The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 225

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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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Sri Lankan nationalists burn effigy of Norwegian peace envoy, Nov 16 2000 19:33 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 16 (AFP) - Sri Lankan nationalists demonstrated outside the Norwegian embassy here Thursday to protest Oslo's attempts to bring the island's warring Tamil rebels and the government together to negotiate peace. The hard-line Sihala Urumaya, or Sinhalese Heritage party, burned an effigy of Norway's peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, and demanded that Oslo stop its peace efforts. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 11:15:40 EST 2000
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40 per cent of LTTE cadres are children: Envoy
Times of India, 17 November 2000. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States, Warnasena Rasaputram, has said that the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been increasingly recruiting children to fight its war against the Sri Lankan security forces in defiance of mounting international opposition.Rasaputram, who was the keynote speaker at an international seminar this week on "Terrorism and Children in the 21st Century:In a revealing disclosure, the envoy said that, "according to estimates taken from the dead cadres of the LTTE, nearly 40 per cent of their fighters consists of children between nine and 19 years of age. He said the children "have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to respect their leaders as a God and are told that after their death they will becomeeternal heroes in their community." He said commemorative events such as Heroes Day "tend to make them believe that even in death they will be revered." More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 17:53:28 EST 2000
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Children fighting LTTE's war: Envoy  - India Abroad

LTTE threatens eastern Muslims
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Thursday November 16. The LTTE is reported to have threatened Muslims in the East, banning them from joining the armed forces. The threat came soon after a military call for more men was followed up by Muslims in the east showing interest in joining government troops.

The Tigers meanwhile according to the military are recruiting men and women between the ages of 15 to 50 from uncleared areas in the Mannar district to help boost its fighting force.
Published: Thu Nov 16 07:52:48 EST 2000

Over 100 sophisticated weapons in the hands of the underworld
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.45 p.m. SLT Thursday November 16. A senior police officer said today that over 100 T56 guns are believed to be in the hands of mafia style gangs who have recently carried out daring but brutal killings in broad daylight.

Special police teams are to be deployed in areas identified by the sleuths, as having a high crime rate that has risen in the last few weeks. Colombo and areas in southern Sri Lanka have been ear-marked by police watch-dogs who have received strict instructions from the police chief to apprehend the dangerous killer gangs.
Published: Thu Nov 16 07:52:49 EST 2000

British Foreign Minister due in Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.20 a.m. SLT Thursday November 16. Peter Hain, Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office London will pay a two day visit to Sri Lanka next week. The minister is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday November 22.

The British High Commission in Colombo said today that the minister is on a familiarization tour and will meet with Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe and Tamil political party leaders. It is not yet confirmed if he will meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge. Hain is on a tour of India at present and will arrive in Sri Lanka soon after.

He is scheduled to address a gathering at the British High Commission office in Colombo where he will draw examples from the Northern Ireland peace process. Hain is on record has having said that Britain will fully support a negotiated settlement to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict. The British minister however has denied initial reports which claimed he would meet with leaders of the LTTE during his visit to Sri Lanka.
Published: Thu Nov 16 07:52:49 EST 2000

LTTE sympathisers may get a boost in TN
HT, November 16. THE JUBILATION over Dr. Rajkumar's release has been tempered by a genuine apprehension that Tamil extremists with pro-LTTE sympathies may get a boost in Tamil Nadu since Rajkumar's release was facilitated by at least two well-known pro-LTTE leaders of the state. While this was trip number two for Nedumaran, leader of Tamil Nationalist Front, a fringe party that openly espouses the cause of the LTTE, the presence of another rabid LTTE supporter — Kolathur Mani — in the final negotiating team has raised eyebrows. An activist of the Dravidar Kazhagam, which is now aligned with the AIADMK, Mani was one of the suspects examined in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case because it was in his farm that the LTTE established its first training camp in 1983. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 18:30:11 EST 2000

Kumaratunga blames red tape for foreign aid wastage
India Abroad, Nov 16, 2000 15:40 Hrs (IST) . RI Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has given notice to ministers and bureaucrats who fell back on their job and asked them to cut down red tape for the proper utilization of foreign aid. "Don't give me excuses," she admonished her giant cabinet of 44 ministers, their deputies and senior officials Thursday at a meeting, called to ginger up their performance. "You will have to develop qualities such as dedication, honesty and efficiency to achieve our goals. For this, you don't have to go to university but you can learn by reading and experimenting," she told them. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 07:50:13 EST 2000
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Sri Lanka aims to plug foreign aid wastage  -

Met Balasingham on humanitarian grounds: Vaiko
The Hindu (Southern States), Friday, November 17, 2000. CHENNAI, NOV. 16. The MDMK General Secretary, Mr. Vaiko, who was today unanimously re- elected to the post for the third successive time, again justified his recent meeting with the LTTE ideologue, Mr. Anton Balasingham in London, on humanitarian grounds. Speaking to reporters here after the party's general council meeting, Mr. Vaiko, responding to several questions on this controversy, claimed it was purely a `humanitarian gesture' on his part to call on the ailing Mr. Balasingham, both of whose kidneys had failed. The Norwegian and the U.K.Governments had been assisting him, Mr. Vaiko pointed out. Asked how he could call on the leader of a banned outfit when he had gone abroad as a member of an Indian Parliamentary delegation, Mr. Vaiko said the LTTE was not banned in the U.K. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 17:55:31 EST 2000

SAARC officials meeting concludes, works out future course of action, Nov 16 2000 13:20 IST. Colombo, Nov 16 (UNI) With no prospects of an early summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the three-day conference of senior officials from member countries ended here yesterday has worked out a series of meetings to be held in South Asian capitals in the next four months. New Delhi will be the venue of the Meeting of Technical Committee on Science and Technology while Islamabad will host a Communications and Transport Meet in January next.An Indian official, who attended the conference, admitted that an 'undercurrent' prevailed due to the postponing of the Nepal Summit last in November. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 04:13:42 EST 2000

Strong opposition to levy of tax on water resources
The Island, November 16. Environmentalists and the custodian of the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy have expressed their strong opposition against government’s intention to levy tax on water resources and vehemently condemned the proposed national water policy. "Initiatives have been taken to levy a tax on those who use water resources," said Neranjan Wijeratne, the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of Tooth Relic. Government water resource management institutions on instructions given to them by some international organisations have moved to propose a national water management policy which would enable the state to levy a tax on all those using water, he said. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 22:50:50 EST 2000

MDMK for lifting ban on LTTE
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on November 16, 2000. Chennai, Nov. 16. (PTI): MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today said he favoured lifting of the ban on the LTTE in India, but would not demand it now as it would embarrass the National Democratic Alliance of which his party is a constituent. Vaiko told a press conference here that he was still of the view that "Eelam", a separate homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils, was the only viable solution to the Sri Lankan problem. However, he was not pressing it as he wanted to go by the majority view of the ruling National Democratic Alliance. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 11:18:46 EST 2000

IGP assigns special crime fighters to combat brutal killings
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 15. T. Anandarajah, Acting Inspector General of Police today said that specialist crime fighter teams will be deployed to crack down on an increasing crime rate in Colombo and Matara.

The Acting IGP said he is taking special measures to combat crime and will assign trained cops to flashpoint areas indicating a high crime rate.

More than 25 brutal killings and daring robberies have taken place over the last few days at Colombo and Matara. Twelve persons have been killed in the 48 hours.

Five persons were shot dead at Matara while on their way to give testimony in a murder trial being heard at the Matara courts last morning. Two more persons were killed following a scuffle at Kadawatta last night. Two inmates in a house at Homagama were murdered by burglars Monday night.

Meanwhile the special Police unit to help curb violence against women and children say they are concentrating on taking action against teachers and school principals responsible for brutally beating children in schools. Corporal punishment has been widely condemned in the local press as increasing reports indicate that children are not just being punished but physically assualted in school by principals and teachers.
Published: Wed Nov 15 10:21:12 EST 2000

British minister to share Ulster peace experience with Sri Lanka, Nov 15 2000 22:36 IST. LONDON, Nov 15 (AFP) - British foreign office minister Peter Hain said on Wednesday he intends to share the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process with the government of Sri Lanka when he visits the country next week. Hain, a junior minister to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, will arrive for his one-day visit in the troubled country on November 22 after spending four days in India. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 13:52:38 EST 2000
Related News Stories
UK's Hain urges Sri Lankans to grasp peace chance  - ABC News

Michael Ondaatje wins prestigous French award
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.00 p.m November 16. Sri Lankan born, Canadian award winning writer Michael Ondaatje has won the prestigious French “Midicis étranger” prize awarded for foreign fiction for the French translation of his latest novel ‘Anil’s Ghost’ (le Fantome d’ Anil) spokes person for the Sri Lankan embassy in Paris, Manisha Gunasekara told ‘The Lanka Academic’ today.

Born in 1943 in Ceylon, and now residing in Toronto, Canada, Ondaatje achieved world fame with his novel “The English Patient” which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1992. It was later made in to an award-winning movie starring Ralph Fiennes, Julette Binoche and Willem Dafoe. With his latest award wining work “Anil’s Ghost”, Ondaatje revisits his country of birth, Sri Lanka, through the character of a young Sri Lankan born forensic surgeon Anil, whose story is set in the backdrop of the prolonged civil war in the island.

“The English Patient”, “Running in the Family”, “In the Skin of a Lion”, “Billy the Kid” and “Anils Ghost” have been translated into French. Sri Lankan embassy spokesperson added that Ondaatje’s work have been well received by the French public.
Published: Wed Nov 15 12:08:26 EST 2000

Sri Lanka To Present Temporary 2001 Budget Dec. 5
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, November 15 6:31 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's People's Alliance coalition government will present a temporary budget proposal on Dec. 5, which will cover the first quarter of 2001, a senior government minister said. The government will present the proposals on the vote on account on Dec. 5, and hold a debate (thereafter) in Parliament, said Gamini Lakshman Pieris, the minister for industrial development. A vote on account is a bill allowing the government to cover revenue and expenditure measures for a temporary period.The decision to present a vote on account instead of a draft budget for 2001 came after the government delayed the appointment of key deputy ministerial portfolios. Economists say the government will have to come up with a strong budget to contain a widening budget deficit and to stimulate growth amid escalating defense costs.Defense outlays rose by more than 50% to around $1 billion in 2000 as the government purchased new fighter aircraft and ammunition to fight Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeast. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 04:11:20 EST 2000

Sri Lanka Shrs End Dn; Blue-Chip,Plantations Stks Selling
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, November 16 3:17 PM SGT . Sri Lanka shares ended down Thursday, as locals sold down blue chips and plantation stocks on sustained weakness in the market, brokers said. At the close, the benchmark All Share Index was down 2.6 points at 484.9, according to early data from brokerage firms. Retailers and institutions sold down in several sectors as the market continued to stagnate, said a broker at CDIC Sasoon Cumberbatch Stock Brokers. More...
Published: Thu Nov 16 04:19:51 EST 2000

12 killed in Sri Lanka's northeast
Times of India, 16 November 2000 . Sporadic clashes between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast killed 12 and wounded three, a government spokesman said Wednesday.The confrontations took place Tuesday in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, Welioya, Ampara and Batticaloa, said Lakshman Perera, deputy government spokesman. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 16:27:09 EST 2000

Plantation workers go on strike
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 15. Estate workers at Bogawantalawela today launched a strike against police who attempted to arrest 14 plantation workers believed to have been responsible for instigating mob violence in the estate sector recently.

Reportedly the police were unable to arrest these workers due to the political patronage of some influential politicians in the hill country.

Over 300 workers are reported to have gone on strike today, following a police directive for the 14 suspects to surrender. Trouble which broke upcountry soon after 26 detainees at the Bindunuwewa detention center were murdered, has abated to an uneasy truce between workers and law enforcement officers.
Published: Wed Nov 15 10:21:12 EST 2000

Wrong-doers at polls time must be punished otherwise our efforts are of no use, says CMEV
The Island, November 16. There were around 800,000 voters within the areas the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), had their members monitoring the elections, Director CMEV Dr. Arjuna Parakrama said at the seminar on ‘Parliamentary Elections 2000: Responses to Irregularities, Anomalies and Contradictions,’ yesterday. "If their had been no anomalies, irregularities and contradictions to the parliamentary elections, the result of the election could have been different, "Dr. Parakrama said. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 22:52:47 EST 2000

MP's request PSC to probe election violence
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 15. Several opposition political parties are to request the Speaker to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into election malpractices at the last general election. Reportedly the United National Party has made arrangements to push for a special PSC that would address this issue and is seeking the support of other opposition parties to approach Speaker Anura Bandaranaike.

Several other organizations have already made representations to relevant authorities to take action against representatives of parliament who were found guilty of poll mal-practices at the October 10, 2000 general election.
Published: Wed Nov 15 10:21:12 EST 2000

50,000 kilos of wheat for the military go to waste
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 15. Reports indicate that more than 50,000 kilograms of wheat set aside for military personnel in operational areas has gone to waste. The wheat was set aside more than eight months ago on the instructions of the Chief Minister of the Uva province Samaraweera Weerawanni.

Acting on the Chief Ministers orders Pradeshiya Sabha's collected the wheat from farmers which accumulated to over 50,000 kilograms. However Weerawanni did nothing to ensure that the wheat was transported to the military and according to the Chief officer's of some Pradeshiya Sabha's the wheat is now rapidly decaying and in some places completely un-usable.
Published: Wed Nov 15 10:21:12 EST 2000

Lankan expats alarmed by Tiger fund-raising rallies in Canada, Nov 15 2000 15:30 IST. Colombo, Nov 15 (UNI) Sri Lankan expatriates' Association in Canada has expressed concern about several fund raising events planned in public schools by the LTTE front organisations on the Tiger Martyrs' Day on November 26. The State-run 'Daily News' said Canadian newspapers have highlighted the abuse of public schools by the Tiger front organisations to conduct ''multicultural'' events, which parents say are actually propaganda activities of the LTTE. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 07:29:45 EST 2000

Sri Lanka approves Viagra as prescription drug, Nov 15 2000 18:12 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 15 (AFP) - Sri Lanka has formally approved the sale of the impotence drugs Viagra as a prescription medicine, health officials said Wednesday. The government's state pharmaceuticals corporation has just begun marketing the 25 mg and 50 mg Viagra pills made by the US drug manufacturer Pfizer, officials said.The 25 mg pill was priced at 685 rupees (8.56 dollars) while the bigger pill sells at 800 rupees (10 dollars), officials said adding that there will be no over the counter sales unless patients produced prescriptions. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 08:53:41 EST 2000

Sri Lankans in TV turmoil
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 15 November, 2000, 12:39 GMT . The Sri Lankan cricket board has suspended its own chief executive pending an inquiry into a multi-million dollar TV rights deal. A Board statement said Dhammika Ranatunga, the elder brother of former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna, had been relieved of all duties. The Reuters News Agency quoted unnamed officials, who claim Ranatunga and Board president Thilanga Sumathipala have been at loggerheads over the sale of TV rights."Ranatunga is a paid employee of the cricket board and they can do what they like with him," the minister commented. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 08:50:40 EST 2000

Asian Age Online, November 13. The president of Sri Lankan National Labour Congress, Mr M.S. Chellasamy, on Monday asked the island government to accept LTTE?s latest peace talks offer and hold negotiations with them to put an end to the war, which was costing Rs 10,000 crore annually.Mr Chellasamy said at Ramanathapuram, where he had come on a pilgrimage, it was at Ramanathapuram, where he had come on a pilgrimage, it was wrong to say that the LTTE had made the offer because they wanted some respite from the pressures of war and their position had weakened. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 07:44:37 EST 2000

Sinhalese party wants peace talks with LTTE called off
rediff, November 15. Sinhalese extreme right-wing political party Sinhala Urumaya has asked the Sri Lankan government to call off the Norway-brokered peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and demanded severing of diplomatic ties with the Scandinavian country for 'interfering' in the country's internal affairs. The party also demanded the arrest of Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim who recently met LTTE leader V Prabhakaran to kick start a new round of peace talks between the rebels and the Lankan government. More...
Published: Wed Nov 15 07:32:07 EST 2000

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