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A mind unlimited - A farewell to Tissa,A true friend

Apr 25 (LG) We last met in Kandy at Ashley Halpe’s Festschrift celebration - and that was not too long ago. Tissa was to me his same rugged self, cracking a joke now and then, remarking on all manner of things. But I did see a tiredness in his eyes as we sat in the marquee that held such a crush of friends and wellwishers. "Varana" the Halpe’s residence was overrun that night and there was a drizzle that fell like a blessing over it all. more..

Parable of large dog and 10 cats applies to current Jaffna scenario

Apr 25 (LG) As the defeat of the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lankan armed forces looms, I am reminded of the simple story that Jaffna-native Kalyani told her American-born niece Yalini, the narrator of the 2008 novel Love Marriage: Imagine that you are in a room, and there are ten cats and one large dog. They are fighting. Who will win? The dog, of course. She nods: right, right. The cats are smaller. Of course in the end they will lose. They will die. more..


Apr 25 (LG) If some one fools any one the first time and gets away with it, he is cleverer than the one fooled. The one fooled may have been trusting and thus become vulnerable to being fooled. If the same person succeeds in fooling the same victim a second time, the victim is definitely a fool. However, if this person tries to fool the same victim a third time, he is the fool, unless the victim is an imbecile. This analogy applies rather aptly to describe some aspects of the relationship between the LTTE and the Tamils of Sri Lanka. more..

UNHCR Representative on Sri Lanka

Mounting civilian death toll in Sri Lankan war

Apr 25 (wsws) Despite the Sri Lankan government’s ban on any independent reporting from the island’s war zone, further evidence has emerged of the scale of the army’s crimes as it seeks to destroy the remaining pockets of resistance by the separatist LTTE. A UN report leaked to the media yesterday put the number of civilian deaths over the past three months at 6,432, many of them children, and 13,946 wounded. more..

Another carnage imminent as the two Indian mandarins return

Apr 25 (TN) In lines of precedence with Colombo, which escalates war immediately following consultations with India, another carnage is anticipated with the return of the two Indian mandarins, Menon and Narayanan, from Sri Lanka on Friday, Tamil circles in Colombo said. Earlier, on Thursday, the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee accused the LTTE of "barbaric" attempts. Meanwhile, US State Department Friday asked the LTTE to consider surrendering to a 'third party'. more..

Physical capture and incarceration of people: latest ways of neo-colonialism

Apr 25 (TN) "The pundits of political science may have to revise the connotations of the word neo-colonialism as indirect ways of imperialism only operating through economy. The experiment that is taking place with the Tamil question in the island of Sri Lanka indicates that powers of today are bold enough to orchestrate physical capture of people in brutal ways without worrying about casualty and the imprisonment of the remaining indefinitely, more..

Hilary Clinton’s hundred days as Secretary of State off-handish and callous

Apr 25 (LG) Hilary Clinton’s first hundred days as Secretary State did not bring the predicted breath of fresh air. No path-breaking gust of insight blew us off our feet. Her pronouncement that she was sorry about the Sri Lanka situation was a truism not worthy of a Secretary of State. She just ignored or overlooked the human shield used by Prabhakaran to put thousands in harm’s way. She was off-handish and callous. more..

Election Commissioner's challenge accepted; Colombo, Gampaha multiple registration lists issued

Apr 25 (LeN) Community Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) explains that 12,369 persons have registered more than once in electoral registries in Gampaha district and they have been issued 24,863 polling cards. According to a statement of the CAFFE, 12,248 persons have registered two times in Gampaha district. 118 persons have registered three times, two persons four times and there is one person registered five occasions. more..

No refuge for Lankan refugees

Apr 25 (HT) The word Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK), the name of a town located some 380 km north-east of Colombo, means a new settlement in Tamil — a settlement for people about to begin a new life. On Friday, as the strong sun beat down on their emaciated and dehydrated lives, thousands of displaced Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka’s war zone could only hope and pray that beyond this battle-scarred town lay a better future. more..

A large number of election violations already – NEM-IHR

Apr 25 (LT) Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) states within three hours of the commencement of polling at the Western PC election there have been a large number of election violations. Dr. Anura Karunathileke, Secretary of civil and political affairs of the NEM-IHR said his organization was receiving a large number of complaints regarding violation of the election law. more..

WPC election starts; voting peaceful sans few minor incidents

Apr 25 (LeN) The polls to elect 102 councilors for the Western Provincial Council commenced 7 am today. Election monitoring organizations CAFFE, PAFFREL and CMEV says that polling was peaceful sans several minor incidents. Armed goons chased the opposition polling agents in several polling centers in Maligawaththa in Central Colombo electorate. A spokesman of the UNP election monitoring center said that more..

Mano counters Wimal & says won't flee country

Apr 25 (CT) Democratic People's Front leader Mano Ganeshan said he is not a coward to flee the country for fear of Wimal Weerawansa's stinging remarks. The DPF chief said the past of NFF leader does not give him any moral right to speak about terror or democracy. He rejected an accusation by Mr. Weerawansa that he had attended an LTTE heroes' day function, and reminded him that he had participated in JVP's November heroes remembrances. more..

UNP suspends Lakshman Yapa & Lionel Premasiri

Apr 25 (CT) The UNP has suspended the party membership of Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena and Lionel Premasiri, and informed them about the decision, said party general secretary Tissa Attanayake. Mr. Attanayake told 'Colombo Today' that the working committee of the UNP took the decision at a meeting yesterday (Apr. 23). According to the party constitution, a UNP member who has accepted positions of another party loses his/her party membership. more..

No Indian call for true - Govt

Apr 25 (CT) India had not called for a ceasefire during the talks the Sri Lankan government had with its emissaries in Colombo, said Lalith Weeratunga, secretary to the president. Indian national security advisor M.K. Narayanan and external affairs secretary Shivshankar Menon met with president Mahinda Rajapaksa and other top government officials yesterday (Apr. 24). more..

TULF leader repeats call for political solution

Apr 25 (CT) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree has repeated his call for a political solution to the national conflict. He has noted that 12 years into the end of war in Jaffna, the people of the peninsula were yet to enjoy true freedom. A similar fate for the Wanni people after the ongoing war will further establish the futility of war, he said. There should be no reemergence of an LTTE, the leader of the TULF stressed, adding that the government should now focus on a political solution.

NFF MP unaware who took his vehicle used in killing

Apr 25 (CT) NFF MP Piyasiri Wijenayake said he was unaware who had taken his vehicle which had reportedly been used in the murder of JVP activist Nandana Balage. According to police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara, the MP had given a statement to this effect to police. In light of his statement, investigations into the killer are still ongoing, he said. The SSP attributed a vague statement given by the JVP as soon as the incident, to the further delay in the probe.

Are 'lamps' ready?

Apr 25 (LNP) Today, the Western Province goes to the polls. Like the previous PC elections, today`s contest, too, will be a referendum on the government`s military campaign as the successful war has eclipsed all other issues. The government is banking on the euphoric mood of the masses to bag the much coveted WPC and the Opposition is trying to market doom and gloom by drawing the public attention to the seamy side of the national economy and high cost of living. Which side will win is not difficult to predict. more..

Let this be the moment that defines us

Apr 25 (GV) For over three decades, we have bombed and shot each other, split our tears and shed them only for ‘our own’, split our joys and celebrated as ‘their’ mothers, wives and children cried. This war will not end when the last shot if fired. Let us not wait till the last shot is fired. Let us not wait for tomorrow… for the ‘war’ to ‘end’ to realise that we are but branches of the same family tree. more..

Rescue mission most human

Apr 25 (DN) Contrary to biased reports circulating in the international media and among NGO and INGO circles the rescue mission that is being conducted successfully in the Vanni has been most humane, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the Daily News yesterday. According to information from ground sources in Puthumattalan and Ampalavanpokkanai the civilians arriving in the Government controlled area have been quite vocal in expressing more..

Case hearing against Bogollagama suspended

Apr 25 (DN) Colombo District Judge Sampath Wijeratne yesterday issued an Enjoining Order restraining the UNP from suspending the party membership of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. The Court issued the Order after Minister Bogollagama filed a petition before the Court alleging that the defendants of this plaint had no right to take a decision to suspend his party membership of the UNP as informed to him from a letter dated March 26, 2009. more..

Civilians trapped in 'no fire zone'

Demining East will end soon

Apr 25 (DN) The Eastern Province was cleared of 95 percent of the mines that were laid by the LTTE terrorists. The demining process will be completed by the end of this month and the resettlement program will be completed in May in Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa districts. "In Mannar District, demining is going on in 15 Divisional Secretariat divisions. Mines in six divisions have already been cleared and 125 families will be resettled in their original places in Musali area end of this month," more..

WP goes to the polls today: Polls chief vows to get tough

Apr 25 (Island) All’s set for today’s election where 2,378 candidates of various hues will vie for 104 Western Provincial Council seats. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said he had requested political party secretaries to see that their candidates do not violate election laws. He said he would not hesitate to nullify the polls at any Polling Station where election laws were infringed. more..

'Only Prabhakaran can explain the surrender of his political wing members'

Apr 25 (Island) Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said yesterday that only LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, can explain the reason for two of his senior political wing members surrendering. Asked, at yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing, held in Colombo, if it was not strange that only two members of the LTTE’s political section, Daya Master and George had surrendered to the army and none from its military wing, more..

'Mahaweli waters contaminated with Cadmium'

Apr 25 (Island) Research carried out by Prof. Sarath Bandara, Professor of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya, has revealed that the waters of River Mahaweli is contaminated with Cadmium from upstream down. Cadmium is a heavy metal that has been incriminated in the development of Renal Failure in humans and animals. It is also strongly suspected as the causative agent of the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) epidemic that has affected various parts of the North-Central Province. more..

Govt. agrees in principle to UN visit to war zone

Apr 25 (DM) The government has agreed in principle to permit a United Nations team to visit the war zone in the North though logistical arrangements for such a visit are to be ironed out, a top government official told Daily Mirror yesterday. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the green light for such a visit to areas where civilians remained trapped in Mullaitivu was initially given when more..

UNP blasts Polls Chief

Apr 25 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday accused Elections Chief Dayananda Dissanayake of giving two months campaigning time for the Western Provincal Council election to enable the government to gain more political mileage from military victories. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference his party believed the government had requested Mr. Dissanayake for an extended period for election campaigning and that he had agreed to it. more..

Movie style bank bust

Apr 25 (DM) A Hollywood - style highly professional bank heist took place yesterday when three armed men orchestrated a hostage drama and comfortably got away with Rs.13 million from the Union Bank in Wellawatte. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said the robbers escaped with the money in the Bank Manager’s own car that was later found abandoned nearby. He said the three men had reportedly entered the Union Bank on Galle Road, more..

France to provide 100-bed field hospital for IDPs

Apr 25 (AT) Responding to a call to the international community made yesterday by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama for emergency relief assistance for the large number of civilians who have fled LTTE control and sought sanctuary in the cleared areas in recent days, the French Foreign Minister, Dr Bernard Kouchner telephoned his Sri Lankan counterpart and informed that France will be providing a fully equipped 100-bed field hospital, backed by a 75 strong medical and support staff immediately. more..

Majumder stands out in dull draw

Apr 25 (CI) A century from Amit Majumder set Sri Lanka Under-19s a stiff 262-run chase, but openers Dinesh Chandimal and Udara Jayasundera, despite hitting fifties, could manage only 113 in the remaining 28 overs as the first Test at Fatuallah ended in a draw. Resuming on 286 for 8, the Sri Lanka U-19s resistance lasted just seven balls with Chandimal ending on 184. Noor Hossain trapped Madushan Ekanayake to end with a five-wicket haul. more..

'I told myself it's just another day'

Apr 25 (CI) The Lahore attack still weighs heavy on Mahela Jayawardene's mind, to the extent that he finds it difficult even now to board the team bus while on duty for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. He considers this part of his recovery process, though even with counseling it hasn't been an easy experience. "I told myself it's just another day and I have to move on," Jayawardene said about the first time he got on to a team bus after the Lahore attack last month. more..

US supports Indian efforts to stop fighting in Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (PTI) The United States has said it supports the Indian efforts to stop fighting in Sri Lanka and appealed to both the Rajapaksa government and LTTE to end hostilities. "We support Indian efforts to stop the fighting," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters. "We understand that two Indian government special emissaries arrived in Lanka to convey their government's concerns about the conflict to the government of Sri Lanka," he said. more..

'Rights of Tamil civilians sacrosanct'

Apr 25 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Saturday said that while the LTTE was a terrorist outfit and responsible for killing his father, the rights of the Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka are 'sacrosanct' and everything should be done to ameliorate their plight. 'For me the Sri Lanka issue is very, very simple. There are Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka who are suffering because of the war taking place there. more..

Father's assassination made me furious: Priyanka Gandhi

Apr 25 (IANS) For the first few years after her father's assassination, Priyanka Gandhi, the daughter of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, said she had been 'absolutely furious'. 'I didn't realise (at that time), but I was absolutely furious. Not with any individual, but with the whole world,' Priyanka Gandhi said. Her father was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber while campaigning for the 1991 general elections in Sriperumbudur, in Tamil Nadu. more..

Tamil civilians died like flies, say survivors

Apr 25 (IANS) The mass of Tamil women and children struggling to walk out of Sri Lanka's war zone were so emaciated that an aid worker thought he was seeing a horror movie. Some of them had become so thin that their bones could be seen under the thin layer of fleshless skin. They were in bloodstained, dirty and torn clothes that had not been washed for several weeks. Many had untreated festering wounds. more..

How BBC spin feeds a civil war

Sri Lanka rebels forcing children to fight, UN says

Apr 25 (Guardian) Children as young as 12 are being given guns and forced to fight on the frontline alongside desperate Tamil Tiger rebels cornered inside Sri Lanka's no-fire zone, the UN said today. Those forcibly recruited included the 16-year-old daughter of a member of the UN staff, who had stayed inside the narrow strip of coast where the LTTE are making their last stand. more..

Prabhakaran's death will not solve problem

Apr 25 (TW) I was at the Inter-national Institute of Strategic Studies in London when Gen. K. Sundarji asked me to take charge of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. In February 1988, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sanctioned the IPKF. Initially, I was assigned an ageing helicopter in Sri Lanka, until Rajiv came to know about it and surprised me with a brand new chopper. But the Sri Lankan issue put a lot of tough options before him. more..

Letting the tiger loose

Apr 25 (TW) Ally troubles of the Congress seem to have no end. While trusted friend Lalu Prasad Yadav now sounds like an enemy, southern ally K. Karunanidhi has pushed the party to a tight spot with his controversial comments on the LTTE and its chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran. The DMK supremo told a TV channel that Prabhakaran was his "good friend", and that he would "deeply regret" if he was killed in the Sri Lankan military offensive on the LTTE. more..

Anticipating an end to Sri Lanka's war

Apr 25 (BBC) With the civil war in Sri Lanka apparently in its final days, the government is accusing Tamil Tiger rebels of causing a humanitarian disaster with tens of thousands of civilians thought to be trapped in the tiny remaining stretch of rebel territory. Earlier this week, at dead of night, a massive electric storm hit Sri Lanka's western coast. Lightning flashed through the skies, illuminating Colombo's gracious colonial bungalows and proud commercial skyscrapers, its temples, churches and mosques. more..

'Forces missed Prabhakaran by whisker'

Apr 25 (PTI) Tamil Tigers supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides were recently missed by a whisker by the security forces, a top Sri Lankan commander said, claiming that the rebel leader had limited options either to give up or commit suicide. "We got to know that Prabhakaran had moved through the Pudukudiryirippu-Iranmalai road on a day between March 29-31, just about two days before the army fully laid seige to that area," more..

G8 condemns use of "human shields" in Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (Reuters) The Group of Eight nations issued a plea on Saturday for thousands of civilians caught up in Sri Lanka's civil war and strongly condemned the Tamil Tiger rebels' use of "human shields". With diplomatic pressure over the 25-year-old war building up and thousands of refugees unable to escape the battle zone in the north of the country, G8 foreign ministers urged an end to the conflict and backed sending in U.N. humanitarian assistance. more..

Crouching Tiger

Apr 25 (TW) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is many things to many people-national leader, freedom fighter, revolutionary, guerrilla, killer, saviour, tyrant, visionary and terrorist. Lionised or demonised, depending on their standpoint. I cannot know what is going on in Prabhakaran's head, but I am certain he is neither frightened nor desperate. He is not afraid of death. He has been courting it since he was 17. more..

Rebels warn of starvation in Sri Lanka war zone

Apr 25 (AP) Tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's northern war zone are facing starvation, the Tamil Tiger rebels warned Saturday as the U.N. sent its top humanitarian official to assess the crisis. Reports of chaos in the northern war zone have increased in recent days as the Sri Lankan military pushed forward with its offensive to destroy the rebel group and end the Indian Ocean island nation's bloody quarter-century civil war. more..

Top UN envoy to press Sri Lanka on civilians

Apr 25 (AFP) The UN's humanitarian chief was due in Sri Lanka Saturday as international concern over civilians trapped in the island's warzone fuelled a White House call for an immediate ceasefire. John Holmes' three-day mission will focus on pushing the government to facilitate humanitarian missions in and around the conflict zone and to allow proper access to tens of thousands of displaced civilians, the UN said. more..

Sri Lankans in Qatar celebrate New Year

Apr 26 (TP) Around 10,000 Sri Lankans celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New Year at the Al Hambal School grounds. The programme began with the hoisting of the national flags of Qatar and Sri Lanka, followed by the lighting of a traditional lamp by Vijayasiri Padukkage, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Qatar; Nimal Thillakaratne, Deputy General Manager, Sampath Bank; Milinda Balasuriya, Country Manager, SriLankan Airlines; Batti Saleh Al Hitmi, Principal, more..

500 Meters from last battle zone

Apr 26 (Xinhua) With black smoke rising into the sky and the sound of intermittent artillery shelling pounding ears, it's hard to decide whether you are standing near the no fire zone (NFZ) created for war-displaced innocent civilians or witnessing a fresh battle between the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. The 20-sq-km NFZ, about 400 km north east of the capital Colombo, was declared by the Sri Lankan government in January to more..

Tamil civilians relate tales of horror

Apr 26 (PTI) Hundreds of Tamil civilians fleeing the war zone walked listlessly as they arrived at this village, once a vital supply line of the Tamil Tigers, which now bears witness to the imminent defeat of the LTTE after a 25-year-old battle. Soon after their arrival here, the civilians, who have crossed over with horrific tales of war and destruction, were moved to a temporary shelter after being given refreshments. more..

Sri Lanka’s war is not an ‘internal matter’

Apr 26 (OC) Those of us living or working in downtown Ottawa have seen the effects of the war in Sri Lanka at our own front doorstep recently. Demonstrations over the past two weeks in the downtown core have featured Canada’s strong Tamil community calling on Parliament to act immediately to bring peace and protection to their people. The tens of thousands of deaths, towns and villages destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people made homeless in this long conflict have not, more..