The Lanka Academic

MARCH 9, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 337

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
Sri Lanka says defence spending to hit $862 million
Yahoo India, Thursday March 8, 4:26 PM. Sri Lanka will spend 75 billion rupees ($862 million) on defence in 2001, parliament was told on Thursday, but there was confusion whether that was an increase or decrease as some of the money will cover payments for last year. Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris told parliament in a budget speech some of the money would cover costs from last year when defence spending boomed to an estimated 80 billion rupees as the government fought an increasingly costly ethnic war. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 10:35:23 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Plans $500M Power Projs To Meet Strong Demand  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka doesn't cut on defence  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka to legalise gambling to fund war  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka gambles on casions to lift war budget  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Sri Lanka gambles on casinos to fund war budget, Mar 08 2001 21:44 IST. COLOMBO, March 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Thursday moved to legalise gambling and said it was privatising national lotteries and raising taxes across the board to finance the war against Tamil Tiger rebels. Junior Finance Minister G. L. Peiris said he hoped to bring in legislation to regulate casinos and centres which accept bets on foreign horse and greyhound races in a move which will effectively legalise them.The government may be taking a big gamble by trying to legalise casinos as a similar proposal in the 1997 budget had to be put on hold after the influential Buddhist clergy opposed the move."We are facing a financial crisis. We are facing a foreign exchange crisis," said ports minister Ronnie de Mel who had presented 11 budgets under the previous administrations. "We are indeed facing a crisis situation." More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 22:21:08 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka increases taxes, tells people to tighten belts
India Abroad, Friday, 9 March. THE Sri Lankan government presented its new budget Thursday calling on the people to bear with across-the-board increases in taxes and levies and ruling out salary hikes for public servants and the private sector. Increases in the national security levy, corporate taxes and administrative services provided by the government will hit Sri Lankans already reeling from price rises after a sharp drop in the value of the rupee against the US dollar in recent months. The government ruled out a salary hike for public servants till 2002 and called on citizens to tighten their belts instead, as the protracted anti-separatist war had taken a heavy toll of the country's economy. "As our country is confronted with a very large defence budget and many other difficulties due to the prevailing high prices of petroleum products, the government appeals to the people to refrain from demanding concessions at least for a period of six months and fully co-operate with us to re-strengthen our economic fundamentals," said Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 03:33:59 EST 2001 Back to the top

Judge pleads for language rights for Sri Lankan Tamils
India Abroad, March 08, . A newly appointed judge of Sri Lanka's Supreme Court, charging that few Tamils rose to high positions in the country today, called for Tamil to be made the dominant language in the island's north and east.Making an impassioned plea for restoration of the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils, Judge C.V. Vigneswaran, who is a member of the minority community, said most Tamils did not want devolution of power, the Daily Mirror reported Thursday. He said Tamil judges could not "hope to occupy the highest office in the judiciary except due to the condescending discretion of the executive". "As a Tamil-speaking citizen, if I do not use my mother tongue, I will soon be forced to use my brothers' tongue", Vigneswaran said, adding "the sterile and impotent cosmetic provision now appearing in our constitution has little meaning to the Tamil-speaking people of the northern and eastern provinces". More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 09:14:58 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil SC judge flays Lanka's anti-Tamil system  - Times of India (Breaking News)

‘LTTE acquires hi-tech rocket launchers from North Korea’
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, March 8. The LTTE has acquired ‘stealth technology’ for their speed boats and also the ‘rare’ but very useful double tube 107 mm Katyusha rocket launcher, probably from North Korea. Writing in the latest issue of Jane's Intelligence Review, Roger Davies says that a video of the sinking of a Sri Lankan passenger ship at the Trincomalee harbour by a Sea Tiger suicide squad last year, clearly indicates these acquisitions. “This is quite a rare weapon,” the author says about the 107 mm double tube rocket launcher. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 22:29:35 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tigers softening terrorist stance: US, Mar 08 2001 14:04 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels showed signs of moving from its "terrorist" tactics and the US may reconsider a ban on them if they shed violence completely, the US embassy here said Thursday. The embassy quoted its ambassador, Ashley Wills, as saying during a visit to the embattled northern town of Jaffna Tuesday that he hoped the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will enter the democratic mainstream. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 09:08:13 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
LTTE told to give up violence  -
End violence and start talks, U.S. tells LTTE  - The Hindu (International)
US envoy praises LTTE?s restraint  - India Abroad

Appeal for release of Tamil journalist
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 14:36 GMT . The international organisation, Reporters Without Borders, has called for the release of a Tamil journalist detained in Sri Lanka for more than two months. The organisation made the appeal in a letter to the Sri Lankan justice minister.It said the Jaffna-based journalist, Subramaniam Thiruchelvam, was arrested in Colombo for his alleged links with Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 10:36:44 EST 2001 Back to the top

US may reconsider Tiger ban
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 17:12 GMT . The United States may reconsider its ban on Tamil Tigers rebels if they shed violence to achieve their political goals. US ambassador to Sri Lanka Ashley Wills said the ban could be lifted if the separatist rebels turn themselves into a political entity. Analysts suggest Mr Wills' remarks are aimed at nudging the Tigers towards the negotiating table as Norway tries to broker a peace process to end almost two decades of civil war. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 22:25:21 EST 2001 Back to the top

Nominations close for cricket board elections
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1800 SLT 08.03.01. Nominations for Cricket Board elections closed today with only Board President Thilanga Sumathipala facing a contest. All other major posts have been won by Sumathipala's supporters without a contest. Sumathipala who is running for a third term is been opposed by Sumith Perera, from the Maduraeliya sports club. Mr.Sumathipala is expected to win easily when the elections are held on March 31st. Earlier there was speculation that Parliamentary speaker Anura Bandaranaike would head a list of candidates supporter by Sumathipala's arch-opponent former Board President Upali Dharmadasa.
Published: Thu Mar 8 07:10:05 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka judge slams Ranatunga
Yahoo India, Thursday, 8 March. Sri Lanka's cricketing legend Arjuna Ranatunga has been castigated by a judge over allegations he assaulted teenage cricket players, seven of whom ended up in hospital. Magistrate Kusala Weerawardhana said Ranatunga had committed a "very serious act" unbecoming of a celebrity and warned him to be better behaved.Ranatunga is accused of beating high school children who chased a cricket ball that went into the compound of the Ranatunga family home Friday evening. The Ranatunga home adjoins the Asoka College in Colombo. "Children are children. You were also a child. When dealing with children you should have been more careful, as well as a respected person in the country," Weerawardhana said. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 03:43:55 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Charges are part of campaign against me: Ranatunga  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka's Ranatunga denies assault  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka sends PM to Pakistan to save Bamiyan Buddha, Mar 08 2001 21:31 IST. Sri Lanka's national parliament displayed rare unity Thursday to send Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to Pakistan to lobby Afghanistan's Taliban regime to spare the Bamiyan Buddhas. Prime Minister Wickremanayake said he will travel to Islamabad Saturday to pressure the Pakistan authorities as well as Afghanistan's Taliban rulers who have diplomatic representation in Islamabad. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 11:39:40 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka pushes again to save Afghan statues  - MSNBC
Lanka offers financial aid to save Buddha statues  - Times of India
Japan, Lanka in last ditch efforts to save Buddhas  - The Hindustan Times

Tight security as Sri Lanka prepares latest war budget, Mar 08 2001 11:56 IST. COLOMBO, March 8 (AFP) - Intense security surrounded the Sri Lankan parliament here Thursday ahead of the release of the national budget, which is expected to allocate an unprecedented amount on defence. With the nation remain wracked by civil conflict, the delayed budget for the calendar year 2001 is set to announce later Thursday nearly a fifth of government expenditure will be spent on defence. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 03:33:34 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka strike back
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 11:06 GMT . Skipper Nasser Hussain hit his first Test century for 15 months as England reached 249 for five at the close on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka. The tourists ended the day 48 runs behind with Hussain one of two late wickets to fall in Kandy.Hussain was bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan after making 109, but not before surviving two controversial umpiring decisions. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 09:24:58 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Whatmore plays down controversy, talks up Hussain  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Hussain hits 109 as controversy looms again  - Yahoo India

Lankan Parliament extends emergency powers
Times of India, 8 March 2001 . Sri Lanka: Parliament extended emergency rule for another month on Wednesday.The extension was passed 102-17, with the main opposition United National Party abstaining. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 09:27:16 EST 2001 Back to the top

Fighting as mediator leaves Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 18:28 GMT . A military spokesman in Sri Lanka said troops ambushed and killed eight Tamil Tiger rebels in the Peraru jungles, near the eastern port of Trincomalee. The attack came hours after an international peace envoy, Erik Solheim, left the island. The spokesman said that, in a separate incident, rebels killed a soldier near Weli Oya close to the north-eastern front. And he said a rebel committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule when troops tried to arrest him in the northern Mannar district. The reports could not be independently verified. More...
Published: Thu Mar 8 03:33:43 EST 2001 Back to the top

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