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Price of complacency

Feb 22 (ST) Friday night's air raid over Colombo was more than a gentle reminder to all and sundry on the dangers of complacency. The Security Forces' victories coupled with relentless Government propaganda that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been all but completely vanquished have lulled the populace into a euphoric feel-good state of mind believing that the fighting capabilities of the LTTE are now decimated. more..

Sri Lanka's war on several fronts

Feb 22 (WP) Sandya Kanthi and her husband were once rice farmers. They tended paddies among the lush coconut groves and banana palms just outside this town. Now they are warriors, rifles in hand and neatly pressed khaki uniforms on their backs. They are among an estimated 45,000 largely Sinhalese villagers who have joined what is known here as the Civil Defense Forces, Sri Lanka's version of the National Guard, a paramilitary civilian group whose job is to defend villages, more..

Price of Sri Lanka's army expansion is paid in grief

Feb 22 (LAT) The white tattered strips line the main road to Kuliyapitiya, hanging off telephone poles and fence posts, each one signifying another funeral, another loss, another hole punched in the heart of a family. A few miles away, in the center of town, ribbons of another sort decorate the chest of a commando at a recruiting post working to impress a group of teenage boys. A recent surge by the Sri Lankan army, boosted by an aggressive expansion of its forces, more..

Holmes u-turns minutes after TNA meeting

Feb 22 (TN) The TNA Parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan has told the visiting UN Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs, Sir John Holmes, that there is an urgent need for the international community to act decisively to stop the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Vanni. However, in the press conference he gave minutes afterwards, Sir Holmes lauded the Sri Lankan government’s conduct vis-à-vis the humanitarian situation and more..

UN humanitarian chief makes plea for civilian safety

Feb 22 (IRIN) At the end of a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary-General, urged that combatants ensure the safety of tens of thousands of civilians who remain trapped within areas of heavy fighting in northern Sri Lanka. "I fear the reality is that a significant number of civilians are killed every day [within the combat zone]," more..

Toll in massacre by suspected LTTE cadres rises to 21

Feb 22 (IANS) The toll in a massacre by suspected Tamil Tigers cadres in a predominantly Sinhalese village in eastern Sri Lanka Saturday has risen to 21 with over 20 more wounded, the defence ministry said Sunday. 'According to latest reports received, the death toll in the LTTE village massacre at Kirimetiya has risen to 21, while over 20 others, including children, have suffered serious injuries,' the defence ministry said. more..

Karunanidhi offers to send aid to Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (IANS) Tamil Nadu was largely peaceful Sunday and the funeral of a man who set himself ablaze in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils did not witness any untoward incidents. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi offered to send doctors and paramedics to the island nation to render assistance to over 10,000 people injured in the military conflict there. The state was peaceful except for a clash inside the central prison in Coimbatore between rioting prisoners and authorities that injured three warders, more..

Sri Lanka says rebel air wing no longer a threat

Feb 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said on Sunday the air wing of the Tamil Tigers no longer posed a threat after the last two rebel planes crashed on suicide raids on Friday. One small aircraft slammed into the main government tax office in central Colombo late on Friday, killing at least two people and wounding 53, the military said. The other was shot down and crashed in a marsh outside the international airport, the site of the Tiger air wing's first strike in 2007. more..

Sri Lanka says 65 Tiger rebels killed

Feb 22 (AFP) Sri Lankan security forces killed at least 65 Tamil Tigers in a week of intense fighting that further reduced the territory under rebel control, the military said on Sunday. The Tigers have been driven back into just 73 square kilometres (28 square miles) of jungle, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said, having controlled large swathes of the north and the east of the island less than two years ago. more..

Sri Lanka on top after amassing 644

Feb 22 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene struck his first double-century outside Sri Lanka - his fifth overall - while Thilan Samaraweera went past 200 for the first time in Tests to bat Pakistan out of the game on the second day in Karachi. They feasted on an insipid bowling attack, rendered helpless by the flat pitch, and posted 437 runs - a Test record - for the fourth wicket. more..

Sri Lanka kamikaze attack targeted air force

Feb 22 (AP) A rebel kamikaze attack on Sri Lanka's capital could have destroyed the air force but didn't because the two explosives-packed planes were shot down before reaching their targets, the government said Sunday. The defiant air raid Friday night showed the Tamil Tiger rebels retained the ability to launch paralyzing attacks across the country even with their ground forces under siege in a small patch of territory in the northeast. more..

India to fund building new cricket stadium

Feb 23 (IANS) India will fund building a brand new cricket stadium in Sri Lanka's southern Hambantota district, where the authorities expect to host at least a couple of 2011 World Cup matches. SLC Competent Authority S. Liyanagama has said the Hambantota International Cricket Stadium 'will be introduced to the ICC list as an alternate venue but will subsequently be named as one of the main venues to host World Cup matches to be played in Sri Lanka in February 2011'. more..

LTTE air raid shows war is far from over

Feb 23 (TOI) The daring but failed air raid on Colombo by Tamil Tiger's air wing appears to have given lie to the Sri Lankan army's lofty claims that it has crushed the Tamil rebels and regained control of LTTE-held territory in northern Sri Lanka. While the LTTE declared the 9/11 type attack which killed two people and injured more than 50 on Friday a successful suicide mission, the country's air force chief said it was a total failure as both the aircraft that tried to bomb Colombo were shot down before they could inflict any significant damage. more..

Year of English and IT

Feb 23 (AT) The information technology is very vast in a competitive world which is very necessary to face challenges. Opportunities for employment in the field of IT could be gained if only there is English knowledge. This is why President Mahinda Rajapaske declared 2009 as the "Year of English and IT". Professor Tissa Vitarana, Minister of Science & Technology said so participating as the Chief Guest at a ceremony held at more..

S.B. Dissanayake asked to reconsider where he belongs?

Feb 23 (AT) A little bit of a piece of advice to S, B. Dissanayake telling him to explore where he belongs. An open letter from one of his old time friend Dr. T.B. Jayasinghe, presently Sri Lanka’s Representative in Palestine. In his open letter, Dr. Jayasinghe recalled his friendship from the days SB was in the Communist Party, when the Party Office was located at the Cotta Road, Colombo. more..

Triumphalist Hype and Reality

Feb 23 (AT) Friday’s Black Air Tiger attack did little harm to life and property but much damage to the government’s reputation. It also proved the LTTE’s determination to fight on, with whatever means possible, notwithstanding its conclusive defeat in the conventional phase of the war. If an organisation, which is supposedly in terminal stages, can mount an operation which involves air forays into a highly fortified city hundreds of kilometres away, then its ability to wage a guerrilla war, on the land and the sea, should not be discounted. more..

The LTTE’s bombing of Colombo: The last flicker burst of terrorism - Dr. Swamy

Feb 23 (AT) The LTTE’s bombing of Colombo on Friday represents the last flicker burst of terrorism by the outfit before becoming extinguished. It is a last desperate act of terrorism said Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party. While condemning the LTTE’s last ditch bid terrorist act before extinction, Dr. Swamy in a statement said "The LTTE has now been thoroughly exposed as a terrorist organization bereft of any civilized society support anywhere in the world. more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa, President for two full terms until 2017

Feb 23 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse will complete his term of office in 2017. He will be elected again at the next Presidential elections and shall have the privilege of serving the full term. His determination and vision for the Nation has richly blessed him with the affection and allegiance of the Nation. It is futile to vote for any other party as the Head of State shall reign supreme and development is possible only if the Governing Party is elected at the Provincial Council elections. more..

INGO Infiltrations Into National Security

Feb 23 (AT) The Select Committee of Parliament investigating into the Operations of Non Governmental Organizations under the chairmanship of Vijitha Herath has made a deep penetrating study into the affairs of the Burghoff Foundation and made pronouncements that disclose links to the LTTE and the Armed Forces which is a concern to national security since these connections have been effected by Ministry sources. more..

And then there were none

Feb 23 (LG) Thus began Lasantha Wickrematunge’s first Sunday Leader editorial for 2009. Under President Rajapaksa the Sri Lankan Army had made unprecedented gains against the Tigers, whose 25-year struggle for an ethnic Tamil homeland has claimed more than 70,000 lives. The army captured Killinochchi, the Tigers’ capital, on 2 January, and was on the brink of a conventional military victory as troops closed in on the rebels’ last outpost in Mullaitivu. more..

Buddhism: Path and Fruit

Feb 23 (LG) To have an ambition seems to be a natural phenomenon in the human make-up. Some people want to be rich, powerful or famous. Some want to be very knowledgeable, to get degrees. Some just want to find a little niche for themselves where they can look out of the window and see the same scenery every day. Some want to find a perfect partner, or as near perfect as possible. Even when we are not living in the world, but in a nunnery, we have ambitions: to become excellent meditators, to be perfectly peaceful, more..

I Am The Way

Feb 23 (LG) Sometimes the most memorable experiences with the scriptures come from having patterns suddenly stand out to you while you’re reading. For example, did it ever strike you how often the Gospel of John mentions that Jesus said the words “I am”? When Jesus said this, He was usually making a comparison in order to teach people who He is and what He does for them. Look closely at some of these comparisons, and you’ll learn a lot about the Savior. more..

Is the Sri Lanka Guardian the mouthpiece of Dr T C Rajaratnam?

Feb 23 (LG) Sri Lanka Guardian has earned a good name as a media of great integrity and a forum of various issues especially on Sri Lanka. The LTTE sees it as pro-government and the government sees it as pro-LTTE and many others recognize it as a vehicle to express their views freely. This web-media appears to have the services of a vast array of good experienced writers and even professionals who freely express their views not just on Sri Lankan politics alone. It is welcome. more..

Tamil national problem = Palestinian problem?

Feb 23 (LG) The election is a victory for the Mahinda regime and its chauvinist policies. However it is not democratic to resort to chauvinism and blind the masses with the idea of crushing the protest of a minority, and win an election on the basis of majority nationality. I said at Kundasale on February 4 that the government was doping the masses with chauvinism. In that condition, with derailed minds, one can get masses to make irrational decisions. more..

The fruits of peace for Eastern farmers

Feb 23 (PISL) Micro irrigation schemes have been implemented in many places across Sri Lanka, but Mr. Visvalingam’s vegetable farm in Kaluwanchikudy is one of the first in the Eastern Province to experience the benefits. He participated in a UNIDO funded project to improve agricultural productivity in the region. Often low-yielding, small plot vegetable cultivation in Sri Lanka has been dominated by the use of unsophisticated farming methods, and more..

48 hours in Colombo

Feb 23 (Reuters) Got 48 hours to spend in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo? The city is the country’s biggest and a major port, with a rich colonial heritage, gardens, lively markets, modern buildings and even a beach. The heavy military and police presence in the capital, a manifestation of the government’s battle against Tamil Tiger rebels fighting one of Asia’s longest modern insurgencies, does take some getting used to. more..

Maharoof ruled out of series

Feb 23 (CI) Farveez Maharoof, the Sri Lanka bowling allrounder, has been ruled out of the two-Test series in Pakistan with a groin injury. Maharoof, who had been overlooked for the first Test currently in progress in Karachi, will fly home on Sunday evening. Maharoof sustained the injury during a practice session before the first Test at Karachi's National Stadium. "Maharoof is suffering from a groin injury and the doctors have advised him to rest," more..

Pakistan coach fumes at unhelpful pitch

Feb 23 (CI) A docile pitch at the National Stadium in Karachi helped turn Pakistan's first two days of Test cricket in 14 months into an ordeal. It hardly offered any assistance to their pace attack, and Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said that the track, on which Sri Lanka amassed 644 for 7 declared, was not what the home team had expected. "I am not very happy with the state of the wicket," Alam said even while admitting the team had performed poorly on the opening day. more..

Sri Lanka banking sector needs consolidation: banker

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's banking sector is not at risk from the global credit crisis but needs consolidation to be able to improve returns and attract fresh capital, a senior banker said. Clearer regulatory guidelines were needed to cover changes in ownership in the banking sector and to handle the implications of mergers and acquisitions, said Nihal Welikala, Advisor, National Development Bank. more..

Friendly ear for Samaraweera

Feb 23 (ECB) Sri Lanka double centurion Thilan Samaraweera admitted batting alongside long-time friend Mahela Jayawardene helped him stay focused during a Test record fourth-wicket stand on day two of the first Test against Pakistan. Thirty-two-year-old Samaraweera made 231 and put on 437 for the fourth wicket with captain Jayawardene to virtually bat the hosts out of the match in Karachi. Jayawardene himself scored 240 - his fifth double ton in Test cricket - more..

Prabhakaran sends his wife, younger son abroad by sea: report

Feb 23 (IANS) Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, facing an unprecedented military thrust into his very last stronghold in northeast Sri Lanka, has sent his wife and the younger son to an undisclosed location abroad, a media report said Sunday. The state-run Sunday Observer, quoting the intelligence reports, said that Prabhakaran, 54, has sent his wife Madivadani and his younger son, 10-year-old Balachandran, abroad by sea. more..

Human tragedy continues in northern Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (wsws) As fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the separatist LTTE continues in the northern Wanni region, the plight of civilians trapped in the war zone is worsening. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara claimed yesterday that security forces had surrounded the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu over the weekend and confined the LTTE to just 73 square kilometres of jungle. There is no means of verifying these claims as the government and army block independent media access to the area. more..

Chidambaram’s carrot

Feb 23 (LG) Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s offer that India would facilitate negotiations if the LTTE declared a willingness to lay down arms is the farthest towards an ‘intervention’ that New Delhi has moved. In fact, this is the first time since the IPKF fiasco in the late 1980s that New Delhi has shown interest in taking a direct hand in resolving the Tamil-Sinhala conflict. more..

Performance of LTTE pilots was like the ghost visiting Fazackerley

Feb 23 (TC) The air raid by the LTTE that took place on Friday evening was an extraordinary event, with an added human interest inasmuch as it happened while the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights was entertaining Sir John Holmes to dinner. Sir John, like Colonel Fazackerley in the poem of that name, was magnificiently calm throughout the episode, while SMS alerts proliferated around the table. more..

Reply to the lamentations of a Psychopath

Feb 23 (LG) I must congratulate the Sri Lanka Guardian for having published on line the lamentations of “Jayan Devendra” which is a fictitious name under which a timid person without character has had a hysterical outburst. I am taking this opportunity with the consent of Dr.T.C.Rajaratnam who is presently undergoing medical treatment after an assassination attempt on his life a few hours ago. more..

SAARC Foreign Ministers to meet in Colombo

Feb 23 (LG) The SAARC Council of Ministers represented by the Foreign Ministers of SAARC Member States will meet in Colombo on 27-28 February for its Inter-Summit Session. The Council of Ministers meeting will be preceded by Meetings of the SAARC Programming Committee represented by Senior Officials and the SAARC Standing Committee represented by the Foreign Secretaries of respective SAARC Member States on 23-24 February and 25-26 February respectively. more..

Mahinda Chinthanaya and Obama Thinker-naya

Feb 23 (LG) Prophets are not recognised in their own country, it is said. In this country prophets and even 'visionaries' are not recognised even though this wisdom is lapped up by today's 'Greats' abroad. Our Environment Minister, Champika Ranawaka, on the eve of elections to the North Western and Central Provincial Councils discovered that Mahinda Chinthanaya (vision of Mahinda Rajapakse) had progressed much beyond recognition in the West and more..

A Washington washout!

Feb 23 (LG) However, it demonstrated even more specifically that the Tamils and the Tigers are two separate entities and the latter poses the biggest danger to the former. What is being demonstrated in Wanni is genocide against the Tamils and the LTTE is perpetrator of it. Just before he climbed into the Wanni-assembled Wasp Suicide Bomber on his Kamikaze mission to Colombo to cause World War II Japanese-type havoc, Tiger "Suicider" Colonel Rooban was believed to have written an appeal like a deed for posterity. more..

Tamil Racism is the Kami-kaze of Tamil Federalist Politics

Feb 23 (LG) When the first tiger plane appeared in the Sri Lankan skies two weeks after the Ides of March, 2007, client intellectuals of the LTTE cooed glowingly and applauded the "innovative engineering skills" of the emerging Eelam. Kumar David, an engineering professor whose vain effort has been to engineer the "permanent revolution", wrote in the Tamilnet extolling the innovative engineering that had gone into it. more..

'Do not mislead the people in the North and the East'

Feb 23 (GDI) MP Basil Rajapaksa has warned that the international community, several foreign organizations and local groups were misleading the people in the North and the East. Mr. Rajapaksa made these comments when he inaugurated the Valaichchenai fisheries harbour project during the weekend and asked the people to be wary of any group or individual who spread disinformation and said people should be patient as more..

Inland Revenue Dept back to normal tomorrow

Feb 23 (GDI) Essential services at the Inland Revenue Department will be normal from tomorrow, Inland Revenue Commissioner General S. Amgammana said. He said that important data containing vital information on tax matters and the computer system have not been destroyed or affected despite certain floors including the 12th floor being damaged following the Tigers' light aircraft crash on Friday. "We request tax payers to bear with us and also request them to cooperate with us by settling tax dues on time," more..

President's Message for Maha Shiva Rathri

Feb 23 (GDI) The Hindus in Sri Lanka join their co-religionists the world over, to celebrate Maha Shiva Rathri today, one of the most important festivals in the Hindu religious calendar. A festival observed in honour of Lord Shiva, this marks the day that Hindu belief holds he married Parvati, and also the night he performed the dance of primordial creation and preservation. There many rituals associated with this festival including fasting, night long vigils at temples, making of offerings to Shiva, more..

UPFA wins NW province

Feb 23 (BBC) The ruling alliance has secured a sweeping victory in the North Western Provincial Council (NWPC) elections held recently. UPFA won the Central provincial council elections but the results of the NWPC was delayed as the authorities cancelled the election held at one polling booth. Re-election for the cancelled polling booth was held on Saturday. In NWPC, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s coalition that has won over 69 percent of the votes was allocated 37 seats. more..

Sri Lankan expatriate rally in Washington

Feb 23 (AT) Sri Lankan nationals and supporters from across the United States held a rally Friday February 20 in the vicinity of the White House in Washington, D.C. in an effort to urge the US Government to put pressure on the LTTE to release innocent civilians held by the LTTE as human shields in the northern part of the country. A large number of Sri Lankans attended the rally, representing the three major ethnic groups of Sri Lanka - Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims expressing more..

Lions, Tigers & Jackals

Feb 23 (AT) In Sri Lanka events are unfolding so rapidly, that even those who were usually easy going in their analyses have to adjust themselves suddenly to the fresh speed, while their prophetic predictions can hardly keep pace with the ground realities. But one must not lament over by-gone situations because, history, nationally as well as internationally, provides us with similar situations where one can display analytical wisdom in abundance! more..

Senate foreign relations committee to hold hearings on Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (AT) The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one of the most powerful committees in the US legislature, will hold a hearing on Sri Lanka on Tuesday February 24 and 2:30 pm. The hearings will focus on recent developments in Sri Lanka-- specifically the ongoing military conflict in the north and east, the deteriorating humanitarian situation and allegations of human rights violations. The committee is chaired by Senator John Kerry, more..

Sri Lanka Ambassador in U.S. exposes LTTE propaganda network in U.S.

Feb 23 (AT) "The LTTE has perfected the soft weapon of propaganda through the systematic dissemination of misinformation through its global terrorist network and litany of front groups. And these networks and front groups are closely linked to organizations that the U.S. Treasury Department declared as part of the LTTE," says Sri Lanka Ambassador in the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya more..

Situation Report (Feb 23) by SLA

Feb 23 (SLA) 57 DIVISION troops in a search in the general area of VISUAMADU Sunday (22) recovered a large haul of LTTE arms and ammunition left behind by fleeing Tigers. The recovery made from a suspected LTTE one time arms production factory included one hundred and fifty 81 mm mortar bombs, two hundred and fifty mortar bombs trails, one hundred and fifty boxes of iron balls, fifteen rolls of aluminum cable, thirty-five thousand 12.7 ammunition empty cases, more..

Architects of a military junta in Sri Lanka?

Feb 23 (GV) In this article, my objective is to focus on a crucial area of Sri Lankan political life, where significant developments have taken place: military successes against the LTTE coupled with the development of a culture of ruthless impunity. This can be described as the result of a mixture of very dangerous elements: 1. Rise of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism 2. A sentiment of intense ‘fear’ of the state and the military establishment 3. A military force marked by impunity and immorality. more..

'Golconda for the corrupt?'

Feb 23 (MoD) "The government has appointed a committee to probe INGO/NGO spending in this country. A large number of humanitarian outfits had raised millions of US dollars by marketing Sri Lanka's war and operated in the conflict zone for years. But, there is no tangible proof that they expended their funds properly and people stood to gain from them" asserts The Island Editorial on Monday (Feb 23). more..