The Lanka Academic

 
FEBRUARY 4, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 304
 

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lanka ready for peace talks with Tigers: president
123India.com, Feb 04 2001 09:23 IST. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga announced Sunday that her government was prepared for peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels in a bid to end decades of ethnic bloodshed. In an address to the nation on the 53rd anniversary of independence, Kumaratunga said there was a "somewhat positive response" from separatist Tamil rebels on entering negotiations."The talks will not be on Eelam or to divide the country," the president said, referring to the LTTE's demand for a separate state called Eelam in the island's north-east./b> More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 23:53:47 EST 2001

ASK THE GOVERNOR!
Q&A WITH THE GOVENOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is a semi-autonomous body at the apex of the financial sector in Sri Lanka today. The objectives of the Central Bank include the stabilization of domestic monetary values and the preservation of the external stability of the Sri Lankan Rupee. It is the advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka on economic affairs and it is responsible for the implementation of Exchange Control Regulations. On January 23rd, 2001, the Central Bank permitted flee float rates for the Sri Lanka Rupee, leading to a massive 6.62% overnight depreciation of its value. The UNP is seeking the mediation of the Court of Appeal to quash this controversial decision. With this backdrop, we invited the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. A. S. Jayawardene to be the guest at our current Question and Answer session. Submit your questions for Mr. Jayawardene between February 5-19, 2001, and check answers here.
No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Norway moves Sri Lanka closer to peace talks
Yahoo India, February 4. Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim's visit to Sri Lanka has succeeded in pushing the government and the Tamil rebels closer to peace talks, state media reported on Sunday. "Prospects of the projected peace talks...were rekindled last week after Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim had a series of meetings...in Colombo," the state-owned Sunday Observer said."We have almost reached the end of the initial stage. The result will be known in due course," the newspaper quoted Solheim as saying after he arrived on Wednesday. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 23:55:39 EST 2001

Norway envoy ends visit with Sri Lanka guessing
MSNBC, February 3. COLOMBO, Feb. 3 — Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim was set to leave Sri Lanka on Saturday after a visit that was shrouded in secrecy and kept everyone guessing at his success in brokering a settlement to the country's 18-year ethnic war. But some analysts said it was prudent to keep Norway's peace initiative under wraps until a significant development was made in bringing the Sri Lankan government and separatist Tamil rebels to the negotiating table. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 10:53:22 EST 2001

Opinion divided on possible U.K. ban on LTTE
The Hindu (International), Sunday, February 04, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 3. Sri Lanka is whipping itself into a frenzy over the United Kingdom's new anti-terrorism legislation under which the LTTE could be proscribed on British soil, with opinion divided along ethnic lines on the impact it could have on the resolution of the island's conflict. The Terrorism Act 2000 passed by the British Parliament in August last is to come into effect on February 19 and the British Home Office is preparing a list of organisations to proscribe under it. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 17:38:26 EST 2001

Sri Lankan Cabinet ordered to cut corners
Times of India, 4 February 2001 . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered her 45 Cabinet ministers to cut transportation, meals, hotel allowances and other spending, citing the burden of war spending.Kumaratunga has been criticized for having the biggest Cabinet since the country gained independence in 1948. She enlarged it from 38 to accommodate supporters who helped her form a new government last October. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 17:39:52 EST 2001

Sri Lanka junior health minister arrested on murder charge
123India.com, Feb 02 2001 11:56 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 2 (UNI) Sri Lanka's deputy health minister Janaka Bandara Thennakoon was arrested in connection with a double murder during parliamentary elections, police said Friday. Thennakoon's arrest was ordered by court following a petition from the main opposition United National Party (UNP) activists that police failed to investigate the two murders committed on the day of polling on October 10. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 04:01:14 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Lankan minister arrested for murder, robbery  - Times of India
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Lanka minister arrested  - The Hindustan Times
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Sri Lankan Minister held for murder  - The Hindu NUS
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Sri Lankan minister arrested on murder charges  - Times of India (Breaking News)

National Day celebrations in Colombo amidst protest march from Kandy
ISLAND, Saturday, 3 February. Sri Lanka will mark the National Day tomorrow with religious observances, a ceremony at the Parliamentary complex at Sri Jayawardenapura and protests by the opposition against the rising cost of living.While President Chandrika Kumaratunga will arrive at the Parliamentary compelx at 8.30 am amid the blowing of trumpets for the ceremony, the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is scheduled to launch his party’s protest march at Getambe in Kandy.A UNP spokesman said that twenty thousand people were expected to participate in their six-day march called the "JanaBala Meheyuma" (Peoples campaign) from Kandy to Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 11:24:00 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of Independence Day  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of independence anniversary  - 123India.com

Protest call clouds Sri Lanka birthday plans
MSNBC, February 3. COLOMBO, Feb. 3 — Sri Lanka celebrates the 53rd anniversary of its independence on Sunday with political tensions over the economy threatening to upstage official plans for a quiet display of patriotism in the war-torn country. On the political front, the main opposition United National Party (UNP), angered by a government decision to float the rupee, plans to launch a five-day protest march on Sunday from Sri Lanka's second city of Kandy to the capital Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 10:55:03 EST 2001

Home Ministry processing ban demand
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, February 03, 2001. CHENNAI, FEB. 2. The Union Home Ministry is reported to be already processing Tamil Nadu's recommendation for banning the TNLA and TNRT. Based on the detailed response provided to the Ministry by the State Government and its agencies, a case is now being made out for clamping a ban on these two organisations, known to be linked to the LTTE. Central and State police agencies have worked in close coordination to fill in the gaps and provide both a background and the evidence to back up the demand for a ban. A decision is expected by March. Basically, it will be a political weapon for the ruling DMK to demonstrate its commitment to come down on `anti- national and secessionist forces' working in Tamil Nadu. This becomes a live issue in the coming elections as the AIADMK-led front has already launched a campaign against the DMK for ``encouraging these forces and giving a fillip to Tamil extremism''. According to police sources, the TNRT does not exist anymore as an organisation, but consists only of a few individuals, who are holed up in the jungles under the patronage of the forest brigand Veerappan. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 21:56:11 EST 2001

Sri Lanka opposition brace for bee attacks
123India.com, Feb 02 2001 13:28 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 2 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Friday said it was preparing a defence against bee stings following reports that government supporters were planning to release bee hives during a mass rally. The United National Party (UNP) said it would use insect repellent to protect against any attacks that may be planned by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's supporters during a protest rally Sunday. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 03:59:56 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Colombo opposition prepares for bee attacks  - BBC South Asia
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Lanka Oppn braces for bee attacks  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Cricket-Arnold leads Sri Lanka to tight victory against New Zealand
Yahoo India, February 3. WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Russel Arnold hit a flawless unbeaten 78 on Saturday to lead Sri Lanka to a three-wicket victory over New Zealand with three balls to spare. It put the tourists 2-0 up in the one-day series. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 10:52:02 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Cricket-Arnold praised by Kiwis after "sensible" knock  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka win second match in a row  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Arnold leads Sri Lanka to tight victory  - The Hindu NUS
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Arnold steers Sri Lanka home  - BBC South Asia

MLAs urge Centre to retrieve Katchathivu
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, February 03, 2001. CHENNAI, FEB. 2. Cutting across party divide, several MLAs in the Assembly today, expressed outrage at the killing of two fishermen in Nagapattinam by the Sri Lankan Navy recently and urged the Centre to retrieve Katchathivu and clamp down economic sanctions on Sri Lanka. Deploring the Sri Lankan Navy firing on two fishing boats on January 29 killing two fishermen and injuring five others, the MLAs, belonging to all parties, charged that India's decision to ``surrender'' Katchathivu to Sri Lanka was responsible for the ``Lankan Navy's highhandedness.'' More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 21:56:43 EST 2001

TV blackout fear for Tests
BBC, february 2. Television coverage of England's Test series in Sri Lanka is in doubt because of a row over the non-payment of a bank guarantee by the rights holders. The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka awarded the rights to sports agency WSG Nimbus in a £29m deal. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 23:16:12 EST 2001

Sri Lanka puts off local polls
123India.com, Feb 02 2001 12:47 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 2 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government Friday announced plans to indefinitely postpone local council elections that were due to be held by June this year, officials said. Officials said a government panel had recommended the move to allow a change to the electoral system. The panel wanted a first-past-the-post instead of the existing proportional representation system, officials said. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 04:00:22 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Sri Lankan local elections postponed  - The Hindu (International)
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Lanka puts off civic polls  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka set to postpone local council polls  - Yahoo
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Sri Lanka postpones local polls  - BBC South Asia

Golf-Ashok Kumar helps India set up title clash with Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, February 3. Amateur Ashok Kumar's two-day total of two-under 142 helped India set up a final with Sri Lanka in a south Asian golf tournament on Saturday. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 17:41:24 EST 2001

Cricket: England's arrival raises few questions from Colombo
The Times, february 2. AN EVENING jog along the promenade at the Galle Face Green in Colombo by a few English cricketers trying to shake the jet lag out of their legs barely caused a stir among the courting couples and pineapple sellers. Even the bored soldiers behind the razor wire at the checkpoints could not raise a salute for the indefatigable Alec Stewart as he prepared for his fifteenth, and possibly last, Test tour. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 22:58:34 EST 2001

12 LTTE rebels killed
The Hindu NUS, 22.30 hrs (IST) on February 2, 2001. Twelve LTTE rebels, including three women cadres, were killed in three different clashes in war-torn northern Sri Lanka since last evening, the Government said today. Government troops ambushed a group of rebels at Jayasinghepura in Weli Oya yesterday, killing six rebels, an official statement said, adding the LTTE retaliated with mortar and small arms fire, but there was no casualty among the security forces. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 14:00:25 EST 2001

Bookies held
Yahoo India, february 1. Chandigarh police today claimed to have busted a gang of bookies allegedly involved in betting on yesterday's one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka with the arrest of six persons. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 21:57:50 EST 2001

Japan May Cancel Fincl Assistance To Sri Lanka Pwr Plant
Yahoo India, February 2. Japanese donors have warned that they will withdraw financial assistance for a coal-fired power plant because of a two-year delay caused by opposition from the Catholic church, an official said Friday. "We cannot keep these Japanese donors waiting any longer, and the project must begin by the end of 2001," said Arjun Deraniyagala, chairman of the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board of the threat from Japanese donors. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 11:28:38 EST 2001

Dispute could pull plug on coverage of first Test
The times UK, Friday, 2 February. VIEWERS in the UK hoping to see the Test series between Sri Lanka and England on television face an anxious wait to see whether any pictures will be transmitted. Coverage is threatened by a legal dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) and the sports agency, WSG Nimbus, which was to have produced the coverage. Channel 4 highlights are similarly dependent on an eleventh-hour resolution of the disagreement. On Tuesday, the BCCSL filed an application in the High Court and was granted an interim enjoining order against WSG Nimbus by a commercial High Court judge but the case will not be heard until February 13. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 04:07:01 EST 2001

President orders elephant corridor to be turned into sanctuary
The Island, Thursday February 1, 2001 20:00 PST . Director, Department of Wildlife Conservation(DWLC), A. P. Gunesekera said on Thrsday that the President had issued instructions to the DWLC to make the elephant corridor in Karuwalagaswewa in the Puttalam district into a wildlife sanctuary with immediate effect. This was initially the site chosen by the Board of Investment(BOI) for a cashew plantation. "The President decided that the cashew plantation could be moved to another part of the country, while it would be difficult to move the elephant corridor," he said. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 01:03:50 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee opens steady, dollar supply up
Yahoo India, Friday, 2 February. Exporters liquidated their dollars on Friday to keep the Sri Lankan rupee steady in early trade, dealers said. "At the moment supply has outstripped demand for dollars," said a dealer at a foreign bank as the rupee traded where it closed on Thursday at 89.40 to the dollar. "The fact that the central bank has indicated it is happy with these levels is also giving the market direction," he said. The central bank said on Wednesday the rupee's current level of between 89 and 90 to the dollar reflected the currency's real value and ruled out intervention. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is also finance minister, said earlier the bank would intervene if the rupee touched the 100 mark as speculators tested the local currency soon after it was floated last week to avoid a balance of payments crisis. To lift the rupee off record lows the central bank prohibited commercial banks from holding excessive carry forward dollar positions and tightened controls on exporters. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 04:02:50 EST 2001

India in lead
Yahoo India, february 2. India and Sri Lanka were poised to make their third successive finals of the SAARC golf championship as the opening day's fare produced modest rounds at the Delhi Golf Club here on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 21:58:46 EST 2001

Business News From The Sri Lankan Press Friday
Yahoo India, Thursday February 1, 2001 21:36 PST. Japan has warned Sri Lanka it will withdraw the $300 million it has pledged for a controversial coal-power project if the work on the proposed project doesn't commence soon, reports the Daily Mirror. The government has shelved the project for several months due to protests by social and envoironmental groups. The Joint Council of Trade Unions (JCTU), an umbrella organization of 22 trade unions, will meet with President Chandrika Kumaratunga later in the day to discuss several issues, says the Daily News. The discussion will focus on the rising cost of living. The JCTU has over 1 million members. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 00:38:06 EST 2001

Oxfam steps up security in Sri Lanka after attack
MSNBC, Feb 02 2001 11:56 IST. The British charity Oxfam said on Friday it had increased security at its main Sri Lankan office after a grenade attack by suspected Sinhalese nationalists. ''Oxfam Sri Lanka have increased security around the compound,'' the organisation said in a statement.''Oxfam's humanitarian department and country office in Sri Lanka are monitoring the situation closely to ensure staff security.''A little known Sinhalese extremist group calling itself the National Front Against Tigers (NFAT) claimed responsibility for Wednesday's pre-dawn attack, saying it was a message to organisations which support separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Oxfam, which does much 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, denied the charge. More...
Published: Fri Feb 2 04:04:06 EST 2001

National Day celebrations in Colombo amidst protest march from Kandy
ISLAND, Saturday, 3 February. Sri Lanka will mark the National Day tomorrow with religious observances, a ceremony at the Parliamentary complex at Sri Jayawardenapura and protests by the opposition against the rising cost of living.While President Chandrika Kumaratunga will arrive at the Parliamentary compelx at 8.30 am amid the blowing of trumpets for the ceremony, the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is scheduled to launch his party’s protest march at Getambe in Kandy.A UNP spokesman said that twenty thousand people were expected to participate in their six-day march called the "JanaBala Meheyuma" (Peoples campaign) from Kandy to Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 11:23:42 EST 2001

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