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World aid pours in

Apr 26 (NS) In response to the appeal for international aid to help the sudden influx of IDPs since last Monday, much assistance is now expected to pour in with France taking a lead role from among the international community with its Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner himself arriving next week with crucial assistance. Early this week Kouchner caused consternation here with his remarks that the fleeing IDPs were drowning in the sea and it required a boat rescue mission. more..

Biggest hostage rescue in military history

Apr 26 (NS) Brave soldiers of the country turned a new leaf in the military history of the world, by becoming the first force to undertake the release of the largest number of hostages. These brave soldiers were able to subdue the enemy almost completely, while safeguarding the civilians. The soldiers were able to conquer the forward defence line of the enemy by the dawn of April 20, and by April 24 some 104,868 civilians escaped from more..

Low turnout, but poll generally calm

Apr 26 (NS) The election day was generally calm and the voter turnout was relatively low, claimed political parties and election monitoring bodies, although a 23-year-old UPFA supporter was shot and admitted to hospital, and was later succumbed to his injuries, as a result of intra party violence soon after the polls closed. “Supporters of two young UPFA candidates clashed in the Badaowita, area of Mt. Lavinia, during which 23-year-old Chamila Pushpakumara was shot above the waist,” more..

Nurses reluctant to go north

Apr 26 (NS) The authorities in the north are facing a serious problem in finding an adequate number of nurses to treat the IDPs in Vavuniya, since the allocated nurses have refused to assume duties there due to fear. Chairman of GNO) Saman Rathnapriya told The Nation that even though 150 and 110 nurses respectively, were given appointment letters to assume duties in the east and north, only 113 have accepted their letters of appointment to the east and 25 to the north so far. more..

New Year celebrations in Vakarai

Keells Super launches dedicated ‘lower than the lowest price’ campaign

Apr 26 (Island) Keells Super launched a dedicated campaign last week to contribute towards easing the cost of living by offering consumers a range of commodities at "lower than the lowest price" in the market. "We have come out with a beneficial model to offer the best and lowest prices in town after assessing customer needs and re-looking at our supply chain", says Kumar De Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Jaykay Marketing Services (Pvt) Ltd., more..

'Dialogue and negotiation more appropriate to industrial peace than confrontation'

Apr 26 (Island) The International Labour Organisation (ILO) convened workshop discussions to initiate signing the tripartite agreement for social dialogue last week. Chief guest, Minister of Labour Athauda Seneviratne outlined benefits of the tripartite agreement signed by identified trade unions, employers, and the government to underscore its importance in that dialogue and negotiation were more appropriate to industrial peace than confrontation. more..

Raising the ante

Apr 26 (Island) Raising the ante is the name of the game that is now being played by some of the world’s most powerful nations as Sri Lanka’s armed forces engage in the task of finishing off the LTTE in the current phase of the long drawn war. On Friday, India sent two top officials, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon for talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo. more..

India trips Lanka at winning post?

Apr 26 (ST) The end of a gruelling two-and-half-decade long phase of the separatist war is now nearer than ever before - and just as the Security Forces are inching towards a finality, the international pressure to stop the fighting has also reached a peak. All that remains for the Army to re-capture is a ten square kilometre stretch of land that encompasses the No-Fire Zone -NFZ - (or the Civilian Safety Zone). more..

'Fight with people with guns, not those with pens'

Apr 26 (Island) The Editor of the Uthayan and Sudar-Oli newspapers, N. Vithiyatharan, who was released from detention last week, said that he had sought a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "As the editor of two national newspapers, I want to explain my position and also obtain the views of the President", he told The Sunday Island. Vithyatharan was released from detention last Friday after more..

Rohana captures Surya Nepal Masters in dramatic fashion

Apr 26 (NN) Anura Rohana clinched the Surya Nepal Masters 2009 title with an eagle two on the final hole to win his maiden professional event. With a final round of three-under 69, he finished two shots ahead of his compatriot, Mithun Perera, who returned a card of even-par 72 to finish at ten-under 278 for the tournament. Anura became richer by RS 405,000. Kunal Bhasin, who was in the mix of things until the leaders group made the turn, finished in sole third place, more..

Are we heading towards a debt trap?

Apr 26 (ST) There is considerable concern as to whether the country is heading towards a debt trap. This is a situation where the debt service payments are of such a magnitude that servicing of the debt requires further borrowing and then a country moves into a situation of defaulting on its debt servicing and repayment obligations. First and foremost it must be admitted that the country has never defaulted in its repayments. more..

Princess to reign the northern rails again

Apr 26 (ST) The stentorian but monotonous voice still rings in memory……..the down-train from KKS bound for Colombo Fort will arrive on Platform 1 in a few minutes. It will stop at…… Vivid are the memories of scrambling into the compartments at Anuradhapura; people sprawled full-length across the seats fast asleep; tapping them awake to get some room to sit; and burly, bleary-eyed men sullenly and reluctantly stretching up off the seats. more..

Don’t write the Tigers’ obit yet

Apr 26 (HT) The only truly astonishing event about the conflict in Sri Lanka would be the capture or the killing in action of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers — until recently described as the world’s most successful and ruthless terrorist organisation. After twenty-five years of see-sawing for military supremacy between the Tamil Tigers and the government Armed Forces, the decisive rout of the former should not have come as a surprise. more..

Appeal Court Judge as Tax Chief

Apr 26 (ST) In an unprecedented move, the government is to appoint an Appeal Court Judge to serve concurrently as the Commissioner-General of Inland Revenue while the present Tax Chief S. Angammana has already been moved to the Finance Ministry, government officials said yesterday. Information Director Anusha Pelpita said Appeal Court Judge K.T. Chitrasiri had been appointed head of the Tax Department, the first-time ever an outsider was appointed as the head of this key department. more..

Landslide victory for UPFA in the Western Provincial polls

Apr 26 (AT) The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, recorded a landslide victory in Saturday's Western Provincial Council election by winning 68 out of a total of 104 seats. In the final results, Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance recorded over 60 percent of votes. In the three districts, UPFA polled a total of 1,506,115 which amounted to 64.73 percent. more..

Jayalalitha's separate Eelam call welcomed by PMK, Nedumaran

Apr 26 (IANS) AIADMK chief Jayalalitha's sudden support for a separate Tamil homeland as the only solution to the problems of the ethnic minority in Sri Lanka was welcomed by pro-LTTE groups as well as the PMK Sunday. Tamil nationalist leader P. Nedumaran, a longstanding supporter of the banned LTTE, welcomed the AIADMK chief's statement. 'Politicians have been supporting the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka and more..

Q&A: Sri Lanka crisis

Apr 26 (BBC) The Sri Lankan army says that there will be no more breaks in fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels as it completes manoeuvres to defeat them after years of war. Mullaitivu, the last of the rebels' north-eastern strongholds, was taken in February preceded by the fall of Kilinochchi and rebel-held parts of the Jaffna peninsula. The rebels now control only a small stretch of coastal land - estimated by the army to be no more than 12 sq km - in the north-east of the country. more..

Navy thwarts LTTE bid to attack ground troops by Sea

Apr 26 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy foiled a desperate attempt made by the LTTE terrorists to attack ground troops during wee hours today. Navy patrol craft deployed in the Northeastern coastal waters of the Island detected a cluster of LTTE attack boats setting off from Vellamullaivaikkal shore around 1 AM. The Navy boats having identified that the terrorists were trying to attack ground troops now concentrated on the narrow stretch of land, in the Valayarmadam area, more..

Congress slams Jayalalitha's Eelam talk as 'irresponsible'

Apr 26 (IANS) The Congress party Sunday termed AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha's demand for a separate 'Eelam' homeland for Sri Lankan Tamils as 'anti-national and irresponsible'. 'I see this demand as anti-national and irresponsible,' union Minister Kapil Sibal told IANS reacting to the statement of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister who Saturday supported a separate Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka as the only solution to the decades-old ethnic strife in the island nation. more..

Sri Lankan rebels declare unilateral cease-fire

Apr 26 (AP) Sri Lanka's rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire on Sunday as a top U.N. official pressed Sri Lankan leaders to let aid into the northeastern war zone where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped. Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa rejected the call, saying the rebels were "running" from government forces, who have pushed deep into the Tamil Tigers' strongholds in the north in recent months, surrounding the beleaguered rebels and vowing to end the quarter-century war. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Tamil rebels' ceasefire

Apr 26 (AFP) The Sri Lanka government rejected a ceasefire declared by Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said, instead demanding that the cornered guerrillas surrender. Rajapakse, who leads the government's military campaign against the Tigers, said there was no need for a ceasefire as the military was about to defeat the separatist fighters. "It must be a joke," Rajapakse told AFP in response to the Tigers' ceasefire, more..

Sri Lankan army 6 km away from last LTTE hideout

Apr 26 (PTI) Making a final push to overrun the last patch of LTTE-held territory, Sri Lankan forces on Sunday captured strategic Vlayarmadam area and encircled remaining six sq km strip of land which is the possible hideout of LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides. "Sri Lankan soldiers have liberated Valayarmadam area and so far rescued 500 civilians held hostage by LTTE from there," the defence ministry said today. more..

Election Results: Kalutara District

Panadura66.6% 28.1% 2.8% 1.46% 0.8%
Bandaragama73.3% 22.7% 2.9% 0.8% 0.1%
Horana75.9% 21.8% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Bulathsinhala72.0% 23.9% 2.5% 1.1% 0.1%
Matugama67.8% 27.4% 3.0% 1.1% 0.3%
Kalutara67.1% 26.5% 3.0% 2.15% 1.0%
Beruwala61.5% 22.5% 2.4% 12.6% 0.7%
Agalawatta71.0% 25.9% 2.0% 0.6% 0.1%
Postal Votes76.8% 19.1% 3.7% 0.2% 0.0%
Total69.6% 24.7% 2.6% 2.5% 0.4%
Seats14 5 1 0 0

Election Results: Gampaha District

Wattala57.7% 35.8% 2.1% 3.6% 0.4%
Negombo59.2% 32.5% 1.4% 6.5% 0.2%
Katana68.8% 28.3% 1.8% 0.8% 0.1%
Divulapitiya69.3% 28.6% 1.8% 0.1% 0.0%
Mirigama67.9% 26.3% 3.3% 2.0% 0.2%
Minuwangoda73.5% 23.0% 2.0% 1.2% 0.1%
Attanagalla72.9% 18.0% 2.2% 6.1% 0.5%
Gampaha75.3% 21.2% 3.2% 0.0% 0.1%
Ja-Ela65.9% 30.9% 2.4% 0.1% 0.0%
Mahara73.3% 22.3% 2.8% 1.2% 0.2%
Dompe75.2% 22.3% 2.0% 0.3% 0.0%
Biyagama66.9% 27.1% 2.5% 3.1% 0.1%
Kelaniya64.5% 29.2% 2.8% 3.0% 0.2%
Postal Votes77.4% 18.4% 3.8% 0.2% 0.0%
Total69.1% 26.1% 2.4% 2.0% 0.2%
Seats27 10 1 1 0

Election Results: Colombo District

Colombo-North29.5% 52.2% 0.7% 6.3% 8.0%
Colombo-Central30.1% 53.6% 0.6% 10.7% 2.8%
Borella43.9% 49.9% 1.7% 2.6% 0.5%
Colombo-East43.5% 48.7% 2.7% 1.3% 0.9%
Colombo-West27.6% 61.6% 0.8% 4.0% 0.8%
Dehiwala51.0% 42.9% 1.6% 2.3% 0.5%
Ratmalana57.8% 36.4% 2.9% 1.2% 0.5%
Kolonnawa60.3% 32.9% 1.9% 3.4% 0.7%
Kotte61.9% 34.1% 2.5% 0.7% 0.2%
Kaduwela70.4% 25.7% 3.3% 0.2% 0.1%
Avissawella69.5% 27.6% 2.2% 0.2% 0.1%
Homagama66.1% 30.4% 3.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Maharagama71.2% 24.9% 3.2% 0.1% 0.1%
Kesbewa71.0% 24.9% 3.6% 0.0% 0.1%
Moratuwa61.8% 34.9% 2.3% 0.2% 0.1%
Postal Votes72.4% 22.7% 4.3% 0.2% 0.1%
Total57.8% 35.7% 2.4% 2.1% 0.9%
Seats25 15 1 1 1

Pincer Island

Apr 27 (OI) How has Sri President Mahinda Rajapakse won the war against the LTTE, puncturing the myth of their invincibility? When LTTE leader Prabhakaran showed he was not amenable to a negotiated settlement, Rajapakse seized the challenge thrown by the Tigers in 2006 over the control of Maavilaru sluice-gate that supplies water to Trincomalee district. Though not sure that the Tigers could be defeated on their turf, more..

Muslims send cooks & provisions to feed Vanni IDPs

Apr 27 (PSM) Fifty experienced Muslim cooks from Kattankudy have left this morning for Vanni to provide instant cooked meals for the recently rescued Tamil IDPs from the war zone on the request of President Mahinda Rajapaksha. Cooks from Kattankudy are famous for their meals all over the island. Kattankudy Mosque Fedration Secretary Mr. Sabeel said that they had arranged this humnaitarian gesture on the request of President through his senior adviser Basil Rajapaksha MP. more..

Foreign Minister on CNN

Sri Lanka’s Entebbe

Apr 27 (LG) Uganda was represented at the Non- Aligned Summit in 1976 held in Colombo by its Foreign Minister, Colonel Juma Oris. When asked about the Entebbe Rescue Mission he remarked, “The Israelis were magnificent. We did not know what hit us until it dawned on us long after.” Pirapaharan and his Tiger leaders would be expressing the same sentiments over the coup-de-main operation launched by the 58 Division and a combination of Commandos and more..

People’s democracy vs politicos’ democracy

Apr 27 (LG) The vivacious Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai who is contesting the 81 year old BJP Leader L.K. Advani in his home constituency of Gandhinagar says she has been motivated to do so to ‘restore faith in peoples’ politics.’ Indian democracy, she says is: ‘Democracy of the politicians, for the politicians by the politicians.’ This morning as the results of the Western Provincial Council come in, more..

What do we do about the tears, post-LTTE?

Apr 27 (LG) Hostages have been taken throughout history and across continents. There have been many attempts to rescue hostages and given that hostage-takers are not exactly rational men who can be reasoned with, they have more often than not resulted in failure. ‘Entebbe’ was supposed to be the greatest hostage rescue operation. There was also the great Columbian hostage rescue operation. The first was in July 1976 and the second in July 2008. more..

Helping the displaced

Apr 27 (LG) With government troops entering the final stages of the battle to oust the LTTE from their last, remaining areas in the north, attention is now swiftly shifting to the massive humanitarian crisis that has evolved as thousands of civilians flow into government-controlled areas. With that comes the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-devastated north, an area where the private sector needs to lend a hand to government efforts to restore stability and confidence. more..

A non-issue turned potent poll issue

Apr 27 (LG) The LTTE, which had the fullest support of the people of Tamil Nadu up to the mid-1980s, started losing its support base as it indulged in liquidating other Sri Lankan Tamil leaders and destroying their organizations. With the back-stabbing of the IPKF and later the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, it lost Tamil Nadu’s sympathy totally. The DMK, a strong and vociferous supporter of LTTE, more..

Sri Lanka’s war of attrition – Church ignited and fuelled

Apr 27 (LG) English news channels had a field day taunting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister variously with ‘blinking first,’ ‘swallowing’ and ‘backtracking’ on the issue of the LTTE. All English news channels, without exception, attributed Karunanidhi’s volte face to pressure from the Congress. Of course, this fiction suits the English media because ‘Congress pressure’ is a pseudonym for ‘Sonia pressure,’ and more..

Tamil Tiger ceasefire 'a joke'

U.K. asks Sri Lanka to reciprocate LTTE ceasefire

Apr 27 (Hindu) Britain on Sunday urged the Sri Lankan government to respond positively to the LTTE’s unilateral ceasefire and call an immediate halt to its own military operations so that the people trapped in the conflict zone could move to safety. Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, said in a statement that the safety of civilians was of “paramount importance” and more..

Now, right to life!

Apr 27 (LG) If figures are accurate – and there is no way of verifying them – it’s the ‘largest hostage-relief operation’ anywhere in the world, and hopefully for all time to come. Yet, available figures show that the number of trapped civilians in the ‘No Fire Zone’ was closer to that provided by the Sri Lankan Government than claimed by the LTTE, which was in actual control of the area. Propaganda again, but more..

‘Like a burning log snatched from a fire…’ –I

Apr 27 (LG) "Like a burning log … like a burning log"… The words kept pounding inside my head in the days and week that followed the regaining of Kilinocchi. It was as if the beloved country has been saved from a frightening apocalypse – the sheer magnitude of weaponry the LTTE had possessed; the enormous stockpiles of ammunition, assault rifles, landmines, claymore bombs, surface to air missiles, anti-air craft guns, submarines, more..

LTTE begs for mercy but no mercy for terrorists!

Apr 27 (DW) The once flamboyant and high-flying LTTE and its supporters are on their knees begging for mercy! Military planners were up all night making final preparations to rescue over 50,000 civilians held hostage by the LTTE. The plans will not be changed for any reason. Reading between the lines of the LTTE's appeal, it is quite clear that the Tigers were frustrated that the international community has not fallen for more..

The ‘post-LTTE’ misnomer

Apr 27 (GV) The term ‘post-LTTE’ is a misnomer; there will be no post-LTTE period in a political sense. There will certainly be a ‘post-LTTE as a conventional army’ phase, and there will be a ‘post-Prabaharan’ phase if the government succeeds in catching and killing him as it intends to. I can also discern a ‘post-hope’ or disheartened and subdued stage in Tamil nationalism, within the Island, which could last maybe months or over a year. more..

Sri Lankan crisis: how India can help find a way out

Apr 27 (Hindu) Twenty years ago Sri Lanka’s President Ranatunge Premadasa announced that his government and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran had come together and demanded that the Indian Peace Keeping Force leave. A hundred thousand casualties and a shattered economy later, this week President Mahinda Rajapaksha issued an ultimatum to the LTTE to surrender or perish. more..

Ramadoss compares Prabhakaran to Mandela, Arafat

Apr 27 (IANS) PMK leader S. Ramadoss described Tamil Tigers supremo V. Prabhakaran as a "freedom fighter" and compared him to former South African president Nelson Mandela, Palestine leader Yasser Arafat and Indian freedom fighter Subash Chandra Bose. "Tigers' leader Prabhakaran is a freedom fighter and like Nelson Mandela and late PLO chief Yasser Arafat is heading a 'liberation organisation' of the Tamils," more..

Facilities in Sri Lankan camps much better than those in India - Sri Sri

Apr 27 (Hindu) A press release from the office of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar clarifies that following his visit to IDP welfare centres in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, “Sri Sri acknowledged that the facilities in the camps are much better” than “those the Indian Government has provided for the Kashmiri pundits and those provided for Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu.” He was also of the view that “the relief materials sent by India to Sri Lanka are completely insufficient” and more..

Glorifying LTTE

Apr 27 (AT) Al Qaeda? Don’t talk about it. It is banned terrorist organization in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and many other countries. Any statement or action taken in support of Al Queda is deemed as “glorifying of terrorism” and those who are involved will be arrested, charged and deported on the grounds of threat to the National security. What about the glorifying of the Tamil Tigers. Another banned terrorist organization all over the world, including the UK. more..

An appeal to the Tamil diaspora in Canada

Apr 27 (AT) As peace and stability of a nation is fast approaching, escalation of demands are faster and variant. A baseless conflict that made millions of our fellow citizen, refugees of the world is tragic when one considers the number of decades long hostility and waste of human life. The steady erosion of normal life in a peaceful country thrown in to disaster has to be restored to normalcy. It is only through a truly democratic frame work, that the country can be made stable. more..

BJP for sanctions against Sri Lanka if civilian deaths continue

Apr 27 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday said that it did not favour creation of a separate state (Eelam) for Tamils in Sri Lanka and demanded that India impose sanctions on Colombo if civilian deaths continue. The BJP also did not have any sympathy for Velupillai Prabhakharan, chief of the LTTE, senior party leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters here. Prabhakharan 'is a proclaimed offender' and the LTTE 'is a terrorist organisation,' Sinha added. more..

Security up along Tamil Nadu coast

Apr 27 (IANS) Security has been beefed up along Tamil Nadu's 650-km coastline stretching from here to Rameshwaram following intelligence inputs that LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran may attempt to cross over from Sri Lanka, police said Sunday. The intelligence inputs indicated possibilities of the beleaguered LTTE leader Prabhakaran crossing over to Tamil Nadu amid a smokescreen of alleged assaults on local fishermen by Indian naval personnel in Rameshwaram, more..

Tiger tale lands man in trouble

Apr 27 (TOI) A few drinks and a loose tongue landed a 61-year-old Sri Lankan who claimed to be LTTE leader V Prabhakaran's brother-in-law in police custody after a squabble with an autorickshaw driver who claimed to be close to the DGP. Chandraserar, a Sri Lankan Tamil from France, was in the city for the medical treatment of his woman friend, a Lankan refugee, who had attempted suicide. more..

Lanka War : Dravidian Politics