The Lanka Academic

MAY 8, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 9, NO. 33


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Sri Lankan Tamil, Muslim Parties Call Election in East Divisive, may 9. May 9 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil and Muslim parties denounced local elections in the Eastern Province as unfair, saying the vote will divide ethnic communities in the region the army captured from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last July.

``We are totally unhappy about the election, it is being thrust on the Tamil community,'' said Mavai Senathirajah of the Tamil National Alliance, which won't take part in tomorrow's ballot. The election lacks credibility, said Rauff Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress that is participating.

Voters are choosing members of the Eastern Provincial Council from the districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee after electing nine local councils in the province in March. The council election is the first stage of a power-sharing plan aimed at settling the issue of Tamil separatism, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said earlier this year. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 8 23:51:38 EDT 2008

Sri Lanka braces for crucial eastern provincial poll
DPA, may 9. Colombo, May 8 (DPA) The government has set the stage for a crucial provincial election in eastern Sri Lanka Saturday, a year after wresting control of the area from Tamil Tiger guerrillas.

The election is the first poll to be held in 20 years for the eastern provincial council. Voters will choose from hundreds of candidates from 18 political parties to fill 35 seats.

Nearly one million eligible voters from three districts - Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara - will be under heavy security as they head to polling stations manned by 15,000 election officers Saturday.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is one of the main contenders, believes that the poll is an acid test for voters to determine whether the liberation of the province has benefited the people living there. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 8 22:47:55 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Heavy fighting claims 77 lives in Sri Lanka: military, May 8. COLOMBO (AFP) — At least 74 Tamil Tiger rebels and three Sri Lankan soldiers have been killed in the latest battles in the island's north, according to the defence ministry on Thursday.

It said the three days of fighting that ended on Thursday occurred in the Vavuniya, Mannar and Weli Oya areas, from where government forces are trying to push into the guerrillas' northern territory.

Troops on Thursday advanced into rebel-controlled areas in the Mannar district killing 10 guerillas, the statement said, adding that one soldier was killed and another injured in the clashes. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 8 21:27:18 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka rescinds move to bar foreign media from covering eastern elections
Associated Press, Thu May 8, 2008 10:05 EDT . - - VALAICHCHENAI, Sri Lanka - (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it was barring foreign journalists from covering weekend elections in the Eastern Province, but backed off hours later following a wave of protests by journalists and rights groups... Back to the top

Sri Lanka court rejects postponement of eastern poll, 2008-05-09. Sri Lanka's Appeal Court on Thursday rejected a plea by a Tamil political party to issue an interim order postponing Saturday's election for the Eastern Provincial Council... Back to the top

Sri Lanka links conflict to war on terror
The Star, may 9. Returning to Colombo after several years, one is struck by the military checkpoints at key crossings where visitors are waved on but young Tamil males are not... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says it captured small territory in battle that killed 10 rebels
Associated Press, Thu May 8, 2008 12:24 EDT . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers seized a small patch of territory from Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday after a fierce battle that killed 10 insurgents and a soldier, the military said... Back to the top

Red Cross honours thousands of volunteers
Munza Mushtaq in Colombo, May 8,2008, 6.19 p.m.. 27,000 Red Cross volunteers in Myanmar and millions around the world are the first to provide vital assistance when disasters strike, a release from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said... Back to the top

Committee to promote Gandhian ideals in Sri Lanka, May 8 2008 . DURBAN: With an aim to promote mahatma Gandhi's concept of non-violence in Sri Lanka, a 19-member committee, comprising representatives of various religious groups, has been formed in the war-ravaged country... Back to the top

'Pak, Lanka unfit for UN rights body'
TOI, May 8. NEW YORK: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Gabon, Bahrain and Zambia have questionable human rights record and should be debarred from membership of Human Rights Council, two human rights watchdogs said... Back to the top

Setusamundram project would facilitate LTTE: Swamy
COL, May 8. New Delhi, May 07 Former Union minister Dr Subramaniam Swamy today told the Supreme Court that national security would be compromised if Sethusamundram canal project is completed ignoring the warnings given by the navy chief as well as director of coast guards according to whom the canal would facilitate the LTTE's activities in India... Back to the top

Voters lists 'most disturbing' items seized in Tamil raids, documents say
globe and mail, may 8. TORONTO and OTTAWA — Precisely how Elections Canada voters lists ended up in the offices of an alleged terrorist front group is a lingering mystery that Canadian officials say they will likely never solve... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's paper degrees and learning culture; Degree or education?
LBO, May 8. May 08, 2008 (LBO) - As an educator, I have found the economic transaction at the heart of education to be deeply problematic... Back to the top

Men charged over 'Tigers' support
BBC Sinhala, May 8, 2008, 8:00 EDT. Four men have been charged with conspiring to support the banned Tamil Tigers terrorist organisation, Scotland Yard has confirmed... Back to the top

Cash registers ring as Buddhists pack bags for India
toi, May 8. NEW DELHI: Thousands of years after the teachings of Buddha spread across the world, his followers are hot-footing it back to India... Back to the top

Sri Lanka military says battles across north kill 35 rebels, 2 civilians
Associated Press, Wed May 7, 2008 04:59 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A series of battles between government forces and Tamil separatists across the embattled northern region killed 35 rebels while a blast blamed on rebels killed two civilians, the military said Wednesday... Back to the top

“LTTE activist arrested”, Wednesday, May 07, 2008. Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, alias A.C.Shanthan (51) described by Sri Lanka government sources here as the “de-facto leader” of the LTTE in Britain was arrested on Tuesday as part of police investigation into allegations that U.K.-based Tamil groups and individuals are covertly raising funds and providing support to the LTTE which is banned under the terrorism act. Police said he was arrested in an anti-terror operation in the Swindon area, Wiltshire... Back to the top

43 killed in Sri Lanka clashes, May 7, 2008. Colombo (PTI): At least 41 LTTE cadres and two civilians were killed as fierce clashes broke out between the Tiger rebels and security forces in the volatile northern Sri Lanka, official said here on wednesday... Back to the top

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