The Lanka Academic

APRIL 17, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 11

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
Solheim to seek the release of POWs
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.30 p.m. SLT Tuesday April 17. Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim has promised parents of military personnel missing in action that he will negotiate both with the Lankan government and the LTTE to release all POWs as soon as possible. Solheim made this solemn pledge to N. Nanayakkara, Chairman of the Association for parents of military personnel missing in action.
Published: Tue Apr 17 11:22:28 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
Prices of essential commodities, bus fares set to increase
gulf-news, april 17. Prices of food items, bus fares, transport charges and other essential goods were set to go up after the Sri Lankan government increased the prices of diesel and kerosene oil immediately after the traditional new year celebrations in the country.The main opposition United National Party (UNP) lambasted the government for increasing the prices and blamed them for indulging in what they called excessive expenditure on maintaining an extra large cabinet of 46 ministers and also for allocating funds for a Presidential Palace project which is going to cost the government over Rs. 1700 million ($ 146 million). More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 20:23:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ValuComOnline: Call Sri Lanka

Lift Ban on Objective Reporting of War- Foreign Correspondents' Association
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 17/04/01 1640 GMT. The Foreign Correspondents? Association (FCA) of Sri Lanka has urged the government to reconsider lifting or reducing the restrictions on journalists who cover the war in the Northeast. A statement issued by Dilshika Jayamaha, secretary of FCA, emphasized the need for mechanisms to be put in place for journalists, those representing both the local and foreign media, to be assisted to cover the conflict independently and adequately.

While expressing its deep concern over the situation of Ms. Marie Colvin, correspondent for London's The Sunday Times, in the Wanni on Monday, the statement says that this accident need not have happened if the government had a more transparent and regularized policy of allowing journalists to visit rebel controlled territory.

"We understand the authorities' security concerns. Journalists are prepared to face risks, even sometimes it is life threatening. All we ask them to let journalists visit the war-torn area and let them get a more accurate picture." Ms. Jayamaha told BBC?s Sandeshaya.
Published: Tue Apr 17 12:40:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bride and Gloom
BBC, April 17. Sri Lankan women run short of Men. More... [Watch]
Published: Tue Apr 17 20:38:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

British journalist shot in Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Tuesday April 17, 2001. Mary Collins, a journalist from The Sunday Times, London was injured yesterday at around 10 p.m. when attempting to cross military forward defence lines in Sri Lanka?s northern peninsula. Collins had secretly crossed over to Tiger territory in the Island nations embattled war zone and together with a group of LTTE cadre was attempting to cross the military?s forward defence lines at Parayanakulam, situated approximately 5.5 kilometers on the Madhu road in northern Vavuniya.

Speaking at military headquarters today, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told "The Lanka Academic" that troops had opened fire after detecting LTTE cadres. The Tigers, Karunaratne said had thrown grenades at the military listening-post and the troops had retaliated with small arms and artillery fire. The LTTE had dispersed from the area and a subsequent search the military found a foreign woman lying on the ground with injuries to her eye. She was evacuated to the field hospital in Vavuniya, moved thereafter to the general hospital at Anuradhapura and finally airlifted to Colombo's eye hospital.

Collins is at present undergoing treatment to her left eye at Colombo's national eye hospital. The military maintain that Collins did not have permission to enter rebel territory in Sri Lanka?s war stricken north where the government has maintained a strict censorship on all war related news both to foreign and local journalists.
Published: Tue Apr 17 11:22:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
British Journalist wounded in the crossfire airlifted to Colombo  - Dept of Information. SL.
Medical staff examine Marie Colvin in Colombo's eye hospital  - Yahoo/AP Photo

Sri Lanka Slams Wounded American Journalist
Nothern Light, Tuesday, April 17, 2001 10:15 AM EST . Sri Lanka on Tuesday criticized an American journalist who was wounded in a battle in the island's north for over staying her visa, and said it would be more careful in vetting foreign correspondents in the country. ``She seems to have arrogated to herself by over staying in the country after the expiry of her visa,'' the statement said. ``The facts ... indicate that she has her own secret agenda with the LTTE.'' Colvin, a correspondent for London's Sunday Times, was hit by shrapnel in the head, chest and arms during a pre-dawn skirmish between rebels and government troops in the northern Vavuniya district, hours before a five-day truce by the military expired. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 11:54:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka to tighten visas after US scribe gets hurt  - Times of India
UPDATE 5-Sri Lanka slams wounded American journalist  - ABC News
Sri Lanka tightens visas after journalist wounded in battle  - Yahoo Asia
Sri Lanka Accuses Wounded Journalist Of Breaking Law  - Yahoo Asia
Diplomats visit US journalist wounded in Sri Lanka gun battle  -
Fighting Tigers talk of peace deal  - Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
Journalist Wounded in Sri Lanka  - Nothern Light
UPDATE 3-US journalist wounded in northern Sri Lanka  - ABC News
UPDATE 1-UK-based journalist wounded in northern Sri Lanka  - ABC News

Marie Colvin injured in Sri Lanka
The Times , April 18. Marie Colvin, the award-winning Sunday Times foreign correspondent who was wounded during fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces in Sri Lanka, has undergone exploratory surgery at a hospital in Colombo, the capital. She is said to be in good spirits despite a shrapnel injury to her left eye. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 20:45:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

BJP focus on Sri Lankan issue
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, April 18, 2001. The BJP State unit will urge the Union Government to intervene in the Sri Lankan issue for a solution that is acceptable to all Sri Lankan Tamils and will ensure peace in the island. Till such a peaceful settlement is arrived at and the Island Tamils are able to return to Sri Lanka, the BJP will continue to emphasise the need to provide humanitarian treatment of the refugees in India. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 16:00:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE to appeal against UK ban
Tamilnet, April 17. The Liberation Tigers are preparing to appeal against their proscription under Britain's Terrorism Act and were putting together a legal team for this purpose, Tamil media sources said Tuesday, quoting the LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham. "We are already in consultation with eminent lawyers in the field of terrorist legislation and we are advised to apply to the Home Secretary for de-proscription," More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 13:11:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Promoting Lankan tourism industry, Apr 17 2001 15:37 IST. Colombo, Apr 17 (UNI) Tourism and Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella will lead a top-level delegation to India this week to promote Sri Lankan tourism industry. The Sri lankan tourism promotional campaign, starting from tomorrow in Mumbai, would include a travel mart, destination promotion, media conference and several road shows. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 08:53:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-New Zealand win is too little, too late
Yahoo India, Wednesday April 18, 1:54 AM. Mathew Sinclair batted through the innings with a solid 118 and pacer Kyle Mills took three quick wickets as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 79 runs in the last round-robin match of the Sharjah triangular series on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 17:20:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
New Zealand stun Sri Lanka, but bow out of Sharjah tri-series  - Yahoo Asia
Sinclair carries his bat against Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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
Related News Stories
27 illegal emigrants held  - The Hindu (International)

Battle-scarred Jaffna bustles, but yearns for peace
MSNBC, Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK . JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, April 17 — Life in Sri Lanka's northern city of Jaffna appears to have returned to normal, with markets and jewellery shops full of goods and the city's only theatre showing a Tamil-language movie from India. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 07:41:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-Sobers disgusted by cricket's unappealing side
Yahoo India, Tuesday April 17, 7:13 PM. Sir Garfield Sobers says he is sickened by the constant appealing for wickets which is prevalent in the modern game. "I was one of those people that if I thought I hit a ball and knew I hit it then I would have felt I was cheating (to stay at the crease)," he said. "I don't care what anybody says, you know when you hit it. You can feel it. And if you know, you should walk. You shouldn't just stand out there and make it difficult for the umpire." More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 16:04:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rebels blame navy for sparking sea battle  - MSNBC
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

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

No confirmed reports of ISI links with LTTE: Minister
Times of India (Breaking News), Tuesday . There are no confirmed reports of ISI links with LTTE, minister of state for home Vidyasagar Rao informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 10:10:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
LTTE training Assam militants  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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 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

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

Sri Lanka Extends Reverse Repo Tenor To Stabilize Market
Yahoo India, April 17, 1:30 PM. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka Tuesday extended its overnight reverse repurchase window facility to up to seven days to help stabilize the money market, the deputy governor said."The extension is to see more stability in the money market. The facility has been extended only up to such a length that won't lock banks in," M.B. Dissanayake told Dow Jones Newswires. More...
Published: Tue Apr 17 14:19:34 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

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