The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 15, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 131

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 says airport attack damage over $1 billion
Yahoo, August 15. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Wednesday put the cost of a rebel airport attack last month at over $1 billion and said the economy would not recover as long as the country was at war."The damage to aircraft and tourism alone is around 95 billion rupees ($1.05 billion) or about seven years spending on education," President Chandrika Kumaratunga said in a statement.Editor's Note Comments and feed back on the above article may be submitted by using the Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 22:16:34 EDT 2001

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

Q&A With:

We are proud to present the seventh guest at our online Q&A sessions: Mr. Somawansa Amerasinghe, the leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). With the upcoming referendum in Sri Lanka, the vote of no confidence in the parliament, the reported moves to impeach President Kumaratunga and the pivotal role the JVP is expected to play in all events, Mr. Amerasinghe's political influence is of great significance to future political developments in Sri Lanka. Send in your question to Mr. Amerasinghe and receive answers here.

Do you have a recommendation for a future guest at our Q&A sessions AND you know how to put us in contact with him/her? If yes, email us.

O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Sri Lanka on the edge of a Economic Disaster- Ronnie De Mel
Saroj Pathirana in London, Wednesday 15/08/01 1805GMT. Sri Lanka is on the edge of a economic disaster as international underwriting companies have drastically increased premium on shipping lines, a senior minister said. Ports and Southern Development minister Ronnie De Mel, who is due to arrive London on Thursday to have discussions with London’s Llyods insurance company over newly increased premiums after the disastrous attack on Katunayake airforce base and the adjoining international airport, said that the public will suffer as all prices would escalate. In an interview with BBC’s Sandeshaya, minister De Mel said that this is the worst economic crisis in the recent history.

"They charge everybody; the whole country made responsible for this crisis by insurance companies. Every single export and export including tea, garments is being charged." The minister went on. "Sri Lanka needs peace for which we have been campaigning for a long time. But there are certain politicians who make a living from this war. They ruin the country. Without stopping the war, this crisis cannot be solved". International underwriters have increased war risk premium by 400% and many leading shipping lines have suspended operations in Colombo. Editor's Note Comments and feed back on the above article may be submitted by using the Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpag
Published: Wed Aug 15 14:02:31 EDT 2001 Back to the top

War risk surcharges hit Sri Lankan cargo shipments
Shipping Times, August 15. Freight rates are rising for in- and outbound cargo at Sri Lanka's Port of Colombo as two major container conference groupings prepare to raise rates after the entire country was classified as a war-risk zone.The classification by international insurance underwriter's War Risks Rating Committee followed the unprecedented attack on Sri Lanka's international airport by Tamil Tiger guerillas last month. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 22:19:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka crisis worsens as shipping lines skip Colombo  - Yahoo Asia

200 worldwide groups protest US efforts to undermine Sri Lankan efforts
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.40 a.m. Thursday August 16. Nearly 200 groups worldwide are protesting US efforts to undermine Sri Lankan and Thai efforts to regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOSs) An Inter Press Service report filed from Washington said. The report said, in a letter to US officials, the coalition of agricultural, consumer and environmental groups cited several instances in which US officials allegedly have threatened to involve trade bodies or impose sanctions if the regulations on genetically modified crops were implemented. It added that a spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office acknowledged the letter but declined comment pending further review. IPS reported that embassies of Sri Lanka and Thailand were unable to comment. The IPS report from Washington also says according to news agency reports two months earlier Weyland Beeghly, an official at the U.S. Embassy in India had said in a speech in Colombo that the United States might challenge a ban on modified crops in that country by submitting a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) The ban in Sri Lanka is scheduled to take effect Sep. 1, two months later than originally scheduled, because Sri Lanka granted the WTO a request to allow exporters time to adjust to the law. According to the Inter Press Service report biotechnology skeptics from Argentina to Zimbabwe, in their letter Tuesday, called the threats unreasonable and argued that Sri Lanka and Thailand have a scientific, regulatory, and moral basis to set limits against the proliferation of GMOs.''Sri Lanka should not be subject to oversight or punitive action by the WTO because of its efforts to protect its citizens from the unknown risks posed by genetically modified organisms,'' the groups had said in their letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Signatories include the Consumer's Union, Friends of the Earth International, Third World Network, and Greenpeace.

The IPS reports say that the advocacy groups has pointed to the failure of U.S. regulators to prevent the commercial release of a variety of corn that they had approved only for animal consumption for fear of allergic reactions among humans. Known as StarLink, the modified corn contaminated millions of tons of corn and led to huge losses in export markets and a drop in value of the entire U.S. corn crop. According to the IPS reports the group said in their letter ''Sri Lanka and other nations have the grounds to take measures of precaution to prevent similar uncontained releases. The insertion of a human gene into the fish tilapia makes this genetically modified organism unacceptable to practitioners of some religions in Sri Lanka.'' Ricardo Navarro, an environmentalist from El Salvador and chairperson of Friends of the Earth International had asked =91=91if a U.S. state can have a moratorium on genetically modified foods, why can't other countries do the same?''=20
Published: Wed Aug 15 20:36:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Shipping agents accuse Chandrika of inaction
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.50 p.m Wednesday 15 August. Parakrama Dissanayake Vice President of Shipping Agents Association in Sri Lanka accused President Chandrika Kumaratunge for not taking any action regarding the crisis faced by the shippers and the country. He said this today at a special media conference summoned to explain the worsening shipping crisis. He said that it is regrettable that president Kumaratunge has not issued even a statement up to now or taken any action on the matter. Dissanayke reminded the president that it is not just a matter for shipping agents but, a national crisis.=20

International underwriters have increased additional war risk premia by 400% within the past 48 hours and many leading shipping lines have by passed Colombo and some suspended operations. Minister Ronnie De Mel is scheduled to leave for London tomorrow as a head of a ten member delegation to have discussions with London based War Risk Rating Committee . Editor's Note Comments and feed back on the above article may be submitted by using the Letters to the Editor feature on the frontpage.
Published: Wed Aug 15 09:55:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE denies talks with Aviation minister
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 6.45 p.m. SLT Wednesday August 15. The LTTE has denied holding talks with Lanka's Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle when he visited the Roman Catholic Church in Madhu last weekend.

Tamil news agency reports quoting the LTTE's Anton Balasingham said that Fernandopulle had met only with LTTE border guards.

A Government statement on Monday however said that Fernandopulle had met with regional leaders of the LTTE who had provided the Minister with full security.

The Minister also claimed that the LTTE had told him they did not want a separate state but only wanted a peace with justice.
Published: Wed Aug 15 08:45:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka peace hopes raised and dashed in a day  -
LTTE asks minister not to raise false hopes  - Press Trust of India
Tamil Tigers deny 'official talks' with Sri Lankan minister  -

Sri Lankan prison officials refuse to release two detainees freed by court
WSWS, August 14. More than a month after a high court in Kandy ordered the release of four Tamil detainees, prison authorities in Sri Lanka are openly flouting the decision and holding two of them on the flimsiest of excuses. The four are among the six young Tamils from Hatton in the country’s central plantation district who have been detained without trial since June 1998 on bogus charges of being members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 22:21:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Photo: Cricket-Jayasuriya's hundred puts Sri Lanka in command
Yahoo India, Wednesday August 15, 2:17 PM. Photo: Cricket-Jayasuriya's hundred puts Sri Lanka in command More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 09:03:28 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Sri Lanka 44-0 vs India (187) second day - lunch  - Yahoo India
India loses way after bright start  - Yahoo India
Cricket-India struggle to 163-5 at close on first day  - Yahoo India
Cricket- Das, Ramesh give India steady start in first test  - Yahoo India
Indian openers make slow progress in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Indian openers adopt safety-first approach  - Yahoo India
Fernando's pace leaves India all out for 187  - Yahoo India
Jayasuriya's blitz exposes Indian attack  - HT
Jayasuriya's century gives Sri Lanka control of first Test  - Yahoo Asia
Rain spoils Lankan party, Jayasuriya cracks ton  - NDTV/MSNBC
Cricket-Jayasuriya century gives Sri Lanka control  - Yahoo Singapore

SRI Lanka: Solar Power Brings Light, and More, to Rural Homes, August 15. For Osgolla Ratnajothi, a Buddhist monk in this north-central Sri Lankan village, his solar- power unit has meant much more than just light to brighten his austere home at night.This alternative source of power has also helped him chase wild elephants away from attacking his home and those of his neighbours and their crops. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 20:52:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka looks for trade pact with Pakistan
The Hindustan Times, August 15. SRI LANKA is pegging its hopes on a parley of South Asian ministers next week to push a trade pact with Pakistan that is expected to boost exports of the island's main produce, tea. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 19:15:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE shoots deads Samurdhi worker
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.15 a.m. SLT Wednesday August 15. The LTTE pistol gang are reported to have shot dead a Samurdhi worker at Kalmunai in the Batticaloa district yesterday.

Sinathamby, had been riding a push cycle when he was gunned down. The dead man was an ex police officer turned social worker for the State sponsored Samurdhi program.

The Kalmunai police are carrying out investigations into the murder.
Published: Wed Aug 15 08:45:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rebels' threat to Sri Lankan town
BBC South Asia, Wednesday, 15 August, 2001, 10:35 GMT 11:35 U. Tamil Tiger rebels have warned the Sri Lankan Government that they plan to recapture the northern town of Jaffna very soon. In their warning, which was sent to a local newspaper, the rebels said there would be no excuse for high-level government officers who co-operated with the current administration.At the same time, a government minister has held a rare meeting with rebel representatives who, he said, asked him to initiate a peace process. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 07:17:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

LTTE denies talks with Sri Lankan minister
Tamilnet, August 15. The Liberation Tigers Wednesday denied claims by the Sri Lankan government that the organisation had met and held talks with a Sri Lankan cabinet Minister during his visit Monday to the Roman Catholic shrine in Madhu, a town held by the LTTE. When contacted by telephone, the LTTE’s chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, told TamilNet Wednesday that Aviation Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle had merely met with the LTTE’s border security guard. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 07:33:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan government re-establishes contact with Tamil rebels
MSNBC, August 15. Sri Lanka has re-established contacts with Tamil rebels to find out if the two sides could resume peace talks to end an 18-year-old civil war, a government minister said Wednesday. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 07:23:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan Government, Rebels Meet  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka Peace Bid in Limbo Despite Shock Talks  - Nothern Light

LTTE infighting getting serious: report
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, Aug. 15 (PTI). Conflicts within the LTTE have taken a serious turn with a senior leader being targeted recently as the rebels are divided on the peace initiatives, state-owned media said today. Jeyam, the senior leader, was the target of a claymore mine attack close to Periyamadu, an LTTE-controlled area, and he suffered serious injuries in the explosion, the Daily News said quoting unnamed sources. The LTTE had then blamed a deep penetration team of the Army for the attack, and called it a bid to derail the peace talks. However, the Army denied it, saying it had no presence in the area where the incident occurred, it said. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 07:18:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka jets pound rebel bases
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, Aug. 14 (Reuters). Sri Lanka today said its Air Force had destroyed two Tamil tiger guerrilla targets in the latest raids of a prolonged bombing campaign. Israeli-built K'Fir aircraft struck at Chempiyanpattu in the northern Jaffna peninsula, hitting a rebel naval base and a communications tower. ``Pilots confirm that both targets were hit and destroyed,'' said military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 09:10:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan jets hit Tiger trench line  -

Cricket-Warne reignites feud with Ranatunga
Yahoo India, August 15. Shane Warne has reignited his feud with former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga in his new autobiography. The Australia leg-spinner, whose book is due to go on sale on Thursday, repeated criticisms he made of Ranatunga just before the 1999 World Cup. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 07:20:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers raise Sri Lanka peace hopes with rare meet
Yahoo Singapore, 15 August. Sri Lanka's first ministerial talks with Tamil rebels in 11 years have raised peace hopes in a country crippled by political and economic turmoil, officials and diplomats said Wednesday.Aviation minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle travelled to an area held by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Monday and had talks with regional Tiger leaders -- the first such encounter since 1990.The minister's office said in a statement Tuesday that he was asked by the guerrillas to initiate a new peace process. The statement did not identify which rebels were at the talks, nor did it give details of what was discussed. Fernandopulle, who also holds the Christian religious affairs portfolio, crossed the front-lines in the northern Wanni region on Monday, travelled to a church located in an area held by the LTTE and returned on the same night. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 03:52:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Minister meets LTTE cadres  - The Hindu (International)
Sri Lanka minister makes shock trip to rebel area  - MSNBC
Sri Lanka minister holds first talks in 11 years with Tiger rebels  -

Nationwide protest campaigns in Lanka
Gulf-News, August 14. Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) yesterday held island-wide protest campaigns calling the People's Alliance (PA) government to step down enabling the formation of a interim government running up to fresh parliamentary elections.The UNP is known to have held talks with some of the PA members including cabinet minister S.B.Dissanayake who has fallen out with President Chandrika Kumaratunga leading to the possibility of the opposition mustering the support of sufficient government members to reach the required 113 members to form a government. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 20:22:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Deadlock continues in Sri Lanka
The Hindu (International), 15-08-2001 . By Nirupama Subramanian COLOMBO, AUG. 14. Sri Lanka's political uncertainty appears set to continue for the time being, with the People's Alliance (PA) Government unable to reach an understanding with any of the Opposition parties and the United National Party (UNP) threatening to intensify its agitation for the reconvening of Parliament. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 19:47:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan power play fools no-one  - Asia Times

Opposition plans second protest rally in Colombo
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.20 p.m Tuesday 14 August. The opposition has planned another protest rally in Colombo on the 23rd of this month United National party spokesman and member of parliament Karunasena Kodituwakku said today. He said that the protest rally is organized to press the Peoples Alliance government to restore democracy in the country. The first protest rally organized by the opposition in Colombo last month resulted in the death of two persons.
Published: Tue Aug 14 09:16:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rs. 5 m for youth development in NE
CDN, 14 tuesday. As a result of a discussion at the Ministry of the Youth Affairs recently, under the patronage of the Youth Affairs Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga with the Governor of the North East Province Asoka Jayawardana and the Secretary of the Provincial Ministry of Education, Cultural, Sports and Youth Affairs K. Parameswaram, the Provincial council allocated Rs. 5 million for the youth development projects in the North East. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 15:07:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Senior PA Ministers say 'No' to JVP proposals
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 10.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday August 14. Senior ministers in the ruling Peoples Alliance have rejected the JVP proposals made to President Chandrika Kumaratunge last Friday.

Minister S. B. Dissanayake says the JVP proposal to establish a caretaker government and hold elections within one year should not be accommodated.

The Minister further added that the President should not seek an alliance with an extremist party like the JVP, but should attempt to reach consensus with other political parties in order to address the crisis situation in the country.

Minister Mahinda Wijeysekera has also said that the JVP proposals cannot be accepted, and that the government should not give into conditional demands put forward by the JVP in order that it will support the government on key issues.
Published: Tue Aug 14 01:14:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks British, Israeli help for airport security, Aug 14 2001 17:53 IST. Sri Lanka is seeking help from British and Israeli experts to tighten security at the country's international airport and adjoining airbase where Tamil rebels staged a devastating attack last month, official sources said Tuesday. The British experts arrived here at the weekend to advise the airforce on security at its supersonic aircraft base where separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas destroyed eight aircraft on July 24. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 10:40:02 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka jets pound rebels in latest air strikes
MSNBC, 14 August 2001. Sri Lanka said on Tuesday its air force had destroyed two Tamil Tiger guerrilla targets in the lastest raids of a prolonged bombing campaign. Israeli-built K'fir aircraft struck at Chempiyanpattu in the northern Jaffna peninsula, hitting a rebel naval base and a communications tower. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 10:52:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan jets target rebel communications base  -

UNP to take disciplinary action against members
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 11.15 a.m. SLT Tuesday August 14. The United National Party have threatened to take disciplinary action against some of its members who utter contradictory statements to the media on the present situation.

Deputy Leader for the UNP, Gamini Atukorale has threatened stern action on party members who articulate contrary viewpoints to that of the leadership.

Over the weekend some newspapers carried statements from certain UNP MPs who alleged they were being approached by the government to lend their support to a shaky coalition.

Atukorale asserted that the party position on the present crisis is for the President to reconvene Parliament, cancel the referendum and appoint an interim administration from the party that holds a majority in Parliament.
Published: Tue Aug 14 01:14:42 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka repairs damaged military aircraft
The Hindu NUS, Aug. 14. 11:20 GMT. Sri Lanka has repaired five helicopters and two Israeli-made Kfir jets damaged during a daring attack by an LTTE suicide squad on July 24, an Air Force spokesman said. "We have completed repair work on these aircraft and they are now fully serviceable. Repair work is going on for another six", Wing Commander Ajit Wijesundera said. Apart from the eight aircraft that were destroyed, 13 had suffered varying degrees of damage, mostly in the form of bullet holes. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 07:19:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Share Index fall to record low as market panic after Katunayake attack
Saroj Pathirana in London, Tuesday 14/08/01 0940GMT. Sri Lanka's all-share index CSE dropped to a record low of 396.48, down 1.85 percent from Monday's 403.97. Sri Lankan share market which is hurt by earnings fears, is still to be recovered from the July 24 LTTE attack on Katunayake international airport. This is the first time stocks slipped below the 400 level after 1991 when the market was opened to foreign investors.
Published: Tue Aug 14 05:43:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Five Sri Lankan Airline offices to shut down
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.10 a.m. SLT Tuesday August 14. Five Sri Lankan Airlines offices will be shut down after the airline lost half its fleet when Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed 6 aircraft at the Bandaranaike International Airport last month.

The national carriers five offices in Frankfurt, Stockholm, Rome, Sydney and Dakar will close down.

Meanwhile, a team from the International Civil Aviation Authority is in Colombo at present to assess security arrangements at the BIA following the devastating attack the airport had to suffer on July 24, last month.
Published: Tue Aug 14 01:14:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Aug. 14 (17 :10) Tentative dates fixed for 11th SAARC summit - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, august 14. The 11th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is likely to be held in Nepal's capital of Kathmandu on Dec. 28 to 30, a Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 07:30:41 EDT 2001 Back to the top

FOCUS: Marxists offer oxygen to ailing Kumaratunga gov't - COLOMBO
Kyodo News, 14 August 2001. With her People's Alliance (PA) government teetering on the edge of collapse due to a parliamentary minority, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has swallowed her pride to canvass support from a Marxist party that she only recently accused of murdering her husband. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 10:49:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Theft at Sri Lanka police command leaves officer shoeless, Aug 14 2001 13:04 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 14 (AFP) - A senior police officer was left red-faced after his shoes were stolen at a high-security command and control centre, officials said Tuesday. Superintendent Assistant V. Indran had politely left his shoes by the door before entering the high security communications centre, but on his return realised the footwear had been taken. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 05:44:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan chicken farmers in the soup after airport attack, Aug 14 2001 14:53 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 14 (AFP) - Sri Lankan farmers are scrambling to sell eggs and chickens because demand has plummeted due to a fall in the number of foreign tourists visiting the island since Tamils rebels attacked the international airport, officials said Tuesday. The All Island Poultry Farmers Association said egg prices had fallen below the cost of production as tourist hotels drastically scaled down their purchases following the attack on July 24. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 07:15:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tamil Canadians embrace technology to power their future
Toronto Star, august 13. It has been 15 years since 155 Tamil boat people arrived off the coast of Newfoundland, escaping the violence of Sri Lanka's civil war.Yesterday, the day after the anniversary of their arrival, about 700 Tamil Canadians attended the first-ever Tamil Hi-Tech Expo, an exhibition organizers hope will become an annual showcase of Tamil entrepreneurship. More...
Published: Tue Aug 14 00:08:06 EDT 2001 Back to the top

© Copyright 2000, 2001 Lanka Academic Network.