The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 223


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We have lost a great mathe- matician, engineer, scientist, an old timer of SLNet/LAcNet and a former LAcNet director. Pubudu Dayawansa (Daya) was instrumental in carrying out many LAcNet projects. He was responsible in setting up "Colombo Calling" a website that was designed to carry weekly articles from Sri Lankan Academic community and Human Rights activists. [ More...]
Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
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Sri Lanka records higher trade deficit, November 16, 2006 . COLOMBO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua): Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened in the first nine months of 2006 to 2.6 billion US dollars, while the country's overall balance of payments had registered a surplus of 49 million dollars, the country's central bank said late Tuesday.

The bank said that the cumulative exports in the first nine months of 2006 grew by 8.8 per cent to 5.0 billion dollars from the same period of 2005, while the imports grew by 17.4 per cent to 7.6 billion dollars.

The bank added that the private remittance which had grown by 23 per cent during the period contained the current account deficit. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Nov 15 21:27:23 EST 2006

British official to visit Tamil Tigers' stronghold
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 00:40 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A former British Cabinet minister closely associated with the Northern Ireland peace process will hold talks with Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels in the guerrillas' northern stronghold on Thursday, a British High Commission official and a rebel spokesman said.

Paul Murphy, who arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday, was the Cabinet minister responsible for Northern Irish affairs between 2002 and 2005, and was closely involved in the Northern Ireland peace process.

The official, who cannot be named because of embassy regulations, confirmed that Murphy will on Thursday visit Kilinochchi, the de facto rebel capital.

Tamil Tiger political wing chief Suppiah Thamilselvan is scheduled to meet Murphy on Thursday, rebel spokesman Daya Master confirmed by telephone from Kilinochchi.

The decision to send Murphy to Sri Lanka, a former British colony, was taken following a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in August on ways Britain could support a Norwegian-facilitated peace process.

Murphy has already met this week with Sri Lankan officials to discuss the peace process.

Norwegian peace efforts that led to a cease-fire in 2002 between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels face huge hurdles. Increasing violence has all but shattered the truce, with near-daily killings.

Both sides refuse to budge from their positions. The rebels want a separate homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority, while the government says regional autonomy is the maximum it will give.

Murphy, who is currently the chairman of the British Intelligence and Security Committee, is being accompanied by Christopher MacCabe, the British joint secretary of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat. Discuss this story
Published: Wed Nov 15 03:38:27 EST 2006 Back to the top

Government promises better budget for Sri Lanka; opposition ..., 16 November 2006 06:20:18. The government says the upcoming budget would be growth oriented, with medium term objectives in view, while the opposition which is supporting the budget in parliament, warns that the poor would be hurt if fiscal weaknesses continue.

Sri Lanka’s governments have a well-earned reputation for presenting budgets with very high deficits around 8 or 9 percent of GDP which are then exceeded despite cuts in capital spending. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Nov 15 21:26:53 EST 2006 Back to the top

5 Tamil youths abducted in Sri Lanka ; bodies of 4 other Tamils found
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 03:26 EST . DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Armed men abducted four Tamil teens working on tsunami reconstruction projects, police and a news report said Wednesday, after the U... Back to the top

Northern Sri Lanka shuts down as slain Tamil lawmaker cremated
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 08:53 EST . VINCENT JEYAN - Associated Press Writer - CHAVAKACHCHERI, Sri Lanka - (AP) Shops, offices and schools were closed in protest and mourning in northern Jaffna peninsula Wednesday as the remains of a pro-rebel member of Parliament were cremated at his hometown... Back to the top

Sri Lanka suffers short power outage, officials suspect heavy rains to blame
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 11:01 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Much of Sri Lanka - , including the capital, Colombo, was in darkness for about an hour Wednesday night after a power blackout which officials attributed to a technical failure at an electricity distribution point... Back to the top

India needn t play direct role in Lanka: Rajapaksa, November 15, 2006. In an interesting comment, which comes in the wake of a vociferous demand in Tamil Nadu that India should intervene in Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that India need not play a direct role in the peace process in his country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka navy seeks help for sailors release, Wed, November 15, 2006 - 12:20 EDT. Sri Lanka navy said Wednesday that it had asked for the intervention of human rights organizations to secure the release of four sailors held captive by the Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka names cricket squads for New Zealand tour
Associated Press, Wed November 15, 2006 07:33 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Batsman Chamara Silva was recalled to the Sri Lankan national cricket squad for the first time in more than four years Wednesday when selectors named the touring party for its upcoming tour of New Zealand... Back to the top

Russia, Sri Lanka to sign WTO protocol Nov 17, 15.11.2006. MOSCOW, November 15 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Sri Lanka will sign a protocol on completion of bilateral talks over Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, the press service of the Economic Development Ministry reported... Back to the top

Navy destroys weapons boat with 8 suspected rebels on board; blasts kill 4 soldiers
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 10:17 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ The navy on Tuesday destroyed a boat suspected of ferrying arms to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's north, killing all eight men aboard, the military said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army dismisses UN child soldier claim, 13 nov. COLOMBO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's army has dismissed a U... Back to the top

Sri Lanka plans war budget
Yahoo News - AFP, Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 03:42 EDT. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka plans to announce a war budget Thursday in which it will hike defence spending next year by 45 percent amid a spiralling conflict with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials say... Back to the top

4 Tamil Tigers and 1 soldier killed in separate incidents, reports military
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 04:11 EST . - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) The military said Tuesday its soldiers killed four Tamil rebels late Monday after the insurgents ``invaded'' a government-held village in eastern Sri Lanka - ... Back to the top

IMF warns Sri Lanka as fighting escalates, Tuesday November 15, 2006 - 22:25 EDT. Colombo, Nov 14: The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned Sri Lanka that escalating violence in a bitter ethnic conflict could prompt an economic crisis through higher prices and dwindling foreign currency reserves... Back to the top

Blast kills three soldiers in northwest Sri Lanka , military says
Associated Press, Tue November 14, 2006 05:03 EST . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Three government soldiers were killed in a blast triggered by the Tamil separatists on Tuesday in northwestern Sri Lanka - , military said... Back to the top

An anniversary in Sri Lanka: But there’s little to celebrate, 14 November 2006. THE worsening security situation in Sri Lanka is second only to that of Iraq, according to the spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a body that is tasked to monitor the truce between the government security forces and the LTTE... Back to the top

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