The Lanka Academic

MARCH 21, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 349

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
Lankan customs to bust smuggling of indigenous birds
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday March 21. Sri Lanka Customs has set up a special biodiversity unit to bust the smuggling of Sri Lanka's indigenous birds, plants and other wildlife. The customs say that in contrast to the usual smuggling of ivory and elephant tusks by foreigners, the country's indeginous birds, insects and plants are also now being smuggled out by foreign nationals. A leaflet stipulating that taking such species out of the country is now forbidden is handed to all tourists when they enter. The country's national bird, the jungle fowl, is also included in this list. The bird is almost extinct in Sri Lanka and customs officials say that the species has been previously smuggle out of the country.
Published: Wed Mar 21 19:24:27 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
Tea pluckers demand more wages to pluck more tea
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.10 p.m. SLT Wednesday March 21. Estate workers in the country's Uva Province have demanded an additional Rs. 6/- for every extra kilo of tea they pluck. The workers usual quota is to pluck 18 kilos of tea a day. The workers made this demand after estate management said yesterday that the tea pluckers would need to work harder and pluck more tea in addition to the regular 18 kilograms. The Planters claim that this is necessary in order to bridge a shortfall which occured when thousands of estate workers took part in a go-slow campaign which lasted three weeks before their demands for higher wages was met.

The labourers present demand for an additional Rs. 6/- for every extra kilo is being backed by the Ceylon Workers Congress which led the recently concluded satyagraha campaign. The protest campaign was spurred by cabinet minister Arumugam Thondaman who has vowed to resign his portfolio if Tamil estate workers of Indian origin are discriminated against.
Published: Wed Mar 21 19:19:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

LTTE attacks two Naval gun boats.
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.25 p.m. SLT Wednesday March 21. A suicide attack by the LTTE on two Dvora style gunboats belonging to the Sri Lanka Navy took place at around 6 a.m. this morning. The attack sank one boat while 12 sailors on the other were later rescued. Search operations have continued throughout this morning for possible survivors. The defence ministry in Colombo confirmed that the attack took place off the coast of Mullaitivu.

The two dvora gunboats had been moving from Trincomalee to Kankasanthurai when they were attacked by the LTTE's Sea Tigers. The suicide cadres had struck the Naval boats at a location, approximately 8 nautical miles East of Mullaitivu at dawn this morning. The defence ministry said that while one boat sank, reinforcements were rushed from both Kankasanthurai and Trincomalee. The Sri Lanka Air Force had also provided close air support. Search and rescue operations are continuing.
Published: Wed Mar 21 02:53:26 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
One Dvora captured, weapons stripped - VOT  - TamilNet
Sea battle kills 11 as Tigers sink Sri Lanka navy gunboat  -
Sea battle grips Sri Lanka as Tigers sink navy gunboat  -
Sri Lanka says 7 missing in Tamil Tiger sea raid  - MSNBC
Tamils sink gunboat  - BBC South Asia
Seven Lankan sailors killed in LTTE suicide attack  -
Tigers sink navy gunboat in major sea battle, truce in tatters  -

LTTE Confirms Shifting Headquarters to Vanni
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 21/03/01 1205 GMT. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) has confirmed that their headquarters has been moved to Vanni, in Northern Sri Lanka. The Lanka Academic learns that a journalist who contacted LTTE International Secretariat in London has been requested to contact their Vanni office as Tamil Tigers are now banned in Britain.
Published: Wed Mar 21 07:06:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

Speaker bans state TV from parliament for 5 days
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.35 p.m. SLT Wednesday March 21. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike today banned state television from covering parliamentary proceedings with effect from today. The Speakers decision was made after two MP's had brought to his notice that ITN and Rupavahini had televised parliamentary proceedings with a running commentary on the entire process. The broadcasted commentary is seen to be in breach of parliamentary prvileges. Hence, Bandaranaike maintaines that the state sponsored TV will not be allowed to cover proceedings with effect from today for five days of parliamentary sittings.
Published: Wed Mar 21 02:53:26 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka state television banned from parliament  -

Legalize Rights of Our Ancestral Land - Veddha Chief
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 21/03/01 1745 GMT. The proposed Sri Lankan constitutional amendment should clearly define the rights of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka says the leader of Veddhas. The Veddah chieftain Uruwarige Vanniya in an interview with the BBC Sandeshaya said that their ancestral homeland that has now been turned into the Maduruoya National Park should be given back to them. This has been brought to the notice of the Junior Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte when he visited the Veddhas said Chief Vannia. He further said that the Minister?s promise to get an appointment with the President to discuss this matter is yet to be fulfilled.

The Veddhas have been living in Sri Lanka for many years. They were gradually displaced from their ancestral homelands. Most recently, under the previous UNP regime, many Veddhas were forced to leave their homeland to live with the Sinhala settlers under the Mahaveli development program. The Veddhas point out that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge prior to been elected in 1994, had given a written promise that their ancestral homeland will be returned.
Published: Wed Mar 21 12:44:32 EST 2001 Back to the top

Dutch social worker found dead in Colombo
Times of India, 22 March 2001 . COLOMBO: A Dutch social worker was found slain in his home Wednesday, the second Dutch citizen killed here in two months, police said. The body of Cornelius Offergelt, 58, was found in his home in Colombo's Moratuwa suburb, near where Dutch restaurant operator Rudolf Adrianus, 72, was strangled on Feb. 21, police said. Offergelt, who had been living here since 1984, was involved in "social work" but was not working for any institution or organization, police Inspector H. T. Chandrasiri said. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 17:46:32 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lankans find coconut debate a tough nut to crack
India Abroad, Mar 21, 2001 10:45 Hrs (IST) . MEDITERRANEAN cuisine is redolent with the flavor of olive oil and no Chinese chef will stir or fry without lashings of sesame oil, but in Sri Lanka where coconut oil is king, the greasy staple is at the heart of a heated controversy. Doctors, nutritionists and industry lobbyists are bandying arguments for and against cooking with coconut, the large, husk-covered fruit of the palm that grows in thick profusion along the island's coastal belt.Health statistics show 333 men and 188 women per 100,000 Sri Lankans die of coronary disease and healthcare personnel have long advised reducing the use of coconut to cut the risk of cholesterol-clogged arteries. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 09:05:56 EST 2001 Back to the top

Hollywood producer asks Asian directors to think beyond their countries.
Bandula Jayasekara in LA, By Bandula Jayasekara in Los Angeles: LA Time. Hollywood production executive Paul Mason requested Asian filmmakers to look beyond and bridge the gap between Asia and America. He said, "Asian film makers could do it. All they got to do is produce films to bridge the gap between Asia and America." Mason brought the example of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' directed by Ang Lee, nominated for 10 Academy Awards including the best director, best picture, best foreign language film, best original song, best film editing. Ang Lee also won the award for the best director from the prestigious Directors Guild of America this month. Academy awards will be held on Sunday the 25th in Los Angeles.

Mason is the Vice President of Viacom, owners of Paramount Pictures. He is responsible for $ 300 million dollars in annual production. He advised Asian directors to make movies for variety of cultures. Mason appealed " Think beyond your countries, there is a wide audience out there in the world" He described 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' as a beautiful and a classic movie produced by an Asian filmmaker which has won the hearts of America and the world. Mason has visited Sri Lanka several times.
Published: Wed Mar 21 12:14:56 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan president in Britain
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 13:56 GMT . The Sri Lankan president, Chandrika Kumaratunge, is in London for talks with the British prime minister 1530 GMT, Tony Blair. No details of their agenda have been released, but it's expected that the Sri Lankan civil war and Britain's decision to include the Tamil Tigers on a list of organisations that the government proposes to ban under anti-terrorist legislation, are expected to be the main points. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 09:14:12 EST 2001 Back to the top

Netherlands Supreme Court dismisses case against President
CDN, 22 March 2001. A case filed in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands against President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga demanding that she be arrested and produced before the Court was dismissed, according to reliable information received from The Hague. Attorney of the Supreme Court, Netherlands Mr. Schoorl had filed this case on behalf of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees there. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 21:32:42 EST 2001 Back to the top

Norway's Foreign Minister to meet Sri Lanka's President
NorwayPost, march 20. Norway's Foreign Minister to meet Sri Lanka's President Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland will on Tuesday meet Sri Lanka's President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, in Brussels. The two will discuss the ongoing peace process in the Asian nation. Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, will also take part in the meeting. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 09:15:43 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka recall World Cup hero
BBC Sport Online, Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 07:11 GMT . Sri Lanka have recalled their 1996 World Cup wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana for the three-match one-day series against England. Kaluwitharana replaces Kumar Sangakkara, who kept wicket in the recently concluded Test series that England won 2-1. Though Sangakkara batted well, averaging 43 with a highest score of 95, his keeping was untidy. Kaluwitharana, who opened the innings with Sanath Jayasuriya in the 1996 World Cup tournament that Sri Lanka won, was sidelined after Sri Lanka's disastrous tour of South Africa last year. The Sri Lanka selectors have not yet announced the rest of the team. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 07:54:53 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka axe World Cup hero
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 13:59 GMT . Veteran batsman Aravinda de Silva has been left out of Sri Lanka's squad for the three one-day internationals against England. He has scored 8,430 runs in 275 one-day appearances, including a century in the 1996 World Cup finalDe Silva played in the five-match series in New Zealand earlier this year, which Sri Lanka won 4-1, but is now 35 and the selectors have decided to look to the future. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 09:13:47 EST 2001 Back to the top

Tigers stage suicide blast to sink navy gunboat, Mar 21 2001 10:22 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels staged a suicide attack against two navy gunboats, sinking one of them, the defence ministry here said. Rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched the attack against the Israeli-built Dvora gunboats off the coast of Mullaitivu in northeastern Sri Lanka, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 00:51:12 EST 2001 Back to the top

Urge Sri Lanka to Probe Nimalarajan Murder- RSF Writes to EU Leaders
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 20/03/01 1730 GMT. International Media Campaign Group Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has requested European leaders to request Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to investigate the assassination of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan. The Lanka Academic understands that while President Kumaratunga is on a European tour, RSF has brought to the attention of both the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Romano Prodi, President of the European Union to intervene with her for a thorough investigation to identify the assassins.

Both letters were made available before the Sri Lankan presidents arrival for official discussions. The RSF suggests that the aim of her visit was to raise the question of European economic aid to Sri Lanka as the country's budget has a big deficit. The RSF letter, signed by Secretary General Robert Menard, also requests Mr. Prodi to raise the matter of protecting the freedom of the press and the journalists of the island nation.

"Soon after his assassination, the President personally condemned that act and promised that investigations will be launched by the security services. Since then no inquiry has been initiated. It seems important for us that the conditions for this aid are improvement in the situation of human rights and notably a real effort by the government in Colombo to put an end to the impunity for the assassins of Maylvaganam Nimalarajan.

Also, we ask you to intervene with the President so that a thorough investigation be ordered without any delay in identifying the assassins of the journalist. We equally demand you to remind the President that certain emergency laws in the country are in contradiction with the international obligations of Sri Lanka with regard to Human Rights" the letter also states.
Published: Tue Mar 20 12:33:32 EST 2001 Back to the top

JVP alleges politicians are giving government land to friends.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2018 SLT 20.03.2001. The JVP has asked for an adjournment time debate on the alleged attempts by politicians to give to their friends land that has been cleared after the Urban Development Authority (UDA) began a campaign to demolish unauthorized buildings in cities. The JVP says thousands of poor people have lost their lively good when these unauthorized structures were demolished but now government politicians were giving these lands to their friends at extremely low rents. end
Published: Tue Mar 20 09:26:10 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka battles wildlife take-away, Mar 21 2001 09:13 IST. Sri Lanka is used to foreigners trying to sneak out ivory or tortoise shells, but officials are increasingly concerned about a marked shift in smuggling towards indigenous birds, butterflies and plants. Sri Lanka's customs department has set up a bio-diversity protection unit to bust the growing trade in rare plants, insects, birds and fish that are indigenous to this Indian Ocean island republic. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 00:03:19 EST 2001 Back to the top

Hindu group to build Afghan Buddha replica in India
yahoo, march 20. A Hindu cultural organisation said on Tuesday that it would build replicas in India of two ancient Buddhist statues destroyed by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers earlier this month.Sanskar Bharati, an affiliate of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has zeroed in on a site in India's northern state of Himachal Pradesh to carve out the statues, said Amir Chand, an senior Sanskar Bharati official. More...
Published: Tue Mar 20 15:16:21 EST 2001 Back to the top

President appoints committee to amend the bribery act
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1317 SLT 20.03.2001. President Kumaratunga has appointed a three member committee to amend the bribery and corruption act to make it more effective. The Committee under Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon will finalise the amendments, The Independent Commission on Bribery and Corruption set up in 1994 has proved to be ineffective with none of those accused of bribery and corruption in media exposes been prosecuted end
Published: Tue Mar 20 02:40:22 EST 2001 Back to the top

Parliament select committee to decide on system for local government elections
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2015 SLT 20.03.2001. A Parliamentary select committee is to be appointed to workout a new local government election system. The Local Government Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake has proposed the setting up of the select committee after the government said it wanted the current proportional representation system changed. The government has proposed the earlier ward system for the local government elections
Published: Tue Mar 20 09:26:09 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka steps up anti-Tiger attacks, Mar 20 2001 15:31 IST. Security forces have stepped up attacks against Tamil Tiger guerrillas in northern Sri Lanka and killed another five rebels, the defence ministry said Tuesday. Government troops clashed with a group of rebels from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Nagarkovil on Monday evening and killed five of them, the ministry said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 20 09:05:20 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
5 LTTE rebels killed in fighting  - The Times of India

Sri Lanka seeks cricketing tourists
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 13:08 GMT . Sri Lanka is planning to use the internet and the game of cricket in a new strategy to attract more tourists to the tropical island. The new chairman of the Tourist Board Renton De Alwis is quoted as saying that newspaper advertising would be scrapped, and a personalised approach would be tried through the internet. More...
Published: Tue Mar 20 10:01:14 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka housing project model for capital market development
Northernlight, march 19. The Asian Development Bank has approved an equity investment of up to $360,000 in the proposed NDB Housing Bank, a new market-based financial institution in Sri Lanka. The institution will provide housing finance and help alleviate housing shortages. The institution is an example of the types of projects supported by the Capital Markets team of ADB's Private Sector Group (PSG). More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 00:44:18 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lawyer, businessman held for links with LTTE
Times of India (Breaking News), 20 March 2001 . A lawyer and a businessman from Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka have been arrested for suspected links with LTTE cadres manning a safehouse that was busted in a Colombo suburb last week, police said.Five LTTE militants, including a woman, who were arrested at the safehouse at suburban Dehiwala, had told the police during interrogation that a lawyer and a businessman from Batticaloa had helped them in bringing explosives from the east to their den, police said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 20 09:06:20 EST 2001 Back to the top

President's Fund: they get millions
Sunday Times, March 18. Payments have been made from the President's Fund to meet the medical and funeral expenses of Government and Opposition parliamentarians, it was revealed in parliament.The President's Fund which was initially set up to help the deserving public had disbursed funds amounting to nearly Rs. 15 million since the PA government came into office in 1994 and among the beneficiaries were parliamentarians, according to documents tabled by Government Chief Whip Richard Pathrana in response to a question raised by UNP Assistant Leader Gamini Athukorale. More...
Published: Tue Mar 20 10:34:54 EST 2001 Back to the top

EU, Sri Lanka Sign Accord on Opening Textiles Markets
northernlight, march 16. The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka signed on Friday an agreement on the liberalization of textiles markets between the two sides. The agreement lifts all textiles quotas set by the EU with Sri Lanka in exchange for tariff reductions by the South Asian nation, said the European Commission, the EU's executive body. More...
Published: Wed Mar 21 00:46:00 EST 2001 Back to the top

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