The Lanka Academic

MARCH 29, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 357

Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
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Devolution of power yet to be decided -Erik Solheim
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 29/03/01 1655 GMT. The powers to be devolved to the minority Tamils will be high on the agenda when the two parties begin peace talks said Erik Solheim, the peace negotiator between Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers. Both sides he said were willing and committed to find a negotiated settlement to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

The Norwegian peace negotiator, in an interview with the BBC said that both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE need to build confidence between each other and find a solid foundation to base peace talks on. Mr. Erik Solheim further added that it was not up to Norway to comment on how both parties are conducting themselves whilst waiting for talks. He said that the sooner the peace talks begin the less Sri Lanka would have to suffer from human destruction. He was reluctant to shed light on the "memorandum of understanding" between the two parties or give an indication for future date for talks. The special envoy , though, is optimistic but cautious because the situation in Sri Lanka he said is very complicated and fragile.
Published: Thu Mar 29 11:52:37 EST 2001

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Why was Sujith killed?
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.25 p.m. SLT Thursday March 29 . Sujith Prasanna Perera, Customs's Officer, is just one more victim of violence that has become almost part and parcel of an apparent lawless society, in Sri Lanka. Speaking to his young wife Angela, it is impossible to comprehend why Sujith was murdered. As Angela whispers in pain the shocking details of last Saturday when Sujith, her husband of only five years was gunned down, she cannot figure out who would have wanted Sujith dead.

Saying that Sujith received threatening phone calls in 1998, when handling the investigation of a leading tea firm, Angela is afraid to speak out. Her priority is to protect Ayesha, her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter from future threat. Angela maintains that recently, Sujith was not under any apparent threat.

Senior customs officers and colleagues at Sri Lanka Customs, appear equally confused as to why Sujith was killed. The Director General for Customs, Lakshman Perera yesterday called for police protection for his men. Mr. Perera has pointed out that a mere two weeks ago the Customs Department had requested from the Defence Ministry for customs officers to be given automatic weapons for their safety. At present the officers are given revolvers for their personal protection. The request has not yet been granted and the Defence Ministry had wanted to know why the revolvers that had been already issued cannot continue to be used.

At the time Sujith was killed he had been transferred out of the Customs Preventive Unit but had apparently insisted that he continue to handle investigations under his purview since 1996.

Senior Superintendent of Police, D. W.Prathapasinghe, handling the current investigation into the murder of Sujith reiterated that the police have begun a systematic investigation into the recent cases Sujith had been working on before he was assassinated.

The SSP maintained that it is more prudent to gather as much hard evidence as possible before bringing in possible suspects for questioning. He said vital information was being gathered and the police hoped to make a breakthrough during the course of next week.
Published: Thu Mar 29 01:37:06 EST 2001 Back to the top

Air force attacks LTTE bases in Nagarkovil
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, Dharisha Bastians in Colombo 2:45 PM SLT Thur. The Sri Lanka Air force yesterday launched an air raid on suspected rebel bases in Nagarkovil, in the Jaffna peninsular, the defence ministry said. MiG 27's and kfir jets bombed rebel targets in the area, in what senior military officials claimed was a highly successful attack. Military spokesman brigadier Sanath karunaratne said the airforce believed that heavy casualties were inflicted on the LTTE by the air raids, but no exact figures were available yet. Karunaratne in his official report today added that 07 rebels were either killed or seriously injured in a confrontation with ground troops sent out soon after the air raid.
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:36:05 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Songbird passes away
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 11:25 SLT Thursday. Veteran songstress Malani Bulathsinhala passed away in Los Angeles yesterday, following a sudden illness. Mrs Bulathsinhala (1950-2001) began her lustrous career at the tender age of 13, when she hosted a childrens' show on SLBC and entered the Haywood Institute of Arts in 1970 to study music professionally. She was a teacher of singing by profession and has held the post of Deputy Director of education for the Western Province since 1994. Mrs Bulathsinhala received three Sarasavi Film awards for her songs featured on the films "Madu Samaya", "Watsala Akka" and "Umayangana" She is survived by her husband H.M Jayawardane and a son.
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:17:04 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Malani Bulathsinghala Passes away  - Saroj Pathirana in London

Former Sri Lankan diplomat dead
The Hindu (International), Friday, March 30, 2001. Sri Lanka's former Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Mr. Gautama Dasa, died here on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 68. Mr. Gautama Dasa had two postings at Chennai, first between 1977 and 1981, and later between 1996 and 2000. Those who knew him and came in contact with him, however briefly, will remember him as a genial and warm person, always ready to help anyone who approached him. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 16:25:28 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Condolence  - The Hindu (Southern States)

BOI Chief rejects claims that he was asked to resign
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 08:00 p.m. SLT Monday March 26. Chairman of the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka Thilan Wijesinghe today denied claims in the state-run Daily News, that president Chandrika Kumaratunge requested him to resign from his post. Speaking to media personnel following his resignation last evening, Wijesinghe said he had resigned in order to clear his name and he had not been asked to do so by the government. Wijesinghe's resignation follows a case filed against him in court, alleging that he had demanded a bribe of one million dollars from a businessman, of which he had already accepted a down payment. The case was filed by the Commission to investigate Bribery and Corruption after a year-long investigation. Meanwhile sources said Mr Mano Selvanathan had been approached by President Kumaratunge to take up Mr Wijesinghe's post.
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:18:50 EST 2001 Back to the top

Mannar CSU rapes pregnant woman - TamilNet
TamilNet, March 29. "Wijikala was screaming inside the building. I heard her pleading 'I have nothing to do with the Tigers. I am a family woman. Please do not do this to me'. Then some CSU men came out and told me that they were forcing Wijikala to have sex with them and threatened to rape me as well. One of the men tried to strip my clothes. When they saw that my son was asleep on my lap, a Policeman dragged him away into one of the buildings in the CSU compound as I begged them not to hurt him. Two men then pinned me down on the van's floor while another stripped me and raped me. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:04:20 EST 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka assembly in uproar over foreign bribery scandal, Mar 29 2001 17:28 IST. COLOMBO, March 29 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's parliament was suspended briefly Thursday amid a row over allegations that top ruling party politicians demanded kickbacks to approve foreign investment projects. The main opposition United National Party (UNP) demanded that the country's minister without portfolio Wijeyapala Mendis commence investigations into the allegations contained in a sworn testinomy before the Supreme Court. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 08:22:31 EST 2001 Back to the top

Student clashes at Ruhuna University
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 15:30 SLT Wednesday March 28, 2001. One student was seriously injured when clashes erupted between two student factions at the University of Ruhuna this morning. University Security officials said the clashes were a result of rivalry between two student unions who are believed to be affiliated to two main political parties in the island. According to the officials the unions involved in intense competition to enlist the most number of freshers when the fight broke out. The injured student is reportedly receiving treatment at the Matara Base Hospital. Authorities are currently investigating the incident.
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:18:51 EST 2001 Back to the top

Magistrate orders full report on slaying of Jaffna journalist.
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 12 noon SLT Wednesday March 28. A Jaffna magistrate R.T. Vignaraja yesterday ordered the full report on the murder of Jaffna based journalist Mailvaganam Nimalarajan. Magistrate Vignaraja directed the Jaffna police to conduct the necessary investigations into the murder and submit their report by the 04th of April. The Attorney General has also granted the Crime Investigation Unit of the Jaffna police leave to submit a report on the postmortem. Meanwhile, court officials claim it would not be difficult to find the persons involved in the murder since the incident took place during a curfew in the area. Nimalarajan who was a correspondent for the BBC in Jaffna, was killed in his home by an unidentified gunman on the 19th of November last year.
Published: Thu Mar 29 12:18:50 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Jaffna Magistrate orders police report  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

India unhappy over Norwegian peace settlement
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Thursday March 29. Informed sources say that India is reportedly unhappy over a peace settlement being negotiated or faciliated in Sri Lanka by Norway and the United Kingdom.

The Indians are in a quagmire as they are unacceptable to the LTTE, and have by their own actions in the Lankan conflict side-lined themselves. While the Lankan Government would agree to India playing a decisive role in future peace talks with the LTTE, the Tigers are not happy due to India's involvement in the conflict in the 1980's, both as a peace keeping force and later as a military strength which attempted to overpower and destroy the LTTE.

India has to also contend with its Southern politics in Tamil Nadu and has already adapted a public stance against the terrorist activities of the LTTE, banning the rebel force soon after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

India, source say, would like very much to play a more important role in resolving the war in Sri Lanka, but are unable to enter the present peace arena facilitated by Norway. The Norwegians continue to insist that India is kept well informed of the protracted process initiated by Norway.
Published: Thu Mar 29 01:37:06 EST 2001 Back to the top

S.Lanka Buddhists ask U.N. to mourn Afghan statues
MSNBC, March 29 . A Sri Lankan Buddhist group on Thursday asked the United Nations to declare an international day of mourning for two giant Buddha statues that were destroyed earlier this month by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers.The Shanthi Foundation, which is also planning to build a replica of the larger of the two cliff-hewn statues, said the day of mourning would help the United Nations make amends for the failure of its cultural body UNESCO to list the statues as a protected site. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 09:37:33 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Buddhists plan replica of Afghan statue  - MSNBC
Lanka seeks Indian help to rebuild Buddhas  - Times of India

Sri Lankan captive dies keeping freedom vow
MSNBC, March 29. A Sri Lankan farmer, fresh from 15 months of captivity by a rebel group, was killed in a fall from a coconut tree on Thursday while trying to keep a vow he had made to the gods to secure his freedom, police said. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 09:38:09 EST 2001 Back to the top

15 kidnapped fishermen released
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10 a.m. SLT Thursday March 29. Fifteen fishermen who were abducted by the LTTE last afternoon were released a few hours later. Police in Pulmoddai say that the fishermen were kidnapped by the Tigers at around 1.30 p.m. yesterday off the Pulmoddai coast. They were released later in the evening after being questioned by the LTTE.
Published: Thu Mar 29 01:37:05 EST 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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

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Million rupee reward for information on custom officers killing  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Sri Lanka Buddhists ask UN to mourn Afghan statues
The Hindustan Times, March 29. A SRI Lankan Buddhist group on Thursday asked the United Nations to declare an international day of mourning for two giant Buddha statues that were destroyed earlier this month by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers. The Shanthi Foundation, which is also planning to build a replica of the larger of the two cliff-hewn statues, said the day of mourning would help the United Nations make amends for the failure of its cultural body UNESCO to list the statues as a protected site. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 08:23:31 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Giant Afghan Buddhas cannot be restored - UNESCO chief  - CDN

'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
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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
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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
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Bindunuwewa Commission commences sittings today  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

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
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Sri Lanka jets pound Tiger targets, toll 13  -
Tamil Tigers killed in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka Orders Civilians Out Of Rebel-Held Territory
Yahoo India, March 29, 3:48 PM. The government warned civilians in rebel-held territory to move out of villages near separatist camps because aerial bombing would begin soon, a military spokesman said Thursday. The army has distributed Tamil language leaflets urging civilians in the eastern Batticaloa region to move at least three kilometers away from camps run by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Brig. Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 15:17:57 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Army warns Batty civilians to stay away from the LTTE  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Minister intervenes in Sri Lankan crisis
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 29 March, 2001, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK . A four-man panel has been put in temporary charge of Sri Lankan cricket following the dissolution of the Board of Control. "The dissolution took effect at midnight," BCCSL acting chief executive Anura Tennekoon confirmed. The interim committee includes former players Sidath Wettimuny, Asantha de Mel and Michael Tisserra and will be chaired by tobacco company director Vijaya Malalasekara. Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella decided to sack the entire Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BBCSL) on Wednesday. It followed a court ruling that the BCCSL could not elect new officers at its annual general meeting, scheduled for Saturday, because notices for the election had not been properly issued. "It is the fault of the Board for not furnishing accounts properly," the minister explained. More...
Published: Thu Mar 29 18:45:55 EST 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka appoints new Cricket board  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Cricket-Sri Lanka board postpones AGM after legal setback  - Yahoo India
Sri Lankan cricket board sacked by govt  - yahoo
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
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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
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ICC anti-corruption chief postpones Lanka visit  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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

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