The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 305

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
S.Lanka orders probe into opposition march attack
MSNBC, 06 February 2001. SRI LANKAN President Chandrika Kumaratunga ordered an inquiry on Monday into an attack on a protest march by the country's main opposition party to denounce last month's flotation of the rupee.Police said a lorry transporting supporters of the United National Party (UNP) was attacked early on Monday by unidentified men in the Molagoda area of the central Kegalle district around 100 km (60 miles) east of the capital.They said the driver of the lorry had been injured in the attack, while the vehicle's tyres were shot at. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 08:25:45 EST 2001
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Opposition protest sours new Sri Lanka peace hope  - MSNBC

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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Mahinda Rajapakse appeals to Sri Lankan/Americans
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, LA Time 1.35 p.m Monday 5th February. by Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles:Minister Mahinda Rajapakse appealed to all Sri Lankans living in America not to forget their motherland but to rally round the country and contribute their might. Rajapakse made this appeal at the Independence day celebrations held at Woodley Park in Los Angeles yesterday, where he was the chief guest.

Rajapakse further said that he has mooted a programme for young Sri Lankan/Americans to do internships in Sri Lanka where the Sri Lankan/ Americans could help their motherland.
Published: Mon Feb 5 16:35:43 EST 2001

Tigers forcing older civilians to take up arms: report, Feb 05 2001 18:55 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are forcibly drafting civilians in areas under their control into their service, the government said in a statement Monday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are giving weapons training to some 1,500 businessmen they have forced into service, despite their unilateral truce, government information director Ariya Rubasinghe said."The LTTE has declared a unilateral ceasefire to create conditions conducive for them to recruit more people," Rubasinghe said. "They are also trying to avoid being banned in Britain." More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 09:19:24 EST 2001

"Pura Handa Kaluwara" Ban Continued
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 06 February 1230 GMT. Sri Lankan supreme court today postponed hearing the appeal made by international award winning film director Prasanna Vithanage against banning of his film Pura Handa Kaluwara by Sri Lankan authorities. Pura Handa Kaluwara (Death on a Full Moon Day) which won the prestigious Golden Unicorn Grand Prix award in 1999 Ameins film festival was "defered" by minister Sarath Amunugama saying it will affect the morale of Sri Lankan soldiers fighting LTTE rebels in the North and East. As Public Performance Board comes under Ministry of Defence, Minister Amunugama does not have any legal authority over stopping a public performance of a film, counsellor Upul Jayasuriya, who appeared for Mr. Vithanage, told The Lanka Academic. The case has been adjourned to 28th of May. The Lanka Academic also learns that the Government is seeking an out of court settlement.

The film has been since shown in many European countries despite the ban in Sri Lanka and hundreds of expatriates of both the Sinhala and Tamil communities gathered for all these screenings. Pura Handa and Prasannaís another award wining film Anantha Ratriya (Dark Night of the Soul) are due to be screened on Sunday the 25th of February in London.
Published: Mon Feb 5 07:37:54 EST 2001

Domestic problems prod Lanka, Tigers to open talks
Times of India, 6 February 2001 . Norway may have redoubled efforts to prod Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger separatists towards the negotiating table, but peace may not be the compelling reason for the antagonists to sit down for talks. While the cash-strapped government is forced to shift its focus from the battle to the economic front, the rebels are worried about new British laws which will outlaw the group and effectively halt their London-based fund-raising and propaganda activities. Norway's peace broker Erik Solheim left Colombo after meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week, saying that his discussions with the two sides "had almost reached the end of the initial stage." More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:21:37 EST 2001

President restrict the use of electricity under the public security ordinance
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1340 SLT 05.02.02. President Kumaratunga has promulgated sections of the Public Security act placing restrictions on the use of electricity. The use of Air Conditioners, sign boards, flood lights using the nations grid have been banned. Extra lights and air conditioners can only be run on generators. The ban came as the Ceylon Electricity Board warned of power cuts due the failure of the monsoon rains in the hydra catchment area. The electricity connections of violators of the ban would be disconnected without prior warning. end
Published: Mon Feb 5 02:49:25 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka bans air conditioners to avert blackout  -

SL vs Nz - 3rd One day International
Cricinfo, 6 February 2001. New Zealand innings (47 overs maximum) All out, 45.4 overs 181 McMillan 61 Dharmasena 3/33, Vass 2/32, Muralitharan 2/41 More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 21:15:16 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  -

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

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

Concern over fishermen killing
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, February 06, 2001. India has conveyed its concern to Sri Lanka at the killing of two Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by its Navy on January 29. The Indian High Commissioner here, Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, met the Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, on Sunday, to express New Delhi's concern at the incident. He also met officials of the Ministry of Defence. The incident has been widely condemned by politicians in Tamil Nadu. It has been alleged that the two fishermen were shot by the Sri Lankan Navy using RPGs. Three other fishermen in the boat sustained injuries. The incident allegedly took place in Indian waters, at Kodikkarai, off Nagapattinam. The MDMK leader and MP, Mr. Vaiko, submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Mr A. B. Vajpayee, when he was in Chennai on February 1, demanding that the Government take action to prevent such incidents. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:19:14 EST 2001
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India expresses concern over fishermen's killing  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka gifts eyes to mark freedom day, Feb 05 2001 10:34 IST. Sri Lanka gifted eyes to restore the sight of blind in Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand as part of celebrations to mark the island's 53rd anniversary of independence from Britain, officials said Monday. Sri Lanka's eye donation society sent the corneas that were implanted in patients on Sunday to coincide with the independence anniversary, Rajendra Athukorale, the president of the eye donation society said."We also donated four eyes to Sri Lankan patients," Athukorale said. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 03:09:46 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

Cricket-Condon to report on corruption probe progress
Yahoo India, 6 February 2001. World cricket chiefs will hear details of Sir Paul Condon's probe into corruption in the sport when they meet in Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday.The ICC also said that current test captains are to meet next Monday to discuss topical issues such as playing conditions and the use of technology in umpiring decisions. India's former skipper Sunil Gavaskar will chair the meeting which is to be attended by Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming, Jimmy Adams, Heath Streak, Naimur Rahman, Sanath Jayasuriya, Moin Khan and Shaun Pollock. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:31:29 EST 2001

Is FDI the real panacea for LDCs?
Yahoo India, 6 February 2001. For less developed countries short of capital, multinational companies are seen as bringing in funds and technology. But an UNCTAD report implies that MNC funds merely increase the totality of investments in the host country. Less developed countries must suitably calibrate their FDI policies taking a leaf out of Chile's approach.There are lessons for India's policy-makers and advisers too, says Arun Ghosh. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:26:57 EST 2001

Trescothick hundred saves England embarassment
Cricinfo, 06 February 2001. England's claim that they hold no fear of Sri Lanka's spinners was looking decidedly hollow tonight after an unconvincing batting display by the English middle order against a BCCSL Colts XI at De Soysa International Stadium, Moratuwa. Indeed, this was supposed to have been a gentle warm-up against a youthful Sri Lankan team, but the spinners, two of whom have never played first class cricket, ran through England's middle order and eventually bowled them out for 252. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 08:01:43 EST 2001

Wasim Akram appeals to Indian fans
Yahoo India, 6 February 2001. Famous Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram on Tuesday urged Indian cricket fans to put pressure on New Delhi to allow matches between Pakistan and India and to keep the sport above politics. ``I call on the Indian fans to urge their Government to change its anti-cricket stance and revive Pakistan-India cricket, just for the love of the game,'' Akram told AFP. The former Pakistani captain was reacting to the cancellation of tri-nation cricket series in Sharjah to raise funds for quake victims in Gujarat. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:28:38 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

CricInfo bungle leaves ECB red-faced
Age-Pavilion, 5 February 2001. Embarrassingly candid assessments of England's Test cricket squad have been hastily removed from the official England website after they were included in press handouts by the Sri Lankan cricket board. The pen pictures, provided by Internet firm Cricinfo under a contract which expires next month, were removed overnight and replaced with more upbeat profiles after hurried calls between Colombo and London following the official welcome for the England tourists in the Sri Lankan capital. The team's press officer had sent his own thumbnail sketches of the players to the Sri Lankan board for official publications, but officials in Colombo ditched them in favor of the more "entertaining" profiles found on the Internet. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 05:37:22 EST 2001
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ECB apologises over website comments  - Independent

Budget to address tea industry woes: Maran
Yahoo India, 6 February 2001. THE tea industry could look forward to a helping hand in the coming budget.The Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran, addressing the symposium of the United Planters Association of South India Tea Research Foundation (UPASI TRF), here on Monday, said the budget would address some of the industry's demands. The Ministry was aware that the industry wanted a hike in import duties, reduction in excise duty and the question of regulating tea imported for further processing and re-export, he said. UPASI should also help dispel the misconception among the farmers regarding imports from Sri Lanka. Imports in the current year stood at 0.47 million kg as ofNovember, 2000, compared to 50 million kg last year, he said. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 17:24:16 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

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

Presidentís Independence Day message ĎCourage and patience needed to face challengesí
Island, Sunday, 4 February. "While we should not surrender to any force which seeks to work against peace, itís 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. Itís 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 countryís 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  -

Bangladesh bank takes over Scotiabank's operation
Yahoo India, 06 February 2001. Bank Asia, a Bangladeshi private sector bank, on Monday took over the operations of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Dhaka."Nova Scotia is winding up its operations from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to concentrate its business in Europe and America," one Scotia bank official said. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 07:56:05 EST 2001

Sri Lanka set for peace talks with Tigers, Sunday, February 4, 2001. COLOMBO: Expressing her government's willingness to enter Norwegian-backed peace talks, Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga today said there was a "window of opportunity" to establish peace in the beleagured nation. In her televised address to the nation from Britain to mark the 53rd anniversary of independence she said there were "somewhat positive signals" from the rebels to the Norwegian initiative to broker peace. She said her government "never closed its doors to peace talks with the Tigers." More...
Published: Sun Feb 4 10:51:56 EST 2001
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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  -

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

Cricket-Pak board asks Sharjah organisers to clear up with India
Yahoo India, 5 February 2001. The Pakistan Cricket Board said on Sunday it would be asking the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) to give a clear picture on whether India would be playing in the tri-nation event at Sharjah in April or not. The Board Chairman Lt General Tauqir Zia said in Islamabad that the first thing the PCB would do would be to ask the CBFS to come out with a clear answer as to whether India would play Pakistan in April or not and whether the tournament would go ahead if the Indians refuse to play in Sharjah. "If they (Indians) can't play us in Sharjah for a humanitarian cause, then it is difficult to see them playing against us in April in a commercial venture," said Zia. Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka are scheduled to take part in the tri-nation in Sharjah from April 8 to 20. More...
Published: Mon Feb 5 03:15:19 EST 2001
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Cricket-India, Pakistan quake fund-raiser series called off  - Yahoo India

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