The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 226

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Where is MIR today?
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...
Ranjita Misra, Ph.D., CHES., Ohio University. The health promotion era began in the mid 1980s with government policies focused on disease prevention and health promotion behaviors (Green and Ottoson, 1994). The national goal is to attain better health for the people through lifestyle changes that would decrease the prevalence of chronic disease and increase life expectancy. The Surgeon General has placed highest priority on strategies to eliminate destructive personal habits and to promote lifestyles conducive to health. Economic, medical, and social concerns are the reasons for the increased attention to health promotion and disease prevention activities. More...
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Lankan court gives death sentence for murders in first DNA case
Times of India, 18 November . In the first Sri Lankan criminal case in which DNA was used to identify suspects, a High Court on Friday sentenced three young men to death by hanging, although such sentences have not been carried out in 23 years.The three-judge bench convicted three men - Menaka Sanjeewa, 19, Sampath Sri Nandana, 22, and Mahinda Siriwardene, 21 - of killing a family of six in their home in the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, in February 1999.The mother, father, three daughters and son of the Lalanadasa family were stabbed to death with swords and knives and two of the daughters were repeatedly raped before being murdered. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 17:49:10 EST 2000

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Sri Lanka President says graft eroded past budgets
MSNBC, november 17. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered a crackdown on corruption, saying 40 percent of the development budgets in her first term were eroded by graft and inefficiency, government officials said on Friday. 'The president said she would take stern action against any officials, including ministers, if this trend continues,'' Janadasa Peiris, secretary of the Media Ministry, told Reuters. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 07:50:47 EST 2000
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Sri Lankan Pres Warns Cabinet Against Poor Performance  - Yahoo Asia

Sri Lanka resumes civilian flights to Jaffna
ABC News, 11/17/2000 06:30:00 ET. COLOMBO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka resumed civilian flights from the war-torn Jaffna peninsula on Friday, after a seven-month suspension over fears of missile attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels. "We waited a very long time for this," said S. Kokilanathan, one of 47 Tamil civilians who arrived at the Ratmalana domestic airport near Colombo. Kokilanathan said he was accompanying his six-year-old daughter who needed urgent heart surgery at a Colombo hospital. "I tried to get to Colombo by sea, but it would have taken one-and-a-half months to get a passage on the ferry," he said. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 07:51:35 EST 2000
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Civilian flights resume to Jaffna  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Jayasuriya says no to 200,000 USD offer
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.45 p.m November 17. Sri Lankan cricket captain and new UNAIDS goodwill ambassador Sanath Jayasuriya has turned down an offer made by UNAIDS to work for them for a fee and instead offered his service free of charge.

The fee for working as a goodwill ambassador ranges from US dollars 100,000 to 200,000. Jayasuriya has proved to the world what a great sportsman he is by this rare act of turning down such a large amount.

Jayasuriya's new appointment demands creating public awareness regarding AIDS, specially among the youth in Sri Lanka.
Published: Fri Nov 17 06:47:17 EST 2000

Sri Lanka Govt Ups Cigarette Prices To Raise Funds
Yahoo Asia, Friday, November 17 8:24 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance said Friday that it had increased cigarette prices to fund the government's fight against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.It said prices of all varieties of cigarettes will rise by 50 Sri Lankan cents a stick ($1=LKR80.92). Friday's hike, the second increase for this year, is effective immediately. May 10, the government raised cigarette prices, also by LKR0.50 per stick. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 10:50:47 EST 2000
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Sri Lanka expands jumbo cabinet  -

Police officers shoot down LTTE operatives in Mannar
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.05 a.m. SLT Friday November 17. Police officers in Mannar shot down a group of LTTE operatives yesterday. According to the police, the suspected LTTE cadre were spotted carrying illegal goods and had ignored an order to halt. Instead the group had run for cover into the nearby forest.

Giving chase, the police say, they shot down the group. The police could not say how seriously the suspects were wounded.
Published: Fri Nov 17 02:03:54 EST 2000

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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''Norway not to try to intervene in the internal matters of our country": Sri Lanka  -
Nationalists Urge Norway to End Role in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka protest against Norwegian intervention  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka Hikes Diesel, Kerosene Prices By LKR2-Liter
Yahoo Asia, Friday, November 17 11:18 AM SGT . Sri Lanka's oil monopoly, the Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, said Friday it will raise both the pump price of diesel and the retail price of kerosene by 2.0 rupees ($1=LKR80.77) a liter, effective immediately. The pump price per liter of diesel will now cost LKR21.50 compared with LKR19.50 previously. Kerosene will rise to LKR17.40/liter, up from LKR15.40/liter. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 07:54:15 EST 2000
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Oil prices raised  -

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

India to release Lankan fishermen caught poaching
India Abroad, Nov 17, 2000 15:20 Hrs (IST) . NDIA has agreed to release some of the Sri Lankan fishermen caught poaching in Indian waters following several high-level requests from Colombo, officials said. At least 82 fishermen, of the 152 behind bars in India for crossing the maritime boundary over the past few years, will return to Sri Lanka shortly, said fisheries ministry secretary S. Amarasekera. A local fishermen's organization, National Fisheries Solidarity (NFS), is pressing for the release of all the fishermen, claiming that the men have been held for as long as two years without charges being filed. More...
Published: Fri Nov 17 06:16:52 EST 2000

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

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

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

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