The Lanka Academic

APRIL 25, 2004 EST, USA
VOL. 5, NO. 20

2004 ELECTION RESULTS TLA predicted the outcome using a mathematical model. How did we do? Send us your comments and feedback.
Headline Summary
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Tamil Politician says Lord Buddha Renounced his Throne and the Sri Lankan Monks have come to rule
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Monday 26 April. A senior Tamil politician says that while Lord Buddha renounced his throne and became a Sadhu and gave up all the worldly things some monks in Sri Lanka had gone against the principles of Buddhism and entered parliament to rule, embracing worldly life. The senior politician told The Lanka Academic " I am totally opposed to monks entering parliament. They are here for a different purpose, to spread Buddhism to the world, not to undo what Lord Buddha taught us and to go against his principles"

Commenting on the monks who brought their own white cloth to the parliament, He said, " It was a shame. You wouldn't bring your own cloth and put it on the chair and sit on it. A white cloth is put on a chair by the people to show their respect to the monks. It is an act of respect. What do you make out when a monk brings his own cloth and put it on his chair?" On, Thursday, the nine Buddhist monks of the JHU who entered parliament brought pieces of white cloth and put it on their chairs before they took their seats. The parliament had not provided white cloth for the monks. It is not sure if the parliament officials informed the monks that they will not be provided with pieces of white cloth. The politician said he was totally opposed to Buddhist monks entering parliament and it was the duty of the people not to elect them to rule the country. He said " People must convey the message to them, if they are not happy. They have to re-look at their positions. This is the first time in the world that Buddhist monks have entered parliament. So, the people must ask themselves, if this would do good for Buddhism?" The respected politician also warned that chauvinism has entered the Sri Lankan parliament, with the Buddhist monks and the LTTE , wearing the clothes of the ITAK."

In conclusion the senior Tamil politician said the monks would have maintained their independence and not voted for either party, and it was wrong for them to vote for the UNP to take revenge from the UPFA. " Those two monks who voted with the government openly supported the UPFA even before the April 2 election. It was an open secret that they were with the government and their stance was clear" said the senior politician
Published: Sun Apr 25 19:55:44 EDT 2004

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ADB approves US $ 1.5 million for rural electrification
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 25, 2004, 11.20 pm. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$ 1.5 million grant from its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which is financed by the government of Japan, to enable more poor households in Sri Lanka to enjoy the direct benefits of rural electrification.

Sri Lanka has made great progress in extending the power grid throughout the country. Rural villages once electrified undergo a profound transformation in terms of economic and human development, state media announced today.

While all households benefit from the higher economic activity in the village, many poor households miss out on the direct benefits of lower energy costs and better quality lighting because of their inability to afford the upfront connection charges and internal wiring costs.

The project will pilot a sustainable micro finance revolving fund that will allow poor households to amortise the upfront capital costs required to electrify their homes. The micro finance scheme will be supported by a training and public awareness program. The training program will help the Ceylon Electricity Board and the participating micro finance institutions to better address the needs of poor rural clients in obtaining and maintaining electricity services.

Two Sri Lankan micro finance institutions - Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS) and SANASA Development Bank - will implement the pilot loan scheme. SEEDS and SANASA were chosen because of their geographic outreach, experience in working with foreign funded projects, and financial discipline.

The two institutions have the largest clientele of any non-government micro finance institution in Sri Lanka.

"Previous loan schemes for power connections did not take into account the particular needs of the poor," says Joseph Zveglich, ADB Economist handling the project. "By using a micro finance approach, the project will better target low-income households strengthening the link between rural electrification and poverty reduction."

The lending arrangements will be decided between the micro finance institutions and the target communities to tailor the scheme to local conditions. This could include flexible repayments that take into account seasonality or group lending arrangements to guarantee individual loans.

A Sri Lankan non-government organisation will be contracted to develop a project benefit and poverty impact monitoring system. The monitoring system will not only look at what has been achieved, but also the process of how it was accomplished. Effective monitoring will guide project implementation and increase the potential for successful replication of the pilot initiatives in the future.

The project is open for implementation throughout Sri Lanka. Initially, 10 districts will be selected for the pilot phase.

The JFPR was set up in 2000 with an initial contribution of Rs. 10 billion (about US$90 million), followed by additional contributions of $155 million and a commitment of $50 million
Published: Sun Apr 25 13:21:33 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Crucial Government meeting over ‘Mahaweli’ put off for tomorrow
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 25, 2004, 11.11 pm. A decisive round of talks scheduled for today between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna over the Mahaweli Ministry has been put off for tomorrow.

Propaganda Secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Wimal Weerawansa told the Lanka Academic that the discussion was postponed because of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Executive Committee meeting. “The meeting had gone on later than expected,” he said.

The newly elected UPFA Government which comprises the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has been haggling on the Mahaweli issue for more than a week now. However sources said that even though the SLFP side was expecting the meeting to be decisive, the JVP is not ready to give into the SLFP easily.

The JVP led by its Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa has informed President Chandrika Kumaratunga numerous times that either she gives his party the Mahaweli or else his Minister’s and Deputy Ministers totalling eight will not take oaths. The Mahaweli Development has for a long time come under the Agriculture Ministry; however, soon after the Alliance government came into power, President Kumaratunga took the Mahaweli subject out of the Agriculture Ministry and gave it to SLFP General Secretary Maithripala SIrisena under a new Ministry titled River basin Development Ministry. But the JVP points out that the Mahaweli has since inception been with the agriculture Ministry and it should stay that way. The agriculture Ministry comes under a senior JVP member.
Published: Sun Apr 25 13:11:48 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lankan President's Alliance Wins Vote
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 00:47 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's alliance won a key regional election Saturday, nearly three weeks after it emerged as the single largest party in parliamentary polls... Back to the top

Hashan Tillakaratne dropped for Zimbabwe tests
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 10:42 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Former captain Hashan Tillakaratne has been dropped for the upcoming two-match test series against Zimbabwe and selectors have included upcapped batsman Ian Daniel in the squad, a spokesman said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Tamil rebels awaiting call to resume peace talks
People's Daily, 25 April. Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebels have said that they are awaiting the Norwegian peace facilitators to inform them the government's request for Norway to continue to play peace role in the country, the official Sunday Observer said... Back to the top

Report: Norwegian delegation to meet Tamil rebels, government in early May
Associated Press, Sun April 25, 2004 08:06 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer- COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A high-level delegation from Norway will travel to Sri Lanka - in early May to try reviving stalled peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, a news report said Sunday... Back to the top

The New Republic, April 24. Veerasingham Anandasangaree's campaign headquarters is a bunker... Back to the top

Premier tells police to step up security for monks
Gulf News, april 24. Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has directed the Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva to step up security for Buddhist monks after making an assessment of the security situation following two separate politically motivated incidents involving monks... Back to the top

FM leaves for China and India
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 6.00 A.M Sunday 25 April. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar will leave for China and New Delhi today (Sunday) on his first overseas visit, after assuming duties as the new foreign minister of the UPFA government... Back to the top

LTTE rebel Karuna lost in oblivion, April 25, 2004 . As the LTTE calls upon the Norwegian group to resume mediation in peace negotiations between the militant outfit and the Sri Lankan government, the group insists it first wants to gauge President Chandrika Kumaratunga's stance on the key issues negotiated with the earlier government... Back to the top

Government may sort out Mahaweli issue tomorrow
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 24, 2004, 11.55 pm. The new United Peoples Freedom Alliance Government which has run into problems with its main constituent, the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna over the Mahaweli subject, is scheduled to hold a decisive meeting tomorrow... Back to the top

Wayamba polls conclude, voter turnout under 50%
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 24, 2004, 11.36 pm. The ‘Wayamba’ elections also known as the North Western Provincial Council election concluded peacefully today evening... Back to the top

Government continues to show very little respect to its Buddhist monks
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, April 24, 2004, 5.14 pm. The United Peoples Freedom Alliance Government yesterday blasted the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), following their decision to support the Opposition United National Party on Thursday during the election of the Speaker... Back to the top

Rights group accuses LTTE of re-enlisting child soldiers, April 24 2004 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels came under attack from an international rights group over alleged attempts to re-enlist hundreds of child soldiers freed this year... Back to the top

Lanka s opposition party welcomes Chandrika s invitation to ..., Sunday, April 25, 2004 . Colombo, Apr 24 (UNI) The main Opposition United National Party (UNP), led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, today welcomed President Chandrika Kumaratunga's move to invite officially the Norwegian facilitators in a bid to resume the presently stalled peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

A secret mission to Sri Lanka, Sunday, April 25, 2004. Now it can be told. Barely six months before the Congress lost the elections in 1989, and even after Sri Lanka had given marching orders to the IPKF, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a last-ditch attempt to retrieve the situation for implementing the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president expects early resumption of peace talks+
Associated Press, Sat April 24, 2004 09:44 EDT . - - COLOMBO, April 24 (Kyodo) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga expects an early resumption of peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels, a presidential spokesman said Saturday... Back to the top

Fifteen rebelling Zimbabwe cricketers left off team for next Sri Lanka match
Associated Press, Sat April 24, 2004 12:46 EDT . JOHN KELLEY - Associated Press Writer - HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) None of the 15 rebelling white Zimbabwe cricketers turned out for practice Saturday and all were left out of the side to play Sri Lanka - in the third of five one-day internationals at Harare Sports Club Sunday... Back to the top

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