The Lanka Academic

MARCH 4, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 332

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 tragic end for Bamiyan Buddhas
TOI, March 5. Taliban officials said Sunday that Afghanistan's ancient Bamiyan Buddhas were nearly destroyed and ruled out any hope for their preservation, ignoring pleas of the UNESCO special envoy Pierre Lafrance. Foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil said he had detailed discussions with Lafrance in Kandahar but could see no reason to stop the destruction, the Afghan Islamic Press reported. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 22:24:44 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Buddhas fall to Taliban savagery  - HT
PM hits out at Taliban  - Hindu

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
Cut of aid for Tigers, says British intelligence
The Economic Times, March 3. A TOP British intelligence officer says cutting off aid from the Tamil diaspora is the most effective way of curbing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The government’s move to cut funding from Britain reflects its perception that the LTTE is “one of the most competent terrorist/guerrilla organizations operating anywhere today,” Lt Col Mike Dolomore, a leading intelligence officer, said at a conference on terrorism here.The move to proscribe the LTTE marks a move to cut the LTTE’s strength at one of its most productive sources through the Tamil diaspora in Britain. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 15:29:48 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
"Jahad Groups Are Criminals", says London conference  - Yahoo India

LTTE gangs assault Sri Lankan music fans in London
Island, 05 March 2001. Agitated by the British listing of the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO), pro LTTE gangs have attacked Sri Lankan music fans outside Acton Town Hall in North London. The attack took place late Saturday night as Sri Lankan music fans were leaving a concert. A Sri Lankan music group called the "Marians" had performed at the venue on Saturday night and as the event ended and the fans left the hall a gang of pro-LTTE Eelamists attacked them on the streets with swords and baseball bats. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 22:34:08 EST 2001 Back to the top

Norway to push Sri Lanka peace bid after British ban, Mar 04 2001 12:56 IST. COLOMBO, March 4 (AFP) - Norway's special envoy, Erik Solheim, arrived here Sunday in a bid to revive the wobbly peace process in Sri Lanka following the British ban on the island's Tamil Tiger guerrillas, diplomats said. The Norwegian embassy here said Solheim was due to hold talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other leaders, but declined to say for how long he will remain in Sri Lanka during latest mission. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 08:22:56 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway's peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka  -
Norway revives Sri Lanka peace bid as Tigers appeal British ban  -
Sri Lanka Tigers to appeal British ban  -

Sri Lankan president says wants talks with Tigers
Yahoo India, March 4. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday described Tamil Tigers fighting for independence as murderous but said her government still wanted to meet them to discuss ways to end 18 years of ethnic war."This war is being conducted against the murderous Tigers, but because there is a deep desire by the people of all communities for peace we are willing to talk to them," she said. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 15:26:57 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga ready for talks with LTTE  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Little chance to save Afghan relics, envoy says
CNN, March 4. A United Nations envoy said Sunday he was "not very optimistic" that Afghanistan's ruling Taleban would stop destroying the country's pre-Islamic relics. The Taleban, the fundamentalist Muslim movement that governs most of Afghanistan, has said it will destroy most of the country's ancient statuary as graven images offensive to Islam. That order could include two massive sandstone Buddhas at Bamiyan, believed to date from the Third Century. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 15:46:32 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Analysis: Buddhas' fate signals Taleban divisions  - CNN
Fate of Buddha statues in Afghanistan unclear  - Yahoo India
PM writes to Council members  - The Hindu
Sri Lanka marxists slam foreign powers for Bamiyan Buddha disaster  -
Vandalising a sacred heritage  - Yahoo India
Bamiyan Buddhas begin to crumble  - TOI
Mahabodhi Society to hold prayer meeting against demolition  - The Hindu

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
Related News Stories
The Buddhas of Bamiyan - Purabudaya  - The Times

Gandhi assures Lanka of India's support to peace process
Yahoo India, march 4. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopalkrishna Gandhi visited the Tamil-dominated Jaffna and pledged New Delhi's continued support to the Norway-backed peace initiative. Jaffna Mayor N Raviraj and two Members of Parliament called on Gandhi and discussed the peace moves to resolve the ethnic conflict, an Indian High Commission release said here. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 15:04:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Opposition Lawmaker's Family Threatened
Yahoo India, March 4. The mother and mother-in-law of an opposition Sri Lankan lawmaker have received unlikely parcels in the mail: a mutilated head and a frozen hand.The mother and mother-in-law of an opposition Sri Lankan lawmaker have received unlikely parcels in the mail: a mutilated head and a frozen hand. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 14:58:13 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Body parts sent to Sri Lankan opposition lawmaker  - MSNBC
Relatives of Oppn lawmaker sent severed hands  - India Abroad
Decomposing human remains for Sri Lanka opposition MP  -

Tigers to appeal against British ban
India Abroad, March 4. SRI LANKA'S Tamil Tiger separatists, under threat of proscription in Britain, have begun to look for ways to get off an incriminating list of foreign terrorist organizations announced by London. Press reports said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had approached leading lawyers in Britain to explore legal avenues for getting de-listed. The Sunday Leader newspaper said the group was also in discussion with human rights groups to see if they would take up advocacy of the rebels' cause with the British Home Office, the first point of appeal. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 09:05:35 EST 2001 Back to the top

Bloody brawl over cricket ball
Sunday Times , March 4. Asoka Vidyalaya in Maradana was in shock yesterday after an incident which the principal described as a brutal attack unbecoming of a well-known family. In this incident, which sparked a protest in the school yesterday, members of the Ranatunga family and security personnel attached to one of them allegedly beat up a group of students severely injuring at least 10 of them on Friday evening. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 01:30:40 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

Related News Stories
Arjuna Ranatunge flees Sri Lanka?  - Saroj Pathirana in London

Lankan minister threatens fast unto death over wage crisis
India Abroad, Sunday, 4 March. SRI Lankan minister who heads a union of Indian Tamil tea workers is threatening a fast unto death if President Chandrika Kumaratunga does not agree to a pay hike. As the tea industry fears the crisis would affect the international market, Arumugam Thondaman, the minister of estate infrastructure and leader of the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), said Sunday he would give the president a few more days more to tell plantation companies to comply with the wage demand. "I will give the president two or three days to take a decision on the report that was given to her yesterday (Saturday)," said Thondaman from the central hill town of Hatton. Tea plantation workers thronged around the stage on which he has been leading a "satyagraha" (struggle for truth) campaign for the past two weeks. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 08:27:39 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lift ban on Tamil separatist LTTE, junior minister tells Indian PM, Mar 04 2001 11:33 IST. MADRAS, March 4, (AFP) - A member of India's ruling coalition, the southern regional MDMK party, has demanded New Delhi lift a ban on the Sri Lankan Tamil tigers, which was banned by the British government last week. "Our party has been prevailing on the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to announce a lifting of the ban," junior federal minister for finance Gingee Ramachandran was quoted as saying by newspapers Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 01:18:48 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tigers get fresh support in India amid British ban  -

Sri Lanka president's party to make show of unity
MSNBC, Mar 04 2001 10:21 IST. The main party in Sri Lanka's tenuous ruling coalition was set to put on a show of strength at its national convention on Sunday in a bid to dispel fears of instability.More than 100,000 delegates will attend the Sri Lanka Freedom Party's (SLFP) 13th convention in Colombo, S.B. Dissanayake, the party's general-secretary, told a news conference. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 01:22:16 EST 2001 Back to the top

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

Troops mount search as Tigers kill four farmers: military, Mar 04 2001 11:27 IST. COLOMBO, March 4 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's elite military units Sunday launched a major search operation in eastern jungles after Tamil Tiger rebels killed four civilians, the defence ministry here said Sunday. Special Forces (SF) units were depoloyed to track down the group of fighters from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) responsible for killing four farmers in the Horowpathana on Saturday. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 01:19:35 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil Tigers kill four farmers: military  -
Sri Lanka accuses rebels of killing civilians  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka lets Gough off the hook
Times of India (Breaking News), 4 March 2001 . Sri Lanka will play down an incident involving England's pace ace Darren Gough and are hoping that the second test in the central hills of Kandy may help him cool his temper. Cricket officials here said on Sunday that they were not pressing a case against Gough following a second incident on the current tour of Sri Lanka when he was asked to leave the field by captain Nasser Hussain. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 14:55:53 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
England skipper plays down Gough incident  - Yahoo India

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

Sri Lanka hails UK ban on Tamil Tigers
Independent, Sunday, 4 March. The Sri Lankan government celebrated its biggest propaganda coup in memory yesterday after Britain put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers on a list of 21 terrorist organisations to be banned in the UK. As MiG-27 and Kfir jets bombed Tiger positions on the Jaffna peninsula, a spokesman for the government, Ariya Rubesinghea, said: "It's a great day ... We don't want to sound too overjoyed but the decision is most welcome." The Sinhalese-dominated government also announced that the Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, himself a Tamil, would leave for London over the weekend "with a message to thank the British government for the ban". The Tigers, who have been fighting for independence in the north and east of the island since 1983, are held responsible for countless atrocities, notably the blowing up of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 when he was the Indian Prime Minister, and the attempted assassination of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Chandrika Kumaratunga, in December 1999. The LTTE is banned in India and America. More...
Published: Sun Mar 4 08:40:59 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
'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)

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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