SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Sihon

Sihon was an Amorite king mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, who refused to let the Israelites pass through his country. The Book of Numbers recounts that as the Israelites making their Exodus journey came to the country east of the Jordan, near Heshbon, King Siḥon of the Amorites refused to let them pass through his land: "But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. So Sihon gathered all his people together and went out against Israel in the wilderness, he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword, took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the people of Ammon..." Moses allocated the land of Sihon, the king of Heshbon, to the Tribe of Gad in the allocation of land to the Israelite tribes. In a similar way, the Israelites took the country of Og, these two victories gave them possession of continuous land east of the Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of Mount Hermon; these victories, among the earliest successful campaigns of the Israelites became legendary among them, are referred to numerous times in the Hebrew Bible as prototypical examples of God-given victory - for example in Psalm 135:11 and Psalm 136:19-20.

Biblical historian Joel S. Baden discusses the similarities between the encounter with Sihon and the earlier encounter with the king of Edom, as well as a parallel passage

2010 Sri Lankan presidential election

The Sri Lankan presidential election of 2010 was the sixth presidential election of Sri Lanka. The election was announced on 23 November 2009 when incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to seek a fresh mandate prior to the expiration of his term in 2011. Nominations were accepted on 17 December 2009, the election was held on 26 January 2010. Rajapaksa, elected president for a 6-year term in November 2005, was the candidate of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance. General Sarath Fonseka, a former commander of the Sri Lankan Army, was his main opponent in the election. Fonseka had been endorsed by a number of main opposition parties, including the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. President Rajapaksa proceeded to win re-election, over 57% of all votes cast. Fonseka received over 40 %, carrying the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka; the remaining twenty candidates all garnered less than 0.5% of the popular vote. In 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected to his first term as president, defeating former prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, the United National Party candidate.

Before the election, Mahinda Rajapaksa was Prime Minister under President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Rajapaksa won a narrow victory, by 50.29 % of the popular vote. The separatist Tamil Tigers had called for a boycott of the election in the Northern and Eastern provinces, resulting in a minimal turnout, which the opposition claimed resulted in their defeat; the Constitution of Sri Lanka allows the president to ask for a fresh election after four years into his first term of office. Accordingly, President Rajapaksa informed the Commissioner of Elections on 23 November 2009 of his intention to hold a presidential election before the end of his current term of office. Dayananda Dissanayake, the Commissioner of Elections, announced on 27 November 2009 that the presidential election would be held on 26 January 2010. Nominations for the election were accepted on 17 December 2009. Sri Lankans registered with the Department of Elections and eligible to vote totalled 14,088,500, up from 13,327,160 in the November 2005 presidential elections.

Over 11,000 polling booths were set up across the country for receiving ballots. President Rajapaksa decided to end his six-year term two years early, that he might seek a fresh mandate and a longer term based on contemporary political successes that increased his popularity; these included the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as well as the end of the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War in May 2009. These were accomplishments the previous three presidents of Sri Lanka had tried and failed to secure. Having succeeded where they had failed, Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance achieved unprecedented victories in the provincial council elections that followed the end of the war. General Sarath Fonseka is considered a national hero for bringing an end to the Sri Lankan Civil War while serving as commander of the Sri Lankan Army from 2005 to 2009. However, following the military victory, tensions grew between President Rajapaksa and Fonseka, who accused Rajapaksa of sidelining him after the end of the conflict.

Opposition parties expected early elections and approached Fonseka, asking him to run as a "common candidate" for the opposition against Rajapaksa. After weeks of rumours, Fonseka retired from the military in November 2009 and announced his candidacy two weeks later, he ran as the New Democratic Front's candidate. Apart from Rajapaksa and Fonseka, twenty other candidates had their nominations accepted, appeared on ballot papers. One nomination—J. A. Peter Nelson Perera of the Sri Lanka Progressive Front—was rejected on technical grounds. Five independent candidates ran as minor contenders; this made for the greatest number of candidates in a presidential election in Sri Lankan history, breaking the record of 13 in the 2005 presidential election. Sri Lankan elections have a history of violence, misuse of state resources, other violations of election laws. Sri Lankan police received nearly 975 election-related complaints, 375 arrests were made relative thereto; the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence had recorded 809 incidents from 23 November 2009, when the elections were announced, to 25 January 2010.

People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections has recorded 666 incidents between 17 December 2009 and 25 January 2010. The UN, United States, EU expressed concern over the level of violence. Election monitoring groups stated. Although supporters of both main candidates were blamed for the incidents, the responsibility for most was pinned on Rajapaksa's supporters. However, government politician Wimal Weerawansa accused the opposition of orchestrating violence against their own supporters and meetings in order to blame Rajapaksa's backers. According to the National Polls Observation Center, criminal gangs and deserters from the army were employed to incite violence; the government promised tight security on the day of the election, deploying over 68,000 policemen to keep the polls safe, with the Sri Lankan Military providing additional support. The election monitoring group Centre for Free and Fair Elections deployed 6,500 monitors on election day, with the PAFFREL deploying a further 6,000, including 14 foreign monitors.

The government denied rumours of possible post-election violence, with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama saying, "I don't think the people of Sri Lanka have time for street protests. It has never happened."Election day was peaceful, with a few minor incidents reported. According to Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya, no major incidents

Australia Pacific Airports Corporation

Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Limited is an unlisted company and owner of two Australian airports: Melbourne Airport and Launceston Airport. Each airport is operated by an airport lessee company, in which APAC has a controlling interest: Australia Pacific Airports Pty Ltd and Australia Pacific Airports Pty Ltd respectively. APAC acquired the lease for Melbourne Airport for $1.307 billion on 2 July 1997, a 90% stake in Launceston Airport for $18.8 million on 29 May 1998. Launceston City Council owns the remaining 10% of Launceston Airport; each airport is under a fifty year long term lease from the Australian Government, with options for a further forty-nine years. The company is majority Australian owned by five Australian fund managers: AMP Capital Investors Industry Funds Management Deutsche Australia Future Fund Hastings Funds Management The Chief Executive Officer is Lyell Strambi. APAC makes money from charging landing fees to airlines, from retail operations and office accommodation within its airports and from parking fees.

Most aspects of pricing at both airports are monitored by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities has jurisdiction over airport planning, environmental management and aviation safety and security. These were part of the conditions of privatisation of the airports; the Australia Pacific Airports Corporation website