The Lanka Academic

MAY 21, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 45

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
Sri Lanka reverses reforms after opposition threat, May 21 2001 19:07 IST. COLOMBO, May 21 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's ruling party decided to reverse a controversial move to introduce local government election reforms following opposition from its own ranks, a minister said Monday. Local government minister Nandimitra Ekanayake said the government would not introduce a resolution to make changes to the election system as a ruling coalition partner and the entire opposition had been against the idea. More...
Published: Mon May 21 11:02:39 EDT 2001

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

ValuComOnline: Call Sri Lanka
Send in a question to the veteran Sri Lankan politician, Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara and receive his answer! We are pleased to announce the fifth guest at our online Q&A sessions at The Lanka Academic.

Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara began his political career as a student activist in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party in 1958. He was elected to then National Assembly in 1970 as a member of Parliament from Kiriella in the United Front government of the SLFP, LSSP and the Ceylon Communist Party. In 1975 he split from the LSSP of Dr. N.M.Perera, Dr. Colvin R. De Silva et al. to launch the Nava Lanka Sama Samaja Party along with Dr. Vickramabhahu Karunaratne. Although defeated in the general election of 1977 Mr. Nanayakkara was back in parliament in 1989 as a member of the United Socialist Alliance(USA). He rejoined the LSSP and the PA in 1994 and was elected as an MP. in 199, he crossed over to the opposition. In 1982 and 1999, he also contested as a Presidential candidate. To ask a question, click here.

Do you have a recommendation for a future guest at our Q&A sessions AND you know how to put us in contact with him/her? If yes, email us.

O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
On trial: right to deport terrorists
National Post - Canada, May 21. Mansour Ahani is an Iranian secret agent, trained in the macabre art of political assassination. Manickavasagam Suresh is a high-ranking leader of the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan terrorist group responsible for more than 50,000 deaths.Both were operating covertly in Toronto until they were caught and ordered to leave Canada. But both have refused to go, arguing in a series of protracted court appeals they might be tortured by their governments if sent home. More...
Published: Mon May 21 21:09:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka May Lift Ban On Tamil Rebels For Fixed Period
123India, May 21. The government may temporarily lift a ban on Tamil Tiger rebels to allow Norwegian-brokered peace talks to take off, a senior government official said Monday.Analysts say Kumaratunga has little choice but to lift the ban for a fixed period if she wants the Norwegian-backed peace talks to begin. More...
Published: Mon May 21 08:56:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
New hurdles for Norway's peace bid in Sri Lanka  -

Refugees' case has developed into showdown of ideologies
The National Post, May 21. Canada's ability to expel refugees with links to terrorist groups comes under sprawling legal attack tomorrow by two men fighting deportation to countries where they fear torture.Manickavasagam Suresh, fundraiser for a violent Tamil independence group in Sri Lanka, and Mansour Ahani, a trained Iranian assassin, will ask the Supreme Court to allow them to remain in Canada on the grounds that the national security-based scheme for expelling refugees is a violation of human rights. More...
Published: Mon May 21 21:05:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Seeks Consultants To Study Hambantota Port Proj
Yahoo India, Monday May 21, 4:38 PM. Sri Lanka Monday invited applications from consultancy firms to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed port project in the island nation's southern Hambantota district. The Ministry of Ports and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority said in a joint statement the consultants will be required to carry out a pre-feasibility study that will lead to more extensive work on the technical, financial, social and environmental viability of the project. More...
Published: Mon May 21 21:24:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

This game is inherently corrupt
Yahoo India, Tuesday May 22, 12:00 AM. Although there have been enough leaks from the preliminary report of the International Cricket Council's Anti- Corruption Unit to suggest that there will be no major revelations when it is published on Wednesday (May 23) morning there is an aspect in its detail that is causing the game's inner circle to hold its breath. More...
Published: Mon May 21 21:14:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Talking to Computers
Scientific American, 22 May 2001. A keyboard, monitor and mouse are now standard devices on every personal computer, but that may change—somewhat—in the near future. A short black line blinks in front of you on the screen. One hand rests on a keyboard, the other on a mouse. You stand poised to scroll, reload, double click—perhaps to open a spreadsheet or the newest installment of Tomb Raider. So ubiquitous are the computer monitor, keyboard and mouse that hardly a person alive in the industrialized world cannot relate to that setup. And yet a host of new technologies that promise to make personal computing even easier—among them voice recognition, handwriting recognition and touch screens—are emerging. More...
Published: Mon May 21 23:38:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Last stand against terrorism
The National Post, May 21. Mansour Ahani is an Iranian secret agent, trained in the macabre art of political assassination. Manickavasagam Suresh is a high-ranking leader of the Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan terrorist group responsible for more than 50,000 deaths.Both were operating covertly in Toronto until they were caught and ordered to leave Canada. But both have refused to go, arguing in a series of protracted court appeals they might be tortured by their governments if sent home. More...
Published: Mon May 21 21:03:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President will return to Parliament as Executive Prime Minister in 2004 - Mangala
CDN, 22 May 2001. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will revert to the post of Executive Prime Minister at the end of the tenth year as Executive President, which will be in 2004, Minister of Urban Development, Construction and Public Utilities Mangala Samaraweera said Saturday. More...
Published: Mon May 21 20:56:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Three people injured in mine blast at Trinco
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.10 p.m. SLT Monday May 21. Three people were wounded, one seriously, when a mine hidden in a desk draw exploded at the Trincomalee Kachcheri.The incident took place at around 4.30 p.m. this evening at the Rehabilitation Branch in the Kachcheri which is situated at Fort Frederick.
Published: Mon May 21 07:08:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Concern in Sri Lanka over Indian n-plant
The Hindu (International), Monday, May 21, 2001. ``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. Mr. Hemantha Withanage of the Environmental Foundation warned of ``serious consequences'' in case of a mishap. ``A possible terrorist attack or an explosion can cause a devastating impact on Sri Lanka,'' he said. More...
Published: Mon May 21 12:38:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

IOC to market Servo in Lanka
Yahoo India, 22 May 2001. Indian Oil Corporation will market its Servo brand of lubricants in Sri Lanka as part of an agreement signed with David Pieris Motor Company Ltd, a leading auto distributor in Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Mon May 21 23:01:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket-Sri Lankan court blocks board's bank accounts
Yahoo, May 21. Sri Lankan cricket was in financial limbo on Monday after a court issued an order preventing the newly appointed interim administration from operating the cricket board's bank accounts. ``If they want money to the run the board now, the sports minister (Lakshman Kiriella) will have to make interim arrangements,'' said Sumathipala. More...
Published: Mon May 21 11:30:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Army says civilians are being targeted by the LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.45 p.m. SLT Monday Many 21. According to a report on the war by the Sri Lanka Army, attacks on civilians by the LTTE are on the increase in the East.The military says that reports confirm that the LTTE have fired upon farmers attending to their paddy fields in Mantottama in the Ampara district last morning.One civilian was killed and two civilians by the names of P.M. Wijetunga and P.K.M. Appuhami of Mahanagapura were injured due to rebel fire.The Army claims, that the rebels had taken a shot gun belonging to a person called Wasantha Kumara Dahanayake. One civilian, has also gone missing. At Polonnaruwa, a group of about ten LTTE cadre are reported to have entered Thambara village, approximately 10 Kms. north of Polonnaruwa town at around 10 p.m. yesterday, May 20, and had demanded a sum of Rs 500,000/=. The military says that the villagers had refused to pay.

Thambara is a small Muslim village in the Polonnaruwa District. The LTTE are reported to have broken open a few shops and taken away some goods.On information given by a civilian from an adjoining village, troops were rushed to the area. But by then the LTTE had fled the area. The military say that investigations into the incident are in progress.
Published: Mon May 21 07:08:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Britain to deport illegal Tamil nationals
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Monday May 21. Britain is to deport 18 Tamil nationals who have been unsuccessful in seeking political asylum in the UK.

Other reports indicate that both Norway and Germany too have already deported Sri Lankans who were found to have illegally entered the country and whose claims of political persecution were not genuine.

Norway last week deported 5 Tamils while Germany deported two.
Published: Mon May 21 07:08:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

British could prod the LTTE to the negotiating table -Mangala
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, New York Time 9.50 a.m Monday 21 May. Mangala Moonesinghe, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to London said the British government is fully supportive of the peace process and will help the Norwegian lead peace process in Sri Lanka in everyway they could. If asked, the British would even prod the LTTE to come down to the negotiating table. They would do it. There is no doubt about it. Speaking to "The Lanka Academic" Moonesinghe said that the British would never again allow its soil to be used for terrorism. All the British agencies are well aware of the LTTE's activities. Terrorism act 2000 has seriously curtailed their activities. High Commissioner Moonesinghe added, "By proscribing the LTTE ,UK has indicated their seriousness " They will prosecute if it the ban is violated at any time.? Referring to LTTE?s activities in Canada Moonesinghe said ?I understand that Canada is also preparing legislation to proscribe the LTTE on similar lines as the British?
Published: Mon May 21 10:01:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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
Related News Stories
Muslims undecided on Sri Lanka no-confidence vote  - Yahoo India

Sri Lankan rethink on ship order from India
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, May 22, 2001. COLOMBO, MAY 21. Sri Lanka is under pressure from sections of its Navy to cancel an order for a second off-shore patrol vessel (OPV) from India as the one bought last year is proving to be a ``white elephant'', defence sources said. Sri Lanka bought a Sukhanya class OPV from India last year at a cost of about $20 million to bolster its capability to police the island's eastern waters, main entry point for arms- bearing ships of the LTTE. More...
Published: Mon May 21 18:37:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

New Hope For Cancer
Time, 21 May 2001. By February of last year, Victoria Reiter, 63, figured she had only a few months to live. A writer and translator living in Manhattan, she was suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, an especially deadly form of blood cancer.Reiter had spent most of 1999 in bed, too sick to read, to walk, to do much of anything — although she had managed to put together lists dividing her possessions between her two daughters. Then she went on an experimental drug called Gleevec, and within weeks everything changed. More...
Published: Mon May 21 08:06:33 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

Sigiriya the first Playboy mansion says Time
Island, 21 May 2001. Sri Lankans have outdone Playboy don Hugh Hefner by centuries in building "the first playboy mansion" atop the Sigiriya rock fortress complete with bunnies (the number would have sent Hefner raving) where high living and enticing the senses was the order of the day, according to the "Time" magazine of May 21. More...
Published: Mon May 21 02:10:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Mediators say truce edging closer in Sri Lanka
Yahoo, 21 May 2001. Norwegian mediators in the Sri Lankan civil war say the two sides are edging closer to agreeing on a truce. But as south Asia correspondent Jonathan Harley reports, peace talks are still some time off. In a brief statement, the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo said the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil Tigers were close to agreeing on how to improve living conditions for civilians in rebel territory. More...
Published: Mon May 21 06:56:51 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

Lanka environmentalists express concern over Kundankulam atomic power plant
123India, May 21. The environmentalists in Sri Lanka have expressed concern over the Kundankulam atomic power plant project coming up in the southern tip of Tamil Nadu, saying it was likely to have a ''serious impact'' on the island nation in case of a mishap.Environmental Foundation Executive Director Hemanatha Withanage said no 100 percent security could be ensured with an atomic power plant and warned of serious consequences in case of a mishap. More...
Published: Mon May 21 08:57:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Indian nuclear power plant raises concern in Lanka  - Times of India (Breaking News)

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

Sri Lanka to help India, Pakistan break ice, May 21 2001 14:55 IST. Sri Lanka is to host a gathering of top South Asian diplomats which will provide a neutral setting for arch rivals India and Pakistan to break the ice and revive a tottering regional grouping, diplomats said Monday. More...
Published: Mon May 21 06:53:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Indo-Pak secretary-level talks likely in June  - Yahoo India
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

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

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

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

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

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