The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 244

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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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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Wanted by Interpol
Published: Tue Dec 5 18:59:45 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka denies Advani claim on LTTE?s Prabhakaran  - Yahoo
AG denies allegation that Indians discussed Prabhakaran's extradition  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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11 LTTE men killed as fight escalates
India Abroad, Dec 06, 2000 07: 15 Hrs (IST) . HE Sri Lankan army Tuesday stepped up offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, capturing another rebel town in Jaffna peninsula even as it repulsed an attack by the Tigers on a bridge in eastern Trincomalee, which left 11 Tamil guerrillas dead. An official press release said that so far 11 LTTE rebels and a soldier have been killed in different encounters since Monday. In Tuesday's offensive, government troops captured Nunavil East, a small town located west of Chavakachcheri. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 21:21:57 EST 2000

Interpol guns for LTTE chief
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, December 5. Interpol has sent a world wide notice for the arrest of LTTE chief, Velupillai Pirabakaran, The Island daily said today quoting the Interpol website. Pirabakaran is wanted by India as he is the first accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The trial court at Poonamelle, near Chennai, had also named him a ‘proclaimed offender’ and had the Sri Lankan government put in a public appeal seeking his surrender. Pirabakaran’s hideout in Wanni is unapproachable. Right now, however, there is the added complication made by the ‘talk of talks’ between him and the Sri Lankan Government. Even the hawkish Sri Lankan Prime Minister has said that handing over Pirbakaran over to India now will be a ‘dirty’ thing to do. In fact, the Indian Home Minister’s assurance to Parliament that steps were being taken to get Pirab-akaran extradited, the Interpol’s notice, and the expulsion of the pro-LTTE activist M. K. Eelaventhan from India have caused concern among the Tamils of Jaffna. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 17:41:09 EST 2000

Lanka to promulgate new Constitution
India Abroad, Dec 05, 2000 17:45 Hrs (IST) . THE Sri Lankan government will promulgate a new Constitution in the New Year regardless of whether or not talks are held with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a highly placed Lankan source here said. "We are thinking of things that can happen in 2001. Within the year a new political structure will be in place, whether it is within the Constitution or not," the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. "The government has been clear it wanted to change the political architecture," the source said. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 08:39:15 EST 2000

Government books contain grammatical errors
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 05 December 1825 GMT. Schoolbooks published by the Education ministry contain grammatical errors and printing mistakes, minister Susil Premjayanth said today. In an interview with BBC’s Sandeshaya, he said that although he will make sure to publish school textbooks without these errors from next year, the books distributed for year 2001 will carry errors. Minister further added that he will appoint special panels to find erroneous printing, before publishing any text book.

Responding to The Ceylon Tamil Teachers’ Union’s (CTTU) request to take immediate steps to lift the ban imposed on the transportation of all materials needed for teaching to schools in the uncleared areas in the northeast province, Education minister confirmed that he is to meet representatives of CTTU as well as peoples representatives from the northeast tomorrow. He said that it is his duty to abide by the constitution by providing Tamil representatives for Tamil speakers in his ministry and other departments as both Tamil and Sinhala are official languages in Sri Lanka.
Published: Tue Dec 5 13:25:22 EST 2000

Newspaper Editor's conviction upheld.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1210 SLT 05.12.00. The Appeals Court today upheld the conviction of Sinha Ratnatunga, the Editor of the Sunday Times newspaper for defaming President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The High court convicted Ratnatunga and imposed a two year suspended sentence and a fine of Rs 10.000 three years ago.
Published: Tue Dec 5 01:18:33 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Court confirms jail term for Sri Lanka editor  -
Sri Lanka affirms defamation sentence for editor  - MSNBC

Lanka, China sign deal to build oil tank farm
Times of India, 6 December 2000 . Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of a developing its petrochemical industry with Chinese help and, as a first step, will double its storage capacity with a Chinese-built oil tank farm.The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has awarded the $79.52 million contract to build 30 storage tanks and a single point buoy mooring (SPBM) to China's Huanqiu Chemical Engineering Corporation, officials said. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 19:51:35 EST 2000

President Appoints second Deputy Minister of Finance
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1303 SLT 05.12.00. President Chandrika Kumaratunga today appointed S.B.Dissanayake, the Minister for Samurdhi and Up Country Development and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party as deputy Minister of Finance. Last week Industrial Development Minister G.L. Peiris was also appointed for the same post. The country now has two deputy ministers of finance and 44 cabinet ministers. end
Published: Tue Dec 5 02:09:57 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gets another deputy finance minister  -
Sri Lanka gets second junior finance minister  - MSNBC

Sri Lankan army resumes offensive
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, December 06, 2000. COLOMBO, DEC. 5. One soldier was reported killed and 15 were wounded as the Sri Lankan security forces broke a lull in fighting to launch an operation in Jaffna peninsula today. They claimed to have recaptured part of a strategic land route from the LTTE. The operation came a week after the LTTE leader, Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran, called for a de-escalation of the war in order to create the right conditions for peace talks. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 19:49:28 EST 2000
Related News Stories
11 LTTE rebels killed  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lankan troops capture key town  - Virtual New York
Sri Lankan army 'retakes ground'  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lankan troops mount fresh offensive as PM rules out truce  -
Sri Lanka launches first strike since talks offer  - ABC News
Lankan military wrests several Tiger-held territories  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka launches offensive against LTTE  - The Hindu NUS
Sri lanka troops mount fresh offensive, Tigers target bridge  -
Troops repulse Tiger bid to blast bridge  -

Lanka against India's direct involvement on LTTE issue, 05th Dec 2000 17.42 IST . Sri Lanka would welcome regular exchange of information and dialogue with India on the LTTE issue but would not like New Delhi's direct involvement, diplomatic sources said in New Delhi on Tuesday. ''It is like a marriage gone sour. The neighbor can't be indifferent to the problems in your house but you cannot allow him to interfere in your matters,'' the sources said while commenting on whether Sri Lanka would invite direct involvement from India. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 08:43:26 EST 2000

Sri Lankan envoy says ethnic war may end soon, Dec 05 2000 16:08 IST. NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (AFP) - Sri Lanka is optimistic that its protracted and bloody ethnic war will end soon, the new High Commissioner to New Delhi Senake Bandaranayake said Tuesday. Bandaranayake told foreign journalists that Norwegian efforts at brokering peace between Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels were likely to soon bear fruit. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 07:58:42 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka hopeful of resolution to ethnic crisis  - The Hindu NUS

'Links' with LTTE: Kannan names Minister
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, December 06, 2000. Pondicherry, DEC. 5. The Pondicherry PWD Minister, Mr. P. Kannan, today named the Cooperation Minister, Mr. Theni C. Jayakumar ``as the person having close links with the LTTE.'' It was now upto the Central and State Governments to take appropriate and stern action against the Minister, he told reporters here. Mr. Kannan said he would also apprise the Centre soon of the details, and had furnished evidence and related material to sections concerned. When asked if his ``revelation'' would not disturb the stability of the nine-month old Congress(I)-led coalition ministry, Mr. Kannan said he was more concerned about the security of the people. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 19:25:42 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Pondicherry minister accused of having links with LTTE  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Pro-LTTE Lankan Tamil deported
Yahoo, December 5. In a clear signal to the federal government of its intent to curb separatism, the Tamil Nadu government has deported a Sri Lankan Tamil man suspected of links with the Tamil Tigers. Eelavendam, apparently the leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Front (TELF), a pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) outfit, was put on a flight to Colombo by an intelligence official Monday, sources here said. Eelavendam was asked to leave because "his visa had expired and he had overstayed in the country," the sources said. The Tamil Tamilar Iyakkam (Movement for Tamil and Tamils), a separatist group, has criticized the deportation. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 08:22:30 EST 2000
Related News Stories
LTTE supporter deported  - The Hindu

Counting the costs of war
BBC, december 5. Sri Lanka's parliament has been told that ever-escalating defence expenditure to fight Tamil separatists is seriously damaging the national economy. The warning came as the government presented an interim budget and as a fresh bout of heavy fighting began in the north-east of the country. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 19:35:27 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Conflicts a drain on Lankan exchequer  - Times of India
Sri Lanka presents short-term budget  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka unveils interim budget as conflict pushes spending higher  -

ADB Approves '01 $240M Sri Lanka Loan; $25M For NE Devt
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, December 5 4:17 PM SGT . Manila-based Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it has approved a $240 loan package to Sri Lanka for 2001, a senior official said. John Cooney, ADB resident representative, told Dow Jones Newswires that an additional $25 million will be allocated for small-scale infrastructure development in the war-torn northeast. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 19:55:15 EST 2000

Lanka opens up LPG market after Shell monopoly ends
India Abroad, Dec 05, 2000 16:10 Hrs (IST) . RI Lanka has thrown open its domestic gas market to foreign and local investors as a monopoly agreement with the Shell Company comes to an end. The country's top investment agency, the Board of Investment (BOI), has called on investors to move into the import, storage and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) offering tax concessions as a lure. "The LPG industry in Sri Lanka will be open to international and domestic investors on December 8, 2000, with the end of the exclusivity period granted to Shell Gas Lanka Ltd," a BOI statement said Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 08:00:07 EST 2000

Defrauding customs on over cigarette consignment Army sergeant, two others fined Rs.90 million
Island, Tuesday, 5 December. The Customs has imposed a fine of Rs. 90 million on an army sergeant , a corporal and a clerk, who were earlier interdicted on charges of falsely importing a consignment of cigarettes for the army.Customs officials who conducted a lengthy investigation into the fraud imposed a fine of Rs. 3 million on each of the suspects.The illegally imported consignment of cigarettes valued at Rs. 12.5 million were detected in 1998 by the Customs who found the the cigarettes had been imported as telecommunication accessories. The Army interdicted the three officers following the detection. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 04:13:42 EST 2000

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

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
Sri Lankan PM now backs peace process  - The Hindustan Times
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 players form cricket trade union  - Yahoo Asia

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

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

Sri Lanka Shares Open Higher; Select Local Buying
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, December 5 12:24 PM SGT . Sri Lankan shares are opening slightly higher Tuesday on the back of some select local buying, brokers said. Still, overall volumes are very thin due to sustained market-wide weakness, they said. At 0405 GMT (11:05 p.m. EST Monday), the benchmark All Share was up 1.2 points at 435.9, according to brokers. More...
Published: Tue Dec 5 01:28:19 EST 2000

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