The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 300

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lankan nationalists claim Oxfam attack
MSNBC, january 31. A Sinhalese extremist group claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the pre-dawn grenade attack on the British charity Oxfam's office in the capital Colombo.The group, calling itself the National Front Against Tigers Sri Lanka, said it attacked Oxfam's main Sri Lankan office to send a ''message to all supportive fronts of Tamil Tigers,'' a reference to rebels fighting for a minority Tamil state. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 16:26:54 EST 2001
Related News Stories
British charity bombed in Sri Lanka  -
Hand grenade attack on NGO in Colombo  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Prabhakaran's children appear exams as peers fought
southNexus, january 30. While the chief of one of the world's deadliest armed outfits was waging a war against the Government in a region where civil society has almost collapsed, his children did not miss their examinations. There could not have been anything wrong with the children of LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran appearing for their public exams last August, but for the fact the rebel outfit is widely alleged to be conscripting school children to fight the separatist war for a Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 14:47:33 EST 2001

Norway envoy in Sri Lanka to lift deadlocked peace bid, Jan 31 2001 18:52 IST. Norway's special envoy, Erik Solheim, arrived here Wednesday in a fresh bid to revive the deadlocked peace process in Sri Lanka, diplomatic sources here said. Solheim flew here after talks in London with leaders of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) movement, diplomats said adding that he will try to revive the stalled peace bid. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 09:35:48 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Norwegian envoy arrives to resume peace process  - The Hindu NUS

Two Sri Lankans held
The Hindu (Southern States), Thursday, February 01, 2001. CHENNAI, JAN. 31. Two Sri Lankans were arrested at Flower Bazaar and a hunt is on for their accomplice, who is suspected to be a former Sri Lankan MP, following the seizure of counterfeit currency with a face value of over Rs.50,000. Police identified the arrested persons as Bamu alias Mohammed Zakaria and Sainulabdeen alias Kiyas. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 16:27:55 EST 2001

Britain concerned over LTTE’s ‘Peace in Sri Lanka’ event
Island, February 1. British authorities are concerned over the "Peace in Sri Lanka" event which was held at Members of Parliament office building, Atlee Suite, Protcullis House, Westminster on Monday January 22. The event organised by the LTTE via one of its front organisations the "Confederation of Tamil Associations—UK" was exclusively reported in this newspaper last Thursday. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 19:59:25 EST 2001

Sri Lanka takes a step closer to liberalisation
FT , January 30. Sri Lanka's move to let the local rupee float freely has brought the country a step closer toward easing its tight capital controls, and the International monetary Fund looks ready to reward it with a loan to bolster the country's dwindling reserves."The free float is something that in the medium- to long-term (is in line) with the full liberalisation of the financial markets," said Nouzab Fareed, chief strategist at mercantile Merchant Bank. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 20:12:33 EST 2001

CWE on a buying spree -violating tender procedure
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.55 a.m. SLT Wednesday January 31. Soon after the present Minister for Food and Cooperatives, Reggie Ranatunge took office, allegations have been made that he violated tender procedure and bought 4000 tons of red split lentils two weeks before the tender calling for same had even closed. The parippu was also purchased at a much higher price, for USD 495 per ton when the going rate was USD 468 and less per metric ton. The entire purchase cost the nation Rs. 10 million more than if the minister had adhered to tender procedure and assessed offers which he received for as low as USD 440 per metric ton. The closed-door purchases negotiated by the ministerial delegation spent USD 55 more on each ton of parippu. The purchases were made in Karnataka, India.

When questioned, the minister argued that the purchases were made from a state body in India and no commissions were involved. Market sources however say that Indian state bodies, more often than not, are name boards and do not physically do the buying, sorting and shipping.

In fact this system of trading, known as government to government purchasing was abandoned in the 1970s as it was proved to be totally inefficient. This type of trading encourages G-to-G barter and other deals which allow for unfair advantages to be gained over third world nations. 20

According to Minister Reggie Ranatunge what prompted these purchases was because S. Albert & Co. Pvt. Ltd and its sister firm Madhu Overseas Pvt. Ltd delayed in making the required shipments of parippu to Sri Lanka and so the Lankan government was forced to cancel the contract. Ranatunge then declared that he rushed into making a purchase for some 4000 tons of parippu from Spices Trading Corporation and KAPEC in Karnataka, India in order to meet the demands of the festive season in December 2000.

The minister's explanation however does not hold water or grain for that matter. Despite the minister's purported good intentions, the parippu arrived in Sri Lanka only on January 15, 2001. That too, only 600 tons have so far arrived in the country as against the 4000 ordered by the minister and his delegation in November last year. 20

Ranatunge has given a further extension for the balance 3400 metric tons of dhal to arrive in Sri Lanka by January 31, 2001. Why this purchase was made without following tender procedure and at such a colossal lost in anybody's wild guess.20

According to ministry sources this parippu will now cost Rs. 51/- per kg when in the Pettah parippu is freely available at a wholesale price of Rs. 41/- per kg. At a wholesale level the CWE will lose Rs. 40 million on this 4000 metric ton purchase alone. The dhal will soon probably be used as chicken feed as few will buy parippu for Rs. 51/- per kilo from the CWE when outside it is available for Rs. 41/- per kilo.20

The CWE this month floated an open tender for 12,500 metric tons of sugar. The tender closed on January 17 and the lowest price received was for USD 241 per metric ton of sugar. This tender was awarded to Cargills International, a UK firm. 20

However despite this tender, the minister, similar to his dealing with the parippu tender a few days before this tender was scheduled to close again sent officers to Karnataka and purchased 5000 metric tons of sugar from Spices Trading Corporation and KAPEC. 2,500 metric tons were purchased from each firm for USD 295 per metric ton. 20

Indian sugar is freely available for export at USD 272/- per metric ton. When the tender opened on the 17th this month the lowest acceptable price received was USD 271.45 per metric ton. In this purchase too a sum of Rs. 10 million will be needed in order to balance the scales.

When securing this purchase of sugar, Ranatunge at the same time bought 500 metric tons of onions at USD 235/- per ton. The maximum export price for onions in India is USD 210/-. Here again there is a difference of Rs. 10 lakhs. 20

Another purchase was made also from Spices Trading Corporation and KAPEC in Karnataka for 200 metric tons of red chillies. A 100 tons each were bought from the two respective companies. 20

The chillies were bought at the rate of USD 772 per metric ton when the highest market price ranges at USD 685/- to 695/- depending on the quality of the product. For this purchase the CWE has incurred a cost of Rs. 117/- per kilo. Red chillies are freely available on the local market for Rs. 90/- to Rs. 95/- per kilo.20

The 'crack' in the CWE sources reveal began around 1988/89 during the time of the famous Mr. Paskaralingam, Secretary to the Treasury. During this time the Chairman of the CWE was a person - during whose tenure many of his large imports came into question. However since he enjoyed a special relationship with his Minister and Paskaralingam many of his questionable dealings which were documented and reported to government remained unchecked.

Allegations are now being made that the CWE under the management of Minister Reggie Ranatunge is manipulating inflated prices of chillies, lentils, onions and sugar and earning millions in the process. While several members of the management staff at the CWE are aware of what is happening the Minister appears to somehow have a way of handling then and keeping this questionable system unaccountable.

Another modus operandi in this entire fiasco is that the CWE sends several members of CWE staff connected to the Import Division on a "cargo-surveying safari." The persons concerned are rewarded not only with a foreign trip but more attractively a per diem of nearly USD 250 per day for each person. In addition sarees and other gifts are handed out to these officers by unscrupulous exporters in India who ship sub-standard goods to Sri Lanka.

Traders speaking on grounds of anonymity said that the exercise of inspecting sensitive food items costing millions of rupees like rice, sugar, lentils and dried fish should be the work of persons qualified in food technology - since experience and knowledge of technical specifications, like taste, aroma, colour and moisture come into play. Few of the persons sent so far by the CWE fall within this category. Most of them who are sent in fact are senior clerks, store keepers, assistant managers and others with political backing. In fact, there have been men under interdiction for cases of fraud who have also been sent on these trips to India because they happen to have the good fortune of enjoying a friendly relationship with influential politicos.
Published: Wed Jan 31 09:04:28 EST 2001

Maj. Gen. Neil Dias appointed Chief-of-Staff of army
Island, 01 February 2001. Major General Neil Dias will assume duties as Chief-of-Staff of the army today.He was earlier the deputy Chief-of-Staff and Commander of the Volunteer Force.Maj. Gen. Dias led divisions in the ‘Riviresa’ and ‘Jayasikuru’ operations to liberate Jaffna. He also commandered Wanni troops. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 20:57:19 EST 2001

Sri Lanka trims cars, phones for ministers, Jan 31 2001 18:23 IST. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday asked her cabinet ministers to cut down the number of vehicles used by them and also to reduce their fuel and telephone bills. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the President asked the ministers to adopt the austerity measures as the government allowed the local currency to float freely in a bid to avert a major foreign exchange crisis. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 09:09:48 EST 2001

Sri Lanka raises electricity tariffs by 25 pct
Yahoo India, 01 February 2001. Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced a 25 percent hike in electricity tariffs to offset losses caused by high fuel prices and a falling rupee. "The government has...approved the imposition of a fuel adjustment surcharge of 25 percent...," the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said in statement. It said the failure of monsoons in the last two years had resulted in "a huge increase in thermal power generation (which) coincided with skyrocketing fuel prices" that cost an additional eight billion rupees. The statement said the increase would take effect on March 1. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 22:25:07 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka Ups Electricity Tariffs By 25% Effective March  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka launches drive to recruit soldiers
The Hindu (International), Thursday, February 01, 2001. . Sri Lanka has launched a drive to recruit at least 10,000 more soldiers for the war against the LTTE even as moves by Oslo to bring the two sides to the negotiating table seem to be gathering pace. Norway's special envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, was back today in the Sri Lankan capital to take the process forward, reportedly after a meeting earlier this week with the LTTE representative in London, Mr. Anton Balasingham.In keeping with this, the government announced today that it had launched a month-long programme with the theme ``Obstacles are temporary, Victory is at Hand'', to felicitate the bravery of soldiers. The programme would also include a recruitment drive. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 18:11:22 EST 2001

Sri Lanka to Take Stern Action Against Errant Traders: Minister
Xinhua-Northernlight, january 30. Sri Lanka will take stern action against errant traders who increase the prices of food commodities under the pretext of the floating exchange value of the country's currency rupee, the state-owned Daily News said on Wednesday. The paper said that Minister of Food and Marketing Development Reggie Ranatunga has received a number of complaints from consumers and ordered an immediate probe and stern action against errant traders. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 10:34:47 EST 2001

Grenades damage Oxfam head office in Sri Lanka
MSNBC, 31 January 2001. Two grenade blasts damaged the main Sri Lankan office of the British charity Oxfam on Wednesday, but there were no casualties. Police said the grenades were thrown into the car park of the Oxfam office in Colombo's plush Park Road area damaging two vehicles and shattering windows in the building. ''We are totally baffled by this attack... we did not receive any prior threats,'' said Simon Harris, Oxfam's programme manager in Sri Lanka. There have been no claims of responsibility. Harris said Oxfam did most of its work in Sri Lanka's north and east where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are fighting for a separate minority Tamil state. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 00:56:04 EST 2001
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Aid agency bombed in Colombo  - BBC South Asia

President directs that only professionals must occupy key posts
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday January 30. Amidst growing concern that political favour has installed totally incompetent persons in key public postings, President Chandrika Kumaratunge today directed that only professionals who are employed on a merit basis must be given top slots in government state institutions.

The President has further stated that all ministry secretaries, including additional secretaries and heads of corporations shall be appointed on her directive and contracts secured purely on a merit basis.

The President's decision follows in the wake of recent exposures which found that the country's 44 ministers in fact boast of an equal number of Private and Coordinating Secretaries - all of whom are either the spouse or an off spring of the incumbent in office.; Blood is certainly thicker than water in these cases, or perhaps it is the feel of hard cash and limousines which are the draw for the appointments, which can all be traced to the blood line of the minister.

This cosy arrangement is not merely because the Minister perhaps trusts only his dearly beloved with state secrets.; It is not to engage in pillow talk either.

The fact of the matter, so to speak, is that the minister, by putting near and dear into top postings at state ministries entitles them to all the perks that go with holding such office.; Perks that are virtually twofold if handed out to two or more members of one brood.

The private secretary of a minister is paid a basic salary of Rs. 10,000/- per month.; In addition, he or she is entitled to an official vehicle and a monthly fuel allowance of Rs. 4,000/-; Together with other perks that come with the job, the private secretary to a minister can take home a cool Rs. 20,000/-.; He or she (In most cases it's a she) also gets to share the state mansion, rents which range from anything between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 80,000/. (All this of course, is at state expense).

Serving as Private Secretary the minister's spouse or relative also gets to travel overseas each time with the minister, in an official capacity - all expenses paid.

The public relations officer or coordinating secretary to a minister earns a similar remuneration package.; This fortunate individual is also entitled to an official vehicle.; It is no small wonder that Sri Lanka's highway's are today packed to capacity with Volvo's, BMW's, Montero's; and super deluxe brand names of vehicles that the average citizen 'Perera' can only dream about.

While almost all the private secretaries are the minister's spouses, they are rarely at their work places.; Over 40 phone calls to each ministry, all made after 11 a.m. on a working day found that not a single spouse had yet reported to her designated desk.;

A mere marriage certificate serves as a suitable qualification to hold responsible postings in ministries which include handling confidential work of the minister and meeting with and screening members of the public who seek a private meeting with the minister. In fact, the marriage vows know no bounds in these cases, and the partners for better or worse are together in an unholy alliance until death or a fair poll do them part.
Published: Tue Jan 30 12:47:25 EST 2001

US military expert urges assistance to defeat LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 30. CITING A potential threat to the United States and Europe from the LTTE, an American military expert has urged Washington to send military advisors to Sri Lanka to help its security forces defeat the terrorists in three years' time. In an article in the "Joint Forces Quarterly" published for the Chairman of the US Joint Chief's of Staff, Major Paul Marks says Sri Lanka is a fit candidate for American "aggressive engagement programmes" designed to help a country contain its internal problems before they escalate. In Maj Marks' view, the traditional engagement activities of the US vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, such as short term training programmes in the US, have proved to be "insufficient" against the "transnational" threat posed by the LTTE. The Tigers, he points out, will not only bring terrorism to US and Europe but engage in drug and weapons smuggling, both red rags for the West. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 17:28:21 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee steady in cautious trade
Yahoo India, 31 January 2001. The Sri Lankan rupee held its ground on Wednesday in cautious, subdued trade. They said the rupee was unchanged from Tuesday's close of 90.50 to the dollar."Everything is very quiet and rupee is steady," said one dealer at one local bank.A legal challenge to the central bank's decision last week to float the rupee appeared to have had little impact on the foreign exchange market. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party said on Tuesday it was going to court to try and reverse the central bank's decision to float the rupee. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 01:17:19 EST 2001
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Rupee takes centre stage in Sri Lankan politics  - MSNBC

Muralitharan takes five in Sri Lanka win
Yahoo India, 01 February 2001. Muthiah Muralitharan claimed five wickets to spin Sri Lanka to an easy 61-run victory over New Zealand in the first one-day international on one of his favourite grounds on Wednesday. ``I like this ground,'' Muralitharan said after the match at Napier's McLean Park. ``Last time I came here I got five wickets in a Test match. The pitch was keeping low and it's difficult to play a spin bowler when the ball keeps low. I had a feeling it might be a good night for me tonight.''New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming bitterly criticised his side's inept batting. ``Our batting throughout was poor,'' he said. ``We needed a good start and we didn't get it. There were a number of soft dismissals in that and it's not good enough.' ``We have got the best players in the country playing in this series but they certainly didn't perform today. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 22:23:35 EST 2001
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Murali spins web of torment for hapless New Zealand  - Yahoo India
New Zealand no match for Sri Lankans  - Yahoo India
Cricket: Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 61 runs in 1st match  - NDTV/MSNBC
Arnold shepherds Sri Lanka to modest total against New Zealand  - Cricinfo
Cricket-Sri Lanka win toss, to bat against New Zealand  - Yahoo India

Lankan names stump NZ Cricket officials
Age, 01 February 2001. Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in the opening one-dayer but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) officials seem to be having just as much trouble with the tourists off the field - if press releases distributed yesterday are any indication.As the New Zealand players struggled to find ways of combating the tourists in the series-opener in Napier, NZC also suffered an identity crisis - naming Javed Miandad as the coach of Sri Lanka. He will be here, but later this month when the Pakistan team arrive for a Test and one-day series.Sri Lanka's coach Dav Whatmore, a former Australian Test player, was probably unconcerned at the oversight, preferring to bask in the glow of his side's 61-run win. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 18:03:05 EST 2001

NZ will not play Tests in Sri Lanka
The Pavilion, 01 February 2001. Concerns over the workload on its cricketers has led New Zealand Cricket to reject a Sri Lankan request for three Tests to be incorporated into the Black Caps visit to the island starting in mid-July. Instead the New Zealanders will play a tri-series including India, and face a maximum of seven matches should they make the final in the second week of August. NZC chief executive Chris Doig said three Tests would add unnecessary strain on the players who were already committed to playing 11 Tests in a 12-month time frame, starting with three in Pakistan in September. ``That's a hell of a lot of cricket, playing (tests) in Sri Lanka just didn't suit us at the time of year,'' he said. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 18:08:31 EST 2001

BCCSL-WSG Nimbus dispute threatens TV coverage
Cricinfo, Tuesday, 30 January. A television blackout during England's tour of Sri Lanka remained a distinct possibility on Tuesday night because of an unresolved contractual dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) and the sports agency consortium WSG-Nimbus. According to a board official, "negotiations between the two parties have reached an unfortunate situation of deadlock and, although we believe the dispute can be resolved, we are aware that a final decision needs to be made this week." Indeed, with the First Test Match now just 22 days away, time is fast running out. WSG-Nimbus have no experience of television production in Sri Lanka and the necessary venue reconnaissance has still not taken place. However, the greatest potential hurdle could prove to be the shipment and customs clearance of equipment, which would take up to two weeks. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 13:41:53 EST 2001
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Cricket-Sri Lanka will be twice as tough as Pakistan - Hussain  - Yahoo India
Murali more of a threat than Saqlain -- Atherton  - Yahoo India

Cricket crisis talks
Age, 31 January 2001. At least eight of world cricket's 10 Test captains will gather in Mel bourne next month to discuss the future of the game amid a climate of concern about corruption and match-fixing.A spokesman for the ICC, Mark Harrison, said only England captain Nasser Hussain and Indian captain Sourav Ganguly appeared likely to miss the meeting.Hussain leads the England squad to Sri Lanka on February 8 for a tour he believes will be ''twice as tough'' as his side's successful venture to Pakistan late last year. Ganguly is expected to remain in India prepar ing for the arrival of the Australian Test squad on February 13. The captains' meeting,which is held annually, will be the biggest gathering of international cricket leaders in Australia since the 1995 World Cup.Joining Waugh will be Jimmy Adams (West Indies) and Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), who are in Australia for the one-day series, Stephen Fleming (New Zealand), Moin Khan (Pakistan), Shaun Pollock (South Africa), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) and the cap tain of Test cricket's newest member nation, Naimur Rahman of Bangladesh. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 17:42:40 EST 2001

Sri Lankan Govt Starts Urgent Project To Protect Forests
Yahoo India, Tuesday, 30 January. Alarmed by dwindling forest cover, Sri Lanka's government has started an Asian Development Bank funded project to curb timber trading and encourage villager participation in conservation, a government official said Tuesday. Part of the 3.58 billion rupee ($1=LKR89.30) ADB loan is being used to survey forest cover and demarcate reserve boundaries afresh, a task that hasn't been undertaken for decades, said Dayananda Kariyawasam, a conservator with the Forest Department. "Most of our forests were legally demarcated as reserves more than a hundred years ago," he said. "Without accurate boundaries, our forest officers don't know what to protect." The ADB has granted an additional 89.5 million rupees for replanting 45,000 hectares with trees. Eighty percent of Sri Lanka was covered by forests at the start of the 20th century, but the figure has now dropped to a mere 32 percent, Kariyawasam said. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 15:52:22 EST 2001

Coconut Oil Conquers AIDS
CDN, 31 January 2001. HIV positive infant in US goes HIV negative when fred with an infant formula of high coconut oil concentration Dr. Piyasiri: S. J. Yapa Senior Lecturer in the Botany department of the Sri Jayawardenapura University has sent this article to the Health Watch where he refers to studies done in the US by Dr. Mary Enig MS (Nutritional Sciences) Ph.D., where she had found some positive results in using coconut oil to fight the HIV/AIDS virus. Dr. Piyasiri quoting an article by Dr. Enig published recently in the Indian Hindu newspaper says "Coconut oil is converted by the body into "Monolaurin" a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 21:41:58 EST 2001

Business News From The Sri Lankan Press Wednesday
Yahoo India, 31 January 2001. Shell Gas Lanka Ltd., a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, is expected to raise the price of liquified petroleum gas used for industrial purposes, the Island says quoting company sources. The reports says effective Thursday, the company will increase the price of industrial gas by 35% from the current 35 Sri Lankan rupees US$=LKR89.50) a kilogram. More...
Published: Wed Jan 31 00:58:06 EST 2001

LTTE will not sign MOU unless Lankan state does too
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.05 a.m. SLT Tuesday January 30. The LTTE have said they will not sign the Memorandum of Understanding drawn up by the Norwegians unless the Lankan government also agrees to do so. Dr. Anton Balasingham after meeting with Norway's special envoy Eric Solheim in London this week said that in principle the LTTE agreed with the recommendations made in the MOU for a de-escalation of the conflict to enable peace talks to begin. The rebel group, he said however, would not sign the document unless a firm commitment was made by the Sri Lankan government to reciprocate in the same manner.

Solheim will arrive in Sri Lanka today and meet with key government and opposition politicos in an attempt to get the State to accept the terms of reference as stated in the MOU.
Published: Tue Jan 30 12:47:25 EST 2001

Norwegian envoy meets senior LTTE leader
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, January 30. NORWEGIAN PEACE envoy Erik Solheim has met a senior LTTE leader in London and is likely to meet Sri Lankan leaders here over the next few days to resume the stalled peace process. Solheim and LTTE spokesman in London Anton Balasingham discussed yesterday the current situation in the north and east of Sri Lanka and steps to resume the peace process, the news update on pro-LTTE website, eelamweb, said today. Solheim plans to go to Colombo to meet Lankan leaders both in government and the opposition as part of his continuing efforts to facilitate direct talks, it said. There was, however, no official word here on the visit. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 17:26:25 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Solheim coming to Sri Lanka again  - The Hindu (International)

Sri Lanka opposition take rupee float to court
Yahoo India, tuesday, 30 January. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said on Tuesday it was going to court to try to get the government to reverse its decision to float the rupee."We will ask the Court of Appeal to stop the float because the government and central bank have no right to abdicate the responsibility given to them by parliament," UNP lawmaker Ravi Karunanayake told a news conference. Karunanayake said the party would file a petition on Tuesday, adding that there was no provision for a float in the country's Finance Act. The central bank, which used to announce the rupee rate against the dollar, floated the currency on January 23 to avert a balance of payments crisis created by massive import spending, mostly on fuel and armaments to fight a protracted ethnic war. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 05:17:08 EST 2001

Cop found guilty for disappearance of a trader
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday January 30. An Inspector of Police, Meethiyagoda Rohan Jayawardena, was fined Rs. 100,000/- today in the court of appeal for being found guilty for the disappearance of a trader by the name of one A. H. Jayasena in 1988.;

Justice H. Yapa delivered the judgement today after hearing the habeas corpus application filed by missing man's wife Chandrawathi Piyasena.; The inspector was ordered to pay the money before May this year.; Failure to do so will result in contempt of court charges being filed against the guilty cop.
Published: Tue Jan 30 12:47:25 EST 2001

Killing of 70 villagers 21 soldiers face court trial
Island, Tuesday, 30 January. Twenty one soldiers, will face a High Court trial by a Special Jury, commencing July 2, in the Colombo High Court.These soldiers are indicted in connection with the killing of 70 villagers and injuring 13 others, at Poonarin, Moilatanne on August 2, 1992.When this case was called before, Colombo High Court Judge, Mr. Sri Skandarajah, the senior More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 05:25:22 EST 2001

SLAF bombs key Tiger base in Trinco
Daily News, Monday 29, 2001 9:05PM PST. Air Force jets bombed a key Tiger base north of Morawewa in the Trincomalee District, early on Sunday. MIG 27 aircraft carried out the raid on information provided by the army, the SLBC said. In the Jaffna Peninsula, on the same day, troops killed three terrorists in Muhamalai and Nargarkovil in armed confrontations. Soldiers on a clearing operation in Muhamalai recovered 10 anti-personnel mines, which were later defused by Army Engineers. Also on Sunday, the LTTE fired 81/120 mm mortars and small arms towards the Forward Defence Line of Kilaly. Troops retaliated with mortars and neutralized the LTTE firing, that caused minor injuries to four soldiers. One soldier was injured in terrorist mortar fire in Nagarkovil, while two others were wounded in an anti-personnel mine blast, during a clearing operation in Arialai. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 00:12:18 EST 2001

Sri Lanka set to turn heat on England
The Times, UK, Tuesday, 30 January. THERE is an unfamiliar feel about England’s second tour of the winter, like an old, half-forgotten overcoat found at the back of the wardrobe. There can be no shying away from it, though: on recent performances, they travel to Sri Lanka today as marginal favourites to win the Test series. Wisden Cricket Monthly’s would-be world championship table has Sri Lanka in fourth place, England sixth, but the more form-sensitive Cricketer International ratings put them the other way round. After England’s last-minute triumph in Karachi before Christmas and Sri Lanka’s brutal beatings in South Africa, there is no question which set of players has the greater confidence. If they are to win a fourth successive series, More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 13:28:20 EST 2001
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Cricket-Croft sets off for Sri Lanka a changed man  - Yahoo India

Japanese company to invest Rs 600 m in local computer industry
Daily News , Monday 29,2001 9:21PM PST . COLOMBO, Monday (Lankapuvath) - Japan has provided financial and technical assistance to Sri Lanka to enter the field of computer component manufacturing a big way, a senior official of the Board of Investment told Lankapuvath. F.D.K. (Lanka) Company of Japan will invest a minimum of Rs. 600 million in Sri Lanka over the next five years to increase the capability and productivity in the manufacturing of technological communication components for the I.T. Industry. This is a project of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. A company delegation called on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the President's House to explain the company's future plans. Two hundred employment opportunities will be made available in the F.D.K. Company. The delegation comprised the Chairman of parent company of F.D.K. N. Suzuki Executive Director, K. Kukan and U. Mallikarachchi. Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and the Chairman of the Board of Investment, Thilan Wijesinghe were also present. The F.D.K. Company is the first company in Sri Lanka to export technological communication components. Their annual exports exceed 900 million rupees, which represent two percent of the Sri Lanka's total exports. This company manufactures sophisticated accessories for computers, optical fibre and video decks. The firm employs 4800 Sri Lankans at present, company Chairman N. Suzuki told Lankapuvath. More...
Published: Tue Jan 30 00:25:46 EST 2001

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