Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why is fight against terrorism winning? Part 2 – Electing Correct Political Leadership

(Courtesy: Lanka Rising)

When western colonial masters left this country in 1948, they have gradually transferred political power in to the hands of hand picked local comprador agents. They were not natural born leaders, but spoon fed local Muppets with Western Anglican head. Not only political power, but control of media was with those elite families. Therefore, People only had a choice to pick one among them.

In 1977, another so called leader from the lumpent Anglican society, Junius Richerd Jayawardana stormed into power, that time with 2/3 rd of majority. When he left politics in 1989 after achieving his petty personal goals, both north and south was burning.

JR was succeeded by president R.Premadasa. He was not from the elite lumpent society of Colombo 7, but from other extreme of under privileged urban community (another result of colonialism) in Kehelwatta, Pettha. He tried best of his ability to drive this country forward. But he had his own personal and psychological limitations. Ultimately he became a target of LTTE terrorists due to his inherent weaknesses.

In 1984, the western colonial masters paraded another queen into Sri Lankan politics. This time they experimentally utilized modern forms of post colonial weapons in the form of INGOs and their media agents to market their choice of ‘leader’ in Sri Lankankan society. We all have witnessed the tragedy of electing CBK for two consecutive terms.

It is in this backdrop that people of this country took a bold decision in November 2007 to elect Mahinda Rajapaksa as the president of Sri Lanka. It was not a rosy way for him, but had to fight even within his own party to get the nomination. He did not even get the genuine support of his own party leader CBK who is from lumpent society during his election campaign. Luckily, late most venerable Soma thero had already wakened up drowsy Sinhala community by educating the need of true Sri Lankan leadership to come out of misery and people did their bit.

Since 1948, people used to elect wrong leaders. They had repeatedly failed in decision makings on the Election Day and kept on swearing and weeping until next election where they do the same mistake. However in 2007, people took a correct decision to elect a true born national leader who has his values and culture rooted in this land and not in the western world, a person who knows the aroma of sweat of common villagers and feel the wind from our paddy fields.

When so called puppot leaders were ruling this country, it was branded as ‘miserable war’ or ‘a war that can not be ever won’. However, once a true brave leader is at the helm, it suddenly become ‘fight against terrorism’ and that is why it is winning. It is same security forces, arms and ammunition, but under different genuine political leadership.

USA has become a failed state under clownship of Gorge Bush with never ending wars. When Boris Yeltsin, the darling of the West was ruling Russia, the separatist terrorism in Chechnia has been identified by him and his western counterparts as a ‘war that can only be solved by devolution’ and great Russia was disintegrating like pieces of cake regardless of Nuclear weapons and other military strength. However once Vladimir Putin, a true born national leader was elected, the terrorism was crushed in no time and Rusian economy is now back in correct track.

That is why political leadership is one of the key factors of winning the fight against terrorism and here in Sri Lanka we are witnessing it.

References:
- The 'Hanuma' of modern era
- The pageant queen of post independence era
- The factual biography of Ranil Wickramasinghe
- Success of Putin and a lesson from Russia
- The Siren, Dr. Jayalth Jayawardena and fleeing psy...
- The effect of colonialism in Sri Lankan culture and politics
- Guerilla Marketing: Mirror of Sri Lankan politics


>> Source here
>> Part 1 here

Nugegoda flyover opened

The pre-fabricated flyover at Nugegoda to lesser traffic jams was opened on Friday (Jan 23) at 10 am. The flyover built at the Nugegoda High Level Road junction is expected to reduce the existing traffic jam along the busy highway. The work on the flyover was commenced in October last year and completed within three and half months.

Construction work commenced on a concept of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a plan of the late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. This is the 2nd flyover built and vested upon public under the "Mahinda Chinthana."

The Nugegoda flyover currently has two lanes and is 261 metres long and 8.5 metres wide. It is expected to be expanded to four lanes. The cost of the British Government funded project is 878 million Rupees.

The next two flyovers will be built at Dehiwala and Rajagiriya junctions. More flyovers have been planned to build in Kohuwela, Boralesgamuwa, Armour Street, the Hilton Roundabout, the Lipton Circus, Maradana, Kirulapone and Slave Island as well as in Mahawa, Polgahawela, Ja-Ela and Veyangoda.





:Video

Sri Lanka's Galle Port lures round-the-world sailors and cruises

Sri Lanka's Galle Port is sprucing itself up with a new yacht marina in a bid to attract the high-spending sailors who sail past the island's south coast on their round-the-world voyages.

"The facilities in Galle now are rather limited for yachts," declared Richard Bolt, head of Blue Water Rallies, a company which organises round-the-world voyages for yachtsmen

"But you don’t have good mooring facilities for yachts or other facilities. So we're delighted to see the marina being built."

Construction work on the yacht marina at Galle began on January 15, 2009 and coincided with the arrival of 42 yachts sailing across the Indian Ocean, a variety of boats, from single hull vessels to catamarans.

In the first phase of the project to be done in six months, basic berthing facilities for 50 yachts of 15 metre length and three-metre draft will be built at a cost of about 125 million rupees.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Wickrama said they want to develop Galle as a tourist port which will attract visitors that would also help the entire tourist industry.

The cruise and yacht season is during the months from October to March in the non-monsoon period when the sea is calm.

The development of the marina will help attract more yachts and tourists to the island.

(Edited from LBO)

LTTE harassing civilians - Wanni Operation - 23 Jan 2009

Video:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rivira Newspaper Editor Attacked

Chief editor of the privately-owned Sinhala weekly Rivira, Upali Tennakoon, and his wife were attacked this morning (Jan 23) at around 6:40am by two men on motorcycles who blocked their car at Imbulgoda, outside the capital Colombo, a reporter on his paper said.

"They were stabbed and are now being brought to hospital in Colombo," the reporter added, saying the editor's condition was said to be stable.

"His wife was also in the car and she too has been injured."

The attack came two weeks after another editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga, was killed as he drove to his office on the edge of Colombo. His car was also blocked by the unidentified gunmen on motorcycles.

Earlier this month, attackers allegedly torched a privately owned television station Sirasa, labeled as "unpatriotic" for its coverage of the war and sympathy towards the LTTE.

Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to appoint a special Police team to probe attacks on media immediately.

Mineral sands will be over before local production starts, say Geologists

Cabinet approval has been granted to hand over the Polmuddai mineral sand reserve area to an Austrian company, claims the Geologists’ Front to Protect Ilmenite Reserve (GFPIR).

They further claim that 49% of the shares and the administration of the Mineral Sands Corporation would be handed over to the relevant company and that they plan to send a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to desist from doing so as the country would lose valuable foreign exchange.

Geologist Dr. Rohan Fernando said the petition has already been prepared and would be handed over to the President within the next two days. More than 40 of the 80 geologists in Sri Lanka have signed the petition, he added.

Dr. Fernando explained that the Austrian company has said their agreement is to export mineral sands as a raw material during the first three years and then start using it for productions in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that the reserve would be completely used up by the next three years and nothing would be left for local production.

LTTE blasts Visuamadu bridge and prevents civilian exodus - Wanni Operation - 22 Jan 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Troops advances southwards gaining more LTTE hiding areas

Troops of 55 Division commanded by Brigadier Prasanna Silva continued their offensive march further southwards gaining more remaining LTTE hiding areas in Kilinochchi today, 22 January.

According to the latest information, troops have extended their defences advancing from Chundikulam to Chalai and now been engaged in consolidating operations in newly captured area. Fierce confrontations reported in the area and LTTE terrorists have withdrawn from the area with their casualties.

Meanwhile, a tractor carrying LTTE cadres for reinforcement was also destroyed in heavy artillery barrages launched by the troops, Electronic Warfare sources said citing LTTE communication channels.

While consolidating the newly gained ground troops have found 3 bodies of LTTE terrorists killed during the battle along with weapons and vehicles.

40 feet long Dovra type sea craft and a Unicorn vehicle which were left away by the fleeing terrorists were also found during the consolidating operations.

Further consolidating operations are underway.

Courtesy: Defence.lk

Government to commence massive development in North

The government is launching a massive development and resettlement drive in the North aiming at facilitating IDPs, especially a 35,000 exodus in the next couple of weeks following the intensifying of military operations in Mullaitivu, Media Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardana said.

The objective is to accelerate the industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, health and educational facilities in a targeted period as these sectors had been neglected for about three decades in the North, Minister Abeywardana told the media at his Ministry.

The development programme will be spearheaded by senior Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapaksa. He had already discussed the blueprint of the programme with relevant ministers and officials, he said.

However Minister Abeywardana responding to a query rejected that the initiative was the result of the discussion Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon had with Sri Lankan authorities during his recent visit.

“The government had drawn up the blueprint before Mr. Menon’s visit. We want to bring normalcy and establish civil administration in the North in the shortest possible time after the liberation of the entire north from the LTTE in order to launch the accelerated development programme,” he emphasized.

Under the programme a range of model villages will be set up covering the North to provide employment. The people in these model villages are expected to promote a specific trade with the aim to develop the village in that line.

The people in tourist villages will promote tourism, construct facilities for local and foreign tourists and make a living out of it. This will be the same for export development, Dairy, Agriculture, Indigenous and Green villages, Minister Abeywardana said.

Relevant state institutions such as ministries, departments and semi-government institutions and special projects like ‘Maga Neguma’ and ‘Gama Neguma’ will play their respective parts in the programme.

The villages coming under the accelerated development programme will be re-named. The government has already selected three villages in Vuvuniya to develop and rename as Ramanathan Sudandiranpuram, Arunachalam Wedithlaithevupuram and Kadirgamar Eluchchinagar.

“The government has allocated Rs. 5 billion for the purpose. We want to show the world that the main concern of Sri Lanka is to liberate Tamils from the jackboot of the LTTE and give them a new life which they can lead with dignity in a peaceful society,” Minister Abeywardana stressed.

Courtesy: Daily Mirror

India, LTTE & a sequel to Vadamarachchi - Prabakaran's escape

by Shenali Waduge

To India’s stepped up vigilance & surveillance of air & coastal waters to prevent LTTE leader Prabakaran from escaping to India we have only two questions – who ordered a helicopter to depart from Hindon military base, New Delhi in 1987 to save a cornered Prabakaran in Vadamarachchi? Why did India decide to descend upon Sri Lanka, ignore our country’s territorial integrity & save a TERRORIST? There was no “war on terror” in the early 1980s but India the creators of the LTTE armed cadres knew very well that the LTTE was no “freedom fighter” but an Indian trained killer machine.

In 1987 Prabarkaran was India’s friend for it was Prabakaran who was able to bring a pro-US Jayawardena Government to its knees. To India Prabakaran was their tool to ensure a destable Sri Lanka. Dictatorial insurgents lasts as long as their leader remains in power thus we see a frenzied clamoring to “rescue” a supposedly ailing & injured Prabakaran from the clutches of ordinary soldiers who are likely to be the actual decision makers of Prabakaran’s fate.

We can understand India’s decision to rescue Prabakaran from Vadamarachchi – Indira Gandhi’s covert operation tasked over to the RAW was only into its initial years, the modus operandi was to have Sri Lanka involved in a long drawn out war & it needed India’s action even if it meant diplomatic skirmishes to evacuate Prabakaran out of Vadamarachchi & keep alive a supposed “Eelaam” dream. We all know that Rajiv Gandhi had no intention of giving Prabakaran or the Eelaam lobbyists their “Eelaam” & this was primarily a reason to eliminate Rajiv Gandhi who was anyway facing many internal problems & scandals. What Prabakaran got at most was an Indo-Lanka Peace Accord that served India’s purpose alone since it was the only means by which Trincomalee Natural Harbour could be aligned to the North. We here recall a few of the “irritants” President Jayawardena caused Indira Gandhi which was allowing the US to set up a Voice of America station & the use of its oil storage facility in Trincomalee. The Indian Peace Keeping Force knew nothing of what to expect in Sri Lanka’s North & a General who thought he could disarm the LTTE in 3 weeks. It took a very short stay for the IPKF to realize exactly what they were dealing with – the irony here was that soldiers of the IPKF were actually trapped in Sri Lanka & had to pay the price of death by an LTTE that had the blessings of India’s RAW officers. If these IPKF soldiers & officers have not had a proper memorial for their R2P operation in Sri Lanka it is apt at least for the Indian Government to apologize to the slain families of these soldiers for using the IPKF as bait for a strategic exercise in Sri Lanka.

Once again we urge the Indian people to question the reliability of the RAW & its “briefings” on the New Delhi decision makers – we know that an exasperated Indian envoy to Sri Lanka J N Dixit even ordered for the killing of Prabakaran which was vetoed. India, the international community may all apply strategic policies upon different nations & we are well aware that covert operations are all part & parcel of present day politics yet terrorists that are created are highly unlikely to wish to be vanquished after their job is done. Terrorists who are given birth by “democratic governments” eventually end up tormentors to their creators – the US are having nightmares because of Osama Bin Laden & India has enough of experience from different corners & doesn’t even know who is responsible!

Be that as it may in the present context of Sri Lanka’s conflict we have a nation that has been kept saddled with a “problem” that is intrinsically trapped by the aspects that keep alive the “problem” - the LTTE demand a separate state, they call themselves the sole representative of the Sri Lankan Tamil people, they speak of “grievances”, “discriminations” “genocide” “ethnic cleansing”. While many have enjoyed associating themselves with the LTTE’s “grievances” very few if any have asked what these “grievances” actually are – place them down in black & white & see whether these “grievances” are “LIMITED” to Tamils ALONE or whether they are applicable to the other ethnic groups as well & if so whether it is only changes in administrative policies that need be applied instead of carving out a separate state. How many have asked whether all sovereign nations today actually cater to everyone’s “grievances” in equal measure, implying how will Prabakaran meet everyone’s “aspirations” in a separate Eelaam? How many have not questioned why the LTTE chose to kill all of the leading Tamils in society including Tamils who have been given key portfolios in different Governments. How many have asked why Sinhalese & Muslims were chased out & killed from the North in order to declare that the North of Sri Lanka belonged only to the Tamils – not a single country, media unit or UN agency claimed the LTTE was committing ethnic cleansing. How many have asked why LTTE uses children denying them their right to be children….

Many are guilty of silently co-championing the LTTE cause including our politicized media….when LTTE propaganda far superior to State media tells the world the wrong picture how many media channels portrayed the clear picture to the world – did not some join in these propaganda to agree that Sri Lanka was having an “ethnic” problem when we are all aware including all the emissaries in Sri Lanka that the Tamils live comfortably amongst the Sinhalese, enjoy equal status jobs, schooling & lifestyle….if the tiger supreme did a job for a change instead of hiding in an AC underground bunker & lived a normal life he may see things from a different perspective instead of keeping himself & his brainwashed cadres in the thick jungles of Mullaitivu & feeding them nothing but hatred.

If the NGOs/INGOs feel perplexed at the manner the GOSL is now treating them the links some of these NGOs/INGOS have directly & indirectly had with LTTE terrorists will reveal why most Sri Lankans are skeptical of their presence in Third World nations – when footage of areas now under army control are shown we wonder what these NGOs/INGOs stationed in the North have been doing all these years & what has become of the dollar/EU funds sent for development. We are left to watch in disbelief at the unbelievable underground bunkers most tiled & with ACs, bunds, tunnels & 7 runways that belong to the LTTE….& immediately deduce where the expertise would have come from.

India has ensured Sri Lanka suffered 25 years of conflict – not a single Government was able to rise up to international pressures. The LTTE was deemed an invisible force – possibly because it had the backing of many quarters at times even within the Government & the CFA becomes a perfect example of a carte blanche given to the LTTE for a defacto state within a sovereign state, allowing it to arm itself & prepare for a protracted offensive & Government signatories were cajoled into believing that development incentives for Sri Lanka will be doubled as a result – all the nation had to do was allow the LTTE to do as they wished. In the backdrop of this & an LTTE well equipped to take on a weak Government it must have surprised the present Government who found itself cornered in the Mavil Aru incident. The manner in which the Rajapakse Government was steered to take action from Southern quarters was unprecedented. The force of public pressure eventually created a determined Government, a stern Defence Secretary & the brilliance of command in the Army Commander & the commanders of the Airforce & Navy as well as the Police.

In just two years the large stretch of territory that the LTTE deemed theirs slowly started ceding to Sovereign Sri Lanka & today LTTE is left with a little less than 400sq.km in the jungles of Mullaitivu which is fast shrinking daily. We are told that the LTTE has with them 230,000 civilians – this figure is extremely difficult to believe & the logistics of handling such a large number for a fleeing LTTE group makes the figures more precarious to imagine. However, though the total given by NGOs/INGOs may be just an exaggeration of those who wish to delay the inevitable elimination of the LTTE we must accept that the LTTE must be having a significant number of human shields, my assertion has been nothing more than 55,000 people – mind you these are all Tamil people who will end up been killed by the LTTE, so much for being their protector.

Now we come to the most important subject of this discussion – the Tamil Nadu leaders – from Karunanidhi to Vaiko, from Thol. Thirumayalayan to Stalin, from Vijaya Kanth to Nedoomaran all have been staging fasts, burning effigies & destroying public transport to force the Indian Central Government to save the LTTE – we need not take these uproars seriously because it is all part of the election campaign but for India the forthcoming elections are crucial & for Congress especially. It has faced many problems internally & so far the Indian people have been isolated from the truth of India’s dealings vis a vis Sri Lanka & the RAW – for most Indians terrorism has been equated with Islamic terrorism alone but essentially this should not be so.

It was a perfect ploy to use “Tamil nationalism” in Sri Lanka but it has at the same time awakened desires for a Tamil homeland in Tamil Nadu as well. Of the 80million Tamils in the world 62million live in Tamil Nadu & only 2.4million live in Sri Lanka & of this number more than half live outside the North & East of Sri Lanka & amongst the Sinhalese. Nevertheless, as an “ethnic” group with a large global representation the Tamils do not have a homeland & calls to set up a homeland in Tamil Nadu in the 1960s came a crop following Jawarhalal Nehru taking immediate action to quell any forms of “separatist” agendas. This however has not stopped Tamil Nadu leaders from desiring or “aspiring” for a separate state & it is this that translates into their close affinity to the LTTE cause & its leader Prabakaran even if it means that the “Eelaam” should kick-start in Sri Lanka but eventually come “home” to Tamil Nadu.. For right or wrong reasons, Prabarakan has taken the “Tamil dream” a long way even if it has taken a “jungle terrorism” format. The entire world knows of Tamil separatism. For the Tamil Nadu leaders Prabakaran is only a MEANS to justify the End & like Ben Bella of Algeria, Prabakaran will be of no use if he is ever able to achieve that “Eelam” in Sri Lanka. If an Eelaam is created in Sri Lanka it will only be a matter of time that it will treacle to Tamil Nadu & India will then have to face the consequences & India will do its utmost to avoid the inevitable. Thus, India’s designs to prolong that eventuality.

For India to ride the pre-election tide, keep the coalition partners happy, continue the destable Sri Lanka operation – Prabakaran needs to remain alive & uncaptured. If we see naval blockades been attacked by suicide boats, aircrafts hovering Sri Lanka’s skies we need to wonder immediately if another Vadamarachchi operation is likely to take place. The death of Prabakaran will mean an end to LTTE, silencing the Tamil Nadu leaders & possibly even backfiring a tumultuous wave to keep alive Prabakaran’s dream by continuing it in Tamil Nadu. For pre-election time India this would be fatal & disastrous whatever legislation prevails to prevent separatist thought, which is why we must wonder whether India’s show of surveillance, directives to check hospitals for an injured Prabakaran are mere gimmicks to hide the actual intent of whisking Prabakaran to safety to be released once all the excitement dies down.

In the eventuality that this does occur what would it translate to – essentially that the dream of “Tamil eelaam” has not been lost or dethroned & those who benefit by the LTTE indirectly can continue their propaganda drives until Prabakaran can re-surface. Is it all that easy? Jaffna peninsular now under control of the military saw for the first time a massive attendance for an exhibition organized just to test the water – we saw for the first time our citizens enjoying life, enjoying the music, dancing, laughing & having fun….these were people who were denied years of their right to be like normal human beings…when Paranthan, Kilinochchi, Elephant Pass was captured we saw the people of the North waving the Sri Lankan flag in jubilation, we heard non-stop crackers even in predominantly Tamil residential areas of Colombo & even massive walks by Tamil people demanding the LTTE to release the Tamil people whom the LTTE are keeping as human shields. The increase of Tamil civilians entering Government controlled areas depict that the people have shown their trust in the armed forces….these are all signals to warn a fleeing Prabakaran (who ends up in Tamil Nadu, Malaysia, Thailand, Eritrea, or anywhere else) that he is unlikely to enter a “separatist” cause in Sri Lanka & have the people backing him which is why we can deduce that even as a guerilla outfit Prabakaran is unlikely to succeed. In his 50s, suffering from diabetes, injured Prabakaran is unlikely to be the attraction behind the cause for much longer….we have rarely known of dictators been succeeded by their sons!

A sequel to Vadamarachchi is what most of us believe India is capable of doing given the implications of what is likely to occur for India more than Sri Lanka as a result of the “demise” of the LTTE – how the LTTE & its obituary is written will be interesting to see in the days to come.

LTTE Operational Center captured - Wanni Operation - 21 Jan 2009

Video:

Nugegoda Flyover work done

President Rajapakse undertook a sudden inspection of construction of the Nugegoda flyover, due to be declared open on Friday. The work on the pre-fabricated flyover commenced in October last year.

The President arrived at the Nugegoda Junction at around 6 o’clock last morning (Jan 21) sans prior notice and inspected work on the bridge and future development work. He was joined by Ministers T.B. Ekanayake and Susil Premajayanth, Highways Secretary S. Amarasekera and others.

The main purpose of the flyover is to ease traffic congestion at the Nugegoda Junction. The flyover currently has two lanes and is expected to be expanded to four lanes. The Flyover is 261 metres long and 8.5 metres wide. The cost of the project is 878 million rupees. The British Government is providing the financial grants while construction is handled by the Mabe and Johnson Company of England under the supervision of the Road Development Authority (RDA).

The Nugegoda flyover is the third of a series of flyovers to be built in the country. The next two flyovers will be built at Dehiwala and Rajagiriya junctions.

Video:

Houses for displaced civilians in North

The Government is planning a housing scheme with all facilities for civilians impacted by terrorism in the North. It is hoped to provide houses to the affected civilians.

Addressing the media in Colombo today, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the houses will come up on a 750 acre block of land at Menik Farm and Omanthai. The Minister said an accelerated programme is afoot to provide facilities to the displaced in the North. Many civilians are expected to cross over from Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna following the humanitarian operations. He opined that 150 acres will be allocated at Menik Farm under the first stage and 450 acres in the second stage. Another 150 acres will be demarcatted in Omanthai. The Government is mulling over the launching of the programme from this year to uplift the lives of the people.

The project will be carried out under the guidance of Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapakse. Minister Lakshman Yapa pointed out that it is desired to undertake many projects related to tourism and agriculture to uplift the rural community, which comprises 80 percent of the population.

UNP submits No Confidence Motion against Government

United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe submitted a no confidence motion against the government yesterday (Jan 21).

Six MPs including opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe signed the motion and handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament.

Sri Lanka having heavy financial loss by hedging agreement made by petroliem corporation and that agreement is against all government regulations, in that motion UNP states.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sri Lanka Navy fires at suspicious LTTE aircraft

Colombo (IANS): The Sri Lankan Navy has detected and fired at a suspicious aircraft flying at a very high altitude off Mullaitivu area, a military official said.

The official told IANS that navy vessels detected the aircraft with its lights on at around 8.25 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan 20), flying towards Chalai in Mullaitivu district in the country's northeast.

"It was missing for about 30 minutes. The naval craft (later) detected a suspicious aircraft, maybe the same one, leaving Chalai area," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

"The Israeli-built Dvora Fast Attack Crafts this time opened fire at the aircraft using long range guns but it disappeared from the sky," said the official.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have their Sea Tigers bases and the military installations in Chalai. The rebels also reportedly have an airstrip in Chalai.

According to official sources, the navy has four defence barriers off the coast of Mullaitivu consisting of more than 25 fast attack crafts, offshore patrol vessels and a Special Boat Squadron to cut off the escape routes of LTTE cadres by sea.

Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said the air force had also observed a "bright light in the sky over the general area of Mullaitivu" on Tuesday night.

"The air force have observed a very bright light at a very high altitude for short period around 9.00 p.m.," said Wing Commander Nanayakkara.

Army declares new safe zone for Wanni civilians

The Sri Lanka Army, fully committed to provide maximum safety for the lives of entrapped or forcibly detained civilians in un-cleared areas in the Mullaittivu district, has immediately demarcated an expanded Safe Zone within areas yet to be liberated, and appeals to those besieged civilians to move into these areas.

The areas are as specified below:

A 4-km long stretch to the north of Udayarkattu junction and the Yellow Bridge on A-35 Puthukkudiyiruppu – Paranthan main road up to Iruthumadu and another 8-km long area from the south of Iruthumadu up to Thevipuram have been thus earmarked for this Safe Zone with immediate effect. Both southern boundaries of the Udayarkattu junction and the Yellow Bridge touch the edges of the A-35 main road.

The Army assuring safety and protection for those civilians in the rest of un-cleared areas requests them to proceed to this Safe Zone as soon as possible.

Bomb explosion near Batticaloa police station

BATTICALOA: A bomb fixed in a bicycle was exploded near the filling station closer to BATTICALOA police station around 7.30 a.m. today (Jan 21). One police sergeant and a civilian died in the incident and one police constable, four school children, one teacher, a nurse and four other civilians also were wounded in the incident. Subsequently the victims were admitted to the BATTICALOA Hospital for the treatments. The condition of the injured Nurse was serious and the BATTICALOA police are conducting further investigations.

Trinco won’t be part of US missile shield

Rejecting a JVP claim that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government would allow a US missile base in Trincomalee, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagam yesterday said that Sri Lanka would never allow any act detrimental to its neighbours to take place on her soil.

Answering nine questions raised by JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in relation to the recent visit of some members of the US Army’s Pacific Command to the East, the Minister said that Sri Lanka had always abided by the policies of Non Alignment Movement and would never allow the use of its harbours or land for foreign nations to threaten regional peace.

He said there was absolutely no truth in the JVP claim that a US Missile Defence System would be established in Trincomalee.

MP Dissanayake making a special statement in Parliament yesterday accused the Government of facilitating the US to set up a US Missile Defence System Mechanism as envisaged by a CIA sponsored plan titled the ‘Brahmaputra Plan.’

Full story here (Island)

Heavy damages to LTTE in Mullaittivu

MULLAITTIVU: Several LTTE terrorists were killed by the troops of 57 Division in 05 different confrontations in the RAMANADANPURAM and DARMAPURAM areas between 11.00am to 5.40pm yesterday (Jan 20). Subsequently, one LTTE dead body and a T - 56 weapon was recovered by the troops in a search operation conducted in the DHARMAPURAM area. Few soldiers also were wounded in the clashes.

Meanwhile LTTE terrorists sustained severe damages in 14 different confrontations in the east of PUDUKUDUIRUPPU area and North east of MULLEYAWELI area between 9.25 a.m. and 5.10 p.m. yesterday (Jan 20). Subsequently one LTTE dead body was recovered with military equipments in a search operation conducted in the PUDUKUIRUPPU area.

Numbers of LTTE terrorists were wounded by the troops of Task Force 04 in five different confrontations in the PUDUKUIRIPPU area yesterday (Jan 20). Subsequently, one T-56 weapon was recovered by the troops from the area. Few soldiers also were wounded during the incidents.

(Media Centre for National Security)

Barack Obama Inauguration Speech

Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and its first African-American president Tuesday (Jan 20).

To terrorists, he says,

"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

Full text of speech here.

Video of Speech, Part 1:


Video of Speech, Part 2:


Barack Obama taking Oath of Office

Note that Chief Justice John Roberts, not Barack Obama, stumbled the oath. President Barack Obama handled the situation gracefully.

The Constitution says:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Chief Justice Roberts put the word "faithfully" after "President of the United States" the first time. He also said "President [to] the United States" instead of "President of the United States."

Obama paused, apparently realizing something was wrong, and after an awkward moment Roberts repeated himself but stumbled again. Chief Justice eventually put the wording in correct order, remembering to say "faithfully" before "President of the United States." But Obama went along with the line as Roberts originally said it.

Video of Oath of Office:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Troops enter Puliyampokkani - Wanni Operation - 20 Jan 2009

LTTE planes missing: Did Prabhakaran fly?

Has Sri Lanka’s most wanted man, Tamil Tiger chieftain Velupillai Prabhakaran, fled the country with his family? Sri Lankan troops who captured six airfields and landing strips used by the LTTE in their march towards the last stretch of territory held by a handful of Tigers, said they had not been able to find the three Czech-made Zlin Z-143 aircraft that the Tigers’ air wing had secretly acquired in recent years.

This has led to intense speculation that the feared head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might have used these light aircraft to fly out of the island nation, possibly even to a destination in Southeast Asia. Constant monitoring of sea routes by the Indian and Sri Lankan navies — however patchy — had made it difficult to escape by sea, either to India or the southern Philippines, from where the Tigers have recently sourced their weapons and supplies.

The four-seater planes have made a mockery of Sri Lankan air defences in the past, and could easily have been rejigged by the Tigers to enable them to be flown across the Palk Straits, although evading Indian radar might be trickier than those back home.

>> Read full story here (Asian Age)

A racket of importing labour for the Southern Highway construction

The residents in the construction area of Dodamgoda to kurudugahahathakma have complained of a racket of importing workers for the construction work which is taking place in the Southern highway.

More than 400 employees have been brought to Sri Lanka in order work in the Southern Highway Project. When there are sufficient unemployed skilled workers in the country, there is no need to import workers from Nepal, Thailand or Indonesia says the public. It is also reported that although the foreign workers are provided with lodging and food with a high wage, they are not dedicated workers.

According to the residents of the area, a Japanese company named “Thai C corporation” is in charge of the construction work and the Project Manager Hiroki Horikawa is involved in the process of importing workers.

Another complain of the residents of the area is that the Road Development Authority (RDA) does not pay enough attention to the Southern Highway construction work.

(Courtesy: Lankapuvath)

Fully bullet-proof truck found - Northern War Front - 19 Jan 2009

Video:

LTTE underground fuel storage found - Wanni Operation - 19 Jan 2009

KILINOCHCHI: Troops of the 58 division conducting search operation in Dharmapuram area yesterday (Jan 19) recovered a large haul of diesel barrels buried by the LTTE. This is believed to be an under ground oil storage buried 1.5 feet below the ground. According to the defence sources, 300 barrels, containing 225 letters of Diesel in each, had been buried in a coconut grove in the Dharmapuram area. Troops are conducting further search operations in the area.

Video:

LTTE using Tamils as a shield: Jayalalithaa

Chennai (ANI): Chief of Tamil Nadus regional AIADMK party, Jayalalithaa on Saturday said that Sri Lankan Tamils were being used as human shields by separatist LTTE. People of Tamil Nadu have been protesting against the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka, as regional political groups pressured the Indian government to stop the war.

Video:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Shoot-at-sight order as violence continues

VILLUPURAM, INDIA: A shoot-at-sight order is issued against persons engaged in damaging and torching buses in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts, Masanamuthu, DIG, said.

Disturbed over the continuing violence in the northern districts, the police have resorted to stern action against the miscreants.

Demanding cease-fire in Sri Lanka, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan had commenced an indefinite fast in Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai, four days ago. Since then, unidentified groups, allegedly sympathisers of VCK, had resorted to violence in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts. They had targeted over 30 government and private buses and damaged them in various places in the region.

Three buses were set afire by unidentified persons till Saturday. On Sunday, miscreants have hurled petrol bombs and burnt two government buses in the TNSTC depot at Kidangal village near Tindivanam. Unidentified gangs have also burnt a bus at Kanthadu village near Marakkanam. Meanwhile, VCK volunteers blocked traffic in Kallakurichi, Thittakudi, Neyveli, Ullundurpet and Sankarapuram.

Irked over the unabated violence in the districts, the DIG has also issued a stern warning against persons causing damages to public property and peace.

Sri Lankan state bus operates in Kilinochchi after 20 years

Colombo (PTI): A Sri Lanka state transport bus ferried a group of passengers, for first time in last 20 years, from the captured defacto LTTE capital of Kilinochchi.

A Bus of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) yesterday carried a group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kilinochchi to Vavuniya via the sensitive A9 highway route, Transport Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma said adding the trip was first such journey by a state vehicle in 20 years.

"The bus took a group of IDPs to a safer camp in Vavuniya and provided them with food, clothes and medicine as many of them did not had food for a couple of days," Minister Alahapperuma told the Daily Mirror.

Many of them have moved from the uncleared areas to the government controlled areas for several hours and the main concern of the security forces was to provide them with food and medicine as several of them were hungry and sick, the minister said.

There were hundreds of IDPs who had come to the areas during the last couple of days and were keen to settle in a secure place, Alahapperuma said.

The restart of transport is considered to be economically important for the people in the North and the South as it will help transfer the produce of one region to the other, the newspaper said.

It was felt for long that the farmers of Wanni and other parts of North are not able to realise full value of their produce as the local market was saturated.

An opening to the Southern market would ensure them a better deal even as the consumer their will benefit by more supplies reaching the region, the paper added.

Wanni Operation 17 Jan 2009 - Uthuru Peramuna

Video:

Parts of a LTTE Airplane detected

Accessories suspected to be that of an LTTE airplane have been recovered. This is the first time that the troops had succeeded in making such a detection.

It was located North East of the Iranamadu Reservoir where the captured air strip was found. The victory was achieved by soldiers of the 594th Brigade headed by Lt. Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya and under the guidance of Major Gen. Jagath Dias of the 59th Division. The troops earlier recovered several LTTE runways including those in Panikkankulam, Ampakamam, Pooneryn and Paranthan. Two days earlier, the troops seized an air strip built across the old Kandy Road.

Video:

All measures taken to meet the needs of fleeing civilians, Sri Lanka government says

The Government has unleashed a comprehensive programme to look after the civilians who are arriving in liberated areas seeking protection of the forces.

Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapakse said that these civilians who are impacted by operations, mooted against the terrorists are being extended relief. The Government is meeting all their requirements.
It will take a certain period to re-settle the civilians in liberated areas in the Wanni region after the removal of landmines. Government’s attention has been drawn to extending immediate relief. Special centres have been established in Neluwankulama, Omanthai and Chettikulam to shelter them. There are facilities to look after 6000 families at each welfare centre, provided with facilities such as power, water, sanitary, health and communication.

Basil Rajapakse observed that special attention has been focussed on their health. Sufficient doctors and nurses have been deployed. He said that many buses and ambulances to transport the sick have been provided. Arrangements have been made to provide education to children of school going age. 1900 teachers are prepared to dedicate themselves to undertake this task.

Video:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Human shielded LTTE Prabhakaran's under ground house found in Dharmapuram - Wanni Operation - 17 Jan 2009

Video:

One More Training Camp & Boat Manufacturing Centre of LTTE Captured

KILINOCHCHI & MULLAITTIVU: THE 58 DIVISION troops confronted terrorist groups in the general areas of PULIYANPOKKARAI, east of DHARMAPURAM, KANDAVALAI and UDAYARKATTUKULAM Saturday (17). Four LTTE dead bodies, including one female,and one T-56 weapon was recovered by the troops from PULIYANPOKKARAI and UDAYARKATTUKULAM areas later.

Meanwhile, Task Force-11 troops during clearing operations in the general area of PIRAPPAVADDUVAN found two T-56 weapons, one I com radio set, fourteen electric detonators, nine hand grenades, eight IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and forty two switches Saturday (17).

At the same time, terrorists in the south of PUTHUKUDIYIRIPPU suffered heavy casualties when the 59 Division troops attacked their hideouts Saturday (17). During subsequent search and clear operations, troops found eight LTTE dead bodies, one Light Machine gun, ten T-56 weapons, one thousand (1000) rounds of T-56 ammunition, six dog tags and one I com radio set abandoned by fleeing terrorists.

One more LTTE training camp built in the east of PUTHUKUDIYIRIPPU was captured by the 59 Division troops Saturday (17) afternoon. Two buildings of 40 x 20 and six buildings of 30 x 20 among constructions found inside the training camp protected by strong bunkers including six overhead bunkers.

Similarly, troops operating under the same Division discovered a boat manufacturing centre of the LTTE from the same area the same day. Two dovra boats, two water jets and seven small boats were also found from the location.

In the meantime, troops in the general area of UDYARKATTUKULAM found two hundred (200) anti personnel mines, five 81 mm mortar rounds, one water bowzer with a trailer, eighteen huts built in the area, two anti tank mines, one hand grenade, one booby trap and five electric detonators during search and clear operations conducted after confrontations with terrorists.

(Courtesy: Sri Lanka Army)

Hindu communalism & Muslim extremism

By: M. G. Hassan Mukhtar

Terrorism in all its manifestations is bad and so is communalism. But the question is which one of the two is more dangerous. I say, communalism as it is a long term deadly disease while as terrorism can be for a shorter period. Muslims have turned to terrorism in response to Israel and American aggression/policies. Hindus have hugged communalism which is a sweet poison and its roots could go deeper and deeper while as terrorism is a short lived phenomenon terminating at the end of the solution of the problem. Communalism targets mindset while as terrorism targets physical entity. At the end, communalism could be a worst initiator of deadly terrorism while as terrorism without communalism could end anytime. Muslims and Jews have been very sensitive towards their religion from the very beginning while Christians and Hindus are not to that extent. Trouble makers know this very well. There is lot of money being pumped into Islamic sects to keep them at loggerheads either by Muslims themselves or through foreign agencies both Islamic and Christian/Jews. In case foreign money pours into India in order to keep different sections of Hindu society at loggerheads, then it will take only few years to disintegrate the whole of India.

Terrorism is a quick response to certain dangerous problems faced by the society/community while as communalism is a deep rooted conspiracy against humanity. There is no justification for any of the two. The society/community as a whole can never sustain terrorism while the same could be possible in case of communalism. Few people or persons in a negligible number can become terrorists while as community/group as a whole can turn out to be communalists in the long run. One can stop terrorism any moment during a time frame while it could take centuries to control communalism. That is why; I shall again repeat that seeds of communalism in India are to be uprooted at the earliest before they could take shape and become the base for the disintegration.

It is a sorry state of affairs that Muslims have resorted to extremism in the Indian sub-continent and Hindus are turning out to be more and more communalists. To be part of Terrorism profession it involves lot of financial support, high class technology and even sometimes superior education while as communalism needs only biased/partial and fascist minds. To join terrorism, it could take years of motivation while as to join communalists; it is a matter of minutes. Fake a story like Godhra carnage, check the results. Muslims in India are being pushed to the wall by the communal forces. That does not mean that Muslims are clear like snow and cannot be overtaken by the developments nationally or internationally. The terrorist forces in Asia or Jehadi forces working against America/Israel could influence any Muslim across the globe as the community has been pushed to the concrete wall by the policies of these two satanic states.

Terrorism is an outcome of the abnormalities in the power of defence while as communalism is an outcome of abnormalities in the power of politics. Terrorism is nowadays a commodity which could be imported or exported. It depends on the needs and requirements of a country/society. Terrorism is an American/Jewish created/sponsored agenda while as communalism is an Indian sponsored agenda. In both cases Muslims are the ultimate victims. Muslim have upgraded the axis of evil from America-Israel-Britain to Israel-America-India. America at any cost wants to rule the world by hook or by crook and does also desire to have technological superiority over the rest of the nations. It wants that most of the conflicts should continue not at their cost but at the cost of these poor countries so that its sale of arms fetch them good money. The same money would be utilised on further defence research and inventions of new sophisticated arms, missiles, rockets and nuclear war heads.

Terrorism is still an undecided issue because at some places, it is called freedom fighting particularly when it is supported by the neighbouring country or a big power like America. Communalism has been growing because of failures in Indian politics and even mainstream parties particularly Congress has propagated underground communal politics in order to get votes. The other religious Hindu political parties like BJP, Shiv Sena/RSS, Bajrangdal or ABVP are building their political base on the diet of communalism and that too against Muslims. Congress has played appeasement policy and BJP played communal politics. Both have tried to use Muslim vote bank whenever needed. Both parties have used Muslim politicians and thrown Muslims voters in dustbin. Even Mayavati and Mulayam have played Muslim cards in Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP with all its like- minded communal parties have taken Jammu region as hostage for displaying communal politics as against non-communal Kashmiris. I really don't understand what has happened to civil society in Jammu region who have always been torch bearers of communal harmony. They accommodated Kashmiri migrants (both Pandits & Muslims) and welcomed them wholeheartedly. Kashmiris on the other hand never harmed any Hindu even during peak militancy period. Some isolated incidents happened but no Kashmiri was happy over that. Kashmiris never turned their movement into communal frame although at various levels, there were agencies in India trying to put the blame but it did not work.

Terrorism is not a religion specific agenda. All communities be it Jews, Christians, Muslim or Hindus have taken part in it. But at global level, it has been branded as Muslim specific. The reason being that the global media -print, electronic or internet is controlled by non- Muslims particular the Jews & Christians. The most dangerous form of terrorism has been carried by Hindus (Tamils) in Sri Lanka against majority Buddhists (Sinhalis). But one hardly knows it as Hindu terrorism or Vedic terrorism. Similarly Bodos or ULFA terrorism is also hardly known as Hindu terrorism. Same is the case with Naxalites (Lower -caste Hindus) who have been waging a war and nearly 1/4 of total area of India is bugged by these local terrorists. Even in Nepal (the only Hindu Country in the world), the Maoist terrorists have never been branded as Hindu terrorists. India is facing more of local Hindu terrorism than foreign imported Islamic brand. The problem is that so called foreign terrorism specified generally as Muslim or Islamic terrorism hits the main cities while as the grand Hindu terrorism is in rural areas or in frontier poor states. The metropolitan city or Capital based terrorism gets more than due attention because of the existence of fourth estate and also due to being power hubs. Experience shows that even if a dog dies by the hit of a speeding vehicle in the city/capital, its jumbo photograph will be placed on the front page along with minute details but if a known personality is killed in a far flung rural area, it will hardly be a news because the problem with reporters is that they also want to be city based and depend on easy access to news/reports. That is why Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur terrorism is news but the terrorism in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pardesh is hardly news in national media.

Even there are perceptions that all these terrorist activities are most of the time sponsored or politically motivated. That is true, no doubt about that. The world has gone into a situation of confusion and vicious circle where no one knows what is happening or even if one is doing, the blame may come on the non-doer. The attack on Indian Parliament is a case for reference (please feel free to ask Arundhati Roy) apart from killing of 36 Sikhs in Chhattisingpora (Kashmir). The policies, programmes and secret issues of global terrorism are manufactured at Pentagon. The CIA decides what to do and how to go about it. They create theories and perceptions suited to their cause of ruling the world. They write literature against themselves and distribute it among the sponsored Muslim terrorists. It works and suits them. That is how they get engaged into the business of counter terrorism. Terrorism is not just an issue; it is an economic industry more viable than the usual industries. It is free of auditing and has unaccountable money at its disposal. The simple thing is that a country cannot keep on producing arms & ammunition without any use. Its armed forces cannot keep on firing on dead walls and mounds. The joy is to kill a human being that too with a pride. The use of arms cannot be just an imaginary drama; it has to have a practical laboratory. At present global terrorism is being managed by USA & Israel and Pakistan/Afganistan is the laboratory. Pakistan was the nucleus of export terrorism but presently uses high quality terror products for itself. India has also joined the venture. Earlier USSR was part and parcel of the whole game. They have been diluted after Afghan-USSR war and literally broken into pieces. Recently the Georgia-USSR conflict is an eye opener. If one looks at Iran-Iraq war, then one could imagine America helping Iran against Iraq and former Soviet Union helping Iraq against Iran just to supply arms & ammunition. But see at present America trying to attack the same Iran. Priorities have changed, new policies framed. During all these years after post Iran-Iraq war, Iran has peacefully progressed in all fields without the support of America or Russia. This again is pinching big powers. Therefore a stage is being managed to attack Iran under the falsehood of nuclear propaganda. I believe that even small countries like Nepal, Djibuti, etc have the right to go nuclear for their energy programme.. If it is not peaceful, then even big countries must shun it.

In a nutshell, Muslims in the global scenario are being used for terrorism by America and Israel whether hitting them directly or provoking them indirectly. The excuse of Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) in Iraq or that Saddam Husain was involved in terrorism against America was a myth created by CIA and therefore the nation of Iraq was made a scapegoat. By attacking Iraq through falsehood clearly indicates the global designs of America. Iraq was still better under Saddam than under USA stooges. Every Iraqi has a right to hit every American because the common sense tells you that if you spoil me without provocation, I shall be at liberty to spoil you. But the tit for tat policy will ultimately lead humanity towards disaster. The American or British and Israeli sponsored state terrorism is basically open fascism but one shall hardly hear about it. America along with Israel and Britain terrorised Iraqis through forceful occupation but it is hardly acknowledged while Iraqis trying to get their country back from occupying forces are labelled Muslim terrorists.

Looking at the partition of the Indian sub-continent, Hindus have blamed Muslims and Muslims blame Hindus. This seems to be an unending process.. Partition on the basis of religion was in reality an ugly event. Geographical partitions are still the best option. In post partition period, the population of both the countries were fed on hatred through blame game. Hindu historians of India put all the blame on Muslims for the creation of partition and Muslim historians of Pakistan blamed Hindus of India for the same. No one tried to write the truth. Who made the circumstances and which were the underground forces responsible for partition? People are yet to understand the truth. Before truth gets revealed and an understanding is forged between the two communities, another game plan is in force these days. Hindus and Muslims are yet to come out of partition politics and a wedge is being created between the two communities in a new form. The confidence building measures between India and Pakistan are an eye sore for vested interests (religious zealots and political rascals) in both the countries who shield terrorism in Pakistan and communalism in India. Some people feel, even this policy could be the handiwork of foreign agencies like America and Israel including Britian who basically do not want to see Hindus and Muslim getting together and exhibiting communal harmony. Then where/how will these countries have a say. There are fanatics in both communities who directly or indirectly subscribe to communal politics for their ulterior motives. Let me tell you that most of the common people in both communities are not communalists but it is these small big sized mouths who wish to keep themselves on the top and exploit the innocence of common man (aam aadmi). Again please bear with me that communalism is another economic industry where big money is involved without audit and accountability.

Let all common Indians understand that Kashmir is a political as well as human problem but in no case a religious issue. It is a disputed territory and in any case is not an Atoot Ang (unbreakable part) as is always quoted by these blood sucking politicians. J & K has a different constitution from the Indian constitution. Common man in India must look into why it is so. No Indian law is legally binding on the people of Jammu & Kashmir except if approved by its constituent Assembly. It is self evident from this that J &K is not part of Indian domain. Let all the people of India understand. Neither J &K is part of Pakistani domain. Let the people of Pakistan understand the same. Let us not give it a religious colour and let there be no brandishing of the Kashmir problem on the basis of communal lines. Kashmiris (people of J &K) have a genuine reason to ask for self determination as promised by the erstwhile forefathers of the republic of India. Let reason prevail upon Indians to see the naked truth. If they cannot do justice with a small community of the J & K, then how do other communities expect same from Indian dominion particularly when India boasts of having the largest and fairest democracy in the entire world? The more injustice is done to the affected party with no final solution worked out, the nation has to bleed more in future. That is the silver line. The arrogance of being a nuclear power will not come to its rescue.

It is natural on the part of globe to get divided physically on the basis of communities, races having cultural affiliations but unite otherwise. It is a natural process. Tomorrow Gujaratis or Biharis or Tamils may look out for a separate sovereign entity and there is no one in the world to stop it. It is birth right of any community. But it need not be compared with the Kashmir problem. Kashmir has historical advantage and stands legally disputed. India and Pakistan are still large countries to have further divisions but I feel sorry for the tiny Sri Lankan country caught between deep sea and the devil. It shall always pain me to see Sri Lanka divided between two ethnic groups. Had there been two Islands containing Tamils and Sinhalese, I personally would not have felt so. These two communities (Hindu Tamils and Sinhale Buddhists) must learn to tolerate each other and work for national integration. It is like dividing a drop of water into two which shall always be not only painful but even harmful.

Let historians do a favour by coming clean on the issue of Indian partition as well as communal politics. Whatever had happened in 1947 happened. Today's computer savvy generation has nothing to do with 47. But let's begin a new chapter by demoralising communalism and terrorism. It was surprising that Deobandis (Islamic sect) learnt the value of humanity after 1400 years of emergence of Islam and denounced terrorism recently. Hindus are yet to come out clean on communalism. When shall all religious Hindu bodies denounce communalism? Perhaps not in near future. India, a divergent country can in fact break into pieces if communal politics is not shunned immediately. India cannot sustain communalism and government of India should immediately rein in Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, ABVP, RSS etc. Communalism in India is a strong force as is evident from the electorate of these communal parties. Same is not the case with Pakistan or even Kashmir. In Kashmir, the religious parties (who India claims to be communal which they never are) have never won more than a single assembly seat. Same stands true of Pakistan. From the last couple of elections, religious parties have got a small share and that is basically on the issue of Pakistani mainstream politics or army rule favouring America. Also because Pakistani agencies have taken full participation in Afgan-Soviet war which created fanatics in the defence forces that have been keeping the religious zealots or so called militants in good humour. They utilise their services whenever needed.

The biased and negative approach the two countries have had with each other can be understood by following real life story. Some years back, a Kashmiri family had gone to Pakistan to celebrate marriage and the guests included some Hindus from India. There in Pakistan, one family friend had invited the Kashmiri family. The children of the host family requested their father to tell the Kashmiri family that they should bring Hindu guest with them as they would like to see how a Hindu looks like. The children in Pakistan were not sure of Hindus being human beings. The rulers in Pakistan must have been demonising Hindus and portraying them as ugly creatures. So the host told his friend to get Hindu guests along. When the guests reached the host's house, the children told his father in surprise that papa he (Hindu) looks like us. We thought he would be some other kind of creature. So India and Pakistan need more and more people contact at the lower level so that common people understand each other and they participate in rejecting the nefarious design of those who have made the two countries hostage to their ugly mindsets. New generation computer savvy Hindus of India and Muslims of Pakistan share good relations in Europe & America but here it is a different ball game. Kakaram's son from Jammu is in Britian and he has been talking good about his Pakistani roommate's qualities, which Kakaram discussed with me many times. In Gujarat, a dhaba/restaurant, which does not have any shutters, is owned by a Muslim (Walibhai) and his Hindu friend on partnership basis. The Dhaba is 24 hours open and stands just outside Vadodara Railway Station. Whenever studying late into night, every student from the hostels of Maharaja Sayajiroa University of Baroda would visit this dhaba for late night or early morning tea as this was the only dhaba open in the city. Walibhai sits there in the afternoon. The partnership has been going on from the last forty years. We need to create more examples of this kind for the sake of communal harmony not only in commercial ventures but between hearts and minds too.

(The writer can be contacted at chinar5884@yahoo.com)

Some media personnel living the high life

(from Lakbima News)

Inside sources from the Free Media Movement last week revealed to LAKBIMAnEWS new information pertaining to questionable financial transactions within media rights groups. According to sources, a few selected journalists have been receiving extravagant payments from foreign funding agencies.

It is learnt that two individuals - Sunanda Deshapriya and Fredrika Janz - were tasked with “looking after the safety of journalists.” They have been reportedly receiving a monthly salary of 750 Euros per person from the International News Safety Institute for the last four years. In addition to their expenses for travelling, fuel, purchase of mobile phone, mobile phone bill, laptop computer, cost, E-mail bill are also paid. The total salary amounts to around Rs. 200,000 per month. This is said to be not the sole income of the two officials.

Victor Ivan, Editor of Ravaya, in an article recently has pointed out that most journalists were not aware that there were two officials to look after the safety of journalist. “Even media organisations are not privy to it,” he notes.

LAKBIMAnEWS already reported few weeks ago about the controversial safety fund for journalists set up with grants from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Created in 2007, the safety fund is administered by the SLPI but handled by a steering committee which approves the release of money for projects related to the security of journalists. The first steering committee comprised representatives of the Fojo Institute for Further Education of Journalists, International Media Support, SLPI, Sunanda Deshapriya as FMM convenor and Lionel Fernando from civil society.

Since the use of this subsidiary fund has given rise to controversy, the Press Institute has reportedly suspended its use and initiated an inquiry. Sunanda Deshapriya, former convener of the Free Media Movement resigned from the posts he held over these issues.

It is said that the five families of slain journalists were paid Rs. 5000 per month each by the safety fund. However, ironically, journalists who are alleged to be under threat are paid excessively higher amount of money than the family of the slain journalists.

Two houses have been rented for two journalists - the president and secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association - for their safety. The rent for one is Rs. 230,000 while that for the other is Rs. 178,000.In addition those threatened are paid a monthly allowance of Rs. 10,000 to travel safely.

Five media organisations including the FMM annually conduct four big training projects on Public Service Journalism, Human Rights, Fraud and Corruption and on Security of Journalists. It is said that the Human Rights project has a grant of 199,000 Euros (Approx. Rs. 15 million) from the European Union. Statistics relating to other projects are not available at present.

It is learnt that the same individuals were employed as trainers in all four projects getting huge sums of payments. Apart from that, some of them were also reportedly appointed as Regional Coordinators.

Statement by Hon. Gordon Brown in Parliament on Sri Lanka

Rt Hon Gordon Brown -Prime Minister of the UK
His Excellency the President of France
The Hon Secretary-Foreign Affairs-UK

Excellencies:

I am writing regarding the statement by Hon. Gordon Brown in Parliament that he was going to discuss with President Sarkozy a move to pressure the government of Sri Lanka into a ceasefire with the Tamil Tiger terrorists now that the Sri Lankan government forces finally have the Tamil terrorists on the run. No doubt it is because of the pressure on the British Government by LTTE supporters and backers in the U.K. To Mr.Sharma when Mumbai was attacked it was by "terrorists" but the Tamil Tigers to him are not terrorists even though they are considered the most brutal, ruthless terrorists in the world today. Compared to the Tamil Tigers, Al Quaeda are said to be amateurs.

For thirty years Britain has been the base for Tamil terrorists who have used Britain to fund the atrocities in Sri Lanka. Fundraising for Tamil terrorism also takes place in France, Germany and other European countries as well as Australia, Canada and the U.S. The headquarters of the LTTE is in London. Their chief spokesperson, Anton Balasingham lived and carried out his work for Tamil terrorism in London. His wife, Adelle Balasingham still lives in London. She was the head of the women suicide brigade involved in their training and she hung cyanide capsules around the necks of the suicide brigade when they graduated. She attends LTTE rallies, as does Mr. Sharma under the noses of the British Government and British police even though the LTTE is supposed to be banned in Britain. Britain has all these long years overtly and covertly helped the LTTE to operate their murderous campaign in Sri Lanka. It is terrorism when bombings take place in Britain and Europe and it is condemned. However when thousands are killed in Sri Lanka it is not considered terrorism. When are these double standards going to end? To even consider a ceasefire now is to give a new lease of life to the Tamil terrorists. Is it that Britain wants more people killed in Sri Lanka? Having provided "support" for Tamil terrorism, is it not acceptable to Britain that finally Sri Lanka may be free of Tamil terrorism?

I am copying below an article from the Washington Journal of January 15, 2009 which I hope you will read as it may give you a different perspective. If, Britain, France and other European countries oppose terrorism as they say they do, then it is time to help not hinder Sri Lanka in it's long struggle against Tamil terrorism.

Yours truly,

Ira de Silva
London, Ontario, Canada

* Article
Defeating Terrorists: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123203734190685985.html

Video of 6th LTTE runway captured in Iranamadu

Visuals of the air strips captured by the members of the Security Forces recently from the LTTE terrorists have been received.

Troops of the 57 Division now operating East of Iranamadu tank bund had located the 6th LTTE airstrip on Thursday (Jan 16).

According to ground troops the air strip, 300m long and 15-20m wide is located Southeast of the Iranamadu tank bund, which is also said to be an extension of the existing road that runs parallel to the tank bund.

The fortified runway had a control room built with concrete. The runway was extensively damaged. It was evident from the damages that the targets of the Air Force had been precise.

Yacht Marina Zone Construction begins at Galle Harbour, targets tourists

Galle Port to be developed as a tourist spot enabling cruises and yachts

Identified for development as the first tourist port in Sri Lanka, construction work on the Yacht Marina Zone at the Galle Harbour commenced on January 15. The Galle Port is the only Sri Lankan harbour that provides facilities for pleasure enjoyment and the International Yacht Society has recognised the port as one of the world’s best suited for the cruise and yacht seasons, which prevail from October to March during the non-monsoon period.

Construction of the Yacht Marina Zone consists of two phases. Phase One consists of development of basic facilities for the yacht marina with berthing facilities for 50 yachts of 15m long and 3m draft. Total expenditure for Phase One of the project has been estimated to be approximately Rs.125 million and is expected to be completed within six months. The project will utilize the maximum usage of local engineering expertise as well as the existing high standard port recourses.

Phase Two of the project will include the extension of the yacht marina to accommodate 30 more yachts and development of facilities for cruise ships with berthing requirements for 300m long and 9m draft hulls.

Expressing their views, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama stated that under the new management policies implemented by the SLPA, regional ports such as the Galle Port will be developed enabling them to develop independently. This would result in harbours expanding and progressing rapidly without being dependent and being a burden to the development projects of the Colombo Port. He added that the development of the Galle Port will immensely benefit the elevation of tourism in the historical city of Galle and in return it will benefit not only Galle but also the total local economic development of Sri Lanka.

All these constructions at the Galle Port are being carried out under the fullest supervision of the Executive Director of the SLPA Dr. Sanjaya Sedara Senarath. These projects have been implemented on the advice of President Rajapaksa and under the guidance of the Ports, Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management Minster Chamal Rajapaksa.

Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Lional Premasiri, the Mayor of Galle Mr. Methsiri De Silva, Managing Director of SLPA Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Executive Director Dr. Sanjaya Sedara Senarath, Director Mr. Prasanna Kalutharage, Officers of the SLPA, representatives of the Port Trade Unions and a number of staff members and employees of the Galle Port participated at the occasion.

(Courtesy: Daily Mirror)