Saturday, March 14, 2009

Protest letters against LTTE threats

(WSWS)The World Socialist Web Site has received more letters in response to the March 9 statement "Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!" We urge our readers and supporters to send protest letters demanding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) immediately cease its attempts to suppress political debate within the Tamil community and end all threats against Socialist Equality Party members and supporters. (Previous correspondence can be viewed here.)

For the attention of the British Tamils Forum:

I am writing to demand, in the strongest possible terms, that the LTTE leadership instructs its supporters in Europe to cease their violent attacks against members and supporters of the Socialist Equality Party. Full Text

Amnesty International bombs South Asia

(PISL)Amnesty International’s resident Cluster Bomb Specialist Jim McDonald has gone on another of his shooting sprees. Over the weekend he sent out releases targeting both the Sri Lankan and the Pakistani governments.

The first concerned the Sri Lankan journalist J S Tissainayagam, who has now been charged, on the basis of a confession that a court has ruled admissible. It is therefore strange that Amnesty should call for his release, since presumably it would be highly irregular for government to release without reference to a court people who have been duly charged. Full text

Anti-Muslim stand of pro-LTTE parties in South India

by PSM

(PSFM)The suicide blast on the national Meelad Day ceremony (10/03/2008) which was condemned unreservedly by all failed to draw any attention of the pro LTTE formations both in and outside Sri Lanka. The deafening silence of human rights activists and civil societies who are voicing for entrapped civilians in the LTTE held limited areas in Mullaitivu was shocking. This is the first time a National Meelad Day was cancelled under tragic circumstances. Full Text

Army blasts Tiger truck laden with explosives

(TI)Troops of the 58 Division on Thursday night foiled an attempt by the LTTE to ram a vehicle packed with explosives into the Forward Defence Line of the Army in Puthukuduyirippu.

According to ground Commanders the terrorists had driven the truck with around 350 Kg of explosives into the FDL with lights switched off but an alert soldier had fired an RPG from a bunker captured a few hours before from the Tigers themselves, blasting the truck to pieces. Full Text

On a Ballfield in Sri Lanka, Healing the Wounds of War

By Emily Wax
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 14, 2009; Page A09

(WP)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- With his worn baseball glove freshly oiled, Praneeth Samaraweera stood under a bright sun and began teaching a young player how to hold a bat steadily and swing straight through a pitch. Full Text

Sri Lanka rejects UN charge of possible war crimes

(yahoo)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka on Saturday rejected U.N. allegations it may have committed war crimes and vowed there would be no cease-fire in its drive to capture a shrinking rebel enclave and end the island's 25-year-old civil war.

A report Friday from U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said government forces and Tamil rebels also warned that civilian casualties could reach "catastrophic" proportions if the two sides do not suspend fighting. Full text

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka: A Balance Sheet

By Kalana Senaratne

(March 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was a curious and revolutionary decision taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this decision to appoint Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka as our Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, in 2007. Full Text

The last chance to save our people

By V. Anandasangaree

(March 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The curse of over three hundred and thirty thousand people belonging to about 81000 families, kept by you under compulsion, will not let you live in peaces and it will follow you and your heirs for many more generations to come. Those who support you even now will not be spared. Please change your mind atleast now and release those detained, to freedom. People have started dying of starvation for which you should take the responsibly. Full Text

Half the terror outfit has become non-violent democrats

President Rajapakse holds fire to save as many civilians as possible; troops operate only with ground fire aimed strictly at Tiger cadres.

By Satchi Sithananthan

(March 14, Frankfurt, Sri Lanka Guardian) In a report dated yesterday (March 12) the noted media fraud and impostor, Tamilnet states about 50,000 people are being affected by floods in the Safe Zone. In its daily narration of fabricated falsehood there is a paragraph that reads as follows: Full Text

Stop the Double Standards- Call it a Brutal Hostage Situation

By Nacholibre

(March 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is nothing but a brutal hostage situation of gigantic proportions. The LTTE can no longer defend any of their brutal actions against the Tamil civilians and hide behind their time-tested lie of being a so-called liberation movement. Liberators do not kill their own people who they want to liberate. The LTTE are the perfect antithesis to the liberation of the Tamils. They have been the problem from day one and they are continuing to be so showing that they are the perfect enemies of the Tamils by entrapping thousands of innocent Tamil civilians in a small stretch of land on the North-Eastern border of Sri Lanka. Full Text

Karuna Amman: a great hero of our time

By Charles S Perera

(March 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lanka Tamils of the diaspora should take a lesson from Karuna Amman, who defected from the LTTE, and today not only a Minister of the Sri Lanka Government, but also a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

He is a very rare human being who was able to use his intelligence to think and did what he thought was correct in defecting from a terrorist group in which he held a leading position. He did not rest at that but made a further retrospective interrogation, and came out with lot of human wisdom. Full text

U.S. now wants Political Solutions to address legitimate aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 14 March (Asiantribune.com): The United States which continually reiterated that a political solution to Sri Lanka conflict is viable and durable only when addressed the aspirations of the 12% minority Tamils is now officially states that this South Asian nation needs to bring a political solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lanka’s communities. Full text

Time is ripe in Sri Lanka for Statesmanship and not partisan politics, contemporary electorate – Dr Liam Fox

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): Visiting British Conservative Member of Parliament and shadow British Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox firmly believes that the current political backdrop in Sri Lanka was a time for statesmanship and not partisan politics and one where leaders must want to be judged by history rather than the contemporary electorate. Full Text

Army 58 Division inflicts heavy damages to the terrorists - Puthukkuddyiruppu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 58 Division now engaged in the final phase of the counter terrorist offensive in the Island's Northern province continues to give heavy beating to the terrorists, reveal defence sources in the Puthukkuddyiruppu.

According to the sources, the soldiers continued to battle the terrorists in the hinterlands of Puthukkuddyiruppu yesterday (Mar 13), liberating more territory and pushing the terrorists to their last standoff. Full Text

The plan is not only to save the next generation from terrorism but to 10 generations to come- Gotabaya

(By Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa said under the clear plans of the government this nation should not only be secured for the next generation from devastating terrorism but for the next ten generations to come so, that no similar harm could come upon the country.

"My idea is not for the next generation but even for the next ten generations something similar should not be allowed," the determined Secretary of Defence said, referring to the devastating insurgency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, that maimed and killed tens and thousands and ruined the economic prospects of the nation through acts of insensate violence. Full text

58 Tamil civilians seek refuge with security forces

(defence.lk)Fifty-Eight Tamil civilians under LTTE hostage were able to reach the security forces seeking safety for their lives for the 58 Division in Mullauttivu yesterday, 13 March.

According to the sources one of escapees was killed while four others sustained injuries due to LTTE's indiscriminate firing upon civilians escaping the LTTE's grip.

21 males, 15 females, 11 girls and 11 boys were among the escapees, defence sources said.

Unfounded, lacks credibility, says Minister

(defence.lk)The Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry expressed its strong sense of surprise and dismay at the tone and content of the press release issued yesterday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Especially in the context that when High Commissioner Navanetham Pillai met Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on March 4 in Geneva during the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council, the detailed figures relied upon in the statement were never raised. Full text

Work on Northern railway line begins

(By: Irangika RANGE)

(defence.lk)The Government will commence the reconstruction of the Northern railway line from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai via Jaffna and the railway stations in between under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 19. Full text

Cornered Tigers - The LTTE evolves as guerrillas

by Shanaka Jayasekara

(TC)The Sri Lankan military has destroyed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a conventional military force. Deprived of territory, the separatist group has no choice but to revert to unconventional guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics. The LTTE's ability to continue its violent campaign for an ethnic Tamil state in Sri Lanka depends largely on the survival of its autocratic leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and the group's ability to maintain its international fundraising network. Full Text

Seven US Senators send letter to Hillary on Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis

(TC)Organized by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), seven U.S. Senators today wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, regarding their sharp concerns over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka as an estimated 150,000 civilians remain trapped in an area of intense combat between Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Full Text

Sri Lanka troops claim 32 Tiger rebels killed

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – At least 32 Tamil Tiger rebels have died in the latest push by Sri Lankan government troops into the rebels' shrinking fiefdom, the island's defence ministry said Friday.

The ministry said the rebels were killed in battles around the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu in the north east, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been hemmed into a small jungle area. Full Text

Jaya lashes out at MK

Chennai Bureau

(March 13, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa today accused Chief Minister M Karunanidhi of conspiring to prevent funds collected during the recent hunger strike in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils from the reaching them. Full Text

LTTE: missteps, misdeeds, and 33 years later

Interview with Col. R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, served as the head of intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka 1987-90.

By Udara Soysa

(March 13, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) 1) What do you think the main difference between the operational realities between current Eelam War and the IPKF conducted war against the LTTE? Full Text

No LTTE attack on Army’s Artillery positions- Military spokesman

By Ravi Ladduwahetty- Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 13 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka’s Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara this morning, refuted a news report which recently appeared in the pro- LTTE website that the LTTE Black Tiger Commandos had attacked six Sri Lanka Army Artillery positions in the early hours of Tuesday and that over 50 Security Forces personnel were dead. Full Text

Did BOI Approve Equipment For LTTE Arms Manufacture?

By Ruwan Weerakoon in Sri Lanka

Colombo, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): Using facilities and equipment approved by the government-run Board of Investments (BOI), the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had imported lathe machines and other equipment for the manufacture of its military hardware, according to military sources.

The then head of the BoI, Arjunna Mahendran had approved the imports and facilitated their transport to the Vanni which was under LTTE control. Military sources say there is documentary evidence of these transactions involving the BoI.. Full text

Wrong again, Miss Hogg

(TI)For a long time, organisations like Human Rights Watch looked no worse than sadly misguided. Their intellectual capacities obviously weren’t up to the analysis of basic facts, and their unshakeable belief in the fundamental goodness of humankind led them to assume that terrorists couldn’t be as dangerous as they seemed, but their intentions weren’t really in doubt. Lately, however, it has become clear that they must have some other agenda. Full Text

EU oxygen for sinking Tigers

(TI)There are different languages that trainers use in handling different animals. A dog does not understand, so to speak, a mahout's lingo. Similarly, terrorists do not understand the language of the civilised people. It took nearly three decades for Sri Lanka to realise this simple truth. Today, she is speaking the language that terrorists understand most and results have been quite impressive. Terrorists are offering to talk peace! Full Text

Is the evacuation of civilians possible?

NOTEBOOK OF A NOBODY
by Shanie

(TI)The end-game in the Vanni War is taking longer to end than expected. Earlier this year, towns and villages were being vacated and occupied even faster than the Peace Secretariat issuing polemical statements to counter-attack every criticism of the government’s operations vis-a-vis civilians. The civilians vacated the towns and moved into the north-east corner of Vanni, while the security forces simply over-ran and occupied these towns and villages, routing the LTTE cadres, who though putting up stiff resistance were no match for the vastly superior Sri Lanka security forces. But now the civilians are all holed up in the north-east corner and bearing the brunt of this brutal and now senseless war. Senseless because the LTTE has all but been defeated in conventional operations and it is only a matter of time before the security forces capture the remaining bit of territory. Brig Shavindra de Silva leading the 58th Brigade is right when he states that it is only the presence of civilians that is delaying the inevitable. Full Text

European Parliament’s Resolution on Sri Lanka

By K Godage
Former Ambassador
(TI)The EU Parliament is reported to have adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka demanding an immediate ceasefire by the armed forces and the LTTE—— they do not call upon the LTTE, a terrorist group to lay down arms but demand that the legitimate government of the country cease operations against the terrorists holding innocent civilians hostage. As a sop they have condemned the LTTE violence and intimidation. Full text

Defence Ministry warns

by Dasun Edirisinghe

(TI)The Defence Ministry yesterday warned the public to minimise participation in public functions since the LTTE could step up its criminal activities in view of sure defeat and the imminent fall of its last bastion.

The public should be very careful at least for another two or three months. "The decision has been taken to prevent possible LTTE suicide attacks not only targeting VIPs, but also the ordinary masses," Director General of the Media Centre for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle told a press conference at the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS). Full text

Buddhists and Catholics hold joint relief operation

(TI)March 11: HETTIPOLA: As more and more civilians cross out of the battle zone to government-controlled areas, Buddhists and Catholics have jointly taken lorry loads of relief items to these displaced people.

"We collected milk powder, toothpaste, rice and eggs from Muslims, Buddhists and Christians," Venerable Akurana Gunarathana said before starting his eight-hour journey around 3 a.m. on March 8 in a group with other Buddhist monks and some Catholic priests. Full Text

*Akuressa blast probe takes new turn

Police believe bomber arrived in VIP convoy

(TI)Investigations into the Akuressa Godapitiya suicide bomb blast took a new turn after police found evidence that the suicide bomber had arrived in a car along with the VIP convoy. It was earlier suspected that the bomber had travelled either on a bicycle or a motorcycle, Police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said. Full Text

'Politico-military situation satisfactory'

Professor Rajiva Wijesinghe interviewed by Sri Lanka Guardian's Udara Soysa

(DN)Q: Please tell us briefly how you view the current political- military situation in Sri Lanka?

A: The military situation is comparatively satisfactory, in that the LTTE is on the verge of military defeat. However, since they managed to prepare a defence line of human shields, with no one bothering about preventing this when it might have been easy, our forces now have to move very carefully, which means very slowly. Meanwhile, in addition to using these civilians as physical shields, the LTTE is also trying to use them to get the world to try to stop the forces from advancing. Full Text

Will terror look across Palk Strait again?

On My Watch - By Lucien Rajakarunanayake:
(DN)As world attention was focused on the sliver of land in the Vanni, less than 40 sq. km. in the north of Sri Lanka, where the LTTE is continuing to defy international opinion with contempt and holds Tamil civilians as a human shield, the relative calm and tranquility in the deep south of the island was shattered by the blast of a suicide killer carrying out the orders of the LTTE leadership, desperate for a life line from the “international community”. Full Text

In Defence of Justice

(DN)I crave your indulgence for space in the Daily News to record some facts to which I have been privy in the much maligned exposures of Nimal Lewke a senior DIG of Police in one of the country’s weekend newspapers recently.

In defence of justice so blatantly violated in the name of media freedom it is indeed pitiable that reckless journalism is used as a vehicle to vilify and tarnish the image of good men who have done the country proud both in the prevailing ethnic conflict raging in the North and East as well in sports. Full Text

Godapitiya suicide bomber

(DN)This picture of the severed head of the suicide bomber who triggered the Akuressa, Godapitiya bomb blast was released by Police Headquarters which requested public information to identify the assailant. Full text

Food from Jaffna arrive on A-9

(DN)The first food convoy of 22 lorries containing more than 60,000 kgs of vegetables and fish reached Colombo from Jaffna on Thursday marking yet another milestone of the re-opening of the A-9 road by the Armed Forces after 24 years.

This is the first ever food consignment produced by Jaffna farmers to reach Colombo along the A-9 Jaffna-Kandy road as a result of the two and half year humanitarian operation launched by the Security Forces to re-open the A-9 road on March 2. Full text

BRITISH CONSERVATIVE BACKING FOR SRI LANKA

(DM)It was quite interesting to note the divergent reportage in local media of Thursday’s European Parliament resolution on Sri Lanka.

The state media went to town portraying it as a pro-Sri Lanka or rather pro-government resolution. The independent media created the impression that the EU has been tough on both government and the LTTE. Full Text

WE ARE TIRED OF HYPOCRISY AND DOUBLE DEALING: SRI LANKA AT UN HRC

(DM)Sri Lanka says it is tired of hypocrisy and double dealing that take advantage of the humanism of world citizens.

Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, speaking during the Interactive dialogue on the Reports of Special Rapporteurs at the UN Human Rights Council said that with regard to the report on the situation of Human Rights Defenders Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha had said that physical threats to anyone, including defenders of human rights, are to be deplored. Full Text

Army constructs bunkers on A-9 Road

By Romesh Madusanka, Wanni

(DM)Security on the Kandy-Jaffna A-9 highway which is open for transport of security personnel and essential consumer goods has been stepped up by erecting bunkers from Omanthai to Elephant Pass. Full Text

GMOA not satisfied with Indian medical team

By Ariyaratne Ranabhu

(DM)The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday said that bringing down an Indian medical team to operate a make-shift hospital in Pulmoddai would create unnecessary and grave complications in the Sri Lankan health sector.

Addressing a media conference in Colombo, President of the GMOA Shirantha Dissanayake said it was also questionable why the Indian government was so interested to build such a hospital in such an environment and physically rich area at a time the LTTE terrorism had almost come to and end. Full text

‘Yal Devi’ restricted

(DM)The Vavuniya bound ‘Yal Devi’ train has been restricted to Medawachchiya due to security reasons, the Railway Department said.

A spokesman for the department told Daily Mirror yesterday that after instructions from the defence authorities action has been taken to restrict the service up to Medawachchiya with effect from last Monday. Full text

EU RESOLUTION HAS NO BINDING POWER- GOVT.

(DM)The government yesterday said that the resolution adopted by the EU Parliament on the situation in Sri Lanka has no binding effect on the country.

Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona told Daily Mirror that the EU Parliament does not have the power to even bind its member states.

The EU parliament had on Thursday adopted a resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka calling for an immediate ceasefire by the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Elam (LTTE) in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone. Dr. Kohona took note of the fact that the resolution called for a ceasefire with the goal of letting civilians leave LTTE areas and had also condemned the LTTE for holding civilians as human shields. Full Text

LTTE ATTACK POLICE IN WILLPATTU

(DM)A group of suspected LTTE cadres launched an attack on a joint police and civil defence force personnel manning a checkpoint at Aluthgama located on the eastern boundary of the Willpattu forest reserve on Thursday night, police said. Full Text

UN HR Chief charges military, LTTE of crimes against humanity

Govt. says claim lacks credibility

GENEVA : The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed her growing alarm on Friday at the increasing number of civilians reported killed and injured in the conflict in northern Sri Lanka and the apparent ruthless disregard for their safety. “Certain actions being undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the

LTTE may constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.” Pillay said. “We need to know more about what is going on, but we know enough to be sure that the situation is absolutely desperate. The world today is sensitive about such acts that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Full Text

KARUNA LOYALISTS SLAIN IN THE EAST

By Senaka deSilva

(DM)Just weeks after the TMVP handed over its weapons to the government and Minister Vinayagmoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman was quoted in the media as saying his cadres will not disarm four of his loyalists were found slain in their office early yesterday.

Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera said the four victims were shot by unidentified gunmen in Sammanthurai and investigations were underway. Full Text

Ilanthirayan executed?

(DM)NEW DELHI: Speculation is rife about the LTTE having killed its high-profile military spokesman over charges of being a "traitor" after the rebels suffered heavily at the beginning of this year, Tamil sources told IANS.

Rumours that Irasiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall was executed has been spreading in Tamil circles for about a month and the sources said it could have happened in January. Full Text

Sri Lanka on verge of defeating terrorism - Hillary Clinton tells President Rajapaksa

(defence.lk)The US Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Sri Lanka is now on the verge of defeating terrorism, and that this presented a great opportunity to restore peace, leading to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the country.

These observations were made when Mrs. Clinton spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by telephone this evening. The telephone discussion which was warm and cordial was originated by the US Secretary of State, who initially expressed her condolences for those killed in the terrorist attack at Akuressa earlier this week. She stated that terrorists should not be permitted to destroy the lives of people in such manner. Full Text

Prabhakaran always for personal fiefdom - Liam Fox

(defence.lk)It was evident all along that the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was not interested in a political solution to the issues in Sri Lanka and the Tamil people, but in establishing a personal fiefdom for himself, said the British Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox is discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today. Full text

Friday, March 13, 2009

Japan Funds Humanitarian De-mining Activities in Sri Lanka

(defence.lk)The Government of Japan has extended further support for the humanitarian de-mining activities in Sri Lanka and allocated Rs. 80 million to the Swiss Foundation for accelerated de-mining activities in the conflict affected areas of Mannar and Vavuniya. Mr. Marc Bonnet, Programme Manager of Swiss Foundation for Mine Action and Mr. Karosu Shimazaki, Ambassador of Japan signed a bilateral contract for this project, today (13) at the Embassy of Japan, Colombo. Full Text

LTTE loosing its last stand; continue to take heavy beating - Puthukkudiyiruppu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army 53, 55 and 58 Divisions, have now entered into the final phase of the counter terrorist offensive against LTTE with soldiers getting exceptional attrition rates in the battle.

According to the battlefield reports, infantrymen of 58 Division yesterday (Mar 12) further pushed their forward boundaries east of Kombavil Kulam, 4 Km north of Puthukkudiyiruppu. Troops overwhelmed intense resistance of the terrorist with heavy artillery and mortar shells fired from the No Fire Zone and inflicted heavy damages to the terrorist. Full text

Kandy Bishop satisfied with IDP facilities

Upul Balasuriya Vavuniya Central Group corr..

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Catholic Bishops Conference Chairman and Kandy Bishop Rev. Vianney Fernando said he was happy with the facilities provided to displaced families who have crossed over to Government-controlled areas. Full text

EU MPS condemn LTTE

Members of the European Parliament yesterday adopted a resolution "condemning the LTTE's violence and intimidation which are preventing civilians from leaving the conflict area", and "callings for an immediate ceasefire by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone". Full text

Canadian liberal party MP in hot water for participating in LTTE terrorist rally

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)
(defence.lk)Making a statement a Liberal Party Member of the Canadian parliament has reassured that he is no way connected with the LTTE terrorist group.

He made this statement after attending a Parliament Hill rally where some LTTE supporters started waving Tiger flags and making pro-Tiger statements at the rally. Full text

Situation report (Mar 12) by SLA

Troops Find Powerful Com. Antenna Inside Puthukudirippu Hospital Premises

MULLAITTIVU: FOLLOWING the capture of PUTHUKUDIRIPPU hospital this morning (12), Army troops conducting search operation in PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU area found seven LTTE dead bodies, thirteen T-56 weapons, six radio base stations (PRC 77), six PRC 77 low band sets, two I-com sets, twelve circuits and thirteen antennas. Full Text

US shelves evacuation of Tamils caught in LTTE areas

(rediff)The Obama administration has shelved the idea of launching a massive military evacuation of nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam strongholds, sources have told Rediff India Abroad.

Sources acknowledged that the plan was for US Air Force and US Navy units attached to its Pacific Command (PACOM) to go into the rebel-held hold-outs and evacuate these civilians faced with the prospect of fast-declining food and medicine stocks in these areas. Full text

Sri Lanka troops kill 12 more rebels: military

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan government troops have captured more territory from the Tamil Tigers, killing at least 12 rebels and recovering chemical warfare kits and airplane parts, the military said Thursday.

The island's army, which says it is on the verge of defeating the ethnic rebels, said it had taken control of an abandoned hospital in the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu, following heavy fighting on Wednesday. Full Text

Sri Lanka says seizes hospital from rebels

(yahoo-AP)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The Sri Lankan army Thursday seized the last remaining medical facility held by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island, a military official said.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the troops took the facility near Puthukkudiyiruppu after launching an operation Wednesday. Full text

Are Tamilnadu’s political minions harbouring Tiger terrorists?

By Mohan Gunaratnam, Ranjan Jayakody and Ranjit Surendran

(March 12, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) During the latter 1980s there is proof that Vaiyapuri Gopalaswamy alias Vaiko of Telugu origin has been clandestinely visiting Prabhakaran in his Wanni bunkers. He has even spent long periods of time in consultations with him as well as being taught the use of firearms. This period of his visitations coincides with the time when the Tigers committed a series of killings including the decimation of Padmanabha and his EPRLF compatriots at Cholai Medu in Chennai and the leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front A Amirthalingam and his fellow Member of Parliament, Yogeswaran. Full Text

Retiring the LTTE

Ending the Conflict in Sri Lanka by Ranjith Gunaratna
Courtesy: Harvard International Review

Ranjith Gunaratna is a senior Sri Lankan diplomat who writes frequently on the subject of counter-terrorism and conflict resolution. He authored several books including the translation of "Lee Kwan Yew's The Singapore Story." The following are the strictly personal views of the writer.
_____________________________________

(March 12, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) For more than three decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) has been endeavoring to weaken the democratically elected government in Sri Lanka. They have primarily used adroit terror and propaganda campaigns interspersed with political negotiation. During the history of its campaign, the LTTE has not displayed any keen, sincere interest in settling the conflict through political negotiations. The apparent reason behind this could be their firm belief in carving an independent state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka through military means. It used the negotiation table mostly to buy time, regroup, and rearm. Yet, its failure or rejection to sit at the negotiation table with firm commitments and sincerity is the gravest mistake the LTTE has ever made. Consequently, it has been paying the price for its failed militaristic approach towards the conflict. Full Text

LTTE prays for BJP victory in India

By Janaka Perera

(AT)The much vaunted international crusade against terrorism loudly proclaimed by big powers appears to be more rhetoric than action when it comes to their self interest.

JHU (National Heritage Party) Parliamentarian Venerable Athureliye Ratana made this observation this week during a television debate on the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan. His comments on the TNL channel came a day before a LTTE suicide bomber struck at the Jumma mosque at Godapitiya, Akurassa, in the Matara district during the national Milad-Un-Nabi celebration, on Tuesday March 10. Full text

LTTE in a desperate end game is turning to international apologists to get it off the hook - Geoffrey Van Orden MEP

Brussels, 13 March, (Asiantribune.com): British Conservative MEP and Chairman of the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka Group’ Geoffrey Van Orden has said, "the LTTE is now in a desperate end game and, typically in such situations, is turning to international apologists to get it off the hook". Van Orden told members of the European Parliament "the greatest service all in this House can do is to call on the LTTE to lay down its arms and to release the civil population from its grip. Then much-needed humanitarian aid can be delivered, people can begin to look forward to better lives, and all Sri Lankans can get back on the path of democratic politics and building a fair and more prosperous society for all its citizens, free from terrorist oppression". Full Text

FAMILY SUFFERS ANOTHER BLOW

By Sumaiya Rizvi

(DM)The VIPs and the people in the spotlight all too often make the headlines when disaster strikes. It is on everyone’s mind to find out for whom was the attack aimed at and whether he was injured. But when the cloud settles and the casualties are counted only then will the people know of the real ‘people’ that paid with their lives. This is one of them who perished instantly when the bomb went off and was kept lying on the road until the Magistrate gave the all clearance sign. Gishan Fernando was behind Minister Mahinda Wijesekara and bore the brunt of the suicide bomber and possibly might have been the very reason the Minister was saved, according to other MSD officers who had spoken to his brother. Full text

Heavy fighting amidst rain for the last stretch of land

LTTE infiltration attempts foiled but troops’ forward march also delayed

(DM)The last phase of the decades long war appears to be extremely difficult for both the Sri Lankan armed forces as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as fierce fighting continues in a small space of less that 40 square kilometers.

Since early this month, the troops’ advance has been very slow .On March 5 the LTTE consisting of several hundreds of armed men launched a massive operation on the southern edge of Chalai, where the soldiers of the 58 Division and the 55 Division were linked. Full text

Woman with army uniforms busted

By Ananda Weerasuriya

(DM)A woman tailor who had five sets of army uniforms in her possession was arrested by Air Force in Ratmalana and handed over to the Mount Lavinia police. Full Text

MK ridicules Jaya’s claim

(defence.lk)Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday ridiculed the claim of AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa that the Centre had dispatched medicines to help the Sri Lanka Tamils immediately after she observed a fast.

“Is it possible for the government to procure medicines weighing 25 tonnes and medical equipment on a day’s notice? Jayalalithaa’s claim is a good joke’’, Karunanidhi said in his article written for DMK organ Murasoli. Full Text

Student claims abduction in van carrying explosives

By K.S.Fernando.

Panadura.

(DM)A 12-year-old student hailing from Maligawatte, who had jumped out of a van travelling on the Galle road on Thursday afternoon, had informed the Panadura police that there had been a package containing hand grenades in the van with a timing mechanism attached. Full Text

First food convoy to use A9 comes back to Colombo

(DM)The first food convoy to use a land route which travelled via the A-9 Highway from Colombo to Jaffna returned back to Colombo yesterday carrying stocks of dry rations and produce from Jaffna.

The Government Information Department said the first stock of dry rations was then transported to the CWE Stores Complex in Welisara. Full text

UN HR Chief pillay calls for more support staff in SL

(DM)The government yesterday said discussions are underway to look into the possibility of strengthening the support staff of the United Nations Human Rights’ Senior Advisor in Sri Lanka.

“There was a request from the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, to increase the number of support staff of the Senior Human Rights Advisor at the UN in Sri Lanka,” Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told media yesterday. Full text

Gotabhaya vows to capture remaining territory soon

Massive arms recovered - enough for two armies

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday although the LTTE was having a control over a territory of about 30 square kilometres now, it would be only more than 20 square kilometres once the lagoon area was removed.

Mr. Rajapaksa vowed to capture the remaining landmass and bring the entire country under the government’s control very soon. Full text

Sri Lanka needs devolution- Menon

(DM)WASHINGTON (AFP)--Sri Lanka needs true devolution of power to minority Tamils if it wants to permanently end its long-running ethnic war, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said Wednesday.

Menon, who was in Washington for talks, said the U.S. and the Sri Lankan government itself both agreed with regional power India on the need to quickly restore daily life in war-torn areas. Full text

Fox here for talks

(DM)Britian’s Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday for talks with the government and opposition party leaders, sources told Daily Mirror.

The British MP who helped formulate agreement between the Chandrika Kumaratunga administration and the UNP in 1997, is expected to stay in the country till tomorrow and had reportedly sought an opportunity to meet the media to express his views on the ethnic conflict. Full text

EU Parliament adopts resolution on Sri Lanka

(DM)Brussels, March 12 (EuAsiaNews): The European Parliament (EP) adopted, Thursday, a resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka, calling for an immediate ceasefire by the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone.

The EP condemned the LTTE's violence and intimidation, which were preventing civilians from leaving the conflict area. Full text

Pakistan admits security lapses

Lahore attack

By Sumaiya Rizvi

(DM)The Pakistan government yesterday admitted there were security and non security lapses which ultimately led to the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore but assured the government would ensure such a tragedy would not be repeated.

“Next time we will ensure that a joint security force made up of the central and provincial government security personnel will be in place for any team visiting the country and the highest level of security will be provided,” Pakistan Sports Minister Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani said speaking exclusively to Daily Mirror. Full text

'If there is any genocide in Sri Lanka it is by the LTTE' says Lord Naseby

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Lord Naseby, Conservative Peer and Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka said on Wednesday(March 11), if there is any genocide in Sri Lanka it is by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who hold civilian Tamils by force as a human shield in the war.

"This talk about genocide is rubbish. The only people who are causing genocide are the LTTE who are holding the civilians as a human shield," he said when a LTTE propagandist in the audience charged the Sri Lanka government of genocide. Lord Naseby was referring to the Tamil civilians who are being held against their will as a human shield in the current war by the LTTE and who are being shot at by the LTTE when they attempt to escape on foot and by boat. Full text

UN condemns diversification of Children's food to LTTE terrorists as combat rations

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)The United Nations have condemned the diversion of therapeutic high energy food meant for malnourished children to the to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Tigers (LTTE) terrorists currently fighting the Sri Lankan security forces in the North.

A statement issued by the United Nations, March 11, said that the UN food supplied to malnourished children was found with a dead LTTE terrorist who was killed at the front. The food found in the possession of the dead LTTE terrorist was in fact issued for the ill-nourished children of Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu, the UN statement charged. Full text

Puthukkudiyirippu hospital liberated from LTTE - Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Army soldiers of the 53 Division and Task Force 8 entered the Puthukkudiyirippu Hospital premises today (March 12) morning, driving away LTTE terrorists who had turned the hospital into a major LTTE hideout since the fall of Mullaittivu town on 25th January.

The hospital was entirely turned into a terror bastion and its perimeter used as an artillery and heavy mortar launching pad against the advancing security forces. Patients who were receiving treatment were evacuated earlier by the ICRC to government hospitals at Vavuniya and Trincomalee via land and sea route. Terrorist put-on heavy resistance prolonging military from entering the Puthukkudiyirippu hospital with intense gunfire and heavy weapon attacks launched from inside the hospital premises. Full text

LTTE plot for mass scale chemical attack bared

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 57 Division on Tuesday, the 5th of March found a large stock of gas masks and chemical resistant costumes from a captured LTTE camp in Udayarkattukulam North. According to defence experts , the discovery exposes a possible terrorist plot for a mass scale chemical attack against Sri Lankan soldiers.

The LTTE terrorists have been using chemical gases against the Sri Lanka Army the past last two years of battle. However, the inherent limitations of the chemical weapon failed to give the intended impact on the battlefield with soldiers well prepared to meet a chemical threat. Full text

Wheel chairs, clutches donated by Wijesinghe family for disabled war heroes

(defence.lk)Five wheel chairs, thirty arms clutches and twenty double arms clutches were donated to the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit to be distributed among disabled war heroes by Mr and Mrs. Wijesinghe Thursday (March 12).

Mr. Subash Wijesinghe, presently employed as a Group Director at Interaction Field Services in Afganistan along with his wife Mrs. Subasha Wijesinghe made this donation in light of their daughters 1st birthday anniversary. The items were received by the Ministry of Defence Seva Vanith Unit (SVU) Chairperson Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa at the ministry premises today. Full text

A-9 highway reopens - Jaffna residents prepare for a joyous New Year

(By: Social Affairs Unit of SCOPP)

(defence.lk)The night of 10th March 2009 was no ordinary night for the people of Jaffna - a ray of light cleaving through the darkness rekindled hope in them. The Government Agent, his officials and employees were waiting in readiness at the Navatkuly food warehouse to receive the first consignment of goods being transported via the A-9 highway in lorries. This lifeline to Jaffna, linking the south of the country, had remained closed for the past two and a half years due to the intransigence of the LTTE. The food items were sent on the 09th March from Colombo to Vavuniya and they were now on their final lap to reach the Peninsular. Full Text

LTTE air craft spare parts, accessories sized at Ampalavanpkkanai- Mullaittivu

(defence.lk)Sri Lankan Army 18(GR) Gajaba Regiment infantrymen of the 58 Division, conducting search and clearing operations in general area Ampalavanpokkanai, North of Mullaittivu uncovered spare parts of LTTE air craft yesterday (March 11).

According to ground military sources, the spare parts were found concealed and hidden inside oil barrels which were unearthed by the troops. Air craft tyres, batteries, engine parts, direction lights and several others accessories were among the items uncovered, security sources said. Full text

Donation worth of Rs. 200,000 made for 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund

(defence.lk)A donation worth of Rs. 200,000 was made for the 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund by Mr. Shantha Wickramasinghe at the Ministry of Defence today (March 12). Mr. Wickramasighe a resident at Horton Place, Colombo made the donation as a mark of gratitude for the Sri Lankan security forces, who are engaged in an untiring effort to free the island from the scourge of terrorism. Full Text

Philanthropist makes donation of C$ 1000 to 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund

(defence.lk)Mrs. Rukmani Perera of Sasakatoon, Saskatchewan Canada made a donation worth of C$ 1000 for the 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund today (March 12). The cash cheque was presented to Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Mr. Upali Perera (husband of Mrs. Rukmani) at the Ministry of Defence, Colombo. Full text