Saturday, March 7, 2009

LTTE says it will not surrender, calls for international action

(March 07, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka have rejected a call by the International Committee of the Red Cross for a mass evacuation of tens-of-thousands of civilians trapped with them amid fierce fighting against government forces.

In an exclusive interview with SBS Radio, a spokesman for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, identifying himself as Thileepan, said the civilians did not want to leave the LTTE-controlled area. Full Text

Another submarine found; infiltration foiled nearly 43 LTTE bodies recovered

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Colombo, 07 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Army’s 55 Division under Brigadier Prasanna Silva and his troops recovered near the coastal area of Puthumathalan today (Mar. 6), a locally fabricated submarine which could carry two persons . This is the only undersea vessel so far recovered closer to sea and the earlier five were found at Udayarkattu and f another four at Puthukudyiruppu – being further inland. Full Text

LTTE responsible for sufferings of Tamil civilians: US

(defence.lk)Holding the Tamil Tigers responsible for the "increasing sufferings" of civilians in Sri Lanka's embattled north, the US on Friday (March 6) asked the outlawed LTTE to stop lobbying shells and shooting guns out of the safe zone declared by the government, Zee news reported.

Citing the US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, the news report read The Secretary of State as calling on the LTTE to stop the violence and allow the innocent Tamil civilians to flee the shrinking war zone. Full text

LTTE endgame reaching its final phase: scores killed in Mullaittivu battle

(defence.lk)At least 32 LTTE terrorists were killed and over dozen reported wounded during separate confrontations ensued between troops and LTTE in general area at Palamattalam, Tamarakulam and Puthukkudiyirippu at the Mullaittivu battlefront yesterday (March 6). Full text

US expresses solidarity with Sri Lanka in the wake of Lahore terror attack

(defence.lk)The United States is concerned over wider implications for Sri Lanka's security, especially in the light of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore last Tuesday (3rd March 2009).The US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian & Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher made this observation in response to Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama's remark that the terror strike in Lahore was the first occasion where Sri Lankan nationals had been targetted abroad, although thousands of Sri Lankans have lost their lives due to atrocities unleashed by the LTTE within the country. Full Text

Sri Lanka learns to counter Sea Tigers’ swarm tactics

Sri Lankan Ambassador invites journalist delegation to observe freedoms firsthand

(defence.lk)In response to a meeting yesterday at the Embassy of Sri Lanka with a delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Ambassador for Sri Lanka to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, reaffirmed the Government of Sri Lanka's outrage for attacks on journalists and commitment to supporting media freedom. He also encouraged delegation members to meet with a cross section of reporters actively working in the country to learn firsthand more about the current situation. Full Text

LTTE's old tactics no match for the 'new' SL Army

(DW)Heavy fighting ensued south of Chalai in general area Mulaitivu when a wave of LTTE infiltrators and attack teams targeted a weak point in the forward marching divisions last morning. The infiltrators were first spotted by the 55 Division as they targeted the boundary of two brigades of the 55 and 58 Divisions. The exact casualties to both sides will be revealed later. Full Text

BBC distortions and lies

(PISL)The airwaves were spinning on Wednesday March 3rd with the claim that the ICRC had said that there was an impending humanitarian catastrophe in north-eastern Sri Lanka. It was highlighted on BBC World and, apart from having to answer vaious Sri Lankan media outfits who called me about this well before dawn, I even had to face an interview on World Radio Switzerland, with what seemed yet another gung-ho Britisher. Full Text

Indian Tamil lawyers indicted for violent clashes with police over Sri Lanka

NEW DELHI, March 6 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court-appointed commission on the Madras High Court violence Friday severely indicted the lawyers and absolved the police of the violent clashes in the court premises in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Feb. 19.

In its report, the one-member Justice BN Srikrishna commission has said that it was the unruly behavior of the lawyers that led to the clashes, which the Supreme Court has forwarded to the Madras High Court for any future action in this regard. Full Text

Sri Lanka's safe route plan to go ahead

By Ranga Sirilal

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military on Friday said it killed dozens of Tamil Tiger separatists mounting a heavy counterattack and was moving ahead with plans to create safe routes for civilians to flee the war zone.

Soldiers have trapped the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in less than 45 square km (17 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean island's northeast and are fighting to end Asia's longest-running war by wiping them out. Full Text

SRI LANKA Sinhalese and Tamil youths clean hospital together

KANDY, Sri Lanka (UCAN) -- While the Sinhalese government battles Tamil rebels in the country, Catholic youths from the two communities recently came together to clean up a village hospital in central Sri Lanka.

"This is my first time working with Sinhalese," said Sagaya Mary, from the minority ethnic Tamil community as she scrubbed the floors and cleaned the beds in the wards of the Bogawanthalawa government hospital on March 1. Full Text

The LTTE - The Final Stand and the "Human Shield" tactic

By Dr. Mahes Ladduwahetty

(March 06, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) The several thousand Tamil civilians being placed in jeopardy by the LTTE as the end game draws near shows the LTTE's callous disregard for its loyal supporting cast of civilians/low level cadres drawn into the separatist Eelam cause. Full text

The great white authorities of HRW

(March 06, Geneva, Sri Lanka Guardian) Response of Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process and Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights to remarks on Sri Lanka made by Non-Governmental Organizations during the Inter-Active Debate on the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Full Text

Kamikaze attacks by Black Air Tigers and after

By Commodore R. S. Vasan

(March 06, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) For quite some time the limited air assets of LTTE have been in the news and did create a sensation quite disproportionate to their capabilities. The full details of the Tiger air force and the Czechoslovakian aircraft Zlin 143 and its implications have been discussed in detail in an earlier article by me published on 03 Jun 2005 (External Link). This paper may be read along with the analysis of Mr. B Raman who has covered the air aspects of the recent air attacks in a detailed analysis. Full text

Anandasangaree urges Sri Lanka to stop and look back, safeguard the interest of civilians, before bringing the war to an end

Colombo, 06 March, (Asiantribune.com): "The time has now come for the Government to stop and look back. Before proceeding further, taking of a full stock of the situation is absolutely necessary. The latest developments in Vanni do not appear to be encouraging but in fact is distressing. I am reliably informed that people are not merely on the verge of starvation but some people had in fact died of starvation, urges V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front. Full Text

The cost of war

(TI)While Sri Lanka unable to bear the chill winds of the global financial crisis is negotiating a loan package of $ 1.9 billion with the IMF to tide itself over, reports say Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona has placed the loss the country has suffered due to her protracted war at $ 200 bn. However, if the external costs are also factored in, the figure should be much higher. Full Text

Steps taken to seize terrorists' property

(TI)(National Post) - The government took the first steps yesterday toward taking over property in Ontario and Quebec that it says is controlled by a terrorist group involved in South Asia's longest-running civil war.

Federal prosecutors in Toronto and Montreal filed applications in the Federal Court of Canada saying they were seeking the forfeiture of the property of the World Tamil Movement, an outlawed terrorist organization. Full Text

Truth and the Tigers

(DN)No prolonged violent civil war ends quietly; and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are squalling like, well, a cat on the losing end of a desperate fight.

Throughout the countries that shelter the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, the Tigers’ activists are desperately trying to win some reprieve for the last LTTE guerrilla force trapped in Sri Lanka. The problem is that the Tamil Tigers began as a terrorist group; and the two main traits of terrorists are deception and atrocity. Full Text

Why this coyness about naming LTTE, asks Prof. Wijesinha

(DN)Sri Lanka strongly condemns attempts made by interested parties to damage its good relations with its partners by resorting to deliberate and culpably careless misquoting, said Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha Secretary General Peace Secretariat and Secretary Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights during an interactive debate on the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva recently. Full Text

British parliamentarian on an overdose of imagination

(DN)Andrew Dismore, Labour Member of Parliament for an obscure suburb in Northwest London, sounds as though he has been sniffing something. In an article described rather hopefully as ‘comment’ on the Guardian website today, he does a very good job of repeating LTTE propaganda, while completely failing to note what are accepted by the United Nations and other international agencies as the essential facts of the Sri Lankan conflict. Full Text

The path to win peace

(DN)The national discourse has been dominated for decades by an ethnic issue, which required a political solution as a means to resolve problems. Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe opines that the political solution could never be imposed by force of arms and certainly not gained by acts of terrorism. Full text

LTTE lethal cargo cleared during CFA

Collaborators to be exposed soon:

(DN)The recent recoveries by the Security Forces have made a startling revelation that the LTTE was in possession of state-of-the-art weaponry and most modern communication equipment that have been transported to uncleared areas after getting clearance from Colombo harbour and Customs, Government Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. Full Text

BESIEGED TIGERS IN DEFIANT POLITICO - MILITARY ‘LAST STAND’

(DM)There was a time when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization controlled about 15,600 sq km of territory in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Today, the beleaguered Tigers formally occupy only about 60 – 65 sq km area in Mullaitivu district.

Currently this tiger – controlled territory consists of three sectors. A littoral strip of land of around 40 – 45 sq km extending from Pokkanai in the North to Vattavaakal in the South is the primary sector. This coastal strip is situated between two lagoons on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Full Text

MARKETING THE TAMIL SOLUTION: WHAT IS THE GOVT’S STRATEGY?

(DM)Now that the capture of the remaining small LTTE controlled area in Mullaitivu by the security forces is only a matter of time, the natural question that might arise in the minds of the non-politicized ordinary people is whether the end of the war will usher in peace in the country. As in all other matters related to the ethnic problem people in the country are divided in finding an answer to this question. Full Text

ACTIVISTS WANT UK TO PUSH FOR URGENT SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON LANKA

(DM)A group of activists have called on the British government to push for an urgent Security Council resolution on the situation in northern Sri Lanka, with the view to dispatching a fact-finding mission to the country under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, the British Times Online reported. Full Text

Jayalalitha advances day for fast on Lanka

(DM)AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa Jayaram advanced the date of her proposed fast on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue by a day. Originally she scheduled the day of the fast for March 10. Full Text

India to send military medical team to Lanka

(DM)In its first open intervention in Sri Lanka’s fight against the LTTE, India will send a team of military doctors to the country since the failure of a peace mission in 1987.

Acceding to a popular demand from Tamil Nadu's political parties, the Centre decided to base the medical team in Pulmodai in the island's north-east, which was once under LTTE control. Full Text

LTTE is world’s biggest hostage holder

By Hemanthi Guruge

(DM)Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka claimed the LTTE held the record for holding the highest number of hostages in the history of the world. He said this was proved as it (LTTE) was holding more than thousands of people hostage today. Full Text

Press owner detained

For stocking pro-Tiger mags

By Ananda Weerasuriya

(DM)Two men including an owner of a printing press and a bookshop in Wellawatte were arrested.

They were allegedly possessing two flags carrying the LTTE emblem, and a parcel of magazines carrying the photo of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran during a raid by the Sri Lanka Air Force in the early hours of yesterday. Full Text

Police probe on weapons recovered from LTTE

(DM)The police headquarters is to launch a special investigation in connection with the explosives and other military items recovered from the LTTE and find out how these items had been dispatched to the LTTE in the Wanni.

The Police said a special flying squad has been set up and the responsibility of the squad is to take into their custody such explosives, vehicles and machinery in the future under the direction from the Police Chief. Full Text

UN HR CHIEF WELCOMES GOVT. ASSURANCE

Hopes to tackle core issues of conflict

(DM)The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillay says she hopes the Government will take the opportunity to tackle the core problems that have fuelled the conflict, including discrimination and impunity. Full Text

All foreign aid should go through Govt.: Minister Keheliya Rambukwella

By Sunil Jayasiri

(DM)The government yesterday said that all international aid for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) should be channelled through the government and not sent directly to INGOs operating in the country in order to have better accountability.

“The aid or grants coming from other foreign countries should not directly go to the INGOs or NGOs and should be channelled through the government’s management and the administration,” Government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Full Text

SRI LANKA AGREES TO PRESENCE OF SENIOR HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISOR

(DM)Sri Lanka has agreed to the presence of a Senior Human Rights Advisor in the UN Country Team, Attorney-General Mohan Peiris said at the interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, according to a statement by the government.

The Attorney General said the government is taking every measure to ensure equality and equal protection of the law to all its citizens without discrimination and the country can boast of a robust fundamental rights jurisdiction which is actively pursued as a matter of routine in the Supreme Court. Full Text

Sri Lankan in Canada to be extradited

(DM)A Canadian accused of helping the Tamil Tigers has been ordered to be extradited to the United States, the Canadian media reported.

Suresh Sriskandarajah, 28, was arrested in August 2006 as part of a joint investigation by the RCMP and the FBI. Full Text

Heroic Lahore bus driver invited to Lanka

By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera

(DM)The government is planning to invite Meher Mohammad Khalil who drove the bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers when they came under attack in Lahore, to Sri Lanka and pay tribute to him, Parliament was told yesterday. Full Text

Safe passages keep on changing

(DM)The government said yesterday that as a way of preventing civilians falling victim to LTTE attacks, the military would regularly change the safe passages for them to cross over to cleared areas.

“There are no permanent safe passages for the refugees to escape from the un-cleared areas. The military is maintaining several safe passages for civilian movement,” Minister and government defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told the media. Full Text

IDPs starving to death: UN

(DM)The no-fire zone also known as the safe zone set up by the Sri Lankan government is believed to be very squalid and overcrowded, and the United Nations has received information that people there are dying from the lack of food, the UN News Center reported on its website.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that people confined in the war zone in the northern Wanni region experienced deteriorating conditions last month. Full Text

Further clearing operations to hunt more LTTE infiltrators

(defence.lk)According to the latest reports received from the battlefront troops are now continuing further search and clearing operations to hunt more LTTE infiltrators who have made a desperate attempt to breach the security forces defences during the early hours on Friday, 5 March. Full Text

LTTE shootout at fleeing civilians: 3 killed, 2 wounded - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)3 civilians were killed and 2 wounded following an indiscriminate LTTE gunfire attack this morning (March 6), at a group of civilians who were fleeing from the declared no fire zone at Mullaittivu.

The civilians, 76 in numbers have managed to escape from the LTTE clutches on 6 boats when they were chased by LTTE attack craft in the coastal waters off Mullaittivu. Naval craft immediately engaged the LTTE boats forcing them to retreat and rescued the civilians escorting them to safety and later handed them to the Army personnel at Point Pedro. Full Text

Cricket hostages, goal of terrorist coordination in Lahore?

Intelligence bodies study Let - LTTE links

(defence.lk)There is a flurry of activity among intelligence organizations and defence think-tanks in key South Asian capitals to uncover those behind the attack on the Sri Lanka cricketers in Lahore, Pakistan, two days ago, with increasing indicators that that the plot may have been to create a major diplomatic crisis involving Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. Full Text

LTTE foothold shrinks as troops pin down last LTTE resistances- Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Troops of the Task Force -8 made LTTE terrorists to suffer heavy losses during yesterday(March 5) confrontations ensued Northeast of Puthukkudiyirippu, reportedly killing over a dozen terrorists and injuring 22 others, security sources said. Full Text

184 civilians flee from LTTE, seek protection with security forces

(defence.lk)A group of 184 civilians from 62 families have fled from LTTE clutches and sought protection with security forces at Chundikkulama, Vethalaikerni and Kaddaikadu North of Mullaittivu yesterday (March 5).

The group included 61 men as many women, 27 boys and 35 girls, security sources adding that they had arrived onboard 9 boats form the declared 'no fire zone'.

Navy rescues 39 Tamil Civilians fleeing from LTTE clutches in the North-eastern Seas

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Navy rescued 39 Tamil civilians fleeing from the LTTE clutches in the un-cleared areas of Mullaittivu on the 05th March 2009. The group including 13 children of varying ages of their childhood (09 boys and 04 girls) was found in four white flag-hoisted dinghies around 08.45 a.m. seeking the Navy assistance. Full Text

Friday, March 6, 2009

Over 7,000 children conscripted by LTTE

(defence.lk)Media and Information minister cites recent UNICEF report

The UNICEF in a recent report has said that over 7,000 children were conscripted into the LTTE's fighting cadre and some have died while others are either injured or under LTTE custody, Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Full Text

Govt. charge HRW for promoting terrorism

(March 05, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Government today accused the Human Rights Watch of helping to promote terrorism instead of helping to eradicate terrorism.At a news briefing today, cabinet spokesman Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told journalists that the government strongly denies any kind of statement made by the HRW. Full Text

A Secret plans to safeguard LTTE international arms smuggler "Kumaran Pathmanadan" alias "KP" revealed

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Colombo

Colombo, 05 March, (Asiantribune.com): The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE ) is one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world who possess the deadly weapon - the human bombs: suicide cadres, and the only terrorist organization possess land, sea and air power. LTTE is fighting for a separate state, so called “Tamil Eelam” in Sri Lanka and the fighting between Sri Lankan Military and the LTTE continues for the last three decades. Full Text

What Exactly Did Mr. Holms Convey To The Security Council?

By L. Jayasooriya

(AT)Mr. Holms had direct access to Tamil civilians who have braved the LTTE bullets and crossed over to the army controlled areas. He had all the interpreters he needed and he talked to many displaced persons. They all would have told them how the LTTE kept them by force but he was deliberately not positive when he said "And there is strong evidence that the LTTE are preventing them from leaving." Full Text

Indian expert calls for South Asian anti-terrorism brain trust: HUM could be LTTE’s foreign hand

(AT)India’s top security expert said that five South Asian countries hit by the menace of terrorism should form a common brain trust to jointly deal with the threat. Security expert B. Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies said this in Chennai while referring to the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Full Text

UN Secretary General calls on the LTTE to remove its weapons and fighters from areas of civilian concentration

New York, 06 March, (Asiantribune.com): The United Nations e Secretary-General has called on the LTTE to remove its weapons and fighters from areas of civilian concentration, to cooperate in all humanitarian efforts calculated to relieve the suffering of civilians, and to immediately cease recruitment of children.

Statement attributable to the spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Sri Lanka said, "The Secretary-General is extremely concerned over the deteriorating situation for civilians trapped in northern Sri Lanka." Full Text

‘Endgame’ For LTTE

(DN)Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka during his visit to Vanni Security Forces headquarters to assess the ground situation in the Vanni liberation operation on Wednesday has told the field commanders that all possible safety measures should be taken with utmost precision when conducting offensive operations in the remaining area under LTTE control. Full Text

Human Rights Watch report A malicious document

(DN)While Refusing the report issued by Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch, Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said the HRW throughout its history has not acted against terrorism.

This type of organisations are engaged in aiding and abetting terrorism when the Security Forces are fighting the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world. Full Text

Human rights not affected by war

(DN)Rajiva Wijesinha (born May 16, 1954), is a Sri Lankan writer in English, distinguished for his political analysis as well as creative and critical work, former President/Leader of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka and a Vice-President of Liberal International. He has been appointed the Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) with effect from June 2007. Full Text

Minister tells ‘BBC HARDtalk’: Automatic ceasefire, if LTTE lays down arms

(DN)If the LTTE lays down their weapons tomorrow, there will not be any reason for us to fight. There will be an automatic ceasefire.

As long as the LTTE is using weapons, as long as the LTTE is not allowing the civilians to leave, their freedom of movement being restricted, the civilians being shot and killed in cold blood and massive human rights violations being committed against the civilian population, our job is to ensure that this kind of terrorism is wiped out once and for all, said Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in BBC HARDtalk interviewed by Stephen Sackur last Monday, March 2, 2009. Full Text

Lahore attack attempt to precipitate DIPLOMATIC CRISIS

**Was it a plan to take cricketers hostage?

**Attempt to bargain with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka?

(DN)Defence Analysts and intelligence services of South Asia are working hard to ascertain whether last Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore was part of a larger plan to create a diplomatic crisis among South Asian nations. Full Text

Senior Tiger leaders desert ranks as troops make the final push

Prabha sends Puli, Illanthiriyan to the front as punishment

(DM)In almost every war, whenever one side gets beaten by the other, fighters on the weaker side lose their morale and make attempts to leave the organization and flee to safer areas or surrender. This type of situation has prevailed in the numerous wars the world has witnessed. Fighters of the losing side disillusioned by the losses they suffer continue to desert the organization while the side that is winning tends to get more and more joining in. Full Text

GOVT, LTTE SHOULD ALLOW CIVILIANS TO LEAVE SAYS HRW

(DM)(New York) - The Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should immediately agree to a plan of action to allow civilians trapped in the Vanni to leave the conflict area, Human Rights Watch said today. Some 150,000 civilians are at grave risk from fighting and aid shortages in the shrinking war zone in northeast Sri Lanka. Full Text

Jayalalithaa to observe fast over Sri Lankan issue

(DM)AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa will observe a day-long fast on March 10, demanding the Centre works towards bringing about an immediate ceasefire between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE. Full Text

Many NGOs still working to LTTE agenda: Media Minister

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)The government yesterday criticized NGOs including the TRO and Human Rights Watch (HRW) for their pro terrorist stance and not helping in Sri Lanka’s efforts to save the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE.

Addressing the weekly cabinet news briefing at the Information Department, government spokesman Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE saw a sharp increase during the time in which the TRO was active in the North. “The UNICEF has said that over 7000 under age children have been recruited by the LTTE to fight the war against the security forces in 2007 and 2008 alone. Child recruitment by the LTTE was at its peak after the TRO established its offices in the North in October, 2003,” Minister Yapa emphasized. Full Text

Lankan Tiger suspect to appeal: Justice Canada

(DM)March 4, 2009 - A Malton man ordered to be extradited to the U.S. for his alleged connection to a North American network that police say provides weapons to a terrorist group in Sri Lanka, will appeal his case later this spring.

Ramanan Mylvaganam, 31, is scheduled to appeal the extradition order imposed last fall by a Federal Court judge, on May 14 in the Ontario Court of Appeal, Justice Canada said Wednesday evening. In the meantime, he'll remain in Canada, out on bail. Full Text

Another batch of civilians evacuated

(defence.lk)The ICRC on Wednesday evacuated 366 civilians including the sick and wounded by sea.

An ICRC official said this was the 8th such evacuation by the ICRC in less than a month.Some 2700 civilians have been evacuated so far. Among the refutees were 57 in need of medical treatment, 87 injured, two pregnant women and relatives and helpers of those in need of medical treatment and civilians. Full Text

50 LTTErs killed -- Army

(DM)Soldiers of 55 and 58 Divisions averted an LTTE infiltration attempt to the south of Chalai (DM)yesterday, killing about 50 LTTE cadres in the early hours.

The army said that the LTTE had attempted to breach the forward defence line linking 55 and 58 Divisions south of Chalai at around 4.00 am. “LTTE cadres took heavy loses due to the retaliation launched by the troops,” the army said. Full Text

50 LTTErs killed -- Army

(DM)Soldiers of 55 and 58 Divisions averted an LTTE infiltration attempt to the south of Chalai (DM)yesterday, killing about 50 LTTE cadres in the early hours.

The army said that the LTTE had attempted to breach the forward defence line linking 55 and 58 Divisions south of Chalai at around 4.00 am. “LTTE cadres took heavy loses due to the retaliation launched by the troops,” the army said. Full Text

50 LTTErs killed -- Army

(DM)Soldiers of 55 and 58 Divisions averted an LTTE infiltration attempt to the south of Chalai (DM)yesterday, killing about 50 LTTE cadres in the early hours.

The army said that the LTTE had attempted to breach the forward defence line linking 55 and 58 Divisions south of Chalai at around 4.00 am. “LTTE cadres took heavy loses due to the retaliation launched by the troops,” the army said. Full Text

50 LTTErs killed -- Army

(DM)Soldiers of 55 and 58 Divisions averted an LTTE infiltration attempt to the south of Chalai (DM)yesterday, killing about 50 LTTE cadres in the early hours.

The army said that the LTTE had attempted to breach the forward defence line linking 55 and 58 Divisions south of Chalai at around 4.00 am. “LTTE cadres took heavy loses due to the retaliation launched by the troops,” the army said. Full Text

Sri Lanka avoids Commonwealth focus

(DM)London, March 5 (IANS) The political watchdog of the Commonwealth refrained from discussing the civil war in Sri Lanka despite a last-minute plea by a group of British MPs to place it on the agenda of its meeting in London, Wednesday, a Sri Lankan diplomat said.

“There was a brief mention of pressure being put by some MPs, but there was no discussion,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity, refusing to say who raised the matter. Full Text

Music amid mayhem

(defence.lk)Advancing troops in Mullaitivu yesterday came across an assortment of musical instruments which most probably would have been used by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his senior associates for entertainment, the army headquarters said.

“Task Force II troops conducting mopping up operations in LTTE’s former strongholds in Udayarkattukulam area, came across the musical instruments” it said. Full Text

Govt. to open escape routes

(DM)COLOMBO, March 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka plans to open two safe routes to let tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone escape and has invited the Red Cross to help, a senior Sri Lankan official said on Thursday.

Sri Lankan soldiers have cornered the Tamil Tiger separatists in an area of less than 45 square km in the Indian Ocean Islands northeastern shore, aiming to deliver a final blow to a separatist war that has raged off and on since 1983. Full Text

LTTE loses all towns in Vanni

Killing Fields of the LTTE

(By Gomin Dayasri)

(defence.lk)The right to life is paramount. A nation state is obliged to safeguard the life of civilians and offer security to its people. A terrorist organization has no such obligation.

LTTE's objective is to carve a state out of Sri Lanka and to achieve its goal will not hesitate to endanger and sacrifice human life. It commenced with the LTTE first killing Tamil politicians and Tamil policemen loyal to Sri Lanka. Then they turned towards the rival terrorists' fractions and eliminated those who competed with them to achieve their aspiration- to reign supreme without a challenge to their authority as the sole representative of the Tamil people. Their next target was the TULF politician who taught them the rudiments of secession but preferred to keep their distinct identity and ideology, unlike Sambandan and his TNA fellow travelers still trying to prop the LTTE. Full text

Troops avert LTTE infiltration bid; 33 LTTE bodies found - South of Chalai

(defence.lk)Troops of 55 and 58 Divisions have successfully averted LTTE infiltration attempt causing heavy loses for the LTTE terrorists in early hours this morning, 5 March.

According to the available information terrorists have attempted to break the forward defence line linking 55 and 58 Divisions south of Chalai around 4.00 AM. LTTE terrorists have heavy loses due to retaliation launched by the troops, defence sources said. Full Text

IDP facilities: Diplomats pleased

(defence.lk)A delegation of Ambassadors and other high ranking diplomats who toured the Welfare camps in Vavuniya expressed their satisfaction at the facilities provided to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by the Government.

They were highly pleased with welfare facilities at the Menik Farm Welfare camp including those set up to provide vocational training for youth and the school opened for displaced children. Full Text

New agricultural projects in cleared areas

(defence.lk)Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said moves are under way to introduce agricultural projects in the cleared areas of the Vanni and fully liberated Eastern Province with the use of international funds. Full Text

Army snipers gun down 7 LTTE terrorists - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Army snipers deployed in 591 Brigade in general area Mullaittivu have gunned down seven LTTE terrorist ahead of the own defence line right throughout the day, 4 March, military report received from the battlefront said.

Troops of 59 Division continued their offensive march further shrinking LTTE area, defence sources said.

TF2 uncovers more LTTE used equipments - Udayarkattu

(defence.lk)Infantrymen of 8 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (8 SLSR) of 621 Brigade serving under Task Force 2 (TF2) have uncovered more machines and equipments including warlike items which had been left behind by the fleeing terrorists from general area Udayarkattu yesterday, 4 March, military report said. Full Text

Navy Commander pays a Courtesy Call on Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet

(defence.lk)Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda recently visited the United States Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Hawaii in the United States on an official invitation extended by the Chief of Naval Operations of the United States Navy and Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet. Full Text

"Do the Rest with Maximum Precautions," Commander Tells His Vanni Chiefs

(defence.lk)"Offensives, inside the remaining entire un-cleared area of less than 45 sq km, inclusive of the reserved 'Safety Zone' for fleeing civilians should be carried out taking all possible safety precautions with utmost precision, since the number of civilians thronging into the area is now fast swelling," so said Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka when he met his senior ground commanders Wednesday (4) morning at the Vanni Security Forces Headquarters in Vavuniya. Full Text

Thursday, March 5, 2009

SL urges UN to make categorically clear the need for LTTE to let people go - Secretary General of SCOPP

(defence.lk)Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat and Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, addressed the 44th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva yesterday. His response to a presentation by Janet Lim, Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, is carried in full below. Full Text

Rathnam Master's last stand

(DW)Task Force 8 finally reached the Puthukudirippu junction yesterday. Fighting still continues in the major part of the town as the density of LTTE fighters has increased due to loss of terrain.

Advance of FIBUA units is conducted at dawn or dusk as Tigers occupying civilian houses and public buildings direct heavy volumes of 12.7mm and mounted 23mm and 30mm canon fire at the advancing units. Often taking cover inside buildings is hazardous due to trappings. Full Text

Sri Lanka still sourcing arms from Pak, China

(TOI)NEW DELHI: With India largely refraining from supplying weapon systems and platforms with "offensive capabilities'' to Sri Lanka in it's bloody fight against the Tamil Tigers, Pakistan and China deftly stepped into the vacuum.

In fact, Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, during a visit to Islamabad on January 19-20, profusely thanked Pakistan for its "continued support'' to his country's armed forces which had helped in virtually breaking the backbone of LTTE. Full Text

Situation Report (Mar 4) by SLA

Tiger Infiltrators Fire on CDF Personnel; Two Killed

BUTTALA: LATEST confirmed reports from BUTTALA said two members of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) had fallen victim to the fire, believed to have been directed by infiltrated Tiger terrorists on them when a group of CDF members were cycling in the general area of GONAGALARA, about 20 km to the BUTTALA town this morning (4) at about 8.00 a.m.. Full Text

Sri Lanka troops close to finishing off Tigers: military

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces are on the verge of establishing complete control over territory held by Tamil rebels after killing "scores" of guerrillas, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

Government forces were consolidating their position in the last urban area held by the Tamil Tigers, the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu in the northeast, following heavy fighting on Tuesday, the ministry said. Full Text

Indian forces will set up hospital in Lanka

By Sridhar Kumaraswami

New Delhi

(AA)March 4: India is likely to soon establish a field hospital at Pulmodi in northeastern Sri Lanka to provide medical treatment for civilians injured in the bloody conflict raging in that country. The hospital will be established at Pulmodi which is on the northeastern coast and the security will be provided by the Sri Lankan Navy. Full Text

Trash, tripe and twaddle from Arush of Wales

By Jyothi Easwaran from Colombo

(March 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Your feature, “Vanni: The “most ignored human tragedy” by Arusha from Wales, London is deeply flawed and replete with misinformation, no doubt, intended or even pre-packed to give a mischievous twist to the realties in Wanni. In the very first paragraph itself Arusha from Wales takes the reader for a fantasy ride by saying that a certain Kalaivaani who will not forget her experience until the day she dies, claiming that she “narrowly escaped from Sri Lankan government ruthless bombardment for the civilian safety-zone in Vanni." Full Text

Cricket vs Terror: Do Tamil Tigers have a hand on it?

By Malin Abeyatunge

(March 04, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) There will condemnations pouring from whole wide world including the countries that have double standards (good and bad terrorists) on terrorism on this dastardly act on a good spirited Sri Lankan cricket team. According reports eight of our players were injured and 6 Pakistani policemen were killed. Let the nation prays for their speedy recovery. It appears that this has been committed by skilled gun men with meticulous planning. Full Text

Undue Recognition For Sea Tigers

By Shafiq Gafoor

(AT)In the early hours of yesterday (02 March) the alarm was raised in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka (Chalai) about an incoming seaborne attack on the troops of 55 Division. The ground troops ashore managed to put their heavy guns into action in a valiant attempt to repulse a possible attack from the sea by the sea tigers. It is so puzzling for all of us to see that this incident has been unduly puffed up by one short-sighted journalist of our country who is hell bent on doing anything for money and moreover do 'Shopping' for certain top-guns in the country today without having seen or heard what a real Naval battle is, and even without a scanty understanding about the Principles of Naval warfare. Full Text

Sri Lanka’s challenge: Terrorism, covert operations, bogus humanitarian workers & hostile media

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)The15,000sq.km area once under LTTE control today stands at barely 56sq.km. Into this small and shrinking area we are to presume the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran , his son Charles Anthony, the remaining LTTE leaders and an unbelievable 200,000 to 250,000 civilians are gathered in the thick jungles of Vanni. Full Text

Lankan delegation briefs Asian ambassadors in Geneva

(TI)On the second day of the on-going High-Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Sri Lankan delegation led by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, held three regional group meetings and several bilateral meeting in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The delegation comprising Minister Samarasinghe, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Attorney-General Mohan Peiris, P.C., Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha and Dr. Rohan Perera, P.C. met with the Asian, African and Latin American Groups in the UN Human rights Council and briefed them about the present situation in Sri Lanka. Full Text

Right to live in peace marred by LTTE :Devananda

(DM)“Freedom is a right that we all are born with and nobody under any circumstances could take away that right of ours from us. Our policy right-throughout has been that the Tamil Speaking People of this country should have the right to live in peace and harmony with equal rights as free citizens in a United Sri Lanka. However, many opportunities that paved way for realizing the aspirations of the Tamil Speaking People were lost due to the gung-ho attitude of the Tiger leadership”, said Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare and Secretary General of EPDP Douglas Devananda who is also Chairman of Special Task Committee, Northern Province. He spoke these words in addressing a meeting that held in Jaffna recently. Full Text

PLOTE not a paramilitary outfit - Sithadthan

(DM)The People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) is not a paramilitary organization but is an independent political organization having represented the people in the Wanni both at a national as well as at a local government levels up to 2004.

PLOTE leader Dharmalingham Sithadthan, in response to charges raised in a statement by Human Rights Watch (HRW), said his party was deeply disturbed by some of the statement raised by the rights group which was also presented to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Full Text

Govt. blasts voluntary organizations

(DM)The Government yesterday lashed out at some voluntary organizations for extending what it termed as support to the LTTE propaganda machinery at this stage by making baseless allegations against the country.

Opening the debate on the Emergency, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said the LTTE which is on the brink of total defeat on the war front, had intensified its propaganda activities. Full Text

Army not using heavy artillery, says Govt.

(DM)The Sri Lanka Army has suspended using heavy weapons in fighting the LTTE in Mullaitivu, in order to prevent casualties among civilians and it is delaying the final onslaught on the terrorists, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said.

Minister Yapa told the media yesterday that British MP Keith Vaz had reportedly said that his assessment of the LTTE was wrong and the Sri Lankan Government was correct. Full Text

TMVP TO OFFICIALLY HAND OVER WEAPONS ON SATURDAY

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)The TMVP yesterday said that it will hand over all its weapons to the Government at an official ceremony scheduled to take place in Batticaloa on Saturday.TMVP Spokesperson Azath Maulana told the Daily Mirror that the weapons would be handed over to the security forces by TMVP Leader and Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan at his office in the presence of TMVP Political Bureau members, cadres, senior TMVP leaders and the public. Full Text

BE CAREFUL AND PROTECT CIVILIANS: ARMY COMMANDER

(DM)Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka yesterday instructed ground Commanders in the Wanni that future operations within the limited LTTE held area should be carried out taking all possible safety precautions since a large number of civilians held back by the LTTE are concentrated in the area. Full Text

ICRC WARNS OF IMPENDING HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE

(DM)The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned of an impending humanitarian catastrophe in north-eastern Sri Lanka.

Up to 150,000 people may be trapped in the area by fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. Full Text

GOVT. URGES UNHCR TO RETHINK ITS POLICY

FOR DESIGNATING ONLY INTERNATIONAL NGOS AS ITS PARTNERS

(DM)The government has urged the UNHCR to rethink its policy of designating only International NGOs as its partners as it did in Sri Lanka last year.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat and Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights said that the United Nations must work with government or with local organisations. Full Text

Canada asked to suspend deporting Lankans

(DM)OTTAWA: Parliament's Immigration Committee is calling on the government to halt deportations to Sri Lanka and speed up the handling of sponsorship applications, saying the country is just too dangerous to send people back. Full Text

DIPLOMATS GET A FIRST HAND LOOK AT IDP CAMPS

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)Foreign diplomats in Sri Lanka were taken to camps housing internally displaced people in Vavuniya, yesterday, and given a first hand view of the conditions at these camps and the measures taken by the government to assist the displaced people, a foreign ministry official said.

Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona, Resettlement Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and senior officials from the foreign ministry accompanied the diplomats who were flown to Vavuniya via Anuradhapura last morning. Full Text

Diplomacy, Politics, Terrorism, and Aid

(By: Prof Wijesiri Danthanarayana)

(defence.lk)I had the privilege of listening to President Obama's inaugural address. I presume that all politicians of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Sri Lankan media persons, the NGOs, INGOs, and in particular, the Human Rights advocates (and activists) were also able to tune-in. The main thrust of the Obsma speech was clear; this is that when a country is in trouble each and every member of that country support the government of the day to resolve the problem, irrespective of political, ethnic, religious and other differences that may exist, and that terrorism in is the foremost problem in most countries in the world today. Full Text

Troops aim at eastern coast; terrorists desperately fighting on their last stand

(defence.lk)Troops of 58 Division and Task Force 8 after liberating Puthukkudiyiruppu have commenced an eastward thrust towards the coast, defence sources reveal. The LTTE terrorists lost the last town under their clutches as Puthukkudiyiruppu fell to the Sri Lankan soldiers yesterday (Mar 3). Full Text

U.S. condemns attack on SL cricket team

(defence.lk)U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday expressed deep concern about the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan, saying the country's frontier regions still is the safe heaven for terrorists.

"Obviously, we are deeply concerned," Obama told reporters in the White House after meeting with visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, according to Xinhua News Agency. Full Text

Pakistan leaders express their regrets to the people of Sri Lanka

(defence.lk)Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lanka Cricket team in Lahore yesterday.

Both the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan in a telephone conversation with President Mahinda Rajapaksa conveyed their sincere apologies to the people and the Government of Sri Lanka for the harm caused to the Sri Lankan players by terrorists in Pakistan. They expressed their profound sympathy and concern for the welfare of the injured cricketers and assured President Rajapaksa that Pakistan is determined to combat terrorism and will work with the international community and Sri Lanka to defeat terrorism. Full Text