Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hillary Clinton Lives in the Biggest Glass House of them All

By Dr. Stephen Long, Los Angeles, California
I was shocked when I learned of Hillary Clinton’s statement about rape being used as a weapon during the Sri Lankan war against the LTTE terrorists. For many reasons I simply cannot believe this is true.

On one hand I applaud the unanimous passing of the UN Security Council’s resolution to create new tools to combat sexual violence against women and children in conflict situations. On the other hand, for the US Secretary of State to off-handedly, and without any proof, include Sri Lanka in a list of countries where rape has been used as a weapon is not only irresponsible, but downright shameful. She put Sri Lanka in the company of the Balkans and Burma, but why didn’t she mention Darfur, the biggest modern perpetrator of them all? Is it because the Sudan has coveted oil resources, and she doesn’t want to rock the boat? It makes me wonder…

To me it proves that Hillary is safe and snug in the pocket of the Tamil Diaspora’s relentless propaganda machine, and is a willing pawn in its on-going efforts to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka. Obviously the Secretary of State has been spending far too much time in the company of former Deputy US Attorney Bruce Fein, a highly-paid lobbyist who has represented three LTTE front organizations in one year, and former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake. These two have been feeding her misleading information – lies – for the past two years; one does it for the money, and the other for reasons still unknown.

Shame on you, Mrs. Clinton! You live in the biggest “glass house” of them all, and you should be the last one to be throwing stones at Sri Lanka. The US has become notorious for proven human rights abuses, including torture and sexual abuse, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo. Only recently a soldier was convicted of raping an innocent girl in Japan, and who could forget the scandal at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado? How can you be such a hypocrite?

I was privy to a conversation last night with Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona who said that in thirty years there had never been one incident – or even an accusation – of rape against female LTTE cadres. The LTTE accused the GOSL of many crimes and injustices, but never rape – not even on Tamil.net. Why should such accusations be made now, when the war against the terrorists is over? It can only be because Hillary still has a soft spot in her heart for the LTTE and its front organizations that once donated to her presidential campaign. Even though she returned the money when she learned of its origins, it appears that she is still listening to their false allegations about the Sri Lankan Government. It also appears that she wishes to punish the GOSL for not kneeling to her demands at the end of the war.

The Sri Lankan Military Forces are legendary in regards to their strict discipline, and more recently it has become known for its compassion. I’ll never forget being in Sri Lanka during the last days of the war against the LTTE when the floodgates were opened and 95,000 human shields crossed into the arms of waiting soldiers in a single day. The gratitude toward the soldiers was real; they were treated as saviors. Never did any of the refugees – to this day – accuse anyone in the military of rape.

It is true, though, that many LTTE cadres raped their own Tamil females to keep them under their control. The bad-boys knew that the stigma of rape would prevent any female cadres from deserting; they would not be welcomed back home.

In addition, rape is an epidemic in the United States, but it is rare in Sri Lanka. There are, in fact, violent crimes committed in Sri Lanka every day, but the incidence of rape is almost unheard-of. It just doesn’t appear to be a part of the culture, where both Tamils and Sinhalese seem to value the sanctity of a woman’s right not to be raped. It does happen occasionally, yes; but a rape is committed nearly every second in the US – the capital of sexual violence against women and children – where the “pimps and ho’s” are glorified as heroes.

Since the end of the war against the LTTE there have been dialogs between the US State Department in Washington and members of the Tamil Diaspora. There have been no meetings between the State Department and the Sinhalese community. Why is this? My answer is simply that “money talks.” The Diaspora’s money machine is still in tact, and I’d be willing to bet that donations are still flowing into the pockets of key decision-makers on Capitol Hill.

Mrs. Clinton and her boss, President Obama, should note that of the approximate 500,000 Sri Lankans living in America about 90% of them are members of the Democratic Party, as am I. If the Secretary of State keeps on pursuing her policy of discrediting the Sri Lankan Government, then she shouldn’t be surprised if these people suddenly switch parties. I might even go out shopping for a GOP elephant lapel pin myself. The US Government should also note that there are an estimated 15 million Buddhists in the US – most of whom I suspect, are sympathetic to the Buddhist-dominated GOSL; the Obama administration risks alienating these kind-hearted folks as well.

Wake up, Mrs. Clinton! Screen your information bearers more carefully. Don’t pick up that stone – even though it is very tempting – because you live in a giant glass house that’s visible from the far corners of the earth. People will start throwing stones back at you, and one day your ignorance and bias will be exposed.
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EU for greater assistance to Sri Lanka - Ferrero-Waldner


European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero- Waldner whilst stressing the need for speedy resettlement of the displaced, was supportive of the government's initiatives relating to the IDP resettlement programme and development priorities in the North. She indicated that the EU will extend greater assistance to Sri Lanka in this regard.

This followed a detailed briefing to her by Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman of the Northern Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province and Senior Adviser to the President on the government's efforts to assist the displaced and to ensure their early resettlement.
Mr. Rajapaksa met with the European External Relations Commissioner in Brussels where he went for the opening of the photographic exhibition ‘Sri Lanka: Facets of Post-Conflict Development’ currently on in the premises of the European Parliament.

In his keynote address at the opening of the exhibition (September 30) Mr. Rajapaksa described the situation in Sri Lanka stating, "de-militarization had been successfully achieved, the extent of development taking place was visible, people’s representatives have been elected in the North and all the while a lot of democratic activity was taking place".
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Rape - Hillary said!


Fury of a woman knows no bounds. Worse, when she is powerful and arrogant but yet failed to achieve her goals. Such is Hilary Clinton. The mighty Secretary of State failed to tame Sri Lanka. The failed Presidential aspirant, knowingly or unknowingly, received terrorist funding for her election campaign and was compelled to return the cash to comply with the law. Notwithstanding her strenuous efforts she could not save the lives of the terrorists, to whom she is obliged. Therein lays the story.

The anger is intensified because Sri Lanka in its drive to dismantle terrorism, did not heed to the pleas and pressures of Hillary Clinton to save the terrorists. Her pride is wounded but the country rid itself of terrorism. Having to hang her head in shame, she is hell bent to damage and destroy the country that defeated terrorism comprehensively, which her country has failed to achieve and continue to unsuccessfully grapple with forces of terrorism. Green Eyes, Madam? Understandably, a jealous woman is an angry woman.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Controversies behind Sri Lanka’s IDPs

Shenali Waduge
It is amazing how people who do not know any of these “IDPs”, people who have not even come to Sri Lanka, people who have so far not even sent a cent or contributed any aid are demanding that Sri Lanka’s IDPs be allowed “freedom of movement”.. As of May there were 288,938 IDPs but only 2000 came forward to take their relatives. For those who have not even seen these camps, it is baffling how they can so authoritatively describe these camps as “concentration camps” & demand freedom of movement. Making these accusations are the very nations who are directly responsible for displacing millions of innocents & have yet to resettle these people to their “homes”. Let the IDPs decide whether they wish to rally behind these “freedom of movement” slogans that the international community offers or wait till demining work is complete & take Rs.25,000, free seed paddy & free food for 6 months that the GOSL is allocating while being presently fed 3 meals a day. Given the intensity of accusations against the Sri Lankan Government is it just possible to think that the Eelaam struggle could have been just a fa├žade to use Sri Lanka as base to train jihad type fighters the LTTE was notorious for.
Let us take the accusations one by one. Given the argument that the Government is placing these people in concentration camps, perhaps similar to how the Jews were treated by the Germans…then shouldn’t the 288, 938 be down by half perhaps or no one left at all because it makes no sense to have a Government maintain “concentration camps” not “killing” any of these IDPS but look after their welfare by spending 9m SLR a day as well as allocate Government servants, private contractors, private teachers, social service organizations, the armed personnel utilizing their time & spending colossal amounts every day for the “welfare” of these people. But, of the 26m global IDPs what nation can boast of resettling with a means of living almost 50,000 IDPs within just 3 months of annihilating a terror outfit that prevailed for almost 3 decades?.
Why would a Government arrange for artificial limbs to be customized to fit these people, why would teachers be tasked to do additional teaching to prepare these children for their first O/L & A/L examination, why would the Government order braille machines for the blind, provide vocational training, attempt to rehabilitate former child soldiers & reintroduce them to society & if the common masses were also thinking with the same mentality as the Government why should they collect in masses clothing, food, medicines, toys etc to be sent to their people? All those who are bringing in these far-fetched notions about “concentration camps” should not blindly accept what is being told but think a little & seriously look at things from a proper perspective.
Media agencies themselves while desiring to be in the thick of things should really evaluate what they are saying & objectively view the manner they attempt to humiliate Government officials invited for tv interviews while visibly exonerating the LTTE. International media agencies cannot deny the role they played to almost eulogize Prabakaran & his movement showcasing it as an entity fighting for denied rights. How many of these “journalists” actually cared to see things in its proper perspective. How can there be denial of rights when Tamils enjoy equal status as the Sinhalese in the public & private sector? All these Journalists had to ask was some simple questions to which anyone would have given immediate answers. Do Tamils own property in Colombo – Yes, Have Tamils served in key Government posts such as Inspector General of Police, Governor Central Bank, Foreign Minister, Cabinet Portfolios, Association Presidents, Judges – Yes. Are Tamils denied coming to Colombo & outskirts & take up residence, rent homes, start a business or living – No. Can Tamil children study in International Schools, Private Schools, Semi-Govt schools & Government Schools – Yes. Do education systems deny Tamil students any right – No, Tamil children have even topped their batches in Medicine & Engineering. Where is the problem then? Yet, could Sinhalese travel these past few decades anywhere near the North or East – No. Can Sinhalese purchase property in Jaffna – NO….Ask a few more questions & it will emerge that realistically it has been the Sinhalese who are more marginalized than the minorities.
A third world nation, a country that had the world’s worst terror outfit terrorize the country & even its neighbor is also the only country that has been able to eliminate terrorism vis a vis destroying the 3 main tiers of its leadership. The US 9 years after 9/11 cannot even locate Osama bin Laden. We must also add that Sri Lanka is also not without elements of corruption & from many arrests being made it has been evident that politicos, public servants, members of the armed forces including very senior officers, foreign governments, NGOs & UN officials & even some members of the public have also been conniving with these terrorists which essentially prolonged & allowed this menace to drag all these years. Therefore the actual annihilation of the LTTE is indeed meritorious given the circumstances that prevailed.
On the topic of hard core cadres – the Government has announced that they have completed profiling of 10,000 hard core cadres & are looking at trying them in court for their role in terror activity. We cannot rule out that foreign countries must also be eyeing these former combatants as they are all well aware of how lethal their training is & afterall LTTE introduced the suicide bomber. It is amidst this argument that the extraordinary concern for Sri Lanka’s IDPs by key nations rings alarm bells as to ponder whether Sri Lanka was actually being used as a ground to train jihad type fighters while keeping alive the LTTE struggle through on & off bomb attacks? Sri Lanka would have beena preferred destination even for trainers who are likely to prefer the scenic beauty the country has over the desert terrains in countries where currently training takes place. This possibility requires further examination since it is baffling why powerful nations including India which all have IDPs & refugees in their own nations are so distraught over relatively few numbers in Sri Lanka. The pressures by these countries has to be something more than embarrassing the present Government because the Government has been extremely successful in steering negative international pressures to further gain popularity within Sri Lanka even amongst moderate Opposition members.
Therefore rehabilitating & sending former cadres overseas for employment needs to be further scrutinized – especially when former LTTE sympathizers are now appearing as peace doves & offering to sponsor their rehabilitation. All those who cry foul from foreign countries must remember that it is Sri Lanka that had to face almost 30 years of terror – not just bombs going off but suicide bombings, assassinations & none of these people can imagine how elated the people are that in over a year no bomb has gone off. Yes, there are security blockades & yes at one time in the past the security personnel manning these posts did not have the proper training to question the public but today despite the blocks the security personnel are extremely courteous. Even in security posts in foreign countries one would not find these personnel indulging in light conversation except do what they are tasked to do. Anyone traveling to the US would feel more uncomfortable by the looks given by the border security who are given all rights to suddenly whisk anyone off for questioning if they have any doubts about them – ask Shah Rukh Khan who will give first account of his experience. In Japan everyone is fingerprinted – perhaps the exercise in Japan doesn’t violate anyone’s human rights but it would interesting to know how people are likely to react if the GOSL was ever to announce fingerprinting.
At present there are over 200,000 IDPs located in several zones. Based on the demands of people overseas if these IDPs are given “freedom of movement’ & asked to go wherever they liked, where are they to go? The areas of the North are no British midlands, these people are no backpackers or wondering gypsies! – these areas are heavily mined, most areas are jungle. Have all those people abroad just championing freedom of movement thought about how these people are to get to where they came from, how they are to start a living or build a house – the glorious words “freedom of movement” will not house them, feed them or sustain their livelihood. those who are shouting for their “freedom” must remember that these people did not come from one location only – amongst each other they are equally strangers & given that areas are highly mined what would come of their fate? Would the international community & those attempting to resurrect the LTTE be accountable for limbs & lives lost? Would they not be just a statistics to again humiliate the Government? People need to be mindful that there are dogs, military personnel, foreign NGOs & now the latest purchases of demining equipment all spending hours in the scorching sun just to demine these areas to allow these people to resettle & not just to resettle but to start a proper livelihood.
Perhaps they are not aware that the Government is providing each family Rs.25,000 along with free food for 6 months & free seed paddy to start their livelihood. It is also poignant to reiterate a bulk of these people were living practically under trees & did not have any “home” whilst being held as “human shields” by the LTTE. For those so concerned about IDP it would have been welcome to hear the same outbursts during the times the people were held forcefully by the LTTE including the representatives of the Catholic Church. The fanfare over this “returning home” may be more of a nightmare than being glad that 3 meals are provided including afternoon tea & biscuits. Furthermore, only 6003 of 19,226 elders in welfare camps actually went to live amongst relatives – most others are now in elder’s home. Have those who cry “let them go” thought of whether they have a home to go to – whether it is ruined, destroyed & how are they to put up their “home” if they just walk out of the line of protocol where the Government is placing systems to provide for each of the displaced. A Government cannot just give handouts when a person or family suddenly desires to leave. There are accounting measures to be considered & therefore no Government or even private sector will allow emotions to get the better of their systems. If the Government is apprehensive about who is giving aid or coming to help it has every right to be – how did the LTTE build 7 airstrips, 3 of them big enough to land cargo planes, how did the LTTE build air-conditioned bunkers & sophisticated training units in the thick jungles, how did the LTTE manage to build 8ft high bunds & garrisons to delay army advances? All these were done with assistance given by some people who have put to shame the United Nations, NGOs & INGOs.
For most of us the figures that the UN & other agencies were projecting prior to the complete annihilation of the LTTE was beyond belief simply because the numbers when considering the total population of the Tamil people considering that 800,000 are resident overseas & half of the total actually live outside of the North & East. It could possibly be that some of these “Tamil” people are from Tamil Nadu in which case the Government is unlikely to adopt measures such as DNA in order not to embarrass the Indian Government further. But, the fact that some members even inside the camps could be Indian cannot be ruled out. It is these reasons that might be prompting the Indian Government to regularly send its envoy & keep close tabs on them. If the bulk of the IDPs are Indian we have no reason to be surprised that no relative is applying to take them from the camps! Therefore, it is pertinent to explore the actual numbers that Prabakaran was herding from Kilinochchi to Mullaitivu & to ascertain if they are illicit migrants or mercenaries from India? What is certain though is that population figures just do not add up to meet the 12% Tamil population in Sri Lanka.
A look at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center which declares that there are 26m IDPs globally is not without errors. Immediately going to Sri Lanka statistics it declares upon UN estimates Sri Lanka’s IDP figure to be 495,000 totally ignoring the SL Government statistics that was given (we all know that this figure was purposely inflated as a means to delay the inevitable collapse & demise of the Tiger outfit & its leadership) Nevertheless since this is the official data that we must go by let us take examples of some realistic situations.
In Cyprus 200,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots were displaced in 1974 – UN figures of 2003 kept these IDPs figures at 210,000 – not much resettlement has happened.
The UN-Allied attack on Yugoslavia has left 226,079 displaced (Estimate includes some 207,000 registered IDPs in Serbia plus an estimated 20,000 unregistered Roma displaced in Serbia and 20,000 IDPs in Kosovo.) US, UK or EU are not too concerned about these people who are displaced directly as a result of them. Over 230,000 Afghans are still homeless since 2002 despite an increasing number of foreign forces in Afghanistan. In Iraq which US invaded not once but twice they could not even find weapons of mass destruction which was given as the reason to invade Iraq but has left 4.2m as refugees & IDPs.

What many of these critics on Sri Lanka have not factored in is that Sri Lanka’s IDPs have been living worst then their IDP status more than the 3 months they have been fed, clothed & treated as human beings with a third-world Government spending 9m per month on their welfare. All those who cared not to bring to world attention the plight of these people while they were held forcibly by the LTTE may like to respond to how the LTTE looked after these people.

We know the EU was fooled into tagging with US’s move to divide Yugoslavia which has ultimately only resulted in a free flow of jihadist militants in Europe & Osama now sending death threats to EU nations. It was a perfect ploy to undermine surge in the Euro against the dollar. Similarly, could India have also being fooled into tagging along the anti-Sri Lanka program failing to see that powerful nations may have been siding with the LTTE purely to use Sri Lanka as a base to carry out their agendas (with or without Eelaam) Prabakaran & his trusted lieutenants had no care for Eelaam or the Tamil people – they were merely interested in money thus the massive wealth they have acquired through international rackets to which all these powerful nations are aware of & could stop if they wanted to. This notion does make sense in understanding & connecting the weird combination of people that formed an alliance to ensure that the LTTE prevailed in Sri Lanka.

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SL port in talks on new services

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is in talks with international shipping lines on new services through Colombo port despite the global downturn in trade which has reduced cargo volumes.

SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said there were signs cargo volumes were picking up as the global economy recovers from recession.
A new computer terminal management system that replaced an aging system has helped increase vessel productivity and won new services for the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), the SLPA-run main transshipment facility in Colombo, Ports Authority sources said.

The SLPA is now talking with a couple of shipping lines to get new services to improve productivity levels and efficiency at JCT, by the end of the year.
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Clinton says Rape used as weapon of war in Sri Lanka. Government says “far from truth”

US Secretary of State Clinton made statement at the UN Security Council saying that rape had been used as a war weapon in Sri Lanka, the Balkans, Burma and elsewhere.
She made this statement last Wednesday that in too many countries and in too many cases, the perpetrators of this violence were not punished, and this impunity encourages further attacks.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution creating new tools to combat sexual violence against women and children in conflict situations. Ms. Clinton chaired Wednesday's meeting, which came on the last day of the United States' presidency of the council.

Sri Lankan government yesterday strongly denied Hilary clinton’s allegations that rape had been used as a weapon in Sri Lanka’s successful war against the LTTE. Speaking to the media military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said what Clinton said was far from the truth and was absolutely no basis whatsoever even to suggest Sri Lankan forces had raped anyone during the three-year campaign.
Clinton’s attack came close on the heels of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa meeting Robert Blake in the US where he explained the situation in Sri Lanka, particularly ongoing efforts to resettle the war displaced.

It is reported in the Sri Lankan media that defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has stated that he was taken completely by surprise by this statement.

He also said that at a time when all the details of the role played by the army at the humanitarian operations that took place in Sri Lanka was clearly explained to under secretary of state Robert Blake, it is questionable as to how Ms. Hilary Clinton could make such a statement. Incidentally the defence secretary during his recent tour of New York has explained the situation in Sri Lanka to Mr. Robert Blake.
Speaking to “Ade Derara” TV in Sri Lanka Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Rajiva Wijesinha said “To my knowledge, this is not true and I have not come across such an allegation.”

He further said Mrs. Clinton “tends to make generalized statements, it is clear as she did the same during her campaign for Presidency against Barack Obama and we should take a leaf out of Obama’s book and forgive her for this statement”.
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Don’t use IDPs as political tool – Sri Lanka to Euro MPs

Sri Lanka has urged that the Internally Displaced Persons in the North of the country should not be used as a political tool and asked those who are being critical of Sri Lanka on the issue to help the Government overcome the difficulties faced in looking after them and re-settling them.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha, said this when he addressed a hearing held on Sri Lanka by the Human Rights Sub Committee of the European Parliament, chaired by MEP Heidi Hautala of the Finnish Green Party, Thursday -1 October 2009.

Ambassador Aryasinha said: “These are our people, successive governments fed them, provided medicines, ensured education through the 30 years when the LTTE dominated their lives. We will ensure that they get back to their homes in safety, not because anybody tells us to do so, but because we want them to do so”.

He explained in detail the work being done on de-mining and reconstruction to expedite the re-settlement process and informed the panelists of the Euro Parliament sub committee that around 1/6 of the displaced who were originally from the Jaffna district and the Eastern province had been sent back to these areas, while the displaced from the Mannar district are at present being resettled. Additionally advertisements have been placed, informing the public that they could host any relations who might be in the Welfare Villages.

Refuting a suggestion that “demining has been used as a political tool to confine the IDPs to the camps”, and that they “would be held indefinitely”, the Ambassador showed on a map of the main population centers of the Northern Province with adjacent farm land that had been de-mined or ear marked for de-mining on a priority basis. He said GOSL had imported the most sophisticated technology for this purpose, which was evidence of its commitment to re-settle the people as fast as possible. The Ambassador also said he was shocked at the suggestion made by one MEP that the IDPs should be “allowed to go and take the risk of landmines”, and remarked that GOSL had not rescued them from being held as human shields by the LTTE, to have them knowingly risk their lives due to left over LTTE mines.

Ambassador Aryasinha also responded to questions about the GSP +, issue and the sentence imposed by the High Court, Colombo on journalist J. Tissainayagam.

Here is the text of the Media Release issued by the Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Brussels on the interaction with the Human Rights Sub Committee of the European Parliament.

“Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha has urged that the displaced persons in Sri Lanka be not used as a political tool, but instead that those being critical, step up and help the Government to overcome the difficulties faced in looking after them and re-settling them. He said “these are our people, successive governments fed them, provided medicines, ensured education through the 30 years when the LTTE dominated their lives. We will ensure that they get back to their homes in safety, not because anybody tells us to do so, but because we want them to do so”.

The Ambassador made these observations when he addressed a hearing held on Sri Lanka by the Human Rights Sub Committee of the European Parliament, chaired by MEP Heidi Hautala of the Finnish Green Party on Thursday (1 October 2009).

Responding to the comments made by panelists about the situation in the IDP camps Ambassador Aryasinha outlined the procedures that the government had presently undertaken to streamline the resettlement process. He said that around 1/6 of the displaced who were originally from the Jaffna district and the Eastern province had been sent back to these areas, while the displaced from the Mannar district are presently being resettled. Additionally advertisements have been placed, informing the public that they could host any relatives who might be in the Welfare Villages.

Refuting a suggestion that “demining has been used as a political tool to confine the IDPs to the camps”, and that they “would be held indefinitely”, the Ambassador showed on a map of the main population centers of the Northern Province with adjacent farm land that had been de-mined or ear marked for de-mining on a priority basis. He said GOSL had imported the most sophisticated technology for this purpose, which was evidence of its commitment to re-settle the people as fast as possible. The Ambassador also said he was shocked at the suggestion made by one MEP that the IDPs should be “allowed to go and take the risk of landmines”, and remarked that GOSL had not rescued them from being held as human shields by the LTTE, to have them knowingly risk their lives due to left over LTTE mines.

He said the security concerns were not imagined, but very real, as it was well known that many LTTE cadres had come into the camps mingling with civilians, and GOSL didn’t want them to go back and connect with hidden weapons and re-start terrorist acts. About 10,000 ex-LTTE cadres had already surrendered and many others had been identified on the basis of information. So far, out of approximately 290,000 people liberated from the LTTE, over 150,000 had been registered and 110,000 issued with ID cards. This would help gradually ensure freedom of movement.

Responding to comments that humanitarian agencies are not allowed into the camps, the Ambassador pointed out that there are 54 International agencies, INGOs and NGOs currently engaged in humanitarian work in the welfare villages. He said within the last week alone two high level UN officials visited these areas.

On GSP+, Ambassador Aryasinha said the Government had not accepted the process of GSP+ investigation and a request for experts to visit Sri Lanka as a matter of principle, as it was felt inappropriate and unnecessary and the Government was not willing to compromise on its sovereignty. However the Government has continued to engage with the European Commission on the relevant human rights conventions - through meetings at senior officials’ level both in Brussels and Colombo, by providing material which showed Sri Lanka’s compliance with these conventions, refute unfounded allegations, and above all provided periodic reviews to UN bodies which monitor these conventions. Responding to a query whether the 4 member Ministerial Committee appointed recently by the President of Sri Lanka would be providing a response to the GSP+ investigation expert’s report, the Ambassador said there would be no response to the expert’s report from Government. The Government will continue to engage on the issues of concern with the Commission.

Responding to comments made on the judgment in the Tissainayagam case, the Ambassador said one cannot on the one hand demand separation of powers and an independent Judiciary, and on the other hand press for the executive to overrule the judicial system. He added that while speakers gave the impression that Mr. Tissainayagam was convicted by the High Court for writing two articles which in the view of the prosecution had the effect of inciting communal disharmony, they forget the more serious charge proved, which was that he had accepted funds from the LTTE. He asked whether journalists in Europe accepting a check from Al Qaida, would be acceptable.

Mr Andrew Stroelheim of the International Crisis Group, Mr Sunanda Deshapriya, Journalist, Mr Antoine Gerard of the UN/Humanitarian Affairs Office in Belgium, Mr David Tirr and Mr. Rolf Timmens, of the European Commission, and several MEPs addressed the 2 hour session.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last batch of Kokuvil camp IDPs return home

The last batch of Internally Displaced Persons, living in a Kokuvil welfare camp in Batticaloa, was yesterday sent back to their villages in Trincomalee.

There were 321 persons from 91 families.

The number people displaced in Trincomalee and Batticaloa stood at 41,000 and 150,000 respectively. They had been housed in 112 welfare camps. Meanwhile, 2,500 persons belonging to 745 families, whose resettlement in their villages in the Trincomalee District had been delayed because of the presence of high security zones, were provided with temporary shelter in the areas of Killiveddi, Pattipidal and Pillankerny.

Courtesy: The Island
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Rs.3.5 Bn for Vavuniya development projects

Under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” 180-day Accelerated Development Programme, 3500 million rupees has been allocated for projects in the Vavuniya District

The projects are being launched on the instructions of the President and the guidance of Chief of the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” Task Force and Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa. Infrastructure of villages in which the civilians are being resettled will be developed through these projects.

A special discussion on this work was held at the Vavuniya District Secretariat. It was chaired by Minister Risath Bathiyudeen. Northern Governor G.A. Chandrasiri and many senior officials were present.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fundamentals of Victory against terror: Sri Lankan Example - Indian Defence Review

In an in-depth analysis of the Sri Lankan government’s defeat of the LTTE, the ‘Indian Defence Review’ has identified Eight Fundamentals of Victory.

These are listed as the ‘Rajapaksa Model of fighting terror’ and are described as:

• Unwavering political will

• Disregard for international opinion distracting from the goal

• No negotiations with the forces of terror

• Unidirectional floor of conflict information

• Absence of political intervention to pull away from complete defeat of the LTTE

• Complete operational freedom for the security forces - Let the best men do the task

• Accent on young commanders

• Keep your neighbors in the loop

The July-September 2009 issued ‘Indian Defense Review’ carries a detailed article on the Eight Fundamentals of Victory or the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ of fighting terror by V. K. Shashikumar.

Here is the text of the article by VK Sashikumar:

“The news about the killing of Prabhakaran sparked mass celebrations around the country, and people poured into the streets of Colombo, dancing and singing. Looking back at the war General Fonseka made two insightful observations that must surely resonate in the minds of military strategists dealing with terrorism and insurgency in other parts of the world. The first is on the commitment of the political leadership to eliminate terror.

Eelam IV war began as a poll-promise. President Mahinda Rajapaksa rode to power four years ago vowing to annihilate the LTTE. In the early hours of Tuesday the fight for Eelam, a separate homeland for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, begun in 1983 ended in a lagoon, the Nanthi Kadal. Velupillai Prabhakaran’s dead body, eyes wide open, top portion of the head blown off, the thick bushy moustache in place, was found in the lagoon by the Sri Lankan forces looking for remnant LTTE stragglers.

In the President’s Office in Colombo officials talk about the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ (of fighting terror). “Broadly, win back the LTTE held areas, eliminate the top LTTE leadership and give the Tamils a political solution.” Sunimal Fernando, one of Rajapaksa’s advisors, says that the President demonstrated a basic resolve: “given the political will, the military can crush terrorism.” This is not as simple as it sounds. Like most poll promises he did not have plans to fulfill his promise to militarily defeat the LTTE. Eelam I to III were miserable failures. So the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ evolved, it was not pre-planned.

FIRST FUNDAMENTAL: POLITICAL WILL

The first fundamental of this approach was unwavering political will. Rajapaksa clearly conveyed to General Sarath Fonseka: “eliminate the LTTE.” To the outside world he conveyed the same message differently: “either the LTTE surrenders or face, their end.” Rajapaksa instructed the Sri Lankan Army that their job was to fight and win the war. At whatever cost, however bloody it might be. He would take care of political pressures, domestic and international.

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Many investors entering Stock Market: Capital market needs more professionals

More professionals will be needed in the capital market as many investors enter the stock market during the peak time of the CSE. More investment advisors are needed as the market has shown a positive growth, Colombo Stock Brokers’ Association, Chairman, Sriyan Gurusinghe told Daily News Business.
At present there are over 200 licensed investment advisors in the CSE and to continue the upward momentum of the market, we will definitely need more investment advisors, he said.

“We would need new education programs continuously to uplift the quality and the standards of these market professionals.

The standards of market professionals are improving daily and with more investors entering the market we need qualified manpower to cater to the demand, he said.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), Financial Services Academy (FSA), Director Dr. Dissa Bandara said. “We have five professional programs to support the capital market under the FSA.
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I won't mortgage Motherland; President tells at Ranbima land distribution ceremony


President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised the nation that he will not allow anyone to mortgage the Motherland or auction it under any circumstances.Addressing the gathering at the handing over of land deeds ceremony Ranbima at Temple Trees yesterday, President Rajapaksa said promises given under the Mahinda Chintana were being achieved one by one uninterrupted.

"People had lost their hopes, interest and trust in politicians who had promised to fulfid their dreams, specially the youth. Political promises during the election campaigns were empty pledges. But we have promised what we can achieve. We are using the Mahinda Chintana practically and it is being achieved one by one," he added. "People today do not accept false promises. Now you can't forget pledges. People will not allow that," he said.

President Rajapaksa said the Government had fulfilled many promises. The Norochcholai coal power plant, Ihala Kotmale projects, flyover bridges, Kerawalapitiya power plant and many other road development programs are in the process and many have already been built. These development programs have made the lives of people easy," he added.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake acting Chief Justice

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake was sworn as acting Chief Justice, before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at temple trees today (28). Secretary to the President Mr.Lalith Weerathunga was also present at the occasion.

Chief Justice Ashoka de Silva is on an official overseas visit.

Sri Lanka recruits Tamil police in former war zone

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka is recruiting Tamil police officers from the northern city of Jaffna for the first time since it became the epicentre of a three-decade ethnic separatist insurgency defeated in May, police said on Monday.

More than 6,500 people, including 400 women, applied for 500 police constable jobs in Jaffna, the Defence Ministry said.

The government has not recruited Tamils from Jaffna since 1978, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) began killing and threatening Tamils who worked for the government they wanted to supplant in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

"The youth are very enthusiastic to join the police," police spokesman Nimal Mediwake said. "We couldn't recruit any officers since 1978 and after the death of the LTTE, we see an interest."

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised Tamils equal rights now that the war is over, and Western governments are pressuring his administration to speed up political reconciliation and free 260,000 Tamil war refugees now held in camps.

The government says it first must demine the former war zone and weed out LTTE sympathisers among the refugees who fled the end of the war, but is offering former fighters rehabilitation.

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Norway helped Sri Lanka rebels to establish links with Eritrea - report

Sept 28, Colombo: The Norwegian government helped Sri Lanka's rebel outfit LTTE to establish relations with Eritrea in a move to procure arms, ammunition, and equipment from China using Eritrean end-user certificates and other documents needed to legally buy weapons, a media report said Monday.

The Sri Lankan daily Island citing well informed sources reported that the ongoing investigations had revealed that Norway facilitated the meeting between Eritrean representatives and the LTTE.

"A tripartite understanding had been reached in Norway as far back as 2002-2003, when it facilitated negotiations purportedly aimed at ending Sri Lanka’s war," Island reported.

The Island report said that the LTTE had used Eritrean and also North Korean end-user-certificates to procure arms from China and smuggled them in several consignments.

Sri Lanka Navy destroyed eight fully loaded LTTE arms ships on the high seas between September 2006 and October 2007.

According to the sources the interrogation of LTTE' main arms dealer Kumaran Padmanathan alias 'KP' who was captured by Sri Lankan officials while hiding in a South Asian country had confirmed the Eritrean deal, sources said.

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Jayasundera back as Treasury Secretary

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday appointed, with immediate effect, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera as the Treasury Secretary, the Department of Information said.

It said current Treasury Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe was transferred as Secretary to the Cabinet while Cabinet Secretary D.Wijesinghe was appointed as Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to South Africa.

Dr Jayasundera, the former Treasury Secretary, was cleared by the Supreme Court on Thursday to return to his former position. He was allowed to withdraw an affidavit filed in the Court that he would not hold any public office after being criticised in the privatisation of Lanka Marine Services.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sri Lanka vows anew to resettle displaced Tamils quickly


UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Sri Lanka's prime minister vowed anew here Saturday that Colombo would quickly resettle civilians still in state-run camps after being displaced by the government rout of Tamil separatists.

Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka told the UN General Assembly that a key priority for his government was to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the roughly 290,000 Tamil civilians who "were liberated from the decades-long hold" of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

He said the resettlement would be carried out in cooperation with international partners.
He however warned that "the stability and security that we have restored at great human cost cannot and must not be compromised, particularly when a large number of self-confessed ex-LTTE cadres continue to mix with the IDPs (internally displaced persons)."

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