The Lanka Academic

MAY 12, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 36

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
Issue of lifting ban on LTTE may hit peace process
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 12. INDICATIONS ARE that the sensitive issue of lifting the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may become a major hurdle in the already shaky Sri Lankan peace process. While Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim has said that the issue is 'important' for the LTTE, the latter, in their latest statement, have reiterated their demand that the ban be lifted ahead of direct peace talks. "The issue of de-proscription is important for the LTTE," Solheim said in answer to a reader's question in the "Lanka Academic" net newspaper. More...
Published: Sat May 12 18:23:16 EDT 2001

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

ValuComOnline: Call Sri Lanka
All Answers (1-90)

Please note that the "Ask Erik Solheim!" session has now ended. All questions and answers are available here. 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
Sri Lanka's best and brightest please come home
MSNBC, May 11. ''Your country needs you'' is Sri Lanka's plea to expatriate scientists in a formal invitation to return home for short working stints. ''We are short of scientists,'' Leslie Gunawardane, the minister of science and technology, said on Friday. ''We will pay their airfare, cost of travelling within the country and help towards living expenses during their stay.'' More...
Published: Sat May 12 20:00:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Peace may elude Sri Lanka
Times of India, 13 May 2001 . Sri Lankans yearning for an end to 18 years of war are likely to see the government and Tamil Tiger rebels commence talks but whether the discussions would result in a peaceful settlement is doubtful, political analysts said. I am hopeful that there will be negotiations but not a negotiated settlement, Kethesh Loganathan of the Centre for Policy Alternatives said. More...
Published: Sat May 12 18:24:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka may have jumped the gun on talks agreement: report, May 12 2001 11:51 IST. A Sri Lankan statement in reaching agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels on entering Norwegian-backed peace talks may have been issued prematurely, a press report here said Saturday.A government statement issued under Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar's name had not been approved for release on Thursday, the privately-run the Daily Mirror newspaper here said. More...
Published: Sat May 12 12:49:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka banks on peace and privatisation to lift economy
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, May 13 9:35 AM SGT . Sri Lanka is banking on a Norwegian-backed peace bid and privatisation proceeds to salvage its war-battered economy, but the government will still have to swallow a bitter pill prescribed by the IMF. Norway has been trying to arrange face-to-face talks between Colombo and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to end decades of fighting which has also dented the economy and discouraged investment. More...
Published: Sat May 12 22:13:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

17 killed in Lanka fighting
Times of India (Breaking News), may 12. Five LTTE guerrillas were killed in clashes with the Sri Lankan security forces even as the rebels claimed that a gunfight left at least 12 soldiers dead. The military on Saturday said three rebels were killed in an attack on their bunker at Valarchinnakulam in Vanni region on Friday. It said two other militants were killed in a clash near Kantale in Trincomalee district in the east. More...
Published: Sat May 12 12:51:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
12 SLA soldiers killed at Sungawil -VoT  - TamilNet
17 killed in Lanka fighting  - Press Trust of India

Movement forward in Sri Lanka peace talks
The Hindu (International), Saturday, May 12, 2001. In a significant development, both the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have announced progress towards the Norwegian-assisted peace talks, though both disagree on the extent of the forward movement. The LTTE said today that there had been a ``substantial progress'' on a set of reciprocal confidence building measures (CBMs) with the Sri Lankan Government to create a congenial atmosphere for direct talks. More...
Published: Sat May 12 01:22:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kadirgamar's move said linked to no confidence motion  - TamilNet
'No Sri Lanka peace talks'  - BBC South Asia
Tamil Tigers soften rejection of govt claim  - MSNBC

Sri Lankan Police Probe Slaying Of Roman Catholic Priest
Yahoo Asia, Saturday, May 12 4:20 PM SGT . A 76-year-old Roman Catholic priest was strangled before being stabbed in his church in western Sri Lanka, a state-run radio said Saturday. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation report was based on the autopsy findings. Bernard Costa, the parish priest at a church in Negombo, 30 kilometers north of Colombo, was killed Thursday in the vestry, the place where priests prepare for service. Police still had no clue about those involved in the slaying and the motive for the crime. Costa's body was found in the vestry. More...
Published: Sat May 12 12:53:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Nine Indian fishermen held
The Hindu (International), Sunday, May 13, 2001. Sri Lanka's Navy yesterday arrested nine Indian fishermen near Jaffna on charges that they violated their territorial waters, a military spokesman said. The two Indian boats sailing on Sri Lankan territorial waters and carrying nine fishermen were apprehended by the Navy 7.5 nautical miles northeast of Kovilam Point in Karainagar near Jaffna yesterday, he said More...
Published: Sat May 12 18:21:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

We still live in a dangerous world warns Jayantha Dhanapala
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, NY Time 4.40 p.m Saturday 12 May. Bandula Jayasekara in New York: Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs warned today that the world has assumed, all too complacently, that the world would be a safer place since the Berlin wall fell in 1989 symbolizing the end of the cold war. He said “Today we actually live in a world where we still have over 30,000 nuclear warheads most of them at frightening levels of alert” Dhanapala issued his warning addressing the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California this afternoon where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. He added “ We live in a world where two more countries have crossed the nuclear threshold openly detonating nuclear devices, where conventional weapons, with the so called a revolution in military affairs, have assumed new levels of accuracy and lethality, where over 500,000 million of small arms and light weapon circulate-some of them in the hands of about 300,000 child soldiers-feeding and intensifying conflicts around the world and where at current levels of global military expenditure we are at 90% of the cold war zenith.” Continuing Dhanapala said, “ An insatiable drive for military dominance not only on earth but, in hitherto non weaponized space is fueled by the military-industrial complex. In other countries arms race push military expenditure higher and higher. Forty years ago an army general elected President of this country said Disarmament with mutual honor and confidence is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences not with arms but with intellect and decent purposes. That was Dwight D Eisenhower whom I had the privilege of meeting on my first visit to the USA as a young man of 18. Every state has a UN charter ordained right to self-defense. But, if national defense plans imperil strategic stability and create insecurity in other states we need to pause and engage in consultations rebuilding confidence. Only then can we build a common and co-operative security upholding the norms of disarmament treaties and conventions reinforcing the rule of international law and investing the law abiding with the moral authority to enforce compliance on the outlaws. Bilateral and multilateral negotiations on weapons of mass destructions are still at a standstill except in Geneva where a protocol is being negotiated to strengthen the Biological weapons convention. They need to be jump-started. We can no longer insist that weapons in some hands are legitimate and stabilizing but in other hands are wrong and destabilizing.”
Published: Sat May 12 16:42:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE wants ban lifted, denies Lanka claim of agreement
India Abroad, May 11, 2001 19:15 Hrs (IST) . The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Friday renewed a call to have a ban on the organization lifted even as it flatly rejected the Sri Lankan government's claim that an agreement had been arrived at with the rebels. More...
Published: Fri May 11 11:55:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil Tigers deny agreement reached with Sri Lanka  -
Hope fades as Tamil Tigers deny Sri Lanka's claims of talks deal  -
Norway, Tigers reject Lanka's claim of agreement with rebels  - India Abroad
Lanka claims accord clinched with LTTE  - Press Trust of India
LTTE denies government's claim of peace agreement  -
Tamil Tigers Deny Agreement Reached with Sri Lanka  - Nothern Light
Tigers reject Sri Lanka peace agreement claim  -

Monterey Institute for International Studies in California to honour Jayantha Dhanapala
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 7.30 p.m Friday 11 May. Monterey Institute for International Studies in California will award an honorary doctor of Letters degree to Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs at a special function tomorrow. A release from the Monterey Institute referred to Jayantha Dhanapala as one of the leading international figures in the arena of disarmament and arms control who has effectively impacted worldwide limitations on weapons of all types. Jayantha Dhanapala was also a diplomat-in-residence at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey Institute in 1997/1998.

Jayantha Dhanapala a distinguished Sri Lankan began his diplomatic career in 1965, holding appointments in London, Beijing, Washington D.C and New Delhi. He was appointed to his current position as United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Disarmament Affairs in 1998. He served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva from 1984 to 1987. Dhanapala received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the university of Peradeniya and a Masters of Arts degree in International studies from the American university in Washington D.C. In December last year he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Peradeniya.
Published: Fri May 11 19:32:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway Envoy: No Agreement Yet In Sri Lanka Peace Talks
Yahoo India, Friday May 11, 2:06 PM. Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim said Friday that it is still possible to achieve an agreement on a basis for peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels. "An agreement has not been finalized yet," Solheim told The Associated Press by telephone from Oslo. "We still believe this is possible and we are constantly in touch with both sides and are continuing our efforts." More...
Published: Sat May 12 01:59:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Photo: Sri Lankan home for baby elephants seeks milk
Yahoo India, may 10. Wildlife workers in Sri Lanka's Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home feed baby elephants. The transit home, which pioneered a project to return elephants raised in captivity to the wild, said on May 11, 2001 it needed donations of milk powder to feed its latest batch of 31 inmates. More...
Published: Sat May 12 02:15:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ranatunga lawyers slam ICC match-fixing probe
Yahoo Asia, 11 May 2001. Lawyers for Sri Lanka's former cricket skipper, Arjuna Ranatunga, have slammed ICC anti-corruption investigators, accusing them of a "total lack of common courtesy." The International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption investigator, Jeff Rees, and one of his aides tried to grill Ranatunga this month during a local inquiry into allegations that he accepted bribes to throw a match.Ranatunga's lawyers in a statement to a newspaper here Friday reiterated that they objected to two investigators of the ICC being present while local investigator Desmond Fernando conducted an inquiry."ICC investigators should have obtained some authority in writing from either the BCCSL (Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka) or the ICC and that their failure to do so amounts to a total lack of common courtesy and was in breach of all principles of natural justice," the statement said. Fernando said Ranatunga refused to answer questions from the ICC officials. More...
Published: Fri May 11 02:28:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Muslims protest violent attacks by racist thugs
wsws, may 10. A racist attack on Muslims in the central hills town of Mawanella provoked angry protests last week by Sri Lanka's Tamil Muslim minority in several regions, including the capital Colombo. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government ordered a police crackdown on the demonstrators and then imposed a curfew in Colombo and the neighbouring Western Province. The demonstrations were unprecedented in size and scope and provide further evidence of the explosive social tensions wracking the country. More...
Published: Sat May 12 01:50:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Railway issues Indian rail tickets
CDN, 11 May 2001. A scarcity of Railway tickets has forced the authorities at the Badulla Railway Station to issue Indian rail tickets to commuters travelling from Badulla to Colombo. Passengers said the tickets issued to them bore the names 'Rameshwaran' and a city in Western India printed as the place of boarding and destination respectively. More...
Published: Fri May 11 02:32:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Press Conference on Genetically Modified Foods Opening Statement by Mr. Weyland Beeghly, Agricultural Counselor for India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh
The Lanka Academic , may 13. Good morning. As you know, 10 days ago the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health imposed a ban on the import of foodstuffs produced by means of genetic engineering on the grounds that it poses a possible health hazard to Sri Lankan consumers. So far as I know, this is the first total ban on GMOs anywhere in the world. Even though it will affect only four percent of US agricultural exports to Sri Lanka, we believe it is totally unwarranted. There is a view in some circles that this is a very risky technology and that the US is testing it on the poor populations of developing countries. This is both false and offensive. More than one-third of the shelf space of any supermarket in the United States is occupied by foods obtained using biotechnology. This includes cooking oils, salad dressings, snack foods, all livestock products, virtually all soft drinks, breakfast cereals, etc. Americans consume these foods, almost without question, because they have faith in our regulatory system, considered even by Europeans to be the finest in the world. One might get the impression from reading the abundance of negative press articles that Europe, Japan and other developed countries have rejected GMOs. On the contrary, Europe imports enormous amounts of soybeans and soybean products from the United States. Japan, Korea and Taiwan are major buyers of genetically modified corn. Let me emphasize that the GMO products we export to these and other countries, including Sri Lanka, are no different from the products we consume in the United States. It disturbs me that the critics of biotechnology are unwilling to consider its advantages and future benefits. For example, biotechnology holds great promise for protecting our environment. In the United States, the use of insecticide has declined significantly with the adoption of GMO cotton varieties. The same is true of maize. Scientists are now working to develop a maize variety which will take free nitrogen out of the atmosphere and fix it in the soil where it can be taken up by the plant. This would eventually reduce or eliminate the need for large applications of chemical fertilizer, some of which ends up polluting our waterways. As many of you probably know, scientists are also on the verge of creating a rice variety with enhanced levels of vitamin A which will help save thousands of malnourished children from blindness. Clearly biotechnology is a technique with enormous potential for improving human welfare. It has only begun to be tapped. The food products derived by using it have been consumed since the mid 1990s with no know adverse effects. They have been tested and found safe by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences. We know of no credible scientific evidence justifying Sri Lanka's ban.
Published: Sat May 12 19:35:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS: Govt To Conduct July Census
Yahoo Asia, Friday, May 11 11:33 AM SGT . The department of Census and Statistics will conduct a census in July, the first in 20 years, the Island newspaper reports Friday. It quoted the department director, A.G. Nanayakkara as saying the census is expected to show the population at around 19.4 million. More...
Published: Fri May 11 01:26:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Combat Child Labor
Nothern Light, Friday, May 10, 2001 11:50 PM EST . Sri Lanka is to initiate action against the exploitation of children for labor. According to the Ministry of Justice, a national action plan is to be formulated to eliminate the practice of engaging children as laborers at places of work. Steps will also be taken to create awareness among judicial officers on the prevention of the exploitation of children. More...
Published: Fri May 11 01:22:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chinese premier heads to Pakistan to begin five-nation tour, May 11 2001 09:17 IST. BEIJING, May 11 (AFP) - Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji left Beijing Friday for Pakistan at the start of a five-nation Asian tour that will also take in Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand, Xinhua reported. Zhu is being accompanied by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng, as well as senior banking and trade officials, said the agency. More...
Published: Fri May 11 01:02:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Court Limits HNB's Voting Rights in Sampath
Yahoo Asia, Friday, May 11 11:16 AM SGT . A Colombo District Court Thursday issued an interim injunction restraining Hatton National Bank Ltd. (P.HAT), and parties related to it, from exercising voting rights in excess of 10% of the issued share capital of Sampath Bank Ltd. (P.SAM), the Daily Mirror reports Friday. Last July, Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission said it had identified five companies and two individuals, including Hatton National, as having acted in concert in acquiring shares of Sampath Bank, and exceeding the 30% limit set by law. More...
Published: Fri May 11 01:17:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.