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Bad cop Nadesan

May 31 (LB) Balasingham Mahendran alias Nadesan was killed three weeks ago during clashes in the final battle between the LTTE and Sri Lankan security forces. The corpse of Prabhakaran’s eldest son Charles Anthony, S. Pulidevan and Ramesh which were later indentified were found alongside. From the little of what is known of the final fight, are conflicting reports about pleas for amnesty by more..

The wretched of the North

May 31 (AT) By conscripting children to feed his war machine and by silencing dissenting Tamil voices, often through murder, Vellupillai Pirapaharan undermined his own image as the liberator of Tamils. By incarcerating hundreds of thousands of civilian Tamils in camps, by preventing even close family members from visiting them and by refusing to give reputed aid agencies access to them, the Government of Sri Lanka is undermining its own claims of being the government of all Sri Lankans. more..

Sri Lanka disputes report of 20,000 dead

May 31 (NYT) Sri Lankan government officials have denounced a report by The Times of London on Friday that “more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final throes of the Sri Lankan civil war, most as a result of government shelling.” The English newspaper’s estimate, which it said was based on an analysis of “aerial photographs, official documents, witness accounts and expert testimony,” relied in part on an anonymous United Nations source and more..

How the LTTE was destroyed and power grab for the international network

May 31 (TC) Consider for a moment if it was possible to defeat the Hezbollah or Hamas. The achievements of the Sri Lankan security forces are of a comparable scale. There were no coalition troops or hi-tech geospatial imagery or other hi-tech equipment, it was the strength and courage of the indigenously trained Sri Lankan security forces that accomplished a feat considered by many as impossible. more..

North: From bullet to ballot

May 31 (SL) As the north prepares to hold a poll to elect members to two local bodies, it is important to consider how prepared the war ravaged area is with its disrupted civil administration and many attendant post conflict problems. In this aspect, the north bears no comparison to the east where there is still sporadic outbursts of violence. Ruled by a ruthless guerilla warlord for nearly three decades, the Tamil people have immediate needs. more..

Meet KP

May 31 (SL) The world knows him as KP, the man who kept the LTTE well fortified with arms and ammunition. To achieve his procurement objective, he indulged in drug trafficking using a widespread network in several countries. Known by many names including Dharmalingam Shanmugam, Kumaran Padmanadha, Kaludai and Kutti, KP was really the wind beneath the militant outfit by keeping it well supplied with arms. more..

The apotheosis of Mahinda Rajapakse

May 31 (SL) At every junction, on every major road, on practically every wall, in the country a single visage — that of the nation’s unifier, liberator and leader, stares out at the people. A face that just five years ago would have been unknown to most of the island’s people is today the most instantly recognisable image in the island. In the wake of the government’s victory over the LTTE Mahinda Rajapakse has achieved omnipresence — he is literally everywhere. more..

‘We could settle on a home-spun solution’

May 31 (SL) PLOTE Leader Dharmalingam Siddarthan claims that the LTTE damaged the Tamil cause much more than the Sinhala leadership or the government led army. In an interview with , The Sundy Leader the former militant turned politician opines that local elections in the north are premature and inappropriate, and the composition of the presidential task force non-representative. more..

Sri Lanka: ten questions

May 31 (LG) As the gory details of what the Tamil population of northern Sri Lanka have been subjected in recent weeks emerge - bit by bloody bit - there is need for a full accounting of every act of barbarity committed against them by the Sri Lankan government. For, behind Colombo’s public parade of bodies of dead rebels and tasteless celebrations of ‘victory’ over the Tamil Tigers there hides today a horror list of unspeakable crimes carried out by more..

The Eelam forecast

May 31 (OI) So why are they bursting crackers in Colombo as if some IPL match was won? Velupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE chief, may be dead or alive. But that's completely beside the point. What everyone should be asking is whether the Tamil question in Sri Lanka is dead. Let's make no fuzzy mistake. The answer is a resounding no. The present triumphalism of the Sinhala government and the carousing people on the streets of Colombo is a display of a kind of political idiocy. more..

Historical survey of Eelam

May 31 (AT) The history of the Tamils is the story of the world. The history of the world is not complete, if the true story of the Eelam is not included. Up to date, a few historians wrote bits and pieces about the Tamils and Eelam, but those were not the complete story. Writing the true story demand researches to uncover the distorted, as well as the deliberately ignored or blackout details, and the ability to rewrite the discarded facts, more..

Is it really over?

May 31 (TS) ON May 18, one of the world’s longest running military conflicts came to an abrupt end. As pictures of the corpse of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran were splashed all over the newspapers, news emerged that the Sri Lankan army had killed not just the elusive leader but also many of his top lieutenants. As surviving LTTE leaders put a brave face on their loss, the streets of Colombo saw jubilant scenes of celebration. more..

Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda passed away

May 31 (AT) Sri Lankan Minister of Justice and Legal Reforms Amarasiri Dodangoda passed away Friday evening (May 30) after a prolonged illness. He was 67. Mr. Dodangoda first entered parliament in 1983 representing the Baddegama electorate, which he has represented continuously. He had been the Cabinet Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs since April 2004. more..

Post-LTTE Sri Lanka will welcome help but resist prescription

May 31 (AT) With the end of the war and the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, the focus has shifted to the issue of a ‘political solution’. Sure, we get the usual rant from the British press about non-existent war crimes, rants that are given dignity by ill-informed politicians in Britain and elsewhere in the Europe, all of whom seem to have little to say about 'Abu Ghraib', more..

Sri Lanka's 'X factor' Malinga back in supernatural swing

May 31 (AFP) Lasith Malinga is such an integral part of Sri Lanka's fast bowling arsenal that it needed the nation's president to intervene and ensure he was fit for the World Twenty20s in England. The bowler with the rare sling-arm action, whose toe-crushing yorkers have tested the world's finest batsmen, sat out the entire 2008 and early 2009 season with a career-threatening knee injury. more..

Separatist movements

May 31 (TS) The 1960s and 70s saw the emergence of a new wave of armed movements, distinct from the largely rural-based guerilla operations conducted by Communist parties in the first half of the century. These groups conducted violent, mainly urban, terror campaigns that usually started with kidnaps and bank robberies before “progressing” to hijacks and assassinations. A few of these groups had radical leftist political agendas more..

UN chief, top aide knew of Tamil massacre, claims report

May 31 (TOI) A day after reports that the final scorched-earth offensive against the Tamil Tigers killed more than 20,000 Tamil civilians, The Times, London, has The picture shows scattered graves of civilians in the final no-fire zone, which extended a few hundred metres around the last Tamil Tiger positions where 100,000 civilians were trapped. The graves indicate that pledges not to attack were breached by the Sri Lankan army. more..

All Sinhala students must learn Thamil language in future and vice versa

May 31 (AT) "According to President’s program 'Mahinda Chinthanaya' short term, midterm and long term projects are already being implemented to teach the Sinhala language to Thamil students and the Thamil language to Sinhala students. The language proficiency program being implemented in the school curricula will continue up to University level", Minister of National Integration, Dew Gunasekera said. more..

Eastern rebel leader surrenders

May 31 (Xinhua) A LTTE eastern leader surrendered on Saturday. The rebel cadre named Shankar had given leadership to the terrorist activities centering the eastern port district of Trincomalee. He surrendered to the police at Kallar area. With the military's crushing of the senior rebel leadership trapped in the northeastern Mullaithivu district in the final battle defense officials said most of the LTTEs operating in the eastern province wanted to surrender. more..

'I'm only 16. They gave me a rifle'

May 31 (Guardian) Darchiga Kuken was sheltering in a bunker in the Mullaitivu area when a group of about 20 Tamil Tiger soldiers arrived and demanded that she went with them. "I was sick with chicken pox. My mother and father were screaming and crying, saying that I was sick and pleading with them not to take me," she said. The men went away. And then at 5pm on 14 March they came back. more..

Opportunity for sustainable development

May 31 (LG) Foreign contractors are flowing into the city, some already housed in five-star hotels which are also seeing an increasing number of inquiries from foreign businessmen. Everyone wants a piece of the action as Sri Lanka prepares for a new chapter of development after nearly 30 years of conflict ended last week with the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran and the annihilation of the once-seen-invincible LTTE. more..

Diyasena reborn

May 31 (LG) The legend of Diyasena takes us back to the times of Parakramabahu the Great. If I remember correctly, an ascetic had predicted that the king will be reborn as Diyasena 2500 years after the Buddha, to save Buddhism from extinction. Now the legend has been revised to say that Diyasena has come to save the Sinhala identity from extinction. In the course of the revised legend, Dutugemunu was inserted in place of Parakramabahu. more..

Sri Lanka Paradise: Miles and miles to go

May 31 (LG) The squawks of the Sinhala hawks have abated considerably. The Peace Doves have stepped up their mooing to squeaks and are now accusing Tigers of crimes which had bypassed the poor doves for three decades. The talk is of reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of human rights. It does convey the impression of Paradise blossoming out again. But is it so? more..

Developmnet of North in two phases-Basil

May 31 (LG) The Chairman of the Uthuru Wasanthaya Presidential Task Force, Basil Rajapaksa says that the programme will go ahead in two phases. “This will see the development of the north to speed up while the resettlement process for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) continues. Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa made these observations addressing a gathering of Tamil intellectuals yesterday. more..

Honorary degrees for President and Defence Secretary

May 31 (GDI) The honorary degrees are in recognition of services rendered by President Rajapaksa in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, restoring peace and harmony among communities. The university senate has decided to confer the degree of doctor of laws (honoris causa) on President Rajapaksa, and a degree of doctor of letters (honoris causa) on Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

VICTORY: Grand finale at Galle face

May 31 (GDI) The National Celebration on Victory over Terrorism and the Military Parade will kick off at the historic Galle Face Green on June 03rd. The chief guest will be President Mahinda Rajapakse. Among the other distinguished participants are Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, Speaker of Parliament W.J.M.Lokubandara, Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, Cabinet ministers and Parliamentarians. more..

Minister Devananda invited to join SLFP

May 31 (LT) Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Dougles Devananda and the members of his EPDP have been invited by President Mahinda Rajapakse to join the SLFP. The government also has informed him that he would be made the chief organizer of the SLFP in the Northern Province if he joined the SLFP and a high post like the one given to Karuna Amman could be given to him in the party. more..

The "Appalling" chorus against Sri Lanka

May 31 (MoD) The latest to use the word was the unnamed BBC correspondent who was quoted on the 11.30pm BBC News on Tuesday night. "Appalling". That was how the BBC Correspondent described the conditions at the relief village for the IDPs in the Vanni. Just one damning word is all that was needed. There was no effort to explain why it was appalling, or when this was said. For the BBC, as for many other western news organizations today, just the word was enough. more..

Leading parties gear up for LG polls in North

May 31 (SO) Leading political parties and Independent groups are gearing up for the forth-coming Local Government polls in the North. Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary and Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the SLFP had decided to contest the LG Polls in the North. The UPFA candidates together with the SLFP nominees will contest, he said. more..

'UNP allowed parallel armies at same time'

May 31 (SO) The President, government and the Security Forces were committed to end the war and bringing about a permanent solution to the 26-year-old conflict but the Opposition headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe was hell-bent on disrupting this smooth flow to peace. The Opposition both locally and internationally made accusation after accusation trying in vain to sabotage this process leading to peace. more..

A silver line in the arena of commercial films

May 31 (SO) Given the heap of collective weaknesses inherited by Sri Lankan cinema, `Once upon a time', Sanath Goonatilake's maiden directorial venture, has become an above average commercial film with its traditional ingredients such as love, hatred and tragedy. Compared with cheap fantasies such as Aba, `Once upon a time' has set a healthy trend in commercial cinema in which, at least, the director attempts to treat the subject matter of the work in an artistic manner. more..

Two die in highway shooting in Mawarella

May 31 (SO) Two persons succumbed to their injuries following a daring shooting incident that took place in the Mawarella police area yesterday morning. The police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunesekara told the Sunday Observer that the shooting took place around 7 a.m. at the Mulatiyana junction where two men travelling in a motorcycle wearing masks, black jackets and black trousers had opened fire at a private passenger vehicle more..

Better to close the stable even after the horse has bolted

May 31 (NS) The victory parades are still being held, our war heroes yet being honoured, and that is understandable - the nation is still heaving a huge sigh of relief that, the 30-year-old war it waged on terrorism has finally come to a brutal but definite end. The country’s victory over the LTTE cannot be underestimated in any way - it is a triumph that perplexed armchair pundits and military veterans alike; indeed, it has been hailed as more..

Police raid CPC boss’s office, seizes computers & documents

May 31 (Island) The police investigating controversial oil hedging agreements between the CPC and three foreign banks on Friday (May 29) afternoon raided the office of the former CPC Chairman Ashantha de Mel, well informed sources told The Sunday Island. They said that investigators have removed some documents and computers after questioning the Secretary to the CPC Board. more..

Killer on the loose

May 31 (NS) Only five months into the year, the statistics of dengue cases and deaths have already topped the entirety of last year’s. A total of 6573 cases have been reported so far, with 85 deaths. The numbers are staggering. In 2008, 6,300 cases were reported for the entire year, while there were only 25 deaths. The first case of dengue was reported in 1962, and by 1989 dengue viral fever rose to epidemic levels. more..

'LTTE was biggest stumbling block for everything'

May 31 (NS) Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and Chairman National Construction of Sri Lanka – Eastern Province, Batticaloa branch N. Suntharesan says the expectation of the Tamils is to live in dignity and with self respect. He says the Tamils should have powers that are enjoyed by the Sinhalese in the South. “Tamils are expecting equal rights as enjoyed by their brethren in the South. more..

Grave crisis in Colombo Port overcome

May 31 (NS) A grave IT crisis at the Colombo Harbour running for more than a week, which was threatening the port’s position as a key shipping hub in the region has apparently been corrected by yesterday. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Wickrema assured last night that the entire problem had now been tackled. All the problems began with the commissioning of the new state-of-the-art NAVIS computer system costing more than Rs.500 million on May 20. more..

After the dust settles

May 31 (Island) It would be foolish for Lankans to assume that everything will be tickety boo, as the popular hit song of yesteryear had it, now that the war is over. That is far from reality. The time for raucous hurrahs, hoisting the national flag and indulging in all manner of celebratory acts must now be quickly ended and the serious business of rebuilding the war-wracked country and caring for those who have paid the heaviest price in the decades of fighting must begin post-haste. more..

Insurance Corp judgment on Monday

May 31 (Island) The much-awaited judgment on the privatization of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) case is scheduled to be delivered by the Supreme Court tomorrow (June 1). Well informed sources said that this would the outgoing Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva’s last major ruling. In this case Vasudeva Nanayakkara who previously moved the Supreme Court against the privatization of Lanka Marine Services Limited (LMSL) filed a more..

Polls and more polls after double victory

May 31 (ST) The triumphalism continues. In the aftermath of a decisive battlefield victory twelve days ago came a remarkable diplomatic success on Wednesday. In Geneva, by a majority vote, the United Nations Human Rights Council rejected a call by the European Union and Switzerland for an investigation into possible war crimes by both the Government and the now defunct LTTE. Twenty-nine countries voted in favour of Sri Lanka. more..

Top Tiger leaders in security forces net

May 31 (ST) Some top Tiger guerrillas are now in the military net after they were located in camps housing internally displaced people. Among those are Karikalan (former eastern province political wing leader and subsequently in charge of the economic disivion), Yogaratnam Yogi (former spokesman of the LTTE), V. Balakumar (former EROS MP turned advisor to the LTTE), Lawrence Tilagar (a former spokesman of the LTTE, more..

Four Tamil parties reject UPFA’s polls overtures

May 31 (ST) Four Tamil political parties have rejected a government call to contest the proposed local elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban council under the UPFA banner, party sources said yesterday. The TULF, PLOTE and the EPRLF (Pathmanabha Wing) and the EPDP were the parties called to contest under the UPFA banner. TULF President V. Anandasangaree told The Sunday Times he had been requested to contest under the UPFA, but more..

End of war to boost growth by 3 pct

May 31 (Reuters) The end of Sri Lanka's civil war will help boost economic growth by 3 percentage points a year as service industries pick up and better security attracts investors, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. "When countries are free of terror, the private enterprises will move in where they have an opportunity," Bogollagama said in an interview on the sidelines of a regional security conference in Singapore. more..

How the Geneva vote was won

May 31 (ANN) A last minute bid by the EU to scuttle an agreement between Sri Lanka and the powerful grouping at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva by proposing amendments to an already modified resolution moved by Sri Lanka has helped Colombo to widen its margin in a historic diplomatic victory. Foreign Ministry sources said that before Sri Lanka received 29 votes in support of its Resolution and 12 against with six abstaining, more..

Recipe for relief

May 31 (ST) For many of the 300,000 people living in the IDP camps in Wanni, a simple hot meal has become a luxury they hardly dare dream about. Wanting to make at least a little difference in the lives of these Sri Lankans who have seen so much suffering these past few months, the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka has stepped in to help by doing what they know best; cooking. The programme they will launch along with Give2Asia, and Sarvodaya, aptly named ‘Helping Hands’, more..

Fate of Tamil Tiger spy chief unclear: report

May 31 (AFP) The Sri Lankan military is probing the possibility that the Tamil Tiger's spy chief may still be alive, despite testimony that he was killed with the rest of the rebel leadership. "The military is still investigating Tiger intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman's death as they could not find his body among the top level Tiger leaders," the state-run Sunday Observer said. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka claim victories over terrorism

May 31 (AP) Pakistan claimed Sunday its military offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley was nearing a successful end, while Sri Lanka held up its victory over Tamil Tiger rebels as a triumph over terrorism. Senior officials of the two South Asian nations, speaking at a security summit in Singapore, provided an upbeat assessment of their counterinsurgency operations even though the two wars have spawned two of the region's biggest humanitarian crises. more..

Army probing Pottu Amman's death

May 31 (PTI) Unabled to retrieve the body of LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman from the war zone, the Sri Lankan Army is still investigating the possibility that he may be alive despite several claims to the contrary. Amman, wanted in connection with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, was believed to have died along with most of the other Tiger leaders and an LTTE spokesperson had recently confirmed his death. more..

'Prabakaran's father never endorsed his militant ways'

May 31 (PTI) The "mild-mannered" Veerasamy Thiruvengadam Velupillai, the father of the slain LTTE chief Prabakaran, never endorsed the militant ways of his son and was not even on talking terms with him for a long period. "The LTTE leader's father was a duty conscientious mild-mannered gentleman, well respected and well-liked. People of Valvettithurai (where Prabakaran hailed from) used to say that even the grass wouldn't get crushed when Velupillai treads on it," more..

Govt. invites investment to war-ravaged north

May 31 (PTI) Inviting private investment to rebuild the war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka, the government has said it will ensure "local ownership" of the development projects to be implemented in the region. Chairman of Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province, Basil Rajapaksa, said the government wanted to localise development projects to suit the needs of the people in the northern areas, more..