The exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy has immediately been stopped from today (Saturday, March 14), says the Director of Government Information. It was previously scheduled to open the Sacred Tooth Relic to public until March 17th.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights wishes to express its strong
sense of surprise and dismay at the tone and content of the press release issued today (Friday 13) by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Especially in the context that when High Commissioner Navanetham Pillai met Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights on 04 March in Geneva during the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council, the detailed figures relied upon in the statement were never raised. Neither did the Office of the High Commissioner discuss with, nor did it seek the views of, the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN at Geneva on the highly questionable, unverified and unsubstantiated figures used in the statement. The claims of 2,800 civilians being killed in a 7-week period from 20 January and a further 7,000 being injured are totally unacceptable and are rejected as being no more than the repetition of propaganda emanating from uncleared areas of the Wanni. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights deplores the apparently unprofessional manner in which the Office of the High Commissioner has conducted itself in uncritically repeating information from unverified and unnamed “credible sources”. Unlike many of the senior officials of the United Nations, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who have called on the LTTE to let the civilians escape to safety, the High Commissioner’s omission in not unequivocally demanding the free movement of civilians, is most regrettable. This is the main issue involving human rights of civilians caught up in the conflict that should have commanded her attention, but this issue of prime importance has not been commented on. The Ministry also notes with regret that despite repeated assurances from the Government that the security forces were instructed to respect the no-fire zone and that they do not use long range weapons, the Office of the High Commissioner still continues to repeat unfounded claims of civilian casualties due to shelling. The Government of Sri Lanka will place all these facts before the High Commissioner at the earliest possible opportunity and seek an immediate clarification from her Office.
Posted by media at 9:04 PM
Time is ripe in Sri Lanka for Statesmanship and not partisan politics, contemporary electorate – Dr Liam Fox
Colombo, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): Visiting British Dr Liam Fox addresssing the Colombo based media at the Hilton Colombo this morning Conservative Member of Parliament and shadow British Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox firmly believes that the current political backdrop in Sri Lanka was a time for statesmanship and not partisan politics and one where leaders must want to be judged by history rather than the contemporary electorate.
Addressing a news conference at the Hilton Colombo this morning, he said: "Sri Lanka lives in momentous times. The next few months are probably the most important since independence and will shape this country for the next generation and beyond. The decisions which are taken by politicians now will not only influence the internal development of Sri Lanka but how it is perceived in the world outside. It is a time for statesmanship not partisan politics and one where leaders must want to be judged by history rather than the contemporary electorate.
Dr Fox was in Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government where the latter is keeping both the Opposition Conservative Party and the Labour Party in Government updated on the current ethnic and military issues.
"It is a pleasure to be back once again in Sri Lanka and I am grateful to the government for the invitation to visit the country for which I have such great affection and you can call this Fox Episode 2!," he said in lighter vein sporting an endearing smile as he made a graceful entry to the head table, despite being 25 minutes late!
Posted by media at 8:36 PM
(Colombo Lankapuvath March 14) The LTTE terrorists have made attempts to destroy the Forward Defence Line (FDL) in Pudukuduirippu last Thursday (12) with a truck loaded with explosives.
An alert soldier who spotted the truck 200m ahead of the FDL had fired a RPG at the vehicle which was advancing with its lights switched off. The bravery of the soldier saved many lives of the SL troopers deployed in the FDL.
Other Troopers attached to the 58 division of the SL army too were able thwart this LTTE attempt to attack the SL troops in Pudukuduirippu area.
It is also reported that the truck was loaded with high explosives weighing 350kg.
According to Military reports, an area of 02 km, where the truck had exploded was in blaze and several buildings and trees in the area were destroyed in the explosion.
Posted by media at 8:29 PM
The Government will construct the second and third coal power plants at Welvur and Sampur areas in Trincomalee by the middle of this year. The Ministry of Power and Energy sources said.
The Sampur power plant with a capacity of 1,000 Mega Watts will be constructed in June with Indian Government assistances. Construction will be handled by NTPC India and the entire project will be supervised by the Ceylon Electricity Board.
Over 300 acres of land have already been acquired for this. Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne has requested officials to commence construction activities immediately after the conclusion of surveying which will be complete by April end. This 99.2 per cent environmental pollution free power plant will consume 1.1 million tons of coal which will be imported annually.
There will also be a Naval Jetty at Sampur to unload coal from ships. Around 4,000 youth in the area will get direct employment under this project, Ministry sources said
Posted by media at 12:36 PM
Friday, 13 March 2009
In a rare corporation in making a cultural bridge between the North and South, Jaffna Cultural Centre will be founded with the assistance of renowned artistes and the State Film Corporation. Many artistes, and cultural organizations will rally round to promote the project, and they will establish a fund to go ahead with the project.
Cinema theatre owners plan to remit a day’s income for the fund, while it’s expected to ask for assistance from the public too. Apart from such endevours, to offer medical and life insurance deeds to artistes, CInesta Foundation will present ‘RIdi Reyak’ variety show and Cine Oska concert to collect more funds.
A plan to construct a mini-theatre is also on the cards, and this will facilitate a stage for cinema, stage dramas, cultural festivals, conference hall, and a reception hall for the public. The government is expected to allocate the land intended for the project, while the funds for the mini-theatre will be provided by the national film corporation. On March 22, collection of funds will be initiated and local theatres will offer a day’s income marking the event.
Posted by media at 12:33 PM
Colombo, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): Using facilities and equipment approved by the government-run Board of Investments (BOI), the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had imported lathe machines and other equipment for the manufacture of its military hardware, according to military sources.
The then head of the BoI, Arjunna Mahendran had approved the imports and facilitated their transport to the Vanni which was under LTTE control. Military sources say there is documentary evidence of these transactions involving the BoI..
The LTTE’s sophisticated transmission and allied equipment had been imported and transported to LTTE controlled areas during the ceasefire period. The ceasefire agreement was entered into by the then government and the LTTE in February 2002.
These sophisticated equipment were sent to Kilinochchi, along with the radio transmission equipment donated to the Tamil Tigers by the Norwegian government.
The Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio transmission, aired through this equipment, helped the LTTE to enhance its propaganda and also attract Tamil youth towards the movement.
V-Sat equipment included in these shipments were used to communicate with both the Tamil Diaspora and the LTTE’s agents internationally. The Sri Lanka Army during its operations recently recovered most of these sophisticated communications equipment when they overran a Tiger base in Puthukyiruppu.
But the LTTE is still in possession of a part of these V-Sat equipment which it uses for its communication purposes. The LTTE’s financial wing chief, Subarathnam Selvatureiy alias Thamilendi alias Ranjith Appa, who was killed on March 10 east of Puthukkudiyirippu, is said to have extensively used these V-Sat communications equipment to carry on the international financial activities of the outfit.
Thamilendi was a high profile LTTE leader who handled LTTE’s bank accounts, tax collection and all financial matters, according to military sources.
Posted by media at 12:12 PM
Colombo, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): The first consignment of Jaffna produce was transported to Colombo via the A- 9 highway and reached Colombo yesterday.
The consignments comprised red onions, beet roots, dry shrimps and delicious crabs and prawns, famed for their quality have found their way to Colombo markets once again after the first convoy of 22 lorries reached Colombo along the Jaffna – Colombo A-9 road Thursday (12) evening.
The Colombo-bound convoy after its ceremonial start from the Government Food Store in Navatkuli in Jaffna Thursday (12) morning after an absence of two decades, reached Elephant Pass at about 10 a.m. Leading Jaffna businessmen according to Hindu traditions, garlanded the lorries carrying their inaugural harvest to Colombo before the fleet left the Navatkuli store.
A total of 48,250 kg of fresh red onions, 1318 kg of beet root, 4750 kg of crabs and prawns and 5750 kg of dry shrimps and prawns on those 22 vehicles were received on the way at Elephant Pass, Omanthai and Medavachchiya before the fleet completed the rest of its historic mission towards Colombo.
Those consignments are to be distributed through Government Cooperative stores and CWE stalls after stocks were received by the government warehouse in Welisara.
The same convoy on 10th March 2009 reached Jaffna with a consignment of various food items, taken from Colombo... That stock contained 100 MT of dhal, 100 MT of sugar, 70 MT of vegetable oil, 60 boxes of orange, 132 boxes of pineapple, 97 boxes of apple, 10 boxes of grapes, 7 boxes of ginger and 10 boxes of mandarin orange.
Jaffna District Secretary K. Ganesh on Tuesday (10) received those stocks during a brief ceremony at Navatkuli... Army troops who escorted the convoy to Jaffna. handed over documents, connected to the delivery of those stocks to Ganesh. A representative gathering of Jaffna businessmen also witnessed the delivery.
“This consignment came on return from Jaffna following the 22 Lorries which were sent to Jaffna last Saturday with the essentials which was also the first time that food and essentials were transported where the return cargo came in 12 Lorries, Deputy Commissioner General of Essential Services N.B. Liyanarachchi told Asian Tribune.
The cargo which was 12 Lorries filled and vegetables, onions, fish and dry fish and is now at the CWE stores at Welisara from which traders are effecting purchases, he said.
“The cargo which was sent to Jaffna was coordinated by Laksathosa (Lanka Sathosa Ltd) a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment.
The initial cargo which was sent to Jaffna had 265 tonnes comprised 100 tonnes of dhal, 100 tonnes of sugar, and 65 tonnes of vegetable oil, and fruits included apples, and oranges. The transport was arranged by the Ministry of Nation Building and the funding from the UN World Food Program, Laksathosa’s Director (Operations) Mrs P. Wijetilleke told Asian Tribune.
Meanwhile the CGES Deputy Commissioner of Essential Services said that the two vessels which were chartered from Mercantile Shipping Ltd which had completed 75 trips had now been released after the opening of the A9.
Another stock of 500 tonnes of rice, sugar, dhal, vegetables including onions and potatoes and vegetable oil were scheduled to be unloaded in Mullativu today while a recent shipment of 500 tonnes of wheat flour was downloaded was also downloaded there, he said.
“There are ample stocks of petrol, diesel and kerosene in the Jaffna peninsula which is handled by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and which has been transported by ship until the land route was opened”, he said.
Posted by media at 12:09 PM
Posted by media at 12:02 PM
The plan is not only to save the next generation from terrorism but to 10 generations to come- Gotabaya
Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa said under the clear plans of the government this nation should not only be secured for the next generation from devastating terrorism but for the next ten generations to come so, that no similar harm could come upon the country.
"My idea is not for the next generation but even for the next ten generations something similar should not be allowed," the determined Secretary of Defence said, referring to the devastating insurgency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, that maimed and killed tens and thousands and ruined the economic prospects of the nation through acts of insensate violence.
He was addressing during a very rare public appearance of him at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) to declare open the website entitled www.udayagammanpila.com for Udaya who is entering the provincial council politics as a candidate of the Jathika Hela Urumaya.
Rajapaksa, the younger brother of the President and the man believed to be behind the military success of the Sri Lankan security forces said they won the war due to the clear unwavering and straight military policy of the government regarding the elimination of terrorism from the country.
He said today the LTTE is cornered in to an area thought about to be about 35 square kilometres. But when you consider the lagoon adjacent to the area, the land mass cannot be even bigger than 20 square kilometres. When the security forces capture that the whole island will be under the law and order of one government within a matter of days, he said.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the determination of this government had always been not to pass over the solution of the burdening problem of terrorism to the next generation but to bring an end to the sorry legacy during our own time. He said he thinks the nation should be secured from such a devastating phenomenon not only during the next generation but also for the next ten generations to come. To achieve that mission leaders like Udaya Gammanpila are needed, he said. (EOM)
Posted by media at 11:38 AM
On March 13, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to express the United States’ deep concern over the deteriorating conditions and increasing loss of life occurring in the Government of Sri Lanka-designated “safe zone” in northern Sri Lanka. Secretary Clinton stated that the Sri Lankan Army should not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone. The Secretary offered immediate and post-conflict reconstruction assistance and she extended condolences to the victims of the March 10 bombing outside a mosque in southern Sri Lanka. The Secretary condemned the actions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who are reported to be holding civilians as human shields, and to have shot at civilians leaving LTTE areas of control.
Secretary Clinton called on President Rajapaksa to devise a political solution to the ongoing conflict. The Secretary urged the President to give international humanitarian relief organizations full access to the conflict area and displaced persons camps, including screening centers.
The United States believes that a durable and lasting peace will only be achieved through a political solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all of Sri Lanka’s communities. We call on the Sri Lankan Government to put forward a proposal now to engage Tamils who do not espouse violence or terrorism, and to develop power sharing arrangements so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved
Source: US State Dept.
Posted by media at 9:01 AM
Posted by media at 8:46 AM
There are different languages that trainers use in handling different animals. A dog does not understand, so to speak, a mahout's lingo. Similarly, terrorists do not understand the language of the civilised people. It took nearly three decades for Sri Lanka to realise this simple truth. Today, she is speaking the language that terrorists understand most and results have been quite impressive. Terrorists are offering to talk peace!
Regrettably, the international community is convinced otherwise. Powerful nations want their less fortunate counterparts afflicted by the scourge of terrorism to use the language of peace in dealing with savage terrorists who are hardly human.
Yesterday we reported that the EU Parliament had called for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka to allow civilians trapped in the LTTE-held areas to move to safe areas. The EU's concern for those unfortunate people should be appreciated but it is nothing but naiveté to expect that a ceasefire will help them escape. Isn't the EU still aware that the LTTE is holding them at gun point as a human shield?
Ceasefire or no ceasefire, the LTTE will never release civilians in its clutches as it is convinced that if they escape by any chance, the army will march on Puthukudiyiruppu within hours. Therefore the evacuation of civilians is a frightening proposition for the LTTE. In fact, the LTTE has been using brutal violence against fleeing civilians. It has even killed infants in a desperate bid to prevent people from crossing over to the government-held areas.
So, an attempt to help civilians escape is tantamount to driving the beleaguered Tigers to suicide. Is this the real objective of the EU in calling for a truce 'to allow civilians to leave the war zone'? No! The EU does not want the LTTE to destroy itself; nor does it believe that a ceasefire will translate into an evacuation of civilians. It only wants the LTTE to be given a breather!
The LTTE is desperate for a truce. If the government agrees to a 'humanitarian ceasefire', the LTTE will try its damnedest to have it extended by resorting to dilatory tactics such as releasing civilians in small batches etc. until enough international pressure builds up against the government's military campaign. And the LTTE will use time so gained not only for regrouping but also for infiltrating the army-held areas. The LTTE owes its survival to ceasefires beginning from the one India forced on Sri Lanka in 1987, when the army was about to wipe out the LTTE together with Prabhakaran.
Countries that advocate a ceasefire at a time the LTTE is teetering on the brink of elimination could not be Sri Lanka's friends. They are only attempting to give the dying Tigers some oxygen.
Now that the EU has come forward to take the Tigers off the hook on some flimsy pretext, the question is what purpose the EU ban on the LTTE serves. Proscriptions not coupled with follow up action are of little use in battling terrorism. The EU might as well lift that useless ban!
Posted by media at 8:34 AM
Friday, March 13, 2009
The LTTE poses the most serious obstacle preventing the evacuation of civilians, who are confined to the safe zone in the narrow coastal strip in the Mullaitivu district. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, referring to the dialogue with India and the US in this regard, explained that the Government of Sri Lanka is at present unable to avail itself of the offers of assistance to evacuate the civilians, made by these countries due to the LTTE’s fierce resistance in releasing the people, since the civilians have been forcibly held against their will as human shields to protect key LTTE terrorist leaders and their families. The Foreign Minister explained the Government position to the British Shadow Defence Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox who called on him yesterday (12 March 2009) in Colombo. Dr. Fox is currently on a brief visit to Sri Lanka, during which he is scheduled to hold talks with key Government leaders including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as well as meet leaders of political parties.
Responding to a query by the British Shadow Defence Secretary on the status of the implementation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, the Foreign Minister pointed out that this issue is before the Supreme Court, where additional submissions have to be filed by May 2009. Dr. Fox opined that reaching cross party agreement in democracy could be extremely difficult and therefore the Sri Lanka Government should endeavour to explore other ways and means of overcoming this impasse.
He observed that with the complete clearing of the North from the clutches of the terrorists emerging, a political framework for that region would need to be put in place within the next three months. Minister Bogollagama explained that the envisaged political process is moving positively leading to the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Minister stated that both Local Government and Provincial Council elections would be held in the North as soon as the terrorists have been fully cleared from that region.
Referring to reports of an impending humanitarian disaster in the North, Dr. Fox was given a presentation with the aid of a map on the conduct of the ongoing military operations, the movement of civilians out of the conflict area, the LTTE’s withdrawal from their earlier positions using civilians as human shields and the designation of safe zones. He was also briefed on the steps taken by the Government to move the civilians from the conflict zone and ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services, as well as humanitarian assistance to the people in this area.
Posted by media at 10:02 PM
Mar 13, Colombo: British Conservative member of the European Parliament, Geoffrey Van Orden has said, the LTTE is now in a desperate end game and typically, in such situations is turning international apologists to get it off the hook.
Van Orden, who is the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Liaison Group told members of the European Parliament, that the greatest service all in this House can do is to call on the LTTE to lay down its arms and to release the civil population from its grip.
At the session on Wednesday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone.
Van Orden noted that "for decades now, Sri Lanka has been afflicted by a terrorist campaign conducted by the internationally proscribed LTTE. There is no equivalence between terrorists and the legitimate armed forces of a democratic government. Let us remember that it was the LTTE that perfected suicide bombing as a tactic; that it pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks; that it makes undisguised use of child soldiers and of human shields."
The members of EP called on both sides "to respect international humanitarian law and to protect and assist the civilian population in the combat zone, as well as in the safe zone."
Posted by media at 8:39 PM
Economic refugees masquerading as victims of ethnic violence and other illegal Sri Lankan immigrants in affluent countries have done irreparable damage to the image of this country.
It is thanks to these shameless beggars ready to stoop to any low level for a few dollars or pounds and the LTTE terrorists that each and every Sri Lankan becomes an instant suspect at airports in the developed world. The mere sight of a Sri Lankan passport is sufficient for foreign immigration officers to pounce on the bearer and grill him or her as if he or she were a criminal.
However, no one can question foreign governments for adopting such stern measures on their soil to prevent the never ending inflow of illegal immigrants from the four corners of the world. They have every right to protect their national interest.
Paradoxically, most affluent countries continue to harbour hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants including notorious terrorists responsible for crimes against humanity. They make a hue and cry but stop short of kicking the so-called 'illegals' out.
Is it because those immigrants provide cheap labour and do menial and dangerous jobs such as scraping ships, janitorial work, applying agrochemicals and glass cleaning on skyscrapers? Developed nations are dependent on illegal immigrants reduced to semi-slavery sans labour rights to keep their economies going and it is not the elimination of the problem that they seek but managing it. If they are really desirous of solving the problem once and for all, all they should do is to round up and deport all illegal immigrants.
Now, we learn that the Sri Lankan government has given foreigners carte blanche to ride rough shod over Sri Lankans at the KIA on the pretext of blocking illegal migration at the source. There are disturbing reports of a bunch of arrogant foreign embassy officials lording it over at the airport and preventing even those who possess genuine travel documents from leaving the country.
Humiliation that Sri Lankans are made to undergo in the name of visa interviews is only too well known to merit elaboration. Visa applicants are made to wait in long queues exposed to the sun and rain at some foreign embassies that boast of their respect for human rights and try to enforce their 'values' on the developing world. Visa interviews have all the trappings of police interrogations and callous pompous potentates seated behind two way mirrors ridicule captive applicants to their heart's content.
The boot-licking 'natives' at those missions are the worst culprits. They derive some sadistic pleasure by harassing their fellow countrymen. It is not for nothing that the old folk in this country say, "The bone licking canines are more ferocious than their masters!" We don't intend to tar all visa officers with the same brush. There are real professionals who conduct themselves courteously. Unfortunately they are in the minority.
Now, the government has authorised some imperiously uppity foreign visa officers to expand their deplorable operations beyond their embassies. Earlier, assistance of the so-called Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) from the western embassies was solicited to help check authenticity of visas at the KIA. But, today, the government has lamentably chosen to subjugate the country's sovereignty by placing ALOs over and above the Sri Lankan Emigration and Immigration officials at the KIA!
Foreign embassy officials have been allowed to conduct checks right at the boarding gates and even turn away travellers according to their whims and fancies. This kind of unbridled freedom they enjoy to override even the Sri Lankan officers, who have been reduced to mere spectators, and to violate the rights of Sri Lankans amounts to gross interference in Sri Lanka's domestic affairs.
It was only a moon ago that this country celebrated her 61 years of Independence on a very grand scale. President Mahinda Rajapaksa thundered from the ceremonial podium vowing to defend the country at any cost. One may have got the impression that Sri Lanka was an independent nation!
But, will any independent country allow foreigners to usurp the powers of state officials and be a law unto themselves at an international airport?
High-handed action of a British ALO who has become so powerful as to throw passengers waiting for boarding out of the KIA has been brought to the notice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Controller of Emigration and Immigration, Foreign Minister et al by none other than Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Italy Hemantha Warnakulasuriya PC. According to a news item we carried on Tuesday, this female British ALO prevented one of Ambassador Warnakulasuriya's Sri Lankan aides with valid travel documents from going back to Rome after spending a few days here. She callously turned down even Ambassador Warnakulasuriya's request over the telephone and stopped the aide from leaving the country.
This British officer seems to be more powerful than even Queen Elizabeth! What does she think she is? A viceroy?
We urge President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who wraps himself in the flag so ardently to order an investigation, find out what is going on at the KIA and remedy the situation forthwith. Sri Lanka may be a trouble-torn poor country dependent on foreign aid but that does not mean any diplomatic high muck-a-muck can treat Sri Lankans like criminals and violate their human rights with impunity Isn’t this diplomatic terrorism?
Sri Lankans are perhaps the only people in this world who are not only fingerprinted for visa but also kicked out of their own airport by foreigners. Does Mahinda Chintanaya permit the subjugation of the country's sovereignty to the whims and fancies of some haughty foreign diplomats?
This reprehensible practice, Mr. President, must stop––right now!
Source: Island Editorial
Posted by media at 8:28 PM
Posted by media at 5:06 AM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Posted by media at 10:30 PM
Lord Naseby, Conservative Peer and Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka said on Wednesday(March 11), if there is any genocide in Sri Lanka it is by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who hold civilian Tamils by force as a human shield in the war.
"This talk about genocide is rubbish. The only people who are causing genocide are the LTTE who are holding the civilians as a human shield," he said when a LTTE propagandist in the audience charged the Sri Lanka government of genocide. Lord Naseby was referring to the Tamil civilians who are being held against their will as a human shield in the current war by the LTTE and who are being shot at by the LTTE when they attempt to escape on foot and by boat.
The British House of Lords member made this public statement, at a Forum discussion recorded in front of an audience , mostly consisting of British Tamil Forum members, at a studio in the Media House in Central London and broadcast by Press TV of Iran. A sympathetic labour member of Parliament to the Tamil movement in London, Jeremy Corbyn was the moderator of the show.
Labour Party Member of European Parliament Robert Evans, Suren Surendiran a spokesman of the LTTE front organization, the British Tamil Forum and Douglas Wickramaratne , President of the Sinhala Association of London were the other members of the discussion panel.
Lord Naseby further said, during the course of the discussion, international pressure should be brought on the LTTE to release all those civilians. He said no international pressure is necessary, as Robert Evans suggested, to declare a ceasefire , by the government. He said the Sri Lanka government is an elected government and it is the LTTE who must down its arms and surrender to bring the military conflict to an end.
The show had an ominous start when British Tamil Forum's Suren Suthanthiran, said that a main grievance of the Tamils is that Sinhalese being the only official language . One of the Sri Lankan members of the audience pointed out Suren Surenthiran was making factually incorrect statements. He said in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese Language and Tamil language with English are being used as official languages. Immediately responding Lord Naseby said the cry about Sinhalese language is very much dated as both Sinhalese and Tamil are used as official languages. Then Suren Suthanthiran said he was speaking about 1956.
From the audience: Why are you going back to 50 years. Is it to hoodwink?
The part of the discussion on the language has been edited out when this was broadcast on . Wednesday March 11, by the Press TV.
The British Tamil Forum member Suren Suthanthiran faced an embarrassing situation when an English woman in the audience questioned about Child soldiers by the LTTE. The British Tamil Forum spokesman, in reply, kept on repeating "to whichever religion one belongs to it is wrong for one to kill another person" unskilfully evading the question. When the embarrassed moderator of the show Jeremy Corbyn, whose sympathies have been with the LTTE in the past, asked him for a specific reply for a straight question he was coming out with the same repetition turning the show into a comic show, participants commented. When a pro-LTTE woman from the audience said why question about child soldiers when so many thousands of Tamil children have been killed the reply was broadcast. She was not substantiating the statement.
It was very significant that the labour party MEP , Robert Evans was suggesting a Kosovo- Montenegro like solution for Sri Lanka at a brief moment of the discussion. But the pro-LTTE MP who has been repeating LTTE slogans in the past did not say how the LTTE is going to form a state from a 50 square kilometre size area from which they fight now nor did anybody asked him that question. Its population , kept under the threat of gun, are constantly running away from the area at the risk of life, according to reports.
But Lord Naseby immediately reacted to Robert Evans by telling that the vast majority of Tamils living in Sri Lanka do not want a two state solution. And he said when the British were seeking a solution for Northern Ireland they did not consider a two state solution.
The British Tamil Forum spokesman said they wanted a two state solution for Sri Lanka's problem.
Sinhala Association President Douglas Wickramaratne said that it is ridiculous people talk about a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka since 60 percent of the Tamils live outside the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country. He said over two thousand years, Sri Lanka has been one unitary country governed under one king. He further said since1985 Sri Lanka has been negotiating with the Tamil Tigers. He said during this time the LTTE have used every ceasefire to rearm themselves and prolong the war . Wickramaratne said a duely elected government under a democratic system has every right to suppress terrorism hurting the people. A paediatrician who did not announce her name and spoke from the audience said she has had personal experience of dealing with the parents of child soldiers who have left Northern and Eastern provinces just because they feared that their children would be kidnapped by the LTTE. She said children are being kidnapped for war by the LTTE as UNESCO reports very clearly show.
More than 50 Sri Lankans who expressed that they wanted to participate in the discussions by email did not even had the courtesy of receiving a reply. An organizer at the studio said there had been too many emails to be replied to. But all prominent British Tamil Forum members were there to be seated and allowed to ask their propagandist type questions. Ultimately, they did not make any results since neither the questions nor their representative's replies failed to make any impressions.
(By Walter Jayawardhana)
Posted by media at 10:15 PM
At a time the whole world is facing an economic downturn, the report 'Top 30 Container Ports in the World in 2008' published in the magazine 'Containerization International' recently, has placed Colombo Port in the 27th place among the best container ports of the world in 2008.
This is due to the resulted achievement by the Port of Colombo maintaining a growth of handling 0.31 million of TEUs in 2008, compared to 2007. In the year 2007 the Port of Colombo handled a total of 3.38 million TEUs and in the year 2008 it has been increased up to a total handling of 3.69 TEUs, a growth of 9.1%.
Regional and other global ports such as Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Hamburg in Germany, Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York in the US and Dallan in China have shown only a negative growth during 2008 and have also lost their previous higher positions in the list of ranking. Although the global port such as Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Busan, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Port Tanjung Pelepas, Xiaman, Tokyo, Tanjung Priok, Jawaharlal Nehru, Yokohama and Gioia Tauro have shown positive growth rates in the world ranking, they have all maintained a lower rate of growth compared to the Port of Colombo in 2008. Only eight ports including Dubai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Gungzhou, Tianjin, Port Klang, Bremen, Laem Chabang and Valencia have been able to exceed their growth rates against the growth rate of 9.1% of the Port of Colombo in 2008.
Hence, the leading first five ports namely Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Busan that have positive growth rates in this ranking list have also been unable to exceed the growth rate of 9.1% maintained by the Port of Colombo.
Compared to these results all achievements acquired by the Port of Colombo under such pressurized world economic conditions are the results of long term contributions and dedications through a collective effort and team work of its human resource. Under the able guidance of Port and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, recent measures taken to elevate the efficiency of human resource and other mechanisms implemented at Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and necessary steps taken to obtain new technology and necessary operating gear and equipments have been directly resulted in the elevation of the TEU handling capacities successfully, in the Port of Colombo.
>> Full story
Posted by media at 5:56 PM
Posted by media at 8:25 AM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Nihal on Asian Network of BBC. You will realize how well the Tamils live in Sri Lanka enjoying much more privileges than the Sinhala majority even after Sri Lanka gained independence from the British rule in 1948. The objective of the Tamil diaspora is to retain those unproportionate powers given by British rule to them even under the current democratic system. This has resulted in the current crisis in Sri Lanka.
Playlist (4 videos):
Posted by media at 10:25 PM
MULLAITTIVU: LTTE’s Head in charge of the financial division, SUBARATHNAM SELVATUREIY alias THAMILENDI has been confirmed killed in the weekend fighting in the northeast of PUTHUKKUDIYIRIPPU where over 150 dead bodies of Tiger terrorists were found after the clashes.
Courtesy: SL Army
Posted by media at 10:10 PM
MULLAITTIVU: THE continuing spate of recoveries of LTTE arms and ammunition, sophisticated equipment and more importantly their buried stocks amply proves how meticulously Tigers were equipped and what else would have been needed by them to destabilize this country.
Wednesday’s (11) uncovering of a stock of aircraft spare parts including aircraft tyres, batteries, engine parts and several other accessories, kept buried by Tigers in oil barrels from PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU northern areas came about as another startling recovery of the troops in the week.
Courtesy: SL Army
Posted by media at 10:09 PM
SPUR (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)
Reg: A003 0777 M
P.O. Box 4066, Mulgrave VIC 3170, Australia
Phone: (+613) 9795 7143, Fax: (+613) 9795 7142
11 March 2009
Suicide Bomb attack on a Religious procession by LTTE
The Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka condemns the brutal massacre carried out by the suicide bomber of the LTTE. Time and again the LTTE have proved that they are no respecters of religions. To carry out such a dastardly act at such a holy occasion shows up the LTTE for what they really are: a brutal, barbaric and bloodthirsty organisation.
By selecting a Muslim festival to carry out such an attack on civilians, the LTTE have again shown their contempt for the Islamic religious activities.. On previous occasions, the LTTE attacked mosques while the faithful were at prayer, and this time, they selected the celebration of the Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday, one of the most holy days on the Islamic calendar, to carry out this brutal attack.
Media like the BBC are questioning how the LTTE can carry out such suicide attacks if they are cornered in Puthukudiyiruppu. It is the cadres who were sent to the south during the infamous ceasefire for this very purpose who carry out these attacks. Then the plan was to cow the south into submission, now these attacks are intended to provoke a backlash against those Tamils who have chosen to live in peace and safety away from the bloodthirsty LTTE. The LTTE are hoping to gain the goodwill of the international community through fabrications that the Sinhala people are bent on genocide. Instead, the LTTE are shown up as those who commit genocide – even against their “own” people and minority Muslims.
The international community and the international media should recognise the LTTE for what they are, not your friendly freedom fighter, but a brutal terrorist organisation interested only in turning Sri Lanka into a killing field – even if they do not achieve their Eelam. The Tamil people do not need the LTTE to fight for their freedom for they are free. They live and work, carry on their businesses and their day-to-day lives among the rest of the Sri Lankan community in the south.
For the past twenty-five years, it has been the ordinaryTamils in the North who have not had that freedom. They have been forced to give up their right to freedom in order that the LTTE may thrive. Even the food supplies provided by the Government of Sri Lanka have been stolen from them by the LTTE who hand out a pittance to the civilians keeping a lion’s share for themselves. Their children, boys and girls alike, have not been safe from the LTTE. Today, they have been forced to become a human shield to safeguard that very LTTE that preyed on them all these years.
We call upon the international community, the UN and human rights organisations like the HRW and other organisations like AI, to urge the LTTE to stop the carnage they wreak on civilians, free the Tamil civilians they are holding hostage, lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan security forces immediately.
Posted by media at 10:05 PM
Mar 11, Colombo: Sri Lankan government is to implement a new security system in the south following the LTTE suicide attack in Akuressa yesterday that killed 15 people and injured many others including Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mahinda Wijesekara and several other politicians.
According to sources there had been security lapses on the part of the police officials who were on duty at the scene yesterday.
"The entry of vehicles to the site where the function was held had been barred for some time. Yet, a top police official based in the area had allowed the vehicles to pass later. The suicide bomber had used the opportunity to reach the target in his motor bike," sources said.
The government said the ministers had been advised to take extra precautions following the attack and a new security system would be implemented throughout the country to prevent such possible attacks in the future.
A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on a motor bike targeted a procession celebrating Milad-un-Nabi Prophet Mohammed's birthday near Jumma Mosque at Godapitiya Godapitiya, Akuressa in Sothern Sri Lanka yesterday morning.
Minister Wijesekara was seriously injured in the blast and air-lifted to Colombo National Hospital. Several Pradeshiya Sabha officials were killed in the attack.
The suicide attack comes as the Sri Lankan troops are in a final assault on the depleting LTTE outfit in northeast. The rebels have been pushed into a 45 square kilometer strip of land in Mullaitivu along the coast.
Defence analysts say the Tigers will resort to more suicide bombings in the future as they are no longer capable of carrying out conventional military operations.
Posted by media at 11:24 AM
Ronald Buerk says genocide blamed on Sri Lanka by the LTTE is an expression exceedingly going too far
Ronald Buerk, BBC's former Colombo correspondent making an independent appearance in a radio debate between the Sri Lankan and pro-Tamil Tiger parties in London and answering a question whether there is any truth in the charge by pro-LTTE section about a "genocide" in Sri Lanka said it is exceedingly an "expression going too far."
Buerk said undoubtedly some civilians are getting killed in the war but the allegation about genocide is not true. But Buerk protested the inability of journalists not being able to see for them what was happening inside the warzone.
The debate between the two Sri Lankan groups was moderated by the popular broadcaster Nihal for the BBC's Asian network.
One side was represented by the President of the Sinhala Association of London Mr. Douglas Wickramaratne and the PRO-LTTE side was represented by Mr. Ramanan Sri Pathmanadan.
But during the debate Mr.Sri Pathmanadan had to accept that the child soldiers conscripted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the suicide bombing practiced by them are two indefensible acts, although officially the LTTE has never said so before.
Douglas Wickramaratne replying to charges of discrimination said what Eaton and Oxford educated Bandaranaike did was only replacing English , spoken only by six percent of the people , the elite of the Sinhalese and the Tamils , with Sinhalese as the state language which was understood and spoken by eighty percent of the population. He also introduced reasonable use of Tamil immediately after the Sinhala act. This upset, mostly the Tamil elite who had become an over privileged sector of the society due to the divide and rule policies of the British imperial government, Wickramaratne charged.
Anyway, today both Sinhlese and Tamil languages have become state languages of the country, said Wickramaratne , who also added that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which has given such a place to the Tamil language. Sri Lanka educates all Tamil children, free of charge , in their mother tongue from the kindergarten to the university, once again being the only country in the world of doing so, he emphasized.
Mr.Ramanan Sri Padmanadan opening the debate for the LTTE said, Sri Lanka was three countries when the Portuguese invaded the Indian ocean island and it was they who put the Tamil homeland, an independent state aligned with Sinhala maritime areas. The British united the countries and gave independence in 1948 and hence all these troubles.
He first of all advocated separation as a solution and when questioned about the wisdom of it changed it to devolution. But the LTTE has not accepted any devolution offficially but separation. Mr.Pathmanadan denied any over- privileges for the Tamils under the British imperial government but said since there were more English schools in Jaffna the Tamils were able to educate themselves better and get more jobs.
Mr. Douglas Wickramaratne argued that that because of this position a kind of apartheid was practiced against the Sinhalese by the British then. He said disproportionately large numbers of higher positions were enjoyed by them. When such imbalances are balanced by the circumstances violent reactions occur now.
While admitting that child soldiering is indefensible Mr.Pathmanadan asked what could they do if a child comes and tell the LTTE that he wants to fight for the cause. Though this is an argument put forward by the LTTE, the UNESCO, has stated that the children do not have the right to give their consent to fight for the war. Even their parents, according to the United Nations , do not possess the right to give away their children for the war. The young Tamil debater was unaware of it. UN reports also say the children are abducted by the Tamil Tigers.
Even today, the Sinhalese are discriminated in their own country, despite being the majority Mr.Wickramaratne charged. Under a law introduced by the Dutch, the Sinhalese cannot buy land in Northern Province. The Sinhalese cannot educate themselves in Jaffna or Eastern Universities because the LTTE kills any Sinhalese going there to learn, he said. But Tamils, about 60 percent of them are not discriminated to live in the Sinhala majority areas and buy land he argued.
Mr. Pathmanadan, not knowing , that in the country , there is no system that discriminates against Tamil students entering universities currently said that such a discriminatory method is built in the constitution and Tamils have to obtain more marks to enter the universities. Mr.Wickramaratne flatly denied the statement.
He said 40,000 Sinhalese and 100,000 Muslims have been chased out of Jaffna by LTTE leader Mr. Prabhakaran in an unique act of ethnic cleansing .
When the moderator asked whether Mr.Pathmanadan is not troubled by those acts of violence and by Prabhakaran always standing on the way to peace and the LTTE being named as terrorist organization by so many countries Mr. Pathmanadan said he is supporting the LTTE since it is the only party that is standing for the aspirations of Tamils.
Mr. Douglas Wickramaratne said the LTTE should seek the Tamil homeland in Tamil Nadu where 70 million Tamils live. He said like Mr. Pathmanadan said there had never been separate states in Sri Lanka 's history and for more than 2000 years the country it had been run as one state and what Mr.Pathmandan had been referring to were regional administrations under one emperor, during ancient times and not different states. He also said the latest propaganda is escaping civilians have to live in concentration camps. But the fact is, said Mr. Wickramaratne that Sir John Holmes of the UN and many ambassadors of foreign countries have expressed complete satisfaction about those civilian camps. The LTTE sent suicide bombers even inside those civilian refugee camps as the terrorists were desperate they could not use those Tamils as human shields Mr.Wickramaratne argued. Hence, protection was necessary for them, he said.
Posted by media at 11:21 AM
[COLOMBO, SinhalaNet 2009.03.09 05:47AM] A religious ceremony was held at the Samara Lankaji Buddhist Temple in Japan to offer merit to Lt. Colonel Lalith Jayasinghe who gave his life on November 28, 2008 in the liberation of the North.
Among those who attended the three-month pinkama were President of the Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society, Venerable Banagala Upatissa, Venerable Yatawala Pannarama and Venerable Henegedera Sheelabahadra as well as Sri Lankans in Japan, according to Kumara Hapuarachchi who resides in Japan.
Posted by media at 11:18 AM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that the Government has not permitted any international forces to evacuate civilians from the Vanni.
"Certain reports published regarding the arrival of US marines in Sri Lanka to transport civilians on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Government are baseless and incorrect," the Minister said.
Addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday, the Minister said that the Government has not made any request to the US Army to support the evacuation process in Sri Lanka.
"We have also not received any proposal from any country in this regard," the Minister said. He said that US has always extended its support in countering terrorism in Sri Lanka.
"We welcome proposals from any country or foreign agency if they are not concerned in safeguarding the terrorists,"he said. Since the Armed Forces are engaged in fulfilling their duties in eliminating terrorism in the North, the Government has committed to streamline the evacuation process of civilians without harming them.
The Government without having any political interest is committed to ensure the protection of civilians.
"We have improved medical facilities while providing necessary food supplies to civilians fleeing from Mulaitivu," he said.
He said the International community is very concerned about the ongoing evacuation of civilians and their medical facilities.
"We are trying to increase the numbers of civilians being evacuated ," he said.Meanwhile, commenting on the Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, the Minister said investigations in this regard are proceeding well. The Pakistan leadership is very much concerned about the ongoing investigation, while the Sri Lankan Government has been kept informed about the developments . "We will shortly inform the media about the results", he said.
The Minister commenting on his tour to Vietnam said that the Vietnamese government has pledged to extended its support to the Sri Lankan Government in the effort to counter terrorism.
Posted by media at 11:24 PM
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Posted by media at 11:16 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 4:38 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Mar 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka expressed its gratitude to Russia for the support extended to Sri Lanka by Russia in all UN forums last week.
The Sri Lanka UN Mission in Geneva said that Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleke greeted the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva last Saturday.
Foreign Minister Lavrov delivered a landmark speech at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Saturday March 7th, the day after he met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva, setting an opportunity for improvement of US-Russian strategic relations.
Russia earlier ruled out a move by Mexico to discuss the current military conflict and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka in the Security Council.
Posted by media at 11:35 AM
The explosion which occurred in the Godapitiya area in Akkurassa Matara a short while ago was at the National Milad festival which was attended by several Ministers.
Ministers Mahinda Wijesekara, A H M Fowzi and Chandrasiri Gajadeera have attended the function.
According to the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) about 10 people were killed while another 20 odd were injured in bomb attack.
It is also reported that Minister Mahinda Wijesekara is among the injured.
More information will follow...
An explosion has been reported near a mosque at Godapitiya in Akuressa, Matara this morning (Mar. 10).
Several people have been killed and many others wounded, including a government minister attending a celebration in the religious place, in what first reports indicate a suicide blast.
According to the Media Centre for National Security, eight people have died and 20 others sustained injuries in the suspected LTTE attack.
A cyclist had targeted a procession on its way to the mosque which was celebrating the national Milad Un Nabi Festival around 10.35 am.
It is not yet clear whether the bomb had been concealed in the push cycle or the man had been carrying it on his person.
Initial reports also say several ministers were attending the Muslim festival.
Minister Mahinda Wijesekara has been slightly injured in the incident, while ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Chandrasiri Gajadheera and Amir Ali have been unharmed in the incident, reports added.
Posted by media at 11:28 AM
Government sources said yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision was to put the Yal Devi back on the track to the North with the cooperation of the South. He is expected to announce this as a National Project shortly.
General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said that Minister of Transport Dulles Alahapperuma had said at a meeting yesterday morning that SLR should be prepared and ready to implement all decisions arrived at by the Government.
The GM said that to his knowledge the date scheduled for this announcement had been postponed beyond March (19).
He said that 160 kilometres of rail tracks had to be laid from Thandikulam in Vavuniya and many Railway stations along the way had to be rebuilt.
The Government is also going ahead with the construction of the railway to Kataragama 160 kilometres from Matara the Southern terminal.
Land acquisition and preparing the ground is taking place at a fast pace he said.
Posted by media at 11:25 AM
A senior Canadian Member of Parliament has told Canadian Parliament that the terrorist group preys "upon the very Tamil population it claims to represent."
Deepak Obhrai, Member of Parliament for Calgary East and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Friday told Parliament that the LTTE has done little to promote peace in Sri Lanka.
"The Tamil Tigers are listed by countries around the world as a terrorist organization and have done little to promote peace in Sri Lanka. Not only did they invent suicide bombing but they in fact prey upon the very Tamil population they claim to represent," said Obhrai, the senior most Indo-Canadian in Canada’s Conservative government.
Canada’s Conservative Party has won praise from many Sri Lankans living in Canada for its strong anti-terrorist stance. The Conservatives listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization and banned several of its front organizations operating in Canada shortly after coming to power in 2006.
Obhrai and his Conservative Party have accused the main opposition Liberal Party for pandering to LTTE supporters. This week a Liberal MP attended a rally held in the Canadian capital organised by supporters of the LTTE and made a speech supporting the LTTE, with dozens of LTTE flags flowing in the background.
Conservative MP and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent also criticised the opposition Liberals for hobnobbing under a terrorist flag.
"I am sickened by the pandering of a Liberal member on the front lawn of Parliament to a flagrant display of the symbols of a listed terrorist organization. The Government of Canada would hope that all members of the House would abhor terrorism," Kent told Parliament.
Liberal MP Gubrax Singh Malhi, who spoke at the LTTE support rally, later told Canada’s National Post "I have nothing to do with anybody. I don’t know anybody who was there."
Posted by media at 11:22 AM
by Thiru Arumugam
The Jaffna Peninsula has an area of 1000 square km and has no rivers and is totally dependent on the annual rainfall of about 1270 mm, of which about 87% falls during the north-east monsoon from October to December, for recharge of the water table in the underground limestone aquifer. In the past, water was drawn from wells for domestic and agricultural use by well sweeps, but from the 1950’s onwards pumps have been used to draw water from about 100,000 wells in the Peninsula. Over pumping for agricultural use has drawn down the fresh water stored in the limestone aquifer resulting in sea water percolating into the wells through the fractured limestone, as no part of Jaffna is more than about 15 km from the sea.
About 60% of Jaffna is occupied by residential usage, home gardens, roads, parks etc.; about 13% (13,700 hectares) is cultivated with food crops and about 13% (13,000 hectares) is cultivable with rain-fed rice paddy. 4% of the land is not arable due to soil salinity and the balance 10% of the Peninsula is occupied by two lagoons, which are presently saline. At present about 30% of the wells in the Jaffna Peninsula are saline. Recent reports from agricultural experts state that more than 4500 hectares of fertile agricultural land have turned saline and are unsuitable for cultivation.
Within the Jaffna peninsula there are two large lagoons, the Vadamarachchi lagoon and the Upparu lagoon with surface areas of about 77 and 26 square km respectively. These lagoons cover a significant proportion (10%) of the peninsula’s land area of 1000 square km. These lagoons have openings to the sea and are salt water lagoons but during the north-east monsoon rain water from their catchment areas also collects in them. Paddy cultivation in the Jaffna Peninsula is essentially rain-fed cultivation. Cash crops and market garden crops are, however, irrigated using well water from a long time ago. The Colonial Secretary, Sir James Emerson Tennant in 1857 compared these with the market gardens in Fulham and Chelsea in the suburbs of London.
The earliest known recorded observation about improving the fresh water situation in the Jaffna Peninsula was made nearly 350 years ago. Hendrile van Reede, Captain to the Dutch Governor Rijckloff van Goens, stated: "A dike to contain the sea at Condemanaer and Navacolli, with sluices to claim the rain water and a canal to the salt pans at Nieweli would create more useful arable land."
To increase the availability of fresh water in the Jaffna peninsula we need to look at sources alternative to rain in the peninsula. South of the peninsula is the sea water Elephant Pass Lagoon which has a surface area of about 77 square km. It has a catchment area of about 940 square km in the mainland Vanni, consisting mainly of the Kanakarayan Aru. During the north-east monsoon surplus rain water from the Vanni is discharged into the Elephant Pass lagoon. From this lagoon this fresh water flows into the sea through the eastern end at Chundikulam and formerly also through the western end Elephant Pass bridge, and was being wasted.
During the 1950’s a scheme was proposed to utilise the monsoon rain water running to waste from the Elephant Pass lagoon, for the benefit of the Jaffna peninsula
Full Story: Island
Posted by media at 10:59 AM
(Lanka-e-News, March 09, 2009, 1.30 PM) Our London sources say that the close relatives of LTTE's Peace Secretary chief S. Pulithevan have mourned the death of their high profile LTTE relative in Vanni recently.
As rumors spread in London that Pulithevan was killed by an attack of the Sri Lanka Army, 'Lanka-e-News' enquired about it from the military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara. He said that the security forces had not targeted Pulithevan and there were no information regarding his death.
Meanwhile, a non-LTTE source said that Pulithevan and two more leaders had tried to evade war and to go abroad. They have now been jailed by LTTE following the ploy was uncovered.
Pulithevan who acted a major role in LTTE during the ceasefire period has not made any statement to media for months.
Posted by media at 12:19 AM
Monday, March 9, 2009
PHNOM PENH, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian government was considering to investigate the actions of a local foundation which allegedly supported Sri Lanka's separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, said national media on Monday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has sent a letter to Interior Minister Sar Kheng to request him to do so, said English-Khmer language newspaper the Cambodia Daily.
The foreign ministry received a diplomatic notice from the U.S. Embassy warning of the existence of the U.S.-based Tamil Foundation, the paper quoted the letter dated Feb. 26 as saying.
"Please, Minister, be informed about the organization and take measures to investigate the actions of this organization," said the letter, while not elaborating whether the Tamil Foundation was known to be active within Cambodia.
In July 2007, international security magazine the Jane's Intelligence Review reported that Cambodia was a significant source of weapons for the Tamil Tigers, but failed to mention its sources.
The Cambodian government denied it at the time, saying that Cambodia had destroyed many of its surplus arms and that the report referred to the situation before 1998.
Posted by media at 10:54 AM
COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military on Sunday claimed that the war with the LTTE had reached its “final stages” amid reports that the next 72 hours were crucial for the Tigers.
The Defence Ministry said that as Mullathivu battles reached their last phase, LTTE made several desperate attempts since Friday dawn to infiltrate the military’s forward defences which left over 100 Tiger cadre killed and as many injured.
“LTTE terrorists were preparing for a large scale offensive towards the existing military defences at Palamathalan and north of Puthukkudiyirippu, inducting over 200 cadre including suicide bombers and sea tigers,” it said.
The Ministry said that following the initial thrust, terrorists had planned to send waves of 100-odd cadre to provide reinforcements. Bahnu, Lowrence, Soosai and other high-profile LTTE leaders were directly involved in the pre-emptive assault.
“This is the first time during recent battles LTTE has inducted many of its ‘high profiles’ to the battlefront. Yet, timely detection and precise intelligence information received proved decisive as terrorist offensive waves were received with intense military counter attacks at the crack of dawn on Friday,” it said.
The Ministry said that LTTE was making the best of the ‘military tolerance’ of not engaging LTTE positions within the declared No Fire Zone. The land stretch of about 4 km. south of Pudumathalan was being continuously used as a launching pad for LTTE attacks.
Separately, the Presidential Secretariat denied reports in a section of the media about death of some of the internally displaced in the LTTE-controlled area due to starvation.
Source: The Hindu
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Sri Lankan Armed Forces have brought unprecedented fame to the country. Terrorism which the most powerful Armies in the world failed to crush, was made to kneel down by our Forces, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
The terrorists whom our Forces are fighting, have been designated as the most ruthless outfit of the world. Therefore, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces give the lead and strength for all Armed Forces in the world in their war against terrorists, President Rajapaksa said. He was speaking at the Colours Award Ceremony of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in Trincomalee on Saturday.
"I remember, it was in 1986 that the terrorists captured Tennamarachchi, Velvetiturai and Vadamarachchi areas in Jaffna, confining our Armed Forces only to the Jaffna Fort," the President said.
He said our Forces fought an extremely difficult battle while being inside the Fort. "Supplies by sea or overland were denied to them. At this critical juncture it was the Air Force which rendered a yeoman service to our besieged Forces. The Air Force dared to undertake supplies to the Jaffna Fort and evacuate the injured soldiers.
The gallantry displayed by the Air Force was remarkable." he said. "Whenever our military camps in the North and East were threatened, the Air Force came to their rescue. An officer who rendered a commendable service to the country at that time is your present Commander who gives leadership to you today.
Transport of troops and supplies, and air and sea surveillance are other prerogatives of the Air Force. The hawk-eyed Air Force could cast its spell over the most ruthless terrorist outfit to make it bow down before it.
It was the air attacks which sank the enemy suicide craft, and floating warehouses in the recent past," President Rajapaksa said. "If I sum up the support performance of our Air Force, I would say it admirably discharged its duty of safeguarding the territorial integrity and the pride of the motherland. The terrorists therefore did utmost to destroy our Air Force," he said.
Posted by media at 7:42 AM
Bankers Who Bankroll An Endangered Species (aka Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan
[Muttukrishna Sarvananthan Ph.D. (Wales) hails from Point Pedro, Northern Sri Lanka, and is the Principal Researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development http://pointpedro.org and Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC, U.S.A.]
On the very same day of the announcement by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) about a Stimulus Package for Finance and Leasing Companies of Sri Lanka in order to weather “some stresses…observed in a few Registered Finance Companies (RFCs) and Specialized Leasing Companies (SLCs)” as a result of the global and domestic financial crunch, not to be outdone, few members of the Tamil Diaspora in North America “suggested donation” of “US$50.00 or more” (per person) in order to prevent the extinction of an endangered species (aka Tamil Tigers) in their imagined homeland of Tamil Eelam at a “MEGA Rally” organized by the “Tamils Against Genocide” (TAG) in Washington, DC, U.S.A on Friday, February 20, 2009. Although the pretence for the solicitation of the aforementioned donation was to cover the expenses for “blown-up photographs of refugees, placards, banners, rally mega-phones, water bottles”, as usual the intent was bankrolling the dwindling species of their tribe back home.
Although majority of the Paper Tigers among the Tamil Diaspora communities crossed the border from Canada to participate in the anti-genocide rally against the Sri Lankan State (because the organizers could not mobilize critical mass of people in previous attempts at such antics in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC on January 23, 2009 and against the Independence Day celebrations of the Sri Lankan Embassy on February 07, 2009 at the University of District of Columbia), handful of the prominent organizers of and participants in the rally were Bankers who hold top positions in the largest multilateral bank on earth and two of the largest private commercial banks in the Untied States (one of which is, in fact, bankrupt but rescued by the Government) and Boffins from remote Universities in the United States. Besides, we also learn from couple of enlightened members of the Tamil Diaspora communities that, many of the participants and indeed organizers of the aforementioned protest demonstrations in the US were Tamils of South Indian origin.
In the same way the Chairpersons and CEOs of RFCs and SLCs met with the President of Sri Lanka on January 29, 2009 to seek State assistance to weather the financial crunch, we learn that few Tamil Bankers and Boffins met with certain sympathetic members of the House of Representatives (the Congress) and the Senate on February 20, 2009, seeking their assistance to save the endangered species in Sri Lanka, and probably to obtain a tiny share of the US$ 800 billion stimulus package announced by President Obama and approved by both the Congress and the Senate for re-arming and re-grouping of the endangered species in Sri Lanka to continue the Lions versus Tigers duel. Moreover, “Tamils for Obama” campaign is alive and kicking even after the incumbent President of the United States assumed office on January 20, 2009, but said to be under scrutiny on suspicion of soliciting funds to save the endangered species in Sri Lanka, which is outlawed in the US.
Both the Chairpersons and CEOs of RFCs and SLCs and the Tamil Bankers and Boffins attempting to save the endangered species in Sri Lanka have one thing in common; i.e. in spite of their espousal of downsizing (or right sizing) the Sri Lankan State or evicting the Sri Lankan State from their envisioned Tamil Eelam State respectively, they run to the State (host State in the case of the latter) with begging bowls at times of distress or desperation. It appears that these hypocrites do not practice what they preach, and hence expect the State to become the rescuer or lender of last resort. Thus, Marx has triumphed over Markets!
Ironically, few unrepentant Tamil Bankers and Boffins in the US and around the globe continue to bank on the reincarnation of the endangered species in Sri Lanka, viz. the Tamil Tigers. They stubbornly refuse to learn lessons from the global financial crisis and continue to offer lending hands to an un-creditworthy client in the pretext of “Stop Sri Lanka’s Genocide of Tamils”. Ironically, the claim of genocide of Tamils by impervious and insular members of the Tamil diaspora (epitome of whom is M.I.A) was conspicuously absent when the Sri Lankan security forces wrested control of the Eastern Province between July 2006 and July 2007, and subsequently Mannar, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi districts in the Northern Province. Only when the security forces began military operations to wrest control of the Mullaitivu district (last bastion of the LTTE) did the impervious and insular members of the Tamil diaspora discover genocide, which exemplifies the duplicity of such claim. Thus, though the pretence of anti-genocide rallies by the Tamil diasporas in capital cities of western countries in early-2009 is the protection of Tamil civilians caught up in the fighting, the real intent is to save the engendered species and its leader from annihilation.
Source: Trans Current
Posted by media at 7:22 AM
From governance, to civilians, to the larger communities: How does Sri Lanka – and all those affected by the civil war – move on?
View the Video: www.tvo.org
Lenin Benedict is with the Canadian Democratic Tamil Cultural Association.
Rudhramoorthy Cheran is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Windsor. From 1984 to 1992, Dr. Cheran was a working journalist in Sri Lanka.
Anna Neistat is a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch's emergencies division. She is a specialist in humanitarian crises, and works to investigate and expose human rights violations in crisis situations on a rapid-response basis.
David Poopalapillai is director of Public Relations for the Canadian Tamil Congress. He also functions as the national spokesperson for CTC.
Asoka Yapa is a past president of the Sri Lanka Association of Ottawa and past chair of Project Peace for a United Sri Lanka.
Posted by media at 7:04 AM
Sunday, March 8, 2009
A new traffic arrangement is to be implemented to help reduce the number of vehicles entering Colombo city. Starting next week the Ministry of Transport has decided to operate a “Park and ride system” starting from Kattubedda.
Professor Amal Kumarage, Chairman of the National Transport Commission stated that the service will be provided from 16 March which is specifically designed to reduce the traffic congestion around the city of Colombo.
This will allow the people to park their vehicles at the car park in Katubedda and take a luxury bus to Colombo. The buses will travel from Kattubedda to Colpetty Junction, Dharmapala Mawatha and then proceed to Piththala junction. The buses will then cross Nawam Mawatha at Slave Island and go past Air Force HQ to York Street. The bus service will terminate near the Clock tower in Pettah. On the return ride, the bus will take the Duplication Road route upto Bambalapitiya.
Professor Amal Kumarage says, “it is not a mere car park where people can drive in and park their cars and go somewhere else. A traveler who wishes to obtain the services must first contact the service provider ECD Global Limited and should reserve a seat at the bus by stating a desired time of travel.”
Professor Amal Kumarage also added that the government does not wish to ‘gain any benefit from the service,’ but will levy a permit charge from the operator. “The government’s sole intention in initiating the process is to bring down the cost of traffic congestion,” he added.
The buses are said to be of high standard, which are mostly used for transporting tourists. They will also have an air condition system and comfortable seating. Upto twenty passengers can travel in one bus, and the professor stated that the passengers will not exceed the seating limit.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:43 PM
President to consult Elections Commissioner next week
With the successful dismantling of the LTTE in the North, the government’s attention is now focused on holding Municipal Council elections in Jaffna.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to consult the Elections Commissioner probably next week on the possibility of calling nominations for the Jaffna Municipal Council election, highly placed government sources said.
This is believed to be the first step towards re-introducing democracy to the north of Sri Lanka after a lapse of nearly 11 years.
The first significant threat to democracy in the north occurred when then Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah was assassinated allegedly by LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran himself in 1975. Since then local administration has gradually deteriorated in the face of terrorism to a total collapse.
Election to the Jaffna Municipality was last held in 1998 after the peninsula was liberated from the LTTE. The TULF headed by V. Anandasangaree won the elections and took over the administration of the council with TULF member Sarojini Yogeswaran as the Mayor. She too was gunned down by the LTTE soon after assuming office.
Thereafter, her successor K. Sivapalan also died in a bomb blast that targeted a Jaffna meeting between the councillors and security officials
Posted by media at 10:00 PM
Posted by media at 1:45 AM
Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, told reporters that while there was nothing illegal about the rally it was "highly inappropriate" for an MP to appear. "We should not be encouraging public manifestations of support for a terrorist organization," he said, "in this instance one that has been condemned by UNICEF for their practice of recruiting child soldiers and forcing them into military service and an organization that invented the tactic of suicide bombings and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians."
A Liberal MP was criticized yesterday for speaking at a rally on Parliament Hill surrounded by flags bearing the militaristic emblem of the Tamil Tigers, a banned terrorist organization in Canada. A video posted on YouTube shows Gurbax Singh Malhi, MP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, telling demonstrators waving Tamil Tigers flags that, "I'd like to let you know I'm helping you guys. I'm behind you because you are fighting for a right cause."
The protesters then chanted: "Freedom fighters, Tamil Tigers."
During Question Period, Peter Kent, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said he was "sickened by the pandering of a Liberal member on the front lawn of Parliament to a flagrant display of the symbols of a listed terrorist organization."
Reached by phone last night, Mr. Malhi said he had not planned to speak at the rally but was passing by and decided to say a few words. He said his comments concerned the plight of civilians caught in fighting between the Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil Tigers. "My concern is innocent people, you know. They are killing the civilians," he said. "I just came out of the bus and I think what's happening?
"My concern are civilians, where the human rights violation is happening, I'm against that, but I have nothing to do with anybody, I don't know anybody who was there, I don't know the name of the people who were there."
Asked about the many Tamil Tigers flags visible at the event, he replied: "I came out of the bus, I don't even know. I don't even notice anything."
Mr. Malhi attempted to clarify his position in a statement issued last night: "I deeply regret that my attendance at this rally was misunderstood by some as a demonstration of my support (expressed or implied) of terror, or of a terrorist organization. There is no excuse for terrorism and attacks on civilians, and the world has to show its concern for the protection of the civilian population."
Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, told reporters that while there was nothing illegal about the rally it was "highly inappropriate" for an MP to appear. "We should not be encouraging public manifestations of support for a terrorist organization," he said, "in this instance one that has been condemned by UNICEF for their practice of recruiting child soldiers and forcing them into military service and an organization that invented the tactic of suicide bombings and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians."
Source National Post
Posted by media at 12:01 AM