The Lanka Academic

MAY 23, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 47

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
Government expected to announce the lifting of the ban on LTTE
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1900 slt 23.05.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to announce the temprorary lifting of the ban on the LTTE later this week, after a series of consultations with the cabinet and senior members of her party. The LTTE has demanded the lifting of the ban as a pre-condition to begin talks. The rebels demanded three pre consitiosns- the lifting of the ban on goods to rebel held areas, a cease fire, and the lifting of the proscription.The government orginally refused all pre-conditions saying it will only consider these demands once peace talks begin. However last week the government agreed to a cease fire. The LTTE however insist that all three conditions must be met for talks to begin. Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim has been shuttling between the LTTE and President KUmaratunaga in a bid to finalise an agreement to begin peace talks.
Published: Wed May 23 09:27:36 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
Sinhalese Urge Sri Lanka Govt Not To Lift Ban On Tigers
Yahoo India, Wednesday May 23, 5:09 PM. Sinhalese nationalists Wednesday warned that the government will have to face "dire consequences" if it lifts a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a key rebel precondition to peace talks. "If the government is not prepared to listen to the people, we warn in no uncertain terms that it will have to face dire consequences," Thilak Karunaratne, party leader, said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed May 23 15:49:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka may lift ban on LTTE to keep alive peace process  - The Hindustan Times

Peace groups want ban on LTTE to go
The Hindu (International), Thursday, May 24, 2001. Civil society groups and peace organisations in Sri Lanka are mounting pressure on the Government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or at least suspend it in order to clear the way for talks, even as the Cabinet is reported to be split on the issue and hardline Sinhalese are demanding that there must be no caving-in. The LTTE told Norway, official facilitator for the peace process, last week that it would not participate in talks till the ban imposed on it by Colombo in 1998 was revoked. More...
Published: Wed May 23 20:58:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka navy bus blast kills 17, May 23 2001 17:20 IST. COLOMBO, May 23 (AFP) - Suspected Tamil Tiger guerrillas blew up a navy bus in northeastern Sri Lanka Wednesday, killing 17 sailors and wounding several more, the defence ministry said. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels ambushed the bus by exploding a landmine as it passed the village of Thampalagamam in the port district of Trincomalee, ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Wed May 23 08:32:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
17 navy men killed in landmine blast near Trincomalee  - Press Trust of India
13 killed, 31 navy men injured in landmine blast near lanka  - Press Trust of India
15 people die in landmine blast in Lanka  - India Abroad
Ten naval personnel killed, 17 injured in explosion in Colombo  -

Bomb Attack on Ravaya Office
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 23/05/01 1015 GMT. A smoke bomb has exploded inside the Ravaya newspaper compound at Maharagama this afternoon. "Around 1330 SLT, unidentified people lobbed a smoke bomb and ran away" member of Ravaya Editorial Jayasiri Jayasekara said. He said the device is not freely available in the market and is normally used by Government forces.

The newspaper has been campaigning against the conduct of the Chief Justice Sarath N Silva since his appointment by the President. An impeachment motion against him is to be tabled tomorrow. The contents of this impeachment motion was published in full in last two weeks’ Ravaya.

Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan who is also the convenor of the Free Media (FMM) has been instrumental in convening a pro-opposition democratic alliance calling for reforms in the constitution. He and a member of the Ravaya director board Waruna Karunathilaka were widely accused by the Government controlled media as UNP supporters. The Ravaya newspaper carried several articles calling for the reform of the UNP suggesting that Ranil Wickramasinghe should step down as its leader.
Published: Wed May 23 06:18:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Fire bomb thrown at Ravaya office  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo
Smoke bomb attack on Sri Lanka newspaper office  -
Grenade Explodes In Newspaper Office In Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India

Kenya-Sri Lanka Good Relations Hailed
Nothern Light, Wednesday, May 23, 2001 2:19 PM EST . Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi said here on Wednesday that relations between Kenya and Sri Lanka date back to Kenya's pre-independence days when Sri Lanka was supportive of the country's liberation struggle. Moi made the remarks when receiving credentials from the incoming Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Kenya Habeeb Mohammed Farook More...
Published: Wed May 23 21:02:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

CWE facing liquidity crisis
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1910 slt 23.05.01. The Ceylon Wholesale Establishment, the main importer of food, is facing a liquidity crisis after the treasury failed to pay the establishment 2.6 billion rupees. The TNL TV news said that, after emergency discussions last week with treasury officials, the CWE was promised an immediate cash injection of 165 million rupees. However the treasury has failed to come up with the money.
Published: Wed May 23 09:27:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket fans shocked by corruption report
Yahoo India, Wednesday May 23, 6:18 PM. Cricket fans have expressed shock at the widespread corruption uncovered in Sir Paul Condon's matchfixing inquiry into the game. "I hope they've done more than scratch at the surface," said Paul Butterworth, 26, a sales manager. "The investigation had better lead to some big changes or cricket will go the same way as boxing." More...
Published: Wed May 23 15:51:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
The ICC corruption report in full  - Age
Cricketers easy target for cash lure  - Yahoo India

Sri Lankan Coming to Terms with Gays-Group
ABC News, 05/23/2001 10:50 am ET . Prejudice runs deep but prudish Sri Lanka is slowly coming to terms with homosexual behavior, the country's tiny gay rights movement said on Wednesday. "We've come a long way. We are proud to say that we've come through a horrible, inhuman, indecent, vicious period," said Sherman de Rose, executive director of Companions on a Journey. More...
Published: Wed May 23 15:50:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gay group denounces attacks  - BBC South Asia

SRI LANKA PRESS:Colombo Port Workers Plan Protest Wed
Yahoo India, Wednesday May 23, 9:06 AM. Workers of Sri Lanka's main Colombo port are planning a lunchtime protest Wednesday to demand a wage increase, the Daily Mirror reports. More...
Published: Wed May 23 16:10:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Port workers launch campaign for salary increase  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Lankan situation not completely hopeless: Solhiem
India Abroad, 23 May. NORWAY'S special envoy for Sri Lanka Erik Solheim says his peace efforts in the island has not fallen apart and that while the situation is "extremely difficult" it is "not hopeless".This was the message he had conveyed during his meetings here with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and other senior administration officials, Solheim told India Abroad News Service. Solheim also met with South Asia experts of an inter-agency panel drawn from the State Department, Pentagon and the National Security Council, several US lawmakers and their staff, including members of the Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka. Solheim left Sri Lanka last week after failing to bring Colombo and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the negotiating table and witnessing a fresh surge of rebel violence. More...
Published: Wed May 23 08:39:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Customs Officer's murder Interpol alert for arrest of Anura Weerawansa
CDN, 23 May. An Interpol alert has gone out for the arrest of Customs Officer Anura Weerwansa, the principal suspect in the murder of Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Sujith Prasanna Perera. The Sri Lanka branch of the International Criminal Police Organisation has sought the assistance of the headquarters in France, in tracking down the wanted man who has slipped out of the island. The Gampaha Police and the CID teams investigating the killing earlier questioned three Customs Officers who had allegedly assisted Anura Weerawansa to escape. Police believe that Weerawansa had obtained the assistance of a boatman to escape from the country. Several Customs Officers who were in India recently had seen Weerawansa there, the Police said. More...
Published: Wed May 23 04:39:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan specialist disputes US coroner's ‘hair dye death’ verdict
India Abroad, 23 May. Sri Lankan allergy specialist is up in arms against the verdict given by a US county coroner that blamed an Indian-made hair dye for the recent death of a popular singer, Malini Bulathsinghala. Mahinda de Silva, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said, "The chances of sudden death from dyeing your hair are the same as winning the New York Lotto, which is about a billion to one." De Silva has suggested that the singer died of a heart attack. "A severe coronary episode could have produced all the symptoms including the symptoms of acute asthma which Bulathsinghala manifested." Bulathsinghala, 51, died in the United States in March just as she concluded a concert tour organized by Sri Lankan residents in the US. The autopsy held in Los Angeles (LA) by the county coroner found she had died of "acute bronchial asthma" probably caused, the report said, by an allergic reaction to "Eagle's Black Henna Powder", an Indian-made product supposedly used by the singer for several years. More...
Published: Wed May 23 08:40:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers blast navy bus, toll hits 15, May 23 2001 11:57 IST. COLOMBO, May 23 (AFP) - Suspected Tamil Tiger guerrillas blew up a navy bus in northeastern Sri Lanka Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than a dozen others, officials here said. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas ambushed the bus by exploding a landmine as it passed the village of Thampalagamam in the port district of Trincomalee, officials said. More...
Published: Wed May 23 08:34:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Fifteen dead after Sri Lanka navy bus blast blamed on Tigers  -
Navy bus ambushed in Sri Lanka  -

Ban on LTTE may be lifted temporarily
The Hindustan Times, Colombo, May 21. THE SRI Lankan government may temporarily lift a ban on Tamil Tiger rebels to allow Norwegian-brokered peace talks to take off, a senior government official said on Monday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has consulted legal experts to find a face-saving formula to meet the key guerrilla demand to resume talks after more than five years, an official said on condition of anonymity. More...
Published: Tue May 22 03:40:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Temporary withdrawal of ban on LTTE likely  - Press Trust of India

No lifting of ban on LTTE: Lanka minister
Times of India, 23 May 2001 . Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Weerakoon has said the government will not consider lifting the ban on the LTTE, a demand the rebels have insisted on for peace talks to commence."The government is not considering lifting the ban at this stage," said the minister on Monday in response to media reports that the government was looking into the possibility of de-proscribing the LTTE. More...
Published: Tue May 22 16:17:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian lubricants enter Sri Lanka market, May 23 2001 17:26 IST. COLOMBO, May 23 (AFP) - India has entered Sri Lanka's lubricant market following the partial de-regulation of the island's petroleum distribution system, the Indian High Commission (embassy) here said Wednesday. The Indian Oil Corporation signed an agreement with Sri Lanka's David Peiris Motor Company to sell its SERVO brand lubricants, the high commission said in a statement. More...
Published: Wed May 23 08:41:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muslims demand Sri Lanka talks role
Yahoo, 23 Wednesday. An influential Muslim party in Sri Lanka has asked that it be part of any peace process in the country involving the government and Tamil rebels. The Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC) made the demand after talks with Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim in Colombo. "Any settlement reached will not be seen as legitimate if the Muslims are not involved in the negotiations," according to SLMC leader and Trade Minister Rauf Hakeem. Mr Solheim held talks with the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday in his latest attempt to start a dialogue between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Mr Hakeem said he fully supported the Norwegian peace initiative - but wanted to make sure his party was involved in any negotiations to end the long-running civil war. More...
Published: Wed May 23 04:14:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka investigates fatal helicopter crash
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 00:34 GMT 01:34 UK . The Sri Lankan Government has appointed a retired judge to investigate the cause of a helicopter crash eight months ago which killed a cabinet minister and fourteen other passengers. The former judge, L H G Weerasekara, is to examine the events surrounding the crash which killed the Ports Minister, M H M Ashraff, a month before the country's general election. More...
Published: Tue May 22 21:38:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket corruption still a threat
Age, 23 May 2001. Corruption in international cricket continues to happen and remains "a real threat", the International Cricket Council's official report on match-fixing warned this afternoon (Australian time). Cricket corruption stretches back decades, with evidence of players throwing matches in the 1970s, an International Cricket Council report has found. The report also admits corruption is likely to continue in the future with the practice reduced to "an absolute minimum" by the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. More...
Published: Wed May 23 04:48:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Troops Kill 16 Tamil Rebels In New Offensive
Yahoo, May 22. Government troops raided suspected Tamil Tiger rebel hideouts in a new offensive in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, killing 16 of them, a government spokesman said Tuesday.The attacks came days after a Norwegian envoy unsuccessfully tried to resume peace talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam after a gap of five years. More...
Published: Tue May 22 12:11:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan troops kill 16 Tamil rebels in new offensive  - Press Trust of India

Army claims to have killed 10 Tigers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.45 p.m. SLT Tuesday May 22. The Sri Lanka Army said today that troops operating ahead of the Forward Defence Line in the general area of Muhamalai launched a raid on four rebel bunkers last morning and destroyed 03 of them.

The military says it killed at least 10 rebels while a few more would have received injuries. Four soldiers were wounded in the confrontation.

The Army further says that troops on an ambush confronted a group of terrorists around 6 a.m. last morning in the general area of Averikadu, approximately 3.5 Kms. Southeast of Eluthumadduval.

According to the Army, the rebels had retaliated with mortar and small arms fire. Troops believe four Tigers were either killed or seriously injured.
Published: Tue May 22 07:49:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Tamil rebels killed in fresh attack  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lankan troops kill 12 Tiger rebels in fresh fighting  -

Terrorists welcome - A Commentry
National Post - Canada, May 22. A misguided defence of the rights and privileges of terrorists and spies by Canadian courts is making our country, as well as the rest of the world, a more dangerous place to live. It is time to recognize that Canada's famous welcome mat cannot be extended to the globe's most undesirable people.This week the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the cases of Manickavasagam Suresh and Mansour Ahani. Both men have well-documented pasts as members of terrorist organizations in Sri Lanka and Iran respectively. Extraordinarily, the fact that they have been engaged in global terror campaigns has not been enough to allow the federal government to expel them. More...
Published: Tue May 22 21:45:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cricket - "Witnesses too scared to give evidence"
Yahoo India, Tuesday May 22, 8:58 PM. The preliminary reports of Sir Paul Condon chief of ICC's anti-corruption unit has revealed "startling allegations of murder, kidnap and threats" to key witnesses in course of a probe into match-fixing scandal, media reported here today.Some key figures remain fearful for their lives and investigators have had to take special precautions when interviewing them, 'The Daily Telegraph', which claims to have seen the 80-page report, reported. More...
Published: Tue May 22 16:55:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Match-fixing may have started in England  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Matchfixing may have started in England  - Yahoo India

Court to decide on protection from torture
The National Post, May 22. In a pair of cases to be heard today, the Supreme Court will be the final arbiter on whether the federal government can deport refugees to countries that impose beatings, electric shock and death on their citizens.At issue is whether two Toronto men in their mid-30s -- Manickavasagam Suresh of Sri Lanka and Mansour Ahani of Iran -- have the constitutional right to remain in Canada, despite being classified as security threats. The two men have been fighting their deportation for years in Canada's courts.Mr. Suresh is accused of being a leader and fundraiser for the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group that federal officials allege is responsible for the death of more than 50,000 civilians. More...
Published: Tue May 22 21:58:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Photo: CHRONOLOGY-Cricket-International match-fixing scandal
Yahoo India, Tuesday May 22, 4:32 PM. File photo of cricketers named in a Central Bureau of Investigation report into match faxing. (From top row left to right) Sri Lanka's Ajuna Ranatunga, Pakistan's Salim Malik, Sri Lanka's Aravinda d'Silva, South Africa's Hansie Cronje, New Zealand's Martin Crowe, Australia's Mark Waugh, England's Alec Stewart, West Indies' Brian Lara. More...
Published: Tue May 22 16:58:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Canada's deportation law for terrorist's challenged
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday May 22. Canada's strict laws to deport refugees perceived to have links with terrorist groups today comes under fire when two men, one a Tamil from Sri Lanka and a member of the LTTE and the other a Syrian national also a member of a rebel group will challenge the Canadian law on deportation.

The two men will appeal against this piece of legislation on humanitarian grounds asserting that if deported back to their countries of birth they face torture at the hands of State forces.

The court case will bring into question the viability of Canadian law in this respect and if the argument is won, questions will arise if Canada will in the future be forced to harbour terrorists.
Published: Tue May 22 07:49:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Executive Presidency to be abolished: Samaraweera, May 22 2001 14:25 IST. Colombo, May 22 (UNI) The Executive Presidency will be abolished after three years when the incumbent President will revert to the post of Executive Prime Minister, a senior government minister said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga will contest elections to the post of Prime Minister at the end of her tenth year as Executive President in 2004,the State-run 'The Daily News' quoted Urban Development Minister Mangala Samaraweera. More...
Published: Tue May 22 06:10:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Major Hurdles Still in Way of Sri Lankan Peace Process
Peoples Daily, May 22. Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim concluded on Saturday his fresh effort to push for talks between the Sri Lankan government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels without any breakthrough made and the major hurdles are still in the way of peace process in the war-torn country. More...
Published: Tue May 22 12:15:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Solheim consults US on Lankan peace efforts
Times of India, 23 May 2001 . Norway's attempts to broker peace in Sri Lanka have shifted to a higher level with Oslo's peace envoy travelling to Washington for talks with US officials, diplomatic sources said Tuesday."With Mr Solheim in Washington, they will of course discuss the Sri Lankan peace process as well," embassy spokesman Tomas Stangeland said. "From here, we do not know the exact agenda, but Sri Lanka will figure in talks." More...
Published: Tue May 22 16:35:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Stakes raised in Sri Lanka peace bid with US talks  - 123India

Sports Ministry prepared to help cash crisis
Cricinfo, 23 May. The Sri Lankan Sports Ministry has reacted to the news that Thilanga Sumathipala had successful frozen the bank accounts of the Cricket Board by promising to fund the board from it's own coffers. Dr Prathap Ramanujan, the Sports Ministry Secretary and a member of the Interim Committee, told the Daily Mirror that the Ministry would finance the Cricket Board if the court ruling secured yesterday prevented the Interim Committee from accessing the accounts. He admitted that it would be a burden but was confidence that the necessary funding could be found. The Interim Committee, headed by Vijaya Malalsekera, met last night to discuss the developments. No formal statement was offered to the media, but Asantha de Mel denied that High Courts decision would be a hindrance in an interview with the Daily Mirror. More...
Published: Wed May 23 04:46:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to rescue cash-crisis hit cricket board  - Yahoo Asia

Eighteen asylum seekers arrested in Britain
Island, 22 May. Eighteen Tamil refugees who sought asylum in Britain were arrested and detained on May 19 after the denial of their refugee claims, Eelam Nation (Internet) reported yesterday. The detainment comes with British Home Secretary Jack Straw’s announcement that Britain would introduce a cap on the number of refugees allowed to settle in the country as part of a government clampdown. Eelam Nation said that the asylum seekers were advised by the British authorities to hire legal experts in the country if they wanted to express their opinion against the British decision. These arrests have been made after their appeals had come to an end. More...
Published: Tue May 22 03:43:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

© Copyright 2000, 2001 Lanka Academic Network.