The Lanka Academic

 
FEBRUARY 21, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 1, NO. 321
 

F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Peace body urges LTTE, Govt. to start talking
The Hindu (International), Thursday, February 22, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 21. The British Government move to delay the decision on the proscription of the LTTE has been described by peace activists here as an opportunity for reconciliation. In a statement today, the National Peace Council (NPC) said the actions of both the Government and the rebels till now seemed to have been dictated by the possibility that the U.K. might outlaw the LTTE on February 19. ``The indefinite postponement of the decision by the British Government is an opportunity for both parties to get away from an over-emphasis on the ban and take positive steps regarding the peace process.'' More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 18:45:40 EST 2001

ASK THE GOVERNOR!
Q&A WITH THE GOVENOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF SRI LANKA
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 5-26, 2001, and check answers here. We have exptended the Q&A period!
No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
UNP to submit proposals for independent commissions
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 21 . The United National Party meanwhile will soon put forward proposals in Parliament for an independent judicial service commission, an independent elections commission, an independent public services commission and an independent police commission. The UNP maintains that a Parliamentary Select Committee set up for this purpose by President Chandrika Kumaratunge, and chaired by Minister Rauf Hakeem is a joke and that the UNP will not be referring the proposals to this PSC.

Yesterday, Tuesday 20th, the UNP submitted the draft proposals to the various political parties. Both the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have accepted the proposals in principle subject to any amendments the two parties would wish to make after a study of the document is concluded. The UNP has set aside March 5, to discuss any amendments to the document. The JVP will make their suggestions, if any, on this day having consulted with the party's politbureau.

Sources within the UNP said the independence of these commissions would be ensured without any doubt by the implementation of a constitutional council which will in itself be an independent body.

The main schedule of this document will cover 85 percent of the appointments to these commissions. The appointing authority for this schedule will be on the recommendation of the constitutional council.

The Chairman of the Constitutional Council will be Speaker, Anura Bandaranaike while Premier Rathnasiri Wickremanayake and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe will be members. Five other members representing people of eminence and stature from civil society will also be chosen. Two of this five will represent the minority community.
Published: Wed Feb 21 08:00:05 EST 2001


Solheim has ?cordial? talks with LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, February 21. THE NORWEGIAN facilitator in the Sri Lankan peace process, Mr.Erik Solheim met the LTTE's chief negotiator Dr.Anton Balasingham in London on Tuesday and discussed a wide range of issues in a "cordial atmosphere", the TamiNet website said today quoting sources in the LTTE. The three-hour meeting over lunch assumes significance in the light of the British decision on Monday not to ban any foreign terrorist organisation just now under its new anti-terrorism law. While this decision has removed a possible stumbling block in the peace process, there is still a danger of the LTTE's getting banned at any time because the provisions of the law are "draconian". More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 16:23:50 EST 2001

Top LTTE official escapes ambush
TamilNet, February 21. Sri Lanka Army commandos Monday ambushed senior LTTE officials as they were leaving after meeting an inter-religious peace group at Madhu in the Vanni, sources said. The LTTE officials' vehicle was caught in a claymore blast which badly damaged it, but the occupants escaped unhurt, the sources said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 22:11:54 EST 2001

SriLankan Airbus makes emergency landing after engine failure
123India.com, Feb 21 2001 18:17 IST. A Sri Lankan airlines Airbus A-320 aircraft carrying some 123 passengers and eight crew made an emergency landing Wednesday after one of its engines failed, airport officials said. The pilots of the Dhaka-bound twin-engine SriLankan Airbus reported that the right engine had failed and the airport cleared them to return to base after jettisoning its fuel over the sea, officials said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 09:17:56 EST 2001

Lankan navy sinks two LTTE boats, 15 rebels killed
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, February 21. SRI LANKAN navy destroyed two logistic boats belonging to the LTTE and killed 10 rebels in a midnight encounter near Point Pedro in the northern Jaffna peninsula, official reports said Wednesday. Escort vessels of a naval convoy, moving from eastern Trincomalee port to Kankesanthurai in the north, attacked a fleet of LTTE boats about 30 nautical miles north east of Point Pedro on Tuesday night. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 11:39:03 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka navy sinks Tiger boats  - BBC South Asia
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Sri Lanka navy sinks two rebel boats off Jaffna  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka navy sinks Tiger sea convoy, 10 killed  - 123India.com
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Sri Lanka navy sinks Tiger sea convoy  - 123India.com

Sri Lanka's lost innocence is cricket's gain
The Times, wednesday, 21 February. AS WE brace ourselves for the beginning of what promises to be a bitterly fought Test series against Sri Lanka, we hear yet more tales of bad vibes between the sides. It is very strange. It doesnít seem quite right. It is not so long ago that Sri Lanka were the pixies of world cricket: charming, talented, a gallant little country that felt honoured to be numbered among the Test match nations of the world. Of course, they always lost. They expected to lose. But they were taking part, and that was honour enough. They made friends, batsmen played wristy cameos, the bowlers didnít do much at all and everyone went home happy. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 04:26:33 EST 2001

Bookies favourite Lanka take on England in three-Test series
Yahoo India, February 22. With bookies favouring Sri Lanka to win the three-Test series against England, home team skipper Sanath Jayasuriya predicted a tough fight in the first Test tomorrow.he cricket pitch in this southern port city is likely to favour spin and Sri Lanka hopes its star spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan, can turn the tide of the game in its favour.The home team is favoured six-to-five over England, according to the British bookmaking firm, William Hill. England are quoted a two-to-one, the same odds as a draw. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 17:05:09 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Cricket-Hussain does not underestimate Sri Lanka challenge  - Yahoo India
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Murali declared fit, to bolster Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India

Chandrika visit to India - a mission to test the waters?
The Hindu (International), Thursday, February 22, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 21. The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, will begin a three-day visit to New Delhi on Friday, amid considerable confusion back home over India's position on the Norwegian-backed initiative aimed at resolving the conflict in the island. During her last visit to India in December 1998, Ms. Kumaratunga signed the Free Trade Agreement with the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee. Since then, she has been re- elected as President, and her coalition voted back to power. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 16:24:27 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Chandrika Kumaratunga to visit India on Thursday  - Yahoo India
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Sri Lanka leader to focus on SAARC revival on India trip  - 123India.com

US astronaut Aldrin to visit Sri Lanka
123India.com, Feb 21 2001 18:39 IST. US astronaut, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon after Neil Armstrong is due to make a brief stopover in Sri Lanka on Sunday, the US embassy here said. Aldrin will be in Sri Lanka for a few hours, the embassy said adding that he was on a tour of South Asia. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 09:16:01 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Moon astronaut Aldrin to visit Sri Lanka  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka rebels agree to free two civilians
MSNBC, 21 February 2001. Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels have agreed to release two Sinhalese fishermen among about 20 captives after an appeal by a delegation of Buddhist monks, the delegation's leader said on Wednesday.''The release was agreed to as goodwill gesture,'' Siyamabalgaswewa Wimalasara told Reuters from the northern town of Vavuniya, adding the rebels had also promised to consider freeing five other civilian captives. He said the two fisherman, Ajith Kumarasiri and U.B. Chandrapala, were captured by the rebels two months ago while fishing in a lake near Vavuniya, 250 km (155 miles) north of the capital Colombo. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 06:36:35 EST 2001

LTTE has given up separatism: peace group
Yahoo India, February 20. In a major climbdown from its intransigence, the LTTE has given up its demand for a separate state and has no design to divide Sri Lanka, members of an inter-faith peace delegation that met Tamil separatist leaders in the country's war-torn north said Tuesday. They (LTTE leaders) told us that they are not asking for separation, but only a system of government under which Tamils can realise their dreams and their equality respected," Rev Malcolm Ranjith, the Bishop of Ratnapura, told a press conference here Tuesday evening. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 13:20:25 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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LTTE no longer separatist: religious leaders  - The Hindu (International)

Sri Lanka raises customs duty amid worsening trade deficit
123India.com, Feb 21 2001 12:55 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 21 (AFP) - Sri Lanka sharply increased taxes on imports from Wednesday as the country's trade deficit widened and foreign reserves fell alarmingly, finance ministry officials said. The government will impose a surcharge on customs duty which will take the 35 percent tariff band to an effective 49 percent rate with immediate effect, officials said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 04:14:23 EST 2001

UNP to submit proposals to Parliament
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday February 20. The United National Party is to submit a set of proposals to Parliament for an independent judicial services commission an independent police commission and an independent elections commission. The party says it will discuss the various revisions in the proposals at the next meeting of parliamentary group leaders.

The UNP will also seek the support of other political parties to push forward the proposals. The UNP rpoposals come in the wake of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge already having appointed a special parliamentary select committee, headed by trade minister Rauf Hakeem. The committee served as a face saver for Hakeem who backed down on a 100 day deadline he issued to the government threatening to withdraw the support of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in the event the independent commissions were not set up.
Published: Tue Feb 20 04:52:37 EST 2001


Vijaya Kumaratunga assassination: ASP remanded, two more suspects arrested
CDN, 21 February 2001. Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge, Priyantha Fernando yesterday remanded an Assistant Superintendent of Police, in connection with the disappearance of Tarzan Weerasinghe alias Herath one of the two main suspects in the Vijaya Kumaratunga assassination case. The ASP was remanded till March 2.Inquiries revealed that Tarzan Weerasinghe and Lionel alias Gamini, arrested earlier by the CID in connection with theassassination, had disappeared from custody. Yesterday, the CID took into custody a leading motor spares dealer and an employee of a private firm in connection with the Kumaratunga asassination. One of the suspects has been described as a former JVP member. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 00:40:02 EST 2001

SRI LANKA PRESS: Korea Grants US$26M Loan For Water Proj
Yahoo India, 21 February. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--South Korea has granted a US$26 million soft loan to the Sri Lankan government to fund a water supply project in the southern Gall district, reports the Daily Mirror. The loan agreement has already been signed by secretary to the treasury P.B. Jayasundera and the Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka, the report added. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 08:03:53 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Korea to give Sri Lanka $26 million soft loan  - Yahoo India

Ramp smashes into cargo plane at Sri Lanka airport
123India.com, Feb 20 2001 18:40 IST. A cargo plane carrying engine spares for a crippled Indonesian aircraft ran into trouble Tuesday when a ramp blown by strong winds crashed against it at a Sri Lankan airport, officials said. The IL-76 cargo carrier had been ready for take-off after delivering the spares for the Garuda Airbus A-330 which made an emergency landing here five days ago, airport officials said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:13:53 EST 2001

London's 'safe haven' shattered by dawn raids
CDN, 21 February 2001. The world's dissidents have adopted the capital as an operational headquarters, report Peter Foster and Danielle Demetriou London Feb 19 the dawn raids in north and west London were carefully planned. At 6.30 am on Tuesday four men were dragged from their beds and arrested by officers from Scotland Yard's anti-Terrorist Branch. Militant groups from many of the most unstable corners of the world - Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey - are known to be raising funds and disseminating propaganda in Britain. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 00:42:04 EST 2001

Tamil protests mount in Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 15:03 GMT . Thousands of Tamil students have demonstrated in Sri Lanka calling for peace, and urging the United Kingdom not to ban the Tamil Tiger rebels.Students have also collected signatures for a petition opposing the ban and political prisoners have written a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Sri Lanka's minority Tamils are becoming increasingly outspoken in support of the rebels, whose headquarters are in London. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 11:22:45 EST 2001

UK to let the LTTE off the hook for now
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.50 a.m. SLT Tuesday February 20. The Hindustan reported yesterday that even though the British Anti Terrorism Act came into force yesterday the LTTE and other foreign terrorist organizations are to be temporarily let off the hook. According to this report, The British Government have decided to not scuttle peace negotiations between the Tamil Tigers and the Lankan Government and hence will not release a list of identified terrorist organizations.

Political analysts in Sri Lanka have pointed out that if the Tigers are banned in the UK it will affect international opinion about the rebel force notwithstanding lending considerable bargaining power to the Lankan government.
Published: Tue Feb 20 04:52:37 EST 2001


`Democracy helps win wars'
Yahoo India, February 21. In the event of a war between a democracy and an authoritarian state democracy is always sure to win, Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Indian Express, said today.Illustrating his point on how democracies emerge victorious, Gupta said the Falklands war proved that a democracy was more resilient. Britain defeated Argentinian dictatorship thousands of miles away from home in 1983. Closer home he gave the example of Sri Lanka where 5,000 soldiers were killed in the year 2000 alone. ``But people have more faith in a democracy. Despite the war, investments are coming into the country and skyscrapers continue to come up in Colombo. The world looks at a democracy more seriously,'' he said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 16:04:11 EST 2001

Deported Sri Lankans taken into custody
The Hindu NUS, 16.00 hrs (IST) on February 20, 2001. Twenty-three Sri Lankan Tamils, who had been duped by an emigration agent and abandoned in Kazakhstan, have been taken into custody by the police soon after they arrived at the airport here, a report said. State-owned Tamil daily Thinakaran said the CID would investigate the group, hailing from Jaffna and including one Muslim for suspected links with the LTTE. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:12:53 EST 2001

Sri Lankan fighting kills 11
123India.com, Feb 20 2001 17:12 IST. At least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in fresh fighting with government forces in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry here said Tuesday. Troops killed seven members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna peninsula while the other four were shot dead at Mannar and Mullaitivu districts, the ministry said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:14:17 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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11 killed in fresh Lanka fighting  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Fresh fighting in Lanka kills 11 LTTE men  - Times of India

Cricket-Muralitharan ready for England
Yahoo India, February 20. Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan looks certain to shrug off a groin injury and play against England in the first test starting on Thursday. Coach Dav Whatmore, speaking at a news conference, said: "He has been bowling during the last couple of days, he should be fit More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:16:26 EST 2001
Related News Stories
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Muralitharan to play, Arvinda recalled  - Yahoo India

Cricket-Jayasuriya lurks in the Sri Lanka shadows
Yahoo India, 21 February 2001. GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sanath Jayasuriya has rarely been overshadowed during his career as a cavalier batsman. However, in recent months Sri Lanka's captain, struggling for form, has virtually disappeared off the radar screen. He has barely deserved a mention in the run-up to the first test against England starting in Galle on Thursday, with all the attention focused on team mate Muttiah Muralitharan and his troublesome groin injury. England will not be fooled by his low-profile approach. The 31-year-old opener from Matara, as quiet and private off the field as he is explosive on it, is due a score. And they tend to be spectacular when they come along. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 18:39:06 EST 2001

Swiss couple remanded to custody till March 5
Yahoo India, February 20. A Swiss couple, facing allegations of using minor children to pose for pornographic pictures, was today further remanded to judicial custody till March 5 by a local court.Police have alleged that the couple visited India and neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to indulge in such offences since last ten years. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:15:07 EST 2001

SRI LANKA PRESS: Power Min Calls For CEB Investigations
Yahoo India, February 20. Minister of Power and Energy Anuruddha Ratwatte has called for an investigation into alleged financial malpractices at state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board, reports the Daily News. This comes after the president, in a recent television interview, slammed the CEB and also hinted its present chairman may be removed shortly. More...
Published: Tue Feb 20 09:15:46 EST 2001

India denies reports
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday February 20. A spokesman from India's External Affairs Ministry has denied reports that India objected to the UK and Japan being included on a monitoring committee which will watch and evaluate an ongoing peace process between the Government and the LTTE.

Some eight countries have been identified by Norway to sit on this committee. Norway has encountered a stumbling block however as both the Government and the LTTE have objected to certain countries being on the committee. Some nations, the Government is not keen to have as the countries are perceived to be sympathetic to the LTTE. The Tigers have also voiced concern over some countries which the rebels say are supplying arms to the Lankan Government.
Published: Tue Feb 20 04:52:36 EST 2001


Asiri offers two-for-three bonus
Yahoo India, February 21. Sri Lanka's Asiri Hospitals Ltd has offered a three-for-two bonus issue of shares, the Colombo Stock Exchange said on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Feb 21 09:17:11 EST 2001

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