The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 298

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Report: Tamil rebels nix deal with Sri Lanka
Virtual New York, Monday, 29 January 2001 11:30 (ET). Norwegian-brokered peace efforts in Sri Lanka suffered a blow when the Tamil Tigers refused to sign a document promising a de-escalation of violence. The Sunday Leader newspaper said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had refused to sign a memorandum of understanding prepared by the Norwegians that sought a "staggered and reciprocal de-escalation schedule." The report said the LTTE had initially agreed to sign the memorandum, which had three notable features that were to be endorsed and implemented by the Sri Lankan government and the rebels. It required the government to lift the economic embargo on LTTE-administered areas in the north and the east. On their part, the rebels were to stop attacks on areas outside their control, dominated by the majority Sinhala community. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 21:23:02 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
Positive signals from LTTE, says Chandrika
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on January 29, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 29. (PTI) : Raising prospects of reviving the Norwegian-backed peace bid, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said there is ``fair response'' from the LTTE to her Government's stand that the Tamil rebels should commence negotiations before she can consider a ceasefire. There has been some favourable signals from the LTTE on the Government's position, Chandrika said in her first public comment after the rebels last week extended their unilateral ceasefire by a month. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 06:25:12 EST 2001
Related News Stories
LTTE has sent favourable signals, says Chandrika  - The Hindustan Times
Chandrika wants to talk, but without ceasefire  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka hints at lifting deadlocked Norwegian peace bid  -
Sri Lanka president calls for date for peace talks  - Yahoo India

Minister, deputy along with thugs storm SLRC hqrs.
Island, 30 January 2001. The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society on sunday alleged that Social Services Minister Milroy Fernando and Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva along with a band of thugs had broken into the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society headquarters on January 24 and suspended a number of workers. A statement issued by Red Cross General Secretary M. D. Sumanadasa stated that this was a blatant violation of Red Cross principles and its philosophy while being an insult on the whole movement. "The scandal began with the appointment of a committee by the former Minister of Social Services Sumedha G. Jayasena to investigate the alleged corruption charges against the former Red Cross administration under the Voluntary Organisations Registration Act. On the recommendations of this committee an interim administrative board was appointed for six months.However, the present minister through a special Gazette notification dissolved the Interim Board." More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 20:22:15 EST 2001

Canada increases its immigrant population
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, Vancouver time 11.00 a.m Monday 29. by Bandula Jayasekara in Vancouver: Canada has landed more immigrants last year than it has nearly for a decade a report in the Vancouver Sun said last week. Preliminary numbers prepared by the citizenship and immigration department has indicated that more than 226,000 newcomers have arrived last year. However there was no breakdown available on the country of origin or class of immigrants

For the last three years the Canadian government has set a target of admitting between 200,000 and 225,000 landed immigrants and refugees to increase the workforce and make up for a declining birthrate.
Published: Mon Jan 29 14:10:30 EST 2001

Science's creator of life reflects on the clouds of death
Age, 30 January 2001. His lean frame is raw-boned and his beige chinos hang a little loose. But apart from weight loss, cancer has left few physical marks on Carl Wood.. For emeritus professor Wood, the man who created life in a test tube, has been reborn, partly as a result of the prostate cancer cut from his body last month. The seismic shift has left the godfather of IVF, and one of the world's best-known scientists,an advocate of meditation and alternative medicine. "I'm not moving away from Western medicine, but I'm accepting the importance of alternative treatments," he says, staring at the sky that is now his inspiration. "Meditation, massage, acupuncture and herbal treatments have helped me recover." On the table in his loungeroom is The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Wood met the Tibetan leader in the '80s. He is attracted to Buddhism. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 21:36:27 EST 2001

Pakistan's Army chief to visit Sri Lanka
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.05 a.m. SLT Monday January 29. Mohamed Ysuf Khan, Pakistan's army chief will arrive in Sri Lanka today and is scheduled to inspect a guard of honour. No details are yet known as to the reasons for his visit. The Ministry of Defence would only say Khan will be in Colombo for official purposes.

The last time Pakistan's former military chief and now head of state visited the country he went back and overthrew the government of Premier Nawaz Sharif.
Published: Mon Jan 29 04:39:47 EST 2001

Sri Lankans look to bounce back
Age, 30 January 2001. Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore hopes his side's five-match one-day assignment with New Zealand will help his cricketers regroup after their traumatic tour of South Africa and prepare them for the visit of England next month.While the three-Test home series against England starting on February 22 loomed large,Whatmore said the duel with New Zealand, which starts here at McLean Park tomorrow, was an important stopover on the way home.Sri Lanka headed to South Africa with high hopes and a one-day world ranking to match.They were considered the second-best team behind Australia and had enjoyed a success-laden 2000 with wins over Pakistan, Zimbabwe and South Africa at home. However, they lost the one-day series 5-1 to the Proteas and the Test series 2-0. ``We came away with our tails between our legs but we'll be richer for the experience,''Whatmore told NZPA. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 21:49:09 EST 2001

Cricket: England leave for test series in Sri Lanka, expect tough opposition
NDTV/MSNBC, 30 January 2001. England's cricket team is leaving for Sri Lanka today for their second tour of the current winter. Captain Nasser Hussein warned that his team will face a tougher series in Sri Lanka compared to what it faced on the tour to Pakistan earlier in the season. England beat Pakistan 1-0 in the three-test series to record its first series victory in Pakistan after 39 years. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 23:29:44 EST 2001

Japan to release 12 billion to renovate BIA
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.20 a.m. SLT Monday January 29. The Japanese government is to release 12 billion rupees as a soft loan to Sri Lanka to help upgrade the Bandaranaike International Airport. Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said yesterday that the loan has been secured to renovate the airport, and build a hotel complex close to the airport which is estimated to cost USD 20 million. A twelve acre land has already been identified for this purpose, he said.

The airport meanwhile aims to have high tech equipment including announcements in Japanese, German, English and Sinhala.
Published: Mon Jan 29 04:39:47 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Rs. 12 b. Japanese loan to upgrade Colombo airport  - The Sunday Times

Inside story of attempted "weapons blockade"
Island, Monday, 29 January. The Sri Lankan military and the Prague headquartered armaments firm MPi that promptly responded to Lanka’s call for emergency weapons supplies last year, believe that a certain interested party made a determined bid to block the supplies."If they succeeded, the LTTE would have captured the entire Jaffna peninsula," an authoritative official said last week stressing that LTTE sympathisers did their best to prevent the army from deploying these weapons in the Jaffna theatre in time to prevent the LTTE advance on the town.The fall of Jaffna and the possible surrender of over 20,000 personnel would have forced the government to agree to whatever "peace" proposals put forward by the LTTE and their international supporters, the sources said. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 08:19:17 EST 2001

Lankans second highest number of asylum seekers in the UK
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Monday January 29. According to statistics released by the British government Sri Lankans are the second highest number of asylum seekers to the UK next to the Iraqis. Channel 4 TV in Britain recently showed pictures of refugees descending from a truck which had crossed over from eastern Europe smuggling the immigrants into the country. Many of those in the truck were identified as being Sri Lankans.

Over 6000 Lankans had sought refuge in Britain in 1999 while the country had experienced a record number of over 76,000 persons had illegally entered Britain. The number of Lankans seeking asylum has risen by as much as 18 percent over the last year.
Published: Mon Jan 29 04:39:46 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Lankan asylum seekers second in UK queue  - Sunday observer

Sri Lanka Pres: Rupee's Free Float Averted Likely Crisis
Yahoo India, Monday, 29 January. President Chandrika Kumaratunga said late Sunday that Sri Lanka's free float of the rupee last week was timely, and had helped to avert a possible economic crisis. "If reserves fell further, and we delayed the float, we would have had an economic crisis on our hands," Kumaratunga, also the country's finance minister, told a state television talk show. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka surprised markets last Tuesday, saying it wouldn't set a trading band for the rupee, allowing the currency to float freely. The move was immediately effective. A bank official said that the move was meant to boost exports and give the market more freedom. Sri Lanka's gross official reserves, or foreign assets held by the nation's government and central bank, had fallen to $978 million at the end of November, compared to $1.639 billion at the end of 1999, according to latest statistics. Kumaratunga blamed the deteriorating reserves on higher global fuel prices and increased imports of military equipment, but stressed, "there was no economic crisis or collapse." More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 03:41:39 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rupee bid up, seen steadying after float  - Yahoo India

Tigers refuse to sign Norwegian peace deal
IT, january 28. Norway's bid to broker peace in Sri Lanka suffered a setback with the separatists refusing to accept a pre-talks deal citing Colombo's indifference to opening negotiations.The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has told Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim that it cannot sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was to have paved the way for negotiations, the Sunday Leader newspaper reported. More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 20:03:28 EST 2001
Related News Stories
'No way for MOU now,' Tigers tell Norway  - Sunday Leader

Chandrika condoles
The Hindu (International), Monday, January 29, 2001. COLOMBO, JAN. 28. The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, has offered her condolences at the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake that hit Gujarat last week. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the President said she was ``deeply saddened and profoundly shocked'' to learn of the heavy death toll and destruction. More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 16:10:52 EST 2001

Rupee to stabilise this week
Sunday observer, Sunday, 28 january. The Central Bank is closely monitoring the country's foreign exchange markets in the wake of the Rupee float last week and will use all its considerable powers to ensure market stability at reasonable levels, Bank Governor A.S. Jayawardena told the Sunday Observer. The US Dollar-Rupee exchange rate, which declined in value to Rs. 99 per dollar at one point on Thursday last, will stabilise this week at below the Rs. 90 level, the Governor predicted. The Central Bank Governor was commenting on the week's currency market performance following the devaluation of the Rupee and the action by the bank on Tuesday to float the national currency in the exchange markets. After the announcement of the float last Tuesday, the Rupee dipped in value from about Rs. 85 per US Dollar (telegraphic transfer selling rate) at the beginning of the week to Rs. 86 on Tuesday, and Rs. 90 on Wednesday, before sliding to Rs. 97 on Thursday. More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 13:30:21 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka in a daze as rupee slides  - The Hindu NUS

Troops on the road to elephant pass
The Sunday Times , sunday 28, 2001 8:27 am pst . The ground on the out skirts of Chavakachcheri, now a ghost town, shook every few seconds as the burst of artillery shells at forenoon, last Tuesday, continued. Just a couple of kilometres away, security forces were directing artillery fire at Tiger guerrilla positions. In return, they were also drawing counter fire. It came from areas north of Pallai, an area with lush coconut plantations, located on the isthmus that links Jaffna peninsula with the mainland. It lies further north of Elephant Pass More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 11:36:00 EST 2001 mulls MSE listing
Yahoo India, 30 January 2001. TAMIL.COM, part of the Asia Pacific Internet Company (APIC) group, plans to list on the Madras Stock Exchange by way of a reverse listing.The company has identified an investment firm, currently listed on the MSE, to acquire, rename it and then list in the name of Mr Bala Pillai, CEO,, told Business Line that the acquisition would be done in a couple of months.However, he declined to reveal the name of the 10-year-old dormant investment firm, which has not been trading for the last four years.The promoters of the investment firm would be given 10-15 per cent equity in, he said.Mr Pillai said that APIC, as part of its expansion plan, is scouting for a $2 million venture capital funding, and will firm up the deal soon from investors, mainly Indians in Singapore and Malaysia. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 17:39:47 EST 2001

Peace bid suffers blows in Sri Lanka
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on January 28, 2001. Colombo, Jan. 28. (Reuters): Norway's attempts to broker peace in Sri Lanka has suffered another setback with the two antagonists rejecting a preliminary deal ahead of peace talks, a press report here said today. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) refused to sign a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) on a ``staggered and a reciprocal de-escalation'' proposed by Norway, the privately-run Sunday Leader said. More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 10:29:10 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan president raises peace hopes with Norway bid  -
Oslo peace bid suffers more blows in Sri Lanka  -

Money makes the Pak cricketers crib
Yahoo India, 29 January 2001. Islamabad: A fresh row over distribution of money between coach Javed Miandad and rest of the players of Pakistan team has erupted over a reported payment of Rs. 1.7 million to Miandad in a Pepsi logo deal. While the players earned an average of Rs. 1.5 million each from the logo money, Miandad who wore the logo only in the dressing room took more money than the players, the Dawn reported here today citing allegations by some disgruntled cricketres. Miandad, however, claims he received only Rs. 1.2 million. An ugly row over prize money came to fore during the team’s Kenya tour last year when Miandad was paid from ICC knock-out tournament. More...
Published: Sun Jan 28 18:02:06 EST 2001

Initiative to boost cable TV growth in SAARC nations
Yahoo India, 30 January 2001. THE Cable TV Equipment Traders & Manufacturers Association (CTMA) and the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) have agreed to take up joint initiatives to facilitate the growth of the cable TV business in SAARC countries.Speaking at the inaugural of the Cable TV Show 200 1, Mr S M Anwar Pervez, President of COAB, suggested that India and Bangladesh should take the lead in furthering the growth of cable television in both the countries as well as in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Jan 29 17:46:41 EST 2001

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