Saturday, October 25, 2008

LTTE leaders planning to flee Wanni - The Hindu reports

The Union Home Ministry has asked emigration authorities in south India, including Kerala, to be on the lookout for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) operatives fleeing the fighting in Sri Lanka.

Official sources said the updated lookout notice for LTTE operatives had the details of more than 3,000 persons, including in some cases, their photographs.

They said it was possible that wanted LTTE men could crossover to India from Sri Lanka in fishing boats posing as refugees or fishermen, procure fake Indian passports and travel to the U.K, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia or Canada pretending as Indian citizens.

Emigration authorities said that a Sharjah-based racket, having middlemen in Tamil Nadu (mainly in Thirunelveli and Rameswaram) and Kerala, was duplicating Indian passports for use by illegal emigrants. Full Text

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Offensive flanks move towards Iranamadu; Heavy fighting in Kilinochchi

Heavy fighting at Akkarayankulma and Iranamadu areas were reported between troops and LTTE since yesterday (Oct 24) morning, according to Wanni military sources.

Troops of the 57 Division operating east and west of the Akkarayankulama Tank bund, Kilinochchi, made further strides into LTTE positions inflicting heavy damages to LTTE, the sources said. According to military, two separate confrontations were reported in general area Akkarayankulama, while sporadic fighting were also reported northeast of the same area.

Meanwhile, troops of the 57 Division flanking the eastern Kilinochchi battlefront and moving towards Iranamadu area met with stiff LTTE resistance at around 7.30p.m., reportedly claiming heavy LTTE casualties. Troops engaged artillery and heavy mortar fire neutralizing the LTTE resistance after hours of fighting with LTTE, sources said. During subsequent search operations conducted, troops have also recovered a T-56 assault riffle, 01x light machine gun and an I-com set, military sources further added.

Similarly, fighting between troops and LTTE were reported in general areas at Kalmadu and Kokavil, while military claimed to have destroyed an LTTE bunker overhead at Kalmadu, in a swift raid conducted at 10.45a.m.

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Tigers down, but still not out

by Kanchan Lakshman

(October 25, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The LTTE has been on the verge of big defeats in the past. While fighting to the last man, it is continuing with a diplomatic offensive that may not work this time round

That there is an augmenting support for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) within the political spectrum in Tamil Nadu is now clear. And the arrest of MDMK leader V. Gopalswamy a.k.a. Vaiko on October 23 on charges of sedition and abetting activities of an unlawful outfit is only expected to intensify the competitive show of strength for the 'Tamil cause' among the mainstream political parties in Tamil Nadu. This drumming of support for a cornered LTTE comes at a time when political parties in Tamil Nadu are already in an election mode and everyone wants to be counted in the pro-Tamil cause. Full Text

LTTE or Tamil?

Good question. But who has the answer? Every few years, it devils governments in Chennai and Delhi. Watch this space for more

by Swati Das

(October 25, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Saturday Special deliberates this week on a fundamental question in the new Sri Lanka-India-LTTE triseries. Are you sympathising with the suffering Sri Lankan Tamils or are you with the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)? But the distinction blurs each time the Sinhala-dominated Army of Sri Lanka gets the upper hand in the civil war against the LTTE. For the past fortnight, the familiar rankles have emerged, shaking governments all the way up to Delhi. Full Text

Of Tamils and Tamil Tigers

"The dilemma facing the Centre is that New Delhi has been following a hands-off policy on Sri Lanka after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Officially, India’s stand is that it wants a negotiated settlement within a united Sri Lanka, knowing that any fragmentation of that country could have serious consequences. Therefore, New Delhi cannot go beyond a point to put pressure on Colombo."

by Kalyani Shankar

(October 25, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The UPA Government is in a fix over the mounting clamour in Tamil Nadu for Delhi to stop Colombo from clobbering the LTTE. The Congress, no friend of the Tamil Tigers, could lose the DMK as an ally if it does not act. Yet it can’t be seen defending the Tigers. Full Text

Tactical withdrawals of many guises

“ Then came Mavil Aru and the Sri Lankan armed forces proved that the LTTE can in fact be defeated. The experts who said that LTTE is invincible were jolted and took a step back, tactically withdrew and said, East was never an LTTE stronghold but Vanni is.”

by Nacholibre

(October 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The LTTE never said they were continuously losing the Elam war IV. Every bit of a defeat was a tactical withdrawal for them even if it meant losing entire villages, districts and regions to the State armed forces, which were once under their full control. As a matter of fact, their claim is to be totally expected. One would not expect otherwise that the LTTE would go public saying that they have lost anything to the armed forces, which would certainly be suicidal for them in the eyes of its money sending Diaspora. For them to save face and keep claiming that they are the sole liberators of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and to keep the bargaining power intact with the State, the LTTE terrorists will not say anything other than that they are tactically withdrawing, no matter how badly they get beaten in the current phase of the war. Full Text

When media becomes vehicles for terrorist agendas

By Shenali Waduge

In the age of information we know that we cannot do without information just as much as the media is aware of the power it has on the people. Winning over the mass media or influencing it has become a key motive for not only politicians but terrorists as well. It thus necessitates a closer examination of how far media has helped to provide “respectability” & a platform to argue in favor of their crimes.

Media today can add color to stories & spin them around to suit their agenda. They will provide information that they wish to highlight & hide vital information which they feel is not necessary for public attention. Yet, essentially we can but wonder whether their reporting is honest & their journalists are ethical. Full Text

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India rules out stopping military aid to Lanka

Against the backdrop of demands by political parties in Tamil Nadu to stop military aid to Sri Lanka, India yesterday virtually ruled out that option saying Sri Lanka’s security is "connected" with its security and it would not like "international players in our backyard", the Press Trust of India reported.

The PTI story filed from New Delhi said: "External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha that there is no military solution to the raging ethnic conflict and again urged Sri Lanka to find a peacefully negotiated political settlement.

Mukherjee also took the opportunity to stress that India does not want influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka into its territory, saying it is the "responsibility" of that country to provide food and shelter to civilians displaced because of the hostilities. Full Text

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Sri Lanka does not have an ethnic conflict, only a terrorist problem – Bogollagama

by Zacki Jabbar

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Thursday claimed that Sri Lanka did not have an ethnic conflict, but a terrorist problem.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Parliamentary complex, he said that the LTTE was not a liberation movement, but a terrorist outfit and the majority of Tamils did not subscribe to its policies.

Asked about calls by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for India’s intervention in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, Bogollagama said that the Indian government was not opposed to military operations against the LTTE, nor was it willing to bail out the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Full Text

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Katubedda bomb suspect arrested

COLOMBO: A suspect was arrested by the CID in connection with Katubedda bus bomb blast which killed 21 passengers while injuring 60 others on June 6 in Katubedda, Moratuwa.

Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said the man aged 24 was arrested by the CID when he was trying to leave the country at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Wednesday.

“The suspect was arrested in connection with the Katubedda bus bomb blast and the CID are conducting further investigations,” he added.

The incident occurred near the Katubedda campus targeting a Kottawa-Mt.Lavinia bus. The claymore mine hidden in a roadside thicket was exploded using a remote control device. Daily News

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TN film director in custody

Chennai: Indian movie director Seeman was arrested yesterday by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly making secessionist statements and justifying the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 by Tiger suicide bombers, official sources said.

Seeman is the third person to be arrested under section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (sedition) for making seditious statements during the last 24 hours. Full Text

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Lanka values partnership with UN - FM

The partnership with the United Nations is most valuable at this juncture when Security Forces are moving to liberate the Northern Province in order to restore democracy as the Government had done in the Eastern Province, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said.

Addressing a ceremony held to mark the 63rd UN Day at UN compound yesterday, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the UN is unique in that it is the only organization in which countries with widely differing political institutions and those at different stages of economic development, can exchange views, share their problems and experiences and probe each other’s reactions to policies of mutual interest. Full Text

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Lankan held for alleged credit card fraud, aide on the run

CHENNAI: A Sri Lankan national, who along with his accomplice, a city-based software professional, used fake credit cards to make purchases worth Rs 2 lakhs over the past two months was arrested by the suburban police. The police are yet to nab the software professional.

Senthuran, a Sri Lankan national who lived at Madipakkam, and Kumar, a software engineer, forged credit cards and used them to buy mobile phones and several other valuables. They also created fake PAN cards, which were used as ID proof while swiping the credit cards at retail outlets.

According to police sources, the duo had connections with other agents abroad who sent them bank account details which were then linked to the credit cards they had forged. Full Text

ACF officials to give evidence before CoI

Officials of the French NGO Action Contre La Faim (ACF) are in Sri Lanka and due to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) next week, Commission Secretary F.D Piyadasa said.

ACF had earlier this year decided to withdraw from Sri Lanka, detach itself from the Sri Lankan legal procedures after denouncing the way the inquiry had been conducted and requested an international investigation into the killing of 17 of its aid workers in Mutur in 2006.

“The CoI has not requested them to appear at its sittings. They are here on their own accord,” Mr. Piyadasa said. Full Text

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Vaiko remanded till November 6

The Tamil Nadu police said yesterday MDMK Chief Vaiko (V. Gopalaswamy) was arrested because his controversial speech could affect the nation’s unity, integrity and security, The Hindu newspaper reported.

“A case was registered against Mr. Vaiko and MDMK Presidium Chairman M. Kannappan as their speeches can affect the nation’s unity, integrity and security. Whoever indulges in seditious speeches will be dealt with according to law.” Tamil Nadu Police Director-General K.P. Jain said.

Mr. Vaiko, who was arrested at his Anna Nagar residence, was produced in a city court and remanded at the Puzhal Central prison till November 6. Full Text

France to limit review of GSP + application to technical analysis

Ambassador for France in Sri Lanka, Michel Lummaux, in a discussion with the Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, today (24th) said that France understands Sri Lanka's sentiments against an investigative review process and that France will follow a purely technical analysis on Sri Lanka's response to the criteria.

He pointed out that the GSP + facility was formulated as an incentive for sustainable development in developing countries and therefore, France wishes to have Sri Lanka's application for its extension treated fairly. The Ambassador also emphasized that France would not take a position of using this review process as a punitive measure, as it would only affect the poorest segment of Sri Lankan society. He undertook to convey Sri Lanka's position to his capital. Full Text

Sri Lanka suspends casualty figures

The Sri Lankan defence ministry says it is suspending the release of casualty figures during the current fighting in the north of the country.

The move comes after the defence ministry said 33 troops were killed at the weekend, an unusually high figure for the authorities to admit to.

The figures were later denied by another government department

The military is engaged in a major operation to capture the Tamil Tiger's administrative HQ in Kilinochchi town.

Journalists are not allowed access to the fighting in Sri Lanka and casualty figures given by the government and the rebels are viewed with widespread scepticism. Full Text

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Rajiv Gandhi’s statue vandalised in Chennai

Chennai, Oct 24 (IANS) Unidentified people damaged a statue of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the northern suburbs of this city Friday. In a separate incident, the office of the Janata Party was attacked in Madurai, official sources said.

S. Manoharan, a spokesman of the Janata Party spokesperson attributed the attack on their office to ‘anti-Indian elements opposed by our leader Dr Subramanian Swamy’. Full text

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The Best of British Bluff

British MPs have shown an awful lot of interest in Sri Lanka recently. Written questions have been flowing in to the responsible minister quicker than he can answer them, and requests for parliamentary debates have been almost as frequent. Sri Lankan expatriates living in Britain have plenty of reasons to follow what is happening back at home, but few of those who take the initiative to approach their elected representatives seem to have any understanding of the situation. Deliberate attempts to mislead cannot be ruled out either.

This was made abundantly clear by the numerous errors and several quite apparent fabrications that came up at a session held in Westminster Hall on October 14th. British MPs met to discuss their concern at the intensification of the conflict here in the last few months. Full Text

Nalini files appeal in court seeking release from jail

Chennai, Oct 24 (IANS) The Madras High Court Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu government to respond to notices on a writ appeal filed by Nalini Murugan, who is serving a life term for her involvement in the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The bench comprising Chief Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice P. Jothimani ordered the state government to respond in four weeks.

Nalini had appealed to a larger bench against the orders of single judge Nagamuthu dismissing her plea for early release, saying she had completed over 17 years in prison - three years more than the maximum life term. Full Text

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A combination of four factors namely weather, tiger resistance, Indian concern and the Governments professed commitment for civilian safety has served to circumscribe Colombo’s intention of waging an all – out war to take Kilinochchi.There was a moment when it could have done so. Colombo failed to seize the moment. That moment has now seemingly passed. At the moment the long awaited mother of all battles for Kilinochchi taking place seems a remote possibility. Even the anticipated fall of Kilinochchi seems unlikely to occur.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein captured the world’s imagination with his prediction about the ‘Mother of all battles’ in 1991 after seizing Kuwait.

The much-awaited mother of all battles turned out to be damp squib. It was a case of beginning with a tremendous bang and ending in a pathetic whimper. Full Text

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Vaiko’s arrest springs a surprise on political circles

S. Vijay Kumar

The well planned operation was kept a closely guarded secret

CHENNAI: It was a well planned operation that was kept a closely guarded secret till the last minute. The arrest of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko and senior party functionary M. Kannappan on charges of sedition sprung a surprise on political circles, more so, among MDMK cadres, who were caught unawares on Thursday.

According to police sources, the move to arrest Mr. Vaiko under the provisions of IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was cleared around 1 p.m. on Thursday.

At a high-level meeting held at the office of the Director General of Police, the ‘Q’ Branch CID devised the strategy to apprehend Mr. Vaiko at his residence in Anna Nagar here and Mr. Kannappan in his native village near Pollachi. Special teams were formed under the direct supervision of Superintendent of Police (‘Q’ Branch), Ashok Kumar. The complainant in both the cases was an Inspector of Police. Full Text

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India's knee jerk reactions in Lanka

The third and final part of a series on the war in Lanka and its implications for India

Part I: Sri Lankan tsunami in Indian politics

Part II: India's reluctant diplomacy in Sri Lanka

India's diplomatic moves did not trigger any panic in Sri Lanka. On October 7 Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama made use of the opportunity provided by the tragic assassination of a senior former army general and UNP leader, Janaka Perera, by a suspected LTTE woman suicide bomber in Anuradhapura town to issue a detailed response to the Indian move.

His message to India was clear, do not mistake the Tigers for Tamilians. 'While our security forces are engaged in their present humanitarian operation to free our people from the fascist and dictatorial control of the LTTE terrorists, who are now confined to their last strongholds in parts of the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, critics of Sri Lanka and sympathisers of the LTTE are attempting to portray a misleading and totally false notion that the government is opting for a military solution to address the problems of the minorities. It is unfortunate that some of our friends too have been influenced by this malicious propaganda,' he told Parliament in a suo motu statement. Full Text

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Students suffer hours of agony in human chain

CHENNAI: Hundreds of students from the city were forced to stand for hours in pouring rain on Friday to help political parties form a human chain
Students suffer agony
to express solidarity with the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.

As the clouds burst on Friday afternoon and rains battered the city, the students, both from schools and colleges, were herded along with political activists to thread together the chain that began at the Chennai collectorate and stretched beyond Tambaram. Full Text

Sri Lankan Identity in a Time of Siege

By Dayan Jayatilleka

“All along the watchtower, princes kept the view"- Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower

Though it may seem otherwise at first blush, the agitation in Tamil Nadu is not helping the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka . It is hardening majority opinion on the island and serves as a reminder of the existential threat posed to the Sinhalese from across the narrow Palk Straits. It is likely to make the Sinhala majority warier about the degree of autonomy granted to the Tamil majority Northern periphery, susceptible as it may be to the pull factor of Tamil Nadu sentiment given the extreme physical proximity.

While Colombo’s political commentariat had concluded that the agitation in Tamil Nadu was the avoidable result of Sinhala chauvinism stimulated or tolerated by the Rajapakse administration, it was left to Malini Parthasarathy, respected voice of the educated and highly sophisticated Tamil Nadu elite, a director of the 130 year old Hindu newspaper, and observer-commentator of Sri Lankan affairs since the 1980s, to name the agitation for what it was: Tamil chauvinism. Her editorial was followed by a longer statement by N Ram Editor in Chief of the Hindu, and editorial comments in other respected Indian newspapers which extended the critique to identify the phenomenon as pro-LTTE Tamil secessionism. Full Text

Only friendly advice from India–Jha

By Shakuntala Perera

A former Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka yesterday reiterated that India would never force any solution on Sri Lanka, whatever the compulsions before it.

N N Jha who is in the country to attend a seminar on Indo-Lanka relations, told the Daily Mirror that India would ‘only give friendly advice’ maintaining that the relations between the two countries had improved considerably during the past 7- to 10 years.

“‘There is much greater mutual trust and post cordiality, that the question of forcing anything on Sri Lanka doesn’t arise. Because you will understand our position better if we understand your position. Already there is mutual consultation going on between the two countries to resolve what ever problems we have,’ he added. Full Text

Govt. prepared to face chemical attack

Medical supplies and equipment have been made available to deal with a possible chemical weapon attack of the LTTE, Minister of Health, Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday (Oct. 24th).

The minister, who is also Leader of the House, was responding to JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana who wanted to know the measures taken with regard to a strike at Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital. Full Text

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SRI LANKA: Food convoys to continue despite rains - UN

COLOMBO, 24 October 2008 (IRIN) - Weekly food convoys run by the UN and government for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in areas held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam forces in the north will continue, despite the monsoon rains, UN officials in Colombo said.

The third convoy since the relocation of UN and other international agencies from Tiger-held areas, known as the Vanni, on 16 September was expected to travel on 24 October, UN spokesman Gordon Weiss told IRIN. The agencies relocated following a government directive amid deteriorating security in the Vanni. Full Text

AIADMK members demand Karunanidhi's arrest

Chennai, Oct 24 (ANI): The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Friday staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha demanding arrest of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi over his alleged support to the separatist LTTE in Sri Lanka.

As soon the proceedings began, AIADMK members raised slogans demanding dismissal of the Tamil Nadu Government and arrest of Karunanidhi.

Chairman Hamid Ansari, however, disallowed their move and said that the Question Hour should be taken up.

With Ansari disallowing their move, AIADMK members staged a walkout from the House.

Earlier, 13 MPs including six ministers of Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) handed their resignation letters to Karunanidhi on October 17 demanding action from the Central Government.

Sri Lanka has vowed to crush the LTTE militarily. (ANI)

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Civilian casualties: setting the record straight

One of the most common fabrications being spread about by those working against the Sri Lanka is that a large number of civilians are being killed in air strikes. Nobody likes conflict, and it's easy to conjure up images of death and destruction being rained down from the air - we've all seen plenty of war films. It isn't just fiction, of course. Air strikes have a thoroughly ugly past, and people tend to believe these stories without feeling the need to ask for supporting evidence. But they simply aren't true.

Just this week, a British Member of Parliament called for an urgent debate on the conflict in Sri Lanka because of his concern about what he described as Government bombing of areas in the North and East of the country.' Barry Gardiner, representing a constituency that is home to a considerable number of Tamil expatriates, demonstrated how uninformed he is - the East hasn't seen violence on anything other than a very local scale for over a year now. And he was almost equally wrong about the North. The LTTE will have fed Barry Gardiner this disinformation in the hope that he would agitate for pressure to be exerted on the Government to capitulate to the separatist demands of the organisation. Full Text

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President enlightens Opposition leader on current situation

A meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe took place yesterday (Oct 24) at Temple Trees. During this meeting the President has updated the Opposition Leader regarding the ongoing counter terrorist operations in the the North and also regarding the humanitarian assistance sent for the civilian population there.

Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena also participated in the discussion.

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Navy Chief visits Northern Naval Command

Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda visited the Northern Naval Area yesterday (Oct 24) in order to commend the members of the elite Fast Attack Craft Squadron (FAC) and Harbour Defence Unit for vanquishing the enemy suicide attempts to destroy the two Merchant Vessels, "MV Nimalawa" and "MV Ruhunu" on Wednesday (Oct 22).

The Navy Commander inspected the cargo unloading process of MV Nimalawa and MV Ruhunu, which were carrying essential cargo to Jaffna, and ascertained the harbour operations in the North after the successful repulsion of the attempted LTTE suicide attacks on the two merchant vessels. He also appreciated the efforts of the personnel involved in expediting the unloading process of the cargo on the two merchant vessels.

During his visit, the Navy Commander also visited the Electrical and Engineering Works Complex and the Slipway which is under construction.

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Sri Lanka rejects EU investigation for GSP + extension

Sri Lanka will not be part of a process that comes in the form of an investigation on the extension of the GSP + facility to Sri Lanka, observed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his discussions today (24th October 2008) with the Ambassador of France, Michel Lummaux. France is the current Chair of the European Union (EU). He further reiterated that the route of an investigation to assess Sri Lanka's compliance on the requisites for extension of this facility would not be accepted and therefore an alternative process should be found. Full Text

Another shipment of food items to Wanni today

Another convoy of 75 truck loads carrying essential food items is scheduled to be dispatched to the displaced people in Wanni region today.

Minister of Disaster Management and Relief Assistance Risath Bathiyutheen said that all the arrangements have already been made to transport the trucks carrying wheat flour, sugar, dhal, rice and coconut oil to the Wanni region from Vavuniya this morning.

The government hopes to dispatch these food items to the internally displaced people through the government agents in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.

The Minister further pointed out that there is no shortage of essential food items in Wanni at the moment.

Courtesy : Lanka Page

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Wanni liberation in progress; Kilinochchi battlefront remains active

The Kilinochchi battlefront remained active during last 24 hours as troops made further headway towards LTTE hiding areas in the south and the south-western areas of the Kilinochchi district.

Battlefield reports on yesterday's (Oct 23) incidents indicate continuing counter terrorist operations by the Army 57 division and the Task Force 1; the two main operational elements deployed on the Kilinochchi battlefront.

In the general area Akkarayankulam, troops of 572 brigade carried out limited operations in the north of Akkarayankulam tank bund during the day. Troops moved about 2 km north of the Manniyankulam - Therumurukandai road from the east of Akkaraynkuam tank bund and attacked LTTE terrorist groups hiding in the area. Troops claimed heavy damages to the terrorists. During search operations troops found one T-56 rifle. Also, troops moving north from the west of Akkarayankulam tank bund continued forward domination operations. Full Text

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Sri Lanka reassures UN on IDP welfare

Sri Lanka yesterday reassured the United Nations that it is steadfastly committed top protect the rights of the residents in the Wanni and ensure their welfare.

This assurance was given when Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN.

The Minister briefed the Secretary General on the progress being achieved by the Government in its effort to promote and protect human rights and also address the humanitarian concerns in the North, a spokesman for the Minister said. He reiterated that the Government remained sensitive to the principle of civilian protection, emphasizing that the Security Forces' experience in the Eastern Province last year with no civilian casualties provided the best practice, which inspired its ongoing campaign against terrorism in the North. Full Text

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Sea Tiger’s Failed Mission in Jaffna: Navy Sink LTTE’s Suicidal Threat

By Ravin Edirisinghe

The failed suicide attack targeting two merchant vessels on last Wednesday (22) off the Kankasanthurai harbour made headlines in the media. Especially certain foreign media segments stationed in Sri Lanka went out to break the news by carrying out various versions. Some went onto say that a merchant vessel was sunk, others said one was badly damaged and it is sinking (as they were witnessing it) and so on. All the others who carried the news had LTTE biased headings giving credit to LTTE’s suicidal attempt on the two merchant vessels which carried essential food supplies to the northern peninsula. For them the news value was in the brutal act. No one went onto say that LTTE targeted two ships which carried food items to Jaffna civilians or to say that the Navy averted an attack. Full Text

Tamils attack aid to Tamils

John Brewstaer

Dear Mr. Paul Tighe of Bloomberg News,

The present military operations in the North of Sri Lanka are absolutely justified. They will do away with the LTTE terrorists and bring lasting peace to the Tamils and the entire nation. There are plenty of paid terror supporters in Tamil Nadu, India, Canada, US, Norway, UK and Australia. Not only do we need to work relentlessly to eliminate terror, we also need to educate the population in these countries to prevent them from falling prey into bogus humanitarian organizations. There have been no civilian deaths during the military offensive against Tamil Terrorists. Therefore there is NO cause for any concern! What you see is Tamil Terrorists are making the politicians in Tamil Nadu, UK and Australia create noise to stop the liberation of LTTE/terror-held areas. This is nothing but another stunt by Tamil Terrorists to turn the tables in their favor. It has nothing to do with civilian deaths. If Tamil Nadu and India were really concerned about civilians, why not stop arms smuggling to and supporting the LTTE that has killed so many civilians? Why not move to eliminate the Tamil Terrorists, for the sake of civilians? What about concern for the innocent civilians killed by LTTE suicide bombings? What about concern for so many children recruited as soldiers to fight a brutal terror war against a democracy? We don't ever here politicians in India or Tamil Nadu, Canada, US, Norway, UK and Australia alarmed by those atrocities. Where are their actions to stop this carnage by eliminating the source of all evil, the LTTE? Hope you can see the crocodile tears. Full Text

LTTE terror - a making of India 30 years ago

Opinion by Nimal Ranasinghe

It is a well known fact that it was India that trained and infiltrated an armed group called the LTTE some 30 years ago. This is the problem that is still going on.

The LTTE claims to be the sole representative of the Tamil speaking people, but how many Tamil speaking people are with them. The majority of the Tamil speaking people are not in the LTTE held territory. They live and work with their Sinhala brethren in the south.

Who wants a separate state now? It is Prabhakaran and his priveleged lot to enjoy an authoritarian rule. How many Tamil leaders and educated Tamils have been butchered by this megalomaniac and his cronies, supported by the expatriate Tamils? The expatriate Tamils are at a safe distance living happily with their kith and kin and sending money to kill their own Tamil speaking children of other parents ! Have they no conscience? Full Text

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Forces brave incessant rains, breach Tiger obstacles in march towards Kilinochchi

It is an anxious situation for some people as they expect the troops to advance so fast into Kilinochchi as they are not aware of difficulties the troops have to overcome to advance each inch on the ground, amidst the monsoonal rains and huge minefields they have to cross to reach their destination.

As the Government considers the Indian factor on the military offensives in the North especially coming in the form of pressures from Tamil Nadu politicians on the Central Government of India, the Security Forces went ahead with their scheduled plan to reach the stipulated objectives before them within a set time frame.

Whilst South Indian controversy echoed in the Southern polity at different levels, the troops in the Kilinochchi front, unaffected by any of these controversies, cleared their path towards achieving their victory against the LTTE overcoming all the obstacles they faced on the ground due to the heavy North East monsoonal rains and the barriers the LTTE had created to slow down their march towards the victory which is already in their sight. Full Text

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Rahul says still waiting for justice

Srinagar: Seeking to justify the delay in hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he himself had not got justice in the assassination case of his father Rajiv Gandhi as yet but he believes in the justice system.

In an interaction with HN Bahuguna University students, when Rahul was asked about the reason for the delay in Afzal Guru case, he cited his own case saying he was 14 years old when his grandmother late Indira Gandhi was killed with 32 bullets.

There were 150 witnesses. Two persons were hanged but the case took seven years. In Rajiv's assassination case, 40 people were involved. It has been 17 years but "nobody has been punished". Full Text

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Tamil Nadu boils over Sri Lanka

Vaiko arrested, Lankan High Commission stoned, trains blocked

Tamil Nadu was at boiling point yesterday over the Sri Lankan issue, with MDMK chief Vaiko Gopalswamy arrested for making highly inflammatory speeches in support of the LTTE, the office of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai being stoned and trains blocked by protestors calling for an end to the military operations in northern Sri Lanka.

This is the second time that Vaiko has been arrested for supporting the banned group. The earlier occasion was during the previous AIADMK government, when he was held under the anti terrorism POTA law. Full Text

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TNCC welcomes Vaiko's arrest

New Delhi (PTI): Welcoming MDMK chief Vaiko's arrest for his pro-LTTE remarks, the Tamil Nadu Congress on Thursday said all those who support the banned militant outfit should be put behind bars.

"Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi ordered the arrest of Vaiko and his deputy Kanappan. Congress party demands appropriate action against all those who speak in favour of the LTTE.

"We want all such supporters of the banned guerrilla organisation to be dealt with similarly," TNCC president K V Thangkabalu told reporters here. Full Text

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India and Sri Lanka-Big brother is watching you

Renewed Indian interest in their country worries many Sri Lankans
FROM shanty houses to parliament, Sri Lankans are transfixed by one topic: India’s impact on the government’s war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This follows protests in the Tamil-majority Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where there has always been sympathy for fellow Tamils in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), is part of the coalition government in Delhi, led by Manmohan Singh. Nineteen DMK lawmakers have threatened to resign if the government does not persuade Sri Lanka to declare a truce by October 29th. The DMK accuses Sri Lanka of a “genocide” of Tamil civilians trapped in the rebel areas of the Wanni, where fierce fighting is causing daily casualties on both sides. Full Text

Vigil against fleeing LTTE operatives

G. Anand
Wanted LTTE men may come to India in fishing boats

Sharjah-based racket duplicating Indian passports

Kochi, Vizhinjam are newly emerging procurement points

Thiruvananthapuram: The Union Home Ministry has asked emigration authorities in south India, including Kerala, to be on the lookout for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) operatives fleeing the fighting in Sri Lanka. Full Text

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Ramadoss poses nine questions to critics of Eelam Tamil supporters

VILLUPURAM: Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss has posed a set of nine questions to critics of the supporters of Eelam Tamils.

In a statement released to the press at Thailapuram near here on Thursday, Dr. Ramadoss stated that if the critics could not find answers they could get them from Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the answers would clearly reveal the designs of Mr. Rajapaksa.

The questions are as follows: How many thousands of crores of rupees had the Sri Lankan government, which was set upon annihilating the Tamil race, spent so far in the so-called fight against terrorism? Full Text

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vimal and Karuna join hands to eradicate terrorism

(Colombo Lankapuvath October 23) All measures should be taken to help the innocent Tamil civilians flee the cruel rule of Prabhakaran says Parliamentarian Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan.

The leader of the TMVP party MP Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan made these observations attending a press conference at the National Freedom Front head office in Battaramulla today (23).

Expressing his views parliamentarian Muralitharan said that the Thamilnadu involvement in the Sri Lankan crisis should be for the betterment of the Tamil civilians who are highly affected by war and not to further entrap them within the LTTE terrorists.

Further speaking he said that the SAARC regional leaders who gathered in Sri Lanka pledged to work towards eliminating terrorism, he also said that he believes they will act accordingly in the future. Lankapuvath

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Security forces dominate Gajabapura - Welioya

Security forces personnel have gained control over the Gajabapura area in Welioya this evening, 23 October, defence sources in battlefront said.

Following fierce gun battle, troops engaged in Wanni offensive operation gained total control over the Gajabapura area inflicting heavy damages to the terrorists, defence sources further said.

The Gajabapura is a traditional civilian settlement in where both Tamils and Sinhalese were living in harmony. LTTE terrorists had threatened the innocent civilians living in these areas to vacate their native places and had dominated the Gajabapura for terror activities.

Further consolidating operations are in progress.

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To Bless the Soldiers the Temple Bells should toll for a minute every day until Kilinochchi is taken.

by Charles.S. Perera

(October 23, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Our soldiers are at the front gate of the « tiger den » in Kilinochchi, for a battle they have to win, and for which no one knows how many lives have to be sacrificed. It would be most appropriate, to bless our soldiers when they face the dangers of a battle , to keep this motherland- sanctified by five visits of the Buddha, from being desecrated by a group of ruthless terrorists.

I implore the JHU and the Buddhist Associations to explore the possibility of holding "Bodhi Puja" in all Buddhist temples in the Island on a selected day , at a selected time, to bless our heroes the Soldiers, who are risking their lives, in rain and sun shine , without a moment to relax, and perhaps without even a proper meal a day. They are facing the most cruel "yakshas" whose blood thirst never seem to end. Full Text

The War Continues

October 23, 2008: During the first nine months of the year, the army lost 1,099 dead, and about 7,000 wounded. September was a bad month, with 200 dead and 997 wounded. The government claims it has killed 7,500 LTTE fighters, but some of this is based on estimates after air attacks. The actual number of dead LTTE fighters counted by Sri Lankan soldiers is about half that. To put it in perspective, it would be equivalent to a nation the size of the United States losing 20,000 war dead in one year, and nearly 100,000 wounded. Since this is a civil war, you more than triple those losses to include the rebel casualties. The current Sri Lankan government is a coalition with a thin majority. The government needs a quick end to the war to stay in power. But too many army casualties will diminish the victory. Army commanders are hoping for an LTTE surrender, but fear it may end with deadly attacks by the LTTEs remaining veteran fighters and commandos. Worst case, the army could lose a thousand or more dead before finishing this. Full Text

Vaiko held for making 'highly inflammatory speeches'

Chennai (PTI): MDMK Chief Vaiko was on Thursday arrested on the charge of making "highly inflammatory speeches supporting the LTTE", police said.

This is the second time that Vaiko was arrested for supporting the banned outfit. He was arrested under POTA by the previous AIADMK government for speaking in support of LTTE.

Vaiko had at a public meeting here on Tuesday said a separate Tamil Eelam under the leadership of LTTE chief Prabhakaran would come into existence soon in Sri Lanka. "LTTE and Sri Lankan Tamils could not be separated. Though we are against any violence, we should differentiate between violence and right", he said. Full Text

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Hartal in Jaffna to protest against LTTE attack at the cargo vessels

The Jaffna community alongwith business, administration and sections of educational institutions, on Thursday(Oct 23) have organised a hartal to protest against the cowardly LTTE suicide attack at two vessels with essential food supplies to the peninsula yesterday.

The peninsula is virtually connected with the south via sea route, which remains to be the sole lifeline providing daily bread to thousands and any means to disrupt the normalcy is to be condemned in all quarters, an organizer who wanted to remain anonymous was quoted saying with our Jaffna defence correspondent. Full Text

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Counter terrorist offensives continue as LTTE lose grip over strongholds in Wanni

Counter terrorist offensives continue, with military battling through stiff LTTE resistance and inter monsoonal rains at Wanni, as troops claimed seizing control-over several LTTE bunker overheads and trenches during yesterday's (Oct 22) fighting.

According to Wanni security sources, the fighting raged between troops and LTTE in general area West of Akkarayankulama, Kilinochchi, since Wednesday morning, as 57 Division troops stepped advances from its initial positions, East and West of the Akkarayankulama Tank bund. Full Text

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Sri Lanka Says Aid Ship Raid Shows `Pernicious' Rebel Strategy

By Paul Tighe
Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka denounced a Tamil rebel suicide attack on two merchant ships carrying aid supplies as part of a ``pernicious'' strategy to use civilians in the fight for a separate homeland in the South Asian island nation.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam showed that the ``well-being of Tamil people it claims to represent is furthest from its concerns,'' the government said in a statement early today. ``The LTTE has continuously done everything possible to subvert all relief measures to these people.''
The vessels were carrying food and cement to the northern Jaffna peninsula when they were attacked and damaged yesterday, the government said. The LTTE said a suicide unit carried out the raid and sank a ship carrying military supplies, TamilNet reported, citing the group. Full Text

President orders pro-Govt. Tamils to hold hartal against India

(October 22, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to a reliable source close to the Government of Sri Lanka, the President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered the government backing Tamil quisling groups to hold a massive hartal in the government controlled areas to protest against India for its involvement in Sri Lanka.

Minster Devananda has been instructed personally by the President to liaise with other Tamil groups supporting the government. Douglas Devananda has spoken to V Anandasangaree (TULF), V Siththarthan (PLOTE), V Muralitharan alias Karuna (TMVP) and Sritharan (EPRLF) and given the instructions of the President to fully engage in the day long hartal tomorrow October 23, 2008. According to information verified, all these party leaders have subscribed to the President’s pressure. Full Text

Pranab Mukerjee not going to Sri Lanka.

New Delhi, 23 October, ( Now, it has emerged that Pranab Mukerjee, India’s External Affairs Minister will not be visiting Sri Lanka to express the so called "concern of India."

Earlier it was reported that Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollgama has invited the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Pranab Mukherjee to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka at an early date.

Media hype revealed that Pranab Mukerjee would visit Sri Lanka to see for himself the situation in the country, as well as to express India’s concern. Full Text

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Lavalife: Where Singles Click!

No reversal in fighting terror - Defence Affairs Spokesman

COLOMBO: The Government would not turn back from fighting terrorism amid the LTTE propaganda to the influence of the international community and regional leaders.

Addressing the media yesterday at the MCNS, Government Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the LTTE was carrying out their propaganda to influence the international community and regional leaders at a time it is facing a heavy defeat in the conflict.

“We have experienced this over the decades with the LTTE when the Security Forces were approaching the edge of the LTTE strongholds. Then they raise a cry to halt the offensive citing humanitarian concerns. Full Text

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There is no genocide in Sri Lanka

Minister Douglas Devananda

Leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party and Minister of Social Services, Douglas Devananda tells Hard Talk that there is no basis for the hornet’s nest raised in India calling for an intervention to the military exercises in Sri Lanka, maintaining that it was only an indication that the LTTE was losing the war. He maintains that there is no justification for the Tamil Nadu government’s claims of genocide against the Tamil people in the Wanni under the security forces.

  • India will support a proposal brought forward by the Rajapaksa government.
  • The New Delhi government will look into it in a fair manner.
  • We can add whatever possible powers to the provinces and retain the rest with the Centre
  • The more the people suffer, the closer the LTTE is to their goal.
  • The 13th Amendment failed last time only because the leaders were misled. Full Text