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For terrorist, a gift of life

May 27 (Trentonian) Before Palestinian suicide bombers were blowing up Israeli women and children in marketplaces, before Iraqi suicide bombers were murdering Iraqi civilians as well as Iraqi and American soldiers, there were the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka — the world’s little-known pioneers of the deadly craft of suicide bombing. The Tamil Tigers have been defeated after three decades of bloody rebellion. more..

Multiple displacements, total loss of identity

May 27 (Hindu) Some time on May 10, a week before the Sri Lankan military decimated the military capabilities of the LTTE and wiped out its entire top brass, the Tigers had informed 80,000 civilians under their custody that they have lost the battle and were no longer in a position to defend them, conversation with a group of last batch of civilians to escape from the control of Tigers reveals. more..

Microsoft helps SL teachers and students for another 5 years

May 27 (AT) The three year MOU signed on ‘Partners in Learning’ by Microsoft Sri Lanka with the Ministry of Education have now been extended for another five years. The first three year PIL MOU has achieved several significant breakthroughs in expanding ICT in the country. The agreement highlights the combined efforts of Microsoft Sri Lanka and the Governments’ effort to empower students, teachers and schools in Sri Lanka to more..

Polythene/Plastic use endangers the environment

May 27 (AT) Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka(FCCISL) in collaboration with the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) held a workshop on Polythene/ Plastics. Tissa Jayaweera, Senior Vice-President, FCCISL inaugurated the workshop and the following resource persons discussed the various aspects of Polythene/Plastics: Ms Batuwitage, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources spoke on more..

He divides Tamil Nadu even in death

May 27 (EB) Tamil Nadu stands cleaved on LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. More than his fighting days, when the people were divided into two categories — one that cheered him and the other that saw in him Sri Lanka’s problem — in death, he has deepened the rift. One group knows that he has been done away with, while the other is ‘cocksure’ that he is alive. more..

Wrong lesson from Sri Lanka

May 27 (Truthout) "I have only two groups - the people who fight terrorism and the terrorists." That might sound like George W. Bush. The statement, however, emanated not from the former US president, but from an ardent fan of his - Lt. Col. (retired) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary. The Bush-like ring to the statement was barely accidental. A recent report recalls Gotabhaya, while an information technology professional in Los Angeles in 2001, more..

Colombo to fight UN investigation into alleged war crimes

May 27 (TA) Sri Lanka was expected to clash with Western powers at the UN Human Rights Council overnight in an effort to ward off any investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. The country marshalled a team of powerful allies led by China, Russia and India to fight off a European-backed resolution at a special session calling for an inquiry into abuses on both sides of the Sri Lankan conflict. more..

Govt partnering with NGOs to improve welfare of the IDPs

May 27 (AT) "The Government of Sri Lanka and the NGOs are now working towards a common goal to serve the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North and speed up their resettlement". "MP Basil Rajapaksha who also holds the Chairmanship of the Special Task Force for Northern Development has instructed the Government Departments and the NGOs to achieve this goal within 180 days". more..

The end

May 27 (IT) In the northern coastal town of Velvettithurai, where Vellupillai Prabhakaran was born, there is a Tamil saying that in the face of a ferocious storm, the palmyra tree, unlike a reed, doesn’t bend but breaks. This is an aphorism that Prabhakaran’s supporters use to explain why one of the world’s most ruthless guerrilla leaders decided to die fighting to the bitter end along with his trusted lieutenants instead of trying to get away. more..

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

May 27 (IT) LTTE chief PrabhakaranIt 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..

Displaced Tamils receive parish meals

May 27 (UCAN) Even as the government claims victory in its 25-year civil war over separatist Tamil Tigers, the humanitarian challenge to provide for thousands of Tamil refugees has only just begun. Following three months of bitter fighting in the north that saw many civilians trapped in the war zone, over 250,000 refugees are now surrounded by razor wire in four transitional relief villages or camps more..

'President has now the option to emulate Mandela or Mugabe'

May 27 (LG) Now that the war against terrorism is over, the President has been presented with the best opportunity to prove his true colors, and become a Nelsen Mandela who built the country as an united nation, or imitate Robert Mugabe and allow the country drift Zimbabwe way, said UNP M.P. Lakshman Kiriella addressing a Press briefing at the UNP media unit today (26 May). more..

Letter to the East

May 27 (LG) I grew up in the streets of Colombo (over 350km from the conflict zone) as an adolescent and late teen in the fear of death. On my way to the school the school bus would pass road blocks every few hundred meters manned by young Sri Lankan soldiers and police nervously cradling their T56s or AK 47 assault rifles. Once we reached the school gates every student, teacher, parents and visitors bag was searched for bombs. more..

War Crimes allegations Sri Lanka will certainly ruin reconciliation

May 27 (LG) Certain Western countries are hell bent on making war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka. They say there is a possibility of war crimes in Sri Lanka, especially in the last phase of the war and they want them investigated. Ironically, UK which is making war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka has skeletons in its own closet; in millions! This is a classic case of trying to cover up their genuine war crimes by levelling allegations against another. more..

Out of chaos

May 27 (LG) If such an outcome were to be secured in Iraq or Afghanistan or, now, even in Pakistan, it would be embraced by the West as an unadulterated and righteous triumph. In Sri Lanka, however, it appears to have provoked, across much of Europe and among the most prominent international agencies -- including the United Nations (UN) -- a seething and barely concealed outrage (Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, made a brief and disapproving visit, more..

Death of a terror group

May 27 (LG) A few days ago, Sri Lanka announced that the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead. This victory might not be a major milestone in the development of the Sri Lankan state and civil society, but it certainly speaks volumes for the coming of age of Colombo’s armed forces. At another level, it reflects the gradual unravelling of Prabhakaran’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more..

LTTE under KP

May 27 (LG) The exit of Prabhakaran has brought about wierd consequences; a meeting of minds between the government and Tamil Net. Both deem K.Pathmanathan(KP) the anointed heir apparent. Nothing could have been further from Prabhakaran’s mind. He did not foresee or foretell a life for the LTTE after him. He was larger than the LTTE and he presumed there was no existence for the LTTE after his death. He was immortal, at least, until Elam was achieved. more..

Road map to national unity and reconciliation in Sri Lanka

May 27 (TC) The opportunity to re-orient Sri Lanka as a modern state, where every citizen has the same status and has equal rights and opportunities, has become possible with the end of the three decade old and brutal civil war. The war ended as brutally as both parties to the conflict had fought it. Although a major blight has been lift off the face of Sri Lanka, it has left in its wake almost 300,000 Tamils 'Internally Displaced'- more..

'Sri Lanka must be treated as a special case'

May 27 (Hindu) Tamils the world over believe that the draft resolution presented by the Sri Lankan government to the United Nations Human Rights Council is against the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said here on Tuesday. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a copy of which was released to the media, more..

India will pay a heavy price for abdicating a Sri Lanka policy

May 27 (TI) The death of Velupillai Prabhakaran brought back a flood of memories. If history is to determine the day when India’s pre-eminence in all of South Asia began its decline, it would be November 17, 1986. Prabhakaran, the founder of the LTTE, would be one of the characters who set in motion a process that brought about this decline. And if history is to fix the responsibility on a single individual for triggering the onset of that decline, more..

Sri Lanka's refugees trapped after war

May 27 (WSJ) Before reaching the corrugated metal shelters of a refugee camp here, Noroshan Nallathambi and his family faced a dilemma: disclose what they say was his forced conscription to the Tamil Tiger rebels or keep quiet. In the end, the 21-year-old Mr. Nallathambi decided to step forward at an army checkpoint 10 days ago, according to his family members. They haven't seen him since. more..

Powerful friends put Sri Lanka in a dilemma

May 27 (National) When Tamil rebels threatened to oust troops from the besieged northern city of Jaffna in April 2000, India placed ships at Sri Lanka’s disposal to evacuate the soldiers. But Pakistan, at Colombo’s request, quickly sent powerful multi-barrel guns, which helped stall the rebel offensive and save the day for Sri Lanka’s troops. Given India’s role as a regional superpower and Pakistan’s military support to Sri Lanka, more..

Tamil refugees beg to learn fate of relatives held as terrorists

May 27 (Times) The Tamil Tigers came for Rajibalan in February during a rare pause in the shelling. Every family in his village, Palamattalan, inside the besieged no-fire zone, was to give a son or daughter for the fight — taken by force, if necessary. There would be three more months of fighting until the war was over and 18-year-old Rajibalan and his family would wade together across the Nanthikadal lagoon in surrender. more..

Toronto sideshow in Sri Lanka tragedy

May 27 (TS) How very Canadian to gaze obsessively at our navels and celebrate our tolerance (or fret about our intolerance) on the streets of Toronto, rather than turning our eyes to the killing fields of Sri Lanka. Really, it's not about us. It's not about Toronto's Tamils, as numerous as they are. It's about the people of Sri Lanka, Tamil and Sinhalese, who have been killing each other for a generation, and hating each other for generations before that. more..

Indiscriminate allegations about civilian deaths

May 27 (PISL) We are told that the UN claims that about 7,000 civilians have been killed in fighting between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE over the last few months. It is also claimed that 16,700 have been wounded, ‘according to a UN document given to the Associated Press by a senior diplomat’. This leak is the third in a series which has led to a state of denial by the UN. more..

'Establishing the facts is crucial'

Up to 30,000 'disabled' by Sri Lankan shells

May 27 (telegraph) Aid workers said one in ten of the 280,000 civilian refugees who fled the Sri Lankan army's final onslaught against the Tamil Tiger rebels had either lost limbs or been so badly injured they urgently needed prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs to regain their mobility. The scale of civilian casualties who have been maimed in the war was disclosed by the award-winning French charity Handicap International, more..

Sri Lankans divided by war

May 27 (Guardian) The three children standing in the dirt outside the tent in Sri Lanka's newest internment camp have not seen their mother for weeks, ever since a shell exploded next to the bunker where they had taken cover, ripping a hole in er stomach. Medics rushed 29-year-old Sandi to a makeshift hospital, where doctors operated to save her life. All that Sandi's husband, 33-year-old Yogisuran, and the children – Thuyamthini, Kuwanthini and Thusiyanthini – more..

Help the Tamils now

May 27 (Guardian) In Britain, interfering in Sri Lanka's future is looking like a poisoned chalice. As the burning effigies of "white Tiger" David Miliband on the streets of Colombo last week demonstrated, our help is not always welcome. As an old Whitehall colleague put it to me this week, "we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't, aren't we?" Mulling this question is not just costing lives, it is burning up goodwill in the Tamil community. more..

Sri Lanka seeks higher Haj quota

May 27 (AN) With the end of war in their country, the Sri Lankan government expects more people to perform Haj this year, said the island’s Minister of Petroleum Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie, who wrapped up a weeklong visit to the Kingdom yesterday. “With the restoration of peace following the liberation of rebel-held areas, more Muslims from the island’s Eastern and North Central provinces will feel free to travel,” more..

U.N. Urges Focus on Relief and Reconciliation

May 27 (IPS) A United Nations team including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon returned from a trip to Sri Lanka Tuesday, where they met with government leaders and inspected the battered conflict zones and refugee camps. The focus of the trip was on the camps for internally displaced people, who currently number at least 300,000. The camps have received a massive influx since the government declared victory May 16 against the LTTE, more..

Tamil Tiger doubt over leader's demise

May 27 (BBC) At first glance, the admission by the LTTE's head of international relations, Selvarasa Padmanathan, that their supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is dead might seem like the Tamil Tigers simply bowing to the inevitable. Without mentioning Prabhakaran by name, he said in his written statement that "our incomparable leader and supreme commander… attained martyrdom" fighting what he called the "military oppression of the Sri Lankan Government… more..

Sri Lanka wards off Western bullying

May 27 (AT) The strange lineup of the member countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for or against Sri Lanka at the special session of the body scheduled to take place in Geneva on Tuesday underscores the maritime Great Game unfolding in the Indian Ocean. Geopolitics is drowning the lamentations over the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils for equity, justice and fair play and more..

I have a dream: A holiday in Jaffna!

May 27 (TC) All eyes were glued to the TV watching the humanitarian operation of the Sri Lanka Army when thousands of fleeing Tamil hostages were rescued from the jaws of Prabhakaran. Every hostage had evidently lived without a chance of mixing or living with a Sinhala or knowing what a Sinhalese looked like except perhaps through the doctored video footages shown by Prabhakaran's recruiting agencies that visited villages and schools in the Tamil areas. more..

LTTE’s defeat holds lessons for separatist groups

May 27 (LG) The defeat of the LTTE holds an important lesson for separatist movements around the world. The lesson is: switch to political negotiations with the governments you oppose. In an atmosphere where force by non-state actors is branded as terrorism and penalised by the international community, you will win only through peace agreements, not through force. more..

Future of Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus – III

May 27 (LG) India’s new External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna cautioned Sri Lanka to begin addressing the root causes of the island’s ethnic conflict: “Addressing the root causes would include political steps towards the effective devolution of power within the Sri Lankan Constitution so that Sri Lankans of all communities, including the Tamils, can feel at home and lead lives of dignity of their own free will.” more..

West and East - the two faces of continuing Tiger terrorism

May 27 (PISL) The antics of some elements in the West get even more curious, as they seek to resurrect at least some aspects of the Prabhakaran legacy in what seems an adventurist strategy to destabilise South Asia. Interestingly enough, the latest evidence of this comes from TamilNet which still continues in a state of denial about the death of Mr Prabhakaran. Evidently controlled now by Mr Vaiko and his ilk in India, more..

Gang of extortionists arrested

May 27 (CT) Sri Lanka Crime Division has arrested the leader and three members of a gang of extortionists, who had targeted wealthy Colombo, Sri Lanka businessmen in the guise of LTTE cadres. Among the arrested is a police constable who had been sacked from service, police said. One of the gangsters was seized when he had come to Kochchikade Catholic Church to receive a ransom of Rs. 60,000 from a footwear businessman of Kelaniya two days ago. more..

SLFP ex-co approves Karuna's position

May 27 (CT) The executive committee and the national committee of the SLFP met last afternoon (May 26) at Temple Trees, chaired by president Mahinda Rajapaksa. A proposal submitted by the party central committee to appoint Minister of National Integration, Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman as a SLFP Vice President was passed by the executive committee. more..

Judges who served whims of LTTE sacked - CJ

May 27 (CT) Judges of courts in northern and eastern provinces, who had given judgments to serve the whims of the LTTE, have been sacked, said chief justice Sarath N. Silva. The CJ was speaking at a function where he was felicitated for his services to the judiciary and the country. Felicitations in honour of Mr. Silva are taking place before he completes 65 years of age on June 07, when constitution requires him to retire. more..

TMVP to amend party name

May 27 (CT) Chief Minister of Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has decided to amend the name of TMVP, the party he leads to omit the word that means 'Tigers', party secretary Kaileswara Raja has told the media. The TMVP Central Committee is to take a decision on the matter next week. Previous attempts by Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman to change the party name to omit the section 'Tigers' failed. more..

Protest in front of Canadian HC in Colombo

May 27 (CT) More than 1,000 protestors held a demonstration in front of the Canadian High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka this morning protesting against what they claimed as Canada’s inaction against acts of violence by pro-LTTE elements in Canada against Sri Lankans living in that country. Protestors shouted slogans accusing Canada of supporting LTTE terrorism. Some protestors hoisted an LTTE flag outside the embassy while more..

Norochcholai coal power to kick off

May 27 (GDI) The Minister of Power and Energy has taken action to begin the construction work on the country’s first coal power plant project in Norochcholai. The plant will be constructed in three phases of 300 MW each, and the first stage is expected to be completed by 2010. Construction is set to begin within the next few months and 50% feasibility work has been already done, Minister of Power and Energy W.D.J. Senevirathne said. more..

June 30: dead line of Grade One admissions

May 27 (GDI) The applications for Grade One school admissions would be accepted till June 30 and children would be accepted under six categories. The applications of children of security forces and police personnel prepared in keeping with a circular issued by the ministry should be forwarded to the Defence Secretary and all other applications should be handed over to the respective school heads. more..

Mass communication to be standardized

May 27 (GDI) Media’s contribution is essential to the government’s massive development programme scheduled to be launched in the near future, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said participating in the Subharathi programme of the SLBC this morning. Several media institutions are operative merely based on private agendas and have ignored the common interests of the nation. Therefore, measures are being taken to introduce standards to mass communication, he further said. more..

President launches road map for a new Sri Lanka

May 27 (MoD) President Rajapaksa's address to the nation on the May 19 is justifiably acclaimed as the best ever by any of our twelve past heads since independence, and most probably heralds in the changes needed for our nation's stable future. The recent events which culminated in the complete eradication of LTTE separatist terrorism after nearly three decades of naked terror, more..

IDP Grama Niladharis reappoint to same position

May 27 (GDI) The Ministry of Disaster Relief Services and Resettlement has taken measures to reappoint Grama Niladharis who fled the No fFre Zone in to the same position in IDPs welfare zone in Vauniya for the service of Civilians. Those Grama Niladharis, would ensure that the IDPs had access to drinking water and sanitary facilities while assisting in the registration of births and deaths. more..

Duty of the public

May 27 (LNP) The Security Forces last week totally defeated the LTTE after a relentless three-year campaign that began from Mavil Aru in the East. The Forces battled the ruthless LTTE for 33 long years and many brave sons and daughters of Mother Lanka sacrificed their lives in the process. Their commitment to rid Sri Lanka of the cancer of terrorism was absolute. President Mahinda Rajapaksa firmly believed that the Security Forces were capable of eliminating the enemy from our soil. more..

'HR as a weapon'

May 27 (MoD) "It's like someone turned on the kitchen light late at night, and the cockroaches started scurrying. We finally got them out where we can find them and kill them". "[They were like] sheep, flushed from a pen ... bewildered and terrified, jarred from sleep and fleeing their bunkers under a hell storm of fire. One by one they were cut down by attackers they couldn't see or understand. Some were literally blown to bits by bursts of 30mm exploding cannon shells." more..

War victory unites politics

May 27 (BL) Successful defeat of terrorism has apparently inspired opposition political parties to rally around the cause for a concentrated effort to resolve other pressing national issues. This was evidenced by the SLMC yesterday proposed a joint appeal to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by all political parties urging for the speedy release of the US$1.9 billion loan that is currently bogged down in deliberations. more..