The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 243

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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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Not averse to ban on TNLA, TNRT: CM
The Hindu (Southern States), Tuesday, December 05, 2000. CHENNAI, DEC. 4. After the recent warning to the pro-LTTE Tamil outfits in the State against stretching their rhetoric ``beyond limits,'' the DMK president and Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, today said the Government was not averse to banning the TNLA and the TNRT. Though in number TNLA and TNRT cadres were ``just handful,'' Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters here after a meeting of the party district secretaries and Ministers that, ``if necessary, we will recommend to the Centre to ban these two outfits.'' While Mr. Karunanidhi declined to comment on the reported Centre's thinking to sternly deal with the LTTE- sympathising extremist groups, in the context of they teaming up with the forest brigand Veerappan, who had kidnapped Kannada actor Rajkumar, he merely said he was aware of these reports in the newspapers. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 20:51:52 EST 2000

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Sri Lankan PM now backs peace process
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, December 4. THE SRI LANKAN Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wikramanayake, known to be against talks with the LTTE, has said that he would not stand in the way of talks. Speaking to the state owned Daily News, he said if the LTTE was prepared to abjure terrorism and was ready for talks, he would not oppose a positive governmental response “even slightly”. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 20:52:33 EST 2000

Sri Lanka rules out ceasefire before Tiger talks, Dec 04 2000 20:36 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 4 (AFP) - Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake ruled out a ceasefire with Tamil Tiger guerrillas before the start of any Norwegian-backed peace talks, state radio reported Monday. The government was, however, willing to consider a package of concessions in consultation with other political parties, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) said. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 11:30:17 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Wickramanayake not to impair peace process  - The Hindu (International)
S.Lanka issues muted reply to LTTE call for talks  - ABC News
Lanka's hardline PM backs peace process  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lankan Govt. accepts Prabakaran's offer  - The Hindu NUS
Lankan Govt, to support ''genuine'' peace offer from LTTE  -

No legal framework to punish Cricket culprits- Desmond Fernando
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 04 December 1130 GMT. Sri Lankan government can not take legal action against cricket players accused of match fixing even if found guilty, the one man commission to probe match fixing allegations made against Sri Lankan cricketers, president’s counsel Desmond Fernando claimed. Speaking with BBC’s Sandeshaya, Mr. Fernando, who is given a one-month deadline by Sri Lanka's Cricket Control Board (BCCSL) to probe the allegations, said that his attempts to reach bookmaker Mukesh Kumar Gupta were unssuccessful and he contacted Mr. Madhavan of Indian Cricket Board to request him that he needs to talk to Mr. Gupta to gather some more evidence. Mr. Fernando further added that under the current penal codes neither India nor Sri Lanka can take the players to the courts, although Cricket authorities may take action.

Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda De Silva were among many other leading players named by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India as players bribed by bookmaker Gupta (MK) for fixing cricket matches.

Meanwhile, the recent issue of Outlook magazine published by India, alleged that MK Gupta has arranged to pay $60,000 for the upkeep of Sri Lankan cricketer Aravinda De Silva’s girlfriend in Australia, who bore him a child. Aravinda De Silva is yet to make a written statement on these allegations. When the CBI report made public for the first time BCCSL president Thilanga Sumathipala told "Sandeshaya" that Aravinda was seeking legal advice before making any comment.
Published: Mon Dec 4 06:23:14 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka seeks Indian bookmaker's help in fixing probe  - Yahoo Asia
Trade Union for Lankan Cricketers  - Island
Sri Lanka players form cricket trade union  - Yahoo Asia

Lanka denies Advani claim on LTTE?s Prabhakaran
Yahoo, December 4. Sri Lanka?s attorney general has denied that a Indian team, which visited Lanka last month, had pressed for the extradition of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran.Quoting K.C. Kamalasabyason, local daily the Sunday Leader said that the three-member Indian team has not made any formal or informal request about Prabhakaran?s extradition during its meeting with him.But yet another Sri Lankan newspaper, Sunday Times said that Lankan officials have ?reviewed? an earlier Indian request for Prabhakaran?s extradition. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 08:12:15 EST 2000
Related News Stories
AG denies allegation that Indians discussed Prabhakaran's extradition  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Indian thrown overboard by trawler crew ends up in Sri Lanka, Dec 04 2000 17:20 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 4 (AFP) - An Indian fisherman beaten by fellow trawler crewmen and thrown overboard swam to safety and ended up along Sri Lanka's north-western coast on Monday, defence officials said. The fisherman identified as Moorthy Govindaras was found along the Pesalai coast by police, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 07:44:01 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Navy rescues Indian fisherman  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka rescues fisherman after brawl at sea  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka navy launches air wing
ABC News, 12/04/2000 07:32:00 ET. COLOMBO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The Sri Lanka navy launched an air wing on Monday by taking delivery of its first helicopter ship. "The first of two Indian-built "Sukanya" class offshore patrol vessels were received by the Sri Lanka navy, laying the foundation for the aerial wing," said a senior navy officer, who did not want to be identified. He declined to say how much the vessel had cost, but said it had been used by the Indian navy for several years and that a second ship was being built. The officer said the vessel, which has a displacement of 1,890 tonnes, can carry one combat helicopter and a crew of 140. "We will use the aerial wing as much for surveillance as for combat purposes," he said. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 08:32:41 EST 2000

LTTE supporter deported
The Hindu, Tuesday, December 05, 2000. CHENNAI, A Sri Lankan Tamil and LTTE supporter, Mr. M. K. Eelavendhan, who had been residing in Chennai for more than a decade, was deported to Colombo today flowing a Union Home Ministry directive. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 17:27:49 EST 2000

Srilanka Courting More Indian IT Manufacturing Plants
Yahoo Asia, Monday, December 4 5:47 PM SGT . "We are looking for Indian manufactures to set up units for manufacturing computers and peripherials taking the benefits that India offer to Sri Lankan goods under the free trade aggrement," chairman and director general of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Thilan Wijesinghe told reporters. He said that some computer manufacturing companies from India had approached the Board for setting up manufacturing units in Sri Lanka, but declined to reveal the names. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 07:45:02 EST 2000
Related News Stories
India, Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement to Enhance Exports  - Yahoo Asia

Lanka shopping for military hardware
Yahoo, december 3. Sri Lanka is shopping for military hardware in India and impressed with the performance of offshore patrol vessel (OPV) INS Saryu, has returned for more.Presently, almost 200 Sri Lankan sailors are undergoing training at the Kochi-based Naval Training Command, learning various trades related to functions of a military ship. ``The training of Sri Lankan sailors is an ongoing process. Their numbers vary from 100-200 and need not be ship-purchase specific,'' a naval spokesman said. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 08:10:23 EST 2000

Child sex on the rise in northeast
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Monday December 4. According to Berty Premalal Dissanayake, Chief Minister for the North East province, child sex crimes are high in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern regions. The war-torn areas he said have recorded high incidents of child sex where at least ten children a month are sexually abused.

The minister was speaking at a workshop to commemorate World Aids Day which fell on December 1. Dissanayake asserted that all measures would be taken to ensure that the children are protected in future. He said as a result on the present incidents children in the north east were seen to be at high risk of catching the dreaded Aids virus and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Published: Mon Dec 4 03:03:50 EST 2000

Sri Lankan aborigines facing extinction
Virtual New York, Monday, 4 December. The aborigines of the island nation are facing a serious threat of extinction owing to the loss of traditional livelihood and their natural habitat. Some 1,600 Veddhas roam the forests in central Sri Lanka hunting animals with bows and arrows for food. They live off the forest, far away from the towns and cities and little or no contact with urban environment. "We are losing our people. Our population is decreasing rapidly," Wanniya, the 45-year-old chief of the Veddhas' said. "Urbanization and modern fashion are threatening the community." Some 200 miles east of the capital Colombo, the Veddhas still dwell in the middle of a forest, which has now been declared a reserve forest with restrictions on hunting and felling trees. Sitting on his throne, a platform built outside his thatched hut deep inside the forest Wanniya claimed that his ancestors are the original inhabitants of the island. Hanging above the throne in a wooden frame is a letter from President Chandrika Kumaratunga giving the Veddhas their 'fundamental' right to hunt in the reserve forest. More...
Published: Mon Dec 4 04:12:11 EST 2000

Sri Lanka seeks passage way through Indian waters
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.30 a.m. SLT Monday December 4. Sri Lankan authorities embarrassed by a continuing saga of Lankan fishermen being arrested by the Indian naval authorities for trespassing into India's territorial waters is to seek a passage-way which will entail the fishermen to continue plying through the northern waters without getting arrested.

At present some 70 Lankan fishermen are languishing in Indian jails after having being caught fishing in Indian waters. The problem has continued over the years with Sri Lankan naval authorities also arresting Indian fishermen under the misconception that they maybe member of the LTTE.

Following the intervention of Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar into this issue, the authorities concerned are now taking serious stock of the situation and are attempting to reach a compromise whereby both Lankan and Indian fishermen will not be harassed.
Published: Mon Dec 4 03:03:50 EST 2000

Balasingham calls for the lifting of the Tiger ban
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 a.m. SLT Monday December 4. Anton Balasingham addressing a gathering of LTTE and Tamil Diaspora in London to commemorate Hero's Week from November 23 to the 27th, is reported to have said that the Sri Lankan government must first lift the ban it has imposed on the LTTE before negotiations between the two parties can begin.

Despite the LTTE reiterating that it is ready to begin un-conditional talks with the Sri Lankan government, Vellupillai Prabhakaran has also stated that before talks begin a de-escalation of the military conflict is necessary as well as a lifting of a present economic embargo to Tiger controlled areas.

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge proscribed the Tamil militant group soon after it master-planned and carried out the bombing of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy four years ago, causing extensive damage to the sacred temple.

Balasingham has asserted that while the international community and other political parties in Sri Lanka have welcomed the recent peace offering by the LTTE, the government has remained silent which places the entire process on hold. He says that unless the government withdraws the ban on the rebel group peace talks cannot begin.
Published: Mon Dec 4 03:03:50 EST 2000

‘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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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