The Lanka Academic

JUNE 2, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 57

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
Chandrika says IMF saves Sri Lankaneconomy from crash
Daily Star, June 1. Sri Lanka's president Wednesday fought back against opposition threats to unseat her government, saying an aid pact with the International Monetary Fund had saved her country from economic collapse last year.President Chandrika Kumaratunga defended the IMF's $253 million standby facility against opposition allegations that it was a sell-out and would force the government to cut welfare and raise taxes."If the IMF had not stepped in, we would have crashed in the same way economies in east Asia crashed," Kumaratunga, who is also finance minister, told state television in an interview. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 21:45:37 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
Kumaratunga toughens stand against Prabhakaran's demand
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Saturday, June 02, 2001. Hardening her position on the LTTE's demand for lifting a three-year-old ban on its movement, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has made sure that she will never accept such 'ludicrous demands'."I assure the country that my Government will not accede to any conditions placed by the Tigers which are detrimental to the country at large," More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 12:01:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Nepal Says Accidental Shooting Killed Royals
Yahoo, June 3. Nepal's caretaker king, Prince Gyanendra, said on Sunday that the massacre of the kingdom's royal family was caused by the accidental firing of an automatic weapon. ``According to the information received by us (they) were seriously injured in an accidental firing from an automatic weapon,'' Gyanendra said in a statement, adding that they had died later in hospital. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 23:03:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Roundup of 'free visa' workers condemned
gulf-news, June 1. The treatment meted out to free visa workers and illegally employed housewives in the current 'round-up-and-deport-them' crackdown came up for severe criticism at this week's Shura Council meeting. Some members said that these workers, who were brought into the country legally, were being targeted like "stray dogs"."The majority of free visa workers do menial jobs which Bahrainis would never accept to do and thus they are filling a gap in the local labour market," said Al Musallam who pointed out that the police were never to be seen arresting European and American free visa workers. "Only the poor Asian workers were punished." Stressing the need to solve the job seekers problem in a practical manner, Mohammed Dadabhai said it was impossible to Bahrainise the economy 100 per cent as such a thing never happens in any country. What is needed is to strike a balance by allowing expatriates to work in jobs not accepted by Bahrainis. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 22:07:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Attorney General stalls on bail application for Tamil detainees
Vilani Peries - WSWS, June 3. The office of the Sri Lankan Attorney General has so far refused to grant the bail applications of six young Tamil plantation workers held for more than three years under the country's repressive Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) legislation. The six have not been convicted of any crime. Their trial has been repeatedly delayed. On the last occasion in February, it was postponed for another 11 months until January 16 More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 22:15:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Lanka Academic - Tisaranee Gunasekara , June 3. Once again Sri Lanka has entered one of those kaleidoscopic periods in history, dizzyingly familiar in their breathtaking pace of change and multiplicity of contradictory possibilities. Such periods by their very fluidity, their infinite unpredictability can simultaneously generate, hope and fear, optimism and despair. Because change (including the sort that is inconceivable during more stable, predictable times), is on the agenda. The question is not whether change will come but what form it will take and whether it will be for better or worse. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 22:10:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Murders and Violence Rise in Sri Lanka- Amnesty International
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 02/06/01 0930 GMT

As Sri Lankaís civil war intensified, violence rose and the activities of paramilitary groups continued during the year 2000, London based Human Rights Organisation Amnesty International (AI) stated. Publishing its annual report, the AI expresses concern over the tens of thousands of people who were made refugees in their own homeland.

The AI report highlights the rise in killing of the civilians, recruitment of Child Soldiers, Disappearances, Torture in Custody and the Paramilitary Activities. In terms of the murder of the BBC journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, Amnesty International, for the first time, points the finger on Ealam Peoplesí Democratic Party, whose leader Douglas Devananda is the Minister for Northern Development in ruling Peoples' Alliance. " Impunity for the perpetrators of HR abuses remained a major concern. There were concerns that police investigations into Kumar Ponnambalamís murder may have been subject to political influence. A reserve police constable was among those arrested in connection with the murder" the report says.

Deaths in Custody is another important issue. The HR watchdog recalls the clashes in Kalutara prison which killed two Tamil detainees and the Bindunuwewa massacre. "There was evidence of collusion by members of the local police and deliberate failure to protect the detainees" the report says regarding Bindunuwewa attack, in which twenty seven Tamil youths were brutally murdered.

The report slams Tamil Tigers too. "The LTTE stepped up the recruitment of children as combatants after the intense fighting in Jaffna in May. Those recruited included children as young as 12".

Meanwhile, Amnesty Internationalís Sri Lanka Country specialist in USA, Jim McDonald has expressed his concern over the misrepresentation of the AI report in "The Lanka Academic" in a recent news article.
Published: Sat Jun 2 05:40:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

English vs mother tongue debate rages in Sri Lanka
Times of India, 2 June 2001 . Sri Lanka's Marxists have joined forces with a right-wing party to oppose a government plan to allow students to study all subjects in English rather than in their mother tongue, the party said on Friday. The Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) demanded Parliament look into the implications of the decision which means students can be taught wholly in English for the first time in 45 years. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 01:49:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Marxists and capitalists demand halt to English  -

TULF for lenient treatment of Indian fishermen
The Hindu (International), Sunday, June 03, 2001. COLOMBO, JUNE 2. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) today demanded that the Sri Lankan Government treat encroachments by Indian fishermen leniently and not drag them to prisons or courts of a country alien to them. In a letter to the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, the senior vice-president of the party, Mr. V. Anandasangaree, demanded the immediate release of the 39 Indian fishermen arrested in recent weeks by the Sri Lankan Navy and being held in Jaffna prison. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 21:39:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Amnesty for straying Indian-Sri Lankan fishermen proposed  - India Abroad

Nepal assassination adds to a gory chapter in South Asia
India Abroad, June 02, 2001 15:25 Hrs (IST) . The killing of Nepal's King Birendra is the first assassination of a modern ruler in the Himalayan kingdom, but it adds to a bloody history of political killings and violent deaths that have plagued South Asia for five decades. The legacy of assassinations in this region began with the cowardly killing of Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindu bigot at a prayer session in the heart of the Indian capital on January 30, 1948.The legacy of assassinations in this region began with the cowardly killing of Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindu bigot at a prayer session in the heart of the Indian capital on January 30, 1948. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 21:38:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICC allows Lanka to be represented by govt committee
Times of India (Breaking News), 2 June. The International Cricket Council has agreed to allow Sri Lanka to be represented by the government-appointed interim committee of the Sri Lankan cricket board, allaying fears that the country may lose its recognition following the sacking of its elected executive.ICC has accepted that interim administration chairman Vijay Malalasekera and chief executive officer Anura Tennekkoon will represent the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) at this month's ICC meeting at Lord's, board sources said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 12:01:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

South Asian meet put off after Birendra slaying, Jun 02 2001 17:38 IST. COLOMBO, June 2 (AFP) - A crucial meeting of the seven-member South Asian grouping due here next week was put off indefinitely as a sign of respect for for the slain King of Nepal, foreign ministry officials here said Saturday. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) postponed the two-day standing committee meeting of foreign secretaries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka due on June 8. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 11:58:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
India-Pakistan ice-breaker stalled by Birendra assassination  -
South Asian meet put off  -
South Asia mourns death of Nepal's king  -
Sri Lanka opposition leader express condolence over Nepal slayings  -
Nepal's king, queen, 7 others reportedly killed  - CNN

President calls on the international community to persuade the LTTE to enter peace talks
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1620 slt 01.06.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called on the international community to do all it can to persuade the LTTE to enter peace talks with the government. Addressing 34 foreign participants who were attending a seminar on 'The Media and Democracy' organized by the Worldview International, The President said her government has done everything possible to facilitate talks. The President said her government was committed to granting the legitimate rights of the Tamil people with or without the LTTE. The President said the government was committed to peace and that it would re-commence the process to draft a new constitution. The President said the problem she had was her government did not have the required two thirds majority in Parliament to pass a new constitution. She said that she was hopeful that she could
Published: Fri Jun 1 08:21:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka toll mounts to 14 as more civilians perish, Jun 01 2001 17:23 IST. COLOMBO, June 1 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels escalated attacks against government forces in northeastern Sri Lanka Friday, killing six security personnel and four civilians, defence officials said. Four members of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were also killed in the skirmishes, defence ministry spokesman Sanath Karunaratne said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 08:23:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Six dead in Tiger attack on Sri Lanka patrol  -
Twelve killed in clash in Sri Lanka's northeast  -

Kumaratunga to press with Constitutional reforms
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Friday, June 01, 2001. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said she wants to go ahead with her plans to usher in constitutional reforms to confer more rights on the Tamil minority regardless of the LTTE participating in peace talks, but will need the opposition's cooperation. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 15:39:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka assurance
The Hindu, Saturday, June 02, 2001. The Sri Lankan Navy has been instructed not to fire at Indian fishermen if they crossed the international waterways, the visiting Sri Lankan Minister, Mr. Mahindera Rajapakse, said here today. He gave this assurance to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, here today. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 01:48:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Malaysian investors invited to study ventures in Sri Lanka
The Star, june 1. SRI LANKA is inviting Malaysian investors to look at the possibility of setting up industries in the island nation and enhancing collaboration with local industries, particularly in the electronics and electrical components sector. Visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Internal and International Trade and Commerce, Shipping Development and Muslim Religious Affairs Rauff Hakeem said that since it was already known for its electronics and electrical components, it was appropriate for Malaysia to seek access to bigger markets in the region through Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 21:59:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

MSD Officer, SLAF deserters robbed 26 banks
CDN, 2 June 2001. Police made one of the biggest hauls in recent times when they recovered over Rs.10 million in cash, gold jewellery, firearms and other household items, following the arrest of a Minister's Security Division (MSD) officer, two Air Force deserters, an Army deserter and three others - part of a 10-member armed robber gang that robbed 26 banks. The arrests were made by the Police Terrorist Investigation Division (TID). According to TID Chief DIG Sirisena Herath, the gang had robbed Rs.1,933,000 from the Commercial Bank, Kadawatha on March 5 while the other banks robbed were the Hatton National bank, Kottawa, Sampath Bank at Negombo and Hatton National Bank at Maradagahamulla. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 01:46:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Wickramesinghe meets Jaswant, discusses peace efforts
Hindu, june 1. Visiting Sri Lankan Opposition leader Ranil Wickramesinghe today apprised the Indian Government of the situation in the island nation and hurdles coming in the way of finding a lasting solution to the ethnic crisis. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 20:10:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Wickremesinghe meets Jaswant  - Yahoo India

Indian foreign secretary to leave for crucial meeting on June 7, Jun 01 2001 22:37 IST. India's foreign secretary Chokila Iyer will leave on June 7 for a crucial South Asia meeting in Colombo where she is expected to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart, officials said Friday. Iyer's discussions with Inamul Haq on the sidelines of the meet are being seen as preparing the ground for subsequent talks between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani military ruler Geberal Pervez Musharraf. More...
Published: Sat Jun 2 01:38:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Court lifts cash bar on Sri Lanka cricket board
Times of India (Breaking News), Friday, 1 June 2001 . COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan court on Friday lifted an order barring an interim body from operating the cricket board's accounts. The court ruling means the four-member interim committee can resume financial transactions with funds from the cricket board's accounts, said former Sri Lankan captain and the committee's chief executive Anura Tennekoon. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 12:07:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Govt Willing To Pay Port Workers More
Yahoo India, Friday June 1, 5:33 PM. The Sri Lankan government has agreed to a pay hike to try and prevent some 3,000 employees of the country's main Colombo port from striking over a wage dispute, port ministry officials said Friday. They said acting ports development minister, Chamal Rajapakse, standing in for minister Ronnie de Mel who is overseas, had conveyed the government's fresh stance at a meeting he called with all port union leaders Friday. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 16:03:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian Navy had plans ready to evacuate trapped Lankan troops
Yahoo, May 31. The Indian Navy was ready to evacuate Sri Lankan security force personnel from the island's northern Jaffna peninsula during a major military offensive by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) early last year, according to the defense ministry's annual report for 2000-2001. "Operation Jalnikas was initiated in May 2000 in the face of an imminent crisis prompted by the rapid advance of the LTTE in Jaffna," the report said, adding that the Eastern Naval Command was asked to be ready at short notice for evacuation of the security force personnel from the peninsula. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 11:33:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Public urge minister to reinstate BCCSL
Yahoo India, Friday June 1, 7:12 PM. Too many cooks will spoil the soup. If Sri Lankan cricket is the soup I am talking about, then who are those cooks spoiling it. Plenty! I guess you know them all. Cricket in this country is no longer a mere sport, it is a life style and many more attributes; a lucrative business, leading export earner, potential market place in the trends of commercialization and above all I reckon you may not disagree with me if I say it is an industry. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 15:42:39 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka editors demand access to war zone, Jun 01 2001 17:50 IST. The Editors' Guild of Sri Lanka Friday welcomed the lifting of a three-year military censorship as "long overdue," but urged the government to lift a ban on travel to the island's embattled north-east. The Guild said it wanted free access for all accredited journalists to the embattled northern and eastern regions which are currently off-limits apart from on government tours. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 09:25:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Former cricket Board President says he will not appear before investigating committee
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1615 slt 01.06.01. Thilanga Sumathipala, the former President of the Cricket Board said today that he will not appear before the investigating Committee appointed by the Sports Minister Lakshman Kirialla. " Those appointed to the committee are not independent people" Sumathipala told a news conference at his residence today. The Committee is to investigate allegations of corruption and mis management in the board. Sumathipala said that he would well come if a Parliamentary select committee is appointed to look into the allegations. " Then we can with confidence bring forward various irregularities committed by the earlier board members and the members of the first interim committee" Sumathipala said.
Published: Fri Jun 1 06:34:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Senior energy expert warns of worsening energy crisis in Sri Lanka
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1825 slt 01.06.01. A senior energy expert Thilak Siyabalapitiya has warned that the current energy crisis in Sri Lanka would worsen in the future, FM 99 radio reported. He said the crisis in the result of faulty implementation of power projects. He said that unless alternative methods of power generation is introduced quickly, consumers will be forced to pay double the current prices for power. end
Published: Fri Jun 1 08:21:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rs 36 cr worth brown sugar seized
Yahoo India, Friday June 1, 11:05 AM. In a major haul, Customs officials attached to the Kanyakumari wing seized 36 kgs of brown sugar, worth about Rs 36 crore in the international market, from Edinathakarai fishing village in Tirunelveli district today.The drug was meant to be transported to Sri Lanka, the sources said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 16:04:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

?Norwegian peace initiative suspect among Sinhalese?
India Abroad, June 01, 2001 14:25 Hrs (IST) . Norway's peace efforts in Sri Lanka are "suspect" among the majority Sinhalese community, a senior Sri Lankan minister said on Friday. "Norway's role is suspect for most Sinhalese because of the pro-LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) statements it had made in the past," Fisheries and Aquatic resources Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said in an interview. More...
Published: Fri Jun 1 09:04:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo High Court set aside freeze on cricket board bank accounts
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1611 slt 01.06.01. The Colombo high court today set aside an earlier order restraining the interim committee of the cricket board from operating its bank accounts. The court decision came after the Appeals Court last week rejected a request by the former officials of the cricket board to issue an interim order cancelling the dissolution of the board.
Published: Fri Jun 1 06:34:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

62 Sri Lankan illegal immigrants arrested in Southern Italy
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1610 slt 01.06.01. 62 Sri Lankan illegal immigrants have been arrested by police in Southern Italy. The immigrants have been abandoned by the smugglers who transported them to Italy. Police say the illegal immigrants would be expelled from the country
Published: Fri Jun 1 06:34:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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