Go to Homepage

Sri Lanka News Online Home Page | Latest News from Sri Lanka | Media Releases | News Archives | Disclaimer

Here is your search engine. Please type the key words (e.g. LTTE, Child soldiers, etc.) and then press 'Search'.
Latest News from Sri Lanka
for ,
You can also access vast News Archives
Latest News from Sri Lanka  
The United States' top intelligence agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the most dangerous and deadly extremist organization in the world. The official website of FBI in its tops story said that LTTE is far more dangerous terrorists outfit than al Queda, Hezbullah or even HAMAS. Read more...


Latest News from Sri Lanka


Current Significant Issues

Sunday, 22 November 2009 10:29 PM 



Security agencies turn spot light on most wanted LTTE arms cum human smuggler

Name : Ravishanker Kanagarajah Alias Shangili

Race : Tamil

Sex : Male

Age : 45 years

Place of Birth : Velvettithurai, JAFFNA

Passport number : Holds a Sri Lankan passport/claimed refugee status in Canada.

Last known address : Toronto, Canada

Nationality : Sri Lankan

Occupation : Driver

Security agencies turn spot light on most wanted LTTE arms cum human smuggler - Security and INTEL agencies have turned the spot light on Ravi Shanker Kanagarajah alias Shangili, a most wanted transnational terrorist cum kingpin of overseas based human trafficking and illegal arms smuggling activities. According to informed sources, Ravi Shankar is also found to be the owner of MV Ocean Lady alias Princess Eashwary, vessels extensively used in human smuggling activities- in the LTTE’s overseas network based in INDONESIA, MALAYSIA and THAILAND. Earlier, on October 2009, Canadian immigration authorities arrested MV Princess Eashwary (MV Ocean Lady) while smuggling-in 76 bogus asylum seekers into Canadian waters from South Asia. The vessel "Princess Eashwary" is also said to be used extensively for gunrunning activities of the LTTE outfit, prior to its military defeat in May, 2009 (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 21 Nov 2009).

Total number of IDPs comes down - The total number of IDPs remaining in the welfare centres in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee and the hospitals have come down to 136, 328 as of today, Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said at a media briefing held yesterday (20 Nov). The Minister said there has been an IDP resettlement of 6500 to 7000 within a week as the total number of IDPs a week ago (as of 13 Nov 09) was 143,161. The total number of IDPs remaining in Vavuniya alone is down to 127, 495 which is a drop of over 5200 from last week. The government's speedy resettlement process was commended by international bodies including Sir John Holmes, United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Minister Samarasinghe said that Holmes categorically stated his appreciation which was the first time that the UN said thus using those words. The Minister expressed his confidence in resettling a bulk of the IDPs by 31 January, 2010 (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 21 Nov 2009).

President confident of resettling all IDPs by end January 2010 - Basil Rajapaksa On the directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government has made all the necessary arrangements to complete the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons in the northern transitional centers by 31st January 2010, Senior Advisor the President, Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa said today (21). At a discussion held this morning in Vavuniya, Parliamentarian Rajapaksa said the restrictions imposed on the movement of civilians in the IDP centers will be lifted with effect from 1st December 2009 to enable them to freely move to any part of the region, Rajapaksa added. Meanwhile, the Government announced yesterday that it has dispatched equipment and machinery worth over Rs. 2200 million for the welfare and livelihood activities of the resettled civilians, since the resettlement process commenced in this year (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 21 Nov 2009).

Nearly 11,000 acres in North to be cultivated - Under the "Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu" program, the government has taken steps to cultivate nearly 11,000 acres bare lands which have been abandoned for a long period due to LTTE terrorist activities. Accordingly, with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank, a large stock of agricultural equipment and machineries including 37 tractors at a cost of 50 Million rupees were sent to the North on last Thursday. According to the officials, 3,100 acres of paddy lands and 750 bare lands in Thunukkai in Mullaittivu District, 3,000 acres of paddy lands in Mannar, 4,000 acres of paddy lands in Adampan and 110 acres of high lands in Mulukkavil in Killinochchi District will be cultivated under this national drive to reawakening the nation with agricultural development. In this mega cultivation program, each farmer in these areas will be given Rs. 3,000 worth 'seed paddy' and another 4,000 rupees for each acre to plough their paddy lands by the Agricultural Department (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 21 Nov 2009).

Courses at University of Madras free for Sri Lankan refugees - Sri Lankan Tamil refugee students will henceforth have the opportunity to pursue courses offered by the University of Madras free of cost, according to vice-chancellor G. Thiruvasagam. Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said that several students eligible to pursue collegiate education were scattered across different camps and the initiative was aimed at encouraging them to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through the distance mode, from where they stay. From the next academic year, affiliated colleges would also reserve a few seats for such students to pursue higher education free of cost, he added. Sharing the decisions taken at the Syndicate meeting held on Friday, Prof. Thiruvasagam said the University would follow reservation for Ph.D admissions, in the regular as well as part-time programmes. “We are one of the first universities in India to take this decision.” The University has also constituted a core committee to look into the issue of delay in declaration of examination results. The committee, comprising college principals, representatives of teacher associations and University officials, will draw schedules for examinations, evaluation and declaration of results (Hindu : 21 Nov 2009).

Task Force Chief to announce welfare measures for IDPs - Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP as the chief of the President's Task Force for Rehabilitation and Resettlement will make an official announcement today, 21 November, on rights and privileges of Internally Displaced People housed at welfare centers and villages in the North. On instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Task Force Chief MP Basil Rajapaksa who is visiting the resettled areas to meet civilians in the North today, will make this special announcement. "It will be a significant announcement on measures taken for the IDPs' welfare and well-being which will be definitely commended by local and foreign communities," the Minister Mahinda Samarasinha said at a media briefing held yesterday (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 21 Nov 2009).

Welfare measures for IDPs - Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP as the Task Force for Rehabilitation and Resettlement Chairman will make an official announcement today on rights and privileges of Internally Displaced People housed at relief centers and villages in the North. Addressing a media-briefing in Colombo yesterday, Minister Samarasinghe said MP Rajapaksa who visited relief centres in the North will make this special announcement. "It will be a significant announcement on measures taken for the IDPs' welfare and well-being which will be definitely commended by local and foreign communities," the Minister said. Minister Samarasinghe said local and foreign communities will come up with positive comments after the official statement which will include a number of important decisions to ensure IDPs' rights and privileges. United Nations Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes had praised the Government for resettling a large number of IDPs in their native places. He made this comment after visiting the Menik Farm relief village in Vavuniya. The Minister said several Ambassadors and High Commissioners who met him last week, had praised the facilities provided to IDPs by the Government (Daily News : 21 Nov 2009).

Jaffna exporters eye global markets - A three-day familiarization program is being held in Colombo for 20 entrepreneurs from Jaffna. The event, aimed at promoting export-oriented enterprises in the North, will end on Monday. Speaking at the inauguration of this program yesterday, Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof G. L. Peiris said the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was committed to raising the living standards of the people of the North. This can only be achieved through accelerated economic growth, he said. The Government's aim is to make the maximum use of the natural and human resources available in abundance in the North and fully harness their power to achieve sustainable economic growth. The Northern Province possesses a varied product base- namely fisheries and marine related products, palm and palm based products, agriculture and agro-processing (Daily News : 21 Nov 2009).

Tamil activists' shock on return to Jaffna - It has been six months since the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, but normality has yet to return to the Tamil cultural heartland of Jaffna, activists and former residents say. Groups of former Tamil residents and media activists recently visited Jaffna. It was an emotional and nostalgic journey for Nirmala Rajasingham - the first woman to be detained under Sri Lanka's anti-terror laws in 1982 - when she visited her home town after nearly three decades. The former senior LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) member used to be known as Nirmala Nithyanandan. She escaped from prison in 1983 to India and then made it to UK where she has been living since. Ms Rajasingham, whose sister Rajani Thiranagama was shot dead by the Tigers, says there are still many concerns over human rights violations despite the end of the conflict with the rebels. "People whom I spoke to are extremely happy that the LTTE is defeated," she told BBC Sinhala upon her return to London from Jaffna (BBC : 21 Nov 2009).

New agricultural equipment for North - In line with the Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu program, a large stock of agricultural and land equipment including tractors were sent to the North on Thursday aiming to cultivate bare lands which have been abandoned for a long period due to LTTE terrorism. Under the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank, these equipment have been purchased by the Government from a private company at a cost of Rs. 50 million. The equipment will be used to cultivate nearly 11,000 abandoned low and high lands in the Mullaithivu, Mannar and Killinochchi districts. Accordingly, 3,100 acres of paddy lands and 750 bare lands in Thunukkai in Mulathiv district, 3,000 acres of paddy lands in Mannar, 4,000 acres of paddy lands in Adampan will be cultivated by using the agricultural equipment including 37 tractors. In addition moves are under way to cultivate another 110 acres of high lands in Mulukkavil area in Killinochchi district. Under this national drive Rs. 3,000 worth 'seed paddy' for each acre is distributed free by the Agriculture Department. Farmers will also be given Rs. 4,000 for an acre to plough their paddy lands (Daily News : 21 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka former child soldiers' college - There seems no difference between the Colombo Hindu College Ratmalana and any other school, except for the armed police officers guarding the gate. The college in the Sri Lankan capital is a government rehabilitation center established exclusively for former child soldiers of the Tamil Tiger, a rebel group that was defeated by the government troops in May after a 30-year civil war in the southeastern Asian country. "There are 273 ex-child soldiers in the college, 154 boys and 119 girls coming from various camps in the north after October," Major Herman Fernando, who runs the college's rehabilitation program, told Xinhua. He said the government is now doing its utmost to provide education, sports and living facilities to the former child soldiers -- now from 13 to 23 years old -- with an aim to offer them a better future. Despite their new lives at the college, however, all of the students still have sad stories to share. "I was taken by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) last March along with about 80 children in (the northern) Mullaittivu (district). Only 25 of us escaped alive after staying with the LTTE for one month," said Danika, a 16-year-old girl (Xinhua : 21 Nov 2009).

All Jaffna IDPs resettled, focus shifts to Vanni West - Restrictions on public transport, lorries lifted - Private buses etc await approval - Security checks on A9 relaxed - With the closure of IDP facilities in the Jaffna Peninsula for the first time in over two decades, the entire focus is now on the Vanni, where the government is going all out to complete resettlement of the war displaced early next year. But, at the moment, the focus is on the Vanni West with the Army and six INGOs carrying out mine clearing operations to facilitate resettlement of the war displaced as well as cultivation. Northern Governor Major General G. A. Chandrasiri (retd) yesterday said that except for one IDP facility yet to be moved due to delay in sorting out officials documents, all other welfare camps had been closed and people resettled. In an interview with The Island, the former Army Chief of Staff said that 65,000 persons accommodated at Jaffna facilities for some time had returned to their villages recently (Island : 29 Nov 2009).

U.S. RELAXES SRI LANKA TRAVEL ADVISORY - Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of State has issued a “revised” travel advisory for Americans in Sri Lanka to, “reflect improving security conditions in the country,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombo. At the same time, Japan relaxed its, “Travel Advisory & Warning,” for Sri Lanka to a “Travel Caution,” also noting the improved security situation. The United Kingdom revised its own travel warning in July 2009. Additionally, the Government of Sri Lanka lifted restrictions on those living in the northern city of Jaffna to travel throughout Sri Lanka, a security measure that was imposed during the conflict with the LTTE terrorist group. The LTTE was headquartered in northern Sri Lanka. The Government also lifted the requirement that lorries must register in order to transit goods between the north and south. It said that such registration was no longer necessary. The State Department’s decision comes exactly six months after Sri Lankan Government forces defeated the LTTE. No terrorist incidents have occurred in Sri Lanka since then, and tourism arrivals have jumped substantially. The Government expects to attract 2.5 million Tourists in 2010 (LankaWeb : 21 Nov 2009).

Fonseka vows to fight for democracy Urges troops to rebuff bid to politicise military - Former Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka, who quit amidst speculation that he could run for president, vowed yesterday to fight for democracy, human rights and media freedom after the end of 30-year-old war. Fonseka urged the armed forces to rebuff any bid to politicise it. "Don’t allow anybody to tarnish the reputation of the army and politicise the military," Fonseka said in a letter addressed to soldiers and their families and made public on Friday. "We should keep in mind that we are the real owners of the war victory even though certain people try to insult us." Fonseka pledged to uphold democracy and human rights, areas in which the opposition and a section of the international community say the ruling UPFA has done little. "Despite any hurdle that may come my way, I assure you that I will stand by to protect democracy, human rights, media freedom, social equality and ethnic harmony, which are fading away from the motherland, and to protect the nation’s integrity for a better future for you," he said in the letter (Island : 21 Nov 2009).

Fonseka shifts to Buller’s Rd. - Retired Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that he had vacated his official quarters at the Army headquarters and moved to the official residence at Buller’s Road. He said the former Commanders of the Army and Air Force had been allowed to stay in their official residences for a little over three months after retirement and he, too, should be allowed to do likewise at the Buller’s Road official residence until he found alternative accommodation (Island : 21 Nov 2009).

SL DIASPORA KEEN TO RETURN - The Sri Lankan diaspora has expressed interest in coming back home and serving through new investments. Sri Lankans based in countries such as Australia and the US, among others, have expressed interest in investing in the country in a bid to boost the local economy and spur growth. The investors who were in the country recently were pursued by the Government to assist the development process with increased economic impetus and serve the nation. Those interested put forward their ideas for establishing software development firms; setting up a plant to manufacture and develop IT and solar panels; waste management and recycling sugar cultivation using advanced technology; venturing into wind powergeneration; and the establishment of hotels in the east. The meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa enabled them to hold a frank and fair discussion on coming back home, and some sections of the diaspora that were holding prejudices about the country were convinced and able to obtain a clear and balanced picture about Sri Lanka today. The meeting with the Board of Investment (BOI) served to boost the possibilities of entering into business contracts with Sri Lanka and encouraging increased investments in key sectors (Daily Mirror ; 21 Nov 2009).

IDP in camps decreasing rapidly - Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that due to their accelerated resettlement programme in the in the Northern Province, the number of Internally Displaced Persons accommodated in welfare camps was rapidly decreasing. At the end of the war in May, 2009 there had been about 280,000 IDPs but at present there were 136,328, he said. Addressing the weekly press briefing at the Presidential Secretariat, Samarasinghe said that the Head of the Presidential Task Force handling resettlement of IDPs MP Basil Rajapaksa would deliver a special statement after visiting the resettled civilians in the north today (Nov 21). He said that UN representative on humanitarian affairs John Holmes, who had met President Rajapaksa after visiting the IDPs, appreciated resettlement process. Foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Sri Lanka had also appreciated the resettlement programme. One of British parliamentarian, too, had made a positive statement in their Parliament, he said. The Minister said: "We are hoping to resettle the majority of IDPs by January 31." He said about 60 per cent of IDPs who were still at the welfare centres had received temporary identity cards and they would be free to go anywhere whenever they want in the near future as security clearance, too, would be completed soon (Island : 21 Nov 2009).

A shameful Attempt to destabilise the country - by Mathota Abeyratne - Recent events in the political field indicate that it is Mangala Samaraweera and Company who are trying to destabilise the country. ‘The company’ includes Ranil W., Somawansa A., Mano Ganeshan, Anura Kumara and Tilvin Silva, They want to see a division in the army and the patriotic bloc. They organised pickets, protests, work to rule campaigns and strikes, while trying to create a division in the armed forces. The Company’s aim is to grab power by hook or by crook even giving false and impracticable election promises. The situation will be worse when the election is declared as lot of western money as well as LTTE funds will be spent on media advertisements against the Rajapaksa regime. RW wanted to create a tussle between journalists and this government in order to gain some mileage, but MR was very careful in handling the situation (Island : 21 Nov 2009).

Sponsor a child of a war hero deceased or disabled while in action to protect Sri Lanka

So far we have secured sponsors from Australia, UK, Canada etc. for more than 350 children and we are continuously receiving details (personal information and photographs) of more children who need assistance 


A humble request to both of you

Please forget the differences for the sake of the country

Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka bade farewell to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a convivial atmosphere at the Temple Trees. 

United We Stand; Divided We Fall

Otherwise, the LTTE will raise their ugly head once again

IDP resettlement: Malaysian delegation impressed with progress - A group of Malaysians of Tamil origin who visited IDP camps, expressed their confidence that the remaining displaced families would be resettled within two or three months, the latest by January 2010. The twelve member delegation representing the Federation of Malaysian-Sri Lankan Organizations (FOMSO) visited welfare centres in Vavuniya including Camp Zero and Camp Two where they met and spoke to over hundred IDPs. Speaking to the press on Wednesday at the Cinnamon Grand, the delegation disclosed that the main requests of the IDPs were those for firewood, vegetables and tarpaulin, while they also yearned for the authorities to allow them to return home. Medicine sufficient for three months was also donated by the FOMSO. The delegation stated that though the situation in the IDP camps were tough, the Government was providing the best conditions possible. The delegation also visited resettlement and de-mining areas in Mannar. They stated that they had been impressed with the massive scale of resettlement taking place, with the initial number of 285,000 IDPs being reduced to 135,000 within a short time span. They were also happy with the Government's allocation of an initial sum of Rs.25,000, 16 zinc sheets and food rations amounting to six months to each family resettled. They stated that they saw definite progression (Daily News : 20 Nov 2009).

Fonseka can pick his guards ... and occupy Army Commander’s Buller’s Road residence until... Gets bulltet proof car - The government yesterday said that General (retd) Sarath Fonseka had been allowed to pick his security contingent. A spokesman for the Presidential Secretariat told The Island that that the Defence Ministry had instructed Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya to release officers and men requested by the former Army Commander. He said that the entire security contingent, including commandos would be selected by the recently retired Chief of Defence Staff. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has also asked General Fonseka to continue to occupy the Army Commander’s official residence at the Buller’s Road but requested him to hand over the official quarters located within the Army headquarters. The President has said that he could be at the Buller’s Road residence until he found a suitable place to move in. The Presidential Secretariat said that the government had also released a bullet proof vehicle to General Fonseka while the vehicle he used during his tenure as the Army Commander and subsequently CDS would now be used by his successor Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya (Island : 20 Nov 2009).

Plot to bomb Colombo revealed - The police have uncovered a fresh plot by the Tamil Diaspora to carry out a massive bomb attack in the city. The recent arrest of Ananda Varnan, a hardcore LTTE terrorist, in Vavuniya by a special police team has revealed the planned attack. The police had recovered a powerful bomb which was to be used in the attack, a senior police official told The Island adding that Varnan had received Rs. 30,000 from his masters based in Malaysia to carry out the operation. According to him, the police had swooped down on the suspect after receiving information regarding a person looking for several detonators. Under interrogation, the suspect had led investigators to a 7 kg claymore mine and a remote controller in an LTTE hideout. The police said that the suspect had planned to trigger a claymore attack in the city in the next few days. The suspect had admitted that he had obtained the remote controller from a shop in Vavuniya. The suspect had escaped from an IDP facility in the Vavuniya area after he was brought to the Vavuniya Hospital to receive medical treatment. Investigators said that Varnan had been involved in a series of bomb attacks in the city and its suburbs over a period of time (Island ; 20 Nov 2009).

UN Under Secretary General Speaks to IDP in Manik Farm - A DELEGATION of the United Nations headed by its Under Secretary General Sir John Holmes visited Vavuniya on 18th November 2009. During their visit, the delegation went to the Manik Farm Welfare Village and met patients, lying in hospital inside the village and also saw the exhibition of garments and handicrafts produced by the women living in the Manik Farm. They also shared views with civilians in the Manik Farm Welfare Village. Commander Security Forces (Wanni), Major General Kamal Gunarathne, Brigadier General Staff – Security Forces (Wanni), Brigadier S Ranasinghe and several other senior officers of the Security Forces Headquarters (Wanni) and District Secretary, Vavuniya Mrs P.S.M. Charles also participated in the tour. Later this delegation flew to Mannar with Major General Kamal Gunarathne and saw ongoing de-mining programme conducted by the Army and UN agencies. The delegation also inspected the landmines and explosives that have been recovered by the Army (Sri Lanka Army : 20 Nov 2009).

About Gen. Fonseka with affection - Retired CDS General Sarath Fonseka, like President Mahinda Rajapakse, is a colossus of our times. The two of them proved their mettle in their respective fields, the one in the political, and the other in the military, something that would not have been possible had it not been for their strategic partnership in the most crucial final phase of the country’s struggle against terrorism. The president’s political astuteness found an ally in the army commander’s military acumen: either would not have been such a brilliantly effective leader in the absence of the other in that situation. Sarath’s military genius matched Mahinda’s political adroitness; they complemented each other’s effectivenss in the performance of their respective jobs. Since different parameters of excellence apply in the two domains, military and political, no comparison between the two is possible or necessary. In terms of efficient performance both excelled themselves (Island ; 20 Nov 2009).

Troops Recover 1500 T-56 Ammo - NORTH: CONTINUING search and clear operations conducted by the troops in VISUAMADU, AKKARAYANKULAM and PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU areas during Thursday (19), recovered one thousand and five hundred rounds of T-56 ammunition, two Outboard Motors (OBM), one claymore mine of 5 kg, one 60 mm mortar bomb, one hand grenade and seven anti personnel mines (Sri Lanka Army : 20 Nov 2009).

Illusionary Justice: Threats to the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka - by Ira de Silva London, Ontario -  Professor C. Kananganayakam University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Dear Sir: Panel Discussion at Munk Centre for International Studies on Monday Nov. 16,2009 titled Illusionary Justice: Threats to the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka. I am writing to you because I was informed of your association with the Munk Centre and the University of Toronto. If this panel discussion was not in your area of control, please forward it to the relevant authorities. The announcement stated that the panel discussion would include Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives, said to be an independent and non-partisan public policy institute focussing on issues of democratic governance, human rights and peace. Anyone who is familiar with this non-governmental organization in Sri Lanka is well aware that it is not independent – it is funded by international agencies with a vested interest in contributing to dissension and turmoil in Sri Lanka. That it is “foreign funded” is clearly stated on it’s website. Dr. Saravanamuttu is paid to carry out the programmes of his paymasters (LankaWeb : 20 Nov 2009).

Clearing operations continue in liberated areas - Troops continued clearing operations in the Mullaittivu area uncovered more LTTE military items yesterday, 19 November. Task Force 2 (TF2) uncovered a shot gun while conducting clearing operations in Puthukkudiruppu, military report received from the Army Headquarters said. Separately troops of Task Force-4 (TF-4) uncovered six MPMG live round, fifteen T-56 live rounds and two pistol rounds from general area Matiyamadu while troops of Task Force 8 (TF-8) uncovered following list of LTTE military items in clearing operations conducted in general area Vellamullivaikka (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 20 Nov 2009).

Construction of a building for the faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Jaffna - Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister of Higher Education Wishwa Warnapala to construct a three storied building for the Faculty of Graduate studies of Jaffna University with a gross floor area of 600sqm at a total cost estimate of Rs. 42.35 and to award the construction of building to the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau on ‘Design and Build’ ( Measure and Pay) basis and to make payments on the rates approved by the Standing Technical Committee of the Ministry of Construction and Engineering Services and to implement the project in year 2010, phasing out within a period of 2 years. At present the Faculty is functioning in a small rented house without essential basic faculties. The University Grants Commission has also recommended implementing this project in the year 2010. The entire cost of this project is expected to be financed from the consolidated fund. The Faculty of Graduate studies of Jaffna established in 1999, now offers two Postgraduate Diploma programmes , eight Masters degree programmes, M.phil and Ph.D research oriented degree programmes. At present 600 students are following postgraduate programmes, whilst 75 students are engaged in research leading to M.Phil and Ph.D degrees. A Masters degree Programme on Environmental science is now being scheduled to commence early (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 20 Nov 2009).

UN envoy lauds Govt Says IDP numbers in Menik Farm have halved: Holmes impressed with Govt’s commitment : - United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sir John Holmes said he was extremely encouraged and impressed by the rapid resettlement of the IDPs in progress. Holmes made these statements at a joint press briefing at the Foreign Ministry with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. Holmes was in Sri Lanka on a three-day tour on an invitation by the Foreign Minister. He visited Jaffna, Vavuniya and Menik Farm, while spending a night in Jaffna. During his visit, he had also been briefed extensively on the demining process. In answer to a question whether the UN thinks that the 180-day timeframe set by the Government for resettlement could be kept, Sir John Holmes replied that timeframes are not important but what is important is the commitment of the Government which has impressed him. He had held extensive discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP on a wide range of issues covering IDP resettlement, political and the de-mining process (Daily News : 20 Nov 2009).

Five more IDP centres in Jaffna closed down as 2736 more civilians resettled - An estimated crowd of 2736 displaced civilians, remained housed at four Jaffna based IDP Welfare Centers found way back to their original places of residence in Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya districts during past three days after Army troops facilitated their return under government's "Northern Spring" (Uthuru Wasanthaya) programme. Those people rescued from LTTE clutches during the height of humanitarian operations in Wanni were temporally sheltered in Gurunagar Welfare Centre, Kopai Welfare Centre, University Welfare Center at Kaithady and Children's Welfare Center at Kaithady, Mirusuvil Welfare Centre and belonged to 957 families. Some of these people selected their places of resettlement in the Jaffna peninsula itself under fifteen Divisional secretariats (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 20 Nov 2009).

We’ll sit with TNA in Ranil’s caretaker cabinet – JVP - New party being formed for Fonseka to contest presidential polls;  Symbol likely to be ‘something like a sword, but not so sharp’- The JVP says it is not apprehensive about being part of the same Cabinet as its bęte noire, the Tamil National Alliance, dubbed in Parliament as the mouthpiece of the LTTE, in the event of a caretaker government being formed with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. In reply to a question whether the JVP had no difficulty in sitting with the TNA in the same Cabinet after being critical of the latter’s pro-LTTE stance, JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said he saw no reason why his party could not do so because the caretaker government to be formed would consist of all political parties represented in Parliament. He said his party saw no alternative to winning the next presidential election with the help of a common candidate and forming a caretaker government to restore democracy. Asked whether the Elections Commissioner had rejected the JVP’s application for the registration of a new political party to field Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka at the next presidential election, Dissanayake said his party had not received any official communication to that effect (Island : 20 Nov 2009).

Fonseka now a hero to those who ridiculed him – Dallas - KULIYAPITIYA: Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that those who passed defamatory remarks on General Sarath Fonseka, saying that he was not even fit to head the Salvation Army, when he was leading the humanitarian operations, were now hailing him as the hero who won the war against the terrorists. "It is true that he is a hero, and his heroism was recognised by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who appointed him the Chief of Defence Staff. I don’t believe that General Fonseka would betray the victory of the security forces by joining those who betrayed the country to the separatists." (Island : 20 Nov 2009).

Wimal tells Court: LTTE gained prominence under Ranil - National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa stated at the District Court yesterday that his position was that groups supporting of the LTTE and dependents from the LTTE gained prominence during the regime of the Ranil Wickremesinghe government. He made this remark before the Colombo District Judge Laffar Thahir in connection with a defamation plaint filed by Wasantha Perera against Wimal Weerawansa. Retired Major General Wasantha Perera filed the plaint stating that a comment made by Wimal Weerawansa in the television program 'Visanwadaya' on February 9, 2004 was defamatory of him. Examined by Gomin Dayasiri, Wimal Weerawansa stated that he had never supported the LTTE as alleged by the plaintiff but he had supported efforts to divulge the identity of those who supported the separatist LTTE as well as those who were depending on the LTTE. Wimal Weerawansa further said that he at all times maintained that the LTTE should be defeated militarily. He initiated a fund with Rs 10 million to support the war heroes. He said he could remember that the forces retreated in 1999. The Commander in the Vanni then was Major General Wasantha Perera. The LTTE captured the Vanni area and it was under their control until it was freed by the humanitarian operation. Weerawansa also stated that thereafter an inquiry was held against Wasantha Perera who sent on compulsory retirement. Thereafter he was appointed to the BOI at a salary of Rs. 75,000 during the regime of Chandrika Bandaranaike. It was a privileged appointment. The case was put off for February 15 (Daily News : 20 Nov 2009).

German boost for Lanka’s resettlement efforts - Sri Lanka’s efforts to resettle the war displaced will receive a further boost with Germany providing $ 450,000 to the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) engaged in mine clearing operations west of the A9 road. The FSD is one of the six INGOs carrying out mine clearing operations in support of the army. Northern Province Governor G. A. Chandrasiri told The Island that their focus was on the area west of the A 9 though mine clearing operations were also taking place east of the road. Among the INGOs are British, Danish and Indian groups. Chandrasiri said that all of them had hired locals under supervision by expatriates. A spokesperson for the German Embassy in Colombo said their financial assistance to the FSD was in support of the Integrated Humanitarian Mine Action Programme aimed at helping IDPS to return to their villages. According to her, the FSD operation would benefit about 5,000 families comprising 18,000 persons originally from Manthai West in the Mannar district (Island : 20 Nov 2009).

Don't blame it on Prabhakaran, Jaya tells Karunanidhi - All India Anna DMK general secretary J Jayalalitha has said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi cannot cover up his "betrayal" of the Sri Lankan Tamils by saying that LTTE leader V Prabhakaran had brought upon himself his own destruction and the end of the Eelam armed struggle. In a statement, Ms Jayalalitha taking exception to Mr Karunanidhi's view that Prabhakaran brought it upon himself by killing fellow Tamil leaders like his own deputy Mahattaya, TULF's A Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran and Neelan Tiruchelvam, militants like Sri Sabaratnam of TELO and K Pathmanabha of EPRLF and numerous prominent Sri Lankan leaders, permanently alienating India by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi and provoking a war by enabling the victory of SLFP's Mahinda Rajapaksa over UNP's Ranil Wickremasinghe who had signed the February 20002 ceasefire agreement and promised a negotiated settlement of the ethnic conflict (Asian Tribune : 20 Nov 2009).

Anatomy of LTTE collapse and the Fonseka factor - Whatever the circumstances in which General Sarath Fonseka quit the army, a grateful nation should never forget his leading role in Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism. Fonseka, the first Sinha Regiment officer to command the army achieved what many felt could not be feasible, particularly for a third world army though it had vast experience in fighting terrorism. Although, right thinking people would not condone, Fonseka ‘playing’ politics at the expense of the very victory which would not have been possible without his resolute leadership, it would be a mistake to undervalue his role in Sri Lanka’s greatest ever post-independence achievement. Any attempt to discredit the war hero would not only be counter-productive but a slur on the fighting forces as well as the entire nation which rallied around the armed forces. Although all three forces suffered some humiliating setbacks with heavy loss of life, particularly in the case of the army and Rs. Billions worth of arms, ammunition and equipment, the fighting forces never looked back until LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s body was shown on television (Island ; 20 Nov 2009).

All set for expeditious farming in the North - In a bid to expeditiously execute the cultivation of farmlands in the Northern region, the Government today (November 19) dispatched farming equipment worth Rs. 50 million to that region. The donation granted by the Asian Development Bank was received by the Chairman of the Northern Task Force, Parliamentarian, Basil Rajapaksa. These equipment will be distributed among the newly resettled residents in Mullaittivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi regions under the guidance of the Governor of the Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasiri. The consignment dispatched today included 37 farming tractors with tailors. They would be handed over to people of the above districts through Government Agents of the respective districts (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 19 Nov 2009).

P. Ranil Dances the Donkey Dance In Parliament - Demonstrating superb skills in the art of the bullshit, patriotic Opposition leader and good friend of Eelam, P. Ranil aka Ponil, gave a packed Parliament the privilege of witnessing one of his finest Donkey Dances to date. The tune to P. Ranil’s dance was set by Dinesh Gunawardene, a GENOCIDAL™ Sinhaloid minister in the totally 100% Sinhala Only government. Minister Gunawardene was probing P. Ranil on whether he had made any statements to our white masters in the European Union about Sri Lanka’s human rights record that would prove detrimental to the Sinhaloids. Now we all know that P. Ranil loves being probed by his male friends like MAN-gala. But this probe was different because Minister Gunwardene is not one of his friends. Therefore the probing was very homophobic indeed (See the video in TamilNet).

Claymore mines found during clearing operation in Jaffna - Security forces engaged in clearing operations at Karaweddy in Jaffna have uncovered a haul of claymore mines, anti-personnel (AP) mines on Wednesday (Nov 18). The recovery made by the 52 Division troops also included 05 claymore stands, a RPG round, 02x RPG chargers, 06 AP mines, 04x claymore mines, 05 x hand grenades, 04x hand grenade trappings and a 10m long detonator code (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 19 Nov 2009).

NO MANDATORY SECURITY CLEARENCE FOR OVERLAND TRAVELLING - By Walter Jayawardhana - The mandatory security clearance for civilians to travel overland from Northern Province to other areas will be no longer needed government sources said. The biggest beneficiary of the lifting of the former security measure will be citizens travelling on the A9 highway. The confidence of the government that such security measures are no longer necessary has led to this decision (EOM).

War displaced Sri Lankan children back to books Source: Ten-year-old Priyanthi is yet another war displaced child in a relief camp in Vavuniya, but she is special because she had scored 162 at the recently-held Grade Five Scholarship Examination -- the highest marks among all children in Sri Lanka's northern Vanni area formerly dominated by Tamil Tiger rebels. Some months back, Priyanthi's parents carrying her and her younger brother ran from one place to another to save their lives. As the fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) getting worse, they were compelled to vacate their house in Kilinochchi, the capital of the LTTE which was finally defeated by the troops in May. "We ran for months. I saw lots of wounded people and dead bodies. My brother and myself cried a lot,"said Priyanthi. The bare-footed, slight girl was clad in clean white school uniform and carrying the books given by the government so carefully (Relief Web : 19 Nov 2009).

234,000 IDPs already resettled in N&E - Of the internally displaced persons in welfare camps, 234,000 have already been resettled and another 130,000 will be resettled soon, says U. L. M. Haldeen, Secretary to the Ministry of Resettlement. The resettling of the remaining IDPs had already commenced in areas such as Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and Vavuniya, he said and added that resettlement activities in Mullaitivvu and Kilinochchi were partially over. Mr. Haldeen also said that steps had been taken to provide those individuals with basic facilities as well. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Nation Building says that de-mining activities in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are being expedited. Secretary to the Ministry, W. K. K. Kumarasiri noted that a special programme had been launched to provide those individuals with assistance to earn their livelihoods. Steps were being taken to provide them with equipment for day-to-day farming activities, the secretary said (Sri Lanka Guardian : 19 Nov 2009).

Rajaratnam begins offloading holdings in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka-born U.S. business tycoon, Raj Rajaratnam, arrested by the FBI on October 16 on charges of vast insider trading, has began selling part of his firm’s holdings in Sri Lanka to cover some of the money required to finance his $100 million bail. Mr. Rajaratnam, the billionaire chief of the Galleon Fund, lost in the first week of November his bid to reduce the value of his bail condition. U.S. Judge Theodore Katz said in the Manhattan courthouse that there was no need to “revisit” the value of the bail amount, but agreed to permit him to travel across the mainland U.S. Sri Lanka media reports said that Mr. Rajaratnam’s Galleon has begun exiting from Hatton National Bank after it shed holding in Commercial Bank. The only consolation for the Sri Lanka Government is that partial pulling of assets of his company has not had the expected adverse impact on the stock market and economy (Hindu : 19 Nov 2009).

AP mines, explosives found in Wanni clearing operations - Troops of Task Force- 3(TF) while conducting clearing operations in general area Akkarayankulama, Kilinochchi yesterday (Nov 18), have found 07 AP mines, according to finalized military reports. Meanwhile, TF-2 troops in a similar clearing operation at general area Puthukkudiyirippu also uncovered 05x 81mm mortar bombs, 16 hand grenades and C-4 explosives weighing around 15kgs (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 19 Nov 2009).

No offer for Merak Tamils: Evans - Immigration Minister Chris Evans says no offer will be made to a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have been holed up on a boat at an Indonesian port for more than a month. Almost 250 Tamils have been refusing to get off their boat after they were intercepted by Indonesian authorities on their way to Australia and taken back to Indonesia following a request by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to the Indonesian president. Eight have now left the boat at Merak but the rest have been demanding to come to Australia. The impasse at Merak continues but the standoff on the Oceanic Viking ended yesterday, with those on board agreeing to get off after the Government promised some would be resettled in as little as four weeks. But Senator Evans says those in Merak will not be given the same offer. "What we have is a situation where those people were intercepted by Indonesian authorities in Indonesian waters," he told Radio National. "I understand there's been a lot of trouble on the boat in recent days but we're not involved in the management of that situation." (ABC News : 19 Nov 2009).

Former Asst Custom Director given bail - Providing GPS to LTTE - Colombo High Court granted bail on former Assistant Director Customs who was indicted for providing hi-tech equipments including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to the LTTE. High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera granted the accused Indra Sarath Balasuriya on Rs. 10,000 cash bail and Rs. 100,000 personal bail. Balasuriya together with three others were charged with importing and providing GPS sets to the LTTE on or around July 30, 2007. In this case four accused Canadian residents R. M. Kumar Samadanam, a former Wharf Clerk Rajendran Yogaraj and R. Roshinin Selamban and Balasuriya were indicted with conspiracy, aiding and abetting to import high tech GPS equipment to Sri Lanka and handing them over to LTTE. The offences were said to have been committed between September 13 and 14, 2007 in Katunayake and Ekala areas. According to the indictment, the second accused Kumar Samadanam a Canadian resident had stated that he came to know the LTTE through a friend and he was asked to provide the hi-tech equipments through a person in Singapore. The second accused Rajendran Yogaraj, former Wharf Clerk who is in remand over another case was produced from the prison. The Court issued summons on the third accused R. M. Kumar Samadanam and issued warrant on the fourth accused R. Roshinin Selamban and fixed the trial for January 26, 2010. The AG has listed 33 witnesses to give evidence and 24 items including the GPS set, 150 UHF telephone transmitters and radar set as production (Daily Mirror : 19 Nov 2009).

RI agrees to detain 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers - Indonesia has finally agreed to detain 78 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and move them to an immigration detention center in Tanjung Pinang, Riau, more than three weeks after they were first captured by an Australian patrol ship in Indonesian waters. The group will be accommodated for up to six months, with Australia agreeing to cover the costs, Riau Law and Human Rights Office chief I Gede Widiharta told The Jakarta Post here on Tuesday. A group of 22 of the asylum seekers were brought to the detention center on Friday, and the 56 others would arrive on Wednesday, he said. The five-floor Australian Ocean Viking Customs and Fisheries patrol vessel had been anchored near Cempedak Island in Bintan, Riau Islands, since Oct. 26 with the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board, Gede said. The 400-detainee capacity Tanjung Pinang facility currently accommodates 77 other asylum seekers — from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran — who were originally heading to Australia via Indonesian waters (The Jakarta Post ; 19 Nov 2009).

'LTTE terrorists dug its own grave'- Karunanidhi The LTTE terrorists did not take into account future consequences while implementing its war strategy, Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chairperson M. Karunanidhi has said on Tuesday (Nov 17). Indian daily 'The Hindu' quoting Minister Karunanidhi's statement stated that the view was made in the context of a recent interview given by Sri Lankan opposition leader Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe to a Tamil journal. Recalling the LTTE's call to Tamils for boycott of the 2005 presidential elections, Mr Karunanidhi, in a statement, said that SLFP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa had defeated UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe by a margin of about 1.81 lakh votes and that seven lakh Tamils in Sri Lanka did not cast their votes. Mr Wickramasinghe had then promised the electors that he would give priority to peace talks with the LTTE in the event of his election, Karunanidhi was quoted as saying. Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated by LTTE terrorists for not towing their separatist ideologies (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 19 Nov 2009).

The Head of Amnesty International speaks out on Australia's role in the war of terror - When it comes to human rights, Australia has always seen itself as the fair-go country that sticks up for the underdog. But this week the head of Amnesty International painted a very different picture. Three years ago Irene Kahn became the first woman -- and the first Moslem -- to lead the organisation that pursues human rights around the world. She was in town to deliver the seventh Hawke lecture when I caught up with her yesterday. Well, Irene Kahn, thanks for your time. Firstly, you were very critical of the Australian Government in your lecture. What's your main concern? (ABC Stateline ; 19 Nov 2009).

Ali Zahir Maulana expected to return -  Former UNP MP Ali Zahir Maulana, who brought Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman in a secret manner to Colombo in 2004 following his defection from the LTTE, is expected to arrive in the country soon. Mr. Maulana came increasingly under threat from the LTTE as a result of his facilitation of Mr. Muralitharan who was the organization’s eastern commander. After the fall of the UNP government at the 2004 general election, Mr. Maulana switched allegiance to the UPFA. After the 2005 Presidential Election, President Rajapaksa posted him to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington (Daily Mirror ; 19 Nov 2009).

Tamil diaspora rejects Nediyaven:Rudrakumaran leadership - By Sugeeswara Senadhira (Former Counsellor at Sri Lankan Embassies in Oslo, New Delhi and Paris) - RudrakumaranNew LTTE leadership’s grand idea of a Transnational Eelam Government suffered an inglorious defeat when 90 percent of the Tamil diaspora showed its contempt by abstaining from voting for the transnational government. The LTTE leader Nediyavan, who succeeded K P as head of the terrorist outfit suffered a humiliating setback when Tamils in Norway rejected his leadership on Sunday. Norway based LTTE leader decided to hold the first phase of Eelam Transnational election in Norway itself with the strategy of obtaining a resounding victory to force the sympathetic Oslo regime to recognize the Transnational Eelam Government. But only 2667 Tamils out of a total of 27,000 Tamils in Norway exercised their franchise (Asian Tribune: 19 Nov 2009).

Leader of the UNF Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that General Sarath Fonseka’s nomination as Presidential candidate was subject to his acceptance of the UNF’s ten-point policy statement. Yet, General Fonseka has not made any announcement that he would join UNP.

Some cunning politicians who want to save their own skins are trying to use you at the forthcoming presidential election by making you their common candidate, according to media reports.

Can you, the most respected soldier in the country, ever think of sitting together on the same stage with the very people who said that 

a) Any fool (ona gonekuta) can fight wars (said LK)

b) You are not fit to hold even the Salvation Army commander’s post (said MS)

c) You lead the army to Pamankada and Medawachchiya instead of Alimankada (Elephant’s Pass) and Kilinochchi (RK)

d) You captured Toppigala, a jungle minus terrorists after giving them a chance to disappear into the Vanni jungles (RW)

(read Island for the full letter).

The despicable manner in which a former army commander was treated ...... The Kelaniya monkey organised a mob to boo and jeer Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who visited the Kelaniya Temple after handing over his letter of resignation on Thursday. The incident left a bad taste in many a mouth. Even those who have not taken kindly to General Fonseka’s decision to hang his boots prematurely and be putty in the hands of those who sought to sabotage the war and ridiculed him by calling him names in Parliament and elsewhere, were furious about the despicable manner in which a former army commander was treated (Island Editorial : 16 Nov 2009).

General Fonseka; You are kindly requested not to join with traitors like....

Ranil, among other betrayals was:

  • The man responsible for the betrayal of our crack team of commandos, who were attached to the Long Range Reconnaissance Unit of the Army.

  • the person who signed the CFA without the knowledge of his own Cabinet and the President that gave the LTTE freedom to import and collect massive shipments of arms to be used against our own soldiers;

  • who ordered the release of a ship, an arms storehouse, that was intercepted by the Navy in the seas near Trincomalee.

The LTTE's conventional military capability has been effectively neutralised but this is not the time for settling personal or political scores at the expense of national security interests and a concerted effort to prevent a possible re-emergence of the threat. Let the on-going political circus over a common candidate and the attendant gimmicks blind none to the common enemy.

Gen. Fonseka must accept UNF’s 10 point policy statement – Ranil - Ranil PMcandidate if general election precedes presidential polls Crossover provision to be abolished as solution to ‘jumbo Cabinets’ - Leader of the UNF Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that General Sarath Fonseka’s nomination as Presidential candidate was subject to his acceptance of the UNF’s ten-point policy statement. Wickremesinghe said that a decision on the Presidential candidate would be taken only after an election was announced and he was confident that Fonseka had a clear understanding of the UNF policies. "There is no reason to assume that General Fonseka is not a democrat," he said. Among the conditions put forward for Fonseka’s candidature are that he must abolish the executive presidency or substantially reduces its powers in the event of being elected President, provide the TNA and JVP important portfolios in his Cabinet, ensure the speedy resettlement of northern IDPs, establish all the independent commissions required to ensure good governance and appoint Wickremesinghe as the caretaker Prime Minister (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

Why bash General?‘- by Rontjen Perera - General bashing’ seems to be the order of the day judging by the numerous articles, letters on the subject of General Sarath Fonseka’s resignation and his alleged decision to enter politics. I am inclined to reserve my judgment and give him the ‘benefit of the doubt’ in cricketing parlance or in legal parlance ‘the presumption of innocence until proven guilty’. I am also inclined to credit Gen. Fonseka with some intelligence. After all, he together with the other Service Commanders, the Defence Secretary and security forces personnel defeated a deadly terror organisation with such precision and flair. Criticism levelled against the General is mostly on the basis that he will contest the next Presidential election as the common candidate of the Opposition hell bent on defeating the incumbent President. However, nowhere have I seen the General making such an announcement. It’s only the rhetoric of serial losers like the JVP and Ranil Wickremesinghe hoping to ride someone ‘piggy back’ to power, knowing very well the electorate will reject them once again, should they contest on their own. Therefore, it would be prudent for us to wait until General Fonseka makes his political ambitions and plans known before we criticise him. If he is the military strategist that he is believed to be, there is also the possibility of his entering the presidential fray to the satisfaction of the `serial losers’ referred to above, winning the election and dumping the ‘piggy back riders’. It is strategies of this nature that enabled our armed forces to win the war against the terrorists. Why not in politics? I will not call the general a traitor as yet (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

LTTE equipment unearthed - A special police team has unearthed LTTE communication equipment and a photo album containing photos of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakharan in a dense jungle in Serunuwara, Trincomalee. Police spokesman SSP I.M. Karunaratna said acting on information disclosed by an LTTE cadre, a police team from Trincomalee Crime Division recovered LTTE communication equipment in Mavalvedu jungle on Tuesday noon. They unearthed a J.R type hand grenade, a satellite receiver, two satellite telephones, a computer, 92 feet of solar electronic wire, a remote control device, a solar powered satellite telephone and an album which included photos of LTTE leader Prabakharan (Daily News : 19 Nov 2009).

Poor show at elections to ‘eelam transnational govt.’ LTTE suffers humiliating loss - by Sugeeswara Senadhira, Former Counsellor at Sri Lankan Embassies in Oslo, New Delhi and Paris - The new LTTE leadership’s plan to form a transnational eelam government came a cropper when about ninety percent of the Tamil Diaspora members showed their contempt by abstaining from voting for the proposed outfit. Nediyavan, who succeeded KP as the new LTTE leader, was in for total disappointment when Tamils in Norway rejected his leadership on Sunday. The Norway based LTTE leader decided to hold the first phase of Eelam Transnational ‘government’ election in Norway itself hoping for a resounding victory to force Oslo to recognise the separatist outfit. But only 2,667 out of a total of 27,000 Tamils in Norway voted. The LTTE candidate lost and Vijaya Shankar, a South Indian Tamil from Chennai, came first with 1,864 votes (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

Holmes lauds resettlement effort All IDPs may return home by year end Govt. tells visiting UN official -  United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes yesterday praised the Sri Lankan government for having resettled a large number of the 300,000 internally displaced persons in the North. Holmes visited the Menik Farm Welfare Centre in Settikulam, Vavuniya yesterday. He also inspected the Kadirgamar, Arunachulam and Ananada Coomaraswamy relief villages in the North and said that he was pleased with the facilities provided to IDPs. Holmes was welcomed by Vavuniya Government Agent P. S. M. Charles and the Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General Kamal Gunaratne. Major General Gunaratne said that all the displaced persons would be resettled by January 31, 2010. The resettlement process might even be completed by the end of this year (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

Colombo travel for Northerners: Security clearance lifted Lorries too freed of registration: Ensuring the free movement of civilians from North to South, the Government yesterday announced that security clearance is no longer a requirement for Jaffna civilians to reach Colombo via land routes. People wishing to reach Colombo via land routes can forward their Identity Card or Passport at security checkpoints but they are not required to go through the security clearance process anymore. According to Northern Province Governor Major General G. A. Chandrasiri, the Government has decided to remove all obstacles that restrict the free movement of civilians from Jaffna to Colombo. Major General Chandrasiri added that the people in the Northern Province will now be able to enjoy full freedom after the country was liberated by the Security Forces. He said the President has arrived at this decision after a meeting with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the people in the Jaffna peninsula can now reach Colombo without any obstacle after four months of reopening the A9 highway for the public (Daily News ; 19 Nov 2009).

REMAINDER OF TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKERS AGREE TO DISEMBARK THE SHIP - By Walter Jayawardhana - The remainder of the original group of 78 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers , after a three week stand off agreed to leave an Australian customs ship moored of near the Indonesian island of Bintane on Wednesday, Australian newspapers reported. The 78 asylum seekers were picked up by the Australian ship Oceanic Viking in International waters while they were on their way to Australia. When they were to be taken to Bintane, the Tamils refused to disembark demanding that they be sent only to Australia. Last week part of the asylum seekers agreed to go to Bintane when they were promised the speedy processing of their refugee claims by the United Nations refugee agency , the UNHCR. Indonesian officials have promised to send the last batch of 56 to Bintane island processing center and detain them only for one month. An official was quoted as saying, "They would be detained for one month after their claims are processed by the UNHCR before they could be sent to a third country willing [to take them in], possibly Australia," (EOM).

John Holmes visits Menik Farm, praises resettlement - The United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes today had praised the government of Sri Lanka for resettling a large portion of the 300, 000 internally displaced citizens in the North. He had made this comment whilst visiting the Menik Farm camp in Settikulam, Vavuniya this afternoon. The Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs had also visited the Kadirgamar, Arunachulam and Ananada Coomaraswamy relief villages in the North and said that he was pleased with the facilities offered to the citizens by the government of Sri Lanka. John Holmes had been welcomed by Vavuniya Government Agent P.S.M Charles and the Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General Kamal Gunaratne. Yesterday Holmes visited Jaffna. On his return to Colombo this evening Holmes had talks with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama (Daily Mirror ; 19 Nov 2009).

Lankan asylum seekers begin to disembark; Remaining 56 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, aboard the ‘Oceanic Viking’, had begun disembarking, Australian media reported yesterday. A news story filed from Indonesia for ABC Online said: "The first seven of the remaining asylum seekers were transferred from the ‘Oceanic Viking’ to waiting white ferries. The first group waved to the waiting media as they were transferred. All 56 asylum seekers are on their way to a detention centre in Tanjung, Pinang to join the 22 Sri Lankans who left the ‘Oceanic Viking’ last Friday. The asylum seekers, who were picked up by the Australian customs ship about four weeks ago, had been refusing to leave the vessel and were insisting on being taken to Australia. The ensuing stand-off has been a headache for the Rudd Government, with the Opposition accusing them of being soft on people smugglers. Kevin Rudd has also been under fire for claims that the asylum seekers were offered special deals in exchange for leaving the ‘Oceanic Viking’. Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has accused the Prime Minister of treating the public like "mugs" by continuing to claim the asylum seekers did not get special treatment (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

LTTE dug its own grave Karunanidhi:-  The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) did not take into account future consequences while implementing its war strategy, Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said on Tuesday. Recalling the LTTE’s call to Tamils for boycott of the 2005 presidential elections, Mr Karunanidhi, in a statement, said that SLFP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa had defeated UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe by a margin of about 1.81 lakh votes and that seven lakh Tamils in Sri Lanka did not cast their votes. Mr Wickramasinghe had then promised the electors that he would give priority to peace talks with the LTTE in the event of his election. "Who would know our silent pain while we reflect over the outcomes of the hasty political action?" he wondered. The Chief Minister’s statement was issued in the context of a recent interview given by Mr Wickramasinghe to a Tamil journal (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

Police recover LTTE satellite equipment -  The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) together with the Trincomalee police special crime bureau recovered several satellite equipment on Tuesday night. This includes a satellite antenna, two satellite phones, a satellite receiver, several uniforms and a photo album of its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran during a search operation carried out in Serunuwara, police media spokesman SSP I.M. Karunaratne said. The search operation was carried out after the CID received vital information about the equipment as they recovered similar items in a search operation in the area last week, he said. The equipment was recovered as they were buried in the backyard of the former LTTE court house in Serunuwara. The police are conducting investigations into the recovery and have deployed several teams to recover such equipment and weapons hidden by the LTTE, he added. Number of underground arms and ammunition dumps has been recovered by the armed forces and the Special Task Force (STF) since the conflict ended in May, SSP Karunaratne said (Daily Mirror : 19 Nov 2009).

CID allowed to further detain chief suspect in Janaka Perera killing - The CID yesterday sought permission from the Anuradhapura Magistrate to further detain a suspect, Rasawellawan Tabo Ruben, in the suicide bomb attack in October last year which killed North Central Provincial Council Opposition leader Major General Janaka Perera and 35 others. The CID told Magistrate Dharshika Wimalasiri that the suspect was wanted in several other cases. The Magistrate granted permission and remanded the other suspects. The case was postponed for October 30.The CID also told Court that it had completed all investigations. The CID told Court that that it had forwarded its investigations to the Attorney General’s Department and the latter had informed that it would send the report soon. The Court was earlier told that the LTTE had contracted the suspects to carry out the attack for a payment of Rs 8.4 million. Those killed in the attack included Major General Janaka Perera, his wife Vajira Perera, UNP Provincial Councillors, Sunil Dissanayake, A. Anurdeen, a former provincial minister Rajah Johnpulle, senior Attorney A. C. S. Hameed and journalist Rasheem Maharoof (Island : 19 Nov 2009).

Deceptive Tamils and Terrorists amongst Economic Refugees to Australia - By Priyanka Bandara - Depicting Sri Lanka is a place where minority Tamils are persecuted has been a well orchestrated information distortion campaign by Separatist Tamils over many years.. There are about 2.5 million Tamils in Sri Lanka and the vast majority of them live outside the war-affected areas amongst the Sinhalese, the island’s native majority who make close to 80% of the population. Despite the distorted history presented by the Tamil separatists, Tamils in Sri Lanka are a migrant community from Tamil Nadu, South India (the homeland of 80 million Tamils world-wide) where 60 million Tamils live. Tamil settlements started following South Indian invasions in 13th century AD, displacing the Sinhalese in around Jaffna , more than 1700 years after the recorded history of Sinhalese in the island. Tamil population was doubled by the English who brought over 1.2 million Tamils from South India in late 19th century and early 20th century as labourers in tea plantation. The claim that Tamils had their own separate country in the island prior to the British rule, given free publicity in this article, is based on a single erroneous minute by a British officer made in 1799, against a myriad of historical and archaeological evidence preserved over 2500 years. Why on earth did the British sign the Kandyan Convention on 5th March 1815 only with the Sinhalese chieftains in capital Kandy in order to take over the rule of the entire country, if a separate Tamil state also existed in the island? (Sinhale Hot News : 19 Nov 2009).

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs commends resettlement of rescued civilians - The UN Under-Secretary -General for Humanitarian Affairs, Sir John Holmes, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka from 17th to 19th November 2009 commended the government's ongoing resettlement of civilians rescued from LTTE terrorists. During the discussions, Foreign Minister Bogollagama outlined the resettlement process and de-mining activities which had taken place so far and highlighted the fact that the number of IDPs was declining on a daily basis due to the rapid pace of the resettlement process. Foreign Minister Bogollagama requested Sir John Holmes to consider providing more assistance in the areas of demining, infrastructure development and livelihood enhancement for the IDPs who were recently resettled and added that there was room for further movement out of the welfare villages in the coming days (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 18 Nov 2009).

Last Sri Lankan protesters prepare to leave Oceanic Viking - THE last of the 56 Sri Lankan protesters on board the Oceanic Viking will be removed from the vessel within the next two hours. About forty Sri Lankans have already been lowered to the ocean in boatloads of eight using one of the Ocean Viking's tenders. The 56, once all on the ferry, will be taken to the Australian-built detention centre in the city of Tanjung Pinang, to join their 22 compatriots who disembarked the Oceanic Viking on Friday. They are then expected to be taken to the nearby regional naval base, from where buses will transport them to the detention centre. This process could drag on for hours, even well into the night. Indonesian immigration officials are standing by at the detention centre, which has a capacity of around 600 people, to receive their newest detainees (The Australian : 18 Nov 2009).

HISTORY TEACHES US MANY LESSONS - by Lt Col (Retd.) Anil Amarasekera - When I wrote the article ‘United we stand divided we fall’ I could see trouble brewing ahead with an effort by vested interests to divide the nationalistic forces. It is now fast reaching the boiling point with the resignation of General Sarath Fonseka from the post of Chief of Defence Staff. That there has been a lot of love lost between President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, General Sarath Fonseka, is obvious to the man on the street and it is not my intention to add fuel to the already burning fire by finding fault with one party or the other. That is exactly what the vested interests would want at this point of time to destabilize, divide and rule this country by making the political forces in power dance to the tune that they would decide to play. I have read in the past few days many articles by journalists. Some of them have exposed hidden facts that are very true but by exposing such facts they have only deepened the rift between the two parties and have not contributed in any way towards reconciliation. Most of these articles have found fault with either General Sarath Fonseka or with the President or with both parties and in the process created doubt and mistrust in the minds of the reader towards one party or the other or with regard to both parties. Is this what we require at this point of time when we have defeated the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization and is on the threshold of establishing a unitary nation that needs to regain its prosperity once more to become that island paradise? (LankaWeb : 18 Nov 2009).

Malaysian delegation impressed by progress in resettlement - A delegation of the Federation of 18 Malaysian Sri Lankan Associations who visited the North expressed their satisfaction at the speedy progress made in the resettlement of IDPs. The government is doing its best for their welfare, It's an excellent job said Mr. S. Kulasegaran addressing the media today in Colombo. They appreciated the fact that they were given free access to IDP camps and rehabilitation centers and were able to interview them freely. Children who were being rehabilitated, told us that they were forcibly taken by the LTTE. Now they are undergoing vocational training. They said that the foreign media had pointed a false picture of the situation. They welcomed partnership in the form of joint ventures. A fund raising charity was launched on Saturday 4th July at Kalamandapam, Scott Road, Kuala Lumpur, called the "FOMSO SRI LANKAN HUMANITARIAN FUND". At the launch of this fundraising FOMSO made a pledge that it will disburse the funds directly to those affected (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 18 Nov 2009).

Review of the book entitled “THE SEPARATIST CONFLICT IN SRI LANKA Terrorism, ethnicity, Political economy” By Professor Asoka Bandarage - Reviewed by Dr Muralidaran Ramesh Somasunderam - The writer makes a new analysis of the conflict in Sri Lanka, touching on the areas of terrorism, ethnicity, and the political economy. The Introduction and Chapter 1 indicates the wide approaches to these sensitive areas of study, and comment. In the past, most of the writers have dwelt with this subject as an ethnic conflict, and have tended to set it within a historical context of the story of Sri Lanka from its past history. This approach is narrative, and seeks to set this conflict within certain known parameters. This appears to be a limited approach to the whole problem. Most of the writers have, therefore, taken one side of the issue, and analysed the events from that angle. It is either from a Tamil point of view, or from that of the majority community. Both these lead to a limited vision. It is refreshing therefore that a new approach has been made in this book to understand the local, regional, and global issues involved (LankaWeb : 18 Nov 2009).

No More Security Clearance Needed for Colombo Bound Jaffna Passengers - CIVILIANS in the Jaffna peninsula proceeding to the South (Colombo) are not required to receive security clearance from the Security Forces for their travel any longer on public buses, it was announced today (18th November 2009). Passengers on production of their National Identity Cards (NIC) or Sri Lankan passports, as is the practice in the rest of the island could travel on those public buses that have been provided with immediate effect. Passengers are able to board those buses leaving Jaffna Hospital Junction (51 Division Headquarters). Earlier, except for emergencies, passengers bound for Colombo were required to obtain security clearance from respective Police Stations in their areas of residence due to security concerns. Passengers starting off from Wellawatte and Kotahena in Colombo could also use the same service on their way back to the northern peninsula using the same facility. It is believed the dispensing of those restrictions would help intended passengers a great deal even at times of quick business undertakings, emergencies, etc. (Sri Lanka Army : 18 Nov 2009).

‘Request for Pope to visit Welfare Camps in Sri Lanka’ – “Catholic Leader” – Brisbane Posted on November 18th, 2009 Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, Australia It was reported in the 22nd Nov. issue of the Catholic Leader – Brisbane, that Dr. Brian Seneviratne (Catholic married to a Tamil) and Fr. Pan Jordan (Tamil), presently in Brisbane, beleive that the Pope must visit welfare camps in Sri Lanka to see for himself the mistreatment of the 280,000 IDP’S. In fact, the current number is about half of this. Both had referred to the appalling conditions in the welfare camps. They have made this observation in response to Pope Benedict’s recent call to free displaced civilians from internment camps. However, it was also reported that the Pope had noted with ’satisfaction’ the efforts of the Sri Lankan government. Despite this Brian and Fr. Jordan had said, “…The only thing that will work is for the pope to visit Sri Lanka and to insist in going and seeing his flock of sheep in the camps…” (LankaWeb : 18 Nov 2009).

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu as a panellist on Human Rights in Sri Lanka - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Professor Chelva Kananganayakam University of Toronto Toronto; Dear Professor Chelva Kananganayakam: Re: MUNK CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - Panel Discussion on Illusionary Justice: Threats to the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka on November 16, 2009. I am not certain why I am writing to you, perhaps may be because you are affiliated with the University of Toronto. If you feel that this topic does not concern you at all, then forgive me, but I had to let my bile spill on someone at U of T. I ached to know that such a panel discussion was allowed to take place in the heart of Toronto, the Canadian-Eelam county on the heels of reports from local and international intelligence which says “the severely affected international network of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam following the defeat of the outfit militarily in Sri Lanka is slowly gathering ground using the Canadian soil as the base.” This panel discussion most definitely was part of that phenomenon, and the sponsors, the Centre for South Asian Studies and Asian Institute are guilty of aiding abetting it, and to let Tamil-Eelamists get a foothold in Canada as their base (LankaWeb : 18 Nov 2009).


Click here for the copy of article appeared in Sunday Lankadeepa, 15 Nov 2009


An Open Letter To Lt.General Sarath Fonseka - by Malin Abeyatunge - The long speculated news is out now that Lt.General Sarath Fonseka has given his resignation from his post of Chief Defence of Staff (CDS) and that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accepted it. Well, it’s your fundamental right to choose what ever you want as a career and purely a personal matter. I am sure the people of Sri Lanka has no qualms about it but would not like to see you falling from an esteemed position you held as the Army commander and then CDS to just an insignificant person. Sir, there is no other army general compared to you in our recent history. You are a brave officer and a gentleman. You have saved the country from scourge of LTTE terrorism. Of course, there are many other contributory factors like right political leadership by the President, right strategy by Defence Secretary, the skilful and precise Navy and Air force operations, STF, Police force and the people of the nation who morally supported. Mr.Gamini Gunewardena (Ex-DIG) in his article in the Island on 12/11/2009 quite rightly pointed out the INTERGRITY of the top hierarchy of the Government and the Forces is another contributory factor. In the peoples’ mind you are a war hero and should be treated as a national treasure. When LTTE was defeated, the people were rejoicing of the victory praising your gallantry and courage (LankaWeb : 17 Nov 2009).

Tight security, official residence for Fonseka - Retired Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka was informed yesterday that he would be provided with tight security as requested by him and could also occupy the official residence of the Army Commander until he finds a suitable place to move in, the Defence Ministry said. Speaking to Daily Mirror online on the condition of anonymity a top Defence ministry official said that General Fonseka would be provided with 70 commandos, a bullet proof car and a fleet of backup vehicles. The retired General had requested for tighter security on the basis that he still remained on the LTTE hit list (Daily Mirror ; 18 Nov 2009).

Common candidate and common enemy - The police and the armed forces continue to net key Tigers. Yesterday we reported that the CID had arrested a hardcore terrorist who had driven an explosive laden lorry to Colombo for the attack on the Central Bank. After the defeat of the LTTE, he had entered an IDP centre posing as a war affected civilian and later managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the security forces and walk to freedom. Sellathamby Navaratnam is his name. There must be thousands of LTTE cadres like Navaratnam masquerading as civilians. And they must be brought to justice. However, that is not the point we are trying make. His arrest evokes our memories of the terror attack on the Central Bank, where over 55 persons were killed and about 1,400 others injured. But, how many of us could remember the year of that LTTE strike? (It took place in 1996.) (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

President explains how war on terror was won - President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday LTTE terrorism could not have been militarily defeated if the security forces were not given the proper political leadership and without the assistance of the Central Bank, Treasury, the state Health sector and the blessings of the entire nation. President Rajapaksa addressing a ceremony held at the Central Bank Auditorium to issue a new 1000-rupee note to commemorate the ushering in of peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka, said today’s challenge for the security forces was to rebuild shattered hearts and minds. “It is time to work for the future now. We must not keep glorifying the past. We must learn from the past and make the future a success. We must develop the country and make people’s lives happy and contended,” President Rajapaksa said. He said that unless military hardware, helicopters, fighter jets, war ships and fast attack craft were provided in time and in the absence of a pragmatic and timely political leadership, the liberation of the motherland from the menace of terrorism would only have been dream. The President said the intelligence arms of the three forces, the Police and the Civil Defence Force also helped in a big way to defeat terrorism and release more than 300,000 civilians from the clutches of the LTTE. “The Central Bank and the Treasury provided financial assistance to purchase the arms and ammunition, sea and air craft, equipment and whatever asked for by the three armed forces. This was while disbursing funds for the huge development drive launched by the government. The entire country enjoys the dividends of peace and tranquility after 30 years. Confidence and hope have returned. Expatriate Sri Lankans are keen to come back and contribute to the rebuilding of their motherland, the President said (Daily Mirror ; 18 Nov 2009).

Fonseka and Eisenhower - As a former fan of General Sarath Fonseka, let me present a fair comparison of two military commanders, who aspired to become politicians, before the newly found Eelamist friends of General Fonseka (or he himself) exploits General Dwight David Eisenhower’s victory at the United States presidential election of 1952, to argue that General Fonseka can win the next Sri Lanka presidential election. The Allied Forces won the so-called Second World War in 1945 and the incumbent President of the USA at that time was Harry Truman, who represented the Democratic Party. Eisenhower, who was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe since the establishment of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force in 1943 until victory in 1945, won the Presidential Election in 1952 as the Republican Party candidate, ending 20 years of Democratic Party rule to become Truman’s successor (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

Why I can’t vote for you, dear General... - You were one of our heroes, a ‘Knight in Shining Armour’, who rose up to the challenge of taking on the dragon. When you won, we won, the whole country won, sans a few. The dragon was elusive, but its evil-hearted offshoot was freely wandering and quite vocal out in the open, denigrating and insulting you and every move you made to defeat their master. When they did, they also denigrated and insulted our people and all patriotic forces, who stood by you and what you stood for, in the name of our country. Despite all their attempts, the country was saved due to your leadership and your men’s valour, dedication and sacrifice. In contrast, the nature of the villains of the nation became all too clear and we could see the depths that they could stoop down to, in order to stall the progress of our nation and attain their own ends (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

Thank you General Fonseka - Hope you would not join the Bunch of Traitors backed by some foreign countries. They wanted to replace you with Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and said that you are not suitable even to lead the Salvation Army. They compared you to a "GONA". Join Mahinda Rajapaksa, point out his mistakes, and together, make the country a victorious in every aspect. Do not be a modern-day ‘Siri Sangabo’ on behalf of the country’s enemies as The Sunday Island said (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

Govt. moves to win over TNA - Close on the heels of the UNP-JVP combine seeking to rope in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to support the candidature of General (retd) Sarath Fonseka at the next presidential election against President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government has moved to win over the TNA. The UNP-JVP alliance was seeking the TNA’s support for their candidate. Government sources told The Island that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, which militarily defeated the LTTE, had the strength to resettle the displaced and was confident of meeting the uphill task with the support of the international community. In an unprecedented move, the Defence Ministry on Monday (Nov 16) arranged a TNA parliamentary group to visit areas west of the A9 road where the government was in the process of resettling the war displaced. The delegation arrived at the Cheddikulam welfare centre against the backdrop of Opposition allegations that the government had failed to tackle the IDPs issue satisfactorily (Island ; 18 Nov 2009).

Peace no longer a dream - President Country brimming with hope and optimism : Peace became no longer a dream for Sri Lankans, due to the collective commitment of those who loved the motherland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the nation yesterday. He said that this collective commitment and effort was needed in the present and in the future to drive the country towards economic prosperity and development. He emphasized the need to set aside petty differences on behalf of the motherland and work as one unit to steer the country towards economic prosperity and garnering international support for the efforts. The President made these observations joining in the issue of a commemorative note in the denomination of Rs 1,000 by the Central Bank to mark the ushering of peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka under the President’s leadership. The theme on the obverse of the note is one country and one nation in harmony, progressing towards prosperity under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. At the launch which took place at the Central Bank’s Exter International Conference Hall, the first note was issued to President Rajapaksa by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal (Daily News : 18 Nov 2009).

Twenty Tiger suspects released on AG’s advice - Following the advice of the Attorney General’s Department, the Prisons Department on Monday released 20 suspects who had been detained at Welikada Prison under the PTA and Emergency Regulations, Justice Ministry sources said. Following consultations, the Minister of Justice and Judicial Reforms Milinda Moragoda had with Attorney General Mohan Peiris PC, it was decided to dispose cases of those held under the Emergency Regulations and the PTA, quickly, the sources said adding that those suspects against whom there was insufficient evidence to indict, will be released without holding them in detention without trial. This will be an ongoing process (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

The latest conspiracy theory - By Kath Noble - It has taken less than six months for Sarath Fonseka’s relationship with Mahinda Rajapaksa to break down. One moment they were congratulating each other on their spectacular victory over the LTTE, and the next the former Army Commander was giving up his post as Chief of Defence Staff with invitations in hand from both the UNP and the JVP to run against the President in the upcoming election. They have gone from the closest of partnerships to what looks like developing into a bitter rivalry with very little in the way of warning. The falling out has been so spectacular that the reasons behind it are now one of the hottest topics of debate in Colombo, and it is quite fascinating. We all love conspiracy theories. Mahinda Rajapaksa hasn’t said much about it as yet, but Sarath Fonseka’s resignation letter claims that it all began with suspicions that he was planning to overthrow the Government. He was moved on in an unseemly hurry, it seems, and his recommendation of Major General Chandrasiri as a successor was overlooked. Various other unnecessary internal changes were made. The President simply didn’t trust him, he says. His Sinha Regiment was even removed from security duties at the Ministry of Defence. I find this assertion pretty hard to believe. Coups just don’t happen in Sri Lanka (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

French Ambassador for HR visits IDP camps - The French Ambassador for Human Rights Francois Zimeray of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs congratulated Minister of Resettlement Rishad Bathiudeen on the progress made in the IDP camps. He said that during his visit to the welfare villages he had searched for reasons on why the conditions of the welfare camps had been subjected to so much criticism. He reported that he could find none . He also looked into the facilities given to the IDPs once they were resettled, emphasising on the need to ensure human dignity in the IDP’s return process. The Minister had explained the Human Rights Ambassador the entitlements given to the IDPs as well as the progress in infrastructure and other government services available in the resettled areas, the cash grants and non-food items given to each IDP, basket of food items for 6 months and commitment to build permanent housing for IDPs. The Minister pointed out the facilities available for education, health, vocational training and other services at the IDP welfare villages prior to the resettlement process (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

Prabha’s ‘last wish’ and the nation-dividers - Mahinda Rajapaksa did what Mahinda Rajapaksa does best at the National Convention of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He played ‘politician’, ‘man of the people’, ‘Mr. Congeniality’ to perfection. He walked in the rain among the party loyalists, thereby instantly re-establishing rapport with the ground troops he will need at election time. He did not announce which election would be held first, the general or the presidential, but ‘obtained’ from the rank and file of the party a nod for the latter. He also took pot shots at potential candidates. In short, he accomplished much. In his speech, Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke of Prabhakaran’s ‘last wish’. Prabhakaran wanted the military to be divided and he wanted the people divided, the President said. Prabhakaran is dead so we can’t verify this. However, it can be said with certainty that Prabhakaran, when he was alive not only would have wished for it, but thrived on it. He was able to survive for so long because of the woeful absence of unity, in purpose, direction and commitment of the democratic forces in the country and also due to the incompetence, lack of leadership and lack of determination on the part of the security forces, exacerbated by a scandalous prostitution of the conflict by the particular political leadership (Daily Mirror : 18 Nov 2009).

Govt spends Rs. 9.9 mn daily on food for IDPs - Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishard Bathiudeen yesterday informed Parliament that the government spends Rs. 9.9 million per day to supply food for the displaced persons. Answering a question raised by JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana, the Minister said that in addition to this sum, Rs. 472,000 is spent on A daily basis for other requirements of the displaced people in welfare centres in and around Vavuniya. He said that of nearly 300,000 persons, only 135,927 still live in camps as others had been resettled. The number of people living in camps belong to 44,940 families and are housed in 14 welfare centres. A staff of 938 persons had been deployed to maintain and upgrade the facilities of these camps. In addition to the provisions made by the government, the UNHCR, the World Food Programme and the UNICEF are providing assistance to serve these people, the Minister said (Island : 18 Nov 2009).

War heroes receive lands in Kadawatha - Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa directed Army officers who received blocks of land in Kadawatha to use vehicles and other facilities of the Defence Ministry to clear and construct roads in their lands. Defence Ministry under the patronage of the Defence Secretary the Army officers who fought in the battle against terrorism received 10-perch of land each from the Government at Kadawatha to build their houses. After handing over the deeds, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa directed them to use the vehicles and other facilities of Defence Ministry to clear the land blocks and construct roads to each block of land. He also requested them to fill an application form to obtain a soft loan to put up their houses. “We will assist you to build your houses on these lands.” Additional Defence Secretary Willi Gamage said the Government has built 1,792 houses for the war heroes apart from 1,509 houses under Janapura Village scheme. Another 4,117 houses are to be constructed in the Gintota Housing Scheme. “The Government has allocated Rs. 200 million as a fund for soft loans to the war heroes to build and upgrade their houses,” he added. He also said another 143 houses were given as a donation to the war heroes (Daily News : 18 Nov 2009).

Arrested LTTEers were abductors - Two LTTE suspects who were arrested by a special police team in Vavuniya were found to have had connections with the abduction of a youth and demanding Rs.500,000 as ransom, Police spokesman SSP, I.M. Karunaratne said. A 17 year old youth was abducted by unidentified suspects in Vavuniya on September 21. The abductors have demanded Rs.500,000 ransom from the family. “It was reported that the family members have paid Rs.100,000 as an initial payment to the abductors. The suspects have spent all the money”, he added. Police arrested two LTTE suspects last Wednesday in Vavuniya. During interrogation it was revealed that the suspects have connections with abducting the youth for ransom (Daily News : 18 Nov 2009).

Ex-combatants transformed by rehab program - The Government's rehabilitation program had succeeded in changing the attitudes of former combatants who came with fear for their lives. Now they are 200 percent sure about the security of their lives, said the Rehabilitation Commissioner Daya Ratnayake at a press conference yesterday at the Media Ministry. There are 11,000 LTTE cadres in 17 rehabilitation centres. Most of these centres were established in Vavuniya. The Government's plan is to rehabilitate these LTTE cadres and make them useful citizens of the country (Daily News : 18 Nov 2009).

Child Lanka Organization donates Rs. 330,000 to "Ranawiru Dudaru Scholarship" Scheme - Child Lanka Organization in UK donated a sum of Rs. 330,000.00 to "Ranawiru Dudaru Scholarship" Scheme for the benefit of families of our war heroes. Mrs. Priya Siriwardana, the Chairwoman of the Child Lanka Organization handed over the donation to Mrs. Ayoma Rajapaksa, the Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defance, today (17 Nov) at the premises of Defence Ministry. Mrs. C.H Clayton and Mrs G.N Gunathilaka also participated at the occasion representing the Child Lanka Organization. Deputy Chairperson of MOD Seva Vanitha Unit, Senior Assistant Secretary Mrs. Indu Rathnayaka were also present at the event (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 17 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka Cultivates Mannar ‘Rice Bowl’ Captured From Rebels - Sri Lanka said it is cultivating the rice-producing area in Mannar after clearing mines from the northwestern region captured from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam before the group’s defeat in May. The mine clearing allowed 7,000 additional acres (2,833 hectares) to be cultivated recently and another 7,000 acres will be converted for rice growing once water storage levels rise, the government said on its Web site, citing Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, the governor of Northern Province. The so-called Mannar “Rice Bowl” produced a record harvest in 1991 before falling to 23rd out of the 27 rice- growing areas listed by the government before the region was captured from the Tamil Tigers in June 2008. The LTTE’s 26-year fight for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka’s north and east ended in May when the last Tamil Tiger fighters were defeated in a battle in the northeast (Full report in Bloomberg : 17 Nov 2009).

Oluvil Port ready in one year - The construction work on the Oluvil Port will be completed in October next year. One third of the construction is now complete, said the Project Manager Hans Jorgen at a special press conference held at the Oluvil Port premises recently, President Media Division said. The Oluvil Port comprising a stretch of 1.4 kilometers will include a commercial harbour and a fisheries harbour. The Project Manager said on completion, the commercial harbour could handle six vessels of ten thousand tons simultaneously. The construction is carried out by Denmark's MT Hojgaard Company. The Government has also initiated work for building and developing five more ports; Galle, Trincomalee, Kankasanthurai, Point Pedru and a new Port in Hambantota, under the 'Mahinda Chintana' to make the country the centre of the Asian silk route once again, taking advantage of its unique geographical location (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 17 Nov 2009).

"Our goal hear is to defeat al-Qaeda", says Hillary Clinton - by Asoka Weerasinghe - The Editor (Letters) THE OTTAWA CITIZEN - Sir: ‘U.S. not in Afghanistan long term, Clinton says: “…our goal here is to defeat al-Qaeda”, you said, and I am confused. If the U.S. Secretary of State means what she says that they are after to eliminate terrorism, then why is she undermining Sri Lanka’s single-handed defeat of the Tamil Tigers on May 18, the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world? These are the terrorists who gave al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world the know how to kill with human suicide bombs. And that perfected art of suicide bombing has taken the lives of many of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan. Furthermore, this is the terrorist group that provided the know-how to destroy the U.S.Navy destroyer USS Cole on 12 October 2000 while it was harboured in the Yemen port of Aden? And am I the only person who feels that the US has lost its vanity as the most powerful military force in the world and embarrassed that they are struggling to destroy al-Qaeda and the Taliban terrorists, while little Sri Lanka managed to eliminate the Tamil Tigers having accepted their challenge on July 2006 when they stopped the water supply to 30,000 civilians but cutting off the Mavil Aru anicut.

No room for conspiracies - President - President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the history has proved that the treacherous forces who betrayed the country cannot create heroes and only the patriotic forces who truly love their Motherland can produce heroes. The President was speaking at the presentation of Punya Bhoomi title deeds to temples which have been built on the State lands, at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera, Anunayake of the Amarapura Maha Nikaye Most Ven Dawuldena Gnanisssara Thera and the chief incumbent of the Dharmapalaramaya Mount Lavinia Most Ven Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera were present (Daily News ; 17 Nov 2009).

Tiger involved in CB blast arrested - The Criminal Investigating Department arrested a key LTTE suspect involved in the Central Bank bomb blast in 1996. He was convicted by the Colombo High Court and sentenced to 200 year imprisonment. Sellathambi Navaratnam (53) had surrendered to the Security Forces as an Internally Displaced Person during the last lap of the battle in Vellaimullivaikkal on May 16 along with several other IDPs. Police spokesman SSP I.M. Karunaratne said in the Government move to resettle the IDPs from camps in Vavuniya, people aged over 60 were released in the recent past. Navaratnam producing a forged Identity Card fled from the camp in Vavuniya. “Navaratnam who is 53 years, grabbing the opportunity forged an ID card indicating that he is over 60 years and used it to flee from the IDP camp,” he added. Acting on information provided by a special police team, CID nabbed the LTTE suspect in Udarikulam Road, Chettikulam. “It was revealed that Navaratnam had played a key role in the Central Bank bomb blast in 1996. He had brought the bomb laden lorry to Colombo on before the attack and returned to Kilinochchi,” the SSP said. He noted that Navaratnam was convicted by the Colombo High Court for his involvement in the bomb blast. He was sentenced for 200 year imprisonment. Investigations are continuing (Daily News : 17 Nov 2009).

LTTE bomb attack on Central Bank, Colombo

Click here for details


President presents scholarships to war heroes’ children - President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa yesterday presented over 200 scholarships to children whose fathers sacrificed their lives for the protection of the sovereignty and terrorial intergrity of Sri Lanka. The scholarship scheme was implemented by the Seva Vanitha Organisation of the Defence Ministry in collaboration with the Bank of Ceylon (BoC). The beneficiary students who are studying from Grade 1 to 5 will receive Rs. 20,000 and children from Grade 6 to 9 will be entitled to Rs. 30,000. A Rs. 50,000 grant is also given to war heroe’s children studying from Grade 10 - 12. These children received their pass books from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and BoC Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickremesinghe. These children were picked by the Defence Ministry Seva Vanitha Oraganisation during an islandwide mobile service held by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He met the kith and kin of service personnel killed in action in the North and East after terrorism was completely eradicated from the country (Daily News : 17 Nov 2009).

Let’s win the rebuilding battle - President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the SLFP special National Convention at the Kheththarama Stadium on Sunday said the party was holding its convention at a significant moment when a person born in this country can go anywhere in the world and proudly say that he/she a Sri Lankan. When they say that they can also identify themselves as a true SLFPer as well for many reasons. It is because you were the people who safeguarded the Government and the country from local and foreign threats during the war against the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. It is because you were the people who kindled the patriotic fervour by joining hands with other patriotic parties and groups. And above all you were the people who warned the international forces against interfering in our affairs and kept them at bay by ensuring consecutive election victories (Daily News : 17 Nov 2009).

Lankan boat people sent back - More than two thirds of a group of 50 Sri Lankans who arrived in Australia by boat in April have been sent back to Sri Lanka after they were determined not to be refugees, the Australian High Commission said. A group of six men were sent back to Colombo on November 14. They join 30 others from the same boat who were removed to Sri Lanka after their claims were assessed in Australia and it was found they had not raised any issues which might engage Australia's obligations under the United Nations Refugees' Convention. The 50 men were from a boat which was intercepted by Australia's Border Protection Command 65 nautical miles north-east of Thursday Island on April 2. So far this year, 119 people who arrived in Australia by boat have been returned home (Daily News : 17 Nov 2009).

The president says the opposition along with pro-LTTE elements is attempting to tarnish the image of the country - President Mahinda Rajapakse says some elements of the opposition along with pro-LTTE elements in foreign countries are spreading false propaganda to tarnish the image of the country. These elements are conspiring to deprive the country of GSP Plus tax concession. The president made these observations at a meeting held this morning with the members of inter religious delegation that toured in European countries recently . The aim of this tour was to enlighten the European leaders on the real situation prevailing in Sri Lanka. The president further said the responsibility of the religious leaders in the country to re-integrate the hearts of the people that were shattered by the ill-effect of the war. Sri Lankan security forces engaged in the humanitarian mission with high discipline and responsibility. Our security forces are exemplary to the world that they have taken care of the family members of the LTTE combatants as well. The president thanked the religious leaders for their service to enhance ethnic and religious harmony in the country. Venerable Prof. Bellanvilla Wimalarathana Thera said that it is significant that the delegation had the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict XVI . The Arch Bishop of Colombo the Rt.Rev.Malcolm Ranjith noted that the European Community is not fully aware of the real situation prevalent in the country. He added that the religious delegation took measures to portray the correct the image of the country. The report prepared by the delegation on their European tour was handed over to the president this morning (SLBC : 17 Nov 2009).

Terrorism: Gen.Sarath Fonseka - a brilliant professional, but professionalism alone does not make a good leader - The Khalistani terrorism in India and the terrorism of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka are two unique instances in the history of terrorism where the State prevailed over the terrorists without conceding their demands. 2. The threat faced by Sri Lanka was more complex and difficult to handle than the threat faced by India. Sri Lanka was confronted with a ruthless mix of a full-blown insurgency seeking territorial control and terrorism seeking to intimidate the civil society. The Khalistani terrorism was a purely terrorist movement with no mix of an insurgency. 3. The situation, which Sri Lanka faced, was similar to that faced by the US and other NATO forces and the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan. They have not yet been able to find an effective answer to the complex mix of insurgent and terrorist tactics used by the Neo Taliban. 4. It goes to the credit of the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism machinery of Sri Lanka that after having struggled against the LTTE for nearly 23 years till 2006, they were able to fashion an appropriate mix of tactics to prevail over the LTTE (Ionglobaltrends : 17 Nov 2009).

Govt. seeks assistance to rehabilitate ex-LTTE cadres - The government is seeking the assistance of the UN agencies, international donors and the local business community in rehabilitating over 11,000 former LTTE cadres, Presidential Secretariat said yesterday. Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayake yesterday said the government had met the cost of rehabilitating hundreds of former LTTE cadres from the Eastern Province over the past two years. He said 556 LTTE child cadres under the age of 18 had been divided into two groups and 273 who had received formal education had been admitted to Hindu College Ratmalana. The balance 293 had been given Vocational Training at the camp at Punnthottam in Vavuniya. About 1,900 women cadres in three groups were receiving formal education, Gen. Ratnayake said. He said that before the end of the year plans had been afoot to open eight new rehabilitation centres in Vavuniya and Jaffna to accommodate 500 persons each. Ten more centres would be opened to house 500 inmates each, he said (Island ; 17 Nov 2009).

Heroes emerge among those who love the motherland – President - Sri Lanka News Heroes have not emerged among the political leaders who had erected barbed wire fences around temples and, those who conspired with international elements to betray the motherland, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (16) during the presentation of Punya Bhoomi title deeds to temples which have been built on the State lands. An era has dawned where the inheritance of the nation can be used for development. All those who love the country and respect our history must join hands to build the nation, said the President. He added that those who were involved in erecting barbed wire fences around Buddhist temples depriving religious freedom of the people and Buddhist monks are now preaching about Dasa Raja Dharmaya. The Maha Sangha is always in the forefront to protect and promote people friendly policies. The blessings of the Maha Sangha helped to free the country from terrorism, the President stated. The Pirith Noola tied around the soldiers by the Maha Sangha gave them unprecedented courage and fortitude in their fight against terrorism. President Rajapaksa said the Maha Sangha did not leave the temples or villages when they were attacked by terrorists. The Maha Sangha in these areas did not get alms on time. Their lives were miserable due to terrorism. The Government has implemented a project to develop temples in such areas in honour of their service to the society at difficult times, he said (LankaWeb : 17 Nov 2009).

What a shame! - The pathetic situation the leader of the UNP and other leaders of this new coalition find themselves in is amply demonstrated by the fact that they are banking on a complete stranger to politics to bring them to power! And to cover their shamefulness, Ranil is trying to lay down conditions on what General Fonseka should do if and when he becomes President. As Mr.S.L.Gunasekara rightly pointed out, it’s as if they are doing Gen. Fonseka a favour, when in reality it’s the other way around. And Ranil and his " have not answered the million dollar question, which is the position of Gen.Fonseka after he appoints Ranil as caretaker Prime Minister. I suppose he wants the Gen. To thank him profusely for the favour done and then go home leaving Ranil the "Lord of all I survey". I sometimes wonder whether Ranil eats poonac!! He has forgotten what happened in the CMC elections a few years back. The promises he secured all backfired and a three wheeler driver ended up being the Mayor of Colombo and to add insult to injury, he joined the SLFP (Island ; 17 Nov 2009).

Ranil’s wild goose chase - Stipulating conditions for the ‘common candidate’ who would contest from the newly formed United National Alliance at the forthcoming presidential election, UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW),is reported to have said in an interview with the Editor of the Sudar Oli newspaper that the alliance’s ‘common candidate’ hopeful, former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Sarath Fonseka (SF), should "clarify certain issues concerning the Tamil people and the Tamil National Alliance and the TNA should endorse that Fonseka’s clarifications were acceptable to the Tamils." (Island ; 17 Nov 2009).

Out going CDS meets Sri Lanka President - The retired Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka this evening met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees, President's Media Unit confirmed. After the farewell ceremony held at the Army Headquarters out going CDS made a customary visit to the Temple Trees. During the formal meeting with President Rajapaksa, General Fonseka has asked for special security for him which the President has agreed to provide. According to the President's Media Unit, President has thanked the General Sarath Fonseka for his role during the final stages of the battle with LTTE and wished him well for a great retired life. The Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka this morning retired from his post after completing 40 years service in Sri Lanka Army (Colombo Page : 16 Nov 2009).

General Fonseka meets President Rajapaksa - By Janaka Alahapperuma - The outgoing Chief of Defence Staff and former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka made his final call to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning. Before the meeting with President, General Fonseka attended the farewell ceremony accorded to him at Army Headquarters in Colombo. Later General Fonseka made his final farewell by visiting the War Memorial at Parliament grounds at Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte and paid his tribute to fallen war heroes. Before retiring from 40 years of Army service, the most colourful General in the Sri Lanka Army said that he intends to serve the country after his retirement. He further said that his final decision will be made within a couple of days. In his final address General Fonseka emphasized that politics must be kept out of the Army and other Forces (LankaWeb : 16 Nov 2009).

The Curse of Ranil, and the fall of a General - by Charles.S.Perera - Whatever Ranil touches ends up in disaster. His becoming Prime Minister of the UNF Government during the Presidency of Chandrika Kumaratunga resulted in the drawing up of a CFA by the Norwegians, the signing of which by Ranil and Prabhakaran resulted in a disaster which required a man like Mahinda Rajapakse to put it right. The CFA strengthened the terrorists and nearly paved the way for the terrorists to set up a separate Tamil Eelam State in the North East. UNP led by Ranil did not win any elections since 2005. Nevertheless Ranil has a one track mind . He wants to be the President of Sri Lanka hook or by crook and leaves no stone unturned to make his dream come true. But all attempts to realise that dream seem to end in disaster. He wanted a war hero to give credence to his political attempts to get closer to being the President of Sri Lanka. He got the late General Janaka Perera join the UNP, hoping that the reflected glory of a war hero besides him as the leader of the UNP, would enable him to win elections for UNP (LankaWeb : 16 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka president thanks Fonseka for support in defeating terror - Sri Lanka's former top military general Sarath Fonseka today met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his last day in office, amid speculation that the two may be headed for a possible face-off in an early presidential election. The architect of Sri Lanka's military victory over the LTTE, Fonseka bade farewell to the army today and said he will announce his future plans in a couple of days. Fonseka met Rajapaksa, who thanked him for his support in defeating terrorism in the country, reports here said. Rajapaksa has appointed Air Force Chief Roshan Gunathilleke as the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in place of Fonseka, who spent 40 years in the army. Fonseka, 58, had resigned last week, saying that he felt the government has lost trust in him. In a strongly-worded letter to Rajapaksa, he alleged that he was given the post of CDS, with "no authority", due to misleading reports of a likely coup in the island. He also accused the government of having no clear policy to "win the peace" with minority Tamils (DNA : 16 Nov 2009).

Patriots turn traitors: Rajapaksa - The four-decade-long military career of General Sarath Fonseka, who led the war against the LTTE, ended on Monday with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa naming Air Force Chief Roshan Gunathilleke as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). However, General (retired) Fonseka may not adhere to the dictum “Old Soldiers never die, they just fade away”. All indications are that the “war hero” would enter public life as a consensus opposition candidate against Mr. Rajapaksa in the event of a presidential election (Hindu : 16 Nov 2009).

Unite instead of falling into the traps, urges Defence Secretary - Defence Secretary advocates reconciliation and development Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday called on all patriotic Sri Lankans to get together, putting their differences aside, and work towards the resurgence of the nation to reap the rewards of peace as one people. "This is our duty to our motherland, and we must not let her down", the Defence Secretary said in his concluding remarks after delivering the Olcott oration, under the theme 'future challenges facing Sri Lanka: Security, Reconciliation and Development.' "The true victory against terrorism is not just the defeat of the LTTE, but reaping the true rewards of peace by recapturing what was lost during the conflict". "Making maximum use of peace to unite as a nation, to bring about the development and prosperity that this country richly deserves, and to reap the rewards of peace is the responsibility of all our citizens", the Defence Secretary added. He said for these things to happen, it is essential that we all unite at this pivotal stage in our history, and speak with one voice to say that the uncertainty is no more, to say that we are safe;to say that we are ready to create a bright and prosperous future for all our people, irrespective of race, religion or politics (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 16 Nov 2009).

US Navy's Pacific Command behind destruction of LTTE - Although various Sri Lankan politicians bash United States for political goals, reliable intelligence sources indicate that US Navy's Pacific Command had played a vital role in destroying LTTE's deep water naval capacity. US Navy's Pacific Command had given vital information about not only about LTTE ships but also about the LTTE crew, Sri Lanka Watch learns. However, due to diplomatic and other political concerns, both Sri Lanka and United states are maintaining a silence on these previous US-SL naval cooperation history. In addition, many developmental work is being carried by the US development agency USAID in NorthEast. Furthermore, during casual meetings with diplomatic officials, it is not rare to hear Sri Lankan political figures saying , " We are doing all the anti-west rhetoric to please the gallery. We need the west and we need your aid and investment. Please do not take our gallery comments seriously," to the diplomats (Sri Lanka Watch : 16 Nov 2009).

Not A Defenceless Sri Lanka :the U.N.F pledge to develop the country is a big joke! - By Garvin Karunaratne, former Government Agent, Matara District - The major opposition party, the United National Party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is reported to have called for the disbandment of the arms and armaments of the Armed Forces because the war is over and it is now time for peace.(At the Emergency Extension Debate in Parliament) This recommendation is no surprise to me. It comes from a leader who when he was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka agreed to the infamous Cease Fire Agreement(CFA) with the LTTE, which bestowed on the LTTE priviledges and a land area for them to manage without interference. The then President Chandrika Kumaranatunge kept silent. She had the power to cancel the CFA but she shivered in her boots to use her powers. While the Armed Forces were confined to barracks one by one leading military intelligence officers were gunned down and the LTTE kept expanding and encircling the town of Trincomalee with their military bases. Ranil Wickremasinghe was actually giving in to the LTTE and his current recommendation to scale down our armoury is in line with his thinking that the LTTE should regroup (LankaWeb : 16 Nov 2009).

Two opposition candidates for the Presidential race – Ranil and Gen. Fonseka ? - By Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, Australia - With the resignation of Gen. Sarath Fonseka it appears that the strategy about a common cadidate for the Presidential race as well had changed. According to current discussions, senior UNP members have pressurised the newly formed UNF to field Ranil as the common Presidential candidate while promoting Gen. Fonseka to contest on the ticket of another party, obviously the lame-duck JVP. The reason behind this is the belief that Gen. Fonseka cannot muster Tamil and Muslim votes which could be grabbed by Ranil. Thus according to senior UNP members Ranil has a better chance of winning in a three-cornered fight. They have argued that Sinhala Buddhist votes will get divided. The other argument is that the UNP front-liners do not seem to trust Gen. Fonseka so much. They have a feeling that if he is elected by any chance, being an ambitious military man, he would continue regardless without scrapping off the Executive Presidency (Sinhale Hot News : 16 Nov 2009).

Air Force Chief to take office as CDS - Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonathileke has been appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with effect from today (16 Nov), in addition to his current position as Air Force Commander (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 16 Nov 2009).

General Fonseka retired from service - The government responding to the request forwarded by Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, to retire from the post of CDS, has permitted to retire from the Sri Lanka Army with immediate effect. The letter issued by the Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, further stated "Consequently, you will cease to hold office as Chief of Defence Staff, also with immediate effect." General G. S. C. Fonseka RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc was appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces with effect from 15th July 2009. He had been served as the Commander of the Army effective from 6th December 2005 and later promoted to the rank of General by His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka on 18th May 2009, soon after the country was freed from terrorism (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 16 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka Central Bank bombing suspect arrested - A special team of Sri Lanka police yesterday arrested one of the main suspects of the 1996 Central Bank suicide bombing by the LTTE. The suspect, Sellathamby Navaratnam and 10 others were indicted in 2002 for the suicide bombing that killed at least 91 people and injured 1,400 more on January 31, 1996. Navaratnam, who was hiding in the LTTE controlled areas since the bombing, has been arrested in Chettikulam yesterday morning, the police said. He was suspected of transporting the 440 pounds of high explosives used for the attack from Vavuniya to Colombo. In 2002, Colombo High Court judge sentenced Navaratnam in absentia to 200 years of rigorous imprisonment (Colombo Page : 16 Nov 2009).

Fonseka in politics will be damaging military professionalism - by Ajit Randeniya - The likely entry of (Retd.) General Sarath Fonseka in to politics attracts attention at many levels. Superficially, his acceptance to enter politics, merely to ‘save’ the triad of desperadoes, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Somawansa Amarasinghe and Mangala Samaraweera displays an appalling lack of judgment and naivety. Secondly, his aspiration to become President shows that he may not have carefully weighed up the ‘skill set’ he has on offer to the nation against the particular ‘job description’. The people of Sri Lanka are likely to reject him overwhelmingly on these grounds. But there is also an important fundamental issue at stake. General Fonseka may have demeaned ‘military professionalism’ in the eyes of commissioned officers as well as the rank and file of the armed forces he led, at different capacities, for nearly 40 years. The event of a former armed forces commander turning in to politics certainly sets an ugly precedent in Sri Lanka, but it is unusual even by broader Asian standards. Those who are academically oriented, or simply curious on the issue, are well served by two books on the subject written by Professor Muthiah Alagappa, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii (LankaWeb : 16 Nov 2009).

India says Fonseka’s claim is without substance - India today dismissed former Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka’s claim that its troops were put on alert at the instance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa following fears of a coup. Strongly refuting Fonseka’s claim, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said there was "no substance to the story." "We should be a little wary of making too much of these kinds of speculations," he told reporters here. The Ministry of External Affairs made it very clear that the Indian Army was never placed on alert. "There is no substance to the story. The government has officially informed the public that the Indian Army has not been placed on alert." (Island : 16 Nov 2009).

LTTE ALSO GAVE MILITARY TRAINING TO ASSAM SEPARATISTS - By Walter Jayawardhana - United Liberation Front of Asom separatist group’s former rebel had revealed that the LTTE had trained them in guerrilla warfare, an Indian news agency reported. LTTE had repeatedly assured India that it would never interfere in the internal matters of India and the revealation comes as a direct violation of that promise. Earlier it had been revealed that the LTTE supplied arms to India’s North Eastern terrorist group by smuggling arms through Bangladesh. The separatist group is attempting to form a separatist government for the oil rich frontier province. Former seperatist spokesman Sunil Nath said that a small Ulfa team from the northeast Indian border state went to Jaffna in Sri Lanka in the early 1990s when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled the northern peninsula. “We got in touch with the LTTE through a Tamil Nadu politician,” Sunil Nath told Indo Asian News Service in a telephone interview from Assam. “He [the politician] in turn contacted the LTTE.” “According to Nath two separatist guerrillas were picked to spend some time training with the LTTE. They returned to India within a week. According to another former Ulfa militant, they came back ahead of time “because the LTTE training was too tough for us”(EOM).

Rudd says future of Lankan asylum seekers lies with UN - Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the future resettlement of Sri Lankan asylum seekers now in a detention center in Indonesia lies with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Twenty-two Sri Lankan men who were on the Australian customs vessel Oceanic Viking moored off the Indonesian coast have left the boat and were transported to the Tanjung Pinang detention center yesterday, the Australian newspaper said. Fifty six people remain on the boat. The 22 men received written guarantees from Australian authorities that they will be resettled in Australia within 12 weeks if their claims for refugee status are proven, the newspaper said, citing an official from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry. “We will work our way calmly and methodically through all of them,” Rudd told reporters in Singapore, where he is attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit. “We have been quite clear about the fact that the resettlement responsibility for the individuals concerned first of all lies with the UNHCR in terms of processing and secondly us working with the UNHCR and the other 15 resettlement countries in terms of where any bona fide refugees should then go,” he said (Daily Mirror : 16 Nov 2009).

Indonesia extends permit of Sri Lanka asylum seekers - Indonesia has extended the stay permit of Australia’s Oceanic Viking carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board in Riau Island waters. "Up to now the ship is still being guarded by the Indonesian navy. If not extended, the Oceanic Viking should have left Indonesia since yesterday," an anonymous source told ANTARA here on Saturday. The Indonesian military (TNI) headquarters and the foreign ministry have allowed the Australian customs boat to moor in Cempedak waters, Bintan District, Riau Island Province, since October 26, 2009, he said. First, the boat was permitted to stay for a week until Noveber 6, but later it was extended to November 13, 2009. "It has been extended twice," he said. The Indonesian foreign ministry’s Director of Diplomatic Security Sujatmiko confirmed that the Oceanic Viking with 56 Sri Lanka refugees on board, is still in Cempedak Island waters, Bintan District. However, he declined to comment further (Island : 16 Nov 2009).

Union flies, royal monkeys etc. - ..... The Kelaniya monkey organised a mob to boo and jeer Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who visited the Kelaniya Temple after handing over his letter of resignation on Thursday. The incident left a bad taste in many a mouth. Even those who have not taken kindly to General Fonseka’s decision to hang his boots prematurely and be putty in the hands of those who sought to sabotage the war and ridiculed him by calling him names in Parliament and elsewhere, were furious about the despicable manner in which a former army commander was treated (Island Editorial : 16 Nov 2009).

Look back, SF! - by Kanchana Perera - Some politicians who want to save their own skins are trying to use you at the forthcoming presidential election by making you their common candidate, according to media reports. Think twice before you leap in to the political cesspit please, as we still respect you for ending the thirty years of terrorism. We wish a day will dawn sooner or later where there will be no closure of roads, check points, barriers, and armed motorcades. We have to have human rights, free movement within our own country and to win the economic war. Can you, the most respected soldier in the country, ever think of sitting together on the same stage with the very people who said that: a) Any fool (ona gonekuta) can fight wars( said LK); b) You are not fit to hold even the Salvation Army commander’s post ( said MS); c) You lead the army to Pamankada and Medawachchiya instead of Alimankada (Elephant’s Pass) and Kilinochchi( RK); d) You captured Toppigala, a jungle minus terrorists after giving them a chance to disappear into the Vanni jungles(RW); Will you be able to get the support of of all Tamils although Mano Ganeshan and the TNA, if you agree to their demands? Will you agree to be a cat’s paw for the UNP leader by agreeing to his conditions? Will you help the JVP use your hard earned goodwill for ulterior motives? Do you not remember JVP threats to the army in the late 1980s? Will you be able to convince the business and professional crowd and allay their fears of a military regime in the event of your election to the Presidency? How will you avoid mud slinging by the power hungry opponents? What about your safety in the event of your being a candidate? Consider the untimely demise of soldiers like Lucky Algama and Janaka Perera (Island : 16 Nov 2009).

LTTE not only armed, trained ULFA too: Former rebel - On top of revelations that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) bought arms from the Tamil Tigers, a former ULFA leader now says the Assamese separatist group also got military training from the Sri Lankan rebels. Former ULFA spokesman Sunil Nath said that a small ULFA team from the northeast Indian border state went to Jaffna in Sri Lanka in the early 1990s when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled the northern peninsula. "We got in touch with the LTTE through a Tamil Nadu politician." Sunil Nath told IANS in a telephonic interview from Assam. "He (the politician) in turn contacted the LTTE." According to Sunil Nath, who has since quit the ULFA and is now a journalist, two Assamese guerrillas were picked to spend some time getting training from the LTTE. But the ULFA men returned to India within a week. According to another former ULFA militant who is now a businessman, they came back ahead of time "because the LTTE training was too tough for us". Sunil Nath said the ULFA delegation in Jaffna also met Mahattaya, then the number two in the LTTE. The Tigers executed Mahattaya in 1994 on charges of being an Indian spy (Island ; 16 Nov 2009). 

UGLY American becomes SLIMY American - ..... 1. Proposing that hostilities against the LTTE be terminated on the basis of permitting the LTTE to surrender to a 3rd Party! How much more cunning, more slimier can one get? 2. Gen. Fonseka’s case - attempting to get the General to rat on his superior in office, the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as regards alleged war crimes, on the pretext that it was part of his Green Card Retention Interview and Examination! The US Homeland Security Dept. was assigned to bell the cat so to say, perhaps in order to hide State Dept. interests in the matter of hounding the Defence Sec. Why? For his remorseless persistence, together with the President and the Service Commanders, in pursuing the LTTE and its leaders to almost total annihilation in the face of persistent opposition from the US, UK and EU. The Ugly American is today the Slimy American, or still Ugly, but Slimy as well (Island : 16 Nov 2009).

‘India’s help, a must to defeat LTTE politically’- Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that it was important to develop good relations with India to defeat the LTTE politically in the international arena and prevent its revival. Delivering the Olcott Oration at the Ananda College in Colombo on Saturday, the Defence Secretary said that though the LTTE had been defeated militarily, it was politically active overseas. Some military cadres who had escaped the war were also active, he said. "The LTTE’s vast international network of sympathisers and criminal associates who funded and facilitated the organisation’s separatist activities are still operating outside Lanka," Rajapaksa said. In that context, it was important to develop ties with other countries, especially India, he said (Island ; 16 Nov 2009).

Government responds to Fonseka’s statements - Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga acknowledging the letter of resignation by General Sarath Fonseka as Chief of Defence Staff on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that he has been directed by the President to inform him that a further communication would follow in regard to the numerous statements made by him (General) in his letter and annexure A (Daily News : 16 Nov 2009).

Army in Mullaitivu expedite de-mining process - The authorities of the army in Mullaitivu informed a delegation of the Catholic church who visited the area recently that they had expedited the de-mining process in the area though it would take them a few years to make the entire conflict area free of mines. The delegation of Caritas Sri Lanka, the social service arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka led by its National Director Fr. Damian Fernando who visited the area said thousands of IDPs had been resettled in the area. A spokesman for Caritas said the army had briefed them on the situation in the area during their visit. It was reported that the government had provided Rs 5000 in cash to each family that was resettled in addition to depositing Rs 25,000 in a bank account. Sources said Caritas had been asked to help in supplying dry rations, tea, vegetables and other essential items and Fr Damian had assured its support. It was said that children in the Thunukai area needed clothes and other essential items. Arrangements were also being made to reconstruct the damaged schools and religious places in the Mullaitivu District.  (Daily Mirror : 16 Nov 2009).

New bus depot for Thunukkai - A new bus depot was declared open at a ceremony yesterday at Thunukkai, Kilinochchi to provide transport facilities for the newly resettled civilians in the area, government sources said The depot was ceremonially opened by the Security Forces Commander, Kilinochchi, Major General Athula Jayawardene on an invitation by the Thunukkai Divisional Commander Major Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe. According to Mr. Hathurusinghe, it had marked the re-emergence of public transport services in the area after 25 years. Schoolchildren are to benefit more with the new bus services from the Thunukkai depot. Nearly 8,000 civilians have already been resettled with other ancillary services and infrastructure including schools, hospitals, and government offices in the area. The depot would begin its operations initially with five buses to Mankulam, Mulankaivil, Akkarayankulam and Vavuniya. The Divisional Secretary Thunukkai, Mr. S. Dayanandan and Northern Province Sri Lanka Transport Board Manager, R. Kamalanadan also attended the ceremony (Daily Mirror : 16 Nov 2009).

Karannagoda to don uniform again? - Speculation is rife that the government may invite former navy chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to succeed General Sarath Fonseka. President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted General Fonseka’s resignation immediately after he offered to quit the post with effect from December 1. Well informed sources said that the government could amend the CDS Act to pave the way for Karannagoda to wear the uniform again. Karannagoda was appointed Highways Secretary following his retirement. If not, Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke will be General Fonseka’s successor (Island : 16 Nov 2009).

Indian Minister, President Rajapaksa discuss IDP issue - President Mahinda Rajapaksa had talks with visiting Indian Minister Pranab Muhkargee in Colombo today. The Indian Finance Minister discussed the current political situation in the country as well as issues related to the Internally Displaced People in camps in the north as well as those resettled recently (Daily Mirror : 16 Nov 2009).

A humble appeal to tone down the unsavoury rhetoric against the Retired Army Commander Fonseka - by Ramanie de Zoysa -  Personally, there are only two people in this universe, before whom I would kneel down, touch the soil trampled by them with my forehead and worship. One is no more in mortal form but the force of his compassion, wisdom and the deliverance from suffering he brought to the world reverberates in this world to date and I will worship at the feet of his image- Lord Buddha. The other is a mere mortal, a General with a lion heart who guided an Army of people pursuing a blood thirsty monster risking his life and those of his soldiers and brought deliverance from immense suffering to 20 million people in Sri Lanka – Retired Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. There was another on this pedestal until about a month ago- a lion hearted President who spearheaded the march of Tri-forces against the very same monster providing political wisdom, timely orders, determination and backup against alien and local terror promoters and emerged victorious; but sadly he continues to slip from his exalted position due to the callous treatment he has meted out to the General since the great victory (Lankaweb : 15 Nov 2009).

“This is our duty to our motherland, and we must not let her down” – Defence Secretary at Olcott oration - Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday called on all patriotic Sri Lankans to get together, putting their differences aside, and work towards the resurgence of the nation to reap the rewards of peace as one people. “This is our duty to our motherland, and we must not let her down”, the Defence Secretary said in his concluding remarks after delivering the Olcott oration, under the theme ‘future challenges facing Sri Lanka: Security, Reconciliation and Development.’ “The true victory against terrorism is not just the defeat of the LTTE, but reaping the true rewards of peace by recapturing what was lost during the conflict”. “Making maximum use of peace to unite as a nation, to bring about the development and prosperity that this country richly deserves, and to reap the rewards of peace is the responsibility of all our citizens”, the Defence Secretary added. He said for these things to happen, it is essential that we all unite at this pivotal stage in our history, and speak with one voice to say that the uncertainty is no more, to say that we are safe;to say that we are ready to create a bright and prosperous future for all our people, irrespective of race, religion or politics (Sinhale Hot News ; 15 Nov 2009).

Conscripts hated Prabhakaran and LTTE for destroying their lives: Lanka’s rehabilitation approach a role model - Prof. Rohan Gunaratne, the international counter terrorism expert said Sri Lanka’s humane approach to rehabilitating ex-LTTE terrorists could be a role model to the world. He said that majority of ex-LTTEers hate the LTTE and deplore violence. And that it was imperative that the government develop a state of the art security and intelligence service to ensure that the LTTE would not revive ever again. Prof. Gunaratna, who is the Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said that the country’s business community could play a vital role in giving employment to the rehabilitated youth. “Since 2003, the LTTE recruited a very large proportion of its rank and file by force. These conscripts disliked Prabhakaran and hated the LTTE for destroying their lives. It is paramount to train these conscripts in farming, agriculture and industry”, he said. Excerpts of the interview: (Sunday Observer : 15 Nov 2009).

Defence Secretary advocates reconciliation and development - Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday called on all patriotic Sri Lankans to get together, putting their differences aside, and work towards the resurgence of the nation to reap the rewards of peace as one people. "This is our duty to our motherland, and we must not let her down", the Defence Secretary said in his concluding remarks after delivering the Olcott oration, under the theme 'future challenges facing Sri Lanka: Security, Reconciliation and Development.' "The true victory against terrorism is not just the defeat of the LTTE, but reaping the true rewards of peace by recapturing what was lost during the conflict" (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 15 Nov 2009).

‘India’s help must to defeat LTTE politically’- The Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said here on Saturday that it was important to develop good relations with India to defeat the LTTE politically in the international arena and prevent its recrudescence. He said that though the LTTE had been defeated militarily, it was politically active overseas. Some military cadres who had escaped were also active, he said. “Their vast international network of sympathisers and criminal associates who funded and facilitated their separatist ambitions are still operating outside Lanka,” Gotabaya said. In this context, it was important to develop ties with other countries , especially India, he said. “The relationship developed over the past four years with our closest ally, India, helped us in our war against terrorism. Having their support helped reduce the pressure by other nations, allowing us to proceed with our humanitarian operations. It is important that we strengthen this relationship further in the years to come,” he said (Express buzz : 15 Nov 2009).

Sarath Fonseka should he or should he not contest? - By Malinda Seneviratne - Any citizen, if he or she fulfills relevant criteria can aspire to become President of Sri Lanka. Sarath Fonseka, similarly, can contest the presidential election that is likely to be announced soon, provided that there is nothing in the law to disqualify him. All indications are that such obstacles as there may be will be duly removed enabling Fonseka to contest. It is his right. The question, should he contest, is not about eligibility as per constitutional provision. ‘Should he?’ is a question that necessitates an examination of the current political situation including the forces at work, the needs of the nation and the prerogatives of the various players. Such an assessment is necessarily subjective and preferred outcomes of the analyzer is bound to figure at some level or the other. ‘Outcomes’ are generally spoken of in terms of personalities. It is better to speak of the unfolding political scenario in terms of where we are as a nation, where we ought to go and, how best we can get to the destinations we prefer. (Yes, all this is subjective and that’s why I put my byline to what I write). (Sinhale Hot News : 15 Nov 2009).

Youth Corp centres in North - The Ministry of Youth Affairs has taken steps to establish two Youth Corp centres in the Northern Province at a cost of Rs. 70 million, Ministry sources said. The main purpose of establishing these centres is to empower youth in the Northern Province to cater to the demand of both local and foreign job markets. According to Ministry sources, these centres will provide language proficiency, career guidance and personality development for the youth. The two centres will facilitate for over 500 students (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 15 Nov 2009).

No fight though hat is in the ring? - The big news last week was the premature retirement of General Sarath Fonseka, the Chief of Defence Staff, in the context of persistent rumours that he may run for president against the incumbent. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to reveal his hand on which election will come first – presidential or parliamentary – at the SLFP’s annual convention today. Most analysts and observers expected him to use his constitutional power, as four years of his first term run out this month, to call a premature presidential election two years ahead of the deadline and take advantage of the war victory. But as this is being written there were strong signals that there will be no early presidential election as was widely expected following Gen. Fonseka’s entry into the picture. We’ll know today how things will play out. It is no secret that the chemistry between the president and Fonseka has not been the best in the months that followed the total annihilation of the LTTE last May. The general was not happy about being kicked upstairs as CDS weeks after the war victory in which he played a major role although the position to which he was promoted is the most senior in the military hierarchy. He has said in a confidential annex to his letter to Rajapaksa, seeking permission to retire from the regular force of Sri Lanka Army from December 1, that the position of CDS basically has no authority; and had further claimed that prior to his appointment as CDS, he was misled on the authority vested in that office being made to understand it carried more command responsibilities and authority than earlier (Sunday Island : 15 Nov 2009).

President requests expatriates to invest in the country - President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the opening of Sri Lankan Expatriated Forum today evening requested expatriates to invest in the country thereby contributing towards the development process. The Sri Lankan Expatriated Forum held for the first time in Sri Lanka was organized by the Presidential Secretariat. Around 350-400 expatriates from more than 41 countries participated in the Forum. “The government is ready to put up investments zones and the Board of Investment, Urban Development Authority and the Sustainable Energy Authority are ready to give the maximum support in obtaining approvals especially to the expatriates investing in the country”, he said (Sunday Times : 15 Nov 2009).

Defence Secretary advocates reconciliation and development - Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday called on all patriotic Sri Lankans to get together, putting their differences aside, and work towards the resurgence of the nation to reap the rewards of peace as one people. "This is our duty to our motherland, and we must not let her down", the Defence Secretary said in his concluding remarks after delivering the Olcott oration, under the theme 'future challenges facing Sri Lanka: Security, Reconciliation and Development.' "The true victory against terrorism is not just the defeat of the LTTE, but reaping the true rewards of peace by recapturing what was lost during the conflict". "Making maximum use of peace to unite as a nation, to bring about the development and prosperity that this country richly deserves, and to reap the rewards of peace is the responsibility of all our citizens", the Defence Secretary added. He said for these things to happen, it is essential that we all unite at this pivotal stage in our history, and speak with one voice to say that the uncertainty is no more, to say that we are safe;to say that we are ready to create a bright and prosperous future for all our people, irrespective of race, religion or politics (Sunday Observer : 15 Nov 2009).

Jaffna, Colombo travel restrictions relaxed - With the opening of the A9 road any Sri Lankan can travel to Jaffna from Colombo or vice versa without the security clearance certificate that was required earlier Northern Province Governor Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri said. According to officials any Sri Lankan citizen can travel to Jaffna or to Colombo from Jaffna using public transport. “People must have the National Identity Card (NIC) or any other document to prove that they are citizens of the country and no one will be restricted,” Wanni Security Forces Commander Major General Kamal Gunaratne said. According to the Wanni Commander security will be relaxed and there will be checkpoints for random and compulsory checking of passengers (Sunday Observer: 15 Nov 2009).

More than 50 per cent of IDPs resettled - The number of IDP s in welfare camps has dropped to 143,168 43 with more than half the displaced persons by the war resettled by now, Minister of Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said 132,748 remain in camps in Vavuniya while the others are in camps in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Mannar. “We will finish the bulk of the resettlement by the end of January next year, “the Minister told reporters at a press briefing (Sunday Times : 15 Nov 2009).

avy recovers 5,200 detonators - The Navy recovered 5,200 detonators in a search operation at Chettikulam, Vavuniya on Friday. These detonators were believed to have been hidden by the LTTE for their mine attacks, according to Defence sources. The sources said that weapons were also recovered at Mathiamadu and Wellamullivaikkal on Friday. The lethal items found in these areas were - 22 weapon magazine, a T56 rifle, 58 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition, six rocket propelled grenades, eight Arul type explosives, six cyanide powder packets with five of them weighting two killogrammes and another weighting 1 Kg, 3 hand grenades and four empty M-16 rifle magazines (Sunday Observer : 14 Nov 2009).

JOHN HOLMES TO VISIT SRI LANKA ONCE AGAIN - By Walter Jayawardhana - The United Nations humanitarian chief John Holmes will undertake a mission to Sri Lanka this week, the United Nations announced . The 17 to 19 November visit will be the fourth this year for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, who previously travelled there in February, April and May. The UN has been closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka , where more than 270,000 people were staying in closed camps after hostilities between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended in May. In recent months according to estimates internally displaced persons (IDPs) by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) now number about 163,000 (EOM).

General Fonseka as ‘Siri Sangabo’ - What the events of the last week showed was how different Mahinda Rajapakse is to Ranil Wickremesinghe. When this newspaper revealed that President Rajapakse’s potential main rival was completely under his power and as a serving soldier, General Sarath Fonseka could not resign to contest the presidential election unless the president allowed him to do so, Rajapakse’s first reaction was to say that he will release General Fonseka within half an hour if that is what he desired. And the General himself rushed to avail himself of the opportunity. No politician would have ever done what Rajapakse did - to release his main rival to contest against him, when it was well within his power to keep the General in military service and out of politics for at least eighteen months more (Island : 15 Nov 2009).

Getting used to feeling free - One-time LTTE child recruits, being rehabilitated at Hindu College in Ratmalana, are trying to regain their lost childhood while concentrating on their studies. Chathuri Dissanayake reports. Pix by J. Weerasekera. As a young girl Madurani* spent most of her free time in the Oddusudan Central College playground or the kovil close to her home learning karate. However, her happy days were short-lived when she and her mother faced a hurdle from the LTTE when the two of them wanted to leave Kilinochchi to join her father who was a Poosari in London. The LTTE gave Madurani’s mother permission to leave on condition she left behind Madurani. She was left under the wing of her Peri Amma while her mother left the country to join her husband in London. In 2007 life only got harder for Madurani when at the age of 14, she was recruited by the LTTE when the armed forces battle against the LTTE intensified (Sunday Times : 15 Nov 2009).

The fall of strategic LTTE territory - As the troops of the 57 Division under the command of Brigadier Jagath Dias and 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva created the widest ever battle front in the Wanni, the Tiger outfit that operated in the West of A-9 and in the North-Western coast faced difficulties in continuing their terror plans as they wished. With the advancement of the troops further Northwards from the Mannar -Vavuniya Road taking control many of their strategic bases such as Adampan, Parappakadattan, Madhu, Palampiddi and Periyamadu the LTTE had feared that they would lose the control over the Tamil population and pushed them further Northward keeping them as a shield. However, many people who had fled towards the North-Western coast from the inland, started to flee towards Mannar from Viddattaltivu, sometimes paying their life long wealth to the LTTE. They opted to live with their relatives in the South rather than living in the LTTE controlled areas. Some youth, who dared to desert the LTTE, walked along the shallow waters of the Mannar coast to reach Mannar braving all sorts of LTTE obstacles to prevent them from doing so (Sunday Observer : 15 Nov 2009).

A Hero’s Resignation: Triumph, Tragedy and Farce- by Rajan Philips - First there was triumph – of the army over the LTTE. Then came the tragedy - the encampment of 300,000 people. And now the farce – an establishment divided, the resignation of a war hero, and all but the announcement of a premature presidential race (Sunday Island ; 15 Nov 2009).

Has the President Created His Own Musharaff? - by Prof. Hudson McLean-  Insecurity through Fear of the Known, created the Story of Sigiriya! - In this present case, no King was murdered and/or plastered into the wall. However, said that, President Rajapaksa did not award the due courtesy, respect and gratitude to the Foot Soldier who helped the Rajapaksa Kingdom to achieve the victory over the Tamil Tiger Terrorists LTTE, the Scum of Sri Lanka. The President did plaster the Good General in a humiliating manner! In two of my previous articles, I suggested that General Fonseka deserves the Highest Award and Reward by way of a top civilian position with a greater challenge to assist the development in cohesion with the President. Fonseka could have been made, in the absence of the position of Vice President, a Special Adviser or Commissioner or Ambassador to the President. General Fonseka, in my humble opinion, is an Officer & Gentleman, who respected the Authority of the Commander-in-Chief, and deserved the best in return (Lankaweb : 14 Nov 2009).

Fonseka not given step motherly treatment- Government - The government insists that Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, who retires from service tomorrow, is not being given step motherly treatment following reports his security detail had been drastically reduced despite the General requesting for tighter security over fears he still maybe under LTTE threat. When contacted by Daily Mirror online, the Director General, Media Center for National Security Mr. Lakshman Hullugalle said he was not aware of the present security detail provided to General Fonseka but insisted that every one is treated well by President Mahinda Rajapaksa noting that the President had even granted General Fonseka the retirement that he requested. Mr Hullugalle further noted that the letter sent by the President to the General Fonseka granting him retirement as Chief of Defence Staff was confidential and so he could not comment on what the General may have requested and if those requests were met. Meanwhile Government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that the security detail of any VIP is provided according to the position he holds and the threat level and if additional reinforcements are requested, an assessment will be done and provided as necessary (Daily Mirror: 14 Nov 2009).

Rajapaksha Must Change His Buddies or Lose to UNA Fags - by Dilrook Kannangara - Sri Lanka is cursed with megalomaniacs. One met his fate at the Mulaitivu lagoon and the other is in the making. For position and power a group of henchmen have surrounded the President poisoning his mind. Acting on their venom, President Rajapaksha makes irrational decisions. He must come to his senses before things go out of hand. People are not going to vote for Rajapaksha just because he won the war. They demand “what next”? If what Rajapaksha has in store is insanity, very few will want to make him the next president. It is upto the Maha Sangha to correct the President by way of advising him. If the Maha Sangha are also in fear of speaking out, then the President has passed the point of return (LankaWeb ; 14 Nov 2009).

President deems Gen. Fonseka's resignation effective from Nov. 13 … Orders probe into jeering at Kelaniya on Thursday - President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered that Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka be deemed to have resigned with immediate effect in spite of an earlier decision to let him continue in that post until Dec. 01, 2009. Accordingly Gen. Fonseka's resignation letter submitted to the President through the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge on Thursday took effect yesterday itself. Gen. Fonseka informed the President of his desire to resign and enter politics officially at a one-to-one meeting on Wednesday. Although the two leaders allegedly engaged in a personality clash were expected to iron out differences at the eleventh hour, the meeting did not reach fruition. Sources described their meeting as cordial. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and wife of the CDS Anoma Fonseka had at least two rounds of talks over the telephone on the matter prior to their husbands' powwow, according to sources (Island : 14 Nov 2009).

Pull factors are a potent drawcard - THE Tamil boatpeople have made quite a splash - Their claims of oppression do not sound convincing. For one, it would have been much more expedient to cross the 35km of sea to India if they were really fleeing oppression in Sri Lanka, as many did in the 1980s, yet they chose to travel thousands of kilometres to Australia and even further to Canada. On the way they avoided other possible lands of refuge such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore. They insist on disembarking in Australia. One must wonder why. Their claims of oppression sound hollow as they front up to television cameras and speak in excellent English, betraying the benefits of the state-funded education system that is available to all Sri Lankans: Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese, Malays. They are well dressed and look well fed in stark contrast to refugees fleeing their homelands elsewhere. A visitor would find it difficult to detect signs of systemic oppression in Sri Lanka (The Australian : 14 Nov 2009).

Troops Recover Cyanide Powder Packs & Ammo - : ARMY troops during their search and clear operations on Friday (13) recovered one .22 weapon with a magazine, parts of a T-56 weapon, four M-16 magazines, fifty-eight rounds 5.56 mm ammunition, three hand grenades, one claymore mine, six Rocker Propelled Grenades (RPG), eight Arul bombs, five cyanide powder packs of 2 kg, one cyanide powder pack of 1 kg from the general areas of MATHIYAMADU and VELLAMULLIVAIKKAL. Meanwhile, Navy troops found five thousand and two hundred detonators and twelve 6 V batteries from the general area of SETTIKULAM in VAVUNIYA. The same day, Army troops found one hand grenade from PARAKRAMAPURA area in WELIOYA (Sri Lanka Army : 14 Nov 2009).

Brad Adams: Rajapaksha lied to Ban Ki Moon – HRW - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - November 13, 2009; Mr. Brad Adams Asia Director, Human Rights Watch 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 101118-3299 USA; Dear Brad: I have just come across your exclusive interview with the Sri Lanka Guardian by-lined Nilantha Illangamuwa titled – Rajapaksha lied to Ban Ki Moon – HRW. I chuckled reading it. Coming out of HRW, “see who is talking”, I said to myself. Reading the interview again I said to myself, “Bring on the circus clowns, Brad. You guys at HRW think that you are a bunch of circus trapeze artists pretending that you are a bunch of Gods, swinging high and swinging low claiming you have every right to pee all over Sri Lanka. Hold your peeing just there, Brad. You and your colleagues at HRW, got it all wrong about Sri Lanka.” You at HRW have done it before. Remember how you acted God and played Russian roulette with the lives of my people when you wrote a letter to the IMF Executive Directors on May 13 telling them, “We urge you and other IMF members to delay approval of the standby arrangement (of the loan of US$1.9 billion emergency support) until the government of Sri Lanka takes the following steps to ease the humanitarian crisis….” “Oh Man, Oh Man! This Brad Adams really thinks that he is God isn’t it”, I thought (LankaWeb : 14 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa ‘feared coup’ after defeat of Tamil Tigers - President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka was so afraid of a military coup after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers that he warned India to place its troops on high alert as recently as last month, according to the former head of the Sri Lankan Army. General Sarath Fonseka, who led the victorious campaign against the Tigers only to be sidelined two months later, made the allegation in a bitter resignation letter, seen by The Times yesterday. General Fonseka, who was switched to the largely ceremonial role of Chief of Defence Staff in July, said the Government alerted India on October 15 that a coup was imminent, “unnecessarily placing Indian troops on high alert”. “This action tarnished the image and reputation gained by the Sri Lankan Army as a competent and professional organisation capable of defeating a terrorist group,” he said (Times Online: 14 Nov 2009)

Ranil: It looks inevitable to set the leadership selection process in motion - by Nagananda Kodituwakku from London - The need of the hour is to have bold policy inventions by the UNP, paving way to install dynamic, honest, patriotic and magnanimous leader at a time no party has set an example to install a right person in the party leadership. This is the best opportunity to set the record straight and you, being the most incompetent leader in the recent history, are the best the person to take an initiative in the right direction because you have nothing to lose. On this particular issue, you can learn a lot to learn from other leading democracies, the UK, in particular, where the party leadership selection process is transparent and democratic. Unlike in Sri Lanka in the UK, all competent members in the legislature of the particular allowed to contest in the leadership selection process (LankaWeb; 14 Nov 2009).

Resettlement target exceeded - The process of resettling the IDPs has exceeded its targets well ahead of time and there are only 143,161 still remaining in camps, Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe said. The government expected to resettle half of IDPs before January 31, but the target has been achieved two months ahead. There were 280,000 IDPs accommodated at welfare camps by the end of war. Addressing a Press Conference at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, Minister Samarasinghe said that at present 132,748 IDPs are accommodated at welfare camps in Vavuniya, 3,373 in Jaffna, 970 in Mannar, 2,970 in Trincomallee and 3,100 in hospitals. The number of IDPs already resettled is very close to 50 per cent (Island : 14 Nov 2009).

Meddagoda appointed to Committee probing US allegations - President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed the final member to the six-member committee investigating the US State Department report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. The sixth member to the committee is senior lawyer and former State Councilor Anura Meddagoda. Addressing a Press Conference at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the report would be submitted to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by December 31. The Presidential committee on the US report titled ‘Incidents during the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka’, is chaired by D. S. Wijesinghe PC. The other members are Nihal Jayamanna PC and former Attorney General C. R. De Silva, former Legal Draftsman Manoramanadan, and former Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University S. Jesima Ismail. The committee will investigate the report prepared by the War Crimes Office of the US State Department, which lists 170 offences between May 2 and 18 this year, during the final phase of ground assault on the LTTE. The controversial report is based mostly on internal reports to Washington from the US Embassy in Colombo, satellite imagery, international relief organisations and a section of the media. The US alleges that thousands of Tamil civilians were killed due to being used as human shields or, in what the report calls, indiscriminate government shelling. The US wants Sri Lanka to act on its findings (Island : 14 Nov 2009).

Mullaitivu IDP resettlement continues: 16,000 resettled in 1st stage - Arrangements have been made to resettle 16,394 IDPs in their villages of origin in Mullaitivu in the first stage of the resettlement programme in the district. 4,415 families from relief villages would be resettled in 20 Grama Niladari divisions in the Thunukkai division. Up to now 5,220 persons from 1, 575 families have been resettled in Thunukkai and Mallavi areas. A special meeting to look into the requirements of the people was held at the 65 Division Headquarters presided over by Northern Province Governor G. A. Chandrasiri. The Ministry of Transport will provide buses for their travel. Tractors and other implements will be supplied to them to commence their agriculture work. ‘The Halo Trust’ organisation is busy in clearing speedily the area of land mines. An area of about 3,000 hectare can be cleared of mines daily in this region (Island : 14 Nov 2009).

Sri Lankan expatriates ready to participate in nation building - In response to President Mahinda Rajapaksa"s call to Sri Lankan expatriates to participate in the development process of nation building in the motherland, over 360 expatriate Sri Lankans from 45 or more countries are expected to participate in the crucial two day "Sri Lankan Expatriates Forum" meeting at the Presidential Secretariat today and tomorrow, Presidential Secretariat sources said yesterday. Bridging the gap between Tamil community and the other ethnic groups is one of the key objectives of this endeavour. This expatriate forum will be an ongoing process aimed at forging a productive partnership between the expatriate community and the people of Sri Lanka ,the sources said yesterday. The participants would comprise academics, intellectuals, professionals. It includes businessmen, bankers, politicians ,representatives of expatriate Sri Lankan Associations and members of the Tamil Diaspora (Island ; 14 Nov 2009).

Jaffna to regain grandeur soon - Mayor - Jaffna Mayor Yogeswari Patkunarajah said the city would regain its grandeur very soon. She added that all roads were opened and checkpoints had been withdrawn. However, people in certain areas wanted them to continue for security reasons, the Mayor said. Patkunarajah said 600 Tamil policemen were being trained and these checkpoints would also be removed after the policemen are posted to various police stations in the district. She said the UNOPS provided assistance to repair roads in Jaffna’s coastal areas. The work would begin next week. The Mayor said that as the rainy season had started, there was an urgent need to keep the city clean. For the first time in three decades, the city would be cleaned with the co-operation and assistance of Jaffna Municipal Council Members and full-time employees. She added that 25 kilometres of road would be widened. The UN organization IOM had agreed to provide facilities for re-cycling organic, inorganic and plastic materials. In this regard, a meeting of IOM officials with Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda was held recently. Mayor Patkunarajah said India and Japan would provide 25 ploughing machines. They would be distributed among the 25 local government bodies in the district. This was decided at a meeting with Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, she added. She said that after 30 years, the city began to rebuild its old grandeur again (Daily news : 14 Nov 2009).

Lankan army chief told to leave immediately : The Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka's resignation has been accepted by the President with immediate effect, rejecting his request to serve for two more weeks, officials said today. Though the top general, who as army chief was the architect of the annihilation of the rebel Tamil Tigers in a military offensive in May, sought permission to retire from December 1, the government relieved him immediately. “General Sarath Fonseka has been granted permission to retire with immediate effect,” Secretary to the President Mr Lalith Weerathunga said. A war hero at home for leading the army to a total victory against the Tigers, Mr Fonseka yesterday quit his pos t as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) - a ceremonial position he was given after the campaign. In a letter to Mr Rajapaksa, Mr Fonseka said he was promoted to the new post “with basically no authority” due to misleading reports of a likely coup in the island (Hindu : 13 Nov 2009).

Myanmar Head of State says President's efforts are appreciated by the world - The Head of State of Myanmar has stated that the World appreciates the attempts made by the Sri Lankan President to completely eliminate terrorism and to steer the country towards development. President of Myanmar Than Shwe made this statement when he met with President Rajapaksa (12) last evening at the President's House in Kandy. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was also present. Bilateral discussions were also held between the two leaders. The measures to be taken in amending the Civil Aviation agreement between Sri Lanka and Myanmar and for the development of Tourism were discussed in detail. The two leaders agreed on an exchange programme between Sri Lanka and Myanmar for students of Buddhism. The President said that the Sri Lankans are saluting the head of state of Myanmar for visiting the country. The President also invited him to construct the International Buddhist Centre at Piliyandala according to a Myanmar model. A special cultural show was held. The leaders also fed some baby Elephants. The President hosted a dinner at the Kandy President's House in honour of the visiting leader. Ministers and a large number of distinguished guests were present (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 13 Nov 2009).

Some Sri Lankan asylum seekers leave Australia ship - Twenty-two Sri Lankan asylum seekers voluntarily left an Australian customs ship in Indonesian waters on Friday after Canberra offered assurances of swift resettlement to end a politically sensitive standoff. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's approval rating has been dented by the impasse over the 78 ethnic Tamils, who have up until now refused to leave the Oceanic Viking customs vessel because they wanted to have their refugee claims processed. The 22 men, wearing helmets and life jackets, were evacuated into a rubber boat before being taken by a ferry to the Tanjung Pinang immigration detention centre on Bintan island. An Indonesian foreign ministry representative said by telephone that the Sri Lankans had voluntarily left the vessel after a guarantee from Canberra that they would be transferred to Australia in no more than four weeks. Indonesia had given a three-month deadline for the remaining group of Sri Lankans to remain, said Sujatmiko, who like many Indonesians goes by one name (Reuters India : 13 Nov 2009).

Figure of IDPs reduced further - The total number of IDPs remaining in welfare villages in the North and East is down to 143161 as of yesterday (13). The total remaining in Vavuniya welfare centres is 132748, stated the Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press briefing today. It is a significant improvement from last week when the figure of the total number of IDPs was over 153,000. The Minister said that resettlements are taking place every day. 24 flailing machines are used as of today for the de- mining process where 19 of them were purchased through government funds. The IDPs are resettled only after ensuring that de- mining is completed while infrastructure and security is established (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 13 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka ‘yet to win the peace’: Sarath Fonseka - Among the 16 reasons cited by Sri Lanka Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka in his letter, seeking pre-mature retirement from the military with effect from December 1, to President Mahinda Rajapaksa include Government loss of faith in him and request by Colombo to New Delhi on October 15 to place its troops on alert to counter a possible coup by a section of the military. In his three page letter sent on Thursday afternoon to the Secretary to President, Lalith Weeratunga the General pleaded, “Considering the facts mentioned in the Annex and more, which I am privy to withhold, I am compelled to believe that Your Excellency and the Government has lost your trust and faith bestowed upon me for reasons best known to Your Excellency. “Hence as the senior most serving military officer in the Country with 40 years of service, such a situation does not warrant a continuation of my duties any longer, thereby I have the honour to request that I be permitted to terminate my services and retire from the Regular Force of the Army with effect from 01st December 2009” (Hindu : 13 Nov 2009).

Central Finance contributes Rs. 3,407,500 for "Api Wenuwen Api" fund - Central finance Company PLC handed over a cheque worth of Rs. 3,407,500 to Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (13 November ). This contribution is for the lease of three wheelers under the "CF Viru Diri Leasing" scheme. According to the records, CF has leased 1,363 three wheelers in October 2009 under the "CF Viru Diri Leasing" scheme. CF contributes Rs. 2500 from each three wheeler they lease as agreed upon, to the "Api Wenuwen Api" fund. Mr. Jaliya Illangakoon (Regional Manager), Mr. Prasanna De Silva (General Manager - Credit) and Mr. Chandika Hettiarrachchi, (Assistant General Manager - Credit) representing the Central Finance Company PLC, also participated at the occasion (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 13 Nov 2009).

Rights of disabled and differently abled - by Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne - The Supreme Court Ruling of October 14, 2009 as to the rights of the disabled has to be applauded albeit late. It’s appaling to see these regulations have been there for 13 long years and the obsolete bureaucracy has not done anything to implement it. When you visit the developed countries you will observe that the disabled are treated very respect and dignity. In Australia, there are special arrangements for wheel chair people to get on board the trains and busses. There are special slots in car parks for the wheel chair individuals. There are access to the public buildings, Banks and other corporate offices to the disabled. Dr, Ajit C. Perera, the disability rights activist should be congratulated for bringing this matter to courts and get a ruling (LankaWeb ; 13 Nov 2009).

Rules of military engagement needs re-evaluation- Lanka - Taking Sri Lanka’s fight against the LTTE as an example, the government has told the UN Security Council that the challenges posed by terrorism in many parts of the world today may necessitate a re-evaluation of the rules of military engagement. Ambassador Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN said that much of the rules of war are based on the presumption that the parties to the conflict are conventional armies of responsible states engaging other state parties. “But terrorists totally disregard these laws and principles as they wage asymmetric warfare. They mingle with and use civilians to achieve their goals. Once again, the practical realities based on the experiences of Member States must be seriously looked at instead of a theoretical application of humanitarian norms to all situations,” the Sri Lankan mission at the UN quoted Dr. Kohona as telling the UN Security Council. He noted that in Sri Lanka, the LTTE made the Tamil civilian population a part of their military strategy and this posed extraordinary operational challenges to the security forces engaged in combating the terrorist group while ensuring civilian protection (Daily Mirror : 13 Nov 2009).

Wijeya news papers contributes Rs. 1000,000 to the "Api Wenuwen Api" fund - Employees of Wijeya News Papers Ltd has made their contribution, a sum of One million rupees to the " Api Wenuwen Api" Fund. Mr. Lal Jayawardena, the Executive Officer Wijeya News Papers Ltd handed over the donation worth of one million rupees cheque to Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the office of the Defence Secretary today (13 Nov). The Api Wenuwen Api fund has been raised by the Ministry of Defence for the benefit of war heroes who liberated the country from 30 years of brutal terrorism. Mr Prithe Viraj Silva Director Finance and Mr. Ariyananda Dombagahawatta Editor Sunday Lankadeepa also participated at the occasion (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 13 Nov 2009).

Balanced reporting on Sri Lanka - by Ranjit Rupesinghe Brisbane, Australia  - The Producer, ABC Lateline - Just a short note to express my thanks to Tony Jones for his decision to interview Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s top diplomat at the UN, on last night’s Lateline program. Dr Kohona, as Tony mentioned in his introduction, has an impressive track record on foreign affairs and is the type of international civil servant who is, both well credentialled and articulate. He is one who is analytical and sticks to the facts, and will not be drawn into nonsensical exaggerations. I am sure all those who watched your program last night, be they Sri Lankan Australians or the wider viewing public, would have appreciated your decision to interview Dr Kohona instead of relying on apologists for the murderous LTTE and the “Tamilnet” for information on the situation in Sri Lanka. These types are driven by a dishonest agenda and that is to slander and rubbish Sri Lanka following their drubbing on the battlefield. They just cannot believe and indeed will not accept that the cancer that was the LTTE has been excised from Sri Lankan society and consigned to the dustbin of history. Thank you once again – I hope “Aunty” continues to be a well balanced and fair minded broadcaster (LankaWeb : 13 Nov 2009).

Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s Letter of Resignation - General Sarath Fonseka’s 16 Reasons - His Excellency the President Through the Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order Presidential Secretariat COLOMBO 12 November 2009. Your Excellency, REQUEST TO RETIRE FROM THE REGULAR FORCE OF THE SRI LANKA ARMY - 1. I, General G S C Fonseka RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc presently serving as the Chief of Defence Staff, was enlisted to the Ceylon Army on 05th Feb 1970 and was commissioned on the 01st June 1971. On the 6th Dec 2005 due to the trust and confident placed on me, Your Excellency was kind enough to promote me to the rank of Lieutenant General and appoint me as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army in an era when the Country was embroiled with the menace of a bloody terrorism and was in a stalemate state after having toiled for a solution politically or otherwise for over 25 years without a success. 2. During my command of 3 years and 7 months, the Sri Lanka Army managed to eradicate the terrorist movement having apprehended an unbelievable stock of arms and munitions and decisively defeating the LTTE and its murderous leadership. which Your Excellency is obviously aware of. I would not be exaggerating to state that I was instrumental in leading the Army to this historic victory, of course with Your Excellency’s political support, which helped to materialize this heroic action. Though the field commanders, men and all members of the Army worked towards this common goal, it is with my vision, command and leadership that this yeomen task was achieved (LankaWeb : 13 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff, General Sarath Fonseka, has resigned

His resignation, at this critical stage, is a great loss to the Nation.

General Sarath Fonseka joined the Sri Lanka Army on February 5, 1970. He was commissioned in the force on June 1, 1970 and was appointed the 18th Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on December 6, 2005. He was promoted as General after his decisive role in militarily countering the Tigers within 3 years and 7 months after becoming the Army commander. Three months after the military won the fight against the LTTE, Fonseka was appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff.

His resignation is to take effect from 1st of December 2009. General Fonseka who attended the Security Council meeting yesterday under the leadership of President Rajapakse had told about his resignation to the President while at lunch with him and were having cordial discussions. Gen. Fonseka along with the President Mahinda Rajapakse has also attended the official reception at Katunayake Airport that was given to Myanmar Head of State General Than Shwe who arrived in the Island today (12). 

Following the handing over of his resignation letter, Gen. Fonseka attended a religious ceremony at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara yesterday evening.

President promptly accepts Fonseka’s resignation - President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday accepted Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka’s resignation letter. Accordingly, Gen. Fonseka will cease to be CDS with effect from Dec. 01, 2009. Gen. Fonseka informed the President of his desire to resign at a one-to-one meeting on Wednesday, where they were expected to iron out their differences. Cordial as the meeting was, President Rajapaksa said he had no objections to Gen. Fonseka’s resignation or his decision to enter politics. "I have instructed my Secretary to accept you resignation letter immediately, should you tender it," the President told Gen. Fonseka (Island : 13 Nov 2009).

Emergency: To revoke or not to revoke - Sri Lanka is coming under pressure from the international community, especially France, to revoke the Emergency regulations forthwith. It may be argued that since the war is over, there is no need for the continuation of draconian laws detrimental to the people's fundamental rights. Ideally, the state of Emergency is the least desirable in any society which upholds democratic values. But, the question is whether time is opportune for this country to relax the extraordinary laws aimed at safeguarding its national security and protecting the citizenry. Emergency regulations and anti-terror laws have been grossly abused by successive governments to suppress the freedom of their opponents. The present regime is no exception. However, would the country have been able to battle terrorism without those laws? The answer is obviously in the negative. Similarly, although the LTTE's conventional military capability has been neutralised effectively, it is far too early for the country to lower its guard. After all, it is the international community including France that warned before the end of the war that the threat of terrorism would linger even after the decimation of the LTTE's leadership! (Island : 13 Nov 2009).

PLOTE to go with President - Former parliamentarian and PLOTE leader D. Siddharthan said that his party would not support the National United Front. He expressed hope that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be able to find a just solution to the ethnic problem. Siddharthan said all Tamil parties were for the resettlement of the IDPs. The Government has started the process and more than 130,000 left the Manik Farm welfare centre in Cheddikulam. During his recent visit to Cheddikulam he had observed no congestion. He added that IDPs had been resettled in about 15 villages in Manthai West Divisional Secretariat Division. When the IDPs left their places had an impression that they would never return to their villages. Now they are happy as normalcy has returned. Siddharthan added that the IDPs who returned were kept at temporary transit camps mostly for three days. If their homes were not damaged they could return immediately otherwise they were allowed to repair them while staying in these camps (Daily News ; 13 Nov 2009).

Govt relaxes transport along A9 - The Government has decided to relax transportation of goods and passenger transportation by A-9 Road, for the convenience of the public in Jaffna. The following decisions were made:  There is no restriction to transport goods to Jaffna and back as in the case of any other part of the country.  The vehicles that are already registered with the Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES) can engage in the transportation of goods. Registration of vehicles by CGES for transportation of goods to Jaffna is extended till November 30, 2009.  The vehicles belonging to Government Departments, Corporations, Banks and Manufacturing Companies, will be permitted to transport goods by their own vehicles, for six months continually. They are requested to submit applications for CGES approval. The public are permitted to travel to Jaffna and back by public transport and private busses which are now in operation. Any private bus/coach owner who wishes to operate between Colombo and Jaffna, should apply to the National Transport Commission for route permits. Private vessels are permitted to carry cargo to the North from any port of the country, subject to naval clearance and operational requirements of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Approval of the CGES is not required (Daily News ; 13 Nov 2009).

Leaders focus on a resurgent Sri Lanka: Building social capital on the foundation of national unity - The following are excerpts from this year’s D. A. Rajapaksa memorial oration delivered on November 11 at the BMICH by Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte of the Department of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, US. I am honoured humbled by the invitation to deliver this year’s Hon. D.A. Rajapaksa oration on this solemn occasion commemorating the life and legacy of the late Mr. Rajapaksa. This year’s commemoration ceremony is very significant, because the year 2009 marks an important milestone of the history of Sri Lanka. Driven by the legacy of the Late D.A. Rajapaksa, his progeny have led the way to finally free the nation from the grip of violent and vicious terror that has plagued Sri Lanka for several decades. It is no secret that the national and international community stands in gratitude and salutes Your Excellency for your unwavering leadership, our defense leaders and personnel for their enormous sacrifices, the public servants, and the civic community that bore the burdens of untold suffering (Daily News : 13 Nov 2009).

'LTTE activists in S Africa still trying to damage Lanka's image' - South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday.  During the discussion the South African Foreign Minister said LTTE activists in her country were still trying to damage Sri Lanka's image by spreading wrong propaganda among the international world. She would educate the South African Leader and the Tamil population in South Africa about the true situation in Sri Lanka and clear all misapprehensions, she said. Mashabane who said that her country too had faced many crises in the past, added that the objective of her unit was to find out what assistance Sri Lanka needed in her nation rebuilding effort. President Rajapaksa said LTTE terrorist had eliminated many Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim leaders beginning with the murder of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah. The President also explained the manner in which the LTTE harassed the Tamil population by holding them as hostages, a press release from the Presidential Media Unit said. South African Deputy Minister of Public Services and Administration, the South African Ambassador and Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga were also present (Daily News : 13 Nov 2009).

Scroungers pretending to be philanthropists - by S. L. Gunasekara - The serial loser Wickremasinghe, we are told, has recently announced a set of conditions to  which General Sarath Fonseka must agree if he is to be nominated for the Presidency by his party. A few days earlier the serial loser’s side-kick Mano Ganeshan M.P. is said to have sent to General Fonseka a questionnaire to enable him (Ganeshan) to decide whether or not to support the candidature of General Sarath Fonseka for the Presidency of this land. The icing on the cake appeared in this morning’s Island (12/11/2009) which reported that Lakshman Kirialla MP, who said not long ago that any fool could fight a war, added his ‘two cents worth’ to Wicremasinghe’s conditions confirming them!! What this motley bunch of ‘wannabe’ rulers of this country appears to seek to project is the wholly ridiculous notion that General Sarath Fonseka is a supplicant going behind them seeking the favour of nomination for the forthcoming Presidential elections, while they are the Lords and the Masters preparing to make a decision as to whether to throw to the ‘supplicant’ General Fonseka, the ‘crumb’ of nomination (Island : 13 Nov 2009).


Sri Lankan General Resigns - The powerful army general who led Sri Lanka’s bloody but successful battle against the Tamil Tigers resigned abruptly Thursday, heightening speculation that he will run against his onetime ally, Mahinda Rajapaksa, for president in next year’s election. The general, Sarath Fonseka, was moved to a largely ceremonial post soon after the army defeated the insurgency in a grim battle that devastated the rebel group’s entire command (New York Times : 12 Nov 2009).

Gen. Fonseka tenders resignation – “Rise and Fall of a General” ! -  Dr. P. A. Samaraweera, Australia - It had been reported that Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Chief Defence of Staff, had tendered his resignation today, 12 November. General Fonseka is a great Sinhala patriot, a disciplined army officer, a great military leader who gave leadership to the army, a man of honour and loved by all Sri Lankans for crushing the terrorists which nobody else dared to. He made the arduous journey to Nandi Kadal where none ever dreamt of going to. He engineered the defeat of the terrorists who ran a de facto regime for 25 years in the North and East. In this connection, it has to be noted that it was due to the steel determination and courage of the President that the battle reached a climax and saw an end to the 30 year war, despite tremendous pressure brought by the Western powers, the US, UK, France and Canada. So the main credit goes to the President for the unwavering stand taken by him. If the President had given way to the west in the form of a truce, peace talks, and so on with the LTTE, then there is nothing that the General could have done except relent as experienced in the past. The main issue here is that the President did not give any leverage to the International Community. If the President had decided otherwise, the General would not have over ridden the President’s decision and carried on the war. Therefore, the General’s role was secondary in this context (LankaWeb : 12 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka military chief resigns - Sri Lanka's armed forces chief Gen Sarath Fonseka has resigned from his post just months after helping secure the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels. Gen Fonseka is reportedly considering challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an election to be held before April. He is due to make a speech shortly. The resignation was swiftly accepted by the president, a political source told the BBC on condition of anonymity. Speculation of a rift between the two men has been rife in recent months. The BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo says the general has been in talks with Sri Lanka's opposition coalition about the possibility of his running for president against Mr Rajapaksa. Opposition politicians say that resigning from his post as army chief would clear the way for him to stand as a presidential candidate. But in an interview with BBC Tamil, Gen Fonseka would not be drawn on reports he might enter the presidential race. "I am retiring. That's all I can say at the moment," he said (BBC : 12 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka's UN representative joins Lateline - Palitha Kohona is Sri Lanka's permanent representative to the UN. In the aftermath of the Sri Lankan government's victory over the Tamil Tigers, he signed the order to expel James Elder, the Australian who as spokesman for UNICEF in Sri Lanka dared to speak out about the treatment of displaced Tamils in detention camps. Palitha Kohona Joins Lateline from New York to talk about his country's detention centres and the growing problem with Sri Lankan asylum seekers (Transcript in ABC Lateline).

1,509 houses to be handed over to soldiers under the "Api Wenuwen Api" housing fund - The houses build by the "Api Wenuwen Api" fund will be handed over to 1509 valiant soldiers on 22nd November by H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said additional Secretary of Ministry of Defence Mr. Willy Gamage at a media briefing at Media Centre for National Security premises. He further stated that Public Relation and Development division of the Ministry of Defence is building 50000 houses for soldiers under the supervision of the Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 12 Nov 2009).

RPGs, AP Mines & Detonators Found - NORTH, EAST & COLOMBO : ARMY troops during their search and clear operations on Wednesday (11) recovered one claymore mine, two mobile phones, four 81mm mortar bombs, four 60mm mortar bombs, six Rocker Propelled Grenades (RPG), five hand grenades, one Arul bomb, fourteen anti personnel (AP) mines, eight trip flares from the general areas of IRUPPALAI, VISUAMADU, AKKARAYANKULAM, SUGANDIPURAM and MULLAITTIVU. Meanwhile, troops found two hundred and ninety three dry cells and five hundred and sixty seven pen torch batteries from the general area of MUDAGALA SOUTH in BATTICALOA. The same day, 500 g of gelignite and nine detonators were found from WATTALA area (Sri Lanka Army : 12 Nov 2009).

Australian envoy satisfied with the facilities at welfare villages - A special representative of Australian Prime Minister, John McCarthy paid a visit to the Chettikulam welfare villages and expressed his entire satisfaction at the facilities provided by the Government of Sri Lanka to the people at these villages. Further he promised to extend fullest support in the future. Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Kathy Klugman and several other officials also participated in this fact finding mission and they were received by Vavuniya Government Agent P.S.M. Charles and Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General Kamal Goonaratne. Vavuniya G.A. Charles gave a detailed description of the basic facilities provided by the Government to these people ever since they reached the Government controlled areas. The delegation was able to get the firsthand information of the situation by talking to people during their visit. In addition the delegation visited 65 Division and to see the progress of civilian resettlement taking place in the Thunukkai and Mallavi areas. They were welcomed by Maj General ADGA Jayawardane, Security Force Commander (Kilinochchi) and a briefing was conducted by Maj General M Hathurusinghe, GOC 65 Division. During the visit to civilian settlements in Mallavi and Thunukkai, they interacted with civilians and shared views. This visit was mainly aimed at providing houses for most needed newly settled families with other infrastructure facilities (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 12 Nov 2009).

Australia and Sri Lanka Joint Ministerial Statement

We, the Foreign Ministers of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth of Australia, reaffirm our continuing commitment to work together to combat people smuggling, the financing of terrorism and related organised criminal activities (Read Joint Ministerial Statement dated 9 November 2009).

Aussie envoy satisfied with welfare villages - Australian Prime Minister's special representative John McCarthy paid a visit to the Chettikulam welfare villages and expressed satisfaction at the facilities provided by the Government to the people at these villages. He said that Australian assistance will be granted in the future as well. Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Kathy Klugman and several other officials also participated in this fact finding mission and they were received by Vavuniya Government Agent P.S.M. Charles and Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General Kamal Goonaratne. Vavuniya G.A. Charles gave a detailed description of the basic facilities provided by the Government to these people ever since they reached the Government controlled areas. The delegation gained first hand knowledge of the situation by talking to people during their visit (Daily News : 12 Nov 2009).

Interview with top government official on IDP camps, returns - One of the more contentious issues in Sri Lanka this year has been the plight of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north. More than 280,000 were in closed camps after hostilities between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended, and in recent months senior UN humanitarian and human rights officials have repeatedly voiced strong concern about conditions there. In an interview with IRIN, Government Agent and District Secretary for Vavuniya PSM Charles - the most senior government official in Vavuniya, where the bulk of the displaced now stay - shared her take on the current return process, conditions inside the camps, and her government's plans to return thousands to their homes. More than 100,000 have returned already, she said, a number she hopes will increase in the weeks and months ahead (AlertNet : 12 Nov 2009).

South African soil will not be allowed for any transitional government of LTTE. South Africa will not tolerate any such move by the LTTE

South Africa will support reconstruction efforts - FM - South Africa yesterday reiterated that no support is given to LTTE proxies to establish what they termed as a Transitional Government from South African soil. oreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the visiting South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashbane assured that the South African Government will not permit pro LTTE elements and proxies to operate from their soil. Addressing a joint media briefing at the Foreign Ministry, the Minister said their discussion focussed on how bilateral relations could be enhanced in the fields of trade, investment, education and technology. South African Foreign Minister Mashbane said that her country assured the fullest support to the Government's resettlement and reconstruction effort in the aftermath of the 30 years' protracted conflict. Mashbane, a former South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka stressed that her country has vast experience in dealing with post conflict and they are ready to share them with Sri Lanka. "I visited the welfare centres where the people displaced by the terrorist atrocities have been provided accommodation. I saw children studying in classes. "The Government has already resettled a large number of displaced people," she said. She said South Africa is ready to extend its fullest cooperation to Sri Lanka in relation to the post conflict recovery and reconstruction process (Daily News ; 12 Nov 2009).

South Africa pledges to curb LTTE activities on their soil - South Africa has pledged to help curb LTTE activities overseas and in discrediting the provincial and transnational governments of Tamil Elam. The assurance was made at a meeting between the South African Minister M. Maite Nkoana Mashabane (Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa) and Foriegn Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today. The US based LTTE activist Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran has stated earlier that moves are underway to hold elections in April 2010 to form the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTGTE) which would provide an opportunity for the Tamil Diaspora community to exercise their democratic rights. The two Ministers went on to discuss matters of bilateral interest and the need to stand together in matters of global importance (Daily Mirror : 12 Nov 2009).

South Africa will not tolerate any move by LTTE to form any transitional government in its soil - South African soil will not be allowed for any transitional government. South Africa will not tolerate any such move by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. South Africa’s Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Ms. Maite Nkoana Mashabane who was on an official visit to Sri Lanka pledged that the South Africa will be assisting Sri Lanka in its effort to defeat terrorism which erupts in any form. South African Minister Mashabane has assured that there is no room on South African soil for a transnational government which some sections of the LTTE have been attempting to propagate. She also said that the South African government is very keen on with the terrorism factor. South African Foreign Minister Mashabane addressed the Sri Lankan media with the Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Minister Roitha Bogollagama yesterday (November 11) after having visited the IDPs in Manik Farm welfare village. Addressing the media she said that she and her delegation was fully satisfied how the government of Sri Lanka assisted the IDPs and preceded in the resettlement program. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Bogollagama said that in the bilateral discussion took place between them at the Ministry, they discussed on the post-conflict challenges of resettlement, reconstruction, rehabilitation, reconciliation and many other issues. “Having direct air links, going for more trade opportunities as well as tourism industry of both the countries were subjected to our discussion”, the Minister Bogollagama added (Asian Tribune: 12 Nov 2009).

French call for repealing Emergency too early – Lanka MR still a target even after Tiger chief’s killing - Although the LTTE no longer poses a conventional military threat, the government will retain the state of emergency to facilitate ongoing operations undertaken by intelligence services, both here and abroad, targeting LTTE operatives. In keeping with a Defence Ministry directive, recruitment to the armed forces and police, too, will continue for the time being. A senior Defence Ministry official told The Island that the police, Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) and the Naval intelligence had been engaged in operations to track down LTTE cadres taking refuge among civilians both at IDP facilities and outside. According to him, some top LTTE operatives and their agents, including Superintendent of Police Lakshman Cooray had been apprehended since the final battle on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on May 18. A senior police official told The Island that Cooray had made more than one bid to facilitate an LTTE suicide attack on the President even after the Tigers were defeated last May. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said that timely arrest of a top LTTE intelligence operative in Colombo had led investigators to Cooray, who initially denied any involvement with the Tigers (Island : 12 Nov 2009).

‘Cadets must be prepared to protect the Nation’ - A good future has dawned to the cadets as schoolchildren and the cadets’ prime duty is to look for the National Security. “Cadets should line-up to render their maximum support to the national requirement without aiming to obtain a certificate, Director National Cadet Corps Major General Gamini Jayasundara said as the Chief Guest at the award ceremony of the passing out parade of Cadets Advanced Course recently. The ceremony was held at the NCC Training Centre, Rantembe. About 800 school cadets from all over the island took part in the course. Through his 30 years experience as a soldier in the North East war, he said the war which prevailed over three decades could be annihilated under the correct leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa (Daily News : 12 Nov 2009).

Palitha Kohona, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United Nations - Stephen Sackur questions Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the United Nations, about his government's much-criticised humanitarian record. In late May 2009 the Sri Lankan army scored a conclusive military victory over the Tamil Tigers. Four months on, 250,000 Tamil civilians are still held in camps run by the country's security forces. How does this square with President Rajapaaska's undertaking to foster reconciliation and national unity, and determination to avoid an international inquiry into the final phase of the 27-year-old conflict?  BBC Hard Talk

Australia seeks community help over Lankan boat tragedy - Western Australia Police are calling for community help as they investigate the sinking of a vessel north-west of Cocos Islands which claimed 12 lives. Police would like to hear from members of the community who know or believe they know the identity of any passenger on board the vessel. The Western Australia Police Major Crime Squad are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sinking of a fishing vessel with 39 passengers on board, 350 nautical miles northwest of Cocos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, on November 1. The vessel originated and departed from Negombo, Sri Lanka on October 5 and was believed to be heading to Australia. Passengers on board the vessel are believed to be Sri Lankan nationals. Police would like to hear from members of the community who know or believe they know the identity of any passenger on board the vessel. Twelve people drowned when a suspected asylum seeker boat sank off WA within sight of boats sent to save them. Another 27 people were pulled from the water in a rescue operation which began late on a pitch black night. Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said last night that of the 39 people believed to be aboard the vessel - which was heading from Sri Lanka to Australia - at least one had been confirmed dead while grave fears were held for the final 11 (Daily Mirror : 12 Nov 2009).

Sixty seven vehicles to facilitate Northern development - A procession of sixty seven vehicles commenced their journey towards Vavuniya and Jaffna, from the BMICH yesterday (November 11), donated by the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Provincial Governance through Japanese fundings, these vehicles costing an approximate value of Rs.117 million, constitute of a selection of new tractors, trailers, backhoe loaders, dump trucks, steer loaders and cabs to be deployed for the 'Uthuru Vasanthaya' program. Thirty five of these vehicles will be allocated to the Menik Farm Refugee camp in Vavuniya; while the rest will be put into use under various Government institutes, i.e. 'Pradeshiya Sabha's, Municipal Councils and Urban Councils in the Northern Province, including those of Jaffna, Pallai, Manthai and Surrukkai. Speaking at present Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri stated that this was yet another step in the 'Uthuru Vasanthaya' program, which was gathering momentum. He added that plans of resettlement were on the fast track forward; emphasizing that these vehicles would be an enormous asset in the infrastructure development of the Northern Province (Daily News : 12 Nov 2009).

Explosives recovered - The Sangamankanda Special Task Force Unit conducted a clearing operation at Kanchikudiaru jungle area in Thirukkovil police division on Monday and recovered several explosive items including 17 landmines, 15 anti-personnel mines, one set of jungle uniforms and three land bombs believed to be from the LTTE's Vagei Base. Meanwhile Tangalle Division Special Investigation Unit conducted another operaion in Middeniya police area and arrested a suspect and recovered a revolver with four live bullets of 9mm size. This police unit also received vital information on various robberies, attempted murders and thefts of gold chains from the suspect (Daily News ; 12 Nov 2009).

Jeyaraj’s wife on cop turned LTTE agent - Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, wife slain Minister Jayaraj Fernandopulle and SLFP Organiser for Katana yesterday told The Island that she had never suspected SP Lakshman Cooray’s involvement with the LTTE even after her husband’s assassination. She said once Cooray had brought to her notice a move to serve him a charge sheet over the assassination in relation to shortcomings in security arrangements. Responding to queries, she said that Jeyaraj had been invited to Cooray’s homecoming. She said some believed that the minister was an attesting witness at the police officer’s wedding though she could not confirm it. Dr. Fernandopulle quit a top Health Ministry post on November 9 to take over the Katana electorate. She had urged the police then not to blame Cooray over the killing as she felt that he could not be held responsible for negligence on the part of somebody else. She said that Cooray’s involvement with the LTTE had been brought to her notice only a few months ago (Island : 12 Nov 2009).

Ranil’s conditions - by P.S.Mahawatte - Your headline news in today’s (10the November issue) captioned "Ranil puts forth conditions for endorsing Fonseka’s candidature" must have shocked UNPers, as their leader has already conceded defeat and hopes to at least become the Prime Minister by promoting another candidate Gen. Fonseka who has not made any public announcement that he will be offering himself as a presidential candidate! I am convinced beyond any doubt that Gen. Fonseka is a highly principled upright person who will not allow scheming political parties to use his reputation to bolster their political ambitions. They have been rejected by the people as shown in the recently held Provincial Council elections. I therefore conclude that the Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka will not demean himself by entering this double crossing stinking political arena. I like to take this opportunity to give this gratuitous advice to the UPFA. The President’s popularity is at its zenith, and he can easily win the Presidential election. There is no need to sacrifice two years of his present office. What the President needs is a substantial majority in parliament to amend the present constitution. By dissolving parliament first, opposition MP’s will have to devote all their time and energy to win a seat in parliament whilst government candidates will have the support of the President, whose popularity is at its zenith (Island ; 12 Nov 2009).

Notorious Toronto gangster re-emerges as Sri Lankan asylum seeker to Australia

Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah, centre, initially told reporters he was a businessman with an MBA degree, was recognized by Canadian police as a notorious Toronto gang member who was deported from Canada in ... (National Post in Canada: 11 Nov 2009)

Tamil Diaspora is making a fresh attempt to undermine Sri Lanka by organising large scale human smuggling operations targeting developed countries, particularly Australia and Canada.

Related News ......

Hon. Governor's presentation on Current development in the North - The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka organized a seminar titled "The opening of North and East and business opportunities" at BMICH on 30th October 2009. At this seminar, Hon.Governor, Northern Province, Major General GA Chandrasiri delivered a presentation on "Current development in the North". The following main themes were highlighted by the Hon. Governor; Current Development in North.; Contribution to the National GDP.; Key resources of the Province.; Present Investment Climate.; Major Thrust Area in Current Development Initiatives.; On going Multi - sectoral projects in North; Favourable Condition for Investment (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry: 11 Nov 2009).  Please read the Presentation http://www.defence.lk/pdf/development[1].pdf

We are reaping the fruits of our inaction - By Asoka Subhawickrama, Sydney, Australia - Letter to the Editor, The Australian - Sri Lanka has agreed to the return of the Tamil boatpeople and assured Australia that only the hardcore terrorists among them would be prosecuted. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has correctly pointed out that the Tigers must be banned in Australia if we want to stop the people smuggling (Ban Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka urges, The Australian,11/11). So far, influenced by the crafty Tamil Tiger lobby, both the former Coalition government and the current Labor government have been reluctant to ban the Tigers. This is in spite of more than thirty developed countries, including the US and all the European Union countries, with whom we share values, banning Tigers as a terrorist organisation. This inaction on our part allowed the Tigers to make Australia the launching base for their activities. With an estimated billion dollars worth of unspent funds, originally amassed to support their terrorist army that is now no more, Tigers are in a robust position to finance people smuggling and staging an effective worldwide lobbying campaign. They lavishly spend money on immigration lawyers, “refugee advocates”, retired judges and diplomats as well as unscrupulous journalists who make it harder for the Rudd government to resolve the asylum seeker issue in a way non inimical to Australia. If we want to get on with the business of protecting our borders, we must cut the supply to these unpatriotic elements by banning the Tamil Tigers immediately and instigating investigations into their activities.

IA-Forum Interview with Dr. Asoka Bandarage - International Affairs Forum: Where does the situation in Sri Lanka stand today? Is the humanitarian situation in the Tamil areas in the North as bad as it was following this year's military offensive? Dr. Asoka Bandarage:First of all, in Sri Lanka there are no areas that are exclusively Tamil or Sinhalese or Muslim, and much of this conflict is about that. In the Eastern Province, there are populations from all the ethnic groups, and the Tamils are a minority there. The notion that the North is a Tamil area is not true in that there was ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims from the area. I want to make that clear from the outset. Along with that, it needs to be said that the majority of Tamil people in Sri Lanka live outside of the Northern Province and a very large proportion of the Sri Lankan Tamils are also outside of the country—one quarter or so is part of the diaspora. These demographics are important to understand the situation (International Affairs Forum : 11 Nov 2009).

Ban Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka urges - OFFICIALS in Sri Lanka are urging Australia to ban the militant group the Tamil Tigers and strike a clear distinction between genuine refugees and economic opportunists. As Foreign Minister Stephen Smith flew to Singapore following talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, aimed at stopping the flow of boats, officials in Colombo told The Australian Sri Lankan people fleeing their country did not need protection. Yesterday, Mr Smith announced Australia would provide $11 million in funding to Sri Lanka. Most of the money, $6m, will fund de-mining and rehabilitation in the nation's north after decades of violent conflict, while the rest will go towards housing, food and resettlement services. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at increasing joint anti-people-smuggling efforts and intelligence-sharing. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. The talks follow a surge this year in the number of asylum-seeker boats leaving Sri Lanka for Australia. Senior Australian envoy Brian McCarthy and people-smuggling ambassador Peter Woolcott will stay on in Colombo for a series of meetings aimed at hammering out the details of the agreements (The Australian : 11 Nov 29009).

Search & Finds Continue - NORTH & EAST: CONTINUED search and clear operations conducted by the troops in VISUAMADU, SUGANDIPURAM PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU AKKARAYANKULAM and MULLAYAWALAI areas during Tuesday (10) recovered twelve hand grenades, one anti tank mine, twenty-nine rounds of peddle gun ammunition, eight anti personnel mines, two claymore mines, four Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and one thousand rounds of unidentified ammunition. Meanwhile, Troops in KANCHIKUDICHCHIARU in the east recovered one Sub Machine Gun (SMG), one pistol, five hand grenades, seventeen anti personnel mines, fifteen anti personnel mine fuses and one 10-ft long detonator code (Sri Lanka Army : 11 Nov 2009).

Recruitment to Armed Forces to Continue - THE armed forces will continue to recruit officers and personnel in order to meet their targets for this year and the coming years, said a spokesman for the military yesterday. Military Spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara told Daily Mirror yesterday that recruitment to the Army would continue till December 31. “Our target is 10,000 recruits for the new batch,” he said. He said that the monthly wage would be increased by Rs 1000 for all officers and soldiers and that an allowance of Rs.3000 would also be paid to each member of the Army (Sri Lanka Army : 11 Nov 2009).

RCMP thwart terrorist incidents - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor (Letters) THE OTTAWA CITIZEN - Sir: You said, “RCMP thwart 14 suspected terrorist incidents: Several cases involve Tamil Tigers and their supporters”. It is important to note that the April-May demonstrations on Parliament Hill by over 5,000 Tamils carrying the Tamil Tiger flags and the portrait of their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were all Tamil Tiger supporters, who harassed the down-town rush hour commuters, day in and day out wanting the support of the Canadian government to save the Tamil Tigers who were on the verge of being eliminated. While they gained the support of several opposition parliamentarians and some media let us be cautious that according to international intelligence reports, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE aka Tamil Tigers) following their military defeat on May 18 , is slowly gathering ground using Canadian soil as their base. According to these reports the LTTE in Canada has re-started collecting taxes and money from the Tamil Diaspora through extortions in a large scale to increase funding for future activities. The bottom line is, Canada’s security should override any move by politicians to gain favours by the Tamil Diaspora with their votes to remain in power or gain power in Canada’s parliament and in Provincial Councils. The motto we Canadians should adopt should be: Save Canada – Keep out Tamil Tigers whether they want to enter Canada as refugees through the Pearson International Airport in Toronto or through the habours in British Columbia.. 

An open letter to General Sarath Fonseka - Honourable Sir, This letter is from one professional to another, who delivered the utmost, which will change the history of our country. Sir, you are our hero. It is true that many others, including the heroic soldiers who gave their lives, were involved with the recent military operations and that the credit should go to them as well. But, we all know how you gave the leadership to the military operations as a professional. We are so proud of you and you were able to give our nation the strength and an opportunity to regain the sense of pride that we had long lost. A weekend newspaper reported that you are about to enter politics as the common presidential candidate against President Rajapaksa. We are astonished, sad and depressed - hence this letter. As we all know, politics is a dirty game and it is not for professionals. The contemporary destructive manifestation of politics dawned much before the Tigers and could have been even a cause for the insurgency that you eliminated successfully. But, now, to see you entering the politics is beyond our comprehension. Most Lankans agree that to clean up politics, one may have to adopt the same tactics that you yourself adopted during the elimination of the LTTE. You could probably do it within, but then you are risking your life. The fate that reached our beloved personalities like Mr. Algama and Mr. Janaka Perera (I do not know their professional designations) is good testimony. Further, it seems that you are joining the group that dragged them into politics and had them killed! Do not for a moment think that these were random events- they are probably not (Island : 11 Nov 2009).

US helped destroy some LTTE ‘floating arsenals’-President - President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Monday (Oct 9), responding to criticism that Sri Lanka’s foreign relations were in shambles and the country isolated internationally, declared that the United States of America had helped Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE shipping fleet. An irate President said that the US had alerted Sri Lanka to the presence of LTTE ‘floating arsenals’ on the high seas. This confirmed the recent revelation by The Island that a foreign power had helped the Sri Lanka Navy to destroy four of the eight ships, including three sunk in a two-day operation in 2007, causing a severe setback to the LTTE. He said that contrary to condemnation of his foreign policy, the country had received the support of many foreign countries to defeat the LTTE. All of them had sold arms, ammunition and equipment to Sri Lanka. The President was responding to queries raised by a group of journalists, representing the print and electronic media, during a three-hour press meet at Temple Trees telecast live over both state and private television networks (Island : 11 Nov 2009).

Call for scrapping exec. presidency, a ruse says Weerawansa - National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP on Monday (Oct 9) alleged that the JVP’s demand for abolishing the executive presidency was a ruse to facilitate an anti-Mahinda Rajapaksa alliance with the UNP. Joining President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a live political programme telecast over state and private television networks, the MP said there was an attempt to bring the UNP, JVP and the likes of Mano Ganeshan, MP and R. Sampanthan, MP under one umbrella. He asserted that the so-called common front represented anti-nationalist forces bent on destabilising the country. The constituents of the proposed alliance had sided with the LTTE during the Eelam war IV but failed to save the LTTE, Weerawasnsa said. As at the last presidential election in November, 2005, the country had been divided into two groups, patriots and those contracted by the international community to destabilise the country for the benefit of the separatists, he said (Island : 11 Nov 2009).

US State Dept. Report on Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka - by Neville Ladduwahetty - The US Committees on Appropriations directed the Secretary of State to submit a report on alleged incidents which may have amounted to be violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and /or crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka during the period January to May 2009. The specific direction to the Secretary of State was: "The conferees direct the Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this act detailing incidents during the recent conflict in Sri Lanka that may constitute violations of international humanitarian law or crimes against humanity, and, to the extent practicable, identifying the parties responsible" (p. 5). (Island : 11 Nov 2009).

Honourable Sir, soon after your victory, a friend who was working in Bahamas wrote me and asked me, "Isn’t history repeating?" Yes it was! You are not an ordinary person or a commodity. You are our nation’s hero. We want to die thinking that we were living in an era of heroes and in an epoch when history repeated. We want you to be our most respected hero and not our President (Opinion in Island : 11 Nov 2009).


Making our child minds work - Seeing what is happening around us, I cannot but refrain from quoting from a book I wrote and released just the day before the Presidential election of 2005. It was a collection of regular weekly columns I wrote in a Sunday journal over the previous year, intending them to be a socio-political commentary of our times The chapter I am quoting from is titled; “Time to make our child minds work” and it read “Remember when we were children. We fought. We made up. We forgot. We forgave. We got up each morning to a new day. We carried no baggage from the past. The child mind is amazing. It is non-dogmatic, is caring, is immensely creative, is innocent and most important of all, devoid of lasting hate and is full of love and the capacity to love. When all else fails, what we need in times of crisis ....is may be to appeal to our leaders to put their child minds to work. Never mind the complex processes, strategies, plans and schemes to outdo each other. What they now seem to need is a full dose of innocent silent meditation to look inwards. Focus on the back to basics of why they are there, to do what for whom” (Daily News : 11 Nov 2009).

Dangers Ahead For MR - By L. Jayasooriya If MR were to go for Presidential elections at the end his term in two years time he will win and it will not matter even if he wins by one vote. If he on the other hand were to go for Presidential elections now, as we hear he has decided, he will also win but if the margin of win is not as massive as expected due to external intervention or any other reason it will have a very negative psychological impact on the general elections that will follow soon after. The JHU was formed by voters who will never vote UNP but were not satisfied with the SLFP because the SLFP did not safeguard and protect the Buddhists from unethical conversions. While projecting an image to protect the Buddhists the JHU quietly dropped the unethical conversions bill and became an appendage to the SLFP. The JHU means 500,000 votes mostly from educated people. They will never vote for the JHU ever again and on the dissolution of parliament they will not get a single seat if they were to contest as a party but if they were to get the unethical conversions bill passed and written into law as well as give teeth to a bill preventing cruelty to animals then they may have a chance. It is my personal opinion that it would be best for MR that the JHU contests on its own and join the SLFP after that because any linkage now with a party that has been rejected by 500,000 voters could be a liability to MR because many from the 500,000 may not vote on polling day. On top of this an estimate will have to be made about the number bought over by traitors with money paid both by the West and the LTTE (Asian Tribune: 11 Nov 2009).

SLN Chief calls for global effort against terrorists - Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe recently said that no country could counter a trans-national maritime threat posed by ‘non-state actors’ alone. Addressing a two-day seminar on Indo-Sri Lanka bilateral seminar on countering maritime threats posed by terrorists, the Navy chief emphasised the importance of global cooperation to overcome the challenge. He said that every country could contribute irrespective of size to this effort. The seminar organised by the Ministry of Defence, Strategic Affairs Division in collaboration with the National Maritime Foundation of India (NMF), was held on November 4 and 5 at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. The head of the National Martitime Foundation of India, former Indian Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd) delivered the Key Note address. Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romesh Jayasinghe, Advisors to the President, Major General M. D. Perera (Retd) and Nihal Rodrigo, High Commissioner designate to India and Acting High Commissioner for India Prasad Kariyawasam, Dr. Rohan Perera PC, Legal Adviser, Director General Coast Guard Rear Admiral LD Dharmapriya and Strategic Affairs Adviser, Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order B. S. Colonne also graced the opening session (Island : 11 Nov 2009).

 The Patriotic National Movement and other affiliated patriotic movements along with the Maha Sangha yesterday convened a meeting to request General Sarath Fonseka not to contest a future Presidential poll.

Ven. Medagama Dhamananda Thero and Ven. Uduwe Dhamaloka in conversation with National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa MP after the National Patriotic Front meeting at the BMICH yesterday, where it was decided to request General Sarath Fonseka not to contest a future Presidential poll. (Photo-Sarapala Pamunuwa) (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

PNM requests Gen. Fonseka not to contest Presidential elections - The Patriotic National Movement and other affiliated patriotic movements along with the Maha Sangha yesterday convened a meeting at the BMICH where they unanimously requested General Sarath Fonseka not to contest a future Presidential election. The Maha Sangha headed by Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thero, a member of the Asgiriya Chapter and Dharmarama Vijaya Foundation said that the Maha Sangha would make a request to the Ven. Maha Nayake Theros to request General Fonseka not to enter the fray in a future Presidential election.. "General Fonseka should not fall prey to national and international conspirators", the Venerable Thero said. Ven. Dhammananda thero warned that if General Fonseka defied the Maha Nayakas’ request and proceeds to contest, they would be compelled to issue in a Sangha Achgnawa, the highest level of protest by the Maha Sangha practised in ancient times. However, Ven. Dhammananda Thero was optimistic that there would not be any need for the Maha Sangha to resort to such protest. "General Fonseka is a national asset", the Ven. Thero said (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

New Zealand rules out taking Sri Lankan asylum seekers - Wellington - New Zealand ruled out Tuesday taking any of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board the Australian Customs ship Oceanic Viking off Indonesia. Confirming that Australia had raised the question with the government, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said, 'We're wary of rewarding actions that seek to jump the queue for entry to New Zealand.' Three weeks after being picked up from a sinking boat, the asylum seekers, who were heading for Australia, are refusing to go ashore and be processed at an Indonesia detention centre. Indonesia has said the Oceanic Viking must leave its waters by Friday. 'There are literally thousands of displaced people across the Asia-Pacific region,' Coleman said. 'The New Zealand government does not believe that an ad-hoc approach to dealing with individual cases like the Oceanic Viking will send the right message. 'Sending the wrong message won't help solve similar situations that may arise in the future.' Coleman said the government believed the best approach for dealing with the wider issue of people smuggling and boat people was through the Bali Process, a multilateral arrangement signed by New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and 39 other countries in the Asia-Pacific. He said the broader issues were not going to go away and the Bali Process emphasized prevention, interception and deterrence. (Monsters and critics) (Daily Mirror ; 10 Nov 2009).

President and Secretary Defence thank Canada's SLUNA for its support to Sri Lanka - President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent special greetings to Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada (SLUNA) which celebrated its 26th anniversary in Toronto, Canada on Saturday. President Rajapaksa commended SLUNA for the strong support extended by the association in Sri Lanka's battle against terrorism. He said "You have been courageous in your service to Sri Lanka, especially against the forces of terror who abused the democratic freedoms of Canada to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka, and promote moves to divide our country through violence and terror". President also requested members of SLUNA and Sri Lankan/ Canadians to consider the increased opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka in the new environment of freedom and democracy that has opened much scope to the business sector (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 10 Nov 2009).

Government to establish more rehabilitation centres for LTTE child soldiers - In the government's effort to rehabilitate LTTE child soldiers now in state protective custody, and authorities have decided to expand facilities in the rehabilitation centres with the intention of speeding up the rehabilitation process. Seven more centres will come up for the rehabilitation of LTTE child soldiers who surrendered to the Security Forces. 11,000 such child soldiers are under the protection of the troops. They are being provided with education in addition to imparting vocational training. Fourteen Rehabilitation Centres are in operation. It will increase to 21 with the establishment of the seven new Centres. Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda visited the premises where the new Rehabilitation Centres will come up. He visited the Rehabilitation Centre at Thampamaduwa in Vavuniya and exchanged views with the child soldiers. He said they are happy since the Government meets all their requirements. The Government's intention is to get their support for the development of the country by making them good citizens and granting them vocational education. Commissioner General for Rehabilitation Daya Ratnayake and a group of local and foreign representatives joined the Minister in this observation tour (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 10 Nov 2009).

Sri Lanka: Meeting the Western challenge - By Dimuth Gunawardena Although the war in Sri Lanka is now over, the battle for Sri Lanka’s future has only just begun. Notorious pro-LTTE lawyer Bruce Fein once told a conference by Max Foundation in Tamil Nadu in January this year that “We have the ears of Washington and National Press Club. The next Tamil Eelam war will be fought from the capitals of the western world under the leadership of Washington…….” Five months on who would expect the gullible Americans to swallow this propaganda hook, line and sinker. Fein the fiend was already accusing Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary and Army Commander of war crimes supposedly long before LTTE was militarily defeated. It was all part of the U.S. backup plan in case the Tigers lost the war. Today we find the American government stands exposed in their disgraceful effort to press charges of against Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence (Asian Tribune ; 10 Nov 2009).

War on ‘human smugglers’ - In a bid to prevent illegal human smuggling activities, Australia and Sri Lanka yesterday signed an agreement to extend cooperation in the areas of prosecution and information sharing. The MoU enhances legal cooperation between Sri Lanka and Australia in relation to illegal human smuggling. The agreement was signed by Special rapporteur of Australian Prime Minister to Sri Lanka John MacCarthy and Justice and Law Reform Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath yesterday. The two countries have agreed to set up a national focal point to arrest the increasing illegal human smuggling activities. Two Foreign Ministers also signed a joint Ministerial statement at the Foreign Ministry yesterday. It said the two parties have agreed to enhance cooperation against the criminal organisers of the people’s smuggling trade through increased operational assistance. They also agreed to promote cooperation among regional countries to act against transnational people smuggling networks including under the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crimes recognising that this is a shared problem for all Governments in the region. Addressing a joint media conference later in the evening yesterday, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the Government is prepared to extend its fullest cooperation to Australia to combat illegal human smuggling activities which are on the increase (Daily News ; 10 Nov 2009).

Lanka to open more rehabilitation units for ex-child soldiers - In a bid to expedite rehabilitation of 11,000 former LTTE child soldiers, Sri Lanka has decided to open seven more centres for them apart from the existing 14. Seven more centres will come up for the rehabilitation of LTTE child soldiers, who are in the state protective custody following their surrender before the Sri Lankan security forces, an official statement said. It said 11,000 such child soldiers are under the protection of troops and being provided with education in addition to vocational training. Fourteen Rehabilitation Centres are in operation and with the proposed seven additional ones, the total number of such centres will increase to 21, it said (Express India : 10 Nov 2009).

Sri Lankan deal to stop asylum boats - AUSTRALIA last night struck a bargain with Sri Lanka to help track down Tamil Tiger people smugglers in return for greater co-operation in reducing asylum-seeker numbers. Australia will also contribute an extra $11 million, on top of $38m already given, to help the process of resettling about 250,000 mostly Tamil civilians still being held in detention camps in the former northern conflict zone. In a joint press conference last night with Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith emphasised the importance of apprehending and prosecuting criminal and terror syndicates behind the people smuggling trade. The focus seemed designed to appease the Sri Lankan government, which insists the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is behind the vast majority of boats ferrying asylum seekers from its shores, and from neighbouring countries, to Australia (The Australian : 10 Nov 2009).

LTTE Cadres suspected among 78 boat people in Indonesia - A number of LTTE Cadres, including some high profile Tiger operatives, are suspected to be among the 78 Sri Lankan boat people off the coast of Pinang, Indonesia, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Indonesia Maj. Gen Nandada Mallawarachchi told Daily Mirror online. The High Commissioner said that that he had already identified a number of Cadres among the asylum seekers and believed that a number of high profile LTTE operatives could be among them. “I have identified some LTTE Cadres, but cannot confirm their ranks at this time. I suspect a number of high profile LTTE cadres to be among these asylum seekers,” Mallawarachchi said. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner said he had come to this conclusion by examining photographs of those on board the vessel.  The 78 asylum seekers were heading for Australia., when they were rescued by an Australian customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking moored in Indonesian waters (Daily Mirror : 10 Nov 2009).

LTTE’s EP leader Ram recaptured - The LTTE Eastern province leader Ram, who had escaped from Army, was arrested yesterday. The Army nabbed him following a massive search operation conducted in the Minneriya jungles. Ram had been under interrogation in an army camp in the Giritale Area in Polonnaruwa, when he fled last Saturday (7). With the escape of the LTTE Eastern Province leader, the Army commenced a search operation with over 3,000 soldiers deployed to trace him down. Ram was captured while he was hiding in the jungle near the Minneriya tank. Ram had been appointed to the leadership of the LTTE’s Eastern Province following the defection of Karuna Amman. He had a through knowledge of the terrain in the East and led a number of attacks against the security forces. Ram had left for the North after his members were killed by the STF during confrontations (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

IDP resettlement continues - The Government has re-settled 1,575 displaced families with a membership of 5,220 people in Thunukkai and Mallavi divisions in Mullaitivu districts within a very short period and provided them with health, sanitation, education, co-operative and other facilities, said Northern Province Governor Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri (Daily News ; 10 Nov 2009).

Dairy Development Programme in the Eastern Province - Under the Development Assistance Agreement signed between the Government of USA and Government of Sri Lanka, financial assistance is provided by USA to,, Sri Lanka on Number of development fields. Under the Growth Assistance Programme through Public/Private Partnership USA Government has provided funds to Sri Lanka to develop the dairy sector in Eastern region. Dairy sector has been identified as one of the priority sectors in the development of Sri Lanka in the Mahinda Chinthana Policy Document of the Government. Considering the substantial benefits and long term socio-economic impact accrued to rural community, it has become necessary to develop dairy industry as a leading sector in the economy (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

Australia tackles refugee source - Sri Lanka and Australia have agreed to set up a joint mechanism to tackle the problem of people smuggling. The agreement was signed in Colombo by the two countries' foreign ministers. It comes amid a stand-off in Indonesia involving nearly 80 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who are refusing to leave the Australian boat that intercepted them. The Australian government says the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka has led to a surge in Tamil asylum-seekers arriving on its shores. The growing number of asylum-seekers is becoming a political issue in Australia, with the government facing criticism for softening the immigration laws since it took office in 2007 (BBC : 10 Nov 2009).

Bandu Silva vs. Kath Noble - Kath Noble has done it again! This time it is over the ‘brains’ of Sri Lankans! (The Island of November 6, 2009). This journalist has twisted what I said to suit her purposes. What I said was: ‘’Sri Lankans are a proud people who would not tolerate being pushed around by bigger states.’’ How does Kath Noble connect my above quoted reference, to the ‘brains’ of Sri Lankans unless she still hangs on to the view that in dealing with a big power like the United States of America, Sri Lankans should use their brains to understand that a response of supplication before the mighty power was the best form of diplomacy? Wasn’t that the essence of what she advocated ? (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

LTTE arms found - A stock of parts of four 152 mm and one 130 mm artillery guns, emerged from the beach east of Puthukudiyiruppu on Sunday afternoon (08) when rising waves of the eastern seas washed them off, military sources said yesterday. Defence Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that troops later unearthed those parts of artillery guns kept hidden by the LTTE in sand after they were noticed by the troops conducting search and clear operations in the area. In the meantime, troops recovered one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), two chargers, two Bangalore torpedoes and ten booby traps made using 60 mm mortar bombs from a different location in the same area. Meanwhile, troops operating in the general areas of Akkarayankulam, Maduwalkadu and Puthukudiyiruppu also recovered two hundred rounds of M-16 ammunition, one battery charger, two batteries used for communication sets, four LTTE uniforms, one LTTE flag and one bayonet, the same day (08), he said (Island : 10 Nov 2009).

General Sarath Fonseka likely to resign - General Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka’s chief of defence staff (CDS) and an architect of the military victory against the LTTE, is likely to resign by the end of this month. The resignation could clear the way for Fonseka to contest in the upcoming Presidential election against incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. A coalition of opposition parties led by the United National Party (UNP) along with radical Marxists JVP are ready to field Fonseka against Rajapaksa, leader of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). Fonseka, as the army chief during the last phase of the war against the Tamil Tigers and Rajapaksa are popularly considered as the duo responsible for bringing the 26-year-old ethnic conflict to an end. But HT has reliably learnt that the general – who survived an LTTE suicide attack with serious injuries in 2006 -- was unhappy at the treatment he received from the government within days of Colombo declaring victory against the LTTE on May 19 (Hindustan Times : 10 Nov 2009).

Commander Thanks Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera for His Support - COMMANDER of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on Tuesday (10) evening visited Dharmayathanaya temple at Colombo 07 and expressed his gratitude for the support Ven. Thero extended during recently concluded Wanni humanitarian operations. Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero was instrumental in collecting large stocks of drinking water bottles and other essentials for War Heroes whilst the Wanni battles were on. The Commander of the Army who was then the Commander SFHQ (Wanni) distributed those donations sent by Ven. Thero among the soldiers at that point of time. Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero thanking the Commander for his visit presented him with a Buddha statue as a token of memory of his visit to the Dharmayathanaya temple (Sri Lanka Army : 10 Nov 2009).

Finally, the real Alex steps forward - FORMER Toronto gang member Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah is heavily tattooed, has a criminal record for death threats and firearms possession that got him deported from Canada six years ago, and is now, perhaps improbably, the articulate and thoughtful spokesman for a boatload of Tamil asylum-seekers trying to get to Christmas Island. A Canadian immigration department assessment refers to chronic alcohol and drug abuse in his youth, persistent anger management issues and a "love-hate relationship" with his mother. But the 27-year-old adamantly denies he is a people-smuggler (The Australian).

News Archives


Here is your search engine. Please type the key words (ex: LTTE, Child soldiers, etc) and then press search



Disclaimer: Comments, views and opinions contained in this website are personal reflections only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sri Lanka News Online in Australia. Sri Lanka News Online in Australia offers the contents of this website without charge and gives links to other sites in good faith, but does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions expressed within this web site or the links thus provided. Neither Sri Lanka News Online in Australia nor the individual authors of any material on this Web site accept responsibility for any loss or damage, however caused (including through negligence), which you may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of your use of or reliance on information contained on or accessed through this Web site. Responsibility and liability for using comments, views and opinions presented in this website rests solely with the user and not with Sri Lanka News Online in Australia. © 2009.


Contact us


What is really happening in Sri Lanka today is that a blood thirsty racist group led by some misled Tamils called LTTE is terrorizing against the Government of Sri Lanka and its people irrespective of their ethnicity with an intention of carving out a separate state. There is no conflict as such between Sinhalese and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. In fact, the majority of the Tamil community lives in peace and harmony among the Sinhalese population through out the country apart from the Northern part of Sri Lanka. The entire Sinhalese and the Muslims population who lived in the Northern area for centuries were either killed or chased away completely by the LTTE Tamil Tiger terrorists. At the moment, not a single Sinhalese or Muslim is living in Jaffna, but, many thousands of Tamils are living in Colombo in peace with the other communities. Based on 2001 census, the Tamil population in Colombo district is 12.1% (see 2001 census). So, who is discriminated ? Tamils or Sinhalese? Do you need more evidence ?


Worlds' most ruthless megalomaniac Terrorist Leader Prabhakaran shot dead by the Sri Lanka heroic Security Forces

(for details click here). Video by Sri Lanka Army

Welfare Projects

Sponsor a child of a war hero deceased or disabled while in action to protect
Sri Lanka


Api Wenuwen Api

http://www.apiwenuwenapi.com/ is the official web site of the Api Wenuwen Api fund raising campaign. The Api Wenuwen Api Fund is a collaboration between the The Ministry of Defence and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to build 50,000 houses for the serving Tri-Service personnel. The gift of housing is one of the best and most tangible ways to demonstrate our gratitude and appreciation. This is the time for all Sri Lankans to support our brothers and sisters who are committed to bringing peace to our motherland Sri Lanka. All contributions from the campaign and fund raising events will be donated to Api Wenuwen Api Housing Project in Sri Lanka.

Thawalama Development Foundation

No. 5, Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.

The Thawalama Development Foundation (TDF) was established on 1994 April 25th to support and assist in the implementation of Project Thawalama approved by the Ministry of Defense on 1994 January 14th. http://thawalama.org

Resignation of General Fonseka


Bogus Asylum Seekers

Tamil Diaspora is making a fresh attempt to undermine Sri Lanka by organising large scale human smuggling operations targeting developed countries, particularly Australia and Canada.

None of the three vessels carrying Sri Lankan Tamils, which had been intercepted by the Canadians and Indonesians on high seas during the past fortnight, originated in Sri Lanka.

Conspiracy by Arms Manufacturing Western Nations


Western Arms Manufacturers need battlefields to sell their Arms. An estimated 500,000 individuals dies in small arms-conflict every year, approximately one death per minute. It is estimated that yearly, over 1 trillion dollars are spent on military expenditure worldwide.

Development of North and East Districts in Sri Lanka



Welfare of Internally Displaced Tamil Persons (IDP)


Click here to understand how much effort Sri Lanka Government has made for welfare of Tamil civilians displaced (IDP) during the war 


Are we serious about a solution based on Indo-Lanka Accord ?

Read more about the 13th Amendment


LTTE Tamil Tiger Atrocities

LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist's recent Atrocities

Caution : The images shown in this web page exposing the atrocities of the LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists may be found disturbing by some people. Proceed at your own caution.

LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist's Child Soldiers


Reports Issued by the Norwegians Against Terrorism

Suicide Bomb Attacks by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists in Sri Lanka


LTTE's Links with Other Terrorist Groups`

LTTE's links with other terrorists organisations (Sri Lanka News Online)







Here is your search engine. Please type the key words (e.g. LTTE, Child soldiers, etc.) and then press 'Search'.

Disclaimer: Comments, views and opinions contained in this website are personal reflections only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sri Lanka News Online in Australia. Sri Lanka News Online in Australia offers the contents of this website without charge and gives links to other sites in good faith, but does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions expressed within this website or the links thus provided. Neither Sri Lanka News Online in Australia nor the individual authors of any material on this Web site accept responsibility for any loss or damage, however caused (including through negligence), which you may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of your use of or reliance on information contained on or accessed through this Web site. Responsibility and liability for using comments, views and opinions presented in this website rests solely with the user and not with Sri Lanka News Online in Australia. © 2009-2018
What is really happening in Sri Lanka today is that a blood thirsty racist group led by some misled Tamils called LTTE is terrorizing against the Government of Sri Lanka and its people irrespective of their ethnicity with an intention of carving out a separate state. There is no conflict as such between Sinhalese and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. In fact, the majority of the Tamil community lives in peace and harmony among the Sinhalese population through out the country apart from the Northern part of Sri Lanka. The entire Sinhalese and the Muslims population who lived in the Northern area for centuries were either killed or chased away completely by the LTTE Tamil Tiger terrorists. At the moment, not a single Sinhalese or Muslim is living in Jaffna, but, many thousands of Tamils are living in Colombo in peace with the other communities. Based on 2001 census, the Tamil population in Colombo district is 12.1% (see 2001 census). So, who is discriminated ? Tamils or Sinhalese? Do you need more evidence ?
Caution: Images shown on this web site exposing LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist atrocities maybe disturbing for some users. Please proceed at your own discretion.
The United States' top intelligence agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the most dangerous and deadly extremist organization in the world. The official website of FBI in its tops story said that LTTE is far more dangerous terrorists outfit than al Queda, Hezbullah or even HAMAS. Read more...

Sri Lanka News Online Home Page | Latest News from Sri Lanka | Media Releases | News Archives | Disclaimer

Back to the top