The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 293

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Opposition parties criticise the free float of the rupee against foreign currencies.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1907 SLT 24.01.01. Opposition parties have criticised the government;s decision announced yesterday to free float the Rupee. The Main opposition UNP said free floating the rupee at a time when the economy was in crisis would further worsen the economic situation. " This will lead to further increase in the cost of living" the media spokesman for the UNP Karunasena Koddithuwaku said in statement issued today. The JVP accused the government of bowing down to "capitalist bosses' The Party said the government was forced to do this the please the world bank and the IMF. The Siahala Urumaya also criticised the move saying it was not forced by war expenditure but was due to weak economic policies of the government.
Published: Wed Jan 24 08:19:13 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka tea prices slip despite rupee's decline  - Yahoo India
IMF Welcomes Sri Lankan Rupee Free Float  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka rupee floats down  - Yahoo

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Mad Cow Crisis Has Asia Within Its Reach-scientists
Inside China, January 25. Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Sri Lanka may become the next victims of mad cow disease after buying potentially tainted animal feed from Britain at the height of the UK epidemic, scientists said on Wednesday. Britain, which banned the feeding of crushed animal carcasses to cattle in 1986, exported much of its stocks of feed to Europe and beyond until a decade later, when the trade was ended. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 23:41:23 EST 2001

CID Probe on Divaina journalist
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 24 January 1700 GMT. The Criminal Investigation Bureau of Sri Lanka has been informed by the government authorities that a defence correspondence of a Sinhala weekly has got information regarding LTTE spies in Colombo. The Lanka Academic was informed by military sources that an article written by prominent defence analyst Keerthi Warnakulasuriya has prompted the defence authorities to initiate an inquiry on LTTE spies who reportedly flew to Jaffna recently under military escort. Keerthi Warnakulasuriya who is the defence analyst of the "Irida Divaina" weekly revealed last week that three LTTE spies travelled with the journalists who went to Jaffna when the government media authorities took them on a conducted tour to the peninsular.

The Director of information has informed the Criminal Investigation Bureau of Sri Lanka about the information appearing in "Irida Divaina" regarding LTTE spies, informed sources say. The Lanka Academic learns that the CID will initiate an inquiry by requesting Mr. Warnakulasuriya to provide the relevant information. Concealing information regarding the LTTE is a punishable criminal offence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Published: Wed Jan 24 12:11:21 EST 2001

Muslim Congress leader and the President reported to have reach agreement on reforms.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1915 SLT 24.01.01. Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakim and President Kumaratunga are reported to have reached agreement on democratic reforms. Neither party were willing to disclose the agreement. However the government is expected to issue new release later in the week. Mr.Hakim announced soon after the General Elections that he would quit the government unless democratic reforms to ensure free and fair elections were carried out by the Government whin 100 days. end

Published: Wed Jan 24 08:19:13 EST 2001

LTTE lobbies British MPs at Westminster
The Island, January 25. With the possibility of the proscription of the LTTE in Britain hanging in the air, key LTTE leaders and lobbyists in London organised on Monday a meeting at Westminster to lobby British parliamentarians. The meeting which was titled 'Peace in Sri Lanka' and the invitees included, British and Euro MPs: Robert Evens (European Union Foreign Affairs Committee), Dr. Jenny Tong MP (Foreign affairs Spokesman, Liberal Democratic Party) Andy Love MP (secretary Parliamentary Sri Lanka Committee) Andrew Dismore MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Linda Perham MP, P.S. Khabra MP, Bridget Printice MP. It was chaired by Barry Gardiner MP. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 20:58:34 EST 2001

Russia-Lanka talks focus on political, military cooperation
Tass, January 24. Ways to intensify mutually- beneficial cooperation between Russia and Sri Lanka in the political, trade, economic, cultural and military-technical fields are in the focus of the talks which Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is holding with his Sri Lankan colleague Lakshman Kadirgamar, who is paying a working visit to Moscow, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 21:20:36 EST 2001

Nationalist Buddhist monks pose obstacle to Sri Lanka peace
Star-Telegram, January 23. Opposition to the latest international efforts to end Sri Lanka's 18 years of crippling civil war is coming from what would seem like an unlikely source -- the island nation's Buddhist monks. "Normally Buddhism is a very peaceful religion, but here some monks have a very different interpretation," said Indika Perera, a program officer with the nongovernmental National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. "Aside from the Buddhist leaders, other religious leaders are almost all in favor of the peace process." More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 21:04:20 EST 2001

Landmine kills 11 Lankan armymen
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 24. ELEVEN SRI Lankan army personnel on a reconnaissance mission near Muhamalai, off the Jaffna-Kandy highway, were killed and five wounded in a booby-trapped landmine explosion on January 22, an official report said on Wednesday. A situation report said the dead included three officers. The blast came even as the Tiger guerrillas extended their unilateral truce by one month till February and fighting raged in the region. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 16:38:58 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Blast kills 11 in Lanka; troops advance onto rebels  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Blast kills 11 as Sri Lanka army advances into Tiger territory  -
Sri Lanka blast kills 11 troops  -
Landmine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers  - MSNBC
11 killed in Lanka blast; troops advance  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Twenty-five rebels, two soldiers killed in Jaffna fighting  -
Colombo says Tamil rebels have no option but to talk  -
Sri Lanka troops kill 1,220 Tigers in four months  -

25 LTTE rebels killed in Jaffna
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 23, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 23. (UNI): At least 27 combatants were killed in heavy fighting that erupted in northern Jaffna even as the Sri Lankan Army recaptured about 10-sq. kms of area near Muhamalai on the Jaffna-Elephant Pass during the overnight battle. Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karuraratne said security forces mounted a offensive late in the night which took the Tigers by surprise. There was no resistance from the rebels as troops moved towards Pallai and Muhamali. More...
Published: Tue Jan 23 08:58:09 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lankan troops launch surprise night offensive  - NDTV/MSNBC
Sri Lanka recaptures rebel-held land  - Yahoo
Sri Lankan Army bombs LTTE targets  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka 'takes back' rebel land  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka troops retake territory in night offensive  -
Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka as army mounts night drive  -
Lanka Launches fresh offensive to capture Elephant Pass  -
Heavy fighting grips Sri Lanka as troops mount stealth drive  -

Norway welcomes LTTE’s peace initiative
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 24. BY EXTENDING its unilateral ceasefire by another month on Tuesday even in the face of continuous operations by the Sri Lankan army, the LTTE seems to have created a favourable impression on the international community, which through Norway, is well into a peace process. Public memory is short, and in the mind of the international community, what the LTTE is doing now tends to override what it did in the past, diplomats here feel. "The LTTE's peace offensives, which could be codenamed unilateral declaration of ceasefire (UDCF) phase I and phase II, have to some extent widened the space for it in the international mind," a diplomat said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 16:38:15 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Twenty-Five LTTE cadres killed in the latest army offensive  -

Sri Lanka rupee slips to new low, market choppy
Yahoo India, January 24. The Sri Lankan rupee was trading at record lows on Wednesday, a day after the central bank announced a de facto floating of the local currency, dealers said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 08:57:40 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rupee closes below 90 for first time  - Yahoo India

Lanka calls for talks with Tamil rebels
Times of India (Breaking News), 24 January. The Sri Lankan government urged the Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday to return to negotiations but rejected the guerrillas' call for a ceasefire, saying talks must come first. The rebels had earlier said that their unilateral one-month ceasefire, which had been scheduled to expire on Wednesday, would be extended by another month. The announcement came as government troops made considerable gains in the northern most tip of this island nation off the south eastern coast of India.The rebels must "come to the negotiating table along with a durable, concrete political solution," the government said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 16:41:01 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lanka does not accept LTTE's ceasefire offer  -
Sri Lankan Govt:Talks With Rebels Must Precede Cease-Fire  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka calls for talks  - The Hindustan Times

Sri Lankan rebels extend cease-fire, military claims most of Jaffna
MSNBC, january 23. Separatist Tamil guerrillas extended a unilateral cease-fire for a second month on Tuesday as the military said it had captured nearly all of Jaffna Peninsula, a former rebel stronghold. ''Now we are in effective control of about 90 percent of the land mass and we are continuing our offensive to clear the remainder,'' Military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Tue Jan 23 10:59:53 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Govt. stand on ceasefire 'unchanged'  - The Hindu (International)
LTTE extends unilateral truce by another month  - Times of India
Tigers extend ceasefire as fighting grips Sri Lanka  -
Tigers extend ceasefire  - BBC South Asia
LTTE extends ceasefire, Colombo calls it "publicity stunt"  - Yahoo India
Tigers extend truce as heavy fighting grips Sri Lanka  -

Colombo police arrest LTTE Sea Tigers leader
NDTV/MSNBC, January 23 . A day before the LTTE's unilateral ceasefire ends, police in Colombo have arrested a leader of the LTTE's Sea Tigers. According to the police, the group was planning attacks on strategic points, including several ports in the country. Police say that they have leads on where other LTTE militants may be hiding in Colombo and have launched a search operation to nab them. Naval security along the coastline has also been stepped up. More...
Published: Tue Jan 23 09:44:17 EST 2001

INTERVIEW-Sri Lanka sees main port's volumes up in 2 yrs
Yahoo India, January 24. Sri Lanka's main port of Colombo hopes to see volumes recover within two years, boosted by development projects, a tariff restructuring and a marketing campaign, the country's ports minister said on Wednesday."It will be two years before we see a turnaround. We are looking at a faster increase than the natural growth we are seeing now," Ronnie de Mel told Reuters in an interview. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 08:55:32 EST 2001

Tamils in Australia lobby Australian Government to intervene in Lankan crisis
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.20 a.m. SLT Tuesday January 23. The Australia Tamil Society Guild in a media statement issued yesterday has asked Australia as well as the international community to pressurize the Sri Lankan government into beginning negotiations with the LTTE. Talks that are widely perceived, will help end the 18 year old separatist war. The statement follows soon after reports claimed that Tamil political party representatives in Sri Lanka are seeking a meeting with Indian Premier Atal Behari Vajpayee. They hope that Vajpayee will intervene in the present impasse that has occurred since peace initiates were begun by Norway in November last year.

International support is being sought by various factions as a rebel deadline which will end a one month long truce draws to a close tomorrow, Wednesday 24. Serious concerns are being expressed, since the government refused to observe the month long truce but has continued a fierce military offensive against the LTTE. An offensive which will prove how successful it has been after tomorrow. The LTTE have vowed to push back the forward defence lines of state troops to previously held positions.
Published: Tue Jan 23 01:07:03 EST 2001

SL Indian Tamils to receive PIO status
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday January 23. Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka will receive the people of Indian origin cards' which will help them travel to India without securing visas or resident permits in cases of extended stay. The decision has been approved by the Central Government of India, and some 200,000 Indian Tamils living in the island nation will receive the card. The Tamils are resident mostly in the tea plantation areas of Sri Lanka in the upcountry.

India's foreign minister Jaswant Singh and Home Affairs minister L. K. Advani, in principle approved the policy. The people of Indian Origin Committee Council based in Chennai was responsible for pushing the central government to implement the necessary reforms. Tamils in Sri Lanka of Indian origin, the organization maintains have continuously been at the receiving end of various acts of discrimination in one form or another.
Published: Tue Jan 23 01:07:02 EST 2001

Sri Lankan military captures strategic peninsula Army presses on in fight against Tamil Tiger rebels
Independent, UK, Wednesday, 24 January. The Sri Lankan military said today it has captured all of Jaffna Peninsula except a strategic rebel–held land corridor and some villages, as Sri Lankan troops beat Tamil separatist rebels back into the jungles."Now we are in effective control of about 90 percent of the land mass and we are continuing our offensive to clear the remainder," said military spokesman Brig Sanath Karunaratne. Government troops attacked five Tamil Tiger camps Tuesday along the road to the Elephant Pass, the corridor that connects northern Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland. Karunaratne said 20 rebels and two soldiers were killed in the fighting and six soldiers wounded. There was no immediate reaction from the rebels. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting since 1983 to establish an independent homeland for the Tamil minority in the north and east of the country. More than 63,000 people have been killed in the fighting. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 04:14:10 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lankan army wrests key territory in Jaffna  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka troops consolidate gains under fire  - MSNBC
Lankan forces capture key territory in Jaffna  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Kadirgamar in Russia
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday January 23. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar will begin an official visit to Russia today, the first in 18 years since a Lankan foreign minister visited the Russian state. He will discuss bilateral issues including bilateral defence cooperation to combat terrorism both at a regional and international level. Kadirgamar may also meet with the Russian trade minister. The last time a Lankan foreign minister visited the Russian state was in 1982.
Published: Tue Jan 23 01:07:02 EST 2001

Chandrika honours Olympian Susy
Island, Tuesday, 23 January. President Chandrika Kumaratunga admires the ‘bronze medal’ won by Susanthika Jayasinghe at the Sydney Olympics 2000 on Thursday (11) after presenting Susy with a prize of Rs. 5 million in appreciation of her More...
Published: Tue Jan 23 04:14:41 EST 2001

WRAP:Sri Lanka Boldly Free Floats Rupee, Surprise Mkts
Yahoo India, January 23,. In what analysts called a bold move that surprised markets, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka free floated the local currency Tuesday, despite dwindling reserves and balance of payments problems caused by a rapid surge in imports. With four de facto devaluations of the local currency since June last year, talk of a free float has dominated the market in recent months. But that didn't stop the local currency from taking a nose dive, declining by 3.3% to 88.00 rupees (LKR) against the dollar Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Jan 23 09:41:24 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Ctrl Bk: Civil War, Low Reserves Are Worrying  - Yahoo India
Lanka allows free float of rupee  - Times of India (Breaking News)

ACB owes it to cricket to get Mark Waugh to speak
Yahoo India, January 24. What has Mark Waugh got to hide? What is wrong with speaking to International Cricket Council's investigators, even if he has talked about it before? Or does he have a very good reason for not meeting Sir Paul Condon and others in the ICC ACU team? Could it be possible that he does not want to relive the trauma all over again? More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 09:06:00 EST 2001

Sri Lanka recall for Tillekeratne
The Guardian, January 25. Sri Lanka have recalled the batsman Hashan Tillekeratne for next month's series against England. The squad announced yesterday also includes Aravinda de Silva, who was rushed to South Africa to shore up the batting in the middle of Sri Lanka's disastrous tour which ended yesterday with an innings defeat in the third Test. More...
Published: Wed Jan 24 21:13:11 EST 2001

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