The Lanka Academic

VOL. 10, NO. 308


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2010 Election Results
Headline Summary
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Sri Lanka under fire over opponent's arrest
afp, Feb 9. WASHINGTON: Sri Lanka was hit by sharp international criticism after troops arrested the defeated opposition candidate, just two weeks after an election that had raised hopes of turning a new page.

The United States voiced worries that the arrest late Monday of former general Sarath Fonseka would worsen divisions on the island, which last year emerged from a bloody 37-year ethnic war.

"We are following the situation closely and we have concerns that any action be in accord with Sri Lankan law," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told AFP.

"There is a tremendous need for the government of Sri Lanka to work to overcome the fissures that exist within its society," he said.

"It has to be very cautious that any actions it takes are designed to heal the split within Sri Lankan society, not to exacerbate it," he said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 8 21:04:11 EST 2010

Related News Stories
US concerned on Sri Lanka arrest  - afp

Fonseka dragged out of office and arrested
Telegraph, Feb 9. Colombo Feb. 8 (AP): Sri Lanka’s defeated presidential candidate was hauled from his office by military police today and will be court-martialled for allegedly planning to overthrow the government while serving as the head of the army.

Sarath Fonseka, who as the top general helped defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels, was forcibly detained after objecting to his arrest, Opposition politician Rauff Hakeem told The Associated Press.

Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa were once strong allies who combined to end the country’s 25-year civil war last May. But they subsequently fell out, and Fonseka quit his post. They contested a bitter election last month for the presidency that Rajapaksa won by 17 percentage points, according to official results. More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 8 19:11:13 EST 2010 Back to the top

Fonseka arrest could be poll issue
Hindu, Feb 9. COLOMBO: With the dissolution of the Sri Lankan Parliament expected on Tuesday and the general election scheduled for the first half of April, the arrest of the former Army Chief and consensus Opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, could be one of the main poll issues.

Though nearly two weeks have passed since the January 26 presidential election, there is no coherent explanation from either Gen (retd.) Fonseka or the Opposition leaders who rooted for him on what prompted them to leave their offices and homes and hire a whole floor of a five-star hotel. Their account that it was meant to pre-empt an operation by the government to round up the General and all the other leaders, only leads to more questions.

If the intelligence agencies were keeping vigil outside their offices and homes, how did the Opposition leaders assume that they could move into the hotel premises without being noticed? More...Discuss this story
Published: Mon Feb 8 19:14:59 EST 2010 Back to the top

Rajapaksa’s political rival humiliated, but at what cost? - Analysis
Times, Feb 9. By arresting his former army chief and electoral opponent in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa appears to be trying to neutralise the threat of a coup... Back to the top

Sri Lankan general held in crackdown
Guardian, Feb 8. The defeated candidate in last month's tense presidential election in Sri Lanka, General Sarath Fonseka, was arrested today at his office in Colombo and is to be charged with attempting a military coup to overthrow the government... Back to the top

Fonseka to 'testify on war crimes'
bbc, Feb 8. Sri Lanka's former military commander says that he is prepared to give evidence in an international court on war crime charges against Sri Lanka... Back to the top

UN watchdog to quiz Lankan team over Fonseka's LTTE remarks
PTI, Feb 8. COLOMBO: The chief of the UN human rights watchdog will quiz a Sri Lankan delegation over the controversial allegation by the former army chief that instructions were given by a senior government official to kill the top Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leaders and not allow them to surrender during the final stages of the ethnic conflict... Back to the top

100 Sri Lankan journalists protest government for alleged moves to suppress media workers
CP, Feb 8. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan journalists who claim the government has stepped up its suppression of the media in recent weeks staged a protest Monday and demanded the release of a detained editor from a pro-opposition newspaper... Back to the top

Lanka not to allow even UN to probe war crimes
ENS, Feb 7. COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told a foreign news channel that his country would not allow even the United Nations (UN) to investigate the alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the Eelam war... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Parliament likely to be dissolved soon
hindu, feb 7. COLOMBO: Following the extension of emergency laws by another month on Friday, the Sri Lankan Parliament is all set to be dissolved in the next few days and the general election is scheduled to be held in the first half of April... Back to the top

Should India Bat for Tamils in Sri Lanka?
Forbes, Feb 8. With Tamils in Sri Lanka beaten on all fronts, the time has come for India to intervene decisively Somebody once said democracy is the right to choose your dictator... Back to the top

Sri Lanka army denies plan to arrest former chief
AP, Feb 7. Sri Lanka's military denied Sunday a newspaper report that former army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka will be tried in a military court for allegedly planning to assassinate the president and take power... Back to the top

Media persons may be quizzed over 'coup plot' by Fonseka
HT, Feb 7. Sri Lankan authorities are likely to question several media persons, who were present at a Colombo hotel during defeated opposition presidential candidate Gen Sartah Fonseka's stay there, over the alleged plot by him to stage a coup and assassinate incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa... Back to the top

'Court martial' looms for S.Lanka's defeated candidate
AFP, feb 7. COLOMBO (AFP) – Defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka could be hauled before a court martial to answer charges of plotting a coup to topple the government, a press report said Sunday... Back to the top

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