The Lanka Academic

MAY 17, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 41

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
Chinese Prime Minister's visit to Sri Lanka
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 11.00pm SLT, May 17, 2001. Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji inspects the guard of honor upon his arrival at Colombo’s airport, Sri Lanka on Thursday, May 17, 2001. Zhu is on three-day official visit to Sri Lanka accompanied by 120 senior Chinese officials and businessmen, including eight ministers. More...
Published: Thu May 17 13:41:25 EDT 2001
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Chinese PM in Sri Lanka with jumbo message  -

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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
Student's protest
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 2.00pm SLT, May 17, 2001. Students of Kelaniya University run away as police baton charge after firing tear gas, during a protest at Kelaniya University in Sri Lanka, on Thursday, May.17, 2000. Students and student monks staged a protest against government plans to privatize higher education through private universities. The protest was disrupted when police fired tear gas at the group. More...
Published: Thu May 17 04:08:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Colombo students demonstrate  - BBC South Asia

Thilak Blasts "Political General" for Death of Three Hundred Soldiers
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 17/05/01 1750 GMT. The Leader of the Sihala Urumaya (SU) has told his followers in UK that a "Political General" should be held responsible for the debacle of "Agni Kheela" which resulted with a death of 300 government soldiers. In an internal memorandum to the UK branch, obtained by the Lanka Academic, Leader and the Secretary General of SU Mr. Thilak Karunarathne has requested to make necessary corrections to a world-wide distributed document which accused a senior army general for the defeat. The internal sources of Sihala Urumaya UK suggested that this memo has been sent to stop the said document been distributed in a demonstration due to be held opposite SL High Commission in London.

"There is a strong suspicion that the Agni keela operation was purposely lost with the connivance of the top army officials , so that it could be used as an excuse to begin the talks. 300 soldiers were killed, 1800 wounded, most lost limbs. None of the sophisticated and stand off weapons such as MBRLS were used during the operation" alleged the document prepared by UK branch of Sihala Urumaya.

Mr. Karunarathne, however, writing from Colombo strongly rejected these allegations by the expatriate members of his own party. Blasting the government for the whole incident, in the memo addressed to Mr. Dhammika Mawella of the UK branch, Mr. Karunarathne does not share the view that the army deliberately lost the battle.

"We certainly do not think that our heroic armed forces will deliberately lose any battle sacrificing invaluable lives, disabling many more and expending valuable military hardware. The reference to top army officials including General Anton Wijendra is unfair to say the least. We blame the government and "the Political General" for this debacle but not the professional soldiers who are doing their utmost to save the motherland from the cancer of LTTE terrorism" the memo says.
Published: Thu May 17 13:47:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway envoy spends overnight in Tiger territory, May 17 2001 18:43 IST. Norway's special envoy, Erik Solheim, was spending overnight in a rebel-held area of northern Sri Lanka Thursday after travelling there in a bid to arrange a truce, diplomatic sources said. It was not immediately clear if the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrilla group, Velupillai Prabhakaran would take part in talks Thursday as he did on November 1 More...
Published: Thu May 17 10:42:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka rebels talk to envoy amid glimmer of hope  - Yahoo India
Norway envoy spends night with Tigers after talks  -
Solheim crossed the front lines  -

Photo: Chinese premier Zhu arrives in Sri Lanka
Yahoo India, Thursday May 17, 7:15 PM. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake (R) welcomes Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji upon his arrival at Colombo International Airport May 17, 2001. Zhu is on a three day official visit expected to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries, that already have close economic and military ties. More...
Published: Thu May 17 14:26:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Chinese PM Rongji arrives in Lanka  - India Abroad
Chinese premier arrives in Sri Lanka  - Virtual New York
Chinese Premier Zhu Arrives in Sri Lanka  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka prepares for Chinese PM's visit  - The Hindu (International)
CPPCC Chairman Meets Sri Lankan Guest (1)  - Nothern Light
Chinese Premier arrives in Sri Lanka  -

Jayasuriya named skipper
Yahoo India, Friday May 18, 12:00 AM. Sri Lanka today named a 22-member squad led by skipper Sanath Jayasuriya for the Tri-nation tournament with India and New Zealand in July.The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said the selectors retained the former deputy skipper Aravinda de Silva in the National squad for the Tri-nation as well as a Test series against India here. More...
Published: Thu May 17 17:15:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kmart to look for quality products in Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, Washington Time 2.00 p.m Thursday 17 May. By Bandula Jayasekara in Washington: Ron Lalla, Senior Vice President, Global Sourcing of Kmart corporation in the US is to visit Sri Lanka next month, in search of better quality products for their new ‘discount stores chic’. Lalla is responsible for purchasing the merchandise around the world for Kmart Corporation with boasts of retail sales of US$ 37 billion, the second largest retailer in the United States. Kmart is the third largest apparel retailer in the country. During his visit to Sri Lanka, Lalla is scheduled to meet Professor G.L. Peiris minister of industrial development and constitutional affairs, Rauf Hakeem minister of trade and shipping, President of the Apparel Exporters association; Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers interested exporting to Kmart and officials of the labour department. Lalla’s visit to Sri Lanka in June will be the second by an important US retailer within a period of two months. Peter McGrath Vice-President of JC Penney, Purchasing Corporation, the largest apparel retailer in US visited the island last month. Kmart imports around US$ 20 million worth of apparel from Sri Lanka.
Published: Thu May 17 14:00:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

20 students injured in police clash
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6 p.m. SLT Thursday May 17. Twenty students were injured today when police in riot gear fired tear gas and baton charged thousands of university students protesting against government reforms to privatize tertiary education in Sri Lanka.

The incident took place outside the Kelaniya University. Sources at the Ragama Teaching Hospital later said that two students had been admitted with serious injuries while the rest were discharged after being treated for minor wounds.

A government study conducted jointly with the Asian Development Bank into Sri Lanka's university education has found, that a lack of proficiency in English, a lack of skilled and trained managers and teachers and overall bad management both financial and structural including political interference, has prevented over 50 percent of the country's youth from even entering university.

The stunning revelations presented at last years Paris Aid Development Group meeting resulted in donors insisting that Sri Lanka's tertiary education must be changed. The report submitted at the donor meeting in France, stated in no uncertain terms that local universities are far below international standards and rate lower even in comparison to universities in the region.

Government bodies constituting of the National Education Commission, the Department of National Planning, the Presidential Task Force on University Reforms and an Employment Survey conducted by the Chamber of Commerce Colombo observes that a lack of consistent national planning has in fact stifled graduates who pass out from public institutions. The unemployment rate is very high for graduates from state universities as against graduates who pass out from Private Post-secondary Institutions.

Both World Bank and ADB sponsored findings say that graduates from state institutions do not have the ability to communicate effectively, particularly in English, do not possess good inter-personal skills, do not have an open, positive, practical mind-set, have little knowledge of world affairs, are rarely computer literate and do not possess a dress sense. All of which, they maintain are essential requirements in today's competitive labour market.

An outcome of the findings is that donor agencies have now advised Sri Lanka to improve the tertiary education in the Island nation, noting that the development of tertiary education in the country is of strategic importance for the economic and social development of the country.

Both the ADB and the World Bank point out that the sector for tertiary education should, therefore, initiate transformation relevant to national development, to strengthen the country's competitiveness in global markets and promote social harmony. Unless this is done the international community will probably think twice before making any financial commitments to the country. Hence the urgent need for privatization.
Published: Thu May 17 09:33:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Police break up Sri Lanka student protest  -

Sri Lanka opposition threatens to break deal with IMF, May 17 2001 14:16 IST. COLOMBO - Sri Lanka main opposition vowed Thursday to renegotiate a loan agreement with the IMF if they take power following a no-confidence vote against the government next month. The United National Party (UNP) accused the administration of President Chandrika Kumaratunga of agreeing with the International Monetary Fund to raise taxes and prices of essentials to obtain a 253 million dollar loan. "We don't agree with the government when it says that the country has not succumbed to IMF pressure," UNP spokesman Karunasena Kodituwakku said. "We will renegotiate the terms of the agreement. We will revamp the entire economy and we don't expect any conflict with any international lending institution because we will have a proper economic strategy." More...
Published: Thu May 17 05:42:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

University students clash with Police over plans for private universities
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1242 slt 17.05.01. Thousands of university students clashed with Police outside the Kaleniya university today. Heavily armed riot police fired tear gas and charged the student demonstrators with batons to stop a march to Colombo. The Students are protesting against plans by the government to introduce legislation allowing the establishment of private universities in the country.

Published: Thu May 17 02:53:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian officials meet detained TN fishermen in Jaffna
Press Trust of India, Thursday, May 17, 2001. Indian High Commission officials met 39 Tamil Nadu fishermen, held by Sri Lankan Navy, and assured them government's help to ensure their early return. More...
Published: Thu May 17 14:25:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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India offers help to fishermen arrested in Lanka  -

Blast blow to Norway's peace bid in Lanka
Times of India, 17 May 2001 . The convoy of a Tiger leader going for talks with a Norwegian envoy has been hit by a mine attack, dealing a further blow to the fragile peace bid, Tamil and diplomatic sources said on Wednesday. Defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne denied government forces were responsible. "We have no involvement whatsoever in this," Karunaratne said. "This is an area where we don't have our troops." Solheim, who was due to travel to the rebel-held area, left the capital Colombo on Wednesday afternoon even though the military had arranged for him to fly earlier in the morning. "He is on his way to the Wanni now," Norwegian embassy spokesman Tomas Stangeland said. "He is meeting with LTTE leaders, but I can't say who and when." More...
Published: Thu May 17 01:53:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Solheim stays overnight with Tamil Tigers  - India Abroad
Attack on Thamilchelvam's convoy alleged  - The Hindu (International)
LTTE leader's convoy attacked, talks with Solheim postponed  - Press Trust of India
Sri Lankan Tamil Rebel Leader Caught in Mine blast  - Nothern Light
Top Tiger leader caught in mine blast ahead of Solheim's peace mission  - India Abroad
Mine blast blow to Norway's peace bid in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo Asia
Thamil Chelvan’s convoy hit by SLA claymore  - Tamilnet

Longer Living Pensioners Burden to Government?
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 16/05/01 1800 GMT. As adult generation now live longer than before, authorities are concerned on how to provide pensions for a long time and concentrating on other options to pension schemes, Sri Lanka's financial authorities said. Mr. A.S.Jayawardhana, governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka was reluctant to accept that the International Monetary Fund?s "recommendations" for structural reforms to pensions, public administration and public enterprise means the privatisation of the said institutions.

The Executive Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has imposed more conditions on SL government for their new credit package of US $ 250 M. Rapid privatisation of the public sector, pension schemes and restructuring of the two state owned banks are the conditions stated in the IMF Public Information Notice (PIN) issued on the 14th of May. In an interview with BBC?s Sandeshaya, Mr. Jayawardhana said that this loan is provided to help the settlement of the Balance of Payments and not for other development purposes.
Published: Wed May 16 13:58:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bone marrow transplant patient in race against time
gulf-news, may 15. For the price of a new car, William Saman Devapriya's life could be saved, enabling him to continue supporting his family in Sri Lanka. But the newly married 29-year-old waiter, who was tragically struck down by non-Hodgkins lymphoma earlier this year, now faces certain death if a bone marrow transplant is not carried out immediately. More...
Published: Wed May 16 23:25:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Murder suspect nabbed after hiding for 14 months
gulf-news, may 14. Police have arrested a man who had been on the run for 14 months after stabbing to death a Sri Lankan housemaid in February last year. With the help of Sharjah and Ajman Police, Fujairah Police were able to trace the suspect. In February 2000, Fujairah Police responded to a call and found the maid lying in a pool of blood in her room with stab wounds in the back and chest. More...
Published: Wed May 16 23:30:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Solheim to meet with LTTE today
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.50 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 16. Norwegian peace broker Eric Solheim is expected to meet with Thamil Chelvam and other LTTE leaders in the Vanni today and tomorrow May 17.

The LTTE, it is reported, is pushing for an official cease-fire which will be watched by international monitors, before negotiations with the government will begin.

The government has indicated its willingness to initiate a de-escalation of the conflict before the first round of talks with the rebels are held.

Solheim, sources say, is pushing hard to create a conducive environment for both the government and the LTTE to meet and begin discussing a political solution to the 18 year old conflict.
Published: Wed May 16 05:08:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka statement on talks deal backfires
gulf-news, may 13. A Sri Lankan government statement in reaching agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels on entering Norwegian-backed peace talks may have been issued prematurely, a press report here said yesterday."A top official of the (Foreign) Ministry said the letter had been sent to the media from the minister's office, though the minister had not authorised its release," the Daily Mirror said. More...
Published: Wed May 16 23:27:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Breakthrough in Lanka issue likely in a few days
Deccan Herald, 17 May 2001. A 'breakthrough' on the contentious issue of a ceasefire by the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE is on the anvil, political and diplomatic sources said today. Media reports said the peace talks were likely to be held at the Hague in the Netherlands by this month-end or early June. Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim after meeting President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and Tamil and Muslim party leaders, is embarking on a tour to LTTE-controlled Wanni to meet the rebel leadership to finalise the schedule for the peace talks. A pro-LTTE website said Mr Solheim will be in Wanni today and tomorrow and will have discussions with LTTE's political wing leader S P Tamilchelvam. More...
Published: Wed May 16 19:57:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan Muslims want inclusion in Norwegian peace bid
India Abroad, May 16, 2001 13:15 Hrs (IST) . A key Muslim partner in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's coalition government has demanded to be included in the Norwegian bid to bring peace to embattled Sri Lanka. Joint leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Rauf Hakeem met Oslo's special envoy Erik Solheim and said he expected the country's minority Muslims to be involved in negotiations with Tamil separatists. Hakeem, who is also Trade and Muslim Affairs Minister, told Solheim Tuesday that the Muslims would not consider any settlement reached with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as "legitimate" if the minority community was not included in the peace negotiations. More...
Published: Wed May 16 05:25:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Muslims demand peace role  - BBC South Asia
Muslims demand Sri Lanka talks role  - BBC South Asia
Norway's peace bid in Lanka faces new snag  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Light aircraft crashes in southern Lanka
Times of India, 17 May 2001 . A Cessna 152 training aircraft crashed near a runway in southern Sri Lanka on Wednesday, seriously injuring the pilot and another person on board, a civil aviation official said. The aircraft was owned by Lionair, a private company that runs a training school for pilots, said H. Nimalsiri, assistant director of civil aviation. More...
Published: Wed May 16 19:54:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Dalai Lama?s mother?s bangles gifted to Maligawa
Bandula Jayasekara in Washington, Washington Time 4.10 p.m Wednesday May 16th. The Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama?s mothers bangles had been gifted to the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy last month by a close relative of his ?The Lanka Academic? learned in Washington today. Former speaker and Foreign Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, Lodi Gyari who is presently the Special envoy to the Dalai Lama in the United States and on International relations told ?The Lanka Academic? ? We were on a private visit to Sri Lanka towards the end of last month. We went there with our son who is undergoing training to become a monk. We all were touched when we went to pay homage to the Sri Dalada Maligawa. My wife Dawa who was deeply moved and touched when we worshiped the sacred tooth relic removed the bangles gifted to her by His Holiness?s sister-in-law donated it to the Maligawa at the time ? ?The Lanka Academic? understands that authorities at the Maligawa are not aware that the bangles gifted, belonged to the Nobel Peace prize winning Tibetan spiritual leaders mother. Lodi Gyari also said that he was happy and proud to have visited Sri Lanka, where Buddhism is a vibrant and a living religion.
Published: Wed May 16 16:14:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian and Japanese ships conduct excercises off Sri Lanka
Yahoo Asia, Thursday, May 17 12:01 AM SGT . Indian and Japanese naval ships have begun joint exercises in the Indian Ocean to help boost coordination in their efforts to combat the growing menace of piracy in commercial waters, officials here said Wednesday. Kashima and Yamagiri, two ships from Japan's Maritime Self-defence Force, began the operations Monday along with frigates drawn from the Indian navy's eastern fleet in waters off Sri Lanka's maritime boundary, said local naval commander P. R. Franklin. More...
Published: Wed May 16 13:33:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition welcomes Tamil Nadu chief, May 16 2001 16:11 IST. COLOMBO, May 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition Wednesday congratulated Indian actress-turned-politician Jayaram Jayalalitha for her appointment as chief minister of India's southern Tamil Nadu state. "I am sure under your leadership Tamil Nadu will emerge as the centre for industrialisation in our region," United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a message to the new chief minister. More...
Published: Wed May 16 08:07:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC Test championship set to get under way
Age, 17 May 2001. After more than 120 years and 1,500 matches, Test cricket enters a new era this week with the official launch of the International Cricket Council Test Championship (ICCTC). England's opening Test against Pakistan at Lord's from today will be the curtain raiser to the first Championship of Test cricket. Australia top the provisional table drawn up by the ICC that will run on a rolling league basis. The system used for calculating positions will be based on the results of the most recent series (a minimum of two Test series applies), home and away, between each of the teams. More...
Published: Wed May 16 21:24:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts
CIA, December 2000. Full article More...
Published: Wed May 16 12:40:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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CIA Pessimistic on Sri Lanka's Future  - Saroj Pathirana in London

IMF grants US$ 500 million to Lankan government
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.45 p.m. SLT Wednesday May 16. The government information department confirmed today that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted a US$ 500 million credit package for Sri Lanka that would strengthen the micro-economic stability of the country. Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Industrial Development and Deputy Minister of Finance Prof. G. L. Peiris told a news conference yesterday that the Government has entered into a Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund following the IMF Executive Board approving a 14 month stand by credit facility of US $ 253 million for strengthening the micro-economic stability of the country.

The Government has already received US$ 131 million which is in the hands of the Treasury and the remainder will be disbursed in four tranches of US$ 35 million each which will be disbursed on August 30, November 30, February 28, 2002 and May 15, 2002 depending on the economic performance of the country, he told journalists at the Finance Ministry auditorium. The international donor has also agreed to provide the Government with a further US$ 250 million under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which is a much broader version of the former Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF).

Among the far reaching benefits that will be accruing to Sri Lanka from this stand by arrangement will be that it will help the settlement of the Balance of Payments, enhance Foreign Reserves, reduce inflation create employment, increase investor confidence etc, he explained.

The Minister also said that the decision of the IMF to come to this agreement was a personification of the boundless confidence it had in the Government's macro- economic management.

Prof. Peiris, who dismissed speculation that this agreement was imposed on the Government by the IMF, said that Sri Lanka was a sovereign Government which determined its own Fiscal Policy by and was not obliged to be dictated by donor concerns at face value. " For instance, the IMF recommended to the Government to increase the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but the Government refused to do so, he said.

"There was no arm twisting in this agreement. The Government wishes to clarify these matters in the eyes of the public so that the people are fully aware of the implications of this agreement, he said.

Central Bank Governor A. S. Jayawardena said:" The international donor has also agreed to provide the Government with a further US$ 250 million under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), which is a much broader version of the former Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and will aim at making poverty reduction efforts a more explicit element of a renewed growth oriented strategy on a sustainable strategy."

The Letter of Intent which has been signed by the Government and the IMF has been due to the confidence that the IMF had in the Government's economic growth plans which is encapsulated in Vision 21 which includes restructuring of public enterprises, labour market reforms and social safety nets. This programme would also lead to lowering inflation to around 4-5 per cent and economic growth of 4-5 per cent in the medium term.

IMF's Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq said that the transparency in the Sri Lankan Government was a cause for celebration and there was no hidden agenda in the signing of the agreement. " In fact, all the details of the agreement are in the web of the IMF and the Central Bank and that they could be accessed at any time", he said. Responding to a question as to what mandatory requirements had to be met for the balance tranches to be met, Dr. Haq said that there would be periodic assessments on a quarterly basis of the revenue / expenditure targets.
Published: Wed May 16 05:08:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Of bullock carts at Sri Lankan botanical gardens!
India Abroad, May 16, 2001 14:30 Hrs (IST) . SRI Lanka's national conservatory, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, is using eco- friendly bullock carts to give visitors tours, after vehicles emitting poisonous exhaust fumes were banned from entering. Visitors to the gardens at Peradeniya, just outside the hill station of Kandy, were offered a bullock cart ride Tuesday, the first day of the new service, and many were thrilled to clamber aboard, a spokesman for the park said. "We started with one bullock cart which can take 10 people and we want to have more, if there is a demand," the park official said. More...
Published: Wed May 16 06:26:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Appeal made to secure release of Indian Fisherman
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Wednesday May 16. The president of the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Society has appealed to the new Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram to secure the release of over 30 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy on the 11th of this month.

The Society has also called for the release of 6 motor boats taken into custody by the Lankan Navy along with the fishermen. The society has charged that such arrests by the Sri Lanka Navy has been on the rise in recent months.
Published: Wed May 16 05:08:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Schools in the north-east stage black band protest
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9 a.m. SLT Wednesday May 16. Principals, teachers and students in the north east are to stage a black band protest today in condemnation of the recent incidents which occurred in Mawanella. The Students, principals and teachers are requesting that victims in Mawanella be compensated accordingly.
Published: Wed May 16 05:08:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Ctrl Bk: No Heavy Downward Pressure On Rupee
Yahoo India, 16 May 2001. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said that there was no heavy downward pressure on the rupee Wednesday, which has been sliding recently amid dollar demand from importers. "The central bank will not panic over one-off transactions that pull down the rupee. We see no big pressure on the rupee," said a senior central bank official, on condition of anonymity. More...
Published: Wed May 16 05:43:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

New IMF loan for Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK . Sri Lanka says it is expecting another loan from the International Monetary Fund IMF to tackle poverty and boost growth. The governor of the Sri Lankan central bank, AS Jayawardena, said the amount was yet to be decided, but he expected it to be bigger than the $253m the government received from the IMF last month. More...
Published: Wed May 16 00:11:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chinese Prime Minister's visit to Sri Lanka
Leo de Lile in Colombo, 11.00pm SLT, May 17, 2001. Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji inspects the guard of honor upon his arrival at Colombo’s airport, Sri Lanka on Thursday, May 17, 2001. Zhu is on three-day official visit to Sri Lanka accompanied by 120 senior Chinese officials and businessmen, including eight ministers. More...
Published: Thu May 17 23:26:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan leader greets Jayalalitha
Yahoo India, Thursday May 17, 10:35 AM. Colombo, May 16: Opposition and United National Party leader of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremsinghe, has congratulated Jayalalitha on becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after her spectacular victory in the recently-concluded elections. “We in Sri Lanka look forward to working with you and the Government of India closely and cooperatively,” said Wickremsinghe in a message sent to her. “I am sure under your leadership, Tamil Nadu will emerge as the centre for industrialsiation in our region and the people in Sri Lankan look forward to the benefit,” Wickremesinghe said. More...
Published: Thu May 17 18:50:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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