The Lanka Academic

MAY 2, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 26

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
Sri Lankan press seeks probe into army rout
Dawn, May 2. Government forces were on Monday bracing for more Tamil Tiger rebel attacks in northern Sri Lanka as the press called for a probe in to the army's latest offensive that turned into a debacle. The privately-run The Island newspaper said the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were trying to press home an advantage gained against the military in last week's heavy fighting. The military failed to achieve its objective of wresting control of the town of Pallai from the Tamil Tigers during the operation code-named "Agni Kheila I", the Island said. More...
Published: Wed May 2 20:54:42 EDT 2001

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Please note that the "Ask Erik Solheim!" session has now ended. We will soon post the third and final batch of answers. Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian special facilitator between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is the guest at the present Q&A session hosted by The Lanka Academic. Learn more about this Q&A session here.
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Sri Lanka Govt, Norway Envoy Talks "Productive":Report
Yahoo India, Wednesday May 2, 3:03 PM. The Sri Lankan government's latest round of discussions with a Norwegian peace envoy was productive, state-run radio reported Wednesday. Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim, who arrived in the Sri Lankan capital Monday, held discussions with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, and several Tamil and Muslim politicians, the report said. More...
Published: Wed May 2 16:35:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE demands ?recognition? before talks
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 2. THE LTTE's chief negotiator, Dr. Anton Balasingham, has told the Norwegian facilitator, Erik Solheim, that the Sri Lankan government should give the LTTE "some kind of recognition" if meaningful peace talks are to take place. The vaguely phrased demand is being interpreted here as a scaling down by LTTE of its demand from "de-proscription" to a "right to respect and reciprocity". More...
Published: Wed May 2 16:36:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US Annual Terrorism report labels LTTE as terrorist group
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 07:40 AM SLT Thursday May 03. The US state department report on International terrorism, has once more la belled the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a terrorist organization, based on violent attacks carried out by them against innocents last year. The State Department report, which was released yesterday said "the LTTE re newed violence in 2000,engaging in several terrorist acts against governmen t and civilian targets." It said that these attacks, which included suicide bombings, by the rebels, killed a total of 100 people, in the year 2000. The report especially ment ioned the assassination of Minister for Industrial Development C.V.Goonarat ne, and more than 20 others in June last year, and also highlighted instanc es when the rebels attacked civil, naval and international vessels. The United States declared the LTTE a terrorist organzation in 1997.
Published: Wed May 2 21:39:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC Assures Sri Lanka's Test Status
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 02/05/01 1730 GMT. International Cricket Council (ICC) today affirmed that Sri Lanka will be playing in future Test series with full status. Last week the Sinhala Language weekly "Lakbima", run by ex-BCCSL chairman Thilanga Sumathipala's family, carried a headline story claiming that Sri Lanka will lose it's test status as a result of the Sports Minister's decision to dissolve the Board Of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) and appoint an Interim Committee. It further went on to say that the ICC will suspend Sri Lanka's membership putting at risk it's stakes for the 2003 World Cup. When BBC's Sandeshaya made inquiries on this from the ICC, its response was to the contrary.

"The governance of Sri Lankan cricket is a domestic matter. The situation is currently under legal consideration and the ICC is unable to comment any further. However, I can confirm that Sri Lanka has not been suspended by the ICC" ICC Communications Manager Mark Harrison said in a statement.

Analysts in Colombo believe that the Lakbima is trying to provoke cricket lovers' emotions by making unfounded allegations.
Published: Wed May 2 13:35:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP claims Mawanella riots politically instigated
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 17:45 SLT Wednesday May 02. The United National Party claims that the riots in Mawanella this morning were politically instigated. UNP Spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku issued a statement a short while ago, which said that the incident would not have gotten out of hand, if the police force had remained impartial. The statement called on residents in the area to remain calm and not to succumb to political manipulation. It urged government authorities and the Inspector General of Police to assure that the situation is defused and peace is restored in the Mawanella area. Meanwhile the Muslim United Liberation Front called on the authorities to arrest the suspects involved in the attempt to extort money from a shopkeeper in the area, and urged President Chandrika Kumaratunge to take steps to safeguard villages around Mawanella. Reports from the area say the extortionists were allegedly the security officers of a senior cabinet minister.
Published: Wed May 2 07:49:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika reaffirms commitment to peace
The Hindu (International), Thursday, May 03, 2001. Reiterating her commitment to a political solution to the ethnic conflict, the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, has appealed to the Tamils of northern Sri Lanka to push the LTTE to the negotiating table. ``We believe the people of Jaffna would be able to persuade the LTTE to abandon their violent ways and agree to a solution that upholds democracy,'' Ms. Kumaratunga was quoted by the State-run Daily News as saying in her May Day address to the Tamils of Jaffna through a satellite TV link-up. The President also reiterated her government's position that it was the LTTE that had delayed the process initiated by the Norwegians for peace talks by bringing up new demands and conditions. More...
Published: Wed May 2 20:41:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
LTTE delaying peace talks: Kumaratunga  - The Hindustan Times
Tamils pushed on peace  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka rebels urge truce to save peace bid  - Yahoo India
President urges Tamils to persuade Tigers to join peace talks  -
Kumaratunga reiterates commitment to peace, blames LTTE  - Yahoo India

Police kill one person in Muslim sinhala clashes in Mawanalla
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1738 slt 02.05.01. Police shot dead one person and injured two other curfew breakers in an attempt to control Sinhala Muslim clashes in Mawanalla.A curfew was imposed overnight after the two ethnic groups clashed. The ethnic troubles flared after a dispute over cigarettes. Police and army units are patrolling the area and Police warned that trouble makers would be dealt with firmly
Published: Wed May 2 07:55:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Free trade accord with Sri Lanka shortly
The Dawn, April 30. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are expected to sign a free trade agreement next month, to provide import duty concessions to each other on various commodities. Federal Minister for trade, commerce, shipping and religious affairs, Rauff Hakeem of Sri Lanka, along with a seven-member delegation, is arriving in Pakistan on Tuesday to hold talks with Pakistan's commerce minister Abdul Razzak Dawood. This delegation will join a Sri Lankan trade team, which is already in the city, having arrived here on Saturday. More...
Published: Wed May 2 20:59:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Pakistan, Sri Lanka start talks on economic cooperation  -

Freedom of expression at risk, says Amnesty international
Yahoo India, Wednesday May 2, 12:00 AM. ournalists across the world are being argeted by governments for carrying out their legitimate nvestigative reporting work, Amnesty International has said, head of World Press Freedom Day on Thursday.During the years of armed conflict in Sri Lanka, journalists have een subjected not only to censorship from the government, but to ttacks from both the security forces, and the Liberation Tigers f Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Mylvaganam Nimalrajan, a correspondent or several newspapers and international agencies, was killed in is home in Jaffna on 20 October 2000, allegedly by members of he Eelam People's Democratic Party, allied to the security orces. Before he was killed, he had reported allegations of ote-rigging and threats during the October elections, the mnesty said. More...
Published: Wed May 2 11:23:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE friend Fernandes in secret Madras meet
The Newspapertoday, April 07. NDA convener and former Defence Minister George Fernandes is holding a meeting with MDMK general secretary Vaiko and Tamil National Movement leader P. Nedumaran at a secret rendezvous in Madras. The meeting that started early on Friday morning was going on till afternoon. Contrary to the public perception that Fernandes was here to mediate between DMK and MDMK, Friday?s secret meeting, top intelligence sources say, is to help the LTTE, isolated and ousted from its international base, London. Sources added that Fernandes was trying to broker a deal between the Indian government and the Tamil Tigers.According to intelligence sources, the three are working out a joint strategy to pressure New Delhi to intervene in the negotiations between the LTTE and Colombo, which is said to be nearing a climax. More...
Published: Tue May 1 11:20:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan FM on US visit as Norway tries to salvage peace bid, May 02 2001 15:51 IST. COLOMBO, May 2 (AFP) - Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has left for talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, as Norway tries to salvage its peace bid here, diplomatic sources said Wednesday. Kadirgamar, who left Colombo for Washington on Tuesday on a previously unannounced visit, was due to hold talks with Powell and other officials of the Bush administration, the sources said. Kadirgamar, whose travels are kept a closely guarded secret because of fears of assassination, was expected to discuss the ongoing peace moves with US leaders. More...
Published: Wed May 2 07:42:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on US visit  -
Kadirgamar on US trip, Norway props peace bid  - India Abroad

Norwegian envoy extend visit to Sri Lanka in a bid to break deadlock in peace efforts
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1540 slt 02.05.01. Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim extended his stay in Colombo by 24 hours in a bid to break the deadlock in starting peace talks. Mr.Solheim was originally expected leave this morning after a dinner meeting with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last night. The LTTE has imposed two pre conditions to start talks- a cease fire and the lifting of the ban on the LTTE. The government has rejected both demands. end
Published: Wed May 2 07:55:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Solheim to meet VVIP's in Colombo  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Police clamp curfew on Sri Lanka town, one dead, May 02 2001 15:59 IST. COLOMBO, May 2 (AFP) - Police opened fire on curfew breakers in central Sri Lanka Wednesday, killing at least one man and wounding 15 after overnight clashes between rival ethnic groups, officials said. The curfew was imposed in the town of Mawanella, 90 kilometres (56 miles) northeast of here, after the clashes led to rioting. Armed police patrolled the streets of Mawanella after more than a dozen shops were gutted in the rioting. The clashes were triggered by a dispute over cigarettes, officials said. Army troops were deployed to assist police in maintaining law and order, officials said. A local police official said they had ordered stern action against mobs to prevent an escalation of clashes in the area. More...
Published: Wed May 2 07:41:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Curfew follows Sri Lanka Muslim protest  - BBC South Asia
Muslims And Sinhalese Clash In Sri Lanka; Curfew Imposed  - Yahoo Asia
Police clamp curfew on Sri Lanka town after riot  -

ICC panel grills Arvinda, Ranatunga
Times of India (Breaking News), Wednesday 2 May 2001 . COLOMBO: ICC investigators have grilled Sri Lanka's former vice-captain Aravinda de Silva in an inquiry that goes beyond match-fixing allegations made against him in an Indian probe. The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption panel questioned de Silva in the company of his lawyer on Monday, Sri Lankan investigator Desmond Fernando said. Sri Lanka's former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who is also implicated in the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report, would be questioned later on Wednesday, Fernando said. More...
Published: Wed May 2 05:20:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Condon to question Pakistani cricketers  - Yahoo India
ICC panel expands anti-corruption probe beyond Indian report  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Match-fixing waning says anti-corruption chief  - Yahoo India
ICC questions Sri Lankan deputy captain  - BBC South Asia

May Day
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 3.00pm SLT, May 1, 2001. An activist of the radical Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, drinks water in the scorching afternoon heat, during a street march to celebrate May Day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday May 1, 2001.More than 1,000 armed policemen and soldiers shut many of the capitals roads to traffic and lined the streets to face any possible Tamil Tiger attack as political parties and trade unions began May Day rallies and meetings. More...
Published: Tue May 1 13:00:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Escalation of conflict in Lanka worries India, Norway
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 1. THE ESCALATION of the Sri Lankan conflict triggered by the army's massive Operation Agni Kheila-I last week is worrying the international community, particularly India and Norway, two countries closely involved with the on-going peace process. Both New Delhi and Oslo are now on a fire-fighting mission telling the Lankan government not to jeopardise the peace process by resorting to military adventurism, sources said. More...
Published: Tue May 1 16:23:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cong to oppose LTTE, swears by India-Lanka accord
TOI, April 28. The Congress manifesto released on Friday stressed that it would oppose tooth and nail the Sri Lankan Tamil outfit, LTTE, and work for the implementation of India-Lanka accord signed by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi had helped Tamils in many ways, but he was brutally assassinated by the LTTE, which is a Fascist movement, the manifesto said. More...
Published: Tue May 1 21:46:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Erik Solheim discusses peace process with Kumaratunga
Newspapertoday, May 1. Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim has met Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to discuss steps to re-kindle the tenuous peace process that suffered a setback last week after an abortive military offensive that left over 400 dead. A Norwegian embassy spokesman said Solheim had a discussion with the President on Monday night, but declined to divulge details. The envoy is scheduled to meet leader of the main Opposition United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe later in the day. More...
Published: Tue May 1 10:22:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Solheim discusses peace process with Kumaratunga  - Press Trust of India

Canada ready to bowl in Sri Lanka in advance of crucial cricket tournament
The Province, May 1. Under searing 30-degree heat and sapping humidity, the Canadian cricket team is ready to bowl in Sri Lanka for an eight-match tour in advance of a crucial competition this summer. "It's a real crunch time for Canadian cricket," said Canadian coach Jeff Thomas, whose team opens Tuesday against the Western Province XI in Kadirana. "There's some real bonuses at the end of the summer if things go well." Still, money is tight for the Canadian Cricket Association, with Edwards acknowledging sponsorship is sorely needed. The Sri Lankan tour, which wraps up May 13, will cost the association at least $50,000, Edwards estimates. More...
Published: Tue May 1 21:55:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-India to play three tests in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka's GDP Growth Up Last year
Nothern Light, Tuesday, May 01, 2001 1:04 PM EST . Sri Lanka's growth rate of the gross domestic product recorded 6 percent last year, higher than the growth rate of a 4.3 percent in previous year, according to the annual report of the country's Central Bank. The report said that the ratio of gross domestic investment increased to 27.3 percent last year, continuing the trend experienced since 1997, mainly due to increased private sector investment activities. More...
Published: Tue May 1 15:05:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE accuses government of undermining Norwegian peace bid
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 16:45 SLT Tuesday May 1, 2001. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in statement issued from their international headquarters in the Vanni today accused the Sri Lankan Government of attempting to undermine the peace environment by it's military policy.

"By unleashing a major military offensive against the LTTE's positions in Jaffna, the Kumaratunga government has seriously jeopardised the Norwegian peace initiative", the statement said. Referring to the army's recent offensive as "irrational and dangerous " the organization condemned the government's rejection of the LTTE's unilateral truce, which the rebels' claim was a sincere gesture of goodwill, aimed at setting the mood for the forthcoming peace negotiations. The statement said, the government had responded to this gesture with four days of intense battle soon after the ceasefire ended, which resulted in huge losses to army personnel. The LTTE also said that during their truce, the organization "rigorously practised peace by suspending offensive operations in the north-east, and attacks in other parts of the country. "On several occasions, during our self-imposed truce, we were compelled to confront the Sri Lankan forces in defensive war in land assaults, sea battles and aerial strikes", the rebels said. The statement added that despite several pleas to the international community, no nation intervened to pressure the government to reciprocate the truce. The statement also echoed the rebels' original stand of being opposed to commencing peace talks before a cessation of hostilities is declared between the parties in conflict.
Published: Tue May 1 08:53:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Tigers Accuse the Government of Undermining Peace Process  - Saroj Pathirana in London
LTTE blasts Lanka as Norway tries to save peace bid  - Times of India
Tigers accuse Lanka govt of undermining Norwegian peace bid  - India Abroad
Tigers blast Sri Lanka as Norway battles to save peace bid  - Yahoo Asia

Dubai vows better protection for Asian labourers
TOI, may 2. The Gulf emirate of Dubai, where a construction boom is fuelled by cheap Asian manpower, has drawn up a working plan to protect labourers, the municipality said Tuesday in a statement to mark May Day. More...
Published: Tue May 1 20:43:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Heavy security overshadows May Day in Sri Lanka
India Abroad, May 01, 2001 19:50 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka observed May Day with processions and public rallies organized by political parties but tight security in the capital and fears of attacks kept most workers chained indoors.Police said they brought in reinforcements of over 3,000 personnel to help contain crowds at the meetings but eye witnesses said the numbers attending the afternoon rallies were considerably less than in previous years. The best organized and most colorful show was staged by the radical left Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, or People's Liberation Front) whose procession of red- shirted, slogan-shouting comrades wound through Colombo's streets. More...
Published: Tue May 1 15:07:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Security stepped up in Colombo for May day  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Sri Lanka Tightens Security In Capital; May Day Rallies  - Yahoo Asia
Suicide bombing fears dampen Sri Lanka May Day  - Yahoo Asia

Groundbreaking Drama Group to perform in London.
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 01/05/01 1800 GMT. A full-length dance drama which is a moving portrayal of stories from the conflict in Sri Lanka will be staged in London this week. "Flowers Will Always bloom" on the plight of internal refugees by disabled and non-disabled performers, Co-directed by Wolfgang Stange of the celebrated Amici Dance theatre company and Rohana Deva Perera from the Sunetra Bandaranaike’s Sunera Foundation, is complemented by professional artists.

The forty five strong company from Sri Lanka is made up from performers aged from 14+ including fifteen internal refugees, eight wheelchair bound performers and professional artists from different communities in Sri Lanka. After the performances at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on the 2nd, 4th and 5th May, the group is holding workshops and exchanges accompanying the performances.
Published: Tue May 1 14:12:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US terrorism report condemns LTTE
India Abroad, May 01, 2001 15:55 Hrs (IST) . The US State Department's annual report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism" has strongly condemned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its continuing brand of ruthless terrorism and wanton violence against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka. The report, released here Monday, noted that the LTTE -- "re-designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1999 -- remained violent in 2000, engaging in several terrorist acts against government and civilian targets", in its quest for a separate homeland for the island nation's minority Tamils.It said LTTE attacks, "including those involving suicide bombers, killed more than 100 persons, including the Minister of Industrial Development (C.V.) Goonaratne, and wounded dozens". More...
Published: Tue May 1 08:57:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Canadian High Commissioner visits rebel held territory in Vanni
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 1. Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ruth Archibald made a sudden trip to rebel held territory yesterday. The Canadian diplomat reportedly made the journey in order to evaluate the present situation after hostilities escalated between the LTTE and government troops last week.

Archibald is supposed to have met with LTTE spokesman Thamil Chelvam and several other rebel leaders. The LTTE has apparently briefed the High Commissioner on their reasons as to why they ended the four month truce with government troops, but had maintained they remain committed to the peace process and a negotiated solution to the problem.
Published: Tue May 1 08:47:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Security stepped up in Kandy for SLFP rally
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 1. Security has been stepped up in Kandy as the SLFP will hold their rally at the Asgiriya Police Stadium this afternoon at 2 p.m. The rally is to be chaired by Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte. Other key government ministers and members of parliament are also expected to attend the rally.

Police and armed troops have been deployed to guard entry points into Kandy where all persons attempting to enter the hill capital will be body searched. A large crowd is expected to attend the rally as people from Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya have been gathered to attend the state sponsored event.
Published: Tue May 1 08:47:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks more free trade deals as pact with India fails: Bank
Yahoo India, Tuesday May 1, 3:07 PM. Sri Lanka's trade pact with neighbouring India has failed to deliver, but the government was seeking free trade deals with a dozen other countries, the Central Bank said in its latest report.he bank in its report for 2000 released late Monday said what was supposed to be an Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has seen new restrictions on the island's two main exports -- tea and clothing. More...
Published: Tue May 1 09:03:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka traders need more time to take GM food off shelves
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, May 1 4:17 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's importers have asked for more time to implement a ban on genetically modified (GM) food due to come into force from Tuesday, trade officials here said. The new law brought in by the Health Ministry bans all imports of raw and processed food in 21 categories if they have been genetically modified. More...
Published: Tue May 1 09:04:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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