The Lanka Academic

MARCH 2, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 330

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
A Sad day for Humanity - An Editorial
The Lanka Academic, March 2, 2001. About 1600 years ago, a group of artists and sculptors endevoured to create one of the world's tallest statues in a desolate area of the world. Today a group of religious zealots began destroying these remarkable achievements of ancient Afghan engineering and a culture rich of arts. These, immense statues similar to Egypt's Pyramids, are symbols of our past, regardless of what faith we believe in. The Bamiyan statues are no longer objects of religious veneration but are more or less objects of art belonging not only to the Afghan people but the entire civilized world. What would have been the reaction of the international community if religious zealots began destroying the Pyramids, the holy city in Mecca, the Taj Mahal, the ancient Mayan ruins or the Stonehenge in the name of one religion or another.

Destroying these statues do not serve any purpose to anyone. This act by the religious fanatics of the ruling Taliban is nothing but a reversion to medieval barbarism. The Lanka Academic urges everyone to take a strong stand against this ruthless destruction. We urge the highest religious authorities in the Islamic faith and other faiths to appeal to the Teleban leaders to spare these relics of past human glory and achievement. We humbly request all Islamic countries to come together to voice the world opinion to the Taleban leaders in their strongest terms. Many third world nations stood by the Arab world and the Islamic world during various times of crisis important to the Arab world. Now is the time to return the good will.

We urge Lanka Academic readers to write, call or email your political leaders in your respective countries to urge them for immediate action. We specially urge our readers in the Islamic world to prevail upon your local leaders to intervene NOW to stop this barbarism. The time for action is now!!!
Published: Fri Mar 2 10:22:52 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.
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!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Taliban fire mortars at Afghan Buddha statues
Yahoo India, March 2. Afghanistan's ruling Taliban fired mortars and cannon at the world-famous, rock-hewn Buddhas at Bamiyan on Friday in defiance of international protests, sources said.A day after the radical Islamic movement announced it had begun destroying all statues in the 90 percent of Afghanistan it controls, an Afghan news agency also said the Taliban were also assembling explosives to blow up the two ancient monuments.They are using any weapon they have got at the Buddhas," said a Taliban official who asked not to be identified. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 09:34:05 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Taliban smash Afghan statues, spark world outrage  - Yahoo India
World decries Taliban destruction of Afghan statues  - Yahoo India
India slams Taliban "sacrilege" in Afghanistan  - Yahoo India
Taliban begins smashing Afghan statues, including Bamiyan Buddhas  - Yahoo India
Taliban's statue order dismays US  - Yahoo India
Lankan Buddhists want Taliban regime reported to ICJ  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka banks on Pakistan to save Bamiyan Buddha  -

Sri Lanka plays down Tigers ban
BBC South Asia, Friday, 2 March, 2001, 14:38 GMT . The Tamil Tigers are due to be banned in the UK under Britain's new anti-terrorism legislation. Mr Kadirgamar urged the Tigers, who are fighting for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka, not to view the ban as an attempt to derail a Norwegian-brokered peace initiative. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 11:21:10 EST 2001 Back to the top

India pushed British ban on LTTE, Friday,March 2,2001. COLOMBO: India lobbied Britain to ensure Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were banned as an international terrorist organisation, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Friday. Sri Lanka had sought India's assistance to pressure London over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but New Delhi also took up the issue on its own, Kadirgamar said. "I took it up with India's External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and he told me they had already taken up the matter with Britain," Kadirgamar told reporters here. "That is a particularly friendly gesture by India." "We owe a deep debt of gratitude to India. Unsolicited by us, Jaswant Singh made representations to the British government for the banning of the LTTE." But he denied state media reports he was travelling to London at the weekend to thank London officials. "There is no truth in that and there is no question of one sovereign state thanking another sovereign," Kadirgamar said. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 11:22:16 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Foreign Minister welcomes British ban of LTTE and call for peace  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Sri Lanka airforce buys 50 planes in a year, Mar 02 2001 19:34 IST. COLOMBO, March 2 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's airforce said Friday it had bought 50 aircraft over the past year, significantly boosting its fire power capabilities against the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Airforce chief Jayalath Weerakkody said in a statement that they had purchased Israeli-built Kfir jets, swing-wing MiG-27 ground attack aircraft, Bell 412 VIP transport helicopters and C-130 transport planes. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 10:05:19 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka hopes for regional summit this year, Mar 02 2001 19:48 IST. COLOMBO, March 2 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Friday said it hoped it could hold a summit of the seven-nation South Asian group that is plagued by squabbling between two arch rival member state, India and Pakistan. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said he was hopeful that a summit could take place anytime before the end of this year as all member states had agreed to the first step of an official level meet. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 11:20:05 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebels free two civilians
MSNBC, 2 March. Sri Lankan rebels free two civilians COLOMBO, March 2 ó Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday released two Sinhalese fisherman among about 20 captives after an appeal by a delegation of Buddhist monks. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 10:02:50 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Tigers free two civilian hostages  -
LTTE release two fishermen  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

British commentators annoy Lankan cricket coach
Times of India (Breaking News), Friday . 2 March 2001

Sri Lanka's cricket coach, Dave Whatmore, says he is annoyed with some British cricket writers for their disparaging comments about his side after it beat England by an innings and 28 runs in the first cricket test."There have been some unsatisfactory comments made in the aftermath of Sri Lanka's fantastic victory. Much of the post-match analysis was biased and far too one-sided," Australia-born Whatmore wrote on the Web site on Friday.We were particularly annoyed, though, by unfounded accusations," Whatmore said of British media reports calling some of the Sri Lankan players cheaters. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 09:15:59 EST 2001 Back to the top

Cricket Board President to contest for another term
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1240 SLT 02.03.01. Cricket Board President Thilanga Sumathipala is to contest for a third term. The Executive Committee of the Cricket Board set March 31st as the date for its AGM. The EXCO has passed an unanimous resolution requesting Mr.Sumathipala to contest. The Decision comes amidst growing speculation that Parliamentary speaker Anura Bandaranaike was interested in the post if he is allowed to take it up uncontested.
Published: Fri Mar 2 01:52:04 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil donate USD 10,000 to Ranaviru fund
Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles, LA Time 2.00 p.m. March 2. A Sri Lankan diplomat in Los Angeles told "The Lanka Academic" that a Sri Lankan Tamil living in Los Angeles donated 10,000 USD to the Ranavirusvana authority recently. The official refused to divulge the name of the person saying it was done to protect the donor from the LTTE. He said many Tamils living in Los Angeles have donated generously to the National Defense fund and all of them want to see a peaceful Sri Lanka. The official added that Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims living in Los Angeles are living peacefully without any problems and the spirit of unity was shown at the Independence Day celebrations in February.
Published: Fri Mar 2 17:10:09 EST 2001 Back to the top

Government to acquire two bus repair facilities
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1231 SLT 02.03.01 . The Government has decided to acquire two bus repair facilities privatised 7 years ago. The cabinet has approved a proposal by the Transport Minister Dinesh Gunewardene to re acquire the facilities which are closed down at the moment.
Published: Fri Mar 2 01:52:03 EST 2001 Back to the top

Afghans smash ancient statues, defy world appeals
Yahoo India, March 1. The radical Taliban movement began smashing all statues from Afghanistan's rich cultural past on Thursday, turning its back on urgent international appeals to save the ancient artefacts. n Kabul, Mullah Qudratullah Jamal, the ruling Taliban's information and culture minister, said centres where the campaign had been unleashed included Bamiyan Province - site of two soaring statues of the Buddha hewn from a solid cliff that are the most famous relics of Afghanistan's history. "All statues will be destroyed," he told reporters. "Whatever means of destruction are needed to demolish the statues will be used. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 11:38:24 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
BJP, VHP flay Taliban  - Yahoo India
India sends representative to UNESCO meet on Afghan Buddhist statues  - Yahoo India

Sinhala hardliners favour war
The Hindu (International), Friday, March 02, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH. 1. Hardline Sinhala opinion today called on the Sri Lankan state to seize the opportunity provided by the British ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to break off the peace process, but moderates said the onus was now on the Government to demonstrate its seriousness in finding a political solution to the conflict. ` More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 21:04:30 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rightwing aims at Norway for next ban  - MSNBC
Pak militant groups and LTTE denounce ban  - Times of India

Bamian could have saved if we listed- World Heritage chief
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 01 March 1800 GMT. Bamian Buddhist statues are not included in the UNESCOís list of World Heritage Monuments and Sites, chief of UNís Natural Heritage Centre, Dr. Natarajah Ishwaran said today. Talking with BBCís Sandeshaya, Dr. Ishwaran said that although former Afghanistan government accepted to inscribe them in the World Heritage list in 1970ís, practical problems arose as there has been a long running war.

According to UN convention Dr. Ishwaran said that it was the duty of individual countries to name any site as a World Heritage site. He accepted that relying on Nation States to nominate World Heritage is a matter which is controversial.

He said, however, this sort of a problem did not arise in the past and the UNESCO will have to look into the matter in the future.
Published: Thu Mar 1 12:54:19 EST 2001 Back to the top

Rent-a-suicide-bomber threat triggered British ban on Tigers: minister, Mar 01 2001 12:36 IST. COLOMBO, March 1 (AFP) - Britain banned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers because of a possible rent-a-suicide-bomber threat against world leaders, Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said here Thursday. Sri Lanka's separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could have offered the services of their elite band of suicide bombers for other terrorist organisations to carry out attacks, Yapa said. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 03:58:01 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka hails banning of LTTE, Kadirgamar to visit London
Yahoo India, March 1. In a euphoric response to the proscription of the LTTE in Britain, Sri Lanka Thursday said its Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar would travel to London this weekend to personally thank the British government, while the main opposition party asked the government to redouble its peace efforts in aftermath of the ban. It is no surprise to us. We always knew they will ban the LTTE," a government spokesman said, even as the Sri Lankan air force sent its Israeli jets to pound an LTTE base at Iyakachchi, close to Elephant Pass in the northern Jaffna peninsula. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 14:38:25 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
India pushed British ban on Tigers: Sri Lanka  -
Sri Lanka urge Tigers to talks after British ban  -
British blacklist draws militant fire  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka to thank Britain for ban on Tamil rebels  - MSNBC
India hails Britain's ban on terror groups, calls for joint action  - Yahoo India
Lanka hails British ban on LTTE  -

Cricket: England Should Stop Mourning and Play Good Cricket- Graham Thorpe
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 01 March 1800 GMT. Veteran English batsman Graham Thorpe urged his team to concentrate on the next test in Kandy and stop whingeing over umpiring of the first test in Galle. "The umpiring was not the reason we lost the last test. The reason we lost in Galle was because, apart from two batsmen, we simply did not play to the standard required" Thorpe was quoted in Londonís freely distributed Metro.

England lost the opening test in Galle by an innings and 28 runs. Londonís papers were full of criticism over poor umpiring as well as over-zealous appealing and running over the wicket by the Sri Lankan cricketers. ICC match referee decided to fine four SL cricketers.

Commentators in Colombo believe that those happened are human errors and some decisions went against Sri Lanka, too.
Published: Thu Mar 1 12:54:18 EST 2001 Back to the top

ATD keeping close watch on LTTE activities in Los Angeles
Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles, LA Time 8.25 p.m. Thursday 1 March. By Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles: Anti Terrorism Division (ATD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is keeping a close watch on the LTTE and other terrorist organizations in the area, a senior official told the Lanka Academic yesterday. The official said that The Anti Terrorism Division is responsible for intelligence gathering functions related to terrorism in the United States. The division also investigates individuals and organizations that posses the potentials to commit terrorist acts or cause a significant disruption of the public order.

The official said , that that the officials of the unit had been present at the Monrovia high school in Los Angeles last year, when the LTTE screened one of their movies. The sources also revealed that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is more active in the Lancaster where few of their members have made attempts to establish close contacts with the politicians in the area.
Published: Thu Mar 1 11:26:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

TULF deplores ban on Tigers, hardline Sinhalese rejoice
India Abroad, march 1. SRI LANKA'S moderate Tamil party Wednesday deplored the British ban on the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) while a hardline nationalist Sinhalese party said it was "thrilled to bits" by London's action. "It is very unfortunate that this law has become applicable when the prospect of a serious peace process is commencing," said R. Sampanthan, general secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 09:05:31 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Mixed reactions in Sri lanka over LTTE ban  - Yahoo India
British ban on LTTE may clear way for peace-analysts  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka Bombs Tamil Tigers; Foreign Min To Visit UK
Yahoo India, march 1. The Sri Lankan air force claimed a victory after bombing Tamil rebel bases near a strategic causeway Thursday, hours after Britain classified the separatist group fighting for a Tamil homeland as terrorists."Pilots have confirmed destruction of all buildings. It is believed that the terrorists have suffered heavy losses in terms of manpower and equipment in this raid," a defense ministry statement said. The base was a key rebel supply point.State-run radio said Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar would visit Britain over the weekend to follow up the British decision. The ban still requires Parliament's approval. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 09:09:32 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lankan jets hit Tiger targets  - The Hindustan Times
Lanka bombs rebel bases; Tigers branded terrorists by UK  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Singapore-born Indians make vegetarian fare trendy in Lanka
India Abroad, March 01, 2001 18:30 Hrs (IST) . A SRI Lankan with a craving in his stomach but a hole in his purse usually heads for the nearest "thosai kaday," eateries dishing out low-priced traditional Indian food like "dosa," "idli" and "paratha." But vegetarian fare just moved up a notch among non-vegetarian loving Sri Lankans with Komalas, a Singapore-based fast food chain, opening a restaurant here. The bright lights, air-conditioning and McDonald's-style of service might pad up the bill a tad, but the Singapore-born Indian owners, R.T. Sekar and R.C. Sekar, are counting on ambience to bring the crowds in. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 13:58:18 EST 2001 Back to the top

Only 10,000 Americans visited Lanka in 1999
Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles, LA Time 8.00 a.m. March 1. Tissa Wijeratne, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Los Angeles told ?The Lanka Academic? today that he requested the tourism authorities in Sri Lanka to begin a campaign to create a greater awareness among American nationals and encourage more Americans to visit Sri Lanka in the future. The Consul General said that in 1999 only 10,000 Americans visited Sri Lanka when compared to 400,000 to Thailand, 280,000 to India, 300,000 to Singapore, 40,000 to Maldives and 30,000 to Nepal. Wijeratne said ? Most Americans don?t know where Sri Lanka is located and we have to tell them that there is a country by the name of Sri Lanka?

The new Consul General office, which opened in Los Angeles one and a half years ago, was established primarily to promote trade and tourism between the two countries. The state of California is the richest state in the United States of America.
Published: Thu Mar 1 10:59:21 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka bombs rebel bases after Britain brands Tigers
Times of India (Breaking News), march 1. The air force bombed Tamil rebel bases on Thursday, hours after Britain classified the separatist group fighting for a Tamil homeland as terrorists.Several MiG-27 and Israeli-built Kfir jets bombed rebel positions on the Jaffna Peninsula, a stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north. More...
Published: Thu Mar 1 09:07:42 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka urges Tigers to talks after British ban
Times of India (Breaking News), 2 March. Senior government minister, Mangala Samaraweera,asked the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) to enter negotiations without pre-conditions,officials quoted him as saying. They said the minister issued the call on state television on Thursday while thanking the British government for including the LTTE in a list of 21 groups outlawed as "foreign terrorist organisations." More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 10:13:59 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
UK ban on LTTE clouds peace bid  -

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