The Lanka Academic

MAY 8, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 32

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
I Hate The War & Arms Dealers- Sunethra Bandaranaike
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 08/05/01 1715 GMT. War has not resolved a single conflict in the world and talking with each other is the only solution, Sunetra Bandaranaike said. Speaking after the London Premiere of "Flowers Will Always Bloom", the ground-breaking musical drama funded by Sunera Foundation, the oldest sister of Sri Lanka's President and the Speaker, Ms. Bandaranaike told The Lanka Academic that while arms dealers are making huge profits, it is the poor people who lose valuable lives.

"We do not need this war. As a human being, as a Buddhist, I do not think we need a war to resolve any conflict. It may not be within twenty four hours of course, but there is always a peaceful solution" she added.

She said she can not find any other suitable time for such a production on Sri Lanka's brutal civil war. "It is not our creation here. It is the people who lost sight, limbs or were made refugees (Internally Displaced People) who are telling their real story" Ms. Bandaranaike said commenting on the drama, in which out of forty five performers, only a few are professional artists.

Flowers Will Always Bloom is co-directed by Wolfgang Stand of AMICI dance theatre company, and Rohana Deva Perera of Sunera Foundation.
Published: Tue May 8 13:27:41 EDT 2001

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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
Solheim confident of early peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 7 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 8. Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim has expressed confidence that peace talks between the government and the LTTE could be held before the 15th of this month.

Solheim had made this disclosures during an interview with an international news agency. The Norwegian peace broker has reiterated that his recent visit to Colombo had been very fruitful and he had received the full support of the people to continue with the peace process.

Solheim is reported to have claimed that he will soon brief LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham on his recent discussions with the Lankan Government. The Norwegian has further stated that an unofficial cease-fire is possible while talks are being held. Several cabinet ministers in the Kumaratunge government however are opposed to a cessation of hostilities between Lankan troops and rebel cadre.
Published: Tue May 8 09:09:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Lanka peace talks will start on May 15, says Solheim  - Deccan Herald

Mass Protest in London Against Terrorism Act
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 08/05/01 1625 GMT. More than a thousand people demonstrated outside the Home Office (Ministry of Internal Affairs) in London against the Terrorism Act 2000 which banned twenty one international organizations, including Sri Lanka’s LTTE, as terrorists. Demonstrators carried banners and chanted slogans of some of the outlawed groups. Chief Inspector John Morgan told BBC that although the police were given certain powers under the Terrorism Act, they were not under any compulsion to take action. Members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) , Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, Committee for the Unification of Revolutionary Left (CURL), Kashmiri separatist group Jaishe Mohammed and many other organizations took part in the demonstration.
Published: Tue May 8 12:27:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

U.S. Explores Defense Against Terrorism
Yahoo, may 8. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, speaking at the start of a three-day hearing in the Senate, said he was setting up a center to develop strategies for keeping track of finances of groups and people believed involved with terrorism.O'Neill said he was establishing the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center to develop government-wide strategies to counter terrorist financing and incapacitate their financial holdings within the United States. More...
Published: Tue May 8 15:34:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

190 complaints recorded in Mawanella incident
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 8. As investigations continue into the recent riots at Mawanella, in the Kegalle district, 190 complaints have been recorded by a special committee appointed to probe details of the unrest.

Many more complaints are expected as a large number of shops and religious places of worship were burnt including the fuel station at Mawanella after Muslims in the area and employees of Minister Maheipala Herath ran amok on April 30.

The unrest thereafter spread to Colombo on Friday May 4th and Trincomalee yesterday (May 7) where some 20 shops were attacked.
Published: Tue May 8 09:09:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

McGrath accused of racist sledge
Herald Sun, 8 May 2001. THE ACB is investigating allegations that fast bowler Glenn McGrath called a Sri Lankan opponent a "black monkey". In an explosive autobiography, former Sri Lankan opener Roshan Mahanama alleges McGrath directed the comment at best friend and teammate Sanath Jayasuriya."It is totally unacceptable for any Australian cricketer to racially abuse any person," ACB chief executive Mal Speed said last night.Mahanama was due in Melbourne late last night from Colombo. The book, co-written by Melbourne sports writer Ken Piesse, will be launched in Melbourne on Friday. More...
Published: Tue May 8 08:01:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
McGrath denies racism claim  - Cricinfo
McGrath investigated for racial slur  - Age

Hartal continues in Batticaloa
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.30 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 8. The Hartal over the Vesak period continued in Batticaloa, as residents observed the two days as one of mourning in remembrance of the 17 civilians killed last year during Vesak.

A group warned civilians against participating in Vesak celebrations organized by the Army in the area, asserting that Vesak could not be celebrated after 17 civilians including 12 school children died when a bomb exploded outside the 'Mangalaramaya Temple' last year. All shops were closed even today, while public transport too remains at a virtual standstill.
Published: Tue May 8 09:09:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway envoy calls next week crucial for Lanka talks
Times of India, 8 May 2001 . Norway's peace negotiator in Sri Lanka says the next week is crucial for prospective peace talks between the government and the Tamil rebels, state radio said on Monday. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation quoted sources close to Erik Solheim as saying that Solheim hoped that "a definite decision on peace talks could be taken before May 15." More...
Published: Mon May 7 16:17:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Solheim to Meet Balasingham on Wednesday  - Saroj Pathirana in London

Mother and baby elephant die in mine attack, May 08 2001 14:08 IST. COLOMBO, May 8 (AFP) - A mother and her baby elephant were blown up and killed when they stepped on a landmine in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast, officials here said Tuesday. The cow elephant and its baby fell victim Sunday to the landmine buried along the army's forward defence line at Padaviya to prevent infiltrations by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, officials said. More...
Published: Tue May 8 08:03:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka takes pride in UN Vesak Celebrations
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 9.30 p.m Monday 7 May. Sri Lanka took pride in organizing the Vesak celebrations held today at the Dag Hammarskjold auditorium at the United Nations, having organized the celebrations for the second successive year. It was the second year that the United Nations celebrated Vesak, having formally recognized Buddha’s thrice day of blessings in year 2000. A special anusasana was delivered by Venerable Dr.Henepola Gunaratne, editor of Buddhist bestseller ‘Mindfulness in Plain English’. In his anusasana to an international gathering at the United Nations, the scholar monk said that he was happy that the entire United Nations supported in recognizing the day of Vesak. The monk appealed to the world community to respect Buddha’s message of peace. Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United Nations John de Saram read the message sent by the UN Secretary General. A Buddha statue specially flown from Sri Lanka was used at the occasion and gifted to the UN to be used for its future Vesak celebrations.
Published: Mon May 7 21:32:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bhutan's ambassador ask the Buddhist world to show compassion to destroyers of Bamiyan statues
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 10.00 p.m Monday 7 May. Om Pradhan, United Nations Ambassador to Bhutan asked the Buddhist world to show compassion to the Afghan fundamentalists who destroyed the Bamiyan statues against the wish of the whole world this year. He said that the destruction of the statues was a great loss but, by this act alone Buddha has shown to the world that nothing was permanent. “Let us all show compassion to the men, women and children of Afghanistan” Pradhan appealed. The ambassador made this appeal at the Vesak celebrations organized by the Sri Lankan mission to the United Nations at the Dag Hammarskjold auditorium today, to mark the United Nations recognition of Vesak.
Published: Mon May 7 22:00:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLMC threatens to pull out of Lanka's coalition
The Pioneer, 8 May. Sri Lanka's main Muslim party has threatened to withdraw support for President Chandrika Kumarartunga's ruling People's Alliance (PA) if the government does not stem an "anti-Muslim trend." The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said last week's violence in the Central province town of Mawanella was 'a calculated attack on the economy of the Muslims and not a communal attack on the community.' More...
Published: Tue May 8 04:22:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Party Wants Independent Body To Probe Clashes  - Yahoo India
Muslim party threatens to abandon Sri Lanka government  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka's national piggy bank raids pay off, May 08 2001 12:33 IST. COLOMBO, May 8 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's central bank has made substantial savings following a nationwide appeal to raid piggy banks and free up some 6.4 million coins that could have been locked up for good. The bank in its latest report for 2000 said a drive last year to collect coins stashed in places of religious worship helped save 15.3 million rupees (204,000 dollars) in new minting costs. More...
Published: Tue May 8 04:21:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Commonwealth secretary-general puts off Sri Lanka visit, May 08 2001 10:03 IST. COLOMBO, May 8 (AFP) - Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has indefinitely put off a visit to Sri Lanka due to medical reasons, official sources here said Tuesday McKinnon was due to arrive here Tuesday in connection with the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in Brisbane, Australia in October. More...
Published: Tue May 8 16:57:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Commonwealth secretary-general puts off Sri Lanka visit  - 123India

Muslim partner issues ultimatum to Sri Lanka ruling coalition, May 07 2001 09:34 IST. COLOMBO, May 7 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main Muslim party Monday demanded an independent panel to run the police and warned the government that it may withdraw its support after last week's mob violence. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a crucial partner in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance coalition government, said last week's attacks had been directed against the economy of minority Muslims. "If this anti-Muslim trend is not arrested immediately, the SLMC will lose its moral obligation to continue its support to the government," the SLMC said in a statement Monday after the party's high command met here on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon May 7 00:19:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Muslim Party Threatens to Quit Govt  - Nothern Light
Muslim party threatens to pull out Lanka's ruling coalition  - India Abroad
Religious violence spreads in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
Muslim partner issues ultimatum, Sri Lanka clashes spread  -
Sri Lanka Muslims issue ultimatum  - BBC South Asia
Communal violence spreads in Sri Lanka  - BBC South Asia
SLMC threatens to pull out of coalition  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Lets Work Together For Peace- Madihe Mahanayake Thero
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 07/05/01 1735 GMT. Our motherland needs peace, not war and the continuing civil war serves no purpose other than destruction said Most Ven. Madihe Pannaseeha thero, Mahanayake of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya.

The Mahanayake thero confirming the discussions held with a group of Catholic leaders who came to see him prior to their trip to Vanni, told BBC's Sandeshaya that they agreed to work together on common interests such as the ethnic problem, despite religious and national differences.
Published: Mon May 7 13:37:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka, Croatia Sign Agreement on Combating Organized Crime
Nothern Light, Monday, May 07, 2001 11:30 AM EST . Sri Lanka and Croatia have signed an agreement on cooperation in combating organized crime, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The agreement was signed by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and his Croatian counterpart Tonino Picula at the conclusion of his two-day visit here. More...
Published: Mon May 7 12:26:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan envoy allays fears on tea front
Yahoo India, 7 May 2001. INDIAN tea industry need not fear on excess supply of Sri Lankan tea into the Indian market in the wake of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and India initialled in February 2000. Participating in an interactive session on India-Sri Lanka Economic Relations organised by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce here on Monday, Mr Senake Bandaranayake, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India, said the Lankan Government was conscious of the concern of the Indian tea sector. More...
Published: Mon May 7 23:23:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Conflict on tea import from Sri Lanka needs joint effort  - Yahoo India

Sri Lankan minister seeks transfer of dairy technology
The Hindu (Southern States), Tuesday, May 08, 2001. The Bangalore Milk Union's dairy in the City had a VIP visitor on Monday in the Sri Lankan Minister for Estate Infrastructure and Livestock Development, Mr. S.R.M.Arumugan Thondaman, who was shown around the dairy by the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Mr. A.Krishnappa. While Mr. Krishnappa told presspersons that BAMUL products could be exported to the island nation, his Sri Lankan counterpart said if there was technology transfer, his country could become self- sufficient in milk products. More...
Published: Mon May 7 16:16:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fighting in Northern Sri Lanka Kills Eight on Both Sides
Nothern Light, Monday, May 07, 2001 8:27 AM EST . A total of eight separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and government soldiers were killed in fresh artillery attacks in northern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry said on Monday. The ministry said that two government soldiers were killed and two others wounded in Jaffna peninsula on Sunday due to artillery and mortar fires of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. Six LTTE rebels were also killed by government forces in the fighting in the Kilali area on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon May 7 09:16:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka fighting kills eight  -

Premadasa son-in-law indicted for art theft
gulf-news, May 7. The son-in-law of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa was formally indicted for theft of a painting from the President's House and having it sold in London. Businessman Rohan Jayakody was granted SL Rs100,000 ($1,100) surety bail by the Colombo High Court when he was produced in court.Jayakody who is married to the late President Premadasa's only daughter has been accused of stealing a famous painting by a British artist of a Buddhist temple in the south of the island called "The Temple of Mulkirigala in South Ceylon" which was hanging in the President's bungalow in Colombo Fort. More...
Published: Mon May 7 09:11:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Batticaloa residents say no to Vesak pandals
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10 a.m. SLT Monday May 7. A group in the Batticaloa district has warned all residents from participating in Vesak pandals erected by the Army. The group has reminded residents of the incident last year when 17 civilians were killed including 12 school children after a bomb exploded near a pandal erected outside the 'Mangalaramaya Temple' in Batticaloa.

No pandals have been erected outside the temple this year, while residents have said the Vesak period should be observed as a day of mourning in memory of those killed last year during Vesak.
Published: Mon May 7 01:56:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka marks Buddhist holy day with calls for peace  -

Government ready to sign memorandum of understanding
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.40 a.m. SLT Monday May 7. Diplomatic sources said that the government has agreed to sign an amended Memorandum of Understanding with the LTTE in order to lay the groundwork for peace talks to begin.

The government is also reported to have agreed that a de-escalation of the military battles as well as a cease-fire could effected before both warring factions sit down to negotiate a political solution to the long drawn out conflict.

It is not yet clear if the LTTE will also agree to the government's proposals and sign the MOU.
Published: Mon May 7 01:56:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

'Extremism encouraged in TN'
The Hindu, may 6. The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, today alleged that ``extremists were perceived to have been encouraged'' in Tamil Nadu during the last five years.Addressing a press conference here, he asserted that such ``extremist elements have got to be checkmated'' and ``Tamil Nadu should be brought into the mainstream of Indian ethos''. More...
Published: Mon May 7 09:12:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Oman's illegal expatriates face June 19 deadline
gulf-news, may 7. Asian embassies have accelerated their campaign to ensure that illegal workers are sent home before the eight-week amnesty granted by the Government expires on June 19, Gulf News learnt yesterday.V. Jagatweera, the Labour Attache at the Sri Lankan Embassy, said the mission had distributed leaflets and other publicity material at money exchanges and other places to convince the islanders that the best thing for them to do was to go home if they didn't have valid documents."We want them to respect the law of the land in letter and spirit."He said about 35,000 Sri Lankans lived in Oman, of whom 4,000 were female garment workers, who formed the majority of Sri Lanka's illegal workers. More...
Published: Mon May 7 10:08:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Don Mckinnon postpones visit to India, Sri Lanka
Press Trust of India, May 07, 2001. Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has postponed his three-day visit to India, part of his South Asia tour, starting from Today, as he sustained back injury following a fall at home on Saturday night. More...
Published: Mon May 7 08:43:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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