The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 252

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Two killed in attack during Sri Lanka school exam
MSNBC, Thursday,December14,2000. At least two people were killed and two others injured in a grenade attack during a high school examination in eastern Sri Lanka on Thursday, military officials said. ''It was a hand grenade attack and the two deaths we have so far are of civilians,''military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters. He said the attack took place at an examination centre at Eravur in the eastern Batticaloa district, 350 km (220 miles) east of the capital Colombo, but could not say whether those killed were students. Karunaratne said the two wounded were policemen guarding the centre, which was conducting the government's Ordinary Level Examination. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 23:35:32 EST 2000

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Former MPs too to get new vehicles: 93 tax free vehicles for new MPs
Island, 14 December 2000. A decision to restrict government expenditure in view of serious economic difficulties will not prevent the government from ordering brand new vehicles for 93 new MPs within a few weeks, officials said yesterday. The government was forced to delay the ordering of these vehicles imediately after the October 10, 2000 parliamentary election due to financial difficulties, they said adding that the new MPs, particularly the PA members have been troubling ministers in the past few weeks.However, the UNP and the JVP engaged in a campaign against the government to cut down unnecessary expenditure and waste, will not oppose the decision that would pave the way for about 50 new UNP and JVP MPs to lay their hands on a brand new vehicle, government officials said. The JVP has indicated that it would not order luxury vehicles instead go for "something" suitable. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 22:12:27 EST 2000

Woman tortured in Narahenpita police station
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 13 December !730 GMT. The Asian Human Rights Commission says that it is highly disturbed by Kidnapping, Torture and Illegal Detention of Angeline Roshana by the OIC and other Officers of the Narahenpita police station.

Dr. Nalin Swaris, who was approached by Roshana's family, and visited the police station, told BBC's Sandeshaya that the OIC simply replied "the laws of the country are too weak" when he requested the officer to respect Roshana's legal rights and give due protection to the woman in his custody.

"The act of taking a person by people who are not wearing any police uniform or have any police identification amounts to kidnapping. Moreover, Roshana was not informed about the reasons for her kidnapping or arrest. Furthermore, she was tortured to obtain a confession, and she is still being illegally detained." a statement issued by the Hong Kong based AHRC stated.
Published: Wed Dec 13 12:26:45 EST 2000

After pandemonium at emergency sessions SLMC chairman assumes temporary leadership of party
Island, Wednesday, 13 December. SLMC Chairman M. H. M. Farook assumes temporary leadership of the party, after pandemonium reigned with fisticuffs thrown and abuses hurled heatedly at emergency sessions of SLMC supreme council meeting at SLMC headquarters Dharusalam at Slave Island on Sunday, an SLMC parliamentarian and high command member said on Monday.On Sunday the SLMC's high command convened an emergency meeting presided over by co-leader and Minister Rauf Hakeem with twenty of the twenty three members present as the session commenced around 11 a.m.At the outset SLMC General Secretary Dr. Afrath More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 03:42:31 EST 2000

56 Sri Lankan fishermen released by the Indian Government
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1645 SLT 13.12.00. 56 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested for illegal fishing in Indian waters have been released by the Indian Government.THe fishermen was held in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The fishermen are expected back in Sri Lanka on the 18th of December.

Published: Wed Dec 13 05:44:29 EST 2000

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India agress to release 56 Lankan fishermen  - Times of India (Breaking News)
India frees 56 Sri Lankan fishermen  -

TULF calls for ceasefire before talks with LTTE
The Hindu (International), Thursday, December 14, 2000. COLOMBO, DEC. 13. The moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) today called for a ceasefire before talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). ``The government must call for a ceasefire. Otherwise, when you hit a man, he will always hit back,'' said Mr. V. Anandasangaree, member of parliament and vice-president of the TULF. Mr. Anandasangaree said it was now up to the Norwegian facilitators to break the deadlock. ``That is what they are there for. They must intervene and get both parties to agree for a ceasefire.'' Only negotiations conducted in the background of a ceasefire would yield ``good results.'' More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 18:06:07 EST 2000

Rs 400 million Japanese grant to improve agriculture
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1640 SLT 13.12.00. The Japanese Government has given a grant of Rs.400 million to Sri Lanka to improve agriculture production, The Finance Ministry said. The MOney would be used by the Agriculture department.
Published: Wed Dec 13 05:44:29 EST 2000
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Japan donates 5.4 million dollars to Sri Lanka for food production  -

US begins teaching humanitarian law to local soldiers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday December 13. A spokesman for the US embassy said yesterday that four trainers from the US military are in Sri Lanka to teach humanitarian law to Lanka's police and military personnel. The lessons will include briefs and examples on the right to life and protecting the rights of civilians including women's rights. The lessons come in the wake of Human Rights day celebrated on Monday December, 10.

Local military forces personnel have come in for periodic accusations which claim the forces are guilty of human rights violations. The LTTE in the northern and eastern peninsula face the same allegations. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also conducts classes teaching the rule of law during war for both the military and the rebels.
Published: Wed Dec 13 01:28:11 EST 2000

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US trains Sri Lanka's military top brass on human rights  -
US experts hold rights training for Lankan forces  - Times of India

Chandrika’s election: Court hearing on Feb 12
The Hindustan Times, Colombo December 13. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the petition challenging the election of Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga as President of Sri Lanka be taken up for trial on Feb 12. The General Secretary of the United National Party (UNP), Mr. Gamini Athukorale, had petitioned that widespread intimidation had prevented many voters from voting for the UNP and had thus prevented the UNP candidate, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, from being elected President of Sri Lanka. The Presidential elections were held on Dec. 21, 1999. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 18:08:08 EST 2000
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SC directs UNP election petition against Chandrika for trial  - Island

Lankan refugee girl raped, killed; 1 held
Times of India (Breaking News), Wednesday, 13 December. DHARMAPURI, Tamil Nadu: One person was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping and murdering a Sri Lankan refugee girl in the district a couple of days ago, police said. According to police, the 14-year old girl, lodged in the refugee camp at Pappireddypatty in Harur taulk, was found dead in a nearby bush on Tuesday. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 03:31:55 EST 2000

Sri Lanka fighting kills five rebels: military, Dec 13 2000 14:54 IST. COLOMBO, Dec 13 (AFP) - At least five Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed in a fresh bout of clashes in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Three members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were shot dead by security forces in the peninsula on Tuesday while two others were killed in the Wanni region, the ministry said. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 05:25:14 EST 2000

ADB Approves $100M Concessional Loan To Sri Lanka- Report
Yahoo Asia, Wednesday, December 13 1:20 PM SGT . The Manila-based Asian Development Bank has approved a $100 million concessional loan to boost private sector development in Sri Lanka, a report said Wednesday. The Daily Mirror newspaper said the loan will help eliminate constraints in the private sector and enhance market environment through proper regulations and competition. Sri Lanka needs it's private sector to raise growth levels and place it on a sustainable path, the report quoted Joseph Zveglich, ADB's deputy resident representative in Sri Lanka as saying. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 02:30:23 EST 2000

Lankan govt asked to go ahead with talks minus conditions, Wednesday,December13,2000. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's moderate Tamil political leaders Wednesday urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to abandon their hardline positions and enter talks without pre-conditions. Moderate parties welcomed the government's announcement Tuesday that it was ready to enter talks with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but said both sides must be willing to make a start without imposing conditions. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 09:22:23 EST 2000
Related News Stories
Prabhakaran, Veerappan and India  - Island
Sri Lanka moderates demand peace talks without conditions  -
Sri Lanka ready for peace talks  - Virtual New York
Lanka says ready for early talks with LTTE  -
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
Sri Lankan Government rejects LTTE Pre conditions  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Lanka to redouble efforts to put SAARC back on track
India Abroad, Dec 12, 2000 21:50 Hrs (IST) . RI Lanka will redouble efforts to get the stalled South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) back on track, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Tuesday. Kadirgamar said the main objective of his trip to New Delhi this week would be to discuss plans to get the standing committee of the seven member states -- India, Pakistan, the Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka -- foreign secretaries to meet ahead of a long postponed leaders' summit. "As long as Sri Lanka is in the chair, it is our duty to see that SAARC moves. We should have handed over the mantle to Nepal last year," Kadirgamar said. More...
Published: Wed Dec 13 03:29:14 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
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Lanka urges international ban on LTTE  -
Related Story  -
Lanka pushes for international ban on Tigers  - Times of India

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

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
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'Visit to infuse life in SAARC'  - The Hindu (International)
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

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

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

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

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

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