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Army marks the formal end of War

Sri Lankan Tamils sombre

May 21 (Hindu) Even as people in Sri Lanka celebrated the news of Velupillai Prabakaran’s death and the decimation of the LTTE as a fighting force, the mood among the Tamils in the country was sombre. There were no scenes of joy in Wellawatta, the locality in the nation’s capital dominated by Tamils. “We have no reason to celebrate though there is no love lost between us and the LTTE. more..

Civilians tell of their wartime suffering

May 21 (Hindu) The first accounts of the suffering of civilians during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka began to emerge on Tuesday night from the camps where as many as a quarter of a million Tamils are being held behind barbed wire. Men and women described how they were shot at by the Tamil Tigers as they tried to escape the so-called no-fire zone and how a hospital was repeatedly shelled inside an area designated by the government as a safe zone. more..

Letters to the Editor: End of Prabakaran

May 21 (Hindu) The death of Velupillai Prabakaran has virtually signalled the end of an era soaked in blood and animosity. It shows that the use of violent methods is totally unacceptable in any democratic set-up. It also reinforces the fact that the politics of hate and violence is subject to the law of diminishing returns. The sympathisers of the LTTE need to introspect whether its supremo, more..

Indian envoys in Colombo

May 21 (Hindu) National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon arrived here on Wednesday for discussions with the Sri Lankan authorities on issues related to the welfare of 2.75 lakh displaced civilians and a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the island nation. The visit coincided with the silencing of guns by the Sri Lankan forces firing into the sea in Mullaithivu district to mark the formal end of Eelam War IV. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils in a post-war scenario

May 21 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan armed forces have registered a significant military triumph over the LTTE. It seems clear that the LTTE’s capacity to wage a full-fledged conventional war against the state has been critically undermined. There is a lot of anxiety and concern about the fate of Sri Lankan Tamils in a transformed situation where the LTTE has been downsized from its earlier position of being the determining factor in the Island’s politics. more..

Prabhakaran: the man is dead, the myth destroyed

May 21 (Hindu) Velupillai Prabhakaran may not have visualised his own macabre end as a mud-covered and practically naked corpse on a makeshift stretcher, but that is how it turned out to be. Despite the inherently cruel voyeurism of officially publishing the pictures of his body, Sri Lanka had to do so if only to prevent mythologies from being built around someone whose childhood hero was 'Phantom: the ghost who walks'. more..

Victorious war monk Athuraliye Rathana turns on Britain

May 21 (Times) Smiling serenely in his orange robe, the Venerable Athuraliye Rathana does not conform to the image of a warmonger. But the Buddhist monk has been one of the most powerful advocates of the military campaign against the Tamil Tigers, a conflict that the Sri Lankan Government won by adopting the guerrilla tactics — and some would argue the utter ruthlessness — of its adversaries. more..

Sri Lanka's humanitarian challenge

May 21 (BBC) People have been celebrating on the streets of Colombo - flags hoisted, fire crackers going off. But those who fled the fighting in the north-east face an uncertain future after months of trauma. Tony Senewiratne, national director for Habitat for Humanity in Sri Lanka, has just returned from a camp for displaced people and describes the humanitarian challenges ahead. As we grapple with not just the end of the war but also its origins, more..

EU offers to work with Sri Lanka to ensure sustainable political solution to conflict

May 21 (Xinhua) The European Union (EU) on Wednesday offered to work with the Sri Lankan government and the people of Sri Lanka to ensure a sustainable political solution to the conflict in the country in an inclusive process based on respect for human rights. Welcoming the convening next week of the special session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the human rights situation Sri Lanka, more..

We should boycott the callous Sri Lanka regime

May 21 (Times) The next time you buy some lingerie, a T-shirt or a pair of rubber gloves, you may want to reflect on this: they were probably made in Sri Lanka. And like it or not, your purchase plays a role in the debate over how to respond to the Sri Lankan Government's successful but brutal military campaign against the Tamil Tiger rebels, which reached its bloody climax this week. more..

Sri Lanka crisis sparks people-smuggling fears

May 21 (ABC) The Federal Government is concerned the Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis could lead to a spike in people-smuggling into Australia. The ABC has learnt the Australian Government is so concerned about the threat of people-smuggling, it has sent officials to Colombo to work with the Sri Lankan Government. The United Nations estimates that up to 300,000 Sri Lankans have been left homeless by the fighting - most of them Tamils, more..

Healing the wounds in Sri Lanka

May 21 (BG) Sri Lanka's government was right to finish off the Tamil rebels, despite the risk to and ultimate loss of civilian life. Decisively ending the civil war, which lasted 26 years and killed more than 70,000, will save more lives than were lost in the final assault. United Nations officials, Western leaders, and human rights groups had called on Sri Lanka to agree to a cease-fire to allow civilians to flee the shrinking enclave where government forces had finally hemmed in the LTTE. more..

The end of the Tamil Tigers?

May 21 (LG) The demise of the LTTE, might give a moment of passing joy to the Sinhalese, chanting in the streets of Colombo at the quashing of ‘terrorism’ on the island, but such relief will be short lived. Images have been released showing the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, slain as he was trying to flee, though the material can’t, as yet, be verified. This is, however, academic. more..

'HRC session on Sri Lanka ill-timed and unwarranted'

May 21 (LG) The convening of a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to discuss ‘The human rights situation in Sri Lanka” is ill-timed and unwarranted is the view of the Sri Lanka Government. The Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said the realities in Sri Lanka, where more than 250,000 civilians had been liberated from the clutches of the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world, and more..

Tigers gone, time for reconciliation

May 21 (LG) Adolf Hitler, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Saddam Hussein, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Megalomaniacs all who scripted some of the most violent chapters of 20th century history, their ends bearing an uncanny similarity — all incredibly powerful men with an equally incredible and loyal following, hounded to lonely and violent deaths when their fortune and time ran out. more..

Be aware LTTE shadow is penetrating in Liberal Party of Canada

May 21 (LG) This is the story of three musketeers in Ontario Liberal party of Canada who are buddies to each other’s front of public but they stab each other’s back for their own benefits too. Who are these musketeers? They are Vijay Chappani, Neethan Shan and Theodore Antony, these so call gentlemen were front line speakers in all Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), evens to obtain their best to cover Sri Lankan Tamil votes to get their nominations for candidates. more..

Pakistan felicitates Sri Lanka on great victory over terrorism

May 21 (LG) Pakistan has felicitated the Government of Sri Lanka on the achievement of the “great victory over terrorism”. This congratulatory message was conveyed to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hussein A. Bhaila by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan who telephoned the latter yesterday. Speaking further, the Pakistan State Minister stated that Pakistan has always been a steadfast friend of Sri Lanka and more..

UNP should oppose war crime charges - Sajith

May 21 (CT) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa wants his party to fully oppose interferences and charges by the world community against the Sri Lankan government of having committed war crimes in the war against the LTTE. The Hambantota district parliamentarian was speaking at a meeting of the party's politburo. A proposal by Mr. Premadasa to commend the government and the armed forces for having eliminated the LTTE was seconded by party chairman Rukman Senanayake. more..

TNA MP Kanagasabai passes away

May 21 (CT) TNA MP for Ampara Pathmanathan Kanagasabai passed away today (May 21) in Madurai, Tamil Nadu after a brief illness. He was 64. Mr. Pathmanathan was elected to parliament at the general election in 2004. His body is due to be brought Colombo, Sri Lanka later in the day, said TNA MP B. Ariyanethran. Meanwhile, the TNA has requested speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to help locate its MP S. Kanagaratnam who had been in the Wanni during recent fighting. more..

It's time for hard work

May 21 (LNP) Victory celebrations seem to be dragging on inordinately. They were, no doubt, spontaneous and the victims of LTTE terrorism had a reason to dance in the streets upon the outfit's decapitation. Hoopla naturally surrounds a monster`s demise. People also rejoiced at the news of JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera's violent death at the hands of the army twenty years ago. They lit firecrackers and ate milk rice in public the way they are doing at present. more..

First serving General in Commander capacity honoured

May 21 (DN) Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, who was accorded a historic Guard of Honour yesterday morning at the Army Headquarters upon his return to the highest mantle of his military career as the first-ever serving General to continue as Commander of the Army after President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces promoted him and other two service chiefs to their next ranks. more..

New buses for North

May 21 (DN) With the victory of eliminating terrorism by heroic Armed Forces, the Transport Ministry is planning to streamline the public transport system for the convenience of Northern commuters. Government will especially establish the Transport Service as private sector is not functioning there for the last 15 years. "We have planned to set up a new bus depot in Silavathura while adding 10 new buses to the existing fleet to meet the demand of commuters," more..

Maximum care for IDPs

May 21 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the current President of the World Health Assembly (WHA), met United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in his bureau at the UN office in Geneva. The Minister conveyed greetings from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Secretary General and also thanked him on behalf of the President for the support extended by the Secretary General throughout difficult situations in the country during the recent past. more..

TNA MP missing in Vanni

May 21 (Island) The TNA has sought the intervention of Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to locate TNA MP S.Kanagaretnam who had been trapped on the Mullaitivu coast during recent military operation. The pro-LTTE Tamilnet in a report posted on its website on Wednesday, said that Kanagaretnam had been in contact until seven days ago with his colleagues. TNA parliamentary group did not attend the opening event of the Parliament held Tuesday. more..

Major post-war Agriculture project on the drawing board

May 21 (Island) A massive scale Post-War Agricultural Programe is set for the Northern Province in the next few months and several foreign countries will assist Sri Lanka to agriculturally develop the Northern Province. One of the objectives of the government is to promote organic agriculture in the Northen Province. The Agriculture Ministry has formulated Action Plan to develop the liberated Northern Province with sustainable agriculture. more..

Blake commends Lanka for defeating terrorism

May 21 (Island) Outgoing US Ambassador Robert O’ Blake yesterday commended the Sri Lankan government for defeating LTTE terrorism and evacuating thousands of civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone. Thus, he said the government had abided by its commitment. Responding to a question how the US looked at the manner in which the security forces had engaged in the evacuation of civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone and more..

Massive development drive in the offing

May 21 (DM) The Government is embarking on a massive post-conflict development drive which will see the rebuilding of areas not only in the North and East but also in the South, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said. He said the support of all political parties and groups would be sought for this effort. The Premier also warned that despite the end of the fight against the LTTE in Sri Lanka, any attempts by pro-LTTE groups overseas to create havoc on Sri Lankan soil would be dealt with severely. more..

LTTE leaders killed by Tigers: Kohona

May 21 (DM) The desperate efforts of two senior LTTE leaders trapped in the war zone to save their lives were revealed as it emerged they were shot dead as they prepared to surrender to Sri Lankan Government forces. In a flurry of e-mails, 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..

UNP may support Govt. on political package

May 21 (DM) Responding to the call made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the support of all parties for a political solution, the UNP said the APRC should come up with a proposal soon, while the party is willing to provide the Government necessary votes to approve it in Parliament with a two-thirds majority. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that there is no point wasting time discussing with the political parties as the essential thing is for the Government to come up with a political solution. more..

Motherland, National dignity - Defence Secretary

May 21 (MoD) War heroes have won for us not only the Motherland but also National dignity, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa addressing a gathering of relatives of war heroes at the Regional Army Headquarters in Boossa, Galle on Tuesday. He expressed the gratitude of the President, the Government and his own to the war heroes for their contribution to the humanitarian operations. more..

Sri Lanka rating outlook cut to negative by S&P

May 21 (LBO) Standard & Poor's (S&P) has lowered the outlook of Sri Lanka's 'B' sovereign rating to negative from stable, on weak budgets, fallen foreign reserves and uncertainty over an International Monetary Fund loan. "The negative outlook reflects our opinion that underlying pressures on Sri Lanka's external liquidity position have intensified, while the timing and implementation of a potentially stabilizing IMF loan agreement is uncertain," more..

IDPs seek safety with state bank

May 21 (LBO) Bank of Ceylon had provided deposit and gold related services of more than 500 million rupees as displaced people in camps in northern Sri Lanka sought the safety of the bank, a top official said. Bank of Ceylon (BoC) chairman Gamini Wickramasinghe, said more than 10,000 people had opened accounts in refugee camps in the last month alone. He said the bank had over 40,000 accounts inside several camps where more than 200,000 displaced civilians more..

Navy chief urges common approach to maritime security

May 21 (LBO) Indian Ocean navies need to co-operate better to ensure adequate responses to challenges ranging from terrorism to natural disasters, Sri Lankan navy commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said. "The threats facing present day law abiding states are not arising from territorial or idealogical ambitions of other nation states," he told more..

Sri Lanka cuts rates, moves to single policy corridor

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka moved to a single policy rate with an 11.50 percent window with unrestricted accesss, effectively cutting policy rates by 150 basis as inflation fell and the central bank acted to boost credit. The central bank earlier operated a discount or 'penal reverse repurchase' window of 13.0 percent with unrestricted access, and another 11.75 percent window which banks and dealers could only access a few times a month. more..

Poll pledge for Sri Lanka Tamils

May 21 (BBC) Sri Lanka's reconciliation minister says elections will be held in areas affected by recent fighting once displaced people have been resettled. Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, a former rebel commander who was known as Col Karuna, said the polls would address the grievances of the Tamil minority. More than 250,000 people have been displaced by months of fighting in the north and east of the island. Meanwhile two Indian envoys have arrived to discuss the Tamil situation. more..

After Prabhakaran: Will Sri Lanka finally have peace?

May 21 (Hindu) The dramatic albeit gory footage of a dead Velupillai Prabhakaran with a bullet hole through his forehead marks the end of the LTTE as a feared terrorist organisation. The triumphal mood of the Rajapaksa government is understandable, but the fervent hope that this marks the beginning of a new dawn of peace in the long troubled island nation will depend on the manner in which this emphatic military victory is interpreted. more..

The dragon’s newest pearl

May 21 (Tehelka) Sri Lanka is the object of a power struggle between Indian, Chinese, and Western interests in the region. These global and regional powers are jostling to expand their influence in the island nation, where a decades-long civil war has exacted a grim toll on political and economic stability, a situation that every power wants to capitalise on. Sri Lanka’s geographical location makes it an ideal base to monitor the busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean, more..

The man who destroyed Eelam

May 21 (Tehelka) More vividly than anything that came afterwards in the Sri Lanka war, I remember his first handshake. The hand was soft, the grip delicate and limp. On that occasion in Madras, as he contentedly claimed credit for assassinating the Tamil Mayor of Jaffna and later, the slaughter of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers that ignited the conflict following the anti-Tamil riots of 1983, Velupillai Prabakaran’s dainty handshake seemed in harmony with his soft voice. more..

Jayalalithaa calls for equal rights to Sri Lankan Tamils

May 21 (PTI) AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said the elimination of LTTE will not wipe out the "injustice" rendered to the Tamils in Sri Lanka and asked Colombo to ensure equal rights to all citizens. Jayalalithaa, who had on the eve of elections asserted that Tamil Eelam was the only solution to resolve the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, said the Sri Lankan government should address all genuine grievances of the Tamil community in the aftermath of the fall of LTTE. more..

'Elections to be held in Lankan areas freed from LTTE'

May 21 (PTI) With war in Sri Lanka's north coming to an end, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government is planning to hold provincial elections in the Tamil-dominated areas freed from LTTE control, a step which India has been repeatedly underlining. "Our country is now free of terror. The president (Mahinda Rajapaksa) has already made it clear that the concerns of Tamil diaspora will be addressed. We will hold provincial council elections in the northern region," more..

A window for progress in Sri Lanka

May 21 (Guardian) The armed struggle Velupillai Prabhakaran embarked on to win political and language rights for the minority Tamils in the north-east of Sri Lanka is over. Though there is intense speculation as to the exact circumstances of Prabhakaran's death, it matters not much (other than emotionally) for the Tamils within the country in as far as their future wellbeing is concerned. It is established that the LTTE leader has died. more..

'Sri Lankan rebel leader's body cremated'

May 21 (AP) The body of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE, has been "reduced to ashes," Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara, the army spokesman, told Kyodo News in an interview Thursday. Nanayakkara said that Prabhakaran died during a confrontation with troops on Sunday night or Monday morning in a small mangrove island in the Nandithal Lagoon in the country's north where the rebels put up their last fight. more..

Fears grow for Tamil war zone doctors

Sri Lanka yet to get ‘congratulatory message’ from U.S. leadership

May 21 (AT) While foreign US ministers and leaders of many nations extended congratulatory messages to the Government of Sri Lanka for its historic military victory over the most ruthless terrorist outfit LTTE the United States which was entangled for many decades in a mixture of fact and fiction about the political scenario in Sri Lanka has so far failed to sent a positive congratulatory note from the highest level. more..

Prabhakaran death: endless rumour mills at work

May 21 (AT) The endless rumor mills keep churning that the death of the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, is not true. Whereas the Sri Lankan army placed on record through internationally broadcast images of his body. His whereabouts is still a big question mark for many in Tamil Nadu. Many kinds of theory is being floated here. If two meet or call on phones, this first question being asked: is it true that Prabhakaran is killed? more..

Jim Rogers prefers China, Sri Lanka to India for investment

May 21 (BN) China and Sri Lanka are better investment opportunities than India even after the Congress party’s biggest election victory in two decades, investor Jim Rogers said. India’s benchmark Sensitive Index, or Sensex, jumped a record 17 percent on May 18, causing a trading halt, on speculation Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s victory will enable him to accelerate economic reforms. more..

Tamil Tiger leaders 'killed trying to surrender'

May 21 (AFP) Two top members of the Tamil Tigers may have been shot by their own side or executed by Sri Lankan troops while trying to surrender, according to conflicting accounts of the last days of the rebels. Hours before the Sri Lankan defence ministry announced the entire rebel leadership had been killed and the decades-old war won, Tamil Tiger political chief B. Nadesan and Peace Secretariat head S. Pulideevan were trying to give themselves up. more..

India makes diplomatic push after Sri Lanka war ends

May 21 (Reuters) India sent two top envoys to Sri Lanka on Thursday to offer help for Tamil civilians displaced in recent fighting and to seek an early political solution after the defeat of the rebel Tamil Tigers. The trip by National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon signalled renewed Indian engagement after a largely hands-off approach over the past two years as more..

Tamil children 'being abducted'

May 21 (BBC) A number of children in camps for people displaced by Sri Lanka's Tamil conflict have been abducted, international human rights groups say. The groups say they have verified reports of disappearances in the Vavuniya area and are calling for the United Nations to investigate. Suspected former Tamil Tiger child soldiers are said to have been removed by paramilitaries for questioning. A Sri Lankan military spokesman denied the groups' allegations. more..