The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 286


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Sri Lankan warrior has president in his sights
Telegraph, Jan 18. He threw his arms high in the air as the crowd cheered wildly; they hadn’t minded being drenched by a downpour as they waited for his rally to begin on the outskirts of Colombo. They didn’t mind, either, that he was five hours late.

The general is the army hero whose unexpected intervention has electrified Sri Lanka’s presidential election, being held just nine months after the defeat of the violent separatist movement known as the Tamil Tigers.

When the campaign began in November the re-election of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the victorious war president, was regarded as virtually inevitable.

But now, as the last week of campaigning begins, there is a growing sense that the general who directed operations on the battlefield could instead narrowly pull off a historic upset at the polls.

The crowd at the Colombo rally roared with approval when he told them that after four years of arrogant and wasteful rule by president Rajapaksa and his powerful brothers, it was time for a change. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 17 23:08:15 EST 2010

Sri Lanka vote raises hopes in Washington
afp, jan 18. WASHINGTON (AFP) – Sri Lanka's upcoming election is raising hopes in the United States for better relations after a chilly spell if the island turns the page on a bloody war that brought international opprobrium. Ironically, the post-war election could be decided by voters from the Tamil minority as the Sinhalese majority splits between two candidates -- incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse, who ordered the final military push, and former general Sarath Fonseka, who executed it but more recently has pledged reconciliation. Related article: Sri Lanka's Tamils wary of election spotlight More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 17 23:10:00 EST 2010 Back to the top

Heroes Cross Swords in Sri Lanka
Himalayan, Jan 18. NEW DELHI: Two celebrated heroes who, as president and army chief, helped end Sri Lanka’s long and brutal civil war against the Tamil Tigers are now crossing political swords. Whichever candidate wins Sri Lanka’s presidential election on January 26 will have to lead that small but strategically located island-nation in a fundamentally different direction — from making war, as it has done for more than a quarter-century, to making peace through ethnic reconciliation and power sharing.

Sri Lanka, almost since independence in 1948, has been racked by acrimonious rivalry between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils, who make up 12 percent of today’s 21.3-million population. Now the country is being divided by the political rivalry between two Sinhalese war idols, each of whom wants to be remembered as the true leader who crushed the Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The antagonism between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the now-retired General Sarath Fonseka has been in the making for months. No sooner had Sri Lanka’s military crushed the Tamil Tigers - who ran a de facto state for more than two decades in the north and east - than Rajapaksa removed Fonseka as army chief to appoint him to the new, largely ceremonial post of chief of defence staff. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jan 17 23:20:57 EST 2010 Back to the top

Colombo denies misuse of LTTE funds
hindu, jan 18. COLOMBO: In a rare media appearance, Sri Lanka’s National Intelligence Chief Kapila Hendawitharana on Sunday condemned what he termed a false campaign fuelled by vested interests against the government over its alleged misuse of LTTE assets... Back to the top

Sri Lanka orders tighter security after shootings
afp, jan 18. COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's president ordered police to step up security ahead of presidential elections after a second political activist was shot dead this month, an official said Sunday... Back to the top

India intends to play greater role in Lanka
ens, jan 18. OLOMBO: India plans to play a greater role in finding a solution to the Tamil question in Sri Lanka, following the exit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the political scene in the island nation... Back to the top

Sri Lanka 'guilty' of war crimes
bbc, jan 18. The Sri Lanka government was found guilty of war crimes, a peoples tribunal in Ireland has said... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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