The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 304

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Chandrika sees a ray of hope
The Hindu (International), Monday, February 05, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 4. The President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, today said her Government was ``close'' to resolving Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict but emphasised that the solution would have to be based on the new Constitution proposed by her government. Addressing the nation on the occasion of the 53rd Independence Day, Ms. Kumaratunga said her Government was prepared to negotiate with the LTTE, but would not discuss the division of the country or Eelam. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 17:04:05 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka Rebels May Resume Talks  - Yahoo
Lanka ready for talks with LTTE: Chandrika  - The Hindustan Times

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.
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Independence Day Celebrations
Gemunu Amarasinghe, Colombo., February 4, 2001. Soldiers of Sri Lankan army observe two minutes of silence to honor fallen soldiers while the shadows of other service persons are in the foreground, during Sri Lanka's 53rd independence celebration in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sunday, February 4, 2001. President Chandrika Kumaratunga who attended a heavily guarded simple ceremony held near the parliament to mark the independence form British said that her government remained ready for peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels. More than 63,000 people have died since the war broke out in 1983.
Published: Sun Feb 4 11:49:13 EST 2001

Lankan Oppn marks freedom day with protest
Times of India, 5 February 2001 . Sri Lanka's main political opposition launched a major protest campaign from the historic temple town of Kandy on Sunday, demanding the resignation of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government.UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe led the protestors through the streets of Kandy at the start of the march."Democracy is in peril, the economy is in tatters," Wickremesinghe said, adding that the campaign was aimed at ousting the government. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 17:02:45 EST 2001

Talks a certainty, but no bets on outcome
yahoo-hindu, february 4. It is now reasonably certain that there will soon be peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE.The President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, indicated as much today in her Independence Day address to the nation. She spoke of a ``ray of hope'' that had become visible to resolve the conflict. The Norwegian special envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, was quoted by state-run newspapers as saying that the facilitation for peace talks was in its decisive, final stages. He left here yesterday after meeting Ms. Kumaratunga, for the second time during his three-day visit. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 17:10:54 EST 2001

Fletcher: We're ready for Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 4 February, 2001, 15:24 GMT . England coach Duncan Fletcher has praised his squad's enthusiasm and commitment ahead of the opening game of the tour to Sri Lanka. England will begin a two-day practice match against a Colts XI in Moratuwa on Monday with a ringing endorsement from their coach More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 22:25:56 EST 2001
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Testing time on tour  - The Times

Maha Sangha to bless UNP protest march
Sunday Times, Sunday, 4 February. The Malwatta Mahanayake Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Thera has cautioned the UNP leaders to take all precautions to protect themselves during today's week-long protest campaign in which the party is calling the government to resign on the grounds that it has been illegally constituted.The Mahanayaka Thera on Friday told the UNP general secretary Senarath Kapukotuwa the leaders should protect themselves due to the existing dangerous situation. The Malwatta Mahanayake and the Asgiriya Mahanayake Ven. Udugama Shri Buddharakkitha are due to give their blessings for the UNP march which is scheduled to commence from Kandy. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to offer flowers to the Maligawa earlier in the day before commencing the protest march. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 12:00:03 EST 2001

Lankan opposition march against currency floatation begins
Yahoo India, Sunday, 4 February. A five-day protest march called by the opposition in Sri Lanka to denounce last month's floatation of the country's currency began in Kandy on Sunday.The begining of the march coincided with country's 53rd Independence Day.Leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremasinghe said: "This is the begining of a campaign to oust the government".The Sri Lankan rupee, since being floated on January 23, has lost 12 per cent of its value. However, it is down only by five per cent against the dollar. The prices have also been rising steadily since the floatation, though the currency has managed to regain some ground.The protesters, some of whom carried coffins and placards mourning the death of the currency appeared calm. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 10:52:55 EST 2001
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Sri Lankan opposition launches protest march  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka opposition marks freedom day with major protest  -

Independent commissions on public service, Judicial and elections JVP, Tamil parties say 'no' to select comm.
Sunday Leader, Sunday, 4 February. Tamil political parties and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) on Friday said they will not extend their support to the select committee appointed to look into three independent commissions under the chairmanship of Shipping Minister Rauf Hakeem.President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week announced a select committee headed by Rauf Hakeem to look into the possibilities of establishing three independent commissions on the judiciary, elections and public administration.President Kumaratunga's promise to set up these commissions came in the wake of Hakeem threatening to quit the government if the commissions were not implemented More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 11:40:36 EST 2001

India makes it three in a row
Yahoo India, february 4. The Sri Lankans made it an exciting finale, but there was no stopping the Indians. Delhi lad Ashok Kumar won on the first play-off hole against Anura Rohana to mark India's third title triumph in a row in the SAARC golf championship at the Delhi Golf Club on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 17:06:16 EST 2001

President’s Independence Day message ‘Courage and patience needed to face challenges’
Island, Sunday, 4 February. "While we should not surrender to any force which seeks to work against peace, it’s also important that we should not lose hope before the challenges posed by the cowardly terrorist acts. I wish to reiterate on this occasion that we will not permit any inimical force to suppress the integrity of our nation which has been safeguarded through many years with great determination against considerable odds. It’s only through determination and commitment coupled with courage, patience and vigilance that we shall be able to overcome the challenges before us", says President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her message to mark the country’s Independence Day. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 11:14:06 EST 2001

Sri Lanka upbeat on peace moves
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 4 February, 2001, 08:43 GMT . Speaking at Independence Day celebrations, President Kumaratunga said there was now an opportunity to start negotiations aimed at ending the 18-year civil war. We will not respond to fake ceasefires and only consider such a response depending on the progress of peace talks Chandrika Kumaratunga More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 09:32:24 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka ready to talk peace with Tigers  -
URGENT Sri Lanka ready for peace talks with Tigers  -
Sri Lanka raises Oslo peace prospects, Colombo set for talks  -

Sri Lanka ready for peace talks with Tigers: president, 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. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 23:53:47 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka set for peace talks with Tigers  -
Lankan govt set for peace talks with Tigers  - Times of India (Breaking News)
'Sri Lanka ready for peace talks with Tigers'  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka set for Norwegian-backed peace talks with Tigers  -

Opposition protest sours new Sri Lanka peace hope
MSNBC, february 4. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday raised hopes for peace in her war-torn country by saying Tamil rebels had apparently responded favourably to her government's invitation to negotiate.''This is the begining of a campaign to oust the government,'' Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) told a crowd estimated at 25,000. Wickremasinghe said he had chosen Kandy to launch the march because it was the scene of some of the worst violence and ballot rigging during last October's general elections in which Kumaratunga lost her parliamentary majority. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 02:39:53 EST 2001

Sri Lankan president says rebels show willingness to talk peace
MSNBC, Sunday, 4 February. Sri Lanka's president said Sunday that the Tamil Tiger rebels appear willing to resume peace negotiations that broke off six years go. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's remarks came during a speech at heavily guarded Independence Day celebrations. The ceremony marking the 53rd anniversary of independence from Britain was closed to the public because of fears of a rebel suicide attack. ''We are now receiving favorable signals from (the rebels) to our open invitation for negotiations,'' Kumaratunga said. ''I propose that we make use of this opportunity, which is the result of our own farseeing policy for peace.''The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, have been fighting for 17 years to carve a Tamil homeland they call Eelam from the north and east of this island nation. They extended a unilateral cease-fire for a second month on Jan. 23, calling for a government truce before resuming talks. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 11:02:06 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka notes apparent progress in peace bid  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka marks freedom day seeking foreign help to win peace, Feb 04 2001 09:33 IST. Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain without a single shot being fired, and 53 years later, the country is banking on another foreign power to deliver peace. Norway is not known to have invaded this Indian Ocean island, which was colonised by Greek seafarers, Arab merchants, Asian encroachers and ambitious Europeans, but is now trying to broker peace. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 01:18:54 EST 2001
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Norway moves Sri Lanka closer to peace talks  - Yahoo India

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

Ratwatte wants president to take stern action against D. M. Jayaratne
Island, 4 February 2001. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Kandy District Organisation (KDO) has urged President Kumaratunga to initiate an inquiry into what it described as certain anti-party and indisciplined statements made by the former KDO president, Minister D. M. Jayaratne, during the last parliamentary poll.These statements, it alleged, which received wide publicity in the print and electronic media prevented the People’s Alliance from obtaining more seats from the Kandy district.The newly elected KDO president, Power and Energy Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte told journalists at a news conference in Kandy last Friday that at a meeting summoned on January 21, the KDO unanimously resolved to call upon the President to hold an inquiry into the conduct of minister Jayaratne as his statements were of a ‘betrayal nature and were injurious to the party’. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 01:55:18 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

Lankan minister arrested for murder, robbery
Times of India, 3 February 2001 . The government's junior health minister has been arrested on allegations of murder and robbery committed during October parliamentary elections, police said on Friday. Janaka Bandara Tennekoon and three others were taken into custody on Thursday over a complaint that they had shot and killed two supporters of the main opposition, the United National Party, on election day, Oct. 10, said Ivan Gooneratne, the officer-in-charge at police headquarters. The names of the victims were not immediately available. "Investigations are also being conducted on allegations of robbery on election day," Gooneratne told The Associated Press. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 07:57:08 EST 2001
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Lanka minister arrested  - The Hindustan Times

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
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Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of Independence Day  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of independence anniversary  -

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

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
Cricket-Arnold praised by Kiwis after "sensible" knock  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka win second match in a row  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Arnold leads Sri Lanka to tight victory  - The Hindu NUS
Arnold steers Sri Lanka home  - BBC South Asia

Cricket-Penn dropped as New Zealand seek win against Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, 4 February 2001. The axe fell on New Zealand bowler Andrew Penn on Sunday, as the team searched for ways to rescue their five-match one-day cricket series against Sri Lanka, in which they trail 2-nil.Penn, relegated to 12th man on Saturday when New Zealand lost to Sri Lanka by three wickets, was dropped from the New Zealand team and replaced with in-form pace bowler Daryl Tuffey. Un-capped batsman Lou Vincent, 22, was called into the side to replace batsman Roger Twose, who sprained his thumb in Saturday's game in Wellington.Twose was injured in a mid-pitch collision with team mate Craig McMillan during the New Zealand innings of 205, a target Sri Lanka overhauled with three balls to spare. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 01:25:52 EST 2001

Sunday Times , february 4. Workmen are busy these days giving a facelift to the house earlier occupied by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to make it ready for Minister S. B. Dissanayake who is planning to move there.The terra cotta floor which was in a good condition is being replaced with granite flooring. The total cost is around Rs. 900,000, sources said.The renovations are being done after President Kumaratunga on Wednesday called on her Cabinet ministers to cut down on extravagance in an apparent bid to cut down expenditure. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 02:34:40 EST 2001

Private grudge leads to shooting, says HRC
Sunday Times, February 4. The Human Rights Commission has advised the Attorney General's Department to indict a police officer after a probe it conducted showed that the police had allegedly twisted evidence relating to the killing of a Tamil at a checkpoint in Ingiriya.The HRC report on the probe says the 26-year-old Ramachandran Joseph was allegedly shot dead by the police officer in July last year not because he failed to stop at the checkpoint as the police claimed but because of a private grudge. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 15:49:49 EST 2001

ECB apologises over website comments
Independent, february 1. The England and Wales Cricket Board was last night forced into a public apology over critical comments about England players which were accessible through its own website. While it emerged that the ECB was not directly responsible for the remarks, which were printed alongside pictures of the England squad, the incident is none the less an embarrassment, coming as it does on the eve of England's forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 02:21:07 EST 2001

Sri Lankan local elections postponed
The Hindu (International), Saturday, February 03, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 2. The Government today fended off an impending electoral test by indefinitely postponing local Government polls due after March this year. A statement from the Information Ministry said the Government had decided to appoint a select committee to go into local Government reforms. Therefore, elections for town and village Governments in southern Sri Lanka that are due to finish their terms in March this year, would be held after this select committee made its recommendations. More...
Published: Sat Feb 3 07:55:52 EST 2001

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

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