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Wanni Operation 16th May

Wanni Operation 16th May

Wanni Operation 16th May

Prabha to commit suicide

May 17 (DW) Prabhakaran and a few of his cohorts are now completely surrounded and are expected to commit suicide within the next 24hrs, thus ending a 30 year-old bloody conflict once and for all. There is no heavy fighting at this moment as regular troops engage in clearing operations removing civilians from the area. The LTTE has given up the fight! President Mahinda Rajapakse is expected to make a speech on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning to declare the victory. more..

And where is Prabakaran?

May 17 (Hindu) As the curtains fall on the conventional war against the LTTE, the million-dollar question on everyone’s mind is the whereabouts of the maverick LTTE supremo, Velupillai Prabakaran. Wife of Sea Tiger chief Soosai, who was caught by the Navy on Friday, told her interrogators he was inside the war zone. However, the troops have not been able to zero in on him or any of his family members till Saturday night. more..

UN ask for 'compromise'

May 17 (BBC) The Sri Lankan army said the remaining rebels were trapped in an inland area in the north-east of the island. War is not over yet, says the defence secretary. Meanwhile the UN warns about the consequences of not having a compromise. Aid agencies have warned that thousands of civilians may also be trapped with them. Meanwhile The UN's humanitarian envoy, John Holmes, warned of a possible guerrilla war if no compromise on Tamil autonomy is achieved. more..

Jayalalitha’s Tamil Eelam dream blasted by Indian voters

May 17 (LG) There will be no invasion of Sri Lanka from across the Palk Straits but Indian embassies may be exposed to attacks from “Cainicidal pro-LTTE Tamil protesters in some countries of the West. Now that Cainicidal LTTE has been brought to its knees in Sri Lanka, virtually wiped out, the legacy of terror has been left to the leader of Tiger International, KP or in his real name Selvarajah Pathmanathan. more..

Love notes from Serendib

May 17 (AT) It is said that the Tories in Britain are really luxurious country gentlemen and that those in the ruling Labour party are petty chiselers willing to put anything on the public tab. Well, David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Minister certainly fits the bill. He wanted the public to pay his a pram worth 199 pounds and ‘baby essentials’ worth 80. He even submitted claims for garden maintenance outside of the rules pertaining to such things. A chiseler, if ever there was one. more..

'Talk of APRC finding a solution to the ethnic conflict is a mirage'

May 17 (SL) Dismissing the claim of the APRC Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana, that the proposals of the committee would be finalised and submitted within the next one month, the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Rauf Hakeem told The Sunday Leader that through personal experience he knew for certain that this was only a mirage and nothing tangible would happen even after the next presidential election. more..

Fall out of the Indian elections

May 17 (SL) The provincial council elections held on a staggered basis have been the main focus in the country’s political arena during the past few months. Although the government could have held the provincial polls on a single day, it opted instead to hold them on a staggered basis fully capitalising on the military offensive in the north. The government believed that the elections held on a staggered basis would result in UNP suffering humiliating defeats thanks to the war successes. more..

Sri Lanka was never a poll issue: Thangkabalu

May 17 (Hindu) The winning performance of the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu has proved that the Sri Lankan issue was never been an election issue, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V.Thangkabalu said here on Saturday. The Congress leader, addressing the media, pointed out that had it been a major political issue, then MDMK’s Vaiko and candidates of the Pattali Makkal Katchi should have won the polls. more..


May 17 (SL) Last week the Governor of the Central Bank found himself mired in the Golden Key scandal as The Sunday Leader uncovered evidence that he was responsible for terminating an investigation launched into Golden Key by the Central Bank in 2005. The dismissal of a report that could have stopped the Golden Key scam in its tracks in 2006, was masterminded by a nexus of influential politicians and businessmen with Cabraal who is at once a politician, a businessman and a banker firmly in the middle. more..

Politicians main beneficiaries of President’s Fund

May 17 (SL) This Paradise Isle is known not only for its serendipitous quality but also equally famed for the extravagance of her politicians. Not only are we saddled with a record-breaking number of ministers but we also have some politicians who would draw funds from any possible source, and this includes the President’s Fund, set up on November 24, 1978 with the holistic idea of assisting the poor and those without resources to obtain specialised services in the health and education sectors. more..

Light for Cabraal, STARS for us!

May 17 (LB) This is what a newspaper article said last week: Despite the government facing a major financial crisis with the Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves dwindling to precariously low levels, the Central Bank maintained yesterday the country was well within its capacity to meet local and foreign obligations. How, if the government is facing a major financial crisis with foreign reserves dwindling to precariously low levels, can the country be well within its capacity to meet local and foreign obligations? more..

Karu, Tissa assaulted at UNP meeting

May 17 (LB) The Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, newly appointed UNP Matara District Chief Organizer Sagala Rathnayake and Galle District UNP MP Vajira Abeywardana were attacked by UNP supporters yesterday at a pocket meeting in Matara, Pamburana. Reliable UNP sources said that the unexpected attack was launched by an emotional group of supporters of former UNP Matara District Chief Organizer Justin Galapatti, more..

War is over, now find the money

May 17 (LB) It seems now that the president will come back from Jordan, and proceed almost straight from the airport to a victory parade. The “new No Fire Zone’’ has been liberated with the linking of two army divisions and the war is essentially over now, even though the fate of Vellupillai Prabhakaran at the time of going to press is still not known. This celebration could precipitate many things, even an announcement about an election, perhaps a presidential election in November. more..

Sidelined? It can happen to me

May 17 (LB) The newly appointed Chief Minister of the Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga says that he feels the PC gives him a better opportunity to serve the people; better than being a MP. How do you feel being appointed Western Province Chief Minister? It is nothing new because I have been acting as chief minister on a number of occasions and in fact I have served as a member of the Western Provincial Council for quite a long time. I am not enamoured by it. more..

Fears of mass suicide as Tamil Tigers face final defeat

May 17 (Times) THE satellite call came in the early hours of yesterday. The Tamil Tiger leader was desperate. For the first time in their decades-long struggle against the Sri Lankan government, the rebels were offering to lay down their weapons in return for a guarantee of safety. “Don’t say surrender,” insisted the leader, speaking calmly, despite the obvious desperation of the few survivors of the once ferocious LTTE, now cornered in an area roughly more..

Analysis: Sri Lanka war persists despite criticism

May 17 (AP) Western diplomats pushed for a cease-fire in Sri Lanka. The U.N. expressed grave concern over civilian deaths. But with no threats of sanctions or other meaningful punishments facing Sri Lanka, the government has simply pushed ahead with its battle to destroy the Tamil Tiger rebels in what might be the bloodiest war on the planet. "They've shown that they don't care what the U.N. says, they don't care what the White House says — they'll just do as they please," more..

Has LTTE leader Prabhakaran embraced death?

May 17 (DBS) Speculation is rife among knowledgeable circles in Colombo that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is no more among the living. It is widely believed that the 54 year old tiger supremo who was born on November 26th 1954 has committed suicide along with more than 300 of his deputies and senior cadres in the Mullivaaikkaal area of Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Mullaitheevu district. more..

What now ‘Civil Society’?

May 17 (LG) The war for a separate state, it is well known, was not fought by Velupillai Prabhakaran alone. All who pledged loyalty to the separatist project did not wear military fatigues, carry weapons or kill people. Prabhakaran’s project was executed on several fronts, the military being just one. There was also a propaganda arm and a separate outfit for psychological operations. more..

Sri Lankan entities abroad under threat of violence

May 17 (LG) Ravi Nessman, an Associated Press (AP) writer stated on Monday that “Volunteers dug mass graves in the marshes of Sri Lanka’s northern war zone Monday as they buried hundreds of civilians killed in artillery attacks that the UN characterised as a “bloodbath.” A doctor in the war zone said that as many as 1,000 civilians may have been killed in two days of shelling that marked some of the worst violence in this Indian Ocean island nation since more..

Mission Accomplished

May 17 (LG) All eyes watching and waiting for two major issues in South Asia to be resolved: one is what will happen to Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the newly downed terrorist leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who led the 30 year struggle against the State of Sri Lanka under various types of Governments. The second one is who will become the next Prime Minister of India. Now one answer is clear. more..

Dignity cannot be compromised

May 17 (LG) Nations are not aggregates of people; they are not coterminous with populations sharing a geographical space. Nations are made of people. They are made of histories. They can reference heritage(s), language, customs, rituals, ways of being, and particularities of landscape. They are made of solidarities, of commonalities and other things gelled together by a necessarily undefined thing called ‘dignity’. more..

Priority to rebuild lives after war

May 17 (SO) “I am privileged on this occasion, when the European Union celebrates its National Day, to pay tribute on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka to the quality of the relationship which our country enjoys with this region. The antiquity, intensity and depth of this relationship is without parallel in Sri Lanka’s relations with regions of the world outside South Asia. more..

Down with Olu Bakkas!

May 17 (LG) IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne has directed all police stations not to allow Olu Bakko mask dancing or amplified sounds of base music and song during Vesak season from May 5 to May 11. We are not aware whether the IGP amidst his multifarious duties such as arresting criminals, tracking down terrorists and deploying ‘four to five crack teams to track down assassins of editors’ and other journalists, did in fact get down to this business of nabbing Olu Bakko dancers during the Vesak season. more..

We specially remember Mayor Alfred Durayappah today

May 17 (LG) On a July morning 1975, a dastardly crime was committed in the precincts of Sri Varadarajah Temple in Ponnalai in the Vaddukoddai electorate and not far from the home of Mr Appapillai and Mrs Mangayakarasi Amirthalingam. The victim of this heartless and callous crime was the good Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Durayappah and one who was loved by most of the citizen community of Jaffna. more..

'Major Battle almost over, but no body knows where is Prabhakaran'

May 17 (LG) “We are about to free our people of this island nation from the horrendous terror clutches of the LTTE and our winning forces are already readying themselves to end this war and enter into the peace time development of the country when every community be equal partners in the progress of our beloved country,” said the Brigade Commander of the 53 Division speaking to more..

12 dead, 45 injured in train-bus collision

May 17 (SO) A train ploughed into a bus packed with schoolchildren on an excursion killing twelve of them and maiming several others at Manampitiya in the Batticaloa area yesterday. Twelve people died and 45 persons including schoolchildren travelling in a private bus proceeding towards Polonnaruwa were seriously injured in the bus-train collision at Manampitiya. The tragedy occurred at the Manampitiya level crossing yesterday morning around 7.45 more..

The beloved mother in Sinhala cinema

May 17 (SO) Having seen the era of studio cinema, Shanthi Lekha was privileged to witness the ups and downs in Sri Lankan cinema and also to play a memorable role in the first Sinhala teledrama `Dimuthu Muthu'. She is remembered as the most beloved mother in Sinhala cinema. The death of popular actress Shanthi Lekha born Rita Irene Quyn, in France came at a time when more..

Projects to uplift villages

May 17 (SO) It is clear that in the past the economic growth has largely bypassed the rural areas and concentrated more on developing the more populated urban areas. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs a considerable catch-up in the growth rate not only to secure its place in the regions as a newly emerging economy, but also to ensure the country's economy is capable of providing better livelihood for all citizens, including the poverty-stricken. more..

Power crisis due to CEB bungling

May 17 (NS) With water levels receding in reservoirs and the delay of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to connect Lakdanavi Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya to the national grid, has driven the country towards a power crisis, despite having the capability to generate enough electricity. Although the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant was capable of generating power, it had not been in operation as the CEB had failed to install a permanent connection to the grid. more..

Electoral Reforms in limbo

May 17 (NS) The much awaited Electoral Reforms that mooted a hybrid between the Westminster style ‘First-Past-The-Post’ (FPTP) system and the presently operational Proportional Representation (PR) system were shelved by the Government last week, in the face of opposition from many minority political parties. The event may have passed relatively unnoticed in the midst of all the publicity surrounding the war, but it is significant nevertheless, in the implications it more..

No fresh visa for UN spokesman

May 17 (NS) The Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry summoned the Acting United Nation’s Resident Representative in Colombo Amin Awad on Tuesday and strongly protested against the undiplomatic behaviour of its spokesman here Gordon Weiss, over his remarks to the international media on Monday that Northern Sri Lanka had become a bloodbath due to large scale killing of civilians. Weiss might not be expelled because of the sensitive situation the country is in, more..

We welcome constructive criticism

May 17 (NS) While the security forces were engaged in their last battle to eliminate Tiger rebels in the North, back in Colombo, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was fighting another equal battle – verbally, trying to put many things correct. His task was to counter the various allegations levelled against the government by a number of foreign governments and groups regarding the government’s human rights track record. more..

UNP MP Aluvihare passes away

May 17 (GDI) UNP Matale District MP Alick Aluvihare passed away this morning at a private hospital in Colombo after a brief illness. UNP party stalwart Aluvihare was elected to represent Matale after the demise of his uncle Bernard Aluvihare in 1961 and he held important cabinet portfolios in the J.R.Jayewardena and Premadasa governments. He was the Mayor of Matale, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and was the Minister of Rehabilitation (1988), more..

Give till it hurts

May 17 (Island) Even as you read this, the last of the LTTE’s conventional military capacity would have been smashed. Whether Prabhakaran, his intelligence chief, Pottu Amman, and Sea Tiger leader Soosai, whose wife and two teenage children were found by the navy in a boat off the Mullaitivu coast on Friday, will be taken "dead or alive" as has been promised remains to be seen. more..

Stop interfering with economic opportunities

May 17 (Island) Remember the Vanaspathi factories that were put up here some time ago? Indian businessmen set up factories to process and re-export Vanaspathi to India. It was a lucrative market and provided value addition in foreign exchange for our country. Then, because of protests from Indian manufacturers, the Indian Government clamped down on the duty free exports of the product from Sri Lanka. more..

Subtly biased reporting on the human tragedy triggered by the LTTE in its last gasp

May 17 (Island) Somini Sengupta wrote a harrowing tale about a Tamil family which escaped the war zone in the north east of Sri Lanka and attempted a sea voyage to India in a boat that let them down. The article, titled In a Boat Adrift, a Deadly Escape from Sri Lanka, appeared on Thursday May 7 on the front page of the International Herald Tribune. I write this response because the article is unjustifiably biased against the government and conveys misinformation. more..

'Politicization of economy has brought country to ruin'

May 17 (Island) ‘The relentless politicization of the local economy under UPFA governance over the past 17 years, has brought Sri Lanka to ruin’, Ravi Karunanayake MP, who is also the Secretary, International Affairs, UNP and Colombo District chairman of the UNP, said. He identified as the need of the hour, national policies in every public sphere which would remain in place irrespective of the party in power. more..

Civilians escape to government safety, rebuke partisan European interference

May 17 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat welcomes the latest efforts by the Sri Lankan forces, which have enabled over 5,000 more of our fellow citizens to escape from LTTE clutches. It is also noteworthy that this has not been accompanied by allegations of large numbers of civilian casualties. It is noteworthy that, following the large exodus of over 100,000 civilians in the three days after April 20th, the flood became only a trickle as the Tigers built up their techniques of imprisonment. more..

LTTE torture chamber cum prison found

May 17 (LT) Troops of 58 Division have found a heavily-fortified torture-chamber cum prison complex of tiger terrorists inside a three-roomed house at Mullaivaikal. The torture chamber cum prison was found yesterday when troops entered the area to rescue hostages held by the terrorists in the area. According to information given to the troops by escapees the house with a wide sitting room plus three spacious rooms has been protected closely by bunkers on the orders of the tiger leader Prabakaran. more..

Attempt to get practical training for private medical school at Jayawardenepuara Hospital

May 17 (LT) There are reports that an attempt is being made to get practical training at Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital for students of the private medical college to be built affiliated to a Russian University. There have been several discussions regarding this by the authorities. The medical school is to be opened in September and getting a hospital for the practical training of its students had been an issue. more..

End of a bloody era

May 17 (ST) Last Wednesday, whilst President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was conferring with his Cabinet colleagues about the concluding stages of the military campaign in the Wanni against Tiger guerrillas, in the United States, President Barack Obama, was doing just that with his senior officials. However, the two Presidents had two different reasons. Rajapaksa, who has boldly rejected calls from the west and India for a cessation of hostilities, was to counter adverse worldwide publicity against Sri Lanka. more..

President accorded warm welcome

Park and ride project a flop

May 17 (ST) Two months after an ambitious project was launched to encourage motorists to park their vehicles and ride in a luxury bus to the City, the National Transport Commission (NTC) is struggling to continue the service in the face of the very limited success of the project so far. The NTC commenced this service, with the main objective of reducing traffic on the roads by attracting private vehicle owners who motor to the City daily. more..

Manik the maverick and I

May 17 (ST) A few weeks before he died in a Singapore hospital on May 18th last year, Manik Sandrasagra, the mercurial former impresario and film director reborn as a heritage guru, phoned and said he’d come over and buy two copies of my book Sindbad in Serendib, one for himself, one for his brother. We had an affable chat, unusually revisited our sketchy cinematic past, and he referred in particular to one project we never made, “Bloody Mary”, urging me to at least resurrect the story. more..

'Civilian rescue mission successfully competed'

May 17 (GDI) All civilians trapped in No Fire Zone at Wellamullivaikkal have been rescued by the Sri Lankan troops, military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told a short while ago while remaining LTTE leaders are cornered to a small strip of land of 400x 600 metres. He said troops have rescued over 50,000 civilians over the past72 hours. more..

Fiscal consolidation: imperative but difficult

May 17 (ST) Many of the problems of the economy arise due to the fiscal weaknesses of the government. The high inflationary pressures, the disincentives for economic enterprise, poor performance in exports, the drain on foreign exchange reserves through large trade deficits are some of the problems whose root cause lie in the imbalance between government revenue and expenditure. more..

Curtain falls on war theatre

May 17 (ST) Troops who are in the final phase of ending Sri Lanka’s three-decade-long separatist conflict, rescued an estimated 17,500 civilians during the past three days and are in the process of opening up more escape routes for the final batch of civilians being held hostage by the LTTE in Vellamullivaikal. Early this week, troops steadily gained more territory as they advanced further into LTTE terrain after the guerrillas displayed stiff resistance. more..