Saturday, January 10, 2009

Eagle's Eye: The two dangerous trouble spots

(CC)The cause or rather genesis of this very problem is abject discrimination of one community against the other and as long as such mindset remains, the problem can never be solved permanently, opines RK Kutty.

The Sri Lankan Army operation to flush out LTTE from the Northern Jaffna peninsula is in high pitch and speculations are rife that the LTTE chief Prabhakaran is likely to be caught soon. In anticipation of that possibility, the Indian Government have put forth a demand to hand over Prabhakaran, in case caught alive, to India to proceed against him for masterminding the assassination of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It is not yet known how far the Lankan army would succeed in catching hold of the LTTE chief. Definitely, at the moment, the Lankan army is in an advantageous position, having achieved the goal of capturing most of the LTTE strategic points like Vavunia, Killinochi, marching forward towards Elephant Pass and thereafter pushing further ahead towards that land mass covered with thick jungles where hardcore LTTE fighters and their leadership might be holed up. Though the Lankan Army is pushing forward, the LTTE too might not be easily giving up its fight. Full Text

India should stop military assistance to Sri Lanka: LTTE

(TH)Colombo (PTI): Under pressure following serious losses, the LTTE has asked India to "stop providing military assistance" to the Sri Lankan Government and vowed to take back it de facto political headquarters Killinochchi.

"India should stop all military assistance to Sri Lankan Army and recognise our struggle for liberation", the LTTE political head B. Nadesan told the Tamil bi-weekly Junior Vikatan in an e-mail interview. Full Text

Resettle all Muslims in Jaffna – Athaulla

(news.lk)Highways Minister A. L. M. Athaulla yesterday called on the government to resettle all those Muslims who were evicted from Jaffna in July 1991 and are now living in refugee camps in Puttalam or with their relations in the South. Full Text

All SL citizens to be registered

(news.lk)The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to register all the citizens in the country with the Defence Ministry immediately and the registration will be compulsory to ensure the safety of the public, the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle said.
A statement issued by the MCNS said “Due to the prevailing security condition of the country the Ministry of Defence Public Security Law and Order has made arrangements to register all Sri Lankan citizens to ensure the safety of the public. It is compulsory for all Sri Lankan citizens to register under this scheme and provisions have been made to do this in an easy harassment free way.” Full Text

LTTE's airstrip in Mullaittivu captured

(defence.lk)LTTE's another airstrip located in general area Keppapularu, 6.5Km northwest of Mullayavalai town centre in Mulaittivu has been captured by the troops of 59 Division on offensive march towards Mullaittivu today, 10 January.

Soldiers of the 9 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Janaka Ariyaratne under 593 Brigade commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jayantha Goonaratne launched an offensive operation a few days ago and captured the part of the airstrip by Friday evening (9 Jan) amidst stiff resistance given by the terrorists. Following days long fighting, troops have totally captured the airstrip by 9.00 AM today causing heavy damages to the enemy, military sources said. Full Text

LTTE fires at escaping civilians; 7 civilians killed - Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)Seven innocent Tamil civilians including two children, on their way to cleared areas seeking protection for their lives, were gunned down by the LTTE terrorists this morning, 10 January.

According to the military sources, the civilians from Murusamoddai and Kanchipuram areas, were on their way to security forces' controlled area when they were attacked inhumanly by LTTE terrorists deployed on possible escaping routes to prevent civilian movement. Full Text

End in sight to Prabhakaran's warped war

(JT)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The 30-year-old ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka may well end this year. Thousands of people have been killed, and political leaders, including India's young and charismatic Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, assassinated in the war between majority Sinhala-speaking Buddhists and the largely Christian Tamils.

The Tamils, led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's Vellupillai Prabhakaran, have demanded a separate home in the north and east of the island nation. This now seems like a dream gone sour. The fall of Kilinochchi, the Tigers' political and administrative headquarters, to the forces of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government last week is seen as a decisive turn. Full Text

Intense fighting in Vaddakachchi; 3 LTTE dead bodies found - Kilinochchi east

(defence.lk)Troops of 57 division continued their advances further eastwards from Kilinochchi to gain control remaining LTTE fortifications in the area. Army soldiers had several confrontations with LTTE terrorists detected in Vaddakachchi and Iranamadu areas yesterday, 9 January.

According to the defence sources intense battle between troops and LTTE terrorists reported in general area Vaddakachchi last evening. Intercepting LTTE communication channels, it is revealed that scores of LTTE terrorists were killed while several others injured during the battle. Troops also received minor damages, military sources said.

In subsequent search operations conducted in general area Vaddakachchi, troops have found 3 bodies of LTTE terrorists killed in confrontations along with T-56 weapon.

58 Div troops uncover 11 LTTE bodies, weaponry during search operations- Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)Troops of the 58 Division while consolidating positions North of Murusamoddai have uncovered 11 LTTE bodies and a cache of military hardware, yesterday (Jan 9), security sources said.

9 LTTE bodies were found in general area North of Murusamoddai, Friday, at around 2p.m. Meanwhile, troops operating South of Murusamoddai have uncovered 2 more slain LTTE bodies and 15 hand grenades, security sources said. Full Text

Time to Act: The LTTE, it’s Front Organisations, and the challenge to Europe - 4:

TRO and its ties with LTTE

(DN)Excerpts from address by Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, Ravinatha Aryasinha at the EU-US International Seminar on the LTTE, held at the Europol Headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands, 9-10 Dec 2008.

“The LTTE oversees the activities of the TRO and LTTE linked organisations in Sri Lanka and abroad. Directives issued by the LTTE suggest that the LTTE-affiliated branch representatives are expected to coordinate their efforts with the respective TRO representatives in their locations and report on all activity to the LTTE” Full Text

Hamas, LTTE and West’s Hypocrisy

Goshaka

(DN)The war in the Gaza Strip has reignited the issues that have been conveniently kept buried by the world leaders. The US and even Germany have had on a number of occasions pestered the Sri Lankan Government to conduct the peace negotiations with terrorists.

They often blamed our Government for not observing the Ceasefire Agreement, and the President for declaring war against the terrorists. Full Text

A-9 opening addresses humanitarian concerns

(DN)The capture of Elephant Pass and the A-9 highway by gallant war heroes will address the main humanitarian issues which the international community was most concerned, observed Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama during a press conference at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

Minister Bogollagama pointed out that the international community’s main concern was the provision of humanitarian assistance by the Government to the displaced civilians in the Vanni, while fighting a fierce battle with the terrorists. Full Text

Tamils rejoice A-9 opening


Sangaree

(DN)Tamil political leaders, religious prelates, intellectuals and a cross section of the people of the liberated areas of the Vanni jubilantly welcomed the opening of the A9 Kandy-Jaffna highway by the Security Forces fighting to free the Tamil people of the North from the clutches of LTTE terrorism and to restore democracy, normal life and peace.

Excerpts of comments:

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Leader V. Anandasangaree: “This definitely is a boon to the Tamil people of the North who waited all these years for this to happen. They now have the advantage of a land route unlike in the past two decades. Full Text

Troops capture Elephant Pass: Road to Jaffna open

(DN)The Security Forces made a historic move after fully capturing the Jaffna -Kandy highway connecting the south with the Jaffna peninsula after a lapse of 23 years.

Troops of the 53 and 55 Divisions with the support of the 58 Division took full control of the strategically important Elephant Pass by yesterday afternoon, President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced yesterday. Full Text

First WFP food convoy of 2009 reaches the Vanni region

(DM)COLOMBO – The first food convoy of 2009 - dispatched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka - delivered mixed food commodities to the Vanni region, a WFP statement said.

The convoy - comprised of 57 trucks and seven light vehicles - delivered 811 metric tons of food (enough to feed some 230,000 people for a week) to Puthukkudiyiruppu. This was the 10th convoy to the region since UN humanitarian convoys began delivering food in October 2008. Full Text

It May Well Be the End of Agony in Sri Lanka

(ST)and political leaders, including India’s young and charismatic Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, assassinated in the war between majority Sinhala speaking Buddhists and minority Tamil speaking largely Christians. The Tamils, led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s Vellupillai Prabhakaran, have been demanding a separate home in the northern and eastern territories of the island nation. But this seems like a dream now, a dream gone sour

The fall of Kilinochchi, the Tigers’ political and administrative headquarters, to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa Government’s forces last week is seen as a decisive turn in the battle. Cynics may say this is not the first time that Kilinochchi has fallen. It did earlier, but was recaptured by the Tigers in 1998. Full Text

Prabhakaran's tryst with destiny

(CC)Now that Kilinochchi, supposed "capital" of the non-existent Tamil Eelam has fallen to Sri Lanka Government troops, will peace finally descend on the war-torn nation? Not just yet. Much will depend on the sagacity and farsightedness of political leadership in Colombo.

In the near future Sri Lanka will once again descend into the sporadic terrorist bomb attacks that saw the beginning of the struggle by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for a homeland for the Tamils in the north and the east of the island before it evolved from a guerrilla structure into a very successful military machine in its conventional framework to be able to capture and hold territory that could be termed a "nation" within the context of the term as described in civics textbooks. Full Text

Jamming BBC

(TI)Of late the SLBC has resorted to jamming certain parts of the BBC Sandesaya programme. These comments are made for consideration by those who are responsible for the move.

1. Sandesaya is the guest of the SLBC. If the host finds that the guest is misusing the privilege extended to him, he has the undisputed right to ask the latter to leave. Doing so would be more appropriate than humiliating him at home. Full Text

Crouching Tigers

Kilinochchi is a bastion lost, but pro-LTTE parties in India still have an Eelam dream, reports PC VINOJ KUMAR

Cover Story


(thelka)THE DREAM of an independent homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka, or Eelam, still burns bright in Tamil Nadu, despite the fall of Kilinochchi, the de-facto capital of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) controlled territory in north Sri Lanka. In Tamil Nadu, a state where the LTTE continues to enjoy some political support despite it being a banned outfit in India, the LTTE’s retreat from Kilinochchi is seen as a tactical move. On 2 January, 2009, Sri Lanka’s hard-line President Mahinda Rajapakse announced the capture of Kilinochchi from the Tamil rebels, triggering celebrations in Colombo. Kilinochchi has come under government control after a gap of about 10 years. Full Text

WAPS Salutes the Second Coming of Our Independence

(January 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) is a collective of independent expatriate organizations spread across the globe, not aligned to any political party, who have been fighting to counter false LTTE propaganda and safeguard the national interests of Sri Lanka. Some of our constituent organisations and individual members have done so for nearly 25 years. WAPS came into being on the heels of the World Federation of Overseas Sri Lankans, as a global collective of organisations at the time of the questionable leadership of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the weak-minded government of Ranil Wickremasinghe. In those dark days even with the government itself carrying LTTE propaganda we attempted to tell the truth. Our activities across the globe including in Norway as well as events we organised in Sri Lanka helped expose LTTE perfidy as well as those of our then ruling cliques. Those who attended our events were later to help form some of the present government’s successful ideological and military campaign against the LTTE. Full Text

To Your Excellency, the President; to take the nation’s victory forward

by Nacholibre

(January 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka, as a sovereign nation, has made significant strides forward in eliminating the LTTE terrorism from her own confines. Having being battered, ridiculed and reduced to the brink of being separated into two countries, the people’s force of this country has been brave and death-defying in its come back from the point of total kneel-down in the face of brutal terrorism, to standing up proud with their heads held high with patriotism and national pride. We are witnessing unparalleled times, where the people’s chosen administration and the guardian angels of the land, the tri Forces, lead from the front by the most gallant leaders of our time, have revived the whole nation from being taken hostage by LTTE terrorism. Full Text

If the Tigers proscription had been made earlier many sad instances could have been avoided

(January 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, General Secretary of EPDP and Chairman of Special Task Committee Northern Province, expressing his views concerning the proscription of the Tiger Organization stated that whilst the EPDP appreciated and valued the decision arrived at by the Government of Sri Lanka to ban the Tiger Organization, it was a decision of extreme importance. He added that, had the proscription been made earlier many sad instances could have been prevented. However even of late, it was a timely step. Full Text

Come On Prabhakaran-Why This Hypocrisy?

By Darmitha-Kotte

(AT)According to all news reports we see & hear, LTTE leader Prabhakaran is the most loyal person in his quest for a ‘Traditional Homeland” in Sri Lanka and the sole representative of the Tamil People in this country. The understanding people have of such leaders is that they will stick to their guns come hell or high water and lead their followers to freedom.

Prabhakaran, the man who through nearly 30 years of terrorist warfare in Sri Lanka, has wreaked untold mayhem in this country, the man who has been kidnapping children continuously and employing them in his Baby Brigade, the man who ordered his troops to piece the heart of an innocent boy using a bayonet in front of his grandmother for refusing to join the Baby’s Brigade, the man who ordered his men to throw infant children into cauldrons with boiling oil in Ampare for the entire village to witness thinks of different treatment for his own wife and children to enjoy a very comfortable life abroad-why? Full Text

EU Heads of Mission in Colombo urges for a political solution

Colombo, 10 January, (Asiantribune.com): European Union Heads of Mission in Colombo have called for a sustainable and equitable peace in Sri Lanka. EU Heads of Mission have called upon all parties to work vigorously towards a political solution which addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka. "Only this will provide a foundation on which the people of Sri Lanka can live in peace and prosperity."

The EU Heads of Mission have also strongly condemn the repeated attacks on and intimidation of the media that have occurred over recent months, including the armed attack on the MTV TV-station and the brutal assassination of the Sunday Leader’s Chief Editor, and urge the Sri Lankan authorities to take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. Full Text

Friday, January 9, 2009

What if LTTE were Hamas & the GOSL were Israel with powerful friends?

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)The high cost of international favoritism has been perfectly depicted in the state of chaos that is presently taking place in the State of Palestine, now under siege by Israel forces in almost 2 weeks of air and ground onslaughts that has left over 780 dead, 3500 wounded, 1.5million in darkness, no water, shortage of food and lack of and inaccessibility to proper health care. The powers behind Israel has ensured that even after two weeks the United Nations, the custodian of world peace cannot even agree on a joint statement condemning the actions of Israel. Full Text

US Stands for 'de-legitimacy' of Sri Lanka’s LTTE: Talks with them not encouraged

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 09 January (Asiantribune.com): In the heat of the fall of Tamil Tiger administrative capital Kilinochchi to Sri Lanka armed forces in the north with the dawn of the new year Robert Blake American Ambassador in Sri Lanka in a special statement issued January 06 stated that the U.S. "does not advocate that the Government of Sri Lanka negotiate with the LTTE", a remarkable turn-around of previous policy which pushed successive governments to bring the separatist/terrorist movement to the negotiating table.

Advocating talks with non-LTTE Tamil groups to "reach a political solution" Ambassador Blake attributes such resumption of talks to the "further de-legitimization" of the LTTE. Full Text

Will LTTE surrender?

- Frances Bulathsinghala

(manoramaonline)Colombo: The LTTE's northern lair in Kilinochchi is no more and its leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran is a man scuttling for dear life. As warplanes gave chase to the fleeing rebels after the military took over the guerilla's de facto state on January 2, Colombo was waiting with bated breath for the capture of the once elusive rebel leader. According to the military, it's anticipated trophy is a Prabhakaran captured alive. This, according to the army commander is imminent, with government troops heading to fully capture Mullativu, the last stronghold of the rebels. Full Text

This time Lanka means business

(EB)The initial public reaction in Sri Lanka to the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been one of indifference.

It is seen to be of little significance on the grounds that it will not materially change the ground situation in which the government and the LTTE are already fighting an all-out war.

But a closer look at the events leading to the ban would indicate that the move is an essential part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s broad politico-military strategy to deal with the LTTE and its virulent brand of Tamil nationalism. If successive Sri Lankan governments had not reimposed the ban (lifted in 2002) despite relentless and grave provocations by the LTTE, it was because they believed that the Tamil Tigers would one day agree to a ceasefire, and come to the negotiating table to thrash out a political solution to the 60-year-old ethnic conflict, that would be acceptable to all the communities in the island. Full Text

Sri Lanka anti-media violence a conspiracy: President

Jan 09, 2008 (LBO) – Violence against media is a conspiracy to pave the way for international involvement in the island's internal affairs, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

He was announcing the capture of Elephant Pass, a narrow neck of land connecting the northern Jaffna peninsular with the rest of the island, from Tamil Tiger guerillas who are engaged in a three decade long separatist conflict. Full Text

Is the end near for Sri Lanka's rebels?

By Alastair Lawson
BBC News

The Sri Lankan army's capture of Elephant Pass, the strategic causeway linking the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland, is arguably one of the military's greatest successes over the past two decades of war.

It follows last week's fall of the town of Kilinochchi - the rebel's political and administrative centre - providing the government with two significant military and strategic breakthroughs within a fortnight.

It can also bask in the propaganda value of the army's latest advance. Elephant Pass has already been described by those close to the government as "symbolic of the unity that exists between the north and the south of our country". Full Text

SCENARIOS: Is Sri Lanka about to finish off the Tamil Tigers?

By C. Bryson Hull

(Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops on Friday handed the Tamil Tiger rebels their second major defeat in a week, capturing the strategic Elephant Pass, the president said.

That comes a week after the army drove the separatist guerrillas from their self-proclaimed capital of Kilinochchi, an event that had many asking if the quarter-century war is over. Not yet, but here are some scenarios of what could happen: Full Text

LTTE kills Lt. Col. Nalinda Kumarasinghe in Jaffna

(TC)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) currently withdrawing from the Jaffna peninsula delivered a big blow to the army on Thursday Jan 8th as a high – ranking army officer was killed.

Lt. Col Nalinda Kumarasinghe RWP, RSP was killed in a booby trap explosion in the Puloppalai area of the peninsula.

Lt. Col Kumarasinghe was the commanding officer of 5 Gemunu watch which is attached to the Air Mobile brigade that is a component of the 53 division. Full Text

59 Takes over Vatraappalai Temple while 58 Seize Murasumoddai

(TC)The Sri Lankan armed forces made two significant gain on the Wanni northern mainland front on Thursday January 8th.

In one move soldiers of the 58 division who entered Murasumoddai township on Wednesday progressed further and took over the main junction in Murasumoddai despite stiff tiger resistance.

Thereafter the army began consolidating its grip on the town situated about five kilometres east of Paranthan junction along the Paranthan – Mullaitheevu road known as A – 35 Highway. Full Text

LTTE ban a timely decision - Mahanayake Theras

(news.lk)The Malwatte and Asigiriya prelates yesterday (08) commended the Government decision to ban the LTTE.
Mahanayake thera pointed out that it was a farsighted and timely decision taken in the national interest. This decision would expedite the total defeat of LTTE terrorism and could be considered as a decisive turning point which augured well for the country's future.
"It is necessarily an important step in the right direction. Blessings of the Maha Sangha were always there, for the success of the Endeavour and the whole country should commend the Government for taking this bold step", finally Mahanayake theras added.

False to say 3000 Tamil civilians have disappeared – Yapa

(TI)Mano Ganeshan making baseless allegations

Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa yesterday dismissed allegations by WPF leader Mano Ganeshan that around 3,000 Tamil civilians who were residing in various parts of the country, including the South had disappeared in the last one year, as ‘false’.

Responding to questions during yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing at the Information Department, about Ganeshan’s allegations, he said "It is false and has no basis whatsoever. Mr. Ganeshan is making such statements to impress the international community." Full Text

President declares capture of EPS and reopening of A-9

(defence.lk)"2009 dawned with our troops taking full control of the Paranthan area. By January 2nd our troops were able to liberate Kilinochchi too from the clutches of terror. Elephant Pass was lost to our troops 9 years ago. Today, the troops of the 53rd the 55th divisions of the Army have spread their power across Muhamalai to Elephant Pass. It is our duty on this occasion to pay homage to all of our troops who have paid the supreme sacrifice towards this victory," H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated, officially declaring the capture of EPS by security forces today (Jan 9). Full Text

Point Pedro reunited with Dondra Head

(defence.lk)Victorious Sri Lanka Army today (Jan 9) fully liberated the 325 km stretch of Jaffna- Kandy (A-9) road from terrorist hold after 23 years. With this historic victory against terrorism, Point Pedro, the northernmost tip of the Island nation has been reunited with the Dondra Head, the southernmost tip of the island. The longitudinal distance between these two small towns is 480 Km.

Troops of Army 58 Division crossed the Elephant Pass causeway connecting the Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland this morning and wrested control over Elephant Pass, the most fortified LTTE garrison in the Northern theatre of battle. Meanwhile, troops of Army 53 and 55 Divisions marching southwards from Muhamalai beaten off terrorists from the Pallai and Iyakachchi areas and linked up with 58 Division on the A-9, north of Elephant Pass. Full Text

LTTE's most fortified Northern garrison at EPS falls

(defence.lk)"Elephant Pass, the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula is now under the total control of security forces", news reports from the battlefront read. "Troops have also gained total control over the 325km long A-9, Jaffna- Kandy trunk road, after 23 years", military sources further said.

The end-game of LTTE's protracted separatist cause is reaching its final stages, as the advancing SL security forces overran the most fortified LTTE Northern garrison at EPS today (Jan 9), which was officially declared by the C-in-C President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a short while ago. Full Text

Fierce clashes East of Kilinochchi; Army 57 and 58 Divisions moving steadily on A-35

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army 57 and 58 Divisions are steadily marching on the West-East axis along the A-35 road (Paranthan - Mullaittivu) road, reveal battlefield sources.

Troops of 58 Division following the liberation of Murasumoddai last afternoon (Jan 8) have started eliminating LTTE hideouts in the North of A- 35. Army commandos operating on the forefront engaged a terrorist group detected in the North of Murasumoddai around 11.30 AM. The commandoes found 2 bodies of slain LTTE cadres and a motorbike during subsequent search. Full Text

7 killed, including 4 civilians in LTTE claymore bomb attack- Morawewa

(defence.lk)Seven people including 3 Air Force personnel were killed and 6 more civilians reported injured in an LTTE triggered claymore bomb attack at Morawewa, this morning, 9 January.

The byroad claymore was triggered targeting civilians who were employed at an irrigation development project funded by the Government in the area. Air Force personnel were providing escort to the civilians, security sources said.

Security forces are conducting search and clearing operations in the area.

Troops eliminate LTTE infiltrators - Vavuniya

(defence.lk)Troops of Army 61 Division manning the defence in Vavuniya confronted with a group of LTTE infiltrators detected in the Pampemadu area around 6, last evening (Jan 8).

During subsequent search, troops found 4 bodies of slain LTTE cadres, 5 T-56 rifles, 6 hand grenades, 1 radio communication set, 1 rifle fitted with silencer, and 1 micro pistol.

Troops suspect that it was this group of terrorists that had carried out several claymore attacks and assassinations in the area during last two weeks.

More civilians seek protection with Army

(defence.lk)As the gates of LTTE's mono ethnic hellhole further crumbles with Army counter terrorist operations, a continuous influx of civilians have been experienced in the embattled areas in Wanni.

In the Nakarkovil area in Jaffna peninsula, 20 civilians aged 18-34 years sought refuge with Army last morning (Jan 8). The group included 15 males and 5 females.

Meanwhile, 3 more refugees sought protection with Army operating in the Vaddakachchi area last afternoon. They have told the soldiers that thousands more wanted to come with them but could not make it as LTTE started shooting at them.

EPS to be declared captured shortly

(defence wire)The Army will shortly declare the liberation of Elephant Pass, a garrison lost years ago. It will be a historic victory in this sector and the 53 and 55 have been given the opportunity to raise the lion flag and their share of the victory.
Clearing operations are being finalized at EPS. A Major was killed by a boobytrap but other than that, no serious incidents have occurred since the capture of Soranpattu. The 58 and 53 will not meet up. The former started moving east of Paranthan via Murusamoddai towards Chalai/Mulaitivu.

LTTE has assassinated Tamil leaders at will

(ET)This question is based on the false notion that it was the unimpaired LTTE that stood between the Tamils of Sri Lanka and the alleged Sinhala-led genocide.
The 1948 International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide signed by 135 countries including India and Sri Lanka has defined the term. By that definition, we can say there has been no genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1983. There are prominent Sri Lankan Tamils who concur with me, such as Anandsagaree of TULF, S C Chandrahasan of Oferr, Devananda, presently a minister, and former senior LTTE area commander and now MP, Karuna. Full Text

LTTE is a hurdle to securing Tamil rights

(ET)The very premise that the only outfit that could have enabled the Tamils in Sri Lanka to get their rights is the LTTE is wrong.
In fact, the LTTE was an impediment to Tamils securing their rights, and was a greater threat to that goal than the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) itself. Physically, the LTTE has eliminated all Tamil leadership because they are a fascistic outfit which cannot tolerate any other leaders. Thus, they killed hundreds of moderates and other leaders from among the Tamils. Then, civilians have been used by the Tigers as a tool against the SLA. Full Text

Military win not enough to tame Tigers

Jared Ferrie, Foreign Correspondent
(the national)A quarter of a century after taking up arms to fight for a separate homeland, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers are now locked in a deadly struggle to hold on to a small patch of jungle, a fraction of the territory they controlled just weeks ago. As government forces close in, some are predicting an end to the bloody conflict, which has claimed 70,000 lives.That is unlikely.
It is true that the Sri Lankan military has recently made unprecedented gains, but the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) have proven to be a canny and resilient enemy. Even if the Tigers suffer a conventional military defeat, they are likely to resort increasingly to guerrilla tactics and terrorism rather than surrender. Full Text

Any organizations associated with LTTE too would be banned

Colombo, 09 January, (Asiantribune.com): Provisions regarding the banning of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam pointed out that it also provides for the banning of other organizations that are connected with or which are representing or acting on behalf of the banned organization known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The provisions banning the LTTE clearly says,"in order to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the world, it is necessary for all sovereign states to criminalize terrorism and proscribe without exception organizations engaged in the perpetration of terrorism. Full Text

'Deny funds to anti-national NGOs'

By Janaka Perera

(AT)The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) has urged the Rajapaksa Government to deny foreign funds to any organization that has questioned the country's sovereignty and advocated power sharing with the LTTE.

WAPS representatives made this appeal at a media briefing held at the Royal Asiatic Society office at Mahaweli Centre, Colombo on Wednesday – the same day the government banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. WAPS comprises of Sri Lankan expatriates across the globe committed to the cause of defeating separatist terrorism. Among the representatives present at the media briefing were Dasarath Jayasuriya (Australia), Mahinda Gunasekera (Canada) and Ira de Silva (Canada). Full Text

We will capture Kilinochchi – P.Nadesan

Ravikumar Balakrishnan in Chennai

Chennai, 09 January, (Asiantribune.com): The political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has vowed to recapture Kilinochchi soon. He said that this was not the first time Kilinochchi has been captured. Kilinochchi has been in the possession of the LTTE and that of the Lankan army alternately in the past. P.Nadesan said that history repeats itself.

When asked whether the loss of Kilinochchi a setback, P.Nadesan, the Head of the LTTE’s political Division said "We do not consider it a setback. Full Text

World must support Govt to end LTTE propaganda overseas - Minister

(DN)The international community should be more supportive to the Government of Sri Lanka to end LTTE propaganda overseas and pressurise the LTTE to release civilians from conflict areas after the ban on the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the proscription of the LTTE by the Government, Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said it was a decision by the President and the wish of all citizens in this country to have the LTTE organisation banned considering the terror and catastrophe that has befallen the entire nation. Full Text

Mullaitivu increasingly coming under threat of troops

(DN)The troops advanced further south of Palai and were only short of eight Kilometers to link up with the troops in the South of Elephant Pass and take full control of the A-9 road to open gateways to Jaffna peninsula through the land route after the escalation of violence on August 11, 2006 with the LTTE launching a massive assault on the Muhamalai defence line.

That will go down in military history of the three decade long war as the first time troops marching from the South linked up with the troops marching from the North on the A-9 road which is the key link between the Jaffna peninsula and the South. Full Text

Fast shrinking LTTE territory And Acute Discomfort of Anti-National Forces :

Darmitha

(DN)Many are the news reports of the victories achieved by our Combined Armed Forces in the Wanni during the last couple of days. “Hats off” to the victorious and valiant soldiers out there who sacrificed their chance to celebrate Christmas and the dawning of the New Year with their kith and kin for the larger welfare of the entire nation.

Three days ago we heard that Kilinochchi -the stronghold bastion of the LTTE had fallen into the hands of the Armed Forces and that the terrorists had fled to another temporary safe haven. Full Text

Fall of Kilinochchi, in the eyes of Tamils

(DM)It is not clear whether majority of Tamils are happy about the capture of Kilinochchi by the security forces. It is true that there is a section of Tamils who oppose the LTTE for various reasons, political and personal. However there is also a large segment of the Tamil population who openly and privately support the LTTE and its cause for various reasons.

The political groups such as the TULF led by Veerasingham Anandasangaree, PLOTE or DPLF led by Dharmalingam Siddharthan and EPDP led by Douglas Devananda seem to be rejoicing over the repeated defeats of the LTTE in the battle front. Full Text

Film director seeks apology over LTTE support allegations

(DM)The Tamil film industry has sought an open apology from Indian Congress leader S. R. Balasubramaniam for his alleged remarks that the industry was supporting the cause of the LTTE, as it was receiving funds from that banned organization.

Balasubramaniam had a week ago been quoted as telling some reporters in Coonoor in Nilgiris district that the Tamil film industry directors were receiving funds from LTTE and that was why they were speaking in its support. Full Text

Killing of aid workers: Bodies unravel secrets

By Sumaiya Rizvi

(DM)An ICRC official had questioned the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) before he went on to conduct the post mortem on the 17 bodies of the Action Contre le Femme (ACF) workers and an United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative had intruded the building where he was conducting the post mortem at the Trincomalee Hospital, the JMO who conducted the post mortem said testifying at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate and inquire into killing of the 17 aid workers in Mutur.

“The ICRC official asked me whether I was under the influence of Government, Army or Police, that question embarrassed me and in my career of 11 years, and I answered that I am proud to say that I have never been influenced” the witness said. Full Text

Door still open for talks: Govt.

By Sandun A Jayasaekera

(DM)The government said yesterday that despite the proscription the door was open in case the LTTE was prepared for talks on condition the militants laid down arms and denounced terrorism.

Government spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said any country or international organization was free to persuade the LTTE to give up terrorism and come to the negotiation table. Full Text

The Tigers' last stand

A long-awaited military breakthrough comes at a high cost

(economist)FOR the third time in as many months, Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, this week avoided revealing to parliament the number of casualties in the bloodiest military operation ever staged against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Opening the monthly debate on extending the state of emergency, imposed most recently in 2005, he said the government had entered the “final phase of eradicating terrorism”. Since November, however, he has dropped any reference to deaths and injuries. Full Text

A New Phase in an 'Endless War’?

by Nira Wickramasinghe

Posted January 9, 2009

Exactly one year after the Sri Lanka government pulled out of a six-year cease-fire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and took the fight to the rebels, jubilant crowds in the streets of the capital Colombo were celebrating a major victory by the Sri Lankan military o

ver the LTTE. But it would be premature to believe that this is the end of the bloody secessionist movement that has claimed thousands of Sri Lankan lives over three decades. Full Text

Gauging Sri Lanka's inroads in battle against Tigers

The Army seized another key town, Pallai, Thursday, and has squeezed the rebels from north and south.

(TCSM)The Army seized another key town, Pallai, Thursday, and has squeezed the rebels from north and south.The Army seized another key town, Pallai, Thursday, and has squeezed the rebels from north and south.The Sri Lankan Army made significant inroads against the rebel Tamil Tigers in the past week – seizing their de facto capital and another key town, squeezing fighters from north and south – but these military victories are unlikely to mark the end of the island's quarter-century-old conflict. Like many guerrilla groups, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) can resort to a military Plan B: retreat from towns but continue its battle from the jungle, making it difficult for the government to assert control over the long-embattled north. Full Text

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The ride to Kilinochchi and beyond

B. Muralidhar Reddy
Kilinochchi proved to be the one of the toughest targets so far for the Sri Lanka troops. Colombo now has the unenviable task of ensuring the basic needs and safety of the internally displaced people while targeting the Tigers in their remaining bases.

(TH)On January 6, four days after the Sri Lanka military marched into Kilinochchi, the political head the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, B. Nadesan, dismissed it as an “insignificant development in the three decade long liberation struggle.” He asserted that with the support of the “Tamil community,” the LTTE would overcome all current and future challenges. Five weeks earlier, LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran had declared that a capture of Kilinochchi was but a “day-dream” of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Full Text

Commitment to a political solution reiterated in the aftermath of LTTE proscription - FM

(defence.lk)Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasized that the Government does not believe in a military solution to address the genuine grievances of the minority communities in Sri Lanka. On the contrary, it is firmly committed to a political solution in finding answers to these issues, which should be done in a spirit of give and take by all democratic forces in the country. The Minister made these remarks, while addressing the diplomatic corps based in Colombo at the Foreign Ministry today (08 January 2009). Full Text

Terrorist loose more ground in Jaffna Peninsula; Troops liberate Soranpattu

(defence.lk)Soldiers of Sri Lanka Army 55 Division have liberated Soranpattu village this evening (Jan 8), said the defence sources in the Jaffna peninsula. Soranpattu is situated 9 Km from Elephant Pass and 5.2 Km from Pallai town down the A-9 road (Jaffna- Kandy).

According to the sources, infantrymen of 6 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (6SLLI), 7 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (7 VIR), 4 Gemunu Watch (4 GW), and 8 VIR have entered the village after wiping out the terrorist hideouts in the area.

Earlier in the day, troops of Army 53 Division marching along the South of A-9 axis liberated the Pallai Township.

Rebuilding north and train to Jaffna….

"If the President is sincere about restoring democracy in the North, he should listen to broader Tamil opinion from all sections of the community such as doctors, lawyers and professors."
___________
by Vipul

(January 08, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The capture of the former administrative capital of the LTTE by Sri Lankan armed forces represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka. Full Text

Sri Lanka President condemns the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga

Colombo, 08 January, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka President has condemned the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga, Editor of The Sunday Leader, which took place today.

In a statement President Mahinda Rajapakse pointed out that "This heinous crime points to the grave dangers faced by the democratic social order of our country, and the existence of forces that will go to the furthest extremes in using terror and criminality to damage our social fabric and bring disrepute to the country." Full Text

Sri Lanka Pursues Power-Sharing, Bans Tamil Tigers

By Jay Shankar

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka will pursue its plan for devolving power in regions previously controlled by Tamil rebels after renewing a ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, effectively ruling out new peace talks with the group.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cabinet will “take a decision on what the political solution to end the conflict will be” once an all-party committee presents draft proposals for power-sharing, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, the minister for media and information, said in an interview in the capital, Colombo. Full Text

Black flag agitation against PM's visit in TN

Chennai: More than 500 volunteers of the Periyar Dravida Kazhagam and Tamil Eelam supporters, led by Mr P Nedumaran were arrested, when they staged a black flag agitation against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for failing to protect the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The agitators staged the black flag demonstration this morning, when the Dr Singh arrived to the Chennai Trade Centre to inaugurate the Seventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Full Text

Fierce fighting in Murasumoddai as Army moves East along A-35 highway axis

(TC)Murasumoddai about 2 km to the east of Paranthan junction along the Paranthan – Mullaitheevu road has become the latest theatre of fierce fighting in the North

The fighting escalated to a very high level on Wednesday January 7th as troops of 58 division who reached the outer limits of the Murasumoddai met with stiff resistance by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Contrary to some media reports Murasumoddai has not been taken by the Army. The Army too has not claimed it has done so. Fierce fighting erupted as troops entered the perimeter of Murasumoddai. Full Text

Three "real" reasons behind Govt. proscribing LTTE

(TC)Notwithstanding claims by the government headed by President Mahinda Rajapakse that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization was proscribed because it failed to release the people allegedly held through force in the Wanni, the real motives according to authoritative govt sources were different.

According to these sources who spoke on condition of anonymity there were three real reasons for the Government to clamp down the ban on January 7th midnight. Full Text

Karuna feels humiliated by Gen. Sarath Fonseka's remarks

(TC)Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP)leader and national list MP , Vinayagamurthy Muraleetharan alias “Colonel Karuna” is reportedly feeling humiliated by some remarks made by Army commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka to the media.

According to TMVP sources “Col” Karuna feels that General Sarath had deliberately humiliated him.

According to TMVP sources Karuna had been of immense assistance to the army in its fight against the LTTE by providing extensive information at many levels. Full Text

"Expelled Northern Muslims' issue a national priority", Dr. Hasbullah

(peacemuslims)“The subject of expelled Muslims should not only be confined to the Northern Muslims. It is an issue that has to be dealt with not only by the other Muslims but other communities as well. It is a national issue and if genuine efforts are made by all the stakeholders the return, resettlement and rehabilitation of Muslims to the North can become a reality” said Dr. S.H. Hasbullah at the PSM organized public lecture titled “Challenges in resolving the problems of forcibly evicted Northern Muslims” in Colombo yesterday.

“The LTTE gave no clear reason for its forcible expulsion of the Muslims in 1990 from the North. So far, not a single detailed research has been done by researchers as to the reasons for the LTTE’s expulsion”, Dr. Hasbullah further said. Full Text

Bring Lasantha's killers to book - JHU

(LD)The JHU has strongly denounced the shooting incident that targeted 'The Sunday Leader' editor Lasantha Wickrematunga.

In a statement, its secretary Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera describes the fatal attack as a barbaric and inhuman act.

The government-affiliate JHU also said it was grieved to hear about the death of Mr. Wickrematunga, who was shot by two gunmen in a motorcycle at Attidiya in Dehiwela around 10.30 this morning (Jan. 08th).

The statement says that although the party had disagreed with the journalism by the late 'The Sunday Leader' editor, it recognized his right to express his views, adding that non-democratic countering of dissenting views should not be tolerated. Full Text

Northeners freed from LTTE taxes - Minister Felix Perera

(DN)Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera said yesterday in Parliament that the Government had redeemed the people of the North from paying taxes through extortion by the defeat of the LTTE.

Speaking on the Nation Building Tax in Parliament yesterday the Minister said the LTTE collected Rs. 5 million from illegal taxes each month from the people who used the A-9 Road. Full Text

American lobbyist dodges debate

(PISL)Bruce Fein, the American lobbyist who challenged SCOPP Secretary General Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha to a debate on the allegations he has been spreading about the Government of Sri Lanka, now appears to be trying to wriggle out of what he must have realised would be a thoroughly embarrassing ordeal for the representative of Tamils Against Genocide. The exchange of letters is carried below. Full Text

No need to negotiate with LTTE: US

(zeenews)Colombo, Jan 08: The United States has expressed hope that the fall of LTTEs de-facto capital of Kilinochchi would end decades of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and said there was no need to hold talks with the Tiger rebels.

"The war which has gripped the island nation for more than 25 years is drawing to an end," the US Embassy said in a statement in Colombo. Full Text

Anti-government editor shot dead in Sri Lanka

The editor of an anti-government newspaper has been shot dead in Sri Lanka, two days after attackers torched the offices of the country’s privately-owned television station.

Lasantha Wickrematunga, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was shot in the chest, head and abdomen while travelling to work in his car this morning. He died several hours later on the operating table. The two men who attacked him were believed to have escaped on motorcycles. Full Text

Troops Liberate Murasumoddai; more escape routes opened for civilians under terror clutches

(defence.lk)Soldiers of Sri Lanka Army 58 Division have liberated Murasumoddai, a key township located on the A-36 road (Paranthan- Mullaittivu), this afternoon (Jan 8). According to the military sources, the soldiers have inflicted heavy damages to the LTTE terrorists during the offensive lunched to liberate the area.

Murasumoddai, situated 5.5 Km East of Paranthan is considered to be a town that opens up number of access roads to key LTTE hiding areas in Wanni where thousands of civilians held hostage by the terrorists. Defence observers are in the view that liberation of this town would help the civilians fleeing from LTTE clutches to seek refuge with the soldiers .

Air Strikes at LTTE positions - Wanni

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets have carried out two more air strikes targeting LTTE terrorists now loosing the battle in Wanni.

According to Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, Air Force jets have pounded LTTE terrorists withdrawing their heavy guns in the Chundikulam area around 1.25 PM. Full Text

Pallai liberated

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army soldiers have liberated the Pallai town this morning (Jan 8). According to the defence sources in the battlefront, troops of Army 53 Division operating in the Jaffna theatre, have liberated the town after beating off the terrorists .

Army infantrymen of 1Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (1 VIR), 5 VIR, 5 Gamunu Watch (5GW), and 1 Gajaba Regiment are the first to enter into the town where the terrorist earlier had their heavy artillery gun positions.

Pallai is located 280 Km from Kandy in the Jaffna peninsula. So far, troops of 53 Division have advanced about 6 Km from their earlier defense line at Muhamalai and now heading towards the Soranpattu, the next LTTE stronghold in the Peninsula.

WAPS salutes security forces for liberating Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)The representatives of the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka(WAPS) in collaboration with patriotic front groups held a media discussion themed 'Defeat of terrorism and rebuilding peace and stability in Sri Lanka', at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo, yesterday(Jan 7).

The views of expact Sri Lankans and influential individuals outside the partisan political arena were exchanged during the discussion round, while WAPS saluted the valiant security forces for the liberation of Kilinochchi from LTTE. Full Text