The Lanka Academic

JUNE 3, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 58

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
Key ally widens rift with Sri Lanka coalition
Yahoo India, Sunday June 3, 8:09 AM. A rift in Sri Lanka's ruling coalition widened on Sunday over a pledge a key Muslim ally said President Chandrika Kumaratunga had made ahead of a possible parliamentary confidence vote later this month. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which holds the balance of power in the hung parliament, said Kumaratunga had backpedalled on a promise to create a separate administrative district for minority Muslims in the country's east. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 16:52:27 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga's PA faces rift ahead of vote-of-confidence  - Yahoo India

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
The numbers game
Yahoo India, Sunday June 3, 12:00 AM. ON JULY 17 this year, an army of 100,000 men and women will fan out all over Sri Lanka on a mammoth operation. Armed with questionnaires, they will call at every home, bus stop, railway station and bazaar, and stop people on the streets, even beggars and the homeless, to ask 25 seemingly innocuous questions about their age, the size of their families, their marital status, their religion and their ethnic affiliation. The replies will form the substance of Sri Lanka's 13th national census, and its first after a gap of two decades. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 16:55:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka steps up patrols to check Tiger arms smuggling: report, Jun 03 2001 15:22 IST. COLOMBO, June 3 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's navy has stepped up patrols off the island's north-eastern coast to prevent separatist Tamil Tiger rebels smuggling in arms, a press report here said Sunday. The navy's newly acquired advanced offshore patrol vessel bought from India and another Fast Missile Vessel bought from Israel have been inducted into the patrolling operations since a week ago, the Sunday Times newspaper said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:05:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

EPDP cashes in on demand for computer education
The Hindu (International), Monday, June 04, 2001. JAFFNA, JUNE 3. This is a town where almost everybody you meet has been displaced in the ethnic conflict at least once, and sometimes as many as 16 times. People are bent double under the uncertainties of not knowing when, if ever, the war will end. Every bit of construction bears the scars of the conflict. Some buildings have escaped with pockmarks, while others, like the library, are just shells. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 16:56:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ruins that speak volumes
Yahoo India, Monday June 4, 12:00 AM. Every time you take a turn in Anuradhapura, a chapter of Sri Lanka's hoary history, dating back to the sixth century B.C., unfolds. M.J. Krishna discovers the town's past and much more.When the visitor leaves the modern, pulsating city that's Colombo and sets off north to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the inter-city, air-conditioned mini-bus is the first choice. The route that leads one to the city is in itself a unique experience - the numerous villages and the occasional towns enroute are pleasing. Anuradhapura, on first impression, seems to disappoint; it's no busy city, with only scattered ruins that are spread wide across the area. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 20:12:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Legendary dancer Vajira honoured in New York
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 9.45 a.m Sunday June 3. Sri Lankan and Americans living in New York danced, sang and showed the world that they have not forgotten the traditions of Lanka. Kulu natum, kalagedi natum, gajaga natum, mayura dance, kolam and raban pada thirilled the audience. Some of them were born in America, some never been to Sri Lanka. But, they performed for Lanka and in front of a living legend of Sri Lanka, Vajira. It was a guru pooja for Lanka's great dancer 69, year old Vajira by the National Women's dance troupe of Sri Lanka in Staten island in New York last evening. They were joined by Vajiras daughter Anjalika and grand daughter Heshma while graceful dancer daughter Upeka sat by her mother.

At the end of the performance all the dancers, from the little ones to the adults knelt before Vajira and paid homage to her. She stood in silence and gave them her blessings. She told 'The Lanka Academic' after the show 'They have just started and they are making a great effort. I am happy what one of my former pupils , Tanya is doing here. Teaching our children who are Sri Lankan/Americans our culture, our traditions of respect and more. We have given all our lives to the dance of Lanka. Earlier Sri Lankas Jayantha Dhanapala paid a glowing tribute to Vajira. He said Many have compared Vajira to great dancers of the world. But she will always remain Vajira to us.
Published: Sun Jun 3 09:46:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

King Birendra a true friend of Sri Lanka: Kumaratunga
India Abroad, June 03, 2001 11:25 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sent a message of condolence to the people of Nepal hailing the slain King Birendra "as a true friend of Sri Lanka". Kumaratunga said the tragic deaths of King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and other members of the Nepalese royal family would be mourned not only in Nepal but in the whole of South Asia. Related Stories Nepal Royals' Massacre: All Reports "His Majesty the King was a true friend of Sri Lanka and worked tirelessly to promote friendship and co-operation between our two countries and peoples," Kumaratunga's message said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 12:46:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Textile men bow to quota scam
Sunday Times , June 3. Sri Lanka's state-run Textile Quota Board (TQB), facing a barrage of allegations over irregular distribution of garment quotas, went one step further last week formalising, what industry experts called, a potentially illegal list of quotas given to a select few companies.Roy Jayasinghe, additional secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Development and chairman of the TQB, told the meeting that he had been directed by Industrial Development Minister G. L. Peiris to issue quotas to ten companies on the list and asked members to ratify it. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 13:46:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka arrests would-be illegal immigrants, Jun 03 2001 12:51 IST. COLOMBO, June 3 (AFP) - Sri Lankan police arrested 17 men who were trying to leave the island illegally onboard a fishing trawler and were possibly headed for Italy, officials said Sunday. Police also arrested two other people allegedly involved in the apparent human smuggling operation Friday at the northwestern coastal town of Negombo and seized a small fishing craft, they said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:00:43 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

Sri Lanka sends conflicting signals on deadlocked peace bid, Jun 03 2001 13:07 IST. COLOMBO, June 3 (AFP) - Sri Lanka was blowing hot and cold on reviving the stalled Norwegian-backed bid to broker peace as hard-liners rallied to oppose political talks with Tiger rebels, official sources said Sunday. An unnamed senior government minister proposed the temporary lifting of a ban on Tamil Tiger rebels to break the impasse in the peace process by granting the main demand of the rebels, the state-run Sunday Observer said. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:05:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Cops are not the only bribe takers — IGP
Island, 3 June. Policemen were not the only people who take bribes, the IGP Lucky Kodituwakku said on Friday. Flanked by DIGs, Sirisena Herath, Sarath Kombalavithana and Victor Perera, the ex-boss of the Presidential Security Division [PSD] and SSP Rienzie Perera, the police chief stressed that there were many "big" people accepting bribes but only the policemen appeared to have been getting into trouble. In the past few weeks there were newspaper reports of some junior police officers being caught in the bribery net.The IGP made these remarks at the Terrorist Investigation Division [TID] where he inspected millions worth of stolen vehicles and other goods displayed at the former Immigration and Emigration office. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:24:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

Energy Conference of Chief Ministers of Provincial Councils:A great leap forward in the energy field.
Island, 3 June. The Energy Forum, along with the Chief Ministers’ Forum, held an energy conference of the Chief Ministers of all Provincial Councils yesterday at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Participants discussed various energy-related issues, especially initiatives already undertaken in off-grid areas to address the energy requirements of rural households and the potential for streamlining and making more efficient such interventions using alternative energy sources and better coordination among agencies. Asoka Abhayagunawardena of the Energy Forum said that energy has become one of the fundamental needs of the people. He also said that "it has become a measure of progress simply because it helps make living easier. At the same time, the issue of energy has posed serious challenges to human beings. More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:31:31 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

SLMP leader addresses Sinhala meeting on state of the nation
Island, 3 June. A murmer of surprise went through the ACBC hall when a tall man in a white cap walked in and took a seat in the front row, beside S. L. Gunasekera, leader of the Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya, during the conference held by the Jathika Sangha Sabha, the National Joint Committee, the Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya and the Maubima Surakeeme Sanwidanaya, last week end.He was Abdul Rasool, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Party. A racy, fluent piquant Sinhala speaker, he had some truths to say on the state of the nation. On Mawanella: ‘It was not a clash between Sinhalese and Muslims, but a bout of looting and thuggery by political goon squads and organised thugs.’ More...
Published: Sun Jun 3 07:45:32 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

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

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  -

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

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

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

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