The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 231

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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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Britain says feels LTTE knows military option out
MSNBC, november 22. Britain said on Wednesday it felt both the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger separatist rebels now realised they cannot achieve their goals militarily.British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain also hinted that some progress may have been made as a result of Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim's surprise meeting three weeks ago with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 11:42:20 EST 2000
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British minister faces protest in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
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Nationalists denounce British minister's Sri Lanka visit  -

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‘LTTE chief has not committed himself to autonomy package’
India Abroad, Nov 23, 2000 01:40 Hrs (IST) . TAMIL Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran did not commit himself to any possible solution of the Sri Lankan crisis that centered on greater autonomy to Tamil- inhabited areas of the island nation during talks last month with Erik Solhiem, Norway's special envoy for Sri Lanka. Talking to reporters here Wednesday, Solhiem said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief had not committed himself to "any particular solution" to the 17- year-old ethnic conflict. Solheim had met Prabhakaran in a rebel-controlled area of northern Sri Lanka in what was the first meeting between the LTTE leader and a foreign intermediary since the late 1980s. "This is a complex conflict and there can be no quick fixes or easy solutions," said Solheim, who accompanied Norwegian State Secretary Raymond Johansen on an official visit to India. He emphasized that demands like the LTTE's call for the withdrawal of the Sri Lankan Army from Jaffna or Colombo's insistence on a surrender of arms by the LTTE as a pre-condition for peace talks would remain "non-starters." More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:14:44 EST 2000
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Norway envoy says Sri Lanka rebels ready for talks  - MSNBC

Karl Inderfurth’s Lanka visit raises Tamils’ hope
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, November 22. The two day visit of the US Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth beginning next Monday has raised among the minority Tamils a hope of increased international involvement in finding a solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The visit follows close on the heels of the visit by the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Hain. A spokesman for US embassy, however, downplayed the visit and said that Mr Inderfurth was not coming to talk about the ethnic problem specifically but he would meet a cross section of top leaders from the government and the Opposition. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:27:22 EST 2000
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US official begins South Asian tour with visit to Sri Lanka  -

Army & LTTE exchange bodies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. The Army and the LTTE have exchanged some 14 bodies of combatants killed in heavy fighting over the last week-end. Military and sources from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the exchanges from both sides had taken place.

The ICRC had handed over some 20 bodies of rebel cadre to the LTTE, transporting the dead from Gurunagar to a village in the Vanni. The military too had accepted the bodies of four soldiers handed over to the ICRC by the LTTE.

The Sri Lanka Air Force meanwhile yesterday pounded Tiger camps south of Nagarkovil and reported that it had destroyed a number of LTTE bases including a key supply line used by the rebel force.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Jaffna students denounce pro-Sri Lankan militia
MSNBC, Wednesday, November 22 3:18 PM SGT . University students took to the streets of Sri Lanka's Jaffna city on Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of a pro-government Tamil militia from the country's war-torn northern peninsula.''It was a peaceful demonstration against the EPDP (Eelam People's Democratic Party) demanding that they get out of Jaffna,'' Jaffna city councillor A. Shanmugarajah told Reuters. The EPDP is a former Tamil militant group which now fights alongside government forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).Shanmugarajah said hundreds of students from Jaffna University held placards and shouted slogans blaming the EPDP for several recent atrocities, including last month's killing of Mailvaganam Nimalaranjan, a Tamil freelance reporter for BBC radio. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 04:14:22 EST 2000

PHOTO:Recent Floods in Eastern Sri Lanka
Yahoo-Reuters, 23 November 2000. Sri Lankan soldiers transport a sick woman to a safer ground away from her flooded home in eastern Sri Lanka's Mannampitiya village on November 21, 2000. Massive floods displaced over 100,000 families in the war-torn Batticaloa and Ampara districts after three days of torrential monsoon rains. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 22:15:58 EST 2000

Tamil diaspora for nothing less than Eelam?
The Hindu (International), Thursday, November 23, 2000. COLOMBO, NOV. 22. The LTTE leader, Mr. V. Prabhakaran, is under pressure from the international community to work towards resolving Sri Lanka's conflict within the framework of its territorial integrity, but he is also under tremendous pressure from Tamils living abroad to continue the armed struggle for an independent state. Opinions expressed on the Internet reveal the alarm that has spread through the Tamil community, from Canada to Australia, at the Norwegian peace initiative. After meeting the LTTE leader earlier this month, the Norwegian peace envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, said Mr. Prabhakaran seemed serious about a negotiated solution to end the ethnic conflict. Mr. Solheim said he had conveyed to Mr. Prabhakaran that the international community was against the division of Sri Lanka, and that a solution had to be found within the framework of its sovereignty. But if Sinhala nationalists believe Norway is going to divide the country into two, Tamil nationalists across the globe fear the peace-makers may force the LTTE to accept Eelam minus. Their disquiet is obvious from the views expressed about the Prabhakaran-Solheim meeting, the current topic on Talking Point, a page on the website More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:30:02 EST 2000

LTTE to celebrate Hero's Day in US schools
The Island, November 22. Despite being listed as a terrorist organisation by the US State Department the LTTE continues to operate in the United States and is to hold their heroâs day celebrations in several US schools this weekend.After the high profile listing of terrorist groups by the US State Department by the Clinton administration, the LTTE ceased to operate in the US under its own name and now operates as the World Tamil Co-ordinating Committee(WTCC). This LTTE front, operates from 170-10 Cedarcroft Road, Suite 1-L, Jamaica, New York 11432. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:23:23 EST 2000

10 killed in sporadic fighting in Sri Lanka
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on November 22, 2000. Colombo, Nov. 22. (PTI): Nine LTTE rebels and a civilian were killed in different encounters between the Army and the rebels in north and eastern Sri Lanka since yesterday. An official release here said six rebels were killed yesterday in confrontation with the troops in Muduvil South, in northern Jaffna Peninsula which was recently captured by the troops. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 10:28:03 EST 2000

New marketing arm to promote tourism in Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.45 p.m November 22. Lakshman Kiriella, Sri Lanka's new minister of tourism has decided to hand over the marketing aspects of tourism to the private sector by establishing a separate company within the tourist board which will function independently. He told 'The Lanka Academic' that the new marketing company will be formed in the coming months.

Kiriella also said " While working with the established markets we want to capture new markets like India as I feel that regional tourism is the best as we have so much in common."New minister also revealed that he will lay more emphasis on Eco-tourism.
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:45:04 EST 2000

World Sport wins TV rights for Sri Lanka cricket
Times of India (Breaking News), Wednesday . 22 November 2000

London and Hong Kong-based international sports marketing group World Sports Group has won the sponsorship and broadcasting rights for cricket matches in Sri Lanka for three years, the local cricket board said. The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said in a statement it had sent a letter of intent to World Sports Group and expected to sign the final deal next month. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 07:48:04 EST 2000

The Biggest Match Sony vs Worldtel
The Island, November 22. The big match now on in Sri Lanka cricket is described by wags as "Sony Vs. Worldtel" The Captains of the two teams who got together to prevent Mr. Clifford Ratwatte’s election as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka are reported to be going for each others jugulars. The cricketing field is said to be a wash with dirty linen while genuine cricketers are looking at it aghast.Another allegation made is that the Cricket Board has purchased a vehicle which had been imported duty free by a VIP and the market price was double the value of the imported price. It is alleged that the vehicle had been imported for the Private Secretary of the VIP who is said to be his wife. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:29:11 EST 2000

Prabhakaran's Number Game
Virtual NY, 21 November 2000. By UWE SIEMON-NETTO, UPI religion correspondent:A Hindu goddess and lucky numbers play a vital role in what some Asians call "a dirty war in paradise." In past interviews with this correspondent, former women guerillas reported that Pirabhakaran fervently worshipped the Hindu goddess Kali. They said the image of this beautiful black deity accompanied him from bunker to bunker in Sri Lanka's dense jungle. Kali plays a dual role in the Hindu pantheon. On one hand, she brings blood, violence and destruction, especially of human life. On the other hand, she is also the giver of new life, and therefore a potent idol for guerillas fighting for what they believe is a just cause."As a result, those young girls willing to sacrifice themselves for the Tamil Tiger cause revere even Pirabhakaran as a kind of an incarnate deity whose mission it is to destroy life so that new life may emerge," Dr. Thomas Savandaranayagam, the Roman Catholic bishop of Jaffna, explained.According to Savandaranayagam, who has met Pirabhakaran several times, Kali is only one aspect of the rebel commander's complex belief system."He is also a numerologist," the bishop said. "He goes to great lengths to avoid the unlucky number eight in the conduct of his war," confirmed Lt.Gen. Lionel Balagalle, until recently commander of government forces in northern Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 17:41:11 EST 2000

Ravi in a series of private motions Let Lankans living abroad vote to avoid impersonation.
The Island, November 22. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake in a latest addition to the large number of private member motions he presented to the new parliament, submitted one to legislate all Sri Lankans living outside the country be offered the opportunity to vote at elections in the future. "The motion says there are over 1.2 million Sri Lankans working outside the country which is almost around 10% of the registered voters in the country. It further says that this had led to undesirable activities taking place even to the extent of impersonation. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 09:32:00 EST 2000

Death of deputy Health Minister Lionel Gunawardena
CDN, 23 November 2000. Deputy Health Minister Lionel Gunawardena passed away yesterday at a private hospital in Colombo following a heart attack. He was admitted to the hospital complaining of a chest pain at about 11.45 am while participating at a fuction held at the Pelpola Vipassi Foundation. Born on 13 July in 1942, Mr. Gunawardena received his education at Nalanda Vidyalaya Minuwangoda.He later entered active politics and became the SLFP Organiser for Gampaha in 1983. His first foray into Parliamentary politics was in 1989 when he unsuccessfully contested the Parliamentary general election from Gampaha district. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 19:54:15 EST 2000
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Lankan junior health minister dies of heart attack  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka minister dies after accepting ambulance donation  -
Sri Lanka' Deputy health Minister dies  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sihala Urumaya alleges covert plan by British Minister
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. The Sihala Urumaya in a press release has alleged that the visit of British Secretary of State Peter Hain to Sri Lanka this week is a covert plan to foster talks between the government and the LTTE.

The Sinhala chauvinist party alleges that Hain is to carry out the second phase of an initiative begun by Norway to help negotiate peace talks between the government and the LTTE. The Sihala Urumaya further alleges that phase three in this intiative will bring in a team from the United States also to help facilitate a peace dialogue with the rebel force.

The SU maintains that it was originally British imperialism which bred communalism in this country and as such the British should refrain from interfering further in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. The SU has consistently been of the opinion that the only solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis is to destroy the LTTE militarily, and that the rebel force should not be accommodated at a negotiating table.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Lankan industrial - trade delegation to visit India
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Wednesday November 22. A high level delegation led by Industrial Development Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris is to leave for India next week to attend an economic development summit in New Delhi. The Minister accompanied by the Board of Investment Chief, Thilan Wijesinghe, will separately from the summit, hold one to one meetings with Indian partners on aspects of the Indo-Lanka Development & Trade Agreement.

The summit is considered of vital importance as key economic development and industrial trade experts will participate to help improve external industrial development in the region.
Published: Wed Nov 22 03:23:21 EST 2000

Raj Kumar's real-life trauma puts Sri Lanka's Tigers in spotlight, Nov 22 2000 08:58 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 22 (AFP) - The kidnap drama involving a movie star in India has put the spotlight on Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, who once used neighbouring India as a springboard to stage their separatist war. As India launched an operation to seize the elusive bandit Veerappan, who held film icon Rajkumar captive for 108 days, analysts here mulled over rising Tamil nationalist sentiments fuelled by the hostage crisis.Hostage negotiations were initially conducted by a magazine editor, R.R. Gopal, but he was suddenly replaced by Pazha Nedumaran, a well-known Tamil nationalist who supports the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's former high commissioner to India, Stanley Kalpage, said he believed the hostage drama had strengthened Tamil nationalism in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. "I don't know how long it will take them to have their greater Tamil nation, but Veerappan has given them a big boost," Kalpage said. "There are Tamils in India who believe they are a people without a nation for too long." More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 23:48:19 EST 2000

UK to support Norwegian peace initiative in Lanka
India Abroad, Nov 21, 2000 22:20 Hrs (IST) . RITAIN will back the Norwegian initiative to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, British Minister of State for commonwealth and foreign office Peter Hain declared Tuesday. Addressing the Asian College of Journalism here, Hain who is leaving for Sri Lanka Wednesday, said he had held discussions with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in this regard. He said he would also hold discussions with Sri Lankan leaders on how best Britain could help resolve the conflict. More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 15:21:18 EST 2000
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Lanka expects lot from British minister’s visit  - The Hindustan Times

LTTE begins commemmorating hero's week
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday November 21. The LTTE today began observing Hero's week with a number of religious ceremonies. The week which commemorates its dead cadres also coincides with its Leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran's birthday. The Tiger chief will be 46 on Sunday November 26. The military meanwhile are on red alert as they expect the Tigers in customary style to target key military and state installations in the country's war torn northeast. Colombo too has been placed on a maximum security alert to guard against possible suicide attacks by the rebels.
Published: Tue Nov 21 04:28:21 EST 2000
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Tension on LTTE anniversary  - Times of India

Sporadic clashes kill 11 in Sri Lanka's north
MSNBC, november 21. The Sri Lankan navy sank a Tamil rebel boat off the country's northern coast as skirmishes on land left at least 11 dead, government and military officials said on Tuesday. Navy officials said a naval patrol attacked a flotilla of five rebel boats off northern Mannar district on Monday, sinking one of them. More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 08:08:31 EST 2000

Sri Lanka Shrs Open Dn On John Keells' 1H Earnings Loss
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, November 22 12:35 PM SGT . Sri Lankan shares opened down Wednesday, led by a drop in John Keells Holdings, which reported a surprising fall in its first-half earnings late Tuesday, brokers said. The market is being hit today (Wednesday) due to the drop in John Keells' earnings, said a broker from First Capital Stock Brokers. At 0412 GMT (11:12 p.m. EST Tuesday), the All Share Index was down by 2.2 points to 473.1, according to brokers. More...
Published: Wed Nov 22 02:19:15 EST 2000

Wedding Bells to Susanthika
Island, 22 November 2000. Susanthika Jayasinghe with her husband Dhammika Nandakumara listen to Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella, who was one of the guests at her homecoming reception held at Hilton Hotel on Monday evening. More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 21:57:11 EST 2000

Troops dig in after heavy fighting in the North
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday November 21. Government troops were today consolidating their positions setting up areas in the northern Jaffna peninsula after a week-end of heavy fighting with the rebels. The battle which the military say killed over 20 Tigers also claimed the lives of seven soldiers and seriously wounded over 20 army men. Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said that the military had received confirmation of the number of Tigers killed and that troops had recovered 10 rebel bodies. He said the military were making arrangements to return the bodies to the LTTE via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Published: Tue Nov 21 04:28:20 EST 2000

LTTE pistol gang strikes again
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 3.15 p.m November 21. A media release issued by the Special Media Information Center said today that members of the LTTE pistol group attacked two police constables, attached to the Jaffna police station while they were having tea at Suriya Hotel down Kasturiya road. However the police constables had managed to retaliate and kill one LTTE rebel. The two police constables who received injuries had been admitted to the Jaffna hospital where one constable had succumbed to his injuries later. The incident had occurred yesterday around 4.00 p.m the release said.
Published: Tue Nov 21 04:26:10 EST 2000
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Policeman shot dead in Jaffna  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Lankan team to hold talks with India on free trade pact, 21st Nov 2000 18.13 IST . A high-level Sri Lankan team led by Minister G L Peiris will arrive in New Delhi next week to hold talks with Indian authorities on the Indo-Sri Lankan Free Trade Agreement. The talks on the free trade agreement between the two countries would be taken up for discussion during a special session on the sidelines of the Indian Economic Summit, to be held in New Delhi next week. More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 08:10:37 EST 2000

Tamil workers resent Army camps
HT, NOvember 21. Apparently fearing violence of the kind unleashed against their community in Bindunuwewa, Ginigathene and Talawakele recently, the Indian Origin Tamil (IOT) tea estate workers in Central Sri Lanka have protested against the establishment of Army camps in their midst."The setting up of Army camps here could disturb the traditional peace and amity in this area. We request the government to immediately withdraw the camps. There will be amity and lasting peace only if a permanent solution is found for the ethnic issue. This can be achieved only through talks with the LTTE using the good office of Norway," the resolution said. More...
Published: Tue Nov 21 08:29:04 EST 2000

Red Cross to the rescue of flood victims in Batti
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 3.00 p.m November 21. The ICRC with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society moved in to Batticaloa district and rescued the lives of over 235 people, mostly women and children marooned by heavy floods yesterday, ICRC spokesman Harasha Gunewardane told 'The Lanka Academic'. Gunewardane said the ICRC and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society had to use four boats during their rescue mission and the boats had to be brought from Oddamavady by tractor as the lagoon was over flowing, although Kinnaiyady and Oddamavady are connected by the lagoon.

The ICRC spokesman added that the ICRC mobile health teams treated around 60 civilians on arrival and the SLRCS arranged a school in Sankankerny to temporary house the displaced persons and provided them with their night meal. ICRC had carried out the rescue operation with the permission of the security forces in the area.

“ ICRC officials along with SLRCS volunteers continue to monitor the situation in the district rendering all possible assistance and a ICRC team also left for Ampara to assess the flood situation in the colony areas.” Said Gunewardane.

The ICRC opened an office in Batticaloa in 1990 and boasts of a staff of 68 with sixty Sri Lankans and eight expatriates.
Published: Tue Nov 21 03:59:10 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Floods recede in northeastern Sri Lanka  - Times of India
Floods wreak havoc in Sri Lanka's war-torn east  - ABC News
International Red Cross joins flood relief in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York

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