The Lanka Academic

MAY 6, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 30

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
Lanka ready to sign MoU with LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 6. THE SRI Lankan government has indicated its readiness to sign a modified Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the LTTE to pave the way for direct peace talks. The MoU might be titled Memorandum of Agreement and Understanding (MoAU), an informed source told the Hindustan Times on Sunday. The modification is meant to accommodate the government's wish to have the word "agreement" in it and LTTE's desire to retain the "und-erstanding". More...
Published: Sun May 6 16:16:34 EDT 2001

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
The debacle at Pallai - A Feature
The Island , May 6. The question for which we the people are entitled to an answer is, why did a professional army have to suffer such ignominious defeats time and time again. Things do go wrong in war but surely it cannot happen time and time again because the price we pay is in human life. It appears that the young men from our villages are sacrificing their lives so that some others can live in obscene luxury. What a tragedy? The middle class has made almost no sacrifice for this war, incidentally I would wish those opposing any form of negotiations to tell us whether they have given any of their sons or daughters for the war. Have any sons or daughters of Parliamentarians enlisted or are they all in the US and UK? More...
Published: Sun May 6 19:37:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mawanella incidents a conspiracy against government Chandrika
The Island, may 7. In her address to mark Vesak, Kumaratunga said. "It is not possible to think that the incidents of the past few days are those that took place by pure chance or accident. When studied in depth it is evident that there is a certain relationship and association among these. The small incident that took place at Mawanella was transformed into a clash of major proportions, due to the presence of a certain organized group behind it. Making use of the earlier incident, a small group damaged a large number of shops and homes More...
Published: Sun May 6 20:16:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Who set Mawanella aflame? Minister denies charges, but SLMC pushes for tough action  - The Sunday Times

Remove minister responsible UNP
The Island, may 7. The UNP Saturday urged the government to remove the minister responsible for the Mawanella violence.In order to ascertain the causes that triggered the clashes, the team met with people including PA supporters at the grass-root level.What was unequivocally expressed, as also reaffirmed with disbelief and horror by all people, was that this incident resulted owing to attempts at resisting kappam collections perpetrated by political hoodlums during the past few months from businessmen in the area with the support of a minister. More...
Published: Sun May 6 20:19:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

TWEEDLEDUM & TWEEDLEDEE - A Political Commentry
The Lanka Academic , may 6. That was the rationale behind the PA's uncharacteristic conduct during the recent revolt in the UNP. The obvious course of action for the regime would have been to encourage the rebellion with the objective of weakening its main electoral contender. The regime did the opposite. According to media reports, it was none other than Speaker Anura Bandaranaike who tipped off Ranil Wickramasinghe in Oslo about the impending rebellion. And during that week the state media vied with TNL and MTV to back the Wickramasinghe leadership, alternately downplaying and criticizing the rebellion. Their frivolous quibbles forgotten in the face of a common threat (since the success of the ruling family's political project is dependent on Mr. Wickramasinghe continuance as the UNP leader), the PA leadership and the UNP leader worked together to defeat the anti- Ranil revolt. More...
Published: Sun May 6 16:08:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No middle path for Norway between Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers
India Abroad, may 6. Norway's peace bid has run into turbulent waters with peace envoy Erik Solheim unable to find a middle ground between the hardline positions adopted by the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger separatists. Solheim cancelled a scheduled meeting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) top negotiator Anton Balasingham in London this week because his talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga were inconclusive, a newspaper said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun May 6 19:43:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Moves afoot to revive Lanka talks
gulf-news, May 6. Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim who is trying desparately to bring the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels to the negotiating table and the secretary general of the Commonwealth Ron Mckinnon are due in Colombo early next week, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said on Friday.Last month the Sri Lankan government was confident that the LTTE would grant a date for the commencement of talks, but at the last minute the rebels placed new demands as pre-conditions for talks.The Norwegians were reported to be livid about the rebels move but had told the Sri Lankan government that they would stay on board and continue their peace efforts to end the 20-year separatist war in the island. More...
Published: Sun May 6 15:37:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Along the Colombo coastline
Yahoo India, 7 May 2001. It took me about 20 years to make it to the island that the Arabs called Serendib and the Portuguese called Ceilao. Taprobane, the land that had regaled its visitors since Biblical times, was almost next door, and it was inexplicable that the emerald isle never figured on my globe-trotting itinerary. It was the M.J. Gopalan Trophy cricket match in Colombo that took me to the isle that brought with it weeks of delightful discoveries. The international crew of Sri Lankan airlines (Bulgarian Commander Boris and Capt. Jawed Aleem from Pakistan) truly represented World Tourism Day friendship as our aircraft touched down at the Sri Lankan capital. More...
Published: Sun May 6 20:26:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Don Mckinnon postpones visit to India, Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, may 7. Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has postponed his three-day visit to India, part of his South Asia tour, starting from Monday, as he sustained back injury following a fall at home Saturday night. More...
Published: Sun May 6 19:46:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Zhu to visit Pak, three other South Asian countries
Yahoo India, may 7. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, who embarks on an official visit to Pakistan and three other South Asian countries from May 11, may visit India during the year to keep up the positive momentum in bilateral ties, a Chinese official said.Zhu is embarking on a ten-day tour of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal from May 11 to 20. More...
Published: Sun May 6 20:00:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka Army may hold fire to enable talks: Report
TOI, may 6. Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga has received a unanimous mandate from her defence advisers to keep military operations on hold for some time to enable peace talks with the LTTE to begin soon, a media report said here on Sunday. Military experts and defence officials at a meeting on national security called by Kumaratunga on Friday gave her the mandate after she sounded them out on a possible halt to fighting during a given time frame, it said. More...
Published: Sun May 6 02:34:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Navy to step up vigil along coast
The Hindu (Southern States), Monday, May 07, 2001. The Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Security Wing have been asked to step up vigil along the coastal areas of Ramanathapuram district against the infiltration of Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the wake of the Assembly elections, said Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police. Speaking to mediapersons here on Sunday, he said apart from the local police, seven companies of paramilitary forces had already been deployed in different parts of the Sivagangai and Ramanathapuram districts to ensure free and fair polls. Around 25 police pickets in Ramanathapuram and 50 in Sivagangai have been posted. More...
Published: Sun May 6 16:15:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muslim politician arrested over mob violence, May 06 2001 10:30 IST. Sri Lankan police Sunday arrested a Muslim politician here in connection with mob violence which prompted authorities to impose a night curfew in and around the capital, officials said. The leader of the Muslim United Liberation Front (MULF), Mujibar Rahaman, was taken in for questioning over rioting that erupted outside a mosque here after Friday prayers. More...
Published: Sun May 6 01:17:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan politician arrested  - BBC South Asia

New bid to end Sri Lanka war
Sunday Times UK, may 6. CANADA has launched an initiative to end Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, which has claimed 63,000 lives in 18 years. Ruth Archibald, the Canadian envoy to the island, met the leader of the rebel Tamil Tigers' political wing last week in an attempt to save a Norwegian-led drive for peace which has been threatened by a government offensive. Colin Powell, the American secretary of state, also urged the two sides to stop fighting and start talking. More...
Published: Sun May 6 15:59:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Canadian envoy in Sri Lanka meets Tamil Tiger rebel leader
The Toronto Star, may 6. 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.``The meeting was part of a four-day visit where I went to see Canadian projects,'' Archibald said. ``The purpose of the meeting was not to see Thamilchelvam, but to see the projects. The meeting was a coincidence.''The only reason it took place, Archibald said, ``is because it is the first time a Canadian high commissioner has been given permission by the Sri Lankan government to go into the Wanni.''Archibald said she had spoken later to Erik Solheim, the Norwegian envoy who has worked for two years to broker peace talks. The government and rebels have agreed to Norway's assistance. More...
Published: Sun May 6 16:13:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Rejects Tax Concession Demand By Publishers
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, May 6 2:41 PM SGT . The government has refused any tax concessions to the publishing industry in the island nation, a newspaper said Sunday. The government hopes to meet 88.6% of its estimated 264 billion rupees revenue for 2001 through taxes, the Sunday Times quoted P. Guruge, a finance ministry adviser, as saying. "Therefore, it is not possible to give any tax concessions to any person or sector," he said. More...
Published: Sun May 6 15:32:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PM, ministers to monitor situation in Lanka
Times of India (Breaking News), 6 May. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake will head a ministerial panel set up to monitor the situation in the island nation after communal unrest gripped a central Sri Lankan town last week and found its echo in street riots in Colombo on Friday. the panel, which includes cabinet ministers Anuruddha Ratwatte, Prof G L Peiris, A H M Fowzie, Alavi Mowlana and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, has been asked by president Chandrika Kumaratunga to keep a close watch on the situation to prevent any damage to inter-religious and inter-racial harmony, newspaper reports said on Sunday. Kumaratunga also appointed a three-member committee to assess the damage and recommend compensation to the victims. One person was killed, over 20 others injured and hundreds of shops, business establishments, residences and places of worship damaged during the May 2 violence against the minority muslim community at Mawanella and neighbouring villages in Kegalle district. Following this incident, angry protesters in Colombo's Maradana area pelted stones on vehicles and battled with riot police after Friday afternoon prayers, forcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew from that evening. More...
Published: Sun May 6 08:52:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka govt. to probe Muslim-Sinhalese clashes  - India Abroad
PA minister denies involvement in Mawanella clash  - The Island

Unknown Sri Lankan takes a big step towards fame
gulf-news, May 6. Chandradasa may have unknowingly taken the first step towards achieving his long-term goal when he won the UGA Scratch Matchplay Championships at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday. The little Sri Lankan, who has only been in the UAE for two and a half months, has already shown he is capable of better things by figuring prominently in the three tournaments that he has contested.A scratch player with a tidy looking game, Chandradasa warmed up for his debut win in the Emirates by finishing runner-up in both the Creek and EGC Opens. In the Matchplay Championships he hardly did anything wrong and won the title with an unbeaten record. More...
Published: Sun May 6 15:41:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

South Asian officials to meet in Sri Lanka, May 06 2001 11:53 IST. South Asian foreign secretaries are due to meet here next month in a bid to revive their seven-member regional grouping fractured by Indo-Pakistan bickering, officials here said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun May 6 15:32:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-'Insulted' Ranatunga rubbishes match-fixing claims
Yahoo India, may 7. Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has denied match-fixing charges in a letter published today, saying he felt insulted to even have to consider them. "The allegations against me are based entirely on the wholly uncorroborated evidence of a self-confessed rogue ... which has been made six years after the date of the alleged incident," Ranatunga said."The said allegations are so patently ridiculous and manifestly unworthy of consideration that I should have thought that the BCCSL (Sri Lanka cricket board) or any person of sound mind possessed of even an iota of sense of justice would have rejected them with the contempt they deserve." More...
Published: Sun May 6 19:55:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Ranatunga refuses to be questioned by ICC sleuths  - NewsIndpress
Ranatunga silent on match-fixing  - BBC South Asia
Ranatunga resists ICC probe, slams local cricket board  - Yahoo Asia

Sri Lanka army debacle offers silver lining for Norway bid, May 06 2001 06:53 IST. Sri Lanka has suffered its worst setback in a year while trying to oust Tiger separatists from the Jaffna peninsula, but analysts here see a paradox that may help revive Norway's stalled peace bid. More...
Published: Sun May 6 00:07:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's bitter pill with IMF bail out package
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, May 6 9:43 AM SGT . War-battered Sri Lanka may have won a rescue package from the IMF, but the bail-out comes at a high price with warnings that the economy would go from "bad to worse" unless unpopular reforms are carried out. The International Monetary Fund's package announced last month allowed Sri Lanka to immediately draw 131 million dollars out of a total stand-by credit of 253 million dollars, to be used over a period of 14 months. More...
Published: Sun May 6 00:07:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Resume talks, U.S. tells Colombo, LTTE  - The Hindu (International)

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

Ondaatje's family portrait of high life in Sri Lanka reissued
National Post , may 5. Two decades after he emigrated from his Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje twice returned to sift through clan rumour and hearsay and gather impressions for his family portrait, Running in the Family (McClelland and Stewart, 189 pp., $17.99). Published in 1982 and reissued as one of M&S's Emblem Editions of memorable Canadian writing, this is a blend of travel writing and verse, embellishment and reported dialogue. More...
Published: Sun May 6 02:08:25 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

Anti-terrorism law faces legal hurdle
National Post, may 3. Legislation intended to stop Canadian charities from funnelling money to foreign terrorists was only introduced in the House of Commons this week but it is already facing its first legal threat.The Canadian Islamic Congress has written to parliamentarians on legal letterhead warning it will mount a constitutional challenge to Bill C-16, which it calls "Draconian and totalitarian."The lobby group for Muslims has scheduled a news conference today in Ottawa to call on the government to refer the law to the Supreme Court of Canada for review before its enactment. More...
Published: Sun May 6 02:10:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.