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
Opposition march carries "SL economy" in coffin
TamilNet, January 26. Hundreds of opposition United National Party members and supporters marched through a busy suburb of Colombo Friday, carrying a coffin and protesting against the steeply rising cost of living and crime in Sri Lanka. UNP leaders and supporters addressed a meeting around 11 a.m. Friday at Sri Kotha, the party's national headquarters, lambasting the People's Alliance regime for the failing, cash strapped economy, the rupee devaluation and rising crime. The crowds then marched to the busy Nugegoda junction, carrying placards and shouting slogans against the Sri Lankan government. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 13:52:40 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Demonstration against free float of Lankan currency  - Times of India

Hundreds killed in India quake
BBC, Friday, 26 January, 2001, 15:48 GMT. The Indian authorities say more than 720 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake that shook western India and Pakistan, and they fear the toll will rise to more than 1,000. Most of the victims are from the Indian town of Bhuj, in the state of Gujarat, and the city of Ahmedabad. In Pakistan the quake - measuring between 6.9 and 7.9 on the Richter scale - left four dead More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:42:32 EST 2001
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Earthquake Bulletin: 7.9 Earthquake in India  - U.S. Geological Survey

Russia to help Lanka in combating terrorism
Times of India (Breaking News), 26 January 2001. Russia has extended its full support to Sri Lanka in combating militancy and international terrorism, visiting Sri Lankan foreign minister Laxman Kadirgamar said after his talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov. Addressing a joint news conference Ivanov and Kadirgamar disclosed that Moscow and Colombo have signed a declaration on jointly combating the international terrorism and urged the global community to unite in countering this "scourge".According local media reports, the rebel LTTE outfit is operating in Russia and extending help to the armed formations of Chechen militants. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:18:51 EST 2001

Sri Lankans ignore rupee's decline after free-float
gulf News, january 26. The majority of Sri Lankan expatriates living in the UAE shied way from capitalising on the windfall which came from the free-float of their currency on Tuesday. Although the Sri Lankan currency has fallen about five per cent against the dollar since Tuesday, exchange companies here said that they had yet to witness a rush from Sri Lankans.The Sri Lankan rupee, which once traded at Rs85 to the dollar, as of Tuesday stood at Rs89.5. The reason for the absence of Sri Lankans may be attributed to two reasons most of them are unaware of the development or its positive implications for Lankans living here, or the coffers of the majority are dried up, thanks to the month-end syndrome. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 14:32:58 EST 2001

Colombo under pressure to accept ceasefire
Gulf-News, january 26. The Sri Lankan government is under pressure by the international community to accept a rebel ceasefire offer as a prelude to negotiations, but the move was being resisted, highly placed sources told Gulf News.For the second time in so many months, the Tamil Tigers rebel group has offered a ceasefire before agreeing to sit down and talk with the administration through Norw-egian facilitation. The government of President Chandrika Kuma-ratunga, however, has shown no interest in asking its Army to hold their fire, especially because superior firepower has enabled them to gain the lost territory in the northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 14:22:42 EST 2001

Sri Lankan tour faces TV blackout as deal is lost
The Guardian, January 26. Television and radio coverage of England's forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka has been thrown into doubt by the Sri Lankan board's decision to abandon its rights deal with the World Sports Group-Nimbus combine because of the failure to provide a down payment on the 29m deal. The collapse of the agreement will unnerve cricket authorities worldwide amid the fear that the ceaseless match-fixing scandals will have damaging financial consequences for the game. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 14:35:30 EST 2001

TN: Three LTTE 'activists' held
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 26, 2001. Nagercoil, Jan. 26. (PTI): Three suspected LTTE activists were taken into custody near here last night, police said. A police patrol found the three in an inebriated state and took them into custody. `Q' Branch police is investigating. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 11:07:13 EST 2001

Janes , January 25. The LTTE will not be able to sustain their losses if they continue as in the past several months" As the founder of the Sri Lanka Army's Military Intelligence Corps and later the first Director of Military Intelligence, Lt Gen Lionel Piyananda Balagalle has spent much of his military career focussed on defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:29:21 EST 2001

Photo: Sri Lanka government dismisses rebel ceasefire
Yahoo India, Friday 26, 2001 10:34AM PST . Photo: Sri Lanka government dismisses rebel ceasefire More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 13:36:47 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka government dismisses rebel ceasefire  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka Rupee Ends Slightly Up On Strong Call Mkt
Yahoo India, January 26. The Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly higher against the U.S. dollar Friday, as a sharply higher interbank call rate discouraged higher dollar bids, traders said. Still, the dollar was well supported at the current level, three days after the central bank decided to free float the local currency, they said. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:32:48 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka rupee opens higher, with wide spreads  - Yahoo India
Rupee hit 98 against dollar  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Sri Lankan rupee plunges again  - BBC South Asia

Japan extends loans to help Sri Lanka's blood banks and small businesses, Jan 26 2001 16:42 IST. TOKYO, Jan 26 (AFP) - Japan Bank for International Cooperation said Friday it would extend 6.35 billion yen (54.2 million dollars) in loans to Sri Lanka to improve blood transfusion services and help small businesses. Of the total, 1.51 billion yen will be used to build a national blood transfusion centre and supply equipment and materials to provincial and regional blood banks, the government-financed aid giving agency said. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 08:10:30 EST 2001

Bar association can intervene in deportation case People must be protected from torture: lawyers
National Post, january 25. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the Canadian Bar Association can intervene in a closely watched case that will decide whether the federal government can deport terrorists to countries where they might be tortured. The lawyers' association plans to argue that Manickavasagam Suresh, alleged to be a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, cannot be deported because the country is bound by international conventions against torture. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:22:28 EST 2001

Road accidents reduce in Colombo but the deaths increase
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1821 SLT 26.01.01. The Traffic police announced today that number of road accidents in Colombo last year fell slightly but the number of death due to road accidents increased. There were 12750 road accidents in 1999. Last year the number was 12490. However the number of deaths increased from 90 to 112. Most of them were pedestrians. end
Published: Fri Jan 26 07:28:20 EST 2001

INTERVIEW-Sri Lanka looking for niche market tourists
Yahoo India, January 26. Sri Lanka's tourism industry is looking to high-value niche markets to bolster revenues battered by an 18-year ethnic war, the new chairman of the country's tourist board said on Friday. "There's got to be a major repositioning of the industry's strategy that will cater to niche markets," Renton de Alwis told Reuters. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:24:25 EST 2001

Republic Day celebrated in Colombo
The Hindu NUS, 18.00 hrs (IST) on January 26, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 26. (UNI): India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopalkrishna Gandhi hoisted the tricolour at India House this morning. After the ceremony, Gandhi read out President K R Narayanan's address to the nation made on the eve of Republic Day. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 12:14:28 EST 2001

US funds Sri Lanka eco tourism guide, Jan 26 2001 15:53 IST. COLOMBO, Jan 26 (AFP) - The United States has funded the publication outlining Sri Lanka's ecological destinations in a bid to boost tourism, the US embassy here said in a statement. The book exploring the potential of this Indian Ocean island republic coincides with a meeting of international travel agents on "adventure travel and eco tourism" on Tuesday, the embassy said. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 08:10:54 EST 2001

Cricket-Heat, pitches and Muralitharan confront England
Yahoo, Friday, January 26 12:00 AM SGT . LONDON (Reuters) - 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. "Apart from running up with his mad action and mad eyes and swinging it both ways about six feet, and eight men around the bat jabbering and appealing in 40 degrees heat, there's no problem at all," the England captain said this week. Mingling optimism of the will with pessimism of the intellect, Hussain estimated the Sri Lankan tour would be at least twice as hard as the successful visit to Pakistan. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 08:13:36 EST 2001

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
Related News Stories
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

Navy probes million litre oil leak to LTTE
CDN, 26 January 2001. The Navy has launched a full-scale probe into a clandestine operation which is believed to have siphoned off nearly a million litres of bulk fuel to the LTTE during the last 12 months.The Navy investigation followed the discovery of a Sea Tiger flag in a Ceylon Petroleum Corporation bowser on Tuesday at the Galle harbour, naval sources said.The bowser driver had told harbour police and naval investigators that he got the flag from a crewman of a foreign trawler to which he supplied fuel. He also said that he asked for a duster from the crewman, but he explained that he did not realise it was a flag depicting the Tiger emblem.The Naval sources said their scrutiny of past records of fuel purchases at Galle by the trawler owning company have revealed an unusually heavy purchase rate during 2000 and January 2001. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 02:25:19 EST 2001

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 minister strikes deal with Kumaratunga
Times of India, 26 January 2001 . A key Muslim minister, who had threatened to resign from President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling People's Alliance if political reforms were not implemented, has struck a deal with her in a desperate bid to stay in office.Trade Minister Rauf Hakeem, one of the joint leaders of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), gave a 100-day ultimatum to the Kumaratunga government in October 2000 to enact a new Constitution that included independent commissions to regulate elections, the police force, the judicial service and the public service. More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 04:08:59 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Muslim ally backtracks on deadline for Sri Lanka coalition  -

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

12-year-old CEO to join Canada PM on trade trip to China
Yahoo India, Friday 26, 2001 10:29AM PST . # 12-year-old CEO to join Canada PM on trade trip to China LONDON, Ontario (Reuters) - The 12-year-old boss of a Web site design company will be one of 300 business and political leaders accompanying Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien on a trade mission to China next month. Keith Peiris, who founded award-winning Cyberteks Design in June 1999 and now has some 25 clients in North America, insisted in an interview that he is "just like any other kid." But few kids face his decisions, like whether to sell out to U.S. or Hong Kong investors for several million dollars and what to do about would-be clients scared away by his tender years. more... More...
Published: Fri Jan 26 13:30:22 EST 2001

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