Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We will win, LTTE will be routed in 2009 - Sri Lanka Army Commander

Ruwan Weerakoon from Colombo

Colombo, 31 December, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka's Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, in an exclusive conversation with the Asian tribune said that the Sri Lanka Army will completely rout the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

"At the moment troops of our 58 Division led by Brigadier Shavendra Silva has nearly reached Paranthan, and the Paranthan Junction will be taken over tonight. Subsequently, the LTTE's main supply route to Muhamalai, Kilali and Nagarkovil will be cut off," added Army Commander. Full Text

Anandasangaree list out hardships of Jaffna people

Colombo, 31 December, (Asiantribune.com): In a letter to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, it has been pointed out the numerous hardships people of Jaffna are presently undergoing and sought immediate redress.

V. Anandasangaree, President – TULF who wrote the letter has urged that Sri Lanka President has to listen to the problems of the civilians from various people without depending on one or two persons.

He said, “ I have nothing against any individual. But to what extent you can depend on one or two for matters relating to the North and whether you should also consult people like Mr. D. Sithardthan, Mr. T. Sritharan, me and such others is a matter for you to decide.” Full Text

Sri Lankan rebels open to peace talks

(yahoo)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists are open to restarting peace talks with the government, despite the continuing military offensive aimed at crushing the group, a senior rebel official said.

The two sides have been fighting for more than 25 years over the rebels' demands for an independent state for minority Tamils in the north and east of this Indian Ocean island nation.

A new military push deep into the rebel heartland in recent months has forced the Tamil Tigers to retreat from vast swaths of land they once controlled, and the government has said it expects to finish off the group in the coming months. Full Text

Future Minds of Jaffna - no place for LTTE tribalism

Future Minds of Jaffna, the 3-day educational and industrial exhibition organized by the security forces concluded with a successful note on Monday (Dec 29). Some two hundred thousand people attended the exhibition on the last day itself.

Despite the LTTE sympathizers around the world desire them to die as suicide bombers, or risk their lives in mindless terrorist acts; Tamil People in Jaffna were seen with smiles, and enjoyed the event held in a carnival atmosphere. Number of local and South Indian artists brought back long denied joys to the Jaffna youth who know little about entertainment. Full Text

"Terrorism should be crushed from all fronts", says Secretary Defence

(defence.lk)"Today's soldiers, sailors and airmen are required to be competent in a broad array of war fighting tasks. We have to confront terrorism with force to crush it, and crush it forever. Terrorism has to be confronted with military force at every level. We owe it to our future generations to combat terrorism in all its forms and to defeat it convincingly", said Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the address delivered at the 2nd convocation ceremony of the Batalanda Defence Services Command and Staff College, on Tuesday (Dec 30).

"As a country we were bold enough to do that. We have not won the war yet, the battle is not over, but we are winning", he further asserted. Full Text

Paranthan falls

(DW)Paranthan fell to troops today following a surprising pre-dawn strike led by 2 Commando, 10GR etc. troops of the 58 Division. By this evening, the entire area was cleared.

Several successive waves of attackers, led by LTTE's Kilinochchi Military in-charge Velavan was beaten back. The open terrain and Villu that lay between troops and the well defended LTTE fortifications were suddenly crossed in the darkness of the morning. Full Text

13 people flee LTTE, seek protection with security forces- Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)13 civilians including 5 men, 6 women and 2 children have sought protection with security forces at Thadduvankoddy, North of Paranthan today (Dec 31) at around 9a.m.

The civilians have fled from the non-liberated Vaddakkachchi area, Southeast of Paranthan following unprecedented hardships from LTTE terrorists. According to revelations made, LTTE terrorists have forcibly taken blood from some of the civilians on several occasions. "The LTTE is running out of fighting cadres with the increasing casualty rates and these civilians are constantly victimized for its war-craze", a military official said.

Earlier, it was revealed that LTTE terrorists had abducted 16 children from a Catholic Church run orphanage at Dahrmapuram in Kilinochchi.

Fall of Paranthan imminent; troops marching into the built up

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army Task Force 1 troops are on the verge of scoring another historic victory by liberating the strategically located Paranthan town, reveal battlefield sources. Troops gained total control over the Thadduwankoddy and Komarikudakulam villages edging the Paranthan built up by last afternoon (Dec 30).

According to the battlefield reports, troops while advancing towards Paranthan had several confrontations with the terrorist in the area South of B-69 (Pooneryn- Paranthan) road during daytime. Heavy confrontations were reported around 9.30 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM resulting severe damages to the terrorist. Troops found 6 bodies of LTTE cadres during clearing operations. Full Text

Convocation of the Defence Services Command & Staff College - Batalanda

(defence.lk)The government's intention is to upgrade the professionalism of the members of the Security Forces who are the guardian angels the nation through in skills training.

Under this program. 58 senior officers of the tri - services and police who successfully completed courses were awarded degrees at a Convocation held at the main auditorium of the Defence Services Command and Staff College yesterday (Dec 30).

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of the Ministry of National Security, Public Security and Law and Order graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Full Text

Fighting continues at the Kilinochchi built-up

(defence.lk)Fighting broke out between troops and LTTE terrorists at the fringes of the Kilinochchi built-up yesterday (Dec 30), while military confirmed severe losses to LTTE during the confrontations.

Army forward domination elements have reportedly breached the heavily fortified LTTE defence lines in several locations North of Akkarayankulama and North of Iranamadu and taken the battles into the terrorist den, defence sources said.

According to ground sources, terrorists have lost their dominance over the earth bund cum ditch surrounding Kilinochchi following days of heavy fighting with security forces. Full Text

Counter terrorist operations intensify as LTTE face defeat at Wanni

(defence.lk)Multi-pronged counter terrorist operations continued at the Wanni battlefront, Tuesday (Dec 30) as 59 Division, Task Force -2, TF-3 and TF-4 troops made progressive advances in the areas of concern, security sources said. Troops of the 59 Division operating in general areas South of Chilawatte, East of Kanukkeni, Kulamurippu and Vattapalai met with intermittent LTTE resistances, the sources added.

Meanwhile, TF- 2 troops operating from the Vavuniya- Mullaittivu boarder confronted with LTTE terrorists in general area North of Periyamadu on several occasions, subsequently recovering a T-56 assault riffle, magazine and a 5kg claymore mine, security sources said. Full Text

Beware of invisible forces

By S. Akurugoda

(AT)President Rajapaksa, while addressing a commissioning parade at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa a week ago (Sunday Observer dated 21/12/2008), pointed out that albeit the armed enemies have been well identified as lethal and should be wiped out by our gallant armed forces. But some unscrupulous elements may act in diverse and subtle ways. They could be even disguised in the garb of human rights activists. These parties too, should be recognised and dealt with accordingly. As otherwise, he said, these enemies may ultimately have a greater impact and cause more harm and destruction to our motherland.

Apart from human rights activists, there are peace activists, free media activists, civil society activists and so forth around us who need to be recognized and dealt with at the same time since they too cause serious harm to the nation. If we are to find out who these activists are and what they have said and done, the easiest way is to go through any of the pro-LTTE websites. Almost all their media releases, statements, activities etc are of immense value to the terrorists. Full Text

Construction of A32 to begin in January

by Lakshmi de Silva

(TI)Construction of the A32 highway, connecting Vavuniya with Jaffna, through Sangamantuduwa, will begin in January 2009.

The first phase of the construction would include a distance of 32 km, as the mine clearing process had to be completed, Minister of Highways T. B. Ekanayake said yesterday (30). Full Text

LTTE's snatching of orphans : Int'l community's shocking silence condemned

(DN)Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe expressed shock over the silence of the international community in connection with the abduction of 16 minors by the LTTE, from an Orphanage seen by the Catholic Church in Dharmapuram, Mullaitivu district by the LTTE on December (26).

"No one has condemned this action by the LTTE, the Minister launched adding that atrocities committed by the LTTE went unnoticed in a strange manner. Full Text

Check point to ease South bound traffic

(DN)A new check point set up at Isinbessagama on the Medawachchiya, Kebethigollewa road for the benefit of South bound traffic from Welioya, Sripura, Pulmoddai and Kebethigollewa areas was opened by Indigenous Medicine Minister Tissa Karaliyadda on Monday.

The new check point will ease congestion at the Medawachchiya main cross loading point and the resultant delays and inconvenience caused to people especially farmers from Welioya and surrounding areas travelling to the South, said Minister Karaliyadda. Full Text

Army closing in on Paranthan, Kilinochchi

(DN)The Security Forces are poised to launch a major breakthrough with troops closing on isolated strongholds as Task Force I troops both in Paranthan and Kilinochchi areas confronted the LTTE in the remaining terrain of the Jaffna-Kandy Highway, military sources from Wanni battlefront told the Daily News yesterday.

“The situation is extremely fragile to the LTTE as they fast shift their cadres in the Jaffna front where the LTTE had kept many of their assets to defend the Paranthan and Kilinochchi fronts as of yesterday evening,” troops now close on the A9 road from North of Kilinochchi, he added. Full Text

Voice of the Tamils that rises against the LTTE

Kavimal Suriarachchi

(DN)“Don’t support the LTTE terrorists, let Sri Lankan Tamils live in peace and harmony”. This is the sincere call from the Tamils in the North and East. Even the very Tiger cadres who flee from LTTE clutches in the midst of the ongoing battle there, make the very request to surrender to the Army.

Thus they request their fellow Tamils to save their lives from those cruel tigers, thereby exposing the true nature of this tiger movement to the entire world. This way they drive home the fact that the LTTE’s defeat is imminent at this crucial movement." Full Text

Despite TN parties demand, Colombo visit undecided: Mukherjee

(DM)Expressing disappointment over the slow implementation of the devolution package in Sri Lanka, India yesterday asked Colombo to expedite the process as it voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in the island due to the war between the army and LTTE, the Press Trust of India reported.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said no decision has been taken as to when he would travel to Colombo as has been demanded by parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK.

The Minister said the implementation of the report by a committee on devolution of powers is the "ultimate solution" to the ethnic crisis in the island. Full Text

What would the New Year bring?

(BL)I wish to stick to tradition and wish you, my dear readers, a happy and prosperous New Year. Let me hasten to add that I am not that optimistic. I foresee the intensification of the Wanni war and the deterioration of the economic woes of the people.

The reasoning behind my pessimism is obvious. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE Chief Velupillai Pirapaharan have vowed to continue the fight. President Rajapaksa has declared the coming year as the year of triumph and Pirapaharan had told a Colombo English weekly in an email interview, “We will not run away leaving our people and the soil.” Full Text

2008 blasts LTTE’s myth of ‘invincibility’

(BL)The myth and respite that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) enjoyed all these years, of it being invincible, and the world’s top ‘liberation Army,’ started to crumble the day that the outfit got emboldened and cut off the irrigation water supply at Mavil Aru. A somewhat cautious President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who refused to give the order for a crackdown on the terrorists, lost his patience after the LTTE blocked the waters to the civilians at Mavil Aru. The green light was given, and since that day the Sri Lankan Security Forces and Police have never looked back. For the first time in the history of the nearly three decade Eelam war, the Tigers are getting the beating of their lives.
During the two year ceasefire period entered into by the then Government with the LTTE, the three Forces and Police never purchased even a single bullet in preparation for fighting. They trusted and banked on peace. A peace that Velupillai Prabhakaran cheated on. Full Text

Army deserters return in large numbers

By Rathindra Kuruwita
Over 12,000 army deserters have returned during the pardon periods this year, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

He added that all who returned have been reinstated.

“The main goal was to get the people who deserted recently to come back. We need people who are able bodied and have not lost touch of their training,” he said. He noted that the army has been able to attract many new recruits, with the numbers reading over 30,000 this year. “The recent drive to enlist 1300 to the voluntary force was very successful,” he added. Full Text

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another LTTE communication tower captured

(ITN)Our Special Representative Sujith Vithana Pathirana reporting from the battlefront said troops of the 59th Division engaged in the Wanni operations have taken control of the powerful communications tower located within the thick jungles. It is over 200 feet high. The terrorists may have used it to undertake their communications in the area. Attempts made by the LTTE to dissemble the tower did not succeed due to the strategic and streamlined operations of the troops. Generators had been used to supply power to the tower. Two underground bunkers were located close to it. Full Text

BREAKING NEWS

(DW)The Paranthan junction is expected to fall within the next 24-72 hours. The LTTE's hold on the strategic Paranthan junction along the A9 is failing rapidly as 58 Division troops came to within 700m of the location this evening. Troops from the 58 spearheaded by 2 Commando are now only 700m from the A-9 north of Paranthan junction. Full Text

Army TF 1 less than 2 km from away Pranthan

(defence.lk)Army Task Force 1 troops have beaten off the terrorists from Thadduwankoddy and Komarikudakulam areas lying 2 km West of the Paranthan junction this afternoon (Dec 30), battlefield sources said. According to the sources, troops have inflicted heavy damages to the terrorist and seized some of their weapons during the clashes prevailed in the area. With the progress made by the soldiers toady the liberation of strategically important Paranthan town is imminent, the sources added.

Meanwhile, troops of 57 Division has been able to extend their forward boundaries further towards the Kilinochchi town. Some of the fighting elements have already edged into the Kilinochchi built up, the sources in the filed said.

India's coastline on high alert

(December 30, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) In an attempt to plug any possible threat through the sea route, the Union Government has sanctioned Rs 43.56 crore for operationalising eight coastal police stations along the 600 km long coastal belt in the state.

The state had submitted a proposal to the Union Government to set up coastal police stations along with eight other coastal states and four Union Territories for strengthening the coastal security.

Answering a query recently in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Radhika Selvi said that the Home Ministry had signed an agreement with the Goa Shipyards Ltd and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, for the supply of 194 interceptor boats including 24 boats for the state. Full Text

Six Weeks To Go

(Strategy Page)December 30, 2008: The navy blockade continues unbroken, despite desperate LTTE attempts to ship weapons and munitions in. There are only a few bits of coastline where the LTTE can land stuff, so it's easier for the navy to catch the smuggling attempts.

The fighting around the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi is apparently attracting the best fighters the LTTE has left. That's because some army units have been hit with well prepared and led counterattacks. These were attempts to push the army back, but these offensive operations failed. Sometimes there were heavy army casualties, but the soldiers stood their ground and stopped the LTTE attackers. That didn't happen 5-10 years ago, and is one reason why the LTTE are on their last legs. The rebels no longer have a qualitative edge on the battlefield. Full Text

Sri Lanka has to expedite power devolution: Mukherjee

New Delhi (PTI): Expressing disappointment over the slow implementation of devolution package in Sri Lanka, Indiaon Tuesday asked Colombo to expedite the process as it voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in the island due to the war between the army and LTTE.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said no decision has been taken on when he would travel to Colombo as has been demanded by parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK. The Minister said the implementation of the report by a committee on devolution of powers is the "ultimate solution" to the ethnic crisis in the island. Full Text

Kilinochchi will not fall, says Prabhakaran

Colombo (PTI): Ruling out the possibility of any sudden fall of its last bastions of Killinochchi and Mulaitivu, LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has said that his group still had thousands of fighters and was also working to "rebuild" relationship with India.

Saying that the Tigers still had "many thousands" of armed cadres intact, Prabhakaran contested claims of the Sri Lankan forces that they were poised to capture the rebel strongholds. Full Text

Army makes inroads into Kilinochchi amid LTTE resistance

T V Sriram
Colombo, Dec 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan Army encountered stiff resistance from the LTTE during their onward march towards Tamil Tigres' headquarters of Kilinochchi in the embattled northern region, even as the rebels suffered losses in clashes with security forces.

"Both the LTTE militants and the troops sustained damages in a confrontation in the Nalanawakulam east area of Kilinochchi yesterday," the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

Meanwhile, the rebels suffered losses in clashes in the Paranthan west area in Kilinochchi on the same day, it said. Full Text

Wattala suicide bomber had "Kola Kenda" at "Irida Pola"

by A Special Correspondent

(TC)The suicide bomber who caused havoc at Wattala by exploding a bomb strapped to his body was seen devouring a dish of “Kola Kenda” (leafy porridge) at the “Irida Pola” (Sunday fair) minutes before the attack occurred.

After having kola kenda at the Sunday fair near St.Anne’s church the killer had tried to enter the Civil Defence Force camp in the adjoining premises.

When prevented from doing so he had detonated the explosive device attached to his body. Full Text

Tigers say 2009 will not be "Year of Trimph" but "Year of Destruction" for Army

(TC)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have responded to President Mahinda Rajapakse ‘s challenge by declaring the forthcoming 2009 as the year of destruction or “Azhivu”.

Senior LTTE military commander speaking at a ceremonial function in Puthukkudiyiruppu announced in the presence of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran that the next year would be a year where the armed forces would undergo great destruction.

Hence the year of destruction declaration for 2009 , Bhanu said. Full Text

Douglas decrees that National Anthem be sung in Tamil in Jaffna

Social services minister and Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (ESLFLAG1229.jpgPDP) secretary – general (TC)Douglas Devananda has given instructions that the Sri Lankan national anthem should be sung in the Tamil language as well as in Sinhala during official functions held in Jaffna.

Earlier “Sri Lanka Matha” was sung only in Sinhala.

The minister has stated that the national anthem should be sung in Tamil also in areas where the Tamil speaking people are in a majority. Full Text

NFF wants LTTE banned

(southasianmedia)COLOMBO: The National Freedom Front Monday called for the banning of the LTTE and called into question a comment made by Tiger Leader Velupillai Prabahakaran that the Central Government of India had changed its stance and was ready to support them.

NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said the party was concerned about the comment made by the LTTE leader in an interview with an English weekly. Full Text

Sri Lankan navy warn fishermen not to fish near Katchathivu

(chennaionline)Rameswaram, Dec 30: Indian fishermen from this island had to beat a hasty retreat from Katchativu where they were fishing late last night after Sri Lankan navalmen reportedly warned them that they would open fire if they continued fishing near the area.

The naval personnel came in eight gas powered boats at aroud midnight and warned them of dire consequences if they continued to fish in their territory, fishermen said.

One batch of fishermen returned here at 0400 hrs and the other group at around 0800 hrs this morning. Full Text

Lanka plans to hold polls in war-ravaged north in 2009

(zeenews)Colombo, Dec 30: Sri Lanka plans to hold elections in the war-ravaged Tamil dominated north in 2009 after flushing out the LTTE from their strongholds and rehabilitating the displaced people, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said.

"We want to hold elections in northern Sri Lanka (Wanni) during 2009 after settling the displaced people," Rajapaksa said while talking to a group of Indian journalists here last night.

The President's remark come as his forces are on the offensive and have laid seige to last two bastions of the Tamil Tigers in the north including their de-facto capital Kilinochchi. Full Text

All that you lost due to terror will be restored

President assures people of Jaffna

(defence.lk)"All that was lost to you due to terrorism will be restored. It will not be long before your brothers and sisters who are trapped in areas such as Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu can be happy. That is when, just like the New Dawn in the East, there will be the New Spring in the North," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to the people of Jaffna in connection with the "Future Minds of Jaffna" exhibition currently being held in Jaffna.

In the first ever address by a Sri Lankan Head of State to the Tamil people in their own language, the President said: "It is time for us to forget the unfortunate developments of the past. We shall take action to restore to the people of Jaffna and the North, all they have lost in the past." Full Text

Terrorists to face another shocking maneuver from Army 59 Div

(defence.lk)Troops of Sri Lanka Army 59 Division are in the process of making another shocking maneuver on the battlefield dragging the LTTE further closer to its certain defeat. Battlefield reports reveal that troops of 593 Brigade are steadily marching towards North of Mulliyawalai, entering into the jungle area lying between Puthukkudiyiruppu and Mulliyawali.

Heavy clashes have been reported between Army infantrymen and the terrorists in the North of Mulliyawali from 9 AM to 2.30 PM on Monday (Dec 29) as troop extended their forward boundaries further northwards. Intercepted terrorist radio transmissions have confirmed heavy damages to the terrorists during these clashes. Full Text

Air Force pounds LTTE defences - Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force carried out 6 bombing missions and one helicopter assault at LTTE defences in Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi battlefronts today (Dec 30), said Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

He said that the jets raided LTTE strongholds in Paranthan at 8.45 AM, 12 noon, and 1.10 PM and in the West of Kilinochchi at 9.20 AM. The air strikes were carried in support of the Army Task Force 1 and 57 Division marching towards Kilinochchi.

Speaking further he said, that the fighter jets carried out two more air strikes at 8.40 AM and 12.45 PM targeting LTTE strongholds in the South of Mullaittivu. Also, MI 24 helicopters strafed LTTE gathering detected in the West of Mullaittivu at 10.45 AM, he added.

Army Task Force 1 edging towards Paranthan junction

(defence.lk)Army Task Force 1 (TF 1) operating on the northern portion of the Kilinochchi battlefront yesterday (Dec 29) made further progress towards the strategically important Paranthan junction. According to the battlefield sources, some of the fighting elements of the TF 1 were just 2 km short of the junction from the West.

Troops of 582 Brigade confronted with a terrorists group around 9.30, last morning in the general area Nivil and claimed heavy damages to the terrorists. Separately, troops of 583 Brigade attacked a terrorist group detected in the East of Nalanawakulam area around 3.45 PM. Ground sources claimed heavy damages to the terrorists. Also, snipers deployed on the forward boundaries, West of Paranthan confirmed shooting down of 2 LTTE cadres last afternoon.

Philanthropist presents school equipment to children of war heroes

(defence.lk)Philanthropist, Mrs. A.A.D.S.M.Athauda and her family have gifted 300 sets of school equipment to children of war heroes who are to attend schools from January 2009.

Each set included, a school bag, a lunch box, a bottle of water, a pair of shoes, a pencil box, a box of chalk, a bottle of glue, 4 erasers, a pair of scissors, and 2 activity books. The items were handed over to Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) of Ministry of Defence this morning (Dec 30). Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa , the chairperson the SVU accepted the items. Full Text

Essential items for war heroes

(defence.lk)The 10,000 bottles of ghee, donated for war heroes by Manel Mal Movement today morning (Dec 30).

The donation was handed over to the Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa by members of the Manel Mal Movement and also Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero presented a book named, 'Hele Budusawwekmi' to the secretary Defence at Defence ministry premises.

Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, Colnel Anil Amarasekara and few other members of the Manel Mal Movement were present at the occation. Full Text

Military chiefs should stop flocking together at public functions

(TI)If you browse through the daily print and electronic media, a very common feature you will note is that the chiefs of tri-forces and STF flock together with President Mahinda Rajpakasa at many public and institutional functions.

These are open invitations to the LTTE to plan an exit strategy for these VIPS. The current chiefs of the tri-forces are not indispensable, but they are irreplaceable as they are best the best available at the moment. They are capablof bringing about the downfall of the LTTE. Sri Lanka cannot afford to lose them and our patriotic President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Full Text

The 'sound' of desperation

Sunday's suicide attack on a Civil Defence Force detachment at Wattala killing eight came as a gruesome reminder that there must be no room for complacency in battling terrorism. There had been a lull in terror strikes in the city and many were the persons who claimed the credit for it. Better security arrangements have, no doubt, gone a long way in preventing terrorist attacks but, as is well known, terrorists have to be lucky only once. And they were on Sunday. Full Text

Jaffna will return to normal soon- Douglas

by Ifham Nizam

(TI)The Jaffna Peninsula would return to normal soon with the assistance extended by the International Red Cross and other voluntary organizations along with the massive relief activities carried by the Government, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda said.

He told The Island yesterday that he expressed his appreciation of the service of the International Red Cross Chief Residential Representative Paul Castella on behalf of the people of Jaffna for the humanitarian activities they have been carrying out and their willingness to help the Jaffna people out of the present crisis. Full Text

'Future Minds of Jaffna' attracts over 100,000

(DN)Over 100,000 people from all parts of the Jaffna peninsula have visited the Industrial and Educational exhibition 'Future Minds of Jaffna - 2008' by yesterday.

According to records at the entrance around 17,000 people have participated during the first day, and by the next day, the count rose to 95,000 by late afternoon and night. Full Text

WILL LTTE PROBLEM END IN THE NEW YEAR?

(DM)At the close of the old year President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proclaimed that 2009 will be the Year of Triumph. He has also signed an electoral pact with the National Freedom Front, the breakaway ultra nationalist faction of the JVP that opposes devolution of power as a solution to the ethnic conflict. A supportive cast of the media continues to report military progress by the government forces into the remaining LTTE strongholds in the North. The names of hitherto unknown villages in the North are given as an indication of triumph. Television footage of destroyed shells of what had until recently been inhabited villages are shown to confirm the triumph. Full Text

SLHRC to inquire petition filed by JJ

(DM)Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) decided to inquire into the petition filed by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane against the Defence Secretary in respect of the violation of his fundamental rights by depriving him to perform his religious observances inside the Madhu Shrine.

Retired Justice of the Court of Appeal G. W. Edirisuriya decided to inquire into the petition filed to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane and the Assistant Secretary of the UNP against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and several others. Full Text

No minors in the Army - Military

(DM)The Army yesterday said that it has no history of recruiting ‘minors’ into the Armed Services.

In response to reports quoting the LTTE that the Sri Lankan Army is sending children who are ‘minors’ to battle, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said that a Government gazette notification advertises existing vacancies in the Armed Services.

An Officer is gazetted as Recruiting Officer with authority to recruit. The location, time, date, age (above 18 years) and the required qualifications as the enlistment requirements are also gazetted and given publicity. Full Text

Army captures LTTE-run timber mill

(DM)A major LTTE-run timber mill in the Kolamurippu Forest Reserve close to Oddusuddan where illegally felled jungle trees appeared to have been sawn and used for LTTE constructions and for sale was brought under the Army.

The army headquarters said “the LTTE, according to what has been left out before their exit from the area have seemingly used the place as storage and a workshop for timber works using huge matured trees such as teak, oak and ebony etc. found inside the forest itself where LTTE’s timber mill was operating from.” Full Text

Congress assures Pranab will be sent to Lanka

(Daily Mirror)The Congress Party in India has assured Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that External Affairs Minsiter Pranab Mukherjee would soon visit Sri Lanka to discus the Tamil issue, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Union Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K. V. Thangkabalu on Sunday called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and congratulated him on his election as DMK president for the 10th time. Full Text

STF holds passing out Parade

The passing out parade of 247 STF personnel who successfully completed 57 elementary courses, was held at Katukurunda STF training camp this evening. The STF personnel are seen here at the march past. Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana. Full Text

85 camo suits recovered

(Daily Mirror)A man was taken in to custody yesterday while transporting 85 camouflage suits in a van. The suits were detected during a routine search at a checkpoint. The suspect has claimed that the suits were to be sold at the Warakapola weekly fair.

Minor Blast in Ratmalana

(Daily Mirror)A small explosion targeting an electric transformer near Golumadama Junction in Ratmalana occurred a short while ago. No casualties have been reported, Police said.

Sri Lanka army bodies handed over


Arms allegedly captured by Tamil Tiger rebels
The rebels say they have captured large amounts of weaponr

(BBC)Tamil Tiger rebels have handed over the bodies of 17 Sri Lankan army soldiers to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ICRC acts as an intermediary and facilitates the exchange of bodies between the two sides.

The hand-over came as both sides say they have inflicted heavy casualties on each other in the north of the island. Full Text

Keheliya to capture Prabakaran by February 07

(Lanka-e-News, December 29, 2008, 5.45 PM) Media Spokesman for National Security, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella hopes to capture LTTE leader Prabakaran who is now running from bunker to bunker for life before February 07. Addressing a meeting held in upcountry, the Minister said that Prabakaran would be brought to court soon. The D-day he marked is the day the elections for the Central and Northwestern Provincial Council elections are held. Full Text

Paranthan in striking distance: Colombo

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military on Monday claimed “steady battle progress” at Kilinochchi and Mullathivu on the Wanni battlefront amid multiple aerial raids on “identified” LTTE targets.

The Defence Ministry said here security forces were engaged in the “final battles” for the LTTE’s remaining major garrison townships. Fighting was reported on the outskirts of Paranthan, Kilinochchi and Mullathivu. Full Text

Jaffna Bishop hails Centre’s gesture

Special Correspondent

(the hindu)NEW DELHI: Efforts by the Centre and Tamil Nadu government to provide relief to civilians caught in the military conflict in Sri Lanka has earned appreciation from a respected religious leader who toured relief camps and other areas where fighting is raging between the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and LTTE.

In a letter to the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, the bishop of Jaffna Reverend Thomas Savundaranayagam wrote at length about the food assistance being provided by India, including the State government of Tamil Nadu, and conveyed his appreciation of the “beautiful humanitarian gesture.” Full Text

Nadesan denies Lakbima News interviewing LTTE leader

(TW)B. Nadesan, Chief of LTTE political wing has said no exclusive interview ever took place between the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and Lakbima News.

Lakbima News is published in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. Lakbima News in its edition dated Dec 28th said, “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran gave the interview exclusively to LAKBIMAnEWS via e mail.” Full Text

Medical items urgently needed for SL troops

Colombo, 30 December, (Asiantribune.com): The Ranaviru Fund - set up for the purpose of helping disabled Sri Lankan military personnel and familes of troops killed in action - is appealing for funds to purchase Defibrillator with built-in Cardiac Monitor & Recorder. Blood Warmer and 1000 socket gel liners. The socket gel liners are for the Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama and the other items are for the Army Hospital, Colombo.

It is necessary to provide two gel socks per patient due to hygienic and practical reasons. These socks need to be washed daily due to sweating and it takes them up to two days to dry. So far only 323 Socks have been provided to date through the fund. Full Text

ISI-Lashkar operations with CPM help

(organiser)With Kerala yet to recover from the shock of Terror Export of 300-odd Malayali Muslim youth to Kashmir and PoK and their training at Lashkar and Hizbul camps, comes the chilling report of ISI-LeT links with LTTE and their possible next targets—Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The entire coastal areas of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are under the control of Muslims, as Hindu fishermen have been systematically eliminated. The Marad Carnage in Kozhikode in 2003 in which eight Hindu fishermen were killed is the nearest glowing example. While in the seventies and eighties, they were the hub of gold and electronics smuggling, it has now shifted to drugs and arms. The Kerala-Tamil Nadu coast and Sri Lankan route is used by the Drug-Mafia for shifting drug raw material (poppy) from largest producer Afghanistan to the processing factories in Central Asia. There are also Russian intelligence reports suggesting that Dawood Ibrahim is behind this and he has become the emperor of the vast drug-trafficking empire. Full Text

LTTE agent caught in India, more arrests likely

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Tamil man trying to smuggle communication equipment to the Tamil Tigers has been arrested in India. Informed sources said Monday that more arrests are likely.

The Tamil Nadu Police 'Q Branch' - which deals with insurgent groups - took into custody Amir Antony Paranthaman, 32, in Chennai Saturday night, leading to the seizure of satellite telephones and global positioning systems (GPS) sent from Switzerland. Full Text

Monday, December 29, 2008

Secretary Defence Addresses Troops in East

When there are only three days to pass the year 2008 during which Security Forces recorded remarkable victories against the LTTE, secretary defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera went to Welikanda in a bid to wish the troops in the east courage and strength to continue their service to the motherland in the oncoming new year.

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka who was already on a visit to the east welcomed the Secretary Defence and the CDS on their arrival and accompanied them to the Security Forces Headquarters-East (SFHQ-E) auditorium where Commander SFHQ-E Major General Srinath Rajapaksa briefed on the present security situation in the east. Full Text

Year 2008 saw LTTE being pushed to the corner

(the hindu)Colombo (PTI): The year 2008 saw the LTTE being pushed to the corner virtually by the Sri Lankan Army in the nearly three decades-old ethnic war even as India walked a tightrope on addressing the concerns of displaced civilian Tamils in the island's embattled northern region.

The year began with the Sri Lankan Government abrogating the 2002 ceasefire and launching an all-out offensive against the LTTE in its strongholds of northern region inflicting heavy damages on the rebels. Full Text

Steady progress at Wanni fronts: Troops advance towards Periya-Parantan

(defence.lk)Steady battle progress was reported at the Wanni battlefronts at Kilinochchi and Mullaittiuvu on Sunday (Dec 28) as security forces are now engaged in the final battles for the LTTE's remaining major garrison townships. Fighting was reported in the outskirts of Paranthan, Kilinochchi and Mullaittiuvu, with the multi-pronged military advances made dismantling remaining LTTE resistances in the areas.

Task Force -1 troops have commenced marching towards Periya-Paranthan village along the B-69 main road since yesterday (28), and now positioned approximately 4km from the LTTE garrison at Paranthan. Yesterday's triumph marked consecutive defeats for the LTTE at the Kilinochchi battlefront within two days: On Friday, TF-1 captured the Nalanawankulama village. Full Text

31 SLA KIA in Chilawatte

(defencewire)31 soldiers were killed in fierce fighting at Chilawatte (Silawatte) in the general areas Mulaitivu on Saturday. 22 of those killed went MIA while the bodies of another 9 were recovered by 59 division troops. So far Tigers have recovered 17 bodies while another few are lying inside a minefield. Casualties to the Tigers is unknown.

A forward operating platoon, comprised of 11GW and 14 VIR troops, met with this unfortunate demise after having successfully crossed an LTTE bund cum ditch. The platoon CO tried to push on further but was met with stiff resistance in an exposed area with a large Villu capable of drowning even a bull. With the 59 less than 5km south, the LTTE bastion of Mulaitivu is now being heavily defended by an LTTE reserve unit reinforced from Muhamalai-Nagarkovil by sea. Full Text

SLAF jets raid LTTE defence line - Paranthan

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets have raided LTTE defence line observed in west of Paranthan this afternoon, 29 December.

The target was engaged at 4.15PM in support of troops of Task Force 1, Air Force spokesperson said.

Earlier, the Air Force fighter jets carried out four successive air raids targeting LTTE positions in Kilinochchi front.

Four successive air raids targeting LTTE positions - Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets carried out four successive air raids targeting LTTE positions in Kilinochchi today, 29 December.

According to the air force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, speaking to defence.lk said that two air sorties were taken at 9.30AM and 10.30AM targeting observed LTTE resistance points in west of Kilinochchi. The air raids launched in support of troops of 57 Division heading towards LTTE heartland, Kilinochchi. Full Text

Troops of 57 Div step-up to Kilinochchi; LTTE vehicle ambushed

(defence.lk)Troops of 57 Division advanced further towards remaining LTTE strongholds in Kilinochchi front had several confrontations with detected group of LTTE terrorists yesterday, 28 December.

Troops advanced under stiff resistance of terrorists captured LTTE fortification in general area south Adampan. Meanwhile, an LTTE vehicle was completely destroyed when the troops ambushed in the same area.

A T-56 weapon was also uncovered from Adampan area while conducting consolidating operations.

Army troops also sustained minor damages in confrontations

Sixty Lorries Taking Essential Food Items Leave for Mullaittivu Un-Cleared Areas

(defence.lk)Sixty more lorry loads of essential items including rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil and medicine moved to Mullaittivu un-cleared areas across the Nedunkerny Army roadblock Monday (29) morning around 9.30 a.m..

Those essential items taken in the latest food convoy of the WFP (World Food Programme) will be distributed among the civilians in Mullaittivu district by Civil Administrative Authorities.

Courtesy - SL Army

Troops further strength Jaffna front

(defence.lk)Forward domination elements have launched attacks at observed LTTE targets while engaged in consolidating operations in northern battlefront yesterday, 28 December.

Troops of 53 Division attacked at terror bunker in general area Ponnar and troops confirmed the bunker was destroyed.

Meanwhile, army snipers deployed in 55 Division have taken two more targets yesterday, the military report said.

Karunanidhi Pops Up Again : What Jayalalitha could do about it

By L. Jayasooriya
Among all normal citizens the world over the human mind is the same irrespective of nationality, race and language. It is the pollution that it receives and accepts from outside that makes them the way they are.

Karunanidhi has successfully made many Tamil Nadu citizens believe that the Sri Lankan army is killing Tamils in Sri Lanka and has called upon Mr. Manmohan Singh to send his foreign minister Mr. Pranab Mukkerjee to Sri Lanka and order our government to stop killing Tamils thus creating hatred in Tamil Nadu against the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. Mr. Singh has done nothing about it for reasons known to both Mr. Singh and us but Karunanidhi’s call to save the Tamils in Sri Lanka has paid him dividends in being elected the leader for the 10th time. Full Text

Ban the LTTE or not?

(TI)To an average Sri-Lankan like me, the President’s threat to ban the LTTE, unless the civilians under their control are allowed to leave the Wanni, is like trying to tame a wild ass with a dangling carrot!

What difference does it make to the LTTE, who seem to be breathing their last at this stage of the war? Full Text

Karunanidhi’s gobbledygook

(TI)Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi seems to possess several tongues. Having praised and backed the LTTE all these years, now he pretends to be one of the bitterest critics of the outfit.

In an interview with the Indian press, Karunanidhi has sought to dissociate himself from the LTTE and promised stern action against those who are espousing its macabre cause. Full Text

Douglas slams TNA over propaganda campaign against forces

by Devan Daniel in Jaffna
(TI)The leader of the EPDP said the TNA was spinning fabricated tales about the genocide of Tamils by the security forces of Jaffna.

"They are spinning fabricated tales about the situation in Jaffna for narrow political gains," he told journalists on Saturday.

He alledged that the TNA was proxy to the LTTE who won seats through stuffed ballot boxes. Full Text

Help identify Wattala bomber

(daily news)Sri Lanka Police request the public to supply any information known to them about the suicide bomber who blew himself at the Civil Defence Force office in Wattala on December 28. This is his picture.

Police are offering a reward of Rs. One million to anyone who supplies information leading to the discovery of his identity.

Contact telephone Numbers are
Colombo Crime Division - 0112662323 Peliyagoda Crime Division - 0112947777 SSP Office, Kelaniya - 0112911444 Operations Room, Kelaniya – 0112908888

LTTE supply boat from India blasted

The navy on Sunday thwarted an LTTE attempt to move in urgently needed supplies to the north-eastern coast from Tamil Nadu.

After detecting LTTE boat movement from the direction of the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary, Fast Attack Craft (FACs) had zeroed-in-on the vessel about 12 nautical miles north-east of Point Pedro. "It was hit within ten minutes," a military official said, asserting that it couldn’t have come from anywhere else but India. Meanwhile, the SLAF jets carried out two sorties on LTTE positions south of Mullaitivu town in support of 59 Division pushing towards the LTTE bastion. With the army stepping up pressure on the LTTE on the eastern flank, the LTTE is believed to be engaged in a fresh attempt to bring in supplies from India. Full text

Origins and trajectory of LTTE terrorism

The LTTE’s genesis could be traced to 1974 when Velupillai Prabhakaran formed the Tamil New Tigers (TNT), at a time many other Tamil youth groups also took to arms.

However following Indian mediation in 1987 and the agreement of the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord which granted significant powers to the Tamil speaking areas of Sri Lanka, while all other terrorist groups joined the political mainstream, the LTTE stubbornly persisted with its terrorist tactics demanding a separate ‘Tamil Eelam’ a mono-ethnic state for the Tamils in an area which covers over 28.7 per cent of the landmass and 60 per cent of the coastal belt of the country. From 1987-1990 it fought the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) and ever since has engaged the Sri Lankan security forces in armed combat. Full Text

Talking Tough and Soft at the Same Time

(DM)Between them, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE Political Wing leader B Nadesan seem to be talking tough and soft at the same time. Despite the tough posturing, their recent statements have internal elements, hidden or natural, for them to take the poitical course all over again -- as long as the other side acknowledged the ground realities

President Rajapaksa has asked the LTTE to let the Tamil civilian population in the areas under its control to migrate to safer places – or face proscription, four years after the aborted CFA was signed. As if by response or even otherwise, Nadesan reiterated the LTTE's position on repeated Government call for surrender of weapons as a pre-condition for future talks. "This is unrealistic. We took up arms to safeguard our people. So we will keep these arms until the safeguard is guaranteed," he is reported to have said. Full Text

Another brutal attack

The LTTE again displayed its brutality and cowardliness last morning at Wattala, five kilometres North of Colombo. This time, the suicide mission was executed opposite the Holy precincts of St. Anne’s Church, a highly revered religious site of the Catholic community.

The suicide bomber chose to explode himself creeping into the Guard Room of the Civil Defence Force located adjacent to the church. The explosion killed eight men of the Civil Defence Force on duty and wounded 17 others. Full Text

Army takes control of stretch between Puliyankulam and Nedunkerni

(DM)Terrorist groups lose mobility and get cut off from their administrative units
Army’s Task Force -11 in Naninamadu on the Puliyankulam-Nedunkerni road linked them with the Task Force-IV troops about 800m southwest of Nedunkerni town yesterday morning, amidst fierce battle with the LTTE.

“This union brought the whole stretch between Puliyankulam and Nedunkerni under full Army control since yesterday and the losing of mobility along this road totally isolated the scattered terrorist groups in the area severing them with their administrative units,” the defence ministry said. Full Text

Forces make steady progress after capture of Nalanawakulam

Ranil Wijayapala in the Wanni battle front
(daily news)Security Forces operating in the outskirts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu towns made steady progress over the past two days after the capture of Nalanawakulam village by the Task Force I troops and Mulliyavali town by the 59 Division troops, Military officials in the Vanni battle front said.

The 59 Division troops heading towards Mullaitivu from two directions, Oddusudan Mullaitivu road and Alampil Mullaitivu road have already reached the outskirts of Nanthi Kadal lagoon amidst stiff resistance from the LTTE after the capture of Mulliyavalai and Tanniattu towns. Full Text