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Tamil Tigers failed to learn from tsunami tragedy

May 18 (G&M) Five years ago, two sad-looking teenagers carrying Kalashnikov rifles waved me past a checkpoint on a beach road in northern Sri Lanka and allowed me to visit the top-secret refuge that this weekend became the final stand of the Tamil Tigers, and possibly the resting place of their charismatic leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Here, in waterlogged jungle pocked with land-mine warnings, more..

Nandimithra Ekanayaka to succeed Alick Aluvihare?

May 18 (CT) Central Provincial Councillor, Nandimithra Ekanayaka is the next in line to fill the parliamentary seat that fell vacant following the demise of Matale district UNP MP, Alick Aluvihare. Mr. Ekanayaka obtained the highest number of preferential votes after Mr. Aluvihare at the 2004 General Election. Despite contesting the 2004 General Election on a UNP ticket, Mr. Ekanayaka contested the last Central Provincial Council polls on the UPFA ticket.

Public rally to felicitate soldiers

May 18 (CT) The government is planning to hold a major rally to felicitate soldiers for having united the country, a senior official of the Government Information Department told ‘Colombo, Sri Lanka Today.’ The event will take place on May 22 at Parliament Grounds. Gathering at Campbell Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka, participants representing all parts of the country, will proceed to the venue in a procession. more..

Protest in front of British High Commission

May 18 (CT) A large group of youth held a protest demonstration in front of the British High Commission at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo, this morning (May 18). Charging that Britain had acted to shield the LTTE, protestors burnt a British Flag and an effigy of British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. Several protestors even hurled stones at the High Commission building, reports say. more..

Vijay Nambiar-KP in secret phone conversation - Divaina

May 18 (CT) The UN chief's special emissary Vijay Nambiar, who is presently in Sri Lanka, has had secret a telephone conversation from a lavatory at Katunayake airport with LTTE's international operative known as KP, 'Divaina' reports. The first page news article says the conversation between Nambiar and KP, the outfits arms supplier and racketeer in Malaysia, lasted several two minutes. more..

SLC to check on security measures for World Twenty20

May 18 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will be sending its security consultant Lawrence Fernando to England on May 17 to assess and report on the security measures in place for next month's World Twenty20. Nishantha Ranatunga, the board secretary, said Fernando would be in England till the first week of June until the tournament commences. "He will give us feedback on the security situation in the UK before the team leaves for the tournament on May 27," more..

Three-month cooling period for ICL players

May 18 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to give a three-month cooling period to its ICL contracted players before they can be accepted into the system, provided they cut off all ties with the unofficial Twenty20 league. The players include Mavan Atapattu, Upul Chandana, Avishka Gunawardene, Russel Arnold and Saman Jayantha. This decision was taken by the SLC's interim committee on Thursday. more..

Tamil Tiger rebel leader 'is dead'

Tamil Canadians react to war's end in Sri Lanka

May 18 (CTV) Tamil Canadians are reacting to the end of a 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka by holding a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Consulate in Toronto in an effort to get international support for their cause. A crowd of people from Toronto's large Tamil community has been standing outside the Consulate for days, as the Sri Lankan military continued to close in on the last stronghold of the LTTE. more..

Tamil temple forlorn as war ends

May 18 (CNS) With Montreal's 10,000 Tamils transfixed by news reports that the 26- year-old civil war in Sri Lanka is drawing to a bloody close, attendance at the Thiru Murugan Temple in suburban Dollard des Ormeaux has dropped off dramatically. "The people are not coming as usual because they are going to the demonstrations," said Visagaratnam Nagendran, manager of the temple, whose elaborate white roof stands out among the nondescript buildings of an industrial strip. more..

Disbelief, tears and prayer greet news of Tigers' defeat

May 18 (TS) Merlin Emmanuel's war is not over. The 39-year-old Catholic Tamil's elderly parents were hiding in a bunker the last time she spoke to them, right before the Sri Lankan army's final assault on the shattered remnants of the seemingly unbeatable LTTE. "They're in bunkers right now," Emmanuel said, as she choked up and began to cry. "My family is there. My brother. My elderly parents – my father and mother. My sister. And their kids. more..

Uncertain fate of tsunami orphans in Tamil conflict

May 18 (Mirror) Among the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in northern Sri Lanka are orphans whose lives were already blighted by tragedy. In Thiruketheeswaran, on the extreme northern tip of what was formerly land controlled by the Tamil Tigers, 41 children who lost their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami were being cared for. But since the Sri Lankan military's brutal assault on the Tigers' stronghold, the whereabouts of these youngsters, like so many others, is shrouded in uncertainty. more..

Profile of rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran

May 18 (AP) Velupillai Prabhakaran transformed a small band of poorly armed rebels into one of the world's most sophisticated and ruthless insurgencies and then made a string of miscalculations that led his Tamil Tigers to total defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan military. Sri Lanka announced Monday that it had finished off the last of the rebels in the northern war zone and killed Prabhakaran, 54, and his top deputies. more..

Lanka accuses UN, news agencies of collaborating with LTTE

May 18 (Island) Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona yesterday dismissed the threat of hauling the Sri Lankan political and military leadership before an international war crimes tribunal as a cynical exercise. Kohona said that like any other state Sri Lanka had a legal responsibility to rescue hostages held by terrorists. The Sri Lankan government couldn’t be held accountable for taking measures to liberate civilians held at gunpoint by the LTTE. more..

Ending of war not the end of the conflict, say Tamil opinion leaders

May 18 (Island) A collective of Tamil opinion leaders called The Group of Concerned Tamil Citizens of Sri Lanka (GCTCSL) yesterday said that the ending of the war would not result in the end of the conflict unless and until there was a political settlement acceptable to the people in the North East. "A just and credible offer of a political package acceptable to the population of the North and East is urgently needed and central to the task of nation building," more..

As war ends, aid agency says four challenges face the country

May 18 (WV) What next? This is the critical question for the next phase of the humanitarian response in Sri Lanka as the land war with the Tamil Tigers comes to an end leaving almost a quarter of a million Tamils in displacement camps. World Vision has been assisting those in camps with water, food, shelter, non-food relief items as well as nutrition, education and psychosocial programmes for children. more..

Eradication of Dengue: Kandy MC not interested, says CP Governor

May 18 (Island) The Kandy Municipal Council was conspicuous by its absence at a meeting that discussed the dengue epidemic in the Central Province held at the Central Provincial Governor’s Secretariat yesterday 15. Provincial Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa chaired the meeting convened by the Central Provincial Ministry of Health. The meeting was called to review the situation of the Central Province following the out break of dengue more..

Army closes in on Tamil Tiger separatists

Govt must now end the operation of anti-terrorism laws

May 18 (AHRC) The Sri Lankan government has officially declared victory against the LTTE. The Secretary of Defence in an interview to the BBC Sinhala Service on Sunday said that, "the LTTE does not exist anymore." (A reputed journalist reported the possibility of the LTTE leaders having committed mass suicide and the government has not revealed the manner in which the LTTE has ceased to exist). more..

Ranil’s visit to Europe a tamasha - ex envoy

May 18 (DN) The Opposition Leader’s visit to Europe at this juncture is uncalled for and irrelevant as the country is saddled with the responsibility of looking after an unprecedented number of 200,000 IDPs needing the cooperation from all the parties,” journalist, media consultant and former Deputy High Commissioner for India S. Piyasena told the Daily News. If the Opposition Leader had to discuss the present problem with other countries, more..

Dengue eradication campaign: ‘Those who fail to respond will be prosecuted’

May 18 (DN) Residents of Colombo, who fail to respond positively to the Dengue eradication campaign will be prosecuted in a court of law from June 1, Colombo Municipal Commissioner and Competent Authority Bhadrani Jayawardane said. She was addressing the inaugural ceremony launching two week house to house Dengue eradication campaign held at CMC premises yesterday. The program was launched with the support of the group comprising Municipal Council staff, more..

Masses welcome defeat of terrorism

May 18 (DN) People interviewed by the Daily News on the achievement of victory over the terrorists in the North brought us many views and comments yesterday. All these people were civilians who had felt and experienced the horrors and fears of the terrorist threat to the country. Excerpts of their comments: Chandima Perera - Bank Executive, Pannipitiya said it was a very happy day today. We were living in fear for decades. more..

DMK wants Centre to put more pressure on Sri Lanka

May 18 (PTI) The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, a key constituent of UPA, on Monday asked the Centre to put more pressure on the Sri Lankan government to find a permanent solution immediately to the ethnic strife in the island. In a resolution adopted at the party's executive meeting here, it said the government should prevail upon Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the Tamils and take measures for their peaceful existence. more..

The Tamil diaspora's responsibility

May 18 (GP) As the war in Sri Lanka nears its end, stories of the conflict zone begin to emerge with greater clarity. A lack of media access has obscured certain narratives, but some who have escaped have relayed their situations to family and friends. Here is one such story told to me: Whether you call Puthumathalan a war zone or not depends on your take on Sri Lankan politics. more..

Prabhakaran: An obituary

Army recovers Prabhakaran's 'torture chamber'

May 18 (PTI) Security forces have found a heavily-fortified torture-chamber-cum prison complex, run by LTTE inside a three-room house in the Mullaivaikkal area near the no fire zone. The complex was found in the Vellamullavaikkal sub-post office by the troops on Saturday as they moved further in, the defence ministry said. "The house with a wide sitting room, plus three spacious rooms was protected closely by bunkers on the orders of the LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran," more..

Political parties salute valiant security forces

May 18 (DM) The UNP and other parties yesterday saluted the armed forces and the police for their historic victory over the LTTE. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe: “The United National Party salutes all those who contributed towards this historic victory and we appreciate the courage and the professionalism of the security forces and the police who dedicated themselves to see this victory become a reality. more..

Towards a new Sri Lanka

May 18 (ANN) The war is over in all but name. The LTTE's giant killing machine has been destroyed and the fate of Prabhakaran and other key terrorists will be known before long. It may not be hyperbolic that little Lanka's victory over terrorism is not second to the near impossible rare feats of humankind like man's landing on the moon. Her war had the trappings of a David-Goliath contest with all the western powers, save a few, more..

Tigers finished as military force

May 18 (BBC) As the Sri Lankan army completes its clean-up operation against the last remaining Tamil Tiger rebels, the BBC's South Asia Correspondent Chris Morris looks back at one of Asia's longest-running civil wars. The Tamil Tigers have been fighting against the Sri Lankan state for more than 25 years, led from the beginning by the elusive and dictatorial Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Suicide bombing has been a speciality - their victims included more..

Protest over UK role in Sri Lanka

May 18 (BBC) Protesters have burned an effigy of Foreign Secretary David Miliband during a demonstration outside the British High Commission in Sri Lanka. They accused the UK government of supporting the Tamil Tiger rebels. More than 1,000 people massed outside the building in Colombo after Sri Lanka leaders claimed victory in the 25-year conflict which has left 70,000 dead. more..

TIMELINE: Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka declared total victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday, saying troops had put the Indian Ocean island nation entirely in government hands for the first time since civil war erupted in 1983. Following are some key events in the 25-year conflict between the separatist rebels and the Sri Lankan government. July 1983 - Tiger attack in north kills 13 soldiers, triggering anti-Tamil riots in capital, Colombo. more..

Memories of Jaffna

May 18 (TOI) I think the first time Jaffna entered my consciousness was when one day, I returned home from school in Chennai to find this charming, tall lady seated in our living room. She never stopped smiling. Malathi was my older sister Revathi’s pen pal from Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon). They were originally from Jaffna, she explained, but for years her family had been living in Colombo, the capital. more..

Prabhakaran enigma: Fighting for pride or Eelam?

May 18 (TOI) To his followers, he was a god who could do no wrong. He brooked no threat to his power, showed no mercy to perceived traitors, and signed death warrants for rivals without compunction. Velupillai Prabhakaran acquired an aura of invincibility with a combination of revolutionary zeal, passionate commitment to the ‘Tamil Eelam’ cause and ruthless elimination of rivals and peers. more..

Readers opinions: Prabhakaran killed

May 18 (TOI) R.M.S,Bremen, Germany, says: State run terrorists have atlast won. Tamil aspirations also die along with Prabhakaran. The strategic mistake of the LTTE was the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, else would have still enjoyed the support of India. China played a very big role with military support to Sri Lanka and in return get a port in Sri Lanka to set up its military base. China now has its 'String of Pearls' configured around India making a mockery of India!! more..

Velupillai Prabhakaran, ruthless fighter for Eelam

May 18 (PTI) Velupillai Prabhakaran, who led a ruthless movement for more than three decades, was a dogged fighter for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka, but his opponents saw him as a megalomaniac who never tolerated dissent. Son of a government officer and a school dropout, Prabhakaran gave a new dimension to militancy by pioneering suicide bombing and death for cadres under attack in the war for Tamil Eelam that consumed more than 70,000 lives more..

History of the war in Sri Lanka

May 18 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers, or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), battled the government in Colombo for quarter of a century. The LTTE argued that the Tamil population was discriminated against by successive majority Sinhalese governments, and demanded a separate state in the north east of the country. The BBC's Mike Wooldridge looks back at the conflict. more..

The 'General' who ran out of moves

May 18 (HT) Velupillai Prabhakaran, master military strategist, who held the Tamil community and Sri Lanka hostage for close to a quarter of a century, has met his nemesis. A man who took on the might of the Sri Lankan army and was responsible for the deaths of 1,200 Indian soldiers between 1987-1990 in his northern lair of Jaffna, spawned the dream of carving out a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. more..

Velupillai Prabhakaran: His life, times and death

May 18 (IANS) From Nov 26, 1954 to May 18, 2009 - the following is a chronological account of the life and times of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tigers chief who was killed Monday in the north of Sri Lanka: 1954 (Nov 26): Born in Jaffna in a Hindu middle class family, the youngest of two sons and two daughters. 1960-70s: Takes to militancy, indulges in minor acts of violence. 1972: Forms Tamil New Tigers (TNT), flees home for good. more..

Tamil Tiger chief killed - military sources

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan special forces troops killed Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran as he tried to flee the war zone early on Monday, military sources said. The 54-year-old who founded the LTTE on a culture of suicide before surrender had vowed never to be taken alive. The LTTE on Sunday conceded defeat in a 25-year civil war, after a relentless Sri Lankan military offensive that retook the 15,000 sq km the rebels ran as a separate state when a 2002 truce began falling more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil Tiger leader killed

May 18 (AP) Sri Lanka declared Monday it had crushed the final resistance of the Tamil Tigers, killing rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and ending his three decade quest for an independent homeland for minority Tamils. Rupavahini television, the state broadcaster, broke into its regular programming Monday afternoon to announce Prabakharan's death. They gave no details of how he was killed. The government information department also sent a text message to cell phones across the country announcing Prabhakaran was killed more..

Sri Lankans 'petrified' after Sydney acid attack

May 18 (ABC) Sri Lankans in Sydney are said to be petrified after a violent house invasion overnight which police say is linked to the conflict in their home country. Three young Sri Lankan men have been taken to hospital after several violent incidents in Western Sydney in the past 24 hours. In the worst case, a 22-year-old Sinhalese student could lose his sight after several men broke into his home and threw acid in his face. more..

Tamil Tiger leader 'killed' by Sri Lanka troops

May 18 (AFP) The leader of Sri Tamil Tiger rebels, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was shot dead Monday while trying to flee advancing troops, defence officials told AFP. Prabhakaran was with several close aides in a small convoy of a van and ambulance which tried to drive out of the battle zone when it was ambushed by commandos, the senior defence ministry official said. The news came as the military said that the entire island was now under government control, more..

Prabhakaran shot dead while trying to break Army siege: Sri Lanka

May 18 (PTI) Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was on Monday shot dead by Sri Lankan special forces as he tried to stage a dramatic breakout from the Army encirclement, a military spokesman said. Prabhakaran and his top aides came out of their last hiding place in a small convoy of van and an ambulance and tried to drive out of the war zone, but were gunned down, he said. However, the Army is withholding an official announcement till a DNA test of the bodies are conducted. more..

After the carnage

May 19 (Age) In Sri Lanka's war without witnesses, even the bloody conclusion has been shrouded in mystery. With independent observers and reporters barred from the conflict zone, the outside world has had no choice but to listen to the claims and counter-claims of the warring parties. On Sunday, Tamil Tigers' spokesman Selvarasa Pathmanathan said the rebels' battle for a Tamil homeland had "reached its bitter end". more..

End of conflict could boost tourism

May 19 (Telegraph) While it is still too early to predict the future course of events in Sri Lanka, the possibility of a lasting peace opens up the prospect of the great swathes of pristine sandy beaches in the north and east of the country becoming new tourist hotspots. With the fighting still fresh, outrage over the number of civilians killed and fears that pockets of Tamil Tiger fighters may continue with terrorist attacks, the Foreign Office continues to advise against all travel to the north and east of Sri Lanka. more..

Alert in TN, coastal areas after news of LTTE chief's death

May 19 (PTI) As the news of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's death trickled in from Sri Lanka, Central security agencies have sounded an alert in Tamil Nadu even as intelligence inputs suggest that cadre of the outfit who could have slipped into the country may try to create disturbance. Security for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka was further tightened as they were already on the target of the banned LTTE. more..

'Determined massacre,' charges LTTE

May 19 (PTI) Without commenting on Sri Lankan claims of having killed LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran, the Tiger rebels on Monday complained to the Red Cross that slaying of its top leaders including Prabhakaran's son Charles Anthony was a "determined massacre". In its first comment on the bloody developments in the Wanni jungles, the LTTE said it had informed ICRC that only 1,000 wounded cadres, civil officials of the LTTE and civilians remained in the so-called 'safety zone'. more..

India to send 25 tonnes of medicine to Sri Lanka

May 19 (PTI) With the Sri Lankan army's offensive against LTTE almost over, India will send 25 tonnes of medicines worth over Rs 3 crores to help the internally displaced population in the northern parts of the island nation. "An Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft carrying about 25 tonnes of medicines is scheduled to leave Delhi for Colombo on May 22. This will be disbursed among the sick, wounded and internally displaced people in northern Sri Lanka," more..

Ensure 'effective devolution of power: India to Sri Lanka

May 19 (PTI) With LTTE Chief V Prabhakarn killed, India on Monday asked Sri Lanka to take political steps to ensure "effective devolution of power" so that Tamils in the island nation could live with dignity. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who confirmed that the armed resistance by LTTE has come to an end and Prabhakaran was dead. more..

Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman's death would end trial in Rajiv case

May 19 (PTI) The CBI will seek authentication of the report of killing of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and its intelligence chief Pottu Amman from Sri Lanka to bring to an end its trial of the two remaining accused in the 18-year-old Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. "We are trying to contact our Embassy in Colombo to get the information authenticated. As soon as we receive authenticated information, action will be taken as per law," more..