The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 252

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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...
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.
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Sri Lankan Government rejects LTTE Pre conditions
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1700 SLT 12.12.00. The Sri Lankan Government today rejected LTTE pre conditions for peace talks. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told a news conference that a ceasefire and normalising the situation in rebel held areas would have to be taken up paralel to talks on finding a political solution. "The LTTE is a mature organisation. We believe that it can hold talks while the war continues" the minister said. end
Published: Tue Dec 12 06:11:56 EST 2000
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Ready for unconditional talks but no let-up in war: Kadirgamar  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka 'ready for talks'  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka seeks early talks with Tigers, rejects truce  -
Sri Lankan government offers peace talks  - BBC South Asia
UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka wants talks with rebels but embargo stays  - ABC News

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Lanka pushes for international ban on Tigers
Times of India, 13 December 2000 . Sri Lanka is pressing Britain and other states to outlaw the Tamil Tigers and cut off foreign funding for the rebels amid moves by Norway to broker peace in the embattled island, officials said Tuesday. The Colombo government has urged Britain to include Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a "terrorist organisation" in line with new anti-terrorism legislation that will go into effect in Britain from next year. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 14:50:32 EST 2000

B.C. orders audit of group tagged as Tamil Tiger frontPublic funds frozen
NationalPost, december 12. British Columbia has ordered an audit into a Vancouver non-profit organization that Canada's intelligence service says fronts for the Tamil Tigers.The B.C. Gaming Commission, which awards provincial gambling proceeds to community groups, said it had frozen payments to the Eelam Tamil Association of B.C. after learning the organization was listed in a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report as a front for the Tigers. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 15:28:47 EST 2000

Death-fast outside World Bank stops
Frederica Jansz in Colombo. A fast unto death outside the offices of the World Bank at Washington D. C. came to an end yesterday when Ratna Gamage, President for the Association for the Protection of Natural Resources, heeded a request to stop, after World Bank officials promised to assist in the crisis facing tea and rice farmers in Sri Lanka.

Gamage, a Sri Lankan national took his cause to Washington after repeated attempts to solve the crisis back home proved fruitless. He was rushed to a US hospital yesterday, after an eight day fast in freezing weather conditions left him critically ill.

The Vice President for the World Bank in Washington has agreed to look into the plight of Sri Lanka's rice and tea farmers after it was explained that the Lankan government is violating the rights of farmers, some of whom have even committed suicide as they are unable to pay their debts.

Reports say that World Bank officials are to hold discussions on the matter with Constitutional Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris in a bid to try and resolve the problem.
Published: Tue Dec 12 05:16:12 EST 2000

Colombo's High Court begins case on Prabhakaran
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.35 p.m. SLT Tuesday December 12. Colombo's High Court yesterday began hearing the case against Vellupillai Prabhakaran and 14 others charged for the bombing of the Central Bank in Colombo's commercial hub, Fort.

The LTTE leader, Pottu Amman and 12 others are wanted for the bombing which killed nearly a 100 people.

Only two of the suspects are in government custody. The others remain at large. Witnesses have already been summoned to give evidence in the case.

Editor's Note There was a "typo" in this news story where the number of deaths was mistakenly stated as 1000. We have corrected the error.
Published: Tue Dec 12 05:16:12 EST 2000

'No news of Veerappan moving to Sri Lanka'
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on December 12, 2000. Coimbatore, Dec. 12. (PTI): Tamil Nadu DGP, R Rajagopalan today discounted reports from various quarters on the Veerappan escaping to Sri Lanka. ``We are tapping all information. There is no news about Veerappan moving to Sri Lanka. Our information is that he is still in the jungles,'' Rajagopalan told a press conference here. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 14:35:32 EST 2000

US experts hold rights training for Lankan forces
Times of India, 13 December 2000 . American military experts are training government troops and police to help them maintain human rights, a US Embassy spokesman said Tuesday, amid accusations of abuses against both soldiers and Tamil rebels.Four instructors began the weeklong training session Monday, said spokesman Stephen Holgate. He said the training will include awareness on rule of law, military justice, conflict resolution and women's rights. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 14:36:21 EST 2000

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister arriving on Thursday
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on December 12, 2000. New Delhi, Dec. 12. (PTI): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar will be arriving here on Thursday on a two-day official visit to discuss the latest developments relating to the Norwegian efforts to kickstart a new round of peace talks between Colombo and the LTTE. Kadirgamar is expected to apprise the Indian leadership about his Government's stand on the peace talks offer made by LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran in his birthday speech on November 27. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 14:38:00 EST 2000

'Visit to infuse life in SAARC'
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, December 13, 2000. COLOMBO, DEC. 12. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, today said his visit to New Delhi later this week was connected mainly with Sri Lanka's efforts to inject life back into the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. ``The main objective of the visit is SAARC. Sri Lanka remains in the chair of SAARC and as long as we hold that position, we have a duty by all SAARC members to see that it goes forward,'' he said. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 17:50:27 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka escalate SAARC offensive  -

President Kumaratunge to meet with Jacque Chirac
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.40 p.m. SLT Tuesday December 12. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge is to meet with French President Jacque Chirac later this week. A state information department press release said today that Kumaratunge will also meet with other French ministers and top officials before next weeks Paris Aid Group meeting.

The Lankan government's recent peace intiative facilitated by Norway to bring about peace to the war ravaged island nation, is expected to figure in Kumaratunge' s talks with her French counterparts.

The Sri Lankan President is also expected to discuss at length future economic development strategies and projects for Sri Lanka which has hit a downward trend.

Yesterday, the country's Central Bank announced that the Lankan rupee would be further devalued by another two percent, prompting financial analysts to maintain that the economic picture in Sri Lanka is bleak.
Published: Tue Dec 12 05:16:12 EST 2000

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Sri Lanka president to hold talks with Chirac  -

Broaden Civic and Opposition Participation in Peace Process
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.45 a.m. SLT Tuesday December 12. The National Peace Council in a press statement released today asserts that the forthcoming Sri Lanka Development Forum (Aid Group) meeting in Paris next week will be an important event for the country. It is taking place at a time when there has been significant forward movement in the prospects of peace talks between the government and LTTE. The public support for a renewed peace process was evident in the civic activities that took place to commemorate international human rights day under the banner of the People’s Peace Front and other initiatives.

There are many outstanding good governance and economic reform matters that will undoubtedly be discussed at the Paris Aid Group meeting. Nevertheless, the National Peace Council calls on the governments and multilateral organisations attending the meeting to give their first priority to promoting the peace process and to set up mechanisms to monitor its implementation. Without a negotiated end to the war in the country, the prospects for good governance and economic development will remain dim.

It is also important that the Paris meeting should consider broadening its participation to include the political opposition and civil society in Sri Lanka. When the Sri Lankan government agrees with its donors on programmes of development, and obtains resources from them on that basis, it does so on behalf of the entire country. The political opposition and civil society too have a major stake in the pledges made and in their implementation. The NPC believes that more broad-based and participatory approach in both internal and external relationships is important to ensure good governance in the country and especially to resolve the ethnic conflict. The need for a bipartisan political approach to resolve the ethnic conflict is generally accepted both locally and internationally. In addition there is a need for an independent and politically non-partisan civil society voice and monitoring after the Paris meeting in order to ensure the sustainability of the peace process.
Published: Tue Dec 12 05:16:11 EST 2000

Jaffna Bishop says opportunity for peace should not be ignored
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday December 12. Thomas Saundaranayagam, Bishop for Jaffna yesterday requested that the country sieze the present opportunity for a peaceful resolution to the long drawn out war in the island nations northern territory. Addressing a gathering at St. Helen' Boys College in Jaffna, the Bishop is one of the most revered and respected, in the north. He pointed out that this maybe the last time Sri Lanka would be presented with an opportunity to end the bitter war, since the LTTE, he reiterated, have not laid down any pre-conditions for talks with the government. He added that since Norway was willing to facilitate such discussion between the two warring factions, there is hope, and in that context the moment should not be thrust aside.

Saundaranayagam maintained that the situation in Jaffna is desperate, with the poor dependent on the sympathies of the more well to do. He said it was only the poorer classes that were left behind in the war torn territory as Jaffna's middle class and rich had fled the shores of the besieged island nation.
Published: Tue Dec 12 05:16:11 EST 2000

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Sri Lanka Political Parties Back Talks With Rebels-Report  - yahoo
Seize last chance for a solution: Jaffna Bishop  - The Hindustan Times

Sri Lanka says ready for early talks with Tigers, Dec 12 2000 15:56 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 12 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Tuesday announced it was ready to open Norwegian-backed peace talks with separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas, but rejected a rebel demand for a de-escalation of the military conflict. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said the government was keen to open a dialogue with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but gave no timetable for the negotiations to begin. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:01:20 EST 2000
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Sri Lanka says ready for talks with Tigers  -

Kumaratunga denies using state funds for UK visit
Times of India, 13 December 2000 . "Her Excellency has been advised to have medical examination at regularintervals of 2-3 months but she has gone abroad for such treatments only on two occasions due to heavy official commitments in the country," the statement said. Although Kumaratunga had an audience with Queen Elizabeth and met Prince Philip and senior government officials, press reports said she was unable to meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 14:39:45 EST 2000
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Kumaratunga denies using state funds for British visit  - India Abroad

England overwhelm Lanka at women's world cup
Times of India (Breaking News), 12 December 2000 . England easily defeated Sri Lanka by 105 runs in the one match played at the Women's World Cup cricket tournament at Christchurch on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:35:24 EST 2000

Sri Lanka urges international ban on Tigers amid Oslo peace bid
123India, 12 December 2000. Sri Lanka is pressing Britain and other states to outlaw the Tamil Tigers and cut off foreign funding for the rebels amid moves by Norway to broker peace in the embattled island, officials said Tuesday.The Colombo government has urged Britain to include Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a "terrorist organisation" in line with new anti-terrorism legislation that will go into effect in Britain from next year.Senior officials here said the government was urging other countries, especially Britain, to ban the LTTE which maintains its internationalsecretariat in London. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 00:32:38 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Lanka urges international ban on LTTE  -
Related Story  -
Britain may slap ban on LTTE  - The Hindu NUS
Britain consults Sri Lanka on anti-terrorism laws  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Life insurance for Lankan doctors serving in war-ravaged areas, Dec 12 2000 14:00 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 12 (UNI) Doctors serving in the war-ravaged northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka will be covered by a Rs one million insurance policy from next month. This decision was taken by the Ministry of Health, agreeing to a request by the Government Medical Officers? Association (GMOA) which had threatened that about 400 doctors serving in these areas would return unless their safety was ensured. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:02:21 EST 2000
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Doctors threaten to leave eastern Lanka  -
Sri Lanka seeks ICRC help to protect doctors  - Virtual New York

Sri Lanka human rights probe
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 12 December, 2000, 08:56 GMT . A military spokesman in Sri Lanka says the government has ordered a rapid investigation into allegations of human rights abuses by the army in areas of the northern Jaffna peninsula which it has retaken from Tamil separatists. The spokesman said investigations in the past have been hampered by lack of evidence and inability to locate complainants. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:04:54 EST 2000

Gas Auto Lanka To Import LPG After Shell Monopoly Ends RD
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, December 12 4:15 PM SGT . The company also plans to sell LPG below the market price. Shell Gas Lanka Ltd., a unit of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD), currently markets a 12.5 kilogram cylinder of LPG at 475 Sri Lankan rupees ($1=LKR82.45). The government has requested us to sell LPG for a price lower than Shell's. We have not yet finalized our pricing policy. We're still in negotiations with the government. Probably by the first week of January we would have decided, W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Gas Auto Lanka's chairman told Dow Jones Newswires. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:38:34 EST 2000

Prof. Priyani Soysa confirmed guilty of professional negligence
CDN, december 12. Prof. Priyani Soysa was confirmed guilty of professional negligence but exonerated from damages by the Supreme Court which held that the death of four year old Suhani Arsecularatne did not stem from negligence. The Court allowed the appeal by the defendant Prof. Priyani Soysa and set aside rulings of the District Courts and the Court of Appeal. Court also allowed costs to the defendant in the lower courts. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 20:42:23 EST 2000
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SC acquits Prof. Priyani Soysa  - Island

30 More Sri Lankan refugees arrive
yahoo , december 12. A total of 30 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees reached Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram on Monday. It is said that the boat that brought them from Sri Lanka had returned after leaving them on the island. The navy personnel who rescued them offered food and then despatched the batch of refugees to Dhanushkodi police station by van. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:22:48 EST 2000

High money rates lift Sri Lanka rupee
yahoo, december 12. A money market crunch on Tuesday lifted the Sri Lanka rupee off Monday's record lows and the central bank stuck to the newly expanded trade band against the dollar which effectively devalued the local currency. Dealers said the rupee was trading at 82.50, off the record low of 82.65 hit on Monday after central bank expanded the band to eight percent by dropping the trade floor. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 08:24:12 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Rupee devalued by two percent  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
INTERVIEW: IMF Says Sri Lanka Must Control Fiscal Gap  - yahoo
Record low for Sri Lanka rupee after band change  - yahoo

Wildlife Group Warns On Elephants
yahoo, december 12. Asia's beleaguered elephant population could plummet if action isn't taken to resolve conflicts between man and beast, the World Wide Fund for Nature said in a report 1997, 126 wild elephants died because of conflict with humans in Sri Lanka alone, the organization said, while about 300 people die in India every year when hungry elephants forced from their traditional migration routes raid crops. More...
Published: Tue Dec 12 10:34:08 EST 2000
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Asian elephants 'cling to survival'  - BBC

Sri Lanka: Realities and options
yahoo, december 12. West Europe-based non-governmental and church organisations, which in the past intervened with the governments of their countries to advise against any action against the LTTE front-organisations operating from their territory, are increasingly embarrassed by reports of the LTTE's use of children in its operations against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the exploitation of the emotions of women to persuade them to undertake suicide missions and the smuggling of narcotics. They are, therefore, increasingly hesitant about energetically intervening for LTTE front-organisations. The LTTE is under pressure from these organisations to project a more reasonable face. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 20:25:19 EST 2000

LTTE seek removal of ban to enter Oslo peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Monday December 11. The LTTE in a statement from in London office asserts that a ban imposed by the Sri Lankan government on the Tiger group must be removed before the rebels will agree to negotiations with the State. The Tigers maintain that in order for peace talks to begin, with the facilitation of Norway, the ban on the rebel group imposed soon after it drove an explosive laden truck into the island nations most hallowed place of worship, the Sri Dalada Maligawa, must now be revoked before discussions on peace can begin.

The Tigers are proscribed in Sri Lanka, India and the US. The LTTE point out that a conducive atmosphere for peace talks is essential and that the rebels cannot sit at the same table with state representatives when the Lankan government continues to lobby foreign nations to outlaw the rebel group.

More recently Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, has been pressing for the UK to ban the Tigers who operate freely from London. The LTTE, operate, minus any restrictions, out of 40 countries around the globe.
Published: Mon Dec 11 04:57:17 EST 2000

Cricket-Please help us probe match fixing, appeal Lankan to India
NaradaOnline, december 11. The cricket board of Sri Lanka has sought the Indian government's help in probing the match fixing in their country. The move follows refusal of a key bookie to cooperate with Desmond Fernando, the board's corruption buster.The investigator, who will be joined by International Cricket Council's anti-corruption chief Sir Paul Condon, are to meet two Indian ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday in New Delhi to discuss the cricket match fixing probe.Fernando, who is investigating allegations against former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva, had sought to interview bookmaker MK Gupta, but the man refused to cooperate. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 09:12:09 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Indian bookie - Gupta - refuses to meet with Lankan investigator  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

SLMC to appoint one leader
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Monday December 11. A supreme council meeting of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) held yesterday has taken a decision to appoint one leader to head its party. The fractured political party suffered a dent in its image after the sudden death of its former leader M. H. M. Ashraff in a helicopter crash days before the October 10, polls . The party leadership is at present shared by Rauf Hakeem, Minister for Internal and International Trade and Ferial Ashraff, Minister for Development and Reconstruction for the East.

Since the death of her husband, Ferial Ashraff and Hakeem reached an uneasy truce to serve as co-leaders to the party her late spouse founded. The two however have continued to have dis-agreements over government portfolio's and internal party politics, splitting the SLMC into two, with members taking sides.

Ferial Ashraff is unable to publicly function in office or appear at Politburo meetings since she is still observing a mourning period of four months.

Hakeem meanwhile said today that the SLMC will decide within the course of this week on who its new leader will be and that the partnership he shares with Ferial will be evaluated and one leader chosen.
Published: Mon Dec 11 04:57:17 EST 2000

Donald to play in first two one-dayers against Sri Lanka
yahoo, december 11. According to reports from Johannesburg, fast bowler Allan Donald has been included in the South African squad for the first two of the six limited overs internationals against Sri Lanka.The two matches would be played in Port Elizabeth on Friday and in East London next Saturday. Incidentally, Donald had missed the third and final Test against New Zealand at the Wanderers Stadium because of a stomach muscle injury. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 08:58:01 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka race to victory  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka says 12 rebels killed in northern Jaffna
MSNBC, Monday, December 11 7:26 PM SGT . Sri Lanka said on Monday its troops had killed 12 Tamil rebels over the weekend in clashes in the country's northern Jaffna peninsulaA government statement said the biggest skirmishes took place in the Jaffna suburb of Ariyalai, and Nunavil West, which lies on the highway linking Jaffna city to Chavakachcheri, the peninsula's second largest town. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 08:13:05 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka fighting kills 11 rebels: military  -

150 million migrated in 20th century
India Abroad, Dec 11, 2000 10:45 Hrs (IST) . THE 20th century witnessed the migration of more than 150 million people, including several millions belonging to the Indian subcontinent, from their homeland to countries far removed from their place of birth. The partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the birth of Bangladesh sparked migration within South Asia and abroad, said the World Migration Report published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka led the nations in outward migration, the report said. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 01:42:10 EST 2000

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