Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tamil Tiger (LTTE) suicide bomber live video in Sri Lanka

In this chilling security camera footage, a female suicide bomber (Tamil Tiger terrorist) on a mission to kill a Sri Lankan Cabinet minister Douglas Devananda (a moderate Tamil political leader) is seen patiently answering questions in a bustling government office before calmly standing up and detonating the bomb hidden in her bra.

'Madness of Terrorism' - LTTE Human Bomb in Action, courtesy of (Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka).

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Defence Ministry-CB in ambitious housing project for forces personnel

The Ministry of Defence and the Central Bank have embarked on an ambitious project titled "Api Wenuwen Api," (Be Together For All) to build 50,000 houses and apartments for the armed forces personnel at a remarkably low price phased over a period of five years. Ten thousands houses will be built per year.

The target collection for the project is approximately Rs 15 billion. The government will contribute 60% while the balance is expected from the private sector and public donations, Willie Gamage, Additional Secretary, Defence Ministry said.

Addressing a news conference yesterday he said what was unique about it was that a housing unit will cost the government around Rs 2.4 million, but a recipient will pay only about Rs one million, on an easy repayment loan scheme.

Due to the ongoing conflict, no one has suffered more than the young men and women fighting to save the sovereignty of the motherland risking their own lives , to ensure their fellow citizens enjoy a peaceful and a secure life he explained. "All of us have a bounded duty to recognise their services and help them."

"The blocks of land for the houses 10- 15 perches each will be provided by the state free of charge and the houses designed to enhance the living standards of service personnel will be built with all modern facilities.

Asked about the response from the private sector Gamage said a group of entrepreneurs had already visited one of the sites. "We have already received contributions to the tune of Rs 110 million from the private sector while a total of Rs 200 million has been collected.".

"The contributions received will be used to pay the bank interest on all housing loans obtained by the recipients of the 50,000 houses." Gamage added.

The housing projects will have schools, shopping complexes, gymnasiums and other facilities.

Already 1620 housing units are being constructed in Ipologama and are expected to be completed in six months while the stage two is expected to commence in Horowpotana.

Cash and cheque donations to the housing fund could be contributed to A/C no. 7040000 at all Bank of Ceylon branches. Donations can also be made via Dialog SMS by typing ‘API’ and sending it to 8877 where each SMS will add Rs 100 to the fund.

by Harischandra Gunaratna, Island

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fresh Milk: Sri Lanka to raise milch cows on grazing land freed from Tigers

Sri Lanka is trying to make use of grazing lands freed from the grip of Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's east to increase domestic fresh milk production.

The initiative would help meet domestic demand and reduce imports at a time when global milk prices have doubled owing to shortages.

The government has raised the price of milk it buys from farmers and wants to improve collection, said A O Kodituwakku, additional secretary of the Ministry of Livestock Development.

Better Price

"The ministry is encouraging dairy producers to retain their cows and invest in improved productivity by raising the price of milk by 10 rupees per liter,” Kodituwakku told a meeting on efforts to improve the island's dairy industry.

"We are also working to strengthen the mechanism for collecting milk."

The Ministry of Livestock Development said some 140,000 families in the eastern province alone engage in some sort of livestock farming.

Helping small farmers improve livestock farming would also help revive the local economy in the eastern region that had suffered from two decades of conflict.

Much of the area had been under the control of the Tamil Tigers fighting for a separate state in the island's north and east.

But government forces drove out the Tigers from their jungle strongholds and coastal settlements under their control in a series of military campaigns earlier this year.

Rebecca Cohn, director of the USAID aid agency which organized the meeting of diary industry and government officials, said they want to start a project next year to revive milk production in the east.

"We have all read about doubling of the price of imported milk powder in the last year indicating a huge demand for milk due to short supply worldwide,” Cohn told the meeting, according to the USAID statement.

"Energizing the local dairy sector would not only help meet this great demand and bring down prices, but also give a much needed boost to local economies long suffering from more than two decades of conflict."

The project, called Connecting Regional Economies (CORE), will improve rural value chains in the eastern and north central provinces.


Sri Lanka imported 70,000 metric tons of milk powder at a cost of 17 billion rupees last year, a figure expected to double in 2007.

Ariyaseela Wickramanayake of Pelawatte Dairies said that owing to poor productivity, small producers often find selling the cows for beef is more profitable than milk production.

"But if the large amount of land available for dairy production that exists in the east is utilized effectively, and feeding practices are improved, we have the potential to improve production by up to 300 percent.

"In addition to natural grasses, rice bran and crop residues are available as feed."

The USAID said coordination between small-scale farmers and larger farms could also potentially help rural households improve income and employment, and give access to technology and dairy management practices.

Large Sri Lankan processors working on a national scale collect only just over half of the total amount of milk produced in the country, with the balance either consumed or processed locally.

Uncollected milk is consumed at village level, while collected milk end up as flavoured milk packs, butter, yoghurt or cheese.

Structural Issues

Yields from Sri Lankan milch cows have been poor in the past as high-yielding cows from temperate regions do not thrive in the hot tropical island.

Efforts have been made to cross-foreign breeds with local ones that can stand the local climatic conditions but are yet to have a significant impact on local herds.

Feed is also poor in much of the island. High yielding cows have been raised with some success in the island's cooler and wetter hill country.

The food giant Nestle ran an extensive program in the 1980's to improve feed and stock but the firm found it difficult to compete with cheaper imported milk powder. But now milk powder is at a historic high.

Milk prices are also a political issue and politicians point fingers at the dairy products import bill expounding on the need to 'save' foreign exchange each time the government prints money and creates balance of payments problems.

Lanka Business Online

Malaysia raps Karunanidhi for meddling

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia told Karunanidhi on Thursday to mind his own business after the official complained about Malaysia's treatment of its ethnic Indians.

Muthuvel Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to intervene and protect the rights of Tamils.

He made the request after the minority community's biggest anti-government protest in Malaysia at the weekend, sparked by anger over policies they say prevent ethnic Indians from getting decent jobs or a good education for their children.

"This is Malaysia, not Tamil Nadu," Malaysia's de-facto justice minister Nazri Aziz said by telephone. "This has got nothing to do with him ... lay off." He said he had not seen a protest letter from Karunanidhi.

In the letter to Singh, Karunanidhi said he was 'pained' at the way Malaysian police had treated Tamils when they organised a rally to complain of racial discrimination.

The rally, which drew more than 10,000 people, had triggered sporadic protests in Tamil Nadu, witnesses said.

Karunanidhi said Tamils were the largest group among Malaysia's 1.8 million ethnic Indians and added that the people of Tamil Nadu were disturbed by the events there. He sought Singh's intervention 'to end the sufferings and bad treatment of Malaysian Tamils'.

Karunanidhi's DMK party is an ally in Singh's federal coalition.

Multi-racial Malaysia has brushed aside claims that it mistreated its ethnic Indians, saying that they were better off than those in India. But ethnic Indians complain of a lack of educational and business opportunities, saying government affirmative-action policies that favour majority ethnic Malays had marginalised them.


Tamil Tiger suicide bomber targets Tamil minister; another bomb kills 18 civilians in department store

NUGEGODA, Sri Lanka: Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful bomb at a popular Sri Lankan department store in a Colombo suburb Wednesday, the military said, killing 17 people in a rare attack targeting civilians near the nation's capital.

The blast, which came only hours after a suicide bomber tried to kill a Cabinet minister, showed the rebels remained capable of striking deep in government territory despite months of punishing military attacks on their power base in the north.

Fearing the bombings were only the first in a wave of attacks, officials decided to close all the schools in the Western Province — which includes Colombo — for the rest of the week, and security officers warned Sri Lankans to be on high alert.

"The general public should be extra vigilant about their surroundings especially in trains, buses, crowded areas and even in schools," police spokesman Jayantha Wickremarathna said.The explosion at the four-story No Limits department store in Nugegoda was set off after a security guard there became suspicious of a package left with him for safekeeping and called over a police officer. When they tried to open it, the package exploded, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

The blast hit as commuters crowded a nearby bus stop during rush hour. It shattered the department store's windows and sent piles of crumbled concrete pouring onto the bloodstained sidewalk, according to an AP photographer at the scene. Twisted, charred parts of motorcycles and three-wheeled taxis were scattered nearby.

Police and firefighters dug through the rubble in a search for more bodies.

"I was on the top floor of a shoe shop with my wife and child when I heard a big blast and there were glass pieces all over us," local resident A. Jayasena told AP Television News. "As we ran away, I saw the entrance of the No Limit shop burning, and in the midst of it, a schoolgirl on the floor trying to get up and then falling back again."

Jayasena and his daughter suffered minor injuries, while his wife was in the hospital being treated for more serious wounds, he said.

At least 17 people were killed and dozens of others injured, the military said. Residents crowded a nearby hospital searching for missing relatives. One girl who suffered a broken arm in the attack sat with her mother as she received treatment.

"We know that the attack bears all the hallmarks of the LTTE. It is nobody else but the LTTE," Nanayakkara said, referring to the group by its formal name, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The Tamil Tigers, listed as a terror organization by the United States and the European Union, have carried out more than 240 suicide bombings and countless other attacks in their more than two decade war with the government.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday evening.

The rebels have previously killed civilians in attacks on economic targets, such as the central bank, and on religious shrines. However, in the past two years, rebel bombers had stopped targeting civilians, though they have ambushed military convoys amid crowds, causing many civilian deaths.

On Wednesday morning, a handicapped suicide bomber sent by the rebels blew herself up at Sri Lanka's social services ministry in the heart of Colombo in an unsuccessful attempt to kill a Cabinet minister, the military said.

The attack targeted the offices of Douglas Devananda, the minister of social services and the leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party, an ethnic Tamil party considered a rival to the rebels, the military said.

Devananda, the target of repeated assassination attempts, was not injured, but the blast killed one of his staff members and injured two others, military officials said. The bomber was also killed.

Ilanthirayan, the rebel spokesman, said at the time that he was unaware of the blast.

The attacks came months after the government drove the Tamil Tigers out of eastern Sri Lanka and amid escalating fighting between the military and rebel fighters on the fringes of the rebels' de facto state in the north.

It also came a day after 22 civilians — including 11 schoolchildren — were killed in separate attacks inside rebel-controlled territory, the rebels said. The Tamil Tigers blamed the military, which denied responsibility for the roadside bombing that killed the children.

"This is a fabricated story. We think that by doing so, they were preparing the ground for an attack in the south," said Lakshman Hulugalle, director general of the government's Media Center for National Security.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 to create a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's minority ethnic Tamils following decades of discrimination by governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority. The fighting has killed an estimated 70,000 people.

The military also said it killed one rebel in an attack Wednesday on a Tamil Tiger bunker in the north.

Krishan Francis, Associated Press NOW in Sinhala

The editorial team of has great pleasure to inform its viewers that the Sinhala version of the website is now on the World Wide Web from today (November 27) onwards. The URL of the new website is

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa launched the website at the Ministry of Defence, Colombo this evening. At the launching, he invited talented writers who have the courage to write the truth about LTTE terrorism and about the reality of the situation in the country, to contribute their articles to the websites' Opinion Page. He also instructed the editorial team to launch the Tamil version of the website as soon as possible., the official website of the Ministry of defence and Public Security, Law and Order was re-launched as a dynamic news website, exclusively on country's defence on 25th May 2006. The website was created on the instructions of the Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had taken over the office in November 2005.

At present, is one of the most popular websites among all Sri Lankans living around the globe and has one million average hits per day. brings its viewers breaking news updates on the country's defence as well as all other events of national importance as they unfold, around the clock.

Web Editor,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Basil Rajapaksa shoots from the hip

By Shamindra Ferdinando - The Sunday Island

Despite increased international protests against Sri Lanka pursuing a military victory over the LTTE, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is set to go all out against LTTE strongholds in the Vanni.

The ongoing skirmishes on a wide front across the Jaffna frontline and west of Omanthai are widely believed to be precursor to a massive military onslaught on the LTTE.

The MP reiterated that the government would be willing to sit down for fresh round of negotiations with the LTTE but not be under pressure. In fact, many conveniently forget that the LTTE quit the peace process in April, 2003 during the UNF administration of Ranil Wickramasinghe, and since then spurned several attempts to bring them back to the negotiating table, he said.

Budget and toppling the government

He expressed confidence that the administration would come out stronger once it secured the vote on the third reading of the budget.

"They (the opposition) won’t easily give up their attempts to politically overwhelm us. But we have the strength and capacity to meet their political moves as well as the LTTE’s military challenge."

He urged the UNP to abandon their efforts to undermine the government. "Now, they have lost the vote on the second reading on the Budget, they must give us peace of mind to govern the country for at least another year," he said.

"Continuing political uncertainly would be detrimental to the economy and the war effort."

Influence by external forces

Blaming the LTTE for triggering Eelam War IV, he said that the second achievement of the government was its decision not to be influenced by external factors.

"Have we ever taken a major decision purely on domestic reasons? We were always guided by external players. But in this instance, the president had the courage to decide an appropriate military response to the LTTE challenge. If we were guided by the CFA and remained committed to it in the face of LTTE action which at one point threatened to overwhelm the government, we would have been deep trouble."

Rajapaksa faulted successive governments for giving up large extents of territory thereby allowing the LTTE to set up its own administration. "But now we have changed that attitude."

Accusations of corruption - commissions, houses, luxury cars

"We have been accused of robbing the nation, collecting commissions, buying houses, super luxury vehicles. The opposition regularly repeats these allegations. Let them prove their allegations."

He said that they have earned their money legitimately. "Recently we were accused of paying a princely sum out of our ill-gotten money to acquire a building formerly owned by a high commission in Colombo. In fact, a senior member of the judiciary inquired about this from me. But subsequently he had met the person who bought this building."

This is just one such example, said, referring also to the recent controversy alleging that the president’s son, Namal, had acquired a super luxury Aston Martin.

He accused a section of the media for being partial to the opposition but acknowledged that similar allegations have been made against the state-controlled press. "People are being misled. They are being taken for a ride," he said.

"Take Gota’s case. He served the army for 20 years before migrating to the US where he worked as a computer systems UNIX administrator at the prestigious Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He had everything but he sold almost all he had in the US to take over the Defence Secretary’s post in late 2005."

President's leadership

Basil said that he worked with Mahinda for several decades. "I am not a novice in politics," he said, asserting that he has the capacity to meet challenges. Commenting on the president, he said that his brother had the knack for handling people.

"All of us work under his directions. He is the president and party leader and make no mistake he knows what is good for the administration." He dismissed the assertion that he was the power behind the throne. "The president is a natural leader and people may see me as a trouble-shooter and a decision maker. But as far as I am concerned, I may implement things, carry out orders and generally make myself useful to the president.

Bribing LTTE to boycott elections

He said that nothing could be more ridiculous than the UNP claim that the Rajapaksas bribed the LTTE to engineer presidential election boycott in the Northern and Eastern Province. The LTTE couldn’t be bribed that way. Their decision making process wouldn't be guided by financial gains or any other privileges, he said.

"I don’t know why they acted against Ranil Wickremesinghe. But one thing is clear. Participation of Tamils in the presidential election process wouldn’t be to their (LTTE) advantage. Even if Wickremesinghe won, they wouldn’t have been able to manipulate that victory to their advantage given the fact that the Tigers quit the peace process during Wickremesinghe’s tenure as the Prime Minister."

Also the LTTE wanted to ensure that no one could boast of receiving a mandate from the people of the North and East.

Rajapaksa said that if anyone bothered to read the EU report on the last parliamentary election, the Tamil National Alliance would be unmasked. The EU revealed the LTTE-TNA manipulation of the entire process which facilitated the election of TNA MP who accepted the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamil speaking people.

Officials accused by COPE

He assured that the government wouldn’t shield officials and politicians accused by the Committee on Public Enterprises on waste, irregularities and corruption. "But, as a government we won’t operate in Gestapo style. If we do that, there would be other allegations. So let the investigations their take course," he said.

He emphasized that he didn’t want to take over COPE from colleague Wijedasa Rajapakshe, MP or obstruct investigations conducted by the two parliamentary watchdog committees.

Extracted from Sunday Island of 2007/11/25. Edited for Mawbima Lanka

Letter from a Tamil in Canada

The comments by various people show how foolishly we, Tamils continue to glorify violence, suicide and terror. We began all this in 1939 with G.G. Ponnambalam attacking the Sinhalese in a virulent speech in1939, resulting in the first Sinhala Tamil riot.

After the war SJV and others used every chance to gore the government instead of building bridges. They spurned the left leaders who stood for parity and preferred to hob-nob with their Colombo-7 capitalist leaders.

Our Colombo, Tamil leaders arrogantly started the ball rolling, and even claimed that they are "ready for state terror". The local militants realized that they were being bamboozled by the Colombo set, and they captured control, killed those leaders, our best men and women, and made cannon fodder out of our children.

Look at this partial list:

1. The JR government in 1977 granted all the demands on language etc. that the previous Tamil organizations had asked for. But we could not profit from it, because by then we were under the gun of Prabakaran.

2. India came in and merged North and East two provinces, and provided an honourable framework. But we reengaged the whole thing and started another war. Prabakaran would have been annihilated by the IPKF if not for Premadasa.

3. Further accommodation was possible under Premadasa. But we reengaged him and killed the 600 police who surrendered.

4. Under Chandrika we had the far reaching constitutional proposals by Neelan Thiruchelvan, but we replied by assassinating him.

5. Incredible concessions were made by the Ranil Wickremasinghe government with the Cease Fire agreement. But we used it to stock up arms, get ready for another war and made sure of such a war by preventing Ranil's Victory.

This list of 5 does not include the innumerable other chances that had been offered. Why would any politician think that a political solution is possible with Prabakaran?

So, why are were talking of a political solution?

LTTE has always worked for a military solution. This Anuradhapura attack is the same old Killinochchi wine that Bishop Chikera is now peddling and desecrating even the Eucharist. The LTTE does NOT want a political solution. It wants a military solution from the barrel of a gun. In the process it will destroy the Ceylon Tamils by destroying the future generation. How many Tamils are now left in the Vanni? What is the percentage of Tamils in Sri Lanka today? The CIA world fact book says that there is now only about 5% Tamils in SL!

Instead of executing this attack on the Anuradhapura military camp, if Prabakaran had declared that HE IS FOR A FEDERAL SOLUTION and that HE WILL PEACEFULLY CONTEST ELECTIONS EVERY WHERE IN SRI LANKA, do you think ANY SINHALA POLITICIAN of any worth could OPPOSE IT? Even the most extreme "unitary man" would have to take up this chance. Even many Sinhala might vote for Prabakaran if he had the capacity to the right thing. But a "Venkai" does not change its spots.

Instead, for 30 years, he has led the Tamils on the path of destruction and suicide. Foolish Tamils, drunk with the venom of hat sing in his praise. I lay the whole blame on Prabakaran for destroying the Ceylon Tamils. He is the biggest friend of Sinhala Chauvinists. Prabakaran has done what no Dutugemunu could ever do - reduce the Tamil areas to a prison for the Tamils, reduce the reputation of Tamils all over the world, kill our next generation and convert the remainder into war-mongering youngsters unfit for civilian life. The adults have been reduced to displace persons.

School principles and Temple dignitaries have been assassinated. Only the Tamils living in cozy comfort in the foreign lands can continue to rattle their swords, mesmerized by Prabakaran's war games which have destroyed the Tamil people, and impoverished the Sinhala as well.

Nothing is possible for the Ceylon Tamils until Prabakaran is a factor in the balance of power. Tamils need educated leaders with a vision fit for today's global village.

Dr. C. Rasalingam