The Lanka Academic

VOL. 1, NO. 328

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
British ban to hit Tiger fund raising, asylum seekers, Mar 01 2001 09:06 IST. COLOMBO, March 1 (AFP) - The British ban on Tamil Tiger rebels was expected to hit their fund raising, diplomats here said Thursday as Sri Lanka welcomed the proscription as a move that could have a domino effect in Europe. Sri Lanka's separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were Wednesday included in a list of 21 groups described as "foreign terrorist organisations" and recommended for outlawing by the British parliament.Diplomats said it would now be extremely difficult for the LTTE, which maintains its "international secretariat" in London, to openly organise campaigns to raise money for the financing of their war at home. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 23:53:24 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.
Your questions to date are here. We have closed this session now and have sent all the questions to the governor and awaiting his response.
No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Draft orders of organizations to be proscribed under the new terrosism act 2000 published today
UK Home Office, february 28. A total of 21 international organisations, recommended for proscription under the new Terrorism Act 2000, are listed in a draft Order laid before Parliament today by the Home Secretary Jack Straw. The draft Order will be subject to debates in and approval by both Houses of Parliament.Specific offences relating to membership, support for and funding of a proscribed organisation are included in the Act.

History: The LTTE has been fighting since 1983. More than 60,000 people on all sides have been killed in the conflict.

Attacks: The LTTE has mounted both a military assault and a terrorist campaign, the latter mainly in Colombo. Attacks are mostly targeted against Sri Lankan military and leading politicians using suicide bombers. Attempts to assassinate the Sri Lankan President in late 1999 and early 2000 were attributed to the LTTE by the media and the Sri Lankan authorities.

Attacks on UK or Western interests: The LTTE has never targeted Western interests directly, though Westerners have been injured as a result of LTTE attacks in Sri Lanka. The LTTE's only attack outside Sri Lanka was the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 in response to India's military support for Sri Lanka.

Representation/activities in the UK: The LTTE's International Secretariat is based in the UK, and is responsible for the group's press releases. The UK is also a source of funds for the LTTE. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 12:36:38 EST 2001

Sri Lanka jets hit Tiger targets, Mar 01 2001 09:25 IST. COLOMBO, March 1 (AFP) - Sri Lanka airforce jets Thursday pounded suspected Tamil Tiger targets in the island's north shortly after the rebel group was banned in Britain, officials said. The aircraft carried out a series of bombing raids over billets of an elite unit of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Iyakachchi in the Jaffna peninsula, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said.The aircraft carried out a series of bombing raids over billets of an elite unit of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Iyakachchi in the Jaffna peninsula, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 23:51:52 EST 2001

Tamil Tigers on banned list
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 22:50 GMT . The Tamil Tigers are among foreign organisations that the British Government intends to ban under new anti-terrorist legislation.British Home Secretary Jack Straw announced the list of organisations on Wednesday, saying he was satisfied that they were involved in terrorism. The Tigers said the decision to include them on the list would impose severe restraints on the Norwegian-backed Sri Lankan peace process. But the Sri Lankan Government welcomed the ban as a move that would promote peace efforts, and said it hoped Britain would take it to its "logical conclusion".The Tigers' chief negotiator Anton Balasingham, who is himself based in London, is likely to be affected by the ban. A press release by the Tamil Tigers quoted him as saying:It is a sad day for Anglo-Tamil relations. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 19:42:21 EST 2001
Related News Stories
UK Moves To Ban 21 Foreign Groups Deemed To Be Terrorists  - Yahoo India
LTTE, Lashkar among 21 outfits banned in U.K.  - The Hindu
UK to ban Tamil Tigers  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers banned in Britain amid Oslo peace bid  -

LTTE Banned in London
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 28 February 1600 GMT. Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) have been included in a list 21 "international terrorist organisations" recommended for banning in Britain by the Ministry of Home Affairs (Home Office), AFP reports.The recomendation should be ratified by the Westminster parliament, before come into effect.
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:13:53 EST 2001
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Sri Lanka Tigers face ban in Britain  -

UK ban imposes restraints on peace process - LTTE
TamilNet, February 28. The British decision to include the LTTE on the list of proscribed terrorist organisations will impose severe restraints on the current peace initiatives undertaken by the Norwegian Government to resolve the civil war in Sri Lanka. So declared Mr. Anton Balasingham, chief negotiator and political advisor of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commenting on the inclusion of his political movement on the list of proscribed organisations announced by the Home Secretary Jack Straw in the British Parliament this afternoon. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:46:26 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Ban on Tamil rebel group clouds peace talk bid  - Yahoo

LTTE will remain in peace talks
The Hindu (International), Thursday, March 01, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 28. The LTTE today said it would remain in the Norwegian facilitated peace initiative despite the British Government's recommendation to the House of Commons that it should be banned, but said it would impose severe restraints on the search for a solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. In a statement seen on the internet, the LTTE representative in London, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said ``irrespective of the British ban, the Tamil Tigers would continue with the peace process and co-operate with the Norwegian facilitatory efforts''. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 17:42:06 EST 2001

Sri Lanka rallies support for saving Buddha statues
The Hindu (International), Thursday, March 01, 2001. COLOMBO, FEB. 28. Sri Lanka today said it had begun rallying support to safeguard the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan which face the threat of being destroyed by the Taliban following an order by its leader to tear down all statues in the country. According to a statement, Sri Lanka will chalk out a joint strategy with the Governments of Buddhist countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and also India and Nepal to prevent the destruction of the statues of Buddha that are said to date back to 2nd century A. D. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 22:26:33 EST 2001

CAFOD Calls LTTE to Stay in Peace Process
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 28 February 1815 GMT. The Catholic aid agency CAFOD today urged the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) to remain fully engaged in Sri Lanka's peace process after they were today banned by the British government.

The ban means that LTTE will not be able to raise funds and outlaws membership in Britain.

"My recent visit to the north indicate a yearning by the people for a just and lasting peace to enable them to get on with re-building their shattered lives. CAFOD strongly believes that the current peace process facilitated by Norway and supported by the United Kingdom and India offers the best opportunity for securing a just and lasting peace."said CAFOD's Sri Lanka Programme Officer Steve Alston.
Published: Wed Feb 28 13:23:25 EST 2001

British government to debate today on the list of banned rebel organizations
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 28. The British Government may debate today on the list of proscribed terrorist organizations. According to political sources in the UK, Britain may release some information regarding the banned groups within the course of today.

Despite pressure from the Sri Lankan Government, Britain has yet to state if the LTTE will be placed on this list. Interior Minister, Jack Straw whose role it is to disseminate information has so far remained tight-lipped about the organizations the UK will decide to ban. Straw however it is reported will divulge some information with regard to this issue today.
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:27:52 EST 2001

Related News Stories
Banned 'terror' groups to be named  - BBC

Prof. G. L. Peiris and Dr. Sarath Amungama possible negotiators
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 28. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has chosen two ministers, Prof. G. L. Peiris and Dr. Sarath Amunugama to be part of a government delegation that will hold the first round of talks with the LTTE.

Reliable sources said that negotiations between the Government and the LTTE are definitely on the cards and that while the LTTE have not yet divulged the names of possible negotiators the president has already identified five, including Peiris and Amunugama to play a role.
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:27:52 EST 2001

S. Lanka, England Test venue declared `high-security zone'
Yahoo India, 01 March 2001. Colombo, Feb 28 (ANI): The Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy, venue for the second cricket Test between hosts Sri Lanka and England, has been declared a `high-security zone' to prevent demonstrations by nationalists demanding a British ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). According to local cricket officials, around 450 policemen would seal off a 300-metre area around the stadium for the Test, beginning March 7. "We want to prevent incidents like what happened in Galle," Janaka Pathirana, secretary of the Central Province Cricket Association, said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 19:19:22 EST 2001

Muslim party to urge Taliban against destroying statues
IndiaAbroad, february 28. SRI Lanka's main Muslim party is to launch an international campaign to urge Afghanistan's Taliban regime not to destroy the centuries-old statues of the Buddha in that country. Trade Minister Rauf Hakeem, who is also the co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), said his party would join the government in appealing to the Taliban to desist from carrying out the order issued by the group's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar. "This decree is wrong and has been taken without the proper understanding of Islamic tolerance," said Hakeem. He appealed to all governments to join in pressuring the Afghan authorities from carrying out the order. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:59:42 EST 2001

SRI LANKA PRESS: New Mobile Phone Tariff Decision By May
Yahoo India, 01 March 2001. Sri Lanka's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission will make a final decision on introducing a "calling party pays" system for mobile phone operators by May this year, the Daily Mirror reports, quoting the minister of telecommunications. If the system is adopted, all mobile operators will let subscribers receive calls free of charge. Currently, both caller and receiver pay. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 23:55:35 EST 2001

A weak cuppa
Yahoo India, 01 March 2001. THE tea industry might not be totally elated by the Budget proposals. While the valuation of tea majors such as Tata Tea and Goodricke may show some gains in the near term, with imports becoming more expensive, the prices in the domestic market may soon improve, and be reflected in the performance of the companies.The tea industry may be relieved that some measure has been taken to protect it from the WTO provisions that take effect from April 1. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 19:24:21 EST 2001

ADB Pledges Funds To Spur Invest In Sri Lanka Oil Efforts
Yahoo India, 01 March 2001. COLOMBO (AP)--The Asian Development Bank has pledged a $325,000 credit line as part of efforts to promote foreign investment in offshore oil production in Sri Lanka, officials said. The money will be used to fund a study that will suggest updating the current Sri Lankan laws on oil exploration and discuss possible profit-sharing arrangements and financial incentives that can be given to new investors. It will also aim to update the existing seismic data, said Anil Obeysekera, head of the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 19:09:19 EST 2001

Wet blankets for streakers at Sri Lanka-England Test
Yahoo, february 28. Police will be armed with blankets to cover potential streakers at the second cricket Test between England and Sri Lanka in the hill capital of Kandy next week.An inner ring of policemen at the Asgiriya International Stadium will be given blankets to quickly tackle any streaker before making a splash in front of television cameras and the crowds, local officials said.It comes after two foreign spectators were fined 50 US cents for streaking during a rugby match in Kandy last year, 112 kilometres (72 miles) north-east of the capital Colombo, police said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 12:01:16 EST 2001

We Condemn Taleban Order to Destroy Buddha Statues- Rauff Hakeem
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 28 February 1130 GMT. A leading Muslim cabinet minister strongly criticized the Taleban regime of Afghanistan for its decision to demolish two unique statues of the Buddha. Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the Minister for Trade, Muslim affairs and Shipping Development Rauff Hakeem told BBC’s Sandeshaya that the move, which he said was a demonstration of the ignorance of the Taleban about the tolerant teachings of Islam, should be condemned by all Muslims and he would launch an International campaign to stop the demolition of the statues.

The historical statues near the town of Bamian are to be destroyed according to a decree issued by Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. " All we breaking are stones" he was quoted as saying.

Many international leaders and organisations including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan have called for the preservation of the statues. There are, however, obstacles to intervene directly to this matter, says Piyasiri Wijayasekara, Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent delegate to UNESCO; Bamyan statues are not inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Monuments and Sites and the Taleban regime is not recognized as a government by many countries and organisations.
Published: Wed Feb 28 06:27:34 EST 2001

Britain refused to meet the Sri Lankan Tamil political parties
eelamnation, february 27. The British High Commissioner in Colombo, Ms. Linda Dufield, said in a letter to the ten political parties on Monday that their request for a meeting with the British Prime Minister Hon. Tony Blair is not granted. The Tamil political parties requested the High Commissioner early this month to make arrangements to see the Prime Minister of Great Britain to urge him not to proscribe the Liberation Tigers as a terrorist organization. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 12:12:08 EST 2001

Taliban order targets 5th-century Buddhas
San Jose Mercury News, Tuesday, February. 27, 2001. KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban rulers ordered the destruction Monday of all statues, including a pair of monumental fifth century Buddhas towering over 100 feet tall and carved out of a mountainside. The order came from the Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, who issued an edict declaring statues, including the ancient Buddhas, insulting to Islam. ``Because God is one God and these statues are there to be worshiped, and that is wrong, they should be destroyed so that they are not worshiped now or in the future,'' Omar said in his edict, published by the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency. More... [More photos of Bamiyan ruins]
Published: Tue Feb 27 10:49:48 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Lanka, Thailand decry Taliban threat to destroy ancient Buddha statue  - The Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka shocked by Taliban move to destroy Bamiyan Buddhas  -

Sri Lanka pays compensation for killings
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 15:49 GMT . The Sri Lankan government has paid compensation to the families of nineteen people killed at a rehabilitation camp for Tamil detainees. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who handed the money to the families, said she believed that groups such as the Tamil Tigers and hardline Sinhala nationalist parties were behind the incident at Bandarawela camp last October in which twenty-six people died. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:33:23 EST 2001

Hakeem condemns Taliban Movement bad moves against Buddhism
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday February 28. Minister for Trade Rauf Hakeem today condemned a decision by the Taliban Movement in Afghanistan to remove all statues of the Buddha. Hakeem said this was an insult against all Muslims around the world as Islam taught tolerance, respect and understanding of other religions. Hakeem made these observations just before leaving on a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:27:51 EST 2001

Lanka minister on hunger strike to demand better pay for Tamilians
India Abroad, february 25. SRI Lankan minister has threatened to go on a hunger strike, imbibing only rice porridge and water till some 100,000 Indian Tamil workers are given a pay hike, press reports said. Arumugam Thondaman, minister for estate infrastructure and a trade union leader, told the state-run Sunday Observer he would be on the restricted diet till laborers on tea plantations are given an increase of Sri Lankan Rs. 400. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:35:35 EST 2001

Sri Lanka moves to save Bamiyan Buddhas from Taliban, Feb 28 2001 17:47 IST. Sri Lanka, which is a seat of Theravada Buddhism, Wednesday launched a major diplomatic offensive aimed saving the historic Buddha statues threatened by the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar asked his envoys in India, Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal to have urgent consultations to work out a common international strategy to deal with the threat, a statement said. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:08:50 EST 2001
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Sign Petition to the UN  - Petitions

Courtroom ordeals for Lankan pedophilia victims
India Abroad, february 27. More pedophiles are being hauled up before courts in Sri Lanka, but long courtroom ordeals and callousness among court officials may be leaving the young victims even more traumatized. Judicial officials say that 1,200 cases of pedophilia were reported last year alone, more than the nearly 1,000 reported cases of both murder and rape put together. Professor Harendra de Silva, chairman of the National Child Protection Authority, described the number of child abuse cases as the highest ever to be registered in a single year. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:34:45 EST 2001

Sri Lankan bishops join peace moves
India Abroad, february 25. Three Sri Lankan Roman Catholic bishops from the war-torn north and east will urge President Chandrika Kumaratunga to reciprocate the truce currently being observed by Tamil Tiger separatists. Newspaper reports said clergymen from northern Jaffna, northwestern Mannar and eastern Trincomalee provinces will meet Kumaratunga this week to ask for an early start to peace negotiations with the separatist rebels. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 11:36:40 EST 2001

SLFP party office at Bulathsinhala attacked
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5 p.m. SLT Wednesday February 28. The party head office in the Kalutara district of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was attacked at around 1.30 a.m. this morning at Bulathsinhala. The attackers are believed to have used either a shot gun or 'gal kattas' to cause damage to the office. A door and the glass pane on a window was damaged. No suspects have been arrested as yet.
Published: Wed Feb 28 09:27:53 EST 2001

Britain Bans LTTE ?
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 28 February 1300. The British Home Office is due to publish today the list of banned organisations under the new anti terrorist act. There have been rumours that Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka will also be included in the proscribed list.
Published: Wed Feb 28 08:12:52 EST 2001

Sri Lanka's partially-blind president to donate eye, Feb 28 2001 09:40 IST. COLOMBO, Feb 28 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who lost an eye in an assassination bid, was Wednesday to pledge her remaining eye for transplant after her death, officials said. Kumaratunga would sign papers donating her left eye as part of a campaign to encourage the donation of 100,000 eyes, said Ariya Rubasinghe, the director general of her secretariat. More...
Published: Wed Feb 28 00:26:33 EST 2001

Norwegian peace envoy pushes MOU forward
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday February 27. Diplomatic sources have revealed that Norway's special envoy Eric Solheim is working hard to pressurize both the Government and the LTTE to signing a Memorandum of Understanding before March 24, 2001 when the unilateral ceasefire, extended by the LTTE for a further one month on February 24, will again end.

Solheim is reported to have disclosed that if both parties do place their signatures to this document peace talks can begin as early as April this year. The Norwegian met with the LTTE's Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham in London last week for the last time before he will meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge in Colombo next week.

Solheim was expected in Colombo this week but was forced to push back his arrival as President Chandrika Kumaratunge left on a two day visit to India. Though Solheim is now expected in the Island next week this too may change as Kumaratunge is scheduled to leave for Europe for a period of 14 days. The Norwegian as a result may have to bide his time and perhaps meet with her at a European destination.

Meanwhile, Mervyn Silva the Deputy Minister for Social Services & Housing Development for the Fishing Community in the South, today led a protest march along the Galle Road to the British High Commission to hand over a letter demanding that UK proscribe the LTTE. The protesters were stopped at police barriers in the high security area, but Silva together with a few of his supporters was allowed to walk to the BHC and hand over his letter.

The deputy minister addressing a large and unruly crowd minutes before he handed over the letter threatened that if the UK did not ban the Tigers, bigger protests would soon follow.

The Sihala Urumaya too issued a press statement today calling upon the government to refrain from initiating a dialogue with the LTTE and instead to concentrate on militarily defeating the Tigers.
Published: Tue Feb 27 10:18:34 EST 2001

NPC deplores military ambush in the Vanni during peace visit
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.25 p.m. SLT Tuesday February 27. The National Peace Council in a media statement today says that last week's attempt by the military to target top rung Tigers after a meeting between members of the LTTE's political wing and an inter-religious peace delegation from the south of the country was a blow to a civic peace initiative.

The meeting took place in LTTE-controlled territory after the peace delegation received approval to enter it from both the government and LTTE.

As an organisation that seeks to promote a negotiated political solution to the ethnic conflict, the National Peace Council participated in this meeting between the LTTE and the inter-religious peace delegation.

The LTTE leaders who met with the peace delegation are reported to have narrowly escaped being ambushed by suspected government forces shortly after leaving the meeting place. The permission given by the government to the peace delegation to cross over into LTTE-controlled area at this time when the government has refused to reciprocate the LTTE's unilateral ceasefire needs to be appreciated. But, the NPC asserts that the organization views the attempted ambush after a peace meeting as a blow to civic efforts to build bridges of goodwill and understanding between the conflicting parties.
Published: Tue Feb 27 10:27:09 EST 2001

President deplores public service sector
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 p.m. SLT Tuesday February 27. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge addressing a gathering of personnel from Sri Lanka's public service sector today, said that in future all increments and promotions would depend on the merit performance of the individual.

The president went on to add that Sri Lanka's public service was sadly lacking in management skills and was still functioning according to an old system that urgently requires upgrading. She further observed that employees in the public service were not committed or skilled in their work and that she intended to change this sorry state of affairs.
Published: Tue Feb 27 10:18:34 EST 2001

In their own words
National Post, february 24. The government's foolishness or knavery on the subject is now exposed for all to see. Ottawa's own lawyers in the Suresh deportation case explicitly named FACT as one of the Tamil Tigers' many "political and benevolent front organizations" -- one that "raises money" from "willing or unwilling expatriate communities abroad, such as the large number of Tamil refugees in Canada." That is, the government makes the case in court that the organization defended by ministers in Parliament, extorts money from overseas Tamils -- perhaps from the very constituents in whose interests the Liberal ministers self-righteously claim to be acting. You might expect decency to prompt Mr. Martin and Ms. Minna to apologize to those whose reputations they sullied so gratuitously last year. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 20:35:55 EST 2001

The Lanka Academic, Monday, 26 February 2001. England's batsman Graham Thorpe plays a defensive stroke as cricket fans demonstrate demanding the British government to ban the Tamil Tiger rebels operations in England, during the final day of the first cricket test between England and Sri Lanka on Monday, February 26, 2001. The demonstrators want the British government to include Tamil Tigers in a list of organizations banned under England's new anty terrorism act. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 00:54:24 EST 2001
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Sri Lankan media acknowledges faulty umpiring  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Sri Lanka protesters demand British ban on rebels
MSNBC, Feb 27 2001 13:17 IST. Demonstrators demanding Britain ban Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels handed over a petition to the British High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday after a lacklustre protest march sponsored by the government. ''This is a peaceful demonstration to demand that Britain ban the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). If they don't, we will take more drastic action,'' said Deputy Fisheries Minister Mervyn Silva, who led the march. A Reuters cameraman said no more than 200 people turned out for the march, which was announced in an official government communique. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 09:08:02 EST 2001
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Sri Lankans demonstrate, demand ban on LTTE  - Times of India

Firemen squabble over cost of blaze at fireworks factory
Island, 28 February 2001. COLOMBO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan police were squabbling on Tuesday with a local fire brigade over the cost of fighting a blaze at a fireworks factory after an explosion that killed three people. "Almost one hour after the blast...we are having some difficulty getting a fire brigade," said Raja Weerakoon, Senior Superintendent of Police in the Kimbulapitiya area where the factory was located about 35 km (21 miles) north of Colombo. He said the fire brigade at the nearby Gampaha town was demanding 10,000 rupees ($116) to fight a fire outside their municipal area. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 22:43:52 EST 2001
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Firemen squabble over cost of Sri Lanka blaze  - MSNBC
Three killed in fire cracker factory blow up in Sri Lanka  -
Fire cracker factory blows up in Sri Lanka  -

Sri Lanka declares amnesty for army deserters
ABC News, february 27. Sri Lanka on Tuesday declared an amnesty for army deserters in a bid to woo them back into ranks depleted by an 18-year ethnic war. "An amnesty is declared from March 6-14 for all soldiers who have deserted the ranks," the Defence Ministry said in statement. Similar amnesties have been announced several times in the past, but have met with only a lukewarm response from an estimated 15,000 deserters. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 09:48:29 EST 2001

Indian aerobatic team for Sri Lanka airforce jubilee, Feb 27 2001 10:35 IST. India's aerobatic squad is expected to be the main attraction at the golden jubilee of Sri Lanka's airforce next month, officials here said Tuesday. The aerobatics squad known as Surya Kiran will perform at the main celebrations at the Ratmalana airforce base, just outside the Sri lankan capital Colombo on March 9, officials said. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 09:06:41 EST 2001

SRI LANKA PRESS:Parties Want To Meet Govt Ahead Of Budget
Yahoo India, February 27. Political party leaders have requested a meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and finance ministry officials before the presentation of the 2001 budget, reports the Island Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Feb 27 09:05:49 EST 2001

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