The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 286

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lankan troops take rebel positions, fighting kills 108, Jan 17 2001 17:53 IST. Sri Lankan troops have captured two key positions from Tiger rebels in heavy fighting that killed at least 108 people, officials said Wednesday, as Norway once more tried to broker peace on the island. Government forces killed at least 52 Tamil Tiger guerrillas, recovering the bodies of 40, while two more were captured alive, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:23:59 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lankan troops advance, reject cease-fire appeal  - Times of India
90 killed in fresh Lanka offensive  - The Hindustan Times
Lankan Army takes rebel position; 107 killed  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka slams Tiger truce amid heavy fighting  -
90 killed in fresh Lanka attack on LTTE  - India Abroad
Lanka begins its Kinihara-9 operation  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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LTTE obtains Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 17 January 1815 GMT. Tamil Tiger rebels used Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers in retaliation to the latest offensive launched against them by the Sri Lankan Army. Informed sources say that the rebels have obtained these high-tech weapons even before the government forces.

The Sri Lankan army officials said it has met ferocious resistance from the LTTE as it tries to recapture areas of the Jaffna peninsula that it lost control of in May. They said fifty four of its soldiers had been killed and more than two hundred injured in two days of fighting. Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told BBC’s Sandeshaya that the recaptured territory described as "vital" in the statement lies between Elutumaduwal and Killali, but not along A9 highway which leads to strategically important Elephant Pass.
Published: Wed Jan 17 13:21:09 EST 2001

Tea industry suffers as a result of fuel price hikes - general strike on the cards
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday January 17. The tea industry today said it may suffer a major set-back as a result of recent increases in the price of diesel. The generators and other machinery at tea factory's are powered by diesel and the industry said that it could not maintain running costs after the price hike was implemented. Factory owners and managers are scheduled to meet with officials at the Plantations Ministry in a bid to find measure that will overcome the problem.

Today, every Sri Lankan is talking about holding protest marches against the government. As a result of the spiraling cost of living, murders and thefts have gone on the increase. With the cost of living continuing to sky rocket all indications are that soon there would be a general strike in the country spearheaded by the main opposition the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

The foundation for a general strike has already been laid down but it appears these parties may have to mobilize the support of some more parties before the strike could get off the ground.

Almost every citizen in the country today is talking about the rising cost of living and the poor governance of President Chandrika Kumaratunga . Commuters using public transport keep discussing about the cost of living and the action they could take. In shopping malls they discuss about the same and almost every where people are discussing about the rising cost of living and the static salaries.

Frustration is also mounted with the government planning to import duty free vehicles to some of the new members of parliament while also planning to build palatial residences for the President and the Speaker using public funds when some people especially in the farming areas do not have even a square meal a day.

The JVP, a party which had agitated against any perks to the parliamentarians recently refused to accept a 10,000 rupee allowance that was given to all the members of parliament. The party says that while the entire country was facing an economic crisis because of the war in the north and east, extra perks given to the members of parliament should be cut down. It also says that it is unfair to give additional perks to the members of parliament at the expense of the voters.
Published: Wed Jan 17 10:23:17 EST 2001

Government denies that security at Dalada Maligawa is insufficient
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday January 17. The Government today denied that the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy does not have adequate security. An official press release today said that statements made to this effect by various persons were not true and that since the LTTE attack on the sacred tooth temple the State has adopted extra measures to ensure the safety of the temple and its incumbents.
Published: Wed Jan 17 10:23:16 EST 2001

Sri Lankan army makes gains
Virtual New York, Wednesday, 17 January 2001 7:12 (ET). More than 70 combatants were killed in fierce fighting in northern Sri Lanka as government troops pressed their offensive to capture the last rebel bastion -- Elephant Pass. Government troops and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged artillery fire Wednesday, the second day of the operation. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:26:16 EST 2001
Related News Stories
90 killed in Lankan offensive in Jaffna  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Lankan troops advance on rebels, reject cease-fire appeal  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Jaffna students demonstrate demanding a cease fire and peace talks with rebels
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1611SLT 17.01.01. An estimated 4000 students demonstrated in the Jaffna university today demanding that the government reciprocate the LTTE cease fire and start peace talks. Bells in all churches and Kovils rang at noon in support of the call. The army had earlier banned the demonstrators from marching in the streets of Jaffna sighting security concerns. end
Published: Wed Jan 17 05:19:15 EST 2001

Jaffna battle rages on
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 10:57 GMT . Fierce fighting between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern Jaffna peninsula has left more than 90 people dead and at least 230 injured. The BBC's Francis Harrison in Colombo says the government did not expect such fierce resistance from the Tamil Tigers leading to so many casualties. The army is pushing towards the strategically-vital Elephant Pass - the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula, which currently gives the Tigers a land route to their mainland territories. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:28:41 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Troops Reject Ceasefire, Continue Attack  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka Troops Advance On Rebels; Aircraft Join Attack  - Yahoo India

Heavy fighting continue for the second day in Jaffna Peninsula
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1605SLT 17.01.01. The Army and the Tamil rebels were locked in fierce fighting in Jaffna peninsula for the second day today. The Army faced heavy resistance from the rebels as they moved south towards Elephant Pass from their forward defense lines. Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratna said the army lost 54 killed and 147 injured while 52 rebels were killed and 72 were wounded. The Army said it has recoverd 48 bodies of LTTE fighters. The casualty figures on both sides are expected rise.
Published: Wed Jan 17 05:19:15 EST 2001

Lankan forces, LTTE in artillery battle, Wednesday,17 January 17, 2001. COLOMBO: Government troops and separatist Tamil rebels exchanged mortar and artillery fire in northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday, the second day of an army offensive to capture the last major rebel bastion in the Jaffna peninsula. Military officials said 37 soldiers had been killed and 89 were wounded in the fighting, which had raged overnight. They said the bodies of 35 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas had been recovered but monitored LTTE radio transmissions indicated 52 rebels were killed and 72 wounded. Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said government forces had captured a seven square kilometre area (nearly three square miles) south of their former forward positions at Eluthumadduval. "We have launched phase two of our operation and heavy fighting continues," he said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 03:42:53 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka army offensive kills 91 as battle rages  -
Tamil rebels fire mortar and artillery overnight  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Toll mounts as Sri Lanka battle rages, Jan 17 2001 10:03 IST. Government forces and Tamil Tiger guerrillas were locked in combat in northern Sri Lanka for the second straight day Wednesday as the death toll on both sides mounted to 50, officials said. Security forces recovered the bodies of 25 Tamil Tiger guerrillas while a similar number of troops were killed in the fighting which erupted Tuesday in the Jaffna peninsula, military officials said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 00:17:38 EST 2001

Cricket-Sri Lanka stop the rot with four-run win
Yahoo India, 18 January 2001. Sri Lanka stopped the rot of five straight defeats in thrilling style when they edged past South Africa by four runs in the sixth and final one-day international of the series at the Wanderers on Wednesday. The home team, chasing a revised target of 209 to win from 42 overs, looked to be heading for a 6-0 clean sweep in the series when they reached 169 for four in the 35th over. But the dismissal of Jonty Rhodes for 23 triggered a collapse that saw the last six wickets fall for only 35 runs as South Africa were bowled out for 204 in 42 overs. A win would have also allowed South Africa to equal West Indies' world record of 11 consecutive victories in one-day internationals. The match was reduced to 42 overs per side after a thunderstorm earlier in the day. With the tourists having lost three wickets when the rain came, the South African target was revised down to 209 using the Duckworth- Lewis method. Russel Arnold top scored with 65 not out in Sri Lanka's total of 214 for six. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 18:27:31 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Cricket: Rain suspends play with Sri Lanka down 3 wickets  - NDTV/MSNBC

Army encounter heavy resistance in new operation in Jaffna Peninsula
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1844 SLT 16.01.01. The Sri Lankan army encountered heavy resistance in Northern Jaffna Peninsula today as it launched a fresh offensive against the last major position of the rebels.

Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratna told Lacnet that 18 soldiers were killed and 89 injured so far in the offensive. Rebel casualties were not known.

The spokesman said the soldiers ran into heavy mortar and artillery fire when they reached the town of Poonar. Poonar town is about 2 kilo meters south of government defenses in the peninsula.Military analysts say the offensive is part of a campaign to re capture Elephant Pass which fell to rebels in May last year.

The offensive was launched despite an unilateral cease fire declared by the rebels to promote peace\talks with the Government. The government rejected the cease fire saying the rebels were trying to buy time to re group, re train and rearm.
Published: Tue Jan 16 09:56:42 EST 2001

Related News Stories
40 killed in Lankan army assault on major Tiger base  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Forty killed in heavy Sri Lanka fighting  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lankan army in major push  - BBC South Asia
Fresh fighting kills 42 in Sri Lanka  -
Fighting rages in northern Sri Lanka  - MSNBC

Temple of the tooth goes from blast to miracle, Jan 17 2001 09:58 IST. KANDY, Sri Lanka, Jan 17 (AFP) - When a suicide bomber hit Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrine, the world grieved. Three years later, the temple is celebrating its miraculous survival and the unlocking of centuries-old treasures. The 16th century Temple of the Tooth in this central Sri Lankan town was the target of a suicide truck bombing blamed on the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas in January 1998. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 00:17:56 EST 2001

Lanka military wants to retake Elephant Pass: LTTE
India Abroad, Jan 16, 2001 22:15 Hrs (IST) . SRI Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have complained to Norway that the country's troops, which launched a fresh campaign in the northern Jaffna peninsula Tuesday, are going on an "all-out military offensive" to recapture the strategic Elephant Pass army base. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said its top London-based theoretician Anton Balasingham has told the Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim to "impress upon the Sri Lanka government that such military action will intensify the war and seriously impair the current peace initiatives." In a statement, the LTTE's international secretariat in London said it had made "a calculated strategic withdrawal from areas closer to Jaffna city," because of the constraints of their ongoing unilateral ceasefire and "other logistic problems." More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 14:33:04 EST 2001
Related News Stories
SLA offensive threatens peace process - LTTE  - TamilNet

Confusion over Media Minister
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 16 January 1800. Sri Lanka's Embassy in France has mislead a highly reputed media organisation, The Lanka Academic reliably learns. Paris based media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) recently sent a letter of protest to Sri Lanka's media minister asking him to inform the organisation of the reasons for the detention of jaffna based Lake House journalist Nadaraja Thiruchelvam. The organisation had addressed the letter to Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, minister of Post, Telecommunication and Media. When the error was pointed out, RSF was referred to the SL Embassy in France. An Embassy official confirmed to the RSF member that Mr. Mangala Samaraweera still holds the Media portfolio!

Messrs Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Mangala Samaraweera were sworn in as Media and Urban Development ministers respectively, in Sri Lanka's record breaking biggest ever cabinet on October the 19th, last year. The Embassy officials in France were unaware of the changes, although Minister Samaraweera was in Paris along with the president just three weeks ago. Consequent to this incident the French nationals staffing the RSF have informed the Sri Lankan Embassy the correct name of the country's media minister so that they will not give out inaccurate information to the public in future.
Published: Tue Jan 16 13:03:33 EST 2001

Tigers warn Norway of all out war as fresh fighting kills 42, Jan 16 2001 19:42 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday warned peace-broker Norway of all-out war on the island as the government launched a fresh offensive that left at least 42 people dead. Thousands of soldiers backed by tanks, aircraft and artillery launched the advance into areas held by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna peninsula, military spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said.A Hindu priest also died and another person was wounded when a mortar shell fired by the LTTE hit a temple at Mirusuvil in Jaffna, the government said, adding that another civilian died in the fighting. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 10:20:19 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Tigers say Oslo peace bid threatened as Jaffna battle kills 42  -
Tigers resist Sri Lanka offensive, warn of all-out war  -
New offensive by Sri Lankan troops  - BBC South Asia
40 killed as Sri Lankan government troops launch fresh offensive  -
Sri Lankan Army Starts Assault To Retake Major Rebel Base  - Yahoo India
Lankan army begins assault on major Tiger base  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Rupees 84.5 million bank fraud: CID arrests city SP
CDN, 17 January 2001. Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducting investigations into the Rs.84.5 million bank fraud on Monday took into custody a Superintendent of Police. He was later produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Priyantha Fernando. The Superintendent of Police was granted bail in Rs.1.5 million bond with a surety. Granting bail for the Superintendent, the Judge directed him to appear before court today, January 17. CID told court that the Superintendent of Police is alleged to have used Rs. 1.5 million removed from the bank by one of thesuspects in the case. Earlier the CID took into custody three suspects in connection with the Rs.84.5 million bank fraud involving the Bank of Ceylon Metropolitan Branch. The three suspects are Krishna Gnanasekeram, a Pettah businessman and Leslie Gunawardena and Mahinda Dissanayake, two Bank officials. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 21:02:03 EST 2001

Probe on Sivakumar needed: PPCC chief
Yahoo India, Wednesday January 17, 10:52 AM. Pondicherry Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president V Narayanasami today demanded a CBI probe into the seizure of heroin worth Rs 2 crore from two persons in Chennai yesterday.They alleged that the gang had links with the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and were using Pondicherry as their transit point to smuggle narcotics to Andhra Pradesh and Sri Lanka via Rameswaram. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:36:38 EST 2001

G Wijayasiri, new Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lanka, Jan 16 2001 12:38 IST. Colombo, Jan 16 (UNI) Mr G Wijayasiri has been appointed Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He succeeds Mr Lionel Fernado, who has been appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands. The Government has also announced the appointment of Mr Renton de Alwis, as the new Chairman of the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Tourism Board. UNI More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 04:20:02 EST 2001

Colombo port expansion feasibility study completed
Yahoo India, january 17. A feasibility study for a 1.2 billion project to double capacity at Sri Lanka's main Colombo port has been completed, port ministry officials said on Wednesday. They said the project, to build 12 new berths in the south of the Colombo harbour over a period of 10 years, would be funded and constructed both by the government and the private sector. More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:31:55 EST 2001

Lankan army launches assault on major Tiger base
Times of India (Breaking News), january 16. Government troops, backed by MiG-27 bombers and artillery, began an assault at dawn Tuesday to retake a major Tamil Tiger rebel bastion in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, the military said.Two soldiers and one civilian were killed and 26 soldiers were wounded in the first three hours of fighting, said military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 09:37:39 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka troops hit Tiger positions  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lankan government troops launch fresh offensive against Tamils  -
Lanka gears up for new offensive against LTTE  - deccan herlad

Central Bank says trade and balance of payment deficit to narrow this year
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1851 SLT 16.01.01. The Central Bank said today that the country's trade and balance of payments deficits would narrow substantially this year due to sustained export growth and higher foreign direct investment. A central Bank Press release said imports would increase by only three percent due to lower oil prices. The central Bank estimated that improved external trade would help the current account deficit to narrow to $799 million this year, from an estimated deficit of $ 1.1 billion last year.

Published: Tue Jan 16 09:56:42 EST 2001

Smuggler held in Lanka escapes at Madurai
Yahoo India, Tuesday January 16, 2:04 PM. RAMESWARAM: A youth from Ramanathapuram, who was wanted by the Customs on a charge of smuggling, had fled to Sri Lanka where he was arrested by the police and sent back to India. But he made good his escape at Madurai and the police are looking for him. According to officials of the Fisheries Department, Customs officials confiscated Rs.1.5 lakh worth of contraband at Panaikulam in November this year, which was to be smuggled to Tamil militants in Sri Lanka. Customs officials were looking for Moorthy (25) of Panaikulam, a coastal village of Ramanathapruam. But Moorthy had escaped to Sri Lanka in a mechanised boat on Dec. 2 where he was arrested by the Sri Lankan police. This was brought to the notice of Fisheries Department officials in Rameswaram by officials of the Sri Lankanmission in Chennai. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 04:24:47 EST 2001

Sampath takes 51 pct stake in broker
Yahoo India, January 17. Sri Lanka's Sampath Bank Ltd, one of five listed commercial banks, has acquired a controlling stake in a local broking firm. The bank told the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in a letter that it has bought a 51 percent stake in Chinkara Securities More...
Published: Wed Jan 17 09:39:53 EST 2001

Murder and mayhem as Army deserters terrorize Lanka
India Abroad, Jan 16, 2001 11:45 Hrs (IST) . HEN a German hotel owner in a small seaside village in southern Sri Lanka was killed by a gang of masked gunmen, police immediately cast a dragnet in the area for two Army deserters. The attackers who shot Uli Hautt, 37, and allowed him to bleed to death just before the New Year, were behind bars 24 hours later. At least two henchmen in the gang, which also raped a guest while keeping others in the beach resort bound and gagged for several hours, were arrested with them. The incident highlights the growing number of crimes being committed by errant soldiers who are using their combat training for violence against ordinary citizens. Law enforcement officials estimate that some 25,000 to 30,000 Sri Lankan Army deserters are on the prowl, either masterminding violent acts themselves or operating as hired hit-men. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 04:22:38 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee has no takers within range
Yahoo India, january 16. The Sri Lankan rupee had no takers on Tuesday as dollar positions refused to liquidate within the trading band set by the central bank. "Either there was no market or volumes were very thin and there were simply no sellers even at the bottom of the range," said one bank dealer. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 09:36:34 EST 2001

Photo: Sri Lanka moves on last rebel bastion in Jaffna
Yahoo India, Tuesday January 16, 6:20 AM. A Sri Lankan soldier mans an entry point at Navakudai Bridge in northern Jaffna Peninsula on January 11, 2001. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 00:52:44 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's growing pains
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 00:04 GMT . But six weeks on, and with defeat in one Test and five one-day internationals behind them, it appears those hopes have faded. The first Test may have ended in a draw - after a day was lost to rain - but in the second game Sri Lanka suffered their heaviest test defeat ever, losing by an innings and 229 runs. More...
Published: Tue Jan 16 04:20:57 EST 2001

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