The Lanka Academic

JUNE 13, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 68

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
UNP not for a Sinhala hegemonistic "National Government"
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 10.56 PM SLT Wednesday June 13, 2001. The opposition United National Party (UNP) will not be part of a "National Government" formed only with an intention to keep the parties of the minorities at bay,sources in the UNP say.

The party's leader, Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe,told emissaries from the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) who had approached him with the idea of forming a national government, that the UNP could not be part of a government based on Sinhala hegemonism and the sidelining of the minorities.In fact, he is on record saying that the UNP will join a national government only if all parties, including those of the minority communities,are part of it.

The UNP's refusal to prop up a "Sinhala hegemonistic" government is understandable given the fact that its following among the Tamils and the Muslims is greater in comparison with the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) headed by the SLFP.A survey conducted in April by the Department of Sociology, University of Colombo and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung found that while a majority of Tamils and Muslims supported the UNP,only 31% of the Sinhalese did so.The PA, on the other hand,drew its support mostly from the Sinhalese.All the Tamil outfits in parliament,barring the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP),are backing the UNP's bid to move a "no trust" motion against the government.

Another reason for the UNP's not wanting to be part of a national government which does not include all parties is that such an arrangement will confer the mantle of the "official opposition" on the radical and Maoist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).The role of the "opposition" will enable the JVP to become the sole beneficiary of any public disillusionment with the "National Government".In the process,the politics of opposition will get radicalised.And that will be to the detriment of the mainstream parties.
Published: Wed Jun 13 12:50:02 EDT 2001

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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
AsianAge, June 14. The Israeli government’s interest in looking after Israeli matters in Sri Lanka could possibly lead to the establishment of an embassy in Colombo.However, Sri Lankans currently face difficulty in obtaining visas for travel to Israel as they have to go through the Israeli mission based in Thailand More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 22:07:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka readies to face new tiger weapon
Asian Age, 14 June 2001. Sri Lanka’s military said on Wednesday that Tamil Tiger insurgents have acquired new anti-aircraft missiles and ordered its pilots to take maximum precaution against a rebel attack similar to one last week. A missile fired by the rebels in northwestern Sri Lanka missed hitting an Air Force AN-32 aircraft carrying 50 soldiers on June 7, causing new concern for the military. The plane was ferrying soldiers and cargo to the northern Jaffna peninsula from the central city of Anuradhapura. The pilots of all aircraft, including the AN-32s, have been told to ascend rapidly and fly high while overflying areas under control of the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a high ranking source in the defence ministry said on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 19:54:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Plea to lift ban on LTTE
Hindu, June 14. . A plea to the Sri Lankan and Indian Governments to revoke the ban on the LTTE has been made by the Human Rights - Tamil Nadu Initiative to facilitate further advance in the peace talks between the warring sides in the island nation. The Initiative said the year-long efforts to bring peace between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government had got full support from European nations and half-hearted support from the U.S. and India. The Norwegian envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, whose efforts led to progress in the peace initiatives, had been needlessly sidelined, the forum said. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 22:20:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition rejects unity government offer, Jun 13 2001 16:41 IST. Sri Lanka's main opposition Wednesday rejected an offer by the shaky ruling coalition to form a national unity government amid a deepening political crisis in the country. The United National Party (UNP) said it was against the proposal made by a senior government minister on Monday and published by state-run media Tuesday to establish a government of national unity. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 08:14:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
UNP finalises no-faith motion against govt.  - Island

Suspected LTTE activists held
NewIndPress, June 14. Two suspected LTTE activists from Jaffna have been nabbed with fake passports by emigration officers of Kochi international airport after the former were deported from Dubai, on Tuesday. Nagarajan and Malathy (names as found in the passports) had left for Dubai last Sunday by an Air-India flight, along with a travel agent Adam Mohamed Hajmi. They were destined for Paris More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 23:01:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sir Don damned Hair for calling Murali a chucker
Times of India, June 14. Possibly for the first time, Sir Donald Bradman's feelings on the controversial episode about umpire Darrel Hair calling Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan for chucking have been published. Hair and Muralitharan made headlines when the ex-policeman for the first time no-balled the Lankan on December 26, 1995 in a Test match at Melbourne."I believe Hair's action - in one over - took the development of world cricket back by ten years. For me, this was the worst example of umpiring that I have witnessed, and against everything the game stands for. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 17:07:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President directs police to initiate opinion poll on peace talks
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 8.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 13. Police sources today revealed that President Chandrika Kumaratunge has directed special police intelligence units to begin conducting an opinion poll with the masses, gathering views on the proposed peace talks with the LTTE and the setting up of a separate administrative district for the Muslims in Kalmunai.

The presidential directive followed after the head of state apparently realized that opinions now being voiced on the two issues are from interested factions and not from the general public.

However, other sources now claim, that even the cops are not doing it right. Instead, the sleuths are calling for views from close associates and not from the man on the street.
Published: Wed Jun 13 01:10:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fr. Aba murder probe leads to another killing
Island, 14 June 2001. Investigators probing the killing of Rev. Fr. Aba Costa have bared another murder which had been committed in 1996. On information received the CID investigators have arrested two men who were responsible for the murder of an astrologer in Kurana, Negombo that year. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 22:46:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

High Commission officials visit fishermen again
The Hindu (International), Thursday, June 14, 2001. Two senior officials in the Indian High Commission flew to Jaffna today and met the 50 Indian fishermen arrested in Sri Lankan waters since April. The fishermen were produced before the Jaffna District Magistrate today for the extension of their remand. They are yet to be charged. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 19:57:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Probe Riot That Sparked Ethnic War
yahoo, june 13. Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it planned to set up a commission to probe an anti-Tamil riot in 1983 that plunged the country into all-out ethnic war.The probe will be modeled on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission which had the power to grant amnesties for apartheid-era abuses, Ethnic Affairs Minister Athauda Seneviratne told Reuters. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 08:55:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Hatton National buys J P Morgan's stake
Asian Age, 14 June 2001. Sri Lanka's Hatton National Bank Ltd. (HNB) said today it has taken full control of two local joint ventures with J P Morgan Chase & Co., due to the US Finance Company's decision to exit the country. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 20:04:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Special committee to probe 1983 anti-Tamil riots
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 13. The government is to appoint a special committee to probe the root causes of the July 1983 anti Tamil riots which marked the beginning of the 18-year-old conflict in Sri Lanka.

Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Athauda Seneviratne says that the idea is to find out the causes for the riots, pay compensation to the victims and prevent a similar situation from taking place again.

It has not yet been decided if a retired judge will head the committee. If the committee is appointed it will be the first time that such an initiative has been mooted as the 1983 riots was never probed by the State.

Varying statistics allege that 500 to 10,000 Tamils were massacred during the week long rioting.
Published: Wed Jun 13 01:10:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka to probe anti-Tamil riots  - BBC South Asia

Rise in Visa fees to US
CDN, June 13. The American Embassy announced yesterday that it would raise its visa fees for Sri Lankans travelling to the United States in response to similar visa fee increases imposed by the Sri Lankan Government on American travelers. As of June 15, most Sri Lankan travelers will be required to pay an issuance fee of $ 190, in addition to the current $ 45 processing fee, in order to receive their visas. This fee increase is a reciprocal action taken after recent visa fee increases imposed by the Sri Lankan Government on most foreign travellers, including Americans, staying more than 30 days in Sri Lanka. Most governments around the world follow a practice of reciprocity in regard to visa fees and other matters. The new Sri Lankan visa fee schedule calls for a Rs. 20,000 fee for stays up to 12 months. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 12:17:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

ICRC holds war surgery seminar in Sri Lanka, Jun 13 2001 10:32 IST. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is set to hold a two-day seminar in Sri Lanka on war surgery and the treatment of casualties, the organisation said Wednesday. The ICRC said the seminar, to be attended by some 100 local doctors and surgeons, will focus on deciding the order of treatment of victims, amputations and the management of the war wounded. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 05:01:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Catholic Bishop Group Denies Statement on Peace
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 13, 2001 12:24 AM EST . The Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka denied on Tuesday that the statement made by two bishops, who are currently on a European tour, in London, on the country's 18-year ethnic crisis were their views, The Island newspaper said on Wednesday. President of the organization Bishop Oswald Gomis said that they had been trying to get a verification from the two bishops who are currently on a Europe but have been unsuccessful in contacting them. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 05:04:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Strife endangers Sri Lanka elephants
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK . The Sri Lankan president has set up a committee to look into the growing number of conflicts between humans and elephants, displaced from their traditional jungle habitat by the country's civil war. Villagers who are harassed by wild elephants have been told to report to their local police stations immediately, rather than take the law into their own hands. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 13:05:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Jumbo job for Sri Lanka police  -

Sri Lanka Plans Radical Revamp of National Parks
Nothern Light, Wednesday, June 13, 2001 6:28 AM EST . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka, with one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, announced plans on Wednesday to radically reorganize its national parks and zoos to help protect wildlife, particularly elephants. A government statement also said the Wildlife Department and Zoological Gardens had been brought under the control of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 08:11:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

Oslo plays host to Philippine peace talks
Aftenposten, 13 June 2001. Enemies in a 32-year Philippine conflict cited progress in peace talks in Oslo on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ambush by leftist rebels left four government soldiers dead at home. Philippine government and leftist rebel negotiators were meeting in the Norwegian capital for a second round of talks on social and economic reforms, the first of three steps that could lead to peace in 18 months. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 06:59:59 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

Lanka to play in 3 nation one-day series in England
Times of India (Breaking News), 13 June 2001. Sri Lanka will take part in a three nation one-day series during India's tour of England next year where the Indians are scheduled to go for a Test series, the Sri Lankan cricket board confirmed on Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 05:06:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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

Bandaranaike cancels UK visit
Gulf news, 13 June 2001. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike has cancelled a visit to the UK in view of the current developments in Sri Lanka over the issue of moves to impeach the Chief Justice and a subsequent Supreme Court ruling related to the matter. Bandaranaike told Gulf News that he called off the London visit as he is expected to give a ruling about the Supreme Court injunction order which prevents him appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the Chief Justice impeachment motion.Bandaranaike was due to leave on Saturday for a Common-wealth Parliamentary Union conference on June 11. More...
Published: Wed Jun 13 00:29:05 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

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

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

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