The Lanka Academic

MAY 14, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 38

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
Norway envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to revive peace bid
123India, 15 May 2001. Norway's special envoy, Erik Solheim, arrived here Tuesday in a bid to push his efforts to broker peace talks between the Colombo government and Tamil rebels, a Norwegian diplomat said. Solheim returned to Sri Lanka after two weeks and was due to meet with Preident Chandrika Kumaratunga and travel to the rebel-held Wanni region shortly, Norwegian embassy spokesman Tomas Stangeland said.Diplomatic sources said Solheim was to launch a fresh attempt to secure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka ahead of arranging a face-to-face meeting between the Colombo government and Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Mon May 14 23:12:42 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
Jaya?s win is bad news for LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 14. THE LANDSLIDE victory of the AIADMK-Congress-TMC combine in Tamil Nadu, many Sri Lankans feel, will affect the fortunes of the LTTE. The majority Sinhalas see the DMK chief, M Karunanidhi, as favourably disposed towards the Lankan Tamils and the LTTE, and against the Sri Lankan government. Jayalalitha, on the other hand, is seen as being anti-LTTE. The Sinhalas, however, seem to have forgotten that Jayalalitha had once called for the "retrieval" of Katchchativu from Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon May 14 17:35:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
TN results: Lankans no longer bothered  - Times of India
AIADMK gets absolute majority  - TOI

Tiger ambush kills three soldiers in Sri Lanka, May 14 2001 17:56 IST. Tamil Tiger guerrillas ambushed a military truck in northeastern Sri Lanka Monday, killing three soldiers and wounding another, the defence ministry said. Gunmen of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked the truck at Aluthnuwara in the district of Trincomalee along the main highway to the sea port of Trincomalee, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Mon May 14 09:23:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sporadic Confrontations In Sri Lanka Kill One,Wound Three  - Yahoo Asia

Bullock-drawn carts to replace cars in fabled garden
123India, 15 May 2001. Bullock-drawn carts will replace cars at Sri Lanka's best-known botanical gardens to save the flora from noxious exhaust fumes, a press report here said Tuesday. The Peradeniya Botanical Gardens will not allow cars inside the 147-acre gardens and will instead deploy a fleet carts for those unable to stroll, the mass circulating Lankadeepa said. More...
Published: Mon May 14 23:16:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ON THE BRINK - Weekly Political Commentry from The Lanka Academic
The Lanka Academic, May 14. Until Bindunuwewa proved otherwise, many thought that with Black July we have put behind us forever the phenomenon of civil violence directed against minorities. The first year of the new millennium demonstrated the error of this assumption. What we are witnessing is a sort of collective dementia, which blinds a section of the majority community to all rational considerations including any sense of enlightened self-interest. Because it should be obvious to any sane person that Sri Lanka in general and the Sinhalese in particular cannot afford these outbursts of anti-minority violence. More...
Published: Mon May 14 14:32:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt-LTTE talks by month end: report
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Monday, May 14, 2001. Talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE might take place in the last week of this month, a press report said today.A five-member Sri Lankan delegation would kickstart direct negotiations with the rebel group from May 28 to May 31 either in Oslo or in Amsterdam, The Island newspaper said, quoting government sources. Spokespersons of the government and the Norwegian embassy declined to comment on the report. More...
Published: Mon May 14 04:58:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan war mothers call for prisoner exchange, May 14 2001 16:31 IST. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Hundreds of mothers of missing Sri Lankan soldiers held a demonstration to mark Mother's Day on Monday and urged the government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas to free prisoners taken in the country's 18-year ethnic war. Hundreds of white-clad women staged a silent sit-down protest in the heart of the capital Colombo and a spokesman said they hoped Mother's Day -- celebrated around the world on Sunday -- would help draw attention to their plight. "A prisoner exchange is the best way to start a peace process and end the pain of these women," said E.P. Nanayakkara, head of the Association of the Relatives Serviceman Missing in Action. More...
Published: Mon May 14 08:31:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka enters online tea trading, May 14 2001 19:41 IST. COLOMBO, May 14 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's top tea broking firm said Monday it was launching an online auction site that could see about 55 million dollars worth of the country's main export traded over the Internet. Forbes and Walker said the online auctions would start from Friday, but foreigners would not be eligible to take part. Tea trading is normally restricted to the public weekly auctions that make Colombo the world's biggest tea trader. More...
Published: Mon May 14 11:25:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ancient Buddha statues vandalised in Lanka
The Pioneer, may 14. Sri Lankan police are searching for vandals who damaged two ancient statues of the Buddha, one in a forest hermitage and another in a 14th-century temple. An eight-foot statue of the Buddha, hewn out of solid rock, was left headless by vandals at the Nagalakanda hermitage in eastern Minneriya while a 700-year old gold-studded statue in the Central Udunuwara town had its gem-studded eyes gouged out. More...
Published: Mon May 14 21:23:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Treasure hunters target Sri Lanka Buddha statues  -

English makes a comeback in Sri Lankan government schools
India Abroad, 14 may 2001. Engilsh is making a comeback in state schools in Sri Lanka, four decades after being demoted to second place, but not everyone is looking forward to the changed syllabus. Students in government schools sitting for the Grade 12 Advanced Level examination -- which qualifies them for university admission -- can now opt for classes in the English medium, after having spent their entire school life studying in their mother tongue -- Sinhalese or Tamil. More...
Published: Mon May 14 04:57:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan importer of Indian hair dye blames substitute for singer's death
India Abroad, 14 May 2001. The Sri Lankan importer of an Indian-made hair dye has blamed the use of an inferior imitation product for the death of popular Sinhala singer, Malini Bulathsinghala. Bulathsinghala, 51, died in the United States in March at the end of a concert tour. The autopsy held in Los Angeles (LA) by the county coroner found she had died of "acute bronchial asthma", probably caused by an allergic reaction to "Eagle's Black Henna Powder".The sole agent for the brand in Sri Lanka, Bertie Perera of Dineth Enterprises, reacting strongly to the autopsy report told a local newspaper that it was likely Bulathsinghala had used a sub-standard imitation product. He said his import was a herbal product containing only the "marathondi" herb. More...
Published: Mon May 14 07:46:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination conspiracy hatched from Malysian soil?
JAL, May 13. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has spread its dragnet to Malaysia to track down Kumaran Padmanabhan alias KP, the absconding kingpin in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and his associates in an attempt to unearth the conspiracy hatched to bump off the former Prime Minister in May 1991.The investigating agency is understood to have approached its counterpart in Malaysia, seeking cooperation in the investigations by recording statements, seizing statements of bank accounts of the suspects and other documents and nabbing KP if he were still hiding anywhere in Malaysia. More...
Published: Sun May 13 19:00:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SL Confirms the sell of National Insurance
Yahoo Asia, Monday, May 14 4:56 PM SGT . State-run privatization body Public Enterprises Reform Commission Monday confirmed that the government had sold a 51% stake in National Insurance Corp. to Janashakthi Insurance Co. for 450 million Sri Lanka rupees. More...
Published: Mon May 14 07:50:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Greens seek ban on GM crops import
Yahoo India, 15 May 2001. GREEN non-government organisations (NGOs), including Greenpeace and other civil society organisations have submitted a petition to the Union Environment Ministry demanding a ban on the entry of genetically engineered crops into the country. The representation points out that genetically modified (GM) crops and food are being increasingly rejected the world over. Thailand, the first Asian nation to declare a ban on the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment, was cited as a case in point.Ms Michelle Chawla, genetic engineering campaigner with Greenpeace, said that while countries such as the US, Canada and Australia continue to manufacture, consume and market GM foods, the European Union has imposed a moratorium on the commercial release of GM crops. Also, from May, Sri Lanka has joined countries banning the import of GM foods. More...
Published: Mon May 14 21:55:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt Committee Summon Electricity Board
Yahoo Asia, Monday, May 14 11:58 AM SGT . The parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises, set up in March to probe financial irregularities in state enterprises, has summoned senior officials of the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Sunday Times reported. Other state institutions expected to be investigated include the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, procurement agency, Cooperative Wholesale Establishment and the Ceylon Petroleum Corp., the newspaper said. More...
Published: Mon May 14 02:27:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka conveys time-bound ceasefire proposal to LTTE
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 13. THE SRI Lankan government has conveyed to the LTTE its readiness to have a time bound ceasefire to enable the two parties to engage in structured and constructive direct peace talks. The time bound ceasefire could be a formally declared one. Reporting this, The Sunday Times said today that President Chandrika Kumaratunga had obtained the unanimous support of the National Security Council for such a proposal when it met on May 4. The top military brass present also gave her the nod. More...
Published: Sun May 13 17:59:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Solheim likely to strike deal for Lanka Govt-LTTE talks  - Deccan Herald

LTTE receives undetectable sea diving equipment: Report
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Sunday, May 13, 2001. The LTTE has reportedly received sophisticated diving equipment that can keep a sea-diver safe from detection from ships, raising threats of sabotage. "The Sri Lankan Navy was shocked by reports from foreign and domestic intelligence that cargo that reached the LTTE in a clandestine shipment last month included closed cercuit diving equipment and promptly strengthened security at several locaions including the ports in Colombo and Trincomalee", The 'Sunday times' reported today, More...
Published: Sun May 13 07:00:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muslim minister spurns Kumaratunga's mosques repair offer
India Abroad, May 13, 2001 14:50 Hrs (IST) . A key Muslim government minister in Sri Lanka has spurned President Chandrika Kumaratunga's offer to rebuild mosques damaged in recent clashes between Muslims and the majority Sinhalese community and is setting up his own fund instead.Trade Minister Rauf Hakeem, who threatened to pull his Sri Lanka Muslim Congress out from the ruling coalition government, has said he will refuse the money promised by the president last week. More...
Published: Sun May 13 14:24:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Susanthika wins 100 and 200 in Osaka Grand Prix
Island, 14 May 2001. ri Lanka’s sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe showed her class by winning the Women’s 100 metres and 200 metres events easily at the Osaka Grand Prix Athletic Meet in Osaka, Japan on Saturday (May 12). ‘Susie’ clocked 11.37 seconds in the 100 metres and 22.63 seconds in the 200 metres. More...
Published: Sun May 13 20:01:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Operation on Marie Colvin's eye a success
Sunday Times UK, may 13. MARIE COLVIN, the award-winning Sunday Times correspondent wounded last month on assignment in Sri Lanka, underwent successful surgery in New York last week to re-attach the retina of her left eye. Colvin, 45, lost almost all sight in the eye when she was hit by shrapnel after government soldiers fired on her as she tried to enter the town of Vavuniya on April 16. She had been in the north of the island reporting on the campaign by Tamil Tiger guerrillas for an independent homeland there for their community. More...
Published: Sun May 13 18:07:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Main Tamil Party Calls For Cease-Fire In North Sri Lanka
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, May 13 2:43 PM SGT . The country's mainstream Tamil democratic party Sunday urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to stop fighting and engage in early negotiations. "The present is the most opportune time for the evolution of a just, durable and peaceful solution," the Tamil United Liberation Front said in a statement. The party also called for a cease-fire to allow resumption of peace talks after a gap of more than five years. More...
Published: Sun May 13 14:26:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Navy arrests 22 fishermen
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 13:15 SLT Sunday, May 13 . The Sri Lanka Navy has arrested 22 Indian fishermen allegedly infringing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters last morning. The fishermen were discovered while the Navy was patrolling the waters of Kachathivu close to the Jaffna peninsula. They were handed over to the Kytes Police for investigations. The fishermen are reported to be residents of Ramanadapuram in Tamil Nadu. 31 Indian fishermen, have been arrested in the past 48 hours for having invaded Sri Lankan waters, the navy reported today. 09 fishermen were arrested for allegedly poaching in the same area on Friday. The defence ministry frequently reports sighting hundreds of Indian fishing trawlers within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, and have claimed these boats engage in selling fuel to the LTTE.
Published: Sun May 13 03:19:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka arrests 31 Indian fishermen  -

Solheim to defuse tension in Lanka
India Abroad, May 13, 2001 15:45 Hrs (IST) . Norway's special envoy Erik Solheim is due to meet Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga this week in a bid to defuse the charged atmosphere between the government and Tiger rebels. The state-run Sunday Observer newspaper said Solheim is expected to brief government and opposition leaders on the Tigers' position on a pre-talks memorandum of understanding. "Some give and take on both sides is now expected which is likely to see progress towards a preliminary discussion on the date and venue for formal, direct peace talks," the report said. More...
Published: Sun May 13 14:22:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway in fresh bid to secure Sri Lanka truce, May 13 2001 16:09 IST. Norway was to launch a fresh attempt to secure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka ahead of arranging a face-to-face meeting between the Colombo government and Tamil Tiger rebels, diplomatic sources said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun May 13 14:18:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Norway seeks Sri Lanka truce to lift stalled peace bid  -

TULF not to upset Lankan govt
ChennaiOnline, May 12. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), a moderate Tamil political party, has said it would not support the opposition’s move to bring a no-confidence motion against the government at this juncture.“After years of waiting, finally we are seeing some rays of hope of peace talks. We do not want to be blamed for scuttling the peace talks by upsetting the set-up,” TULF senior vice-president V Anadansanagari said.A spokesperson for the 10-party Tamil alliance pointed out that the government had announced an agreement with the LTTE not because of genuine commitment to peace but to preempt the support of minority parties for the opposition’s impending no-confidence motion More...
Published: Sun May 13 00:35:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pakistan to boost trade in Lanka
Nothern Light, Sunday, May 13, 2001 9:53 PM EST . The Pakistan Commodities Traders Association (PCTA) will hold a single country exhibition in Colombo in the first week of June in a bid to boost two-day trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Rais Ashraf Tarmuhammad said the decision had been taken to raise exports of items which were being imported by Sri Lanka from other countries. Pakistan could export these items to Sri Lanka at comparatively cheaper rates, he said while addressing an award giving ceremony of Sri Lanka Business Council recently. More...
Published: Sun May 13 22:46:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Sticks to Ban on GM Food
Nothern Light, Sunday, May 13, 2001 12:34 AM EST . COLOMBO, May 13, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Sri Lankan government has decided to stick to its ban on Genetically Modified Foods (GMF) to avert any health hazard despite strong criticism by the United States, a government official said. Chief Food and Drugs Inspector of the Ministry of Health S.Nagiah told the official Sunday Observer that the ministry was more concerned about the safety of the people than making it a testing ground for the new technology. Many foreign scientists have criticized the bio-technology and its health risks. The Food and Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health after a research study on the subject for a period of one year had imposed the ban on the importation of genetically modified foods, materials, organisms and food additives under the new regulations, he said. More...
Published: Sun May 13 06:55:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No confidence vote against Mahipala Herath
The Island, May 12. The UNP has decided to bring a vote of no confidence against Rural Industrial Development Minister Mahipala Herath whose supporters are alleged to have been responsible for Mawanella incidents, UNP spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku said yesterday. More...
Published: Sun May 13 00:40:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil Rebels Say Progress Made on MOU
Nothern Light, Saturday, May 12, 2001 12:24 AM EST . Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels said that substantial progress had been made on the Norwegian Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after intense discussions for a considerable time with the Norwegian facilitators. "This Norwegian project, which calls for goodwill measures of mutual reciprocity, aims at de-escalation of the conflict and the creation of a congenial atmosphere conducive for talks," the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels was quoted by the state-run Daily News as saying in a statement issued on Friday from its headquarters in Vanni in the north of the country. More...
Published: Sun May 13 01:14:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

3 rebels killed in Wanni
Dharisha Bastians in Colombo, 11:45 AM SLT Sunday May 13. Three Tiger rebels have been killed in fighting in the northeast of the island, the defence ministry said. The rebels suffered the losses, when government troops attacked an LTTE bunker in Omanthai, in the Vavuniya district last Friday, the ministry added. Troops suffered no casualties, it said. Meanwhile, one soldier attached to a police station in the Ampara district was killed due to LTTE gunfire yesterday.
Published: Sun May 13 01:42:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Motive unknown over Catholic priest killing
Sunday observer, 13 MY 2001. The Catholic community is shocked over the death of Rev. Fr. Bernard Costa, alias 'Aba piya' as fondly known, parish priest of St. Joseph's Church, Thilanduwa, Negombo, who has been murdered anytime between 7 pm and 9 pm last Thursday, police investigations have revealed. Over 20 cut injuries were found on his body. According to Catholics of the area, Fr.Costa was an energetic man even at the age of 77 years and acted against child prostitution and other immoral activities. More...
Published: Sun May 13 01:32:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Police investigate slaying of Lankan priest  - Times of India
Not a clue to killing of Father Abba Costa  - Island

National Insurance Corp. sold off for Rs. 498 m.
Sunday Observer, 13 May 2001. The National Insurance Corporation, one of the largest, most successful state sector enterprises, is to be sold to the private sector in a deal approved by the Public Enterprises Reform Commission (PERC) last week. The news that a 51 per cent shareholding of the Corporation, which has huge insurance capital funds and valuable city properties, is being snapped up by a local private insurance company for a mere Rs. 498 million has set local finance circles buzzing.The buyer is the Janashakthi Insurance Company. More...
Published: Sun May 13 01:28:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Impact of lightning now more severe than before: Dr. Chandana Jayaratne
Sunday Observer, 13 may 2001. The impact of the phenomenon of lightning during the inter-monsoonal periods is now more severe than before. This year, the death toll due to lightning in the country, recorded so far is 15. But the figure is presumed to be higher, considering the fact that some of the deaths are not being reported or recorded.Meteorologist K.R Abeysinghe said that the pilots are given instructions to avoid the thunder clouds indicated in the radar of the aircraft. However, lightning may hit the aircraft and cause damage to its electrical system, without any danger to the passengers. Likewise, in motor vehicles too, the passengers inside would be safe. More...
Published: Sun May 13 01:40:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India's literary giant, RK Narayan, dies
Age, 13 may 2001. Renowned Indian novelist RK Narayan died in hospital at the age of 95 early today, friends and family announced. N Ram, one of Narayan's close friends and editor of India's Frontline magazine, told reporters in Madras that Narayan died of cardio-vascular problems.His first novel, Swami and Friends (1935), was a literary landmark in India and won praise internationally.Among his most famous short stories is A Horse and Two Goats, featuring a bizarre dialogue between an American visitor and an impoverished old villager who speaks no English beyond yes and no. More...
Published: Sun May 13 01:59:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

17 killed in Lanka fighting
Times of India, 13 May 2001 . COLOMBO: 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. More...
Published: Sun May 13 07:04:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

© Copyright 2000, Lanka Academic Network.