The Lanka Academic

MARCH 13, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 341

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 protesters denounce Afghan statue smashing
Yahoo India, 14 March 2001. Thousands of Sri Lankan protesters on Tuesday denounced the destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, joining worldwide condemnation of the ruling Taliban's edict to smash what it calls un-Islamic idols. The protest came as the largely Buddhist country's prime minister left for Pakistan to keep up diplomatic pressure on the Taliban. Thousands of people led by saffron-robed Buddhist monks marched through the streets of the capital Colombo waving placards and chanting verses from the Buddhist scriptures. Reports from Afghanistan said the Taliban were wiping out the last traces of the statues. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 17:34:05 EST 2001
Related News Stories
Buddhist protest march in Colombo  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lankan monks protest  - BBC South Asia

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Chemmani case put off
Island, 14 March 2001. The Chemmani mass graves case was yesterday put off for May 15, when it was bought before the Magistrates courts. Four suspects in the case were earlier given bail, while a fifth was believed to have slipped out of the country.The CID said that more time was required as it was difficult to conduct investigations under the tense circumstances in Jaffna. Skeletal remains that were found at the Chemmani graves are awaiting to undergo DNA testing. The CID said that tenders have been called from laboratories in the UK but money has not been allocated by the Ministry of Defence for this purpose. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 22:27:28 EST 2001 Back to the top

Cricket: Jayasuriya Calls for International Umpires
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 13/03/01 1815 GMT. Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya today called International Cricket Counsil (ICC) to employ two umpires from third countries for International Test matches without any local umpire involved. Talking with BBC’s Sandeshaya, Sri Lankan skipper said " I am barred from criticising umpires’ decisions; But everybody watched might have seen what had happened. There were some bad decisions and they went against both sides"

He said it is his belief both umpires should be foreigners rather than the current system of one local and one foreign. Jayasuriya stressed his side would not be discouraged by those controversial decisions and expressed his willingness to go fresh for the decisive third Test on Thursday.
Published: Tue Mar 13 13:20:24 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
MCC cure for umpiring ills  - Yahoo India

Budget Puts War Burden On Masses- NLF
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 13/03/01 1815 GMT. Total load of the civil war in Sri Lanka is placed on the workers’ shoulders, the New Left Front (NLF) says. Appealing to all democratic forces to get together and oppose this budget, the NLF says that the government’s crisis is totally placed on the working masses.

"State sector workers will be thoroughly disappointed by the proposals to cut drastically all expenditures in ministries, departments and other government organisations. This will certainly push the state sector workers to join hand with the struggle of the estate workers. Island wide general strike may be the outcome of this budget." A statement issued by a member of Presidium Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne states.

The government, while encouraging foreign investors, does not make any attempt to attract local investors, the NLF claims. "It is unfortunate that the parliamentary opposition including the JVP is in full support of the military repressive policies of the government. Hence the government shamelessly claim that all these cuts are necessary for the continuation of the war. An opposition, that approves the repressive militaristic policies of the government, has not got the guts to lead the toiling masses in this crisis situation."
Published: Tue Mar 13 13:20:24 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka police battle to save suicide bomber
MSNBC, 13 March 2001. Sri Lankan police and doctors were battling to save the life of a Tamil rebel suicide bomber on Tuesday after he swallowed two cyanide capsules. Police said X-rays showed the glass capsules were intact in his stomach after he had swallowed them on Monday to try to avoid arrest. ''We are doing everything we can to save his life after he did everything he could to die,'' Senior Superintendent of Police W. Dayaratne told Reuters. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 07:12:00 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka police nab suspected Tiger suicide bomber  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka grills would-be suicide bomber  -

Sri Lanka tea workers' dispute threatens coalition
MSNBC, 14 March 2001. A Sri Lankan cabinet minister threatened on Tuesday to take his party out of the country's shaky coalition government if workers in the country's tea plantations did not get a pay rise. ''Friday is the deadline. If the demands are not met by then, our leader says we leave the government,'' said P. Anthonymuttu, spokesman for the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), the main plantation union led by Estate Infrastructure Minister Arumugam Thondaman. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 22:07:03 EST 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka doctors strike after Tamil strike  -

Batty says corruption in arms deals exist, UNP wants probe
Island, 14 March 2001. The UNP in Parliament yesterday requested the government to appoint a select committee to look into corruption in arms deals after Minister Batty Weerakoon said that there is corruption in arms deals. Minister of Justice Batty Weerakoon speaking on the Budget debate said that there is corruption at the "highest levels of administration" in arms deals. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 22:21:01 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka under-utilises valuable foreign aid
The Hindustan Times, Colombo March 13. SRI LANKA is heavily dependent on foreign aid to finance its capital expenditure every year, but the utilisation of such aid is poor, according to the well-known economist Dr JB Kalegama. Between 1995 and 1999, foreign aid in the form of loans and grants amounted to SLRs 125.5 billion, but only SLRs 90.9 billion i.e. 28 per cent was used, less than what should have been used. According to Dr.Kalegama, the reasons for the under-utilisation are delays in the execution of public capital intensive projects. Apart from routine bureaucratic delays, tenders are awarded to unsuitable but politically well-connected parties. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 17:15:12 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Pakistan to discuss Afghan statues
MSNBC, Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 17:27 GMT . Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to keep up diplomatic pressure on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers after their decision to destroy all the country's historic statues. State television said the prime minister arrived in the port city of Karachi on Tuesday evening from Colombo, where thousands of Sri Lankan protesters earlier in the day denounced the destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 21:35:42 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan PM in Pakistan for talks on Afghan statues destruction  -
Lankan PM heads to Pakistan to lobby for Buddhas  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka PM heads to Pakistan to lobby for Bamiyan Buddhas  -

Sri Lankan president optimistic for peace, Mar 13 2001 21:54 IST. BERLIN, March 13 (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Tuesday on a visit to Germany that she was confident her country's bloody conflict with separatist guerrillas could be resolved. Following a meeting with German industrial leaders in Berlin, Kamaratunga told reporters that Tamil separatists who have led a violent revolutionary campaign against the government had a "positive reaction" to overtures for talks by her administration. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 13:10:22 EST 2001 Back to the top

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

Sri Lanka busts suicide bombing cell: police, Mar 13 2001 11:05 IST. COLOMBO, March 13 (AFP) - Sri Lanka police have uncovered a cell operated by Tamil Tiger guerrillas as a key transit point for their suicide bombings in the capital Colombo, police here said Tuesday. A woman and three men were arrested in a raid late Monday at the Dehiwala suburb of the capital, police said, adding that they found plastic explosives and a jacket similar to the type usually worn by suicide bombers. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 03:42:02 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Police Find Lair Used In Attack On Kumaratunga  - Yahoo India

Row over new Sri Lankan presidential palace
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, March 14, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 13. A proposed Rs.1.7 billion ``palace'' outside the capital for the Sri Lankan President promises to rid the island's only big city of its oppressive security, but the plan has come in for criticism from the Opposition. The United National Party today demanded that construction of the complex, which is in its initial stages, be stopped immediately. ``While the country is undergoing serious economic difficulties and the Government is asking others to make sacrifices, the President is making a palace for her own sake,'' said the party spokesman, Mr Karunasena Koditawakku. The complex, comprising a residence, the presidential secretariat and premises for security personnel, will be located 15 km outside the capital and is near Parliament. Like the parliamentary complex, it is designed by the internationally- renowned Sri Lankan architect, Mr. Geoffrey Bawa. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 17:21:20 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga criticized for new luxury residence  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka debates new Presidential palace  - BBC South Asia
Opposition slams multi-million mansion for Sri Lankan president  -

Long march from troopers to taxi drivers and tailors
India Abroad, Tuesday, 13 March. LIKE other three-wheeler cabdrivers, Prabath Ranasinghe has to keep his vehicle in good repair. But, as a war veteran with one leg blown off by a landmine, Ranasinghe has to pay greater attention to keeping his artificial limb in working order. He visited the Sri Lanka Army's rehabilitation unit to get a replacement for his local-made right artificial leg so he can pound the brake pedal a little more forcefully. "The limb I have is worn out and I need another one," said Ranasinghe, 30, who was discharged five years ago after his 1991 injury. "I have a spare but this design is more durable than the other imported one the Army gives," he explained. Plying his taxi brings in about Rs.700 a day and the ex-soldier comfortably maintains his wife and himself with that and his army pay and allowances. Ranasinghe has now joined a throng of soldiers outside the rehabilitation office, most on crutches and the rest walking with faltering steps, who came to sign up for a tailoring course. Success at getting through could see them employed at "Ranaviru (brave soldiers) Apparels", the garment factory in Yakkala manned entirely by disabled soldiers. About three quarters of the force's uniforms are sewn by them. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 03:44:25 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tea, Rubber Trade Ring Alarm Bells Over Strike
Yahoo India, 13 March 2001. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--Sri Lanka's tea and rubber export sector will lose key markets if a long-drawn protest by estate workers isn't resolved soon, industry officials said Tuesday. Around 300,000 tea and rubber estate workers have engaged in demonstrations and prayer meetings since Feb. 21, demanding a monthly allowance of 400 Sri Lankan rupees ($1=LKR86.45) that the government has approved for other public sector employees. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 07:27:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sports hangover of the English
CDN, 14 March 2001. The second cricket test is over. Good grief! Radios at full blast and TVs working overtime. You phone a friend of yours. He immediately blasts your ear - "What a Blunder! Where do they dig these umpires up from?" Before you could tell him why you rang him up, the phone goes down & your poor friend goes back to his obsessive misery in front of his T.V. set.I blame you English chaps for this colonial legacy. We have gone overboard on Cricket and so have our neighbours - India & Pakistan. But even cricket has not been an unifying force between these two countries. I continue to digress. You English commentators keep on emphasizing that the Sri Lankan team makes frivolous appeals, but I think they have taken a leaf out of the English and Australian teams' books. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 22:39:30 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket umpires fell for "English bluff": report  - Yahoo India

Cricket-Controversial umpire Cooray not dumped for decider
Yahoo India, 13 March 2001. Sri Lankan umpire B.C. Cooray, who was at the centre of controversy in the second test between Sri Lanka and England, has not been removed as television umpire for the third and deciding test. "There is no truth in reports that Cooray has been removed as TV umpire," K.T. Francis, director of umpiring with the Sri Lankan Cricket Board said on Monday. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 07:16:02 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

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka names judge for Tamil massacre probe  - MSNBC

'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

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

Cricket-Jayasuriya re-invents himself again
Yahoo India, 14 March 2001. Sanath Jayasuriya has spent much of a remarkable career re-inventing his cricket persona. A useful slow left-arm bowler who batted a bit, he then became an explosive one-day batsman, then a fully-fledged test opener, who bowled a bit. Against England in the current test series, he has become a strike bowler who barely bats at all. The Sri Lankan captain, spearing the ball into the leg stump, has taken 12 wickets to date, eight of them coming in the innings-and-28-runs victory in the first test in Galle. No other player on either side has bettered his total. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 22:04:54 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Hussain fit for Sri Lankan showdown  - BBC South Asia

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

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 LTTE
Times of India, 12 March 2001 . 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."The president would press other European Union nations where the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is active to follow the British example and ban the group's activities," said the Sunday Island newspaper, quoting the government officials. More...
Published: Mon Mar 12 03:46:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

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

Doctors in northeast Lanka go on strike
India Abroad, March 13. Doctors in state hospitals in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast went on a token strike Tuesday demanding better working conditions after a medical officer died in a Tamil rebel attack. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said its members in the northeastern province struck work to urge the government to provide them with better transport and pay them a risk allowance. "The government promised us a total of 10 vehicles for five regions, but only one car has been made available for our members' use," a spokesman said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 13 08:48:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

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