Saturday, January 17, 2009

Army TF 2 piercing Muthiyankadu jungle; LTTE is losing its last hideouts

(defence.lk)Soldiers of Army Task Force 2 advancing north from the A-34 road (Mankaulam- Mullaittivu) are now piercing thick Muthiyankadu jungle, where the LTTE terrorists are withdrawing into from all directions.

According to the battlefield sources, soldiers have been fighting fierce battles with the terrorists struggling to defend their last hideout. Troops since this morning (Jan 17) have found 19 bodies of slain LTTE cadres along with 6 T-56 riffles, 2 light machine guns (LMG), 1 RPG launcher, 8 claymore mines and 4 grenades form the north of Muthiyankadu tank area.

The infantrymen of 6 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (6 VIR) led by Major Prabhath Kodithuwakku and 8 Gajaba Ragiment (8 GR) led by Major Chandana Wickramasinghe are spearheading the battle.

British Deputy HC meets Devananda in Jaffna

(January 17, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. Mark Gooding, the Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka met at a discussion Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare and Chairman of Special Task Committee Northern Province at his Ministerial premises on the last 13th. Full Text

Defeat Indian attempt to safeguard terrorism

(LT)Commenting on the visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Foreign Secretary Shiva Shankar Menon and Defense Secretary Vijay Singh the JVP in a press release states the Indian mediation at a time Sri Lanka has been gaining victories over separatist terrorism and the ruthless terrorists have been restricted to the Mullaithivu jungle is suspicious. The JVP states India has no right for such mediation and calls upon the government of Sri Lanka to make all discussions open and transparent and communicate with the people of Sri Lanka.” Full Text

Sri Lankan Army commander is the best in the world, says India

(Colombo Lankapuvath January 17) The Indian Defence Secretary R. K Narayan had stated that the world’s best Army Commander is the Sri Lankan Army Commander.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa revealed this attending an interview with state television recently. Full Text

Situation Report (Jan 17th) - SL Army

LTTE Gathering Point Shelled

KILINOCHCHI:
FIGHTER JETS of the Sri Lanka Air Force pounded an LTTE gathering point south of CHUNDIKULAM Saturday (17) afternoon around 12.15 p.m..

Troops confirmed air attack was successful.

57 Division Troops Capture Ramnathpuram

KILINOCHCHI: TROOPS of the 57 Division under the able command of its General Officer Commanding Major General JAGATH DIAS were able to defeat all resistance of terrorists in RAMANATHPURAM and capture the whole area, a heavily built up large township on the southeastern KILINOCHCHI district boarder Saturday (17) morning. Full Text

LTTE using Tamils as 'human shields': Jayalalithaa

(TH)Chennai (PTI): Accusing the LTTE of using Tamils as "human shields" in the ongoing war with Lankan army, AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa on Saturday demanded that the Tamils caught in the crossfire should be allowed to go to safer places.

"If they (LTTE) allow the Tamils to go to a safer place, then there will not be any civilian loss," she said here, when asked on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Full Text

Sri Lanka rebels say kill 51 troops but army says lost 7

By C. Bryson Hull

COLOMBO (Reuters) -- Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said they killed 51 soldiers while repelling an army assault, a pro-rebel website reported Saturday, in an account which the military rejected.

The rebel claim comes as Sri Lanka's military, energized by two major strategic victories since the new year, is converging on the Tiger's final strongholds across a small wedge of northeastern Sri Lanka, to finish a war that started in 1983. Full Text

Menon, Rajapaksa discuss bilateral ties, political situation

(yahoo)Colombo, Jan 17 (IANS) Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday discussed the prevailing political situation in the island nation, a day after India announced the second instalment of humanitarian assistance amounting to 40 million (Sri Lankan) rupees for the war-affected Tamil civilians in the country's north.

The meeting took place Saturday morning in the central hill district of Kandy, official sources said. Full Text

Ramanadanpuram liberated

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army 57 Division declared Ramanadanpuram liberated from LTTE terrorists this afternoon (Jan 17). According to the battlefield sources, the soldiers of 571 and 572 brigades after several days of fighting entered to the Ramanadapuram built up last night and completed mop up operations short while ago. Full Text

Air Force Jets bomb LTTE Defence line - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets carried out air strikes targeting LTTE defence line in the South of Mullaittivu at 11 , this morning (Jan 17).

Meanwhile battlefield sources reveal that heavy clashes have been reported in the East of Dharmapuram areas since last night.

NIA chief Raju is an authority on LTTE

Calcutta News.Net

The first chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a low profile and a no-nonsense officer who played a key role in proving the hand of the Tamil Tigers in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. But Radha Vinod Raju is also a deeply spiritual man and loves singing old Hindi film songs.

Raju, who will turn 60 in July, will bring to the newly set up NIA a wealth of experience gathered as a dogged investigator during the many years he has spent in the Jammu and Kashmir Police as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Full Text

Tamil Civilians Fleeing LTTE Areas

(nasdaq)(RTTNews) - With the Sri Lankan Army adhering to its Zero Civilian Casualty Policy as it pushes ahead to the strongholds of the retreating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, Tamil civilians in large numbers are seeking refuge with the army during the last three days, the defense ministry said in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

It said reports coming from the battlefield in the North reveal that 850 civilians had sought refuge with Sri Lankan soldiers since the night of Tuesday in what is being described as perhaps the highest number of Tamils seeking refuge from Tiger-held areas. Full Text

Menon’s visit a drama: Thirumavalan

Chennai Bureau

(January 16, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Dubbing the visit to Sri Lanka by External Affairs Secretary Shivshankar Menon as a drama by the Centre, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi chief Thol Thirumavalavan, who is holding a fast unto death, today urged the Union government to directly intervene in the issue.

Speaking to reporters at the protest venue at Maraimalainagar near here, he said members from the women wing of the party would stage hunger protests at all district headquarters tomorrow. Full Text

UN Demands LTTE to Free Tamils

New York, 17 January, (Asiantribune.com): The United Nations is increasingly concerned for the well-being of tens of thousands of civilians caught up in the conflict raging in the northern Vanni area of Sri Lanka.

"As fighting surrounds the areas towards which families have been displaced, and with few choices about where to move, they are increasingly susceptible to harm due to the fighting." Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in a statement. Full Text

Prabakaran no more in Vanni

Colombo, 17 January, (Asiantribune.com): Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran has fled the country. He is now remote controlling the war from outside Sri Lanka. As LTTE leader has deserted his cadres and ran away for his and his family’s safety, at present the moral of the Tiger cadres are very low. Sri Lankan Army source told Asian Tribune that Tigers will be routed completely within March 2009.

When Asian Tribune contacted Army source in the ground in Vanni, he told that when inquired the civilians coming to army sides for safety, almost all of them say that Prabakaran is not in Vanni. They say that he has vanished log stock and barrel, with his wife and two sons, after the Mahaveer’s day. Full Text

Britain can help SL

Whenever Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi gets into trouble on home soil, he suddenly remembers Sri Lanka's conflict by way of a red herring. It looks as though British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were doing a Karunanidhi! The Labour government is mired in crises and it was only the other day that George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor accused Labour of having 'bankrupted Britain again'. Prime Minister Brown has undertaken, of all things, to push for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka! He has told the notorious terror backers in the garb of British lawmakers that he will take up the issue with France and Germany. Full Text

Security Forces capable of safeguarding civilians - Army Chief

(DN)Security Forces are ready to take up the challenge of safeguarding civilians in the Vanni liberation operation despite the ongoing battle shifting to areas where the LTTE is keeping innocent civilians under their arrest, Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka told the Daily News yesterday.

“Although we have entered into a sensitive area, we can handle this situation effectively as Security Forces did in the East,” the Army Commander said referring to the situation that existed in Vakarai and Batticaloa West and South. Full Text

Development and defeating terrorism go hand in hand

(DN)President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Thursday that his Government within a three-year period has taken decisive steps to truly defeat terrorism while spending over Rs. 6 billion for development.

He said while previous regimes prolonged the war like the beggar's wound, his Government deviated from this path and took measures to weed out the scourge of terrorism once and for all while proceeding with development programs including the construction of roads, power and hydro projects more than ever before during the past three years. Full Text

The long journey to Chundikulam

Dhaneshi YATAWARA

(DN)Flags waved against winds from the Chundikulam seas. National Flag stood as the tallest and the most proud. There is no iota of doubt our soldiers and victories they bring in are what the nation can be highly proud of. Though they are not so high-tech comparatively to the world's strongest warriors, our troops stand unique. They fight to free the land and its people with the world's ruthless terrorist organization.

Against the white sands, the crystal blue sea and the lush green thickets the National flag with the red coloured 55 Division flag along with Brigade flags and battalion flags stood so high honouring the bravery and the will power of the soldier's heart who liberated Chundikulam. Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army's 55 and 53 Divisions liberated our Northern capital of which the LTTE stole its freedom almost three decades ago. Full Text

Hypocrisy of LTTE ‘liberation’

(DN)The Security Forces have already recaptured vital areas, which were considered landmarks of the Tamil Eelam. It shows the duplicitous nature of the so-called liberation struggle. The best example is the recapturing of the so-called administrative hub Kilinochchi where these Tiger leaders have enjoyed the luxury of life in their mansions.

The Security Forces took over full control of Kilinochchi on January 2 thus bringing forth the hope of peace among all the Sri Lankans for 2009. Full Text

Indo-Lanka relations reaching zenith

(DN)India’s relations with Sri Lanka have reached “an unprecedented level of depth and quality today”, said Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon at his meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday, during his two-day visit to the island.

The Foreign Secretary observed that it is during difficult times that the true quality of a friendship becomes most evident, and that the Indo-Lanka relationship is one such friendship that has effectively withstood the test of time and adversity. Full Text

Bus services to resume soon on A9 highway after 20 years

By Sandun A. Jayasekera

(DM)An SLTB bus service operated yesterday on the A9 highway route from Kilinochchi to Vavuniya after 20 years transporting a group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Transport Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma said.

“The bus took a group of IDPs to a safer camp in Vavuniya and provided them with food, clothes and medicine.

Many of them had moved from the uncleared areas to the government controlled areas for several hours. Full Text

Assistance sought for soldier in Tiger area

(DM)The Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Kilinochchi says he has written to the health delegate of the ICRC in Puthukkudirruppu seeking medical assistance for a soldier who is receiving treatment at a hospital still under LTTE control.

According to the RDHS, Lance Corporal H. M. Saman Puspakumara from Ugrasgahawatta, Amunukenduwa, Ampagawatta, Welimada needs further neuro surgical care after sustaining gunshot injuries on his forehead. Full Text

ICRC ‘extremely’ concerned, no safe passage for patients

(DM)The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is “extremely” concerned that no safe passage has been arranged since January 9 between LTTE controlled areas and government controlled areas for patients and health staff to travel.

According to a report by the ICRC this has put at risk the lives of patients who cannot receive suitable treatment on the spot and therefore need to be transferred to Vavuniya Hospital, in government-controlled territory. Full Text

Minor explosion in Alwis Town

(daily mirror)An explosive device which had been buried in an abandoned land at Alwis Town in Wattala exploded last evening but there were no reports of any casualties.

The bomb had expldoed when a person had set fire to the nearby area closer to the Kaluwela bridge.

Wattala police have also discovered a suicide kit in the vicinity.

Lankan conflict: Canadian police on alert

(daily mirror)Police in the York Region in Canada are monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka as its spill over effect could have a bearing on the security in Canada, the Canadian police said.

York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge said York police monitor situations around the world closely adding along with developments in the Israel-Gaza Strip region, police have also been watching events unfolding in Sri Lanka.

Local officials also work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

Govt. tightens screws on NGOs, INGOS

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)Plans are in place for a programme to regularize and monitor the disbursement of funds to NGOs in an effort to make their contribution to Sri Lanka’s development more vibrant and systematic, a senior official of the Plan Implementation Ministry said yesterday.

Ministry Secretary Dhara S Wijayatilake said NGOs which did not cooperate would be reported to the Defence and Social Services Ministries and the NGO Secretariat with the possibility of visas of foreigners attached to these organizations being cancelled. Full Text

Three PDK activists try to set themselves afire on Sri Lankan Tamil issue

(TH)Coimbatore (PTI): Three Periyar Dravida Kazhakam (PDK) activists were arrested on Thursday, when they attempted to set themselves ablaze near the district collectorate here, to protest against what they called the Indian government's 'failure' to work out a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

The activists, Gopinath and Samboogan (both aged 26 and from Tirupur) and 31-year old E V R Jagan of Erode, doused themselves with kerosene they brought in bottles. Full Text

Centre asked to take steps to stop fighting in Sri Lanka

(TH)Chennai (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday asked the Centre to initiate steps for an amicable solution to stop the Sri Lankan military's offensive in northern parts of the island.

"It is better to wait for a few more days for the Centre's decision on stopping the genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils...," Karunanidhi said in a statement here.

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance to him on deputing External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo, he said it is disappointing that the date for the trip was yet to be finalised. Full Text

India announces more aid for Sri Lanka's war-hit civilians

(yahoo)Colombo, Jan 16 (IANS) Coinciding with the visit of Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, India Friday announced a second set of humanitarian aid for the war-affected civilians in Sri Lanka's north.

The Indian high commission said in a brief statement that India would 'continue to work with Sri Lanka in meeting the humanitarian needs of the civilian population' in the country's north.

'India has decided on a second installment of such assistance amounting to approximately Rs.40 million (Sri Lankan),' the statement said. Full Text

A disturbing and growing McCarthyism in Sri Lanka?

Ruwanminee Wickremasinghe

(groundviews)The yardstick which President Mahinda Rajapaksa and many in his government used often to illustrate the “unbridled” freedom the media in this country was the publication of “The Sunday Leader“, a fiercely anti-government newspaper. The President has remarked many times that despite the constant personal attacks on him as well as his government in that newspaper, a clear indication of his commitment to a free media was that the newspaper continued to publish what it did without any interference. With the killing of the Editor of the Sunday Leader, neither the President nor others in his government will any longer be able to cite this example to make the dubious claim that there exists in this country a climate for media personnel to work without fear. What we have today is a heavily self censored print and electronic media, too afraid to take on the establishment; no longer for fear that their institutions would be sealed or burnt down but for fear of being killed. Full Text

Sirasa attack 'an inside job'

Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Mr. Rajapaksa says investigations have revealed that attack was carried out by Sirasa itself
(BBC)The attack on Sirasa media station was proved to be an 'inside job', Sri Lankan government has said.

Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has told a state media station that investigations have conclusively revealed that the attack on Sirasa was carried out by Sirasa station itself.

An armed group of nearly 15 people destroyed equipment and set fire to the MTV-MBC station early morning on 06 January. Full Text

Prabha Appeals To Diaspora While Tigers Prepare For 'Final Battle'

(DM)The old saying “All roads lead to Rome” is one that had its roots in the period when the ancient Roman Empire was at its zenith. The new saying currently in vogue in Sri Lanka seems to be “All roads lead to Mullaitivu”.

Several fighting elements of the Sri Lankan army have either moved in or are moving into the North-eastern district of Mullaitivu. In a related move, particular formations of the armed forces are targeting Mullaitivu town. Full Text

Security for Sri Lankan Airlines office

(TH)Special Correspondent

Coimbatore: Armed police have been posted at the Sri Lankan Airlines office at A.T.T. Colony in the city in the wake of protests to condemn the military action in the island nation.

A round-the-clock vigil was being maintained at the commercial complex in which the airlines’ office was located. The city police said the security had been provided in view of apprehensions that the heightened tension in Sri Lanka would result in the targeting of Sri Lankan establishments here. Full Text

“Menon’s visit to Sri Lanka an important development”

(TH)CHENNAI: Describing as “an important development,” the visit of the Foreign Secretary Shivasankar Menon to Sri Lanka, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday said that it would be better to wait for a few days to find out if the Sri Lankan government would stop its murderous attack on Tamils.

The Chief Minister’s statement came in the wake of the fast-unto-death being observed by Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan, demanding a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Full Text

Battle for hearts and minds is the last hurdle

By Latheef Farook, Special to Gulf News
Published: January 16, 2009, 23:34

(GN)After months of heavy fighting, the Sri Lankan government forces took control of Kilinochchi on January 2. Kilinochchi is the politico-administrative capital of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which is fighting a ruthless war to establish a separate state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

This was a remarkable achievement by the armed forces. Only little more than a month ago, LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran claimed, "the government's claim of taking control over Kilinochchi was a daydream". Full Text

Military victories and Sri Lankan Tamils

By S. Ganesan, Special to Gulf News

(GT)Sri Lankan society has long been polarised along political party and ethnic lines, so too has the Tamil community, which has been split along ideological lines into sects. In politics there are elements from extreme pro-government groups to extreme pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) groups, with many in between.

It is not clear whether the majority of Tamils are happy about the repeated military victories of the government troops, especially the capture of the strategic Killinochchi and Elephant Pass by security forces. Full Text

Sri Lanka Army Corners Rebels

By PETER WONACOTT

(TWSJ)COLOMBO -- Sri Lankan armed forces have surrounded a shrinking number of Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeastern part of the country in a bid to crush the separatist movement and end Asia's longest-running civil war.

On Thursday, the army built on recent advances, taking control of a makeshift airstrip used by Tamil Tiger aircraft in recent bombing raids. The military also captured a village about 12 miles from the remaining rebel stronghold Mullaittivu, said Brig. V.U.B. Nanayakkara, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan military. Full TExt

TN lawyers threaten strike on Lanka Tamils issue

(TI)CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA) has threatened to launch an indefinite boycott of court proceedings if the center continued to ignore the sufferings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Making it clear that the protest was directed neither at the state government nor the Centre, the TNAA president S Prabakaran said here on Friday that lawyers are determined to highlight the plight of Tamils in the island nation. The general body meeting of the TNAA would decide on the date and other forms of protests, he said. Full Text

Indian Foreign Secretary commends Sri Lanka in combating terrorism

Colombo, 17 January, (Asiantribune.com): Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon expressed lavishly his appreciation for the proactive role played by Sri Lanka both multilaterally and in the regional context in combating terrorism, and extended the unstinted support of the Indian government in this exercise.

He emphasised that concerted and collective international action is needed in combating the scourge of trans-national terror. Full Text

MI-24 Helicopters raid LTTE gathering place - Kilinochchi.

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopters has launched air support missions targeting LTTE gathering places observed east of Dharmapuram in Kilinochchi this afternoon, 16 January.

The air sorties were carried out around 2.45PM and the target was located 4Km east of Dharmapuram, air force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said speaking to defence.lk

The target was hit accurately, spokesperson added.

Commander warns against LTTE infiltrating attempts

(defence.lk)With the final phase of the menace of terrorism, now reaching its doom, owing to the string of humiliating LTTE defeats in the hands of heroic Wanni troops, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Friday (16) morning undertook one more trip to meet his ground commanders and assess security developments in Wanni.

Lieutenant General Fonseka, fully conscious of possible consequences that might crop up with the onset of civilian exodus from all corners of the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu, Jaffna and Vavuniya districts seeking protection, instructed his ground commanders to take maximum measures against infiltrating attempts of Tiger terrorists into cleared areas and special centers for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as disguised civilians. Lieutenant General Fonseka further noted Tiger terrorists, as some of them practised in the east soon after its fall into Army hands, might apply the same tricks with the vicious intention of crippling normalcy in the south. Elaborate preparations and arrangements, now in place to receive thousands of fleeing terrorists in the next couple of days, were also taken up by the visiting Army Chief when he met his ground commanders at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters this morning (16). Full Text

57 Div troops locate 6th LTTE 'air strip' - Iranamadu

(defence.lk)Forward domination troops of the 57 Division now operating East of Iranamadu Tank bund have located the 6th LTTE 'air strip', this morning (Jan 16).

According to ground troops the air strip, 300m long and 15-20m wide is located Southeast of the (defence.lk)Iranamadu tank bund, which is also said to be an extension of the existing road that runs parallel to the tank bund.

"What we see here is more less than a conventional air strip but adequate for a shorter lift off", a military official said. According to available information, LTTE has used this mainly for training proposes of its 'rudimentary air wing' and hardcore fighters. Possibilities also exist that terrorists might have used this as an alternative landing pad, the sources further said.

Troops are further engaged in clearing operations in the area, the sources said.

More information will follow.

57 Div troops gain control over Iranamadu Tank bund- Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)The advancing 57 Division troops have gained total control over the Iranamadu Tank bund, following hours of heavy fighting with LTTE early this morning (Jan 16).

Troops advancing eastwardly from the A-9 trunk road met with stiff LTTE resistance as ground troops claimed scoring heavy LTTE casualties. Unable to resist the intense military assaults terrorists have fled leaving dead and weaponry behind security sources said. Meanwhile, troops are also making further advanced towards Ramanathapuram, North of Iranamadu, security sources said.

Troops are now consolidating defences in the area, the sources further said.

Sri Lankan expatriates donate 25 wheelchairs for disabled war heroes

(Defence.lk)(By: Senaka Senaviratne) On invitation from Lt Col Chula Abeynayake and information provided by Maj. D.C.W.K. Kulatunga, both from the Gemunu watch of the Sri Lanka Army, patriotic Sri Lankans living in New York, New Jersey and Washington DC areas in the United States of America recently made a donation of 25 wheelchairs and few walking aids to the Regimental Headquarters of the Gemunu watch of Sri Lanka Army.

Donation was handed over to the Commanding officer of the Regimental Headquarters of the Gemunu watch, Lt Col D.M.S. Bandara on Wednesday January 14th 2009 in a simple ceremony held in Kuruwita, in the presence of many disabled soldiers. Full Text

Friday, January 16, 2009

British Prime Minister wants ceasefire in Sri Lanka

(January 15, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, on Wednesday in Britain’s parliament said that there is a need for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka and he would raise the matter with French President Nikolas Sakorzy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr. Brown was replying to a question, during the first Prime Minister’s Questions of 2009, by Keith Vaz MP about the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka and the killing of Sunday Leader editor. Full Text

Gota rules out amnesty to LTTE leadership

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Wants Prabha tried here before extradition to India

(TI)Ruling out a general amnesty to the LTTE, now rapidly losing ground on the eastern flank, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday emphasised that LTTE leader and his chief lieutenants would be tried for crimes they had committed, both here and abroad.

Even if they surrendered to the army, the government would go ahead with legal proceedings, he said. Full Text

Now salmon ‘bombs’

(DN)A major disaster was averted when police detected 11 tins of Salmon packed with detonators inside a household in the Chilaw area before it exploded, Police Media Spokesman, SSP Ranjith Gunesekera told the Daily News.

The salmon tins were picked up by a man who spotted them lying on the Chilaw beach three weeks ago. He later took them away and kept it at his home not knowing its contents. Full Text

Final thrust to totally annihilate LTTE

(DN)The LTTE is now on the verge of losing its most assets after it lost control of the airstrips it constructed with high hopes of building an independent homeland in the Vanni. Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who is dreaming to become the king of this illusionary kingdom is losing all his hideouts as SLAF keeps attacking each and every hideout in the Vanni. Above all, the Tiger leader is no the verge of losing his most vital asset, the Tamil civilians who have been forcibly kept by him with the hope of realising his day dream, since they have commenced abandoning his territory. Therefore the Tiger his last hope for Tamil Eelam

The Vanni liberation operation reached its most decisive and sensitive phase with troops liberating the entire Jaffna peninsula and the Tiger strongholds Kilinochchi, Paranthan and Elephant Pass. Troops commenced its final push on the LTTE to fully eliminate terrorism from the Sri Lankan soils in the East of A-9 road. Full Text

Soon freedom to visit Solosmasthanaya

(DN)President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured the Maha Sangha that the Government would create an environment soon in which Buddhists could venerate without fear Solosmasthanaya where Buddha is believed to have visited.

The President was speaking via Satellite at the inauguration of the State program at the BMICH yesterday to commemorate the 2600th Anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment which falls on Vesak Full Moon day in 2011. Full Text

All divisions heading to Mullaitivu

Defeated LTTE cadres withdraw further

(DM)The Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fast losing the areas they once occupied are withdrawing further interior towards Mullaitivu area. This is the last stronghold of the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army has been able to restrict the Tigers to a 30 X 20 kilometre land stretch in the north eastern area of the country.

Commencing with capturing of Mavil Aru, after years of fierce battles the troops have now been able to gain control of almost all LTTE-held areas except Mullaitivu and its suburbs.On Wednesday the army scored yet another decisive victory over the LTTE when they captured the well-known LTTE runway in Iranamadu, which is considered the largest air strip belonging to the Tamil Tigers. The army also succeeded in capturing the last LTTE area - Chundikulam- in the Jaffna Peninsula. Full Text

Look into HR abuses in Lanka: HRW tells Obama

(DM)Human Rights Watch has called on US President-elect Barack Obama to focus on human rights issues in countries fighting a war, including Sri Lanka, in order to regain its global credibility and undo the enormous damage of the Bush years.

In its latest report titled ‘World Report 2009’ HRW said US leadership in promoting human rights was vital because at present the most energetic and organised diplomacy addressing human rights was negative. Full Text

Don’t forget war victims in SL : Penang

(DM)The Malaysian government threw some focus on the conflict in Sri Lanka, reminding Malaysians that violence and war were also occurring in other parts of the world alongside Gaza.

While expressing its anger at Israel for the deaths of innocent Palestinians, Penang said it was also concerned about the deaths of innocent victims due to attacks launched by the Sri Lankan Government on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers. Full Text

Three Indian activists attempt suicide to protest Lankan Tamil issue

(daily mirror))Three Periyar Dravida Kazhakam (PDK) activists in India were arrested yesterday, when they attempted to set themselves ablaze near the district of Collectorate in Coimbatore, to protest against what they called the Indian government's 'failure' to work out a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

The activists, Gopinath and Samboogan (both aged 26 and from Tirupur) and 31-year old E V R Jagan of Erode, doused themselves with kerosene they brought in bottles.

However, police managed to overpower them before they could light the matchstick and set themselves on fire. They raised slogans against the Centre for its 'failure' to stop 'killing of innocent Tamils' in the island nation. (Hindu)

Defence Ministry awards housing loans to 42 soldiers

(DM)It is the main duty of the Ministry of Defence, to look after the well being and uplift the living standards of our brave soldiers, who work tirelessly to defend and protect the territorial integrity of the country, stated Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

He expressed these views at the 15th stage of a project to present loans to soldiers by the Ministry of Defense, held at the Ministry of Defence yesterday morning. Forty-two soldiers of the Armed forces and Police were awarded loans at the event. Full Text

Likely CIA hand in media attacks - Gammanpila

(DM)The JHU has attributed the recent attacks on the media as a part of a western conspiracy to make the government unpopular among the public.

Speaking to the media JHU legal adviser and Chairman of the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Udaya Prabhath Gammanpila said the CIA has a tendency to get people to topple anti-west governments and the recent incidents in Sri Lanka should also be seen in that light. Full Text

We have already requested for Prabha: Menon

AI writes to Menon urging protection for civilians in Wanni

(DM)Although he hasn't been caught yet, the noose is certainly tightening around him. India has laid down the grounds with Sri Lanka to seek the extradition of LTTE top boss Prabhakaran and it appears Colombo seems to be open to the idea. LTTE Chief Prabhakaran has been wanted by India for the past 18 years for his role in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination and could now fall into India's hands. The news of a formal request for Prabhakaran's extradition was confirmed by Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon himself on the eve of his visit to Colombo, Times Now TV reported. Full Text

ICRC head meets Army chief

(daily mirror)Head of Delegation for International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka Paul Castella met Army Commander Sarath Fonseka at the Army Headquarters yesterday.

During the discussion, the ICRC Head exchanged views on humanitarian services, being provided by Army troops in the respective cleared areas and expressed concerns regarding security matters in the Wanni as the exodus of civilians was on the increase, the Army website said.

The Army Commander gave the ICRC a full account of the developments in the Wanni and alleged LTTE atrocities being perpetrated on fleeing civilians.

N-E conflict raised in British Parliament

Lanka says no ceasefire as war almost won

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)Britain was expected to raise the Sri Lankan situation with France and Germany in an attempt to push for an immediate ceasefire in the island nation, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the British parliament on Wednesday.

Responding to a question posed by Labour MP Keith Vaz about the sufferings of civilians in the north, Prime Minister Brown said that he accepted that Sri Lanka was facing ‘terrible violence’ and agreed that the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE had to declare a ceasefire. Full Text

Don't send Indian team to Lanka: VCK to India Govt, BCCI

(newkerala.com)Chennai, Jan 15 : The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a political outfit espousing the cause of the Eelam Tamils, today urged the government and the BCCI to desist from sending the Indian team for the proposed tour to Sri Lanka in the wake of killing of lakhs of innocent Tamils by the Military troops.

The Indian cricket team was scheduled to tour Sri Lanka next month for five ODIs and a T-20 game. Full Text

Prabhakaran is tactically withdrawing into the Sea

by Mahinda Weerasinghe

(January 15, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Ever since Velupillai Prabhakaran lost Mavil Aru he has been tactically withdrawing. Curiously enough we understand that the sun Sun God now has decided tactically to withdraw into the sea. He came to this original decision after reading ‘Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea’ by Jules Verne.

The plan is brilliant in its elegance and simplicity. While he and his close cahoots will be living under the sea in a submerged bunker, the rest of the LTTE fighting cardre will be swimming in the sea around his bunker and waiting for that great day when the final putsch to regain Tamil Eelam is activated. In fact this plan is not very different from the plan of those Catholic Tamils living in Canada, Norway and other European countries, i.e. to wait in the wings until the ghetto Eelam is liberated by the Pot Pol of Jaffna, from the Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinist. Full Text

Defeating Terrorists

Sri Lanka is beating the Tigers through military force, not negotiation.

(WSJ)This week, the Sri Lankan army said it had captured the last piece of the northern Jaffna Peninsula, one of the few remaining strongholds of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a terrorist organization that has waged a 26-year civil war that's claimed tens of thousands of lives, including those of a Sri Lankan President and an Indian Prime Minister.

That's a huge turnaround from only three years ago, when the Tigers effectively controlled the bulk of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and were perpetrating suicide bombings in the country's capital, Colombo. Full Text

Human Rights Watch determines 'end of ceasefire' in Sri Lanka cause for deterioration of human rights

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 16 January (Asiantribune.com): The Human Rights Watch annual report released here in Washington on Wednesday, January 14 in its assessment on Sri Lanka faults the Government of Sri Lanka’s unilateral withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement with separatist Tamil Tigers deteriorated the human rights situation in the country. While mentioning the excesses of the LTTE in passing the report blames the government using emergency regulations for widespread arrests and detentions. HRW further states that government’s removal of NGOs from the north of the country has created a humanitarian situation where the government was unable to provide adequate food to the growing refugees. Full Text

Lanka secret: New tactics, arms

BY RAMESH RAMACHANDRAN

COLOMBO

(AA)Jan. 15: A combination of factors such as a determined political establishment, tactical changes on the battlefield and military hardware from China and Pakistan, coupled with depleting rebel cadres, appears to have paid rich dividends to Sri Lanka as it inches ever closer to exploding the myth of the LTTE’s invincibility.

Sri Lankan minister and government spokesman for defence and national security Keheliya Rambukwella attributed Colombo’s recent military successes over the LTTE to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s uncompromising position against "terrorism" of the kind unleashed by the Tamil separatist organisation. Full Text

How "fair" is Sri Lanka's media?

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)Media can be defined in many ways and for each of us it will have different and varying connotations. By and large what we aspire to gage from media is information leaving us to decide and derive at our own conclusions. Yet, most often media attempts to enlarge their "informative" mandate to coerce the readers or viewers to "buy into" their line of thinking and their views only. There is at present a massive surge to depict Sri Lanka as depriving media independence and media freedom. These are loose entities and without properly examining the actual scenarios there are bound to be misconceptions of the actual status quo. Full Text

Thursday, January 15, 2009

battlefield progress

(defencewire)Heavy fighting was reported from Chilawatte as 59 Division engaged the LTTE yesterday. 7 soldiers were killed and another 70 injured in the fighting. LTTE is concentrating its forces to the east of the Mulaitivu Lagoon. The strategy will be to travel from the west of the lagoon to the east.

Heavy fighting was also reported south of Iranamadu, at Ampakamam north in the last few days as Task Force 3 under Brigadier Liyanage headed into LTTE areas. 10 LTTE cadres were confirmed killed in the attack while some Charles Anthony, Imran Pandian, Malathi unit cadres have started abandoning their posts and escaping the LTTE along with their civilian captives. Full Text

Lankan jets pound retreating LTTE, 26 rebels killed: Army TV Sriram

(HT)Sri Lankan fighter jets pounded LTTE targets as ground forces pressed ahead to capture the last Tamil Tiger bastion of Mullaittivu from the retreating rebels, which suffered at least 26 casualties, officials said on Monday.

Lankan MI-24 helicopter gunships and fighter jets made precision air assaults at two identified Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) gathering points located in general area Iranamadu, in support of the advancing TF-3 and 57 Division troops this morning, the military said. Kilinochchi town, 330-km from the capital, was overrun by troops earlier this month and the rebels are now confined to the jungle and lagoon district around Mullaittivu on Sri Lanka's northeast coast. Full Text

Proscription of LTTE won't work: Moragoda

(newkerala.com)Ahmedabad, Jan 14 : In what could be termed a major departure from Government's offical line, Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda said proscription of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) won't work.

Referring to the recent Sri Lankan Government's move to proscribe LTTE, led by its supremo V Prabhakaran, Mr Moragoda told UNI yesderday that ''proscription does not work.'' Mr Moragoda, who was a key negotiator few years ago, was in the city to attend 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit' to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop coastal tourism in Gujarat. Full Text

Save Tamils in Sri Lanka: Deputy Premier in Malaysian Parliament

(January 14, Kalalampur , Sri Lanka Guardian)Penang Province Deputy Premier, Pathuvan constituency member of Parliament, Professor P. Ramasamy has urged Malaysian government to immediately convene a special meeting to pass a resolution to save the Sri Lankan Tamils.

He said that Malaysian government enacted special resolution the save the Palestine from the Israel attacks. Full Text

German Ambassador in Sri Lanka reprimanded

By Rajini Kumarasamy from Hamburg

(January 15, Hamburg, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to media reports in Germany and Sri Lanka the German ambassador in Colombo Mr J├╝rgen Weerth has been censured by the Sri Lankan government for holding a eulogy at the funeral of the murdered newspaper editor critical of the island’s government. Full Text

The Fallacy of the Stalingrad example

->The Stalingrad-esque earth bund at Southern KILINOCHCHI. Source- SLA media.

(long ranger)The Summer of 1942 Hitler's forces occupy western Europe. The previous year Hitler had turned his attention east and launched operation Barbarossa against the Soviets. Initially it sweeps everything before it before the Soviet winter grinds it to a halt when Stalin counter attacked. After stabilising his FDLs and re-equipping his men after the set back at the battle of Moscow, Hitler decides to move South towards the Caucasus to capture the vital Russian oil fields. Friedrich Paulus the commander of the German 6th army was handed the operation to capture the Caucasus. The operation was code named Blue.

In Paulus's original campaign to take the Caucasus Hitler had not ordered him to consider the Soviet city of Stalingrad to be important. But after the initial success of Blue during the summer Hitler turns his eyes towards Stalingrad. Despite the city not being in initial German plans, Stalingrad with its population of 500000 was a key rail and transport centre on the West bank of the Volga river. Full Text

TAMILS WIN THE WAR AT LAST

THIS IS THE REALITY OF THE SRI LANKAN MISSION OF PEACE BY THE SECURITY FORCES.

By: Noor Nizam

(MG)The war on terror in Sri Lanka was a mission of Peace for the whole nation. Fall of the garrison city of Killinochi, followed by Nadunkeni, Oddusuddan and entering Thamilamadam, Elephant Pass and now consolidating their positions there and taking over the main political headquarters of Kilinochchi last week, on their march forward to get Mullaithivu, with only Pudukudyirrupu, Dharmapuram, Vishwamadu and the Muthiyam kattu jungle left to be captured, the Security Forces has made what the international community refused to accept – the freedom of the Tamils happen. Full Text

Situation Report (Jan 15th) - SL Army

Air Sorties Hit Hard on Terrorists

(army.lk) MULLAITTIVU: FIGHTER jets of Sri Lanka Air Force after intense and close surveillance on several enemy targets carried out their sorties thrice this morning (15) backing 59 Division troops forging towards the south of MULLAITTIVU.

The first attack was conducted around 9.30 a.m. Wednesday (15) followed by two more attacks around 11.00 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. in the same areas. Full Text

Lankan govt. against terrorists not Tamils: Rajapaksa

(TH)Colombo (PTI): Seeking to distinguish between the LTTE and Tamils in the country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the government's fight was only against terrorism and that democracy will soon be restored in the embattled North.

When asked what the policy of the government was with regard to the Tamil people, President Rajapaksa told editors of media institutions last evening that the state was not against the Tamil people but against terrorists. Full Text

Amnesty urges India to raise concerns with Sri Lanka

(TI)LONDON: Amnesty International called on India's foreign minister on Wednesday to raise concerns over rights violations and the safety of the civilian population in upcoming talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart.

In an open letter the human rights group said Shivshankar Menon should press the Colombo government over recent attacks on the media, and discuss the issue of civilian protection during the ongoing conflict with Tamil rebels. Full Text

Troops crush LTTE resistances, liberate Dharmapuram- Kilinochchi

(defence.lk)Troops of the 58 Division led by Brigadier Shavendra Silva rattled remaining LTTE resistances and gained total control over Dharmapuram, in Kilinochchi District a key LTTE stronghold located along the A-35 Paranthan - Mullaittivu main road, today(Jan 15) at around 2p.m.

According to Army media sources, Dharmapuram was a main terror bastion, frequented by senior LTTE terrorists. Troops are now engaged in search and clearing operations in the area, the sources further said.

Related News: Army 58 Div reach outskirts of Dharmapuram

'It is a must to look after the well being of our valiant soldiers' says Secretary Defence

(defence.lk)"It is the main duty of the Ministry of Defence, to look after the well being and uplift the necessities of the brave soldiers who work tirelessly to defend and protect the territorial integrity of the country", stated Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He expressed these views at the 15th stage in the project to present loans for soldiers by the Ministry of Defence, held at the Ministry of Defence Public Security Law and Order this morning (15). Full Text

SLAF jets launch continuous air strikes at LTTE positions in Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Air Force fighter jets launched precision air strikes at multiple LTTE targets located South of Mullaittivu and South of Chundikulam since 9.30 a.m., this morning(Jan 15).

According to Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, four air strikes were made supporting the advancing security forces, who are now surrounding LTTE's remaining main terror bastion at Mullaittivu. 3 air strikes were taken at an LTTE defence line South of Mullaittivu, in support of 59 Division troops at 9.30a.m., 11a.m., and 1.30a.m., respectively. Full Text

Eelam war and media freedom: Some questions

By Upali Cooray

(TI)We then come to the question of media freedom. Can any authority on media freedom explain to a layman like me what this freedom means? While it is true that the killing of those who dissent and destroying media property has to be condemned and the perpetrators of the crimes should be brought to book whoever they may be, where does media freedom end? Is it boundless? "The war is being fought against tremendous odds with many parties putting a spoke on the wheel" your editorial of 5th January says.

It was through sheer inquisitiveness I re-read your editorial of 5th of January "paternity of the Kilinochchi Baby and other matters" because some significant developments regarding the national question of Terrorism and the freedom of the media have occurred since this particular editorial. The armed forces have now taken Elephant Pass and it will be a matter of time the entire country will come under government control again. A killing of a well known editor, a brave one at that, and the attack on a T.V. station has also taken place since this editorial. As stated in your editorial this is the first time that the war against terrorism is being fought with single-minded purpose of destroying the LTTE. "The government may be faulted for many things –waste, corruption , abuse of power-it has got one thing right the LTTE must be crushed for any political solution to be evolved"… how true. Full Text

Big error supporting cross-border terrorism in Sri Lanka

by Bandu de Silva
Continued from yesterday

(TI)Though Dixit seems to attempt to down –play Indira Gandhi’s role in training and arming the LTTE through usage of carefully chosen terminology such as giving "material support," when one reads between the lines, one sees him suggesting that her involvement with the Sri Lankan Tamils was of far more serious dimensions than to be dismissed as providing "material support." Others like M.R. Narayan Swamy have called it "military training; and supply of arms and ammunition." That included training in manufacturing bombs and grenades which the LTTE later used against the Indian army in Jaffna with dead accuracy before their own independent procurements began to pour in. Full Text

Musings on the Menon visit

By K Godage Former Ambassador
(TI)It was being trumpeted that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukergee would visit essentially to appease the politicians of Tamil Nadu, who had put the Congress government under pressure to intervene to save the LTTE. Perhaps knowing that the Minister would have had to return empty handed and the Indian government would have lost face in Tamil Nadu they are now sending their amiable and affable Foreign Secretary who once served here with distinction to bring a message to our government. What could this message be? Full Text

While withdrawing from Kilinochchi, 227 injured LTTE cadres shot and killed by Bahnu on the orders of Prabakaran

By Ruwan Weerakoon from Colombo
Colombo, 15 January, (Asiantribune.com): When fleeing from Kilinochchi, on the orders of Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE, Bahnu one of the commanders shot and killed 227 wounded LTTE cadres who were languishing in the old Kilinochchi hospital.

According Sri Lankan Army sources, Krishnan one of the three LTTE cadres who were arrested told that as the Sri Lankan troops belonging to Brigade 58 Division was menacingly advancing into Kilinochchi and those 227 LTTE cadres were admitted in the hospital, because of the injuries they sustained and there was no way of moving them to a safe place.

This difficult situation was brought to the notice of Prabakaran for his instruction. Full Text

Tamils need to be assured of their rights – Rambukwelle

by Zacki Jabbar and Rebecca Leaver
(TI)The Tamils have to be assured that they are also Sri Lankans with equal rights, otherwise they might rally round Velupillai Prabhakaran once again, Foreign Employment Minister and Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwelle said.

He told The Island that the security forces have laboured hard to defeat the LTTE, but all that would be negated if the Tamils were made to feel that they were second class citizens. Full Text