The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 314

T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Home of Sri Lanka opposition supporter burnt down
MSNBC, february 14. Gunmen in Sri Lanka burnt down the home of an opposition supporter accused of poking fun at an eye injury sustained by President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a 1999 suicide bomb attack, a politician said on Wednesday.The target of the Tuesday night attack, H.H.A. Kamala, was lambasted in the official media after dressing up like Kumaratunga during a demonstration last week, complete with a patch over her right eye. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 09:04:31 EST 2001
Related News Stories
UNP activist's home torched 'for mocking at Kumaratunga'  -
Gunmen torch home of activists who mocked Sri Lankan president  -

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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Committing atrocities 'natural' - Balasingham
CDN, Wednesday, 14 February. Committing atrocities in a war situation was natural, the LTTE's London-based theoretician Anton Balasingham has told a Tamil weekly recently. "In a war situation, the protagonists commit atrocities and that is natural," Balasingham said. He has also reportedly asked Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim as to how Britain could contemplate labelling the LTTE as a 'terrorist organisation' and banning when it was "fighting for the liberation of Tamils". More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 03:43:30 EST 2001

Sri Lanka president slams official waste, graft
MSNBC, Feb 14 2001 12:47 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga blamed inefficiency and corruption in the civil service for eating up 40 percent of the war-torn country's development budget, state media reported on Wednesday.''Over 40 percent of the funds allocated for development are consumed in wastage, inefficiency and corruption by the public sector,'' the state-owned Daily News quoted Kumaratunga as telling a meeting of senior public sector officials on Tuesday. Kumaratunga also said senior civil servants should be paid much higher salaries ''but this could not be done not only due to the war, but also due to the inefficiency of cabinet ministers.'' The government is under growing pressure to raise salaries of public servants amid strong opposition protests about the cost of living which has begun to soar since the rupee was floated last month. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 03:36:27 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka President slams ministers, officials for corruption  -

Five killed as Sri Lanka troops attack Tiger reinforcements, Feb 14 2001 11:26 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 14 (AFP) - Government forces ambushed a wave of Tamil Tiger guerrillas moving from eastern Sri lanka to the island's embattled north, killing at least three, the defence ministry said. Troops attacked an estimated 80 to 100 members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the district of Trincomalee overnight, military spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said.He said two government soldiers were killed and another wounded in the fire fight. Troops later recovered grenades, automatic weapons and medical supplies from the area, Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 01:32:46 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's injured pride questioned
The Times, february 13. THE opinion of ICC delegates that Test cricket has lost ground to one-day internationals in the public perception is hardly one that can be denied in Sri Lanka. They still expect the traditional schools match, Royal College v St Thomas’s, in the first three days of March, to attract more Sri Lankan spectators than the Test in Colombo that will decide the series with England later in the month, but they are confident of full houses for the one-day games. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 23:40:29 EST 2001

Inscriptions reveal ancient trade links with Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, February 14. Recent excavations carried out in some ancient towns of the district have revealed existence of trade links between the region ruled by the Cholas and Sri Lanka as early as eight century A.D, according to a Tamil Nadu archaelogy department official.Inscriptions showing the trade links were found in Deva Nagari script on a stone excavated recently at Kaliyampatti village near Musiri, an ancient port town, Director of Archaelogy A. Abdul Majid told a seminar on 'Facets of hisotry' at a local college here on Monday. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 09:01:45 EST 2001

Malaysian Firms Eye Sri Lanka as Gateway Into Indian Market
Yahoo India, February 14. Malaysian companies are taking advantage of an Indo-Sri Lanka free trade deal to launch a major drive into Indian markets, official sources said.The sources said that by locating factories in Sri Lanka, foreign investors from Malaysia and other countries are able to service the giant Indian market by making use of general concessions that are available under the trade agreement between Sri Lanka and India. More...
Published: Wed Feb 14 09:02:33 EST 2001

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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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