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UN council ignores calls for Sri Lanka abuse probe

May 28 (AP) The U.N. Human Rights Council brushed aside calls Wednesday to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by both sides in the final chapter of Sri Lanka's bloody 25-year conflict, and praised the government for crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels. The South Asian nation's allies on the 47-member council, including China, Cuba and Egypt, forced through a resolution _ with 29 votes to 12 against and six abstentions more..

Interview with Senaka Walgampaya

Sri Lanka forces West to retreat over ‘war crimes’ with victory at UN

May 28 (Times) Sri Lanka claimed a propaganda victory last night after the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution praising its defeat of the Tamil Tigers and condemning the rebels for using civilians as human shields. China, India, Egypt and Cuba were among the 29 developing countries that backed a Sri Lankan-proposed resolution describing the conflict as a “domestic matter that doesn’t warrant outside interference”. more..

Sri Lanka: UN Rights Council Fails Victims

May 28 (HRW) The United Nations Human Rights Council on May 27 passed a deeply flawed resolution on Sri Lanka that ignores calls for an international investigation into alleged abuses during recent fighting and other pressing human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The council held a special session on May 26 and 27, 2009, on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, a week after the defeat of the LTTE by government forces. more..

Arjuna may now sue minister

May 28 (TI) Having been vindicated in Supreme Court, the feisty Arjuna Ranatunga is waiting for a “certified copy” of its judgement before deciding on his next step. As reported in these columns on Tuesday, the apex court has, in a landmark ruling, held that his removal as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman, last December, had been “wrongful.” “I’m very happy with the Supreme Court’s verdict... I didn’t ask to be reinstated, which is why the judgement makes no mention of that... more..

No more tears for Tamils

May 28 (LG) The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, deserves the congratulations of all Sir Lankan regardless of their ethnicity. More than any other community, the Sri Lankan Tamils owe him their thanks for ending their misery. As every body knows Tamils in Sri Lanka were under the delusion of Tamil Eelam. His victory should at last cure this mental illness of the Tamils. more..

'Prabhakaran’s parents in IDP camp'

May 28 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at last evening’s Cabinet meeting that the parents of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were living in a newly set up welfare camp in Vavuniya -- together with the relatives of other LTTE leaders. Cabinet discussed the present conditions in the welfare camps and villages, and the measures to be taken to improve them. more..

Sri Lanka poultry sector in dead trouble

May 28 (LBO) A top Sri Lankan poultry breeder says it is destroying parent stock amid a deepening slump in the industry, while a related chicken feed producer said it was hit by fresh government taxes. Listed Three Acre Farms, a unit of Ceylon Grain Elevators - also listed and part of Singapore's Prima Group - said it lost 82 million rupees in the March 2009 quarter as revenues fell 17.0 percent to 201 million rupees. more..

FM hails victory at Human Rights Council

May 28 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has hailed Sri Lanka’s resounding victory at the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday, calling it “an unambiguous and emphatic endorsement by the international community of the Sri Lankan Government’s strategy to defeat terrorism and its pursuit of peace and reconciliation within the framework of a Sri Lankan agenda, as embodied in the Mahinda Chinthana,”. more..

Thousands of soldiers perished in Sri Lankan war

May 28 (wsws) For the first time last week, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse revealed the staggering level of casualties suffered by government soldiers in the last phase of the war against the separatist LTTE. Speaking on the state-owned ITN television channel, Rajapakse acknowledged that 6,261 members of the security forces had died and another 29,551 had been injured since the government resumed the communal war in July 2006. more..

Why Israel is gunning for Sri Lanka?

May 28 (PSM) The government and people Sri Lanka were shocked when they came to know that Israeli has made a proposal to send a combined UN and WHO team to investigate the conduct of the Sri Lankan security forces during the recently concluded offensive against the LTTE. Sri Lanka has successfully thwarted this proposal with the help of its allies. The government is expected to take up this issue with Tel Aviv, the foreign ministry sources said. more..

Sri Lanka refused to be bullied by the West

May 28 (LG) As successive U S ambassadors to Colombo hemmed and hawed loosing sight of Sri Lanka’s geo-strategic importance, foreign aid component from US to Sri Lanka also dwindled drastically. So they switched from baiting to bullying using the moth-eaten argument “humanitarian intervention in the internal affairs,” as a weapon of persuasion. That too failed as Sri Lanka refused to be bullied. more..

Failed Eelam to trans-state Nation

May 28 (LG) Tamil immigrant communities and the diaspora, spurred by the Tiger activists who have established a complex network of associations as fronts for “tax” collection and promotion of Tamil nationalism, appears to be now focusing their attention on setting up a trans-state nation, something akin to a worldwide Tamil Nadu, a far bigger Eelam project encompassing some 73 million Tamils (including 62.4 million in Tamil Nadu). more..

Sri Lanka condemns attack on Canadian Mission

May 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka has strongly condemned the attack by a group of unruly demonstrators on the Canadian High Commission in Colombo yesterday (27). In a statement,Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has called the attack on the Canadian Mission as a "senseless and unlawful act of violence", which he deplored in the strongest possible terms. The Minister stated that this attack has taken place at a time the more..

Anusha Palpita -Competent Authority, Salecine Rupavahini

May 28 (GDI) The Director General,Government Information Department, Anusha Palpita was appointed as Competent Authority, Salecine Rupavahini, effective May 22,2009 by the Minister of Media and Information, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. Palpita will function in his new post in addition to his current position in the Government Information Department. He earlier served as Acting Chairman SLBC, more..

Statement made by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UNHRC

May 28 (MoD) Excellencies, Friends, We are focusing on Sri Lanka at a time when the 30 year conflict which has affected our country so negatively has come to an end. Mr. President, I heard a little while ago from the previous speaker about conflict zones and been given access to conflict zones when the conflict has ended. There is absolutely no issue in terms of giving access. more..

President directs Ministers to visit IDP villages

May 28 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed the Ministers to visit the IDP welfare villages in Vavuniya and oversee the facilities being provided to the IDPs and take steps to find out whether there were any shortcomings, Trade Commerce and Cooperatives Minister Bandula Gunawardhana visiting Vavuniya told the Daily News yesterday. He said each day a Minister visited the IDP welfare villages for the past two months and more..

'LTTE is now defunct' says Jane's defence weekly

May 28 (MoD) The Jane's Defence Weekly said all parties agreed that the LTTE as a conventional fighting force has now become defunct. The magazine quoted UN spokesman Gordon Weiss as saying, "Without Prabhakaran there is no LTTE." The piece written by the magazines Asia Pacific Editor, Trefor Moss in its latest issue as the headline of the issue said, "the defeat of the LTTE began with the formal abandonment of a Norwegian-brokered truce at the start of 2008", by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

National victory parade on June 3

May 28 (MoD) The nation's long-awaited victory over terrorism will be celebrated in grand style on June 3, 2009 in a special parade at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Security Forces commanders, the IGP and troops who took part in the battle to vanquish LTTE terror, too would take part. Security Forces personnel along with their commanding officers, more..

LTTE’s women’s political wing head Thamilini in Police custody

May 28 (AT) The LTTE’s women’s political wing head Subramaniam Shivathai, alias Thamilini, was taken into custody giving her a surprise yesterday, by a special police team, at the IDPs camp in Vavuniya, while she was in the camp with her mother and sister, pretending to be an ordinary civilian, a senior police officer said. Thamilini had come to the government controlled area with the people escaping from more..

'RAW moves to arrest KP'

May 28 (CT) India's RAW intelligence agency has launched an international operation to arrest the only remaining LTTE top ranker Selvarasa (Kumaran) Padmanathan alias KP, Divaina reports. A news article by Norman Palihawadana says KP had been living in various countries, and was last heard of in Malaysia, where an attempt by the country's police to locate him on a request by Interpol, had failed. more..

Uva to be dissolved tonight

May 28 (LT) Uva Provincial Council will be dissolved at midnight today. The relevant gazette notification would be issued by Governor Nanda Mathew at midnight tonight. Accordingly, the election for the Uva PC would be held in the latter part of July. As the G.C.E. O/L examination is to be held in August the Minister of Education Susil Premajayanthe has asked the government to hold the election so that it would not obstruct the examination. more..

UPFA member dies immediately after sworn in

May 28 (LT) The member for Kotte Municipal Council who was appointed to fill a vacancy has died. Mr. Siripala Cooray, UPFA member died moments after he attended the session after his appointment. Mr. Siripala Cooray was appointed to the Kotte MC when Mr. Mahinda Kuruwita resigned after he was elected as a Member of Western PC. Mr. Siripala Cooray who had obtained the next most number of preferential votes was appointed to the vacant position. more..

Pakistan, the main country to help defeat LTTE - JVP leader

May 28 (CT) The key supporter of Sri Lanka to eradicate three decades of LTTE terrorism is Pakistan, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has said. He told the media in Colombo, yesterday that all Sri Lankans should be grateful to the Pakistani government and its people for their support. The MBRLs received from Pakistan were a great help in preventing the LTTE’s capture of the Jaffna peninsula, more..

Members of Thamilchelvan’s family will be allowed to re-unite with relations -Karuna

May 28 (LeN) Minister of National Integration Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman says that the wife and the two children of LTTE political wing chief Thamilchelvan, who now live in Menik Farm camp with other civilians will be allowed soon to join with their relations. The Minister met them at Menik Farm and gave the promise yesterday (26). “Thamilchelvan’s family members are not LTTE cadres. They are civilians. more..

Nandimitra Ekanayake to fill MP position

May 28 (CT) UPFA's Nandimitra Ekanayake has been appointed to the parliamentary seat that fell vacant following the death of UNP MP for Matale Alick Aluvihare, and he is due to take oaths on June 09. The gazette notification of his appointment was issued by the Government Press on May 26 on a directive by the Elections Department, which has also informed the secretary general of parliament of the decision. more..

Self-help projects for IDPs in Puttalam

May 28 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat, in pursuing its mandate to coordinate the peace process, has sponsored a number projects aimed specifically at uplifting the living conditions of women affected by the conflict. The latest in this series was a workshop for Puttalam IDPs held on May 16, 2009, by the South Asian Perspective Network Association (SAPNA) in association with SCOPP. Thirty educated young women from IDP camps in the area were selected to participate in the workshop. more..

Navy foiled LTTE master plan

May 28 (DN) The LTTE terrorist group had a master plan to surround the entire Eastern coast, capture the Trincomalee port and take Jaffna after defeating the Armed Forces, but the national intelligence services and the Navy intelligence grasped the terrorist plan to preempt the plan, to make the victory of the Armed Forces over the terrorist group. For it was well-known that the terrorist Sea Tiger leader Soosai had predicted that the Eelam War IV will be fought on the seas, more..

Banking services for displaced

May 28 (DN) Banking services for more than 200,000 account holders in IDP welfare villages were expanded with the new fully fledged Bank of Ceylon branch opened at the Arunachalam welfare village Vavuniya this week. The newly opened BoC branch has all the facilities like any other branch but special facilities like keeping the valuables and deeds in safe custody free of charge was a unique feature and there were lot of people waiting to open new accounts with us, more..

Mini Co-op cities for IDPs

May 28 (DN) The Government will upgrade all regional cooperatives which had been destroyed due to LTTE terrorism, to Mini Co-op Cities in the North, Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardhana said. Addressing a media-briefing yesterday in Colombo, the Minister said this project will be carried out under the Uthuru Vasanthaya program to provide relief to the people in the North. more..

JVP had led its march to political dustbin - Weerawansa

May 28 (Island) Had the JVP continued to support the Government’s war against terrorism, it could have become a partner in success, but by doing otherwise the party had led its march to the dustbin of political history, leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa told Parliament on Tuesday. Participating in the debate, he said "If the JVP had continued to be an ally of the Government till the end of the war, the entire credit would not have gone to the President. more..

Hakeem commends govt. for eliminating terrorism

May 28 (Island) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, on Wednesday in Parliament congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and commanders of the three forces for eliminating terrorism from Sri Lanka. He said that this achievement against terrorism was "Very remarkable and unprecedented." The Muslim community had ‘all the more reason to rejoice’ over this victory because it had suffered heavily by the LTTE atrocities for the past three decades, he said. more..

Troubled financial institutions getting back on track

May 28 (Island) Depositor confidence has been restored to a degree and it is business as usual at Ceylinco Savings Bank and Finance and Guarantee Company Limited while The Finance Company is expected to stabilize within the next six months. The asset values of the three companies exceed Rs. 45 billion and authorities had to restore public confidence by strengthening management side operations because a cash bailout was out of the question. more..

People in South military victory - Part 1

Presidential HR probe to die a natural death?

May 28 (DM) The much publicized Presidential Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate serious violations of human rights will suffer a natural death without completing its mandate when its tenure of office expires on June 14, a senior Commission source said. The eight-member Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Nissanka Udalagama was appointed in November 2007 by President Rajapaksa, more..

Major artefact smuggling attempt foiled

May 28 (DM) In a shocking yet daring attempt to smuggle out to the United States of America, a collection of priceless artefacts consisting of antique Buddha statues, by a foreigner was thwarted by the Customs, thus putting a full stop to a major international racket operating for a long time. Customs Bio Diversity Protection Unit (BDPU) on a tip-off took an American national into custody last January from a leading courier service more..

NFF to get two ministries

May 28 (DM) The Government has decided to offer two ministerial posts shortly to its latest alliance partner, the National Freedom Front (NFF), to get the party involved in what is termed as post-conflict development work. Government sources said the NFF has already held a round of talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard. “The Government has invited the NFF to take up two ministerial posts and participate in the post-conflict development work. more..

With Prabhakaran dead, SC asks if Rajiv probe still on

May 28 (TOI) The Enforcement Directorate's stress on the pending probe regarding the alleged role of self-proclaimed godman Chandraswami in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination conspiracy case and the recent news about the death of LTTE chief Prabhakaran made the Supreme Court ask on Tuesday about the status of the case relating to the nearly two-decade-old sensational political killing. more..

Preparing for a new chapter of development

May 28 (IPS) As Sri Lanka prepares for a new chapter of development after ending nearly three decades of conflict, ecologists among other experts here are calling for a ‘green’ revolution against the usual foreign investment, private sector-driven type of progress. Foreign investors are already inquiring about the prospects in the war-weary north - now cleared for an economic boom - while five-star hotels in Colombo are seeing increasing demand for their rooms from foreign businessmen and Sri Lankan expatriates. more..

Jaffna traders required to bribe government officials in Colombo

May 28 (TN) Traders in Jaffna peninsula have to bribe government officials to expedite transport of goods from Colombo in lorries through A9 land route, representatives of Jaffna Traders Union (JTU) told the visiting delegation of Colombo Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, in Jaffna. Despite wide publicity by Sri Lanka government that the A9 route is available for public use, transport of goods along this route has taken place only four times since its opening, more..

People in South military victory - Part 2

Pakistan claims key role in win over LTTE

May 28 (PTI) Pakistan's supply of high-tech military equipment and positioning of some of its highly trained army officers in Sri Lanka played a key role in the ultimate defeat of Tamil Tigers, Pakistani media has claimed. "It was the Pakistani defence cooperation with Sri Lanka as the largest suppliers of high-tech military equipment that played a major role in the ultimate defeat of the LTTE at the hands of the Sri Lankan army," more..

Sri Lanka oil explorer says seismic surveys by end-2009

May 28 (LBO) Cairn India said it plans to start seismic surveys in exploring for oil in Sri Lankan waters by the end of this year or in 2010 as it reported a sharp fall in quarterly profits. The company, a unit of Britain's Cairn Energy, said its March quarter net profit plunged 84 percent to 3.9 million dollars from a year before on falling crude prices and higher costs. The government of Sri Lanka has awarded Cairn India an exploration licence to more..

Stocks up 2.3-pct after rights vote

May 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan closed up 2.3 percent as the market reacted positively to a vote in favour Sri Lanka's government at a UN human rights body, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Price Index gained 51.21 points to end at 2,207.25 Milanka index of liquid stock rose 2.50 percent (61.53 points) to close at 2,520.50, according to provisional stock exchange figures. Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees. more..

Obama names ambassadors to Japan, India, Sri Lanka

May 28 (AFP) President Barack Obama named US ambassadors to Japan, India and Sri Lanka, amid heightened tension in Asia over North Korea's nuclear tests, unrest in Pakistan and ethnic tension in Sri Lanka. Obama tapped to longtime Internet and biotechnology lawyer John Roos as his ambassador to Japan, and turned to former Democratic congressman Timothy Roemer to be his eyes in India, the White House said. more..

Sri Lanka denies Chinese help defeated Tamil Tigers

May 28 (ABC) Sri Lanka had a diplomatic victory this week at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, rallying votes to avoid a probe into human rights concerns over the final stages of the war with the Tamil Tigers. Egypt and Cuba, as well as India -- and China helped deliver the outcome, which comes amid closer examination of how the victory was possible after more than a quarter of a century of war. more..

Ottawa denounces Sri Lanka embassy attack

May 28 (TS) The federal government has reacted angrily after hundreds of protesting Sri Lankans vandalized the Canadian High Commission in Colombo yesterday, accusing Ottawa of supporting Tamil Tiger rebels. The demonstrators pelted the mission with stones, sprayed graffiti on the wall and painted over a security camera. Officials denounced the "organized and targeted attack" as "reprehensible." more..

Sri Lanka avoids war crimes probe, slams West

May 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka celebrated a major diplomatic victory Thursday after managing to torpedo Western demands for a probe into alleged war crimes committed during the offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. A little more than a week after government troops defeated the separatist army, the island's diplomats managed to lobby Asian support and commandeer a special session of the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva. more..

Model welfare project in the East

May 29 (PISL) One of the key tasks for the Peace Secretariat in the post-conflict era will be to encourage initiatives that bring disparate actors together. A recent collaboration to supply prosthetic limbs to disabled people in the Eastern Province has demonstrated that even simple welfare projects can be organised in a manner that promotes reconciliation. The Jaipur Foot Programme, administered by the Colombo Friend in Need Society, . more..

The struggle for eqality, justice and democracy

May 29 (GV) This year marks the twentieth death anniversary of Rajini Thiranagama, doctor, lecturer, feminist and human rights defender, and the first death anniversary of human rights lawyer and political activist Maheshwari Velauthan. The former was shot dead by the LTTE as she cycled home to her children after presiding over an Anatomy examination, the latter shot dead by the LTTE as she cared for her sick mother. more..