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
CEB chairman resigns
Rohan Gunasekera in Colombo, 08.45 p.m. SLT Friday March 9. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) chairman Arjun Deraniyagala has resigned. His resignation came in the wake of allegations of corruption made against the CEB by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in a recent television interview. President Kumaratunga said corrupt officials in the CEB have built expensive homes in Cinnamon Gardens and added that she may have to sack some officials as she had done previously. Following her remarks, Power Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte asked the auditor-general to probe the allegations of corruption in the CEB.The power utility has been under fire in recent months because of alleged corruption and mismanagement and for buying electricity at high prices from private power plants.
Published: Fri Mar 9 10:14:28 EST 2001

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Imports kill Lankan economy
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, March 9. IF THE Sri Lankan economy has been in poor shape for the last 10 years, it is not just due to the unending war, but because of the systematic neglect of domestic industry and agriculture by successive governments. In a seminal piece in The Island daily today, economist Dr J B Kalegama said that between 1989 and 1999, both the United National Party (UNP) and the Peoples' Alliance (PA) governments have favoured imports. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 16:43:54 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
War casts shadow on Lankan budget  - Times of India

Politics trumping security: ex-spy Former CSIS chief accuses Liberals of being timid on terror for fear of losing ethnic votes
National Post, march 9. A former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the Liberal government is reluctant to take strong measures against groups that raise funds for international terrorism because ethnic communities are among the party's biggest supporters.Mr. Morden also criticized Paul Martin, Minister of Finance, and Maria Minna, Minister for International Co-operation, for attending a dinner in Toronto last year for a Tamil group that has been accused by both CSIS and the U.S. State Department of raising money for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam."I really am disappointed when government ministers attend their fundraising events because it gives everybody the sort of good housekeeping stamp of approval and it makes it look like it is OK," he said. "It would have shown a lot more leadership to say, 'No, not until ... we can be assured that your money is going to go to the widows and children of that civil war.' " More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 22:45:16 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka sees lower growth, more defence spending
Yahoo India, March 8. Sri Lanka said on Thursday economic growth would slip to 4.5 percent this year and forecast surprisingly high defence spending that raised questions about last year's military spending and budget. Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris told parliament in a budget speech Sri Lanka would spend 75 billion rupees ($862 million) on defence, but added some of the money would cover purchases made last year. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 09:38:35 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka increases taxes, tells people to tighten belts  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka war bill may soar despite peace hopes  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka's budget unveiled  - BBC South Asia
Taxes bite Sri Lanka corporates as Tigers maul balance sheet  -
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  -
Sri Lanka says defence spending to hit $862 million  - Yahoo India

Colombo banking on peace to revive growth
Asia Times, March 9. Sri Lanka's government is banking on likely peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to kick-start an economy slowed down considerably by 18 years of ethnic conflict.Economic analysts said the government's March 8 budget was based on the hope that the peace talks, widely expected to start in May, would trigger a major economic revival, helped by an infusion of US$700 million in foreign aid. The aid has been promised to support rehabilitation programs in the conflict-torn northern region of the country. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 09:54:43 EST 2001 Back to the top

Pakistan Interior Min To Ask Taliban To Save Statues
Yahoo India, March 9. Pakistan, the Taliban's closest ally, said it will send its Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider to Kandahar Saturday to try to dissuade the Taliban from destroying two towering statues of Buddha. "The minister will impress upon the Afghan authorities not to implement their decision, in view of the spirit of tolerance enjoined upon by Islam and also in response to the international sentiments," said a Pakistan foreign ministry statement. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 16:48:35 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan FM meets Pakistan's Musharraf amid concern over Buddhas  -
Sri Lanka: Saddened By Taliban Vow To Destroy Statues  - Yahoo India
We are not like hardcore Hindus: Taliban  - yahoo
ISI behind statue destruction: Afghan envoy  - yahoo
Chandrika offers help to shift Bamiyan Buddhas  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka sends PM to Pakistan to save Bamiyan Buddha  -
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
Taliban blows head off larger Buddha statue: report  - PTI

IMF Endorses Sri Lanka Budget; Advises Deficit Vigilance
Yahoo India, March 9,. The International Monetary Fund Friday endorsed Sri Lanka's budget for 2001, but said the government would have to be very vigilant to achieve a planned narrowing of the budget deficit. Sri Lanka overran targets last year due to battles with Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 09:30:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan president to visit Germany next week, Mar 09 2001 21:12 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will make a four-day visit to Germany beginning Monday for talks on increasing bilateral trade and economic aid. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 16:53:11 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Won't Privatize State Banks - Tsy Secy
Yahoo India, Friday, 9 March. Sri Lanka's budget for 2001 looks beyond the government's war against Tamil Tiger rebels and aims to boost long-term growth and fix imbalances in the economy, the secretary to the treasury said Friday. P.B. Jayasundera told Dow Jones Newswires the government had earmarked 75 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($1=LKR85.70) for defense spending to fight the separatist rebels, but bold revenue-generating measures, including the initial public offering of Sri Lanka Telecom, would help achieve a lower budget deficit this year. "While recognizing the cost of the war, we are focusing on more forward-looking strategies to find long-term solutions," he said. The budget for the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1, unveiled Thursday, didn't give a breakdown for defense spending this year. However, the government last month allocated LKR63.4 billion for defense in 2001 in its appropriation bill. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 07:03:50 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gambles on casinos to fund war budget  -

British cricket writers accuse Sanath Jayasuriya of racism
Yahoo India, March 10,. The Sri Lankan cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya?s remark that he would not talk to ?suddas? or ?white men? got him into trouble on Friday with British cricket writers accusing him of racism. Jayasuriya?s comment to the local media sparked protests by British writers covering the second cricket Test match between Sri Lanka and England. Cricket officials here tried to ward off controversy by explaining that the word ?sudda? was not derogatory. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 16:46:39 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Umpiring ruckus clouds lively game  - Yahoo India
Umpiring blunders take England to brink of victory  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Sri Lanka-England series slides into disarray  - yahoo
Cricket-Jayasuriya gets four-match suspended ban  - Yahoo India
Kandy turns bitter as England take charge  - Yahoo India
England in strong position to square Sri Lanka series  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Whatmore plays down controversy, talks up Hussain  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Hussain hits 109 as controversy looms again  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka strike back  - BBC South Asia

Lankan women demand end to war, protest price hikes
Times of India, 9 March 2001 . More than 1,000 women held two demonstrations Thursday, demanding an end to the 17-year civil war and protesting a hike in taxes and utility prices.Both demonstrations marked International Women's Day in the capital, Colombo.One group traveled in scooter rickshaws decorated with colorful banners, asking the government to begin Norway-backed peace talks with the rebels. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 09:36:18 EST 2001 Back to the top

Indian jets add color to Lankan air force celebrations
India Abroad, March 09. DOZENS of Indian skydivers trailing flags and streamers and air force jets blazing across the sky added a splash of color to the Sri Lankan air force's 50th anniversary celebrations held Friday. ndia's 'Akash Ganga' skydivers and 'Suriya Kiran' aerobatic team performed their breathtaking stunts before a large audience of dignitaries and service personnel at the air force's main base at Ratmalana, a Colombo suburb. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 09:33:01 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan air force marks 50th anniversary  -

'We will never ask India for military help'
Yahoo India, Friday, 9 March. Whether token or otherwise, Sri Lanka will ``never ask India for military help. That unfortunate chapter is closed,'' says Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar. In an interview to Business Line on Wednesday at his heavily guarded Colombo residence, which practically functions as his office for security reasons, the Minister described India's stand on the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka as a ``very good stand, which we appreciate.'' But when asked to spell out the unstated apprehension in certain quarters in New Delhi that if India is asked for any help in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the island-nation, it might involve some token military assistance, Mr. Kadirgamar flatly ruled out such a possibility. ``This is absolutely ruled out. We will never, under any circumstances, ask India for any military help. That rather unfortunate chapter, when you look at it in hindsight, is closed. Neither country wants to reopen it.'' On the other hand, ``India's stand is a very, very good one. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 03:34:44 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
US may reconsider Tiger ban  - BBC South Asia
Ban on LTTE could curtail Lankan Tamils' migration  - Times of India
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

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

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

Cricket-ICC defends position on umpire referrals
yahoo, march 9. A Sri Lankan request that some umpiring decisions should be referred to the third official in the current test series against England was not refused, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement on Friday. Friday's third day of the second test between the two countries was again dominated by the kind of controversial umpiring decisions which have dogged the series. More...
Published: Fri Mar 9 14:41:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

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