The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 234

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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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Rebels say 16,000 men killed in 17-year Sri Lanka war
ABC News, 11/25/2000 06:52:00 ET. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Tamil Tiger rebels said Saturday that they have lost more than 16,000 men in their 17-year separatist war with government troops. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam made the announcement in a news broadcast over the Voice of Tigers radio, monitored in the northern town of Vavuniya, 130 miles north of Colombo. The LTTE have been fighting since 1983 for an independent Tamil homeland in north and east Sri Lanka. More than 63,000 people have been killed. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 10:44:52 EST 2000

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Sri Lanka interest rates soar as war budget begins to bite
123India, november 26. Sri Lanka's interest rates have begun rising sharply as aftershocks of unprecedented military spending six months ago to contain Tamil Tiger rebels take a heavy toll on the economy. The one-month Sri Lanka Inter Bank Offering Rate (SLIBOR) reached a dizzy 25 percent last week compared to 13.08 percent a year ago, setting a trend for higher commercial bank lending rates, the latest official figures showed. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 22:26:41 EST 2000

Rebel chief’s speech has Sri Lanka guessing
India Abroad, november 25. A flurry of diplomatic activity has dramatically raised the profile of Monday's annual speech by Sri Lanka's Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, but the spotlight has not made the shadowy chieftain easier to read. The speech is the culmination of "Heroes Week", an annual ritual by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to honor their dead from 17 years of fighting for a separate state for the country's Tamil minority. "Everybody is eagerly awaiting the Heroes Day speech for an indication of where the LTTE stands on the peace process," said Keteesh Loganathan, a Tamil political analyst at the Center for Policy Alternatives, a Colombo-based think tank. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 10:47:09 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka waiting for Prabhakaran's Heroes Day speech  - Times of India

Inderfuth to miss meeting Kumarantunga
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on November 25, 2000. Colombo, Nov. 25. (UNI): Karl F Inderfurth, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, will miss his meeting with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who left here yesterday on a European tour. The US embassy here was informed by the presidential secretariat that she would not be able to meet Inderfurth, who is expected to arrive here on Monday on the first leg of his four-nation tour. He is scheduled to visit India next week. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 10:49:38 EST 2000

More people become refugees in Trincomalee
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 1.55 p.m November 25. People living in Munai,Odam, Thandanagar and new jetty areas in Trincomalee have moved away from their homes due to mortar attacks and threats by the LTTE a media release from the special media information center said today.

The release said 569 families consisting of 2393 people with over 900 children below 12 years have become refuges and are housed at Almanar Vidyalaya and Alhilal Vidyalaya in Muttur town. It also said that the social service officer and the Muttur divisional secretary have made arrangements to see to the need of the refugees.
Published: Sat Nov 25 02:53:02 EST 2000

Posters hail Prabhakaran's birthday
The Hindu (Southern States), Sunday, November 26, 2000. CHENNAI, NOV. 25. The pro-LTTE activists in the State are revving up once again to blatantly celebrate the birthday of Prabhakaran, the leader of the banned LTTE and the prime accused in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, tomorrow and observe the `Maaveerar day' on Monday. Posters featuring Prabhakaran's photographs have appeared in prominent places in the City including Saidapet, Santhome and T.Nagar, hailing the LTTE chief on the occasion of his birthday. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 17:31:38 EST 2000

Sri Lanka's MPs may lose attendance carrot
MSNBC, saturday, 25 November. Cash-strapped Sri Lanka's radical Marxists have called for the abolition of financial incentives used to coax reluctant lawmakers to attend parliamentary sittings. ''Parliamentarians are given a salary to attend parliament. They should not be paid additionally each time they show up,'' Vijitha Herath, a lawmaker of the leftist People's Liberation Front, told parliament on Friday during a debate on the cost of living.Sri Lanka's 225 members of parliament are paid 500 rupees ($6) for each sitting they attend in addition to their salary and other benefits. Herath said the country could ill-afford such payments as it struggles to cope with rising defence expenditure on a 17-year ethnic war. Despite the incentive, many lawmakers do not attend sittings and parliament has had to be adjourned several times in recent years for want of a quorum. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 04:27:48 EST 2000

Nedumaran proud he is ‘LTTE man’
ChennaiOnline, november 22. Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran, without any tinge of guilt or remorse over his support to the LTTE, a banned organisation, tonight said he was proud to be called an LTTE supporter.Addressing a meeting of the People’s Rights Federation, to felicitate him and other emissaries for securing the release of Kannada actor Rajkumar, Nedumaran said some political parties had called him anti-national since he supported the LTTE. “We take pride in calling ourselves LTTE supporters,” he added. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 10:54:11 EST 2000

A new push for peace
E-Countries., November 24. Top US and British officials are in Sri Lanka to offer support for the peace process. It is the latest jolt to the stalemate between the rebel separatists Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Combined with the surprise talks with the rebels' leader last month, these may be the first signs of a fresh push for peace on the war-torn island. A crackly voice on pirate radio could give the Sri Lankan peace process another surprise boost. Or it could send it back to stalemate. On November 27, Vellupalai Prabhakaran, the shadowy leader of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will give his annual radio address marking the end the Tamil Tigers' "heroes' week." More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 21:17:35 EST 2000

Nurses play dirty in Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.45 a.m November 25. Nurses at the Maharagama Cancer hospital played dirty yesterday refusing to give chemotherapy to hundreds of patients, putting the lives of innocents patients in danger.

The nurses are demanding that they be paid an enhanced risk allowance of Rs.1000 a month since chemotherapy involves handling of high toxic drugs. They are paid a risk allowance of Rs.250 at present.

However a spokesperson for the nurses denied that they stopped chemotherapy altogether. Spokes person said they only had stopped treating new patients.

The condition of the cancer hospital at Maharagama is in a hopeless state with steady breakdown of its vital equipment.
Published: Fri Nov 24 22:08:23 EST 2000

Kumaratunga off to Europe for bilateral talks
India Abroad, Nov 25, 2000 14:55 Hrs (IST) . SRI Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga is visiting Europe for "bilateral discussions," her office said. A short statement from the presidential secretariat said she left Friday but it did not give details about which countries she would be visiting or whom she would be meeting, presumably because of security considerations. With the Sri Lanka Aid Group meeting scheduled to take place in Paris early next month, Kumaratunga could make a stopover there after a likely visit to London, officials speculated. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 10:48:28 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka president leaves for European visit  -

Lanka mulling closing down casinos
Times of India, November 26. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka was considering closing down casinos amid protests that the gambling operations had led to international prostitution rackets and money laundering here, the state-run Daily News said Saturday. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament Friday a government decision to licence casinos in 1996 had never been officially implemented. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 23:39:58 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka government considers closing casinos  -

Daily Mirror reports of a dancing commander
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.10 a.m November 25. Today's Daily Mirror under its military matters has a report of a dancing commander who danced till dawn and more. The paper says that they are not grudging the Army Commander taking a drink or two or more given the taxing demands of the man but, a social drink has to be taken in a social way and not anti-social way.

It says how Lt.. General Lionel Balagalle ignored the dinner call at an army hosted send off party to seven US ballistic experts where the Defense Attache of the US embassy too was present and how the foreign guests had appeared very uncomfortable by the commanders behavior.

The send off party had been held at the army officers mess last Thursday.
Published: Fri Nov 24 22:08:17 EST 2000

UNP presents proposals for live parliamentary debates
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 p.m. SLT Friday November 26. The United National Party has officially presented a proposal to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike requesting that all parliamentary proceedings be telecast live. The ruling party too are reported to have given their approval for this proposal. The Speaker is yet to take a decision in this regard. A senior UNP MP said that the provision may take some time to implement.
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:22:56 EST 2000

Initiative depends on Prabhakaran
HT, November 24. The next move in the international peace initiative in Sri Lanka depends very critically on LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran's Hero's Day oration over the Voice of Tigers radio on November 27. The Tamil rebel leader is expected to outline his latest policy on war and peace, the goal of a separate Tamil Eelam, devolution of power within a united Sri Lanka and foreign mediation. The Norwegians, who represent the Big Powers-the US, UK, Europe and India in the international peace bid-have made it clear to both the warring parties that the world wants them to settle the question peacefully through negotiations, the LTTE should give up its goal of an independent Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka should give substantial devolution of powers to the Tamil North East. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 19:02:10 EST 2000

5 LTTE cadres killed
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.50 p.m. SLT Friday November 24. According to the Special Media Information Center today, 5 Tigers were killed in separate incidents at Columbothurai and Kilali yesterday. Two more rebels were injured when the LTTE and government troops engaged in sporadic fire in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula. One soldier was also killed in the incidents and two others injured.
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:22:55 EST 2000

Lanka to draw more Indian tourists with big sales push
India Abroad, Nov 24, 2000 22:20 Hrs (IST) . SRI LANKA will launch a drive to draw more Indian visitors with a sales pitch pushing the island as an attractive holiday destination, tourism officials here said. Some 40,000 Indians came here last year, the third highest number after visitors from Britain and Germany, nudging the Ceylon Tourist Board (CTB) to intensify their promotions. Not all Indian visitors can, however, be classified as tourists, with many of that number coming here either on business or to visit relatives. Having closed down its own office in New Delhi earlier this year, the CTB has appointed Trac Representation (India) Pvt. Ltd. as their marketing agent there, a CTB statement said. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 19:05:11 EST 2000

Ministers bodyguards injured in fire-arm accident
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.45 p.m. SLT Friday November 24. Two bodyguards of Minister for Education Susil Premajayanth were injured when the fire-arms they were carrying in their vehicle accidentally went off. The two men who belong to the personal security division of the minister were travelling in an official vehicle when the gun had gone off wounding them both.

Reports say that the two men are in a stable condition after receiving urgent medical attention for their injuries.
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:22:55 EST 2000

Dr. Radhika Coomarswamy wins Oslo human rights award
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.40 p.m. November 24. Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy has won the Human Rights prize of the University of Oslo Lisl and Leo Eitinger’s prize for her contribution on violence against women.

The awards will be presented to her at a special ceremony, scheduled to be held at the universitets gamle festival, the old festival hall, on Tuesday 28.

Speaking to the ‘Lanka Academic’ Radihka Coomaraswamy said, “ These awards are given not to me but, for a cause. The cause is the movement to eradicate violence against women”

This is the second such award Dr. Coomaraswamy has won this year. In October she received the Bruno Kreisky Foundation Award for Human Rights from Austria which she dedicated to late Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam. She is also the recipient of the International Human Rights law award presented by the International Human Rights Law group for outstanding contribution to international human rights, in 1997, ‘Prominent Women in International Law’ from the American Society of International law in 1996 and the International Law Award of the American Bar Association in 1995.

Radhika is the director of the International Center for Ethnic studies in Colombo and United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women.
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:41:49 EST 2000

Mutual suspicion a stumbling block for Lanka peace talks
India Abroad, Nov 24, 2000 17:05 Hrs (IST) . As international pressure mounts on Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger separatists, mutual suspicion could be a major stumbling block on the road to peace. "The government is very cautious about appearing enthusiastic because it cannot forget that the majority of Sinhalese are not willing to concede the northeast to the LTTE," said K. N. Godage, a retired diplomat and political commentator. Britain's Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Peter Hain left Colombo Thursday but not before underscoring the international community's concern over the decades-long war of attrition between the Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:07:25 EST 2000

Former President's relative in hot water over missing paintings, Nov 24 2000 11:31 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 24 (AFP) - The son-in-law of Sri Lanka's assassinated President Ranasinghe Premadasa has been arrested following a probe into the disappearance of a valuable painting from the official presidential house, officials said Friday. A magistrate ordered the detention of Rohan Jayakody, married to Premadasa's daughter, until December 6 after the police held him in connection with the theft of a more than 100-year-old painting. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 01:43:07 EST 2000

South Asian's people's summit in Colombo
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 5.00 p.m November 24. The South Asian People's Summit organized by the South Asia Partnership International in collaboration with other civil service organization in the region will take place in Colombo from December 8 to 10.

The summit is expected to be a substitute for the SAARC summit which has been continuously postponed since the summit held in 1998. Over 250 people from all over South Asia are expected to attend the three day summit, which aims to build up mutual understanding and co-operation among the SAARC countries.
Published: Fri Nov 24 06:08:19 EST 2000

Hain says LTTE willing to agree to autonomy
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Friday November 24. Peter Hain, Britain's Deputy Secretary of State told journalists yesterday that after having spoken with representatives of the LTTE in London, both Britain and Norway are convinced that the Tigers will agree to an autonomous state.

Hain maintained that the LTTE too were of the view that the present conflict could not be resolved other than through negotiations between the government and the rebels.

The government has continued to remain skeptical of the Tiger's peace approach but have not ruled out negotiations with the rebel fighting force.

Hain met with Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe, Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris during his two day visit to the Island nation.
Published: Fri Nov 24 00:14:46 EST 2000

TULF requires full probe into killing of fishermen
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Friday November 24. R. Sambandan, Secretary General for The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has requested the Defence Ministry to conduct a full and impartial inquiry into the killing of four fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy. The incident took place off the coast at Nilaveli in the Trincomalee district.

The TULF allege that in too many instances innocent Tamil civilians are being killed by government security forces on suspicion of them being members of the LTTE. He said that in addition to conducting a full scale probe into the incident, the Defence Ministry should also arrange for compensation to be paid to the victims families.
Published: Fri Nov 24 00:14:46 EST 2000

Sri Lankan refugees arrive in Tamil Nadu
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on November 24, 2000. Madurai, Nov. 24. (PTI): Twenty-five Sri Lankan refugees arrived at Serankottai and Arichalmunai in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, official sources said here on Friday. The refugees, who arrived in two batches, were from Pesalai in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:09:14 EST 2000

Nine tigers killed in Lanka, Nov 24 2000 16:20 IST. Colombo (Sri Lanka), Nov 24 (UNI) Sri Lankan Security forces shot dead nine Tamil Tigers in an encounter in the North-East during the past 24 hours, defence sources said. The sources said three ''terrorists'' were killed and five were injured in Kilaly. In another incident in Colombuthurai, two terrorists were shot dead by troops. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 10:06:35 EST 2000

Peace through change: the British devolution experience
CDN, Friday, 24 November. It is a great pleasure for me to be here today. This is my first visit to Sri Lanka and it is a good opportunity for me to get to know key opinion formers and to learn about the issues of the day. Everyone I speak to agrees that the top priority on the political and economic agenda is to find a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict. I have followed events in Sri Lanka with considerable interest and sadness, as a friend with a shared history and common values, and a fellow member of the Commonwealth family. It is a tragedy to see so many lives being lost and development opportunities missed as a result of this destructive conflict. The UK is keen to help in the search for a peaceful settlement to this complex problem if we are asked to do so. But the solution must come from within Sri Lanka if it is to be sustainable. There is no magic wand that people from outside can wave to make things better. So I have not come here with any pre-conceived ideas on what form a settlement might take; that is a matter for the Government and the people of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 03:55:59 EST 2000

Govt. decides to implement death penalty
Island, Friday, 24 November. The government on Wednesday (22) decided to implement the death penalty as part of a series of proposed tough measures to combat rising wave of crime and violent incidents, senior party officials said yesterday. The decision was taken at an Executive Committee meeting of the People’s Alliance held on Wednesday night.The Executive Committee also decided to resume talks with the UNP with regard to the ongoing efforts to end the North-East crisis and other related matters including proposed constitutional reforms, they said. The PA decided to set up independent elections, judicial and public service commissions as part of the proposed constitutional reforms but stressed that it would not agree to appoint an independent police commission. The UNP, PA constituent member the SLMC and several other civic organisations have been campaigning for these four independent commissions for some time. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 03:32:50 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka brings back capital punishment  - Virtual New York

British tourist rescued after three days in Sri Lankan jungle, Nov 24 2000 14:44 IST. COLOMBO, Nov 24 (AFP) - Sri Lankan police and air force troops have rescued a 72-year-old British woman who got lost in the jungle for three days while on a lone expedition to watch butterflies, police said Friday. The woman had gone out looking for butterflies but became lost in the jungles of north-central Sri Lanka, police said, adding that she was rescued and rushed to hospital on Wednesday. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 05:58:51 EST 2000

No alternative to dialogue: Peter Hain
CDN, 24 November 2000. My own experience of conflicts and peace-building makes me believe that successful processes for peace must bewithout preconditions". This was stated by Peter Hain, MP, Minister of StateForeign and Commonwealth Affairs of the British Government, who is on a two-day visit here. He was speaking at a press conference held yesterday at Westminster House, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo."During my short stay here I have observed that everybody in this country is now war weary. This is the message I have received even from the LTTE.On the question why the British Government is not following the US in banning the LTTE who have their headquarters in London, Hain said that the British Government is about to introduce legislation next year to outlaw all terrorist organizations. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 00:10:11 EST 2000

Sri Lanka Shrs Open Dn On Foreign Selling In John Keells
Yahoo Asia, Friday, November 24 12:26 PM SGT . Sri Lankan shares opened slightly weaker Friday, as foreign investors continue to sell shares in John Keells Holdings after it reported a decline in earnings, brokers said. Otherwise, activity was mostly thin due to a lack of fresh news, they added. At 0415 GMT (11:15 p.m. EST Thursday), the benchmark All Share Index was down by 0.8 point to 463.7, according to brokerage firms. More...
Published: Fri Nov 24 01:51:06 EST 2000

Sri Lanka considering crackdown on casinos
Virtual New York, Saturday, 25 November 2000. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Nov 25 (UPI) - The Sri Lankan government is contemplating a ban on casinos that have spread throughout the capital in recent years after a proposal to legalize them was opposed by religious organizations.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Friday told lawmakers in parliament that the government would consider closing down casinos since they are not benefiting the state treasury and are being blamed for money laundering and encouraging prostitution. More...
Published: Sat Nov 25 12:06:46 EST 2000

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