The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 275

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Solheim to meet with Prabhakaran again
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.30 p.m. SLT Saturday January 6. Norwegian Special Envoy, Eric Solheim is scheduled to meet with LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran again. Where the meeting will take placeis not yet known though it is expected to be in the Vanni.Solheim's meeting will follow a government refusal to adhere to a onemonth ceasefire initiated by the rebels. Media Minister AnuraPriyadharshana Yapa yesterday ruled out the possibility of a temporarysuspension of security forces operation. The minister stressed therewould not be a ceasefire and that the LTTE had on several occasionsviolated its own truce.Tamil parties meanwhile early this week urged the government to acceptthe LTTE's offer for a ceasefire without further delay. The state insiststhat a de-esacation in military offensives can take place only after bothsides have entered into negotiations.
Published: Sat Jan 6 16:42:21 EST 2001

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20,000 rebels killed in ethnic war
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Saturday January 6. Military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne yesterday revealed thataccording to military estimates the LTTE have lost nearly 20,000 cadresince hostilities increased in 1985. Karunaratne maintained that Tigerstatements over rebel monitored radio broadcasts have indicated the rebelforce has lost 16,000 cadre over the last 15 years. The militarymaintain however that this figure is much more and is closer to 20,000. qHe declined however to indicate how many men government troops have lostsince 1985. Karunaratne would only say that in the year 2000 alone the military lost1467 men, while some 9000 had been wounded in battle. The Brigadierfurther claimed that the fighting strengh of the LTTE from over 8000hardcore cadres was now down to a mere 4000.
Published: Sat Jan 6 16:42:20 EST 2001

Call for Ceasefire and Immediate Negotiations on Political Solution
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, January 6. The "Peace Support Group" (PSG) comprising academics,professionals and social activists this week on January 4, issued an appeal to the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of TamilEelam (LTTE). They have appealed to the parties to the conflict to go qbeyond public posturing and acrimonious rhetoric, not to mentionq adestructive war, and, instead, engage each other in a serious and sinceredialogue on finding ways and means of arriving at a just and adurable peace through a negotiated settlement. The group maintain that they do not expect either party to trust the other side, but with thebenefit of an international facilitator can only hope that aprocess is initiated that will result in the building of mutualconfidence and commitment. It is in this context that the group has welcomed the unilateraldeclaration of a month-long ceasefire by the LTTE, while also recognizingthe caution exercised by the Government in reciprocating, given the poortrack record of the LTTE in abrogating ceasefire agreements in the past.

However, this, the peace activists say this is not sufficient reason for the Government's reluctance to seize the opportunity offered by the LTTE. De-escalation leading to ceasefire is an indispensablecomponent of any meaningful process that aims at a negotiated settlementand the resolution of the causes that has led to the present protractedand bloody armed conflict. Suffice it to say, history is not pre-determined, but is made, and the nation may well be witnessing themakings of a historical peace . Whilst the rhetorical nature of the many statements from the Governmentand the LTTE reflect the deep distrust and mutual suspicions that arepresently weighing heavily over objective considerations and widerinterests, a careful reading of stated negotiating positions by the LTTE and the Government reveal a higher degree of congruence thandivergence. The group asserts that in particular, both sides appear to haveaccepted the broad "framework", articulated by the Norwegianfacilitator as representing the consensus of the "internationalcommunity". The framework basically indicates that any future negotiations can only be premised on the unity and integrity of SriLanka , while recognizing the need to address and accommodate "substantially" the "Tamil aspirations".

The peace groups adds that they are of the opinion that the aboveframework reflects the broad opinion of a substantial cross-section of Sri Lankan polity and civil society straddling the ethnic divide. It also recognizes the need for co-existence and equality between the distinct ethnic and national identities that populate our troubled islandwhich is vital for a just and a durable solution to the Ethnic Question. They have accordingly, called on the Government and the LTTE to immediately commence talks with international facilitation and to take all necessary steps to create a climate for anegotiated and peaceful resolution of the ethnic conflict. called on the Government to reciprocate the declaration of ceasefire by the LTTE, and to lift all restrictions on the supply of food, medicine and other essentials, as well as on economic activities in the North-East. We also call on the Government to take immediate steps to stop the alarming increase in extra-judicial killings by the security forces, the most recent being the Mirusivil killings, as a means togaining the confidence of the Tamil people. called on the LTTE to extend its ceasefire to include all acts of hostilities againstcivilians and non-military targets. They have also called on the LTTE to introduce into the negotiation process its proposals for constitutional and political reforms that would meet Tamil aspirations within a unified Sri Lanka.
Published: Sat Jan 6 16:26:33 EST 2001

Kadirgamar lauds US-Sri Lanka extradition treaty
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, SLT Saturday January 6. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in a TV interview yesterday lauded the recent US- Sri Lanka extradition treaty which was signed by President Bill Clinton on January 3, this year. "This is indeed a historic event," Kadirgamar said, adding that the treaty was of vitalimportance to the two nations committed to combating terrorism. "This will now enable us to extradite criminals who have committed an offence in either country. Crimes which are punishable by imprisonment of more than one year," he said, adding that political refugees who break the law could now also be extradited by eithernation. Kadirgamar added that both the US and Sri Lanka have been at the receiving end of terrorist acts and that the two nations were committedto eradicting the menace.

The new treaty replaces the pre-independence treaty concluded between the USA and Great Britain on the Mutual Extradition of Criminals signed atLondon on December 22, 1931 and extended to Ceylon at the time. Kadirgamar pointed out that both the US and Sri Lankan Governments recognised the need for a new treaty for the reciprocol surrender ofcriminals between the two countries, which takes into account the current developments of the new law. The new Extradition Treaty was signed atthe US State Department on September 30, 1999, between Foreign MinisterLakshman Kadirgamar and the US Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott. At the signing ceremony it was announced that the treaty constitutes a landmark in the bilateral relationship and was a testament to the committment of both Washington and Colombo to the international campaign against terrorism.
Published: Sat Jan 6 16:19:23 EST 2001

Sri Lankan Tamil parties eager to meet Vajpayee, 06th Jan 2001 17.59 IST . Eleven Tamil political parties have decided to seek an appointment with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in an effort to persuade the Sri Lankan Government to respond positively to the unilateral ceasefire declared by the LTTE. This will be communicated to Indian High Commissioner when a delegation of the Tamil Parties is scheduled to meet Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi in Colombo on January 12, Mr. N Sri Kantha, TELO Leader and spokesman of the Tamil parties, said. More...
Published: Sat Jan 6 09:55:47 EST 2001

Photo: Sri Lanka says wants firm proposals from rebels
Yahoo India, Friday January 5, 6:21 PM. Sri Lanka says wants firm proposals from rebels - A Sri Lankan military tank patrols during recent fighting with Tamil rebels in the country's northern Jaffna peninsula on December 31,2000. REUTERS/HO More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 20:16:41 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says wants firm proposals from rebels  - Yahoo India

24 journalists killed in 2000: CPJ
Yahoo India, Saturday January 6, 2:41 PM. Washington, Jan 6 (PTI) The Hindustan Times' (a leading English daily in India) photojournalist Pradeep Bhatia was among 24 journalists killed, mostly in retaliation for their reporting, in the year 2000, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. India's neighbouring countries also saw journalists being killed on their soil with two scribes dying in Bangladesh and one each in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sat Jan 6 17:51:01 EST 2001

Sri Lankan war claims 4,000 lives
BBC South Asia, Friday, 5 January, 2001, 18:46 GMT . The Sri Lankan military says nearly 4,000 people were killed and thousands more wounded in the last year of fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country. Military analysts say this casualty figure is high, especially for a year which was dominated by small-scale operations on the battlefield. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 20:10:33 EST 2001

Ranatunga hits out
BBC South Asia, Friday, 5 January, 2001, 06:53 GMT . Ranatunga is upset that the Board refused to call up an additional fast bowler ahead of the match in Cape Town, which Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 229 runs. "I find it difficult to understand that the Board has turned down a request for an additional fast bowler," he said. Ranatunga also attacked board officials for living in luxury while the players received a paltry fee. "Board officials who go on tour and stay in air conditioned rooms are entitled to an allowance of 350 dollars for a day while players get just 50 dollars," he said. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 08:58:58 EST 2001

Policeman, two gangsters killed in gun fight: Manhunt for army deserter
CDN, 6 Jan. 2001. The incident occured when a team from the Beliatta Police confronted a notorious criminal in Weeraketiya. The man shot at the policemen who returned the fire. In the shoot out, one constable and one of two suspects in police custody died on the spot. The other suspect - who was critically injured - was being rushed to Matara Hospital when an armed gang stopped the ambulance, pulled the injured man out and shot him dead.DIG (Southern Range) M. Sivaratnam told the `Daily News' that the incident occurred aroound 10 p.m. Those killed were Recruit PC Disanayake of the Beliatta Police, Inguru Hichcha alais Nandasena and Heeraluwa alais Samarasinghe. More...
Published: Sat Jan 6 05:14:35 EST 2001

Sri Lankan Govt. reiterates position on ceasefire
The Hindu (International), Saturday, January 06, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 5. Despite growing pressure to respond to the LTTE's unilateral ceasefire, the Sri Lankan Government today reiterated its position that it would consider a ceasefire only after peace talks with the group began. The Media Minister and Cabinet spokesman, Mr. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, said the Government was not interested in a ``temporary'' ceasefire, but a permanent solution to the ethnic problem. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 18:26:24 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Pressure mounting on Govt. to respond to LTTE ceasefire  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka says wants firm proposals from rebels  - MSNBC

Leaders quit LTTE
CDN, 6 Jan. 2001. Colombo, Wednesday: The supreme command of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is reportedly in hardship with continuous desertions leading to low morale and rampant indiscipline among its cadre. In the face of tidal offensives by the Government troops, the LTTE has received yet another severe blow as senior leaders like Marshall and Kandappan have quit the group with all their belongings, according to monitored transmissions of the rebel group's clandestine radio.According to monitored transmissions, during a conversation with LTTE leader Prabhakaran, and area leader holding the ground had emphasised on the indisciplinary attitude of three members, including one Nizam and Achchuthan. More...
Published: Sat Jan 6 05:16:53 EST 2001

Cricket-Media restrained over Sri Lanka's worst test defeat
Yahoo India, 6 Jan. 2001. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan media took a restrained view on Saturday to the country's worst-ever cricket defeat, saying while a re-evaluation of the team's style of play was needed it was too early to panic. "Getting beaten by a superior team is one thing, but the big question is: Are we learning from these defeats?" the Daily News asked. More...
Published: Sat Jan 6 04:56:34 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Cricket-Day off for defeated Sri Lankans  - Yahoo India

Labour Party reveals Ondaatje's new political stripes
National Post , January 5. Christopher Ondaatje, a former Canadian billionaire businessman, modern day explorer and elder brother to novelist Michael Ondaatje, was revealed yesterday to be a surprise, secret, multi-million-dollar donor to Britain's ruling Labour Party.The son of a tea plantation owner in Sri Lanka, then known as the British colony of Ceylon, Mr. Ondaatje was educated in Britain and emigrated to Canada in 1956 at the age of 23.When he arrived in Canada, he had just $13 in his pocket, but over the years forged a successful career in banking, finance and publishing. He founded the publishing firm Pagurian Press Ltd. in Toronto with an investment of $3,000. Twenty years later, when he sold the company, then known as the Pagurian Corporation Ltd., it had assets of more than $1-billion. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 21:41:51 EST 2001

US role urged in Sri Lanka peace process
Times of India, 6 January 2001 . As Tamil parties sought a United States role in resolving Sri Lanka's 17-year civil war, peace activists on Friday, urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to go beyond "public posturing" and rhetoric and start peace talks. Tomorrow, leaders of an alliance of 10 Tamil political parties were set to meet with U.S. Ambassador Ashley Wills, urging an active role by Washington in persuading the Sri Lankan government to accept a unilateral cease-fire by LTTE. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 14:20:01 EST 2001

Solheim lauds India’s role in Lankan peace process
The Hindustan Times, Colombo January 5. THE NORWEGIAN facilitator, Mr.Erik Solheim, has lauded India's support for the on-going peace process in Sri Lanka. "India is very helpful. We are also keeping India informed about developments in the peace process. India's role will be very welcome as we proceed further," Mr Solheim told the London based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) in a special interview on Thursday. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 18:32:52 EST 2001

LTTE plagued with desertions, low morale, indiscipline
The News Today, January 03. The supreme command of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is reportedly in hardship with continuous desertions leading to low morale and rampant indiscipline among its cadre. In the face of tidal offensives by the government troops, the LTTE has received yet another severe blow as senior leaders like Marshall and Kandappan have quit the group with all their belongings, according to monitored transmissions of the rebel group's clandestine radio. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 09:03:42 EST 2001

20,000 Tiger rebels killed in Sri Lanka's 15-year ethnic conflict, Jan 05 2001 19:01 IST. Sri Lanka's army on Friday said about 20,000 Tamil Tiger rebels had been killed in armed conflict with government troops during the 15-year-old separatist campaign by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE). Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told a media briefing that Tiger radio transmissions have admitted that 16,333 rebels were killed in the ethnic conflict. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 09:56:47 EST 2001

Govt. refutes TMC leader's charge
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, January 06, 2001. CHENNAI, JAN. 5. The Tamil Nadu Government today refuted the senior TMC leader and former Union Minister, Mr. S.R. Balasubramanian's charge that the State had failed to redress the just grievances of plantation workers in the Nilgiris repatriated from Sri Lanka. Mr. Balasubramanian's bid to link the rehabilitation package for Tamil expatriates from Sri Lanka with the norms to be fulfilled under the Factories Act was totally untenable, an official statement here tonight said, adding that workers employed by the State-owned TANTEA were getting all the benefits under the labour laws applicable to them. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 18:27:00 EST 2001

Bomb hurled in robbery bid: 2 held after chase
The Hindu (Southern States), Friday, January 05, 2001. PATTUKOTTAI JAN. 4. Two persons including a Sri Lankan Tamil, who made an abortive attempt to rob money from two officials of Thanjavur Central Co-operative Bank branch here by hurling a country bomb, were arrested by police after a hot chase today. The arrested persons were Nadesa Aiyyah (35), son of Chinnaiyah Thevar, Sri Lankan Tamil, who was in the refugee camp near Tiruchi earlier and Senthil Kumar (24), son of Thyagarajan of Dindigul. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 14:19:17 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee slips to record low
Yahoo India, 5 Jan 2001. COLOMBO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee slipped to 83 to the dollar for the first time on Friday as the central bank dropped the local currency's daily limit further due to the greenback's strength overseas. The rupee found some respite over the holidays, but ended the last year down 16 percent after trading frequently at record lows amid hefty import demand. More...
Published: Fri Jan 5 01:40:46 EST 2001

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