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Sri Lanka needs a political solution

Apr 24 (National) Tamil Tigers are not supposed to surrender. The pioneers of suicide bombing, the LTTE have assiduously built an image of self-sacrifice embodied by the cyanide capsule they carry to avoid being captured alive. The surrender on Wednesday of two top officials, including the group’s spokesman Daya Master, was another nail in the coffin of a rebel movement that has fought for an independent Tamil state for more than 25 years. more..

Is LTTE only a Sri Lankan phenomenon and its demise highly exaggerated?

Apr 24 (AT) The former United Stated ambassador (2003-06) to Sri Lanka Jeffrey Lunstead declared two years ago in an analytical paper to the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation that Sri Lanka’s rebel Tamil Tiger outfit is a "Sri Lankan phenomenon" and that it "has no links to any other terrorist groups in the world." Lunstead analyzed thus: "the U.S. opposes all terrorist groups, but all such groups are not equal in the extent to which they threaten U.S. interests directly." more..

Sri Lankan Humanitarian Situation

Ottawa wants federal government to pay for $800,000 Tamil protest

Apr 24 (CNS) The two-week long Tamil demonstration near Parliament Hill cost Ottawa about $800,000 and the federal government should pay for it, says Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, who chairs the municipality's police board. El-Chantiry said a final accounting of city costs will be tabled at the board's next meeting Monday, but rough estimates put the police bill at $600,000, ambulance and fire services at $100,000, and other services at $100,000. more..

Assuming the worst for both Tamil and Sinhala innocents

Apr 24 (TC) Over 100,000 Tamil civilians have crossed over to be in the "safety" of the SL government, says official sources. The 20 sq km "no fire zone" was bifurcated the day before and another 12 sq km had been taken over by the military, according to latest reports. The SL war against the Tamil Tigers will be concluded within 48 hours from now (23 April night) according to government propaganda. more..

A point of view by a peace loving Sri Lankan Tamil

Apr 24 (IL) 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. more..

Enough Is Enough: Time for the IC to break relations with Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (IL) Although there are many people who would argue that the Sri Lankan government is fighting a genuine war against Tamil terrorism on the island, many of such people have failed to study the history of the conflict in its entirety including the background and genesis between the majority Sinhala chauvinism and the minority Tamils. They also fail to acknowledge that the government has been conducting a genocidal programme against the Tamils. more..

'Tigers resisting calls to surrender'

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cornered Tamil Tiger rebels put up stiff resistance despite calls for their surrender, the military said Thursday as the UN estimated 50,000 civilians were still trapped in the war zone. The army said the guerrillas were confined to a mere 10-12 square kilometres (around four square miles) of territory on the northeast coast, where thousands of civilians are trapped between government forces and the cornered rebels. more..

Crisis for children in Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (UNICEF) On any random morning, most 11-year-old Sri Lankan children are seated safely behind their school desks. In a nation that prides itself on being the regional leader in education, these students in their pristine uniforms listen attentively before the school bell says it's lunchtime. The clanging old bells are the loudest interruption of any school day. But a few weeks ago in the north of Sri Lanka, where there is intense fighting between government troops and the LTTE, more..

Wanni Operation 23 rd April 2009

The Sri Lankan government has won – let it stop fighting

Apr 24 (Independent) The Sri Lankan government has won its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It should now suspend military action. The safety of Tamil civilians, who have suffered grievously in this war, should be its paramount objective. Any further military offensive in pursuit of the LTTE leadership should be secondary to the interests of civilian safety and welfare. more..

Editorial: Send DART to Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (NP) This week saw the end of a large-scale demonstration by Canadian Tamils on Parliament Hill. The protest's final days featured an interesting development: After weeks of fruitless efforts to gain the attention of MPs, many of the protesters -- who were trying to raise awareness of a Sri Lankan military campaign that, they claim, is recklessly slaughtering civilians -- were no longer flying the flag of the Tamil Tigers, more..

Should Canada help the Tamils? The response

Apr 24 (NP) Yesterday we asked whether Canada should take a bigger role in Sri Lanka. There was a deluge of e-mails in response. A number supporting the Tamil Tigers carried similar messages in near-identical wording, the obvious result of the Tigers' sophisticated messaging network. Many others were clearly written by individuals with strong feelings. Most felt Canada should play a bigger role in the troubled country, more..

Sri Lanka converts state dollar loans to bonds

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka has converted hundreds of millions of dollar denominated loans from state banks in a move that will improve the transparency of government debt and make them marketable, an official said. In 2008, Sri Lanka has converted 593.07 million US dollars of loans from foreign currency banking units of mainly state-run bank of Ceylon into 2 and 5-year bonds. "This will improve the transparency of government debt," more..

'Investment Potential in Sri Lanka is unlimited and now is the time'

Apr 24 (IL) Market-friendly economic environment, rapidly stabilizing security conditions and emerging investment opportunities make it the ideal place for doing business”, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the U.S. told a business gathering here recently. “With democratic institutions and civil administration already in place and many international donors joining hands with the government, the eastern province of Sri Lanka offers an exceptional array of investment opportunities to the private sector entrepreneurs, both local and foreign” more..

Sri Lanka: Test falls on the war's victors

Apr 24 (ANN) Sri Lanka's Sinhalese-majority government believes a resolution to the country's Tamil secession question is within sight, via a military victory. The last of the Tamil Tiger rebels are in flight, dramatised by the government's triumphal 'surrender or die' demand made earlier in the week to remaining fighters trapped in a tiny enclave. If the fighting ends conclusively - by surrender, a coup de grace, or mass suicide - the Sinhala elite will have cause to be relieved, not unmixed with joy. more..

Sri Lanka to talk to France about mass exodus

Apr 24 (ANN) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogallagama yesterday said he would speak to his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner about the adverse remarks attributed to the latter on the civilians fleeing from the LTTE. Kouchner is reported to have said that civilians fleeing from the clutches of the LTTE in the ‘No Fire’ Zone were drowning in the seas and had suggested that France and Britain launch a joint humanitarian operation in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka crisis: Congress looks to blunt Jaya attack

Apr 24 (TOI) The DMK-Congress combine, which is 'doubly handicapped' because of being in power at both Centre and in Tamil Nadu, has been accused by the resurgent AIADMK-led alliance of failure to protect innocent Tamils. The effectiveness of the frantic intervention may be debatable, with Colombo till now showing no sign at all of relenting, but the Congress leadership clearly believes that it will help soothe frayed nerves in Tamil Nadu. more..

Karuna appointed a vice chairman of SLFP

Apr 24 (LeN) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to appoint Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman to a post of vice president of the party. The decision was taken at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party all island committee that met under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksha at the Temple Trees last evening (23). more..

Sri Lanka: Vote for the SEP in the provincial election

Apr 24 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls on workers, young people and intellectuals to vote for its candidates in the Western Provincial Council election to be held tomorrow. The SEP is standing a slate of 46 candidates, led by Vilani Peiris, for the Colombo District. All the candidates have a record of principled struggle for the interests of the working class, based on the perspective of socialist internationalism. more..

Deliberations to get UN approval for Tamil genocide

Apr 24 (TN) Statement diplomacy and behind the screen deliberations of Colombo, India, and the International Community are heading for tacit UN approval for the Tamil genocide in the island of Sri Lanka, news reports indicate. The stand taken by the UN Security Council, and also echoed by the US state department Wednesday, welcoming the capture and detention of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka Army is the first step of direct approval for the genocide, Tamil circles said. more..

Severely injured patients stream into Vavuniya hospital

Apr 24 (TC) Paul McMaster is working along with another Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgeon and Ministry of Health staff at Vavuniya hospital in the Northern province of Sri Lanka to treat some of the tens of thousands of civilians streaming out of the Vanni, the conflict zone to the north. Over the last few days an estimated 60,000 civilians have escaped the heavy fighting in the Vanni and many wounded have been brought in buses to Vavuniya hospital. more..

Sri Lankans in US outraged over Clinton remark on Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (AT) Sri Lankan Patriots a Sri Lankan activist group headquartered in Los Angeles in California has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing outrage at her remarks that military action against the LTTE 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. more..

A flashback of Kilinochchi (1988-2008)

Apr 24 (LG) Soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the Presidential election, the LTTE spokesperson K.V.Balakumar sarcastically remarked on the Political Stage programme on the LTTE Radio “Voice of Tigers”;-. “It is true that Banda (Bandaranayake) was the cause of the emergence of Pirabakaran and conversely Mahinda’s victory will be setting stage for the victory of Pirabakraan; what began by that Banda will be concluded by this Mahinda “Banda” (November 2006) . more..

Statement of Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

Apr 24 (PISL) Mr President, Sri Lanka congratulates you and those who worked so hard to develop this process of discussion and analysis, since we are clearly dealing here with a continuing problem for the world. I will not use the term international community, for that too has become a victim of racism, in as much as it is used to define a rag tag and bobtail of a few countries, the non-governmental organizations they fund and the press that privileges them. more..

24-hours given as a getaway for Prabhakaran? - Ranil

Apr 24 (CT) Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe has questioned the government whether a 24-hour deadline was given to the LTTE as a getaway for Prabhakaran, who is trapped and helpless within the No Fire Zone. Speaking at a public rally on April 22 in Gampaha, he said that this raised public speculation whether the deadline was imposed on mutual agreement between the government and the LTTE. more..

Ranil is endangered specie according to Darwin's evolution theory -Dallus

Apr 24 (LeN) As said by the evolution theory of Charles Darwin, Ranil Wickramasinghe is extinct specie whose moans will not be responded by the ruling party, says Dallus Alahapperuma, the Minister of Transport. He made these observations in response to the statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe at a meeting in Gampaha that a 24-hour ceasefire was declared to allow Velupillai Prabhakaran to escape. more..

Sri Lanka clears Tamil editor over rebel air attacks

Apr 24 (AFP) A Sri Lankan court on Friday released a Tamil newspaper editor who had been detained over alleged links to Tamil Tiger air attacks in the capital, an official said. Nadesapillai Vidyatharan, who edits the Sudar Oli daily, was detained in February under anti-terrorism laws, but police told the Colombo Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya that there was no evidence to proceed against him. more..

LTTE and Tamil People IV : Dedicated Tamils

Apr 24 (GV) In the previous essays within this cluster I have dwelt on the dedication to cause displayed by the Tamil Tigers and identified various inspirations or conditioning factors: namely, the Cankam poetry, the warrior tales from Indian history, the embodied practices of self-punishment exercised by religious devotees and the ‘everyday’ acts of surrogate sacrifice that are integral to Saivite Tamil life ways. more..

Pakistan Defence University delegation visits MOD

Apr 24 (MoD) A delegation from the Pakistan National Defence University called-on Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (April 23). The delegation was led by Rear Admiral Teyyab Ali Dogar, who were on a study tour to the island from 19th April to 25 April 2009. more..

Ranil visits Central Colombo area

Apr 24 (CT) In a visit to the Central Colombo electorate last evening (April 23), leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe encouraged party supporters against the fearful and repressive conditions existing in the run up to the Western Provincial Council polls. Religious leaders, including Buddhist monks, joined the UNP leader, as he spent over two hours in the area, traveling through the Bodhiraja Mawatha in Maligawatte, Colombo. more..

Navy arrests 20 persons illegally bound for Australia off Galle coast

Apr 24 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy arrested a multi-day trawler engaged in a human smuggling racket carrying 20 people to Australia off the coast of Galle. Naval craft on petrol detected the illegal trawler at a distance of 120 Nautical Miles while it was attempting to head towards Australia. All its occupants were taken into Naval custody and brought back to the Galle Harbour on the 24th of April. more..

'Bountiful in killing shells, but no means for food packets'

Apr 24 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) which was able to fire thousands of shells per day into the so-called safety zone to capture the civilians, doesn't have enough means to feed them when they are captured, said a District Secretariat official in Vavuniyaa. The SLA, which is still keeping the civilians inside the militarized zone, north of Oamanthai, for its screening, has asked the Tamil people of Vavuniyaa through loudspeaker announcements, to more..

A major victory on the diplomatic front

Apr 24 (LNP) Straws that Prabhakaran is clutching are snapping one by one. About two years ago after the army had begun its northward push and covered a considerable ground, Prabhakaran summoned some TNA parliamentarians to Kilinochchi and asked them to bring international pressure to bear on the government to give up its military onslaught and promised to hold out until then. Such was his unwavering faith in the international community. more..

Minister Devananda meets UN High Commissioners for Human Rights and Refugees

Apr 24 (GDI) Organized by the United Nations, the Durban Review Conference provides an opportunity to assess and accelerate progress on implementation of measures adopted at the 2001 World Conference against Racism, including assessment of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. more..

'Prabhakaran cannot flee' - Navy

Apr 24 (MoD) The Navy will not leave any room for LTTE leader Prabhakaran and his associates to flee the country by sea. Highly fortified naval defence lines and a high tech system has been placed to monitor the LTTE movements, said Commander Karunarathne. He said that the Navy had played a major role in preventing the LTTE activities and maritime operations during its last three decades. more..

31 Golden Key directors barred overseas travel

Apr 24 (CT) Thirty-one directors of Golden Key Credit Card Company of Ceylinco Consolidated have been barred from leaving the country, pursuant to an order given by Mount Lavinia chief magistrate Harsha Sethunga. With the Colombo judicial medical officer ruling out the necessity for further incarceration of group chairman Lalith Kotelawala, the key suspect, at Colombo National Hospital, he and seven other suspects were remanded further. more..

Japan welcomes rescue of civilians

Apr 24 (GDI) “Japan welcomes that, in the past few days, nearly 100,000 IDPs in the northern part of Sri Lanka controlled by the LTTE have moved to the area controlled by the Government of Sri Lanka”, states in Statement issued April 23 by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Humanitarian Situation of IDPs in Sri Lanka. more..

A competent authority officer appointed to look into the IDP welfare

Apr 24 (AT) 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. more..

Archbishop disowns leaflet

Apr 24 (DN) A forged letter purported to be from the Archbishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis had been circulated among the Roman Catholic clergy of the Western Province with the request to line up against the Government in an effort to defeat the UPFA at this week’s Provincial Council elections of the Western Province. However His Lordship the Bishop had informed all ‘Catholic clergy that the election propaganda leaflet did not originate from the Archbishop’s House, Colombo and more..

Significant rise in fish production

Apr 24 (DN) The country's fish production in 2008 has increased by 9.9 percent in comparison to the previous year (2007). The financial contribution made to the GDP by the production of fish for the years 2007 and 2008 were Rs. 24,686 million and Rs. 27,016 million respectively. The total percentage of the increase of sea fish production is 8.9, Fresh water fish production of the country has increased by 6.9 percent. more..

'Govt. committed to resettle all IDPs as early as possible'

Apr 24 (MoD) With the experience gained in resettling 187,000 IDPs in the Eastern Province in the post - conflict period, the government is confident of resettling nearly 200,000 IDPs now living in welfare centers in the Wanni as early as possible. The government is committed comprehensively to ensure the well - being of the civilians who have been evacuated, said Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe Minister of Disaster Management more..

Additional beds from State hospitals for civilians

Apr 24 (DN) The Government has made arrangements to allocate 1,000 beds from other state hospitals for patients rescued from the LTTE. This is in addition to treatment and space made available in State hospitals in the North and East, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has sent 300 doctors and 550 nurses to treat patients and has also appointed 200 intern doctors in the area. more..

Prisoners participate in garbage clearing

Apr 24 (DN) Although garbage was not a problem that needed to be brought before the Supreme Court, today it has become such a crucial issue that it had been brought before the Supreme Court. Those who obstruct civilized people deserved to be whipped without pardon Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva told at a function held at the Colombo Municipal Council to start a new city garbage disposal project yesterday. more..

‘L’ of a problem

Apr 24 (Island) Learner drivers are vehemently opposed to a move by the Commissioner of Motor Traffic to make it compulsory that they purchase a pair of ‘L’ boards at Rs. 300 from his Department to be fixed to their vehicles while undergoing training and when facing the driving test. The learners point out that a majority of them undergo training at learner driving schools and all vehicles provided by the training schools already have the ‘L’ boards fixed to their vehicle. more..

Prisons chief ordered to give reasons why Kotelawala kept in hospital

Apr 24 (Island) Twenty seven directors of the Golden Key affiliated entities were ordered by Mt. Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Setunge yesterday to surrender certified photo copies of their Passports to the controller of Emigration and Immigration. The Magistrate also ordered the Commissioner of Prisons to inform the Courts at the next date of hearing, fixed for May (21) of the reasons why Ceylinco Chairman Deshabandu Dr. Lalith Kotelawala more..

Did Kouchner slip up?

Apr 24 (Island) An AFP report on Wednesday, the 22nd April, which you referred to in your lead story today stated, "France proposed carrying out a joint relief operation with Britain to help civilians in Sri Lanka who have fled fighting between government forces and Tiger rebels. "We will try to launch an operation," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a radio interview, adding that he would discuss the plan with his British counterpart David Miliband. more..

Risks to civilians still “extremely high” - top UN official

Apr 24 (IRIN) UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes told IRIN there were still tens of thousands trapped in a pocket of fighting in northeastern Sri Lanka: “There may be as many as 50,000 or possibly even more people still left there," adding that heavy weapons were still being used by both sides. "The risks to these people are extremely high. That is our main concern." To address that, efforts are now under way to dispatch a humanitarian team to the combat area to assess the situation and enable more aid to get in. more..

Ambassador Palihakkara on CNN

LTTE keen on a BJP victory

Apr 24 (DM) The LTTE is now keen on a Bharathiya Janatha Party led government coming to power in India, as the current Congress government had failed to meet the expectations of the outfit. George Master who surrendered to the military, with former LTTE spokesman Daya Master, had told defence officials yesterday that the LTTE now wanted to see former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram taking over the reins from Chief Minister Karunanidhi who, ironically, had referred to LTTE leader Prabhakaran as a friend of his. more..