The Lanka Academic

MAY 25, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 49

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 decide not to lift the ban on the LTTE
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1925 slt 25.05.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has decided not to lift the ban on the LTTE despite heavy pressure from western countries to start peace talks to end the 18 year old ethnic crisis. The decision was taken after a series of consultations with cabinet members and senior party members. However government's strategy of keeping the decision under wraps for a month to allow Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim maneuvering space, back fired when a number of ministers made statements to the local and foreign press. The LTTE has demanded the lifting of the ban as a pre condition to starting talks. Both LTTE and the Sri Lankan government has come under increasing pressure from western countries and India to start the peace talks with Norwegian mediation. end
Published: Fri May 25 09:33:04 EDT 2001

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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.

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Lanka rules out lifting ban on Tamil Tigers
India Abroad, May 25. SRI Lanka has ruled out revoking its ban on the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a key rebel demand that has clouded Norway's bid to open early peace talks. he ban was imposed in 1998 after the bombing of the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth. The state-run Daily News newspaper said Friday that it "reliably understands that there will be no lifting of the ban on the LTTE in any form", ending speculation that Colombo might take the step to persuade the guerrilla group to participate in peace negotiations. More...
Published: Fri May 25 08:24:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka rules out ending ban on LTTE to open talks: report  - Press Trust of India
Sri Lanka not to lift ban on LTTE  - India Abroad
Peace hopes dim as Sri Lanka rules out ending Tiger ban  -
Sri Lanka rules out ending ban on Tamil Tigers to open talks: report  -

Sri Lanka opposition moves to oust chief justice
Yahoo India, Friday May 25, 5:13 PM. Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Friday took the first step in its bid to impeach the country's chief justice and set the stage for a major test of the ruling coalition's tenuous parliamentary majority.Lawyers said the country's constitution provided for the removal of the chief justice by a simple majority in parliament which neither the UNP nor President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Peoples Alliance (PA) can muster on its own. More...
Published: Fri May 25 17:16:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Public donations enable cancer sufferer to begin treatment
gulf-news, may 25. A 29-year-old waiter suffering from cancer left for India early this morning just 10 days after a public appeal was launched to raise money for his treatment. William Saman Devapriya, an employee of the Dubai Marine Beach and Spa Resort in Jumeirah, left with his 23-year-old wife Yamuna to begin the specialist treatment he never thought he'd receive.Those wishing to contribute to Devapriya's fund can deposit money in a special account set up and handled by the resort's Human Resources Department at the Commercial Bank of Dubai. Cash can be given in the name of William Walter Saman Devapriya, number 020300376631, or can be paid directly to the Guest Relations section at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa, where a receipt and proof of deposit will be issued. More...
Published: Fri May 25 23:29:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP signs impeachment motion against the Chief Justice
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1755 slt 25.05.01. After a two and half hour heated debate the United National Party today decided to move a motion in parliament to impeach Chief Justice Sarath Silva. The Party decided that all 88 members of parliament of the UNP should sign the document. 78 MPs who were present immediately signed the impeachment motion. The JVP has also said that its ten members in parliament would also support the motion. The Motion accuse the Chief Justice of moral turpitude and interfering with the judicial process .Once the motion is tabled with a minimum of 75 signatures, the speaker has to appoint a committee to inquire into the allegations. If the committee recommends the impeachment of the Chief Justice, parliament has to pass the committee recommendation with a simple majority.
Published: Fri May 25 08:12:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Appeal Court rejects interim relief in the challenge to the dissolution of the cricket board.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1800 slt 25.05.01. The Court of Appeal today rejected an application asking for interim relief in the case challenging the dissolution of the cricket board. EX officials of the board has challenged the dissolution saying it is illegal. The Court refuse interim relief asking the dissolution to be set aside and to fix a date for fresh elections. Last week the ex officials of the board won an injunction preventing the Interim Committee appointed by the Sports Minister from operating the bank accounts of the board.
Published: Fri May 25 08:12:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tourist Board to carry out promotional campaign in the US
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, New York Time 10.30 p.m Friday 25 May. Sri Lanka Tourist Boards honorary director in the USA, Dillan Ariyawansa told The Lanka Academic today that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board has drawn up plans to carry out an aggressive promotional campaign in the USA in the coming months. He said the new promotional programme was discussed with the new chairman of the Tourist Board Renton de Alwis at a meeting held in Colombo early this month when the Sri Lanka Tourist Board representative from worldwide met to discuss the medium term marketing strategy for Sri Lankan tourism. According to Ariyawansa the first promotional project in the USA will be an essay competition on Sri Lanka conducted in ten American schools followed by a seven state road show in Detroit, Florida, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago. Which begins in September this year. Ariyawansa added ‘ We will also invite some of Americas best travel writers to visit Sri Lanka and arrange special visits of world renowned American nationals to Sri Lanka. Americans are beginning to get more and more interested on our country and we want to be active in the future even though budgetary constraints hampered our programmes in the past. Country’s promotional events in the USA are to be jointly sponsored and organized by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and the national career Sri Lankan airlines. Sri Lanka has seen a 40.4% increase in the arrival of American tourists to the island as at March this year.
Published: Fri May 25 22:34:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Buddhist Sri Lanka advertises for monks
India Abroad, 25 may. SRI Lanka's Buddhist clergy picks monks through a stringent criteria, but fewer applicants and abandoned temples in the island's war zones have prodded the government to summon the faithful through advertisements. The island has an enduring image of saffron-robed, shaven-headed Buddhist monks, begging bowls in hand, standing in front of stark white temples. But the picture could be shattered with only a small proportion of the 70 percent Buddhist population in the clergy.With only an estimated 39,000 monks here, concern is growing over the dwindling numbers in a country known as the fount of orthodox Theravada Buddhism. Top echelons of high priests still hold sway, influencing politics and national life, but few feel they have a vocation in the lower ranks. More...
Published: Fri May 25 05:06:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka May Couple Fixed-Line,Intl Licenses
Yahoo India, 26 May 2001. Sri Lanka's Director General of Telecommunications Friday said the island nation could ease its unmet telephone demand if it couples plans to offer fixed-line operator and international gateway licenses. "It is a big investment to offer telephones in areas outside of the capital, so the international license should be used as an incentive for the new fixed-line operator," R.D. Somasiri told Dow Jones Newswires. More...
Published: Fri May 25 22:12:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Drafts New Laws To Crack Down On Computer Crime
Yahoo India, Friday May 25, 11:30 AM. Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice said Friday it is pushing to enact new legislation to punish people involved in computer-related offenses. "New legislation has been drafted taking into account the experience of computer-related law now in operation in other countries," the ministry said in a statement. More...
Published: Fri May 25 08:40:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Connotations on lifting of the ban on the LTTE
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.40 p.m. SLT Thursday May 24. Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Batty Weerakoon asserted this week that the government will not consider lifting the ban on the LTTE. Weerakoon was replying to press speculation that the State was considering removing the existing ban on the Tigers.

Civil society groups and peace organizations have now begun to impress upon the Government that to lift the ban on the LTTE or at least to suspend the order will clear the way for talks. Several ministers however are reported to be unhappy about the prospect of the ban being lifted temporarily or otherwise while hard-line Sinhalese are threatening dire consequences if the Tigers are recognized as equal partners in the peace process.

"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, for the Sihala Urumaya said in a statement.
Published: Thu May 24 05:52:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNESCO to mourn destruction of Buuddha statues
Yahoo India, Friday May 25, 12:00 AM. UNESCO said on Friday that is considering o declare an international day to mourn the destruction fghanistan's two giant Buddha statues in the Bamiyan province. Sri Lankan Buddhist group wrote to U.N. Secretary-General ofi Annan urging the world body to proclaim a day of mourning to ark the destruction of Buddha statues by Taleban regime. More...
Published: Fri May 25 08:40:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Opp. parties agree to caretaker govt.
The Island, may 24. Opposition political parties in Parliament on Wednesday worked out the modalities to bring amendments to the constitution to have a caretaker government during elections and for the establishment of an effective Media Commission to control the state media.The parties at the discussion were the UNP, JVP, TULF and the ACTC. More...
Published: Thu May 24 23:16:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan government deny newspaper attack
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK . The Sri Lankan government has denied allegations that it was behind the attack on Wednesday on the offices of a Sinhalese-language newspaper Ravaya which has been critical of the government and the judiciary. The media minister , Anura Priyadharshana, said that all papers in Sri Lanka were treated equally. More...
Published: Thu May 24 08:32:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian investigators ask govt. for details on US $1.5m payment for Lankan cricket administrators
Island, 25 May 2001. The government on Wednesday directed the Foreign Ministry to get details from the Directorate of Law Enforcement in India [DLEI] following a report submitted yesterday that some Sri Lankan cricket administrators have been bribed in January by an international television firm to obtain TV rights, highly placed government sources disclosed yesterday. The DLEI and the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] of India which conducted investigations into allegations of match fixing, bribery and corruption has in the report stated that a deal of US dollars 1.5 million had been struck between the two parties and a part of it had been paid to the Sri Lankan cricket administrators mentioned in the report and the balance payment to follow in the future. More...
Published: Fri May 25 01:38:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka navy offers amnesty to deserters, May 24 2001 13:55 IST. COLOMBO, May 24 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's navy Thursday offered an amnesty to deserters to rejoin the fold without fear of tough disciplinary action. The four-day amnesty period will start from June 4 and mirrors similar moves by the army which has a bigger problem of desertions amid the conflict with Tamil Tiger guerrillas. More...
Published: Thu May 24 05:52:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Karate Chops Ardor of Molesters
Yahoo, Thursday May 24 9:26 AM ET . Four Sri Lankan men got more than they bargained for when they tried to molest two women in a central Sri Lankan town -- only to find one of their would-be victims was a karate champion, a newspaper said on Thursday.It said two of the men were felled by neat blows ``where men are most vulnerable,'' while the other two bolted. More...
Published: Thu May 24 11:50:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Supreme Court weighs fate of two men facing possible torture if deported
National Post - Canada, may 24. Two suspected terrorists who fear they'll be tortured or worse if returned to their homelands must now await a widely anticipated ruling from Canada's top court. Nine Supreme Court of Canada judges reserved judgment Tuesday in a case that pits national security concerns against the rights of refugees who may face abuse if sent home. At the centre of the case are Manickavasagam Suresh, accused of raising funds for Sri Lankan terrorists, and Mansour Ahani, suspected of being an Iranian assassin. More...
Published: Thu May 24 21:12:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A Sharjah cricket Test may be on the horizon
gulf-news, may 20. A Test match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium could be a possibility in the near future if one goes by Sri Lankan Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella's willingness to further back the CBFS at a time the 20-year-old organisation is facing severe criticism from different quarters."When we got Test status and we were not in demand worldwide, the CBFS invited us, hence it is our turn to stand by them in difficult times," Kiriella told a press conference yesterday at the CBFS premises. He was talking at the formal announcement of a three-year contract between the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the CBFS. More...
Published: Thu May 24 21:06:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Army says 14 killed in Trincomalee explosion
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.50 p.m. SLT Thursday May 24. Further to the Situation Report of the Bomb explosion on the Trincomalee - Habarana road which occurred yesterday, the Army say that it is now confirmed that only 14 were killed and 38 were wounded in the incident.

According to the military of the 14 killed 13 are sailors and the other one is a civilian employed in the Navy.

The LTTE, the army says had used a command wire to detonate the bomb which has been hidden in a heap of gravel piled up by the side of the road.

Also in the Trincomalee district at Muttur rebel cadre are reported to have attacked a Police Post at around 1.45 p.m. yesterday.

Police had retaliated enemy fire with the support of the Army. The rebels fled the area and it is believed that one terrorist was killed and at least four were injured in the confrontation.

On a subsequent search police had apprehended two bullock carts which were in the vicinity and recovered 01 x T56 Magazine with 14 x rounds of ammunition in one of them.

The army further states that in the Jaffna peninsula one soldier was killed and two were injured due to the explosion of a terrorist Improvised Explosive Device whilst on a route clearing patrol conducted in the general area of Muhamalai around 12.30 pm on 22 May.
Published: Thu May 24 05:52:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

15 persons missing in Vavuniya
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 2.10 p.m. SLT Thursday May 24. The Human Rights Commission in Vavuniya today charged that 15 persons arrested by the Army two weeks ago have since gone missing.

Parents and relatives of the 15 individuals maintain that their near and dear were taken in for questioning by the Army this month but have since disappeared without a trace.

The HRC asserts that recently, more and more cases of persons gone missing are being reported in the country's north.
Published: Thu May 24 05:52:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS:Govt Body,Mobil Unit In Distribution Deal
Yahoo India, Friday May 25 2001. Sri Lanka's Cooperative Wholesale Establishment, a government procurement agency, has struck a partnership with Mobil Lanka to distribute its lubricant products in the country, reports the Daily News. Mobil Lanka is a unit of Exxon Mobil (XOM). More...
Published: Fri May 25 01:24:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS: Govt Warns Pvt Telephone Operators
Yahoo India, May 24. COLOMBO (Dow Jones)--The government has warned all private telephone and data operators of tough punishment if they are found guilty of bypassing proper regulations when making international telephone calls, reports the Daily Mirror. The report said President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to keep a close watch on all private operators and take legal action against offenders. Sri Lanka Telecom, which is 35% owned by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (NTT), holds a monopoly on local and international calls until 2002 and charges an interconnection fee from all private telephone and data operators. Most private operators have criticized the system saying it is an unfair practice More...
Published: Thu May 24 18:08:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka printers in battle to stop exodus to India, Indonesia
Yahoo Asia, 24 May. Sri Lanka's printers Thursday asked the government to lift taxes on paper imports because they are losing most of the domestic book publishing business to cheaper presses in India and Indonesia.The Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLPA) said a government decision not to levy customs duty on books but slap a 24 percent tax on paper imports had led to publishers getting their books printed abroad."About 80 percent of the local books, including books like 'Birds of Sri Lanka, Elephants of Sri Lanka', are all printed in India and Indonesia," SLPA president Sathis Abeywickrama said.He said the SLPA was lobbying the government to allow the local printing industry to import duty free the paper required for book publishing. Otherwise, the country would lose foreign exchange, he said. More...
Published: Thu May 24 07:13:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

French journalists call for investigation into smoke bomb attack on Lankan newspaper offices
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Thursday May 24. The French based Reporters Sans Frontiers in a letter to media minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa today has called for a full investigation into the smoke bomb attack on the independent Sinhala weekly, the Ravaya newspaper and another independent Tamil weekly.

The incidents took place last evening when smoke bombs were thrown at the publishing house of the Ravaya newspaper owned by journalist and Editor in Chief Victor Ivan, and at the publishing house of an independent Tamil weekly.
Published: Thu May 24 05:52:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Media rights group urges probe into Sri Lanka newspaper attack, May 24 2001 10:11 IST. The Paris-based media rights group, Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Border), urged Sri Lanka's government Thursday to investigate a smoke bomb attack on two independent newspapers. RSF general secretary Robert Menard wrote to Sri Lanka's media minister, Anura Yapa, calling for a probe into Wednesday's attack on the offices of the Sinhalese-language, Ravaya, and Tamil Athavan weekly newspapers. "If the culprits of this attack and their motives are not identified quickly, the journalists of these two independent weeklies will work with the fear of new reprisals," Menard said in his letter. More...
Published: Thu May 24 01:40:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLanka's Environment Group Tells US Not to Dump Untested GM Food
Nothern Light, Thursday, May 24, 2001 12:03 AM EST . Sri Lanka's Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL) told the United States not to dump untested genetically modified food in the country in a strongly worded letter to U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday, The Island newspaper reported Thursday. Sri Lanka banned the import, storage and sale of genetically modified food from May 1. More...
Published: Thu May 24 01:42:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC Chief accepts that world body bungled over match-fixing claims
Yahoo India, 24 May 2001. Giving the impression that they preferred the image of the old school tie as well as clinging to the myth the annual meeting at Lord’s in June was still a bun fight for old pals, the International Cricket Council offered little more than an official ‘Tut . . . tut’ in their initial reaction to the damning widespread corruption report within the game when it was released in London today. Confirming its role as that of a dinosaur which has lost its teeth and with the backbone of an amoeba, the ICC plan to officially react on June 18 to the seventy-seven page first report prepared by the anti-corruption unit which the ICC set up last year to investigate the bookmaking malaise and other fraudulent aspects which for more than thirty years were ignored by the world’s so-called governing body. More...
Published: Thu May 24 02:41:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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