The Lanka Academic

JUNE 16, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 71

Headline Summary
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Muslim ally threat to Chandrika
The Hindu (International), Sunday, June 17, 2001. Amidst heightened back-room efforts by the opposition United National Party to muster support for its proposed no-confidence motion against the Government, a crucial partner of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) today said it was disillusioned with the Government and made veiled threats to withdraw support to it. Accusing the PA of attempting to break up his party, the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Mr. Rauff Hakeem, said at a news conference that his relations with the Government were at a ``low ebb''. ``My message to the Government is don't mess with my party. I am not going to be a partner to the Government when the dignity of my party and my leadership is at stake,'' said Mr. Hakeem, who held a long discussion with the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, on Friday night. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 17:58:31 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
Muslim ally decides to overthrow Sri Lanka minister  -

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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.

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A confused Hakeem stands at the crossroads
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 4.06 PM SLT Saturday June 16,2001. The two and half hour meeting which the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Mr.Rauf Hakeem had with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on friday,has clearly been fruitless.Mr.Hakeem is where he was,namely, at the crossroads,unable to decide whether to stay put as an adjunct of the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) or to quit and throw in his lot with the opposition United National Party (UNP) when the UNP sponsored no confidence motion is tabled and put to vote.

Though he told a press conference here today that "no promises were sought or given" at the meeting with the President,and that the meeting was meant mainly to put the SLMC's complaints and views across to her,in her own interest,it was clear that he had expected the President to respond favourably and she did not.

Mrs.Kumaratunga had not agreed to his demand that she rein in Mr.S.B.Dissanayake and other ministers who were "heaping insults" on the SLMC and terming some solemn promises made to the Muslims at one time as as "extremist and impossible" demands now.Mr.Hakeem also bitterly complained that these ministers were trying to split the SLMC by promoting a rump group led by Mrs.Ferial Ashraff and Mr.M.L.A.M.Hisbullah.But apparently,the President was unmoved.

Though Mr.Hakeem praised Mrs.Kumaratunga for being the first "non-communal" President and declared that his movement was not against her per se,he had clearly touched a raw nerve by saying that the mandate got by the PA in the last parliamentary elections was "flawed" because of widespread violence and rigging by the PA itself.He had also echoed the UNP's demand for independent commissions for elections,police, public service and the judiciary.He had questioned the wisdom of trying to by-pass the LTTE and fashion a constitution to solve the ethnic problem.He had criticised the government's reactions to the LTTE's posturings as "knee jerk".

Not being in a position to jettison the SLMC faction led by Mr.Hakeem, especially now in the context of the UNP's threat to introduce a no-confidence motion,Mrs.Kumaratunga is believed to have made some conciliatory gestures.She officially "promoted" Kalmunai to a "municipality".But these were not fully acceptable to Mr.Hakeem who maintained that the government had reneged on a promise to make Kalmunai a "Muslim majority district".He held that the perpetrators of violence against Muslims were being sheltered.And a committee to oversee the implementation of election promises never came into existence."We have been taken for granted," he told the President.

But Mr.Hakeem is unable to cross over to the UNP.Asked if he would support the UNP's no-trust motion,he said that he would do so only if his party (read faction) was "convinced" that the UNP was a desirable alternative to the PA from the stand point of the ethnic question.There must be a firm policy, a blue print on the ethnic question for a party to be a convincing alternative,he said.But apparently,the UNP did not seem to have a credible policy on the ethnic issue.Mr.Hakeem said he supported the UNP's call for independent commissions for elections, police, public service and the judiciary as these were necessary for good governance.But the critical issue was the ethnic problem,he maintained.

Mr.Hakeem will be in a half way house for some time.He said his group would vote against the government in the no-trust vote against Mr.Mahipala Herath on the Mawanella issue,and will side with the opposition on the issue of parliamentary privilege vis--vis the Supreme Court.But on the crucial issue of the no-trust vote against the government, he will hold his horses till the air both within his party and outside in the PA, clears.
Published: Sat Jun 16 07:19:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka leader denies unity government offer, Jun 16 2001 10:34 IST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has denied that her party had discussed forming a national unity government, state-run media said Saturday.State radio and television said Kumaratunga as the head of government had no such discussions although one of her senior aides made a public offer. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 09:45:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rebel Leader in Sri Lanka Killed
Nothern Light, Saturday, June 16, 2001 7:39 PM EDT . The top leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels in eastern Sri Lanka was killed when the motorcycle he was riding on hit a land mine, military and rebel sources said Saturday. Rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam accused the military of planting the mine that killed Nizzam, who was in charge of rebel operations in the eastern Batticaloa and Ampara districts. Most rebel leaders use either one name or a pseudonym. Batticaloa is 136 mile east of Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 21:04:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil Tiger rebels' top regional leader killed  - Times of India
Claymore kills LTTE's eastern political leader  - Tamilnet

Dambulla out of bounds
BBC, JUne 16. Sri Lanka cannot play matches at their new Dambulla Stadium during a one-day series in July and August because of a dispute with the island's ministry of Buddhist affairs. The stadium was built in just seven months on land owned by a local temple, which is home to a group of monks More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 18:17:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to set up special child abuse courts
Times of India, 17 June 2001 . The government said on Saturday it will set up special courts to try child molesters, the first step toward implementing a comprehensive plan to protect Sri Lankan children from sex abuse.The special courts will be set up in four cities, the government said in a statement. A special feature of the courts will be that the identity of the victims will be kept secret during trial More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 18:01:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

7 killed in northeast Lankan confrontations
Times of India, 16 June 2001 . Seven combatants were killed in three incidents in Sri Lanka's northeast as sporadic confrontations continued between government troops and Tamil separatist rebels, the defence ministry said on Friday.Three soldiers and two rebels were killed on Friday near Polonnaruwa, about 170 kilometres northeast of the capital, Colombo, the ministry said.Most of the fighting in the 17-year civil war takes place in the north, but confrontations spill over to the east and northeast, where rebels have infiltrated. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 14:10:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Divers locate 'phantom shipwreck'
BBC South Asia, Saturday, 16 June, 2001, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK . A search team has found what is thought to be the wreck of a ship which sank off the Italian coast five years ago with hundreds of illegal immigrants on board. The wreck is said to be surrounded by skeletons.An Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, undertook the search for what has been dubbed "the phantom shipwreck" in the face of long-standing official scepticism about the existence of the vessel. About 280 people, mainly from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, are believed to have drowned when the ship went down in waters off Sicily in December 1996. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 13:08:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

U.S. Company to Finance New Thermal Power Plant in S.Lanka
Nothern Light, Saturday, June 16, 2001 1:00 PM EST . COLOMBO, Jun 16, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- AES Kelanitissa (Private) Limited of the United States is to commission a new thermal power plant in Sri Lanka at a cost of 100 million U.S. dollars, a spokesman of the Power Ministry said on Saturday. The company, which is a subsidiary of AES Corporation of USA, will own and operate the new plant. They will sell electricity to the Ceylon Electricity Board under a 20-year power purchase agreement. AES Kelanitissa has signed financing agreement with the Asian Development Bank and ANZ Investment Bank, the investment banking arm of Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) for the financing of its 163.15 megawatt combined cycle diesel fired power plant. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 14:11:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika may put off census in war-hit north Lanka
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Saturday, June 16, 2001. Parts of northern Sri Lanka, especially the Jaffna peninsula, may be left out of next month's census following objections from Tamil political parties to a population count that cannot enumerate hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced by the 18-year-old civil war.President Chandrika Kumaratunga has promised to consider a representation by the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) to postpone the census in the war-ravaged north, according to EPDP MP S Thavaraja. More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 14:12:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga may put off census in war-hit north  - Times of India (Breaking News)

Key Muslim ally rocks Sri Lankan coalition boat
India Abroad, June 16, 2001 16:34 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's key Muslim ally said Saturday it would support an opposition move to oust a minister, describing relations with the government as being at "a low ebb". Hakeem, who holds the trade portfolio, said that the government could no longer bank on his party's support and that he regretted propping up Kumaratunga's party after the inconclusive result at last year's general election. "We have decided to support the resolution of no confidence against Minister Mahipala Herath," Hakeem told reporters as the party's position in the People's Alliance (PA) coalition became increasingly shaky More...
Published: Sat Jun 16 09:52:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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

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

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