The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 218

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November 3, 2000, Colombo. Those interested in watching live coverage of the returns from the American presidential elections are welcome to the American Center at 44 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, from 7:00 a.m. on 8 November. In addition to the results from the Presidential race the Center will also be screening videotapes of the recently televised presidential debates, the conventions, and other election issues such as The Women's Vote, Campaign Finance, The Election Process and Political Volunteers. A poster display, a book exhibit and brief presentations on the Electoral College and other topics will be added attractions. The event will continue until a winner is declared.
Ask Karu! session has ended. Answers to your questions to Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, the spokesperson of the United National Party, are here.
· Overview of Results
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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 by Mr. Moonesinghe here.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
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Bandula Jayasekera in Colombo. I was at Ranavirusevana in Ragama, house of Sri Lanka's disabled soldiers. A young Spanish dancer was performing for them. She danced among the soldiers trying to cheer them up. But, most of them were unmoved. Seated next to me on a wheel chair was a soldier in his regulation-striped sarong and short sleeved shirt. He looked blank. He was that Unknown Soldier until he started to speak. Jayatissa is 28 years old. He hailed from a traditional family in Embilipitiya, third of five boys and girls. More...
Bandula Jayasekera in Colombo. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam too have commenced a recruitment drive after the army launched their Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam carry out their recruitment drive. At present both the army and the LTTE are facing a severe man power shortage to continue with the war. Sri Lankan army is trying to reach out to the youth with a mass scale publicity campaign in the national media. It is interesting to find out how the LTTE is carrying out their recruitment drive. More...
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
President addresses Lanka's 11th Parliament
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.30 a.m. SLT Thursday November 9. Greeted by her brother and Speaker Anura Bandaranaike and a 21 gun salute, at the ceremonial opening of Parliament today, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge addressed Sri Lanka's 11th Parliament. She began by thanking the nation and her large cabinet of ministers for their support in lending the Peoples Alliance more time to achieve its goals and vision for the nation.

Delivering her government's policy statement Kumaratunge spoke for one hour and ten minutes, reiterating that the PA's policies remain unchanged and will abide by the very pledges it made to the nation before the October 10, general election.

The President revealed that there is still room for the LTTE to enter the democratic process and that the rebel organization should engage with the government in finding a substantive political solution. The LTTE, she said, must agree to the sharing of power in a united country. Kumaratunge asserted the doors are open for this.

Talks with the Tigers however she said will depend on conditions laid down by Norwegian representatives, adding that serious consideration would be given by the government to debate if the LTTE was once more trying to fool the State. Once the government is informed of final conditions laid down by the LTTE, the President maintained that the matter will be discussed with all parties.

She emphasized however that the military campaign would not be disregarded until all parties involved in the peace process reach a consensus on negotations with the LTTE. Kumaratunge claimed the government has not changed its policy to seek a solution for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and that a decentralization of power sharing would be enacted in order to end the war.

She pointed out that it is not possible to solve the ethnic problem through debates and theories but that a practical solution is needed. The country she said, could not wait for everyone to solve the problem. None, she maintained would be allowed to divide the country.

Kumaratunge stood by a former pledge that an interim council for the north and east would soon be established. Democracy she said had been consolidated by moving the terror from the south. Kumaratunge was of the view that a similar solution was needed for the north, and she called upon all members of parliament to work together for the benefit of the country's people.

She asserted that it was sad the country had not yet been able to reach the aspirations of its leaders in finding a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict.

She further emulated that there was a need for change in the present electoral system. She said a study of the present electoral system proved that it was the root cause for violence and distortion of the people's political will. A dialogue in this regard, she said, has emerged in the country to consolidate democratic rights and evolve a new political culture.

She said the people had given their mandate in the last general election to the policies and vision projected by the PA with regard to the economic rights of the nation. She applauded the people for rejecting racism. The President promised to work towards bringing down inflation and reduce the level of unemployment to 4%.

She further said she would appoint an Authority to resolve marketing problems faced by all paddy, fruit and vegetable farmers. She commented that her government would strive to eradicate all social and economic inequality.
Published: Thu Nov 9 03:03:24 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Kumaratunga urges LTTE to set terms for talks  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lankan President to inaugurate new parliament amid tight security  - NDTV/MSNBC
Door not closed to talks with LTTE: Lankan President  -
Sri Lanka president urges Tamil Tigers to spell out terms for talks  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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LTTE loosing its grip on Norwegian media
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.30 p.m November 9. There seem to be a change of heart in the Norwegian media over the last year towards the LTTE. It seems very clear that the rebel organization is loosing its grip on the Norwegian media, which once gave prominence to their cause and activities.

Most recent disclosures were from Dagavisen a respected daily paper in Norway with circulation around seventy thousand and Aftenposten Norway’s second largest newspaper. Dagavisen’s senior journalist and diplomatic correspondent Erik Selmer who visited Jaffna and interviewed number of persons gives a first hand account and reveal the truth. Selmer writes “ In May this the LTTE advanced and led a major offensive and the Sri Lankan army nearly lost control. However the army got better weapons, more air support and the soldiers were no longer demoralized. During this time the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam expected an uprising from the people of Jaffna against the government which never took place. LTTE has to recapture Jaffna as their goal but whether they could make it is another question. People in Jaffna do not support any group. They want peace. It is completely wrong to say that all Tamils are tigers. During heavy fighting about 170,000 people fled Jaffna. Most of them went to government controlled area. The local population does not complain over the lack of food, the local authority function very well. It is the general frustration that prevails.”

Gunnar Filseth, Foreign staff reporter and senior journalist of Aftenposten the second largest paper in Norway was in Sri Lanka during the general election gave wide coverage to the events in the island. The writer spent considerable time with Filseth and was in Jaffna along with Filseth on the eve of the general elections. He interviewed foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamar both in Colombo and in Oslo. NRK carried the full interview with Kadiragamar during his visit to Norway and on 6 November, NRK the Norwegian broadcasting corporation carried a one-hour tourism programme on Sri Lanka which had been well received by the Norwegian people. Filseth met the captured LTTE child soldier in Jaffna with the help of the ICRC and was dismayed. Immediately after Solheim / Prabhakaran meeting Filseth in a letter said “ Solheim /Prabhakaran meeting did not get much attention in Norway, partly due to the fact that few Norwegians know anything about Prabhakaran”

The LTTE can hardly stomach the change of attitude in the Norwegian media. The writers are getting protest mail regularly. In a recent response to Dagavisen the LTTE sympathizers tried to play the old tune that Jaffna is an occupied territory and the Tamil took up arms only after the seventies etc. The Elephant pass take over was shown on November 5 but it had lost its glamour. Why so late questioned pro LTTEers and said that it could have been shown before. Saroja a film about Sinhala and Tamil unity and a Sinhala and Tamil unity was received better and people applauded the efforts of the director a man hailing from a village in Kurunegala. With the media going against them, fear has crept in to the minds of the LTTE fund collectors. Can Prabhakaran deliver the goods after collecting that extra USD 1000 each from well to do Tamil families in Norway? Prabhakaran seem to have lost control over them too. Because they have no one left in Sri Lanka that the LTTE could threaten and vow to kill if funds were not provided. They are also fast loosing that emotional attachment to their homeland with children growing up as Norwegians.

The LTTE did much work to stage a demonstration after the Bindunuwewa massacre. However moderate Tamils agreed on the condition that the LTTE should not use the demonstration as a propaganda rally for them. The moderate Tamils knew that even moderate and right thinking Sinhalese opposed the massacre. This situation never existed in Norway before and the hardcore LTTE’ers just cannot accept it. Media has turned against them, or they have found the truth and even most Tamils have realized it. Erik Selmer is right ‘All Tamils are not members of LTTE and the Sinhalese too must realize it. It is important.
Published: Thu Nov 9 11:31:00 EST 2000

Kumaratunga ready for peace talks
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 9 November, 2000, 10:30 GMT . But she told the newly-elected parliament that until the Tamil Tigers had spelled out their conditions for peace talks, the government's military offensive would continue. Speaking at the ceremonial opening of parliament following last month's elections, President Kumaratunga said her government was interested only in "substantive political negotiations". More...
Published: Thu Nov 9 07:20:14 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga opens new Parliament, ready to talk to Tigers  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka says door not closed to talks with LTTE  - MSNBC
UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka says door open for talks with LTTE  - ABC News
Sri Lanka says door open for talks with LTTE  - MSNBC
Kumaratunga shows the carrot and stick to the Tamil Tigers  -
Sri Lanka ready for talks with Tamil rebels  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka ready for talks with LTTE  - India Abroad
Sr Lanka offer on Tamil talks  - BBC South Asia

LTTE puts conditions for talks with government, Thursday,November 9,2000. COLOMBO: President Chandrika Kumaratunga today disclosed that the LTTE has put certain conditions for talks with the government adding the Norwegians have not made the conditions clear so far. ''The Norwegian delegation which had met the LTTE leaders have informed us that there are certain conditions that is to be met before the beginning of discussions. However, there is no decision yet on what these conditions are,'' she said. More...
Published: Thu Nov 9 09:39:58 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's president says government will talk to Tamil Tiger rebels  - MSNBC

LTTE attacks EPRLF office
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.05 p.m. SLT Thursday November 9. The LTTE last night attacked an EPRLF office in Valachchenai. Armed EPRLF cadres inside the office at the time had requested for police assistance. In the subsequent retaliatory attack by Valachchenai police two Tigers were believed to have been injured.
Published: Thu Nov 9 03:03:24 EST 2000

President Kumaratunge not sure on LTTE’s condition for peace talks
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.30 a.m. November 9. President Chandrika Kumaratunge told the inaugural session of the Sri Lankan parliament today that the Norwegian’s have informed her about LTTE’s willingness to talk peace with her government ,and laid out few conditions which are still not clear. She said “ We will talk to the LTTE but, we must find out what their conditions are”

She also said that her government will be careful in dealing with the LTTE considering their past record in the guise of peace talks.
Published: Thu Nov 9 00:32:16 EST 2000

President remind Anura about their fathers famous words
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.00 a.m November 9. President Chandrika Kumaratunge in an emotional moment during her speech to the new parliament reminded her brother, parliament speaker Anura Bandaranaiake about the sacrifices made by their father and the famous words SWRD Bandaranaiake wrote in Anura's autograph book " Minisagae parama uthukama minsata sevaya kirimai" ( Man foremost duty is to serve mankind)
Published: Wed Nov 8 23:52:32 EST 2000

Speaker brother welcomes president sister
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10. 00 a.m November 9. Speaker of the new parliament Anura Bandaraniake brother of president Chandrika Kumaratunge welcomed his sister at the entrance to the parliament while ago when she arrived to inaugurate the 11th parliament of the country.

The speaker stood beside his sister when the Sri Lankan army accorded the customary 21 gun salute and students of Kotte Sri Jayawardanepura balika vidyalaya sang jayamangala gathas.

Together they created history
Published: Wed Nov 8 22:59:48 EST 2000

Prabhakaran wants direct talks with Chandrika!
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 a.m November 9. The Lanka Academic sources in New Delhi says that they have information that LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has told Erick Solheim ,Norwegian peace envoy that he wants to have direct talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunge in trying to bring peace to the war torn island.

It will be interesting to find out if Chandrika Kumaratunge will tell the nation this when she address the new Sri Lankan parliament in the morning today.

The LTTE leader Prabhakaran has never got involved in direct talks with a Sri Lankan president even though late president Premadasa met LTTE representatives in Colombo. Under president Kumaratunge, her representatives met the second rung LTTE leaders in Jaffna and kumaratunge exchanged over fifty letters with Prabhakaran.

Solheim's conducts his talks in consultation with the governments of Sri Lanka and India. Solheim left politics in Norway and is involved fully with this peace assignment
Published: Wed Nov 8 19:56:29 EST 2000

Related News Stories
LTTE chief for direct talks with Chandrika?  - The Hindu

Chandrika may decide on LTTE offer today
The Hindu (International), Thursday, November 09, 2000. COLOMBO, NOV. 8. The Sri Lankan President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, may outline the Government's position on the LTTE's latest offer of talks when she ceremonially inaugurates the 11th Parliament on Thursday. A tight security blanket has been thrown over the capital for the inauguration, which will take place in the shadow of Tuesday's killing of a Tamil parliamentarian in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka. In her inaugural address to the new Parliament tomorrow, Mrs. Kumaratunga is expected to spell out the Government's response to the offer made by the LTTE, through Norwegian facilitators, to participate in a negotiated political solution. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 17:42:45 EST 2000
Related News Stories
S.Lankan to watch for clues in president's speech  - MSNBC
Sri Lankan parliament to meet Thursday amid tight security  -

Army blames LTTE for TULF MP's murder
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on November 8, 2000. Colombo, Nov. 8. (PTI): The Sri Lankan Army today held LTTE responsible for yesterday's killing of newly-elected moderate Tamil Member of Parliament Nimalan Sounderanayagam. An Army release here said that the MP from Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) was shot down by two "terrorists", a term used by the Army to identify LTTE. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 11:37:58 EST 2000

Lanka lawyer criticised police's role
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 14:27 GMT . One of Sri Lanka's most prominent criminal lawyers has criticised the role of the police in the massacre of twenty-six Tamil prisoners last month. Desmond Fernando, a leading human rights campaigner, said that police stood by and did nothing while a large crowd of Sinhalese men armed with home-made weapons stormed the open prison.He said that one twelve-year old boy in the prison was still seriously injured after being attacked with an iron bar. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 11:42:26 EST 2000

Wickremesinghe urges Kumaratunga to deal with LTTE quickly
India Abroad, Nov 08, 2000 18:10 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lankan opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga to decide quickly between crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels or to conclude a negotiated peace with them. "The government needs to swiftly reconcile the internal contradictions between their declared objective of pursuing a military solution and the challenging but potentially frustrating alternative of working towards a political solution," Wickremesinghe said in a policy statement Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 08:17:29 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Oppn urges Kumaratunga to deal with LTTE quickly  - Times of India

Cricket, a gentlemen's game? That's balderdash.
CSM, November 9. Cricket - long viewed by the English as a game for gentlemen, and by most of mankind as an unfathomable mystery - now finds itself on a sticky wicket. In the sport's most sordid episode to date, a damning Indian report last week accused some of cricket's greatest players of match-fixing. The report further blighted the game's image, following accusations, as well as confessions, by leading players around the world in the past year. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 20:26:06 EST 2000

Plans to increase biosphere reserves in sanctuaries
The Island, November 9. The Department of Wildlife Conservation has proposed to have Man and Biosphere Reserves within approximately 106,000 hectares of Sanctuaries established under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance administered by the Department. This proposal is being presented with the view of 'enhancing' the protection levels of the chosen areas and including more MAB reserves within the areas under the jurisdiction of the department. At present there are four MABs under the DWLC, one National Park and and three Sanctuaries. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 20:36:12 EST 2000

Grenade attack at navy checkpoint at Mannar
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 8. A grenade was thrown at naval officers manning a checkpoint in the Mannar district today. Two naval officers were injured in the attack and are receiving treatment at the Anuradhapura base hospital. The attack came during a military search and cordon operation in the area. Military sources said they believed the attack had been carried out by the LTTE. A full investigation is underway to apprehend the suspects.
Published: Wed Nov 8 03:16:52 EST 2000

16 Tamil youth arrested trying to flee the country
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.15 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 8. Sixteen Tamil youth were arrested Monday evening attempting to illegally enter India via Sri Lanka's northern seas. They were stopped by the Sri Lanka Navy and handed over to a rehabilitation camp at Kankasanthurai (KKS).

Sources reveal this camp at KKS is used to rehabilitate young people trying to illegally leave the country. The youth reportedly told Naval personnel that they wanted to flee the Island due to extreme hardships faced by them in the war torn northern region. More than 70 persons have been arrested recently trying to leave the country in a similar manner.
Published: Wed Nov 8 03:16:51 EST 2000

No-confidence proposal against govt. at UNP group meeting
Island, Wednesday, 09 November. Chief Opposition Whip W. J. M. Lokubandara will make a proposal to move a no faith motion against the PA government at today’s UNP parliamentary group meeting. Lokubandara told "The Island" yesterday that he would make the proposal to the UNP parliamentary group for them to discuss and take the necessary action. "I am making this proposal because the government is acting in an arbitrary manner as if parliament does not exist and I feel that parliament should be more vibrant," he remarked. The modalities of the motion, he said, would have to be decided after the group accepts his proposal. He pointed out that the parliament is now only meeting to debate the extension of emergency and there is no other government business taken for debate and discussion at the moment. "The Parliament at present is meeting only once a month and how are we going to question the ministers about their activities. There’s so much for us to raise, including the Bindunuwewa incident, but we don’t have the opportunity for that," he lamented. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 04:03:43 EST 2000

Batticaloa MP shot dead
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 8. Recently appointed Member of Parliament Nimalan Sounderanayagam was shot dead last evening at around 6 p.m. (SLT) at Kiran east of Batticaloa. A member of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Sounderanayagam was slain by four gunmen while he was travelling on a motorbike with his bodyguard. The latter was critically injured.

Sounderanayagam received the highest number of preferential votes at the last October 10, general election and was appointed for the first time to parliament on the TULF ticket together with three others. The TULF won four seats in the Batticaloa district.
Published: Wed Nov 8 03:16:51 EST 2000

Commercial flights to Jaffna to begin
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.30 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 8. Commercial flights to Jaffna are to be resumed next week despite threats of possible missile attacks by the LTTE. Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said today that the Sri Lanka Air Force will commission two Russian built AN-32 Antonovs to carry passengers from Colombo to Jaffna and back. The two planes will be flown by foreign crew and are being hired from a private company.

All commercial flights to the north were suspended eight months ago after two passenger planes flying over the north were believed to have been hit by LTTE surface to air missiles. Another aircraft carrying 36 military personnel with a four member foreign crew was also downed allegedly by the Tigers when flying over Anuradhapura in March this year killing all on board.
Published: Wed Nov 8 03:16:51 EST 2000

TULF condemns legistator's killing
India Abroad, Nov 8, 2000 13:20 Hrs (IST) . Colombo: Sri Lanka's main moderate Tamil party has condemned the killing of legislator Nimalan Sounderanayagam and said the daring murder would have a demoralizing effect on its members. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) members rushed to the eastern province town of Batticaloa after four unidentified gunmen gunned down Sounderanayagam at point blank range while he was traveling on the highway on Tuesday evening. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 08:08:32 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka's Tamil party condemns legislator's killing  - Times of India

The legitimacy of the 11th Parliament
The Island, November 5. They have clubbed us off the streets, they are stronger, they are rich, they hire and fire the politicians the newspaper editors the old judges the small men with reputations the college presidents the warheelers (listen businessmen college presidents judges America will not forget her betrayers) they hire the man with guns the uniforms the police cars the patrol wagons. More...
Published: Wed Nov 8 20:33:11 EST 2000

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