The Lanka Academic

MAY 20, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 44

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
Muslims undecided on Sri Lanka no-confidence vote
Yahoo India, Sunday May 20, 4:46 PM. Sri Lanka's main Muslim party, whose support is crucial to the government, said on Sunday it had not yet decided whether to back an expected no-confidence vote in parliament. The ruling People's Alliance of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, which won 107 seats in the 225-member parliament in an October general election, relies on the support of about 10 Muslim lawmakers. More...
Published: Sun May 20 19:40:17 EDT 2001

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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
Key Muslim ally keeps Sri Lanka government guessing on support, May 20 2001 17:58 IST. Sri Lanka's main Muslim party Sunday rejected electoral reforms proposed by the coalition government and kept the administration guessing on its continued support for the shaky alliance. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said it opposed the government decision to set up a parliamentary panel to reform the local government election system as the legislature had more important issues to deal with. More...
Published: Sun May 20 10:52:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Foreign Christian missions gaining foothold in Sri Lanka
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 20. UNORTHODOX AND aggressive Christian evangelical missions from the US and South Korea are acquiring a firm foothold in Sri Lanka by registering themselves as "companies" under the Companies' Act of 1982. A report in The Island daily recently said that there were 130 such "missionary companies" engaged in proselytisation among Buddhists and Tamil Hindus of the island. Major General (Retd) Jaliya Namunni of the Centre for Buddhist Action (CBA) told the Hindustan Times that most of these companies were from the US or South Korea. More...
Published: Sun May 20 19:38:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Canada court to examine deportee torture fears
Yahoo India, Sunday May 20, 5:09 PM. Canada's top court examines this week the delicate question of whether the government can deport refugees it suspects of terrorism even if they think they might face torture back home.The cases involve two refugees claimants, Manickavasagam Suresh of Sri Lanka and Mansour Ahani of Iran, both of whom the government accuses of involvement with terrorism and both of whom said they feared torture if sent to their countries. More...
Published: Sun May 20 19:42:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Britain to introduce "cap" on asylum seekers
Yahoo India, Sunday May 20, 12:00 AM. As part of a government clampdown, Britain will introduce a "cap" on the number of asylum seekers, Home Secretary Jack Straw said in an interview with "The Observer" published on Sunday.Most of the asylum seekers come from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Turkey. (ANI). More...
Published: Sun May 20 19:44:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan media speculates attack on LTTE leader
Times of India (Breaking News), Sunday . The abortive attempt on the life of LTTE political wing chief S P Tamilchelvan could be a sign of a rare internal feud in the rebel organisation, media reports said on Sunday. The Tamil Tigers group was looking into the possibility that the Claymore mine attack on an LTTE convoy, which killed one militant and injured two others on Tuesday, could have been the handiwork of a dissident group within, The Island newspaper said. More...
Published: Sun May 20 10:54:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian nuclear power plant raises concern in Lanka
Times of India (Breaking News), 20 May. Sri Lankan environmentalists have voiced concern over the nuclear power plant coming up at Koodankulam in south Tamil Nadu in proximity to the country's coast. "It is likely to have a serious impact on Sri Lanka in case of a mishap," the Sunday Times newspaper said in a report on the 2000 mw power plant coming up with a Russian nuclear reactor at Koodankulam. More...
Published: Sun May 20 10:55:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

We are tired of this war says Mangala Moonesinghe
Bandula Jayasekara in Boston, Boston Time 12.30 a.m Sunday May 20. Mangala Moonesinghe, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to UK said that Sri Lankans are tired of this war and this is the best time to talk peace and both the government and the LTTE are running out of man power. Moonesinghe said this addressing the Sri Lankan students association and the Sri Lankan association of New England at MIT in Boston today. Speaking on the subject peace prospects for Sri Lanka, Moonesinghe said ‘ Members of the LTTE are Sri Lankans. They have the capacity to change as much as the other militant groups. I hope the LTTE and the government settle down to talk. We are on the correct path now’ Moonesinghe a grand nephew of Anagarika Dharmapala came hard on the Buddhist monks during his speech. He said ‘ Buddhist monks who are against peace are a minority. They don’t believe in Ahimsa. We should reject them’ When a member of the audience asked Moonesinghe what happened to the Mangala Moonesinghe peace proposals submitted during the UNP regime he replied ‘ At the time both the UNP and the SLFP agreed on a form of federalism. There were plenty of options; compromise to accommodate the minority aspirations and the parliament unanimously accepted it. But, when D.B. Wijetunge dissolved the parliament it went into limbo’ A Tamil member of the audience asked Moonesinghe if there were any chance of reviving it. In replying Moonesinghe said that it was embarrassing for him to answer the question since he was the author of it. At the conclusion, Sri Lankan Tamil national living in Boston, told Mangala Moonesinghe that she lived in a refugee camp in 1983 in Kandy but, she was willing to forget the past and like to go back home meaning Sri Lanka and she does not want to sow the seeds of hatred even though she suffered, due to the mistakes of Sri Lankan leaders at the time. She appealed to all Sri Lankans to bring peace back to Sri Lanka.
Published: Sun May 20 00:48:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Eelam gun on Gen. Janaka misfires
Sunday Times , May 20. A campaign by the Eelam lobby and other groups to persuade the Australian Government not to accept retired Major General Janaka Perera as Sri Lanka's next High Commissioner in Australia has misfired. Reports from Canberra said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer had confirmed to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar that Major General Perera's credentials would be accepted. Mr. Downer conveyed this position when Mr. Kadirgamar intervened personally by telephoning his Australian counterpart following delays by Canberra in accepting Major General Perera's appointment. More...
Published: Sun May 20 11:08:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India denies violation of 'diplomatic norms'
The Hindu (International), Monday, May 21, 2001. However, the Indian officials took exception to the description, saying there was nothing wrong with the meeting the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. S. Tripathy, accompanied by the Defence Adviser, Capt. Gopinath, had with the Jaffna magistrate, Mr. R.T. Vignaraja, to request better facilities for 39 Indian fishermen detained in a prison here. The diplomat had ``broken diplomatic norms,'' the Sunday Times newspaper said, adding it was ``not correct'' for the Indian official to visit the magistrate while a case was pending before him. More...
Published: Sun May 20 18:58:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indo-Pak secretary-level talks likely in June
Yahoo India, may 20. After a gap of nearly two years foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are likely to hold talks next month in Colombo on the sidelines of a SAARC conference. The duo will be there on June 8 and 9 to attend the meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said here on Sunday. More...
Published: Sun May 20 10:59:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
India, Pak foreign secretaries may meet in Colombo  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Lanka, Pakistan sign deals to play in Sharjah
Times of India (Breaking News), may 20. Sri Lanka's Cricket Board has signed a three-year contract with the Sharjah-based Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) while Pakistan has renewed their deal.The financial details of the deal were not divulged. The move comes after India pulled out of all matches, including Sharjah, dealing a severe blow to the CBFS. More...
Published: Sun May 20 10:58:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

American and other foreign detainees hold hunger strike in Sri Lankan prison
ABC News, 05/20/2001 12:18 am ET . Sixteen foreigners, including two from the United States, are staging a hunger strike at a jail where they are being detained on suspicion of forging visas, officials said Sunday. The 16 men from the United States, Britain, China and Korea have consumed only liquids since May 14 to push for a speedy hearing of their cases, a senior prison official said on condition of anonymity. It was unclear whether the seven Korean men were from North or South Korea. More...
Published: Sun May 20 19:46:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
20 foreign prisoners in Sri Lanka on hunger strike  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka police find bombs in seized truck after four years, May 20 2001 17:03 IST. COLOMBO, May 20 (AFP) - Sri Lanka police have discovered explosives hidden in a truck seized four years earlier on suspicion that it was transporting bombs for Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said Sunday. The vehicle had been taken into police custody at Maligawatte in 1997 on a tip off that it had brought bombs to the capital from an embattled area in the island's north or east, police said. More...
Published: Sun May 20 08:30:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE to help Opposition topple Chandrika Govt if demands are not met
The Hindustan Times, may 20. LTTE WILL help the opposition United National Party (UNP) topple the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government if the latter does not order an indefinite ceasefire, lift the embargoes against the Tamil areas of the north, and de-proscribe the rebel group, Tamil sources have confirmed. The LTTE is putting pressure on the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) to vote for the motion of no-confidence which the UNP is hoping to table in Parliament in its next session beginning on May 22. Though the motion looks destined to fail, it could be a near thing if a few government MPs cross the floor and some allies make demands which can't be met. More...
Published: Sat May 19 20:51:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norwegians still hopeful
The Hindu (International), Sunday, May 20, 2001. COLOMBO, MAY 19. Norway today sought to dispel the shadow over peace talks thrown by the LTTE's firm refusal to participate in them until de-proscribed in Sri Lanka and declared the two sides were drawing closer to an agreement on other pre-talks issues. More...
Published: Sat May 19 20:52:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
New hurdles for Norway's peace bid in Sri Lanka  -

India, Pakistan foreign secretaries could break the ice in Colombo, May 20 2001 11:58 IST. NEW DELHI, May 20 (AFP) - The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan could meet for the first time in two years on the sidelines of a conference next month, an Indian official said Sunday. Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer will be in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo for a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which will take place on June 8 and 9, Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S Jassal said. More...
Published: Sun May 20 07:21:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sinhalese and Tamils in Boston trying break barriers
Bandula Jayasekara in Boston, Boston Time 2.20 p.m Saturday May 19. We are not a communal minded association. We refuse to be that. Our objective is to bring all Sri Lankans together said Chitral de Mel, President of The Sri Lankan Association of New England, speaking to ‘The Lanka Academic’ in Boston today. De Mel said that their association has included that even in their constitution. The Sri Lankan Association of New England was formed three years ago. Speaking further De Mel said ‘We do not send money to Sri Lanka to purchase arms. We help only on humanitarian grounds. We have a project in Batticaloa led by one of our Tamil members, to help a deaf school where children have become deaf due to explosions in the war front and in the South we help Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Moratuwa and children of dead and disabled soldiers, that too through the General Denzil Kobbekaduwa trust. Lets not forget that late General Kobbekaduwa earned the respect of Tamils, Muslims and Singhalese alike. The Lanka Academic asked De Mel how successful his association has been in reaching out to both communities. De Mel replied ‘ We have made lots of personal connections. Some were not even talking to each other when we formed the association three years ago. We are not a political setting. We are the people and Tamils and Singhalese in our association don’t undermine each other. Our association is even going to the extent of giving our children an understanding of living together as one. So, I could say that we have made some progress and we are progressing’
Published: Sat May 19 14:15:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Foreign prisoners stage hunger strike at Sri Lanka jail, May 20 2001 13:32 IST. COLOMBO, May 20 (AFP) - Some 20 foreign nationals held at a Sri Lankan detention centre have begun a hunger strike demanding the speedy resolution of their cases, officials saidThe inmates, from the United States, Pakistan and China, have been held for several months and started refusing food over the weekend, officials said, adding that they were taking only liquids. More...
Published: Sun May 20 07:21:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Farmer Killed in LTTE Attack
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 19/05/01 1630 GMT

Tamil Tiger rebels have attacked civilians in a remote village in the Anuradhapura district, killing one farmer and wounding several others, security authorities said. According to the Horovpathana police three wounded farmers, from Seruwewa, have been admitted to the Anuradhapura and Horovpathana hospitals.

The police said that the rebels have set fire to the farmersí huts and a tractor while damaging a motorcycle. After an earlier attack by the LTTE, many villagers have already left and only a few are left in Seruwewa.
Published: Sat May 19 12:32:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Peace hopes dim in Lanka, but Norway not disheartened
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Saturday, May 19, 2001. Sri Lanka and the LTTE are close to agreeing on a bilateral truce and easing of economic restrictions on northern Sri Lanka but continue to disagree on other issues related to direct talks, peace facilitator Norway has said. More...
Published: Sat May 19 20:52:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Talks inconclusive, LTTE wants ban lifted  - The Hindu (International)
Solheim leaves Lanka as peace bid fails  - India Abroad
Sri Lanka 'close' to truce  - BBC South Asia
Norwegian envoy leaves Sri Lanka with no peace deal  -

Sri Lanka: Latest mediation efforts failed
Norway Post , may 19. Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim, failed in his latest attempts at mediating in the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE guerillas.-The lifting of the ban on the LTTE is a precondition for talks, the guerillas political leader, S.P. Thamilchelvan, said earlier. More...
Published: Sat May 19 10:57:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sinhala organisations allege their interests 'ignored'
Island, 20 May 2001. While Erik Solheim, Norwegian Special Envoy has been busy meeting with LTTE representatives in the Vanni, after meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Wednesday, spoke-spersons for several Sinhala organisations have alleged that he seems to have deliberately ignored Sinhala interests and thereby revealed that he is unsuitable to play the role of a "facilitator". More...
Published: Sun May 20 01:55:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chinese PM leaves Sri Lanka pledging more aid, trade, May 19 2001 10:33 IST. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji left here Saturday ending a three-day visit during which he offered 5.5 million dollars in development aid to Sri Lanka and pledged to boost economic ties. A joint statement said Zhu offered the sum under an economic cooperation agreement sealed Friday. The money is to be used for development projects in the island. More...
Published: Sat May 19 10:10:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
China Signs Pact To Boost Econ Ties, Trade With Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
Zhu wraps-off Lankan visit  - Yahoo India
China's Zhu leaves Sri Lanka for Thailand  -

Marxists gain ground in Sri Lanka
Dawn, may 19. Rising living costs and attempts to liberalize Sri Lanka's labour markets have propelled the country's main Marxist group into the forefront of workers' rights, outdoing other more established trade unions. The People's Liberation Front or JVP, is making giant strides in the labour movement even as the government plans wide- ranging labour reforms enabling hire-and-fire policies. Within some two years, the JVP-backed Inter Company Trade Union has penetrated a majority of large and mid-scale businesses in the country, ousting more established trade unions that were comfortably ensconced at the top. It has also grudgingly drawn praise from unions for its militancy-type campaigns to back worker demands. More...
Published: Sat May 19 11:14:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan teachers need English lessons
TOI, may 16. Sri Lanka wants to re-introduce English as a medium of study for senior students to make them more presentable for employment, but a shortage of qualified lecturers has forced them to first teach teachers the language. "We cant find lecturers to teach in English, so it will take us some time to introduce it as a medium of study," said Prof Lakshman Jayatillake of the National Education Commission, which advises the government on Education policy. More...
Published: Sat May 19 11:17:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mangala comes to Boston to talk on Peace Prospects for Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, Boston Time 1.20 a.m Saturday 19 May. by Bandula Jayasekara in Boston: Sri Lankan High Commissioner to UK, Mangala Moonesinghe will deliver a talk on 'Peace Prospects for Sri Lanka' today at the MIT hall in Boston. Moonesinghe a widely respected diplomat was a member of parliament for 18 years represnting the Mathugama electorate. His proposals for peace was accepted by both the opposition and the then UNP government and a committee was appointed as the Mangala Moonesinghe select committe to look in to the proposals at the time. Moonesinghe who spoke to The Lanka Academic briefly this evening said " Come what may there cannot be room for extremism of any sort when we talk about peace" His talk in Boston is organised by the MIT Sri Lankan Students Association and Sri Lankan Association of New England
Published: Sat May 19 01:43:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian diplomat flayed for lobbying for arrested fishermen
India Abroad, 20 May. NDIAN deputy high commissioner in Colombo S. Tripathi has been criticized for allegedly "breaking diplomatic norms" by lobbying a local magistrate on behalf of 39 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. Tripathi allegedly sought an appointment with R.T. Vignaraja, the magistrate in the northern Jaffna peninsula, to request him to see to the welfare of the Indian nationals, the Sunday Times newspaper said. "Judicial sources said it was not correct for the diplomat to visit the magistrate while a case was pending regarding the fishermen," the newspaper reported. More...
Published: Sun May 20 07:24:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Stranded Indian oil rig rescued by Lankan navy  - Deccan Herald

New worm protests Sri Lankan violence
CNN, may 19. Mawanella is a small town in Sri Lanka. Never heard of it? Thanks to a new worm making the rounds Thursday, it's likely that you'll hear about it soon. More...
Published: Sat May 19 21:20:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Coming to a Computer Near You: A Sri Lankan Worm  - yahoo

Sri Lankan Govt Committee Hopes Emergency Laws Changed
yahoo, may 19. A Sri Lankan government committee on human rights has recommended that President Chandrika Kumaratunga amend the special arrest and detention laws being used to fight Tamil Tiger separatists, the foreign ministry said Friday. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar heads the committee, which comprises government ministers, police and army officers. More...
Published: Sat May 19 10:55:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

China gives Rs.500 mn aid to Lanka
India Abroad, may 19. China has given Sri Lanka Rs.500 million in development aid under the terms of a new bilateral agreement aimed at strengthening economic co-operation between the two countries. Visiting Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday witnessed the signing of the document, which is expected to boost cooperation in tourism, civil aviation and scientific sectors. More...
Published: Sat May 19 10:12:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Hayleys Sets 20% Stock Dividend >P.HAY
Yahoo India, Friday May 18, 9:31 AM. Hayleys Ltd. (P.HAY) of Sri Lanka announced a 20% final stock dividend for the financial year ended March 31, the Colombo Stock Exchange said Friday. More...
Published: Sat May 19 10:18:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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