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Tigers face last ditch confrontation

Apr 9 (Island) The stage is now set for the army to rescue civilians trapped in the LTTE-controlled ‘no fire zone on the Mullaitivu coast. The army yesterday ordered the LTTE leadership and ordinary cadres to surrender immediately or face the consequences. Shortly after the army made the announcement using public address systems, there had been several loud explosions. Fearing an imminent assault, the Tamil Diaspora organised a series of protests in more..

Police selectively efficient – Hakeem

Apr 9 (Island) Sri Lanka has a very capable police force, but the tragedy was that it is "selectively efficient", SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said yesterday. He, told The Island that the country’s police force comprises competent men and women who can solve the most complicated of crimes, as witnessed in the swift arrest of suspects in the recent abduction and killing of six-year-old schoolgirl Varsha Jude Reggie, this same sort of urgency and efficiency is not seen when more..

Laws to prevent employment of under aged children employed – NCPA

Apr 9 (Island) A spokesman for the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said that according to the International Labour Charter to which Sri Lanka is a signatory, only children above the age of 14 years could be employed as domestic aides. However, the NCPA said that by employing children under the age of 18 as domestic aides, it has been proved that it is a hindrance to their personality development as it deprived them of the right to education and more..

NFF denies hand in killing

Apr 9 (DM) The National Freedom Front (NFF) categorically denied the allegations against the party for the killing of a JVP member in Veyangoda on Monday, vowing that the NFF would be dissolved and all its members would say good bye to politics if its involvement in the crime was proved. “This is a conspiracy against the NFF by Tilvin Silva and Anura Kumara Dissanayaka. They want to remove comrade Piyasiri Wijenayaka from the Gampaha PC polls campaign as they can’t stand the popularity of the NFF and the down turn of the JVP,” more..

TNA MP trapped No Fire Zone

Apr 9 (DM) TNA MP for the Wanni district S. Kanagaratnam has reportedly been trapped in the safe zone along with the civilians for several months now, and he has had no communication with the party leadership for a long time.Mr. Kangaratnam went to his electorate towards the end of last year, after his colleague MP K. Thurairatnasingham obtained leave for him from Parliament in January for a three-month period. more..

Lanka to counter moves at UN

Apr 9 (DM) The Government is in talks with Mexico, the new Presidency of the UN Security Council, amidst moves by some countries to formally have the Sri Lankan situation on the agenda of the UN body. Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona who is in Mexico has already had talks with Mexican officials including the Vice Foreign Minister, Foreign Ministry sources said. Sri Lanka has briefed Mexico on the measures taken by the Government to more..

‘No guarantee on India’s unity if Sri Lanka war doesn’t end’

Apr 9 (EB) The integrity of the Indian union cannot be guaranteed if the war in Sri Lanka is not stopped immediately, MDMK chief Vaiko said, yet again engaging in separatist rhetoric. With the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement waking up after a lull, necessitated by the demands of alliance formation for the May 13 Lok Sabha elections, a protest meet was held near the Chennai district collector’s office where Vaiko said: “India also consists of 7 crore Tamils.” more..

'Sonia can end the war in 24 hours'

Apr 9 (EB) The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi chief, Thol Thirumavalavan, who had been opposing the Centre’s stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue till he was accommodated in the DMK-Congress alliance, was a much mellowed man on Wednesday when he made a plea to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to press for a ceasefire in the island nation. Thirumavalavan said Sonia was the last hope for the Sri Lankan Tamils who were facing elimination. more..

Senior CPC official vows to advance ties with Sri Lanka's ruling party

Apr 9 (Xinhua) The Communist Party of China (CPC) will promote exchanges and cooperation with the ruling SLFP to boost bilateral ties, said a senior CPC official here Thursday. Wang Gang, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks when meeting with an SLFP delegation led by the party's general secretary Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Madurai artist sketched LTTE logo

Apr 9 (EB) The logo of the LTTE and the flag of the putative independent state of Tamil Eelam in north-east Sri Lanka were conceived by the movement’s founder-leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. But it was an artist from Madurai in Tamil Nadu who gave concr­ete shape to them for the first time. “In 1976, Prabhakaran had sket­ched the LTTE emblem in his mind. While in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, he got an Indian artist to draw it. more..

They are all trying to ride the Tiger in TN elections

Apr 9 (ET) Sri Lankan Tamil Rights' issue and the ongoing war between the LTTE and Lankan army have come to the fore in Tamil Nadu even as the Lok Sabha elections scene is hotting up. All the parties have taken it up as their top poll agenda and called for an immediate ceasefire in the Island. Even as the candidates are busy with the soft launch of their campaigning, the intensifying war in Sri Lanka and the sufferings of innocent Tamils have caught the attention of parties. more..

Why these Tamil sons in London, mourning their slain mothers in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (ES) What's your name, please?” “Miles.” “First name?” “Superintendent.” “Your parents must have been very farsighted.” “Yes, when they had me 47 years ago they probably realised I'd end up here one day.” Here being the steps of Portcullis House, the MPs' office block in Westminster, and Superintendent Miles being the Met commander on the ground charged with policing this, more..

Sri Lanka denies using chemical weapons against LTTE

Apr 9 (IANS) The Army Thursday denied its troops 'extensively used chemical weapons' against the Tamil Tigers. The army called the allegation by the LTTE another effort by the 'pro-Tiger mouthpieces worldwide ... unable to digest the humiliating defeat at the hands of security forces'. 'The army categorically denies LTTE's baseless allegations and strongly affirms that the army has no need to use such weapons when they were so close to the last leg of the war. more..

Rebel website claims Sri Lanka army killed 129 civilians

Apr 9 (AFP) Heavy shelling by the Sri Lankan army of a designated safe area has left 129 civilians dead and 282 wounded, the pro-Tamil Tiger website said Thursday. The website said government forces pounded the area on the northeast coast throughout Wednesday, hitting sites including a child nutrition centre. It said the attack was the single "most cruel carnage" by the army in months of fighting. more..

Pottu Amman orders LTTE 'police chief' to move forces frontline

Apr 9 (PTI) Bracing for a fresh offensive around the no-fire zone in Pudukudiyirippu, Black Tigers' head and LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman has ordered his police chief Ilango to move all his forces to the frontline. The order came as the LTTE has been busy with building command bunkers and other fortifications on the NFZ border close to the causeway, knowing the possibility of civilians trying to escape their rule in large numbers from this area, more..

Rights group slams Sri Lanka over murder probe

Apr 9 (AFP) An international media rights group said Thursday there was a "lack of political will" in Sri Lanka to identify the killers of an anti-establishment newspaper editor. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders accused Sri Lankan authorities of dragging out the probe into the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was gunned down near the capital on January 8. more..

LTTE media targets Sonia over war debacle

Apr 9 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi has come under vicious attack in Tamil Tiger media over India's failure to end the war in Sri Lanka, worrying the Indian security establishment. In media controlled or influenced by the LTTE and also in pro-LTTE street protests, fingers are being pointed at New Delhi for the stinging military reverses the Tigers have suffered. more..

Sri Lanka military denies attack on safe zone

Apr 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's military Thursday denied rebel allegations that it had killed 129 people by firing into a designated safe zone where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped. A pro-rebel Web site accused the military of shelling a narrow "no-fire" zone on the island's northeast coast where the remaining forces of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are mixed in with the civilians. more..

LTTE mails, denies Sonia on their hitlist

Apr 10 (IBN) A day after Government alerted various states to be on guard for a possible LTTE attack on Congress President Sonia Gandhi during the election campaign, an LTTE spokesman denied the report. In a letter to CNN-IBN, political head of the LTTE, Nadesan, wrote, “All these are part of the malicious propaganda intended to divert the plight of the sufferings of the Tamil civilians and their quest for self determination. more..

Crows and Reptiles

Apr 10 (GV) At least three mornings, a week Samantha (my partner) and I go to a club in Colombo, a quiet private place for some exercise and a swim. I enjoy this morning routine and use the back garden to stretch, jog and use the bars. However, over the last two years this routine is disturbed by a battle that I have with a bunch of Crows who I presume are not happy about me entering their space. more..

Time for Muslims to rise against the traitors -Part 01

Apr 10 (LG) Displaying the deep heartfelt gratitude for the gallantry and firmness of the Commander in Chief President Mahinda Rajapkse for unwaveringly commanding our heroic forces who are on the last leg of totally annihilating the tiger terrorists, people from the East, Sabaragamuwa, North Central, Central and North Western provinces eschewed all their political, ethnic and other petty differences and rallied round the ruling party candidates and more..

Tigers rob Sewalanka vehicles

Apr 10 (LG) The news item datelined Colombo appearing in on of the daily news papers on April 09, 2009 needs very close scrutiny by the security forces and the government authorities and specially by the Committee headed by Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights which has been, appointed on the instructions of Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to probe INGO/NGO activities in Sri Lanka. more..

No room for complacency

Apr 10 (LG) The Sri Lankan army may claim that it has broken the back of the LTTE by wresting control of the north-eastern district of Mullaitivu which it says was the Tamil militant outfit’s “last bastion”, but until its leader Prabhakaran is capured dead or alive, there can be no finality about it. True, the Tamil Tigers are battered and on the run but Prabhakaran has the potential to re-build the once-awesome force if he is not tracked down. more..

'Mahinda, Dallus and 8 others should also be in the cage, of I am imprisoned for betraying country by signing the CFA'

Apr 10 (LeN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe says that the President Mahinda Rajapakse is among the prominent leaders that helped him to take the ceasefire agreement forward. He expressed amazement over the President's statement that he betrayed the country through the ceasefire agreement. more..

Vaiko lost his balance: Congress

Apr 10 (MO) statement of firebrand MDMK General Secretary Vaiko warning of a "bloodbath in Tamil Nadu" in the event of anything happening to LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Congress Thursday said he had lost his balance and sense of proportion under the heat of elections. "May be the electoral heat made Vaiko lose his balance and sense of proportion," AICC spokesman Anand Sharma said at the party headquarters. more..

Rebel police firing at civilians: military

Apr 10 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan military on Thursday blamed Tamil Tiger rebels' police of firing at civilians in order to deter them from leaving their grasp in the no-fire zone (NFZ) declared by the government in the northern Mullaittivu district. Officials from the Ministry of Defense said that LTTE deputy leader Pottu Amman had ordered the rebels' police to fire at civilians who wanted to leave the NFZ. more..

Treat Tamils with dignity even if LTTE is defeated: Karunanidhi

Apr 10 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader M Karunanidhi on Thursday said the Sri Lankan government should treat Tamils with honour and dignity even if the LTTE was defeated in the ongoing offensive by the island nation's Army. Addressing a rally here to protest against the offensive, he said, "Tamils should be given equal rights and powers in the affairs of Sri Lanka. History will not forgive Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, if he illtreats Tamils." more..

Killing civilians

Apr 10 (Economist) Over 60 refugees are reported to have been killed by shellfire in north-eastern Sri Lankan on Wednesday April 8th. They were among thousands trapped by fighting between the army and surviving Tamil Tiger rebels, who are making a last stand on Mullaitivu beach, a sandy-spit between the Indian Ocean and a long lagoon. The beach, which is roughly 17km in length and 1.5km wide, has been designated as a “no-fire zone” by the army, which claims to have surrounded it. more..

UN, Sri Lanka discuss plight of trapped civilians

Apr 10 (AFP) UN chief Ban Ki-moon reviewed the humanitarian crisis in strife-hit northern Sri Lanka with President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday and asked that trapped civilians be allowed to leave the area, the world body said. A UN statement said the two leaders "spoke again today (by telephone) about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Vanni region and their shared concerns about the civilians still trapped in the area." more..

Canada pushing for Sri Lanka ceasefire: Cannon

Apr 10 (CH) Rejecting a call by the Sri Lankan envoy to Canada to end days of disruptive protests in Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Thursday that Canada is pushing the United Nations for a ceasefire in the troubled South Asian country. "We've asked for an immediate ceasefire. We're very worried, of course, of the hostilities that are taking place but particularly worried for the civilians that are in the combat zone," Cannon said. more..

No pause to operations - Govt

Apr 10 (BBC) The government says that it has no intention to declare a pause in the ongoing military offensive despite calls by the UN. Minister of Human rights, Mahinda Samarasinha told Sandesaya that the UN once proposed a cease fire and later a pause but the government of Sri Lanka has consistently maintained that the rebels should lay down weapons and end hostilities. “We are moving inch by inch to minimize civilian causalities” said Minister Samarasinha. more..

Sri Lanka Rugby face player revolt

Apr 10 (KT) Sri Lanka rugby seems to be fighting a battle for survival on several fronts despite their gallant performance against Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the Asian Five Nations tournament on Wednesday. It is a wonder that Sri Lanka managed to participate in the tournament at all after 18 players from the original squad pulled out on the eve of their departure to Dubai, said the manager of the team Lasitha Guneratne speaking to Khaleej Times. more..

Sri Lankan representative in Palestine donates computer Church in Rmallah

Apr 10 (AT) Sri Lankan Representative in Palestinian National Authority Dr T.Jayasinghe donated a computer to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Ramallah area, and Father Yacoub Khoury received the donation from the Representative of Sri Lanka Palestinian National Authority. Participating at the meeting held on the occasion of donating the computer were Father Tal’at Awad and three members of the Church. more..

Religious Liberty Groups Spotlight Sri Lanka Crisis

Apr 10 (CT) Religious freedom groups are calling on Christians around the world to pray for humanitarian efforts to reach uprooted Sri Lankan civilians affected by the ongoing civil war and for the country to respect religious freedom. In “The Toronto Statement,” the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) addresses proposed anti-conversion laws, the need to support those affected by the conflict between the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE, more..

Gaddafi appreciative of Sri Lanka’s success in defeating the ruthless terrorist organization

Apr 10 (AT) The strengthening economic and trade ties between Libya and Sri Lanka featured prominently in bilateral talks held on Friday between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Libyan Head of State Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the special venue for meetings with distinguished visitors at Sheri, Libya. President Rajapaksa who is the first Sri Lankan Head of State to visit Libya apprised the more..

After bloodbath speech, Vaiko wants Tamil Eelam

Apr 10 (IBN) MDMK chief Vaiko's bloodbath speech on the LTTE issue and his demand for an independent Tamil Eelam is catching up everybody's attention. An FIR has also been registered against Vaiko under three sections of Indian Penal Code including sedition for which he can get life imprisonment. "It has been quite a long time and we have forgotten what happened in Sriperumbudur. more..

Drums & drama mask dance from Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (HA) Dramatic ritual, ribald comedy, fantastic imagery, demons, animals, kings and queens – all of these and more are interwoven into the masked performances of Sri Lanka. Through these performances, traditional values and contemporary concerns alike are conveyed to villagers in marketplaces, village centers, private courtyards, and even tourist sites. In a rare performance of Sri Lankan dance in Hawai'i, the Southern Sri Lanka Dance Company from Matara will perform at more..

Army fears clashes between LTTE, civilians

Apr 10 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Thursday said serious disturbances had been observed in the “No-Fire Zone” (NFZ) on Wednesday afternoon. According to the military, LTTE cadre and leaders, including its chief Velupillai Prabakaran, have taken shelter in the NFZ. The Defence Ministry said loud explosions and machinegun fire were heard in the Ampalawanpokkanai area and attributed them to a possible clash between LTTE cadre and civilians stranded in the NFZ. more..

Mediators call for end to 'futile' Sri Lanka fighting

Apr 10 (EU) International mediators of the conflict that has pitted separatist Tamil Tigers against government forces in Sri Lanka on Thursday called for both camps to cease their "futile" fighting. The LTTE should "permit freedom of movement for the civilians" trapped in the strife-hit northern part of the country, representatives of the Tokyo Co-Chairs -- the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway -- said in a statement. more..

In the name of its civilization IC is answerable

Apr 10 (TN) "If the refusal of the Sri Lankan state to mend its ways and the violence it perpetrated have made the Tamil youth of the 1970s to get into militancy, it is the stubbornness of the International Community in not rectifying its blunder of perpetrating a genocidal war against Tamils in Sri Lanka that has now made the diaspora youth to take to streets defying procedures," writes Opinion Columnist Chivanadi. more..

Stop shelling ‘No-Fire Zone’

Apr 10 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should stop firing heavy artillery into the "no-fire zone" in the northern Vanni area where some 100,000 civilians are trapped by the separatist LTTE, causing skyrocketing casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called upon the United Nations Security Council to take urgent measures, including by sending a special envoy to Sri Lanka, to bring an end to violations of international humanitarian law by government forces and the LTTE. more..

A shameful siege

Apr 10 (Times) Between 50,000 and 150,000 civilians are living in fear of their lives on a narrow coastal strip of northern Sri Lanka, the last refuge of the Tamil Tigers. The area is fringed with palms, but there the idyll ends. According to UN estimates 2,800 people, excluding Tamil fighters, have died here in the past two months. A doctor at one of its health centres claimed this week that more were dying from injuries from shelling, at a rate of 20 a day, and more..

Editorial: Restrain Vaiko

Apr 10 (TOI) Vaiko's admiration for the LTTE is well known. And his party's concern for the beleaguered Tamils in Sri Lanka is understandable. But his recent outbursts on the issue are alarming and a threat to social peace. On Wednesday, he warned of a bloodbath in Tamil Nadu if any harm was done to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. His party Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) even passed a resolution seeking a removal of the ban on the LTTE in India. more..

A change of tactics?

Apr 10 (Guardian) As the storm over last week's G20 protests continues to rage, another major demonstration, over the fighting in Sri Lanka, has been going on in London. So how have these other, far less high-profile, protesters been policed this week, in the wake of Ian Tomlinson's death and the furore over kettling and other police tactics? Yesterday, in London's Parliament Square, I found around 300 Tamil protesters; it was day four of their protest. more..

Violence against women - Part 2

Violence against women - Part 1

'Dual registration is a deliberate fraud of the Election Commissioner'

Apr 10 (LeN) UNP urges the Election Commissioner to clarify how more than 62,000 persons were registered in the voters' list of Colombo district immediately before the Western Provincial Council election. UNP media unit chief MP Lakshman Kiriella made this appeal on behalf of his party. The number of voters in Colombo district has increase suddenly with 133,000 numbers with the addition of 62,000 voters in the above method. more..

'Praba eats a piece of Dosai with flour delivered by the govt'

Apr 10 (LeN) Minister Dallus Alahapperuma says that the LTTE killer group with its leading killer is restricted in a small patch of land and their movements are monitored by the Army cautiously since civilians are harmed. Addressing a press meet held in Colombo yesterday, Minister Alahapperuma said that the security forces were ready for the worlds biggest ever rescue operation to free around 40,000 hostages. more..

Good Friday the truth is crucified

Apr 10 (AT) If the world is said to be millions of years old, in proportion in the recent times there had been noble men who had established religions – like Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism and there are also other religions. A religious person is identified as a person of piety, flowing kindness, empathy, compassion and above all tolerance – tolerating others. more..

Threat to Sonia Gandhi from LTTE: India says 'Yes', Tigers say 'No'

Apr 10 (AT) There are conflicting reports on threat posed by the LTTE to Sonia Gandhi. The government had alerted various states to be on guard for a possible LTTE attack on Congress President Sonia Gandhi during the election campaign. But an LTTE spokesman has denied the report in a letter to TV channel, CNN-IBN. Political head of the LTTE, Nadesan, told the Channel ‘All these are part of the malicious propaganda intended to more..