Saturday, March 21, 2009

British Parliamentarians Promoting Tragedy

(PISL)I rarely watch television in Sri Lanka, but in the long lonely nights in Geneva, when I am too tired to write yet another critique of some silly assault on the Sri Lankan state, I find myself looking for English language programmes. Recently I have been struck by the number of British television dramas dealing with terrorism. Many of them feature police teams fighting for decency as well as the British way of life, sometimes battling politicians who are engaged in all sorts of wicked deals. Full text

Situation Report (Mar 21) by SLA

Over Thousand Civilians Reached Troops in Puthukudirippu

MULLAITTIVU: ONE thousand one hundred and eighty-five civilians including three hundred and twenty-six males, three hundred and twenty-eight females, two hundred and seventy-nine boys and two hundred and forty-two girls reached troops in PUTHUKUDIYIRUPPU during Friday (20). Full Text

Taming the Tigers

by Nirj Deva

(PS)BRUSSELS – Three years ago, Sri Lanka elected Mahinda Rajapaksa as president because he pledged to take the offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the guerillas who have been fighting for 25 years to carve out an independent homeland for the country’s Tamil minority. Many well-meaning people saw Rajapaksa’s promise as warmongering, and, even as Sri Lanka’s army has been pressing toward victory, urged him to negotiate with perhaps the world’s most fanatical terror organization (the Tamil Tigers, it should be recalled, virtually invented the cult of the modern suicide bomber.) Full text

Three Indian airports on alert after threat

(yahoo)THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (AFP) – India tightened security at three major airports in the southern state of Kerala after a call threatening attacks by Tamil Tiger sympathizers, police said Saturday.

Extra security measures were in place at the international airports of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode following the threat, the director general of police told AFP. Full Text

Sri Lankan military: Clashes leave 28 rebels dead

By SCOTT McDONALD
(yahoo)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's north has left at least 28 separatist Tamil Tigers dead close to the last rebel-held town, the military said Saturday.

They were killed near Puthkkudiyirippu, where fierce battles between government troops and the rebels have been raging for several weeks, said military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara. Full Text

Senior sea tiger killed in Mullaittivu fighting: Body recovered by 55 Div troops

(defence.lk)55 Division troops led by Major General Prasanna Silva have recovered bodies of 4 LTTE terrorists including the body of 'Sindu' a senior 'sea tiger', subsequent to heavy confrontations that ensued with LTTE on Friday (March 20), South of Patikkarai at the Northern Mullaittivu battlefront.

According to military reports received, LTTE terrorists have fled in total disarray with leaving their dead behind. "Soosai has gone outraged with the loss and heavily criticized the LTTE ground leadership at Palamathalan fro failing to recover 'Sindu's' body", military said citing intercepted LTTE communication. Full Text

12th batch of patients and civilians trapped in Mullaithivu evacuated with the Naval assistance

(defence.lk)The twelfth batch of 455 patients and civilians was evacuated on board "MV Green Ocean" on the 20th March 2009. The evacuation of patients and civilians trapped in LTTE Clutches in the un-cleared areas in Mullaithivu is being carried out under the ICRC flag. Sri Lanka Navy is providing safe passage for evacuees on humanitarian grounds. Full Text

'Majesty Natural Food & Chemicals' make donation to 'Api Wenuwen Api'

(defence.lk)Mr. K.T.D Jayarathne, Managing Director of Majesty Natural Food and Chemicals (Export) Ltd, Dompe made a donation worth of Rs. 2,500,000 to the 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund on Friday (March 20).

The donation was received by Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Ministry of Defence premises. Senior journalist and defence columnist of 'Lankadeepa' Mr. Duminda Sanjeewa Balasooriya was also present at the occasion. Full text

Clad in civilian clothing Prabhakaran and son Charles Anthony Seelan seen in No Fire Zone

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army sources said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader has been seen several times in the Puthukudiyiruppu area's No-fire zone declared by the government for escaping civilians.

The same sources said the LTTE terrorist leader has been seen with his son Charles Anthony Seelan and both of them for most of the time are hiding in an underground bunker. Full text

'Jumirah International' employees donate for 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund

(defence.lk)A donation worth of Rs. 283,491 was made to the Ministry of Defence 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund for the welfare of security forces personnel by Sri Lankan employees of the 'Jumirah International Company Ltd, based in Dubai.

The cash cheque was handed over to Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Mr. Salitha Priyanga, representing employees of Jumirah International.

Civilians come trickling in again

(DW)The flow of civilians into Army's hands has again increased thanks to the efforts of the 55 Division. This week alone some 8,000 civilians escaped the LTTE's clutches. 1,400 escaped and handed themselves over to the Army today. Some of these civilians have escaped with gunshot wounds caused by LTTE attack teams along the way.

The IDPs often have blood-chilling experiences to tell. They claimed today that at least 25 bodies of Tamil civilians killed while escaping from forced LTTE detention centers within the last few days by the LTTE were now floating on the Chalai lagoon. Full text

'Charge or release' Sinhala Tigers

Supreme Court
Court ordered the AG to charge or release the suspects within a month
The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has ordered authorities to file charges against the 14 suspects known as 'Sinhala Tigers' within a month or release them.

(BBC)A three member panel chaired by the Chief Justice Sarath N Silva ordered the Attorney General (AG) to take action after considering petitions filed by the suspects. Full Text

Exodus from fighting accelerates

(BBC)The Sri Lankan military says the number of civilians escaping the war zone in the north-east has increased significantly in recent days.

Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said in the last two days alone, more than three-thousand people had fled from the shrinking area of territory held by the Tamil Tigers.

The government says nearly fifty-thousand civilians have now come out of the zone and are being housed in special camps. Full Text

LTTE threat to Kerala airports; security tightened

(TH)Thiruvananthapuram (PTI): Security was on Friday stepped up in all the three international airports in Kerala following an alert about LTTE threat to the key installations, police sources said here.

The Air India security office here received the alert message from its Mumbai office, they said. Full text

Tamil Tigers 'finished', says former leader

• Rebels in Sri Lanka said to have lost 90% of fighters
• Aid agencies fear for fate of civilians in north-east
Randeep Ramesh in Colombo

(guardian)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a rebel army that has fought a 25-year civil war against the Sri Lankan state, is "finished", having lost more than 90% of its fighters, the group's former military commander said yesterday.

In an interview with the Guardian, Colonel Karuna said around 1,500 surviving rebels, who have made their last stand on a sliver of the north-east coast, are surrounded by 65,000 troops of the Sri Lankan army, with no way out. At the height of their powers the Tigers could muster more than 15,000 men at arms. Full text

LTTE in dire straits: Original dummy of the original has fled

Machan Markandu from Montreal avows “Maha-Maweeran” is no more

By Catapult Thangavelu from Kappang Highway

(March 20, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) “Who said the LTTE is headed by Velupillai Prabhakaran? He was only the visible front of the hidden back and it’s the “Back” that is very powerful; only the back exists now. This “Back” of the front is overseas,” said Machan Markandu of Montreal now on a holiday unknown to his relatives in Manipay. One can gather therefore his name is not Machan Markandu. Full text

Broadcasting in Norwegian style

By: Mahinda Weerasinghe

Here UD – Norwegian Foreign office. The Norwegian TV commentary has been set in bold script

(March 20, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Norwegian media’s studied silence of the Sri Lankan war on terror was suspended around three months ago. The silence was maintained as a real-politics necessity. Which means; to keep the Norwegian folk, ignorant of what’s happening in the island? Now the issues have overtaken, and a new reality has dawned. The impending annihilation of the LTTE terrorist is keeping the UD nervous. Understandably UD’s terrorist allies need lots of oxygen presently. And the international media is reporting what’s taking place in the island. So the silence has become pointless as the Norwegians get information in other ways and would have wondered why. So the next best thing is to brainwash the Norsk Folk and prepare them for the horrible eventuality. This means if the army happens to capture their terrorist pal Prabhakaran, he is bound to let the cat out of the bag. Full Text

Canadian Outrage: Genocide and a 7-year old

By Siva Sunderam and Anita Joseph in Toronto

(March 20, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardain) Toronto Monday March 16, 2009 was another one of those days chosen by the Pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to flex their muscles for the Great Eelam Cause. A working day was chosen instead of Saturday or Sunday to attract the greatest possible attention, at the greatest possible nuisance to perpetrate the greatest possible fraud – The Genocide. Full Text

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Jayatilleka chosen as Coordinator of the UNCTAD Asian Group

(March 21, Geneva, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Ambassador / Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was unanimously chosen as the Coordinator of the Asian Group of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) today, taking over from Indonesia.

As coordinator of the Asian Group, the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative will be facilitating the formulation and presentation of the Group’s concerns and interests in UNCTAD, and working to ensure that these interests are properly addressed in the UNCTAD framework. Sri Lanka’s role as coordinator of one of the three regional groups (along with GRULAC and the Africa Group) of the larger developing country grouping known as Group of 77 and China (G77 and China) is particularly important at this time, given the increased challenges being faced by developing and least developed countries in the current environment of economic slowdown. Full text

Why should Canadians die fighting terrorism in Afghanistan when it is encouraged in Torono?

By Satchi Sithananthan from Frankfurt

(March 21, Frankfurt, Sri Lanka Guardian) Terrorism has developed into a global menace. Towards this the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which has no political philosophy at all but is using the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka as a convenient vehicle is determined to create a mafia international underworld network. Pakistan in the Third World and Canada in the developed world are countries to watch as the fast breeding grounds for terrorism.

The former is past master at this evil but is learning new tricks from the Tamil Tigers such as the suicide bombers, submersibles for under sea operations and use of civilians as human shield. Canada, on the other hand, is on the fast track as a haven for Tamil terrorists. Full Text

Dear Vahini Jeevakaran of Toronto

By Anita Joseph

(March 21, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) I guess you are a Tamil young lady; obviously. May be you are an undergraduate in one of the universities in Toronto or in the neighbourhood municipalities or a young lady in early employment but may not have a family of your own yet. Even otherwise, what you chose to express to a National Post feature on the Monday 16 march in support of the LTTE in Toronto points you out as exceptionally emotional, immature and has dared to state something without checking the facts. Full Text

Tiger commissar wants China to reconsider

(March 21, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A former constable of the Sri Lankan Police and later Constable General of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam headquartered in Kilinochchi and now the terror group’s political head or commissar or whatever he calls himself, B Nadesan wants China to give consideration to what he calls as the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Full Text

UNCOHR Ms.N. Pillay unmasks her true identity

By Malin Abeyatunge

(March 21, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) When I first read the news that one Ms Navenetham Pillay from South Africa has been appointed as UN Commissioner for Human Rights, I was sceptical thinking another LTTE supporter in the UN to back LTTE appeasing Ms Radhika Coomarswamy who is the special representative for children and armed conflict. I was sceptical because name Pillay sounded Tamilish (I am not a racist in any way but anti LTTE) and she hails from South Africa a haven which has a strong support base for LTTE activities from the Sri Lankan and Indian Tamil habitants. However, I thought I should not pre-judge and put her in the same boat of Radhika Coomaraswamy who always had and has a soft corner for LTTE despite LTTE’s continuation of abduction and recruitment underage children for its baby brigade. We have not forgotten her sending one of her stooges Alan Rock to Sri Lanka to look into child conscription and made a mess out of it by blaming the GoSL and not LTTE. Full Text

Conflict In Paradise: An Address To The American Jewish Committee

San Francisco, 20 March, (Asiantribune.com) Addressing the American Jewish Committee in San Francisco, the former Chief Executive Officer and President of the Pacific Area Travel Association "Lakshman Ratnapala said the LTTE has become the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization.

They have perpetrated more suicide bombings than Hamas and Hezbollah combined, killing thousands of people, including their own Tamil dissidents and moderates alike; innocent civilians dragged out of buses; clergy and worshipers in temples, churches and mosques; innocent farmers and villagers, children and infants put to the sword as they slept at night. Full Text

Sri Lanka’s battle for global hearts and minds and scrutinizing The 'mindset' of the West

Daya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune Analysis

Washington, D.C. 20 March (Asiantribune.com): The United States and Western Democracies, international community interested in Sri Lanka’s national crisis, the United Nations agencies dealing with humanitarian and human rights issues, global rights organizations mostly funded by Western Democracies have long been kept ‘informed’ by the international wing of activists, professionals and front organizations of Sri Lanka’s secessionist Tamil Tigers (LTTE) that the minority Tamils (12%) have been denied equal rights for many decades, facing shrinking educational and employment opportunities, denied economic opportunities the majority Sinhalese (74%) enjoy, deprived of the adequate participation in the nation’s governance and discrimination in the hands of the ‘Sinhalese-dominated government’ dismissing their basic human rights and a decent living. Full text

Probe report of attack on Sri Lankan team sent to Interior Ministry: No proof of LeT’s involvement, foreign hand seen

By Farzana Shah- Asian Tribune correspondent in Pakistan

Islamabad, 20 March, (Asiantribune.com): The investigation report on attack on Sri Lankan cricket team has been prepared and sent to Interior Ministry on Thursday.

The investigation report has stated that no evidence of the involvement of the Lashker-e-Tayyaba (LeT) or the Jammatud Dawa has been found in the attack. Full Text

Sri Lankan Conflict: Global economic crisis must instill a sense of urgency to find a political solution

By Raj Gonsalkorale

(AT)There are several schools of thought in Sri Lanka and outside about the existence, nature and a solution to the conflict. Some are of the view that there is no conflict. This view is shared mostly by Sinhala people. For them, since there is no conflict, the nature of a non existent conflict, and therefore finding a solution, is superfluous. From all accounts this view is that of a minority of Sinhala/Sri Lankan people. Full Text

Tigers and their apologists at the UN

New York, 21 March, (Asiantribune.com): The Comical story of LTTE’s Nadesan who cannot communicate even with his own supremo Prabhakaran offering to negotiate with China typifies the extent to which the Tigers are in disarray. Nadesan’s UN "intelligence" is based on a South Bronx blogger who runs a site called Inner City Press. Nadesan is attempting to use Inner City fiction to white wash the Tigers.

The UN is seized of how the tigers are shooting nuns, elderly and children, conscripting minors as young as 14 years of age and using internationally banned chemical weapons. At a time like this Nadesan is trying to fool the diaspora into believing that he is negotiating with China! Trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the diaspora into believing that only China opposes moves in the UN against Sri Lanka and making them believe the rest of the countries in the Security Council are supporting them. Full Text

Intense fighting in Puthukkudiyairippu; 5 LTTE bodies found

(defence.lk)Infantrymen of 5 Gemunu Watch (5GW) and 6 Gajaba Regiment (6GR) serving under 53 Division continued their offensive gaining control over more area while strengthening the defences yesterday, defence sources in battlefront said. Full text

1185 Tamil civilians seek security forces protection - Puthukkudiyairippu

(defence.lk)Total of 1185 Tamil civilians who had been forcibly held by the LTTE terrorists were able to escape the terror grip and reach security forces controlled area yesterday, 20 March. The civilians reached to troops of 58 Division on offensive in general area Puthukkudiyairippu. Full Text

58 Div advances further; more LTTE military items found - Puthukkudiyairippu

(defence.lk)Troops of 58 Division have shrunk LTTE hiding areas while consolidating defences in newly gained ground, defence sources said.

Army snipers deployed in Puthukkudiyairippu west and Iranapalai areas gunned down 20 LTTE terrorists ahead of the own defence line, military report received from the battlefront said. Full Text

On My watch - Lucien Rajakarunanayake: Pro-LTTE orchestras in full rhythm

(DN)The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay had more than her day in the local limelight as one who, despite her legal background and being an international civil servant of the world body, does not take the trouble to double check information.

What is worse is that being a diplomat she did not consult with the Government she was accusing of serious wrongdoing about the credibility of the information she had. Full text

LTTE loses both skill and will


Prof Rohan Gunaratna

Prof Rohan Gunaratna, Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Singapore, in an interview with the Daily News opines why the Army ucceeded and the LTTE failed.

*******

(DN)How do you assess the present mentality and the moral of the LTTE, its leadership and their strength as of today?

For a guerilla and a terrorist organization to fight, there are two essential things, skill and will, LTTE has lost both the skill and the will to fight the SL military in face to face combat. That is why the LTTE is now focusing on terrorist attacks especially suicide bombings. Full text

Minister Muralitharan lauds President for opportunity: Combined language training for Eastern youth


Youth Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi in conversation with a group of youth from the Eastern Province while National Integration and Reconciliation Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council member Kanchana Jayaratne and Chairman, National Youth Services Council Bhashwara Gunaratne look on.

(DN)The youth in the Eastern Province were involved in a meaningless and useless war for a long time and it was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who gave them the opportunity to see the world again. Youth Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi is doing a significant service to the youths in the East and I wish to thank both President Rajapaksa and Minister Wanniarachchi, National Integration and Reconciliation Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan said. Full Text

UN clarifies controversial Geneva statement

(TI)The UN Headquarters on Wednesday (18) asserted that it did not have the exact information to be able to reach even an estimation of civilian casualties, when questioned about the controversy over the casualty figure in Sri Lanka. Full Text

Australia condemns LTTE terror tactics

(TI)The Australian Government yesterday condemned LTTE terror tactics and called on it to immediately lift all restrictions on civilians remaining in areas under its control.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephan Smith said in a media release that the Australian Government remains gravely concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation in Northern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians remain trapped amidst fighting between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. Full Text

Navy to shoot ship carrying food for Tigers

(TI)The Navy said yesterday that it had been alerted about a ship carrying the International Red Cross emblem about to sail to Sri Lanka from Britain carrying 2,000 tons of food for the beleagured LTTE in the guise of food aid to the people trapped in the Mullaitivu district.

Sources said this was a Tiger ruse to rouse international opinion against the Sri Lanka government. Full text

War Zone Toronto

(defence.lk)What do you expect two hundred and twenty six gangs and members of banned terrorist groups to do? Kill, kill randomly, harm innocent people, steal, extort money from innocent people and make a city a war zone. That is exactly what is happening here in Toronto. With 226 gangs operating in the city and members of banned terrorist groups such as the LTTE, better known here as the Tamil Tigers roaming the city and openly hero worshipping suicide terrorist cadres who kill innocent Sri Lankans back home. Tragic isn’t it? Full Text

PLAYING THE IDP CARD

(DM)Joseph Stalin, the longest served President and dictator of former USSR once said that “death of one man is a tragedy, death of millions is statistic” for the society. This seems to be true when it comes to the plight of the internally displaced people or commonly known as IDPs in Wanni. All concerned are focusing on the number of the IDPs. Full Text

Australia calls for political deal to end Sri Lanka bloodshed

(DM)Australia on Friday called on Sri Lanka to present "credible political reforms" to end ethnic bloodshed and expressed grave concern over the worsening humanitarian crisis in the island's north.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith also asked Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to lift all restrictions on civilians living in rebel-held areas amid allegations that the guerrillas are holding them as human shields. "There can be no justification for preventing free movement of civilians from the conflict zone," he said in a statement sent here. "We encourage the Sri Lankan diaspora to add weight to this call to prevent further loss of life." Australia, which designates the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organisation, has a large Sri Lankan community, including ethnic Tamils. "Australia again calls on the Sri Lankan government to put forward credible political reforms to engage Tamils and other minorities without delay," Smith said. "A political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans is essential for the long-term security and prosperity of Sri Lanka." Full Text

BJP to expose UPA’s tacit support to Lanka

(DM)CHENNAI: Sri Lankan Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s statement in Parliament acknowledging India’s role in the civil war in the island nation is proof of the tacit support extended by the Congress-led UPA government to the Lankan army, State BJP president L Ganesan said on Wednesday. The BJP will expose the government on the issue during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, he told press persons here. Full text

SRI LANKANS IN NEW ZEALAND TO TAKE TO THE STREETS IN PROTEST

(DM)Two Sri Lankan groups demonstrating in Auckland tomorrow will present conflicting views on who is responsible for the suffering in their island homeland's civil war. After a 10,000-strong Tamil demonstration outside the UN's European headquarters in Geneva this week, the local Tamil community will be staging a vigil at Aotea Square to keep the international spotlight on what they say is the Sinhalese-majority Government's "genocide of Tamils". But at the same time, the United Sri Lankan Association, which represents mainly the Sinhalese, will be demonstrating in Botany, accusing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of terrorism. Full Text

Soldier loses weapon and ammunition

By Agustine Fernando

(defence.lk)A soldier attached to the Puttalam army camp has reported the loss of his T-56 weapon together with 30 rounds of ammunition. The soldier was on duty at the main entrance of Army Camp at Puttalam.

According to reports, the soldier had left the sentry point, leaving his weapon and the ammunition, to take tea. Upon his return after few minutes later he had discovered his gun and ammunition missing. Full text

Vaiko cautions against "neglecting" Lankan Tamils issue

Coimbatore , Friday

(DM)MDMK chief Vaiko today warned the Centre that if it continued to "neglect" the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, it may pose a danger to national sovereignty and integrity.

"If the Centre and Congress continue to betray Sri Lankan Tamils, if UPA government continues to supply arms to Sri Lanka, there is the possibility of disintegration of Indian unity, sovereignty and integrity," Vaiko said. Full text

GLOBAL SUPPORT FOR ARMED FORCES: GOTA

By Kassapa Ellepola

(defence.lk)The contributions made by the world community to the armed forces show that they have accepted the present attempt of the government to eradicate terrorism, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

He said this while accepting a donation coordinated by the Economic Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Sri Lankan missions abroad. Full Text

National flag humiliated

By Ananda Weerasuriya

(defence.lk)A university student who was due to leave for Jaffna carrying two magazines with photos of four skulls replacing the four bo-leaves on the national flag, was arrested by the Air Force at the Ratmalana airport and handed over to the Mount-Lavinia police on Thursday (19). Full Text

TROOPS CLOSING IN ON SAFE ZONE

(defence.lk)The military said yesterday that troops are closing in on the civilian’ ‘Safe Zone’ in Puthumathalan from the east and north directions of Puthukuduirrippu.

“Troops of the 58 and 55 divisions were just two kilometres away from the ‘Safe Zone’ from the east and north directions of Puthukuduirrippu by yesterday,” Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. Full Text

CENSUS ON PEOPLE COMING FROM NORTH TO WP TODAY AND TOMORROW

(DM)The Police will conduct a census on those who arrived in the Western Province from the Northern Province of the country during today (21) and tomorrow, police said.

The police have requested those who are resettled in the South to reregister at the nearest Police stations in the Western Province. Full Text

China again blocks move against Lanka

(DM)China has for the second time this year blocked fresh moves to include Sri Lankan crisis on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agenda, Foreign Ministry sources told Daily Mirror yesterday.

Inner City Press reported that non-permanent Council members including Austria, Mexico and Costa Rica had requested a meeting for March 26 under the heading "Other Matters" since Sri Lankan crisis was still not an item on the Council's formal agenda. Full text

Defence Secretary meets relatives of fallen and disabled war heroes - Panagoda

(defence.lk)Defence Secretary Mr Gotabaya Rajapksa along with senior military officials of armed forces and Police met with the families of war heroes who had made their ultimate sacrifices for the motherland. The meeting took place at the Army cantonment in Panagoda, Homagama this morning, 20 March.

Defence Secretary had cordial discussions with family members of the fallen and disabled war heroes. Also, he has given necessary instructions to the responsible defence officials to solve the problems raised during the discussions. Full Text

TNA, MP Vinodharadhalingam praises the government's effort to IDP's

(defence.lk)Wanni district TNA MP Vinodharadhalingam commented at the parliament session the government effort to resettle all the IDPs in the recently liberated of the North from the hands of the LTTE.

He further added that he has personally visited the Kadiragamapuram welfare camp and has witnessed for himself the manner in which, the Government is taking care of the displaced persons. He observed that the people in the welfare camp were living free from fear and that they were providing with all necessary amenities under the present condition. Full Text

Fighting rages around terror final stand off; troops poised to rescue civilians under terror clutches - Puthukkudduyiruppu

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Army offensive division have now encircled the last standoff of the LTTE terrorists located west of the No Fire Zone, in the Puthukkudduyiruppu East, reveal battlefield sources.

Troops of 58 Division, spearheading the battle yesterday (Mar 19) withstood intense resistance from the terrorists but continued piercing terror defences inflicting heavy damages to the enemy. Full text

Civilian cross - overs exceed 47,000

Over 5,000 arrive during last six days:

Ananda WEDAARACHCHI

(defence.lk)The number of civilians who crossed over to Government controlled area was 47,241 up to date; Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat, the Minister said 5,006 people arrived in the government controlled area during the last six days. He said civilians have escaped from the LTTE facing shootings and numerous difficulties. The Minister said the name of the Mullaitivu Regional Director of Health Services and forged letter heads are being used to mislead the international community and the media for false propaganda on the present situation of the North. Full Text

Over 2000 Tamil civilians reach government controlled area

(defence.lk)Two thousand one hundred and sixty-nine (2169) Tamil civilians, who had been forcibly held as human shield by the LTTE terrorists in the government declared No Fire Zone (NFZ), have reached the government controlled area escaping terror grip yesterday, 19 March.

Total of 1983 Tamil civilians including 927 males and 1056 females reached Puthukuddiirippu area between 6.00AM to 6.00PM yesterday. The civilians escaped were later directed to the welfare center following the initial registration process done by the troops of 58 Division. Full Text

Commander Reminds Vanni ground Commanders of LTTE's last alternatives

(defence.lk)Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, during his weekly meeting with Vanni ground commanders in Vavuniya Thursday (19) morning, reminded them of Tigers' eventual last options and other alternative possibilities, as the territory held under the terror outfit, has now shrunk to less than 28 sq km intoto.

Lieutenant General Fonseka in his observations noted that Tiger terrorists, as their last resort in the final offensive, would stoop to do anything against civilians as well as Security Forces, since no other viable solutions continue to remain with them, any longer. Full Text

Sabotage attempts by LTTE thwarted: Adequate food sent to north

(defence.lk)A steady and adequate supply of food and other essentials to uncleared areas has been maintained, in the face of various sabotage attempts by the LTTE, which was trying to use food as a tool to discredit the Government, Essential Services Commissioner, S.B.Divarathne said yesterday.

The Tigers were even prepared to keep a community which they have professed to protect in starvation, in order to realise their ulterior motive of discrediting the Government, he charged. Full Text

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fate of Tamil chief at center as Sri Lanka seeks victory

COLOMBO: Will he kill himself? This is a tactical military question now as the Sri Lankan Army closes in on Velupillai Prabhakaran and the stubborn core of his Tamil separatist insurgency.

There is always the possibility that Prabhakaran, 54, is already dead or that he has fled the military offensive, and those questions, too, are critical as the army seeks a final victory and plans ahead for the aftermath of his 25-year rebellion. Full Text

RAW facilitating LTTE withdrawal in Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan media

ISLAMABAD, Mar 19 (APP): Even as the Sri Lanka Army has decisively broken the back of stiff resistance put up by Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in the country’s North, India’s intelligence agency RAW is still committed to supporting its protegees, Sri Lankan media reported.

According to ‘The Island’ a day after the Army consolidated its hold over Kilinochchi, the administrative capital of the LTTE and the terrorists receded into the thick northern jungles of Mullaithivu, India sent a select team of RAW operatives on secret aerial surveillance mission across the Palk Straits. Full text

Sri Lankans take civil war despair on to the streets

By Lincoln Tan

(nzherald)Two Sri Lankan groups demonstrating in Auckland tomorrow will present conflicting views on who is responsible for the suffering in their island homeland's civil war.

After a 10,000-strong Tamil demonstration outside the UN's European headquarters in Geneva this week, the local Tamil community will be staging a vigil at Aotea Square to keep the international spotlight on what they say is the Sinhalese-majority Government's "genocide of Tamils". Full text

Tamil cricketers defy the odds

By Chandana Keerthi Bandara
BBC Sinhala service

Young cricketers in Jaffna attend one of Aravinda de Silva's coaching sessions
The young players of Jaffna 'showed talent and commitment'

A former top Sri Lankan cricketer has launched what he says is the first training camp to integrate young Tamils from the north into the national team.

Aravinda de Silva said he was highly optimistic that Tamils from the area would play international cricket soon. Full Text

Jonathan Kay: A response to my (many, many) Tamil-Canadian critics

(NP)Yesterday, I put up a blog post (subsequently re-purposed into an editorial) denouncing the pro-Tamil-Tiger protestors who were part of the demonstration that paralyzed downtown Toronto on Monday.

"The rally that took place in Toronto on Monday was not just, as organizers claimed, an expression of support for Tamil civilians in war-torn Sri Lanka," I wrote. "Many of the participants carried flags of the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group that practices suicide bombings and abducts children to use as soldiers. (In 2006, Canada’s federal government officially designated the Tamil Tigers a terrorist group, a move that criminalized the group’s fund-raising efforts in this country.) Some of the banners displayed on Monday also depicted Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, a wanted mass murderer who personally authorizes the acts of terrorism the group has committed over the last three decades … Imagine for a moment, if the protestors had instead been Arab or Muslim. Would Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Dalton McGuinty and David Miller be silent if 120,000 supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah paralyzed downtown Toronto as they chanted slogans and waved flags praising groups that slaughter Jews? … The Sinhalese Sri Lankan victims of Tamil Tiger terrorism are no less deserving of support than the Jewish residents of Ashkelon or Sderot." Full text

Prabhakaran is our Holy Father!

By Mohan Gunaratnam and Ranjan Jayakody in Vavuniya

(March 19 , Vavuniya, Sri Lanka Guardian) The question that is being asked widely in Sri Lanka is the whereabouts of the Rev Father James Pathinathar. He was one of those along with another priest who herded the advance group of civilians in Wanni especially from the townships along the A9 Highway and persuaded them to march towards Mullaitivu telling them that it was for their safety because of the impending invasion of the Sri Lankan Forces. Full text

The killer was not TMVP member, but worked for polls: Pilliyan

(LG)Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Mr.Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilliyan Thursday at a press briefing held at Trincomalee Welcombe Hotel denied that a suspect Jana involved in the alleged abduction and killing of six year-old student Varsha Jude Reggie of Trincomalee St.Mary’s College was not a member of the TMVP but worked for the TMVP in the last provincial council election.

He added all TMVP offices in Trincomalee had been converted as offices of another party. Full Text

Sri Lanka Navy saves 643 fleeing civilians in 35 boats: LTTE shoots Parents, child; Outraged civilians torch LTTE office

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 18 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Navy saved the lives of 643 civilians who had been fleeing in 35 boats belonging to fisherman amidst the LTTE’s merciless firing in the wee hours of today.

Sri Lanka Navy Spokesman Capt D.K.P Dassanayake told Asian Tribune that Naval personnel who were on the alert on the Pudumatharan beach swiftly acting on the scene and foiled merciless LTTE motives to kill the fleeing civilians dispersing LTTE carders on board four dinghies. Full Text

Terorist Outfit Chalenges Canadian Government

By Lenin Benedict from Toronto for Asian Tribune

In a show of strength, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is also known as Tamil Tigers in Canada organized a huge rally in Toronto on March 16th to show its might to the Canadian Government and challenged its ban on the organization. Full Text

New supply route to Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu- CGES

By Ravi Ladduwahetty- Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 19 March, (Asiantribune.com): The Government has devised a new supply route to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu by sea in the eyes of the mounting LTTE attacks on the Government’s food convoys while being transported by road.

The food convoys which were sent to Kilinochchi and Mullativu via Oddusudan and Puliyankulam by road was stooped, following advice from the military and security perspectives by end of January, Commissioner General of Essential Services S.B. Divaratne told the post Cabinet news conference this morning. Full Text

Lankan Human Rights Minister nails canard on medical supplies to the IDPs

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 19 March, (Asiantribune.com): Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe nailed a canard by destructive elements which alleged that 300 patients who were Internally Displaced Persons had died in hospitals due to the lack of drugs in hospitals.

The Minister told a news conference that a letter which was allegedly sent by the Director of Health Services in Mullativu Dr Vartharajah which claimed that 300 civilians had died which had been widely circulated in the local media was a damp squib. Full text

Sri Lanka’s European envoys to lobby against LTTE fund raising

By Ravi Ladduwahetty in Colombo

Colombo, 20 March, (Asiantribune.com): The Sri Lanka Government will shortly direct its envoys in Canadian and European capitals to enlighten their respective representative countries to lobby against terrorism financing.

"The Government is deeply concerned about the recent pro- LTTE demonstrations and glorifications held in Toronto, Brussels and Geneva where the demonstrators were even waving the LTTE flags which could lead to fund raining activities which will in turn be channelled for LTTE’s destructive activities in Sri Lanka," Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe told the local and foreign media at the Presidential Secretariat this evening. Full text

Canada investigating waving of LTTE flags at Toronto rally

By Gurmukh Singh

(TI)Toronto, March 19 (IANS)- With thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils waving the flags of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) at a rally here Monday, Canadian authorities have launched an investigation whether their action violated the nation’s new anti-terror laws.

The current Conservative government banned the LTTE in 2006 for using suicide bombers and child soldiers in its goal for an independent nation for Sri Lankan Tamils. Full Text

Caged Tigers unable to break free Pottu Amman’s hand forced

(DN)Desperation was so high among the Tiger leaders and it was exhibited in numerous ways when their territory had shrunk with an unexpected speed within the past few days with the Security Forces accelerating their determined march to capture the last inch of territory under Tiger control.

The Security Forces have overcome all kinds of barriers: human shield, suicide bombers, suicide vehicles, natural obstacles and the stiff resistance to achieve these successes. Full Text

Minister Devananda visits Menik farm welfare camp

(DN)Social Services and Social Welfare Minister and the Chairman of Special Task Committee, Northern Province, Douglas Devananda visited the 'Kadirgamar' Welfare camp (Menik farm) on March 15 and enquired about the health of internally displaced people temporarily housed there. Full text

Sabotage attempts by LTTE thwarted: Adequate food sent to north

(DN)A steady and adequate supply of food and other essentials to uncleared areas has been maintained, in the face of various sabotage attempts by the LTTE, which was trying to use food as a tool to discredit the Government, Essential Services Commissioner, S.B.Divarathne said yesterday.

The Tigers were even prepared to keep a community which they have professed to protect in starvation, in order to realise their ulterior motive of discrediting the Government, he charged. Full Text

UN Human Rights Council: Sri Lanka calls for action on non-State parties

(DN)[intro] If the United Nations Human Rights Council is to have a positive impact, it must work out mechanisms to deal with the behaviour of non-State parties, said Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry Secretary Prof Rajiva Wijesinha responding to the discussion on the Sri Lankan situation in the Council in Geneva on March 18. Full text

Civilian cross-overs exceed 47,000

Over 5,000 arrive during last six days:

(DN)The number of civilians who crossed over to Government controlled area was 47,241 up to date; Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat, the Minister said 5,006 people arrived in the government controlled area during the last six days. He said civilians have escaped from the LTTE facing shootings and numerous difficulties. The Minister said the name of the Mullaitivu Regional Director of Health Services and forged letter heads are being used to mislead the international community and the media for false propaganda on the present situation of the North. Full text

Trapped civilians turn against LTTE’s forcible recruitment

Military to separate ‘Safe Zone’ from Tiger held area

(DM)As the operation areas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -- in the last remaining sections in the Mullaitivu district -- are further reduced due to the military advance, civilians who had been denied an escape by the Tigers now openly attack armed LTTE cadres in order to get away from the area.

Between 55,000 to 65,000 people are reportedly trapped within a small land area of 17 square kilometres, which had been demarcated by the government as a ‘Safe Zone.’ Angry crowds, who are cooped in the area and restricted in their movements have turned violent and are even willing to kill LTTE cadres in order to escape. Full text

Yal Devi

(DM)Even the name of the train brings back a whole host of nostalgic memories for many. Yal Devi was the culture bridge between the North and the South which inspired Sinhala youth to pen poetry on the beautiful damsels of Jaffna in the good old days. It was the key catalyst in promoting strong bonds between literary figures, artistes and even ordinary people in the North and the South.

The news of the government move to put the Yal Devi back on track is something that evokes strong warm feelings among all Sri Lankans irrespective of race, caste and creed. Full text

EU sends emergency aid to Sri Lanka

(DM)BRUSSELS, March 19 (KUNA) -- The European Commission announcced here Thursday emergency support of 3 million Euro (USD 4.1 million) for Sri Lanka due to the worsening humanitarian situation in the country.

In the north-east of Sri Lanka, up to 200,000 civilians are still trapped in an area less than 50 kilometers where fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels continues, said EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, in a statement. Full text

UN debunks LTTE’s leaked documents canard

(DM)United Nations, 19 March, (Asiantribune.com): The LTTE websites are propagating a story of a leaked UN document giving a casualty figure of 2863. The UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson today clarified that the so-called leaked document was an estimation done locally and that it was not a verified and published document.

Responding to a reporter’s question Secretary General’s Spokesperson suggested that it is not possible to verify these estimates given locally and nationally since the UN has no mechanism to count numbers themselves. She emphasized that there were no exact figures. Full text

Boy reveals he knew Akuressa suicide bomber

By Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk

(DM)A 13-year-old boy, Asanka Pradeep Kumara of Ambalangoda who made a statement in connection with the recent suicide attack near the Jumma Mosque at Godapitiya, Akuressa revealed that he had known the suicide bomber and that both of them used to sleep at the Sri Madhura Building in Matara. He was taken in for questioning on Tuesday (17) by the Matara police on information received from another person who had been arrested earlier. Asanka stated that he identified the photo of the suicide bomber that appeared in a public notice and said that the bomber had come to Matara with another man. Full text

SL to take note of Holmes’ views

Civilians leaving en masse: Government

By Sunil Jayasiri and Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)The government yesterday said it had taken note of the recommendations put forward by the United Nations Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Sir John Holmes on his recent visit to the island recently. Full text

Police recover two bodies in Chettikulam

By Kurulu Kariyakarawana

(DM)Police found two unidentified bodies dumped near a tank in Chettikulam area in Mannar yesterday morning.

Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara told Daily Mirror that the two male bodies riddled with bullets were dumped along the bund of Mudaliyarkulam Karanmadu Tank. Full text

Prime Minister and UNP slam global community

‘International Community remains tight-lipped over LTTE atrocities’

By Kelum Bandara, Yohan Perera

(DM)Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake yesterday took the international community to task again asking why they pinpointed only the Sri Lankan security forces for the alleged human rights violations while remaining tight-lipped on the atrocities by the LTTE.

The Prime Minister said the LTTE had even shot at innocent civilians who were fleeing the uncleared areas. Full text

Sudar Oli editor detained by court

(DM)Lankan newspaper editor has been detained over alleged links to a Tamil Tiger air attack in the capital, a family member said on Thursday.

Nadesapillai Vidyatharan, who edits the Tamil-language daily Sudar Oli, appeared in court Wednesday and was detained under anti-terrorism laws for up to three months, his brother-in-law E. Saravanapavan said. Full text

CARE aid worker killed in Wanni

(DM)CARE International said one of its staff members, R. Sabesan, a humanitarian worker was killed in the no-fire zone in the conflict-affected area in the Wanni.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the loss of our friend and colleague Sabesan," said Nick Osborne, Country Director for CARE International in Sri Lanka. "We extend our heartfelt condolences and thoughts to his family and friends at this very difficult time." Full text

Peace accord sent Sri Lanka from disaster to disaster: yapa

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)The government claimed yesterday that the Norway brokered Ceasefire Agreement signed between the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the 2001 UNP regime and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on February 2, 2002 took Sri Lanka from disaster to disaster instead of the expected peace.

Government spokesman, Information and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly cabinet news briefing that after the so-called peace accord the armed forces suffered a series of setbacks. The LTTE went on importing military hardware and spare parts, equipment, technology to build air crafts, water jets and submarines during this time. Full text

New camps along Omanthai-Welioya road

(daily mirror)The Special Task Force is in the process of building new camps along the recently captured Omanthai-Welioya main road.

An STF official said as an initial step moves are underway to clear the area of mines laid by fleeing LTTE cadres few months ago. So far 120 such bombs have been defused by the STF bomb disposal unit.

Probe abduction, urges Pillayan

By Amadoru Amarageeva

(DM)TMVP leader and Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan yesterday urged the police to investigate claims made by the UNICEF that some children had been abducted in the East.

Addressing a news conference where UNICEF representatives, Justice Ministry officials and the police were also present, the Chief Minister said the TMVP had abided by its pledge to release all child soldiers in accordance with an action plan signed with the UNICEF. Full Text