Solid backing from South Africa
Daily News  Editorial : 19 Nov 1998

With South African President Nelson Mandela saying that the LTTE would not be allowed to open an office in South Africa, Sri Lanka has scored yet another triumph in its efforts to isolate the Tigers internationally. Reports said earlier that the Tigers were compelled to switch overseas operations frmo London to Pretoria, following the passing of tough anti-terror legislation by Britain. With President Mandela issuing a firm 'no' to its plans, the LTTE will be hard pressed to keep its overseas activities on course. 

Click here for the full Editorial


Mandela will not permit LTTE office in South Africa
Daily News : 18 Nov 1998

South African President Nelson Mandela has said "the LTTE will never be allowed to open an office in South Africa," said a press release issued by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria. This categorical assurance was conveyed through South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar and was announced at a joint press conference held by the two ministers at the conclusion of their bilateral talks held in Pretoria on Monday. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister is currently on a tour day visit to
South Africa for consultations with government leaders.

Click here for the full news article

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S. Africa will discourage LTTE activities - Alfred Nzo
Daily News : 18 Nov 1998

PRETORIA, Tuesday (AFP) - South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo on Monday reassured his Sri Lankan counterpart that Pretoria would discourage any attempt by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers to set up a bureau in the country, the foreign ministry said. 

Click here for the full News Article


South Africa supports President Kumaratunga
Daily News : 17 Nov 1998

PRETORIA, Monday (Reuters) - South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo told his Sri Lankan counterpart Lakshman Kadirgamar on Monday that the island's security was an internal matter in which South Africa would not interfere. 

Sri Lanka has expressed concern that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were trying to set up its headquarters in South Africa. 

"South Africa supports President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's program for devolving power in Sri Lanka and believes that the conflict in that country is an internal matter which should be resolved by the Sri Lankan people themselves," Nzo said in a statement after meeting Kadirgamar, who arrived in the country on Sunday. 

South Africa has a population of about one million people of Indian origin, the majority of them Tamil. 

Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry officials have said the LTTE planned to move its base to South Africa after Britain announced it would tighten laws against terrorism. 

Pretoria and Colombo established diplomatic ties in 1994 following South Africa's first all-race election, and Nzo said he and Kadirgamar had committed their countries to boosting ties. 

"The Ministers committed themselves to creating a Joint Bilateral Commission with the aim of expanding cooperation between the two countries," Nzo's statement said. 

Two-way trade between South Africa and Sri Lanka reached 253 million rand (US$ 41.26 million), an amount both ministers agreed should be increased. 

Kadirgamar leaves South Africa on Thursday. 


LTTE plans cast a shadow on Kadirgamar visit
The Hindu : 17 Nov 1998
Date: 17-11-1998 :: Pg: 17 :: Col: a 

The four-day official visit of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, who arrived in Pretoria yesterday, is taking place against the background of recent reports that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is planning to move its International Secretariat from London to South Africa. 

Mr. Kadirgamar is meeting the South African Foreign Minister, Mr. Alfred Nzo, today. Among his other engagements are meetings with two `think tanks' in Johannesburg over the next two days - the Centre for Policy Studies and the South
African Institute for International Affairs. He is to hold a media briefing on Thursday morning in Pretoria before his departure. 

Click here for full details 


President Mandela orders dismantling of LTTE training bases in South Africa on request by President Kumaratunga
Daily News : 11 Nov 1998
By Rohan Gunaratna

The international intelligence and security community focused their attention on South Africa with recent reports exposing the clandestine political and military infrastructure of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in South Africa. To many, it came as no surprise because from time to time, there were unverified reports that groups such as Hamas (Palestinian), Hezbollah (Lebanese), PKK (Turkey) and Bin Laden (Afghan-based), were operating out of South Africa. 

Click here for full details

For further information on LTTE activities in South Africa, read a recently published book by Rohan Gunaratna titled "Sri Lanka's Ethnic Crisis and National Security" (p. 238-241) The book is available for sale
both in Sri Lanka and in the UK

Click here for further details on "LTTE Activities in South Africa".


Tamil parties horrified by LTTE child conscription 
Sunday Times : 15 Nov 1998

Two Tamil Party leaders have accused the LTTE of committing one of the most horrible acts in history by forcibly conscripting a baby brigade, especially in the aftermath of heavy losses at Kilinochchi. 

EPRLF leader, K. Premachandran told The Sunday Times that after the Kilinochchi operation, the LTTE leadership had ordered the Batticaloa area leaders to recruit 5000 cadres within three months. 

First the LTTE attempted to recruit young boys and girls by showing them the video clippings from the operations at Kilinochchi and Paranthan. Since the response was not upto expectations they resorted to forcible conscription. 

"We have reliable information that in many instances the forcibly taken children who escaped from the LTTE have been abducted by the LTTE for the second time as they could not come into the cleared area". 

The Military do not allow young Tamils from the uncleared areas to come into the cleared area for security reasons. 

So even the Tamil parents who want to rescue their children from the clutches of LTTE do not have the chance to do so due to decisions taken in Colombo without considering the ground realities, he said. 

EPDP leader Douglas Devananda said the LTTE's recruitment of children was ghastly and heartless. "We are totally and strongly against the LTTE and all its methods. We have often said this openly. 

"It is ghastly for the LTTE to conscript young boys and even girls, The flower of our youth". "The LTTE is heartless. Recently it was reported that mothers and fathers of children taken forcibly for the LTTE army were wailing and tearing their hair with grief. 

"The 'baby brigade' is one of those inconceivable horrors of history," he said. 


Poland Deports Tamils 

For the first time in history, Poland has deported a group of ethnic Tamils to Sri Lanka.   The eight Tamils were repatriated Thursday on an Aeroflot flight, one of the Tamils was living with a Polish woman who was pregnant by him. 

Click here to see Tamil Tiger Atrocities


Lankan Minister to visit S.Africa 
Hindustan Times : 13 Nov 1998 

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, will be in South Africa early next week to continue to press the Mandela regime to curb the activities of the LTTE, which have reportedly acquired serious proportions lately. 

Click here for full details


Narco terrorists using fake dollars to finance LTTE
Daily News : 13 Nov 1998

.................One of the suspects, a Sri Lankan woman who had been staying in India for the last 18 years, had with her fake dollar bills worth one million. Another one million fake bills were seized from two persons last week who claimed that they had "snatched" the fake bills from a businessman, the report added. 

Giving details on this organised racket suspected to be in operation for a long time The Telegraph said the investigating officers suspect the fake dollars are used to buy heroin from Mandsaur and is smuggled to Sri Lanka. They feel the proceeds from drug trafficking in the island are diverted for the purchase of arms to the LTTE.................

Click here for full details


UN plans crackdown on terrorist fund- raising
Daily News : 14 Nov 1998

NEW YORK -- The United Nations, led by France, is exploring the possibility of drafting a new UN treaty that would cut-off terrorist organisations from all sources of funding worldwide. 

In a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan , French ambassador Alain Dejammet last week urged the 185-member UN General Assembly to initiate a discussion on a new "International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Financing." 

Click here for full details


Whole opposition led by Ranil and others must help Govt end war, says Anura.
Daily News : 12 Nov 1998

The whole opposition headed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, and all the other parties must cooperate with the
Government to find a solution to the North East war, said National List MP Anura Bandaranaike. 

Click here for full details



UN logo.gif (958 bytes)

22 October 1998
Press Release GA/SHC/3482

Click here for the full Press Release
8 May 1998

Press Release HR/4360 
Click here for the full Press Release


Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist religious leaders condemn LTTE attack on Dalada Maligawa
Daily News : 11 Nov 1998

Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist Ministers from Nepal, Bangladesh, Laos and Indonesia roundly condemned the despicable LTTE destruction of the Dalada Mandiraya, the abode of the Sacred Tooth relic of Sakyamuni Buddha at media conference held at the BMICH, yesterday.

Click here for full details


Christian Priest shot dead by LTTE Tamil Terrorists in Jaffna as he prays for peace 
Daily News : 7 Nov 1998

Rev. Selvakoon Sridharan was deep in prayer with his flock of fellow Christians, when suddenly there was a burst of gun fire and the good priest who was on his knees, deep in devotion, slumped to the ground, his body spouting blood from the bullet wounds of a T56 semi-automatic rifle. 

The others at the prayer meeting in Jaffna naturally paniced and ran helter-shelter, while the gunman vanished into the darkness of the night. He was an LTTE terrorist and the Tiger had satisfied his lust to kill. 

Click here for the full News Article


Ethnic groups live peacefully in Colombo- British MP
Sunday Observer : 8 Nov 1998
By Vernon Perera

THE local authorities are the closest to the people. After listening to the Mayor of Colombo Karu Jayasuriya, we are all
encouraged to see the different ethnic groups living together peacefully in the city of Colombo. 

This was stated by the leader of the British Parliamentary Delegation, William O'Brien MP of the Labour Party and member of Normanton since 1983 who paid a courtesy call on the Mayor of Colombo yesterday at the Mayor's Chamber with other

Turning to the Mayor, Mr. O'Brien said, "We also congratulate you at the speed in which you want to clean up the city. The
war which is a stumbling block, I am sure will not be there for long, and peace will dawn on Sri Lanka". 

Click here for the full news article


Ban child soldiers reiterates Otunnu
Sunday Observer : 8 November 1998

COLOMBO, (AFP) - Sri Lanka on Friday called for an international coalition against child soldiers as a top United Nations official said the island's Tamil rebels broke a pledge not to recruit child combatants. 

Sri Lanka welcomed remarks by the UN special representative for children in armed conflict, Olara Otunnu, calling the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to honour pledges to ban child soldiers. 

Otunnu said at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday that despite a commitment to him in May, the separatist LTTE in Sri Lanka had continued to recruit and use children in their struggle against the Sri Lankan government. 

A Sri Lankan foreign ministry spokesman said they welcomed Otunnu's remarks and said it could signal stronger UN stance against the use of children as combatants. 

"We have been concerned that the UN system has not taken a stronger view on child soldier up to now. We are glad that Mr. Otunnu has finally spoken," spokesman Ravinatha Aryasinha said. 

He said the Colombo government hoped Otunnu's action will lead to the formation of an international coalition against the rowing problem of minors being used in wars. "It should have come earlier," Aryasinha said. 

Otunnu who visited Sri Lanka in May said Tamil Tiger child rebels who recently surrendered during the capture of the key northern town of Mankulam were between 13 and 18 years old. 

"These reports are all the more disturbing against the background of that commitment," he said. 

"I appeal here to the LTTE leadership to take concrete measures to stop the recruitment of children into their ranks in accordance with commitments in May." 

His remarks followed a scathing attack on the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) by the Sri Lankan government which accused the UN agency of taking a "soft approach" towards the island's Tamil rebels. 

Sri Lanka also criticised the UNICEF for "dragging its feet" in condemning the LTTE which is battling government forces to establish an independent Tamil homeland in the island's north-east. 


NMAT opposes talks with LTTE
Sunday Times : 8 Nov 1998

The National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT) opposing the move by the LTTE to hold peace talks with the government, made an appeal to President Kumaratunga to turn down the proposal.

"We the Sinhala people will not allow the betrayal of this land, which was defended by the blood, sweat, tears and toil and with the sacrifice of the valuable lives of our people," a statement from the
NMAT said. 

It said civilians who are against separatist terrorism will rise upto eradicate this menace if any peace talks, which might jeopardise the security of the country and its people was held, ignoring the appeal of NMAT.

LTTE's Legal Advisor Rudra Kumaran in a statement made to the London Mid Week News said they are once again willing to negotiate a peace deal. 

The NMAT statement said, " they the LTTE are prepared to forego their claim for a separate state and through a third party mediator they wish to obtain self government".

The release of the "Iris Mona" and "MV Missen" sailors held in captivity is a gesture of their conciliatory mood. The NMAT, disapproves of any negotiations.

However President Kumaratunga has said that the Government is prepared for talks with the help of a third party facilitator, provided the LTTE meets certain pre-conditions. Nelson Mandela, Rev. Desmond Tutu and Thondaman have expressed their willingness to act as mediators. 

The statement also referred to past negotiations held with the government which were of no avail.

The number of service personnel and civilians killed in the bid to create a separate state was highlighted. 


Janata Party leader accuses India govt of being soft on LTTE
Island : 7 November 1998

Janata Party leader Subramaniam Swamy yesterday charged the government with soft-pedalling the LTTE issue under the influence of Central ministers George Farnandes and Ram Jethmalani.

Speaking to media persons here yesterday Dr. Swamy sought to establish a nexus between a leading industrial house, one of whose top executives is facing police action in the Sharma case, and a senior BJP leader. Without naming the politician, he said he would be forced to reveal the identity of the leader if the BJP-led Central Government did not do so by Nov. 20

Click here for full news article


Swamy accuses Govt of being soft on LTTE 
Hindustan Times : 6 Nov 1998

Janata Party leader Subramaniam Swamy today hurled fresh charges at the BJP leadership in connection with the Romesh Sharma scandal. 

He also charged the Government with soft-pedalling the LTTE issue under the influence of Central ministers George Fernandes and Ram Jethmalani. 

Click here for the full news article


Getting India ban lifted is crucial for LTTE 
Hindustan Times : 5 Nov 1998

Keen observers of the Sri Lankan scene are not surprised by the LTTE’s decision to challenge the ban on it in India after keeping quiet for six long years. The LTTE now desperately needs India, particularly Tamil Nadu. 

Internationally, the LTTE is weaker than it ever was. Its position at home in Sri Lanka is none too happy either, having painted itself into a corner, both militarily and politically, with triumphs like Kilinochchi being no more than flashes in the pan.

All this while, the Tigers were smug about their "invincibility", boasting that they did not need India, having "driven out" the Indian Army, described mockingly in Eelam Tamil circles as the "world's fourth largest army". But noticeably, one is not treated to such bluff and bluster very much now. 

India's ban on the LTTE, imposed in May 1992, a year after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, had to be reviewed every two years. The ban was last renewed in May this year. 

Click here for the full News Article


Someone must convince Prabhakaran Eelam is not possible - British MP
Daily News : 5 Nov 1998

British Parliamentarian David Maurice Curry (Conservative) said yesterday that someone has to get alongside Prabhakaran and convince the LTTE leader that Eelam is not possible. 

Click here for full news article


Parents wailing, weeping and pleading as LTTE drags children away
Daily News : 3 November 1998

There is chaos in the LTTE controlled area in the Batticaloa District as parents are reported battling LTTE terrorists attempting to conscript their children. 

Informed sources told the Daily News yesterday that according to latest reports, the LTTE were abducting children at gun point and loading them onto trucks with some of them managing to jump out to freedom, while parents run wailing behind the vehicles. 

In some cases, parents have been successful in dragging their children away from the clutches of the terrorists. 

According to eyewitnesses, these pathetic scenes display the inhuman cruelty of the terrorists towards the Tamils, the sources said. 

LTTE Leader Prabhakaran has ordered all his leaders to abduct children even of the tender ages of eight to ten as the Tigers had lost hundreds of cadres recently leaving too few for combat. 

Last week, the LTTE leaders exhibited film clips of their cadres in battle and used loud hailers to exhort children to join the ranks of the ruthless terrorist organisation but their appeals had gone unheeded. Hence, their brutal abduction of youth. 

Informed sources said that a large number of terrorists had deserted and joined the civilian population while others had surrendered and hundreds of others had moved south to escape conscription. Many were now in Colombo and other urban areas living with their friends and relatives, while still others were attempting to have funds sent from abroad to move to
foreign climes. 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has protested strongly to the United Nations against the violation of a pledge given by the LTTE's Thamil Chelvam to UN Special Representative on Children in Armed Conflict Olara Otunnu some months ago that the LTTE will stop conscripting children. 


LTTE rebuilding network in Tamil Nadu 

With the active connivance of the pro-LTTE parties in the ruling coalition in New Delhi, the LTTE is re-activating its network in Tamil Nadu, according to informed sources here and in Chennai. 

Click here for the full news article................


Tigers plan fresh attacks in city: Don’t give lodgings to outsiders warns IGP
The Island : 4 Nov 1998

Inspector General of Police, Lucky Kodituwakku warned the public not to provide lodgings to any unknown people as there is information that the LTTE is planning to unleash a fresh bout of violence in Colombo.

This plan has come to light following the arrest of two Tiger activists in Colombo, the IGP told ‘The Island’ yesterday.

More details regarding these two Tigers cannot be divulged due to security reasons, he said.

Meanwhile, police investigations had revealed that the Tiger terrorist, ‘Thurairasa’ taken into custody by Trincomalee police a few months back was one who had aided and abetted the suicide bomber, Sinniah Ramanathan who exploded a bomb in a king coconut cart at Torrington Square, Colombo in front of the Chief Minister’s office on August 7, last year.


Cultural castration of the Jaffna man
The Island : 4 Nov 1998
By H. L.D.Mahindapala 


Army says children who lose fathers in war not denied of education
The Island : 3 Nov 1998

The military yesterday denied a claim by Sri Lanka Ex-Services Association [SLESA] that over 6000 children lose their right to further education every year because they lose their fathers in the ongoing war against the LTTE. "There was no truth in this particular claim" an armed forces officer told ‘The Island’ yesterday. The SLESA in an advertising campaign aimed at raising funds during the "poppy week" which commenced yesterday [2] said that every year over 6000 children lose their right to further education after their fathers are killed in the war. The campaign point out that children desperately miss their fathers and the education.

Army headquarters said that families of both officers and men killed in action in the ongoing war are paid their salaries. The wife of a married soldier who die in action at the age of 35 will receive the salary for 20 years [upto the retirement age] and then the pension thereafter.Families are also paid Rs. 75,000 each soon after an officer or an ordinary soldier died in battle.Even families of those who have been placed ‘missing in action’ are also paid salaries upto the retirement age and pension thereafter.

"Despite financial difficulties the government continued to pay salaries and pensions" an officer attached to a branch handling welfare matters told ‘The Island’. Servicemen who died in the two insurgencies launched by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna [JVP] were also treated the same way, security forces officers said. "We don’t deny the fact that children will miss their fathers, brothers and other loved ones," the military said.

Click here for the full article


A Tamil heroine unmourned and the sociology of obfuscation by UTHR (Jaffna) – Chapter 8

The aims and the character of political killings by Tamil groups
The Island : 2 Nov 1998

Click here for the full article


LTTE demands Rs. 650,000 for release of fishermen
Daily News : 2 Nov 1998

The LTTE has demanded a ransom of Rs. 650,000 to release six Sinhala fishermen captured on Friday. Sea Tigers seized six fishing boats with 12 fishermen aboard near foul point in the early hours of Friday and forcibly took them to Sampur beach. 

Click here for the full news article


LTTE attacks another Passenger ship

A passenger vessel, Lankamuditha, which was on its way to Trincomalee from the Northern Jaffna peninsula, escaped from a possible attack by the LTTE today when fierce mid-sea fighting broke out for four hours off Mullaitivu early this morning. 


LTTE may move base, Lanka cautions South Africa 
Amidst reports that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is winding down operations in London in the wake of tough anti-terrorism laws in the UK, Sri Lanka has conveyed its ``serious concerns'' to South Africa that the violent separatist group may shift its headquarters there.

For full details, click Indian Express : 30 Oct 1998

LTTE base in South Africa exposed
Sunday Times : 1 Nov 1998
By Roshan Peiris

With Britain joining the US and India in cracking down on the LTTE's front organisations, there is increasing evidence that the Tamil rebels are moving their international operations centre to South Africa. 

A South African newspaper recently reported details of the LTTE's growing South African connection — the secret supply of arms and money through Tamil supporters there to the war coffers of the LTTE here and secret moves to set up their main centre in South Africa. 

The Sunday Times of South Africa quoted a group calling itself the South African Tamil Tigers saying LTTE members were receiving training there. 

The group's spokesman, was quoted as saying LTTE members regularly slipped into South Africa to receive secret training in the latest weapons technology. 

"We are in daily contact with members of the LTTE. We also have a highly disciplined and militant group of Tamils here who have received training in explosives and tracking. Some of our members are prepared to make the supreme sacrifice for the Tamils in Sri Lanka," he was quoted as saying. 

Mr. Veerabadren denied local supporters were supplying arms to the Tamil Tigers. 

But Edward Pillay, Public Relations officer for people against Sri Lankan oppression, another local Tamil support group, said regular financial donations were made to the minority struggle in Sri Lanka. 

"Before the unbanning of the African National Congress, when foreign countries gave the ANC funds, no one questioned what the funds would be used for. Likewise we are sending money to Sri Lanka and we are not questioning what it will be used for," Mr. Pillay said. 

Responding to these, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner Gamini Munasinghe was quoted as saying he was aware of several organisations in South Africa which were allegedly acting as LTTE fronts. 


Newspaper reveals Tiger attempts to set up base in S. Africa
The Island : 31 October 1998

The South African government is probing reports regarding secret arms supplies to LTTE by local Tamil supporters and that the terrorists plan to set up a clandestine base in South Africa, South African newspaper, 'Sunday Times Extra' revealed in its lead story headlined 'Tigers eye SA for base' datedine October 25 1998.

The story is as follows ; 

This comes after Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga met South Africa's High Commissioner to India, Jerry Matsila last week, and asked the government to urgently probe the supply of arms to the LTTE. Matsila confirmed Kumaratunga had raised 'some serious issues of great concern' during their meeting in Colombo , including reports of plans by the rebels to set up a base in South Africa.

Speaking from New Delhi, Matsila confirmed he had alerted the government to the reports that the LTTE was planning to move its base from London to South Africa.

Matsila confirmed this was ' under government investigation'. He said he had also discussed with the Sri Lankan president how South African Tamils could help urge their 'contacts' in Sri Lanka to opt for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

This week, a group calling itself South African Tamil Tigers confirmed that LTTE members were receiving training in this country. A spokesman for the group, Thamizh Veerabadren said LTTE members regularly slipped into the country to receive secret training in the latest weapons technology.

'We are in daily contact with members of the LTTE,' he said.

'We also have a highly disciplined and militant group of Tamils here who have received training in explosives and tracking. They are prepared to make the supreme sacrifice in Sri Lanka, he said.

'Our people are being killed daily in striketorn Sri Lanka , and we are running out of patience,' he said.

Veerabaden, however denied that local supporters were supplying arms to the LTTE.

The paper quoted Ned Pillay, public relations officer for People Against Sri Lankan Oppression [PASLO] , another local Tamil support group, to state that regular financial donations were made to the minority struggle in Sri Lanka.

'Before the unbanning of the African National Congress, when foreign countries gave the ANC funds no one questioned what the funds would be used for.

'Likewise we are sending money to Sri Lanka and we are not questioning what it will be used for,' he said.

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Pretoria, Gamini Munasinghe, said there were several organisations which acted as fronts for the LTTE.

'It is well known that the United Kingdom has submitted draft legislation to parliament which will ban terrorist organisations from operating there.

The USA and India have banned the LTTE and it is having difficulty operating in Canada. It appears that the LTTE is looking for a new base, but I very much doubt whether the South African govnerment will allow it to establish such a base in this country,' he said.

Munasinghe said in it was well known the LTTE collected arms from various countries without the knowledge of their govenrments.

Foreign affairs media spokeswoman Adri Cronje confirmed the govnerment was investigating claims of arms supply to Tamil Tigers from sympathisers in this country.



Sri Lankans in US Pray for Peace at St. Jude's Shrine

A special Holly Mass for Peace in Sri Lanka was held in Washington last Sunday evening at the shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland with Rev. Calixtus Fernando leading the Mass. The tri-lingual Mass attended by Sri Lankans in the United States and other friends of Sri Lanka here, prayed for peace and understanding in the island. The Mass held for the tenth year in secession asked for blessings upon Sri Lanka and for justice and peace in the land. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who is on a three day bilateral visit to the United States also participated at the Mass and offered a special prayer for the land. The prayer read: "In this great Cathedral in Maryland today I offer my own humble prayer for the return of peace to our country, Sri Lanka. War has taken a most grievous toll in young lives maimed and damaged beyond repair in trauma to families throughout our land who have lost their providers, their loved ones. Countless innocent civilians have died or been injured. They have lost their properties; they have lost their livelihood. Give solace to all those who grieve heal the wounds that our peoples have inflicted on our society.

"Give to our legislators, our politicians, our opinion makers, the strength of mind, the largeness of heart, the nobility of spirit, the courage and the clarity of vision that will enable them to see and grasp the historic opportunity they now have of forging a lasting solution to our national problem."

"To those who fight against the State give them the gift of reason, the perception that reasoned dialogue, not the pursuit of armed conflict, is the path that leads to peace. Intransigencies the enemy of peace. Douse the flames of passion, of hatred, that consume our land for so long.

"Sri Lanka is heir to a rich tradition of spirituality. Our land is the home of Buddhism, Hinduism has co-existed with Buddhism for thousands of years; Islam and the adherents of Islam have an honoured place in our society, Christianity flourished in many parts of our land. All our great religions and faiths teach the message in whatever language they are uttered, that understanding, tolerance, compassion and good will are the ingredients of peace. Give us the wisdom to draw on this source of inspiration, which should unite us and keep us together. 

"I ask for your prayers for the President of the Republic and all those who are vested with authority, and for those who carry responsibilities, in government or opposition for the governance of the country at this time. Give them strength. Give them wisdom. Give them courage. All these humble requests and entreaties I make in the Holy name of Jesus Christ."

Mrs. Suganthie Kadirgamar, Dr. Warnasena Rasaputhram, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States and Deputy Chief of Mission, Mrs Geetha de Silva were among those who participated at this special Mass.

Every year for the last ten years, Sri Lankans in Washington and Maryland gather here in a spirit of brotherhood and pray for their motherland. At the mass, the choir consisting of Sri Lankans in the United States and directed by Melita Ethelbert led the choral worship with hymns and praises in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The familiar Tiru Paadham Nambi vanthane, Jesu Rajaneni and Let there be Peace on Earth were among the repertoire of hymns which filled the walls of the Cathedral the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland.



Lanka rebukes UNICEF for being soft on LTTE
Sunday Times : 1 Nov 1998

UNICEF's Sri Lanka representative Colin Glennie has been summoned to the Foreign Office and given a dressing down on the UN agency's attitude towards the LTTE, The Sunday Times learns. 

Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told Mr. Glennie on Wednesday that UNICEF was the "Conscience of Humanity" but was adopting what he called was the "soft option" when it came to reporting on the LTTE's mass recruitment of children in its war with the Government's Security Forces. 

Click here for the full article


422 LTTE cadres surrender to security forces
Daily News : 30 October 1998

About 422 LTTE cadres have surrendered to the security forces during this year, military spokesman Brigadier Sunil Tennekoon said. 

The average age of these terrorists is less than sixteen. "There are even boys as young as eight," the Brigadier told the weekly Cabinet press briefing. 

For full details, click here...


Children of North-East trapped in war
Daily News : 30 October 1998

Clear evidence of the recruitment of children by the LTTE has surfaced following the surrender of 26 child cadre to the security forces at Mankulam. The National Peace Council condemns the recruitment of children for fighting purposes. This is an act that cannot be condoned. There are further reports of the LTTE following a policy of conscripting children in the areas under its control to replenish its ranks in the aftermath of the costly battles at Killinochchi and Mankulam. 

For full details, click here......


Released soldier reveals LTTE lost 1000
The Island : 29 October 1998

Quoting LTTEers, a soldier recently released by the Tigers has said that almost 1000 cadres died in the assault on the Kilinochchi and Paranthan brigades last month. Lance Corporal K. A. P. Sampath who had been a Prisoner of War [POW] for five years was among four soldiers released by the LTTE last week

For full details, click here......


Interview in London with Visuvanathan Rudrakumar Oct 98 

Click here for the full Report


UN chief seeks arms embargoes agianst rebel groups

by from Thalif Deen at the United Nations

NEW YORK-- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for more widespread use of arms embargoes against rebel groups who target civilians in armed conflicts. 

"The Security Council may wish to consider imposing an arms embargo in situations where civilians are targeted by the parties to the conflict or where the parties are known to be involved in gross violations of human rights," Annan said in a report released here. 

Click here for details.....


Prevent child recruitment

The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), according to our lead news item yesterday, has made it known that it cannot act in respect of the abduction by the LTTE of children to use them as child combatants unless their parents make formal complaints to that effect. This looks a valid reason in that the ICRC is an organisation required to maintain neutrality in a conflict. It cannot be faulted for wanting to steer clear of an issue that is detrimental to the interests of a party to the conflict, the LTTE

Click here for details ..(The Island Editorial : 27 Oct 1998)


History will never let us forget their feats of valour
The nation is proud of their bravery

Their hair raising feats in battle --- on the field,in the air and on sea have not received due publicity . Deeds have won these young men medals for bravery the mass media unfortunately have ignored. 

Remember a Non Commissioned Officer who blew up an armed enemy bulldozer with a grenade saving an army camp that would have been inevitably overrun by the enemy had he not done so in time. 

Another accidentally detected a mine under his light machine gun's bi-pod as he inched his way through Jaffna's mine fields and streets helping the Army gain precious ground in operation Riviresa. The mine he detected -- if it had exploded -- would have had a chain reaction and killed platoons of men behind him. 

There was also the commissioned officer who blew himself up with the enemy to save his company from being totally
annihilated. Yet another rammed an enemy suicide speedboat thereby saving the lives of a thousand civilians. Two other men
helped evacuate the injured in the Central Bank Bombing at the risk of being roasted alive. 

A soldier plunged 200 feet into a cement storage bin to rescue two policemen who had been trapped and were sinking in a
grave of cement powder in the Factory in Kankesanthurai. This list of audacious bravery could be extended ad infinitum. 

Not many are aware that these men who inch their way through mud and grime and mines, through hailstorms of bullets, mortars and rocket propelled grenades end up in a plot in a burial ground with maybe a medal and a sermon while some others run a hundred yards in safe environs and get gifts of land and cash they can spend a quiet retirement on.This, for the
fame they bring to the country.Perhaps have we as a nation lost our sense of proportions and priorities. 

When for strange political reasons we hear more of an alleged defeat instead of a glorious victory in sections of the media. The leader of the opposition pompously gets up in Parliament to demand for true figures of what he calls the 'debacle of Killinochchi', conveniently forgetting that not only were over six hundred unarmed policemen executed by the folly of his UNP Government which was also instrumental in plotting the deaths of Lt. Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Major/Gen Wjaya Wimalaratne, Rear/Adm. Mohan Jayamaha, Col. T.G.M.Ariyaratne, Col. U.N.Palipahana, Maj. Nalin de Alwis, Lt.Com. Asanga Lankatillake, senior officers (as the Kobbekaduwa Commission report revealed) and even that of Lalith Athulathmudali so that the gift of the arms and ammunition to the LTTE would go undiscovered. 

It is interesting to note that these very same men hope to lead the armed forces into battle when their turn comes, if it ever comes. Their morale sapping statements could be a warning of what is to come. 

As far as the brave men go history will sponsor their bravery. The gratitude of a people with memories of the unselfish deeds will be the gold they gain. 

History hopefully, will never let us forget their acts of valour. 

What these young men have in common is that they all are from remote villages or little towns. None have heard of their schools except those who attended them. Their frugal upbringing brought out the valour of their stout hearts. They did not score the winning runs, nor the important goals for headlines to blare like trumpets for a gladiator. 

The LTTE terrorist penetrated the Commercial area of Colombo Fort on January 31 1996, with a lorry bomb that blew a crater in Janadhipathi Mawatha setting ablaze the Central Bank building and Ceylinco House. 

Cpl. W.M.Karunaratne (WV) (25) from GiraanduruKotte in Mahiyangana, was off duty and happened to be passing when he heard the blast and valiantly rushed in, to help. He had fire fighting experience but it took a lot more than that. The inferno required true bravery to be penetrated. 

Within seconds he was part of all the action rescuing five persons from certain death, including a lady who was a polio victim. Karunaratne tore down window drapes then wrapped her up in them and lowered her to safety with a cord. He received burns and cuts from the splintering glass. The others he helped onto the extensible fire fighters ladder while splintered glass flew all around him. 

Karunaratne was awarded the Weerodhara Vibushanaya the highest military award for bravery in a non military operation. 

Cpl Wickremapala (WV) (34) from Mawanella in the Kegalle District was an Army rider carrying dispatches to the Foreign Ministry and was past the clock tower at the Chatham street Junction when he heard the spasmodic bursts of gunfire behind him. When he stopped and looked back, the lorry bomb blew a crater and it seemed that the heavens came down on him. He dashed into the blazing building and up the stairways that were crumbling to rescued more than 25 persons. 

He then drove the injured through the streets of Colombo to Hospital.He was awarded the Weerodhara Vibushanaya. 

Drowning in cement powder 

Cpl. P.A.P.S.Perera (WV) (30) from Danowita in the Gampaha District was billeted in Jaffna when the distress call came from the KKS cement factory. Two policemen had fallen 200 feet into the storage tank of cement. Perera volunteered to drop into the pitch black hole to rescue the policemen. One was neck deep and sinking towards a slow suffocating death.The other was waist deep in the cement and his weight caused the piled up 'quicksand ' to fall on him. He dragged them up a wooden ladder for over twenty five feet and helped them both to safety with a thick rope he had flung down for the purpose. An officer from his platoon was at hand to complete the rescue. 

The defuse mine 

Cpl. Priyantha Kumara (RW) was part of the 6th Gemunu Watch fighting to regain Jaffna from the enemy in Operation Riviresa. From rain drenched trenches he faced the mortars and the rocket propelled grenades that seemed to rain out of the skies.The company however gained ground because of the accurate directing of the big guns firing at the unseen
enemy. Conventional warfare reigned and they entered an urban area. Crawling forward he placed the bi - pod of his gun on the ground and noticed a blue plastic shopping bag stick out of the sand. Gingerly he moved away and alerted his superiors. The bomb was diffused avoiding a chain reaction that would have caused devastation among the security forces. A
day later moving forward to cover the drive against the enemy, he accidently knelt on a mine and lost a leg. 

The man was rushed to Colombo where he had a visit from his betrothed who held a job in the medical services. She swore she would stand by him wooden leg and all and soon after he left hospital they married . Priyatha Kumar is now the father of a bouncing baby girl. 

The Hasalaka Weeraya 

Cpl Gamini Kularatne (PWV) was one of the men defending the Elephant Pass Army camp on July 14 1991 when all the territory the Security Forces held were 171 square miles with the LTTE on the rampage in the North. They had for the first time the use of caterpillar wheeled steel plated armoured trucks and were using them devastatingly. The Elephant Pass camp had been under siege for 40 days. Food and water had run out. One late evening the forward defence barrier and the bunkers had been overrun. Soldiers were crushed in their bunkers beneath the mass of destructive steel. Kularatne seeing the enemy approach the second barrier acted without delay nor warning. Without a word to Cpl.Peter Rowal his good friend, he inched his way through the darkness toward the destructive mass, climbed the ladder of the truck and tossed a grenade into the aperture in the gun turret. The monster was blown to smithereens and Cpl Kularatne was blown up with it. In the light of the blaze behind the armoured truck were hundreds of advancing LTTE cadres. The debacle forced the cadres to take to their heels. Cpl Kularatne was killed by the blast caused by his own grenade but saved the Elephant Pass camp whose defenders held on till General Denzil Kobbekaduwa with brilliant unorthodox military manoeuvres liberated the besieged camp. 

Two other officers like The Hasalaka Weeraya were posthumously awarded The Parama Weera Vibushanaya for deeds of bravery that no script writer could imagine for the celluloid screen. 

Captain S. Aladeniya's (PWV) act of conspicuous bravery and personified unselfishness is one of them. 

Lt.. Aladeniya was in command of an army outpost with a handful of men at Kokavil. The camp was surrounded for several days by LTTE cadres who out numbered them five to one. The food and water were running out in the camp and so was the ammunition. In spite of many requests, reinforcements sent from Lt. Aladeniya's HQ in Nuwara Eliya never reached Kokavil, having been diverted elsewhere. Orders to withdraw from the camp came at the eleventh hour but when it was too late and Aladeniya had wounded men whom he did not want to leave behind. Pledging that he would rather die alongside them than leave them, Lt. Aladeniya fought on till an adjacent fuel dump exploded killing the majority of the defenders in the camp. Lt. Aladeniya lost his life and was posthumously promoted and honoured. 

Captain Nissanka was the commanding officer in a camp at Pooneryn. In a pre - dawn attack the enemy had surrounded the camp and were firing mortars causing death with every volley fired. Seizing up the situation in seconds the officer vanished into the darkness armed with as many grenades as he could carry. He was given covering fire by his men. With all the
grenades unpinned Captain Nissanka flung himself in the midst of the terrorist manning the long range gun and blew them all up with the grenades. 

Sergeant Jayalal(27) (RSP) of the 8th Vijayaba Infantry Regiment has seen action on 'all fronts' in the North and East since he was eighteen. That was way back in 1989. 

The second of three sons, his parents, farmers had him educated at the Horana Kudauduwa Nalanda Pirivana near their home in Uduwa Horana. Frugal upbringing has contributed to his tenacity. The army brought the best out of him, he adds. 

"Fighting on the front is not something one does individually. Companies depend on every officer and every man. One coward can be the down fall of everyone and that will mean death to us all. I have been very fortunate for the officers who led me". He spoke highly of Brig. K.C.J.Jayaratne and Major G.P.T.C.Keerthisena RSP., his immediate superiors. 

In 1992 he was billeted in Elephant Pass and the LTTE had complete control of the North. 

On October 22 1992, woken at 1 am by sounds of gun fire he was rushed to the forward defence line. Five hundred LTTE cadres or more relentlessly attacked the camp driving them back wards. the LTTE attack was repelled.They inflicted casualties to over a 100 LTTE cadres and killing twenty of them. The LTTE retreated before dawn to the Vanni to lick their
wounds leaving behind 20 dead and a number of weapons. 

Jayalal won the Rana Sura Padakkama for distinguished conduct in the face of the enemy. 

The Sri Lankan Navy has somehow battled in the waters and their heros have avoided the limelight. Saving the Naval deputy chief's life after a vessel was caught by a sea mine won an award for Cmdr Gamini Rupasinghe. 

One of two survivors who was unscathed, Cmdr. Rupasinghe found the Rear Admiral H.R.Amaraweera wounded and in danger of drowning. Locating his superior by the light of the fires that raged he dragged Rear Admiral Amaraweera to a floating gas cylinder while the LTTE fired rounds at random into the pitch dark sea that surrounded islands infested with
terrorists. They dared not reveal their whereabouts even after the LTTE had left jubilant that there had been no survivors. They were picked up by a naval speed boat after they had been in the chilly waters for 5 hours and 30 minutes. 

Two other sailors L/S N.K.K. Suraweera (RW) 27 and L/S Pradeep Jayatillake 9 (RW) 26 won Ranawickrema Padakkam for "individual or associated acts of bravery performed voluntarily in the face of the enemy. 

Suraweera a gunner was born in Ratnapura. He joined the Navy inspite of the war in 1989. His father, he described, as a hard working cultivator. On September 13 1996 Suraweera shot his way through a terrorist attack on a naval vessel . He was severely wounded when a terrorist bullet pierced his thigh. 

When one boat had been badly damaged Suraweera inspite of his injured leg. kept the terrorists at bay with his gun while his comrades swam to safety. Of thirteen sailors 11 were saved. 

L/S Pradeep Jayatillake (RW) was on a escort to a large vessel with over a thousand civilians and 250 naval personnel on board. A LTTE suicide squad speed boat was attempting to ram the larger vessel screened by water jets. 

Jayatillake fired and destroyed the suicide boat and then found his gun turret jammed. The crew were obliged to ram the enemy boat resulting in a gaping tear on the underside of the Navy's fast attack craft.The passengers of the liner and the naval personal were saved. Two were wounded. 

L/Sm UMC Abeyratne (RS) manned the rear gun of a naval 'fast craft' that ran into the LTTE speed boats attacking another naval vessel. The SOS was sounded and more boats from both sides rushed to the scene of battle and Abeyratne's telling rear gun accuracy sent the enemy dispersing to the safety of the islands off the Karainagar coast. Going after the LTTE boats was impossible due to the shallowness of the waters. 

How medals are awarded: 

Field Commanders reports acts of individual and conspicuous acts of bravery to Service Commanders who forward reports and recommendations to a Tri- Services Board. Their report is sent to the President who makes the awards. 

Other medal holders

L/ Bmb W.L.Fonseka (WDV) killed in action in Talaimannar trying to rescue mates on November 11 ,1988. 

Lt.Col. C.Hettiarachchi (WWV) Trekked seventeen miles with wounded soldiers despite being seriously wounded from Weli Oya 15. July 1990. 

Maj M.M. Fernando (PWV) Kokuvil. Arpil 4.1991. Went to the aid of an ambush party that was trapped by the enemy. Killed attempting to rescue them. 

Sgt L.M. Marasinghe. (WWV) Killed in action July 10 1991 at Elephant Pass when he threw a grenade into an enemy bulldozer blowing it up. 

Wng. Comd. P.A.Pieris (WWV)rescued forces personnel trapped in the Jaffna Fort. 

Sqd. Ldr L.M.Waidyaratne(WWV) in July 1990 did casualty evacuation in the Jaffna Fort in very adverse conditions. <

Maj.M.Munasinghe (WWV) For leadership in extreme adversity Kiran Camp. 

Cpt. A.B.Sevneviratne (WWV) Broke siege of enemy on camp collected and marched men out of siege inspite of being badly wounded. 

L/Cpl P.Rodrigo (RWP) killed in action Sept 2 1991 in operation Thunderbolt. 

Wng. Cmd Cabrall (WV) in 1990 planned and directed airstrikes againt the enemy. 

Fl. Lt A.Mirando (WWV) For evacuating casualties in extreme and adverse conditions from Jaffna Fort in July 1990. 

Sgt. W.Sooriyadasa (WWV) for bravery and efficency as rear door gunner in Operation Eagle July 1990. 

Maj.T.L.Serasinghe (WWV) Went to the rescue of soldiers trapped in a vehicle set ablaze by the enemy at Elephant pass on July 27 1991.Died after he had rescued them. 

Cpt. C.S.Waduge (WWV) Destroyed enemy base in Janakapura Weli Oya. 

Lt. Mellawarachchi (WWV) defended valiantly bunkers on the Mankulam - Killinochchi Road. 

J.A.D. Ranasinghe (WWV) for gallantry in Operation Thunderbolt. 

Lt. Commander P.A.Rupasinghe (WDV) Rescued several members of the SF when they were caught by a sea mine.  Click here to see Our Heroic Award Winners



UN chief seeks arms embargoes agianst rebel groups

Daily News : 26 Oct 1998

NEW YORK-- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for more widespread use of arms embargoes against rebel groups who target civilians in armed conflicts. 

"The Security Council may wish to consider imposing an arms embargo in situations where civilians are targeted by the parties to the conflict or where the parties are known to be involved in gross violations of human rights," Annan said in a report released here. 

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Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis and national integrity

The concluding part of the excerpts of Rohan Gunaratna's book Sri Lanka's ethnic crisis and national integrity
The Island / Mid Week Mirror : 21 Oct 1998

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History, Anthropology and Tamil Separatism
The Island / Mid week Mirroe : 21 Oct 1998

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Devolution of power to a ‘Tamil Homeland’

The pronouncements of tiger terrorist spokesman Anton Balasingham in a recent TV interview recorded in Jaffna is, to say the least interesting. He reiterates that they a fighting to secure their 'homeland of Tamil speaking people'.

The government on the other hand, has apparently accepted this myth of a 'Tamil homeland' and hopes to produce a 'package of devolution' to the northern and eastern provinces based on this mythical concept. If the 'problem' of the Tamils is this so-called 'homeland' then this concept must be valid. But we are being told very categorically by experts and historians of the calibre of Prof. K. M. de Silva, Prof. Gerald Peiris and others that this 'Tamil homeland' theory is mythical and totally unacceptable. Are we to believe tiger Balasingham or these eminent Professors? In fact, Prof. De Silva’s paper was serialized in 'The Island'. Also, should the government and its policy makers (especially Prof. G. L. Peiris who is preparing the new constitution) accept a mythical concept based on which they are going to devolve separate powers to the N-E?

Demographic figures very categorically show that only Jaffna peninsula, Mannar island and a thin coastal strip of the east and a few towns in the interior are inhabited by Tamils. This was true even at the turn of this century (census figures from 1881 are available). The rest of the NP and EP (about 85% of it) was in forest or under Sinhala villages. Prof. Gerald Peiris (Professor of Geography; Peradeniya University) having carefully analysed the demography of the north and east (going into details of each Pattu, Korale etc) concludes:-

'The present study acknowledges that, !following the collapse of the Rajarata civilization in which the Sri Lankan Tamils constituted a vital element, there was a long drawn out process of 'Tamilization' in the north and in certain localities of the eastern littoral. However the population pattern which prevailed at the culmination of this process in the early decades of the present century, considered against the backdrop of earlier trends, drives us to the conclusion that this process was scarcely felt in the interior, at least of the eastern parts of the island which, indeed, remained throughout a 'traditional homeland' of the Sinhalese peasantry. Accordingly, we find no basis whatever for the assertion that the 'Tamilized' areas correspond to the Northern and Eastern Provinces of today".

"Our probe into the demographic impact of recent land settlement schemes shows that the alleged Sinhalese ‘intrusion’ into the Traditional Tamil Homeland' is a myth". (Above two paras are quoted from ICES-Ethnic Study Report; Jan. 1991, p.34).

If we are to accept facts presented by eminent experts as shown above, how could the government grant a 'package of devolution' to a particular ethnic group in this country and base it on a mythical and invalid concept. The interesting part is that there are only about 18% Tamils in Sri Lanka of which only about 6% (one-third) live in the north and east whilst the balance 12% (two-thirds) consisting of both Ceylon and Indian Tamils live in the south. Thus, the proposed 'package of devolution' will benefit only one-third the ethnic group (Tamils) that it is supposed to benefit and in addition this privileged 6% will enjoy 30% of the area of this country, including two-thirds of the coast line and one of the world's most strategic deepwater harbours in Trinco. Also this 30% of the country will be a one-hundred percent Tamil area, while the 75% Sinhalese will have to be content living in the balance 70% of the country which will be a 'Multi-ethnic, multireligious' region.

In other words, 6% Tamils will have an exclusive 'Tamil Homeland' in one-third of the country while 75% Sinhalese will have no 'Sinhala Homeland' anywhere in this country or anywhere in the world for that matter.

The President and her Ministers must read Prof. K. M. De Silva's and Prof. Gerald Peiris' papers very thoroughly and several times over. They must ponder over the above facts. Peace in this country does not necessarily mean the appeasement of a megalomaniacal Prabakaran.

We do need peace. But first start by educating the people of this country, especially the majority of Tamils, of basic history. We must show them the advantages of remaining a united Sri Lanka with an integrated society. We must point out to the Tamils the tragedy in Bosnia and Chechniya.

Any devolution of powers to a geographical region on ethnic lines will immediately polarize the country along ethnic lines and harden feelings among the Tamils and the Sinhalese. It will definitely end up in a Bosnia-type situation. Contrary to what Tamil politicians, say, the concept of 'unity in diversity' will not apply.

The government must be aware of this situation before it is too late.

'Citizen D'



From babies to toddlers
LTTE baby farm of over 300 kids at Vallipunam

Daily News : 25 Oct 1998

THE LTTE is reportedly running a baby farm consisting of over 300 children at Vallipunam in the Mullaitivu jungle for the purpose of involving them in the separatist war, once they reach the age of 10. Reports said that babies as young as six months are nursed in the LTTE baby farm. 

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Total focus the need to wipe out terrorism
The Island : 22 Oct 1998

National Movement against Terrorism in an open letter to Messrs. Lalith Kotalawela, the co-ordinating chairman BMICH All Party Conference, Kandiah Bal

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