The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 253

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Lanka and Tigers play tug-of-words with peace
India Abroad, Dec 14, 2000 16:25 Hrs (IST) . PEACE prospects for war-torn Sri Lanka has become a tug-of-words between the government and Tamil Tiger separatists, despite both sides announcing that they are all set to negotiate immediately. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, responding to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's peace moves, has said the time was ripe for a dialogue, but emphasized that the government would not compromise on a rebel demand to de-escalate hostilities. "Both the Tigers and the government are playing a ping-pong game. Each one is lobbing the ball into the other's side and there seems to be no end to it," a diplomat said. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 23:10:42 EST 2000

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SLMC leadership battle put on hold
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.05 p.m. SLT Thursday December 14. A leadership battle for the top post of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has been put off till February 11, 2001, on which day the party will host its annual party conference and take a vote to choose one leader for its party. The decision to stall making a choice this week, was made last night by executive committee members of the SLMC who met to discuss the tussle. Choosing a leader has been put off till next February, since Ferial Ashraff who shares the leadership of the party with Rauf Hakeem is still in mourning after the tragic death of her husband and can only appear in public by January 2001.
Published: Thu Dec 14 08:12:31 EST 2000

32 refugees and five fishermen held
yahoo, decmber 14. ndian Police arrested 32 refugees and five fishermen at Kuravanthoppu in Ramanathapuram district on Wednesday while they were trying to escape to Sri Lanka. The refugees, who were lodged in the Mandapam and Thiruvannamalai refugee camps, were trying to go back to Sri Lanka without informing the officials when they were nabbed along with the fishermen who had offered to ferry them in their country boats, police sources said. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:20:31 EST 2000
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32 Sri Lankans nabbed trying to re-enter Lankan shores  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

LTTE blast kills five near school
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on December 14, 2000. Colombo, Dec. 14. (PTI): At least five people, including three policemen, were killed today when LTTE guerillas set off a powerful Claymore mine near a school in eastern Sri Lanka, the Defence Ministry said. The blast came as police were moving into the Kalai Maha Vidyalaya in Eravur to provide security for students writing the GCE (O/L) Examination, the Ministry said in a statement. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 10:20:27 EST 2000
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Four dead in Batticaloa explosion  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Probe Kannan's charge: BJP
yahoo, decmeber 14. The general secretary of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP, Mr. L. Ganesan, today appealed to the Pondicherry Chief Minister, Mr. P. Shanmugham, to order a thorough probe into the allegations made by former PWD Minister, Mr. Kannan. It may be recalled that Mr. Kannan had accused the Cooperative Minister, Mr. Theni C. Jayakumar, of having links with the LTTE. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:23:18 EST 2000
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Vajpayee Ministry must quit: Swamy  - yahoo

Time to take stock
Deccan Herald, decmebr 14. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have warned that any moves to ban their organisation would be counter productive. They have further said that if Britain introduced the anti-terrorism bill it would strengthen its cadre further and become more ruthless than ever. The organisation has told Britain and other countries that simply banning them would have no meaningful impact and would only become counter productive. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:31:41 EST 2000

Red Cross to help doctors in Lanka's war zone
Times of India, 15 December 2000 . The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday said it will ask Tamil Tiger rebels to avoid attacking vehicles carrying doctors in the embattled northeast."The ICRC is willing to inform the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) not to attack vehicles carrying doctors if these are clearly identifiable and are marked with the red cross," ICRC Spokesman Harsha Gunewardene told The Associated Press. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:14:59 EST 2000

UNP queries Chandrika's sojourn in west
tamilnet, decemebr 14. Sri Lanka's main opposition, The United National Party (UNP) Thursday challenged President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to reveal what she did during her long stay in Europe. "What is hilarious or incomprehensible rather is that the president is out of the country while the country is facing misfortune from all fronts", the party said in a press communiqué issued by its Assistant Leader of the UNP Mr.Gamini Atukorale. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:33:42 EST 2000

Visa rules to 4 countries may be relaxed
yahoo-Hindu, december 14. Visa regulations to Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh may soon be relaxed for tourists and businessmen, a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry indicated here on Tuesday. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:18:54 EST 2000

Thamil Chelvam reiterates commitment to peace
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.15 a.m. SLT Thursday December 14. The LTTE's political wing leader, Thamil Chelvam speaking from a jungle hide-out in the Wanni yesterday, said that the rebel organization was committed to finding a negotiated solution to the present conflict.

Chelvam however had noted with disappointment the lack of a clear cut policy on the part of the government to initiate a fruitful dialogue.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, in an interview with the Daily News today has blasted British junior minister Peter Hain, for his comments made last month in Colombo which asserted that the international community supported the right to self determination for the country's Tamil community as well as for the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

In his interview with the state run newspaper, Kadirgamar said that he took strong objection to the statement made by Hain, "because self-determination could very well mean the right to cessation. The State of Sri Lanka cannot under any circumstances whatsoever, contemplate the possibility of a right of cessation."

Kadirgamar further states that he cannot welcome statements made by people from outside the country even though they came from friendly nations. He said many of their views are based on academic remedies which do not necessarily relate to Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister adds that he intends taking the matter up with the British government.

The Head of the European Union in Colombo, Mr. Usitalo today said that he welcomed recent comments made by both warring factions in the conflict which have said they are ready to begin negotiations which may lead to a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Usitalo has pointed out that while the comments made by both President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar naturally differ in content, it still proves that positive measures are underway to begin finding a peace resolution. He adds that he fully agrees with the Foreign Minister who commented on Tuesday this week that it is now time to go beyond mere rhetoric and initiate a practical process which would facilitate negotiations.
Published: Thu Dec 14 08:12:30 EST 2000

EU decides to lift all quotas for SL textiles
ISland, Thursday, 14 December. Sri Lanka’s garment exports to the European Union (EU) would be significantly boosted from next year, as the EU has decided to lift all quotas for the textile and apparel exports from Sri Lanka to it.Minister of Industrial Development, Constitutional Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance, Professor. G. L. Peiris, described this development as "a major breakthrough in negotiations for the local apparel industry with the EU." He told a press conference yesterday that Sri Lanka and the EU had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 5th which will, "suspend by January 2001 all quantitative restrictions currently in place with respect to the import of textiles and clothing from Sri Lanka." More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 06:03:45 EST 2000

UK minister's pro-Tamil remarks upset Lanka
Times of India, 15 December 2000 . Sri Lanka's hackles have been raised by a statement made by British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Peter Hain that the international community would support "the principle of self-determination" for the island's Tamil minority.Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, chiding Hain for his remarks made during his late November visit to Colombo, was quoted in the state-run Daily News as saying that he took "strong exception" to the comment. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 19:13:46 EST 2000
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Sri Lanka slams Britain over Tamil self-rule remarks  -
Sri Lanka slams Britain over Tiger crisis  -

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
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Sri Lanka blast kills five  - BBC South Asia
5 killed in Lanka mine explosion  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Five killed in eastern Sri Lanka blast  -
Blast in eastern Sri Lanka kills two  -

Lankan minister in India
Times of India (Breaking News), 14 December 2000 . Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar arrived 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. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 11:23:36 EST 2000

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

Sri Lankans seek away win
Yahoo Asia, December 14. Sri Lanka will be seeking to show they can win away from Asia when they take on South Africa in the first of six limited overs internationals at St Georges Park Friday."Its time for the whole team to show people, not just in Sri Lanka, but all round the world, that we have got what it takes to go abroad, adapt quickly to alien conditions and win," said Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore at the start of the tour. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 11:21:19 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

National Hospital SICU temporarily closed
CDN, 14 December 2000. New patients are not being admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at the Colombo National Hospital as a protective measure to prevent the spread of an infection identified at this unit to other parts of the hospital. Refuting news items which appeared on certain newspapers (not of the Lake House Group), Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe yesterday told the Daily News this was not a deadly infection but it is normally found in 25-30 per cent of the people."One death was reported in the unit after this infection was identified. So far, it has not yet been confirmed whether this death was due to this particular infection," he said. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 00:04:04 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

Sri Lankans tie in tour match
Crickinfo, 13 December 2000. Sri Lanka's one-day tour match against Eastern Province ended in a tie Wednesday when last man Pramodya wickramasinghe was run out off the last ball at the PPC Oval near Port Elizabeth.What had looked likely to be an easy win for the tourists turned into a desperate scramble, with three wickets falling in the last over, bowled by South Africa A seamer Garnett Kruger, who finished with three for 23 off ten overs.With Sri Lanka needing five to overhaul Eastern Province's total of 220 for seven, Kruger bowled Tillekeratne Dilshan with the first delivery of the final over. More...
Published: Thu Dec 14 01:45:19 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  -

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
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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  -

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

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