The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 17, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 133

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
Opposition warning bell for Chandrika
TOI, August 17. Sri Lanka's opposition parties met in Parliament on Friday for a crucial meeting that proved they still have the numbers to defeat the government despite President Chandrika Kumaratunga proroguing the House and attempting to split them. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 14:42:26 EDT 2001
Related News Stories
S. Lanka Opposition Unite on Motion  - Nothern Light
Sri Lanka's opposition to pursue no-confidence motion in Parliament  - ABC News
SL crisis deepens as majority legislators stake claim  - TamilNet
Lankan Oppn to go ahead with no-confidence motion  - TOI
Opposition storms Sri Lankan Parliament  -
Sri Lanka opposition assembles in parliament in defiance of president  -

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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.

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O  T  H  E  R      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E  S
Deputy Ministers quit to strengthen Chandrika's hands
South Nexus, COLOMBO, Aug 18. Thirty-eight junior Ministers in Sri Lanka handed over undated resignation letters to President Chandrika Kumaratunga to give her a free hand to deal with the current political crisis. "This is a move to strengthen the hands of the President and foil attempts by reactionary forces to subvert the People's Alliance Government," T B Ekanayake, secretary of a forum of Deputy Ministers, said. "We will stand by whatever decision the President makes," he said. The offer to quit en masse comes in the wake of concerted moves by the opposition United National Party to unseat the minority PA Government, even while behind-the-scenes talks are going on to form a 'Government of national reconciliation' comprising the PA and the UNP. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 13:23:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Deputy ministers hand over undated letters of resignations to President  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

Sri Lanka says it has no chemical weapons, calls Tamil rebel charge 'bogus'
The Province, August 17. Sri Lanka's defence ministry on Friday flatly denied it has acquired chemical weapons to fight the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. "This is totally untrue, a bogus allegation," said Defence Ministry's spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne, responding to rebel claims that Sri Lanka has acquired such weapons. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 07:42:54 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
No chemical weapons, says Sri Lankan Govt.  - The Hindu NUS
Sri Lanka denies warhead charge  - BBC South Asia
Aug. 17 (23 :00) Sri Lankan government rejects chemical weapon charge - COLOMBO  - Kyodo News
Tiger rebels accuse Sri Lanka of acquiring 'chemical weapons'  -
Tigers slam Sri Lankan government over chemical weapons  -

Chandrika Govt. warned over Parliament closure
The Hindu NUS, Colombo, Aug. 17. (PTI). Sri Lanka's combined Opposition today warned President Chandrika Kumaratunga against keeping Parliament closed beyond its due date of reopening on September 7 and asked her minority government to either face the House or order fresh elections. One hundred and thirteen MPs from various parties - a majority in the 225-member House - met in the parliamentary complex under the chairmanship of Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and passed half a dozen resolutions in a show of strength and defiance against any attempt to extend the suspension of Parliament, which now stands prorogued till September 7. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 07:22:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Opposition meet today  - The Hindu (International)
Face House or order polls: Lankan Oppn  - Indiainfo

Science Group Protests Sri Lankan Biotech Ban; AgBioWorld Foundation Calls for Support of Beneficial Technology
Yahoo, August 17. The AgBioWorld Foundation today called upon the Sri Lankan government to rethink its ban on biotechnology food imports imposed earlier this month. ``This was a reckless decision,'' said C.S. Prakash, professor of plant genetics and president of the AgBioWorld Foundation. ``And it will prevent the Sri Lankan people from benefiting from this safe and promising technology.''``The decision by Sri Lanka, or any government, to prevent its citizens from sharing in the benefits of biotechnology is short-sighted and immoral,'' said Prakash, and he added that ``biotechnology provides a valuable tool for developing countries to produce more food locally and in an environmentally sustainable manner.'' More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 15:04:53 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Economic slide expected to force Chandrika-Ranil settlement
Roy Mendis in Colombo, 6.33 PM SLT August 17,2001 . The current rapid economic slide is expected to force President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Leader of the Opposition Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe to come to a settlement in the next ten or fifteen days,political observers feel.

There is a growing view that the West,led by the United States,is putting pressure on both the ruling Peoples' Alliance (PA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) to come to a settlement to put the economy back on its rails,get the democratic institutions working,kick start the peace process and give stability to the extremely shaky political system.

Though many would say that the hike in the war risk insurance premia by the London-based underwriters is based purely on a rational assessment of the security risk following the July 24 attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport by the LTTE,there is a growing body of opinion that such a step would not have been taken without the blessings/prodding of Western governments,meaning the United States,UK, and the European Union.India may have been happy going along too.

If nothing is done to settle matters,the Sri Lankan economy will go into a tailspin very soon.The war risk insurance hike ( the additional premium being between USD 150,000 to USD 600,000 per vessel ) is expected to lead to Colombo port,the only international port in Sri Lanka,losing 60% of its cargo capacity.This would drastically curtail export and import.The dwindling capacity will lead to a hike in charges.The shipping lines have already announced that they are going to charge USD 350 to USD 500 per 20' container and USD 700 to USD 1000 per 40' container.The feeder lines have increased the war risk surcharge for 20 ' containers from USD 30 to USD 150 and for 40' containers from USD 60 to USD 300.This is going to cripple transhipment which accounts for 68% of the throughput of Colombo port.All this is going to be passed on to the consumers,already burdened by mounting prices.

International airlines are now adding USD 40 per one way ticket and USD 80 per return ticket as the war risk surcharge.Travel agents say that only those who must travel will travel.Tourism is going to be hit hard.The chartered flights operated by well known international companies are viewing Colombo with the greatest suspicion and their decision is important because they account for 70% of the tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka.Major operators like Monarch of UK, and LTU and Candor of Germany are wanting to divert their clients to Goa in India and the Maldives.Kouni of UK and TUI of Germany have temporarily suspended their Sri Lankan operations.

All this has led to 90% of the hotel bookings for August being cancelled,according to the CEOs of John Keells,Aitken Spence,Jetwing and Hemas/Serendib hotel chains.Many hotels are locking up rooms,and John Keells has closed "Swanee" and "Bayroo".The captains of the hotel industry have warned that if the tourism driven economy of south Sri Lanka collapses,there could be mass social disaffection in that region.The south had seen bloody insurrections in 1971 and 1988-89, with tens of thousands being killed in cold blood.

MPs across the board are of the view that a national government of the PA, UNP and other parties should be formed without delay.But all efforts to bring President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Leader of the UNP Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe to see the writing on the wall and come to an understanding has failed.Mrs.Kumaratunga will not give in a wee bit to accommodate Mr.Wickremesinghe's demand that she clip her wings and he be made Prime Minister with enhanced powers.Mr.Wickremesinghe will not allow his party to take ministership without himself being a Prime Minister with enhanced powers.

Cabinet ministers hope that over a period of time,the two would see reason and come down from their high horses.Hopefully,the re-opening of parliament on September 7 and the possibility of taking up the motion of no-confidence will bring about a settlement.Today,the combined opposition demonstrated that it has 115 out of 225 members,that is the majority.This is a wake call to President Kumaratunga to act, though the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna's being in the opposition does not mean that it will vote with the opposition on the no-trust issue and topple her government.

Nobody wants a dissolution of parliament, and the possibility or threat of dissolution is expected to play a critical role in bringing stability to the present very fluid political situation.There are extremists in the cabinet who feel that the President should go in for a re-prorogation of parliament ( which she can under the constitution ) to buy more time.She could take this route.If she fails again,she could order fresh elections in October and leave the matter to the people at large.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: Fri Aug 17 08:35:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan jets bombard LTTE base
Press Trust of India, Colombo,Friday, August 17, 2001. Sri Lankan Air Force jets today bombarded a suspected LTTE base in the island's east even as six rebels were killed in two different skirmishes with troops in the country's north, a military spokesman said. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 10:18:05 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lankan jets hit another Tiger jungle base  -

As Sri Lanka War Brings Ruin, Villages Live Off It
Yahoo, August 17. FREE Registration Required at NYT site to read this article "The children from the villages are fodder," said Lance Cpl. Gamini Premaranthna, who joined the army 11 years ago when he was 19. "None of the bigwigs' children go. All the politicians shouting that we must have a military solution don't have sons in the war. It's only the village boys. The war would end sooner if the rich were dying too."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: Fri Aug 17 09:34:16 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Enemies in our midst
National Post, AUgust 16. The Tamil Tigers, described in a March, 2000, report for the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service as one of the "most proficient and dangerous guerrilla/terrorist groups in the world," take Ottawa's lack of anti-terrorist resolve as an invitation to use Canada as a key prop to its campaign of murder and terror in Sri Lanka. The Tigers' Ottawa-based Web site offers links to the terrorists' press releases, radio shows and pictures. It runs an online store selling videos, books and audio tapes, which at least indirectly, support further murder. Canada is used and has been used as a soft touch for terrorists for too long. Our laws make it easy to launder money through charitable organizations. Our failure to investigate and prosecute terrorist activity has allowed them to live at ease among us More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 00:12:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Jubilant Sri Lanka break 16-year drought as India crumble
Yahoo Asia, Auguat 17. Sri Lanka's captain Sanath Jayasuriya warned team-mates of an Indian backlash after the tourists crashed to a 10-wicket defeat in the first Test here on Friday. "We expect them to fight back," Jayasuriya said as his team wrapped up the match before lunch on the fourth day to secure Sri Lanka their first win against India in 16 years. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 07:23:21 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Pressure mounts on skipper Ganguly after test defeat  - Yahoo
Pathetic display by Indian batsmen  - Yahoo India
Cricket-Jayasuriya happy but warns against complacency  - Yahoo India

Sri Lanka ports in crisis
BBC South Asia, Friday, 17 August, 2001, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK . A Sri Lankan delegation plans to meet with London insurers and attempt to persuade them that Colombo port is not a high risk. Lloyds of London, the leading shipping insurer, have labelled the entire island a war risk zone following last month's rebel attack on the airport. Already, the cost of docking in Colombo is so high that some shipping operators plan to bypass the port. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 09:28:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka cuts charges to woo airlines, shipping  - Yahoo

Sri Lanka's Deputy Ministers Offer Resignation
Nothern Light, Friday, August 17, 2001 1:45 AM EST . Sri Lanka's 40 deputy ministers handed in undated letters of resignation to President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday night in a display of solidarity with her, the official Daily News said on Friday. Thirty eight of the deputy ministers were present at the President's House to hand in their resignation letters while the other two had also sent their resignations. The deputy ministers said they would stand by whatever decision the president took to overcome the present political crisis in the country. They expressed hope that the move would strengthen the hand of the president against forces attempting to subvert the government. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 03:15:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Diplomatic Highlight / Envoy preparing for 50th anniversary of bilateral relations
Daily Yomuiri, August 17. During the war, the Japanese bombed Colombo, Sri Lanka's commercial capital, and Trincomalee, a port city and a major British base. But as a representative from the former British colony, Junius Jayawardena, then finance minister of Sri Lanka, attended the peace treaty conference and argued that Japan should not be punished harshly, citing a Buddhist teaching on forgiving the defeated. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 07:45:08 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Transgenic vegetables to hit the market in 2 yrs
Indiainfo, August 12. Visakhapatnam: Farmers can grow pest-resistant, high yielding transgenic varieties of brinjal, cabbage and tomato in about two years, with scientists all set to go in for multi-location testing of the seeds they had developed. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 08:25:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Tigers blame Sri Lanka for failure of peace moves, call for fresh bid, Aug 17 2001 12:58 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 17 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists have accused the government of scuttling Norway's attempts to broker peace and called for a fresh bid to end decades of bloodshed, a radio report said Friday.The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels told the BBC that they wanted to end the conflict which has killed more than 60,000 people. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 07:21:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
LTTE accuses Lanka of scuttling peace moves  - South Nexus

Sri Lankan Airlines to resume flights to Delhi
South Nexus, COLOMBO, Aug 18. Sri Lankan Airlines said, it will resume its flights to New Delhi next month after one of its aircraft damaged in Tamil rebel attack becomes air worthy. "Indeed we are going to re-link New Delhi with Colombo from Sept 1," airlines' spokeswoman, Manuela Motha said. There will, however, be reduced frequency. Instead of four times a week before the rebel attack, the airline will now fly twice a week on Fridays and Sundays from Colombo. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 19:41:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Lanka to resume flights to Delhi from Sept  - Indiainfo
Rebel-hit SriLankan Airlines Airbus to fly again  -

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

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka rebels 'want peace'  - BBC South Asia

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

Sri Lanka beat India by ten wickets
NDTV/MSNBC, 17 August 2001. Sri Lanka won the first cricket Test match against India by 10 wickets on the fourth day today to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Resuming at their overnight score of 130 for 7, India lost the wicket of Venkatesh Prasad as Muthiah Muralitharan picked up his fifth wicket of the innings and the eighth of the match. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 03:26:53 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

Sri Lanka cuts charges to woo airlines, shipping, Aug 17 2001 16:43 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 17 (AFP) - Sri Lanka Friday introduced cheaper fuel and free ground handling services for international airlines and shipping companies in a bid to coax them back to the war-troubled country. The move is intended to offset hefty war-risk premiums slapped on companies operating in Sri Lanka after last month's rebel attack on the island's only airport. More...
Published: Fri Aug 17 13:27:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top
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Feeder operators may divert vessels to Singapore  - Yahoo India
Sri Lankan team leaves for London to meet insurers  - The Hindu (International)

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

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  -

Rebel attack on Sri Lankan airport cost more than USD1bn
Nothern Light, Thursday, August 16, 2001 5:10 AM EST . The Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga indicated on 15 August that a rebel Tamil Tiger attack on the country's international airport had cost more than USD1bn. The attack on 24 July destroyed about 12 aircraft, sent tourists diving for cover and precipitated an economic crisis. Kumaratunga, who is also minister of finance, stated, "The damage to aircraft and tourism alone is around LKR95bn (USD1.05bn) or about seven years spending on education," Reuters reported. Sri Lanka expects the attack to reduce tourist arrivals by about 50%, throwing the tourism industry into recession. More...
Published: Thu Aug 16 07:28:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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

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

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