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The psychopathology of the LTTE suicide bombers

Feb 23 (GV) The LTTE suicide killing is one of the most bizarre forms of political action adopted by its authority via glorification of death and violence. For the LTTE this action is not cleanly a military tactic or reprisal. It is a mass ritual as well as an action beyond death. The LTTE suicide carders better known as Black Tigers (or in Tamil: Karum Puligal ) are psychologically motivated to kill and get killed. more..

Sri Lankan tea prices rise

Feb 23 (LBO) Tea prices rose sharply at last week's Colombo auction with crops on the decline and the quality season which attracts overseas buyers in full swing, brokers said. Teas from the western slopes of the island's central massif produce their best quality at this time of year and fetch high prices. Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said there was an improved selection of Western teas and teas from Nuwara Eliya, more..

Sri Lanka exporters to get incentives as downturn worsens

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka has unveiled an export incentive program based on maintaining revenues and employment, while emerging data shows contracting nominal values with manufacturers planning to trim workforces. Sri Lanka's government is giving a 5 percent incentive payment in domestic currency to any exporter who can show 5.0 percent more export proceeds remitted to the country over the same quarter last year. more..

Ceasefire, solution first; laying down arms irrelevant: LTTE

Feb 23 (TN) Urging International Community to effect a ceasefire and initiate a political solution as a priority than insisting LTTE to lay down arms, the Political Head of the LTTE, B. Nadesan, made an appeal Sunday to the heads of the Co-chairs countries saying that "when a permanent political solution is reached for the Tamil people, with the support and the guarantee of the international community, more..

Sri Lanka Janashakthi offers overseas medical insurance

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Janashakthi Insurance has tied up with Expacare of the UK to offer health insurance covering hospitals in over 140 countries aimed at high-income people and expatriates. Policyholders are given the option to select their choice of hospital and country depending on the medical expertise and proven track record of the medical entity, it said in a statement. Health insurance covers provided meet medical expenses up to1.7 million dollars or more..

Sri Lanka laws seen enough to deter finance fraud

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's existing financial regulation are adequate to take action against unregistered finance firms who defraud customers, a former member of the central bank monetary board said. Deva Rodrigo said the recent collapse of unregistered finance companies had raised fears about the stability of the financial system. This was one of the many 'home-grown' problems the country has to deal with in the face of a global economic crisis that was also affecting local businesses, he said. more..

Inter-religious prayers held in Jaffna for Vanni Tamils

Feb 23 (TN) More than a hundred Saiva priests, representatives of social and Non-governmental organizations and others participated in the prayers held in Nallai Aatheenam located behind Nalloor Kanthasuvami Temple, led by Nallai Aatheenam Srilasiri Somasunthara Parmaachchaariya Suvamikal, Sunday from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m, for the liberation of the suffering Tamils in Vanni, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Domestic aviation poised for take off

Feb 23 (DN) Deccan Aviation Lanka Limited is looking at inducting a 40-50 seater aircraft to be operated in the domestic and regional markets. “We are also looking at introducing domestic flights to Trincomalee. We are in contact with several leading airlines to see how we could offer air connectivity directly from the international airport.,” said Director of Deccan Aviation, Denham Schokman. more..

Govt imports 585,000 mt tons of fertiliser

Feb 23 (DN) The Government has made arrangements to import 585,000 mt of fertiliser this year under the program to provide fertiliser to farmers at a subsidised rate. The fertiliser subsidy costs Rs. 25,000 million to State coffers. The consignment of 585,000 metric tons includes 350,000 mt of urea, 125,000 mt of TSP and 110,000 mt of MoP, National Fertiliser Secretariat Director Ranjith Dharmawardena stated yesterday. more..

A smaller force for final battle

Feb 23 (Island) With the area under LTTE control now down to approximately 70 sq. km in the Mullaitivu District, some of the fighting formations have suspended offensive action leaving three Divisions and one Task Force to finish off the Tigers. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara yesterday said that 57 and 59 Divisions and three Task Forces would engage in clearing operations in newly liberated areas while 55, 58 and 53 Divisions and TF IV would continue the offensive. more..

Success of LTTE attack disputed by govt

'Armed group that raided Max TV had police backing'

Feb 23 (Island) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says there were several policemen attached to the Mirihana Police among the armed group that entered Max TV office premises on Saturday night. Those policemen had been immediately transferred without conducting an investigation, he said alleging that the errant police personnel had the backing of government politicians. He demanded that impartial investigation should be held and more..

Bollywood triumph: 'Slumdog' claims 8 Oscars

Feb 23 (AP) Hollywood has met Bollywood at the Academy Awards, and the makers of Oscar champ "Slumdog Millionaire" hope it's a sign of future melding between the U.S. dream factory with its counterparts in India and elsewhere in the world. A tale of hope amid adversity and squalor in Mumbai, "Slumdog Millionaire" came away with eight Oscars, including best picture and director for Danny Boyle. The low-budget production was a merger of India's brisk Bollywood movie industry, more..

Japan slams LTTE

Feb 23 (DM) Japan's Ambassador at the UN Yukio Takasu, this month's president of the UN Security Council, decried the Tamil Tigers for "using humanitarian issues to promote their military offensive." Mr. Takasu said "I don't want to say human shields," but France's Jean-Maurice Ripert used the term, when asked by Inner City Press for France's position during a press briefing at the UN, according to Inner City Press. more..

Govt. decides to release elderly persons

Feb 23 (DM) The government has decided to release persons over 60 years of age from the internally displaced camps in Vavuniya so that they could live independently or with their relatives, Vavuniya Government Agent Ms. P. S.M. Charles said. There are 15 welfare camps in Vavuniya currently occupied by over 31,504 displaced persons from the Wanni. Ms. Charles said these aged persons fond it difficult to live in a temporary hut without the aid of anyone, more..

As Sri Lankan Army toured UN's Holmes, questions left unanswered

Feb 23 (ICP) In Sri Lanka and beyond, questions about the UN's impartiality and commitment to civilians swirled in the wake of Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes' whirlwind government-controlled visit to a camp for internally displaced persons. While in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople had been declining to answer questions until Holmes left Sri Lanka, even when he did, the questions raised were not answered. more..

Younis ton drives Pakistan

Feb 23 (CI) Pakistan's new captain Younis Khan hit a fine century and combined well with his predecessor Shoaib Malik to thwart a stiff challenge from the Sri Lankan spinners. On a pitch that got increasingly slower, Sri Lanka fought hard but Younis stood firm to lead Pakistan toward avoiding the follow-on. Younis' innings said a lot about his character and batsmanship. You could dismiss his knock with a casual yet fitting word like 'typical' but it wouldn't do full justice. more..

Dining with terrorists: Part 2

EU for immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (IANS) The European Union called Monday for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka, urged the Tamil Tigers to lay down its weapons and stressed that the conflict cannot be resolved by military means. "The EU is deeply concerned about the evolving humanitarian crisis and vast number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) trapped by the fighting as well as continuing reports of high civilian casualties," said the EU foreign ministers at their regular monthly meeting here. more..

Tamil civilians blame LTTE for their plight

Feb 23 (PTI) Tamil civilians who managed to escape from the clutches of LTTE to safe zone camps on Monday blamed the Tamil Tigers for their plight, but at the same time are not happy with the facilities being provided at the facilities run by the Sri Lankan Government. "I am happy that the Sri Lankan government is trying to rehabilitate us after liberating us from the LTTE, but the conditions in the transit camp where we are put up are really bad," more..

Sri Lanka Tiger rebels say would accept ceasefire

Feb 23 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels told the U.N. and international community on Monday that they are willing to accept a ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government, as Asia's longest-running civil war may be nearing an end. But the LTTE rejected calls to lay down arms and surrender, saying keeping their weapons is necessary to ensure survival for the ethnic minority Tamil people in the Indian Ocean island nation. more..

MSF scales up assistance to displaced and wounded

Feb 23 (DWB) Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is preparing to scale up its assistance to displaced people in camps in and around the city of Vavuniya, in Northern Province, Sri Lanka. MSF is already distributing food and basic relief items in 10 camps and plans to work in five more. The camps are home to about 30,000 people who have fled heavy fighting between rebel group the LTTE and government troops in the north of the country. more..

Dining with terrorists: Part 1

Sri Lankan gov't rejects rebels' call for truce

Feb 23 (AP) Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil rebels, facing likely defeat on the battlefield, sent a letter to the United Nations on Monday saying they were ready for a cease-fire. The government immediately rejected the offer as a final effort by the rebels to "save their miserable skins." In recent months, the Tamil Tiger rebels have suffered unprecedented military defeats, losing most of their strongholds to government forces. more..

Twist in tale

Feb 24 (LG) Kamikaze in exact translation from Japanese means ‘divine wind’. But World War II gave it a new chilling meaning as marauding Japanese aircraft flyers rammed into Allied Forces target in suicidal desperation. The militants of the LTTE may not have much sense of history, but they reprised the reckless kamikaze spirit yesterday in the air raid they carried out over Colombo. Two men from their elite ‘Black Air Tiger’ suicide squad piloted the two light aircraft into more..

Proxy War, Proxy Talks

Feb 24 (LG) Are they human shields or hostages? Independent media reports quoting evacuees from the war zone in northern Sri Lanka have claimed that the LTTE had shot at them for trying to cross over to Government-controlled areas over the past fortnight. If it is still conventional war human shields are unacceptable in modern times. The international community has to treat is as such. If it is a terrorist-tactic, international norms have evolved over the past decades on how nations of the world should handle hostage situations. more..

A cordial but cautious welcome to Sir John Holmes

Feb 24 (LG) Among the high ranking UN visitors to Sri Lanka since early 2007, Sir John Holmes probably stands apart from the others for the conservative stances he, in his earlier career as a senior British diplomat, had tended to adopt over certain controversial issues. He figured in the inner circle of John Major’s government as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, and continued to occupy the same post under Tony Blair until January 2007 when more..

The Birth & Death of Tamil Eelam: From Mullaitheevu to Oslo

Feb 24 (LG) Norway has been vehemently criticized for its peace negotiations in Sri Lanka, not only by the Sinhalese nationalistic elements but also by anti-LTTE, Tamil political parties since the signing of the CFA in February 2002. Despite the abrupt abrogation of the CFA, Norway seems to be undeterred and still demonstrates its interest in Sri Lanka in one way or another. more..

Enough already with the genocide talk

Feb 24 (LG) The accusations of genocide in Sri Lanka are getting annoying... and not in the usual ways. Anybody who takes the charge seriously betrays a highly annoying ignorance about the state of affairs between Sri Lanka and the LTTE. Genocide is not happening in Sri Lanka. Plenty of other nasty things are; but genocide is not one of them. The LTTE and its supporters in the international Tamil Diaspora they dominate would like us to slap the label of 'genocide' onto the Sri Lankan government. more..

Progress towards peace and prosperity

Feb 24 (LG) Talking about peace, economic development and prosperity after a heavy meal might be a serious imposition on all of us. But peace and economic development is a priority for Sri Lanka at the moment. Prosperity has beckoned us for a long time and has evaded our grasp repeatedly. Many a time, we have had our hopes raised, only to be disappointed. So let us now see what we can do as a country to reach prosperity through peace and economic development. more..

Diaspora Diaries

Feb 24 (LG) As an immigrant, or "Sri Lankan - American", it's interesting to observe the complexities within the Diaspora in relation to the political and societal situations back home. Though they have established their lives here, my parents, and many others of their generation are still tied to Sri Lanka in their hearts and minds. I know this to be true, as do the other children whom I grew up with in Minneapolis, Minnesota. more..

Global economic crisis used to destroy union in Sri Lanka

Feb 24 (ICEM) The ICEM expressed concern recently at the actions of Sinotex Lanka, Ltd., a garment producer which is owned by Hong Kong-based Cristal-Martin Group. The company has closed two factories after operating 27 years in Sri Lanka. Members of the Sri Lanka Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union, who recently applied for affiliation to the ICEM, have called for international solidarity for the 2,500 workers that have lost their jobs. more..

Land deliveries still suspended

Feb 24 (IRIN) Food convoys for thousands of displaced in Sri Lanka’s north remain suspended after more than a month, despite rising concerns over a growing food crisis. “The security situation since 16 January has not been conducive for food convoys to go in,” Adnan Khan, country representative for the World Food Programme [WFP] said in Colombo, citing concerns over small arms fire and possible landmines en route. more..

No truck with LTTE

Feb 24 (TOI) Sri Lanka has rejected the LTTE's offer of a ceasefire to the war raging in north-east of the island nation. Its stand will doubtless be decried as counterproductive intransigence. Innocent Tamils are suffering and hence the calls for a political rather than military solution to the conflict. But those passing moral judgment on Sri Lanka's military offensive are off target. Aren't they overlooking the LTTE's caveat that it won't lay down arms? Or that its recent aborted air raid on Colombo signalled its complete lack of interest in peace? more..

Colombo needs to win over Tamils

Feb 24 (TOI) The Sri Lankan government believes that it is close to winning the war against the LTTE. That may be the case, but it is close to losing the battle for the minds of Sri Lankan Tamils in the process. The civilian population in Tamil areas is facing the brunt of the Sri Lankan army offensive. Colombo must back its military struggle against the LTTE with a peace package that addresses the grievances of the Tamil community. That can't wait for the war to get over. more..

An “unpatriotic” appeal for a UN mechanism to protect civilians

Feb 24 (GV) These are difficult times for all. The GoSL is fighting a humanitarian war to liberate innocent civilians from the scourge of man-eating Tigers and claims that the safety and welfare of these “innocent civilians” is foremost in its agenda. The UN claims that the GoSL is cooperating with it, and vice versa. (Atleast that’s what it seems to some of us, as the majority are deafened by the roar of Lions and unable to hear anything else but the roaring) more..

'LTTE group' arrested in France

Feb 24 (BBC) Police in France have arrested six Sri Lankan Tamils accused of killing a police officer in Paris, officials said. Sugeeswara Senadheera, Minister Counsellor, Sri Lankan embassy in Paris, told BBC Sandeshaya that all arrested were members of the LTTE. The French policeman was shot dead, Mr. Senadheera said, as he questioned the group collecting money for a banned organisation. more..

Funeral held for Igniyagala victims

Feb 24 (BBC) A mass funeral has taken place in eastern Sri Lanka for eleven victims of an 'LTTE shooting incident' on Friday. 14 civilians were killed and ten others have sustained injuries in the attack on Friday in Nelliyadda, Igniyagala. Chena cultivators from a village close to Inginyagala in the eastern province said gunmen who stormed their village set fire to their dwellings while shooting at them. more..

Govt and LTTE differ on value of life

Feb 24 (GV) Researchers at the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence and their counterparts at the LTTE Humanitarian Research Institute at Puthukkudiyirippu (formerly based in Kilinochchi and which did not at any time have a hospital) have been competing for months to produce the most accurate calculation of the value of life. The Defence Ministry spokesman who leads the government research team revealed their preliminary findings several months ago through the Media Centre for National Security. more..

Sri Lanka seen as China marketing hub

Feb 24 (LBO) Chinese businesses are eying Sri Lanka's regional and international trade concessions and strategic geographical location as a window into European Union and other Asian markets, a visiting Chinese trade official said. "The geographical location of Sri Lanka is good. It can be used as a window into other Asian and European countries," said Wang Shicheng, vice president of China National Light Industry Council, who is leading a 50-member trade team from China. more..

The happy monk

Feb 24 (TS) Bhanthe Walpola Piyananda, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, arrived in the West Coast of America on July 4, 1976. He was 33 then. During his early days in the United States, people had never heard of a Buddhist monk. He was ridiculed, humiliated and ignored; at times, he was a victim of mistaken identity. However, all the nasty incidents did not deter Piyananda from settling down in the United States where he has been residing for 33 years. more..

Transporting fruits, vegetables in gunny bags to be banned

Feb 24 (FP) The government will ban the use of gunny bags for the packing of fruits and vegetables for transportation to the market from May 1, 2009 and recommends plastic trays instead, to reduce the wastage; Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday. The decision had been taken after the Institute of Post Harvest Technology found that 30-40 percent of vegetables and fruits are wasted due to the use of gunny bags for this purpose. more..

Sri Lankan army measures end of 25-year war in days

Feb 24 (Reuters) After 25 years of war, Sri Lanka army Brigadier Shavendra Silva is measuring the last of the fighting in days. Standing not far from where he expects a final showdown with Tamil Tiger separatists in the Indian Ocean island's northeast, the 58th Division commander ordered in his armoured units as Tiger mortar bombs exploded on the nearby frontline. more..

The crisis within and the voice abroad

Feb 24 (LG) Even here at MIT, with so many students and faculty interested in finding solutions to the great problems of our world, very few have knowledge of the humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding on the island of Sri Lanka. In fact, Asia’s longest running civil war is hardly known in most parts of the world. Western attention has been manifestly disproportionate to the loss of more than 70,000 lives during 25 years of fighting between the separatist LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

What Really Happened at the 2005 Presidential Election?

Feb 24 (LG) Facts and figures don’t add up with the oft claimed allegation about the 2005 Presidential Election. According to this widespread claim LTTE ordered Tamils not to vote and Ranil being their obvious choice, lost as a result. A hardliner instead assumed office and plotted the downfall of the LTTE. Although Ranil’s docility is blamed for his downfall, it does not fully explain the stakes of the LTTE. It is essential to look at past Presidential Elections in sorting out this riddle. more..

Child soldiers and Velupillai Prabhakaran

Feb 24 (LG) Here below is a feature that appeared nearly three years ago in the Colombo media recounting how Velupillai Prabhakaran came to enlist child soldiers. It appeared as an editorial comment as the Mavil Aru crisis began to emerge which was a serious miscalculation by the LTTE that laid the seeds for the inevitable demise of the Eelam adventure. The CFA was a fool’s paradise to which Ranil Wickremasinghe fell a victim when Norway tried to pull a bunny out of the hat for Prabhakaran. more..

The responsibility to protect Tamil civilians

Feb 24 (LG) It has been reported that the Sri Lankan government has rejected the appointment of Mr. Des Brown by the British Government as an envoy to deal with issues arising from the persecution by the state of the Tamil population in the country. As with all totalitarian governments, like those in Zimbabwe and Sudan, the Sri Lankan government takes refuge in its sovereignty to deny the competence of the international community’s concern with the plight of the Tamil civilians who more..

So what went wrong with the Tamil struggle

Feb 24 (LG) This is the question that every Tamil must ask. Tamils, especially the diaspora Tamils, who put all their eggs in the Ltte basket, must ask some soul-searching questions. Like the banks, who took unacceptable risks and caused the worst financial crisis the capitalist world had ever seen, the diaspora Tamils too financed a politically unviable armed struggle and ditched the Tamils of Sri Lanka. more..

India does not want LTTE to lose or gain

Feb 24 (IL) The Indian Central Government led by the Congress Party does not want the LTTE to lose or gain political, military and economic powers as India prefers to keep Sri Lanka as a buffer state in the Indian Ocean. India's location in the Indian subcontinent as a pyramid state allows India to create three buffer states in the region for its own benefit -Kashmir, Tibet, and Sri Lanka. India is very well aware that the majority of Sinhalese will not be loyal to India forever because more..

Ramadoss and his Sri Lanka Muslim bashing

Feb 24 (LG) "Pakistan’s ISI sleuths with Sri Lankan passports and members of Karuna faction had crossed over to India and were stationed in places such as Egmore, Kolhikode and Bangalore, targeting the supporters of Eelam Tamils. It had come to light that recently, over 2,000 Islamic youths from the eastern province of Sri Lanka were trained in a Pakistan camp. The group might pose danger to India and vital installations such as power stations at Koodankulam and Kalpakkam. more..