The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 278

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Amnesty fears executions in Sri Lanka after 24 years, Jan 10 2001 09:25 IST. The international human rights group, Amnesty International (AI), Wednesday expressed concern that Sri Lanka may lift a 24-year moratorium on carrying out the death penalty. Amid a mounting crime wave, the Sri Lankan government in 1999 took a policy decision not to automatically commute to a life term the death penalty handed down to those convicted of heinous crimes. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 23:31:32 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's Solheim in Sri Lanka to salvage peace bid, Jan 10 2001 08:58 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 10 (AFP) - Norway's special envoy, Erik Solheim, arrived here Wednesday in a bid to revive a fragile process aimed at bringing the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels to the negotiating table, officials said. Solheim's visit comes amid a unilateral truce called by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but an impasse over conditions for the government to reciprocate it. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 23:32:16 EST 2001

New Jaffna Mayor takes office
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2230 SLT 09.01.01. V.Ravirajah took office as Jaffna mayor today. The Tamil United Liberation Front appointed Mr.Ravirajah who is a one time deputy Mayor. He is the third mayor to be appointed in the last five years after the first two mayors were assassinated by the LTTE
Published: Tue Jan 9 11:45:57 EST 2001

JVP to launch Island wide protest against rising cost of living
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2234 SLT 09.01.01. The JVP announced today that it would launch an island wide agitation campaign against the rising cost of living in the country. Addressing a news conference in Colombo JVP member of parliament Wimal Weerawansha said the party would also campaign against the privatization plans of the government. The police fired tear gas and baton charged protestors yesterday when over 5000 JVP supporters demonstrated in Pettah.
Published: Tue Jan 9 11:45:57 EST 2001

Solheim has no plans to meet LTTE chief
India Abroad, Jan 10, 2001 2:55 Hrs (IST) . NORWEGIAN Peace Envoy Erik Solheim has no plans to meet Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran when he arrives here Tuesday on a brief visit, a top Embassy official said Tuesday. “Solheim is coming here Tuesday on his routine peace mission. But I can say, he is not going to Wanni this time to meet Prabhakaran,” the official said. During his last visit, Solheim had traveled to Northern Wanni and met Prabhakaran and other LTTE leaders on November 1. During the meeting, Prabhakaran had conveyed his willingness to have negotiations with the Sri Lankan Government to resolve the ethnic issue. On the eve of his visit, speculations was rife that Solheim will undertake a second visit to Wanni this time to meet Prabhakaran to convey to him the government’s stand. “Of course, Mr. Solheim is coming on Wednesday, but he has no plans to meet Prabhakaran this time,” said the official. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 18:29:07 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Norway envoy to attempt to revive Sri Lanka peace bid  -

Sri Lanka denies economic embargo on Tiger territory, Jan 09 2001 15:33 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 9 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Tuesday denied imposing an economic embargo on the embattled northern and eastern regions and said food, medicines and other essentials were being sent to areas held by Tamil rebels too. The government, in a two-page statement, accused the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of trying to win international sympathy by "underestimating the uninterrupted supplies" sent to the north-east. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 08:58:51 EST 2001

Policeman, soldier arrested for Sri Lanka bank hold-up, Jan 09 2001 14:09 IST. Sri Lankan police have arrested one of their own men and an army deserter for an armed hold-up of a bank as top brass try to stem a rising wave of crime, officials said Tuesday. The policeman and the deserter were taken into custody following the armed attack on a People's Bank branch in the Battaramulla area of Colombo on Monday, officials said, adding that screams of terrified customers thwarted the robbery.he arrest came amid moves by police Inspector-General Lucky Kodituwakku to discuss ways of combating the rising wave of armed hold-ups and robberies, a police spokesman here said. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 08:59:31 EST 2001

Monthly transport allowance of Rs 10,000 to 93 new MPs until issue of car permits
Island, Tuesday, 9 january. The government is to provide a transport allowance of Rs. 10,000 to all 93 new parliamentarians with effect from this month.Political sources said that this allowance will cost the government an additional Rs. 1 million a month.The allowance has been granted as a temporary measure till the new MPs are given permits to import brand new luxury vehicles. A senior government Minister said yesterday that the allowance had to be given since MP’s had not yet submitted their requirements to the Ministry of Samurdhi,Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 03:49:36 EST 2001

Kallis takes injury-hit South Africa to victory
Yahoo India, january 9. PAARL, South Africa, Jan 9 (AFP) - Jacques Kallis hit an unbeaten century as South Africa overcame an alarming injury list and gained their eighth successive limited overs win when they beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the third international at Boland Park here on Tuesday. The win achieved with seven balls to spare - in which Herschelle Gibbs made only one to add to his duck in the second Test last week on his recall after serving a six month ban for his part in the Hansie Cronje matchfixing scandal - gave the home side a 3-0 lead in the six match series. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 18:27:57 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Cricket-Sri Lanka make solid start against South Africa  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Sri Lanka win toss and bat against South Africa  - Yahoo India

LTTE not interested in peace: Chandrika
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, January 10, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 9. In a hard-hitting speech which indicated that the chasm between her government and the LTTE was growing, not lessening, the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, said the separatist group was not interested in finding a solution to the island's ethnic conflict. The speech, made to the Tamil people of the north through a satellite link-up with Jaffna on Monday night, came ahead of a visit here by the Norwegian peace envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, to work a way out of the impasse in the peace process. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 18:33:03 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka ready for ceasefire if LTTE agrees to talk  -
Kumaratunga on Sri Lanka peace  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka Govt May Consider Rebel Cease-Fire Demand  - Yahoo India

Sri Lankan army recovers explosives enough to blow high-rise buildings
MSNBC, January 8. The Sri Lankan army has recovered 675 pounds of high explosives in a northern city, enough to blow up 10 large buildings, a top government spokesman said Monday. The explosives, packed in 10 bags, were found Sunday hidden in a private residential garden near the city of Vavuniya, 130 miles north of Colombo, said the spokesman, Ariya Rubasinghe. Vavuniya is the last government-held town before the northern war frontier in this civil war-wracked nation. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 00:18:20 EST 2001

Sri Lanka offers conditional truce to Tigers, vows reforms
Yahoo, Tuesday, January 9 3:30 PM SGT . President Chandrika Kumaratunga has accused Tamil rebels of refusing to enter Norwegian-backed political talks and vowed to press ahead with a controversial peace plan, a state-run daily said Tuesday. Kumaratunga, in an address to residents of Jaffna, the heartland of the Tamil separatist campaign, offered a conditional truce but expressed doub that the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would respond to it. More...
Published: Tue Jan 9 10:56:53 EST 2001
Related News Stories
No truce until rebels agree for talks: Sri Lanka  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka says no truce until rebels agree to talk  - MSNBC

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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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