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Japanese PM asks Sri Lanka to seek reconciliation with Tamils

May 19 (PTI) Japan, the largest aid donor to Sri Lanka, on Tuesday asked Colombo to seek "political reconciliation" with the Tamils following the end of the decades-long civil strife in the country. During a telephonic talk, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek "political reconciliation with the minority Tamils following the end of the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger separatist rebels," more..

Sri Lanka's untold story

May 19 (guardian) Sri Lankan military killed thousands of Tamil civilians over the past few months (not to mention the years before) using the full might of its fire power by way of artillery and air strikes. It has, with intent, starved its own people by refusing to send food and medicine in sufficient quantities and in adequate frequencies. Crucially, this genocide by the Sri Lankan state has been enabled by the international community, including Britain. more..

Police hurt as UK Tamil protests turn violent

May 19 (Times) Twenty-five police officers were injured in the early hours of this morning and ten British Tamil protesters arrested as police attempted to break up a demonstration blocking the streets around Westminster. The violent clashes took place hours after the Sri Lankan government announced victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels and the death of all the main Tiger leadership. The clashes outside Parliament left three officers requiring hospital treatment, more..

Sri Lanka confirms Prabhakaran dead

May 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military on Tuesday said Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran's body had been found, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged Tamils to join in rebuilding a nation split by a 25-year separatist war. Footage broadcast on Sri Lankan TV showed what appeared to be the corpse of the man who plunged the Indian Ocean island nation into one of the world's most intractable wars, his eyes open, face bloated and the top of his head blown off. more..

After the Tigers' defeat, the abuse of Tamils must stop

May 19 (Guardian) History is littered with the ruined reputations of national leaders who thought they had won a great military victory only to squander it by self-congratulation and stupidity. Whether Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapakse, joins their number has yet to be seen, but the triumphant speech he will shortly make to his fellow citizens will be an important signal of the path he is choosing. more..

Appeal to free Sri Lanka doctors

May 19 (BBC) International human-rights groups have appealed for the release of three Sri Lankan doctors accused of giving false information to the media. The doctors had been staffing makeshift hospitals on a shrinking patch of land where the Sri Lankan army isolated Tamil Tiger rebels. With journalists banned from the conflict zone, they became an important source of news about the conflict. Sri Lankan officials announced the arrest of the doctors on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka fallout hits Australia

May 19 (Age) The Sri Lankan high commissioner to Australia has suggested that members of the Tamil Tigers were behind a vicious attack on two students who had acid thrown on their faces during a home invasion. The fallout from the attack in Sydney, which police say was politically motivated, came as Immigration Minister Chris Evans said he expected to see more asylum seekers from Sri Lanka as "the violence and the displacement take effect". more..

Sri Lanka promise to protect Tamil minority

May 19 (Age) A TRIUMPHANT Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has declared his country liberated from Tamil Tiger rebels after a 26-year sectarian war and has promised to develop a solution to meet the political aspirations of the Tamil minority. In the televised speech to the Sri Lankan parliament, Mr Rajapaksa said the war had been against the Tamil Tigers and not the Tamil people. more..

Protesters doubt leader's death

May 19 (NP) Although protesters rejected reports that the leader of the Tamil Tigers has been killed, the crowd that gathered along University Avenue yesterday was smaller and their chants more subdued than previous manifestations in the city in the past few weeks. Several hundred Tamil supporters lined the streets outside the U. S. Consulate General in front of a line of police, some on horseback. more..

Minister Muralitharan identifies Prabhakaran's body

May 19 (CT) Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has positively identified the body of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, reports said. The minister today (May 19) visited the location at Vellamullivaikkal in Mullaitivu where the body of Prabhakaran is being kept. Karuna is one-time ally of the Tiger chief and former head of the outfit for eastern province.

President says country free from terror

May 19 (AP) President declared his country "liberated from separatist terror" Tuesday as state television broadcast images of the Tamil Tiger rebel leader's body after it was recovered from the battlefield. But in his victory address to parliament, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared to reach out to the minority Tamils, for whom the rebels had said they were trying to carve out a homeland. He also alluded to promises to forge a power-sharing agreement with them. more..

Sri Lanka hails victory as TV shows rebel's 'body'

May 19 (AFP) President proclaimed victory over the Tamil Tigers on Tuesday after decades of civil war, with state television showing what it said was the corpse of rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The images were shown after the Tigers announced the guerrilla leader was still alive and well, and that they would continue fighting for a separate Tamil homeland despite President Mahinda Rajapakse's call to unite the nation. more..

Prabakaran death: Vigil tightened in south India

May 20 (PTI) Tamil Nadu remained under heightened security after Sri Lankan Army recovered the body of LTTE chief V Prabakaran on Tuesday as neighbouring Kerala and Karnataka stepped up vigil to check infiltration of LTTE cadres. Armed personnel from paramilitary and state police have been posted at the office and the residence of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner, the Mahabodhi Society and the offices of Sri Lankan Airlines and Bank of Ceylon here, police said. more..

Prabakaran ignored pleas to shun violence: Karuna

May 20 (PTI) Velupillai Prabakaran met with a violent death as he never ignored pleas to shun violence and join the mainstream by rejecting recent overtures from the Government for a peaceful settlement, a former close confidant of the slain LTTE chief said on Tuesday. Col. Karuna, the LTTE commander of the Eastern region before he fell out with Prabhakaran in 2004, said he identified Prabakaran's body in the 'No Fire Zone' in northern Lanka. more..

Two days, two theories; how did Prabhakaran die?

May 20 (IBN) LTTE chief Prabhakaran appears to have been killed, putting an end to a long and bloody offensive by the army. But even as pictures of the Prabhakaran's corpse flashed on screens across the world, some questions remained unanswered, even by top army officials and Lankan diplomats. For instance, how exactly was Prabhakaran killed and why was the body found in a no-fire zone, when the army claimed they had trapped him in a 300 square meter area? more..

Winning the Tamils -- a challenge awaiting Sri Lanka

May 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has seen the end of its three decades full of a brutal civil war. But what of the future? It is time to rebuild the island of 20 million people more particularly the war ravaged northern and eastern regions. Among the foremost needs are to improve living conditions in the Tamil regions and bring separatists and Tamil minority nationalists into the political process. more..

U.N. chief to visit Sri Lanka for first-hand look

May 20 (Reuters) The head of the United Nations called on Tuesday for national reconciliation in Sri Lanka and said he would visit the country this week for a first-hand look at displacement camps and the former war zone. "I am relieved by the conclusion of the military operation but I am deeply troubled by the loss of so many civilian lives," he said. more..

'India to send special envoys to Sri Lanka'

May 20 (IANS) With Sri Lanka's military offensive against the Tamil Tigers coming to an end, India said Tuesday it would send send special envoys to Colombo and is also preparing a Rs.500 crore (Rs.5 billion) package to help in the rehabilitation of Tamil civilians displaced in the fighting. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, reacting to the news of the end of the military operation in Sri Lanka, told reporters that while 'the rehabilitation of the IDPs' (Tamil civilians) was urgently required, more..

Sporadic violence in Tamil Nadu after Prabhakaran's death

May 20 (IANS) Violent protests erupted in parts of Tamil Nadu Tuesday following the death of Tamil Tiger chief V. Prabhakaran and other top leaders of the terrorist outfit in Sri Lanka. In Vellore, 135 km from here, members of the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) organised a sit-in during which some buses were stoned. Around 90 prisoners in Coimbatore Central Jail went on hunger strike to protest the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka by the army there. more..

LTTE: What I wrote in May 2008

May 20 (LG) The termination of the 2002 cease-fire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and of the role of the foreign cease-fire monitors and facilitators underlines the determination of the Government of Sri Lanka not to let anything stand in the way of its military operations against the LTTE reaching their logical conclusion. more..

Iran congratulates Sri Lanka on defeating terrorism

May 20 (LG) The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki telephoned Foreign Minister Bogollagama today (19th May), to extend his warm congratulations to the President, the Foreign Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka on the success achieved by Sri Lanka in defeating LTTE terrorism. The Iranian Foreign Minister said that Iran has maintained close relations with Sri Lanka and has always condemned terrorism and, more..

End of the Eelam War

May 20 (LG) The resistance of the enfeebled LTTE cadres to the military offensive of the government of Sri Lanka against their shrinking stronghold at Vellamullaivaikkal, a hamlet on the northeast coast of the island about five miles north of the town of Mullaitivu, ended on May 17, 2009. The pyrrhic finale was featured by a series of massive explosions around the bunkers in which the LTTE leaders are believed to have been holed up. more..

Tamil Diaspora: Help the IDPs with the remaining funds meant for LTTE

May 20 (LG) In my letter titled “An Appeal to Tamil Diaspora” I appealed the senior pro LTTE Tamil Diaspora to send their children to NFZ in Mullaithivu to join LTTE’s depleting fighting cadre as Prabhakaran needed numbers to face the front line operation for them to escape. However, that need doesn’t arise any more as the war is over, LTTE terrorist organization is defeated ,its leaders including Velupillai Prabhakaran are dead and gone and the misery of the Tamils living in Sri Lanka is almost over. more..

Food and medical crisis in Mullivaikal

May 20 (LG) I wish to congratulate you for being responsible for the defeat of the LTTE and for bringing back peace to the country, by eradicating terrorism. No one can dispute the fact that the terrorist activities kept every one in this country under constant fear and tension for more than quarter of a century. Sri Lanka should remember with gratitude all those who contributed for the defeat of the LTTE. more..

Dead or alive, Prabhakaran lingers on

May 20 (LG) With the death of V Prabhkakaran curtains came down on the LTTE as a viable military entity in the Eelam War IV on Sunday May 17, 2009. He had little chance of survival as troops from three divisions of Sri Lanka Security Forces swept through Prabhakaran’s last hideout in the strip of barely a few hundred metres, north of Mullaitivu. Along with him his trusted lieutenants Pottu Amman, the intelligence chief and veteran leader Soosai more..

Sri Lanka business chamber sees economic revival with war's end

May 20 (LBO) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the Sri Lankan government's victory over Tamil Tiger rebels enables it to turn its efforts towards reviving the economy. "This victory demonstrates the true capabilities of the people of the country when provided with proper leadership and direction," the chamber said in a statement a day after government forces crushed the last rebel resistance and killed rebel leaders. more..

Defiant Tamils in Britain cling to dream of homeland

May 20 (AFP) The protest banners hung limply in the rain but members of Britain’s sizeable Tamil community were defiant Tuesday after their dream of an independent homeland appeared crushed. “I am incredibly sad today, and angry, but I know we will have our own land one day. We just cannot ever live with the Sinalhese,” said Nada Balasubramaniam, 67, referring to Sri Lanka’s majority population. more..

Tamil doubts over rebel leader's death

May 20 (BBC) The Sri Lankan military has released pictures of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran which it says prove conclusively that he is dead. State and private stations aired footage of what they said was the body of Prabhakaran, along with what looked like his Tamil Tiger identity card and tag. The army says his body has been positively identified with DNA testing. But rebel sympathisers say questions remain about when and how he and other rebel leaders were killed, and more..

Lesson in history: How LTTE failed its people

May 20 (IBN) The quickest way to end a war is to lose one, but the Sri Lankans took 25 years to fell Prabhakaran and at enormous cost. Over 1 lakh civilians, 22,000 soldiers and 30,000 LTTE rebels were killed in the war and these are numbers that will now remain the vital stats of Asia's longest war. But behind these numbers is the tale of the rise and fall of the world's most dreaded terrorist organisation - LTTE - reduced from 15,000 square kilometres to a 60 X 40 box. more..

India paid dearly playing with LTTE fire

May 20 (IBN) When he saw pictures of Prabhakaran shot dead, Lt Gen Harkirat Singh said this was not the Prabhakaran he knew. As the first commander of the IPKF in Sri Lanka in 1987, Lt Gen Harkirat had studied his enemy closely. "It's hard to believe that Prabhakaran didn't swallow the cyanide capsule and they found him so easily. Before we could grab any LTTE member, they would swallow cyanide so our first aim would be to catch their hands and not let them swallow the capsule," says he. more..

Celebrations in Colombo

Sri Lanka Triumphant At Last

May 20 (HP) The 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers -- the so-called LTTE -- is over and Sri Lanka is at last and thankfully at peace. In spite of the slaughter, using their own people as human shields, creating the largest, bloodiest hostage drama of modern times, the Tigers have at long last been defeated. Their leader killed. The government in Colombo has finally reasserted control of the nation. more..

India to seek evidence from Sri Lanka to shut Gandhi murder case

May 20 (IANS) India will seek forensic evidence from Sri Lanka to confirm the deaths of Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his intelligence head to finally close the case on the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi 18 years ago. Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman, who oversaw all covert killings in the LTTE, were the last of two suspects still wanted in India for the killing of Gandhi, who was blown up by a woman suicide bomber at an election rally near Chennai May 21, 1991. more..

Provide relief to Sri Lankan Tamils: Karunanidhi to Manmohan, Sonia

May 20 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take steps for the relief and rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka following reports of the killing of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran. Karunanidhi made the request to Gandhi during his meeting with her at 10, Janpath. The DMK chief had come to Delhi to formally extend his party's support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in government formation. more..

Church leaders call for healing, aid as war ends

May 20 (UCAN) The Catholic Church and the state now face the challenge of helping Sri Lankans pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of the fighting between government forces and Tamil separatists, say Catholic leaders. We have to focus now on "healing the wounds of people rather than the celebration of victory," said Father Nihal Ivan Perera as fireworks in celebration of the end of the decades-long war went off as he celebrated Sunday evening Mass on May 17. more..

End of Tigers' tale

May 20 (TA) By the military's account, it was a humiliating end for one of the world's most enduring rebel soldiers. Huddled in the back of an ambulance with two senior aides, Tamil Tiger founder and commander Velupillai Prabhakaran did not die by his own hand, as he so instructed many thousands of recruits to his Tamil separatist movement. Instead he was felled by a military commando's bullet as he attempted to escape Sri Lanka's northern battlefield, more..

Tamil-Canadians continue pressing Ottawa to intervene in Sri Lanka

May 20 (CP) Tamil-Canadians say they will keep up demands for Ottawa to intervene in Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, even though the south Asian country's government has declared victory. The Canadian Tamil Congress says Prime Minister Stephen Harper should send a strong message to the Sri Lankan government to let aid groups, media and independent monitors into the war zone. The congress is asking Canada to send a team to assist in humanitarian efforts in the conflict areas, more..

Wanni Operation 19th May

Tamil Tigers the real culprits behind Sri Lankan War

May 20 (Telegraph) During the dawn hour of July 27, 1975, Velupillai Prabhakaran viciously desecrated the Jaffna city and its citizens by the horrendous killing of Mayor Alfred Duryappah, a kindly good man adored by the people of this city which also had a considerable population of Muslims as well. Prabhakaran at that time was hardly twenty years old, a school drop out from Grade Eight and was meddling with revolvers and pistols. more..

How Sri Lanka should decide Sri Lanka’s future & role of minorities

May 20 (AT) No sooner victory is announced the next call again returns to demand when the Government is to implement a political solution. In this frenzy again dominated by western forces the Government needs to make sure it is not hurried into actions that in hindsight we will end up regretting. First, the people of Sri Lanka need to accept that the LTTE was a common enemy of Sri Lanka and this acceptance will provide the foundation to move forward on a positive note. more..

LTTE vs. Taliban

May 20 (AT) Indian officials must have found an American allegation that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam is to India what the Taliban is to Pakistan too ridiculous to dignify it with a rebuttal. Of course, the allegation was not made by the US administration but a ‘prestigious think tank’, called Stratfor, which is based in Texas, and so it was perhaps not necessary for the Government of India to take not of it. more..

Best Ever Opportunity for Lasting Unity

May 20 (AT) The friends of Sri Lanka’s terrorism have not given up yet—and some of them will hardly give up, of course—even after the dramatic collapse of the LTTE. Predictably, their plan now is to focus on the long-term objectives of how to inject a new life to terrorism in future by creating communal tension between the Sinhalese and the Tamil races. The gloomy future these enemies of peace are striving to paint says it all. more..

Senate Foreign Relations on Sri Lanka

May 20 (BG) The leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a joint statement today to mark the apparent end of the decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka with the government's victory over the rebel Tamil Tigers. The statement is from Committee chairman John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, ranking Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont. more..

Swiss call for political dialogue in Sri Lanka

May 20 (SI) The Swiss government has welcomed the end of the armed conflict in the north of Sri Lanka. It regretted however that international humanitarian law had been violated and appealed to all parties to comply with and to ensure respect for international regulations and obligations. "Switzerland calls on Sri Lanka to grant rapid and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to the distressed population, particularly for IDPs," more..

British PM urges Sri Lanka to give displaced Tamils aid

May 20 (AFP) Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tuesday he had urged Sri Lanka's president to ensure thousands of people displaced by the army's victory over the Tamil Tigers receive humanitarian aid. Brown said he had spoken to President Mahinda Rajapakse by telephone "in the last day" and also called on him to involve Tamils in an inclusive political future for the country. more..

Sri Lanka after Prabhakaran

May 20 (LM) The secessionist wind has stilled in Sri Lanka. With the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran and the top leadership of the LTTE, the country can look forward to a future of peace and development. There are, however, roadblocks on the road to peace and tranquillity. To enjoy the fruits of military victory, it is important that Colombo consider Sri Lankan Tamils as partners in progress and not merely throw some crumbs at them. more..

In peacetime Sri Lanka can tap India

May 20 (Telegraph) The best way to quiet remaining dissent is through rapid economic growth. In recent years Sri Lanka has achieved reasonable economic results in spite of its civil war. If peace has now arrived, a more rapid surge towards prosperity is possible. One way forward would be to become India's low-tax, high-skilled neighbour – like Taiwan's relationship with China. With GDP of $4,300 a head in purchasing power parity terms, Sri Lanka is more prosperous than more..

LTTE chief tried to save his life until the last moment, says military

May 20 (Hindu) Soldiers in the war zone, who were till recently engaged in pitched battles with the LTTE, could be seen congratulating and hugging one another as Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka confirmed the death of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran. The announcement on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa said: “A few hours ago on Tuesday morning our ground troops confirmed that more..

For him no sacrifice was too great for the objective of Eelam

May 20 (Hindu) Under the leadership of Velupillai Prabakaran, who has been killed aged 54 during fighting with the Sri Lankan army, the LTTE were moulded, and refined, into one of the world’s deadliest insurgent groups, and rigid discipline was instilled through his personal example. The LTTE of Sri Lanka, the “Tamil Tigers,” would become the progenitors of modern suicide bombing. more..

Letters to the Editor: LTTE’s defeat

May 20 (Hindu) Prabakaran’s killing brings to an end an era in Sri Lanka’s history. Had he been wise enough to use the opportunity offered by the ceasefire in 2002, the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka would have had a representative provincial government today. Lt Col RVS Mani (retd.), Madurai. The LTTE’s decimation reinforces the historical truth that any revolution, violent or otherwise, however lofty its ideals, more..