The Lanka Academic

APRIL 13, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 7

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
Police deny they abducted the suspect in the murder of the customs officer
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2110 slt 13.04.01. The Police has denied that it had abducted the main suspect in the murder of the assistant commissioner of customs two weeks ago. The suspect an interdicted customs officer was on his way to his lawyer to surrender to the Police when he was abducted outside the lawyers home. The Lawyer claims a team of CID officers abducted the suspect. A Police spokesman said today that the suspect may have fled the country raising fears that the police was trying cover up the abduction end
Published: Fri Apr 13 11:12:53 EDT 2001

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!
--Photo: Aftenposten--
THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS 1-34 NOW AVAILABLE. We expect the 2nd batch of answers after this weekend, April 14-15, 2001.

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
Lanka fires general in sex scandal
Gulf-News, April 13. The services of an army major- general, at the centre of an alleged sex scandal in Sri Lanka, has been terminated yesterday. The move is said to follow a directive from the Ministry of Defence. The major-general in question, who was not named, is alleged to have made improper suggestions to a married woman in Kiribathgoda. A CID investigation into the matter was called after he denied allegations.A leading politician who raised issue over the major- general's termination with senior ruling Peoples Alliance leaders had argued that the action was unfair and reflected double standards. He had pointed out that this officer, who had served for over 20 years had been unceremoniously dismissed merely on the grounds that he made an improper suggestion to a woman. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 20:42:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pak down Sri Lanka to enter Sharjah final
Times of India (Breaking News), april 13. Resurgent Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 28 runs despite losing their openers at 18-2 on Friday to reach the Sharjah tri-series final with their third successive win.Veterans Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul Haq hammered 172 for the third wicket to lift Pakistan to 278-9 from 50 overs, the highest score in the tournament so far. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 18:40:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Pakistan's Anwar first to score 2000 runs in desert  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka 250/8/50 Overs  - Cricinfo
Cricket-Sri Lanka reach 139 after 25 overs at Sharjah  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka to get $2.5 million Czech arms shipment
ABC News, 04/13/2001 9:28 am ET . Sri Lanka will take delivery of a major arms shipment next week despite indications that peace talks to end the country's 18-year ethnic war were imminent. Military officials said on Friday that a ship carrying more than $2.5 million worth of tanks, tank transporters and other military vehicles from the Czech Republic was scheduled to arrive in the Colombo port. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 14:09:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

What more does Sri Lanka need?
Gulf-News, April 13. Sri Lankan team coach Dave Whatmore figures among the world's outstanding coaches. It was he who moulded the Sri Lankan team, once known as the babes of international cricket, into World Champions in 1996. Though the first match defeat to Pakistan in the Ary Gold Cup triangular was a setback, he has managed to team to pull his team back on the rails to victory. Whatmore is a great planner and he conveys the message to his team in a lucid manner. He makes even the toughest task look very simple. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 20:46:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

'LTTE taking undue advantage of Govt. ceasefire'
The Hindu (International), Saturday, April 14, 2001. Sri Lanka said today that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was taking advantage of a Government ceasefire to plant mines near forward positions of the security forces in the conflict areas and warned that it might take preventive action. The Government's unilateral ceasefire for the Tamil and Sinhala New Year, celebrated on April 14, came into force at midnight on Thursday and is to last till 6 a.m. on April 17. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 18:38:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan army begins truce  - BBC South Asia
Tigers planting mines during New Year truce: military  -

New Year stars unite war-torn Sri Lanka
ABC News, 04/13/2001 5:53 am ET . COLOMBO, April 13 (Reuters) -to celebrate a traditional new year festival that will briefly unite the country's two warring communities over a weekend meticulously planned by star-gazing astrologers. Hundreds of thousands headed for the countryside on Friday, a national holiday, overwhelming public transport and turning the capital Colombo into a ghost town. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 14:12:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers and Cricket Sri Lanka awaits serendipity- An editorial
FEER, April. Please scroll all the way to the bottom when you reach the linked page at FEER to locate this articleEditor

IN THE EARLY HOURS of April 1, two bombs go off at a concert in a Sri Lankan town. Eleven are killed. The incident generated a few headlines abroad--but only to draw attention to the fact that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam weren't thought responsible. Indeed, during our recent visit to Sri Lanka, many complained that the world paid them no attention except for the acts of terrorism by the Tigers and the fortunes of their cricketers. But the reason is simple: Nothing much happens. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 15:48:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Cease-Fire Begins
Nothern Light, Friday, April 13, 2001 5:39 AM EDT . Guns fell silent in Sri Lanka's war zone Friday as government troops began a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger separatists to mark the beginning of the traditional new year. The government announced this week that its soldiers would observe a four-day truce to mark the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, the only holiday the two communities share. The truce will end Tuesday morning. Tamil rebels also have maintained a unilateral cease-fire since Christmas Eve. It is scheduled to expire on April 24. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 14:14:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Guns fall silent in Sri Lanka as cease-fire begins  - The Hindustan Times
The New Year cease fire holds  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Sri Lanka's Export Earnings Up in February
Nothern Light, Friday, April 13, 2001 1:31 AM EST . Sri Lanka's total export value in February stood at 455 million U.S. dollars, a 19.5 percent increase over the year-ago period, according to the country's Central Bank. The bank said that the cumulative growth of exports during the first two months of this year was 4 percent over the corresponding period of last year. Both industrial exports in textiles, garments and rubber based products and agricultural products of tea and unmanufactured tobacco are the major contributions to the growth. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 14:13:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans genetically modified food
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2004slt 12.04.01. The Ministry of Health has banned the importation and the sale of genetically modified food for May 1st this year. The Minister of Health said the ban was imposed after a advisory committee headed by the secretary to the ministry recommended the ban. [ Read more about Genetically Modified Foods]
Published: Thu Apr 12 10:14:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Bans Genetically Modified Foods - Report  - Yahoo Asia

Sinhalese and Tamil prepare to celebrate New Year
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2100 slt 13.04.01. Sinhalese and tamils flocked Buddhist and Hindu temples today in preparation for the New Year. The new Year will dawn at 12.12 A.M. tomorrow.The nonagathe where people take part in religious activities dawned at 5.48 PM today
Published: Fri Apr 13 11:12:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mechanisms to create tobacco-free society urged
Yahoo India, April 13 . AS many as eight of the 10 member countries of the South- East Asian Region have called upon the Inter-governmental Negotiating Body (INB) on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to ensure that the final negotiated text of the Convention provide effective mechanisms to assist the developing countries in their transition to tobacco-free societies. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 18:43:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka orders arrest of accused cops
Yahoo India, April 13. Faced with mounting pressure from human rights organisations, the Sri Lankan government today ordered the arrest of police personnel responsible for the alleged rape of two Tamil women in Mannar on March 19.Justice Minister Batty Weerakkoon ordered the Director General of Police to immediately arrest the police personnel who had allegedly committed the crime. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 16:04:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sinhala and Tamil new year
Leo de Lile in Colombo, April 11 2001 2:45pm SLT. Girls in traditional costume dance during a festival to mark the traditional Sinhala and Tamil new-year, held at a Viharamaha Devi park in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday, April 11, 2001. New year festivals are held in most parts of the country as part of celebrations to mark the new- year on April 13 and 14. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 00:14:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

S.Lanka's president urges end to ''dreadful'' war
MSNBC, Friday, April 13 2:24 PM SGT . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga called for an end to what she termed a dreadful war in a holiday message released on Friday.She said she hoped the Sinhala and Tamil New Year could be used to bridge the divide between the two communities and help end an ethnic war which has dragged on for nearly two decades, killing more than 64,000 people. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 05:37:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka troops begin truce amid peace call  -

$20 million loan to Sri Lankan airways from the Bank of Ceylon
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2006 slt 12.04.01. The Bank of Ceylon has granted a $ 20 million loan to financial troubled Sri Lankan airlines. Opposition MP Ravi Karunanayake claims that the loan was given without any collateral and violated the management agreement with Emirates airlines.
Published: Thu Apr 12 10:14:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

?India's role crucial and positive in Lanka peace process?, 12th Apr 2001 12.58 IST . In an interview to the online "The Lanka Academic", Mr. Solheim said, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is absolutely committed to a peaceful settlement of the problem adding that Prabhakaran too was keen for the same.'If Norway thought that either the government or the LTTE was not serious, we would not spend so much time on trying to assist the parties,'' he pointed out.'In peace process there are very few guarantees. But we believe that both the government and LTTE are serious in their search for a negotiated settlement. Many Sinhalese, of course, believe that the LTTE fooled the government in the past. At the same time many Tamils believe that they were betrayed by solutions". More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 09:12:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

?India safe with Lankan peace?
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 12. ANY SOLUTION to the Sri Lankan problem should not lead to the balkanisation of neighbouring India, Norwegian peace envoy Mr Erik Solheim has said. In an on-line chat on the Lanka Academic website Mr Solheim said: "Balkanisation of India, of course, will be a terrible development. No solution in Sri Lanka will contribute to that. More importantly, there are no reasons to believe that India is not stable and strong." More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 16:14:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka biscuit firm may move to Chennai due to labor unrest
Yahoo, April 13. A leading Sri Lankan biscuit manufacturer has threatened to move its operations to India amid growing labor unrest allegedly fanned by a radical leftist political party.Press reports quoted CBL chairman M.P. Wickramasingha as saying that the demands made by the trade union affiliated to the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were intolerable. "This is the time we have the highest demand for biscuits because of the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. Apart from that, we have export orders to the U.S., Middle East and India," Wickramasingha was quoted in the Island as saying. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 01:09:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Maj.Gen. Neil Dias' term extended
TamilNet, April 12. The Sri Lankan President extended the service of the Sri Lanka army's Chief of Staff, Major General Neil Dias, who was due to retire Thursday before she left to an undisclosed destination abroad. Maj. Gen. Neil Dias is one of the most battle experienced commanders of the SLA. Sources in the SLA headquarters in Colombo ventured to speculate that he might succeed Lt. Gen.Lionel Balagalle who is due to retire this year as the commander of the SLA. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 10:19:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

FEATURE-Sri Lanka hotel is memorial to forbidden love
ABC News, 04/12/2001 9:31 pm ET . Colonial mystique, a secret tunnel, an amazing sunset view and a scandalous affair involving a bare-breasted dancer -- Sri Lanka's Mount Lavinia Hotel seems to have them all. The historic hotel on the southern edge of Colombo is one of the classic hotels in the region, with its sparkling beaches and panoramic view of the Indian Ocean. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 00:37:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian injured in aborted take-off critical
The Hindu (International), Friday, April 13, 2001. An Indian national from Hyderabad continues to be in a critical condition, a day after sustaining head injuries during the aborted take-off of an A-330 airbus Sri Lankan airlines flight on Wednesday. Mr. Kattula Sammaiah, 28, was travelling on the Frankfurt-bound flight with five other colleagues from the Chennai-based power generator company where he is employed. The cabin crew noticed smoke inside the plane while it was taxiing for take-off from the Bandaranaike International Airport. The pilot abandoned the take- off and the passengers were evacuated through an emergency chute. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 16:15:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka loosing 1.5 million US dollars due to few offline airlines!
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, 10.50 a.m Thursday 12 April. It has come to light an operation-taking place between few offline airlines operating from Sri Lanka and their contacts in the United States of America. Lanka Academic sources in New York revealed that tickets are issued for residents in the United States to travel to Sri Lanka and back, in Sri Lanka and dollars collected by their counterparts in the United States. These sources say that dollars collected in the US do not reach Sri Lanka while the Central Bank issues dollar remittances to those offline airlines operating from the country. Our sources also revealed that there is no mechanism by which the Central Bank is able to check if the dollars actually reach the country. Our sources said that 90% of this revenue does not reach Sri Lanka while the agents in Sri Lanka build up dollar accounts in the US.? It is estimated that 1.5 million US dollars change hands with this operation annually, denying the country much needed foreign earnings.
Published: Thu Apr 12 11:01:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President Kumaratunga leaves for U.K.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2010 slt 12.04.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga left for London this morning on a private visit. General Ratwatta was sworn in as acting Minister of Defense and S.B.Dissanayake as acting minister of Finance.
Published: Thu Apr 12 10:14:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka govt.'s budget reprieve could be short-lived
India Abroad, April 12, 2001 12:45 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka's ruling party weathered an opposition attempt to topple the government by defeating its budget but the reprieve could be short-lived and hard-won. he People's Alliance (PA) budget for 2001 was adopted Wednesday with a nine-vote majority after President Chandrika Kumaratunga stepped in to salvage her government by wooing coalition partners. Analysts, however, point out that with the PA's slim four-seat majority in the 225-seat Parliament, the victory may be difficult to sustain. "The opposition parties may not have been successful this time, but they have shown that they can work together to defeat the govenment if they want," a political analyst said. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 09:02:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka troops kill eight Tigers ahead of truce, Apr 12 2001 18:33 IST. Sri Lankan security forces ambushed and killed at least eight Tamil Tiger guerrillas ahead of a limited New Year truce, the defence ministry said Thursday.Troops killed five members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Ethawetunuwewa on Wednesday as the government announced a truce would go into effect from midnight Thursday until Tuesday morning. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 09:12:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Separatists Killed  - Nothern Light
Five Rebels Killed Day Before Goodwill Truce In Sri Lanka  - Yahoo Asia
Sri Lankan separatists killed - a day before cease-fire in Sri Lanka  - MSNBC

Jaffna paper beats the odds
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK . It is almost six months since BBC reporter Nimalarajan Mayilvaganam was assassinated in his home in the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna. A recent statement from the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance said journalists from the minority Tamil community were under constant threat and suspicion. But one Tamil language newspaper in the heart of the conflict area has managed to survive - against the odds. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 09:15:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kumaratunga criticizes corruption in Lanka customs
India Abroad, April 12. SRI Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, sharply criticizing corruption in the country's customs and tax departments, has said government revenues would go up substantially if officials were honest. Kumaratunga charged that if corruption were rooted out of the two departments, the government's budget deficit and interest payments on loans would be significantly reduced, a statement from her office said Wednesday. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 08:29:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka president leaves for Europe
MSNBC, Apr 12 2001 15:13 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga left the island on Thursday for a visit to Europe, officials said.They said Kumaratunga boarded a flight for London, but declined to give further details. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 09:05:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan president leaves for undisclosed overseas trip  -

Opposition Leader leaves for Norway.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1623 slt 12.04.01. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe left for Norway last night on an official visit. Mr.Wickremesinghe is expected to hold talks with Norwegian leaders on the on going peace process. end
Published: Thu Apr 12 06:55:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Minister for arrest of security personnel involved in rape
India Abroad, April 12. SRI Lanka's Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon has called for the arrest of police and navy personnel involved in the alleged rape of two Tamil women suspected of being Tiger suicide bombers. Two Tamil women, Ehampalam Vijaykalar and Sinnathambi Sivamani, said they had been raped and tortured when they were taken into custody last month by police in the northwestern town of Mannar on suspicion of being Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels deployed to kill VIPs. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 08:27:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka seeks arrest of police, sailors over rape in custody  -

Lanka to release 10 LTTE suspects
India Abroad, April 12. RI Lanka will release 10 Tamil Tiger suspects and observe a four-day truce in its anti- rebel war in the north and east for the traditional Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. "The ministry of defense has issued instructions to the commanders of the armed services to halt offensive operations against the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in the military zones beginning midnight 12th April to 6 am on 17th April," a ministry statement said Wednesday. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 08:32:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Under-scrutiny Sharjah cricket clean of match-fixing, says official
Yahoo India, Thursday April 12, 4:40 PM. Sharjah's cricket chief on Thursday lashed out at charges of betting and match-fixing even as the sport's world governing body prepared to investigate the popular Gulf venue. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday it was flying two investigators to Sharjah this week as part of it's ongoing probe into the match-fixing scandal. More...
Published: Thu Apr 12 16:11:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket - ICC slueths on way to Sharjah  - Yahoo India

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