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Colombo assures India of political package for Tamils

Apr 29 (Hindu) India has received assurances from Sri Lanka about moves to ensure the political accommodation of its Tamil-origin citizens in the national mainstream, according to sources. Although immediate relief followed by rehabilitation of civilians tops the Indian agenda, New Delhi is also pushing Colombo to begin the political reconciliation process at the earliest. more..

We want to catch LTTE chief alive: Rajapaksa

Apr 29 (IBN) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said Colombo would extradite LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, if caught alive, to India but after first putting him through trial in his country. In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Rajapaksa also said that Sri Lanka will immediately stop air strikes and use of heavy weapons in the war zone but he made it clear that it was not a ceasefire. more..

We don't wish Prabhakaran ill: Chidambaram

Hope for civilians in Sri Lanka

Religious leaders appeal for peace and co-existence after war

Apr 29 (LG) Religious dignitaries have appealed for peace and coexistence in the aftermath of war while taking measures to uplift the living standards of the displaced, provide humanitarian assistance and resettle them. The appeal was made in a statement by the Sri Lanka Council of Religions for Peace signed by Ven Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratna (Chairman), Ven Maduluwave Sobitha, Ven Brahmanawatte Seevali, Bishop Vianney Fernando, more..

Why battering the Tamil Tigers won't bring peace

Apr 29 (LG) Over the course of a long and brutal war with Sri Lanka’s armed forces, the LTTE emerged as one of the world’s most formidable insurgent groups. Besides engaging the Sri Lankan government in a bloody battle for more than 25 years, the LTTE managed to seize substantial chunks of government territory, and operated these as a quasi-state for well over a decade. Today, however, the mighty Tigers are on the verge of total military defeat. more..

WPC Poll: the rub of the green

Apr 29 (LG) The massive endorsement of the President’s exemplary leadership and the need to continue with the military operation to eliminate the three decades of terrorist scourge given by the patriotic masses of the Western Province inflicted a colossal setback to the conspiracies of traitors and the international bullies. Other than the idiots in the Colombo urban areas for whom the vote is a precious commodity for sale, more..

Pig flu makes the Tigers eat grass

Apr 29 (LG) On the morning of Saturday the 25th of April, the BBC world service telephoned me. A vehicle was on its way to provide transport to Bush House, in Aldwych. Aldwych had many memories. It was the sight of my old haunt, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The small café adjoining the main entrance had the meanest toasted egg and bacon sandwiches in town and many a coup were plotted on those tables. more..

Like a burning log snatched from a fire…" — III

Apr 29 (LG) Velupillai Prabhakaran, President, Prime Minister and Solar Deity, was the Commander in Chief of the LTTE armed forces. Once upon a time, his counterpart on the Lankan side was President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Kumaratunge’s government came to power promising an end to the war through talks. After six months of talks, the LTTE returned to war by bombing two navy boats. Kumaratunga the ’peace queen’ was forced into war. more..

Big guns silent but war is on

Apr 29 (LG) The Sri Lankan Government’s unexpected declaration on Monday that combat operations have reached a conclusion and specifying it was not a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities completely ignored the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire. It was killing two birds with one stone, such is the convenient interpretation of military terminology. more..

Wanni Operation 28 th April

Clash of two powerful nationalisms

Apr 29 (BL) Moderate Tamils who believe in a negotiated settlement for the Sinhala-Tamil dispute are worried. The followers of Thanthai Chelva (S.J.V. Chelvanayakam) feel completely devastated. The results of the Central and North Western Provincial Council elections showed clearly the Sinhala Buddhist and Tamil chasm and this columnist expressed his worry on February 18 with the headline: ‘Poll show the country divided.’ Saturday’s poll for the Western Provincial Council demonstrates that the Sinhala-Tamil polarisation is almost complete. more..

IMF, WB meetings updated of Sri Lankan resilience

Apr 29 (BL) Sri Lanka’s resilience in 2008 and thus far this year amidst of a global crisis was highlighted at the spring meeting of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington last week. This was done by Duvvuri Subbarao, Alternate Governor, on behalf of India’s Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram who represents constituent countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka. Subbarao said that Sri Lankan economy was resilient in the face of unfavourable external conditions and more..

Prabha’s massive ‘genocide’ plan exposed!

Apr 29 (BL) LTTE leader Prabhakaran is preparing for a bloodbath. This is nothing new to him. Even as early as 1990, he had already killed more than a thousand people from groups opposed to him. He has instructed his close aides to send e-mails to Tiger representatives worldwide and to the Tamil Diaspora saying, “If the Sri Lankan military does not stop its offensive against us, Prabhakaran has instructed us to blow up the whole ‘No Fire’ Zone along with the civilians, and put the blame on the Government forces.” more..

Let us visit the IDPs – UNP

Apr 29 (BL) The UNP yesterday questioned why the government continues to invite foreign dignitaries to visit the IDPs in the north, but does not allow the democratically elected members of the Opposition of Sri Lanka to visit the camps in the Wanni and Mannar. “The government has invited the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader of Tamil Nadu state government to see the state of the IDPs who have taken refuge in government controlled areas,” more..

'Sri Lanka coping with twin humanitarian crises'

Apr 29 (UN) The United Nations humanitarian chief warned today that Sri Lanka faces what amounts to two distinct crises, as he toured camps for people who fled fighting in the country’s north between Government troops and the LTTE. “There are still tens of thousands of people trapped on a small patch of territory in the north, with the LTTE refusing to let them leave, and with fighting continuing,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes. more..

Wadiya: Anaheim portal to Sri Lankan cuisine

Apr 29 (LAT) Wadiya turns tropical the second you pass through its doors. Consuming all of one wall is a multi-canvas mural depicting a neon beach scene. Stationed at the restaurant's center is a cash register shaded by the thatched roof of a seaside shack. And creeping out from a corner is a fake, gangling tree, its limbs unnecessarily groping for some sun. Wadiya's is a dedicated design -- one that swaps the Anaheim restaurant's strip mall surroundings for the paradise of Sri Lanka's island style. more..

'Govt. won’t give into international pressure'

Apr 29 (Island) The Government will not give in to any international intervention where the LTTE is concerned and the security forces will continue with their humanitarian operations in Mullaitivu, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, said. He said even the super powers have no right to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal matters but any concerned country had the right to inquire into the welfare of innocent civilians. more..

Ministers on joint Sri Lanka trip

Apr 29 (BBC) The British and French foreign ministers are to make a one-day trip to Sri Lanka amid efforts to secure a truce between the army and rebels. David Miliband of Britain and Bernard Kouchner of France will meet top officials and visit an area where displaced people are living in camps. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was barred from joining them for reasons he says are obscure. Sweden recalled its foreign minister in protest against the decision. more..

Post Script; WPC elections and the Ethnic divide

Apr 29 (TC) Full results of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) election are now officially released. This includes the final count of preference votes for each candidate in all 03 districts. Accordingly, the lists of eligible candidates elected to the PC from each political party for the 03 districts have been announced by the Elections Commissioner. This adds further evidence to the reading I made in my article written on Sunday, on the WPC elections, before the preference vote was counted. more..

Rs. 1000 mn for farmers’ pension scheme this year

Apr 29 (GDI) The Agricultural Insurance Board (AIB) has reserved Rs. 1000 million for the farmers’ pension scheme this year, the Department of Agriculture and Agrarian Services Development said. According to the Chairman of the Agricultural Insurance Board (AIB) Mervin Gunasena, currently over 935,000 farmers are enrolled in the farmers’ pension scheme. Out of enrolled farmers, 65,000 farmers are currently receiving pensions under the scheme. more..

Muslim officers are threatened to quit or face death in SE

Apr 29 (PSM) Death threats are issued to Muslim Public Officers holding high posts in the South Eastern coastal area by unknown armed group to quit from their positions with immediate effect. The group has also threatened them to face death like how Superintendent of Police H.L. Jamaldeen was gunned down in this area recently if they fail to comply with this warning. PSM learns that letters of threat has been sent to Kalmunai Mayor Mr. H.M.M. Harees, more..

Rumblings from the battlefield

Apr 29 (DW) Some of you have asked us to provide details of the young Special Forces Captain who died rescuing the civilians at Ampalavanpokkanai recently. We were the first to report of his untimely demise on April 20th. Captain Ajith Gamage was killed by an LTTE gunman posing off as a civilian after having breached the LTTE defences at Ampalavanpokkanai, including the insurmountable earthbund and more..

‘Barefoot Nation’ to revive an ancient tradition?

Apr 29 (GV) The government is considering a proposal to usher in a new ‘barefoot revolution’ in Sri Lanka as part of its philosophy to revive ancient Sinhala traditions. This will see the systematic phasing out of footwear use in all government offices, and other places where politicians and officials are present. The practice will be first introduced in Parliament, as well as offices of the President and Prime Minister, and more..

Operation to rescue civilians continues, while Praba and senior leaders plans to flee

Apr 29 (AT) An operations to rescue the trapped Tamil civilians, who are held hostages by the LTTE, are continued by the Military, said Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that they had received intelligence reports of five boats being kept in readiness, complete with food and transmission equipment for the LTTE leader, as well for the outfit’s leaders to escape. more..

Cometh a pair of weretigers bearing oxygen cylinders

Apr 29 (LNP) Even when Mahatma Gandhi was felled by a depraved character, the West was not as disturbed as it is by the impending end of Prabhakaran, the maniacal killer. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is behaving as if London had come under another terror attack. He keeps calling President Mahinda Rajapaksa repeatedly in a desperate bid to have Prabhakaran off the hook. Brown has seen red! more..

JHU protests as British, French FMs arrive

Apr 29 (CT) The JHU staged a protest in Colombo against foreign interventions, as British foreign minister David Milliband and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner arrived in Sri Lanka today on a one-day visit. Deputy aviation minister Sarath Gunaratne received them at the airport. Mr. Milliband said the world community was not attempting to save LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran, and are only concerned about the civilians caught up in the conflict. more..

'Govt. refuses UNP offer to help Tamil civilians in distress'

Apr 29 (Island) The UNP yesterday disputed the government’s claim of having finished the war against the LTTE, as its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and other senior figures were still at large. Assistant Secretary of the UNP, Jayalath Jayawardena MP, said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government boasts of having won the war, but it has yet to capture Prabhakaran dead or alive. more..

Police ordered to arrest Piyasiri Wijenayake

Apr 29 (CT) Police have been ordered to immediately arrest NFF MP Piyasiri Wijenayake and five others in connection with the murder of a JVP member early this month. Attanagalle magistrate I.P.D. Liyanage issued the order to Veyangoda Police today (Apr. 29). The suspects stand accused in the killing of JVP activist Nandana Balage at Dadagamuwa in Veyangoda on April 06. more..

4 parties ask govt. to disclose truth of 'ceasefire'

Apr 29 (CT) Four political parties, in a combined statement, have urged the government to disclose the truth behind the 'ceasefire.' The government should either convene parliament or issue a statement by the President to clarify its announcement of the conclusion of combat operations and troops being advised against the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons, they said. more..

Panel discussion on Sri Lanka

Govt. trying to betray military gains

Apr 29 (CT) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe alleges that a situation similar to a ceasefire has arisen, whatever disguises the government is trying to make, as its statement announces the 'conclusion of combat operations' in the north. He told the media in Colombo yesterday that there was no end to the pressure being exerted by the British, French and Swedish foreign ministers, and to the government's giving into their demands. more..

Eelam in Wembley

Apr 29 (ANN) According to reports from London, there were second and third generation Tamils in the protest against Sri Lanka at Westminster Parliament Square, with LTTE flags in their hands, and emblazoned on their T-shirts. They wanted a full stop to army operations and a peace deal with the LTTE. In short, they wanted to save the most wanted criminal in the world. They were as much LTTE as the fanatical cadres now holed up in Ampalavanpokkunai with Prabhakaran. more..

Northern resettlement begins

Apr 29 (DN) Resettlement of people displaced in the North has begun in the Mannar district at the Musali Divisional Secretariat area and the first batch of villagers will come back to their original properties. The first batch of 125 families would be resettled tomorrow. The Government has provided funds for the people coming back to their villages to repair and renovate some of the homes that were damaged, more..

Moothoor IDPs demand to be resettled in their own villages

Apr 29 (TN) Hundreds of men, women and children displaced from Champoor East and West, Kooniththeevu and Kadatkaraicheanai Village Officer divisions in Trincomalee district gathered in Batticaloa Koaddaimunai Methodist Church premises Wednesday on completing the third year of their forced displacement, to pray and fast from morning till evening in an effort to draw the authorities' attention to their plea to be resettled in their original villages, more..

No tax exemptions for items produced locally

Apr 29 (DN) The Government will not grant tax exemptions for some items which are sent in the form of donations by Sri Lankans and philanthropists living abroad, as they are locally available in abundance. According to Finance Ministry Additional Director M. P. Jayatissa, exemption of tax on items that are produced locally would have adverse impact on local products and the industry. more..

Over 200 doctors volunteer to serve N & E hospitals

Apr 29 (DN) Over two hundred doctors will leave today to work at hospitals in the Northern and Eastern provinces to care for the displaced civilians who are in need of treatment. The Health Ministry and security forces have assured security and protection for the doctors. About 232 doctors have volunteered to provide their services to the displaced citizens in the two provinces. more..

JHU demands 50 billion pounds from UK

Apr 29 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya in a letter to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had demanded that the British government pays 50 billion pounds to Sri Lanka as compensation for the damage done during its colonial rule. The following is the full text of the letter; Sir, When Libya announced last year that Italy had agreed to pay ‘billions’ as compensation for more..

Sunethra’ claim on Anura’s estate challenged

Apr 29 (Island) Four persons including some staff members of the late Anura Bandaranaike have filed petitions in the District Court of Colombo claiming that they inherit the estate of the late Bandaranaike through his Last Will. They have challenged the papers filed by Sunethra Bandaranaike, who claimed that the property of Anura Bandaranaike has to be divided between her and Chandrika Bandaranaike. more..

Southern, Uva PCs to be dissolved

Apr 29 (DM) The Uva and Southern provincial Councils will be dissolved in August so elections could be held shortly after that, highly placed political sources said yesterday. The Uva Provincial Council’s term will expire in August while the Southern Provincial Council’s term ends in September. However, political sources said both councils would be dissolved in August. more..

Killer dengue fever hits South, Schools cosed

Apr 29 (DM) The dreaded dengue fever which has killed six people and affected hundreds so far this year is fast spreading in the Southern Province compelling educational authorities to close down seven schools in the province, Health Services Director Dr. J.B. Senarath said. He said the cases reported indicated a two fold increase when compared with the same period last year. Jeevani Ratnayake (50) a mother of two children was the fourth dengue patient to die at more..

Sri Lankan Airlines get second Airbus A320

Apr 29 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said it had acquired a second Airbus A320 as part of its narrow-body aircraft re-fleeting program where the existing fleet is replaced with newer more fuel efficient aircraft. The newly acquired A320 is a two year old aircraft on lease from AWAS of Ireland on a three-year contract. It had replaced a leased aircraft. "The arrival of newer aircraft will further enhance the overall punctuality of our fleet and more..

The fine line between a protest and a mob

Apr 29 (NP) Torontonians rightly celebrate the multicultural nature of their city. But such sentiments were tested this week, as an ongoing cycle of Tamil protests besieged tens of thousands of workers in the city's downtown core, adding idle time to core-bound commutes, and subjecting the country's most expensive labour to the constant angry thrum of folk drumming. more..

Sri Lanka focuses on clean, low-cost lighting

Apr 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka has set up an energy efficient lighting centre with United States support aimed at promoting clean and low-cost lighting technologies in the south Asian region. "Providing access to electricity is a critical factor in supporting economic development throughout the region," James Moore, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, was quoted as saying in an embassy statement. more..

Sri Lanka urged to halt offensive

Apr 29 (BBC) British and French foreign ministers in Sri Lanka have urged the government to halt its military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the call was not aimed at saving the Tamil rebel leader but the lives of thousands of civilians trapped. Correspondents say the government is unlikely to agree to a truce. It has previously rejected similar calls and its relations with European countries have been tense. more..

Canada to speed up Tamil family immigration

Apr 29 (G&M) The federal government is speeding up the immigration applications of those in war-torn Sri Lanka who want to join their relatives in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says. The move would not pluck displaced people from Sri Lanka and resettle them quickly in Canada, but it would shorten the waiting times for parents and grandparents of Tamil-Canadians - who can wait years to be approved - to come to Canada. more..

'British Tamil protesters should apologise to India'

Apr 29 (IANS) Two of Britain's most senior Indian-origin MPs Wednesday denounced Sri Lankan Tamil protesters who turned violent during a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission this week, saying they must now apologise. Keith Vaz and Virendra Sharma, who belong to the ruling Labour party, said in a joint statement they were "deeply concerned" to hear that protesters had damaged the Indian High Commission building and more..

Tamil defector claims Tigers killed 200 civilians

Apr 29 (Times) A former spokesman for the Tamil Tigers who surrendered last week has accused the rebels of shooting dead at least 200 civilians, and forcibly recruiting children as young as 13. Velayudam Dayanidi, better known as Daya Master, made the accusations in a video interview released today on the Defence Ministry's website ten days after surrendering with V.K. Pencharatnam, known as George, more..

Sri Lankan Navy foils Sea Tiger attack; kills 34 rebels

Apr 29 (PTI) Amid reports that LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides may try to flee, Sri Lankan Navy in a pre-dawn attack sank six rebel boats and foiled seven attempts by Tigers to recapture Rektavaikkal fortifications which has left the Tigers vulnerable. Sri Lankan warships detected six Tiger boats sneaking out of the coastal patch they still hold, sinking all of them and killing 25 rebels on board, more..

Hundreds of civilian casualties in 17 hour “blitzkrieg”

Apr 29 (DBS) Hundreds of civilian casualties were reported within the 10 sq km area controlled by the LTTE due mainly to a 17 hour long heavy fire “blitzkrieg” conducted by the Armed forces of Sri Lanka. The “blitz” like intensive attacks commenced at 6.00 pm on Monday April 27th 2009 and continued for 17 hours till 11.00 am in the morning of Tuesday April 28th 2009. Civilian sources from the afflicted area stated that more..