The Lanka Academic

APRIL 14, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 8

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
Norwegian Ambassador to travel to Wanni in attempt to extend ceasefire.
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 13:55 SLT Saturday April 14. Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg is to travel to LTTE controlled areas in the Wanni, in an attempt to convince rebel leaders to extend their unilateral truce, which expires on the 24th of this month. According to Norwegian Embassy sources, Mr Westborg will make his trip before the government's limited truce to mark this weekend's festivities, ends on Monday. Mr Westborg was attempting to extend the ceasefires presently in effect, declared by both the government and the LTTE, as a prelude to the peace talks, the sources said, declining to give the exact details of the Ambassador's visit. Norway is attempting to broker a peace between President Chandrika Kumaratunge's government and the Tiger rebels to end 17 years of ethnic conflict in the island.
Published: Sat Apr 14 03:47:44 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
Sri Lanka's Fighter-Bombers
Air Forces Monthly, Saturday April 14th, 2001 15:16 PST. AFM's Alan Warnes visits Katunayake AB, the home of the Sri Lankan Air Force's fighter-bomber force. THE DOOR of the pilots' ready-room was pushed open and an officer from the Intelligence Cell walked in with a folded map. He sat down beside the CO of 10 Squadron, a Wing Commander and veteran of some 400 Kfir sorties, and together they discussed a few final points on the map. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 18:22:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Parents of missing soldiers welcome New Year cease fire
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1250 slt 14.04.01. The Organisation of parents of missing soldiers today welcomed a New Year cease fir declared by the government. The President of the Organisation H.M.Nanayakkara also called on the government to take steps to get the soldiers in rebel custody released
Published: Sat Apr 14 03:03:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

RSF Protests Death Threats to Mannar Journalist
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 14/04/01 1700 GMT Paris based Human Rights group Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed it's deep concern after the journalist A. Fasmi received death threats. In a letter addressed to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake and Defence Minister and President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the RSF urged the authorities to guarantee the security of the journalist and asked to be kept informed of measures taken to ensure his protection.

A. Fasmi, Mannar correspondent of the Tamil daily Thinakkural, was arrested and interrogated on 21 March by an officer of the 21-5 Brigade of the SL Army in Mannar, the letter states. This interrogation followed the publication in the Thinakkural of an article about the rape of two Tamil women, who were arrested for alleged links with the LTTE, by members of the government’s security forces. Since this interrogation, the journalist has received death threats by phone.

"The duty of the government is to guarantee the safety of journalists who inform the population on the human rights situation in the country even if the security forces are involved", noted Robert Ménard, general secretary of RSF.
Published: Sat Apr 14 12:59:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian hurt in Colombo plane incident is former Naxalite
Gulf-News, April 14. The Indian passenger injured in Wednesday's aborted take-off of a SriLankan Airlines plane in Colombo is Kattula Sammaiah, 28, a former People's War Group (PWG) militant who surrendered to police in 1994, it was disclosed yesterday.Sammaiah was a member of a hit-squad that killed a Deputy Inspector General of Police who was jogging inside a cricket stadium in the Andhra Pradesh capital in 1993. Sammaiah later developed differences with his squad commander and shot him dead along with two other militants.Top police officers recently planned to send some former militants to take up jobs in Gulf countries but Sammaiah – in critical condition in a Colombo hospital – chose Frankfurt where he wanted to start a business and was going there reportedly accompanied by a son of a senior police officer. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 14:14:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SL Human Traffic Trawler collides with Indian vessel
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 14/04/01 0130 GMT Sri Lankan police authorities say that a trawler carrying one hundred and twenty three Sri Lankans has returned to port after colliding with an Indian Naval petrol boat in territorial waters. The ill fated trawler which belongs to a Sri Lankan enterpreneur returned to Pitipana. The passengers who were suspected of planing to enter Europe through Italy say that the trawler was purposely rammed by the Indian vessel.

The Police say that although most of the passengers swam away evading arrest, they were able to take 27 of them into custody. The passengers are said to have paid over 400,000 rupees ($4,700) each to human traffickers. The police say that they are finding the arrest of the person who obtained the payment difficult as the passengers are unable to identify the Sri Lankan agent of the human trafficking operation.
Published: Sat Apr 14 09:29:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan vessel returns  - BBC South Asia

New Year day accidents increase this year
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1255 slt 14.04.01. The number of accident on New Year day has increased this year. According to the Colombo Accident Service 302 people were admitted to hospital in the 24 hours ending noon today. One person died and 211 were admitted for further treatment. Most of the cases were road accidents. However the number of injuries due to fire crackers have reduced. Only two people have been admitted due to such injuries end
Published: Sat Apr 14 03:03:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka uncovers tip of corruption iceberg
India Abroad, April 14, 2001 11:05 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka's top foreign investment regulator is being hauled over the coals in the country's first high-profile bribery probe, but the government admits that it is only the tip of an iceberg. The case against BOI chief Wijesinghe, once a trusted aide of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, came as a shock to many because he was given the top job in 1995 with the highest ever salary paid to a public servant, Rs.125,000 a month, which is five times the pay of the president herself. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 02:18:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Key suspect absconding in Customs officer killing
Sunday Observer, 15 April 2001. The special police team investigating the Customs officer Sujith Prasanna Perera's killing has so far taken into custody six persons including a woman and the gunman who is alleged to have fired at the victim. The investigators now believe that this was purely a case of contract killing. A number of leading businessmen have also been questioned and vital clues obtained from them. However, they feel that the most wanted man appears to be another Customs officer, Anura Weerawansa, who is absconding. Meanwhile, Maradana police are investigating into a complaint made by Attorney-at-Law, Bandula Wijesinghe, last Monday, over the abduction of Weerawansa by a group of men in a luxury car at Norris Canal Road. Mr. Wijesinghe is the lawyer appearing for Weerawansa. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 17:26:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Trawler returns with would-be illegal immigrants after crash, Apr 14 2001 12:26 IST. COLOMBO, April 14 (AFP) - A trawler carrying 123 people planning to enter Europe illegally through Italy returned to port here after crashing into an Indian vessel, police said Saturday.The people on board the privately-owned Sri Lankan fishing boat had paid over 400,000 rupees (4,700 dollars) each to be dropped off near the coast of Italy, police said. The people on board the privately-owned Sri Lankan fishing boat had paid over 400,000 rupees (4,700 dollars) each to be dropped off near the coast of Italy, police said. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 06:32:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka offers another amnesty to army deserters, Apr 14 2001 11:34 IST. The Sri Lankan army Saturday offered another amnesty to thousands of deserters to return to their posts and avoid prosecution.Army chief Lionel Balagalle urged military deserters in newspaper advertisements to return with dignity and boost the army's battle against Tamil Tiger guerrillas. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 02:19:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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

Pakistan stifles Sri Lanka challenge
Gulf-News, April 14. Pakistan lived up to the saying, "If it's Friday it has to be Pakistan". Despite it being Friday the 13th, the Pakistan team kept up their streak of consistent victories in this tournament. Beating Sri Lanka by 28 runs, Pakistan booked their place in the final of the ARY Gold Cup, to be held next Friday.Saeed Anwar 88 (99b, 9x4), nicknamed the 'Desert Fox' for his consistent performance at this venue, along with Inzamam-ul-Haq 87 (111b, 7x4, 2x6) set an imposing 278 for nine in 50 overs. Aided by two doubtful decision from both the umpires at a crucial juncture of the game, Sri Lanka were restricted to 250 for eight in 50 overs. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 14:10:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Pak down Sri Lanka to enter Sharjah final  - Times of India (Breaking News)
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  -

Dubai prison population falls 3pc in 2000
Gulf-News, April 14. The number of inmates in Dubai Prison fell three per cent last year from 1999, according to a report in the Dubai Police magazine "Al Amm". Police Chief Maj. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim told the magazine that the decline reflects a lower crime rate and more intensive efforts to fight crime.The number of domestic servant prisoners fell 23 per cent to 148 last year, 107 of whom were housemaids. Of these, Sri Lankan housemaids formed 37 per cent, followed by Indonesians who formed 22 per cent. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 14:16:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

RSS working for Hindu-Baudh unification
TOI, April 13. The Rashtriya Swyam Sewak Sangh (RSS) is now engaged in preparing ground for new `Dharmik Gathbandan' (religious tie) at the international level. Efforts are on for Hindu-Baudh unification. It is being planned to include people of some other religions besides Jains in the new `gathbandan' . More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 02:07:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Measly $30 mn for S.Asia in Bush's budget
TOI, APril 11. Guess how much all of South Asia has been allocated in economic aid in President George W. Bush's $1.96 trillion budget for fiscal year 2002? A measly $30 million. Of this " $7 million is for Pakistan "to help restore democratic institutions and build civil society;" $3 million each for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal to "help combat child labor and violence against women and promote democracy and judicial reform, human rights commissions, and civil society participation in local and national government."On the other hand Israel and Egypt -- the biggest beneficiaries of American largesse -- have been slated to receive in the FY 2002 International Affairs Budget $720 million and $655 million respectively. More...
Published: Sat Apr 14 02:09:31 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 Foods - Report
Yahoo Asia, Friday, April 13 2:24 PM SGT . The Daily News quoted Health Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne as saying that public health inspectors will check all foods entering the country. Sri Lanka, a country of 18.6 million people, imports a variety of foodstuff, including potatoes, orange juice, chocolates and soups. Apples from the U.S. and Australia are also imported. More...
Published: Fri Apr 13 14:25:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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  -

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

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

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