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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...

 

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Saturday, 06 March 2010 05:53 AM 

 

Mannar development projects in full swing 

The newly constructed Mannar bridge which is nearing completion. Picture by Indrajith Perera

Miliband, Your Slip Is Showing! - Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband has never been the Sri Lankan government’s favourite, for a number of reasons. But his steadfast decision last week to address the inaugural meeting of the controversial Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in London on Wednesday appears to have only helped widen the diplomatic rift between the two nations. A fuming Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Wednesday summoned acting British High Commissioner in Colombo Mark Gooding to the Minister’s Fort office, to protest against Miliband’s decision to address the meeting of the pro-LTTE GTF (Sunday Leader : 28 February 2010).

Back and never to leave again - After nearly 20 years, Muslims in Jaffna who were evicted by the LTTE, return home. Here they share their happiness with Chandani Kirinde Fifty-six-year-old Mohamed Basheer’s eyes still well up with tears when he recollects the day in 1990 when the LTTE issued an eviction order on all Muslims living in the Jaffna peninsula, giving them a few hours to quit a city that had been their home for as many generations as he could recollect. With his wife and six young children, they left with all they could take with them, leaving behind their hometown to live for nearly 20 years as “outsiders” going from place to place but never finding a place to call home (Sunday Times : 28 February 2010).

Rehabilitation of former rebels would take time: Lanka Army - As they work on rehabilitating the former Tiger fighters, the Sri Lankan Army has said it might take them a long time to undo the years of 'brainwashing' to mainstream the once hardcore recruits.  Over 10,000 former LTTE cadres are currently in detention in Sri Lanka following the rebel group's military defeat, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe has said (Deccan Herald : 28 February 2010).

NGO act to be amended - The government has decided to amend the existing Act which deals with both local and foreign Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) in order to probe their activities and take appropriate action against them, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka told Daily Mirror online. The Premier said that a Ministerial Committee appointed to propose amendments to the Act has already put forward a draft document which will be taken up for discussion and later implemented following the General Elections in April. The draft document has already been sent to the Attorney General for his advice and it includes a proposal to give the government all the powers to take action against Non Governmental Organizations. Prime Minister Wickramanayaka noted that several NGOs and INGOs were found to have acted against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka in recent times but appropriate action cannot be taken against them as the existing laws under the NGO Act are weak. Meanwhile the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Administration which deals with NGOs, R.D Newton Perera, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that the government also wants to probe the financial accounts of several NGOs. He said that the government will seek to obtain details of the monthly expenditure of some NGOs as, according to him, most of the money obtained by some organizations is being used for their personal welfare and not the displaced people (Daily Mirror : 28 February 2010).

STF security for Chief Minister Pillayan - The Thamil Makkall Vaduthalai Puligal (TMVP) yesterday denied that the government had withdrawn the security of its leader, Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) of the Eastern Province, explaining that 40 army personnel in the chief minister’s security detail had been replaced with STF personnel (Sunday Island : 28 February 2010).

Sri Lanka lodges strong protest over British Ministers attending pro-LTTE - By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London - Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London Nihal Jayasinghe has lodged a strong protest with the British Foreign Office in London over the participation of British Ministers and MPs at the Global Tamil Forum in UK. The controversial pro-LTTE event was held in the Gladstone Room of the House of Commons in London last week. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is also reported to have summoned the Deputy British High Commissioner in Colombo and said that the participation of British Ministers and MPs would give credibility to an organization which is propagating the separatist agenda of the LTTE, and would be acting in a manner inimical to the national interest of Sri Lanka and its legitimate government. High Commissioner Jayasinghe told The Sunday Island that the agenda of the Global Tamil Forum was to divide the country and seek a separate state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. "They are trying to achieve peacefully now what they could not achieve by LTTE terrorism. It was unbecoming of the British Government to support them", he pointed out (Island : 28 February 2010).

Look beyond confrontation to co-operation - A prime issue that forces itself on the more reflective sections is whether British Foreign Secretary David Milliband has militated against the norms of constructive international engagement among states by addressing a gathering of overseas-based Tamil groups, which are seen by some as LTTE sympathizers, on current controversial Sri Lankan issues. On the face of it, the British Foreign Secretary could be said to have violated the norm of non-interference in the internal affairs of a friendly state, by speaking on the questions at issue and that too in the British House of Commons, an evocative symbol in the ‘Mother of All Democracies’, where debate should aim at being balanced and constructive in nature (Island : 28 February 2010).

US can learn from Lanka: Congressman NEW JERSEY-- Addressing a gathering of more than 600 expatriates at the Sri Lanka national day celebrations here, US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. complimented the government for its battlefield successes against the LTTE.  "I am not a military expert," said Pallone, "but my view is that we should be thankful as a country that Sri Lanka was successful in rooting out terrorism."  Pallone, a longstanding member of the US House of Representatives and chairman of the Sri Lanka Caucus in the US Congress, said the US has been fighting its own battles against terrorists, both at home and abroad -- regardless of the reasons for it.  "We have lots of lessons we can learn from Sri Lanka. We should take advantage of it," he said, to cheers from the Sri Lankan audience. Pallone lamented the fact that in recent months US-Sri Lanka relations had "soured" but he was confident it will get back on track.  He called for a strengthening of trade and investments between the two countries and an increase in US military training of Sri Lankan armed forces.He said the US has a long tradition of resolving its minority problems. "Sri Lankan can emulate us," he said, adding that Tamils should be a part of a united Sri Lanka (Sunday Times : 28 February 2010).

First International Industrial Exhibition in Jaffna - The first International Industrial Exhibition in Jaffna, scheduled to be held from April 18-20 was launched at the Jaffna Public Library yesterday. Chairman of the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce and Industries, K. Poornachandran said about 45 local and foreign companies are ex-pected to participate in the ceremony which will be opened by Jaffna Mayor Yogeshwari Patgunarajan. "Twenty Indian companies have already confirmed participation and will exhibit their industrial machinery", he said. "We have the money and are willing to purchase the necessary equipment to boost agricultural and sea food production." Director of Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Imran Hassan said that he and Poornachandran had already conducted road shows in Chennai, Karnataka and Kerala to promote the forthcoming Jaffna Industrial Exhibition. "The response by the Indian government and private sector was tremendous. This is a welcome boost for development plans that are being unveiled in war-ravaged Jaffna." (Island : 28 February 2010).

TNA is open to dialogue with any govt., says Sampanthan - The Tamil National Alliance which backed opposition common candidate General (retired) Sarath Fonseka at last month’s presidential election is going it alone at the upcoming parliamentary elections after the party overcame an internal crisis which saw close to a dozen former parliamentarians being denied nominations. In a telephone interview with the Sunday Times, the 77-year-old Rajavarothiam Sampanthan who led the TNA in Parliament for a decade, said, he was confident of the alliance’s performance in the coming election. Speaking from his political base in Trincomalee, an electorate he represented for 33 years, Mr. Sampanthan, also said he was open to dialogue with the Government on the Tamil issue, but his party was “not prepared to be taken for a ride” (Sunday Times ; 28 February 2010).

US will not destabilize Sri Lanka – Bogollagama - What has the US been doing during the past four years in particular is the question on the lips of us America watchers after reading Bogollagama’s recent statement. Perhaps this may have not been US policy but may have been the pursuance of the personal agenda of Blake, who has been described as the ‘Smiling fake", but this country was progressive being destabilized, because of his actions; There is no question about that. Blake started his operations on behalf of the LTTE whilst he was still here; one cannot forget how he sought to rescue the LTTE hierarchy with the use of the America’s Far East Command. He probably disagrees with Gen Stanley McChrystal who was of the view that Osama Bin Laden had to be taken out physically to end terrorism in Afghanistan or he has double standards which is no doubt the case. He together with Britain continued their witch hunt against Sri Lanka in a major way once he assumed duties as Assistant Secretary of State (Island : 28 February 2010).

The Milliband Show – a Comical Relic of a Lost Cause - David Milliband, the foreign secretary of Britain, is young, energetic and according to his former boss, Tony Blair, the brainiest in the cabinet. Hillary Clinton found him ‘dashing’ and of course ‘handsome’. However, his portrayal in the imagination of the members of the governments in the developing nations – or the Third World, as often referred to them in private conversations - unfortunately, is of someone who is neither cute nor pleasant. They see him as an arrogant politician who is fond of dictating terms to them. So, understandably, Mr Milliband’s involvement in any political manoeuvre does trigger off anxiety, distress, mistrust and above all controversy, even if his motives are fair and thought-provoking (Asian Tribune : 28 February 2010).

NFF leader deplores Miliband’s address - The National Freedom Front (NFF) vehemently condemned British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s address at the London Tamil Forum. David Miliband has done irreparable damage to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, by participating in this conference, said NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa. Weerawansa said that Sri Lanka’s efforts to eradicate the three-decade old LTTE terrorism and set up a unitary state has been undermined and added that a conspiracy by Western powers is under way to push the country back to LTTE terrorism. “The Western powers are now struggling to resurrect the moribund LTTE movement and take its mission forward under the guise of democracy and human rights,” he said. British Foreign Secretary Miliband’s address to the London Tamil Forum was an interference with Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister Dew Gunasekera said. LTTE sympathisers in Britain are interested in the Tamil votes at the forthcoming UK parliamentary election and the huge funds with the Tamil Diaspora. Sri Lanka has a vision to solve its internal problems as it did in the recent past having eradicated the 30-year-long LTTE terrorism, he said (Sunday Observer : 28 February 2010).

Letter from America: Hasina Plot – the LTTE Connection? - Last week my attention was drawn to an article -- The plan to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed: How LTTE deal was blocked, suicide bombers failed to explode – published in a Sri Lankan virtual library The plan to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed). It provided an interesting reading on a subject of immense interest to anyone who grew up in Bangladesh. This concerns assassination attempts in 1996-2000 on Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the Awami League and daughter of Bangabandhu, and the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The plotters included the killers that had killed her father, and are reportedly aided by the Pakistani intelligence agency - ISI. The news report is from Sri Lanka, a country that has defeated the independence seeking Tamil Tigers only recently. I don’t know how authentic the information is; it doesn’t name the author; but I won’t be surprised learning about possible manipulations from intelligence groups like the Indian RAW to twist and exaggerate facts, at the expense of the ISI, to appear as the good guys here (Asian Tribune: 28 February 2010).

Sri Lanka: ambitious plan to rebuild 'ground zero' in war with Tamil Tigers - After 26 years of civil war, Sri Lanka has an ambitious $1 billion plan to revive the city of Jaffna, long isolated by the rebel Tamil Tigers. Jaffna served as ground zero in Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, which ended last May with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The city remains run-down, hollowed out by war, occupation, and isolation. But nine months of peace has opened up road links, pared down the number of military checkpoints, and ended a nighttime curfew in Jaffna. Ambitious postwar plans call for the rebuilding of its cratered downtown, though it will take more than money to undo the damage of a bitter, ethnic-based conflict over land and power (The Christian Science Monitor).

Toronto News Report About Possible Tamil Tiger Bombings In The Future Put Into Perspective - It has been reported that Canadian security officials are concerned that last year’s defeat of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels could trigger attacks like the 1985 Air India bombings. While this sounds like a touch of paranoia on the part of those who suggest it, if there is a even semblance of true anticipation of such a turn of events by investigative reports perhaps the Canadian law enforcement agencies should get cracking with preventive action against it post haste! When The International Crisis Group study quotes unnamed Canadian law enforcement officials as saying that supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might resort to terrorism, an immediate message needs to be picked up by the Canadian Authorities and measures taken to rectify what might turn out to be disastrous and nipped in the bud or else face the consequences of neglect of a national security issue (LankaWeb : 27 February 2010).

The Labour Party – Looking for the Bus Bomber Vote - On the 24th of February, just a day before the grieving families of the victims of 7th July London bombing attended the official inquest of that atrocity, Gordon Brown, David Milliband and a host of mainly Labour MPs celebrated the launch of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) at the House of Commons. The GTF is yet another front organization for the LTTE, the brutal and racist terrorist organization, finally crushed in May 2009 after a failed 30-year struggle to carve out an ethnically cleansed statelet in Sri Lanka. Fundraising in the UK by the LTTE for bus and train bombings in Sri Lanka continued uninterrupted during the 18 years of Labour rule. The President of the GTF, Rev. Prof. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel still maintains the fight for a separate state. In his own words “…strengthened by the heroic sacrifices of the people and the militants under the leadership of the LTTE still remain the underlying goal of all the Tamils….” The Labour government, complicit in the truly gargantuan civilian death toll in Iraq (and now Afghanistan), continues to pontificate to Sri Lanka on human rights, good governance and political reconciliation. Milliband also proudly admitted to Britain’s role in in launching EU trade sanctions against Sri Lanka on the basis of ‘rules’ and ‘values’ being flouted by the Sri Lankan government. “We did so [cancel GSP+ trade concessions] because the rules of the GSP programme put values at their heart. Those values are values of civil and political rights, because we are concerned about violence and allegations of malpractice in the election campaign.” Why did Brown & Milliband legitimize the GTF launch in Parliament with their presence? (Telegraph UN : 27 February 2010).

The UK Green Party: Promoters of International Terrorism? - The LTTE, categorised by the FBI as the “the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world”, has another supporter in the European Union Parliament. Step forward Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP (Member of European Parliament) for London and a member of the its Human Rights Sub-Committee and Delegation to South Asia (SAARC). Jean petitioned for a ceasefire during the final battles in Northern Sri Lanka as the LTTE held 100,000+ civilians hostage as protection against the advancing Sri Lanka Army. She was unaware that the LTTE had not released any civilians during previous ceasefires, initiated by the Sri Lanka Army to let civilians escape the combat zone. On Saturday 2nd May 2009, she spoke movingly at the Sivan Kovil Temple in a meeting organized by the British Tamils Forum (BTF). The meeting supported calls for a ceasefire in Northern Sri Lanka and highlighted the desperate situation of the Tamil civilians in the war-zone. Neither the petition nor the meeting made any mention of the LTTE’s culpability in holding civilians against their wishes in the combat zone (LankaWeb : 27 February 2010).

PARADISE LOST – JAFFNA WILL RISE AGAINST TAMIL MILITANCY - By Dr.Levins T C Rajaratnam - On the Jaffna Political platforms Mrs.Maheswaran the leading candidate for the UNP Jaffna District may pose a few questions as to who killed her husband? Gajan Ponnambalam may pose the question as to who killed his father who was my good friend ? I will ask the question as to why I was threatened by a political bandit during the Western Provincial council elections, my campaign office attacked and my mothers residence attacked. So many residents of Jaffna whose husbands and sons are abducted for ransom will ask why should we vote, So many investors in Jaffna are being harassed by militants for “Kappang”. Inspite of all these, nomination was given to a controversial man accused of atrocities and is heavy laden with misdeeds. Will the Jaffna people vote for that National Party ? The biggest blunder ! It is the greatest insult and disgrace to the Tamil people of Jaffna that this man has been nominated to contest (LankaWeb : 27 February 2010).

Iranian Friends - ...... February 20, 2010: Eritrea has a reputation as a gathering place for a variety of radical groups and shady operations. Think of it as an outlaw haven. For example, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eealam (LTTE, separatist rebels in Sri Lanka) had a representative in Eritrea, and there is evidence that Eritrea provided the LTTE with weapons, or at least served as a conduit for weapons to the LTTE. This is why a Russia media report that Eritrea has been a transshipment point for weapons going to Sudan's Darfur rebels is not a big surprise. A Ukrainian company allegedly shipped light weapons (small arms) and possibly some artillery through Eritrea to South Sudan rebels. This transshipment, of course, violates UN arms supply sanctions on Darfur, but then Eritrea regards the UN as favoring Ethiopia in various Eritrean-Ethiopian disputes. For what it is worth, Ukrainian companies have supplied the Sudanese government with weapons, including tanks (Asmarino Independent ; 27 February 2010).

Nominations close with a record - Nominations for the 7th Parliamentary Elections closed yesterday at 12 noon with over 20 political parties and over 40 Independent Groups handing over nomination lists for the general election scheduled for April 8 (Island : 27 February 2010).

Gordon, David and Emmanuel: Notes for a post-LTTE drama - There is a man called Gordon Brown. I have something to say to him. Here goes: Mr. Brown, your country is yet to compensate mine for crimes against humanity, genocide, plunder of resources, insults and humiliation. I know you are going through a hard time, so let me conservatively say ‘50 billion pounds’. To begin with. That would be the first instalment of a series of annual payments spread through a decade (adding to a total of 500 billion pounds, which is just a fraction of what you’ve extracted over the past two centuries). This Brown, he has problems. He’s on his way out, according to opinion polls from Britain. The man is desperate. Desperate situations call for desperate responses, I know, but I really didn’t think Brown and the Labour Party were in such dire straits. And I know that Brown is a citizen of a country that really doesn’t care about the track records of those they choose to bed with. Still, I was a bit surprised to find out that things have got so bad that Brown and Miliband and the Labour Party had to go beg for political support from a bunch of terrorist-lovers. The two had been seen crawling around a hall where a shady outfit called Global Tamil Forum was having a meeting. I am imagining the scene (Daily News : 27 February 2010).

David Miliband addresses the Global Tamil Forum - Dr. P. A. Samaraweera, Australia  - Despite protests by the Sri Lankan government, David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary, had addressed the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) creating sour relations between the two countries.  The Sri Lankan govt has expressed displeasure because the GTF is the current LTTE network in the west and their agenda is to set up a separate state called the ‘Trans-National Govt of Tamil Eelam’. This would be a direct threat to the sovereignity of Sri Lanka. Therefore, David Miliband by addressing the GTF had become a supporting pillar of the LTTE lending credibility to an organisation which propogates separatist policy.  The GTF is an LTTE front organisation and its leaders were the fund raisers for the LTTE which in turn funded various political parties and politicians in western countries.  In his speech, he has said that he strongly supports and advocates non-violence and that peace is not found in weapons and warfare. However, he did not say this when the LTTE was creating mayhem in Sri Lanka and then during the war against the terrorists he was trying to lecture the President how to run the war. Now he is preaching how the Sri Lankan govt should run its affairs (Island : 27 February 2010).

Anti-Tank mines seized - Mannar Police seized three Anti-Tank Mines on Thursday, buried in a thicket in Mannar. Police Spokesman Prishanatha Jayakody said the AT mines each weighed 16 kg. They were found buried at the 2 km post on the Mannar-Kalpadu road. The mines were seized by a group of Police led by Mannar Police HQI. The Army Bomb Disposal Squad diffused the three AT mines. No suspects have been arrested in this connection so far. Police are investigating (Daily News : 27 February 2010).

‘Canada fears Tamil backlash after LTTE defeat’ - With its huge population of Sri Lankan Tamils, Canada fears that resentment over the defeat of the Tamil Tigers last year may lead to violent response by sections of the 300,00-strong community here, says a report. Canadian security agencies are worried that the Tamil anger could lead to backlash like the Air India Kanishka bombing by Khalistanis in 1985 to avenge the army attack on the Golden Temple to flush out militants, says the report. Titled ‘The Sri Lankan Diaspora After The LTTE’, the report by Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) says: ‘The Tigers’ humiliating defeat, the enormous death toll in the final months of the war and the internment of more than a quarter million Tamils (has) left the diaspora feeling powerless, betrayed by the West, demanding justice and, in some cases, wanting revenge.’ (Island : 27 February 2010).

Lanka : Brown's presence at Tamil meet 'unethical' - Taking strong exception to British Premier Gordon Brown's presence at a global Tamil meet in London, Sri Lanka today said it was an "unethical" act of a government that preaches democracy. "... we regret that a nation such as Britain would preach democracy while attending a forum that preaches terrorism," Defence Spokesman Keheliva Rambukwella said. "Would they speak at a forum that is sympathetic or supportive towards the al-Qaeda? Al-Qaeda is a banned terrorist organisation, just like the LTTE was banned...," he said, reacting to Brown's presence at the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in London on Wednesday. "We see a different stance on two terrorist organisations, a different treatment and that is the sad part," Rambukwella, also a senior Minister, was quoted as saying by 'Daily Mirror'.  (PTI : 27 February 2010).

Hello Mr Miliband, the inexperienced young bloke.

We do not care you guys anymore. So, Shut up !

How much did LTTE pay Miliband to speak at Global Tamil Forum? - Dr.P.A.Samaraweera, Australia Despite protests by the Sri Lankan government, David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary, had addressed the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) creating sour relations between the two countries. The Sri Lankan govt has expressed displeasure because the GTF is the current LTTE network in the west and their agenda is to set up a separate state called the 'Trans-National Govt of Tamil Eelam'. This would be a direct threat to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Therefore, David Miliband by addressing the GTF had become a supporting pillar of the LTTE lending credibility to an organization which propagates separatist policy. The GTF is an LTTE front organization and its leaders were the fund raisers for the LTTE which in turn funded various political parties and politicians in western countries. In his speech, he has said that he strongly supports and advocates non-violence and that peace is not found in weapons and warfare. However, he did not say this when the LTTE was creating mayhem in Sri Lanka and then during the war against the terrorists, he was trying to lecture the President how to run the war. Now he is preaching how the Sri Lankan govt should run its affairs. Miliband still thinks that Sri Lanka is a British colony. Instead trying to preach to Sri Lanka he should use his time to sort out terrorism in the UK and Northern Ireland (Asian Tribune: 26 February 2010).

The unspeakable in pursuit of the unattainable - Sri Lanka has rightly raised objections to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's speech at an eelam summit in London, organised by the Global Tamil Forum, an umbrella organisation for some notorious LTTE fronts. Colombo's consternation is understandable in that Britain must not grant legitimacy to any outfit bent on destroying a fellow Commonwealth nation. Miliband may get some votes from the LTTE sympathisers in his constituency for the services rendered but it is only wishful thinking that he and/or Britain will be able to make eelam happen. He may shout himself hoarse or stoop to the level of doing anything else at LTTE events but his pop gun oratory will not succeed where Prabhakaran's artillery fire has failed. He is only barking up the wrong tree. When a powerful car bomb went off near a courthouse of Newry recently, a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, "Such acts are unrepresentative of the views of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland; we will not allow a tiny minority to turn the clock back." The same may be said of the LTTE rump and its sponsors like Miliband. They cannot turn the clock back. Oscar Wilde famously condemned fox hunting as 'the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable'. With apologies to that literary genius one may describe the Diasporic Tigers' attempt to achieve eelam with the help of shameless British politicians as 'the unspeakable in pursuit of the unattainable' (Island : 26 February 2010).

Fonseka will be indicted under civil law - General Sarath Fonseka will be indicted under the civil law in Sri Lanka within the next two weeks, Export Development and International Trade Cabinet Minister Professor G.L Peiris said at a media briefing held at the Department of Government Information yesterday (Daily News : 26 February 2010).

NFF condemns British support to pro-LTTE movement - The National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday vehemently condemned the British Government's support to a pro-LTTE separatist movement active in western countries working to divide the country. Under the theme 'What is the provision for a separate country within Sri Lanka', British Foreign Minister David Miliband had delivered a lecture as a special invitee to the conference. What has David Miliband done to the country by participating this conference? Nothing but irreparable damage to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, a NFF media release stated. It is evident that the Sri Lankan Government's effort to vanquish the three decade LTTE terrorism and set up a unitary State has been undermined and a conspiracy is under way by western imperialism to push the country towards LTTE terrorism again, the release stated. The release added: "After being freed from colonial slavery, many attempts have been made by western imperialists to bring back the country under their yoke. The main strategy they revised to carry out this sinister plan was to put the country under slavery and create antagonism among the communities and push the country towards separatism. "But by now, we as a nation have come forward and defeated these separatist agendas and annihilated the hired guns of the LTTE forever. It is worthy to note that they are now incensed with the initiative of the government to ignore their voice and destroyed all their agents (Daily News : 26 February 2010).

LTTE defeat could lead to bombings in Canada, report says - Canadian security officials are concerned that last year's defeat, the LTTE could trigger attacks like the 1985 Air India bombings, says a new report, by Stewart Bell, in the National Post. An International Crisis Group study quotes unnamed Canadian law enforcement officials saying that supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might resort to terrorism.  "While there are no signals yet that the rump LTTE is planning a terrorist act, it only takes a handful of committed cadre in the diaspora bent on violence to have a deadly impact," the report says.  "For example, Canadian law enforcement officials have been concerned that, if left unchecked, LTTE activities could result in an event similar to the terrorist bombing of an Air India jet in 1985, which was planned and funded by Sikh separatists in Canada."  Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai called that "pure speculation" and said that "we as Canadian Tamils and we as Canadian Tamil Congress are opposed to any form of violence, not only in Canada, anywhere, any part of the world." The report says the defeat of the rebels has left the diaspora feeling "powerless, betrayed by the West, demanding justice and, in some cases, wanting revenge."  An unnamed Canadian security official was quoted in the report saying that, "Because of what we learned from Canada's connection with Khalistan we're compelled to look at issues concerning the LTTE here differently (Daily News : 26 February 2010).

'Canada fears Tamil backlash after LTTE defeat' - With its huge population of Sri Lankan Tamils, Canada fears that resentment over the defeat of the Tamil Tigers last year may lead to violent response by sections of the 300,00-strong community in Toronto, says a report.  Canadian security agencies are worried that the Tamil anger could lead to backlash like the Air India Kanishka bombing by Khalistanis in 1985 to avenge the army attack on the Golden Temple to flush out militants, says the report.  Titled 'The Sri Lankan Diaspora After The LTTE', the report by Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) says: "The Tigers humiliating defeat, the enormous death toll in the final months of the war and the internment of more than a quarter million Tamils (has) left the diaspora feeling powerless, betrayed by the West, demanding justice and, in some cases, wanting revenge."  Despite the Tigers' defeat in May last year, the report adds: "Most Tamils abroad remain profoundly committed to Tamil Eelam, the existence of a separate state in Sri Lanka. While there are no signals yet that the rump LTTE is planning a terrorist act, it only takes a handful of committed cadre in the diaspora bent on violence to have a deadly impact." (Hindustan Times : 25 February 2010).

ICG asks Tamil diaspora not to support separatist ideology - The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels based independent non-governmental organisation, said: "until it moves on from its separatist, pro-LTTE ideology, the diaspora is unlikely to play a useful role supporting a just and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka." In a 29-page report titled 'The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE', ICG said that the commitment of many members of the diaspora for a separate Tamil Eelam, had widened the gap between them and Tamils in Sri Lanka.  "Most in the country (Sri Lanka) are exhausted by decades of war and are more concerned with rebuilding their lives under difficult circumstances than in continuing the struggle for an independent state," the ICG said.  "There is no popular support for a return to armed struggle. Without the LTTE to enforce a common political line, Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka are proposing substantial reforms within a united Sri Lanka," the report said (Zee News : 25 February 2010).

Brown at conference ‘unethical’ - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s presence at the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) conference in London is an ‘unethical’ act of a government that preaches democracy, Government Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwela told Daily Mirror online.  Mr. Rambukwela stated, “If the GTF is affiliated with the LTTE, then we regret that a nation such Britain would preach democracy while attending a forum that preaches terrorism. Would they speak at a forum that is sympathetic or supportive towards the Al Qaeda? Al Qaeda is a banned terrorist organization, just like the LTTE was banned by Britain. What is the difference between these two organizations? We see a different stance on two terrorist organizations, a different treatment and that is the sad part.”  Brown’s attendance added to the controversy created by his Foreign Secretary David Miliband who had also attended the same event which was held at the British parliamentary complex on Wednesday. Foreign Secretary Miliband addressed the gathering and had called upon the Sri Lankan government to make ‘constitutional changes’ aimed at power sharing.  Mr. Rambukwela went on to state that Sri Lanka has made a formal protest over the Foreign Secretary Miliband and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s decision to attend and address gathering (Daily Mirror : 25 February 2010).

Move on from the Tigers - Tamils around the world feel defeated, and a vindictive Sri Lankan government, not sated by victory in a civil war, continues its oppressive ways at home. The Tamil diaspora may despair, but it must also come to terms with a choice: to revive the hopeless cause of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or to renounce violence and work for justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Evidence that much of the diaspora is out of touch and unready to make that choice comes from a new report by the International Crisis Group. It shows a community still in thrall to the LTTE and its dead leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Organized votes in several countries, including Canada, have repeated a call for an independent Tamil state. Fundraising networks that the LTTE used to buy weapons still exist, and could be reactivated for violent purposes, while new organizations do not command loyalty. Some diaspora members want to prosecute Sri Lankan officials for war crimes, but don't acknowledge the abuses perpetrated by their own leaders (Globe and Mail : 25 February 2010).

We do not care you guys anymore. So, Shut up - By Malin Abeyatunga, Melbourne, Australia - British FM David Sillyband is back to his third grade gimmicks against Sri Lanka. Your political experience is no match for our President Rajapaksa who has over 40 years and he doesn't need your advise. He knows what he is doing. Please look after your back yard without poking your stinking fingers into Sri Lankan Affairs. Should I remind you again the the humiliation defeat you and your anglo saxon colleagues experienced at the Human Rights Council last year. Should I remind you that President Rajapaksa asked you and Kouchner to shut up and mind their own business in their backyard. Incidentally, 26 innocent Afghan civilians were killed in air strike a few days back by NATO which UK is a member and what action have you taken on this other than saying Sorry". Sri Lanka has had enough of you and your white clan. We do not care you guys anymore. So, Shut up.

SL opposes Miliband’s intent to address Eelam summitx - Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday summoned the Acting British High Commissioner in Colombo Mark Gooding to the Foreign Ministry to express Sri Lanka’s strong protest against the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband’s intent to address the London Conference of the pro-LTTE ‘Global Tamil Forum’ on Feb. 24 in London.The Foreign Minister told media yesterday that he had informed the Acting High Commissioner that the GTF consisted of several LTTE front organisations based mostly in the western countries and that its objective was to create a separate state of Tamil Eelam. Minister Bogollagama emphasised that Foreign Secretary Miliband by participating at the GTF Meeting in London would unfortunately lend credibility to an organisation propagating the separatist agenda of the LTTE and would be acting in a manner inimical to the national interest of Sri Lanka and its legitimate government (Island : 25 February 2010).

Miliband – the colonial cousin who never leaves SL in peace - Chances are there that David Miliband had agreed to make the opening speech of the Global Tamil Forum way before the Conservative shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox made his recent trip to Sri Lanka. The burgeoning ties between Fox and Sri Lanka certainly would not be to the liking of the young External Affairs minister anyhow. Being a typical rabble rouser with a reputation for inviting trouble in all corners of the globe Miliband would any how have gone ahead with his address with or without the Fox factor. With Global Tamil Forum deemed a forerunner to the transnational government of Eelam and already demanding a boycott of Sri Lankan goods and slapping of war crime charges against President Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and even Sarath Fonseka, Miliband’s participation at the meeting is sure to trigger a controversy. Of course there were MPs from other parties at the House of Commons event yet the symbolic value of a presence of the foreign minister of the government cannot be undermined. The British media had already warned the Labour government of the possible repercussions of Miliband’s move. “Sri Lanka’s Government is sure to be incensed as it regards many of the forum’s members, especially the British Tamils Forum, as fronts for the Tigers, who are banned as a terrorist organisation in the EU. Sri Lankan officials have long accused Britain of secretly supporting the Tigers” said Times online (Daily Mirror : 25 February 2010).

U.K. defends Miliband’s address to Global Tamil Forum - The British government defended Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s decision to address a meeting of the Global Tamil Forum here saying that Britain would “engage” with all members of the Sri Lankan community who shared its view that a peaceful political solution was the only way to achieve lasting peace in Sri Lanka.  A Foreign Office spokesperson told The Hindu: “The U.K. firmly believes that the only way to achieve lasting and equitable peace in Sri Lanka is through genuine national reconciliation. The U.K. will engage with all members of the Sri Lankan community who share this goal, whether overseas or in Sri Lanka. Foreign Office officials regularly meet members of the Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil communities in the U.K. to discuss this and other developments in Sri Lanka.” He said that in his address, Mr. Miliband “re-emphasised” the need to find a peaceful political solution to Sri Lanka’s conflict. The spokesman confirmed that Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo met the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to discuss Mr. Miliband’s “attendance and speech at the Global Tamil Forum.” (Hindu : 25 February 2010).

Miliband’s scheduled address at Tamil Forum: Govt lodges strong protest - Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama summoned acting British High Commissioner Mark Goodin to the Foreign Ministry to lodge the Government’s strong protest over the decision of the British Foreign Secretary David Milliband to address the London meeting of the LTTE front organization, Global Tamil Forum, a ministry press release said yesterday. The Foreign Minister informed the acting High Commissioner that the Global Tamil Forum was an umbrella body formed with several LTTE front organizations working in the Western Countries with the agenda of setting up a separate so-called Inter-state Tamil Eelam state that was a threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. He also said if the British Foreign Secretary had a sincere objective of assisting Sri Lanka to achieve amity among the ethnic groups he should change his decision to address the Global Tamil Forum as a matter of rejecting the LTTE separatist policy, the release also said (Daily News : 25 February 2010).

Double standards of the international community - Malkanthi Munasinha, ON. Canada  - Further to the article written by Fr. J. C. Pieris, regarding the subject matter of War Crimes in Sri Lanka, I agree wholeheartedly with Rev. Fr. Pieris has written. The International Community makes a big issue about the LTTE Tigers who were killed in the war but when the JVPers unleashed violence and were violent at one time, the international community did not bother at all. The LTTE was using innocent children, who were dragged from their homes, and brainwashed into becoming human bombers. When the LTTE, harmed killed and maimed tens of thousands of people, the international community or some religious prelates who are very vociferous now did not utter a word of protest against the activities of the LTTE. Some religious dignitaries in the North give the foreign media a different perspective of the problems as regards the IDP. They seem to love media attention. But, when the former Archbishop of Colombo, Oswald Gomis OMI spoke up about the situation in Sri Lanka, nothing was ever published in the foreign media. It is quite obvious that the foreign media have a hidden agenda and potrays Sri Lanka as a country where genocide is rampant. They promote the cause of the LTTE for reasons best known to themselves (Island : 25 February 2010).

FTZs for Killinochchi, Trinco - The government has decided to set up free trade zones in the Killinochchi and Trincomalee districts soon as part of plans to speed up post-war development, a spokesperson for Board of Investment said. Plans had also been finalized to open a BOI office in Jaffna, he said. The coastal areas of the North and the East were now open for a wide range of investment projects including new hotels, he said. Investors were also welcome to launch new projects in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitvu districts, the spokesperson added. Those areas had a great potential for rapid development, he said. The BOI had received a large number of foreign invesment proposals in the past few months, he said (Island : 25 February 2010).

Karuna replies - I write with regard to your editorial of February 23, 2010 under the above caption and wish to place certain clarifications for the edification of both you and the general public. It is no secret that I was Ex-Commander of the East for the L.T.T.E. some years ago. At that time I was convinced that the L.T.T.E. was fighting for a just cause of the Tamil People of Sri Lanka. As such, on behalf of the Tamil People, I fully concentrated on the cause and was even prepared to sacrifice my life for it. However, with time and maturity, I realized that the Tamil people themselves were suffering more and more under the yoke of the atrocities committed by the L.T.T.E. Thousands were the lives lost of every perceivable community of Sri Lanka — Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese, the Clergy and others. Perhaps few would know that when I pointed out to the L.T.T.E. hierarchy that “enough is enough” and that only a peaceful, negotiated, political solution was the only remedy for all ills, I was branded a traitor to the L.T.T.E. and my life was in jeopardy as a result. As time went by, I sincerely saw in His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, a great, honest, committed leader with the genuine interest of all communities at heart. I also realized that, as a peace — loving citizen mainly interested in a negotiated, peaceful solution thus putting and end to the monstrosities of the L.T.T.E., my joining hands with the policies of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, would strengthen not only his sincere actions but his Government and the SLFP as well (Daily Mirror : 25 February 2010).

Jettison LTTE agenda, Diaspora told - The International Crisis Group (ICG) has urged the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to jettison the failed Tamil Eelam agenda of the LTTE. Instead, they should pursue the quest for a just peace in a united Sri Lanka. The Brussels-based independent NGO has a branch here. In its 29-page report titled “The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE”, the ICG is blunt in its assertion that after 26 years of exhaustion from the war, an overwhelming majority of Sri Lankan Tamils has no stomach for return to militant politics. As per the ICG, however, in sharp contrast to the Sri Lankan Tamils, only a minority of Diaspora is happy over LTTE's defeat and still continues to dream of Tamil Eelam that has virtually no domestic or international backing (Hindu : 25 February 2010).

New Tamil alliance in Sri Lanka says TNA betrayed Tamils

Britain blunders again - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - Highlighting the rise of Irish terrorism once again The Wall Street Journal reported that last Monday, in the dead of night, “a 225-pound bomb went off in a car near the front security gates of the courthouse of Newry, a town near the border with the Republic of Ireland.” How did the Prime Minister of UK, Gordon Brown’s office react? A spokesman from No: 10 Downing Street said: “Such acts are entirely unrepresentative of the views of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. We will not allow a tiny minority to turn the clock back.” (February 23, 2009 – Wall Street Journal). Now this principle of not allowing a minority to turn the clock back is also applicable to Sri Lanka. So why is UK trying to turn the clock back in Sri Lanka in favour of a tiny minority – particularly when the vast majority of Tamils are moving away from Tiger violence? Why are David Milliband, the Foreign Minister and the Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague, jointly participating in the pro-Tiger Global Tamil Forum (GTF) that is openly advocating separatism? Hague too is due to address the closing session (LankaWeb : 24 February 2010).

Robert O. Blake: Your concerns on Sri Lanka - By Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Dear Robert : I see that you are back into your hissy-fits about Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan media has reported under the headline “U.S. not Happy with Sri Lanka”.  According to the Daily Mirror of February 23, 2010, it says “the US is not satisfied with the manner in which the Sri Lankan government has handled the issue of former Sri Lankan Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka’s arrest and hoped that Colombo would follow the rules of the land in this case.” Wow! That’s something Robert! You seem to be afflicted with ‘the Yankee knows it all’ syndrome.  Do you honestly think that Sri Lanka cares two gum-balls how you Americans handle your affairs in Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan? Even if we do, you are going to tell Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, “Mister President, why don’t you go and stuff yourself!” Well, likewise that’s exactly what Sri Lanka’s President is going to tell you too, Robert. “My dear Mister Robert Blake, you out of all Yankees concerned about my country’s affairs? Ha! Why the hell don’t you go and stuff yourself.” (LankaWeb : 24 February 2010).

Tamil Tiger defeat could lead to bombings here, report says - by Stewart Bell, National Post - Canadian security officials are concerned that last year's defeat of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels could trigger attacks like the 1985 Air India bombings, says a new report. The International Crisis Group study quotes unnamed Canadian law enforcement officials saying that supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam might resort to terrorism. "While there are no signals yet that the rump LTTE is planning a terrorist act, it only takes a handful of committed cadre in the diaspora bent on violence to have a deadly impact," the report says. "For example, Canadian law enforcement officials have been concerned that, if left unchecked, LTTE activities could result in an event similar to the terrorist bombing of an Air India jet in 1985, which was planned and funded by Sikh separatists in Canada."  Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai called that "pure speculation" and said that "we as Canadian Tamils and we as Canadian Tamil Congress are opposed to any form of violence, not only in Canada, anywhere, any part of the world." (National Post in Canda : 24 February 2010).

Fonseka Fundamental Rights application: No interim relief - Allowed visits by close relatives, lawyers - Can sign nomination papers - The Supreme Court refused an application for interim relief to release General Sarath Fonseka, the third applicant in a Fundamental Rights petition, after submissions by the Senior Defence Counsel and the Attorney General yesterday. The Bench Comprising Acting Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi and Justice K. Sripavan also rejected the affidavits submitted before Court in respect of this application. “We are of the views that this Court is not in a position at this stage to grant relief to the application as prayed for in the application. In the circumstance the Court refused the application prayed for by the petition for an interim relief,” Acting Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake said. Dr Shirani Bandaranayake also told Counsel that the case was being called yesterday only to consider the matter of Interim Relief prayed for by Petitioner. Hence, they should confine their submissions only in respect of Interim Relief. The Court refused the interim relief on the basis that the interim relief prayed for is being linked to the final relief sought by the third petitioner General Fonseka (Daily News : 24 February 2010).

Sri Lanka Disappointed With EU Decision To Drop Duty Free Status - Sri Lanka's government expressed disappointment with the European Union's decision to temporarily remove the country's duty free export status, while at the same time said it will continue to implement measures to foster economic growth and improve the judicial system, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Tuesday one of his first actions following his re-election will be to foment employment for young people. Additionally, Rajapaksa said the Government will continue to work in implementing policies to foment economic growth, without elaborating further.  The re-election of Rajapaksa in January was widely expected, but not by the impressive margin of his victory over his opponent Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the former Army Chief backed by the opposition parties, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). With respect to the European Union deciding to temporarily suspend Sri Lanka's duty free export status, or European Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) trade concessions for six months, Dhammika Perera, Chairman - Director General of BOI, said that from Sri Lanka’s perspective, the impending loss of the GSP "will set our nation back in terms of competitiveness of our garments trade, will cause loss of employment and to a degree will destabilize our trade." (Eurasia : 24 February 2010).

Govt to ban anti Sri Lankan INGOs - International Non-Governmental Organizations that engage in anti Sri Lankan activities or have links with elements conspiring against Sri Lanka would be banned following investigations, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishard Bathiudeen told the daily news yesterday.  He said the Government has reasons to believe that certain INGOs are enaged in acts of sabotage against the Sri Lankan State.  The Government had launched a series of investigations to trace the INGO s that had been connected to these activities and their members found guilty will be deported, Bathiudeen said. According to sources, over 50 INGO s are engaged in humanitarian missions in Sri Lanka.  The Minister said the Government appreciates the contribution of most INGOs towards the country’s development as well as the rehabilitation and resettlement activities of the war affected areas (Daily News : 24 February 2010).

The LTTE, after being defeated militarily, is now attempting to use its ‘white collar’ activists to achieve its objectives.

Court refuses to release Fonseka - The Supreme Court today refused to release General Sarath Fonseka, following a fundamental rights petition filed by him through his wife Anoma Fonseka, but allowed access to his immediate family members and lawyers (Daily Mirror : 23 February 2010).

New Tamil alliance in Sri Lanka says TNA betrayed Tamils - Former Jaffna parliamentarian and independent presidential candidate M.K. Sivajilingam says the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) acted according to the wishes of the terrorist group LTTE and did not genuinely represent the aspirations of the Tamil people. At a press conference held in Colombo on Monday to announce the creation of a breakaway faction of the TNA named Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections, its co-founder, Sivajilingam accused the TNA of betraying the Tamils. Sivajilingam and another TNA MP from Jaffna N. Sri Kantha declared yesterday that they have formed the new alliance to contest the general election in all districts in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under the Leftist Liberation Front of Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna. The TNLA has been created in order to fulfill the objectives of the Tamil People, he said. Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna described their alliance with the Tamil National Liberation Alliance as an instance of a union of the North and the South. Sivajilingam said the TNA was controlled by three powerful former MPs R. Sampanthan, Suresh Premachandran and M. Senadirajah who acted according to LTTE wishes. He accused the group including Sampanthan of deceiving other party members by lending support to General Sarath Fonseka at the presidential elections. Sivajilingam said the TNA leadership is solely responsible for the death of thousands of Tamils brutally tortured and executed by the LTTE. The TNA, which had 22 seats in the dissolved parliament, recently denied nominations to 9 of its members to contest the polls under the alliance. The TNA had also left out Sri Kantha and Sivajilingam from its nomination list. The other members who were denied nominations include Jaffna district member Pathmini Sithamparanathan, are S. Kajendran, S.Jeyanandamurthy, Sivanathan Kishor, T. Kanagasabai and S. Sathasivam (Colombo Page : 23 February 2010).

The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE - : Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups should move away, once and for all, from the failed agenda of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and instead put their energies into the quest for a sustainable and just peace in a united Sri Lanka.  The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines political dynamics within the Tamil diaspora since May 2009, as Tamils abroad adapt to the LTTE’s defeat. It also looks at the potential for new forms of militancy within the diaspora, especially among the younger generations, radicalised by the deaths of thousands of Tamil civilians in the final months of the war. While there is little chance of the Tamil Tigers regrouping in the diaspora, most Tamils abroad remain profoundly committed to a separate state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.  “New diaspora initiatives attempt to carry forward the struggle for an independent state in more transparent and democratic ways, but they must repudiate the LTTE’s violent methods”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “And they must also recognise that the LTTE’s separatist agenda is out of step with the wishes and needs of Tamils in Sri Lanka” (International Crisis Group : 23 February 2010).

The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE - Asia Report Nş186 23 February 2010 - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - For the past quarter-century the Tamil diaspora has shaped the Sri Lankan political landscape through its financial and ideological support to the military struggle for an independent Tamil state. Although the May 2009 defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has dramatically reduced the diaspora’s influence, the majority of Tamils outside Sri Lanka continue to support a separate state, and the diaspora’s money can ensure it plays a role in the country’s future. The nature of that role, however, depends largely on how Colombo deals with its Tamil citizens in the coming months and on how strongly the international community presses the government to enact constitutional reforms to share power with and protect the rights of Tamils and other minorities. While the million-strong diaspora cannot regenerate an insurgency in Sri Lanka on its own, its money and organisation could turn up the volume on any violence that might eventually re-emerge (International Crisis Group : 23 February 2010).

Colombo on alert for bombers - Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake revealed that according to intelligence reports, several LTTE suicide bombers had crossed over to Colombo following the war and their whereabouts are still unknown.  In an exclusive interview with Daily Mirror Online Prime Minister Wickramanayake said that the authorities were trying to trace these cadres and till such time they are found, the military would be on high alert.  “The matter of suicide bombers is a dangerous problem. If we cannot trace where they are then that means they are going all over. We do not know at what moment they will strike that is if they still have their weapons. Therefore we are on the alert,” the Premier said.  When questioned of a threat of an LTTE uprising, the Prime Minister added that according to the same intelligence sources, some Sri Lankans who were living overseas had been collecting funds but the reason for such a collection was still unknown.  “The same sources indicate that Sri Lankans who are living in foreign lands are getting together to collect funds. So whether these people are trying to group themselves there, I do not know,” Prime Minister Wickramanayake said.  He further said that according to intelligence reports, active LTTE cadres were still amongst the IDPs camps in the north which was one of the reasons why resettlement had been delayed. “Our intelligence indicate that LTTE cadres are still in the camps. This is why we have not been able to completely resettle the IDPs,” the Prime Minister said (Daily Mirror : 23 February 2010).

CBI requests more evidence on Prabhakaran’s death - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked the Sri Lanka government to provide documentary evidence about the death of Tamil Tiger chief V. Prabhakaran, prime accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case of 1991. Prabhakaran is said to have been killed in the third week of May 2009 while fighting government troops. His death was formally announced on May 19. India had subsequently asked for a death certificate from Sri Lanka so that Prabhakaran’s name could be struck off from the list of accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Sri Lankan foreign ministry had recently handed over a Colombo high court document — and not a death certificate — to the High Commission of India (HCI), confirming Prabhakaran’s death. It was a report compiled by the defence ministry here on the assassination of Sri Lankan foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar. It stated that the LTTE leader was killed near the Nandikadal lagoon on May 19. The report claimed Prabhakran’s death was confirmed following a DNA test. Through HCI, the court document was handed over to the CBI’s Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency, which is probing the case. “The CBI has told me that they have received documentation from the government of Sri Lanka confirming the death of Prabhakaran,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram had said earlier this month in New Delhi. But sources in Colombo and New Delhi have told HT that the document given by Sri Lanka might not be enough to convince Indian courts to strike off Prabhakaran’s name off the accused list. So the MDMA then shot off another a letter in the second week of February asking for more proof (Hindustan Times ; 23 February 2010).

Technical and Vocational training establishments for N&E - Two Technical Colleges and three Vocational Training Institutes are to be established in the Northern and Eastern Provinces by the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training. According to Ministry sources, the two Technical Colleges will be established in Mannar and Kalkudah with assistance from the South Korean Government, while the vocational Training Institutes will be at Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Serunuwara. "A sum of US$ 78 million (Rs. 8800 million) will be donated by the South Korean Exim Bank and Korean International Co-operation Agency (Koica)," spokesman for the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training said (Island : 23 February 2010).

Fonseka’s plea for bail to be taken up today - Mrs Anoma Fonseka’s request that her husband Gen (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka now in military custody be bailed out, will be taken up today. The Court granted leave to proceed on February 12 after examining Mrs Fonseka’s petition appealing to the Court. The bench will comprise Justices Shirani Bandaranayake, Acting Chief Justice, Jagath Balapatabendi and K.Sripavan (Island : 22 February 2010).

TNA MPs are traitors to their people – Sri Kantha - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are traitors of their own Tamil people. They are puppets of the Sonia Gandhi led Congress Party Government in India. The Tamil people in the North and East must join hands to throw the TNA into the dustbin of history. These were some of the views expressed by former TNA Parliamentarian, N. Sri Kantha, the Leader of the newly formed Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA), at a media briefing held yesterday at Hotel Nippon to announce the MOU with Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne’s Left Liberation Front (LLF) to contest the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections on April 8 in five districts of the North and East, and assist the LLF in the other 17 districts. Sri Kantha said that the TNLA will contest in the Districts of Jaffna, Wanni, Trincomalee, Amparai and Digamadulla. He said: We have signed a MoU with the LLF that if their (TNLA) nominees win seats at the parliamentary Elections, they will be TNLA MPs. The Tamil people have lost confidence in the TNA and they need better leadership (Island : 23 February 2010).

Wilpattu opens in April - The Wilpattu Sanctuary will open for tourists in April, sources told the Daily News . The park is controlled at present by Security Forces and Wildlife Conservation Department officials. Wildlife officers said they are preparing to take up the challenge to protect Wilpattu’s diverse wildlife. According to the Department sources, infrastructure facilities of this sanctuary covering 131,667 hectares, were being prepared for tourists. Wilpattu, one of the oldest national parks in the country, was first declared as a sanctuary in 1905 and its conservation status was elevated to that of a National Park in 1938 (Daily News : 23 February 2010).

President hands over three-wheelers to war heroes - President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday handed over 100 three-wheelers to 100 disabled war heroes at the Army Grounds in appreciation of their valuable service to safeguard the unity of the country and free it from terrorism even sacrificing their limbs. The three-wheelers were distributed among the war heroes by the Ranaviru Seva Authority which has already distributed 500 three-wheelers among the war heroes on five occasions. This number is now 600. Eighty six disabled war heroes of the Army, four from the Navy, four from the Air Force and six from the Police received three-wheelers at a simple ceremony attended by Chief of Defence Staff, Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunetilleke, Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Ranaviru Seva Authority Chairperson Padma Wettewa (Daily News : 23 February 2010).

Over 250 IDP families resettled - Two hundred and sixty IDP families were resettled in the Palai Divisional Secretariat area yesterday. The families are from four Grama Sevaka Divisions of Pulopallai East, West, Palai town and Vannankerni. Steps have been taken to resettle 855 persons belonging to 260 families. The families are from Vavuniya Welfare Centres at Chettikulam Zones 1, 3 and 6. Authorities brought down these families on Saturday. They are staying at the Palai Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School (Daily News : 23 February 2010).

 

On this day exactly eight years ago.......

CFA: The historic betrayal An insight to the blackest episode in Post-Independence Sri Lanka

Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the signed document of the CFA to Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg

 

 

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran signing the agreement

 

Anton Balasingham and Prabhakaran addressing the media after signing the CFA

A Norwegian official greeting Prabhakaran after CFA being signed

Erik Solheim meeting Thamil Selvan in Kilinochchi

LTTE violated 3,800 times * LTTE recruited child soldiers *Procured weapons * Imported modern communication equipment * LTTE strengthened military capability * LTTE set up political offices * Assassinated Intelligence Operatives in South - On this day exactly eight years ago the country witnessed one of the most appalling acts of treachery when the sovereignty of the nation was bartered away by the Prime Minister of the country to a ruthless band of terrorists whose avowed goal was to wrest one thirds of the country’s land mass and two third of its maritime border under its control. The signing of the so called Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran without doubt, would go down in history as the blackest episode in Post-Independence Sri Lanka, helping the LTTE to get nearer towards achieving its goal without firing a single shot (Daily News : 22 February 2010).

The intellectuals say the Ranil-Prabhakaran ceasefire agreement amounts to a betrayal of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty - Intellectuals say Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe in his capacity as Prime Minister, signing a ceasefire agreement with the LTTE , amounted to the betrayal of the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Today marks the completion of 8 years of the signing of this agreement. Doors have been opened for foreign countries to interfere in Sri Lanka’s affairs without any obstruction, through this agreement. Attorney-at-Law Ananda Gunathilleka participating in the “Subarathi” discussion programme of the SLBC said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe during his election campaign had never informed at any occasion to the General Public that he was going to sign an agreement of this nature. As a result of this agreement, the Sri Lankan government and the Terrorist Organisation LTTE , were subjected to equal status. Dr.Prathiba Mahanama said this pact could be regarded as fulfilling the needs of the diaspora Tamil community. This group would have been the most pleased group, had Mr.Sarath Fonseka won the presidential election. He added that a special characteristic of the administration of President Mahinda Rajapakse is not to be subdued to western forces by any means. Mr.Navarathne Rambukwella said Mr.Ranil Wicrkeamsinghe had signed the agreement at that time based on the defeated mentality that the local security forces were unable to defeat the LTTE. However the leadership of the President has proven that Sri Lankan security forces could overcome the terrorist organisation. The intellectuals also pointed out that the Tamil People who were afraid to express their opinions without fear or suspicion , have now come forward to engage in political activities as well. They added that they are extensive involvement in politics could be clearly discerned at the forthcoming general election , especially in the northern and eastern provinces (SLBC : 22 February 2010).

Lanka cautions the Maldives - The LTTE, after being defeated militarily, is now attempting to use its ‘white collar’ activists to achieve its objectives, the Foreign Ministry quoted Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama as saying. The Foreign Minister cautioned that countries such as Sri Lanka and the Maldives were vulnerable to such threats and that it would be in the interest of the two countries to share important information with each other and other member countries of the SAARC, the Foreign Ministry added. According to the Foreign Ministry the views were expressed by Minister Bogollagama during a meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Dr. Ahmed Shaheed. The two Foreign Ministers also discussed issues pertaining to a MoU on Intelligence Cooperation existing between the two countries and the need for the Maldives to join the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) (Daily Mirror : 23 February 2010).

Sri Lanka to set up community villages for ex-LTTE cadres - The Sri Lankan government said on Saturday that it will introduce a new concept, community villages, to reintegrate and rehabilitate former Tamil Tiger rebels who are now under rehabilitation process at government run centers.  Newly appointed Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe told reporters that the proposal to establish community villages has already drawn and in the process of clearing some administrative requirements before putting it for the final nod.  “Initially we want to shelter 200 families of those under rehabilitation. We have already selected the location with 200 houses,”Ranasinghe said, adding that there are over 3,000 married members under rehabilitation.  “When those under rehabilitation are living with their families it is easy to rehabilitate them. This is a novel concept that we are going to try out,”he said.  The 11,390 ex-cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) are now sheltered in 18 state run rehabilitation centers. The majority of them had surrendered to the military during the last stages of the battle in May last year and the rest were arrested while mingling with the displaced civilians housed at welfare centers in the north.  Ranasinghe said the exLTTE cadres are given vocational training including house wiring, beauty culture and carpentry. The latest addition is the training on motor mechanism (Ada Derana : 22 February 2010).

Scarborough Tamil paper attacked - The office of a Tamil newspaper in Scarborough, Canada has come under an attack, the Star website reported. The attack came just hours after the Editor of the Tamil newspaper received threatening phone calls. According to the Star website, the Canada Uthayan newspaper office, not affiliated with the Uthayan newspaper in Sri Lanka, was attacked as a result of a meeting the Editor of the Canadian newspaper had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently. The front window of Uthayan newspaper’s office looked like a “vehicle drove right through it” when Kula Sellathurai arrived at the scene. Overnight, Sellathurai said, the newspaper’s editor received a threatening call and hours later its office on Progress Rd., near Markham Rd. and Highway 401, was vandalized. Police are on scene, but said their investigation is still in the early stages. The threats stemmed from a recent meeting Sellathurai, President of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, had with the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The meeting was covered in Uthayan, a paper widely read by Toronto’s Sri Lankan diaspora, as well as Sri Lankan media and websites (Daily Mirror : 22 February 2010).

Unprepared Jaffna inundated with visitors from south - JAFFNA: The northern Tamil heartland of Jaffna, which had been inaccessible by land since 1990, is experiencing a post-conflict influx of visitors from the south. Though the sudden increase in visitors brings in much needed revenue into the district, it also puts tremendous pressure on the limited facilities and infrastructure in existence there, giving rise to fears of health hazards that may arise as a result. A majority of the southern visitors are Buddhist pilgrims on their way to visit the ancient Nagadeepa Buddha Viharaya, a holy place thought to be associated with one of Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka. But there are a large number of traders and casual visitors making the trip too. The place is still not open to foreigners, though a few are allowed to travel there after receiving clearance from the Ministry of Defence in Colombo.Sinhalese traders there are doing brisk business, mostly satisfying the sartorial fancies of a younger generation of Tamils. “Business is good and the Tamil people of Jaffna are the nicest persons in Sri Lanka,” said 30-year-old Rohitha, who was busy selling children’s and ladies garments. “We have only been here for a few weeks but are already making a good profit,” he said (Daily Mirror : 22 February 2010).

LTTE arms recovered - The army engaged in clearing operations in the Vanni continues to recover arms, ammunition and military equipment. Army headquarters said that troops deployed at Nallur, Maradhamadu, Nadankandal and Kumalamunai over the weekend had recovered two 81 mm mortar bombs, one 60 mm mortar bomb, eight hand grenades, four anti personnel mines, three hand phones, two battery chargers, five batteries and three SIM cards. Meanwhile, de-mining groups detected one Arul bomb, two 40 mm grenades and one hundred and thirteen anti personnel mines during clearing operations at Nochchikulam, Mankulam, Periyathampane, Tachchanamarthamadhu, Palampiddi and Adampan (Island : 22 February 2010).

February 22, 2010: Two versions - What happened in Sri Lanka eight years ago, do you remember, ladies and gentlemen? Do you remember the colour of the sky that morning? Do you remember how that day was heralded as the launching of peace and prosperity for all time and a day or two more to boot? Do you remember when there were white doves set free, trees planted to mark the historic moment? Do you know that on that occasion, a Prime Minister called all editors of newspapers and nicely told them not to criticize the Government or that process towards peace he had launched? (Daily News: 22 February 2010).

Former battle-field, Nanthikadal reservoir springs to life

Nanthikadal reservoir springs to life: The serene beauty of Mother Nature has returned to Nanthikadal in the Mullaitivu area. There was a pitched battle around this time last year between the Security Forces and the LTTE terrorists. This reservoir in the Nanthikadal area where these lotus flowers in full bloom was captured by Sunday Observer photo journalist Tilak Perera, last week.

Lanka to ban guilty NGOs - Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) found to be conspiring against the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse will be banned once investigations are complete, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rishard Bathiudeen said. Speaking to Daily Mirror Online Minister Bathiudeen said that the government had launched an investigation and those found guilty will be deported. “Inquiries are going on and we will receive the results very soon. We have identified some NGO’s and if they are found guilty they will be sent back home,” the Minister said. Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama had in his weekly meeting with the diplomats last week said that the government was looking into the suspicious funding of certain elements in society by NGO’s and INGO’s operating in Sri Lanka. Minister Bogollagama had said that this issue raised ‘concern’ amongst the government and all possible measures will be taken to trace such transactions and identify the people and organizations involved. Former government spokesperson Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena had also told the media earlier this month that certain countries and NGOs were attempting to put Sri Lanka in a spot by leveling human rights violation charges and had even demanded to halt the humanitarian operation to save the LTTE leadership during the time of the conflict (Daily Mirror : 22 February 2010).

Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake- Acting Chief Justice - Senior Supreme court Judge, Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake took oaths as the Acting Chief Justice before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning on Sunday 21st February. She took oaths in the post as Chief Justice Asoka De Silva is on an overseas visit. She was appointed for this post for many times even in President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s period when former CJ Sarath N Silva was on vacation. Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is seen here swearing as the Acting Chief Justice. Secretary to the President Mr Lalith Weeratunga and representatives from Army, Navy and Air Force were also present at the occasion (Info Lanka : 21 February 2010).

TMVP to contest in the North - The Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP) announced today that it has decided to contest the upcoming General Elections in the Northern Province as well, and will go head to head with the EPDP led by Minister Douglas Devananda. TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that party led by Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan will hand over its nomination papers on Tuesday to contest the polls in the Northern Province, the first time the party will focus on areas outside of its main stronghold in the East. “We will field candidates for areas like Jaffna and the Wanni in the Northern Province where there are a lot of Tamil speaking people including the resettled internally displaced population,” Maulana told Daily Mirror online. With its decision to contest in the North the TMVP will compete against another government ally, the EPDP, led by Minister Douglas Devananda which is also contesting the April 8 polls in the Northern Province (Daily Mirror : 21 February 2010).

Breakaway TNA parliamentarian to contest under Sri Lanka ruling party - The breakaway Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa district Parliamentarian Ms. Thangeswari Kathiraman announced that she will be contesting the upcoming General Election under the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The TNA, which had 22 seats in the dissolved parliament, recently denied nominations to 9 of its members including Ms. Kathiraman to contest the polls under the alliance. The other members who were denied nominations include Jaffna district member Pathmini Sithamparanathan, are S. Kajendran, S.Jeyanandamurthy, Sivanathan Kishor, T. Kanagasabai and S. Sathasivam (Colombo Page ; 21 February 2010).

Expelled Muslims happy to be back in Jaffna - The 100-odd Muslim families of the original 15,000, who had returned to live in Jaffna after being forced to leave the peninsula by the LTTE in 1990, are happy to be back in their old homes amidst the Tamils. They look at the LTTE era as an aberration.  “None of us wants to go back to south Sri Lanka,” declared S.M.Faiz, a bearded religious leader involved in the running of five mosques in the town.  “The Tigers are a bunch of uneducated fellows,” Faiz said, dismissing the LTTE as an atypical set among the generally cultured and educated Jaffna Tamil community.  “This is our soil and we have the right to return,” said Meherunnissa, a 34 year old mother who is living in a makeshift private camp for returnees in the Khadijah school for girls.She had been living here for the past seven years in abject poverty, but never regretted her decision to come back to Jaffna.  “When we were in Puttalam, the local people (mostly Sinhalese) used to look at us as unwanted outsiders, squatters on their land,” she explained.  Meherunnissa’s family had a house in Jaffna, as they were shop keepers.But this house is now in ruins, torn down by local Tamils wanting material to build their own houses. Almost all Muslim houses have been stripped to the foundation.  However, the Muslim returnees are not angry with the Tamils (Express Buzz : 21 February 2010).

After two decades: Judicial system to be revived in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu - The judicial system will be re-established on March 1 after two decades in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu where the LTTE administered its own ‘Kangaroo’ Court with its judges and police force since 1987.  High Court Judge Jaffna R. T. Vicknaraja told the Sunday Observer that re-establishing the judicial system in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts was remarkable as far as paving the way for law and order in those war ravaged regions. According to HC Judge Vicknaraja the judicial system in the Northern region collapsed in 1987 with the LTTE establishing its Court houses and police.  However, when the Jaffna peninsula was regained following the `Operation Rivirasa’ military offensive against the LTTE in 1995, the judicial system in the peninsula was revived with the Courts functioning.  But the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu remained under the grip of the LTTE until the regions were liberated in May 2009. The LTTE had its own police force under S. Nadesan who had served in the Sri Lanka police prior to his nexus with the LTTE.  The LTTE `Kangaroo Court’ system was headed by an ex-EROS senior member called K. Pararajasingam. The LTTE’s Court houses in various parts in the North and the East remained under the outfit’s control. Executions by firing squads and imprisonments in undisclosed areas deep in the jungles were carried out by the LTTE Court houses. The judicial system of Sri Lanka will be re-established in the district of Kilinochchi on March 1 and later in Mullaitivu (Sunday Observer : 21 February 2010).

After April 8 General Election: President to invite all parties to resolve national issues - President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that soon after the April 8 general election, he would invite all political parties again for deliberations on resolving the national issues. “Soon after these parliamentary elections, I will call all leaders of political parties and start talking to them,” President Rajapaksa told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.  The President reiterated his call to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Muslim parties to join the talks. He said that he had done his best to involve the leaders of the TNA and Muslim parties but “they were not interested in solving this problem as long as [Velupillai] Prabhakaran was there”.  But now it was a wholly new ball game, he said. “Now they must understand that there is no option for them but to talk. I’m the President of the country...they must negotiate with me and have a dialogue with me. If they think they can’t cope with me, new leaders will come up and I will have to deal with them.”  President Rajapaksa reiterated his commitment made in the joint statement of May 23, 2009 between the Sri Lankan Government and the UN “to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, as well as to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties, in the new circumstances to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka.”  “The 13th Amendment is in the Constitution,” he said. “I don’t have to say I’m implementing it, because it has been implemented in other areas. The 13th Amendment is implementable at the moment other than with regard to police powers. The land and everything is implementable. We had the presidential election [in the Northern Province] and we will have the Provincial Council election after this [the parliamentary election on April 8]. I thought I had to resettle the people [first]. Now there are less than 50,000 people in the IDP camps, and many of them don’t want to go.” (Sunday Observer : 21 February 2010).

‘Betraying very people they claim to represent’: TNA has no moral right to contest polls - Anandasangaree - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) led by R. Sampanthan has no moral right to contest parliamentary elections because they entered the last Parliament fraudulently as LTTE proxies and their political life ended with the elimination of that terrorist outfit, said leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and veteran Tamil politician V. Anandasangaree.  Anandasangaree told the Sunday Observer that people have forgotten the political history of the TNA in the recent past.   the April 2004 general elections, 22 of them were elected fraudulently through very large-scale impersonations, intimidation and thuggery, thanks to the now defunct LTTE. They had no moral right either to have been in Parliament all these six years, he said. In its tradition of safeguarding the democratic rights of the people in the country, the TULF with its 18 members quit Parliament when the then J. R. Jayewardene Government extended the life of Parliament for another six years by holding a referendum. The TULF has gone on record as the only party to quit Parliament in protest against that undemocratic act of the then Government, Sangaree said. The TNA which had a substantial number of members elected at the April 2004 general elections should have resigned in protest against the undemocratic manner in which the LTTE conducted the elections. TNA leader Sampanthan or any other TULF breakaway group that joined hands with the LTTE should honour democracy by quitting politics altogether in the wake of the elimination of the terrorist outfit whom they represented, he said (Sunday Observer : 21 February 2010).

Over 500,000 tourists visit Jaffna - The number of local and foreign tourists visiting the Northern Province has recorded a remarkable increase and nearly 550,000 local and foreign tourists had toured Jaffna via A-9 road during last week. After 30 years local and foreign tourists are able to visit Jaffna and other key places in the North freely due to moves taken by the Government to eradicate terrorism, Tourism Minister Achala Jagoda told the Sunday Observer yesterday. According to Minister nearly 250,000 pilgrims had worshipped the Nagadeepa Temple last week. In addition, tourists have shown a keen interest to visit other important places in Jaffna and its suburbs. The significant improvement of tourist visits to the North would boost the country’s tourism industry. Tourists have selected Sri Lanka as one of the safest countries in the world to travel to after defeat of the three decades old terrorism by the Government under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Minister said. He said at present difficulties have been encountered in providing accommodation and other sanitary facilities to the large number of local and foreign tourists who visit Jaffna and some other parts of the Northern Province. The Government has already commenced water supply scheme and other facilities in the North.Minister Jagoda requests those who visit Jaffna to utilise the available facilities with utmost care and extend their cooperation to protect the environment and natural resources in the province (Sunday Observer: 21 February 2010).

Sinhalese influx into Tamil heartland of Jaffna - JAFFNA: The northern Tamil heartland of Jaffna, which had been inaccessible by land since 1990, is experiencing a post-conflict Sinhalese tourist influx from south Sri Lanka. Though it brings loads of money into Jaffna, it puts tremendous pressure on the limited facilities and infrastructure in existence, giving rise to fears of health hazards. A majority of the southern visitors are Buddhist pilgrims going to the ancient Nagadeepa Buddha Vihara, associated with one of Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka. But there are a large number of traders and casual visitors too. The place is still not open to foreigners, though a few travel with clearance from the Ministry of Defence in Colombo.  The Sinhalese traders are doing brisk business, mostly satisfying the sartorial fancies of the younger Tamil hoi polloi. "Business is good and the Tamil people of Jaffna are the nicest in Sri Lanka," said 30-year-old Rohitha selling children’s and ladies clothes.  "We have been here only for a few weeks but we are making good profit," he said.  The boarding and lodging facilities expected by the visitors seem to be minimal.  Since most of them are Buddhist pilgrims from the lower middle classes, they seem to be quite happy to sleep in the stands of the Duraiappah Stadium, a converted camping site which receives 20 bus loads of people everyday (Sunday Island : 21 February 2010).

Sri Lanka to release all child soldiers by May - Sri Lanka said Friday it plans to release all detained Tamil Tiger child soldiers by the end of May and re-unite them with their families. Government forces defeated the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May last year, ending their 37-year fight for a Tamil homeland in the north of the country. Over 500 child soldiers surrendered to the army and were produced before a court before being enlisted in a one-year rehabilitation programme (Sunday Island : 21 February 2010).

White Flag, Channel Four, GSP - Sri Lanka ready for any eventuality- Minister Samarasinghe - Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer, highlights the Government’s response to issues such as the white flag incident, Channel 4 video and the forthcoming HRC session in Geneva. Excerpts from the interview: Q: You met Human Rights Commissioner Navinetham Pillay recently in Geneva? What was her response to your concerns? A: We discussed several issues including the proposed National Action plan on Human Rights, white flag incident, channel four incident, Prof. Philip Alston’s statement and also the arrest of Sarath Fonseka. The National action plan was something she unreservedly welcomed. We are planning on discussing the National Action plan further so that it will be more representative and then it will be presented to Cabinet for endorsement. Then we will proceed with the implementation. The environment was very much pleasant than the previous occasion, may be because there has been quite a lot of positive developments taking place in Sri Lanka (Sunday Observer : 21 February 2010).

US Tamil Eelam advocates in US Supreme Court to revive separate state in Sri Lanka - U.S. advocates of a separate independent state for Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam), an agenda the slain Sri Lanka’s LTTE leader Prabhakaran endeavored to achieve militarily for 26 years until the outfit was annihilated last May, are now before the United States Supreme Court to clear a significant legal hurdle with a political agenda to create a ‘Kosovo-type’ situation in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Eelam advocates in the U.S., who frequently get audiences with State Department officials such as assistant secretary for South Asia Robert Blake and who were well known for their advocacy of justifying the armed struggle of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and its procurement of arms for the realization of a separate Tamil independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka have tied up with a prominent U.S. civil rights organization Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) to challenge several significant provisions in many anti-terrorism statutes with the objective of clearing the path to diplomatically isolate Sri Lanka highlighting issues such as war crimes, human rights abuses, subversion of democracy and genocidal policy against minority Tamils to create an international awareness that the sole solution to Sri Lanka’s national problem is by the creation of a separate independent Tamil state in the predominantly Tamil districts of north and east (Asian Tribune : 21 February 2010).

Hard learning for IDP kids - Despite efforts to restore schooling, children at the Manik Farm and other newly resettled areas face many difficulties. Chandani Kirinde reports from Vavuniya It's been a long time since eight-year-old Selvi slept on a bed. It's been an equally long time since she played in the garden of her house in tranquillity and peace like children her age love to do where-ever they may live. But she and many others like her wake up each morning in their makeshift homes and head to their makeshift schools set up in the welfare centres in Manik Farm in Vavuniya to attend classes trying to live as normal a life a possible in extremely trying conditions. Y.K. Selvarajah is the Principal of one of the five schools in Arunachalam Transitional Centre in Zone One of Manik Farm with around 840 primary students. He was the former principal of Paranthan Hindu Maha Vidyalayam, an area he and thousands of others had to abandon as government troops battled the LTTE to a finish in May last year (Sunday Times : 21 February 2010).

Sri Lanka Army Soldiers in Development Projects in North and East

Soldiers harvest a paddy land cultivated by the Army at Ella in Kantale an area liberated from the LTTE. Nearly 100 acres of paddy fields unattended for decades owing to war had been cultivated and turned into vast swathes of paddy fields by soldiers who had once fought against the LTTE on these lands. Pic courtesy of Army media unit.

THANK YOU, AUSTRALIA! - By Malin Abeyatunge, Melbourne, Australia - The Sri Lankan print and electronic media reported on 17/2/2010 that the Australian Government has donated five demining machines to facilitate acceleration of the demining operations in the North of Sri Lanka. The consignment of de-mining equipment including five “Bozena +4? demining machines and spare parts valued at Rs. 272 million was handed over by Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Kathy Klugman to Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on 16/2/2010. The Sri Lankan expatriates community in Australia is very grateful for the Australian Government for their generous donation and BIG Thank YOU. In fact, had we received such generous donations by way of needed equipments for quick demining process from other countries as well, Sri Lanka would have by now resettled all IDPs created by LTTE mayhem. Yet, it is never too late. Let this be an example for those countries who scream to resettle the IDPs immediately sans any help to that effect. However, I believe that Australia has also a responsibility on her part to help Sri Lanka because the funds raised by LTTE fronts in Australia without any hindrance amounting to millions of dollars annually had gone into the buying of these land mines and other arms illegally. By being naďve for not taking action to curb the fund raising by LTTE fronts (well known to AFP and the ASIO), it helped to prolong the war against the LTTE terrorists. The USA , UK and some EU countries and non-EU countries are guilty of this same offense. Unfortunately, the fund raising in Australia wide is still continued under dubious means and the purpose is now not to buy arms as the war against LTTE is over but to buy over academics, politicians, print and electronic media personnel etc as spokespersons for the LTTE and to voice anti-Sri Lanka stance (Sinhale Hot News : 20 February 2010).

Army Patriotism Sees No Bounds; Turns Prime Mover in Development - The subject of Patriotism has many facets, more popularly, they emerge in gallantry, warfare against foes, victory, etc but true tenets of patriotism are overwhelmingly glorious as Adlai Stevenson once wrote, "Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something, it is the love of something". Believe it, our real patriots are doing that 'something' for the new generation of Sri Lankans, born in the past century and yet to be born in this century after their historic role of defending Sri Lanka's freedom and territorial integrity in her hour of maximum danger. Those Sri Lankan War Heroes joined in battle to reclaim our lost territory are gleefully now at work to transform their country of birth into an oasis of prosperity. Here is the story (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 20 February 2010).

Former LTTE bombs factory traced - The Police discovered a small scale factory which had once manufactured bombs in Vishvamadu. The police had acted on a tip off given by a member of the LTTE’s former Charles Anthony Brigade (Island : 20 February 2010).

British HC launches English Language training in Jaffna - Gill Westaway, Country Director of the British Council Sri Lanka and the Mayor of Jaffna, Education Department and other leading officials will officially launch the English Language Teacher Training course funded by the British High Commission on February 23. The English Teacher Training course seeks to develop groups of teacher trainers based in Jaffna and Trincomalee (Island : 20 February 2010).

What the Austin attack signifies - Thursday's suicide attack on a US tax agency building in Austin, Texas, stirred our memories of not only the 9/11 terror strikes but also the crashing of an LTTE plane into the Inland Revenue building in Colombo exactly one year ago. A terrorist involvement has been ruled out in the attack in Austin but it has exposed America's growing vulnerability to micro terrorism. When the LTTE unveiled its crude air capability and carried out a few successful sorties before being wiped out last year, we pointed out in these columns the danger of others of Prabhakaran's ilk elsewhere, especially in the developed world, emulating such small scale yet devastating suicide raids (Island : 20 February 2010).

Country first - party next - A general election is to be conducted in early April this year. To conduct a peaceful general election there should be a peaceful atmosphere. Now, that we have vanquished the terrorist LTTE, economic development has to be accelerated. It cannot be achieved without political stability. This is the need of the hour (Island : 20 February 2010).

Asylum-seeker deported - A SINHALESE fisherman who fought the Rudd government in the Federal Court in a bid for asylum has been flown back to Sri Lanka, the last to be sent home from a group that reached the Australian mainland.  Meril Fernando was sent home on Thursday, more than a year after he and 11 others travelled from Sri Lanka in a fishing boat fitted with a GPS.  The 11 men and one teenage boy reached the West Australian coast on November 27, 2008, and were taken to Christmas Island.  All have now been sent home; nine were forcibly removed last year and two went voluntarily more than year ago after being told their claims were rejected.  Because their boat reached the mainland, all aboard were entitled to use the Australian legal system. Most asylum seekers are not because most boats are intercepted before they reach the mainland, then taken to Christmas Island.  Mr Fernando appealed against his rejection to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Federal Court. He asked Immigration Minister Chris Evans to intervene, but Senator Evans refused (The Australian : 20 February 2010).

Yan Oya bridge to connect Trinco, Pulmoddai - Reconstruction work on the Yan Oya bridge linking Trincomalee and Pulmoddai to boost social and economic activities in the Eastern Province is nearing completion. The bridge will be opened to the public soon, a Highways and Road Development Ministry spokesman told the Daily News. The 150 metre long and nine metre wide bridge is being constructed on the B424 road from Trincomalee to Pulmoddai. The public transport in the Trincomalee and Pulmoddai areas would be hassle free once this bridge opens. It is reconstructed at a cost of Rs 570 million funded by the Spanish Government. The bridge will facilitate the civilians to cross the Yan Oya. “They earlier crossed the oya by ferries,” he said. He said work has been accelerated on a directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who submitted the Cabinet Paper as Highways and Road Development Minister in 2007. Work on the new bridge commenced on June 17, 2007. The project will improve the market accessibility especially to transport the mineral sand in Pulmoddai to other areas and enable public transport at a low cost. It is expected to strengthen economic activities in the Eastern, North and North Central Provinces. The bridge is being constructed under the Eastern Reawakening Program supervised by the Road Development Authority and the Highways and Road Development Ministry, he said (Daily News : 20 February 2010).

Suspicious NGO funding to be probed - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is looking into the suspicious funding of certain elements in society by NGO’s and INGO’s which may destabilize the democracy of the country, Ministry sources said. “The Foreign Ministry is looking into all aspects of information received that certain elements in society have got illegal funding from INGOs and NGOs, with a view to destabilizing democracy and the democratically elected Government in Sri Lanka,” an official with top level clearance told Daily Mirror today. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama while meeting with high level diplomats informed them of these developments, according to sources. “This is a serious development that the Government of Sri Lanka is very much concerned about. All possible measures will be initiated in this regard to trace such transactions, and those individuals and groups involved. Legal action will be taken against those individuals who are found to be involved directly or indirectly in such transactions,” the Minister had told a gathering of diplomats today (Daily Mirror : 19 February 2010).

Tamil leaders ‘must come and negotiate with me’ after parliamentary elections - Mahinda Rajapaksa on 13th Amendment-plus, his presidential election win and Sarath Fonseka’s arrest. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is confident that the United People’s Freedom Alliance, led by his Sri Lanka Freedom Party, will win the forthcoming parliamentary elections “very comfortably.” Asked whether his realistic target was a two-thirds majority, he responded: “I think we will be able to get that, or at least close to that.” Was he willing to enter into constructive cohabitation with the leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, in the event of the United National Party doing well? “Oh, no problem but he won’t do that! So the situation won’t arise.” (Hindu : 19 February 2010).

Making a mockery of Patriot Act - The apex court in the US is scheduled to hear a case which is expected to redefine the differences between humanitarian aid and aiding and abetting terrorist groups like Hamas, al-Qaeda and Tamil Tigers, as we reported yesterday quoting The Examiner. The lawsuit filed by a left-wing special interest group known as the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) is said to be the first constitutional test of the so-called 'material support' provision of the US Patriot Act, which came into being as a response to terrorist threats following the 9/11 attacks (Island : 19 February 2010).

What is the Real Verdict of Noth and South?- by Durand Appuhamy - The table below is extracted from the published election results by the Commissioner of Elections. I have sought to look at not only those who cast their votes but also those who did not bother to vote, given that this was an extremely important election and one the TNA and SLMC canvassed hard to give their selected candidate (SF) all the support and their votes.. The third column is the number who did not vote arrived at by deducting the number polled from the total registered in each district. The last column is per cent of non-voters compared with the total registered in each district. The last figure of 48% is obtained by comparing the total non-voters for all five districts with the total registered for all five districts of 1,983, 946 voters (Island : 19 February 2010).

Killing civilians in Afghanistan not a war crime? - Every time civilians get killed by the US led coalition forces in Afghanistan, I become more convinced than ever why our military forces deserve immense credits for their conduct throughout the humanitarian operation. Take for example the recent incident which involved the death of 12 civilians in Marjah in the Helmand Province. Before the offensive began, military experts said that there could be 500 to 2000 Taliban fighters in the area. As they claimed, they are armed with AK 47, RPGs, IEDs and the like and not tanks or MBRLs. However, no sooner had they begun the operation than they mistakenly killed those 12 civilians who had been advised by the army to stay inside their homes. Later on, a ground spokesman said that they had missed the target by about 300 metres (Island : 19 February 2010).

All child soldiers go free by May - The Government will release all child soldiers who are now being rehabilitated at rehabilitation centres by May 10.  National Child Protection Authority Chairman Jagath Wellawatte said around 514 child soldiers under 18 years are undergoing rehabilitation meeting with international standards and norms.  The Government handed over 150 child soldiers to their parents and guardians recently. Another 273 children are continuing studies at a centre in Ratmalana. He noted that 514 child soldiers had surrendered to the Security Forces as at May 22, 2009. All child soldiers were produced before a Magistrate and the court has ordered the Government to release the child soldiers after undergoing one year in rehabilitation. “We are taking steps to release all the child soldiers by May 2010,” he added (Daily News ; 19 February 2010).

Sovereignty will not be betrayed for GSP+ - GL - The Government will never betray the country's sovereignty in return for the GSP+ facility, Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said. The Minister addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing said the Government will take measures to obtain the GSP+ concessionary while safeguarding the country's dignity and honour (Daily News : 19 February 2010).

UK funds help children in IDP camps - Funds provide by the UK had helped 21,500 children enjoy child-friendly activities in camps for internally displaced people, the British High Commission announced yesterday. It said "Conflict and social upheaval in a country has an impact on the psychological and social well-being of children and adolescents. Their well-being is further affected by the disruption of social support structures which increases the vulnerability of children to harm, abuse and other risks such as neglect and exploitation." UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, had established a total of 130 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in the North and East that are providing children with psychosocial support through cultural, recreational and other guided activities; 66 of these have been supported with funds from the UK, it said. Approximately 21,500 children actively participate in the CFS activities conducted in IDP camps (Island : 18 February 2010).

Police, Army recover large haul of weapons - The security forces unearthed an underground LTTE armoury in Puthukkudiyiruppu on Monday and recovered a large stock of weapons and explosives. Three General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) links, 300 rounds of 7.63 x 51 mm ammunition, 1300 rounds of 62 x 54 mm ammunition and one T-56 body group during the search. Troops also recovered one AK-47 weapon magazine, one T-56 magazine, 17 rounds of 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition, 3 anti-personnel mines, 2 bombs, one night vision binocular in a search carried out in Akkarayankulam and Anandakulam. Meanwhile, troops from the East recovered two hand grenades during a search operation in Kokkadichcholai on Monday evening.The weapons included 2 Claymore mines, 8 pressure mines and 2 T-56 assault rifles as well as weapons manufactured by the LTTE (Daily Mirror : 18 February 2010).

Jaffna blames India; but likes investment - The business community in the north Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking district of Jaffna is ready to welcome Indian investments and development projects amidst them, in spite of the fact that they, like the people of the district, harbour strong anti-Indian feelings.  A Jaffna man blames India for the defeat of the LTTE. “India had failed to stop the last leg of the war between the Lankan forces and the LTTE and prevent the killing of thousands of Tamil civilians,” they complained.  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi only enacted a “drama” in support of the Tamils here, they sneered.  However, Jaffna is safe for Indian investors and businessmen, assured R Janakumar, president of the Jaffna Chamber of Commerce.  “We would like Indian companies to participate in the trade fair the chamber is holding from March 27 to 29. It costs only SL Rs 30,000 to book a stall,” he said (Express Buzz : 18 February 2010).

FAO seeks $23m for Northern resettlement - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) yesterday launched an appeal for more than $23 million to assist the return of some 200,000 Sri Lankans affected by the conflict. The funding for the FAO emergency response plan aims to promote self-sufficiency and prevent further dependency on food aid for some 50,000 rural families returning to the northeast. Nearly 130,000 people had returned as of December since the Government defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May last year. "We want to assist the Government in reducing the poverty level among conflict affected population by enhancing income-generating and employment opportunities", said FAO's Representative in Sri Lanka Patrick Evans. As part of ongoing emergency relief efforts, FAO is already providing over 6,600 vulnerable families with rice and other crops (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 18 February 2010).

Sri Lankan artist dedicates painting exhibition for war heroes - Doha Mr. Janaka Kulasekara a Sri Lankan expatriate in Qatar has organised a solo painting exhibition titled 'Be together for all', on February 19 and 20 at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha. Speaking with the Gulf Times news edition on Wednesday (17), Mr. Kulasekara said that the focus of the exhibition, "to express gratitude for the Sri Lankan gallant forces and to remember those who lost their lives during the last two decades (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 18 February 2010).

More passengers benefit from A-9 bus service - Nearly 600 passengers commute daily via the newly introduced bus service on the Jaffna-Colombo A-9 road. SLTB and private buses ply on this route. A Transport Ministry spokesman said the Colombo-Jaffna bus service, supervised by the Transport Ministry, is successfully operated with security forces assistance. SLTB operates 10 buses from Jaffna to Colombo, four buses from Jaffna to Kandy, two buses from Jaffna to Trincomalee and two buses from Jaffna to Batticaloa. Plans are afoot to commence public transport services on the A-34 and A-35 routes similar to the bus service operated on the A-9 road, the spokesman said. Following a special request by civilians and security personnel living along the A-34 route, the SLTB will start a new bus service from Vavuniya to Oddusudan via Mankulam. Two bus services will be launched by the Vavuniya depot on this route from February 19. Meanwhile, a bus service will also commence from the Killinochchi bus depot to Oddusudan via Mankulam (Daily News : 18 February 2010).

ADB, Japan boost for rural electrification - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japanese Government will provide assistance to Sri Lanka to improve the nation's power transmission system and to expand rural electrification, and thus will contribute towards the Government's goal of widening public access to electricity services from 80 percent to 98 percent by 2016. The sustainable power sector support Technical Assistance (TA) project is funded by the Japanese Government through the Japan Special Fund (JSF) that is administered by the ADB (Daily News : 18 February 2010).

SF refuses to cross-examine witnesses in court martial - Former Army Chief General (retd) Sarath Fonseka, detained on conspiracy charges has refused to cross examine persons, who would give evidence against him or bring in witnesses to defend him in a court martial. Military spokesman Major General Prasad Samarasinghe yesterday told The Island that the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) had refused to take advantage of the provisions to question anyone, including military officers giving evidence against him (Island : 18 February 2010).

Devananda on steps to save young northern youth - The Sri Lanka Bureau of foreign Employment will shortly set up branch offices in both Jaffna and Vavuniya to provide information to the local populace to increase the awareness of the foreign job seekers, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Douglas Devananda said (Island : 18 February 2010).

Australia donates demining machines - The Australian Government yesterday donated five demining machines that would further accelerate demining operations in the North. The consignment of de-mining equipment including five "Bozena +4" demining machines and spare parts valued at Rs. 272 million was handed over by Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Kathy Klugman to Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Twenty four demining machines are in operation and with the latest addition there are 29 machines deployed to rid North of landmines planted by the LTTE during the separatist war. The equipment will substantially increase the Government's capacity to clear mines in the North, enabling displaced people to return at the earliest to their native lands to re-establish their lives. The Australian Government donated the machines following a request made by Senior Advisor to the President and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security former MP Basil Rajapaksa. These machines, will be deployed in the de-mining operations through the de-mining Unit of the Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry (Daily News : 17 February 2010).

CID records Fonseka's statement - The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today informed court that they had recorded a statement from General Sarath Fonseka regarding the granting of approval on four suspicious tenders whilst serving as the chairman of the tender board. When the inquiry into the HiCorp case was taken up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne today, the CID informed that they recorded a statement from General Fonseka last Sunday, but stated that he was unaware about the owners of British Borneo Defense Company and HiCorp Ltd Company. General Fonseka had further informed CID that he had followed the relevant procedure into four concerned tenders following the approval of Technical Evaluation Board (Daily Mirror : 17 February 2010).

Fonseka's statements encouraging pro-LTTE groups: SL - Describing vanquished opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka's taking support from pro-LTTE groups like TNA as a "great betrayal", the government today said his actions helped rebel sympathisers in the West to stoke anti-Sri Lanka sentiments. "A substantially negative impact has been made on the sovereignty of the country through the irresponsible statements of General Sarath Fonseka," senior Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Participating in the programme by the state owned Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) yesterday, Yapa said when (the Pro-LTTE) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) took measures to support Fonseka, LTTE-friendly groups in Britain and France, endorsed these measures by conducting processions (PTI : 17 February 2010).

Wilpattu National Park reopens end February - The Wilpattu Sanctuary will be opened for tourists at the end of this month. At present, the park is controlled by the security forces and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) presence is restricted to an office near the entrance, but wildlife officers are readying themselves to take up the challenge of protecting Wilpattu's diverse wildlife, the Department of Wild Life sources said. According to the Department sources, infrastructure facilities of this sanctuary, covering 131,667 hectares, is being prepared for tourists. Wilpattu is one of the oldest national parks of the country. It was first declared as a sanctuary in 1905 and its conservation status was elevated to that of a National Park in 1938. Areas to the north were also declared as Wilpattu Sanctuary in 1947 and remain an extension to the National Park (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 17 February 2010).

Sri Lanka will not be sold - Sri Lanka is not prepared to be sold in order to regain the GSP plus facility from the European Union and will maintain its policy stand instead of giving in to any unfair demands, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Daily Mirror online.  In an interview with the website this evening the Governor also noted that the country will not be hurt by the loss of the GSP Plus concession from the EU as all the remedial measures have been taken to maintain the economy minus the trade concession.  “I agree that for us the GSP+ concession being removed is a risk. However on October 29th last year we informed the entire country on how we would deal with the loss of the GSP+ and how we have prepared ourselves. We have reiterated that position today,” Cabraal said.  When questioned on how the country has prepared itself with the loss of the benefits, Cabraal said that for the past one year, the exchange rate of the country had been adjusted, interest rates lowered and inflation reduced. He added that companies had also adjusted themselves accordingly as they too were aware of the risk of losing the trade benefits by the EU (Daily Mirror : 17 February 2010).

SLBFE branch offices in Jaffna, Vavuniya -  The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment will set up branch offices in Jaffna and Vavuniya on President Mahinda Rajapaksa's directive, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda said. These offices will be made use of for awareness raising and help foreign job seekers, migratory workers and public, in addition to their routine service, the Minister said at a ceremony at his Ministry, Colombo 5 to receive 245 bicycles gifted by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment for distribution among the resettled. Cases of harassment of migratory workers at the hands of touts are on the increase, he said. The setting up of Foreign Employment Bureau offices will save Northern migratory workers from unscrupulous touts, the Minister added. The bicycles have been purchased from proceeds of the Hands of Brotherhood Extended to the North Fund established at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment with assistance of the migratory workers to help those rescued from the LTTE. Rs. 2.1 million has been spent to purchase these bicycles that will be distributed among those who have resettled (Daily News : 17 February 2010).

UN says Gordon Weiss’ views do not represent the agency - The views communicated to the media by former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss are his personal ones and do not represent those of the United Nations, says a statement by the Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.  The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator has received queries regarding recent comments made by former UN spokesman, Gordon Weiss, in an interview with Australian Television. These views, communicated to the media are his personal ones and do not represent those of the United Nations. The overall view of the UN on any particular situation comes from statements by the Secretary General or other senior UN figures.  A number of queries were made on Mr. Weiss´ comments on civilian casualties. The UN repeatedly and publicly said there were unacceptably high civilian casualties from the fighting in the last months of the war, as a result of the LTTE forcibly preventing people leaving and the Government´s use of heavy weapons in areas close to thousands of civilians.  While we maintained internal estimates of casualties, circumstances did not permit us to independently verify them on the ground, and therefore we do not have verifiable figures of how many casualties there were.  The UN remains committed to supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to rebuild communities and support peaceful solutions (Ada Derana : 16 February 2010).

U.S. Supreme Court to hear controversial terrorism case - The nation's highest court will hear a case that may redefine the difference between humanitarian aid and aiding and abetting terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Tamil Tigers. The Humanitarian Law Project, a left-wing special interest group, contesting part of federal law that prohibits "material support" to terrorists and nations such as Iran. The HLP in their lawsuit claims that it is difficult to determine who are the terrorists and whether assisting them by lecturing about peace proposals, teaching them English, or rendering medical treatment equates with supporting terrorists and terrorism (Examinor.com : 16 February 2010).

Dream of Eelam still alive – Army Chief - Despite the killing of top terrorist leaders including Velupillai Prabhakaran and the decimation of the LTTE’s military wing the concept of Tamil Eelam has not gone away, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya says. On Saturday, he said that attempts were still being made in some quarters to achieve that goal. He was attending the passing out parade of the Maduru Oya Special Forces Training School. Addressing the troops at Kallady, Thoppigala, Vakarai and Punani in eastern Sri Lanka, the Army Chief recalled the numerous sacrifices made by the security forces personnel. He said the North and the East still had a large number of troops but they were not on combat duty but were engaged in observation and intelligence gathering. However, if anyone takes up arms, the army must be ready to counter the threat forthwith, Gen. Jayasuriya said. He said the army was duty bound to help the police maintain law and order during election time. The Army Commander said that for the convenience of the armed forces, the authorities were planning to establish holiday resorts in some areas. He said the land had already been allocated in Nilaveli (East) and Yala (South-east) areas for that purpose (Island : 16 February 2010).

Making this country, the best - by Professor Roshan T.A. Mayadunne - I have lived the better part of my life in a first world country. I was an economic migrant who had no money, but wanted more money (to be honest), a comfortable life, who wanted the children to have every comfort. There are many like me and is there anything wrong with that? If I had a comfortable life in Sri Lanka, the past would have been different. How many of affluent Sri Lankans leave the country leaving behind a cushy life in Colombo? But for a moment if anyone said that there was no love for the country, he or she is totally wrong. Those maids who send us much needed foreign currency leave their hearts and minds behind. Living through the recent times overseas, I know first hand how much every one of us cheered for every inch our Army advanced in to LTTE territory (Daily News : 16 February 2010).

LTTE operated 11 bank branches in North before its defeat - The vanquished Tamil Tigers had a well placed chain of financial institutions called 'Eelam Banks' which provided loan and credit facilities to the people of north and east Sri Lanka, officials have said.  The LTTE operated 11 bank branches in Northern Sri Lanka with claims of prompt service and various loan facilities prior to its annihilation in May last year. Police investigations say that the LTTE had operated these branches of the Eelam Bank mainly in the East and in the Wanni in the North. The entire Eastern Sri Lanka was captured by security forces from the LTTE in July 2007.  "The Bank of Tamil Eelam shows the way to your prosperity and the Economic Development of the Tamil Homeland," a bank's advertisement recovered recently said.  Three of the branches were at Kokkaticholai in Batticaloa, two at Sampur in Trincomalee and five other branches in Wanni.  However, these banks ceased to function following the liberation of the East and the gradual fall of Wanni areas held by LTTE, with the police unaware of the fate of several millions of rupees deposited by the people.  According to the Sri Lanka's Central bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabral, the north has been an untapped market for years due to the war (DNA : 16 February 2010).

Former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss’ comment a false utterance

New CDF commander - Retired Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris will succeed Sarath Weerasekera as the Director General of the Civil Defence Force (CDF). A spokesman for CDF told The Island that Peiris, who had joined the CDF in February last year as the additional director operations, would take office today (Feb 15). A veteran with 35 years of experience with the navy, Peiris had held several important positions, including Squadron Commander of the FAC (Fast Attack Craft) Squadron and Squadron Commander of the Fast Gun Boat Squadron (Island : 15 February 2010).

Take note of the US actions against terrorists - The United States of America is fighting a very unconventional war against radical Islamic terrorists. They will never compromise their national security. They will do whatever it takes to destroy these malefic people who are hell bent on harming American interests around the world. President Obama continues to take even tougher action against terrorist cells in Pakistan and Afghanistan and other places such as the highly volatile Somalia. Some of the actions that have been intensified in their fight against terrorists include (Daily News : 15 February 2010).

Batticaloa gets Rs 700 m bridge across Valaichchenai lagoon - Work on the new Oddamavadi bridge across the Valaichchenai lagoon is nearing completion and will be opened to the public this year. A Highways and Road Development Ministry spokesman said public transport in the Batticaloa district would be hassle free because of this bridge being constructed at a cost of Rs 700 million. The World Bank and the Spanish Government have funded the project (Daily News : 15 February 2010).

Germany ready with post-war aid - Germany is ready to help Sri Lanka overcome the consequences of 30 years of armed conflict and German development aid is very much focused towards this endeavour, Germany's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jens Plotener said. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, the Ambassador observed that the war has been won but building peace is a long and very demanding task. "All citizens of this beautiful island need to feel that this country is their country and that state institutions serve them all indiscriminately," he said. Ambassador Plotener said German companies remain leading providers for hi-end technology and engineering. The German Technological Training Institute or German Teck as it is commonly known has become a brand name for sustainable and successful development cooperation in Sri Lanka. He said for Sri Lanka, German tech has had a double benefit: It introduced state-of-the-art technology to its economy and provided the country with a significant number of well trained specialists. "Cooperation between Germany and German tec will continue. It has evolved into a real partnership that we all can be proud of", the Ambassador emphasized (Daily News : 15 February 2010).

Karuna warns Rajapaksa on devolution of powers - Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday warned that the DMK would not be a mere spectator if the Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka failed to honour the promise for devolution of powers to Tamils. Writing for Murasoli, Karunanidhi said, “in a democracy it would only be fair to honour and fulfil poll promises. If Rajapaksa fails to honour the promise and tries to delay it, the DMK will not be just watching it. We will take up the issue and urge the Centre to do the needful.” Referring to arrest of former Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka, Karunanidhi said the Lankan President should not forget the history. In this regard, he recalled how Alexander the Great had treated King Porus after the latter’s fall. Karunanidhi had used the same analogy, when there were reports that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran wanted to surrender after the island government launched a massive attack against the Tigers (Express Buzz : 14 February 2010).

Already 175,000 re-settled in the North - People are being resettled in several areas of the North and 2216 people who were displaced due to LTTE's unlawful reign of terror will be resettled in Karachchi area in Kilinochchi, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rishad Bathiudeen said. He pointed out that, they will be provided financial assistance of 50,000 Rupees and dry rations, adequate for 6 months. Already 175,000 people have been resettled in the north. Arrangements are underway for the speedy resettlement of the remaining 60,000 people. The project covers Ganeshapuram, Kattayamalei, Muttu-vinayagapuram villages and Pannikulam and Indupuram areas in East Mankulam. Resettlement of people has been completed in four Grama Seva divisions at Oddusudan in Mulaitivu. Another 3,000 people will be resettled at Mulleyaweli from Monday. Courtesy : Government Information Department (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 14 February 2010).

Civilian deaths: Gordon Weiss’ comment a false utterance - Mahinda Samarasinghe - Minister of Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe refuting former UN spokesman in Colombo, Gordon Weiss’s comment about civilian deaths during the final stages of the war against LTTE terrorism, said that no one should take serious note on his disclosure as it was a false utterance. “It is not worth commenting on his disclosure, which is completely misleading and false”, Minister Samarasinghe said. He had accused the LTTE of regularly killing civilians to prevent them fleeing. The former UN spokesman Weiss had told the Australian ABC News that nearly 40,000 people had been killed before the war ended on May 19. Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said that the Government strongly refutes Weiss’s allegations and added that they were totally wrong. “His comments are absolutely false and he is trying to cook up allegations against the Government”, he said. Hulugalle said that Weiss was ‘dancing to the tune’ of some interested parties and there was a conspiracy behind his sudden comments about civilian deaths during the final stages of the war. “Why did he take eight long months to make such a comment?”, he asked. Weiss said that he had received the information from reliable sources but Hulugalle questioned why the local and international media and other people working there did not come up with such a number. “The media was given the chance of viewing how the LTTE was harassing fleeing civilians through the UAV facilities,” he said (Sunday Observer : 14 February 2010).

Jaffna Varsity to hold Convocation after three years - The University of Jaffna will hold its Convocation after three years on February 26. The Convocation will be significant as it is the first post-war convocation of the University of Jaffna, sources said. This year's Convocation will be held for three days from February 26, with two sittings each day, the sources said. The University of Jaffna was opened by the late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1974 (Sunday Observer : 14 February 2010).

Number of tourists to Jaffna on the rise - Around 200,000 local and foreign tourits have visted Jaffna during the last week due to the steps taken by the Government to eradicate terrorism from the country. This is the first time such an unprecedented number of tourists had visited Jaffna via the A-9 road after 30 years owing to the moves taken by the Government to restore peace in the North and the East, Tourism Minister, Achala Jagoda told the Sunday Observer yesterday. The Minister said a large number of local and foreign tourists had visited key historic places in Jaffna last week including the Delft Islands and the temples in Nagadeepa. Special boat services have been commenced for the benefit of the tourists to vist Delft and Nagadeepa islands. The Tourism Ministry has already formulated a program to develop the infrastructure facilities in the North and establish observation spots in the North. Arrangements have also been made to establish three Tourism Complexes in Jaffna, Mullitivu and Mannar districts with modern facilities. According to the Minister hundred-acre land plot will be reserved from each district to set up these Tourism Complexes. The Government will seek the assistance of investores to construct these tourism complexes. Minister Jagoda said tourist arrivals have recorded a remarkable increase after the elimination of terrorism. Foreign tourists have shown interest to visit Sri Lanka which is one of the best and safest tourist destinations in the world. Local and foreign visitors can now travel to any part of the country," Jagoda said. The Ministry of Tourism has decided to promote the tourism industry this year under the theme "travel freely in a free Sri Lanka". The Tourism Ministry has formulated plan to increase the present number of tourist arrivals by five fold in 2016 (Sunday Observer : 14 February 2010).

Waiting for the Jaffna train - By: Ahilan Kadirgamar - When I visited Jaffna recently, like all those returning home after years away I too sensed feelings of nostalgia welling up inside. This was my first visit in six years, and almost 25 since I had last lived in Jaffna, as an 11-year-old. The opening lines are by A. E. Manoharan, the Tamil pop star and baila singer who took Jaffna by storm in the 1970s – a time when, in my mind, Manoharan was more popular than the youthful leaders of the militant movements who would emerge soon enough. I have vague memories of going to an open-air Manoharan concert, sitting on the bicycle bar as one of my relatives rode us to where we could hear the loudspeakers. Incidentally, Manoharan composed "Ilangai enpathu", with its reference to the palmyra fruit, two decades before rights activist Rajani Thiranagama and her colleagues would write The Broken Palmyra, for which she would be murdered (Sunday Island : 14 February 2010).

Normalcy returns to war-ravaged areas - Life has returned to normalcy in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar, the most affected districts by the war with the speedy resettlement of IDPs and restoration of civil administration, the Government Agents of the districts told the Sunday Observer. Schools, health services and transport services have started functioning and facilities have been provided in the production sector for agriculture and fishing. Infrastructure facilities have been provided under the 'Uthuru Vasanthaya' program and development programs are implemented under the directions of the Governor for the Northern province Maj.Gen. G.A.Chandrasiri, the Government Agent, Mullaitivu, Imelda Sugumar said. Thirty schools are fully functioning with 2,967 students and 404 teachers in attendance. Paddy cultivation has commenced by 2000 families in 4000 acres in the Thunukkai area. Paddy cultivation in Manthai has been started by 1000 families in 2000 acres. Agricultural implements donated by India were distributed to the farmers. Rs.4,000 per acre for ploughing was paid by the Government, seed paddy was supplied free and fertilisers at subsidised rates, the GA said (Sunday Observer : 14 February 2010).

The American Karanang - by K Godage - .... We were hounded and intimidated by the US to stop the war against the LTTE which had been described by its own CIA as the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world. We recall their shameless efforts at the UNSC to put us on the rack, invoke R2P and harm us; they would certainly have succeeded had it not been for China and Russia. Utterly hypocritical concern for human rights in Sri Lanka dominated the relationship with the US in recent years. What was ironical was that her officials such as Blake were preaching to us while at the same time bombing and killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq on a daily basis having invaded Iraq on false pretenses. It is Bush, Cheyenne and Rumsfeld who should be charged for crimes against humanity for the crime they committed there. Their hypocrisy stands exposed (Sunday Island : 14 February 2010).

New MPs from North-East welcome for APRC talks: Prof. Vitarana Those elected to the next Parliament from the north and east will be invited to participate in the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) in an attempt to work out a framework for devolution of power, APRC chairman and Minister Tissa Vitarana said. “We know the representatives of the people of the north and east will be elected freely by the people of the area without any duress at the next general election with the defeat of the LTTE and they will be willing to join the APRCs deliberations,” he said. The APRC in its interim report recommended the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to devolve power to the provinces, but without the participation of the UNP, the JVP and the TNA, it lacked proper representation of all parties in Parliament. “We have to draw into the process all the parties from Parliament once the elections are over,” Prof. Vitarana said adding that President Rajapaksa in his manifesto had said that the APRC would continue to be the forum for discussion to arrive at a “wide consensus that is required for national cohabitation.” (Sunday Times : 14 February 2010).

An Open Letter to Gordon Weiss - By Dr.Levins T.C.Rajaratnam - Dear Mr.Gordon Weiss, You could have consulted a good psychiatrist before you left the shores of Sri Lanka. Perhaps, you need to vent your frustrations elsewhere but not tarnish the image and reputation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government. Perhaps, you needed to say something extra to get some other emoluments from vested interests. You must understand that I write as a Tamil citizen of Sri Lanka. I have dealt with this subject before when the accusation was made that 20,000 civilians were killed. It was then that Foreign Minister Bogollagama thought it fit to invite me to address a large gathering on June 2,2009 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre at Horton place in defence of our Government. I spoke the truth of my convictions as I am a patriot of Sri Lanka. Here is the full text of my Speech: (LankaWeb ; 13 February 2010).

Minister Samarasinghe returns from Geneva on a positive note - Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that he is expecting a positive response following the briefing given to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The Minister made this comment on his return after the briefing. The Minister said he seized the opportunity of meeting with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Navanetham Pillai. She was briefed on the National Action Plan on the promotion of human rights, which she welcomed. She said she looked forward to supporting it, the Minister added (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 13 February 2010).

Since the end of war, 73 national bank branches allowed to open in the North - "The north has been an untapped market for years due to the war and we are seeing a lot of interest from financial companies to expand into that area," says the Governor of the Central Bank. Since the bloody conflict between Government troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels ended last May, the central bank has allowed 73 national bank branches to open in the north. The rebels ran their own banking system with 11 branches before their defeat.  State banks currently offer mobile services to about 300,000 people who were displaced during the final stages of the conflict and live in government-run camps. Meanwhile, the global banking giant HSBC opened a branch in Jaffna Yesterday. This is the first foreign bank to do so since the end of the country's long ethnic conflict, the central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral said (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 13 February 2010).

Northern resettlement accelerated - A total of 75,000 displaced persons remain to be resettled and resettlement has been accelerated from last week, Governor of the Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri said. He said that People are being resettled once in every three days. The resettlement is being carried out at Ganeshapuram, Kattayamalai and East Mankulam areas from February 10.  Arrangements were being made to carry out resettlement in three Grama Seva Divisions in Paranthan in Killinochchi. Resettlement has been completed in four Grama Seva Divisions at Oddusudan in the Mullaitivu District.  Meanwhile the US has granted 433 million rupees for the resettlement of people in the North. The USAID has given this amount following the intervention of US Ambassador Patricia Butenis. These funds will be utilized for the resettlement of people in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya,Mulaitivu, Kilinochchi and Trincomalee Districts (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 13 February 2010).

1,000 school desks and chairs for war-torn North - The Ministry of Education has sent a stock of school furniture to the Northern Province and the furniture has been handed over to the Governor of the Northern Province, the Education Ministry revealed. According to the Ministry sources, the consignment includes 1,000 desks and chairs and these will be distributed among schools set up at welfare centers and resettlement villages in Kilinochchi. The Ministry added that another consignment of furniture would be sent to the area soon (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 13 February 2010).

Government woos TNA - The Chief Government Whip Minister Nimal Siripala, de Silva (N. S. De. S) extended an invitation to the TNA to join the government from the floor of the House of Parliament winding up the debate on the Emergency (Island : 13 February 2010).

Weiss spreading lies claims govt - The government said today that former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss was spreading false information, about the last stages of the war. “That is absolutely wrong information,” Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hullugalle told Daily Mirror. Weiss stirred up controversy by telling ABC news that as many as many as 40,000 civilians could have been killed during the final stages of the war, last year.  Hullugalle stated that there was sufficient information provided at the time and months thereafter to confirm that such a large number of civilian deaths did not occur. “We were able to show journalists through live footage how the LTTE were harassing civilians and how we were ensuring the safe passage of civilians,” he said.  Gordon Weiss said his information came from reliable sources that had a presence inside the battle zone, not Tamil civilians or fighters. However Hullugalle insists that no other organizations made such claims in the past 8 months since the war. “There were so many foreign and local journalists allowed in those areas. Therefore if there is any truth in this no one would have waited 8 months to talk about it. And we have had no such complaints coming from any organization,” he told Daily Mirror (Daily Mirror : 12 February 2010).

Another 1,000 IDPs resettled - The resettlement of around 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons in Ganeshapuram, Kattayamalei, Muththuwinayagapuram, Mankulam east, Pannikulam and Indupuram villages commenced yesterday.  Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said the Government has restarted the resettlement process in a big way under the strategic plan after the Presidential Election. Accordingly, measures have been taken to resettle the people twice a week from now.  The Governor said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed State authorities to provide assistance to re-settle the IDPs in their native places without delay.  Accordingly, they are provided with all obligatory requirements till they are settled in their original places under the guidelines of Senior Presidential Advisor, Head of Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security of the Northern Province Basil Rajapaksa.  Meanwhile, 1232 members of 300 families in Pooneryn division, 194 members of 49 families in Vilathikulam, Madhu, 1500 members of 613 families in Thunukkai, 690 members of 260 families in Manthai East and 1000 members of 350 families in Karachchi, Kilinochchi had already been resettled by the Government.  The Governor further said that everything has been put in place to resettle the people in three GS divisions in Paranthan of the Kilinochchi district (Daily News : 12 February 2010).

More military hardware recovered - Security Forces engaged in clearance operations in Vavunia and Mullaittivu districts recovered several AP mines, Mortar Bombs and other military equipment yesterday (11 Feb). Engineer troops found 03 x AP Mines in general area Wilpatthu and troops of 56 Division recovered 02 x 81mm Mortar Bombs from general area of Arasamruppu and Sinnakulam villages. Meanwhile, Troops of 59 Division uncovered 01 x 60mm Mortar Bomb and 01 x Rangan 99 AP Mine. Further 12 x 37mm Cannon Rounds were found in Vellamullivaikkal by the Troops of 68 Division (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 12 February 2010).

JICA support to upgrade Jaffna hospital facilities - The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the purview of the Japanese Government has taken steps to improve facilities at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital at a cost of US $ 25 million.  Moves are under way to improve central functions of Jaffna Teaching Hospital through construction of facilities, procurement and installation of equipment and other ancillary activities, Advisor of JICA South Asia Division Imoto Sachiko said.  A three-story building will be constructed in which the key departments of the hospital such as the Operation Theatre Complex, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Central Laboratory Complex, Central Supply and Sterilizing Department would be housed. Apart from this more than 122 categories items of necessary equipment for improving facilities are to be installed. JICA has planned to complete the project by the end of this year aiming to restore functions of the hospital as a tertiary care facility, to promote efficient healthcare services with the implementation of the Master Plan of the hospital. "The Jaffna Teaching Hospital is required to function not only as a tertiary but also a primary and secondary care hospital and has treated a large number of patients beyond its true capacity. The hospital was unable to perform expected functions due to the lack of proper upgrading of facilities and equipment for the last twenty years" a JICA representative said (Daily News : 12 February 2010).

Timely military assistance helped win war - Prime Minister - Despite the fact that we have successfully completed the task of defeating terrorism in the country, we have yet to complete the settlement of bills incurred on this gigantic military exercise, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said. "If not for the timely military assistance of countries like Pakistan and China, we would have faced difficulties in completing this task. Therefore, we are ever grateful to these countries for their assistance," he said. The Prime Minister made these observations after opening the new computer unit at Parakramabahu Kanishta Vidyalaya, Ingiriya recently. This school was the latest to receive this new IT technology under the program to equip all schools in Horana education zone funded by the business community (sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 12 February 2010).

North & East attract large number of tourists - Tourism in the North and East of the island has progressed rapidly with peace being dawned after almost three decades of war, Sri Lanka Tourism sources revealed. They said that tourist arrivals to these two destinations by both local and international visitors have increased over the past nine months. According to latest figures, the number of tourists arriving in the country has increased by many folds. Meanwhile, new tourist hotels are being earmarked in the North and East to meet the tourist demand. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) had approved a number of tourist projects to boost the industry,BOI sources added (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 12 February 2010).

IMF predicts 5.5 percent economic growth - Sri Lanka’s economy will grow 5.5 percent in 2010 due to improving domestic demand and potential export growth after the 25-year war ended in 2009 and as global recovery takes hold, the IMF said. Increased domestic economic activities after the end of the war and expected export growth as the global economy recovers will help, IMF Director for Sri Lanka, Koshy Mathai told Reuters (Daily News : 12 February 2010).

Sri Lanka Parliament dissolved

Northern railway reconstruction with Indian help - The Sri Lanka Railways will sign a contract with IRCON International Limited of India to reconstruct the Northern railway line from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road at a cost of US$ 81 million. The Northern rail track along this stretch from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road and its railway stations were severely damaged by the LTTE during the war. A Sri Lanka Railway spokesman said the distance from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road is 43 km and the construction is expected to be completed within the next two and half years. The stretch will be reconstructed enabling trains to travel at a speed of 120kmph on the Northern railway line.  IRCON International Limited will undertake the construction of the railway track, platforms, bridges, culverts and also the supply of rolling stocks from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road.  Two crossing stations in Cheddikulam and Madu Road with one sub station in Neriyakulam Kovil will be reconstructed under this project.  Latest technology will be utilized to construct and the track structure would consist of long welded rails and concrete sleepers.  IRCON also signed a contract with the Railway Department to reconstruct a 90km railway track between Omantai and Pallai. The company expects to complete the construction within two and half years. It will cost US $ 185 million (Daily News : 11 February 2010).

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What was really happening in Sri Lanka was that a blood thirsty racist group led by some misled Tamils called LTTE was 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

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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

How much did LTTE pay Sillyband to speak at Global Tamil Forum?

 

British FM David Milliband is back to his third grade gimmicks against Sri Lanka. Please look after your back yard without poking your stinking fingers into Sri Lankan Affairs.  Sri Lanka has had enough of you and your white clan. We do not care you guys anymore. So, Shut up.

 

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. © 2009-2014
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...

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