The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 294


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Bomb blasts marr Sri Lanka elections as polls open
Times, Jan 26. Voting has begun in a tense Sri Lanka amid heightened fears of election violence.Several bombs exploded in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna even before polls opened for the crucial presidential election between Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief who led the campaign against the Tigers and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, At least two bombs went off outside the home of a ruling party activist in the Jaffna peninsula, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said.

"We have a complaint that two bombs were thrown at the home of Subramaniam Sharma, an organiser for the (ruling) Sri Lanka Freedom Party early this morning," spokesman D. M. Dissanayake said.There were no casualties but, like last week's bomb attack on the Colombo villa of Tiran Alles, a key opposition supporter, it only serves to increase concerns that election violence could spiral out of control, undermining a newfound peace that took three decades to achieve. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 25 21:41:36 EST 2010

Related News Stories
Blasts heard in Sri Lanka's north ahead of key vote: monitor  - afp

Polling in presidential election opens in Sri Lanka
DPA, Jan 26. Colombo Polling in Sri Lanka's presidential elections opened on Tuesday morning in the first national election to be held in the country since the defeat of the Tamil rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May. Voting began at 7:00 am (0130 GMT) in some 11,000 polling stations with 14 million people registered to vote. Polling is to end at 4:00 pm (1030 GMT).

Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, 64, representing the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) faces former Army commander, General Sarath Fonseka, 59, who has come forward as a common opposition candidate, backed by four leading political parties.

Twenty other candidates also are contesting, but are unlikely to make an impact with the race narrowing down to a close contest between Rajapaksa and Fonseka.

Both main candidates, Rajapaksa and Fonseka have claimed credit for winning the war against the rebels to end a 26-year conflict. The opposition has also vowed to end corruption and what they call Rajapaksa's family rule. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 25 21:03:36 EST 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka ‘Stability’ to Help Stocks Extend Rally, NDB Says
Bloomberg, Jan. 26. Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan stocks are poised to extend last year’s record gain no matter who wins today’s election, as the end of the 26-year civil war and rising corporate profits bolster the economy, according to the nation’s largest non-government investment fund.

NDB Aviva Wealth Management Ltd. predicts the Colombo All- Share Index will advance 25 percent this year after a gain of 125 percent in 2009, the best performance among equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg worldwide after Russia’s RTS. Sri Lanka’s market, with a value of $9.94 billion, is the smallest among 16 major economies in Asia, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“There may be some volatility in sentiment over any election result, but strong earnings will help the market catch up on lost momentum,” said Bimanee Meepagala, who helps manage the equivalent of about $250 million at NDB in Colombo. “Political stability should prevail whoever wins. The biggest overhang was the war and that has been taken away.” More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jan 25 21:02:24 EST 2010 Back to the top

No matter who wins, India's stake in Lanka will go up
TOI, Jan 26. NEW DELHI: A closely fought election in Sri Lanka on Tuesday will be watched closely in India, but notwithstanding the result, India's investment in its island neighbour will only increase... Back to the top

Canadians sentenced for attempting to buy, sell arms to Sri Lankan Tamils, jan 25. TORONTO — Two Canadians were sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday for attempting to buy heat-seeking missiles and military assault rifles for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Tense on Eve of Presidential Election
VOA, 25 January 2010. Sri Lanka's government and the political opposition are trading accusations their respective rivals are preparing to use force to overturn the results of Tuesday's presidential election... Back to the top

Sri Lanka president urges fair vote on poll eve
afp, Jan 25. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse vowed Monday to ensure the first post-war nationwide election goes off peacefully, as he prepared to face his former army chief after an acrimonious campaign... Back to the top

Election observers condemn violence on eve of Sri Lanka elections
DPA, Jan 25. Colombo – Election monitoring groups reported widespread political violence and coercion ahead of Tuesday's presidential elections in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Election offices ready for Sri Lanka poll
Xinhua, Jan 25. Sri Lanka's Elections Department commenced initial arrangements ahead of Tuesday's presidential election, officials said on Monday... Back to the top

">Video: Lives of many of the Tamils in Sri Lanka's north remain difficult
Al Jazeera, Jan 25. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka led the campaign that finally defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers that ended a quarter-century of war... Back to the top

President pledges fair poll amid accusations of coup
RFI, Jan 25. "The Sri Lanka government calls for a peaceful election, and stands committed to taking whatever steps deemed necessary to ensure the same," said a statement released by Rajapakse's office on the eve of the election... Back to the top

Jaffna reels in the changes under the shadow of war
smh, Jan 25. THE Tamil Tigers called it the Martyrs' Sleeping House - a place to bury the thousands of young cadres who died fighting for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Coup claims cloud Sri Lanka poll
Australian, Jan 25. SRI Lanka's main presidential challenger, Sarath Fonseka, has a force of up to 800 army deserters at his disposal for today's election, the government claimed yesterday amid mounting accusations that both sides were planning poll violence... Back to the top

Sri Lankans caught by election fatigue
xinhua, jan 25. Elections happen far too often in Sri Lanka leading to almost election fatigue... Back to the top

Political solution not a demand of Tamils
ens, jan 25. COLOMBO: Mahinda Rajapaksa, incumbent President and the ruling party’s candidate in the January 26 Sri Lankan Presidential election, has told a group of journalists that unlike the elite living in Colombo and overseas, the Tamil masses are not interested in a “political” solution to the Tamil question... Back to the top

General Puts Up a Fight in Sri Lanka’s Election
nyt, jan 25. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — When President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced late last year that he would move the presidential election up by two years and seek a fresh mandate from Sri Lanka’s war-weary electorate, he seemed like a shoo-in... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Vote Hinges on Tamils
WSJ, Jan 25. OLOMBO, Sri Lanka—This country's presidential vote Tuesday pits two chief architects of the country's defeat last year of Tamil separatists, underscoring the political divide that remains after 26 years of ethnic strife... Back to the top

India stars in Sri Lanka polls too close to call
Rediff, Jan 25. Sri Lanka's [ Images ] presidential polls on January 26, between incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse and the combined opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka, may be surprisingly too close to call, even as it has emerged that Rajapakse did the Congress party a favour during the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu last year by withdrawing the use of heavy weaponry against pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels in the last days of the war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Vote Winner Must Find Path to Victory Over Inflation
Bloomberg, Jan. 25. Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The winner of tomorrow’s Sri Lankan presidential election must find a way to triumph in a long battle against inflation while sustaining economic growth in a nation still healing from a 26-year civil war. Voters will choose between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who quit in November... Back to the top

War President versus war general in Sri Lanka
Malaysian Insider , Jan 25. NEW DELHI, — Sri Lanka’s contemporary heroes clash tomorrow in violence-marred polls that pit the victorious war President against his popular former army commander... Back to the top

Opposition has lost the game, says SLFP
hindu, jan 25. With one day to go for one of the most intensely fought Sri Lankan presidential elections, the opposition backing the candidature of commander-turned-politician Sarath Fonseka on Sunday charged President Mahinda Rajapaksa with preparing the stage for a coup to prevent peaceful transition of power... Back to the top

Rajapaksa suffers setback; Kumaratunga supports Fonseka
Rediff, Jan 24. The stage is now set for what is expected to be the most closely contested Presidential polls in Sri Lanka [ Images ], with the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa and his main challenger Sarath Fonseka exuding full confidence of emerging victorious... Back to the top

Sri Lanka opposition warns of election coup
AFP, jan 24. COLOMBO (AFP) – Tension increased on Sunday ahead of Sri Lanka's first peace-time presidential election after the opposition accused the ruling regime of preparing a state-backed coup... Back to the top

Millions spent on election propaganda
BBC, JAn 25. Main presidential candidates in Sri Lanka have spent an staggering Rs... Back to the top

Post LTTE, bitterly divided Sri Lanka set to elect president
NewKerala, Jan 25. By M.R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi, Jan 24 : A viciously split Sri Lanka goes to the polls Tuesday to elect a president in the first nationwide election after the decisive rout of the Tamil Tigers... Back to the top

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