The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 295

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
UNP to move to impeach the Chief Justice
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1035 SLT 26.01.01. The United National Party has decided to move for a parliamentary select committee to investigate charges of interfering with the judicial process against the Chief Justice. A draft petition to this effect was handed over to party leader Ranil Wickramesinghe yesterday at a regular meeting of the MPs. The draft has been referred to the Parliamentary coordinating committee headed by Karu Jayasuriya to decide on the timing of the move.The appointment of Sarath Silva as Chief Justice two years ago arouse massive controversy. His conduct as the Chief Justice has continued the controversy with the media regularly exposing alleged misconduct by him end
Published: Thu Jan 25 23:43:01 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
Reform deal keeps Sri Lankan coalition safe
MSNBC, 26 January 2001. Sri Lanka said on Friday it would study political reforms demanded by a crucial ally in a move to maintain the minority government's shaky support in parliament.A government statement said President Chandrika Kumaratunga met Rauf Hakeem, leader of the largely Muslim National Unity Alliance, on Tuesday to discuss his demand that the government appoint independent commissions to run elections, the public service and the police. A 100 day deadline given by Hakeem for the government to introduce the reforms law expires on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:08:08 EST 2001
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Parliamentary committee on Independent commissions  - Island
The Government to appoint a select committee for democratic reforms  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Special parliamentary committee to decide on independent commissions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 p.m. SLT Thursday January 25. A special parliamentary committee chaired by Minister Rauf Hakeem is to be set up to discuss the practicalities of setting up independent police and judicial commissions.

The decision was made after the minister met with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge two days ago to discuss a 100 day deadline the minister had issued to the government stating that he would withdraw the support of his party if the commissions were not set up.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress which party Mr. Hakeem is co-leader, pushed for the deadline soon after Hakeem joined the coalition People's Alliance after the October 2000 general elections. Hakeem's support was seen to be a major factor for the PA to gather the necessary majority needed to form a government. Hakeem's deadline in fact expired on December 31, 2000, and the minister was asked to stand by his decision and resign his post if the government did not adhere to his request.
Published: Thu Jan 25 12:02:11 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee opens higher, with wide spreads
Yahoo India, 26 January 2001. The Sri Lankan rupee opened higher on Friday but dealers said spreads were wide amid continued uncertainty after the currency was free-floated earlier this week.Dealers said the rupee was bid at around 91 to the dollar, but sellers were quoting 96, leading to few transactions. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:06:36 EST 2001
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Rupee hit 98 against dollar  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Lankan PM vows war till Tigers join talks
Times of India (Breaking News), 25 January 2001 . Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Thursday rejected reciprocating a truce offered by Tamil Tigers and vowed military pressure until the rebels entered Norwegian-backed peace talks.Wickremanayake also appealed to Sri Lankan youth to join the armed forces for a three-year period to escalate the military offensive against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Thu Jan 25 03:00:48 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka PM vows war till Tigers enter talks  -

PM rules out ceasefire
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Thursday January 25. Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake in an interview over state radio today ruled out reciprocating the LTTE ceasefire. The Prime Minister said the government is ready to begin unconditional talks with the LTTE, and would not de-escalate its military offensive in the northern peninsula to do so. He scoffed at the LTTE extending its ceasefire asserting the Tigers were well known for such acts which had previously proved bogus.

He called upon the country's youth to join the armed forces and help fight the state battle to regain territory lost to the LTTE. He said the youth should not consider monetary gain but fight for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile students at the Eastern University in Batticaloa today began wearing black arm bands in protest against the government decision to not observe the LTTE ceasefire extended on January 24. The student's assert that the state's attitude to the truce is shocking and irresponsible in view of the fact that attempts are being made to help facilitate a peace process that will end the 18 year old conflict.
Published: Thu Jan 25 12:02:10 EST 2001

Business News From The Sri Lankan Press Friday
Yahoo India, 26 January 2001. Sri Lanka and Norway will sign an agreement to establish a US$1.4 million National Cleaner Production Center in Colombo, reports the Daily News. The center will train and assist industries in the use of environmentally friendly technologies.President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for an emergency meeting Friday with the government's parliamentary group to discuss the rising cost of living and the effects of this week's free float of the Sri Lankan rupee, says the Daily Mirror More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:11:56 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka rupee down after roller-coaster ride  - Yahoo India

Nine LTTE rebels killed in Lanka: Govt
The Hindustan Times, january 25. NINE LTTE rebels were killed in northern and eastern Sri Lanka in the last few days while a large quantity of arms and ammunitions were recovered from the guerillas, an official report said on Thursday. The situation report by the government said two rebels were killed ahead of the newly captured area of Kilaly in the northern Jaffna peninsula and three others in Nagarkovil area in the last two days. More...
Published: Thu Jan 25 09:02:51 EST 2001

Muslim ally backtracks on deadline for Sri Lanka coalition, Jan 25 2001 12:37 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 25 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main Muslim party which is propping up the shaky coalition government has climbed down from a 100-day deadline to have its key demands met, political sources here said Thursday. The deadline set by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is set to expire at the weekend without any danger to the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the sources said.The government may reiterate its own commitment to the four independent commissions and even suggest some kind of a formal mechanism to examine the whole issue as a sop to the SLMC," a government source said. More...
Published: Thu Jan 25 03:12:44 EST 2001

Sri Lanka says doubts sincerity of rebel ceasefire
MSNBC, COLOMBO, Jan. 25 . A decision by Tamil rebels fighting for independence in Sri Lanka to extend a unilateral ceasefire was just an attempt to divert international criticism, state media said on Thursday. They also repeated previous government statements that the move by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to extend the unilateral truce by one month to February 24 was made to give the rebels time to regroup after recent battlefield losses. ''By saying that it intends extending the 'ceasefire', the LTTE is playing for more time. It is also hoping to impress some credulous minds,'' said an editorial in the state-owned Daily News. More...
Published: Thu Jan 25 03:07:49 EST 2001

Cricket-Heat, pitches and Muralitharan confront England
Yahoo India, Thursday January 25, 5:51 PM. Stifling heat and spiteful pitches form two daunting obstacles for Nasser Hussain's England side on their tour of Sri Lanka starting next week. And exploiting both to the full will be Muttiah Muralitharan, the off-spinning magician who, as Hussain ruefully acknowledges, is the key to the three-test series. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:06:25 EST 2001

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