The Lanka Academic

MAY 27, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 51

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
Fresh Sri Lanka violence kills 12, May 27 2001 12:10 IST. Two Tamil Tiger rebels were killed when a landmine they were setting up exploded prematurely in northeastern Sri Lanka, said officials, who added that nine more guerrillas and a constable were killed elsewhere. The two members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamperished when the mine they were setting up exploded just outside the Trincomalee town on Saturday night, local officials said. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:48:33 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
LTTE preparing to resume bomb attacks in Colombo: Report
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Sunday, May 27, 2001. The LTTE is preparing to strike in Colombo once again in a bid to force the government to accept its pre-conditions for talks, a news report said here today. "At least two Black Tiger squads are already in Colombo, while two more are preparing to depart from the Vanni," The Island said quoting unnamed civilians in the Vanni region in the north controlled by the LTTE More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:40:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's chief justice seeks divine help amid impeachment, May 27 2001 15:04 IST. COLOMBO, May 27 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Sarath Silva, who faces impeachment in parliament, has sought the blessings of the country's holiest tree at a Buddhist temple, officials said Sunday. Silva offered robes to the Sri Maha Bodhi, a type of Banyan tree botanically known as Ficus Religiosa, the world's holiest Buddhist relic dating back 23 centuries and located in north-central Anuradhapura. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:37:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Judges shelve trust motion in Sri Lanka's embattled chief justice, May 27 2001 17:12 IST. Judges in Sri Lanka Sunday shelved a motion of confidence in Chief Justice Sarath Silva, delivering a blow to his bid to avoid impeachment in parliament, officials said.District judges and magistrates discarded the confidence resolution at a meeting in Colombo, a judge who attended the meeting said. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:38:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lack of Prompt Investigations Sends Unhealthy Message -CPJ on Ravaya Attack
Saroj Pathirana in London, Sunday 27/05/01 1740 GMT. US based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has strongly condemned the recent smoke bomb attack on Ravaya and Athavan office, saying it reflects an alarming trend of attacks against journalists. The CPJ urges, in a media statement, the government to issue a prompt and full report on the police investigation.

Unidentified people threw a smoke bomb into Ravaya's office compound in Maharagama last week. The smoke bomb was of a type normally used by Sri Lankan Security forces and is not available to the general public, police told the BBC.

Gunmen believed to be associated with a pro-government militia assassinated Jaffna based BBC journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan last year, recalls the CPJ in its statement issued from New York. To date, the CPJ says, that the government has made no serious efforts to bring his killers to justice.

"Attacks against journalists in Sri Lanka are occurring with alarming regularity. Without thorough and impartial investigations into such incidents, the message is that journalists can be targeted with impunity." said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper.
Published: Sun May 27 13:40:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Unless Govt. and LTTE begin peace talks, estates to strike
Island, 28 May 2001. The Ceylon Workers' United Front (Lanka Kamkaru Eksath Peramuna) is to launch a strike in the plantation sector to urge the government and the LTTE to enter into peace talks, unless they begin talks within the next month, said the President of the front T. V. Sennan. More...
Published: Sun May 27 23:46:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says Indian Fishermen A Big Security Risk
Yahoo India, Sunday May 27, 3:00 PM. Indian fishermen, who have been used as shields in the past by Tamil guerrillas, are again posing a security risk in Sri Lanka's waters, the navy said Sunday, urging a clampdown by India's government. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may use the fishermen, who intrude into Sri Lankan territorial waters, as cover to approach the northern coast and launch attacks or transport medicine, ammunition and fuel to their cadres on land, naval officers said. More...
Published: Sun May 27 13:18:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Norway peacemaker under fire amid new snags in Sri Lanka, May 27 2001 11:35 IST. Norway's special envoy who is trying to broker peace in Sri Lanka has come under renewed fire from nationalists amid new obstacles stalling his efforts, diplomats and officials here said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:39:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Straying into a sea of trouble
The Hindu (Southern States), Sunday, May 27, 2001. Mr. Joseph Titus Fernando, 48, of Sri Lanka's Puttalam province, is a man more sinned against than sinning. The lure of prawns landed him and his crew of five on the wrong side of the Gulf of Mannar two years ago. The Indian Coast Guard ship, `Naikidevi', found them on the Indian side of the International Boundary Line between India and Sri Lanka on November 25, 1999. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:44:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fishermen arrested with India's consent: Lankan Navy official
Press Trust of India, Kankesanturai (Jaffna Peninsula),Sunday, May . The 39 Indian fishermen, arrested recently for fishing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters, were aprehended on a specific request from the Indian Navy to deter such intrusions, a Sri Lankan naval official has said. "We arrested them as a warning to others not to intrude into our waters, but it was done with India's consent. They requested us to arrest some people", Commodore J H Upali Ranaweera, Commander of Sri Lanka's Northern Naval Area, told visiting reporters from Colombo yesterday at the naval area headquarters here. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:44:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Indian diplomat flayed for lobbying for arrested fishermen  - India Abroad

Sri Lanka to probe ousted cricket board
Times of India (Breaking News), 27 May 2001 . Sri Lankan sports minister Lakshman Kiriella has appointed a five-member panel to probe the activities of the cricket control board he sacked in March, triggering a spate of court cases. Head of the five-member panel, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, said he had been asked to investigate allegations of corruption amid charges of financial mismanagement by the sacked board which was headed by Thilanga Sumathipala. More...
Published: Sun May 27 11:42:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan opposition leaders to visit India, May 27 2001 11:09 IST. COLOMBO, May 27 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Sunday said he was planning to visit India later this week for talks with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Wickremesinghe said he hoped to be in the Indian capital New Delhi for "two to three days" and have meetings with Vajpayee and several other Indian leaders. More...
Published: Sun May 27 12:53:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's opposition leader to meet Vajpayee  - India Abroad
Sri Lankan opposition leaders to visit India  - Yahoo India

Leo de Lile in Colombo, 8.20pm SLT, May 26, 2001. Tamil women walk past the heavily guarded Navy checkpoint as newly installed electricity poles stand out against the sky to Karainagar, in northern Jaffna Peninsula. The government is laying the groundwork to resume power supply to Karainagar, interrupted due to the conflict between government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, fighting since 1983 for a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east. In the meantime, the peace plan which Norway is trying to bring the two sides to the negotiation table suffered a major blow on Friday when President Chandrika Kumaratunga decided not to lift the ban on the LTTE despite heavy pressure from western countries to start peace talks to end the 17 year old ethnic crisis. 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 to start the peace talks with Norwegian mediation More...
Published: Sat May 26 10:20:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Back to the 1980's
The Lanka Academic , May 27. I felt a strong sense of déjà vu as I watched on TV, last week's demonstration of University students against the 'Private Universities Act'. (The government has denied any intention to privatize tertiary education; but given the PA's record its denials carry very little conviction). Watching, I remembered another time, a similar issue: mid 1980's; and the struggle against the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC), the first step of an abortive attempt by the Jayawardene regime to partially privatize tertiary education. That struggle helped the JVP to monopolise the university student movement (until the mid eighties the JVP's student wing, Samajavadhi Shishya Sangamaya, was merely one of several competing student unions). That struggle also made a critical contribution to the second JVP insurgency, providing it with 'tried and tested' cadres, an effective front organization with plausible - or implausible - deniability (the Inter University Students Federation - IUSF), useful cross connections (such as with the health sector) and semi-liberated zones in a number of major cities. More...
Published: Sat May 26 21:48:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka rejects lifting Tiger ban ahead of talks, May 26 2001 18:13 IST. Sri Lanka Saturday "categorically" rejected a key Tamil rebel demand to lift a ban on them before entering Norwegian-backed talks and accused the guerrillas of trying to scuttle the peace process. The government in a six-page statement that the lifting or the suspension of the proscription of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelamwill not be done as a "pre-requisite" or a "pre-condition" for talks. More...
Published: Sat May 26 12:43:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
‘Lankan Govt not to lift ban on LTTE’  - The Hindustan Times
Tamil Tiger ban 'must stay'  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka rejects LTTE demand for lifting ban  - Press Trust of India

Sri Lanka gays going great guns abroad, but battle remains at home, May 27 2001 18:15 IST. COLOMBO, May 27 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's gay activists have won an international award for quiet diplomacy, but the group is under pressure from younger members to take firmer action to have homosexuality decriminalised at home. The main gay rights group here, Companions on a Journey, and its women's support group received recognition from the San Francisco-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) for their work since 1995. More...
Published: Sun May 27 12:54:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka gays going great guns abroad, but battle remains at home  - Yahoo Asia

Cabinet decides: No Private Universities
CDN, 26 May. The Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday decided not to have private universities in Sri Lanka, Minister of Higher Education and Information Technology Indika Gunawardena told the Daily News yesterday. The Cabinet has also decided that all universities will continue to remain under the aegis of the state further to the Minister's Memorandum to the Cabinet. It was also decided at the Cabinet meeting that the Government would also not enact new legislation or amend the Universities' Act.The Minister stressed that the Government's position on this matter was very firm and said that it was absolutely unfair for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna sponsored trade unions to conduct agitational campaigns and also mislead the university student population. Meanwhile, the Minister had assured More...
Published: Sat May 26 10:54:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka To Make New Laws To Check Computer Hacking
Yahoo India, Friday May 25, 12:43 PM. The Ministry of Justice Friday said it is pushing for new laws that will 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: Sat May 26 12:48:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SRI LANKA PRESS: Govt Eyes Possible Second Intl Airport
Yahoo India, may 25. Minister of Aviation and Airport Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has said that the government is in the process of finalizing a study on the possibility of setting up a second international airport, reports the Daily News. He said a committee conducting the study has already identified three areas in the south of the country. More...
Published: Sat May 26 12:49:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNESCO mulls day of mourning for Bamiyan Buddha statues
Yahoo India, Friday May 25, 11:00 AM. The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO said on Friday it was considering declaring an international day of mourning to mark the destruction of two giant statues of Buddha by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers. A Sri Lankan Buddhist group wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking that the world body proclaim a day of mourning to mark the date when the Taliban blew up the Buddhas, hewn into cliffs in the Bamiyan Province. More...
Published: Sat May 26 12:50:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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