The Lanka Academic

MAY 5, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 29

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
US echoes LTTE, seeks truce ahead of talks
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 5. IN A move that might not be to the liking of the Sri Lankan government, the United States, like India, Norway and the rest of the international community, has thrown its weight behind the LTTE's demand for a ceasefire ahead of peace talks. In a press release on the meeting between the US Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in Washington on Friday, the US embassy here said Gen Powell expressed hope that the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE would make a commitment to "cease hostilities and start peace talks" as soon as possible under Norwegian facilitation. More...
Published: Sat May 5 19:00:01 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Resume talks, U.S. tells Colombo, LTTE  - The Hindu (International)

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!

ValuComOnline: Call Sri Lanka
Answers 1-60

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.
O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
13 killed in Lanka, 2 rebels commit suicide
Times of India (Breaking News), may 5. A landmine attack carried out by the LTTE on Saturday killed five commandos of an elite force in eastern Sri Lanka while eight rebels were killed in clashes with security forces in the north, official sources and the army said here. More...
Published: Sat May 5 14:13:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Clashes between Sri Lankan troops and rebels kill 13 on both sides  - ABC News
Five commandos killed in Sri Lanka land mine blast  -

The shadow of the LTTE on Tamil Nadu
Yahoo India, may 4. Election time is usually the ``favourite'' time for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Not many people in Tamil Nadu would forget that the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi is just a fortnight away. That dastardly killing of the former Prime Minister on May 21 at Sriperambudur will remain etched in the memory of Indians for long.Granting that the LTTE may not plan to repeat ``the same mistake'' on Indian soil, its silence at this juncture cannot be taken lightly. Earlier this week, as if to caution the people against any complacence on the issue, the leader of the Tamil Nationalist Movement, Mr. P. Nedumaran, issued a dangerous appeal. He wanted the voters here to favour only those candidates who will stand up for the Tamil cause and for ``Tamil Eelam'' - as if there were no local issues. More...
Published: Sat May 5 19:02:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan President pledges to crack down after violent clashes
ABC News, 05/05/2001 2:30 pm ET . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) The government said Saturday it would clamp down on anyone attempting to incite communal violence, after deadly clashes between Muslims and Sinhalese in a northeastern town and a violent Muslim protest in the capital. In a televised address, President Chandrika Kumaratunga blamed "groups" with political agendas for clashes in the town of Mawanella and the protest in Colombo, but she did identify them. More...
Published: Sat May 5 19:03:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Leader Denounces Violence  - yahoo

Air Force officer held for flying suicide bombers
gulf-news, may 5. An Air Force officer has been charged for flying a suspected Tamil rebel suicide bomber among other rebel suspects on civilian flights in Sri Lanka. The officer, a squadron leader, has allegedly obtained additional money from 67 people including the suspected rebel bomber, other rebel suspects and businessman to fly them from Jaffna to Colombo or from Colombo to Jaffna over the past two months. More...
Published: Sat May 5 14:46:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Tigers face a new challenge
gulf-news, may 5. Having grown from a group of barefoot fighters into one of the toughest rebel forces in the world, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers face a new challenge – acquiring negotiating skills. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have fought the Sri Lankan and Indian armies to a standstill since they formed their movement in 1976.But, as they celebrate their 25th birthday today, their ultimate goal of setting up a homeland for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east remains a distant dream. Political analysts say aborted peace talks show that the Tigers, if they are to achieve their goal, must become more than just a military outfit – a path taken among others by Palestinians and Irish Republicans. More...
Published: Sat May 5 14:39:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US for early peace talks in Lanka
India Abroad, May 05, 2001 17:00 Hrs (IST) . The United States has strongly supported Norway's peace efforts in Sri Lanka and expressed the hope that the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would cease hostilities and start early peace talks as the conflict cannot be settled through military means.US Secretary of State Colin Powell, at a meeting with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar here, also expressed "strong understanding of the terrorist challenge that faces the democratic government of Sri Lanka," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. More...
Published: Sat May 5 14:16:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
No military solution to Lankan conflict: US  - Press Trust of India

Curfew lifted in Colombo; 8 held
Times of India (Breaking News), 5 may. The curferw imposed here following riots on Friday by a mob was lifted while eight people were arrested on charges of arson, police said on Saturday. The security forces were patrolling sensitive parts of the city, while buses resumed normal services and shops opened for trade as usual, police said. More...
Published: Sat May 5 14:20:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka lifts curfew in Colombo as normalcy returns  - India Abroad
Curfew Lifted After Incident-Free Night in Colombo  - Nothern Light
Curfew eased in Sri Lanka capital after mob violence  - Yahoo Asia

Collin Powell reaffirms US commitment to Sri Lanka's unity
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, New York time 5.50 p.m Friday 4 May. US secretary of state General Collin Powell reaffirmed United States commitment to Sri Lanka?s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity when he met his Sri Lankan counterpart Lakshman Kadiragamar in Washington today. A press release said that Kadiragamar briefed secretary Powell on the current situation in Sri Lanka and on the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to seek a negotiated political settlement to the ongoing conflict. Secretary Powell appreciating the efforts of the Sri Lankan governments effort to resolve the ethnic conflict had expressed hope that cessation of hostilities would be arranged and that, for its part the government of Sri Lanka would do all it could do to assure that the conflict would be brought to a close. Kadiragamar had expressed Sri Lanka's appreciation to the US government for its consistent policy of supporting Sri Lanka's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The release also said that minister Kadiragamar extended an invitation to Secretary Powell to visit Sri Lanka. General Powell had visited Sri Lanka briefly in the early eighties and while recalling that visit he had told the Sri Lankan minister that he looks forward very much in visiting Sri Lanka again.
Published: Fri May 4 19:52:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Powell urges Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers to hold peace talks  -
Daily Press Briefing by Richard Boucher of the State Departmnet  - US State Department

US Expresses Support For Sri Lankan Territorial Integrity
Yahoo Asia, Saturday, May 5 6:58 AM SGT . Powell also said he backed efforts by Norway to bring about peace talks between the government and Tamil rebels, who have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east of the island since 1983. The United States has long believed that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be settled by military means, Boucher said. For this reason, the secretary expressed the hope that the two sides will make a commitment to cease hostilities and start peace talks as soon as possible. More...
Published: Sat May 5 00:33:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka not to declare ceasefire
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 4. THE SRI Lankan government is unwilling to declare a ceasefire in response to the LTTE's threat that it would not enter peace talks unless a bilateral ceasefire was in place. "There is no change in the government's position," said the cabinet spokesman, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, when asked whether the government was contemplating a formal or informal ceasefire. More...
Published: Fri May 4 17:55:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

5 Sri Lankans held for helping U.S. journalist
The Hindu (International), Saturday, May 05, 2001. Ms. Colvin was wounded in the skirmish between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels when she tried to get back across government lines on April 17 after spending several days in rebel territory. ``We arrested one of the suspects almost immediately and the other four on information we got from him,'' said the military spokesman, Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. More...
Published: Fri May 4 17:27:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fall in cigarette sales in Lanka may lead to revenue loss
TOI, may 3. A major tobacco company warned on Wednesday that the government would lose at least Rs 1 billion ($11 million) in tax revenues due to a decrease in legal cigarette sales. More...
Published: Sat May 5 00:30:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jonathan Steele - The Guardian ; UK
The Guardian, May 4. Top place in this league of unreported wars surely goes to the struggle between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who want their own homeland. Close to 300 troops were killed in a single battle last week. Armies tend to inflate their claims of enemy dead and underplay their own, but here was the government acknowledging the loss of 221 men, while the Tigers admitted losing 75. More...
Published: Fri May 4 18:55:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Curfew Imposed in Sri Lankan Capital After Clashes
Nothern Light, Friday, May 04, 2001 7:50 AM EST . Authorities imposed a curfew on Friday in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo and the surrounding areas after Muslim demonstrators clashed with police in a protest against ethnic riots in a central town. Huge traffic jams were created by workers streaming out of the center of Colombo to get home before the curfew and clogged telephone systems delayed calls. Police said the curfew in the country's Western Province aimed to help restore order and would keep people off the streets after disturbances broke out in several parts of the city. More...
Published: Fri May 4 09:12:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Clashes in Colombo  - The Hindu (International)
Curfew clamped in Colombo after violent Muslim protest  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka's capital under curfew  - BBC South Asia
Curfew in Sri Lanka capital after mob violence  -
Sri Lanka capital under curfew after mob violence  -
Mobs on the rampage in Sri Lanka capital  -

Canadian diplomat meets Tamil Tiger rebel leaders for first time in Sri Lanka
The Province, May 5. A Canadian envoy has met Tamil Tiger rebel leaders for the first time and conveyed Canada's desire for a political settlement to the 17-year civil war. Canadian High Commissioner Ruth Archibald met S. P. Thamilchelvam, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's political wing, in the northern Wanni jungles on Tuesday while on a six-day trip to monitor Canadian-fund human rights projects in the region. More...
Published: Sat May 5 00:28:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kadiragamar to meet Powell at 11.00 this morning
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 10.00 a.m Friday 4 May. Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadiragamar will meet American secretary of state General Collin Powel at 11.00 this morning, at the US State Department Treaty room in Washington. The Lanka Academic sources in New York said that Sri Lankan Foreign Minister would discuss bilateral issues concerning the two countries with his American counterpart. The Lanka Academic sources also revealed that Kadiragamar's meeting with General Powell was planned well in advance and not sudden as speculated in some media reports. Foreign minister Kadiragamar is expected to leave for Sri Lanka tomorrow.
Published: Fri May 4 10:05:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Case against Premadasa's son-in-law
The Hindu (International), Saturday, May 05, 2001. Fixing the trial of Mr. Rohan Jayakody, the late President's son- in-law for November 6, the Colombo High Court Judge, Mr. Eric Basnayake, granted him bail on a surety of Rs.100,000 yesterday. The Attorney General had sought the indictment against Mr. Jayakody for alleged misappropriation and misuse of an artefact placed in the presidential house. More...
Published: Fri May 4 17:26:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers return 29 bodies of troops killed in major battle, May 04 2001 18:45 IST. Tamil Tiger guerrillas Friday returned the bodies of 29 government soldiers killed by them during a major battle in northern Sri Lanka last week, the defence ministry said. With the latest batch of bodies returned to the military following last week's major fighting in the Jaffna peninsula, the death toll among government troops rose to 250 killed, spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. He said another 13 troopers were still listed as missing in action. Losses among Tiger rebels were estimated at 200 killed and about 400 wounded, he said. More...
Published: Fri May 4 10:23:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muslims clash with police in Sri Lanka capital
Yahoo, May 3. A Sri Lankan soldier guards a burnt out shop in the central town of Mawanella May 3, 2001. Mawanella, about 80 km east of the capital Colombo, went up in smoke on Wednesday after riots broke out between Sinhalese and Muslims and the government moved in troops to restore order. More...
Published: Fri May 4 19:54:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka opposition appeal for calm amid curfew  -

Lanka says, ready for talks with LTTE, May 04 2001 17:08 IST. Colombo, May 4 - The Sri Lankan government Friday reiterated its readiness to enter into peace talks with the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but rejected the rebels demand for cessation of hostilities and de-proscription of the group. 'The government has made its position very clear There is no change in its stand,'' Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told reporters here. More...
Published: Fri May 4 08:19:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan cricket board chief files police complaint
Times of India (Breaking News), Friday 4 May 2001 . COLOMBO: Sacked president of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board Thilanga Sumathipala has filed a police complaint against members of the Government-appointed interim management for handling the board's funds without authority and trespassing on its property. Sumathipala, who was sacked along with his entire executive on the night of March 28 by the Sports Minister, has contended that nobody could touch the money belonging to a dissolved board. More...
Published: Fri May 4 05:22:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka to probe alleged kickbacks in arms deals
India Abroad, May 04, 2001 16:05 Hrs (IST) . SRI Lanka will appoint a parliamentary select committee to investigate charges of kickbacks in arms procurement deals in the wake of demands made by opposition political parties, the government said Friday. Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said after a cabinet meeting that the committee of lawmakers would probably go into purchases made in previous years. The terms of reference were yet to be defined. Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon recently charged that senior administration officials were being paid kickbacks by arms dealers. The government spent some $400 million on the emergency purchase of weapons last year to fight Tamil Tiger separatists. More...
Published: Fri May 4 10:07:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka decides to probe graft in army purchases  - Deccan Herald
Sri Lanka orders probe in arms deal  - Virtual New York
Sri Lanka to probe arms deals  -

Muslims stage protest in Colombo
India Abroad, May 04, 2001 18:40 Hrs (IST) . HUNDREDS of Muslims threw stones, held up traffic and staged a noisy demonstration in the Sri Lankan capital on Friday protesting the alleged assault of a Muslim shopkeeper by government supporters. The rioting broke out after Muslims had gathered at city mosques in the Pettah and Maradana neighborhoods for the Friday prayers. Police used teargas to disperse the crowds, which spilled out of the mosques, hurling stones at passing cars, damaging at least a dozen. The protestors tried to take out a procession but were stopped by anti-riot squads, rushed in to supplement the police. The rioting was a sequel to reports that a Muslim shopkeeper in the central province town of Mawanella was allegedly roughed up by supporters of a government politico on Tuesday when he refused to give them cigarettes free of charge. More...
Published: Fri May 4 10:16:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Muslims Attack Sri Lanka Policemen, Sinhalese Shop Owners  - Yahoo Asia
Sri Lanka police clash with Muslim mobs in Colombo  -

Sri Lanka Railroad Workers Arrested For Blocking Trains
Yahoo Asia, Friday, May 4 6:11 PM SGT . Disruption in train services left thousands of commuters stranded. Hundreds of railway workers were irked by the government refusal to pay their monthly wages by Monday to help them celebrate the Vesak holiday, commemorating the birth and death of Buddha. More...
Published: Fri May 4 07:25:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Less lotus-eating and more sweat: Lanka Central Bank
India Abroad, May 04, 2001 17:20 Hrs (IST) . A little less lotus-eating and a little more sweat on the part of Sri Lankans will improve productivity, says the country's Central Bank, urging drastic cuts in the number of national holidays. The bank, in its annual report released this week, has recommended the move as part of a larger plan to "modernize and streamline" the public service, echoing what has become an almost constant refrain from the business community. Sri Lankan government servants can put their feet up on 130 days this year, including Saturdays and Sundays and 26 religious and national holidays thrown in under the Holidays Act. The private sector follows close with only a small shortfall. "The large number of public holidays could be reduced to levels in other countries by providing a special quota of short leave to those who wish to engage in religious observances," the report said. More...
Published: Fri May 4 10:18:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan mission skittish over Tigers
Malaysiakini, May 4. Of late, there has been too much interference by the Sri Lankan High Commission in the internal affairs of Malaysia. While the Sri Lankan government is concerned about the support local Tamils might be giving to the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), it has taken a bold and unsolicited step by going beyond the norms of diplomatic conduct to interfere in the local affairs of the country. More...
Published: Fri May 4 09:50:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan town goes up in smoke over cigarette
Yahoo, May 4. It began with an argument over a cigarette, but before troops could quell a bloody bout of ethnic rioting, Sinhalese and Muslims in the Sri Lankan town of Mawanella had to watch their lives go up in smoke.Members of both communities say the flash-point was a dispute over the price of a cigarette sold by a Muslim merchant who was severely beaten by angry Sinhalese customers. That's all the two sides can agree on. More...
Published: Fri May 4 09:48:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SAARC Foreign Secretaries to Meet in Colombo Next Month
Nothern Light, Friday, May 04, 2001 10:38 AM EST . NEW DELHI, May 3, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign secretaries will meet next month in Colombo for the first time since the Kargil crisis to discuss a broad agenda of economic and social issues. This will be an occasion during which India and Pakistan are expected to establish first-ever direct contact in two years. "We don't have official confirmation of the two sides having any structured agenda. But certainly such encounters do take place, " visiting Kathmandu-based Secretary General of SAARC, Nihal Rodrigo, told reporters when asked about forum's view on the much speculated meeting. More...
Published: Fri May 4 17:28:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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