The Lanka Academic

 
APRIL 9, 2001 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 2, NO. 3

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
Court Releases Tortured Tamil Woman
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 09/04/01 1830 GMT. Sri Lanka's Supreme court today ordered the police to release a girl who complained to the authorities that she was subjected to assault and sexual abuse while in police custody. In an affidavit to the Supreme court ,Yogalingam Vijitha has expressed her ordeal of how the police authorities forced her to sign a document in Sinhala which she did not understand at all. The Attorney General dept. has promised the SC to make arrangement to identify those officers involved.
Published: Mon Apr 9 14:34:07 EDT 2001

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
ASK ERIK SOLHEIM!
--Photo: Aftenposten--
THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS 1-34 NOW AVAILABLE.
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
Released POWs Handed Over to SL Authorities
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 09/04/01 1830 GMT. Four Prisoners-Of-War, three civilians and a soldier, released on Saturday by the Tamil Tigers have been brought to the Government controlled areas from LTTE controlled Vanni this evening. Soldier Upali Somapala, who was arrested on an attack to Janakapura Amy Camp nearly eight years ago, is at present in the Army camp in Vavuniya, Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunathne told BBC’s Sandeshaya. The ICRC is planning to hand over the three civilians who are merchant sailors to their families tomorrow.
Published: Mon Apr 9 14:34:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Vanni women stage hartal against rape and torture
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday April 9. Women in uncleared areas in the north are reported to have staged a hartal today as a mark of protest against the rape and torture of two Tamil women allegedly by security forces personnel.

The women are calling for the arrest of officers from the government's police special investigative unit in Mannar where the alleged incident took place.

The two females, Wijikala and Sivamani were taken in by Naval personnel on March 19 this year and allegedly raped and sexually molested by the service personnel including officers attached to the police Special Investigative Unit in Mannar.

The Navy have cateorically denied the allegation while an inquiry has now been initiated to assess the credibility of two conflicting reports on the women by the Mannar District Medical Officer Dr. G. Somasekaram.
Published: Mon Apr 9 03:23:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka students protest over alleged rapes  - MSNBC

Sri Lanka set for key vote amid 'plot' to oust government
123India.com, Apr 09 2001 11:29 IST. Sri Lankan intelligence agencies have uncovered a plan to bribe ministers and backbenchers in a bid to topple the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, state media reported Monday. Five leading businesses have offered millions of rupees in cash to government ministers, deputy ministers and other ruling party legislators to stage a mutiny, the state-run Daily News said.The report came amid hectic lobbying by the government to ensure all its coalition partners support the final vote on the national budget in parliament on Wednesday.A failure to secure a simple majority at Wednesday's vote will bring down the government which has a slender four-seat majority in the 225-member assembly. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 03:03:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Five leading companies funding efforts to topple Government  - CDN
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Lanka set for key vote amid plot to oust Chandrika  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Plot to topple Chandrika Govt uncovered  - India Abroad

Major blow to peace bid
Gulf-News , April 9. While Westborg tried to give the impression that all was still well and downplayed the new turn of events, he was forced to concede that the LTTE's categorical statement on their website and to him – the LTTE will not talk unless there is a ceasefire and unless the ban is lifted – released before he touched down in Colombo did not augur well. Kadirgamar in particular finds himself in a bind. It was less than a week ago he confidently told Parliament that he would announce within a month the exact date for peace talks to commence. Westborg's visit to the jungles was to get that date. Now no date has been given and instead a new obstacle has been placed. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 21:49:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Norway to hold more talks to discuss rebel demands in Sri Lanka  - Nothern Light

Chelvanayakam privileged to die a natural death — EPRLF Jaffna councillor
The Island, April 10. Those who took up to armed struggle, did not have a clear-cut policy or political maturity. The end result was the destruction of all those who did not toe the line of a particular group or who expressed views against or contrary to that group, branding such people as ‘traitors’. Thus, when freedom of expression is suppressed truths become lies and vice versa, and nobody knows who a traitor and who a martyr is. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 21:25:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Opposition calls for consensus on talks with LTTE
Deccan Herald, April 9. Even as Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo Jon Westborg briefed President Chandrika Kumaratunga on his talks with the LTTE leadership in Wanni, the opposition United National Party (UNP) has called for a national consensus on the outcome of peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tigers.nited National Party said whatever agreement is reached between the government and the LTTE, it should have a national consensus, failing which it would not be a durable solution.On the latest hurdles put by the Tigers on the prospects of peace talks, UNPs media spokesman Karunasena Koditawakku said he is yet to see a formal statement to that effect from the LTTE. Meanwhile, Sihala Urumaya (SU), a hardcore party of the Sinhalese, said it would start a campaign against the peace talks between the government and LTTE from April 25. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 12:23:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE sweetness and light during talks with Oslo
The Hindustan Times, april 9. ALTHOUGH IT sounded very belligerent in its press release on Saturday announcing stringent pre-conditions for direct talks with the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE was apparently very agreeable during its meetings with Norwegian facilitators in Mallavi on Friday and Saturday. The Norwegian embassy here said today that Ambassador Jon Westborg's 10 hour talks with the LTTE political wing leader, SP Tamil Chelvam, were "cordial and constructive". More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 18:02:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan police on rape charge
BBC South Asia, Monday, 9 April, 2001, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK . A judge in Sri Lanka has ordered the arrest of four members of the security forces allegedly involved in the gang rape of two young Tamil women. The women, who were arrested on the northern island of Mannar on suspicion of having links with Tamil Tiger rebels, were released on bail after having spent three weeks in detention. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 08:25:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Peace Performance in Colombo
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 09/04/01 1830 GMT. Sri Lanka Action Committee for Human Rights today organised a concert called "Peace and Life instead Famine and Annihilation" opposite Fort Railway Station. While many artistes including leader of the "Sadhu Janarava" campaign Jayathilaka Bandara were performing, a demonstration was attended by Keeranthidiye Pannasekara Thero and Fr. Jude Lal.
Published: Mon Apr 9 14:34:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Police seek further imprisonment of Sivamani, Wijikala
TamilNet, APril 9. The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Mannar Police Monday moved in the Mannar district court that Sivamani Weerakon and Nanthakumar Wijikala, the young women who were allegedly raped and brutally tortured in Police custody, be further remanded for fourteen days on grounds that they had confessed to offences under draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act and that they are suicide bombers sent by the LTTE to assassinate important persons. The Judge accepted the arguments of the defence and also observed that the three had come to Mannar with valid passes from Vavuniya. There is no evidence to implicate the suspect in any offence except the so called confessions. I am unable to accept the Police version that it is a confession?, Mannar district judge M.H.M Ajmeer said More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 10:22:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Mannar women write to President  - TamilNet

City battles takeover of Sri Lanka landmark
123India.com, Apr 09 2001 14:03 IST. The Mayor of Colombo Monday launched a battle to save a historic park in the Sri Lankan capital, which the central government has taken over and plans to develop. Mayor Omar Kamil said he had secured bipartisan support to unanimously oppose the takeover of the 22-hectare (55-acre) Vihara Maha Devi park, formerly known as Queen Victoria park. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 08:29:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norwegians to continue with peace efforts
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.25 p.m. SLT Monday April 9. The Norwegian Embassy in a statement released today said that Norway would continue with its attempt to broker a peace settlement to Sri Lanka's civil war.

The statement added that its Ambassador to Colombo, Jon Westborg and Second Secretary Thomas Strangland had held a ten hour meeting with LTTE representative Thamil Chelvam in the Vanni last week.

The Norwegians maintain that peace talks between the government and the LTTE are on track and that added options were being probed with regard to the fresh stipulations made by the Tigers.
Published: Mon Apr 9 03:23:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Talks with Tigers 'cordial'  - BBC South Asia

Tens of thousands of jobs to go under IMF-World Bank restructuring plans
WSWS, April 9. The Sri Lankan government, under pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), is preparing to implement a major restructuring program that will wipe out tens of thousands of jobs at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and in the country's financial sector. The measures will also drastically erode the working conditions of the remaining workforce. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 09:42:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Labour minister says LTTE demands not suitable
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Monday April 9. Labour Minister Alavi Moulana speaking on the current demands of the LTTE said they are not suitable in the present atmosphere leading up to peace talks.

The LTTE on Friday April 6, told Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg that if peace talks are to commence with the Lankan Government the local ban on the Tigers and an economic embargo to LTTE controlled areas in the northeast must be lifted.

Moulana reiterates that such measures could be adopted only after negotiations are satisfactorily underway and not before.
Published: Mon Apr 9 03:23:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Parliament serves notice on Sri Lankan Airlines Chief
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.15 a.m. SLT Monday April 9. A special parliamentary committee has served notice on Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman S. K. Wickremasinghe based on a petition which has been submitted by an Accountant working for the airline.

The petition maintains that Mr. Wickremasinghe's appointment as Chairman to Sri Lankan Airlines is questionable and that his previous managerial committments have not been credible. In this context his appointment as Chairman to the national airlines is also dubious the petitioner states.
Published: Mon Apr 9 03:23:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top


Sri Lanka Pres Meets Top Aides To Discuss Rebels' Demands
Yahoo Asia, Monday, April 9 1:33 PM SGT . The government is discussing the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) demand with an open mind, said a government official close to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, one of the main architects of the peace strategy. But this is a very tricky issue, said the official on condition that he shouldn't be identified by name. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 08:22:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Chandrika meets aides to discuss ban on rebels  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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Lanka may reject LTTE’s demand to lift ban  - The Hindustan Times
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Tamils, Analysts Urge Sri Lanka To Lift Ban On Rebels  - Yahoo Asia
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Sri Lanka Govt may not lift ban on LTTE, order ceasefire  - IndiaExpress.com

Sri Lanka cool to rebel demands as Norway peace bid stalls
123India.com, Apr 09 2001 17:41 IST. Norway's attempts to broker peace in Sri Lanka appeared bogged down Monday as the government remained cool to fresh rebel demands that a ban on them be lifted and a truce reciprocated. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the government must meet the demands before they will enter peace talks. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 09:34:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Jolt to Lanka peace effort  - The Pioneer

Norway's peace bid suffers major blow amid fresh Tiger demands
123India.com, 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
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Officials fear for Sri Lanka peace bid  - 123India.com
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Oslo peace bid suffers new setback in Sri Lanka  - 123India.com

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

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
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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
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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

Mock attack ends in real-life drama for Sri Lanka troops
123India.com, 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
123India.com, 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

Lanka Tigers raise fresh hurdles to Norwegian peace moves
India Abroad, 8 April 2001. ORWAY'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".Peace hopes were raised when Westborg and diplomat Tomas Strangland began intensive discussions Friday with LTTE political chief S.P. Thamil Chelvam on the nuts and bolts of an agreement to be signed before the peace talks begin. But optimism rapidly dimmed when the LTTE said in a statement that Thamil Chelvan had placed new ultimatums before the government. "We will not under any circumstances participate at the peace negotiations as an outlawed outfit," the statement quoted Thamil Chelvam as having told the Norwegian diplomat at talks held on Friday and Saturday. "The time has come for the Kumaratunga government to lift the ban on the LTTE and embrace us at the peace table as the authentic representatives of the Tamil people," he said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 05:01:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kaluwitharana bereave
Hindu, APril 9. Sri Lankan opening batsman Ramesh Kaluwitharana has returned to the island nation from Sharjah to attend the funeral of his mother, who passed away here today.Kaluwitharana will rejoin the squad tomorrow after performing the last rites. Sri Lanka is taking part in a three-nation cricket tournament at Sharjah. The other teams are Pakistan and New Zealand. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 10:30:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka snail mail takes two weeks to travel 50 feet
123India.com, 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

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

Fine knock by Saeed Anwar
Yahoo India, April 9, 12:00 AM. Pakistan, propelled by a 90 from opener Saeed Anwar reached 255 for nine in the allotted 50 overs against Sri Lanka in the opening encounter of the Sharjah Cup tourney here on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Apr 8 19:14:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Late entrants Kiwis face the heat in Sharjah tri-series
Yahoo India, Monday April 9, 3:10 PM. The heat is literally turned on New Zealand as they prepare to face Sri Lanka in their opening match of the Sharjah tri-series here on Tuesday. The Kiwis, who accepted a last-minute invitation to replace India, arrived here with a new-look team that has barely had two days to adjust to the energy-sapping heat and humidity of the Gulf region. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 08:28:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Indian politicians lined up to bat for Sharjah cricket  - Yahoo India

Inquirer into allegations of corruption at SLT removed
The Island, April 10. The All Ceylon Telecom Services Union (ACTSU) yesterday alleged that an investigation inspector who was unearthing corruption within Sri Lanka Telecom was removed from his services due to pressures brought upon the management by 'corruptive elements'. More...
Published: Mon Apr 9 21:28:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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SRI LANKA PRESS: Sri Lanka Telecom To Raise Tariffs Aug  - Yahoo Asia

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