The Lanka Academic

JUNE 15, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 70

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
No census in the North now
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 7.21 PM SLT Friday June 15, 2001. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has decided not to conduct the census in the Tamil districts of North Sri Lanka,according to a spokesman of the the Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP),an ally of the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA).

The spokesman, Mr.Thavarajah MP, said that a delegation from his party had met the President and told her that in view of the massive displacement of Tamils from the war torn areas of the North and East,the Tamil population that would be reported in the census would be very low.A low figure would in turn lead to a reduction of parliamentary representation for the Tamils.It would also result in the reduction of university admissions and developmental assistance to the Tamil areas,the EPDP pointed out.

The EPDP pleaded that the census should be postponed till normalcy was restored in the North and East.

To this,the President said that it would not be possible to postpone the census in the East ( apparently because the East had Sinhalese and Muslims as well as Tamils ).But she indicated that the census in the North could be postponed.She was particularly impressed by the point that as a result of the census,Jaffna's representation in parliament could come down to four or five from the present nine.Already, Jaffna had lost one since 1994.

A formal announcement on the President's decision is expected soon because census operations are to commence on June 25.
Published: Fri Jun 15 09:15:29 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
SLMC leader to meet the President with no end in sight to the conflict in the party
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1620 slt 15.06.01. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem announced today he will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga later today to iron out differences as the internal battle in the party continued. Mr. Hakeem is involved in a power struggle for the control of the party with Farial Ashraff,the widow of party founder late A.M.S. Ashraff. Mr. Hakeen cancelled a scheduled meeting of the SLMC Politburo tonight. The Politburo was expected to confirm Mr.Hakeem as the leader of the SLMC and its sister party the National Unity Alliance. Mrs.Farial Ashraff was appointed as the leader of the NUA after the general elections last October, in a compromise deal to end a rift in the party at the time. Mrs.Ashraff is aiming to remove Mr.Hakeen as general secretary of NUA. Mrs.Ashraff is been backed by President Kumaratunga amidst reports that Mr.Hakeem was planning to leave the People's Alliance government.
Published: Fri Jun 15 06:40:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

IMF Mission In Sri Lanka To Review Econ Data Standards
yahoo, june 15. A mission from the International Monetary Fund is in Sri Lanka to assess whether economic data reported by state institutions are transparent and conform to international standards, officials said Friday. "At the request of the Sri Lanka authorities, the IMF is conducting a review of Sri Lanka's economic statistics in the context of the fund's Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes," Nadeem Ul Haque, senior resident representative of the IMF in Colombo, said in a statement. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 23:03:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

10 cabinet ministers oppose the Supreme Court stay order on parliament accepting the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1630 SLT 15.06.01. 10 cabinet ministers have expressed opposition to stay order granted by the Supreme Court prohibiting Parliamentary speaker Anura Bandaranaike from accepting an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath Silva, the Ravaya newspaper reported today. The newspaper named the ministers as Mahinda Rajapaksa, D.M. Jayratne, Mahinda Wijesekera, A.H.M. Fowzi, Lakshman Kadirgamar, Indika Gunewardene, Batty Weerakoon and Richard Pathirana." The Supreme Court has no right to interfere with the sovereignty of Parliament. This is unconstitutional" Minister Pathirana told the Ravaya newspaper. end
Published: Fri Jun 15 06:40:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Seven killed in Sri Lanka's northeast in sporadic confrontations
ABC News, Friday, 05/06/2001 6:32 am ET . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Seven combatants were killed in three incidents in Sri Lanka's northeast as sporadic confrontations continued between government troops and Tamil separatist rebels, the defense ministry said on Friday. Three soldiers and two rebels were killed Friday near Polonnaruwa, about 100 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo, the ministry said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 07:21:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Prime Minister warns that the door opened to peace will not remain open for ever
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1316 slt 15.06.01. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake warned today that the door opened to peace will not be open for ever and called on all parties to think of the future generations and take part in the peace process. Speaking after opening the new building of the Ministry of Youth Affairs today, the Prime Minister said it was not too late yet for al parties concerned to begin peace talks. The Prime Minister has been a strong opponent of the LTTE demand to lift the proscription to begin peace talks.
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:29:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Proposed Uva University will have modern facilities says education minister
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1320 slt 15.06.01. The proposed new University in Uva will have modern facilities and will be an example for other universities in the country, the Education Minister said today. Speaking after receiving a feasibility report on the University ,the minister said UVA was the only region in Sri Lanka without a university and it is proposed to be completed by 2003. end
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:29:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Indian model mooted to probe Lankan Justice's conduct
Press Trust of India, Friday, June 15, 2001. With the Sri Lankan Parliament and Supreme Court appearing to be on a collision course over a court order stalling a move to impeach the Chief Justice, lawyers have suggested the Indian model of inquiry for getting over the crisis. The Colombo Law Society has asked Parliament to enact a new law to provide for a judicial committee to probe charges against judges instead of taking recourse to a select panel of the House. Indian law provides for a committee of judges rather than a parliamentary panel for such a probe. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 04:51:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks surgeons for war zone, Jun 15 2001 12:11 IST. Sri Lanka's army chief Lionel Balagalle Friday urged civilian doctors to serve in the north-east amid a chronic shortage of surgeons to treat the war-wounded. Lieutenant General Balagalle told a seminar on "war surgery" that he wanted more volunteers for hospitals in the battle zones where victims are many surgeons few in number."I hope more surgeons will volunteer to do short stints in those areas," Balagalle said opening the seminar organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the military and the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:43:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India cannot play in Lanka's new cricket field
Times of India (Breaking News), 15 June. India and New Zealand will not be allowed to play in Sri Lanka's newest cricket ground following a dispute between the cricket board and the powerful ministry of Buddhist affairs, a cricket official said on Friday. Consequently, all the matches that the two touring teams were to play in Dambulla during the tour beginning July 15 are being shifted to Kandy, said a cricket official who cannot be named under a gag order by the cricket board.Kandy is about 90 kilometres northeast of the capital, Colombo. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 06:37:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Green 'patriotic' cigarettes give way to bootlegs in Sri Lanka, Jun 15 2001 09:13 IST. For most Sri Lankans, smoking is almost an act of patriotism. The government, which is battling to raise money to finance its war against Tamil rebels, takes over 85 percent of cigarette sales. "The more you puff, the more you pay," strategy saw the state earn 22.99 billion rupees (303 million dollars), last year in taxes and made the local unit of British American Tobacco (BAT) one of the highest tax paying enterprises. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 00:17:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

DFCC grant 2.5 billion rupees worth of loans to small and medium scale industries
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1318 slt 15.06.01. The Development Finance Cooperation of Ceylon (DFCC) has granted loans amounting to 2.5 billion rupees in the financial year 2000-2001 to small and medium size industries. The loans were granted to 1700 industries. The money comes from local and foreign lending agencies.
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:29:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Japan gives 12.43 million million dollars for Sri Lanka bridges, Jun 15 2001 12:15 IST. Japan's embassy Friday announced it was gifting 12.43 million dollars to Sri Lanka for the construction of two bridges in the central region of the island. An agreement was signed in Colombo Friday by Japanese ambassador Seiichiro Otsuka and Sri Lankan officials on the grant aid to be available over a period of three years, the Japanese embassy said. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:44:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Home for Sri Lankan elephants reopens
BBC South Asia, Friday, 15 June, 2001, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK . A transit home in Sri Lanka for baby elephants injured or orphaned in the country's civil war reopens on Friday. The home, the first to successfully release captured elephants back into the wild, was closed last month after an elephant attacked a vehicle carrying tourists, killing a volunteer guide. More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 03:45:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UNP determined on no-confidence motion
The Hindu (International), Friday, June 15, 2001. Sri Lanka's main Opposition, the United National Party (UNP) will present a no-confidence motion against the Government in Parliament between June 19 and June 22, party officials said. The UNP has said it will also begin a country- wide campaign on June 22 to explain its move to the people and win popular support for it. Denying rumours that it was about to join hands with the ruling People's Alliance (PA) coalition to form a national government, the UNP said in a statement that ``it outrightly rejected'' the idea, which was being promoted by the ruling party members to fend off the impending no-confidence motion. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 16:52:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLMC Leader Admits Crisis in The Party
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 14/06/01 1645 GMT. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has called for a special prayer day on Monday the 18th amidst rumours over the strong differences in the party leadership whether to continue the support to the Peoples's Alliance government. Minister of Trade and Muslim affairs Rauff Hakeem, the leader of the SLMC, admitted that the party is facing a severe crisis and called the special prayer meeting to save the party from this crisis. In an interview with BBC's Sandeshaya, Minister Hakeem said that he needed to discuss matters with the President Chandrika Bandaranaike, and he was reluctant to name the culprits in and outside the party. Commenting on the invitation to the UNP by senior ministers to form a national government in order to safeguard the country from "Shylock demands" of the minority parties, Mr. Hakeem said he would rather let the people decide.
Published: Thu Jun 14 12:47:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil,LTTE objections to Lankan census brushed aside
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 11.40 PM SLT Thursday June 14, 2001. Census would be conducted in the North East Province as per schedule, despite objections from the Tamils and a chill warning to the field staff by the LTTE.The Director General of Census and Statistics Mr.A.G.W.Nanayakkara said that the operations could not be postponed.

Tamil parties and newspapers have been seeking a postponement of the census in the war-torn North East Province on the grounds that a census there, at this juncture, would be detrimental to the Tamils' interest.With a war on for the last decade and a half,lakhs of Tamils have fled from the North East to other parts of the island and abroad.The census would,therefore,show a very low Tamil population there.This,it is feared,would result in Tamil parliamentary representation dwindling further.

The Tamils are very sore that because of state-sponsored Sinhala colonisation in Trincomalee and Amparai districts, and the massive displacement of Tamils throughout the North East due to the war,the number of Tamil MPs has come down drastically.

The Tamil daily "Virakesari" has pointed out that people living in a particular area,as per the census,will be deemed to belong to that area for administrative and political purposes.This means that the displaced Tamils living outside the North East will be deemed to belong to the place of actual residence and not to the place of original residence in the North East.Likewise, Sinhalese armymen,police and government servants,now living in the North East with their families,would be deemed to belong to the North East,"Virakesari" said.The Tamils fear that as a result of all this,their numerical preponderance and political dominance in their own "Homeland",the North East,would be eroded.

But Mr.Nanayakkara said that the census was not going to brush the phenomenon of displacement under the carpet." We are going to ask about the place of birth,the place of previous residence, and the duration of stay in the place of current residence,which will give a total picture of displacement," he said.While preliminary work is already on,the headcount actually begins on July 17.
Published: Thu Jun 14 13:34:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Nobody to be charged on the basis of the 1983 riots probe
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 10.13 PM SLT Thursday,June 14, 2001 . The Minister for Ethnic Affairs,Mr.Athauda Seneviratne,has said that witch hunting is not the motive behind the decision to set up a commission to probe the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom."Nobody will be charged or punished," he said.

"The commission's basic task will be to unravel the extent of damage the riots had done to the polity and economy of Sri Lanka and educate the people on the need for ethnic understanding and harmony.The present economic difficulties are due to the war,which in turn is the result of the 1983 riots," Mr.Seneviratne said.Over 500 Tamils were reportedly killed and thousands of dwellings of every description were torched in Colombo and the Hill country.

The minister said that the panel would function like the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" set up in South Africa after the collapse of Apartheid.It would not be a panel to fix responsibility and recommend punitive action.The idea was not to re-open old wounds and animosities but to build bridges, he said.

Mr.Seneviratne denied that the commission was being set up to browbeat the opposition United National Party (UNP) and force it to abandon the bid to table a no-confidence motion against the government.

The minister said that President Chandrika Kumaratunga had held discussions on the commission with some ministers and legal experts.And since the Tamil parties in parliament wanted a meeting to discuss the terms of reference and the membership of the panel,he planned to hold a meeting with them next week.The panel is likely to go into the question of giving compensation to the victims of the riots.The Deputy Minister of Ethnic Affairs K.Ganeshamoorthy said compensation was of critical importance.

The composition of the commission had not been finalised yet,but it was likely to be a three man panel of persons who had served in the higher judiciary.They would be drawn from the Tamil,Sinhala and Muslim communities.Mr.Seneviratne expected the gazette notification and the Presidential announcement by month end.
Published: Thu Jun 14 12:06:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A letter sent by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena to The Global Spy Magazine
The Global Spy Magazine, 15 June 2001. With reference to the long telephone conversation I had with you today at 10:00 am (Sri Lankian time) regarding the above subject and I would like to draw your attention to the follwoing facts urgently and request you to respond to me immediately after correcting your web site. I am Sinhalese (Majority Communicty) Member of Parliament representing the main opposition party (United National Party) in Sri Lanka. I am also a Human Rights actists and Humanitarian Worker...... More...
Published: Fri Jun 15 00:14:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President to supervise development projects
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1313 slt 14.06.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to take over supervision of development projects. The Presidential Secretariat in a statement said the presence of the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Secretary to the Ministry is compulsory at meeting to assess the implementation of programmes. The statement said the president would not hesitate to take action against those who have not carried out their work. The Presidential secretariat said the meetings to review development projects are aimed at minimizing wastage and corruption.
Published: Thu Jun 14 03:35:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Research on natural pest control by Sri Lankan company honoured internationally
Island, 15 June 2001. At the international workshop on "Practice Oriented Results on use of Plant Extracts and Pheromones in Integrated Pest Management" held recently in Cairo, Egypt, Serendib Natural Products Ltd., Colombo was awarded the certificate for the best presentation on research at the Workshop. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 23:47:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka mob attack probe hears evidence
BBC South Asia, Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK . The commander of a training camp in Sri Lanka, where 29 Tamil youths were killed in a mob attack last year, has told the official inquiry that local police stood by and watched without making any attempt to intervene. The camp commander, Captain Abeyaratne, said the police were armed with rifles, while the mob had only swords and clubs. But the inquiry chairman refused to allow lawyers to ask him to name publicly the policemen involved. The killings occurred at Bindunuwewe, a show-case camp set up to give vocational training to former Tamil rebels who had surrendered to the Sri Lankan Government. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 05:19:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees battle for survival in southern India, Jun 14 2001 11:11 IST. In a former rice warehouse in southern India, more than 120 refugees from one of the world's bloodiest and longest-running civil wars wage a grim struggle against disease and desperation. Lutus Kumar, a 34-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, is among 35 families who live inside rooms partitioned by ragged clothes and held together by logs in the industrial town of Hosur in Tamil Nadu state. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 05:22:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Feasibility report on Uva University ready
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1320 slt 14.06.01. The feasibility report on the proposed new university in Uva is to be handed over the Minister of Higher Education Tomorrow. The report prepared by a committee headed by Post and Telecommunications Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva include suggestions as to where the various faculties are to be constructed. The University is expected to cost 100 million rupees. end
Published: Thu Jun 14 03:35:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The government to re consider the route for Kandy-Colombo highway
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1315 slt 14.06.01. Highways Minister A.M. Fawzi said today that he would re consider the route of the proposed Kandy-Colombo highway if it affects a large number of people. The statement came after a series of protests by people who claim the proposed route would destroy their homes and businesses. The Protestors say the government should consider building the road through less populated areas. The Minister said he was in the process of collecting date. " We would change the route even if the costs go up, if it the highway affects too many people" the Minister said.
Published: Thu Jun 14 03:35:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka PM backs Kumaratunga on peace drive, Jun 14 2001 17:40 IST. COLOMBO, June 14 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Thursday rejected speculation that he was at odds with the president over Norway's attempts to broker peace on the island. The premier's office said in a statement that there were no differences of opinions or approaches on resolving the island's drawn out Tamil separatist conflict with the help of Norway's support. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 09:30:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ports Authority Chairman requests Rs. 50,000 salary hike
Island, 14 June. The Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Admiral Mohan Samarasekera has made a request to the Secretary, Ministry of Port Development and Development of the South, D. M. P. B. Dassanayake to increase his salary and those of his two Managing Directors by Rs. 50,000 by letter dated May 18. However, he refused a salary increase of Rs. 4,000 requested by 26 trade unions of the port at a meeting held on the same date.He is already paid Rs. 30,000 as his basic salary. The Ports Authority is also spending Rs. 1,080,000 as the annual lease for his Barnes Place bungalow More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 08:10:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Hiru FM Owner Misguided own Staff- Sunrise Radio
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 14/06/01 1120 GMT. Journalists were made to believe they could interview the owner, as they thought that the Licence holder is the Radio and not Avtar Lit, says Sunrise Radio reacting to the ruling by UKís Radio Authority (RA) which fined the station £10,000. Londonís Sunrise Radio, whose owner Dr. Avtar Lit is also the co owner of Sri Lankaís new FM stations including Hiru and Suriyan FM, is one of the major community radio stations in Britain. The overseeing body for British Commercial Radio, the RA, ruled that the de facto licensee of the station is Mr. Lit and not the station. The stationís decision to carry out an interview with Dr.Lit, who contested the recent general election for the Ealing Southall electorate as an independent candidate, is a violation of broadcasting regulations, the RA said.

An statement issued by its News Editor Rahul Pathak accepts the ruling by the RA saying "Sunrise Radio understands any breach of the Broadcasting Act is a serious matter. However in this situation," Mr. Pathak says, "the Radio Authority was made aware that the station genuinely believed Sunrise Radio Ltd. And not him personally the licensee".
Published: Thu Jun 14 07:19:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka president cracks the whip on minister, Jun 14 2001 16:28 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga warned her cabinet ministers Thursday not to make excuses for delaying development projects and vowed to keep a closer tab on them. President Kumaratunga's office, in a two-page statement, said she had initiated a system to monitor the progress of state development schemes and release money to ensure there was no wastage and minimise corruption. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 07:56:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to Develop Handicrafts, Cottage Industries
Nothern Light, Thursday, June 13, 2001 11:50 PM EST . Sri Lanka is to launch an islandwide national program to safeguard and develop the country's traditional handicrafts and cottage industries. The Ministry of Rural Industrial Development announced Wednesday that a sum of 237 million rupees will be spent to set up fully fledged craft townships at 14 selected locations. More...
Published: Thu Jun 14 05:24:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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