The Lanka Academic

VOL. 2, NO. 121

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
PA and UNP move towards rapprochement:Chandrika indicates readiness to accept Ranil as PM
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 11.54 PM SLT Sunday August 5,2001. With the prospect of winning the August 21 referendum on a new constitution waning,President Chandrika Kumaratunga is indicating readiness to accept the United National Party (UNP) leader Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister in a government of "national reconciliation".

"The President might have to accept Mr.Wickremesinghe as PM," said top leader of the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA).A reliable source in the Sihala Urumaya (SU),which is brokering a deal between the PA and UNP,said that the President did not think that accepting Mr.Wickremesinge as PM was a "major problem".

According to SU sources,the "major problem" seems to be Presidential powers vis-a-vis a cabinet headed by Mr.Wickremesinghe.The latter is willing to accept Mrs.Kumaratunga as Executive President for the rest of her six year term,but he wants her powers to be pruned quite drastically.It is reported that he wants her to have no ministerial portfolios,when now she has two of the most important portfolios,namely Defense and Finance,with her.

Then there is the controversial issue of independent commissions.While there is agreement on other commissions,the views on the police commission are at variance.

Mrs.Kumaratunga and her close advisors believe that nowhere in the world has the executive arm of the state totally relinquished control over the police.And according to cabinet minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama,the present police force will turn into an arm of the UNP immediately on being freed from government control because 45% of it is UNP (having been recruited during the 17 years of UNP rule).

The UNP will have to convince the government that an independent police commission only means free, fair and de-politicised recruitment and not so much loss of control over the force.And given the sensitivities of the President,the UNP may have to agree to let her retain the Defense portfolio.Perhaps,as the SU suggests, police may be taken away from the Defense ministry and made part of a new "Interior" or "Home" ministry.In its written proposal to the two parties the SU has said the President should give up all portfolios except perhaps defense.SU sources said that the President had not rejected this outright.

The UNP has shown interest in entering into a deal with the PA.The appointment of a three man committee to negotiate with the PA is an indication of a desire for rapproachement.

The compelling factor is that both the PA and the UNP are in a no-win situation.Although government ministers and even some independent observers feel that the rural public's response to the PA's referendum campaign is encouraging,victory may be difficult with the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) turning hostile and a chunk of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) having already left.The Tamil parties seem to be adamant about opposing the referendum obviously under the influence of the LTTE which wants Tamil politics to be radicalised.

Many PA sympathisers also say that after the attack on the Katunayake and Bandaranaike airport by the LTTE, government is no position to hold an expensive referendum and go in for the complex exercise of drafting an entirely new constitution.The need of the hour is said to be stability,national unity and a concerted effort to stop the national political and economic slide.

On the face of it,the UNP is on a stronger wicket as far as the referendum is concerned.But PA's campaigners disagree.They feel that in the post-Karunayake phase,the UNP's pro-LTTE stance and its dalliance with the pro-LTTE Tamil parties can prove to be deterimental to that party."The Sinhala majority feels that a tough stand against the LTTE and the minority parties is called for," said a PA insider.The President's toughness towards the LTTE and her bid to get out of the clutches of the SLMC,and by extension the minority parties, are seen as being in the interest of the Sinhalas.

The UNP has almost lost its numbers game in parliament.Through its actions,the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has made it abundantly clear that it is not on the UNP bandwagon.In all likelihood,the JVP will abstain from voting for the no-trust motion and thus enable the PA to win.The JVP has very clearly said that it wants the PA government to survive for another year if the latter establishes the independent commissions sought and accepts the supervision of a body of emiment men.For the UNP,the possible accretion of support from the CWC may not be enough to offset the loss of the JVP.

The UNP's bid to impeach the President will also come a cropper because the JVP and the SU have said that the charges made against Mrs.Kumaratunga do not merit impeachment.Furthermore,the Tamil parties have said that they will not support an impeachment motion if the UNP insists on mentioning Mrs.Kumaratunga's 1998 offer to the LTTE control over the north for a ten year period.The Tamil parties consider the offer a desirable thing.

To date, the Sihala Urumaya has made the most sensible suggestion, political observers feel.It has asked the squabbling rivals to give up their rigid postures for the sake of the survival of the country.After mutual concessions and a cooling off period,they should form a government of "national reconciliation".The SU has suggested that the PA call off the referendum, reconvene parliament and appoint the independent commissions sought by the UNP while the UNP withdraws the no-trust and impeachment motions.

Subtle pressures from the international community is also playing a role in knocking some sense into the warring Sri Lankan politicos.The US,UK,India and the EU have time and again appealed to the government to pursue the peace process and begin talks with the LTTE.In the aftermath of the Katunayake attack, the Western powers stepped up the pressure by issuing advisories against non-essential travel to Sri Lanka.Both the PA and the UNP are aware that the advisories could compound the damage done to the Lankan economy by the July 24 devastation at Katunayake.
Published: Sun Aug 5 14:04:32 EDT 2001

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Q&A With:
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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
Chandrika renews bid to form all-party govt
TOI, august 5. The Sri Lankan government is again attempting to discuss the possibility of forming an all-party government in conjunction with the United National Party (UNP), but the move is hampered by opposition doubts over the government's motive."Whether they are genuine about a government of national unity or want to split the UNP remains the moot question," Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe told the independent Sunday Times newspaper. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 16:08:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Karnataka to review security for Sai Baba, following LTTE threat
newindpress, august 5. The Karnataka police is reviewing the security arrangements for Satya Sai Baba, the self-proclaimed "godman" with disciples worldwide, following fresh threats from Tamil guerrillas.The move follows information supplied by the Andhra Pradesh police to its Karnataka counterparts, said a senior police official, who did not want to be identified. Sai Baba visits his Brindavan Ashram in Whitefield, on the outskirts of Bangalore, to give discourses and meet with disciples who cannot make it to his Puttaparthi base in Andhra Pradesh. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 16:35:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan port strike ends
TOI, august 5. Sri Lanka's main sea port on Sunday ended a five-day work stoppage which caused massive losses to shippers and foreign vessel owners already reeling under high war-risk insurance charges, officials said.Workers at the Jaya Container Terminal of the Colombo Harbour agreed to call off their trade union action following the withdrawal of a new shift system which the authorities tried to introduce this month, officials said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 16:10:40 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to court martial 11 Air Force personnel
NDTV/MSNBC, Sunday, August 5, 2001 (Colombo). Sri Lanka will court martial 11 suspended air force personnel, including three officers, for their alleged failure to prevent the LTTE attack on the Katunayake Air Base and adjoining international airport, a state-owned newspaper said today. The three officers are base commander Air Commodore R A Ananda, ground defence officer Wing Commander Nihal Ratnayake and security chief of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) Wing Commander Bhuvanake Abeysuriya, it said. Among the eight airmen, three had been on duty at the air force base and five at the BIA at the time of the attack on July 24 in which 11 military and three civilian aircraft were destroyed and three airbuses damaged. Fourteen LTTE cadres and seven security personnel died in the operation. The 11 personnel had earlier been suspended by Air Force chief Air Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody. Air Vice Marshal Vijitha Tenekkoon is currently heading a court of inquiry into the attack, while a police investigation is continuing. Several Tamil suspects and three airmen have been detained for questioning, the Sunday Observer reported. Meanwhile, another daily published a purported police intelligence report dated June 30 warning of a possible attempt by the LTTE to use a mandatory power cut to "enter the BIA by cutting the wire fence around the airstrip and try to hijack an aircraft". The report, filed by the divisional intelligence unit at Negombo police station, was ignored by the Air Force, it said. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 07:02:01 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Air raids on Sri Lankan rebels
BBC South Asia, Sunday, 5 August, 2001, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK . The authorities in Sri Lanka say they have stepped up air attacks against Tamil Tiger rebels in the Jaffna peninsula and the Trincomalee district. A military spokesman said supersonic aircraft had been bombing positions held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE over the last three days. So far, the spokesman said there have been no reports of any casualties in these attacks. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 12:16:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan jets bomb LTTE positions  - The Hindu NUS

Why 'freedom fighters' are killing innocent people?, asks Advani
newindpress, august 5. Union Home Minister L K Advani on Sunday lashed out at Pakistan for equating terrorists with freedom fighters. ''Leaders of the neighbouring country describe terrorists as freedom fighters, but if they are fighting for independence they should confront the forces. Why are the people of Kashmir being massacred?'' Advani said while addressing a public rally held on the occasion of the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Mohanlal Gautum here. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 16:38:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka defeat India by 121 runs to win Coca-Cola Cup
Cricinfo, 05 August 2001. SRI LANKA WELL ON THEIR WAY TO A BIG VICTORY India's reply to Sri Lanka's imposing 295 was not the scenario the 20,000 spectators at the R.Premadasa Stadium wanted to see as their neighbors lost all their seven frontline batsmen with just 116 on the board at the end of the 30th over of their innings. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 12:21:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Sri Lanka save best for last, says Whatmore  - yahoo
Sri Lanka set big target for India  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka make confident start  - BBC South Asia

Lankan Navy detains 111 illegal migrants
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, Aug. 5. (UNI). One-hundred-eleven Sri Lankans, mostly Tamils, who were about to leave the country for Italy by a boat were detained by the Lankan Navy this morning at Negombo, about 40-km from Colombo. Also arrested was the agent who had promised them to smuggle in Italy and jobs there. Police are investigating about the travel plans of the illegal migrants and interrogating the agent who promised them job after taking a huge amount of money. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 14:14:17 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka seize illegal immigrants  - BBC South Asia
Sri Lanka nets people-smuggling fishing boats headed for Italy  - Yahoo Asia

Lanka re-imposes media ban on LTTE war front
Asianage, 05 August 2001. The government on Friday re-imposed restrictions on journalists travelling to Sri Lanka’s warfront and areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels, about three months after withdrawing the tough regulations. Journalists travelling to either rebel-held areas or planning to interview soldiers in government-controlled areas would have to seek prior written permission, said W.A.S. Perera, additional secretary of the defence ministry. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 10:07:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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 Back to the top

Cricket pushes Lankan politics backstage
TOI, august 5. In Sri Lanka people are tensed, nervous, a little anxious, some even worried, not because of the country's political crisis but more over the expectations of their team's performance at the finals of the tri nation tournament in Colombo.When Sri Lankan politicians need to hide the country's woes amongst the public there is always a readily available spoon full of sugar to make the medicine go down -- cricket. For most Sri Lankans the present scenario is like a jigsaw puzzle in which the pieces don't fit but despite the political interest the subject still takes second place to cricket. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 04:11:47 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil parties reject Chandrika’s invitation for talks
The Hindustan Times, 05 August 2001. 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: Sun Aug 5 09:42:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Kumaratunga's offer for talks rejected  - NDTV/MSNBC
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

Lankan Oppn in flurry over referendum issue
Indiainfo, 05 August 2001. The Lankan government's plan to call off the proposed referendum has sent alarm bells ringing among various warring political parties and most of them have begun harping on the formation of a government of national reconciliation. A fresh initiative by the Sinhala Urumaya, a party of hardcore Sinhalese, to bring the two warring political outfits namely the Peoples' Alliance (PA) and United National Party (UNP) to the negotiating table appeared to have succeeded, sources said. Media reports said UNP leader Ranil Wickremsinghe has told Sinhala Urumaya leader and former MP Tilka Karunaratne that if the PA was serious about government of national reconciliation, the two sides could appoint delegations to work out modalities. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 10:14:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sihala Urumaya brokering formation of PA-UNP govt.  - The Island

Lanka says vital port is safe
TOI, august 5. The Sri Lankan government on Saturday said that the port of Colombo - the country's lifeline - was safe from attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels and appealed to international insurance companies not to increase the insurance premium for vessels calling on Colombo."There is no war risk in the port," Sri Lanka Port Authority chairman Mohan Samarasekera told reporters after insurance companies made it known that they may increase the premium. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 04:14:29 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

US trained security men not deployed to work at airport
The Island, august 5. The US appeared to have identified the LTTE threat on key security and civilian installations in Colombo and its suburbs years before last month’s devastating terrorist assault on Sri Lanka’s only international airport.Under a special programme organised by the US Regional Security Office, the government was invited to send a group of officers and men to take part in an advanced anti-terrorist programme aimed at enhancing Sri Lanka’s ability to protect vital installations in 1998. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 00:52:53 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's International Airport to Tighten Security
People's Daily, Sunday, August 05, 2001, updated at 17:15(GMT. The security of Sri Lanka 's only international airport is to be strengthened following the devastating attack by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels last month, airport officials said. They said that the measures to be taken include the double fencing of the perimeter of the Bandaranaike International Airport and the installation of electronic surveillance and alarm devices. The security measures have been decided by a national committee appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to review and monitor the country's civil aviation activities, specially the Bandaranaike International Airport. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 09:45:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka tightens security  - BBC South Asia

Kolkata's Maharaja is becoming a royal pain
newindpress, August 3. He declines to play domestic cricket because not all venues for fixtures have five-star hotels. When he has to play minor matches because of bad form with the bat, he ensures the game is in a metro; he needs his five-star room even though the rest of his team must do with B-grade lodgings. When bad form with the mouth forces him to sit out a match, he gets into the commentary box and litters it with wisdom on errors his stand-in deputy is making on the field even though his team is headed for victory.Ranjan Madugalle, former Sri Lankan cricketer and part of the commentary team for the tournament, had his tongue tucked firmly into his cheek when he remarked at the start of the day's play on Thursday that Ganguly and Cammie Smith had become ``rather friendly'' these days and had been ``spending a lot of their time together''. But if Madugalle thought he had summed up what ails the Indian skipper, he probably erred. Indiscipline isn't what ails Ganguly, it is only a symptom of the malaise called embryonic megalomania. More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 00:07:35 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

Warne reveals his dislike for Ranatunga
newindpress, August 3. Australian legspinner Shane Warne has branded Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga as the player he most dislikes in world cricket.Warne said it was not the former captain's batting skills that made him the most difficult opponent to play against.``What I disliked was that he seemed to act contrary to the spirit of the game, at times pushing the rules to the limit and making life difficult for the umpires,'' Warne said in his autobiography, which is being serialised by the"Daily Mail".``It often appeared that if there was a ruse Ranatunga could pull to try to get under our skin, he would use it.'' More...
Published: Sun Aug 5 00:07:39 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

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

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