The Lanka Academic

AUGUST 19, 2001 EST, USA
VOL. 2, NO. 135

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
Chandrika rules out dissolution of parliament
The Hindustan Times, August 19. PRESIDENT CHANDRIKA Kumaratunga has ruled out the dissolution of parliament to resolve the political crisis in Sri Lanka. Speaking to Business Today magazine on Saturday, she said: "Why should we? ....We have won a presidential election one and a half years ago, quite clear with a clear mandate. We have won a general election with a clear mandate. We don't need to dissolve parliament." More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 19:14:51 EDT 2001

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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.

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
Differences emerging within the PA - Ministers refuse to tender resignation
Saroj Pathirana in London, Sunday 19/08/01 1655 GMT. Differences in the ruling People’s Alliance (PA) are openly emerging as senior ministers and some deputy ministers refusing to tender undated resignation letters to the President Chandrika Kumaratunga. "If the President has no confidence in us, she may ask us to leave but I have no intention to tender any resignation letter" Forestry minister Mahinda Wijesekara told BBC’s Sandeshaya. He said it is shameful that those who earlier strongly criticised ex-President J.R.Jayawardhana’s move to solicit undated letters of resignation as dictatorial, are now doing the same. "The PA, which is based national capitalistic thinking, cannot form a government with Marxist JVP" minister Wijesekara, himself an ex-JVPer who was sentenced for rebellion in 1971, said. "It is our suggestion to hold discussions with the UNP that led to call us traitors".

Meanwhile, deputy minister for Samurdhi and Rural Development Dalas Allahapperuma has also categorically refused to tender a such resignation, saying that he would continue upon his principles until the voters in Kamburupitiya request him to resign, "Divaina" sinhala weekly reported today.
Published: Sun Aug 19 12:54:27 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Oppn warns of legal action on Lankan ministers
Indiainfo, August 19. A concerted political move by Sri Lanka's junior ministers to demonstrate their loyalty to President Chandrika Kumaratunga by handing over undated resignation letters may backfire on them, as the main Opposition plans to challenge their continuance in office.The United National Party (UNP) said it would go to court against 28 deputy ministers for writs of quo warranto against them and directions to the secretaries of their respective ministries not to release funds for their salaries, prerequisites and official facilities More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 13:19:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka resignations trigger another crisis, Aug 19 2001 14:30 IST. Sri Lanka's beleaguered government came under more pressure Sunday as the opposition demanded that 28 junior ministers who have submitted undated letters of resignation should step down immediately More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 12:57:35 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Rescuing Sri Lankan heritage from ashes
NYT-OCRegister, August 19. Sri Lanka On a fateful night 20 years ago, Sinhalese police rampaged through this town's public library, one of the great repositories of the Tamil people's history and culture, and committed an act of ethnic vandalism that helped set this country on a path to civil war. They stormed into the grand public rooms of one of South Asia's finest libraries and set 97,000 volumes ablaze. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 13:22:58 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Much depends on what destiny has for you: Dilhara Fernando
Yahoo India, August 19. Off the field, tall and muscular Dilhara Fernando is a devout Roman Catholic. On it, he is determined to knock the batsman’s head off. Meet Sri Lanka (and Asia’s) newest fast bowling sensation.That Fernando, 22, would be more than a handful was evident during the recent tri-series itself. Yet, just how menacing he can be was actually felt when he tore into the Indian middle order with the second new ball, in innings No.1 of the first Test that ended in a shade over three days. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 19:17:22 EDT 2001 Back to the top

RCMP probing 'Jihad' web sites
The National Post, August 19. The RCMP has launched investigations into two Canadian-registered Internet sites following complaints they are being used by Islamic terrorists for recruiting and the promotion of violence.Police began probing the sites, registered in Ontario and Quebec, after the human rights group B'nai Brith approached the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service with concerns. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 14:05:20 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lloyds ask Sri Lanka to pay US 50 million!
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 p.m Sunday August 19. Lloyds in London have told the Sri Lankan delegation headed by minister Ronnie de Mel who is in London to negotiate with the underwriters to remove the war risk surcharge that if another attack takes place at the air port or at the harbor, the Sri Lankan government should pay the first US $ 50 Million as damages and the rest will be covered by Lloyds. Lanka Academic sources in London says that Lloyds told the Sri Lankan delegation that it is the only way to co-operate on the Insurance bond for the security at the Katunayake Airport and the Colombo harbor.
Published: Sun Aug 19 08:04:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka kills eight, Aug 19 2001 14:07 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 19 (AFP) - At least seven Tamil Tiger rebels and a government soldier were killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast, the defence ministry said Sunday. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 13:00:15 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Aftershocks of airport attack crippling Sri Lanka economy
Yahoo Asia, August 19. Sri Lanka's exports had dipped and growth forecasts were already in tatters when Tamil rebels attacked the country's only international airport, but the aftershocks are taking a heavier toll.Nearly four weeks after the attack on the Bandaranaike International airport where four civilian passenger jets were completely destroyed and two more damaged, the economy is reeling. Thousands of jobs are being cut. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 22:26:18 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Team to study Lanka airport raid
Yahoo India, August 19. A six-member Bureau of Civil Aviation Security delegation left here today on a two-day visit to Colombo to study the recent LTTE attack at the Colombo airport. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 22:27:24 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka begins probe into crash that killed Ukrainian pilot, Aug 19 2001 11:58 IST. Sri Lanka's airforce Sunday began a top-level investigation into a jet aircraft crash which killed a Ukrainian pilot and wounded seven people on the ground, officials said.The airforce said a four-member team headed by an air vice marshall was appointed to probe Saturday's accident. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 03:53:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Pilot killed as MiG crashes in Colombo  - The Hindu (International)
SLAF Mig 27 crashes  - TamilNet
Russian Pilot believed dead in air crash at Katunayake  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Fighter Plane crashes at Seeduwa  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo
Military jet crashes near Sri Lanka airport  -
Black box found - after plane crash at Katunayake  - Frederica Jansz in Colombo

The Lanka Academic, August 19. The majority of Sri Lankans do not need to read the business pages in the newspapers or to study Central Bank statistics to know that the economy is rapidly heading downhill. They know it from their day to day experiences, from the way their cost living is going up and living standards are going down; they know it from the way it affects their future prospects and those of their children. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 01:38:04 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka train crash toll rises to 14, Aug 19 2001 11:58 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 19 (AFP) - The death toll in a train derailment in northwestern Sri Lanka rose to 14 Sunday when a wounded passenger died in hospital, police said More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 03:52:36 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Thirteen people killed in train derailment in northwestern Sri Lanka  - MSNBC
13 Killed in Sri Lanka Train Wreck  - Nothern Light
Train crash kills 13 in Sri Lanka  -

My best N-Day present
The Electric New Paper, August 19. FOR about two weeks recently, I waited for an important letter which could change my life forever.And when the letter arrived, I surmised, from the thickness of it, that it was good news. I was not disappointed. It was the approval letter of my application for citizenship. I was now a Singaporean. Finally!I rushed home to tell the good news to my parents and wife.I called my close friends and colleagues here, my brothers in Sri Lanka and relatives in London, Canada and France to inform them. More...
Published: Sun Aug 19 02:24:30 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Chemical arms report enrages Lankan army
TOI, August 18. ri Lanka's army commander Lieutenant-General Lionel Balagalle on Saturday accused a local newspaper of compromising national security by charging that the military was using weapons with chemical warheads but fell short of a complete denial."The government wishes to refute categorically reports that it has recently acquired weapons with chemical warheads. No such procurement has been made and there are no plans to obtain them," a government communique said. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 17:44:32 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Sri Lanka army chief denies bribery  - BBC

Sri Lanka's denial fails to pacify Tamil leaders
The Hindu (International), 19-08-2001 . Sri Lanka's denial that it has bought chemical weapons, an accusation made against it by the LTTE, has failed to pacify Tamil leaders. Thirteen Tamil members of Parliament in Opposition today met to condemn the Government for the acquisition of the Russian-made RPO-A Shmel rocket launcher, which they described as a chemical weapon. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 17:18:33 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Controversial weapon meant for genocide alleges MP  - Tamilnet
Lankan govt condemned for acquiring rocket launchers  - Indiainfo

New solar system fails to enthuse Clarke
TOI, August 18. World renowned science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke said on Saturday that the discovery of a new planetary system similar to the one we live in by a group of US Astronomers was an interesting and important finding but quite trivial.Clarke who predicted many years ago that life existed beyond earth said it was far more important to pursue the discovery of life form in Mars, which is closer to Earth. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 15:06:23 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Pakistan, Lanka to discuss free trade agreement
TOI, August 18. A Pakistani delegation would be visiting Sri Lanka next month to finalise the details of a free trade agreement (FTA) likely to be signed by the two countries in December.Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood, who would head the delegation, told IANS: "Though both sides have agreed in principle to enter an FTA, many issues have to be resolved before signing the agreement." More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 15:08:14 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lanka rebels warn of 'liberation'
CNN, 15:30GMT 18 Aug 2001. Residents of the northern city of Jaffna are bracing for a bloody suicidal showdown between Tamil Tiger rebels and government troops. In a statement to the local Udhayan newspaper, the region's 500,000 residents, most of whom are Tamils, were told to "cooperate with the freedom fighters to hasten the day of liberation." More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 11:30:25 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Dilhara Fernando - The new dangerman for India
Yahoo India, August 19. As if Sanath Jayasuriya and Muthiah Muralitharan were not enough, India now have to contend with the firepower of Dilhara Fernando too in the next two Tests. The latest Sri Lankan pace discovery tormented the Indian batting line-up, finishing with match-figures of six for 77 in the first Test at Galle which the hosts won by ten wickets. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 22:28:34 EDT 2001 Back to the top
Related News Stories
Cricket-Injuries, batting woes plague India in Sri Lanka  - Yahoo India
Srinath has fracture, ruled out for 2 other Tests  - Yahoo India
Srinath ruled out for rest of Lanka series  - The Hindu NUS

Cricket-Pace bowler Perera reported for throwing
Yahoo India, august 18. Sri Lanka paceman Suresh Perera has been reported for a suspect bowling action during the first test against India in Galle. Perera, a 23-year-old all-rounder, was reported by West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor during the test, a Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) statement said on Saturday. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 14:53:07 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Lakbima journalist interdicted
Saroj Pathirana in London. Saturday 18/08/01 1700 GMT

Buddhika Weerasinghe, a senior journalist and photographer of "Lakbima" Sinhala weekly has been sacked by the management of Sumathi publishers group. He was requested not to report to the work from Friday the 17th of August. It was Mr. Weerasinge's recent article to Ravaya weekly that led to his interdiction, according to Sumathi publishers.

Buddhika Weerasinghe has actively been campaigning against those responsible for the attack on journalists on the 15th of July 1999. The journalists were attacked allegedly by the Presidential Security Division (PSD) when they tried to report an opposition protest calling for the abolition of the executive presidency. Buddhika Weerasinghe’s camera and mobile phone were also stolen allegedly by the PSD. He was thereafter suspended and recently transferred to "Samudura" weekly.

A court action against the theft of the cellular phone was rejected by the Gampaha magistrate two weeks ago due to lack of evidence. The magistrate however expressed her disappointment over the police investigation. Lakbima, run by ousted BCCSL (Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka) president Thilanga Sumathipala's family, has also been indirectly critisised by the said article over the lack of enthusiasm even to report the court verdict though it was related to one of it’s own employees.

However, Mr. Weerasinghe denies the charges on breaching the contract with the company by writing an article to a newspaper outside Sumathi Publishers. "I did not write that article" he told The Lanka Academic. "It was based on my interview with a Ravaya journalist Sunil Jayasekara. It was Ravaya's decision to publish it with my by-line. More-over, Ravaya interviewed me on my capacity as former Secretary and current assistant Secretary of the Association of Professional Photographers in Sri Lanka. It has nothing to do with me personally".
Published: Sat Aug 18 12:59:57 EDT 2001 Back to the top

Sri Lankan aboriginal community given cattle after giving up hunting, Aug 18 2001 16:44 IST. COLOMBO, Aug 18 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's aboriginal Veddha community which has decided to stop its traditional hunting practices were Saturday gifted with cattle by the country's influential Buddhist clergy. Buddhist monks donated 115 cows and bulls to the Veddhas at a temple ceremony in Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Aug 18 11:27:45 EDT 2001 Back to the top

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