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Attempt to destroy video reels showing abuses by ministers

May 17 (LT) It has been revealed that there is an attempt to destroy all video films that show misconduct of ministers that are in various TV channels. According to this plan the video scenes that show attacks by Minister Mervin Silva would be destroyed first. As such, scenes of Dr. Mervin Silva attacking Rupavahini staff would be removed from all channels and step by step all video films that include scenes showing misconduct of other ministers too would be destroyed. more..

War is not over yet – Gotabhaya Rajapakse

May 17 (LT) The war is not over yet says the defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse."We have rescued all the civilians from the area, now we are searching for any more civilians. He said tiger terrorists have been cornered to one square kilometre-like area and added that mop up operations would continue and the rest of the LTTE leadership would be seized. he said the army did not know exactly where to find the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, but expressed confidence that he would be tracked down soon. more..

LTTE leaders boxed in less than one square kilometer stretch

May 17 (MoD) Sri Lankan soldiers have boxed the remaining LTTE cadres into a 400m x 600m land stretch in the Vellaimullaivaikkal area reveal the latest battlefield reports. According to the sources, troops have already rescued all the civilians held at hostage by the terrorists and taken them to safer areas. Among the rescued were seven service personnel including four sailors and three soldiers held as prisoners of war by the terrorists. more..

Tiger chief body believed found; unconfirmed - sources

May 17 (Reuters) A body believed to be that of Tamil Tiger founder leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has been found but the identity of the corpse has not been confirmed, Sri Lankan military sources said on Sunday. "They are taking the body for checks to confirm it is the real Prabhakaran," one military official told Reuters on conditions of anonymity. Four other military sources confirmed the recovery and said identity checks were under way. more..

LTTE blows up their arms and ammunition

Sri Lanka's long war in bloody final climax

May 17 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels launched suicide attacks on Sunday against Sri Lankan troops fighting in the final battle of Asia's longest modern war, the military said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the country early on Sunday, the day after he said the LTTE had been defeated militarily in the 25-year civil war, even as combat still raged in the island's northeast. The military said it had rescued all the civilians being held by the LTTE as human shields, more..

Tamil Tigers, rebels who once seemed invincible

May 17 (AFP) Tamil Tigers, who said Sunday they would stop fighting government troops, were once ranked among the world's most formidable and disciplined rebel outfits. Just two years ago, the LTTE appeared indestructible, controlling a large swathe of territory in the north of the island with all the trappings of a separate state. Formed in 1972 by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tigers spent more than 30 years confounding expectations of their military defeat, but more..

President Arrives Sri Lanka

Toronto temple fire fuels tension over crisis in Sri Lanka

May 17 (TS) Nalaka Tissamaharamaya, a thin Sinhalese monk in a red fleece and saffron robes, has not attended ESL classes in more than two weeks, fearing the short walk from his temple down Kingston Rd. Yesterday, his fears were confirmed when a fire swept through the predominantly Sinhalese Buddhist temple in Scarborough. Police said they are investigating arson. The monk said about two weeks ago a note supporting Tamil protests in downtown Toronto was more..

Rebels offer to lay down arms

May 17 (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels admitted defeat in their 25-year-old war with the Sri Lankan government Sunday, offering to lay down their guns as government forces swept across their last strongholds in the northeast. The government rejected the last-ditch call for a cease-fire, saying the thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone all have escaped to safety and there was no longer any reason to stop the battle. The military said the remaining guerrillas were still fighting. more..

Sri Lankan rebels admit defeat after longdrawn war

May 17 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday admitted defeat in their 37-year battle for an independent ethnic homeland, with their few remaining fighters encircled in the jungle by soldiers. The Tigers' armed campaign against the government left well over 70,000 people dead in decades of pitched battles, suicide attacks, bomb strikes and assassinations. "This battle has reached its bitter end," the Tigers' chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, more..

Sri Lanka says all civilians out of war zone

May 17 (AP) The last remaining civilians trapped by fighting in northern Sri Lanka poured across the front lines Sunday as Tamil Tiger suicide bombers targeted troops in the final battles of the quarter-century civil war, the military said. The tattered and nearly defeated rebel group offered to lay down its arms to protect the wounded in the war zone. "This battle has reached its bitter end," rebel official Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a statement. more..

A proud President returns to his terror free motherland

May 17 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa after a two day official visit to Jordon returned in an emotion packed jubilant mood to his motherland this morning at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake. As he kept his foot on the soil of his nation, filled with emotion and joy, President Rajapaksa touched the soil and worshipped his motherland in tribute in a heart rending manner that more..

First batch of China-donated tents arrives in Sri Lanka

May 18 (Xinhua) The first batch of China-donated tents in humanitarian aid to civilians displaced by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo on Sunday. Sri Lanka's Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, and China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yang Xiuping attended the tents handover ceremony. more..

Analysis: Endgame in Sri Lanka

May 18 (AJ) Al Jazeera has spoken to analysts about the current state of the Sri Lankan conflict and its future. The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been pushed into a tiny coastal area in the northeast by the military, with tens of thousands of civilians being forced to migrate from the conflict zone. A military victory after 26 years of war appears imminent, but support for the Tamil movement may remain. more..

Tamils, Sinhalese clash in Australia

May 18 (SMH) A large brawl broke out in Sydney's west last night between Tamils protesting against the war in Sri Lanka and supporters of the Government's offensive. Several people were arrested after a punch was thrown at a police officer during the brawl involving more than 50 people, and a man was bashed by four others after he took a small Tamil flag from a car and snapped its pole in half, police said. more..

President to address the nation on Tuesday

May 18 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will ceremoniously address the nation from Parliament on Tuesday, May 19 at 9.30 am on the military victory over the LTTE, says the Government Information Department. The announcement came as pro-LTTE websites reported the Tigers as having said the battle has reached its bitter end, and that it has decided to ‘silence its guns.’ The Defence Ministry said the remaining LTTE cadres are now confined to a 400m x 600m land area in Vellamullaivaikkal in Mullaitivu. more..

Is LTTE in secret, indirect talks with US to surrender?

May 18 (IANS) Tamil Tigers may be engaged in secret though indirect talks with the United States for a face-saving formula to save its militarily-cornered leadership. It has been known that the LTTE has reached out to the new US administration, courtesy Norway, one factor why an upset Colombo stripped Oslo of its role as the peace facilitator. IANS has learnt from reliable sources that Norway is in regular touch with Tamil Tiger representatives outside the island nation. more..

Tamils block railtracks at main German railway hub

May 18 (DPA) German-based Tamils, protesting the Sri Lankan Army's operations against Tamil Tiger rebels in the island nation, Sunday blocked the tracks at the Frankfurt Railway Station, one of Germany's main rail hubs. Federal police, charged with keeping transportation safe, said they counted 150 protesters who had descended from station platforms and were occupying several tracks, blocking rail operations. more..

Sri Lankan govt declares victory

TN on alert for possible attacks on SL establishments

May 18 (PTI) With the LTTE conceding defeat in Sri Lanka and its chief V Prabhakaran remaining untraceable, Tamil Nadu police on Sunday issued an alert saying Central government offices and Sri Lankan establishments among others could be the target of pro-Eelam activists in the state. Security has been beefed up across the state even as increased vigil was in place at the coastal areas bordering Sri Lanka, police sources told PTI. more..

While the war may be over, peace is still some way off

May 18 (DW) As the Sri Lankan military's mop-up operations continue in what appears to be the culmination of a long-drawn-out war against the LTTE, a senior rebel leader has been quoted as saying that the battle has "reached its bitter end". In an apparent admission of defeat, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the Tigers' chief of international relations, also said in a statement on a pro-rebel website that they had "decided to silence" their guns. more..

UK gives £5m to Sri Lankan crisis

May 18 (BBC) The UK has announced a further £5m in aid to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Sri Lanka after a major offensive to end the civil war there. The money will provide shelter, water and medicine - and takes the UK's aid contribution to £12.5m this year. International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander called the situation on the ground "desperate" and said there was an urgent need for supplies. more..

Sri Lanka says no ‘bloodbath’ during hostage rescue

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Sunday there was no ‘bloodbath’ during its ‘rescue’ of tens of thousands of civilians held hostage by Tamil Tiger rebels. ‘There was no bloodbath as some people feared,’ Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters. ‘Everybody has come out safely and they are being looked after by the government.’ The United Nations had described last week’s fighting as a ‘bloodbath’ and said a large number of civilians, more..

Sri Lanka rebels willing to surrender arms - Norway

May 18 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels are willing to surrender their arms to a third party, after having conceded defeat in a 25-year civil war, former peace mediator Norway said on Sunday. "I have been in touch with the Tamil Tigers many times today," Norway's Development Aid Minister Erik Solheim told Reuters. "They have made it clear to us that they are ready to give up arms to the international community." more..

Sri Lanka: What Kind of "Victory"?

May 18 (AN) After months of battle, government forces tightening an ever constricting noose around the Tamil Tigers seem to have finally beaten the rebel group. Still, deep concerns remain for tens of thousands of civilians caught up in the fighting. The Tigers' "international representative", Kumaran Padmanathan, has been quoted conceding defeat, though fighting is still probably continuing in small pockets where some groups of fighters remain. more..

An appeal to Tamil Diaspora

May 18 (LG) In my previous letters, I have told that I am ashamed to call myself a Tamil as LTTE brought more misery and humiliation to the Tamils than any good, forget about the promised homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka. I strongly believe the Tamil Diaspora (whom I am one of them but I disassociated myself from supporting LTTE long time ago) is as guilty as LTTE for for this predicament for having supported LTTE for the last 25 years. more..

Forces of deception and destruction will begin operations now

May 18 (LG) There has been shameless collusion and traitorous conduct by many so-called volunteers both Diaspora Sri Lankans, even the local as well as a considerable numbers of others from the west who were engaged in helping the Tigers with their expertise on many fronts from communications to construction and even training the Tiger cadres in various aspects of warfare. The Tigers have used excellent technology on all these fronts. How did they come by them? more..

Future of Tamil Politics in Sri Lanka

May 18 (LG) The civil war in Sri Lanka is coming to a decisive conclusion. Irrespective of the desires of the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora, the LTTE and its cohorts will cease to be key power players in Sri Lankan politics for the next five years (unless the Sri Lankan administration and authorities make colossal military blunders and give rebirth blessings to LTTE militants in the North-East jungles). more..

'Long live human dignity; shame on international community'

May 18 (TN) While the so-called international community is "exposed of its shameful conning," thousands of Tamil civilians and combatants are laying down their lives to "uphold Tamil dignity, and human dignity," says a Tamil academic in Colombo. Those who blame the LTTE for bringing in the disaster know well that Colombo always had the option to negotiate or to come out with a political solution convincing Tamils not to continue the conflict. more..

Slow but significant

May 18 (LG) Even as the ethnic war continues to be raging in an increasingly diminishing area in Sri Lanka’s North, two significant developments need attention in terms of the political processes on power-devolution – though they have been slow in coming. It is how these things play out in an unstructured manner outside of predicted templates. It is how the polity and the society, particularly of the Tamil community, need to acknowledge them – and more..

Wanni operation 17th May

Battle at its bitter end: LTTE

May 18 (Hindu) LTTE international relations head K. Pathmanathan on Sunday said the current war between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan military had reached its bitter end and the Tigers had decided to silence their guns in the interest of saving the lives of innocent Tamil citizens. “This battle has reached its bitter end. Against all odds, we have held back the advancing Sinhalese forces without help or support, except for the unending support of our people. more..

LTTE wages hopeless battle

May 18 (Hindu) Sri Lanka military and the remaining cadres of the LTTE on Sunday were engaged in one of the most intense battles witnessed during the 33-month-old phase of Eelam War IV. Boxed into an area of approximately 600 metres, the Tigers waged a hopeless battle in a bid to prolong the inevitable, if not exactly to save the LTTE top brass. Military commanders on the front believe that LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran is among the top leaders holed up in what could be the last battlefront. more..

Where are the images of horror from Sri Lanka?

May 18 (Times) Pictures of the beach near Mullaitivu, the last outpost of Tamil Tiger resistance in Sri Lanka, would have been among the greatest visual images of what war does to people. They would have been, if anybody had been there to take them. Those pictures don’t exist. The Sri Lankan Government has been amazingly successful at keeping people away from this conflict and, as a result, appalling atrocities have been committed. more..

Fate of Prabhakaran remains a mystery

May 18 (Times) The Government calls him a psychopath responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. To his followers he is a freedom fighter who struggled to protect Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority from discrimination at the hands of the ethnic Sinhalese majority. But almost everyone agrees that he was, until recently, one of the world’s most successful guerrilla leaders, having built the Tamil Tigers a navy and air force and established a mini-state that at one point covered one third of Sri Lanka. more..

'Splashed with acid' during home invasion in Australia

May 18 (SMH) Two men are in hospital - one in an induced coma with severe burns - after a violent, bloody home invasion in Sydney's west overnight that a friend says is linked to friction between local Tamils and supporters of the Sri Lankan government. The men were inside their house, on Alexandra Avenue at Westmead, when about five men forced their way inside about midnight and went on a rampage, police said. more..

Army wants to end “stand-off” and finish off Tigers

May 18 (DBS) There exists a “stand-off” situation between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division of Northern Mulatheevu district. Large numbers of LTTE cadres and key leaders are currently “boxed” in by the army between Vellamullivaaikkaal and Vattavaakal in MulaTheevu district in an area of about 2 square km. The Army after encircling the area is now establishing military positions in order to mount a no-holds barred full scale operation to go in and flush out the LTTE. more..

Sri Lankan troops mop up Tamil Tigers as leader said to have died in bunker

May 18 (Guardian) Sri Lankan troops were today mopping up the remnants of the defeated Tamil Tigers, amid reports that some rebel fighters have been blowing themselves up rather than surrender. A large explosion in a bunker prompted speculation that Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the Tigers' leader, and other senior commanders may have killed themselves. The developments came a day after Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, announced the defeat of the Tamil rebels, and more..

Dead or alive? Fate of feared Tamil leader remains a mystery

May 18 (Independent) He had become emblematic in the bitter Tamil separatist struggle and yesterday, as the Sri Lankan government claimed final victory in the civil war, there were reports that Vellupillai Prabhakaran has been killed in the last few days of the fighting. The Tamil Tigers denied it, insisting their leader was behind the decision to lay down their arms. But reports from the military suggested that the body of their 54-year-old leader had been found early yesterday, more..

'Tigers are trapped'

May 18 (BBC) Tamil Tigers are now trapped in a small area of scrub jungle says the defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who claims that western governments will not come to the rescue of the Tamil Tiger leadership. Meanwhile the Tamil Tiger rebels say they have decided to "silence their guns" in their fight against government forces. A statement, carried by a pro-rebel website, Tamilnet, said the battle had reached its bitter end. more..

Sri Lanka battles Tiger remnants

May 18 (BBC) International concern is growing over the fate of civilians in northern Sri Lanka as fighting continues despite reports of a Tamil Tiger ceasefire. Sri Lanka's government said troops were engaged in "final brushing up" hours after a website linked to the rebels said the Tigers were laying down arms. EU ministers are expected to call on Monday for an independent inquiry into claims civilians have been targeted. Both sides say the other has killed civilians in the closed off war zone. more..

Taming of Tamil Tigers threatens to breed fiercer creatures

May 18 (Guardian) Thousands of Sri Lankans are celebrating their government's military victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa expected to tell the country on national television on Tuesday that the war is over. On the ground, the rebels have admitted that their 25-year struggle for a Tamil homeland has reached "its bitter end". However, the victory has come at a high price in terms of civilan life and damage to Colombo's international reputation. more..

KP, Soosai and Nadesan try for “ceasefire” while Praba and Pottu Amman become “silent”

May 18 (DBS) The beleaguered LTTE embarked on a frantic last ditch effort to hold off the anticipated “final” operation by the Sri Lankan Armed forces that seemed to have ended in failure by the evening of Sunday May 17th 2009. In spite of the LTTE's efforts and international pressure to bring about a “ceasefire” of some kind , the Sri Lankan Government of President Mahinda Rajapakse resolved to stand firm in its decision to go ahead with its military operations to more..

EU to demand Sri Lanka war probe

May 18 (BBC) EU foreign ministers are expected to call for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes by Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka's government. At a meeting in Brussels, they are also due to demand an urgent session of the UN Human Rights Council on the issue. A draft statement said the EU is appalled by continuing reports of high numbers of civilian casualties. It says the bloc views with utmost concern reports of the government's use of heavy weapons. more..

Sri Lanka markets seen up on victory declaration

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock .CSE and currency markets were seen moving up on Monday after the president this weekened said the nation's 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists was won, traders and analysts said. The Tamil Tigers conceded defeat in Asia's longest-running conflict on Sunday, after launching some suicide attacks to repel a final assault by troops determined to annihilate them. more..

Sri Lanka hunts Tamil leader after rebels defeated

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka has vowed to kill or capture the remnants of the Tamil Tiger army, with an intensive search underway for the leader of the defeated rebels. In a dramatic announcement, the guerrillas admitted Sunday that their battle for an independent ethnic homeland had reached its "bitter end" -- signalling Asia's longest running civil war was all but over. "We have decided to silence our guns. Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer," more..

Sri Lankans celebrate end of war

'3 Tamil Tiger leaders killed'

May 18 (AP) Sri Lanka's military says special forces have killed the head of the Tamil Tigers' political wing and two other top leaders in the northern war zone. There has been no word yet on the whereabouts of the group's top leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. A senior military official says an attack Sunday night killed rebels' political wing leader Balasingham Nadesan, head of rebels' peace secretariat Seevaratnam Puleedevan and a top military leader known as Ramesh. more..

Sri Lankan envoy in Washington on final battle in Wanni

May 18 (LG) As I reflect on the last few dramatic days in Sri Lanka and the final days of the LTTE, I would like to note with gratitude the influence that the United States has had on this conflict, and on Sri Lanka’s future, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lankan Ambassador to United States said in a statement. "it is undeniable that the LTTE effectively folded shortly after President Barack Obama told the world that the terrorists were holding innocent Tamil civilians as hostages. more..