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Summary of the Cabinet decisions

May 29 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister W.D.J. Senevirathna to obtain membership of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) considering the mutual benefits Sri Lanka gains by being a member. Further, the cabinet authorized the Ministry of Power and Energy to sign the status of IRENA and to contribute membership fee regularly upon determination of such membership fee by IRENA out of the funds to be provided by more..

Sri Lanka: Time for reconciliation

May 29 (LG) A week ago, the guns fell silent upon the island nation of Sri Lanka. After 26 years of treacherous war, the nation’s conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has finally come to an end. The moment has arrived for all Sri Lankans to reflect upon the past and the future. The LTTE has been finally defeated and hopefully expunged. We can now live in our homeland with a sense hope and security. more..

Tamil-Sinhala rift remains

May 29 (LG) What happened in Sri Lanka in the local Tamil people's battle for asserting their rights in that multi-ethnic country is a matter for all of South Asia to think over and draw appropriate lessons. Sri Lanka’s success was the result of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s determination to end the menace of the LTTE threatening the internal security of his country by resorting to random killings. At the end of it all, the LTTE struggle was a failure. more..

Four historic conjunctures where Tamil thinking tumbled in to "Tappitam"- I

May 29 (LG) The military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the eradication of its top leaders by May 19th, 2009 marks the end of one historic process and the beginning of another. Given the globalization of the Tamil Diaspora, this historic conjuncture has been associated with unprecedented agitation in the major capitals of the world (Sri Lanka Guardian, 3-May, ). more..

UNP MP calls for defeat to int'l plot against armed forces

May 29 (CT) UNP MP for Hambantota Sajith Premadasa has called on the Sri Lankan citizenry to defeat international conspiracies against the armed forces who had rescued the motherland from the scourge of terrorism. This has become their supreme responsibility, as plans are afoot to distort, ridicule and discredit the brave military commanders, heroic soldiers and their humanitarian operation through 'kangaroo courts,' more..

Sri Lanka: Wrong direction in diplomacy

May 29 (LG) Only after Sinhalese extremists went on their third violent demonstration against the foreign embassies in Colombo, the Government of Sri Lanka woke up and realized the need to deeply regret over the incident. Sri Lanka cannot afford to compromise its foreign relations to celebrate the jubilation over victory against LTTE. Yesterday (May 27) morning, political henchmen of the government belonging to an extreme Sinhala party, more..

Roadmap to Reconciliation – unpopular but critical issues

May 29 (LG) There are heaps of articles dragging attention to nation building. It is heartening to see many intellectuals are showing a keen interest in rebuilding their nation. This is undoubtedly one big victory achieved by security forces over the LTTE. During the time of the LTTE, it didn’t tolerate any Tamil working for Sri Lanka. Instead they were compelled to promote the struggle. more..

Captured weapons in the Eelam War IV to be displayed in Galle Face Green

May 29 (AT) All weapons captured from the LTTE in the Eelam War IV that commenced from Mavilaru in the East in 2006 will be displayed to the general public on June 03 at Galle Face Green in the national celebration of victory over terror to be held under the auspices of the President Mahinda Rajapakse. The Defence Secretary, the commanders of the three armed forces, the Inspector General of Police, more..

A loud-mouth bungling

May 29 (DW) A clever plan by MIC to finish-off the remaining LTTE cadres under Ram and Uma Ram in the East was bungled by an information leak by a few callous officers and the local media. However, unknown to the media, a large number of cadres had already surrendered, some had deserted while others were mysteriously gunned down (including the 11 killed yesterday). But unfortunately, following the wide publicity given to the killing of 11 cadres, more..

Jaffna Municipal Council election to be held soon

May 29 (TN) Plans are afoot to bring down Sinhalese government officials from South to conduct Jaffna Municipal Council elections, sources in Jaffna said. Efforts are underway to elect a SLFP Mayor to Jaffna which was once held by Alfred Duraiappa, representing SLFP, the sources added. 1,00417 voters are eligible to elect 29 members for Jaffna Municipal Council in the election for which preparations are underway, more..

A disgraceful vote which discredits the UN Human Rights Council

May 29 (Times) The vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council to congratulate the Sri Lanka Government on its victory over the Tamil Tigers and to ignore calls for an inquiry into possible war crimes is a disgrace. It marks a victory for all those countries facing domestic insurgencies who fear any serious investigation into their behaviour. It gives carte blanche to armies to use whatever means available to achieve victory. more..

Tamil Tiger chief's parents found

May 29 (BBC) The parents of the Tamil Tigers' dead leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, are in a camp for displaced people in the north of Sri Lanka, the army says. Thiruvenkadam Velupillai and his wife, Parvathi, both in their 70s, were found in the Menik Farm camp near the town of Vavuniya. "They are safe and in good health," a spokesman, Brig Udaya Nanayakara, said. Family friends fear for the couple's safety, although they say they were not involved in the rebel struggle. more..

Two men charged over acid attack on Sri Lankan students

May 29 (AAP) Two men have been charged over a violent, racially-motivated suburban Sydney home invasion in which acid was poured over two Sri Lankan students. At least five men forced their way into a home on Alexandra Avenue at Westmead about midnight (AEST) on May 17, police said. They threw acid over Jayasri Watawala, 22, leaving him severely burned. The invaders also doused Chathuika Weerasinghe, 27, with acid before stabbing him more..

Children in IDP camp Manik Farm

After the slaughter

May 29 (Economist) Only days after Velupillai Prabhakaran was found dead on a battlefield in north-eastern Sri Lanka on May 19th, cracks have emerged in the Tamil Tiger rebel group that he controlled for over three decades. At issue is whether to concede that Mr Prabhakaran, whose pudgy corpse was displayed for television cameras by the army and then burned, is really dead. On May 24th Selvarasa Pathmanathan, head of international relations for the LTTE, more..

DNA test confirms Prabhakaran's death

May 29 (AP) Military said Thursday it has proved conclusively through DNA testing that Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed last week, after supporters refused to believe a government video showing the leader's dead body. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said lab tests compared the DNA of the man they believed to be Prabhakaran with that of his son, who was also killed in the fighting, and proved that the body was the rebel leader's. more..

EU expresses regret as Sri Lanka avoids war crimes probe

May 29 (AFP) The European Union expressed regret Thursday at the failure to launch a probe into alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan military during its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution proposed by Sri Lanka and non-aligned states that welcomed Colombo's pledges to seek reconciliation and resettle "the bulk" of displaced people within six months. more..

Slaughter in Sri Lanka

May 29 (Times) “Deeply disappointing” was how a human rights group yesterday described the vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council hailing the victory of the Sri Lankan Government. This is a breathtaking understatement. It was an utter disgrace. The 47-member body, set up in 2006 to replace the previous corrupt and ineffectual UN Commission on Human Rights, has abjectly failed one of its first and most important tests. more..

Provide no-strings help, now

May 29 (G&M) The only innocents in Sri Lanka's war have been the civilians. Not just these past few months - when the West fully realized what was happening - but for more than 25 years. In that time, there have been suicide bombers, the silencing and the death of moderates, excessive government retaliation, the relocation of whole villages for political reasons, jingoism and abundant nationalism. more..

Aid agencies call for unfettered access to IDP camps

May 29 (IRIN) Aid workers are calling for unfettered access to more than 40 camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka's north. "Access is critical right now due to the fragile state of health of the people who have just arrived," Gordon Weiss, UN spokesman, told IRIN on 28 May in Colombo. “Humanitarian agencies need unimpeded access to wherever the displaced persons are located,” he said. more..

Tamils escape the horrors of war to internment behind razor wire

May 29 (National) Shiva Rubi last saw her son two weeks ago when she and thousands of others waded across a waist-deep lagoon that formed the physical barrier between the advancing Sri Lankan army and the final redoubt of the Tamil Tigers. After days of sheltering on a tiny strip of beach in makeshift bunkers with shells raining down on them, she and her four children decided to make the dangerous journey. more..

Sri Lanka wants more troops to keep the peace than won the war

May 29 (G&M) A tall, mustachioed man with a short temper and the formal bearing of a previous century, General Sarath Fonseka is now known across Sri Lanka as the shrewd tactician who organized the violent defeat of the Tamil Tigers last week in an operation he called Unceasing Tsunami II – in large part by making his army large enough to crush the guerrilla force. Now that this artillery tsunami has abated and more..

Sri Lanka sees chance in cheap ships

May 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka could make use of the global slump in shipping to rebuild its national merchant fleet as ships without work are now going cheap, the island's navy chief Wasantha Karannagoda has said. The end of the 25-year-old ethnic war gives the country an opportunity to revive its merchant navy, he said. Having a national fleet could reduce reliance on foreign shipping, he said in an interview on the ITN state television station. more..

After war, war measures

May 29 (G&M) The government of Sri Lanka continues to show a lack of magnanimity in victory. Despite the end of the quarter-century-old civil war and the thorough defeat of the LTTE, the Colombo government has extended indefinitely a four-year-long state of emergency and will keep The Prevention of Terrorism Act in force. Together with the detention in displaced-persons camps of as many as half a million Tamils, and more..

‘Rana Udara’ from Patriotic National Centre to safeguard war heroes

May 29 (G&M) Patriotic National Centre (PNC) would launch ‘Rana Udara’ programme to protect and appreciate war heroes who have been injured and disabled, their families and families of those fallen heroes in the war against tiger terrorism said Ven. Dhambara Amila Thro, President of PNC. Speaking at a media meeting Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero said, “As a nation we have achieved a great victory. more..

Sri Lanka denies Pakistani pilots flew its planes

May 29 (Dawn) Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke, has said that the bombing missions in the just concluded war against the Tamil Tiger rebels were carried out by Sri Lankan and not foreign pilots. This remark is significant in the context of rumours persistently spread by the Tamil Tigers that the Sri Lankan air force was bombing accurately this time only because its planes were flown by Pakistan Air Force pilots. more..

Sri Lankan Army and Tamil Tigers had vast stocks of weapons

May 29 (Times) The two combatants in the war in Sri Lanka were never short of firepower. The Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers had accumulated stocks of munitions, the former helped by China and the latter by devoted agents tapping into the global market of Russian-made weapons. Both sides ended up with similar weapons, such as 81mm and 82mm mortars and heavy and light artillery pieces. more..

'No pressure on SL for World Twenty20'

May 29 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara said his team would make a "very strong impact" on the World Twenty20 with less pressure on it to perform in this format. The tournament, which begins next week in England, marks Sangakkara's maiden tour as captain since taking over from Mahela Jayawardene, and the team's return to cricket following the Lahore attack in March. "I don't think there is as much pressure on us in the T20 format as an international side as when we play Test cricket and one-day cricket. more..

Photographs show destruction and despair of Sri Lanka’s no-fire zone

May 29 (Times) From the dusty helicopter window the ground looked like any number of other tropical war zones; the bombed-out buildings, the charred palm trees, the burnt-out abandoned vehicle. Then there was the glint of the green lagoon and suddenly I was looking at the same unmistakable terrain — the inlets of water, the long, sandy spits that I had been gazing at for weeks on a map in London as I tried to imagine what it meant to be inside the no-fire zone. more..

Times photographs expose Sri Lanka’s lie on civilian deaths at beach

May 29 (Times) On Wednesday evening the Sri Lankan delegation at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was celebrating after its victory in fending off an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by its army. Sri Lanka’s Government has consistently denied killing civilians in the battle to wipe out the Tamil Tigers and blamed the rebels for any deaths. It hailed the vote by the council as a vindication of its action. more..

16 Pakistanis in Sri Lankan jails to return home

May 29 (DT) Sixteen Pakistanis who were serving various terms in Sri Lankan jails are being sent to Pakistan under an agreement for the transfer of offenders signed between the governments of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in December 2004. They would travel in four groups, and the process had already started on May 27. The prisoners would be received in Karachi by the immigration authorities of Pakistan, more..

Prabhakaran still alive, say Vaiko, Thirumavalavan

May 29 (EB) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Wednesday said India had made a mistake by voting in support of Sri Lanka in the resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council. Speaking at a marriage function at the MDMK legal wing secretary Subburathnam’s family in Tirunelveli, Vaiko asserted that LTTE chief Prabhakaran was still alive. For the last five months, 1,45,000 Tamils had been killed in Sri Lanka and 3,50,000 people were living in unsafe conditions. more..

Tsunami childeren in Sri Lanka

Aftermath for Tamils in Sri Lanka and abroad

May 29 (EB) "(The war) is not going to end soon," said Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the Sri Lankan army's spokesman, last month. "It will take some time to completely eradicate terrorism from the country--we think about two years." In the euphoria over the recent military victory that ended the conventional war against the LTTE and wiped out most of their leadership, most people in Sri Lanka have forgotten that prediction, but it remains likely. more..

Celebrating a victory: complexities in perspective

May 29 (LG) The other day, out of the blue, a vehicle packed with people, waving the national flag, whizzed past me in Colombo. Celebrations, I then thought, continue; in some measure, in Colombo, around the country. These celebrations, such frenzied celebrations, signify something momentous, historical, unbelievable. So much so that questions are being raised, especially amongst the privileged segments of society; isn’t this all too much? more..

Economic stimulus package to boost export sector

May 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka well geared to meet economic downturns in the face of a global economic recession, the intent of the current economic stimulus package is to pump money into the economy quickly, as this money help the export sector grappling with their own monetary issues, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Anura Priyadharashana Yapa said at the weekly cabinet briefing. more..

APRC discuss Constitutional Court

May 29 (PSM) All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) resumed last evening and continued its deleiberation on the establishment of Constitutional Court. Prof. Laxman Marasinghe, an expert on the subject answered the queries of the members on the subject. The APRC met under the chairmanship of Prof. Visva Warnapala, Minister of Higher Education and the SLFP representative since the APRC chairman and Minister Prof. Thissa Vitarana was overseas. more..

'Sri Lanka needs the solidary support and cooperation of the IC to rebuilt'

May 29 (LG) At the outset allow me to extend my appreciation for the statement of the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, whose presence in this special session evidences the constant will of Sri Lanka of exchanging with the international community, the importance Sri Lanka attaches to the Human Rights Council, of which it was a founding member, as well as the commitment of the country in this regard. more..

Special medals to war heroes

May 29 (GDI) Special medals were awarded to the war heroes who took part in the victorious Wanni humanitarian operation in the presence of the Commander of the Army General Sarath Fonseka at a special ceremony held at Army headquarters yesterday (28). Also, special medals were awarded to troops engaged in final battle. Ground commanders and hundreds of troops in the Army who fought day and night for victory over terrorism, more..

Basil moots humanitarian measure for IDPs

May 29 (GDI) MP Basil Rajapaksa has recommended that the relatives of aged, disabled and wounded displaced persons in the North be engaged to look after those segments, after verification of the relationship through the Grama Sevaka and Divisional Secretary of the respective area. He made that recommendation as an urgent measure to ensure better humanitarian services to those segments of the displaced. more..

We Are the Same…Not Different

May 29 (MN) The old saying, “the world is getting smaller all the time,” was never more true than it is today. We have seen how the economic crisis in the United States triggered the downturn in the entire world economy, and we have also seen how extremist terrorism quickly spread like a cancer from one country to another – seemingly overnight. Geopolitical boundaries have very little meaning these days in terms of events; even if we think they are local and insignificant, more..

Victory over diplomatic terrorism

May 29 (LNP) David sent Goliath reeling in Geneva on Wednesday. Little Lanka, preening herself on defeating terrorism on home soil, scored an impressive victory over `diplomatic terrorism` in a hostile terrain. At the UNHRC special session, her resolution to counter an attempt to confer pariah status on her was carried with a majority of 17 votes 29 for, 12 against and 6 abstaining. Nobody expected her to crush terrorism. more..

Several Sinhala journalists were in the payroll of the LTTE – IGP

May 29 (AT) "According to some latest investigations of the police, several journalists , mostly Sinhalese, were in the payroll of the LTTE". This was revealed by the Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickramaratne. "They betrayed the noble profession of journalism and not only distorted and misreported against Sri Lanka but also worked for cash and other fringe benefits like fully funded foreign trips", he said, more..

Rs. 8.6 million of public money for road to minister’s club

May 29 (LT) The government has allocated Rs.8.5 million to construct the private road to Austrasia club at Thalawathugoda say reports. The reason for allocating such a large sum of money to construct a private road is that 22% of the shares of the club are owned by a ‘Minister of Nation Building’ from Kurunegala adds these reports. The Minister of Highways T.B. Ekanayake had rejected a request made by the minister to allocate funds to construct the road. more..

'SLFP position gives Dulles teeth to hunt down trade unions'

May 29 (LT) Minister of Transport Dulles Alahapperuma has intentionally avoided the meeting trade unions had asked to discuss ways and means of developing the CTB and several issues pertaining to the employees of the transport service complain transport trade unions. They state the minister acts in an arbitrary manner derogating trade unions. Mr. Sepala Liyanage, General Secretary of All Ceylon Transport Employees Union more..

360,000 lost jobs in five months – Wasanthe Samarasinghe

May 29 (LT) During the past five months nearly 360,000 people have lost employment says President of Intern Company Employees Union Waqsanthe Samarasinghe. Mr. Samarasinghe says such a situation has occurred due to global economic crisis and also due to the inefficiency of monetary system in the country. He says 60,000 have been evicted from direct employment and 300,000 indirect jobs too have been lost. more..

Programme to restrain dengue from Tissa Pradeshiya Sabha

May 29 (LT) A special programme to restrain dengue epidemic that is spreading throughout the country at present has been launched by Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha. The special programme was launched as soon several dengue patients were discovered in the area said Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha H.L. Jayasiri. The programme carried out with instructions from the Divisional Health Officer and public health officers includes more..

'Sacking Kaduwala PS member from JVP is legal'

May 29 (LT) The Appeal Court has decided that sacking of Prabhath Batuwandeniya, Member of Kaduwala Pradeshiya Sabha by the JVP from the party for disciplinary action is legal. The Appeal Court gave the order when a petition filed by Mr. Batuwandeniya was taken for hearing. The JVP sacked Mr. Batuwandeniya from the party for taking the membership of National Freedom Front (NFF) while being a member of Kaduwala Pradeshiya Sabha as a member of the JVP. more..

US special representative Shuler commends resettlement of rescued hostages

May 29 (MoD) "I congratulate the Sri Lankan government on their victory against the terrorists in their country, the LTTE. I also commend the remarkable work and efforts of the government of Sri Lanka in putting together the IDP camps in such a short period of time," said United States representative Heath Shuler( Democrat- North Caroline) addressing a press conference held in Colombo, today. more..

'Air Force smashed LTTE targets'

May 29 (DN) The defeat of the LTTE terrorists in less than three years was made possible by the strong political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that paved the way for the three Armed Forces to coordinate action in the battle fronts. In this regard the officers, especially the pilots who worked with dedication helped to destroy terrorist targets with precision so that the LTTE lost the coordination of men and material to face our Armed Forces, more..