The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 280


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Sri Lanka court frees Tamil editor on bail
AFP, Jan 11, 2010. Sri Lanka's court of appeal on Monday freed on bail a Tamil editor whose 20-year prison sentence last year for supporting "terrorism" drew international criticism, a court official said.

J.S. Tissainayagam, who edited North Eastern Monthly magazine in Colombo, was told to surrender his passport and to post 50,000 rupees (437 dollars) in bail pending a full appeal hearing, the official said.

Tissainayagam has appealed his conviction in August on charges of raising money for terrorism and of causing racial hatred through his writings about Tamils affected by the country's 37-year separatist conflict.

The sentence of 20 years in jail with hard labour was condemned by the European Union, the United States and international press freedom groups.

In May, US President Barack Obama cited Tissainayagam, who also wrote for the Colombo-based Sunday Times newspaper, as one of the "emblematic examples" of a persecuted journalist. More...
Published: Mon Jan 11 13:48:09 EST 2010

India, Sri Lanka ink pact for construction of railway line in Northern Province
The Hindu, 11 Jan. India and Sri Lanka on Monday signed commercial agreement for the construction of the railway line between Omanthai and Pallai in the war-torn Northern Province.

A press statement by the Indian High Commission said that the pact was signed at the Ministry of Transport in the presence of the Sri Lanka’s Minister of Transport Dullas Alahapperuma and the High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha and on behalf of IRCON International (a Government of India Undertaking which will construct the railway line) by S.L. Gupta and on behalf of Sri Lanka Railways by P.P. Wijesekara.

The agreement is backed by a Government of India line of credit for USD 185 million. It is part of a larger package of assistance directed at the rehabilitation of railway infrastructure in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, for which Government of India has committed a total amount of USD 425 million in lines of credit, it said. More...
Published: Mon Jan 11 10:13:24 EST 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka shares hit new peak on heavy local buying
Reuters, 11 Jan. COLOMBO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares .CSE hit a new record high on Monday, led by high local trade in the tourism, plantation, and motor sectors.

The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange rose 0.99 percent or 34.64 points to its all-time high 3549.27 during the trade, surpassing the previous record of 3545.56 hit on Wednesday.

It closed 0.03 percent or 1.15 points firmer at 3515.78 due to profit-taking on blue chips.

"Shares are overheated to a greater extent," said Prashan Fernando, executive director at Acuity Stockbrokers. "Foreign trade has been a net outflow and local investors do not have any options for investments due to low interest rates."

Foreign trade has recorded a net outflow of 604.7 million rupees so far for the year. Foreign investors sold a net 785.3 million rupees worth of stocks in 2009, compared to a record net foreign inflow of 13.9 billion in 2008. The sector indices for hotel More...
Published: Mon Jan 11 08:11:12 EST 2010 Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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

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

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