The Lanka Academic

APRIL 27, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 21

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
Conflicting claims on Sri Lankan toll
Hindu, April 27. As fighting continued in Jaffna peninsula for a third straight day on Friday, there were claims and counter- claims about the death toll on either side, making it evident that both the LTTE and the security forces had suffered huge casualties. The security forces said they had lost 131 soldiers, including three officers, while 126 were wounded, and said they knew from monitored LTTE radio transmissions that 180 Tamil Tiger cadres were killed in the fighting. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 22:50:31 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Heavy fighting continues in northern Lanka  - gulf-news
Conflicting claims on Sri Lankan toll  - The Hindu (International)
Rebels hit back as Sri Lanka death toll tops 300  - MSNBC
Tamil rebels say Sri Lankan troops suffering heavy casualties  - ABC News
Heavy fighting continues in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Nearly 300 killed in Sri Lanka battles  - Virtual New York
Death toll in Sri Lanka fighting tops 300  - MSNBC
Tamil Tigers claim 300 troopers dead  - The Age
200 killed in fighting in Sri Lanka: Army  - The Hindustan Times
Peace hopes dim as Sri Lanka fighting kills over 300  -

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The First (1-34) and Second (35-60) Batches of Answers

Please note that the "Ask Erik Solheim!" session ends on April 30th, 2001.
Due to Mr. Solheim's extremely busy schedule, only a few important questions will be included in the third and final batch. To improve the odds of your question being included, be sure to ask something new that is not already addressed in the questions and answers, 1-60. Please keep your questions succinct and pertinent to the role/expertise of our guest. The instructions for submitting questions are here.
The Lanka Academic is delighted to announce the current guest in its series of Q & A sessions: Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian special facilitator between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka bloodbath dashes Norway peace hopes
Yahoo Asia, Friday, April 27 11:08 PM SGT . Ferocious fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels raged for a third day Friday, raising the death toll to 311 and shattering hopes of early peace talks, officials said. Fighting erupted as soldiers backed by tanks, aircraft and navy gunboats launched a major offensive aimed at wresting territory from Tiger control in the Jaffna peninsula, in the island's north. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 12:47:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cong. will oppose LTTE but campaign for PMK
The Hindu (Southern States), Saturday, April 28, 2001. CHENNAI, APRIL 27. The Congress, in its manifesto for the Assembly election, has vowed to continue to oppose the ``fascist'' LTTE, which was responsible for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. While the Congress would support the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils who have been deprived of their due rights, it would oppose the outlawed LTTE and the call for Tamil Eelam. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 17:01:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka paper hails verdict on Jaya
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 27. The Island , an independent English daily in Sri Lanka, has praised the Indian judiciary and officialdom for the action taken against AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha. It said that the events across the Palk Strait underscores the urgent need for independent commissions to oversee the conduct of elections, the public service, the judiciary and the police in Sri Lanka More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 23:03:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka develops database of exportable manpower
gulf-news, April 27. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Labour is developing a database of skilled and semi-skilled manpower available for overseas employment, especially in the Middle East, according to the minister, S. Alavi Mowlana, who is on a visit to the UAE."Sri Lankan manpower is in great demand in the UAE," he said. "The Sri Lankan government is concentrating on providing training to our people who wish to seek employment in the UAE. The training will also include crash courses in spoken Arabic. Currently there are about 160,000 Sri Lankans in the UAE, but they are mainly concentrated in the garment industry." More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 22:30:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan bishops urge rebel statement
BBC South Asia, Friday, 27 April, 2001, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK . Roman Catholic bishops in Sri Lanka have urged leaders of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas to make a public declaration of their political objectives. In a statement, a group of bishops who have just visited a rebel-held area in nothern Sri Lanka called on the Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, to issue a direct address to the island's majority Sinhala community. The bishops said Mr Prabhakaran should try to assuage Sinhalese fears over the Tamil Tigers' aspirations on such concepts as nationhood and self-determination. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 11:17:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka President Says No Truce Needed for Talks
Nothern Light, Friday, April 27, 2001 7:58 AM EST . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Friday peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels were still possible without a cease-fire in place. In a statement issued the same day the military said more than 300 had died in the country's worst fighting in months, Kumaratunga said her government was committed to starting peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). ``As far as we are concerned having a cease-fire is irrelevant to the peace process,'' she said. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 09:11:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Ceasefire irrelevant for talks, Chandrika  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka peace hopes bloodied but unbowed  - MSNBC

Ranil staves off crisis, agrees to be aggressive against govt
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Friday, April 27, 2001. Sri Lanka's main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today managed to stave off a potentially divisive crisis in his United National Party (UNP) by agreeing to hardliners' demand to be more aggressive in opposing the Chandrika Kumaratunga government. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 10:21:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka newspaper tiptoes between government and rebels
Yahoo India, Friday April 27, 9:04 AM. It has survived grenade and bomb attacks.A thorn in the side of both the government and its Tamil Tiger rebel foes, its staff have received numerous death threats. But the Uthayan, the longest-running newspaper in Sri Lanka's northern town of Jaffna, doggedly refuses to go away. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 15:31:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

197 combatants killed in northern fighting
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7.10 a.m. SLT Friday April 27. The government yesterday said some 197 combatants have been killed as fighting between state troops and the LTTE raged in the northern peninsula this week.

Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said some 87 soldiers and 110 rebels had died in the battles. Over 300 had been injured he said, adding that rebel figures were much higher.

The Tigers clandestine radio the 'Voice of Tigers' however said that the LTTE had lost only 6 cadres. In a statement issued from their office in the Vanni the rebels claim that over 300 soldiers were killed and 1200 injured as fighting escalated in southern areas of the Jaffna peninsula.

Meanwhile in a separate incident the rebels had attacked a naval patrol boat in Pallimunai in the north last morning, but the military claimed the Navy had successfully repulsed the attack and sunk a rebel boat. Independent sources revealed however that one sailor was killed in the attack and two others injured.

Military sources speaking in confidence estimated the death toll on the part of the military to be much higher than official statistics revealed. Meanwhile the state media yesterday called upon civilians to donate blood for the wounded soldiers being flown out of the battle areas.

All civilian flights to the north, were stopped Thursday afternoon as the Air Force said they needed the planes to fly down injured soldiers instead.

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has called upon the government to halt the present military offensive and negotiate a peaceful solution to the crisis. The TULF assert that it is immaterial at this stage whether those dying are from the South or the North. The need of the hour the TULF reiterate is to stop the war and the ensuing bloodshed.

The defence ministry claimed to have recovered an area of 25 square kilometers in former rebel held territory after intense fighting south of Nagar Kovil and Eluthumadduval.
Published: Fri Apr 27 00:05:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Fresh clashes push Sri Lanka death toll to 300  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka toll hits 197 as troops, Tigers suffer heavy losses  -
Tigers step up counter fire on SLA  - TamilNet
Army claims significant gains in LTTE-controlled areas  - Deccan Herald
Army pushes back rebels in Sri Lanka  - MSNBC
Fresh fighting erupts in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia

The LTTE says it is fighting for Tamil rights and not for a separate state
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1618 slt 26.04.01. The head of LTTE's political wing Thamil Chelvam has said that the LTTE was fighting for the rights of the Tamil people and not for a separate state. At a meeting with a delegation of Catholic bishops led by Rev Oswald Gomes, Thamil Chelvam said that if the government create the right environment the LTTE would be ready for peace talks. The statement comes amidst reports of a deadlock in the Norwegian efforts to start peace talks. The LTTE has made two pre conditions- an immediate cease fire and the lifting of the ban by the government. However Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake stressed today that the government would not agree to either conditions. Addressing a function at the Ramada Hotel in Colombo The PM said the government has learned lessons from mistakes made by the earlier government. He said cease fires declared by the earlier government has allowed the LTTE to re-arm and re train its cadres. end
Published: Thu Apr 26 08:31:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Economy Could Be Victim Of Military Offensive
Yahoo Asia, Friday, April 27 6:36 PM SGT . The military offensive launched this week by the Sri Lankan government could hurt international efforts to end the country's protracted war, and add to the already considerable problems facing the economy. Political and economic analysts said Friday the government may have opted to take advantage of a lull created by a Norwegian-led initiative to bring the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to the negotiating table. But the move could backfire, economically at least. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 09:08:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC anti-corruption chief in Sri Lanka for match-fixing probe
Yahoo Asia, April 27 (. The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption chief Paul Condon is due to visit Sri Lanka Saturday to probe two top Sri Lankan players accused of taking bribes, officials said.Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella has vowed to cooperate with the ICC to probe allegations of match fixing against former Sri Lankan skipper Ranatunga and his deputy de Silva. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 11:19:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fresh clashes push Sri Lanka death toll to 300
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, April 27. A NIGHT of fierce clashes between government troops and Tamil Tiger guerrillas took the death toll in Sri Lanka's worst fighting in months to almost 300, military officials said on Friday. At least 40 soldiers were killed on Thursday night in battles that raged on the Jaffna peninsula, taking the number of troops killed in three days to 110 with more than 500 wounded, military officials said. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 08:24:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Casualties mount in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Tigers admit losing 33, say killed 300 troopers  -

Stop offensive, TULF tells Sri Lankan Govt.
The Hindu (International), Friday, April 27, 2001. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) today called on the Sri Lankan Government to halt its fresh offensive in Jaffna peninsula and begin peace talks with the LTTE immediately. ``We hold no brief for the LTTE but at what cost does the Army want to advance towards Elephant Pass? More than 100 lives were lost yesterday. Does it matter if they were LTTE or soldiers? They were all people,'' remonstrated Mr. V. Anandasangaree, parliamentarian and senior vice-president of the TULF. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 17:24:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Army consolidate its positions
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1814. slt 26.04.01. The Sri Lankan army is consolidating in areas captured yesterday in the Jaffna Peninsula amidst heavy artillery and mortar fire from the rebels. The Special Media Information Unit (SMIU) said two buses carrying rebel reinforcement were destroyed by Air Force jets today.18 soldiers have been killed and 140 have been injured in the fighting and over 100 rebels including four senior cadres killed, according to the SMIU.
Published: Thu Apr 26 08:31:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Crisis in the UNP resolved
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1600 slt 26.04.01. The crisis in the United National Party was resolved today when party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed to a compromise formula.The "reformist group" of the UNP led by Party Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya and Assistant Leader Gamini Athukorala proposed wide ranging reforms within the party to establish inner-party democracy and that if a national government is formed the parties that constitute the government would elect its leader. This formula was proposed after the UNP leader agreed to nominate Deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya as Prime Minister in a National Unity Government if that is the wish of a majority of the people. Mr. Wickremesinghe also agreed to table a no confidence motion against the Chief Justice and draft legislation on the four independent commissions in parliament within two weeks. The UNP leader was accused by the reformist group of dragging his feet on tabling these in parliament and in attempts to defeat the government in parliament.
Published: Thu Apr 26 06:20:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sumathipala demands an apology or Rs. 500 million from Sports Minister
Dulshan de Silva in Colombo, 12.45 p.m. SLT Thursday April 26, 2001. Sri Lanka's suspended Cricket Board's President Thilanga Sumathipala has demanded an unqualified apology from the Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella for the alleged damaging statements the Minister had made to the media. Sumathipala has demanded Rs. 500 million (app. 5. 74 million US Dollars) if the minister fails to comply with the original demand. In a letter of demand sent through his lawyers Abdeen Associates on Wednesday Sumathipala alleges that the Minister has made misleading statements in 14 instances to print and electronic media. He had alleged that the Minister knew the correct state of affairs through four letters he had earlier sent to Sports Ministry Secretary Dr. P. Ramanujam and the present interim committee of the Cricket Board. Copies of these letters had been sent to the Minister and these letters are undisputed, Sumathipala has added. So, Sumathipala has alleged that the Minister made misleading statements "intentionally and spitefully" causing embarrassment and humiliation to him. Sumathipala has given the Minister a seven-day deadline for the apology and if the Minister fails to do so, he has demanded Rs.500 million within 14 days. Sumathipala has said that he would constitute legal action if the Minister fails to comply with both demands.
Published: Thu Apr 26 02:52:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Oil spill feared in pirate-infested Asia
Yahoo India, 27 April 2001. Surging Asian piracy and militants searching for soft targets pose an increasing threat to the world oil tanker trade, and oil spills are seen as an inevitable consequence, piracy experts warned. "We believe Abu Sayyaf and the Tamil Tigers are actively considering attacking marine targets," former mercenary Colonel Tim Spicer told the international tanker owners organisation, Intertanko, which met this week in Sydney. Spicer showed tanker owners a slide of bomb-damage to the U.S. warship USS Cole in Yemen last October, and asked them to imagine the consequences of a similar attack on a tanker. Spicer told Reuters the Tamil Sea Tigers were more mobile than Abu Sayyaf, and therefore tankers were more at risk from attack in the waters off Sri Lanka than in the Philippines. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 02:23:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Prima associate to pay 65 mln usd for flour mill concession in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Thursday, April 26, 2001 7:46 AM EST . SINGAPORE, Apr 26, 2001 (AFX-Asia via COMTEX) -- Prima Limited said 40 pct-owned associate Prima Ceylon Ltd has agreed to pay the Sri Lankan government 65 mln usd for a 55 year concession to operate a flour mill. Also part of the deal, Prima Ceylon has agreed to the early termination of an existing 25-year build-operate-transfer concession agreement in respect of an existing flour mill it operates in Sri Lanka. Prima Ceylon will be financing the 65 mln usd cost of the new concession via a rights issue and Prima has said it will fully subscribe its entitlement using internal resources. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 09:35:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka toll hits 180 as troops, Tigers suffer heavy losses, Apr 26 2001 14:01 IST. COLOMBO, April 26 (AFP) - Sri Lankan troops were Thursday consolidating after intense overnight fighting that killed more than 180 and wounded over 500 among security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. Troops wrested control of an area of eight square kilometres (3.2 square miles) from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna peninsula in Wednesday's drive, a defence ministry spokesman said. The defence ministry said a total of 70 government soldiers and about 110 Tiger cadres were killed in the overnight fighting. The army suffered about 200 troopers wounded and put rebel casualties at 300 wounded. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 05:20:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Fresh clashes flare as Sri Lanka sides count dead  - MSNBC
Army claims taking eight in LTTE-controlled areas  - Press Trust of India
Heavy bloodshed in Sri Lanka as Tiger truce ends  -
Sri Lanka troops, Tigers count the dead after heavy fighting  -

Sri Lankan troops dig in as death toll rises
MSNBC, Islamabad,Thursday, April 26, 2001. Sri Lankan troops dug in on Thursday as the military death toll in heavy fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Jaffna peninsula rose to at least 58, a military spokesman said. The rebel Voice of Tigers radio said 100 government soldiers had been killed in the fighting. The army, which launched an offensive after the Tigers let a unilateral ceasefire lapse on Tuesday, said it had no new rebel death toll beyond the 75 the military reported it killed on Wednesday. ''There is no new fighting today. We are consolidating our position,'' military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters. He said that 26 soldiers had died, in addition to the 32 dead reported on Wednesday night. He blamed rebel artillery fire. ''There were heavy artillery attacks on our positions after we had made advances yesterday and some more casualties occurred,'' he said. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 02:36:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lankan military captures LTTE areas  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka Arrests Men Escorting Reporter Into Rebel Area
Yahoo India, Thursday April 26, 2:42 PM. COLOMBO (AP)--Sri Lankan police arrested three Tamil men accused of escorting an American journalist into the Tamil rebel-held territory in the north, a police officer said Thursday. The men, whom Marie Colvin of London's Sunday Times described as "local Tamils" and "civilians with LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) sympathies" in her reports, had taken her into the rebel-held Wanni area in early April, the officer said on condition of anonymity. Colvin, an Oyster Bay, N.Y., native, was wounded in an exchange of firing between government forces and the rebels April 16 after an army patrol spotted her trying to re-enter the government-held town of Vavuniya, 210 kilometers north of the capital, Colombo. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 09:37:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Three held for guiding US journalist to LTTE territory  - Press Trust of India

Tigers prepared for war during truce: govt, Apr 25 2001 15:26 IST. COLOMBO, April 25 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels used their four-month unilateral ceasefire to strengthen defences and re-arm for a fresh offensive, the government said Wednesday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) received fresh arms supplies during their truce, which started on Christmas Eve and ended on Tuesday night, the government said in a statement."They have continued to prepare their defences in the Elephant Pass-Pallai sector and also continued to get their supplies, unless intercepted by the navy, off the coast stretching from Nagarkovil to Mullaitivu," the statement said. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 02:26:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Shares End Flat; Rebel Fighting Hits Sentiment
Yahoo India, Thursday April 26, 12:56 PM. Sri Lanka's shares ended flat Thursday as fierce battles between government troops and separatist Tamil rebels kept investors sidelined despite easing interest rates, brokers said. More...
Published: Fri Apr 27 09:37:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's Banking Sector Heads Toward Bleak Fincl Yr  - Yahoo Asia

CEB To Ease Power Consumption Rules
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, April 26 10:59 AM SGT . The Ceylon Electricity Board, or CEB, will temporarily relax regulations imposed on the use of electricity next week, ahead of a Buddhist festival, reports the Daily News Thursday. It said the decision was made due to an improvement in water levels in reservoirs in the past few weeks. More...
Published: Thu Apr 26 00:29:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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