The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 122

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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Government emphasises its commitment to resuming peace talks soon
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, August 5, 2004, 4.58 p.m.. The Sri Lankan Government today emphasised that they were very much keen to resume peace talks with the LTTE as soon as possible; this is despite initial reports that the Government has decided not to resume peace talks on the basis of the LTTE’s Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA).

Reports insisted that the Government was very committed to resuming peace talks on an interim authority, but not on the ISGA. A Senior Government Minister on Tuesday announced that the United Peoples Freedom Alliance Government had decided not to base future peace talks on the ISGA. However, the LTTE is yet to officially react to this statement.
Published: Thu Aug 5 07:02:20 EDT 2004

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Sri Lankan veteran politician appointed leader of ruling alliance, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu August 5, 2004 15:03 EDT . COLOMBO, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's Deputy Defense Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake was named Thursday to replace President Chandrika Kumaratunga as leader of the ruling freedom alliance. Kumaratunga stepped down from the leadership of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on Wednesday due to pressure of work, her office said. Wickremanayake, 71, also minister of Buddha affairs, public security, law and order, was named to replace Kumaratunga at the central committee meeting of the Sri Lanka - Freedom Party (SLFP) the main constituent party in the ruling UPFA, high ranking SLFP sources confirmed.

The veteran politician was prime minister from August 2000 until October 2001. Analysts say Kumaratunga's stepping down was due to serious differences of opinion with the leftist JVP or People's Liberation Front over the resumption of peace negotiations with the Tamil Tiger rebels. However, government spokesman Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera dismissed the speculation. He said President Kumaratunga wants to spend more quality time on peace and development in the country.

Kumaratunga's brother Industry, Tourism and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Bandaranaike and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse have been seen as frontline contenders to succeed Kumaratunga as the UPFA leader. However the SLFP central committee has opted for much senior Wickremanayake, SLFP sources said.

Copyright 2004 XINHUA all rights reserved as distributed by WorldSources, Inc.
Published: Thu Aug 5 20:44:10 EDT 2004 Back to the top

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Lack of Chef May Starve San Jose, California Restaurant; Awaits Action by US Embassy in Colombo
San Jose Mercury News, Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004. They have plenty of customers, a decent location and a unique product. But the young couple who just opened the South Bay's only Sri Lankan restaurant may have to shut down for lack of a chef.

And the professional chef they had in mind when they opened in June, Janaka Rodrigo's sister, is still stuck 10,470 miles away in the island nation of Sri Lanka off India. After being mired in red tape for months, her visa was rejected without explanation this week. The Rodrigos are weighing whether to appeal to the U.S. State Department.

The couple decided to open June 2, even though the visa his sister applied for in April hadn't come through, because they needed to start recouping their investment, including $245,925 to lease the business for 10 years, and more than $20,000 in equipment. They promptly closed the next day because they were overwhelmed by the number of customers and reopened 11 days later with more staff.

Kelly Shannon, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said that despite heightened security after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it normally takes no more than three weeks for the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka to decide whether to grant an ``essential worker'' visa. More...
Published: Thu Aug 5 11:40:25 EDT 2004 Back to the top

Sri Lankan Government preparing fresh proposals
The Hindu (International), Friday, Aug 06, 2004. By V.S. Sambandan, COLOMBO, AUG. 5. The Sri Lankan Government today said it was "developing a fresh set of proposals" on an interim administration for the country's northern and eastern districts, that would form Colombo's position whenever talks recommence with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Internecine killings continue between Sri Lanka 's Tamil rebel rivals, XINHUA
Associated Press, Thu August 5, 2004 13:42 EDT . COLOMBO, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's eastern region continues to be plagued by internecine clashes between the rival groups of Tamil Tiger rebels. In the latest killing Thursday morning, a supporter of the renegade eastern commander known as Karuna was killed at Welioya in the north- eastern border, defense officials said... Back to the top

Electricity tariffs to increase in the near future?
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, August 5, 2004, 4.54 p.m.. The Ceylon Electricity Board is likely to slap on a five percent hike on its electricity tariffs within the next few months... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Marxists reverse position and back government on Tamil Tiger talks
Associated Press, Thu August 5, 2004 05:55 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's powerful Marxist party said Thursday it will back a government decision to discuss self-rule with Tamil rebels an about face for the communists, who have opposed the idea aimed at reviving stalled peace talks... Back to the top

Report: Sri Lanka 's Tamil Tiger rebels release 15 child soldiers
Associated Press, Thu August 5, 2004 12:34 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels released 15 child soldiers in eastern Sri Lanka - on Thursday, a pro-rebel Web site reported... Back to the top

Chandrika's move may help revive peace process
The Hindu (International), Thursday, Aug 05, 2004. By V.S. Sambandan, COLOMBO, AUG. 4. The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga's decision to resign from the leadership of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) effectively puts distance between her and the ruling coalition's hardline ally, the left-nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which has significant differences on issues relating to the resumption of the stalled peace process and the nature of the final solution to the decades-long separatist conflict... Back to the top

Don t force India into active role in Lanka peace bid: Muslim ..., Thursday, August 5, 2004. Meenakshi Iyer, New Delhi, August 5, Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has said that his party would very much like India to take an active part in the peace process, but has cautioned against forcing it to take on such a role... Back to the top

President in two minds whether to commence upper Kotmale power project or not
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, August 4, 2004, 9.49 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appointed a five member ministerial committee to report to her within two weeks whether it is feasible for the Government to go ahead with the 150 MW Upper Kotmale Hydro Power project... Back to the top

Minister criticizes cabinet colleagues over lack of support to control gas price
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, August 4, 2004, 8.37 p.m.. Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle criticized his cabinet colleagues for not giving any support for his proposals to the cabinet, to prevent the recent gas price hike... Back to the top

Jayawardena scores double century as Sri Lanka amass 486 runs in first innings
Associated Press, Thu August 5, 2004 06:12 EDT . TREVOR CHESTERFIELD - Associated Press Writer - GALLE, Sri Lanka - (AP) Vice captain Mahela Jayawardene scored his second test double century Thursday to anchor Sri Lanka - 's respectable first innings total of 486 runs on the second day of the first cricket test against South Africa... Back to the top

Lankans were way ahead in all areas
com, August 05, 2004 08:15 EDT. Though India started as the favourites for the Asia Cup, especially after their performances over the past few months, it was Sri Lanka who came into the tournament as the only match-hardened team, having just played a two-Test series against the world champions Australia... Back to the top

EPDP asks international Community to tell Tigers to stop killing
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, August 4, 2004, 8.36 p.m.. EPDP leader Douglas Devananda urged the international community to urge the LTTE to stop assassinating human beings, which they have been committing in succession... Back to the top

Sri Lankan president relinquishes leadership of governing alliance
Associated Press, Wed August 4, 2004 09:07 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga resigned as the leader of Sri Lanka - 's ruling alliance on Wednesday, her office announced... Back to the top

Tourists hospitalized after wasp attack at famous Sri Lankan tourist site
Associated Press, Wed August 4, 2004 11:21 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Dozens of foreign tourists and school children were hospitalized Wednesday after being stung by wasps at a fifth-century fortress in central Sri Lanka - , police said... Back to the top

S.Lanka president backtracks on peace talks offer, 04 Aug 2004 05:02:43 GMT. COLOMBO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's president has backtracked on her offer to hold peace talks on the Tamil Tigers' terms, state media reported on Wednesday, in a setback to efforts to restart the bid to end 21 years of civil war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan court orders Frenchman to leave country for sexually harassing airline staff
Associated Press, Wed August 4, 2004 07:46 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Sri Lankan court found a Frenchman guilty of sexually harassing four airline crew members and ordered him to leave the country within 14 days, a newspaper report and lawyer said Wednesday... Back to the top

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