The Lanka Academic

MARCH 6, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 334

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
Protesting Taliban
Leo de Lile in Colombo, Tuesday, 6 March 2001 20:41:17. A policeman stands guard as Buddhist monks walk towards the Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrine in the central town of Kandy, 110 kilometers north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka on Tuesday, March.6, 2001. Hundreds of Buddhists monks staged a protest denouncing the decision by the Taliban in Afghanistan to destroy all statues, including two giant Buddha statues dating back to the 2nd century AD.
Published: Tue Mar 6 15:09:04 EST 2001

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Prasanna Ranatunge Evades Police
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 06/03/01 1730 GMT. Western Provincial Councillor Prasanna Ranatunge is evading police arrest for his alleged involvement of Friday’s brutal assault on schoolboys of Maradana Asoka Vidyalaya, a police chief said. Senior Superintendent (SSP)of Colombo Central Police Division D.A. de Fonseka told BBC’s Sandeshaya that four people were arrested and those arrested do not include Prasanna, a member of Sri Lanka’s Cricket Board (BCCSL), or his brother Arjuna. Two accused are sons of Chief Government Whip and Food minister Reggie Ranatunge. As arrival details of Arjuna Ranatunge, who is away from the island are not available, no arrangement can be made to arrest the former Sri Lankan cricket captain, Mr. Fonseka further added.

Meanwhile, neighbours of Asoka Vidyalaya say powerful government figures are making direct and indirect death threats to silence the evidence. They also expressed dissatisfaction for police arresting people whom they called "small fry".
Published: Tue Mar 6 11:58:51 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Cops to quiz Ranatunga over beating of students  - Yahoo India
School boys protests against Ranatunge's  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Ranatunga to be quizzed over beating of students  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Ranatunga to be arrested for allegedly beating boys  - India Abroad
Ranatunga could face arrest for assault  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Cricket - Lankan students protest Ranatunga's assault  - Yahoo India
Conspiracy theory over Ranatunge family attack  - Saroj Pathirana in London

Fresh Sri Lanka fighting kills 10, Mar 06 2001 19:40 IST. Government forces ambushed a group of Tamil Tiger guerrillas in north-eastern Sri Lanka Tuesday, killing at least eight of them, the defence ministry here said. Troops shot dead eight members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Peraru in the north-eastern jungles during an ambush Tuesday, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 10:16:15 EST 2001 Back to the top

Police seize explosives intended to bomb Colombo
Times of India, 7 March 2001 . Police in the government-held northern town of Vavuniya seized 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of high explosives from a Tamil Tiger rebel hide-out, police said on Tuesday.The explosives were intended for use in Colombo where rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have mounted attacks in the past to either dramatize their separatist campaign, kill opponents or cause economic hardship to the government. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 17:32:48 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Police Seize Explosives In Northern Town  - Yahoo India

Canada won't outlaw terror groups - Liberals stop short of ban for fear of alienating ethnic communities
ottawacitizen, March 6. Despite the fact millions of dollars are being funnelled to overseas terrorists, Canada is reluctant to outlaw specific groups engaged in fundraising out of concern for "legitimate expressions of diversity and culture," internal federal memos show.The newly obtained records strongly indicate the government will not follow the lead of the United States and Britain and effectively ban organizations involved in terrorism.While some fundraising by Canadian Tamils supports legitimate social agencies in Sri Lanka, "a sizable amount is thought to be illegitimate, including the channelling of millions to the LTTE," says the memo, one of several federal documents on terrorist financing obtained by the Citizen under the Access to Information Act. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:38:37 EST 2001 Back to the top

Court Rejects Support Ban Challenge
Las Vegas SUN, march 6. The Supreme Court turned aside a free-speech challenge to a ban on giving money, weapons or other tangible support to foreign groups designated by the government as terrorist organizations.The court, without comment Monday, rejected arguments that the law creates "guilt by association" and bans aid even for lawful activities by such organizations.The justices also rejected the government's bid to reinstate two provisions of the law that a lower court barred from being enforced. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 10:15:11 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Antiterrorism Law  - Yahoo India

US gifts equipment to Sri Lanka hospital, Mar 06 2001 18:12 IST. The United States Tuesday gifted half a million dollars worth of medical equipment to the main hospital in Sri Lanka's embattled northern town of Jaffna, the US embassy here said. US Ambassador Ashley Wills presented the equipment in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of here, as part of a humanitarian assistance programme that allows the US Department of Defence to help civlian institutions. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:20:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka peace talks closer
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 13:34 GMT . The Sri Lankan Government and Tamil Tiger rebels are "seriously thinking" about meeting for talks, the Norwegian peace envoy said. Envoy Erik Solheim's comments came after a meeting in Colombo with President Chandrika Kumuratunga.The government and the separatist Tiger rebels have not met for five years, but Mr Solheim has been trying to broker an end to almost two decades of war for more than 18 months. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:27:25 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway to push for Lanka peace after British ban  - Times of India
Norway peace envoy set for talks with Tigers  -
Solheim to meet Tamil leader  - BBC South Asia
Solheim finalising set of CBMs  - The Hindu (International)
Solheim, Chandrika discuss confidence building measures  - The Hindustan Times
Norway talks with Lanka to push peace bid  - Times of India
Norway Envoy: Gap Narrowing Between Sri Lanka Govt,Rebels  - Yahoo India
Solheim leaves Colombo after pushing for early talks  - India Abroad

Swiss couple chargesheeted in Pornography case
Yahoo India, March 6. Three months after a Swiss couple was arrested on the charge of using minor children to pose for pornographic pictures, police filed a chargesheet against them in a local court Monday.The couple have put up a defence that in Switzerland they stripped off when they went to take bath on the beach. They also claimed to have visited India as tourists and said that they were falsely implicated in the crime. 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 Mar 6 10:17:25 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka army deserters win second chance
Yahoo, March 5. Sri Lanka's government has offered a nine-day general amnesty to woo back an estimated 25,000 army deserters.Sri Lanka's government has offered a nine-day general amnesty to woo back an estimated 25,000 army deserters. The latest move, beginning Tuesday, is the first official confirmation that the government will not slow down its military campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels, despite efforts by Norway to facilitate direct talks.Sri Lanka's president, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, told CNN that talks would begin in two months. But she dismissed a self imposed rebel ceasefire, extended for its third month, as a ploy to re-arm and re-group. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:23:43 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Budget To Lift Revenue, But May Not Be Enough
Yahoo India, March 6. As Sri Lanka enters the home stretch ahead of its budget announcement for this year, the signals are pointing to tough revenue-enhancing measures to help bridge the war-torn island's widening budget deficit. The budget for the year beginning Jan. 1, 2001 will be announced Thursday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to present the budget which was delayed due to parliamentary elections in October last year. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:24:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

Buddhists protest Christian conversions in Lanka
India Abroad, Tuesday, 6 March. BUDDHISTS in Sri Lanka are up in arms over foreign and local Christian evangelical organizations converting villagers in remote areas using "unethical, coercive and sometimes barbaric methods." The Centre for Buddhism International (CBI) in Kandy, the central province hill town where the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth is the focal point, has accused Christian missionaries of invading rural villages and tea and rubber plantations to proselytize their faith. "Such missionary activity has upset the quiet and peaceful life of the rural community by the unethical, coercive and sometimes barbaric methods of conversion adopted by these evangelical groups thus creating a conflict situation which often leads to a breach of peace," the organization said in a statement. The statement said the work of at least 73 foreign and local evangelical groups, with names like Campus Crusade for Christ and Christian Literary Crusade, had been studied by the South Asian think tank, the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 07:17:13 EST 2001 Back to the top

England has more to worry as Muralitharan set dazzle home crowd
Yahoo India, Tuesday, 6 march. Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan will be hoping to pile on the misery for England in front of his home fans in the second cricket Test which begins here Wednesday. Muralitharan helped bowl Sri Lanka to an innings victory over the tourists at Galle in the first Test last month, even though he was not fully fit.While Sri Lanka will be looking to extend their success from Galle to Kandy, historically the venue is not their favourite hunting ground.They have won only twice in 10 Tests played at the Asgiriya Stadium, near the town of Kandy, since 1983, lost five and drawn three. The wins have been against Zimbabwe in 1998 (by eight wickets) and against Australia in 1999 (by six wickets).Both victories were fashioned out by Kandy's famous cricketing son Muralitharan. He had a match bag of 12 wickets against Zimbabwe and eight against Australia.Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya has warned against a re-run last year's Test against South Africa in Kandy where the tourists won by seven runs."We have reminded the players at team meetings of tha More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 07:22:34 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Homeboy Muralitharan hoping to give Sri Lanka happy 50th  - Yahoo India
England's hopes rest on Caddick bouncing back  - The Times

Television umpire to be busy during Lanka-England second Test
Yahoo India, March 5. The two umpires on the ground must refer all doubtful appeals to the third, or television umpire, for a final ruling in the second Sri Lanka-England cricket Test, international match referee Hanumant Singh said on Monday. Singh's decision came after English players and commentators strongly questioned some of the umpiring decisions in the first Test, which England lost by an innings and 28 runs to host Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 21:08:42 EST 2001 Back to the top

2 Tamils held with brown sugar
Yahoo India, March 6. In one of the biggest drug hauls in this coastal state, the Narcotics Control Bureau here seized 4.07 kg of brown sugar today. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:26:05 EST 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS: Colombo Port Speeds Computerization
Yahoo India, March 6. Sri Lanka's Ports Development Minister Ronnie De Mel has ordered that the full computerization of Colombo's port be completed in six months, the Daily Mirror reports. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:25:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

Indian diplomat under fire from Lanka press
India Abroad, March 05, 2001 17:30 Hrs (IST) . A Sri Lankan minister and trade union leader of more than 100,000 Tamils of Indian origin has come to the defense of an Indian diplomat who is under fire for having attended a tea workers' "satyagraha" (non-violent protest). Achal Malhotra, assistant high commissioner at the Indian embassy's office in the hill town of Kandy, is said to be under investigation by the foreign ministry for allegedly participating in a strike led by Estate Infrastructure Minister Arumugam Thondaman. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 15:03:37 EST 2001 Back to the top

Coast Guard arrests 11 Lankan fishermen
Times of India (Breaking News), Tuesday . 6 March 2001

Coast Guard personnel arrested 11 Sri Lankan fishermen for crossing into Indian waters in the sea off Tuticorin coast on Tuesday, police said.The fishermen, whose boat was fitted with very advanced communication equipment, were taken into custody near Tuticorin coast immediately after the Coast Guard radar indicated that a foreign boat had crossed into Indian waters, they said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 09:22:47 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan fishermen held  - The Hindu (Southern States)

Lankan Olympic champ Susanthika pledges to donate eyes
Yahoo India, march 5. Sri Lanka's Olympic bronze medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe on Monday agreed to donate her eyes to the country's eye bank in a gesture to mark International Women's Day. I consider it to be an act that can invoke merit in my next life," said Jayasinghe, a Buddhist like most Sri Lankans, who won her country's first Olympic medal in half a century when she finished third in the women's 400 metres in Sydney last year. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 13:22:29 EST 2001 Back to the top

President to take decision today on CWC Satyagraha campaign
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.15 a.m. SLT Monday March 5. A special committee appointed by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge to probe the demands of strikers in the plantations calling for a Rs. 400/- salary increase will take a decision today on the possibility of granting their request.

The two week old Satayagraha campaign initiated by Livestock and Infrastructure Development Minister, Arumugam Thondaman, has now received the backing and support of some 5000 estate workers including almost all plantation sector trade unions and the United National Party. N'Eliya UNP MP Navin Dissanayake yesterday confirmed that the party's trade union, Lanka Jathika Estate Workers also joined the campaign.

The Planter's Association meanwhile has said that it is impossible for private estate owners to pay an increased wage hike of Rs. 400/- per worker and that the ongoing campaign may in the long run seriously affect production costs making it impossible for the companies to maintain profits.
Published: Mon Mar 5 00:45:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

Murder of Nimalarajan: Neither Army nor LTTE involved- Justice Minister
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 05/03/01 1730 GMT. There is no evidence that the Sri Lankan army or the LTTE is involved with the killing of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, a prominent government minister said. Speaking with BBC’s Sandeshaya, Justice minister Batty Weerakoon said that he could not find any evidence in police reports to link Tamil Tigers or SL army to the incident and insisted it was a planned attack by an armed gang.

While accepting that investigators have not yet questioned Northern Affairs minister and the leader of the EPDP Douglas Devananda, who earlier publicly accused LTTE , minister Weerakoon said the police is conducting an open investigation. EPDP is accused as the group behind the brutal assault on slain journalists residence, which also injured his parents and eleven year old nephew.
Published: Mon Mar 5 12:35:01 EST 2001 Back to the top

LTTE attack civilians at Weli Oya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.45 a.m. SLT Monday March 5. A statement from the Special Media Information Center yesterday said that the LTTE had attacked a group of farmers along the border of Weli Oya, killing three. The military pointed out that the dastardly attack took place during the Tigers self imposed ceasefire and the rebels are reported to have also abducted some of the farmers.
Published: Mon Mar 5 00:45:39 EST 2001 Back to the top

Doctor stripped off her rights to practice
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11a.m. SLT Monday March 5. For the first time in the history of the medical council a doctors name will be erased from the medical register. Dr. Mrs. J. H. M. Kularatne, a general practitioner from Kottawa was on Saturday found guilty of professional misconduct and the Sri Lanka Medical Council will strike her name off the register.

Dr. Kularatne in September 1997 administered a lethal injection to an infant by the name of Kavinda Madushan Jayawardena. Taken by his parents for a measles vaccination the baby had collapsed when Dr. Kularatne gave the injection and by the time the child was rushed to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital it was too late.

An autopsy on the dead body performed by the Assistant Government Analyst revealed that the blood contained a chemical by the name of "Suxmethonium chloride," which was identified as the cause of the baby's death.

At the time baby Kavinda was taken to Dr. Kularatne on September 20, 1997, the lady doctor was the District Medical Officer for Homagama. Government doctors are allowed to practice after working hours and Dr. Kularatne ran a dispensary in the evenings at Kottawa.

The measles vaccine comes in two vials. One is the powder and the other the liquid solvent. Dr. Kularatne that day had administered an injection to the baby using the liquid solvent. The result was fatal.

This case was placed before the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the Professional Conduct Committee probed the details. The case commenced on November 5, 1999 and concluded on Saturday March 3, 2001. At this final hearing the SLMC was represented by counsel instructed by Julias & Creasy while Dr. Mrs. Kularatne was represented by Anura Premaratne and Dr. R. A. D. Kumara Wickrema.

A senior doctor commenting on the case said that this should "serve as a deterrent for doctors in future and that all doctors should take due care and diligence in the conduct of their professional duties. After all, doctors are dealing with human-beings and not animals," he added.
Published: Mon Mar 5 00:45:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

Viagra for wounded Sri Lankans
BBC South Asia, Monday, 5 March, 2001, 15:16 GMT . The authorities in Sri Lanka are to prescribe the impotence drug Viagra to some injured soldiers, in an attempt to raise their morale. The drug is being tested in the army's rehabilitation unit, initially on the victims of landmines. More...
Published: Tue Mar 6 07:38:44 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Viagra to raise Sri Lankan soldiers' morale  -

Solheim in Sri Lanka again
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.05 a.m SLT Monday March 5. Norwegian special envoy Eric Solheim arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to help keep on track a fragile peace process with the Government and the LTTE. Arriving soon after the UK announced the Tigers are banned in Britain, Solheim is expected this time to meet with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and other political leaders.

The Tigers though threatening to pull out of peace talks if the UK law is strictly implemented against the organization, have however said so far that they will not scuttle the peace process.

The government meanwhile have appealed to the rebels not to destabilize the peace process because of the UK ban.
Published: Mon Mar 5 00:45:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Norway in talks with Sri Lanka president to push peace bid  -
Norwegian envoy meets Kumaratunga  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Solheim returns to Sri Lanka  - The Hindu (International)

Kadirgamar tells Tamils don’t ‘lose heart’..., says ban 'end of one chapter, beginning of another'
Island, Monday, 5 March. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on Friday reaffirmed that the government would not declare a reciprocal cease-fire, but maintained that the peace process would be on track as far as the government was concerned. He declared that the British ban on the LTTE was the "end of one chapter - a violent one, and the beginning of the next chapter of peace and prosperity." This was said by the Minister at a press conference at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He said that Norwegian mediatory efforts to bring understanding between the government and the LTTE would continue, but was unable to give a date for the commencement of talks. He asserted that all matters relevant to the process — de-escalation of the war, displaced persons, etc. would only be under discussion once substantive talks commenced. "The government is much more realistic, pragmatic and hard-headed. We will not consider the possibility of sequential talks. The discussions would have to commence without a cease-fire, and we would negotiate from that point," he said. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 03:57:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

LTTE gangs assault Sri Lankan music fans in London
Island, Monday, 5 January. 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. Several Sri Lankans have been admitted to hospital with sword wounds to their head, arms etc. All are reported to be in a non life threatening and stable condition. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 08:12:34 EST 2001 Back to the top

Indian high commissioner tours Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.40 a.m. SLT Monday March 5. Indian High Commissioner Gopalan Krishna Gandhi visited Jaffna over the weekend and met with Hindu, Catholic and Anglican religious dignitaries including the Bishop for Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Saundaranayagam.

The high commissioners visit is the first by an Indian VIP after a period of ten years. Met by the mayor of Jaffna, Gandhi was conducted on a familiarization tour of all military controlled areas.
Published: Mon Mar 5 00:45:38 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Indian High Commissioner visits Jaffna  - The Hindu (International)

Kandy umpires given new guidelines
BBC South Asia, Monday, 5 March, 2001, 10:30 GMT . It follows criticism of the performance of umpires Peter Manuel and AV Jayaprakash, who stood in the first Test which Sri Lanka won by an innings and 28 runs. BC Cooray and South African Rudi Koertzen will be out in the middle in Kandy, with Manuel acting as third umpire. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 08:16:52 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
TV umpire to be busy during Lanka-England Test  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Fate of ancient statues in balance as talks with Taliban continue
Independent, Monday, 5 March. The fate of Afghanistan's two towering Buddha statues was unclear last night as last-minute negotiations began to reverse a Taliban decree ordering their destruction. One Taliban source said the statues had not yet been damaged but the work could start at any time. The regime's information minister, Qudratullah Jamal, said the statues and scores of other artefacts across the country were gradually being dismantled.Residents of central Bamiyan, where the two ancient statues of Buddha hewn from a cliff face in the third and fifth centuries are located, said they had seen soldiers firing anti-aircraft weapons at the two statues three days ago.The statues stand as evidence of the Greek and Buddhist cultures that flourished in Afghanistan centuries before the arrival of Islam. But a week ago the Taliban's leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, declared that they were the "shrines of infidels" and should be torn down.Analysts said the edict might be an attempt to bargain with the west. The Taliban have come under strong pressure from UN sanctions, which were tightened in January to punish the regime for not handing over the Saudi-born terrorist Osama bin Laden. More... [Listen]
Published: Mon Mar 5 04:13:41 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lankan Marxists slam foreign powers for destroying statues  - Times of India
We can only pray - Mahabodhi Society  - Yahoo India

Lankan minister threatens death fast amid tea crisis
Times of India, 5 March 2001 . A Sri Lankan minister who heads a union of Indian Tamil tea workers is threatening a death fast 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 on Sunday he would give the president a few more days more to tell plantation companies to comply with the wage demand. More...
Published: Mon Mar 5 08:19:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

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