The Lanka Academic

JUNE 23, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 78

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
Chandrika confident of government's stability
The Hindustan Times, june 23. UNFAZED BY hectic efforts by the opposition to raise enough members to defeat the People's Alliance (PA) government in Parliament, Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga has said nobody could topple her government at this juncture. "We are still strong, and alternative means are available to strengthen the government's power," Kumaratunga said at a function at a hospital at Nittambuwa near here on Friday. She did not elaborate on what alternative means she had in mind More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 17:46:48 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
None can topple People's Alliance government: Kumaratunga  - Press Trust of India

No Connection Fee! Calls to Sri Lanka, only 39c/m!

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Sri Lanka sees celestial hand in political chaos
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, June 24 10:14 AM SGT . The fate of Sri Lanka's shaky ruling coalition may depend more on stars and planets rather than politicians, according to astrologers who play a key role in guiding the destiny of the nation. Even to the uninitiated, the sacking of a Muslim minister from President Kumaratunga's cabinet on Wednesday appeared a bad omen for the government. But seers see a sinister celestial hand behind the sacking. More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 23:28:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top

"Get Indian tutors for nursing schools, not Indian nurses",says union leader
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 12.55 AM SLT Sunday June 24, 2001. The Sri Lankan nurses' union has appealed to the government to get Indian tutors for the nursing schools in the island instead of massively recruiting nurses from India to meet the shortage here.

Mr.Hector Francis,Administrative Secretary of the Public Service United Nurses Union, said that while there was nothing wrong in recruiting,say about 1,500 nurses, from India immediately to meet some urgent requirements here,Sri Lanka should not become dependent on foreign nurses in the long run."Get Indian tutors for the nursing schools here and increase the number of nursing schools," he suggested.

Mr.Francis said that there were only eight nursing schools in the country, training 1,800 girls.And these were also grossly under-staffed.He complained that hospitals,clinics and speciality wards were being started and buildings built, without any thought being given to the provision of the right type of infrastructure,including adequate and trained nursing staff.Facilities for the staff, like decent accommodation,were also lacking,he said.

Mr.Francis said that a very large scale and long term recruitment of foreign nurses would pinch the Sri Lankan's' pocket because the foreigners would have to be paid a high salary and given suitable accommodation."This money could be used to turn out more Sri Lankan nurses and pay them better," he said.

According to Mr.Francis,in the public service alone,there is a shortage of 17,000 nurses.It is acute even in some of the best hospitals.The requirements are as follows: National Hospital Colombo-450;Lady Ridgeway 240; Kalubowila 210;Castle Street 250,De Soysa -250; and General Hospital,Kandy -450.

Ironically,with all this, Sri Lanka is a net exporter of nurses! Obviously, many trained nurses fly off to distant lands because of poor pay and facilities at home.
Published: Sat Jun 23 14:54:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Ferial comes to rescue of Chandrika
gulf-news, june 22. Sri Lanka's main Muslim party split yesterday, giving new hope to President Chandrika Kumaratunga that her Peoples' Alliance coalition may not fall.Four out of 11 Parliament deputies of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) refused to cross over to the opposition benches with their party leader, signaling that they were with Kumaratunga.Ferial Ashraff, the first Muslim woman to become a Sri Lankan Cabinet minister, entered politics after the death of her husband in a helicopter crash and is leading the splinter group of the party he once headed. She told a Sri Lankan Website that she would not desert Kumaratunga. More...
Published: Fri Jun 22 22:39:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Chandrika can rule with minority  - The Hindustan Times
NUA to continue to support the government  - Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo

Press Conferance of the Opposition
Hindustan Times , June 23. RealVideo stream of the Opposition Press conferance on the handover of the No Confidence motion. More... [Watch]
Published: Sat Jun 23 18:54:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan cricket and Buddhist monks fight over $3,3m stadium
buisnessday, june 23. The fate of Sri Lanka's newest international cricket venue remained uncertain yesterday, with the cricket board and Buddhist monks who own the site divided on whether a tri-nations tournament can be played there. A spokesman for the Board of Control for Cricket said on Tuesday no matches would be played at the Dambulla Stadium until a dispute over its tenure rights was settled. The $3,3m stadium was built on land owned by a Buddhist temple and monks maintain they have leased the land More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 19:09:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

PA faces no-trust motion
gulf-news, june 23. Sri Lanka's main opposition party, backed by two minority parties, yesterday handed over a no-confidence motion against the ruling People's Alliance (PA) government which lost its majority in Parliament two days back, opposition leaders said. The main opposition United National Party (UNP)-initiated no-confidence motion was handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Kitulgoda, and the debate is due to take place next month, UNP's Deputy Leader Karu Jayasooriya said."We have asked for the earliest possible date and are expecting a date in the first week of July," he said. The motion against the government is being brought on the grounds that the ruling PA cannot solve the existing problems in the country, including the ethnic issue. More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 19:29:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels close civilian crossing point, Jun 23 2001 18:08 IST. COLOMBO, June 23 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas have shut down a check point used by civilians and international aid agencies to cross the frontlines in the island's embattled north, the defence ministry said Saturday. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) closed the Piramanalankulam check point which is also used to transport humanitarian supplies to rebel-held areas, the ministry said. More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 13:13:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

SLMC, june 23. It is diabolical for H.E. to state that the PA wishes the SLMC to be a strong political partywhereas at every twist and turn the government has done their utmost to divide the party and entice our members with perks and privileges of office. H.E.’s assistance is akin to “ pinching the baby and rocking the cradle.” More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 15:36:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Confidence vote looms in Sri Lanka
BBC South Asia, Friday, 22 June, 2001, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK . The confidence motion, signed by 98 of the 116 MPs from the opposition United National Party, (UNP) follows the defection of a number of MPs from the governing People's Alliance. There is, however, no immediate danger of the government's collapse as MPs must first decide when to debate the motion, and then vote on it. More...
Published: Sat Jun 23 07:24:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Australian MP questions SL envoy's credibility
Saroj Pathirana in London, Friday 22/06/01 1745 GMT. Major General Janaka Perera's appointment as new Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Australia has been questioned in the Australian parliament. Replying a question raised by Mr. Brereton, MP, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's statement told the parliament that Minister Kadirgamar "made it clear" to him, that the appointment of ex-deputy head of SL army was worthy and suitable.

"What inquiries did you or your department make concerning the allegations of human rights abuses in areas of Sri Lanka where the major general held military commands? What was the precise nature of the assurance given to you by the Sri Lankan foreign minister concerning this diplomatic appointment?" MP Brereton asked the Foreign Minister.

The minister accepted that he received letters of protest as well as supporting the appointment. "We have been made aware of claims, but none of these claims, my department advises me, has been backed by any direct evidence of his involvement. Australia does take its human rights responsibilities very seriously and we have actively sought to promote respect for human rights in the Sri Lanka, including during my visit there some time ago. It is most unusual in the extreme for the Australian government to reject the nomination of a high commissioner or an ambassador." Minister Downer responded despite the fact that the same government has earlier rejected the appointment of General Bandari of Indonesia as their new envoy in response to East Timoreans protest.

Editor's Note Do you have an opinion on the above article?? Write to the editor by using Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage.
Published: Fri Jun 22 12:44:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan opposition will support Norwegian peace bid
India Abroad, June 22, 2001 19:52 Hrs (IST) . The leader of the opposition in Sri Lanka assured President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday that a no-faith move against her People's Alliance (PA) coalition would not hinder Norway's peace bid here. United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Kumaratunga his party would support Oslo's attempts to broker peace between Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels, despite a no-confidence motion presented in Parliament Friday More...
Published: Fri Jun 22 19:10:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP to decide on the no confidence motion tomorrow
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1850 slt 22.06.01. The JVP is to decide whether to support the no confidence motion against the government tomorrow when its central committee meets. JVP parliamentary leader Wimal Weerawansha said the parliamentary group of the party would recommend that the party supports the motion. end
Published: Fri Jun 22 08:59:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Lanka Academic , June 22. What a coup de theater! I have been told by believers that quite a few astrologers did predict (and some in print too, such as the Lankadeepa of June 19th ) that June 20th , 2001 is going to be a very decisive day politically. Be that as it may, we are once again in a situation (so familiar to us Lankans) when almost everything hangs in balance - not just the fate of the regime, but other far more important things as civil peace and political stability. More...
Published: Fri Jun 22 14:56:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The UNP and tamil parties hand over no confidence motion against the government.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1840 slt 22.06.01. The United National Party ,the TULF, the Tamil Congress and TELO have handed over a motion of no confidence against the People's Alliance to the speaker of parliament this morning. The one paragraph motion said the government has no moral right to govern the country. UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuiya said the motion was signed by 97 MPs. "We asked the speaker for an early date. It will be either the first week or the third week of July" he told a news conference this morning.The TULF General Secretary Anandasangari said his party has lost faith in President Kumaratunga and they were supporting the motion on a promise by the UNP that it would introduce democratic reforms.
Published: Fri Jun 22 08:59:56 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka Oppn brings no confidence motion against govt  - Times of India (Breaking News)
Sri Lanka opposition begins ouster move as Muslim party splits  -
Sri Lanka opposition files government ouster move  -
Sri Lanka Opposition Launches No-Confidence Move  - Nothern Light

Former BOI chief indicted for bribery
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2011 slt 22.06.01. The Former head of the Bureau of Investment (BOI) Thilan Wijesinghe was today indicted in the Colombo high court on two counts of bribery and corruption. The Independent Bribery and corruption commission has charged him with demanding a one million dollar bribe from a foreign investor and accepting a bribe of two million rupees. Wijesinghe was forced to resign three months ago after bribery charges were exposed by the Sunday Leader newspaper.
Published: Fri Jun 22 10:23:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President hold talks with Opposition leader on the peace process and democratic reforms
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1831 slt 22.06.01. President Chandrika Kumaratunga held talks with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today on the peace process and democratic reforms. However despite heavy speculation, the President did not raise the possibility of a national government with the UNP. A media release by the Information department said that Wickremesinghe had told the President that his party would not undermine the peace process.
Published: Fri Jun 22 08:59:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chandrika-Ranil agree to carry peace process forward
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 5.16 PM SLT Friday,June 22,2001. Even in the midst of political turmoil over the motion of no-confidence against the government,President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Leader of the Opposition Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe today discussed the peace process and agreed to carry it forward jointly.

A terse statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat said:" It was agreed that the government and the UNP will engage in a constructive dialogue to carry the peace process forward." The statement further said that the "Leader of the Opposition assured the President of his support to the peace process."

The meeting had taken place in the afternoon at the instance of President Kumaratunga.According to Mr.Wickremesinghe,there was no discussion on the political situation in the context of the no-trust motion.All that the President wanted to know was whether or not the no-trust motion would affect the peace process.

The UNP has said time and again that it is committed to the Norway backed peace process.In fact, it has been an advocate of a bi-partisan consensus on the matter and was keen on the implementation of the now moribund " Liam Fox Pact" of 1997 which enjoined the building of a bi-partisan consensus on talks with the LTTE.Only recently,during his official vist to Norway,Mr.Wickremesinghe had told the Norwegian Foreign Minister that the UNP would like a "permament,poltically broad based" team to negotiate with the LTTE and liaise with the Norwegian Facilitator.Such a team would carry on peace negotiations irrespective of governmental changes in Sri Lanka,he said.

Editor's Note Do you have an opinion on the above article?? Write to the editor by using Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage.
Published: Fri Jun 22 07:12:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
UNP submits no-confidence motion  - The Hindu (International)
Opposition to revive Oslo peace bid amid government ouster moves  -
Chandrika and Ranil meeting:Could they have discussed "national reconciliation" ?  - Roy Mendis in Colombo
Sri Lanka peace process continues despite political wrangling: opposition  -

Seven Killed in Sri Lanka Clash
Yahoo, Friday June 15 6:34 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 22 05:26:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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