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Setting the hands of the clock right

Jun 2 (TN) The Eezham Tamils and their political representatives have no obligation to anyone now, to engage in the deliberations of fruitless alternatives. But the world has an obligation now to tell the Tamils whether its opposition is to what it has perceived as 'terrorism' or to Tamil nationalism. The Eezham Tamil mainstream has a historic responsibility on its shoulders to be performed right now. more..

Sinhala and Tamil: Let’s get together and reconcile

Jun 2 (DBS) These are troubling times for Tamils worldwide and many are either in a state of shock or denial. The situation is made worse by the chauvinist, triumphalist crowing by some (NOT ALL) Sinhalese on the one hand and equally chauvinistic, unrealistic utterances by some (NOT ALL) Tamils. In a noteworthy departure from this trend there was an email being circulated that spoke a different language. A language of realism and reconciliation. more..

Time to reap the peace dividend

Jun 2 (AT) Even as the end of the Cold War brought a global sigh of relief, it raised expectations of a peace dividend. And the peace dividend was mentioned like a mantra after some other hot wars -- such as the world's longest-running civil war in the Sudan -- ended. Such expectations have been, at best, only partially met. That need not be the case for Sri Lanka. A nation that had so much going for it soon after independence from British rule in 1948, more..

Sri Lanka Bishop: My diocese is destroyed

Jun 2 (Zenit) The Bishop of Jaffna is reporting that his diocese is torn apart and many parishes are destroyed after the recent fighting between government forces and the rebel Tamil Tigers. Aid to the Church in Need reported today the words of Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna, in northern Sri Lanka, who wrote a letter describing the situation of his people. more..

EDITORIAL: Cease-fire in Sri Lanka

Jun 2 (Asahi) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory in the country's civil war after government forces hunted down the rebel LTTE in the northern coastal area. However, it is too early to rejoice. Many civilians were killed in the crossfire, and even after the cease-fire, the humanitarian crisis continues. Reconciliation between the majority ethnic group Sinhalese and the Tamils, who constitute less than 20 percent of the population, is not an easy undertaking. more..

Tamil detainees kept in appalling conditions

Jun 2 (wsws) Despite considerable international pressure, the Sri Lankan government is continuing to block free access for the media and aid agencies to the military-run internment camps where more than 275,000 Tamil civilians have been detained under shocking conditions since fleeing the military’s final offensive against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the country’s north. more..

Walking the Extra Mile, the Other Half

Jun 2 (LG) It is heartening to note that the Tamil Nationalist Alliance (TNA) has proposed to join the electoral process in the North, starting with the local government poll for the municipal council in Jaffna and the pradesiya sabha in Vavuniya. Taken to its logial conclusion, the TNA’s decision would contribute to the strengthening of the democratic process, stifled as it was by the LTTE, and more..

The Tamil struggle and the challenges of solidarity

Jun 2 (LG) Throughout more than two decades of war, much has been said about the Tamil nationalist struggle in Sri Lanka. The crucial debate for those concerned about the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils has focused on the question of whether the LTTE have served to advance or exploit the interests of those they have purported to represent. Since the end of colonial rule in 1948, it has been clear that the Sri Lankan state has marginalized and oppressed the Tamil minority. more..

Thailand offer Golden Buddha Statue to SL

Jun 2 (GDI) Thailand has sent to the Kotikawatte Nagarukkaramaya Temple a magnificent 14ft high and 7ft in width, beautifully decorated very valuable Buddha Statue to propagate Buddhism, on a request made by Ven. "Saddharma Keerthi Shree" Badulle Mahanama Thero. The opening ceremony of the Golden Buddha Statue is scheduled for 6th Saturday, June 2009 & Relics will be exposed for three days starting from June 7th to 9th at the Temple. more..

Sri Lanka: Too small to be divided and large enough for all

Jun 2 (MoD) A statement found in The Island editorial of 19th May 2009 -- "This country is too small to be divided along ethnic lines but certainly large enough for all communities" -- prompted the title for this article. Essence of this wisdom was of no consequence at the time of independence as it was anticipated that parliamentary type of government would suit the plural society of this country. more..

President Rajapaksa:Homage to greatness

Jun 2 (LG) After nearly 30 years of a most destructive war, against an elusive and wily Terrorist Organisation which, the international community has not hesitated to name as ‘the world’s most virulent terrorist outfit’, the last gun on the battlefield has fallen silent on every front. The chief architect of the terror and everyone in his cohorts of criminals have been exterminated like the beasts they were. more..

Media Minister condemns attack on Poddala Jayantha

Jun 2 (GDI) “I vehemently and unequivocally condemn the attack on the the General Secretary of the Working Journalists’ Association, Poddala Jayantha who has been admitted to hospital yesterday with leg injuries after being assaulted by an unknown group”, The Minister of Media Laxman Yapa Abewardana said. He pointed out that the Police have been directed to conduct the m investigation to bring to book any and all persons responsible for this act of brutality, with maximum speed. more..

Two new tyre factories to be established in Matale and Ekala

Jun 2 (GDI) The monthly tyre requirement of the SLTB is around 12,000 and it is planned to establish another two new tyre factories in Matale and Ekala to meet 50 percent of the tyre requirements for SLTB buses and this new tyre rebuilding factory has the latest machinery installed at a cost of Rs.10 million. It can produce 2,000 tyres monthly, Minister of Transport Dullas Alahapperuma said at the opening ceremony of the new tyre rebuilding factory in Ampara. more..

The caravan moves on

Jun 2 (GDI) Amid allegations and adverse propaganda, SL government is fast progressing with the resettlement of the displaced civilians. Consequently, the government announced a wide range of programmes in which it hopes to improve welfare facilities at camps where an estimated 300,000 civilian refugees are being housed. “A fifth village will be added to accommodate another 40,000 displaced civilians,” more..

Police question Editor 'Lanka E-news' regarding assault on Poddala Jayanthe

Jun 2 (LT) The Mirihana Police has been questioning Editor of ‘Lanka E-news’ Benet Rupasinghe since last night regarding the abduction and assault on Mr. Poddala Jayanthe, the General Secretary of Free Media movement. It was Mr. Bennet Rupasinghe who had first complained to the IGP that Mr. Poddala Jayanthe had been abducted by an unknown group of people at Embuldeniya area at about 4.30 p.m. yesterday. more..

Karuna attempts to tear off the Eastern part of the TNA

Jun 2 (LG) Minister of National Integration Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman is reportedly in a bid to tear off the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MPs and to organize them separately. Minister Muralitharan’s argument is that the MPs cannot appear as TNA following the defeat of the LTTE. Karuna was the LTTE’s armed wing and the head of the Eastern Province. more..

TRO bought US$70 million worth of weapons

Jun 2 (LT) Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) that posed as an organization to get relief for Tamils have bought US$70 million worth of weapons. This has been revealed when its chief Lawrence Thilakar was arrested. The heads of the network that assisted Thilakar to procure arms were ‘Waterloo’ Suresh of the USA and Erik ‘Waterloo,’ a former General of Indonesian Marines. This has been confirmed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the USA. more..

Who should the President listen to - Can Federalism or Devolution elevate the people?

Jun 2 (AT) The very people whose formulas failed to bring decades of terror to a close are now pressurizing the Government to implement a solution. These “experts” have little right to demand anything of the Government for their peace formulas failed and Sri Lanka’s loss through 3 decades is estimated at a whopping USD200billion worth of opportunities. The President has solved the primary problem – more..

Colombo to officially record end of war

Jun 2 (AT) Colombo will officially record the end of a 30 year war against separatist LTTE terrorism at a national ceremony at the historic Galle Face Green tomorrow morning. The event will be the last of a series of celebrations on the victory over LTTE terrorism that began on May 18. This colorful ceremony will witness the Tri- Service Commanders who led the battle against the LTTE to a successful completion, more..

Army & STF to fight drug & alcohol menace

Jun 2 (CT) After engaging in a successful war to eradicate LTTE terrorism, the Army and police STF commandos have now taken over the task of eradicating the illicit drug and alcohol menace from several areas of the island. A news report by Ajith Alahakoon says they had ordered alleged drug racketeers and dealers in Colombo, to stop drug dealing. Welcoming the move, people of these areas have said the Army and the STF should continue these efforts. more..

'No more wars for Sri Lanka'

Jun 2 (DN) Housing and Common Amenities Minister and National Unity Alliance Leader Ferial Ashraff in an interview said we do not need any more wars. What ended was the last war. We need a revolution of mind. We have responsibilities towards the country as countrymen. We should think like one nation and one country, if we are to change the destiny of Sri Lanka. Q - How could Muslim aspirations be met in a political solution that follow the defeat of the LTTE? more..

One person shot and killed in foiled escape bid

Jun 2 (LeN) One prisoner was shot and killed today (01) at Colombo Chief Magistrate court as a group of robbery suspects attempted to escape as they were being escorted out of the court. The deceased K. W. Sisira Kumara is a suspect of several robbery cases. People were not harmed although the prison guard shot the escaping prisoner at the crowded Dam Street. Another suspect named Suranga sustained gun shot injuries in his leg and admitted to national hospital. more..

Sri Lanka thanks Pakistan for military assistance

Jun 2 (CT) The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Islamabad has expressed his government’s gratitude over full technical and other services rendered by Pakistan Air Force to suppress the LTTE. Air chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody thanked PAF for its technical and logistics support, especially training and technical support for Chinese F-7 jet fighters and C-130 aircraft. He said that both Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced similar circumstances, more..

Big Lies from the Big Boys

Jun 2 (PISL) Last week the Times of London announced that 20,000 civilians had died altogether in the course of this year because of the operations in the North. This claim was not surprising since, as I had just pointed out, the British were determined to crucify us and had already begun to inflate the figure. Six thousand had gone to seven and then to eight, in rapid succession, so more was inevitable, though the speed of the escalation was remarkable, even for the Brits. more..

A crown and emperor`s clothes for a president

Jun 2 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are to be given honorary doctorates by the University of Colombo in recognition of their service to the country. They, no doubt, deserve such honours, where defeating terrorism is concerned, but the problem is that even ace racketeers responsible for bilking the gullible public out of billions of rupees have been honoured in the same manner. more..

Nearly 500 North East athletes to compete

Jun 2 (LNP) The 52nd Junior Athletic championships one of the major events of the athletic calendar organised by the Sri Lanka Athletic Association is scheduled to be conducted at the Sugathadasa Stadium on June 4, 5 and 6 commencing at 8 a.m. each day. This was disclosed by Athletic Association President General Palitha Fernando. He said that this is the stepping stone for young athletes to enter the national level pools to represent the country at the international arena. more..

Case against Nuriacholai 500 post Tsunami houses - FR violated : SC

Jun 2 (PSM) The Supreme Court today held that the fundamental rights of the Petitioners were violated and ordered the state to pay Rs150,000/= in the fundamental rights case filed by the JHU against 500 houses built for Tsunami victims in Nuraicholai, Akkaraipattu. Chief Justice Sarath N Silva presided the bench with Jusitce K.Sirpawan and Justice Shirani Bandaranayka. Incidentally today is the last working day for the Chief Justice. more..

"The ‘Gota Kalliya’ is calling the shots"

Jun 2 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera is no stranger to controversy. In this interview, he speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about the reasons that led to him falling out with the Rajapakse government, his views on the manner in which the LTTE was crushed, and his own political future. Q. There is a question in many people’s minds as to why you, who did so much to bring the present government into power, ultimately left a more..

Unemployment down

Jun 2 (DN) The country’s unemployment ratio which stood at 8.3 percent in 2008 had come down to 5.2 percent today, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “Today five harbours are coming up in the country simultaneously while mega-electricity projects too have been initiated. Infrastructure too is being developed fast with rural villages being given priority in achieving equity in development,” he said addressing 1,000 newly appointed graduate teachers at Temple Trees yesterday. more..

UNICEF supports Sri Lanka's child friendly primary schools

Jun 2 (RW) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Education, in partnership with UNICEF, today launched the 'Child Friendly Schools' concept as the official framework to address disparities in quality and access in primary schools in Sri Lanka. In a presentation to national, provincial and zonal education authorities, along with other key partners, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Education outlined an approach which seeks to improve the quality of education and more..

What the West does not say

Jun 2 (PISL) For many years we indulged the LTTE, in part because we felt sorry for the Tamils of Sri Lanka and believed the LTTE slogan that Tigers were Tamils and Tamils were Tigers, in part because we thought the Tigers would win out and would provide us with a useful base to extend our influence in South Asia. Even though present in profusion in Tiger controlled areas, we kept quiet about their forced recruitment of one person per family. more..

Sri Lanka Week in Melbourne

Jun 2 (DN) Lankans domiciled in Australia have organized a four-day long program to educate the international community on how Sri Lanka is being rebuilt after terrorism that has ravaged the country's progress for more than three decades was wiped out by the Security Forces. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha will elaborate on how the Government expects to rebuild the war ravaged North and the East under the Uthuru Wasanthaya and Negenahira Navodaya programs during the Sri Lanka Week beginning more..

Will not bow down to conditions: President

Jun 2 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday the government would never agree to receive assistance from donor agencies and the international community if they called for conditions that compromised the dignity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. “Unlike the previous UNP regime, we will not bow down to conditions laid down by international donor agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. more..

LTTE feared Ranil’s diplomatic and military strategy – UNP

Jun 2 (Island) The LTTE, fearing the diplomatic cum military strategy of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, prevented northern voters from casting their ballots at the November 2005 Presidential Election, which eventually led to Mahinda Rajapaksa being elected President, the UNP said yesterday. Akila Kariyawasam MP, said that the LTTE which was averse to peace talks, realised belatedly that the Ceasefire Agreement it signed with the Ranil Wickremesinghe government, was a peace trap overseen by the international community. more..

Children below 12, housewives most hit by dengue

Jun 2 (Island) The Health Ministry said that fifty percent of the confirmed dengue cases in Colombo were children below the age of 12 years. Twenty two percent of them were those who had been infected by the virus a second time. Spokesman for Health Ministry said that another 34.5 percent of confirmed dengue cases were house wives who had been affected a second time. Getting dengue a second time causes complications ending in death in most cases, he said. more..

Forget all differences and develop the country: Ranil

Jun 2 (DM) The Opposition Leader said yesterday that one should follow the example of the security forces and forget all differences to take up the task of developing the nation. Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe made this point after attending a Bodhi Pooja organized by the UNP to invoke blessings on the security forces at Gangaramaya last evening. “The security forces did not think of any political party when they sacrificed their today for our tomorrow and we must follow that example and get together to achieve much needed development,” more..

Controversial vessel expected this week

Jun 2 (DM) The controversial aid-carrying vessel ‘Captain Ali’ has decided to go ahead with its mission to Sri Lanka and is expected to arrive at the perimeter of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters this week despite the government not giving it clearance to do so. A former Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission member Kristjan Guðmundsson -- who is onboard the vessel which is reportedly carrying essential items including food and medicines for the displaced people in the north more..

The paradox of Swiss policy

Jun 2 (ANN) The general impression in this country was that Switzerland had refrained from taking sides in the conflict between the Sri Lanka State and the LTTE because of a long standing policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. After all the first steps relating to Swiss neutrality were taken as far back as 1515. It was thought that neutrality with regard to foreign conflicts was the reason that Switzerland persistently refused to join most of the western international community in declaring the LTTE a terrorist organisation more..

Lanka asks for extradition of Malaysia-based LTTE top representative

Jun 2 (ANN) Sri Lanka is confident that Malaysia would expel LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor Kumaran Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’ wanted on terrorism charges. Although no formal announcement has been made, ‘KP’ has been recognised by various LTTE fronts as their top representative. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama May 29 requested Malaysian Defence Minister to hand over ‘KP’ to facilitate ongoing investigations into LTTE operations overseas. more..

The idealist I once knew became the Tamils' Pol Pot

Jun 2 (Guardian) The bloody end came in a sliver of nondescript coastline near the fallen garrison town of Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka's north-east. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder and ­supremo of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – one of the world's most feared extremist organisations – had made a last stand that had pointlessness writ all over it. more..

New Delhi shares some of the apprehensions of the West

Jun 2 (FL) The Indian government may find it difficult to deal with a Sri Lankan government flush with a historic victory under its belt. Senior Indian officials who recently visited the island nation fear that there is a danger of Sinhala “chauvinism” running amok once again after the heady military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the death of Velupillai Prabakaran. more..

Some pillars for Lanka’s future

Jun 2 (FL) “One can win the War, but lose the Peace.” A cliche this may be, but it is also a hoary truism that looms over the post-war scenario in Sri Lanka. The triumphant Sri Lankan government now has to address the human terrain rather than the fields of battle. In facing this challenge, both government and people concerned must attend to another truism: as Sinnappah Arasaratnam pointed out long ago, extremisms have been feeding off each other and more..

Democracy deficit & two movements

Jun 2 (FL) Hours after the Sri Lankan military announced the recovery of the bullet-ridden body of Velupillai Prabakaran, the AHRC put out an analysis under the title “Sri Lanka: Wijeweera and Prabakaran – rebels within a dysfunctional democracy". Made in the form of a statement, it provides insights into the militant politics pursued by the JVP chief Rohana Wijeweera and more..

Tamil Nadu parties for U.N. role

Jun 2 (FL) In the days following the death of V. Prabakaran and the United Nations estimating that 7,000 Tamil civilians were killed between January and May in the conflict between the Sri Lanka Army and the organisation he headed, the LTTE, political parties in Tamil Nadu demanded that Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and its Army commander, Lt Gen. Sarath Fonseka, should be tried for war crimes in an international court of law. more..

Prabakaran was the heart and soul of the LTTE

Jun 2 (FL) THE acknowledgement of the death of V. Prabakaran by the LTTE on May 17 came from Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the organisation’s international representative, a week after the Sri Lankan security forces announced it. This is not surprising as the LTTE under the monolithic leadership of Prabakaran had always wished away information he found either uncomfortable or inconvenient. more..

The war is over

Jun 2 (FL) For the first time in 30 years, the Sri Lankan government can proudly claim that its writ prevails on every inch of the island nation. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has been fighting for a separate Tamil homeland in the emerald island, stands decimated as a military force, and its top brass, including the supremo Velupillai Prabakaran, revered by some as the “Sun god”, have been physically eliminated. more..

Sri Lankan media activist recovers after attack

Jun 2 (AFP) A Sri Lankan journalist was recovering in hospital Tuesday after being beaten up near the capital Colombo as rights groups expressed renewed concern for the safety of the island's media. Poddala Jayantha, secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists' Association, was abducted near his home and severely attacked with sticks before being dumped in a suburb of Colombo, his colleagues said. more..

An eyewitness account of the last 70 hours of Eelam War IV

Jun 2 (FL) The Frontline issue dated June 5, carried a report containing the observations of this correspondent inside the war zone between May 13 and 16. The Hindu group got embedded with the military for the first time in Eelam War IV, which began in August 2006, and was attached to 58 Division of the Sri Lanka Army. The division, headed by Brigadier Shavendra Silva, was in the forefront of the war in more..

Vavuniya Police uncovers massive haul of LTTE weaponry

Jun 3 (GDI) The Vavuniya Police uncovered massive haul of LTTE weaponry following a confession made by four LTTE cadres who surrendered through the ICRC, Police said. Among the detected items were 24 night vision cameras, 8claymore mines, 5 LTTe manufactures bombs, C-4 Explosives, Four T-56 assault rifles, 1180 rounds of live ammunition, Penicillin injections and other medicines, 12 Rifle Magazines, camouflaged military uniforms and other military implements. more..

Death, penalty for treason! - Divaina editorial

Jun 3 (CT) The editorial of today's issue of 'Divaina' newspaper says death would be the penalty for journalists and professionals in Colombo, Sri Lanka who are in the LTTE's pay directly or indirectly. It says some of these persons had fled overseas while others who could not make it on time are still in the island. Quoting an old Sinhalese saying, the newspaper editorial says every bunker that had belonged to Prabhakaran had exposed secrets. more..