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Letters to the Editor: End of war

May 20 (Hindu) This refers to the editorial “End of the war” (May 19). With the killing of Velupillai Prabakaran and other top LTTE leaders, the three decades-old civil war has ended in Sri Lanka. But the ethnic issue is still alive. The LTTE’s exit has made way for a just solution. Ending a civil war is not just about defeating the insurgents. It is also about bringing about reconciliation. more..

President seeks compromise after war

May 20 (AP) Sri Lanka's president reached out Tuesday to the Tamil minority, calling for political compromise to unify this island nation after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebel group and the death of its leader. But broad distrust between ethnic communities following a quarter century of warfare could make it difficult for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to accomplish that goal. more..

No LTTE threat, says Indian Navy Chief

May 20 (Hindu) There is no threat of infiltration or attacks against India by the LTTE, Navy Chief Sureesh Mehta said on Tuesday. Answering a question if the LTTE could resort to desperate retaliatory attacks on India after the death of its leader V. Prabakaran, Admiral Mehta said the LTTE had almost ceased to exist and never had the capacity to attack India. The Indian armed forces could handle any such attacks successfully. more..

Shocked, outraged, France’s Tamil Diaspora reacts to the news

May 20 (F24) A pall of gloom has descended on the normally bustling streets of the La Chapelle neighbourhood in Paris, a busy commercial area crammed with Sri Lankan shops, restaurants and businesses shortly after the Sri Lankan military announced that Tamil Tiger chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran had been killed. On busy rue Perdonnet, shops and restaurants have been closed since Monday when rumors of Prabhakaran’s death started to spread. more..

The Tigers' fallen leader

May 20 (F24) A shadowy and enigmatic figure, Vellupillai Prabhakaran was at the heart of Tamil militancy from the mid 1970s, when he founded the “Tamil New Tigers”, which would eventually become the LTTE. The LTTE, more commonly known as the “Tamil Tigers”, became a fearsome and well-drilled guerrilla force that controlled nearly a third of Sri Lanka at the height of its power in the mid-1990s. more..

UN human rights council to hold special Sri Lanka session

May 20 (AFP) The U.N. human rights council will hold a special session next week on the situation in Sri Lanka after the end of Asia's longest running civil war, a statement said Tuesday. "It is hoped that the holding of this special session will contribute towards the cause of peace", said Human Rights Council President Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi about Monday's meeting, fixed after a call from 17 member nations. more..

Tamil leaders 'killed as they tried to surrender'

May 20 (Independent) The desperate efforts of two senior LTTE leaders trapped in the war zone to save their lives were revealed yesterday as it emerged they were shot dead as they prepared to surrender to Sri Lankan government forces. In a flurry of emails, text messages and telephone calls that passed between NGOs, a foreign government and Sri Lankan officials in Colombo, the two LTTE political leaders frantically inquired as to how they could give themselves up. more..

Prabakaran was a megalomaniac

May 20 (Hindu) A dossier put out by the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry described the late LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabakaran, as a megalomaniac who sustained his bloodbaths after founding his organisation in May 1975, infusing eternal agony and fear psychosis into the masses. “His vicious cycle of violence commenced on July 27, 1975 after butchering Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah in a shoot-out. As the brainchild behind all those atrocities, he engineered the assassination of a Sri Lankan President, more..

Legitimate aspirations of Lankan Tamils should be addressed: Pranab

May 20 (IANS) India is concerned about the Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka and wants that their 'legitimate aspirations' should be addressed, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said. Mukherjee said he had held several rounds of talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. He also said that Rajapaksa had confirmed to him about the killing of Tamil Tigers chief V. Prabhakaran. more..

‘Extend relief in Lanka under UN supervision’

May 20 (Hindu) Welcoming the claim by Sri Lanka Government on end of 25-year-long civil war with elimination of LTTE, an expert on SAARC has called for immediate rehabilitation of war-ravaged Tamils under the supervision of United Nations. V. Sreemannarayana Murthy, Assistant Professor in Centre for SAARC Studies, told The Hindu on Tuesday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had taken the bold initiative to finish LTTE led by Velupillai Prabhakaran after the latter made his crusade directionless. more..

Fighting for pride or Eelam?

May 20 (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..

India set to counter China's influence in Lanka

May 20 (TOI) India will tell Sri Lanka that it has a definite interest in helping the island nation take on reconstruction and will be actively engaged in helping Colombo. This will be the essence of the message that foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and national security adviser M K Narayanan will give to President Mahinda Rajapaksa when they meet him on Wednesday during a day-long visit, the first after the LTTE was militarily crushed. more..

How Rajapaksa crushed LTTE ruthlessly

May 20 (TOI) Reviled by human rights groups and Tamil sympathisers throughout the world as a hawkish leader who pursued a military solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict with no concern for civilian safety, president Mahinda Rajapaksa is basking under the adulation of his people for succeeding in his determination to wipe out terrorism' from his country. Rajapaksa is a ruthless militarist to some and a great patriot to others, but more..

Son's DNA prove dead man top Tiger: Lanka

May 20 (TOI) Shortly after Tuesday noon, reports quoted Sri Lankan defence sources as saying DNA tests had confirmed that the body recovered from near the Nandikadal lagoon in north-eastern Sri Lanka earlier in the day was that of LTTE leader Prabhakaran. Close-up photographs of the face left little doubt, but how did they establish it through DNA fingerprinting? What tissue did they have to refer and compare the DNA collected from the body? more..

Tamil diaspora vows to bring Sri Lanka to its knees

May 20 (IANS) The end of the LTTE simply marks the beginning of a new phase in their struggle for independence, the Canadian Tamil Congress announced here on Monday. Confirming the deaths of top LTTE leaders, the representative body of the largest Tamil diaspora group in the world said all Tamil representative bodies in Europe and Australia will announce their future course of action Tuesday. more..

UN Secretary-General on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Victory

May 20 (WSJ) The war on terror scored a big victory this weekend with the Sri Lankan army's battlefield defeat of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The event ends one of the world's longest running civil wars. It also vindicates one of the major lessons of September 11: Most of the time, terrorists have to be defeated militarily before political accommodation is possible. more..

Sri Lanka's real challenge is to win the peace

May 20 (NP) Today: It’s (relatively) easy to win the war, but as the government of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is speedily finding out a great deal more difficult to win over the hearts and minds of the newly liberated Tamils, not to mention the rest of the world. Just to begin with, many Tamils refuse to accept the goverment’s announcement of the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, more..

United States welcomes the cessation of fighting

May 20 (USDS) The United States welcomes the cessation of fighting in Sri Lanka and the apparent conclusion to its long-running conflict. This 26-year-old conflict has cost tens of thousands of Sinhalese and Tamil lives, uprooted countless Sri Lankans from their homes, left thousands maimed or wounded, and has brutally divided the nation. The United States remains deeply concerned for the welfare of the hundreds of thousands of IDPs more..

How a guerrilla chief grew drunk on blood

May 20 (AA) He may have wallowed in luxury at the fag end of his underground life in Sri Lanka’s forested region, but there was a time when Velupillai Prabhakaran battled with hunger because he had no money to buy food. Those were the days when he was an unknown figure though he had taken the first steps into militancy. If and when the police hunt in Jaffna became too hot, Prabhakaran would sail off to Tamil Nadu. more..

Tamils' struggle faces uncertain future

Will the Tamil Tigers rise from defeat?

May 20 (NST) THE Sri Lankan army is celebrating victory as its elite forces occupy the Tamil Tigers' last refuge at the Mulathive Lagoon, thanks to Chinese military aid. Since 2007, China has equipped the Sri Lankan government with all the weapons and support the rest of the world had denied it, in return for permission to build a strategic port at Hambantota in the south. For the Sri Lankan government, this bloody victory means facing down international outrage at the civilian suffering it has caused. more..

Death of Tamil leader leaves followers confounded

May 20 (G&M) Even in death, Velupillai Prabhakaran's eyes remained his most compelling feature, wide open and clear, as though focused on a goal. For more than 30 years, Sri Lankan Tamils relied on those eyes, and the single-minded focus behind them, to achieve their goal: a separate homeland called Tamil Eelam, free from the “racist Sinhala state” that Mr. Prabhakaran had always insisted was bent on his people's destruction. more..

Sri Lankan hawk savours high point

May 20 (FT) There was a point yesterday when Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's president, was in danger of having his nationally televised victory speech overshadowed. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, who was declared dead by the military on Monday, was in fact "alive and safe", according to Tamilnet, a pro-rebel website. The report sent military propagandists scrambling for proof of the rebel leader's demise. more..

Sri Lanka on brink of catastrophe as UN aid blocked

May 20 (Times) The Sri Lankan Government has blocked access to aid workers trying to help the nearly 300,000 civilians displaced by the army’s victory over the Tamil Tigers, raising the prospect of a humanitarian catastrophe. In the capital, Colombo, President Rajapakse announced the “complete defeat” of the rebels yesterday as state television showed pictures of what was said to be the corpse of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tigers’ leader. more..

Rebel defeat: diplomatic dilemma

May 20 (Times) The Tamil Tigers’ defeat presents the democratic world with a quandary. Does it punish Sri Lanka for its brutal conduct of the war and risk hampering reconstruction efforts and pushing the island deeper into the embrace of China, Iran and other rival powers? Or should it overlook multiple alleged abuses, and risk setting a precedent for future conflicts, and dashing hopes for reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities? more..

Belief in Tamil Eelam will be harder for Sri Lanka to defeat

May 20 (Times) The young Tamil Tiger fighter walked out of the house, yawning, and got into the car beside me. He was dressed in civvies — an informal ceasefire had just begun and the Tigers and the Government had stepped down from their war footing as a sign of goodwill. A few hundred metres down the road, however, and George — presumably not his real name — stopped the car with a curse. more..

Guerrilla tactics - how the Tamil Tigers were beaten in an 'unwinnable' war

May 20 (Times) It was supposed to be the unwinnable war. For almost three decades, Sri Lanka was held up as an example of how a small democratic state with a conventional army could never defeat a well-funded and disciplined guerrilla organisation. It has proved that to be untrue. But how Sri Lanka won its victory — and whether it should be condoned or copied — is the subject of an international debate that touches on the War on Terror, the UN and the new geopolitical world order. more..

Inauguration of South Asian Women in Media - Sri Lanka Chapter

May 20 (HA) The members of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association have taken initiative to form the Sri Lanka Chapter of the SAWM (South Asian Women in Media), to facilitate the efforts of women in the media in Sri Lanka to mobilize them and take action to improve their professional status and contribute towards better representation of women and women’s perspective in the media. more..

Karunanidhi should bargain exit of habitually biased

May 20 (TN) It is a well-known fact that certain elements, belonging to a clan operating from Nehru’s time bringing in disasters to India’s foreign policy, were responsible for the second time in India committing war crimes on Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka. In forming the next government, chief minister Karunanidhi should use all his bargaining power to see that these elements never play a role again in Tamil affairs, more..

Appeal by a group of concerned Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka

May 20 (TC) We are a group of Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka, deeply troubled by the unprecedented suffering that the war has brought upon the entire Tamil population of the North and East as well as many others including Muslims and Sinhalese. The nature and scale of the recent violence has exceeded that experienced in recent decades in our once peaceful island. The LTTE and the armed services of the State have suffered severe losses. more..

Victory speech signals new assault on working people

May 20 (wsws) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse delivered a speech in parliament yesterday to proclaim the army’s victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While he cynically declared that the military had “liberated” the Tamil people from the “terrorist” LTTE, Rajapakse has inflicted nothing but death, destruction and misery on working people—Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim. more..

IC has to check militarization and Sinhalicisation of rehabilitation

May 20 (TN) Serious concerns are raised in the Tamil diaspora circles at the IC’s attempts to pour in rehabilitation aid through Colombo’s rehabilitation structure, which is completely militarized and Sinhalicised. This will only serve Colombo’s next agenda of ‘structural genocide’ of Tamils, the diaspora circles said. While rehabilitation is the immediate need, there will be an irredeemable danger if the IC is embarked upon it without more..

Mahinda’s accounts crime

May 20 (TN) Before his murderous assault on the so-called safety zone, Mahinda Rajapaksa has always been maintaining that the number of civilians there was only 70,000. But after the first bout of the capture of civilians last month, until Thursday, 247,908 civilians from the safety zone were registered in the internment camps of Vavuniyaa, Pulmoaddai, Mannaar and Jaffna. After the first bout, the Sri Lanka president was saying that only 15 to 20 thousand were remaining in the safety zone. more..

A9 highway to be opened next week

May 20 (GDI) The A9 highway is likely to open to the general public by next week, once clearance has been received from the Defence Ministry. Plans are are afoot to develop and modernize roads in the north and work on some have already commenced. The A-32 road is now under reconstruction, the Ministry of Highways revealed. Repairs have been completed on 83 kilometres on this road using local funding and more..

Austria extends a hand to displaced civilians

May 20 (GDI) The Austrian government extended € 200,000 as humanitarian aid to war-displaced civilians in the North, and, taking the initiative, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger would propose the funding to the Austrian Council of Ministers, Austrian Foreign Ministry. Michael Spindelegger said that this was in response to Sri Lanka’s appeal for assistance in uplifting the war-displaced civilians. more..

Food poisoning: 50 students hospitalized in Kekirawa

May 20 (GDI) At least 50 school children were admitted to Ampara base hospital for suspected food poisoning yesterday (19). All the affected children are from a school in Moragollagama, Kekirawa, in the North Western Province, Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said. “First, at school, it had been complains of persistent diarrhea, and later, when admitted to the hospital, it was complains of giddiness and mild abdominal pain for these children. more..

Sri Lanka’s decisive military victory over terrorism no jubilation for United States

May 20 (AT) The United States which strongly encouraged Sri Lanka to engage in political negotiations with Tamil Tigers believing the outfit’s invincibility implicitly and explicitly indicating that their total annihilation will silence the voice of the minority ethnic Tamils had no immediate reaction to the outfit’s total defeat on Monday May 18. The U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly side stepped the issue of U.S. Government congratulating Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka has a plan for peace: Why not tell the world?

May 20 (AT) The Western lecture circuit led by British Foreign Secretary David Milliband has begun where they left just prior to the Sri Lankan government’s emphatic defeat of LTTE militarism. True the victory came at a cost. Not only did terrorists, who are also sons and daughters of the Sri Lankan soil die, but many brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to the motherland they dearly loved, also died. more..

Coconut sector records 56 percent growth in export earnings

May 20 (LNP) The coconut sector in Sri Lanka showcased a 56 percent growth in export earnings to record Rs. 7,417 million from the export of coconut products in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the corresponding period in 2008. This achievement was possible despite the global recession and prevailing negative sentiments. Although a number of coconut kernel based industries were hit badly due to more..

'Deliver money for Lankan reconstruction'

May 20 (DN) “The challenge for the UK is to deliver money promised by the Blair government for reconstruction. Those Labour MPs who have Tamils in their constituencies should stop playing politics. They should tell the Diaspora to stop funding the Tigers so that ordinary Tamils can enjoy peace and rebuild their lives,” said Lord Naseby. Lord Naseby was writing in the latest issue of the Royal Commonwealth Society Magazine. more..

And miles to go

May 20 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's address to Parliament yesterday was reassuring. The defeat of the LTTE, he said, was not a defeat of the Tamil people but a great victory for them. He also answered his critics who doubt his government's commitment to eliminating the political causes of the conflict. He reiterated his desire to find a political solution but stressed that he did not wish to waste time by experimenting with remedies suggested by other countries and more..

Final assault

May 20 (FL) TO begin with, a confessional note. The current phase of the hostilities in Sri Lanka, dubbed by the government in Colombo as liberation of innocent Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE from the East and North and christened as Eelam IV by the Tigers, began in August 2006. For the first time in the course of this war, The Hindu/Frontline got attached (embedded, to borrow the famous word from the United States’ war on Iraq) with the Sri Lankan military for four days, more..

Where is Prabakaran?

May 20 (FL) THE question that is uppermost on the minds of every Sri Lanka watcher pertains to the whereabouts of the 53-year-old LTTE supremo, Velupillai Prabakaran. As the curtains fall on the conventional phase of Eelam IV and the Sri Lankan military is on the verge of ousting the remaining cadre and leaders of the LTTE from the 1.5-square-kilometre area along the Mullaithivu coast, there is no trace of Prabakaran or his family members. more..

Worries of Tamils remain though war ends

May 20 (BL) This column joins the nation in welcoming the end to the brutal war, but hastens to highlight the worry of the Tamil people: resettlement of the 265,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Vanni and their rights, nationally, and in the north and east. The Tamils are worried about the state of things in the IDP camps in the Vanni. The information they get is that the daily needs of the IDPs are not properly met. more..

UNP insulted the country with ceasefire – Govt.

May 20 (BL) Amidst the euphoria the Government called the ceasefire agreement entered by the UNP with the LTTE in 2002, as an insult to Sri Lanka’s fame and reputation as a great nation yesterday. Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarhsana Yapa made these comments at a press conference yesterday hours after the President’s triumphant address to the nation at the Parliament officially declaring the war to be over. more..

Prabakaran and LTTE: Game over

May 20 (BL) LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s body was recovered by the Sri Lanka Army yesterday morning. He was in Tiger uniform and had been killed by a sniper bullet to his forehead. The 4 Vijayaba Regiment(VIR) troops led by Lt. Col. Rohitha Aluvihare under 53 Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Kamal Goonaratne, found the body of the terrorist leader lying on the bank of the Nanthikadal lagoon. The sniper was waiting from 6:00 a.m. to take his target. more..

Govt. should run its full term – poll

May 20 (BL) An overwhelming majority (83%) say that the Government will emerge victorious at the next general election, “the administration’s successes on the military front being one of the main reasons for this prediction”. And President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also expected to taste victory at the next presidential election, with almost 90 per cent of those polled believing that he will be voted in for a second term in office. more..

President crowned the motherland with glory - SLFP

May 20 (DN) The SLFP yesterday extended its warmest greetings and good wishes to the new path of freedom the Sri Lanka motherland has started after defeating cruelty, violence and barbarism. The party in a press release issued yesterday said it would make use of this opportunity to thank Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Armed Forces chief’s including General Sarath Fonseka and more..

Dead, no doubt!

May 20 (Island) Close on the heels of pro-LTTE Tamilnet claim that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had survived Monday’s bloody military onslaught, Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka yesterday declared that his troops had found the body of the terrorist leader. General Fonseka, in a special statement aired over Rupavahini, said that he made the announcement on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and more..