The Lanka Academic

APRIL 8, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 2

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 may reject LTTE’s demand to lift ban
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 8. THE SRI Lankan Government is unlikely to accede to the LTTE's latest demand that the ban on it be lifted before direct peace talks begin, political sources close to the Government say. In a release issued on Saturday, the LTTE had said that it would not participate in any talks with the Sri Lankan Government so long as it was a banned outfit here. The Government has not reacted formally because the LTTE had not communicated its demand officially. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 20:57:43 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Tamils, Analysts Urge Sri Lanka To Lift Ban On Rebels  - Yahoo Asia
Sri Lanka Govt may not lift ban on LTTE, order ceasefire  -

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
--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.

O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Jolt to Lanka peace effort
The Pioneer, april 8. Norway's top envoy here, John Westborg, who held talks for nearly 10 hours during a two-day meeting in the rebel-held Wanni region, is likely to brief Sri Lankan authorities on the fresh demands put forward by the Tamil Tigers.The confession of a hard-core LTTE female suicide cadre that suicide bombers have been sent to Colombo and other places to assassinate President Kumaratunga and Mr Ratwatte has heightened these concerns, media reports said, quoting intelligence sources.Following interrogation, she said her colleagues Tamilini and Wimalini, who had been trained along with her in a secret LTTE hide-out in Trincomalee, had departed to Colombo on the secret mission. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 14:46:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway's peace bid suffers major blow amid fresh Tiger demands, Apr 08 2001 21:18 IST. Norway's attempts to broker an end to ethnic bloodshed in Sri Lanka suffered a major setback as Tamil rebels demanded legal recognition and the easing of sanctions before entering talks, diplomats said Sunday. Oslo's ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jon Westborg, who held two days of talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), returned here late Saturday with the new demands of the rebels, diplomats said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 13:36:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Officials fear for Sri Lanka peace bid  -
Oslo peace bid suffers new setback in Sri Lanka  -

Lanka Tigers raise fresh hurdles to Norwegian peace moves
India Abroad, April 08, 2001 13:00 . NORWAY'S peace effort in Sri Lanka came up against a fresh hurdle as the Tamil Tiger rebels refused to open negotiations if Colombo does not lift a ban on their organization. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels have renewed a demand to have Sri Lanka's 1998 proscription taken off in talks with a visiting Norwegian delegation and also called for a pre-talks truce as "essential pre-requisites". More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 19:42:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Five leading companies funding efforts to topple Government
CDN, APril 9. Intelligence agencies have uncovered a conspiracy by five leading business houses to topple the Government with the assistance of certain political forces. According to intelligence sources, one of the five companies is a 'Raja' in business circles, which has always supported the UNP. It spent lavishly on the political activities of President Ranasinghe Premadasa and now uses its broadcasting outlets for UNP propaganda. Another company is headed by an arms dealer who had made billions of rupees during the UNP regime. The son of a former UNP Minister is alleged to be closely linked to this company. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 19:50:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

An officer and a gentleman
Yahoo India, april 9. When peace finally dawns on strife-torn Sri Lanka, the role of the army would begin rather than end, says its chief, General Lionel Balagalle,in a chat with Rasheeda Bhagat. He considers his assignment as the Commander of the Armed Forces in Jaffna Peninsula, in 1998, as one of the most challenging phases of his life as a military man. And the most successful too, one might add, recalling the summer of 1998 when one had the occasion to watch him function from the command headquarters at Palali, near Jaffna town. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 19:10:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway to press for peace despite hurdles raised by LTTE
India Abroad, april 8. NORWAY Sunday said it would press on with its peace efforts in Sri Lanka despite fresh hurdles raised by Tamil Tiger rebels through their refusal to open negotiations if Colombo does not lift a ban on their organization."A number of concerns and questions raised by the LTTE concerning a proposal for building of understanding and creation of a foundation for direct talks between the parties were clarified. Possible alternatives were discussed," a statement by Oslo's embassy here said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 14:30:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway says S.Lanka rebel demands need more talks  - ABC News

Sri Lanka Party, Lift Ban on Rebels
Nothern Light, Sunday, April 08, 2001 1:04 PM EDT . Sri Lanka's mainstream Tamil political party joined Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday in demanding that the government lift a ban on the separatists or face collapse of the Norwegian-backed peace process. ``It is quite a reasonable demand. They want to hold negotiations as equals, not as subordinates to the government,'' said Veerasingham Anandasangaree, secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front, the main Tamil party. ``If these conditions are not accepted, we are certain the talks will not begin.'' More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 14:44:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil party, analyst urge Sri Lanka to lift ban on rebels  - ABC News

New-look Pakistan stun Sri Lanka in Sharjah opener
Yahoo Asia, april 8. New captain Waqar Younis grabbed four wickets as Pakistan shrugged off the cricketing turmoil back home to defeat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the opening match of the Sharjah tri-series here on Sunday.Saeed Anwar hit 90 and Inzamam-ul Haq scored 44 as Pakistan piled up 255-9 from their 50 overs after Waqar elected to take first strike in the day night international. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 16:53:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norwegian envoy discusses pre-talks agreement with Tigers
India Abroad, 7 Aapril 2001. NORWAY'S envoy in Colombo has begun intensive discussions with top leaders of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Sri Lanka to secure a pre-talks "agreement of understanding" to be signed with the government.While the Norwegian diplomats were meeting the Tigers, Solheim was the guest at an Internet question and answer session on the Lanka Academic Network. In response to a question on India's role in Sri Lanka's peace process, he said New Delhi had been "supportive" throughout. "We have kept India informed about all major steps and got useful advice from a country with a deep knowledge of the situation in Sri Lanka," he said. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 07:24:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway pushes Sri Lanka peace bid  -

Mock attack ends in real-life drama for Sri Lanka troops, Apr 08 2001 13:49 IST. COLOMBO, April 8 (AFP) - A mock attack by Sri Lankan troops ended in tragedy Sunday when an accidental blast wounded a soldier helping a colleague playing the role of a wounded soldier, police said. New recruits were providing entertainment during their passing out parade in the eastern district of Amapara when a mortar bomb fired missed its target and accidently fell on them, police said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 05:34:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Criticism of Taliban vandalism boomerangs on Sri Lanka, Apr 08 2001 07:04 IST. Sri Lanka may have failed to rescue Afghanistan's Bamiyan Buddhas, but it won international praise for its salvage bid. Ironically, the Colombo government is now in the dock itself charged with Taliban-style vandalism. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake flew to Pakistan last month to pressure the Taliban to spare two giant Buddha statues deemed incompatible with Islam. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 00:04:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE sets pre-condition
The Hindu (International), Sunday, April 08, 2001. Just when it seemed that Norway 's efforts to facilitate peace talks in Sri Lanka were succeeding, the LTTE has suddenly hardened its position, declaring that it will not participate in the negotiations till the government lifts the ban on it. This latest pre-condition was conveyed to the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jon Westborg, who visited the LTTE- held northern Sri Lanka on Friday for discussions with its political wing leader, Mr. S. Tamilchelvam. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 18:10:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka Tigers raise fresh hurdles to Norwegian peace moves  - India Abroad
Govt. firm on new LTTE demands  - The Sunday Observer
Tigers say no talks while banned by Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
Tigers reject Oslo peace bid unless Sri Lanka lifts ban  -
Tigers say no Norwegian talks unless ban lifted  -
LTTE not to enter peace negotiations as outlawed group  - Press Trust of India
Tigers seek legal status  - BBC South Asia

Sri Lanka snail mail takes two weeks to travel 50 feet, Apr 08 2001 13:03 IST. COLOMBO, April 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's public administration ministry may have set a new record by taking two weeks for a memo from its second floor offices to reach the seventh floor, a press report here said Sunday. Minister Richard Pathirana admitted that work in his public administration was at a snail's pace and that the inordinate delay in letters travelling within the ministry building was unacceptable, the Sunday Times said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 04:57:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo shows interest in POF products
DAWN, april 6. The chairman, Pakistan Ordnance Factories Lt-Gen Abdul Qayyum paid an official visit to Sri Lanka from April 2 to 4, says a statement issued by the POF here on Wednesday. During his visit the POF board chief met the top brass of Sri Lanka armed forces and conveyed to them good wishes and warm sentiments of the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf.According to a statement, Sri Lanka defence secretary and armed forces commanders thanked the Pakistani leadership for their continued support and cooperation and timely help in meeting their routine defence production needs. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 00:36:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Parliament Not suitable for Meaningful Debates - Sam Wijesinghe
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 07/04/01 1755 GMT Current Sri Lankan Parliament reflects deterioration of the society and it is no more a place for intelligent debates, ex-Secretary General of the Parliament Sam Wijesinghe said. Mr. Wijesinghe was referring to the incident of tearful school children running away from the gallery when the MPs argued with abusive language in a parliamentary debate, which was supposed to be a debating lesson for an emerging generation.

Speaking with BBC’s Sandeshaya, the ex-Ombudsman said "Many MPs do not have a real mandate from the public. There are many who are vote-riggers". In many countries maintaining the parliament is a waste of money, as MPs only work as signal-posts to approve the decisions of the cabinet, he said.
Published: Sat Apr 7 13:56:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Death Threats to Mannar Journalist
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 07/04/01 1755 GMT Provincial correspondent who initially reported the alleged rape incident by SL Navy officers has received threatening phone calls. Mannar reporter of the "Thinakkural" Tamil newspaper Fazmi told BBC’s Sandeshaya that unidentified callers threatened him to refrain from reporting the matters related to the security forces or he would have to leave Mannar, or even lose his life. He said that he has been receiving these calls since he reported the incident. The journalist has complained about these threats to the police as well as number of media organisations.
Published: Sat Apr 7 13:56:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Punchi Borella Bo Maluwa area to be renovated
CDN, april 8. "The temple at Punchi Borella, which was partially damaged in the process of removing unauthorised structures around it, will be renovated soon under the plan," he explained. He stressed that there was no intention on the part of the UDA to destroy the temple. "That's why we protected the statue of the Buddha inside it, and we did not pull down the bodhi prakara (wall encircling the bo tree)."Meanwhile, Colombo Mayor Omar Kamil on Friday denied that there had been any such joint operation by the CMC with the UDA saying that it was "totally" incorrect. He said it was none other than a unilateral decision made by the UDA to bulldoze the bo maluwa area with the help of 500 policemen. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 00:16:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil women have no faith in President - MP
TamilNet, April 7. “I brought to the notice of the President that the soldier who was involved in the rape and murder of Ida Kamalitta was roaming free in Mannar and that he had murdered many people here and that many were grievously affected by his activities. But there was no response from her (the President). This soldier was arrested only when he was accused of murdering his Sinhala girlfriend. The law did not act against him when his victims were Tamil women. This shows the President’s double standard”, said Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar addressing the protest fast Saturday morning. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 14:33:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebels release soldier held since 1993
Yahoo India, Saturday April 7, 8:28 PM. Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels released four captives on Saturday, including a soldier held since 1993, a Red Cross official said. It was the third group of captives released by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in five weeks. Two fishermen were freed at the beginning of March and four farmers later that month. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 15:16:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Tigers free four POWs  -
Tigers free four Sri Lanka POWs  -

15-kg heroin bound for Sri Lanka seized
TOI, April 6. : The Narcotics Control Bureau has seized 15.057 kg of heroin, valued at Rs 15 crore in the international market, bound for Sri Lanka and in the process busted a drug trafficking syndicate, NCB's south zone director Shankar Jeeval said on Thursday. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 18:00:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India, U.S. agree on defence cooperation
The Hindu, Sunday, April 08, 2001. WASHINGTON, APRIL 8. The visiting Minister for External Affairs and Defence, Mr. Jaswant Singh, and the U.S. Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, in addition to proliferation, trade and regional issues also discussed Indonesia, Sri Lanka and ``quite a lot of economics'' as it pertained to bilateral relations, the State Department spokesman, Mr. Richard Boucher, has said. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 18:09:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sharjah cricket faces grim future without India
Yahoo India, April 7. Off-shore cricket faces a grim battle for survival when the Sharjah tri-series opens here on Sunday in the absence of crowd-pullers India.A full-strength Sri Lanka will take on second-string teams from Pakistan and New Zealand for the top prize of 50,000 dollars amidst fears of poor gate receipts and heavy financial losses for the organisers. More...
Published: Sat Apr 7 15:19:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Fine knock by Saeed Anwar  - Yahoo India

Indian politicians lined up to bat for Sharjah cricket
Yahoo India, April 8 . Cricket organisers in Sharjah, worried at India's refusal to play there for three years, have invited influential politicians to champion their cause.Former Test cricketer Kirti Azad and film star Shatrughan Sinha -- both ruling party members in India's parliament -- have been invited to witness the Sharjah tri-series which opens later on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 15:31:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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