The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 271


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Sri Lanka presidential challenger campaigns in north
Xinhua, jan 2. COLOMBO, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- General Sarath Fonseka, the challenger to incumbent Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in this month's election, toured the northern city of Jaffna on Saturday for campaign.

Fonseka met with religious and community leaders in Jaffna Saturday as part of his election campaign, his campaign office said.

Fonseka who retired from the military service last month had served in Jaffna as the district's security forces commander at the height of the military conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

He pledged a better future under his presidency for Jaffna residents with action to develop the economy and infrastructure in the war-battered region.

Jaffna was under Tamil Tiger control for several years before government troops wrested control of the city in 1995.Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 2 12:33:26 EST 2010

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Sri Lankan presidential contender woos Tamil voters  - afp

Work for peace, prosperity, says Fonseka
Hindu, Jan 2. COLOMBO: Commander-turned-politician and major opposition parties’ consensus presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has urged the voters to seize opportunities to build on the triumphs of the island nation on the foundations of reconciliation, prosperity, development and true peace. The retired General’s first national address was aired by the state owned ‘Eye’ television channel as per the Election Commission’s guidelines to provide a level-playing field to all the candidates in the January 26 election.

A similar speech of Mr. Rajapaksa, who is seeking a second term two years ahead of his tenure, is to be aired in the next few days.

The campaign, mainly a contest between Mr. Rajapaksa and the retired General, is expected to gain momentum next week. While systemic changes like abolition of Executive Presidency and alleged corruption and nepotism of Mr. Rajapaksa are the focus of the former Army Chief, Mr. Rajapaksa has made development after the military defeat of the LTTE as his main poll plank. More...Discuss this story ">More...
Published: Sat Jan 2 03:13:50 EST 2010 Back to the top

Fonseka in Tamil heartland of Jaffna
HT, jan 2. Former army commander and the opposition's Presidential candidate general Sarath Fonseka took his campaign to the Tamil heartland of Jaffna on Saturday even as eminent rights groups said that instead of real issues election canvassing had been reduced to a smear campaign.

Fonseka visited a visited a Hindu temple and addressed a rally where he was accompanied by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe. Fonseka also met the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Thomas Savundranayagam, a spokesman for his office said.

It was in Jaffna in 1983 where the ambush of 13 soldiers had triggered ethnic riots and the 26-year-old war, which ended May 2008.

Both Fonseka and incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa are from Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese community and are wooing the minority Tamil and Muslim communities in the run-up the election on January 26. Political experts say that the two leaders would split the Sinhalese vote and the voting patterns of the minority parties could be decisive.

Meanwhile, the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) said in a new report that while the establishment was using state power in the polls campaign to undermine democratic fair play, the opposition was narrowing political discourse by defending Fonseka. More...
Published: Sat Jan 2 12:36:45 EST 2010 Back to the top

Won’t be deterred by economic curbs: Rajapaksa
Express, Jan 2. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared on New Year’s day that he would not be cowed down by any economic sanctions imposed by countries which wanted to interfere in the international affairs of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Murali blames umpires and absence of referrals for loss to India
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Sri Lanka dismisses EU trade move
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War-crime allegations piling up in Sri Lanka
IPS, Dec 31. COLOMBO // Seven months after Sri Lanka ended nearly 40 years of bloody insurgency on the island, allegations of war crimes continue to haunt President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking re-election next month... Back to the top

Q+A - Key factors in Sri Lanka's presidential poll
reuters, jan 1. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking re-election this month, with the main challenger his former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who led the military to victory in a 25-year war against separatists... Back to the top

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