The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 279


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Battle-scarred Tamils could be key S.Lankan voters
AFP, Jan 11. COLOMBO (AFP) - For decades, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels fought for an independent ethnic homeland. In May they were defeated, but observers say Tamil voters could now be key to who becomes the next president.The two main candidates -- incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse and former army chief Sarath Fonseka -- both claim credit for crushing the Tigers and ending the island's bloody ethnic conflict. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 10 22:21:02 EST 2010

Rajapaksa woos minority Tamils as Sri Lanka presidential vote nears
Times On Line, Jan 11. President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka took his re-election campaign to the Tamil heartland of Jaffna yesterday on his first visit to the region since his army defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May.

Mr Rajapaksa, who is facing a presidential election in two weeks’ time, promised to speed up reconstruction and resettlement efforts for the 300,000 Tamils who fled from the conflict zone and were detained in internment camps until last month. “The President moved about freely and spoke with the civilians,” his spokesman, Chandrapala Liyanage, said.

The visit came just over a week after a similar campaign trip to Jaffna by General Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief who led the campaign against the Tigers but is now the main contender in the election. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 10 18:06:38 EST 2010 Back to the top

Rajapaksa promises reasonable solution to ethnic conflict
Hindu, Jan 10. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on a maiden visit to Jaffna town on Sunday, promised a “fair and reasonable political solution” to the ethnic conflict. The visit comes a day before he is to release his election manifesto for his second term bid in the January 26 poll.

Days earlier, the common Opposition presidential candidate, the retired General Sarath Fonseka, secured the backing of the post-Prabakaran Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and, in the course of campaign rally in Jaffna, promised a number of measures to garner Tamil votes, including re-assessment on High Security Zones (HSZ) in the eastern and northern provinces.

Hence, the impact of Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit is being watched with keen interest by political and diplomatic observers. Reports from Jaffna said Mr. Rajapaksa did not elaborate on the nature of a political solution he has in mind to resolve the ethnic question that has evaded a solution. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 10 14:32:45 EST 2010 Back to the top

Wartime allies now rivals Presidential election pits army commander against comrade he now calls 'a tinpot dictator'
The Star, Jan 10. NEW DELHI–How does a decorated army commander – who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt – end up being called a traitor just months after helping to end a brutal civil war? Just resign from the military and run for president... Back to the top

330 Sri Lankan maids died in Mideast in 2009
Arabian Buisness, Jan 10. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) recorded 330 deaths of Sri Lankan maids in the Middle East in 2009... Back to the top

India beats Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in tri-series
AP, Jan 10. DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP)—Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir scored half-centuries Sunday to lead India to an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a one-day international tri-series match... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: Country Heads Into Decisive Elections
IPS, jan 9. On Jan. 1, millions of mobile users in Sri Lanka got an unusual text message amid the flood of New Year’s wishes. The sender’s name read simply as ‘President’... Back to the top

First visit to northern Sri Lanka by a president in 30 years
IANS, jan 10. Colombo, Jan 10 : The first visit by a president of Sri Lanka to Jaffna, the former war-torn northern capital of the country, in nearly 30 years took place Sunday, officials said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka seeks full inquiry into maid’s murder
Gulf Times, Jan 9. RIYADH: The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is asking Riyadh to conduct a full inquiry into the murder of Balakrishnan Dharshani, 26, a maid from Kandy who was working in Hofuf, Eastern Province... Back to the top

Different history if Velupillai had his way
IANS, 10 Jan. NEW DELHI: If the doting father could have had his way, Velupillai Prabhakaran would have never founded the Tamil Tigers or died so brutally along with his family and dreams... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tamil detainees continue hunger strike
Xinhua, Jan. 9 . COLOMBO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- A group of detainees from Sri Lanka's Tamil minority held for suspected links with Tamil Tiger rebels continued their hunger strike on Saturday, prison officials said. Kenneth Fernando, a prison superintendent in the capital Colombo said 96 Tamil prisoners held in the New Magazine prison in Colombo have been on a hunger strike for nearly a week... Back to the top

SLanka frees over 700 ex-militants
afp, jan 9. COLOMBO:Sri Lanka on Saturday released more than 700 former Tamil Tiger fighters from military custody following a rehabilitation program, an official said... Back to the top

Funeral of Prabhakaran's father to be held on Monday
toi, jan 9. COLOMBO: The funeral of Thiruvengadam Velupillai, father of slain LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, will be held on Monday in Sri Lanka's Jaffna The remains of Velupillai, who died over seven months after Prabhakaran's was killed in a military offensive in northern Sri Lanka, were handed by the army from its protection to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and an independent Presidential candidate K Sivajilingam on Friday... Back to the top

Prabhakaran's father against son fighting IPKF
ENS, 09 Jan . COLOMBO: Thiruvengadam Velupillai, the late lamented father of the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, was “furious” with his son for deciding to fight the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in October 1987 and take his Homeland back to a full scale war, says the noted Sri Lankan Tamil journalist, D... Back to the top

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