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Sri Lanka did not act under Indian pressure: Congress

Apr 28 (IANS) The Congress party Monday insisted that Sri Lanka did not call off 'combat operations' against the Tamil Tigers due to Indian pressure, and instead credited the move to 'world opinion'. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the Sri Lankan decision followed 'collective world opinion in which India was in the vanguard'. He sought to dispel the impression that this followed pressure exerted by India in the wake of reports of widespread civilian casualties in the island nation. more..

Wanni Operation 27 th April

Court orders quick disposal of Golden Key assets

Apr 28 (LBO) Supreme Court has ordered a list of assets of the failed Golden Key Credit Card Company and its directors to be filed by May 11, to be seized and sold to repay depositors, lawyers said. Golden Key, a unit of Ceylinco group collapsed in December 2008, causing a run on other Ceylinco group financial firms. At a hearing Monday, the Supreme Court said a process of collecting affidavits from directors by the Central Bank is too slow and the Attorney General's department should investigate and more..

The IRC responds to critical needs in war-torn Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (GDI) Amid growing fears of a humanitarian catastrophe, the IRC is preparing to launch programs to help bring aid to thousands of displaced Tamils in government-controlled camps in northern Sri Lanka. Over the weekend, the IRC’s Sri Lanka representative Gordon Bacon assessed conditions in the Menik Farm camp near the town of Vavuniya, where approximately 100,000 people have sought shelter. more..

Sir John Holmes visits welfare camps

Apr 28 (GDI) The Under Secretary General of the UN Sir John Holmes visited the IDP Welfare Camps (Menik Farm) in Vauniya today promised to donate 10 million US Dollars through UN agencies to facilitate civilians shortly. Sir.Jhon Holmes satisfied with the humanitarian mission and the facilities given by the Government of Sri Lanka to Internal Displaces People in Vavuniya who fled from the LTTE clutches. more..

EU appeals for cease-fire in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (AP) EU foreign ministers urged Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday to agree to an immediate cease-fire so the United Nations can coordinate an evacuation of civilians caught in the war zone. The ministers also called for peace talks to end the conflict, which has cornered the rebels and tens of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians on a small strip of land in northeastern Sri Lanka, and killed nearly 6,500 civilians over the last three months, according to the U.N. more..

Lanka decision on air strikes due to India's effort: Congress

Apr 28 (PTI) After Sri Lanka announced an end to air strikes and use of heavy weapons in the war zone there, the Congress on Monday claimed that it happened due to the collective world opinion and India's consistent effort in this direction. "We give credit to the Sri Lankan government for reacting positively to collective world opinion in which India's role was of a vanguard," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at the AICC here. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils vandalise Indian High Commission in London

Apr 28 (IANS) Sri Lankan Tamil protesters smashed windows of the Indian High Commission and some forced their way inside the building during a demonstration here Monday. The High Commission has sought adequate protection from the British government. British police arrested five Sri Lankan Tamils after several demonstrators broke into the Indian High Commission in the middle of the protest outside the building in central London. more..

Sri Lanka block access to civilians in war-zone:UN

Apr 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka is refusing humanitarian access to its war zone where some 50,000 people are believed trapped, a top UN diplomat said on Monday, while welcoming a government move to slow down its military offensive. The UN's humanitarian chief John Holmes failed to secure agreement with President Mahinda Rajapakse in talks here Monday to send a humanitarian mission to the shrinking conflict area on the island's northeast coast. more..

The coming battle

Apr 28 (Economist) Sri Lanka's government declared officially on Monday April 27th that “combat operations have reached their conclusion” in the last sliver of territory held by the Tamil Tigers. It instructed the army “to end the use of heavy-calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties.” On Sunday the Tiger rebels had declared a unilateral ceasefire, saying it was the only way to end a humanitarian crisis involving thousands of civilians trapped in more..

UN pledges $10 mln for Sri Lanka's war displaced civilians

Apr 28 (Xinhua) The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday that the UN will provide 10 million U.S. dollars to the island's war displaced civilians. The pledge was made by Holmes during a cordial visit to Rajapakse in Colombo Monday evening, officials from the presidential office said. more..

LTTE begs for mercy but no mercy for terrorists!

Apr 28 (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 its pleas for more..

LTTE propaganda farce and crocodile tears

Apr 28 (DW) The pro-LTTE media have consistently claimed that the Sri Lanka Air Force is bombing civilian settlements inside the NFZ. This is a baseless lie. Aerial sorties are indeed carried out, but in carefully identified locations of the NFZ. The area being targetted is between Mullaivaikkal and the Vattuwan bridge north of Mullaitivu Town. This area is the confirmed location of the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. Not a single civilian is allowed entry into this area. more..

Obama only hope for Lanka issue: Vaiko

Apr 28 (PTI) Pro-Eelam MDMK leader Vaiko on Monday said US President Barack Obama was "the only hope" to ensure a solution for the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and sought his intervention in putting an end to the "genocidal war" in the island nation. In a letter sent to Mr. Obama, Mr. Vaiko said LTTE responded to the US' latest appeal for a ceasefire and announced it on April 26, but Sri Lanka had rejected the call. more..

We cannot ignore Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (Guardian) War is an exquisite breeding ground for euphemism. In Sri Lanka, a government announced "no-fire zone" in the northeast of the country is instead one of the most dangerous places on earth. Advertised as a place where trapped civilians could flee to safety from fighting between the army and the Tamil Tigers, this tiny strip of land has become a killing ground where the Tigers – facing defeat in their 25 year war for independence more..

'Prabhakaran will try to flee, not commit suicide'

Apr 28 (EB) LTTE chief V Prabhakaran will neither surrender nor commit suicide, but try to escape from Sri Lanka, says the Tigers’ former media liaison officer Thaya Master, a senior Lankan army officer claimed on Friday. Thaya Master told Brig. Shavendra Silva, commander of the Sri Lankan army’s 58 division, after surrendering that Prabhakaran and his remaining close associates, Pottu Amman, Soosai and eldest son Charles Anthony, were telling their followers that more..

'Ready to extradite Prabhakaran to India'

Apr 28 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said Colombo would extradite Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, if caught alive, to India - but after first putting him through trial in his country. In an interview to CNN IBN channel, Rajapaksa said it was "almost over" for the LTTE chief and he could be caught very soon. Asked whether Prabhakaran would be extradited to India, Rajapaksa said: "First he will have to go through our trial... And then might send him to India." more..

To get attention, you have to shut the street, Tamils decide

Apr 28 (NP) About 2,500 people, most of them immigrants from Sri Lanka, are sitting and standing on University Avenue, blocking traffic from the United States Consulate on Armoury Street all the way to Dundas Street. About 60 police officers, including riot police, bicycle police and other police in uniform, are lined up along the width of University Avenue, shoulder to shoulder, containing the protest just south of Dundas Street and preventing protesters from entering or leaving. more..

I’m still good for the new format: Jayasuriya

Apr 28 (HT) The physio and masseur of the Mumbai Indians team have to pay special attention to Sanath Jayasuriya. The Sri Lankan gets a good rubdown after practice and it's understandable because at 39, he is one of the oldest cricketers in international cricket. Despite having relinquished his place in the Test XI to help youngsters, Jayasuriya continues to be a force in ODIs and T20. more..

'Jaya's demand amounts to interference'

Pranab Mukherjee on the Lanka Crisis

We will leave no scope for LTTE revival, says Sri Lankan Army

Apr 28 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Monday said its security forces would leave no scope for the LTTE to revive. The Defence Ministry said the forces would “in no form will leave a breather for the internationally banned terrorist outfit or its leaders who are much wanted for thousands of war crimes and crimes against humanity”. It said the decision on combat operations reaching a conclusion was not in response to international pressure but more..

Opinion: Sri Lanka situation

Apr 28 (Hindu) While the conclusion of combat operations should bring some solace to the suffering Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, the way Indian emissaries were sent in the last minute lends credence to the impression that it was only after it feared a voter backlash did the government go into a fire-fighting mode. Will the politicisation of the crisis by major parties stop at least now? - V.N. Ramachandran, Vadodara more..

Loan behind Lanka gesture

Apr 28 (TT) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered security forces “to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties” to secure smooth approval of a $1.9-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. The loan will, among other things, speed up post-conflict recovery efforts in areas once controlled by the Tamil Tigers. more..

Q & A on Accountability for Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (HRW) Human Rights Watch is calling for a United Nations commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian law by both Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the recent fighting. This Q & A addresses various issues relating to accountability for crimes in violation of international law. more..

LTTE is dangling 'ceasefire' carrot to International Community

Apr 28 (MoD) In a desperate attempt to save their skin the LTTE, masters of manipulation have called for a unilateral ceasefire. The call came in time to coincide with the UN Humanitarian Coordinator John Holmes visit to the region to assess the humanitarian situation. Like a prisoner telling a parole board what they want to hear, LTTE is manipulating the international community. more..

TN parties calibrate line on Lanka as polls draw near

Apr 28 (TOI) Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi on Monday did what two of his predecessors did when they were upset with the Centre. At the crack of dawn, he went to the memorial to his mentor Anna (DMK founder C N Annadurai) close to the Marina and sat on a fast. And his was the shortest fast, as it ended by noon. The late M G Ramachandran had fasted for a day to demand more rice from the central pool in 1980, while more..

Sri Lanka Humanitarian Situation

Was Prabhakaran taken for a ride by the Tamil Diaspora?

Apr 28 (AT) What could be on the mind of a man who has spent 35 years of his life hidden in the Wanni jungles to create a separate homeland for the Tamil people now that the armed forces are but a few kilometers from capturing him? With very few cadres left and having to hide behind the very people he was supposed to protect is it too late to wonder whether or not Prabakaran was nothing but a pawn for the Tamil Diaspora? more..

Why do Co-chairs want Lanka to negotiate with LTTE

Apr 28 (AT) Why do Co-chairs want Lanka to negotiate with LTTE? It is no secret that Norway’s International Development Minister Eric Solheim has direct links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighting for a separate state in Sri Lanka. LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran is said to pass on messages to Solheim through Kumaran Pathmanadan a.k.a K.P, the LTTE’s international arms procurer. more..

Sinhala and Hindu new year celebrations in Sweden

Apr 28 (AT) The Sri Lankan nationals and the Swedish friends of Sri Lanka flocked together to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in Stockholm. The celebration was held at the Kista Traff in Kista which is a suburb of Stockholm. More than 300 Sri Lankan nationals belonging to various ethnicities and Swedish friends of Sri Lanka joined this joyous event. Sri Lanka Ambassador to Sweden, Ranjith Jayasooriya marked his presence as the Chief Guest of the event. more..

Govt admission shows need for UN inquiry

Apr 28 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government's admission that it has been using heavy weapons in an area crowded with displaced civilians underscores the need for an international commission of inquiry into violations of the laws of war by government forces and the LTTE, Human Rights Watch said today. The Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat conceded today that it had been using heavy weapons in the recent fighting, despite earlier statements that it had ceased their use. more..

Sri Lanka Catalogue show opens at JCCI

Apr 28 (SG) Almost 40 Sri Lankan companies involved in the production of agricultural, medical, food, travel, industrial and other products are participating in the first catalogue show for the promotion of trade which began at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Monday. The two-day show is organized by the Sri Lankan Consulate under the patronage of the Sri Lankan export development board with more..

Wretched of the Wanni earth break free of bondage

Apr 28 (DBJ) Latest developments on the Wanni war front have brought much relief to all people yearning for the safety of entrapped civilians in the coastal strip of northern Mullaitivu district currently controlled by the LTTE. The long awaited military operation to break through Tiger defences and facilitate the evacuation of civilians that began at midnight on Sunday April 19 has been a success in terms of numbers. more..

'Demand for Eelam is not anti-national'

Apr 28 (TOI) Clarifying that she was a patriot to the core, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Monday said her demand for Eelam, a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka, was in no way anti-national. Reacting to Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal's comments terming her statement as "anti-national" and "irresponsible", Jayalalithaa said shewas not calling for a separate nation to be carved out of Indian territory, but more..

What matters in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (AN) As the 26-year war in Sri Lanka nears its end, every busybody in the world is urging the Sri Lankan government to stop. Spare the poor civilians trapped in the combat zone, declare a cease-fire, it’s time to negotiate, they all implore. Even the US government has now joined the chorus. Last weekend, the White House said that it was “deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between more..

British aid for war refugees may be used to fund 'concentration camps'

Apr 28 (Times) Millions of pounds of British aid are being channelled by the Sri Lankan Government into controversial internment camps where it plans to hold and screen up to 200,000 civilians fleeing the conflict with the Tamil Tigers. Britain has donated 5,000 tents – worth £500,000 – and more emergency aid worth millions of pounds could follow soon, according to Mike Foster, Minister for International Development, more..

Sri Lankan govt should show restraint

Apr 28 (Independent) After 26 long years, Sri Lanka's brutal civil war - which has claimed more than 70,000 lives - is finally coming to an end. The Tamil Tiger rebels have been bottled up in a narrow coastal strip in the north east. They are militarily exhausted and surrounded. Unsurprisingly, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is keen to bring this brutal conflict to a decisive end. Yet such a clean conclusion looks increasingly unlikely to be achieved. more..

We cannot ignore Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (HRW) War is an exquisite breeding ground for euphemism. In Sri Lanka, a government announced "no-fire zone" in the northeast of the country is instead one of the most dangerous places on earth. Advertised as a place where trapped civilians could flee to safety from fighting between the army and the Tamil Tigers, this tiny strip of land has become a killing ground where the Tigers – facing defeat in their 25 year war for independence – use tens of thousands of Tamil civilians as human shields, more..

Get your humanitarian paws of my country

Apr 28 (LG) It is heartening that the Tamil Tigers have retained a sense of humor under extreme pressure. It is a lesson to us all. The Tigers have declared a unilateral ceasefire and promised not to engage in any offensive military operations. The joke is in two parts. Firstly, they are in no shape to engage in any offensive military operations. In the second place these clowns have pulled this on us and the IPKF on more occasions than I can recall. more..

"Like a burning log snatched from a fire…" II

Apr 28 (LG) Ranil Wickremesinghe keeps repeating with great pride that he had built an ‘international safety net’ to protect this country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. So where were these great guardians when the LTTE unilaterally walked away from peace talks with the Wickremesinghe government? Wickremesinghe was facilitating Norway’s facilitation of Thamilselvam and his team touring the West ‘to study federalism’ more..

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to U.S. Briefs Congressmen

Apr 28 (IL) Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United States continued meetings with members of Congress in April, offering briefings on the coming conclusion of the government’s conflict with the LTTE, as well as prospects for civilian resettlement and redevelopment. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya stressed the government’s intent to resettle displaced persons as soon as possible. He explained to those he met with in Congress the success the government has more..

EU ministers to visit Sri Lanka on peace mission

Apr 28 (DPA) Three European Union foreign ministers are planning an urgent mission to Sri Lanka amidst concerns for the safety of civilians trapped by the fighting, diplomats announced Monday as the bloc called for an immediate ceasefire. The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Sweden, David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner and Carl Bildt respectively, are to fly to the embattled country Wednesday in a bid to win safety for civilians caught between government and rebel forces. more..

'Explicit international deceit on Tamils'

Apr 28 (TN) “What is the limit of IC’s appeasement with Colombo and what is the limit of IC in cheating Tamils,” asks Sri Navaratnam, on the 8th day of his hunger strike in Oslo, furious at the news of Colombo’s all out attack on Tamil civilians Monday night. “To facilitate the international community to deceive Tamils, Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday announced the halt of the use of heavy weapons in the safety zone of more than 165,000 civilians. more..

Unprecedented carnage unfolds in Vanni

Apr 28 (TN) Medical sources in Vanni reported Tuesday morning "mad shelling" by the Sri Lanka Army into civilian areas in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal north, forcing everyone under the bunkers. Several civilians have been killed. The wounded are let to die as people are not able to move out of the bunkers due to the unprecedented barrage by the SLA from 4:30 a.m. The SLA deployed 'scorched earth' barrage using all kinds of weapons from 6:00 p.m. Tuesday in Valaignarmadam breaking the LTTE defence line. more..

A note to the working committe of ...

Apr 28 (LeN) The war is over. The Sri Lanka Armed Forces have taken full control of all the territory in the country and has won a decisive victory. All wars come to an end and human civilization has found new ways to rebuild the country, promote reconciliation and co-existence and ensure that the scourge of war does not revisit the country. In India, after the carnage of the Hindu-Muslim conflict, the founding fathers through a Constitutional Council proclaimed that more..

JHU says will protest foreign intimidation

Apr 28 (CT) The JHU has strongly condemned a call through the US State Department, by Tokyo co-chairs for an amnesty for the LTTE. Its leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananada Thera said the party would stage a massive protest against the co-chairs and State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood. He said their statement had posed a serious threat to Sri Lanka at a time when a humanitarian mission was more..

Muslims to lose Musali DS dvsn, Mannar

Apr 28 (PSM) The resettlement of IDPs has commenced today in Musali, the only predominant Muslim DS division in Mannar according to sources of the Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services. However, the resettlement of IDPs is confined only to the villages of Arrippu and Saveriyarpuram from where the Tamils were displaced in 2007. The Muslims were forcibly evicted from the Northern Province including the Musali DS division in 1990 by the LTTE and more..

Gang attack mosque & houses in Ninthavur

Apr 28 (PSM) A gang believed to be Tamils, had gone to the ‘Peace Village’ in Addapalam, Ninthavur late night recently (21st April 2009) and caused damages to a Thaikka (small mosque). They had also abused the Muslims demanding them to vacate from the village and pelted stones at the houses constructed for tsunami victims. the stoning has damaged the glasses on the window panels of the mosque and some houses there. more..

Australia donates Medicine worth Rs. 300 million

Apr 28 (GDI) Australian Government has donated drugs and medical equipments worth Rs. 300 million to the Health Ministry for the use of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who came from the No Fire Zone and IDPs temporarily sheltered in social welfare villages in cleared areas, the Media Secretary to the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition Wanninayake told to today (28), more..