The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 289


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NGO cautions on fairness in Sri Lankan poll
Hindu, jan 21. COLOMBO: A day after Sri Lankan Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake reportedly expressed disappointment over the failure of the authorities to ensure faithful implementation of the election guidelines related to January 26 presidential poll by all the parties in general and the state media in particular, a Colombo-based NGO thinktank on Wednesday cautioned that “impunity surrounding election-related practices”, if further tolerated, could lead to a breakdown of law and order.

The feelings of the Election Commissioner, who is on record several times in recent times on his desire to leave his job after completion of the poll, and the concern of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) on the atmosphere in the run up were only expected given the high-pitched campaign.

The Tuesday election is not only keenly contested but also could prove to be important in providing direction to several of the political, economic and social issues including the three-decade-old ethnic strife affecting the island nation. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 20 23:14:03 EST 2010

After 19 yrs in jail for Rajiv murder, Nalini may be freed
toi, jan 21. CHENNAI: Providing a glimmer of hope to Nalini Sriharan, who has been in prison for about 19 years now in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, an advisory board constituted by the Tamil Nadu government is understood to have agreed to recommend her “premature release” from jail.

On Wednesday, Nalini appeared before the board headed by the Vellore district collector, and deposed for about 10 minutes. Reliable sources said a favourable report by the probation officer and the fact that she had already spent nearly 19 years in prison weighed heavily on the minds of the board members. That she has a girl child and her husband too is in jail awaiting execution, was also considered by the board comprising the collector, district judge, probation officer, and the superintendent of the Vellore prison for women. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 20 23:35:09 EST 2010 Back to the top

UN chief calls for restraint as violence in Sri Lanka escalates
Xinhua, Jan 21. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern on Wednesday about the growing violence in the lead-up to the presidential election in Sri Lanka, according the spokesperson's office.

Ban appealed to all parties in Sri Lanka and their supporters " to show restraint and refrain from violence, to adhere to the electoral laws and rules, and to avoid provocative acts throughout the election period and its aftermath."

Over the past week four people have been killed in campaign- related violence. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered increased security ahead of the Jan. 26 elections as violence continues to escalate.

"The peaceful conduct of the first post-conflict national election is of the highest importance for long-term peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka," said Ban.

The United Nations hopes the elections will be the first step in reconciliation after a bloody 25-year civil war between the Sinhalese government and the Tamil rebel group. More...Discuss this story
Published: Wed Jan 20 22:56:32 EST 2010 Back to the top

Lanka Prez, ex-general bring Eelam into battle
Asian Age, Jan 21. Jan. 20: The war against the LTTE got over with the fall of Velupillai Prabhakaran in May last year but the "terrible" theme of separation he represented continues to occupy centrestage in the political battle ahead of Sri Lanka’s January 26 presidential elections, with the camp of incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa accusing challenger Sarath Fonseka, who as Army Chief had led the long war against the Tigers, of promising "Eelam" to the Tamils in return for their vote. A pro-government Sinhala weekly recenly accused common Opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka of entering into an agreement with Tamil National Alliance leader R... Back to the top

‘Fifty-fifty’ in Sri Lanka - Commentry?
Dawn, Jan 20. The other day, Nandi, our housekeeper, returned from her shopping expedition, and announced in a shocked voice that sugar had gone up to 109 rupees a kilo... Back to the top

EU:Statement Made By Catherine Ashton On Sri Lanka's, Where Pre-Election Violence Is Increasing
EGov, Jan 20. The High Representative of the European Union is deeply concerned by mounting pre-electoral violence in Sri Lanka, which has already caused deaths and numerous injured... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

Solar Try - Sri Lanka to get solar power plant from Korea
LBO, 20 Jan. Jan 20, 2010 (LBO) - Sri Lanka is getting a 500 kiloWatt solar power plant from Korea which will be built in Hambantota in the south of the island and used to gain more knowledge on operating the technology , officials said... 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

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