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Falling down on the job

May 2 (FP) As the whole world watches the continuing calamity in Sri Lanka, with thousands of civilians dead and tens of thousands more at risk as government forces try to quash the last of the insurgent Tamil Tigers, the United Nations Security Council remains mired in debates over whether or not to even discuss the issue, with a minority of member-states obstructing any collective action in response to the crisis, or even an official review. more..

Chinese billions in Sri Lanka fund battle against Tamil Tigers

May 2 (Times) On the southern coast of Sri Lanka, ten miles from one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, a vast construction site is engulfing the once sleepy fishing town of Hambantota. This poor community of 21,000 people is about as far as one can get on the island from the fighting between the army and the Tamil Tiger rebels on the northeastern coast. The sudden spurt of construction helps, however, to explain why the army is poised to defeat the Tigers and why more..

The Tamils' tin ear

May 2 (NP) Canadians are such saps for a sob story we take pride in the fact, viewing it as part of our national heritage. There's a reason Canada is flooded with "refugee" claims from countries like Mexico or the Czech Republic, and that our waiting list of immigration applications is nine years long. We don't ask a lot of questions, we trust everyone to keep their promises, and we hate saying no, in case we hurt anyone's feelings. more..

India to send de-mining teams to Sri Lanka

May 2 (TOI) Apart from the considerable humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, India will soon send de-mining teams to the island nation to facilitate early return of civilians, mostly Tamilians, to their homes in the northern part of the country. The Sri Lankan government on Friday completed de-mining work in several parts of Mannar to facilitate resettlement of IDPs in the region. Indian authorities said that they want to expedite the process by sending teams from India. more..

Wanni Operation 1 st May

A Poll on Prabhakaran: Is his end nears?

May 2 (AT) As yet another week ends with no word about the whereabouts of Velupillai Prabhakaran, it is natural for the media to speculate and the gossip mills to go into overdrive on what has happened to him, who has carved out a Robinhood image for himself down the past 30-odd years. A conjecture that has many takers on either side of the Palk Straits is that Prabhakaran is, indeed, dead but his close faithful are maintaining the myth of his invincibility. more..

Colonialism, Human Rights, and Scoundrels

May 2 (LG) The European Union is baring its white imperialist fangs after being outmaneuvered by Sri Lanka in its bid to strongarm Colombo into a ceasefire. The real purpose of adding the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt to the ride taken by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Minister David Milliband to Colombo is quite clearly stated in Bildt’s blog writings: more..

Sangaree's desperate plea to save the remaining IDPs

May 2 (AT) In a fervent appeal to save the Internally Displaced Persons trapped in Vanni and held hostages by the LTTE, V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front has suggested that an International Agency, acceptable to the Government, be selected to visit Vanni and persuade the LTTE to allow the innocent people to go out freely, with an offer of a general amnesty to those who surrender with arms. more..

Aid agencies struggle as Sri Lanka crisis escalates

May 2 (AN) Aid agencies in northern Sri Lanka, where over 100,000 people have recently fled a tiny war zone, say they're overwhelmed by the exodus and ill-equipped for the next one. Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in the battle ground on the northeast coast where government troops are fighting Tamil Tiger separatists in the final days of a war that has lasted a quarter of a century. more..

Terrorism retarded development, brought human misery also challenged peace and stability

May 2 (AT) The Tamil people abroad, who carry out demonstrations in front of Sri Lankan embassies, and attack the High Commissions of India, say nothing about lakhs of Tamil people who have come seeking freedom. The Tamil civilians fleeing for freedom are being attacked by the weapons bought from the money of these very Tamils living abroad. more..

Lanka war CD impact worries Congress

May 2 (EB) Scenes of explosions, gory deaths, wailing women and long lines of refugees herded like cattle, against the background of a grippingly narrated poem form the contents of a CD that is making the Congress party uncomfortable. “Ini enna seyya pogirom” (What are we going to do now?) is the title of a CD published by the Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (PDK). The CD, in wide circulation now, appeals to voters to vote against the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. more..

The Trauma of the Thamil Diaspora

May 2 (MN) The Thamil Diapora which has nourished and nurtured the Tiger Movement for years has come to a moment of almost delusional denial. Even six or seven months ago, the diaspora Pundits and some "defense experts" claimed that Killinochchci (Giranikke), the erst-while capital capital of the so-called "De facto Eelam" (DFE), would prove to be the "Stalingrad" of the Sri Lankan Army. more..

Tamil Nadu parties posture over plight of Sri Lankan Tamils

May 2 (wsws) The plight of the Tamils of Sri Lanka has emerged as a major issue in India’s election campaign, particularly in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where the Tamil-speaking population has centuries’ old cultural and family ties with the island Tamils. In recent days, the leaders of the dominant parties in the state, the Tamil ethnically-based DMK and AIADMK have sought to outdo each other in posturing as defenders of the Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Sri Lankan missions to collect aid

May 2 (Gulf) The Sri Lankan diplomatic missions in the UAE have requested its community members to come forward and render a helping hand to the humanitarian situation arising as a result of the current development in northern Sri Lanka. The aid will be directed to the IDPs who have been pouring into the controlled areas from the uncleared areas. The consulate will start its aid collection from May 15 from 9am to 12:30pm and from 5pm to 7pm at the consulate premises. more..

Sri Lanka - China's Israel in Indian Ocean

May 2 (LG) The Western powers are making major mistakes in its dealings with Sri Lanka while China is making the best usage of it. In Sri Lanka, China had found a vital ally. Sri Lanka will become an important point in the future East- West power struggles. The major mistake that the Western world committed was to allow the vicious Tamil Diaspora to infiltrate into the Western societies. more..

Ravanaa Album – Rocking the music world and healing the ethnic wounds

May 2 (LG) ‘Ravanaa’ Album is the first ever music album produced by Srinath Ramalingam which is all set to rock the music world this May 1st through various online media and Shakthi FM radio station. “ First of all the album name is called “Ravanaa” because I’d always had a great impression on King Ravanaa from the epic drama Ramayana and he represents Sri Lanka,” according to Srinath. more..

Three decades of incessant conflict

May 2 (LG) In 2006, LTTE could have never imagined that the fighting which started as a mere skirmish with the Sri Lankan Army over its attempt to block water supplies to the Sinhalese farmers in eastern Sri Lanka would eventually turned out to be their Waterloo. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the violence that accompanied the civil war witnessed death and destruction at an unprecedented level throughout the country. more..

Time to win the peace

May 2 (LG) There are chances that the LTTE could bounce back, with or without Prabhakaran in another form, if the Sinhalas and President Rajapakse don’t show magnanimity in their hour of victory. In recent times, Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated that military victory over an insurgency prone State, or even a non-State, means nothing as a peace enforcing measure. So, whether or not the Sri Lankan Army's victory over the LTTE could bring peace to more..

Let us salute the great nations that genuinely helped us fight terrorism

May 2 (MoD) Sri Lanka is about to conclude her war against terror. The ordeal that about 19 million people have been living with for more than quarter of a century is about to be over. It would never be too early to express our gratitude to all the great nations who genuinely helped us to come this far in this historic battle. Because, the value of a sincere friend would never be so felt, as when one is beset by a group of hypocrites. more..

CPA Spokeswoman on the conflict

'UNOSAT Data on Sri Lanka: Interpretation not substantiated with out ground verifications'

May 2 (MoD) The image analysis (circulated and provided to Al-Jazeera TV) was done with WorldView-1 & QuickBird satellite imagery (by UNOSAT) which are acquired from 450 - 500 Km from the earth. Most of the analysis was done probably based on object oriented classification algorithm which interprets an image based on size, shape, colour and other attributes of ground features and more..

Troops on Search Operations Find Terrorists’ Useable RCL

May 2 (GDI) 57 DIVISION troops continuing to conduct extensive searches further deep into newly-liberated KUPPIKULAM, PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU areas for the first time uncovered a useable 106 mm Recoilless Rifle (RCL) that had been kept meticulously intact inside a lonely house for eventual use by evicted Tiger terrorists. The RCL, kept hidden in the entire sitting room of a large house, believed to have been more..

Flashback to a psycho's killings

May 2 (LNP) Among the civilians who fled the LTTE-held no fire zone yesterday were the slain deputy leader of the LTTE Mahattaya`s widow and children. Their escape reminds us of the brutal execution of Mahattaya (nom de guerre of Gopalasamy Mahendraraja), which sheds light on Prabhakaran`s fratricidal killings to ward off threats and challenges to his leadership. Mahattaya, a baby faced homicidal maniac just like his chum Prabhakaran, more..

Rejecting Bildt, one way winds and concerns over conflict regulation

May 2 (GV) The most recent controversy in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations popped up with news reports on Sri Lanka’s apparent ‘rejection’ of entry clearance to Swedish Foreign Minister the Hon. Carl Bildt. Minister Bildt, a senior Swedish politician and former Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994, was supposed to visit Sri Lanka on Wednesday 29 April 2009, accompanied by his French and British counterparts, Bernard Kouchner and David Miliband. more..

M.I.A. Makes the TIME 100

May 2 (TC) It's funny to think of M.I.A. as influential, because I don't think she ever set out to be influential. The great thing about her is that she doesn't have some global plan. She just has things she cares about and is interested in, from all over the world. She hears huge beats from Angola. She finds a DJ doing amazing stuff in Baltimore. She hears about Aboriginal kids rapping in Australia and thinks nothing of getting on a plane to convince them to do a verse on her song. more..

President Rajapakse must create democratic space for Tamils

May 2 (TC) The election to the Western Provincial Council concluded last week confirms what the earlier elections in the Central and North Western Provinces had indicated. The main issue which has influenced the electorate appears to have been the conduct of the war in the Vanni. People voted according to their perception of how the Government was conducting the war. more..

Awaited "end" of LTTE brings "new" tourists to Sri Lanka

May 2 (TC) The tourism industry is suddenly doing much better than expected. All hopes were that with the end of the war against terror and the defeat of the LTTE, tourism would bounce back in Sri Lanka. The inquiries from the travel trade abroad were increasing and many expected that the industry would be in good shape by the coming Kandy Esala Perahera. But all of these projections suddenly appear to have been too much on the conservative side, to judge from what is happening today. more..

Sri Lanka shells into conflict zone despite her assurance to stop – US Envoy to UN Susan Rice

May 2 (AT) "Despite the Government of Sri Lanka’s promise to suspend combat operations, multiple accounts indicate that shelling into the conflict zone continues. We have also received reports of alarming number of civilian casualties," said Dr. Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations on the Situation in Sri Lanka in the UN Security Council Consultations April 30. more..

Who is earning 500% commissions uncontrollably even by the President

May 2 (LeN) While the insurance company charges eight Dinars as insurance fee per a housemaid sent to Kuwait from Sri Lanka, the commission taken is reportedly 42 Dinars from the insurance premium of the Sri Lankan housemaids sent to Kuwait. The commission is well over 500% swift bucks. This insurance scheme was arranged by the Ministry of Foreign Employment promotion and Welfare. The insurance fee is around Rs. 3200 while the commission is Rs. 16,800 per each policy. more..

Navy bids adieu to 12 valiant SBS braves

May 2 (DW) The progress of the 53, 58 and TF-8 troops have been hit by seasonal extremities in Vellamullaivaikkaal. Marching from north of Mullaitivu to south of Mullaitivu is a particularly difficult choice for the infantry. Experienced officers know that the Mullaitivu coast is particularly harsh during the months of May, June and July when the winds raise dust storms and the sun beats down on you whenever there's a break from the heavy downpour. more..

Kovil festival halted following Sinhalese objections

May 2 (CT) The annual festival of Sri Muttumari Amman Kovil in Rakwana has been abandoned following objections by Sinhalese people of the area, 'Ravaya' reports. Protestors had gone to the houses of the kovil's trustees and said they opposed the two-week long event that had been due to begin on April 28. Later, the ASP of Ratnapura has called for a meeting, where the Sinhalese had vehemently opposed to the festival being conducted, said the newspaper. more..

'We won’t allow any intl interference'

May 2 (Island) An estimated crowd of around 10,000 people attended the JVP’s May Day rally yesterday at Campbell Park in Borella. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said they will not allow any international forces to interfere into internal affairs of the country. He said India and few other countries always tried to interfere when LTTE was crushed, but this time if they attempt to do so the JVP would come to the front as a peoples’ force. more..

Moneragala town gripped by murders

May 2 (CT) Moneragala town is reportedly gripped by fear that has been brought about due to more than 40 murders that have been blamed on 'paramilitaries.' According to 'Ravaya', the latest killings had taken place on April 27 (one killing) and April 29 (two killings). Quoting people of the area, the newspaper said a motorcycle gang was responsible for these murders, some of them committed in broad daylight. more..

Final exam results of Medical Faculty suspended

May 2 (CT) The Colombo, Sri Lanka Medical Faculty has suspended the results of its final examination following a complaint that a question paper had been leaked to a female student. A group of medical students have lodged the complaint, which is now under investigation, 'Ravaya' reports quoting Medical Faculty sources. This is the first time such a complaint has been made, although more..

Food shortage in uncleared areas - TNA

May 2 (CT) The TNA claims civilians in uncleared areas of the Wanni are facing a severe food shortage, 'Ravaya' reports. Party MP K. Thurairatnam has said he had come know of this situation through his colleague S. Kanagaratnam who is in the area. Fighting there had made it impossible to find a place to unload supplies being transported by ship, he has said. The TNA MP has also said civilians who are now in areas under military control are reluctant to express their ideas freely even to the international community.

Impudence won't do - Mangala

May 2 (CT) SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera says the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is not a problem that can be solved through 'cheap impudence.' The world community's watching audacious acts of the country's leader has brought disrepute to the nation, Mr. Samaraweera told the media recently. Tamils across the globe have risen up against the sorry plight of their brethren in the island, and even those who oppose the LTTE like Jeyalalitha of Tamil Nadu have expressed support for an Eelam state for Tamils, he said. more..

Another earth bund captured

May 2 (DN) The advance of the troops towards the remaining areas under the control of the LTTE is set to be expedited with the 58 Division troops capturing another earth bund yesterday paving the way for the 53 Division advancing along the A-35 road to join with the 58 Division and advance further southwards in the No Fire Zone. Troops of the 58 Division captured this heavily fortified earth bund which had been constructed obstructing the troop advance along the A-35 road more..

Swine flu screening at Bandaranaike International Airport

May 2 (DN) Stringent screening measures has been put in place, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo, as a precautionary measure to prevent the 'swine flu' virus entering the country, officials said yesterday. An Airport and Aviation Services spokesman said that they have taken a number of steps to prevent the entry of the virus, including screening visitors from countries where the outbreak has been reported. more..

'Communal harmony vital for peace'

May 2 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka should resolve the crisis in the North by establishing peace among all communities without letting this situation to spread to the international arena. Mr. Wickremesinghe speaking at a ceremony held to mark the 16th death anniversary of President Ranasinghe Premadasa said the lack of peace among the different communities has made the national issue in Sri Lanka leapfrog into the international arena. more..

Company director bailed in Rs. 100m fraud case

May 2 (DN) A director of Freedom of High Seas Enterprises who was remanded for allegedly misappropriating Rs.100 million was granted bail in Rs. ten million bond with two sureties, by the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Nisantha Hapuarachchi. In an anticipatory bail application of C. Weerasinghe the judge released her on bail in a bond of Rs. ten million with two sureties. more..

Lone gunman robs bus passengers

May 2 (Island) A man boarded the Colombo bound Anuradhapura bus in the early hours yesterday (1) threatened the passengers and got another passenger to collect all the money in their possession. Later when the passengers raised cries he opened fire with a T-56 rifle concealed in a bag he brought along with him and got away. Four passengers including a young girl were injured in the shooting and admitted to Anuradhapura Hospital. more..

Massive land grab by politicos - Minister complains

May 2 (Island) Lands Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga yesterday said that 2,560 hectares of land belonging to Land Reclamation Commission had been grabbed by several politicians and their supporters. But, no legal action had been taken against the culprits by the Commission so far, Minister Kumaratunga told The Island adding that some officials of the Commission had tried to prevent this information leaking out. more..

Bombshell pictures: Govt. protests to UN

May 2 (DM) The government yesterday summoned United Nations Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne to seek an explanation after a sensitive UN document containing satellite images of Sri Lanka’s safe zone was ‘leaked’ to the media. “We asked the UN to investigate how such a sensitive document was released to the media,” Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the Daily Mirror soon after he met Mr. Buhne in Colombo. more..

At last a new dumping ground for CMC

May 2 (DM) The Colombo City is facing a fresh crisis with the stopping of garbage dumping at the Madampitiya site for the past few days. An official from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) told the Daily Mirror that the dumping at Madampitiya site had to be stopped following protests by the residents of the area. This is the second time the CMC had to stop dumping garbage as the intervention from Minister Mervyn Silva made them stop dumping at the Peliyagoda site. more..

Sri Lanka IMF loan would not be delayed on politics: central bank

May 2 (LBO) Technical levels discussions for Sri Lanka's International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan have now been finalized and with the UN Security Council also not standing in the way, there would be no further delays, a senior central banker said. Media reports indicated the United States, which has substantial say in IMF decision-making, could delay a 1.9 billion US dollar IMF balance of payments support loan to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka journalist detention highlighted by Obama

May 2 (LBO) US President Barack Obama said he was concerned about threats against the media the world over, and mentioned the plight of Sri Lankan journalist J S Tissainayagam who has been detained for over a year. "In every corner of the globe, there are journalists in jail or being actively harassed: from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, Burma to Uzbekistan, Cuba to Eritrea," Obama said in a statement marking World Press Freedom Day on May 3. more..

Sri Lanka railway says needs higher fares

May 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run railway needs to charge higher fares and compete with road transport on a level playing field in order to avoid losses, its general manager Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said. He said he was trying to turnaround Sri Lanka Railways through changes in fares and better management. The department has recommended a fare hike but it depends on government policy, he said. more..

Sri Lankans critical of envoys

May 2 (AJ) A rash of new posters has recently appeared around Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, criticising Western diplomats. The caption below the photographs of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, David Miliband, the British foreign secretary and Erik Solheim, the Norwegian minister of international development, says "Wanted for aiding and abetting terrorism". The Western envoys had in previous weeks called for a pause in the Sri Lankan government's assault more..

Doctor: 64 dead in shelling of Sri Lanka hospital

May 2 (AP) Artillery shells hit a makeshift hospital in Sri Lanka's northern war zone Saturday, killing at least 64 civilians, a government doctor and a rebel-linked Web site said, amid growing international pressure to safeguard thousands of civilians trapped in the area. The TamilNet Web site accused government forces of shelling the hospital at Mullivaaykkaal. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara denied the accusation, more..

Sri Lanka's top Tamil ally urges surrender of Tigers

May 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top Tamil political force appealed Saturday for a way for cornered Tiger rebels to surrender to a third party and save tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone. The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), a pro-government party, urged President Mahinda Rajapakse to name an international agency to which the Tamil Tiger guerrillas could hand over their weapons in exchange for an amnesty. more..