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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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 Sunday, 10 April 2011 10:01 AM  

 

Incident-free World Cup cricket matches prove annihilation of Tigers

The CPA’s Culture of Impunity - By C. A. Chandraprema - About two weeks ago, we revealed that the Center for Policy Alternatives had received huge sums of money to monitor the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2010. According to our information, the CPA had got funds amounting to Rs. 51 million to monitor the presidential election alone. The breakdown of what they had received was as follows. Rs 20.6 million from the Netherlands government; Rs. 22.4 million from the German government; Rs. 3 million from the British government; Rs. 5 million from the US government; We pointed out that this was just according to information available to us and they could have got more. In addition to the above, we received information that they had got Rs. 13 million from the Netherlands government for the parliamentary election in addition to another Rs. 5 million from the US government, bringing it up to Rs. 18 million for the parliamentary election. Once again, this is not an exhaustive list and they could have got more money. We posed certain questions about how this money had been spent. It’s now almost two weeks since we published the queries on the front page of this newspaper but nary a word have we heard from the CPA! All that we have is a studied silence from the other end. Yet these are the very people who preach to the nation about transparency, accountability and the need to eliminate the culture of impunity! People who preach such virtues should not only be above board but also be seen to be above board. We never said it was wrong to get money from foreign governments; nor did we say that it was wrong to monitor elections. All we wanted to know was how the funds had been spent. Being individuals of great moral probity as they would have us believe, we waited patiently in our office for an official from the CPA to turn up with a little cart full of files and tell us, "Look, you have been asking questions; well here are the answers!" They could have told us, "This is what we paid the men and women we hired for monitoring purposes per day, the number of man/days served was this much, the traveling and meal allowances given to each monitor was this much, this is what the supervisors and other administrative staff got, food and accommodation for X number of supervisors cost this much per person, we spent this much to hire vehicles from such and such a place, the administrative staff based in Colombo was paid this much for the duration of the project, the number of TV spots and newspaper advertisements inserted cost this much, the total spent was X amount …." (Island : 31 March 2011).

NCCT calls Conservatives “racist” - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Hon. Jason Kenney, MP, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration and Multiculturalism Paul Calandra, Conservative MP for Markham-Oakridge and & Patrick Brown, Conservative MP for Barrie House of Commons, Ottawa; Well…well…well… Dear Jason & Paul & Patrick: What the heck is going on? What went wrong with your friendship with the National Canadian Council for Tamils ( NCCT) who have lambasted you Conservatives as a bunch of “racists”. Their Press Release of March 29, 2011 says: National Council of Canadian Tamils condemns ‘racist’ Conservative Party advertisement. This is after Paul Calandra doing the Conservative honours to that bunch by cutting the ribbon to ceremonially open their Headquarters almost two months ago at Finch Avenue, in Toronto. And I questioned you Conservatives for participating in that event then and with that incident you Conservatives lost my vote (LankaWeb : 31 March 2011).

‘Incident-free WC cricket matches prove annihilation of Tigers’ - Had the LTTE retained at least one per cent of its military capability, it would have certainly staged an attack during the World Cup Cricket qualifying matches played in Sri Lanka, says Sri Lanka’s No 2 at the UN Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva.  Even a minor incident could have embarrassed the country and strengthened those seeking to undermine post-war recovery effort, the soldier says.  "Presence of international print and electronic media in Colombo especially for cricket coverage could have caused chaos," the diplomat said.  In a brief interview with The Island on Thursday (Mar. 31), Maj. Gen. Silva said that those who believed that the LTTE would launch at least hit and run attacks would have been really disappointed by the incident-free matches. The bottom line was that the LTTE military machine had been wiped out and its leadership either killed, in custody or taking refuge overseas, the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 58 Division said.  Responding to a query, the Gajaba veteran said that having realized the LTTE rump couldn’t even cause a minor incident, some pro-LTTE website declared, in the run-up to the semi-final between Sri Lanka and England in Colombo, that gunmen had targeted an army convoy in the East. Military convoys, the Maj. Gen. said was a thing of the past and nothing could be as foolish as ongoing attempts to offset battle-field rout through planting news items.  Maj. Gen. de Silva’s Division led the final assault on the LTTE Vanni east front, where the enemy groupings, including its top leadership were wiped out. Sri Lanka declared end of combat operations on May 19, 2009.  A victory for Kumar Sangakkara’s team at Saturday’s final against India in Mumbai would be a tribute to those who made the supreme sacrifice in the war against terrorism, Maj. Gen Silva said.  The New York based diplomat said that the ICC denied Pakistan an opportunity to host at least one match citing security concerns. Had the SL armed forces failed in their mission, we, too, would have experienced the same fate, the Maj. Gen. said. "What we have achieved was unthinkable. At the last edition of World Cup cricket in early 2007, LTTE fixed wing aircraft caused mayhem by dropping bombs at Kolonnawa and Muthurajawela. And we were still fighting in the East, while facing the LTTE which had the Vanni under its control," he said.  President Rajapaksa was away in Barbados to watch the final between Sri Lanka and Australia when the government was forced to switch off power in the entire country due to LTTE attack, Maj. Gen. Silva said. But within four years, under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country had triumphed over terrorism, he said, adding that the entire nation would be free watch Saturday’s encounter without expecting any trouble (Island : 31 March 2011).

Govt. to release rehabilitated ex-combatants - Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe said yesterday that 206 rehabilitated ex-combatants would be released on Friday (1). This batch consisted of 205 men and one female, he said.  He told Tamil Mirror Online that these former LTTE cadres would be released at a ceremony which would be held at the Vavuniya Cultural Hall on April 1 under the patronage of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera.  Another large number of former LTTE cadres were due to be released in concurrence with the upcoming Sinhala-Tamil New Year, Brigadier Ranasinghe added. Meanwhile, an exhibition of paintings by former militants undergoing rehabilitation would be held on April 25 and 26 at the National Art Gallery in Colombo (Daily Mirror ; 31 March 2011).

Be vigilant on LTTE activities, GL urges EU - External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris urged European countries to remain vigilant regarding LTTE activities in their territories stating that the LTTE was a threat not only to Sri Lanka, but also for the security of Europe as recognized by Europol.  The Minister made this point during a discussion with the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, Jiri Sedivy at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic during his official visit there, the Foreign Ministry said.  Minister Sedivy welcomed the end of terrorism in Sri Lanka, and was of the view that both Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic had successfully managed major internal transformations in recent years.  Sri Lanka’s post-conflict progress was impressive resulting in a positive outlook for the country.  Minister Peiris informed the Czech Minister about the challenges still posed internationally by the remnants of the LTTE including Europe. Minister Sedivy had appreciated the briefing by Minister Peiris on the important process of reconciliation that Sri Lanka have initiated, as well as the overview of the ongoing political talks with a view to arriving at a long-term negotiated solution.  The two sides ended their discussion with an exchange of views on current conflict situations in the world (Daily Mirror ; 31 March 2011).

"Peg Leg Shankar" wanted by Interpol - Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for a British man accused of running the human smuggling network that sent 76 Sri Lankans to Canada aboard a cargo ship in 2009. Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran, 40, is wanted by Sri Lankan authorities for "people smuggling, trafficking and illegal immigration" as well as "terrorism," according to the Interpol website.  While the public Interpol notice is vague, classified details of the allegations obtained by the National Post show he is wanted in connection with the human smuggling vessel Ocean Lady. A confidential Sri Lankan government report says Mr. Kanthaskaran, also known as "Peg Leg Shankar," was born in Sri Lanka, holds a British passport and operates from the U.K., Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.  "The subject has established an effective network covering South Asian countries to run the human smuggling operations," it says, adding he organized the Ocean Lady smuggling run with a Canadian named Ravi Shanker. According to the report, Mr. Kanthaskaran was a member of the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the Tamil Tigers rebels.  After his leg was amputated following a clash with government forces, he moved to London, where he was allegedly involved in procurement. Using a ship called the Princess Easwary, he smuggled weapons to Sri Lanka from North Korea, the report says.  The ship was transporting military hardware to the island in May 2009 when the civil war ended, it says. After hearing that Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead, the ship's crew dumped their cargo into the waters off Indonesia. Mr. Kanthasakaran then began organizing a human smuggling voyage to Canada, it says.  The ship, which was registered in Cambodia, changed its name to Ocean Lady and sailed from India with a stop in Malaysia, arriving off the British Columbia coast in October 2009 carrying 76 Sri Lankans. All have claimed refugee status.  Ten months later, a larger ship, the MV Sun Sea, reached Canada from Thailand carrying 492 Sri Lankans. Mr. Kanthaskaran's alleged involvement in human smuggling may explain why Canadian officials such as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews have linked the ships to the Tamil Tigers.  The Immigration and Refugee Board has so far ordered the deportation of two of those on board the Sun Sea on the grounds they had been Sea Tigers. But the RCMP remains uncertain whether the smuggling ships were a rebel operation (perhaps to raise money for the cause, or to relocate members and their families to Canada) or whether remnants of the rebel group were simply fleeing the region following their defeat (Daily Mirror : 31 March 2011).

India advised us to look beyond 13th A: TNA - India has advised Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to go beyond the 13th Amendment when it holds discussions with the Sri Lanka government on power devolution, a TNA front-liner said yesterday.  Jaffna District TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah said that however at a recent meeting between the TNA and a government delegation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had categorically stated that under no circumstances would police powers be devolved.  “At discussions with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during his visit to Jaffna in February he advised us to demand something beyond the 13th Amendment from the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration,” he said.  Mr. Senathirajah said as a basis for negotiations the TNA had prepared a paper to be submitted to the government at the next meeting to be held on April 7 and stressed that Tamils did not have confidence in the 13th Amendment as a basis for resolving the ethnic issue and neither did it meet the aspirations of the Tamil community. “What we expect is a political mechanism that devolves power meaningfully and the 13th Amendment falls far short of what is expected,” he said and added that the successive governments have failed to devolve power even under the 13th Amendment and a good example was land power, which had not been vested in a single provincial council.  Mr. Senathirajah said he hoped that the ongoing discussions between the government and the TNA would pave the way for a permanent solution to the ethnic issue and address the grievances of the Tamils. The government and the TNA had agreed to meet on April 7 and 27 to further discuss core issues.  “We expect to raise the issues regarding the dismantling of High Security Zones, the release of Tamil detainees from rehabilitation centres and resettlement. The TNA delegation will submit a comprehensive report on power devolution at the meeting on April 7,” he said.  Mr. Senathirajah said it was a good move on the part of the government to release particulars of Tamil youth under rehabilitation. “We believe there are about 11,000 youth at rehabilitation camps and we want the government to release them or prosecute them as soon as possible if there is tangible evidence against them,” he said and added that discussions held in January, February and March had not produced spectacular results that met the aspirations of the Tamil people but it was a good move in the right direction. The TNA delegation will comprise leader R. Sampanthan, MPs Suresh Premachandran Mavai Senathirajah, M.S. Sumanthiran and senior lawyer Kanag Eswaran (Daily Mirror : 31 March 2011).

Thwarting LTTE's designs in Europe - Growing terrorist propaganda network: Final part of the text of the speech by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha, at the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA), Brussels on March 23, 2011 This is regarded as the most significant judicial action related to terrorist financing that has taken place in Europe. In Norway, in January 2010, eight LTTE activists including five youth, were indicted for 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oslo. In Germany, eight LTTE activists from front organizations including the TCC were arrested on three occasions in March and May 2010 and three of them have already been indicted. In the Netherlands, in April 2010, six LTTE activists from front organizations including the TCC, TRO and the Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) were arrested. The most recent action was in Switzerland, where in January 2011, when 10 LTTE activists including from the TYO were arrested. This is of course in addition to earlier action in Europe, which includes the conviction in the UK of former LTTE UK leader and President of the British Tamil Forum A C Shanthan in 2009 for seeking to purchase duel use technology for the LTTE, in Italy arrest warrants issued in June 2008 on some 30 LTTE activists, in Denmark the freezing since 2008 of the assets of TRO-Denmark for support of the LTTE terrorism and the conviction in France of nine including V Manoharan who was later to be the head of the CCTF-France on drug smuggling charges (Daily News : 31 March 2011).

Interpol issues warrant for a UK man alleged of smuggling Sri Lankan Tamils to Canada

Interpol issues warrant for a UK man alleged of smuggling Sri Lankan Tamils to Canada - The Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for a Sri Lankan Tamil man in the United Kingdom accused of running human smuggling operations.  The world's international police organization has issued a Red Notice for Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran, 38, a native of Silavathurai, Sri Lanka.  According to the Intepol, he is wanted for his alleged involvement in people smuggling, trafficking and illegal immigration, and terrorism.  While the public Interpol notice is vague, Canada's daily National Post says based on classified details of the allegations obtained by the newspaper says he is wanted in connection with the human smuggling vessel Ocean Lady that sent 76 Sri Lankans to Canada aboard a cargo ship in 2009.  Citing a confidential Sri Lankan government report, the National Post says Mr. Kanthaskaran, also known as "Peg Leg Shankar," holds a British passport and operates from the U.K., Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.  "The subject has established an effective network covering South Asian countries to run the human smuggling operations," the paper quoted the document adding that the accused organized the Ocean Lady smuggling run with a Canadian named Ravi Shanker.  According to the report, Mr. Kanthaskaran who was a member of the Sea Tiger unit of LTTE moved to London after he lost his leg battling government forces. He was allegedly involved in procuring arms for the rebels. During the final phase of the war the LTTE operatives in the UK had organized to smuggle arms on board a ship called Princess Easwary to the cornered Tiger rebels in Northern Sri Lanka in the guise of humanitarian aid. The ship was not allowed to sail to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan forces decimated the LTTE in Sri Lanka before the ship could reach the final destination with arms reportedly smuggled from North Korea. According to the National Post report Mr. Kanthaskaran organized that arms smuggling operation in May 2009. After the news of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's demise, the ship's crew had dumped their cargo into the sea off Indonesia. The report says that Mr. Kanthaskaran then modified the ship, changed its name and used it to smuggle people from Thailand to Canada. In October 2009, reportedly the modified ship, MV Ocean Lady brought 76 illegal Sri Lankan migrants, all males, to British Columbia. MV Sun Sea's human cargo included 380 men, 63 women, and 49 children. All the migrants have sought asylum in the country (Colombo page ; 31 March 2011).

Organised crime gangs with links to Britain and Sri Lanka are fuelling a fresh wave of identity fraud in Victoria, with Melbourne's inner city firming as the latest frontier in card skimming.

(for details, see HERALD SUN in Australia on 28 March 2011).

 

Thwarting LTTE's designs in Europe Growing terrorist propaganda network: Text of the speech by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha, at the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA), Brussels on March 23, 2011 (Daily News : 30 March 2011).

Total number of asylum seekers decline, says UNHCR - Sri Lanka is back again among the top 10 countries in the world whose citizens seek asylum, the latest United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) report says. The total number of asylum seekers across the world had dipped in 2010, it noted. Sri Lanka was in the list of top 10 countries in 2007, as its Armed Forces began pushing into LTTE territory in the northern province. In the following two years, the country was No.12 and No.13 in the list of countries from where asylum seekers originate. In 2010, as many as 8874 persons from Sri Lanka sought asylum in 44 developed countries while in 2009, this number was higher — 9988.  A total of 3.47 lakh asylum applications were lodged in 44 developed countries in 2010, marginally lower than the 3.68 lakh applications that were filed in 2009. A majority of the applications in both 2009 and 2010 were filed in Europe — 2.87 lakh and 2.69 lakh respectively.  Statistics compiled by the UNHCR have shown a fall in the number of asylum-seekers in the industrialised world over the last 10 years. On Monday, UNHCR released the 2010 statistical overview of asylum applications lodged in Europe and selected non-European countries. In all, 44 industrialised countries were covered in the report on new asylum claims.  The report, Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialised Countries 2010, published by the UN refugee agency, said that out of the 40 main asylum-seeker nationalities, 15 registered a rise during 2010 amounting to 23,200 claims. This is significantly less than in 2009 when 23 asylum-seeker nationalities recorded an increase.  “The 25 nationalities registering a decline in 2010 submitted a total of 42,400 claims less than in 2009. Among the major countries of origin of asylum-seekers, significant increases were registered from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (+599%) and Serbia (+54%). (Hindu ; 30 March 2011).

Remnants a threat - Sri Lanka has informed the Czech Republic that there are challenges posed internationally by the remnants of the LTTE including in Europe and this was still a threat to Sri Lanka. The Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris raised this matter when he met with the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, Jiri Sedivy at the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, the External Affairs Ministry said today. Minister Sedivy welcomed the end of terrorism in Sri Lanka, and was of the view that both Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic had successfully managed major internal transformations in recent years. Sri Lanka’s post-conflict progress was impressive resulting in a positive outlook for the country. Minister Peiris informed the Czech Minister about the challenges still posed internationally by the remnants of the LTTE including in Europe. This was a threat not only for Sri Lanka, but also for the security of Europe as recognized by Europol, and he urged European countries to remain vigilant regarding LTTE activities in their territories, the External Affairs Ministry said. Minister Sedivy appreciated the briefing by Minister Peiris on the important process of reconciliation that Sri Lanka had initiated, as well as the overview of the ongoing political talks with a view to arriving at a long-term negotiated solution (News now lk ; 30 March 2011).

Pro-Tiger roar loses its voice - COIMBATORE: Just one-and-a-half years ago, a pro-Tiger roar echoed on poll platforms across the state as the war in Sri Lanka and the plight of Tamil minorities dominated the agenda for the Lok Sabha polls, Times of India says in an online report dated Mar. 30.  Even AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, avowedly anti-LTTE in her stand, made a distinction and focused on the government’s inability to protect Tamil refugees. But then in politics, 18 months is a long time.  The loudest pro-Tiger voice of Tamil Nadu, Vaiko is off the electoral platform. And the AIADMK, routed in three successive polls, appears to have realized that in peace-loving Tamil Nadu, the Lanka factor cannot win polls.  But why have pro-Tiger guns fallen silent? The pro-LTTE fringe groups which fielded candidates against Congress leaders including home minister P Chidambaram in the last parliamentary elections and backed the AIADMK appear to have quietly retired to their political caverns. Barring actor-director Seeman, who is aggressively campaigning against Congress in 63 constituencies, most prominent LTTE supporters have chosen to watch the show from the sidelines.  In an election fought over inflation, freebies and scams, the Eelam Tamil issue is clearly not seen as a vote-grabber, although the poll manifestos of both DMK and AIADMK still pledge "continued" support for Sri Lankan Tamils. Says actor Seeman, who is campaigning against Congress in Rameswaram, "In an election which is held to determine the destiny of Tamils, it is a tragic irony that none of the political parties are talking about the sufferings of Eelam Tamils." In the last parliamentary elections, the AIADMK and DMK raised the Eelam issue for the sake of votes, "but they had no genuine love for Tamils", he charges.  A Chennai-based lawyer Rajiv Gandhi who polled over 4,000 votes in Sivaganga constituency where Chidambaram scraped through by a wafer-thin margin, is not contesting this time. He is just campaigning against the Congress along with Seeman. But he too rues that leading political parties have "forgotten’ the Eelam issue (Island ; 30 March 2011).

Douglas lashes out at TNA during meet with Norwegian Ambassador - Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda on Tuesday (29) briefed Norwegian Ambassador Ms Hilde Haraldstad on the current efforts to improve the livelihood of the war displaced. Minister Devananda said that contrary to accusations by the TNA, targeting the government and his party, the EPDP, the government had done a tremendous amount of work since the conclusion of war. The EPDP leader urged the Norwegian Ambassador to provide assistance for the ongoing State-run projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Jaffna District MP said those enjoying the new post-war freedom had ignored the TNA campaign (Island ; 30 March 2011).

US misusing UN mandate - Senior Minister - The United States is misusing the UN mandate to hide the real intentions behind the Libyan attack, said Scientific Affairs Senior Minister Prof Tissa Vitarana addressing a Lanka Sama Samaja Party press conference held yesterday.  He said that this incident should be a warning to Sri Lanka not to fall for the "accountability" trap that the UN is striving to spring on the Government for alleged human rights violations during the final stage of the war against the LTTE.  He observed that the US intention is to ensure continued access to Libyan- oil at more favourable terms through a US puppet regime which could be the ultimate result of the people's uprising in Libya. He noted that the Libyan situation has enabled the US to intervene on the basis of the "right to protect".  The Senior Minister also pointed out that the US is ignoring the harsh crackdown on the people's uprisings by the regimes in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  "The Yemeni-regime is assisting in the fight against Al-Qaeda and US bases are located in Bahrain.  "The US also fears that a Shiite regime in Bahrain would be friendly to Shiite Iran.  "It is clear that they are preparing the ground for intervention in Iran, by getting the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a special investigator to look into alleged human rights abuses in Iran," he noted (Daily News : 30 March 2011).

Melbourne hit by ID crime with LTTE links

Melbourne hit by ID crime with LTTE links - Organized gangs with links to Britain and Sri Lanka are fuelling a fresh wave of identity fraud in Victoria, with Melbourne's inner city firming as the latest frontier in card skimming, as police accuse banks of putting their own reputations before their customers' welfare, Herald Sun reported. The news report said:  “A secret national task force has broken a $100 million global Eftpos skimming syndicate with 56 arrests, including two individuals from Britain and two from Canada. At least seven ATMs and two Eftpos machines have been skimmed in Melbourne in recent months, with crime gangs increasingly hitting the inner city.  “Global crime syndicates committing large-scale identity fraud around Australia may have links with Sri Lankan terrorists. Victoria Police Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Endler said skimming gangs typically hit Melbourne's outer suburbs before flying home, but an active Victoria Police investigation involves an unknown group hitting machines in the city. Last year, the Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad brought down a British-linked Eftpos skimming syndicate preying on Melbourne's Sri Lankan community. Police charged six people - five of them Sri Lankan - with conspiracy to defraud and associated crimes, court records show.  “The operation was linked to the nationwide Taskforce Chamonix. The ringleader, a Sri Lankan who flew to Melbourne via Sydney from his home in Britain, would offer Sri Lankan students working at Melbourne service stations up to $30,000 for access to their stores' Eftpos handsets. The syndicate would install skimming technology in the machines and spy cameras overhead to capture each customer's PIN.  “Now serving at least four years' jail, the ringleader was also made to pay Westpac, ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank $70,000 in compensation.  “Sri Lanka warned Australia about card skimming at least four years ago. Concerns intensified that stolen funds could be supporting Tamil Tiger terrorists after the arrest of several Tamils over Eftpos fraud in Western Australia.  “Police have not said Australian money had ended up with Tamil terrorists, but similar skimming schemes in Canada and Britain have channelled funds to the group. Australian Crime Commission figures show 63,000 fake debit card transactions worth $24.5 million were recorded in Australia in 2009, up 50 per cent in three years. Queensland Det-Supt Brian Hay accused banks of failing to properly report credit card fraud to authorities for fear of damaging their brands (Daily Mirror : 29 March 2011).

LLRC ends public sittings - Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has concluded its public sittings with its visit to Ampara last week, LLRC media spokesman Lakshman Wickramasinghe said yesterday.  Other than the sittings in Colombo, the LLRC held public sittings in the districts of Jaffna, Batticaloa, Mannar, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Matara, Ampara, Moneragala, Galle, Matara, Puttalam and Anuradhapura.  The LLRC also visited the Boosa detention camp to interview LTTE detainees. It is expected to handover its final report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by May 15. Meanwhile, in another turn around, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) General Secretary Hasan Ali told Tamil Mirror online yesterday that party leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem would not testify before the LLRC but would make a written submission after Mr. Hakeem returned to the country. Earlier the SLMC said Mr. Hakeem would testify at the Ampara sittings (Daily Mirror : 29 March 2011).

Skimming fraud funding terrorists - RGANISED crime gangs with links to Britain and Sri Lanka are fuelling a fresh wave of identity fraud in Victoria, with Melbourne's inner city firming as the latest frontier in card skimming. As police accuse banks of putting their own reputations before their customers' welfare, Herald Sun Investigations found: A SECRET national taskforce has broken a $100 million global Eftpos skimming syndicate with 56 arrests, including two individuals from Britain and two from Canada. AT LEAST seven ATMs and two Eftpos machines have been skimmed in Melbourne in recent months, with crime gangs increasingly hitting the inner city. GLOBAL crime syndicates committing large-scale identity fraud around Australia may have links with Sri Lankan terrorists. Victoria Police Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Endler said skimming gangs typically hit Melbourne's outer suburbs before flying home, but an active Victoria Police investigation involves an unknown group hitting machines in the city.  Last year, the Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad brought down a British-linked Eftpos skimming syndicate preying on Melbourne's Sri Lankan community. Police charged six people - five of them Sri Lankan - under Operation Around with conspiracy to defraud and associated crimes, court records show. The operation was linked to the nationwide Taskforce Chamonix. The ringleader, a Sri Lankan who flew to Melbourne via Sydney from his home in Britain, would offer Sri Lankan students working at Melbourne service stations up to $30,000 for access to their stores' Eftpos handsets. The syndicate would install skimming technology in the machines and spy cameras overhead to capture each customer's PIN. Now serving at least four years' jail, the ringleader was also made to pay Westpac, ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank $70,000 in compensation. Sri Lanka warned Australia about card skimming at least four years ago. Concerns intensified that stolen funds could be supporting Tamil Tigers terrorists after the arrest of several Tamils over Eftpos fraud in Western Australia. Police have not said Australian money has ended up with Tamil terrorists, but similar skimming schemes in Canada and Britain have given funds to the group. Australian Crime Commission figures show 63,000 fake debit card transactions worth $24.5 million were recorded in Australia in 2009, up 50 per cent in three years. Queensland Det-Supt Brian Hay accused banks of failing to properly report credit card fraud to authorities for fear of damaging their brands (Herald Sun : 28 March 2011).

UN Panel could meet LLRC - MR - President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Colomob-based foreign correspondents yesterday at Temple Trees reiterated his position that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s three-member advisory panel could visit Sri Lanka to meet the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).  The President stressed that the UN panel would not be allowed to conduct any investigations here.  Meanwhile The Hindustan Times reported:  The ambitious Indian project to build 50,000 houses for the displaced Tamil civilians in the North seems to have been delayed. Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday that the pilot project of 1,000 houses is likely to take off in July. The foundation stone for the pilot project was laid last November by External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna, amid much fanfare. And, the project was announced in June 2010.  Land for the pilot project would be allocated in five northern Lanka districts including Kilinochchi, Rajapaksa said. "We have given land," he said at an interaction with Colombo-based foreign correspondents on Monday. Diplomatic sources in Colombo, however, said the construction of the first 1,000 houses should begin much before July (Island ; 28 March 2011).

Human smuggling network still at large – National Post - Despite an international crackdown, the organizers of the human smuggling network are still on the loose. And they are still recruiting passengers willing to pay handsomely to be shipped to Canada, the National Post reported.  Lieutenant-General Pongpat Chayapan of the Royal Thai Police said in an interview with the National Post, "I am aware that there is a network, a smuggling ring that is preparing to smuggle people over to Canada."  When the MV Ocean Lady arrived off the British Columbia coast in 2009 carrying 76 migrants, it signaled that Canada had become a target of Southeast Asia’s human smuggling syndicates, the National Post said.  The next ship, the MV Sun Sea, came last August, this time with 492 migrants on board, some of them former Sri Lankan rebels.  And it’s not over yet.  The RCMP believes the smugglers are working from Thailand, Malaysia and Laos to send yet another migrant ship to the West Coast.  The smuggling runs are dangerous, as the images of a migrant ship breaking up off Australia’s Christmas Island last December attest. Twenty-eight died that morning. They are also costly. The Canadian government has spent $25-million to date dealing with the MV Sun Sea (Island : 28 March 2011).

Rajapaksa set to meet UN panel - ...... Sri Lanka had strongly opposed the Ban Ki-moon’s move to appoint the panel last year. Rajapaksa had instead appointed the LLRC to look into the failure of the Norway-brokered ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers leading to the last years of the war. But global rights groups have since dismissed the internal panel as a facile attempt by the government to deflect growing criticism of its human rights record during the war’s final stage.  Both the government and the LTTE have been accused of being behind civilian casualties as the war came to an end in 2009.  ``No one can harm the citizens of their country…anybody killing people is not with them,’’ Rajapaksa said when asked about the situation in Libya. Rajapaksa was probably among the few close allies embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had called after the civil broke out.  Rajapaksa said: “We are not with anyone killing civilians and cannot accept the violation of the sovereignty of any country.” (Hindustan Times : 28 March 2011).

Sun Sea migrant performed in LTTE movie - One of the Tamil migrants from the MV Sun Sea performed in an elaborate video production promoting the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Immigration and Refugee Board has been told.  The dramatization -available on YouTube and apparently shown to some of the cargo ship's passengers before it set sail for Canada last year -depicts members of the Tigers' elite suicide squad going on a mission to rescue hundreds of other LTTE fighters from the Sri Lankan army. "This is not a regular movie made for pure entertainment . . . or an artistic endeavour by a filmmaker," said Becky Chan, a representative of the Canada Border Services Agency, which is seeking the man's deportation.  Chan said that while the man may not have been a formal member of the Tigers, his role in the film and other activities -including providing martial arts instruction for LTTE -helped advance the cause of the Tigers. One does not have to have received specific training or engaged in combat to be considered a member of a terrorist organization, Chan told the board Friday.  The migrant's lawyer, Shepherd Moss, insisted his client's activities did not amount to membership in the organization. He said that because his client was living in territory controlled by LTTE, it was virtually impossible for him to avoid interaction with the Tigers. His client's activities and motivations were strictly "civilian," Moss said.  Under questioning by Moss, the man testified he agreed to participate in the movie because he wanted to make himself a "popular person. I didn't have any other desire," he said. He also testified that he taught karate to help steer young people away from smoking and drinking and to help them "develop character." Friday's admissibility hearing is the fourth to be held since the arrival of 492 Tamil migrants on the Sun Sea last August. The Canada Border Services Agency has so far requested admissibility hearings for about 40 of the migrants, mostly on the grounds that they were members of LTTE or committed serious crimes, including war crimes, while abroad. Of the three who have had their admissibility hearings, two were ordered deported, though there are still appeals in progress. The migrant at the centre of Friday's hearing cannot be identified due to a publication ban (The Province : 28 March 2011).

West should decide who represents Tamils

Beware of LTTE false pretences Ambassador tells European states: Important reasons - Modus operandi used by LTTE - Remnant cadres’ skills - Europe, a preferred location Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha cautioned against those advo- ating mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders.  “It is important that European States and institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka “through peaceful means,” while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders, he said.  Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he addressed a group of senior members of the judicial, police, intelligence, military and corporate security community in Brussels, on the theme ‘Thwarting the LTTE’s designs in Europe’ at a meeting of the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA) held on March 23, 2011.  The Ambassador told his audience that despite the LTTE being militarily defeated in Sri Lanka, they should continue to worry about the LTTE for three important sets of reasons.  First, because understanding the modus operandi used by the LTTE at its peak, as well as those the remnant LTTE terrorist/front organization/criminal elements continue to adopt, will help understand the strategies and tactics of similar groups, who might more specifically be the focus of their attention.  Second, because the remnant cadres of the LTTE and its front organizations constitute a ready army of mercenaries for hire who posses a wide spectrum of skills that can be obtained for a price and in this day and age of self inspired terrorism, there are many including the numerous single issue terrorist groups looking for such skills. These skills included arms procurement and smuggling, passport fraud and human trafficking, skimming, extortion and money laundering, threat to corporate interests, propaganda broadcasts and cyber terror, as well as the radicalization and indoctrination of youth.  Third, since the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka in May 2009, Europe has become the preferred location for concentration of assets, personnel and activity of the LTTE  (Daily News ; 28 March 2011).

‘West should decide who represents Tamils’ - Sri Lanka said that Western governments should come to a conclusion as to who speak for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, whether those in the diaspora, who continue to seek an independent Tamil Eelam or peace loving Tamils in Sri Lanka and abroad. “Western governments too will soon have to come to a conclusion as to who speaks for the Tamils of Sri Lanka? Whether it is those in the diaspora who are unrepentant, militant and continue to seek an independent ‘Tamil Eelam’, or whether it should be those peace loving Tamils living both in Sri Lanka, as well as abroad, who are ready to move forward with other communities in Sri Lanka in solidarity,” Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has said.  Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he addressed a group of senior members of the judicial, police, intelligence, military and corporate security community in Brussels, on the theme ‘Thwarting the LTTE’s designs in Europe’ at a meeting of the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA).  He also said that “since the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka in May 2009, Europe has become the preferred location for concentration of assets, personnel and activity of the LTTE”.  He said, besides the radicalized activism of LTTE front organizations in several European capitals, and the arrest of 32 LTTE activists in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland and conviction of a further 21 in France over the past 15 months, the 'in-charge' of the LTTE’s assets and network of front organizations Nadiyavan, the LTTE's senior most surviving intelligence leader Vinayakam, Propagandist-in-Chief Jeyachandran and Global Tamil Forum chief Fr. Emmanuel were all located in Europe, to which also the centre of gravity of the so-called “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has shifted following the formation of the breakaway TGTE (Democrats) group recently.  Ambassador Aryasinha also noted that “Sri Lanka’s quest for reconciliation and development will no doubt be helped, to the extent that foreign governments maintain a watchful eye, concerning the activities of pro-LTTE elements”, said ‘It is important that European States and institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka ‘through peaceful means’, while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders” (Daily Mirror ; 28 March 2011).

International Thuggery - By S L Gunasekara - A destroyed Libyan tank and munitions are seen in the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, eastern Libya, Saturday, March 26, 2011. Libyan rebels regained control of the eastern gateway city of Ajdabiya on Saturday after international airstrikes crippled Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, in the first major turnaround for an uprising that a week ago appeared on the verge of defeat. (AP). Can anyone listen to the sanctimonious speeches of Obama and his lap-dogs such as Cameron and Sarkozy about their allegedly "noble" (!!) motives for their campaign of aggression in Libya, where they rain destruction on that country from a safe distance – i.e. from state of the art aircraft and missiles launched from aircraft carriers and from highly sophisticated war ships anchored away from the coast of Libya without being nauseated? I, for one, cannot. If there breathes a man so gullible and so stupid as to believe what Obama and his lap-dogs say, they would also have to believe the unbelievable - that this coalition of international thugs led by Obama and his lap-dogs practise unceasing aggression on Libya not because they hate Gaddafi, (who is one leader of a third world country who never licked the boots of the Americans or the paws of any of her lap-dogs) and want his oil reserves, but only because of their deep desire for the welfare of civilians and the establishment of democracy in that country!!! It is pertinent at this stage to compare the conduct of these thugs vis-à-vis Libya to their conduct under the then leaders of their countries such as George W Bush etc vis-à-vis Iraq. It is indisputable that all of them detested the Head of State of that country Saddam Hussein, who was another leader of a third world country, who would not lick the boots of the Americans or the paws of any of its lap-dogs such as the once ‘Great’ Britain (Island ; 27 March 2011).

SL draws EU’s attention to LTTE rump’s operations -  Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha, says since the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka in May 2009, Europe has become the preferred location for concentration of assets, personnel and activity of the LTTE.  In his address to the European Corporate Security Association (ECSA) on March 23, Ambassador Aryasinha said that besides the radicalised activism of LTTE front organisations in several European capitals and the arrest of 32 LTTE activists in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland and conviction of a further 21 in France over the past 15 months, the person in charge of the LTTE’s assets and network of front organisations Nadiyavan, the LTTE’s senior most surviving intelligence leader Vinayakam, Propagandist-in-Chief Jeyachandran and Global Tamil Forum chief Fr. Emmanuel were all located in Europe, to which also the centre of gravity of the so-called "Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has shifted following the formation of the breakaway TGTE (Democrats) group recently.  Noting that ‘Sri Lanka’s quest for reconciliation and development would no doubt be helped to the extent that foreign governments maintain a watchful eye concerning the activities of pro-LTTE elements’, he said: "It is important that European States and institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka "through peaceful means", while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders" (Island : 27 March 2011).

West should decide - SL - Sri Lanka said that Western governments should come to a conclusion as to who speak for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, whether those in the diaspora, who continue to seek an independent Tamil Eelam or peace loving Tamils in Sri Lanka and abroad. “Western governments too will soon have to come to a conclusion as to who speaks for the Tamils of Sri Lanka? Whether it is those in the diaspora who are unrepentant, militant and continue to seek an independent ‘Tamil Eelam’, or whether it should be those peace loving Tamils living both in Sri Lanka, as well as abroad, who are ready to move forward with other communities in Sri Lanka in solidarity,” Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has said. Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he addressed a group of senior members of the judicial, police, intelligence, military and corporate security community in Brussels, on the theme ‘Thwarting the LTTE’s designs in Europe’ at a meeting of the European Corporate Security ssociation (ECSA). He also said that “since the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka in May 2009, Europe has become the preferred location for concentration of assets, personnel and activity of the LTTE”. He said, besides the radicalized activism of LTTE front organizations in several European capitals, and the arrest of 32 LTTE activists in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland and conviction of a further 21 in France over the past 15 months, the 'in-charge' of the LTTE’s assets and network of front organizations Nadiyavan, the LTTE's senior most surviving intelligence leader Vinayakam, Propagandist-in-Chief Jeyachandran and Global Tamil Forum chief Fr. Emmanuel were all located in Europe, to which also the centre of gravity of the so-called “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam has shifted following the formation of the breakaway TGTE (Democrats) group recently. Ambassador Aryasinha also noted that “Sri Lanka’s quest for reconciliation and development will no doubt be helped, to the extent that foreign governments maintain a watchful eye, concerning the activities of pro-LTTE elements”, said ‘It is important that European States and institutions do not provide any political or symbolic support, nor should they be fooled by the false pretences of those continuing to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka ‘through peaceful means’, while espousing the ideology of the LTTE, using its money and being manipulated by its surviving military leaders” (Daily Mirror ; 27 March 2011).

2011 Cricket World Cup

Congratulations Dilshan and Upul Tharanga

TNA seeks police and land powers for North;  Devolution issues to be taken up with President - The Tamil National Alliance wants the Government to grant the Northern Province police powers besides the right to manage land and forest reservations. This request will be placed before President Mahinda Rajapaksa through a government committee in the course of periodic consultations. The TNA points out that these subjects are already listed in the Concurrent List of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. These are the major subjects of power sharing the TNA wants to discuss with the Government. TNA MP Mavai Senathiraja told the Sunday Times this would be the first time issues relating to power sharing would be discussed by the TNA with UPFA leaders. In the previous meeting with the President, the TNA delegation had discussed welfare measures for people affected by the war in the north. TNA leader R. Sampanthan who has been overseas for medical treatment for nearly three months is expected back on April 4 and a TNA decision on power sharing proposal would be finalized after that. President Rajapaksa told newspaper editors on Friday that even though talks with the TNA had proceeded well, the party was still to come up with proposals on power sharing. “We will look into the TNA proposals and have discussions with other parties before taking a decision. They will ask for more, but we will have to strike a balance,” he said. “Whatever proposals they make, I will not give what the LTTE has been asking for,” he said (Sunday Times : 27 March 2011).

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

Read more about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution)

Army denies pro-LTTE report - The Army yesterday denied an online pro-LTTE propaganda report of a ‘terrorist attack on a military convoy’ last Thursday as killing five personnel while injuring a senior officer.  According to a pro-terrorist online portal, a military convoy had come under a possible ‘LTTE terrorist attack’ deep inside the Habarana jungle enclave. A spokesman for the Army said the story was a complete fabrication and no such incident had taken place.  Defence observers said this was another fabrication of LTTE propagandists irked by the magnitude of development and economic progress in the North and the East (Sunday Observer : 27 March 2011).

Solheim Meets Diaspora - Norwegian Minister of International Development and former special peace envoy Erik Solheim has met representatives of the Tamil diaspora in Oslo, Norway News reported. The meeting was held just over a week ago and was organised at the request of some Tamil groups in order to be briefed about Norway’s policy on Sri Lanka and also to present their views on the current situation in the country. Minister Solheim’s main focus during the meeting was to listen to the input from the Tamil groups. His advice to them was that the only way to promote development and a political solution in Sri Lanka is to engage in dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka, Norway News reported. Solheim, in an interview with News Now.lk a few months ago, had said Norway would like to play the role of a “dialogue partner” between the Sri Lankan government and communities living in exile. However Norway News said that well known LTTE Norway activist Nediyavan has rejected the idea (Sunday Leader : 27 March 2011).

Parliament discusses UN panel on Sri Lanka - South Africa's Vice President, Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe has told the country's National Assembly that a Sri Lanka delegation met the three-member United Nations Panel probing alleged war crimes issues in Sri Lanka.  The meeting between the two sides in New York was exclusively reported in the Sunday Times of March 6. Both the UN and the Sri Lankan side have kept this meeting a secret. A question was raised by S.J. Nijekalana of the African National Congress in the South African National Assembly, their Parliament. It was directed at the Deputy President, Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe. Here is his response: Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe "As far as we know there are no such investigations taking place, and thus our government has therefore not been requested to contribute. "What we do know as the government of South Africa is that the United Nations Secretary-General appointed on 22 June 2010 a three-member United Nations Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues relating to alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the Sri Lankan conflict. "The panel consists of Mr Marzuki Darusman (Indonesian and Chairperson), Ms Yasmin Sooka (South African) and Mr Steven Ratner (United States) and officially commenced its work on 16 September 2010. The deadline date for submissions in this regard was set as 31 December 2010 (Sunday Times ; 27 March 2011).

Jaffna comes alive with music from across the globe - Jaffna Municipal Grounds, in the close vicinity of famous Jaffna Library and Alfred Duraiappah Stadium, came alive last two days, as hundreds of artistes from across the country took part in the Jaffna Music Festival 2011. More than 24 local folk art and music groups representing many areas in the country and five international folk groups from India, Nepal, Palestine, South Africa and Norway rendered performances to the applaud of the crowds gathered at the stadium. Funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo in partnership with USAID, the festival was organised by the Sewa Lanka Foundation with the support of Concerts Norway and Aru Sri Art Theatre. “We plan to make this a biannual event. And next we want to have a similar festival in Galle,” organizers told The Nation. The groups were selected following a long process that ran over three months, after processing 60-80 applications. The main event in Jaffna was followed by a series of village performances. “Most of these groups have been confined to their villages for many years and have not performed outside. For them, performing under lights and with modern sound equipment was a novel idea,” the organisers said. University of Jaffna has played a significant role in identifying unique folk art groups in Jaffna and a university representative said until recently they were not able to have night performances due to the conflict. For the first time after a long time they were able to have a festival running into late night (The Nation : 27 March 2011).

Sri Lanka: ICRC to operate exclusively from Colombo - In November 2010, the Sri Lankan government asked the ICRC to close its offices in Jaffna and Vavuniya and to conduct its operations exclusively from Colombo. The ICRC head of delegation in Sri Lanka and two Sri Lankan staff members from the Jaffna and Vavuniya offices reflect on ICRC operations in Sri Lanka, past and future (Island : 26 March 2011).

Tamil migrant appeared in Tigers propaganda video, hearing told - One of the Tamil migrants from the MV Sun Sea performed in an elaborate video production promoting the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Immigration and Refugee Board was told Friday.  The dramatization -- available on YouTube and apparently shown to some of the cargo ship's passengers before it set sail for Canada last year -- depicts members of the Tigers' elite suicide squad going on a mission to rescue hundreds of other LTTE fighters from the Sri Lankan army.  "This is not a regular movie made for pure entertainment ... or an artistic endeavour by a filmmaker," said Becky Chan, a representative of the Canada Border Services Agency, which is seeking the man's deportation.  Chan said while the man may not have been a formal member of the Tigers, his role in the film and other activities -- including providing martial arts instruction for the LTTE -- helped advance the cause of the Tigers.  One does not have to have received specific training or engaged in combat to be considered a member of a terrorist organization, Chan told the board.  The migrant's lawyer, Shepherd Moss, insisted his client's activities did not amount to membership in the organization. He said that because his client was living in territory controlled by the LTTE, it was virtually impossible for him to avoid interaction with the Tigers.  Friday's admissibility hearing is the fourth to be held since the arrival of 492 Tamil migrants on the Sun Sea last August. The Canada Border Services Agency has so far requested admissibility hearings for about 40 of the migrants, mostly on the grounds that they were members of the LTTE or committed serious crimes, including war crimes, while abroad.  Of the three who have had their admissibility hearings, two were ordered deported, though there are still appeals in progress (Vancouver Sun ; 26 March 2011).

'Curse of Extremism' - Officials bust LTTE propaganda effort - Sri Lanka military vehemently denied an online propaganda report of a 'terrorist attack on a military convoy' last Thursday (24) as killing 5 personnel while injuring a senior officer.  According to a pro-terrorist online portal, a military convoy had come under a possible 'LTTE terrorist attack' deep inside the Habarana jungle enclave.  Defence observers making note on the latest LTTE propaganda theme, are of the view that such efforts by anti-peace cum terrorist mouth pieces as violent reactions- irked by the magnitude of development and economic progress in the once war torn North and East.  Democracy is flourishing in the nation as Sri Lanka is well ahead of becoming the Miracle of Asia- a vow President Rajapaksa made resuming office for the second term.  The recently concluded Local Government Elections resulted in a landslide win to the ruling UPFA government while Tamil political parties secured 12 of the contested 235, ahead of the major opposition party-UNP with a mere 8 councils under its belt.  Also, Sri Lanka been an official host of the ICC World-Cup and the unprecedented exhibition of talent by the local boys has indeed pricked eyes of the doomsayers. Similar, anti-Sri Lankan propaganda efforts by LTTE activists aboard were intense at the 2007 Caribbean World-Cup, which ended in drama as the Sri Lanka cricket team went ahead making to a rain rattled finale. Furthermore, the latest revelation declaring Hambantota-candidate city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games has added more slat on wounds of those with sinister anti-.Sri Lanka motives.  Since, end of the three decade terrorist scourge in 2009 the islanders are reaping benefits of peace with mega development projects underway on all parts of the nation involving billions of dollars of foreign investments. Sri Lanka is experiencing a large tourist influx with many hotels full and booked for months.  Hence, similar propaganda gimmicks are expected to surf intended at creating a hype of doubt, defence analysts said adding that the perpetrators driven by the 'curse of extremism' will be only be left -defied by their own hatred (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 26 March 2011).

With guns silent, Jaffna drums up music festival - The much anticipated Jaffna Music Festival 2011 started its three day saga yesterday celebrating the almost forgotten beats and rhythms of the peninsula and the neighbouring cities. A sister event of the biennial Galle Music Fest, the 2011 festival champions the multi ethnic and multi cultural identities of Sri Lanka through sound, dance, music and folk art. The event would help re-establish the nearly dying art forms of the ‘nearly destroyed’ parts of the country while giving the Jaffna village folks a taste of additional forms of music via performances from other provinces of Sri Lanka as well as from other countries of the globe. The event is held adjacent to the Duraiappa Stadium in Jaffna. Decorated in style with a massive structure, typically Tamil with the various poses and forms of the deities they believe in, the festival ground is hard to miss. A large open space has been transformed into a cultural camp like atmosphere with every nook and corner is filled with little edifying treasures. The people, decorated by their signature smiles and the red and white pottu’s they adorn so religiously on their foreheads guide throngs of villages, foreigners and media personnel in haltering English and Sinhala. But before that they ensure that the passersby are also blessed by placing a pottu, almost a visual sign of bridging gaps between cultural and ethical differences. While the dust swirls almost alluringly if not for the constant sneezes you would hear, the air is filled with soft notes of music followed by almost frantic beating of the drums and sounding of flutes. While the impossibly hot air and scorching sun burns those walking around, the music and art makes up for it with its soothing presence. The event is one of the biggest ever held within the city and the fact is evident by the extravagant saaris and vetti’s that adorn the body of the men and women. Their excitement is evident and what is also noted is that like the ancient records say, the Jaffna people love their music. Heads sway, feat tap the burning sand and smiles play their tune. A large number of folk groups are scheduled to perform during the three day period. From the upcountry dancing and traditional singing from Warakapola, kohomba kankariya and bali natum from Kandy, kolam dance from Mirissa, the famous puppet shows from Ambalangoda, Daha ata Sanniya from Denipitya and the Sabaragamuwa folk dance groups have come down from other parts of Sri Lanka to be a part of the very first Jaffna Music Festival 2011 (Daily FT : 26 March 2011).

TNA should consider themselves as Sri Lankans and not resort to devious measures aimed at segregation

Another Bombshell by Human Rights Watch (HRW) - By Malin Abeyatunga, Melbourne, Australia - This is how Alan Dershowitz-Professor of Law at Harvard Law School sees Human Rights Watch” (source-Lankaweb-HRW) Quote” Who will guard the guardians?” asked Roman satirist Juvenal. Now we must ask, who is watching Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s best-financed and most influential human rights organizations? It turns out that they cook the books about facts, cheat on interviews, and put out pre-determined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence. These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true. “Alan Dershowitz Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School” This is a plain truth when we consider the various reports published by HRW on Sri Lanka/LTTE terrorist conflict. How appropriate and true of this analysis of HRW! HRW which was founded in 1978 (as per Wkipedia)would have had good intentions when it was started but those good intentions appear to have swallowed by dollar vultures. Sri Lanka has been an easy target for the HRW for the last two decades or so in our fight against the LTTE terrorist out fit which FBI described as “the most brutal terrorist organization in the world”. The extent the HRW has been ignoring LTTE’s horrendous atrocities and the way they mollycoddled LTTE and its supportive Tamil Diaspora, people began to wander whether it is Human Rights Watch or “Eelam Rights Watch” . HRW with their dollars lavishly throwing about has managed to influence the print and electronic media specially in the western block of countries against small countries like Sri Lanka. They never dared to raise its fingers against the USA,UK and NATO countries albeit hundreds of thousands innocent civilians have been killed in IRAQ and Afghanistan. In HRW’s report in March 2008, a simple example given below shows how smart HRW in cooking up and fabricating stories and creating fictions to suit its agenda. Vairamuththu Varatharasan, a 40-year-old truck driver and father of five, was abducted from his home in Colombo on January 7, 2007, and has not been seen since. His wife told Human Rights Watch: “A group of about 20 men – some in police uniforms, some in civilian clothes surrounded the house. One policeman came inside and asked for our identity card. I went into one of the rooms to get the identity card. By the time I came out of the room, my husband was not there; neither was the policeman. I ran out and spotted a van parked in a dark place on the road. I ran to the road, but by the time I got there, the van started and left.” Firstly, She had time to count the number in the group as twenty in a panic situation. Then she says” by the time she came out of the room her husband was not there neither was the policeman. (EMPHASIS-ONE POLICEMAN) . Now what happened to other 19 people of the group who came to abduct him? Doesn’t this look a cooked up story? All other testimonials quoted in this report also do not have any credibility. Now the question arises as to who interview these Tamils? When and Where? To whom these 99 cases reported? Did HRW gone through the veracity of the reports? Or is it hearsay? Or can’t that be a LTTE propagandist who made up these cases to get sympathy from the International Community just the way HRW is sympathizing with LTTE? (Sri Lanka News Online : 26 March 2011).

Govt to monitor NGOs - Suitable policy to be worked out - To ensure that people benefit - It is the right and responsibility of the government to monitor how Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) obtain funds and how they are spent, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a meeting with the Editors of the print and electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday.  He said that many millions of rupees come into the country on a monthly and yearly basis and currently there is no mechanism to monitor from where they come from and how these funds are utilized. The President, citing India as an example, added that almost no other country in the world allows organizations to bring large amounts of money into the country and spend them on projects of their own without any monitoring by the government. ”Therefore, the Government intends to workout a suitable policy to monitor their activities’, President Rajapaksa said. He pointed out that specific guidelines are needed for NGOs to obtain funds through the correct methods and spend in a correct manner. He emphasized that this is not an anti-NGO policy but a valid mechanism to ensure that the people benefit through such funds. Joining the discussion, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that such unmonitored fund inflows could even lead to money laundering, which is now a growing global concern (Daily News : 26 March 2011).

Post-conflict reconciliation: Talks with Tamil parties - President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that initial talks have taken place with Tamil political parties on aspects of post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka although no formal proposals have been made so far by them. The President was addressing Editors of the print and electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday. The President said that after considering proposals from all parties a mutual agreement will be made. He added that the focus is on alleged or perceived grievances of minority communities. However, little is said or reported in the media about the amity that exists among them, he pointed out. He said that earlier a very high percentage of Sinhalese lived in Colombo, but today it is less than 30 percent. “But, this has not led to misunderstandings and there are no complaints of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity,” he stressed. With regard to measures taken outside of Colombo, the government has ensured the appointment of at least one Tamil speaking police officer in each police station in the North who can take down a complaint in Tamil, he pointed out. “In addition, in an increasing number of cases, the first reports to courts in the Northern areas are now filed in Tamil,” he said. ‘Such measures are taken to ensure that the government responds to people’s needs, further promoting post-conflict reconciliation’. “There is increasing appreciation from abroad of the country’s post-conflict reconciliation process,” stated the President. External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris joining the discussion agreed saying the European Union Parliamentary group that visited Sri Lanka recently expressed their satisfaction of the post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction. He added that Western diplomats acknowledge there is no condition in Sri Lanka to seek refuge for political purposes elsewhere but refuge is sought for economic purposes. The President said that it is difficult for a handful of Sri Lankan diplomatic staff abroad to counter various charges raised against Sri Lanka by vast organizations, individuals and other powerful entities. He said that there is a planned attack on this country by such groups with the help of international media who do not give publicity to the positive news in Sri Lanka (Daily News : 26 March 2011).

Sri Lanka Govt. has the right and the responsibility to monitor how NGOs obtained funds and what they were used for

Rift in Tiger ‘government’ - The government is to introduce a policy to monitor the activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka, the President’s office said today.  According to the President’s office President Mahinda Rajaapaksa has said that specific guideline are needed for NGOs to obtain funds through the correct methods and spend in a correct manner. “It is the right and responsibility of the government to monitor how NGOs obtain funds and how they are spent,” President Rajapaksa said. He said that many millions of rupees come into the country on a monthly and yearly basis and currently there is no mechanism to monitor from where they come from and how these funds are utilized. The President, citing India as an example, added that almost no other country in the world allows organizations to bring large amounts of money into the country and spend them on projects of their own without any monitoring by the government. “Therefore, the government intends to work out a suitable policy to monitor their activities,” President Rajapaksa said. He emphasized that this is not an anti-NGO policy but a valid mechanism to ensure that the people benefit through such funds (News Now lk : 25 March 2011).

Polls Watchers – Fund Catchers -  "This calls for very urgent action...we can’t waste any time…our moves must be fast, firm and effective," that was the thinking of the representative from the Centre for Profitable Alternatives (CPA). "Just imagine all the funds that we stand to lose."  The organizer of the Centre for Manufacturing Elections Violence (CMEV) that is an offshoot or subsidiary, call it what you like, of the CPA had similar thoughts. "We must not forget that our entire existence is based on the conduct of elections, free, fair or fowl. We can’t let the current situation prevail…We must act fast….there are other countries that will be asking for these funds very soon."  The member of the National Peace for Profit Council (NPC) wanted to get some clarification about all the excitement. ‘What is the problem… We must call for more action on reconciliation, that will help us reconcile our figures and journals better…What is the problem you have that calls for urgent action?"  "Surely you must understand… it is about the absence of any elections in the coming months and possibly several years", said the member from the CAFÉ crowd that is in the habit of making coffee party pronouncements about widespread violence in polls campaigns (Island : 25 March 2011).

Last female Tamil refugee claimant freed - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor (Letters) THE OTTAWA CITIZEN; Sir: Your news item ‘Last female Tamil refugee claimant freed’ who arrived on MV Sun Sea and held in detention since the ship’s arrival in British Columbia coast last summer, was predictable as night would follow day. There is a lesson learnt for the impending ship smuggled Tamil refugees. Find the $45,000 for the voyage on a refugee smuggling ship and get over to Canada, and if you can endure eight months of detention with housing, meals and medical attention provided, you would eventually get into Canada as a Vienna Convention refugee claimant. It is that simple. Why should the Canadian government spend millions of dollars on tax payers money processing these smuggled Tamils when you could save it by letting these Ship smuggled Tamils in on the very first day itself as the Immigration Refugee clearing process seems to be an eye-wash any way? Let’s be honest (LankaWeb : 25 March 2011).

New NGO policy - The government is to introduce a policy to monitor the activities of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka, the President’s office said today. According to the President’s office President Mahinda Rajaapaksa has said that specific guideline are needed for NGOs to obtain funds through the correct methods and spend in a correct manner. “It is the right and responsibility of the government to monitor how NGOs obtain funds and how they are spent,” President Rajapaksa said. He said that many millions of rupees come into the country on a monthly and yearly basis and currently there is no mechanism to monitor from where they come from and how these funds are utilized. The President, citing India as an example, added that almost no other country in the world allows organizations to bring large amounts of money into the country and spend them on projects of their own without any monitoring by the government. “Therefore, the government intends to work out a suitable policy to monitor their activities,” President Rajapaksa said. He emphasized that this is not an anti-NGO policy but a valid mechanism to ensure that the people benefit through such funds (News Now lk : 25 March 2011).

We will monitor NGOs: Rajapaksa - Justifying the move to tighten its monitoring mechanism on Non-Governmental Organisations, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Sri Lankan editors on Friday that the government had the right, and the responsibility to monitor how NGOs obtained funds and what they were used for. Responding to the recent debate in the country on NGOs and the role they played in facilitating the country’s development, he said that many millions of rupees come into the country. There is no mechanism to monitor where they come from and how these funds are utilised. The President referred to the situation in India and said that no other country allowed organisations to bring large amounts of money into the country and spend them on projects of their own without any monitoring by the government. “Therefore, the government intends to work out a suitable policy to monitor their activities,” Mr. Rajapaksa said. He pointed out that specific guidelines are needed for NGOs to obtain funds through correct methods and spend in a correct manner. Joining the discussion, Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella said that such fund inflows could even lead to money laundering, which is now a growing global concern (Hindu ; 25 March 2011).

We want solution acceptable to all: Rajapaksa - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said the ongoing talks with the pro-LTTE TNA were progressing and he would try to accommodate their aspirations in a solution to the Tamil issue that could be acceptable to all concerned parties. "My aim is to achieve the best possible solution acceptable to all," Rajapaksa said.  Addressing the local editors and publishers in his monthly meeting, he said that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) would want to achieve maximum with their own proposals.  Rajapaksa said that the solution would never match separatism aimed at by the LTTE.  He admonished politicians to approach the problem devoid of political angles and they need to be patient as a problem which had lasted over 60 years needed careful handling.  Rajapaksa and the TNA have had three rounds of talks following a high powered committee appointed to consult the main Tamil party (Indian Express : 25 March 2011).

TNA and devolution - by Gamini Premadasa - It is reported that the "Sri Lanka’s Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is in the process of preparing a set of proposals on the devolution of power to be handed over to the government". It is implied that proposals would "pave the way for a permanent solution to the ethnic issue and address the grievances of the Tamils". If administrative powers are to be devolved to the provincial bodies, then the justification for doing so is that the local institutions will have the responsibility and the authority to manage their own affairs. The basis for devolution, however, should not be ethnicity, or more specifically being Tamil, as nearly half the Tamils in Sri Lanka live outside the territories that the proponents claim as a region for which devolution is needed. Additionally, such a proposal, if acceded to, would make a mockery of the sacrifices that the Sinhalese soldiers made in liberating the North and parts of the East of Sri Lanka from the clutches of Pirabakaran. The hold that the latter had on the lives of the Tamils of the North, incidentally, was the real grievance they had, though few may be ready to admit it. It is time that TNA and its spokespersons are told that at least now they should consider themselves as Sri Lankans and not resort to devious measures aimed at segregation (Island ; 25 March 2011).

No aid to LTTE - US & India - Suggesting that the New Delhi's help should be cut off from the Tamil insurgents would be to acknowledge a separate Tamil Eelam, India said that it has ‘no problem’ with Indian assistance flowing through the Sri Lankan Government to LTTE areas soon after the 2004 Tsunami, a latest Wikileaks cable revealed. Indian Ministry of External Affairs Director Taranjit Singh Sandhu explained, however, that New Delhi found ‘unacceptable’ the LTTE statement that aid should be given directly to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization. The US cable also said in a January 2005 sent by then US Ambassador David Mulford in New Delhi said “the United States Government approach was similar, adding that we have conveyed the message that US relief could be channeled through others, but that no US military deployments or military relief projects would take place in Tiger controlled areas.” The Cable also clarified the extent of the US military presence in Sri Lanka which has attracted considerable media attention in India, including suggestions that the GOI needs to check US intrusion in India's ‘backyard.’ Sandhu seemed surprised to learn that the widely reported figure of 1,500 US troops in the country was incorrect, and that the USG was going to refocus some military assets on Indonesia because India was doing a very good job of providing assistance to Sri Lanka. (Note: We have heard from others that the Indian Embassy in Colombo has been a source of some of these alarmist reports about US military plans for Sri Lanka.). Sandhu responded that it was ‘wishful thinking’ on the part of the LTTE that a disaster relief turf war would drive a wedge between the US and India. Sandhu was also unaware that conversations between Washington and New Delhi had taken place through the core group before any US military movement into Sri Lanka. Sandhu predicted that the tsunami could have long term political implications in Sri Lanka. What at one time seemed like critical issues in the conflict seem irrelevant in light of the much larger issue of surviving the disaster, he explained. Neither the GOSL or the Tigers are in any position to resume armed conflict, he observed, and they may be 'forced' to cooperate. If both sides see the current situation as an opportunity, he continued, that could be the 'silver lining' in this tragedy. He added, parenthetically, that Foreign Minister Natwar Singh had canceled his scheduled mid-January trip to Sri Lanka. (Daily Mirror : 25 March 2011).

Last female Tamil refugee claimant freed - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor (Letters) THE OTTAWA CITIZEN; Sir: Your news item ‘Last female Tamil refugee claimant freed’ who arrived on MV Sun Sea and held in detention since the ship’s arrival in British Columbia coast last summer, was predictable as night would follow day. There is a lesson learnt for the impending ship smuggled Tamil refugees. Find the $45,000 for the voyage on a refugee smuggling ship and get over to Canada, and if you can endure eight months of detention with housing, meals and medical attention provided, you would eventually get into Canada as a Vienna Convention refugee claimant. It is that simple. Why should the Canadian government spend millions of dollars on tax payers money processing these smuggled Tamils when you could save it by letting these Ship smuggled Tamils in on the very first day itself as the Immigration Refugee clearing process seems to be an eye-wash any way? Let’s be honest (LankaWeb : 25 March 2011).

Probe on NGOs: No witch hunt says Hulugalle - Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle says only a handful of NGOs would be subject to an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) with regard to funds received by them from foreign governments and overseas NGOs over the years. Hulugalle was responding to a statement issued by the Governing Council of the National Peace Council (NPC) in response to Executive Director of the NPC Dr. Jehan Perera being questioned by the CID regarding funds received by his organisation. The government had no intention of harassing any NGO or INGO, the official said. The on-going investigation would focus only on those, who had allegedly received millions of rupees, particularly in the wake of Feb. 2002 ceasefire agreement brokered by Norway, he said. Hulugalle said: "The NPC is one of the NGOs under investigation. We’ll like to know how funds received from foreign governments were spent. In fact, Opposition parties of those donor countries should raise the issue in their parliaments. Naturally their taxpayers’ should be worried." Responding to a query, Hulugalle said that the investigation would be conducted in keeping with Act No 31 of 1980 in relation to the registration and supervision of NGOs. The NGOs had attracted heavy flak not only here but even in the Western world, he said. The recent revelation how former Amnesty International chief Irene Khan and her deputy had received a special payment of over 800,000 pounds from the London headquartered human rights watchdog revealed ‘serious irregularities’ at the highest level of the NGO industry. Hulugalle said that the AI had backed a major LTTE propaganda effort against the Sri Lankan government in early 2007 (Island ; 24 March 2011).

In the name of humanity let the innocents be… - ...... Allegations of war crimes, numerous human rights abuses all point towards a lucrative business for the Tamil Diasporas. As long as they are able to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government through various ill informed lobbies of the international community, the lives they enjoy in these countries would remain justified. Our interview with the Governor of the Central Bank on the next page exposes the levels to which such moves are carried out. ‘There is an enormous amount of money being spent and immense efforts being made by international groups fed by both local and other international groups. Their main mission seems to be to damage the image of the country and attack the economy. We’ve had to tackle this at an international level at regular intervals,’ he opines questioning the ignorance of the West that leads to accepting these lies with open arms (Daily Mirror : 24 March 2011).

Former combatants get Rs. 1mn to rebuild lives courtesy Central Bank - Former LTTE combatants received loans amounting to Rs. 1 billion yesterday (23) through a special scheme initiated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Around 45 former LTTE cadres in Batticaloa received loans ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 50,000 through state-owned banking giant Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to commence their livelihood. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal addressing a gathering at a ceremony to mark the disbursement of Rs. 1 million in loans told former combatants to rebuild their lives through these loans. "I urge you to make use of this loan-schemes to rebuild your lives," he told them. The loans carry an interest cost of between 8 to 12 percent and would help the former combatants start up ventures in electronics and wiring, motor mechanics, mobile phone repairs and agriculture. Speaking to journalists, Cabraal said the Central Bank was able to facilitate the disbursement of loans amounting to around Rs. 2.5 billion in 2010. Around 21,000 loans were granted in the North and 20,000 in the East. Meanwhile, Union Bank opened a branch in Batticaloa yesterday taking its network up to 23. The once war-torn Eastern province now has a total of 64 service points including 32 branches of various banks. Meanwhile, an official for BOC said it was prepared to provide individuals with loans up to Rs. 500,000 if they were backed by viable business plans. Sri Lanka ended a bloody thirty-year old conflict in May 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE. Later that year, Cabraal visited Jaffna where he met representatives of banks and urged them to generate more lending to stimulate the war-torn economies of the North and East. He asked them to use deposits mobilised in the region exclusively to grant loans within the region itself, and not outside especially Colombo. He also urged banks to give their regional managers a degree of autonomy in approving loans so that processes could be expedited (Island : 23 March 2011).

Open letter to UNSG Ban Ki-moon - by N.P.Karunadasa, SLAS (Retired), Kandy - Dear Ban Ki Moon, please allow me to place the following facts before you and to pose a few questions based on them: Separatist terrorist violence unleashed by that despicable fascist megalomaniac mass murderer Velupillai Prabhakaran was without doubt the worst catastrophe ever faced by this country in its long history of more than 2500 years. Successive governments grappled with this problem for over three decades but their attempts failed miserably mainly due to political bungling resulting from over-subservience to western powers. This situation led the western powers to believe and declare that Prabhakaran was invincible. Accordingly they gave dictates to us to hold negotiations with that mass murderer and to come to terms regarding his impossible demands which were quite unacceptable to the majority of the people belonging to every ethnic group in this country. Our governments followed those dictates obediently, rapidly dragging the country towards the point of no return on the way to total disintegration and destruction of our beloved motherland in the process. This problem was necessarily an internal matter for Sri Lanka. However the western powers including the United States, the United Kingdom and France aggravated the problem by their unwelcome and unwarranted interferences at every turn in our attempts to address it. It was patently clear that their intention was to sabotage our attempts. In fact they were indirectly helping Prabhakaran to establish Eelam by their activities. There was a very good reason for that from their point of view; with the emergence of the People’s Republic of China as an economic giant and a super power they very badly needed a foothold in close proximity to China and they were hoping that Prabhakaran would provide that niche once he established his dream Eelam. Some individual politicians in those countries such as David Miliband of UK and Kouchner of France openly helped that mass murderer for another reason, namely, to garner the votes of the Tamil community residing in their countries (Island : 23 March 2011).

Police last week questioned a leading NGO regarding funds received by them.

Rejected asylum seekers get visas - TWO Sri Lankan men who were among the first planeload of rejected asylum seekers flown to the mainland from Christmas Island by the Rudd government to alleviate crowding have been granted visas after reviewers found them to be at risk if returned to Sri Lanka.  Then-prime minister Kevin Rudd had said the 89 men were being processed for return home.  Lawyer David Manne said the cases showed it didn't matter whether boats were brought to Christmas Island or the mainland since a High Court ruling last year that Australian law applied to both.  Advertisement: Story continues below ''Whether people are now processed under the onshore regime or offshore regime … people must now be assessed under Australian law and can seek judicial scrutiny,'' Mr Manne said.  Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has said the government's decision to bring two boats directly to Broome and Darwin amid Christmas Island unrest could open up greater access to the courts for appeals.  Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has said diverting boats from Christmas Island was a temporary move and would still see asylum seekers processed under the offshore regime (The AGE ; 23 March 2011).

Sri Lanka is neither Egypt nor Libya - By Nalin de Silva - The elections to most of the local bodies are over and the people have again voted for the President and his nationalistic policies. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to win elections while Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to lose. Nobody is bothered to keep a count of the elections lost by Mr. Wickremesinghe and it is very very unlikely that he would win a future election even if the cost of living soars exponentially. It does not mean that young Mr. Sajith Premadasa would win an election for the UNP in the near future. This country has become very much nationalistic and unless the UNP finds a leader who is more nationalistic than Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, I am afraid, the UNP cannot think of winning elections for some time. When the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain fell there were some pundits who thought that the axe will fall on Mr. Rajapaksa as well without realising that the brand nationalism of those countries is different from that in Sri Lanka. As we have said a number of times Sinhala Buddhist nationalism is dictated by the bottom layers of the society in the sense that it is the common man who decides the path that nationalism should take. In contrast, the Tamil nationalism is decided by the leaders and is imposed on the people and as a result it ends up as racism against the Sinhala Buddhists with, of course, the blessings of the English led westerners. The best examples in the Sinhala and Tamil societies in this regard are the politics of Bandaranaikes (not Bandaranaike Kumaratunga) and Chelvanayakams. Mr. Bandaranaike had to follow Sinhala Buddhist nationalism whereas Chelvanayakam moved by his anti-Sinhala Buddhist attitudes and instigated by the English had to create a Tamil nationalism among the masses almost from scratch in the late forties, more than 60 years ago. Prior to that Tamil racism was confined to the English speaking Tamil Vellalas in Colombo. Mrs. Bandaranaike, too, understood the phenomenon of Sinhala nationalism though her children never learnt anything from their parents (Island ; 22 March 2011).

CID probe perturbs NPC - The government has directed the CID to investigate how NGOs spent funds received from various countries and foreign NGOs. The police last week questioned Executive Director of the National Peace Council Dr. Jehan Perera regarding funds received by the NPC. The Governing Council of the NPC yesterday issued the following statement: "Last week, the Executive Director of the National Peace Council was called to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Sri Lanka Police. He was informed that the CID wished to carry out an investigation regarding the organization’s sources of funding, its partners and the activities it was carrying out. CID officers asked questions about the work of the National Peace Council and asked for further information. This investigation was preceded by adverse media commentary in both the State media and sections of the private media that NPC together with other non -governmental organizations continue to be funded by foreign donors despite the end of the war and claiming that they are serving the interests of their funding partners. The Governing Council is perturbed that the organization is being investigated by the CID instead of by the normal civil administration although there is no prima facie evidence or specific allegation that it is engaging in any criminal activities. Most of the information that the CID has requested the organization to furnish has already been provided to the NGO Secretariat of the Government which is under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. These include work plans, sources of funding, financial and audit reports, salaries of staff and annual reports. So we fail to understand why the CID should investigate the organization. NPC staff has always cooperated fully with the NGO Secretariat which is the appropriate government regulatory and monitoring agency (Island ; 22 March 2011).

LLRC sittings in Ampara and Moneragala - A spokesman for the LLRC told The Island that the commission would meet in Moneragala and Kandy from March 25 to 27.  The LLRC will meet at the Ampara District Secretariat on March 25 at 9.45 a.m. The following day, the commission will visit two villages in Okkampitiya and Buttala, which suffered LTTE attacks. "We hope to meet those affected by LTTE violence," the spokesman said.  On March 27 at 9.00 am, the commission will have a session at the Kalmunai Divisional Secretariat.  The spokesman said that any organisation or person could come forward to make representations at Ampara and Kalmunai (Island : 22 March 2011).

Blake’s cables exposed awareness of LTTE war strategy

Canadian Court upholds LTTE fund raising sentence - British Columbia’s highest court has rejected the Crown’s bid to overturn a six-month sentence given to a Vaughan man convicted of terrorist fund-raising. Prapaharan “Prapa” Thambithurai, 47, of Maple, was convicted and sentenced in B.C. in May for providing financial services, knowing they would benefit terrorist group known as the Tamil Tigers.  Mr. Thambithurai, was born and raised in Sri Lanka, pleaded guilty to the charge in what became Canada’s first successful prosecution of knowingly raising funds for the Tamil Tigers.  In a 3-0 ruling released today, the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected the Crown’s appeal, ruling the six-month sentence fit the crime.  The facts and Mr. Thambithurai’s personal circumstances were properly considered during his trial, the B.C. appeals court said in its ruling.  Only weeks after the sentence was handed down, the federal government said it would appeal, claiming the sentence was “inappropriate and inadequate”.  During the criminal case, the Crown argued Mr. Thambithurai should be sentenced to two years. The charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence.  But Mr. Thambithurai was ordered to serve a sentence that would ordinarily be viewed as a harsh penalty for a first offender, the B.C. appeals court ruled.  Mr. Thambithurai’s conviction will have long-lasting effects, as it will interfere with his ability to travel beyond Canada, the ruling states.  Mr. Thambithurai has been freed after serving his sentence. Mr. Thambithurai went to a home in Burnaby, B.C. March 13, 2008 and asked a man to contribute money for humanitarian aid to help the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, according to a statement of facts from the criminal case, The man gave Mr. Thambithurai $600 cash, for which a receipt was issued (Sunday Observer : 22 March 2011).

Ottawa loses appeal of sentence for Tamil Tiger - A six-month sentence handed to the first person in Canada convicted of raising money for a terrorist group was appropriate for a man whose relatively small amount of fundraising was on the "low end" of terrorism-related crimes, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled Monday. Prapaharan Thambithurai, 47, of Maple, Ont., pleaded guilty last year to raising $600 for the Tamil Tigers and collecting pledges for another $2,000 from Sri Lankans in the Vancouver area. The Crown described Thambithurai as a "street-level canvasser" with a relatively insignificant role in Tamil Tiger fundraising, but still asked for a two-year sentence. The trial judge sentenced him to six months -- far less than the 10-year maximum outlined in the Anti-Terrorism Act passed after the 9-11 attacks in the United States. The federal government appealed the sentence, arguing six months didn't properly reflect the seriousness of the terrorism financing charge. The Crown argued the trial judge was wrong to point to the low amount of money that Thambithurai had raised, and said the sentence failed to fulfil Canada's international obligations to deter terrorism (CTV News ; 22 March 2011).

Court of Appeal upholds sentencing of man who raised money for terrorist group - The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld a six-month jail term for a former refugee who pleaded guilty to raising money for the banned terrorist group Tamil Tigers. Crown prosecutors believed the sentence handed to Prapaharan Thambithurai in May 2010 was too light and appealed it to the province's highest court. Thambithurai was the first person to be convicted under Canada's anti-terrorism financing law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. But on Monday, Justice Kathryn Neilson said the sentence was sufficient given the circumstances of the case. "I find nothing to criticize in the approach or the conclusion of the sentencing judge, and no justification for overturning the sentence of six months. I would therefore dismiss the appeal," Neilson said. "While terrorist offences have unique features, they are governed by the same sentencing framework and objectives as other crimes under the Criminal Code, and Parliament has left the full range of sentencing options, except conditional sentences, open to the courts for consideration in dealing with them." Thambithurai, a Toronto resident, was arrested in Vancouver in March 2008 while on a fundraising trip for the World Tamil Movement, an organization that collected money for humanitarian relief in Sri Lanka but which the RCMP said was a front for the Tigers or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE.). Thambithurai was arrested after he had collected $600 in cash from a former neighbour, Sri Thevendram, a Burnaby baker, and a pledge for $300 from another person. In his car, the RCMP found a number of calenders and CDs supporting the armed struggle for a Tamil homeland. Thambithurai had admitted to police that he knew half of the money he was collecting would go to the Tamil Tigers. On appeal, the Crown had argued the sentence was inadequate given the serious nature of terrorist financing and Canada's international obligations to fight it (Vancouver Sun : 21 March 2011).

India desperately planning to divide Sri Lanka - Despite the Sri Lankan Freedom Party candidate’s hardline campaign rhetoric, Kumar predicted that Rajapakse will moderate himself and the ‘no peace, no war’ situation is likely to hold in the near term, according to the released cable. Further according to the “CONFIDENTIAL” cable Mohan Kumar predicted that President Rajapakse will moderate himself and the ‘no peace, no war’ situation is likely to hold in the near term. He suggested the only way forward is to bring Norway back into the process, look for a Sinhalese consensus and give the LTTE a ‘take it or leave it’ offer. He finally suggested the GOI’s first post-election priority is ensuring that the ceasefire does not break down in light of Rajapakse’s intentions to ‘review’ the Ceasefire Agreement, and welcomed the fact that this converged with US objectives. ‘Everyone knows the CFA is flawed,’ he observed, ‘but its presence is crucial to preventing a return to violence.’ (The Nation in Pakistan : 21 March 2011).

Blake’s cables exposed awareness of LTTE war strategy - The government says Sri Lanka should be grateful to whistle-blowing website Wiki Leaks for revealing ‘covert diplomatic talk’ in Colombo immediately after the Nov. 2005 presidential polls, which set the stage for eelam war IV.  The Wiki Leaks revelations, a highly placed official told The Island, gave the government an opportunity to realize the circumstances leading to the outbreak of the all-out war in Aug. 2006.  The spokesman said that Sri Lanka would never have known the rationale behind the position taken by a section of the international community if not for Wiki Leaks disclosure of some statements attributed to various diplomats, including the then US Ambassador in Colombo Robert O’ Blake and the likes of Mohan Kumar, the Joint Secretary (for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma) at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.  New Delhi believed that the LTTE engineered Ranil Wickremasinghe’s defeat at Nov. 2005 presidential elections to pave the way for ‘hawkish’ Blake’s cables... (Island : 21 March 2011).

A reply to US Ambassador - When I read the letter of Ms. Butenis that appeared in Opinion Column of The Island of the 12th instant, I was reminded of an incident that happened at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, some years ago. There was a discussion one evening convened by the HIID ( Harvard Institute of International Development) which was attended by students from Africa and Asia. Some HIID Officials described their relief work in Africa. At the conclusion of these descriptions they asked: "What more do you think we could do?" The spontaneous reply of an African student was: "If you could only leave us alone?" Ms. Butenis describes the role of the civil society movement saying : "Civil society can bring individuals together to respond to natural disasters….." It is clear that Ms. Butenis does not understand the dynamics of community action in this country, in disaster situations. When the Tsunami struck the coasts of Sri Lanka, people moved with incredible speed to initiate rescue work and disaster relief before any NGO or the government could move. The Buddhist monks threw open their temples to accommodate and feed the victims. They even cooked the food for them. One Monk threw his outer robe to rescue a young woman who was drifting away. Before long, the shelves of the super markets were empty because the ordinary people as if in a frenzy bought up what ever they could lay hands on, to give to he victims. Little relief groups sprung up from nowhere to carry on the work in the welfare camps. They did not wait for any foreign funding. It was the same in the situation when the Tamil people held hostage by the LTTE broke away and poured into the government held area. The soldiers both men and women, carried the disabled, the old and the children on their shoulders, across the lagoon. It was a moving sight. The people in the South again responded spontaneously to collect and send relief (Island : 21 March 2011).

LTTE Tamil Tigers, ‘peace support groups’ et al received Rs. 1,800 Million from Oslo

Read full details in Island : 20 March 2011

No more HSZs in Jaffna - The Jaffna town area has no more High Security Zones (HSZs) with the opening of Victoria Road to the public since March 17, said a spokesman for the Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna. The spokesman told the Daily News that Victoria Road in Jaffna town remained a restricted zone for 16 years and was opened to the public on Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s instructions. He said that Victoria Road which linked the Jaffna-Palaly main road and Clock Tower road remained closed for public due to security reasons since the 51 Division Headquarters and several other military installations had been established in buildings on either side. Releasing Victoria Road on Thursday marked the removal of HSZs in Jaffna town. The spokesman also said that the Army on March 17 officially handed over Subash Hotel on Victoria Road in Jaffna town in which the 52 Division Headquarters was established since December 1995, to its owner H Hariharan (Daily News ; 21 March 2011).

Kilinochchi wine in market soon - Grapes cultivated in 50 acres of land at Kilinochchi are to be brewed into quality red and white wine, National Agricultural Development Organization Chief Executive officer Keerthi P Godagama said.  The organization is prepared to invest over 300 million rupees, he said.  “A bottle of wine is sold at Rs 2,000 in Sri Lanka. When wine is brewed here it can be sold at 75 percent less”, Godagama said. Super grade wine was brewed at Tholagarfi Mission Farm in Atchuvely by Christian pastors which was in high demand in Jaffna in the past (Daily News ; 21 March 2011).

TGTE attempts to gain recognition in South Sudan: Govt must renew counter - terrorism strategies - Shanaka Jayasekera  - Shanaka Jayasekara A Sri Lankan counter-terrorism expert highlighting the attempts of pro-LTTE elements trying to get recognition for the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) from South Sudan, urged the government to renew its counter-terrorism strategies to defeat the former LTTE criminal network and its negative political lobbying to discredit or defame Sri Lanka internationally. Associate Lecturer of the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (PICT), Macquarie University Australia, Shanaka Jayasekara, told the Sunday Observer that the government needed to develop close dialogue with the allies of South Sudan, in particular Kenya which is most influential in terms of South Sudan. He said the Sri Lankan embassy in Nairobi needed to urgently take a proactive role preventing any form of legitimacy being afforded to the TGTE. “Though active pro-LTTE lobby groups are in the UK, Norway, US, Switzerland and Canada, LTTE assets are believed to be in Eritrea, I don’t think any recognised member of the international community will take the TGTE seriously”, Jayasekara said. Jayasekara cautioned that TGTE in the hands of the Nediyavan faction could pose a significant political and security threat to Sri Lanka as the TGTE could act as a catalyst for a LTTE revivalist movement with a militant agenda. Following are excerpts of the interview: (Sunday Observer : 20 March 2011).

Tigers, ‘peace support groups’ et al received Rs. 1,800 m from Oslo - In the wake of Norway’s admission that it had spent NOK 100 million (over 1,800 million rupees) to support the peace process, it would be pertinent to establish the total amount of funds received by various organizations and individuals to promote peace.  According to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) tender document calling for consultancy services to evaluate Norwegian peace process in Sri Lanka (1997-2009), out of staggering NOK 2.5 b Norwegian Development Cooperation with Sri Lanka, NOK 100 m had been allocated to ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace process’, including the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and Peace Secretariats set up by the government and the LTTE.  Government sources say among the recipients of Norwegian funds allocated for ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace processes were the National Peace Council, the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, Sri Lanka Press Institute, Peace Secretariat for Muslims, the Sri Lanka government et al.  Sources say the LTTE Peace Secretariat was the largest recipients of Norwegian grants during the peace process.  Responding to a query by The Island, a senior official said that the bulk of Norwegian funding had been made available after the LTTE suspended its participation in direct talks with the government in April 2003. The official alleged that the then government of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe hadn’t at least tried to dissuade Norway from funding the so-called LTTE Peace Secretariat. In spite of the collapse of the peace process, those involved in ‘activities aimed at directly supporting the peace process’ had received mega funds.  Officials said that Norway had been the single largest contributor of funds to the LTTE Peace Secretariat and NGOs involved in the peace initiative.  Sources said that UN agencies, too, had provided funds to the LTTE peace secretariat with the blessings of the then government. The LTTE is alleged to have spent some of the funds to set up a website, which went to the extent of featuring suicide squads with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.  ‘The Island’ recently revealed funding received by the NPC, CPA and TI to the tune of Rs 618.33 million from 26 foreign sources and an undisclosed number of unidentified sources (Island ; 20 March 2011).

'Wake-up call for India' - The Indian government called the November 17, 2005 Sri Lankan Elections a 'wake-up call for India' and plans to use the new President's upcoming visit to New Delhi to stress the importance of maintaining the Cease-Fire Agreement while continuing India's already close relationship with its southern neighbor, the WikiLeaks reveled.  The cable added that the Sri Lanka watchers in New Delhi were seriously concerned that Rajapakse's hawkish views may squash the 'last glimmer of hope' for the peace process.  Mohan Kumar the MEA Joint Secretary (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma) had commented that the LTTE boycott of the elections was evidence that Prabhakaran 'dumped' the United National Party's (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe in favor of Rajapakse in order to avoid a return to the negotiating table. Despite the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) candidate's hard-line campaign rhetoric, Kumar predicted that Rajapakse will moderate himself and the 'no peace, no war' situation is likely to hold in the near term, according to the released cable.  Further according to the “CONFIDENTIAL” cable Mohan Kumar predicted that President Rajapakse will moderate himself and the ""no peace, no war"" situation is likely to hold in the near term. He suggested that the only way forward is to bring Norway back into the process, look for a Sinhalese consensus and give the LTTE a ""take it or leave it"" offer. He finally suggested that the GOI's first post-election priority is ensuring that the cease-fire does not break down in light of Rajapakse's intentions to ""review"" the Cease-Fire Agreement, and welcomed the fact that this converged with US objectives. ""Everyone knows the CFA is flawed,"" he observed, ""but its presence is crucial to preventing a return to violence. The US cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” finally reveal that “the Government of India opposeed Rajapakse's campaign rhetoric, but will maintain public agreement in order to avoid lending any indirect support to the LTTE. While the Co-Chairs may not be the right forum for Indian involvement, we are encouraged that New Delhi will use its good graces with the new President to maintain its close relationship and support the Cease Fire Agreement”. (Daily Mirror online : 20 March 2011)

Second Tamil with Tiger ties ordered deported, another ordered released - A second Tamil migrant from the MV Sun Sea was ordered deported Thursday after admitting that he was a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the early 1990s.  But in a separate hearing, one of the last remaining Tamil women still in detention was ordered released after the government dropped its claim that a piece of jewelry she brought with her suggested ties to the Tigers.  The man ordered deported had trained with the LTTE for a year, including six months with its naval arm, the Sea Tigers, the Immigration and Refugee Board heard. He subsequently was assigned to protect Tamils crossing into LTTE-controlled territory from possible attacks from Sri Lankan forces.  After four months, he told his bosses that he wanted to quit and was punished by being sent to wash dishes for 16 months before being discharged, the board was told.  In her decision, board adjudicator Daphne Shaw Dyck said even though the migrant had never engaged in battle, his training and his role with the Tigers was "unambiguous," making him inadmissible to Canada.  The Tamil Tigers engaged in a lengthy civil war with the Sri Lankan government, which ended with the Tigers’ defeat in 2009.  The group is considered a terrorist organization and is banned in Canada.  The migrant — who cannot be named due to a publication ban — sat impassively with his arms crossed as the decision was announced.  His duty counsel, Shepherd Moss, signalled to the board that he intended to apply to the minister of public safety under a section of law that says someone deemed inadmissible can be exempted if the minister is satisfied that the person’s "presence in Canada would not be detrimental to the national interest."  Last week, another Tamil migrant was ordered deported after he, too, was found to have been a member of the Tigers in the 1990s.  His duty counsel, Robin Bajer, says his client is applying to the government for a pre-removal risk assessment, in which he will argue that he faces a serious risk of persecution or torture if returned to Sri Lanka.  If the government finds that such a risk exists, that could result in him being allowed to stay in Canada, though he would be ineligible for permanent-resident status. The government is seeking the removal of more than 40 of the Sun Sea migrants, mostly on the grounds of membership with the Tigers or serious criminality (Island ; 20 March 2011).

Plotted to enter Australia illegally - A group of Fifty Two persons including twelve children - nine boys and three girls - were taken into custody from several lodges in Wellawatte on suspicion of planning to illegally enter Australia on Tuesday. They were produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singapulli and remanded till March 29.  The suspects are from Killinochi and Mullaitivu. The CID filing a B report said that on information received, the police had conducted a search operation and arrested the suspects under the Immigration and Emigration Act. The multi day fishing vessel named ‘Ave Maria’ which the group had planned to use to make the trip to Australia was also impounded in Chilaw and is presently held by the SL Navy. Attorneys at Law Rajakulendran, D.S.Niranjan, M.Nasser and A.C.M. Ismail appearing for the suspects submitted that the suspects were only lodgers. They did not plan to enter Australia illegally, he said. The children were held in the cell outside the Chief Magistrates Court along with their mothers. Their fathers were in the adjacent cell (Island : 20 March 2011).

Another group of rehabilitated former LTTE cadres will be released within this month - Commissioner General of Rehabilitations Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe says another group of rehabilitated former LTTE cadres will be released before the end of this month. There are about 4,600 former LTTE cadres in the rehabilitation camps. Out of them 71 are female cadres. About 5,900 LTTE members have been rehabilitated and released to the society as normal civilians so far. The brigadier said that all these cadres have been given proper vocational training with spiritual nourishment. A follow up programme is also underway to monitor the social life of these rehabilitated LTTE cadres (SLBC : 20 March 2011).

On the ‘BS Rump’ of ‘Civil Society’- By Malinda Seneviratne - Courtesy: Lakbima News - Time passes. This is known. This is why there exists a word called ‘chronology’. There is sequence. About 10 days ago, The Island carried a news story about the amount of donor funds received by three prominent NGOs which have for a long time operated as though they constitute the entirety of ‘civil society’ or at least are the principal representatives of that social category that is loosely or never defined. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the National (sic) Peace Council (NPC) and Transparency International (TI) are reported to have collectively received a staggering sum of over Rs. 600 million over the past three years alone (Sinhale Hot News : 20 March 2011).

Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board have ordered the deportation of a second Sri Lankan MV Sun Sea migrant

Govt, TNA dialogue resumes - The government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have agreed in unison to continue their dialogue with each other. This decision was taken after representatives of both the government and the TNA met at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday (18). Both parties met for the third time to discuss issues connected with resettlement of internally displaced persons and information relating to detainees. Both sides proceeded to discuss appropriate constitutional arrangements to meet the aspirations of both Tamils and Sinhalese. A letter addressed to the TNA following the meeting signed by Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena has stated that both parties will continue their dialogue with a view to arriving at a structure to fulfill the aspirations of all the people living in Sri Lanka (The Nation : 20 March 2011).

When India nearly crossed the Rubicon on Sri Lanka - ..... According to one cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on October 14, 2005 (42686: confidential), Anupam Ray, Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, told Embassy officials in New Delhi that “the peace process has deteriorated, LTTE leader Prabhakaran is more unpredictable than ever, and Norway has outlived its utility”. Thus, the “time has come” for India to reengage, Ambassador Robert Blake quotes Mr. Ray as saying.  While India would prefer to wait until there is a “Sinhalese consensus about the outline of a solution,” the Government of India “can't wait forever because Prabhakaran wants Tamil Eelam in his lifetime.” Mr. Ray was clear that India did not want to play mediator or facilitator and would not join officially the ‘Co-chairs', as the grouping of Norway, Japan, U.S. and the European Union, who led to the 2003 conference of donors to Sri Lanka in Tokyo, came to be known. However, it would take a more active role in the donors' group..... (Hindu : 20 March 2011).

Mounting pressure for international probe - Alleged war crimes With just ten days to go for the release of the UN panel’s report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, some countries and pro-Tiger lobbies are exerting pressure in many ways. The report is to be handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon before March 31. The three-member panel led by Indonesia’s Marzuki Darusman is to hold a news conference after the handing over. The Sunday Times reported exclusively on March 6 that a delegation led by Attorney General Mohan Peiris met the panel in New York in a meeting that was not made public by either side. The latest development on this issue is a meeting of the London-based Tamil Global Forum. Members of the Forum buttonholed Indian Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi soon after she delivered a Commonwealth lecture in London, and tried to get their views across to her. The Forum claimed in a statement yesterday that Ms. Gandhi said, “she is very concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka.” It added the Indian government had asserted its “serious concerns to Sri Lanka.” Ms. Gandhi’s husband, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was assassinated by the LTTE. This week, there was also activity in the British House of Commons. An All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils led by Lee Scott said in a statement that “nothing but an independent international inquiry into alleged war crimes will satisfy the international community.” Also in the House of Commons, Labour Party MP Jim Cunningham asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth about the status of the Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka. Alistair Burt, the Secretary, replied that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights downgraded one of full compliance with the Paris principles to one of non-compliance and reflected concerns over its political and financial independence. He said the new Commission had been appointed after the 18th Amendment and added “we have raised with the Sri Lankan government the importance of having an effective Commission.” Last week, in an address to the Asia Society in New York, Robert Blake, US Under-Secretary for Asia and Central Asia, noted “Our strong preference is that the Sri Lankan government establish its own transparent process that meets international standards. However, in the absence of such a mechanism, there will be mounting pressure for an international mechanism.” (Sunday Times : 20 March 2011).

Ambassador Wickramasuriya calls on AI for dialogue - Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya has written to the Amnesty International, calling for a dialogue on issues related to Sri Lanka. “I have read recently of allegations that Amnesty International has levelled against Sri Lanka. I am writing today in the hope of opening a dialogue with Amnesty International on these and other issues,” the Ambassador states in the letter. He adds that the people of Sri Lanka need and are receiving international community support for reconciliation, reconstruction and healing and that he feels the campaign by Amnesty International to criticise Sri Lanka undermines these immediate needs. “I am sure that Sri Lankans and Amnesty International are in agreement over the need for long-term, lasting peace. That is, after all, why we established the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. I understand that your organisation does not feel that the LLRC is a valid process that will meet that need,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya writes (The Nation : 20 March 2011).

Ms. Butenis in NGO boat without a paddle - Part 1 - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - The American Ambassadress, Ms. Patricia Butenis, has come out fighting on behalf of the NGOs. This should be greeted with applause because her intervention, coming from the biggest power on earth, adds an extra dimension to the on-going local debate on NGOs — the most obscene four-letter word in the Sri Lankan political vocabulary. The fact that she is throwing punches at the critics of NGOs is also politically significant because it means that the cornered NGOs have recruited the best heavy weight they could find to come out fighting on their behalf.  Of course, her short sermon on the role of civil society seems innocuous on the surface. It must also be conceded that some of her arguments referring to social services rendered by NGOs are valid. These non-political organizations deliver humanitarian services globally in times of crises and in peace times too. No one cavils about their well-meaning and well-directed services to the needy. However, it is her defence of NGOs in general, which includes foreign-funded anti-national interventionists like Jehan Perera and Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, (disguised, of course, as sadhus of “civil society”) that raises disturbing issues about the NGOs and their questionable role in Sri Lankan politics (LankaWeb : 19 March 2011).

How serious is America about human rights?-Part II - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - The political agenda of Jehan Perera and “Paki” Saravanamuttu was to stop the war to give breathing space for Prabhakaran to strengthen his hand to regroup and prolong the war – a programme that would have kept the NGOs in business forever. They were running from Western capital to capital lobbying in the corridors of power to put pressure on the government to stop the war and save Prabhakaran from extinction. Jehan talks of “the people’s understanding and support” for a negotiated peace. History proves that the only man who understood the people’s need and won their support was President Mahinda Rajapakse. The history of Vadukoddai War reveals that though Jehan and “Paki” recited, ad nauseam, their futile mantras for ending the war they never understood the ground realities that could prepare the possibilities for peace. As in the case of Prabhakaran war was a necessary condition for the NGOs to survive. Put simply, they have been war-mongers disguised as peaceniks. Manufacturing excuses for the military solution endorsed in the Vadukoddai Resolution (May 14, 1976), blaming the Sinhala-Buddhists for everything, was another means of justifying Prabhakaran’s violence and prolonging his war for 33 years. The Vadukoddai War was a bonanza to them. A whole crop of NGOs proliferated and thrived by justifying the Vadukoddai violence to prolong the war. Their partisan politics argued for a negotiated settlement when they knew that no negotiations would succeed with Prabhakaran. The hard evidence proved incontrovertibly that no negotiations – short of a separate state – would work with intransigent Prabhakaran (LankaWeb : 19 March 2011).

CHANDRA WICKRAMASINGHE DISMISSED FROM CARDIFF UNIVERSITY IN WALES - By Walter Jayawardhana in Los Angeles -  Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, the chief exponent of the theory that planets like earth have been seeded for life by comets has been dismissed from his post at the Cardiff University in Wales, United Kingdom. The university informed the Sri Lanka born British scientist that they are withdrawing funding for his department, the astrobiology center. The UK parliament magazine reported the removal of Wickramasinghe in a story headlined “Killing the Goose that lays the golden eggs.” Wickramasinghe believes that life was seeded by comets and asteroids and pathogens like virus for influenza also arrived here from deep space taking hitch hikes on such astral bodies. Professor Wickramasinghe, a long time collaborator with renown astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle was recently drawn into controversy when he supported , NASA scientist Richard Hoover who claimed he found fossilized evidence of life in three meteorites. Wickramasinghe was the only paid worker of the Astro biological Center of the University. The other research fellows and associates worked in an honorary capacity and it cost the university only about 24,000 USdollars an year (LankaWeb ; 19 March 2011).

Canadian court releases female Sri Lankan Tamil migrant detained for suspected links to LTTE

Canadian court releases female Sri Lankan Tamil migrant detained for suspected links to LTTE - Canadian court has ordered the release of a female Tamil migrant who was further detained in a federal correctional facility because of a necklace that allegedly linked her to the banned terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka.  The woman and her children arrived in Vancouver aboard the human smuggling ship MV Sun Sea last August and they were detained in the Burnaby youth corrections facility since the arrival.  She was the last one to be detained at the facility out of the 25 female migrants who were detained at the facility on their arrival in Vancouver. She was kept in the Burnaby jail when the Canada Border Services Agency at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in Vancouver argued that the necklace (thali) she wore is believed to be a necklace given by the banned terrorist group LTTE for their members.  Her lawyer has argued that the necklace was given to her by her husband on their wedding day and there is nothing suspicious about it.  Earlier this month the court ordered to detain her for another week but at an urgent hearing on Thursday, the court has ordered to release her on a $1,000 bond although the CBSA had argued that the woman is a flight risk and should be detained further (Colombo page ; 19 March 2011).

EXCLUSIVE! The CPA’s millions! - The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has its election monitoring arm styled the ‘Center for Monitoring Election Violence’ (CMEV) and when the government calls an election, they go around to the western embassies in Colombo collecting money to monitor the polls. This is done by all the foreign funded elections monitoring organisations in Colombo. The money that flows in is mind boggling. To just take the CPA for example, the funding that came in for just the presidential election last year was as follows. This is not an exhaustive list, and could be only the tip of the iceberg. We have no idea of how much they got in total and we mention here only the transactions about which we have received information. Presidential Elections January 2010 - Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation - Rs. 20.6 million (Project duration -1/12/2009 to 31/3/2010); The German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs – Rs. 22.4 million (project duration 1/1/2010 – 31/3/2010) ;British High Commission, Colombo - Rs 3 million for the Eastern province only (Project duration 15/12/2009 to 31 January 2010); US Department of State – 90,000 US$ (Over Rs. 10 million) for publicity campaign against election violence for both the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2010 (Island : 18 March 2011).

Subash Hotel handed back to Owner; No More HSZs in Jaffna - The famous Subash Hotel on the Victoria road in Jaffna town was officially handed over to its owner by the Sri Lanka Army on Thursday (17). On instructions of Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the hotel building was handed over to Mr. H. Hariharan by the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe paving way for remaining private properties occupied by the Army to be sused by their legitimate owners. On receiving the documents with regard to handing over the building from the Commander SF-J in the presence of Jaffna District Parliamentarian Mr. M. Chandrakumar, Government Agent Jaffna Mrs. Emelda Sukumar, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 51 Division Major General Janaka Walgama, Mayoress Jaffna Mrs. Yogeswari Pathgunarasa and other senior Army officers, expressed his sincere thanks to the Army and the government for arrangements made for him to get his property back in good condition. Army having overpowered LTTE terrorist movements in the Jaffna town area, troops of the 52 Division made the hotel their Headquarters in December 1995 for easy administration and command over its troops and to monitor and control terrorist activities in the area. In May 1996, 52 Division Headquarters was replaced by the 51 Division. Since then 51 Division Headquarters had been using the building on rent basis. A monthly rental of Rs. 90000/= was paid from the beginning and it was increased to Rs. 125000/= since January 2010 (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 18 March 2011).

US tries to defend the indefensible - by Ira De Silva, London, Canada - Reading the letter from Ms. Butenis in defence of NGOs, one was surprised, as the U.S. is so strong on the word accountability demanding it from all and sundry. Why would Ms. Butenis try to explain/defend any call for NGO’s to be accountable for the monies received and provide the public with audited accounts of the millions they have supposedly spent on the upliftment, development and other meritorious actions they are claiming to use the money for, particularly as they are called "non profit organizations"? What has been published are the amounts they have received but for which civil society has not been provided details of expenditure. It is no secret that those who run these NGO’s allocate to themselves the necessary millions to support their expensive lifestyles. In keeping with U.S. "democratic traditions" Ms. Butenis should support the call for accountability and ask these NGO’s that have received U.S. taxpayer funding to provide audited accounts. That simple answer would put paid to any doubts and criticism.. It is not too late for Ms. Butenis to call for and make public full accounts of money allocated and the projects that have benefited. If she sets the example, perhaps other countries that funded these NGO’s could be persuaded to follow the U.S. lead (Island ; 18 March 2011).

Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) deserves death sentence and not 100 acres - By Malin Abeyatunga, Melbourne, Australia - Is Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) worth more than a Dead Tamil Tiger? If the latest report to say that KP will be rewarded with 100 acres is true, there is something wrong somewhere with the Government’s attitude towards KP. The public would like to know what information the Government has managed to extract from KP so far to reward KP with a NGO ( Is the central Bank monitoring the funds this NGO gets?) and 100 acres. The public would wish to know whether the Govt. has captured with the help of KP any of LTTE’s remaining ships after the defeat of LTTE militarily. We are thankful for the excellent naval operations during the peak of LTTE power which destroyed six or seven LTTE floating warehouses of illegal arms (ships) in the mid seas. Nothing is heard of the remaining LTTE ships after the war albeit man behind the scene KP has been in custody for over an year but treated not as a terrorist but a right royal. There are some pertinent questions that need answers. Has the Government managed to get enough information from KP about the kingpins of various dubious LTTE fronts spread in the western world? Has the Government managed to get any access to LTTE’s illegal and legal businesses thro KP? Who are the western politicos, foreign journalists of electronic and print media, foreign VIP sympathizers and diplomats in LTTE’s payroll and perks? Are there any local NGOs, politicians and journalists who have been receiving kickbacks from LTTE? Has the Government managed to get enough details of KPs modus operandi of procuring arms and shipping them to LTTE areas ? KP should have answers for all these queries. We shouldn’t forget that KP is a shrewd and cunning as a fox and can never be trusted. It appears that he is taking the Government for a ride. He was the chief financial wizard of LTTE international operations with several foreign passports, fake visas, carrying many aliases and flying from one country to another evading all the securities of the countries he passed by. He was the king pin of the LTTE in procuring illegal arms for LTTE. We should not forget that he even made a last minute attempt to save Prabhakaran by secretly negotiating with Eric Solheim and a top notch UN official (Under Secretary John Holmes) to stop the war operations launched by the Sri Lankan forces (Sri Lanka News Online ; 18 March 2011).

Sri Lankan Tamils protest Sonia Gandhi's London visit - Sri Lankan Tamils protested outside a London venue where Congress President Sonia Gandhi delivered a lecture on Thursday.  Protestors shouted anti-India slogans and demanded that New Delhi take swift action to protect the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils.  Gandhi was in London to deliver the 14th Commonwealth Lecture on the subject 'Women as Agents of Change'.  It may be recalled that the Sri Lankan Army crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, while nearly three million Sri Lankan Tamils were relocated to refugee camps elsewhere on the island.  A majority of them have since been resettled in their original villages but still need assistance for accommodation and restart their livelihood (Sify News : 18 March 2011).

Sri Lanka’s UN Envoy Dr Palitha Kohona answers global critics on discrimination, Reconciliation and feeding Tamil Tiger terrorists

Second Tamil with Tiger ties ordered deported, another ordered released - A second Tamil migrant from the MV Sun Sea was ordered deported Thursday after admitting that he was a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the early 1990s.  But in a separate hearing, one of the last remaining Tamil women still in detention was ordered released after the government dropped its claim that a piece of jewelry she brought with her suggested ties to the Tigers.  The man ordered deported had trained with the LTTE for a year, including six months with its naval arm, the Sea Tigers, the Immigration and Refugee Board heard. He subsequently was assigned to protect Tamils crossing into LTTE-controlled territory from possible attacks from Sri Lankan forces.  After four months, he told his bosses that he wanted to quit and was punished by being sent to wash dishes for 16 months before being discharged, the board was told.  In her decision, board adjudicator Daphne Shaw Dyck said even though the migrant had never engaged in battle, his training and his role with the Tigers was "unambiguous," making him inadmissible to Canada.  The Tamil Tigers engaged in a lengthy civil war with the Sri Lankan government, which ended with the Tigers' defeat in 2009 (The Vancouver Sun : 17 March 2011).

Second Tamil migrant ordered deported - A Sri Lankan man who arrived aboard a cargo ship last year has been ordered deported after admitting to once being a member of the Tamil Tigers, but insisting he quit the banned terrorist group nearly two decades ago and never participated in combat.  The man is the second passenger on the MV Sun Sea to be ordered out of Canada because of membership in the Tigers, but his lawyer signalled Thursday he'll appeal directly to the federal public safety minister to fight the deportation.  Both people were among nearly 500 Tamil migrants who landed off the West Coast last August and immediately made refugee claims. The federal government has accused more than 30 of the passengers of having links to terrorism, war crimes or human smuggling. The Immigration and Refugee Board heard the man joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – or LTTE – as a young man about 20 years ago in Sri Lanka. By then, Tiger rebels had already begun what would be a bloody 26-year fight against the Sri Lankan government. The civil war is believed to have left 70,000 people dead before it ended in 2009 with the defeat of the Tigers. The man completed more than a year of training before he was assigned to a security detail off the coast of Sri Lanka, his lawyer, Shepherd Moss, told the IRB hearing. Mr. Moss said the man's assignment was to protect Tamil citizens who were crossing into Tiger-controlled territory, but he never had a combat role. The man asked to leave several years later, said Mr. Moss, and he was punished with forced manual labour for more than a year before he was eventually discharged. “He was discharged from the LTTE and he's had no further dealings with that group since then,” Mr. Moss said. “So he joined voluntarily and he left voluntarily.” Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Daphne Shaw Dyck said she was required by law to issue the deportation order because the man admitted membership in the Tigers, which the Canadian government considers a banned terrorist group. “Even though you stated you did not engage in battle, your training and role within the LTTE is admitted and unambiguous,” Ms. Shaw Dyck told the man, who sat with his arms crossed and appeared to be listening intently (The Globe & Mail : 17 March 2011).

Sri Lankan drug peddler arrested in Navi Mumbai - Anti-terrorism squad (ATS) sleuths on Tuesday arrested a Sri Lankan drug peddler, with suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). The peddler, Rajan Silithuria alias Rajan alias Kartik (45), was hiding in Kopar Khairane in Navi Mumbai. "Our Thane unit arrested Kartik after we received information that he was hiding in Navi Mumbai. We are interrogating him," said ATS deputy commissioner of police, Pradip Sawant. Kartik, police sources said, did not have any business or known sources of income in Navi Mumbai. "We suspect he was using illegal money obtained through drug-peddling," an officer said. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Chennai had seized three kg heroin at the international airport, but Kartik had managed to flee from there. A Chennai court had issued a non bailable warrant against him, too. "He fled from Chennai and came to Mumbai after the case. He was staying in Matunga, Chembur and then went on to Navi Mumbai. He had called his wife to the city and was staying with his family," an officer said. The police officer added that his wife has a bank account and they were probing if there were suspicious transactions. "He and his wife did not have any known source of income. We are probing how she got money and who sent it," he added (Times of India : 17 March 2011).

Time for civil society to recover lost or robbed identity card - .... These two organizations and Transparency International have received over Rs 600 million from foreign sources over the past three years. They are the king-pins among those who wave the civil-society flag. They are hardly representative of anyone except the rabidly anti-Sinhala, anti-Buddhist, Colombo-based, English-educated sections of the population which constitute less than 0.0001 percent of the citizenry.  The claim to be ‘empowering people’ is laughable for many of these organizations were virtually operating as the mouthpieces and brand-managers of the LTTE, an organization that not only disempowered people, but actually butchered them in the thousands.  If the government is cagey about such NGOs, as claimed in the news report, it is something that I would welcome and applaud, not because issues of governance, transparency and accountability are of no relevance (they certainly are) but that these operators need to be investigated thoroughly. It is something that is demanded by their long and dubious history of operating as agents of destabilization.  J Weliamuna, the former director of Transparency International’s Colombo office, has said ‘The Government sees everybody as a challenge and has a phobia against NGOs’.  This is rubbish, unless he believes that the CPA, NPC and TI have the authority to speak for the entirety that is called ‘civil society’. Certain outfits are being scrutinized, yes. It is something that should have been done a long time ago.  Weliamuna says, ‘the government views civil society (again that catch-all term!) its only challenge since the Opposition is weak’.  That’s self-image. The truth is that Weliamuna and his friends cannot get 100 people for a demonstration on any issue.  It is high time that ‘civil society’ stepped forward and demand that the likes of Weliamuna hand back the term.  They do not have the right to use it. They’ve abused it and this is because ‘civil society’ in the main had not known it could be called ‘civil society’ and for this reasons a bunch of self-seeking rogues grabbed it and along with it the ‘rights’ to represent.  Yes, I am all for ‘peoplizing’ the term ‘civil society’. In the interest of democracy and true representation (Daily News : 17 March 2011).

Sri Lanka’s UN Envoy Kohona answers global critics on discrimination, Reconciliation and feeding Tamil Tiger terrorists - Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona at an Asia Society forum on ‘Sri Lanka Looks Ahead – Will Prosperity Bring Peace’ held March 14 in New York reminded the international community, and US State Department’s Robert Blake another panelist, that his country would have been the only nation in the world that fed the terrorists fighting the government, maintained health and education in the rebel held areas, ensured a constant flow of food and other essentials to the rebel controlled districts while battling them to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation. Ambassador Kohona reminded those who attended the Asia Society gathering and those who listened and watched the proceedings through the Internet, and also for the consumption of the U.S. State Department whose representative was at the podium, that since the end of the war in May 2009 defeating the separatist Tamil Tigers the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime took a conciliatory attitude toward the former Tiger combatants in sending them through a rehabilitation process and finding them gainful employment while settling them in their native villages and town in the former combat areas in the north and east of the country. He also echoed the sentiments of the Rajapaksa administration of its untiring endeavor to bring economic progress to the nation that had a 27-year set back due to the battle to defeat the separatist/terrorist LTTE which will have equitable distribution among all races and nationalities in Sri Lanka. Dr. Kohona also reminded at this Asia Society forum about the manner in which his government has taken swift measures to re-settle the close to 200,000 Tamil refugees, find them gainful employment, extra steps taken to rebuild the economy of the predominantly Tamil north and east of the country which had a severe setback due to the war and move forward to repair the damage incurred to all ethnic communities because of the 27-year disruption. The submission made by Robert Blake, former American ambassador to Sri Lanka and current assistant secretary of the US State Department in charge of South and Central Asian Affairs, at this Asia Society forum is carried by the Asian Tribune elsewhere. Following is the complete submission of Dr. Palitha Kohona at the Asia Society forum: (Asian Tribune : 17 March 2011).

Role of Civil Society -P. Butenis – March 12,2011 - by Ira de Silva London, Canada - .... Reading the letter from Ms. Butenis in defence of NGO’s was a surprise particularly as the U.S. is so strong on the word accountability demanding it from all and sundry. Why would Ms. Butenis try to explain/defend any call for NGO’s to be accountable for the monies received and provide the public with audited accounts of the millions they have supposedly spent on the upliftment, development and other meritorious actions they are claiming to use the money for, particularly as they are called “non profit organizations”? What has been published are the amounts they have received but for which civil society has not been provided details of expenditure. It is no secret that those who run these NGO’s allocate to themselves the necessary millions to support their expensive lifestyles. In keeping with U.S. “democratic traditions” Ms. Butenis should support the call for accountability and ask these NGO’s that have received U.S. taxpayer funding to provide audited accounts. That simple answer would put paid to any doubts and criticism.. It is not too late for Ms. Butenis to call for and make public full accounts of money allocated and the projects that have benefited. If she sets the example, perhaps other countries that funded these NGO’s could be persuaded to follow the U.S. lead.... (LankaWeb : 17 March 2011).

How India kept pressure off Sri Lanka - In the final stages of the war with the LTTE, New Delhi played all sides but discouraged international attempts to halt the operations. India played a key role in warding off international pressure on Sri Lanka to halt military operations and hold talks with the LTTE in the dramatic final days and weeks of the war in 2009, confidential U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks showed. The cables reveal that while India conveyed its concern to Sri Lanka several times about the “perilous” situation that civilians caught in the fighting faced, it was not opposed to the anti-LTTE operation. They also show that India worried about the Sri Lankan President's “post-conflict intentions,” though it believed that there was a better chance of persuading him to offer Sri Lankan Tamils an inclusive political settlement after the fighting ended. After its efforts to halt the operation failed, the international community resigned itself to playing a post-conflict role by using its economic leverage, acknowledging that it had to rope in India for this. In the closing stages of the war, New Delhi played all sides, always sharing the concern of the international community over the humanitarian situation and alleged civilian casualties in the Sri Lankan military campaign, but discouraging any move by the West to halt the operations. In January 2009, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made a “short notice” visit to Sri Lanka. The Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo, Vikram Misri, briefed the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission and other diplomats about the visit, in a cable dated January 29, 2009 (189383: confidential). At a two-hour meeting at President Rajapaksa's residence, attended by the army chief, defence secretary and other top officials, Mr. Mukherjee stressed he was in Colombo with “no objective other than to ensure that human rights and safety of civilians were protected.” Mr. Misri told the diplomats that while domestic political considerations were a factor in the Indian calculus, “New Delhi is deeply worried about the humanitarian crisis in the Vanni. He added that Indians throughout the country, not just in Tamil Nadu, are troubled by the high level of casualties sustained by Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire.” From Mr. Mukherjee's statement at the end of his visit, it was clear that India did not oppose the operations. “I stressed that military victories offer a political opportunity to restore life to normalcy in the Northern Province and throughout Sri Lanka, after twenty three years of conflict. The President assured me that this was his intent.” (Hindu : 16 March 2011).

Karuna’s saviour on UPFA ticket at Eravur - UNPer Syed Ali Zahir Moulana, who lost his National List seat in June 2004 for helping renegade LTTE field commander Karuna Amman to flee Batticaloa and take refuge in Colombo, is contesting LG polls today (17) on the UPFA ticket for the Eravur Pradeshiya Sabha. Moulana’s move helped the military to exploit the split within the LTTE to demoralize the entire group, intelligence sources say (Island ; 16 March 2011).

Sri Lankan suspected of having links with LTTE held in Mumbai - A Sri Lankan national, suspected to having links with terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), was arrested from his hideout in neighbouring Navi Mumbai by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). The accused Rajan Silithuriya alias Rajan alias Kartik, hailing from Sri Lanka, was picked up from his hideout in Koparkhairane area of Navi Mumbai last night. He had been shifting places in the Mumbai suburbs since the past four years, the ATS said. According to the ATS, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on April 13, 2007 had seized three kgs of heroin at the Chennai International airport. The concerned special court had declared Silithuriya as a wanted accused in the case and had also issued a non-bailable warrant against him. The ATS had received specific information that Silithuriya was staying in Navi Mumbai following which he was arrested. "We are probing if Silithuriya has any links with LTTE or any other group in Mumbai. Preliminary probe revealed the accused had stayed in Matunga, Chembur and Navi Mumbai areas since past four years," said Additional Director General (ATS) Rakesh Maria. The Chennai NCB would seek his remand from the ATS soon, the ATS officials said adding further probe was on (Sify News ; 16 March 2011).

Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary rejects calls for reducing the Security Forces - Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that a number of measures have been taken in international arena to prevent the LTTE raising its head again. He has disclosed that legal actions have already been taken against some pro-LTTE groups in foreign countries. Participating in a Private TV discussion programme the Defense Secretary pointed out that it is the responsibility of all Sri Lankans to leave no room for terrorism to re-emerge. He further said defence strategies in the country have not changed despite defeat of terrorism and the death of Prabhakaran. He emphasized that the Government is not ready to reduce the strength of the security forces, although some people demand to do so, in order to pave the way for terrorism and disorder to revive in the country. Mr. Rajapaksa said that the strength and skills of the security forces will be productively utilized for the development of the country. He said that following the war victory many investors are now coming to Sri Lanka, and Colombo city is being maintained as a clean and a beautiful location to attract more tourists. Referring to the shanties that dot many parts of the Colombo city presently, the Defense Secretary said that about 35,000 houses with all amenities will be constructed during the next few years to replace shanties in the city and house the shanty dwellers. On the subject of crimes, the Mr. Rajapaksa said that constant programmes are underway to bring down organized crimes, and proper execution of police and the judicial system will enormously contribute to the development of a country. The Defence Secretary therefore stressed the need to elect local government representatives loyal to the government in order to carry forward these moves successfully, without any hindrance (Asian Tribune : 16 March 2011).

Over Rs10.3 Million donated to War Heroes

Sponsoring over 500 Children

Withe sponsorship payments of November 2010, total donated as exceeded Rs.10 millions (Rs.10.3) (Read details in PAHANA Newspaper in Australia)

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

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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

Please re-visit news, from 15 to 23 May 2009.

Names of villages in the North and East of Sri Lanka

http://dh-web.org/place.names/barelist.htm

 

Welfare Projects

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

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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

          Sri Lankan Web TV "ThrimanaTV" brings News and Entertainment from Sri Lanka and Australia

                 

Sri Lanka Govt should investigate pro-LTTE NGOs in Sri Lanka

 

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

LLRC

Website http://www.llrc.lk

List of Persons Invited to make Representations at the Sittings (Click here for the full list).

       

Karuna claimed Norway gave LTTE money

The ungrateful son, Rahul Gandhi, shall mind his own business in India and leave Sri Lanka alone

Please visit the website of Rajiv Gandhi assassination (Click here)

 
    

Despite LTTE listed as a banned outfit in UK British police turned blind eye while Tamil protesters waved LTTE flags

 

 

Open letter to US Ambassador to Sri Lanka

 

 

       

Political Settlement for a Terrorist Problem ??? 

 

Read more about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution)

 

 

A "Token of Appreciation" from Prabhakaran to Solheim or from Solheim to Prabhakaran?

 

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith making his submissions to the Commission

 

 

Read more about the 13th Amendment

 

 
   

United Nation's So-called War Crime Probe

  

 

International Crisis Group: Report on Sri Lanka

 
    
  

United Nation's move to appoint an expert panel to advise Secretary General on Sri Lanka is ‘totally uncalled for and unwarranted.’

 

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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