The Lanka Academic

 
JULY 21, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 106

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA

Candidate for UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka.
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Monks allege Buddhist holy tree's branch sold to Japan
hindustan times, July 21, 2006. Buddhist monks have alleged that the branch of the 110 year old holy tree in Bihar that was cut off by unidentified people earlier this week has been sold to a Japanese buyer for millions. They also demanded a probe by the central government.

Reports on Thursday said a branch of the tree in Mahabodhi temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town - where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago, was found chopped.

Bhante Anand, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Bhikkhu Mahasangh (ABBM), an influential body of Buddhist monks, said: "We have information that the branch was sold to some Japanese for money in connivance with the temple management committee." More... Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 21 17:53:52 EDT 2006

Related News Stories
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Lankan envoy rushes to Bodh Gaya  - hindustan times

Sri Lankan soldiers escape Tamil rebels' bomb attack in north, says military
Associated Press, Fri July 21, 2006 01:10 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A group of 15 Sri Lankan soldiers on a route clearing patrol in a northern town escaped a Tamil Tiger rebels' bomb attack Friday, when the roadside bomb exploded prematurely, the military said.

One soldier was, however, sustained minor injuries in the attack near the northern garrison town of Vavuniya, military spokesman, Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.

``The others escaped the attack by the LTTE,'' Samarasinghe said, blaming the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The bomb exploded prematurely, he said.

The failed attack came amid a surge in violence between the insurgents and the government, threatening a four-year-old cease-fire and raising the prospect of all-out civil war. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 21 04:27:00 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Sri Lankans who triggered bomb scare wanted asylum, officials say
Associated Press, Fri July 21, 2006 16:59 EDT . BEN DOBBIN

Associated Press Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Two Sri Lankans who triggered a bomb scare aboard an Air Canada plane while being questioned at an airport about the validity of their passports were trying to flee their volatile homeland and did not pose a threat to the public, authorities said Friday.

Nayeem Sukkoor, 34, and Mercy Antony, 39, flew into Los Angeles last week, took a bus to Rochester and were attempting to board a commuter flight to Toronto on Wednesday when officials became suspicious about their travel documents. While being questioned, Sukkoor apparently made a confusing remark about explosives in his luggage.

The plane, which had taken off with 11 passengers, was diverted back to Rochester's airport as a precaution when it was learned that one of their bags was aboard, officials said. No explosives were found.

In federal court Friday, the pair were denied bail after Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman ruled that they posed ``a flight risk.'' The government, he added, had not asked to keep them in custody on grounds that they represented a ``risk to the community.''

``This is just a false passport case at this point,'' prosecutor Richard Resnik told reporters. ``I moved (to deny bail) just on risk of flight.''

Sukkoor and Antony were charged with felony counts of possessing false or altered Canadian passports, false visas and attempting to use those documents to defraud the United States. If convicted, their sentences could range from probation to six years in prison, Resnik said.

Sukkoor told the judge his wife was living in a refugee camp in Sri Lanka with their three children.

``I understand you are trying to escape from your country for asylum purposes and we will not be contacting (Sri Lankan) consular representatives if you don't want us to,'' Feldman said.

In court papers, a federal agent said Sukkoor and Antony told of leaving Sri Lanka six months ago in an attempt to travel to Canada to seek political asylum. Their journey took them to Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Easter Island and Tahiti, where they took a flight to Los Angeles.

The pair, members of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, were likely to face additional immigration charges, the judge noted. It wasn't immediately clear whether they would be eligible to apply for asylum in the United States.

A recent surge of violence in Sri Lanka's northeast corner is threatening to re-ignite a civil war in the island nation after a four-year truce. Rebel forces want to create a separate homeland for Tamils, saying they face discrimination from the majority Sinhalese. Discuss this story
Published: Fri Jul 21 18:05:57 EDT 2006 Back to the top


Former Sri Lanka captain prefers cricket to politics
afp, Fri Jul 21, 5:32 AM ET. COLOMBO (AFP) - Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga said his love for the sport forced him to resign from the post of deputy minister in the government... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 's Tamil rebels stick to their demand for withdrawal of EU peace monitors
Associated Press, Fri July 21, 2006 05:33 EDT . VINCENT JEYAN - Associated Press Writer - KILLINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka - (AP) A Swedish diplomat met with top Tamil Tiger officials Friday, but failed to persuade the guerrilla leadership to drop a demand for the withdrawal of European Union peace monitors, the rebels said... Back to the top

HL:Tamil refugee and former Toronto street gang member deported to Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri July 21, 2006 06:56 EDT . TORONTO (CP) _ A Tamil refugee and former Toronto street gang member was deported last night to Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Ranil Manmohan discuss Lanka peace
chennaionline.com, Jul 21, 2006 Fri. New Delhi, July 20: The Sri Lankan peace process, which is under severe strain, today came up for discussion prominently as visiting Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickremsinghe met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders... Back to the top

No security worries for SA on Sri Lanka tour
mg.co.za, 21 July 2006 09:45. South Africa's first black cricket captain Ashwell Prince says his team is not worried about playing in violence-wracked Sri Lanka on the current tour... Back to the top

Recovery dreams wiped out in Sri Lanka s surf capital
reuters.co.uk, Jul 21, 2006 9:20 AM BST. ARUGAM BAY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Sitting on a bed in a surf shack overlooking the Indian Ocean, 33-year-old rickshaw driver A... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s clothing exporters threaten legal action against ...
lankabusinessonline.com, Fri, 21 July 2006. Sri Lanka's main export industry is reeling due to the ongoing strike at the Colombo port, amid moves by feeder vessel operators to hike rates to recover losses, officials said Friday... Back to the top

First convoy of Sri Lankans leave Lebanon
reliefweb.int, July 20, 2006 - 19:45 EDT. No.15/2006 - Geneva, 20 July 2006 – The first IOM convoy of Sri Lankan nationals being evacuated from Lebanon has left Beirut today for the Syrian capital, Damascus... Back to the top

Sri Lanka tracks nationals in Lebanon
ninemsn.com.au, 21 July. Sri Lanka is facing a logistical nightmare in trying to contact around 93,000 nationals - mostly housemaids - working in Lebanon, and has so far managed to evacuate just 300, officials said... Back to the top

Gunmen kill 2 Tamil civilians, soldiers kill suspected rebel in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Thu July 20, 2006 12:49 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Unidentified assailants fatally shot two Tamil civilians and the military shot dead a suspected Tamil Tiger guerrilla Thursday in northern Jaffna, officials and witnesses said, in the latest violence to hit the peninsula, the traditional home of Sri Lanka - 's minority Tamils... Back to the top

5 killed, 40 hurt as bus plunges off cliff near Sri Lankan capital
Associated Press, Thu July 20, 2006 07:07 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ At least five people were killed and 40 others injured Thursday when a passenger bus drove off a cliff near the Sri Lankan capital, police said... Back to the top

Evacuations shift into high gear as foreigners scramble to leave Lebanon
Associated Press, Wed July 19, 2006 15:01 EDT . ZEINA KARAM - Associated Press Writer - ``Nepal and Sri Lanka - have also requested for their citizens to be put on the ships... Back to the top

Sri Lanka May Leave Key Rate at 3 1/2-Year High on Inflation
bloomberg.com, July 20, 2006 - 19:45 EDT. July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's central bank, which increased its benchmark interest rate to a 3 1/2-year high in June, may leave it unchanged next week as it seeks to curb inflation without slowing economic growth... Back to the top

Colombo port strike enters 10 day; government urges unions to ...
lankabusinessonline.com, 20 July 2006 13:22:02. July 20, 2006 (LBO) – Trade union action at Sri Lanka’s main harbour entered its 10th day Thursday, despite a court ruling to restrain striking workers... Back to the top

Security Forces deny LTTE Peace Secretariat report - PRESS RELEASE
nationalsecurity.lk, 20 july. Security Forces deny LTTE Peace Secretariat report. The Security Forces totally reject the LTTE Peace Secretariat's allegation that the Sri Lankan Security Forces are resorting to unlawful arrests of civilians in the North... Back to the top

China emerges as world's third-largest food aid donor; U.S. remains No. 1
Associated Press, Thu July 20, 2006 04:17 EDT . AUDRA ANG - Associated Press Writer - Most of China's aid went to hunger-stricken North Korea, its longtime communist ally, with the rest going to Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Sri Lanka - and a dozen other countries, according to the report... Back to the top

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