Saturday, November 22, 2008

Troops consolidate on newly captured terror defences; one LTTE body found

Sri Lanka Army latest offensive elements, 53 and 55 Divisions, continued effective military thrust against LTTE terrorists while further consolidating their positions on newly captured LTTE's first line of defence at Northern theatre of Battle.

Troops have confronted with LTTE terrorists in general area Kilaly last morning, 21 November. Terrorists suffered heavy damages due to hours long fighting erupted, defence sources in Jaffna said. In a subsequent search operation conducted in the area, troops have found a decomposed body of an LTTE cadre along with a T-56 assault rifle and four hand grenades.

Meanwhile, troops confirmed that LTTE suffered considerable damages in fighting ensued in general area Muhamalai around 10.25 am yesterday.

Troops advance towards Kilinochchi; LTTE suffers heavy damages in fighting

Troops of 57 Division further advanced towards LTTE territory and extended their defence line despite LTTE resistance in general area northeast of Akkarayankulam, north of Murikandy, and north of Kokavil yesterday, 21 November.

Heavy fighting between troops and LTTE terrorists reported in these areas resulting heavy damages to the enemy. Intercepted LTTE radio communication confirmed that terrorists suffered heavy losses.

Intense fighting commenced around 6.00 am lasted until 6.00pm, defence sources said. Troops have launched heavy indirect fire targeting LTTE built earth bund, the main resistance point, in general area northeast of Akkarayankulam.

40+ singles

15km of Pooneryn-Paranthan road (B-69) captured

After their recent capture of major LTTE stronghold of Pooneryn, Task Force 1 (TF1) units are now moving towards their next objective; the Paranthan junction. So far, they have managed to capture around 15km along the Pooneryn – Paranthan road (B-69).

Meanwhile several media (including pro LTTE web sites) have reported that SLA suffered high casualties in the capture of Pooneryn town. This is not true. In the actual operation that lead to the capture of Pooneryn town center, 4 SLA soldiers were killed and 29 were injured. 12 of the injured were SLA’s elite Special Forces units. At the time this operation was launched there were around 150 tigers still trapped in Pooneryn. Some were killed and some managed to escape via sea route. A large haul of weapons and ammunition was captured from the tigers. Images of the captured weapons will soon be released to the public. Full Text

Mangala supports Tigers after forming govt. to defeat terrorism

It is unfortunate that a person like Mangala Samaraweera, after striving hard to elect the present regime with the intention of defeating terrorism, is misleading the public today by saying that "three years of Chinthana - the country is lost," said JHU's Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe. The JHU spokesman was commenting to 'Lanka Dissent' in response to strong criticism of the government by the SLFP Mahajana Wing leader at a recent media briefing.

Mr. Warnasinghe said, "Mr. Samaraweera, who says the country is lost, should clarify his stance to the country. At the time Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa took over, one-third of the country's land area was under the LTTE. Then, there were Tiger courts, Tiger police and Tiger administrative institutions. Today, the administrative power of the Tigers is no more." Full Text

No humanitarian crisis in Northern Sri Lanka: Govt

Colombo (PTI): Sri Lankan government on Saturday took strong exception to claims over catastrophe like situation in the Northern part of the country due to displacement of civilians and asserted the situation was being managed satisfactorily.

"There is no humanitarian crisis (in Northern Sri Lanka). Some reports say there are 2,00,000 or 3,00,000 Internally displaced persons in the North, which is not true," Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said.

He said the Sri Lankan government has been providing relief and rehabilitation on a continuous basis to the Tamil civilians displaced by the military offensive against the LTTE. Full Text

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"Indian relief for Tamils should not reach wrong hands"

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka should ensure that the Indian relief supplies for displaced Tamils in northern areas reach the correct people, a top business

chamber member has said, advising the government to seek the services of district chambers of commerce in disseminating the material.

It should be ensured that the relief from India reach the Tamil people who are in need of assistance in the north and it should not fall into the wrong hands," a senior member and former President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Nawaz Rajabdeen said.

On Thursday, India formally handed over 1,680 tonnes of assorted items to the International Committee of the Red Cross to be distributed to the displaced Tamil civilians caught in the war between the Sri Lankan Security Forces and the LTTE. Full Text

A fearful end to Sri Lanka's war?

Sri Lanka's government says it is nearing victory in its 25-year conflict with the Tamil Tigers, but as Roland Buerk explains the war will leave a bitter legacy.

Sri Lanka soldier in Madhu
The Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter flew fast and low out of Anuradhapura, heading north.

The white domes of the ancient city's Buddhist temples stood high over the green canopy of the treetops.

Flares thumped out of tubes on the helicopter's side, bright red sparks trailed thick white smoke into the jungle just below, a defence against being shot down. Full Text

SLAF MI-24 pounds LTTE strongpoint - Kilinochchi

Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 Helicopter Gunships raided an LTTE strongpoint located northeast of Akkarayankulam Tank bund this afternoon, 22 November.

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, speaking to said that MI-24 helicopters bombed an LTTE strongpoint located 7 Km northeast of Akkarayankulam Tank bund.

The air raids launched in support of the ground troops of 57 Division who are heading towards Kilinochchi built up.

Ground troops confirmed that the target was taken accurately, spokesperson added.

All items sent from Tamil Nadu to Kilinochchi should be checked by SLSF.

by Charles.S.Perera

(November 22, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Karunanidhi is no lover of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. If he is, he should have been in contact with Sri Lanka Tamil Politicians, such as Anandasangaree, Douglas Devananda or the Late Laksman Kadirgamar. They are perhaps not of his intellectual level.

Karunanidhi was more at ease agitating with anit-Hindi , and pro Eelam Movements from his youth. He has not changed much. The Sri Lanka Tamils should not therefore fall into the trap of believing that Karunanidhi at this particular time is moving to help the Tamil population in Sri Lanka.

Karunannidhi is not interested in the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a whole , but he is at the moment interested in the Tamil civilian population in Kilinochchi . Because it is only in doing so that he could come to help Prabhakaran, Pottuamman and the rest of the terrorists, "camping" in Kilinochchi. Karunanidhi's primary interest is helping the terrorists to set up the Tamil Eelam State. If that were to happen it would fulfil his life long ambition. Full Text

Over 40 civilians reach to Omanthai escaping terror grip

Breaking out the LTTE's iron grip that forcefully holds Tamil civilians in Wanni for decades, 41 civilians in two group have arrived at the Omanthai roadblock seeking protection with security forces this morning (Nov 22).

The first group comprising 25 males and 11 females arrived at the roadblock around 8.00 am. According to the sources, the group has 9 children below 18 years and 20 youths below 30 years of age. Further, the group has 9 adults including 3 females below 50 years of age and 7 more adults over 50 years, including 3 females. Full Text

TF 1 displays LTTE weapons captured in Nachchikuda and Pooneryn

Task Force 1 (TF1) has displayed the weapons, ammunition and other warlike items yesterday (Nov 21) which were captured from the LTTE during the offensive thrust against terrorists capturing major terror bastions in western coastal border Molonkavil, Nachchikuda, Devil's Point and Pooneryn.

Hundreds of T-56 weapons, anti- aircraft weapons, grenade and RPG launchers, thousands of ammunition, claymore mines, anti-personnel mines, hand grenades, Out Boat Motors (OBMs) and many other items left away by fleeing terrorists are on the display.

The Task Force 1, which was raised in early this year, fully liberated the Mannar district capturing major LTTE sea tiger strongholds in Vidattaltivu, Iluppaikkaddavai and Vellankulama, along the Mannar- Pooneryn road (A-32). Full Text


Defence Column Forum

Commander congratulates his Pooneryn & Wanni heroes

On the heels of Army gains over Pooneryn, Mankulam, Kokavil and elsewhere in the Wanni theater of humanitarian operations, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Friday (21) morning flew to Security Forces Headquarters Wanni (SFHQ-W) to offer his profuse thanks and commendation to the heroic troops, responsible for successive military achievements.

Lieutenant General Fonseka at the beginning of the discussion at the Security Forces Headquarters, Wanni congratulated all the Commanders of respective Divisions, Brigades and other Formations on their achievements, particularly made in Pooneryn, enabling re-opening of the A-32 land route shortly to Jaffna peninsula. Full Text

Eliminating terrorism from our motherland, the past and the present

(By: General Rohan Daluwatte(Rtd) WWV RWP RSP VSV USP)

With the recapture of Poonaryn, the Government has been able to re establish a land link to the Jaffna Peninsula after almost two decades. Although the A9 was opened after the signing of the Peace Accord in 2001 by the then Government, a stretch of the road was under the LTTE control and only those who were authorized by the LTTE were able to travel to and from Jaffna using the land route. Armed Forces and the Police were prohibited from using the stretch under the control of the LTTE. With the capture of Poonaryn, the security forces are now in a position to exercise several options in their operations to eliminate terrorism from our beloved motherland. This includes land access to targets like Kilinochchi and Elephantpass from multiple fronts.

When compared to the past three decades, and major military campaigns conducted against LTTE during those three decades commonly known as Eelam war 1, 2 and 3, the present campaign during the past three years have been the most successful so far. There are several reasons for this. Full Text

Death toll up at Muhamalai

(Lanka-e-News, November 21, 2008, 9.15 AM) Sources from the battlefield says that both the LTTE and the security forces suffered heavy losses after a section of Muhamalai and Kilali forward defense lines were captured by Army yesterday morning (20).

Reportedly, LTTE retreated as the Army advanced and captured the bunker line of the LTTE. Then they exploded the massive bombs hidden in the bunkers killing a large number of personnel and injuring more. Another number of personnel have disappeared.

Unconfirmed sources say that a large number of Army personnel have been killed and another group was injured. Full Text

No military operations beyond Killinochchi! – Warning from Tamil Nadu

Military operations would not be allowed to be carried out beyond Killinochchi and the government of Sri Lanka should enter into an unconditional ceasefire with tiger terrorist organization states Pandiyan, Secretary of the Tamil Nadu branch of the Communist Party of India.

Pandiyan had said this at a joint rally held by the Communist Party of India and a student organization. A decision also has been taken at this summit to pressurize shop owners and authorities of government offices in Tamil Nadu to close down all shops and offices on the 25th from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. to protest against ongoing military campaign against tiger terrorists. Several other political parties too have participated at the summit say reports.

Passing a camel through the eye of a needle

Prabhakaran is finally left with less than one tenth of the land area he used to hold before July 2006, when he made his worst ever military blunder by throwing down the gauntlet at Mavil Aru. When he ordered the capture and subsequent closure of an irrigation scheme there, he may not have thought his action would trigger a military avalanche threatening his very survival within two years.

Now that the army has taken Pooneryn back and is advancing eastwards with two more columns moving southward from the Jaffna peninsula, the fall of Elephant Pass and Kilinochchi is only a matter of time. His cadres will have to flee before long.

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with ITN on Thursday night that according to military intelligence the LTTE was down to 3,000 fighters. It, he said, was losing cadres at the rate of about 500 per month. It also seems to be experiencing a severe shortage of arms and ammunition, as evident from its increasing dependence on improvised shells in a bid to thwart the army's rapid advance on several fronts in the Vanni. Full Text

Pooneryn puts terror on irreversible retreat

As the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration approached the end of its third year in office last weekend, this column concluded that the country was three years closer to the defeat of terrorism.

This was before the President announced to the country last Saturday morning that the Sri Lanka Army had captured Pooneryn, opening a land route to the Jaffna peninsula after nearly 20 years, bringing about a major alteration in the balance of force between the Government and the LTTE.

If the Sri Lankan troops were gaining the upper hand over the past one year, it was now clearer that they are even more on the ascendant, and the LTTE is on what seems an irreversible retreat. Full Text

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LTTE’s civilian victims

The respected military website Strategy Page has blown the lid off the LTTE’s claims of ‘civilian casualties’. The LTTE provides rudimentary weapons training to civilians in uncleared areas and forces them to man the frontlines.

When they are killed while fighting the Security Forces, the LTTE conveniently removes the weapon(s) and says they are ‘civilians’ killed by the Forces.

In the words of Strategy Page editors, while many of the civilians are all for more Tamil autonomy in Sri Lanka, they also find themselves trapped by the LTTE. All adult Tamils are now subject to involuntary military service. Full Text

Harrow Tamils demonstrate over violence in Sri Lanka

Harrow Tamils joined a demonstration outside Parliament yesterday in protest over violence in Sri Lanka.

Thousands of people gathered at Parliament Square, in central London to lobby MPs over what some claim is an attempted genocide of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government. Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar, (Lab/Roxeth) who went to the demonstration, said people were getting “carried away with emotions”.

He said: “What's happening there is absolutely terrible. We have compared it to the holocaust. People keep despairing every day, they are sending food and medical aid to everyone.

“A lot of people think the two sides should go back to the negotiating table.” Full Text

Ranil also runs into protests in TN

Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe was confronted by a group of people on Thursday when he returned after a merit bestowing ceremony and a special pooja at the 'Pongu Saneeswarar' Temple at Thirukollikadu village in Tiruvarur district in Tamil Nadu, Asian Tribune reported.

He arrived from Chennai to Tiruchrapallai by a scheduled flight and later went by road to the famous temple of Lord Saturn -- one of the 'Navagrahas.'

There he received temple honors and offered prayers and reportedly took part in a ceremony bestowing merit to pacify the malefic Lord Saturn. Full Text

Two soldiers killed in camp tragedy

A special investigation has been launched into the tragedy where three soldiers were killed and twelve injured in an accidental discharge of a soldier’s automatic weapon at the Army’s Volunteer Force training camp in Lindawewa, Nochchiyagama yesterday, the military said.

Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said this tragic incident took place during a training session, where more than 200 army personnel were participating.

“When some 200 army recruits were watching a military demonstration, suddenly a personal weapon went off killing the three soldiers and injuring 12. Full Text

Sri Lanka may win LTTE, not the Tamils' problem: India

New Delhi (PTI): Even as Sri Lankan army is close to LTTE headquarters Killinochi, India feels a military "victory" would not solve the problem being faced by the island nation and the side-effects in the form of terrorism could be "dangerous".

New Delhi believes that the Sri Lankan government would have to address the problem politically by giving enough space to all sections of the society there to feel comfortable.

"There is no military solution to the problem. Even if they (Lankan military) take control of Killinochi, the Tamil tigers may spread out to other parts of the country and continue terrorism," sources said here. Full Text

Sri Lankans to demonstrate in Paris on Sunday against LTTE terrorism

Paris, 21 November, ( Hundreds of Sri Lankans are expected to gather at Trocadero, under the shade of the most popular tourist attraction of the world, the Eiffel Tower on November 23 to protest against the dreaded terrorist outfit, the Tamil Tigers. The demonstration, organized jointly by all the Sri Lankan associations and societies in France is scheduled to begin at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday.

The organizers have appealed to 'all patriotic Sri Lankans in France to participate at the demonstration jointly organized by the United Sri Lankans (USL) to Protest Against: Full Text

Friday, November 21, 2008

One on One with Ambassador Blake

"America's experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere has taught us that terrorism cannot be defeated by military measures alone. That is why we have urged the Government of Sri Lanka to adopt a political solution to the conflict now that meets the aspirations of all of Sri Lanka's communities. Such a solution would hasten reconciliation and give Tamils in particular a greater sense that they will enjoy a future of hope and dignity within a united Sri Lanka. This could disprove the LTTE's claim that they are the sole representative of Sri Lanka's Tamils and the only ones who care about Sri Lanka's Tamils. It also would help persuade Tamils in Canada, the US and other parts of the diaspora to stop funding the LTTE which in turn would hasten an end to the conflict," according to Ambassador Blake. Full Text

AI Statement on Sri Lankan IDPs Subjective and Misleading

he statement by Amnesty International (AI) issued on Wednesday, 19 November, entitled "Sri Lankan Government Must Act Now to Protect 300,000 Displaced" is unfortunately yet another attempt to distort the factual situation pertaining to the conditions in which civilians in the north of Sri Lanka find themselves at present. Regrettably, AI has failed to present an objective analysis of the challenges and successes of the Sri Lankan Government in addressing the needs of Sri Lankan persons affected by the conflict. The AI account is littered with misleading innuendo compounded by outright falsehood and, upon a holistic reading of their report, it becomes clear that the intent of the report is to present a skewed picture unfavourable to the lawfully elected and popularly mandated Government of Sri Lanka. Full Text

NGO operation to save Killinochchi for tigers revealed

Military experts have stated that tiger organization has decided to deploy maximum force to defend Killinochchi from advancing troops of S.L. Army and use the facilities left to them by NGOs which have left the area.

According to 'Lanka' Sinhalese weekend newspaper the deployment of NGO offices at strategically important points in Killinochchci town had been carried out ten years ago with a plan to make use of them by tiger terrorists whenever the town is threatened by government forces. Hence, NGOs that left Killinochchi on a directive by the government have not only left their modern vehicles and sophisticated equipments to be used by tiger terrorists but also the bunkers they had constructed in all their offices spread out in Killinochchi town. These bunkers constructed spending a large amount of money, alleging that they were for the use of their staffs, would help the tiger terrorists to stop or delay the advancing troops from entering the town states the report in 'Lanka.' Full Text

GMOA will rush specialists to Jaffna

COLOMBO: The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Thursday said it would send surgeons, senior anaesthetists, general, neuro and orthopaedic surgeons post haste within the next two days from the National Hospital and the Kandy and Kurunegala Teaching Hospitals on a roster basis to Pallai to treat battle casualties.

General Committee Member of the Government Medical Officers’ Association, Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said all Sinhalese doctors serving in Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Mannar and Akkaraipattu had been recalled following the killing of Dr. Palitha Padmakumara, serving in a Central Dispensary in the periphery of Batticaloa District. The move has paralyzed health care services in the north and east. Only emergencies are being carried out in Batticaloa and several other hospitals in the East. Full Text

Air Force pound terror positions in Kilinochchi

Sri Lanka Air Force MI 24 helicopter gunships carried out air strikes targeting two LTTE gatherings detected 6.5 Km northeast of Akkarayankulam tank in Kilinochchi this evening (Nov 21).

Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janka Nanayakkara speaking to said that the attacks have been carried out in support of Army 57 division troops at 3 PM. He added the targets have been effectively engaged.

Accidental Explosion - Nochchiyagama

Two soldiers died and 13 injured by an accidental explosion in a Military Training at Lindawewa Nochchiyagama around 2.20 p.m. today.

Injured soldiers have been hospitalized for treatments.

Battle begins in Kilinochchi outskirts; TF1 captures 3 LTTE bunkers

Task Force 1 (TF 1) troops today (Nov 21) reached the northern boundaries of the Kilinochchi built up and started pounding the LTTE strongholds in the Adampan area.

According to the battlefield sources, troops of 8 Sinha Regiment (8 SR) have captured 3 LTTE bunkers and a battle trench located 9 Km West of Kilinochchi town around 9.45 AM. During the subsequent search, troops found two bodies of slain LTTE cadres and five T-56 riffles. Troops are continuing their march towards Kilinochchi, the sources added.

Meanwhile, snipers deployed in the North of Kilinochchi have confirmed shooting down of three LTTE cadres during the morning hours.

The sources further reveal that LTTE terrorist have put up another earth bund encircling the Kilincochchi built up to slow down the military advance.

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Wanni Prison gates crumbles; civilians breaking out terror rule

The iron grip of terrorism that suppressed Tamil civilians in Wanni for decades is fast loosening and civilians have now started escaping the terror clutches in large numbers, special correspondent in Vavuniya reveals.

39 civilians in two groups have arrived at the Omanthai roadblock seeking protection with armed forces this morning (Nov 21). The first group comprising 15 males and 10 females arrived at the roadblock at 7.50 AM. The refugees told the officials that they were from Puthukulam and Semaduwa areas. The second group has arrived at 10.30 AM with 7 males and 7 females. They have informed the officials that they were from Plaiwadi, Sinna Adampan and Nainamadu areas.

According to our correspondent, the group of refugees has 2 children below 12 years of age, and 18 youths below 30 years. All of them have stated that they had been forcibly engaged in military fatigue by the terrorists. Full Text

Troops further expand domination on Mullaittivu front

Troops of 59 division operating on the Mullaittivu battlefront extended their forward dominations further into the LTTE hiding areas yesterday (Nov 20).

Troops confronted with a group of terrorist in the north of Thannimurippukulam area around 6 AM. In a similar incident, troops confronted with an LTTE group detected in the east of Otiyamalai area around 11 AM. Intercepted LTTE radio transmissions confirmed damages to the terrorists in both incidents.

Meanwhile, troops attacked a terrorist group detected in the East of Nayaroo lagoon around 11 AM . Troops during the subsequent search, found one T-56 riffle and five hand grenades.

In the south of Mulliavellai area troops captured 3 LTTE bunkers around 11 AM. Troops whilst clearing the area found two decomposed bodies of slain LTTE cadres. In the same general area, troops had another engagement with the terrorists around 5.50 PM. Intercepted LTTE radio transmissions confirmed damages to the terrorists in this incident.

Troops operating in the north of Kumulamunai area destroyed an LTTE bunker using heavy weapons during morning hours. Also, snipers deployed in the forward areas confirmed shooting down of an LTTE cadre around 10.20 AM.

3 LTTE bunkers overrun, 2 terrorist bodies recovered- Kilinochchi

The three frontal military assaults at the central Kilinochchi battlefront led by troops of the 57 Division and Task Force 3 entered decisive phase at troops met resistance from LTTE, North of Kokavil, Murunkandy and North of Akkarayankulama, Thursday (Nov 20).

Meanwhile, forward domination elements of the 57 Division operating in general area Murunkandy have gained control over 3 LTTE bunker overheads after hours of intense fighting in the area, security sources said. Troops have also found 2 T-56 assault rifles following a confrontation with LTTE in general area North of Kokavil. Further dominations continued North of Akkarayankulama with fierce fighting reported closer to the LTTE built earth bund surrounding Kilinochchi. In general area Mankulama, TF 3 troops now consolidating defences came across an LTTE small arms fire yesterday (20), which was immediately thwarted as troops claimed recovering 2 LTTE bodies and 3 T-56 assault rifles during subsequent search operations conducted.

The Task Force 1 troops now advancing along the B-69 Pooneryn-Paranthan road have reportedly gained control over a stretch of the main road and positioned approximately 14km to the LTTE's Paranthan terror bastion.

In Eelam Gnanakone will not deal with peasants

A Sri Lanka Guardian Report(November 21, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) Freedom Fighter Jayantha Gnanakone is a Lone Ranger fighting for an Eelam State in which his own smuggling fraternity will be the dominant community. All others are peasants and he will not deal with them. Of late he has been making so many slashing statements which he casts like sowing wild oats all over the world. His language is often belligerent and bellicose and some of phrases certainly are x-rated and unfit for civilized communication.

Unfortunately Jayantha Gnanakone's dreams and Tamil rights are far apart. Every one else of the Tamil community apart from those of his own Valvetttiturai smugglers are peasants and pariahs. Every inhala is a racist except his own good friend, as he always claims, Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe. His only other friend is Velupillai Prabhakaran who denied Mr Wickremasinghe the opportunity to become president of Sri Lanka. What role did Jayantha Gnanakone play in this conspiracy setting one friend against the other? Full Text

NGOs only helped Tigers and themselves

by Norman Palihawadena

Following the liberation of several LTTE held areas in the North the Government has now learnt that several non governmental organizations which were based in the North for the last two and half decades had not carried out any development work despite receiving huge sums of money from foreign countries apparently for developing areas that were not under government control.

There were nearly 3,000 locals employed by these NGOs and they were paid. But the lion’s share of the large sums of money these NGOs received from their masters especially from many European Union countries had been shared with the LTTE, it has been revealed. The latter bought arms and paid the salaries of their cadres while the NGO heads led luxurious life neglecting their duty. Full Text

Tigers run out of options as Forces advance on all fronts

The successive victories achieved by the Security Forces capturing LTTE strongholds in the Northern front and from the Wanni front has put the Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran in a very embarrassing and humiliating position as he prepares to deliver his so-called Mahaveer Day speech on November 26.

It is a big question as to what he is going to tell the world this time as his all strongholds have already fallen to the Security Forces as of now with the latest additions Pooneryn, Mankulam and the Muhamalai Forward Defence Line.

Last year he came out with a big complaint to the international community for not taking enough steps to defend them from the military thrust by the Security Forces. Therefore, the local and international community are awaiting to observe what would be his next complaint to the international community in the aftermath of all these defeats. Full text

India will not interfere - analysts

India handed over aid for Sri Lanka's IDPs on Thursday in what analysts say is the clearest sign yet New Delhi will not interfere with Colombo's plan to end Asia's oldest insurgency militarily.

India's ambassador to Sri Lanka handed over at a ceremony more than 1,680 tonnes of relief items to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which will deliver it to an estimated 200,000 people displaced by the war in northern Sri Lanka.

It is a far cry from a 1987 airdrop of aid by the Indian air force which signalled the start of India's 3-year direct intervention in a war that has always roiled politics there and kept Sri Lankan leaders mindful of their giant neighbour. Full Text

Congress can never forgive Tigers - TN Congress Chief

Tamil Nadu Congress President K V Thangkabalu on Wednesday said the law would take its own course against political parties rendering support to a banned organisation like the LTTE.

He was speaking at a function organised in connection with the 92nd birthday of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The TNCC chief asked Dravidar Kazhgam leader Veeramani to clarify on his

recent comments on the LTTE's moves in the ongoing conflict against the Lankan army.

"He should come out on how he got the information," he said. Full Text

Woman donates wedding ring to Api Wenuwen Api Fund

D. M. K. Menike, a mother from Doragamuwa, Katugastota donated two gold rings including her wedding ring to the Api Wenuwen Api Ranaviru Welfare Fund at the 84,000 Pahan Pinkama held at the Maha Maluwa, Kandy on Wednesday night to invoke blessings on the President, Security Forces and Police and the People.

She handed over the gift to Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister and Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella who was the chief guest on the occasion to be handed over to the Ranaviru (War Heroes) Welfare Fund. Full Text

TRO probed in Canada

Canada: Liberty Square Shopping Plaza has a South Asian convenience store and a branch of the Toronto Public Library, but the tenant that has brought this busy strip mall international notoriety is upstairs above a jewellery store.

The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization works out of a cramped second-floor office with a big Canadian flag over the window. And while its official mission is humanitarian, governments in three countries suspect it serves a shadier purpose.

RCMP counterterrorism investigators and Canada Revenue Agency charity regulators accuse the group of having ties to the Sri Lankan separatist guerrillas called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, better known as the Tigers. Full Text

LTTE faced dead-end in Mankulam, Pooneryn

COLOMBO: Refuting certain media reports and allegations, Media and Information Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa reiterated that the LTTE has been completely defeated and driven out of Pooneryn and Mankulam with absolutely no hopes of a come-back.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Parliament yesterday, Minister Yapa categorically stated that this was a major setback to the LTTE, who had relied heavily on and consolidated their positions in Pooneryn, to attack the Government Armed Forces in the Jaffna peninsula.

“This is in no way a ‘tactical pull-out’ as some critics strive to portray. They used all means at their disposal such as the construction of bunds and various other obstacles on our path to prevent us from reaching there. Losing the A-32 route has been a major blow to them,” the Minister said. Furthermore, it has paved the way for us to open-up a road way from Colombo to Pooneryn and then to Jaffna peninsula. Full Text

‘Not a tactical withdrawal’

The government yesterday denied reports that the LTTE had tactically withdrawn from Pooneryn.

Addressing the cabinet news briefing in the parliament complex Cabinet spokesman and Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the Tigers would have never withdrawn from Pooneryn if their camp was not over run since it was strategically important for them.

“They have launched massive attacks on the security forces from there,” he said.

The Minister also denied reports that the LTTE had managed to infiltrate several areas which had been liberated by the security forces in the recent past. Full Text

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Muhamalai breached: Troops begin march towards Elephant Pass

Army overcomes earth bund, other defences in crucial offensive

After four days of continuous intense fighting the 55 and 53 Divisions of the Sri Lanka Army based at Muhamalai, Nagar Kovil and Kilali were yesterday able to capture the strategically important Muhamalai Forward Defence Line (FDL) of the LTTE, achieving yet another victory in the present conflict.

Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara announced that the military completed capturing the 800 metres long 8 kilometres wide strong defence line around 5am yesterday inflicting heavy damage on the Tigers.

During the last few weeks, small teams of the 53 and 55 Divisions facilitated the capture of the defence lines as they had infiltrated the enemy line almost on a daily basis during the late hours and had succeeded in blowing up the LTTE bunkers on the FDL. Full Text

Hockey team member arrested

By Ananda Weerasuriya.

(DailyMirror)A member of the hockey team from Jaffna, a prospective participant in the 51st National Hockey competition held in Colombo was arrested by the Wellawatte police and produced in Mount Lavinia Court.

Magistrate and Additional Judge of Mt. Lavinia remanded him until November 28.

Kanagasingam Jeninsan of Jaffna had accompanied the Jaffna team as a player to take part in the 51st National Hockey tournament held at the police play ground, Bambalapitiya. After the tournament, he had spent two days with a relative of his at Wellawatte.

On the 14th when he was waiting for a bus to return to Jaffna he was arrested by the Wellawatte police and produced in court on the 19th and remanded for further investigations.

TRO lashes out for freezing funds

Tamil Rehabilitation Organization yesterday condemned the move by the Government to forfeit funds of the TRO which were frozen earlier.

In a statement issued, the TRO stated that they wish to “remind the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that 75% of the “forfeited” funds in TRO’s accounts were donated by the United Nations, international NGOs, foreign governments and the GoSL itself”.

In the statement TRO denied the allegations by the GoSL that the funds were used for terrorism related activities, but adds that the funds were granted for providing humanitarian assistance to people who were living in the North and the East. Full Text

Malaysian youth want Tamil League to discuss Lankan issues

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 19 (ANI): The Malaysian Indian Congress Youth has proposed the setting up of a Tamil League in a move to attract international attention to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Adviser S. Vell Paari said the league should be a United Nations recognised body, similar to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

I believe a new league of Tamils representing their resident country should be established in Tamil Nadu to diligently and vigilantly guard over the political, economic and social agenda of Tamils living all over the world, he said in a statement. Full Text

Mangala hypocritical - Keheliya

Keheliya Rambukwella

The government has dismissed claims of using war propaganda to cover up an economic down turn by Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera.

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera is using casualty figures of soldiers to ‘climb out of a political dustbin”which he has fallen in to.

“We give out all casualty figures to the Parliament” said Minister Rambukwella. Full Text


Defence Column Forum

In the Tigers' lair

INDEPENDENCE DAY is not celebrated until February. But flags are flying from buildings and lamp posts in Colombo in a show of public support for the government’s military campaign against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. On November 15th, as his government faced a crucial parliamentary vote on the budget, President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced on national television that troops had seized the Tiger-held town of Pooneryn for the first time in 15 years. His generals are calling this a “turning-point” in the 25-year war. It places the entire western coast under military control and opens up a land route to Jaffna in the north, for the transport of troops and supplies that for months have been sent by sea or air.

The well-timed broadcast helped Mr Rajapaksa sideline critics of a budget that raised taxes on dozens of imports—from fruit and vegetables to milk powder—and lifted defence spending to an all-time high of $1.6 billion. It also helped rally the public around the war despite an annual inflation rate of 20% and plummeting investor confidence. According to Harsha de Silva, an independent economist, the defence budget will be met almost entirely through borrowing, and after next year’s debt repayments, government revenue will not cover even defence expenditure, which he estimates at about $2 billion. Full Text

Aid distribution: Red Cross, India differ with Sri Lanka

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: India on Thursday formally handed over 1,680 tonnes of relief material to the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) for distribution to civilians in northern Sri Lanka. Full Text

LTTE still most lethal: tribunal

J. Venkatesan
Upholds ban imposed by Centre

New Delhi: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam continues to be an extremely potent, most lethal and well-organised terrorist force in Sri Lanka and has strong connections in Tamil Nadu and certain pockets of southern India, a tribunal said.

The tribunal, set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was upholding the ban imposed on the outfit by the Centre on May 14, 2008.

Justice Vikramajit Sen of the Delhi High Court, who was on the tribunal, agreed with the Centre’s submissions that “the LTTE continues to use Tamil Nadu as the base for carrying out smuggling of essential items like petrol and diesel, besides drugs, to Sri Lanka.” Full Text

LTTE desertions surge as Northern fighting escalate

Desertions among LTTE terrorists are reported on the surge as security forces stepped-up offensives at the Northern lines of defence at Muhamalai since Saturday (16). According to intercepted LTTE communication, at least 26 terrorists, 2 north of the A-9 road and 24 others south have reportedly deserted the outfit on Thursday (20).

The ground situation has worsened for the LTTE triggering uncertainty among its ranks with the 53 and 55 Divisions mounting continuous artillery and heavy mortar attacks, security sources said.

Meanwhile, troops of the 57 Division operating northeast of Akkarayankulam in Kilinochchi have reportedly captured a stretch of an earth bund cum ditch constructed by LTTE on Wednesday (19). Heavy fighting ensued between troops and LTTE with the breakout of close quarter gunfire exchanges at separate locations North of Akkaraynakulam, security sources said. Full text

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Highway To Hell

November 20, 2008: The army has six divisions fighting in the north against the LTTE. In the west, the 58th divisions advances along the coast. Next to it, inland and advancing on the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi, is the 57th division. Two Task Forces from the 58th division, are to the right of the 57th, covering large areas of front. Coming up from the south, in the center of the island, is the 56th division. On the east coast is the 59th division. In the Jaffna peninsula, which is cut off from the rest of the island by LTTE territory, are the 53rd and 55th divisions. The 57th and 58th divisions have made the greatest gains this year, liberating nearly half (the western half) of LTTE held territory in the north.

The LTTE runs a highly organized police state in the territory it still controls in the north. The LTTE decides who works for the NGOs, and these aid organizations are persuaded, or coerced, to do what the LTTE wants. The families of those who get NGO jobs via the LTTE, are obliged to provide one or more teenage or adult men or women for the LTTE combat units, and these "volunteers" are expected to be diligent soldiers, or else their families will suffer. These families also provide most of the suicide bombers. Full Text

Jayalalitha sends legal notice to Karunanidhi, demands apology

B. Ravikumar from Chennai for Asian Tribune

Chennai, 20 November, ( A day after Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi dared AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa to file a defamation suit against him, she sent legal notice to Karunanidhi on Wednesday seeking an unconditional apology for alleging that she had instigated the law college clashes recently.AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa

Karunanidhi should tender an unconditional apology in writing for alleging that the hand of the leader of opposition is involved in the clashes in the Ambedkar Law College campus last week or be sued for Rs.1 crore to be paid for defaming Jayalalitha," her party lawyer Navaneethakrishnan told reporters. Full Text

'Yaldevi' restricted for LTTE Heroes Week

'Yaldevi,' the train on the northern track to Vavuniya, previously confined up to Medavachchiya, has been restricted only to Anuradhapura since yesterday (Nov. 19th).

According to reports, it is a security measure taken in view of LTTE's Heroes Week.

However, this has led to severe inconvenience of the people in both North Central and Northern Provinces.

Also, suspicious Tamil people will not be allowed to cross Irattaperiyakulam and Medavachchiya roadblocks until further notice. Full Text

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