Friday, January 30, 2009

LTTE’s Vanni Commander Bhanu critically injured while fleeing from Visvamadu

Colombo, 30 January, (Asiantribune.com): Reports reveal that Bhanu – a self styled ‘Colonel’ of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was seriously wounded while fleeing from Visvamadhu.

Bhanu is the commander of the LTTE for the Vanni region. He was hit in his thigh and said to be critically injured while fleeing from Viswamadhu, when Sri Lankan troops belonging the 58 Division led by Brigadier Shavendra Silva was advancing on Wednesday into the centre of Viswamadhu. Full Text

Pakistan, China role limits Indian influence in Sri Lanka

* Strategic battle in Sri Lanka is seen as part of a wider power struggle in South Asia
(DT)NEW DELHI: After decades of strong-arming tiny neighbour Sri Lanka, India finds itself jostling for influence, as its power has blunted by the island nation’s growing ties with Pakistan and China, with the civil war nearing an end.While domestic political sensitivities over the fate of Sri Lanka’s Tamils forced India to ease its leverage, China and Pakistan stepped into the breach, offering Colombo military assistance in its war against the Tamil Tiger rebels. Full Text

Bestow the kindness, friendship and prosperity on the people of the north and the east

Colombo, 04 February, (Asiantribune.com): "let us extend the cooperation of the entire nation to the people of the north and the east who suffered under the grip of separatist terror for many years, to once again step towards satisfaction and freedom in life. Let us come forward both in word and deed to bestow upon them the kindness, friendship and prosperity they deserve" – declared Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse. Full Text

Is he gone or still around?

(TI)In 2002, giving a press conference in Kilinochchi, the late LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham with arrogance oozing from every pore pompously declared that Prabhakaran was both the Prime Minister and President of that part of the country, which the Norwegian crafted CFA recognised as being under LTTE control. And Prabhakaran reigned supreme with foreign backing thanks to the shameful servility of the UNF regime and the UPFA government under President Kumaratunga. That was the time when even the World Bank chief in Sri Lanka, Peter Harold, had the cheek to say the LTTE was running a de facto state. Prabhakaran had set up by that time a self-styled police force and administrative and legal mechanisms and went on to unveil a crude air wing a few years later in a bid to bolster his claim that the areas he held had all the trappings of a legitimate state. Full Text

Sub discovery thwarts Tiger sabotage plot in SL

By Sermsuk Kasitipradit and Atthaya Chuen-nirun

How the Thai press saw it in 2000

(TI)A half-built submersible found in a Phuket shipyard part owned by a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel was destined for sabotage missions in Sri Lanka, an intelligence official said recently.

The official said the discovery confirmed suspicions the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had shifted regional operations to the South. Full Text

Brethren of a Single Nation

(DN)When Federation was first proposed by a Jaffna oriented political party, our then political leaders have rejected this idea stating that the Jaffna politicians wanted to divide the country into two separate states. Therefore this idea has not been allowed to grow beyond the boundaries of that defunct political party. In this connection I wish to quote the opinion expressed recently by a man of no less reputation in the field of International Politics. He is Mr. Seam MacBride a former Irish Foreign Minister and a Nobel Prize winner in 1947, who has recently advocated a 'Swiss Type' Federal Constitution as a lasting solution to the political crisis in Ireland. The crisis in Ireland is also partly caused by Communal disharmony and intolerance. Full Text

A view from across the straits : What after the LTTE?

(DN)Where is the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam V. Prabhakaran? Where are the civilians of war-torn northern Sri Lanka? Who will speak for them now? And what role will India play? These are the questions on which we hope to have some clarity now that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has returned from Colombo.

There is one notable aspect of the Sri Lankan army offensive this time around. As it rolls ahead confining the LTTE to a 300 sq km area at the northern tip of the island, passions on both sides of the Palk Straits have been subdued. Full Text

The bell tolls for LTTE

(DN)Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, when deciding to close the sluice gates of Mavil Aru in July 2006, would never have thought that it would precipitate the end of their terror campaign against the Sri Lankan State to reach its illusionary Tamil Eelam by facing such a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan Security Forces. Full Text

LTTE conspiracy to defame Govt - Minister

(DN)The LTTE and certain elements assisting them have launched a conspiracy to sling mud on the Government and the successful humanitarian operation of the Armed Forces.

A fabricated letter with forged signatures of two doctors have been sent to all UN agencies stating that there are no adequate drugs, doctors and equipment for people in uncleared areas, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister and the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Full Text

Mullaitivu: Debacle to victory

(DM)Sri Lanka armed forces on January 25, 2009 achieved a major victory with the capturing of the LTTE’s last main stronghold in the remaining rebel held areas.

Led by Brigadier Nandana Udawatte, the 59 Division, which commenced its operations exactly a year ago, gained this victory against the LTTE further shrinking the area held by the Tigers. Full Text

Army Chief impressed by progress achieved

(DM)The Army Commander Sarath Fonseka while expressing the need to maintain the momentum and reach the final goal of liberating the entire Wanni region was impressed with the latest recoveries yesterday including the Submarine.

The Army headquarters said “the Commander, who visited Vavuniya had told the senior Ground Commander that he “was impressed by progress hitherto made in the past few hours, including the detection of LTTE submarines, artillery guns, unicorns, heavy machinery and a huge haul of vehicles, boats, tractors and the ground progress in all fronts.” Full Text

EU Parliament demand assistance for Lanka

(DM)Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have joined forces to demand EU assistance to help tackle an escalating humanitarian crisis in war-torn Sri Lanka.

The appeal came as the Sri Lankan army continued its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned this week that the battle is causing a humanitarian crisis. It says hundreds of civilians have been killed and a quarter of a million people are trapped by the fighting. Full Text

Tamil Nadu satisfied with Pranab’s talks in Sri Lanka

T. Ramakrishnan
“Rajapaksa has given an assurance to spare civilians”

Politicians can speak as they like: Anbazhagan

“Those in power can state their position only discreetly”


(TH)CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government on Thursday defended External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee for having “appropriately discussed” the Sri Lankan Tamils issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Full Text

UNICEF clarifies vehicle recovered from LTTE does not belongs to them

30 January, (Asiantribune.com): UNICEF in a statement said yesterday that "a Toyota double cab" which the Army says it has seized from the LTTE does not belong to UNICEF. The statement claims that "An Army website had erroneously claimed the vehicle belonged to UNICEF." Full Text

Sri Lanka: Medicine sent to un-cleared areas - Health Secretary

(reliefweb)Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage yesterday said that he is in touch with the regional Directors of Health of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu on a daily basis and necessary medical supplies to un-cleared areas had been sent but the stocks to Mullaitivu are awaiting road clearance to proceed. Full Text

Tami rebels without the wherewithal

By Alastair Lawson
BBC News

As the Sri Lankan army advances against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north, it says it is inflicting a devastating blow against their capacity to continue fighting on land, sea and air.

In addition to making significant territorial gains in recent weeks, the army says it has killed or captured hundreds of rebel soldiers. Full Text

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red Cross humanitarian report angers Sri Lanka

Country denies civilians targeted in fight against Tamil Tigers

Paul Tighe, Bloomberg

(canada.com)Sri Lanka's government criticized as inaccurate a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross on a humanitarian crisis in the north, where the army is trying to defeat the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The statement by the ICRC "fails to note the current ground realities," the Defence Ministry said on its website. It appeals to both sides to allow civilians to leave combat zones when it is the LTTE that is stopping their movement. Full Text

ANALYSIS-As war nears end, India's power blunted in Sri Lanka

By Krittivas Mukherjee

NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - After decades of strong-arming tiny neighbour Sri Lanka, India finds itself jostling for influence as the civil war nears an end, its power blunted by the island nation's growing ties with Pakistan and China.

While domestic political sensitivities over the fate of Sri Lanka's Tamils forced India to ease its leverage, rivals China and Pakistan stepped into the breach, offering Colombo military assistance in its war against the Tamil Tiger rebels. Full Text

Coast Guard on high alert

VKL Gayatri
(EB)VISAKHAPATNAM: With the LTTE on the run in Sri Lanka following the fall of its last strong-hold Mullaittivu, the Union Government has put the entire eastern coast, including the Visakhaptnam harbour and port, on high alert.The move comes in the wake of intelligence inputs that LTTE members could sail into India hoping to find a safe heaven not only in Tamil Nadu but also the other parts.Several fishing boats with blood marks were found on the Tamil Nadu coast recently raising fears of an LTTE exodus into the country. Full Text

Outcome of Mukherjee's visit to Lanka disappointing: CPI

(HT)Expressing disappointment over the outcome of the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's recent visit to Sri Lanka, the CPI on Thursday said he should have "persuaded and pressurised" the government of the island nation to end its army offensive against the LTTE.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan told reporters in Chennai that his party was "very much disappointed with Mukherjee's discussions with Sri Lanka." Full Text

Croydon mum starves herself over Sri Lankan war

(CG)A Sri Lankan mum has gone on a hunger strike over the war raging in her home country.

Kanga Atphuthasigamani, 47 from Croydon, began her part in a staggered hunger strike last night at Parliament Square in Westminster.

The staggered fast runs from January 19 to February 4 and those taking part include young, old, businessmen, students and the retired. Full Text

Rajapaksa gives LTTE 48 hours to release civilians

T V Sriram
Colombo, Jan 29 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa tonight gave a 48-hour ultimatum to LTTE to release the civilians believed to have been kept by the Tamil Tigers as human shields in the embattled north.

"It is unfortunate that the LTTE is exploiting this declared safe zone for civilians by placing their heavy artillery within the safe zone and using it as a launching pad to attack Security Forces and indiscriminately kill civilians," Rajapaksa said in a statement. Full Text

Canada 'deeply concerned' by Sri Lanka unrest

OTTAWA (AFP) — The government is "deeply concerned" by the ongoing unrest in northeast Sri Lanka, where Sri Lanka troops and Tamil rebels are locked in a fierce conflict, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said.

"Recent developments underline the urgent need for progress toward a meaningful and durable political solution," said Cannon. Full Text

Patients held captive by LTTE taken to Vavuniya hospital by ICRC

(defence.lk)A total of 226 patients in the company of their 139 relatives and bystanders have brought to the Vavuniya government hospital from Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaittivu by UN and ICRC officials this evening (Jan 29), military sources reveal. There are at least 40 children in the group of civilians, the sources add. Full text

LTTE release two UN expatriates; 13 local staff still detained in Wanni

(defence.lk)Two UN expatriates forcibly detained by the LTTE terrorists in Wanni have been released and allowed to return the government controlled areas today (Jan 29), military sources said. The terrorists forcibly detained the two expatriates and 13 other local UN workers in Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaittivu since Friday (Jan 16). The 13 local workers are still under LTTE captivity, the sources said. Full Text

DefenceWire Predictions now a reality

(defencewire)On October 18th 2007, DefenceWire published an article regarding the possible construction of LTTE suicide submarines and suicide water scooters. Here we discussed the transfer of FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) Technology to the LTTE, from a foreign country. Full Text

End of LTTE

Time to pursue political options
________________

(January 29, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Government of Sri Lanka’s successful military operation in capturing the Tamil separatist bastions of Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi and cornering the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a stupendous accomplishment. The Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka is on the mark when he claims that 95 per cent of the 25-year war against the LTTE is over. Understandably the mood in Colombo and southern Sri Lanka is upbeat, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity is on a new high. The LTTE has been all but demolished as a military organization and it has no political future regardless of any vestigial capability it may have for hit-and-run terrorist attacks. Even the few important countries which held back from banning the LTTE in the hope that it could be a route for talking to the Sri Lankan Tamils will now be forced to accept the reality — that the LTTE is no longer the political factor it was for resolving the Tamil-Sinhala conflict. Full Text

BBC’s Chris Morris reports hoax as news and ignores humanitarian crisis caused by Tamil Tigers

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

(January 29, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is a huge humanitarian crisis building up in Mullativu – the last strip of land held by the Tamil Tigers with nowhere else to go.

Chris Morris, the first reporter to visit Mullativu, told BBC that the town is empty after the Tamil Tigers took the people away with them. In other words, he is admitting that the Tamil civilians were not given a choice but “taken away by the Tigers” to the jungles where the Tigers have dug in as their last stand against the advancing Sri Lankan forces. . Full Text

We can't interfere in Lanka's affairs: TN

(January 29, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) A friend in need is a friend indeed. The cliched proverb came true in the Assembly today as State Finance Minister and DMK leader K Anbazhagan batted for the alliance partner Congress over the Lankan issue, saying that a government could interfere only to a certain level alone in the affairs of another country.

Irked by this, members of the CPI staged a walkout from the Assembly. The MDMK legislators to followed the suit. Full Text

Tamil Tigers boss was Special Branch informant, court hears

The head of the Tamil Tigers in Britain bought bomb-making equipment for the terrorist group in Sri Lanka despite holding regular meetings with Special Branch, a court has heard.

Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 52, known as "Shanthan," was allegedly aided by two Tamil electronics experts living in Newport, South Wales, who helped decide what components to acquire.

He was also close to Anton Balasingham, the Tigers' chief political negotiator, who moved to London in 1999 and died three years ago. Full Text

Sri Lanka conflict kills 16,700 people in three years

(yahoo)Colombo, Jan 29 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan military Wednesday said 13,000 Tamil Tiger rebels and 3,700 soldiers have been killed since the armed conflict between the two sides began to escalate in July 2006.

'In the last two months alone, 1,500 Tamil Tiger rebels and 150 soldiers were killed,' military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara, said. Full Text

Senior LTTE leader Balakumar badly injured

(January 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A senior leader of the Tamil Tigers has been seriously injured in an attack by advancing government troops.

'A senior leader and special member of the LTTE K.V. Balakumar was seriously injured during an attack by the Sri Lankan army at Udaiyarkattu area in Mullaithivu Monday and is admitted to the intensive care unit,' source from the LTTE said. Full Text

Lanka’s war against LTTE

India helped with crucial intelligence
_______________

by Maj-Gen Ashok K. Mehta (retd)

(January 29, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) What the IPKF could not do – defeat the LTTE – the Sri Lankan forces have done, demonstrating that insurgency can be subdued with the right mix of strategy, resources and political will. India’s coercive diplomacy failed due to the lack of political will. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s sudden visit to Colombo after the Republic Day celebrations in the aftermath of the human crisis arising from the war was designed to placate the government’s key allies in Tamil Nadu. Full Text

Watch out for Vaiko's warships!

By Catapult Thangavelu on the Kappang Highway

(January 29, Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Those people who are so quick to write off the LTTE have overlooked a powerful factor that can still revive the fortunes of the Tiger Supremo. Or so it is being said among the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora. Not so long ago Y Gopalaswamy alias Why Ko of the Marumalarchi Dravida something - whatever it is - said he has the capacity to raise an army in Tamilnadu and invade Sri Lanka and sack the capital of Colombo. Full Text

Bruce Fein skulking in Chennai

(PISL)The American lawyer Bruce Fein, who specialises in making grave charges against distinguished Americans and Sri Lankans, is currently in Chennai. He seems determined to dodge the debate to which he grandly challenged the Secretary General of SCOPP. First he imposed some conditions, and then failed to respond to the Secretary General’s expression of keenness about the debate. Full Text

De-mining to begin in North

(SAMN)COLOMBO: The government will start de-mining operations in the cleared areas of the North next month. Several foreign countries, including Japan and the United States, have already provided US $ 32 million for the service, which will be carried out by NGOs. The NGOs involved in the de-mining process are the Danish De-mining Group, the Federation of Swiss De-mining, the Mining Advisory Group, the Milinda Moragoda Institute of People’s Empowerment, Hello Trust, Horizon and SARVATRA. Full Text

Situation report (Jan 29th) by SLA

LTTE Artillery Found

MULLAITTIVU: A 152 mm artillery gun of the LTTE was found buried by the 58 Division troops in the general area east of VISUAMADU this morning (28) during their search and clear operations in captured areas.

10 GR (Gajaba Regiment) troops commanded by Major JANAKA UDAOVITA found this heavy weapon when it had been set to be shifted to elsewhere by the LTTE at the time of the recovery. Full Text

Lanka war: scribe dies after immolating self

(manoramaonline)Chennai: A youth allegedly committed self-immolation Thursday in front of Shashtri Bhavan housing Central government offices, protesting against the killings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Eyewitnesses said the youth, identified as K Muthukumar, hailing from Tuticorin district and residing in the city, was seen distributing his four-page phamplet, condemning the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Full Text

UN evacuates wounded civilians from Sri Lanka war zone

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – The United Nations evacuated hundreds of severely wounded civilians from behind rebel lines in Sri Lanka on Thursday as government troops fought to secure final victory over the Tamil Tigers.

Human rights bodies have called for immediate steps by both the Colombo government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to save up to 250,000 civilians trapped in the combat zone in the northeast of the island. Full Text

Post Mullaitheevu: Tigers have plan A, Plan B and Plan

By Dayan Jayatilleka

(TC)The trick is to grasp the main needs of the present while being able to see into the future, with its problems and prospects, while being aware that the choices we make today, in the here and now, will determine the shape of tomorrow.

First things first: the Tigers have been almost completely overthrown and almost totally defeated, but not yet and not quite. The task is to stay focused and finish the job, resisting all external pressures from whichever quarter however exalted or powerful. Full Text

Prabhakaran Living in a world of illusion Like Hitler in the Final Days

By B. Raman

(TC)An organisation headed by a leader, who understands only terrorism, is unlikely to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the international community. Prabakaran is a liability for the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Tamils in the post-9/11 world. The time has come for the LTTE leaders and the Sri Lankan Tamils---including their overseas diaspora--- to do an introspection on their future course of action. If they have to preserve the gains made by thousands of their cadres since 1983, they have to find a new leadership. Prabakaran is no longer the man of the future. He is passe. He has become a liability for the Tamil cause. The sooner the Sri Lankan Tamils realise it, the better for them." Full Text

Sri Lanka says it captured key crossroad in north

(yahoo)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan forces captured a key northern crossroads and several bases from the Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said Thursday, while the United Nations evacuated hundreds of wounded civilians who had been trapped in the war zone.

Human rights groups expressed growing concern for the safety of hundreds of thousands of noncombatants, reportedly still trapped inside the shrinking patch of jungle and villages that remains under rebel control. Full Text

ICRC fails to note current ground realities in Sri Lanka says HR Ministry

(defence.lk)The recent statement issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva fails to note current ground realities in Sri Lanka said the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.

The ICRC statement appealed 'to both sides' to allow and facilitate the safe and voluntary movement of civilians out of the combat zone' and notes that 'Hundreds of patients need emergency treatment and evacuation to Vavuniya Hospital in the government-controlled area. Full Text

LTTE underwater vehicles found - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army Task Force 3 found an LTTE underwater vehicle along with 3 other smaller underwater vehicles which are still under construction from the Udayarkattukulam area in Mullaittivu yesterday morning (Jan 28). Military sources said that this was the most startling recovery made by troops so far during the on going counter terrorist operations against the LTTE. Three suicide boats and a large haul of LTTE maritime equipment were also found at the location , the sources added. Full Text

LTTE flee in total disarray, troops capture 152mm artillery gun - Visuamadu

(defence.lk)10 Gajaba Regiment (GR) troops under the command of Major Janaka Uduowita in hot pursuit of LTTE in Mullaittivu have captured a 152mm artillery gun along with 70 empty ammunition cases in general area Northeast of Visuamadu, this morning (Jan 29).

According to ground sources, LTTE terrorists receiving heavy beating from security forces have fled in total disarray also leaving the artillery gun which was dismantled and prepared for transportation. The gun is in good operational condition, a military official said speaking to defence.lk. Full Text

LTTE suicide jacket found - Dehiwala

(defence.lk)Residents of the Wasala road, Dehiwala have found an explosive filled jacket worn by LTTE suicide cadres this morning (Jan 29).

According to the police sources, the residents while clearing shrubbery lands in their neighborhood have made this discovery. Police said that the suicide jacket contained 4 Kg of C-4 high explosives.

The residents have launched a "Shrama Dana" campaign to clear their neighborhood on the instruction of the police that they have to be vigilant about possible terrorist activities in the area. Police added that the residents have saved number lives with this discovery.

Associated Press kills story about civilians deaths after realizing they were subjected to a hoax

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)The Associated Press in a notice sent to all its client publications requested to kill the Sri Lanka war story that said 300 civilians have been killed and 1000 other civilians have been injured after realizing that they have been subjected to a hoax.

In the notice the Associated Press said, "Kill the Sri Lanka-Civil War story, V5414. The source denies he wrote the letter that said more than 300 civilians had been killed and 1,000 wounded in fighting in northern Sri Lanka." Full Text

Troops reconstruct Kalamadukulam Bridge, facilitates civilian influx- Mullaittivu

Engineering corps of the 58 Division have reconstructed the Kalamadukulam Bridge which was destroyed by LTTE using high explosives before fleeing from the area amidst intense military onslaughts on 24th January. The construction work was completed yesterday (Jan 28), area military sources reported.

Kalamadukulam Bridge extending over 140ft is strategically important as it links the vital Paranthan - Mullaittivu main road, the sources further said. Full Text

6 LTTE bodies uncovered, 8 more killed in Wanni fighting

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Army, 58 Division troops while engaged in search and clearing operations in general area Visuamadu at the Mullaittivu battlefront have uncovered 6 LTTE bodies and a few vehicles yesterday (Jan 28), according to Wanni military sources. Full Text

Foreign Minister reaffirms to EU, Sri Lanka's abiding commitment to civilian safety in the north

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Bogollagama reaffirmed Sri Lanka's total commitment to the safety and security of civilians in the conflict area in the north and stated that the government military action is only aimed at empowering people through a political process.

The Minister made this observation when he met the Presidency of the European Union (EU) represented by the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Mr. Karrel Schwarzenberg in Brussels on Tuesday (27 January 2009). The meeting requested by Sri Lanka with the Czech Republic which assumed the EU Presidency since January 2009 was aimed at providing a briefing on the situation in the north & east discussing the extension of the GSP+ facility, Sri Lanka's request to the EU to list the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and other LTTE front organizations and cooperation between the EU and Sri Lanka. Matters of bilateral interest between Sri Lanka and Czech Republic were also discussed. Full Text

LTTE Propaganda at Boston Globe Exposed

An open letter from Robert Brown from London,UK to Editor of Boston Globe
Dear Editor of Boston Globe,
(mawbimanews)You have accidentally published a false story titled "Sri Lanka allegedly kills 30 civilians" on January 23, 2009. This letter intends to show why this story is false and how the LTTE terror group is involved in killing civilians.
There is evidence to show that this is a false report fed to the Boston Globe at Boston.com by Tamil Terrorists. First of all, there are no hard facts to support this. Plus the LTTE has killed so many civilians for the past 25 years with the help of foreign nations such as UK, Canada and India. How would these so called "health officials" know who really caused this since they were not there to witness it and why would you believe them? The Sri Lankan military has conducted a professional and impressive liberation of terror-held areas. BRAVO to these brave men and women. They know better not to fire at civilians especially in the safe zone. Therefore ask yourself "who would gain from this"? Here's a hint: the Tamil Tiger Terrorists. Full Text

Declaration of a "Liberation Day"

By M H Liyanage - Kuwait
(AT)A number of nations world-over, have declared a special day called the Independence Day to mark the occasion of gaining independence from the colonial rulers. This is an event that every such nation commemorates annually to pay tribute to the national heroes who laid their lives and made various other sacrifices towards achieving independence.

Some of these nations have faced other aggressions too such as internal conflicts and invasions by foreign nations from time to time. One example is Kuwait, a country invaded by Iraq in 1990. With the intervention of the UN lead forces, Kuwait was liberated in 1991. In order to mark its liberation from the invaders, the country declared 26th February as its Liberation Day, a day celebrated by all its citizens to pay tribute to the war heroes, prisoners of war and the family members and loved ones who lost their lives during the Iraqi Invasion as well as during liberation of Kuwait. This follows Kuwait’s Independence Day that falls on 25th February. Full Text

M.K.Sivajilingham MP in full swing in India carrying on anti Sri Lanka Government activities

Chennai, 29 January, (Asiantribune.com): A Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament who is on leave of absence from the Parliament of Sri Lanka, is alleged to be running a well organized anti-Sri Lankan Government disinformation campaign in India. Not only he is involved with running his own campaign against Sri Lanka, sources said he is involved in arranging the funding of all anti-Sri Lankan campaigns on behalf of the Tamil separatist outfit – Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam in Tamil Nadu in particular and in India in general. Full Text

‘We must love all Tamils the way we love Muralitharan’

(TI)Muttiah Muralitharan claimed his 500th ODI wicket, just two less than Wasim Akram. The whole of Pakistan and those in the Gaddafi Stadium cheered loud when Muralitharan achieved the feat of being the second bowler in the world to have grabbed 500 ODI wickets. All over Pakistan photographs of a smiling Muralitharan were published and someone even asked him whether he would be going for the 600th wicket. Full Text

India and Lanka's Mumbai

The predicament of civilians in the clutches of the LTTE has naturally caused grave concern to one and all.

Those who champion the cause of the war-affected civilians fall into two categories. While the vast majority of them are genuinely desirous of helping those hapless people, others are terror backers in disguise using civilians' plight to have the war stopped and the LTTE given a new lease of life. Full Text

Double standards by UN organisations, says JHU

(TI)There are nearly 150,000 persons backing the LTTE, a large percentage of whom are the families of the 20,000 LTTE cadres killed by the security forces, Jathika Hela Urumaya Media Spokesman Nishantha Warnasinghe, said at a press conference in Colombo yesterday. Most of these persons may be kept by force and there may be others like the Maha Veera families who are really with Prabhakaran. Full Text

Memoirs of Mullaitivu

the officer who was selected to be the first Government Agent of the new District was Austin Jayawardene, the Additional Government Agent of Mannar.

(DM)Now that Mullaitivu is back under Government control after 13 years, it may be of interest to know how the District of Mullaitivu was established 30 years ago, in 1979. This is how I have narrated the event in my memoirs published in 2008.

Finding a building for the other new Kachcheri at Mullaitivu in the Northern Province was not a problem, because with the request for the new District was the understanding that the existing Divisional AGA Office will be converted into the Kachcheri, pending the construction of a new building. But putting the District 'together' was like a jig-saw puzzle. It had to take AGA Divisions from all the existing three Districts of the Province, namely Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar. Full Text

Plans to extend Yaldevi train service

(DN)The Government is planing to extend the Yaldevi train service from Vavuniya to Kankasenthurei.

Speaking to the Daily News, Railways Transport Superintendent, Wijaya Samarasinghe said that the Yaldevi train currently operates from Colombo to Vavuniya and with this extension, commuters living in the North will be vastly benefited. Full Text

“Prabha can't hide forever”

(DM)The government has said that the army would be able to hunt down the LTTE chief Prabhakaran in a couple of weeks.

Speaking to TIMES NOW TV of India, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that LTTE Leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran was running from bunker to bunker in the jungles of Mullaitivu. Full Text

Of crafty Tigers and weird boats

By Asiri Fernando

(DM)The LTTE has a long and successful history of improvising and developing new tactics and specialist equipment for its separatist terror campaign. From its inception the LTTE experimented and manufactured various mines, grenades, mortars, boats and in recent times even equipped civilian sports planes with improvised bomb racks.

It is my belief that the LTTE had reached its pinnacle in improvising and manufacturing weapons and platforms in the equipping of their naval wing, the Sea Tigers.

Don’t mix Tigers and civilians, says GovT.

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)While the ICRC made an urgent appeal to prevent further civilian bloodshed in the north, the government yesterday questioned on what basis did international organisations identify the difference between civilians and LTTE cadres who may be operating in the guise of civilians.

Minister and Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella told a media briefing that despite several media reports and statements from international organisations that civilians had been killed or wounded in the confrontations no proof had been obtained by these organisations to identify them as civilians. “How do these organisations know that they are not LTTE cadres? Full Text

Motor cycle in canal:Is it a ruse?

By Ananda Weerasuriya -

Ratmalana

(DM)A motor cycle registered in Jaffna was found dumped in a canal at Attidiya, Mount Lavinia police said.

Police suspected this Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle to be one of the four motor cycles used by the assassins of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge. Full Text

India's dilemma in Sri Lanka

By Chris Moore
BBC News

Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated 1991

Any military victory in the civil war in Sri Lanka will almost certainly see pressure for the re-emergence of India in contributing to a settlement.

Since the emergence of full-blooded Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, the two neighbours have circled each other in an uncertain diplomatic tango, sometimes seeing eye to eye but more often holding each other at arm's length. Full Text

Belgium was warned of the dangers of LTTE front organization operating within the territory

Brussels, 29 January, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Foreign Minister pointed out the danger of LTTE front organizations operating within the territory of Belgium and in Europe as a whole, which collect funds on behalf of the LTTE, carry out illegal smuggling operations and other criminal activities.

In a meeting with the recently appointed Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama pointed out that with the steadily diminishing fighting capabilities of the LTTE, the danger of these operatives in Europe seeking asylum for remaining cadres in Sri Lanka, the possibility of the increase of criminal and subversive activity within Europe was also highlighted. It was appreciated that Belgium shares with Sri Lanka the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Full Text

LTTE to be blamed for all deaths in Vanni – Sanagari

Colombo, 29 January, (Asiantribune.com): Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam should take the blame for every death that occurs in Vanni Today. The LTTE, once acclaimed by some as very brave, have now become cowards. At this desperate hour they will not hesitate to do anything with venomous intentions of putting the blame on the others.

V. Anandasangaree, President of the TULF pointed out that Sri Lankan armed forces has the moral duty to safeguard the innocent people, who are trapped in the LTTE held area or rather kept by them under compulsion as human shield, for their own protection. He also told "Whether what we hear today is true or another canard of the LTTE, the people expect the forces to act with restraint." Full Text

Wilting Tigers & tilting Quixotes

By T R Jawahar

(January 28, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Tigers are among the fastest dwindling animal tribe on the globe. They abound in human form too in Sri Lanka, but here again extinction seems imminent, having been cornered and confined to a few hundred square kilometres now, thanks to some relentless hunting by the military.

But rational TN remains oblivious to all that: here, walking around in tiger skin is still a popular political pastime and, worse, the rhetoric remains shrill despite the shrinking tiger terrain across the Palk Straits. Who said paper tigers don’t roar? Full Text

Need A Doosra

(TOI)Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Colombo was unremarkable. The minister for external affairs made it clear that New Delhi had no sympathy for the LTTE but cared for tamil civillianscaught in the war.Thats the line followed by New Delhi for some time. It is also the right approach.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured Mukherjee that his government will try its best to limit civilian casualties. He has also invited the Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi and opposition leader J Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and probably persuade the LTTE to join the political mainstream. It is unclear if these leaders have any influence over the LTTE leadership, but the invitation offers an opportunity for them to put across their views on the Tamil issue. Tamil politicians have so far identified the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka with the political objectives of the LTTE. The LTTE wants nothing short of a separate nation state for Sri Lankan Tamils. That was always an untenable position and is all the more so now, because Sri Lankan armed forces are close to clinching a decisive military victory. It is time that politicians sympathetic to Sri Lankan Tamils look beyond the LTTE to seek ways to protect the ordinary people's legitimate concerns. Political posturing doesn't help. Full Text

Sri Lanka situation

(TH)The long-drawn war between the security forces and the LTTE in Sri Lanka has almost come to an end. It is Colombo’s responsibility to ensure the safety of around 200,000 Tamils being held hostage by the Tigers. In the past two decades, the Tamils under the LTTE have been subjected to untold suffering and torture. President Mahinda Rajapaksa deserves praise for decisively beating the Tigers in the civil war. He should now draw plans for a smooth transition of power to establish normality. Full Text

S Lanka army in ghost 'Tiger' town

By Chris Morris
BBC News, Mullaitivu

Sri Lankan soldier walking through ruins of Mullaitivu
The troops are pushing the Tigers into a shrinking territory

Heavy monsoon rains were falling as we approached the outskirts of Mullaitivu in a Sri Lankan armoured personnel carrier.

"We had to fight here for one week or so," said Colonel Arun Aryasinghe, as he showed us a huge earthen defence line constructed by the Tamil Tigers. "It was a very hard battle."Full Text

Head of LTTE in Britain faces terrorism charges

(defence.lk)The head of an LTTE front organisation in Britain has been charged for conspiring to supply military equipment to the LTTE terrorists in Sri Lankan, Wednesday (Jan 28).

Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 52, a "very prominent figure" in the Tamil community in the UK, co-ordinated the acquisition of material and funds for the benefit of the LTTE, British news sources reported. Full Text

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The naivet‚ of the ICRC in Geneva

(By : Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha)

(defence.lk)The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights regrets a recent statement made in Geneva by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which fails to note current ground realities in Sri Lanka. The statement appeals 'to both sides' to allow and facilitate the safe and voluntary movement of civilians out of the combat zone' and notes that 'Hundreds of patients need emergency treatment and evacuation to Vavuniya Hospital in the government-controlled area.' Full Text

Lankan army finds bullet-proof car in Prabhakaran's area

(rediff)On the hunt for the elusive Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Prabhakaran, Sri Lankan security forces have stumbled upon a damaged bullet-proof car that could have been used by either the LTTE chief or other senior leaders.

The covered pick-up wagon, fitted with double steel sheets to escape bullet hits, was found in the thick jungles near Mullaittivu, as Lankan forces scour the area for the LTTE leaders, a senior defence official told PTI. Full Text

Gunrunners In America

(strategypage)January 28, 2009: Two Sri Lankan refugees have pled guilty, in a U.S. court, to arranging an arms buy (surface to air missiles and AK-47s) for terrorist organization LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). The two live in Canada, where they received refugee status because of the civil war in Sri Lanka (between the LTTE and the government). Both have been active in local Tamil politics. Three other members of the LTTE gunrunning ring are to go on trial. The two admitted that they had been in touch with senior LTTE officials for the million dollars weapons buy. Full Text

Cock-eyed Chris Morris files slanted report on Lanka for the Biased British Corporation (BBC)

(January 28, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Chris Morris, a senior BBC journalist, has been covering Sri Lanka from periodically from 1992 when he was first posted to Colombo as its correspondent. His latest broadcast from Colombo (January 7, 2009) is typical of the BBC slant on Sri Lankan issues.

He is focusing on “civilians dying” in the last stage of the war. He opens his report with guns of Sri Lankan forces firing into Tamil Tiger targets in the jungle and adds that the pictures do not show the other side – the side where civilians are dying. Morris is implying that the killing is done by the Sri Lankan army firing at civilians. He does not say that (1) the Tamil civilians are held against their wishes to serve as a human shield to protect the Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, who has no other weapon other than Tamil children and civilians and (2) the Tigers are firing from areas where the civilians are to draw fire from the Security Forces. The Bishop of Jaffna, Thomas Savundranayagam, and the American Ambassador, Robert Blake, have condemned this Tiger tactic.. Full Text

Mullativu: Closing Time

By Dayan Jayatilleka

(January 28, Geneva, Sri Lanka Guardian) The trick is to grasp the main needs of the present while being able to see into the future, with its problems and prospects, while being aware that the choices we make today, in the here and now, will determine the shape of tomorrow.

First things first: the Tigers have been almost completely overthrown and almost totally defeated, but not yet and not quite. The task is to stay focused and finish the job, resisting all external pressures from whichever quarter however exalted or powerful. Full Text

Sri Lanka Readies for Momentous Post-War Era

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles for Sri Lanka Guardian

(January 28, Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka is getting ready for the post war era in earnest. As the expenditure on the war begins to decline, the need to divert attention to development of the north and east ensues. The main two access roads to Jaffna, i.e. A9 and A32, have been cleared and their rehabilitation activities are already afoot. This is the trigger that should set in some momentous action during the next 12 months. The Central Bank expressed the view recently that the benefits of this momentum will spill over to the rest of the country as well, particularly with enhanced economic activities from the Northern tip of the country, Point Pedro to the Southern tip, Dewundera. Full Text

Don't listen to the failed west

By Prof. Nailin de Silva

(January 28, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The western diplomats, Akashi the Japanese special envoy on Sri Lankan matters and of course one or two Indians have visited Sri Lanka again in the last few weeks. They appear to come in procession. The Indians after a long time seem to have a good understanding of what Sri Lanka is doing at the moment. Sri Lanka unlike during the JR Jayewardene regime is not a threat to India directly or indirectly and India appears to be happy in respect of the present situation in the country. The Indian government may have to do some jugglery with respect to Karunanidhi who has to respond to some of the maverick Tamil Nadu politicians. However, RAW is a different kettle of fish altogether and the Sri Lankan government has to keep a watchful eye on it. Full Text

FM seeks Belgian assistance for post-conflict development in Sri Lanka

(January 28, Brussels, Sri Lanka Guardian) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Monday (26 January 2009) invited Belgium to assist Sri Lanka in the post conflict development of the areas cleared of the LTTE.

The Minister made this request when he called on the recently appointed Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels on Monday. It was noted that the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister was the first foreign dignitary received by the Prime Minister since he assumed office earlier this month. The Minister conveyed the greetings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Prime Minister Van Rompuy, who is a long standing friend of Sri Lanka. Full Text

Statement by Minister Mukarjee in Sri Lanka

"President Rajapaksa assured me that it was his intention to move as quickly as possible to implement the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution, which, you would recall, followed the India-Sri Lanka agreement of 1987," Mukarjee

Statement by the External Affairs Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in Sri Lanka
________________

(January 28, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) I had detailed, useful and productive discussions with H.E. President Rajapaksa and am pleased with the comprehensive briefing by the Sri Lankan side. We covered recent developments in Sri Lanka, the entire gamut of India-Sri Lanka relations and regional issues of mutual interest. India-Sri Lanka relations are developing strongly. It is particularly important at this time of transition and change that we should continue to strengthen our ties. Full Text

Sri Lanka denies abuses, says probes nearly complete

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka said on Tuesday it was doing its best to minimise civilian war casualties and that probes into incidents including the killing of workers for a French aid group were nearly complete.

European Union officials told visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Monday Sri Lanka needed to show it was implementing U.N. rights conventions for the EU to continue to offer it trade concessions. Full Text

“Relocation to people’s choice”

(SAMN)COLOMBO: Once the ongoing military operations are complete, civilians displaced from areas which were once under LTTE control will be relocated back to their original land or any other area of their choice, the government said Monday.

Defence Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that clearing operations were currently underway in many areas in the north and once they captured the limited un-cleared areas from the Tigers, they would begin developing the province after which the civilians would be requested to move back to their areas if they preferred to do so. Full Text

Situation report (Jan 28th) by SLA

Troops Collect LTTE Heavy Vehicles, UNICEF Toyota & Five Dead Terrorists

MULLAITTIVU: VALIANT 58 Division troops, minutes after they rolled on to VISUAMADU township Wednesday (28) afternoon were startled to come across a wide assortment of LTTE’s heavy and light vehicles, including a UNICEF owned Toyota double cab.

Troops now dominating their positions in VISUAMADU town perimeters also recovered corpses of five dead Tigers, four T-56 weapons, four I-com sets, explosives and several more LTTE items left behind by Tigers running for life. Full Text

I asked Mukherjee to bring K’nidhi and J’lalitha— President

  • expect a big surprise by the end of Jan.’

  • War can be finished overnight but for civilians

  • Probes into attacks on journalists continue

  • Security offered to editors if requested

(TI)A short while before Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Colombo last evening, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a gathering of newspaper editors at the Temple Trees that he had invited the visiting Indian FM to bring along both Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Opposition Leader J. Jayalalithaa so that they could see the situation in Sri Lanka for themselves. Full Text

Outlaw groups linked to LTTE, Sri Lanka tells EU

(freshnews.in)Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has asked the European Union to include groups linked to the Tamil Tigers on its terrorist list, EuAsiaNews reported Wednesday.

Bogollagama made the appeal to the 27-member European Union here Tuesday referring specifically to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), allegedly a front for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Full Text

India ready to assist in reconstruction of North Sri Lanka

(newkerala)New Delhi, Jan 28 : India today conveyed its readiness to Sri Lanka to participate in the reconstruction of the Northern part of the island nation to overcome the ravages of war and said New Delhi would work together with Colombo on a development plan for these areas involving infrastructure and other support.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is in Colombo on a two-day visit, held detailed discussions with Sri Lankan leaders, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and stressed that military victories offered a political opportunity to restore normal life in the Northern Province and throughout Sri Lanka after 23 years of conflict. Full Text

Jaya won’t visit Lanka; calls Karuna a 'friend' of LTTE

Zeenews Bureau

Chennai, Jan 28: AIADMK leader J Jayalalaithaa on Wednesday rejected Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s invitation to visit the war-ravaged northern parts of his country, and instead asked her political opponent and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to go there.

Rajapaksa had on Tuesday, while meeting visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, invited Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa to Sri Lanka to persuade the Tamil Tiger rebels to lay down arms and enter into the democratic mainstream. Full Text