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A true believer

May 24 (SL) Gotabaya Rajapakse is a true believer. His life’s mission was to wipe out the LTTE. While there are those who considered this to be an impossible task, Gotabaya had no such qualms. He believed that he could accomplish in three years what others had failed to achieve in over two decades. His approach appears to have been similar to the one used to crush the JVP in the late ’80s — that is, fight fire with fire. more..

Memories of war, dreams of peace

May 24 (SL) The long and bloody Sri Lankan war is over, and not a moment too soon. I really want to believe it. The alternative is too depressing to consider. Of course, there is no independent verification – it has been a war without witnesses for the past many months, with no journalists or humanitarian workers allowed access. We know that history is written by victors, not losers. I am willing to take a leap of faith if that’s what we need to usher in the long-elusive peace. more..

Nation building: opposed concepts and aims

May 24 (SL) Several Sri Lankans, giving thought to the important and urgent challenge the island faces of ‘nation building,’ are making worthy and well-intentioned contributions. I am privileged and fortunate to know a few Sinhalese individuals who, by innate nature and nurtured principle, uphold justice and our common, human, equality. And there are many other Sinhalese who, though not known to me personally, cherish and live by these same values. more..

Sorry, no afterlife for Prabhakaran or the LTTE

May 24 (AT) When gods turn out to be mortal the worshippers are benumbed and languish in disbelief. It is natural for the most naïve to cling on to the flimsiest of hope that the death was fabrication. After all, when those who are immortalized come to take up residence in vast swathes of one’s sense of meaning and being, and pledge over and over again to create for one a private heaven on earth, mortality is insufferable. more..

Nambiar did not contact about the surrender of Nadesan and Pulidevan

May 24 (AT) Sri Lanka Governmnet denied that no one approached regarding the surrender of LTTE's political chief, B Nadesan, and 'peace secretariat' head, S Pulidevan. Also Government sources told Asian Tribune that Nadesan and Pulidevan were killed in the battle, when they fought the Sri Lankan soldiers. PTI news story says that Vijay Nambiar, the UN Secretary-General's envoy and chef de cabinet, passed the message to Dr. Palitha Kohona but more..

Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter

May 24 (LG) The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Prabhakaran, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970s; at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional army consisting of an army, navy and air force. more..

Tigers begged me to broker surrender

May 24 (Times) It was a desperate last phone call but it did not sound like a man who would be dead within hours. Balasingham Nadesan, political leader of the Tamil Tigers, had nowhere to turn, it seemed. “We are putting down our arms,” he told me late last Sunday night by satellite phone from the tiny slip of jungle and beach on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka where the Tigers had been making their last stand. more..

Hidden from the world.. innocent captives of terror

May 24 (NOTW) They squat in a circle, grinding their tiny hands nervously into the mud behind the six foot high barbed wire fence that imprisons them. And their little eyes stare wide open in fear at what lies on the other side. Around the infants and their families in the grim surroundings of the Pulmoddai refugee camp in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, the soldiers sit, each one ten yards apart, more..

APRC sleeps?

May 24 (LB) The government is still on grope-mode, in attempts to find a solution to the national question despite many promises to the international community, Civil Society alleged. Meanwhile academic Rohan Edrisinha who referred to the APRC as being a total bluff said "Although the APRC constantly says a proposal was being formulated, nothing has come out of it" adding that the APRC suffers from a deeper crisis within. more..

...and we Sri Lankans celebrate

May 24 (LB) As a general rule, Sri Lankans do not need new excuses to go out and get drunk. We drink when we are happy. We drink when we are angry. We drink when we are sad. We mourn the dead by drinking ourselves silly. We organise birthday parties for our kids and often turn those into drinking sessions. New Year is a good time to drink. Christmas is a good time to drink. Poya is a good time to drink provided you get a bottle beforehand. more..

DNA test on Prabha ‘not necessary’

May 24 (LB) No DNA test has been carried out to scientifically identify the body of Velupillai Prabhakaran. A DNA test is regarded as a reliable though not necessary form of identification. Prabhakaran and his son Charles Anthony were killed by the armed forces. Therefore, there was a possibility of blood samples being matched. However, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara confirmed that no DNA test was conducted to determine the Tiger leader’s identity. more..

Man is dead, now kill the rumours

May 24 (LB) The much circulated e-mail carrying a picture of a smug looking Prabhakaran watching ‘his dead body’ on television proves one thing -- the remaining loyalists of this vanquished terrorist organization are in a fruitless effort to avoid the truth that the elusive Prabhakaran was indeed killed!. If this picture is carefully studied it can be seen that the e-mail photo is a fake and has been doctored — sadly in an unprofessional and shameful way. more..

‘We are the Tigers,’ roars despairing Tamil diaspora

May 24 (TOI) You buried me in my land. O’ Enemy! Where will you bury my land?’ The words of Sri Lankan Tamil poet Kasi Anandan could speak for the country’s nearly one-million strong Tamil diaspora. The LTTE may have given up arms, but the diaspora has not surrendered. Be it London, Toronto or Washington, the diaspora’s rage is growing with every report on the unfolding humanitarian crisis, the large-scale detentions and disappearances. more..

U.N. Chief calls Sri Lanka war zone 'very sobering'

May 24 (WP) Night after night, with heavy shelling over their farming village, Krishma Lela and his family did what they could to survive: They dug a trench out of the red earth and huddled inside. They moved only among a network of bunkers, made by hundreds of other Tamil villagers trying to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels during the last days of fighting more..

Scorched earth, craters mark war zone

May 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's former war zone is a wasteland, its earth scorched and pocked by craters. Cars and trucks lie overturned near bunkers beside clusters of battered tents. The government has denied firing heavy weapons into what had been a battlefield densely populated with civilians. But the helicopter tour the military gave U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a group of journalists Saturday revealed widespread devastation. more..

'Don't back resolution by Sri Lanka'

May 24 (NST) Malaysia should not support a draft resolution tabled by Sri Lanka at the United Nations calling for member nations not to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said yesterday. He said he would write to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to support such a resolution. "Tamils in Malaysia constitute 1.4 million of 1.8 million Indians in the country. more..

Sri Lanka civilians suffer amid war ruins

May 24 (WT) Sri Lanka's former war zone is a wasteland, its earth scorched and pocked by craters. Cars and trucks lie overturned near bunkers beside clusters of battered tents. The government has denied firing heavy weapons into what had been a battlefield densely populated with civilians. But the helicopter tour the military gave U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a group of journalists Saturday revealed widespread devastation. more..

How a cyanide capsule delayed Prabhakaran's meeting with Rajiv Gandhi

May 24 (LG) It was June 1985 and there was an interesting visitor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's 7 Race Course Road residence—Velupillai Prabhakaran, the young chief of the LTTE. The Tigers were then the largest and best organised of the pro-Eelam groups fighting for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran was put up at the Ashoka hotel and accompanied by his senior lieutenants-Mahendrajah alias Mahattya and Anton Balasingham. more..

Memories of a much-mythologised rebel leader by a former LTTE fighter

May 24 (LG) The LTTE’s supreme leader and commander, Velupillai Prabhakaran, along with his wife, children and the entire leadership of the LTTE, have been completely wiped out by the Sri Lankan military. The LTTE began as a guerrilla unit during the 1970s; at its peak, it controlled vast territory and built up a conventional army consisting of an army, navy and air force. more..

Want to get to the top? Keep kicking Ranil

May 24 (LG) They say it was the worst of times. Political astrologers now predict that we are going in for the best of times. Instant historians have named this transition period as historic times and already books are in the press on: How The War Was Won. These creators of history apparently believe in the Bard of Stratford on Avon: ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men, which when taken at the flood leads on to fortune…..’ more..

UN Secy. Gen. endorses President’s stance

May 24 (SO) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon endorsed the stance taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in bringing the country together and ensuring the equal rights of all citizens irrespective of their racial and religious differences. The UN Chief was speaking to the press at the Queens Hotel, Kandy after his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House in the Hill Capital. more..

The agony and the ecstasy

May 24 (LG) The government has announced that the LTTE is completely destroyed and all the important leaders were killed. This was accepted by Sinhala society with enthusiasm but in smaller communities, in particular in Tamil society, there was concern, or worse, fear. The question that was in the latter’s mind was whether the enthusiastic crowd will resort to any violence, but nothing of import happened. more..

Some fathers need not claim paternity

May 24 (LG) These are days of victory. As such there is very little reason for apportionment of blame. There is, on the other hand, a manifest abundance in the matter of claiming credit. It is natural after all. Victory has a thousands fathers, they say, defeat is orphaned. I really don’t care who consumes what in the credit cake regarding the defeat of the LTTE. What matters is that this war is over and that the LTTE is history. more..

Over 10,000 ex-terrorists under Govt care

May 24 (MoD) From the day the Wanni battle took a fierce turn over 10,000 LTTE terrorists surrendered to the military, according to top military officials. The continuous defeats of the LTTE had made its cadres to abandon the outfit in large numbers. Over 7,237 terrorists who had surrendered to the military are now being rehabilitated at various rehabilitation centres. Among them are 1,601 females. Another batch of 202 terrorists including 80 males are living in IDP camps. more..

A Ranaviru commemorative flower

May 24 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday proposed the naming of Sri Lanka’s version of the famous Poppy flower to honour the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives for the Motherland. President said the time has come for a flower unique to our country to be named to commemorate war heroes who laid down their lives for the Motherland so that they would be remembered by future generations as long as that flower blooms. more..

'Forgive, forget and think of the future'

May 24 (SO) “Other than the life of your son, brother or husband, we will provide everything else to you; and that as long as those you live,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the families of War Heroes when he addressed a massive gathering to pay the nation’s tribute to the Security Forces. The President said it is the responsibility of the nation to look after the families of those who sacrificed their lives in the battle against terrorism to safeguard Mother Lanka. more..

Lights for urban and rural areas in Jaffna

May 24 (SO) A massive electrification scheme to provide electricity to all urban and rural areas in the Jaffna Peninsula will be launched. The Power and Energy Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday that the Chunnakam power plant which is being constructed in the Northern province is expected to add 35 megawatts to the national grid and the new power plant will benefit Jaffna and several other suburban districts. more..

International media and LTTE propaganda war- An Opinion

May 24 (MoD) During the Sri Lankan war, the LTTE malicious propaganda machinery worked round the clock to convince the world that the civilians held as hostage were staying willingly and certain sections of the international media sympathetic to them colluded and gave wide publicity to the LTTE stand. They were supported by countries and international organisations backing the terrorists. more..

Canada must protect Sri Lankan Canadians

May 24 (MoD) The Government of Canada and provincial police forces must take immediate steps to protect peaceful Canadians of Sri Lankan origin. Early this morning a 'Sinhalese' Sri Lankan restaurant in Brampton was firebombed by suspected Tamil Tiger supporters. Last week the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple in Scarborough was set on fire, again by the same extremists, causing $40,000 in damage. more..

TNA in dilemma

May 24 (NS) Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which till now insisted on recognising the Tigers as the sole representative of the Tamil people, will now take some crucial decisions on their future stand in the coming days, party sources said yesterday. The other major decision before them is whether to go along with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, brought in under the Indo-Lanka Accord signed in 1987. more..

'International community to be our partners, not monitors'

May 24 (NS) The international community is welcome to provide Sri Lanka with assistance, but it should be according to the wishes of the people of this country, including the people of the North, Senior Presidential Advisor and MP Basil Rakapaksa said in a message to the international community. more..

Ranil sneaks into the country?

May 24 (NS) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s sudden return to the country yesterday morning without informing his close party members has surprised many UNPers. Wickremesinghe returned after an European visit, which included a controversial tour of Norway, when the armed forces were about to crush the LTTE. Political sources said the exact time of the return had been kept a secret, possibly due to fears that some of the disgruntled party rebels themselves might more..

Weather gods too smile on Lanka

May 24 (NS) The country is finally experiencing the South West monsoon that everyone has been hoping for. “The monsoon spread over the island starting last Friday,” Meteorology Department Director General G.B. Samarasinghe said. “Due to a lack of adequate rainfall during the North-East Monsoon the country has been experiencing a drought with most of the reservoirs recording low levels of water. more..

President declares war on waste and corruption

May 24 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday said that as the war against the LTTE had been brought to a successful conclusion, he would now tackle waste and corruption. He emphasized the importance of wiping out waste and corruption. Turning towards his parliamentarians, the President warned that now the war had been brought to an end no one would be able to turn a blind eye to pressing problems and blame their inability to solve problems on the war. more..

Whip cracked on CEB over Rs. 54 billion debt to CPC

May 24 (Island) The Ministry of Power and Energy has cracked a whip over the Ceylon Electricity Board over non-settlement of bills amounting to over Rs. 54 billion due to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for the supply of fuel to the CEB and West Coast Power (Pvt.) Ltd. The Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando, has threatened to invoke constitutional powers vested in him to direct the People’s Bank, the CEB’s bankers, to settle these bills through the CEB’s monthly revenue. more..

Golden Key, its subsidiaries and directors’ assets could be auctioned to settle depositors

May 24 (Island) The assets of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company, its subsidiaries and directors could go under the hammer with the sanction of the Supreme Court to recover liabilities and repay depositors, a senior Attorney General’s Department official said last week. "It is likely that the properties will be disposed of by public auction to settle the dues of thousands of Golden Key depositors", he said. more..

As Lanka celebrates, Govt. faces war with the West

May 24 (ST) Please tell them my patience is running out. Let them not think I am a weak leader. I will meet up with any challenge they pose. If that happens, it can be their end. It was in May 2006 that President Mahinda Rajapaksa uttered those words to Erik Solheim, Norway's Minister for International Development and the key player then in Norway's peace facilitator process. Solheim was in Colombo to renew efforts to resume the stalled peace talks with the LTTE. more..

US will not oppose IMF balance of payments support to Central Bank

May 24 (Island) Although in legislation placed last week before Congress, Sri Lanka’s application for a USD 1.9 billion facility is being resisted by the US, a way out to grant this facility has been incorporated in the amendments proposed by Senator Leahy with Senators Brown and Casey, well informed sources said yesterday. These Congressmen, while calling on the US Secretary of Treasury to more..

NGOs smuggling IDPs out — Govt.

May 24 (ST) Attempts to smuggle out youth from camps housing IDPs prompted the Government to impose restrictions on visits, a senior Government official said yesterday. Human Rights Ministry Secretary Rajiva Wijesinha said certain persons with the connivance of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) workers were involved in this plot. In the light of this, security sources said, a thorough screening of IDPs was under way in the camps. more..

Govt. ready for DNA test as Prabha is cremated

May 24 (ST) Government has retained samples of body-parts of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for DNA tests before he was cremated on Wednesday in Mullaitivu. Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that the Government was prepared to conduct a DNA test should the necessity arise. “The defence establishment, however, has no doubts that he is dead,” he said. Minister Rambukwella said the fate of Prabhakaran’s wife and two younger children remained a mystery. more..

India, China back Sri Lanka at HRC

May 24 (ST) Fourteen countries, including India have praised Sri Lanka for winning the war against a “terrorist group” and come together to support Sri Lanka counter charges of violating human rights law – a subject which comes up for discussion at a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. Signatories to a resolution titled “Assistance to Sri Lanka in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,” more..

Lanka envoy, Tamils cross swords over Toronto restaurant fire

May 24 (IANS) A Saturday morning fire at a Sinhalese restaurant here further fuelled tensions between the two Sri Lankan communities in Canada. While the Sri Lankan consul general blamed Tamil Tigers for the fire, Tamil leaders hit back by asking Canada to expel him. There are over 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamils as against about 50,000 Sinhalese in the Toronto area. The early morning fire that gutted the Lanka Gardens restaurant in the Brampton area more..

Army chief speaks about the war victory

May 24 (CT) Army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka has given an interview to 'Irida Lakbima' Sinhala weekly about how he had successfully waged the war against the LTTE. Gen. Fonseka says his personally being targeted by the outfit on three different occasions marked the beginning of the end of its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He says he came to know about the death of Prabhakaran through 53 Brigade commander more..

Malaysian Tamils demand war tribunal against Sri Lankan leaders

May 24 (IANS) Tamils in Malaysia, who form a bulk of the ethnic Indian population, have demanded a war tribunal against Sri Lankan leaders, even as the government has sought to dissuade them from staging protest rallies against what they call the 'genocide' against Tamils in the island nation. The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a constituent of the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance, more..

Were LTTE leaders killed as they sought to surrender?

May 24 (ANI) A Sunday Times report has claimed that two senior leaders of the rebel LTTE had begged their correspondent to initiate moves for their surrender to the authorities, but were killed as they were waving white flags of truce. According to the paper, both Balasingham Nadesan, the political leader of the Tamil Tigers, and Seevaratnam Puleedevan, the head of the Tigers' peace secretariat, made desperate telephone calls to The Times correspondent, more..

'Two LTTE leaders were killed as they marched to surrender'

May 24 (PTI) LTTE's political wing leaders B Nadesan and S Puleedevan were gunned down by the Sri Lankan army as they came out holding white flags to surrender, according to a media report. Balasingham Nadesan was the head of the political wing of LTTE, while Seevaratnam Puleedevan was the chief of the Tigers' peace secretariat. "For several days I had been the intermediary between the Tiger leadership and the United Nations as more..

Conflicting accounts of S.Lanka Tiger chief death

May 24 (AFP) Conflicting accounts emerged on Sunday of when and where Sri Lankan rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed, after a report of his death was published in a state-run newspaper. The military had previously announced Prabhakaran, 54, was shot on Monday when trying to escape the final battle in a small convoy of vehicles that included a van and an ambulance. But the Observer, which usually reflects the government's official position, more..

Sri Lanka to restrict aid until rebels screened out

May 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Sunday it would not allow aid workers complete access to civilians who remain held in camps after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers until rebels hiding among the refugees had been weeded out. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to one camp housing 200,000 Tamils, had called for his staff to be given "unhindered access" to those displaced in the decades-long war that ended a week ago. more..

U.N.’s Ban in Sri Lanka: Victory dance or somber visit?

May 24 (Reuters) Small children dressed in dark blue pants and light blue shirts clutched U.N. and Sri Lankan flags as they sang a song in honor of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s arrival at the Manik Farm refugee camp. This is the temporary home to some 220,000 people who fled the final battle between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces. The camp was plastered with posters of a smiling Ban and Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Frost over the World - Rohitha Bogollagama