Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tigers sink to a new low as endgame nears

(DN)The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) identify themselves as freedom fighters and as sole representatives of Tamil people. Their actions however depict them only as terrorists. After cowering behind thousands of civilians in the government declared safe zone, tigers have sunk to a new low. Their latest tactic – shed the LTTE uniforms, disguise as civilians and fire at the incoming troops while hiding inside civilian tents. Either way the LTTE military machine has no hope for survival as these tactics will prove useless against elite troops of the SLA who are highly trained at hostage rescue and anti hijack missions. Full text

Clinton has flipped the flop; if not hollow then it is ominous

Terror chief Prabhakaran cannot be helped to escape and no power on earth should thwart and frustrate the determination of Sri Lanka in this pursuit. If the stand of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in relation to the current crisis in Sri Lanka has any credibility, then it questions the validity and integrity of the US action in Iraq. She had better rectify that before commenting on Sri Lanka.

By Satchi Sithananthan from Frankfurt

(April 25, Frankfurt, Sri Lanka Guardian) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sadly exposed her shallow grip of the ground realities of the Sri Lankan situation. It almost amounts to say, leave the murderous Tigers to do whatever they want to do with the thousands they herded from all over Wanni, marched them as bearers of heavy military equipment and other war material towards Mullaitivu and to have them as human shields and also intended as a source for cadres, immaterial whether they are children or the elderly. The ultimate aim was to use them as a bargaining counter for a ceasefire for a new lease of life for the LTTE if threatened with extinction. Full text

Instant reactions to Malini Parthasarathy’s Mirage of Eelam

A Sri Lankan Editorial Comment:

(April 25, Chennai, Sri Lnaka Guardian) Apart from our own Priya Ramakrishnan’s comment on Malini Parthasarathy’s “Mirage of Eelam” there have been instant reactions in the Indian press especially in Tamilnadu appreciative of how she had focused on the problems in Sri Lanka.

We were certainly not surprised and expected such an avalanche of favourable reactions giving a lie especially to the politicians of Tamilnadu who have apparently placed their political fortunes by whipping up the masses in the line of the LTTE. Their conduct is pathetic and they are even trying to blackmail the federal politicians to make it possible for the Tiger terror chief to have a new lease of life. Full text

No adequate international access to IDP camps in North Sri Lanka – U.S: There is access, they are at work already - Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 25 April (Asiantribune.com): United States UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice seems to ignore, under serious military situation, there is adequate international presence and that several international aid agencies are physically present in Temporary Accommodation Centers (TAC) that house minority Tamils who escaped the battle zone in the north of Sri Lanka.

Does she use the few words 'do not have adequate' in her 23 April statement to appease the lobby of the Tamil Tigers in the United States? Full text

Peacekeeping Force Not Warranted says India; Emissaries say Rajapaksa was ‘receptive’

By M Rama Rao, India Editor - Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 25 April (asiantribune.com): A day after two special emissaries of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met a ‘receptive’ Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka President, Delhi remains under pressure to go beyond mere articulation of India’s concern for the Tamils of southern neighbour.

There is no move to send a peace keeping force though. Full text

US envoy to Sri Lanka named to top South Asian post

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A veteran diplomat most recently tasked with the delicate job of Sri Lanka envoy was tapped Friday by President Barack Obama to serve as the assistant secretary of state for South Asian Affairs.

If approved by the Senate, Robert Blake will replace Richard Boucher in a job that deals with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Full text

Obama White House urges halt to Sri Lanka fighting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on Friday urged the warring Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers militant group to halt their fighting immediately and allow civilians to evacuate.

"The United States is deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, and the mounting death toll," the White House said in a statement. Full text

Malini Parthasarathy: The Mirage of Eelam

What most Tamils never saw through was that Prabhakaran has never had their interests and even more, he was not supportive of a political solution. He wanted a state of his own and never compromised on it.

By Priya Ramakrishnan

(April 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The adage hitting the nail on the head could not have been more forcibly expressed in what Hindu’s Malini Parthsarathy has written in the quest of a mirage called Eelam. In what could have been a lengthy thesis, she has quite briefly sailed smoothly through the salient and significant issues in an easy to read manner leaving the reader in doubt how a legitimate demand soon turned into a terrorist nightmare. Along the way it became counterproductive. Full text

Fools

By Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

To ‘Fool’ is to deceive. A ‘Fool’ is a person lacking in judgment or good sense.

(April 25, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) If some one fools any one the first time and gets away with it, he is cleverer than the one fooled. The one fooled may have been trusting and thus become vulnerable to being fooled. If the same person succeeds in fooling the same victim a second time, the victim is definitely a fool. However, if this person tries to fool the same victim a third time, he is the fool, unless the victim is an imbecile. This analogy applies rather aptly to describe some aspects of the relationship between the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam) and the Tamils of Sri Lanka. Full text

Hilary Clinton’s hundred days as Secretary of State off-handish and callous.

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

(April 25, Los Ageles, Sri Lanka Guardian) Hilary Clinton’s first hundred days as Secretary State did not bring the predicted breath of fresh air. No path-breaking gust of insight blew us off our feet. Her pronouncement that she was sorry about the Sri Lanka situation was a truism not worthy of a Secretary of State. She just ignored or overlooked the human shield used by Prabhakaran to put thousands in harm’s way. She was off-handish and callous. Full text

Mano counters Wimal & says won't flee country

(colombotoday)Democratic People's Front leader Mano Ganeshan said he is not a coward to flee the country for fear of Wimal Weerawansa's stinging remarks.

The DPF chief said the past of NFF leader does not give him any moral right to speak about terror or democracy. Full text

No Indian call for true - Govt

(colombotoday)India had not called for a ceasefire during the talks the Sri Lankan government had with its emissaries in Colombo, said Lalith Weeratunga, secretary to the president.

Indian national security advisor M.K. Narayanan and external affairs secretary Shivshankar Menon met with president Mahinda Rajapaksa and other top government officials yesterday (Apr. 24). Full text

Only Prabhakaran can explain the surrender of his political wing members - Yapa

(TI)Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said yesterday that only LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, can explain the reason for two of his senior political wing members surrendering.

Asked, at yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing, held in Colombo, if it was not strange that only two members of the LTTE’s political section, Daya Master and George had surrendered to the army and none from its military wing, he said "You will have to ask that from Prabhakaran. Only he will be in a position to explain" and added that it was a matter of time before senior members of the military wing also laid down their arms and embraced peace. Full text

Father's assassination made me furious: Priyanka Gandhi

(yahoo)New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) For the first few years after her father's assassination, Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, said she had been 'absolutely furious'.

'I didn't realise (at that time), but I was absolutely furious. Not with any individual, but with the whole world,' Priyanka Gandhi said in an interview broadcast on NDTV Friday night. Full text

Sri Lanka rebels forcing children to fight, UN says

Children as young as 12 being forcibly removed from families as Tamil Tigers make last stand against Sri Lankan forces

(guardian)Children as young as 12 are being given guns and forced to fight on the frontline alongside desperate Tamil Tiger rebels cornered inside Sri Lanka's no-fire zone, the UN said today.

Those forcibly recruited included the 16-year-old daughter of a member of the UN staff, who had stayed inside the narrow strip of coast where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are making their last stand. Full text

Letting the tiger loose

SRI LANKA
By Soni Mishra
(theweek)Ally troubles of the Congress seem to have no end. While trusted friend Lalu Prasad Yadav now sounds like an enemy, southern ally K. Karunanidhi has pushed the party to a tight spot with his controversial comments on the LTTE and its chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The DMK supremo told a TV channel that Prabhakaran was his "good friend", and that he would "deeply regret" if he was killed in the Sri Lankan military offensive on the LTTE. Prabhakaran, he added, was not a terrorist. The statements stirred a hornets' nest, and the Congress had to face a barrage of questions. Full text

Anticipating an end to Sri Lanka's war

By Charles Haviland
Colombo

(BBC)With the civil war in Sri Lanka apparently in its final days, the go

vernment is accusing Tamil Tiger rebels of causing a humanitarian disaster with tens of thousands of civilians thought to be trapped in the tiny remaining stretch of rebel territory.

Earlier this week, at dead of night, a massive electric storm hit Sri Lanka's western coast. Lightning flashed through the skies, illuminating Colombo's gracious colonial bungalows and proud commercial skyscrapers, its temples, churches and mosques. Full text

Forces missed Prabhakaran by whisker: Lanka army

(TOI)PUDUKUDIYYIRIPPU: Tamil Tigers supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides were recently missed by a whisker by the security forces, a top Sri Lankan commander said, claiming that the rebel leader had limited options either to give up or commit suicide.

"We got to know that Prabhakaran had moved through the Pudukudiryirippu-Iranmalai road on a day between March 29-31, just about two days before the army fully laid seige to that area," GoC 58 Division Brig Shavendra Silva said. Full text

G8 condemns use of "human shields" in Sri Lanka

ROME (Reuters) – The Group of Eight nations issued a plea on Saturday for thousands of civilians caught up in Sri Lanka's civil war and strongly condemned the Tamil Tiger rebels' use of "human shields".

With diplomatic pressure over the 25-year-old war building up and thousands of refugees unable to escape the battle zone in the north of the country, G8 foreign ministers urged an end to the conflict and backed sending in U.N. humanitarian assistance. Full text

Crouching Tiger


SPECIAL REPORT
Prabhakaran still has enough grit to continue the fight
By Anita Pratap
(theweek)LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is many things to many people-national leader, freedom fighter, revolutionary, guerrilla, killer, saviour, tyrant, visionary and terrorist. Lionised or demonised, depending on their standpoint.

I cannot know what is going on in Prabhakaran's head, but I am certain he is neither frightened nor desperate. He is not afraid of death. He has been courting it since he was 17. He is an indefatigable warrior, one who is philosophically detached from all things tactical. Yet, paradoxically, in achieving his strategic goal of Tamil Eelam, he displays an unwavering attachment. Full text

UN humanitarian chief to press SLanka on civilians

COLOMBO (AFP) – The UN's humanitarian chief was due in Sri Lanka Saturday as international concern over civilians trapped in the island's warzone fuelled a White House call for an immediate ceasefire.

John Holmes' three-day mission will focus on pushing the government to facilitate humanitarian missions in and around the conflict zone and to allow proper access to tens of thousands of displaced civilians, the UN said. Full text

A reply to the Secretary of State from USA Citizens

To: The Secretary of State, Hon. Hillary Clinton

Date: April 23, 2009

Madam Secretary, we address this response to you as registered Democratic Citizen voters of the United States and the Free World of Sri Lankan Origin. We value democracy and freedom for all people in Sri Lanka.

Your comment concerning the end of the war in Sri Lanka to quote your words, "I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering" is the most undemocratic statement we have ever heard from you having followed your political career with admiration. The entire nation of Sri Lanka's peace loving democratic voters of all ethnicities has suffered through that long 25 year period. We have all lost relatives and friends and fellow citizens over 25 years. The International community didn't come to help us and voice disappointment in the path taken by the LTTE when suicide bombers ran amok in the country and ethnically cleansed parts of it committing Genocide against Sinhalese and Muslims. Full text

End of the War

By : B.H.S. Jayasekera

(defence.lk)Every citizen of the country who had experienced the traumas of LTTE terrorism is sure to breathe a sigh of relief, seeing the unfolding scenario of the LTTE's crushing defeat in their last stronghold in Puthukudirippu

"Even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear cheer" the glorious military success of the Sri Lankan forces against the most ruthless terrorism outfit in the world. Full text

Group of priests seeks security forces protection - Puthukkudiyiruppu

(defence.lk)Infantrymen of 58 Division made success the world's largest hostage rescue mission have further continued their mission right through out the day, 25 April, to rescue the remaining Tamil civilians forcibly held by the LTTE terrorists in government declared No Fire Zone.

According to the latest military report, a group of priests, who were forcibly held in the No Fire Zone, was able to escape the terror grip seeking protection with security forces this morning, 25 April. Full text

LTTE attacks Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin for the second time

(defence.lk)A group of LTTE supporters attacked the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin on Thursday night (Apr 23). According to media reports, the LTTE supporters had thrown two Molotov Cocktails [improvised patrol bombs] to the embassy premises.

"They have thrown 2 petrol-bombs to the Embassy premises. Out of the two only one Bomb has exploded; the other one caused minor harm to the building. No one was hurt", reports said. Full text

TF-8 confronts with LTTE terrorists - east of Puthukudiirippu

(defence.lk)Troops of Task Force 8 (TF-8) confronted with detected groups of LTTE terrorists, still fighting forcibly holding innocent Tamil civilians as human shield, in general area east of Puthukudiirippu yesterday, 24 April, military report said.

During the fighting LTTE terrorists suffered considerable damages, defence sources said. Troops also suffered minor injuries during the confrontations.

A T-56 weapon was found during subsequent search operation conducted in the area, the report added. Full text

TF-3 uncovers more LTTE war materials - Oddusuddan

(defence.lk)Troops of Task Force - 3 (TF-3) engaged in continuous search and clear operations in recently liberated areas have uncovered more military items left behind by the fleeing terrorists yesterday, 24 April.

Infantrymen conducted search and clearing operations in general areas Oddusuddan and Alankulam uncovered 300 T-56 ammunition, 01 x Anti-Personnel mine, 01 x RPG bombs, 07 x AP mine fuses and a several war materials, military report said.

Commander evaluates last leg of the humanitarian operation

(defence.lk)Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, along with a few senior officers of the Army Headquarters, flew to Vavuniya this morning (25) to review the status quo in the ongoing operations in the "No Fire Zone" in Puthumathalan, Mulaithivu against terrorists.

Army Commander after being received by Commander Security Forces Headquarters Wanni (SFHQ-W) Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, was conducted to the SFHQ auditorium where he met senior ground Commanders and discussed the present Security situation in remaining LTTE controlled areas. Full text

Army Chief of Staff appointed as competent authority officer for IDP welfare

(defence.lk)Government appointed Army Chief of Staff Major General G. A. Chandrasiri yesterday (24) as the Competent Authority officer under emergency law to promote war displaced civilians welfare. All welfare measures aimed at displaced civilians will be under overall supervision of the newly appointed officer. Full text

Sri Lankan spokesman in London Tv debate says it is ridiculous to ask for ceasefire for defeated terrorists

(By Walter Jayawardhana)

(defence.lk)While Sri Lankans, Tamils and Sinhalese alike rejoice the defeat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE) and more than one hundred thousand Tamil civilians ran away from them, it is ridiculous some Tamil Londoners demonstrate asking a ceasefire as a last ditch to save the terrorists, said Douglas Wickramaratne in London's Sunrise TV breakfast show.

Douglas Wickramarane , the President of UK's Sinhala Association and a Tamil spokesman Arjunan Ediriweerasingham debated the controversial London demonstration carrying the official LTTE flag and blocking streets of the parliament. Full text

Petrol Bombs thrown at SL Embassy Berlin (updated)

· Minister Steinmeier demands Protection for civilians in NFZ Sri Lanka
· Germany donates 4,7 Mil. Euros to help IDPs in Sri Lanka
· Demonstrators in Berlin throw rotton Eggs at the Chinese Embassy
· Violent youth attack German Police, 8 Tamils arrested.

From our correspondent Lalith Ganhewa in Germany

(April 24, Berlin, Sri Lanka Guardian) "I urgently appeal to both parties involved in the conflict in Sri Lanka, to insure the protection of civilians and international humanitarian law to be respected", said the German Foreign Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the next chancellor candidate off the Social Democratic Party on Thursday evening in Berlin. Full text

Parable of large dog and 10 cats applies to current Jaffna scenario

By Professor Shelton Gunaratne

(April 25, Washington, Sri Lanka Guardian) As the defeat of the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lankan armed forces looms, I am reminded of the simple story that Jaffna-native Kalyani told her American-born niece Yalini, the narrator of the 2008 novel Love Marriage:

Imagine that you are in a room, and there are ten cats and one large dog.
They are fighting.
Who will win?
The dog, of course.
She nods: right, right. Full text

UN Men To Meet Prabhakaran?

A Commentary by L. Jayasooriya

(AT)It was at 1.45 AM on Friday April 24th, 2009 that I saw Ban Ky-Moon on CNN say that he was immediately going to send a team to the no-fire zone to determine how humanitarian aid could be delivered or something to that effect.

There are two areas in the no-fire zone at the moment. In both areas innocent Tamil civilians were imported to live in horrible conditions to act as a human shield to the LTTE. One area has been rescued by the Sri Lankan troops. It is now a ghost area with nobody. Full text

EU Condemned LTTE for holding civilians as human shield

Prague, 25 April, (Asiantribune.com): In a declaration, the European Union Presidency has expressed deep concern about the large number of civilian casualties and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North of Sri Lanka.

The Presidency on behalf of the EU has condemned in the strongest possible terms the LTTE for the use of civilians as human shields. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE must fully comply with international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians at all times. Full text

LTTE should surrender to a third party: US

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 25 April, (Asiantribune.com): The State Department's acting spokesperson Robert Wood has called on LTTE rebels to lay down arms and surrender to a third party. In his daily briefing on Friday, he said, "We remain extremely concerned for the safety of the remaining civilians in the no-fire zone," and called on the Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tigers to end hostilities.

He also asked the Sri Lanka government to allow a UN humanitarian team into the no-fire zone, saying that US understand that two Indian government emissaries arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday to convey their government's concerns. We support Indian efforts to stop the fighting, he added. Full text

End of the War

(TI)Every citizen of the country who had experienced the traumas of LTTE terrorism is sure to breathe a sigh of relief, seeing the unfolding scenario of the LTTE’s crushing defeat in their last stronghold in Puthukudirippu

"Even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear cheer" the glorious military success of the Sri Lankan forces against the most ruthless terrorism outfit in the world. Full text

‘Sri Lanka: Protect civilians in ‘final attack’—a response to HRW

(TI)A statement posted on Human Rights Watch web site quotes Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, as having stated: "Sri Lankan government needs to hear loudly and clearly from a concerted international community that they, just as the Tamil Tigers, will be held accountable for what happens to the civilians in the no-fire zone".

This statement reflects a total misunderstanding of accepted international conventions pertaining to conduct in a no-fire or safe zone for the following reasons: Full text

No need for spl. Missions – Kohona

(TI)Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona stressed that there was no need for special missions from other countries to evacuate the IDPs from the safe zone and the situation may not arise as over 100,000 civilians have already moved to the cleared areas.

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe pointed out that the international community feared that there will be a blood bath in the NFZ but it has been proved beyond doubt that it is not so. Full text

IDPs’ shelter problem overcome S’singhe

(TI)Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said the biggest challenge faced by the government where the IDP are concerned was to provide them shelter and it has overcome this problem.

Samarasinghe addressing a news conference said there was an immediate need for tents with the huge influx of civilians crossing to the cleared areas and on an appeal made by Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, the UNHCR has agreed to provide 20,000 tents and UNHCR will transport another 20,000 tents from Jordon and Dubai at their own expense. Full text

A letter Hypocrisy of the West:

Michael A. Huffman

(DN)I am a daily reader of the Daily News online from my home in Japan. I have followed the news and share the opinion that the West has grossly misjudged the valorous efforts of the Sri Lanka government in its efforts to free the Tamil population from the clutches of the LTTE. I am American, but my heart is with you the Sri Lankans in this historical moment. Full text

Robert O' Blake please awake!

(DN)Robert O' Blake please awake with your Community of Western World Diplomats in Sri Lanka to witness the re-awaking of the Tamil Community in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

We cannot comprehend why all of you who are the champions of the Free World, Free Media, Democratic Freedoms, Human Rights, etc., don't see the plight of the innocent civilians who are the hostages of the LTTE. You and your lot jolly well know that the LTTE uses these helpless men, women and children as a security cover as well as to obtain free food from the Government to get the strength to shoot at the Security Forces who are engaged in a human mission to save the Tamils from the LTTE suppression. Full text

An appeal to the Tamil diaspora in Canada

(DN)As peace and stability of a nation is fast approaching, escalation of demands are faster and variant. A baseless conflict that made millions of our fellow citizens, refugees of the world is tragic when one considers the number of decades long hostility and waste of human life. The steady erosion of normal life in a peaceful country thrown in to disaster has to be restored to normalcy. It is only through a truly democratic framework, that the country can be made stable.

This country is yours and mine; we do not have to pollute the minds of the people of the world with inaccuracies that only brings more disgrace. Look back at your own ancestry and tell your young how serene and peaceful it was. Think! As it dawned to another day in the village, a farmer leaving his home to the fields with a pair of oxen in tow, the village damsels giggling on their way to fetch water with their earthen pots clinging to the waist and the smiling faces of the children skipping cross the fields tracking to schools was the scenery. This passive people and culture never taught them to kill an ant or a fly. The soldiers are from these villages. Are these the soldiers engaged in genocide, mass killing and torture? Do you remember the Yal Devi screeching to a halt at the Fort station to fill Ruhunu Kumari to begin the run for the pilgrims to the Kataragama Shrine? That was the life. Why do we continue to insult ourselves with fallacies, the world has already begun to forget? Full text

A moment for solidarity

We have seen on television moving images of hundreds of thousands of civilians crossing over to the cleared areas from the No Fire Zone (NFZ), where the LTTE terrorists kept them hostage as a human shield. No sooner the Security Forces breached the defences and provided them with an opening, the civilians poured in. This was in sharp contrast to LTTE propaganda that the civilians remained in the NFZ on their own accord. Full text

Prabhakaran cannot flee

(DN)Addressing the visiting media personnel at the 58 Division headquarters in Kilinochchi, Brigadier Shavendra Silva stated that Daya Master has indicated that Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is still living inside the No Fire Zone along with his son Charles Anthony.

LTTE Media Spokesman Daya Master and interpreter George Master have surrendered to the Security Forces after arriving in military controlled areas mingling with the civilians on Wednesday. Full text

Holmes to visit Sri Lanka today

(DM)UNITED NATIONS - UN humanitarian chief John Holmes will head to restive Sri Lanka on Saturday for a three-day visit focused on civilians trapped in the northeast conflict zone, a UN spokesman said Friday.

"The Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (John Holmes) will be traveling to Sri Lanka for a three-day mission," said UN spokesperson Marie Okabe at a press briefing. Full text

SPEAK TO THE TAMILS IN TAMIL

(DM)If a Sri Lankan journalist is given an opportunity now to interview the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a place immune to security forces fire (if any) in the no-fire-zone in now famous Puthumatalan, would he miss it?

The LTTE leader even in such an interview might call the present situation a temporary setback and might vow to roll back the military advance that has swept his outfit into a small fishing village. He also might accuse as the LTTE peace secretariat head Pulithevan did days ago that the Government troops used civilians as a shield to cut through the no-fire –zone to open civilian floodgates. That is the LTTE and Prabhakaran. Full text

France to provide 100-bed field hospital

(DM)Responding to a call by the Foreign Ministry the international community for emergency relief assistance for the large number of civilians who have fled LTTE control and sought sanctuary in the cleared areas in recent days, the French government had agreed to provide a 100-bed field hospital together with 75 medical personnel. Full text

Legal action against ‘Masters’

(DM)Police authorities are to take legal action against the surrendered former LTTE Media Spokesman Daya Master and Translator George Master.

Informed sources said both of them were to be questioned in Colombo by a special police team soon. Full text

Prabha still in North

(DM)LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is said to be holed up in a tiny strip of land in the embattled North, may flee the area using a submarine, a top Sri Lankan army official said yesterday.

"Prabhakaran, who is presently in the ‘No-fire Zone’ with his son Charles Anthony, Tigers' Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman and Sea Tiger Chief Soosai, may have retained a submarine to escape from the island," 58 Division Commander Shavendra de Silva said. Full text

Army recovers 82mm mortar bombs

(DM)The army recovered forty 82 mm mortar bombs and thirty-two detonators during a search operation in Sarasalai, Jaffna.

The army said these items were recovered following information from civilians in the area. Full text

LANKAN PROTESTORS MAY BLOCK LONDON MARATHON

(DM)The ongoing protest by Sri Lankan Tamils in Parliament Square may force organizers of Sunday's marathon to divert it to a new route. The protest, now in its fourth week, calls for an end to military strikes against Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka. Full text

Menon, Narayanan hold crisis talks with President

(DM)India's Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan held talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday on the current situation in the North.

India sent its top officials to Colombo as the exodus of Tamil civilians from the war zone escalated into a grave humanitarian crisis even as the Sri Lankan government claimed that the Tamil Tiger rebels were about to be crushed. Full text

Troops continue operations to rescue civilians

(DM)The Defence Ministry said yesterday the security forces were continuing with calculated multi-pronged manoeuvers intended to rescue between 15,000 and 20,000 Tamil civilians still held hostage by the LTTE.

“The remaining LTTE leaders and cadres are now cornered in a 10 sq. km stretch of land on the coastal belt at Mullaittivu, this also includes the eight sq. kms of the government declared No-Fire Zone,” the ministry said. Full text

GOVT. AGREES IN PRINCIPLE TO UN VISIT TO WAR ZONE

(DM)The government has agreed in principle to permit a United Nations team to visit the war zone in the North though logistical arrangements for such a visit are to be ironed out, a top government official told Daily Mirror yesterday.

Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the green light for such a visit to areas where civilians remained trapped in Mullaitivu was initially given when UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon’s Chief-of-staff Vijay Nambiar made the request during a meeting with the government recently. Full text

Shed no tears for Tigers

(IE)At the peak of the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka in the winter of 1987, when the Indian army was still suffering more casualties than at any time during the war in Kargil, I had a conversation with then-Lt Gen (and later chief of army staff) Bipin Joshi, its director of military operations. “These LTTE people,” he said, “were just macho young people with no other purpose in life but to kill and die.” I thought, then, that it was in fact Gen Joshi’s remark that sounded so much like a macho soldier talking. And this was after the LTTE had already inflicted on his army several hundred casualties, in some cases annihilating entire platoons or fighting patrols, and blowing up armoured personnel carriers on landmines so big their one-and-a-half-tonne doors would land a hundred yards away. Five brigades advancing on Jaffna, with tanks and Mi-24 helicopter gunships (though only one brigade commander used these, famously on the bazaar in Chavakacheri, an LTTE stronghold on the axis he was pursuing to Jaffna. The risk of a few civilian casualties, he reckoned, was worthwhile if it saved his soldiers’ lives. Of course his was the brigade that got to Jaffna with a fraction of the casualties the others suffered.). Full text

U.N. council to Sri Lanka: Let U.N. into conflict zone

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Security Council urged Sri Lanka on Friday to cooperate with a U.N. humanitarian mission that wants to visit the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped.

"We underlined today the immediate and pressing priority of addressing the grave humanitarian situation in northeastern Sri Lanka," said Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller, the current president of the Security Council. Full text

Mirage of Eelam

(TH)The article “The mirage of Eelam” by Malini Parthasarathy (April 24) was excellent. It nailed the myth that the LTTE is the sole protector of the Tamils in Sri Lanka; a myth created and fuelled by most of the political parties and the media in Tamil Nadu. It is clear that the LTTE, in order to safeguard its top leadership, is causing immense hardship to the Tamil civilians caught in the war between the Tigers and the security forces. It is also clear that the culture of committing suicide, by swallowing a cyanide capsule if caught, is meant only for the lower level LTTE cadres. Full text

‘No peace-keeping force needed’

Special Correspondent

(TH)KOLKATA: The situation in Sri Lanka was grave but it did not warrant India sending a peace-keeping force there, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said here on Friday.

“It’s an evolving situation and the crisis is grave. We’ve expressed our concern especially on the humanitarian aspect. But it does not demand sending a peace-keeping force,” he said when asked whether India would do so as it had done when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Full text

Rajapaksa ‘receptive’ to India’s concerns

Special Correspondent M.K. Narayanan, Shivshankar Menon meet Sri Lankan President

(TH)NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was “receptive” to India’s concerns about the civilians trapped in the no-fire zone, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said here on Friday after returning from Colombo along with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.

The two senior officials were sent to Colombo on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urge the Sri Lankan government to immediately stop the military offensive in an area where civilians were also trapped. Full text

WRETCHED OF THE WANNI EARTH BREAK FREE OF BONDAGE

(DM)Latest developments on the Wanni war front have brought much relief to all people yearning for the safety of entrapped civilians in the coastal strip of northern Mullaitivu district currently controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The long awaited military operation to break through Tiger defences and facilitate the evacuation of civilians that began at midnight on Sunday April 19 has been a success in terms of numbers. Full text

VIDEO - Update!Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers refuse to admit defeat


VIDEO - Indian Defence Watch Expert on Sri Lanka Situation 23rd April 2009 - Ret General Ashok Mehta


VIDEO - WANNI OPERATION 24/04/09


VIDEO - The Critical Sri Lankan Humanitarian Situation


VIDEO - Wanni Operation 23 rd April 2009


Friday, April 24, 2009

VIDEO - Sri Lanka Amb. to the U.N. H.M.G.S. Palihakkara


Clinton Remarks Create Flap: Lankans Stage ‘Token Protest’ in Los Angeles

‘US policy in Sri Lanka a disaster’


By Hassina Leelarthna

(April 24, Los Angeles, CA , Sri Lank Guardian) aSri Lankans held a ‘token demonstration’ yesterday to lodge their protest at a blistering comment made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accusing Sri Lanka of causing ‘untold suffering’ in the push to eliminate the Tigers.

A handful of protesters, including several Buddhist monks, gathered outside the US Federal Building in Westwood carrying signs that said: “US Has Failed in Sri Lanka” and “Hillary, We are Outraged by You.” Full text

Patrol bombs hits on Sri Lankan embassy Berlin

Patrol Bombs hits on SL Embassy Berlin while Steinmeier demands Protection for civilians in Sri Lanka’s “No Fire Zone”

From our correspondent Lalith Ganhewa in Germany

(April 24, Berlin, Sri Lanka Guardian) "I urgently appeal to both parties involved in the conflict in Sri Lanka, to insure the protection of civilians and international humanitarian law to be respected", said the German Foreign Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the next chancellor candidate off the Social Democratic Party on Thursday evening in Berlin. Full text

Indian Foreign Secretary, NSA to Colombo; DMK strike call gets mixed response

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 24 April, (Asiantribune.com): India is sending foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan to Colombo, according to minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma. The visit followed a high level review of the situation in Northern Sri Lanka, where contrary to assessments of Colombo, more than a lakh of Tamils have already arrived even as some 30,000 are held hostage by the LTTE. Full text

What the world needs to learn from Sri Lanka’s humanitarian rescue operation

By Shenali Waduge

(AT)Instead of appreciating the humanitarian rescue operation being carried out by Sri Lanka and its armed forces, world leaders are exerting pressure upon the Government to enter a ceasefire ….their belief being that a ceasefire would help rescue these civilians. It is more than apparent that the world leaders and even media channels are clueless about the reality of the situation in Sri Lanka & it naturally makes any to wonder whether world leaders, foreign envoys, foreign secretaries etc apart from repeating what is on paper prepared by someone else actually understands the ground situation and seriously believe in what they say – because it is apparent that what they say is nothing but gobbledygook. Why? Full text

Investment Potential in Sri Lanka is unlimited and Now is the time

Sri Lankan Envoy and Asst. USTR brief the private sector

(infolanka)Market-friendly economic environment, rapidly stabilizing security conditions and emerging investment opportunities make it the ideal place for doing business”, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the U.S. told a business gathering here recently.

“With democratic institutions and civil administration already in place and many international donors joining hands with the government, the eastern province of Sri Lanka offers an exceptional array of investment opportunities to the private sector entrepreneurs, both local and foreign” Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the U.S., said during an April 21 investment briefing at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C. Full text

Sri Lanka: Test falls on the war's victors

(asianewsnet)Sri Lanka's Sinhalese-majority government believes a resolution to the country's Tamil secession question is within sight, via a military victory. The last of the Tamil Tiger rebels are in flight, dramatised by the government's triumphal 'surrender or die' demand made earlier in the week to remaining fighters trapped in a tiny enclave. If the fighting ends conclusively - by surrender, a coup de grace, or mass suicide - the Sinhala elite will have cause to be relieved, not unmixed with joy. This has been a long civil war of undiluted racial animosity that laid utter waste to Sri Lanka's bright prospects of old. Much will be asked of the Tamils. They have endured decades of hope, despair and selective discrimination; they must now make the adjustments, however difficult, to live in peaceable partnership with the Sinhalese. Sri Lanka is their homeland, too. They must make the most of their birthright. Full text

Sri Lanka to talk to France about mass exodus

(asiannewsnet)Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogallagama yesterday said he would speak to his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner about the adverse remarks attributed to the latter on the civilians fleeing from the LTTE.

Kouchner is reported to have said that civilians fleeing from the clutches of the LTTE in the ‘No Fire’ Zone were drowning in the seas and had suggested that France and Britain launch a joint humanitarian operation in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka. Full text

Karuna appointed a vice chairman of SLFP

(Lanka-e-News, April 24, 2009, 2.50 pm) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to appoint Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman to a post of vice president of the party.

The decision was taken at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party all island committee that met under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees last evening (23) Full text

Sri Lankans in US outraged over Clinton remark on Sri Lanka

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 24 April (Asiantribune.com): The Sri Lankan Patriots a Sri Lankan activist group headquartered in Los Angeles in California has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing outrage at her remarks that military action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by Sri Lankan forces has caused 'untold suffering.'

Sri Lankan Patriots (SLP) in a letter reminded Clinton that many Sri Lankan soldiers have sacrificed their lives to free Tamil civilians from the stranglehold of a 'Pol Pot type regime' run by the LTTE. Full text

A flashback of Kilinochchi (1988-2008)

By S.M.M.Bazeer

“…Today we are trapped people We are made to walk this suicidal trip Our great brave defenders and freedom fighters Lure the enemy Right to our doorstep To the inside of the hospital Start a fight Ignite a landmine Fire form each and every refugee camp Escape to safety And then come the shells whizzing, whizzing Bloody hell Tigers have withdrawn, while We the sacrificial lambs Drop dead in lots”….” -Jaffna (a poem from Tamil Times –November 18th 1987)

(April 24, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the Presidential election, the LTTE spokesperson K.V.Balakumar sarcastically remarked on the Political Stage programme on the LTTE Radio “Voice of Tigers”;-. “It is true that Banda (Bandaranayake) was the cause of the emergence of Pirabakaran and conversely Mahinda’s victory will be setting stage for the victory of Pirabakraan; what began by that Banda will be concluded by this Mahinda “Banda” (November 2006) . Full text

'The Legacy of Racism'


23 April 2009

(PISL)Statement of Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, during the General Debate at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, April 23rd 2009

Mr President, Sri Lanka congratulates you and those who worked so hard to develop this process of discussion and analysis, since we are clearly dealing here with a continuing problem for the world. I will not use the term international community, for that too has become a victim of racism, in as much as it is used to define a rag tag and bobtail of a few countries, the non-governmental organizations they fund and the press that privileges them. Full text

A Competent Authority Officer and three Coordinating Officers appointed to look into the welfare of war displaced civilians

Colombo, 24 April, (Asiantribune.com): To look into the welfare of the displaced civilians, Government of Sri Lanka has appointed Army Chief of Staff as Competent Authority Officer and three Government Agents as Coordinating Officers.

Army Chief of Staff Major General G. A. Chandrasiri today has been appointed as the Competent Authority officer under emergency law to promote war displaced civilians welfare. All welfare measures aimed at displaced civilians will be under overall supervision of the newly appointed officer. Full text

Did Kouchner slip up?

(TI)An AFP report on Wednesday, the 22nd April, which you referred to in your lead story today stated,

"France proposed carrying out a joint relief operation with Britain to help civilians in Sri Lanka who have fled fighting between government forces and Tiger rebels.

"We will try to launch an operation," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a radio interview, adding that he would discuss the plan with his British counterpart David Miliband. Full text

LTTE`s Masters to be grilled in Sri Lanka

(LNP)Masters Daya and George Master were due to be brought to Colombo for further interrogation. Thereafter the Government intends rehabilitating them, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

After the interrogation, if it is found that they had indulged in criminal activities, they would be prosecuted, he said. Both were involved in LTTE propaganda in the past. Full text

Prabhakaran may flee Sri Lanka in a submarine: Army

(TH)Killinochi (PTI): Cornered LTTE chief V. Prabhakarn, who is still holed up in a small strip of land in embattled north, may flee from the island using a submarine, a top Sri Lankan Army official said on Friday.

"Prabhakaran, who is present in the no-fire zone along with his son Charles Anthony, Tigers' intelligence chief Pottu Amman and Sea Tiger chief Soosai, might have retained a submarine to escape from the island," Brigadier Shavendra Desilva, the General-Officer-Commanding 58 Division, said. Full text

Sri Lanka army says Tamil Tiger leader trapped

by Nicolas Revise Nicolas Revise Fri Apr 24, 7:24 am ET

KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka (AFP) – The leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers is trapped in a small strip of jungle and intends to make a final stand with his surviving forces, an army commander said Friday.

The commander said a rebel spokesman who surrendered to government troops earlier in the week had reported that Velupillai Prabhakaran, 54, was still in charge of his cornered and depleted separatist army in the island's northeast. Full text

LTTE a traitor organization

(CC)LTTE is a terrorist traitor organization of Sri Lanka and is also an anti-Indian revolutionary organization. The Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu is forcing the ideology of LTTE over India only on the context of similar language 'Tamil'. Keeping in view that at present Sri Lanka government has started the final operation against LTTE, and the ongoing elections in India, it has become a matter of concern in Tamil Nadu. Full text

How will Sri Lanka reconcile after a bitter war?

Whether victory is declared within days or weeks, Sri Lanka's once seemingly endless war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam appears, finally, to be drawing to a close. But while the battle may be won, there are concerns that the ethnic conflict that lay behind it will continue to simmer and boil.

The probable final showdown in one of Asia's longest-running wars began Monday, when the Army broke into the last remaining redoubt of the LTTE, located in a narrow strip of coastland in the north. Full text

Govt. appeals for relief supplies

Aid delivered to the collections centre (photo: Elmo Fernando)
Sri Lankans are urged to bring aid for the displaced in the north
(BBC)The Sri Lankan government has appealed for urgent relief supplies for the displaced people who recently arrived in government controlled areas.

The director of government information department, Anusha Pelpita, has appealed for food, water, clothes and other essential items to distribute among the displaced. Full text

End Game In Sri Lanka?

Nira Wickramasinghe, 04.24.09, 12:01 AM EDT

Tamil Tigers are surrendering, but more bloodshed could be in store.

(forbes)There is little room for hope or optimism in the endgame now unfolding in Sri Lanka, in spite of the surgical cutting down by the armed forces of the ruthless and authoritarian Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The LTTE edifice has surely collapsed. Not only is the formerly formidable war machine--veteran of a 30-year secessionist war--now reduced to smithereens, and its remaining cadre cornered into a 12-square-kilometer strip of land in the Northern Province, but defections have begun. Full text

President meets Indian delegates

(defence.lk)The Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees today (24).

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian official held cordial discussions on the current developments in Sri Lanka, and matters of mutual interest. Full text

Japan welcomes rescue of civilians

(defence.lk)"Japan welcomes that, in the past few days, nearly 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in the northern part of Sri Lanka controlled by the LTTE have moved to the area controlled by the Government of Sri Lanka", states in Statement issued April 23 by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Humanitarian Situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Sri Lanka. Full text

The Govt. committed to resettle all IDPs as early as possible

(defence.lk)With the experience gained in resettling 187,000 IDPs in the Eastern Province in the post - conflict period, the government is confident of resettling nearly 200,000 IDPs now living in welfare centers in the Wanni as early as possible. The government is committed comprehensively to ensure the well - being of the civilians who have been evacuated, said Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights addressing a media briefing at the Presidential Secretariat today(24). Full text

Civilians expose LTTE treachery: Foreign media stunned by revelations

(defence.lk)Foreign media crew and journalists who were provided access this morning (April 24) to the recently liberated Puthumathalan area inside the declared No Fire Zone have expressed their surprise at what were cited as 'startling revelations' made by civilian hostages rescued from LTTE clutches since Monday(20).

The reporters were taken from Kilinochchi to Puthumathalan and provided with necessary assistance to gain first hand information on the unfolding ground situation, with LTTE nearing total defeat after 3 decades. The group of journalists also witnessed rising smoke in the distance caused due to explosions from heavy mortar bombs mounted by LTTE terrorists further south. According to latest military reports, LTTE terrorists are now boxed inside a 10sq.km swathe of land further South of the NFZ at Vellamullivaikkal. Full text

'Prabhakaran cannot flee' - Navy

(defence.lk)The Navy will not leave any room for LTTE leader Prabhakaran and his associates to flee the country by sea. Highly fortified naval defence lines and a high tech system has been placed to monitor the LTTE movements, said Commander Karunarathne, acting Naval Spokesperson addressing a media briefing on Thursday (April 23.

Addressing the media yesterday, Commander Karunaratne said that the Navy had played a major role in preventing the LTTE activities and maritime operations during its last three decades. Full text

Japan welcomes rescue of civilians: condemns LTTE's use of human shield

(defence.lk)"Japan welcomes that, in the past few days, nearly 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) in the northern part of Sri Lanka controlled by the LTTE have moved to the area controlled by the Government of Sri Lanka", stated Ministry of Foreign Affairs, citing Japanese officials on the Humanitarian Situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Sri Lanka. Full text

Where are the nomads? - Opinion

(By: M Jinadasa )

(defence.lk)"Most of us are sceptical about the agenda of the extremist people. We are mindful that it is those who are no longer part of Sri Lanka who do the most damage to this country by encouraging conflict than peace. These nomads, having fled their motherland on the pretext of being refugees, need justification to maintain their refugee status abroad, although they fled from the country for no other reason than finding greener pastures. Full text