The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 287


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Sri Lanka's warhorses fail at peace - Analysis
Guardian, jan 19. 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% 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. More... Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 18 20:45:42 EST 2010

Fonseka Vows Reconciliation in Bid to Win Sri Lanka Presidency
Bloomberg, Jan. 19. Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Sarath Fonseka, the general who led the army to victory over separatist rebels ending a 26-year civil war is promoting reconciliation with minority Tamils as he tries to win this month’s presidential election.

“With the war over and resources available for development, Sri Lanka is at the crossroads,” Fonseka said in his election manifesto. Relief and development aid will be given to the war- torn north to “address the burning problems” of Tamil speaking people, he pledged.

Fonseka, 59, is challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who called the Jan. 26 election two years before his mandate expires to capitalize on the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May and an economy boosted by rebuilding industries such as agriculture and tourism after the conflict.

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Published: Mon Jan 18 20:31:41 EST 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka: Time for a New Start; A Human Rights Agenda for Sri Lanka’s Presidential Candidates
AI, jan 19. Amnesty International calls on all candidates standing in Sri Lanka's Presidential elections on January 26th to end widespread human rights violations and the culture of impunity that continues to plague the country.

On Monday, the organization issued a 10-point Human Rights Agenda for all candidates.

"Candidates should commit to restoring respect for basic rights, like life and liberty, ending arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearances and torture, and to restoring respect for freedom of expression, said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's Sri Lanka specialist. "In the longer run, what's needed is to rebuild Sri Lanka's institutions so that they can protect efficiently and without discrimination. That's the only way to restore public faith in the justice system."

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Published: Mon Jan 18 20:37:44 EST 2010 Back to the top

NZ gives refuge to Sri Lankan asylum seekers
nzherald, jan 19. New Zealand will open its doors to Sri Lankan asylum seekers rescued at sea by Australian vessel the Oceanic Viking in October after originally refusing to give them refuge... Back to the top

Defection scandal generates heat
Hindu, jan 19. Even as a third death, supposedly connected to the crucial January 26 presidential election was reported, the "scandal" over the attempt by the opposition to bribe a ruling party legislator to defect to its camps took a bizarre turn on Monday... Back to the top

Polls violence escalates ahead of Sri Lankan elections
Xinhua, Jan 18. Citizens of Sri Lanka were alarmed by the killing of a supporter of the opposition candidate in the run-up to the presidential election Sunday night... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

LTTE bank accounts have not been appropriated: SL
PTI, 18 January. Colombo, Jan 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka's spy chief has described as a "fabricated lie" charges by some opposition leaders that 600 bank accounts said to be operated by the LTTE have been appropriated and their assets are being misused... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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