The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 284

Happy 2001!
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lanka moves on last rebel bastion in Jaffna
MSNBC, 16 January 2001. Heavy fighting erupted in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday as government troops launched an offensive against the last major position held by Tamil rebels in the Jaffna peninsula. Military officials said troops backed by tanks, heavy artillery and aircraft were moving towards the rebel-held Elephant Pass, on the isthmus which connects the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland. ''We started moving dawn and have reached the first defence lines of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),'' military spokesman Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters in Colombo. He said troops ran into heavy mortar and artillery fire after they reached the town of Poonnar, about two km (1 mile) south of government defences at Eluthumadduval. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 23:28:31 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
Detained journalist not allowed to talk to family members
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 15 January 1830 GMT. A state owned Lake House Journalist taken into custody under the prevention of terrorism act two weeks ago, was not allowed to talk to his family says the Tamil Media Alliance(TMA). In an interview with the BBC Sinhala Service "Sandesaya" TMA Chairman P. Manikkawasagam said that the Jaffna based journalist Nadaraja Thiruchelvam, who is held at the Police Terrorist Intelligence Division in Colombo was not given permission to speak to his wife when visited. She had been told by the Police that they recieved a petition regarding Thiruchelvam. The contents of the petition have not been revealed. The Lanka Academic learns from reliable sources that a powerful cabinet minister who was earlier accused of instigating the assasination of BBC journalist M. Nimalarajan three months ago is behind this arrest.

In a letter to the Media Miniter of Sri Lanka Reporters sans frontières (RSF) asked the minister to inform the organisation of the reasons for the detention. "If this arrest is linked to his journalistic activities, we ask you to ensure that the journalist is released as soon as possible," wrote RSF Scretary-General Robert Ménard. While Thiruchelvam's family say that they have not been informed of the reasons for his arrest, the Police states that his arrest was not due to his journalist activities said the Chairman of the Lakehouse Lucien Rajakarunanayaka.
Published: Mon Jan 15 13:30:16 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Lankan police prevent wife from meeting husband  - Times of India

CBI seeks Pirabhakaran's extradition, sends Letters Rogatory to 17 nations on LTTE funding
Yahoo India, Tuesday January 16, 1:14 AM. A team of the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), set up to follow up findings of the Jain Commission report, recently visited Sri Lanka to seek extradition of LTTE chief Velupillai Pirabhakaran, accused of masterminding the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R.K. Raghavan gave this information to newspersons here today while commenting on the progress of the MDMA's work. He also said that the CBI had sent Letters Rogatory to as many as 17 countries to probe the foreign sources of funds for the LTTE. The countries included Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Germany, he said. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 19:55:59 EST 2001

Big brother lands in a big mess
Yahoo India, Tuesday January 16, 1:11 AM. Self-righteousness is offensive even in an individual. But it takes the form of jingoism when a nation indulges in it. New Delhi's claim that it hasthe best of relations with its neighbours, except Pakistan, does not tally with facts. There is so much distrust among them vis-a-vis India that even a trace of slight bubbles over into an anti-India spectacle. Disturbances in Nepal are one example. They are a symptom, not the disease. The disease is the deep-rooted suspicion of New Delhi. Whether or not Hrithik Roshan said anything against the Nepalese is not the issue. The real problem is the alienation based on distrust. Again, Colombo found distant Norway to communicate with the LTTE rather than neighbouring India. The feeling that certain influential forces in India are mixed up with them is so strong in the Chandrika Kumaratunga government that it wants New Delhi nowhere near the initiative. There is sufficient reason for this distrust. After all, the LTTE was once trained and armed by India. Colombo wants New Delhi's help but without looking over its shoulders. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 19:58:32 EST 2001

Sri Lanka loses two retired army chiefs on same day, Jan 15 2001 16:56 IST. Two retired military chiefs, including the first Sri Lankan to head the island's army after independence from Britain, died Monday, family sources said. Anton Muthukumaro, who led the army from 1955 to 1959, died in Canberra, Australia after a prolonged illness, sources close to his family said. He was 93.n an unrelated event, former army chief Sepala Attygalle died at a hopspital here. He was 79. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 08:58:02 EST 2001
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First Sri Lankan army chief dies at 93  -

CBI letters-rogatory to 17 nations on LTTE funding
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 15, 2001. New Delhi, Jan. 15. (PTI): The CBI has sent letters-rogatory to as many as 17 countries to probe the sources of funding by the foreign agencies of LTTE, accused of having masterminded the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, CBI Director R K Raghavan said here today. "We have sent letters-rogatory to 17 countries including Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Germany," Raghavan told reporters when asked to comment on progress made by the Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA), set up to follow up on the findings by the Jain Commission. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 08:59:00 EST 2001

S.Lankan Govt to Ascertain Tamil Rebels' Genuineness for Talks: FM
xinhua, january 14. The Sri Lankan government will first ascertain whether separatist Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is genuine about his peace overtures before committing itself to direct negotiations, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said. Kadirgamar was quoted Monday by The Island newspaper as saying in recent days that the government was studying leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Prabhakaran at the moment but considering his past record it is not easy to make a speedy assessment of him. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:09:56 EST 2001
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Before committing itself into direct negotiations Govt studying Prabhakaran, says Kadirgamar  - Island

Sri Lanka blames economic down turn on opposition
123India, january 15. The Sri Lankan government blamed an economic downturn on the opposition and accused it of a conspiracy to sabotage efforts to revitalise the country's growth, a state-run daily reported Monday.The government in a statement in the Daily News said the economic woes of the country could be traced back to the policies of the opposition United National Party (UNP) which was voted out in 1994 after 17 years in power. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:15:02 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's jumbo war
BBC South Asia, Monday, 15 January, 2001, 15:00 GMT . Sri Lankan conservation officials say that nearly 150 elephants were slaughtered in Sri Lanka last year. They say that more must be done to protect the dwindling elephant population. The killings continue despite the animals being held sacred in the South Asian nation. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 11:09:28 EST 2001

Stand up for your rights: a call from Pera. lecturers
Sunday Times, January 14. The Peradeniya Medical Faculty Teachers' Association has expressed deep concern about recent events leading to the continuous deterioration of democracy, the law and order situation and increased violence.The association among other issues has condemned the recent election malpractices, re-appointment of Anuruddha Ratwatte as Deputy Defence Minister and the arbitrary transfer of Central Province Deputy Inspector General Sirisena Herath. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 14:53:04 EST 2001

Peace envoy to meet top Lankan rebel in London
Times of India (Breaking News), Monday 15 January. A Norwegian peace envoy will return to Sri Lanka next week after holding talks in London with a top Tamil Tiger rebel leader, a state-owned newspaper said on Sunday. Erik Solheim, who has been trying for two years to bring a negotiated settlement to the 17-year-old-civil war, met President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka and other government members during a two-day visit to the capital Colombo, earlier this week. Next week, Solheim will meet Anton Balasingham, theoretician and chief negotiator of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 06:18:44 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Peace envoy to meet Lankan Tiger rebels in London  - Times of India

Jaffna student protesters held
BBC South Asia, Monday, 15 January, 2001, 13:04 GMT . Nine university students have been arrested by the Sri Lankan army in the northern Jaffna peninsula. They were putting up posters in an attempt to put pressure on the government to match a truce offered by Tamil Tiger rebels. The detentions came ahead of a proposed rally in Jaffna on Wednesday, to call for a ceasefire by the military. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:00:04 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka students detained ahead of peace protest  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka arrests students over truce pressure  -

Tourist transporters suspend strike ahead of fare hike, Jan 15 2001 18:25 IST. Tourist coach and taxi operators in Sri Lanka ended their strike Monday, after assurances their demands for higher rates would be reviewed within the week, the union said. The Association of Tourist Transport Operators (ATTO) said their members stopped services from midnight Sunday (1700 GMT Sunday) to press their demands for a 26.5 percent increase in fares. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:00:33 EST 2001

Fearing armed onslaught LTTE now mounts peace offensive
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 14. P K Balachanddran: UNABLE TO face the onslaught of the Sri Lankan armed forces on the ground and the air, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is vigorously fighting the enemy on the peace plane. After declaring a month long unilateral ceasefire, the LTTE instigated the students of Jaffna university to launch a pro-ceasefire movement which is to culminate in a mass rally in Jaffna on January 17. It also got Tamil citizens' groups in the East to press the government to accept a ceasefire. In Colombo, it got the non-LTTE Tamil parties to lobby with foreign missions in Colombo on this issue. And according to The Sunday Times today, the LTTE is diligently collecting information on the human rights violations and the destruction to property and life inflicted by the Security Forces (SF) even as the LTTE has been observing a unilateral ceasefire. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 17:30:51 EST 2001

Moderate Tamil group wants to meet Vajpayee
Gulf News, January 14. A group of moderate Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka have sought an appointment with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to discuss the plight of the Tamil people in view of the ongoing war. A deputation comprising representatives of several moderate Tamil political parties met the Indian High Commissioner Gopalakrishna Gandhi to seek a meeting with the Indian premier. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 22:05:33 EST 2001

Sri Lankan govt rules out immediate ceasefire
NDTV/MSNBC, Jan 14 2001 13:34 IST. The Sri Lankan government has done some plain speaking with Eric Solheim, the Norwegian peace envoy. During meetings with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mr. Solheim has been told that the government is not ready for an immediate ceasefire, although it is ready for talks without conditions. The Norwegian has now left for London where he will consult with LTTE leaders before returning to Sri Lanka. Sunday Observer has reported that the government is now waiting for a reaction from the LTTE through Mr. Solheim, when he returns in the third week of January. Only then will they decide on a response to the LTTE's December ceasefire offer. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 15:19:38 EST 2001
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Lanka Govt to take its own time for talks with LTTE  -
Lankan army, Tigers gear up for more war  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka troops, Tigers prepare for war amid Oslo peace bid  -

Chandrika orders inquiry into abduction, arrest of journalist
Gulf News, january 14. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga responding to an Amnesty International request has ordered the Inspector General of Police to hold an immediate and impartial inquiry into the alleged abduction and illegal arrest of a journalist of a Sinhala language newspaper.Priyantha who was hospitalised for five days thereafter, allegedly identified ASP Sumith de Silva of the CID as a member of the group of abductors. On a presidential directive, an inquiry was held in this connection by ASP G.R. Jayawardhane of the CID, IP R.A. Karunaratne and others. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 22:08:28 EST 2001

One spectator killed as car skids off the track, Jan 15 2001 15:00 IST. Colombo, Jan 15 (UNI) A thirteen-year old boy was killed instantaneously and ten people were injured when the modified Austin Mini, a participant in a car race held at Ratnapura about 100 km from here, skidded off the road and crashed into spectators. There was pandemonium after the incident Sunday. Angry spectators attacked the participating cars with stones and iron poles which they had removed from the barriers. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 06:17:14 EST 2001
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Spectator killed in Sri Lanka motor-race  - BBC South Asia
Drivers flee after Sri Lanka car race tragedy  -

Lanka braces for showdown with UK over Tiger ban
Times of India, 15 January 2001 . Sri Lanka was gearing for a showdown with its former colonial master, Britain, over the banning of Tamil separatist guerrillas operating an office in London, top diplomats said on Sunday.Sri Lanka is hoping the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will be included in a list of organisations to be outlawed in line with new anti-terrorism legislation in Britain early next month. "What we are telling Britain is simple. Apply your law. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 17:34:37 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Rebels Ask Britain Not to Ban Them  - Xinhua
Sri Lanka braces for showdown with Britain over Tiger ban  -

Gibbs knock stuns Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 14 January, 2001, 16:34 GMT . A fantastic 79 from Herschelle Gibbs helped South Africa to a comfortable five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their fifth one-day international on Sunday. Nicky Boje (40) and Jacques Kallis (31) provided good support for the player who returned to cricket recently following his involvement in the match-fixing scandals. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:02:59 EST 2001
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Cricket-South Africa canter to victory over Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka, US extradition treaty goes into effect, Jan 14 2001 13:34 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 14 (AFP) - An extradition treaty between Sri Lanka and the United States has formally gone into effect, replacing a colonial-era arrangement, the foreign ministery here said Sunday. The documents relating to the ratification of the treaty were exchanged in Washington on Friday, the ministry said. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 07:17:29 EST 2001

Cricket-Madugalle to inspect Indore pitch
Yahoo India, january 15. International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugalle will visit Indore today to inspect the local Nehru Stadium, according to the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. Along with Madugalle, a former Sri Lankan captain, Board observer and former India skipper Polly Umrigar will also visit the stadium. More...
Published: Mon Jan 15 09:12:32 EST 2001

Sri Lanka urges piggy bank raids to end coin crisis, Jan 14 2001 10:45 IST. Sri Lanka's Central Bank has called for nation-wide emptying of piggy banks and tills in a bid to avert a major shortage of coins, officials said Sunday. Large amounts of coins were stuck in tills causing problems for shop-keepers and service providers in giving change to customers, bank officials said. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 01:16:59 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's love-hate relations killing elephants, Jan 14 2001 09:58 IST. Elephants are considered sacred in Sri Lanka, as only they can carry Buddhist relics during pageants, yet at the same time many of the island's jumbos continue to meet violent deaths. Official figures showed 145 wild elephants were slaughtered last year, with only a small number of elephants having the luxury of living a full life and dying a natural death, top wildlife official A. P. A. Gunasekara said. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 00:26:15 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's Telephone Rates to Go Up from May
Xinhua, january 11. Telephone rates in Sri Lanka will increase by 15 percent from May this year, a senior official of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said on Friday. The rate hike comes as an annual revenue balance feature in the contract between SLT and Japan's Nippon Telecom Corporation, he said. SLT gets revenue from domestic and international telephone services. Annually these revenues are balanced. Revenue from international telecommunication services are decreasing as they are not phased. Accordingly the domestic charges have to be increased, he said. More...
Published: Sun Jan 14 00:50:50 EST 2001

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