The Lanka Academic

MARCH 28, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 356

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
Britain outlaws 21 groups with terrorist links
Nando Times, march 28. Britain announced Wednesday it has outlawed 21 groups that have been linked to terrorist activity abroad, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.It includes several groups seeking independent homelands, including ETA, which has killed 800 people in its 32-year quest for a Basque homeland independent from Spain; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka; and the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Turkey. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 12:26:25 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
One million reward offered for information on Custom's killer
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.45 p.m. SLT Wednesday March 28. Sri Lanka Customs has offered a Rs. one million reward for information on the killer or killers of Customs officer Sujith Prasanna Perera who was gunned down in broad daylight on Saturday March 24, 2001.

Perera, was shot dead at around 8.30 a.m. while travelling in his car at Kelaniya. Two men allegedly travelling on a motor cycle are reported to have shot Perera and his brother-in-law who was also in the car with him at the time. The reason for Perera's killing is yet not known, though a special police investigation claim that the motive may lie within the Custom's department.
Published: Wed Mar 28 02:47:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Lanka customs officials demand weapons for self-defense  - India Abroad
Million rupee reward for information on custom officers killing  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Giant Afghan Buddhas cannot be restored - UNESCO chief
CDN, 29 March 2001. PARIS, March 27 (AFP) The giant buddhas of Bamiyan destroyed by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban cannot be restored, UNESCO director Koichiro Matsuura told a press conference here on Tuesday. Restoration is impossible because the statues, which were not carved out of hard stone, have been reduced to sandy rubble, explained Mounir Bouchenaki, another UNESCO official, at the conference. Responding to a proposal by the Sri Lankan government to buy the rubble, Matsuura said the idea would be examined in the future but he had no clear answer to give. A private Sri Lankan Buddhist organisation earlier put forward another proposal, to build a scaled down replica of the buddhas at its Colombo premises. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 18:48:36 EST 2001 Back to the top

'Lankan conflict at end of cycle'
Yahoo India, March 29. The major problem of Sri Lanka today is that there are ``two undefeated armies'' in the region. But every conflict has its life-cycle, says Mr Jehan Perera, Director, Research and Media, of the Colombo-based National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. In an interview to Business Line, he said the ethnic conflict in the island nation, which has raged for 18 long years, is coming to ``the end of its cycle''. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 17:28:23 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan president meets Chirac
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 19:48 GMT 20:48 UK. The Sri Lankan president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has held talks in Paris with President Chirac about her government's efforts to end the Tamil Tiger rebellion. Mr Chirac urged her to negotiate a peace settlement which respected both Sri Lanka's unity and the legitimate aspirations of minorities, according to his spokeswoman. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 18:30:53 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Chirac calls for negotiated end to Sri Lanka war  - MSNBC
Visiting Sri Lankan president in talks with Chirac  -

Sri Lankan China at The Oscar Banquet
PRIU, March 28. Porcelain trade named DANKOTUWA with a special gold-bordered design ‘ Majestic’ was selected for this year’s special Oscar occasion. This is the third occasion in the past five years that Dankotuwa Porcelain tableware was chosen for the post Oscar bash. The platinum version of this same design was used for the 1997 Oscar Award Banquet. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 22:18:40 EST 2001 Back to the top

England's successful winter tarnished by one-day beating
Yahoo India, March 28, 1:49 PM. England were looking at a near-perfect winter after success against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Test series. But the one-day version of the game proved their downfall.England's players and their estimated 10,000 fans were set to leave Sri Lanka Wednesday after a humiliating 3-0 defeat in the one-day internationals. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 17:32:10 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
England check out with loads of confidence  - Yahoo India

Bidunuwawe commission begins investigation into detainee massacre
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1316 SLT 28.03.01. The Commission appointed to investigate last year's massacre of detainees in Bidunuwawe began its work today. The Commission chaired by Appeals Court Judge Kulatunga will report within three months who were responsible for the massacre and steps that need to be taken to avoid similar incidents in the future end
Published: Wed Mar 28 02:23:25 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Bindunuwewa Commission commences sittings today  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Improper, says Deputy Minister
Island, 29 March 2001. Deputy Minister Wijithamuni Soysa raised a privilege question yesterday concerning a matter of the "Organisation for the Protection of Democracy" held in committee room 2 in Parliament on Tuesday.The concerned meeting was attended by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Rauff Hakeem and a number of other MPs from opposition parties also attended together with foreign diplomats and religious dignitaries.Deputy Minister Soysa contended that it was improper to hold such a meeting in a parliament committee room since it was not chaired by a MP. The meeting was chaired by Waruna Karunatilleke, Victor Ivan and Sunanda Deshapriya. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 19:04:33 EST 2001 Back to the top

Upsurge of fighting in Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK. Sri Lankan air force jets launched a bombing campaign against Tamil Tiger rebel positions on Wednesday, as 11 rebels and two soldiers were killed in separate clashes over the past few days. Five air force jets carried out the attacks in Nagar Kovil, about 35km (20 miles) northeast of Jaffna city. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 11:16:27 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka jets pound Tiger targets, toll 13  -
Tamil Tigers killed in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

Jaffna Magistrate orders police report
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Wednesday March 28. The Jaffna magistrate today ordered the police in Jaffna to submit a report on the killing of M. Nimalarajan, a Jaffna based journalist who was brutally gunned down on November 19, last year.

Lawyers repsenting the deceased family say that finding the murderers should not be difficult since the killing took place during a military imposed curfew.
Published: Wed Mar 28 02:47:44 EST 2001 Back to the top

Army warns Batty civilians to stay away from the LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.40 a.m. Wednesday March 28. The Army yesterday warned civilians in Batticaloa to stay at least four kilometeres away from LTTE defence positions. In a leaflet distributed in Batticaloa the Army asserted they are planning to attack LTTE controlled camps in the Batticaloa district with newly accquired aircraft and weapons.

The military have further ordered civilians in the East to sever all links they may have with the Tamil Tigers.
Published: Wed Mar 28 02:47:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan army's warning to Batticaloa residents  - The Hindu (International)

Sri Lankan cricket board sacked by govt
yahoo, March 28. ri Lanka Sports Minister Wednesday dissolved the country's Cricket Board, caught in controversies and litigation for more than a year, and appointed an interim panel to function in its place. "We are appointing an interim panel to run the Board's affairs," a Sports Ministry official told PTI. Three well- known former cricket veterans Vijay Malalasekara, Michael Tissera and Sidath Wettimuny would constitute the new committee, he said. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 14:18:07 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Sri Lanka board postpones AGM after legal setback  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Sri Lanka board sacks CEO ahead of vote  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka cricket board sacked amid court battle  - Times of India (Breaking News)
unconfirmed reports say cricket board dissolved  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Cricket-ICC not to intervene over Sharjah tournament
Yahoo India, March 28, 9:23 PM. The International Cricket Council is not to intervene in the looming dispute involving India and Pakistan over next month's Sharjah tournament. The sport's governing body also said on Wednesday it would not impose sanctions on any country failing to participate in Sharjah as it was a private invitational competition. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 17:34:24 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
New Zealand invited to replace India in Sharjah  - Yahoo India
Pakistan Cricket Board: We'll Never Play India Again  - Yahoo India

ICC begins Sri Lanka match-fixing probe
Yahoo India, March 28,. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Wednesday began probing allegations that Sri Lanka's former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva took bribes to throw a 1994 Test match in India.The chief investigator in the ICC's anti-corruption unit, Jeff Reed, who arrived here Tuesday, will question local cricket officials and players involved in the 1994 tour, the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 17:33:32 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Anti-corruption head delays Sri Lanks trip  - yahoo
ICC anti-corruption chief postpones Lanka visit  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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 Back to the top

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

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

Nine Sri Lankans detained in Gautemala
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Wednesday March 27. Nine Sri Lankans together with 231 Ecodorans were captured yesterday in international waters by US coast guards.

The illegal immigrants were reportedly dehydrated and sick after being without food for days when the US coast guards had apprehended the fishing boat they were travelling in. The refugees including 49 women and 8 children had been attempting to reach Gautemala in order to travel over-land to the United States.

Gautemala immigration officials have said that they are awaiting for diplomatic officers from Gautemala and Sri Lanka to arrive and begin the necessary repatriation process.
Published: Tue Mar 27 02:33:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

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 thrash England to wrap up one-day series 3-0  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka complete whitewash  - BBC South Asia

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

Sri Lanka Buddhists plan replica of Afghan statue
MSNBC, Wenesday, 28th March. COLOMBO, March 28 — A Sri Lankan Buddhist group said on Wednesday it wants to build an exact replica of the world's largest Buddha statue that was destroyed earlier this month by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 09:55:38 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan body to build Buddha replicas  - Yahoo
Sri Lanka seeks help to build replica Bamiyan Buddhas  -
Lanka seeks Indian help to rebuild Buddhas  - Times of India
Lanka seeks Indian, Pakistani help to rebuild Bamiyan-type Buddhas  - India Abroad

AES Sri Lanka Pwr Proj Due Fully Commissioned '03 -Source
Yahoo India, March 28, 3:17 PM. U.S.-based AES Corp.'s (AES) US$104 million Kelanitissa power project in Sri Lanka is expected to be fully operational in March 2003, a source familiar with the project told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Mar 28 17:31:23 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

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  -

Viagra to raise Lankan troop morale, Tuesday, March 27, 2001. COLOMBO: 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: Tue Mar 27 07:30:50 EST 2001 Back to the top

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