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Suspect arrested at Eppawala and remanded

May 6 (DM) The Vice Squad of the Crime Division informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that the Chief Welfare Officer of Sri Lanka High Commission in South Korea who had allegedly aided and abetted his sister to obtain an insurance claim belonging to a demised bhikku had migrated to England. The Police informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate that they had initiated investigations to arrest the Chief Welfare Officer E.U.T. Perera of the Sri Lanka High Commission in South Korea for more..

'It is unwise to earn anger of the friendly nations for short time benefits'

May 6 (LeN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the powerful countries like US and India had assisted Sri Lanka immensely to fight terrorism and it was unwise earning anger of them for the sake of short time benefits. He said that the proposals set forth by the friendly nations for a political settlement must be taken for a dialogue. more..

Fed up, Indian diplomats want Tamil protesters moved

May 6 (IANS) Indian diplomats have had it with Tamil protests. Regular raucous protests by thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils outside the Indian High Commission in London are becoming a nuisance and preventing the smooth functioning of the mission, Indian diplomats have complained. 'Under the Vienna Convention, the host country is supposed to ensure that we can function properly - and this is not happening' more..

Karuna throws book at ‘masters’

May 6 (DM) Minister Vinyagamoorthy Muralitharan who commanded the Tiger cadres in the East said yesterday there was no room for “masters” to join the government as they did not have what it takes to be politicians. Mr. Muralitharan who himself gave up terrorism to enter mainstream politics said there was no way the government could possibly offer seats in parliament to Daya master and George master as they were not frontline LTTE cadres. more..

Committee of Tamil representatives to address Tamil needs

May 6 (GDI) The Government has decided to set up a special committee comprising Tamil representatives to look into the grievance of the Tamil community. The committee will be responsible for planning and initiating steps to help civilians fleeing the LTTE and arriving in Government controlled areas. The committee is expected meet once a week. This decision was reached at a meeting headed by the President Rajapaksa with the representatives of Tamil political parties more..

Govt asks TNA to prevail upon LTTE to free civilians

May 6 (PTI) Concerned over the deteriorating conditions of thousands of Tamil civilians in the northern war zone, the Sri Lankan Government has sought the assistance of the pro-LTTE TNA to prevail upon the Tamil Tigers to free the people whom they are holding as hostage and surrender. "I would urge the TNA to prevail upon the LTTE, which is holding Tamil civilians as human shield, to give up their arms and surrender," Senior Cabinet Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. more..

New Sri Lanka heavy weapons row

May 6 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern Sri Lankan war zone have accused government troops of intensifying heavy weapons attacks, killing dozens every day. The government dismissed the allegations as propaganda, saying the rebels were lying to gain international sympathy. Reports from the north-eastern battle cannot be independently verified. Separately, the government has invited the UN secretary-general to visit camps for displaced people. more..

Sri Lanka rebels say war takes heavy civilian toll

May 6 (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels said intense fighting in Sri Lanka's war zone was killing and wounding hundreds of civilians a day and asked Wednesday for the U.N. to push for urgent food shipments to avert a hunger crisis. Sri Lankan forces have cornered the once-powerful Tamil Tigers into a tiny sliver of land on the northeastern coast along with tens of thousands of ethnic-Tamil noncombatants. more..

Sri Lanka invites UN's Ban to assess crisis

May 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit the island and assess first-hand the plight of civilians affected by fighting with Tamil rebels, his office said Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapakse, under pressure over allegations that his troops have been shelling civilian areas, spoke to Ban Tuesday evening. more..

Fierce offensive continues in northern Sri Lanka

May 7 (wsws) Despite Sri Lankan government claims last week of an end to combat operations and the use of heavy weapons, the army is continuing to press into the remaining small sliver of land in the north east of the island held by the separatist LTTE. The Sri Lankan defence ministry reported on Monday that troops were moving in on three sides—from the north, south and west—after breaking through an earthen barrier on Sunday. more..

Why the Sri Lankan government won't listen

May 7 (UPI) The best efforts of the international community to bring the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka to an end through its diplomatic interventions seem to have come to naught. The joint visit of the British Foreign Minister David Miliband and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner was full of controversy, but seems to have yielded little other than that. Vocal sections of the government, media and the general public saw bad faith in these European moves and more..

Audio: Tamil Tigers 'days from defeat'

May 7 (BBC) In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels are on the verge of defeat. Reporter Andrew Hosken considers what a defeat could mean for most Tamils, who live peacefully and have complained for decades of discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese majority. more..

MP Sarana Gunawardena surrenders

May 7 (CT) Gampaha district UPFA MP Sarana Gunawardena, who is wanted in connection with an incident of assault and abduction, surrendered to police today (May 06). He was then produced before Attanagalle magistrate I.P.D. Liyanage and was remanded till the 11th of May. The court had previously ordered police to arrest Mr. Gunawardena and three others, who had been evading the law. more..

Is the LTTE really finished?

Rs.45 million electricity bill

May 7 (LT) Electricity to the administrative building of the Kandy Hospital has been disconnected from today morning say reports. A spokesperson for the hospital told ‘Lankatruth’ administrative functions including specialist medical consultative services have been disrupted due to the non availability of electricity to the administrative sections. The Ministry of Health has been informed of the situation but so far no action has been taken. more..

The Idea of Constituted Democracy - Part III

May 7 (LG) As the world moves from a period of misconceptions, miscalculations into a period of helplessness and exasperation, the transition from a problem ridden world into a civilised and peaceful world becomes a more formidable challenge. Many countries struggle with gasping poverty and unemployment, the world has been plunged into a financial and economic recession that challenges the notion the current living standards can be sustained. more..

Prabhakaran has nowhere to go

May 7 (LG) Eelam war IV was started and won under the watch of President Mahinda Rajapakse. A brilliant, at times bitterly fought war in Northern Sri Lanka has turned into an unmitigated humanitarian disaster, which was not foreseen by the victors. Part of the problem has been in creative semantics: euphemisms of war which have blurred its ground reality and extended the threshold of tolerance. more..

Prasanna De Silva - a hero of our times

May 7 (LG) Brigadier Prasanna De Silva spearheaded the liberation of Eastern Sri Lanka from the LTTE, which began in Mavil Aru in 2007. He was then a Colonel and was in command of the Army’s elite Brigade Special Forces and was the ground commander for the Mavil Aru, Sampoor, Manirasakulam and then the famous Vakarai Operations. He was then elevated to a Brigadier and appointed as the 55th Division Commander and more..

No retrial in Tamil Tigers case

May 7 (BBC) A man accused of aiding the outlawed Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers group will not face a retrial, says the Crown Prosecution Service. Jegatheeswaran Muraleetharan, or Muralee, 46, of Newtown, Powys, denied receiving electronic items for use in terrorism at Kingston Crown Court. A jury failed to reach a verdict at his trial last month. His brother Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan, 40, also from Newtown, was cleared of the same charge following a trial. more..

Four people die inside Sri Lankan internment camps

May 7 (Times) At least four people have died inside the internment camps where the Sri Lankan Government is holding and screening almost 190,000 ethnic Tamil civilians who have fled the fighting with the Tamil Tigers, The Times has learnt. Three women were found dead at a bathing area in one camp on Monday, and a child was crushed to death in a stampede for food in another last week, according to UN officials and documents. more..

Is the LTTE really finished?

Why so many Tamil "moderates" support the Tamil Tigers

May 7 (NP) Yesterday, I blogged about Neelan Tiruchelvam, a moderate Sri Lankan Tamil who was killed in 1999 by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber because he opposed the Tigers' agenda of war and terrorism. Like a lot of outside observers, I wondered aloud how so many Tamils — including activists here in Canada — can support an organization that has itself killed so many Tamils, and which is even now holding tens of thousands of Tamils as human shields in northeast Sri Lanka. more..

TNCC slams Jayalalithaa on Eelam issue

May 7 (PTI) Slamming AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa for demanding separate Eelam as a solution to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka, the Congress on Wednesday said that it would not encourage any "secessionist activities" in the state. TNCC president K V Thangkabalu termed Jayalalithaa's latest demand as a "political drama". "She is contradicting her own stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue," he said in an apparent reference to her earlier views opposing a separate Eelam and more..

Twelve arrested for attack on the Sri Lanka Embassy in Norway, FM

May 7 (LG) Twelve suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack on the Sri Lanka Embassy in Norway, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagam told Parliament today. He said that the government expects the Norwegians to ensure that those guilty of the offence are meted out proper punishment for attacking the Embassy premises. The Minister made the comments while responding to an adjournment question raised by MP Wimal Weerawansa more..

Sri Lanka Army amazed by size of captured rebel arsenal

May 7 (VoA) Top brass of Sri Lanka's Army say they are astonished by the amount of weapons and ammunition they have seized, as soldiers retake territory from the Tamil Tiger rebels. On display at a pair of military bases in Kilinochchi - the rebel's de facto capital they recently abandoned - are impressive displays of weapons: artillery guns, mortars, 4,000 bombs, rows of assault rifles, more than 6,000 hand grenades, nearly 3,000 improvised explosive devices, armored vehicles and one tank. more..

Behind Colombo's P.R. battle against the Tamil Tigers

May 7 (Time) The Sri Lankan Army is fighting — and apparently about to win — a 25-year-old war against the LTTE, a brutal ethnic separatist movement. Alongside the conventional war, which is now in its final stages, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been fighting a carefully orchestrated public-relations battle. The main issue is access. Since the Sri Lankan Army announced on April 20 the "imminent defeat" of the LTTE, more..

The pathetic Channel 4 Show, a cooked up con

May 7 (LG) Viewers on Sri Lankan affairs globally are being treated to a cooked up con show by Britain’s Channel 4, the purpose of it without doubt is to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka. If it is not for news of a sensational value, a terrible addiction in the west, then it must have been intentioned to serve the interests of terror forces. Claiming that it managed to steal in a camera into one of the IDPs camp, something that Channel 4 should not have done and more..

Is the LTTE really finished?

Prabhakaran has Malayali roots, say kin in Kerala

May 7 (ET) The old tale has a Malayali teashop owner offering a hot cuppa to Neil Armstrong on the latter’s moon landing. A new one is more down-to-earth, which says it is a Malayali by the name of Velupillai Prabhakaran who is spearheading the fight for a separate Tamil eelam in Sri Lanka. 77-year-old Janaki Amma reminisces her childhood when she had the occasion to see her maternal uncle Velupillai, who she says is the father of Prabhakaran. more..

Sri Lanka ready to fight Swine Flu

May 7 (GDI) The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Epidemiology Unit have taken several measures to distancethe AH1N1 virus (swine flu) infection from spreading to Sri Lanka. The World Health Organization (WHO) was requested to bring down necessary drugs within 72 hours. The Ministry has already taken steps to monitor the modus operandi of screening foreigners on arrival at the port and airport by deploying two Ministry officials. more..

Tiger, tiger burning out

May 7 (DNA) As the bitter ethnic war in Sri Lanka inches towards a bloody climax, the questions that arise are the following: What did the war achieve for either side? What were the concessions the Sinhalese could have made to avoid so much bloodshed? What could the Tamils have accepted short of independence? The answer is obvious: greater political and economic autonomy within the framework of a single country. more..

62 rebels killed in Sri Lanka clashes

May 7 (PTI) Advancing Sri Lankan troops on Wednesday breached several LTTE earth bunds in the rebel-held area in the island's northern war zone after capturing Vellamulliwaikal area, even as 62 Tamil Tigers were killed in continued military offensive. Troops of the 58th Division breached LTTE earth bunds in Vellamulliwaikal, which the soldiers captured last night after an intensive fighting with the rebels, the army said today. more..

An urgent need for UN action on Sri Lanka

May 7 (HRW) More than 6,000 civilians have died in Sri Lanka in the past few months as government forces seek to end the 25-year-long war with the separatist Tamil Tigers. More than 90 civilians are reported to have died over the weekend in the shelling of a hospital inside the government's tragically misnamed "no-fire zone." And still the killing continues. The international reaction to this spiraling disaster can be summed up as: don't bother us now, we're a bit busy. more..

Canada increases aid to Sri Lanka displaced civilians up to $7.5 million

May 7 (AT) Canada announced that it would increase its aid for civilians up to $7.5 million after International Cooperation Minister Beverly J. Oda toured Northern Sri Lanka to see for herself the situation of the displaced Tamils who escaped from the LTTE grip. At the conclusion of her visit to Sri Lanka, Oda, announced this increase in critical humanitarian aid to assist civilians displaced by the conflict. more..

Wanni Operation 6th May

Foreign Minister appreciates Japan's continued support for IDP relief

May 7 (RW) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at a meeting last Saturday with Japan's Representative for Peace Building to Sri Lanka, Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, stated that Sri Lanka is encouraged by Japan's continued interest in seeing the establishment of peace in Sri Lanka and its continued constructive engagement in Sri Lanka. The Japanese Special Envoy was in Sri Lanka on a three-day visit last week to meet Government leaders and officials. more..

North and East to be developed as commercial hubs

May 7 (AT) Addressing a UN sponsored donor meeting in Colombo on Monday, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe brought to the notice of the gathering that the Government intends to develop both North and East as key commercial hubs in the country during the post conflict era, to provide residents access to quality livelihood opportunities similar to the ones enjoyed by the rest of the country. more..

Time to Reconcile

May 7 (AT) After some 30 years of bloodshed, war, and strife; peace is within reach for Sri Lanka. Now it is time to unite, to forgive, and to reconcile the good citizens of our small country who have been the victims of the terror of armed conflict. The LTTE used innocent people as a shield, brainwashing them and taking advantage of their talents. But now, this is becoming a thing of the past, and we need to deal appropriately with the present so that all citizens in Sri Lanka will have a bright future. more..

Sri Lanka calls for punitive measures against the LTTE's international network

May 7 (MoD) Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama stated that more pressure must be brought upon the LTTE by the international community, including punitive measures on its international network present in the UK, when a delegation comprising a cross-party group of Members of Parliament from the United Kingdom called on him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday (05 May 2009). more..

Northern humanitarian operation 6th May

Sri Lanka targets Middle East tourists

May 7 (Gulf) Sri Lanka expects tourist arrivals from the Middle East to increase 30 per cent this year as the country promotes itself as a "value for money" destination in these tough times for the tourism sector. Faiszer Musthapha, deputy minister of tourism, said the efforts to woo people from the Gulf is part of a focused strategy to get more short-haul tourists because the traditional source countries such as Europe and Japan are in the grip of a recession. more..

The bloodshed in Sri Lanka: A Sinhalese perspective

May 7 (NP) Hi Jonathan Kay, I read your article in the National Post with interest. I am a moderate Singhalese living in the USA and I have always been quite bewildered by the Hate that even the "moderate" tamils have for the Singhalese. They talk of discrimination as you quote the Canadian/Tamil businessman as saying that they "hunger for revenge". He talks about "discrimination for many years". I am sorry, but I fail to see the discrimination he is talking about. more..

A cornered Tiger is still deadly

May 7 (STRATFOR) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament May 5 that he believes Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is among the large group of Tiger militants trapped in a 4-square kilometer coastline area near Mullaitivu. The area around Mullaitivu has been the final focal point of a recent larger government military offensive aimed at restoring government control of northeast Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lanka’s displaced now numbers over 192,000, UN reports

May 7 (UN) The United Nations humanitarian wing said today that over 192,000 people have fled the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka, where clashes continue between Government forces and the LTTE. Although the number of registered IDPs has increased, it is not due to new arrivals, and there are still no reports of more people in transit for days, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted. more..

Sri Lanka's continuing bloodshed: Part 2

Sri Lanka's continuing bloodshed: Part 1

Washington Buddhist Vihara celebrated Vesak

May 7 (IL) Washington Buddhist Vihara, the first Buddhist Temple in the U.S.A. celebrated Vesak on May 3rd 2009. Vesak Day celebrations were held to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and his passing away of the Lord of Buddha. A large number of devotees, Sri Lankan, American, Bangladeshi and other nationalities joined the Dana, Sila (observance of the eight precepts) and meditation programs that were held throughout the day. more..

US should think of ‘gunboat diplomacy’

May 7 (TN) It is the last chance for US to strike a political balance in the island, if it is really keen in seeing meaningful ‘post-conflict’ process, said TamilNet’s political commentator in Colombo. Neither the present Indian Establishment, which by its role played as a war partner irredeemably lost its positive leverage on the affairs of the island, nor the UN bogged down with Security Council deliberations may able to act swiftly to respond to the emergency, he said. more..

Dengue kills five in Tangalle

May 7 (LT) An unmarried young woman at Indipokunagoda on Beliatta Road at Tangalle died of dengue fewer on the 2nd of this month. With this death the number of deaths due to dengue fever in Tangalle town rises to five. The attendance of nine schools in Tangalle educational division that were reopened on the 4th after being closed due to dengue epidemic is at a very low level say educational authorities. more..

UNP crisis in a new round

May 7 (LT) Information filtering from various factions of the UNP confirms that the crisis in the party that was temporarily submerged during the past few months is coming into being in a new round. According to dissidents in the party Mr. S.B. Dissanayake and other stalwarts in his faction have had discussions with senior leaders in the party who are frustrated with the present leadership. more..