The Lanka Academic

APRIL 3, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 1, NO. 362

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
Government to announce dates for peace talks this month
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1800 SLT 03.03.01. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told parliament today that the government would announce the dates for peace talks with the LTTE this month. Speaking at the debate of the Foreign Ministry vote the Foreign Minister said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would be kept informed all stages of the talks. The Minister said Norway has played a key role in persuading the LTTE to enter peace talks with the government. Informed sources say the peace talks would begin sometime in May this year.
Published: Tue Apr 3 08:36:18 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Colombo to lift curbs on Tiger areas  - Gulf News
Sri Lanka To Open Peace Talks  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka to announce peace talks date this month  - MSNBC
Lanka to resume peace talks with Tiger rebels  - NDTV/MSNBC
Sri Lanka to annouce Tiger talks by April end  -
Sri Lanka to open peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels  - MSNBC

--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 Govt Claims Tamil Rebels Planning Major Attack
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, April 3 1:39 PM SGT . COLOMBO (AP)--The Sri Lanka government said Tuesday it had intelligence information that Tamil Tiger rebels are planning a massive attack in eastern Sri Lanka when their unilateral ceasefire ends April 24. The claim, published Tuesday in the state-run Daily News, said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam high command has ordered the Tiger rank and file to prepare for a massive attack against security forces. The government didn't confirm the report, which cited unidentified intelligence sources. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 04:30:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ADB Pledges $680 Million To Sri Lanka For 2002-2004
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, April 3 1:32 PM SGT . The Manila-based Asian Development Bank said Tuesday it had pledged loans and technical assistance of $680 million to Sri Lanka for the period 2002-2004. The bank said in a statement the lending was "formulated in line with ADB's strategic thrust of its country strategy." More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 11:37:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
SRI LANKA PRESS: Japanese Intl Bank Offers Credit Line  - Yahoo Asia

Lanka Govt. likely to announce two-day ceasefire from April 13, 03rd Apr 2001 15.10 IST . The Sri Lankan Government may announce two-day ceasefire from April 13. Initially, the Government would announce the ceasefire on the occasion of New Year and Good Friday from April 13 during which strict vigilance would be maintained along the coast by the Sri Lankan Navy to deter any attempts by the banned separated outfit LTTE to smuggle arms. Depending upon the situation, the ceasefire could be extended for a week, quoting sources, 'The Daily Mirror' said on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 07:09:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka govt may announce two-day ceasefire from April 13  -

Sri Lankan Navy denies rape allegations
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK . The Sri Lankan navy has denied allegations that its officers were involved in sexually assaulting two women arrested in the northern Mannar Island last month. The women, who appeared before a Mannar court earlier today, told the judge that they were abducted, sexually abused and raped by a group of navy personnel and police. A statement from navy headquarters said the allegations were entirely false. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 10:33:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Mannar DMO report confirms torture and rape  - TamilNet

Agriculture flourished in Horton Plains, 10,000 years ago
CDN, 4 April 2001. Sri Lankan archaeologists have found evidence that agriculture had flourished in Horton Plains 10,000 years ago, a senior official of the Department of Archaeology told Lankapuvath. They have detected an ancient site which belongs to the new stone age of the Indian subcontinent. These details have been unearthed in a research study carried out, for a period of seven years, by the Archaeological Post Graduate Institute and the Stockholm University of Sweden. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 19:58:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Buddhists protest "Buddha" Liquor Bar in France
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 03/04/01 1700 GMT. Buddhists in Sri Lanka have protested to the French authorities for the establishment of a "Buddha" liquor bar in Paris, very close to the official residence of the President who strongly denounced the destruction of Bamian Buddhas as 'barbarous'. In a letter handed over to Marie France Pagnier, French Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Swarnahansa foundation has questioned the President Chiracís sincerety of condemning the Taliban action. Foundationís secretary Gallege Punyawardhana has requested the French authorities to close down the bar, which disparages Lord Buddha and millions of his worshippers.
Published: Tue Apr 3 12:56:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Nuraicholai question not negotiable, says Bishop of Chilaw
Island, 4 April 2001. "As far as we are concerned the Nuraicholai question is not negotiable. We are totally against it. If the government proceeds with it, it will be in defiance of the wishes of Catholics in Sri Lanka, and a great number of other religionists as well living in the Kalpitiya peninsula", declared, His Lordship Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando addressing the Annual General Meeting of "Nihanda Seva" Movement in Chilaw last week. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 20:21:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Supreme Court declares 23 polling stations rigged in Kandy in PC elections.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo. The Supreme Court today declared that voting in 23 polling stations in the Kandy district during the 1999 Provincial Council elections were neither free nor fair. The judgment was given in a fundamental rights case filed by a group of UNPers.The court ordered the government to pay Rs. 50,000 as cost.
Published: Tue Apr 3 08:32:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Attempts to stage a strike by Railway workers fail.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1804 SLT 03.03.01. An attempt by certain trade union to organize a railway strike failed today when Railway drivers refused to join it. Trade Unions of the opposition parties staged a protest campaign at the main Fort railway station but attempts to stage a full scale strike failed end
Published: Tue Apr 3 08:36:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

More LTTE child soldiers surrender: Military
Times of India, 4 April 2001 . More child soldiers from Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebel movement have given themselves up to security forces, the defence ministry here said on Tuesday.A 12-year-old boy surrendered to a police Special Task Force commando unit in the eastern district of Batticaloa last week, the ministry said adding that five more had given themselves up during the past week. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 16:13:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
More Sri Lankan Tiger child soldiers surrender: military  -

Lankan opposition leader to visit Norway
India Abroad, April 03, 2001 18;40 Hrs (IST) . THE leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition party, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will visit Norway next week as Oslo's efforts at ending the island's ethnic bloodshed gain momentum. Wickremesinghe has been invited by the Norwegian government and will leave Sri Lanka April 11, his United National Party (UNP) said. Norway has kept Wickremesinghe informed of its moves to open a dialog between Colombo and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), with special envoy Erik Solheim meeting with the opposition leader on his frequent visits to Sri Lanka. It was however not immediately known if Wickremesinghe's visit is in connection with the Norwegian peace efforts, which UNP has said it fully supports. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 10:29:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka opposition leader to visit Norway amid peace moves  - Yahoo Asia
Sri Lanka opposition leader to visit Norway amid peace moves  -

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Relief measures for LTTE-held areas  - The Hindu (International)
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

Sri Lanka customs raise website security after hacker attack, Apr 03 2001 11:50 IST. COLOMBO, April 3 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's customs department restored its hacker-hit website with increased security and barred access from suspect Internet addresses, a customs spokesman said Tuesday. The website -- -- was back on line from about midnight after being taken off for more than a day following a cyber attack that replaced the home page with the image of a blue, red and black bleeding human head. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 04:18:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Murder protest closes Sri Lanka customs website  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka customs website shut down after grisly attack by hackers  -
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

Sri Lanka denies delaying match-fixing probe
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, April 3 3:43 PM SGT . Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella Tuesday vowed to help the International Cricket Council (ICC) probe allegations of match fixing against two top Sri Lankan players. Kiriella told parliament that Sri Lanka would cooperate fully with the ICC investigation into the claims against former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy, Aravinda de Silva. His comments came amid allegations that authorities were dragging their feet on the probe. "We are supporting a full and comprehensive investigation and will cooperate fully with the ICC," Kiriella told parliament. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 04:29:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Interim panel to handle Lankan cricket board  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Sri Lankan Police Shocked by Increase in Rape Cases
Nothern Light, Monday, April 02, 2001 10:51 PM EST . COLOMBO, Apr 3, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The massive increase in the number of rape cases in Sri Lanka has shocked the police. According to the police on Tuesday, the number of rape cases reported last year was 1,181 while in the previous year the figure stood at 1,300. Most of the cases had been solved and the suspects had been prosecuted. The largest number of rape cases have been reported from the provinces while 22 cases were reported from capital Colombo, police said. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 04:20:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Police shocked by number of rapes reported  - The Island

SRI LANKA PRESS:Govt Eyes Free Trade Pact With Bangladesh
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, April 3 11:12 AM SGT . COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The government is negotiating a free trade agreement with Bangladesh, reports the Daily News, quoting the deputy minister for foreign affairs in Sri Lanka. The minister said such an agreement is in accord with the government's plan to create a foreign economic policy that benefits Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, according to the newspaper. The government is already in talks with Pakistan regarding a free trade agreement. In 1998, Sri Lanka signed a similar agreement with India, which allows both countries to trade with zero or concessionary customs duty tariffs. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 04:38:42 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)

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
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  -
Sri Lanka mounts man-hunt after carnival carnage  -

Car thief kills Sri Lankan student in U.S.
cdn, april 4. Fate struck a cruel blow on a bright young Sri Lankan aeronautical student in the United States, last week. The victim, Henry Mendis from Kurunegala, a student of the Florida Institute of Technology died on the spot, when an American teenager driving a stolen car, crashed onto his motorcycle. He had been on his way to collect his dinner, when the tragedy occurred. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 21:15:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
Cricket-Sri Lanka retain one-day hero for Sharjah  - Yahoo India
CBFS threatens to sue BCCI for breach of contract  - Yahoo India
CBFS terms Indian decision as discriminatory  - Yahoo India
Govt refuses permission for Sharjah tri-series  - Yahoo India

Norway stops military sales to Sri Lanka
The Hindu (International), Monday, April 02, 2001. Norwegian suppliers have stopped their sales through local agents to the Sri Lankan military, The Sunday Times said adding that the move was giving an advantage to separatist Tamil Tigers. The report came as Norway expressed optimism towards brokering peace talks between the Government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after nearly two years of efforts. More...
Published: Mon Apr 2 08:10:49 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

Convicted man can leave country
torontostar, march 29. A Mississauga man convicted of causing the death of a high school student during a 1998 road rage incident has been given permission to leave the country before being sentenced. Mr. Justice Bruce Durno has granted the unusual request of Anantharajah Muttiah, 35, to visit his ailing mother in Sri Lanka before being sent to prison for causing the death of Ramesh Suntharalingam, 17, on Dec. 19, 1998. More...
Published: Tue Apr 3 17:56:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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