The Lanka Academic

 
JUNE 19, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 75

TLA FEATURE CORNER
RESEARCH CULTURE IN SRI LANKA How can we stimulate a culture of research and innovation in Sri Lanka today? Countries such as India, Korea and China have come a long way since about 10 years ago in fostering a culture of research and innovation. Sri Lanka is still lagging behind. Here is your chance to change the future course of Sri Lanka by influencing the policy makers. Please complete this survey here.
Headline Summary
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EU vexed with election-related violence, rigging
gulf news, June 19. Colombo: The European Union has declared that it was unlikely to send another election observer team if its recommendations on improving the conduct of polls, including measures to prevent rigging, were not acted upon. The EU, which has been sending teams to monitor Sri Lanka's elections regularly, has ruled out chances of sending monitors as the recommendations made following Parliamentary elections in 2000 and 2001 have not been implemented so far. The EU also has blamed the guerrillas of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for committing election offences during the last parliamentary elections in April. "It is also important to point out that apart from LTTE violence there were also 2000 election-related cases of violence reported," the EU observation mission chief, John Cushnahan told the media in Colombo. More...
Published: Sat Jun 19 21:37:28 EDT 2004

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Pinning their hopes on success of peace process, Tamil refugees return home to Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Sat June 19, 2004 10:20 EDT . JULIA DRAPKIN - Associated Press Writer - PESALAI, Sri Lanka - (AP) As day breaks in northern Sri Lanka - , a small boat slips onto the beach near the tiny fishing village of Pesalai. Despite political uncertainties, some of the 60,000 Tamil refugees living in camps in neighboring India are returning to their homes in Sri Lanka - , hoping that the peace process between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels will hold.

Their plight and those of millions of other refugees around the world will be highlighted Sunday on World Refugee Day.

More than 6,000 Tamil refugees have voluntarily returned home in the two years since Norway brokered a truce between the government and the rebels, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNCHR offers to assist the refugees who want to voluntarily return home by air. But most reject the offer because the process takes several months.

Instead, they hide for days in the bushes along India's southeastern coast waiting for smugglers to take them home by boat, a six-hour journey across the Palk Strait that costs nearly US$60 each two to three years of savings.

Along the way, the Sri Lankan navy sometimes tries to intercept the refugees before they can reach home in the Tamil-dominated north to prevent them from coming under rebel control.

Those that do reach home must register in the office of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam, who effectively control the north's administration.

The Tigers have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate state for minority Tamils, accusing majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

About 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before a Norway-brokered cease-fire halted the violence in February 2002.

Peace talks were suspended in April 2003 after the rebels insisted on wide autonomy. The truce has largely held despite the deadlock, making some refugees feel it's safe enough to go home.

In Pesalai, Malla Lingweswamam walked into her house for the first time in 14 years to a tearful welcome from her mother, who had stayed behind in Sri Lanka - .

But 11-year-old Sadarshini Rajaseharam, setting foot in Sri Lanka - for the first time, felt like a stranger.

``India was all right, but now I feel like a refugee,'' she said as her family was detained overnight in a police shed waiting for their bags to be searched and their documentation to be processed.
Published: Sat Jun 19 12:07:01 EDT 2004 Back to the top


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Hundreds of security personnel dispatched, while Defence Authorities tries to assure peoples fears of possible bomb attacks
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, June 19, 2004, 9.55 a.m.. As several hundreds of police and army personnel were dispatched to Colombo and surrounding areas to intensify the security, High security officials attending a special security meeting yesterday noted that, “the Government has taken the decision to increase the security, not because of fear of attack from the LTTE, but merely taking precaution from incidents that could be prevented.”

The decision to tighten security in Colombo and other areas, comes in the wake of Police finding explosives consisting of a suicide kit which is the same usually worn by LTTE suicide cadres along with two claymore mines in Colombo on Thursday.

The LTTE early this week warned of a possible “blood bath” citing President Kumaratunga as the reason due her constant change in policies, concerning the peace process.
Published: Fri Jun 18 23:57:37 EDT 2004 Back to the top


Sri Lanka to beef up security at economic nerve centers, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 14:33 EDT . COLOMBO, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan government has decided to beef up security at the country's economic nerve centers, government officials said on Friday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to probe Tamil rebel accusations against government media, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 04:10 EDT . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -TO-PROBE sked Sri Lanka - to probe Tamil rebel accusations against government media, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Former Sri Lankan cricket boss released on bail
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 05:54 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's former cricket board chief, Thilanga Sumathipala, was released on bail Friday while facing allegations of fraud and forgery... Back to the top

Muralitharan says Australian boycott only temporary
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 02:51 EDT . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's star offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan said Friday he had nothing against Australians and would tour that country in the future, but maintained that he will not be part of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the upcoming two-test series... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to take measures to prevent land grab by foreigners, XINHUA
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 04:10 EDT . - - xfdws SRI-LANKA - -TO-TAKE sked Sri Lanka - to take measures to prevent land grab by foreigners, XINHUA ASIA WorldSources, Inc... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bans bikinis with Buddha's image
Associated Press, Fri June 18, 2004 00:02 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's Supreme Court has banned the import of bathing suits with images of Buddha after a monk saw bikinis bearing the symbol in an advertisement... Back to the top

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