The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 248

Email news to a friend
Get daily email news
Suggest a news item
The archive
LAcNet home
How to advertise
That by just visiting this page, you are helping a student in rural Sri Lanka gain education? How?
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.
The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka
[PDF Version]

(The proposed new constitution - courtesy of LankaLaw.)
Current Colombo weather
CNN Colombo forcast
Satellite pix (visible)
Satellite pix (infrared)
Where is MIR today?
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...
I also wholeheartedly endorse the statement by Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar regarding the paramount importance of fulfilling Sri Lanka's international obligations with respect to human rights and the serious consequences that could flow from a failure to do so. I also share Foreign Minister Kadirgamar's view on the importance of creating greater awareness of human rights laws among Sri Lankan security and law enforcement officers. I am, therefore, heartened to learn that human rights training will be incorporated into the curriculum of study for security and law enforcement officers. 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...
 The Lanka Academic News stories are provided by independent correspondents. Views expressed are not necessarily those of LAcNet. Updates are triggered by events, 24hrs a day. Funding is provided by LAcNet. Redistribution is strictly prohibited. To ensure our continued existence, please support LAcNet.
Write to the editor
Send your feedback
Electroteks,,,, ...
Wanna give the gift of knowledge to a rural student in Sri Lanka?

Help LAcNet expand the horizons of underprivileged children in Sri Lanka.

Your financial support of LAcNet helps in carrying out initiatives such as the "Computers for Schools Project". Visit our photo gallery to learn more about one such project at Nivaththaka Chethiya High School, Anuradhapura. If you would like to help us, here is how.
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
CSIS warned Ottawa of terror fronts
National Post, December 9. Eight non-profit organizations and five companies are operating in Canada as fronts for the Tamil Tigers terrorist group, according to secret intelligence documents that provide the first official confirmation that the Liberal government has received explicit warnings that the country is being used as a base for murderous operations overseas.Designated by CSIS as fronts are: WTM (Toronto), Tamil Eelam Society of Canada, TRO, Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils, Tamil Co-ordinating Committee, Eelam Tamil Association of British Columbia, WTM (Montreal) and Eelam Tamil Association of Quebec. More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 14:15:01 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Ottawa received warnings of terrorist front groups in Canada - report  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
LTTE threatens Britain with militancy
India Abroad, Dec 09, 2000 18:40 Hrs (IST) . HE LTTE would not participate in any peace talks and, instead, would turn real terrorists in Britain if it is banned in that country, the guerilla outfit's political advisor Anton Balasingham has warned Britain. The warning comes in the wake of reports of Britain's proposed anti-terrorism laws expected to be enforced early next year, The Island newspaper reported. Addressing a gathering in London on the occasion of Tamil Heroes' Day, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam theoretician said, “We have told the British government that if you lay hands on us, we will not come for peace talks. Whether it is peace initiatives by the European countries or anyone else's attempts to bring peace, we will close the door to peace.” More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 09:36:34 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Anton Balasingham tells Britain: ‘Ban the LTTE and we will really become terrorists’  - Island

Doctor - victim of claymore mine blast, dies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Saturday December 9. Dr. Duke Arulpragasam, travelling in the ill-fated Colombo bound bus which left Batticaloa three days ago succumbed to his injuries yesterday at Colombo's National hospital. The bus which went over a clay more mine, exploded, injuring 23 passengers including three doctors who were serving at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and who were their way to Colombo on holiday leave. The two other doctors are still in intensive care. Four passengers died on the spot.

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) meanwhile is taking action to bring back all doctors who are serving in hospitals in high risk areas.
Published: Sat Dec 9 02:25:50 EST 2000

Related News Stories
Doctors fleeing Sri Lankan war zone  - Virtual New York
Doctors flee Sri Lanka war zone after rebel attacks  -

Technical Specs and Pictures of the OPV
BR, december 7. Lightly armed and able to stage helicopters, they are fitted out for offshore patrol work but have the capacity to be much more heavily armed. Fin stabilizers are fitted and a fire fighting pump is present on the aft hanger roof. More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 16:24:13 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan navy commissions Indian-built patrol vessel  - The Hindu (International)

Advani is misleading Parliament: Jaya
yahoo, december 8. AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha on Friday alleged that Union Home Minister L K Advani had misled the Parliament on the issue of Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency's (MDMA) visit to Sri Lanka.In a statement Jayalalitha said Advani had informed the Rajya Sabha that the MDMA was in Sri Lanka between November 13 and 23 to meet the Attorney General and the Solicitor General to press for the extradition of Prabhakaran in Rajiv Gandhi assasination case.However, Sri Lankan Attorney General Kamala Sabyasan in an interview to a Sri Lankan newspaper had said the MDMK did not demand the extradition of Prabhakaran, Jayalalitha said and asked ``then what was the purpose of the MDMA's visit to Sri Lanka?'' More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 14:33:46 EST 2000
Related News Stories
PM asked to clarify stand on LTTE  - yahoo

Sri Lanka minister says time running out for talks
yahoo, december 9. Sri Lanka minister says time running out for talks - A Sri Lankan army machine gun crew stand alert for possible action against Tamil Tiger rebels December 5, 2000, as the military launched an offensive in the country's northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 14:29:16 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Time running out for talks, says Lankan Minister  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka minister says time running out for talks  - MSNBC

Cricket-Sri Lanka in charge despite Kruger hat-trick
yahoo, december 9. A hat-trick by Eastern Province fast-medium bowler Garnett Kruger failed to stop Sri Lanka taking charge on the first day of their three-day tour match on Saturday. The touring team were 253 for nine at the close -- a lead of 161 -- after skittling Eastern Province for 92 in just over two hours. Sri Lanka exploited a greenish pitch and overcast conditions after winning the toss and putting Eastern Province in to bat, seamer Dilhara Fernando taking four for 27. More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 14:22:34 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Cricket-South Africa cruise past Sri Lanka  - yahoo

US based Human Rights Watch slams Sri Lanka's HR record
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Saturday December 9. The Human Rights Watch, a highly reputed and independent Non Governmental Organization based in the United States has in a recent report highlighted serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

The report, titled as a 'World Report 2001' has pointed out that the island nation's long running war has claimed scores of civilian lives and has brought the number of displaced persons island wide to one million. The report released last Thursday came ahead of Human Rights day which is being marked tomorrow, December 10.

The report has also criticized the use of child soldiers by the country's rebel group the LTTE, which uses children to help fight its war against State military forces.
Published: Sat Dec 9 02:25:50 EST 2000

Jaffna mayor under death threat
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 a.m. SLT Saturday December 9. The Acting Mayor for Jaffna, Nadarajah Raviraj, claims that his life is under threat from the LTTE and that he has received more than one death threat from the Tiger group. Raviraj, a member of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) is unable to function in the full capacity of Mayor for Jaffna after the LTTE assassinated two Mayors in 1998, both of whom were members of the TULF.

Mrs. Sarojini Yogeswaran, of the TULF was shot dead in the northern city, on May 17, 1998 after being elected mayoress for Jaffna. Four months later, Mr. Sivapalan appointed by the TULF to succeeded Mrs. Yogeswaran was also killed, on September 11, 1998.

To date, the mayor's post in Jaffna remains vacant as a result of these killings. Nadarajah Raviraj is compelled to reside in Colombo and serve as acting mayor for Jaffna.
Published: Sat Dec 9 02:25:50 EST 2000

Sri Pada season begins tomorrow
CDN, 09 December 2000. The annual trek to Sri Pada begins on December 10 when the statue of God Saman is taken to the Sri Pada Maluwa from the Galpoththawala Raja Maha Viharaya, Pelmadulla in a motorcade followed by a procession. Tens of thousands of pilgrims, Buddhists and those of other denominations are expected to visit the sacred summit this season too to pay homage and witness the breathtaking spectacle of sun-rise in the distant horizon. More...
Published: Sat Dec 9 05:31:35 EST 2000

Colombo for early SAARC summit
The Hindu (International), Saturday, December 09, 2000. COLOMBO, DEC.8.Sri Lanka's efforts to kick-start the SAARC back to life gathered momentum with the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, reiterating her country's commitment to the grouping in a message on the 15th anniversary of its charter today. ``As the chair of SAARC, Sri Lanka is committed to moving the SAARC process forward. It is with this objective in view that we initiated action to hold an extraordinary meeting of the SAARC member countries at a senior officials' level in Colombo last month,'' she said. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 16:37:21 EST 2000

LTTE 'links': Pondy CM seeks `evidence'
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, December 09, 2000. PONDICHERRY, DEC. 8. The Pondicherry Chief Minister, Mr. P. Shanmugham, said he had received neither written complaints nor representations regarding the `nexus' the Cooperation Minister, Mr. Theni C. Jayakumar, had with the LTTE. He told newsmen here on Friday that if anyone furnished any evidence in support of the allegation, he would forward for follow-up action. He said he asked the IG to inquire into the issue as soon as reports had started appearing in the media. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 16:38:17 EST 2000

Human Rights Watch criticises Lanka’s Government and LTTE
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 08 December 1730 GMT. Intensifying civil war in northeast Sri Lanka has resulted in displacing some 250,000 people during the past twelve months, bringing the estimated number of internally displaced persons islandwide to more than one million, says Human Rights Watch, a New York based international HR organisation. In its eleventh annual report, it criticises both the government forces and LTTE rebels for continuing human rights abusing in island nation with nearly eighteen million inhabitants.

"Emergency government powers, in place almost continuously since 1983 and enhanced from May to September by additional regulations, have granted broad powers to security personnel to arrest and detain suspects, restricted freedom of association, and authorised media censorship. The LTTE was implicated in a series of suicide bombings that killed and injured hundreds of civilians. It continued to recruit and deploy child soldiers and to physically attack and intimidate critics in the Tamil community".

The report also critical of the government’s way of handling the media. Human Rights Watch is highly critical of the government’s decision to close Udayan and Sunday Leader newspapers. Murdering jaffna journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan at his home in high security zone of Jaffna, may have been linked to his reporting on vote-rigging and intimidation during the October parliamentary elections, it says.

"Due to government restrictions, Tamil civilians were often unable to reach work sites to earn a living, attend schools, or seek urgent medical care. In eastern Sri Lanka, army and police units continued to impose forced labour, demanding that civilians work without pay building sentry posts, cutting wood, and cleaning military camps. In mid-July, villagers north of Batticaloa were reportedly forced to construct a sand bulwark around an army camp; some were beaten for refusing to comply.

On October 25, a mob in Bandarawela stormed a government-run rehabilitation camp housing, among others, suspected LTTE supporters and former LTTE child soldiers, killing over twenty-five. According to initial reports, those killed ranged in age from fourteen to twenty-five. After the attack, police briefly detained more than 250 suspects from the majority Sinhalese community, while Tamil community leaders alleged police complicity.

The LTTE committed numerous and gross abuses. Bombings of public places in the north and east, and suicide bombings in Colombo on December 18, 1999, January 5, 2000, March 10, June 7, September 15, and October 19 killed more than one hundred civilians and injured many more. Beginning in April, the LTTE engaged in increasingly aggressive recruitment drives in the Vanni, including recruitment of children as young as ten years old for combat .

The LTTE imposed restrictions on civilians wishing to leave areas it controlled and forced all villagers in some areas to join its civilian defense units. LTTE attacks and intimidation against what it referred to as "quislings" within the Tamil community had a chilling effect on dissent. Particularly at risk were members of Tamil political parties holding positions in local government. Between January and May, three members of local administrative councils in Jaffna were killed by unidentified gunmen. The LTTE held a number of political prisoners and prisoners of war, but access to detainees and details of confinement were unavailable" the report also states.
Published: Fri Dec 8 12:28:47 EST 2000

Sri Lanka offers Islamic banking
The Hindustan Times, December 8. A SRI Lankan commercial bank is targeting Muslim fundamentalists with special interest-free banking facilities in line with Islamic religious law, bank officials said. ?For the first time, we are offering the extremists among Muslim businessmen the opportunity to have current and investment accounts which will be totally interest-free," Nouzab Fareed of the Merc Bank said. A five-member council of leading maulvis led by the Imam of Colombo's Grand Mosque, Moulavi Ajwad, will advise the bank on the religious aspects of the operation, Fareed said. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 16:40:09 EST 2000

Trafficking and abuse of children on the increase
Island, Friday, 08 December. Most of the child trafficking in Sri Lanka takes place within the country, and children who live with their parents are taken for physical labour, National Child Protection Authority, Chairman, Professor Dr. Harendra de Silva said at the Launching of a project on Wednesday by the International Labour Organisation(ILO)- and the International Program for Eradication of Child Labour(IPEC) to combat the trafficking of Children for exploitative employment purposes.Dr. De Silva further said that these children were invariably prone to abuse of various forms. He said that children are taken from estate areas for domestic labour. "Children are taken to the beaches of Hikkaduwa, Negombo and other coastal areas not merely to serve foreign paedophiles but also to the locals as well," Dr. De Silva said. Children are brought from places like Madawachchiya, and Anuradhapura to railway stations and even to the Galle Face Green for this nefarious activities, he said. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 03:48:32 EST 2000

Lanka's ruling party MPs ticked off for absenteeism
India Abroad, Dec 08, 2000 19:00 Hrs (IST) . NEWLY elected government legislators in Sri Lanka have been ticked off for absenting themselves from Parliament and for avoiding parliamentary work, newspaper reports said Friday. Reggie Ranatunga, chief whip of the ruling People's Alliance (PA), upbraided the party legislators for "evading their parliamentary obligations," the state-run Daily News reported. Wayward Members of Parliament (MPs) will be disciplined if they continued to "avoid parliamentary proceedings and its other affairs," Ranatunga warned at a special meeting of the government's legislators on Thursday. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 09:39:41 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Disciplinary action against errant MP's  - CDN
Sri Lanka's shaky coalition warns errant MP's  -

Lankan foreign minister to brief India on peace process
yahoo, Friday December 8. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgmar will pay a two-day visit to India from December 15 to brief Indian leaders on the peace initiative to end the ethnic conflict in the island.According to official sources, Kadirgamar will apprise External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and others about the developments since the recent meeting between the special Norwegian envoy for Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, and the leader of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 10:11:10 EST 2000

Sri Lanka's emergency approved by a whisker, Dec 08 2000 17:16 IST. COLOMBO(AFP) - Sri Lanka's parliament Friday approved a nation-wide state of emergency amid doubts over the legality of the draconian laws giving sweeping powers to police and security forces. Parliament approved the monthly extension following a proclamation issued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga exercising her executive powers.But the main opposition United National party (UNP) argued that the emergency proclamation was dated December 4 and issued in Colombo, whereas Kumaratunga was out of the country at the time.The opposition raised a din in the 225-member assembly preventing a reply from a government minister. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 08:05:41 EST 2000

Sri Lanka passes interim budget for 1st 4 months
yahoo, december 8. Sri Lanka's parliament passed a stop-gap budget on Friday for the first four months of 2001 that calls for 20 percent of overall spending to go to defense.The budget did not detail revenue expectations. It said that the government estimated its expenditures for the first four months at 127.9 billion rupees ($1.6 billion), of which about 26 billion rupees was allocated to defence. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 10:03:46 EST 2000

Sri Lanka central bank says bought dollars
yahoo, Friday December 8 . Sri Lanka's central bank said it had bought dollars in the foreign exchange market on Friday, in what bankers said was an apparent bid to boost liquidity."We did buy dollars. I can't elaborate," said a central bank official. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 10:04:56 EST 2000

Veerappan is a butcher, LTTE noble: Vaiko
Yahoo, december 8. Criticising forest brigand Veerappan, "for butchering human beings and animals alike", MDMK leader Vaiko today declared that there was no link between him and the LTTE. "There is no link between LTTE, which is fighting for a noble cause and the Forest Brigand, Veerappan, who had mercilessly butchered hundreds of people and animals," Vaiko told reporters, who sought his reaction on sending BSF to nab the fugitive. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 10:02:30 EST 2000

Bilateral measures more effective in tackling terrorism
yahoo, december 8. Countries worldwide, afflicted by terrorism, need bilateral rathar than multilateral measures besides harmonisation of legislations to tackle the menace, according to an expert on political violence."Bilateral meassres will be more effective than the multilateral ones in taking on terrorist groups as the politico-military measures in that case could be more focussed," Dr Roshan Gunratne, a researcher with scotland-based centre for terrorism and political violence, said. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 10:06:33 EST 2000

Tamil Tiger reports "not to blame" for paper's failure to print, Dec 08 2000 14:54 IST. KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's embassy said Friday it had complained to the Malaysian government earlier this year about articles on Tamil Tiger guerrillas in a local Tamil-language newspaper.But high commissioner (ambassador) Daya Liyanage said the complaint had nothing to do with the fact that the Malaysia Nanban newspaper failed to print on Thursday and Friday."We have nothing to do with Nanban being out of circulation," he told AFP. More...
Published: Fri Dec 8 08:07:37 EST 2000

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.