The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 212

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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Chance for Sri Lankan peace may be slipping away, Armitage warns
Associated Press, Wed November 3, 2004 10:14 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka - 's government must take immediate steps to resume peace talks or the country could return to civil war, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage warned. Hours later, a top rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham said donor countries were welcome to support the peace process in Sri Lanka - but that they ``should not stipulate parameters for a political solution.''

The rebels began fighting government forces in 1983 to create a separate state for minority Tamils, who claim discrimination at the hands of the majority Sinhalese.

The fighting that killed nearly 65,000 people stopped after Norway brokered a cease-fire in February 2002. The rebels have since dropped their secession demand, asking instead for greater autonomy.

The international community, led by the United States and Japan, has since hosted donor conferences to secure aid to help rebuild the war-ravaged country.

The United States is one of a number of nations that have pledged a total US$4.5 billion (euro 3.5 billion) in aid. But that aid is conditional on progress toward peace.

Armitage is set to begin a visit to Sri Lanka - on Monday, when he is scheduled to discuss the faltering peace process with President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

His visit comes amid fresh initiatives to revive the peace talks, which collapsed in April 2003 over the rebels' demands for wider autonomy.

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Published: Wed Nov 3 15:44:03 EST 2004

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LTTE increases its extortion in Mannar, demands civilians to pay up.
J. S. Nalin in Colombo, November 3, 2004, 9.46 p.m.. A large number of police complaints have been received against the LTTE, who are demanding increased extortions from Public in Mannar in order to strengthen LTTE coffers. Military Spokesman Brigadier Daya Karunaratne said that “a large section of state officials, private sector businessmen and members of the public in Mannar and its suburbs have contacted the Police and troops to inform that some LTTE members in the area were demanding increased extortions from them”. They have told the Police that the LTTE was demanding and threatening the public to increase their sums of funds given to the LTTE for reasons best known only to the LTTE.
Published: Wed Nov 3 10:46:06 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Stop leaking proceedings of the Cabinet meetings to media, President tells Ministers
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, November 3, 2004, 9.06 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has strictly advised her ministers not to divulge any information to the media on the weekly cabinet meetings. Ms. Kumaratunga had noted that several Cabinet Ministers were keeping close relations with media personnel and thus were leaking out the proceedings of the weekly cabinet meetings, be it negative and positive. “This is not good for the Government, because the media only highlights the negative proceedings, including arguments, other differences of opinions and etc,” she is reported to have said.

The President had pointed out that the Government had appointed a Cabinet Spokesman and only he is supposed inform the media about the proceedings, and so in future no Cabinet Ministers should tell any media personnel about the proceedings of the Cabinet meetings.
Published: Wed Nov 3 10:10:37 EST 2004 Back to the top

Public and Private sector workers warn of severe strike if no salary hike
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, November 3, 2004, 8.50 p.m.. Public and Private sector employees today warned that they would launch an Island wide strike, if the Government fails to increase their salaries by a minimum of RS... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's president begins five-day visit to India to strengthen economic and defense ties, says Indian government
Associated Press, Tue November 2, 2004 19:36 EST . ASHOK SHARMA - Associated Press Writer - NEW DELHI (AP) Sri Lanka - 's president planned to discuss her nation's stalled peace process with Indian leaders during a five-day visit starting Wednesday, India's foreign ministry said... Back to the top

Lack of mutual trust holding up Lanka talks, November 03, 2004, 07:40 EDT. Peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE are not starting due to a lack of mutual trust, and not so much because there are any unbridgeable differences on substantive issues, informed political sources say... Back to the top

Latest Attempt to Restart Sri Lankan Peace Talks Ends in Failure, November 03, 2004, 10:35 EDT. Efforts by a Japanese diplomat to push the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume peace talks has apparently failed... Back to the top

Murali bats for Sri Lankan peace process, November 03, 2004, 10:35 EDT. Muttiah Muralitharan has embarked upon a short tour of the war-torn areas of Sri Lanka's north on behalf of the United Nations World Food Programme to raise awareness of the suffering caused by a two-decade-long war... Back to the top

Sri lankan trade deficit up during first eight months, XINHUA
Associated Press, Wed November 3, 2004 09:49 EST . - - COLOMBO, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka - 's exports and imports both increased during the first eight months of 2004, but the higher soaring imports resulted in its trade deficit going up by 586 million US dollars, the country's central bank said Wednesday. According to the bank report, the country's export earnings during the period grew by 8 percent to 3,594 million US dollars, as compared with 3,341 million dollars in the same period of 2003... Back to the top

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