The Lanka Academic

MARCH 27, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 355

Headline Summary
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
LTTE to revive political wing to beat international ban
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, March 27. THE LTTE will be reviving its political wing, the Peoples' Front of the Liberation Tigers (PFLT), to enable it to beat the ban in UK, Sri Lanka and other countries, and hold talks with the Sri Lankan Government, a Tamil source said today. The PFLT was formed in 1989 in Colombo during the Premadasa-LTTE honeymoon, with the ostensible purpose of joining Sri Lanka's political mainstream. But it was apparent even then that it was part of a narrow deal to get rid of a common enemy, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and reduce the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord to dead letter. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 16:35:13 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
LTTE to announce list of prisoners of war
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday March 27 . The LTTE is to announce by the end of April a list of all persons detained by the Tigers. The Association for Parent's of Missing Service Personnel say they are already aware that the list is to be released and they are awaiting the details.

The Association has repeatedly asked for permission both from the government and the LTTE to visit Sinhalese service personnel being held prisoners of war in the Vanni. While the LTTE recently had reportedly granted permission, the Government did not.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) maintain that according to their records only 22 missing service personnel are being held captive by the LTTE.

Mr. Nanayakkara, President of the Association of Parent's for Missing Service Personnel said that 1200 parents from his association including him and his wife whose son has also gone missing in action hope that the LTTE list will hold the names of their children.

"We cannot be sure," he said, adding, "but we and the other parents of this association hope and pray our children's names will be on the Tiger list."
Published: Tue Mar 27 02:33:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

In the World Guinness Book of records for acting
Daily News, March 27. Two veteran artistes Terrence Ranasinghe and Mrs Malani Ranasinghe (left) whose names were included in the World Guinness Book of records for acting in over 5000 shows of the famous stage drama ‘Sinhabahu’ by Prof Ediriweera Sarachchandra were felicitated on the World Drama Day yesterday. Here the husband and wife duo of Mr and Mrs Ranasinghe receive a memento from Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake at the National Museum yesterday. Cultural Affairs Minister Monty Gopallawa was also present.
Published: Tue Mar 27 20:52:03 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan army's warning to Batticaloa residents
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, March 28, 2001. In an indication that the Sri Lankan security forces are preparing to launch a major strike in the eastern district of Batticaloa, civilians living near the camps of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been asked to vacate and move to safer areas in the interests of their own safety. Leaflets containing the warning, issued by the Sri Lankan security forces at checkpoints and through the press and in Batticaloa town, asked all those living within a four km radius of LTTE camps to move out quickly, according to reports reaching here. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 15:30:28 EST 2001 Back to the top

Education minister says no to privatisation
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.20 p.m. SLT Tuesday March 27. Susil Premajayanth, Minister for Education speaking at the first budget committee stage meeting in Parliament today said that the present education system would not be privatized and that free education at a tertiary level too would continue to be made available.

He said the government has already made plans to introduce a scholarship in Grade 9 classes in addition to the Grade 5 scholarship which has been in force.

MP Vajira Abeywardena reiterated that free education is a must in this country and that small schools which cater to poor children must not be closed down.

MP Wimal Ratnayake charged that the government intended to privatise education on the instructions on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

A government study conducted last year jointly with the Asian Development Bank into Sri Lanka's university education has found, that a lack of proficiency in English, a lack of skilled and trained managers and teachers and overall bad management both financial and structural including political interference, has prevented over 50 percent of the country's youth from even entering university.

The stunning revelations were presented at the recently concluded Paris Aid Development Group meeting and resulted in donors insisting that Sri Lanka's tertiary education must be changed. The report submitted at the donor meeting in France, stated in no uncertain terms that local universities are far below international standards and rate lower even in comparison to universities in the region.

Government bodies constituting of the National Education Commission, the Department of National Planning, the Presidential Task Force on University Reforms and an Employment Survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce Colombo had observed that a lack of consistent national planning has in fact stifled graduates who pass out from public institutions. The unemployment rate is very high for graduates from state universities as against graduates who pass out from Private Post-secondary Institutions.

Both World Bank and ADB sponsored findings say that graduates from state institutions do not have the ability to communicate effectively, particularly in English, do not possess good inter-personal skills, do not have an open, positive, practical mind-set, have little knowledge of world affairs, are rarely computer literate and do not possess a dress sense. All of which, they maintain are essential requirements in today's competitive labour market.

An outcome of the findings is that donor agencies have now advised Sri Lanka to improve the tertiary education in the Island nation, noting that the development of tertiary education in the country is of strategic importance for the economic and social development of the country.

As many as fifty eight percent of university graduates under 25 are unemployed, while in the age group of 25-30 about 35 percent are without jobs.

The report asserts that while the low enrolment in universities is the result of highly limited access, the high unemployment rates among graduates reflect the sector's deficiencies in the quality and relevance of its curricula and teaching. Following intense discussions with government agencies responsible for post-secondary and tertiary education, the universities, post-secondary institutions, the private sector, the donor community and other stakeholders, the report concludes that the present structure and framework for post-secondary education lacks breadth and flexibility to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges in the sector.

Both the ADB and the World Bank point out that the sector for tertiary education should, therefore, initiate transformation relevant to national development, to strengthen the country's competitiveness in global markets and promote social harmony. Unless this is done the international community will probably think twice before making any financial commitments to the country.
Published: Tue Mar 27 02:33:46 EST 2001 Back to the top

Migrants from Sri Lanka, Ecuador detained
Times of India (Breaking News), march 27. Nine Sri Lankans and 231 Ecuadorans captured in international waters by the US coast guard are being detained in Guatemala, its immigration officials have said. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 20:29:41 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Nine Sri Lankans detained in Gautemala  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka undertake final one-day humiliation of England
Yahoo India, Tuesday March 27, 5:11 PM. Sri Lanka undertook their final humiliation of England in the three-match one-day series when they coasted to an easy ten-wicket win in the last match at the Singhalese SC grounds here Tuesday. Sri Lanka required just 34 overs to pass England's moderate total of 165 for nine, with Romesh Kaluwitharana and stand-in captain Marvan Atapattu sharing an unbroken opening partnership of 166. Kaluwitharana was in brilliant form, hitting the England bowlers all around the field to record his second one-day century. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 07:20:06 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gain one-day revenge  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka thrash England to wrap up one-day series 3-0  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka complete whitewash  - BBC South Asia

Cricket-Anti-corruption head delays Sri Lanks trip
yahoo, march 27. Cricket's anti-corruption chief Sir Paul Condon has postponed a planned visit to Sri Lanka this week to investigate match-fixing accusations. The trip has been delayed to allow Sri Lankan players named in an Indian police report more time to complete written responses to the allegations made against them, the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit said in a statement on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 15:33:43 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka customs officials demand weapons for self-defense
India Abroad, March 27, 2001 16:25 Hrs (IST) . Customs officials in Sri Lanka, shocked by the slaying of a colleague by unidentified gunmen, are asking for weapons to protect themselves. The department has asked the government to increase the number of guns provided for officers involved in investigating fraud, Lakshman Perera, the director general of customs, told a private television channel.The Island newspaper Tuesday reported that some customs personnel appeared to be in connivance with those perpetrating the fraud. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 11:42:42 EST 2001 Back to the top

Massive weapons haul at Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Tuesday March 27. Police in Jaffna are reported to have recovered a massive weapons haul early this week, after two Tiger suspects revealed where the cache of arms had been hidden.

Anti Aircraft surface to air misslies, including guns, ammunition and some 75 bombs was among the secret cache.

It is the first time the police in Jaffna have managed to recover such a huge haul of secret weapons allegedly hidden for the LTTE.
Published: Tue Mar 27 02:33:44 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka seeks Indian, Pakistani help to rebuild Bamiyan-type Buddhas
India Abroad, March 27, 2001 17:00 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka's main Buddhist organization is seeking help from India and Pakistan in an ambitious effort to build a replica here of the Bamiyan Buddhas demolished by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia. The Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society (SLMS) said it had written to the Indian High Commission for help in reproducing one of the two statues, blasted to bits earlier this month in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan by the Islamic fundamentalist group. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 11:44:37 EST 2001 Back to the top

Pilots Guild take Sri Lankan Airlines to court
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1 p.m. SLT Tuesday March 27. The Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka has taken Sri Lankan Airlines to court for employing a Canadian national as captain for the airline, despite the Canadian not having the required license to fly an Airbus A320, A330 or A340 aircraft.

The plaint filed in the District Court of Colombo points out that the attention of the Court is drawn to the fact that the document filed by the Defendant as being the bio data of David L. G. Beckett is not signed or authenticated by any person, does not contain the data that would ordinarily be found in the bio-data of an applicant for a job such as this. The document also does not contain his date of birth, the number of flying hours he had on each type of aircraft he is alleged to have flown or the names of his previous employers. The document also begins with page 2, and has also omitted to mention his period of employment with each previous employer.

The Pilots Guild further charge that Beckett's bio data was sent direct to the Chief Technical Officer, Captain Richard Hutton of Sri Lankan Airlines, a month before the advertisement calling for captains and first officers appeared in February 2000. This advertisement calls for applicants to send their bio data to the Senior Manager Flight Operations, Sri Lankan Airlines and not to the CTO.

The Pilots Guild maintain, that Beckett did not have the necessary qualifications for appointment as a Captain to Sri Lankan Airlines A320 or A330 fleet. The Guild adds that Beckett's appointment was made by the foreign management of Sri Lankan Airlines purely to benefit Beckett for personal reasons to the prejudice of Sri Lankan Airlines and the country.

David Beckett, the Lankan pilots allege, also does not possess the necessary 1000 hours of glass cockpit flying experience.

Sri Lankan Airlines has asserted in its defence that Beckett was recruited on the basis that the airline was short of Captains for its A320 fleet. The Pilots Guild however say that it has four Captains over and above the required minimum and that in these circumstances the A320 fleet was by no means understaffed as contended by Sri Lanka Airlines.

According to Sri Lankan Airlines, Beckett was appointed with effect from September 8, 2000. Beckett has been paid by Sri Lankan Airlines, a gross remuneration package of USD 6,860/- per month since September 2000. This is despite the fact that Beckett has been idle since he was employed in September last year apart from six weeks of training he received in January this year. From September 8, 2000 up to January 2001, Beckett did not fly at all. He was however paid a salary of USD 6,860/- per month.

Since the Pilots Guild took this case to court this year, Beckett continues to be idle but receives his monthly remuneration package from Sri Lankan Airlines.

The Pilots Guild further add that Beckett was appointed in flagrant violation of the Collective Agreement and the Flight Operations Manual which states inter alia that "They (expatriates) will make way to Sri Lanka Tech Crew Members even at cost to the Company." That, in no way will expatriate training be offered to hinder the chances of promotions of any of the local pilots who are in service with the company at the time.
Published: Tue Mar 27 02:33:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

INTERVIEW: New Sri Lanka Insur Board To Review Tariffs
Yahoo India, 28 March 2001. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--A new board regulating Sri Lanka's insurance industry will soon review the tariff structure and amend capital adequacy standards and investment guidelines, its acting director general said Tuesday. The Insurance Board of Sri Lanka, which this month replaced the Controller of Insurance, has more power to supervise, regulate and develop the industry, Dayanath Jayasuriya told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 18:44:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan leader arrives in Paris, Mar 28 2001 00:37 IST. Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga arrived in Paris Thursday for an official visit to France, airport officials said. The Sri Lankan leader, who speaks fluent French, will meet both President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin on Wednesday. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 15:31:23 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan president heads to France  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lankan president leaves for visit to France  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka president leaves on French visit  -
Kumaratunga to seek curbs on LTTE  - India Abroad

New Zealand invited to replace India in Sharjah
Yahoo India, Tuesday March 27, 5:14 PM. New Zealand has been invited to replace India in the Sharjah limited-overs tri-series tournament next month. Following India's reported refusal to participate alongside Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the April 8-20 tournament, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had requested its tour management to approach New Zealand and extend the invitation. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 07:28:27 EST 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS: World Bank Discussing Port Reforms
Yahoo India, 28 March 2001. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The World Bank is holding a series of discussions with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Ports Development Ministry on the government's reform agenda to improve efficiency in the country's ports, the Daily Mirror reports. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 18:50:37 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Rupee Ends Weaker On Seasonal Dollar Demand
Yahoo India, Tuesday March 27, 4:17 PM. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker against the U.S. dollar Tuesday as sustained seasonal demand for the dollar pushed the unit above 86.00 Sri Lankan rupees, a key psychological level, traders said. At Tuesday's close, the dollar was at LKR86.02, up from Monday's finish of LKR85.92, traders said. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 07:26:13 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka to open ties with Madagascar
India Abroad, Tuesday, March 27, 2001 14:00 Hrs (IST) . SRI Lanka is to establish diplomatic ties with Madagascar, reflecting the growing economic ties, particularly in the gem and jewelry trade, between Indian Ocean island nations. The foreign ministry said the Sri Lankan high commissioner to South Africa is being concurrently accredited to Madagascar and an official delegation will visit that country in May to formally establish diplomatic ties. An honorary consul would also be appointed in Madagascar. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 04:20:11 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to establish diplomatic ties with Madagascar  -

Sri Lankan body to build Buddha replicas
Yahoo, 26 March 2001 . COLOMBO, March 25: A Sri Lankan organization said on Sunday it planned to build replicas of the Bamiyan Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban. The private Sri Lanka Maha Bodhi Society said it was seeking public donations to put up replicas of the two Bamiyan statues, which dated back more than 1,500 years. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 05:01:38 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka seeks help to build replica Bamiyan Buddhas  -
Sri Lankan monks protest  - Yahoo

BOI Chairman quit amidst corruption allegations
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1207 SLT 26.03.01 1207. Bureau of Investment (BOI) Chairman Thilan Wijesinghe submitted his resignation today after a long running corruption scandal came to ahead.President Kumaratunga forced Wijesinghe to resign After the Independent Bribery and Corruption Commission instituted proceedings in the Magistrate's Court after a year long investigation. Leading Businessman Mano Selvanathan has been asked by the President to take over the BOI. However there was no confirmation whether Selvanathan has agreed to take up the post end
Published: Mon Mar 26 01:18:31 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Official resigns amid corruption allegations  - BBC South Asia
S.Lanka investment chief quits over bribery charge  - MSNBC
Kumaratunga asks top official to go  - India Abroad

Viagra to raise Sri Lanka troop morale, Mar 27 2001 07:49 IST. A year after Sri Lankan troops bought multi-barrel rockets and swing-wing jets to resist a massive offensive by Tamil rebels another key "weapon" is being inducted to fight a different battle. The latest acquisition by the medical corps has the potential to raise morale to new heights in an army where nearly a tenth of troops have been wounded while battling separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-east. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 22:36:21 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Viagra to raise Lankan troop morale  -

Destroyed Buddha statues shown off
MSNBC, march 26. Ignoring worldwide criticism by Muslims, Buddhists and art lovers, Taliban officials showed off their destruction of two ancient statues on Monday by taking foreigners to the Bamiyan mountainside where the relics were blasted apart.ALL THAT REMAINED of the two towering sandstone statues of Buddha that had been carved in the mountainside in the 3rd and 5th centuries was chunks of rubble. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 13:58:42 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Taliban officials show demolished statues to foreigners  - nando times

Cricket-Sri Lanka board sacks CEO ahead of vote
Yahoo India, Tuesday March 27, 4:39 AM. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's cricket board sacked its chief executive on Monday, deepening its rift with the country's most powerful cricket family ahead of a potentially acrimonious election of officials.Dhammika Ranatunga, brother of world cup-winning captain Arjuna, was dismissed as CEO after a four-month suspension over a number of charges, Board President Thilanga Sumathipala told a news conference. Sumathipala said former Sri Lanka captain Anura Tennekoon would replace Dhammika who refused to give evidence before the committee appointed to probe allegations against him. More...
Published: Tue Mar 27 04:40:53 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Ranatunga sacked as cricket CEO  - Yahoo India
Ranatunga row rumbles on  - BBC South Asia
Cricket boss sacked  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka steps up air strikes against Tamil Tigers, Mar 26 2001 14:23 IST. Airforce jets bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in northern Sri Lanka as ground troops killed at least six rebels in other clashes, defence officials here said Monday. Aircraft pounded the Pooneryn area just south of the Jaffna peninsula on Sunday, officials said adding that the raid was carried out following reports of a rebel build-up. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 10:19:23 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
War to continue until LTTE negotiates: Kumaratunga  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Court injunction against Cricket Board elections
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1715 SLT 26.03.01. The Colombo District court today granted an injunction against the holding of the Annual General Meeting of the Cricket Board on March 31st. The Injunction was issued after a group opposition the current Board President Thilanga Sumathipala said the AGM was not been held as per the constitution of the board. A spokesman for Board President said the Board would appeal against the injunction tomorrow.
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:26:11 EST 2001 Back to the top

A special ward at Colombo National Hospital for ill artists.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The Deputy Minister of Culture told Parliament today that a special ward would be allocated for treatment of artists who fall ill. He said he has seen artist who serve the nation not getting proper treatment in hospitals. The Deputy Minister was speaking at the Committee stage of the budget debate. end
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:26:11 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to protest to India against illegal fishing
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1907 SLT 26.03.01. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is to protest to the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo against illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen. The Minister said he will be meeting the Indian High Commissioner next week to brief him on the large scale violation of Sri Lankan waters. The Minister said hundreds of Indian trawlers cross over to Sri Lanka's northern waters and fish illegally. Sri Lankan fishermen a banned from deep sea fighting in the North due to security considerations.
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:26:10 EST 2001 Back to the top

LTTE peace talks high on Kumaratunga's French agenda
India Abroad, March 26, 2001 13:15 Hrs (IST) . LACK of progress in peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and rebel Tamil Tigers is expected to figure high on the list of topics for discussion when Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga meets her French counterpart Jacques Chirac Wednesday. Kumaratunga arrives here Tuesday, accompanied by a high level delegation, for a three-day official visit to France. She will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar. On Wednesday, President Chirac will host an official lunch in honor of the Lankan president. The lunch will be preceded by a meeting of the two leaders. At the meeting, Chirac is likely to stress the importance of renewing negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTTE), fighting for independence in the island's northeastern region. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 04:39:19 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
War to continue till LTTE negotiates: Chandrika  - The Hindustan Times

Sir Arthur does Sri Lanka proud
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 9.45 a.m Monday 26 March. Space Guru Sir Arthur C. Clarke who has made Sri Lanka his home did the country proud last night at the Oscars held at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles.He spread the name of the country and its capital Colombo to millions of viewers around the world. Much respected Hollywood actor and twice Oscar winner Tom Hanks who introduced Sir Arthur connected him via satellite and invited him to read out the names of the nominees for the best adopted screenplay and announce the name of the winner. Tom Hanks said that Sir Arthur lives in Colombo , Sri Lanka as the satellite pictures showed a backdrop of city's landscape.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke told millions of viewers that he lives in Colombo Sri Lanka giving the war torn country much desired publicity. Even though mega movies such as Indiana Jones directed by Steven Spielberg had been shot on location in Sri Lanka, most Americans have a poor knowledge of the country and Hollywood producers and film stars are reluctant to visit the island considering the security situation in the island.
Published: Mon Mar 26 09:56:02 EST 2001 Back to the top

Tamil prisoners, soldiers clash in Jaffna jail
Times of India (Breaking News), Monday, 26 March 2001 . COLOMBO: Nineteen soldiers detained in a prison in Sri Lanka's northern city of Jaffna were shifted to another jail after Tamil prisoners clashed with them on Sunday, official sources said here. Security forces had to intervene to prevent a possible revenge attack by Tamil prisoners on the imprisoned soldiers who included eight army personnel accused on involvement in the slaying of eight Tamils at Mirusuvil in the Jaffna peninsula last December. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:13:25 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Clash averted in Jaffna prison  - The Hindu (International)

Asian Nations All But Clear The Way For Annan Reelection
Yahoo India, 27 March 2001. UNITED NATIONS (AP)--Asian nations all but cleared the way Monday for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's election to a second term. They unanimously praised Annan's "exemplary leadership" at a meeting Monday, said Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Shamshad Ahmad, the current chairman of the Asian Group. Even though the Asians stopped short of endorsing Annan for a second term, they virtually ruled out fielding a candidate to challenge him, Ahmad said.Asians mentioned in U.N. circles as possible candidates include Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga, former Thai foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the country's U.N. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, and Singapore's U.N. Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani and former ambassador Tommy Koh. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 21:25:20 EST 2001 Back to the top

Umpires strike back
Yahoo India, 27 March 2001. Lord's Cricket Ground is a long way from the cauldron of Colombo but it was here that officials Wednesday took the first step in responding to concerns about declining standards of umpiring. Britain's Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS), together with cricket law maker MCC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has produced a new training video, 'The Laws of Cricket - 2000 Code', which aims to aid umpires in their understanding and application of the sport's complex rulebook. The video, shot in Barbados, features West Indies great Garfield Sobers. "Since I stopped playing the game has changed. It's very noticeable the appealing of players, even to people who haven't played the game," the legendary all-rounder said. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 21:28:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

The men in white coats need a better deal
Yahoo India, 27 March 2001. PUNE, MARCH 26. It's time the International Cricket Council (ICC) speedily responds to the umpiring-related incidents in the three Test series between England-Sri Lanka and Australia-India. England appeared to be more affected by some of the decisions handed out by the ICC Panel umpires, one of whom was also a home umpire. England lost the first Test in Galle and had a genuine reason for grouse. The second and third Tests between these two countries, which England won to take the series 2-1 were also not incident or rancour free. The whole cricketing world was witness to the spectacle of Sri Lanka's skipper Sanath Jayasuriya, throwing up tantrums and flinging his helmet when given out caught `off the bounce' in Kandy. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 21:22:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka minister's son held in gold smuggling case
Times of India, 26 March 2001 . COLOMBO: The son of a government minister has been arrested and charged with smuggling gold, a newspaper reported on Sunday. After a police chase through central Colombo on Friday night, Prabath Ediriweera and a bodyguard of his father Ediriweera Premaratne, the deputy minister of Buddhist affairs, were arrested with 2.5 kg of gold bullion, said the Sunday Observer, a government-run English language newspaper. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:48:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

A global smoking battle
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK. Anti-smoking drives in many Western countries have paid dividends - only this week, figures released in the UK showed lung cancer deaths down by a half, mainly due to people giving up. However, for everyone that gives up, there appear to be a more potential customers for the tobacco firms. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 08:47:01 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers Top Leader Makes Public Appearance
Yahoo India, March 21,. Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the secretive leader of Tamil Tiger rebels, made a rare public appearance in a northern town to attend a ceremony of his administration, a pro-rebel Web site reported Wednesday.The rebels run a parallel administration in the areas under their control with a separate police and judicial system.Prabhakaran, a school dropout, runs the LTTE with absolute power which he never delegates to others. More...
Published: Mon Mar 26 21:26:12 EST 2001 Back to the top

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