The Lanka Academic

VOL. 5, NO. 259

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
Canada: Tamil Rights Advocates at Risk
HRW, December 20. (Toronto, December 21, 2004) Human Rights Watch expressed concern today about possible threats to Sri Lankan Tamil human rights advocates in Toronto, following a public forum on child soldiers in Sri Lanka at the Scarborough Civic Center on December 12.

The forum drew some 250 members of the Sri Lankan Tamil community for a presentation of Human Rights Watch’s recent report on the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Dozens of presumed LTTE supporters repeatedly disrupted the meeting with shouting and heckling. Some members of the audience took photographs and video of the participants.

Following the event, Human Rights Watch offices in both Toronto and New York received phone calls from apparent LTTE supporters threatening to expose the identities of local Tamils who had contacts with Human Rights Watch in a manner that would place them at risk.

“In light of past intimidation and violence by Tamil Tiger supporters against Toronto’s Sri Lankan Tamil community, these ominous calls to our offices give us real cause for concern,” said Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division. “We are confident the Canadian authorities will take appropriate action to investigate the matter and ensure the safety of the meeting’s participants.”

Human Rights Watch has reported the telephone calls to the Scarborough police.

For More Information Please Contact:

In London, Brad Adams: +44-207-713-2767 In New York, James Ross: +1-212-216-1251 In Toronto, Karin Lippert: +1-416-923-4707
Published: Mon Dec 20 21:27:16 EST 2004

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SP Thamilselvan's Borther-in-law deported from Canada
Special Correspondent , December 20. Nandagopal, brother-in-law of LTTE's political chief Mr. S.P. Thamilselvan, was deported from Canada to Sri Lanka on December 6th, according to relatives in Canada. Nandagopal, who goes by the name Gopu was a well-known figure in the World Tamil Movement in Canada, and was poised to be its leader after the current leader Manual Mariyathas steps down at the end of this year. Gopu was unpopular among the WTM figures, as he tried to exert influence on WTM leaders using his family connections to the LTTE leadership in Kilinochchi. As one WTM volunteer told this correspondent "no one in WTM is shedding any tears over Gopu's deportation".

Mr. Nandagopal came to Canada on a student visa in 1995, and was a student at the Carleton University in Ottawa. He dropped out of school, and moved to Toronto and worked for the WTM , as a full-time salaried employee. He moved up the ranks at WTM, as Thamilselvan moved up the ranks in LTTE. he claimed refugee status in Canada, after his student visa expired. However, his claims and appeals were rejected by the Canadian authorities.

Mr. Nandagopal was summoned to the Canadian Immigration office on December 3rd, and detained, and was put on a flight to Sri Lanka on december 6th, according to sources close to the WTM in Toronto. WTM planned to organize a rally in Torotno to protest the detention and deportation of Gopu, but it fizzled out since not many in the WTM were not supportive of Gopu, and the public in Toronto are also becoming wary of LTTE.

Nandagopal's sister is married to Thamilselvan.
Published: Mon Dec 20 21:30:33 EST 2004 Back to the top

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Lanka culls 100 chickens
Gulf Daily News, December 20. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka culled 100 chickens and sent tissue samples abroad for testing for bird flu as a precautionary measure after eight people died from a flu-like virus, Health Ministry officials said yesterday. Initial tests conducted in Sri Lanka came out negative for avian flu, which has never previously been detected in the Indian Ocean island. More...
Published: Mon Dec 20 21:32:59 EST 2004 Back to the top

Dissanayake blames plea-bargain for woes, 20/12/2004, 06:46. By Sinha Ratnatunga
Colombo : Jailed frontline Sri Lankan opposition politician S... Back to the top

Hangman Is Finally Learning the Ropes
Reuters/ Yahoo, Mon Dec 20,10:44 AM ET. OLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sri Lankan hangman Suranimala has never seen an execution, confesses the sight of the gallows makes him a little nervous and lacks the most crucial tool of his trade -- a rope... Back to the top

Arsonists Burn Down Catholic Church In Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Mon December 20, 2004 03:00 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Arsonists have destroyed a Roman Catholic church near the capital of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Canada's Tamils must rethink LTTE support
Toroto Star, December 19. NEW YORK—Selvamani, a Tamil girl living in eastern Sri Lanka was only 15 when rebel forces began pressuring her to join them... Back to the top

Sri Lanka talks 'difficult' : Solheim
BBC, December 20, 2004. The Norwegian diplomat was speaking to BBC Sandeshaya from Heathrow airport on Monday after having a two hour long meeting with the chief Tamil Tiger (LTTE) negotiator, Anton Balasingham in London... Back to the top

Floods in Sri Lanka uproot land mines, residents warned
Associated Press, Mon December 20, 2004 01:38 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Recent floods in Sri Lanka's northeast have uprooted land mines planted during the country's civil war, prompting a de-mining agency to issue a warning to residents on Monday... Back to the top

PM orders relief funds for flood victims
BBC, December 20, 2004. In a meeting held in Kondawatuwana army camp in Ampara, the district secretary Herath Abeydheera told the prime minister that some of the flood victims still do not get the portions due to lack of financial assistance... Back to the top

Identity of suspects created
BBC, December20, 2004. Police has released sketches of suspects allegedly involved in the grenade attack at Bollywood concert held in Colombo... Back to the top

Tax aftershock hits Shah Rukh Khan show organisers in Lanka, MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2004 01:03:06 AM. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have ordered banks not to repatriate any proceeds of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan’s recent Colombo concert, where a bomb blast left two people dead and 19 injured, until the organisers produce proof that they paid all taxes due to the state... Back to the top

Donors warn Lanka of running war risks, Mon. December 20, 2004 . International donors are warning the Sri Lankan government that it risks returning to war if it does not overcome opposition from coalition allies and resume peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels, analysts and diplomats said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan cricket gets $50 million boost from TV deal, Monday, December 20, 2004 . COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has entered into a four-year television rights contract worth an estimated $50 million with the Dubai-based sports channel, Ten Sports, a top official and cricket sources said on Sunday... Back to the top

Murali should be fit - Atapattu
BBC, December 20, 2004. Sri Lanka are still hopeful Muttiah Muralitharan will be fit for their two Tests on the tour of New Zealand... Back to the top

NTPC plans to set up unit in Sri Lanka
com, Monday, 20 December , 2004, 09:53. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which has moved ahead of Reliance Industries in the market cap stakes, has proposed to set up a 300 mw, Rs 1,500 crore coal-based power plant in neighbouring Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Lanka and Pakistan to finalise fresh list, Monday, 20 December 2004. A Commerce Ministry delegation from Pakistan is scheduled to arrive Sri Lanka today to meet with an official delegation of Trade and Commerce Ministry here, to discuss the progress of the Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan... Back to the top

Earth tremor felt in Sri Lanka s western province, 2004-12-19 19:37:42. COLOMBO, Dec. 19 (Xinhuanet) A minor earth tremor was felt in part of Sri Lanka's Western province, local residents said Sunday. Residents living in rural areas north of the capital Colombo such as Mirigama, Minuwangoda, and Seeduwa said that they experienced the tremor around 11:45 a... Back to the top

Fears rise for Sri Lanka peace process, Monday, December 18, 2004. COLOMBO: A top Norwegian envoy who failed in his latest effort to revive Sri Lanka’s peace talks has warned both parties to honour a truce or risk a return to full-scale war, diplomats said Friday... Back to the top

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