The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 287

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Government ready to resume peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Friday January 19. The government said yesterday that it is prepared to resume peace talks with the LTTE provided the Tigers come up with substantive proposals that would prove the rebels are sincere about ending the 18 year old war.

Media Minister Priyadharshana Yapa reiterated yesterday that the government had been hesitant to observe a month long truce initiated by the LTTE on Christmas Eve as it believed the Tigers would use the ceasefire to re-group. Yapa however asserted that the state was now ready to talk with the rebels, and the ball was now in the Tigers court to prove their sincerity.

The government statement follows in the wake of a massive offensive it began this week to regain Tiger held territory in the northern peninsula.

Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, military spokesman insists that the military have made significant headway these past few days and have recovered a massive haul of rebel arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting in the northern peninsula this week, has claimed over 180 lives so far. The army discounted rumours that the latest offensive was a bid by the military to regain the lost Elephant Pass army camp which fell to the Tigers in April last year. The fighting has continued on the main Jaffna - Elephant Pass causeway.
Published: Thu Jan 18 23:17:34 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says next peace move up to Tamil rebels  - MSNBC
Sri Lankan government asks Tamil rebels to give concrete proposal to halt war  - MSNBC

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
ICRC transfers over 40 rebel bodies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.25 p.m. SLT Thursday January 18. Twenty one bodies of LTTE combatants were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today by security forces. The hand over took place at Gurunagar jetty in Jaffna. Following two days of intense fighting in the northern peninsula, the ICRC has handed over 41 bodies of rebel cadre to the Tigers in the Vanni.

The 21 bodies today were transferred in three fishing boats to Kalmunai Point, where ICRC delegates working in the Vanni took the bodies to the LTTE.

The humanitarian organization yesterday transferred in a similar manner 21 bodies of rebel combatants.
Published: Thu Jan 18 07:36:34 EST 2001

Brimming cup of Lankan woes
Deccan Herald, January 18. THE only panacea for the ever increasing cost of living, some political and non-gov-ernmental organisations think is a "general strike". Today, every Sri Lankan is talking about holding protest marches against the gov-ernment.As a result of the spiral-ing cost of living, murders and thefts have gone on the rise.With the cost of living continu-ing to sky rocket all indications are that soon there would be a gen-eral strike in the country spear-headed Indo-by the main opposition, the United National Party, and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 10:12:16 EST 2001

Tamil party representatives meet British HC
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Thursday January 18. Tamil party representatives met with British High Commisioner, Linda Duffield on Tuesday this week to discuss the government calling upon the British state to ban the LTTE in London. Members from the TELO, TULF and ACTC held a four hour discussion with British representatives stressing that in the event Britain did ban the Tigers from operating on UK soil it would have a serious adverse effect on future peace talks with the Lankan government.

The Tamil political party representatives further added that they were depending on the international community to support negotiations in Sri Lanka that would help bring an end to the 18 year old bloody war.
Published: Thu Jan 18 07:36:34 EST 2001

23 Sri Lankans refused refugee status in Khazakstan
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Friday January 19. Twenty three Sri Lankans who turned up on the borders of Khazakstan in Russia have been refused refugee status and may be deported within the next thirty days. Khazakstan border guards maintain that the Sri Lankans cannot be afforded political asylum since it is obvious that are seeking illegal entry for economic gain.

The Sri Lankans have reportedly told border guards that they believed they were on German soil. The Lankans had apparently been duped by human smugglers who dumped them at the Khazakstan border and told them to walk until they reached Germany.
Published: Thu Jan 18 23:17:34 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Duped Sri Lankans refused refugee status in Kazakhstan  -

Lankan troops advance and reject ceasefire appeal
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Thursday January 18. Amidst pleas by the LTTE for the military to observe a ceasefire, Sri Lanka Airforce MI-27 gunships yesterday pounded rebel held territory along the main Jaffna-Elephant Pass causeway, causing massive damage to Tiger territory. Armed forces backed by heavy artillery fire began a fresh offensive in the North yesterday striving to free the causeway from rebel domination.

Military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, said that since 'Operation Kinihira 1X' began this week, 52 rebels and 37 soldiers including an officer have been killed while over 161 combatants had been injured.

Meanwhile, some 3000 students of the Jaffna University defied military orders and held a demonstration within the university premises calling upon the government to adhere to the LTTE ceasefire. The students hung yellow and black flags and had built a massive float depicting Jaffna as an open prison. At midday, all Christian and Hindu places of worship rung their bells in a show of solidarity to the student demonstration.

Information Director, Ariya Rubesinghe later said that three students had been arrested by Jaffna police during the protest.
Published: Thu Jan 18 07:36:33 EST 2001

Eyewitness to Jaffna devastation
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 11:30 GMT . Young men in uniform lined up to have medals pinned on their chests at army headquarters in Jaffna, and stood to attention while maidens in white saris sang the national anthem.They were celebrated as the latest Sri Lankan war heroes.They belong to a generation which has known nothing but war in the north of the island. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 09:40:48 EST 2001

Sri Lanka battles subside amid heavy losses
MSNBC, 18 January, 2001, . Sri Lanka's northern battlefields were relatively quiet on Thursday after two days of bitter fighting as the army tried, with little success, to storm the last major rebel bastion in the Jaffna peninsula.''There was no fighting on Wednesday night and, apart from sporadic artillery and mortar fire, no action on Thursday,'' said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne.At least 54 soldiers were killed and over 230 wounded as the army pushed towards the rebel-held Elephant Pass the isthmus that connects the northern Jaffna peninsula to the the mainland. Karunaratne said the troops had so far advanced about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) since the offensive began on Tuesday. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 04:29:03 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Army, LTTE suffer heavy casualties in Lanka fighting  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Land Mines Slow Govt Offensive In Northern Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
Troops overrun LTTE’s northern-most positions in peninsula  - Island
Land mines slow down military offensive in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Lankan troops set up defences, 106 killed  - Times of India
Sri Lankan troops, Tigers count the dead as fighting subsides  -
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  -
Sri Lankan troops take rebel positions, fighting kills 108  -

Lanka get reinforcement for New Zealand tour
Times of India (Breaking News), january 18. After a near rout in South Africa, Sri Lankan cricket officials are sending three replacements for their team's upcoming New Zealand tour, sports officials said Thursday. Eric Upashantha, Kumar Dharmasena and Ruchira Perera will join the squad when the tour begins Jan. 26. It ends Feb. 11. With batsman Aravinda de Silva having replaced Upul Chandana, the selectors are now looking to bolster the bowling, which was dismal on the South Africa tour. Sri Lanka lost the one-day series 5-1. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 09:51:37 EST 2001

Sri Lanka troops kill six rebels during offensive
MSNBC, 18 January, 2001, . Government troops captured a Tamil Tiger rebel armory after killing six guards Thursday during an offensive to retake a strategic land corridor in the north, military officials said. The assault took place on the third day of the military's operation to capture the strategic Elephant Pass, which connects the Tamil northern Jaffna Peninsula with the Sinhalese-dominated southern mainland.At least 112 combatants have been killed and 308 wounded on both sides in the offensive, military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said. The rebels have not disclosed any casualty figures. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 04:32:41 EST 2001

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

Business News From The Sri Lankan Press Thursday
Yahoo India, 18 January 2001. The main opposition United National Party, or UNP, has criticized the government for devaluing the local currency for the fourth time since June last year, the Daily Mirror reports. The UNP said overseas investors will stay away due to fears of instability. The Central Bank widened the spread between the bid and offer rates of the trading band to 10% from 8% Jan. 12. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 00:30:45 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  -

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

Sri Lanka deny South Africa record
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 22:20 GMT . Sri Lanka staged a spirited fightback to dash South Africa's hopes of equalling the world record for consecutive one-day victories.It was a bitter pill for Shaun Pollock's side to swallow after they had come within one win of West Indies' tally of 11 consecutive limited overs successes, achieved in the 1984/85 season.South Africa had won 10 one-day games in a row following the washout of the first match of their six match series against New Zealand in October last year. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 04:36:51 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Cricket-Sri Lanka stop the rot with four-run win  - Yahoo India
Cricket: Rain suspends play with Sri Lanka down 3 wickets  - NDTV/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

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

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

Sri Lanka stocks end steady on net foreign inflow
Yahoo India, 18 January, 2001, . Sri Lankan stocks ended steady on Thursday due to a second successive day of net foreign equity inflows.Brokers said, however, the market's upside was limited as the latest peace initiative in Sri Lanka looked increasingly fragile. The Colombo all-share index <.CSE> ended a provisional 1.26 points, or 0.28 percent, higher at 451.27 points. More...
Published: Thu Jan 18 04:41:33 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sampath takes 51 pct stake in broker  - Yahoo India

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.