The Lanka Academic

VOL. 11, NO. 156


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Sri Lanka's constitutional amendment: Eighteenth time unlucky - The Economist, 2010-09-09 19:26:22 EST. NATIONAL constitutions come in two main types. Some are prescriptive, enshrining freedoms, curtailing the powers of the state and generally hampering would-be dictators. Others, however, tend to the descriptive, and are often revised to catch up with changes that have already happened. Into this class can be put Sri Lanka’s 1978 constitution, this week amended for the 18th time, with unseemly haste.

The Sri Lanka described in the revised charter is not a pretty place. It is one where the forms of parliamentary democracy are preserved but the substance has become subordinated to almost untrammelled presidential power. With the opposition divided, his rival in the presidential election in January in detention and his popularity still high, President Mahinda Rajapaksa already seems monarch of all he surveys. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 9 20:34:32 EDT 2010

Rajapaksa reinstates minister who tied official to a tree
The Hindustan Times, 2010-09-09 18:39:51 EST. A controversial Lankan minister who was sacked after tying a government official to a tree has been reinstated within weeks. In what appears to be his first decision after acquiring new and sweeping powers, President Mahinda Rajapaksa reinstated Mervyn Silva as the deputy minister for highways.

Silva, who is an MP of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), was sacked from the post of a minister after photographs of a public official tied to a tree with Silva gesturing animatedly next to him were splashed in newspapers. Silva had ordered the man to be tied to a tree for failing to turn up for an anti-dengue programme. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 9 20:35:41 EDT 2010 Back to the top

Court martial politically motivated: Sri Lanka's ex-army chief - Sify, 2010-09-09 20:34:46 EST. Sri Lanka's ex-army chief General Sarath Fonseka said Thursday that the two courts martial and other cases against him were 'politically motivated'.

'The court martial has been set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for no other reason, but to put me in jail and kill me politically,' Fonseka said at his court martial, on charges of favouring a company owned by his son-in-law supplying equipment to the army.

Another court martial has already convicted Fonseka of involvement in politics while serving as the commander of the army before June 2009. He was dishonourably discharged from the army as a punishment. More...Discuss this story
Published: Thu Sep 9 20:21:52 EDT 2010 Back to the top

Sri Lanka's rushed amendment - Livemint, 2010-09-08 22:09:04 EST. Amid bursts of opposition protest, and with breathtaking swiftness, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa used his party’s parliamentary majority to amend the constitution and remove the two-term limit for the country’s presidency... Back to the top

'Death of democracy' in Sri Lanka - Radio Australia, 2010-09-09 15:15:49 EST. The 'death of democracy' - that's how Sri Lanka's opposition, United National Party, has described a constitutional vote to give more power to the president ... Back to the top

World Citizen: The Lessons of Sri Lanka - World Politics Review, 2010-09-09 17:19:02 EST. VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's tourism authorities would like the world to think of their country as an idyllic retreat, or as the writer Anton Chekhov described it during his 1890 visit, a "Paradise on Earth -- an exotic fairy tale setting... Back to the top

A strongman in Sri Lanka - Livemint, 2010-09-09 22:48:06 EST. Sri Lanka’s parliament on Wednesday passed a far-reaching amendment to the country’s constitution... Back to the top

Pune blast mastermind trained in Sri Lanka - Hindustan Times, 2010-09-09 20:35:13 EST. Investigators probing the February Pune terror blast case have found that training in bomb-making was imparted to the mastermind, Mirza Himayat Baig in Sri Lanka, top officials said on Thursday... Back to the top

Past spy chief named special envoy on human smuggling -, 2010-09-10 01:14:41 EST. The federal government is dispatching a former spy chief to Asia as a special envoy on human smuggling to help prevent more migrant ships from arriving on Canadian shores... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Ends Presidential Term Limits
NYT, Sep 10. NEW DELHI — Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed a proposal on Wednesday to remove presidential term limits from the Constitution, paving the way for the popular president to run for a third term and cement his grip on power... Back to the top

Sri Lanka removes term limits for presidency - The Associated Press, 2010-09-08 18:59:43 EST. COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka's Parliament voted to eliminate term limits for the president Wednesday, a move critics say could lead to dictatorship... Back to the top

Fresh amendments may pave way for military rule in Sri Lanka: Sarath Fonseka - Daily News & Analysis, 2010-09-08 17:16:21 EST. Sri Lanka's detained former army chief Gen Sarath Fonseka today described as "last nail in the coffin of democracy" the constitutional reforms enabling President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a third term and cautioned that this could pave way for a military rule in the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka: priests, nuns protest proposed constitutional change - Catholic Culture, 2010-09-09 13:39:35 EST. Priests and nuns demonstrated in Sri Lanka’s capital on September 8 against a proposed constitutional amendment that would abolish presidential term limits, allowing President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek a third term in office... Back to the top

BIDDING WAR ERUPTS FOR CONTROL OF LISTED SRI LANKA SHELL COMPANY - Trading Markets (press release), 2010-09-09 10:32:06 EST. A bidding war has erupted over a listed Sri Lanka shell company that has no revenue earnings business and only some cash assets left, shedding some light on ... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Debates Ending President's Term Limit - NPR, 2010-09-08 10:35:38 EST. Sri Lanka's Parliament on Wednesday began debating a controversial amendment to the country's constitution that would allow President Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold unlimited number of terms, a move critics say could lead to a dictatorship The government is likely to secure the two-thirds majority required in the 225-member Parliament to make the change, though the main opposition United National Party has boycotted the debate... Back to the top

Migrant held on suspicion of belonging to Tamil Tigers - Updated News, 2010-09-09 03:53:09 EST. CANADA – One of the Tamil migrants from the MV Sun Sea is being detained on suspicion that he is a member of the terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled on Wednesday... Back to the top

Tamil refugee claimant rejected - Toronto Sun, 2010-09-09 01:49:55 EST. A Tamil man who claims he faces torture or death from the Tamil Tigers terror group has lost his bid for refugee status and faces deportation from Canada in a matter of weeks... Back to the top

Sri Lanka's Rate Cuts `Sufficient' for Now to Support Growth, Cabraal Says - Bloomberg, 2010-09-08 09:05:36 EST. Sri Lanka’s interest-rate cuts in July and August are “sufficient for the time being” to support economic growth, central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said before next week’s monetary policy announcement... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Shuns West, Finds Solace in Emerging Powers' Arms - Inter Press Service, 2010-09-08 15:07:13 EST. COLOMBO, Sep 8, 2010 (IPS) - The European Union’s decision to suspend trade preferences for Sri Lankan exports may have finally come into force, but the island nation is not budging an inch on any of the powerful bloc’s recommendations on its controversial human rights record... Back to the top

India: Sri Lanka: The plight of Sri Lankan refugees in India - Spero News, 2010-09-07 20:01:35 EST. Many Tamil refugees from the long civil war in Sri Lanka sought refuge in India... Back to the top

Native of Sri Lanka had been on no-treatment regimen at hospital -, 2010-09-08 06:38:51 EST. A pastor who had been at the center of a fight over whether seriously injured patients deserve food and water while hospitalized has suffered a seizure and died, officials confirmed... Back to the top

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