The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 290


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Bomb attack in Sri Lanka capital ahead of vote
afp, Jan 22. COLOMBO — A key opposition activist in Sri Lanka was targeted at home by a bomb early Friday, police said, despite tighter security ahead of next week's presidential election.

The blast destroyed a car and severely damaged the home of Tiran Alles, a key ally of presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, police said, adding that he and his family had escaped unhurt. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 21 23:52:34 EST 2010

Between a rock and a hard man
Economist, Jan 22. THE presidential election in Sri Lanka on January 26th should have been a cakewalk for the incumbent. Last May, when his government defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, bringing an end to a bloody 26-year insurgency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity among the island’s Sinhalese majority knew no bounds. As for the Tamil minority, thwarted of the independent homeland for which the Tigers had been fighting, it was, at just 12% of the 21m population, too small to sway an election. Yet, as an ugly and at times violent election season nears its end, the outcome is now on a knife-edge. Despite the advantages of incumbency—such as fawning state-controlled media—the main challenger, Sarath Fonseka, might yet sneak home. Whoever wins, the prospects for a decent settlement for the Tamils, most of whom shunned the Tigers but nurture legitimate grievances, seem remote. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 21 20:53:08 EST 2010 Back to the top

State media turned into presidential propaganda outlets
RSF, jan 22. Flouting a 15 January supreme court ruling, state-owned TV stations Rupavahini and ITN continue to openly favour President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign to win another term in the presidential election to be held on 26 January with a total of 21 candidates taking part.

Detailed monitoring by Reporters Without Borders has established that 98.5 per cent of the news and current affairs air-time on these two stations on 18 and 19 January was given over to the president and his supporters. This violates the constitution, above all its seventh amendment and article 104 (b) empowering the electoral commission.

“Alarmed by Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s candidacy, President Rajapaksa and his followers are using and abusing all of the state’s resources to get the president reelected,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The TV propaganda is deafening and the figures we are releasing today are worthy of the Burmese or North Korean regimes.” More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Jan 21 20:54:21 EST 2010 Back to the top

Next year in Jaffna Tamil émigrés follow the election campaign with jaundiced eyes
The Economist, Jan 22. IN THE dingy back office of a Sri Lankan grocery shop in Harrow, north-west London, sales assistants pore over a Tamil newspaper, while a customer says he is going home to follow events on the internet... Back to the top

Shattered Tamil city braces for crucial poll
bbc, jan 22. The fishing boats seem to chase each other out in the lagoon... Back to the top

Gen behind LTTE rout is now agent of change
TOI, Jan 22. COLOMBO: Shafts of fire shoot up into the night sky, return in parabolic curves and end in cheery explosions... Back to the top

Sri Lanka prepares to vote
Al Jazeera, Jan 22. This would have to be one of the more intriguing presidential elections the world has ever witnessed... Back to the top

Media group sees bias in Sri Lanka poll coverage
AP, Jan 22. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: A media rights group has accused Sri Lanka's president of using government resources for his election campaign... Back to the top

Sri Lanka eye bank gives sight worldwide
Japan Times, Jan 22. COLOMBO — The headquarters of the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society is housed in an unpretentious three-story building in the heart of Colombo's residential Cinnamon Gardens district, where the gift of sight is flown to many parts of the world... Back to the top

Seaside Views, Sri Lankan Tastes
NYT, jan 22. The seaside enclave of Tompkinsville sits on the north side of Staten Island, but, with a significant population of Sri Lankan immigrants, the neighborhood could easily be half a world away... Back to the top

S.Lanka opposition alleges post-poll coup plan
AFP, Jan 21. COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's main opposition said Thursday it feared President Mahinda Rajapakse would use the military to remain in power if he was defeated in next week's elections... Back to the top

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... Back to the top

Nuke Option-Sri Lanka to study nuclear power feasibility
LBO, 21 Jan. (LBO) – Sri Lanka is seeking Korean help to study the feasibility of starting a nuclear power plant in the island, power and energy ministry secretary M M C Ferdinando said... Back to the top

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... 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... 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

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

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