Saturday, April 25, 2009
Posted by media at 11:58 PM
Posted by media at 9:51 PM
(25.April.2009, 2.30pm) "We are confident that Prabhakaran and the other LTTE leaders are in the no-fire zone and we are not in a hurry to catch them", says Army Commander Sarath Fonseka.
The Army Commander expressed these views in a programme of a state radio station this morning. He had a close shave in a LTTE suicide attack exactly three years ago. Within the past three years, Fonseka cornered in a seven square kilometer strip of land.
He said that the Army has a plan to capture him possibly alive.
The Army Commander said that the major factor behind this victory was the President's stance that had not wavered within the past three years.
The Army Commander said that Prabhakaran is manipulating civilians as a human shield until the last moment. Daya Master who surrendered recently has revealed vital information, say the Army Commander.
The Army Commander saluted all the personnel of Army that sacrificed their lives within the past 30 years in the battles against the LTTE.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:19 PM
Prague, 25 April, (Asiantribune.com): In a declaration, the European Union Presidency has expressed deep concern about the large number of civilian casualties and deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North of Sri Lanka.
The Presidency on behalf of the EU has condemned in the strongest possible terms the LTTE for the use of civilians as human shields. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE must fully comply with international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of civilians at all times.
The EU has also called on the Government of Sri Lanka to make steps towards an inclusive and peaceful political process. The statement said that, The EU believes this is the only way in which lasting peace in Sri Lanka will be achieved. "It encourages all stakeholders in Sri Lanka to urgently engage in such process in a responsible way to enable progress be made in finding a lasting political solution to the concerns of all communities in Sri Lanka."
The EU repeats its earlier calls for the LTTE to renounce terrorism and violence.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:17 PM
India had not called for a ceasefire during the talks the Sri Lankan government had with its emissaries in Colombo, said President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga.
Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and External Affairs Secretary Shivshankar Menon met President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other top government officials yesterday (April 24).
Mr. Weeratunga has said that the provision of relief for civilians fleeing the ‘no fire zone’ in Mullaitivu had been discussed and nothing about the LTTE. Neither had they spoken about pressure being exerted on Colombo by European nations or India, he has said.
Meanwhile, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said the emissaries had expressed concerns over the evolving situation in the North during the talks, especially over the casualties among Tamil civilians as a result of ongoing operations.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:15 PM
A group of LTTE supporters attacked the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin on Thursday night (Apr 23). According to media reports, the LTTE supporters had thrown two Molotov Cocktails (improvised petrol bombs) into the embassy premises.
“They have thrown two petrol bombs into the Embassy premises. Only one has exploded; the other caused minor harm to the building. No one was hurt", reports said.
German Police are now investigating the incident. This is the second time the Embassy was attacked within three months.
Observers say that this attack has again highlighted the hypocrisy of the LTTE sympathisers whose only intention is to protect their asylum status in the Western countries. They point out that the majority of the so-called Tamil Diaspora, who are enjoying asylum status in the Western countries are economic refugees who had successfully mislead the officials of those countries that they had been discriminated against in Sri Lanka.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:13 PM
Children as young as 12 are being given guns and forced to fight on the frontline alongside desperate Tamil Tiger rebels cornered inside Sri Lanka’s no-fire zone, the UN said today (April 25).
Those forcibly recruited included the 16-year-old daughter of a member of the UN staff, who had stayed inside the narrow strip of coast where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is making its last stand.
Gordon Weiss, the UN spokesman in Sri Lanka, said there had been credible reports of clashes between LTTE members and families on the beaches who had tried to prevent their children being taken. Some of those who resisted had been beaten or shot, he said.
“They are sitting there on the sand and groups of armed LTTE come along and demand a member of the family joins them. They ask for one or two children and they are running around grabbing people,” Weiss said.
“They have been taking children as young as 12, handing them a gun and marching them off and putting them to work. They are not being seen again by their families.”
As the fighting intensifies, the LTTE is running short of experienced fighters and is relying once again on children to boost its numbers.
Weiss said many children living in areas controlled by the LTTE before the latest offensive received military training as part of their schooling. He added that the 16-year-old UN family member had now managed to escape from the fighting.
The Sri Lankan government said that close to 200,000 people were now either inside the internment camps it had set up outside the no-fire zone, or were emerging from the combat area.
UN sources said today they believed that, despite the exodus, as many as 150,000 people may remain inside the no-fire zone.
In a statement, the foreign ministers of the G8 countries today demanded that both sides take all necessary actions to prevent further civilian deaths.
According to official UN figures, at least 2,000 people are believed to have died in the fighting in the last month, although this figure does not include all of those killed in this week’s intense fighting. Yesterday two UN officials privately confirmed that the civilian death toll since January 20 is close to 6,500. Thousands more have been injured.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:12 PM
Posted by media at 8:20 PM
SRI LANKAN SPOKESMAN IN LONDON TV DEBATE SAYS IT IS RIDICULOUS TO ASK FOR CEASEFIRE FOR DEFEATED TERRORISTS
(By Walter Jayawardhana)
While Sri Lankans, Tamils and Sinhalese alike rejoice the defeat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE) and more than one hundred thousand Tamil civilians ran away from them, it is ridiculous some Tamil Londoners demonstrate asking a ceasefire as a last ditch to save the terrorists, said Douglas Wickramaratne in London’s Sunrise TV breakfast show.
Douglas Wickramarane , the President of UK’s Sinhala Association and a Tamil spokesman Arjunan Ediriweerasingham debated the controversial London demonstration carrying the official LTTE flag and blocking streets of the parliament.
Wickramaratne said, “This is an unauthorized demonstration by a banned terrorist group even carrying the terrible LTTE flag. Will the British government ever allow Al-Qaeda to hold a rally blocking London streets.”
When one of the two interviewers asked Arjunan Edirweerasingham about the human shield used by the LTTE to protect their own skin the Tamil spokesman said there is credibility about such stories because the Sri Lankan government has not allowed the Western press there.
But when Wickremaratne said the UN as well as Sir John Holmes have stated so, Edirweerasingham asked “Who is this Mr. Holmes?” Then the Sinhala Association President had to tell him that Sir John Holmes is an under secretary general of the United Nations.
When one of the interviewers said that they saw Tamil civilians not walking to the other side from the LTTE enclave but virtually running away from the LTTE enclave the London Tamil spokesman evaded in his reply.
Douglas Wickramaratne said the LTTE had treated the civilians very cruelly in the past by implementing “ethnic cleansing” by chasing out the Sinhalese and then 100,000Muslims from Jaffna allowing them to take just £ 5 worth of Sri Lankan money and those civilians are still languishing in various camps. At that time, strangely, the people who are clamouring about Tamil civilians, who are also victims of the LTTE, were shamefully and strangely silent, Wickramaratne said.
Edirweerasingham said Sri Lanka’s real problem is the Tamil rights have been crushed by the Sri Lanka government and they are imposing Sinhalese as the sole state language since 1956. He also accused the government of killing thousands of Tamils.
Wickramaratne said Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which has made Tamil a state language while there about 100 million Tamils all over the world. Tamil enjoys parity with the Sinhalese as the national state languages and in India where there are 70 million Tamils it is only a provincial language, he said. Wickramaratne called them one of the most priviledged minority in the world.
Edirweerasingham reiterated the Tamils want a ceasefire in the war to stop this genocide. The war should be stopped forthwith. He said.
Wickramaratne said Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and its citizens , whether Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims have got the right to life. The perpetrators of the killing grounds, where the terrorists walked into villages and slashed the abdomens of pregnant women, and shot infants and killed in holy places are the LTTE. They have strengthened themselves during past ceasefires. Another ceasefire means another round of killings of impunity, Wickramaratne argued.
Posted by media at 10:07 AM
MULLAITTIVU: DISORGANIZED and panicking Tiger organization, now breathing its last, unable to survive in the absence of moral and material support, appeared to have got their priorities mixed, if not torpedoed.
The Sea Tiger base they had been running in the PUTHUMATTALAN “No Fire Zone” lagoon area had been reduced to a mere tiny pier, it was found by the troops as they rolled into the base.
Terrorists many a time attempted to infiltrate the Defence Lines of the 55 Division north of PUTHMATTALAN before it fell a few days ago, but alert troops foiled all attempts killing many Sea Tigers and destroying their boats.
One unicorn vehicle, three tractors, one pressure mine, eight RPG (Rocket Propeller Grenade) bombs, three hundred and fifty anti personnel mines, fifty Arul type bombs, two hundred and twenty 5.0 mm ammunition, forty packs of 12.7 ammunition, eighty hand grenades, fifty IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), fifty detonators, twelve claymore mines and one compressor were found from this “Sea Tiger base” by the troops Thursday (23) afternoon, a departure quite different from other places.
It is believed most of the boats in the Sea Tiger Base had been forcibly taken away either by fleeing civilians or terrorists themselves when the troops were circling them.
Troops also found one back-hoe machine, abandoned by the terrorists near a church in the area.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:04 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today accepted the challenge thrown by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for an open debate and said both can debate at Galle Face with the participation of the public after President Rajapaksa sorted out a few burning issues of the country.
>> Source: Daily Mirror
Posted by media at 9:32 PM
TAMILNET and other like minded web-sites are replete with harrowing stories, some authored by the Tigers themselves, of starvation among Tamil Civilians in the `Safe Zone’ to whom the Government has been supplying food and drugs. What is significant in these horror stories is that no one, not even the Tigers, say that a single Tiger is starving. If there is any truth in these stories, that can only be if the Tigers are robbing the Tamil Civilians of the food and drugs sent to them for their own purposes, thereby forcing those Civilians to starve.
Of course the Western Countries including the wholly discredited Norway, will not see this or any of it. They appear to have blinded themselves to these self-evident facts by the acts of hooliganism being committed in their capitals by the hordes of rowdies among the Tamil Diaspora shouting "genocide" at the drop of a hat and mouthing wholly false and hypocritical `concerns’ for the fate of the Tamil Civilians in the `Safe Zone’.
They refuse to see that if our Forces were committing genocide, it is unthinkable that the supposed victims of genocide would flee in their thousands into the arms of our Forces rather than away from our Forces into the arms of the Tigers.
They refuse to see that if the purported `concerns’ of these rowdies were in any way genuine, they must necessarily have raised like `concerns’ about the atrocities, including the regular mass scale kidnapping of little children, that were committed by the Tigers on Tamil Civilians for years on end, and that their deafening and continuous silence on these subjects proves that they are nothing but some despicable hangers on of the Tiger Terrorists making a last ditch attempt to save their masters and perpetuate terrorism in Sri Lanka.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:26 PM
“PRABHA MIGHT STAY WITH HIS COHORTS UNTIL ESCAPE,” SAYS DAYA MASTER
MULLAITTIVU: TIGER supremo, PRABHAKARAN, confined now to the remaining swathe of land towards the south of the “No Fire Zone” (NFZ) in PUTHUMATTALAN was to stay along with his cohorts up to the last moment until he finally finds his escape, surrendered DAYA MASTER has reportedly told the interrogators.
He has also told them that PRABHAKARAN would stay as long as his last fighter remains with him before his possible escape, he has further told the interrogators.
Meanwhile, troops moving towards AMPELAVANPOKKANAI-VELAYANMADAM areas are faced with the challenge of distinguishing genuine residents from scores of LTTE terrorists who might be confined to temporary tents, being used by LTTE surrounded civilians.
“As a result troops have been compelled to trudge taking all precautionary measures to avoid any casualty on civilians. This is another trick Tigers were using for media propaganda. On two occasions, Tigers hiding among those civilians under tents directed fire towards approaching troops but the troops showed restraint despite injuries received by a few of them,” a senior military officer told the Army Website.
“It is quite clear that remaining Tigers, probably disguised as civilians in the NFZ were holding their weapons covered among the belongings of those civilians. They might be by now after mingling with the remaining few thousands trying their last gimmicks.”
As this report was filed, troops in the NFZ were observing and monitoring the developments very closely as public anger was fast and steadily brewing since there was no way or alternative left for Tigers to stall the advance of the Army troops into remaining areas.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:17 PM
Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and India’s National Security Advisor M.K Narayanan met with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today (24 April).
The Indian delegation also comprised Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad. From the Sri Lankan side, Secretary to President Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also participated in the talks.
The announcement to send Narayanan and Menon was made by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee after a meeting in New Delhi convened by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka's North.
(Pic by Chandana Perera)
Posted by media at 6:43 PM
A Competent Authority Officer and three Coordinating Officers appointed to look into the welfare of war displaced civilians
To look into the welfare of the displaced civilians, Government of Sri Lanka has appointed Army Chief of Staff as Competent Authority Officer and three Government Agents as Coordinating Officers.
Army Chief of Staff Major General G. A. Chandrasiri today has been appointed as the Competent Authority officer under emergency law to promote war displaced civilians welfare. All welfare measures aimed at displaced civilians will be under overall supervision of the newly appointed officer.
Concurrent with the appointment of the Competent Authority, Kandy GA Gotabhaya Jayarathna, Pollonnaruwa GA D. A. Lal Wimal, and Anuradhapura GA H. M. K. Herath have been appointed as coordinating officers.
Three coordinating officers will assist in all welfare measures while Vavuniya Government Agent (GA) mediating in between to smoothen the process.
>> Full Story: Asian Tribune
Posted by media at 6:41 PM
Members of the Anti Terrorist Front hold placards supporting the Sri Lankan government’s action against the Tamil tigers in New Delhi, India, Thursday, April 23, 2009. The activists later handed over to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner a memorandum and the organization’s Rajiv Gandhi Award to the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Portraits seen are former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated by Tamil tiger rebels in 1991. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Posted by media at 6:35 PM
Masters Daya and George Master were due to be brought to Colombo for further interrogation. Thereafter the Government intends rehabilitating them, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
After the interrogation, if it is found that they had indulged in criminal activities, they would be prosecuted, he said. Both were involved in LTTE propaganda in the past.
They had joined the mass exodus of civilians from the No Fire Zone to the Government held areas and at the point where the Army checked each and every person before allowing them to proceed further, Daya Master and George Master had identified themselves to the Army.
>> Full Story: Island
Posted by media at 6:27 PM
Watch this Al Jazeera video and listen to the stories of LTTE cruelty on fleeing civilians and How well Sri Lankan security forces treat them.
The vicious terrorist group used to self proclaim themselves as the sole representatives of Tamil people. Now, they show who they really are.
Posted by media at 12:29 PM
COLOMBO, April 23, 2009 (AFP) - Sri Lanka has rejected a United Nations call for an immediate humanitarian mission to the island's northeast where thousands of civilians are trapped in a war zone, the BBC reported Thursday.
The BBC quoted Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse saying that it was not sensible to send a mission as called for by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Rajapakse said "it would not be sensible to let aid agencies into the conflict zone because there was already an army operation in progress to rescue civilians."
Ban had said in Brussels that he intended to immediately despatch a UN humanitarian team to the "no-fire zone" in the northeast of the island where government troops are locked in combat with the last remaining Tamil Tiger rebels.
"The purpose of this humanitarian team will be to first of all monitor the situation and support the humanitarian assistance and try to do whatever we can to protect the civilian population," the UN chief said.
"It is critical that this team be allowed into the no-fire zone as soon as possible, and I'm asking for the strong support and speedy assistance of the Sri Lankan government."
According to the Sri Lankan military, Tamil Tiger rebels were encircled Thursday in a tiny strip of land by government troops but were still putting up stiff resistance despite calls to surrender.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:22 PM
‘US policy in Sri Lanka a disaster’
By Hassina Leelarthna
(April 24, Los Angeles, CA, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankans held a ‘token demonstration’ yesterday to lodge their protest at a blistering comment made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accusing Sri Lanka of causing ‘untold suffering’ in the push to eliminate the Tigers.
A handful of protesters, including several Buddhist monks, gathered outside the US Federal Building in Westwood carrying signs that said: “US Has Failed in Sri Lanka” and “Hillary, We are Outraged by You.”
Clinton, appearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 21, called the current situation in Sri Lanka ‘a terrible humanitarian tragedy’ and said the US has asked the Sri Lankan government for a ceasefire so ‘we could secure a safe passage for as many of the trapped civilians as possible.’
"I think the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed, that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering,” she said."We have made it clear that as soon as there is some lull in the fighting or an end to the fighting there has to be not only massive humanitarian aid, but a political resolution."
Clinton’s comments touched a raw nerve in the community where anger has been simmering ever since the US Senate Foreign Relation Committee’s hearing on Sri Lanka in February , widely viewed as a one-sided affair deliberately set up to paint a dire picture of Colombo’s handling of the situation in the Wanni.
That hearing which turned out to be a litany of criticisms and misinformation of the humanitarian situation did not include any Sri Lankan government representation. Diaspora attempts to present the ‘Sri Lankan side’ by way of emails and faxes to the subcommittee went unacknowledged, although, adding fuel to fire, the submission of Bruce Fein, an attorney representing LTTE interests, was accepted. Fein, currently being retained by ‘Tamils Against Genocide,’ an LTTE front group, is the
quintessential hired legal gun. Having failed in 2006 in his bid to have his one-man consulting firm ‘The Lichfield Group’ retained by the Sri Lankan government to ‘ target key leaders those who support Sri Lanka’s democracy and deplore the Tamils’ terrorism to spearhead a congressional advocacy campaign’ and to conduct a ‘focused media blitz’ against the Tigers, he turned to the LTTE and found a gold mine. After a brief honeymoon with ‘Tamils for Justice,’ he disappeared for a short while, allegedly with the donation box, then reappeared as counsel for an opposing LTTE front, ‘Tamils Against Genocide.’ He is currently on a mission to have several Sri Lankan leaders tried for ‘genocide.’
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:18 PM
A point of view by a peace loving Sri Lankan Tamil having spent 30 years in Sri Lanka and the later 30 years in the U.K.
This is my personal view of Sri Lankan Tamils: Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha, Vaico, Nadumaran all are dancers to the changing tunes of the Tamil Nadu Politics poor Sri Lankan Tamils are used as Pawns for their political board game.
The truth is as follows as I was a Sri Lankan Tamil born and brought up in Sri Lanka grown with the Sinhalese, Muslims and Jaffna Tamils.
I am a Colombo born Tamil; I know my father came from Tamil Nadu in 1912. My mother also Colombo Tamil, born in Gampaha and her grand parents may have come from Tamil Nadu. My mother's side all were Ceylon Government Railway (CGR) workers, under British administration and my father had a Government service with the CGR for 40 years in Colombo.
After my father’s retirement from Railways we lived in Kandy, I was a Trinitian went to Trinity College in Kandy. I had very good Sinhala and Muslim schoolmates and friends. We had good Teachers from Batticaloa, Jaffna and a very strict Sinhalese Principal. Sri Lankan Government services not oppressed me.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:26 AM
By Sandeep Unnithan
(April 23, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) With the Sri Lankan army steadily moving into the ‘No Fire Zone’ where LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to be holed up with the remnants of his shattered force, key officials of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka say it is unlikely the Tiger supremo will be captured alive.
"If I know anything about Prabhakaran, it is that he will never be captured alive. He will prefer to use the cyanide capsule he wears around his neck," says Lt General A.S. Kalkat (retired) former IPKF commander whose troops relentlessly hunted the Tiger chief in the jungles of northern Sri Lanka in 1990.
The IPKF's military intelligence wing set up a special unit to track his movements and inputs were fed to a special unit of the elite 9 Para commando battalion. The closest the Paras came to catching Prabhakaran was when they obtained precise inputs on his bunker in Alampil, 10 km south of Mullaitivu, not far from the present ‘No Fire Zone’.
"When we reached Prabhakaran's bunker, all we found was another bunker with an exit tunnel nearly 5 km through the forest. The tunnel was barely enough for one man to pass through at one time. Prabhakaran had fled," says Lt General H.S. Lidder (retired), former commanding officer of the 9 Paras.
Colonel Hariharan, former head of the IPKF Intelligence who set up the special team to track Prabhakaran says there is only a 30 per cent possibility of Prabhakaran being captured alive and a 'zero probability' of surrendering. "Troops on the ground nearly succeeded in catching him, but the point is we did not," Hariharan says.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:03 AM
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Posted by media at 8:25 PM
Posted by media at 8:25 PM
(By: Manisha Fernando)
BBC, or the British Broadcasting Corporation is renowned for their deliberate and biased misrepresentation of facts and events during its history of news reporting. It is true that human beings are not perfect and susceptible to "human - mistakes". But apparently the reporters and editors of BBC seem to have a knack for deliberately misinforming the events without due diligence. During the last decade, the reports and news items carried by the BBC in the mass media including its official news web, are ample proof of the unethical, unprofessional and conscious misrepresentation of facts and events across the world. A closer view shows that the news items are always more or less biased towards the attitudes of the reporter or the editor.
Despite the mounting proof that BBC has been falsifying current events, the BBC always hides behind a veil of a piece of legislation called the "Freedom of Information Act". They say, that the act provides them "immunity" to publish any item, irrespective of whether it is verified, accurate or not and whether it has been soundly investigated and factually correct as they are not compelled to divulge the source of information. The fact that BBC is in dire need of funds to maintain its operations have also made it susceptible to biases when reporting.
In the last few weeks, the BBC went on a rampage of deliberately reporting and damaging the image of Sri Lanka, with the publication of several news items on the War on Terror in Sri Lanka. The recent one being the article published on 21st of April, 2009, where the BBC website's headline news read "Sri Lanka Army Accused of Carnage" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8009459.stm ). The news item's headline apparently was based on the information the BBC had allegedly obtained from a member of the LTTE, a UK proscribed terrorist group. A few hours later however, the title had "mysteriously" changed to read as "Sri Lanka Army accused of 'killing civilians'". Both articles claim to show a video of the civilians hurt by 'alleged' military fire, when in fact the video does not reveal anything of such nature! It also claims that it shows the civilians 'fleeing the war zone', when in fact it is actually depicting the civilians who have escaped from the clutches of the LTTE after the Sri Lanka army opened the LTTE built earth bund!
Further, not a single article in the BBC carried the aerial footage aired by the government of Sri Lanka on the mass exodus of civilians who were rescued by the Sri Lanka army after breaking through the earth bund built by the LTTE. Nor did BBC carry any video footage depicting the LTTE shooting at the fleeing civilians. However these were seen live at the Air Force Operational Room by several diplomatic dignitaries including the ambassador for UK. Obviously a rational mind would also agree that the spy satellite launched just a few days ago by India would have contradicted this aerial footage if it was found to be false!
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:19 PM
(By : Professor Sunil J. Wimalawansa)
Hostage takings have been reported sporadically, throughout the world. However, none was even closer to the recent captivity of approximate of 250,000 of civilians by the Tamil Tiger terrorists (LTTE) in the north eastern jungles. Over the past three days 60,000 hostages were rescued by the Sri Lankan Forces; the largest number of hostages rescued in such a short period, anywhere in the world.
LTTE is banned world-wide as a terror outfit for their work on suicide bombings, child soldiering, organized crime, and unlimited human rights violations. In addition to the billions of rupees in property damage, LTTE violence has consumed over 140,000 lives; the majority had been women and children. Three decades of government-initiated and third party mediated negotiations as well as peace discussions were failed. Terrorists have constantly violated all ceasefire agreements. The final turning point towards defeating terrorism in Sri Lanka was attained in mid-2008, after three years of careful and strategic planning by the current Sri Lankan government. LTTE terrorists never anticipated such a rapid advance of the military, which has now completely encircled them.
It is important to note that in spite of the military disadvantages of it, to-date, the Sri Lankan government continues to supply food, water and medicine to the terrorist held areas. Up to now, about 180,000 civilians have been fled safely from the terrorist's captivity. To safe guard these civilians and to establish a safe route for them to escape LTTE prison, in concurrence with the UN, a no-fire zone (a safe haven) was established by the Sri Lankan government. Many who attempted to escape were shot or maimed. UN and other agencies, and those civilians who survived from the captivity confirmed that terrorists used them as human shields, forced them to fight with them and to participate in suicidal missions.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:18 PM
Two senior most men of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) surrendered to the security forces on Wednesday, thus marking the first ever disloyalty to do-or-die diktat of the terrorist organization. Veteran Media Head Daya Master and most trusted interpreter George who attended all rounds of peace talks from Bangkok to Geneva to Oslo surrendered to the forces after escaping from the LTTE held Puthumathalan beach strip.
"This shows that Tiger supremo (Velupillai) Prabhakaran has lost his steel grip over his men," said an analyst of guerrilla movements. "No LTTE member is allowed to surrender. They have to take a vow that they would bite into cyanide capsule around their necks and die rather than surrendering. The surrender of Daya Master and George clearly shows that even senior leaders in the LTTE are not ready to blindly follow Prabhakaran’s orders. This is the end of the road for Prabhakaran".
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:07 PM
OTTAWA: A Canadian Tamil spokesman was on the verge of tears, expressing disappointment at the lack of response from elected officials to the weeks-long protest on Parliament Hill.
“We are at a loss as to what to do,” Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Popalapillai said yesterday. “(But) the struggle has to go on. The grieving will not stop.”
Tamil Canadians ended their protest Tuesday with a massive gathering of community members from Toronto, Montreal and beyond, demanding intervention by the federal government into the civil war in Sri Lanka.
Only NDP Leader Jack Layton issued brief comments of support directly to a crowd estimated by RCMP as being 33,000-strong.
The decades-long civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers has escalated in recent weeks, claiming thousands of lives and trapping civilians in the battle zone.
Protesters called on the Canadian government to push for a UN-brokered ceasefire and to impose political and economic sanctions on the Sri Lankan government. Humanitarian agencies were gearing up to provide assistance to the estimated 40,000 civilians who have fled the fighting in recent days.
Shortly after midnight yesterday, the last of the protesters left downtown Ottawa, bringing to an end the long yet peaceful demonstration. City crews moved in, removing debris and barricades where the protesters had camped out.
Police reported no arrests or incidents of concern arising from the protest on Tuesday, or from the smaller protests leading up to it.
“We are resuming operations as normal,” Ottawa Const. Alain Boucher said.
RCMP and city police have been putting in overtime and calling in reinforcements to staff the protests that started two weeks earlier.
The cost to the city of policing the event will be tabled at the Ottawa police services board meeting April 27. City council will be calling on the federal government to help foot what is expected to be a hefty bill.
Meanwhile, the protesters continue to believe Canada will play a role in stopping the violence in Sri Lanka, Popalapillai said. The Canadian Tamil Congress plans town-hall meetings to inform citizens on how they can help.
“We won’t lose the hope, we as Tamil Canadians will march forward,” Popalapillai said. – (The Ottawa Sun)
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:02 PM
Defence Spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on Monday said that the government had issued an ultimatum to LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the remaining Tiger cadres to lay down arms and surrender within the next 24 hours from Monday noon or face the consequences.
Rambukwella said the remaining Tigers, including their leader had not heeded the warnings issued by the government in the recent past to surrender and as a result a number of key members of the LTTE were killed in clashes with the troops a couple weeks ago.
"The remaining Tigers will face the same fate as their slain leaders if they don’t surrender and they will be wiped out by the in time," Rambukwella added.
The beleaguered Tiger leaders were taking refuge behind the civilians since they knew that their days were numbered, the minister said.
The LTTE was making a vain attempt to stop the civilians crossing to the government controlled areas from the Safe Zone. On Monday three Tiger suicide cadres blasted themselves in this area killing 17 innocent civilians including women and children.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:19 PM
Two LTTE propagandists surrendered to the army yesterday. They are known as Daya Master and George Master––a former schoolmaster and a retired postmaster respectively. Interestingly, Daya Master, a one-time LTTE spokesman, was rushed with a police escort to Colombo for treatment during the UNF government, which earned notoriety for its shameless appeasement of the LTTE. Six or seven years on, the LTTE has collapsed like a ton of bricks under military pressure and key Tiger cadres are surrendering or perishing in their numbers––a feat that many thought was impossible until about two years ago. Is any more proof needed that appeasement does not pay in tackling terrorism?
What successive governments had been doing until 2006 was to try to cure a malignancy with mere placebos. Some governments tried their hand at surgical operations, but half-heartedly as well as haphazardly and therefore ineffectively. The present government for want of a better alternative opted for a life-saving surgery after initial dithering and its effort has manifestly paid dividends.
The same method yielded impressive results in 1971 and in the late 1980s, when the South was plunged into a bloodbath. An SLFP-led government successfully put down the first insurrection and a UNP government crushed the second one 18 years later. There were, of course unspeakable excesses on the part of those governments, but the fact remains that hadn't they defeated the southern terrorism militarily, the JVP would have turned Sri Lanka into country like Cambodia under Pol Pot. It was their failure to eliminate the LTTE militarily that paved the way for the emergence of a Pol Potish regime in the North and the East under Prabhakaran's jackboot.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:14 PM
As an expatriate Sri Lankan, I have been closely monitoring the developments in Sri Lanka and the support she has received from friendly nations like the US which has been a strong supporter of Sri Lanka’s war on terror for some time now.
However, I am a bit puzzled and confused at the recent statements, policies and news about the position that the US is now taking towards Sri Lanka’s efforts to capture one of the most notorious criminals in the world’s history – Velupillai Piribaharan who probably ranks higher compared to those like Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot. My personal view is that Osama Bihn Laden is a mere cowboy compared to Piribaharan who has not only killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Sri Lankans, almost all the democratic Tamil politicians but also has set up a powerful international organization conducting illegal activities such as drug smuggling, money laundering, human trafficking and credit card fraud. As you well know, these activities are taking place as we speak in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Western European countries.
In this context, I am surprised that a country such as the US, is now going all out of its way (or it appears to be) to force the Sri Lankan Government halt its final military push to capture these criminals. From what I have read in the media it appears that an unrelenting force, both politically and economically, is being applied on the Government of Sri Lanka to halt its military campaign which of course will help the LTTE leaders to escape the country.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:13 PM
Denying speculation that LTTE leader V. Prabakaran and his senior leaders could escape the country by sea, Navy spokesman said today that there was no possible escape route as the Navy is on full surveillance, around the clock. He further added that the Navy would not allow a single LTTE cadre to flee the island by boat.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:08 PM
Army Chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka has told the BBC that troops knew the "general area" where LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was hiding and that "action will be taken to destroy him".
Prabhakaran was hiding near the coast, Lt Gen Fonseka said.
The general said only 300-400 Tamil Tiger fighters remained, but there may be 700 "forcibly armed" people in rebel bunkers.
The government has said that a pause in fighting is not necessary because additional consignments of food, medicine and other essentials have been dispatched to the war zone.
It says that the rebels are a "spent force" confined to an area no bigger than 12 sq km (five square miles).
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 12:08 PM
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka must surrender and allow civilians trapped in the battle zone to leave, the UN Security Council president said Wednesday.
"We demand that the LTTE immediately lay down arms, renounce terrorism, allow a UN-assisted evacuation of the remaining civilians in the conflict area, and join the political process," Claude Heller, of Mexico, told journalists after an informal Security Council meeting.
The council president, speaking on behalf of the 15 members, said they "strongly condemned the LTTE, a terrorist organization, for the use of civilians as human shields and for not allowing them to leave the area."
He said that council members also insisted that the Sri Lankan government abide by international humanitarian law on allowing aid access to refugees.
The meeting was not a formal session of the Security Council and the president's statements were non-binding.
Posted by media at 9:29 AM
Posted by media at 9:26 AM
Many are outraged over Secretary of State Clinton's allegation that 'untold suffering has resulted from Sri Lanka's military action against the LTTE terrorists
United States of America (Press Release) April 22, 2009 --
Los Angeles, CA - A Sri Lankan activist group has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing outrage at her remarks that military action against the brutal Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam by Sri Lankan forces has caused 'untold suffering.'
Sri Lankan Patriots (SLP) in a letter reminded Clinton that many Sri Lankan soldiers have sacrificed their lives to free Tamil civilians from the stranglehold of a 'Pol Pot type regime' run by the LTTE.
Clinton told lawmakers on Wednesday. "I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering.
>> Full text of the SLP letter to Clinton:
Posted by media at 3:43 AM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
President Rajapaksa is confident that the Western Provincial polls will decide whether the urban population is supporting Prabhakaran or are with the patriots.
The President opined that the patriotic people have come to one side irrespective of whether they are Sinhalese, Muslims or Tamils. The battle is between the betrayers of the country and those desirous of protecting the country. Debates would have been continuing without addressing the problem and there would not have been the five harbours. Roads would not have been concreted and the Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale Power Plants constructed. Irrigation and roads would also not have been provided to all areas. The cultivation drive would also not have been undertaken. The President said they are awaiting the verdict of the urban population in the Western Province. It will indicate their decision. The world should be given the message that the Government had taken the correct decision.
Posted by media at 10:27 PM
The Ports Authority is supporting in granting emergency relief to the innocent Tamil civilians who had fled from the grip of the terrorists.
The Freedom Workers Union of the Ports Authority has come forward to supply cooked meals, strengthening the Governments programme. The first stock was air lifted today.
Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said under the patronage of the President, 6000 packets were despatched to Kilinochchi in an MI-17 copter. The food packs will be handed over to the forces in Kilinochchi for distribution.
Posted by media at 10:26 PM
By Malin Abeyatunge
(April 22, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) Prabhakaran’s “Mythical Eelam” has already vanished into thin air. LTTE who illegally held almost 15,000 sq.kms is now left with no inch of land. Yet the International Tamil Terrorist Diaspora (ITTD) in UK, USA, France, Denmark, Australia and in many other European countries continues with demos and rallies attempting to give the last dose of oxygen to LTTE. Why and what for? Some idiots have sacrificed their precious lives by self immolation in support of megalomaniac Prabhakaran. In the midst of that, you find fake hunger strikers in UK and Australia to save Prabhakaran. Whilst these planned actions are going on, pro LTTE groups (ITTD) in UK, Canada, Norway, Tamil Nadu and Malaysia may be burning midnight oil in scheming plans to rescue Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman to a safer place. I will not be surprised if such attempts would carry the blessings of some misguided politicians in UK, Norway and Tamil Nadu and Australia.
The defeat of LTTE is now imminent and the death of Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman are also imminent unless they surrender. One thing I can bet on is that Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman will never bite the cyanide capsule, if captured because they love their life albeit Prabhakran has taken oath from his LTTE cadres not to surrender to the enemy (Govt. forces) but bite the cyanide capsule.
If captured alive and extradited to India
If both are captured alive, GoSL will encounter two problems. (a) If captured, India wants them extradited for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi. If they are extradited to India, what’s the guarantee that both will be sentenced to death? Who is there to stop Tamil Nadu politicians campaigning to get them presidential pardon? There will be no doubt that the Tamil Nadu will launch a strong campaign to save the lives of both Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman. If that happens, Sri Lanka will be back to square one with the Eelam problem. In fact, Karunanidhi made a statement recently that Prabhakaran should be treated with dignity like Alexander the Great treated Porus and Vaiko said, if Prabhakaran gets killed at the hands the Sri Lankan armed forces, there will blood baths. Perhaps, the ulterior and the long term motive of The Tamil Nadu politicians would be to use him to launch second Eelam for Tamil Nadu. If Tamil Nadu succeeds in establishing an Eelam by secession from India, Sri Lanka would be an easy target for their dream of Eelam in Sri Lanka.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:04 PM
Apr 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Health Ministry has taken measures to send more medicines to the hospitals in the North where the sick and injured civilians are being treated at the moment.
Dr. Sarath Weerabandara, the Director of the Medical Supply Unit of the Ministry confirmed that they will send seven trucks with additional medicines and medical equipments to the hospitals in the coming days.
Most of the sick and injured persons are receiving treatments at the hospitals in Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, and Mannar.
According to the sources nearly 5,500 civilians are receiving treatments at those hospitals due to injuries caused by the LTTE firing.
Sri Lanka Air Force has air lifted nearly 238 patients, including children to the Anuradhapura hospital yesterday.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:01 PM
Expressing hope the Secretary said one day all those Tamils can come back to a united Sri Lanka.
Apr 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan government under the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is taking immediate measures to establish a civil administration in Vavuniya to handle the influx of civilians arriving at the welfare centers, President's Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga said.
In an interview to the ColomboPage, Mr. Weeratunga said the President has ordered to execute a solid plan he has outlined to provide health, food, housing for the IDPs, early resettlement in their original homes and transportation to their places of residence.
President's Secretary himself will be overseeing the process, he added.
"We have enough experience to handle a situation like this following the Tsunami experience. Unfortunately developed countries lack the experience, for example, the US is still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," Weeratunga said.
Speaking about the government's future plans for the North, Weeratunga said the government is taking all possible steps to restore normalcy in the North as soon as possible.
"We will succeed in clearing this catastrophic mess, the LTTE and their supporters world over have created," he said.
Expressing hope the Secretary said one day all those Tamils can come back to a united Sri Lanka.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 8:00 PM
(Lanka-e-News, April 22, 2009, 12.50pm, second edition 4.40PM) A spokesman of the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) said to 'Lanka-e-News' that the number of civilians that have moved out of the no-fire zone since Monday the 20th has risen to 100,000 after the Army broke the LTTE earth bund in three kilometers in the world's largest ever hostage rescue operation.
On the first day (20) 41,075 reached the safe zone and yesterday (21) 36,718 civilians made it. Today, by noon 3632 reached the safe zone, he said.
Accordingly, the total of the civilians that escaped from the LTTE-held areas is 173,439, said the spokesman of the MCNS..
The number of civilians that moved into the Army-controlled area from the LTTE-held areas yesterday 36,718. Of them 29,696 surrendered to the 58 division. 4880 persons surrendered to 55 division and 622 persons surrendered to 53 division. Another 1520 persons travelled in boats to surrender to Navy, he said..
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:56 PM
(Lanka-e-News, April 22, 2009, 7.25 pm) National Freedom Front (JNP) MP Wimal Weerawansa states that the US ambassador Robert O'Blake has threatened a powerful minister of Sri Lanka government that the IMF bailout will be blocked and the President Mahinda Rajapaksha and the leaders of the government will be framed charges of war crimes unless a ceasefire is declared to allow the Tamil Tigers to hold the civilians forcibly.
Weerawansa expressed these views addressing a press briefing held in the JNP headquarters in Jayanthipura, Baththaramulla today (22).
Weerawansa challenged the US Ambassador to deny his statement if he had not made such warning.
The JNP leader said that the Army entered the no-fire zone to rescue the Tamil civilians after declaring a ceasefire for two days in which no civilian moved out of the no-fire zone.
Weerawansa urged the Sinhala Buddhist people to use the upcoming Vesak festival to help the IDPs that were put into trouble by Prabakaran in the same way they did during the tsunami devastation.
He also said that the politicians in Southern Province including Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPS and the Western People's Front leader Mano Ganeshan etc. who celebrated the war heroes� day with the LTTE. In response to a question raised by a journalist, Weerawansa said that the government will de-evaluate the victory of the war heroes if they are not arrested.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:54 PM
The State Department released satellite imagery Tuesday of tens of thousands of Sri Lankan civilians squeezed into the last small strip of land controlled by Tamil Tigers.
The State Department said that a recent image shows about 25,000 tents packed into a coastal strip about 8 square miles large. Based on the number of tents, they estimate that about 125,000 people were in the conflict zone before about 60,000 civilians escaped over the last two days.
Human rights groups say the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is holding many people in the enclave against their will and using them as human shields. Those groups have also accused the government of indiscriminate shelling in the region. Both sides deny the allegations.
Thousands of civilians also fled in packed small boats, and they were picked up by navy patrols and transported to camps where Tamils who have escaped the war are being accommodated. More than 2,000 people in about 100 boats were picked up Monday.
The U.N. and others have called for a negotiated truce to allow civilians to leave the rebel-held coastal strip.
But the Sri Lankan government has refused to heed those international pleas to halt the fighting, saying it is on the verge of crushing the separatists and putting an end to the 25-year-old war.
The U.S. government appears to agree with that assessment.
“We see the potential for major developments in the next 48 hours,” said Michael Owen, acting deputy assistant secretary of state.
The State Department urged the Sri Lankan government to exercise restraint.
Earlier, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is considering how the U.S. can help Sri Lanka rebuild and move forward once the conflict is settled. – (AP)
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:53 PM
Once reportedly escaping death, thanks to EPRLF’s Sugi, Daya Master, alias Velayutham Thayanithi survived the struggle for an illusive Eelam, only to surrender to the Sri Lankan Military today, when his organization the LTTE is staring defeat in the face.
Velayutham Thayanithi also known as Daya Master, the then media spokesman of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was in Colombo in July 2006 to undergo medical treatment in a private hospital. After treatment he safely passed through the Omanthai entry-exit point to Killinochchi.
This was after the then government acceded to a request made by the LTTE. Some say that this was in return for the release of police Sub Inspector Bandujeewa Bopitigoda, who was being held in LTTE custody since September 2005. However, in the end it became clear that the LTTE went back on its word and refused to release the SI.
Daya Master’s arrival in Colombo and departure to Vanni created a stir in the country.
Daya Master alias Velayutham Thayanithi, is one of the senior members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He is from Thambasiddy, Puloly West, Point Pedro in Vadamaradchy. He started life as a private tutor in English language and was running a tuition centre in Puloly. Daya Master started life as a private tutor in English language and was running a private tuition centre in Puloly.
As he developed a good command in English language and was a popular language tutor in Vadamaradchy, he was called Thaya (Daya) Master.
While he was in Point Pedro, he had established contacts with the Tiger movement. Tigers began to recognize him as one of their strong supporters. They gradually began to take him into their fold.
When Chandrika Kumaratunga was elected President for the first time in 1994, there began a trickle of the VIPs from the south to meet the LTTE leaderships.
Media personnel, Buddhist monks, left political leaders began their journey to Jaffna. During those days, Daya Master met the dignitaries from the South near the Kilaly lagoon and took them to the Jaffna city. He was one in the forefront then in receiving the VIPS from the South.
Then it was Thillayampalan Sivanesan alias Soosai from Polikandy, the present special commander of the Sea Tigers, and then the head of the LTTE’s Vadamardchy division, who brought Daya Master to the attention of the outfit’s leader Prabhakaran. From that then onwards, Daya Master’s position as the Tiger’s media spokesman was confirmed.
However according to the website Theerpu.com, during the days when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was present in the North and East, Daya Master survived certain death threats by the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Left Front (EPRLF).
Once Daya Master was said to have been arrested by the EPRLF, on the orders of Suresh Premachandran, and he was tortured and ordered to be killed.
But by a quirk of fate his case was transferred to Sugi for further interrogation. Sugi was at that time a middle level leader of the EPRLF. Reports revealed that Daya Master pleaded with Sugi not to harm him and narrated the pitiable plight of his family and begged him to release him.
Sugi was moved by Daya Master’s story and released him, and he survived to surrender to the Sri Lankan Military today, when his organization the LTTE is staring defeat in the face.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:51 PM
Two top LTTE leaders, Velayuthan Thayanithi alias Daya Master and Kumar Pancharathnam alias George have sought refuge with Sri Lanka Army.
According to defence sources, the two LTTE leaders along with their family members arrived at the army defence line at Puthumathalan area this morning (Apr 22) and surrendered themselves to the Army officials.
Daya Master, a former private English tutor later joined the terrorists outfit is known to be one of the most senior member of the LTTE. He was the head of the LTTE media and propaganda machinery for years until he was sacked from his position.
George, a former postmaster in the government postal department is also known to be one of the most senior LTTE cadre. He is also a language translator of the outfit and once performed as the English translator to Thamiselvam, former LTTE "political head".
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 7:45 PM
Posted by media at 7:44 PM
Apr 21, Geneva: United Nation's refugee agency said today with the new arrivals of over 40,000 people, more than 100,000 have fled the Sri Lanka's war zone along the northeastern coast of Mullaitivu where they have been trapped for months.
Ron Redmond, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the newly escaped civilians are expected to reach the districts of Vavuniya and Jaffna within 48 hours and few thousand have already arrived in each district.
"As civilians are transported into the sites, UNHCR is still ascertaining the total number of new IDPs in the two districts," Mr. Redmond said in Geneva.
The UNHCR official said the UNHCR and shelter agencies are working with the government to identify more land, including in the district of Mannar, to alleviate overcrowding at the existing IDP sites as more civilians arrive.
UNHCR said that the agency together with the government and partners is providing emergency shelter support and non-food aid to the new arrivals while carrying out protection monitoring at the sites and stockpiling relief items in preparation for additional displacement.
Voicing greave concern over the civilians still trapped inside the conflict zone, the UNHCR official called on the LTTE to immediately allow people to move to areas where they feel safe.
"We also urge both parties to the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law and ensure that the safety of the innocent civilian population is the top priority," he said.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:51 AM
The Sri Lanka government has taken measures to establish another 10 welfare centres in Vavuniya to provide facilities for the fleeing civilians. Coordinating officer of the Disaster Relief Services in the area Brigadier Lal Weerakoon said they hope to settle the new arrivals at these welfare centres.
Brigadier Weerakoon said they are expecting more civilians as the government forces are continuing the rescue operation in Putumatalam area.
The Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services has already provided sufficient essential food and other items including sanitaryware to meet the requirements of the civilians.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the Commissioner General of Essential Services to ensure that enough food, medicines and other essentials are provided to the tens of thousands of people now arriving at the welfare centres.
According to government statistics the total number of civilians seeking refuge has risen to 112,000. The government has already established 15 welfare centres in Vavuniya.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:48 AM
Troops by this morning (April 22) have brought the northern half of the No Fire Zone (NFZ) under their control. Operations to consolidate the remaining areas are in progress, says the Media Centre for National Security.
Meanwhile, 77,793 civilians have arrived into Govt. controlled areas within the last two days.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:47 AM
The Sri Lankan army’s assault on the last remaining LTTE bastion in Mullaittivu, about to begin any time, could not have come at a worse time for the Congress-led government.
The Congress party is facing a tough national election where every seat counts and Tamil Nadu, where LTTE chief Prabhakaran is a hero and the fate of Tamil civilians an emotive issue, is to vote soon. It is perhaps this compulsion that prompted chief minister M. Karunanidhi to speak of his admiration for Prabhakaran. From his constituency in Bengal, Pranab Mukherjee spoke once again of India’s concern for civilians last Thursday.
It is not known how long the Sri Lanka army will take to clear the area, but whenever they do, New Delhi will have to deal with the problem of Prabhakaran.
If he is captured alive, India will have to ask for his extradition to stand trial for the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Though New Delhi has consistently called for his extradition, no government wants the LTTE leader in India. He will be a political hot potato and his security a major headache. New Delhi would rather not be saddled with Prabhakaran in an Indian prison.
If the LTTE leader takes the cyanide capsule, which every Tiger cadre is supposed to do rather than be captured by the SL army, he will become a martyr. The PMK and other LTTE supporters, perhaps even Karunanidhi’s DMK, will organise protests and charge the government with not doing enough to protect a Tamil hero. And in an election month the Congress would certainly not want that.
Though the Sri Lankan army denies it, there is speculation Prabhakaran may have fled. Is there a chance of India helping Prabhakaran flee to safety? Officials deny the suggestion as preposterous. But considering that Indian intelligence agencies had close links with the LTTE in the past, this cannot be completely ruled out. Even when the Indian Peace Keeping Force was fighting the Tigers, RAW kept its communication lines with the LTTE open.
In one particular instance in Batticaloa district, the Indian army had almost surrounded a church where some top LTTE commanders were hiding, but the operation failed as the Tigers were talking to RAW.
Giving Prabhakaran an escape route will solve many a problem. Prabhakaran will be out of harm’s way and will be effectively reduced to a has-been. And he will be in no position to come and fight another day.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:46 AM
Those who pinned their hopes on Prabhakaran are in the same predicament as the Golden Key depositors. Prabhakaran has ruined his enterprise in which they had invested heavily, through his sheer mismanagement, temerariouness and hubris. However, he and his family must be having no regrets. They have lived in clover. His family pictures the army has found are like scenes from a Bollywood movie depicting the affluent social stratum in India.
Nothing has exposed the LTTE and its backers more than the army's successful rescue mission on Monday. Prabhakaran, the self-styled messiah, had no qualms about unleashing unbridled terror against the very people he once promised to liberate.
While his supporters were engaged in aggressive protests overseas to mislead the world into belief that the Sri Lanka military was committing genocide, Prabhakaran let loose his brainwashed suicide cadres on fleeing civilians by way of punishment. He also trained his big guns on those miserable people. The whole world saw those acts of craven terrorism thanks to real time pictures from a UAV above the civilian safe zone.
It is not only Prabhakaran and his fellow criminals on the battlefield who must be condemned for violence against civilians. His collaborators staging protests in foreign capitals and foreign diplomats running riot in Colombo together with their INGO/NGO hirelings all out to derail Sri Lanka's war on terror must also be held answerable for those crimes as it is they who keep the LTTE going by giving Prabhakaran false hope that if he could hold out, they would be able to have the war halted. All of them therefore have on their hands the blood of the innocent men, women and children perishing at the hands of LTTE death squads. But for their anti-Sri Lanka campaign, Prabhakaran would have come to terms with his fate and given up fighting months ago. Or, not to put too fine a point on it, he would have shuffled off his mortal coil leaving others in peace.
Imminent as the end of Prabhakaran and his band of terrorists may be, they will go down in history as the most internationally recognised terrorist outfit in the world. The LTTE which India once created to frighten Sri Lanka into submission as the latter gravitated towards the US in a bipolar world at that time has today qualified for a bail-out package of sorts from the US, which is all out to put the kibosh on final operation to decapitate the outfit. That is the reward Sri Lank has got for being 'pro-American'! It was only a few weeks ago that a former US ambassador to Sri Lanka suggested to a Senate Sub Committee in Washington that foreign aid be used as a bludgeon to make Sri Lanka toe the US line where the war against the LTTE was concerned. Now it is reported that the IMF has come under pressure not to grant a much needed loan facility to Sri Lanka, unless its war on terror is brought to an abrupt end. However, the government is confident that it will get the loan.
>> Full Story: Island Editorial
Posted by media at 11:37 AM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The request by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for a pause in military action was deemed as unnecessary by President Mahinda Rajapaksa considering the unexpected exodus of 35,000 civilians to the cleared areas from the No Fire Zone (NFZ). This was said by President Rajapaksa during a telephone conversation initiated by the British Prime Minister, yesterday – April 20.
President Rajapaksa observed that this movement of civilians had evoked a completely new situation and he had instructed that additional consignments of food, medicine and other essentials be dispatched to these civilians are now sheltered.
He explained that the people took to fleeing to the cleared areas amidst shooting and other forms of intimidation by the LTTE, now holed up in the NFZ. Subsequently by evening hours, another 5,000 people had moved out of the NFZ along the beach front to the North, he said.
President Rajapaksa pointed out that he has a responsibility to take care of the welfare of these civilians and is committed to providing the required facilities and conditions.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:11 PM
New Delhi (PTI): Amid a flip-flop by DMK chief M Karunanidhi over the status of LTTE, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the government of India considers the outfit based in Sri Lanka as a "terrorist organisation" and its leader V Prabhakaran remains a "proclaimed offender".
"Our position has been explained by the spokesperson of the Congress party in the last few days that LTTE is a terrorist organisation and that Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender. That, I think, the situation has remained unchanged as far as our government is concerned," Mr. Singh told Times Now.
He was responding when asked to comment on remarks by Mr. Karunanidhi that LTTE is not a terrorist organisation. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, however, later backtracked on his comment.
Mr. Singh took note of Mr. Karunanidhi's revised comment, saying "The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has clarified the position."
Asked whether such statements put any pressure on post-election coalitions, the Prime Minister said, "I hope not, but I don't rule out anything in this age of uncertainty."
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 9:52 PM
BEIJING: China on Tuesday came out in support of the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to wipe out the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and
apprehend its leader V. Prabakaran. It also backed the decision of the Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prachanda, to induct Maoist forces in the country’s army.
“Both Nepal and Sri Lanka are friendly to China. We support the efforts of their governments to safeguard national integrity while ensuring security and political stability,” Jiang Yu, spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry said at a press briefing. She was responding to a question about the end of the 24 hour deadline for surrender given to Prabhakaran by the Sri Lankan government.
>> Full Story: Times of India
Posted by media at 9:51 PM
The Sri Lanka Army has cut across the No Fire Zone (NFZ) this evening (April 21) and reached the Puthumatalan beach, thus splitting the NFZ into two. Nearly 50, 000 civilians held hostage by the LTTE have crossed into government controlled areas since Monday, says the Defence Ministry. The total number of civilians who have sought refuge in government controlled areas has now increased to 121,497.
Posted by media at 7:17 PM
Posted by media at 7:14 PM
Posted by media at 5:13 PM
LTTE publicity stunt ‘Walk to Oprah Show’ fizzles
By Hassina Leelarathna
(April 20, Los Angeles, California, Sri Lanka Guardian) The much-publicized ‘Walk to the Oprah Winfrey Show’ by a group of Sri Lankan Tamils from Canada has gone down as a ‘walk to nowhere.’
A spokesperson for the Oprah Show confirmed there were no plans to feature the walkers on the show. The announcement comes in the wake of an online petition opposing the walk reaching a count of over 16,000.
The Oprah Show became an unwitting Eelam battleground after the group’s six men, claiming to be ‘students,’ declared they had started trudging from Toronto to Chicago, Illinois, a distance of 840 kilometers (520 miles), with the stated purpose of appearing on the Oprah Show ‘to publicize human suffering.’ The first day of the walk was March 4.
While carefully avoiding any reference to the war in the Wanni and the Tigers, the event carries the hallmarks of a well-organized LTTE stunt, with advance media publicity and a website exclusively launched to record the walk. Titled ‘Oprah, Give us a Voice’ and bearing Oprah’s photo in the header, the web site includes a public poll titled ‘Should Oprah Give Us a Voice’ and a comments section, both blatantly manipulated to show an overwhelming number want Oprah to feature the walkers on her show.
In response, the Los Angeles-based activist group, Sri Lankan Patriots (SLP), salvoed an online petition titled ‘Oprah, Say no to LTTE Terrorists,’ warning Ms. Winfrey the walkers were sympathizers of a brutal terrorist outfit and calling on her not to feature them on her show.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:51 AM
Posted by media at 11:16 AM
Monday, April 20, 2009
The President who made a sudden visit to the Air Force Headquarters observed the visuals received by the surveillance aircraft. He has thereafter issued direction to provide the necessities and to immediately hospitalize the people who are injured in the terrorist fire and suicide attacks while trying to escape the No Fire Zone, parts of which are still under the clutches of the LTTE. The President has directed the Commissioner of Essential Services to provide the required food, medicines and other requirements.
The Army entered the Puthumattalam No Fire Zone to rescue the civilians who have been forcibly held by the terrorists.
Posted by media at 10:10 PM
The government has given LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran and his group a final warning of 24 hours beginning 12.00 noon today (April 20) to surrender, says Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
He said that innocent civilians have taken the benefit of the strategic action initiated by the forces and more than 30,000 have crossed over to liberated areas.
Posted by media at 7:59 PM
Posted by media at 7:24 PM
Posted by media at 6:15 PM
Latest reports received from the Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division indicate that over 30,000 civilians held hostage by the LTTE at Puthumathalan and Amplalavanpokkani areas have been liberated. According to sources, several thousand others are waiting to be rescued by the armed forces. All hostages held in Ampalavanpokkanai and Valayanmadam areas have been rescued, Defence Ministry sources added.
Posted by media at 6:13 PM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on all those pressuring his government, both locally and internationally for an extended "humanitarian pause" or a ceasefire, to instead appeal to the LTTE to give freedom of movement "just for one hour" to innocent civilians stranded in the No-Fire Zone (NFZ), in the North.
"If the LTTE gives such freedom was given to the Tamil civilians held back by it for nearly 30 years, no one could prevent them coming of their own free will to the government controlled areas", he said.
He was addressing a gathering of ayurvedic physicians, Justices of the Peace, and representatives of farmer organizations at Temple Trees, Colombo April 18.
Evan as he made this statement the military reported that more than 2,800 civilians crossed over from the NFZ, where the LTTE is still holding several thousand civilians, to government controlled Safe Zone. This is the largest number of civilians to cross over from the war zone on a single day in the last few months.
In contrast during the recent 48-hour pause of offensive for during the traditional New Year period - April 13 & 14, there were hardly any civilians who crossed over from the NFZ, which by then had 68,000 who had fled to freedom. This was so during the 48-hour pause announced by the President in January 2009, too.
President Rajapaksa said the operations of the government Armed Forces were not aimed at the Tamil people but against a terrorist group and they did not harass or put the Tamil people into any difficulties, although but some politicians were alleging violation of human rights against him, the Defence Secretary and the Army Commander. They would rather face the gallows than betray the country, he said.
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Posted by media at 2:19 AM