The Lanka Academic

JUNE 18, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 73

Headline Summary
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Tamils to lobby for Commonwealth intervention at Brisbane meet
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 5.00 PM SLT Monday June 18,2001. Sri Lankan Tamil activists are going to press the Commonwealth to intervene in the ethnic question when the heads of commonwealth governments meet in Brisbane,Australia in October this year. The TULF MP for Batticaloa, Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham,has persuaded the country President of the International Commission of Jurists and former Australian Attorney General,Justice John Dowd,to write to the Commonwealth Secretary General and to Mr. Alaxander Downing,the Australian Foreign Minister,asking them to include the Sri Lankan ethnic question in the meeting's agenda.

Mr.Pararajasingham had met Australian MPs,Senators, activists in the field of refugee rehabilitation and church leaders during his visit Down Under in May.He asked them to press the Australian government to put diplomatic pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop the war,lift the ban on the LTTE and begin peace talks with Norwegian facilitation.Australia has a large Sri Lankan Tamil refugee population.

The Tamil case has been strengthened by the controversial appointment of Maj.Gen. (rtd) Janaka Perera as Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Canberra.Tamils in Australia have launched a campaign against Gen.Perera,who only last week was accused by Amnesty International of having perpetrated gross human rights violations against Tamil civilians while he was in service.The Australian Foreign Office has defended the appointment but it likely that the Tamil lobby will keep up the pressure on the government through civil society and human rights groups.As the Coomonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) nears, the campaign is expected to heat up.
Published: Mon Jun 18 12:22:50 EDT 2001

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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.

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Sri Lankans in Australia Protest Janaka Perera's appointment
Saroj Pathirana in London, Monday 18/06/01 1640 GMT. Several Hundred Sri Lankans from all major cities of Australia gathered outside the Australian Parliament House in Canberra to protest the appointment of retired General Janaka Perera as new Sri Lankan envoy in Australia. The protesters called for the government not to accept Major General Perera as the head of the Sri Lankan mission in Australia. They performed a street drama depicting the alleged acts of torture by Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and burnt his effigies.

Tamil community groups in Australia accused Maj. Gen. Perera of war crimes which allegedly include hundreds of deaths and the torture of Tamils during 1995-1998. Protest against the appointment of the new envoy came not only from the minority Tamils. Publicity officer for Friends for Peace in Sri Lanka, a Peace campaign group in Australia, Lionel Bopage told BBC's Sandeshaya that the Australian government is having double standards on the issue of accepting diplomatic appointees. He pointed out that the same foreign minister did not accept the appointment of General Bandari as the Indonesian Ambassador due to protest by the East Timoreans. Prof. Brian Senewiratne of the Queensland University who addressed the gathering in front of the parliament, alleged that the Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera is also liable for the disappearance of thousands of rural Sinhalese youth in the South.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International also protested the appointment of the new SL envoy. The AI stated that about six hundred Tamils disappeared during his time are still unaccounted for. The Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, however, has approved the appointment, rejecting accusations of atrocities by both communities of Sri Lanka.
Published: Mon Jun 18 12:47:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia accused of war crimes  -
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Downer defends appointment of Sri Lankan High Commissioner
ABC news, 18 June 2001. The Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, says he has found no basis on which to challenge the appointment of Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia. Human rights and Tamil associations say former Major General Janaka Perera was in command of areas where atrocities occurred. Mr Downer says he has received advice from Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, the General is a worthy and suitable appointment. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 06:04:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Australia will accept Sri Lankan envoy
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Monday June 18. Amidst protests that Sri Lanka's ambassador to Australia is guilty of war crimes, Aussie Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has told the Federal Parliament that Australia had investigated the allegations but found no incriminating evidence against the ex Army officer.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Australia, Major General Janaka Perera, is alleged to have presided over various acts of violence against Tamil civilians who after being captured by the Army had allegedly been tortured and even killed in Sri Lanka's northern peninsula.

Hundreds of Tamils residents in Australia had protested outside the Sri Lankan embassy in Canberra and outside the Federal Parliament building demanding that the general's appointment be withdrawn.

Downer however maintains that Australia has spoken with Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and been reassured that the accusations against Perera are false.
Published: Mon Jun 18 04:04:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Australia refuses to bow to demands it bar Sri Lanka's new envoy  -

Probe committee recommends criminal investigation
Cricinfo, 18 June. The probe Committee, who were appointed by the Sports Minister, Lakshman Kiriella, to investigate into alleged financial mismanagement of the outgoing Executive Committee, claimed in a six-page press release today, that there was, in their opinion, sufficient suspicious evidence to launch a criminal inquiry into the activities of the dissolved board.Moreover, the probe Committee - which was not supported by Thilanga Sumathipala, the ex-President, who pointed out that some of the committee members were likely to be hostile to him having supported his opponents in the last two cricket board elections - revealed that it could find no evidence to confirm that the Sri Lankan cricket board (BCCSL) had obtained legal ownership of the land upon which the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium had been built. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 12:56:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Defence Objects to Replacement of Sri Lankan Judge
Nothern Light, Monday, June 18, 2001 5:21 PM EST . Defence teams in the so-called Media Trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday told the court that they objected to a new judge replacing sitting judge Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka on the case. Gunawardana has been named to go to the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR and International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. According to Tribunal Rules, once a trial has reached an advanced stage, a sitting judge can only be replaced with the consent of the defence. The court had hoped that counsel for the three defendants would approve Gunawardana's replacement by new judge Andresia Vaz of Senegal, who has not yet arrived at the ICTR. The case groups three suspects accused of using the media to fuel the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 20:39:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Motion of no confidence shows a swelling of public opinion against the PA government- Ravindra Randeniya?
Bandula Jayasekara in New York, NY Time 10.30 a.m. Monday 18 June. United National Party national list member of parliament Ravindra Randeniya said that the no confidence motion against the PA government is not a motion brought forward by the UNP but, the whole opposition and that is a result of swelling up of public opinion against president Kumaratunge's People's Alliance government. Speaking to 'The Lanka Academic' in New York, Randeniya said "The government has let down the people and not kept any promises made by them to the masses. Look at the cost of living, the law and order situation and the war. The economy is in shambles? When ?The Lanka Academic? asked Randeniya if the UNP could be considered as an effective opposition, the UNP parliamentarian said ? What I have to say is that the UNP ruled for 17 years. PA came to power with an overwhelming support of the people and all other groups. The UNP approached the whole issue in a pragmatic way. We did not oppose the government for the sake of opposing. We let them go through, if the government had good programmes. But, now after so many years we find that the government has let the people down badly. In the same manner we were not aggressive, as we should have been. But, now since the government is carrying on with their lethargic approach we definitely are active both inside and outside the parliament. We have also mobilized the masses now"
Published: Mon Jun 18 10:31:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Why not impeach the Chief Justice when we have sufficient material - UNP MP  - Bandula Jayasekara in New York

Lanka to recruit Indian nurses in a big way
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 11.05 PM SLT Monday June 18,2001. Sri Lanka plans to recruit hundreds of Indian nurses in the next three years to help fill a yawning gap between the demand and the domestic supply of trained nurses,the Secretary to the Ministry of Health,Mr.Thilak Ranaviraja,has said.

"Sri Lanka immediately needs 4000 to 5,000 nurses.In the next five years,the country will need 10,000.We need to recruit nurses from India for the next three years atleast," Mr.Ranaviraja said.But The Sunday Times of June 16 quoted Dr.A.M.L.Beligaswatte,Director General in the Ministry of Health, to say that the current shortage in the government hospitals alone was 15,500 ( 14,500 being the current strength as against a requirement of 30,000).

Be that as it may,the gap between demand and domestic supply is "very large" as Mr.Ranaviraja put it.Because it is impossible to train hundreds or thousands of nurses in a very short period of time,government may have no other option but to recruit nurses from abroad.And the only country which can supply nurses who can adjust to local conditions is India.Kerala,which supplies nurses to the rest of India,will be the supply pool for Sri Lanka too.Kerala has a tradition of nursing and has well known nursing schools too.

Private hospitals in Sri Lanka have already started recruiting nurses from Kerala.Nawaloka in Colombo has fifteen. The Suwasevana Hospital for Cardiology in Kandy plans to take 200 nurses directly from a nursing school in Kerala and Apollo Hospital, coming up in Narahenpita in Colombo,is bringing 200 nurses from India to start its operations here.With Sri Lankan private sector into recruitment of such magnitude, can the government sector be far behind ?
Published: Mon Jun 18 13:05:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Muslim stage strike over council, Jun 18 2001 20:07 IST. COLOMBO, June 18 (AFP) - The key Muslim ally of President Chandrika Kumaratunga's shaky ruling coalition staged a work stoppage in eastern Sri Lanka Monday to press their demands for a separate administrative council. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which provides crucial support to the government but is currently facing a tenuous relationship with Kumaratunga's People's Alliance said their action was a token of protest. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 11:17:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Local fishermen forced to engage in human smuggling
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Monday June 18. Local fishermen are being pushed into a more lucrative flesh trade after bank interest rates and fuel prices have risen drastically in the last 18 months.

Fisheries Minister, Mahinda Rajapakse says that Lankan fishermen have taken to smuggling human cargo across the Palk Straits and to European waters in order to survive economically.

Recently two boats were seized and the boatmen arrested by the Negombo police when caught attempting to smuggle a human cargo of Sri Lankan's to Italy.

The fishermen are also resorting to male prostitution, catering to foreigners who frequent the southern and Negombo beach hotels.

Fuel price have risen steadily by 120% over the last one and a half years while bank interests rates have also gone up, making it impossible for the fishermen to survive economically, only on their daily catch.
Published: Mon Jun 18 04:04:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka fishermen hooked on prostitution, people smuggling  - Yahoo Asia

Lankan expatriates urged to help Motherland
CDN, June 18. Science and Technology Minister Professor Leslie Gunawardene is inviting Sri Lankan expatriate scientists to help in boosting the country's development projects lagging as a result of the brain-drain. Twenty-seven Sri Lankan expatriates in Australia, the Fiji Islands, USA, UK, Sweden, Hongkong, and Switzerland have positively responded to the request published in the website. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 12:09:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fear about 'Indian Tamil' identity in census
The Hindu (International), Tuesday, June 19, 2001. As preparations continue apace for Sri Lanka's 13th census, leaders of Indian origin Tamils have appealed to their people not to register themselves as Sri Lankan Tamils as this could result in the loss of a distinct identity and a failure to gain redress for their separate grievances. ``Indian Tamils must understand that there is nothing to be lost by calling themselves that. It is not an indication of citizenship. The name refers to a distinct ethnic group in Sri Lanka, and we have to maintain that identity,'' said Mr. P.P. Devaraj, parliamentarian and president of the People of Indian Origin(PIO) Council of Sri Lanka . More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 20:41:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Indian origin Tamils asked to assert identity in Lankan census  - NDTV/MSNBC

Sri Lanka to grant paternity leave: minister, Jun 18 2001 18:00 IST. COLOMBO, June 18 (AFP) - Sri Lanka plans to grant paternity leave to married men whose spouses give birth, women's affairs minister Sumeda Jayasena told parliament Monday. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 09:37:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka cricket crisis enters parliament
Yahoo Asia, 18 June 2001. A crisis in Sri Lanka's cricket administration deepened Monday with ruling party legislators calling for a parliamentary probe into the affairs of the nation's richest sports body. A resolution by the ruling People's Alliance was published in a parliamentary order paper calling for a financial probe into the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL). It follows the sacking of the elected board of Thilanga Sumathipala in March and the appointment of an interim panel by Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella to run the BCCSL amid allegations of financial malpractice. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 04:57:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Lankan MP's demand probe into irregularities with cricket board  - Times of India (Breaking News)

9 LTTE rebels killed
Times of India (Breaking News), 18 June 2001 . Nine LTTE rebels have been killed by Sri Lankan troops in separate incidents in the north-eastern Weli Oya area and Jaffna Peninsula, the military said on Monday. In the first incident, troops lying in ambush attacked a group of rebels near Parakkaramapura in the Weli Oya area on Sunday, killing six rebels. However, the rebels admitted only one death in their clandestine transmissions, a defence ministry statement said. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 05:31:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka troops kill nine rebels in new clashes  -

Sri Lanka addicts driven to suicide over drug shortage, Jun 18 2001 10:37 IST. COLOMBO, June 18 (AFP) - A severe shortage of heroin has gripped the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and many addicts have been driven to suicide, press reports here said Monday. Two drug addicts committed suicide Sunday unable to get their daily dose of heroin, the Sinhalese language Divaina daily reported. It said several others had attempted suicide. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 03:41:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Govt. tests waters for lifting ban on LTTE
The Hindu (International), Monday, June 18, 2001. The Sri Lankan Government today appeared to be testing the waters for lifting the ban on the LTTE for rescuing the Norwegian-assisted process for peace talks. The State-owned weekly Sunday Observer today floated the idea, urging the Government to take the ``necessary bold steps'' required to ``initiate negotiations before events overtake the currently slow momentum towards peace''. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 16:45:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka diplomat sparks protests
BBC South Asia, Monday, 18 June, 2001, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK . More than 300 Tamils have demonstrated outside the Australian parliament in protest against the appointment of a retired army officer as Sri Lanka's new diplomatic envoy. Tamil community groups in Australia say the high commissioner-designate, Major-General Janaka Perera, is a war criminal.The human rights group, Amnesty International, has also raised similar concerns. But despite two and half months of intensive lobbying, the Australian Government remains unmoved. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said he had received personal assurances from his Sri Lankan counterpart that Major-General Perera was a fit person to hold office. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 10:19:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Controversy surrounds Sri Lankan diplomat  - BBC South Asia
Tamils protest over new Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia  -

Australia to push Condon plan at ICC meeting, 18 June 2001. With the game at a crossroads and some member nations reluctant to accept reform, the Australian Cricket Board will strongly support the recommendations contained in Lord Condon's recently released interim report into match-fixing at the meeting of the International Cricket Council's executive here this week. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 05:17:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Nothern Light, Monday, June 18, 2001 3:33 AM EST . Sri Lanka has set in motion a series of initiatives to boost its tea yield under an ongoing Corporate Plan for the sector. The steps include enhancing quality, using high-grade planting material and introducing mechanised harvesting. More...
Published: Mon Jun 18 04:54:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Speaker in a fix
Times of India, 18 June 2001 . The Speaker of Sri Lanka's Parliament is expected to reject a Supreme court order and move ahead with an impeachment motion against the country's highest judicial officer which may further aggravate an existing constitutional crisis, the independent Sunday Times newspaper said.The report quoted sources close to the Speaker Anura Bandaranaike as saying he had decided to act against the order and would make an announcement in Parliament early this week. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 18:46:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka Speaker to strike compromise by urging adoption of Indian system
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 4.10 PM SLT Sunday June 17, 2001. When he gives his ruling on the Supreme Court - parliament tussle early next week, the Sri Lankan parliament's Speaker Mr.Anura Bandaranaike is expected to suggest the adoption of the Indian system to end the conflict.

By doing so,he would be striking a compromise between the parliamentary hardliners who want the inherent rights and privileges of parliament to be preserved for their own sake,and those who believe that there should be checks and balances and view with alarm parliament's bid to be the investigator,prosecutor and judge,all rolled into one.

Mr.Bandaranaike may well be fearing that a good and independent Chief Justice like Mr.Neville Samarakoon may be hounded by parliament for purely poltiical reasons.

The Indian system recognises parliament's right to appoint a Select Committee to investigate charges against a judge and to impeach him or her.But the committee has to be a panel of eminent jurists who are also outside the legislature.This way,the panel has expertise as well as independence.The basis thesis is that Parliament has a right to question a judge's integrity and take punitive action,but this does not mean that it can be investigator,prosecutor and judge all rolled into one.

In the Indian sytem,the Speaker appoints a three member Select Committee.Of the three members,one will have to be a sitting judge of the Supreme Court,one a sitting judge of a High Court and the other an eminent jurist.After this expert panel submits its recommendations to the Speaker (or the Chairperson in the case of the Second Chamber),the motion of impeachment will be put to debate in the house and a vote taken.To be carried, the motion will have to have the support of two thirds of the MPs present and voting.

The draft Sri Lankan constitution,which was to have been taken up by parliament on August 3,2000, had envisaged such controversies and stipulated that the Select Committee consist of three judges from the Commonwealth countries in case the accused is a judge and three Chief Justices from the Commonwealth in case the accused is a Chief Justice.
Published: Sun Jun 17 06:04:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Shell finds its Sri Lanka investment hard slogging
gulf-news, june 16. Shell Gas Lanka Ltd, a unit of the giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group, has found its investment in Sri Lanka more difficult than initially anticipated, its country chairman said yesterday.Despite enjoying a five-year liquified petroleum gas supply monopoly that ended last year, the firm has accrued losses on its $145 million investment, which makes up about 10 per cent of the group's global LPG business assets. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 22:39:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Church declares full support for Colombo peace initiatives
gulf-news, june 14. The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka yesterday declared that they were fully supportive of the government's peace efforts to end the ethnic conflict, and did not share the views of the two Catholic bishops on a overseas visit.The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka was reacting to a government statement issued on Monday which said that it regretted comments made by two Sri Lankan Catholic bishops who had reportedly said the government does not seem to want a solution to the ethnic crisis.Archbishop Oswald Gomis told state run radio that they were trying to contact the two Bishops in London and clarify the reported statement. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 22:52:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SL seeks UNHCR help for head count in Jaffna
The Pioneer, june 18. Sri Lanka has sought the help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to take a head count of people in war-torn Jaffna when a much-delayed national census gets underway shortly. The UNHCR has been asked to contact Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the north to get their cooperation, amid reports that the rebels are opposed to the census, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 22:19:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka's envoy to Australia in the eye of a storm
Times of India (Breaking News), 17 June 2001 . Sri Lanka's new ambassador to Australia is a war criminal who presided over the torture and killing of hundreds of Tamil civilians, Australian Tamils alleged Sunday. Major General Janaka Perera arrives in Canberra this week despite strident objections by members of the Tamil community in Australia, who will stage protests outside the Sri Lankan high commission on Monday. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 13:25:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan demand for Indian nurses
The Hindustan Times, june 18. THERE IS a tremendous shortage of trained nurses in Sri Lanka, both in the public and the private sectors. To fill the gap, hospitals here have started recruiting from neighbouring India. Going by the current trend, it is likely that in the coming years too, most of the overseas recruits will be from India, especially Kerala. According to Dr A.M.L. Beligaswatte, Director General in the Ministry of Health, the requirement of trained nurses in the government hospitals alone is 30,000 but the current staff strength is only 14,500.Even an elite hospital like Nawaloka in Colombo has had to fold up 20 of the 300 beds recently because of a shortage of nurses. The existing staff works 12 hours a day non-stop, according to Prof Lal Chandrasena, its Director. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 16:46:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo may take confidence measures to revive process
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Sunday, June 17, 2001. Sri Lanka may announce confidence-building measures on its own to revive the stalled peace process involving the LTTE, including a temporary truce and legal steps to provide validity to the banned group's participation in talks, a state-owned newspaper said today. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 13:23:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A third accused in Rajiv case leaves India
NewsIndpress, june 17. Kanagasabapathy, perhaps the oldest accused in the Rajiv assassination case, has left the country to join his daughter at London, it is reliably learnt. The 79-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil was among the 26 sentenced to death by a special court in Chennai but subsequently acquitted by the Supreme Court.Thus all the three have left after the AIADMK Government assumed office, rather surprising in that Jayalalitha always sought to project herself as a tough anti-LTTE leader and who would never give any quarter to the militants. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 16:01:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

11 Tamil Rebels Killed in Fresh Fighting in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Sunday, June 17, 2001 12:00 PM EST . Sri Lankan government forces killed at least 11 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the north and east of the country, a defense spokesman said on Sunday. In three clashes between government forces and rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), six rebels were killed in the northern Jaffna peninsula on Saturday, he said. Five more rebels were killed in the east of the island country, he added. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 13:25:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Kumaratunga beset by domestic headaches
India Abroad, June 17, 2001 13:07 Hrs (IST) . Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, taking a respite from battling Tiger separatists, is beset by domestic headaches with a constitutional crisis looming and a coalition ally going its own way.Kumaratunga will face the SLMC's ire this week when most of the party's 11 legislators support a move of no confidence against Minister of Rural Development Mahipala Herath. One of the SLMC's joint leaders, Rauf Hakeem, said Saturday he could also "be persuaded" to support an opposition no trust vote against the government which is due later this month and is seen as a crucial test for the eight-month-old government More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 13:23:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka statute crisis deepens as politicians clash  -

Buddhist monks enter Sri Lanka cricket controversy
Yahoo Asia, 17 June. Sri Lanka's top Buddhist clergy have raised the stakes in a raging controversy over the country's newest international cricket stadium built on temple land, officials said Sunday. The country's senior monk, Udugama Buddharakkitha of the Asgiriya chapter, has warned that Buddhists priests will take to the streets in protest if a top official in the Buddhist affairs ministry tries to override the clergy. The official had raised doubts over the legality of a temple in the north-central town of Dambulla leasing its property to the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka to build an international stadium."The Buddhist commissioner thinks he is the Maha Nayaka (Chief Priest) of the country," a temple official quoted monk Buddharakkitha as saying. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 10:10:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks UNHCR help for head count in Jaffna
India Abroad, 17 June. RI Lanka has sought the help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to take a head count of people in war-torn Jaffna when a much-delayed national census gets underway shortly. The UNHCR has been asked to contact Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the north to get their cooperation, amid reports that the rebels are opposed to the census, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. It quoted A.G.W. Nanayakkara, head of the census department, as saying he would try to convince Tamil political parties on the need for a census - after a lapse of 20 years. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 10:06:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka seeks UN help for first census in war zone in 20 years  -

The Jungle Telegraph
Sunday Times, 17 June 2001. Military strong man Major General (retd) Janaka Perera, makes his long awaited farewell call on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga today. As repeatedly reported in these columns , this is prior to taking up his diplomatic assignment as Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Australia. Since being named to the top post in Canberra, delays have dogged Maj. Gen. Perera's departure. Firstly, his agrement (or acceptance by the Australian Government) was delayed. It came only after Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar spoke to his counterpart Alexander Downer. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 03:38:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Anura’s ruling on Wednesday
Island, 17 June 2001. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike is due to announce his ruling on the controversy surrounding the opposition motion impeaching Chief Justice Sarath Silva on Wednesday, well informed sources said. Bandaranaike is on record saying on June 6 that he was confronted with a serious situation unprecedented in parliament’s history. He made this comment after accepting the impeachment motion signed by 77 MPs and being informed that the Supreme Court had issued an interim injunction against the appointment of a parliamentary select committee to go into this matter. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 00:31:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Bradman Foundation, family denounce publisher's claims
NDTV/MSNBC, 17 June 2001. Family of late Sir Donald Bradman and The Bradman Foundation today took exception to the release of the legendary cricketer's comments on Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan's bowling action by the batsman's publisher and termed it "misleading and deceptive". A statement by the charitable organisation also criticised Tom Thompson, who holds rights for two of Sir Don's books, for distributing 'Bradman presentation caps' to prominent cricketers. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 01:19:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No legal implications regarding Dambulla International Cricket Stadium
Sunday Observer, 17 June 2001. There is no legal implications regarding the Rangiri Dambulu International Cricket Stadium and as everything has been done with transparency and in a legal manner. It is the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs and Buddha Sasana who is trying to take over the administrative powers of the Buddhist Affairs and as mentioned before it came under the Mahanayake. The Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs has taken over these duties now and he think he is the Mahanayake of the country and we cannot do anything without his permission. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 01:21:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

COPE to expose CEB corruption in House
Island, 17 June 2001. The Committee on Public Enterprises [COPE] will table in parliament on Tuesday its "explosive" findings on the Ceylon Electricity Board [CEB] reportedly neck deep in losses - as a result of massive corruption and mismanagement, authoritative sources said yesterday. The 5-page report would expose the top management of the enterprise, the sources said adding that the COPE prepared it after questioning senior officials four times in the past few weeks. "Some were caught lying," an informed source said claiming that the report will send shock waves through the establishment. More...
Published: Sun Jun 17 00:58:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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