The Lanka Academic

JUNE 19, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 74

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
President Kumaratunge sacks Minister Hakeem
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Wednesday June 20. In a surprise move, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge today sacked from her cabinet of ministers, Rauf Hakeem, Minister for Trade and Shipping.

Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has shared a tenuous relationship with the ruling Peoples Alliance, threatening on Saturday, June 16, that he would withdraw his support from the government if pushed against the wall.

The president's decision came less than 12 hours after Hakeem denied holding secret talks with the main opposition United National Party.

The move places the PA on a shaky footing, even as Speaker Anura Bandaranaike will make an announcement today on his decision regarding the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, mooted by two opposition parties the UNP and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Hakeem said this morning, the President's action against him does not surprise him.
Published: Tue Jun 19 23:11:09 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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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka sacks key Muslim minister, Jun 20 2001 07:28 IST. Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sacked a key Muslim minister from her shaky coalition government, state radio said Wednesday. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 22:49:59 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers say 17,200 fighters killed in decades-long battle, Jun 19 2001 21:07 IST. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas Tuesday announced they lost 17,211 of their fighters in their drawn-out guerrilla war for a separate homeland in the island's northeast.The clandestine Voice of Tigers radio of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said 217 suicide bombers known as "Black Tigers" also perished since the first guerrilla cadre was killed in November 1982. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 12:54:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sinhalese urged to have large families
The Hindu (International), Wednesday, June 20, 2001. The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mr. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, claims to have the perfect way to protect the country from the LTTE: have large families. Mr. Wickramanayake was quoted in the Sinhala-language daily Divaina today blaming Sri Lanka's family planning drive for the present poor response to army recruitment drives. ``It is because people believe in the small family concept that we do not have the 10,000 soldiers required to finish the war against the LTTE quickly,'' he said, asking people to ignore the 1970s family planning slogan of ``Small Families are Golden.'' More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 21:15:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka political crisis deepens as local council enters fray
Yahoo Asia, Tuesday, June 19 8:50 PM SGT . Sri Lanka's political crisis deepened Tuesday with the most important local government body breaking ranks with the government to assert its constitutional authority, officials said. The resolution condemned Urban Development Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the government for taking over the distribution of water and a park run by the smaller Colombo Municipal Council, which is in the hands of the opposition. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 09:58:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colvin guides held for six months
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK . wo Sri Lankans accused of helping Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin cross in and out of rebel Tamil Tiger territory in April have been brought before a court for the first time since they were detained. Miss Colvin was allowed to leave the country after she was badly injured by security forces while crossing the line on her way out of the rebel territory. The plight of the alleged guides has received only a tiny fraction of the publicity surrounding Marie Colvin herself. But the case raises the issue of what responsibility reporters should take for people whose lives they endanger in the course of their work. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 12:56:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Police to probe plaint against Veeramani
The Hindu (Southern States), Wednesday, June 20, 2001. CHENNAI, JUNE 19. A complaint by the Janata Party president, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, against the Dravidar Kazhagam leader, Mr. K. Veeramani, that the DK leader was behind the episode of a `trick photograph' showing Dr. Swamy with an LTTE sympathiser in 1995, was referred to the City Central Crime Branch police today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 21:16:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Kumaratunga likely to face no confidence motion
NDTV/MSNBC, 19 June 2001. In Sri Lanka, the opposition United National Party is planning a no confidence motion against the Chandrika Kumaratunga government. According to sources, the motion could be held as early as the weekend. There have also been reports that a faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), unhappy with the government is planning to pull out of the coalition this week. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 07:31:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Speaker to announce decision on CJ's impeachment motion tomorrow
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 1.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Speaker Anura Bandaranaike told Parliament this morning that he will announce his decision on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice tomorrow, June 20.

Bandaranaike told members in the house that he had arrived at a decision after a great deal of consideration on the matter. Speculation is rife that the Speaker will ignore the Stay Order issued by the Supreme Court which restrains him from appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the allegations.

On June 6, this month, the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna signed a motion calling for the impeachment of Sarath N. Silva, Chief Justice, on charges of misconduct and abuse of power.

Members from both sides of the House have widely criticized the court Stay Order, asserting it violates the supremacy of the National House.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil web editor faces 'threat'
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK . The editor of Sri Lanka's best known internet news site says his life is in danger after a state run newspaper accused him of being a spy for the Tamil Tiger rebel group. Mr Dharmaratnam Sivaram, who runs the Tamilnet website, says he is not going to be intimidated but he is concerned for his family's safety. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:41:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Envoy could be investigated for war crimes
SMH, June 19. Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission will consider investigating claims that a senior general appointed as Ambassador to Australia is implicated in war crimes.Mr Godfrey Gunatilleke, a member of the official body responsible for monitoring human rights, said the commission would be willing to look into any specific claims of abuses by the departing army chief of staff, Major-General Janaka Perera.But Mr Gunatilleke - who before joining the commission was one of Sri Lanka's most experienced human rights monitors - said he had not previously heard the general's name linked to military atrocities."He was associated with some of the stronger military operations. Sometimes the Tigers make these claims to discredit their most capable opponents," Mr Gunatilleke said. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:28:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Asianage, 20 June 2001. Eminent Indian forensic scientist P Chandra Sekharan, has been invited by the widow of a Sri Lankan press baron and businessman to authenticate her husband's signature in a power of attorney executed in 1982. Sekharan's opinion to prove the authenticity of its founder, late Upali Wijewardene's signature had been sought by Lakmani Welgama, his wife, to clear herself and her associates of charges of forgery,'the island' daily reported today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 20:05:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan crisis deepens
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK . The former members of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka are facing the likelihood of a criminal investigation over allegations of financial mismanagement. The BCCSL, headed by Thilanga Sumathipala, was sacked by Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella in March and an interim panel was appointed to run cricket on the island. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 10:42:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan crisis tests if blood thicker than water
India Abroad, 19 June 2001. SRI Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her brother, Parliament Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, are locked in a constitutional crisis that will test if blood is thicker than water. Bandaranaike is the key figure in a storm stirred up by opposition parties seeking the impeachment of Chief Justice Sarath Silva, a presidential appointee who is close to Kumaratunga. The outcome is a guessing game, given the rivalry between the siblings who come from different political camps. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 04:14:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka plans to carry out seismic survey
Hindu, 19 June 2001. Sri Lanka is planning to conduct a seismic survey of its maritime boundary in the wake of reported claims by a scientist that India has undertaken a similar study in a bid to ``expand'' its maritime boundary. The presidential secretariat called the head of the National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) to review the current status of Sri Lanka's programme to conduct a preliminary study before it can launch seismic data collection, officials said here today. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 19:41:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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India's propose extension of territorial waters disturbed Sri Lanka  - Northernlight

Multi-religious delegation tours Jaffna
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 12.10 p.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. A multi religious delegation, sponsored by the ministry for ethnic affairs has stressed the need for a peace effort to stop the country's 18 year old war.

The delegation last evening held talks in Jaffna with Bishop Thomas Saundaranayagam, agreeing that all parties must now unite in order to bring about a lasting solution to the embattled nation.

The delegation will also tour areas in the eastern province in order to impress upon various dignitaries and other concerned parties the need for a joint peace effort to end the war.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:44 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tiger military build-up and attacks imminent
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Government sources today said that the LTTE have used their four month, one-sided cease-fire, to acquire more weapons and training.

Military intelligence units have reported that the Tigers appear to have bought new 120 mm guns and other artillery fire and are undergoing intense training for probable attacks on government and military installations in the country's north and east.

In the last fortnight alone, the LTTE have carried out 15 to 20 attacks in the East on Army and police checkpoints including areas manned by home-guards.

Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte has been quoted as saying that the security forces will launch an offensive operation at the appropriate time. All aerial attacks on the Tigers have been ceased for the moment.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

12 Dead in Fighting in Sri Lanka
Nothern Light, Tuesday, June 19, 2001 7:10 AM EST . COLOMBO, Jun 19, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- At least 10 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in fresh fighting in the north and northeast of the country on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. It said that government forces launched an attack on a bunker of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Jaffna peninsula on Monday and the bunker was destroyed. Four Tamil rebel were killed in the fighting. In another two clashes in Jaffna peninsula, government troops killed three Tamil rebels but one soldier was also killed in rebel mortar fire and the other one, out of five wounded, succumbed to his injuries. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 08:13:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka fighting kills another 12  -

Sri Lankans urged to multiply
BBC South Asia, Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK . The Sri Lankan Government is urging people to have larger families, to swell the ranks of the army and the clergy. Prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said it was time to ignore the Small is Beautiful family planning programme established in the 1970s. He said the low birthrate meant fewer recruits for the army, handicapping its fight against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 07:25:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Make more babies, boost Sri Lanka battle: PM  -
Have more children for army and clergy, urges Sri Lanka premier  -

Sri Lankan Tamils fight in London
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday June 19. Reports today say that a group of Sri Lankan Tamils attacked each other in London resulting in one death and many wounded. The two groups had reportedly met at a cinema hall on Sunday evening (June 17).

The two parties had a long standing feud and attacked each other at the Cinema hall. Later one group had thrown arson at a trade establishment belonging to another Sri Lankan Tamil.

Both groups were originally residents from Mannar and Ariyalai in the Jaffna peninsula, before migrating to the UK. London police have begun investigations into the attack.

Twenty-four year old Ariyanda Muttukumar, from Ariyalai, Jaffna was killed in the fight.
Published: Tue Jun 19 03:13:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Delayed South Asian diplomatic meeting to be held in July: diplomats, Jun 19 2001 15:24 IST. COLOMBO, June 19 (AFP) - A meeting of top South Asian diplomats that was put off earlier this month as a sign of respect for the slain king of Nepal may now be held in mid-July, diplomats said Tuesday. Following King Birendra's death, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) postponed its two-day standing committee meeting of foreign secretaries scheduled in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo for June 8. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 06:28:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Crucial SAARC meet postponed on Pak request  - ndtv/msnbc

Corruption triggers Sri Lanka electricity crisis: parliament panel, Jun 19 2001 12:52 IST. Sri Lanka's energy crisis, which has led to a ban on air conditioners, is due to "shocking corruption" at the state utility, a parliamentary panel said Tuesday. The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises that investigated the activities of the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board said the power shortages could have been avoided if not for corruption. More...
Published: Tue Jun 19 04:12:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

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

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

Related News Stories
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

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

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

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