The Lanka Academic

APRIL 16, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 10

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
Sea battle shatters Sri Lanka's holiday truce
MSNBC, Monday, April 16 1:58 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's navy and Tamil Tiger guerrillas fought a fierce sea battle off the island's northeastern coast on Monday, shattering a holiday truce, officials said. Three navy craft were damaged and two rebel boats sunk during the pre-dawn confrontation that began when a naval patrol stumbled on a guerrilla supply convoy, they added. One official accused the Tigers of opening fire first. ''One of the damaged craft had to be towed to port. Seven sailors were wounded,'' said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne, adding the navy had called in air support as the battle intensified. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 03:40:42 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Navy, Rebels Clash  - Yahoo
Navy, rebels clash at sea, breaking Sri Lankan cease-fire  - MSNBC
Sri Lankan navy battles rebels  - Virtual New York
Sri Lanka truce in tatters amid heavy sea battle  -

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
Journalist Wounded in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Monday, April 16, 2001 7:27 PM EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- An American journalist working for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper was wounded in a skirmish between government troops and separatist rebels in northern Sri Lanka, officials said Tuesday. Marie Colvin, 44, a native of Oyster Bay, N.Y., who now lives in London, was hospitalized in stable condition with shrapnel wounds to her head, chest and arm, doctors said. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 20:31:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Fighting Tigers talk of peace deal  - Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
UPDATE 3-US journalist wounded in northern Sri Lanka  - ABC News
UPDATE 1-UK-based journalist wounded in northern Sri Lanka  - ABC News

Arms delivered to Colombo
BBC South Asia, Monday, 16 April, 2001, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK . Arms worth an estimated $2.5m have been delivered to Sri Lanka despite an ongoing peace initiative with Tamil Tiger rebels. The shipment is from the Czech Republic, which is a key supplier of military hardware to Sri LankaA military spokesperson said the timing of the shipment had nothing to do with the peace initiative. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 11:32:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Receives Weapons From Czech  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka gets $2.5 million Czech arms shipment  - MSNBC

Sri Lankan Navy kills two rebels
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, April 17, 2001. The Defence Ministry said the fighting erupted when a patrol craft tried to investigate a flotilla of unidentified boats off the coast of Chalai. ``As the naval craft approached them to investigate, it was fired upon by the unidentified craft. The naval craft also retaliated immediately,'' the Ministry said. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 20:01:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sea Tigers attack Lankan ships in ceasefire violation  - The Hindustan Times
Ceasefire broken in Lanka civil war, 5 wounded  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Clear signs of end to war in New Year - Gen. Ratwatte
CDN, April 16. Clear signs are evident of the ongoing war which had become a major setback to the country's socio economic development, coming to an end and creating peace and prosperity in the country, during the New Year. They all should wish that the country would achieve that goal this year, said Power and Energy Minister and acting Defence Minister General Anuruddha Ratwatte who addressed thousands of his constituents, well wishers and friends at his Mahaiyawa residence on the Sinhala and Tamil New Year day. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 03:45:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan student wins prestigious American scholarship
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 2.00 p.m Monday 16 April. Nientara Anderson a seventeen year old Sri Lankan student has won a 150,000 dollar scholarship to America?s prestigious Cooper Union for the Advancement of science and art in New York. She is the first Sri Lankan to have won this rare scholarship. Cooper Union established in 1859 is where late American President Abraham Lincoln delivered his ?Right makes might? speech in 1860 and boasts of pass students of the caliber of Thomas Alva Edison. .

Talented young artist Nientara Anderson, who studied at the William Hall highs school in Connecticut, is also the winner of the Connecticut Association of schools outstanding artists award and The Scholastic Art and writing gold award of 2001. Nientara told ?The Lanka Academic? today ? It was an impossible dream to get into this prestigious art school. I was absolutely flattered when I was selected. Hope I can prove worthy of the honour of going to Cooper Union?
Published: Mon Apr 16 13:56:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

MDMK manifesto harps on Tamil Eelam
TOI, April 16. The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) in Tamil Nadu has reiterated that a separate Tamil Eelam is the only solution to the crisis in Lanka.The party's manifesto for the May 10 elections, released by party general secretary Vaiko in Coimbatore on Saturday, has stated that a separate Eelam is the only solution to protect peace, wellbeing and prestige of Tamils in Lanka. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 11:57:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers Training Indian Separatists-Police
Yahoo Asia, Monday, April 16 7:29 PM SGT . We have been receiving intelligence reports that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are training rebels of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in handling or even making explosive devices, G.M. Srivastava, a police chief in Assam, said Sunday. The Sri Lankan government-run newspaper, the Daily News, carried a similar report last week, saying the Tigers had helped set up a training camp for Assam-based insurgents. The paper gave no source, but its reports are based on information given by the Sri Lankan government, in its 17th year of war against the Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 10:09:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fighting Tigers talk of peace deal
Sunday Times ( UK ), April 15. CONCILIATORY words do not come easy to Thamilthevlan, the second in command of the Tamil Tigers. His walking stick is a legacy of the three times he was shot in battle since joining the founding ranks of one of the most ruthless guerrilla movements in the world."There must be a political solution," Thamilthevlan told The Sunday Times last week. "The name is immaterial. Federation, confederation, northeast council, autonomous region, we can accept any of these solutions as long as we are guaranteed our equal rights, our dignity and justice. We don't want a lifestyle decided by Buddhist monks in Colombo." More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 13:29:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
'LTTE ready to settle for autonomous homeland'  - Times of India (Breaking News)
LTTE ready to settle for autonomous homeland  - Deccan Herald

Indian passenger?s body homebound
India Abroad, april 16. The body of an Indian passenger, who died here of injuries sustained in an emergency evacuation of a burning SriLankan Airlines plane, is expected to be flown to his Hyderabad home Tuesday, officials said. Kattula Sammiah, 28, said to be a former People's War Group militant-turned-police informant, died Sunday night at the national hospital here where he had been admitted for injuries sustained four days ago in a More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 13:53:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
DGP denies police nexus with ex-naxals  - The Hindu (Southern States)
Hurt Indian passenger dies in Lanka  - India Abroad
Indian man dies after fire aboard Sri Lankan plane  -

Sri Lankan Police Seizes Illegal Emigrants
Nothern Light, Monday, April 16, 2001 12:20 AM EST . The Sri Lankan police has uncovered a major international human smuggling operation at Negombo, suburb of capital Colombo, and arrested 27 illegal emigrants over the weekend, the state-run Daily News said on Monday. Police said that a trawler had been used to transport 123 illegal immigrants at 100,000 rupees (around 1,170 U.S. dollars) to 400,000 rupees (around 4,700 U.S. dollars) each by a job agent for illegal passage to Italy. They had however to return to Sri Lanka after the trawler rammed into an Indian vessel on the high seas and water started seeping in. Although the crew wanted to continue on the journey, the passengers insisted on returning. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 10:13:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka raises fuel prices for third time in six months, Apr 16 2001 10:09 IST. COLOMBO, April 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Monday raised the price of diesel and kerosene oil by up to 12 percent in the third such increase in the last six months, officials said. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 03:36:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Hikes Diesel Prices To Ease Ceypetco Loss  - Yahoo Asia
Fuel prices up again  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Judicial process impaired, scant justice- Bishops
TamilNet, april 15. A statement signed by Bishop Owald Gomis, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka, and Bishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Secretary, was issued to the press Sunday. We, the Catholic Bishops of Sri Lanka, have been watching with dismay, for some time, the moral decadence and break down of law and order in our land. A culture of violence has been escalating with each successive government for the past two decades and more. Now it has become the order of the day. Ordinary citizens who are suffering have scant hope of obtaining even elementary justice at the hands of the traditional guardians of law and order. People have the perception that the judicial process too has been impaired. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 14:41:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The price of an innocent smile
Yahoo India, 16 April 2001. Long years of ethnic conflict can poison the minds of children anywhere. Rasheeda Bhagat describes the work of voluntary groups in Sri Lanka that are striving to provide the right antidote. We do not have toys to play with... so we make a gun out of some sticks... and that is how we play. I can dismantle my father's T-56. Sometimes my father tells me to clean his gun. Now I am quite skilled at dismantling and reassembling the gun. My main ambition is to join the army." These words, uttered by a 14-year-old child, have been reproduced in the latest study done by the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka on the economic, social and human cost of the war in Sri Lanka. The child remains nameless in the report but the words could have been uttered by a child on either side of the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka... the child of a soldier from the Sri Lankan army or a child of a Tamil rebel. We have to remember that there are two undefeated armies in Sri Lanka. But what hits you most is a childhood lost under the shadow of the gun. The NPC study estimates that the number of children, including boy and girl combatants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), orphans and those traumatised and displaced by the war would total around 2,00,000. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 20:02:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Peace in Sri Lanka still a far cry
The Independent - Bangladesh, april 13. Things are not that much bright in Sri Lanka. According to political analysts peace is still a far cry in the country. Even then Sri Lanka eased sanctions on areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels in a key concession aimed at boosting Norway’s bid to broker an end to the island’s bloody ethnic conflict.The government removed more than 25 commodities from a list of banned items that could not be taken to uncleared’ areas. The vast Wanni region of Sri Lanka is known as uncleared’ and held by Tamil Tigers. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 13:45:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Drop in Sri Lanka Violence May Signal Move Toward Talks
IHT, april 13. The level of violence in the 17-year ethnic conflict between the Sri Lankan government and separatist rebels has dropped precipitously in the last three months, and there are signs that the warring parties are slowly moving toward resuming the peace talks that broke off six years ago. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 13:52:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government declares a ten day amnesty period for army deserters
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2041 slt 15.04.01. The Government today declared yet another ten day amnesty period for army deserters to return without facing harsh punishment. The Government said those who returned would be treated leniently. The Army says there are over 10.000 deserters but a majority of them were those categorized as absent without leave.
Published: Sun Apr 15 10:51:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Will the lion and the tiger live in peace?
Yahoo India, 15 April 2001. On the face of it, the LTTE's demand that Colombo lift the ban on it is one the Government cannot concede. But, says NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN, the situation does not seem that dire. LIKE THE pieces of a giant jigsaw in the hands of an expert, the various elements of the Sri Lankan peace process facilitated by the Norwegians seemed to be progressively falling in place till last week, when the LTTE produced a piece that did not fit in with the rest of the pattern. Hours after a meeting between the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jon Westborg, and the political wing leader of the LTTE, Mr. S. Tamilchelvam, in Mallavi in the northern mainland, the LTTE issued a press release which set forth a new pre- condition for peace talks with the Government. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 04:01:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC team begins investigation
Yahoo India, 16 April 2001. SHARJAH, APRIL 15. International Cricket Council's investigators, Jeff Rees and Bob Smalley have begun their investigation into allegations of rampant match-fixing and betting practices here at one of cricket's most popular venues.However, a Cricketers' Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) spokesman said there has been no contact between them and the ICC investigators and added that their presence during the tri-nation tournament is ``largely coincidental. ``If they wish to take advantage of the fact that certain players and managers are present that is their privilege,'' the spokesman said.So far Rees and Smalley have met New Zealand manager Ross Dykes. They are expected to talk to the managers of the other two teams, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating in the on-going tri-series as also some players, among them being Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 20:09:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mortar bombs, guns shatter Lankan New Year truce
Times of India (Breaking News), april 15. Tamil Tiger rebels fired mortar bombs and small arms at Sri Lankan troops who refrained from retaliating because of their unilateral New Year truce, the defence ministry here said on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon Apr 16 03:42:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Mortar bombs, guns shatter Sri Lanka New Year truce  -

It's flying time for VIPs
Sunday Times, 15 April 2001. Both, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe along with host of other government and opposition politicians left the country on Thursday, for official or private visits. They were due to spend the national New Year holidays away. While President Kumaratunga left for London on a private visit Mr Wickremesinghe accompanied by his wife Maithri has left for Oslo for about one week, at the invitation of the Norwegian Government.Minister and CWC leader Mr. Arumugam Thondaman on Thursday flew to Bangladesh and India for a SAARC trade conference and Education Minister Susil Premajayanth has left for the United States on an official visit. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 06:09:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka gets Czech arms supplies, Apr 15 2001 09:56 IST. COLOMBO, April 15 (AFP) - Sri Lankan security forces were set to receive a consignment of multi-barrel rocket launchers and tanks from the Czech Republic to boost the fire power against Tamil rebels, a report said Sunday.The military will receive eight 120mm RM-70 type multi-barrel rocket launchers, 25 T-55 tanks, six tank recovery vehicles, six tank transporters and three mobile workshops, the Sunday Island said. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 01:14:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka pressured to extend cease-fire
Virtual New York, 15 April 2001. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 15 (UPI) - Pressure mounted Sunday on the Sri Lankan government to extend the four-day-long cease-fire announced to mark the New Year in the country. Political parties and peace activists have urged the government to continue the cease-fire and create an environment to hold Norwegian backed peace talks with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to resolve the ethnic conflict. For the first time in the history of the ethnic conflict the government released 10 Tamil Tiger guerrillas from prison to mark the New Year. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 05:43:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka heralds New Year with casualties, Apr 15 2001 11:15 IST. COLOMBO, April 15 (AFP) - At least five people were killed and 765 injured during Sri Lanka's traditional New Year-related drink-driving incidents and brawls, doctors at the National Hospital said Sunday. The bodies of five people who were killed in clashes and accidents were at the hospital, a spokesman said, adding 765 people were brought in since Saturday. Advertisement ' + ' ' + ' '; document.writeln(strbanner); //--> The bodies of five people who were killed in clashes and accidents were at the hospital, a spokesman said, adding 765 people were brought in since Saturday. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 05:17:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Army Declares New Amnesty For Deserters
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, April 15 2:41 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's top military commander Sunday offered amnesty to nearly 15,000 deserters to bolster the army's numerical strength in its fight against Tamil Tiger separatists. In newspaper advertisements, Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle said army deserters who rejoin service will face minimum punishment. Balagalle said 4,544 such deserters took advantage of a similar amnesty offered last year. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 05:37:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Officer fired on sex charge
Sunday Times, 15 April 2001. The services of an Army Major General, at the centre of an alleged sex scandal, were terminated on Friday. The move is said to follow a directive from the Ministry of Defence. The Major General in question is alleged to have made improper suggestions to a married lady in Kiribathgoda. A CID investigation into the matter was called after he denied allegations and said he had only met with an accident. The CID is learnt to have reported that he could be indicted for sexual harassment and added that there was no evidence to confirm claims that the Major General met with an accident. More...
Published: Sun Apr 15 06:06:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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