The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 275


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UN denies Sri Lankan request to monitor elections
Xinhua, jan 7. UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Citing a lack of time, the United Nations has denied a request by the Sri Lankan government to monitor the upcoming presidential elections, said a UN spokesperson here on Wednesday.

"In light of the limited lead time available" and because UN protocol requires a mandate from the General Assembly or Security Council, "the UN informed the (elections) commissioner and the government of Sri Lanka that it could not provide observers," said Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for the UN secretary-general.

On Jan. 26, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa will run against 21 challengers. It will be the first since the government won a bloody 25-year conflict with Tamil Tiger separatists in May.

Rajapaksa and former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who is also running for president, have been wooing Tamils for votes, according to local media reports. They have helped ease travel restrictions in Tamil areas while releasing tens of thousands of displaced civilians from UN-funded detention camps. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 6 19:43:09 EST 2010

Sri Lanka's ex-army chief gains poll edge
afp, jan 6. COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's former army chief received a boost to his presidential ambitions Wednesday when minority Tamil parties said they would back him against incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse in polls later this month.

A consortium of ethnic Tamil parties known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) announced in parliament that they were asking their community to vote for Sarath Fonseka who is seen as the main challenger to President Rajapakse.

Both Fonseka and Rajapakse are members of the majority Sinhalese community and if their candidacies split the Sinhalese vote, then support from the island's ethnic minorities, which usually vote en bloc, could tip the scales. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 6 09:07:25 EST 2010 Back to the top

Related News Stories
Sri Lanka Tamils back war-winning general for president  - Reuters

Tea shortage to widen on higher demand
Financial Express, jan 7. A global tea shortage may widen this year and extend into 2011 as a rebound in production in Africa, Sri Lanka and India trails demand growth, the world’s biggest tea-plantation company said.

The deficit may reach as much as 130 million kg (287 million pounds) by April, compared with the 110 million kg forecast in September, and prices may rise to a record again this year as shortages persist, Aditya Khaitan, managing director, of McLeod Russel India Ltd., said in an interview. The deficit was estimated at 100 million kilograms last year. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 6 19:48:29 EST 2010 Back to the top

All Ceylon Tamil Congress to support Fonseka
ENS, jan 7. COLOMBO: The All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), which had earlier resolved to boycott the Sri Lankan Presidential election, announced that it would participate in the polls and support the joint opposition candidate, Gen... Back to the top

World Agenda: will the hammer of the Tamils nail the President?
Times, Jan 7. A few weeks ago Sri Lanka’s upcoming general election looked like a walk in the park for the incumbent, President Rajapaksa, who was riding high on the kudos of ending the country's long-running civil war... Back to the top

Fonseka all praise for Indira Gandhi
HT, 7/1/2010. Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka could not have asked for better news on Wednesday as he arrived at the eastern coastal town of Trincomalee, some 260 km from Colombo, to address his first election rally in this centre for Tamil culture... Back to the top

Paper on ‘tsunami resistant’ houses wins the Institution of Civil Engineers Bill Curtin prize
Cambridge News, jan 7. A paper by Dr Indrasenan Thusyanthan, former Lecturer in the University of Cambridge Geotechnical Research Group and Dr Gopal Madabhushi, Reader in Geotechnical Engineering, has won the Bill Curtin prize awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for the Best Paper in the 'ICE Civil Engineering' magazine... Back to the top

EU Plans Temporarily Stop on Sri Lanka's Duty Free Export Status
BikeEu, Jan 6. BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Commission has completed a thorough investigation into the human rights situation in Sri Lanka in relation to the country’s duty free export status for bicycles and bicycle parts... Back to the top

Leave Jayasuriya out at your peril- Opinion
The National, Jan 7. Sanath Jayasuriya is the icon of Sri Lankan cricket. When the swashbuckling left-hander first came on the scene it was clear he would develop into the colossus the rest of the team would be built around... Back to the top

Sri Lanka extends emergency
hindu, jan 6. COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Parliament on Tuesday voted to extend the state of emergency in the country by another month... Back to the top

Feds: New charges pending against Rajaratnam
AP, Jan 6. NEW YORK - Federal prosecutors said Tuesday they will file new charges against billionaire Sri Lankan-born hedge fund operator Raj Rajaratnam alleging he made at least $36 million from trades based on insider information, double what the government previously believed... Back to the top

Fonseka slammed for agreeing to TNA’s demand
EN, Jan 6. COLOMBO: The Mahinda Rajapaka camp has slammed the joint opposition Presidential candidate Gen... Back to the top

Jaffna: Canvassing in Tamil heartland
HT, Jan 6. Eminent history professor S Pathmanathan recently explained the origin of the name Jaffna to me... Back to the top

Rajaratnam Profits Reached $36 Million, U.S. Says (Update1)
Bloomberg, Jan 6. Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Federal prosecutors doubled the amount that they say Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam earned in a broad insider trading scheme. U... Back to the top

Shell fails to honor solar warranties
UPI, jan 6. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The World Bank and green energy companies have accused oil giant Shell of not honoring warranties on solar power systems sold to the developing world, the Guardian reports. At issue is the "widespread" breakdown of Shell solar equipment in Sri Lanka and other locations... Back to the top

Perera key in Lanka win
newkerala, jan 6. Mirpur (Bangladesh), Jan 5 : It was Sri Lanka's Thissara Perera, who sounded India's death knell in the last few overs of the second one day international of the tri series in Bangladesh on Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lankan citizens to be able to open foreign accounts
calcutta news, jan 6. Sri Lanka has said it will relax its strict foreign exchange controls... Back to the top

SRI LANKA 31 Jan 2010 Government sets deadline to close Tamil refugee camp
Newsahead, 5 Jan. The Sri Lanka government plans to close the camps where it has detained internally-displaced Tamil civilians since the defeat in May of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)... Back to the top

Sri Lanka bourse hits new record; rupee firmer
reuters, 5 Jan. COLOMBO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares .CSE on Tuesday rose for the second consecutive day to hit a new record high on strong turnover. The rupee currency LKR= closed firmer after the central bank lowered dollar buying rates in line with weakening of dollar globally... Back to the top

General offers amnesty for LTTE
BBC SINHALA.COM, Jan 4. The former military commander of Sri Lanka standing for presidency has pledged the main Tamil party to grant a general amnesty for all former militants... Back to the top

Samaraweera fires Sri Lanka to victory
afp, Jan 5. DHAKA (AFP) – Thilan Samaraweera smashed a career-best 105 not out to guide Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win over India in a triangular one-day series match here on Tuesday... Back to the top

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