The Lanka Academic

 
JANUARY 7, 2010 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 10, NO. 276

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Probe sought in Sri Lankan-Tamil war
UPI, Jan. 7. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A video of alleged executions by Sri Lankan soldiers that aired last summer merits a war crimes probe, a U.N. human rights expert said Thursday.

Philip Alston, an independent expert on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said his investigation into possible war crimes committed during the conflict with Tamil rebels, indicated the government report wasn't thorough or impartial, the United Nations said in a release.

"The conclusion clearly is that the video is authentic," Alston said "I have therefore called on the government of Sri Lanka to respond to these allegations."

The government has denied the allegations raised by the video, which purportedly shows extrajudicial execution of two Tamil men by the Sri Lankan military as well as claimed prior executions. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 7 21:56:29 EST 2010


Sri Lankan execution video authentic: UN envoy
afp, Jan 8. UNITED NATIONS -Independent experts have concluded that video footage allegedly showing Sri Lankan troops executing prisoners during the final phase of their battle against Tamil Tiger rebels last year was authentic, a UN envoy said Thursday.

The video, aired on Britain's Channel 4 last August, "is authentic," Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions told reporters here.

He said the conclusion was reached by three independent experts and called for a "genuine and independent investigation" by the Sri Lankan government.

He noted that when the video showing the execution of a number of Tamil Tiger militants "stripped naked, bound and blindfolded and shot in the head by semi-automatic weapons" was shown, the Colombo government dismissed it as "a fake" and "propaganda" by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Alston said he asked three qualified experts to review the video after four Sri Lankan specialists had concluded that it was a fake. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 7 18:36:59 EST 2010 Back to the top


Shock and anger continue one year after Lasantha Wickrematunge’s unpunished murder
RSF, Jan 8. “A year has gone by without any progress in the investigation into his murder,” Lal Wickrematunge said today to Reporters Without Borders, on the eve of the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of his brother, Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Colombo-based Sunday Leader’s well-known managing editor. It is Lal who has replaced him at the helm of investigative weekly, some of whose journalists were recently threatened.

“When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me,” Lasantha Wickrematunge wrote in an editorial that was published after his death. Known for his revelations and criticism of the government, he was called a “terrorist journalist” by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while the president’s brother, defence minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, used the courts in a bid to silence him and tried to smear his reputation in foreign press interviews after his death. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 7 22:02:21 EST 2010 Back to the top


Sri Lanka's former army chief unveils platform
AP, Jan 7. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's former army chief said Thursday he would work to strengthen democracy, curb corruption and safeguard media freedom in this Indian Ocean island nation if he is elected president... Back to the top

Prabhakaran's father dies in military custody
NewKerala, Jan 7. Colombo, Jan 7: The father of slain Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who led a failed 26-year armed campaign for a separate state for Sri Lanka's Tamil ethnic minority, died Thursday while in military custody, an army spokesman said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka general guns for economy in presidential run
Reuters, Jan 7. COLOMBO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan presidential contender General Sarath Fonseka on Thursday laid out a platform to fight corruption and cut the cost of living, both of which he said had risen sharply under incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa's rule... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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

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

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