The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 242

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Ask Karu! session has ended. Answers to your questions to Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, the spokesperson of the United National Party, are here.
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.
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Bandula Jayasekera, in Colombo. Tibetan monk and poet S. Mahinda is considered a National Hero of our country. He supported Lanka's freedom struggle with his patriotic poems. The country has honoured him by issuing a commemorative stamp and school children proudly recite his poems even today. Tibetans are no strangers to the island and Sri Lanka has a common link with Tibetans because of Buddhism. However that link has not helped to find an answer to one of their burning questions. Will their political and spiritual leader the Dalai Lama ever be allowed to set foot in Sri Lanka? Successive Lankan governments have refused to allow him to visit the country. More...
US State Department, November 28, 2000. What it comes down to is this: we have had a very, very close presidential election in the United States - the closest in recent memory. The difference in the vote between the two major candidates, nationwide, and particularly in the crucial state of Florida, is so thin - something under one one-hundredth of one per cent in Florida, the last I checked - that the judiciary has been asked for its guidance on what the most reasonable steps to assure an accurate vote count might be. 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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‘LTTE chief won’t be extradited’
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, December 3. SRI LANKAN Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wikramanayake said in an interview to the state owned Tamil daily Thinakaran on Friday that LTTE chief V Pirabhakaran would not be extradited to India. "We will not do such a dirty thing," he said. Mr Wikramanayake was answering a question as to whether Sri Lanka would hand over Pirabhakaran to face trial in India as sought by India, when there were possibilities of peace talks with him in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 20:42:21 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's hardline premier backs peace process  - ABC News
I will not impair peace process - PM  - CDN
'MDMA did not discuss Prabhakaran extradition'  - The Hindu (International)

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Norway drafts peace plan for Lanka
Times of India (Breaking News), 3 December 2000 . Norway, which is mediating in the 17-year civil war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government, has drafted a schedule to de-escalate the conflict as a first step in the peace process, a newspaper said on Sunday.Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim, who made at least four visits to Sri Lanka this year, has drawn up a mutually reinforceable schedule to be implemented on a staggered basis within a specific time, said The Sunday Leader, an independent English-language newspaper. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 12:18:12 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lankan Govt-LTTE talks on the anvil  - India Abroad
Norway Drafts Peace Schedule For Sri Lanka, Rebels -Paper  - Yahoo Asia
Norway drafts peace schedule for Sri Lankan govt and LTTE  - NDTV/MSNBC

Dialogue between Lankan Govt., LTTE soon
India Abroad, Dec 3, 2000 15:55 Hrs (IST) . HERE is every possibility that the Norwegian facilitated direct talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) will start within the next couple of weeks in London. Diplomatic sources said the Norwegians have the complete support of both Britain, United states and India. Speculation about hurried talks was ripe after LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Heroes’ Day address on November 27. Prabhakaran had said the LTTE was prepared to negotiate without conditions in a conducive environment and according to him, this environment is the de-escalation of the war. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 21:54:42 EST 2000

'Weapon-laden vessel heading for Lankan shores'
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on December 2, 2000. Colombo, Dec. 2. (UNI): State Intelligence officers have alerted the Sri Lankan Air Force and Navy to be on the lookout for a ship carrying arms for the LTTE, local media reported quoting highly- placed sources. The vessel, containing latest weapons including anti-aircraft missiles, is said to be 400 nautical miles north-east of the island nation, the sources said. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 14:39:10 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka alert for LTTE weapons ship  - India Abroad

Kandy DIG moved out as Ratwatte takes over
Sunday Times, Sunday, 3 November. A day after Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte was named as the Deputy Defence Minister ,Central Province DIG Sirisena Herath who was allegedly threatened by Minister Ratwatte's son Lohan during the election period was transferred to the Police Headquarters.Several other promotions for Police officers stationed in Kandy were also effected. ASP Daya Samaraweera was promoted SP while Kandy HQI Saliya Silva was promoted as ASP. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 09:49:56 EST 2000

Govt should make stand clear: UNP
ChennaiOnline, December 3. The Opposition United National Party (UNP) is likely to ask the Sri Lankan government to make public its stand on solving the ethnic problem, in the light of LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s offer for “unconditional talks”.Highly placed sources said the peace process was expected to take a positive turn after President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is on a tour to Europe, returns. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 20:46:37 EST 2000

Survey of LTTE activities ordered
The Hindu (Southern States), Monday, December 04, 2000. GULBARGA, DEC. 3. The Home Minister, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, today disclosed that the State Government had directed all the police stations in Bangalore city and its surrounding areas to conduct a survey of the alleged activities of the supporters of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other anti-national organisations and submit a report to the Government immediately. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Kharge who initially declined to say anything on the alleged increase in the activities of the supporters of the LTTE in Bangalore, which had come to open when the Kannada matinee idol, Mr. Rajkumar, was in the captivity of the forest brigand, Veerappan, told questioners that the Government had taken action to check the veracity of the reports that the supporters of the LTTE and other militant organisations had revived their activities in Bangalore. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 20:40:30 EST 2000

Blind Sri Lankans rally to mark World Disabled Day, Dec 03 2000 16:32 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 3 (AFP) - Sri Lanka marked World Disabled Day on Sunday amid calls for more jobs and social security for the physically handicapped. On Saturday, about 40 blind protestors from the Sri Lanka Council for Visually Handicapped Graduates staged a rally outside the capital's main Fort railway station to make the demands."We got on to the street to open your eyes," they shouted, carrying pink cardboard sheets with their slogans written in Braille. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 12:12:35 EST 2000

Sri Lanka - A Travelouge
Salt Lake Tribune, December 3. Twain was the first American writer of any note to describe the beauty and enchantment of this teardrop-shaped island just south of the Indian subcontinent. When he disembarked in the capital, Colombo, on Jan. 13, 1896, he described the following scene: "Dear me it is beautiful! And most sumptuously tropical, as to character of foliage and opulence of it . . . oriental charm and mystery and tropical deliciousness. . . . There was that swoon in the air which one associates with the tropics, and that smother of heat, heady with odors of unknown flowers, and that sudden invasion of purple gloom fissured with lightning, then the tumult of crashing thunder and the downpour -- and presently all sunny and smiling again; all these things were there; the conditions were complete, nothing was lacking. . . ." More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 12:39:53 EST 2000

Sri Lanka seeks Indian bookmaker's help in fixing probe
Yahoo Asia, December 3. Sri Lanka was seeking help from an Indian bookmaker to probe charges that former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva were bribed to throw matches, an investigator said Sunday.Desmond Fernando, who is investigating allegations against the two top Sri Lankan players, said he was keen to interview bookmaker, M. K. Gupta, as his evidence would be crucial to the case."We have the Indian High Commission here to help with arranging an interview with Mr. Gupta sometime early this month," Fernando said, adding that he was unable to meet with Gupta during his visit to New Delhi last month. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 12:23:11 EST 2000

ADB and World Bank to take over wildlife: To salvage or to exploit?
Island, Sunday, 3 November. A document titled World Bank and Asian Development Bank Memorandum of Understanding of the Joint Pre-Appraisal Mission for the Protected Area Management and Wildlife Conservation Project (June 2000) contains plans to revolutionise conservation in Sri Lanka. Few know anything about the document, and with the credit line for this $35 million project - part grant, part loan - already signed, the only step left is ratification by the Cabinet. From that moment, the major control of conservation - the financing of development and policies - apparently passes to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 09:35:34 EST 2000

'No pressure from NDA allies to lift ban on LTTE'
Times of India (Breaking News), 3 December 2000 . Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union rural development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said there was no pressure from the NDA allies to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and it would continue.Talking to reporters here, he said no constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre had approached the government to lift the ban. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 12:15:33 EST 2000
Related News Stories
TN: BJP sees no spurt in pro-LTTE activity  - The Hindu NUS

India seeks Sri Lanka's help to probe Tiger links, Dec 03 2000 14:52 IST. COLOMBO(AFP) - India has sought Sri Lanka's help to investigate possible links between the island's Tamil Tiger rebels and politicians in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, reports here said Sunday. New Delhi, which sought the extradition of Sri Lanka's top Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in June 1995, had a team of officials visiting Colombo last month for routine follow up action, officials and diplomats said.The LTTE was recently under the spotlight in India for its alleged involvement in the abduction of India film icon Rajkumar by Tamil Nadu brigand Veerappan. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 05:37:22 EST 2000
Related News Stories
‘Karunanidhi protecting Veerappan’  - chennaionline
Ramadoss for lasting solution to Sri Lankan ethnic conflict  - The Hindu (Southern States)

Sri Lankan refugees arrive in Rameswaram
Times of India (Breaking News), 3 December 2000. A batch of eleven Sri Lankan refugees, including three women and three children, arrived at the refugee registration centre at Rameswaram on Sunday morning, official sources said. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 05:58:34 EST 2000

Tax on water will add extra burden to farmers -Minister Jayaratne
CDN, december 3. Imposing a tax on water under the proposed Water Act will be an extra burden on the farmer community Agriculture Minister D.M. Jayaratne said.However, the Attorney General's Department is in the process of drafting the much controversial bill - the Water Resources Authority Bill. According to an official of the Ministry of Irrigation, the government will implement the bill to conserve the country's water resources in a bid to face the severe shortage of water in the year 2010. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 19:43:19 EST 2000

LTTE offer of peace talks ‘only a trick to gain time’
The Island, december 3. The LTTE has not offered to engage in unconditional "political" talks with the government , senior security forces officers said on Friday stressing that whoever thinks otherwise have not bothered to read LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s lengthily annual "Heroes Day Message." The officers observed that the LTTE has just sought a break for their depleted fighting units, recruit new cadres, smuggle in fresh consignments of armaments that would help them to match the security forces fire power and also counter Sri Lanka’s diplomatic efforts to isolate the group internationally. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 19:48:20 EST 2000

Gift of over 1000 US army trucks
Island, 3 December 2000. Sri Lanka was among four Asia - Pacific nations selected to receive over 1000 US military trucks."In a gesture of regional friendship, US Army forces in the Pacific theatre have donated 1,059 military trucks to the armed forces and de-mining agencies of Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka," Asia Pacific Defence Forum, a military journal published quarterly by the Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Command said in its latest issue made available to The Island. These trucks were completely refurbished by the US at a cost of several million dollars.The M35A2 trucks are 2 1/2 ton vehicles that have been in use with the US forces in Japan and Korea. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 00:10:40 EST 2000

Trade Union for Lankan Cricketers
Island, 3 December 2000. Sri Lankan cricketers formed a trade union before their departure to South Africa yesterday. The national cricketers formed the union with the intention of safeguarding their rights.Sanath Jayasuriya was elected president and Marvan Atapattu the vice president. The secretary and treasurer are to be appointed at a later date. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 06:09:49 EST 2000

Shoppers ignore Sri Lanka conflict to battle for bargains
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, December 3 9:32 AM SGT . Sri Lanka may be officially on a "war-footing" but the only battles most tourists will see are those for bargains as the country attempts to emerge as the shopping capital of South Asia. Stepped-up security is usually the only sign of the conflict hundreds of miles (kilometres) away between government forces and Tamil rebels but the war of the shopping malls is more visible in the city. Fairy lights decorate the sidewalks leading to trendy clothing stores, attracting huge crowds of shoppers. Tourist buses and hotel taxis make regular runs to fashion houses which are part of the country's attraction for foreigners. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 22:52:32 EST 2000

Intellectuals urge the Government to appoint a Commission to probe Bindunuweva Massacre
Saroj Pathirana in London, Saturday 02 December 1630 GMT. A group of Sri Lankan intellectuals has urged the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to probe massacre of 26 Tamil inmates at Bindunuweva Rehabilitation camp. A statement signed by leading intellectuals including Dr. Kumari Jayawardena, Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Dr. Laksiri Fernando, Professor Amal Jayawardena, Mario Gomez, Dharini Rajasingham-Senanayake, Tissa Abeysekera, Sunanda Deshapriya, Professor Tissa Vitarana and Rev. Professor Kumburugamuwe Vajira, reminds that it is the duty of the government demanded by the humanitarian law, to identify and bring to justice those who are responsible for the killing of inmates who were under the protective custody of the state. They recall that when a similar massacre occurred in 1983 in the Welikada prison, the government of the day wilfully avoided inquiry.

"The cold-blooded massacre of 26 Tamil inmates at Bindunuweva Rehabilitation camp is a major set back to Sri Lanka's human rights situation as well as inter-ethnic relations. The tension that developed in the Nuwara Eliya in the immediate aftermath of this tragic event also indicated that concerted efforts are needed to sustain conditions for inter- ethnic peace against the backdrop of a continuing war and communalist mobilisation. We, therefore, urge the government to immediately appoint a commission of inquiry, with adequate investigative powers and resources, to fully probe into the Bindunuwewa massacre. The mandate of the Commission should cover the identification of all those who were responsible, directly and indirectly, for the instigation, organisation and carrying out of the killing of the inmates of the rehabilitation camp," it also states.
Published: Sat Dec 2 11:38:09 EST 2000

‘Bid for LTTE chief’s extradition will stall talks’
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, December 2. THE INDIAN government's renewed bid to get the LTTE supremo V Pirabakaran extradited from Sri Lanka to face trial for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is seen here as an attempt to stall current Western attempts to kickstart peace talks in the island. In an editorial today, 'The Island' says that India, which sees itself as the regional policeman, may not like the West to broker peace in this region. Despite Norway's attempts to involve India in the peace process, India has indicated through its extradition demand that it is not willing to compromise its national interest to impress the world by helping the West broker peace. "It is asking for its pound of flesh in the form of Prabhakaran's head.The signal it has sent to Norway and Britain is - you broker peace but hand over Prabhakaran to us," the paper said. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 19:26:54 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Extradition plea ill-timed: Tamil parties  - The Hindu (International)

LTTE breaks Unicef-brokered ceasefire
India Abroad, Dec 2, 2000 16:25 Hrs (IST) . two-day truce arranged by Unicef between the Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil rebels was broken Saturday when the guerrillas attacked an army picket in northern Sri Lanka, killing one soldier and wounding another, officials said. Rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked an army sentry point in Urumpirai in Jaffna peninsula with grenades, military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said and accused the guerrillas of violation of the truce arranged by Unicef to carry out a polio immunization program. "We lost one soldier during the 'days of tranquility' ceasefire arranged by Unicef," Karunaratne said. He added that the LTTE also fired mortar bombs at army defense lines at Nagarkovil in Jaffna peninsula on Friday, the first day of the temporary truce to allow a nation-wide polio immunization program. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 09:34:19 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Tigers kill soldier during polio truce  -

Can Women do science, Mathematics and Engineering?
CDN, December 3. Women, are more than a half of Sri Lankans. They have been left behind in Science, Mathematics and Engineering (SME). While the problem has engaged the attention of educators in the West, we in Sri Lanka have hidden behind the typical cliche of a science Dean in public, "Women just can't do maths." The problem has deep roots. In classical western education it was held that maths soiled women and was for merchants. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 19:39:39 EST 2000

Docs Take Course With Noted Author
yahoo, December 2. On this first day of class, author Michael Ondaatje settles at the end of a long conference table and asks his students to introduce themselves. One is Dr. Steve Miller, a pediatrician, who gives his name and occupation and then lowers his head and smiles.Winner this fall of Canada's prestigious Giller Prize, the novel features a forensic anthropologist, Anil Tissera, sent by a human rights group to investigate campaigns of murder in the Sri Lankan civil war.Ondaatje spent extensive time with medical personnel while researching ``Anil's Ghost'' and portions of the book involve the treatment of patients in war time, when the ``only reasonable constant was that there would be more bodies tomorrow.'' More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 16:35:22 EST 2000

Sri Lanka blind demand jobs for the disabled, Dec 02 2000 14:16 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 2 (AFP) - Dozens of blind graduates demonstrated outside Sri Lanka's main railway station here Saturday demanding job quotas and constitutionally guaranteed social security for the disabled.The Sri Lanka Council for Visually Handicapped Graduates said they also handed over a petition to President Chandrika Kumaratunga setting out their main demands.A secretary to a ministry asked one of our members: 'How can we give you a job. You are blind,'" Silva said. "When we pointed out that some got jobs, the official said it was because they did not know that the applicant was blind." More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 05:21:54 EST 2000

Thomas Cook India to take over Lanka operations
Times of India (Breaking News), 3 December 2000. Thomas Cook India (TCIL) will soon take over the operations of its parent company, Thomas Cook Holdings in Sri Lanka, as part of its strategy to expand its operations in the SAARC countries.Company sources said that TCIL was working out the details to take over the operations of the branch offices of Thomas Cook Holdings in Sri Lanka and said that the MoU was expected to be signed early next year. More...
Published: Sun Dec 3 05:54:02 EST 2000

Peace for Sri Lanka - An Editorial
BostonGlobe, december 1. At a moment when the Oslo peace process in the Mideast appears in dire trouble, there has been a heartening breakthrough toward another peace negotiation that Norway is seeking to midwife. With his call last Monday for unconditional peace talks between his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan government, Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran offered a positive response to the signals transmitted by Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim. More...
Published: Sat Dec 2 00:58:00 EST 2000

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