The Lanka Academic

MARCH 31, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 359

Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
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Death toll rises to 12 in Kurunegala explosion
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 10:10 AM SLT Sunday April 01 . 12 people were confirmed dead and 120 others injured when a bomb exploded at Kurunegala this morning, according to latest police reports. The death toll had risen by 05 since the first reports were released this morning, Kurunegala police said. 02 persons who were transferred to the Colombo National Hospital for treatment succumbed to their injuries a short while ago. 10 bodies are reported to be lying at the Kurunegala Base hospital. The explosion took place at a musical evening at the Maligapitiya grounds at 1:15 AM today. Police believe the explosion occured after clashes broke out between rival groups in the area. No persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, but investigations are continuing. The musical evening which was organised by a sinhala-language radio station to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, featured Indian and local artists.
Published: Sat Mar 31 23:25:01 EST 2001

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
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Seven Dead, 200 Wounded in Sri Lanka Concert Blast
Nothern Light, Saturday, March 31, 2001 9:12 PM EST . At least seven people were killed and some 200 wounded when an explosion ripped through a packed stadium during a concert in northwestern Sri Lanka early on Sunday, police said. The blast occurred in the city of Kurunegala where more than 100,000 fans had gathered for a performance by two popular singers from neighboring India, they said. ``It looks like a hand-grenade attack that may have also been linked to a gas container,'' said a police officer in Kurunegala, about 80 km (50 miles) north of the capital Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Mar 31 22:45:57 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka carnival ends in tragedy  -
Blast hits Sri Lanka concert  - BBC South Asia
Blast hits Sri Lanka concert, many casualties-police  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels hold truce -- but recruit kids, Apr 01 2001 06:59 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels have been credited with largely honouring their unilateral truce and halting suicide bombings, but are once again under attack for recruiting child soldiers. Attacks by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have decreased markedly since the group declared its truce on Christmas Eve, but they have used the lull in fighting to start an enlistment drive. More...
Published: Sat Mar 31 22:49:57 EST 2001 Back to the top

More Air Raids in Nagarkovil
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 13:20 SLT Saturday March 31. The Sri Lanka Air Force attacked a suspected rebel target in Nagarkovil in the Jaffna Peninsular this morning. Israeli built Kfir jets attacked the target around 10 AM today, military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said. He added that the air force believes 7 rebels were killed in the attack. Intermittent air attacks are being launched on suspected rebel targets in the Nagarkovil area from where the LTTE are presently attacking military positions with mortars.
Published: Sat Mar 31 02:23:35 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan air force bombs rebel defences, seven rebels killed  - Press Trust of India
Sri Lanka jets pound Tiger targets, seven killed: military  -

Girl describes bizarre Police torture in SC petition
TamilNet, March 31. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court this week granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition of a Tamil girl from Kayts in Jaffna who says Policemen tortured her in detention by repeatedly inserting a plantain flower soaked in chilli powder into her vagina.. The girl who is currently being held in the Negombo remand prison states in her petition to the Supreme Court that she was hung on a pole inserted between her thighs and arms which had been tied together below the knee and that he body was made to swing in that position; More...
Published: Sat Mar 31 13:07:42 EST 2001 Back to the top

Inmate found murdered in Negombo Prison
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 13:20 SLT Saturday March 31. An inmate at the Negombo prison has been allegedly murdered, following a baton assault. Ujitha Thushan, who was taken to the Ragama hospital on the 26th of March, after being found unconscious in the prison premises, died upon admission. Judicial Medical Officers who conducted the post mortem, have found evidence to prove that the prisoner was murdered after being assaulted with a baton. The Negombo magistrate today ordered the arrest of all suspects involved in the alleged murder of the prisoner. The victim was imprisoned on the 24th of March after being charged with the distillery of illicit liqour.
Published: Sat Mar 31 02:23:34 EST 2001 Back to the top

Amnesty International concerned for Sri Lanka child soldiers, Mar 31 2001 09:10 IST. Human rights group Amnesty International expressed concern Saturday for the safety of three boys believed recruited as child soldiers by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka. The London-based watchdog said Chandrasekaran Udayakumar, 8, Ravichandran Prathishan, 12, and another unidentified child were thought to have been taken by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Sat Mar 31 00:20:23 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Amnesty concerned at LTTE's child soldiers  - India Abroad

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 Back to the top

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

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

Sri Lankan crisis escalates
BBC South Asia, Friday, 30 March, 2001, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK . Sri Lankan cricket supporters have taken to the streets in protest at the dissolution of the country's Board of Control. More than 2,000 demonstrators marched from city hall to government offices in Colombo.It followed Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella's decision to remove the Board and put a four-man interim committee in temporary charge. More...
Published: Fri Mar 30 11:00:56 EST 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
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

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

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

Tendulkar crosses 10,000 run mark in one-dayers
Yahoo India, march 31. Sachin Tendulkar Saturday became the first batsman in the 30-year history of one-day international cricket to make 10,000 runs, following in the footsteps of another illustrious Indian Sunil Gavaskar who had achieved the feat in Tests. Among current batsmen, the following are the nearest to him: Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka) 8430 runs, Mark Waugh (Australia) 8245, Saeed Anwar (Pakistan) 7757 and Inzamam-ul Haq (Pakistan) 7636. More...
Published: Sat Mar 31 20:52:24 EST 2001 Back to the top

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