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WHO: Anti- Sri Lanka proposal defated

May 25 (DN) A proposal by Israel to send a comprehensive investigation team to Sri Lanka to inquire into what they termed as alleged human rights violations by the Government of Sri Lanka has been defeated by countries which are friendly with Sri Lanka at the 62nd General Assembly of the World Health Organisations. Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said Israel brought forward a proposal calling for the United Nations and more..

'Sacrifices paved the way for victory'

May 25 (DN) "The sacrifice of the valiant troops paved the way for the freedom and territorial integrity enjoyed by all the citizens of the Country" stated Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa this morning. He expressed these views at a special ceremony held in memorial of the brave troops of the Army, Navy, Air-Force, Police and Civil Security Force more..

All parties should work together to rebuild country - FM

May 25 (DN) At a time when the President has won the hearts of all the communities after freeing the country defeating terrorism, all the parties should come to a common consensus to reappoint President Mahinda Rajapaksa unanimously for the second time as President of this country, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. Minister Bogollagama made this request after he paid a courtesy call on the Mahanayake Thera of more..

Over 9,100 LTTE cadres have surrendered: military

May 24 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Sunday said that from the day the ‘Wanni battle’ took a fierce turn, over 9,100 LTTE cadres have surrendered to them. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara told The Hindu that the continuous defeats of the LTTE 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 centres. more..

President asks UN Chief to help arrest KP and others

May 25 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that road blocks set up as part of the measures to counter LTTE threat couldn’t be removed immediately. The President explained at a meeting with Moon that measures in place against LTTE attacks would have to be lowered gradually though major combat operations had come to an end. Authoritative sources told The Island that Moon had called for the removal of all barriers in the city and more..

Who would benefit from altered Kegalle road project?

May 25 (Island) A dispute over the undue delay in a road construction project to ease traffic congestion in the Kegalle district has taken a new turn with the revelation that the original plan had been changed to save valuable property owned by several influential persons, including politicians. Well informed sources told The Island that contrary to allegations, Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath hadn’t been among the beneficiaries of the modified plan. more..

'Release pregnant mothers and mothers with infants from welfare centres'

May 25 (Island) TULF President V. Anandasangree has written to Competent Authority IDP Affairs Maj. Gen (rtd.) G. A. Chandrasiri requesting him to release pregnant mothers and mothers with infants from the welfare centres so that they could be given special care and attention they badly need. Excerpts of Mr. Sangaree’s letter: "I shall be very thankful to you if would kindly consider with sympathy the pathetic plight of the above category of IDPs and more..

Opposition wants PTA, emergency suspended

May 25 (DM) The Platform for Freedom comprising the main opposition UNP and other parties such as the SLFP (M), Democratic Peoples Front (DPF), United Socialist Party and the New Left Front yesterday decided to lobby for the suspension of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency and to expedite the resettlement of those displaced by the war. Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who had returned from his European tour, more..

'India's refusal forced Lanka to turn to China'

May 25 (Hindu) India had refused to supply offensive weapons to Sri Lankan military during its critical campaign against the LTTE, forcing Colombo to turn to China for purchases. “India had told us they were not in a position to sell or send offensive weapons or even equipment such as radars and basic communication equipment to meet our requirements,” the Sri Lanka Army chief, Mr Sarath Fonseka said. more..

Tiger leader from east surrenders

May 25 (DM) A high ranking LTTE cadre who had led the Tiger team that killed 14 civilians in a village in Karamitiya, Inginiyagala named Gunaratnam Wimalaraj had surrendered to the Vavunativu police through an ICRC official. The LTTE attacked the Karamitiya village on February 21. Police also said that the killing of Dr. Palitha Padmakumara of the Batticaloa Nachchikudah hospital had also been directed by him. more..

Controversial aid ship heading for Lanka despite objections

May 25 (DM) A vessel said to be carrying supplies for the displaced people in the north has entered the Red Sea after travelling through the Suez Canal and is said to be heading for Sri Lanka despite the government saying it has not been given clearance and the Navy placed on alert. The Ship 'Captain Ali' (IMO: 6619920) is carrying approximately 884 metric tons of food, medicine, and other essential humanitarian relief items more..

Massive hunt for hidden Tiger arms

May 25 (ANN) With major combat operations coming to an end in the northern theatre, the armed forces spearheaded by the army and police would now go all out to recover arms and ammunition hidden by the LTTE, security officials said. They said that authorities would also have to track down LTTE cadres who had gone underground in the city and its suburbs. An intelligence official said that the recovery of weapons abandoned on the ground by retreating LTTE cadres would be easy. more..

So, the Tamil Tigers were mortals after all

May 25 (IANS) The dramatic collapse of the Tamil Tigers, accompanied by white flags and surrenders even as some suicide bombers kept exploding themselves, is a sad commentary on the politics of uncompromising mayhem the rebels pursued for so long in Sri Lanka. Here was a group called the LTTE that set out to form an independent Tamil state by breaking up the north and east of Sri Lanka. It appears now that this was not the only contradiction in their personality. more..

India, Pakistan back Lanka in 'rights battle'

May 25 (IANS) India and Pakistan find themselves on the same side with Sri Lanka as Europe accuses Colombo of "war crimes" against the Tamils. A special session of the UN Human Rights Council is due Tuesday in Geneva where Denmark and Britain are leading a vocal and sustained drive to pin down Sri Lanka. The deliberations could extend to Wednesday. The meeting became possible after Denmark got together 17 of the UN body's 47 member countries to press for more..

The end of the Tamil Tigers

May 25 (Slate) In the late fall of 1978, I was approached by a Sri Lankan Tamil rights group, which visited the office of the socialist weekly in London where I was then working and entreated me to pay a visit to their country. I say "their" country, though they actually referred to it as "Ceylon": the British colonial name that continued to be the country's name after independence in 1948. It was only changed in 1972. more..

Pictured: The ruined wasteland of Sri Lanka

May 25 (DM) This is the devastation left behind after 26 long years of civil war. Thousands died in Sri Lanka during the government's clash with the ethnic Tamil people, fighting for their own homeland. Now the war zone is a wasteland, its earth scorched and pocked by craters. Cars and trucks lie overturned near bunkers beside clusters of battered tents. more..

U.N. urged to press rights of war survivors

May 25 (Reuters) The U.N. Human Rights Council must insist on humanitarian access to camps of tens of thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka's war, rights groups said on Monday, to ease a situation they called "alarming" and a "catastrophe". Human Rights Watch said Sri Lanka should be pushed at the United Nations Human Rights Council, meeting for an emergency session this week, to allow aid workers and journalists into the country's camps and detention centres, more..

Sri Lanka to hold local elections in north

May 25 (AP) Sri Lanka announced Monday it would hold elections for two key town councils in the war-torn north, a week after government forces crushed the separatist Tamil Tigers who ran a de facto state across the region. In the wake of its victory, the government said it would hold elections across the area as soon as possible. Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said the government would start with elections to the Jaffna and Vavuniya town councils. more..

Sri Lankan shipping lanes and harbours are risk free now

May 26 (GDI) As the civil war against LTTE separatists had been intensifying, added adverse LTTE propaganda, insurance premiums went sky-high for entrepreneurs interested in visiting Sri Lankan ports. However, following the defeat of LTTE separatists, the risk of an impending attack is slowly fading away. “It’s high time for Sri Lanka to lobby Lloyd's of London to remove the war risk tag and reduce insurance premiums to favourable levels,” more..

Health Ministry to develop hospitals in the North

May 26 (GDI) Measures have been taken to develop hospitals in the north to provide health facilities to the displaced civilians housed in welfare centres. Accordingly main hospitals in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Puthukudiyiruppu areas will be developed with modern facilities in order to provide better health services to the to be resettled families in the areas shortly, more..

Saving the distress people in Sri Lanka

May 26 (AC) Humanitarian crisis is looming Sri Lanka. After three decades of civil war Sri Lanka is now straggling to establish full control of Provakaran´s land. Provakaran is now dead but his legacy is still remaining. Sri Lankan government is now facing widespread criticism internationally for keeping the world in total darkness for what is happening inside the former LTTE territory. more..

Tigers divided over Prabhakaran’s fate

May 26 (HT) A day after LTTE’s head of international relation S. Pathmanathan released a signed statement that Prabhakaran had died in battle, the rebel group’s intelligence wing dismissed it on Sunday, claiming he was alive. “The Intelligence Department of the Tigers reiterated on Sunday that the LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes," the pro-rebel website TamilNet reported on Monday. more..

'Arjuna Ranatunga’s removal a travesty of natural justice'

May 26 (AT) The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, that Arjuna Ranatunga's removal as Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee by Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge was against natural justice. The Sri Lankan national team was considered perpetual underdogs but this image changed completely during the 1996 Cricket World Cup, when Sri Lanka defeated more..

Myth of 'Living Prabhakaran'

May 26 (AT) While the top diaspora members fight over the future strategy of the LTTE, the Tamil professionals and commercial establishments in Europe have expressed disgust over 'utterly selfish motives' of the LTTE’s Department of Diaspora Affairs (DDA). They were referring to the DDA’s statement that the 'LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes.' more..

Walk the extra mile

May 26 (LG) The war is over, long live peace. With President Mahinda Rajapaksa declaring the victorious conclusion of the ‘war on terror’ in Sri Lanka, it is time the Government redeemed its oft-reiterated pledge to usher in peace and power-devolution alongside. In doing so, they need to walk the extra mile that would make the Tamil population feel comfortable and wanted in a nation where they were suspicious and doubtful, and not without reason. more..

Who are these internally displaced Tamil people

May 26 (LG) had the privilege of meeting many internally displaced Tamil people during my visits to the Manik Farm on 26th April and 10th May 2009. During discussions I had with them I found that the majority of the elders among them were Indian Tamils from the plantation estates. Some of these elders were those who had been identified for repatriation to India under the Sirima Shastri Pact and more..

Future of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus – I

May 26 (LG) “Tamils and Sinhalas are one people. They have the same DNA structure. There is no ethnic difference between them. Sinhala and Tamil have a large vocabulary in common with Sanskrit and Pali, which have evolved from Brahmi script and all those languages have originated from the Indian mainland. Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in the same fundamentals and Buddhism began as a reform movement resulting in Hinduism absorbing many of those reforms. more..

President’s son for 13th Amendment

May 26 (LG) I deem it a rare and unique meeting when I met with Namal Rajapaksa, son of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the present situation in the Island Nation after the historical win against the Tamil Tiger terrorists who are seeking separatism. His voice is very clear and understandable. “My father always believed that a person should fight the fight that should be fought but not the fight that person can win,’ Namal said. more..

Sri Lankan envoy lashes out at Western "colonizers"

May 26 (LG) Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch today expressed "serious disappointment" today over a "toothless" resolution on Sri Lanka being circulated by Switzerland and other Western states in advance of Tuesday's U.N. Human Rights Council emergency session. "The text is too little and, tragically for Sri Lanka's innocent victims, far too late" said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. more..

The distinction between the LTTE and the just claims of the Tamil people

May 26 (TC) On this historic occasion, when terrorism has been completely defeated, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, first and foremost, all our brave soldiers, whose steadfast commitment freed the Sri Lankan nation from the scourge of terrorism. would especially like to remember the soldiers who are no longer with us, those who made the supreme sacrifice for our country. more..

The fate of civilians and minorities in Sri Lanka

May 26 (TC) Jubilation over the military defeat of the LTTE and the death of its leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, has gripped a majority of Sri Lankans both in that country and around the world. Most of Sri Lanka celebrated the news of the defeat of the LTTE following three bloody decades, with lighting of firecrackers and sharing of “kiribath” (milk rice) which is traditionally prepared on all joyous occasions. more..

UN Human Rights Council to discuss plight of IDPs

May 26 (IRIN) Human rights groups have welcomed a decision by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to address the condition of more than a quarter of a million conflict-displaced in Sri Lanka in a special session. “This is an important opportunity to examine issues of accountability on both sides to the conflict and to ensure protection of displaced persons and their rights in the post-conflict transition,” more..

Help us, imprisoned Tamils implore from camp

May 26 (TA) "WE are in an open jail," Kumar whispers, his skinny shoulders shaking as he looks around to check who is watching. "Help us, we want to be free." He is one of the 220,000 Tamil civilians being held against their will behind the razor-wire coils that surround Manik Farm, the largest displacement camp in Sri Lanka and one of the largest in the world. Camp is not the word its inmates use for it. more..

Velupillai Prabhakaran: leader of the Tamil Tigers

May 26 (Times) Interpol’s wanted poster for Velupillai Prabhakaran stated: “Very alert. Known to use disguise and capable of handling sophisticated weaponry and explosives. Hair combed back. Stout build.” Bland words to describe a mass killer, Tamil cult hero and arguably the most effective terrorist of his age. He died famous but largely unknown, an enigmatic and mostly friendless killer who brought Sri Lanka to its knees, more..

Council polls soon in Vavuniya, Jaffna districts

May 26 (Hindu) Cracks surfaced in the post-Prabakaran LTTE on Monday with TamilNet questioning the statement made by the head of LTTE’s Department of International Relations, K. Pathmanathan, “confirming” the news of death of the LTTE chief. In a report posted on its website, TamilNet said the Intelligence Department of the Tigers had reiterated that the LTTE leadership was safe and it would re-emerge when the right time came. more..

UN faces fierce clash over call for Sri Lanka war crimes inquiry

May 26 (Times) Sri Lanka is to clash with Western powers at the United Nations Human Rights Council today in an effort to ward off any investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. The country has marshalled a team of powerful allies led by China, Russia and India to fight off a European-backed resolution at today’s special session on Sri Lanka calling for an inquiry into abuses on both sides of the conflict. more..

Elation over victories and the appalling conditions of displaced Tamil persons

May 26 (AHRC) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka described the camps for Internally Displaced People (Tamils) as having the most appalling conditions he has ever witnessed. Prior to this, government spokespersons were repeatedly telling the media that everything in the camps is under control and is fine. This is no surprise. It has been the triple tasks of GOSL media - which is more or less the only media available locally - to demonize LTTE, more..

Cult of personality grows around Sri Lanka's leader

May 26 (G&M) As the President's motorcade passed slowly through Colombo Monday, 20-year-old university student Chaturi Waidyasekera pressed her head to the ground, then rose and chanted, “Praise our king” Dozens of others did the same, beneath billboards that pictured Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the white robes of a Buddhist deity. Ms. Waidyasekera explained, calmly, that she believes the elected leader of Sri Lanka should remain in office for life because more..

Sri Lanka rejects Tigers' offer

May 26 (BBC) Sri Lanka's defence secretary has rejected the Tamil Tigers' offer to enter a democratic process after their military defeat by government forces. In an interview with the BBC, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the LTTE rebels could not be trusted to give up "terrorism". "I do not believe the LTTE can enter a democratic process after years of their violent activities," Mr Rajapaksa said. more..

A loss not that significant

May 26 (EB) Many of them lost their families, property, nationality, identity and dreams. Simply put everything they had or aspired for. I only lost a few photos. Not my life, passport, money or not even my camera. The person only took off the memory chip but returned my camera. I lost a few pictures took earlier in the day. What I lost can be replaced with a few euros. But what was my crime? more..

India to tread cautiously in Lanka

May 26 (EB) Even while relieved at the petered out threat of the LTTE, the Centre has decided to tread a cautious path in the post Prabhakaran era. Confirming LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s death as conveyed to India by the Sri Lankan Government, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday asserted that he should not be maligned in his death. Replying to a query, Chidambaram, who took charge as country’s Home Minister for the second time in succession on Monday, more..

Sinhalese chicken shops under attack

May 26 (TLL) A chicken shop chain has come under attack in suspected religious hatred fueled attacks from members of the Tamil community. During the last week, Sam's Chicken Shops in Wembley Park, Willesden, Kingsbury, and Cricklewood have been attacked by masked men hurling bricks at the front windows. Sam Chandrasinghe, who owns the popular takeaway chain, says his staff are frightened to leave the stores at night. more..

Sri Lanka to add soldiers to prevent Tiger return

May 26 (AP) Sri Lanka's military said it plans to enlist at least 100,000 more soldiers to head off any resurgence of the separatist Tamil Tigers, who were routed by government forces last week to end a quarter century of civil war. The troop buildup comes amid concern that remnants of the rebel group living abroad may try to resurrect it under new leadership, army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka said in a television interview Monday. more..

Tit for tat in the Tiger Aftermath

May 26 (LG) The major game between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government is over, but the people who are suffering in this conflict are in a dilemma while some of the others, die-hard Sinhalese nationalists who are awaiting the dead body of the Leader of LTTE, V. Prabhakaran, are jubilant and celebrating their huge victory. There are no doubts that it was a defining victory in the history of the nation and, more..

Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus – II

May 26 (LG) As almost 85% of Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, the re-Hinduisation of their Tamil identity must be taken up on war footing as the Dravidian-Christian combo is in doldrums after the defeat of the LTTE, and will take time to recoup. The west, particularly the missionaries, NGOs, and the UN which is totally influenced by them, will try to portray the Sri Lankan army as a great ‘human right violator’ and to expose its ‘war crimes.’ more..

'Free doctors who were engaged in humanitarian work'

May 26 (LG) Permit me to intervene on behalf of the three Doctors named Dr. T. Sathiyamoorthy, Dr. T. Varatharajan and Dr. V. Shanmugarajah, the first two are Regional Directors of Health Services of Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu respectively and the third, Medical Superintendent of Mullaitheevu. When most of the Doctors in Vanni fled, these three stayed back and worked round the clock, more..

National celebration commemorating victory over terrorism on June 3

May 26 (GDI) The nation’s long-awaited victory over terrorism will be commemorated on June 3, 2009 in a special parade at Galle Face Green to be attended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the commanders of the three forces, the IGP and the Chief Civil Defence Force. Service personnel and commanding officers of the security forces engaged in direct operations in the North and East more..

'Unique opportunity for trade and investment'

May 26 (GDI) Recent developments in Sri Lanka provide Indian investors with a unique window of opportunity for investment, Minister of Export Development and International Trade ,Professor G.L. Peiris said in New Delhi recently. The final defeat of terrorism has removed the basic impediment which prevented Sri Lanka from achieving her full economic potential, Minister Peiris said. more..

Ranil is always late - Lakshman Yapa

May 26 (GDI) The leader of the opposition is always late, and his timing is peculiar. First, it had been inferior comments that the LTTE is unconquerable, and, then, some wild guessing and a surge of unlikely remarks. He never believed in him, and even feared to cross over lesser challenges like Toppigala, let alone winning the 30-year-old civil war. “However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a determined political leader who believes in himself,” more..

The export sector to contribute towards Government goals

May 26 (GDI) “The export sector is expected to make a substantial contribution to the achievement of government’s development objectives such as poverty elimination, removal of regional disparities and achievement of substantial economic growth. The export sector currently contributes 25% to the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of the country” Minister of Export Development & International Trade G.L Peiris told Parliament today (26). more..