The Lanka Academic

JUNE 4, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 59

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
India and Sri Lanka to grant amnesty for fishermen
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 4.15 p.m. SLT Monday June 5. The Indian government has responded favourably to a proposal by Sri Lanka to grant a general amnesty for fishermen being held in both countries.

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Rajapakse who returned from a trip to New Delhi today said that 62 Sri Lankan fishermen are being held in India while 39 Indian fishermen are detained in prisons in Jaffna.

The fishermen have been arrested and detained for poaching into territorial waters of each country.

Navy commander for the North, Upali Ranaweera said that poaching by Indian fishermen was one of the most difficult tasks the Navy faced as it was hard to differentiate between genuine fishing trawlers and boats used by the LTTE.

Minister Rajapakse added meanwhile that both India and Sri Lanka plan to set up a committee to look into the problems of fishermen from both countries. Representatives from both nations will be chosen to sit on this committee, he said.
Published: Mon Jun 4 09:09:24 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
Sri Lanka launches eastern push against rebels
Yahoo India, Monday June 4, 8:40 AM. Fighting erupted in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday as government paramilitary forces launched an offensive against Tamil Tiger guerrillas, police said. Troops of the elite Police Special Task Force were fanning out in dense jungles of Kanchikudichchiaru in the Ampara district about 240 km east of the capital Colombo, they added. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 19:35:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

STF raid Tiger hideouts in the East
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12 p.m. SLT Monday June 5. The Defence Ministry said today that commandos from the Special Task Force had attacked rebel hideouts in the Batticaloa jungles and killed at least 16 Tiger cadres. The STF says it has recovered at least 13 of the rebel bodies.

Meanwhile, official reports also said today that commandos of the elite Special Task Force (STF) last night had raided more LTTE hide-outs in the Eastern jungles killing at least 13 Tigers.

From this attack STF commandos said that seven rebel bodies had been recovered. No casualties on the side of the commandos was reported.
Published: Mon Jun 4 09:09:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka, India to Form Committee for Inquiry of Fishermen Issue
Nothern Light, Monday, June 04, 2001 12:48 PM EST . Sri Lanka and India have agreed to set up a special committee to look into the problems of fishermen who are currently in custody in the two countries, a government minister said on Monday. Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic resources Development Mahinda Rajapakse, who returned from a visit to India on Monday, said the committee will comprise fisheries officials from Madras, an Indian city and Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka. The decision to establish the committee was made following his discussions with Indian agricultural minister and other officials, he added. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 14:00:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Growing rift imperils Sri Lanka coalition
Indian Express, June 3. A RIFT in Sri Lankas ruling coalition widened on Sunday over a pledge which 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 back-pedalled on a promise to create a separate administrative district for minority Muslims in the countrys east. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 14:05:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Help free our fishermen, Jayalalitha tells Wickremesinghe
Hindu, June 5. . The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, today urged the Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, to take up with his Government the issue of ill- treatment of Indian fishermen taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy. During a meeting with Mr. Wickremesinghe at the secretariat, Ms. Jayalalitha impressed upon him the need to immediately set free the fishermen who had strayed into Sri Lankan waters by accident. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 20:04:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Jayalalitha, Sri Lankan oppn. leader discuss fishermen issue  - yahoo

Sri Lanka commandos kill 15 rebels in jungle attack, Jun 04 2001 13:26 IST. Elite police commandos raided a jungle hideout of separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas in eastern Sri Lanka Monday, killing at least 15 rebels, official sources said. The Special Task Force (STF) commandos launched the attack in the jungles of Kanjikudichchiaru overnight, the sources said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 04:19:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
11 LTTE cadres killed as STF destroys rebel base  - Press Trust of India
Police commandos attack Tiger bases in Sri Lanka  -

Sri Lankan Attorney General stalls on bail application for Tamil detainees
WSWS, Jun 4. The office of the Sri Lankan Attorney General has so far refused to grant the ba il applications of six young Tamil plantation workers held for more than thr ee years under the country's repressive Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) legisl ation. The six have not been convicted of any crime. Their trial has been repeat edly delayed. On the last occasion in February, it was postponed for another 11 months until January 16 More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 14:02:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Wickremesinghe to support Sri Lankan government
Press Trust of India, Chennai,Monday, June 04, 2001. Opposition leader in Sri Lankan Parliament and UNP President Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his party would support any efforts by the Sri Lankan government to bring peace in strife-torn north and eastern provinces of the island republic. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 07:49:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Wickremesinghe to support Sri Lankan government  - Press Trust of India

Sri Lanka puts off mass ordination of monks, Jun 04 2001 16:50 IST. Sri Lankan authorities have put off a mass ordination of Buddhist monks amid a poor response to a call to take up saffron robes and protect the religion, officials said Monday. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake had earlier taken out newspaper advertisements calling for 1,000 young men to enter priesthood to coincide with the arrival of Buddhism in the island about 2,500 years ago Tuesday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 09:06:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga's PA faces rift ahead of vote-of-confidence  - Yahoo India

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
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka steps up patrols to check Tiger arms smuggling: report  - Yahoo Asia

Gyanendra Crowned New King As Nepal Stories Vary
ABC, 4 June 2001. Prince Gyanendra took the throne as Nepal's new king on Monday, three days after his nephew allegedly killed most of the royal family, then turned a gun on himself. Hours later, police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters gathered near the royal palace to mourn the deaths. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the violence. The nephew, King Dipendra, had technically been the king since the palace shooting spree. Dipendra, who allegedly turned a gun on himself, died early Monday morning. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 04:36:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan teenager on murder charge in London
Island, 4 June. A nineteen year old Sri Lankan has been charged in the Old Bailey Court London with the murder of a fellow Sri Lankan described as a gangster.The "Enfield Independent" published in London said last week that Ruben Thanavalisingham, of Moree Way, was charged with the murder of Manokumar Kumar, 31, after the latter bled to death when his right arm was virtually severed in an attack at his Edmonton home.The prosecution allege that Thanavalisingham killed the victim after they fell out over the profits of a credit card swindle.It was claimed that the pair were part of the notorious Tamil Tiger gang making huge sums of money from using stolen or cloned credit cards to buy goods at petrol stations run by fellow Sri Lankans. More...
Published: Mon Jun 4 03:56:52 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

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 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

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

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

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