The Lanka Academic

MARCH 3, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 331

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
Bamiyan Buddhas begin to crumble
TOI, March 4. Using heavy explosives and rockets, the Taliban militia destroyed the heads and legs of two Bamiyan Buddhas, and threatened to demolish all statues in Afghanistan by Monday.Despite international pleas to save the priceless treasures, Taliban's information minister Quadratullah Jamal said, "two-thirds of all statues in Afghanistan have already been destroyed and the remaining will be destroyed in the next two days". More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 16:30:50 EST 2001
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Vandalising a sacred heritage  - Yahoo India

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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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 Back to the top

Taliban says major statue treasures smashed
Yahoo India, March 3. Afghanistan's Taliban rulers said on Saturday they had demolished major collections of the country's historic statues and were knocking down two famous giant Buddhas at the central town of Bamiyan piece by piece. Despite international anger, Information and Culture Minister Qudratullah Jamal said several dozen wooden and clay "idols" had been smashed at historic sites in Herat, Ghazni, Kabul and Nangarhar provinces since Thursday. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 15:15:13 EST 2001 Back to the top
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PM writes to Council members  - The Hindu

US denies any information about LTTE indulging in drug trafficking, 03rd Mar 2001 13.50 IST . The US State Department has denied having any information that the Tamil separatist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is funding its insurgency operations in Sri Lanka by drug trafficking. ''Some believe the LTTE helps finance its insurgency operation through drug trafficking, although neither the US government nor the Narcotics Bureau of the Sri Lankan government have firm evidence to support this suspicion, '' the International Narcotics Control strategy report of the State Department said. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 08:05:06 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka accuses rebels of killing civilians
MSNBC, March 3 . Sri Lanka's military accused Tamil rebels on Saturday of breaking a unilateral ceasefire and killing four civilians in the eastern part of the country. A military spokesman said the killings, just days after Britain put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on a list of groups to be proscribed under a new anti-terrorism law, took place when the rebels abducted a group of six civilians in Welioya near Trincomalee, 240 km (150 miles) east of Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 15:11:29 EST 2001 Back to the top

England skipper plays down Gough incident
Yahoo India, March 3 . England captain Nasser Hussain denied there was an incident involving his key fast bowler Darren Gough during the one-day limited overs match against a Sri Lanka Colts XI here Saturday."As far as I am concerned there was no incident. I am amazed that there has been a statement released," said Hussain. He also denied he had sent off Gough to cool down. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 15:13:25 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka urges Pakistan to help save Bamiyan Buddhas
India Abroad, Saturday, 3 March. SRI Lanka has urged Pakistan to persuade Afghanistan's Taliban administration to halt the destruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said he had urged Pakistan's Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar to help save the 2000-year-old statues. "The Pakistan foreign minister was also very concerned about this and I am fully confident that he will do his utmost to save the statues which are part of the heritage of mankind," Kadirgamar said. Pakistan is one of the three countries, which has recognized the Taliban regime, the other two being Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Kadirgamar said New Delhi's envoy in Colombo, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, had told him at a meeting of Colombo-based envoys he had called Friday to discuss the Taliban's action that India had surveyed in detail the historical sites in Afghanistan, including the Bamiyan statues, which have come under the regime's destruction order. Gandhi said that India was willing to give the survey reports and drawings to anyone who wished to restore or remake the statues. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 13:50:02 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 fire mortars at Afghan Buddha statues  - 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
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'Lanka owes India a deep debt of gratitude'  - Times of India
Hope for Sri Lanka peace  - BBC South Asia
Not an occasion for gloating: Kadirgamar  - The Hindu (International)

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
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Foreign Minister welcomes British ban of LTTE and call for peace  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Sri Lanka acquires 50 new aircraft
Times of India, 3 March 2001 . Sri Lanka's air force acquired 50 new aircraft, including combat planes, to bolster its strength in the fight against Tamil Tiger separatists. "The Sri Lanka air force can, at last, proudly call itself a full-fledged, combat-ready force," its chief, Air Marshal Jayantha Weerakkody, said in a statement published by state-run Daily News on Friday. The air force received several Israeli-made Kfir and Russian-made MiG-27 jets, Weerakkody said. Other aircraft added to the force include AN-32 and Hercules C-130 transport planes and Bell helicopters. Weerakkody's statement came as the air force celebrated its 50th anniversary. The government rarely announces new military acquisitions. More...
Published: Sat Mar 3 13:52:20 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka airforce buys 50 planes in a year  -

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 — 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

Arjuna Ranatunge flees Sri Lanka?
Saroj Pathirana in London, Saturday 03 March 1730 GMT. Sri Lanka’s cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunge has fled the country amid increasing protests, angry parents of assaulted children have been told by police officers. Talking with BBC’s Sandeshaya, M.D. Gunadasa, principal of Asoka Vidyalaya said more than 2000 parents and neighbours gathered to protest this inhuman assault. After the parents agitated to take into custody those responsible, the officers at Maradana police station have promised to arrest Arjuna’s brother Prasanna provided they furnish to eyewitnesses.

Mr. Gunadasa said the protesters were furious when the police told them as Arjuna’s party has made the first complaint, and according to that some schoolboys have to be detained!The principal also expressed his concern about a fair investigation as powerful government figures involved.

While many police officers refused to comment, DIG Colombo division Bodhi Liyanage, told Sandeshaya this is not a matter which should be discussed in BBC. "Two parties involved have complained, investigations are carried out"

Bodyguards and servants of Ranatunge family have brutally assaulted students of Maradana Asoka Vidyala yesterday, which left six teenagers in a critical condition.
Published: Sat Mar 3 12:37:33 EST 2001 Back to the top

Cricket Hero Attacks Blossoming Cricketers
Saroj Pathirana in London, Saturday 03 March 1315. Sri Lanka’s highly hailed cricketer, Arjuna Ranatunge’s family brutally attacked young cricketers of Maradana Asoka Vidayalaya, schoolboys complain. The Lanka Academic reliably learns that ten schoolboys are wounded and six out of them are in a critical condition.

Students of Asoka Vidyalaya, which is situated next to Arjuna’s ancestral home, were practising for the sports meet which was due to be held today. Pubudu Kumarasinghe, a 12th year student described the scene. "The ball accidentally went to Arjuna’s garden while junior cadets were training for the meet. They then requested Arjuna’s mother a couple of times to give them the ball back. By that time, Arjuna’s brother, Prasanna Ranatunge, a Western Provincial Councillor and a member of Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) also arrived the scene on 54-4431 FARGO van and he requested the cadets to come in and take the ball. Mrs. Ranatunga, hailed as a heroine by Sri Lankan media for giving bitrth to Arjuna, started shouting at them and a servant attacked a schoolboy with a machete while Prasanna’s bodyguards followed him !!!"

By that time Arjuna also has been in the seen, the student told BBC’s Sandeshaya. Prasanna’s bodyguards have come into the cadet room of Asoka Vidyalaya and again attacked the students. According to the students the security guards have fired at students, too. When a woman teacher tried to avoid the attack, Arjuna, once known as Captain Cool, shouted at her until she wept, Pubudu Kumarasinghe said.

Asoka Vidyalaya has postponed the sports meeting as students tried to burn the Cricket "Mahagedara". The Lanka Academic learns that Ananda College of Colombo, Arjuna’s ex-school is also planning a huge protest.
Published: Sat Mar 3 08:15:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

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

India pushed British ban on Tigers: Sri Lanka, Mar 02 2001 18:57 IST. COLOMBO, March 2 (AFP) - 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. More...
Published: Fri Mar 2 10:07:14 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka urge Tigers to talks after British ban  -

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

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