The Lanka Academic

APRIL 2, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 361

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
Lanka-LTTE MoU to pave way for talks
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 2. IN A major change of stand, the Sri Lankan Government has agreed to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the LTTE ahead of direct peace talks. But Colombo asserts that the MoU cannot be seen as satisfying any precondition for beginning talks and that it is independent of peace talks. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told the State-owned Daily News in Paris that as part of the MoU, there would be an immediate increase in the supply of commercial goods to the LTTE controlled areas of Wanni. The idea was to help bring down the prices there, he said. "This will be part of the agreement of understanding between the two parties. But this will definitely not be a pre-condition for peace talks," Kadirgamar cautioned. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 17:55:17 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Lanka to send food, medicines to Tiger territory  - India Abroad
Sri Lankan Government signs an important agreement with LTTE  -
Lanka set to lift economic embargo on rebel-held areas  - Press Trust of India
Sri Lanka clears the way for talks with Tigers  -
Sri Lanka Plans Humanitarian Package to Commence Peace Talks  - Nothern Light

--Photo: Aftenposten--
The Lanka Academic is delighted to announce its next guest in its series of Q & A sessions: Mr. Erik Solheim, the special facilitator between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Mr. Solheim has had extensive discussions with government leaders including President Kumaratunge as well as the leaders of political parties and entities spanning the spectrum of political views in Sri Lanka. He has also visited the LTTE leader Pirbhakaran during a recent visit to the Vanni and also has had discussions with the LTTE representative in London Mr. Anton Balasingham.

Mr. Solheim will answer your questions within the parameters of his present assignment. Submit your questions for Mr. Solheim between April 2-30, 2001, and check answers here.

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka customs website shut down after grisly attack by hackers, Apr 02 2001 19:08 IST. Sri Lanka's customs department shut down its web site Monday after hackers placed a bleeding human head in place of an obituary of a customs officer who was gunned down last month. A customs spokesman said the department was forced to shut down the web site,, after the gruesome cyber attack over the weekend and police had been asked to investigate. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 10:50:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Customs website shut down following cyber attack.  - Dharisha Bastians in Colombo

Tamils march on UN to demand self-rule from Sri Lanka, Apr 02 2001 21:56 IST. More than 5,000 Tamils marched through Geneva to UN headquarters here on Monday calling for international pressure on Sri Lanka to grant the Tamils the right to peace and self-rule, police said. Leaders from the International Tamil Federation slammed the Sri Lankan government's refusal to negotiate with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ahead of a meeting of the UN's Human Rights Commission here. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 13:22:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition demands sacking of 4 ministers
Times of India, 3 April 2001 . The main opposition party on Monday demanded the removal of four ministers from the Cabinet, accusing them of smuggling gold, accepting bribes and inciting violence against their political rivals.The ministers included Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, junior health minister, who was released on bail in March after police arrested him for suspected involvement in the murder of two opposition supporters during last October's general elections. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 17:53:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
UNP files no confidence motions against 06 government MPs  - Dharisha Bastians in Colombo

Police shocked by number of rapes reported
The Island, april 3. The number of rapes that have been reported to the Police have reached shocking heights during the past few years, Police Department sources said yesterday. The total number of reported rapes last year was 1181.Police sources added that there were several reasons that could be attributed to these acts of violence against women. "But the main reason is video parlours, obscene literature and pictures. There are several places in Colombo that house these Video parlours. And there is no way of censoring the numerous amounts of Video films that come into the country. " More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 22:11:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil parties to submit report to UN commission
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.10 p.m. SLT Monday April 2. Ten Tamil political parties in the island are to submit a report to the United Nations Human Rights Commission which will detail atrocities committed on the Tamil community after the Peoples Alliance came into power.

The parties including the TELO, ACTC and the TULF will also make representations to the international community to decide what action should be taken against the rape and abuse of two females in Mannar last month allegedly by Naval personnel.
Published: Mon Apr 2 09:14:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
TULF for probe into Mannar rape incident  - The Hindu (International)
Mannar DMO report confirms torture and rape  - TamilNet

Cops Probe 20 in Sri Lankan Blasts
Yahoo, april 3. Police questioned 20 suspects in connection with twin bombings at a weekend concert that killed 11 people and wounded at least 150 others, police said Monday.The suspects from two rival gangs were picked up during an all night raid in Kurunegala, about 60 miles northeast of Colombo, a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 17:51:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
11 dead in Kurunegala bomb blast  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Police question 20 in Sri Lankan stadium blasts  - MSNBC
Eleven Dead, 200 Hurt in Sri Lanka Concert Blast  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka blast turns carnival into carnage, toll 11  -
11 killed in Lanka explosion; Mumbai singers escape unhurt  - The Hindustan Times
Ten dead, 200 injured in grenade explosion  - Isalnd
Sri Lanka mounts man-hunt after carnival carnage  -

18 rebels killed in Batticaloa
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6 p.m. SLT Monday April 2. The military claim to have killed at least 18 rebels at the LTTE's 'Beirut' base in Batticaloa last week, after Air Force jets straffed the area.

According to a press release by the Special Media Information Center today, at least 30 other Tigers had been wounded in the attack and equipment destroyed.

The SMIC statement said that six more rebels were either killed or wounded when caught to a military ambush in the Mannar district.
Published: Mon Apr 2 09:14:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka says 18 Tigers perished in air strike  -
18 rebels killed in air raid in Batticaloa last month  - Dharisha Bastians in Colombo
Sri Lanka says 18 killed in attack on Tiger base  - Yahoo India

CBI sends letters rogatory in Rajiv assassination case
TOI, april 2. To unravel the conspiracy behind former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, the CBI has approached nearly 23 countries seeking details about LTTE members suspected to be linked with the assassination.Highly-placed sources in the agency said here on Sunday letters rogatory had been sent to various countries especially to Sweden where LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran's close confidante "KP" is believed to be hiding. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 12:14:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Parties to submit report to UN Human Rights commission.
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 17:10 SLT Monday April 02. 10 Tamil Parties in the island have decided to submit a report to the UN Hu man Rights Commission, regarding various human rights violations against ta mil civilians, after the Peoples=92 Alliance Government came into power in 1994. TELO Member of Parliament for the Wanni, Selvam Addai said the decisi on to submit the report was made following a meeting of the parties last ev ening.=20 He said the meeting was held to discuss what action can be taken to combat human rights violations, such as those allegedly committed against two Tami l women in Mannar last month.=20 The parties have also decided to enlist the support of local Womens=92 Orga nisations and Human Rights groups, to bring these human rights violations t o the attention of the international community, Mr Addai said.
Published: Mon Apr 2 07:36:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Inmates on Negombo prison roof demand bail
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 13:00 SLT Monday April 02. 108 male inmates at the Negombo prison are currently on the prison roof, demanding they be granted bail. Some 38 others, both male and female are reported to be extending their suppport on the ground. The Air force and police have surrounded the area, in order to prevent any violence breaking out. The prisoners are being held for offences related to illegal immigration.
Published: Mon Apr 2 02:50:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jayasuriya to captain Lanka in Sharjah
Times of India (Breaking News), Monday , 2 April 2001 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka retained Sanath Jayasuriya as captain for the three-nation cricket tournament in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and named a new fast bowler in the squad on Monday. Pakistan and New Zealand are the other teams playing in the April 8-20 tournament after India backed out of the event on Sunday. New Zealand was invited last week as India's participation became doubtful. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 08:15:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
CBFS threatens to sue BCCI for breach of contract  - Yahoo India
CBFS terms Indian decision as discriminatory  - Yahoo India
India cricketers barred from Sharjah  - BBC South Asia
Govt refuses permission for Sharjah tri-series  - Yahoo India

Murder protest closes Sri Lanka customs website
MSNBC, Apr 02 2001 17:31 IST. COLOMBO, April 2 — A red-faced Sri Lanka Customs Department said on Monday it had shut down its website after hackers replaced the home page with a picture of a bleeding skull to protest the recent killing of a customs officer. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 08:22:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indians pose as Lankan Tamils for asylum in UK
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 1. WITH THE help of Sri Lankan Tamil human smugglers, hundreds of Indians are in the UK posing as "persecuted Sri Lankan Tamils" and seeking asylum there, an informed source in London told the Hindustan Times. Quoting a British immigration official, the source said that as many as 1,500 Tamils from Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry had entered the UK in 2000 masquerading as Sri Lankan Tamils in immediate need of asylum. The asylum seekers from India were mainly blue collar workers looking for jobs. About 10 per cent of them were young women. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 18:16:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Prabhakaran warns deserters
The Hindu (International), Monday, April 02, 2001. A special LTTE intelligence unit has been detailed for locating the deserters and eliminating them, the Tiger chief told a gathering at a camp near Mallavi, The Island said, quoting sources in northern Vanni. The warning sent the message that the deserters would be killed irrespective of where they settled down in the Government- controlled part of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 18:15:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway stops military supplies to Sri Lanka: report, Apr 01 2001 12:50 IST. COLOMBO, April 1 (AFP) - Norwegian firms have stopped military sales to Sri Lanka following Oslo's involvement as a third party facilitator to broker peace in the island, a press report here said Sunday. The Sri Lankan military was unable to buy the equipment needed to fight the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after Norway began a bid to bring the Colombo government and LTTE rebels to the negotiating table. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 12:29:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway stops military sales to Sri Lanka  - The Hindu (International)

Cabinet reshuffle before peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.30 p.m. SLT Sunday April 1. Reliable sources reveal that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge plans to reshuffle her cabinet of 45 ministers before peace talks with the LTTE are initiated.

Why the President has decided to do this is not clear. However a key government minister is reported to take over the post of Media and Information while the other 44 ministers will be allocated new portfolios. The government at present has in addition to 45 ministers, 35 deputy ministers as well.
Published: Sun Apr 1 11:31:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka's sacked cricket panel hits back
yahoo, april 2. Sri Lanka's sacked cricket board today slammed Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella for dismissing them amid allegations of financial irregularities.The board's former treasurer Trevor Rajaratnam denied he had withheld the annual accounts of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) which is the richest sports body in the country. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 20:31:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Unilever: No Plan To Close Production Ops In Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, april 3. Unilever Ceylon Ltd., a producer of soap and food items, said Monday it has no plan to close down its production operations in Sri Lanka. The company said in a statement that it will continue with its 64-year-old production operations in the country, where it is the top producer of soap and employs 2,500 people. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 17:56:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Unilever May End 64-Year Presence in Sri Lanka Over Labor Woes  - financial News

Chinese trainer aircraft arrive to boost Sri Lanka force, Apr 01 2001 11:10 IST. Sri Lanka's air force has taken delivery of six Chinese-built K-8 trainer aircraft to boost its strike power against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said Sunday. The aircraft were part of a consignment ordered by the air force after the Tamil Tiger guerrillas launched a major offensive aimed at retaking the northern peninsula of Jaffna from government forces in May. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 13:19:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka Air Force takes delivery of Chinese aircraft  - India Abroad

Bamiyan Buddha fragments for sale
Hindu, april 2. Relics of the 2000-year old Bamiyan Buddhas, blown up by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers last month, are now on sale in Pakistan's frontier town of Peshawar. At least ten truck loads of pieces were driven into the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan last week and dealers were being approached, the Sunday Telegraph said. One of those contacted was Mr. George Bristow, a leading British dealer in artefacts. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 18:23:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Pieces of Bamiayan Buddhas to be brought to Sri Lanka  -

Arrests imminent in Mannar sexual abuse case
CDN, april 2. Mannar Judge M. Ajmeer ordered Mannar prison officials on Thursday to produce two women who were allegedly subjected to sexual violence and are presently remanded in Anuradhapura prison before the Mannar courts. Reports from Mannar say that around 26 men from the Anti-Crime Unit and seven men from the Navy are connected with this incident. The Navymen had allegedly abused one woman inside their truck after arresting them and the Anti Crime Unit men abused the other woman twice. This is confirmed by the report submitted to the judge by Mannar District Medical Officer G. Somasekeram. He said that the complete details of sexual assault are mentioned in his report. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 18:56:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Bishop protests Police, Navy rapes and murders  - TamilNet

Sun spots, which you can see, could affect telecom services
Island, 02 April 2001. A gigantic dark sunspot about 13 times bigger than the surface area of the earth is now visible to the naked eye towards the westward edge of the sun giving awesome view. Dr. Chandana Jayaratne, Senior Lecturer in Physics, University of Colombo said that though this is a very rare opportunity one should not look at the sun directly as it will damage the eyes. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 20:00:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka tempts the Indian affluent, cricket fans
India Abroad, April 01, 2001 16:15 Hrs (IST) . CENTURIES after the Chola and Pandya rulers descended on Sri Lanka uninvited, the island is trying to attract an invasion of another sort from across the Palk Strait - by wealthy Indians in a holiday mood. The Ceylon Tourist Board (CTB) will make a big splash in April to plug the island's charms, beginning first in Mumbai and New Delhi, said Charmarie Maelge, the board's marketing director. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 13:20:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US steps up military training for Sri Lankan troops, Apr 01 2001 13:06 IST. COLOMBO, April 1 (AFP) - The United States has stepped up military training for Sri Lankan security forces who are locked in combat with separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a press report here said Sunday. The US navy conducted a Joint Combined Exercise last month at a location in the south of the island and talks were underway for another similar program, the Sunday Times newspaper said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 06:09:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Most durable theatre performers - a Guiness world record
Sunday Observer, April 1. On first March news flashed on the internet that theatre artistes Terrence and Malini Ranasinghe a husband and wife duo who took on the leading roles in "Sinhabahu" Dr. E.R. Saratchandra's operatic drama have entered the Guiness Book of World Records as the worlds most durable theatre performers. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 00:03:51 EST 2001 Back to the top

Four years in jail, convicted of nothing
Dallas Morning News , april 1. Thavarajah, a farmer who says he was beaten and jailed during civil turmoil in his native country of Sri Lanka, was hoping to reunite with family members in Canada when his plane stopped in New York nearly four years ago.U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officers apprehended him on that day in May 1997, and Thavarajah has been locked in an American jail ever since. More...
Published: Sun Apr 1 13:44:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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