The Lanka Academic

MARCH 30, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 358

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
Sri Lanka rebels say strike repulsed, army denies
MSNBC, Friday, 30th of March, 14:30 GMT. COLOMBO, March 30 — Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels said they had repulsed a military offensive in the country's north, but the army denied launching an assault, saying the guerrillas were looking for an excuse to call off their unilateral truce. Friday's conflicting reports came a week after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels extended their ceasefire into a fourth month, but for the first time warned they would call it off early if government offensives continued. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 08:42:37 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
Five more deputy ministers to be appointed
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1559 SLT 30.03.01. President Kumaratunga is expected to add five more deputy ministers to her all time record cabinet. Informed sources say the new appointments would be made soon after the third reading of the budget on April 11th. end
Published: Fri Mar 30 05:08:32 EST 2001 Back to the top

U.S. envoy's speech angers Sri Lankan Tamils
The Hindu (International), Saturday, March 31, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 30. The U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Ashley Wills, has been branded anti-Tamil after a speech he made during a visit to Jaffna earlier this month, with the town Mayor joining the chorus of protests against him. At the monthly Municipal Council meeting on Thursday, the Mayor, Mr. N. Raviraj, of the Tamil United Liberation Front, described Mr. Willis' speech as ``irresponsible'' and said it had angered Tamils, according to the Tamil Internet site, TamilNet. ``We strongly condemn the U.S. Ambassador's speech that was made with a view to rejecting the principle of the Tamil people's homeland,'' the Mayor was quoted as saying. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 15:13:24 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Jaffna Mayor condemns US ambassador's speech  - TamilNet

Detained scribe released
The Hindu (International), Saturday, March 31, 2001. COLOMBO, MARCH 30. A Jaffna-based Tamil journalist, who was detained here three months ago, was today released without charges. Mr. Subramaniam Tiruchelvam, a 52-year-old free lance journalist based in Point Pedro, was picked up on January 2 on suspicion of being a member of the LTTE from a predominantly Tamil neighbourhood in the capital. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 15:13:47 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka journalist freed by anti-terror police  - MSNBC
Lake House journalist released due to lack of evidence  - Dharisha Bastians in Colombo

6 students remanded in connection with clashes at the Ruhuna University
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 16:30 SLT Friday March 30. 6 students have been remanded in connection with the clashes that erupted at the University of Ruhuna on Wednesday. Matara police said the suspects had been produced before the magistrate and placed in remand until the 02nd of April. Meanwhile, the Students Union of the university staged a one hour protest outside the campus premises this morning, demanding the release of four students they claim are innocent. Representatives of the students union are currently holding discussions with the university authorities, in an attempt to find a legal solution to the problem. The union claims it will launch islandwide protests in collaboration with the student unions of other universities, unless a solution is found today. Four students were injured when clashes broke out between two student unions last Wednesday. They are still receiving treatment at the Matara Base Hospital.
Published: Fri Mar 30 05:27:37 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Student clashes at Ruhuna University  - Dharisha Bastians in Colombo

Fishermen protest firing by Lankan Navy
yahoo, march 30. Hundreds of fishermen from various parts of Tamil Nadu held a demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission here Friday protesting against the frequent firing incidents on Indian fishermen by the Lankan navy. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 16:01:45 EST 2001 Back to the top

Lanka to seek Indian approval for fishing corridor
India Abroad, March 30, 2001 16:35 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka will shortly seek India's approval for a maritime corridor which will take its fishermen through Indian seas to enter international waters. The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency, better known as NARA, has completed mapping out a passage 600 nautical miles long for the island's fishermen. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 11:01:58 EST 2001 Back to the top

Kumaratunga meets Chirac
Times of India, 30 December 2000 . PARIS: Visiting Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga used a meeting with her French counterpart Jacques Chirac to explain her government's position on the continuing war with rebel Tamils, French officials said on Wednesday.Chirac told Kumaratunga that she had France's full support in her search for dialogue with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or Tamil tigers, Colonna said. (AFP) More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 03:00:34 EST 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka appoints new Cricket board  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lankan crisis escalates  - BBC South Asia
Lanka's new cricket board pulls purse strings  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Cricket-Interim committee takes over Sri Lankan cricket  - Yahoo India
Demonstrations in Colombo over cricket dispute  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Indian surgeons breathe life into Lankan heart center
India Abroad, March 30, 2001 14:50 Hrs (IST. Doctors from New Delhi's Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center have taken up residence at Colombo's Durdans Heart Surgical Center and will bring the latest in cardiac treatment to patients here. The four-member Indian team includes two specialists in beating heart surgery, Rajneesh Malhotra and Vivek Gupta, said Durdans spokesman Margaret Gunawardene. Top Sri Lankan cardiologists and surgeons will also treat patients at the facility that has been equipped with the latest surgical and laboratory equipment. The hospital's administration expects the new center to staunch the number of invalids who were hitherto compelled to seek treatment abroad. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 06:59:38 EST 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

Move to promote Solar-energy as option to electricity
The Island, Thursday March 29, 2001 23:45 PST. The Solar Industries Association, Sri Lanka (SIA-SL) is looking at promoting solar energy as a mainstream option in meeting electricity requirements, especially in rural areas unlikely to receive grid power. According to statistics, 47% of the households in Sri Lanka, mainly in rural areas, do not have access to the CEB grid. SIA-SL, which is receiving funding assistance under the Energy Services Delivery (ESD) Project, will set about their task of complementing the goals of the Government to meet the energy requirements of rural households in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 02:41:13 EST 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-New Zealand ready to replace India at Sharjah
Yahoo India, March 30, 7:24 PM. New Zealand have accepted an invitation to play in a three-nation one-day tournament in Sharjah next month to replace India. The invitation was received by New Zealand cricket earlier this week as a result of India belatedly withdrawing from the event," New Zealand Cricket chief Christopher Doig said in a statement on Friday. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 15:16:41 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
ICC rules out intervention in Sharjah embroglio  - Yahoo India

South Asia tackles foot-and-mouth
BBC South Asia, Friday, 30 March, 2001, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK . The countries of South Asia are taking tough precautions to prevent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have imposed restrictions on the import of European meat. The disease is not uncommon in the region, and there have been several local outbreaks in recent years. In Sri Lanka, the government has introduced stringent measures. It has appointed a committee to study the best ways of eradicating the disease. It has also issued front-page newspaper adverts which urge the public to report any suspected cases. The government has also authorised the screening of baggage of passengers arriving from the UK. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 10:03:27 EST 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
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
Related News Stories
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

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

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

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

Lumbini wins European award
The Island, Thursday March 29, 2001 24:00 PST. Lumbini Aquaria Wayamba Limited, a pioneer ornamental fish exporter in Sri Lanka, has won the prestigious Arch of Europe award for quality and technology, a press release said. The award, presented by Business Initiative Directions (BID) in Frankfurt, recognizes "immeasurable contribution to the business world, high standing and professionalism demonstrated by prestigious performance." Lumbini was the only company from Sri Lanka to win the award at a gala ceremony attended by business leaders from 53 countries recently. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 03:02:31 EST 2001 Back to the top

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

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

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.