Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Navy Elites destroy two LTTE boats- Pooneryn

The elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) sailors of Sri Lanka Navy attacked and destroyed two LTTE assault boats, appeared off Pooneryn Sea last night (Sept 29), Navy sources said.

According to the sources, SBS boats patrolling in area detected the two terror boats moving close to the coast from Pooneryn to Kalmunai point (K-point) around 11 PM. The SBS sailors launched a surprise attack at the terror boats and confirmed both boats were destroyed, the sources said.

The sources citing the SBS reports added that there were 8 LTTE cadres onboard and confirmed all were killed in the attack. A search operation has been launched in the area.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Security forces on the doorstep of Kokkavil - Mullaittivu front

Security forces personnel engaged in Wanni liberating operation in Mullaittivu front are on the eve of another significant victory against LTTE terrorists as the troops of 57 Division advancing into the Kokkavil general area this afternoon, 26 September.

According to the latest information received from the forefront, the troops of 57 Division are in close vicinity to the Kokkavil railway station complex.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"We will not let the Tamil community succumb to Tiger terrorism," says President

"The Government would not and cannot let an illegal and armed terrorist group, the LTTE, to hold a fraction of the population a part of the Tamil community, hostage to such terror in the Northern part of Sri Lanka and deny those people their democratic rights of dissent and free election", said the President during his address to the UN General Assembly, Wednesday (Sep 24).

The Government will only be ready to talk to the LTTE when it is ready to commit itself to decommissioning its illicit weapons and dismantling of its military capability, and return to the democratic fold, President Mahinda Rajapaksa further asserted, in his speech.
Following are excerpts of the speech delivered by H.E the President at the 63rd UN General Assembly on 24th September, 2008.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.
Picture by Sudath Silva

"The Government has also made it clear that the elected Government cannot and will not permit undermining of the territorial integrity of the sovereign UN Member State of Sri Lanka and the division of its territory. We are clear in this message," President Rajapaksa said.

Our Government has always been ready to address the causes of these issues and effectively implement political and constitutional solutions to meet the aspirations and rights of all communities, the President added.

"The complex situation in Sri Lanka needs to be addressed and resolved through an appropriate process of deterrent law and order action and patient political efforts of consensus building.

We have achieved the difficult but essential task of building democracy in the Eastern Province and are confident that it can be done in the North as well."

"What the Government would not, and could not do is to let an illegal and armed terrorist group, the LTTE, to hold a fraction of our population, a part of the Tamil community, hostage to such terror in the northern part of Sri Lanka and deny those people their democratic rights of dissent and free elections. Through our past actions, we have proved it.

"The Government has therefore declared its policy of engaging in dialogue and discussion with the democratic leadership of the Tamil community, a people who have lived in harmony with other Sri Lankans for centuries. Today, there are Tamil leaders holding responsible ministerial posts in my Government," he remarked.

The President stressed that all successive Governments have endeavoured to resolve the problem for over 25 years, including through Norwegian facilitation and international Co-Chairs overseeing a so-called peace process that was treated with contempt by the terrorists.

"On each occasion that talks were held seeking peace, the terrorists walked out on the flimsiest of excuses and reverted to terrorism of the worst kind, indiscriminately targeting innocent civilians.

"The Government's objective is to enable the people to enjoy the benefits of the democratic processes and to speed the development activities in those areas where there was a heavy presence of terrorists. This would be similar to the fast tracking of economic development taking place in the Eastern Province, where former terrorists now function as democratically elected Provincial Councillors, and a former child soldier conscripted by the LTTE is now the elected Chief Minister, having abandoned terrorism and embraced democracy. Significantly, the restoration of democracy in the East of Sri Lanka was achieved in less than one year of it being freed from the clutches of terror, the President noted.

"The Government has also sought and received the cooperation of the United Nations, ICRC and other agencies to help us in providing humanitarian assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other affected civilians.

"The Government of Sri Lanka continues this humanitarian policy even today although we know that the terrorists seize a good proportion of these humanitarian supplies.

"This is not all, the Government also purchases the paddy and other foodstuffs produced in those areas. I do not think there is any country in the world where there is a Government that provides such humanitarian assistance to terrorists that attack it.

Our Government considers the supply of humanitarian relief to its people as its prime responsibility."

Turning his attention to one of the prime topics of the General Assembly, the President said Sri Lanka will contribute to the goal of increasing food production, investing more in agriculture and research, and sharing technologies and best practices. Sri Lanka sees self-sufficiency as the answer to overcoming the food crisis and giving strength to nations.

"We also must find solutions to the energy crisis that are both equitable and pragmatic. Energy supplies must be diversified by developing advanced, cleaner, more efficient and cost-effective technologies, for both fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. We need to engage in energy conservation and accept the reality of dependence on fossil fuels for much longer."

He lamented that most Millennium Development Goals are behind schedule. "The slowing down of global economic growth, financial turmoil and speculation, rising food and fuel prices and the impacts of climate change are clear and present obstacles.

Also, based on their political role, sanctions imposed on the leaders, and the leadership of some countries following some protests, are in fact targeted at the innocent people of those countries." He called for determined and concerted actions to enable progress towards the realisation of the agreed development goals, including the MDGs.

The President also spoke of the need for UN reforms.
President first world leader to address UN in Tamil :

Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa created history yesterday (24) at the United Nations by addressing the General Assembly briefly in Tamil. This is the first time that any world leader has spoken to the world body in Tamil.

Last year, he became the first Sri Lankan leader to address the UN General Assembly in Sinhala. This year, he addressed the forum in both Sinhala and Tamil.

"While my mother tongue is Sinhala, let me elaborate a few thoughts in Tamil. Sinhala and Tamil are the two languages of the people of Sri Lanka. Both these have been used through the centuries, are rich in literature, and are widely used in my country, with recognition as Official Languages. We will march towards a richer freedom and lasting unity that await us as a nation," were the sentiments he expressed in Tamil.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All set to welcome Wanni civilians

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed officials to provide all facilities and essentials to civilians from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts entering cleared areas.

Prior to his departure from the island to attend the 63rd United Nations sessions in New York, President Rajapaksa directed the relevant officials to provide food, pharmaceuticals and other essentials to these two districts and to those arriving in Vavuniya.

President Rajapaksa also thanked the officials, for the provision of essentials to the people of the Mullaitivu district, nine months ago, when the INGO's on LTTE's orders had left the region.

On the advice of Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and in coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO), a programme has been already formulated to distribute around 4,700 MT of food items to the masses of the Kilinochchi and the Mullaitivu districts, with immediate effect.

WHO representative in Sri Lanka Mohamed Salhim, Essential Services Commissioner General S.B. Divarathna and Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa are in close consultation to dispatch a consignment of these food items to Vavuniya by trucks and to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.

They are also to meet the Wanni Army Commander next week in this regard.

Courtesy: Daily News

Friday, September 19, 2008

No room for food shortage in Wanni

Information and Media Minister and Cabinet spokesman Anura Priyadharshana Yapa yesterday guaranteed that the Government has not left any room to create a shortage of food stuffs and medicine to the civilians in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi areas.

The Government on the request made by the District Secretaries is continuing the supply of food items and medicine to the civilians in these two districts without any hindrance. As the Government mechanism is operating in these two districts, the Government is always committed to release sufficient food stocks to cater to the civilian needs, the Minister told the weekly Cabinet press briefing yesterday.

"We are happy to note that some political parties have also endorsed the Government's attempts made to release the required amount of foodstuffs to the civilians in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi areas."

Minister Yapa categorically denying certain foreign media reports on the 'harassment' caused to civilians in these two districts due to ongoing military operations said the troops are engaging in a humanitarian process to rescue the innocent people from the clutches of the LTTE. "As we have well disciplined Armed Forces with lot of military experience, they will not provide any room to cause any harm or inconvenience to the people due to their humanitarian operations."

As the Government we have made an open request to the civilians in the non-liberated areas to come to Government controlled areas. The Government is fully committed to provide them all amenities. Except defeating terrorism, the Government has no intention whatsoever to harass innocent civilians.

At present the Government has successfully completed resettlement activities in several liberated areas such as Muttur and Vakarai by obtaining the recognition of the international group of people. The Government will complete resettlement in several liberated areas once the UN give its assurance that the demining activities are fully completed in those areas.

Minister Yapa said the LTTE war strategies have faced a severe set back due to successful armed operations launched by our Armed Forces in the North. The LTTE's air attack on the Vavuniya Air Force base and several other attempts made to explode bombs in railway tracks and a bus were utter failures.

At present the LTTE makes various attempts to disrupt to the civilian life in the South. Therefore the people should be vigilant on the national security by extending their fullest support to the Security Forces to avert these terrorist activities.

In a situation where the Armed Forces are successfully moving forward, the LTTE is attempting to use blameless civilians as a human shield. They have no respect for the lives of the civilians. Anyone should not cast any doubt that Government has taken every possible measures to ensure the security of all civilians.

Our Armed Forces have enough capability and experience to fight with the LTTE. Government troops are only fighting to destroy the LTTE by safeguarding the lives of the civilians. This is the Government's position.

The Minister said as the Government is conducting its administrative service in the North, it has distributed foodstuff in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi with the assistance of state employees. Even the international community has endorsed these measures taken by the Government. The sole intention of the Government is to reinstate democracy in the North by creating an environment to the people to live in peace and harmony. That is why we introduce this task as a humanitarian mission.

Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyewardene said when Jaffna was liberated, nearly 400,000 people were displaced. However the Government could provide all the needy facilities to those civilians without the assistance of any NGO.

The LTTE is attempting to attack to nearly 135,000 civilians in Kilinochchi by using them as a human shield. That is way the Government has made an open appeal to civilians to come to Government controlled areas. Any SAARC country or European country has not made any pressure towards the move taken by the Government to curb terrorism, he added.

Courtesy : Daily News

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sea battle erupts off Nachchikudha; LTTE boat destroyed [Updated]

An LTTE boat was destroyed and another damaged in a sea battle erupted between Naval attack craft and LTTE in the coast of Valaipadu, off Nachchikudha, Thursday (Sep 18), at around 11 a.m.

Heavy fighting is reported in the area, defence sources said.

Latest reports reveal that, LTTE boats have received immediate orders to retreat from the confrontation as terrorists have sustained heavy damages in the duel. The LTTE boats were led by a senior sea tiger cadre identified as Kadar, military said citing intercepted LTTE communication. An LTTE boat has received damages and was observed towed after the initial interception, according to the sources.

According to ground troops at Nachchikudha, terrorists are receiving a heavy beating by the naval craft.

Initially 4 suspicious boats were detected off the Valaipadu coast North of Nachchikudha, and confrontation broke-out when the approaching naval craft were attacked by LTTE boats, defence sources said.

More information will follow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fierce gun battle in Akkarayankulam, 18 terrorists killed, many injured [Updated]

According to the latest information received from the battlefront, hours-long gun battle ensued between security forces and LTTE terrorists from this morning, 15 September, in general area east of Akkarayankulam tank killing 18 terrorists and injuring many others.

LTTE terrorists are constructing an earth barrier along the Akkarayankulam tank - Terumurikandi road (East of Akkarayankulam) to delay the security forces' movement towards Kilinochchi. Despite the heavy resistance given by the terrorists, troops have dominated a land stretch along the Akkarayankulam - Terumurikandi road where the earth barrier not exist.

LTTE terrorists are making desperate attempt to secure their defences in the area by reinforcing more LTTE cadres from Jaffna and Kilinochchi areas, defence sources in the battlefront said. Few LTTE teams being reinforced also suffered maximum damages due to heavy firepower launched by the security forces, troops confirmed by intercepting terror transmission.

Three security forces personnel made their utmost sacrifices for defending the motherland while 9 others suffered injuries, defence sources said.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Govt mechanism in place in Kilinochchi and Mullaittiuvu - Secretary Defence

The withdrawal of foreign aid workers and Non Governmental Organisations from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, the last of the LTTE territory, would not hinder humanitarian activities as a well organised government mechanism is operating in these areas through government agents, their staff and other state officials, Defence Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the Sunday Observer. He said the government took this firm decision to avoid unfortunate incidents.

"The INGOs and NGOs were mainly involved in development projects in uncleared areas but under the prevailing situation they cannot carry out any development projects there. The other reason is that we cannot guarantee the safety of their lives as the military offensive has been intensified", he said.

The Defence Secretary said that these workers were given deadlines to reach government controlled areas but if they continue to remain defying instructions, the government could not take responsibility for their safety in future.

He said that the government is particularly keen about the safety of the UN staff and as the offensive is getting stronger, the government has instructed the UN to set up their offices in Vavuniya". The UN is engaged in humanitarian relief activities. They are allowed to operate from Vavuniya and hand over the relief to GAs", he said.

The Defence Secretary said that the government would follow the normal procedure as the government mechanism is fully active in the Wanni providing humanitarian assistance.

He said the government had successfully handled and resettled 170,000 IDPs after the liberation of the East and a similar number of displaced people is expected once the security forces liberate Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. "We have already taken steps to provide facilities to them"he said.

The Defence Secretary also said that the IDPs' problems in the East had been well addressed within a short period of time.

Explaining how the government looked after the highest number of IDPs in the country in 1996 during 'Operation Riviresa' where over 400,000 IDPs fled to government controlled areas, he said the government has wide experience in providing facilities for the exodus of people fleeing non-liberated areas and it was proven with the successful resettlement in Mavil Aru, Vakarai, Sampur and Thoppigala, where civilians were being used as human shields by the LTTE prior to the Eastern liberation.

Courtesy: Sunday Observer

Hindus in Paris defy LTTE orders- France

Hindu devotees in their hundreds participated in the Ganesha pooja at the Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam Hindu temple in Paris and broke thousands of coconuts as a part of ritual defying the orders issued by the Tamil Tigers 'not to waste money to break coconuts when the people in the north and east are displaced',according to news reports received.

The LTTE had pasted posters in Tamil dominated La Chappelle area in Paris urging Hindu population to boycott the coconut pooja, which is an integral part of the Ganesha pooja that is being currently held at the Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam Temple at No 72, rue Philippe de Girard i Paris 18 and contribute funds to the Tamil Refugee Organization (TRO).

The TRO (ORT France) is under investigation currently as the documents seized from 17 arrested LTTE cadres in France have revealed the close links between the LTTE and ORT France. The Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris urged the European Union to ban the TRO as it is a front organization of the LTTE.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Troops success in Vavuniya; even Black Tigers ran for their lives - soldiers

Sri Lankan security Forces once again displayed their professionalism and combat effectiveness in counter terrorist warfare yesterday (Sept 9) when they crushed the combined ground and air attack carried out by the LTTE in Vavuniya.

A group of "Black Tigers" or the members of the terror band for brainwashed suicide cadres launched a predawn attack at the airbase Vavuniya with the support of heavy artillery and aerial bombardment. However, they miserably failed even to get a glimpse of their target when they met with Army elites on the way. According to the reports, the aim of the terrorists was to destroy the vital air force assets including the air defence radar located in the airbase.

The terrorists' barrages of 130mm artillery could not prevent the army counter offensive and the whole mission became a flash in a pan as troops hunted down all the "Black Tigers" outside the perimeters of the Wanni Security Forces' complex. According to the soldiers who took part in the battle, the so called "Black Tigers" had quickly taken on to their heels in all directions when Army Special Forces soldiers had started their hunt. Reports indicate about 70 artillery rounds had been fired by the terrorist to prevent army soldiers countering the ground assault.

During the attack 13 soldiers laid down their lives and 18 others sustained injuries. Also, one Police constable was killed, 8 Police personnel and 5 Air Force personnel were injured.

Troops found 11 bodies of LTTE cadres along with weapons. Among the weapons seized, there were 1 Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG), 2 Rocket Propeller Grenade launchers (RPG) with 4 bombs, 1 grenade launcher (40mm), 6 T-56 riffles, 27 hand grenades, 4 radio communication sets, 3 suicide jackets, 14 jackets, 32 pistol rounds, 1 GPS and other accessories of weapons and bombs. Among the slain terrorists there were 6 males and 5 females, clad in Army uniforms.

Defence observers are in the view that the terrorists had planed the attack to revive the sagging morale of the fighting cadres and to convince the Tamil Diaspora that its fighting capacity was intact despite the increasing battlefield losses. Also, they contended that the incident would be a harrowing defeat for those terror fund raisers overseas. Those who fight war in the internet and fund LTTE to send more Sri Lankan Tamil children to death would certainly be disappointed, they stated.

Meanwhile, battlefield reports received from Northern battlefront indicate 23 deaths and 28 casualties to LTTE in yesterday's clashes. Also, 2 soldiers were killed and 13 others sustained injuries during the day's incidents.

On the Kilinochchi South front, terrorists made two abortive attempts to break the Army forward defence in the Panailandamadu area around 8.15 PM. Troops of Task Force 1 repulsed the attack successfully and beat off the terrorists. Later, intercepted terror radio transmission revealed that 6 terrorists were killed and 12 others injured during the clash. Two soldiers were killed in action and 9 others sustained wounds.

In the general area North of Rumulamunai, troops attacked a terror bunker around 11 AM and claimed 2 terrorists were killed and 2 others wounded. In a similar attack carried out in the Vannerikkulama area around 6.20 AM troops claimed 2 terrorists were killed and 3 others wounded. Meanwhile, snipers deployed in the Kariyalaimoddai area reported shooting down of 3 LTTE cadres during afternoon hours.

Troops of 57 division operating in the West of Mullaittivu front, attacked two LTTE bunkers located in the Akkarayankulama area around 1.30 PM. Intercepted terror radio transmission revealed 2 terrorists killed and one wounded.

In the general area East Anichiyankulam, a soldier suffered injuries due to an IED (improvised explosive device) last afternoon.

On the North of Vavuniya front, troops of Task Force 2 attacked and capture a terror overhead bunker located in the Palamoddai area around 1PM. Intercepted terror transmission confirmed one terrorist killed and 3 others wounded. Meanwhile, snipers deployed in Palamoddai confirmed shooting down of 2 terrorists during morning hours. Elsewhere, a soldier suffered injuries in an AP (anti personnel) mine explosion around 4 PM.

In the general area North of Navatkulama, troops of 56 division carried out two separate attacks at terror bunkers during morning hours and claimed one terrorist was killed and 2 others wounded.

On the East of Mullaittivu front, troops of 59 division attacked and captured a terror trench defence located in the Ulathuvely area around 1.30 PM. Troops found one terror body during subsequent search. Later in the evening, troops attacked and captured 4 terror bunkers and 5 trenches located in the same area.

In the general area Andankulama, troops confronted the terrorists at several occasions and claimed 3 terrorists were killed, 5 others wounded and 4 more were either killed or wounded. Also one soldier sustained injuries

Meanwhile, troops engaged in mine clearing operations in the area removed 85 AP mines and disposed 6 IEDs.

In the Jaffna theatre troops continued to attack terror locations in the Muhamalai and Ponnar areas. However, exact terror casualties in these incidents were not available. One soldier suffered injuries in an AP mine explosion in the Ponnar around 9 AM.

Counter terror offensives are being continued.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Air Force destroys LTTE aircraft - Mullaittiuvu [Updated]

Sri Lanka Air Force has shot down one of the aircraft belonged to LTTE terrorists this morning (Sept 9).

Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to defence.lk said, the aircraft has been shot down in the Mualaithiuvu skies while running away following a failed mission.

He said Air Defence Radars have picked up two LTTE light aircraft while they were approaching to the Vavuniya area around 4 AM. Then the fighter jets launched from Katunayake airbase, have intercepted the terror aircraft and destroyed one of them, he added.

Speaking further he said , the aim of LTTE in this air mission was to target the Vavuniya airbase. However, the terrorists have failed to deliver their bombs on the target , he added.

Meanwhile, Military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the terrorists have launched coordinated artillery attack at the Forward Defence of Vavuniya to support the attempted aerial mission. Troops have retaliated with heavy artillery and brought the situation under control, he added.

LTTE believed to have suffered heavy losses when Air Force carried out spoiling attacks at LTTE reserves in Kilinochchi during last couple of days. In a series of air raids, Air Force targeted number of terror marshalling points causing a severe damage to the enemy fighting capability.

More information will follow...

Bomb Explosion in Pettha

Six people wondered from minor explosion in Gaspaha junction in Pettha.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Troops enter Murikandi; 4 LTTE bodies found after confrontation

Troops of Army 57 division entered into the Murikandi general area located 4 km South of Akkarayankulama tank on the Southern Western Mullaittiuvu this evening (Sept 4).

According to the defence sources in the battlefront, troops have dislodged terror defences in the area and found 4 bodies of LTTE cadres along with 3 T-56 weapons and other military equipment during search operations.

UN urges LTTE to release stranded civilians

The United Nation's Resident representative in Sri Lanka requested that all civilians who want to move out of the non-liberated areas in the North should be allowed to move out without any hindrance.

"Any displaced person is entitled to freedom of movement according to international principles; they can move where and when they want, in search of safety and assistance," Neil Buhne, the UN Resident representative said in a public statement.

The statement followed after a Ministry of Defense statement that said Monday that it had taken swift measures to establish a humanitarian corridor so that civilians trapped in the area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) can escape to safe ground.

Earlier there had been allegations by the Amnesty International and other Tamil leaders that the LTTE had driven civilians to the war prone areas in the North so that they could be used as a human shield.

The United Nations office said, The UN has been providing supplies to the displaced in the Wanni, accessible only through the Omanthai Entry/Exit point, 50km south of Kilinochchi. Buhne said supplies were reaching the displaced despite the access difficulties, but he warned that the situation was very precarious.

"We continue to have access to the bulk of the IDPs, but the situation is very fluid," Buhne said. "It is difficult for us to supply them when they are on the move."

Government officials in Kilinochchi also warned that distribution of supplies into the Wanni could be easily blocked. "There is only one road [with access to government-controlled areas], the A9 and one access point," the government agent in Kilinochchi, Nagalingam Vedanayagam, told a relief related website. "If that route closes [due to fighting], the Wanni is cut off."

The Sri Lankan government last week appealed to civilians and IDPs remaining in the Wanni to move south and reach government-controlled areas through the Omanthai gate.

"We want the civilians to come to Vavuniya [south of Vanni]; we have established all facilities in Vavuniya," Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told reporters at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo on 28 August.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights said the government was increasing facilities available in Vavuniya to assist the IDPs.

"The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to further develop Vavuniya as a storage and logistic hub for humanitarian assistance including food and non-food items," the Ministry said in a statement on 1 September. "The ongoing efforts of the Government in this connection are complemented by international partners who have also commenced stockpiling food and humanitarian supplies."

Nonetheless, no significant movement of people southwards from Kilinochchi has occurred, according to military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara. "So far we have not seen a big increase," he said, "maybe it will happen in the coming days."

The UN office however said they would attempt to deliver relief supplies wherever the IDP's are.

A Tragedy waiting to happen

The recent report of a claymore explosion that damaged a car belonging to an NGO working in the Vanni, and injured its driver, should focus our attention on the background to a factor used to criticize the Sri Lankan government forcefully over the last couple of years. I refer to the sufferings of aid workers in Sri Lanka, the most publicized case being that of the 17 ACF staff killed in Muttur in August 2006.

I believe the latest incident should be seen in that light, and the use made of those tragic deaths. These need to be investigated, and the perpetrators identified, and appropriate judicial action taken. That has never been in question. But, equally, it is necessary to investigate fully the circumstances in which those helpless individuals were placed in danger, and not withdrawn when common sense, let alone UN regulations about the need to be particularly careful about local staff, demanded that they be evacuated, at least to the shelters to which all responsible functionaries were urging them to move.

I am the more concerned now about what happened then, because I can see the current situation developing into one in which again brickbats may be flung against the Sri Lankan government. As we know, several NGOs, most of them international ones, are functioning in the Wanni, along with UN agencies. Most of them work primarily through local staff, whom they acknowledge are under tremendous pressure from the LTTE. This is one reason why they want more foreign staff there, though as it turns out such staff seem even more ineffective in dealing with the LTTE. Thus, while it was argued that the takeover of NPA vehicles was due to the absence of foreign staff, it turned out that foreign staff had been present, and had signally failed to inform anyone in authority, until the cat was out of the bag anyway, that the vehicles, 38 of them, had been taken over.

My anger about all this springs in part from what happened in Muttur. It seems to me clear that in that case the foreigners who should have made the decisions and taken proper care of their local staff, simply abdicated their responsibility. The motive for this is not however clear. It could be argued that they simply gave in to pressure from the more demanding of their local staff, it could be that they listened too credulously to the LTTE. Indeed, it is possible that there is no great distinction between these two possibilities, given the pressures on local staff from the LTTE. Certainly the tell-tale note in the UTHR report, that on the Wednesday the LTTE told the ACF staff that they could no longer guarantee their safety, suggests some sort of earlier understanding, based on the initial assumption that the conquest of Muttur would be a cakewalk.

What if something similar happens in the Wanni? Given that the LTTE, aided and abetted by hangers on such as General Henricsson and those ACF officials who allowed him to sing his song at a commemoration in Paris, has made such effective propaganda use of the tragedy, they are perfectly capable of hoping for something similar to happen now in the Wanni. After all, remembering the initial hype about the murder of Mr Maheswaran, before it was known that his assassin had been apprehended, one realizes that they are quite capable of killing with the aim of alleging that the government did it.

Hence my concern about what happened on Friday night near Omanthai, and what this might spell out for the future. The facts indeed speak for themselves. Three NGO vehicles got to Omanthai in broad daylight, and were then kept for three hours at the LTTE checkpoint beyond that. Incidentally, one does not hear wails about the grotesque inconvenience to which the LTTE subjects all those, and more particularly Sri Lankans, at such checkpoints, but let that pass for the moment. The main point is that the three NGO vehicles therefore had to proceed in the dark, and then, very soon after they left the checkpoint, the one in the middle was caught up in a claymore blast. It was not hit direct, but the driver, the only person in the car, was slightly injured.

The vehicles proceed at high speed to Kilinochchi, where the driver went to the hospital. A chorus of INGO bigwigs made sure the car was all right, and also checked on the driver. They do not seem to have informed the Sri Lankan authorities at the time, or with any sense of urgency on the next day. Thus there was no report of the incident in the Sunday papers.

Given the manner in which all claymore attacks are attributed to what are termed Deep Penetration Units of the Sri Lankan forces, it will doubtless soon be gospel that this is yet another example of the manner in which the government is responsible for putting aid workers in danger. Indeed one newspaper has already confidently blamed a DPU, blindly repeating perhaps what they have been told. No one however will bother to wonder why any DPU, assuming such exist in the magnitude ascribed to them, should function so near to the Omanthai checkpoint. No one will wonder why, given the skill ascribed to them - and knowing that the LTTE would crow if there were instances of attacks which failed to take what was targeted - they should have simply made a wave that did so little damage that all three cars in the convoy were able to speed on to Kilinochchi. Significantly, they were able to speed on without anyone stopping them, which suggest that the LTTE realized what had happened and decided not to activate any road blocks to delay them.

It seems to me unlikely then that the attack could have been perpetrated by anyone other than the LTTE, which had so sedulously, and unusually it seems, kept the vehicles for three hours at the checkpoint, time enough to arrange for an ambush. It would be nice to think that the ineffective nature of the attack was deliberate, an unusual kindliness on the part of the LTTE to save lives. It could have been due to incompetence but, given the skill of the LTTE with this type of weaponry, in for instance their period of great provocation shortly after the Presidential election, we can perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt this time round.

At the same time we need also to consider, given this kindliness, whether there were not some sorts of connivance on the part of the NGOs concerned. It is interesting that the middle car, which was the one damaged, had just one occupant, a locally engaged driver. The truck in front belonged to Solidar, of NPA fame. Though on balance I would say the only fault were the - to my mind culpable - one of wasting fuel, taking three vehicles in convoy with one of them almost empty, that in itself seems bad enough, when what these NGOs should be doing now is trying to get vehicles out, not stockpiling them in Kilinochchi. We should not be surprised if these vehicles are now used for the great exodus that has doubtless been planned, the LTTE hierarchy, obligingly driven by NGO local staff, proceeding in cars whilst the poor suffering people hobble along behind.

Even if all this has not been planned in advance, clearly the presence of so much equipment, and so many aid workers, is a godsend to the LTTE. They can take risks with them knowing that, if any harm comes to them, this can be used as propaganda. Indeed, they may decide soon enough that kindliness will not pay, and another incident like the one that was precipitated in Muttur will not go amiss. One can only hope that the international NGOs, which are still trying to issue statements to prove their neutrality, neutrality between the government whom they are supposed to assist and a bunch of ruthless terrorists, will realize how readily they lend themselves to being used, and their poor dependent workers to being targeted as part of yet another soul-stirring strategy.

By Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha
Secretary-General Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process

Wanni liberation in progress despite heavy terror resistance

Following heavy clashes that lasted for two days since Monday (Sept 1) in Akkarayankulama and Nachchikudha areas on the southern Kilinochchi warfront, troops of Army 57 division and Task Force 1 have been able to dominate several locations of the 18 Km long terror defence. LTTE terrorist s gave their fullest effort to halt soldiers' advance but aborted their mission after suffering heavy losses to the life and the material . At present, troops are consolidating their positions.

According to the defence sources, the terror defence in the South of Kilinochchi is consisting of an earth bund running Zigzag from Nachchikudha to Akkarayankulama along with many military trenches, bunkers and strong points.

On Tuesday (Sept 2) morning, snipers deployed in the Akkarayankulama area reported shooting of two terrorists.

Also, Troops of Task Force 1 attacked an LTTE bunker located in the Vannerikulama area around 12 noon and claimed 7 terrorists killed. Two soldiers suffered injuries during this incident.

Meanwhile on the Vavuniya front, troops of Task Force 2 had series of clashes in the Palamodai area during daytime yesterday and claimed having killed 7 terrorists and wounded 4 others. Troops also found a telescope and a Radio communication set of LTTE during subsequent searches.

Army 56 division troops operating on the same front attacked an LTTE bunker located in the Navatkulama area last evening. Troops confirmed one terrorist was killed in this incident.

Meanwhile on the Mullaittiuvu Eastern front, troops of Army 59 division had daylong clashes with the terrorist in the Andankulama area. Troops confirmed 3 terrorists were killed, 2 others wounded and 4 more were either killed or wounded due to the clashes. One solder went missing in action and 2 others suffered injuries. Troops also found a terror bunker and 5 military trenches abandoned by the terrorists.

Troops removes 14 AP (anti personnel) mines from the Andankulama area during the day's operations.

In the Jaffna theatre of battle, snipers deployed in the Nagarkovil and Muhamalai areas claimed one terrorist was shot down during morning hours.

Counter terror operations are being continued.

Annual service of the St. Anthony's Church Kirimale held successfully

The officers and other rankers of the 10th Battalion of Vijayabahu Regiment under the supervision of the Brigade Commander of the 515 Brigade and guidance of security forces commander, Jaffna Major General G.A. Chandrasiri RWP, USP, NDC, psc cleared the S. Anthony's church Kirimale which was formally not used for religious observances.

The Annual service of the S. Anthony's church Kirimale was successfully held on the 10th of August 2008 with around 1000 devotees. 10 priests and 4 sisters also attend the event while the main service was conducted by father M.M.H Gnanendaran.

The Christian devotees and priests thanked the army for cleaning the church, providing water facilities resting facilities and transport facilities by giving army buses and making it possible to hold the annual service after 14 years.

Courtesy: MCNS

Lecture on '16th century warfare' held at MOD

A lecture on the '16th century warfare' with special emphasis to the Sri Lanka context was held at the MOD premises, Wednesday (Sep 3).

Dr. K.D.G Wimalarathne , the former Director General of the Sri Lankan archives conducted the session, which was attended by the Tri-services' personnel and the staff members of the Ministry of Defence.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

19 LTTE terrorists killed, 23 wounded at Palamoddai- Vavuniya

At least 19 LTTE terrorists were killed and 23 others reported wounded following intense fighting erupted between troops and LTTE, North of Palamodai general area, at the Vavuniya- Mullaittiuvu battlefront from 10a.m., till 1.30p.m., Tuesday (Sep 2).

Troops of the Task Force -2, continued steady advances into LTTE forward defence positions despite stiff resistance and have reportedly uncovered an i-com set left by LTTE, military sources said.

In addition to the LTTE fatalities, a soldier has laid his life and another wounded in the confrontations, sources further said.

LTTE Asian propaganda channel terminated

The Hong Kong based management office of Asia Sat Telecommunication Company has informed the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing that they have terminated the transmission of Tamil Cultural Programme TV Channel through their Asia SAT 3S Satellite.

The Tamil Cultural Programme TV Channel beamed toward Asia, Middle East and some of the Central European countries broadcast LTTE propaganda programs in Tamil language.

The Government of Sri Lanka took up the broadcasting of TCP program with the Asia Sat Management Office in Hong Kong and requested them to terminate the facility. The Government pointed out that the LTTE is a terrorist organization outlawed by a number of countries and transmission of the propaganda material of this organization would harm the good image of AsiaSat management as well as the Governments of Hong Kong SAR and China.

Courtesy : Daily News

Monday, September 1, 2008

Surge in civilian unrest against LTTE: Tigers resort to 'Humanitarian Catastrophe'

A surge of civilian unrest against LTTE is imminent informed sources at Wanni said citing separate incidents reported from the non-liberated Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts recently. The news comes in the midst of a probable fall of the LTTE dictatorship in the Northern and Wanni region following the continuation of humanitarian operations by the armed forces.

The situation at Wanni has already reached its 'critical mass' and the LTTE leadership is shaken by the surge of anti-LTTE sentiments among the Tamil community. The news of the military victories against LTTE in the battle fronts has been reaching the domestic households in Wanni and North despite desperate efforts by the LTTE to restrict flow of information in the region. The LTTE leadership has blamed the NGO and INGO activists in the area and also sent dire warnings to the GA's for not doing enough to convince the outer world through propaganda of 'hardships caused to civilians due the military operations'.

The modus operandi of the LTTE in no revelation of its setbacks to the world, though some under the tiger payroll in Colombo are making loud claims on 'Humanity' and 'rights' following the scripts written by their terror masters. With the necessity not to reveal the identity of the sources for their own safety from terror, defence.lk makes a revelation of the dark world under LTTE tyranny and the new breed of 'freedom seekers' challenging the tigers in its own den.

Attacks at LTTE outposts in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu by unidentified gunmen have caused relentless fear in the tiger inner circles who despite suspecting military infiltrations are now bamboozled with a new form of shadow fighters within. Leaflets were also been distributed among several coastal localities in Kilinochchi a fortnight ago requesting civilians to stand against LTTE, who are now relying on subtle tactics of using civilians as human shields to reverse a sudden military assault on the tiger heartland.

Several LTTE foot patrols have also come under sudden small arms attacks according to information received, while few other tractors transporting LTTE were reported damaged following similar attacks in the district of Kilinochchi causing over a dozen of LTTE fatalities. These shadow fighters might be those who were forced to fight against the security forces and later rebelled against the outfit, demoralized due to the lack of commitment from its leadership in Wanni, defence officials state.
Civilians stand against LTTE:

LTTE terrorists who went to hand over the body of a youth cadre were assaulted by the relatives and neighbours at Seelan-kudiyirippu, a fishing locality in Mullaittivu recently, reliable sources said. The terrorists were chased away by the civilians with clubs and stones, who cursed the LTTE for preying on their young despite safe havens for the leaderships' children.

Similar attacks on LTTE operatives nominated to attend funerals were reported from several other locations in the Mullaittivu district itself. Our sources said that much more is expected to come as the once portrayed 'invincible' outfit is running out of fire power to resist the intensifying military onslaughts and the increasing civilian revulsion.

People are no longer ready to endure LTTE cruelty as they have identified this as a movement of 'revival or never' against the LTTE tyranny, the sources said.

Earlier, our informed sources revealed that the LTTE has commenced armed training for both children and elderly in Wanni, so as to use them as cannon fodder of the outfit to drag multiple criticisms against any form of retaliation by the military. This strategy is well noticed as the terrorists have fled its most important administrative townships at Thunukkai, Uyilankulama and Mulankavil with a large numbers of civilians along with its artillery batteries source said.

People have also assaulted 2 LTTE terrorists and damaged an office building of the outfit at Kattadi-vayar area in Mullaittivu, after the terrorists arrived at the village to handover bodies of two child conscripts killed in confrontation with security forces. People have also refused accepting the LTTE funeral honours and one mother who has openly criticized the LTTE was beaten by its operatives in the presence of a large gathering our sources reveal. Her son was forcibly abducted by LTTE and reportedly killed during fighting in the Wanni battlefront.
LTTE death squads to hunt:

Meanwhile, the LTTE has sent death squads to kill those who defy their orders irrespective of the young and elderly inWanni. A furious youth who resisted forced LTTE conscription following his abduction from home, has reportedly assaulted his abductors and consumed poison fearing reprisal from the outfit.

According to latest information, LTTE has also sent down small groups of terrorists to cut-off the Kokavil- Thunukkai road, restricting the exodus of IDPs into liberated areas. The tiger leadership has given clear instructions to eliminate any individual or group who are defying their orders and reaching government controlled areas, informed sources said.

The terrorist outfit has also established a torture centre at Ternakandal area, Kilinochchi with a dozen of torture cells and underground bunkers to imprison and confine those captured while fleeing the non-liberated region. The captured people will be used as forced labour in the construction of bunkers and trenches and some others will be used as human shields along the routes frequented by its leadership it is learnt.

It is no surprise that the LTTE is engineering a humanitarian catastrophe and time has come for all responsible to urge and pressurise the outfit to make immediate arrangements for the safe access of these people into the liberated zones. This is what they did in the fall of Madhu, and this is the only 'know-how' approach of the organisation (LTTE), defence observers state.