The Lanka Academic

JUNE 12, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 67

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
Sri Lanka to probe anti-Tamil riots
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK . The Sri Lankan Government says it is going to appoint a presidential commission of inquiry into the anti-Tamil riots in 1983 - a crucial turning point in the country's history. Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Athauda Seneviratne, said the details of the inquiry were still being discussed, including whether or not the commission would be headed by a Tamil judge, but he expected the matter to be finalised in a matter of weeks. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 13:55:30 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 Lankan Airlines plane returns to airport after bomb scare, Jun 12 2001 19:34 IST. COLOMBO, June 12 (AFP) - A bomb scare forced a Sri Lankan Airlines plane to return to Colombo's international airport Tuesday shortly after take off, airport officials said. The Airbus A-330, carrying 134 passengers, was on its way to Doha, Qatar, when the airport received an anonymous call warning of a bomb about 10 minutes into the flight from the Bandaranaike International airport. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 11:19:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Supreme Court stay order on impeaching Chief Justice to be challenged
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1112 SLT 12.06.01. A group of Lawyers are to challenge the stay order given by a three member bench of the Supreme Court blocking the Parliamentary Speaker Anura Bandaranaike from appointing a select committee to investigate charges against the Chief Justice. The Court order has created a major constitutional crisis with all opposition parties and a section of the ruling coalition describing it as a unconstitutional interference with the sovereignity of Parliament.The Speaker is due to give his ruling on the stay order on Friday. The lawyers are expected to challenge the court ruling if the Speaker holds in favour of the Supreme Court. 77 members of the main opposition UNP and the JVP handed over an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice to Speaker Bandaranaike last week. end
Published: Tue Jun 12 01:25:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Parliament, judiciary standoff continues in Sri Lanka  - India Abroad

Report Slams Use of Child Soldiers
Yahoo, June 12. Hundreds of thousands of children, some only seven, are fighting in conflicts around the world and Britain is one of the countries that sends troops into battle under the age of 18, a report said Tuesday.In Sri Lanka, The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had mobilized special battalions of teenage girls and boys, some as young as 10.The report said that 49 children, including 32 girls between 11 and 15, were among 140 LTTE personnel killed in a battle with security forces in October 1999. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 09:08:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
First ever-global report on child soldiers to be released tomorrow  - Bandula Jayasekara in New York

Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers, 13 June 2001. At any one time, more than 300,000 children under 18 girls and boys - are fighting as soldiers with government armed forces and armed opposition groups in more than 30 countries worldwide. In more than 85 countries, hundreds of thousands more under-18s have been recruited into government armed forces, paramilitaries, civil militia and a wide variety of non-state armed groups. Millions of children worldwide receive military training and indoctrination in youth movements and schools. While most child soldiers are aged between 15 and 18, the youngest age recorded in this report is seven. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 22:21:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP finalises no-faith motion against govt.
Island, 13 June 2001. The UNP has finalised all arrangements to submit the no confidence motion against the Peoples Alliance Government to Speaker Anura Bandaranaike in Parliament on June 19, a spokesman for the UNP said yesterday. When contacted, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, MP chief spokesman for the UNP said yesterday that this move was decided at the last parliamentary group meeting presided over by leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last Friday. He said that Mr. Wickremesinghe had signed the no confidence motion for the party to commence the collection of signatures. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 22:59:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's ruling party calls for national unity government, Jun 12 2001 11:33 IST. Sri Lanka's ruling party has called for a national unity government ahead of moves by the main opposition to topple the shaky coalition, press reports here said Tuesday. Ruling People's Alliance stalwart S. B. Dissanayake made the unusual appeal to the main opposition United National Party (UNP) which is set to move a no-trust vote against the government next month, a state-run daily said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 04:58:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka calls for unity government amid political crisis  -

Ports authority deny that supplies to north has been disrupted due to strike
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1825 slt 12.06.01. The Ports Authority today denied that essential supplies to the Northern Jaffna Peninsula has been disrupted due to a strike at the Bandaranaike jetty. The authority said supplies has not been disrupted. The port workers launched the strike saying facilities were not available at the jetty to carry out their work. end
Published: Tue Jun 12 08:27:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Three municipal councillors return to the UNP
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1820 slt 12.06.01. Three Municipal Councillors of the Colombo Municipal Council who crossed over to the opposition People's Alliance yesterday, returned to the UNP today. The three councillors said they crossed over yesterday because they were unhappy with the way things were been done in the council. The council is currently engaged in a power struggle with the Urban Development minister Mangala Samaraweera. The Minister took over the water distribution in the city and the Viharamaha Devi Park. Both were been run by the CMC for over two decades.
Published: Tue Jun 12 08:27:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Buddhist monks pray for Vajpayee's recovery
Hindu, june 12. The modest visitors' lounge in Breach Candy Hospital here echoed with the soothing chants of "Buddham Sharanam Gachhami," as five Buddhist monks today held a special service to pray for the speedy recovery of Prime Minister Vajpayee. The fragrance from the incense sticks lit before a golden painted statue of the `ancient teacher', Gautam Buddha, gently wafted through the crowded room as the monks, including two from Sri Lanka, offered prayers for Vajpayee's good health. More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 14:25:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Shell gas says it is not interested in buying the remaining 49% owned by the government
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1815 slt 12.06.01. Royal Dutch shell company said today it was not interested in buying the remaining 49% of the Shell Gas Lanka (Ltd). Shell gas spokesman said the owning company has invested 10% of its budget for petroleum gas in Sri Lanka and was not interested in increasing the investment. He said the company has suggested to the government that it sells its shares to a local buyer who can contribute to strengthen the company. Shell gas sells liquid petroleum to one million consumers in Sri Lanka. It had a turn over of $60 million dollars last year.
Published: Tue Jun 12 08:27:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No raunchy Indian film dance was filmed at Buddhist monument
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 1.20 PM SLT,Tuesday June 12, 2001. The Director of Archeology Dr.Shiran Deraniyagala has described as "nonsense" news stories about the filming of a raunchy group dance for a South Indian film at a Bhuddist monument in Polonnaruwa last week.

Famous Tamil actor,Nasser,had picturised a Kandyan dance sequence for his film "Mayan" at the two centuries old Mathiyangana Raja Mahaviharaya in Polonnaruwa last week.

Dr.Deraniyagala said that dance sequence was shot in the presence of the officials of his department and that it was by no means vulgar as alleged in the press." We had stipulated that the dance should not be vulgar and that the monument should not be shown as the backdrop.These stipulations were adhered to.Furthermore,the producers would have to show to the department the full film before releasing it.At that time,we could insist on cuts if we found anything objectionable," he said.

The Chief Monk of the Muthiyangana Rajamahaviharaya,Ven.Wendaruwe Upali Thero, had been quoted in the state owned Daily News on sunday as saying that "semi nude" women had danced with the temple as the backdrop.Pointing out that the last time an Indian film dance sequence was allowed to be filmed there,some vulgar scenes were added using modern technolgy.He wondered what the Archeology Department would do if the producers of the present film also did the same trick.
Published: Tue Jun 12 03:32:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lankan priest protests shooting of Indian film  - India Abroad

HIRU-SURIYAN-SUN FM Boss Fined for Violating Broadcasting Guidelines
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 12/06/01 1915 GMT. London's Asian news and entertainment station, Sunrise Radio has been fined 10,000 by the overseeing body for British commercial radio, the Radio Authority. The radio authorities say that Dr Avtar Lit, owner of Sunrise radio gave an interview to his station before the General election violating broadcasting rules.

Dr Avtar Lit is also the co owner of the Hiru/Sun FM radio in Sri Lanka. Dr. Lit was earlier accused of corruption involving officials of the independent broadcasting commission in Britain. Dr. Lit, is the owner of Sunrise Radio station which broadcast the "Lanka Udaanaya" weekly Sinhala Programme for Londoners.

The Radio Authority's fine was imposed for the breech of the broadcasting act 1990. A spokesman for the Radio Authorities, Martin Cambell, has told the BBC that Sunrise Radio breeched the rule that states that licencees of radio stations are not allowed to voice their opinions on their own stations on issues that are politically controversial. Sunrise Radio broadcasted extracts from an interview with the owner of the Station, Dr Avtar Lit in March this year. This interview however went on air before Dr Lit announced he would be standing as a candidate in the British general election. Mr Cambell says that although the incident took place prior to the Dr Lit's announcement to stand as a candiadte this was not an election related issue. He says that the rule within the Broadcasting act is in force all the time.

Unlike the BBC, commercial stations are under the control of the Radio Authority who are responsible for licensing and regulating independant radio stations. The spokesperson for the radio authority says that Commercial radio stations are in a previledged position as licencees and shouldn't misuse this position by publicising their own view on political matters during the elections or othertimes. He also added that a fine of 10,000 pounds was imposed to show that the radio authorities considered this issue to be very serious. No comments from the Sunrise radio were immediately available.
Published: Tue Jun 12 15:14:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Uda Walawe national park to re-open on June 15th
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1232 SLt 12.06.01. The Wild Life department announced today that the Uda Walawe national park would reopen for local and foreign visitors from June 15th. The park was closed for visitors on May 22nd after a tracker was killed by an elephant. The Wild Life department said it had trained trackers and vehicle drivers on how to behave inside the park and could now guarantee the safety of visitors.
Published: Tue Jun 12 02:41:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Muslim Party Opposes Impeachment Against Chief Justice
Peoples Daily, June 11. Sri Lanka's main Muslim Party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), has decided to oppose impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath Silva, party officials said on Sunday. The decision was made at a meeting of the party high command in capital Colombo on Friday presided over by SLMC leader and Muslim Religious Affairs Minister Rauf Hakeem. The SLMC was concerned about the implications of recent ruling by the supreme court regarding action by Parliament on the impeachment motion put forward by main United National Party against the chief justice, they said More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 22:13:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Government doctors in north and east continue strike
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1230 SLT 12.06.01. Over 500 government doctors serving in hospitals in the north and east of Sri Lanka continued their strike action for the second day today. Reports said that only emergency treatment was been provided. The doctors launched the strike action yesterday over non payment of risk and other allowances.
Published: Tue Jun 12 02:41:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

WorldWater Corp. CEO Sees Urgent Need for Reliable Clean Water And Electrical Power Sources in Developing Nations Around the World
yahoo, june 12. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Quentin T. Kelly told The New York Society of Security Analysts 5th Annual Alternative Energy Conference on Monday that ``More than one billion people in the developing world have no ready access to safe water and the need for reliable sources has become so urgent that governments may rise and fall based on solutions to the problem.''``Sources for clean water are at a premium, particularly in the poorer nations which do not have the financial resources and technical means to generate new supplies,'' Mr. Kelly said. ``Growing populations, famine and drought are exacerbating the problem in many of these countries, leading to instability and political unrest.'' More...
Published: Tue Jun 12 10:20:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kingsley tipped to be the next Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US!
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 11.20 a.m Monday 11 June. Former minister of Trade and commerce and presently advisor to the President on International Trade Kingsley Wickremaratne is tipped to be the next Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States. The Lanka Academic sources in the US close to Wickremaratne revealed that among the names put forward Wickremaratne is most likely to get the clearance to fill the important post. The present Ambassador Warnasena Rasaputhra has been ailing for some time and is reported to be in the intensive care. Sri Lankans in the US have stressed the importance of having an effective career diplomat as Ambassador to the United States, for a long time. It is to be seen if a person like Wickremaratne could do justice to one of the most important diplomatic postings. The Lanka Academic sources in the US revealed that the activities at the Washington mission are not up to expectations. Our sources reveled that minister G. L. Pieirs who was in Washington last month to attend high level trade meetings was not pleased at the luncheon organized at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington when he saw that there were more "Sri Lankan friends" of the mission and the ambassador present instead of American businessmen. The Lanka Academic sources also revealed that there had not been proper media coverage in the US when foreign minister Kadiragamar met his counterpart Secretary of State Colin Powell last month. Our sources said a second secretary of the mission was sent to take a photograph of the meeting with his own camera when a professional photographer could have been sent to cover an important meeting.
Published: Mon Jun 11 11:21:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka says aircraft survives brush with missile
yahoo , June 11. Sri Lanka on Monday accused Tamil Tiger guerrillas of firing a missile at a military transport plane with more than 50 people on board. The Ukrainian-built AN-32, ferrying troops to the northern Jaffna peninsula from the central city of Anuradhapura, was fired at on June 7 when it flew over the jungle of Wilpattu, 160 km north of the capital Colombo, they said. "All indications are it was a surface-to-air missile attack by the Tiger terrorists, but the plane was flying too high to be hit," said military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 15:51:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

International community should pressurise LTTE to talk: Govt
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Monday, June 11, 2001. Sri Lanka today asked the international community to exert pressure on LTTE to begin direct talks with the government, acknowledging the present regime's commitment to a negotiated settlement. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 14:41:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Katchatheevu transfer invalid
chennaiOnline, june 11. Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani today said the transfer of the Kachatheevu Island to Sri Lanka was not constitutionally and legally valid and a review should be ordered into the transfer. He told reporters here that former prime minister late Indira Gandhi had transferred the island to Sri Lanka without following any of the constitutional procedures, including discussing the issue in Parliament. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 15:53:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Rebels Kill 3 Sri Lankan Security Men
Yahoo, June 11. Tamil Tiger rebels killed three members of Sri Lanka's security forces and lost two of their combatants in fighting in the north, a government spokesman said Monday. Two members of the Home Guards, a government paid village militia, were fatally shot in a gun battle with the rebels on Sunday, spokesman U.R.H. Gajaman said. Another member of the Sri Lankan military was killed in a rebel land mine explosion also on Sunday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 15:54:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Speaker denies sibling pressure amid Sri Lanka crisis, Jun 11 2001 19:18 IST. COLOMBO, June 11 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's constitutional crisis deepened Monday as Speaker Anura Bandaranaike denied the president had tried to influence him to block impeachment proceedings against the chief justice. Bandaranaike, who is the brother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but elected as a member of the opposition United National Party (UNP), as speaker of parliament, holds the key to breaking the power struggle between the legislature and the judiciary. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 10:24:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Doctors in the NE launch strike
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Monday June 11. As scheduled, doctors in the North East today began strike action, protesting that they are not paid a risk allowance which is however handed out to doctors in every other province.

The doctors argue that the arrangement is unfair since medical officers in the northern and eastern provinces face greater risks given that they work in conflict areas.

Despite repeated requests regarding this matter to the health ministry, their demands have not yet been met.

The doctors say that emergency services will continue to function despite the strike. The protest will continue indefinitely until their demand is met.
Published: Mon Jun 11 09:11:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan soldiers to learn Tamil
BBC South Asia, Monday, 11 June, 2001, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK . The commander of Sri Lanka's armed forces, General Lionel Balagalle, has appealed for help in teaching soldiers Tamil to facilitate communications with civilians in the conflict areas. He was speaking at the launch of a 10-day training course for senior army officers on human rights and humanitarian law. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 12:10:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Free speech panel seeks access to Sri Lanka war zone, Jun 11 2001 20:22 IST. An international human rights group Monday welcomed Sri Lanka's decision to lift a three-year-old media blackout on the island's war zones and urged Colombo to offer greater access to areas. "We hope that it (end of censorship) will be accompanied by an improvement in access to conflict areas for journalists, so that the people of Sri Lanka can benefit from first-hand independent information," the group, Article 19 said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 12:03:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Parliament - courts tussle expected to reach unprecedented heights
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Monday June 11. The battle between the Supreme Courts and Parliament is expected to reach unprecedented heights when Speaker Anura Bandaranaike will make a decision on the court Stay Order on Tuesday June 19, when Parliament next sits.

A judge for the Supreme Court speaking in confidence says that if Bandaranaike ignores the Stay Order he can be summoned before the Supreme Courts on charges of contempt.

On the other hand the three judges who delivered the controversial ruling can also be summoned by Bandaranaike before a Parliamentary Special Privileges Committee and punished.

Amidst widespread opposition to the court decision, even by members of the Ruling Peoples Alliance, Bandaranaike is expected to ignore the Stay Order and appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to study the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva next week.
Published: Mon Jun 11 09:11:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka mulls lifting Tiger ban to salvage Oslo peace bid: report, Jun 11 2001 18:55 IST. COLOMBO, June 11 (AFP) - Sri Lanka may be willing to temporarily lift a ban on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels to break an impasse in the Norwegian-backed peace process, a state-run newspaper said Monday. While Colombo had said it was "committed to a negotiated settlement" of the decades-old crisis and "ready to enter peace talks" with the rebels, it had refused to lift a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) before talks began. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 11:01:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka hints at lifting Tiger ban to salvage Oslo peace bid  -

Sri Lanka Gets Humanitarian Assistance From European Commission
Nothern Light, Monday, June 11, 2001 12:01 AM EST . Sri Lanka has been granted 94 million rupees (about 1.04 million U.S. dollars) for humanitarian assistance for the displaced and resettlers in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the official Daily News said on Monday. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Action Contre La Faim (ACF) will be partners in implementing the European Commission's latest scheme of humanitarian assistance to the country. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 08:17:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Regulatory Commission to keep tabs on IT education
Island, 11 June. A regulatory mechanism in the form of a commission to overview the mushrooming IT education institutes around the country would be put in place shortly with consultation of all concerned ministries, Minister for Information Technology Development Indika Gunawardena told Parliament on Friday. The Minister supported a motion calling the government to establish a Regulatory Commission for IT related education institutes moved by PA MP Bandula Gunawardena. Minister Gunawardena revealed that the country at present has a shortage of IT professionals with 2500 such qualified personnel whereas the need is much higher. He visioned to increase the number to at least 25000 during the next five years through the establishment of IT institutes in the universities and also in other parts of the country. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 07:51:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

It's regrettable that history has been dropped from schools curriculum — chancellor, Kelaniya University
Island, 11 June. "It is regrettable that the subject of history has been dropped from the schools curriculum. If a student is questioned about the arrival of the Portuguese or British to Sri Lanka, no student would be able to give the correct answer. This is the pathetic situation of the country today."This was said by Ven. Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Chief Sanghanayake of Colombo and Chilaw and the Chancellor of Kelaniya University.He was speaking at a ceremony held in connection with the presentation of a book "Hikkaduwe Nayake Hamuduruwo," written by Ven. Pannila Sumanasiri, Chief Incumbent of Sri Purwaramaya of Sapugahawatta, Dodangoda.Ven. Akuratiye Amarawansa Mahanayake Thera the Chief Sanghanayaka of Daksina Lanka, presided. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 07:53:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka defers GM ban
BBC South Asia, Monday, 11 June, 2001, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK . The new law - one of the most stringent anti-GM measures in the world - bans all imports of genetically modified raw and processed food, including food additives. It was due to go into effect in May - but has now been put off until September. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 11:02:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka puts off GM food ban  -

Labour board says metal company hired Tamil gangsters to block union drive, 11 June 2001. The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ordered a second union certification vote at a Toronto-area company after finding that two new employees linked to a Sri Lankan Tamil gang used death threats to sway the first vote in 1998. In a written ruling, board vice-chairman Christopher Albertyn said two Tamil men - linked to a Sri Lankan gang, according to the evidence of Toronto Det. Const. Glen Furlong - tried to intimidate Tamil employees into voting against having a union, including death threats. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 06:27:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Most-read stories, week ending 8 June (Norway)
aftenposten, 11 June 2001. A local teacher who was doused with yoghurt grabbed the most interest among our readers this week. More serious subjects, such as Norway's peace efforts in Sri Lanka and another murder mystery, also drew clicks. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 05:39:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankans electrocuting elephants
aftenposten, 11 June 2001. Sri Lankan villagers have killed as many as 32 elephants in the past two years by putting live electrical wires in their path. More...
Published: Mon Jun 11 05:44:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

© Copyright 2000, 2001 Lanka Academic Network.