The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 120

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
Sri Lanka president running out of time as crisis deepens
Yahoo Asia, Sunday, August 5 9:27 AM SGT . Sri Lanka's beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga suspended parliament in a latch-ditch gamble to save her minority government, but four weeks later the dice appear to be loaded against her.The president moved swiftly by shutting down parliament for two months until September 7, giving herself time to manoeuvre and win new friends in a hostile legislature.But time is running out fast, and rather than gaining new supporters, existing allies are instead abandoning Kumaratunga.CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman, who as estate infrastructure development minister handles tea policy, said the party did not agree with Kumaratunga's plan to rewrite the constitution and change the electoral system.Analysts noted that suspending parliament had backfired on the government because the move provided a rallying point around which for the fractured opposition could unite. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 23:08:18 EDT 2001

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

Q&A With:
Mr. K. N. Douglas Devananda

We have ended taking questions for our guest at the online Q&A session, Mr. K. N. Douglas Devananda, Sri Lanka's Minister of Development Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of the North and the Minister Tamil Affairs. We will post answers here as soon as we receive them.

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Kumaratunga's offer for talks rejected
NDTV/MSNBC, Saturday, August 4, 2001 (Colombo). Three Tamil political parties have rejected President Chandrika Kumaratunga's invitation for a discussion on the current political situation in the country, demanding that she convene the suspended Parliament and call off the planned referendum on August 21. The three parties - Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) and Upcountry People's Front (UPF) were invited for talks on August 8, but they rebuffed the overture, saying the referendum was a "futile exercise" when Parliament had been prorogued and democracy stifled. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 21:00:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Tamil parties reject invitation for talks with Kumaratunga  - Press Trust of India

Sri Lankan media comes down heavily on Ganguly
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, Aug. 4. (PTI). Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly has come in for scathing criticism in the Sri Lankan media for violating the ICC Code of Conduct twice within a week during the triangular one-day series here inviting the wrath of the Match-referee."Ganguly's actions are sullying the good name of Indian cricket," State-owned Daily News said in a column by its cricket writer. "Ganguly will certainly not go down as a captain who upheld the spirit of the game after getting on the wrong side of the International Cricket Council Match-referee Cammie Smith twice inside a week," it said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 21:02:55 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
India hope to shed 'chokers' tag in final against Sri Lanka  - Yahoo Asia

Aftershocks of airport attack shatter Sri Lanka recovery hopes
Yahoo Asia, august 5. Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels staged their biggest attack against an economic target when they bombed the island's international airport, and the aftershocks are shaking the very foundation of the economy.The daring assault last week by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), destroying four parked passenger jets and damaging two more, is threatening the island's status as a South Asian transport hub.Following the attack at Bandaranaike airport -- Sri Lanka's only international air facility -- underwriters have sharply raised insurance premiums for planes and ships entering the country. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 23:09:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Lanka Academic, august 5. These days Sri Lanka seems to be a country where clarity is in rather short supply. This is particularly true in the case of the opposition (with the possible exception of the JVP). But for once President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga seems clear as to what she wants to do and where she is headed. (Some of her cabinet members may be confused and they may say contradictory things but that hardly matters, since they have neither the authority to take a decision nor the power to enforce it). More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 23:49:13 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sun and the sea remain- Sir Arthur says of Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT Time 9.30 a.m. Sunday 5 August. Victoria Brooks renowned Canadian Travel writer and author of Literary Trips.. Following in the Footsteps of Fame who interviewed space guru Sri Arthur C Clarke and features his adopted homeland Sri Lanka in her latest book has been moved by the recent LTTE attack in Sri Lanka international airport. Victoria who loves Sri Lanka has told her many readers and well-wishers in a letter that Sir Arthur is safe and Sri Lanka is peaceful again. She says when the attack took place in Sri Lanka she was reminded of Arthur C Clarke=92s words. " The great mans words say it all not just about the gorgeous island of Sri Lanka but Jamaica and other places that have fallen under the evil spell of politicians and sometimes even religions. He said , " For politicians and governments and social systems come and go but, the land and the sun and the sea remain in exquisite proportions"

Published: Sat Aug 4 23:26:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top

The Lanka Academic, august 5. In that respect one of the greatest ironies occurred when, a week previously, the President appointed Justice Sharvananda to the Commission to report on the 1983 riots. I had initially welcomed the announcement of such a Commission, since I had thought what was intended was something like the South African Truth Commission that was designed to record and reconcile. Justice Sharvananda however is not someone associated with either truth or reconciliation. He first came to prominence as the Chairman of the Presidential Commission that found against Mrs Bandaranaike in 1980. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 23:51:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka tightens security
BBC South Asia, Saturday, 4 August, 2001, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK . Officials in Sri Lanka say that a new, senior-level committee has been established to oversee new security measures at the country's only international airport. The move follows last week's attack by Tamil Tiger rebels in which at least twenty people died, at least three civilian aircraft were destroyed and the neighbouring military air base was damaged. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 12:59:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Aug. 4 (18 :56) Sri Lanka resumes air strikes against Tamil positions - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, august 4. Israeli-built Kfir jet fighters of the Sri Lanka Air Force have been pounding positions of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north and east of the country since Thursday, an air force spokesman said Saturday. (18 :56) More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 21:09:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Muralitharan: sorting the fact from fiction
Yahoo India, august 5. If we are to believe those who hammered the ‘yes’ button often enough some weeks ago on this website, Mutthia Muralitharan is the modern Messiah of spin; Shane Warne is seen as a washed-up roly-poly ‘dyed by his own hand’ caricature and anyone else a pretender to the throne now inhabited by the wizard from Kandy. There is also a baleful glare from the balcony of the Singhalese Sports Club (and P Saravanamuttu for that matter) for those who oppose such views. When Arjuna Ranatunga was in charge of the Sri Lanka side, Muralitharan was protected by ‘divine right’ as it were from the evil bullying of Australian umpires and South African match referees. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 23:54:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Aug. 4 (21 :35) Sri Lankan president faces trade union attack - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, august 4. Sri Lanka's beleaguered President Chandrika Kumaratunga, now fighting for the survival of her minority government, was threatened Saturday with action by trade unions in the government sector. (21 :35) More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 21:01:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pressure on Lanka
Yahoo India, august 4. The selectors have once again chosen a run-of-the-mill team for the Test matches. It seems that not much thinking has gone into the process, for they have picked players who have been tried and tested over the years. They, I feel, have missed a golden opportunity to groom players who could have formed the nucleus of future teams and for the sterner test in South Africa next month. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 21:14:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Left Handers Association to distribute ten thousand Left-Hand foot rulers
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 04/08/01 1140GMT

Left Handers Association in Sri Lanka (LHASL) is to distribute newly designed ten thousand left-hander’s rulers to mark the International Left-handers day on 13th August. LHASL, which has over one thousand left-handed members including Norwegian envoy in Colombo Jon Westborg, celebrities like Edward Jayakody and Charitha Priyadharshani Peiris, is to join World Left-Handers Club (LHC) for this years celebration. This is the second annual event after the formation of LHASL. "The rulers will be distributed free of charge among left-handed school children. This is the first time a product for Left-handers introducing in Sri Lanka" LHASL vice president Sashie Peiris told The Lanka Academic.

LHC’s main event will be held in front of the Empire Leicester Square, London and right-handers as well as left are invited to experience a total "Lefty Zone" where all the tools, games and activities are strictly left biased.
Published: Sat Aug 4 07:43:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Top Defence expert blames part time Intelligence Chief for airport attack
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 11.30 a.m Saturday August 4=20. A top defence expert has blamed the recent attack on the airforce base in Katunayake and the international airport on the directorate of internal intelligence headed by former Inspector General of Police Cyril Herath who is also the chairman of National Savings Bank. A report by the internationally respected defence expert received by The Lanka Academic says that it was known even far back in 1998 that the LTTE was going to attack the airbase. He attributes the sources to a computerized code sheet used by LTTE intelligence cadres collecting data on potential targets recovered by the Sri Lankan police. The expert says that all operations, offensive and defensive must be intelligence driven or intelligence led and laments that the government and the country is now reaping the whirlwind of its actions of appointing retirees to these critical positions. He says that the country cannot fight against the LTTE with a part time intelligence chief. The expert says that he had brought the lack of proper security at the international airport to Cyril Herath's attention in January last year and advised him to seek professional assistance. But laments that Hearth did not understand what he meant or appeared to be busy with the banking business and failed to initiate action.

The defence expert appeals to the government not to appoint personal and political friends, relatives, nice people and yes people to critical positions when the nation is at war against any terrorist group and hope to win. He says that appointing commissions will not help and ask the president and her deputy to revamp and professionalise the intelligence community. He warns that the county will suffer even worse defeats if this is not done, NOW.

Published: Sat Aug 4 01:23:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Campaigning in Lanka ahead of national referendum
NDTV/MSNBC, Saturday, August 4, 2001 (Colombo). There is hectic political campaigning in Sri Lanka ahead of the August 21 national referendum to introduce a new Constitution. President Chandrika Kumaratunga says a new Constitution will bring peace to the country, a point disputed by the opposition. Mrs Kumaratunga's government was reduced to a minority last month when several members defected. Fearing defeat on an opposition sponsored no-confidence vote, Kumaratunga suspended Parliament for 60 days and called for a referendum."The UNP and other opposition parties are an obstacle to her ambition of doing away with democracy and having a dictatorship run by her. We are obstacles and will continue to be obstacles and at the end of the referendum, we are going to ask the people to vote against," said Ranil Wickermanisghe, leader of the Opposition. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 00:43:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka's tourist industry appeals to the world
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 10.40 a.m Saturday 4 August. Sri Lanka's tourist industry has called for the support and assistance of the world travel and tourism industry and asked the business community to take urgent cognition of the action taken by the President to strengthen security arrangements at the international airport. A press release issued by the countries Tourist Board states that the President had assured the tourism industry that all steps will be taken to strengthen security arrangements at the international airport to ensure the safety and security of passengers, airlines and aircraft's. These measures had been taken with the highest level of participation and will serve to build confidence in the aviation, tourism and other related industries it said.

The press release also states that operations of all resorts, the cultural triangle and other areas are functioning normally as before, except in the North and the East. It said that the industry was taking steps to keep all foreign missions informed of the action taken and would work towards implementing a recovery programme at a rapid pace. More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 00:32:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo port dealt crippling blow by war risk surcharges
Gulf-News, August 3. Colombo's main international port suffered a double blow when hefty surcharges were imposed on ships calling at the port following last week's attack at the airport as trade union action crippled work at the port for the second consecutive day.Workers of a main container terminal are protesting against a new work schedule, which is meant to improve efficiency.Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman, Mohan Samarasekara, said authorities have decided to seek the support of experienced workers who have returned from Middle East and retired workers to carry on operations at the Colombo Port. "We will be announcing tonight that experienced workers will be recruited in walk-in interviews," he said. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 23:04:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan goverment wants shipping insurance reduced  - Radio Australia

Opposition completes first draft of document to impeach President Kumaratunga
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2008 slt 03.08.01. The first draft of the impeachment motion against President Kumaratunga has been finalized by a five member opposition committee. The Committee has circulated the draft to all opposition political parties in Parliament for their consideration. Informed sources say the President is been accused of over ten cases of abuse of power.
Published: Fri Aug 3 10:23:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Workers at Jaya terminal in Colombo port stage strike
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 2011 slt 03.08.01. Workers at Jaya terminal in the Colombo port launched a full scale strike today after Port officials refused to accept a recommendation by the Labour Commissioner to defer the new shift system. The workers at Jaya terminal staged a work to rule after the new system was introduced. The Port officials have announced that they have sacked all workers who did not report to work today and have begun hiring new staff. end
Published: Fri Aug 3 10:23:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

GMOA wants 100 per cent salary increase for public servants
The Island, August 4. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday called on the government to grant a 100 per cent salary increase to all public servants to help meet the rising cost of living.A GMOA spokesman said that the present salary of a graded doctor inclusive of all allowances is Rs. 17,000. This is equivalent to 372 dollars in 1994 and at present equivalant to 172 dollars. This denotes that the real value of the salary has decreased by 50%. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 23:19:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Aug. 4 (13 :22) Japanese envoy elected president of Colombo Plan council - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, august 4. Seiichiro Otsuka, Japan's ambassador to Sri Lanka, has been unanimously elected president of the Council of the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific, the Colombo Plan office announced Saturday More...
Published: Sat Aug 4 01:05:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan govt reimposes restrictions on journalists
NDTV/MSNBC, Friday, August 3, 2001 (Colombo). The Sri Lankan government has re-imposed restrictions on journalists covering the war in the northern areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels. This comes just three months after withdrawing the tough regulations. Journalists travelling to the war front will now be required to get written permission. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 09:26:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

End of the road for Weekend Express
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT Time 7.20 p.m. Friday 3 August. Weekend Express newspaper the English publication of Express Newspapers, publishers of the Tamil daily Virakesari will be closed from tomorrow after its final edition. Management of the newspaper has said that they have made the decision to close down the paper due cost of production, economic conditions and rising cost of raw material. However a senior journalist attached to the newspaper told The Lanka Academic that no prior notice was given to them and the management of the newspaper has shown the road to them. He questioned " The owners say that they will give us six months salary as compensation. But, what can we do with just six months salary?" Weekend Express a popular Saturday newspaper first came to the newsstands in December 1995.
Published: Fri Aug 3 09:10:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's main Indian Tamil party flexes muscles
yahoo, August 3. Tamils of Indian origin in Sri Lanka are once more flexing their political muscles in a bargaining match with President Chandrika Kumaratunga ahead of a controversial referendum. The Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), the main Indian Tamil party and a key ally of Kumaratunga, said Thursday it was likely to oppose the August 21 referendum to decide if the people want a new constitution. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 12:36:12 EDT 2001 Back to the top

What goes into the making of a suicide bomber?
The Independent, July 28. I was a block away when the bomb went off. Flocks of birds erupted into the sky from the walls and telephone wires where they'd been dozing. I started walking towards the sound of the blast and heard another rumble followed shortly after by the sirens of ambulances and police cars. Somewhere in my immediate vicinity people had been killed. A bomb in Colombo never simply means damage. This is not a city of telephoned warnings and recognised code words. A bomb in Colombo is designed with one primary aim: to kill and maim as many of the "enemy" as possible. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 11:10:11 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan trade chamber urges against referendum
MSNBC, Friday, August 3rd 13:34GMT. COLOMBO, Aug. 3 — A leading Sri Lankan business group appealed to the president on Friday to suspend a referendum due later this month as it would be a divisive exercise. ''The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce... wishes to express its grave reservations on the desirability of holding the referendum scheduled for August 21,'' it said in a statement More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 09:31:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Will Chandrika call off referendum?
TOI, 03 August 2001. Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga may call off the referendum if she gets the support of one of the opposition parties, but both her government and the opposition ignored the possibility and engaged in critical deal making, trying to increase their stakes by winning over the smaller player. The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is sitting on the fence but calling the shots, on Thursday kept up the suspense on whether it would give the government its crucial support in Parliament. The party said it was offering Kumaratunga a grace period of one year in which she was expected to restore democracy, and if there was no immediate sign of this it would initiate a joint opposition bill to dissolve Parliament as soon as it opens on September 7. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 04:34:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Karu declines PM’s offer for talks
Island, 03 August 2001. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake on Wednesday invited deputy leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya for talks on a proposal for the establishment of a Government of National Reconciliation but Mr. Jayasuriya had declined, saying that the invitation should have been extended to the party and not to any individual. Mr. Jayasuriya when contacted by ‘The Island’ stated "We work as a group and not as individuals. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 06:07:38 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka Overhauls Airport Defense After Attack
Nothern Light, Friday, August 03, 2001 8:43 AM EST . COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said Friday it had set up a high-level committee to oversee new security measures at its international airport and an adjoining airbase following last week's devastating guerrilla attack. The committee will include top-ranking officials from the armed forces and the ministries of defense, aviation and tourism. A government statement said a new security plan was discussed for the Bandaranaike International Airport and measures would include stronger perimeter defense, the use of electronic devices and double fencing. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 09:24:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Colombo attack spurs security review at Indian airports
Yahoo India, 03 August 2001. India will thoroughly review its airport security procedures following the Tamil Tiger raid on Sri Lanka's only international airport at Colombo last month, a government minister said Thursday. "The airport is the softest target in our country. The Colombo incident throws up new security challenges that have to be addressed," Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Yadav said. He was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day sensitization program for airport directors, representatives of various ministries and airline officials. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 04:26:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

JVP ready for conditional support to Chandrika
Indiainfo, 03 August 2001. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is emerging as a third force in Sri Lankan politics, is ready to give ‘conditional’ support to the government for one year if President Chandrika Kumaratunga agreed to certain conditions, including cancellation of referendum and re-summoning of Parliament. In what seems to be a ‘face-saving’ formula for Kumaratunga, the leftist JVP asked her to form a ‘probationary’ government for a limited period so that the five independent commissions could be established and measures for the further democratisation of the system put in place. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 05:58:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka and Madagascar set up diplomatic ties
MSNBC, Friday, Aug 3rd 9:40GMT. COLOMBO, Aug. 3 — Sri Lankan and Madagascar have decided to establish diplomatic relations, a government news release said on Friday. The agreement went into effect on July 27 after an exchange of letters between foreign ministers. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 05:35:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fractured Paradise launched in Sri Lanka
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo. British photojournalist Paul Harris launched his book Fractured Paradise at the Galle Face hotel this evening. He presented the first copy of his book to Bradman Weerakoon former advisor on International Relations to two Sri Lankan presidents. In his latest book Harris, who is the author of over 30 books on areas of conflict notably the book Cry Bosnia weeps for Lanka, truly describing the island as a fractured paradise now. His pictures are bloody but newsy and tell the world the agony of Lanka. Many of the pictures in his photo book are far removed from those found in the conventional photo books, ranging from the bloody attacks by suicide bombers and war-damaged Jaffna to images from the Eastern province and even election campaigns. Paul Harris is a specialist contributor on insurgency and terrorism for Jane's Intelligence Review. He has made eighteen visits to Sri Lanka before the publication of this book. Speaking at his book launch Harris said that Sri Lanka is facing its sternest test now and is set to face the ultimate test whether it will survive as a sovereign state. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 13:24:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

No Academy awards
Yahoo India, Friday August 3, 11:46 AM. IF the National Cricket Academy and the five zonal academies are supposed to be the yardstick of talent, it does not reflect on the Indian team picked yesterday for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka. For, not one trainee has made it on Chandu Borde’s Test roster. More...
Published: Fri Aug 3 05:33:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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