The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 278

2004: TLA wishes you a very Happy New Year!
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Key witness shot dead in court
Cricinfo, January 8, 2004. In the latest twist to the ongoing passport fraud affair in Sri Lanka, Dammika Amarasinghe, the central figure in the scandal involving Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of the Sri Lanka cricket board, was shot dead inside the court buildings on Friday morning by an assassin. More...
Published: Fri Jan 9 11:06:02 EST 2004
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Alleged gangster linked to Sri Lanka 's cricket chief shot dead outside court  - Associated Press
Sri Lankan cricket chief goes to hospital before court  - Associated Press

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Power politics may cost Sri Lanka a hefty price
Associated Press, Fri January 9, 2004 08:22 EST . SHIMALI SENANAYAKE - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A bitter power struggle between Sri Lanka - 's president and prime minister is threatening the island's economy and billions of dollars in aid, a government spokesman said Friday. Japan's special envoy to Sri Lanka - , Yasushi Akashi, is expected on the island on Jan. 19, with a review meeting planned four days later, Peiris said.

Peiris, who is also constitutional affairs minister, warned that the political standoff could affect the island's budget, which had counted on substantial foreign aid.

The decision of the International Monetary Fund to delay the release of US$81 million in aid will also have ``very negative repercussions on Sri Lanka - 's economy,'' he said.

The IMF loan was expected after the government presented its annual budget on Nov. 12, but the organization has postponed the payout until the political turmoil subsides.

Wickremesinghe signed a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire agreement with the Tamil Tiger rebels in February 2002, bringing an end to nearly two decades of fighting that has claimed 65,000 lives. So far, the truce has largely held.

But on Wednesday, Wickremesinghe urged Kumaratunga to re-negotiate the truce to suit the current power balance as well as to take over the peace process. Kumaratunga has refused.

``The prime minister cannot be held responsible when he doesn't have the power and authority,'' Peiris said. ``We cannot guarantee a cease-fire in which we have no control over the armed forces.''

He said if Kumaratunga intends to hold on to the three portfolios she should introduce amendments to the truce agreement.

``There cannot be shackles, impediments and obstacles thrown before the prime minister if he is to take the peace process forward,'' Peiris said.
Published: Fri Jan 9 12:11:44 EST 2004 Back to the top

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International cooperation to combat terrorism must protect democratic values- Amb Subasinghe
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 A.M Friday 9 January. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States Devinda Subasinghe says International cooperation to combat terrorism must recognize the need to protect democratic values and the necessity to actively participate in global markets. Delivering the opening speech at the 'Annual Ambassadors Forum' organized by the International center for Terrorism Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies at the National Press Club yesterday Subasinghe described the Sri Lankan experience of the 20 year conflict where the full spectrum of terrorism in all its manifestations were evident.

Subasinghe said, "Without understanding current and future threats and adversaries, it is well nigh impossible to formulate effective policy or practical responses". He appealed to the international community for rapid implementation of all existing UN conventions, which provide a solid legal framework for global efforts in the fight against terrorism

The 2004 Ambassadors Forum comprised participation by a cross section of diplomats, US government officials, academics and journalists and was titled "International Cooperation in Combating Terrorism - An Agenda for the 21st Century". Michael S. Swetnam, Chairman and CEO of the Board of the Potomac Institute delivered the opening remarks and Prof Yonah Alexander, Director, International Center for Terrorism Studies chaired the forum. . The Potomac Institute of Policy Studies is an independent, non-profit making public policy research institute. The Institute's current endeavors have required the formation of special efforts in terrorism and asymmetry, emerging threats and opportunities and security.
Published: Thu Jan 8 20:24:48 EST 2004 Back to the top

LTTE is beefing up its strength: Kumaratunga, January 08. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has alleged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam increased its military strength during the truce period by recruiting over 11,000 guerrillas... Back to the top

Ranil still keen of truce with LTTE, January 09, 2004, 06:20 EST. Colombo, Jan. 9. (PTI): The Sri Lankan Government today ruled out abrogating the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE although Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked President Chandrika Kumaratinga to renegotiate a deal with Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

S . Lanka govt tells president to review rebel truce, January 09, 2004, 06:20 EST. COLOMBO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan government upped the stakes on Friday in a battle with the island's president that risks efforts to end 20 years of civil war, telling her to redo a ceasefire with Tamil rebels or give up control of security Back to the top

Japan to review Lanka's crisis to decide on aid release, January 9, 2004. Colombo, Jan 9 (UNI) Amidst mounting international pressure on both Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to resolve their political bickering, Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi is scheduled to arrive here on January 19 for a review meeting regarding the peace process... Back to the top

JVP calls for Lankan PM's resignation
Dawn, COLOMBO, Jan 8. An opposition leader in Sri Lanka teamed up with the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party (JVP) on Thursday to criticize Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's statement that he would call off the ceasefire with the LTTE unless President Kumaratunga hands him back the three ministries she took over in November... Back to the top

Lankan Prez finds PM's posture untenable, January 08, 2004, 11:50 EST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga finds Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's demand that she "renegotiate" the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE as being "untenable", says Presidential spokesman Harim Peiris... Back to the top

Power talks with Ranil on: Kumaratunga, January 09, 2004, 06:20 EST. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said talks between her and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on sharing power have not broken down and would continue... Back to the top

Ranil washes his hands of truce
Gulf News, 08-01-2004 . Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday announced that he was relinquishing all responsibilities regarding the ceasefire between government troops and Tamil Tigers saying President Chandrika Kumaratunga would henceforth be accountable for this crucial leg of the peace process with the rebels... Back to the top

World News : Sri Lanka Sri Lankans reel under price rise in new ..., january 08, 2004, 7:30 EST. As Sri Lanka's war-weary population protests tax hikes on petrol, diesel and a slew of household goods in the new year, the government says it's a bitter pill the sick economy urgently needs, reports OneWorld... Back to the top

Secession Demand Resurfaces as Lanka Standoff Continues, January 08, 2004, 07:35 EST. COLOMBO, Jan 8 (OneWorld) - Frustrated at the tardy progress of the peace process, Sri Lanka's oldest Tamil party, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), has declared that the minority Tamils in the North and the East should secede if the impasse continues... Back to the top

Sri Lankan PM steps up pressure on president, January 08, 2004, 07:35 EST. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s prime minister stepped up pressure on Wednesday on his rival, the country’s president, saying her takeover of three ministries meant she also had to take charge of a stalled peace process with the island’s rebels... Back to the top

Report: Tamil rebels face rising drug abuse in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu January 8, 2004 10:53 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels, currently in a cease-fire with government troops after two decades of civil war, face rising drug abuse in areas dominated by the country's minority ethnic Tamils, a pro-rebel Web site said Thursday... Back to the top

World News : Sri Lanka Sri Lankans reel under price rise in new ..., January 8, 2004. THE Rotary Chess Education Initiative, an international project set up in the borough, is sponsoring a major chess competition in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sri Lanka hopes to have 600,000 tourists this year, but still depends on peace and political stability
Associated Press, Fri January 9, 2004 09:07 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - is hoping to see tourist arrivals hit 600,000 this year, but needs peace and political stability to achieve that target, a senior official said Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka extends deadline for bids to retail fuel, January 8, 2004. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka extended a deadline for a second time on Thursday for companies to finalise their bids to become the island's third fuel retailer, the government's privatisation agency said Back to the top

Borough chess project a hit in Sri Lanka, January 8, 2004. THE Rotary Chess Education Initiative, an international project set up in the borough, is sponsoring a major chess competition in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Cambridge B'band Wins Sri Lanka Order, January 8, 2004. CAMBRIDGE, U.K. -- MTT Network, the Sri Lankan major operator of local access, international telephony and broadband services, has placed an expansion order for three additional Cambridge Broadband 3.5GHz VectaStar fixed wireless access base stations... Back to the top

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