The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 288


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SRI LANKA: Amid Furore, Central Bank Drops Plan to Relax Forex Rules
IPS, Jan 20. COLOMBO, Jan 19, 2010 (IPS) - Under pressure over accusations that ill-gotten money would be siphoned out, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has put the lid on a plan to allow a free flow of foreign currency in and out of the country.

In a move that was welcomed mostly by the business community, the Central Bank on Jan. 4 said it planned to allow unhindered flow of foreign exchange, which would enable anyone to open bank accounts abroad or send money out freely.

That, however, triggered an uproar among the supporters of General Sarath Fonseka, the main opposition candidate in the Jan. 26 presidential polls. They claimed the move was designed to allow the administration’s officials to move tainted or ill-gotten money out of the country, anticipating defeat in the elections.

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told IPS over the weekend that due to the political furore, the plan has been put on hold until the elections are over. More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 19 20:43:12 EST 2010

Price rise affects Rajapaksa’s prospects
ENS, Jan 20. POLONNARUWA (SRI LANKA): Skyrocketing prices of essential commodities seem to be adversely affecting the chances of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and boosting the prospects of his principal rival, Gen.Sarath Fonseka, in the January 26 Sri Lankan Presidential election.

The viciously rising cost of living has been one of the major issues among the Sinhalese speaking people throughout the island nation after the LTTE was eliminated in May last year. Those who voice concern over the price rise support Fonseka. The Fonseka camp is also exploiting the issue.

A tour of the largely rural north-central district of Polonnaruwa revealed that the rising cost of living is a major problem not just for the urban dwellers but for rural folk also.

The tour disabused one of the impression that the farmer is cushioned against price rise because he grows his own rice and vegetables; that he gets a fair price for his produce; and is given fertilizers at a highly subsidized rate. More...

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Published: Tue Jan 19 20:39:39 EST 2010 Back to the top

Rajapaksa, Fonseka vow to curb secessionism
Hindu, Jan 20. COLOMBO: Five days before the close of official campaign to the Sri Lankan presidential election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his chief opponent General (retired) Sarath Fonseka vowed not to allow rise of secessionist forces in the island nation.

In the run up to the election, the former Army Chief and the consensus opposition nominee, secured the support of the post-Prabakaran Tamil National Alliance (TNA) but is now faced with charges of a “secret pact” pledging re-merger of the northern and eastern provinces. Though the General has denied the allegation levelled by Mr. Rajapaksa’s campaign managers, it has emerged as one of the dominant themes.

At their respective rallies across the nation, the contenders, with perhaps an eye on the majority community voters, deemed it necessary to rake up the issue of not letting anyone revive any separatist movement . More...Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jan 19 17:48:59 EST 2010 Back to the top

Prabhakaran will appear soon, says LTTE website
Express, jan 20. CHENNAI: Despite the Sri Lankan Army declaring that LTTE founder V Prabhakaran was killed in an encounter on May 19, 2009, the controversy over his death lingers... Back to the top

Lankan minister bets on Rajapaksa's election
Zee News, Jan 19. Colombo: Betting on the candidature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a maverick Sri Lankan minister has offered 16.02 million rupees to anyone who defeats the incumbent in the forthcoming January 26 polls... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Keeps Rates at Five-Year Low to Spur Growth (Update2)
bloomberg, jan 19. Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka’s central bank Governor Nivard Cabraal kept benchmark interest rates unchanged at a five-year low to spur investments and aid economic growth after the end of a 26-year civil war. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the reverse repurchase rate at 9.75 percent, the Colombo-based bank said... Back to the top

Basu’s death a loss to all South Asians: Rajapaska
Hindu, Jan 20. COLOMBO: In his message of condolence on the demise of veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said his death was a loss to the people of India and all people of South Asia who look forward to such leadership, especially for the uplift of the peasantry and the working people, and national unity built on pluralism... Back to the top

Sri Lanka - TNA trying to drag India into SL politics - Former Indian MP
ISRIA, 19 Jan. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is engaged in a despicable campaign to drag India into the internal politics of Sri Lanka by falsely asserting that India supports opposition candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka in the forthcoming Presidential election, former MP and former Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party of India, Dr... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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

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