The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 308

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
University students begin protest against private universities
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1954SLT 08.02.01. University students today launched a protest campaign against the introduction of private universities and plans to levy fees for higher education. Students took to the streets in 13 districts of the Island to distribute leaflets explaining their opposition to the move. The introduction of private universities and levying a fee for higher education from a section of the student population were one of the demands by Foreign funders at the recent Paris aid group meeting. Student leaders say they would not allow the government to end free education in the country first introduced in 1936
Published: Thu Feb 8 09:04:58 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.
No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Sri Lanka Allocates $720 Mln To Fight Tamil Rebels In '01
Yahoo India, February 8. The Sri Lankan government Thursday said it would allocate $720 million for defense to fight the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2001.Sri Lanka's fiscal year runs from January to December. Junior Finance Minister Gamini Peiris presented the appropriation bill in parliament Thursday. The annual budget is expected to be presented early March. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 09:15:14 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka defense spending up  - Virtual New York
Sri Lanka unveils major war budget  -

Sri Lanka says Norway envoy met rebels in London
MSNBC, february 8. Sri Lanka said on Thursday Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim held talks in London with a Tamil rebel negotiator soon after his visit to the war-torn island last week.''Norway's special envoy Erik Solheim has conducted discussions with the LTTE's Anton Balasingham in London on Tuesday,'' state radio said, referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 10:57:41 EST 2001

Price of essential items continue to rise
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1958 SLT 08.02.01. The CWE today raised the price of dhal by Rs 3.50 to Rs 53.50 per kilo as the recent trend of increasing prices of essential goods continued. The price rise comes on top of a two rupee price increase for sugar last Friday by the CWE. The government owned CWE prices are used as gage by the private sector for setting prices. end
Published: Thu Feb 8 09:04:58 EST 2001

Government to spend 365 Billion rupees this year
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1735 SLT 08.02.01. The Sri Lanka Government is estimating its expenditure for year 2001 at 365 Billion rupees ($4.2 Billion). Presenting the appropriation bill in Parliament for this year Deputy Minister of Finance G.L. Peris said the defense expenditure would be 63 Billion rupees, less than the estimated expenditure of 80 billion rupees last year. The budget for 2001 which was postponed from December due to general elections is scheduled to be presented in Parliament in March.

Published: Thu Feb 8 06:43:22 EST 2001

UNP prepares for massive anti government demonstration in Colombo on Friday
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1731SLT 08.02.01. The UNP is preparing a massive anti government demonstration on Friday after arriving on the outskirts of the capital today from Kandy. The protest march from Kandy to Colombo began on Sunday, the anniversary of independence. Large crowds were reported on the five days as the protestors marched through the Kandy road and cut across to Gampaha, the stronghold of President Kumaratunga. A dozen elephants are expected to lead the protestors to the city which will end with a rally in Town Hall in the afternoon
Published: Thu Feb 8 06:43:21 EST 2001

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

WB funds Rs. 4 b to increase efficiency of Colombo port
CDN, Thursday, 8 February. The Government will revive a US$ 45 million (over Rs. 4 billion) World Bank funded programme for the improvement of efficiency in the Colombo port, Minister of Port Development and Southern Development Ronnie de Mel told a news conference yesterday. The project also revolves round the infusion of state-of the-art equipment, automation of the Colombo port and also work methods which are aimed at increasing the efficiency of the port. The total cost of the project is around US $ 60 million and the counterpart funds will come from the Government of Sri Lanka, he said. This World Bank loan has been approved in 1998 and was not implemented by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for what ever reason and the funds were withheld, he said. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 03:58:44 EST 2001

Cashew girls give UNP marchers a rousing welcome
Island, Thursday, 8 February. Responding to a warm welcome by the cashew girls of Bataleeya to the UNP march, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday declared that the second phase of the "Jana Bala Meheyuma" would start tomorrow at Town Hall in Colombo. Cashew girls received the "Jana Bala Meheyuma" by playing "Raban" and by adorning Mr. Wickremesinghe with cashew necklaces. An elated Wickremesinghe responded that the UNP was moving towards making a change to restore the bankrupt economy of the country and usher in a prosperous time again. "In 1994 you were dressed in gold necklaces, but today all those gold chains are with the pawn brokers and iron chains have been put around your necks," he hit out to the ovation of the massive crowd. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 03:48:47 EST 2001

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

Another ?bizarre? ending for the Kiwis
Yahoo India, February 9. Calculators at the ready, Sri Lanka won the fourth One-Day International against New Zealand in a bizarre ending on Thursday as bad light stopped play with the visitors on 155 for five.The Duckworth-Lewis system was in force and Sri Lanka, originally chasing 183, were declared winners by three runs after passing the required mark in the 31st over at the end of which umpires finally stopped play because of the light. The Sri Lankans now lead 4-0 in the five-match series. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 15:30:29 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Rain helps Sri Lanka to win  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka make it 4-0 against New Zealand  - The Hindu NUS
Cricket: Duckworth-Lewis rule applies in Lankan win over New Zealand  - NDTV/MSNBC

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

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 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

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

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

Red Hat plans 100 channel partners in India
Yahoo India, February 8. Red Hat India Pvt Ltd, a 60:40 joint venture between Red Hat and Mumbai-based Clover Technologies, is planning to appoint 100 channel partners this year (2001-02) as a part of its strategy to penetrate the Indian market in a big way with its Linux distribution. The Indian operations of Red Hat started in December and it will concentrate on Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan apart from India. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 14:57:18 EST 2001

Thomas Cook: The Lankan connection
Yahoo India, February 8. THE acquisition of the operations of Thomas Cook Overseas Ltd, UK in Sri Lanka by Thomas Cook (India) may augur well from a long-term perspective. The acquisition could open up new revenue streams from the company and also enable it to leverage its network in the region better. More...
Published: Thu Feb 8 09:43:13 EST 2001

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