 EDT 2000

Related News Stories
UNP terms for support to Govt.  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka's opposition sets 69-day deadline for shaky coalition  -
Sri Lanka deal deadline  - BBC South Asia

24 killed as rebels raid Sri Lanka naval base
Telegraph, UK, Tuesday, 24 October. A FLOTILLA of boats manned by Tamil Tiger rebels launched a suicide attack on Sri Lanka's largest naval base at dawn yesterday, sinking a transport ship, damaging a naval gunboat and leaving 24 dead.Military officials said 18 Tigers and six service personnel were killed. Two sailors aboard the gunboat were killed and 43 wounded in the attack on the Trincomalee naval base, on the east coast of Sri Lanka.No one was aboard the troop transport ship, which was capable of carrying around 400 soldiers. The military spokesman, Brig Sanath Karunaratne, said three of the explosives-laden boats belonging to the Sea Tigers, the separatist rebels' naval wing, were sunk in Trincomalee harbour by naval gunfire. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 04:59:28 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
More clashes near S.Lanka port after rebel attack  - ABC News
Sri Lanka-Civil War  - ABC News
LTTE gunboats storm Sri Lanka's biggest naval base at Trincomalee  - NDTV/MSNBC
13 killed in suicide attack at Trinco  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka port attack probe
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 24 October, 2000, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK. The attack by Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday on the port of Trincomalee - one of the most tightly-guarded military facilities in the country - destroyed two naval vessels and led to the downing of a helicopter gunship by the rebels. "There would be an investigation not only at the navy's own initiative, but by the defence ministry too," a military source in Colombo said. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 07:36:34 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka probes suicide bombing, divers recover airmen  -
Sri Lankan divers recover bodies of airmen after base attack  -

Lanka ready to rock Zimbabwe
Times of India (Breaking News), October 24. SHARJAH: After winning both their matches in the Sharjah tri-series Sri Lanka are ready to thrash Zimbabwe on Wednesday. A Lankan win on Wednesday would make it three out of three for the islanders and put them in the Sunday's final. It would also mean Zimbabwe, who have drawn blank from the first three games, would leave India to win just one game out of two to slip into the final. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 09:35:14 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Cricket: Zimababwe in do-or-die situation  - The Hindu NUS

Local council elections early next year
CDN, Tuesday, 24 October. The Elections Secretariat which has just concluded the Parliamentary General Elections is now busy making preparations for the local council elections to be held early next year. The present term of the local councils is due to expire in March next year and the Elections Secretariat has started initial preparations for the conducting of elections to these councils on the instructions of Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, said Assistant Commissioner M.Arunthavachelvam yesterday. The present term of the 308 local councils in the country will end on March 19 More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 04:07:43 EDT 2000

Local tea manufacturers to hold hunger strike in Washington
Island, Tuesday, 24 October. Members of the Association for the Protection of National Resources (APNR) said yesterday that they were seeking an appointment with the Prime Minister and officials of the Tea Board before they leave for Washington on Wednesday to launch a hunger strike. The APNR said that despite their continuous attempts to meet with the relevant officials they have been met with a wall of silence. Five members of the association, mainly tea manufacturers are planning to hold a hunger strike in front of the International Monetary Fund and the adjoining building of the World Bank in a final attempt to achieve the justice they failed to achieve here in Sri Lanka. The group has been agitating for the implementation of a Supreme Court order and a Human Rights Commission recommendation to ban the importation of off grade tea to Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 04:04:40 EDT 2000

Sri Lankan navy beats back rebel suicide attack; 24 killed
MSNBC, October 22. Sri Lankan navy beats back rebel suicide attack 24 killed ASSOCIATED PRESS COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Oct. 23 - Sri Lanka's navy beat back a suicide attack on a naval base Monday by Tamil Tiger rebels who used explosive-filled boats and shot down an MI-24 helicopter, killing its crew of four. At least 24 combatants - six on the government side and 18 rebels - were killed, and 43 sailors were wounded, government spokesman Ariya Rubasinghe said. As the day broke, the navy spotted four rebel boats approaching the Trincomalee port in northern Sri Lanka. The sailors opened fire and sank three rebel boats carrying explosives. Two sailors and eight rebels were killed. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 16:29:00 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Navy saves key port, 24 killed in Lankan fighting  - Times of India

Tamil Tigers stage suicide attack at Sri Lankan navy base, Oct 23 2000 20:34 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels staged a major suicide bombing against a strategic naval base and shot down a helicopter gunship which went to the aid of the sailors, military officials said. The kamikaze-style attack on the northeastern port of Trincomalee was led by four boats of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a navy spokesman here said. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 16:15:27 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE destroys naval craft  - The Hindu
Six Black Tiger suicide bombers killed in navy base attack  -
Navy thwarts rebel suicide attack on Sri Lankan port, 8 killed  - ABC News
Tiger rebels launch suicide bombing against Sri Lanka navy  -
14 killed in Lanka, helicopter shot down  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Helicopter gun ship shot down in Trincomalee  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Rebels sink two Sri Lanka navy vessels, kill sailors
Virtual New York, Monday, 23 October 2000 0:53 (ET). Separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas in a pre-dawn attack Monday destroyed two Sri Lankan navy vessels and shelled the eastern command headquarters killing two sailors in Trincomalee. According to reports, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rammed an explosive-laden suicide boat into two naval vessels berthed at Trincomalee harbor. A navy gun boat and a vessel used to ferry military personnel to the northern Jaffna peninsula were destroyed.The Sri Lankan navy claimed it destroyed three rebel suicide boats. One boat managed to get through and rammed into vessels. A resident of Trincomalee, reached by United Press International by telephone, said, "The explosions in the harbor were so powerful that tiled roofs of some houses near the navy headquarters were damaged. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 01:31:06 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE sinks naval troop carrier, downs chopper  - The Hindustan Times
Helicopter gunship crashes at Trinco  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Chandrika grapples with coalition arithmetic
Times of India, October 22. NEW DELHI: While Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spent the past week taking a break from the pulls and pressures of running a coalition government, the head of Government in neighbouring Sri Lanka was busy coming to terms with the arithmetic thrown up by the last election. During the period, President Chandrika Kumaratunga wooed small parties, brokered a working peace with the main Opposition and swore in a jumbo please-all cabinet. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 16:25:35 EDT 2000

Terrorists' supermarket Canada has everything for the discriminating 'freedom fighter'
NationalPost, October 21. According to police, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) uses several fronts to raise money. The counterterrorism branch of the U.S. State Department has designated the Federation of Associations of Tamil Canadians and World Tamil Movement as "front organizations" for the Tigers -- a charge the groups deny. But they do not deny their loyalty to the Tigers. "We support the LTTE," Sita Sittampalam, president of the Tamil federation and the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada, said in a recent Australian television documentary broadcast. The following day, the LTTE set off a suicide bomb at an election rally in Sri Lanka, killing 12 people and injuring 45. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 19:31:57 EDT 2000

In Focus: Sri Lanka’s Long War
Foreign Policy In Focus, October 5. The conflict in Sri Lanka has been raging in varying degrees of intensity since 1983, and it has become one of the more intractable wars in the post-colonial era. Termed the “No Mercy War” by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), it has caused at least 65,000 deaths, displaced up to one million people, resulted in severe human rights abuses, and slowed Sri Lanka’s once-promising development. Although the war has received little attention outside the region, since April this year, as the conflict has intensified on the battlefield, it has taken on an international dimension that involves the U.S., Norway, and India. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 20:36:47 EDT 2000

Union Carbide forced to close down unit in Lanka
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, October 23. THE AMERICAN MNC, Union Carbide, which hit world headlines after the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, has now run into trouble in Sri Lanka too. Its plant manufacturing emulsion paint resins and synthetic adhesives located in the Ekala Industrial Estate near Colombo, is closed down since October 16 because the people of the area are blaming it for the widespread incidence of respiratory problems, chest pain, stomach trouble and headache. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 16:21:48 EDT 2000

Sri Lanka loses ship and chopper in rebel attack
MSNBC, Monday, 23 October 2000 8:24 (ET). Tamil Tiger rebels launched a daring suicide attack on Sri Lanka's biggest naval base on Monday sinking one naval vessel, damaging another and shooting down a combat helicopter in a nearby land battle. A government statement said three security personnel were killed and 43 wounded in the fighting in and around the naval base in the eastern port of Trincomalee, some 280 km (175 miles) northeast of Colombo. ''Three suicide boats were destroyed by Sri Lanka naval units and one suicide boat exploded close to the Naval pier...,'' the statement said, adding a troop transporter ship had been sunk and a gunboat slightly damaged. The rebels also shot down an air force helicopter supporting troops in a land battle at the nearby Marble Beach from where the rebels fired mortars on the naval base. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 10:09:54 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
Rebels attack Lankan port; 10 killed, copter shot down  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka Rebels Attack Navy Base, Down Chopper  - Yahoo
URGENT Tamil suicide bombers attack Sri Lanka port  -
LTTE launches suicide boat attack  - The Hindu NUS
Suicide attack on naval base batters Sri Lankan military  - MSNBC
Casualties mount in Sri Lanka fighting  - Virtual New York
LTTE rebels down Lankan helicopter  -
Tigers down Sri Lankan helicopter gunship  -
Sri Lankan helicopter gunship crashes during navy attack  -
Navy Stops Sri Lanka Suicide Attack  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka Rebels Attack Naval Base, Down Chopper  - Yahoo
Suicide bombers in ferocious sea battles in Lanka  -
LTTE attacks Trincomalee harbor  - India Abroad
Chronology of Sri Lankan suicide bomb attacks  -
Suicide bombers hit key port in Sri Lanka fighting upsurge  -

Sri Lankan businesses hope for bipartisan bid to lift market
Yahoo, Sunday, October 22 9:48 AM SGT . Sri Lanka's war-battered economy is headed for a "fairy-tale" recovery if Central Bank figures are to be believed, but investors remain unconvinced and a hung parliament has added to the gloom. The latest Central Bank figures show a 7.0 percent GDP growth in the first half of this year compared to an expansion of 3.0 percent last year, yet the markets are in the doldrums. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 10:08:07 EDT 2000

Suicide bombers hit navy craft in Sri Lanka port, Oct 23 2000 09:53 IST. COLOMBO, Oct 23 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels launched a major suicide bomb attack against a strategic naval base in northeastern Sri Lanka Monday destroying a gun boat and a troops transporter, officials said. There were no immediate details of casualties after the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) breached a security cordon at the port of Trincomalee and managed to slip in four of their boats believed to carry suicide bombers, local officials said by telephone.They said one craft packed with explosives was blown out of the water by navy fire while the other three rebel craft rammed a navy gunboat and another high speed craft used to transport troops. Local officials said Tigers were firing at the Trincomalee navy facility from a nearby coastal location as the suicide boats came into the harbour. "The port is now closed for civilians as well as civilian employees of the navy," a local official in Trincomalee, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of here said. "A search operation is underway for rebel infiltrators." More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 01:26:24 EDT 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE suicide boats wreck havoc at Trincomalee harbour  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lankan navy ship damaged in rebel attack  - MSNBC

Sihala Urumaya and Sri Lankan politics - A Feature
CDN, October 24. Sri Lankan voters, particularly, the Sinhala-Buddhists, have spoken very clearly. They have rejected, Sihala Urumaya, the most stupid political party in the history of Sri Lanka, run by the most educated people.Our Sri Lankan voters deserve the nation's thanks, commendations and encomiums for their clarity of mind. Sihala Urumaya is trying to drag the Sri Lankans into a primitive, barbaric, uncivilised society based on hatred, animosity, confrontations and hostilities against other communities by way of instigating innocent people on the lines of communalism and Sinhala chauvinism. The verdict rendered by the people should be an eye-opener for the LTTE to think twice. More...
Published: Mon Oct 23 19:37:24 EDT 2000

DK joins issue with CM
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, October 25, 2000. CHENNAI, OCT. 24. The DK general secretary, Mr. K. Veeramani, today asked why the DMK leader and Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, was fighting shy of including the PMK founder, Dr. S. Ramadoss and the MDMK chief, Mr. Vaiko, along with the Tamils Nationalist Movement leader, Mr.P.Nedumaran and the DK leader in the group of those holding similar views on the LTTE and `Tamil Eelam' issues. ``It is here that Mr. Karunanidhi's political chicanery comes to view'', Mr. Veeramani said, adverting to the PMK and MDMK being part of the DMK-BJP combine, that explains Mr.Karunanidhi's reticence about those two regional parties on the LTTE issue. More...
Published: Tue Oct 24 17:30:55 EDT 2000

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