Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blasts of lies from Canada Multicultural Radio – CMR

Invents false reports on Wanni with utter impunity

By Siva Sunderam in Toronto

(March 27, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament S Kanagaratnam, unlike his brother Sellakili is a tame and passive man. Sellakili was one of those involved in the Tinnevely blast of July 1983 and on account of him, Kanagaratnam has been visited by the police during that time and even have had third degree treatments. When many people in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts were frightened to be named for public offices, Kanagaratnam who did not have high school education was persuaded to be a TNA parliamentarian. Full text

Disarm or Perish – UN Security Council tells the Tamil Tigers

United Nations, 27 March, (Asiantribune.com): Disarm or Perish, was what the UN Security Council told the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the conclusion of an interactive discussion. At the discussion held today (26 March) Under Secretary General Sir John Holmes and H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Sri Lanka Ambassador to UN talked to members of the Security Council concerning the plight of the civilians who are held by LTTE as human shield. At a seminar discussion with Council members, they discussed assistance being provided to the civilians held by the LTTE in safe zone area and on the welfare facilities to the IDPs who managed to escape from the stranglehold of the Tigers. The meeting was described as an ‘interactive’ one held outside the Security Council’s formal structures as Sri Lanka is not on Security Council agenda and the LTTE should not be given any legitimacy of Council’s consideration. Full text

US Senator Lugar, Secretary Clinton stress non-combatant civilian

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 27 March (Asiantribune.com): United States Senator Richard Lugar the Ranking (Republican Party) Member of the Foreign Relations Committee and former chairman of the same committee when Republicans had a majority in the Senate was concerned about the safety of the non-combatant civilians in Sri Lanka’s battle zone in the north and their departure from the zone to safety when Sri Lanka’s ambassador to U.S. Jaliya Wickramasuriya called on him to make representations about the situation in Sri Lanka this week. Full text

Democratic rights will be restored soon: President Rajapaksa assures 11 minority political parties last night

By Ravi Ladduwahetty in Colombo

Colombo, 27 March, (Asiantribune.com): President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night assured eleven minority political parties that their democratic rights will be restored soon.

In wide ranging discussions at a meeting which commenced at 6.30 pm and lasted over two and a half hours, President Rajapaksa had made this assurance following a request from the minorities as to whether Local Government elections could be held in the Vanni District to which the President had assured that he will respond to the request following his consultations with the Commanders of the Security Forces. Full text

LTTE Has To Free Civilians & Discuss Modalities For Weapons Surrender

United Nations , 28 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador HMGS Palihakkara, told members of the Security Council that there is general agreement, both nationally and internationally, that the only way to bring an end to this terminal phase of the conflict is for the LTTE to free the civilians and to discuss modalities for surrendering weapons and cadres. Full text

In the name of Democracy: a Red Carpet Welcome for Mr. Brian Senaviratne by LTTE Terrorists in Canada

Lenin Benedict from Toronto for Asian Tribune

Toronto, 28 March, (Asiantribune.com): Canadians have a great respect for Freedom and Democracy, which is known to everyone in every nook and corner of the World. By creating a Charter of Rights, Canadians have proven themselves as pioneers of Freedom and Democracy and protectors of the same. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom 2 (B) very clearly states and protects the Freedom of Thought, Belief, Opinion and Expression, including Freedom of Press and other Media communication. Full text

Sri Lanka engages UN Security Council Members

(DN)In a further demonstration of the Government policy of engagement with the international community relating to the current situation in Sri Lanka, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, New York, Ambassador H.M.G.S Palihakkara briefed the Members of the UN Security Council during an informal interactive discussion on Thursday, March 26. Full text

On ‘humanitarian pause’ and other matters

(DN)Comments by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, H M G S Palihakkara at the Media Stakeout after the interactive discussion with UN Security Council members on the situation of Sri Lanka.

We had a good interactive discussion. It was not a council meeting. It was information Sir John Homes provided the OCHA prospective, for two reasons: one is that the Council did not want to take the LTTE equation into Council consideration because LTTE would like to have that kind of a situation because the International community has called on the LTTE, the quickest and the best way to end the conflict is to disarm and consider modalities for surrendering cadres, international other considerations they would like very much because they can say the civilian population don’t have to leave, we don’t have to consider surrendering weapons so we can hold on to these people and continue to fight. And secondly of course Government of Sri Lanka shares the humanitarian consideration, a huge consideration. Full text

RESPONDING TO GROWING INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS ON EELAM WAR

(DM)Is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) easing its rigid stand on talking peace in the last few days? It would seem so from the political head of the LTTE, Balasingam Nadesan’s e-mail interview published in the Sunday Times, London on March 22. He spoke of the insurgent group’s readiness for talks with the government “without pre-conditions.” Full text

KARUNA PLAYING SOLHEIM

(DM)It is indeed irony of fate that former LTTE No: 2, Karuna Amman is playing peace maker between Douglas Devananda and V. Anandasangaree a day after Norway’s former special envoy for Sri Lanka Erik Solheim faced the ordeal of being told by Zimbabwe President that Britain can ‘go hang’ if they can’t respect Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

It was only a few years ago that Norway got the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to sit for talks and an intransigent Karuna insisted that Committee of Immediate Rehabilitation and Humanitarian Assistance in North (SIRHAN) had not delivered its promises to the Tamil civilians. It was the collective decision over this that finally saw the LTTE withdrawing from talks in April 2002. Full text

Civilians affected attack as fighting intensifies-AI

(DM)Thousands of people, trapped in ‘safe zones’ in the north eastern Wanni region are at increased risk from the escalation in attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, Amnesty International has said in a statement. “The firing on civilians by either side constitutes a war crime,” said Sam Zarifi, Director of the Asia Pacific region at Amnesty International. “We cannot stress enough the importance of an immediate pause to allow the displaced to leave before more people are killed. The UN and international donors must put pressure on both parties to end this major humanitarian catastrophe.” Full text

Godapitiya suicide killer’s fiancé caught

By Shrinath Prasanna Jayasuriya

(DM)Police said the the fiancé of the suicide bomber of Godapitiya, Akuressa was nabbed at Maradana.

According to a senior police officer, the young woman Ambiga from Jaffna had admitted she was a member in the armed wing of the LTTE and said she had met her fiance at a training camp at Kilinochchi in 1994. They had managed to continue their love affair secretly till he was sent to Thoppigala camp, in 2001. Full text

NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR REINTEGRATION OF COMBATANTS

(defence.lk)Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said Government had recognised the importance of complementing the successful effort of the military to defeat terrorism, with longer-term post-war programmes designed to ensure that peace in Sri Lanka is durable. The Minister said “a comprehensive re-integration programme is a key element that is imperative for the consolidation of peace.”

He was speaking at a two-day workshop on the development of a National Framework Proposal on the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life in Sri Lanka, with support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) convened by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights. Full text

HEAVY FIGHTING CONTINUES AROUND PTK AREA

(DM)Heavy fighting raged on and around Puthukkudiyiruppu area (PTK) for another day yesterday inflicting heavy damage to the LTTE, the military sources said yesterday.

“After fighting troops on search collected thirteen bodies of LTTE cadres and a large stock of arms,” the army said. Full text

TWO SUSPECTED LTTE CADRES ARRESTED IN SERUNUWARA

(DM)Two LTTE cadres, who were part of a group that is alleged to have carried out attacks on civilians in Serunuwara and Trincomalee recently, were arrested by security forces in Uppuveli, police said.

The two cadres were carrying four hand grenades and one shotgun and two cartridges with them, at the time of the arrest. Police maintained that the two suspects might have infiltrated the area to carry out crimes against security forces in the area. Full text

Ambassador Blake rejects Weerawansa’s criticism

(DM)United States Ambassador Robert Blake said yesterday that National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa’s recent criticism of Norway and the United Nations was misplaced and that they in no way endorsed LTTE terrorism.

In a comment posted on Daily Mirror website, Ambassador Blake said Norway and the UN are working hard with the US and other members of the international community to urge the LTTE to release the tens of thousands of civilians who are trapped in the safe zone in northern Sri Lanka. Full text

UN, US, UK CALL FOR HUMANITARIAN PAUSE

(DM)UNITED NATIONS, Friday (AFP)--The United Nations, backed by Britain and the United States, yesterday pressed for a "humanitarian pause" in fighting in Sri Lanka and blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for the plight of trapped civilians.

United Nations Humanitarian Chief John Holmes told reporters after an informal UN Security Council briefing that his main concern "is the civilian population trapped in the combat area and not being allowed out by the LTTE." Full text

UN Security Council members express concern on LTTE's use of civilian hostages

(defence.lk)'Concerns also raised on 02 UN local staff, 03 dependants and 11 NGO local staff subjected to forcible recruitment by the LTTE in recent weeks'

The UN Security Council members have urged for the immediate release and provision of safety for the civilians and UN staffers and family members subjected to forcible recruitment, intimidation and unprecedented hardships by the LTTE in the government declared No Fire Zone. Full text

Pakiyasothy outraged in questioning financial misappropriation of NGO funds- London

(defence.lk)Dr. Pakiyasothy Saravanamuttu, alias 'Sara' as well know in the Colombo night circles and the executive director of the Center for Policy Alternative(CPA), a heavily Western funded NGO went outraged when questions were raised on misappropriation of NGO funds, moments before a Chatham House roundtable discussion in London. Full text

Thailand to help combat terrorism

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka's call for measures to counter terrorism that might spill over to the region and beyond following the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka received strong support from Thailand today (March 26)

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he appreciated Sri Lanka's concerns about attempts by terrorists to operate in the region and reaffirmed that Thailand will not allow anybody to use the country to destabilise friends among whom Sri Lanka was viewed as a close friend with long-standing cultural and religious ties. Full text

Heavy beatings for terrorists; 13 LTTE bodies found - Puthukkudiyirippu

(defence.lk)LTTE terrorists are facing a definite defeat as government security forces have already confined the terrorist to an area about 21.5 Sq Km including the No Fire Zone which was declared by the Sri Lankan government to ensure the safety of the innocent Tamil civilians forcibly held by the terrorists. Full text

Navy Commander visits Southern Naval Command to review its operational readiness

(defence.lk)Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda made a visit to the Southern Naval Command on the 27th March 2009 in order to review its operational readiness.

Having assessed the operational readiness of the Southern Naval Command, the Navy commander gave further directives to enhance the security measures which are being implemented. He looked into the welfare of the Naval personnel deployed in the Southern Naval Area in order to ascertain that their welfare requirements are met at all times. Full text

Ambassador Wickramasuriya briefs plight of Tamil civilians held hostage by LTTE terrorists

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka 's ambassador to the United States , met this week with U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, to discuss the fighting in Northern Sri Lanka and post-conflict development, an embassy press release said.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya briefed Sen. Lugar, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the state of the conflict against the LTTE forces in the north, and on prospects for an end to the fighting in the weeks ahead. Full text

'Government in an all out effort to safe civilians held hostage by LTTE' says FM

(defence.lk)Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan security forces do not direct any attacks on the Government declared no-fire zone along the Mullaitivu coast, notwithstanding the constant artillery barrage launched at the military by the LTTE.

He said that the security forces themselves suffered casualties by not returning fire, precisely in order to avoid causing casualties among civilians who are being held hostage by the LTTE in this area. The Minister explained this position to his Danish counterpart Per Stig Moller, who telephoned him yesterday (25 March 2009) and discussed current developments in Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the humanitarian situation in the North. Full text

Troops approach fourth earth bund built by terrorists amidst heavy resistance

(defence.lk)Military operations are in progress North of Puthukudiyiruppu as troops of 55 Division are steadily approaching towards the fourth earth bund built by the LTTE terrorists to resist the security forces advancing. According to the military sources received from the battlefront, heavy fighting erupted between security forces and LTTE terrorists through out the day, 26 March. Full Text

57 Div uncovered more military items

(defence.lk)Troops of 57 Division conducting search and clear operations in recently liberated areas in Ramanatpuram and Tharmapuram have uncovered more LTTE military items left behind by the fleeing terrorists, military report received from the battlefront said.

52 x 12.7 mm ammunition, 01 x RPG Chargers, 02 x Arul Bombs, 01 x Arul Chargers, 23 x hand grenades and 02 x AP mines uncovered by the troops of 10 Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (10 SLAC) serving under 571 Brigade yesterday, 26 March. Full text

Over 2000 Tamil civilians reach Government controlled area seeking safety - Pudukkuduirippu

(defence.lk)A total of 2108 Tamil civilians who had been trapped by the LTTE terrorists were able to reach government controlled area escaping terror grip yesterday, 26 March, defence sources said.

The group of escapees comprising 571 males, 597 females and 940 children reached troops of 58 Division in general area Pudukuduirippu during day hours yesterday. Full text

14th batch of patients and civilians trapped in Mullaithivu evacuated with the Naval assistance

(defence.lk)The fourteenth batch of 488 patients and civilians was evacuated on board "MV Green Ocean" on the 26th 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

Navy Commander visits Northern Naval Command to review its operational readiness

(defence.lk)Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda made a visit to the Northern Naval Command on the 26th March 2009 in order to review its operational readiness.

Having assessed the operational readiness and discussed the operational plans, the Navy Commander gave further directives to enhance the maritime surveillance operations being conducted in the North-eastern seas. He looked into the welfare of the Naval personnel deployed in the Northern Naval Area in order to ascertain that their morale is high and they maintain battle readiness to meet all contingencies. Full Text

"Unsolicited involvement of HRW" - a letter from a Sri Lankan to IMF MD

Dear Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn,

(defence.lk)I am writing regarding the letter by Mr. Brad Adams, the Executive Director of Human Right Watch pertaining to emergency support loan request by Sri Lanka.

As a Sri Lankan American living in the Los Angeles, California who has lived in Sri Lanka for over 20 years, I have studied the situation on the island for the last 26 years. My frequent travels to this beautiful island and my long running friendships with lifelong friends there have kept me informed about the realties on the ground. I also read the letter by HRW of New York to the IMF and found it to be very inaccurate and misleading. Therefore my objective today is to counter many allegations made by HRW and convince you to fully support the Sri Lankan government. Full Text

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sri Lanka military says it pushes back rebels

(HT)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka's military said Thursday it had brushed off a Tamil Tiger counterattack by killing 30 guerrillas, pinning the rebels in a rapidly shrinking area and moving closer to ending the quarter-century-long civil war.

Ethnic Tamil lawmakers, meanwhile, rejected the president's invitation for talks, urging the government to first ensure the safety of civilians trapped in the war zone. Full text

Ransomed in the last redoubt

(housemag)A veteran Sri Lankan monitor, Lord Naseby sees an end in sight to the country’s bitter ethnic strife – even if a worrying number of civilians remain trapped in the northern conflict zone

I have known Sri Lanka since 1963 when I worked there. The purpose of my visit in January was to assess the political situation and to do some private touring to revisit places I had not seen for 45 years.
One has to remember that tension between the minority Tamil community (18 per cent) and the other ethnic groups goes back to British rule when the civil service was purposely recruited from the minority on a sort of divide-and-rule strategy. One could go back to the first century AD and right through the centuries as the people of South India invaded, destroying what are now World Heritage sites at Anuradhapura and Polannaruwa. I visited them both and what a wonderful job of restoration has been done by the Sri Lanka Department of Culture and Unesco. Full text

UN council to discuss civilians in Sri Lanka war

* China, Russia said to oppose formal council discussion

* U.N. says rebels hold civilians as human shields

UNITED NATIONS, March 26 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will discuss the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka on Thursday as fears grow about the fate of tens of thousands of civilians trapped by fighting between government forces and rebels, diplomats said. Full text

Sri Lanka says final standoff with Tigers approaches

By Ranga Sirilal

COLOMBO, March 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military on Thursday said it has one kilometre left to go before trapping the Tamil Tigers separatists in a no-fire zone, along with thousands of civilians at grave risk in the 25-year war's final act.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, under pressure to craft a political deal, has called for a meeting with parliamentarians allied with the Tigers but they have refused until the government resolves the humanitarian crisis faced by civilians trapped in the fighting. Full text

They want to see peace in Sri Lanka

Staff Reporter
Visually challenged on a yatra

(TH)TIRUNELVELI: Braving scorching sun, dust, humid and the vehicles zooming past at high speed on the national highway, four visually challenged youths, carrying a banner demanding ceasefire in Sri Lanka are taking out a padayatra from Chennai to Kanyakumari.

When K. Veerappan (34), N. Marisamy (36), S. Arumugam (40), all now settled at Chennai, and M. Sakthivel (34) of Coimbatore started their padayatra from the Marina in Chennai on February 28, the people in the vicinity would not have believed that they would reach Kanyakumari on March 28, as they planned. Full text

“India has not extended military aid to Sri Lanka”

Special Correspondent

(TH)RAMANATHAPURAM: Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of Naval Staff, has said that the Indian Armed Forces, including the Navy, have not extended military assistance to Sri Lankan forces battling the LTTE.

Addressing a press conference after commissioning the INS Parundu, a full-fledged naval air station at Uchipuli near here on Thursday, he said Indian forces had no role in the ongoing military action against the LTTE. Full text

Navi Pillay must lay down her office immediately

Since 1983 the Tigers are the predators of the Tamils

By Satchi Sithananthan in Frankfurt

(March 26, Frnakfurt, Sri Lanka Guardian ) When the galloping legs of the steed have lost their sure-footedness, the charger becomes food for the carnivores of the circus company; they are soon digested.

The South African of South Indian descent, a lawyer by profession who was very privileged to be appointed to an extremely responsible and sensitive position as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Srimati Navaneetham Pillay has lost her sure-footedness on the Sri Lankan issue. This is a colossal error that has misrepresented the ground realities in Sri Lanka to such an extent that it is terrorism that has received comfort as a result. Full Text

TNA not to engage in talks with govt. before ceasefire, humanitarian access- MP

(March 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliament member, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, today (Thursday) said they will not engage in talks with the Sri Lankan President or anyone representing the government until a conducive environment for such political engagement is created through an immediate ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access to the suffering people of Vanni.

Talking to media, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, a parliamentarian from Batticaloa district, said that the prevailing situation is not congenial for such talks. Full text

Sri Lankan Forces do not target civilians in 'no fire zone' clarifies Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Colombo, 26 March, (Asiantribune.com): In a telephone conversation, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan security forces do not direct any attacks on the Government declared no-fire zone along the Mullaitivu coast, notwithstanding the constant artillery barrage launched at the military by the LTTE.

He said that the security forces themselves suffered casualties by not returning fire, precisely in order to avoid causing casualties among civilians who are being held hostage by the LTTE in this area. The Minister explained this position to his Danish counterpart Per Stig Moller, who telephoned him yesterday (25 March 2009) and discussed current developments in Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the humanitarian situation in the North. Full text

Thailand urged to help combat terrorism in the region

Bangkok, 27 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka urged Thailand take appropriate measures to counter terrorism that might spill over to the region and beyond following the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka received strong support from Thailand today. Also Sri lankan Foreign Minister requested Thailand to keep close eyes on movement of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to prevent them from using the kingdom as launching pad against Colombo. Full text

United States not clear if LTTE needs be part of peace talks in Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 27 March (Asiantribune.com): The United States was shown vacillating whether Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebel outfit should be part of any future political deliberations to find solutions to national issues facing all ethnic communities.

This vacillation was clearly manifested when acting deputy spokesman for the U.S. State Department on Wednesday refused to neither reject nor accept if the Tamil Tiger out fit’s participation would bring tangible results to bring a political solution to Sri Lanka’s multifaceted problems. Full text

Top Tigers among killed

(DN)Troops thwarted an LTTE attempt to infiltrate Forward Defence Lines North of Palamaithalan and caused heavy damages to the Tigers. Four top LTTEers were among the dead.

Fierce clashes erupted when a group of LTTEers attempted to infiltrate FDLs in Palamaithalan on Wednesday around 5.30a.m. Troops successfully repulsed the LTTE attack and the Tigers suffered heavy damages. Full Text

For LTTE it’s do or die, now or never

The battlefield records indicate that the LTTE had never fought such fierce battles even in Kilinochchi which was considered to be the heart of their illusionary Tamil homeland which fell to the hands of the Security Forces in the first week of January this year.

It was same in Pooneryn, Mullaitivu and Paranthan too. But the situation has compelled the LTTE to fight such a fierce battle in Puthukudiyiruppu as they have created a theatre for their final battle in this crucial township and it had become a do or die battle for them.

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The LTTE has created a theatre for the last battle in Puthukudiyiruppu bringing all their military assets and leadership together.

For the first time the LTTE has been restricted to the smallest area they have been restricted in their 25 year long battle against the Security Forces.

Therefore, the resistance the Security Forces have to face at this stage of war will be much higher.

But our troops are ready to face all these barriers and reach our final goal of defeating terrorism as soon as possible overcoming all possible desperate attempts by the LTTE stop our advance.

Major General Kamal Gunaratne
General Officer Commanding 53 Division

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The troops have to fight a war identifying the terrorist from among the civilians. We have to fight back with the LTTE in the last leg of the battle when our fighting capabilities are restricted due to civilian factor whilst LTTE is making use of its all military capabilities freely against the Security Forces. We have to adopt new techniques to face this war to hold our ground and to advance towards the enemy terrain which is a very difficult task”.

The LTTE is now engaged in a do or die type attack but we cannot resort to such attack as we have to be careful about our troops and also about the lives of each and every civilian entrapped there inside the No Fire Zone.

FM tells Denmark: Forces do not target No-Fire Zone

Forces do not target No-Fire Zone

(DN)Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan Security Forces do not direct any attacks on the Government declared no-fire zone along the Mullaitivu coast, notwithstanding the constant artillery barrage launched at the military by the LTTE.

He said the Security Forces themselves suffered casualties by not returning fire, precisely in order to avoid causing casualties among civilians who are being held hostage by the LTTE in this area. Full text

Lanka seeks constructive dialogue : With UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

(DN)The Sri Lankan Government wishes to remain fully engaged with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and her office in addressing any particular issues of concern relating to human rights.

This desire has been conveyed in a letter from Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in response to a statement issued by the Human Rights Commissioner’s Office on March 13, 2009. It may be recalled that during the telephone conversation between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 17, 2009, it was agreed that the Foreign Minister would make a formal response on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka to the above statement. Full text

Rajapaksa committed to devolution: Manmohan

(DN)President Mahinda Rajapaksa “very recently affirmed his commitment to a devolution package, which he said would fully satisfy the Tamils,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said in a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

“He (the Sri Lankan President) has also said that steps in this direction are being initiated immediately. Full text

LTTE holds to 1 sq km

(DN)Security Forces on the verge of completing the humanitarian operation in the Vanni, have confined the LTTE to one square kilo metre in the battle field.

The fight against terrorism is going on successfully. The LTTE cadres are restricted to a mere 21 square km and 20 square km out of the 21 square km was demarcated as a No Fire Zone by the Government. Therefore, the LTTE cadres have been isolated to One square km, Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Full Text

LTTE leadership in crisis as Prabhakaran suffers bouts of manic depression

Pottu Amman and Soosai directing Tiger cadres in battlefront

(DM)With the Sri Lankan Army advancing into their last stronghold, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are facing grave difficulties in their attempt to slow down the army’s progress in what could be safely termed the last phase of the Eelam war. Among the many difficulties assailing the LTTE are shortage of arms and trained cadres, lack of proper military planning and especially the weak leadership. With the rapid advance of the troops, the LTTE leadership has become very weak, in the recent past, according to the former LTTE cadres, who fled to the cleared areas. Due to the situation, several leaders were reportedly under house arrest including former LTTE military spokesman Ilanthariyan and Peace Secretariat Head Pulidevan. Now no one knows the whereabouts of these two senior leaders. It was learnt that they were captured while attempting to flee the area. Full text

Dilemma of Gandhi family

(DM)When Priyanka Gandhi visited Vellore prison in April 2008 to meet LTTE member Nalini, the accomplice of her father’s murder, her explanation was “I needed to make peace with all the violence in my life and wanted to know why my father was assassinated despite being a good person”.

Immediately after Priyanka’s visit her brother Rahul Gandhi told media “we don’t carry hatred, we don’t carry anger. It’s not an exercise…She felt that she wanted to go and see the person. She has been feeling it for sometime”. Full text

TROOPS REPULSE LTTE FRESH OFFENSIVE

More Civilians escape LTTE areas and seek protection.

(DM)Scores of terrorists were reported killed and many injured when troops of the 58 Division pushed back LTTE offensive elements moving towards the military forward defences North of Iranapalai, at the Mullaittivu battlefront on Wednesday, the Defence Ministry said yesterday. Full text

US wants end to terrorist attacks in Lanka

(DM)US State Department Acting Deputy Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid says the US wants to see an end to terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, protection for noncombatants in areas where conflict is ongoing and a resolution to the problem be reached as quickly as possible. Full text

I am concerned about all Tamils-Jayalalithaa

(DM)With the pro-LTTE PMK likely to join the AIADMK front in Tamil Nadu, leader of the latter, Miss J Jayalalithaa, has made it clear that she was plunging headlong into the Lankan Tamil issue, which she had not proceeded with vigour despite the fast undertaen by her on 9 March. Full text

Tigers operating inside No-fire zone

UN spokesperson says conditions for IDP insecure and precarious

By Jamila Najmuddin

(DM)The government yesterday said the LTTE has now clearly begun to operate inside the No-fire zone as they are confined to a 21 sq km area of which 20 sq km is part of the safe zone.

Defence Spokesperson and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the LTTE was actively carrying out its war activities from within the No-fire zone which resulted civilian casualties and deaths and the Tigers were also firing into the zone from the one sq km which they were restricted into. Full text

Suspect identifies suicide bomber

By Krishan Jeewaka Jayaruk, Matara

(DM)A suspect in detention yesterday identified the suicide cadre who perpetrated the attack on a crowd attending National Milad-un-Nabi Day, (Holy Prophet’s Birthday) celebration at Godapitiya Jumma Mosque in Akuressa on March 10 as Shanthamal who received LTTE military training under him.

The inquest into the death of the suicide cadre was held yesterday by Matara Additional Magistrate Lasith Chamath Madanayaka. Full Text

Sever links with Norway: NFF urges Government

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)The National Freedom Front (NFF), a party of the ruling coalition, urged the government yesterday to sever its diplomatic relationships with Norway immediately charging that it had facilitated a discussion between UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Sir John Holmes and LTTE’s arms procurement dealer Kumar Pathmanathan alias KP recently. Full text

Ranawaka sees int’l conspiracy to drag war

By Hemanthi Guruge

(DM)Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka charged yesterday that there was an international conspiracy to give a new facelift to the terrorist problem in Sri Lanka after the LTTE is crushed on the war front.

Addressing a meeting, Mr. Ranawaka said that some Colombo-based diplomats and ‘cowards’ dream of a dragged-out war in the future, and vowed not to leave room for them to achieve such goals. He said the entire country would be brought under the government’s control within the next few days, and racism would not be allowed to raise its ugly head. Full text

Resolve rift between CM and minister to restore normalcy: Weerawansa

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the government to resolve the crisis between Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and National Integration Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan, saying otherwise it could adversely affect normalcy in the province.

The party made this comment after the killing of a number of civilians in Kantale and Welikanda during the last few days. Full text

Devananda and Anandasangaree in shouting match

By Kelum Bandara

(DM)TULF leader V. Anandasangari had a showdown with Douglas Devananda, the EPDP leader and Social Services and Social Welfare Minister, at a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday regarding alleged EPDP atrocities in the Jaffna Peninsula.

At the meeting, attended by representatives of Tamil and Muslim political parties, Mr. Anandasangari complained about the atrocities to the President. Minister Devananda intervened at this time and started to respond. This had reportedly angered Mr. Anandasangari who had shouted at the EPDP leader, asking him to keep his mouth shut. Full text

TNA lays down conditions for talks

By Yohan Perera

(DM)The TNA set out several conditions, yesterday, for talks with the government. It called for a halt to all military attacks by the security forces, the ending of the humanitarian crisis in the North, with the provision of adequate food and shelter for the internally displaced Tamil Civilians, and free passage for the ICRC, UN and various NGOs to attend to the needs of the IDPs. Full text

Lanka asks Thailand to watch out for Tigers

(DM)Sri Lanka yesterday urged Thailand to keep a close eye on the LTTE to prevent it from using that country as a launching pad against Colombo, the Thai Foreign Ministry said.

It is learnt that Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had made the request when he met Thailand Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. Full Text

Ministry accuses NGOs of fraud

Only 14 of some 1,300 allowed to operate in North

By Sandun A Jayasekera

(DM)Only 14 out of 1,301 INGOs and NGOs operating in the country have been allowed to carry out welfare and humanitarian work in the North as the performance of the rest has been found wanting, Social Services Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri said.

He charged that after the tsunami ravaged our shores in December 2004 most of these organizations had made use of the catastrophe to collect huge sums of money abroad. Full Text

'Not fond of LTTE terrorists, since the outfit killed Rajiv Gandhi' says Rahul Gandhi

(By: Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi told a press conference in Puducherry that he is particularly not fond of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) because he killed his father Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

He said, ""The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is a terrorist group. I am not particularly fond of LTTE myself. It killed my father." Full Text

Annual sports meet for Army disable soldiers

(defence.lk)Disability poses no bar to soldiers whose entire life was dedicated for the defence of the motherland sacrificing their limbs. Their skills remain the same, though some are on wheel-chairs or otherwise.

As the curtains were opened on Thursday (26) for the first day of the annual sports meet for disables at the Army Headquarters grounds, headed by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, all ranks including Senior Officers who are differently able were seen set to break records. Full text

53 Div troops uncover 5 LTTE bodies - Puthukkudiyirippu East

(defence.lk)Troops of the 53 Division have inflicted serious damages to LTTE following heavy fighting that erupted in general area East of Puthukkudiyirippu yesterday (March 25), military sources said.

During subsequent search operations conducted, infantrymen of the 5th Gemunu Watch (5 GW) have found 2 LTTE bodies, 1x I-com set, a Tata double cab and 7 x T-56 assault riffles, the sources said. Full text

Emboldened Tamil civilians desert LTTE: Navy rescues 165 seeking Government safety

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Navy rescued 165 Tamil civilians who had been fleeing from the LTTE clutches in Mulaithivu on the 24th and 25th March 2009. Among the rescued, there were 49 adult males, 59 adult females and 57 children seeking Government safety.

The rescued were badly shaken by the ordeal at sea where the unfriendly seas had heightened their fears. Feeling relieved in safer hands, they thanked the Naval personnel profusely for timely coming to their rescue and saving their lives from the merciless gunfire let lose by the ruthless LTTE cadres who have gone berserk due to their ignominious desertion by the emboldened Tamil civilians. Full text

Donations for the warded war heroes

(defence.lk)Patriotic donors of the "Sahurdayo" voluntary organization of Thalawakele have donated essential hospital items worth of Rs. 125,000, including urinals, bed pans, drip stands to the Peradeniya Teaching hospital(THP) for the benefit of the warded war heroes on March 24th, 2009.

They have also donated personal gift items: a radio, ear phones and set snacks to soldiers warded at the Teaching Hospital. Full text

Navy rescues 71 civilians fleeing from LTTE clutches

(defence.lk)Sri Lanka Navy rescued total of 71 innocent Tamil civilians who had been fleeing from LTTE clutches in two separate occasions yesterday, 25 March.

The first group consisted of 26 civilians including 6 males, 9 females and 11 children had fled the LTTE clutches on 4 small boats and were found 6 AM by Sri Lanka Navy at Point Pedro. Full text

Thursday, March 26, 2009

4 farmers killed, 4 injured in LTTE genocidal attack - Welikanda

(defence.lk)LTTE terrorists continuing with its spree of genocidal attacks and village massacres have killed 4 more farmers at Menikdeniya in the Kadawathmadu area, East of Welikanda yesterday (March 25) at around 10 p.m.

Four farmers who escaped with gunshot injuries are now receiving treatment at the Government Hospital at Polonnaruwa, Welikanda Police said. Full Text

Situation Report (Mar 25) by SLA

Post Mortems in Progress on LTTE Slain Farmers

(2nd Update)

TRINCOMALEE: POST-MORTEMS into LTTE’s murder of five farmers in MAWANAVILLU area in DEHIWATTA, TRINCOMALEE late last night (24) are now in progress at the time this report was filed in the KANTALE hospital.

Five innocent farmers, butchered by Tiger terrorists while they were guarding their crops at night time have been identified as W.A. Sunil, W.A. Weeradasa, G. Nihal Sarath, W.H. Sugathapala and Karunadasa Munasinghe, all of them from the same NEELAPOLA, DEHIWATTA area. Full Text

ANALYSIS-At end of Sri Lanka's long war, siege is best hope

By C. Bryson Hull

COLOMBO, March 25 (Reuters) - If the last act in Sri Lanka's 25-year war is now playing out, the only question left is whether it ends in siege or slaughter.

There is little doubt Sri Lanka's military will shortly destroy the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a conventional fighting force. Full text

Troops seize Tiger spy chief's hideout: Sri Lanka

(yahoo)COLOMBO (AFP) – The Sri Lankan government said its troops overran a hideout of the Tamil Tiger rebels' feared intelligence chief as fighting escalated Wednesday in the island's northeast.

The defence ministry said there was no sign of Pottu Amman, who along with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran may have fled or is still defending a narrow strip of jungle. Full text

We are a nation with a conscience, never forget soldiers who protected our motherland – President

Image(news.lk)Heroic soldiers have been unmoved in the face of death to protect our motherland and there are many of them who are still waiting to purchase a stretch of land to build their own houses. And, it’s our social responsibility to lend a hand to such souls who merely forget their own wellbeing and travelled to battle fields to protect our own land. I expect all concerned citizens to participate in this event to help them build their own houses, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (24). Full text

Aid Organizations in Sri Lanka Deny Siding with Rebels



25 March 2009

(voanews)International charitable organizations, accused of siding with the rebels in Sri Lanka's civil war, are denying the charge. The country's defense ministry has stated aid groups find continued bloodshed there "a lucrative business" and want terrorism to prevail in the South Asian island nation. Full text

Responding to growing international concerns on the Eelam War

By Col R Hariharan

Related articles:

War gets dangerously close for trapped civilians

War and the politics of peace

(March 25, Nairobi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) easing its rigid stand on talking peace in the last few days? It would seem so from the political head of the LTTE, Balasingam Nadesan’s e-mail interview published in the Sunday Times, London on March 22. He spoke of the insurgent group’s readiness for talks with the government “without pre-conditions.” Full text

We need no INGO and NGO volunteers in Sri Lanka

Their track record is one of sinister activities and destruction; no more Wanni again

By Mohan Gunaratnam, Ranjan Jayakody and Ranjit Surendran from Vavuniya

(March 25, Jaffna, and Trincomalee, Sri Lanka Guardian) Many efforts are hardly necessary to discover the kind of impacts Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) have made in Sri Lanka since independence. Decades ago the NGOs played a key role in the anti-slavery and women’s suffrage movements in the United States. Once the United Nations was set up, the NGOs received some form of recognition worldwide. There was a provision in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter for a consultative role for organizations which are neither governments nor member states. Full text

Attack on Sri Lanka team: Investigation report recommends arrest of police officials

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Lahore, 26 March, (Asiantribune.com): The authorities concerned probing attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, have recommended filing cases against three police officials for negligence in their duty.

The report has been presented to the concerned authorities after the investigation was conducted in closed doors. Full text

UN Resident Coordinator failed to vouch for the authenticity of the civilian casualty figures

Colombo, 26 March, (Asiantribune.com): The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne has stated that he is unable to confirm the veracity of the figures of civilian casualties since 20th January 2009 in the conflict area of Mullaitivu District, contained in an official report issued by his Office recently. He made this disclosure at a meeting yesterday (24th March 2009) with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama held at the Foreign Ministry, in response to a query from the Minister. Full text

"Sri Lanka no threat to international security, no nagging concern to UNSC"- Russian envoy Vladimir Mikhaylov

By Ravi Ladduwahetty – Sri Lanka Editor- Asian Tribune

Colombo, 26 March, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka is no threat to international security and there should not be any nagging concerns to the United Nations Security Council on the Sri Lankan affairs which are largely internal, Ambassador of the Russia Federation to Sri Lanka Vladimir Mikhaylov told Asian Tribune.

"Russia, China and some benevolent countries to Sri Lanka do not see the need for the frequent preparation of frequent reports on Sri Lanka as we do not see the Sri Lankan state of affairs as a threat to international security and peace," the Russian Federation envoy said. Full text

National Post (Canada) Editorial of March 18 Terrorism double-standard

(TI)As members of this editorial board watched, tens of thousands of Tamil Canadians thronged downtown Toronto. We couldn’t help but be struck by a curious double-standard that afflicts Canadian ethnopolitics. To wit: Why are Canadian Tamils permitted to express support for terrorism in a manner that would be considered outrageous if the demonstrators were Arab or Muslim? Full text

LTTE International Network: The Next Major Challenge

(TI)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

TNA ready for conditional talks with President

(TI)The TNA was ready to hold talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa if an environment condusive to such talks was created by the Government, TNA Jaffna District MP K. Sri Kantha told Parliament yesterday (25).

"We cannot be expected to discuss high politics while the lives of thousands of our people are at risk," MP Sri Kantha said in response to the invitation sent by the president to TNA MPs for talks. The presidential Secretariat had sent invitations to all 22 TNA MPs for a meeting to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country. The meeting is scheduled for today (Thursday). Full Text

Lanka accuses UN Colombo Office of false propaganda campaign

(TI)Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has severely criticised the Colombo Office of the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for incorporating unsubstantiated allegations in an official report circulated among the donor community. Bogollagama summoned the top UN representative in Sri Lanka to register the government’s strong protest against what an official called a calculated attempt to throw a fresh lifeline to the LTTE. Full text

Tigers take revenge on farmers after failed bid on Air force

(TI)The LTTE took revenge for their Tuesday’s pre-dawn failed attack on an Air Force camp by abducting seven farmers, killing five of them and seriously injuring the other two at midnight on Tuesday.

The Air Force ground troops foiled a pre–dawn LTTE attack and caused heavy damage to the LTTE in Weppankulam in Morawewa. Full Text

Forces at victory’s doorstep - Minister Muralitheran

(DN)National Integration Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitheran told Parliament yesterday the sustainable peace and development can only be achieved by eradicating LTTE terrorism from this country.

At present our Armed Forces have reached the final stage of their humanitarian operation launched to put an end to terrorism. Terrorism cannot be eliminated within one night. A certain time frame is needed to completely wipe out terrorism from this country, he said. The Minister was responding to the adjournment motion moved by JVP MP Jayantha Wijesekera. Full text