The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 249

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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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Protest over jailing of parliamentarian
Gulf News, Dec 10. Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition has decided to take up with international forums the issue of the jailing of one of their parliamentary members for contempt of court. Parliamentary sessions were interrupted for the third consecutive day yesterday. The opposition United National Party (UNP) has also decided to carry out a protest campaign locally and insists that the jailed parliamentarian Dissanayake be allowed to return to the House despite the court order. At least two of the opposition members yesterday wrote to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara insisting that they had no authority to deprive Dissanayake of his parliamentary seat and called for prompt action to ensure that he is allowed to participate in its deliberations. Dissanayake is currently being held in the high security jail at Welikada. More...
Published: Fri Dec 10 22:41:01 EST 2004

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Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan hostages freed in Iraq: officials, 12-10-2004. Two truck drivers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who were kidnapped in Iraq in October have been released by their captors, officials said. "Our embassy in Kuwait informs us both men are free," Bangladeshi State Minister for Overseas Employment Mohammad Quamrul Islam told AFP. More...
Published: Fri Dec 10 08:21:02 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Buddhist monk warns of self-immolation if Indian film stars' show goes on
Associated Press, Fri December 10, 2004 01:50 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Buddhist monks may set themselves on fire in protest unless organizers postpone a concert of Indian film stars that coincides with the anniversary of a cleric's death, a monk said Friday.

Saturday's planned concert featuring Bollywood heartthrob Shahrukh Khan would come a day before the first anniversary of the death of Gangodawila Soma, who campaigned against Christian conversions of Buddhists.

Buddhist monks have said the weekend should be reserved for religious observances and have vowed to launch protests to stop the show.

``This may include self-immolation,'' Rathmalana Seelawansa, a monk who supports the clergy-backed opposition National Heritage Party, told reporters as dozens of his saffron-robed colleagues marched to the venue in the capital, Colombo.

``We are not against individuals, but people must also understand our sentiments,'' Seelakansa said.

There was no word from the organizers on the monks' demand, but the hotel where the Indian stars will stay said that half of them have already checked in.

The monks are a powerful political force because the overwhelming majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. In the past, politicians have often sought guidance from their spiritual leaders, and monks have succeeded in halting legislation and reforms.

Soma died while on a visit to Russia. Although doctors said he died of a heart attack, some Buddhists blame Christians for his death, and there was a surge of attacks on churches for months after he died.

Earlier this week the monks handed a petition protesting the concert to Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao.

Called ``Temptation 2004,'' the show also features Indian film stars Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Javed Khan and Celina Jaitly.
Published: Fri Dec 10 04:37:11 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Lanka monks protest against Shah Rukh show  - AFP

UNP campaign against jailing of MP
The Hindu, Friday 10th December 09:30 GMT. Sri Lanka's United National Party (UNP), said today that it would launch national and international campaigns against the sentencing of its MP and former Minister, S... Back to the top

Donations may fund child-soldier recruiting in Sri Lanka, group ..., Friday, December 10, 2004 . An international human-rights organization is warning members of Canada's Tamil community that their donations to organizations in Sri Lanka may be used in the recruitment of child soldiers... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s Muslims warn of backlash, Friday, 10 December, 2004, 01:21 GMT . Sri Lanka's Muslims are warning of a militant backlash as increasing tension between them and the Tamil community in the east of the country fuels feelings of frustration and anger... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Churches Disapprove Restored Death Penalty, Dec. 9. Church leaders in Sri Lanka have added their voices to criticism of the government's decision to reinstate the death penalty last month after a High Court judge was shot dead in the capital, Colombo, by a suspected drug gang... Back to the top

Sri Lanka rupee ends down, near life lows, Friday 10th Dec. COLOMBO,(Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker on Thursday on high importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills, dealers said, edging towards life lows... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Parliament suspended for a second day amid chaos
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 04:16 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka(AP) Sri Lanka's parliament was suspended for a second day Thursday after opposition lawmakers protested the legislature's decision to pass several budgets without a vote... Back to the top

Grenade explosions rock northern and eastern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 03:31 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Unidentified attackers hurled grenades at a newspaper office in eastern Sri Lanka and at a building in the north belonging to a political party opposed to the Tamil Tiger rebels, police and military officials said Thursday... Back to the top

LTTE suspect nabbed with Rs. 6m worth heroin, Thursday, 9 December 2004. A suspected LTTE cadre who tried to smuggle 3.2 kg of pure brown sugar worth over Rs... Back to the top

SRK concert to go ahead in Sri Lanka, Thursday, 09th Dec, 18:20 GMT. Despite strong protests from Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka regarding the day of Shah Rukh Khan ís concert in Colombo, the show would be held as previously planned... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to intensify security for foreign embassies, Thursday Dec. 9 18:20 GMT. Sri Lankan government has decided to implement a special security program to provide protection to foreign embassies in the country, the national television station reported Thursday... Back to the top

Report: Sri Lankan artist in high-society drug bust leaves Singapore, may have gone missing
Associated Press, Thu December 9, 2004 01:44 EST . - - Chanmugam's lawyer, Subhas Anandan, was quoted as saying his client had applied for a visa from the Australian High Commission in Singapore but was rejected because of the pending criminal charges... Back to the top

Sethusamudram: Sri Lanka will consult India, Dec 9, 2004 Thu. Chennai, Dec 9: Sri Lanka would consult the Indian government regarding the Sethusamudram canal project on which some apprehensions have been expressed in the Island republic... Back to the top

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