The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 280

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Lanka Opposition up in arms against Kumaratunga's statement
NDTV/MSNBC, Thursday January 11, 4:30 PM. The opposition in Sri Lanka are up in arms over President Chandrika Kumaratunga's statement in Paris that the amendments to Constitution would be made with or without a two-thirds majority in Parliament. In a statement to the local media, the United National Party (UNP) Vice Chairman, Daya Pelpola said, ''The impugned statement poses a threat to the country's constitutional government.'' The UNP has appointed a committee of three legal luminaries to inquire into the possibility of impeaching the President over her statement on the Constitution. The working committee of the Party has empowered them to find out whether the alleged statement made by the President would amount to international violation of the present Constitution. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 09:06:49 EST 2001

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Sri Lanka slams Tiger truce, seeks to extend emergency rule
123India, January 11. Sri Lanka's government formally told parliament Thursday that Tamil Tiger separatists had declared a unilateral truce in a bid to prepare for all out war and urged the assembly to extend a state of emergency. "It was very clear that this ceasefire was declared by the LTTE to consolidate and strengthen themselves for war More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 09:43:11 EST 2001

LTTE's defences should be crippled before peace talks - Says Gen.Wijendra
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.15 p.m. SLT Thursday January 11. Major General A. Wijendra today said that the LTTE's defences should be crippled before the government enters into peace talks with the rebels as this will lend the State a better advantage over the Tigers.The Major General made this remarks while on a routine survey of newly occupied defence lines in the Jaffna Peninsula.He had further stated that the reason the LTTE are willing to negotiate is because they are militarily in a weak position. Deputy Defence Minister, Anuruddha Ratwatte meanwhile told Parliament today that it was clear that an LTTE declared cease fire which began at midnight on December 24 for a period of one month was mainly to help the Tigers consolidate their positions and regroup.He was seeking support in Parliament today to extend the state of emergency which has been in force since 1983 with short breaks in-between.This law lends sweeping powers to state security and allows for detaining and arresting of persons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, (PTA).
Published: Thu Jan 11 08:51:45 EST 2001

Sri Lanka military says it controls Jaffna
Yahoo India, Thursday January 11, 5:47 PM. Sri Lanka's top military commander in northern Jaffna said on Thursday that government troops were firmly in control after four months of heavy fighting. Government troops have battled since the beginning of September to regain land and key positions which were lost earlier in the year in the offensive by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 13:07:00 EST 2001

US against Eelam state: Envoy
Yahoo India, Thursday January 11, 12:00 AM. The 'Daily News' has quoted the US ambassador to Sri Lanka Ashley Wills as saying, ''it is the responsibility of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop war and resolve their problems through discussions. The war is being dragged on as there is no trust between the two sides.'' ''It is the aspirations of the United States to see the minorities live together with the majority community within a united Sri Lanka. The US is against an Eelam st More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 09:22:24 EST 2001
Related News Stories
US not to accept separate state for Tamils in Lanka  -
US reiterates its stand against Eelam  - India Abroad

Solheim under fire
The Hindu (International), Friday, January 12, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 11. The lone member of the hardline Sihala Urumaya (SU) in Parliament, Mr. Thilak Karunaratne, today described the Norwegian special envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, as a ``womaniser'' who had no right to take on the role of a facilitator to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka. Mr. Solheim was in the parliamentary complex for a series of meetings with Government and Opposition leaders when his personal life came under attack in the House. He held a 30-minute meeting with the Opposition leader, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, in Parliament. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 21:18:12 EST 2001
Related News Stories
No fresh bid to end Sri Lanka deadlock, Norway envoy under fire  -

Norway Envoy,India Diplomat Meet Ahead Of Sri Lanka Talks
Yahoo India, 11 January 2001. COLOMBO (AP)--A Norwegian peace envoy trying to broker an end to Sri Lanka's protracted civil war met with India's top diplomat in Colombo Thursday, ahead of a crucial meeting with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga. India isn't directly involved in the Tamil separatist war, but the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is home to 56 million Tamils who have traditional ties with Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamils. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 06:57:05 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Norway peace envoy meets Sri Lankan politicians  - MSNBC
Norwegian envoy in Lanka as govt, Tigers war over truce  - Times of India

Solheim meets with Indian HC
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Thursday January 11. Norwegian Special Envoy, Eric Solheim, on a four day visit to Sri Lanka to help revive a flagging peace initiative, yesterday met with Indian High Commissioner to Colombo Gopalakrishna Gandhi.Solheim held a two hour discussion with Gandhi and thereafter also met with government minister Rauf Hakeem, co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Solheim is scheduled to meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Opposition Leader today. The Norwegians have taken great pains to keep India briefed of every step in the initiative facilitated by Norway to bring the government and the LTTE together and discuss a political solution to the country's 18 year old war.
Published: Thu Jan 11 08:51:45 EST 2001

Fear of cyclone reigns
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.05 p.m. SLT Thursday January 11. Fears have arisen that a cyclone will again hit Sri Lanka's east coast on the 15th of this month.The meteorological department says it has no indications yet if indeed another cyclone will hit the country in the middle of this month.The MET department asserts that these turbulent weather conditions are caused as a result various pressures in the Bay of Bengal.

Afraid of a repeat syndrome similar to the cyclone which hit the east coast last month rendering thousands homeless, residents who live in areas along the east coast are already making preparations to minimize damages in the event the cyclone does hit.The MET department said it can only alert the public a day or two before the gale force winds strike.
Published: Thu Jan 11 08:51:46 EST 2001

Sri Lanka asks Mauritius to crack down on Tamil Tigers, Jan 11 2001 12:18 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 11 (AFP) - Sri Lanka has asked the Indian Ocean state of Mauritius to prevent Tamil Tiger separatists raising money there to finance their separatist war at home, a state-run daily reported Thursday. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar asked visiting Mauritius minister for foreign and regional cooperation, Anil Kumarasinghe Gayan, to take "extra steps" to crack down on Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 04:10:24 EST 2001

Sri Lanka slams Tiger truce, seeks to extend emergency rule, Jan 11 2001 11:11 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 11 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's government formally told parliament Thursday that Tamil Tiger separatists had declared a unilateral truce in a bid to prepare for all out war and urged the assembly to extend a state of emergency. Energy Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte announced that the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had continued with their attacks despite their unilateral one-month ceasefire from Christmas day. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 04:10:31 EST 2001

Sri Lanka to resume death penalty to fight crime
MSNBC, Wednesday January 10, 2:22 PM. The government has decided to resume executions after a 24-year moratorium to fight rising levels of crime, a government official said Wednesday.Prison chiefs have been ordered to ready the gallows as 55 prisoners have been sentenced to death in the island nation, the official said on condition of anonymity. No time frame, however, has been set for when executions might start. A moratorium was declared in 1977 and no executions have been carried out since then, though courts have continued to issue death sentences since the punishment remained on the statute books. The president's office said in March 1999 it would resume executions, but none took place.The decision to end the moratorium drew protests from London-based Amnesty International. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 05:56:54 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Amnesty condemns Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka To Apply Death Penalty After 24-Yr Moratorium  - Yahoo India

JVP brings its protest into Parliament
Island, 11 January 2001. The JVP yesterday brought its protest into Parliament, on the premise that "democracy would at least prevail in Parliament, if not on the streets".What followed was a suspension of sessions for 15 minutes.Wimal Weerawanse, leader of the party‘s group in Parliament proceeded to explain events relating to the attack on its protest by police the previous day."We only sought to protest against the recent price hikes. The prices went up greatly over a short period of time. We sought to present a petition to the President on the prevalent state of affairs, when we were attacked by the Police". By this time all JVP MPs were on their feet holding banners that read: "Reduce price of goods". "End the racketeer economy that burdens the people." More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 22:32:12 EST 2001

Why develop two major ports close to each other, asks NatCog
Island, 11 January 2001. While acknowledging the need for a port development in the south coast, the Nature Conservation Group [NatCog]questions the validity of having two major port developmentsHambantota and Galle] within 124 km of each other. Minister of Ports Development and Development of the South, Ronnie de Mel was recently quoted as saying that Galle would be made a regional port and Hambantota an international port. The group also pointed out that along with the development of the South Colombo Port, there will be three major port developments within a few nautical miles of each other, inconsiderable in shipping terms. They recommend that the Galle port is not expanded and that Hambantota is developed, thereby restricting the damage to one point. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 22:41:10 EST 2001

Swamy apprises Advani of LTTE 'threat' to leaders
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 10, 2001. New Delhi, Jan. 10. (PTI): Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy today met Union Home Minister L K Advani and apprised him of the 'threat' to certain political leaders in Tamil Nadu from LTTE. After his meeting, Swamy told reporters that he sought adequate security to those leaders. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 08:58:16 EST 2001

LTTE shelling continues
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on January 10, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 10. (UNI): Even as the Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim arrived in the island on a four-day visit to try to push forward a nascent peace process between the Government and the LTTE, Tamil tiger guerillas continued shelling and mortar fire on Government defence lines in Jaffna, killing one soldier and injuring another. An h Army spokesman said terrorists fired 81 mm mortars on the defences in the Nagarkovil area. Troops retaliated the fire with small arms and mortar fire. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 12:16:23 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Tamil Tiger mortars kill Sri Lanka soldier  -

Norwegin envoy to seek Lanka's reply on LTTE truce offer
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 10. THE NORWEGIAN facilitator, Mr Erik Solheim, who is now in Sri Lanka, is expected to urge the Sri Lankan Government to make some conciliatory gestures in response to the LTTE's unilateral declaration of ceasefire. Top-level diplomatic sources told 'The Hindustan Times' that the international community "expects" Colombo to seize the opportunity provided by the LTTE's gesture to move the peace process forward. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 21:27:19 EST 2001

Sri Lanka elephants face jumbo threat as 145 die in last year, Jan 10 2001 13:38 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 10 (AFP) - At least 145 wild elephants have been slaughtered in Sri Lanka last year in an escalating conflict between humans and elephants, a leading wildlife official said here Wednesday. Less than four elephants died of natural causes last year, underscoring the battle over crops, land and water, said wildlife conservation department director A.P.A. Gunasekera. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 05:52:54 EST 2001

Solheim arrival sparks hope
The Hindu (International), Thursday, January 11, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 10. The Norwegian special envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, arrived here today amidst expectations that he would present fresh confidence- building proposals to bridge the gap of mistrust between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE and breathe life back into the peace process. Mr. Solheim, who is here on a four-day visit, is expected to meet the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, other Government leaders and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Ranil Wickremetunge. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 21:26:30 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Solheim in Lanka as govt-LTTE spar over truce  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka Democratic Party Seeks Meeting With Peace Envoy  - Yahoo India
Secrecy surrounds Sri Lanka talks  - BBC South Asia
Norwegian peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Norwegian peace envoy in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

Dav Whatmore:Difficult times for the team
Cricinfo, 11 January 2001. These are difficult times for the team. So far in South Africa we have been thoroughly outplayed by the opposition. However, the players are not panicking. They understand that we have to learn from defeat in Cape Town and they also realise that we are one match away from leveling the series. South Africa came back from an innings defeat in Galle to square the series and there is no reason why we cannot do the same.The pitch at Newlands looked a good one for batting but there was just a little more moisture below the surface than we originally thought. However, I believe that we were still right to bat first and I am sure that South Africa would have done the same. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 06:50:11 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Cricket: South Africa defeat Sri Lanka by eight wickets  - NDTV/MSNBC
Kallis thumps Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

South Africa take series as they crush Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, january 11. South Africa eased to their ninth successive one day victory when they crushed Sri Lanka by 99 runs in the fourth limited overs international at Newlands here on Thursday to clinch the six-match series. South Africas victory - which gave them a 4-0 lead - was virtually assured after they piled up a total of 290 for seven. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 21:19:37 EST 2001

Sri Lanka Metropolitan,Suntel Launch Video Conferencing
Yahoo India, january 10. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--Sri Lanka's Metropolitan Communications Group and Suntel Lanka Ltd. announced Wednesday the launch of the country's first video multi-conferencing system. The two companies have made a joint investment of 15 million Sri Lankan rupees (US 1=LKR83.30) in the new system, Anil Gunawardena, assistant general manager for Metropolitan, said at a news conference. He said the state-of-the-art system allows multiple conferencing with the use of different Internet tools and added the new system will greatly benefit the country's business community. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 09:02:03 EST 2001

Taj group repositions Lankan hotels
Yahoo India, january 11. Jan. 11 THE Taj group has repositioned its hotels in Sri Lanka as business hotels to counter the fall in European tourist arrivals. The hospitality major also plans to promote the region with special Indian Ocean packages. Talking to reporters in Chennai, Mr P.K. Mohankumar, General Manager and Area General Manager (Sri Lanka), said that Taj Samudra, in Colombo, had been refurbished and upgraded as a business hotel. The total cost of the refurbishment was around 2.5 million. The Taj Samudra has 292 rooms, including 32 suites. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 21:22:38 EST 2001

Indus solution for Lankan bank
Yahoo India, january 11. PUNE: The Pune-based Indus Software Pvt Ltd has implemented the LSI (Lending Solutions from Indus) at the Union Bank of Colombo (UBC), Sri Lanka. This agreement has enabled the company to penetrate into the Sri Lankan territory, an official company release said. It added that the LSI has been made compatible with the existing system of the UBC as well as to directly update records online. More...
Published: Thu Jan 11 21:23:44 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's development bank seeks commercial arm
Yahoo India, january 10. COLOMBO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The National Development Bank of Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it was investigating several options for expanding into commercial banking. NDB, whose foremost business is development banking, said in a letter to the Colombo Stock Exchange that acquiring a controlling stake in a commercial bank was one option being looked at closely. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 09:02:36 EST 2001

INTERVIEW-Fitch asks funds to lift Colombo markets
Yahoo India, january 10. COLOMBO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Credit rating agency Fitch said on Wednesday the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and long-term funds should inject money into Sri Lanka's capital markets to ignite activity and help bridge a mismatch of lending to key sectors. "Local plantation companies and other key areas of long-term investment, like infrastructure, are dependent on banks which are not maturity matched," Fitch's senior local representative, Ravi Abeysuriya, told Reuters in an interview. More...
Published: Wed Jan 10 09:01:26 EST 2001

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