Friday, December 19, 2008

Canadian Tamil Diaspora fostered Tamilnadu anti-Sri Lankan demonstrations

by Durga Velautham in New Delhi

(December 08, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Our investigations in Chennai, Tamilnadu and the numerous interviews we have had with people who participated in the pro-LTTE demonstrations against the Government of Sri Lanka have unearthed the shocking information that funds were generously showered on certain Tamilnadu political leaders by the Tamil Diaspora in Toronto, Canada to encourage and enable such an activity. It was not begun as a spontaneous reaction to the way the Government of Sri Lanka was handling the ethnic issue especially the bombing of civilian targets in the country.

No doubt the Sri Lankan government was turning a blind eye to how the Armed Forces especially the country’s Air Force was causing a great deal of civilian killing and devastation to infrastructures and properties. Surely, there was a great deal of cause for alarm and it was just and proper that the people of a neighbouring state to express their concern. Full Text

BBC wants Sri Lanka under its Colonial jackboots

London, 19 December, ( BBC, the media corporation that is in hot water at home on several controversial issues, ranging from manipulating phone-in programmes to letting its presenters to leave livid messages on the answer machines of grandfathers, is good at presenting an image of an media company dedicated for integrity and fairness.

The administrators at the BBC talk to their counterparts in the developing world, as if they were whiter than white, clearly turning a blind eye to the embarrassing facts that has the potential to tarnish the squeaky-clean image of the institute that it wants to depict.

The letter written by Neil Curry, the Head of Business Development, to the Chairman of the SLBC, Mr Hudson Samarasinghe is a case in point. In that letter, Mr Curry asked for an explanation for not broadcasting two items on air waves by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation: the first one is about the agitation by Tamil nationalists in Tamil Nadu and the other one is about not broadcasting the speech of Velupillai Prabhakaran on his heroes day address. Both items, Mr Curry may think, are music to the ears of the majority of Sri Lanka. Full text

Sri Lanka: Heavy fighting in battle for Kilinochchi

By Sarath Kumara
19 December 2008

Fierce fighting has continued this week as the Sri Lankan army presses its attack on the northern town of Kilinochchi, the administrative headquarters of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in the Wanni region. Hundreds are likely dead and wounded as LTTE fighters resist at least four army divisions that have been flung into the battle.

Independent reporters are barred from the frontlines by both sides, which routinely exaggerate their successes on the battlefield. The pro-LTTE Tamilnet reported that 130 government soldiers had been killed and more than 300 injured in the heavy fighting on Tuesday at five locations around Kilinochchi. Another 40 soldiers were killed and 120 injured in a separate battle at Killali, further north on the Jaffna Peninsula. Full Text

If you love the motherland, you can't sabotage operations now -- PM

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake( Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake observed that no one who loves the motherland would do anything to sabotage operations in this final stage of the mission to rid the country of terrorism.
The Primier was speaking at the ceremony to award "Viru Sisu Pradeepa" scholarship at the Defence Ministry auditorium.

He stated that it is improper to send an incorrect message or signal to the battlefront. The message that the country is behind the war heroes should be intimated to war heroes at all times, he said.

"Nothing should be down to bring down morale. This is the very reason why after months of discussion to find revenue for the Government, it was decided to levy taxes. It was already announced that a colossal expenditure will be borne by the Government on operations this year."

The scholarship programme is implemented for the benefit of children of fallen war heroes and missing and disabled soldiers. The National Defence Fund has allocated more than six million rupees for this effort.

Saving Prabha, a betrayal of Prince of Peace - JHU

Moving to save Prabhakaran the Satan is a betrayal of Prince of Peace, the JHU says, asking the Bishops whether the failure to comprehend that the best Christmas present for the unarmed innocent people is to let the Army save them from this Satan is because of their fear for the demonic apparition of Satan.

"As we understand it, the sole objective of the bishops' request is to save Prabhakaran the Satan who is scared of our heroic troops who have entered Kilinochchi town. If not, no one in his rights senses cannot call for a five day ceasefire for the Wanni Satan," said JHU Secretary Ven. Sobhitha Thera said in a statement.

He was responding to a call by the Catholic and Anglican bishops of Sri Lanka to the government and the LTTE to declare a truce during Christmas and the New Year to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the island. Full Text

Unhappy New Year

(SP)December 19, 2008: Weeks of fighting around the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi has led to several thousand casualties. Troops are attacking LTTE bunkers five kilometers outside the town. As expected, the LTTE have some of their best remaining fighters operating here. But the LTTE is fighting under many disadvantages. The air force controls the air, and the pilots are now experienced at hitting ground targets. The army has far more artillery than the LTTE, and much more ammunition.

Meanwhile, the 59th division keeps moving up the east coast, giving the LTTE less and less coastline for their smuggling boats. More portions of the A-9 highway (which runs up the center of the island) is being captured by troops. The LTTE is being pressed on over a dozen fronts. While clearly on its last legs, the LTTE appears determined to go down fighting. Given how thinly stretched the LTTE forces are, a complete collapse could come at any time. The army is still wary of a last-ditch counter-offensive, even though several deadly LTTE local counter-attacks have been repulsed recently. Having been beaten up by the LTTE several times over the last two decades, the generals remain cautious. The army knows it will win, and wants to do so with as few casualties as possible. Full Text

Tigers don’t speak for Tamils: Rajapaksa

V Sudarshan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa met The New Indian Express at the President’s House at the old Colombo Fort over breakfast on Thursday. The interaction was briefly interrupted when the President went for the swearingin of Mohan Peiris as attorney- general, but continued in his ground floor office.

Excerpts from the interview:

Thank you for this opportunity to meet you Mr President, despite your very busy schedule. Let me begin with a most interesting aspect of current developments. You have mentioned that there can be no military solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. How do you propose to solve this problem?
Full Text

British Government recognises Sri Lankan Government’s democratic right to fight terrorism

By Janaka Alahapperuma-London

"British Government recognises the Government of Sri Lanka’s democratic right to fight terrorism" The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hon Bill Rammell said at the adjournment debate on 'Sri Lanka' initiated by Andrew Pelling MP (Ind) for Croydon Central on 18th December at the House Of Commons, British Parliamnet, London.

Minister Bill Rammell further said "The LTTE has no democratic mandate to represent the Tamil population. It is reported to recruit civilians, including children, into its ranks forcibly, to extort food and money from an already impoverished people, to abduct and kill Tamil civilians who disagree with its views or methods and to break all norms of international humanitarian law by preventing civilians from leaving conflict areas, effectively holding them as a human shield. The LTTE has conducted a terrorist campaign across the whole of Sri Lanka for nearly three decades, deliberately targeting thousands of individual civilians, as well as assassinating Government figures." Full Text

Tamil film director Seeman held for 'inflammatory speeches'

Batlagundu (Tamil Nadu) (IANS): For the second time in two months, Tamil movie director Seeman was arrested at a shooting locale here on Friday for allegedly making inflammatory, secessionist speeches, police said.

"The arrest was made after repeated complaints from Congress leaders alleging denigration by Seeman of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's sacrifice and his continued inflammatory, secessionist speeches," a police official said.

"These are our continuing measures to curb suspected anti-national activity," Director General of Police K.P. Jain told IANS on phone from Chennai, 400 km north of here.

Seeman's car was set afire by miscreants in a southwest Chennai suburb. Full Text

Two LTTE sea tiger leaders killed in air raids

( LTTE sea tiger leaders were killed in an air attack launched by the SLAF MI-24 helicopter gun ships targeting LTTE boat movement this morning, 19 December.

Air Force sources confirmed citing Electronic Warfare sources, two woman LTTE sea tiger leaders, Suhandini and Siran, were killed in the air attack launched around 11.45 am targeting LTTE boats in Kilaly lagoon area.

One LTTE boat was completely destroyed while several others sustained damages due to the bombardment, Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.

Troops of TF1 capture LTTE built earth bund

Troops attached to Task Force 1 (TF1) have breached the LTTE built earth bund following heavy confrontations ensued in general area Nivil last afternoon, 18 December, the military report received from the battlefront said.

LTTE terrorists have launched a counter attacks to recapture LTTE built earth bund late evening while troops engaged in consolidating operations in newly captured areas yesterday. Troops successfully repulsed the LTTE attempts inflicting maximum damages to the enemy. Troops also sustained minor damages during the confrontation.

Meanwhile, in a separate confrontation took place in general area Adampan, LTTE received more casualties, ground troops confirmed. The confrontation occurred when troops attacked at detected group of LTTE terrorists around 12.55pm. Full Text

SLAF MI-24 helicopters raid LTTE boat movement - Kilaly

( Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopters raided LTTE boats movement detected in Kilaly lagoon area this morning, 19 December.

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to said that the air raid carried out targeting observed LTTE boat movement around 11.45 am.

The MI-24 helicopter gun ships have accurately taken the targets inflicting maximum damages to the enemy boats.

More information will follow.

LTTE suffered heavy damages in confrontations - Mullaittivu

( of 59 Division on their mission to capture LTTE's main administrative bastion in northeastern coastal belt, Mullaittivu, had several confrontations with detected LTTE terrorists while extending own defence line yesterday, 19 December.

According to the military report, hours-long fighting ensued between security forces and LTTE terrorists in general area Karuppaddamurippu last afternoon. LTTE suffered heavy damages during the confrontation, the report said citing Electronic Warfare sources.

Meanwhile, troops sustained minor damages in few confrontations reported in general area Kumulamunai during last afternoon.

Separately, troops conducted a search operation in general area Kumulamunai uncovered military items left behind by the fleeing terrorists. 24 pouches, 5 torches, a compass, a bicycle and a penuche cape were among the items found.

SLAF launches chain of air raids at LTTE defences

( Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopter gun ships carried out series of air raids targeting LTTE defences in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu fronts assisting the ground troops on multi-pronged offensive this morning, 19 December.

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said that an LTTE defence line observed in 3Km east of Iranamadu junction in Kilinochchi front was targeted around 9.30 am. The air sorties launched in support of ground troops of 57 Division.

Another air raid was launched targeting LTTE defences observed 2Km east of Mullaiyaweli in Mullaittivu front around 10.00 am. The air attacks were launched to assist the ground troops of 59 Division heading towards LTTE bastion Mullaittivu.

Meanwhile, LTTE's defence line located west of Paranthan was also raided by the SLAF MI-24 helicopters around 11.45 am today. The air attacks were launched in support of troops of Task Force 1 who have successfully breach the LTTE built earth bund yesterday.

239 scholarships awarded for children of war heroes

The second stage of the "Viru Sisu Pradeepa" scholarship program which awarded scholarships for the children of war heroes was held at the Defence Ministry auditorium under the patronage of Prime Minister Hon Rathnasiri Wickramanayake yesterday, 18 December.

Under the "Viru Sisu Pradeepa" program 239 scholarships were awarded for the children who passed 5-year scholarship examination in 2007 and 2008.

178 children of army personnel, 7 children of Navy personnel, 10 children of Air force personnel and 34 children of police personnel were awarded these scholarships. H.E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the chairman of the National Defence Fund, has approved the allocation of over 6 million rupees for awarding scholarships for the children of war heroes who have sacrificed their lives and limbs for defending the motherland. Full Text

2008:Forces take upper hand on Vanni front *Recent setback won’t save Tigers

by Shamindra Ferdinando

A year ago former British High Commissioner in Colombo, Dominic Chilcott said that he couldn’t tell whether Sri Lankan armed forces alone were capable of defeating the LTTE on the battlefield. Full Text

Latest battles open gateway to Kilinochchi: Troops gain upper hand after fierce battles

One of the fiercest battles erupted in the early hours on Tuesday in the Kilinochchi, Paranthan and Jaffna fronts amidst bad weather conditions in the Wanni and the North currently hit by monsoonal rains when the Security Forces advancing on all three fronts launched simultaneous attacks on Tiger defences ahead of them.

The battles that erupted in Kilinochchi and Paranthan have turned out to be the most crucial and decisive battles that is being fought by the Security Forces in the Wanni liberation operation. This is because they are now knocking on the door of Kilinochchi the de-facto capital of the illusionary Tamil Eelam, from many directions.

A fair number of deaths and casualties were reported from the LTTE and also from the Security Forces as it has turned out to be the most crucial battle for the LTTE, that would decide its future as troops were blocking all arteries stretching out to the remaining areas left with the LTTE, as they lay siege on the Tiger administrative capital with this move. Full Text

Conspiracy to undermine state revenue

All of us should accept our responsibility to weed out terrorism from our midst. Terrorism has become an evil to the entire world.

Nobody would ever condone any moves to obstruct the collection of State revenue through taxation

By blocking state revenue raised through various taxes the country will be thwarted in it's development march as well as hamper the current campaign to defeat terrorism, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka declared yesterday.

He said funds are necessary to develop the country as well as to eradicate terrorism. Nobody would ever condone any moves to obstruct the collection of State revenue through taxation, the Premier said.

He was speaking at a ceremony held at the Defence Ministry to award scholarships to 239 children of the dead, missing-in-action and disabled soldiers. Full Text

Fierce fighting amidst heavy casualties

On Monday (15) night Senior Commanders of the Sri Lanka Army based in the Kilinochchi and Muhamalai fronts were busy mapping out a major offensive against the LTTE, scheduled to be launched the next morning.

Around 4 am on Tuesday morning troops of the 53,55,57 and 58 (Task Force –I) Divisions led by the respective Commanders infiltrated the enemy lines in small teams and started to engage with the LTTE cadres, who were manning the lines.

Troops of Task Force –I and 57 Division moved along the Pooneryn-Paranthan Road together in an easterly direction to Kilinochchi through a ditch cum bund where the LTTE rebels are positioned.

In addition 57 Division troops also advanced north of Akkarayan towards Kilinochchi town, as well as to the south western edge of the Iranamadu Tank.

In Muhamalai, troops of the 53 and 55 Divisions captured the first line of the LTTE defences on November 20 after fierce fighting. Troops’ purpose was to capture the rebel’s second defence line that was located some 500 metres at most points and 200 or 300 metres at some points from the military defence lines. Full Text

No Christmas ceasefire says Government

By Jamila Najmuddin

The government yesterday said it will not go in for a ceasefire during the Christmas and New Year season despite an appeal made by the Catholic and Anglican Bishops.

Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Director Lakshman Hulugalla told Daily Mirror that the government reiterated its stance that it would declare a ceasefire only if the LTTE laid down its arms to go in for a political discussion.

“The government has categorically said that it would go in for a ceasefire only if the Tigers laid down their arms. Till then there will be no decision of a ceasefire,” Mr. Hulugalla said.

Catholic and Anglican Bishops, yesterday called for a truce between the government and the LTTE during the Christmas and New Year period. Full text

Rajiva Wijesinha ready to debate “Gotabhaya-Sarath Genocide” issue with Bruce Fein

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha, Sri Lanka’s peace secretariat secretary – general and secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights , has announced his willingness to engage in public debate with US lawyer Bruce Fein over the “Genocide” issue .

Bruce Fein in his capacity as counsel for the US based “Tamils against genocide” group has prepared a 400 + page model indictment against US citizen and Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya and US Green card holder cum Sri Lankan army commander Sarath Fonseka for genocide in violation of section 1091 of the US criminal code.

Prof. Wijesinha wrote some critical comments of the envisaged action in a signed article in the peace secretariat website. Full Text

46 Tamil civilians reach to security forces - Welioya

( more Tamil civilians who were able to escape LTTE's grip have reached to the security force seeking safety for their lives this evening, 18 December, defence sources said.

According to the available sources, the escapees comprising sixteen females and thirty males, residents of east of Kilinochchi, have reached to troops in north of Palampasi, Welioya.

The escapees have later been directed to the welfare centers established after providing with foods, medial treatment and other necessities.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fifty-Four LTTE cadres turned rehabilitated youngsters receive vocational training certificates

Fifty-Four Tigers turned rehabilitated good citizens who underwent vocational training courses in Jaffna after they renounced LTTE violence and surrendered to the troops received their graduation last Friday (12) during a ceremony, held at Thelippalai Union College.

The vocational training programme, initiated by the office of the Rehabilitation Commissioner General under the 2008-2012 Rehabilitation and Social Mobilization Project offered training to those 54 men and women in the spheres of masonry, motorbike and scooter repair, drainage works, electrification of houses and English language.

The training initiative, taken by Commander of the Jaffna Security Forces, Major General G.A Chandrasiri saw 27 males and 27 children and females undergo this training while inculcating positive thinking, leadership values, skill promotion, peace building and promotion of non-violence. A separate workshop in this connection was also conducted during the training for the benefit of those detainees with the help of many lecturers from Jaffna and those flown from Colombo. Full Text

Shrinking lair

in Colombo

The Sri Lankan forces have made extraordinary gains on the battleground since the current phase of the war began in 2006.


LTTE Chief V. Prabakaran lights a lamp in honour of his fallen comrades before his annual Heroes' Day speech at his jungle hideout in northern Sri Lanka on November 27.

ON December 9, at a function to mark the inauguration of a power plant, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to unveil a “new dawn” soon in the north where the island nation’s military is engaged in fierce battles with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A day before, on the eve of Id-ul-Alha, Rajapaksa asserted that the day was not far off when the Muslims from the north could return to their homeland. His reference was to the estimated 1,00,000 Muslims who were expelled, with less than 24 hours’ notice, in 1990 from the north by the Tigers.

With Sri Lanka at war for over two and a half decades, such promises by the President would have been viewed as pep talk by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to boost the morale of the military engaged in an all-out war with the LTTE. The current phase of hostilities, known as Eelam War IV, promises to be different, though. But only time will tell if it is going to be a decisive one. Full Text

TF1 troops extend their defences; 2 LTTE bodies found - Kilinochchi

Troops of Task Force 1 had several confrontations with LTTE terrorists while extending their defences in Nivil and Adampan areas yesterday, 18 December.

Army troops of 582 Brigade launched an attack targeting LTTE defence line in general area Nivil and captured it inflicting maximum damages to the enemy. In a subsequent search operation troops have found two bodies of LTTE terrorist killed during the gun battle.

Meanwhile, army snipers deployed in Adampan area gunned down two LTTE terrorists, the report received from the battlefront said. Full Text

ICRC rejects LTTE statement

(Lanka-e-News, December 17, 2008, 7.45 PM) Although the LTTE announced that 25 bodies of the Army personnel had been handed over to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), an ICRC spokesman said to Lanka-e-News that such event had not taken place.

She said that ICRC handed over two bodies to the Army yesterday (16) and four bodies were handed over to the LTTE.

A Sri Lanka parliamentary delegation to dispell misinformation campaign

Stockholm, 18 December, ( A Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation which arrived in the Swedish capital clarified the current situation prevailing in the country, steps taken by the government to restore peace and order and also of the war to evict the terrorists from the country. They dispelled the misinformation campaign ceaselessly carried on by the Tamil Tiger supporters in Sweden as well as in the other European capitals.

The four member Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation arrived in Sweden yesterday and met with their Swedish counterparts as well as the Sri Lankan expatriates and the student community in Sweden.

At their meetings with the Swedish Parliamentarians they explained the prevailing situation in the country and the war against the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist terrorists outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Full Text

Obfuscation and the Sow’s Ear of Bruce Fein

Bruce Fein has it seems used his contacts on TamilNet to challenge me for a debate over what he terms his model genocide indictment. A couple of days ago this indictment had been announced on TamilNet in an interview with Mr Fein, which prompted a response from me that drew attention to Mr Fein’s moral confusion.

I have now been sent yet another article from TamilNet which suggests that Mr Fein’s confusion was deliberate. He declares that part of what he claims is ‘the casuistry taught to every first year law student’ is the principle ‘if the law and the facts are against you, confuse the issue.’

I’m afraid that I went to a very different type of school to Mr Fein’s, and was not taught such casuistry. However, if Mr Fein believes that, at any rate in the circles in which he moves, casuistry is obligatory for lawyers, then clearly any moral criticism of his latest effusions will be like water off a duck’s back. Full Text

Two LTTE cadres surrender to Army - Kilinochchi

( LTTE terrorists who have escaped the outfit have surrendered themselves to the army troops of Task Force 1 in general area Nagatevanturai jetty this morning, 18 December.

The surrendees have confessed that they have been forcibly deployed in Pallai area following a military training underwent. The two surrendered LTTE cadres, 28 and 33 year-old youths, have reached to Nagatevanturai jetty located in northeast of Pooneryn crossing the Kilaly lagoon, defence sources said.

The two terrorists were directed to the rehabilitation center following the initial investigations.

57 Div troops advance towards Kilinochchi; 5 LTTE bodies found

( of 57 Division on offensive march towards LTTE's main administrative base, Kilinochchi, advanced further into LTTE hiding places in Kilinochchi front despite enemy resistance. Troops under 57 Division had several confrontations in general area Adampan, south of Adampan, west of Iranamadu, west of Kilinochchi and south of Iranamadu areas inflecting heavy damages to the enemy.

Troops of 571 Brigade successfully breach the LTTE built earth bund in several locations causing heavy damages to enemy. The consolidating operations are being underway in the area. Troops uncovered three LTTE bodies while conducting consolidating operations following hours-long fighting in the area.

Meanwhile, troops of 574 Brigade confronted with detected group of LTTE terrorists in general area south of Iranamadu while extending own defence line, defence sources in battlefront said. In a subsequent search operation conducted troops uncovered two bodies of LTTE terrorists along with military items. 3 T-56 weapons, 1 I-Com set and 2 hand grenades were among the items found.

Troops neutralize enemy gun positions - Muhamalai

( launched an effective attack at LTTE defences with heavy guns to neutralize enemy gun positions in Muhamalai, northern battlefront last afternoon, 17 December.

According to the defence sources, terrorists have directed indiscriminate mortar fire in three occasions at troops deployed in Muhamalai front. Army troops suffered minor damages due to the mortar fire.

Intercepting enemy communication channels, Electronic Warfare sources confirmed that terrorists suffered heavy damages.

Mangala Samaraweera meets Erick Solheim in Norway

by N. Sethurupan from Oslo

(December 17, Oslo, Sri Lanka Guardain) Sri Lankan former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited to Norway official said. Samaraweera's visit comes days after the Colombo exposed battle front in Ki'linochchi. The first high level discussion between President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government former top official and Norway since the unilateral abrogation of the Oslo-arranged CFA by Sri Lanka.

Mangala Samaraweera briefed the Norwegian International Development Minister, Erik Solheim who led the Norwegian delegation tasked with handling the Sri Lankan peace process and Norwegian Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Peace Process Jon Hanssen Bauer, concerning the ground situation in the war soon area, and Colombo, also about the extra-judicial killings by the unknown armed forces and its paramilitaries, according to internal source in Norway. Mangala Samaraweera Tuesday went to Bergen to meets some Top level official.

In 2006, Mangala Samaraweera, said that he arrived in Oslo in "good faith."

Not Only SAARC, But Commonwealth Too Must Strike Against Terrorism

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor, Asian Tribune

London, 18 December, ( The Asian Tribune has editorially urged Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa to call a meeting of the South Asian regional organization to discuss the critical issue of terrorism.

The Tribune’s appeal is directed at the President Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka is the current chairman of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which it assumed at the summit meeting held in Colombo last August.

Moreover in the summit declaration issued at the end of the August meeting, the leaders of the eight nations pledged to fight terrorism which it saw as a scourge haunting the region and beyond and agreed to cooperate in defeating it. Full Text

British Double standards

Sir Richard Stagg, the British High Commissioner to India thought it fit to visit the Chief Minister Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu to discuss matters relating to Sri Lankan Tamils and the Sri Lanka security situation. The visit raises the question: Does Sir Richard think that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are Indian citizens and was it prudent of him to discuss such issues with a Chief Minister who supports the LTTE?

Sri Lanka has been fighting the LTTE for the last 25 years––a terrorist group that has killed many Tamils, politicians and is preventing the Tamils in the Wanni from leaving the conflict zone. Full Text

A Response to TamilNet

I was disappointed to read on TamilNet criticism of the US Government’s programmes to help stabilise and develop Eastern Sri Lanka. Since there is no mechanism to respond to TamilNet, I thought I would use the Embassy’s blog to respond to some of the incorrect assertions in the TamilNet article.

US Ambassador Robert O’ Blake

First, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP asserts in the TamilNet article that Washington’s purpose in our programmes for the east is to, “help Colombo make majoritarian inroads into the east.” This is incorrect. We have specifically established the goal of fostering economic development, good governance and stability while preserving the existing ethnic balance in the east.

It is well known that the east is one of Sri Lanka’s poorest provinces and that poverty and lack of adequate economic opportunity are principal drivers of conflict. One of the best ways to address such poverty is to establish programmes that will link new businesses in the East with the country’s principal markets in the western and other parts of the country. Indeed, USAID’s Connecting Regional Economies programme in the East has five goals: Full Text

India then and now for Lankan Tamil leaders

There are reports that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam had been asked by the Indian authorities last week to leave India or face deportation. This report comes against the backdrop where India is said to have expressed concern over a remark made by the Army commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka concerning Tamil Nadu parliamentarians and state assembly councilors.

Neither the TNA nor the Indian officials including Indian High Commission in Colombo denied or confirmed the report. However, only one Tamil newspaper published in Colombo had claimed that it contacted Mr. Sivajilingam in Chennai and he had denied any such move by the Indian authorities to “order him to leave or to be deported”.

It is not a surprise if the Indian central government had taken such an initiative, despite the report of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukharjee’s possible visit to Colombo to discuss the ceasefire request by the Tamil Nadu politicians. New Delhi does not appear to anticipate a rift now with its southern neighbour on the Tamil problem as it had manipulated the Sri Lankan situation in par with its geo-political needs throughout eighties. Full Text

Bishops call for truce during Christmas

By Dianne Silva

Catholic and Anglican Bishops are calling for a truce between the Government and the LTTE during the Christmas and New Year period.

The Bishops from Colombo and the conflict areas in the North, request a period free from military action that will in turn benefit the civilians in the area while depicting a politically mature image of Sri Lanka to the international community.

The clergy releasing the statement believes that the season will be an ideal time for the restoration of the severed ties between the races, when persons from all faiths will be brought together in celebrating a holiday that inspires giving, sharing and forgiveness. Full Text

Military says no debacle

No time frame for taking Kilinochchi

By Jamila Najmuddin

The military yesterday refuted LTTE claims that the Army had suffered another ‘debacle’ in its latest push to capture the Kilinochchi town and also asserted that a time frame to accomplish the mission cannot be specified.

Military Spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the Daily Mirror that although the Army had suffered casualties in Tuesday’s battle the numbers were far less than that suffered by the LTTE.

Brigadier Nanayakkara added that the Army was also able to break open the bund and defence lines situated on the outskirts of Kilinochchi and was able to capture five km of land along that stretch.

“We have not suffered a debacle. Instead we were able to capture more land. The fighting lasted for several hours in which the LTTE suffered heavy casualties,” Brigadier Nanayakkara said. Full Text

More casualties on Wednesday but Army expands hold on Tiger earthbund

Fierce fighting continued for the second successive day in areas south- west and north – west of Kilinochchi and west of Paranthan on Wednesday December 17th.

Soldiers of the 57 and 58 divisions sustained casualty rates numbering nearly 250 but managed to both retain and expand their hold on the earthbund constructed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)as a defensive measure.

According to Defence ministry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity around 80 army personnel from both 57 and 58 divisions were killed on Wednesday.

A further 145 were injured while another 24 were reported as “missing in action”.

Wednesday’s fighting was of two types and centered around the 18 km long “L” shaped earthbund erected by the LTTE from areas west of Paranthan in Kunchuparanthan to areas south of Kilinochchi in Iranaimadhu, sources said. Full Text

Mangala Samaraweera’s politics of brinkmanship

Recently at an interview Mangala Samaraweera tried to under- value the need to defeat the LTTE by going to great lengths in explaining that the terrorism can exist even without a claim for a land. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to know that there are groups with different objectives who depend on armed violence.

But, Sri Lanka is mainly concerned about the LTTE terrorism and whose main objective is to carve out a separate country of their own. Therefore, Samaraweera’s theorising on terrorism questions his IQ.

It is indeed unfortunate for Samaraweera to unleash an attack on the defence establishment and the Army Commander while attempting to under estimate the danger of allowing the LTTE to have another lease of life. He has forgotten that today, Sri Lankan armed personnel are called upon to pay a very high price in pushing the LTTE away from the occupied territory mainly because of the follies committed by the politicians of Samaraweera mould. Full Text

Talking Peace but Training Terrorists

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)The world is in unison that the scrooge of terror must end. Whether these attacks are aimed at innocent people, VIPs, world leaders or economic infrastructure becomes immaterial and we must unite to condemn these attacks. The more we wonder how the menace of terror has become invisible we need to factually take into account the sources and links that have directly or indirectly pumped life into these monsters and their terror cells and establishments. The answers to these will provide the reasons why terror still remains over and above the calls for the elimination of terrorism from the world.

How do these terrorists operate – from where do they get the money to buy weapons and ammunition – how do they escape international and local detection - how are they able to transport these items to various destinations – who trains these men and women and even children and where are these training bases – why are they not revealed to the international public? Do they have links to a country’s intelligence services, which are the countries that profit from the arms trade and how much of these are provided to terrorists and why? Full Text

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Troops secure LTTE defence northwest of Kilinochchi

( of the Army 57 Division and the Task Force 1 secured the LTTE built earth bund cum ditch in the West Paranthan and Northwest of Kilinochchi completely by this afternoon (Dec 17), defence sources said.

According to the sources fierce battle commenced last morning (Dec 16) between troops and the terrorists lasted until this morning as troops finally thwarted the LTTE's counter offensive. During the subsequent search operation launched in the area troops found 15 bodies of LTTE cadres along with large quantity of arms and ammo, the sources added.

The counter terrorist operations are continuing.

RPT-SCENARIOS-Is Sri Lanka's quarter-century war near its end?

Source: Reuters
(Repeats with no changes to text) By C. Bryson Hull COLOMBO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday said it was assaulting the edge of Kilinochchi, which the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) claim as capital of the nation they want to create for Sri Lankan Tamils. The military has made the most battlefield progress since the war began in 1983. That has analysts asking if the ground war could soon be over. Here are some scenarios of what could happen next:


The military has been as relentless in assaulting Kilinochchi as the Tigers have been in defending it from kilometres of trenches and bunkers since September. Growing casualty counts from both sides suggest troops are closing in, but no one will predict when they can seize the northern town. If it falls, it will be a huge victory for the military. But the Tigers still control a wedge-shaped piece of land in the northeast corner of the island, and soldiers are fighting on almost all fronts to the west and south, including below the Mullaitivu port on the east coast. Two more units of near division strength -- Task Forces Four and Five -- are soon to deploy, the military has said. Full Text

Which is good for the country? Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman Dead or Alive!

by Malin Abeyatunge

(December 17, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) It’s time to ponder on the subject which is good for the country? Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman Dead or Alive! Prabhakaran’s “Mythical Eeelam” about to vanish in to thin air. Prabhakaran’s citadel will come crumbling down very soon. By now, Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman may be scheming to escape. Tamil Nadu pro LTTE groups may be burning midnight oil in scheming plans to rescue Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman to a safer place. Where he will be safer? Tamil Nadu, London or Scarborough (little Eelam) in Torronto. London or Canada would be safer as they are LTTE havens. With assassination charges framed in India on Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman of killing Rajiv Gandhi, even under the patronage of Tamil Nadu, exile in India is very unlikely unless the Indian government gives official pardon to both of them which is also very unlikely. One thing I can bet on is that Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman will never bite the cyanide pill, if captured because they love their life albeit he has taken oath from his LTTE cadres that they will not surrender to the enemy (Govt. forces) but bite the cyanide pill. Full text

Woman Tiger Leader Calls Upon LTTE Child Soldiers to Surrender

(December 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The latest LTTE cadre to narrate openly about the terrible ordeal she had been through was the 26 year old, Nadarasha Rajeshwari alias Sekkuil in the terror outfit who was conscripted to the LTTE when she was barely 16 years of age.

The woman Tiger who took to LTTE arms in 1998 after the teenager was forced to do so received gunshot injuries in Kumulamunal, Welioaya when trying to lay an LTTE ambush against advancing troops. Full Text

Tiger assaults on the intellect and the soul

by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

(December 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Amongst the saddest stories connected with the welfare centres for internally displaced persons set up in Mannar are those of the University students who wish to resume their studies. A couple of these were sent on to Jaffna, but eight – and since then some more – have been held back. This seemed strange but, when the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights looked into the matter, checking on names with the Vice-Chancellor in Jaffna, it was found that there was good reason for caution.

These students had not been at university since 2006. They said they had gone to the Vanni during the vacation, and then found themselves stranded after the LTTE launched its sudden attack on the army checkpoint at Muhumalai. Using an ordinary bus, and disguised as civilians, terrorists had tried to break through the army defences, during the period in which they also launched their offensive in the East. Full Text

Palestinian clerics urge Muslims in Sri Lanka to support President Rajapaksa

(December 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sheikh Jamal Ali Saleh Suleiman (Sammarah), Head of the Daawa & Tableegh Center of Beit – Or Tehta in Ramallah, Palestine has made an appeal to all followers of Islam in Sri Lanka to extend their undivided support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his struggle to unite the country and make Sri Lanka a prosperous nation.

Sheikh Jamal, representing this influential Islamic body in Palestine made this call in a signed statement dated 03rd December 2008, which has been conveyed to the Representative Office of Sri Lanka to the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah.

The full text of the appeal is as follows: Full Text

Tigers make last ditch for survival

Heavy rains, earth bunds no bar to troops as they make inroads to Tiger territory

“Although it is raining, it does not discourage us”,, a soldier said from battle front., “Rain is no obstacle for us to crush the enemy. We will do it!”

At the Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Parantha theatre of operations, the 57 Division General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Jagath Dias, the 58 Division GOC Brigadier Shavendra Silva and 59 Division GOC Brigadier Nandana Udawatte are coordinating the entire battle efforts under the direct supervision of Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, and also supervised and coordinated by Vavuniya Security Forces Commander Major General Jagath Jayasuriya.

Heavy rains notwithstanding, it was clear that the soldier was completely committed to his mission, even as he listened to his Commanding Officer’s instructions. It was evident that he had an extraordinary expertise in rifle shooting. Basically, he was a marksman. He would close his right eye and keep his left eye against the sniper rifle’s telescope to observe his enemy. At the moment he was carefully scrutinising many LTTE cadres moving in and out of a shelter on the other side of the earth bund put up by the Tigers in the Adampan area on the outskirts of Kilinochchi. Full Text

Indian Hindu groups to back 'Hindu Tamils' in Sri Lanka

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Two leading Hindu groups in India have declared their support to 'Hindu Tamils' in Sri Lanka after a Tamil MP from there alleged attacks by security forces on temples in the island.

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) told M.K. Shivaji Lingam of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) separately that they opposed assaults on Hindu shrines and culture in Sri Lanka.

'You can tell your people that we will be with them. We are here to help Hindus. Since most Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, we won't let them down,' the Sri Lankan MP quoted HP chief Ashok Singhal as telling him at the group's headquarters here. Full Text

Sri Lanka, rebels locked in battle

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan fighter jets and attack helicopters pummeled rebel fortifications across the north Wednesday, the government said, a day after a series of raging battles killed scores of fighters.

The burst of violence came as Sri Lankan forces pushed ahead with their offensive against the Tamil Tigers' northern stronghold in the face of punishing seasonal rains and stiff rebel resistance.

In some of the worst fighting in recent weeks, government forces on Tuesday launched attacks on at least four rebel positions in Kilinochchi district and along the front lines on the Jaffna peninsula, the rebel-linked Web site TamilNet reported Wednesday, citing Tamil Tiger officials. Full text

Air Force strafes terrorists in Kilinochchi

( Lanka Air Force has launched a series of air strikes at LTTE strongholds in the Kilinochchi town and its suburbs in support of the Army 57 Division and the Task Force 1 that have laid siege to the LTTE administrative hub.

Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara told that the fighter jets have so far carried out 4 raids since 11.30 last night targeting LTTE strongholds in the West and the North of Kilinochchi town, and the Iranamadu areas.

He further said that the MI-24 helicopters are currently engaging LTTE resistance points and reinforcements in the Kilinochchi battlefield.

Defence Advisors of 7 Nations visit Wanni battlefronts

( Advisors/Attaches of 7 nations visited battlefronts in Wanni on Monday (Dec 15). In a one-day visit organized by the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka, Defence Attaches the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Maldives visited Security Forces Headquarters Wanni, Army 57 Division and 59 Division Headquarters.

The commanders of respective areas briefed the security situation to the visitors. They were also enlightened on the purpose of the on going counter terrorist offensives.

During the visit, the Defence Attaches met IDPs and surrendered LTTE cadres and observed welfare measures taken by the government. Also, the visitors had the first-hand information how certain Aid Organizations and NGO's had misused vital humanitarian aid sent from foreign countries before the areas were liberated. Full text

Successive blows at retreating terrorists at Ampakamam, 5 bodies recovered- Mullaittivu

( of the Task Force - 3 operating in the outer perimeters of Ampakamam general area, trailed down a group of terrorists on the retreat reportedly killing over a dozen, while recovering 5 bodies and several military hardware, yesterday (Dec 16) at around 5.30 p.m.

The infantrymen of the 16 Gajaba Regiment (GR) under the 632 Brigade sped after the fleeing terrorists engaging them in bitter fighting, also recovering a multi-purpose machine gun (MPMG) and 3 T-56 assault riffles.

Ampakamam village was brought under total military dominance on Monday (Dec 15) following hours long intense gunfire exchanges between troops and LTTE terrorists, security sources said.

BBC without Borders

By Dr. Edward Perera

There is no doubt that the BBC is a focal point of many controversial discussions on ethics of media. There is a general psychology that one does not oblige to smooth functioning of things all the time as it could be boring to others. It is not uncommon to the BBC to violate ethical codes in media and to provoke the listeners in order to draw the attention of the masses. This may function as sideline advertising without any cost (but in the long run, it could definitely be very costly for them).

On several occasions, BBC apologized to the wronged parties, but only when the issue had been challenged by the victims. In other words, the definition of ethics would depend on the kind of resistance from the affected parties. If the victims are strong and do resist, then follows the Apology.

Minister G.L. Peiris of GOSL in his recent visit to England had participated in a conference at Cambridge University and had several official meetings with business people and addressed interest groups. During his visit BBC Sinhala Service did a telephone interview with the minister. Consequently, BBC announced bluntly that the Minister admitted Human right violations in Sri Lanka. The fact was that BBC had twisted the Minister’s statement in an attempt to discredit Sri Lanka. Later they admitted that it was a mistake but an enormous damage had already been done. Full Text

Karunanidhi asks Manmohan to send Pranab immediately to Colombo

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 17 December, ( Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send the external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to Sri Lanka. It is possible that the visit will materialize before Christmas.

DMK, an ally of the Congress, and ruling party in Tami Nnadu, Tuesday reminded Singh of his 'promised' to send Pranab to Colombo and asked him to depute the external affairs minister to interact with the Sri Lankan leadership, immediately to Colombo as 'promised' by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make all efforts to arrange for a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE.

A resolution adopted at a high-level DMK meeting said Pranab Mukherjee should immediately visit Sri Lanka 'to hold necessary talks and make all efforts' to convince Colombo for a ceasefire in the Eelam War IV. Full Text

Asian Tribune asks President Rajapaksa to summon "SAARC Summit on Terrorism"

Editorial: In Mumbai the terrorists struck again and more than 175 innocent civilians and members of the security forces were killed. Unfortunately innocent civilians of not only in Sri Lanka, but also in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan are victims of terrorists’ attacks at regular intervals. This issue has not been addressed in the proper way to end this continued attacks by the home grown terrorists, as well as by the international terrorists' organizations in many South Asian Countries. These countries are all members of the regional organization SAARC. It is high time SAARC leaders get together immediately to address this scourge before it gets out of their hands.

Leaders of SAARC have to consider ways and methods to pre-empt terrorist moves. It is time to have a special SAARC summit to eliminate terrorism.

Today terrorism is the common problem in the region. Even the biggest country in the region is not free of this menace. According to a report, in India alone, so far 4,000 people have died of terrorists attacks during the year 2008. Full Text

Asian Tribune asks President Rajapaksa to summon "SAARC Summit on Terrorism"

Editorial: In Mumbai the terrorists struck again and more than 175 innocent civilians and members of the security forces were killed. Unfortunately innocent civilians of not only in Sri Lanka, but also in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan are victims of terrorists’ attacks at regular intervals. This issue has not been addressed in the proper way to end this continued attacks by the home grown terrorists, as well as by the international terrorists' organizations in many South Asian Countries. These countries are all members of the regional organization SAARC. It is high time SAARC leaders get together immediately to address this scourge before it gets out of their hands.

Leaders of SAARC have to consider ways and methods to pre-empt terrorist moves. It is time to have a special SAARC summit to eliminate terrorism.

Today terrorism is the common problem in the region. Even the biggest country in the region is not free of this menace. According to a report, in India alone, so far 4,000 people have died of terrorists attacks during the year 2008. Full Text

‘Joker’ is no joke?

An angry note by Sachidananda Murthy on the current joker business published in online Kerala based ‘The Week’ dated December 21, seems another joke.This response is not to defend Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka or any other person on this debate but to show how stupid are the arguments set out there to provoke a voice against the army chief of Sri Lanka.

He says "The LTTE is no joke for Fonseka". Does this imply that the LTTE is a joke to others including Murthy? But has the army chief referred to the LTTE as a joke anywhere? In fact the LTTE is the most ruthless terrorist organisation which has been proscribed in most countries including Murthy’s own soil, India.

His allegation that "Fonseka crossed the diplomatic Lakshman rekha when he said India would not listen to these political ‘jokers’", implies that India would act otherwise. Well not to date, may be because if it listens it would be another joke. Murthy seems in agreement with a bunch of Tamil Nadu terrorist supporters who ask "a halt to the military operations as innocent civilians are being targeted" but he completely ignores the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders, such as TULF leader V. Anandasangaree and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, who plead with India to press LTTE to release civilians and not to allow the LTTE to use civilians as a war shield. Full text

The call for a Ceasefire and its dynamics - III

(Continued from yesterday)

B.Raman, former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat of India, in the course of the same Seminar stated that the LTTE had not hesitated to strengthen itself by procuring arms and ammunition abroad, and by making fresh recruitment. S.D.Muni, Professor, South Asian School of International Studies, Jawahalal Nehru University, New Delhi, also observed that the LTTE did not care for the "peace dividend" dangled by the Tokyo aid group, with Prabhakaran saying that they could not be ‘bribed’ to deviate from their principle objective of gaining Eelam.

India’s call now for a ceasefire at the present stage of the Eelam war when GoSL forces have reversed the military balance in its favour - that is, if it is correct that Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Colombo seeking such - there is an apparent contradiction in India’s approach to terrorism. The reason has to be sought in India’s internal politics, where Tamil Nadu, following a racist policy similar to that followed by the Nazis in respect of Sudeten Germans in former Czechoslovakia and other central European countries, is calling for a right to intervene on behalf of Sri Lankan Tamils claiming that Sri Lankan Tamils are being massacred. Full Text

SLAF steps up air attacks on Tiger strongholds Over 20 missions since Thursday

The SLAF stepped up air strikes on identified LTTE targets in support of ground troops deploying over 20 sorties since last Thursday.

Of these, a total of nine attacks were carried out on Saturday.

SLAF Jets and Mi 24 helicopter gunships yesterday carried out four missions in the Wanni and Mullaitivu areas with Mig 27’s, Kfirs and F-7 attacking the earth bund ditch built by the Tigers to resist the troops moving forward, SLAF spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.

There were no air strikes yesterday due to inclement weather he said. Full Text

Battle for Kilinochchi: Army breach last defence

Troops of the 57 Division and the Task Force - I operating in the Kilinochchi and Paranthan fronts yesterday breached the heavily fortified LTTE earthbund, the last obstacle before entry to Kilinochchi, from five locations regaining a near 5 km stretch under the control of the Forces causing heavy damage to the LTTE, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the Daily News.

As troops of 57 Division and Task Force I troops launched a massive assault on the Kilinochchi and Paranthan fronts, troops of the 55 Division and the 53 Divisions operating in the Kilali and Muhamalai fronts managed to destroy LTTE bunker lines causing heavy damage to the LTTE and returned to their original defence lines amidst stiff resistance, Brigadier Nanayakkara added.

”Troops of the 57 Division under the command of Major General Jagath Dias and the Task Force I under Brigadier Shavendra Silva managed to breach the LTTE defence line between A9 road and Iranamadu tank, South and West of Kilinochchi and two places in the Paranthan battle front”, he added. Full Text

Will Sonia Gandhi pardon Prabhakaran

Following the meeting of Tamil Nadu leaders and Karunanidhi with Indian Prime Minister (P.M.) Manmohan Singh , one thing has become clear according to the Indian media reports ; that is , Singh has no power to take decisions in relation to Sri Lanka(SL) Tamils’ issue and that he is a puppet in the hands of another.

The Tamil Nadu leaders who participated in this meeting have declared that even if India’s P.M. had a desire to resolve this issue , others who are involved in taking decisions on this are not interested. Who are these individuals behind Singh taking decisions ? This question merits inquiry. This individual is none other than the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. Naturally, she has a right to take this role because her husband was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers - main party to this the Tamils ethnic issue .The Tigers not only assassinated her husband, but also for three months prior to his death sent their representatives to meet Rajiv Gandhi expressing their wish to co cooperate with him only to deceive him. Their representative was Kasi Anandan. Full Text