Go to Homepage

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

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

 

Latest News from Sri Lanka

 

Current Significant Issues

 Sunday, 19 February 2012 05:35 AM  

 

Sri Lankan commission : Civilians weren't targeted

Extremist Tamil Separatists Call For A Plebiscite In The North & East To Establish A Separate State Of “Eelam” -  by Mahinda Gunasekera - The Declaration adopted by the separatist Tamils seeking international support for the holding of a plebiscite in the north and east of Sri Lanka to establish an independant, sovereign nation state of “Tamil Eelam” is appended below. As their military wing has since been eliminated in May 2009, they are now seeking the route of a plebiscite in the predominantly Tamil areas of the north and east to achieve the same goal of a separate state through the break-up of the sovereign, independent nation state of Sri Lanka where they enjoy equal rights. They are calling on the international community to uphold the South Sudan or Kosovo process that will enable them to form an independent state by carving out territory from Sri Lanka. As advocated by some of us, it is time that Sri Lanka referred the 13th Amendment creating Provincial Councils with devolved powers as imposed by India through the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 and the threat of military intervention, for a decision of the island’s people who were not earlier consulted on this issue at a referendum as to the retention or discarding thereof, and replacement of the Provincial Councils by District Councils with appropriate powers deemed adequate for such units, along with Grameeya Sabha with wider powers to meet the needs of the resident populace in each village where the majority of Sri Lanka’s people live, whilst at the same time remodelling the Centre where more powers would be shared with the minorities giving them a role in the day to day governance of the country. Such a move could be accompanied by greater decentralization of the administration by locating the central authority of each department and governmental body in the most appropriate place to maximise the outcome of the services provided and benefits accrued to the general public (LankaWeb : 30 November 2011).

Comment on Norwegian evaluation of their peace efforts in SL - By Neville Ladduwahetty - The report commissioned by the Norwegian Government titled "Pawns of Peace – Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka 1997- 2009 answers some of the questions sought by the Sri Lankan Government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). The key answers sought by the LLRC were: "The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement operationalized on 21st February, 2002…; Whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard; The lessons we could learn from those events…". The Norwegian report was prepared by the Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI), Bergen, and the School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS), University of London. UK. According to Mr. Kumar Rupasinghe, one of the largest beneficiaries of the Norwegian Government ($6 million from 2004-2008) CMI "receives 80% of their funds from the Norwegian Government"(Daily Mirror, November 17, 2011). It could be concluded that the SOAS also received funding for its contribution to the report. Under these circumstances, this was an internal evaluation by the Norwegian Government, the only difference being that the task itself was outsourced (Island ; 29 November 2011).

Omanthai, Palai railway line construction in progress - by Sandasen Marasinghe Irangika Range and Disna Mudalige - The construction of the railway line from Omanthai to Palai is in progress, according to an answer tabled by Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament yesterday. The stretch from Omanthai to Palai which is 87 km would be reconstructed at a cost of US $ 185 million. The Indian government will provide a concessionary loan, the document tabled by the Deputy Minister said. Indian Ircon Company, a company belonging to the Indian government is constructing the section between Omanthai and Palai. A proper tender procedure was followed in selecting the Indian Ircon Company to reconstruct the railway line from Omanthai to Palai, the tabled answer added. Reconstruction of the Northern Railway line is a priority of the government. Therefore, it has decided to reconstruct this section expeditiously. Accordingly, discussions were held with the Indian government at diplomatic level and a MoU was signed between the Indian Ircon Company and the Presidential Task Force. Thereby, construction work of the section from Omanthai to Palai was awarded to the Indian Ircon Company, the tabled answer said (Daily News : 29 November 2011).

Elaine Pearson’s (Human Rights Watch) Presentation on Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Violations? – November 18,2011 - by Ira de Silva London, Ontario - Mr. Scott-Reid, M.P. Chair, Canadian House of Commons Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Standing committee of Foreign Affairs & International Development. Re: Presentation by Ms. Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch on Sri Lankan Human Rights – Nov. 18,2011; Dear Sir: I have read Ms. Elaine Pearson’s presentation on Sri Lanka to your Committee. I am sending this response to you and sincerely hope that you will read it as I believe that Ms. Pearson’s presentation has made various assumptions, used material that is unsubstantiated, relied on material such as the Channel 4 documentary which has been proven to be fabricated, “photo-shopped” and much of it originating from the LTTE propaganda publications such as TamilNet without verification or any attempt to determine the authenticity of the facts. Further, Ms. Pearson refers to the report given to the U.N. Secretary General which is called the Darumsman Report which is not a U.N. report because it was not sanctioned by the General Assembly or the Security Council but an advisory report for the Secretary General. The over-riding impression made by Ms. Pearson’s presentation is accusatory and criticism of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is plain that her mission is to achieve her organization’s objective of an investigation in Sri Lanka to which end she is seeking Canada’s backing. What I find most disturbing is that her organization is continuing to make statements ignoring all information and evidence that some of the claims made by them have been shown to be false. It indicates that Human Rights Watch (HRW) is not open to information and disregards whatever is available from many sources if it does not fit their mission to condemn Sri Lanka (LankaWeb : 28 November 2011).

LLRC first to Parliament then to UNSG

LLRC first to Parliament then to UNSG - By S.Selvakumar - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Sunday would be first submitted to Parliament within next fortnight and thereafter to United Nations Secretary General, top government sources disclosed. The eight member commission was chaired by former Attorney-General C.R.de Silva and comprised with former Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Palihakara, former advisor to the External Affairs Ministry Dr. Rohan Perera, Senior Attorney-at-Law M.T.M. Bafiq, former Deputy Secretary to the Treasury C. Chanmugam, former professor of Criminal Justice of University of Nevada, Karunaratne Hangawatte, former High Court Judge Maxwel Paranagama and Deputy Legal Draftsman Manohari Ramanathan. President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed LLRC sequel to various comments made by several international organisations and certain countries on the conduct of the war against the LTTE and especially the damage caused to ordinary masses and properties during the final stage of the war. Several organisations commented on alleged atrocities by the government forces during the final phase ended in May 2009. The main sessions of the Commission was conducted at the BMICH while session was also held at several locations in the North and East. Several persons including academics, journalists, bureaucrats and ordinary people especially at Mullaitivu gave evidence before the Commission. The war was brought to an end in Mulliwaikkal in Mullaitivu where security forces killed the LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran and his close commanders. LLRC was appointed by President Rajapaksa on May 15, 2010 a year after the defeat of LTTE while United States Secretary General Ban ki-Moon submitted Darusman report to the Human Rights Council of September 14, 2011 (Nation : 29 November 2011).

LLRC report should be given a fair hearing - By Manjula FERNANDO - The Sunday Observer spoke to several personalities on the handing over of the much anticipated Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week. The report which received a great deal of publicity in the international arena, drew equal criticism before it even wrapped up its work. Those among the most vociferous critics were the pro-LTTE groups and their sympathisers giving the impression that they feared the result would cripple their anti-Lanka campaign. The Government was firm in its stand and maintained that critics should reserve their comments, until the findings and recommendations were officially put out. The commission released a set of interim recommendations which are now being implemented with the blessings of the well-wishers of the nation. The Sunday Observer asked these individuals how the reactions and opinions expressed on the LLRC report will affect the ongoing reconciliation process that has been initiated by the Government as a means of healing past wounds and bringing communities together in the post-war phase (Sunday Observer : 27 November 2011).

In keeping with ‘collective insight’ of international community: Govt will discuss modalities to implement LLRC Report - by Manjula FERNANDO - The Government said it would discuss the modalities for implementing the LLRC report with the international community in keeping with its ‘firm resolve’ to continually engage with them and gain from their ‘collective insight’. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris said, “We want to be engaged by the ‘collective insight’ of the international community. As soon as it is published we will talk about the modalities of implementation. We are ready for such an exchange of views.” He was addressing the inaugural national conference on reconciliation at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre on Thursday. He said the international community must not receive this report with scepticism. Instead, it should be dealt with an open mind. “The report of the LLRC will be in the public domain shortly once it is tabled in Parliament. Please evaluate it, assess it, discuss it.” He said the Government faced a ‘bizarre’ situation in Geneva in September this year when attempts were made to put down on the agenda of the Human Rights Council of March 2012, a document which did not exist at all. The LLRC report was at the time non existent. “Almost every country that we spoke to, agreed that this was a total travesty of justice. The attempt was to malign the document before it was out. It was a demonstration of total prejudice.” The move did not receive support and at the end of the day the resolution against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council was not presented. “The LLRC in essence is a local mechanism. I think there has to be respect for the local mechanism and procedures. This is an established practice in the international system. There are specific resolutions in the UN General Assembly, where countries are encouraged to evolve their own solutions on delicately sensitive problems. This is necessary to reach sustainability. He invited the international community to visit Sri Lanka and ‘not to be guided by what is being told’ either by the [Tamil diaspora] propagandists or the Sri Lankan Government (Sunday Observer : 27 November 2011).

Pro-LTTE covert operations bared - By Shanika SRIYANANDA - While studying the final report of the much-awaited the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) regarding the root causes of the three-decade long conflict and also to counter the alleged war crimes charges, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address at the Convocation of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) alerted the nation on covert operation by pro-LTTEers to disrupt normality under the guise of human rights violations. He said terrorists who attacked the government hiding within civil society, were now attempting to attack the government taking cover over human rights abuses today."Even though two years have passed since defeating terrorism, challenges faced by our motherland are not yet over. During the period of terror, the money earned by terrorists was spent on purchasing weapons, ships and aircraft. Today that money is spent on various misinformation campaigns and political conspiracies aimed at destabilising the country.False allegations levelled against the Government are still being circulated in the country. We need to understand that telecasting programs based on fraudulent information about the conflict, forming international human rights commissions against Sri Lanka, and claims about war crimes are all inter-connected", he said.“If this was a personal attack, it would have been easy for me to tolerate. But this is not so. These attacks are against the motherland. You need to understand that it is a threats against national security. It is the duty of all of us to work towards taking the country to a top position in the world. After the liberation of the country we did not forget our war heroes. We love them, respect them and trust them and will do that forever”, the President said. Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Management, Engineering Technology, Commerce, Technical Sciences and Arts were awarded do the graduates and trophies presented for 2011 by President Rajapaksa (Sunday Observer : 27 November 2011).

Weekly Defense Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 30 October 2011)

Turn the lamp inwards, Gota tells war crimes accusers - By Shamindra Ferdinando - In the wake of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) submitting its observations and recommendations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government has reminded those pursuing Sri Lanka on the human rights front that excesses on the part of individual soldiers had occurred not only in Sri Lanka, but in many other theatres of operations. Addressing the inaugural session of the first national reconciliation conference on Nov. 24 in Colombo, Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that there had been many excesses by individuals in each and every war. He cited Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq as examples. Among the audience was the Colombo-based diplomatic community including US Ambassador, Patricia Butenis, who, in a now exposed diplomatic cable originating from Colombo alleged President Rajapaksa, his brothers, Gotabhaya and Basil and former Army Chief, Gen. Sarath Fonseka committed war crimes. The allegation was made in the run-up to the last presidential poll in Jan. 2010. Since then Wiki Leaks has exposed a spate of atrocities committed by US troops and intelligence services in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theatres of operations, thereby embarrassing the Obama administration. The UK, too, has commissioned two separate inquiries to probe Iraq war and its complicity in human rights abuses following 9/11. Commenting on accountability issues relating to Eelam war IV, Rajapaksa said that the government had punished those responsible subsequent to inquiries into allegations, including murder, rape and sexual abuse. He assured that appropriate action would be taken if fresh substantial evidence against its personnel is received. In Sri Lanka’s case, the rapid expansion of the military to meet the LTTE’s challenge had caused deterioration of discipline, Rajapaksa admitted, asserting there could have been some black sheep among those recruited during Eelam war IV. The armed forces doubled their total strength, with the SLA alone recruiting 100,000 personnel (Island : 26 November 2011).

IS THE TNA TAKING THE GOVERNMENT ON A RIDE? - By Gomin Dayasri - Metric that matters most is whether TNA with whom Government has initiated a dialogue genuinely want the reconciliation process to succeed. Or are they merely posturing together to placate foreign embassies? The Government gains if reconciliation becomes a success unlike the TNA. But is the Government capable of structuring and contriving a reconciliation process because of an inadequate intellectual grasp? TNA –being a demagogic ethnic party, cats – paw until 5/19, of the LTTE: faithful to its unadulterated racial politics, are in peril if it achieves harmonious relationships with the South, disturbing their perpetual political ploys. They thrive on alleging discriminatory treatment by the majority Sinhalese: generating hate and hostility, instilling fear and anguish, to collect votes. Alleging discriminatory treatment is understandable but to vituperate while engaged in the reconciliation process is to make a mockery of amity talks. The attitude of the TNA cannot attract confidence in a dialogue, by globe- trotting with a complaint sheet to the West , already whirling a rod to spank Sri Lanka. It is an effort to extract the maximum through unwanted foreign political interventions while discrediting the image of Sri Lanka abroad among Lanka skeptics. If their narrow plank of peddling disharmony between ethnic communities collapses, TNA will fall into a whirlpool. A reconciled North/East will allow the two national parties of the South to make an impact on the Tamil voters on broader issues. Their desire is to prevent national parties- PA, UNP and JVP- from penetrating into the Tamil constituencies. Unlike the TNA, Muslim parties in the East have related to the two main national parties and advanced their cause. So too were individual Tamil parliamentarians and politicians in the past, some with left leanings, before being decimated by the LTTE. Not so the TNA and its predecessors, who deemed such persons – traitors to the Tamil cause. The North/East voters are more inclined to participate in the reconciliation process than the TNA realizing the beneficial aspects. Following the road map of the LTTE, roadblocks on ethnic harmony are created by the TNA, for their political advantage. TNA holds a dominant position in the Tamil electorates, a rainbow coalition of many shades of northern opinion on a single slate without a virtual opposition. Minister Devananda’s EPDP [A heart throb of the Liberal/Marxist leaning pro-13th amendment’s latent stragglers in the UPFA holding high office] is more a liability than an asset to the UPFA. EPDP creates a negative image among the voters except among the islanders, for its misdeeds in the North. Southerner Mahinda Rajapakse commands greater respect (LankaWeb : 26 November 2011).

Sinhala genocide and the British - by Janaka Perera - Saturday, November 26th marks the 193rd anniversary of the execution at Bogambara, Kandy of the patriot and national hero Monarawila Keppettipola, who led the first anti-British independence struggle (1817-18) in the Uva Province. It is a fitting occasion to examine the track record of the ancestors of some of today’s international ‘human rights’ champions and democracy advocates. No Sri Lankan Government will be able to totally undo the damage that the British did to the Uva Province socially, economically and culturally in the course of brutally crushing the uprising. The repercussions of this genocidal scorched earth policy are felt to this day in the Uva region, where entire villages were wiped out and crops and livestock destroyed. For 57 years after independence the Uva heroes remained officially on the traitors’ list. Their descendants too were helpless in officially dealing with this grave injustice until the present regime revoked three years ago the notification issued on January 1, 1818. The alien occupation of the kingdom in March 1815 signaled the end of over two thousand years of self-rule and the whole island became part of the British Empire, paying homage to the English monarch. In should be noted here that the former Nayakkar Kings of Kandy – though they were South Indians and their ancestral religion was Hinduism – ruled according to Sinhala customs and recognized Buddhism as the State religion. This was in sharp contrast to the British who did everything possible to weaken and undermine the Sinhala Buddhist culture. Their Trojan horse in this conspiracy was Christianity. Before long the Kandyan Chiefs and the people realised their freedom had been bartered. The Bhikkus joined the people in demanding the king of their own to protect Sinhala way of life and to uphold age-old Buddhist religious traditions (Sinhale Hot News : 26 November 2011).

Richard Armitage Do You Have Alzheimer’s disease? Or Alzheimer’s was induced To You By Tamil Sangahm in Boston, USA? - by Kithsiri Athulathmudali, Florida, USA - Referring to the Erick Solheim’s Carnival held in Oslo, on November 11th 2011 (This is similar to the Carnival Co-Chars had inNew York hosted by Japanese Yasushi Akashi and Richard Blake) when president Rajapakse went to address the UN). At this meeting in Oslo, you insulted the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, in the speech you gave at this meeting. No Sinhala American can stay deaf to such remarks. So, I will challenge you for every word and sentence you uttered at this meeting. Unlike Erick Solhiem’s speech that was published in full text on the Colombo Telegraph webpage, I have to go by sections of your speech that were published on various websites and news media (LankaWeb : 26 November 2011).

The Defence Secretary says Sri Lanka need not to be guided by an external force to establish reconciliation among the ethnic groups

I challenge anyone to prove that the Tamil people have not been treated as equal citizens and are still not treated as equal citizens and have lost their dignity and self respect as Sambandan cry? - by Dr Sudath Gunasekara, President Senior Citizens Movement Mahanuwara - This is absolute false and typical baloney of vituperative and communal Tamil politics. Before they point the fore finger at the Government on these stale issues they must first understand that every time they do so at least three fingers in their hands directly point at them and their conscience, for they know that they are lying. So the more they accuse the Government the more it boomerangs on them. It would have been better if Sambandan had told us as to in what specific areas they are not equal as citizens of this country, supported by concrete data. I also do not understand as to what he means when he says that they have lost their dignity and respect. Like any other politician when they behave in undignified and treacherous manner like this little realizing that they are only reaping what they have been sowing over the past few decades. Things like dignity and respect after all are things one has to earn in the hard way. But when they behave like monkeys I wonder how they could earn the dignity and respect of others. They must first be respect worthy and dignified in their action and behavior if they want to be respected and accepted as a dignified lot. If you want the other man to respect you, first, you must respect him and show him that you honestly respect him both by action and word. Without you first smiling at a person I can assure you that you will never see a smiling face in this world. I invite Sambandan and his click or any other who thinks the way they do to look at the following simple facts. There has been no bar for any man or women irrespective of his race, language o religion to rise to any position in this country. The only two positions these people have not been able to reach are the posts of President and the Prime minister for obvious and very valid reasons created by the very Tamils communal politicians (but not by the ordinary Tamils). Had they been given the opportunity this country would have been an EELAM long time ago (LankaWeb : 25 November 2011).

A reply to Sampanthan who went to Toronto to say, “ ….we cannot trust The Government of Sri Lanka ” -  by Charles.S.Perera (In Toronto while Sampanthan set aflame hatred of expatriate Tamils against Government, Vasudeva Nanayakkara pleaded for peace and reconciliation .). Did you see Sampanthan and his cronies since their visit to USA and Canada ? They are dressed up like Englishmen, in coats and ties. Sampanthan went to Toronto in Canada, and on the 30 October,2011 made a long speech to a gathering of expatriate Tamils at the Sri Iyappan Temple Auditorium. It was a speech to the expatriate Tamils in Canada to inflame their anger and hatred against the Government of Sri Lanka and the Majority he does not mention by name. What was strange reading that speech (appearing in Transcurrent) is that he has mentioned the word “Sinhalese” only once in his speech, referring to “them” as the Majority. In that one occasion he says, “We consider Sinhalese as our brothers and sisters. Many are ready for a just solution. A just, implementable and lasting solution should be found. But, I would like to make it clear that if such a solution was not put forwarded, we will not accept any other mirage of a solution » In contrast to the speech of Samapanthan to the Expatriate Tamils in Canada was a public Meeting hosted by the Canadian Sri Lankan Community mainly expatriate Sinhala and attended by Mr.Sam Rajendran of the Canadian Tamil Cultural Association, at which the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara, pleaded for peace and reconciliation to heal the wounds of past conflicts. However, in Canada Sampanthan mixed up the histories. Sri Lanka is a country with a longer history and a richer culture than Canada. Even the name Canada came to be used some where in 1545. The name Canada is derived from Kanata the name of a small Indian village, which Jacque Cartier borrowed and vulgarised to Canada, using it as the name of the areas occupied by the French and later when the French ceded their conquests to the English, the whole of the area occupied by the French and the English was called Canada. The British expelled the French settlers as and when they occupied the respective areas. However, some of the pioneer French settlers remained, most of them in Quebec and others in Manitoba, Ontario etc. Canada became Independent only in 1982. The land they call “Canada “ was occupied by the aborigine Indians who were massacred by the invading British and the French, and now not even mentioned making the Canadians of today made to be the owners of the land (LankaWeb : 25 November 2011).

UK has no regrets over defeat of terrorism in SL, says British HC - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The government believes that a visit to the Eastern Province undertaken by British High Commissioner, John James Rankin, is timely, particularly in view of the ongoing attempts by the international arm of the LTTE, including those living in the UK, to undermine Sri Lanka’s post-war development process. Government sources said the three-day visit, which concluded on Thursday (Nov. 24), would have helped the British to make a realistic assessment of the ground situation. The External Affairs Ministry said that diplomatic missions were free to organize visits to Northern and Eastern provinces, where they could meet people of all communities affected by the conflict. HC Rankin met Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivenesanthurai Chandrakanthan aka Pilleyan at the CM’s Secretariat, Kanniya Road,Varothayanagar. He also had a discussions with EP Governor Rear Admiral (Retd), Mohan Wijewickrama at Governor’s Secretariat, Lower Road, Orr’s Hill and Government Agent of Trincomalee Maj. Gen. (retd) T.T. Ranjith Silva and the Deputy Mayor of Batticaloa. The Defence Ministry said that a fresh review of the situation in the Eastern Province would help the UK identify Sri Lankans who sought asylum in that country citing security concerns, though the war had ended over two years ago. The British HC said that Rankin also took the opportunity to visit the Kiliveddy IDP site in Trincomalee and the Kithuluthuwa village in Morawewa, home to a resettled Sinhalese community. The British HC spokesperson quoted the High Commissioner as having said: ""This is my first visit to the East, which is a fascinating and beautiful part of Sri Lanka. I have found it extremely valuable to meet so many people from the Muslim, Sinhalese and Tamil communities and to see the diversity of people here. Nowhere is it more obvious that Sri Lanka’s different people must work together, after years of conflict, to bring a sustainable peace to the country." (Island : 25 November 2011).

External solutions not for Sri Lanka - Defence Secretary - People reaping the rewards of peace - SL one of most secure and stable countries - by Ishara MUDUGAMUWA - Sri Lanka as a sovereign nation with a rich culture and a proud heritage does not need external guidance to achieve post conflict reconciliation. This will be achieved through an organic, local effort consistent with our culture and our values, and not based on external ideals imposed by others, Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural National Conference on Reconciliation at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies yesterday. “It is evident that cultural norms differ from country to country. People living in the United States of America, or Australia, or Canada, or the United Kingdom, or any other country, have no proper understanding of the ground situation in Sri Lanka nor do they understand our current cultural context. It is not for outsiders to impose their values or their judgments on Sri Lanka.” he said. “Sri Lankans who suffered from the war for 30 years and who are now reaping the rewards of peace will find solutions to our national issues. But outsiders have no idea about the post war situation in Sri Lanka,” the Defence and Urban Development Secretary said. “Presently, the country is striving to achieve prosperity on the foundation of peace resulting from the defeat of terrorism. Reconciliation is an essential part of this endeavour, and it is one that will be achieved. As we step forward into a peaceful and prosperous future, I have every confidence that all of us, irrespective of our ethnicity, religion, caste, gender or political affiliation, will put aside our differences and work and live together. We will first and foremost be Sri Lankans,” he said. Further he said that Sri Lanka’s experience with terrorism began in the 1970s. By the time President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office in December 2005, terrorist activities in the country had continued for nearly thirty years. They did huge damage to the country’s economic,social and cultural development. They killed approximately 9,800 civilians and grievously wounded more than 10,000. He also noted that the LTTE’s skill at political assassinations was another defining feature of its campaign of terror. Starting from Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappa the LTTE killed seven Cabinet Ministers, 37 Parliamentarians and more than 50 office-bearing political figures during its terror campaign. Its intention was to undermine Sri Lanka’s democracy. They also assassinated democratic leaders and intellectuals in the Tamil community in order to style itself the sole representative of the Tamil people the leaders of other armed groups in the Northern and Eastern areas. “The overall impact of the LTTE’s terrorism was devastating. In addition to the thousands of casualties it caused, the aura of fear and uncertainty it created had a severe impact on all Sri Lankans. In areas outside the LTTE’s control, ordinary peoples’ day-to-day lives were transformed. Parents did not travel together in the same vehicle for fear of orphaning their children by getting caught in a bomb blast. Students’ school attendance dropped every time rumours spread about impending terrorist attacks. Law and order deteriorated as terrorism fostered crime and corruption. The underworld became more powerful and its members gained access to arms and ammunition from various armed groups operating in the country at large. An entire generation grew up under a veil of fear.” he said (Daily News : 25 November 2011).

‘LLRC report in House as early as possible’- by Nadira GUNATILLEKE - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report will be tabled in Parliament as early as possible, Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, Minister Rambukwella said that the report had been handed over to the President by the Commission and it will be tabled in Parliament as early as possible. Minister Rambukwella spoke about the incident that took place in Parliament during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2012 budget presentation. Minister Rambukwella said that the accepted tradition of the Sri Lankan Parliament is for all members to stand up when the Finance Minister enters Parliament with the budget proposals. This tradition was continuously followed without any interruption in the past. But this year this long standing tradition was broken by the Opposition. Therefore, it is not justifiable to blame the government MPs only. According to Minister Rambukwella, conflicts are not something new to the Sri Lankan Parliament and similar things had happened in the past. The same type of incidents take place in Parliaments around the world. It is not something unusual. The Sri Lankan Parliament never allowed unnecessary items to be taken into Parliament. Files named ‘Shame’, posters etc are not required for the budget. They are required for a parade. The Speaker is the authority in Parliament. He has already commenced a full investigation into the incidents. Such incidents cannot be accepted on any round. Responding to some questions posed by journalists, Minister Rambukwella said that two persons had been taken into custody in connection with the Lasantha Wickramatunge murder. ‘A full investigation is proceeding in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and details cannot be revealed yet. There are some journalists who tell utter lies at international conferences. Everything reported in newspapers is not true. Therefore nobody can accuse government officials and say that they tell lies. They are responsible government officials who represent the government, he said (Daily News : 25 November 2011).

Elaine Pearson’s (Human Rights Watch) presentation on Sri Lanka’s Human Rights violations - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Mr. Scott-Reid, Conservative MP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington Chair, Canadian House of Commons Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. A Response to the presentation by Ms. Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch on Sri Lankan Human Rights Situation on 18 November 2011. Dear Mr. Scott-Reid: It is with great admiration to you and your Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, that I request your generous indulgence to read my response to Ms. Elaine Pearson’s presentation on Sri Lanka. I am a Sri Lankan-Buddhist of Sinhalese origin and have lived in Canada since August 1968. Being a Canadian of Sri Lanka origin I claim my right to speak for the silent voices of the 22 million peoples of all ethnic groups back in Sri Lanka who had the courage of their convictions not to buy a plane ticket to get on a plane and land at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and say, “I am a refugee running away from persecution and discrimination by the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka”, who are weeping silently asking the world to give their Peace a Chance as they want to live in harmony among all ethnic groups as one family in one Sri Lanka, as they love Sri Lanka, their Motherland, which may not be perfect, and yet happens to be their home with warts and all. And I hasten to add that 41% of the population in the capital of Colombo is peopled by Tamils, the place where the July 1983 riots happened, an ugly blimp in Sri Lanka’s recent history, and yet they are living in harmony with the majority Sinhalese at this very place and wish to continue to live in harmony and happily ever after (LankaWeb : 24 November 2011).

Battlefield excesses will be probed, if any – GR - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The government yesterday assured the international community that those individual acts of excesses, if any, on the part of the Sri Lankan military, during the final phase of the eelam conflict, would be dealt with in keeping with the domestic law. This assurance was given by Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the inauguration of one-day conference, ‘Reconciliation: The way forward for post-conflict Sri Lanka’, at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS). Defence Secretary Rajapaksa emphasised that the government wouldn’t hesitate to punish those guilty of battle-field excesses though there was no truth in the exaggerated figures of civilians killed, quoted by various parties, ranging from 10,000 to 40,000. "During the course of the Humanitarian Operations, investigations were conducted on all allegations, including those concerning major offenses including murder, rape and sexual abuse. Swift action was taken by the military to punish those individuals found guilty of such crimes. Action was also pursued in civil courts. If, in future, any substantial evidence is provided about crimes committed by its personnel, the Sri Lankan military will not hesitate to take appropriate action. In this context, it must also be stressed that the government is committed to following through on its responsibilities in terms of accountability. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by the President in 2009 has gone into all matters concerned with the conflict. Its report has been handed over to the President, and if there are any specific allegations or evidence of crimes therein, investigations will be undertaken and necessary action taken against those involved. The Government is also committed to implementing general recommendations made by the LLRC with regard to reconciliation," the Defence Secretary said. Rajapaksa pointed out that those shedding crocodile tears for battle-field deaths of civilians had conveniently turned a blind eye to loss of civilian life due to other factors such as forced conscription. The conference was attended by the Colombo-based diplomatic community, including those pushing for an international war crimes tribunal in the wake of unsubstantiated UN report on accountability issues (Island : 24 November 2011).

Norwegian peace model and its faults - By Sri Hewa Witharana - Looking at analysis done by Norwegian govt via NORAD is a document that brings Norwegians into serious disrepute as a peace negotiator. NORAD is a respected organization.  The report started by insulting Sri Lanka and saying “The conflict is understood here as being rooted in processes of incomplete state formation, which led to competing ethno-nationalist projects.”  This statement it self is enough to justify why Norway failed since it ignore how and why Sinhalese Buddhists assert them selves in 1948 after 500 yrs of foreign colonial insults and domination to their country and, how all of these colonials try to erase Sinhalese Buddhist civilization that span more than 200 yrs.  Trying to assert Sinhalese Buddhist culture in 1948 we may have done some harm to the minorities rights even though this was not the intention. Interested parties agitated and also help from the past colonial country push the country into an ethnic hot bed which originated from the British and still continue that policy for their strategic gain.  Norwegians biggest mistake was that whole history and present issues were taken from few anti establish local traitors who are basically prostituting for foreign dollars… If see CPA, it means either Centre for Paid Advise or Centre for Prostitution and Ass licking.  For Norwegians some in this organization look like academics but they are not and some of them are failed Marxists who love dollars and nothing but parasites living on peoples miseries (Asian Tribune: 24 November 2011).

The Defence Secretary says Sri Lanka need not to be guided by an external force to establish reconciliation among the ethnic groups - Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse says that Sri Lanka need not to be guided by any external force regarding achieving national reconciliation. He further says that the government is ready to reconcile the ethnic groups through a methodology inherent to Sri Lanka based on its national culture. Sri Lankan citizens have a genuine understanding on the current situation of the country more than anybody else. The Defence Secretary recalls that the Sri Lankan population, who are presently enjoying the benefits of peace were tormented by brutal terrorism several years ago. Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse adds that Sri Lankan people are preparing to establish national reconciliation by joining together as one nation. The Defence Secretary delivering the inaugural address at the national reconciliation conference which commenced in Colombo further said that Sri Lanka which acted in determination to defeat terrorism will march forward with the same determination to realize the goal of national reconciliation. Commenting on the various accusations launched against the humanitarian operation carried out in Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse said that the security forces had focused special attention to prevent any civilian becoming victim of the operations. The report on the commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation has been handed over to the President. The Defence Secretary added that the government has stated that it is prepared to take action if any irregularity has taken place as a result of its recommendations. A systematic programme is needed to be implemented through the reconciliation process to ward off the agitation created in the minds of the general public as a result of exposure to terrorism. The Defence Secretary pointed out that however, it is regretting to find out that certain politicians as well as countries are following a policy favorable to the tiger organisaiton (SLBC : 24 November 2011).

Investors anxious to invest in the North

Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes - Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt. The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous. “War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,” the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read. The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush “child-killers”. The tribunal, which consisted of a former federal judge and several academics, paid particular attention to the failure of the Western military to find a single weapon of mass destruction in Iraq. WMDs were cited by the Western coalition as a major reason for their military intervention. It also declared the war to be in contravention of the will of the United Nations. “The evidence showed that the drums of war were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own memoirs have admitted their intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law,” said the tribunal. The tribunal has no powers of enforcement, and as yet there has been no response from Bush or Blair. But the Perdana Peace Foundation says it hopes to maintain pressure from the international community on the two leaders, both of whom have now retired from domestic politics. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence during the Iraq War, is next on the list to have his case heard by the mock court (rt.com : 23 November 2011).

MR warns of post-war threats to national security - By Shamindra Ferdinando - President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (22) said that some of the self-styled human rights champions had the audacity to call the killing of hardcore LTTE terrorist Thamilselvan in a SriLanka Air Force raid an attack on the peace process. Such criticism was part of their strategy to force Sri Lanka to call off its battle against LTTE terrorism, the President told the annual Convocation of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) at Temple Trees, where the conferment of Bachelors and Masters degrees on 51 SLA, 23 SLN, 12 SLAF and 4 (three from the Maldives and one from Nepal) took place. President Rajapaksa alleged that those who had backed the LTTE’s cause were still active and posed a serious threat to Sri Lanka’s post-war recovery process. He urged the armed forces to remain alert to the persistent threat though the LTTE’s military muscle had been neutralised. A pair of jets bombed Thamilselvan’s hideout in Kilinochchi in the first week of November 2007 within two weeks of the devastating LTTE raid on Anuradhapura airbase. President Rajapaksa alleged that the LTTE had the backing of certain individuals, various organisations and political parties. Responding to criticism of the conduct of the Sri Lankan military by a section of the international community, the Commander-in-Chief recalled the circumstances under which his government had moved essential items to the Jaffna peninsula, Jaffna islands and Mullaitivu at the height of the war. Having failed to secure an international guarantee for the protection of food ships, the government had shouldered the responsibility of conducting the humanitarian operations, the President said. Many of those who had benefited from the government’s humanitarian efforts had now conveniently forgotten the situation at that, he said. The President emphasised the need for the military to be aware of the threat emanating from external elements due to Sri Lanka’s strategic position in the Indian Ocean. The President said, "As you have received higher education, unlike those trained in the handling of weapons, you should be able to comprehend the ground situation here and rapidly changing economic and political scenes at global level. You should be aware of the current focus on the Asia Pacific region." President Rajapaksa emphasised the importance of those holding command positions at all levels to be disciplined. Those holding junior ranks and ordinary soldiers didn’t like to carry out orders given by an undisciplined senior, he asserted, while warning that the failure on their part would bring them to ridicule in the eyes of their juniors. The President urged the newcomers to earn the respect of those under their command (Island : 23 November 2011).

Replying to Anandasangaree’s the desperate plea of a patriot for a permanent solution - By Charles.S.Perera  - Writing to the President of Sri Lanka Anandasangaree says, « Although both of us entered Parliament together in 1970, I am more senior to you in age and in politics. Hence I have a moral duty to tell you frankly what I feel about every one of your actions and decision.  Although the writer did not enter Parliament with Anandasangaree, he knows that Anandasangaree was a member of the LSSP . And as the writer is of the same age as Anandasangaree he thinks he also has a moral duty to tell Anandasangaree that he is the worst Tamil racist and a hypocrite. His membership in the LSSP had been bogus and hypocritical, because if he was a sincere member of the LSSP he cannot today speak in the language of a separatist Tamil racist. He was awarded the 2006 UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence, which he did not deserve. He calls himself a patriot, and the writer challenges his patriotism. A patriot is one who loves his country and his compatriots whatever their race, colour or religion. A patriot does not seek to divide the people, a patriot loves the unitary status of his country, and does not seek to divide it territorially or communally. But Anandasangaree divides people as Sinhala and Tamils, he does not work for the unity of the people, he wants federalism which is a sort of divisionism. Therefore he is not a patriot. If Anandasangaree wants to be a real patriot , he should give up his call for a Federal Constitution or an Indian model. He should not treat the Tamil Community as a different entity. He should instead be a bridge to bring in the Tamil Community into the mainstream of the Sri Lankan people without allowing them to tear away from the fabric of Nationhood. Sri Lanka could progress faster if all communities get together to give a hand . It is the Tamils who stand on the way of progress with their pseudo “ethnic problem” and show to the world outside a division within. It is the Tamil diaspora which has brought Sri Lanka to disrepute, accusing the President and the Armed Forces for military crimes when they know very well that the elimination of terrorism was a necessity for any progress and that the military operations were against the terrorists and not against the Tamil people (LankaWeb : 23 November 2011).

LLRC report to Parliament in Dec - President Mahinda Rajapaksa will submit the LLRC report to Parliament next month, Presidential Spokesman Bandula Jayasekera said (Daily News : 23 November 2011).

Evaluating the Norwegian evaluation - By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka - Taken as a whole, the Norwegian study is a valuable and welcome addition to the growing literature on the war and our times. It is however, wrong or empty at its very core. Wrong not only in what it sees and says, but perhaps even more so, in what it does not—in what it fails to or chooses not to see and/or express. The NORAD study is characterised by an absent analytical core. Though I am critical of its post–mortem of the armed conflict and efforts at peace-making, the Norwegian study of the failed peace efforts in Sri Lanka does contain important and valuable observations concerning the international aspect (Ch 7: ‘The International Dimensions of the Peace Process’) and domestic political dynamics and trajectories (Ch 11: ‘The Primacy of Domestic Politics’) . In the section that deals with the international dimension the report significantly admits that "Possibly, Western pressure may have had an adverse effect, as it created additional anxiety and time pressure for the government during the final offensive" and goes on to quote a Wikileaks cable and an observation by me: "Senior Sri Lankan diplomat Dayan Jayatilleka noted ‘It was a neck-and-neck race between the historic chance of finishing off the Tigers and concerted international pressure interrupting the offensive. […] The international pressure was too strong for the Sri Lankan state simply to ignore but too weak to stop the state’s military campaign. […] We had to outrun the pressure by accelerating the military offensive and closing the endgame as soon as possible’ (Jayatilleka, 2010)." (p 79). The observations in the Norwegian study on Sri Lankan politics and political history are considerably more objective than most domestic commentaries, both hagiographic and hysterically denunciatory. The scholars from the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Christian Michaelson institute, brought together by NORAD have held up a mirror before the national political developments of the recent past (Island : 22 November 2011).

Heh, Heh, Hillary, the Horror, the Horror  - by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha - I could scarcely believe it when I was told that Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the death of Colonel Gaddafi was, ‘ We came, we saw, he died.’ The statement seemed so vulgar, and at the same time so asinine in its meaningless parodying of Julius Caesar, that I could not imagine that it had actually been made by the Foreign Minister of the most powerful country in the world. I checked then, and was told by someone I can rely on that she had indeed said. ‘We came, we saw, he died….heh, heh.’ He had seen this on CNN. I was immensely saddened by this. Some months earlier I had written about what I thought was a civilized element in the lady, the awe that seemed apparent in her eyes while she was watching the killing of Osama bin Laden. That had seemed to contrast with the steely determination of the others in the room, and I had fancied that the maker of policy was at least aware of the wider moral dimensions of that particular execution. But now it seemed morality was trumped totally by what seemed to be unashamed gloating. Of course there was a difference, in that the Americans were clearly responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The lady knew this was a defining moment for American decision makers, for clearly they were behind what could be seen as cold blooded murder. But I assume the powers that be felt this was a risk that could be run, that the argument could be made that Osama was a threat to national security even if disarmed and in custody, and therefore it could be argued that the decision had been made as a form of self defence (Island : 22 November 2011).

Sri Lankan president receives response to scathing U.N. report - Sri Lanka's response to a scathing United Nations report alleging war crimes and human rights violations has reached the president's desk. President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the 400-page document on Sunday night. The response, compiled by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, will be presented to Parliament, though Rajapaksa did not say when. At their president's urging, Sri Lankans took to the streets in May to rail against the U.N. report, which cites "credible allegations" that crimes were committed by both sides during the final stages of the country's civil war. A three-member U.N. panel recommended that Sri Lanka immediately conduct an investigation into the alleged violations of international law. Human rights groups have already alleged both government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels violated humanitarian laws and that thousands of civilians were killed during the war, which ended in May 2009 after the government declared victory. The rebels had fought a 26-year bloody separatist war that left thousands dead and large numbers of others internally displaced, according to the United Nations. The U.N. report concluded there were "credible allegations, which, if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international humanitarian rights law was committed both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE (rebels), some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity." In the war's final stage, which lasted from September 2008 to May 2009, the Sri Lankan army advanced into an area of northern Sri Lanka known as the Vanni, where about 330,000 people were trapped by fighting. The report said the government used "large-scale and widespread shelling" that left many civilians dead. Some of the shelling happened in no-fire zones where the government had encouraged civilians to congregate, the report said. Government forces also shelled a U.N. hub and food distribution lines and fired near International Committee of the Red Cross ships that were picking up the wounded, the report said. The government also shelled hospitals on the front lines, some of them repeatedly, the report said. "Most civilian casualties in the final phases of the war were caused by government shelling," the report said. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Ban hopes the U.N. report "will make a contribution to full accountability and justice so that the Sri Lankan government and people will be able to proceed towards national reconciliation and peace." (The Official web Portal of the Government of Sri Lanka ; 22 November 2011).

Investors anxious to invest in the North - BOI Jaffna special corr - The Board of Investment (BOI) Jaffna Region Deputy Director R Jeyamanon said that foreign as well as local investors are anxious to invest in 26 investment schemes in the North. Tourism, hotel management, garment industry and ice production are some of the fields of investment the investors are interested in. The foreign and local investors are willing to invest in 10 schemes. They have earmarked schemes for investment in Kilinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya. A scheme at a cost of Rs 5,600m is among the schemes to be implemented in the Vavuniya and Mannar districts. Investors from Japan, China, Malaysia and Singapore are engaged in feasibility study of investment in the Northern Province, he said (Daily News : 22 November 2011).

North-South transfers of top civil servants to build amity - By Franklin R. Satyapalan - The Government has initiated a programme of transferring Tamil Government Agents from the North to the South and Sinhalese Government Agents from the South to the North, with the view to give Sri Lanka Administrative Service officers an opportunity of building amity among the communities. Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs Bandara P. Abeyakoon confirmed that the Government Agent for the Mullaitivu district S. Pathinathan had been transferred out as the Government Agent of Moneragala District and assumed office yesterday . And SLAS official who had functioned as the Secretary of the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption Sarath Ravindra has replaced him as the Government Agent of the Mannar District. Abeykoon said that many new changes were being implemented with the approval of the Cabinet by Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne and the draft of the new reforms bill was before Parliament . According to the reforms District Secretaries would be named as Government agents and given appellate powers over the Divisional Secretaries to hear appeals in matters concerning land problems." In the coming days numerous other transfers of Government Agents between the North and the South were likely to take place, he said (Island : 21 November 2011).

Sri Lanka Lesson Learnt Commission hands over its report to President - Sri Lanka Lesson Learnt Reconciliation Commission LLRC appointed to see whether any people, group or institution bears any responsibilities for the conflict in the country handed over its final report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday evening at the Temple Trees. "Chairman of the LLRC Mr.C.R,de Silva handed over the report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees" President Media Director General Mr. Bandula Jayasekara told news.lk In May 2009 the Sri Lankan government concluded a thirty-year struggle against an internal terrorist insurgency which affected all communities and divided the nation. Sri Lanka now has an opportunity to create a multi-ethnic, democratic and peaceful future for all Sri Lankans. To support the drive towards national unity and reconciliation after decades of division, an independent Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation was established. It held its first sitting on Wednesday 11th August, an important landmark step for Sri Lanka as it returns to peace and stability. Commission is part of an ambitious wider package of measures taken by the Sri Lankan government to drive the process of reconciliation and create the basis for a stable, prosperous future. Other measures include rolling back emergency legislation; an accelerated programme of resettlement, which has already resettled 90 per cent of the 300,000 people displaced internally; rehabilitation and retraining programmes for former combatants, including child soldiers; and sustained investment the north and east of the country to create the economic basis for unity and integration. The independent eight-person Commission brings together eminent individuals representing all of Sri Lanka’s communities. The Commission realises the enormous responsibility placed upon it at this important moment in Sri Lanka’s history. Its conclusions will be drawn from the experiences and observations of the Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim people, all of whom have suffered greatly during the past 30 years. Based on international examples of best practise, key areas of interest for the commission: • How to prevent a conflict such as this happening again; • Whether any people, group or institution bears any responsibilities for the conflict; and • Restorative justice – the steps that need to be taken to compensate or restore losses, whatever nature or form they may take (The Official web Portal of the Government of Sri Lanka ; 20 November 2011).

White Breed’ at Channel 4 and concocted videos… By Prasad Gunewardene - Once again the ‘White Breed’ at Channel 4 who speaks and write English, a language falsely claimed as the ‘Queens Language’, though it has its original roots to a tribe in Germany centuries ago as evidence, are now preparing another concocted video on baseless and unfounded ‘war crimes’ in Sri Lanka, displaying the venomous pattern of the old imperial hegemony in insulting the people of Asia, as they’ve done to Africa and Latin America from time immemorial. A few months ago, responding to a call by Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to take action against Channel 4 for airing an irresponsible video insulting the legitimate troops of Sri Lanka, the British government stated that Britain believed that ‘Free Media’ was a vital part of democracy, and it did not exercise control over media contents. The question that arose from the British statement was - Whether such a free media is allowed to tarnish the image of another democracy resorting unethical and undemocratic standards? (The Nation : 20 November 2011).

Norway’s failed bid - by Bandu de Silva - I refer to your very forthright editorial comments on this issue in today’s issue of The Island (19th November 2011). I myself wanted to comment on what the Norwegian Report and Minister Eric Solheim said concerning India but put it off in order to confine first to deal with the alleged "Premadasa Contact" with the Norwegians which was published in The Island Nov 19. The Editorial is on the spot in saying that what Norway and Solheim say of India is not to be taken seriously. This, in a nutshell, is exactly what I wanted to say. Norway and Solheim knew very well that India did not want any outside parties to involve themselves in the Sri Lankan affair. India maintained a stoic silence when the Norwegian initiative commenced and the Norwegians/Solheim correctly read what that silence meant. So understanding what Indian sensitivities were in coming to meddle in what might be called India’s back-yard problem which can have serious repercussions for India, they rushed to New Delhi not only initially to explain what their role was and many more times later to explain what was taking place. Norway might have wished to get India to play a dominant role in the Norwegian sponsored move. That is, as what the Norwegian Report now says, so as ‘Norway would be seen to be part of a wider international alliance’ just as it did in buying –in Sri Lanka’s biggest donor (Japan) and trading partner (EU) as well as the global sea power (US)……..to provide them with some leverage …..[and] decrease its exposure as a solitary mediator."However, the Norwegian report itself quotes (un named) Indian diplomatic source saying that "Norway gave the LTTE some legitimacy which we found very uncomfortable". Another Indian source is quoted in the Report saying that ‘Indians never factored Norway as a serious presence. … and were sceptical of what they could actually do….. India had very clear ideas about acceptable parameters for a settlement; it would not countenance anything beyond the 13th Amendment. …Also the LTTE could not be part of the solution."(The Island, 17th Nov,2011). As the Report observes, they [Indians] were respectful". This might have been misunderstood as ‘collusion. ’ (Island ; 20 November 2011).

LLRC report to President today - By Arthur Wamanan - The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will be handed over to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. Spokesperson for the now defunct LLRC, Lakshman Wickremasinghe said the report would be handed over to the President today at 11am at Temple Trees. The LLRC was dissolved on November 15 after the completion of its final report on its findings and submissions given by various personalities and members of the public. The commission was appointed by the President on May 15, 2010. The LLRC conducted several sessions in various parts of the country including Colombo, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and the East. It was initially given a deadline of six months till November 15, 2010 to produce its report. The deadline was extended due to the interest shown by people to come forward and place their submissions to the commission. The commission was given the mandate to inquire and report on matters that took place during the ceasefire period from February 22, 2002 and May 19, 2009. The commission was to look into the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the 2002 ceasefire agreement and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the end of the war in May 2009. It also looked into whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly accepted the responsibility in this regard and possibility of taking further action through necessary institutional, administrative and legislative measures to ensure that there would not be a recurrence of such events (Nation : 20 November 2011).

Sri Lanka Lesson Learnt Commission hands over its report to President

Govt - TNA set dates for talks - By S.Selvakumar - The Government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have drawn up an agenda and set future dates for talks aimed at finding a durable solution to the ethnic problem. This follows extensive discussions between the two sides last week centered on devolution of powers, land matters and powers to be devolved to the Governor and that of the Government’s role. The new dates for talks have been fixed for December 1,6,14 and 15. The Government was represented by Ministers GL Peiris and Nimal Siripala De Silva with Parliamentarians Sajin Vass Gunawardene and Rajiva Wijesinghe while the TNA delegation led by its leader and Parliamentarian, R. Sampanthan included MPs Suresh Premachandran, Mavai Senathirajah, M. Sumanthiram with Attorney-at-Law, Kanaga Iswaran at the talks held on November 16. It was the first meeting with the Government after the TNA delegation returned to the country after their recent visit to the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. TNA sources confirmed the fresh dates set for talks with the government and issues on the agenda for discussion starting next month. Subjects of Law, Judiciary, Devolution of Powers and the Powers of the Centre would be the main topics in the agenda at future talks. TNA sources noted that it would examine the government’s keenness and commitment to resolve issues affecting the Northern and Eastern population to decide on the scope of enhancing future discussions (Nation : 20 November 2011).

Colombo-based foreign diplomats brace for LLRC report - The functioning of a number of local government bodies comfortably won by the UPFA has suffered a crippling blow from the conflicts between the heads and the ruling members of these bodies. The chairmen of some councils were not able to hold the inaugural sittings due to boycotts staged by the ruling party members. At some other councils the resolutions moved by the chairmen have been defeated due to the members of the ruling party voting against them. The heads of the local bodies thus stumped by the ruling party members themselves have complained to the SLFP General Secretary Minister Maitripala Sirisena about the no-go situation they are placed in (Nation : 20 November 2011).

Weekly Defense Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 30 October 2011)

Norwegian Report:A Pawn or Prawn? - By Gomin Dayasri - The official Norwegian assessment of its 12-year peace effort (1997-2009) in Sri Lanka titled "Pawns of Peace" is a mere surface scratch. The judge and the jury in the report being Norway, the fault lines are spread in other directions omitting to mention the more sensitive mistakes Norway made. The report is a whitewash of its Sri Lankan adventure. It could re-enact a repeat performance elsewhere due to a faulty analysis: that may prove costly to another nation prepared to accept their assistance and attention. Deep down Norway’s intentions were honorable, but left in the hands of Solheim, it was subverted by playing the role the LTTE assigned to him - of being their favorite son from a favored nation. Solheim tried to live-up to their expectations due to his long association with the LTTE, losing credibility for Norway and himself. The named trouble-shooter became more renowned for causing rather than taming trouble. Norway needed an impartial unbiased facilitator to head the project. This became apparent watching his sometime substitute Bauer at work, with his more even-handed treatment. Their Ambassador in Sri Lanka communicated home the opinion of the crowd he kept company with – the embassy crawling alienated Colombo society which did not help Norway to monitor the ground situation correctly. Normally earth bound, Norwegians landed on a flawed Sri Lankan surface and remained permanently in a faulty territory - an error that enlarged with their ambassador’s stay in Colombo being extended. Probably Solheim wanted him in town. A laid-back European nation, affluent on North Sea oil, piggybacked in the name of Nobel, invested its nouvelle rich dividends in the business of peace mongering. Norway played for its own glory, without a semblance of an insight into Asian culture. Norwegians became fried "Prawns of Peace" marooned in a Lankan lagoon. Good- natured Norwegian citizenry back home were unaware of the truth of its misguided Sri Lankan mission (Island : 19 November 2011).

Norway's failed bid - The foreign powers involved in Sri Lanka's failed 'peace' process couldn't have been unaware that the LTTE was making preparations for war as they received intelligence feeds from even NATO, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said, in a brief interview with this newspaper, commenting on Norway's recent admission that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) received assistance from foreign intelligence agencies. Even those without access to such intelligence reports knew what the LTTE was up to! Immediately after the signing of the flawed CFA, LTTE ideologue declared at a press conference in Kilinochchi in 2002 that Prabhakaran was both President and Prime Minister of the areas under his control and the Tiger leader reiterated his call for the LTTE cadres to shoot him dead if he ever gave up eelam. The LTTE used the CFA to take delivery of arms shipments, move heavy weapons to strategic locations, recruit combatants, raise funds, retrain and infiltrate other parts of the country. Norway and its NATO allies were aware of the LTTE military preparations but did not mind them as they thought that no harm would befall the outfit, which they considered invincible. In 2008, even after the army had taken the battle to Kilinochchi, Eric Solheim said he was confident that Prabhakaran would spring some surprises on the advancing troops. He told some RAW contacts in Oslo that to the Sri Lanka army Kilinochchi would turn out to be what Stalingrad had been to the Nazis; he not only warned that the army would be entrapped and destroyed in Kilinochchi but also insulted the Sri Lankan military by likening them to Nazis! (Island : 18 November 2011).

NATO, Norwegian military roles in failed peace process exposed

‘Yal Devi’ again in two years - By Don Asoka Wijewardena - The reconstruction of the Railway track from Pallai to KKS will be completed by 2013. Indian Railway Construction International Ltd (IRCON), which is a government owned company of India, has been awarded the contract to complete the project within two years. EXIM Bank of India will provide financial assistance to the tune of US$ 50 million for the project. The Sri Lankan government expects to resume the ‘Yal Devi’ train operation once again, after the completion of the track, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama announced at the agreement signing ceremony between India and Sri Lanka at Taj Samudra Hotel yesterday (18). Minister Welgama said that the construction of the railway line from Pallai to KKS was badly needed as the people in the North were facing numerous transport difficulties due to inadequate transport facilities. The mission of the government was the provision of a safe, reliable and punctual rail transport service for both passenger and freight. The distance between Pallai and KKS was 55 km. The IRCON company had undertaken the project to be completed within two years, but engineers were positive that the construction could be completed ahead of schedule. It would be a boon to the people in the North, the Minister added. Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha said that India would see things in their correct perspective and assured that the construction would be completed ahead of schedule. The designs of buildings and culverts were according to Indian standards and specifications. Therefore, Sri Lankan Railways would have to check designs with the Sri Lankan standards and specifications. If there were any major discrepancies, IRCON would revise the designs accordingly. He added that apart from the above observations, the technical proposal would meet the requirements of the railway department. IRCON had agreed with the above observations to make necessary arrangements to comply with such requirements (Island : 18 November 2011).

Yal Devi to run to Kankesanthurai by end of 2013 - By end of 2013 - Yal Devi (Goddess of Jaffna) will again run to Kankesanthurai from Colombo. The express train which was named in the 50s (though services commenced much earlier), had to be curtailed in the early 90s because of the war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan forces. It was then terminated at Thandikulam, but now runs till Omanthai. On Friday, IRCON and Sri Lanka Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding to construct the US $ 150 million KKS- Pallai line. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha said that once the IRCON projects are completed, full connectivity will be restored till Thalaimannar. He said that the wreck removal works at the KKS harbour were on schedule and the harbour will be operational by middle of next year. This would give a big fillip to connectivity with India since Nagapattinam was just over 60 miles away. The project in the Northern Province was not just about restoration of normalcy, it would signal full momentum of economic development, he said. Work on the three IRCON railway projects – two in the north and one in the south – were going smoothly and all three projects will be completed on schedule if not ahead – middle of 2013, he added. Railway Board (Member) A.P.Mishra said that the Indian Railways were always willing to help out Sri Lankan Railways whenever a request was made. Railways were the lifeline of India (Hindu : 18 November 2011).

Failed peace process: NATO, Norwegian military roles exposed - By Shamindra Ferdinando - Now that Oslo had admitted that the Norway-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) received intelligence from both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), those running the peace process couldn’t have been unaware of LTTE’s preparations for war, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. He was commenting on the Norwegian peace evaluation report released in Oslo last Friday. "In spite of foreign intelligence services confirming our own assessment regarding LTTE preparations for war, those spearheading the peace process turned a blind eye to the rapidly deteriorating situation," Rajapaksa said. The Norwegian study quoted SLMM head as having said that RAW only reached them through informal channels, therefore they couldn’t be fully trusted. "They weren’t giving it to us to be nice. We would always ask ourselves why they want us to know this. Intelligence provided by NATO only confirmed what they already knew," the SLMM Chief was quoted as having said. However, the Oslo-funded study revealed that the Norwegians had high level meetings in New Delhi with RAW. The Norwegian-led SLMM comprised men from Scandinavian countries. The study also cited the SLMM as having alleged that Sri Lanka, the LTTE and India opposed the mission having radar surveillance. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said that the Norwegian report only proved the failures on the part of those running the peace process. In fact, the SLMM could reveal the intelligence it had received from NATO or any other regional or global power, the Gajaba veteran said. He said that the failed Sri Lankan peace process should be a case study for the global community. Commenting on a query attributed to Hanssen Bauer and Brattskar whether the ethnic and political problems in Sri Lanka could be solved by military means for which he was quoted as having said, ‘yes’, the Defence Secretary emphasized that the crisis caused by the LTTE needed a military response. "What really surprised me is that a section of the global community still seems to believe in a political solution to a terrorist problem," Rajapaksa said. The Defence Secretary pointed out that the report also admitted the Sri Lankan military had been denied an opportunity to take part in substantive negotiations, while Norwegian military experts were involved in ‘military technicalities of de-escalation, advanced positions and front lines.’ Former Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) the step-motherly treatment given to the Sri Lankan military in the run-up to the finalization of the CFA (Island ; 17 November 2011).

LTTE unlikely to release civilians trapped on the Vanni front - Norwegian envoy told BR: By Shamindra Ferdinando -  Norway believed that the LTTE wouldn’t accept a tripartite proposal to release the civilian population trapped in the Vanni east in the final phase of the conflict. Authoritative sources told The Island that the then Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo Tore Hattrem had written to presidential advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa regarding the LTTE’s perceived refusal to release those trapped on the Vanni east frontline. Referring to a telephone conversation he had with MP Rajapaksa earlier in the day, Ambassador Hattrem wrote to the MP: "The proposal to the LTTE on how to release the civilian population now trapped in the LTTE controlled area has been transmitted to the LTTE through several channels. So far there has regrettably been no response from the LTTE and it does not seem to be likely that the LTTE will agree to this in the near future." The Norwegian diplomat captioned his terse four-line letter ‘Offer/proposal to the LTTE.’ Government sources told The Island that those wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before international war crimes tribunal had conveniently forgotten Prabhakaran’s refusal to let the civilians go. Responding to a query, sources said that disgraced Norwegian peace facilitator, Erik Solheim last Friday declared that a truce could have saved some 40,000 civilians. Minister Solheim was speaking at the launch of a Norway-funded evaluation of its peace initiatives in Sri Lanka. Sources said that those attacking President Rajapaksa over accountability issues should seek a clarification from Ambassador Hattrem with regard to Sri Lanka’s claim. In fact, it would be interesting to know the identities of those helping the Norwegians to convince the LTTE, sources said. The Norwegians went to the extent of having a clandestine meeting with Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ on Feb. 26, 2009 in Malaysia to work-out a deal. Sources said that the government ordered the army to go ahead with the largest rescue operation in contemporary history in late April 2009. Those shedding crocodile tears for people of the Vanni had turned a blind eye as long as they felt the LTTE could turn-around the ground situation. Sources said that some military experts as late as Dec. 2008 and early Jan. 2009 asserted that the Vanni war could go either way (Island : 17 November 2011).

Terrorists deprived children of education and human rights – Army Chief - Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, speaking at a ceremony held at the BMIC on Tuesday (15) morning, to present scholarship grants for the year 2011 to the Children of Officers and Other Ranks serving the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF), said "Terrorists in the past deprived the people in the North and East of their inalienable rights to education and human rights". The commander said the three-decade-long bitter fight against terrorism lowered the standards in all spheres of the social fabric. "One need not be surprised if one heard that there were men in the North and the East who had-failed to receive an iota of education in the past 30 years due to the cycle of terrorism. The terrorists used force, abducted or forced children to wear cyanide capsules and carry guns, violated their sacred right to education and confined their valuable lives to underground bunkers". In his brief address, after the awarding of scholarships, the Army Commander said that the unwavering leadership of Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who rose to the occasion firmly and courageously, with the able guidance offered by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, enabled the Army to eradicate the military muscle of the Tigers. This paved the way to establish peace and harmony in society to realise the aspirations of the entire citizenry at the opportune time. The awards presentation, organized for the second consecutive year by the SLAVF, on a proposal made by Major General D. R. A. B. Jayathilaka, Commander, SLAVF, this year offered 461 scholarships to students of Grade 5, Year 11 (GCE O/L) and university entrants who had obtained the highest scores in their respective fields. The recipients of scholarships were children of families of SLAVF officers and other ranks, both serving or retired from the service. Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya, President of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch, parents of scholarship recipients, invitees and a gathering of senior officers, including Major General R.M.D Rathnayaka, Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters, Major General A. L. R. Wijethunga, Deputy Chief of Staff and Major General A.0 Obeysekara, Deputy Commandant SLAVF, attended the ceremony (Island : 17 November 2011).

Lessons learnt by Norway Pawns of Peace – Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka 1997-2009 - In this concluding section, we publish verbatim extracts from the Norwegian government commissioned evaluation of their peace efforts in Sri Lanka, on the lessons learnt from their experience in Sri Lanka. We attempt to bring together the strands of a recurring theme in this evaluation, namely the primacy of domestic politics in the story of war-making and peacemaking in Sri Lanka. The narrative of chapters 4 to 6 is to a large extent a narrative of political developments. It was argued that the characteristics of Sri Lankan politics left the Norwegians with very limited room for manoeuvre. These characteristics included the pathologies of the Sri Lankan state, the non-negotiability of competitive state building projects, the dynamics of ethnic outbidding and inter-party rivalries and the history of failed negotiations. These constraints were unlikely to be overridden by any external intervention, still less by a mediator with limited leverage. While it is difficult to separate out Norway’s role from the peace process more broadly, the evidence suggests that the choice of a different facilitator or fine tuning the negotiation model would have made little difference to the final outcome (Island : 17 November 2011).

UN agency promises probe into LTTE maritime ops - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The Sri Lanka Navy on Tuesday (15) urged the UN agency, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to investigate how the LTTE had operated a fleet of ships in spite of being a proscribed organisation. Rear Admiral J. S. K. Colombage raised the issue with Ms. Brenda Pimental, IMO’s Regional Coordinator, at the Galle Dialogue 2011, at the Light House Hotel, Galle. The SLN veteran pushed the IMO for a cohesive inquiry to identify shortcomings in the system and adopt remedial action. Colombage said that the illegitimate LTTE operation could be a case study for the UN agency. The official was responding to Ms. Pimentel, after she presented a 30-minute paper on ‘Current Challenges in Global Maritime and IMO initiatives’ on the second-day of the confab attended by 19 countries, including nuclear powers, US, Russia, China, France, India and Pakistan. Although the government of Sri Lanka had acted swiftly and decisively when asked to implement the International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS Code), Sri Lanka’s plea for action against the LTTE wasn’t heeded. The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities developed in response to perceived threats to ships and port facilities, in the wake of Al Qaeda attacks on the US. "The LTTE shipping fleet flouted all international laws. It operated with impunity in spite of a range of laws governing international shipping operations," Colombage said. An agitated Ms. Pimentel requested the SLN to make representations to the London-based IMO promising to take up the issue. The IMO, formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO), was established in Geneva in 1948 and came into operation 10 years later. Ms. Pimentel said that the IMO would be meeting again in London next week. Rear Admiral Dato Musa bin Omar, Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Royal Malaysian Navy, seated next to Ms Pimentel, assured Colombage that Malaysia would throw its weight behind its request. Omar asserted that a joint appeal by several countries would make a difference at the IMO. In August 2009, Malaysia facilitated the arrest and extradition of Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’, who had played a pivotal role in LTTE ‘shipping operations’ since early ‘90s. Captain Kalana Jinadasa, currently based in the Northern Command, queried whether the IMO could take punitive action against those countries, which provided flags of convenience to LTTE ships. Capt. Kalana suggested that those countries should be accountable for co-operating with the LTTE (Island : 16 November 2011).

India was to blame! Pawns of Peace – Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka 1997-2009 - Norway was chosen as a facilitator, not only for its expertise, but also because it was a small power without geo-strategic interests and colonial baggage. Being a less powerful player, Norway felt it had to consult the US and India, the former as the world’s superpower and the latter as the regional hegemon. The Norwegian team understood that without their backing (explicit or tacit) they could achieve little. While the US appeared to be unambiguously positive, India’s response to Norway’s role was less committal and less optimistic. India did not object since they saw Norway as non-threatening and gave them (lukewarm) support in the absence of any obvious alternatives. As one Indian informant commented: ‘the attitude was: try it and we’ll see what happens, [but] the Indians never factored Norway as a serious presence. They were respectful, but sceptical of what they could actually do... India supported Norway because they thought it would not work anyway’. India had very clear ideas about the acceptable parameters for a settlement; it would not countenance anything that went beyond the 13th amendment in terms of devolution of power to the north-east. Also, the ‘LTTE could not be part of the solution. ‘ For both the US and India, Norway was useful as a medium to the LTTE because of their own anti-terror restrictions. The downside, according to one Indian diplomat, was ‘that Norway gave the LTTE some legitimacy which we found very uncomfortable’ (Island ; 16 November 2011).

Should Norwegian money bags be our conscience? Or, should Norway be held responsible for the LLTE ‘s killings? - by Ranjith Soysa - The study conducted on Norway Peace Plan has revealed many issues which will be vital for the present and future policy makers of Sri Lanka. While some Sri Lankan politicians, many members of the business fraternity and all the foreign funded NGOs including a number of journalists supported the Norwegian peace treaty, the majority of the Sri Lankan people clearly understood the hidden agenda of the Vikings. One of the important areas which was not discussed in detail in the study referred to was the dubious role played by Norway in her attempt to help directly the establishment of LTTE’s Eelam and provide legitimacy to the LTTE. In a memorandum addressed to the UN Counter Terrorism Committee on 9 Oct 2004, by the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka comprising 17 organizations based in a number countries, a request was made to probe Norway’s role as the country has acted in violation of UN Resolution 1373 (2001) By that resolution, Norway was obliged to a) criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for terrorism; b) freeze resources of persons who commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts; c) prevent the financing of terrorism d)prohibit their nationals or any other persons within their territories from making funds, finances et available to terrorists. The memorandum queried whether a “state/facilitator” can place itself above international law in the name of peace and open the doors to terrorism and its related activities within its borders. It stated that Norway’s entry as a state/facilitator has been compromised by its refusal to abide by the legal provisions expressed in Resolution1373 (LankaWeb : 16 November 2011).

Northern development: Projects worth Rs 50,000 Million launched in resettled areas

Norway is not alone - by Nalin de Silva -  Norway has issued a report before the LLRC and what is clear is that the Scandinavian country tries to hide the involvement of the UK, the US and other European countries in the so-called peace process. Norwegians could have waited for the LLRC report as they have not gained anything special by trying to beat the latter. The involvement of Norway is clear and what they want to hide is their attempt to establish an Eelam in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country. The so-called confederation that the Norwegians were after was nothing but two states and we are reminded of the Apex bodies that had been proposed in the course of "peace discussions". Solheim thought that Sri Lanka was his kitchen and used to visit the country too often. However, the million Krone question is why Norway decided to get involved in the Sri Lankan "peace process". There were some who thought that Norway was interested in our oil but we always felt that Norway was only a puppet that had some experience in dividing countries, and the UK and the US were making use of Norway’s ability in "unmaking nations" to use a terminology in vogue during the hay days of "peace activities". It is very likely that the Norwegians decided to issue the report at this juncture at the insistence of English who probably wants to humiliate the LLRC. The US is supporting its former colonial master though the big power has nothing much to gain by establishing Eelam. The so-called superpower does not need to establish another country in order to do business (exploitation) and the pundits would be groping in the dark without learning any lessons on the way the colonial powers work towards the betterment of their cultures and races (Sri Lanka Guardian : 16 November 2011).

Lecture by Dr Rohan Guneratne at the British Council - Globally renowned terrorism expert Dr. Rohan Gunaratne will be delivering a lecture to the British Scholars Association on the topic "Future of Sri Lankan Security: countering the LTTE on western Soil" today (16) at the British Council auditorium at Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 03 from 5:00pm. Dr. Rohan Gunaratne has been following the terrorism problem of Sri Lanka from its inception and has been closely working with state authorities providing advice and guidance. He is currently the head of Singapore's International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), one of the largest specialist counter terrorism research and training centres in the world. He is also Professor of Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and a Senior Fellow at the International Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, Oklahoma, USA. Gunaratna serves on the advisory board of International Centre for Counter- Terrorism in The Hague. Dr.Gunaratne has authored fourteen books in his area or specialisation which includes several on the Sri Lankan conflict. The lecture is free & open to the public. Please call British Scholars Assosiation Secretary Dr. V. U. Rathnayake on 0718262877/2337737 & on renp@sltnet.lk and reserve your seat early (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 16 November 2011).

Defence Secy calls for boosting maritime security - All coastal nations vulnerable to threats - Cites LTTE as example - by Dharma Sri Abeyrathne - Sri Lanka while insisting that the lack of a coordinated effort to uphold maritime security affects oceangoing vessels and the coastal nations, yesterday called for greater cooperation to boost such security. Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the Sri Lankan experience in combating one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world - the LTTE- is instructive in facing the threats of maritime security. He said that the LTTE smuggled formidable arsenals of weapons which included most modern weapons and light aircraft. “None of these items were made in Sri Lanka. They were manufactured in various parts by LTTE front organizations and operatives illegally, smuggled them into Sri Lanka via sea,” he said. The Defence Secretary was delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of Galle Dialogue 2011 - the international maritime security conference at Light House Hotel in Galle yesterday. The event was organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. Defence and Urban Development Secretary Rajapaksa said that the LTTE managed to ship this equipment to the country in over 20 large vessels and a large number of trawlers registered under different flags. He said that the Sri Lanka Navy went into deep sea on five occasions to destroy eight of these floating warehouses during the humanitarian operation between 2006 and 2009. The Secretary added that far reaching measures are needed at the highest level to address this threat in a coordinated fashion. “All costal nations are vulnerable to threats from the sea and terrorists will exploit the weak points in our defences to their advantage,” he added. He opined that the overall maritime security can be enhanced through cooperation of maritime powers by sharing intelligence, joint and coordinated patrols as well as exercises to boost interoperability. Referring to Somali pirates, Rajapaksa stressed that the existing international maritime laws and practices have proven ineffective in combating the activities of Somali pirates. “Merchant vessels were traditionally forbidden to carry weapons, the protective measures adopted by them were often too weak to withstand the escalating sophistication of the pirates,” he said. Rajapaksa added that some countries like the United States have adjusted their maritime laws to enable private security personnel to travel on board merchant vessels. The Secretary noted that a few countries have expressed interest in sending personnel from their national militaries on board merchant vessels to provide security for those ships and have requested Sri Lanka’s assistance during transit (Daily News ; 16 November 2011).

Northern development: Projects worth Rs 50,000m launched in resettled areas -Jaffna GA Imelda Sukumar - by Chamikara WEERASINGHE - Infrastructure development projects totaling to Rs 50,000 million have been launched in areas where internally displaced people have been resettled in the Jaffna Peninsula as at present, said Jaffna district GA Imelda Sukumar yesterday. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has given land clearance to more than 85 percent of lands affected by landmine contamination for development after successful de-mining operations, said Sukumar. Thousands of infrastructure development projects are now underway in these areas which had been security zones for decades barricading public access into them and thereby preventing development, she said. Access to sea has also been established in Jaffna, she said. A team of World Bank officers that recently visited the peninsula, said that Jaffna’s physical progress was high, said Sukumar. “During their six-day visit, they have asked me to speed up the financial progress in Jaffna for contractors who have undertaken various development activities and have not presented their bills. “This has created a small gap between the physical progress and the financial progress,” she explained. Prior to 1983, the production of fish in Jaffna was 40,000 metric tonnes per annum. ‘However, with the start of fishing operations in Jaffna after liberating the sea in 2009, the fishermen in Jaffna have been producing 20,000 metric tonnes,’ she said. “This is due to a trawling problem in the sea by foreign vessels, said Sukumar.” Illegal trawling has discouraged the fishermen. It has prevented us from achieving the targets set out by us,” she added (Daily News ; 16 November 2011).

Defence Secretary says: Greater int’l cooperation needed to end threats to Indian Ocean region security - The lasting solution to threats of piracy cannot be undertaken by individual nations in isolation, but only through greater international cooperation, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. The Defence Secretary was addressing the International Maritime Security Conference, Galle Dialogue 2011, at Light House Hotel, Galle yesterday. It was organised by the Sri Lanka Navy under the aegis of the Defence Ministry. The full text of the Defence Secretary’s speech (Daily News ; 16 November 2011).

Lanka at ‘critical point’ post-LTTE – Moragoda - A prominent Sri Lankan politician who played a key role in the peace process says his country stands at "a critical point" when decision makers need to make choices to help heal the wounds of a war that ended two years ago. "We stand at a critical point. We have an opportunity to make our future," Milinda Moragoda, who has held many cabinet posts in the past, said on the sidelines of an event here. Sri Lankans could "either lay the foundation for a prosperous Sri Lanka or potentially sow the seeds for another conflict", said the 49-year-old, who in December 2009 founded the Sri Lanka National Congress with a view to promoting national unity, inclusiveness and political reforms. Moragoda was one of the key speakers at the release of a Norwegian government-sponsored but independent study on the reasons Oslo’s role as a facilitator failed to bring peace to Sri Lanka. Formerly of the United National Party, he played a vital role in events that led to the 2002 ceasefire agreement between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers. The truce later collapsed, sparking off fresh war that led to the decimation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, formally ending a conflict that had ignited a quarter century ago. Moragoda said Sri Lanka remained a divided country, the most visible and major factors factored around religion and ethnicity. "Political parties have become tribal, there is too much patronage system," said the former MP who is now considered close to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "A lot of this," he added, "is because of the corrosive impact of the war." Sharing his insights on Sri Lanka, he said the conflict, which claimed tens of thousands of lives between 1983 and 2009, had destroyed many core values and caused cracks in society.  "We need to come together as a society. We need to feel less insecure. "Our post-independent politics divided rather than united us, demonising one group or the other. Post-war (2009), we need to be less parochial, more visionary." Moragoda argued that contrary to what many outside Sri Lanka may think, the average Sinhalese was not racist. "There is nothing wrong with Tamil or Sinhalese nationalism per se. But they should not get destructive." (Island ; 15 November 2011).

Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam affirms :” There is no single model of development valid for all peoples, at all times”- by Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam - Media Release - The right to development is a universal and inalienable human right, an integral part of our human heritage, which is as much a prerogative of States as it is of individuals. Speaking at an event to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Right to Development organized by the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, as Chairperson/Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on the Right to Development, reminded the international community that the Declaration recognizes “the human person, both individually and collectively, as the central subject of development” and that “there is no single model of development valid for all peoples, at all times. The realization of the right of peoples and States to determine their own economic, political, social and cultural systems, without externally imposed conditionalities, is a prerequisite for the realization of all other human rights”. She recalled that the historic principles contained in the Declaration rest on sources of legality and that the basic principles can be traced back to the 1955 Bandung Conference of African-Asian States, the new concept having entered the UN debate through the Non-Aligned Movement. For newly independent States, political independence from colonial rule had not brought with it the promised economic independence or social wellbeing. Externally driven development strategies focusing on growth rather than on people and an international division of labour that favoured the dominant powers had further exacerbated socio-economic disparities and the external dependence of developing countries (LankaWeb : 15 November 2011).

Beware of Tamil Fraud - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Rathika Sitsabaiesan, MP (NDP) for Scarborough-Rouge River, House of Commons, Ottawa; Dear Rathika: Holy Ganesh and Vishnu! Well…well…what do you know!! Did you read the news item BEWARE OF FRAUD! It is all about five of your Tamil people, perhaps convention refugees, who very likely cheated their way into Canada saying that they were persecuted and discriminated by the majority Sinhalese in yours and my Sri Lanka, the same mantra that you keep doling out in parliament to disgrace Sri Lanka that you knew very little of when you left that island at the age of five other than recollecting playing under coconut palms and mango trees. But here is the scoop Rathika. These Tamils, or should I call them Canadian-Tamils, that Canada adopted have been identified as Jeyaparan Shanmugalinga 27, of Markham; Sabesan Mathiabaranam 39, of Toronto; Jegatheeswaran Velautham 49, of Markham; Stanley Rajadurai 34, of Toronto and Gunaratnam Selvakumar 37 of Brock Township. May be that you knew at least one of them if not all, or may be none of them. After all you are a politician who would go about like other politicians kissing babies with a broad Cheshire cat grin and shaking hands. Their crime is that they are a GTA wide ATM fraud -ring, facing a total of 52 charges. The police say that the five of the above were arrested out of seven, and the investigators had seized $35,000 in cash along with four vehicles, including a Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. Rathika your supporting the Tamils to be brought over from Sri Lanka saying that they are persecuted smacks right in your face as a God damn lie… as it looks like they are not being persecuted but these guys like many others were seeking places far afield from Sri Lanka where they believe that the roads are paved with green $20 dollar bills and Klondike gold nuggets and thousands of green $20 dollar bills stacked in ATM machines that they can steal from. Well…Rathika…what are you going to do about it? I at least hope that you will take care of your Canadian constituents from your Tamil fraudsters and break ranks with your party and vote for every Crime Bill in parliament and stop your nonsense about Sri Lanka’s war crimes just because her soldiers whipped the butts of the Tamil Tigers, the ruthless terrorists and eliminated them on 19 May 2009, whom you so proudly endorsed in your Facebook pages with their red flag with a growling tiger surrounded by bullets and Kalashnikovs after winning the Scarborough-Rouge River riding to enter Parliament (LankaWeb : 15 November 2011).

5000 families resettled after demining north and east - History has been created by a local organization by establishing the first ever South Asian humanitarian de-mining organization to clear the mine infested areas, which facilitated successful resettlement of over 5000 internally displaced families. This programme was initiated by Milinda Moragoda Institute for Peoples’ Empowerment (MMIPE) in 2003, which saw removal of landmines from a vast area exceeding 25,000 acres, facilitating those areas to be resettled and brought under economic activity, a press release issued by the MMIPE said yesterday. MMIPE’s humanitarian mine action programme commenced with technical support and training of local demining teams by two Indian organizations, Sarvatra Techincal Consultants and Horizen. Financial support for this humanitarian programme was provided by the Norwegian government. At present MMIPE is carrying out de-mining activities in Muruthankulam and Cheddikulam in the Vavunia District and Pulmudai in the Trincomalee District. When completed these three tasks would enable release of additional 1000 acres for paddy cultivation. The first stage of mine clearance under the programme enabled release of 25,000 acres of land in Kandasamy Nagar, Kuppiyagama, Chekkadipallavu A, Chekkadipallavu B, Ammivaithan, Ellamaruthankulam, Maruthankulam and Maruthodai, in the Vavuniya District; Poomaranthan and P/Pandivirchan in the Mannar District; Pullaiadicholai-Muttur, Poonagar, Ichchalampattu, Sankankuli, Maavillaru, Tennaimaramvadiya, Pulmudai in the Trincomalee District; Dematawewa, Diyaittawewa, Yan Oya, Thanthirimale, Kanugahawewa, Yakawewa and Kongollawa in the Anuradhapura District (Island : 14 November 2011).

India, LTTE met ’secretly’ before Sri Lanka truce: Eric Solheim

Sufferings of tamil people: 'LTTE, former Tamil leadership responsible' - Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda said at a ceremony at the 'Nallur Navalar' Cultural hall in Jaffna on November 6, that the root cause of the difficulties that the Tamil people faced was the incorrect course of action the former Tamil leadership had resorted to. The minister said that it was the vanquished LTTE and TNA, including the former Tamil leadership, that caused immense sufferings to the Tamil people. "They are responsible for the problems faced by the Tamil people. The government is looking into the difficulties and problems of the Tamils and easing their pain now," the minister added. The ceremony was held to mark the handing over of appointment letters to 160 graduates and distribution of agricultural equipment to selected farmer families in the area. Minister Devananda who was the chief guest on the occasion said that the delay in giving appointments was due to the fact that the Northern Governor and he were of the view that no injustice should take place in giving appointments. Though some delays had taken place, the appointments were given to the most suitable, consequent to conducting an examination for this, the minister added. He also said that those who felt that some injustice had taken place when granting appointments, as had been reported in a Tamil newspaper that day, could certainly take legal action The minister said that it was necessary to make use of the opportunity given to them by serving and guiding the people by creating an ideal society whilst bettering them selves. The new appointments comprised of staff officers, project assistants, soil analysts and pre-school teachers. Minister Devananda said in the past the Tamil politicians misled the people and in the future, it was imperative that people tread a correct political path so as not to let unfortunate incidents of the nature that occurred in the past to recur. "Those who received appointments as pre-school teachers had the responsibility of moulding our future generation and making them law-abiding and duty-bound citizens of our country", he said. The minister thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Northern Governor Maj Gen G A Chandrasiri on behalf of the people of the North. Concerning the development of agriculture in the North, the minister said that he had contemplated providing agricultural equipment on concessionary loan basis to farmers so that an average farmer could contribute more to the development of the country as a whole. He went on to say that the wish of the Tamil people was to live as Sri Lankans with an identity of their own. And that every citizen in this country was bound to perform a certain duty towards national security and progress of the country (Daily News : 14 November 2011).

Premadasa too sought Norwegian help - report - by Shamindra Ferdinando - The Norwegian-funded inquiry into its peace efforts in Sri Lanka has revealed the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa sought Norwegian help to establish contact with the LTTE, in June 1990. A report, which primarily discussed Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2009, explained the circumstances leading to the then Foreign Minister A. C. S. Hameed meeting Norwegian politician, Arne Fjortoft, a long time resident in Sri Lanka, on behalf of President Premadasa, wanting a back-channel with the LTTE. Under the auspices of the Norwegians, Minister Hameed had a clandestine pow-vow in Geneva, though the meeting failed to produce the desired results. Political sources told The Island that Premadasa had never discussed the move to involve the Norwegians after the LTTE resumed hostilities in the second week of June, 1990. The LTTE assassinated President Premadasa on May Day, 1993. The Premadasa-Prabhakaran honeymoon lasted only 14 months, beginning, May 1989. In fact, Norway offered its services to the government and the LTTE soon after the IPKF quit Sri Lanka, according to the report. Another hitherto unknown fact disclosed is a request to Norway to head a ceasefire monitoring mission comprising Canada and the Netherlands. Amidst moves to formalize a ceasefire between CBK’s government and the LTTE, the LTTE resumed hostilities in April 1995. In spite of the war, the Norwegians had pressed ahead with their initiative,with key officials and advisors, Neelan Tiruchelvam, G. L. Peiris, Jehan Perera and Lakshman Kadirgamar. The LTTE assassinated two of them, while Prof. Peiris survived a suicide attack directed at CBK. "The choice of Norway came about in 1999 through mutual dialogue through the Catholic Church. President Kumaratunga requested the LTTE to clarify which third parties would be acceptable to them and they provided a list of five countries, of which Norway was one. Kumratunga then selected Norway." The Norwegians had several secret meetings in 1999 with Kadirgamar and Prof. Peiris, mostly in Switzerland and also with CBK (Island : 13 November 2011).

India, LTTE met ’secretly’ before Sri Lanka truce: Eric Solheim -  Indian officials met in "secret" with the LTTE ahead of Sri Lanka’s 2002 truce although New Delhi considered the Tamil Tigers a terrorist group, Norwegian cabinet minister Erik Solheim has revealed. The former envoy to Sri Lanka also said - confirming for the first time ever an IANS report of 2008 - that India played a covert role in events that led to the Tamil Tigers and Colombo signing a ceasefire agreement (CFA) nine years ago. The repository of tremendous information related to the Tamil Tigers, Solheim spoke at length to IANS at his office here after addressing a meeting over the weekend where a report was released on Norway’s role in Sri Lanka’s peace process. According to Solheim, the minister for environment and international development, Indian officials held a "secret meeting" with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) before the CFA was signed in February 2002. Solheim declined to say where the meeting took place or who participated in the meeting from the two sides. If true, this would be the first known meeting between Indian officials and the LTTE since New Delhi banned it in 1992 for assassinating former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi a year earlier. Solheim also added that contrary to public knowledge, the Indian government, then led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), played a key behind-the-scenes role in the framing of the Norwegian-sponsored CFA. He said he himself held several meetings with India’s national security adviser and officials of the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) as Colombo and the LTTE inched towards the CFA. He said some meetings with RAW officials took place at the New Delhi airport. IANS had reported the Indian covert role but without naming RAW due to a request from sources who gave details of the intelligence agency’s involvement in the CFA - which until then was seen as an exclusive Norwegian baby. The CFA ushered in months of peace in Sri Lanka before falling apart. The LTTE and the Sri Lankan regime went to war again in 2006, leading to the decimation of the Tigers in May 2009. Solheim told IANS that as Sri Lanka’s and LTTE leaders quietly discussed the CFA in 2001-02, New Delhi was kept informed of each and every development. India, he said, gave "sound advice" and "constantly good and refreshing inputs". He said India did not want any "major international player" to get involved in the peace process and even suggested which countries should be part of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a Nordic body meant to oversee the CFA. Indian officials made it clear to Solheim, he said, that they were bitterly opposed to any break up of Sri Lanka and that "Tamil Eelam would never be acceptable". Solheim added that LTTE ideologue Anton Balasingham, who died of cancer in 2006, understood India’s importance in the region and maintained that "nothing done contrary to Indian interests will ever work". But LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, who met Solheim about 10 times in all, starting in 2001, was an "absolute amateur" in international politics even though he was a "military genius", the minister said. Balasingham also complained to Solheim that both Prabhakaran and LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman insisted for months that their group had no role to play in Rajiv Gandhi’s killing. "They tried to convince Balasingham that they had nothing to do with it," Solheim recalled. He quoted Balasingham as saying: "I did not believe the story, and they eventually stopped lying to me." (Island : 13 November 2011).

OPEN LETTER TO ROY G. WIGNARAJAH, Media Coordinator for TGTE, Canada - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - OPEN LETTER TO ROY G. WIGNARAJAH, Media Coordinator for TGTE, Canada; Dear Roy Wignarajah: I have just read your Press Release of November 6, 2011, TORONTO TAMILS PROTEST AGAINST SRI LANKAN DUPLICITY, the subject was the Deepavali Celebrations organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa, and the Sri Lanka’s Consular Office in Toronto held at the Korean-Canadian Association facilities. Well…well…well…Roy, that was something…a hell-a-va read. “How can these Tamils be so bloody stupid”, I muttered under my breath. At the very outset, let me request that you do not go to your lawyers and send me a letter saying that you are going to sue me for defamation for what I am going to tell you, as your anti-Sri Lanka Tamil Organizations are pretty good at that, as they have done it in the past to me to intimidate me and shut me up. The last paragraph of your press release said – “The rally ended at 7:00 PM peacefully with the observance of silence to the fallen war heroes and civilians of the now besieged Tamil nation, and an oath of allegiance to the Tamil Eelam nation.” Phew! Man, that was a load of crap, wasn’t it Roy? You are damn crass weren’t you to have the gall to say “…observance of silence to the war heroes and civilians of the now besieged Tamil nation.” What Tamil nation, Roy? Are you hallucinating, or what? If you were speaking of Tamil Nadu, your homeland, I am not sure it was a case of being besieged even though your Tamil Tigers played pucks on the streets of Tamil Nadu, and the police had to haul your guys to the police stations and put them behind bars to keep the calm on the streets and bazaars. You may recall how on May 19, 1982, a shootout occurred at about 9:45 in the evening at Pondy Bazaar, Mambalam, in Madras between the LTTE’s Sun God, Prabhakaran and PLOTE’s Uma Maheswaran. When Prabhakaran and Ragavan (alias Sivakumar) of the LTTE armed with revolvers opened fire on Jotheeswaran and Mukundan (alias Uma Maheswaran) of the PLOTE. Remember! These guys took over the streets of their Motherland, Tamil Nadu. During this shootout Jotheeswaran sustained bullet injuries in his right and left thighs. Maheswaran was also shot at but escaped unhurt. Remember! (LankaWeb : 13 November 2011).

Colombo NGOs major recipients of Norwegian funding

TNA-Government dialogue restarts on Nov. 16 - By S.Selvakumar - Following their return to the country on Thursday the TNA delegation headed by its leader parliamentarian R. Sampanthan would hold the next round of talks with the Government on Wednesday 16, TNA sources said. A TNA delegation comprising of its leader Sampanthan, General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah and spokesman Suresh Premachandran would form the TNA delegation at the talks with the Government. Senior ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena would comprise the government delegation. At this meeting ways and means would be explored on reaching agreements on suggestions made during the last round of talks, TNA sources said. Words exchanged regarding their 10-day tour of the USA, Canada and Britain, would not be an impediment for future talks with that party, Senior Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said on the return of the delegation to the country (The Nation : 13 November 2011).

Arrest of two persons raises fears: Has LTTE stepped up smuggling and regrouping in Tamil Nadu? - The arrest in Tamil Nadu of two persons with LTTE links over gold smuggling has raised fears in the State that the LTTE has stepped up smuggling and regrouping. Two people were arrested on Friday night in India when they attempted to smuggle about 20kg of gold from Sri Lanka, the Times of India reported. In another incident, a 45-year-old woman was taken into custody by Trichy Customs officials while trying to smuggle 1.2 kg of gold bars from Sri Lanka. The two cases of attempted gold smuggling from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu have alerted Customs officials to review security along the coastline in Nagapattinam, particularly highly sensitive places such as Kodiakadu, Kodiakarai and Velankanni. The two persons, S Anand (28) and Kodiakarai Vedayan (26), were arrested at the Vedaranyam check post while trying to smuggle 156 gold bars, valued at Rs 2.5 crore that were allegedly transported from Sri Lanka by sea to Kodiakarai (Point Calimere) in Nagapattinam district. Acting on a tip off, the Nagapattinam Customs officials mounted their vigilance at the 11-odd check posts in the Nagapattinam coastal belt. One of the vehicles, which was intercepted at a check-post near Velankanni was found to contain the gold bars. Intensive investigations revealed that the two arrested persons, were associated with persons who allegedly had links with some of the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The smuggling activity that was at its peak during the LTTE heydays, have resumed in recent times with renewed vigour after a gap of 15 years, perhaps because interested parties are transporting the wealth from Sri Lanka to their supporters in Tamil Nadu, said another officer who did not wish to be named. The police and Customs tightened investigations after they learnt that Anand was none other than the son of Kodiakarai Shanmugam, who had been arrested for the crime of sheltering some of the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and who later committed suicide in police custody.In the second incident, K Chandra (45) of Pudukottai was arrested when she tried to smuggle the gold bars valued at Rs. 3 million into the city. Customs officials said the woman, who landed in Trichy from Colombo on a SriLankan Airlines flight on Thursday, had concealed the gold bars in her sari. She has been remanded to judicial custody after the air intelligence filed a case against her.(Air Intelligence) at Tiruchirappalli airport, Earnest Ravi said the gold bars bore the ‘Swiss’ mark and as such Sri Lanka was only used as a conduit point as the smugglers think the island nation is less strict. Customs officials said that it was common knowledge that the gold bars did not originate from Sri Lanka and the international smuggling ring used Kuruvis (paid transporters) from southern coastal towns for the bigger job now, as the security along the coast was slackening after the LTTE was decimated by the Sri Lankan Army (Sunday Observer : 13 November 2011).

Deepavali celebrated in Canada amidst sabotages - Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa, Canada and the Consul General’s Office in Toronto in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Tamil Community celebrated the Deepavali festival recently at the Korean Cultural Centre in Toronto for the second time. The significance of this year’s event was the participation of large numbers from the Tamil community despite the repeated requests by LTTE-rump elements to boycott the event. There were also attempts to disrupt and sabotage the program by infiltrating their supporters to the event, but the program went on successfully as planned, Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa said in a statement. Prior to the event, a Tamil radio channel requested people repetitively to join a demonstration against the government of Sri Lanka, which was held outside the premises participating only around 100 people. The Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara was the Chief Guest at the celebrations where over 400 Sri Lankans participated. The Deepavali celebration commenced with a special Hindu pooja conducted by Siva Shri Thiyagarajah Kurukkal of the Sri Durrka Hindu Temple, North York, Toronto to invoke blessings to all Sri Lankans living in and outside the country. In his speech, Minister Nanayakkara reiterated the need for the Tamil and Sinhala communities living outside the country to interact with one another with dignity and respect emphasising on the importance of national festivals in enhancing relations between communities. He underlined the importance of learning each other’s language and the role of his ministry in implementing the National Language Policy with a view to bringing reconciliation and one Sri Lankan identity. High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara referring to peace building and many hurdles that Sri Lanka has to face, urged Sri Lankan Diaspora to extend their support and contribute towards peace and reconciliation as sons and daughters of one nation. The Consul General Karunaratne Paranawithana in his welcome address stated that none should be allowed to destroy the historical bond between the communities living in Sri Lanka. This bond needs to be maintained in Canada and the High Commission and the Consulate General’s Office were there to facilitate this process, he further emphasised (The Nation ; 13 November 2011).

Kohona Briefs UN on LLRC Report - By Easwaran Rutnam - The report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will be presented to Parliament, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona told the UN last week. The Sri Lankan Mission to the UN in New York said that Dr. Palitha Kohona also informed the UN Security Council that the LLRC has made interim recommendations, many of which have already been implemented by an inter-ministerial mechanism. He said that throughout the final phase of the armed conflict, from 2006 to 2009, Sri Lanka engaged with the UN and its agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and representatives of the international community and civil society – both in Sri Lanka and outside. Kohona said that the challenges Sri Lanka faced in protecting its civilians was a challenge to the State itself and its institutions. “Yet, the Government remained committed to its zero casualty policy. Our troops underwent training to distinguish between combatants and civilians. Assistance was obtained from the ICRC in the training of troops in human rights law. However, the inevitable casualties of a conflict imposed on the state and ruthlessly effected by the terrorists are now the basis of a massive propaganda campaign,” the Sri Lankan Mission to the UN in New York quoted Dr. Kohona as saying. He further said that in keeping with the principle that it is first and foremost the responsibility of States themselves to investigate infractions of global humanitarian standards, the government established the LLRC to address a range of issues relating to the conflict, reconciliation and confidence building and accountability (Sunday Leader : 13 November 2011).

Army to quit houses in Jaffna before New Year - By Arthur Wamanan - Around 50 houses occupied by the military in the Jaffna peninsula are to be handed over to their owners at the end of this year. Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe told The Nation that over 200 houses that were occupied by the military had already been given back to its owners. Concerns are raised by various political parties and organisations over the continuous military occupation of private properties. Hathurusinghe said the military had been in the process of vacating the houses and handing them back their owners since the end of the war, which resulted in the relaxation of security measures in the peninsula. “We will be handing over around 50 houses to the owners by the end of this year and continuing to do so in the next few months,” he said. He however said that military would continue to occupy a few houses in areas that are considered vital in view of security concerns (The Nation : 13 November 2011).

President Mahinda invites Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and get first hand information - In an exclusive interview with Times Now TV of India, at the Maldivian capital of Male, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has responded to many questions raised by the interviewer on the LTTE activities, rehabilitation in the North, welcoming the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha, Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development and relations with India and China. Given below are excerpts from this interview. There are some intelligence reports that there are financiers of the LTTE in many corners of the earth who are trying to keep the spirit of the LTTE alive. Do you aware of it and are you doing something about it? The President said that Sri Lanka still fear the rise of LTTE in Sri Lanka. He said in Canada, in U.S., Europe and even in Australia they are collecting money, they are organizing themselves and they are making a big campaign, and they have lot of contacts. He said that Sri Lanka has freed almost all cadres, fighters after rehabilitation and send them back to their own people. We have informed the countries about their activities and the Netherland government has charged some of them and sent to six years imprisonment but the campaign is going on. About rehabilitation and reconstruction work being carried out the President said that anyone can visit the North and see by themselves what is happening there. On a question about permitting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to visit Sri Lanka, the President said that she is welcome in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka want her to come and see what is happening in the North and get first hand information on what is going on there. He said that Sri Lanka has nothing to hide and the country is very proud of its achievement. On Sri Lanka’s relationship with China and its effects on Sri Lanka’s relationship with India, the President that India is his relation and India is a relation of Sri Lanka and China is a friend of Sri Lanka. He said that the first of building infrastructure in Hambantota such as building of the Port and the Airport was given to India and they did not want to take it up. He said he does not know why India did not make use of the opportunity. He said that Sri Lanka needs to develop the country, develop the infrastructure and hence it had to be given to other countries. He said not only China even the United States has invested in Sri Lanka. He said that China building infrastructure will in no way affect India strategically. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkiugo5C9vU (Asian Tribune : 13 November 2011).

Govt will act firmly on LLRC recommendations - The Government will act firmly on the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which is due to submit its report on November 19, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. In a wide ranging interview conducted in Addu, Maldives and broadcast by the Indian news channel NDTV, President Rajapaksa said if the LLRC Report highlights any human rights violations by any persons, the Government would not hesitate to take action against them. “If they endorse it (any rights violations), we will take action. I am not going to shield anyone. Neither do I wish to do so,” the President said. He said he would study the LLRC Report and present it to Parliament. It becomes a public document thereafter. He said although everyone talks of the final 10 days of the fighting, no one talks of the past 30 years. “How many people have died? How many political leaders have died? Even a Prime Minister of India was killed,” he said. He said the Government was moving swiftly in the process of reconciliation, in terms of resettlement and political reconciliation. More than 95 percent of those displaced have been resettled. The government has begun a dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), he told the interviewer. He said that the TNA delegations have been visiting the UK, USA and other countries seeking solutions and canvassing support for internal matters without discussing them with the government. “We have 23 political parties in Parliament and we would appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). That is the best place to settle this issue. Let the Government and the Opposition get together and propose a solution.” He said the TNA was yet to name their representatives to the PSC. Referring to the Indo-Lanka fishing issue, the President said that Sri Lanka over the past year had to stave off over 40,000 Indian boats intruding into Sri Lankan waters. It was rather unfortunate that the Jaffna fishermen were being deprived of their rights to fishing. “It is a problem for Sri Lanka, but we have never taken them into custody following a request by the Indian Prime Minister. Earlier the Navy handled it but now even the Navy has been asked not to do so. At present we have allowed them,” he said. The President called for a give-and-take policy with regard to the fishing issue. The matter is now under discussion. However, it is best that the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen meet, discuss and resolve this problem without the Government coming in (Sunday Observer : 13 November 2011).

Proposals to benefit nation-LLRC - By Viranajan Herath - The officials of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission expressed hope that Sri Lanka could shed the dark impact of the armed conflict and attain stability, socio-economic development if the recommendation of the LLRC were implemented. A statement issued by the LLRC said implementation of its recommendations could be a long term task but they would find solutions to the vital issues facing the country. LLRC started its sittings on May 15, 2010 and will wind up its work on November 15. Its final report is due to be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 20. In its work, LLRC had held 57 public hearings and had made 12 visits to 40 places in the North and East to conduct public hearings and enquiries while it has also entertained 5,100 written representations from various stakeholders and concerned members of the public (The Nation ; 13 November 2011).

Sri Lanka Govt will act firmly on LLRC recommendations

Lankan envoy outlines reconciliation efforts during Houston visit - Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya used a three-day stop in Houston last week to highlight Sri Lanka's continuing redevelopment and reconciliation work more than two years after it successfully concluded its long conflict against terrorism.Noting a recent visit to Sri Lanka by three U.S. congressmen who issued positive reports of post-conflict progress, Ambassador Wickramasuriya urged Sri Lankans living in Houston to share Sri Lanka's success story with their American friends and neighbours."If any of you have not been to Sri Lanka recently, I invite you to go," Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. "It is a good time to be there. And if you have been there recently, go again - you won't believe the changes that take place even in a short period of time. Seeing is believing. One thing that you will notice right away is that the people of Sri Lanka are very happy. The long conflict is over and they feel safe again."Ambassador Wickramasuriya spoke on Oct. 27, "Wonder of Asia" reception, which was organised by Dr. Bandula Wijay, Sri Lanka's newly-appointed Honorary Consul in Houston, at the DoubleTree Hotel. The audience comprised consuls general, honorary consuls, representatives from the Houston Mayor's office and several Congressional officers, business people and members of the Sri Lankan community.Ambassador Wickramasuriya thanked Dr. Wijay for organising such an impressive event, which showcased what Sri Lanka could offer to the world. Dr. Wijay, an accomplished scientist in the United States, also highlighted U.S. investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, and invited U.S. citizens to visit Sri Lanka to experience astonishing diversity. Ambassador Wickramasuriya told the gathering of Sri Lanka's innovative efforts to resettle civilians displaced by the conflict and to rehabiliate former terrorists."We have cleared more than 500,000 LTTE landmines, and de-mining operations are continuing," he said. "This work has allowed people to move back into their homes and communities. We have given amnesty and job and educational training to 11,600 former LTTE militants. They are being released to society.We have also rehabilitated more than 1,000 child soldiers who were kidnapped by the LTTE and forced to fight (Sunday Observer : 13 November 2011).

“ Hapless Harper Cuddles up to the LTTE for votes” - By Edwin Koonz, Boston Stephen Harper’s excited call for an “independent international investigation” into the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, while being unbelievably misplaced, comes at a crucial juncture in Sri Lanka’s history as it prepares to host the next CHOGM and the next Commonwealth Games. In an interview with CMR, the cowboy from Calgary, also stated that he “Intends to make it clear to my fellow leaders that, if we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights and accountability issues, as the Prime Minister of Canada, I would not attend the Summit in 2013”. These emotional statements by a somewhat conservative leader, who may not be occupying the PM’s house in 2013, surprised the international community and the Sri Lankan authorities. Is this a reflection of Harper’s vested interest and political aspirations? Is it a not too transparent move to secure Tamil diaspora votes? But, in terms of eliminating the misuse of democracy and standing up to domestic pressure groups, it’s a pathetic display of cowardice. However, the CHOGM ignored the hapless Harper and confirmed CHOGM 2013 to Sri Lanka and the efforts by the likes of Harper, Rudd, et al to establish a Commonwealth HR Head Honcho were shouted down by 16 countries. The ability of terrorist pressure groups to operate in Canada and influence politicians is becoming an increasing concern. This isn’t the first time that a Canadian politician has succumbed to the temptations of the “minority vote”, (despite the fact that the minority funded, armed and trained terrorists). In 2000, the then Finance Minister Paul Martin and Member of Parliament Maria Minna lent their weight to legitimatize a terrorist organization by attending a fund raiser for the LTTE. It was established that funds raised in Canada were used to purchase explosives for the LTTE. More recently the Canadian LTTE mouth piece, Jim Karygiannis, went as far as to eulogize the departed tiger supremo, Prabhakaran at a “Pongu Thamizh” (Tamil Uprising) event in Toronto (Asian Tribune : 13 November 2011).

LLRC report will consolidate national reconciliation - When the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) releases its report within the next couple of weeks, all allegations against Sri Lanka and concocted stories on alleged human rights violations will be laid to rest. LTTE sympathisers and those who made wild predictions prior to the release of the LLRC report will have to eat humble pie when the report is out. It was, indeed, a crying shame that some countries and a few international organisations jumped to their own conclusions even before the LLRC report could be released. This unbecoming conduct would undoubtedly prove that those who can't see beyond their nose would still continue to sympathise with the now defunct terrorist outfit - the LTTE which had killed thousands of people during the three decades of terror. The LTTE leadership, which projected itself as the sole representative of the Tamils, not only inflicted untold misery on the people in the North and the East, but also forcibly held innocent civilians as a human shield. The so-called liberators of the Tamil-speaking people showed no mercy whatsoever to anyone who opposed their terror acts and sprayed bullets on those civilians who attempted to escape. This alone is ample testimony to the savagery of the world's most ruthless terrorist organisation. The LLRC, appointed by no lesser person than President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which comprised an eminent group of persons, had been entrusted with the onerous task of taking a closer look at Sri Lanka's humanitarian operation and make recommendations on the country's reconciliation and resettlement. The LLRC has been conducting its own investigations in a responsible and transparent manner cross-examining all stakeholders in the battle against terrorism and humanitarian operation. The impartial manner in which the LLRC conducted its own investigations would no doubt help it release its final report with what suits the best interests of the country in its reconciliation and development drive. Irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations, all Sri Lankans are eagerly looking forward to the LLRC report with utmost confidence that it would guide the nation that does everything possible in its development drive since terrorism was eradicated. The Government has nothing to fear as it had conducted the humanitarian operation in the best interests of the nation. The supreme sacrifices by the Security Forces paid rich dividends as they rescued over half a million people, mostly Tamils, who had been subjected to untold privations under the LTTE's barbaric rule. Barely anybody in the international community or those now shedding crocodile tears on the human rights of LTTE cadre, favoured the taciturnity on the pathetic plight of the hapless civilians in the North and the East who were held in a vice-like grip by the LTTE during 2006-2009. With the valiant Security Forces liberating those civilians, making the supreme sacrifice, in the world's largest human rescue mission, enough and more prophets have emerged from nowhere to pontificate to us on human rights (Sunday Observer : 13 November 2011).

Weekly Defense Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 13 November 2011)

LLRC concludes its work, hopes recommendations will be implemented - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) said yesterday that it will officially conclude its work on Tuesday (Nov. 15) and will hand its final report to the President on Nov. 20. ``The success of the Commission’s work will of course depend on the extent to which its recommendations are implemented, especially in the context of the tardy track record of successive governments in that regard,’’ it said. It said that the recommendations focus on a broad range of issues vital for building post war reconciliation, stability and socio economic development. The Commission is confident that its recommendations would constitute a framework for action by all stakeholders including the government, political parties and all communities," it said in a news release. "This framework would go a long way towards constructing a platform for consolidating post conflict peace and security as well as amity and cooperation within and between the diverse communities in Sri Lanka," it said. The LLRC said that it believes that the government as well as all political parties and leaders must manifest political will and sincerity of purpose to take necessary action to ensure implementation of the recommendations. "The Commission makes an earnest appeal to all parties concerned, in particular the government, to make all efforts to that end through consensual approaches," LLRC said. The Commission was appointed on May 15, 2010 and held 57 public sessions and undertook 12 field visits at over 40 locations to talk to the people in the North and East and other affected areas of the country. Over a thousand people appeared before it to make representations and the Commission additionally received and analyzed over 1,500 written submissions.LLRC’s Media Consultant, Lakshman Wickremesinghe, said that public interaction activity in Colombo and throughout the country lasted nearly 11 months and unscheduled meetings with the general public, especially in areas affected by the conflict and in IDP settlements, were also held (Island : 12 November 2011).

Tamil Nationalists Suffer Multiple Humiliating Defeats in Australia, India and USA - by Kumar Moses - Tamil Elamists have been defeated comprehensively throughout the world. When their floating weapons warehouses were sunk one after another, they didn’t even admit it. They pretended nothing happened. It’s the same pretending game they play now. All patriotic Sri Lankans who invested their time and effort must celebrate these defeats of Tamil nationalists. The few in number but dedicated patriotic web spaces deserve the praise of all. It is Nanthikadal part fifty as nothing else compares to the gravity of the new set of defeats Tamil Nationalists suffered recently. They are well accustomed to defeats and stay very quiet in defeat without acknowledging it. In Australia they suffered multiple defeats. Hardcore Tamil nationalist Seeman was refused entry to USA! It dealt a very powerful blow to Tamil nationalists around the world just a few weeks after Global Tamil Forum head Father SJ Emmanuel was refused entry to India. To top it all, USA told the visiting Tamil national alliance delegation in no uncertain terms to shed Tamil homelands nonsense, stop complaining about changing ethnic composition of the north and the east and work towards a ‘workable solution’. TNA leaders aired shock and disappointment when they met Tamil Diaspora at a series of meetings. All this happens just a few weeks to go for the report of the LLRC. At last, USA, Australia and India have allowed reconciliation a chance. Indian and US strategic interests have been craftily flexed for Lanka’s benefit as a clever sailor would turn his sails appropriately to travel in any direction, even towards the wind (LankaWeb : 12 November 2011).

Colombo NGOs major recipients of Norwegian funding - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Perhaps the principal financial beneficiary of the Norwegian-led peace process is a group of Colombo-based NGOs and their Norwegian partners, according to the much awaited report on ‘evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka (1997-2009)’ released in Oslo on Friday. But the Norwegians, according to the report had been involved in Sri Lanka as far back as 1991 with the blessings of the then Ranasinghe Premadasa government. The Oslo-funded report confirmed what we have been saying over the years that the NGOs had been the main beneficiaries and funding was continuing in spite of the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. Germany, Japan, US, UK and Scandinavian countries, too, provided sizeable financial support to local NGOs as well over the years,Norway had provided a staggering NOK 201 mn (approximately $ 28 mn) to local NGOs during 2001 and 2004 to promote peace building, rehabilitation and reconciliation. Interestingly, of that amount, over NOK 200 mn had been received by 10 NGOs, with Kumar Rupesinghe’s Foundation for Co-Existence receiving the lion’s share (NOK 35 mn or $ 6 mn) during 2004-2008. Norway paid NOK 60 mn to the Milinda Moragoda Institute for People’s Empowerment (MMIPE) which engaged two Indian NGOs, Horizon and Sarvatra to carry out mine clearing operations following the signing of the CFA agreement in Feb. 2002. The study revealed that de-mining NGOs had received the larger share of the funds made available to the MMIPE. Sarvodaya, Sewalanka, the Sareeram Sri Lanka National Foundation, the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce, One-Text Initiative, the National Anti-War Front (also led by Kumar Rupesinghe), the National Peace Council, Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Forum of Federations, the People’s Front and LTTE front organization, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and the LTTE Peace Secretariat were the other beneficiaries. The report went out of its way to target Kumar Rupesinghe by identifying him as one of the main beneficiaries, while leaving identities of other NGO players out. Rupesinghe is widely believed to have fallen out with his one-time sponsors over his relationship with the Rajapaksa administration. Since then Norwegians had cut funds to Rupesinghe prompting an angry reaction from him. Nine Norwegian NGOs had received NOK 804 mn over a period of a decade beginning 1999. Although, the report didn’t provide a breakdown of the funds made available to them, the nine NGOs were identified, with the Norwegian Refugee Council recognized as the leading institute among the grouping. The study acknowledged that relationship between Norway and its supporters among the international community and NGOs had caused anger among a large section of the population. "Donors’ close relations with a small group of Colombo-based NGOs weakened the popular legitimacy of civil society and fuelled Sinhala nationalist concerns about the influence of international actors on political affairs in Sri Lanka," the authors of the report stated. Successive Norwegian government had felt that Sri Lankan NGOs could win over the population through propaganda, though the strategy never succeeded (Island : 12 November 2011).

India wanted LTTE 'put in its place': Norway report

The Return of the Tamil Brigade -by Prof. Hudson McLean - The Return of the Tamil Refugees from Tamil Nadu demonstrates the success of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government policy of humane fairness. As most of the supporters of LTTE Terrorists claim unfair treatment of Tamils in the North and left the shores of Sri Lanka to their historical Homeland of Tamil Nadu. Those loud mouth pundits in Tamil Nadu and other Indian politicians should look at how the Motherland of India treated their own Kith & Kin. I doubt very much that if these “refugees” were treated with kindness by their Motherland, they would return to Sri Lanka. Would they call Sri Lanka “The Frying Pan” or “The Fire”? Now its upto those who returned and specially those expats in foreign countries, the various governments, to Put-up or Shut-up! Either support the Government of Sri Lanka and their Tamil cousins or alternatively Rent-a-Tub and take any of them who wish to leave Sri Lanka to any country who wish to accommodate (Lankaweb : 11 November 2011).

Norwegian study sheds light on Ranil’s flawed ‘peace’ deal - By Shamindra Ferdinando - A study funded by the Norwegian government says the internationalisation of the Sri Lankan conflict by the then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe was based on the belief that the LTTE couldn’t be defeated militarily. The UNP-led UNF government believed that in the event of fresh hostilities, the US and India would throw their weight behind Wickremesinghe’s administration, the report said. Wickremesinghe’s strategy had received the backing of the Colombo business lobby, which believed permanent peace would give an opportunity to turn Sri Lanka into another Asian Tiger. The much delayed evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka (1997 to 2009) captioned ‘Pawns of Peace’ was released in Oslo yesterday. What the then government hadn’t realised was that internationalisation of the conflict had been part of the LTTE game plan, the 149-page report says: "From an LTTE perspective internationalisation of the conflict had long been part of the LTTE strategy. Its Diaspora networks became increasingly important in the 1990s, not only as conduits for fund raising, but also as means to influence Western public, international organisations and policy makers." In its comments on the role played by those who provided security guarantees (US and India) to Premier Wickremesinghe, ‘Pawns of Peace’ is somewhat critical of India’s position: "India had very clear ideas about the acceptable parameters for a settlement; it wouldn’t countenance anything that went beyond the 13th Amendment in terms of devolution of power to the northern and eastern provinces. Also, the LTTE couldn’t be part of the solution."According to the Norwegian report, the LTTE had closed Mavil-Aru sluice gate on July 20, 2006 in retaliation for the government blocking resources and economic assets for military purposes. The report confirms charges that the LTTE recruited thousands of civilians, including children for deployment against the army. This is what the report said on the situation in mid 2006, "The LTTE keeps up the military pressure. It enlists over 10,000 civilians for ‘self defence’. Training, forcefully recruits children, and attacks with roadside bombs." (Island : 11 November 2011).

Sri Lanka’s peace process: a story of failure Executive Summary of the report, Pawns of Peace - Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997 - 2009 - This evaluation assesses Norway’s peace efforts in Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2009. It tells the story of Norway’s engagement, assesses the effects and identifies broader implications and lessons. The analysis is based on interviews with key informants, an in-depth perusal of ministry archives in Oslo, several subsidiary studies, and a review of relevant research, secondary literature and, the Sri Lankan press. Since the end of the Cold War, Norway has shown remarkable foreign policy activism in the pursuit of peace and Sri Lanka is a prominent example of this. Norwegian efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement between successive Sri Lankan governments and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) spanned a twelve-year period. Apart from its role as peace facilitator, Norway was involved as a ceasefire monitor and an aid donor during this period. The Sri Lankan peace process is largely a story of failure in terms of bringing an end to the civil war. Norway, however, cannot be held solely or primarily responsible for this ultimate failure and its involvement contributed to several intermediate achievements, including the Ceasefire Agreement, the Oslo meeting in which both sides expressed a commitment to explore a federal solution, and the signing of a joint mechanism for post-tsunami aid. The ceasefire in particular had positive impacts on the ground situation, but in the end these accomplishments proved to be ephemeral. The peace process reproduced, rather than transformed underlying structural obstacles to conflict resolution. It failed to induce fundamental changes in the disposition of the state and anti-state formations in Sri Lanka, and to some extent it caused a further entrenchment of positions. The hurting stalemate which led to the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), initial peace talks and a period of ‘no war-no peace’, was followed by an escalating shadow war and finally open hostilities ending in the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 (Island : 11 November 2011).

India wanted LTTE 'put in its place': Norway report - Even as it publicly advocated peace when the Sri Lankan conflict was raging, India quietly informed Norway that the LTTE must be "put in its place", reveals a Norwegian government sponsored study on why the peace process failed in the island nation. The exhaustive document, released here Friday, shows that New Delhi's sympathy lay with Colombo vis-a-vis the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as the peace process began to slowly unravel from 2003-04. After the Congress returned to power in 2004, New Delhi kept calling for the accommodation of "Tamil aspirations" but did not apply any pressure on the Mahinda Rajapaksa government over its military option, it said. "India criticizes Norway in private meetings for being too 'LTTE friendly' and underlines the need to 'put the LTTE in its place'," said the 202-page report, based on archival material in the Norwegian foreign ministry as well as interviews with key players and personalities. "India provides radar and intelligence information to the Sri Lankan forces. Delhi maintains it will not provide offensive military assets but it does not object to Sri Lanka purchasing weaponry elsewhere... "Most importantly, Indian opposition to the LTTE starts to translate into firmer backing for the Sri Lankan government." India outlawed the LTTE in 1992, a year after a Tiger suicide bomber assassinated former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. In a dramatic turn of events, his widow Sonia became India's most powerful figure when the Congress returned to power in 2004. Although the document, titled "Pawns of Peace", is an evaluation of the Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2009, when the LTTE was vanquished, there are repeated references to India, which many viewed as the most important foreign player in Sri Lanka (Hindustan Times : 11 November 2011).

Norway faults Sri Lanka's political structure, LTTE's hardline position for failure of the peace process - Norway, the facilitator of the failed peace process in Sri Lanka conflict blames Sri Lanka's political structure and the Tamil Tiger rebels' hardline stand for the failure of Norway's efforts to bring a peaceful solution to the island nation. A report titled "Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2009" released in Oslo on Friday, says the election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is from "outside the metropolitan English-speaking dynasties" combined with the Sri Lanka Marxist party, JVP's electoral come-back and emergence of Buddhist monk party, JHU, marked an important change in Sri Lanka's political structure. The report on evaluation of Norway's involvement in Sri Lanka's peace process has been prepared by the Evaluation Department (EVAL) of the Norwegian government development agency NORAD. The evaluation has been carried out by Chr. Michelsen Institute together with the School of Oriental and African Studies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Norway was a main stakeholder in it. According to the terms of reference of commissioning an independent panel to report, the purpose and objectives of the evaluation and the intended use of the report were to "learn from the unique Norwegian experience as a facilitator in the peace process in Sri Lanka." The Intended users of the evaluation are Policy-makers in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the general public. The 208-page report attributes the failure of the peace process also to the political rivalry between the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka during height of the peace process (2001-2003) Ranil Wickremasinghe and the then President Chandrika Kumaranatunga. "At no point did Chandrika and Ranil's relationship with each other become less important than their relationship with Prabhakaran," a member of the Norwegian team has noted. The efforts by the United National Front government that was in power during those years to limit the President's involvement in the peace process were short sighted and destabilizing, the report concluded. Changes in the military power balance between the government and LTTE in part account for the emergence of the Ceasefire Agreement, the subsequent stalling of talks and the re-escalation of war as the LTTE believed it had reached a position of military parity, the report said (Colombo Page : 11 November 2011). 

Calling for safety - LTTE rump groups in their clandestine attempts in Sri Lanka and more openly in western countries have recently fuelled up their campaigns against Sri Lanka, levelling many allegations with a clear intention of discrediting and spoiling the good image of the country. One such attempt is to convince the world that Sri Lanka yet not safe for Tamils and the government and its security forces keep on harassing the Tamil community living here. Safety of its own citizen, of course, is a paramount responsibility of the ruling government. No government can ignore the very responsibility that lies on it. In 2006 Sri Lankan government launched humanitarian operation to assure the safety of its citizen from widely spread terrorism in the country and to rescue Tamils from the Tamil Tigers aka LTTE, who kept these innocent Tamil civilians as human shield. In May 2009, almost after Three years the government security forces succeeded in rescuing over 300,000 hostages, and it was recorded as the biggest humanitarian mission ever carried out in the world's history. Moreover, 11,700 members of Tamil Tigers who had surrendered at the end of the humanitarian operation are being rehabilitated and over 10,000 out of 11,700 have successfully reintegrated into the society after completion of their rehabilitation programme. The government have spent over Rs.2.5 billion for the rehabilitation and retraining of ex-combatants and was highly acclaimed world across. Obviously, their safety now has been well assured. Anyone who knows the ground realities of Sri Lanka's war; finds clearly that the Tamils in North and East of Sri Lanka had been lived under tremendous pressure and were unsafe when in the hands of Tamil Tigers. Freedom to talk, freedom to move, freedom to do a job as they wish were not seen, but killings, abductions, genocides, tortures, massacres etc. had only seen in their confined world (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 11 November 2011).

Visiting Sri Lanka Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor, EMBASSY, Ottawa; Sir/Madam: Avinash Gavai asked the Sri Lankan Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara who was visiting Ottawa recently: “What about mending fences with the very large politically active Tamil Diaspora here in Canada?” Among the many possible answers to this pertinent question this response too should be thrown into that mix. As long as the Tamil Diaspora still have members of their family to be brought into Canada on the family reunification programme; as long as some members can fast track to become millionaires by being involved in the million-dollar business of human smuggling; as long as the Tamil Diaspora can become agents to earn thousands of dollars by procuring arms for their armed conflict; as long as the Tamil Diaspora finds it lucrative to bilk Canada’s social welfare system when the social welfare cheque is much more than what they would earn in Sri Lanka for a month; as long as members of the Tamil Diaspora can sell a forged Canadian passport with immigration documents for up to $40,000; as long as some members of the Tamil Diaspora can become millionaires quickly from credit card skimming, some of the Tamil Diaspora will keep churning the pot and keep it in the boil, while some Tamil political organizations will collect monies by forcing Tamil families to pay up into their funds from which they withdraw as their monthly pay cheques and also fund the NGOs to help their cause, and contribute to parliamentarians election funds handsomely to keep their cause active at international fora. As long as these elements are at play, the Tamil Diaspora have no reason to mend fences with the Sri Lankan government or the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka or Sinhalese-Canadians in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa, where the majority of the Tamil refugees live (LankaWeb : 10 November 201).

Tamil Tiger Fronts Continue To Flout Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws

Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict - by Dr. Palitha Kohana - “The nature of contemporary conflicts has posed new challenges to the concept of the protection of civilians. The LTTE terrorist group, for example, made the Tamil civilian population under its control a part of their military strategy.  During almost three decades of combating LTTE terrorism in our country, the Government took utmost care to draw a clear distinction between civilians and terrorists while the terrorists callously used the civilians as a human shield, said Dr. Palitha Kohana. Participating in the Open Debate in the UN Security Council Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations said, Their objective was Machiavellian. The coerced presence of thousands of civilians around the retreating terrorists was designed to slow the advance of the Security Forces and as a means of formulating an escape strategy for the leadership. If all else failed, it was a useful foundation to later develop allegations of breaches of global humanitarian standards.” Dr. Palitha Kohona went on to say: Let me join the previous speakers in thanking Portugal for convening this open debate under its Presidency. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director for International Law and Cooperation, International Committee of the Red Cross for their presentations. The Sri Lanka delegation associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement by the delegation of Egypt (Asian Tribune : 10 November 2011).

Norway peace evaluation comes ahead of LLRC report - By Shamindra Ferdinando - The long awaited evaluation of the Norwegian peace process in Sri Lanka will be presented at Litteraturhuset, Wergelandssalen tomorrow (11), with the participation of one-time US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Lee Armitage, the then peace negotiator, Milinda Moragoda and top Indian journalist, M. R. Narayan Swamy. Moragoda’s negotiating team included, Prof. G. L. Peiris, present External Affairs Minister and Rauf Hakeem, currently the Justice Minister. The Norwegian report comes ahead of the scheduled release of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) findings scheduled to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa next week. Moragoda, now the Opposition Leader of the Colombo Municipal Council, will represent Sri Lanka as one of the those officials, who had been deeply involved in the last of the Oslo-led peace efforts, which collapsed in April 2003, when the LTTE quit the negotiating table during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tenure as the Premier. Authoritative sources told The Island that the Sri Lankan government wouldn’t be represented at the presentation. The then Norwegian peace envoy, Erik Solheim, the current minister for environment and development will address the gathering. Armitage played a key role in the Norwegian-led peace process during the Feb 2002-2005 period, though the US failed to persuade the LTTE to return to the negotiating table. Norway initially planned to unveil the final report in the first week of April 2011, ahead of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s unsubstantiated ‘war crimes’ report. Government sources told The Island that in view of a spate of revelations made by WikiLeaks with regard to the Norwegian-led peace process since February 2002 those still supportive of the LTTE’s eelam project would not be able to manipulate the Norwegian evaluation. July massacre carried out by 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, son of a retired Norwegian diplomat couldn’t have come at a worse time for those behind the peace evaluation. International news agencies quoted Norwegian authorities as having said that the assassin’s primary grouse had been the failure on the part of Europe to tackle illegal migration (Island : 09 November 2011).

Media Release of SLUNA (Canada) - Tamil Tiger Fronts Continue To Flout Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws - The Tamil Tiger fronts which keep mushrooming under different names and guises continue to conduct the various programs initially drawn up by the internationally designated terrorist movement known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which are aimed at generating both propaganda and funds for their cause. On the 29th of October, 2011, the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) and the Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) launched the ‘Pongu Thamil’ event which is referred to as a ‘Tamil Upsurge’ at the legislature grounds in Queen’s Park, Toronto, where 2-3 thousand participants carried the Tiger flag which bears a snarling tiger and a ring of bullets with two bayonets sticking upwards, and pictures of the late megalomaniacal leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakran, whose violent life ended in a hail of bullets as he tried to break past Sri Lankan Army lines along with his erstwhile lieutenants, crack troops of the Anthony Brigade and a detachment of suicide bombers into the jungles of Mullativu across the Nandikadal Lagoon in Puthumatalan in May 2009. The remaining rump of the LTTE in Canada and other western nations are seeking to revive the violent terror movement along with former cadres that fled from Sri Lanka in human smuggling boats, as they seek revenge for the military defeat that also resulted in the destruction or capture of the huge stockpile of weapons and explosives they procured with their funds over the last 2 ½ decades in their attempt to break up Sri Lanka by force of arms and create their mono-ethnic racist Tamil state of “Eelam” (LankaWeb : 9 November 2011).

Sri Lanka Deepavali Celebration in Toronto - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Dear John Carmichael: It is with utmost humility that I say “Thank You” and doff my hat to you for attending the Deepavali Celebration in Toronto, organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa and Sri Lanka Consular General’s Office in Toronto. What was significant in your attendance was that you showed your honesty in wanting the reconciliation process between the two communities that have been polarized by their Tamil Tiger separatist conflict that lasted 27 bloody years and witnessing over 100,000 innocent lives snuffed out by suicide bombers, claymore mines and bullets shot from Kalashnikovs, all by the Tamil Tigers. What is also significant is that you have endorsed the priority of the wishes of the Tamils back in Sri Lanka who did not take the opportunity of open flood gates of far away places like Canada, buy a plane ticket and get on a plane and land at Lester Pearson Airport and say, “We are refugees and we are running away from persecution and discrimination by the majority Sinhalese”, but only to return to Sri Lanka for holidays and visit relatives once they get their Canadian passports. That is the rub. The Tamils who stayed back people 41% of the population of the capital Colombo where the riots did happen in July of 1983, and now living in harmony with the Sinhalese, Muslims and Burghers. It is also significant that you were not intimidated by the raucous Tamils who demonstrated jumping up and down as if they were Hindu Kavadi dancers and howling dirty slogans like companies of human blood thirsty coyotes (LankaWeb : 9 November 2011).

Channel 4 commissions second SL documentary

Channel 4 commissions second SL documentary - Channel 4 has commissioned a follow-up to the acclaimed but controversial Sri Lanka's Killing Fields documentary as part of its new current affairs programming drive. Channel 4's head of news and current affairs Dorothy Byrne has asked ITN Productions to make a second investigation into alleged abuse by the government and Tamil tigers during the final weeks of the country's civil war. The Jon Snow-fronted Sri Lanka's Killing Fields featured some of the most shocking footage ever aired by Channel 4, much of which was captured on mobile phones. The violent content was so strong that media regulator Ofcom launched an investigation, which ultimately cleared the show. Sri Lanka's Killing Fields was watched by over a million viewers in the UK this summer, and shown in more than 30 countries via the 4oD on-demand service. The documentary was also screened at the United Nations in Geneva and New York and shown to politicians at the House of Commons, the European parliament and US Senate. ITN's new film, under the working title Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, will again be presented by Snow and feature "powerful new evidence" of war crimes. It will also question the apparent lack of international action against the government of Sri Lanka. "I'm very proud that the new year will see a follow-up to our widely-acclaimed documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields," said Snow. "We believe it shows more evidence of official complicity in war crimes and we will continue to show what we find to the world. I hope this film captures, shocks and educates in the same way as the first did." Byrne added: "The horrific revelations in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields caused concern across the globe and calls for further investigations so we decided to do just that; to continue the journalistic endeavour to find out the full truth about these terrible events." Channel 4 has also today announced changes to the way it delivers current affairs, including renewed investment in the next-generation of investigative journalists (Daily Mirror : 9 November 2011).

LLRC report ready by Nov 10 - Chaminda PERERA - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) yesterday said that its final report will be ready by November 10 to be submitted to the President. The Commission comprising eight members finalized the report which is being checked by proof readers. The Commission was established by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 15, 2010 to report on the lessons learnt from the incidents that took place from February 2000 to May 19, 2009, their causes and recommendations to avert such developments in the future. According to commission’s media consultant Lakshman Wickremesinghe, the Commission’s term of office will expire by November 15 and a skeleton staff will be employed at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute where the Commission office is located for a few months to preserve the documents received by the Commission. He said that the staff will undertake filing of these important documents to be sent to the archives where documents and reports of earlier presidential commissions are kept. Wickremesinghe added that the Commission has no legal right to make the final report public nor print it for public interest. “It is the President who has to decide whether it is made public or not,” Wickremesinghe added. The LLRC headed by former Attorney General C.R. de Silva PC submitted an interim report to President Rajapaksa in September 2010 and it conducted sessions in all parts of the country, including, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi and Jaffna districts (Daily News : 9 November 2011).

'You are falling to the propaganda of the LTTE' - Sri Lankan government minister is worried Canada was swayed 'by the powers that want regime change' on Commonwealth boycott. A Sri Lankan government minister says Canada should have used more "caution and subtlety" in suggesting that it could boycott the next Commonwealth summit to be hosted in Sri Lanka. He says he's worried Canadian politicians are falling prey to "propaganda." Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been happy to talk in recent weeks about his unease with the state of Sri Lanka's progress in dealing with the... (Embassy : 9 November 2011).

Bruce Haig does more damage to Tamils in Sri Lanka by helping the LTTE - By Raj Gonsalkorale -  Given that LTTE acts of terror were carried out inside the country, with the exception of the politically stupid murder of Rajiv Gandhi in India in 1991, and that the war is now over, it is probably time to drop the single-source vetting of former members and associates of the LTTE as terrorists; particularly when all members of the Tamil community in the north of Sri Lanka were associates of the LTTE in one way or another - Bruce Haig, retire Diplomat. Bruce Haig, retired diplomat, writing in the Canberra Times today, has done a very undiplomatic thing by openly supporting the world’s most ruthless terrorist organization banned in 32 countries, the LTTE, and showing his hand in attempts being made by several Australians, including retired Justice John Dowd, to transform a set of brutal terrorists into freedom fighters. It is surprising and unfortunate that a diplomat of Bruce Haig’s calibre, has thrown his support behind such a terror group like the LTTE. It is unfortunate for the Tamils living in the North and East of Sri Lanka who, more than any other, after nearly 30 years of rule by a mass murderer who ruled by the gun, Prabakaran, now has to face the reality of a return to those dark days, thanks to the likes of Bruce Haig and some of his Australian friends within and outside the Tamil Diaspora. It is surprising that a diplomat, who has been in so many postings in many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, should make a stupid statement like “particularly when all members of the Tamil community in the north of Sri Lanka were associates of the LTTE in one way or another” (Asian Tribune ; 8 November 2011).

Targeting heads of State: UN warned - Amidst LTTE-led moves overseas to prosecute President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several other senior officials over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, Sri Lanka on Tuesday warned the international community of serious conflicts among member States of the UN due to politically motivated criminal prosecutions. Addressing the Sixth (legal) Committee of the 66th Session of the UNGA in New York, SLMC leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said that immunity of state officials couldn’t be jeopardized. "In addressing the issue of immunity of State officials we must bear in mind the fact that the risk of politically motivated criminal prosecutions could very well lead to serious frictions in inter-state relations. There is therefore a clear need to strike a careful balance between the contending policy considerations involved – (i) of preserving the well-established principle of immunity of State officials and (ii) of addressing the issue of exceptions to this rule. The challenge before the Commission is to preserve such balance, without tilting too much one way or the other," he said (Island : 8 November 2011).

Post Conflict Sri Lanka: A fair assessment in the Australian press - Today for the first time the Australian newspaper, ‘The Week End Australian’ published an accurate picture of the ground realities of post conflict Sri Lanka and the growing presence of the LTTE in Australia by the veteran journalist Greg Sheridan. As pointed out in the Australian press the villain in Sri Lanka is and was the LTTE. Thanks to their protectors overseas, and buying power both monetarily and electorally the war crimes and human rights violations are presumably from the government side and it is only a few who even refer to the atrocities committed by the LTTE in previous times, more to the point, decades. Downer the then foreign Minister of Australia is quoted in the ‘The Australian (5-6/11/11) as remarking that it is possible that human rights abuses may have occurred, but it is a wonderful thing that the Sri Lankan government won the war. He says, ‘I have always regarded The Tamil Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organisation’. The columnist adds that LTTE is the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has ever seen. Using hapless women who are once abused so as to make them suicidal they pioneered the suicide bomb. Murdering moderate Tamil and Sinhalese politicians, using civilians as human shield, recruiting innocent children as combatants, extorting all the monies from Australia, Canada, European Union and UK, engaging in credit card scams, illegal business ventures, illicit arms trade, human trafficking which by any measure have to be ranked as the most unscrupulous, it was the brutal terror outfit in the world. While the UN and thirty other countries proscribed the LTTE the financial activities continued to date. In spite of the pleas by the Sri Lankan government on behalf of its victimised population of 22 million, the so-called international community refused to assist the country in its war against terror. Even Australia paid little attention to its plight. Why the Australian government under Prime Minister Howard refused to proscribe the LTTE is still kept a secret. If it was for fear of retaliation against the Australians in Colombo, that is just a poor and callous policy judgment. If it was because the LTTE activists in Australia are a well established lobby along with the human rights activists, we understand the selfishness but do not condone. Is it not a mockery of human rights and a travesty of any humanity in international affairs to disregard the plight of a nation just for electoral gain and the safety of its embassy staff? In the name of fairness and justice we hope that this will not happen in the future (Island : 8 November 2011).

An Important Sequel to Recent item ~ The Tamil Tigers Will Never Re-Surge In Sri Lanka But Thanks To Countries like The USA, Australia, UK And Canada They Might In Other Parts Of The World If Not Destroyed in their Entirety! - Insight By Sunil Kumar November - This Refers to Germany as part of the European Union And the following is an endorsement ! - The following Item portrays exactly what was suggested in the above refered to article and is a virtual endorsement of the dangers of tolerating any attempt to recussitate the Tamil Tigers elsewhere in the world.It is hoped that the countries refered to together with any others with sympathies for the Tamul Tigers whether inadvertently or not will take note! The duplicities exposed here on the part of Europe seems astounding and the world already knows the role Norway has played over the years in similar perspective also pointing to duplicity and Canada in particular which recently seems to indicate an unexpected surge towards the refered to sympathies needs to buckle up and take particular warning from the contents of this item .It has been compiled with professional expertise and perception and simply cannot be ignored ~ Sri Lanka’s present non vulnerability based on the tough stance taken by the Rajapaksha Administration notwithstanding ! (Lankaweb : 8 November 2011).

LLRC report completed

More Tamil refugees in TN return to SL - Forty-nine Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu will return to Sri Lanka by a commercial ferry that will leave Tuticorin today, a spokesperson for the UN refugee agency in Sri Lanka said. Comprising 12 families, presently residing in different camps across the Tamil Nadu state, they belong to the second batch of refugees who will return to Sri Lanka with UNHCR assistance, R. Vidjea Barathy, Associate Repatriation Officer in the Chennai office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told The Hindu. The passenger ferry is due to sail from Tuticorin today at 6 pm and will reach Colombo after a 14-hour overnight journey, news.lk reported. The Tuticorin-Colombo service, launched earlier this year, transported the first batch of 37 refugees in October. "They are being taken with their consent and they are aware of conditions in their hometowns. Most of them are in touch with their relatives there," Barathy said. Tamil Nadu is home to nearly 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, with over 68,000 living in 112 camps across the State, and nearly 32,000 elsewhere. Since the war ended in May 2009, refugees have been returning to the island in varying numbers. According to the UNHCR, 800 refugees returned to Sri Lanka in 2009, 2,054 went back in 2010, and the figure crossed 1,448 in September this year. With the introduction of the Tuticorin-Colombo ferry service, many more have started expressing interest in using the service, as they can transport their household items along with them. A passenger is allowed to carry belonging weighing up to 150 kg on the ferry. In the north, there were resettlement, rehabilitation and demining issues to contend with. The situation has changed now, and more people belonging to northern towns are also among those eager to return to their homeland (Daily News : 8 November 2011).

LLRC report completed - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has completed its report on the final stages of the war and is awaiting a communication from the President’s Office regarding the handing over of the report. Lakshman Wickremasinghe the Media co-ordinator for the LLRC speaking to Daily Mirror online said that the report is complete and is now in the process of being proof read. "The report has been completed and is now in the process of being proof read, we hope that the process will finish by Thursday (November 10), the commission is awaiting an official communication from the President’s Office regarding the handing over of the report." The LLRC was appointed as a Presidential Commission by the President, in accordance with the constitution as a fact finding mission into the final days of the war. Wickremasinghe stated that the mandate given to a presidential commission provides that the report be handed over only to the president of the country. "According to the constitutional clauses which govern the appointment and the mandate of a Presidential commission, the legislative requirement is that the report of any presidential commission, only be handed over to the president" he said. When queried as to if the report will be available to the public or if the report will be handed over to the United Nations, Wickremasinghe pointed out that the legislative enactments with regard to a Presidential Commission does not give the Commission a mandate to do so. "The duty of the commission is to hand over the report to the president, the handling of the report and the consequent use of it is the prerogative of the president of the country," he said (Daily Mirror ; 08 November 2011).

Australian Press Gets it Right for the First Time - Dr D.Chandraratna Perth, Australia - Today for the first time the Australian newspaper, ‘The Week End Australian’ published an accurate picture of the ground realities of post conflict Sri Lanka and the growing presence of the LTTE in Australia by the veteran journalist Greg Sheridan. As pointed out in the Australian press the villain in Sri Lanka is and was the LTTE. Thanks to their protectors overseas, and buying power both monetarily and electorally the war crimes and human rights violations are presumably from the government side and it is only a few who even refer to the atrocities committed by the LTTE in previous times, more to the point, decades. Downer the then foreign Minister of Australia is quoted in the ‘The Australian (5-6/11/11) as remarking that it is possible that human rights abuses may have occurred, but it is a wonderful thing that the Sri Lankan government won the war. He says, ‘I have always regarded The Tamil Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organization’. The columnist adds that LTTE is the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has ever seen. Using hapless women who are once abused so as to make them suicidal they pioneered the suicide bomb. Murdering moderate Tamil and Sinhalese politicians, using civilians as human shield, recruiting innocent children as combatants, extorting all the monies from Australia, Canada, European Union and UK, engaging in credit card scams, illegal business ventures, illicit arms trade, human trafficking which by any measure have to be ranked as the most unscrupulous, it was the brutal terror out fit in the world. While the UN and thirty other countries proscribed the LTTE the financial activities continued to date. In spite of the pleas by the Sri Lankan government on behalf of its victimized population of 22 million, the so called international community refused to assist the country in its war against terror. Even Australia paid little attention to its plight. Why the Australian government under Prime Minister Howard refused to proscribe the LTTE is still kept a secret (Lankaweb ; 7 November 2011).

Lies Agreed Upon screened in US Congress

Lies Agreed Upon screened in US Congress - The Sri Lankan Congressional Caucus and Embassy of Sri Lanka sponsored on November 2, the screening of the video Lies Agreed Upon, a rebuttal of allegations made about the end of Sri Lanka's conflict against terrorists by a British news programme. The screening included a panel discussion of Sri Lanka's 26-year conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and reconciliation and redevelopment efforts since government forces defeated the LTTE in May 2009. The event was attended by a large, representative gathering, including NGOs, human rights groups, congressional staff members, professionals and members of the Sri Lankan community. "This is an important opportunity for both sides to be heard," said US Congressman Robert Aderholt, a co-chair of the Sri Lankan Congressional Caucus. The caucus' other chairman is Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Apart from the screening, guests and Congressional staff members also viewed portions of a speech by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the release of the Defence Ministry's report: Humanitarian Operations Factual Analysis July 2006 to May 2009. Copies of the report and the Lies Agreed Video CDs were made available to all guests. Congressman Jack Kingston, who two weeks ago was one of three members of Congress to visit Sri Lanka, also spoke during the screening. "I had a casual conversation with a police officer," Kingston said of his visit. He said, "Things are different now. We are getting back to normal. You can go to the market place again. We are so happy and pleased. This was an off the record comment, and what it did framed up so much of what I walked away with. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne also attended the screening. Minister Senarathna gave a brief talk, describing how redevelopment of the North has created jobs and aided those who have resettled there, and how the economy is improving with the fishing industry. Dr. Senaratne said the conflict slowed development (Daily News : 07 November 2011).

Paranthan factory to be revived - The Paranthan Chemical Factory which was shut down due to terrorism had presented a project report to the government to re-establish the factory in the same location. They have estimated the cost of the project at Rs. three billion. Paranthan Chemicals stands on a 217 acres and the factory will be established in the same location. Several foreign investors from countries such as India, Ireland and Dubai have come forward to invest in the chemical factory's reconstruction. The factory management is ready to initiate the reconstruction activities with one of these investors who agrees with the government's conditions, Paranthan Chemicals Factory Chairman Nimal Abeysiri, said. There is an annual need of 2,000 metric tons of Chlorine and 15,000 metric tons of Caustic Soda in Sri Lanka and the Paranthan Chemical Factory aims to manufacture around 25 tons of Chlorine and Caustic Soda per day after reopening the factory, he added. Currently the chlorine is imported to meet the purification needs of the Water Resources Board and this can be met by the Paranthan Chemical Factory, the Chairman said. According to State Resources and Enterprises Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Willie Gamage there is no office facilities at the Paranthan Chemical Factory and they are in a building belonging to the Ports Authority (Daily News : 07 November 2011).

Mahinda triumphs over Tamils and I/NGOs in Perth - by H. L. D. Mahindapala - There were only two winners at the CHOGM held in Perth: Queen Elizabeth and President Mahinda Rajapakse. Both got what they wanted. Queen wanted succession to pass on to a female, overturning the British tradition of passing it first to the male even if the females are senior and she won. She also won the right to lift the ban on Catholics ascending the throne – a law observed since Henry VIII refused to recognize the supremacy of the Pope in the domestic affairs of England. She sailed through smoothly. The big victory, however, was that of President Mahinda Rajapakse. He faced 54 nations – the largest international gathering of heads of states – and won all what he wanted in his political agenda. To begin with, he won the right to hold the 2013 CHOGM against a formidable gang of the West led by Canada, with New Zealand, tagging along. This victory was great because he defeated the Tamil expats and the I/NGOs (most of all Amnesty International and Australian Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists) who moved heaven and earth to push the Commonwealth heads of states to deny Sri Lanka the scheduled opportunity to hold the next CHOGM meeting in 2013. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, was the most vociferous in this campaign. He was posing as the champion of human rights hiding the fact that he was maneuvering in Perth to manipulate the Tamil votes in Canada (Lankaweb ; 6 November 2011).

Harper Commonwealth Progress – Nov. 2,2011 - by Ira de Silva London, Ontario -  The Editor Embassy Magazine Ottawa, Ontario, Dear Sir: It is not what Mr. Harper said after he left the Commonwealth Conference but what he said before he went and the communique that was issued at the meeting that should be highlighted and the question asked whether Canada will abide by it’s commitments. Before he left he singled out Sri Lanka for criticism probably to satisfy his ethnic Tamil voters in the Toronto area whom he is eager to cultivate and draw away from the other political parties. Media reports indicated that prior to his statement on Sri Lanka he had conversations with his candidates who are well known supporters of the Tamil Tigers so his statements regarding Sri Lanka reflect their anti-Sri Lanka input and support the view that it was domestic Canadian politics that was driving his agenda on Sri Lanka. Mr. Harper wants accountability from Sri Lanka. The concept of accountability also applies to Canada. It is an established fact that Canadian citizens funded Tamil terrorism for decades from Canada and Canadian politicians supported their efforts even attending events to raise funds. Canadian security authorities established that the cheque for the bombing of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was sent from Canada. When is Canada going to be accountable for these acts supporting terrorism which killed thousands and destroyed the economy? (Lankaweb ; 6 November 2011).

Criticism of Sri Lanka ignores Tiger threat - by: Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor -Courtesy : The Australian - THE criticism of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he visited Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, left the key Sri Lankan villain out of the story. The criticism was that the Sri Lankan government engaged in serious human rights abuses, shelling areas where civilians were present, at the end of its civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in May last year. Both sides committed atrocities in this war, but the defeat of the Tamil Tigers was a decisive defeat of perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has seen. Alexander Downer, Australia’s foreign minister for 11 years of the war, tells me: “I know the Sri Lankan government played very hard ball and committed some human rights abuses, but it’s a wonderful thing the Sri Lankan government won that war. I have always regarded the Tamil Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organisation.” It is easy to forget how bloody the Tamil Tigers were. In their 2 1/2-decade campaign, perhaps 70,000 people died. The Tamil Tigers pioneered the suicide bomber, conducting hundreds of such attacks and using a woman with a suicide vest to murder India’s prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. They also murdered a Sri Lankan president. Rohan Gunaratna, an authority on terrorism based in Singapore, tells me the Tamil Tigers also pioneered suicide attacks at sea. The sinking of the USS Cole was an imitation of a Tiger operation (Lankaweb : 6 November 2011).

GRATEFUL LADY HILLARY CLINTON? YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I WILL SCRATCH YOUR”s - By Stanley Perera-Melbourne - One can imagine Hillary Clinton entered into an agreement with Sri Lankan born billionaire Raj Rajaratnam who is an American criminal serving 11 year jail sentence, if the Tamil Terrorists funded Hillary’s presidential campaign, Hillary will return the favour to the Tamil Terrorists if she won the election. Hillary lost in one way and on the other way she won the Secretary of State position by stooping into serve under her opponent and thereby Hillary becoming the lowest of the low. Hillary was grateful to the Terrorists LTTE immediately after receiving the donation (a large sum of money) and during her campaign made a public announcement that LTTE TAMIL TIGER TERRORISTS ARE GOOD TERRORIST. Thereafter more and more TERRORRIST backers began to contribute to Hillary’s campaign fund in which Hillary becoming indebted to the LTTE TAMIL TIGER TERRORISTS. So that was the agreement between Hillary and the TAMIL TIGER TERRORISTS. HILLARY SAID IF YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I WILL SCRATCH YOURS. THE WORLD CAN SEE NOW HILLARY IS DYING TO RETURN THE FAVOUR TO TAMIL TIGER TERRORISTS (Lankaweb : 6 November 2011).

Harper: Commonwealth progress - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor, EMBASSY, Ottawa; Sir: ‘Harper: Commonwealth progress’ was predictable as night would follow day. What was embarrassing was how he failed to lead the Commonwealth of Nations as the Pied Piper to scuttle the Commonwealth Summit to be held in Colombo in 2013. If domestic politics is what influenced Prime Minister Harper to take this strong negative stance against Sri Lanka to appease the Tamil Diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area who gave him the loot of 15 ridings to be taken away from the Liberals at the last federal election, he is still a winner, as he could tell his Tamil constituents, “Hey! I tried, and tried real hard to get the other Commonwealth nations to fall behind me to boycott Sri Lanka’s Commonwealth Summit in 2013 .” On the same token, if honesty plays in Prime Minister Harper’s foreign policy that democracy, human rights and freedom is what counts for Canada to distinguish between our friends and enemies, then he should break away immediately all diplomatic ties with our neighbor, the United States, which led NATO’s massive gun-burst on democracy, human rights and freedom in Libya, and of course Iraq and Afghanistan prior to that where their work is yet to end. And we all know that attack on Libya, just like the invasion of Iraq was based on well-crafted lies destroying infrastructures that Libya put in place with years of hard work which Canada was part of in its destruction, and no doubt we will now seek contracts for Canadian companies to go into Libya to rebuild that destroyed oil producing country where there is a lot of money to take. This is strange Canadian honesty and strange economics to help keep our industries afloat in hard economic times (Lankaweb : 06 November 2011).

Terrorism poses threat to national security: ‘Australia should ban those with terrorist links’

LTTE rump in Europe marking a bloody trail - The LTTE rump operatives in France that once enriched themselves and became powerful by extorting money from Sri Lankan Tamils living in France have now split into groups and are at one another’s throats, The Nation learns from Sri Lankan sources in Paris. In a recent case, a dispute arose about commemorating the Mahavir day and Nadaraja Mahendiran alias Neekan, a once powerful cadre in France LTTE outfit, was attacked with swords by his rivals. He was admitted to hospital with critical injuries and undergone an immediate surgery. He was gradually recovering, the sources said. Tamil terrorist supporters had become a nuisance to the French authorities following a number of violent incidents amongst about 100 LTTE terrorists who had fled to France at the final stage of the war. They were the ones playing the leading roles in the so-called Mahavir commemoration event, they said. the LTTE rump was trying to wash their hands off the matter by spreading an untrue story that Mahendiran alias Neekan was attacked by persons acting on the behest of the Sri Lanka’s government. However, the victim has made a statement to the French police the attackers were identified LTTE members. French authorities were investigating into Neekan’s statement. Violence due to rivalries among various factions and fronts of the LTTE overseas cadres and agents had been going on in France since 1994 including the assassinations of its cadres Sahalingam, Kandiah Nathan and the journalist, our sources said (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

TELO blames TNA on exclusion from foreign trip - By Arthur Wamanan - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has dismissed claims that it had sidelined one of its main constituent parties by excluding them from the delegation to the USA and Canada. However, news of dissention among the TNA was reported last week following the visit of its delegation to the said countries. It was reported the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), one of the main constituent parties of the TNA, had expressed its displeasure over the fact that they were not included in the delegation visited the USA and Canada last month. TELO Political Leader and former TNA MP, M.K. Shivajilingam told The Nation the TNA had not considered its members when deciding on the delegation to its recent overseas visit. “We have certain concerns and the failure to include us in the delegation is one of them. The other concern is the TNA has not included us in any of the 12 rounds of talks with the government,” he said. However, TNA Batticaloa District Parliamentarian, P. Ariyanenthiran told The Nation there was a minor friction among its members regarding the overseas visit and said there was no need to create an issue. The delegation included TNA Parliamentary group leader, R. Sampanthan, General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran and National List MP M.A. Sumanthiran. Ariyanenthiran said the visit was made on an invitation extended by US Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake and the delegation was selected according to the situation. “It is not a private visit for everyone to go. This issue can be solved amicably when the delegation returns,” he said. However, Shivajilingam said this could turn out to be a serious issue if the TNA continued to ignore its concerns and requests (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

Europe keeps LTTE alive - On the way back to his apartment, tired and hungry after tramping around the city the whole day, we stopped by at a store owned by a Sri Lankan Tamil family. It had a narrow doorway and seemed more like a corridor that had been converted into a shop packed with shelves laden with generic desi groceries, spices and an enormous variety of dried fish. “Imported from Jaffna,” the young man at the counter told me, the hint of pride in his voice unmistakable. So was everything else at his store, barring the fresh green vegetables, which were possibly grown in a Berlin backyard, and the Basmati rice from Pakistan. Daud did his shopping while I looked around, checking the stuff on display. That’s when I chanced upon a stack of flyers printed on glossy paper that had been kept in full view, obviously for the benefit of the store’s Tamil patrons. The flyers showed a solemn (though slain) chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in his trademark fatigues with a pistol in a hip holster against a black backdrop. The text, in Tamil, called upon all who “thirst for a Tamil homeland” to gather at Dortmund for a meeting to pay homage to their “national hero”. The significance of November 27, when the meeting is scheduled, was lost on me. If any reader has a clue, I would be grateful to be enlightened. Shopping done, we left the store with a copy of the flyer and Daud’s bagful of vegetables, including half-a-dozen very pale skinnedkarelas which could have done with some sunshine. Over the next few days I asked around and found that two years after Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed, along with his lieutenants and cadre, and the LTTE obliterated by the Sri Lankan Army, the ruthless man who terrorised Sinhalese and brutalised Tamils alike is very much alive in the imagination of Germany’s — as well as Europe’s — Tamil diaspora (The Pioneed : 6 November 2011).

Terrorism poses threat to national security: ‘Australia should ban those with terrorist links’ - Sri Lanka’s massive diplomatic triumph at the recent CHOGM Summit in Perth, Australia, continues to reverberate with influential sections of the Australian political spectrum and media coming to the defence of the Sri Lankan Government. They claim that the protests against the Sri Lankan Government based on human rights issues were unfortunately leaving out the “key villain” – the LTTE – out of the story. A report published in the leading daily The Australian quotes former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as saying that “It’s a wonderful thing the Sri Lankan government won that war - I have always regarded the Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organisation.” Downer said; “I have no doubt the Tigers raised a lot of money in Australia.” The report, written by The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan said the priority for foreign governments should be to assist Sri Lanka in economic development, which is the dynamic most likely to aid reconciliation. The article recalled the sheer brutality of the Tigers: “Is it easy to forget how bloody the Tigers were. In their 2 1/2-decade campaign, some 70,000 people died. The Tigers pioneered the suicide bomber, conducting hundreds of such attacks and using a woman with a suicide vest to murder India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. They also murdered a Sri Lankan President. By any measure, the Tamil Tigers were as deadly, unscrupulous, murderous and committed to terrorist attacks on innocent civilians as al-Qaeda or the Taliban are. Sheridan said that the Tigers were authoritarian under the leadership of Vellupillai Prabhakaran. “They murdered Tamil and Sinhalese civilians, within the areas they controlled and within Sri Lanka generally. They used civilians as human shields, engaged in forced recruitment, routinely bombed civilian targets, used child soldiers and refused to let civilians leave the combat zone. They also engaged in sectarian attacks against Muslims.” The report also quoted international anti-terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna. “After the conflict ended and the LTTE was decimated in Sri Lanka, they still had a presence overseas. They have been involved in bank fraud and people-smuggling to get their members overseas, especially to Australia and Canada. Australia should not permit anyone who is connected to any terrorist organisation to settle in Australia because that will affect Australia’s security.” The article takes Australian authorities to task for failing to proscribe the LTTE in Australia. “This is not because the Howard government did not regard the Tigers as terrorists. But the inside bureaucratic story is complex and reflects poorly on Australia as an episode where ethnic politics impeded serious counter-terrorism.” (Sunday Observer ; 6 November 2011).

Nab those aiding and abetting LTTE - Eksath Lanka Maha Sabha - Eksath Lanka Maha Sabha in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa have made a proposal that to consolidate the victory over the LTTE is by exposing the real war criminals who were behind the LTTE, whereby justice would be rendered to the nation. The decisive victory of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces over the LTTE terrorists is used by the LTTE activists living in the Western countries, to cast allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lanka leaders. The LTTE Diaspora continues to collect funds to buy up officials in Western countries to purse malicious allegations of war crimes. Robert O Blake, the Asst. Secretary of US in South Asia, has visited Sri Lanka six times since the defeat of the LTTE terrorists and each time he visited he has called for investigations of war crimes. He has met TNA politicians, Tamil youth groups, anti-Sri Lanka INGOs to carry his allegations at every opportunity interfering in the internal affairs of this country. Senior Attorney S.L. Gunasekera commenting on statements made by Robert O Blake at the end of his recent visit, points out that the "Looming danger of the United States assuming to itself the role of the global policeman; the global arbiter of what is right and what is wrong and how other countries should be governed and in short becoming the global ruler dictating to independent and sovereign countries such as Sri Lanka which are small and impoverished about how ever should run our affairs". He has further pointed out that "unless all small countries such as Sri Lanka unite to oppose this kind of arrogant meddling in their internal affairs by the minions of Obama and his elderly subordinates in the State Department, we the small and independent countries are in real danger of being submerged by American Imperialism." The Darusman Report, called by secretary General of the UN is proved to be a fiction based on false representations made by the defeated LTTE rump, is paraded as proof of war crimes, committed by Sri Lanka by interested parties. The video called the 'Killing Fields of Sri Lanka' made by the JDC Organisation in Germany, based on distorted facts supplied by LTTE operatives has become the focus of BBC Channel 4 and INGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Care, Forut as INGOs financed by the Western corporate sector. Wikileaks has exposed that the US Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Patricia Butenis, has met Karu Jayasuriya, deputy leader of the UNP and Sarath Fonseka, the Presidential candidate put up against Mahinda Rajapaksa, a few days prior to the Presidential Elections, which amounts to interference in our internal affairs. Under similar conditions a former Ambassador of UK David Gladstone has been declared persona non grata, during President Premadasa reign (Sunday Observer : 6 November 2011).

Butenis-Sampanthan discussed presidential election - WikiLeaks - The Colombo Telegraph last Thursday (3) carried in its website a WikiLeaks document giving details of a secret agreement between Tamil National Alliance Leader R.Sampanthan and General Sarath Fonseka (Rtd) at the time the latter was contesting the Presidential Eection 2010. The leaked document was a diplomatic dispatch by the US Ambassador in Colombo, Patricia Butenis, who had told her home government that the Sampanthan-Fonseka agreement sought to get the Tamil voters to vote for Fonseka. Sampanthan had told Ms Butenis that the NA did not believe President Mahinda Rajapaksa was doing enough for the Tamil people. Butenis had stated she met Sampanthan several times and was appraised of the TNA’s stance on the last presidential election and that Fonseka was prepared to implement a number of their proposals inclusive of a finding a political solution to the problems of the Tamil speaking people, devolution of power to re-merged North and East, and reconciliation process that had, according to the TNA leader, been delayed by President Rajapaksa. The WikiLeaks document indicates that Butenis was of the view that Fonseka’s chances seemed to be improving day by day and that Sampanthan believed that the Sinhala vote would be split between the two main candidates (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

Is LLRC valid after Nov. 15? - By Arthur Wamanan - The final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) would be ready by next weekend, LLRC Media Coordinator, Lakshman Wickremasinghe said. Speaking to The Nation he further said, the report has been completed except for the final checking and the editing. It would be handed-over to the President Rajapaksa between November 11 and 15. He said the LLRC would not divulge the contents of the report and added it was up to the President to decide what to do with it once it is given to him. “The President will decide whether to present the report to Parliament or make it public,” he said. The LLRC was appointed by the President on May 15, 2010 to look into the reasons behind the 30-year-old war, the lessons learnt through the conflict and to look into the solutions to ensure war does not return to the country. The commission was initially given a period of six months (till November 15, 2010). The duration was eventually extended by the President on the request made by the Committee members. However, it is not clear whether the LLRC will play a role after the report is handed over to the President. The validity of the LLRC or further continuation of the LLRC depends on the President’s hands. The commission had conducted several sessions in many parts of the country including the war affected areas. The eight member commission is headed by former Solicitor General C.R de Silva and comprised Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera PC, Dr. Karunaratne Hangawatte, Chandirapal Chanmugam, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Manohari Ramanathan, Parakrama Paranagama and M.T.M. Bafiq (The Nation ; 6 November 2011).

CHOGM-2011: Diplomatic victory or absolute disgrace? - By Kalana Senaratne - The 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) raised renewed concerns about the ability of the Commonwealth to tackle human rights problems of its 54-member states. Sri Lanka hailed CHOGM-2011 as another diplomatic victory. Amnesty International slammed the Commonwealth calling it an ‘absolute disgrace’ that the countries agreed to hold the next CHOGM in Sri Lanka. There was a particularly interesting human rights issue came up during the CHOGM. It was a recommendation on the document (‘A Commonwealth of the People: Time for Urgent Reform’) prepared by the Eminent Persons Group to the Commonwealth Heads of Government: that a ‘Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights’ should be appointed to provide ‘well researched’ information to the Secretary-General (SG) and the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) ‘on serious or persistent violations of democracy, the rule of law and human rights’ in member states of the Commonwealth (recommendation 2, p. 19). (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

Reconciliation process is a must - by Brig. (Retd) L.C. Perera - Brig. (Retd) L.C. Perera, former Chief Coordinator for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and also Coordinating Director for the Ministry of Resettlement during the last stages of the war says if the country is to move forward, ethnic reconciliation must come first. Speaking to The Nation, Perera said even though the war had ended, the wounds caused by it still create animosity and division in many quarters. He said while that the main issues needed to be addressed, efforts must be made to reduce the gap between the North and the South (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

Minister directs officials to be vigilant on resettlement - All the Divisional Secretaries in the Northern Region were instructed to pay special attention towards the wellbeing of those displaced due to the war, and presently living in welfare camps and other places by the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananada. Minister Devananda stated the situation was changed now and resettlement process was going on making the new ways and means for their livelihood. He stressed that during that transition period too, officials’ involvement and supervision are must to make sure the process to run smoothly. Minister was making these observations at the Jaffna and Kilinochchi District Development Council Committee meeting held at the auditorium of Jaffna District Secretariat last week. He highlighted the issues of housing, and sanitary facilities, relief assistance and other basic necessities. At the meeting participated by the Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri and other officials discussed over the issues of resettlement, de-mining, transport facilities, local government affairs, housing projects, agriculture, irrigation, fisheries, Palmyrah development, Samurdhi living allowances, road rehabilitation and several other issues. The meeting also focused on removing the army occupying the lands of the people in Mandativu and Varany in Jaffna and giving these lands back to the rightful owners and also other obstacles people face. The Minister also said a tree planting program would be held on November 15 organised by the Northern Provincial. Through recommencement of Elephant Pass Saltern and Atchuveli Industrial Estate a large number of youths could be employed as well (The Nation : 6 November 2011).

Weekly Defense Column by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 30 October 2011)

Another article by Keerthi Warnakulasuriya (Divaina : 30 October 2011)

Seeman denied entry to US over LTTE links - The US yesterday denied permission to Indian director and Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam chief Seeman to enter the country when he landed at New York airport to attend a conclave organized by the World Tamil Forum, media reports said. A press release from Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam condemned the act of US authorities saying ‘This is a blow to individual freedom and freedom of thought’. Seeman was invited to attend the Tamil conference and he had obtained prior permission from the US government for his travel. However when he landed at the airport in the wee hours of yesterday, the authorities denied him permission to enter the country, Indian media reported. They informed that he is known for his proximity to the banned LTTE terrorist organisation and allowing him inside the country would be detrimental to the peace of the land, the release said (Island ; 5 November 2011).

Criticism of Sri Lanka ignores Tiger threat - The criticism of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he visited Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, left the key Sri Lankan villain out of the story. The criticism was that the Sri Lankan government engaged in serious human rights abuses, shelling areas where civilians were present, at the end of its civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in May last year. Both sides committed atrocities in this war, but the defeat of the Tamil Tigers was a decisive defeat of perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous terrorist group the world has seen. Alexander Downer, Australia’s foreign minister for 11 years of the war, tells me: "I know the Sri Lankan government played very hard ball and committed some human rights abuses, but it’s a wonderful thing the Sri Lankan government won that war. I have always regarded the Tamil Tigers as absolutely a terrorist organisation." It is easy to forget how bloody the Tamil Tigers were. In their 2 1/2-decade campaign, perhaps 70,000 people died. The Tamil Tigers pioneered the suicide bomber, conducting hundreds of such attacks and using a woman with a suicide vest to murder India’s prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. They also murdered a Sri Lankan president. Rohan Gunaratna, an authority on terrorism based in Singapore, tells me the Tamil Tigers also pioneered suicide attacks at sea. The sinking of the USS Cole was an imitation of a Tiger operation. The Tigers were authoritarian under the leadership of Vellupillai Prabakaran. They murdered Tamil and Sinhalese civilians, within the areas they controlled and within Sri Lanka generally. They used civilians as human shields, engaged in forced recruitment, routinely bombed civilian targets, used child soldiers and refused to let civilians leave the combat zone. They also engaged in sectarian attacks against Muslims. They were connected with Islamist terror groups, having received early training from Palestinian extremists and became involved in the illicit arms trade. They got funds from Tamil Tiger support networks across the world, especially Canada, the US, Britain and Australia. Downer says: "I have no doubt the Tamil Tigers raised a lot of money in Australia." Gunaratna says: "After the conflict ended and the LTTE was decimated in Sri Lanka, they still had a presence overseas. They have been involved in bank fraud and people-smuggling to get their members overseas, especially to Canada and Australia. "Australia should not permit anyone who is connected to any terrorist organisation to settle in Australia because that will affect Australia’s security." Gunaratna stresses, no doubt rightly, that the vast majority of Tamils are law-abiding people. The Tigers were on a list of terrorist organisations proscribed by the UN. It was because of this that it remained a crime to supply funds to them. More than 30 countries explicitly banned the Tigers and listed them as a terrorist organisation under their own laws. Australia failed to do this (Island : 5 November 2011).

Gota doesn’t want Ranil’s advice on post-war military strategy Calls UNP’s handling of war and CFA "pathetic’’ - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he doesn’t need UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s advise on post-war military strategy. An irate Defence Secretary says the Opposition leader cannot expected to be taken seriously regarding military and foreign policy issues due to the UNP’s pathetic handling of the war effort and so-called Ceasefire Agreement brokered by Norway. The tough-talking war veteran was responding to Wickremesinghe’s demand that the Rajapaksa administration should confiscate the entire range of LTTE assets and utilize them for the benefit of the people. Attacking the government for trying to rush through a Bill titled ‘Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets’ , Wickremesinghe said that the UPFA should recover money and property belonging to Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ and the LTTE. Rajapaksa alleged that Wickremesinghe was obviously blind to post-war accelerated development programmes, booming tourism, foreign investment etc. which had brought tangible changes to the lives of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims who lived in constant fear of terrorist attacks. In a hard-hitting letter to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, MP, alleged that some provisions of the Bill would have an adverse impact on the national economy. In a brief interview with The Sunday Island, President Rajapaksa’s brother alleged that the UNP had conveniently forgotten that in spite of it being the main Opposition party, it never supported Sri Lanka’s war effort. In fact, the UNP never believed the LTTE could be brought to its knees through military means, he said, challenging Wickremesinghe to produce a statement issued by him or his party during the Eelam War IV (July 2006-May 2009) or in the post-war era supportive of the military (Island ; 5 November 2011).

Europe keeps LTTE alive - ‘Tamil Tigers’ extinct in Sri Lanka, but not abroad - Berlin: Daud Haider, well-known Bengali poet and our gracious host, was keen to treat us to a home-cooked meal which would include, apart from prawn curry, karela fry, which I presumed would be done Bangladeshi style, and daal with drumsticks. On the way back to his apartment, tired and hungry after tramping around the city the whole day, we stopped by at a store owned by a Sri Lankan Tamil family. It had a narrow doorway and seemed more like a corridor that had been converted into a shop packed with shelves laden with generic desi groceries, spices and an enormous variety of dried fish. “Imported from Jaffna,” the young man at the counter told me, the hint of pride in his voice unmistakable. So was everything else at his store, barring the fresh green vegetables, which were possibly grown in a Berlin backyard, and the Basmati rice from Pakistan. Daud did his shopping while I looked around, checking the stuff on display. That’s when I chanced upon a stack of flyers printed on glossy paper that had been kept in full view, obviously for the benefit of the store’s Tamil patrons. The flyers showed a solemn (though slain) chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in his trademark fatigues with a pistol in a hip holster against a black backdrop. The text, in Tamil, called upon all who “thirst for a Tamil homeland” to gather at Dortmund for a meeting to pay homage to their “national hero”. The significance of November 27, when the meeting is scheduled, was lost on me. If any reader has a clue, I would be grateful to be enlightened. Shopping done, we left the store with a copy of the flyer and Daud’s bagful of vegetables, including half-a-dozen very pale skinnedkarelas which could have done with some sunshine (The Pioneer : 5 November 2011).

Tamil Political parties must change - The Tamil political parties should come into the mainstream and help build this country which is as much ours as it is of the Sinhalese and the other communities who inhabit it. There are more Tamils living in the South of this country than in the North and East. The Tamil political parties must change direction for they have both the political and intellectual capacity to understand what is possible; they are today moving backwards sowing dissension towards conflict, hatred and division. They should call for the restoration of true /real Democracy in this country; demand the restoration of the 17th Amendment and the repeal of the 18th. They must call for the implementation of the Dinesh Gunawardena report on Electoral Reform immediately. They should call for the rigorous implementation of the Rule of Law and the independence of the Judiciary; they should also call for the Equal Opportunities Bill to be brought back and the enthronement of merit and call for the curbing of corruption by calling for a new Declaration of Assets Law and a Right to Information Law. They should also call for the vigorous implementation of the Presidents initiative to make English the compulsory link language. I am certain the Commonwealth, the Colombo Plan, The US, Britain, Canada and Australia would help generously to implement such a project whilst helping us to promote through education the creation of a more understanding, tolerant, caring society and friendship among all racial and religious groups in our country (Island : 5 November 2011).

At least 40 of the 44 boatpeople who have been declared security threats by ASIO are believed to be Sri Lankan Tamils

Lankan refugees believed to be Tamil Tigers - At least 40 of the 44 boatpeople who have been declared security threats by ASIO are believed to be Sri Lankan Tamils.The Tamils are thought to have links to that country's terrorist organisation. All 44 have been found to be legitimate refugees, meaning they cannot be returned to their homeland. The growing number of asylum-seekers in Australian detention centres who are both refugees and security threats represents a serious long-term challenge for the government. Under the Migration Act, people issued adverse security assessments are disqualified from holding an Australian visa. But the UN Convention on Refugees, which Australia has signed, means it is illegal to return refugees to the country from which they have fled. The result is indefinite immigration detention. The Weekend Australian understands that at least 40 of those refugees are Sri Lankan Tamils whom ASIO suspects had links with the defeated terrorist organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam. The remainder are understood to be Burmese Rohingyas. The end of Sri Lanka's brutal civil war in May 2009 resulted in an exodus of Tamils, many of whom came to Australia by boat. The overwhelming majority were civilians with no known connection to the LTTE, but a handful are believed to have belonged to cadres. Bala Vigneswaran, the national co-ordinator for refugee affairs for the Australian Tamil Congress, has had extensive dealings with the suspect Tamils. He said ASIO gave no reasons for its determinations, but the links that had emerged were banal and innocuous. "Only one person I know was a member of the LTTE," he said. "He was a paramedic. He was helping a lot of normal people . . . The LTTE got him in to help with fallen comrades." Shanaka Jayasekara at Macquarie University's Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism said while the LTTE had not traditionally posed a threat outside Sri Lanka, there was a danger former cadres could put their "skill sets" to dangerous uses. "It is more the training they bring with them, the skills," Mr. Jayasekara told The Weekend Australian. "Many of them have been involved in combat operations. If they were in the international wing, they've been involved in weapons procurement." In August, the 40 asylum-seekers who have been denied visas after the adverse ASIO assessment appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee in a bid to end what they say is cruel and unusual punishment. Ben Saul, professor of law at the University of Sydney, is co-ordinating the complaint on behalf of the asylum-seekers, some of whom have been in detention for more than two years. Professor Saul said the complaint was being made under the optional protocol on the UN Covenant on International and Civil Rights, to which Australia is a signatory. Under the protocol, individuals can directly petition the UN if all domestic legal options have been exhausted (Daily Mirror : 5 November 2011).

TNA's conduct treacherous - Minister - by Nadira GUNATILLEKE - "The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is not the sole representative of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka and they cannot take such a responsibility," said Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. "They live in Sri Lanka without any trouble enjoying all the resources available to citizens and act against their motherland, he said. Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, Minister Rambukwella said that the government consulted law firms in connection with filing cases against fabricated videos telecast over Channel 4. Responding to some questions posed by journalists Minister Rambukwella said that it has been discovered that there were organized gangs behind the Karandeniya and Dompe incidents and suspects have already been taken into custody. Action will be taken to prevent such incidents in future. The investigation into the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra is progressing Routine and usual transfers cannot be halted or postponed because the relevant official is engaged in a specific investigation, Minister Rambukwella pointed out (Daily News : 5 November 2011).

Parliament to receive LLRC report from MR - by Shamindra Ferdinando - Those countries wanting to haul Sri Lanka before an international war crimes tribunal, over accountability issues, are preparing to attack the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report, which is now expected to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov. 19 – four days after the lapse of a deadline to finish its work, senior officials say.  Responding to a query by The Island, they say the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and those foreign-funded NGOs based in Colombo are ready to pounce on the report as soon as President Rajapaksa sends it to parliament.  Addressing a group of Sri Lankans based in Australia, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2011) in Perth, Western Australia, President Rajapaksa declared that the LLRC report would be made available to the public through the parliament.  A senior External Affairs Ministry official told The Island that in the wake of the now scheduled release of the long awaited LLRC report, a cohesive effort was needed on the part of the government to meet the impending new offensive by those seeking an international inquiry at the behest of the LTTE. The official said that the LTTE’s failure to force tangible international action against Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Human Rights Council (HRC) Sessions in Geneva in Sept., followed by UNGA in New York and CHOGM 2011 in Perth would make the forthcoming confrontation over LLRC crucial for both parties.  Political sources said that the government was concerned about some Opposition political parties playing politics with the LLRC report, thereby facilitating LTTE’s agenda. The eight-member LLRC is led by former Attorney General C. R. de Silva (Island : 4 November 2011).

Commonwealth Summit 2013 & Eminent Persons Report - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - The Editor (Letters) THE OTTAWA CITIZEN; Sir: It is a bit presumptuous, strange and tawdry for Canada to add pressure on Sri Lanka and wanting to boycott the Colombo’s Commonwealth Summit in 2013 spelling out alleged violations of Human Rights during the final phase of the Tamil Tiger terrorist war as the reason when Canada allowed the Tamil Diaspora fund one-third of the war-budget by stuffing two million dollars a month into the war chest during the 13 Liberal governing years. Our presumptuous “We are Holier than Thou” attitude is a bit too much to swallow. As for the Eminent Persons Group Report, primarily providing for a Commonwealth Charter and establishing a new post by appointing a Commissioner for Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights had reasons to be questioned as it would be detrimental to its intrusive nature of developing countries, which have been violated by developed Commonwealth countries like Canada, UK and India as seen in Sri Lanka. I now understand why 43 of the Report’s 106 recommendations which deemed to be controversial were questioned for its validity (LankaWeb: 04 November 2011).

Further adventures of LTTE propagandists - Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP - I seem to have struck a raw nerve in making public my account of what Siobhain McDonagh's researcher was up to, in publishing false stories and possibly making up false videos too. He finally got in touch with me again, not to send me the clips he had promised of attacks on hospitals, the evidence he had second thoughts about sharing, but rather to upbraid me and tell me about his prominent friends. Amongst them it seems it the British Defence Secretary. This seems to me highly unlikely, since Philip Hammond is not the sort to consort with terrorists, even if they might bring him a few extra votes. Perhaps Daran is counting on those who have recently, ever since they realized David Miliband was not going to bring home the bacon, been contributing massive amounts to Conservative Party coffers. But I cannot see Hammond succumbing to such blandishments. In addition to sending me this strange message, Daran or his friends have also hacked into my youtube channel. This carried only interviews I had given, but today I noticed a whole stream of videos carrying LTTE propaganda, with Prabhakaran and Thamilselvam and others of that ilk features prominently. They were produced by organizations with names such as EthiridotCom and ethirinews. On top of these are a number of pornographic videos, though I hasten to add that I did not go into them to see if they were hard stuff or simply what terrorist hangers on would find titillating. This strange conglomeration pops up only when one selects the three clips taken from the meeting in the House of Commons. This is satisfying, because it makes very clear the reasons for the hacking that has taken place, and also the predilections of those who have done the hacking. I am not interested of course in Daran's sexual fantasies, but the close connection that has been revealed between the hackers and the LTTE makes crystal clear that Daran is indeed an LTTE journalist (Daily News : 4 November 2011).

'ABC 7:30' leads to expose Australian Based LTTE Terrorist Network - The three decade long conflict had claimed more than 75,000 human lives and destroyed the key infrastructure facilities thus bringing far reaching consequences to the political, economic and social stability of the nation. It would not have been possible for the LTTE to survive as a terrorist organization for such a long period, if not for the un-hindered support received by its Front Organisations and radicalized segments of the Diaspora both in the terms of procurement, propaganda and fundraising. Unfortunately, today the same Front Organisations together with LTTE activists / sympathizers such as Fr. Emmanuel (GTF), V Rudrakumaran (TGTE), Sivaparan @ Nediyawan (TEPA), Vinayagam (Ex LTTE Intelligence Group) with less than 10% of the radicalized segments of Diaspora population who were largely responsible for destabilising the island nation and helped to sustain the LTTE terrorist campaign over many years, are still engaged in carrying out same activities as they did in the past in the pretext of "safeguarding the rights of Tamils" and using the human rights banner. In a major breakthrough giving impetus into tracing and neutralizing of the LTTE's international network, defence intelligence sources claimed to have figured out vital information of following individuals who are directly linked to LTTE in the past and continue to work in promoting terrorist ideology (Sri Lanka Defence Ministry : 4 November 2011).

TNA is not the sole representative of the Tamil community

The Tamil Tigers Will Never R-Surge In Sri Lanka But Thanks To Countries like The USA, Australia, UK And Canada They Might In Other Parts Of The World If Not Destroyed in their Entirety! - Insight By Sunil Kumar November - Thanks to the Present Administration of H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa the Tamil Tigers have been completely eliminated in Sri Lanka and in all probabilities will never re- surge or re- emerge in Sri Lanka which is a fair conclusion given everything that has transpired to ensure this from the time they were completely annihilated and destroyed in Sri Lanka where today their memory is a reviled one by all of Sri Lanka’s freedom loving citizens. However there is a remarkable turnaround in Tamil Tiger sympathies and tolerances globally from many unlikely sources whether inadvertently or not and the latest goings on where countries such as the USA, Australia, the UK and Canada continue to vehemently attempt dragging down the Government of Sri Lanka through what they term’ human rights violations’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ which are all no more than a load of souped up codswallop which have been presented by Sri Lanka’s adversaries in the aftermath of the ignominious defeat of the Tamil Tigers where those who championed them are instigating these mentioned Nations, exploiting their gullibilities and attempting to bring down the reputation of the only Nation in the world which almost single handedly and through her own resources, logistics and intelligence put down one of the deadliest terror groups operating on the planet (LankaWeb : 3 November 2011).

Jim Karygiannis at Pongu Thamil celebrations - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Jim Karygiannis, Liberal MP for Scarborough-Agincourt, Ontario. Dear Jim: Last evening I received a photo of you standing in a military precision at attention beside the poster of Velupillai Prabhakaran, with the words “Our Glorious Leader”, addressing the Pongu Thamil celebrations in Toronto the other day. I wasn’t sure whether you were singing the Tamil Tiger National Anthem or “O! Canada”, standing at attention with a mic at your mouth, or whether you were addressing the Tamil crowd who still worship their ‘Sun God’. I burst out laughing. Now…now….Jim, don’t get me wrong and phone me to threaten me again. I was not laughing at you but laughing at the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka during High Commissioner Daya Perera’s time, who told “For almost 20 years we couldn’t win Jim Karygianis who has been critical of Sri Lanka, but we have managed to win him within six months of our taking office.” I laughed. “What?” I said. “ That is a lot of Bull. I have known this man from the time of Adam . He is a reincarnate of a Tamil Sun God.” That was when you had sweet talked them to seek a visa to travel to Sri Lanka during the time of the Bob Rae fiasco. To prove that I was right, I am going track this diplomat down and send him this photo of you saying, “See, how right I was.” A little fly on the wall also told me that you had bad mouthed me to the High Commissioner. I really didn’t mind Jim, as I know where you stand on the Eelam issue and you know where I stand on this issue, and yet can be civil, even though I resented you flaying your arms like a drunken Greek sailor lambasting Sri Lanka during that eventful February 4, 2009, “Tamil Tiger Blarney Gong Show” in the Chambers of the House, when you asked the Canadian Government to kick Sri Lanka out of the Commonwealth if they do not pull up their socks. That was quite a show, wasn’t it? I loved it and I hated it at the same time as theatrics goes. Quite a theatre and how every one of you were wrong, wrong, wrong – Maria Minna, Albina Guarneiri, Judy Sgro, Andrew Karnia, Derek Lee, Bob Rae, Robert Oliphant, you name it. But I am sure you remember that evening vividly as much as I do. Isn’t it time we meet over a cup of tea to exchange views as to what bothers you about Sri Lanka and as to what I love about Sri Lanka and that no one harasses Sri Lanka unfairly, Tamil or no Tamil? You are welcome to be my guest. Have a good, happy and a productive day (LankaWeb : 3 November 2011).

TNA's move against the State - By S Akurugoda, Melbourne, Australia - According to media reports a delegation from the TNA which is in the US on an invitation extended by US Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, had talks with US concerning the subject of self determination of Tamils in Sri Lanka among many other things. The TNA was also scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the US visit. As reported in The Hindu, the TNA has the support of the main Opposition party, the United National Party. The above report is a clear indication of the latest strategy of the LTTE rump to achieve their goal, by hook or crook, after failing to win separatism via militarily. In early eighties, Tamils separatists went behind Indian politicians and managed to get their support to destabilize our country, and as a result, hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of rupees worth of property were lost and people of all communities, Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslims etc had to suffer over three decades. After failing to get the support from India, to the extent they expected for another wave of destruction, the LTTE rump appears to have now going behind the world's policemen whose army 'NATO' is said to be awaiting to protect civilians of militarily weak nations unless the administrations of those nations follow the tones of US and their notorious allies. US and its allies eager to 'protect civilian lives' by destroying millions of innocent civilians and to bring 'democracy' by destroying current leaders and their entire family members and installing their puppet regimes as demonstrated in their latest invasions is well known to the whole world. TNA is the surviving unarmed wing of the LTTE and choosing and inviting representatives of such a group as sole representative of Tamils in Sri Lanka is an insult to the peace loving people of Sri Lanka. Further the subject of discussion is purely an internal matter to be addressed by the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka and the government has not appointed or invited a third party as a mediator. Can anyone expect justice and fair play from those infamous US and UN officials, who have a proven record of interference on internal matters of Sri Lanka? The LTTE is still a banned terrorist organisation in many parts of the world and is an enemy of Sri Lankan people. MPs who have pledged allegiance to their own sovereign country going behind foreign powers giving aid or comfort to the enemies of the elected government and its peace loving people is highly questionable. Any attempt to change the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government amounts to treason. Considering the damage these separatist have done to our country in the past by seeking foreign interventions, it is time to find ways to stop repetition of such actions by any means. If the current legislations are inadequate to prevent any act, directed unlawfully against the state, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to incite foreign powers to hostility, ill will or disaffection; new laws should be introduced without further delay (Sri Lanka News Online ; 03 November 2011).

Hillary's epiphany - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton boasted the other day while making a statement to the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that her country had succeeded in 'devastating' al-Qaeda. True, that terrorist outfit has suffered a string of crushing losses during the past few months including the elimination of its elusive supremo, Osama bin Laden, and a number of its second rung leaders. But, how can she be so sure that the monster is really down and out? Last week, the al-Qaeda flag fluttered mockingly on the Benghazi courthouse making many wonder if the post-Gaddafi Libya was on the verge of falling to religious fanatics driven by hatred and thirst for blood. There are many al-Qaeda militants among the Libyan rebels who ousted and killed Gaddafi. The US-led western bloc, as we have argued in these columns previously, should have known better than to plunge feet first into militarily backing the anti-Gaddafi forces with hardcore terrorists within their ranks. Fratricidal violence has already erupted in Libya among the rebels divided along tribal lines. There was a fierce gun battle near a hospital in Tripoli a few days ago. Two rebel factions clashed firing as they did heavy machine guns and even anti-aircraft weapons. Three patients died of shock and several combatants were injured! A fanatical terror group like al-Qaeda is likely to emerge dominant in Libya promising to bring order out of chaos exactly the way the Taliban did in Afghanistan after the Russian were driven out and the Mujahedeen guerrillas went out of control. Hillary does not seem to have read the situation in Libya (and Afghanistan) correctly (Island : 03 November 2011).

President’s maligner - top Tigress - by Bhakthi MENDIS and Mahinda ALUTHGEDERA - Meena Krishnamoorthy - who was used in Australia to level baseless allegations against President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Security Forces - has been found to be a second rung commander of the LTTE’s ‘Malathi’ brigade. The Army intelligence has uncovered that she had joined the LTTE international operations wing in December, 2003. She had subsequently traveled to a number of countries to promote LTTE activities. She at present acts as the chairperson of an LTTE supportive organization in Australia. She had been trained in the ‘Malathi’ brigade for over five years and is also known as ‘Illanadi’ and ‘Thangani’ within the organization. She is also believed to have had close links with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. She had got married to another hardcore LTTE leader ‘Kubiran’ alias ‘Thaiparan’ and in 2008 she had got pregnant. Later due to her military activities the child had been stillborn. Recently she has come up to level false allegations against the Security Forces on a number of fronts and has also compiled documents containing fabricated material to support her allegations (Daily News ; 3 Nov 2011).

Bid at prolonging colonial control - External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has very rightly taken issue over a comment made by the British Prime Minister in regard to what is made out as human rights accountability, and the External Affairs Minister's observations go to the heart of the issue of sovereignty and the will of the people. In a democratic dispensation, a government is instituted on the basis of the popular vote and it is the prime task of the government to govern on the basis of the aspirations of those who voted it into office. The question would not arise of the government bowing to the dictates of foreign states and kindred external actors and this needs to be recognized as a cardinal principle of good governance. It is plain to see that the vast majority of countries of the Commonwealth of Nations have supreme trust and confidence in Sri Lanka and this is reflected in the decision to go ahead with holding the 2013 CHOGM in Sri Lanka. This decision has gone unquestioned by the 2011 CHOGM and is a sure enough indication that a substantial proportion of the international community is staunchly behind Sri Lanka. There are no reservations on their part on what are referred to as accountability issues with regard to Sri Lanka and it is best that the totality of the international community recognizes this fact. Any efforts to question Sri Lanka's credentials should be seen as attempts at undermining its status as an independent sovereign state in the international political order (Daily News : 3 November 2011).

Sri Lanka is no longer a colony.  No country can dictate terms to Sri Lanka

Aftermath of CHOGM - The aftermath of CHOGM was somewhat of a disappointment not only to the organisers and participants but also to the community at large. Although Perth was to host a landmark meeting for ‘reform, renewal and resilience’, the outcome fell very short of these ideals. It is indeed a surprise that the organisers and the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), who were charged with the reform agenda, could not foresee the project was doomed to failure from the start. They seriously underestimated the needs and values of the 54 participant countries. These participants represented a range of developed and developing countries, with diverse values based on their respective religious and cultural affiliations. Their main bond within the group was that they were part of the imperialistic British Empire in the past, which indeed is not a very fond memory for many of the participants. A key recommendation of the EMG report, ‘A Commonwealth of People: Time for Urgent Reform’, was the establishment of an independent Human Rights Commission to intervene in human rights violations in member countries. In the lead-up to the meeting, human rights groups, the media, in particular, the National Broadcaster (ABC), conducted a successful human rights campaign, by focusing on Sri Lanka, calling for the expulsion of that country from the Commonwealth for alleged war crimes, requesting moving the next CHOGM venue from Sri Lanka and broadcasting baseless allegations using ex-combatants of the LTTE, as actors (Island : 2 November 2011).

Rathika Sitsabaiesan on Sri Lanka in Parliament – October 29, 2011 - by Asoka Weerasinghe, Canada - Hon. Deepak Obhrai, MP, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, House of Commons, Ottawa; Dear Deepak Obhrai: I was delighted to read your response to the rookie NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan on October 26th, when she said: “ Mr. Speaker, I would thank the parliamentary secretary for taking the time to be here tonight. On September 27, I was grateful to have the opportunity to co-host a screening of the Channel 4 documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, with my fellow parliamentarians, the Hon. Member for Scarbrough-Guildwood (Liberal John McKay), as well as the Hon. Member for Barrie (Conservative Patrick Brown). Also present was a representative from Human Rights Watch. This documentary detailed the alleged human right violations and crimes against humanity that were committed in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the Sri Lankan war…..On this side of the House, we have been calling on the government to take action and commit for fighting for justice for Sri Lanka….” Deepak, your second response hit the nail on this Rookie MP’s head. You said: “Mr. Speaker, as my hon. Colleague is a new Member of Parliament, I would like to let her know that diplomacy works behind scenes….” Deepak, I truly wished that your response would have been, “Mr. Speaker, if fairness is the tenet of this House, I wish my honourable colleague from Scarborough-Rouge River also showed, “Lies Agreed Upon” in tandem which answers most of the queries and allegations thrown at the Sri Lanka Government by the producers of the Channel 4 documentary, so that the viewers would have had an intelligent chance to be judge and jury of the allegations in ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. There may have been a sinister reason why they didn’t (LankaWeb ; 2 November 2011).

CHOGM and moral defeat for Canada and the LTTE rump ! - by P.A.Samaraweera, Australia - Attempts to humiliate Sri Lanka by the LTTE rump and terror backers ended in disaster at the CHOGM in Perth. They took to the streets to vent their anger on Sri Lanka President during the Opening Ceremony. One of their members filed a human rights case against the President in Melbourne but the Australian govt did not allow it to proceed citing diplomatic immunity. Some time back the LTTE rump sabotaged the President’s speech at the Oxford Union. Their tactic in Perth as well was similar but it back-fired. Among the member countries at the meeting, Canada spearheaded canvassing against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes but had no support as it was considered a domestic issue. Failing this, Canada’s bid to re-open the CHOGM 2013 venue issue was thwarted as 15 other countries had strongly supported Sri Lanka. Their unanimous decision was a reward to Sri Lanka and Canada had to bite the bullet. This shows that the LTTE rump can buy over some countries with their votes and funds but not all. Canada fails to recognise the fact that the democratically elected Sri Lankan govt protected the sovereignity of the country by putting down the world’s number one terrorist outfit. Last week, in the Canadian Parliament, Sri Lanka had been the focus of attention. So the Canadian Prime Minister’s effort in Perth was to get Tamil votes as some seats in the Parliament had been won by the Opposition recently. While the LTTE rump was making every effort to disrupt Sri Lanka at the CHOGM, their LTTE proxy the TNA, claiming to be the sole representatives of the Tamils, had rushed to the US to brief US State Dept officials about the current situation in Sri Lanka. The TNA openly and blatantly supported the LTTE. In the past, the TNA rushed to India at the drop of a hat and now they run to someone more powerful, the USA ! (LankaWeb : 2 November 2011).

Outcome of the LLRC to be made public - Sri Lanka will make public its report into the end of the civil war with the Tamil Tigers, the Foreign Minister said on Tuesday, seeking to mitigate concerns in the West, which has in the past pushed for an international probe into war crimes allegations. President Rajapaksa has categorically stated that the report would be made public once it is submitted to him, said Foreign Minister at the media briefing held on Tuesday after returning from a successful Commonwealth Summit. Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said the LLRC's findings, due to be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov. 15, would be released. LLRC Spokesman Lakshman Wickremasinghe said that the report will be presented to President Rajapaksa before November 15, as scheduled. Wickremasinghe further emphasised that LLRC has no authority to make the report public and making it public or otherwise will be in President's hands, entirely. Asked if he thought the LLRC report would make substantial enough conclusions and recommendations to satisfy Western pressure for accountability, Peiris said: "Of course we think the LLRC report will dispel doubts and answer the questions." Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is a commission of inquiry appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May 2010 to look into events of the Sri Lankan Civil War between February 2002 and May 2009. The objective was to learn lessons and prevent a repetition of a similar conflict. Sri Lanka has used the LLRC to avert criticisms levelled at the humanitarian operations conducted by the government during the final stages of the war with the LTTE, which ended in May 2009 (News.lk : 2 November 2011).

An Open Letter to Malcolm Fraser - by S.Piyasena, Writer is a former journalist/diplomat and Media Secretary to President Jayewardene now lives in Australia -  - Dear Mr. Fraser, I belong to a generation of South Asians who grew up with the Great Depression and became adults during the Second World War. As happened with most of the liberal-minded urban youth of that era, we were inspired by the Indian freedom movement led by Mahathma Gandhi and became innately anti-colonial in outlook. We were also, as most of the urban populace in the present day sub continent, avid followers of the game of cricket. Malcom Fraser Although we were politically anti-colonial, i.e., anti-British, when we followed ashes series throughout the Bradman era to the times of Hutton and Miller, we supported and hoped for an England victory against yet another colony, i.e., Australia. There was an irony in this warped partiality but, for us, our unwanted colonial masters were far more preferable to a country with an official white’s only citizenship policy. That was eons ago. Much water has passed through the Indian Ocean between the small island nation of Sri Lanka and the island continent of Australia since those un-enlightened times. In the early 1970s we followed with fascination what seemed to us an almost overnight transformation in the Australian society and polity. But, with the collapse of the Whitlam Labor government in 1975, we became apprehensive that under a conservative regime, all those attempts at social engineering would be rescinded and Australia may take a huge backward step. Little did we know that for the next eight years the Australian government would be led by a genuine liberal statesman who would ensure that the advances in Australia leading up to the Seventies would not only be enshrined but also enhanced? (Asian Tribune ; 2 November 2011).

Minister Peiris on Cameron statement: No country can dictate terms to SL -  Country no longer a colony -  No change of policies to satisfy others - Chaminda PERERA - External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris yesterday said that the government, mandated by the majority of people, is not prepared to implement or change policies to satisfy other countries.  Referring to a recent statement by British Prime Minister David Cameron that Sri Lanka should make progress in terms of human rights before the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting in Colombo, Minister Prof Peiris said that Sri Lanka is no longer a colony of a foreign nation and no country has any right to dictate terms to Sri lanka. He said that Sri Lanka is implementing policies to achieve the aspirations of people of the country. The External Affairs Minister stressed that no country had reservations over the venue of the next CHOGM. He said that all countries unanimously agreed to hold the summit in Colombo. “The venue of 2013 CHOGM was decided in Trinidad in 2009 and that decision was never revisited. Not a single country raised the issue at the CHOGM in Perth,” Minister Prof Peiris added. Commenting on the Canadian Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper that he would not participate in the next CHOGM that is scheduled to be held in Colombo, the External Affairs Minister said that Canadian Prime Minister did not raise objection for holding the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. “Whether the Canadian Prime Minister is participating in the summit or not is a decision of that country. The government yesterday said that it has every confidence that the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in Colombo will be a great success (Daily News : 2 November 2011).

G L takes TNA to task - Chaminda PERERA - The government yesterday insisted that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should first discuss issues with the government instead of making representations to foreign countries. According to External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris, a solution can only be reached within the country and the TNA should first discuss issues with the government rather than making representations to foreign countries on internal matters. He said that discussions with foreign countries would not help solve problems. “It should directly discuss with the government,” he added. The External Affairs Minister said that the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to look into the cause of the conflict, its effects on the people and reconciliation will be made public after it was handed over to the President. Minister Prof Peiris stressed that the Commission will hand its report to the President. He said that the Commission does not have the right to print this report and it is the government that prints the Commission report. Minister Peiris said that countries in the region in one voice held the view that entire region is benefited by the eradication of terrorism by the government of Sri Lanka, headed by the President, at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Perth. He said that the Foreign Ministers in the region reaffirmed that Sri Lanka’s victory over terrorism was an international achievement and it helped to strengthen peace in the region too. Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Minister Prof Peiris added that the attempts of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird to raise human rights issues in Sri Lanka were effectively foiled by Sri Lanka with the support of 15-member countries. The minister added that raising such an issue at such a meeting is improper. The External Affairs Minister reiterated that Sri Lanka is ready to have bilateral meetings with any country at any time and discuss such issues. He stressed that Sri Lanka has nothing to hide in relation to the human rights issue and reiterated that this type of matter cannot be allowed to be politicized at a forum such as the CHOGM. The minister said the country achieved three major victories at the CHOGM, which, concluded in Perth last Saturday. He said the country succeeded in negating the forces that tried to leave the voice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa unheard by filing a case against him in an Australian Court. He said that the LTTE sympathizer who is afraid of the truth being divulged by Sri Lanka filed this action without success. The External Affairs Minister said that the Australian Attorney General and the government reaffirmed that this case cannot be proceeded with and that the Heads of State visiting Down Under enjoy diplomatic immunity (Daily News : 2 November 2011).

Tigers won’t last long if CHOGM 2011 declaration is implemented – GL - By Shamindra Ferdinando - External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that Sri Lanka expected tangible action against those engaged in criminal activities within the Commonwealth grouping. Minister Peiris said that those groups should be put out of action not as a favour to Sri Lanka, but their own well being. The nine-nation CMAG, tasked with dealing with the full range of serious or persistent violations of Commonwealth values, includes Canada and Australia, where LTTE front organisations operate freely. Other members of the CMAG are Bangladesh, Jamaica, the Maldives, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu. Prof. Peiris was responding to a query whether the government would pressure Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand in line with the CHOGM 2011 agreement to ensure stern action against those operating outside the law. Prof. Peiris was briefing the media having returned from the CHOGM 2011 summit. Referring to the on-going police and judicial action by the Netherlands against the LTTE, Prof. Peiris said that the LTTE was very active in some Commonwealth countries. The outfit was active in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in spite of it being a proscribed organisation in 32 countries, including the 27-member EU grouping, he said. Prof. Peiris alleged that a section of the international media, including the Australian press had played a critical role in the anti-Sri Lankan campaign in the run-up to the inauguration of the CHOGM summit on Oct. 28. He described Sri Lanka’s triumph as an unparalleled achievement for the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy. Asked whether Eminent Persons Group’s proposal for a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights could be revived, though it didn’t appeal to member states at the CHOGM 2011, Prof. Peiris said that it would never succeed. He said that 90 per cent of Commonwealth members had opposed the proposal at the CHOGM 2011 and he was sure it wouldn’t be a reality (Island : 01 November 2011).

Canada does it again - It is reported that Canada has again raised alleged accountability issues in Sri Lanka, under any other business, at the end of the third session of ministerial-level talks. There is no indication as to what Sri Lanka’s response was on "issues of accountability," but I hope that Sri Lanka raised the issue of Canada’s accountability for LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. It is not a mere allegation, but a fact that the LTTE supporters in Canada raised money through various illegal means and sent two million dollars a month for decades for LTTE terrorism, while successive Canadian governments and politicians, particularly in the Toronto area, provided political support, going so far as to attend fund raising events of the LTTE. Further, it was established by Canadian security authorities that the cheque for the bombing of the Central Bank was sent from Canada. As reported in the Canadian media, this year, two well known LTTE supporters were candidates for the Conservatives (Mr. Harper’s party), so his statements are based on getting Tamil votes in the Toronto area. Domestic Canadian politics is what is driving his agenda as regards Sri Lanka. It has also been mentioned in media reports that Mr. Harper in discussions with President Rajapaksa had mentioned that it was his government that had banned the LTTE and that the President had stated that he was aware of that. I hope the President also told him that he was aware of the funding of terrorism in Sri Lanka by Canadian citizens, which makes Canada accountable for the destruction of the economy as well as the thousands killed and wounded. It is necessary to demand that Canada implement an immediate inquiry into these crimes and violations of the human rights of all Sri Lankans by Canadian citizens and have it ready before 2013. At this summit, leaders reiterated their commitment for prevention of the use of their territories for the support, incitement to violence or commission of terrorist acts and most importantly, action to stop terrorist financing and action against terrorist front organisations. How do these countries which are criticising Sri Lanka such as Canada, Britain and Australia explain the activities of organisations such as the Global Tamil Forum, The Trans National Government of Eelam etc., who are operating freely in their midst? Should Sri Lanka not ask them to follow through on their commitment? (Island : 1 November 2011).

AFTERMATH OF CHOGM - by JANAKI CHANDRARATNA, Perth, Australia - The aftermath of CHOGM was somewhat a disappointment not only to organisers and participants but also to the community at large. AlthoughPerthwas to host a landmark meeting for ‘reform, renewal and resilience’, the outcome fell very short of these ideals. It is indeed a surprise that the organisers and the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), who were charged with the reform agenda, could not foresee the project was doomed to be a failure from the start. They seriously underestimated the needs and values of the 54 participant countries. These participants represented a range of developed and developing countries with diverse values based on their respective religious and cultural affiliations. Their main bond within the group was that they were part of the imperialisticBritish Empirein the past, which indeed is not a very fond memory for many of the participants. A key recommendation of the EMG report, ‘A Commonwealth of People: Time for Urgent Reform’, was the establishment of an independent Human Rights Commission to intervene in human rights violations in the member countries. In the lead up to the meeting, Human Rights Groups, the media, in particular the National Broadcaster (ABC), conducted a successful human rights campaign, by focusing on Sri Lanka, calling for the expulsion of that country from the commonwealth for alleged war crimes, requesting the move of the next CHOGM venue from Sri Lanka and broadcasting baseless allegations using the ex-combatants of the LTTE as actors. Despite the orchestrated background, it was heartening to note that the majority of the CHOGM leaders stood by the persecuted leader, as they were fully aware of the ground realities inSri Lankaand rejected the EMG call for an Human Rights Commissioner (HRC). It is clear that the new HRC would be viewed by CHOGM not only as a move to duplicate the already established UN Human Right Commission, but also interfere in the sovereignty of the member states (LankaWeb : 01 November 2011).

Is fighting against Terrorism a violation of human rights ? - By Charles.S.Perera - Terrorism by itself had been against human existence. In ancient history they speak of the hordes of Genghis Khan spreading terror among the people, so were the Crusades, the Catholic Inquisitions were inhuman massacres of humans and destruction of cultures , the Islamic conquest of India was a carnage, to mention a few. They burnt cities , massacred people and destroyed places of worship and study. These ancient marauders of human civilization valued more the treasures than human life. They were different in that some conquered countries , others terrorized people for treasure and valuables, yet others spread their religion destroying those of others. To-day it is for political power, and still in the name of a God, more for political power or world leadership with the least concern for human life. When you hear people like Hillary Clinton say to-day that all terrorism is not the same and that there are different types of terrorism one really does not understand whether she is of this planet or another . We are not at the beginning of the civilization. But the civilizations of the world had been destroyed in different ways by other civilizations, some barbaric and others semi barbaric. But what all of them did was basically the same, though the means were different. To-day terrorism has become the most destructive form of political “agitation” within a country, or introduced from outside into a country. One country’s terrorists may not be another country’s terrorists, but that would not make the terrorists of the other country good terrorists for those countries that are not affected by their terrorism. If that were to be the norm then no one will be able to eliminate terrorism. In defying that principle by countries not affected by the terrorists elsewhere, as is being done by Hillary Clinton the US Secretary of State , UK, France, Canada and Germany the question of Human Rights of which the West makes a big issue, becomes meaningless rhetoric (LankaWeb : 01 November 2011).

THE DEAD REFUGEE IS A SINHALESE - MEDIA RELEASE SRI LANKA SUPPORT GROUP, CANBERRA - We can say with absolute certainty that the dead detainee in the Vilawood Detention Centre is a Sinhalese and not a Tamil. His name is Dayarathne Jayasekera. This is a Sinhalese, Buddhist name. Mr Jayasekera was 26 years old. His body currently lies in a morgue in Sydney. Tamil Separatists in Australia are using his death to promote its ongoing fight for the division of Sri Lanka and create a separate state called Tamil Elam within Sri Lanka. They say Mr Jayasekera committed suicide by drinking poison, and it was because he was refused permission to attend a Hindu Cultural Festival (Diwali). During the CHOGM, the Tamil separatists and their allies used the death of Mr Jayasekera to apportion blame on Sri Lanka and the visiting Sri Lankan President. As usual, because the victim was ‘Tamil’, the Australian media gave much publicity to the news story. Some even advocated that, due to the incident, the current mandatory detention for all asylum seekers, cleared as genuine by Australian Immigration and waiting for the refugee visa to be issued, must be abolished. With Mr Jayasekera being a Sinhalese, there was no reason for him to attend the Hindu Cultural Festival, Diwali. The website, Refugee Action (http://refugeeaction.org.au/), continues to depict Mr Jayasekera as Tamil, this is an insult to a dead person. Tamil Separatist websites call the dead person ‘Shooty’, no one dares to disclose his real name (Dayarathne Jayasekera), then, they cannot capitalize on the dead person. It is disappointing that the Australian media has also refrained from publishing his name. Is it because the news will have less value if the dead man is Sinhalese? (LankaWeb : 01 November 2011).

Screening of "Lies Agreed Upon" at the U.S. Capital

I hope this message finds you well. I want to personally invite you to the screening of Lies Agreed Upon at the U.S. Capital on November 2nd that is hosted by the Co-Chairs of the Sri Lankan Caucus, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D. MD) and Congressman Robert Aderholt (R. AL). Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion to discuss redevelopment and reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka.

As you can imagine, it is imperative for us to inform the true story of Sri Lanka to the American public and this would be a ideal opportunity for that.

I look forward to seeing you at the Capital Visitor Center - Room HVC201 at 3PM, signifying your longstanding solidarity towards our motherland.

When: Wednesday, November 2nd 2011, 3PM – 5PM

Where: Capital Visitors’ Center, Room HVC 201

Sincerely

Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Ambassador

Hillary Clinton's meeting with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is breaching all the accepted diplomatic norms and tendencies in a civilised world

CHOGM drama unveils Kangaroos with terrorist links: Will Australia move to prosecute them? - The group of Commonwealth nations on Sunday collectively pledged to fight terrorism by preventing the use of their territories for terrorist acts. In a communiqué issued at the end of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, the 54-nation bloc committed to “unequivocally preventing the use of their territories for the support, incitement to violence or commission of terrorist acts”. They also agreed to work towards implementing the necessary legal framework for the suppression of terrorist financing, and preventing the raising and use of funds by terrorists, their front organisations, and transnational terrorist organisations. They also committed to “accelerate efforts to conclude negotiations on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism”. If this is the agreed view of the Commonwealth Heads of Nations, then one needs to ask what their stand is on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the LTTE, banned in several countries, but not in Australia and most CHOGM nations. The question also should be asked why CHOGM, as a group of nations concerned about terrorism have not moved to ban the LTTE, and whether the latest communiqué is just empty rhetoric. Further, the question has to be asked about Australia’s stand on “the necessary legal framework for the suppression of terrorist financing, and preventing the raising and use of funds by terrorists, their front organisations, and transnational terrorist organizations”? What is their stand on people and organizations that supported the LTTE, still do, and ipso facto, their methods? Or is Australia, or at least some Australians, willing to support the end, turning a blind eye to the means that the LTTE employed, and potentially, still planning to employ, to seek their ultimate objective of a separate State, and are these Australians supporting the establishment of a separate State in Sri Lanka? Is the killing of Heads of State, Tamil politicians who wanted peace, the wanton killing of more than 100,000 people, mostly innocent civilians, religious leaders (Buddhist Monks and Muslim Imams) supported by these Australians? These are questions on the minds of many Australians (Asian Tribune : 1 November 2011).

Minister Samarasinghe tells UN: ‘Do not consider TNA as sole rep of Tamil public’ - Chamikara WEERASINGHE - Sri Lanka’s Special Envoy on Human Rights, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has asked United Nations Under Secretary for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe and UN Secretary General’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar, not to consider the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as the sole representative of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Minister Samarasinghe who attended the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, told the Daily News that he made it known to Nambiar and Pascoe that TNA is not the only representative of the Tamil people. Samarasinghe said he told Nambiar and Pascoe that they should be careful in dealing with the TNA for there are other political parties that represent the voice of Tamil people whose ideas and political views are quite contrary to that of the TNA. The minister said he briefed Nambiar and Pascoe on the political situation in Sri Lanka and the progress of the government’s reconciliation process and North and East development during meetings held on the sidelines of the Third Committee meeting of the UN assembly. “I pointed out to them that there are Tamil political parties in the South where majority of Tamil people live, and they too want to discuss with the UN officials about their ideas and the UN will have to invite them too,” said Samarasinghe. ”I told them that in this case they will not have time for anything other than discussing Sri Lankan politics with the leaders of the Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka,” he said. ‘I pointed out to them the statistics of the 2010 general elections and showed them that in the Vanni district the TNA only polled 38.96 percent whereas the UPFA polled 35 percent of the votes. In the Trincomalee district , TNA could only get 23.81 percent of the votes, whereas the UPFA secured 42.78 percent, he said. Asked if he had met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on these occasions , he said he met Moon with Nambiar once and briefed them on the elections that were held in the country after the war, its de-mining success, resettlement of IDPs, rehabilitation of ex-combatants and also about the progress of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). (Daily News : 1 November 2011).

LTTE rump Meena Krishnamoorthy lied to ICJA and to the Australian people - By K.T.Rajasingham Colombo, 01 November, (Asiantribune.com): She has made baseless allegations, as people were 'massacred' in the final stages of the war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and she is presently the LTTE‘s coordinator of the Tamil Youth Organization (TYO) in Australia. She was recently interviewed by 'ABC’s 7.30 News Report' and she said that the reason why she came forward to tell her story was because, “I always believed in Justice.” Though she tried to cover her real identity and come up with the concocted story, it has become clearly evidenced that she has told lies and half truths and misled the International Commission of Jurists, Australia (ICJA) with her distorted version about Sri Lanka on the last days of the battle between Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam –LTTE the ruthless terrorist organization that was responsible for the protracted 30 year long bloody ethnic conflict and the security forces of Sri Lanka. Based on the lies nauseated by Meena Krishmamoorthy Mr. John Dowd, President of International Commission of Jurists, Australia (ICJA ) has prepared a report against Sri Lanka and handed over to the Australian Police chief to investigate and bring about charges against Sri Lanka President for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Even in an interview with ABC’s “7.30 Report” Mr. John Dowd has said "her story was credible". Now after the recent exposure about her, world is waiting for his response (Asian Tribune : 1 November 2011).

LLRC report almost finalized - by Rasika SOMARATHNA - The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into the causes of the conflict and its effect on people in order to further strengthen national unity and reconciliation, is set to finalize its report within the next few days. “The Commission is in the process of putting the final touches to the report. It would be ready by next week,” Media Coordinator for the LLRC, Lakshman Wickremasinghe said. According to Wickremasinghe, the final report would be ready well before its due date - November 15 and it would be handed over to the President on a date given by the President’s office. The report has been compiled based on the observations made by the Commission which includes both oral and written evidence presented by organizations, officials, public and others. According to Wickremasinghe, oral statements of over 1,000 people and written statements by more than 5,000 have been taken into consideration when compiling the report. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, appointed the LLRC to give effect to the aspirations of the citizens of Sri Lanka. The Commission was mandated to focus on the causes of conflict, its effect on the people, and promote national unity and reconciliation, so that all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of ethnicity or religion could live in dignity and a sense of freedom. The Commission was asked to identify mechanisms for restitution to the individuals whose lives have been significantly impacted by the conflict. The LLRC began sittings on August 11, 2010. Any person or organization was free to give evidence before the Commission. Sittings were open to members of the public, unless the witness requested to give evidence in camera. The Commission also visited areas outside of Colombo to facilitate the general public living in those areas to give evidence, including the North and the East (Daily News : 1 November 2011).

Rs 70 m Japanese grant for Northern demining - by Ridma DISSANAYAKE - The Japanese government has extended an additional grant of Rs. 70 million for demining in the North through Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony Sri Lanka (DASH),a Sri Lankan Mine Action NGO,to expedite the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka, said Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo. The agreement was signed between Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo and DASH Demining Programme Manager Ananda Chandrasiri at the Ambassador’s residence,yesterday. According to the Japanese ambassador, the Japanese government had provided Rs. 2,400 million for mine clearance activities in the North and the East since 2003 under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects,also known as GGP. “I believe that Japan’s support for demining activities would have accelerated the return and resettlement of International Displaced Persons,and facilitated the recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of returnees,” the Ambassador said. Through this project more than 2,000 people in Kilinochchi would be able to recommence their livelihoods and 115 vulnerable people in the area will be provided jobs, he said. In addition to the demining assistance, the Japanese government has extended its support in the North for projects, such as, improvement of facilities of Jaffna Teaching Hospital, construction work on the Vavuniya-Kilinochchi transmission line, urgent rehabilitation of resettled communities in the Jaffna and Mannar districts and other required assistance throughout Sri Lanka. Japan hopes this assistance would directly meet the needs of the people while improving their living conditions and contributing to sustainable peace and development in Sri Lanka. DASH Chairman Deepal Subasinghe, Advisor Steen Wetlesen, Japanese Embassy Economic Corporation’s Head Suguru Minoya, Second Secretary Kayo Imamura and GGP consultant Miwako Shiino also participated (Daily News ; 1 November 2011).

Viru Daru Diriya (VDD) donations to "War Heroes" exceed A$131,340 (Rs 12.67 million).

Viru Daru Diriya (VDD) Fund was established in Melbourne, Australia to help the children and families of the Sri Lankan armed forces. We strongly believe that helping the education of the children of those who have sacrificed to protect our motherland Sri Lanka is the prime duty of all Sri Lankans (see details)

Sponsoring over 500 Children of "War Heroes"

Please help this welfare organisation in Melbourne

Contact Viru Daru Diriya (click here)

http://www.virudarudiriya.com

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

Read more about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution)


News Archives

 

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

 

 

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

 

Contact us

 


What 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 ?


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

Read more about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in Sri Lanka

Read more about the 13th Amendment


Sangaree’s tiger tail came out of his sarong

Sangaree should understand that there are no Sinhalese and Tamil areas in Sri Lanka. Any Sri Lankan should have the right to live anywhere in Sri Lanka.

Now it is the time to repeal the racist "Thesawalami law"


Doctored Video in Channel 4

Click here for the unaltered video footage

(Sri Lanka Defense Ministry : 24 June 2011).


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


Sponsoring over 500 Children

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

http://www.virudarudiriya.com



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


WANTED by INTERPOL (Click here)


United Nation's "so-called war crime probe and report"


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


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


The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

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


International Crisis Group: Report on Sri Lanka


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 


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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...

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


Back to the top