Saturday, February 7, 2009

Motherland comes first We have no ambition to please foreign powers and protect our positions - President Mahinda Rajapaksa

(TI)President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government had no intention of privatizing any public enterprises.

"My government had not resorted to privatizing any government ventures in the past, and there are no plans of doing so even in the future", the President told a well attended meeting of teachers, bank employees and lawyers from Wayamba (North Western Province) at the Kandy Janadhipathi Mandhiraya on Friday afternoon. Full Text

LTTE 'Mech Infantry" type intrusion turns fiasco; 15-20 terrorists killed

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army 14 Gajaba Regiment and Armoured Corps soldiers operating at the 59 Division frontline have foiled an attempted LTTE intrusion by an improvised armoured personnel carrier this afternoon (Feb 7).

According to the battlefield sources, the terrorists have attempted to breach the army forward boundary south of Puthukkudiyiruppu junction using a similar tactic used by the army mechanised infantry. However, the attempt tuned a fiasco as the well-prepared soldiers received the inrushing armoured vehicle with rocket propeller grenades (RPG) and a shower armoured tank fire.

Troops have observed about 15 -20 armed cadres in the vehicle before it was destroyed. The sources said that there about 10-15 bodies of slain LTTE cadres could be visible scattered in the no man's area.

LTTE ground resistance crushed in air raids; an artillery gun destroyed- Puthukkudiyiruppu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force launched a series of air strikes targeting location where LTTE gave heavy ground resistance to advancing troops in Puthukkudiyiruppu today (Feb 7).

Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to defence.lk said that an artillery gun of the terrorists was destroyed and heavy damages were inflicted to the terrorists in these air raids conducted in support of the Army 59 Division.

He added that Kafir and F-7 fighters and MI 24 helicopter gunships were used in the five air missions launched for the day.

Families Hurt by Sri Lanka War View Army Offensive With Hope

Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 7, 2009; Page A08

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Feb. 6 -- When Margaret Nanayakkara heard Friday that the Sri Lankan military had seized the headquarters of a rebel detention camp, she sent a prayer of thanks to Buddha. Her son, an army major, had been captured by rebels 15 years ago when his tank was ambushed.

"My heart is saying he's still alive," said the 74-year-old mother of three, who wore a brown, swirl-print house dress and her gray hair in a braided bun. Full Text

Civilian flow continuing, says Army

B. Muralidhar Reddy

(TH)COLOMBO: Even as the Sri Lankan military continued to hunt down LTTE cadre in their remaining hideouts in Mullathivu district, a group of miscreants on Friday attacked the main office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) here.

The attack came within hours of erstwhile leader of Janatha Vimukthi Perumana Wimal Weerawansa being quoted by local media as saying ICRC station chief in Colombo, Paul Castella, should be deported for making exaggerated statements on the plight of the civilians in the war zone. Full Text

Arrested Sri Lankan national has no LTTE connection, say police

Staff Reporter

(TH)HYDERABAD: Sri Lankan national, Tamileeswaran (24), who was detained the previous night on suspicions of being an operative of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad, here, has no connection to that outfit, police clarified on Friday.

A case was registered against him, however, on charge of fraudulently possessing passport with a fictitious name claiming as Indian and residing in India beyond the permitted period. He was arrested and produced before a local court which remanded him in judicial custody. Full Text

Sri Lankans Ponder Life After Wartime



06 February 2009

Sri Lanka(VOA)With the 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka apparently coming to an end, many in this Indian Ocean island are starting to ponder what's next.

In the busy seaside capital of Colombo, the local newspapers are focused on the latest news from the front lines. But more and more the headlines are about plans for reconstruction and development projects in Sri Lanka. Full Text

Letter From Sri Lanka

By Sumana Raychaudhuri

(thenation)The port city of Mullaitivu, the last bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has fallen. The army has captured the rebel chief Prabhakaran's armored bunker and is looking to rout the LTTE. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's gamble to end the country's decades-old civil war through a military show of strength seems to be paying off. On January 2, after a long siege, the Sri Lankan Army captured the rebel capital of Kilinochchi--where the LTTE had established courts, tax and administrative offices, and even a bank. The LTTE responded by sending a human bomb to the Air Force headquarters, killing three and injuring at least thirty-two. Full Text

12 Count Genocide Indictment Charges Filed Against Top Sri Lanka Officials

(yahoo)WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A 12-count indictment on charges for genocide was filed with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice yesterday, against Sri Lanka's president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Defense Secretary Sarath Fonseka. Bruce Fein, former deputy asst. attorney general during the Reagan Administration, filed the indictment yesterday under the U.S. Genocide Accountability Act of 2007 (GAA). Both are charged with command responsibility for genocidal deaths perpetrated by their subordinates in the Sri Lankan security forces. Full Text

Rise and Fall of the LTTE - An Overview

By: Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

(February 07, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankan armed forces have almost ended the capacity of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to engage in conventional war in the near future. They may also succeed in severely curtailing attempts by the LTTE to resort to sabotage, terrorism and socio-economic disruptions, subsequently. They have also recovered almost the entirety of the territory once held by the LTTE. These achievements, contrary to the expectations of many, have not only attracted the attention of the world, but also its implicit support. However, the plight of the 250,000 Tamil civilians, believed held by the LTTE in the jungles of Mullaitivu is weighing heavy on the world’s conscience. How the Sri Lankan government and armed forces will deal with the issue of these civilians, is being scrutinized closely by a concerned world and the Tamil-speaking people at large. Full Text

Basil Rajapaksa visits Menikfarm Welfare Camp, Vavuniya

(Colombo Lankapuvath February 07) Senior Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa, visited the Menikfarm Welfare Camp village at Settikulam, Vavuniya yesterday (6th). Mr. Rajapaksa personally looked into the facilities provided to Tamil civilians arriving in Government controlled areas after escaping from LTTE clutches. Full Text

Situation report (Feb 7) by SLA

Many More Camps & Vehicles of LTTE Captured

MULLAITTIVU: TROOPS of 57 Division attacked LTTE positions in RAMANADAPURAM south and VISUAMADU east inflicting heavy damages to the LTTE on Friday (6). During search that followed, troops recovered one air craft bomb, eighty-three hand grenades, one body armor, six chargers, one hundred and two Arul bombs, three Rocket Propeller Grenade (RPG) bombs with chargers, twenty detonators, one round of ammunition for RCL weapon, one 81mm mortar bomb, one T-56 weapon, one double cab, one single cab and one tractor from those areas. Full Text

Foreign hand behind media attacks: JHU

(SAMN)COLOMBO: The strategy behind holding scattered elections in Sri Lanka according to the legal advisor to the JHU, Environment Authority Chairman Udaya Gammanpila, was to tell the international community that this government was popular and had the backing of the people to annihilate the LTTE and liberate the country from terrorism.

Delivering a public lecture titled ‘Let not Fox and Wolf Operations Be Allowed to Topple the Government’ organized by the National Intellectual Council at the National Library Association auditorium, he said there were many local and international attempts to stall the forward march of the heroic soldiers. Full Text

Sri Lanka says Tigers 'infiltrating' media, aid organisations

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka's top defence official has accused international media and aid organisations of siding with the Tamil Tigers, a report said Saturday, as the military pushed its offensive against the rebels. A day after an angry mob stoned the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombo, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said the Tigers were infiltrating relief agencies and news organisations. Full Text

Sri Lanka says Tigers behind ceasefire calls: report

COLOMBO, (AFP) – Sri Lanka pushed its offensive against the Tamil Tigers Saturday, as the country's top defence official accused the rebels of infiltrating international organisations in a bid to force a ceasefire.

As fresh fighting was reported in the north, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse was quoted in the state-run Daily News as saying international relief agencies as well as news organisations were doing the Tigers' bidding. Full Text

Sri Lankan rebel leader missing, thousands flee war

(yahoo)COLOMBO (Reuters) – The stream of civilians fleeing Sri Lanka's war zone picked up speed and air force jets killed 11 guerrillas in a strike that left the leader of the Tamil Tigers' naval wing missing, the military said on Saturday.

More than 50,000 soldiers are converging on a tiny wedge of jungle in the Indian Ocean island's northeast to crush the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatists and end one of Asia's longest-running wars. Full Text

5100 civilians from LTTE human shield

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka army sources say that around 5100 civilians trapped in the LTTE run human shield in Wanni were rescued yesterday (Feb 6).

According to the sources, the civilians had sought refuge with the soldiers deployed in the Dharmapuram, Visuamadu and Kuppilankuam areas. The soldiers after providing immediate medical care and refreshments to the refugees had sent them to the welfare centres elsewhere. Full Text

Soosai's luxury Manson destroyed in air raid- Puthukudduyiruppu [Video Updated]

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force Kfir and F-7 fighter jets yesterday (Feb 6) destroyed a hideout of senior LTTE leader Soosai located 1 Km northeast of Puthukudduyiruppu junction.

Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to defence.lk said that 11 LTTE cadres including a very senior LTTE leader were killed in the attack. Full Text

Army 58 Division continues to dominate north of A-35

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army 58 Division soldiers currently operating north of A-35 road (Paranthan- Mullaittivu) are successfully dominating the areas north of A-35 and west of Challai lagoon, sources in the battlefield reveal.

According to the battlefield reports received on yesterday's (Feb 6) operations, infantrymen of 12 Gamunu Watch (12GW), 9GW, 6GW 10 and Gajaba Regiment (10 GR), had engaged in heavy confrontations with the terrorists in the Tamarankulam, Verakulam, Ettakokavilkulam areas located about 6 Km north of the A-35 road last morning. Troops found 6 bodies of LTTE cadres during subsequent search operations. Ground troops claimed heavy damages to the terrorists. Full Text

Army TF 2/3/4 and 59 Div closing in on Puthukudduyiruppu

(defence.lk)The Sri Lanka Army Task Force 2,3,4 and 59 Division soldiers are swiftly closing in on the Puthukudduyiruppu LTTE stronghold on the A-35 (Paranthan-Mullaittvu) road. According to the battlefield reports, the four offensive elements positioned side by side south of A-35 engaged in daylong heavy confrontations with the terrorists south of Puthukudduyiruppu yesterday (Feb 6). Full Text

Clearing operations continued in Visuamadu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka has stepped up clearing operations in recently liberated Iranamadu, Visuamadu and Ramanathanpuram areas in order to provide safe passage for the civilians escaping the LTTE human shield, defence sources reveal.

According to the battlefield reports, troops of Army 57 Division during their clearing operations in west of Iranamadu, Visuamadu and Ramanathanpuram areas have found large number of warlike items and other LTTE assets yesterday (Feb 6). Full Text

Three model villages for IDPs from Wanni

(defence.lk)Three new model villages are to be constructed in Vavuniya, to settle Internally Displaced Personnel (IDP) coming from un-cleared areas in Wanni. About 800 houses are to come up in each village totaling about 24,000 houses in 900 acres of land area, according to Minister for Resettlement Mr. Rishard Badurdeen. Full Text

"LTTE should have sent out 'positive signal' to 48-hour ceasefire"

By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

(February 07, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Despite various speculation to the contrary, I presume that President Rajapaksa is as keen as anyone else to usher in peace and prosperity, based on power-devolution that derives from a political solution. I guess he is alive to the political possibilities and even electoral necessities deriving from the Tamil constituency, said N. Sathiya Moorthy, Director, Chennai Chapter of the Observer research Foundation, a well known Think Tank in Indian in an Interview with Sri Lanka Guardian. Full Text

Human rights are basic to good governance - Col. R. Hariharan

By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

(February 07, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) I don’t think even the TNA takes all these rhetoric seriously. My suggestion to them is to cut off their umbilical chord with LTTE quickly and work out a political package that is realistic in the present context and sell it to the APRC, President Rajapaksa and if need be India (I don’t know whether India would bet on them; they did that in 1987 and got burnt.) Otherwise they will be sidelined by Tamil people, said Col. R. Hariharan, retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, served as the head of intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka 1987-90.He is associated with the South Asia Analysis Group and the Chennai Centre for China Studies. Full Text

Sri Lanka issue debated in Canadian Parliament: Tamil genocide – ceasefire – peacekeeping forces – call for R2P

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 06 February (Asiantribune.com): The Opposition National Democratic Party and the Liberals in the Canadian parliament analysing, defining, making observations, expressing concern of the vast Sri Lankan expatriate Tamils and placing facts ( and often highlighting fiction) described the Government of Sri Lanka, which is militarily battling the Tamil Tiger rebels who are on the verge of being totally defeated, a genocidal regime, called for a ceasefire under international supervision and the establishment of an international peacekeeping force. The five and a half hour debate on February 4 in the Canadian House coincided with Sri Lanka’s 61st Independence called for United Nations military intervention known as the R2P or Responsibility To Protect. Full Text

India "will" & "will not" interfere in Sri Lanka

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)Addressing a public rally in 1927 Ceylon, Mahatma Gandhi referred to Sri Lanka as "India's daughter state", years later Jawarhalal Nehru desired to make Sri Lanka a "Protectorate" of India and then Sri Lanka's fate became sealed no sooner his daughter Indira Gandhi ascended office and instilled the Indira Doctrine leaving Sri Lanka a war-ravaged nation. Her son Rajiv, continued the doctrine but had his life cut short by the very monster created by his mother and now his widowed wife Sonia's Congress is aligned with the very party that supports Tamil Eelaam separatism. Never underestimate the power of politics & the desire to remain in power. Full Text

On My Watch : LTTE challenged by the world it wooed

(DN)The 61st Anniversary of Independence was celebrated with a grandeur deserving of the occasion. The Security Forces were the pride of the moment, with the sacrifice they have made to make this the most important commemoration of Freedom Day since the instruments of a limited freedom were obtained on February 4, 1948. Full Text

Mullaitivu GA disproves UNP claim

(DN)The District Secretary in Mullaitivu has confirmed that there are only 113,832 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Vanni disproving the 400,000 figure given by the UNP, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane said.

Addressing a press-conference, the Minister said the allegation by the UNP is false and baseless, with the report released by the District Secretary in Mullaitivu. Full Text

Plight of civilians: Tell the whole truth - Defence Secretary

INGOs, international media should not hide main fact - LTTE keeping civilians hostage

(DN)It is unfortunate that spokesmen for INGOs, UN Agencies and other organizations hide most important facts when commenting on the plight of civilians in the Vanni, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the Daily News.

“The Government has demarcated an area equal to half the total area still to be cleared as a No fire zone and it is the LTTE that is keeping the civilians by force without allowing them to enter that zone. This is the main factor which these spokesperson hide,” added the Defence Secretary. Full Text

LTTE EX -ARMS PROCURER “KP” MADE NEW GLOBAL TIGER CHIEF

(DM)With the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) being cornered militarily in Northern Sri Lanka, there has been much speculation about the future of the movement that has been the determining force in Sri Lankan politics for more than two decades.

Constant LTTE propaganda projected an impression that the Tigers possessed around 15,000 experienced, highly trained cadres, 10,000 new conscripts and about 25,000 civilians with military training. Full Text

France calls for cessation of hostilities

(DM)Calling for cessation of hostilities and steps to find a political solution to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, France on Thursday said measures should be immediately taken to protect the civilian population caught up in the war between the Lankan army and the LTTE.

"It is important that a political solution is found to the present conflict (in Sri Lanka) which would benefit the people and one that pledges a durable and just peace," said a communication from the French External Affairs Ministry, released to media by its Consul General in Puducherry. Full Text

Declare temporary truce, open humanitarian corridors- AI

(DM)The Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should immediately declare a temporary humanitarian truce and create humanitarian corridors, Amnesty International said today. This would allow more than a quarter of a million civilians trapped in the Wanni region to escape the ongoing war and also let food, water, and medical assistance reach these civilians who cannot leave. Full Text

Attempt by ICRC to create ‘adverse publicity’- Govt.

Wimal wants ICRC head removed

By Yohan Perera

(DM)The government charged, yesterday, that there was an attempt to create ‘adverse publicity’ to Sri Lanka by an international aid organization which had ordered more than 35,000 body bags, used for the transport of bodies.

Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the media that it was learnt the order had been placed by the ICRC in Colombo, adding that some international organizations, through their activities, were clearly toeing the line of the terrorist organization. Full Text

BRITAIN TELLS LTTE: JOIN DEMOCRATIC MAINSTREAM

(DM)LONDON: Britain urged Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to renounce terrorist methods and join the democratic mainstream in Sri Lanka, where they are battling to avoid defeat after decades of conflict, the Times of India reported yesterday.

Junior foreign minister Bill Rammell renewed a call for a ceasefire between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE, whose leaders have been offered an amnesty if they surrender. Full Text

Ban, Mukherjee discuss Lankan crisis

(DM)UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon says he discussed the situation in Sri Lanka during a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday. He noted that civilians caught in the conflict needed to be moved to safer zones. Full Text

Opinion : Sri Lankan issue

(TH) A solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic issue can emerge only if the LTTE surrenders. Agitations and protests in Tamil Nadu will not stem the Sri Lankan military offensive. The political parties in the State should realise this and refrain from whipping up the passions of the youth. They should make efforts to persuade the LTTE to lay down arms. The DMK's stand on the issue is truly heartening. L. Marinstine Fernando, Full Text

LTTE man held at Shamshabad airport

(EB)HYDERABAD: An alleged LTTE sympathiser, a Sri Lankan Tamil, was taken into custody by immigration authorities at the Shamshabad airport here late on Thursday night.Twenty-four-year-old Tamileswaran was nabbed in the check-in area while he was all set to board a 6.45 p.m. British airways flight to London. After verifying his travel documents, they profiled him. Full Text

Sri Lanka war near end, but ethnic tension remains

(yahoo)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The Sri Lankan government is poised to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels and end a quarter-century civil war that has killed tens of thousands. But it still faces a major challenge beyond the battlefield: resolving the ethnic conflict that fueled the uprising.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has consistently expressed support for a deal to give the ethnic Tamil minority on this South Asian island nation more say in a government long dominated by the Sinhalese majority. Full Text

Sri Lankan envoy decries Liberal genocide allegations

(NP)A Sri Lankan diplomat responded angrily on Thursday to accusations by several Liberal MPs that his government is waging a genocide.

Bandula Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan Consul General in Toronto, accused the MPs of "low politics" and misrepresenting events in the South Asian nation. Full Text

Pranab’s visit and after

By Commodore R. S. Vasan

(February 06, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The visit of the External minister of India Pranab Mukherjee to Sri Lanka did take place after all on 27th January 2009. The regional parties in India were insisting that New Delhi take some visible concrete action for bringing about a cease fire. The parties who have traditionally supported the LTTE through the thick and thin for years insisted that India intervene to prevent the alleged genocide of the Tamil race in the Island. Full Text

UN apologizes for the comment on 'cluster bombs'

(priu.gov)The United Nations yesterday apologized to the Government for their comments about the use of cluster bombs on the Pudukkudyirippu Government Hospital.

The statement issued by UN's Colombo based spokesman Gordon Weiss has said the UN did not point a finger at military, but its comments were prompted by an Amnesty International report denouncing the act which they directly attributed to Government Forces, the Daily News said today. Full Text

“Don’t let terrorists and their supporters bring shame on our country”

National Day Speech by Bandula Jayasekara, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Toronto at the 61st National Day Celebrations held at the Japanese Cultural Center in Toronto.
________________

By Bandula Jayasekara

Ayubowan! Vanakkam, Asalam Alaikum, Good Evening

(February 06, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) Venerable Monks, Respected Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, Friends . I usually speak from the heart. But, today I wrote my speech from the heart because I do not want my heart to fail. Full Text

Solheim regrets the rejection of the peace initiative

Special Report by Udara Soysa from Atlanta and Nilantha Ilangamuwa from New Delhi

(February 05, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Erik Solheim, the Norwegian government minister quite familiar to Sri Lanka was sorry that the initiative from the U.S., EU, Japan and Norway for the immediate stop of the war actions on Sri Lanka was not positively. Speaking from New Delhi on the phone where he attending a conference on the environment and climate crisis, he said:

“I am very sorry the situation in Sri Lanka has become so extreme. It is a bloodbath in which tens or hundreds are killed every day, and it goes from bad to worse.” Full Text

Situation report (Feb 6) by SLA

Dominating Troops Find LTTE Pajero & Arms

MULLAITTIVU: ARMY troops continued their offensive in limited areas held by the LTTE and confronted LTTE terrorists in VIRAKULAM, north of ETTAKOKAVILKULAM, KURAVIKULAM and KURAVIKULAM west areas on Thursday (5) causing heavy damages to the LTTE terrorists and captured a large stock of arms and ammunition and some other items from those areas. Full Text

Stage set for final battle

by Shamindra Ferdinando

  • Vishvamadu, Chalai liberated

  • Three top Sea Tigers killed

  • Army strikes back after short-lived LTTE offensive directed at 59 Div, TF IV

With the army capturing Chalai and Vishvamadu, two of the last three LTTE strongholds yesterday, the stage is now set for the final ground battle on the Vanni front. Full Text

Winning: Sri Lanka

(SP)February 6, 2009: After 26 years and over 80,000 dead, the Sri Lankan civil war is just about ended. Sixteen months ago, the LTTE separatist rebels still had a population of nearly 500,000 Tamils under its control in the north (out of a total Sri Lankan population of 20 million). Now, there are only about 200,000 Tamils still in only 300 square kilometers of LTTE controlled territory. In that small area, some 50,000 Sri Lankan troops are seeking out a few thousand armed LTTE fighters, many of them recently conscripted teenagers. Full Text

Vaiko charges Centre on ethnic war

(TH)Chennai (PTI): MDMK leader Vaiko on Friday charged the Indian government with not pushing for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

"Despite repeated resolutions adopted in the Assembly, calling for the Centre's intervention to ensure a ceasefire and the people of Tamil Nadu demanding it, the Centre has not pushed for the same at least for the sake of it," he said in a statement. Full Text

Sri Lanka's end game brings new woes

By Sudha Ramachandran

(AT)BANGALORE - With territory under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) shrinking to about 200 square kilometers, the Sri Lankan government is confident that the LTTE "will be defeated in a few days".

In his speech marking Sri Lanka's 61st independence day, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Wednesday that Tamils living in "bondage under the ruthless forces of terror" would be "liberated and given the equality and all the rights that they are entitled to under the constitution". Full Text

Karunanidhi regrets 'disunity' on Lankan Tamils issue

(TOI)CHENNAI: Regretting the 'disunity' among political parties on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday appealed to all parties to speak in one voice and adopt a united stand on the subject.

Writing in the DMK's mouthpiece 'Murasoli', Karunanidhi said a solution to the issue was elusive because of infighting among Tamil groups in the island republic. "This fact cannot be forgotten and hiding the fact will not help in an amicable solution," he said. Full Text

Sri Lanka troops seize more Tiger bases

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops on Friday captured more Tamil Tiger bases, including a camp of the rebel leader's security unit, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon raised fresh concerns for civilians trapped in the war zone.

With government forces pressing forward, more than 2,500 civilians managed to flee the small area of jungle still under rebel control, state radio said, adding that another 3,000 were "waiting to come over." Full Text

Can’t press Lanka beyond a point: PC

P K Balachandran
(EB)COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has rejected the international community’s call for a truce and the opening of peace talks with the LTTE. Sri Lankan Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told The Island daily on Thursday that “nothing could be as ridiculous as this call.” Nothing short of an “unconditional surrender” could bring an end to the Sri Lankan army’s offensive in the Wanni region of north-eastern Sri Lanka, he said. “The so called No-Fire period proposed by the Co-Chairs of the Tokyo conference on Sri Lanka would be detrimental to this country’s efforts to wipe out terrorism,” Rajapaksa said. Full Text

No support for Tigers

(BS)Tamil Nadu politicians have begun speaking up on the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan army and the guerrillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE); they should be careful and make a clear distinction between non-combatant civilians who need to be taken out of the danger zone where they are trapped (and for which a time window has been agreed upon), and “tigers” who should be eliminated. The issue is believed to be an emotive one this side of the Palk Straits, and could become an election issue in Tamil Nadu in the summer. For all that, there should be no doubting the fact that the LTTE deserves the fate that it has met, with the loss of what is said to be its “capital” as well as one of its important operating bases. The force that has now been cornered in the jungles of north-eastern Sri Lanka is a ruthless, unreasonable organisation that has bedeviled the region for a quarter century, and proved immensely harmful to the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils. It has spurned every opportunity to come to a settlement with Colombo, and used every cease-fire to ready itself for fresh fighting. Peace-making interlocutors from various countries have come and gone, after giving up any hope they had of bringing about an amicable settlement. It became clear some time ago, therefore, that the only way to end the long-running civil war was for one side to emerge victorious; and it was inconceivable that that would be anything other than the Sri Lankan army. In addition to all this, the LTTE supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is a wanted criminal in India for his role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Full Text

Over 3,000 civilians cross to govt areas in Sri Lanka

(TH)Colombo (PTI): More than 3,000 civilians crossed the frontlines to the government-designated safe zones as Sri Lankan troops captured the personal security headquarters of Tiger supremo V Prabhakaran at Visuamadukulam in the island's north today in their final push against the beleaguered LTTE.

Officials said that 600 people came to the army-controlled region today, taking the total number of civilians who had moved to the government areas to over 3000 in the last few weeks as the security forces pressed ahead with their operations against the rebels. Full Text

BJP demands India's intervention in Sri Lanka

(TH)Nagpur (PTI): The BJP on Friday demanded that India intervene and halt the killings of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka and said only a political solution will bring an end to the ethnic conflict in the island nation.

The party also said India should ensure the safety and security of Tamils civilians who are trapped in the crossfire between Sri Lankan Army and LTTE in the north of the island. Full Text

Questioning the accuracy of Sri Lanka's Civilian Hostages

(By: Shenali Waduge)

(defence.lk)The last census of Mullaittivu population was taken in 1981. The population was no more than 77,189, Since then with the LTTE dominating the North population census has been only "estimated". The quotes of civilian hostages have shot up from 250,000 to a staggering 400,000 in an area not more than 230sq.km when Sri Lanka's total Tamil population itself is 2.4million. Combined with this international media channels are showing age-old footage (belonging to banned front organizations of the LTTE) to depict the plight of the civilians caused by Government fire. It is only a matter of time that the truth will reveal itself & expose the falsehoods of all those who have benefited by the conflict. Full TExt

Red Cross office attacked in Sri Lanka as Tigers face defeat

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – A stone-throwing mob attacked the office of the International Red Cross in Sri Lanka's capital Friday as Colombo accused the agency of inciting panic over civilian deaths from fighting with Tiger rebels.

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had placed an order for 35,000 body bags to be used in the northeast where Tamil Tiger guerrillas have been cornered by the military. Full Text

Q+A: What next as Sri Lanka strives to end war?

By C. Bryson Hull

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka's quarter-century war is racing toward an end as the military closes in on the last patch of land the separatist Tamil Tigers control.

In the first six weeks of this year, soldiers have racked up a string of victories and taken all the major towns the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had controlled. Full Text

Sri Lanka says international campaign underway to tarnish its image

COLOMBO, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government said Friday that an international effort is underway to tarnish Sri Lanka's image, but its campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels will not be stopped.

Keheliya Rambukwella, the government's defense spokesman and minister of Foreign Employment told reporters that several organizations who are part of this sinister campaign have been identified. Full Text

Former Puthukudduyiruppu hospital unharmed

Air Force Beechcraft exposes how LTTE has taken UN for ride

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Air Force today (Feb 6) released a video footage taken by a beachcraft yesterday (Feb 5) at around 1.55p.m., during a reconnaissance mission over Puthukudduyiruppu area. The video footage clearly shows the buildings of the former Puthukudduyiruppu hospital with no damages caused due to artillery fire or aerial bombardment.

Earlier, UN officials charged the government for attacking the hospital with "cluster bombs". However, the ill informed UN officials were later made aware that Sri Lanka Air Force does not possess "cluster bombs" and the hospital was actually operating under the Health Ministry of the same government that they had levelled their charges against. Full Text

Swiss Tamils attack LTTE front office: urge immediate release of civilians in Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)The LTTE front office in Switzerland was surrounded and pelted with stones by a group of Tamil protestors a few hours ago today (Feb 6) urging the immediate release of the civilians held as a human shield by the LTTE in Mullaittivu. The group of Swiss Tamils led a protest in the morning hours, also accusing the LTTE terrorist outfit solely responsible for the plight of the Tamil youth in Wanni. Full text

No harassment to civilians in north - President tells UN Sec. Gen.

"Freedom of Tamil people our concern"

(defence.lk)President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon that the current military operations to defeat terrorism in Sri Lanka would be carried out without harassment to the civilian population in the north.

This assurance was given when the UN Secretary General, who was in New Delhi, had a telephone conversation with President Rajapaksa, at President's House in Kandy last evening (Feb 05), on the situation in Sri Lanka. Full Text

SLAF jets raid high profile LTTE hideout in Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Air Force K'Fir and F-7 fighter jets launched precision air strikes at a high profile LTTE hideout located 1km Northeast of the Puthukkudiyiripu junction in Mullaittivu, this evening (Feb 6).

According to Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, two successive air strikes were made at a heavily fortified LTTE hideout, at around 1.45p.m., and 4.45p.m, respectively. The air strikes were successful the Spokesperson said citing real time aerial video footages obtained. Full Text

57 Div troops capture a main base complex of LTTE's 'Radha Regiment' - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Army troops of the 57 Division operating East of Visuamadu have taken total control over a main base complex of the LTTE's 'Radha Regiment', Friday (Feb 6) morning.

According to military reports, the base was located in Theravilkulam area, aligned to the A-35 Paranthan- Mullaittivu main road, and considered to be a main training and operational facility of the LTTE. Training had been conducted especially for the LTTE's 'Victor Anti Tank unit', a sub unit of the 'Radha regiment', security sources said. Full Text

Sri Lankan expatriate donates Aus $ 2000 for 'Api Wenuven Api' fund

(defence.lk)Mrs. Yamuna De Silva an English teacher working in Sydney Australia, has made a donation worth of Aus $ 2000 to the 'Api Wenuven Api' fund. The cash cheque for the donation was received by Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Ministry of Defence premises today (Feb 6).

Defence officials are of the view that such an example would inspire others especially, expatriate Sri Lankans living overseas - to make similar contributions towards the fund. Mr. Ananda M. Samarasinghe was also present at the occasion. Full Text

LTTE defences in Mullaittivu crumble with intensified aerial attacks

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Air Force MiG, K'Fir and F-7 fighter jets along with the MI-24 helicopter gunships have launched decisive aerial attacks at identified LTTE resistance positions and hideouts since yesterday morning (Feb 5).

The air sorties were taken at identified LTTE positions in general areas at Nanthikandal lagoon and Northeast of the Puthukkudiyirippu junction since 6.30a.m., on Thursday (5) till 5.45p.m, today (06). The air raids were conducted in assistance to the advancing military divisions.

The latest sortie (Feb 06) was made at an LTTE resistance position at the Nanthikandal lagoon in support of the 59 Division at around 5.45 p.m.

Expatriate workers in Mauritius makes donation for 'Api Wenu Wen Api' fund

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan expatriate workers of the 'Tropic Neeta' apparel firm in Mauritius have made a donation worth of Rs. 571,300 to the 'Api Wenu Wen Api' project.

The cash cheque was received by the Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa from representatives of 'Tropic Neeta', during a charm event held at the Ministry premises, today (Feb 6). Full Text

Friday, February 6, 2009

Army destroys a LTTE Zlin

According to the "Divaina" online edition, the army has destroyed one of the Zlin's the LTTE possessed in the Vishwamadu area. See the original news caption here

Expatriate workers in Mauritius makes donation for 'Api Wenu Wen Api' fund

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan expatriate workers of the 'Tropic Neeta' apparel firm in Mauritius have made a donation worth of Rs. 571,300 to the 'Api Wenu Wen Api' project.

The cash cheque was received by the Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa from representatives of 'Tropic Neeta', during a charm event held at the Ministry premises, today (Feb 6). Full text

Expatriate workers in Mauritius makes donation for 'Api Wenu Wen Api' fund

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan expatriate workers of the 'Tropic Neeta' apparel firm in Mauritius have made a donation worth of Rs. 571,300 to the 'Api Wenu Wen Api' project.

The cash cheque was received by the Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa from representatives of 'Tropic Neeta', during a charm event held at the Ministry premises, today (Feb 6). Full text

Western media hypocrisy at its zenith

By Dimuth Gunawardena

(AT)Boxed into a corner by overwhelming firepower of a massive military onslaught from all sides and deserted by India (after the murder of Rajiv Gandhi and the slaughter of 2,000 Indian troops), in the face of inevitable annihilation, the LTTE think tanks have been forced to play the proverbial last trump card to save the day.

This plot revealed itself in the form of Keith Weiss the so called UN humanitarian spokesperson of the OCHA (UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) in a well orchestrated weeping session before the international media: Full Text

The human shields that protects the LTTE

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)The Government at most needs a few plaudits for its ability to ride the tidal waves of pressure building up by members of the international community, the media and organizations who profit from conflict stricken countries. With a receding area to call their "own" the LTTE may soon have to either hand themselves up or prepare for a waiting game. Either way, the LTTE needs to realize that their days are numbered.

The scenario is very simple – the LTTE is now boxed into a 200sq.km area with an unbelievable number of "civilians". The experts that is the UN, the Foreign Embassies, the consortium of humanitarian agencies, media, the NGOs/INGOs and their local hired voices all give figures from 250,000 to 400,000. Full Text

Foreign Minister endorses co-chairs statement that international efforts failed in pursuading LTTE to release civilians

Colombo, 06 February, (Asiantribune.com): The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama appreciates the statement made by the Tokyo Co-Chairs who have recognized that the "international efforts to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed". The Co-Chairs have also drawn attention to the fact that within a short period of time, the LTTE will lose control of the remaining areas in the North.

After nearly three decades of fighting the ruthless LTTE, who have been proscribed in several countries including the USA, UK, the European Union, India and Canada, Sri Lanka is at a juncture at which the military is gaining control of all areas in the North. Full Text

Strategic Miscalculation by the LTTE

By Shanaka Jayasekara

(AT)In recent history there is only one example of an absolute victory over a terrorist group, that too from South Asia. The Indian forces completely destroyed the Khalisntan terror groups in Operation Blue Star in 1984. Today the Khalistan terror groups are limited to a few diapora supporters in Canada, US and UK.

Currently, Sri Lanka is at the threshold of being the second example of an absolute victory over a terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The defeat of the LTTE is much a success of the Sri Lankan military as it is a grave miscalculation by the LTTE. Full Text

Hypocrisy wrapped in gobbledygook

(TI)Close on the heels of the Tokyo Co-Chairs' statement on the Sri Lankan situation has come a joint communique from the US and the UK, signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. They have only reiterated most of what the Co-Chairs said. But, while claiming to subscribe to the Co-Chairs’ statement, Clinton and Miliband have, in highlighting the salient points thereof, left out the call for the LTTE to disarm. Full Text

How the LTTE Hoodwinked the International Community

by Jayantha de Silva

(TI)Most international media releases continue to carry the following, which is based on LTTE propaganda:

a. "the rebels have been fighting to create a homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority".

b. "successive Sinhala-dominated governments have been discriminating against the Tamils since independence".

c. "Analysts say that unless the legitimate grievances of the Tamil minority are dealt with, there will be no peace in the country". Full Text

Sonia vows to defeat terrorism

(TI)Vowing to defeat terrorism, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday warned that any attempt by Pakistan to weaken the country or harm its unity would be given "a befitting reply."

"India’s identity is that all religions and communities co-exist in harmony. Our neighbour wants to weaken this strength of ours but they do not know that we can give a befitting reply to their every design," Ms. Gandhi said at a public rally here, in an obvious reference to Pakistan. She said the neighbouring country wanted to destroy our unity and brotherhood. "Terrorism is a big challenge before the country but would be met. We will defeat terrorism," she said. Full Text

Troops in full control of Visuamadu and Chalai

Tiger attempts to breach defences fail

Massive influx of civilians expected

(DN)As the entire nation was celebrating the 61st Independence Day in Colombo under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and displaying the military might of the Security Forces and the Police with thousands of Forces personnel participating in the Independence Day Parade, the Security Forces in the Northern battle front went ahead with their military thrust against the LTTE. Full Text

Time to build bridges

With the end of war in sight, all of us are heaving a collective sigh of relief and taking a deep breath to gather our thoughts of a new and lasting peace.

(DN)A peace that will not only be the mere absence of war but also be one that would ensure that we live free of fear and the security of our families will not be threatened. I am sure we all have waited long for this moment.

The seemingly never ending war tried the range of our patience and kindled the depth of our curiosity, as to when it will all be over. Some of us left our shores not to run away from a seemingly sinking ship but rather to seek a safe haven to start a family and rear our children. Full Text

Moment of truth for the LTTE

With the Security Forces about to bring off the long pending war, it is high time for the LTTE chief to contemplate what is in store for him. Following are the views of a Colonel who served as head of intelligence with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, as carried in The Hindu.

(DN)The moment of truth appears to have arrived for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Its fall could not have been more dramatic; a few days ago a few thousand people of Jaffna, on whose behalf the LTTE says it is fighting, wanted it to release the civilian population held as a human shield in a small area in the northeastern corner of the Northern Province. Far from saving the lives of over 2.5 lakh Tamils there as it claims to be seeking to do, the LTTE has put them in the line of fire that is directed against itself. Full Text

European Parliament tells LTTE : Lay down arms, surrender

(DN)The European Parliament has called upon the LTTE to lay down their arms and participate in the democratic process.

Yesterday, it was due to pass its sixth resolution on the Sri Lankan situation with the support of all major political groups other than the Socialists. Full Text

Tamil Diaspora – they may not return

(DM)Bound by the collective memory of a far away motherland ravaged by war, the war refugees more often than not have a more stringent ideology on a conflict than their compatriots back at home.

Often inspired by the passionate, emotional and one sided reports coming from their ‘brethren’ in the country of origin, these asylum seekers more often than not fail to see the actual evolution of a conflict. Full Text

“THERE IS NO NEED FOR A CEASEFIRE”

(DM)TORONTO -- Canada called on Wednesday for an immediate halt to fighting in Sri Lanka, where civilians are dying in the crossfire between government forces and Tamil Tigers rebels.

Lawrence Cannon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, urged both sides to "declare and honor" a ceasefire so humanitarian workers can deliver aid and evacuate the sick and wounded. He strongly condemned the recent shelling of a hospital in rebel-held territory, as well as firing into a civilian safe zone. "All efforts must be made to avoid civilian casualties," he said. The Minister also endorsed a statement by the United States and European Union that asked the Tamil Tigers to begin talks with the government about renouncing violence and disarming. Full Text

Tell LTTE to let our children go - PSMA urges ICRC

(DM)Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action (PSMA) yesterday requested the secure release of Army personnel detained under the LTTE.

Claiming that the army has overrun a LTTE detention camp in Vishvamadu, the PSMA said “We strongly believe that this detention camp had more than 750 Sri Lankan service personnel when it was overrun by the army on February 3.” Full Text