The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 16, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 132

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
Deputy ministers hand over undated letters of resignations to President
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 9.30 p.m. SLT Thursday August 16. State Radio said today that all deputy ministers have tendered undated letters of resignation to President Chandrika Kumaratunge today. The radio said that the cabinet of ministers are expected to follow suit.

The move comes amidst speculation that President Chandrika Kumaratunge is holding talks to form a government with the main opposition United National Party.

Well informed SLFP sources say that all deputy ministers were summoned by the President and requested to give undated letters of resignation.

However, only 27 of the 37 deputy ministers are reported to have given these letters.
Published: Thu Aug 16 11:30:57 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
Sihala Urumaya wants Jeyaraj and Jayalath arrested
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 8.40 a.m Friday 17 August. Thilak Karunaratne, leader of the Sihala Urumaya has urged the government to arrest UNP member of parliament Jayalath Jayawardane and minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle for having met with LTTE leaders in Madhu recently. The statement says that whoever has dealings with the LTTE is committing an offence and the Sihala Urumaya urge the government to take both Jayawardane and Fernandopulle into custody and take legal action against them. The statement says minister Fernandopulle who is also in charge of the International airport which was attacked by the LTTE has become a cats paw of the LTTE. Karunaratne blamed that the minister had met with the LTTE leaders at a time when the government was attacking another opposition MP of having connections with the LTTE. The statement also appealed to Catholic Bishops to think twice before coming in to the rescue of persons who have become the cat's paws of the LTTE. However in a recent statement the LTTE denied they had any meeting with minister Fernandopulle.
Published: Thu Aug 16 22:35:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Push for peace or perish warns tourist trade
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 9.30 a.m Friday 17 August. Top tourism leaders have warned that unless the government acted urgently to show credible signs of moving towards peace, the tourism and other key economic sectors would be doomed. In a lead story published by the Daily Mirror today the tourism leaders have said "If the country can send some positive signals on the peace front we can salvage ourselves and avoid a disaster. Peace is the most immediate challenge before the country" Heads of Sri Lankas four largest tourism groups, Aitken Spence, John Keells, Serendib Group and Jetwing Group have told the newspaper that the tourism industry recovered quickly in the past but will not be able to bounce back this time unless the government, all political parties and other stakeholders urgently make some credible efforts to achieve peace and political stability. They have warned that collapse of tourism a frontline industry in the country will have major repercussions and further loss of jobs for employees and income for the community around hotels will create social unrest, particularly in the South and it will only endanger governments interests and negate whatever progress it has made so far.=20
Published: Thu Aug 16 23:24:52 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Doors still open for Peace - LTTE political leader talks to BBC
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 16/08/01 1713 GMT. Doors are still open for peace if the government make a genuine effort, a senior leader of Tamil Tigers said today. In an exclusive interview with BBC, broadcast on Sinhala (Sandeshaya) and Tamil Sections, leader of the LTTE’s political wing Tamilselvan said that the Norwegian brokered peace initiative collapsed because the government did not believe in peace and continued military actions instead. "Sidelining of mutually agreed peace negotiator, Erik Solheim is another reason for the deadlock"

The rebel leader was speaking to media outside the rebel controlled area for the first time after the negotiations with Peoples’ Alliance government broke down in 1995. " It is the government that destroys the peace process. The government dominates the media and publishes all false news so that people do not get the real picture. Solheim made a healthy attempt but the government did not take any step towards the progress of the peace process."

Asked whether LTTE support the proposed referendum on constitutional changes, "There are lot of contradictions to what President Chandrika Kumaratunga says and does. She merely talks but does not implement anything." Tamilselvan continued. " If the government is genuine on peace efforts, we are ready to start talks even today"

"It is better to say that the LTTE would not give up their armed struggle until Tamils’ rights and aspirations are fulfilled" Tamilselvan answered when questioned whether the Tamil Tigers ready to give up there demand for a separate homeland.
Published: Thu Aug 16 13:13:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka rebels 'want peace'  - BBC South Asia

S.Lankan Tamil Rebels Accuse Govt of Purchasing Chemical Weapons
Nothern Light, Thursday, August 16, 2001 1:00 PM EST . Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday accused the government of purchasing Russian-made chemical weapons and warned of disastrous consequences if they were inducted. "We are perturbed over reports that the Sri Lankan government has purchased new infantry weapon system with chemical warheads," the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels said in a statement. "The acquisition of this banned weapon by Sri Lanka marks a new and dangerous escalation of the armed conflict in the island," it added. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 23:41:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lanka casinos run out of luck
TOI, August 16. Fortunes have changed for Sri Lanka's once thriving gambling industry as casinos and clubs become the latest victims of a suffocating economy which is forcing people to spend less and spend wisely. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 23:56:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

President says all steps been taken to counter insurance surcharge on ships and containers.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 11925 slt 16.08.01. President Kumaratunga said today that the government is taking all possible steps to counter the impact of the insurance surcharge imposed on ships entering the Colombo port and on containers. International insurance companies have imposed a $150.000 dollar insurance surcharge per visit on ships entering the port, and a $300 dollar surcharge on every 40 for container. The surcharge was imposed after the attack on the Katunayake air port amidst fears that the LTTE would next target the port. In a statememnt issued by the Presidential Secretariat today, the government said the President has dispatched a delegation headed by Port Minister Ronnie De Mel to brief insurance companies on security measures taken to protect the port after the Katunayake attack. end

Published: Thu Aug 16 09:40:10 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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Sri Lanka lowers ship refuelling rates to Singapore levels  -

Cabinet decides to withdraw duty on imported milk food items
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1922 slt 16.08.01. Cabinet of Ministers today decided to withdraw import duty on milk food items as an immediate step to reduce prices. Minister for Food Reggie Ranatunga said by this measure the government expect milk food prices to reduce between 10 to 13 rupees per kilo
Published: Thu Aug 16 09:40:09 EDT 2001 Back to the top

A change of course in Sri Lanka?
Yahoo India, August 17. SRI LANKA'S PRESIDENT, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, is in a conciliatory mood which the Opposition parties in that hapless country's mainstream political arena are now scrutinising for signs of any hidden agenda. By postponing a planned referendum on the need for a new Constitution, she seems to have surprised her adversaries in conventional politics. Ms. Kumaratunga's willingness to delay consulting the sovereign people is being packaged variously on her behalf. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 22:12:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lankan cricket board embroiled in controversy
NDTV/MSNBC, 17 August 2001. The Sri Lankan cricket team's recent success on the field has perhaps taken attention away from the crisis that their cricket board is in the midst of right now. The board was dissolved by the Minister of Sports earlier this year after allegations of financial irregularities. But in an interview to NDTV, the sacked board chief, Thilanga Sumathipala said that the whole episode was a ploy by the government to take control over the cash-rich board. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 23:48:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top

US embassy denies GM story
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 p.m. Thursday August 16. Stephen Holgate spokesman for the United States embassy in Sri Lanka denied today that Weyland Beeghly an official attached to the US embassy in India said that the US would make a complaint against Sri Lanka to the World Trade Organization on the ban of GM foods. Holgate was referring to the IPS report under the headline 200 worldwide groups protest US efforts to undermine Sri Lankas ban on GM foods. He added there is no proof to say that GM foods are harmful to anyone and that number of Sri Lankan scientists also have written that there are no evidence to the effect. Holgate also said, it is unfortunate that Sri Lankan consumers who need low cost food would be deprived of genetically modified food soon. END
Published: Thu Aug 16 21:37:26 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Feeder operators may divert vessels to Singapore
Yahoo India, august 16. EVEN as several shipping lines have started to bypass Sri Lanka's Colombo port, cargo carried by Colombo feeder operators between India and Colombo, is likely to get diverted to Singapore, to catch the mother vessels from there. Some shipping lines, including Evergreen, P& O L and MOL have withdrawn some of their mother vessel services from Colombo port. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 19:30:00 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lankan team leaves for London to meet insurers  - The Hindu (International)

Sri Lanka Opposition meet today
The Hindu (International), 17-08-2001 . Sri Lanka's Opposition parties have planned to meet in Parliament on Friday to press their demand for its early reconvening. Parliament was prorogued by the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, on July 10 to avoid a no-confidence motion against her minority People's Alliance Government. The maximum permissible period for prorogation is set to end on September 7. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 19:25:19 EDT 2001 Back to the top

UN special rapporteur on Judicial independence asks Chief Justice to stay off the bench until impeachment process is over
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1914 slt 16.08.01. United Nations Special Rappotteur for the Independence of the Judiciary Param Kumaraswamy has written to the Sri Lankan government objecting to Chief Justice Sarath Silva continuing to play an active role in the Supreme Court. The Alliance of mass organizations for democracy in a statement issued today said that in a letter addressed to President Kumaratunga Mr.Kumaraswamy has said that the Chief Justice should not sit on the bench or take any active part until the impeachment motion against him is taken up. In a related development The UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson has asked the Sri Lankan government's approval to send Mr.Kumaraswamy to Sri Lanka to assess the independence of the Sri Lankan judiciary. The Sri Lankan government is yet to formally respond to the request.
Published: Thu Aug 16 09:40:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan rebels tells Jaffna to prepare for 'liberation,' raising fears of attack
MSNBC, August 16. Tamil Tiger rebels warned residents of Jaffna to prepare for ''liberation,'' prompting fears Thursday that the war-battered city was headed for another showdown between the rebels and 40,000 government troops. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 19:32:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Thousands of JVP supporters in anti government demonstration
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1229 slt 16.08.01. Thousands of JVP supporters shouted anti government slogans outside the Fort railway station this morning as demonstrations against the government continued in various parts of the country. The JVP General Secretary Tilwin Silva said that today's protest was part of its campaign to force the government to cancel the referendum and summon parliament. " We are demanding that the President cancel the postponed referendum and re-summon parliament immediately so that the people can have the government they want" Silva said.
Published: Thu Aug 16 02:49:49 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tiger rebels accuse Sri Lanka of acquiring 'chemical weapons', Aug 16 2001 20:03 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas Thursday accused the government of acquiring Russian-made "chemical weapons", but the government quickly denied it had such armaments. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) warned of "disastrous consequences" if the weapons were used and said the aquisition marked an escalation of the conflict that has killed over 60,000 people since 1972. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 15:07:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Tigers slam Sri Lankan government over chemical weapons  -

IMF seeks tough action as Sri Lanka airport attack begins to bite, Aug 16 2001 15:49 IST. The International Monetary Fund Thursday asked Sri Lanka to cut back public spending and improve tax collection as a devastating rebel attack on the island's only international airport begins to affect the economy. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 07:26:46 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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IMF Says Sri Lanka Meets Loan Targets  - Nothern Light

Dead Sri Lankan soldiers 'abandoned'
BBC South Asia, August 16. Tamil Tiger rebels says the bodies of hundreds of dead Sri Lankan army soldiers have been abandoned on the battlefield since fighting in May. The remarks were made by the leader of the political wing of the Tamil Tigers, Mr Thamilselvan, during a rare meeting with relatives of missing servicemen. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 07:22:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India eyes Iran, Lanka for wheat export
NDTV/MSNBC, 16 August. India plans to enter the Iranian wheat market through a barter arrangement in exchange for bitumen and has promised credit facility to Sri Lanka for exporting the commodity to the island nation.Talks are also on with Indonesia for large scale export of wheat in exchange for their coal and palm oil. "Efforts are being made for quid pro-quo arrangements with countries like Indonesia and Iran to have a captive large market for our wheat and import items like bitumen which we need for road development," official sources said.They said Iran had been receptive to the proposal but had enlisted four types of fungus, which they wanted eliminated from the wheat before shipment. The list had been forwarded to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).India wanted the deal with these countries to be on a "load port final" basis where both parties could satisfy themselves about the quality of each other's items before shipment and refrain from subsequent rejection. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 09:57:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Police ask for the help of the public to identify the airport attackers.
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1235 slt 16.08.01. Police today ask the public to help them to identify nine of the 14 LTTE rebels killed in the Katunayake airport attack. Police said the bodies of the other five were disfigured beyond recognition. Police issued photographs of the nine LTTE rebel to the media today.
Published: Thu Aug 16 02:49:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top

02 navy men killed and two others injured in rebel ambush
Waruna Karunatilake in Colombo, 1238 slt 16.08.01. Two navy soldiers were killed and two others injured when the LTTE ambushed a road clearance party. A Navy spokesman said four rebels were killed in the ensueing gun battle.
Published: Thu Aug 16 02:49:51 EDT 2001 Back to the top

India face heavy defeat in first Test against Sri Lanka
Yahoo Asia, august 16. Thursday, August 16 9:20 PM SGT India face heavy defeat in first Test against Sri Lanka GALLE, Sri Lanka, Aug 16 (AFP) - Muttiah Muralitharan caused India's batting slump for the second time one match to leave Sri Lanka on the brink of an innings victory in the first cricket Test here on Thursday.The versatile off-spinner grabbed 4-32 as the tourists, trailing by 175 runs on the first innings, ended the third day's play tottering at 130-8 in their second knock. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 18:20:43 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Jaya hail!  - Yahoo India
Cricket-India 26-1 vs Sri Lanka (362) at tea  - Yahoo India
Sri Lanka gains 175-run first innings lead  - The Hindu NUS
India face uphill struggle to save first Test against Sri Lanka  - Yahoo Asia

Seven killed in Sri Lanka skirmish
MSNBC, Thursday, August 16th 10:06 GMT. COLOMBO, Aug. 16 — Three government troops and four Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed on Thursday in a clash in northeastern Sri Lanka, military officials said. The rebels ambushed a naval ground patrol in the Trincomalee district 240 km (150 miles) northeast of the capital Colombo, military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne told Reuters. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 06:06:37 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Tiger ambush kills seven in Sri Lanka  -

Nine killed in train, bus crash in Sri Lanka, Aug 16 2001 16:20 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 16 (AFP) - Nine passengers were killed and more than 40 injured Thursday when a train and a bus collided just north of the Sri Lankan capital, officials said. Police said the bus was hit at a railway crossing on the main highway between the capital Colombo and the international airport. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 07:19:48 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Eight killed in train, bus crash in Sri Lanka  -

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 Back to the top
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Rebel attack on Sri Lankan airport cost more than USD1bn  - Nothern Light

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

Conferance on Pura Handa Kaluwara banned!
Saroj Pathirana in London, Thursday 16/08/01 0805GMT. An attempt to hold a conference on Prasanna Vithanage's international award winning film Pura Handa Kaluwara (Death On a Full Moon Day) has been forbidden by the Sri Lankan authorities, The Lanka Academic reliably learns. A conference titled Pura Handa Kaluwara and the challenge of the censorship was due to be held on Tuesday the 21st of August at Mahaweli Centre in Colombo. Though the conference was initially given permission, Mahaveli Centre's administrators have refused to accommodate it yesterday. They refused to accept payments, Ravaya journalist Jayasiri Jayasekara, a member of the organising committee, told The Lanka Academic.

The conference aimed to launch Purahanda Foundation to help and protect artists and artwork victimised by the censorship. Director Prasanna Vithanage expected to form the foundation with Rs. 50.000 received from minister Sarath Amunugama, who last year banned the film saying it will effect the morale of Sri Lankan soldiers fighting LTTE in the North-East. Removing the ban saying the minister has acted beyond his authority, Sri Lanka's Supreme Court recently ordered minister Amunugama and the state to pay Rs. 550,000 in compensation to the director. Although minister Amunugama was reluctant to pay the compensation from his own pocket as ordered, informed sources say that Mr. Vithanage has received a cheque for Rs. 50,000 after he sought legal advise to prosecute the minister over contempt of court.

The conference will however be held now at Jayawardhana Centre on 21st of August. Organised by Balaya monthly journal, Prof. Sucharitha Gamlath, film director Asoka Handagama, Mr.Krishantha Weliamuna and Prasanna Vithanage are due to address the gathering.
Published: Thu Aug 16 04:06:10 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
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Sri Lanka crisis worsens as shipping lines skip Colombo  - Yahoo Asia

Sri Lanka 362 all out vs India (187) - third day
Yahoo India, Thursday August 16, 11:31 AM. GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lanka, replying to India's first innings total of 187, were 362 all out in their first innings on the third day of the first test on Wednesday. India first innings: 187 (S.Ramesh 42, D.Fernando 5-42) Sri Lanka first innings (overnight 264-3) More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 06:02:50 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka 330 for 7 at lunch  - NDTV/MSNBC

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

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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
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Cricket-Sri Lanka 44-0 vs India (187) second day - lunch  - Yahoo India
India loses way after bright start  - 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

Sun shines on Sri Lanka's solar industry
Asia Times, 16 August. DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka - Many homes in remote corners of Sri Lanka's rural countryside, where electricity is still a luxury, are gradually turning to solar power.Dozens of solar panels have sprung up on roofs in this north- central region after solar power was introduced a couple of years ago. The entry of solar power into Sri Lankan households has much to do with the collective energies of three entrepreneurs - Viren Perera, Lalith Gunaratne and Pradip Jayewardene - who ventured into the business in 1986. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 09:55:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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SRI Lanka: Solar Power Brings Light, and More, to Rural Homes  -

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

Sri Lankan Rebels Warn City
Nothern Light, Thursday, August 16, 2001 12:16 PM EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Tamil Tiger rebels warned residents of Jaffna to prepare for ``liberation,'' prompting fears Thursday that the war-battered city was headed for another showdown between the rebels and 40,000 government troops. The northern city of Jaffna, now under government control, has been at the center of the 18-year Tamil separatist war. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam want to make Jaffna the capital of their envisaged homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamils. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 15:17:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Sri Lanka's Tamil Rebels Warn Jaffna Civilians Not to Cooperate With Government  - People's Daily
LTTE shoots deads Samurdhi worker  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

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
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Tigers raise Sri Lanka peace hopes with rare meet  - Yahoo Singapore
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
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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

Sri Lankan power play fools no-one
Asia Times, 15 August. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's postponement of this month's referendum, announced this week, surprised few people because the vote on a new constitution had sparked very little interest across this war-battered island.Except for Kumaratunga and a few Cabinet ministers, many Sri Lankans saw the referendum as a waste of time and money, particularly so on an issue that everyone is agreed upon - the need for a new constitution. More...
Published: Wed Aug 15 03:51:03 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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