The Lanka Academic

MARCH 11, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 339

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
Giant Buddha statues 'blown up'
BBC, 12 March 2001. Afghanistan's ruling Taleban have blown up two giant Buddha statues in defiance of international efforts to save them, according to independent reports.United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in Pakistan on a tour of the region, described the Taleban's acts as a disservice to themselves and to Islam. Reports say the demolition of the ancient monuments near Bamiyan - one thought to be the tallest of its kind in the world - was supervised by the Taleban's defence minister over the last few days. An aid worker quoted by the AP news agency said witnesses told him the destruction was now completed. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 22:10:18 EST 2001
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Taliban FM to meet Annan, discuss Afghan issues  - Daily Star

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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LTTE special squad targets Kadirgamar
Deccan Herald, 12 March 2001. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have detailed a special Black Tiger wing to plot the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, following the success of his efforts to have the terrorists banned internationally, The Island paper reported quoting sources in northern Wanni. According to reports, LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has told a meeting of Tiger cadres that Mr Kadirgamar was a 'traitor to his race', and would be silenced. Mr Kadirgamar has been under threat ever since he became Foreign Minister in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Peoples' Alliance government in August 1994. He is the most high profile Tamil official in government and public service in Sri Lanka and is one of the island nation's most heavily-guarded cabinet ministers. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 22:00:26 EST 2001 Back to the top

India wary of greater Norway role in Lanka: paper
India Abroad, March 11, 2001 13:50 Hrs (IST) . India has advised Sri Lanka to limit Norway's peace bid in the island's ethnic conflict as it is wary of greater outside involvement in affairs of this region, press reports said Sunday. New Delhi raised objections to a pre-talks Norwegian-proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU), which included an international team of monitors, when President Chandrika Kumaratunga visited India earlier this month, the Sunday Leader said. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:09:55 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Norway's peace bid in Sri Lanka hits new snags: report  -

President's complex to cost Rs. 1.7 billion
Sunday Times, March 11. The Presidential complex including the secretariat is estimated to cost Rs. 1.7 billion.According to architects the estimated cost to be incurred for the Presidential Complex at Madiwela is very high.The official residence covering 12,879 square feet will contain five rooms and two living rooms is estimated to cost Rs. 600 million. This will be Rs. 46,587 per square foot.The cost of building for a middle class set up is Rs. 1,000 per square foot, and anything more than Rs. 2,500 would be seen as non viable purely on a commercial basis, one architect said. "However, people spend on prestige," he added. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:39:12 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to press for EU ban on Tamil Tiger rebels
Times of India (Breaking News), 11 March. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to urge all European Union nations to ban the Tamil Tiger rebel group, which has been fighting a separatist war since 1983. Kumaratunga left on Saturday for a European tour that will include visits to Belgium and the Netherlands. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:12:26 EST 2001 Back to the top

Singapore-based Sri Lanka Tigers operation crushed, Mar 11 2001 19:45 IST. Singapore authorities recently crushed an operation here, that had been raising money for Sri Lanka's rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a TV news report said Sunday. ChannelNews Asia quoted Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng as saying the operation was headed by a Singaporean of Sri Lankan origin who had been trained by the LTTE. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:08:27 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Tamil Tiger Aid Operation Crushed In Singapore - Report  - Yahoo India

Police tear gas attack kills heart patient
CDN, 12 March 2001. A heart patient who was caught in the tear gas attack by Galle police to disperse an angry mob following the fatal motor accident killing eight year old student last Friday died on admission to hospital. The victim, Don Kirigoris Weeratunga (68) of Gonnagahawatte, Ahangama had been waiting for a bus with his wife at the Galle railway station after having a medical check-up at a clinic held at the Karapitiya teaching hospital when the incident took place. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 19:23:37 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sombre in Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, march 12. ANY visitor to Sri Lanka who hoped to see the people euphoric following the UK Government's move to ban the LTTE, would be disappointed. From the cab driver to the restaurant waiter; from the hotel front- office manager to a senior Army official, all think that an end to their strife-torn lives is far, far away. And the British Government's decision not to allow a free run to the Lanka Tamils from its soil is but a tiny step. ``How do I feel? I feel nothing. Yesterday I felt nothing, today I feel nothing and I guess tomorrow will be the same. As a military man I'm not expected to feel; I'm just expected to do my duty, which is to protect the sovereignty of my country,'' this is how a middle-level officer of the Sri Lankan Army responds to the UK's anti-terrorism legislation. ``Anyway, let the Bill be passed by their Parliament,'' he adds with a shrug. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 18:34:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sanath to face Condon inquiry
Sunday Times, March 11. Officers from Sir Paul Condon' s Anti-Corruption Unit will fly to Sri Lanka to question Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lanka captain, about a £330,000 offer to fix matches made to him by the discredited Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board had hoped to keep the meeting secret for fear of overshadowing England's Test series in the country, but The Sunday Times has discovered that the interview is scheduled for April. The huge sum of money involved dwarfs the £60,000 that Gupta paid Hansie Cronje, the disgraced former South Africa captain, to provide information and fix matches four years ago. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 12:15:16 EST 2001 Back to the top

Cricket keeps the scoreboard ticking for Lankan tourism
Yahoo India, march 11. HANKS to the cricket fever in Sri Lanka, for the first time in eight years, hotels in Colombo are having a choc-a-bloc situation and rooms are difficult to find in the leading hotels. ``Cricket is religion in Sri Lanka and with the England team, 5,000 English fans have come, and hotels are fully booked, not for one or two days, but for 10 days,'' says Mr P.K. Mohankumar, General Manager of the Taj Samudra, which is playing host not only to the Indian and English cricket teams, but also the music group the Vengaboys! More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 18:35:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

Military hardware scam: Seven suspects remanded
CDN, 12 March 2001. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigating the multi million rupee military hardware scam yesterday produced seven suspects including an Army Colonel and four soldiers, before the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Priyantha Fernando who remanded them till March 14. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 19:25:50 EST 2001 Back to the top

LTTE willing to extend ceasefire by a month: Daily
Times of India (Breaking News), 11 March 2001 . The LTTE has expressed willingness to extend its unilateral ceasefire by yet another month after March 24 and open negotiations with the Sri Lankan government, a state-owned newspaper reported on Sunday. This was conveyed by LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham in London recently to Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim who is engaged in shuttle diplomacy between London and Colombo. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:11:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka urges help for Afghan refugees to save Buddhas
India Abroad, march 11. EFFORTS to save the Buddha statues at Bamiyan will take a new turn with Sri Lanka shifting international focus to the plight of nearly two million Afghan war refugees.Sri Lanka will urge the international community to extend aid to some 1.7 million Afghans hit by starvation in a bid to exert pressure on the Taliban authorities and halt the destruction of the ancient statues, the Sunday Times said. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:18:44 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lankan PM to seek Pak help to save Buddha statues  - Times of India
Lankan PM in Pak to save Buddha icons  - India Abroad
Taliban Destroys Buddha Statues  - Guardian
Sri Lankan premier's visit to Pakistan delayed  - Times of India
Sri Lankan PM for Pak.  - The Hindu
Ancient Buddhas '80% destroyed'  - BBC South Asia

Vengaboys throw tantrums in Lanka
India Abroad, MArch 11. The Vengaboys, heartthrobs of thousands of Sri Lankan pop music fans, threw a tantrum as they landed here, refusing to stay at the Indian-managed Taj Samudra and demanding luxury suites at the pricey Colombo Hilton. The local organizers were in for a ruder shock when fans who flocked to the Saturday evening concert at a park here left in disgust when they found the much-hyped group using canned music and apparently lip-syncing their songs. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:21:04 EST 2001 Back to the top

Foreign Maids Rally Against "Slavery" In Hong Kong
Yahoo India, march 11. More than 100 foreign maids gathered at a downtown park Sunday to complain about ill-treatment at the hands of employers, saying they were living in "modern day slavery" in wealthy Hong Kong. Some of the speakers, representing maids from India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, railed against the "unfair" treatment they receive in Hong Kong. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 11:25:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tsy Secy:'01 Budget Looks Beyond War Vs Tigers
Yahoo India, 12 March 2001. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--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. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 20:43:24 EST 2001 Back to the top

Thondaman ready to quit cabinet
Sunday Leader, Sunday, 11 March. Estate Infrastructure Development minister and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) general secretary Arumugam Thondaman on Friday vowed to step down from his post in Cabinet, if the demand for the devaluation allowance of Rs. 400 is not granted to the plantation workers.He told The Sunday Leader that he does not mind sacrificing his power, post and other perks for the sake of winning the rights of the workers. While Thondaman pledged to continue his sathyagraha in the estates, sources from private companies managing the estates said that the industry would be killed More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 07:39:38 EST 2001 Back to the top
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We’ll get the Rs.400 by hook or by crook says Thondaman  - Island

Sri Lankan PM Delays Pakistan Visit For Second Time
Yahoo India, 11 March 2001. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka's visit to Pakistan was put off for the second time as Pakistan's military ruler expressed his inability to meet him Sunday, an aide said.The visit was aimed at using Gen. Pervez Musharraf's good offices to save the destruction of Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Pakistan is Afghanistan's southern neighbor and closest ally. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 03:24:39 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Giant Buddha statues blown up  - BBC South Asia
In pictures: Buddha statues protest  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka PM delays visit to Pakistan  -
CBK goes ahead with European tour, PM too will be out  - Island

Asoka Vidyalaya incident : Arjuna says he was not present at the scene
Observer, Sunday, 11 March. Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga maintains that he was not present at the scene where some students of the Colombo Asoka Vidyalaya were allegedly assaulted by him, his brother Prasanna and others. While five of the suspects had been remanded including Prasanna Ranatunga, Arjuna was released on bail. An identification parade for four of them, now at the Welikada remand prison, will be held at the Maligakanda Magistrate's Court on March 14. The incident is said to have occurred when some students of Asoka Vidyalaya who had been playing cricket at that time, allegedly trespassed into the compound of the Ranatunga's to pick their cricket ball. According to a police officer from Maradana who investigated the incident, said that it was a minor incident which did not warrant any consequences. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 08:18:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

Premier orders son to quit
Sunday Times, 11 March 2001. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has ordered his son Vidura to resign from the post of coordinating secretary to the Buddhasasana Ministry, The Sunday Times learns.This came after several disputes and a warning from the premier after a newspaper photograph described Vidura Wickremanayake as coordinating secretary to the prime minister. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 03:42:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

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: Sun Mar 11 03:19:31 EST 2001 Back to the top

England win squares series
BBC Sports, 11 March 2001. England won the second Test and levelled the series against Sri Lanka at one-all with a three-wicket win in Kandy. After breaking for lunch nine runs shy of victory Craig White and Ashley Giles returned to the action and carried England beyond their victory target of 161. The final day of the tempestuous Test was a tense affair as England edged tentatively towards victory. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 03:28:19 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
England stars demand umpire shake-up amid Sri Lankan tour uproar  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Hussain laments damage to game's image  - Yahoo India
Cricket - "White" teams conquer final frontier  - Yahoo India
England beats Sri Lanka by three wickets  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Kandy Test in the balance  - BBC South Asia

Charity law has far-reaching consequences
The Toronto Star, february 24. In an uncharted collision between political reality and fundamental justice, the federal government is introducing tough new charity legislation just as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that challenges many of that bill's underlying methods and motives. Even though it will be months before the legislation becomes law or the court rules, politicians, lawyers and the shadowy residents of the intelligence community are already scrambling to grasp the implications.The vehicle for testing the ultimate weights of those heavy concepts is the current appeal against the deportation of Manickavasagam Suresh, a refugee claimant linked by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to violent Tamil groups that raise funds here to advance their political agenda in Sri Lanka. Echoing a week-old Supreme Court decision that prisoners should not be extradited to countries that impose the death penalty, Suresh is arguing against being sent home where he might well be tortured. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 22:41:44 EST 2001 Back to the top

Atherton, Stewart slam umpiring
Age Pavilion, 12 March 2001. England cricket stars Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart have called for a radical overhaul of international umpiring following the ill-tempered opening two Tests of their Sri Lankan tour. Both players condemned umpiring standards on the current tour, which has been marred by a string of controversies and dubious decisions affecting both sides. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Atherton said the series was the most ill-tempered he had ever played in, and called on the International Cricket Council to set up an elite panel of umpires to officiate in future matches. "The situation has got so far out of hand during this series that the ICC will have to act to prevent serious damage to the game," he said. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 19:11:35 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
England, Sri Lanka skippers slam umpiring  - Yahoo India
Media thunder at umpire's blunders  - TOI
ICC to discuss referring leg before appeals to third umpire  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Sri Lankan and English media blame umpires and players  - Yahoo India
Superb Sangakkara heads Lankan fightback  - Yahoo India
Kandy Test on edge as Cooray takes centre-stage again  - Yahoo India
Kandy Test: England face uphill task  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Major exhibition on coral reefs
Sunday Times, 11 March 2001. Widely known as the 'rainforests' of the sea coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems on earth.In Sri Lanka, coral reefs occur off the northwest, south and east coasts.'A Tomorrow for our Coral Reefs', a week-long exhibition organised by IUCN, the World Conservation Union will be held at the BMICH from March 28 to April 4. More...
Published: Sun Mar 11 03:38:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

Protest threatens tea industry in Sri Lanka
Times of India, 11 March 2001 . Sri Lanka will begin losing foreign buyers if 300,000 tea estate workers continue their 17-day-old protest for a wage hike, tea planters warned on Saturday. Already, tea production has dropped by 50 percent following the labor campaign at nearly 400 plantations. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 16:04:43 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tea industry loses Rs 400 million in 14 days due to go-slow  - The Island

The economic and human cost of war in Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, March 9. 15 years after the ethnic conflict had ravaged Sri Lanka, the worst hit ares of the country, the North and the East, had seen the per capita outcome come down to 40 per cent of what it was in 1982. Presenting this stark and grim picture, a recent study - `The Cost of War' done by the National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka, along with the MARGA Institute and International Alert - estimates that during these 15 strife-torn years, in the northern and eastern parts of the country, the output of paddy had come down by 27 per cent. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 15:50:56 EST 2001 Back to the top

US consultancy firm to find out how SME could be helped
The Island, Saturday March 10, 2001 8:53 PST . Chemonics, a US based consultancy firm, on behalf of the Industrial Development Ministry is currently conducting a field study to ascertain how small and medium scale enterprises (SME) could be developed through the provision of business development services (BDS). More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 11:59:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

Defence levy increased in Sri Lanka
The Hindu (International), Saturday, March 10, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 9. Sri Lanka's budget for 2001 has been dictated by the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, with the Government raising its defence levy by one per cent and placing a 20 per cent surcharge on corporate income tax in an effort to balance its increasing defence expenditure. The allocation for defence in this year's budget is Rs. 75 billion, approximately $882 million, and Rs. 12 billion more than the projected estimate. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 11:55:36 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka budget proposes austerity measures
Times of India, 10 March 2001 . Sri Lanka hoped for peace to save it from the economic collapse but provided for war in its budget for 2001, proposing austerity measures and taxes that will milk the public, private sector and gamblers alike to fund the ethnic fighting that may cost the nation Rs 75 billion this year. Deputy finance minister G L Peiris raised the national security levy and surcharge on corporate income tax, announced a licensing system for specialised lotteries and hefty hikes in levies on casinos and betting dens. In his budget address to the Parliament on Thursday, he talked of the need for peace as a decisive factor in saving the country from economic collapse by 2010. "It is foolish to deny or ignore the cost of war." "Finding a peaceful settlement and ending the war should be given national priority to realise vision 2010," he said. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 08:00:14 EST 2001 Back to the top

IAF show main attraction at Sri Lanka Air Force anniversary
The Hindu (International), Saturday, March 10, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 9. The President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, said today that the Sri Lanka Air Force had treated the people of the north-east with ``humanity'' and had ably assisted in preserving the unity and territorial integrity of the country. The Sri Lanka Air Force marked its 50th anniversary today with a parade and a sky-show at which a team of sky-divers and paratroopers of the Indian Air Force proved to be the main attraction. More...
Published: Sat Mar 10 12:01:44 EST 2001 Back to the top

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