The Lanka Academic

MAY 28, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 52

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
Lankans feel Kumaratunga still the best bet
Times of India, 29 May 2001 . Despite mounting criticism against the Sri Lankan government for failing to push start the peace talks, a larger number of people in the country still feel the ruling party is best at solving the island's long standing ethnic conflict, a recent survey showed.Of the total number polled, 45 percent said the ruling Peoples Alliance (PA) government is the party best capable of solving the ethnic problem, while 32 percent said the main opposition United National Party (UNP) could do the job. More...
Published: Mon May 28 17:59:16 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
Tonights NightLine
ABCNews, May 28. Reminder to TLA readers in the USA and others who have access to ABC news and Nightline. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the vacation season. People start getting antsy about finally getting some time away from work. Most people, but not Dr. Jeremy Torstveit. Torstveit is a pediatric cardiac surgeon in Phoenix, Ariz. He operates on children born with heart defects, children whose lives are threatened or who face a lifetime of severely restricted activity. The major but now routine procedure that he performs can give them perfectly healthy, normal lives. Ten years ago, Torstveit was on vacation in Sri Lanka. He learned that there was no such surgery available anywhere in the country, that children with heart defects died routinely.Ever since then Torstveit has used his vacation time to travel Sri Lanka to operate those children and also to train local doctors in the procedure. More...
Published: Mon May 28 20:02:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE blames government for breakdown in peace process
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 3.20 p.m. SLT Monday May 28. The LTTE today blamed the government for what it called a breakdown in the peace process after the State refused to lift an existing ban on the Tigers.

In a statement issued from its office in the Vanni the rebels said that the government's hard line position has seriously affected the Oslo backed peace process. The Government last week asserted in no uncertain terms that it would not lift the proscription on the LTTE, and that it considered the demand grossly unfair given that the Tigers had initially agreed to negotiations without any preconditions.

"If the Government adopts a hard-line position and refuses to review its decision on proscription, then it should bear full and total responsibility for the collapse of the peace efforts and the serious consequences that might arise from its decision", the Tamil Tigers warned.

The Tigers added, "Our call for lifting of the proscription is made with the purpose of enabling us to participate in the peace talks as legitimate representatives of our people, as co-partners in constructive engagement. The LTTE has on several occasions raised the question of de-proscription with the Norwegian peace envoy Mr. Solheim when he met our chief negotiator Mr. Anton Balasingham in London. Mr. Balasingham has also made statements on public forums as well as in the media to the effect that the lifting of the ban is urgent and crucial for peace negotiations. We cannot participate in the peace talks as an illegal and criminal entity with a 'terrorist' label."

In conclusion the LTTE calls upon the international community to persuade the Government of Chandrika Kumaratunga to recognise the LTTE as the authentic and legitimate representative organisation of the Tamil people by lifting the proscription and paving the way for the Norwegian initiated peace process.
Published: Mon May 28 05:24:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
LTTE lashes out at govt. for scuttling peace process  - India Abroad
Tigers blame Sri Lanka for collapse of Oslo peace bid  -

LTTE dismayed over Lanka's refusal to lift ban
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Monday, May 28, 2001. The LTTE today said Sri Lanka's decision not to lift the ban on its movement had seriously jeopardised the prospects for peace talks and asked President Chandrika Kumaratunga to reconsider the stand "for the sake of peace and ethnic reconciliation".. Expressing "dismay and regret" over the government's refusal to lift the ban, imposed in January 1998 in the wake of the bombing of Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrine at Kandy, said "it is undeniably Kumaratunga government that has squandered the unique opportunities for peace and hindered the commencement of talks'. More...
Published: Mon May 28 17:57:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tigers say ban threatens peace  - BBC South Asia
Refusal to lift ban a setback: LTTE  - The Hindu (International)

The faithful master jeweller of De Silva
The Star, may 28. MOST people would not guess that above the De Silva fine jewellery shop in Bishop Street, Penang, is the man who crafts beauty out of precious gem stones. N.B. Samarasena, who hails from gem-rich Sri Lanka, is the only in-house jeweller left in De Silva's employment. There were five of them initially. Now only Samara, as he is fondly called, remains to design and make jewellery for the De Silva clientele among whom are Malaysian royal family members. More...
Published: Mon May 28 22:32:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Police apprehend suicide bombers
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday May 28. Police are reported to have apprehended two female suicide bombers today in Colombo. The female killers were taken in on information provided by another 'Black Tiger' who was arrested last Saturday by local police at Bambalapitiya.

According to the cops, the human explosives had arrived in the South to target VIP's. Police in Vavuniya had also been alerted and acting on information provided by the captured female Tigers, have arrested another five women alleged to be members of the LTTE's deadly suicide squad.

The sleuths warn that it is suspected that there are more members from the rebels killer force, prowling Colombo, hoping to target their prey.
Published: Mon May 28 05:24:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Batty wants amendment to Bail Act to remand sex offenders
Island, 28 May. Amendments to the Bail Act will be brought in the near future to prevent offenders of rape and child abuse from being granted bail, Minister of Justice Batty Weerakoon said in Parliament on Friday. The Minister said that he had sought cabinet approval for the amendments and requested the support of the Opposition to get the legislation through when it is presented to parliament. Minister Weerakoon was speaking on a private members motion presented by UNP MP A.H.M. Azwer calling on the government to impose capital punishment for offenders of rape and child abuse. More...
Published: Mon May 28 09:37:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

TULF assails Govt over LTTE ban issue
Times of India, 28 May 2001 . Sri Lanka's peace lobby and minority political parties on Sunday came out strongly against a government decision not to de-proscribe LTTE. "This is a very foolish move on the part of the government. They have still not realised the hardships suffered by the people and the need to end the war," said V Anandasangari, vice president of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).Analysts said the government's decision was likely to affect their chances in a no-confidence motion the opposition is planning to bring to parliament in June as minority parties who are backing the peace process may refuse to support the ruling party. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:10:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka worried about cricketers gaining weight
Times of India (Breaking News), May 28. Sri Lankan cricketers who have gained weight ahead of a gruelling home series against India and New Zealand, are being put on a tough fitness drill, the coach said in a published column. The players, led by skipper Sanath Jayasuriya, are being told to swim and attend aerobic classes regularly so that they can lose weight before the arrival of the Indian and New Zealand teams in August, coach Dave Whatmore wrote in his exclusive column on a website. More...
Published: Mon May 28 14:11:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka rejects TN demand for retrieving Kachchativu
Times of India (Breaking News), may 28. Sri Lanka has rejected Tamil Nadu's call for return of Kachchativu, an island in the Palk Bay off the southern Tamil Nadu coast ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974, terming the demand impossible to comply with. "It is impossible to give it back to them as it has been recognised by the international community as an integral part of Sri Lanka since it was handed over by late Indira Gandhi," Sri Lanka's fisheries and aquatic resources minister Mahinda Rajapakse said. More...
Published: Mon May 28 14:12:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chinese workers attacked in Sri Lanka housing project, May 28 2001 14:10 IST. Sri Lankan police Monday mounted a search for a gang responsible for beating up Chinese workers employed at a housing construction project near the capital, officials said. Police Chief Inspector E. S. Dayaratne said they had arrested two men accused of the attack Sunday at Colombo's suburb of Wattala and they were remanded in custody for two weeks. More...
Published: Mon May 28 06:49:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jaffna awaits census with trepidation
Press Trust of India, Jaffna,Monday, May 28, 2001. The people of Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka await next month's census with great trepidation, as they have much to lose after the population count. "We will have less fund allocations, lesser number of seats in the universities and lose some seats in Parliament," Douglas Devananda, Minister for Rehabilitation of the North and Tamil Affairs, said. More...
Published: Mon May 28 06:54:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ranil to meet Vajpayee
The Hindu, Monday, May 28, 2001. The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, is to leave for New Delhi on June 1 where he will meet the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee. Mr. Wickremesinghe's visit to India will take place amid hectic moves by the UNP to table a no-confidence motion against the Kumaratunga Government. More...
Published: Mon May 28 06:55:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian fishermen arrested as deterrent to poachers: Lanka Navy
India Abroad, 28 May 2001. SRI Lanka arrested 39 Indian fishermen earlier this month as a deterrent to others who try to cross the maritime boundary between the two countries to poach in the island's waters, a top navy official said.The northern area navy commander, Upali Ranaweera, told a local television station that during recent talks with his Indian counterpart he was told to arrest some of the hundreds of trespassing fishermen, instead of firing at them as Sri Lanka has done a few times in the past. More...
Published: Mon May 28 07:31:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka cracks down on Indian fishermen to stop rebel smugglers  -

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 Back to the top

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

INTERVIEW:Sri Lanka Suntel Expects To Break Even In 2001
Yahoo India, 28 May 2001. Sri Lankan telecommunications provider Suntel Lanka Ltd., a unit of Sweden's Telia AB (S.TLA), said Monday it should break even in 2001, helped by a tariff increase and cost controls. "Break even is within our reach this year. It's time a tariff revision is made, but we won't move until the rest of the market does, and this could decide the year," Suntel Managing Director Hugo Cederschiold told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. More...
Published: Mon May 28 07:33:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Condon leaves it to ICC
Yahoo India, Sunday May 27, 12:00 AM. Sir Paul Condon, head of International Cricket Council's Anti- Corruption Unit, expressed the hope on Saturday that the game's governing body would give a serious thought on his interim report on match-fixing which was made public last Wednesday.``I am not pre-judging how they respond to it because it's their prerogative. But, after the Executive Board's meeting in London in June, I look forward to hearing what they have said about my report and I look forward how do they respond to it,'' he said. ``My honest belief is that all the cricket boards must, and I am confident will, work together to deal with this problem''. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:12:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Trouble grows for Lanka Chief Justice
Times of India, 28 May 2001 . : Judges in Sri Lanka on Sunday shelved a motion of confidence in Chief Justice Sarath Silva, delivering a blow to his bid to avoid impeachment in parliament, officials said.The potential ouster of Silva has become a key political issue and a test for President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government, also set to face a no-trust vote in the next two months. Last week, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) with other opposition groups launched a campaign to impeach Silva on several charges of misconduct and immoral behaviour. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:15:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka's chief justice seeks divine help amid impeachment  -

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

Penalty runs for disciplinary breaches
Yahoo India, Sunday May 27, 12:00 AM. the ICC's Cricket Committee - Playing (CC-P) chaired by Sunil Gavaskar has approved the award of five penalty runs on the field of play for all disciplinary breaches covered by the laws of the game.Announcing the decisions of the committee meeting yesterday, ICC said in a press release that penalty runs to be awarded in both test and one-day internationals will be for a trial period of twelve months.A proposal from the ECB for the introduction of a six run penalty in one day international matches for each over of an innings not bowled by the scheduled time was approved and will apply to both innings of a match. It has also agreed to the mandatory use of lights in Test matches in conditions where natural light fails. The decision to use lights will be the discretion of the umpires. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:58:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Minister to discuss fishermen issue
The Hindu (International), Monday, May 28, 2001. The Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, is scheduled to meet the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, on June 1 to discuss intrusions by fishermen across the international boundary that separates the waters of the two countries. Mr. Rajapakse, who left for India today, will travel to Dehra Dun, where he will deliver a lecture on ``Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in South Asia'' at the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra, an aide of the Minister said. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:09:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

CPJ condemns smoke bomb attack on weekly paper
CPJ, may 25. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the recent smoke bomb attack on the Sinhala-language weekly newspaper Ravaya, and urges the government to issue a prompt and full report on the status of the police investigation that is now underway. "Attacks against journalists in Sri Lanka are occurring with alarming regularity," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. "Without thorough and impartial investigations into such incidents, the message is that journalists can be targeted with impunity." More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:30:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lack of Prompt Investigations Sends Unhealthy Message -CPJ on Ravaya Attack  - Saroj Pathirana in London

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

Fishermen arrested with 'Delhi's consent'
Yahoo India, may 28. . Sri Lanka recently arrested 39 Indian fishermen poaching in its waters on advice from New Delhi that this might act as an effective deterrent to such trespassing, the Navy commander in-charge of the northern region said on Saturday. The decision to carry out arrests of fishermen trespassing in Sri Lanka's northern waters was taken after a conference at sea two months ago attended by representatives of the Navies of the two countries, as well as the Indian Coast Guard, he said. More...
Published: Mon May 28 00:14:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Says Indian Fishermen A Big Security Risk  - Yahoo India

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

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

© Copyright 2000, 2001 Lanka Academic Network.