The Lanka Academic

MARCH 12, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 340

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
North East hospitals on one day token strike
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday March 13. All resident doctors working in hospitals in the north east will stage a one day token strike today demanding that they too be paid a risk allowance which is to be given to non resident doctors.

Dr. Kanagaratnam, Director for the Jaffna Teaching Hospital said that only the emergency ward would function today while the OPD and other clinical sections would remain closed to the sick. He said that it is unfair for the government to pay a risk allowance only to non resident doctors and that they too risked their lives to attend to the sick in war torn areas.

The Government agreed to pay the risk allowance to non resident doctors working in high risk areas after two doctors were killed in a Colombo bound bus bomb at Batticaloa last year.
Published: Mon Mar 12 22:14:51 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
College riot at Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.20 a.m. SLT Tuesday March 13. Nine students have been admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital today, after the teenagers are alleged to have engaged in a brawl within the college grounds of a school at Vavuniya.

The row which reportedly broke out at around 1 a.m. today, was apparently initiated when some students attempted to rag others staying within the college. The fight has seriously wounded the nine school boys warded at the Anuradhapura Base Hospital.
Published: Mon Mar 12 22:14:50 EST 2001 Back to the top

One man commission to probe Bindunuwewa massacre
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday March 13. The Government yesterday appointed a one man commission to probe the massacre of 25 Tamils at a detention center at Bandarawela on October 25 last year. A judge from the Court of Appeal P.H.K. Kulatilake will investigate into the incident.

It is the second time that the State has appointed a commission to probe into the killings of Tamils. This time the victims, mostly suspected LTTE cadre from the eastern province, were brutally massacred by a gang of Sinhalese armed with scyths, poles and knives. The perpetrators of the crime are yet to be named by the Government or law enforcement authorities.
Published: Mon Mar 12 22:14:50 EST 2001 Back to the top

'LTTE has to fix date for talks'
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, March 13, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 12. The Sri Lankan Government has asked the LTTE to fix a date for the first round of talks, a senior Minister told Parliament today. The Minister for Agriculture, Mr. D.M. Jayaratne, said the pre- negotiation modalities had been finalised, and the Government was now waiting for the LTTE to inform Oslo, the accepted facilitator on both sides, of the date for commencing talks. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 16:54:27 EST 2001 Back to the top

Kumaratunga criticized for new luxury residence
India Abroad, Monday, 12 March. SRI LANKA'S President Chandrika Kumaratunga has come in for sharp criticism from the opposition over the construction of a multimillion rupee luxury official residence using public funds. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said it was a "sin" that Rs.600 million were being spent on the presidential palace when citizens were asked to tighten their belts. "Nobody would raise a whimper of protest if the president builds a palace for herself from her personal funds," a UNP statement said. "The crime is the construction of a super luxury presidential palace with such a huge amount of public funds at a time when the country and the people are struggling to survive in a very adverse economic environment created by the government itself," it stated. The residential complex coming up at Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the country's administrative capital where the legislature is located, will have ballrooms, banquet halls, a swimming pool and stables, the UNP charged. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 11:49:46 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka debates new Presidential palace  - BBC South Asia
Opposition slams multi-million mansion for Sri Lankan president  -
President's complex to cost Rs. 1.7 billion  - Sunday Times

Sri Lanka president leaves for Germany, Mar 12 2001 10:13 IST. COLOMBO, March 12 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga left here Monday on a European visit which will take her to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. On the first leg of her tour, Kumaratunga is expected to meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and President Johannes Rau. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 03:43:19 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan president begins European tour  - BBC South Asia

We’ll get the Rs.400 by hook or by crook says Thondaman
Island, Monday, 12 March. Ceylon Workers’ Congress leader and Estate Infrastructure Minister Arumugam Thondaman said yesterday that they will, by hook or by crook, obtain their demand of a Rs.400 wage increase. He was addressing a meeting by estate workers at Nayabedda Estate, Bandarawela.This protest meeting had been organised by Uva Provincial Minister M. Sachchinanda. Thondaman said that in order to win their demands a massive strike covering all estates including agitational campaigns would be held."In order to carry out our struggle legitimately, we have decided to withdraw the mutual agreement entered into with the Employers’ Federation on Tuesday. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 03:54:46 EST 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Taliban FM to meet Annan, discuss Afghan issues  - Daily Star

Sri Lanka names judge for Tamil massacre probe
MSNBC, Monday, 12 March. Sri Lanka has appointed a retired judge to probe last year's murder of 27 Tamils at a rehabilitation camp, a massacre which sparked the country's worst ethnic riots in 18 years, the president's office said''President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has appointed Justice P.H.K. Kulatilake, judge of the Court of Appeal ... to function as a one-man commission of inquiry...,'' a statement said, adding the report would be submitted in three months time. Only 17 of more than 40 inmates of Bindunuwewa camp survived a rampage on October 25 by a machete-wielding mob of majority Sinhalese. Almost all the survivors were seriously injured. The statement said the government had paid compensation to families of victims, many of whom were child soldiers who had surrendered to authorities and were being rehabilitated. Although police initially blamed local residents, Kumaratunga said ''outside forces'' were responsible for the killings, which opened old wounds in a country already bitterly divided by an 18-year minority Tamil separatist rebellion. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 11:52:15 EST 2001 Back to the top

Tigers break unilateral truce, again: military, Mar 12 2001 14:34 IST. COLOMBO, March 12 (AFP) - Separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas fired mortar bombs and artillery towards military positions in northern Sri Lanka violating their own truce, the defence ministry here said Monday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired 81 mm mortars at Nagarkovil and Oddupeli in the Jaffna peninsula over the weekend, leaving at least two soldiers wounded, the ministry said. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 08:05:54 EST 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
Norway's peace bid in Sri Lanka hits new snags: report  -

Jingoism and terrorism: Blurring divide
Yahoo India, 13 March 2001. ``MANAGING the Challenges in Asia'' was the subject of a terrorism and regional security conference by the Asia Pacific Foundation at the Royal United Services Institution in Whitehall last week. The panel of speakers was impressive. They spoke with authority, their words were measured, but forceful, their analyses marked by rigour and clarity.Terrorism has many shapes and forms. Some, like the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, have an agenda limited to the island. Others, emanating from West Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, are driven by a messianic vision that seeks the seamless robe of spiritual and temporal Islamic governance. Pluralism and civil society are impediments in the realisation of this empowering dream. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 16:57:59 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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to press for EU ban on LTTE  - Times of India

Singapore busts Tamil Tiger racket
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 11 March, 2001, 23:21 GMT . A report from Singapore says the authorities have broken up a network raising funds for the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. The report on Channel NewsAsia television quoted Singapore's home affairs minister, Wong Kan Seng, as saying that the Internal Security Department had dismantled the fundraising operation recently. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 14:31:16 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil Tiger Aid Operation Crushed In Singapore - Report  - Yahoo India
Singapore-based Sri Lanka Tigers operation crushed  -

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

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
Related News Stories
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  -

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)

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

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

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