The Lanka Academic

VOL. 4, NO. 315

Headline Summary
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Donor Meeting to be held In Washington Tomorrow
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, 6.45 A.M Monday 16 February. Sri Lankan donor meeting, chaired by the United States, will take place tomorrow (17) at the State Department in Washington at 11.00 A.M. The meeting will be chaired by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. However, Sri Lanka will not participate at the meeting of the co-chairs. Our sources in Washington said that Sri Lanka has not been invited to attend the meeting. European Commission will be represented by Herve Jouanjean, Deputy Director, Foreign Relations Department, Belen Martinez Carbonell Counselor, Delegation of the European Commission while the European Union would be represented by Noel Fahey, Ambassador to the United States, Embassy of Ireland and Caitriona Doyle Counselor, Embassy of Ireland. The Japanese delegation would be led by Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, Special Representative to Sri Lanka, Yutaka Kikuta, Director, Southwest Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hajime Ueda, Deputy Director, Southwest Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs while Norway will be represented by Eric Solheim, Special envoy, Vidar Helgesen, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hans Brattskar, Ambassador to Sri Lanka

The US delegation will be led by Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, John Gastright Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary for South Asian Affairs and James Waller, Desk Officer for Sri Lanka

Co-chairs are expected to make reference to extremism and chauvinism and to call for free and fair elections in April and ask for a rapid return to the peace process. The official said, the co-chairs would also take a very clear stand during the donor meeting, and the outcome would be made known to the government. Last Friday, at a USAID press conference in Colombo, US Ambassador Jeff Lunstead said the position of the donor community was very clear and the entire amount pledged at the Tokyo donor conference will not be made available until the peace process shows progress
Published: Sun Feb 15 19:29:55 EST 2004

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First Lankan Ambassador to Norway To Assume Duties This Month
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.30 A.M Monday 16 February. A.A. Jawad, Minister Counselor of the Sri Lankan Embassy in China will assume duties this month as the first Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Norway. Oslo was upgraded to embassy status this year by the government considering the importance of Oslo to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Sweden was concurrently accredited to Norway before upgrading the Consulate in Oslo. However, Norway has been operating a full embassy in Colombo for some time. Jawad is an experienced officer in the Foreign Ministry. His appointment has been cleared by the High Post Committee.

Consul General Vipula Wanigasekara relinquishes his duties after serving in Oslo for over four years. He served in the Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia as Counselor since 1997. Wanigasekara, a non-career officer, was selected to open the first diplomatic office in Norway by the Foreign Ministry under Lakshman Kadirgamar in 1999. Wanigasekara continued to serve under the UNF government at a crucial time with Norway playing an important role in the peace process. There were increased economic activities between Oslo and Colombo during the tenure of Wanigasekara, with number of Norwegian companies establishing partnerships with Sri Lankan companies.
Published: Sun Feb 15 19:19:56 EST 2004 Back to the top

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World Bank lowers growth forecast for year 2004
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, February 15, 2004, 11.44 pm. The political instability in the country has paved way for more economic repercussions, following a World Bank revelation that the growth forecast for Sri Lanka has been lowered to 4.0 to 5.0% from an anticipated figure of 7.0 to 8.0% for the year 2004, this has been stated by World Bank resident representative Peter Harold. The reason for the lowering is due to the political uncertainty created as a result of taking over of ministries by the President and subsequent dissolution of Parliament.

Meanwhile according to economic analysts, the retardation of the economic growth from a figure 7.0 to 8.0% to a figure 4.0 to 5.0% would mean a loss of GDP RS. 47.55 billion based on the GDP figure of RS. 1588 billion in 2002. This works out to RS. 10,000 loss to each and every family, the analyst said. Adding that the effects of the loss of GDP and the subsequent loss of income to the families would be further worsened, as the Sri Lankan economy will be starting from a lower point next year.
Published: Sun Feb 15 12:50:50 EST 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lankan election authorities invite foreign monitors for April polls
Associated Press, Sat February 14, 2004 03:44 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan election authorities have invited monitors from two countries and three international organizations to oversee parliamentary polls in April, an official said Saturday... Back to the top

Polling in LTTE areas to be discussed with truce m . ., February 14. Sri Lanka’s Commissioner of Elections Saturday told Government Agents and Assistant Elections Commissioners from the Northeast that he would discuss with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the Sri Lankan Government’s Peace Secretariat about arrangements to enable more than two hundred thousand Tamils in regions that are not under Colombo’s control to vote in the general elections on 2 April... Back to the top

To Deepen Trade Relations- US Waiting for Outcome of Elections
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.00 P.M Saturday 14 February. US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick says the United States is waiting to see the outcome of the April 2 elections in Sri Lanka to assess where and how the US proceeds... Back to the top

Aussies dismiss security fears on Sri Lanka tour, Feb 14 . Australia's team management dismissed security fears in Sri Lanka upon their arrival on Saturday, saying they were satisfied with the safety measures despite the parliamentary elections... Back to the top

Vaiko vows to support cause of LTTE
Yahoo India, Feb. 14 . A powerful leader, released on bail after being imprisoned for supporting a banned Tamil rebel outfit, on Saturday, said he would continue to support its cause... Back to the top

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