The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 285


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Sri Lanka's Tamils wary of election spotlight
afp, jan 17. JAFFNA, Sri Lanka — Scarred by decades of war and official indifference, Sri Lanka's minority Tamils are now being courted as political kingmakers -- a shift that many of them view with bitter scepticism.

With a presidential election just two weeks away, the two main candidates have been desperately wooing Tamil voters, offering them the same social, economic and political opportunities enjoyed by the Sinhalese majority.

The incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapakse, and his main challenger, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, are both Sinhalese.

If they split the Sinhalese vote, then the support of the Tamil electorate could prove decisive. Hence their overtures to a community that for the most part views both men with deep suspicion. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 16 23:16:22 EST 2010

US, Norway deny funding Sri Lanka opposition
AFP, jan 16. COLOMBO (AFP) – The United States and Norway on Saturday denied funding Sri Lanka's main opposition to defeat President Mahinda Rajapakse's re-election bid later this month.

The US embassy in Colombo said it "strongly" rejected the charges made by a ruling party legislator that he was given 30 million rupees (265,000 dollars) that had come from the US and Norwegian embassies to defect to the opposition.

Legislator Mohamed Musammil told reporters in Colombo Friday that he was given a suitcase full of the cash to defect and support the main opposition presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 16 16:28:09 EST 2010 Back to the top

Fonseka will ensure restoration of democracy
PTI, jan 16. CHENNAI: A former Sri Lankan Minister and Member of Parliament Dr Jayalath Jayawardana of the opposition United National party (UNP) today said former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka, being backed by his party for the Presidential election, would ensure restoration of democracy in the island, if voted to power.

"People of Sri Lanka have a golden opportunity to see a democratic nation if they vote him (Sarath Fonseka) to power", he told reporters here.

Stating that major opposition political parties including UNP and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) came on a common platform for the first time in Sri Lanka to restore democracy, he said "he (Fonseka) and his supporting parties will also ensure setting up of an independent Election Commission, independent Police Commission and also an independent Public Service Commission in Sri Lanka", he added. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jan 16 16:43:50 EST 2010 Back to the top

Tamils boosted Lankan economy
ENS, Jan 17. CHENNAI: Historian S Muthiah on Saturday said the contribution made by Tamils of Indian origin had given a boost to the Sri Lankan economy... Back to the top

Rajapaksa leading Colombo to dictatorship
ENS, Jan 17. CHENNAI: Former Minister Dr Jayalath Jayawaradana said that the law of the jungle was prevailing in Sri Lanka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa was leading the country towards dictatorship and family rule... Back to the top

Sri Lanka is still waiting for its peace dividend
AP, Jan 16. PUNANI, Sri Lanka -- Inside, there are no victims, no killers and no questions... Back to the top

Violence killed UPFA supporter
bbc, jan 16. Security forces - police, army, and navy - were unable to control violence in Madurankuliya, Puttlam following a supporter of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was killed, Lankadeepa correspondent in Chilaw Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe said... Back to the top

Three distinguished Sri Lankans write to Rajapakse and Fonseka about conduct of elections
Arjuna Aluwihare, Jayantha Dhanapala and Chandra Jayaratne, Jan 15. This Presidential election is taking place at a time when we are free of the scourge of armed conflict––thanks to you and the team of which you as President and also General Fonseka were vitally important members... Back to the top

SRI LANKA: Media Face Uncertainties in the Run-up to Elections - Analysis
IPS, Jan 15. COLOMBO, Jan 15, 2010 (IPS) - The string of events involving the Sri Lankan press over the past week has once again brought the embattled Fourth Estate into the limelight... Back to the top

Canada to free migrant Tamils suspected of Tiger links
afp, Jan 15. VANCOUVER, Canada — Several of the 76 Sri Lankan asylum seekers picked up off the Canadian Coast in October and thought to be Tamil Tiger rebels are to be freed from detention, Ottawa said Friday... Back to the top

'Obey' Commissioner's guidelines
BBC, Jan 15. The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has ordered all media institutions, both public and independent, to comply with the guidelines issued by the elections commissioner... Back to the top

Vote wisely, Rajapaksa tells people
hindu, Jan 15. COLOMBO: Amid concerns over sporadic incidents of violence and a furious debate on the need for a switch-over from the all powerful Executive Presidency to a model akin to India in the run-up to the January 26 Sri Lanka presidential poll, the election battle is gathering momentum... Back to the top

Rajapaksa set for easy win, says survey
IANS, Jan 15. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa seems set for an easy victory over his rival and former army chief Sarath Fonseka in the Jan 26 presidential poll, according to an opinion survey... Back to the top

Opp says Sri Lanka lied to UN over heavy weapons
afp, jan 15. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s opposition Friday accused the government of misleading the UN over the use of heavy weapons during the final stages of fighting against Tamil rebels last year... Back to the top

London businessman 'sent weapons to world's war zones'
Evening Standard, Jan 15. A London businessman is to go on trial for allegedly supplying weapons to some of the world's most war-torn regions... Back to the top

Brains Behind Darkmarket Cybercrime Supermarket Face Long Jail Terms
ITProPortal, 15 January. An ex-London pizza delivery boy has been sentenced for a prison term of up to 10 years, after he was admitted to orchestrating the ill-famed DarkMarket website to aid cyber criminal with trading haven, it has been emerged... Back to the top

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