The Lanka Academic

MARCH 11, 2010 EST, USA
VOL. 10, NO. 339


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Headline Summary
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US reports rights violations in Sri Lanka
Sify, March 12. Sri Lanka violated human rights last year as it dealt a final blow to Tamil Tiger insurgents and clamped down on media freedom, the US State Department said Thursday.

But in an annual report, the State Department also reported some signs of progress since May when Sri Lankan forces defeated the Tigers who had waged a 37-year war for a separate Tamil homeland.

"The government's respect for human rights declined as armed conflict reached its conclusion," the State Department said.

It said that young Tamil men accounted for an "overwhelming majority" of victims of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, even though Tamils only make up some 16 percent of the population. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Mar 11 21:49:43 EST 2010

Sri Lanka urged to end witch hunt against the media and NGOs
AI, March 12. The Sri Lankan government should end its harassment of journalists and activists and take steps against those making threats, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement. Since the January 2010 presidential election, the government has engaged in a campaign to silence and discredit journalists and nongovernmental organizations. A recently leaked document, which appears to be a government surveillance list of more than 30 journalists and activists, significantly raises concerns about the safety of the people on the list, the organizations said. More... [Listen]
Published: Thu Mar 11 21:52:42 EST 2010 Back to the top

Rajapaksa appoints Courts Martial to try Fonseka
ENS, March 11. COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, on Thursday appointed two Courts Martial to try the former Army Commander, Gen.Sarath Fonseka, on two separate sets of charges under the Army Act.

One Court Martial will try him on three charges relating to participation in politics - while being in service. The other Court Martial will try him on four charges - relating to violation of laid down procedures for the purchase of military hardware, according to Army spokesman, Maj.Gen.Prasad Samarasinghe.

The charge of indulging in political activity while being in service has been filed under Sec 124 and 102(I) of the Army Act. The charge of violating tender procedures are filed under Sec.109 (E). More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Mar 11 08:48:27 EST 2010 Back to the top

Politicians clash in Sri Lanka election run-up
Xinhua, March 12. An opposition candidate was arrested while two ministers accused each other of perpetrating violence on Thursday in the campaign for Sri Lanka's parliamentary election to be held next month... Back to the top

Sri Lankan Democratic National Alliance Party Threatens Legal Action If Party Leader Fonseka Faces Court Martial
AHN, March 12. Colombo, Sri Lanka (AHN) - Sri Lankan Democratic National Alliance (DNA) party announced Thursday that it will take legal action if its leader Retired Gen... Back to the top

Sri Lanka to try former army chief next week
Reuters, march 11. COLOMBO, March 11 (Reuters) - The court martial of defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka will begin next week on charges of engaging in politics while army chief and procurement malpractices, officials said on Thursday... Back to the top

Lanka steps up efforts to resettle Tamil civilians
PTI, March 11. Colombo, Mar 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka has stepped up efforts to resettle the civilians displaced by a decades-long ethnic conflict, with 182,005 IDPs settled at the beginning of this month... Back to the top

The right moves in Jaffna - Editorial
ENS, March 11. The news that India will soon open a consulate in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, is to be welcomed... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Locks Horns with UN over Expertsí Panel
IPS, March 11. COLOMBO, Mar 10, 2010 (IPS) - The war of words between the Sri Lankan government and the United Nations has begun all over again, this time over the creation of an expertsí panel on the islandís human rights record... Back to the top

Family fears for missing Sri Lankan cartoonist
afp, March 11. Six weeks ago Sri Lankan political writer and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda went missing, and his fate has raised further concerns about the island's culture of violence against the media... Back to the top

India, Sri Lanka sign $67.4 m Line of Credit
Hindu, March 11. COLOMBO: India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed a Line of Credit agreement for $67.4 million to fund the second phase of upgradation of the Southern Railway Line from Colombo to Matara... Back to the top

15 years after Lanka took control, Jaffna abuzz with activity
HT, March 11. It was dusk when I checked into Bastion hotel in Jaffna. I had left Colombo at dawn... Back to the top

China to loan Sri Lanka $290 mln for infrastructure
Reuters, March 10. COLOMBO, March 10 - China has agreed to lend $290 million to Sri Lanka for a new airport and to revive the country's railway network, the island nation's foreign ministry said on Wednesday... Back to the top

CNN International reveals Sri Lankaís civil war aftermath in a half-hour special, ĎWitness to Survivalí
WNW, March 11. Sri Lanka's bloody civil war came to an end amongst some of the fiercest fighting, with both the government and the insurgents facing allegations of war crimes... Back to the top

China to build new international airport in Sri Lanka
bbc, march 11. China is to lend Sri Lanka about $200m (£133m) to build a second international airport in the south of the island... Back to the top

Sri Lanka February tourist arrivals at 2-year high
reuters, March 11. COLOMBO, March 10 - Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by nearly 70 percent in February compared to a year earlier to its highest level in over two years, boosted by the end of a 25-year war, the tourism board data showed on Wednesday... Back to the top

Indian team from Jaipur to help Sri Lanka amputees
bbc, March 11. An Indian charity has sent a team to northern Sri Lanka to provide 1,000 amputees with artificial limbs... Back to the top

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