Saturday, February 28, 2009

LTTE face heavy setback in Mullaittivu battles: scores killed, 2 LTTE attack craft damaged

(defence.lk)The 55 Division troops positioned South of Chalai have advanced further South during an intense assault launched since yesterday evening (Feb 27), reportedly gaining control over sections of the LTTE built earth bund at Puthumathalan, also seizing 2 LTTE attack craft, military sources from the Mullaittivu battlefront reported. Full Text

Danger of LTTE taking the fight to civilian safe zone

(DW)Latest military reports indicate that the LTTE could have a fighting force of around 2,000 cadres, majority of whom are those forcibly recruited during the Cease-Fire and paraded before the media under such names as "RPG Commandos", "Leopard Commandos" and "Black Tigers".

Sources indicate that these cadres are fighting largely out of fear and are ready to flee every chance they get. Their morale is low but are unfortunately trapped by hardcore cadres and are afraid to surrender to the Army due to brainwashed mistrust in the SLA. However, the Army recently discovered families of LTTE martyrs among the civilians who had escaped to the government's side. Full Text

Other nations Could Learn from Sri Lanka Navy’s Fight Against the Tamil Tigers

Tim Fish, IHS Jane’s maritime reporter

(janes.com)London (27th February 2009) – Tim Fish, IHS Jane’s maritime reporter, visited Sri Lanka in January to examine the Sri Lanka Navy’s contribution to the defeat by government forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – a contribution that has been almost completely ignored by western media outlets.

In a feature for Jane’s Navy International, Tim Fish reports: “ Bringing the conflict to a conclusion after 30 years of war would not have been possible without the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN)”. Full text

Statement by John Holmes to the UN Security Council

(TC)Briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka: Statement by John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to brief the Council on my recent visit to Sri Lanka. Full Text

Who is this Sampanthan or Sam the Pantham?

By Catapult Thangavelu from Kappang Highway

(February 27, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) Torch bearing or more pointedly “pantham carrying” is a clumsy craft of the crafty that have no sense of honour or dignity. A practice of the “pandamkaraya” often a coward is that he will for private and personal gains dance a tango with a monkey. Full Text

Sri Lankan civil war enters last phase

By Lt Gen Kamal Davar (retd)

(February 27, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is indeed no surprise that the painfully repetitive lessons of history have never ever been imbibed by the ilk of dictators, terror chieftains and megalomaniacs. The ruthless pursuit of power to satisfy their grandiose ambitions have invariably brought to their people, followers and all those who do their bidding, voluntarily or under coercion, nothing but ruin and destruction.

An addition to this evil band of those who have brought total misery to their people in the name of illusory freedom for the Tamils in the island nation of Sri Lanka is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) supremo, Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Full Text

Sri Lanka regime’s respect for human rights declined: Minority Tamils have no say – US Human Rights Report says

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune – An Analysis

Washington, D.C. 27 February (Asiantribune.com): Leaving aside usual rhetoric against Sri Lanka’s terrorist outfit LTTE by the United States State Department the Annual Human Rights Report for 2008 has discovered that the "The government used paramilitary groups to assist its military forces in fighting the LTTE." Then the Report, largely prepared in the Chancery of the American Embassy in Sri Lanka and released at a ceremony at the State Department in Washington 25 February, insinuates that the two leaders of the para military group were rewarded, one with the position of chief minister in the newly constituted Eastern Provincial Council and the other appointed to the parliament. Full Text

Lunstead, Casey and the Rest

By L. Jayasooriya

(AT)Lunstead is the man who openly sent a direct warning to the LTTE on television that the outfit should either talk with the government and come to a settlement or face the much superior forces of the government and be defeated. I personally saw him say this on television and he cannot deny it. Soon after he made that statement he went missing. I thought that Bush had sent him to Iran as punishment. Full Text

The LTTE fails to get Ceasefire, “Let the people go” urges the UN at Security Council

United Nations, 28 February, (Asiantribune.com): "All those with any influence with LTTE should now persuade the Tigers to let the civilian population go," the Humanitarian Coordinator Sir John Holmes appealed at the UN Security Council briefing on his visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of President Rajapaksa.

Sir John said that "conditions of the civilian population is dire and despite the Government’s efforts to provide relief supplies. There is no time to lose and the LTTE must now let the civilian people go". Full Text

Sri Lankan people will not allow Government to halt offensive against Tigers – Minister Champika Ranawaka

Colombo, 28 February, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lankan people are not going to allow the Government to halt the humanitarian offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sri Lanka Government too is not willing to abandon this campaign against the brutal force like LTTE. Sri Lanka Government has to diffuse the LTTE militarily and later on the development and democratization process will have to take place. Full Text

Sensitive LTTE’s communications equipments recovered

Tamil Nadu Leaders Plot to Bifurcate Sri Lanka Exposed

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Colombo, 28 February, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division commanded by Brigadier Shavindra Silva’s troops have advance deep into the Puthukkudiyiruppu built- up area from North west, East and South amidst heavy resistance forthcoming from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – the terrorists outfit. Full Text

Barking up the wrong tree!

The government and the UNICEF have launched a much advertised national campaign to prevent child recruitment and to promote the release of all recruited children. Helping those hapless children is, no doubt, a noble effort which deserves praise from one and all. Full Text

Sea route opened for WFP relief food deliveries to war zone

(TI)COLOMBO – A sea route to deliver United nations World Food Programme (WFP) relief food to thousands of people in Sri Lanka was recently opened – a major boost to efforts underway to reach hungry people displaced by the recent escalation of hostilities in the region. Full Text

Shooting down of jet over M’tivu denied

(TI)The SLAF yesterday denied a Tamilnet claim that a jet launched from Katunayake, engaged in bombing mission over Mullaitivu, was shot down. Full Text

Gloves on at UN to beat mounting pressures of Tiger lobbies

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

(TI)Sri Lanka is waging a strenuous battle in the labyrinthine corridors of international power, to stave off any UN intervention or censure. Early in February the Mexican delegate, Claude Heller, a new comer to the Security Council, asked the Council to be briefed on Sri Lanka. The Russian delegate, Vitaly Chunkia, shot him down saying that it would be improper and added that it could be raised at the General Assembly. The Japanese Ambassador, Ukio Takasi, the current President, also said earlier that "at the moment there is no strong request" for the Council to be briefed on the Sri Lankan issue. In any case at that time the general consensus was to await the return of Sri John Holmes from his Sri Lankan tour. Even the British Ambassador to UN, John Sawers, did not back the Mexican delegate even though Britain was pressing Sri Lanka to accept Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Browne as a special envoy to Sri Lanka. Full Text

A letter: Recent Developments in Sri Lanka

(DN)Hon Senator Robert Casey Jr, Chairman foreign Relations Sub Committee on south Asia

I am a Sri Lankan American residing in Naples, Florida. I am married with three children and two grandchildren. I came to this country in 1964 on a Fulbright Scholarship. I am writing this memorandum as the Chairman of a small group of Sri Lankan Americans who are ardent supporters of our new president Barack Obama. Full Text

On my watch Lucien Rajakarunanayake: Giving childhood back to children armed for terror

(DN)Sri Lanka has waited long enough to rid our country of the ignominy of child soldiers, and also name and shame the so-called international community for the manner it has failed to act against those who recruit children for armed conflict, while mouthing loud statements about the need for both sides to the conflict here to settle matters by negotiation. Full Text

MIA in the USA An Oscar for a Bin Laden next?:

(DN)A few hours ago, two aircraft flown by a terrorist group, LTTE, recognised as such by the US, were foiled in their attempt to attack the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Though both planes were shot down, two civilians were killed and 46 others injured.

In an article in the New Yorker, (Jane Mayer, ‘The Hard Cases,’ New Yorker, 2/23/09), argues that the Obama administration faces the tough choice of closing Guantanamo Bay and other detention centers holding so called enemy combatants who have never been charged with a crime, and being accused of going easy on future terrorists. Full Text

PROSPECTS IN POST-WAR SRI LANKA: pulse of people

(DM)By Dianne Silva and Sumaiya Rizvi

When the Daily Mirror took to the streets yesterday it was a week since the LTTE suicide planes terrorized the City and the military had entered the decisive town of Puthukuirippu in the uncleared areas–signs indicating that both sides are engaging themselves in an ‘all out war’. The morale of the troops was at an all time high as the end of a war was soon becoming a reality. The two and half decade long ethnic conflict meant that the youth population had not seen the country in its conflict free days and did not know the taste of living in the country free of war. On the other hand the aging population had experienced war free days and cherished their memories that can be related to their grandchildren. Full text

THE KARAMETIYA VILLAGE MASSACRE

By Jeevani Pereira in Inginiyagala

(DM)The plight of border villages most often comes to light during a time of crises or attacks. The Karametiya village and its neighbouring villages have had their share of pain during the three decades of war that has burdened the country. Bordering the Gal Oya National Park, the village found itself a victim of nightmarish events on 21 February when it sacrificed more than a dozen of its inhabitants to the guns of the LTTE. In an attempt to discover what happened on that fateful day, we found that the conflict was not their only predicament… Full Text

After the Tigers

By: Ahilan Kadirgamar

(DM)Post-LTTE Tamil politics will have to move beyond ethnic and territorial concerns to forge solidarity among minorities, in order to reframe the 'national question' in Sri Lanka

The fall of Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass over the past month signals the end of the LTTE as a player whose conventional military capacity had helped it to win some major battlefield victories and dominate large swathes of Sri Lanka since the early 1990s. Because the LTTE decimated Tamil politics in the process of asserting its claim of ‘sole representation’, the end of the rebel force, as with the exit of any fascist political force, will inevitably create a political vacuum. Critically, this will also provide an opportunity for a transformation in Tamil politics. Full text

Indo-American group calls for intervention

(DM)A group of Indians settled in the US concerned over the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, have circulated a petition asking New Delhi to take "urgent and effective" action to stop the "unfolding humanitarian disaster" in the island nation.

The group, comprising Indian citizens and non-resident Indians, have invited signatures to the petition that is posted on the internet and is addressed to Indian Ambassador to the UN, Nirupam Sen. Full Text

To address ethnic crisis in Lanka: India repeats political settlement

(DM)The Minister for Indian Overseas Affairs, Mr. Vaylar Ravi has reiterated New Delhi's stand that there should be a political settlement to address the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi on Friday, he said both Sri Lankan government and LTTE should respond to the issue. Asked to comment on India's role in this regard, the Minister said New Delhi was making all efforts through diplomatic channels. Full Text

Security for Jaya strengthened following LTTE threat

(DM)CHENNAI: Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy on Thursday said that security had been beefed up at the residence of AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa, following the threatening letter she received on February 25 allegedly from a pro-LTTE group, the Indian media reported.
Full Text

Sri Lanka briefing at UN Security Council

(DM)A briefing on Sri Lanka was scheduled to take place at the UN Security Council yesterday, Inner City Press reported.

Three days after the spokesperson for UN's top humanitarian John Holmes told Inner City Press that "there is no request for a Council briefing," and a week after the Council's president, Yukio Takaso, said "there is no strong request" anymore, a Permanent Five Council member told Inner City Press on Thursday morning that the Sri Lanka briefing was set for yesterday. Full Text

SA SHOULD RE-DOUBLE THEIR EFFORTS TO COMBAT TERRORISM: PRESIDENT

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the countries in South Asia need to re-double their efforts to combat the menace of terrorism individually and collectively as they cannot shy away from taking firm and forceful action to combat terrorism.

Participating in the inauguration of the 31st session of SAARC Foreign Minister’s council in Colombo he said instability caused by the global financial crisis can be considered quite similar to the threat posed by terrorism to South Asian societies. Full text

Lankan Tamils should get protection- A.R. Rahman

(DM)Indian music composer A.R. Rahman, who made a triumphant return home on Thursday after winning two Oscars for the music of the film "Slumdog Millionaire", skirted the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils caught in the crossfire between the army and the rebel Tamil Tigers. Full text

LTTE fires at fleeing civilians, injuring 4- Army

(DM)The Army said at least four civilians were injured when the LTTE fired at them on Thursday in Puthukuduyirrippu. It said two children and two women were injured in the shooting and they had reached the Army’s 58 division in Mullaitivu. “The injured civilians also said many more civilians had to turn back and creep in to LTTE held-areas once again fearing for their lives,” the army said. Full text

Pottu Amman active on ground

(DM)LTTE’s Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman is believed to be active on the ground as fighting raged in Puthukudiyirippu.

It is reported that he has even called for urgent assistance from other LTTE leaders requesting more weapons to the Puthukudiyirippu battlefield. Full Text

60,000 trapped in uncleared areas: Govt

(DM)The government yesterday said around 60,000 people remained trapped in the uncleared area according to calculations based on aerial surveys, and expressed confidence that the military would succeed in rescuing them soon.

Non-Cabinet Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told the Daily Mirror that they discussed the issue with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at a meeting recently. Full Text

Be more vigilant: Govt. tells public

Warns Tigers might strike in the South

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)With the security forces closing in on the LTTE for the final blow, the government yesterday cautioned the public to be on the alert for possible attempts by the desperate terrorists to wreak havoc in the South.

Non-Cabinet Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a news conference that the LTTE leadership was so desperate it used two of their colonels on a suicide air raid in Colombo last Friday. Full Text

DIPLOMATIC HELP SOUGHT TO FREE EDITOR

By Yohan Perera and Senaka De Silva

(DM)The Management of Mass Media Syndicate Ltd - publishers of the Sudar Oli newspaper is seeking the help of foreign diplomats in Colombo for the release of its Editor N. Vidyadaran who was arrested on Thursday.Mass Media Syndicate Ltd Managing Director E. Saravanapavan told the Daily Mirror the editor’s wife Ms. Vidyadaran has told him that she visited her husband at the Colombo Crime Division Headquarters yesterday. Full Text

Pro-LTTE self immolation fails in London for the second time

(By Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)An attempt by a suspected pro- LTTE man to commit suicide as a protest ended up unsuccessfully for the second time in London when he had to be admitted to a hospital with "superficial" burns with his condition described as "not critical" on Friday.

The London Metropolitan Police said he was on fire for "a short time" just out side the British parliament in Parliament Square in Central London. It is suspected he was attempting for a self-immolation as a protest against the Sri Lankan security forces who are on the verge of defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) terrorist group in the Northern jungles of Sri Lanka. Full Text

HRW spreading baseless information - Minister

(defence.lk)Cabinet Spokesman and Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the Human Rights Watch among other Non Governmental Organisations are engaged in disseminating inaccurate and baseless information with regard to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people fleeing from the uncleared areas.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing at the Information Ministry, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said certain Non Governmental Organisations including Human Rights Watch are attempting to create a wrong picture among the international community quoting various websites whose origin is not known to anybody. Full Text

LTTE high-tech satellite communication center found - west of Puthukudiirippu

(defence.lk)Troops of 58 Division who have entered in to Puthukudiirippu town perimeter have found LTTE's high-tech satellite communication center yesterday, 27 February, while further advancing into the built-up area amidst stiff resistance of terrorists, military sources said.

Infantrymen of 10 Gajaba Regiment (10 GR) serving under 58 Division were able to located the LTTE's high-tech communication center having modern satellite relaying machines. It was located at west of Puthukudiirippu area. Full Text

Terrorism & Global Financial meltdown: twin challenges before SAARC today - President

(defence.lk)"We need to re-double our efforts to combat this menace individually and collectively. We cannot shy away from taking firm and forceful action to combat terrorism, including internationally..... The instability caused by [the global financial] crisis can be considered quite similar to the threat caused by terrorism to our societies and to our region. The effects of synchronised slow-down in developed economies, can reach us sooner than later. And, as the crisis deepens in the developed world, it is likely that protectionist sentiments can spread and even take root." said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the SAARC Foreign Ministers Conference in Colombo today. Full Text

Heavy fighting in Puthukudiirippu; terrorists flee leaving behind their arms

(defence.lk)Intense fighting reported in general area Ampalavanpokkanai and Puthukkudiyiruppu, yesterday, 26 February, as troops of 58 Division further gained control over more LTTE hiding areas pushing LTTE terrorists further into Puthukkudiyiruppu built-up, military sources said.

Infantrymen of 10 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (10 SLLI) serving under 581 Brigade have confronted with LTTE terrorists in general area Ampalavanpokkani in morning hours inflicting heavy damages to the enemy. Intercepting LTTE communication channels, it is further confirmed that terrorists suffered heavy losses. Full Text

LTTE makes desperate attempts to hold Puthukudiyiruppu; an LTTE ground commander killed

(defence.lk)Troops of 1 Gajaba Regiment (1 GR) and 4 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (4 VIR) on 681 Brigade has heavily confronted with LTTE terrorists in general area Puthukudiyiruppu as LTTE terrorists making stiff resistance on advancing troops for defending the LTTE's last stronghold, Puthukudiyiruppu built-up yesterday, 26 February.

An LTTE ground commander, known as Shankar, who led the battle against security forces in Puthukudiyiruppu area, was killed during the fighting, ground troops claimed. Intercepting LTTE transmission it is confirmed that 14 LTTE terrorists were killed while 30 others suffered injuries during the hours long fighting. Full Text

Navy rescues 59 Tamil Civilians fleeing from LTTE Clutches in the North-eastern Seas

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Navy rescued 59 Tamil civilians who were fleeing from the LTTE clutches in five fiber glass dinghies on the 26th February 2009 in the North-eastern seas. The group consisting of 42 adults (21 males and 21 females) and 17 children was struggling in the perilous sea waving white flags to draw the Navy’s attention when the Naval vessels came to their rescue around 08.30 a.m.

The group was found exhausted and fatigued and was stricken with fear due to the exposure to terror at the hands of a merciless terrorist outfit gone berserk with an imminent defeat. Full Text

Army snipers gun down two terrorists - Mullauttivu

(defence.lk)Troops of 591 and 592 brigades on advance along the coastal belt in Mullaittivu under 59 Division continued their offensive march gaining control more LTTE areas through out yesterday, 26 February.

Army snipers deployed in forward defences have gunned down two LTTE terrorists in morning hours, military report received from the battlefront said. Full Text

TF 3 on consolidating operations found LTTE military items

(defence.lk)Task Force 3 (TF3) deployed for further consolidation operations in newly gained areas in Mullaittivu has found more warlike items left behind by the fleeing terrorists yesterday, 26 February.

Troops of 5 Sri Lanka Signal Corps (5 SLSC) under command to 573 Brigade uncovered 15 anti-personnel mines and a few other military items left behind by fleeing terrorists while conducting search and clear operations in Vadekailkulam and Mutaliyarkulam areas. 5 x 81mm mortar trappings and 6 x 81mm mortar bombs were among the items recovered, military report received from the battlefront said. Full Text

Friday, February 27, 2009

At the gates of the grand finale of Eelam War IV

(DW)Teams from the 58 Division spearheaded by Commandos managed to enter the main built-up area of the Puthukudirippu Town last afternoon but the Town could not be completely cleared due to stiff resistance from small teams of hardcore LTTE fighters who are moving about and engaging the Army in hit-and-run waves even as we speak. Full Text

The End Game

By Harsh V. Pant

(February 26, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) One of the world’s longest running insurgencies might be coming to an end with the Sri Lankan government close to overrunning the last remaining holdouts of the Tamil Tiger rebels. The same conjunction of global forces that enabled the government to turn the corner, however, could make the victory costly if it does not show restraint towards the defeated opponent. Full Text

Congress rules out lifting ban on LTTE

(February 26, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Maintaining that LTTE was a proscribed organisation, Congress today ruled out lifting the ban on the outfit, saying the party's position has not changed."LTTE is a banned and proscribed organisation...Our position has not changed," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here. Full Text

State Dept. report sees bleak human rights situation in Lanka

(February 26, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) The United States has reported widespread human rights violations across South Asia, including Sri Lanka.In an annual report on human rights, the State Department said abuses remained rife in South Asia with major problems in the treatment of women in much of the region. Full Text

How to Kill Civilians in the Name of “Human Rights”: Lessons from Sri Lanka

By Michael Radu

Courtesy: Foreign Policy Research Institute

(February 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) After a conflict of more than a quarter of a century of terrorism and civil war that killed 70,000 people, Sri Lankans finally think they have defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), perhaps the world’s most murderous terrorist organization. Why and how a small country of 21 million succeeded in defeating such a group where much bigger powers have failed is a good lesson for those who study terrorism and counterinsurgency. These lessons are primarily political and legal, but also military and diplomatic, and they include both successes and pitfalls in a small country’s road to peace and development. Full Text

US, Britain Dancing Naked

By Nacholibre

(February 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) When Bin Laden blew down the Twin Towers in New York in one single attack, and when the US intelligence erroneously reported that Sadam Hussein has WMDs, the US lost no time in harnessing support of Britain and other world leaders to destroy the whole of Iraq, and Afghanistan. Did the US heed the UN call not to attack Iraq in the first place? No it didn’t . In that instance, the UN was reduced to the mere state of a neutered dog, which could produce nothing than a feeble whine against the US and its allies. Full Text

Sri Lanka Government on pretext of fighting LTTE fighting minority Tamils says US Senator Bob Casey

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 26 February (Asiantribune.com): In his opening statement at the hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 'Recent Developments in Sri Lanka' Senator Bob Casey who presided over the hearing declared that the Government of Sri Lanka "frames its war against the LTTE as a war against terror, there exists a broader ethnic conflict between the minority Tamils and majority Sinhalese that has spanned for decades". Full Text

Sri Lankan Americans For Obama Challenge Ceasefire Request

New York, 27 February, (Asiantribune.com): Dr Lal Fernando, Chairman of the ''Sri Lankan-Americans for President Obama'', has written a letter to Senator Robert Casey, Jr., Chairman of the Foreign Relations Sub Committee on South Asia, appraising him of the recent developments in Sri Lanka.

"We ask you to accept a simple fact: why should a small country be asked to negotiate with an accepted terrorist group when we in the USA and the rest of the large democracies, like India, UK, EU, and Australia refuse to negotiate with the terrorist groups they are fighting against." Full Text

Avoid Human Tragedy, Declare Ceasefire - Urges Indian Union Muslim League

By K.T.Rajasingham

New Delhi, 27 February, (Asiantribune.com): To avoid a human tragedy, declare ceasefire, appeals Indian Union Muslim League. As the terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are holding innocent Tamil civilians as human shield at gunpoint, Sri Lanka Government should consider seriously a ceasefire to save the innocent Tamil civilians, it was urged. Full Text

Tigers, toads and twerps

(TI)We have in this country some kind of toads (gembas) which love to live indoor. Even if they are swept out, they land facing the houses where they have lived. Humans are also said to have animalistic traits. They have foxes and lions among them. Similarly, there are gembas in the diplomatic community. These ambassadorial gembas cannot wean themselves from Sri Lankan affairs even after they retire. Full Text

A monument for Athurugiriya martyrs and an epitaph for TNA

by I. P. C. Mendis

(TI)After years of hard work, planning and training, the Deep Penetration Unit of the Sri Lanka Army was making good headway causing some headaches to the LTTE in the Vanni. There were some successes and near misses involving some LTTE strongmen. Full Text

LTTE versus Democracy

(TI)Tamil children go to school at a government-run displacement camp in Manik Farm, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009.. (AP)

In my article Lasantha and Democracy in The Island of January 21 I argued that the LTTE is loosing the war because it practises dictatorship while the Government is relatively democratic, which fits in with the fact that in the modern era wars are invariably won by the more democratic side. I argued further that the explanation for what looks like an invariant law might be found in the fact that dictatorship usually goes with a weakened grasp of reality. Full Text

TID grill FMM chief

By Norman Palihawadena

(TI)Convener of the Free Media Movement Sunanda Deshapriya questioned by the Terrorist Investigation Division yesterday yesterday rejected a statement made by one Prakash arrested by Police at the Katunayake International Airport last week.

Prakash, a one-time Batticaloa based journalist, had arrived at the Airport to catch a flight to Singapore when he was arrested on suspicion and had said that he was a journalist and had shown an international journalist identity card. He had claimed that he was a good friend of Sunanda Deshapriya. However the latter when questioned by the Police denied any knowledge of the suspect arrested. Full Text

Prabhakaran cornered Last battle has begun

(DN)The battle to capture the final township under Tiger control is now on with Security Forces advancing into the Puthukuduyiruppu town area with all Tiger leaders making desperate attempts using their maximum resources and man power to stop the troops advance into Puthukuduyiruppu and Iranapalai areas.

In other words the troops have reached the doorstep of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s hideout by this time as his second in command and the Intelligence Wing Chief Pottu Amman who had never heard commanding the Tiger cadres in the battle front had come to the front to command Tiger cadres in the front lines. Full Text

Sudar Oli Editor under arrest

Reports of abduction false:

(DN)Government Spokesman and Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said Sudar Oli Editor N. Vidyatharan was taken into police custody for questioning over a telephone conversation with regard to the LTTE’s abortive air raid on Colombo on February 20.

He is alleged to have helped the LTTE in its suicide air mission.

He was arrested on information received by the CID that his telephone had been used to make a call to the LTTE in connection with this attack. Full Text

Prabhakaran, senior LTTE leaders fighting the last battle

Tiger Leader personally recruiting civilians by force

(DM)As the Sri Lanka Army speeds up its advance into the remaining 63 square kilometres of land controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had reportedly told his senior leader that he would not leave the country and would fight the military until his death. According to the civilians and the LTTE cadres who had surrendered to the military it has been revealed that most of the senior level leaders such as Pottu Amman, Soosai and Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony themselves are leading from the front in the battlefield under the direct command of Prabhakaran. Full Text

GOVERNMENT REBUTS US STATE DEPT. HR REPORT

By Jamila Najmuddin

The Government yesterday played down the latest Human Rights report released by the US State Department saying it does not reflect the actual ground realities.

(DM)In its latest report, the US State Department criticized both the government and the LTTE and said their respect for human rights had declined last year as a large number of civilians were tortured and killed in north and south of the country. “The government’s respect for human rights declined as the armed conflict escalated. The overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils,” the State Department said. It added, “The LTTE attacked and killed a large number of civilians, and was responsible for torture, detention and forced recruitment, including children. The LTTE was active in areas, particularly in the south, that it did not control, attacking military and civilian targets, including public buses and trains, and conducting political assassinations.” Full text

Bodies of dead ACF workers in bad state: Sub group leader

By Sumaiya Rizvi

(DM)A sub group leader of the Commando Regiment that was on duty in the Mutur area fighting the LTTE when 17 Action Contre La Femme (ACF) workers were killed said yesterday his team was the first to visit the crime scene, while testifying at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate and inquire into serious violations of Human Rights.

The Commandos came to the crime scene at around 2.30pm on the August 6, 2006 and found the stench to be very strong as the bodies of the workers killed were in the process of putrefaction, the witness said. “The bodies that were lying in the garden were in a bad state and I asked two commandos to check around the house for more bodies,” the witness added. Full Text

Finish off war soon: National Freedom Front

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)The National Freedom Front - a constituent of the ruling coalition - yesterday stressed the military should carry out its humanitarian operations to a finish without continuing to keep the LTTE cornered for too long, fearing possible civilian casualties.

Holding back action at this hour would cause heavy casualties among the security forces given the possibility of the Tigers ambushing the advancing troops by taking cover among civilians, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said. Full Text

French Government expresses interest

humanitarian assistance

(DM)French Foreign Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner had expressed his happiness at the conflict in the North of Sri Lanka coming to a conclusion during a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday.

He had inquired on how best humanitarian assistance could be extended by France, the Foreign Ministry said. Full Text

India to send emergency medical unit to Sri Lanka

(DM)NEW DELHI, Feb. 26 (IANS) - sIndia today said it would send a full-fledged emergency medical unit to help civilians wounded in the conflict in Sri Lanka and work with Colombo to spur reconstruction process.

“India and Sri Lanka have agreed to work together to address the urgent medical needs of these civilians,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in a statement here. Full Text

Court extends enjoining order

By Ananda Weerasuriya.

(DM)The enjoining order against the Leader Publications Ltd was extended up to April 30 for the final time by the Mount Lavinia District Judge Priyantha Silva who ordered the Leader Publications to file objections on that day. Full text

No one denies that there is a terrorist problem in Lanka- Miliband

(DM)British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband has told the British Parliament the recent military advances by the Government and the subsequent humanitarian crisis are of continuing serious concern.

“We have repeatedly called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. We have made it clear to the Government of Sri Lanka that a political solution that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka is the only way to bring a sustainable end to the conflict,” he said. Full Text

Menon to discuss humanitarian situation with President

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the humanitarian situation in the north amidst concerns being raised in India over the plight of civilians caught up in the conflict.

Foreign Ministry sources told Daily Mirror that Mr. Menon will also speak on Sri Lanka’s stance on a political solution to the ongoing conflict and will urge the government to ensure the safety of the civilians trapped in the north. Full Text

50 tonnes of food items sent to Mullaitivu

(daily mirror)Another stock of 50 tonnes of food items had been dispatched to Mullaitivu to be distributed among the trapped civilians there on Wednesday night, the government said.

These food items had been transported in a vessel ‘Sinhabahu -2’ belonging to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, that left from Trincomalee harbour under the supervision of ICRC, a spokesman for the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Ministry.Among the food items, there were Dhal, Sugar, Vegetable Oil and Flour. This stock had been sent under the United Nations Food Programme by the Essential Services Commission.

Threat to Jayalalithaa over anti LTTE stand

(DM)CHENNAI: AIADMK General Secretary, J Jayalalithaa, has received a letter threatening to kill her and blow up her Poes Garden residence. According to police, the letter, claimed to have sent by the Puraitchi Pulikal' (revolutionary tigers), threatened Jayalalithaa for her stand against the Sri Lankan Tamils' cause. Full Text

Sampanthan writes to President

(DM)Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday informed President Mahinda Rajapaksa that there was a malicious effort to create an environment hostile to him, in a bid to suppress the truth.

In a letter to the President, the TNA Leader said he was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department following a Media conference at the Parliamentary Complex on February 17. The Conference was pertaining to the position of Tamil Civilians in the war zone in the Mullaitivu District, and the Tamil Civilians who had crossed over to the Government controlled territory, he said. Full Text

Media should see the good side too: Govt.

(DM)The government yesterday accused some foreign and local media institutions of misreporting the ongoing humanitarian operations and the IDP issue in the north.

Addressing the weekly cabinet news briefing at the Information Department Government spokesman and Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said a section of the media hardly reported on the welfare facilities being provided to the civilians by the security forces and state agencies. Full text

Controversy over arrest of Editor

By Yohan Perera and Senaka de Silva

(DM)Controversy surrounded the arrest of Sudar Oli Editor N. Vidyadaran in Mount Lavinia last morning after police initially said, he was abducted by an unknown gang which had come in a white van. But later they said he had been arrested by the police and was being questioned over the recent LTTE air attack in Colombo.

There was confusion on the fate of the senior editor with even the police initially saying they did not know anything about his whereabouts and were treating the complaint as an abduction and were investigating the incident.As confusion reigned on the journalist’s fate the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) and a government minister cleared the air saying the Editor was arrested in connection with the LTTE air attack on Colombo last week. Full text

Child soldiers: We act as UNICEF failed – MR

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that Sri Lanka had to launch a national campaign to prevent child recruitment after the failure of the United Nations to get any agreement from the LTTE to put an end to child conscription.

“The UN Special Representative on Children in Combat has also failed in his efforts to get the LTTE to release the child soldiers. Sri Lanka will make sure that our fight to eradicate terrorism, goes hand in hand with the fight to free our children,” he said. Full Text

Army rescues 19 civilians from LTTE clutches

(defence.lk)The soldiers of Sri Lanka Army 58 Division have rescued 19 more Tamil civilians from LTTE clutches in Puthukkudiyiruppu today (Feb 26), defence sources reveal.

According to the sources, 10 males and 9 females including several children and elderly people were among those rescued. Full Text

Conflict Is Over Terrorism Not Ethnicity- SL Ambassador to U.S

(defence.lk)'Government is giving the "utmost priority" to protecting civilians caught in the fighting'

"Sri Lanka's conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is to defeat terrorism and isn't about Tamil ethnicity", said Jaliya Wickramasuriya the country's ambassador to the U.S. in a statement in Washington to coincide with a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the conflict.

Though there is a whole complex situation on the ground in Sri Lanka it is to defeat terrorism it can not be seem as against Tamil ethnicity . Tamil people are part of Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka has a problem with a terrorist organization not with the Tamil people. Full Text

A "Newspaper Editor" arrested in connection with LTTE suicide air attack- Colombo

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka police arrested N. Vidyadharan , editor of the Tamil language newspaper Sudaroli in connection with the recent LTTE suicide air raid today (Feb 26). According to the defence sources, the suspect was arrested on a lead coming out from a telephone number.

Police investigations are being continued.

LTTE suicide bomb factory, Soosai's bunker captured - west of Puthukkudiyiruppu

(defence.lk)Infantrymen of 58 Division following fierce confrontations were able to capture the LTTE sea tiger leader Soosai's camp and suicide bomb manufacturing camp located in west of Puthukkudiyiruppu yesterday, 25 February.

According to the latest information received from the battlefront, following days long fighting troops of 7 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (7 SLSR) under command to 58 Division have captured the location which is believed to be used as suicide bombs, claymore mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) manufacturing yard. The captured bomb manufacturing yard is located Puthukkudiyiruppu west. Full Text

Wall street journal tells Sri Lanka not to stop the war now

(By Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Expressing its assertion against the Western opinion that the Sri Lankan war should be suspended, for the sake of trapped civilians, in a leading article, the Wall Street Journal said, among the few options Colombo is having the worst would be to stop the war now.

The leading article said, "The danger is that any let-up in the assault will give the Tigers time to regroup, thus extending the conflict and the civilian suffering even longer." Full Text

LTTE leaders' luxury life exposed; a swimming pool located

(defence.lk)A swimming pool which is believe to be used by the high profile LTTE leaders have been located by the troops of 58 Division advancing towards LTTE's only remaining stronghold, Puthukkudiyiruppu built-up, yesterday, 25 February.

Troops of 9 Gemunu Watch (9 GW) and 6 GW operating in west of Puthukkudiyiruppu captured the swimming pool and its surrounding fortifications following hours long fighting, military sources said. Full Text

'Die with us' LTTE tells entrapped civilians

(defence.lk)"The Tamil Tigers gave V. Rasamalar no choice in how she would die -- the LTTE terrorists told her she would die alongside them in Sri Lanka's war zone. The organisation said we were going to die anyway if we crossed to the army-controlled area and told us to die with them," said 48-year-old Rasamalar.

"There is scarce food. Even 15-year-old youth are being forcibly recruited by the LTTE. We were not allowed to leave the war zone", said S. Selvekumar. Full Text

Fall of Puthukkudiyirippu imminent: Troops thrash last LTTE resistances- Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Troops of the 58 Division and Task Force -4 continued forcing into the last LTTE garrison township yesterday (Feb 25), in three offensive fronts from Northwest, west and south at Puthukkidiyirippu as ground troops positioned for a final thrust towards the remaining LTTE foothold, security sources said.

According to battlefield reports, heavy fighting was reported in general area Palamattalam and Puthukkudiyirippu between security forces and LTTE throughout yesterday. 58 Division troops claimed killing 11 terrorists and injuring 6 others during separate fighting ensued with LTTE while TF -4 troops also confirmed engaging in intense fighting with LTTE terrorists at Puthukkudiyirippu. Full Text

Thursday, February 26, 2009

LTTE 'DPU' teams on the prowl

(DW)With their back against the sea, Tigers have started preparing for suicide missions and deep penetration operations. Two teams of Tigers were detected and engaged by the 59 Division at Alampil and Mullayaweli within the matter of two weeks with the latter being detected just yesterday when a team of around 30 Tigers made an amphibious landing at a shaded grove in the Mulaitivu lagoon. Full Text

Other battles still to be won

By Kath Noble(February 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)
As I stood at my bedroom window looking out at the red tracers and searchlights crisscrossing the sky on Friday night, I wondered how things had come to such a point. The LTTE hasn’t been very popular amongst its own community for a long time. After the suffering it has imposed on Tamils during all these years of fighting and the appalling number of Tamils it has felt compelled to kill for refusing to accept its leadership, the LTTE has been reduced to stealing children to dispatch to the frontlines and even indoctrinate as suicide bombers. I wondered how an organization with so little ready backing from ordinary people could have built those aero planes, and how it could have trained pilots to fly under the most trying of circumstances more than half the length of the country. Full Text

Obama must act on Lanka crisis!

(February 25, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian ) Asking US President Barack Obama to take the Sri Lankan crisis to the UN Security Council, the US NGO Forum on the island nation today said nearly a quarter of a million Tamil civilians have been trapped in the country's conflict zone.
In a presentation before the Senate Sub Committee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs, Miriam A Young, director of the US NGO Forum on Sri Lanka asked the US to impress upon the UN Secretary General to appoint a Special Envoy for Sri Lanka. Full Text

No peace talks

By Nalin de Silva(February 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Why should India all of a sudden get interested in so called peace talks between the government and the LTTE? Is it to appease Tamil Nadu where lawyers, actors, politicians and other middle class elements get together to agitate on behalf of the trapped personnel in Mulativu? If Tamil Nadu intellectuals are genuine and if they believe what they have said, then next time some terrorists hijack an Indian plane, let these humanitarians get together in Chennai to organise a demonstration demanding that the Indian government talks with the terrorists. Full Text

Utter impudence of the Sampanthan clowns

By Mohan Gunaratnam(February 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Can any politico have the heart to announce with such audacious tenor and temerity that he will seek political representation of the Tamil people on behalf of an avowed terrorist entity described as the most brutal terrorist in the world?
This is an impertinent and insolent insult on the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that was subjugated at gunpoint by Velupillai Prabhakaran for over three decades now. He has also had nearly all of the community’s leaders opposed to him killed. His killings went even beyond the Tamils and that included the assassination of the Indian leader Mr Rajiv Gandhi as well. Full Text

Indecisive India Can Never Be Considered Superpower

By Shenali Waduge
(AT)All Sri Lanka expects of India is to take a firm stand on the LTTE issue – is it so difficult for India to do after all was not an Indian leader, that took a son of India’s Gandhi dynasty not assassinated on Indian soil? Yet, why does India desire to resuscitate a terror group listed first by India on the guise of emotional connections of the Sri Lankan Tamils to Tamil Nadu? The policy decisions of India vis a vis international politics come from the statements of its External Affairs Minister but when he says one thing and then says a complete opposite only days later it automatically makes any to wonder whether India actually means what it says. Full Text

The Hypocrisy Of A Political Solution

By L. Jayasooriya
(AT)Because of the talk that has been spread around that the government of Sri Lanka was killing Tamil civilians, our president with all good intentions invited the UN chief Mr. Ban-Ky Moon to personally come and see for himself what is happening. There was hesitation for a few days during which it was said that the UN chief has still not decided anything about it. Some days later, instead of the UN chief came Mr. Holmes who was warmly received at the highest places and our Defence Secretary personally accompanied Mr. Holmes when he went to meet with the Tamil civilians who have fled from the LTTE clutches to the safety of the army. Full Text

Who’s plan is Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan voicing?

By Shenali Waduge
(AT)It is common knowledge that India’s RAW was instrumental in forging the Karuna-Prabakaran deadlock and ultimate breakaway that served the interest of the Rajapakse Government and greatly assisted in liberating the East of LTTE domain. Thus, when calls for the implementation of 13th Amendment comes from this democratized former LTTE leader, it naturally raises eyebrows to wonder who’s thinking is being vocalized by the new Member of Parliament, especially when he says that Sri Lanka needs Indian assistance. Full Text

Fall of Puthukkudiyirippu imminent: Troops thrash last LTTE resistances- Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Troops of the 58 Division and Task Force -4 continued forcing into the last LTTE garrison township yesterday (Feb 25), in three offensive fronts from Northwest, west and south at Puthukkidiyirippu as ground troops positioned for a final thrust towards the remaining LTTE foothold, security sources said.

According to battlefield reports, heavy fighting was reported in general area Palamattalam and Puthukkudiyirippu between security forces and LTTE throughout yesterday. 58 Division troops claimed killing 11 terrorists and injuring 6 others during separate fighting ensued with LTTE while TF -4 troops also confirmed engaging in intense fighting with LTTE terrorists at Puthukkudiyirippu. Full Text

Chandrika owes an explanation to the nation

(TI)The editorial in The Island of the 24th of this month deserves the commendation of all patriotic citizens of this country. As clearly stated by the editor, ex-President Chandrika displays her petulance and animosity against the GOSL led by President Mahinda Rajapakse for successfully dealing with the ruthless LTTE in the only way they understand i.e. by the show of military might after jaw-jawing failed on numerous occasions. Full Text

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on SL Lunstead advocates tough aid conditions for SriLanka HRW calls for UN Security Council session on

(TI)Senior Researcher for the Human Rights Watch Anna Neistat, calling for a UN Security Council special session on Sri Lanka, told a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on the situation in Sri Lanka, that both the LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka were committing human rights violations.

She said her organisation had received several detailed accounts from people who had been in the safe zone and they suggested that the shelling by Sri Lankan forces had ‘killed dozens if not hundreds of people inside there’. Full Text