The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 313

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
UNP to seek support from civil society to blacklist government's economic policies
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.20 p.m. SLT Tuesday February 13. The United National Party is to seek the support of social, economic and religious groups to help the party in its campaign to blacklist the government on its economic policies. The UNP maintains that the people are struggling today as price hikes on all essential items has placed immense pressures and burdens on the nation.

Following the massive success of the 'Janabala Meheyuma' which concluded last week, the party asserts that the support it received at this walk will be carried forward into bringing more pressure on the cash straddled government to implement policies that will ease the burden of the people.
Published: Tue Feb 13 06:26:52 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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Czech defence minister here for talks on extending cooperation
The Island , Tuesday February 13, 2001 18:48 PST . By Shamindra Ferdinando A high level Czech Republic delegation led by Defence Minister Vladimir Vetchy will arrive in Colombo today for three days of talks aimed at further improving relations between the two countries, foreign and defence ministry officials said yesterday. The visit would be the first by a Czech Republic Defence Minister, they said adding that Vetchy would be accompanied by three Major Generals and Ivan Jestrab, the New Delhi based Czech ambassador accredited to Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 21:49:40 EST 2001

18 Lankan Ambassadors to campaign against the LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday February 13. Eighteen Lankan Ambassadors from key stations in Europe and the United States have been recalled to Colombo to attend a briefing chaired by Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Foreign Ministry sources revealed that the prime focus of the discussions was to brief the Ambassadors on how to lobby foreign governments into banning the LTTE. Other socio-economic and political developments including foreign policy matter are also to be addressed and discussed at the three day meeting which concludes tomorrow February 14.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka has stated, that if Britain does not place the LTTE on a list of terrorist organizations which the UK expects to finalize by the end of this month, diplomatic relations between the two countries will be strained.

The LTTE has also taken a stand against the possible outlawing of the group and threatened to scuttle proposed peace talks with the Lankan government if the UK officially identifies the group as a terrorist organization.

Ten Tamil political parties are to meet with British High Commissioner To Sri Lanka, Linda Duffield today to ask the British Government not to ban the LTTE. The ten parties which include the Upcountry People's Front, TULF, TELO and ACTC have in a letter to the High Commissioner said that if the LTTE is listed as a terrorist organization in the UK, it will seriously hinder and affect Norway's attempt to bring the Lankan Government and the LTTE together.

Meanwhile, in another related development, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Teheran Susil Moonesinghe, faces contempt charges after he ignored a summons by the high post in Parliament to present himself for a hearing last week for allegedly presenting a false document before he received the ambassadorial posting.

Moonesinghe crossed over from the UNP to the PA last year and was rewarded by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge when she handed out the top diplomatic posting to him. Soon after, the UNP claimed that Moonesinghe had submitted false documentation to the Foreign Ministry.

Moonesinghe apparently has been told by the President that he does not need to present himself to the Parliamentary committee which will question him on his credentials.

The committee next meets on March 5, and the PA members have decided that if the issue is pressed by the UNP a vote will be taken with the PA voting against the UNP request.
Published: Tue Feb 13 06:26:51 EST 2001

England intent on keeping calm over umpires' decisions
Independent, february 12. Darren Gough will attempt to rise above the frustrations involved in bowling on the subcontinent and avoid any potential flashpoints with umpires in the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka. Gough and the rest of the England attack had to use all their selfcontrol during this week's 165-run victory over the Board President's XI in Colombo when appeal after appeal was rejected, which delayed their win for several hours. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 22:58:50 EST 2001

U.K. ban will jeopardise peace initiative: Balasingham
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, February 14, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 13. As the D-day for the United Kingdom's new counter-terrorist legislation draws closer, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which faces the possibility of being proscribed under it, is using the Norwegian peace initiative in Sri Lanka as a bargaining chip to retain its legitimacy on British soil. It is far from clear yet if the LTTE will be included in a list of organisations to be banned under the law that comes into effect next Monday. But the group, which uses London as a base for many of its fund-raising and propaganda activities, wants to ensure that it is not. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 17:17:28 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lift ban in Sri Lanka too, demands Ltte  - The Hindu NUS
LTTE wants ban lifted  - Times of India (Breaking News)
British ban will scuttle peace process - LTTE  - TamilNet
Britain's Terrorism Act will get mixed reception  - NandoTimes

Dhaka-Colombo air link to help greater interactions with Lanka
The Independent, february 13. President Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed hoped that the SAARC countries would work closely and make concessions for transition from preferential trading under SAPTA to South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), reports UNB.He made the suggestions when visiting Sri Lankan Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Industrial Development and Deputy Minister for Finance Prof GL Peiris made a courtesy call on the President at Bangabhaban yesterday. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 23:08:11 EST 2001

Sri Lanka to help Bangladesh deal with 3,000 "sick" industries
Radio Australia, february 13. Sri Lanka is to help Bangladesh deal with its 3,000 "sick" or closed industries.The official BSS news agency says the offer came during talks between Bangladesh's Finance Minister Shah Kibria and Sri Lanka's visiting Minister for Constitutional Affairs and Industrial Development G.L Peiris. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 23:00:30 EST 2001

Catch me if you can, says British army deserter hiding in Sri Lanka
Island, 14 February 2001. British High Commission spokesperson Ms. Alison Kemp yesterday said that the High Commission has not been asked by London to help with the ongoing effort to track down female soldier Heidi Cochrane who had arrived in Colombo. Asked whether the High Commission has no interest in the missing soldier, Ms. Kemp said "we haven’t been asked by London to help them with their inquiries". According to a London datelined Reuter report the soldier, highlighted as the female face of the British army, has been absent without leave for the last seven months. "She subsequently sent messages to her friends from Colombo challenging the army to come and get her if they can be bothered." More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 19:23:32 EST 2001

New Scotland Yard denies attack on Balasingham
Island, 14 February 2001. New Scotland Yard on Monday denied that there had been an attack last week directed against the LTTE’s theoretician and political advisor Anton Balasingham. New Scotland Yard dismissed it as an incident of common vandalism and stated that several vehicles on the street near Balasingham’s London residence had been damaged and that "it is like any other incident of vandalism that occurs in London everyday". A mischievous news report over the weekend, which was later picked up by some Indian news agencies attempted to make an incident of common vandalism into an "attack on Balasingham’s life" and attribute it to ‘Sinhala extremists’. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 20:51:28 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rupee steady on thin forward dlr demand
Yahoo India, Tuesday February 13, 2001 18:43 PST. COLOMBO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee was steady on Tuesday due to thin forward dollar demand, dealers said. The rupee ended at 86.40 versus the dollar, unchanged on the previous session. "It's a very thin market," said one bank dealer, adding there was very little forward dollar demand from importers More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 21:43:51 EST 2001

4 TN fishermen return from Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, Tuesday February 13, 200118:45 PST . CHENNAI: Four fishermen from Rameswaram, M Gopinath, S Ramar, A Markandan and R Vellaisamy, who had been detained in Sri Lanka since January 20,returned to their homes on Monday. They arrived at Thiruvananthapuram from Colombo by an Indian Airlines flight this evening and they were escorted to their native places by the Fisheries Department officials. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 21:45:51 EST 2001

Delphi India Seeks to Expand in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Yahoo India, Tuesday February 13, 2001 18:40 PST. NEW DELHI, Feb 13 Asia Pulse - Auto parts supplier Delphi Automotive Systems has said it is seeking potential alliances as part of efforts to expand its presence in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "We are trying to tie up with the right commercial partners with logistics in the respective countries," Delphi's Director, Asia Pacific, Aftermarket Operations, Hari Radheshwar told reporters at a launch for the company's new line of air-conditioning products. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 21:40:48 EST 2001

Pakistan gives Sri Lanka $20 mn for arms purchase
Times of India (Breaking News), Tuesday, 13 february. Pakistan has agreed to give a $20-million loan to Sri Lanka for purchase of military hardware, defence officials here said. The credit line was offered during a visit here earlier this month by Pakistan's army chief of staff Muhammad Yusaf Khan and head of military intelligence Ehsan Ul-Haq, officials said.Defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said the terms of the loan were being worked out.Pakistan was one of the first countries Sri Lanka approached in May last year to buy armaments when Tamil Tiger guerrillas launched a major offensive aimed at taking the northern town of Jaffna.Officials met manufacturers' representatives from Russia, Britain, Pakistan, Iran, the Czech Republic, Israel and Singapore to make the urgently needed purchases at the time. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 18:15:58 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Pakistan Offers Sri Lanka $20M Arms, Ammo To Fight Rebels  - Yahoo India
Pakistan arms loan for Colombo  - BBC South Asia

Jayalalitha 'still opposes Tigers'
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 13:36 GMT . The leader of the main opposition party in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha, has reaffirmed that it opposes the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. Her comments came as her party, the All India Anna DMK, agreed an alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi PMK, which is openly sympathetic to the Tigers' rebellion.A BBC correspondent in Madras, says Jayalalitha's comments are intended to reassure two other groups the Tamil Maanila Congress and the Congress. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 10:37:19 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Moopanar hints at tie-up with PMK  - Yahoo India

CEB In Search Of Location For Power Proj
Yahoo India, Tuesday, 13 February. The Ceylon Electricity Board is looking for another location to set up a controversial US$300 million coal power plant, says the Daily Mirror. The plant, expected to greatly reduce the country's dependance on hydro power, More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 03:30:13 EST 2001

Sri Lanka mixes love and war for Valentine's Day
MSNBC, 13th Feb 2001 16.22 IST . Sri Lankan lovers will be urged to spare a thought for soldiers fighting in the country's bitter ethnic war on Valentine's Day this year as the government adopts the celebration of love to drum up support for the troops.The ''We Love Our Forces'' campaign, symbolised by a miniature red heart and helmet, will begin on Wednesday when a ''friendship ribbon'' is tied around the arm of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 09:02:18 EST 2001

Muralitharan in injury scare
Independent,UK, Tuesday, 13 February. The Sri Lanka and Lancashire spinner Mutiah Muralitharan injured his groin while fielding in the fifth one-day international against New Zealand in Christchurch yesterday. New Zealand won the final match by 13 runs, but lost the series 4-1 to Sri Lanka. So while losing the chance to make a clean sweep of the series, Sri Lanka will be more concerned about the immediate prospect of Muralitharan, easily their best bowler, being fit for the forthcoming series against England. The Sri Lanka coach, Dav Whatmore, said they would not know how serious the injury was until the team arrived back in Sri Lanka this week. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 03:47:57 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Muralitharan injured  - Yahoo India

UNP withdraws petition
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.05 p.m. SLT Monday February 12. A petition filed by the United National Party (UNP) against the re-election of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge as Head of State in 1999 was withdrawn today. Tilak Marapone, who appeared on behalf of the UNP, told the Supreme Court today that his client wished to cancel the petition.

The petition was filed by the then General Secretary and present Deputy Leader of the UNP, Gamini Atukorale. Atukorale in his petition said that Kumaratunge's re-election as President, on December 21, 1999 was not by free and fair means.

The Supreme Court declared the petition null and void.
Published: Mon Feb 12 09:10:56 EST 2001

Lanka summons 18 ambassadors to work for Tamil rebel ban
Times of India, 13 February 2001 . Eighteen18 Sri Lankan ambassadors from Europe, United States and parts of Asia met Monday to coordinate a campaign to persuade foreign governments to outlaw the Tamil Tiger rebel movement.In a statement, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said the ambassadors were summoned to Colombo for briefings on "socio-economic and political developments in Sri Lanka" related to foreign policy. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 05:50:56 EST 2001

LTTE mortar attack at Pesali
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10 a.m. SLT Monday February 12. An estimated 15 to 20 LTTE cadres launched an attack at armed troops at Pesali last evening around 5.30 p.m. Pesali is located between Mannar and Thalaimannar. Security forces said the attack was successfully repulsed by the Lankan Navy who claim to have destroyed a large number of rebel boats in the ensuing fire.
Published: Mon Feb 12 09:10:56 EST 2001

Tiger warning over UK ban
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 10:54 GMT . Tamil Tiger rebels fighting in Sri Lanka have warned that the peace process will be seriously undermined if they are banned in Britain. A decision on whether to include the Tigers on a list of organisations proscribed under new anti-terrorist legislation in the UK is expected shortly. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 07:15:14 EST 2001
Related News Stories
LTTE threatens to abort peace process - if UK bans the Tigers  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

SC confirms Chandrika election
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, February 13, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB 12. The Supreme Court today confirmed the victory of the President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, in the 1999 presidential election after the Opposition United National Party (UNP) withdrew a petition questioning the verdict. Giving reasons for the withdrawal, the UNP assistant leader, Mr. Gamini Athukorale, who was the petitioner, said in a statement that it was prompted by the Court's decision not to admit certain kinds of evidence like misuse of the media and printing of extra ballot papers. More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 18:34:59 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka opposition axes plan to drag president to court over election  -
Sri Lanka opposition withdraws challenge to Kumaratunga  -

Soldiers survive for nine months in Sri Lanka jungle: report, Feb 12 2001 11:23 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 12 (AFP) - Two soldiers who were presumed dead after their camp was overrun by Tamil rebels in April last year have reported to an army base in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Monday. The pair had survived the rebel assault against the Elephant Pass army garrison at the entrance to the Jaffna peninsula and taken refuge in the jungle for nine months, the mass-circulating Lankadeepa Sinhalese daily reported. More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 03:33:38 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Tamil family helps "lost" Lankan soldiers reach camp  - Yahoo

Sri Lanka To Lobby Govts To Outlaw Tamil Tiger Rebels
Yahoo India, February 12. Eighteen Sri Lankan ambassadors from Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia met Monday to coordinate a campaign to persuade foreign governments to outlaw the Tamil Tiger rebel movement.The guerrillas, who have been fighting for a separate homeland since 1983, are banned only in Sri Lanka, neighboring India and the U.S. They have fund-raising offices or front organizations in about 20 countries, and their international headquarters is in London More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 08:53:37 EST 2001

Pakistan gives Sri Lanka 20 million dollars for arms purchase, Feb 13 2001 14:03 IST. Pakistan has agreed to give a 20-million-dollar loan to Sri Lanka for the purchase of military hardware, defence officials here said. The credit line was offered during a visit here earlier this month by Pakistan's army chief of staff Muhammad Yusaf Khan and head of military intelligence Ehsan Ul-Haq, officials said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 05:51:50 EST 2001

University mooted for Uva
CDN, Monday, 12 February. A committee has been appointed to undertake a feasibility study to establish a national university in the Uva province by Higher Education and Information Technology Development Minister Indika Gunawardena. The Committee Chaired by Posts and Telecommunication Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva is required to examine and report on degree courses and programs to be offered to cater to the needs of the changing economy. It is also required to study and suggest a location for the university and recommend the initial intake to the new university. In addition, the committee will also make recommendations on teaching and learning methods, staff requirements, the organisation of academic activity, faculties and departments. "All provinces other than Uva have at least one national university. Uva has a campus affiliated to the Sabaragamuwa university but the need for a national university for this province was felt for sometime," a spokesman for the Ministry said. More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 04:00:16 EST 2001

All post offices to be modernised with latest technology
Island, Monday, 12 February. According to the policy of the government measures had already been taken to modernise all post offices in the country with latest technology and scientific methods in order to provide facilities to the public in urban and rural areas, said Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Nimal Siripala de Silva in Anguruwatota in the Bulathsinhala electorate.The Minister was addressing a meeting held at Madurawela on the occasion of opening of the new building of D. D. H. Jayawardene Memorial Post office at Anguruwatota in Bulathsinhala.The Anguruwatota Post Office which had been constructed in a plot of land donated by the late D. D. H. Jayawardene, ex-Chairman, Munwatta VC was ceremonially opened by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva following the invitation of Kalutara District (PA) MP Bulathsinhala SLFP organiser, Bandula P. Gunawardene. More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 03:50:48 EST 2001

Jaya irked by Cong, TMC joint stand
Yahoo India, February 12. AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha thought a couple of weeks ago that she had dealt a mortal blow to the Tamil Maanila Congress?s plans of joint action with the Congress to strike a decent bargain in an electoral alliance for the Assembly elections. That things have gone awry was proved by her cryptic remark, to a question as to when AICC observer Pranab Mukherjee would meet her, ?Ask Mr Moopanar.?However, in the last couple of days, with the AIADMK roping in the pro-LTTE Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) into her alliance, the Congress has been forced to fall back on the old warhorse, G K Moopanar, TMC president, to work out an honourable alliance for the AICC. More...
Published: Mon Feb 12 08:55:50 EST 2001

Sri Lanka Shrs End Higher;John Keells Trade Dominates
Yahoo India, February 13. Sri Lanka shares ended higher Tuesday with a single foreign purchase in blue-chip John Keells Holdings dominating the session, brokers said.Encouraged by the improved sentiment, some local investors also bought mainly in the financial sector, they said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 13 10:48:29 EST 2001

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