The Lanka Academic

MAY 6, 2010 EST, USA
VOL. 11, NO. 30


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Rebuilding Sri Lanka's north Winners and losers
economist, May 7. TRAMPLING weeds underfoot, a group of people bound excitedly into an abandoned cemetery for Tamil Tiger rebels, hack bricks off the once pristine tombs and throw them into a waiting van. They are, sighs a local Tamil autorickshaw driver resignedly, “Sinhala tourists”—members of Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority, collecting souvenirs to take back home in the south. Since the main north-south highway reopened to civilian traffic in December 2009, thousands of such visitors have been streaming to Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula, eager to make up for lost time. Alas, reconstruction and ethnic reconciliation are not following in their wake as quickly as people had hoped. More... Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 6 22:58:18 EDT 2010

False dawn in Sri Lanka?
Expree Buzz, April 06, 2010. The Sinhalese and the Tamils celebrated the New Year on April 14. They assembled in their ancestral homes, made offerings to their gods and fervently hoped that the New Year would herald a new dawn of peace and amity in their country. The preceding year was traumatic for them. The convincing victory in the Fourth Eelam War was accompanied by the death and displacement of thousands of Tamil civilians; the two architects of military victory soon parted ways and started accusing each other of treachery; the landslide victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2010 was accompanied by an equally convincing victory in the recent parliamentary elections. Rajapaksa has emerged not only as the unchallenged leader in the island, he is also provided with a rare opportunity to apply the healing touch and usher in a new dawn.

How do the Sri Lanka watchers in India perceive these momentous events and their implications for the immediate future? A National Seminar on Ethnic Reconciliation, Economic Reconstruction and Nation Building in Sri Lanka was recently organised in Chennai by the Indian Centre for South Asian Studies. Participants included former diplomats like N N Jha and Leela Ponappa; members of the National Security Advisory Board like More...
Published: Thu May 6 16:52:30 EDT 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka to probe alleged wartime rights abuses
AP, May 6. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's government said Thursday it plans to probe alleged human rights abuses during its quarter-century long civil war that killed an estimated 80,000-100,000 people.President Mahinda Rajapaksa will appoint a commission comprising seven members — Sri Lankans and foreigners — his office said in a statement. The body will also recommend compensation for victims of the bloody conflict. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu May 6 08:49:16 EDT 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka ex-army chief vows to expose war crimes
afp, May 6. COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's ex-army chief Thursday vowed to "expose" any war crimes committed during the end of the country's civil war last year and said he would go "out of his way" to assist with a probe... Back to the top

Sri Lanka fears revival of war crimes charges
afp, May 6. COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan former army chief Sarath Fonseka could use his new position as an opposition lawmaker to revive calls for an international war crimes investigation, the government said Thursday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's main opposition faces leadership question as it attempts to regroup
The National, May 7. COLOMBO // Sri Lanka’s main opposition party is facing a leadership crisis after losing a number of elections over the past six years to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's ex-army chief barred from parliament
Sify, May 6. The former army commander who was elected to parliament while in military custody on charges of conspiracy went on hunger strike after he was barred from attending sessions, his wife said Wednesday... Back to the top

MF urges Sri Lanka reforms to get loan moving again
reuters, May 6. COLOMBO (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund urged the Sri Lankan government on Wednesday to speed up fiscal reforms and produce a more comprehensive deficit cutting plan if wants to get a multi-billion dollar loan back on track... Back to the top

Moves to boost livelihoods in former combat-zone
Reuters, May 6. KILINOCHCHI, 5 May 2010 (IRIN) - Reviving the farming and fishing sectors in northern Sri Lanka's former combat zone is vital for returning residents to regain their livelihoods, experts say... Back to the top

India ready to resume ferry services with Sri Lanka
HT, May 6. India is prepared to resume ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said on Wednesday... Back to the top

Accused terrorism-financer expected to plead guilty in Vancouver court
Vancouer Sun, May 6. VANCOUVER -- The first man charged under Canada's anti-terrorism financing law is expected to plead guilty next Tuesday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka parliament approves state of emergency
Xinhua, May 6. Sri Lanka's parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of extension of the state of emergency by a further month... Back to the top

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