The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 277

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Death penalty reimposed
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Monday January 8. Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon stated today that the government will re-impose the death sentence by hanging. The bail act will also be tightened in order to curb the spiraling incidents of crime, he said.

Minister Weerakoon added that the fate of 80 prisoners on death row will be determined in approximately one and a half months time. Weerakoon asserted that the President will give a final verdict after having perused reports submitted by the Attorney General, Judges who heard each respective case and the Justice Minister.
Published: Mon Jan 8 15:29:34 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
Norway may pull out as third party mediators?
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.10 p.m. SLT Monday January 8. According to Tamil news services and the Jaffna based 'Uthayan' newspaper, quoting Norwegian sources, Norway has indicated that it may pull out of serving as facilitators in future negotiations between the government and the LTTE, if the government does not agree to a de-escalation of armed forces offensives.

The Norwegians are reported to have come up with a staggered plan to help both the state and the rebels reach a compromise whereby the intensity of the military battle will be decreased before negotiations can begin.

Norwegian Special Envoy, Eric Solheim is expected in Colombo this week to meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge first, before going on to meet with Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in the Vanni.

The government had repeatedly stated that it will not agree to a de-escalation of the military battle in the country's northern peninsula until talks have got underway successfully between the two warring factions. The LTTE have also stated that there will be no talks until there is a de-escalation of military offensives and an economic embargo to civilians living in the northern territory is lifted.

Armed forces personnel this week vowed to "wipe out the LTTE," even as the Tigers maintain that they are observing a one month cease fire, as a good will gesture towards initiating peace talks.
Published: Mon Jan 8 11:06:47 EST 2001

Violence at Sri Lanka protest
BBC South Asia, Monday, 8 January, 2001, 15:27 GMT . Police in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, have fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands of demonstrators protesting against rising prices.At least 12 people have been injured including a local politician.Reports say more than 2,000 people took part in the demonstration in central Colombo organised by the JVP (Peoples' Liberation Organisation). More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 11:24:30 EST 2001

Passenger vessel in northeast plies again
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Monday January 8. The 'Lanka Muditha' passenger vessel today left for Jaffna with over a thousand passengers on board. Departing from the port at Trincomalee, the vessel yesterday brought over a 1000 travellers from Jaffna to the eastern port. All the passengers who arrived at Trincomalee had to be housed at a nearby temple due to the curfew in force at the time in Trincomalee. No electronic equipment or video cameras are allowed on board the ship which is used strictly for civilians travelling to and fro from the northern peninsula to the east.
Published: Mon Jan 8 11:06:46 EST 2001

JVP supporters and police clash in Colombo
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7 p.m. SLT Monday January 8. At least twelve supporters of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna were injured this evening when police intervened to stop a protest march the JVP was carrying out against the rising cost of essential goods. Four of the injured were women while one according to reports is a provincial councillor. All twelve wounded in today's incident have been admitted to Colombo's National Hospital.

Police had used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse a crowd of nearly 3000 persons who began marching from the Bodhiya in Pettah towards the Fort Railway Station. The protesters were forced stop their march at Fort where the JVP held a meeting voicing their anger against the government for continuing to raise the prices of essential items.
Published: Mon Jan 8 11:06:47 EST 2001

Change of colours won't obliterate ICC ineptitude
Australian, 9 Jan 2001. CRICKET has popped into its walk-in robe for a change of clothes. On Thursday, it will emerge in all manner of bright shirts and pants, ready to play the limited-overs game.While the cricketers slip into something more comfortable,we have a chance to assess what has just come and gone. The media is a funny beast. It has its favourites.Jelena Dokic wins her first senior professional title in Hong Kong last weekend and is all but ignored. While Waugh's men have been completing their record run, Muttiah Muralitharan has thrown his way to 300 Test wickets. This is not to deny the Sri Lankan the mastery he has of his craft or the rapid way he has claimed his victims: 303 in 59 Tests. He will be remembered as one of the game's greatest finger spinners. However, he appears to throw the ball by any definition, new rule or old, that the ICC has on its books. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 23:47:46 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 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

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

Local Govt. Elections to be postponed?
Island, 8 Jan. 2001. Local government elections scheduled for April this year are likely to be postponed due to time constraints involved in introducing changes to the Act, proposed by a Presidential Commission appointed for the purpose. Political sources told "The Island" yesterday that the introduction of changes to the Local Government Elections Act recommended by the Presidential Commission which includes reverting to the first-past-the-post system and widening the control of local bodies would take some time. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:53:22 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

Troubled Sri Lanka recall Aravinda de Silva
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 8, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 8. (Reuters): Veteran batsman Aravinda de Silva is expected to leave for South Africa tomorrow to try to shore up the struggling touring side. However, he might not be able to arrive before the third of the six one-day internationals takes place in Paarl tomorrow. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 14:07:24 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Aravinda de Silva to reinforce beleaguered Lankans  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Aravinda recalled to South Africa  - Saroj Pathirana in London

Sri Lanka Shrs Open Flat;Thin Demand, Lack Of Fresh News
Yahoo India, 8 Jan 2001. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--Sri Lankan shares opened little changed Monday with most investors on the sidelines amid a lack of fresh news to trigger demand, brokers said. Many investors are watching for new developments on possible peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger Rebels in a bid to end a 17-year old war. Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim will arrive in Sri Lanka later Monday in a fresh effort to initiate peace negotiations. Hopes of ending the northeast conflict, a severe drain on the country's economy, were raised after the rebel leader agreed to start talks when he met with Solheim in November last year. Both sides, however, have said they are unwilling to commence unconditional negotiations. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:45:09 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

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

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-Donald withdraws from S.Africa's one-day match
Yahoo India, 8 Jan. 2001. Allan Donald has been forced to withdraw from South Africa's third one-day international against Sri Lanka in Paarl because of an abscess on his right elbow, the BBC reported on Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:41:39 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

Sri Lanka's Jan-Oct crude oil imports jump
Yahoo India, 8 Jan. 2001. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said on Monday crude oil imports in the first 10 months of last year rose by 36.6 percent to 2.01 million tonnes against the same 1999 period. Officials at the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp have said the sharp rise in crude oil imports last year was mainly due to lower imports in 1999 when the country's sole refinery was closed for maintenance between January and March. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:43:15 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee dips on corporate dollar demand
Yahoo India, 8 Jan 2001. The Sri Lankan rupee extended its fall in record territory on Monday due to demand for dollars to cover imports. Dealers said the rupee was driven down after ending at an all-time low of 83.04 to the dollar on Friday, following an import bill of the state-run Cooperative Wholesale Establishment. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:46:20 EST 2001

Colombo port's Jan-October container traffic flat
Yahoo India, 8 Jan. 2001. Total container traffic at the Colombo port run by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority in January to October rose a marginal 1.8 percent to 1.4 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) against the same 1999 period, the central bank said on Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jan 8 01:47:23 EST 2001

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