The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 277

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Solheim bringing 'new ideas'
The Hindu (International), Monday, January 08, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 7. The Norwegian peace envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, is expected to arrive here this week for a meeting with the Sri Lankan President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, and possibly the LTTE leader, Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran, in a bid to break the present impasse in the nascent peace process. The state-run Sunday Observer, quoting an interview by Mr. Solheim to the London-based Tamil Broadcasting Corporation, said he would soon visit Sri Lanka to hold talks with Government leaders and Mr. Prabhakaran. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 18:01:56 EST 2001

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 recruiting even the old
The Hindu (International), Monday, January 08, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 7. A severe shortage of manpower is forcing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to recruit not just children in their early teens, but also older people without much consideration to the their age, physical fitness and training, according to military officials. Last month, the LTTE unsuccessfully tried to stop an army advance on the road between Jaffna town and Chavakachcheri. After the battle, soldiers clearing the area were shocked when a 56-year- old cadre surrendered at Kaithady. Government troops also recovered 51 bodies of LTTE fighters, of which 17 seemed to be of children in their early teens. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 18:02:22 EST 2001

No ceasefire prior to talks: Chandrika
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on January 7, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 7. (PTI): Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has assured the National Security Council that there would be no ceasefire prior to commencement of peace talks with the LTTE, even as the nation's Army Chief said the LTTE do not have the ability to seize large chunks of territory anymore after the Army's recent offensives. The Sunday Times reported today that Kumaratunga gave the assurance to the three Service Chiefs while presiding over the Council's meeting here on Thursday. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 14:06:05 EST 2001

Government buries ten "unidentified" bodies
Saroj Pathirana in London, Sunday 07 January 1700 GMT. Ten bodies that have been found in the Jaffna Peninsular have been buried at the expense of the Government says the SL Army. These bodies have been found in the newly acquired Navatkuly area in Jaffna Peninsular. In an interview with the BBC Sinhala Service "Sandeshaya", army Spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karnaratne said that the Police disposed off these bodies to avoid further problems, after observing religious rites. He stated that bodies those were unidentifiable belong to LTTE combatants. "This was not the first instance that bodies of this nature has been disposed off in a simillar manner" said the Brigadier. He was of the view that the ICRC might have been informed by the Area Command. The ICRC was not aware of such information.
Published: Sun Jan 7 12:00:12 EST 2001

LTTE warns civilians not to re-settle
Saroj Pathirana in London, Sunday 07 January 1700 GMT. Voice of Tigers yesterday warned civilians not to re-settle in Thenmarachchi area, reports from the region state. While the security forces are making arrangements for the re- settlement of the displaced people of the area , LTTE has warned not to re-settle until they authorise, as the government forces will be using them as a human shield in the ongoing battle, Batticaloa correspondent Shanthi Selvadurai told BBC’s Sandeshaya. Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne also confirmed that as clearing operations are underway, the area is not yet suitable for mass civilian settlement.
Published: Sun Jan 7 12:00:12 EST 2001

Aravinda recalled to South Africa
Saroj Pathirana in London, Sunday 07 January 1700 GMT. Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka today announced that Aravinda De Silva, ex vice captain of the Sri Lankan squad will be sent to South Africa as a replacement for Upul Chandana, who has sustained an injury and is being sent back to Sri Lanka. Aravinda, a leading batsman in the world, is among other leading international players named in the report on match fixing allegations by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation.
Published: Sun Jan 7 12:00:12 EST 2001

Solheim to arrive in Lanka today
Times of India, 8 January 2001 . Norwegian special peace envoy Erik Solheim will arrive in Colombo on Monday to meet Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Tamil Tiger leader V Prabhakaran, in a fresh effort to break a deadlock over the start of new peace talks. Solheim was expected to meet Kumaratunga and foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to sound them about his new proposals to break the deadlock over starting a new round of peace talks with the rebels, the state-run Sunday Observer said. He was later expected to travel to the rebel-held northern Wanni region to hold a second meeting with Prabhakaran. The newspaper reported that Solheim, who was in New Delhi last week to hold talks with Indian leaders to kick start a new Sri Lankan peace process, later visited London to meet Anton Balasingham, spokesman for the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Hopes of peace talks increased after Solheim first met Prabhakaran on November 1, during which the rebel leader expressed his willingness to hold unconditional peace talks with Colombo. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 17:35:26 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Solheim to meet Chandrika, Prabhakaran  - The Hindu NUS
Norwegian Envoy to meet LTTE leader Prabhakaran  - India Abroad
Norwegian envoy in Colombo visit to kickstart new peace talks  -
Solheim to meet with Prabhakaran again  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

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

Out-of-form Sri Lanka to carry on attacking
Yahoo India, january 7. CAPE TOWN, Jan 7 (AFP) - Sri Lankas out-of-form batsmen will continue to play positive, attacking cricket when they resume a one-day international series against South Africa in Paarl on Tuesday. "Mentally we are a bit down because the batsmen are not scoring runs," admitted captain Sanath Jayasuriya. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 11:59:49 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

Basnayake Nilame election fever hots up, Balapatabendi Jr. out
Island, 07 Jan. 2001. There was no clear word yesterday on the accuracy of newspaper reports that Harendra Balapatabendi, son of Presidential Secretary, K. Balapatabendi, will not be a runner in the race for the post of Basnayaka Nilame of the Kataragama Devalaya.Neither Balapatabendi Jr. nor his father were available for comment on the report. There was an alms giving in the Balapatabendi residence yesterday, and neither father nor son could be reached on the phone.The election is due on January 11 and in the absence of prior nominations being received, nobody was sure yesterday how many contenders would actually enter the fray. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 06:44:07 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

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

SAARC agrees on uniform telephone rates
Yahoo India, 6 Jan. 2001. Islamabad, Jan 6 (PTI) The SAARC countries have agreed to have uniform telephone rates and develop cellular communication among them. They reached an understanding on the subject during a two-day meeting of the Technical Committee of the SAARC on Transport and Communications which ended here on Saturday. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 06:31:05 EST 2001

Roy Dias - Graceful batting artist of Sri Lanka
CDN, 07 Jan. 2001. Once a reporter posed a question to Vivien Richards to name a World XI, he prefers to lead. Sir Vivien Richards, without any hesitation, named his Team with a Sri Lankan batsman for number three spot in his side. This Sri Lankan cricketer named by this cricketing 'super star' was none other than Roy Dias one of the most technically correct batsmen that Sri Lanka ever produced. A feature of Dias's genius was always, an ability to place a ball between fielder, with unerring precision. His masterly cover drive was his trade mark stoke. He played the Backfoot Drive either side of the wicket with poise and accuracy. He was a role model for future Sri Lankan batsmen. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 06:37:44 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

SAARC co listings to be on case-to-case basis
Yahoo India, january 8. By Shaji Vikraman IN late 1999, an official from Unit Trust of India approached the Finance Ministry to make out a case for listing in India in the form of disinvestment of the shares held by the Sri Lankan Government in one of their State-owned companies. The proposal was spiked straightaway because of several reasons; one of them, obviously, was the issue of repatriation of funds. The other was the currency in which the share prices would be denominated. Those who then thought that it was RIP for the proposal now realise that they were sadly mistaken. More...
Published: Sun Jan 7 18:03:53 EST 2001

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