The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 307

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Large numbers of Lankan housemaids return pregnant
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.05 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 7. An official at the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau said that a large number of Sri Lankan housemaids employed in the Middle East have returned to the country pregnant. Many of them have kept their condition secret and are giving the babies up for adoption after the birth while some have chosen to rear them alone.

Officials say that over 230 housemaids were sexually harassed by Arab employers last year while another 75 are at present waiting to return to Sri Lanka after being unable to work with their new masters.

The crisis is getting worse SLFEB officers said, as hundreds of local women who travel to the Middle Eastern countries are returning to Sri Lanka worse off than when they left the Island for better economic gain. The women, they say are not only getting sexually harassed but also returning to the country badly abused both physically and mentally.

Lankan housemaids are one of the island nations largest foreign exchange earners.
Published: Wed Feb 7 09:16:30 EST 2001

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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Island wide crisis predicted as CEB faces power shortage
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 7. Massive pandals which were to be erected islandwide to commend Lankan soldiers on the battle front are to be cancelled as the country faces a serious problem as far as generating electricity is concerned.

In fact, if preventive measures are not enacted soon to resolve the present crisis, CEB officials have said that the country will face a worse situation that it did in 1996. Massive mismanagement and political interference including misappropriation of funds has resulted in the present crisis situation.

The consumers meanwhile will pay for the mistakes made and will be charged an additional 25% more on electricity bills from March this year. The CEB meanwhile has appealed to all users of air conditioners in the country to refrain from switching them on as the national grid cannot stand the demand.

The present crisis has reached calamity proportions as allegations and counter allegations are made that the installation of a coal power plant at Chilaw would have prevented the present situation.
Published: Wed Feb 7 09:16:31 EST 2001

CEBEU alleges chairman built luxury bungalow costing Rs. 45m Take preventive measures or face grave situation. CEB engineers warn
The Island, February 8. "At the end of 1999 the CEB had a bank balance of Rs. 3075 million at the People’s Bank the CEBEU Chairman said. He added that the situation had changed by the end of year 2000 as the CEB had been operating on a Rs. 4,000 million overdraft by then.The union alleged that with all the mismanagement that took place within the CEB the Chairman and the board continued to enjoy a very luxurious life at the expense of the CEB. They alleged that the Chairman had built a luxury bungalow exclusively for his use spending Rs. 45 million. "This was done under a false pretext of the Samanalawewa reservoir.They further said that the newly appointed Working Director had spent over one million rupees for carrying out interior decorations for his office. " More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 20:32:10 EST 2001

Japan welcomes LTTE ceasefire
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.15 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 7. Japan has welcomed the LTTE ceasefire and told a group of Tamil political party representatives that the country would fully back a negotiated settlement to the present conflict. The comments were made when the Tamil politicians met with the Japanese Ambassador in Colombo yesterday.

Tamil politicians have continued to meet with heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo to discuss the present conflict situation and the LTTE ceasefire.

The government meanwhile has taken a tough stand as far as the war is concerned. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge in her Independence Day message on February 4, while stressing the need for a negotiated solution however asserted that the LTTE has been tamed by the resoluteness of the armed forces and as a result the government is now receiving favourable signals from the Tigers to the government's open invitation for negotiations.

Reports meanwhile also indicate that the LTTE was likely to accept that the two warring parties can hold talks while fighting continues in the countries embattled north and east. This is despite the fact that the LTTE has continued to reiterate that the government should reciprocate in a similar manner as the rebel force has done in declaring a ceasefire. The President in turn has insisted that there can be no de-escalation of the conflict until negotiations are satisfactorily underway. The State has steadfastly ignored the rebel truce initiated on December 24, 2000 and extended on January 24 this year by the Tigers.
Published: Wed Feb 7 09:16:31 EST 2001

TNCC wants Sonia to review ties with AIADMK
The Hindu NUS, 20.00 hrs (IST) on February 7, 2001. Nagercoil, Feb. 7 (UNI): Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president E V K S Elangovan today said the party had to reconsider its approach towards the AIADMK as the `pro-LTTE' Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) had joined hands with Jayalalitha's party now. Following the fresh development, senior leaders from the State would soon meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the party's electoral stand, he told reporters here. The PMK had links with the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, he pointed out. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 12:37:38 EST 2001

Sri Lankan children alive to ethnic divide
The Hindu (International), Thursday, February 08, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 7. She argued confidently, telling the audience of discrimination against Tamils through language, in education and other spheres of life. She spoke of distortions in history textbooks and asked why the Sri Lankan national anthem could not be sung in Tamil. And she objected to her being described as a Dravidian and demanded to be known as a Thamilar. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 18:11:51 EST 2001

Lankan maids suffer abuse in Gulf
The Hindustan Times, February 8. MORE THAN 225 Sri Lankan maids fled Gulf states after being sexually abused last year while another 575 were subjected to other forms of harassment, a state-run daily said on Wednesday. The head of the Foreign Employment Bureau here, A M J Perera, said quoted by the Daily News that immediate steps were needed to halt the growing trend of Sri Lankan housemaids getting into difficulties overseas. Perera called for greater support from Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad to help expatriate workers. Some women were subjected to harassment because they were not familiar with the work expected of them and lacked training, he said. Perera said 793 Sri Lankans employed abroad returned last year following harassment, of which 227 had been subjected to sexual abuse. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 20:22:16 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan maids flee sexual abuse in Gulf states  -

Rebel attack unveils historic art
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 12:24 GMT . Sri Lankan scholars say a Tamil Tiger bomb at the country's most holy Buddhist temple uncovered priceless murals which change the story of Sri Lankan art. Never, never, never did we expect this to happen Professor L Prematilleke Restoration work at the Temple of the Tooth, in the hill station of Kandy, is now complete, after a bomb exploded in 1998 in what is now being heralded as a miracle. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 09:08:55 EST 2001

Sri Lanka seeks to revive World Bank loan for port, Feb 07 2001 13:04 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka is seeking the revival of a 45 million dollar aid package pledged more than three years ago by the World Bank but never utilised, ports minister Ronnie de Mel said Wednesday. The loan was discussed during talks this week with World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Mieko Nishimizu, de Mel said, adding that the Bank was supportive of re-starting the project. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 03:19:26 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says no cut in Japanese aid  -

First IT training centre opened in Kandy
The Island, tuesday February 6, 200122:03 PST . From Cyril Wimalasurendre KANDY — The intention of opening Information Technology Training Centres is to provide the necessary professionalism among the youth both urban and rural in the latest development of Information Technology that will help solve the acute problem of unemployment in Sri Lanka, observed the Constitutional Affairs and Industrial Development Minister and Deputy Finance Minister Professor G. L. Peiris after opening in Kandy the first of the series of BOI Information Technology Training Centres in the country on Monday (05). More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 01:04:44 EST 2001

Threat to screen uncensored film
Yahoo India, 7 February 2001. An action committee of film makers, producers, human rights activists and writers today threatened to exhibit the uncensored version of a movie indirectly praising the banned outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam if the Film Certification Tribunal failed to clear it by February 17.The film, ‘Kaattrukenna Veli’, revolves around the romance between a Sri Lankan Tamil militant wounded in a war and an Indian doctor who secretly treats her after she flees Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 02:18:05 EST 2001

Sri Lankan group appeals to Canadian premier to ratify UN convention
Bandula Jayasekara in Vancouver, Vancouver Time 1.30 p.m Tuesday 6th February. Canadian Association for a United Sri Lanka (CAUS) has made an appeal to the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to immeidately ratify the UN International convention for the suppression of financing of terrorism. In a letter addressed to the premier the group has said that they have not seen any substantive progress on the matter after the letter received from the previous Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy.

The group has also reminded the premier that Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) have uncovered evidence to show that some non-profit groups in Canada are fronts for organisations such as the LTTE and how the CSIS analysts describe how money is being channeled from companies and non-profit groups in Canada to LTTE’s weapons purchasing arm in Thailand. The Sri Lankan group appeals to John Chretien to take whatever action necessary to ensure that legislation to combat the financing of international terrorism in Canada is passed without delay, reminding him that ‘Thus by implication, we in Canada by being silent, have become a major part of the problem’.
Published: Tue Feb 6 16:41:14 EST 2001

Sri Lanka to send clothes for quake victims
The Hindu (International), Thursday, February 08, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB.7. Sri Lanka will send clothes donated by its garment industry for the victims of the Gujarat earth-quake. The Board of Investment has been soliciting donations from garment manufacturers and has so far put together clothing for 10,000 people, its chairman, Mr. Thilan Wijesinghe, said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 20:21:20 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lanka sends tea and clothing for quake victims  - Times of India

Sri Lanka scraps morale boosting carnivals amid power shortage, Feb 07 2001 18:12 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 7 (AFP) - Cultural shows and carnivals organised to boost the morale of Sri Lankan troops battling Tamil rebels have been cancelled due to a serious shortage of electricity, the government said Wednesday. The authorities scrapped the erection of seven pandols, or illuminated structures, planned as part of a nation-wide drive to drum up support for the military campaign against Tamil rebels, the organising committee said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 09:07:59 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka:No Air Conditioner, Neon Sign Use In Pwr Crisis  - Yahoo India

Susanthika finishes second in Stuttgart
Times of India, 6 February 2001 . Sydney Olympic Games bronze medallist, Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka opened her 2001 Grand Prix season in style when she finished second in women's 60m dash at the IAAF International Athletic Meeting in Stuttgart on Sunday.She clocked 7.17 seconds to finish behind Ukraine's Angela Kravchenko (7.09). The third place went to Bulgarian Petya Pendareva (7.18). Jamaican Christopher Williams clocked 6.63 seconds to win the men's 60m event. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 03:51:45 EST 2001

Cricket-Inept New Zealand should cancel Pakistan tour - media
Yahoo India, 07 February 2001. New Zealand are the easy victims of world cricket and should cancel the forthcoming Pakistan tour to save embarrassment, local media said on Wednesday after a humiliating nine-wicket one-day international loss to Sri Lanka."More humiliation" was the headline in Wellington's Dominion newspaper over a picture of a dejected New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming walking off Eden Park after the game. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 02:12:11 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Photo: Cricket-Sri Lanka thrash New Zealand to take 3-0 series lead  - Yahoo India
Cricket: Sri Lanka beat New Zealand to take 3-0 lead  - NDTV/MSNBC
Lankans thrash Kiwis to take 3-0 lead  - The Hindu NUS
Cricket-Sri Lankan century stand frustrates England bowlers  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka take unbeatable 3-0 lead in one-day series against NZ  - Yahoo India

'Big brother' Ranatunga watches and bides his time
Guardian, february 5. As England plot the completion of a triumphant winter with victory in Sri Lanka, the temptation to turn their attention to a famous old foe lurking in the shadows will be almost irresistible. Arjuna Ranatunga, the most influential figure in Sri Lanka's cricket history, has retired to popular acclaim, and every shift of sporting fortune will influence his fate. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 10:24:41 EST 2001

World Test title on the way By ROBERT CRADDOCK
Herald Sun, 07 February 2001. INTERNATIONAL cricket officials are set to this week approve a Test match world championship, adding a fascinating dimension to the game.The championship, likely to get the go-ahead at the International Cricket Council meeting in Melbourne, will take the form of a ratings system, much like tennis and golf,where the Test teams are ranked from one to 10 on a ladder updated after every Testseries.The world championship is expected to be approved on the back of a 10-year plan for world cricket where each nation is programmed to play every other nation home and away over a five-year period. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 20:47:28 EST 2001

Lost Sri Lankans to leave Kazakhstan mid-February, Feb 06 2001 18:23 IST. ALMATY, Feb 6 (AFP) - A group of Sri Lankans are soon to leave Kazakhstan for home after an arduous journey in which they were duped by middlemen into believing they were in Germany, officials said Tuesday. The 24 Sri Lankans are to leave this Central Asian state voluntarily on February 17, said Michael Tschantz, chief Kazakh representative of the International Organisation for Migration. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 09:59:23 EST 2001

Minister orders inquiry into missing Health Ministry vehicles
Times of India, 6 February 2001 . Health Minister John Seneviratne has ordered an inquiry into a number of Health Ministry vehicles that have gone missing.The minister told "The Island" that he had held discussions with the relevant officials and requested them to identify the number of vehicles that are gone missing.The Minister said that he has also appointed a special unit of officials to inspect the shortcomings of hospitals that are under the central government as well as in other base hospitals that come under provincial councils. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 03:44:50 EST 2001

27 Sri Lankan refugees arrive
Yahoo, Tuesday, 6 February. A batch of 27 Sri Lankan refugees arrived at Arichalmunai in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district in three boats from different parts of Jaffna, official sources said Tuesday. They said that among the refugees was a 26-year-old man, who had suffered extensive leg injuries in the conflict between militants and the Sri Lankan army two months ago. All the three boats which ferried the refugees had gone back, the sources said. The refugees' arrival Monday caught the police by surprise, as they had maintained that coastal patrolling and security in the Palk Straits had been intensified during the last one week in view of the consecration of the temple in Rameswaram. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 10:00:59 EST 2001

Sri Lanka clinch series win
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 6 February, 2001, 03:05 GMT . Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya hit a swashbuckling century as his team beat New Zealand by nine wickets on Tuesday to clinch the one-day series. Sri Lanka won the rain-affected third one-day international in less than 30 overs to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead.Openers Jayasuriya and Marvan Attapattu dominated the New Zealand attack in their opening stand of 158 as the tourists made light work of the 181 run target. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 05:05:13 EST 2001
Related News Stories
SL vs Nz - 3rd One day International  - Cricinfo
Sri Lanka win by nine wickets, clinch series  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Cricket-Jayasuriya in champagne form  - Yahoo India

Cricket-Pak may hold on to ACC posts longer
Yahoo India, 7 February 2001. Pakistan's term of holding the administrative offices of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on rotation basis might extend beyond July this year. This correspondent has learnt that since India and Sri Lanka administrated the secretariat of the ACC beyond their given terms, Pakistan is also looking forward to extending its hold over key positions in the ACC beyond the given two years, which technically end in July this year, when the annual general meeting of the council is held in London. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 02:19:43 EST 2001

Waugh to face anti-corruption panel
Yahoo India, 6 February 2001. Australian Test player Mark Waugh will be questioned by the International Cricket Council on Saturday over an Indian bookmaker's allegations he was paid 20,000 US dollars. The Australian Cricket Board said Tuesday its special investigator Greg Melick and representatives of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit would interview the player in Melbourne on Saturday.In the Indian police report, Gupta, who sometimes uses the alias "John", alleged he paid Waugh 20,000 US dollars for weather, pitch and team information sometime around 1992-93. Waugh, 35, has admitted he was paid 4,000 US by a bookie known to him as "John" in Sri Lanka in 1994 for pitch and weather information. More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 00:14:48 EST 2001

Thomas Cook India acquires Lanka operation
Yahoo India, 7 February 2001. homas Cook (I) has informed BSE that the company has acquired the operations of Thomas Cook Overseas, UK in Sri Lanka. The company is expanding its operations reach in the Indian Ocean Rim region with the acquisition of the Thomas Cook Overseas (TCO) businesses in Sri Lanka. Thomas Cook Overseas is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Holdings, UK. Thomas Cook (I) will now run the operation as an ongoing business under the TCIL umbrella. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 02:15:49 EST 2001

S.Lanka bourse, banks closed for Buddhist festival
Yahoo India, 7 Feb 2001. Sri Lanka's stock market and banks remained were closed on Wednesday for a Buddhist festival. More...
Published: Wed Feb 7 02:14:50 EST 2001

Sri Lanka Shrs End Flat; Foreign One-Off Trades Dominate
Yahoo India, 7ht-Tuesday Feb 01. Sri Lanka Shrs End Flat; Foreign One-Off Trades Dominate More...
Published: Tue Feb 6 10:47:33 EST 2001

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