Saturday, January 3, 2009

58 Taking its time at EPS

(DW)58 Division troops are now 2kms south of EPS. Tigers are positioned along the former forward defence line constructed by the EPS' 54 Division. This FDL is where Hasalaka Gamini Kularatne gave his life in heroic fashion.

58 Division troops, somewhat fatigued by recent exploits into Kilinochchi will probably take some time to retake the area. Further north the Mech Infantry, formerly under Ralph Nugera, is awaiting orders to march under Udaya Herath, Nugera's deputy. Full Text

IPKF vets fear influence loss

(January 03, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The fall of Kilinochchi to Sri Lankan government troops is being described by Lanka watchers here as an eclipse of the LTTE’s conventional fighting capabilities, leading to a corresponding diminution in New Delhi’s influence over Colombo for ensuring that the political cause of the Tamils was met.

"We’ve lost the game (to the government of Sri Lanka)," Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta (Retd), who served with the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka, told this newspaper. "It is anybody’s guess how much of political devolution Sri Lankan Tamils will derive after the marginalisation of the LTTE," he said. Full Text

The fall of rebel headquarters: what does it hold for Sri Lanka?

By Mahendra

COLOMBO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's government troops have achieved the impossible. They steamrolled the mighty military machine of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to capture the town of Kilinochchi, 328 km north of the capital Colombo.

The town has served as the LTTE's de facto administrative capital for over a decade. Although largely symbolic, the fall of Kilinochchi, or its inability defend it, has caused a substantial dent in the LTTE's image as a capable ruthless terrorist group. Full Text

Fall of Killinochchi and rise of hopes?

“President Rajapaksha needs to be complemented for not yielding to unwanted jingoism in this hour of victory. In a level headed address he tried to unite all the communities and regions of the Island by saying “One must not belittle this victory as one that has been won by one community over another. It should not be interpreted as defeat of the North by the South. This is a victory for our entire nation and country.”

by Commodore RS Vasan IN (Retd)

(January 03, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) After of two months of siege and intense battle between the LTTE and the SL armed forces, Killinochchi the de facto capital of Eelam fell to the advancing troops on the second day of the New Year. . In a multi pronged attack, the troops launched their thrust from three different directions in Paranthan, Iranamadu and Adampan areas to take over the city commencing with the railway station. While the president had pronounced that the rebel capital would fall in 2009, the leader of LTTE had indicated that it would not be possible for the SL Army to run over a determined LTTE force. Full Text

War to the Jungles, but not by the Law of the Jungle

"This does not mean security forces should go soft on tigers. On the contrary, tigers must be totally wiped out in order to advance a good political solution based on ethnic diversification and ethnic integration."

by Thomas Johnpulle

(January 03, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The conduct of Sri Lankan armed forces has been exemplary. There’s no argument about that. Civilian casualties as claimed by the mouthpiece of Tamil Tigers carries very little credibility and the whole world knows that. Accidental civilian casualties of the Vanni operation cannot be measured against idealistic yardsticks. The Sri Lankan Air Force is technologically too insignificant compared to the mighty United States Air Force and the Israeli Air Force, yet SLAF has a lower rate of civilian casualties.
This is remarkable and must be appreciated by all those who are genuinely concerned about civilian safety. Targets taken by SLAF are all carefully documented, corroborated by an array of intel and timed to minimise collateral damage. Often hardcore self-proclaimed patriots demand what they call ‘carpet bombing’, whatever the term means. However, SLAF has always exercised restraint to save as many civilians as possible. Given the unfortunate plight of Vanni civilians who are nothing but cannon fodder or at the very best human shields for their captors, completely alleviating civilian casualties is not possible. Full Text

If caught, Prabhakaran should be handed over to India: Congress

(TH)New Delhi (PTI): With Sri Lankan troops closing in on LTTE's last bastion Mullaitivu, the Congress on Saturday asked the island nation to hand over Tamil Tiger chief Prabhakaran once he is caught so that he faces trial for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"We will be happy if Prabhakaran is caught and handed over to India for the heinous crime he has committed. He should be brought to book for the assassination of our beloved leader Rajiv Gandhi," party's chief spokesman M Veerappa Moily said. Full Text

LTTE concedes Kilinochchi defeat

(rediff)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today virtually conceded that its de-facto capital Kilinochchi has fallen to the Sri Lankan Army, saying that the security forces have entered a "virtual ghost town" as the whole infrastructure of Tamil Tigers have shifted to the northeast.

Hours after President Mahinda Rajapakse announced to the nation that the rebel-stronghold has been captured by the security forces, the LTTE said that they had put up heavy resistance so far and kept their causalities to the minimum. Full Text

Sri Lankans jubilant over fall of Tamil Tigers' headquarters

(PD)Sri Lankans jubilant over the government troops' victory took to streets to celebrate the fall of the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) headquarters.

People were seen lighting crackers and parading in streets with the Sri Lankan national flags in the capital Colombo and else where in the island. Some of the busy road intersections traffic were held up as celebrators lit crackers on highway.

Celebrations began minutes after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse hailed his troops' capturing of Kilinochchi at a victory ceremony held in his office. Full Text

London Kingsberg Buddhist temple attacked

(Lanka-e-News, January 03, 2008, 7.30PM) An unidentified group threw petrol and set fire to the London Kingsburg Buddhist temple today (03) around 3.10 AM.

Our London correspondent says that the outer door and windows of the library in the ground floor of the temple has been burnt in fire. Around 10,000 pounds damage has occurred although no book in the library has sustained damage, he says. Full Text

Prabhakaran may be hiding in Mullaittivu: Sri Lanka Army chief

(TH)Colombo (PTI): Elusive LTTE supremo V. Prabhakaran, who received a massive blow after the fall of the rebels' political headquarters Kilinochchi, may be hiding in the key Tiger bastion of Mullaittivu, Sri Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka has said.

Prabhakaran, 54, is likely hiding in the coastal town of Mullaittivu, Fonseka said on Friday as the Sri Lankan Army attacked the area around the suspected hideout of the LTTE leader. Full Text

Govt. to ban LTTE?

(LD)The president is considering a ban on the LTTE and the matter will be decided at the next meeting of the cabinet, a senior government minister told 'Lanka Dissent.'

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had previously decided to proscribe the Tigers after the capture of Mullaitivu town, but the move is likely to be made earlier than that, due to the new lease of life the country is experiencing after the liberation of Kilinochchi town, the minister said. Full Text

JVP say their stand against separatism proved right

(LD)"Victory in Kilinochchi is a major defeat to all those who said the Tigers can not be defeated. It is also a victory for all those who stood against separatism, terrorism, stood for the unity of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people and wished for a Unitary state." Said General Secretary of the JVP, Mr. Tilvin Silva, at a media briefing held at the Solis Hotel, Pita Kotte, this (Jan 03rd) morning.

"We salute in honour of all those soldiers who sacrificed to gain this victory, including all the Commanders of the three forces." added Mr. Silva. Full Text

Three wounded in Colombo blast: police

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – At least three people were wounded in a bomb blast in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Saturday, a day after a suicide bomb attack killed two people elsewhere in the city, police said.

The latest explosion was outside a mosque in Colombo's commercial area of Pettah, police said adding three people were taken to hospital.

Colombo National Hospital director Prasad Ariyawansa said three people admitted following the blast had minor injuries. Full Text

HQ fall may spell end of LTTE dream

(TOI)NEW DELHI: As the Sri Lankan army registered its biggest-ever military victory by capturing the northern town of Kilinochchi, it was also the day of the biggest territorial upset for the Tigers, who ceded their headquarters to the army, and with it, their aspirations for a separate state in the north. But the LTTE struck back with what it does best: a suicide attack at the Lankan air headquarters, killing three and injuring 37. Full Text

Tamilnadu Chief Minister's daughter concerned about fall of Kilinochchi

(TC)Tamil Nadu chief minister Muttuvel Karunanidhi's daughter anKani0102.jpgd Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Rajya Sabha (Upper house) member of parliament Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi has expressed grave concern over the Sri Lankan armed forces capturing Kilinochci in the Northern province of Sri Lanka.

"What we were hoping would never happen has actually happened" she said while speaking at a book release ceremony in Chennai where a collection of her father's speeches relating to Tamil Nadu poet laureate Vairamuttu .

Despite setback LTTE will keep fighting, claims Tamil MP

(yahoo)New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) A Tamil MP from Sri Lanka asserted Saturday that the Tamil Tigers would never give up even after losing a key town and retreating into their last remaining fortress Mullaitivu.

M.K. Shivaji Lingam admitted, however, that the fall of Kilinochchi was 'indeed a setback' but he said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would keep fighting a la Vietnam.

'And even if the LTTE were to lose Mullaitivu also, then too they will continue their struggle,' Shivaji Lingam said in a telephonic interview from Chennai where he is now based. Full Text

War on LTTE enters decisive stage after fall of Kilinochchi

(yahoo)Colombo, Jan 3 (IANS) The fall of Kilinochchi, the Tamil Tigers' political and administrative hub for the past decade, has dealt a devastating blow to the rebels - militarily and psychologically - confining them to their last bastion of the jungle district of Mullaitivu, where the fighting has now begun to rage.

With their backs to the wall, the question is how long the rebels will be able to fight the determined advancing government troops.

The defence ministry said Saturday that the battle for Mullaitivu has already begun and the advancing troops 'have positioned themselves just five km south of Mullaitivu and three km south of the LTTE's main airstrip'. Full Text

Capturing Kilinochchi a daydream for Lanka: LTTE chief

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, Jan 03: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Saturday reportedly denied the fall of Kilinochchi to the Sri Lankan Army.

Prabhakaran reportedly said in his e-mail interview with a Chennai-based Tamil magazine, Nakeeran that the “Sri Lankan forces have entered parts of our homeland and are stationed in close proximity to Kilinochchi town. But, capturing Kilinochchi is just a daydream of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.” Full Text

Fall of EPS is imminent; Battle for Mullaittivu begins

(defence.lk)Troops of Army Task Force 1(TF 1 ) are marching into the strategically vital Elephant Pass town, reveal defence sources in the battlefield. The total liberation of the town situated at the entrance to the Jaffna Peninsula is imminent the sources added.

Army Commander, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka briefing the operational success of the Wanni battle yesterday (Jan 2) said that Elephant Pass was just 2 Km beyond the TF 1 forward boundary. Full Text

Military hardware recovered during search operation - Kandy

(defence.lk)Acting on reliable information received the Kandy Police has recovered a cache of military hardware during a search operating conducted at Rathwatte State, Matale, Saturday(Jan 3), at around 10.20a.m.

3 claymore mines each weighing around 5kgs were also among the items found.

Following items were recovered in the search operation.

#5kg weighing claymore mines- 03, #T-56 assault riffles- 02, #T-56 magazines- 03, #T-56 rounds - 200, #Electrical detonators- 04

Minor bomb explosion near Red Mosque - Pettah

(defence.lk)A minor bomb explosion was reported near the Red Mosque at Bangasala Street, Petta, today (Jan 3) at around 4.55p.m.

3 people who sustained minor injuries including a 16 year old, were admitted to the National Hospital in Colombo, our correspondent said reporting from the blast site. According to available evidences, the blast had occurred due to an IED placed beneath a parked van, a Petta Police official said.

On Friday (Jan 2), LTTE terrorists carried out a suicide bomb attack near the Air Force Administrative Base at Salve Island, killing 2 people while injuring 32 others. Full Text

'Sri Lankan Patriots Group' hails capture of Killinochchi

(By: Gamini Edirisinghe - Los Angeles, CA)

(defence.lk)While hailing the security forces victory over LTTE at Kilinochchi in a communiqué‚ released today (Jan 3), the United States based 'Sri Lankan Patriotic Group (SLPG)', asserted that, " The road blocks for such came from within and in many instances with the connivance of a band of nations who named themselves as the international community, with affluent NGOs supporting them to the hilt".

"Sri Lanka has shown the world how a just confrontation could be planned, sustained, and successfully completed", the communiqué‚ further read.

Full text of the SLPG communiqué‚ released. Click here

SLAF raids 'sea tiger' base in Mullaittiuvu: LTTE on the run

(defence.lk)SLAF fighter jets made precision air strikes at LTTE's main sea tiger base located in the coastal stretch of the Mullaittiuvu lagoon, Saturday (Jan 3) at around 2.10 p.m.

Air observation images have confirmed terrorists fleeing into deeper jungles of Mullaittiuvu in total disarray, Air Force sources said.

Earlier, at 1.15p.m., Air Force MI-24 helicopter gunships made close combat air support assaults at identified LTTE positions along the Paranthan - Mullaittivu road, Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara further said. Full Text

Navy Commander reviews Ops readiness in East

(defence.lk)Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda made a visit to the Eastern Naval Command on the 01st of January 2009 in order to review the operational readiness of the Navy's Fast Attack Squadron and its Fleet Units which have been playing a pivotal role in imposing an effective naval blockade in the North-eastern seas denying the enemy sea access and control.

During his visit, the Navy Commander held lengthy discussions with the Fast Attack Squadron and Fleet Unit Commanders aimed at making further improvements to the naval strategies being implemented to enhance the maritime surveillance operations in the North-eastern seas in support of the ongoing military operations which have now reached a decisive phase in the humanitarian operations that are being successfully conducted to liberate the Northern Province from the terrorists' clutches. Full Text

59 troops lay siege south of Mullaittivu: LTTE taking heavy beating

(defence.lk)Troops of the 59 Division now surging in multiple fronts towards LTTE's coastal garrison at Mullaittivu, have inflicted heavy damages to terrorists during fighting ensued at the battlefront yesterday(Jan 2), reportedly killing over two dozen of LTTE terrorists and injuring similar numbers.

According to military reports received, pitched battles have erupted in general area North of Kumulamunai, with combined air and ground assaults at concentrated terrorist positions and artillery launching pads. The recent maneuver warfare tactics of the security forces at the Wanni battlefront has left LTTE in total disarray, defence observers state adding that the terrorist outfit is facing total annihilation after three decades. Full Text

Twin air assaults at identified LTTE positions in Mullaittiuvu

(defence.lk)Air Force MI-24 helicopter gunships made successive air assaults at identified LTTE positions in support of the advancing 59 Division troops at Mullaittiuvu today(Jan 3) around 6.15a.m., and 10.30a.m.

According to MCNS sources, the an LTTE strongpoint located Northeast of Oddusudan was engaged in the initial raid conducted at around 6.15a.m., while the other air assault was carried out targeting a similar LTTE target located 2.5km South of Mullaittiuvu. Full Text

Kilinochchi falls

(DM)The security forces yesterday achieved their biggest battlefield victory when they captured the former LTTE administrative capital of Kilinochchi following weeks of fierce battles which saw both sides suffering significant losses.

Fire crackers were lit and celebrations seen on the streets of Colombo and other parts of the country with the news that the former Tiger stronghold had fallen into the hands of the military which was now poised to capture Elephant Pass and Muhamalai thus clearing the whole of the A9 Road that links Kandy and Jaffna. Full Text

Kiliinochchi under the total control of Sri Lanka: Prabakran is not to be seen anywhere

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

02 January, (Asiantribune.com): Senior Sri Lankan military official said that the army was in total control of the strategic Kilinochchi town and that clearing operations were under way. They said that Prabakran is not to be seen anywhere. They vowed, "We will catch him make him answerable to his crimes against humanity, to Tamils all over the world and to the international community."

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan President is to officially announce at around 3.00 pm that Kilinochchi has been captured and the news is to be telecast live on TV. Full Text

EU MP Nirj Deva congratulates SL government on Kilinochchi victory also urged LTTE to down arms immediately

Sunil C. Perera in Colombo

Colombo, 03 January, (Asiantribune.com): EU Parliamentarian Nirj Deva says the LTTE must lay down arms and respect democracy. After the capture of Kilinochchi –the heart of the LTTE, Mr. Deva said it’s a victory for all the peoples of Sri Lanka including the Tamil people who have for a generation been oppressed in the North by the LTTE.

The international community must now help to rebuild the whole island and most investors would be happy to be here to assist the Sri Lankan government. Full Text

A blow to global terror

(TI)Last November Prabhakaran bragged in an interview with an Indian magazine that capturing Kilinochchi would be a daydream for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, yesterday the President's daydream came true! Prabhakaran had to abandon that township which he used to proudly call 'the capital of Eelam' and run for dear life.

The fall of Kilinochchi has sent the LTTE's spin doctors masquerading as journalists and defence experts running in search of fig leaves to cover their nudity. One of them recently concocted a cock-and-bull theory that the LTTE had so far used only new recruits to battle the advancing army and the best cadres would be deployed later. Can anything be more absurd than this? Are we to gather that Prabhakaran was so naïve as to vow to defend Kilinochchi against the army on several fronts with the help of a bunch of greenhorns alone? Why weren't those 'brave Tigers' used to fight tooth and nail to defend their 'capital' at least after their boss had undertaken to prevent its fall at any cost. Full Text

Spirited Tigers defeated by Sri Lanka

(TI)The headline in a website this week read "Sri Lanka defeat spirited Tigers". The reference was of course to the victory that the Sri Lanka cricket team secured over Bangladesh in the First Test concluded on Wednesday. Bangladesh is the minnow among the test-playing nations and Sri Lanka were expected to have an easy win. Early on the fourth day, it appeared so when Bangladesh, chasing 521 to win in the fourth innings, were reduced to 180 for 5. But the Bangladeshi skipper Mahamed Ashraful and his tail-enders had other ideas. Two century partnerships for the sixth and seventh wickets took them to 403 for 6. The minnows had not only taken the match well into the final day but were in a position to pull off a sensational and record-breaking win. In the end, the Bangla (Bengal) ‘Tigers’, despite a spirited performance, succumbed to a better-equipped opposition. Full Text

Less than 2,000 Tigers left

(TI)Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka said that the Tigers are fighting a losing battle and now they are besieged in an area even smaller to Thoppigala and there are only about 1700-1900 remaining with the organisation.

The Commander was addressing the Cabinet ministers, top brass of the security forces, and government officials at the Presidential Secretariat expressed confidence that the war would come to an end in less than one year. Full Text

Mahinda’s ‘daydream’ comes true Prabhakaran loses K’nochchi

* 57 Div links up with Task Force I at K’nochchi

* A9 restored up to Paranthan

* Tigers trapped in an area smaller than Thoppigala

Close on the heels of Thursday’s liberation of Paranthan, the army yesterday regained Kilinochchi, the LTTE’s administrative capital as Sri Lanka’s war against terror reached a decisive stage.

The focus on the combined security forces campaign, spearheaded by the army, will now shift to Mullaitivu on the north-eastern coast where the 59 Division is within a couple of kilometres away from the town. The army will also increase pressure on LTTE units deployed in the neck of the Jaffna peninsula to face the elite 53 and 55 Divisions. Full Text

Public displeasure over Sirasa telecast

(Daily News)While the Nation and the people rejoiced the victory of the recapture of Kilinochchi by the brave troops yesterday, the Sirasa TV ran a 'Breaking News' for nearly 45 minutes on the LTTE suicide explosion near the Air Force camp in Fort last evening.

The public expressed anger over the continuous telecast by Sirasa TV which attempted to overshadow the historic victory of the gallant Armed Forces.

"The Sirasa TV should have conducted itself in a responsible manner at a time of national pride of the people and the Nation," a resident in Colombo said.

National flag flutters in Kilinochchi after 10 years

(DN)The national flag fluttered in the air of Kilinochchi yesterday, the de-facto capital of the LTTE, after the Security Forces liberated this highly prestigious town which was under the Tiger grip for the last 10 years after entering the town yesterday morning.

Major General Jagath Dias, General Officer Commanding of the 57 Division of the Sri Lanka Army, who led the troops to liberate this town, hoisted the national flag in the heart of Kilinochchi around 6 p.m, hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an address to the Nation, saluted the valiant Security Forces for liberating this town. Full Text

Kilinochchi

Army captures LTTE main bastion

President issues ultimatum to LTTE

‘Most honourable victory in the annals of military heroism’

‘Entire world must today appreciate success of Sri Lankan troops’

(DN)Addressing the Nation over television after the capture of Kilinochchi by gallant Security Forces yesterday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Nation to extend and continue their sense of commitment, patience and tolerance, until the terrorists who are now confined and entrapped to the jungles of Mullaitivu, are finally defeated and wiped out from our motherland.

The President gave an ultimatum to the LTTE, “Lay down arms and surrender!" Full Text

Remarkable victory

(DM)It is indeed a remarkable achievement. The capture of LTTE terrorists’ stronghold Kilinochchi, from where they directed all dastardly operations in the country, marks the end of a decades-long terrorist menace that brought immense destruction to the country and suffering to all communities of people in this country. While other youthful groups gave up violence and chose the path of democratic negotiation to find a solution to the national problem, the LTTE continued its destructive path despite the numerous appeals made to them to fall in line with the democratic process.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, having tried and failed to get the LTTE to agree to a reasonable solution through negotiations, launched the military campaign beginning with the exercise to wrest Mavil Aru from terrorist clutches. Hurdles and obstacles placed on its path by forces, internal as well as external, were numerous. Overcoming these obstacles the government continued its campaign with courage and determination to achieve the objective of freeing the country of terrorism. The moral support that the government received in this task from moderate Tamil parties and groups that broke away from the LTTE has to be acknowledged. Full Text

Terrorism will continue with the defeat of LTTE: DEW

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

(DM)Terrorism will continue for some time even if military confrontations come to an end, with the defeat of the LTTE in the battle front, Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister DEW Gunasekara said.“The Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration will be called upon to play its role once the dust on the battle front is settled. We should be ready to embark on the new task of restoring civil administration in North,” he stressed.

Addressing a function held at the Ministry on January 1 to mark the dawn of the New Year, he said the year 2008 was a year of formidable challenges. Globally, Sri Lanka was confronted with several crises food, energy and finance. The financial crisis ended up with an economic recession. Full Text

Bring in political solution - TNA

Chandrakanthan Chandraneru
TNA says people in the east are currently in an 'open prison'
(BBC)The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called on the authorities to bring in a political solution if the government is genuine in winning the hearts and minds of Sri Lankan Tamils.

TNA parliamentarian Chandrakanthan Chandraneru told BBC Sandeshaya that Tamil people will not gain anything from government capturing territory from the LTTE. Full Text

The end of Prabhakaran?

(rediff)There have been understandable scenes of jubilation in Colombo and other Sinhalese majority areas of Sri Lanka over the occupation of Kilinochchi, which used to be the administrative capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, by the Sri Lankan army on January 2.

These scenes bring to one's mind similar scenes one witnessed after the US army moved without resistance into Baghdad vacated by Saddam Hussein's army in 2003 and shortly thereafter President George W Bush proclaimed 'Mission Accomplished.' Almost six years later, the violence still continues in Iraq. His proclamation of 'Mission Accomplished' has kept haunting him since then. Shortly after the US troops entered Baghdad, I had pointed out that the US army's entry into Baghdad marked the end of one phase of the war and the beginning of another. Full Text

Military successes will create new set of dilemmas for President

by Col R Hariharan

(TC)Sri Lanka security forces have started the year 2009 with the capture of Paranthan, the key road junction located on the A9 Jaffna-Kandy lifeline between Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass. The fall of Paranthan adds a new dimension to the war because it splits the mutually reinforcing Kilinochchi-Elephant Pass defence complex. It is a moot point now whether the LTTE was right in concentrating on strongly defending Kilinochchi when tactically Paranthan was more vital for this very reason.

As the fall of Paranthan has weakened the defenders of both Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass, the LTTE has to recapture Paranthan, or get eliminated piecemeal from Kilinochchi or Elephant Pass. Even in its present beleaguered condition this possibility cannot be ruled out as Paranthan is only 4.5 km from Kilinochchi. Full Text

Maldives to support Sri Lanka in its fight against terrorism

Colombo, 03 January, (Asiantribune.com): Visiting President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed expressed his appreciation of the efforts being taken by President Rajapaksa to restore peace in Sri Lanka, and congratulated the President and Sri Lanka on the success in the Kilinochchi Operation, and also assured Sri Lanka of the fullest support of the Maldives in the fight against terrorism.

It was agreed at the bilateral talks, that Sri Lanka and the Maldives looked forward to the further improvement of good relations between the two countries in several areas of activity, with importance being given to Sri Lankan assistance in the development of the structures and institutions of democracy in the Maldives. Full Text

US renews call for peaceful dialogue in Sri Lanka

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US State Department on Friday urged the Sri Lankan and Tamil Tigers to start negotiating over the "legitimate" demands of the Tamils after Colombo announced a key win over the rebels.

Sri Lanka said Friday its troops had finally captured Kilinochchi, the unofficial capital of the Tigers, and urged the rebels to lay down their arms and end their decades-old struggle for a separate homeland.

"The Sri Lankan government now seems to have made a gain through a military gain," Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman, told reporters when asked for comment on the development. Full Text

Explainer: Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers

(CNN) -- The Tamil Tigers have been invited by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to lay down their arms after government forces retook the city of Kilinochchi Friday, once the center of power for the rebel group.

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called on the Tamil Tigers to stop fighting.

But while Colombo celebrated the government success with fireworks, within an hour a suicide bomber abruptly shattered whatever hopes the president may have had for immediate peace.

The bomber, riding a motorcycle, blew himself up outside air force headquarters in Colombo, killing two air force police officers and a member of the bomb-disposal unit, authorities said. Full Text

"Kilinochchi we have come": LTTE vacates town after last ditch stand at Karadippokku

(TC)The Sri Lankan armed forces registered a significant victory as troops of the 58 and 57 divisions moved into Kilinochchi town ON January 1st and and consolidated their hold on it by January 2nd 2009.

The Armed forces had earlier kept their spirits high through the slogan “Kilinochchi Api Enawa” (Kilinochchi We Are Coming”.

After capturing the town the slogan changed into “Kilinochchi Api Aawaa” (Kilinochchi We Have Come)

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) began vacating the town that functioned as their de-facto administrative capital after putting up a last ditch stand at the Karadippokku junction area located along the A – 9 highway between Paranthan and Kilinochchi. Full Text

After Kilinochchi

by B. Raman

(TC)There have been understandable scenes of jubilation in Colombo and other Sinhalese majority areas of Sri Lanka over the occupation of Kilinochchi, which used to be the administrative capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), by the Sri Lankan Army on January 2,2008. These scenes bring to one's mind similar scenes one witnessed after the US army moved without resistance into Baghdad vacated by Saddam Hussein's army in 2003 and shortly thereafter President George Bush proclaimed "Mission Accomplished". Almost six years later, the violence still continues in Iraq. His proclamation of "Mission Accomplished" has kept haunting him since then. Shortly after the US troops entered Baghdad, I had pointed out that the US Army's entry into Baghdad marked the end of one phase of the war and the beginning of another. Full Text

Tigers begin withdrawal from Elephant Pass: will also vacate Mullaitheevu, Oddusuddan and Vatraappalai

(TC)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have begun withdrawing from entrenched positions in the strategic Elephant Pass region.

The narrow Isthmus that links the Jaffna peninsula to the Northern mainland known as Wanni by land is often described as the “gateway to Jaffna”.

Preparations are also afoot to vacate tiger positions in other key places in Eastern Wanni like Mullaitheevu, Oddusuddan and Vatraappalai.

The tigers seized the Elephant Pass area after protracted warfare codenamed “Oyatha Alaigal” (ceaseless waves) in April 2000. Full Text

Fall of LTTE ‘capital’ not end

(IE)Chennai: Will the fall of the ‘capital’ make the ‘king’ a deadlier force, even more difficult to contain? Even as the Sri Lankan Armed Forces claimed a decisive victory by capturing the northern town of Kilinochchi, the administrative and political capital of the rebel LTTE, analysts and experts point to the immediate future, one filled with guerrilla and terrorist tactics launched by the rebels.

In fact, this is not the first time Kilinochchi has become the benchmark for proving supremacy on the battlefield by both sides. The town has been under the control of the rebels for the past decade after they recaptured the area from the Government forces in 1998. Full Text

Kilinochchi captured in devastating blow to LTTE

B. Muralidhar Reddy
Sri Lankan troops take Tiger ‘capital’; Rajapaksa says it’s victory for nation
— Photos: Special arrangement, AFP

TIGER FORTRESS FALLS: In a stunning breakthrough, Sri Lankan soldiers take full control of Kilinochchi. They achieved the victory after smashing LTTE defence lines in the town, which was the political and administrative headquarters of the rebel group. (Below) President Mahinda Rajapaksa announces the military victory at a press conference in Colombo.

(TH)COLOMBO: In a major blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Sri Lankan troops on Friday captured the northern town of Kilinochchi, which has been the Tigers’ administrative and political headquarters. The military victory came after a phase of intense fighting that lasted several weeks. Kilinochchi has been under Tiger control for over a decade.

In a special address to the nation on state television hours after the troops smashed into the town through three different points, President Mahinda Rajapaksa described the action as a “major victory in the world’s battle against terrorism.” Full Text

Mahinda is the people’s prez

P K Balachandran

(EB)President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be the happiest leader in Sri Lanka’s recent history. Despite serious and debilitating flaws in governance, he is riding a wave of popularity even three years after taking office.Undoubtedly, at the root of it all is the public perception that the military campaign against the LTTE is going great guns.A recent survey conducted by LMD-TNS Lanka in areas other than the war-affected Tamil-speaking parts of the country, showed that 67 per cent were satisfied with Rajapaksa’s overall performance, and 79 per cent said that he was right in trying to settle the ethnic conflict by military means. Full Text

Look Beyond War

(TOI)The fall of Kilinochchi, the administrative headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) will be a major victory for the Sri Lanka army. The LTTE had administered areas under its control from this town, which had been outside the ambit of Colombo's writ for over a decade. The capture of Kilinochchi will leave the LTTE without a base and change the course of war in the region. The Tigers are most likely to revert to guerrilla tactics and keep on fighting. But the time is now ripe for Colombo to announce a political solution to end the conflict in the region. Full Text

Lankan victory evokes mixed reaction

Source ::: The PENINSULA/BY FAZEENA SALEEM

DOHA: Sri Lankan residents here had mixed reactions to the capture of the Tamil Tiger rebels’ headquarters by the Sri Lankan armed forces yesterday, with several minority Sri Lankan Tamils refraining from making a comment on the issue.

Situated 330 kilometres north of capital Colombo, Kilinochchi has served as the de facto capital of the Tamil Tigers’ mini-state in northern Sri Lanka for the past 10 years.

In a televised address to the nation, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said government troops had taken control of the town for the first time in a decade. He appealed to the Tamil Tiger rebels to lay down their arms. Full Text

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sri Lankan stocks rally in anticipation of military triumph

Sri Lankan stocks rally in anticipation of military triumph
Jan 02, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lankan retail investors pushed the market up sharply in moderate trade Friday in anticipation government forces had captured the northern Tamil Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi.

The All Share Index (ASI) index shot up 5.02 percent (75.44 points) to close at 1,578.46 points while the Milanka Index went up by 4.01 percent (65.47 points) to close at 1,696.81 points.

Foreigners were net sellers with foreign buying at 8.6 million rupees and foreign selling at 24 million rupees. Full Text

Kilinochchi's fall a major setback to LTTE

(yahoo)Ten years after they captured the northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi in a blitzkrieg that stunned the world, the Tamil Tigers have finally lost it to a military determined to crush the rebels. The fall of Kilinochchi after months of fighting is a huge blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Kilinochchi is a small but strategically located town that served as the political hub of the once sprawling LTTE territory in the north and east of the island. It was where LTTE leaders met diplomats and met government representatives during congenial times. It is where LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, once the emperor of all that he purveyed, spoke to the media in 2002, just two months after signing a Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement with Colombo. Full Text

Key loss will test Tamil Tigers

Sri Lankan troops near Kilinochchi on 12 December
Troops raised the flag in nearby Terumarikandi as they closed in on Kilinochchi

By Ethirajan Anbarasan
BBC News, Colombo

The Sri Lankan army's capture of the northern town of Kilinochchi marks a new phase in the fighting between the security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

With its fall the rebels have now lost the biggest township they had under their control for more than a decade.

For the security forces, it will enable them to consolidate their domination of the key A9 highway, which links the Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the country.

The Tamil Tigers until recently had their administrative headquarters in the town. They proudly showcased offices of their political, police and judicial divisions to visiting foreign dignitaries and media. In fact, it acted like their de-facto capital. Full Text

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

Source: Reuters

Jan 2 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military on Friday said it had seized Kilinochchi, which the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had claimed as capital of the nation they want to create for Sri Lankan Tamils.

With that, the military has struck a strategic and symbolic blow that shows it has made the most battlefield progress at any time since the war began in 1983 [ID:nSP417902]. That has analysts asking if the ground war could soon be over. Here are some scenarios of what could happen next: THE BATTLE HEADS EAST. Full Text

LTTE -- a ruthless militant organisation

LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran (File photo)

(timesnow)Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which suffered a body blow today when it lost its stronghold Kilinochchi, gave a new dimension to militancy in the world by using suicide bombers and other guerilla attacks to maintain their struggle for separate Tamil Eelam.

TTE, led by Velupillai Prabhakaran a school dropout from the secret jungles of Wanni in northern Sri Lanka for the past 30 years, has been accused of killing many Sri Lankan Sinhalese and Tamil leaders and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

hat started as a liberation movement in the late 1970s to attain freedom for "oppressed" Tamils from the clutches of Sri Lankans, the LTTE was later evolved as a ruthless organisation for whom violence became a legitimate toll to eliminate political opponents. Full Text

Timeline of the violence in Sri Lanka

(yahoo)Major developments in Sri Lanka's conflict:

• 1975: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group forms. The group demands a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils in the island's north and east.

• 1983: Civil war begins.

• 1991: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber assassinates then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, apparently in revenge for sending Indian peacekeeping troops who ended up fighting the rebels.

• 1993: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber kills Sri Lanka's President Ranasinghe Premadasa after his government's failed peace efforts. Full Text

Kilinochchi is Captured - President tells the Nation

(defence.lk)"A short while ago, our brave and heroic troops have fully captured Kilinohchi that was considered the main bastion of the LTTE. Our brave troops have completely taken over the fortress of the LTTE that has been described by our own leaders and accepted internationally as the most powerful terrorist organization in the world," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa announcing the capture of Kilinochchi to the nation at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon. (Jan 02).

"Whatever the words or language used to describe it, this is truly an incomparable victory. What our heroic troops have achieved is not only the capture of the great fortress of the LTTE, but a major victory in the world's battle against terrorism. The entire world must today appreciate the outstanding success of the Sri Lankan troops.," the President said. Full Text

Kilinochchi liberated- Countdown to extinction begins for LTTE

(defence.lk)The 57 Division and the Task Force 1 of Sri Lanka Army today (Jan 2) scored the greatest victory in their noble battle against terrorism by liberating the Kilinochchi town, the so-called administrative hub of the LTTE terrorists.

Troops of 57 Division lead by Major General Jagath Dias have entered into the highly defended terrorists stronghold from the South and Southwestern boundaries while the Task Force 1 troops lead by Brigadier Shavendra Silva have marched in from the North and Northwest.

Kilinochchi, though not very strategically located in terms of military maneuvers, has been given a great symbolic importance by the LTTE terrorists as their administrative "capital". In fact, the LTTE propaganda elements used to call the town as their de facto capital of the utopian state of "Eelam". However , Sri Lanka government has been running all civil administrative affairs in the area, including bank and finance, education, health, trade and welfare . Full Text

Army , Air Force Chiefs dismiss allegations level against security forces by unpatriotic politicians

(By Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka's Army Commander and Air Force Commander Air Vice Marshall Roshan Goonetilleke have totally rejected the statements made by United National Party leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that quick and complete attention have not been provided to soldiers who are injured at the war front to save their lives.

Fonseka said in a statement broadcast by the state owned Independent Television Network (ITN), " The security forces have enough helicopters to transport all injured soldiers immediately from the battlefield to necessary hospitals and after immediate treatment, if necessary there are enough transport planes to transfer them to Colombo for further specialized medical attention." In a sweeping statement he rejected the UNP leaders utterances as "untruth" and "distortions" meant to mislead. Full Text

LTTE carries out desperate suicide blast - Slave Island

LTTE after its ignominious defeat in Kilinochchi has carried out a desperate suicide blast in front of the Air Force camp , Slave Island down the C.A. Gardiner road at 5.15 this evening (Jan 2).

Primary investigations have revealed that the suicide bomber had tried to enter the Air Force camp but prevented by the Airmen at the entrance. The explosion has caused damages to a public transport bus playing from Moratuwa to Pettah. Two people have been killed and 22 others suffered injuries in the explosion. The injured have been admitted to the National Hospital, Colombo. Full Text

KILINOCHCHI HAS FALLEN

(Defence Wire)DEFENCEWIRE BREAKING NEWS- The LTTE capital Kilinochchi is now being vacated as troops from the 57 converge on it from all sides. The Town is expected to fall completely into the hands of the Army shortly and it will be declared captured after clearing by tomorrow.
Meanwhile 35 Ratha Regiment elite Tigers were killed when they clashed with a Brigade from the 59 Division near the town of Oddusudan yesterday. 15 bodies of the elite cadres were recovered.. Full Text

'The Future Minds': A barometer of public opinion

(TI)The recently concluded Future Minds exhibition in Jaffna was a huge success. It drew thronging crowds for several days. The youth were ebullient and children frolicking. Enthusiasm that people evinced in that fun filled educational and industrial event bore testimony to the fact that the Taliban culture the LTTE imposed on Jaffna has given way to a democratic way of life. The exhibition had been preceded by a couple of mass protests against the LTTE in Jaffna.

This kind of public response is indicative of the fact that the army has won over the northern populace and the northerners are thirsting for democracy and a better life which they richly deserve. It has also given the lie to the claim that the LTTE still enjoys popular support and people are awaiting its return. Those who support terrorism from a safe distance and expect the LTTE to make a comeback and turn that part of the country into a hellhole are only hoping against hope. Full Text

All fronts close in on Kilinochchi

Tigers fleeing to jungles cornered
Military outnumbers Tigers
(DN)If there was a ray of hope for the LTTE to cling on to their remaining strongholds Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Muhamalai in the Jaffna front, they have lost all those hopes with the fall of Paranthan which is the key location that linked all their strongholds together with key land routes.

The Task Force I or the 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva made this historic move on Wednesday evening amidst fierce battles that erupted in the Paranthan West and the Jaffna lagoon front. They were short of only few hundred metres to the key Paranthan junction by Wednesday evening and that part too was taken under their control just few hours before the dawn of the year 2009 which has been the Year of Heroic Victory. Full Text

CB bomb blast main suspect arrested

by Dinasena Rathugamage

(TI)The main suspect in the LTTE attack on the Central Bank building Colombo was arrested by the police at the Irattaperiyakulam security check point and produced before the Vavuniya District Judge on Tuesday (30).

The suspect was arrested by a group of policemen, led by Inspector Arjuna Kodikara comprising police constables Lionel Shriyaratne and Priyankara, on a tip off from a member of the civil Defence Force, police said. Full Text

A’sangaree wants political proposals without delay

By Franklin R.Satyapalan

(TI)Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF ) Leader V. Anandasangaree yesterday called upon the Government to come out with its political proposal without any delay to win over the people to its side at a time when the LTTE is facing imminent defeat.

Speaking to The Island he said with the dawn of a new year expectations of the the vast majority was for finding a permanent peace both in word and deed. Full Text

Fall of K’nochchi imminent, Gota asks LTTE to surrender

by Shamindra Ferdinando

(TI)Army regains Paranthan, Iranamadu junction, poised to intensify operations east of A9
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the army had cut off Kilinochchi from three directions and was poised to overrun the town.

A confident Rajapaksa said that with Thursday’s (Jan. 1) liberation of Paranthan and Iranamadu junction, the army had taken up positions north, west and south of Kilinochchi.

"Kilinochchi is vulnerable and their resistance will collapse in a few days," he said, expressing confidence of wiping out the remaining LTTE bases in the northern theatre of operations within months. Declining to discuss a possible time-frame for the army to complete major ground operations, he said the enemy couldn’t last long due to the absence of fresh recruits and an uninterrupted sea supply route to replenish its arsenal. Full Text

Minister disputes UN official's claims

Rasika SOMARATHNA
(DN)The Government while emphasising it was doing it's utmost to help displaced civilians in the Vanni, said that the issues raised in a statement released recently by Representative of the UN Secretary General on the human rights of IDP's, Walter Kalin, were unfounded.

While rejecting Kalin's claims that the facilities provided were inadequate, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the Government had done everything possible to provide necessary facilities, under extremely difficult conditions. Also the Minister added that Kalin had failed to adhere to the established protocol when informing the Government with regards to the issue. Full Text

Troops advance from all directions: Fall of Killinochchi is imminent

Iranamadu captured
Fleeing Tigers cornered

Ranil WIJAYAPALA

(DN)The fall of Kilinochchi is imminent within the next 48 hours as Security Forces have already entered the Kilinochchi town from the South, West and North of Kilinochchi, Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka told the Daily News yesterday.

The Security Forces engaged in the Vanni liberation operations speeded up their advance towards the de-facto Tiger capital Kilinochchi from all fronts from the South, West and North after Task Force -I troops completely captured and consolidated their positions in strategically important Paranthan junction by yesterday morning. Full Text

2009: LET’S WIN THE ONGOING OFFENSIVE

Even in the Kissingerian sense, the Government forces are winning and the insurgents are losing.

By Dayan Jayatilleke

(DM)The quote from Dr Henry Kissinger is well known but few commentators know where it comes from. It is in the Report the Bipartisan Commission on Central America, which he chaired, appointed in the wake of the Nicaraguan revolution, that Henry Kissinger concluded with a brilliant accuracy born of his knowledge of history and his failure in Vietnam, that “so long as the government’s forces are not winning, they are losing, and so long as the insurgent forces are not losing they are winning.”

Let us apply this rigorous guideline, as Mervyn de Silva periodically used to, to the ongoing Sri Lankan conflict. The Sri Lankan state forces are winning in terms of dramatic gains of territory and reducing the numbers of the insurgents, while popular support in its rear remains exceedingly high, voluntary recruitment to its own ranks is growing, offsetting the loss of its own troops. On the other hand, the Tiger insurgents are losing ground, failing to recover any lost ground, and is losing valuable cadre. Thus even in the Kissingerian sense, the Government forces are winning and the insurgents are losing. Full Text