Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Traffic restrictions for SAARC

The Police Headquarters announced yesterday that traffic along the Galle Road from the Old Parliament roundabout to Kollupitiya junction and upto BMICH along Bauddhaloka Mawatha will be restricted today (Jul 30) from 9.45 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m. today due to SAARC security arrangements.

Motorists using this route are advised to follow alternative routes to enter the Colombo city.

Vehicles plying along the Galle road, Horana Road and High Level road can reach Colombo city via Borella junction using the Baseline Road from Kirulapona to the Kanatta roundabout and then proceed to Borella junction.

Vehicles leaving Colombo also can use the Baseline Road from the Kanatta roundabout to Kirulapona to reach Galle Road, Horana Road and High Level Road.

Courtesy: Daily News

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Terrorism, food security, energy top agenda

The 15th SAARC Summit which got off the ground in Colombo yesterday is set to adopt a series of measures with the main focus on a joint approach to combating terrorism, maximising energy and water resources, food security, poverty alleviation in addition to several other key issues concerning the region.

Addl.Secretary to the Foreign Ministry cum Media spokesman for SAARC Prasad Kariyawasam addressing the media after the first day's deliberations said that the intention of the programming committee meeting which is set to continue today as well was to prepare the groundwork for the upcoming Foreign Ministers and Heads of State meetings.

Kariyawasam added that the programming committee would mainly focus on the twin issues of evaluating progress made since the last summit and introducing new vistas accordingly and preparation of the SAARC Declaration.

The SAARC Declaration which would focus on the above mentioned issues in addition to several other key issues concerning the region is to be agreed and adopted by the leaders at the end of the Summit after careful deliberation.

Also according to Kariyawasam deliberations would focus on meaningful ways to uphold this year's SAARC theme "Partnership for Our People". Thus SAARC would deliberate regarding practical and meaningful ways to propel the vision of growth for our people through partnership, Kariyawasam said.

Kariyawasam said that the leaders had realized that SAARC had to evolve into a more people centered organisation and thus this year's theme was a progression from last year's theme of connectivity.

He further noted that in comparison to other such regional gatherings SAARC's progress in a relatively shorter span was very encouraging and said it was on the threshold of greater prosperity on both economic and social fronts through enhanced co-operation.

Also during its 15th Summit SAARC is set to adopt four agreements such as SAARC Development Fund, South Asian Standards Co-ordination, South Asian Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters and Protocol of Afghanistan's accession to SAFTA.

In addition the economic, social and technical cooperation among the countries of South Asia is to be considered as a factor, which would contribute significantly to national and collective self-reliance.;

In addition several key issues pertaining to the progress of members and the region are slated for deliberation and discussion which could open up new vistas in regional cooperation.

A noteworthy aspect of the last Summit held in India was the 30 point declaration made by the Heads of States which covered areas of crucial importance to the SAARC membership. Some of the important areas of the declaration have a bearing on key connective instruments of SAARC.

This is inevitable since there has to be back up organs not only to formulate particular policies based on the decisions taken by the leaders but also to implement such policy.

Thus the 15th SAARC summit is expected to carry progress from that point onwards - in other words the implementation of the different proposals is what is most relevant and practical to SAARC.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) comprising eight countries of South Asia, i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka first came to be according to an idea mooted in May 1980 by then Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman.

The Foreign Secretaries of seven countries in South Asia met for the first time in Colombo in April 1981 and identified five broad areas for regional cooperation.

Next After a series of meetings the Foreign Ministers met in New Delhi in 1983 where they adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC).

During the next two years South Asian nations committed themselves to form this South Asian alliance and the process culminated in the First SAARC Summit held on 7-8 December in 1985 in Dhaka where the Heads of State or Government of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka adopted the Charter formally establishing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Moreover, the cooperation of the SAARC is also based on broader principles of respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in internal affairs of the Member States and on mutual benefit. The highest authority of the Association rests with the Heads of State or Government.

The SAARC Charter provides that the Heads of State or Government shall meet once a year or more often as and when considered necessary by the Member States. The country which hosts the summit holds the Chair of the Association. Thus Sri Lanka will hold the Chair for the next year.

Courtesy: Daily News

Norwegian NGO used by LTTE, also delivered arms to an insurgency in Sudan

Norwegian People's Aid - One of Norway's biggest non-government organizations which is alleged used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for its terrorist activities is also learnt was accused of secretly smuggling in weapons for at least another insurgency in Sudan in the past, according to Ministry of Defence sources.

Several political parties in Sri Lanka, in the past, have accused the Norwegian government of using its aid outlets like Red Barna, to aid the LTTE. The Norway government has been accused of training covertly the LTTE frogmen in underwater warfare at secret locations in Thailand in the past.

This is in addition to the powerful broadcasting and military communication station the Norwegians more overtly granted the LTTE, through the clearance of the 2002-2004 government. The Norwegians working in the ceasefire-monitoring mission were alleged openly engaged in pro-LTTE activities during the Mavil Aru crisis(2006).

The website of the NGO which is currently controversial declares:

"Norwegian People's Aid is a voluntary humanitarian organization, which has deep roots in the labor movement struggle for political freedom, social and economic freedom, equal rights and cultural growth. It is a value-based organization, which stands up for the oppressed and poor. The premise of NPA's undertakings is based on five values: Unity, Solidarity, Human dignity, Peace and Freedom."

According to other reports it was established in 1939 and the Norwegian intelligence services are suspected to be involved in the NGO to aid foreign insurgencies in the past.

"The Norwegian People's Aid, earlier has been accused of smuggling in with its humanitarian aid arms, ammunition and landmines for a Sudanese insurgent group by air - a group accused of some of the worst human rights violations like the LTTE despite the group's de-mining activities elsewhere.

"The European Sudanese Public Affairs Council charged the aid agency of supplying arms and ammunition to the insurgent group Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) :

"Norwegian People's Aid had became involved in Sudan in 1986, and almost immediately began providing support to the SPLA, and its 'humanitarian' wing, the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association. There had always been speculation as to whether Norwegian People's Aid was involved in the supply of war material to the southern rebels, and this documentary confirmed that NPA had for several years organised an air-bridge for the supply of weapons to battle zones within Sudan under the supervision of its Nairobi office. One of the NPA pilots involved in the gun running, Svein Kristiansen, stated, that his plane had landed at SPLA bases with some 2.5 tons of weapons.

It was stated that between 80-100 tons of arms were carried to the Nuba mountains and elsewhere in NPA-controlled airplanes supposedly carrying humanitarian assistance.

Another Norwegian People's Aid pilot, interviewed by the documentary makers, related how when he began working for NPA he believed that he would be flying NPA humanitarian assistance into the Nuba mountains. He then realised that NPA was also transporting weapons, including land-mines, into Sudan:

The purpose was to fly aid, blankets, medicine, food, clothing etc. from Lokichokio up to the Nuba mountains to the people there that didn't have anything. That was the main purpose that we served there. That was also my understanding of what we would be doing when I arrived in Lokichokio. And to my surprise we ended up flying more than just aid. We did some other trips where we took off from Lokichokio empty, and we picked up crates, boxes, and so forth, of ammunition, weapons, and other things, and flew it up to the Nuba mountains so that they could fight the war they had going up there.

They were mostly ammunitions, and arms, also some anti-aircraft weapons. And I found out later that there was also land-mines in quite a few of the boxes.

Pressed by the interviewer on how he could be sure the cargo contained land-mines, the pilot stated that there would be papers stating what was in the cargo and how much everything weighed. The crew would check the manifest as well as the cargo to make sure it was the same weight in order to know how heavy the plane would be when it left the ground. The pilot also stated that out of curiosity he had opened up several of the boxes and had "looked in them and saw what was there".

"The callousness shown by Norwegian People's Aid in cold-bloodedly supplying land-mines to war zones in Sudan must be measured against NPA's official position with regard to land-mines and their use, stating that they are a "deadly legacy killing and maiming innocents everyday". NPA is also ostensibly committed to advocacy work with regard to land-mines, and, for example, is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the International Campaign to ban Landmines.

"The above-mentioned Norwegian documentary also provided evidence that Norwegian People's Aid's involvement in actively assisting and facilitating the SPLA's military activities dated back to the 1980s. In September 1989, for example, the Norwegian Red Cross offered the International Committee of the Red Cross a large barge funded by the Norwegian government.

The barge, with a cargo capacity of up to 60 tons, arrived in July 1990 and was soon in place on the Nile. It had been intended to use this barge for the delivery of food aid by river. NPA was allowed to take responsibility for the operation of the barge. The documentary also showed that the SPLA had clearly used the river barge for military purposes, including the transport of hundreds of SPLA soldiers in order for them to engage in fighting elsewhere - all this with the active assistance of NPA.

Norwegian People's Aid's activities in Sudan had led to the Norwegian government commissioning COWI, an independent consultancy, to investigate NPA's use of the considerable funds it had received from the Norwegian government. The report, entitled Evaluation of Norwegian Humanitarian Assistance to the Sudan, documented that Norwegian and similar relief funds were being used to support SPLA soldiers, and thus prolonging the conflict. The report stated, for example, that by the early 1990s Norwegian People's Aid:

Began to adopt more closely the aims of the SPLA and developed from 1992 a growing field presence. The report went on to state:

NPA's intervention is that of a solidarity group. It has taken a clear side in the war. It supports the causes of SPLA/M and its humanitarian wing SRRA. NPA's solidarity approach means that in practice the activities of NPA are closely related to the political and military strategies of the rebel movement.

"The report placed on record that Norwegian People's Aid's humanitarian activities were said to "support the political and military struggle of the SPLA/M". With regard to whether the NPA was directly supplying the SPLA with food, the report stated that:

Many sources, including some within the NPA confirm that food relief has also been used to feed SPLA troops. A 1995 USAID audit, for example, revealed that in early 1995 some 200 metric tons of sorghum, valued at about US $100,000, and under NPA control, was diverted to feed SPLA soldiers.

Documentation in this example relating to the diversion of aid had been "fraudulently stamped" by SRRA officials. The report spoke of "other cases showing insufficient control". The report stated that:

The food relief supplied by NPA has been extremely important to the SPLA which managed to sustain its position as a strong rebel movement.

The Danish media further reported that Norwegian People's Aid had allowed the SPLA to sell emergency aid in order to purchase weapons of war.

Norwegian aid funds were also diverted to buy the SPLA food, houses and cars, and to was pay for the schooling of the children of SPLA officers.

The report also made it clear that Norwegian People's Aid may have increased the level of tension in parts of southern Sudan.

The support of NPA to the higher levels of the SPLA has reinforced the tendency of SPLA to rely on its own external diplomacy to obtain critical resources, such as food, rather than seeking the support of the indigenous populations of the areas where it operates. There has been a marked lack of interface between the SPLA's higher ranks and the "traditional" chiefs and governance structures of the tribes, particularly the Equatorian tribes.

"The report also examined the NPA's position with regard to working towards a peaceful solution to the Sudanese civil war. It was stated that the NPA did not see:

The reduction of violence in the Sudan as [its] main objective. It was not considered appropriate for a "solidarity".organisation like NPA. The cause of the SPLA, as expressed by John Garang and his leadership group, is just according to the NPA. The prevention of conflict, in this context, is entirely subordinated to the pursuit of partisan advantages.

In December 1999, Human Rights Watch stated that:

The SPLA has a history of gross abuses of human rights and has not made any effort to establish accountability. Its abuses today remain serious.

Human Rights Watch has pointed to summary executions, arbitrary arrests and food aid theft from civilians in famine areas by the SPLA. Established and respected humanitarian organisations such as CARE, Save the Children, World Vision, Church World Service and the American Refugee Committee have jointly stated that the SPLA is guilty of "the most serious human rights abuses". The BBC has reported growing friction in SPLA-controlled areas of southern Sudan, specifically within Didinga areas: "The Didinga have accused the SPLA of becoming an army of occupation in the area."

These are the very areas in which Norwegian People's Aid is active. It is obvious that NPA and the money which supports it, is helping to artificially sustain the SPLA in these and other areas of "occupation". Without the support of external forces such as Norwegian People's Aid, the SPLA would have had to negotiate an end to a stalemated conflict.

It is clear that Norwegian People's Aid serves not merely as a propaganda adjunct to the SPLA, but also as an organisation willingly involved in the supply of weapons and war material to southern rebels. It nutures a deeply unpleasant organisation, and helps perpetuate Sudan's civil war.

The activities of NPA have done a great disservice to all genuine humanitarian organisations active in Sudan. Their activities have highlighted the need for aid agencies to operate within the United Nations-managed Operation Lifeline Sudan. NPA's military aid to the SPLA has made the Sudanese government all the more suspicious of those groups that do not."

These accusations appeared in the website:

The website also said : "A November 1999 Norwegian television documentary, entitled 'Weapons Smuggling in Sudan', has highlighted the role played by some aid agencies in logistically and politically perpetuating the Sudanese civil war. The documentary clearly outlined the actions of Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) in supplying the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) with weapons in the course of the Sudanese civil war in the 1990s."

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LTTE terrorists use INGO vehicles for military activities - Kilinochchi

Security Forces seize control over 'Sugandan Base' - Welioya[Updated]

Troops of the 59 Division led by Brigadier Nanadana Udawatte Sunday (July 27) seized total control over 'Sugandan' base a satellite base of the LTTE's 'One-Four-base' complex located North of Kiriibbanwewa inside the thick jungles of Mullaittiuvu, following days of heavy confrontations.

Earlier, on 30th May 2008- troops captured the 'Munagam base' the main logistic link between the LTTE strongholds in Wanni and cadres in the east, across the Mullaittiuvu jungle, followed by the capture of 'Michael base' one of the strategic satellite bases of the 'One -Four base complex ' on 4th July. Troops are now consolidating the defences, sources said.

More information will follow.

Meanwhile, an LTTE area leader identified as 'Veandan' was reported seriously wounded during a failed offensive attempt targeting troops operating North of Janakapura today. 5 terrorists were killed and similar numbers injured including a senior cadre 'Maran' during the fighting reported from 10a.m., till 1p.m., defence sources said citing ground troops. A soldier has laid his life, while another sustained injuries, in the confrontation according to initial reports.

Troops have also recovered a body of a slain LTTE cadre along with an I-com set, during a subsequent search operation conducted in the area.

Also, troops operating North of Kiriibbanwewa have reportedly destroyed and gained control over an LTTE bunker defence and a mortar pit as troops said that at least 3 terrorists were wounded in the attack. Another terrorist was killed, 2 wounded in a similar confrontation with LTTE in general area West of Kiriibbanwewa, according to military.

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LTTE's Michael Base falls to Army - Welioya

President condemns terrorist attacks in India

H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa while unreservedly condemning the terrorist attacks in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, India as cowardly attempts further extended deepest sympathies to the families of those killed in a communiqué‚ released by the Presidential Secretariat today (July 27).
He further asserted that, Sri Lanka being a country gravely affected by the scourge of terrorism for more than two decades, "our people express solidarity with India in these difficult hours, and remain firm in our commitment to jointly fight the menace of terrorism in all of South Asia".

Following is the text of the statement from President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemning the terrorist attacks in India in the last two days.
I unreservedly condemn the cowardly terrorist attacks in Ahmedabad, India, yesterday, killing and injuring a large number of persons, as well as the terrorist attacks in Bangalore the previous day.

I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of all those killed and wish a speedy recovery to all injured in these wanton acts of terror by the forces ranged against democracy.

Sri Lanka being a country gravely affected by the scourge of terrorism for more than two decades, we understand well how the manipulators of terror seek to destroy the harmonious relations among communities and the democratic traditions that prevail in our societies.

My Government and I share the determination and commitment of the Government and people of India not to yield to this sustained threat of terror from those who seek to achieve their ends by inflicting maximum damage to the lives and limbs of civilians, disrupting their day to day lives and society at large.

My Government and I express our solidarity with India in these difficult hours, and remain firm in our commitment to jointly fight the menace of terrorism in all of South Asia.

Security forces continue advances: 13 terrorists killed, dozen wounded

Troops at the combined Mannar - Vavuniya front were gradually budding their way towards the road leading from Mankulama to Vellankulama and are now reportedly operating close to Mallavi after series of confrontations on Thursday (24) and Friday (25) causing sizable damages to the LTTE.

According to finalized military reports, 10 terrorists were killed and a dozen others injured in Saturday's (26) confrontations ensued between troops and LTTE at the Wanni theater of battle. In addition to LTTE fatalities 3 soldiers received injuries in the Welioya battlefront, while 2 others reported wounded at the Mannar battle lines.

7 terrorists were reported killed and 2 wounded during fighting in general areas at Navvi and Navathkulama MCNS stated also adding that 3 others were killed and 10 wounded by troops of the 59 Division operating in the Mullaittiuvu jungles ahead of the Welioya defences, North of Janakapura and Kiriibabanwewa.

Meanwhile, troops killed 2 terrorists in general area Muhamalai, another sniped in general area Kilalai, at the Jaffna battlefront, according to reports. No damages were caused to military, MCNS said.

Shoring LTTE at defeat:
Despite disintegration of LTTE fortifications in Mullaittiuvu district at the doorstep of Kilinochchi, South based rejuvenated 'defence analysts' and 'peaces activists' have reportedly taken up the burden to dim the military gains through controversy and spin-doctoring.

Earlier, similar attempts to stall the military campaign in East while shoring the LTTE at defeat were proven failed and were rebuffed from gaining populace despite an array of media stunts and political gimmicks by such circles.

As learnt through reliable sources, these 'office-room defence experts' and guardians of 'peace' and 'humanity' are in a collective effort at smothering the public and international consent towards the present military campaign against the LTTE through periodical ushering of 'decisive stages' and 'turning points' installing doubts of graver repercussion in the South.

These slush propagandists are "expecting a slow down", of the counter-terrorist operations in Wanni and North, through the same unofficial versions as quoted from said 'officials' of the military. Relying on controversy than sheer situation-reporting by such media stooges is nothing new, as similar attempts were also, earlier exposed by, and will continue to remain as our obligation to the nation with the right to response.

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ICRC takes 11 bodies of LTTE cadres to Kilinochchi

Terror domination shrinks further in Wanni as troops continue their victorious march

LTTE terrorists use INGO vehicles for military activities - Kilinochchi

It is reliably learnt that the LTTE is using vehicles recently obtained from an International Non-Government Organization (INGO) operating in the North for its military operations in the North, and intends using them for disinformation activities, too., through reliable sources in Wanni, learns that the LTTE terrorists have obtained a large number of vehicles belonging to an INGO operating in the Kilinochchi district, for its use. According to our sources, the terrorists had obtained these vehicles from the office of an INGO named Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) in Kilinochchi, early this week.

The vehicles, which the INGO claims was taken over by the terrorist outfit, included a few heavy earth moving vehicles, four trucks, a tractor, several land cruiser jeeps and a number of motor cycles, the sources said. According to these sources, the INGO had taken this fleet of heavy vehicles to the areas under terrorist control stating they would be used for Humanitarian Aid work in the area. The vehicles are now being used by the terrorists, to build bunkers, trenches, terror camps , and to transport terror leaders as well , the sources added.

Observers of LTTE activity have expressed concerns over the likelihood of the LTTE using these INGO vehicles to enact another "massacre" or bloody act to gain propaganda mileage. According to them, the LTTE has been very effective so far in engineering such crimes by attacking civilian targets in Wanni to point fingers at the Armed Forces. "An INGO vehicle attacked by the armed forces" would be a great headline for the terror propagandists to earn sympathy for the terror outfit, they said.

LTTE is a ruthless terrorist outfit that has been fighting for a mono ethnic separate homeland for the Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1983. During its 3 decades of existence the outfit has pioneered a large number of terror tactics particularly in the field of suicide bombing, that have been soon copied by the other terror organizations in the world . Fuelled by extremist tribal ideologies held by their megalomaniac leader, V. Prabhakaran, and largely foreign funds generated through its false propaganda, LTTE terrorists have killed tens and thousands of innocent civilians in many village massacres, bus bombings , train bombings, ethnic cleansing raids , and etc. The outfit is also included in the UN list of shame for using children for terror attacks.

ICRC takes 19 LTTE bodies to Kilinochchi

Security forces Sunday (July 27) handed over 19 bodies of terrorists including 6 females killed during pitched battles in general area Vavunikulama North, on Friday (25), to the ICRC officials in Vavuniya.

According to military, the bodies were taken by the ICRC from the Vavuniya hospital morgue at around 1.40p.m today, following preparations made to hand them over to the LTTE across the Omanthai Entry/ Exit point.

Earlier, yesterday (26) 11 more bodies of the terrorists killed during Friday's fighting was sent to the LTTE through the ICRC officials in Vavuniya.

Sri Lankan expats to hold demonstration urging stern action against LTTE- UK

A number of highly successful anti-LTTE demonstrations have taken place in most of European cities in the past week. Finland (Helsinki), Greece (Athens), France (Paris) and Germany (Berlin) all hosted such events and London's turn is on Sunday 27th July, in front of British Prime Minister's Official Residence at No10 Downing Street.

The organizers of the London event have received a great response from the Sri Lankan community in the UK who are eagerly looking forward to the occasion. During the protest, a dossier is due to be handed over to the Prime Minister's Office. It will contain proof of the 'Pongu Tamil' event organised by LTTE front British Tamil Forum (BTF) which breached the Terrorism Act in the UK.

The document will also express displeasure about an exhibition, dispersing false propaganda about the suffering of Tamils in Sri Lanka, which was held in the British Parliament. Although unsuccessful and poorly attended, it was a blatant attempt to mislead the members of the House of Commons. This was organised by the BTF and backed by the pro-LTTE group of MPs, called 'The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils'.

Sunday's mass protest rally in London, against the ruthless terrorist outfit LTTE, is organised by 'Sri Lankans against Terrorism'(SLAT-UK), an organization of United Kingdom based Sri Lankan expatriates.

The demonstration titled 'Let's all unite as Sri Lankans to Defeat Terrorism in our Motherland!' requesting the British Government to take stern action against all pro-LTTE activities is expected to draw masses of peace loving people.

All peace loving Sri Lankans in UK, including the members of OBA's, OGA's and all other Sri Lankan organizations, as patriotic Sri Lankans are invited to show their support in defeating terrorism and to help bring about lasting peace in our motherland.

Venue: Opposite British Prime Minister's Official Residence

10, Downing Street, London

Date: 27th July 2008 (Sunday)

Time: 1.30 PM- 5.30PM

Please email your valued comments and suggestions to

For further info, please contact

Janaka: 07885973128 Rani: 07808158360

Anura: 07956539514 Shiran: 07534224363

Nishantha: 07853317426 Mahinda: 0208 7683750

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Ranaviru Fund donated Gel Socks worth of Rs. 450,000 to disabled war heroes

Ranaviru Fund , a charity organization established to support disabled soldiers in Sri Lanka , has donated 157 much needed Socket Gel Liners to the soldiers who had sacrificed their limbs for the motherland .

The donation was made by the representatives of the organization at the Ragama Ranaviru Sevena , disabled soldiers' rehabilitation centre recently . Director of Rehabilitation , Sri Lanka Army, Brigadier Sriyani Warusavitharana received the items on behalf of the soldiers.

According to a report issued by the Fund on the project , Socket Gel Liners are highly expensive equipment specially made for the comfort of the disabled people . Brigadier Warusavitharana had informed the organization on the requirement as the items were not readily available in the local market when contacted by the Fund , said the report. The report further stated that 40 socket gel liners worth of 450,000 rupees had been donated to the soldiers as a start. This donation will only suffice to fulfill 1% of the requirement , the report further added.

At the donation ceremony Maha Sangha headed by most Venerable Kotapola Amarakhiththi Thero chanted Pirith to bless the disabled Soldiers and those who fight against LTTE Terrorists in the battle front. To mark the event four amputees those who are currently receiving Walking Aid were offered with the Gel Socks. In addition to Gel Socks, all Soldiers at the facility were offered with a bag of fruits (Apples, Oranges & Grapes) individually at their wards at a cost of over Rs. 25,000.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Graduate teachers in Tamil and Sinhala medium for Eastern Province

The Ministry of Education has taken steps to appoint 1,226 graduate teachers to schools in Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in the Eastern Province.

Of this number, 1,097 graduate teachers will work in Tamil medium and 129 in Sinhala medium.

They will serve in their respective schools for a period of ten years, the Ministry of Education said.

The graduates were selected for teaching appointments after an oral interview of candidates who were successful in a competitive examination held by the Examinations Department following a Gazette Notification issued by the Eastern Provincial Public Service Commission a few months ago, sources added.

Appointment letters for the graduate teachers will be handed over on the 26th of this month at the Trincomalee Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya and on the 28th at the Ampara D.S. Senanayake Maha Vidyalaya.

Courtesy- Government Information Department

Two terrorist bodies handed over to ICRC- Vavuniya

Security forces today (July 21) handed over two bodies of LTTE terrorists killed during confrontation with SLA at the Vavuniya battle front.

The bodies were recovered by troops while conducting search operations, security sources said, adding that the bodies were taken by the ICRC officials to be handed over to LTTE at around 12.45p.m.

Sri Lanka's Hired Terror voice Wickramabahu use his London based affiliation to defend terror agents behind bars in Italy

The London based Fourth International, affiliated to a small band of Sri Lanka's revolutionary Trotskyite Marxists called Left Front led by Wickramabahu Karunaratne demanded that Italy should immediately release the LTTE supporters arrested all over the country, after the LTTE organized Ponku Thamil rally in that country.

"We see these arrests as a move to undermine the legitimate demand of the Tamil nation for self-determination and to suppress the Tamil voice against atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan government," the Wickramabahu connected Fourth International, aiming for world revolution said in a statement issued in London.

This is second time, during the past few days, the Marxist affiliated element has come to openly support the terrorist group calling the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) calling them as "Tamil Human Rights activists". "Italy, Free Tamil human rights campaigners," they said.

Before this statement, July 12, Wickramabahu Karunaratne's representative, Shashie Peiris, in London read his leader's statement before the Pongu Thamil rally supporting the Tamil separatist movement. In his statement Wickramabahu Karunarathne, known as Comrade Bahu said:

We as the NSSP (Nava Sama Samaja Party) and the LEFT FRONT have supported consistently the liberation fighters and the fight since 1974". We have participated in Pongu Tamil and other mass actions with liberation fighters whenever we were invited. In future too we shall continue to support

"Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the support of the world powers and particularly the support of India has launched a ferocious war to recapture the Tamil homeland. Sinhala armed forces are given full backing by the Indian navy which covers the high sea surrounding the Tamil homeland. They have boasted that all resources coming by sea has been captured. At the same time world powers have hunted the Tamil Diaspora to eliminate the support for the Tamil liberation struggle".

Lodging their vehement protest, the London based small band of ideologues, known as the Fourth International said: The rally, held in Piazza Argentina in Milan, highlighted human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan government that is waging a war against the Tamils. It was also addressed by Burani Vainer from the Association of Democratic Jurists.

The arrests were made after Sri Lankan diplomats made a complaint to police authorities that the rally was organized by supporters of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or the Tamil Tigers), which is waging an armed struggle for the right to self-determination for the Tamil nation, currently part of the Sri Lankan state.

At the same time Wickramabahu has been supporting the right wing UNP supported token strike in Sri Lanka. In a different statement, he said:

"We must expect in the coming period strong battles in the south destabilizing Mahinda regime. This means the war has devastated the entire country. Not only the Tamils but also the Sinhala majority is made miserable. July 10 was the beginning of a movement within the working class. If Lal Kantha and the JVP leaders take it forward, then it could lead to a dynamic change in politics that could force a change of tactics of Tamil liberation struggle too. While they are led down by the world capitalist leaders, workers movement in the south has taken a giant step to shake the regime. Tamil liberation leaders could not ignore this turn of events and they did not. The success of plantation strike is an indication that the plantation workers while demanding Rs. 500/= daily wage, were protesting about the present chauvinist oppression. Is this a new unity forged in action?"

Pro-LTTE agents hailing Wickramabahu's speech in Norway (22.02.2007). The highlighted circles show the 'LTTE emblem' worn by some demonstrators.
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LTTE terrorist commits suicide while been chased - Jaffna

A terrorist exploded a hand grenade committing suicide while being chased by SLA troops Sunday (July 20), in general area Illavalai, Jaffna, at around 4.15 p.m.

The terrorist had opened indiscriminate small arms fire targeting an Army foot patrol at Illavalai, and was fleeing the scene when troops retaliated, security sources said.

During a subsequent search operation conducted, troops recovered the terrorist body along with a hand grenade, micro-pistol and pistol magazine.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Troops Liberate Illuppaikkadavai [Updated]

Sri Lanka army has declared Iluppaikkadavai town liberated ending 21 years of terror rule of LTTE this afternoon (July 20). According to defence sources troops of Task Force 1 and Commando brigade encircled the remote town situated 12 km North of Vidattaltivu by last night and entered the town this morning.

The sources further said that another large LTTE stronghold situated on the Northwestern coast of the Island has fallen with the new victory.

Military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara speaking to said that troops have also captured the largest LTTE base situated on Northwestern coast. He said that this base was not a Sea Tiger base but used for other terror activities in the area during last 2 decades.

Speaking further he said , troops of Task Force 1 has already marched about 2 Km North of Illuppaikkadavai town and consolidating their defences at present. At least 15 LTTE cadres were killed during the battle ensued during last 48 hours in the area , he added.

Wanni liberation bid heading for success; 18 terrorists killed in yesterday's clashes

Sri Lanka Armed Forces' bid to liberate Northern Province from the terror clutches reached further towards successes as troops continued give heavy beating to the terrorist on the Mannar- Vavuniya and Welioya fronts during yesterday's (July 19) operations. Finalized military reports received from battlefield indicate 18 deaths to the terrorists, 7 causalities and 5 others as either killed or wounded. A soldier laid down his life and 9 others suffered injuries during these operations.

On the Combined - Mannar Vavuniya front , troops operating under Army 57 division (Div) moved further ahead on the center of the front and had a series of clashes during the course of the day.

In the general area Karaiveddivempu troops of 571 Brigade confronted with a group of LTTE cadres around 8.15 last morning. Later, radio transmissions among LTTE elements confirmed 3 LTTE cadres were killed in this incident. Separately in the same area, LTTE launched mortars at troops around 4.30 in the evening wounding one soldier.

In the general area Murunkaiyadippuddi, troops of 571 Brigade confronted with a group of terrorists around 4.30 in evening . Ground troops claimed 5 terrorists were killed in the incident . Also, one soldier suffered injuries due to LTTE mortar fire.

Meanwhile, troops of 572 and 573 Brigades engaged in clearing operations in the Parappukkal and Pandiyankulam areas respectively found 750 ammo used for T-56 riffles, 8 hand grenades, 3 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and 5 AP mines (Anti Personnel) during the day.

Troops belonging to Task Force 2, operating the Eastern flank of the Mannar- Vavuniya front continued their offensives in the Navvi and Palaimodaai areas during the day.

In the Navvi area troops of 621 brigades attacked an LTTE bunker around 4.20 PM and claimed 3 terrorists were killed. Also, the same brigade troops confronted with a group of terrorists in the Palaimoddai area around 5.50 PM and claimed 4 terrorists were killed and 2 others wounded.

Troops of Task Force 1 operating in the Western flank of the Mannar - Vavuniya front, continued their march towards Iluppaikkadavai and halted at the southern limits of the buildup by last night,

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed and 4 others suffered injuries due to terror retaliatory attacks in the Kannaddi and Kaddadivayal areas during the day.

On the Welioya front, troops continued their march towards Mullaittiuvu and had series of clashes with the terrorist in the areas North of Janakapura and Kiriibbanwewa. According to the details obtained by both ground and radio monitoring sources , 3 terrorists were killed, 5 others wounded and 5 more were either killed or wounded during these operations. A soldier suffered wounds due to LTTE retaliatory fire in the North of Janakapura area last morning while 2 others suffered injuries in AP mine explosions in the North of Kiriibbanwewa area last evening.

Meanwhile, troops engaged in clearing operations in the North of Kiriibbanwewa area removed 254 AP mines 31 IEDs during the day.

Limited offensives are being continued.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Minimum hassle, maximum security

The Government said yesterday that its security plan for the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC ) Summit had been organised in such a manner as to ensure minimum inconvenience to the public amidst maximum security.

Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka addressing the media yesterday said that Authorities had conducted a pre-security feasibility study from March 1 and was now fully prepared to launch the full security measures which would be implemented from July 25 to August 4.

According to Mediwaka, the authorities intend to declare four High Security Zones (HSZs) in the areas adjoining Fort, Katunayake, BMICH and Parliament.

From July 25 to 30, vehicles will be allowed access to these HSZ's subjected to a thorough security check but from July 31 to August 3, only vehicles which have valid permits to access the Zones would be allowed.

Authorities intend to declare four High Security Zones (HSZs) in the areas adjoining Fort, Katunayake, BMICH and Parliament.

Buses and trains plying on the Galle Road are to be stopped at Ceramic Junction in Bambalapitiya from July 31 to August 3.

Authorities have organised a shuttle service to take passengers to their intended locations.

Trains on other routes are to be stopped at Maradana with the shuttle service operating from there.

Some roads in Colombo will be closed for traffic from July 31 to August 3.

According to Mediwaka these vehicle passes could be obtained from Police stations by forwarding an application but the numbers would be limited according to priority basis.

Two centres have been opened at the Fort and Kollupitiya Police stations exclusively for this.

Employees whose offices are in the above-mentioned Zones could proceed to their organisations by presenting their company Identity Cards, Mediwaka said adding that they already possessed details regarding all personnel working within these HSZs.

Buses and trains plying on the Galle Road are to be stopped at Ceramic Junction in Bambalapitiya from July 31 to August 3. Authorities have organised a shuttle service to take passengers to their intended locations from there.

Trains on other routes are to be stopped at Maradana with the shuttle service operating from there.

Some roads in Colombo including Sarana Road, Bauddhaloka Mawatha and Malalasekera Mawatha will be closed for traffic from July 31 to August 3 but according to Mediwaka alternative routes have been organised with Police personnel and road signs placed at strategic locations to show the way.

roads from the Ceramic junction to Kollupitiya upto the old Parliament, Sri Lanka Ports Authority area, Police HQ, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Galle Face, Slave Island Railway station covering the Army headquarters and the Ministry of Defence will be closed for general traffic.

There would also be restrictions along the Katunayake-Colombo main road from July 30 to August 4 and heavy vehicles would be barred from access during this period. When VIPs use the road to travel to the Airport and back the whole road will be closed for 26 minutes during the time of travel.

However, according to Mediwaka all these measures are to be adopted with minimum harassment to the public and they have organised alternative routes at times with a large security contingent on duty to guide the travellers.

According to sources, the authorities are also contemplating to declare August 01st as a public holiday and Schools are expected to close for their August holidays from July 26 onwards as part of security measures. Mediwaka urged vehicle owners to display their phone numbers when parked outside so that officials would be able to contact them in an emergency.

Replying to a query from a journalist regarding the role of foreign security personnel DIG Mediwaka said that their role would be confined to providing personal security for the relevant VIPs concerned and that they would not be allowed to dictate terms to Lankan Authorities regarding security arrangements as a whole.

He further said that the whole exercise was arranged due to the security threat posed by the LTTE and even though they were confident of the measures they did not rule out the possibility of sabotage which had resulted in these tough security arrangements.

The Tigers who are fighting a losing battle in the North might use the opportunity to tarnish the image of the country by trying to sabotage an international gathering and divert attention from their battle field losses, Mediwaka added.

DIG Mediwaka also urged public to be vigilant during the period and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

Courtesy: Daily News

Victorious march continues; 18 terrorists killed in clashes in Wanni and North

Multi pronged offensives at LTTE defences in the Wanni and Jaffna continued yesterday (July 17) leading Sri Lankan armed forces further closer to their final objective. According to the finalized military reports received from Wanni and Jaffna battlefronts at least 18 terrorists were killed, 27 wounded and 22 more were either killed or wounded. Also, 4 soldiers laid down their lives on the battlefield, one reported missing and 9 others bore wounds during these battles fought to liberate the motherland.

In the Jaffna theatre of battle, troops launched attacks at LTTE bunkers located in the Ponnar and Muhamalai areas in 4 separate occasions during the day. However, the exact details of terror casualties of these incidents were not available. Meanwhile, a sniper deployed in the Muhamalai forward defence line (FDL) confirmed shooting down of one LTTE cadre last morning.

In the Wanni theatre of operations, victorious troops of the Task Force 1 marched further northwards along the northwestern coast on the Mannar-Vavuniya combined warfront and halted 3km south Iluppaikkaddavai. Separately, soldiers of the same force removed 21 anti personnel (AP) mines while clearing Echchalarakkai area.

Meanwhile, troops of 57 division (Div) operating at the central part of the Vavuniya- Mannar front continued to dominate South of Tunukkai terror stronghold. During their march troops attacked a group of LTTE cadres detected in the area last evening and claimed 9 terrorists were wounded while a soldier was reported missing. Later, radio monitoring sources revealed 2 terrorists were killed in this incident.

Separately, 57 Div troops operating in the Pandiyankulam area confronted with a group of terrorists in the same evening and claimed 2 terrorists killed and few others wounded. Troops also, collected 2 bodies of slain LTTE cadres along with 2 T-56 weapons. Later, radio monitoring sources confirmed that 3 LTTE cadres were wounded while 2 reported missing in the incident.

A sniper deployed in the Oddankulama area claimed that one terrorist was killed during the evening hours.

Meanwhile, troops of Task Force 2 operating in the eastern flank of the Vavuniya- Mannar front continued their offensives in the Palamoddai and Navvi areas along the day.

In the general area Palamoddai troops had 2 major incidents in the morning and evening. Troops attacked a group of terrorists last morning and claimed 2 terrorists were killed. During the evening hours, troops attacked a terror bunker and claimed one terrorist was either killed or wounded.

Map 1Meanwhile, troops attacked and captured 8 LTTE bunkers located in separate locations in the Navvi area during the course of the day and claimed 2 terrorists were killed and 5 others were either killed or wounded. Two soldiers were killed and 4 others suffered injuries due to an IED (improvised explosive device) on the same day evening.

At Pillaiyanankulam , Army listening post came under an attack during midnight. A soldier was killed in this incident.

Meanwhile, troops of 56 Div operating in the Vedamakilam area confronted with a group of terrorists during the morning hours and claimed 2 terrorists were killed.

On the Welioya front, troops of 59 Div continued their offensive march through the Mullaittivu and had daylong clashes with the terrorists in the North of Janakapura, North of Kiriibbanwewa, Andankulama, Nittukkai, and Vellankulama areas.

In the North of Janakapura area, troops had 7 separate confrontations with the terrorists. According to the details complied on ground and technical sources, 3 terrorists were killed, 4 wounded and 6 others were either killed or wounded. Also, troops destroyed 2 LTTE bunkers and removed 3 IEDs.

In the North of Kiriibbanwewa area, troops attacked 3 LTTE bunkers at separate incidents and claimed one terrorist was killed, 3 others wounded and 7 more were either killed or wounded.

In the general area Anadankulama, troops had four separate confrontations with the terrorists and claimed one terrorist was killed, 5 others wounded and 3 more were either killed or wounded. Also, 2 soldiers suffered injuries due to terror mortar fire in one of the confrontations occurred last morning. Troops engaged in clearing operations in the area removed 27 AP mines and 3 IEDs.

In the general area , Vellankulama, troops attacked an LTTE bunker during evening hours and claimed one terrorist was killed and 3 others wounded.

Meanwhile, in the general area Nittukkai, one soldier was killed and 3 others suffered injuries in 2 separate IED explosions occurred last morning.

Limited offensives are being continued.

SL Navy rescues an Indian national fleeing LTTE custody

The Sri Lanka Navy has rescued an Indian national who had been under LTTE custody since 2003 with other seven Sri Lankan Tamils while they were fleeing to India on a boat last Wednesday, July 16. The SL Navy patrolling craft intercepted the boat carrying these escapees near Talaimannar on Wednesday morning.

The Indian National, Selvam Sudesh Kannan (28) resident in Madras, who was said to have come to Sri Lanka with other 3 Indian Nationals on 19th January 2003 and went to Kilinochchi as to visit "one of his crew members' relative there ".

Describing his ordeal Kannan said that they had been arrested on 21st January 2003 and kept under LTTE custody while on their way to Kilinochchi. "we had been kept in a torture camp in Kilinochchi and over 150 people were kept under their custody in this camp", Kanna added.

After years in custody, on February 2008, he had been released and assigned duties in terror garage located Mundanpiddi, Kilinochchi. "As the LTTE outfit running short of cadres to occupy their defences, the people hold torture camps under LTTE custody were released and assigned for various duties, sometimes in the defence lines too", Kannan further said.

According to the Kannan, with the help of Lankan Tamils, he has decided to escape the outfit but he was not aware of the fate of three other Indians as the LTTE terrorist had taken them to separate areas..

Sri Lanka Navy has stepped up their search operations from Delft to Talaimannar to prevent supplies to the LTTE and to block the terror escaping routes, Navy sources said.

Korean Ambassador pays a courtesy call to SecDef

The newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka, Ambassador Choi Ki Chui paid a courtesy call to the Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa Friday (July 18), in Colombo.

A brief discussion was held on matters concerning the interests of both the countries, according to reports.

H.E Ambassador Choi Ki Chui, is a highly decorated ex-serviceman with 33 years of active service in the Korean Navy.

Two consecutive air raids targeting LTTE heavy weapons and boats - Mullaittiuvu

Sri Lanka Air Force carried out two consecutive air raids targeting LTTE heavy weapon deployment and LTTE logistic boats in the Mullaittiuvu lagoon area this morning, July 18.

Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, speaking to said that SLAF fighter jets raided LTTE's heavy weapon deployment in 2km west of Mullaittiuvu lagoon around 6.10 a.m.

Further speaking he added that the second air bombardment carried out around 6.20 a.m targeting 3 large-scale LTTE logistic boats at Mullaittiuvu lagoon. Citing the pilots, spokesperson confirmed that 2 boats were completely destroyed while the other is still in flames.

Claymore mine, detonators found on civilian info- Batticaloa

Acting on civilian information, troops found a claymore mine, 2x detonators and few other items hidden in an abandoned land during a search operation conducted in general area Valachchenai, Batticaloa on Thursday (July 17) at 10.30p.m.

Two 9v batteries and a 150m length flexible wire roll were also among the items found, security sources said.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Capture of Vidattaltivu, a Remarkable victory - Army Commander

Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka yesterday called the capture of Vidathalthivu was a remarkable victory for the Security Forces as the LTTE had lost its "biggest Sea Tiger base in the Western coast". Speaking to media, he said that the Terrorists must have never thought that they will lose Vidattaltivu as they developed strong defenses in Vidattaltivu while fighting in Mannar.

"They never thought that they will lose Vidathalthivu two weeks after we captured the 'Green Bowl' in Mannar", he added.

Speaking further , the Army Chief revealed that troops are now advancing towards Illuppakadavai, the next Sea Tiger base in the Western coast, in order to restrict Sea Tiger activities further in the Gulf of Mannar. The capture of Vidattaltivu and Illuppakadavai will be a great help to the Navy as operations from in the Mannar islands will be facilitated in a big way, he further said.

"Therefore, the loss of Vidattaltivu will be a great disadvantage to the LTTE", the Army Commander said. He added that once Illuppakadavai falls, troops can move towards Vellankulam, the Northern most boundary of the Mannar district.

SLAF raids LTTE gathering - north of Vidattaltivu

Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopter gun ships raided an LTTE gathering in general area Iluppaikkadavai, 5Km north of Vidattaltivu, this noon, July 17.

The Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to said that the close air support mission to support ground troops was launched around 12.15 p.m observing a gathering of the LTTE cadres by the air surveillances continuously conducting in these areas.

By monitoring the LTTE radio communication following the bombardment, it is observed that terrorists have asked for more vehicles to evacuate their casualties, the spokesperson added.

As the soldiers of Army Task Force 1 and Commando Brigade operating on the Mannar warfront liberated the strategically important Vidattaltivu in last morning, July 16, the LTTE terrorist have started to withdraw towards Iluppaikkadavai, North of Vidattaltivu, defence sources in Mannar said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vidattaltivu Liberated; terrorists suffer fatal blow [Updated]

Gallant soldiers of Army Task Force 1 and Commando Brigade operating on the Mannar warfront liberated the strategically important Vidattaltivu town this morning (July 16). Vidattaltivu is the largest town situated on the North- Western coast of the Island, 20 km North of Mannar and used by the terrorists as their main Sea-Tiger base cum logistic hub in the West.

Soldiers of Task Force 1 on Tuesday evening (July15) commenced their forward march from their initial locations at the Southern limits of Vidattaltivu town, i.e. few hundreds meters short of Vidattaltivu terror defence, located 2 Km South of the town. These troops were able to capture a 2.5km stretch of the LTTE Forward Defence by late in the evening .

Unable to withstand the military onslaught, terrorists started to flee further northwards towards and later suffered heavy damages during their withdrawal as the elite commandos flanking in the Northeastern boundaries of Vidattaltivu laid an ambush on them. The commandos confronted with a group of approximately 60 LTTE cadres around 1.45 p.m. As the terrorist started to withdraw towards Iluppaikkadaval , North of Vidattaltivu ; commandos called in indirect fire. As a result, heavy artillery and multi barrel rocket fire were directed at the terrorists. Also , Air Force launched close air support missions to ground troops using MI 24 helicopter gunships. Ground troops claimed over 30 terrorists were killed due to artillery and air assault while the rest turned tail.

Meanwhile, troops approaching from the East of Vidattaltivu cut off the Mannar - Poonaryn road at a location 2 Km North of Vidattaltivu early this morning, besetting the terror stronghold from the South, East and the North. Later, troops marched into the town and declared the area liberated for the first time since 1987.

Sources at the battlefield said that the soldiers approached from South had to cross a strong LTTE defence built on a 7 feet tall earth bump with a deep ditch in front of it, before they entered into the Vidattaltivu town limits. This defence cut across the Mannar- Poonaryn road, 2 Km South of Vidattaltivu and ran 10 Km from the coast to Paramarayankulama, situated 8 Km South East of Vidattaltivu . At that, the defence was consisted with fortified bunkers made out of thick wooden logs at every 150m distances.

Following the successful capture of the Mannar 'Rice Bowl' troops within 24 hours commenced their march towards Vidattaltivu . Troops halted 200m South of the above-mentioned strong LTTE defence and waited until the new front opened up by the 582 brigade of the Task Force-1 and the commandos to make their approach from the East. This new front opened up 10 Km East of Vidattaltivu managed to reach Mannar - Poonaryn road North of Vidattaltivu within one week.

While conquering the strong defence line of the LTTE in the South, troops braved dense mine fields removing hundreds of anti personnel mines, improvised explosive devices and booby traps. During last 10 days, troops expecting to bring up on maximum attrition rate over the terrorists attacked and destroy a large number of bunkers situated along the LTTE defence. According to the ground and radio monitoring sources at least 100 LTTE cadres were killed and equal number or more were wounded during these confrontations. Also, commandos alone found 28 bodies of slain LTTE cadres during this period.

Commander of Task Force 1 , Brigadier Shavendra Silva speaking to said that this was the first time that the Army dominated Vidattaltivu area after 21 years . Not even during major military operations such as Ranagosa and Jayasikuru , army had been able cross the strong LTTE defence that runs over 10 km East from the Southern coast of Vidattaltivu, he added.

Meanwhile, Defence observers are in the view that the loss of Vidattaltivu would cast a fatal blow on LTTE as it has lost the most important Sea-Tiger base in the present context. According to them the terrorists has no other option than to shift their Sea-Tiger assets to a makeshift camp further Northwards with the loss of its well-established sea borne operational base.

Following its loss of 10 arms carrying ships to Sri Lanka Navy, and the loss of land domination over Eastern coast to army and also due to the strong sea blockade maintained by navy in the North-Eastern waters , the only available sea supply route for the LTTE has been identified as the one across the Gulf of Mannar. Presence of large amount of Indian fishing vessels and less maneuverability available for the navy ships in the coastal waters over the shallow continental shelf have made it virtually impossible to ensure complete denial of enemy use of sea lines of communication. Therefore, the loss of Vidattaltivu, the best geographical location in the North-West coast for Sea Tiger operations will be a huge loss to the terrorists than it is really depicted in terms of square kilometers, defence observers added.
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Vidattaltivu Liberated; terrorists suffer fatal blow

Wanni Operation reaches decisive stage ; over 50 terrorists killed in yesterday's clashes

The noble mission undertaken by Sri Lankan armed forces to liberate Wanni region from the terror clutches reached a deceive stage yesterday (July 15), as soldiers of army Task Force 1 along with commandos commenced attacking the strong Vidattaltivu terror defence, on the Mannar front. Troops liberated the Vidattaltivu town this morning (June 16) and have already commenced their march towards Iluppakadawelii.

Finalized military reports received form the battlefronts in Wanni and Jaffna indicated at least 51 terrorists were killed, over 17 others wounded and 25 more were either killed or wounded during the yesterday's clashes. Also, one solder made the ultimate sacrifice to the motherland while 15 others suffered injuries during these operations.

In the Jaffna Theater of battle, troops advanced from own defence and attacked a terrorist bunker located in the Kilaly area around 4, last morning. Later, monitored radio transmission confirmed one terrorist was killed in this incident.

In the Wanni theatre of operations, Mannar warfront became most active as troops of Task Force 1 commenced rounding up the Vidattaltivu LTTE stronghold since last evening. Troops claimed that at least 30 terrorist were killed in combined ground and air assaulted directed at the terrorist in the Vidattaltivu area. Separately, 3 soldiers suffered injuries due to anti personnel (AP) mine explosions occurred in Eachalarakkai during the day.

On the Vavuniya front, troops operating under army 57 division and Task Force 2 continued to extend their hold in to the Wanni region in Maratamadhu, Ampaddankulam, Palaimoddai, Navathkulama and Navvi areas.

Troops engaged small arms and RPG fire at a hut manned by LTTE terrorists in the Maratamadhu area last afternoon and claimed 4 terrorists were either killed or wounded.

In the general area North East Ampaddankulam, troops captured an LTTE strong point located last morning. One soldier was killed due to LTTE mortar fire and 6 others suffered injuries in AP mine explosions. Later , monitored radio transmissions revealed 3 terrorists were killed and 4 others injured. Whilst clearing the same area in the evening troops found one radio communication set, and one T-56 weapon. Also, a soldier suffered injuries in an AP mine explosion in the same area during the clearing operation.

In the general area Navvi , troops attacked and captured 4 bunkers during the day and confirmed 4 terrorists were killed , 4 others wounded and 5 more were either killed or wounded. Also, 2 soldiers suffered injuries due to IED (improvised explosive device) explosions.

In separate confrontations occurred in the Palaimoddai, and Navathkulama areas troops claimed 7 terrorists were killed and 2 others wounded. A soldier suffered injuries due to an AP mine explosion last evening.

On the Welioya front , troops marching in the Mulaithiuvu forest had a series of clashes in the areas North of Janakapura and Kiriibbanwewa areas during the day. Troops citing both ground and radio monitoring sources claimed 6 terrorists were killed, 7 others wounded and 16 more were either killed or wounded during these operations . A soldier suffered injuries during a confrontation occurred in the North of Janakapura area last afternoon. Meanwhile, troops engaged in mine clearing operations in the area removed 142 AP mines and 19 IEDs during the day.

Limited offensives are continued.

Government denies allegation of internment of IDPs

The Government of Sri Lanka rejects the allegation by Human Rights Watch that more than 400 civilians displaced by the conflict in Northern Sri Lanka have been detained by the Government. The reference is to the Kalimoddai Welfare Centre in Mannar.

At present, the Kalimoddai Welfare Centre accommodates 232 internally displaced families, which includes 110 newly displaced families. In keeping with its obligations, the Government of Sri Lanka has been providing food, shelter, and other essential facilities to these families who had fled the uncleared areas and sought refuge with the Sri Lankan authorities.

The Government has ensured security for these IDPs following threats to their lives from the LTTE. It has been observed by the authorities that the LTTE frequently attempts to infiltrate IDP centres to operate among the civilians. Hence, the Government has been constrained to impose certain temporary restrictions on IDPs, due to security concerns and the on-going military operations in the Mannar area.

Since some of these displaced people wished to move out of the Welfare Centre and stay with their relatives and friends, the Government Agent of Mannar was requested to carry out a survey to ascertain their wishes in this regard. The survey was duly carried out and a decision has been taken to allow those who are originally from the Eastern Province and Vavuniya to return to these areas and stay with host families. Initially, 14 families have been allowed to leave the Centre. Returnees from India consisting of 19 families were also allowed to go back to their original homes.

In order to provide enhanced security and to ensure freedom of movement of the IDPs, action is also being taken to shift this Welfare Centre to an alternate location in the Vavuniya District. Suitable sites at Parayanarkulam and Murunkan have been identified for this purpose.

The decision of these civilians to leave the uncleared areas, defying the LTTE's threats, demonstrates their confidence in the Government of Sri Lanka to provide them security. The Government is committed to assisting all displaced people to return to their original places of residence.

Five LTTE bodies handed over to ICRC- Vavuniya

Sri Lanka Army handed over five bodies of slain LTTE cadres to the ICRC at Vavuniya hospital this afternoon (16 July). According to the defence sources in Vavuniya, the ICRC vehicle carrying the bodies entered into the non-liberated area via Omanthai entry/exit point at 2.20 PM to hand over the bodies to the LTTE.

The bodies were collected by troops on Sunday (July 13) following a confrontation occurred in the Palaiveddnmoddai, 7 km East of Vidattaltivu.

Air Force pounds withdrawing terrorists - North of Vidattaltivu

Sri Lanka Air Force launched air strikes at the terrorists who were withdrawing towards North of Vidattaltivu this afternoon (July 16). According to the Air Force sources, MI 24 helicopter gunships attacked at two LTTE boats detected 4 km North of Vidattaltivu around 1 PM and claimed to have sunk both boats.

Meanwhile, Air Force fighter jets pounded regrouping Sea-Tiger cadres at an LTTE camp located in the Vallaipadhu area, 40 km North of Vidattaltivu around 3.30 PM. Fighter pilots have confirmed heavy damages to the terrorists, the sourced added.

Sri Lanka denies involvement of Sri Lanka Navy in the killing of two Indian fishermen

The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to reports in the Indian media alleging that two fishermen from Nagapattinam on the south Indian coast were killed while fishing off Point Calimere on 11th July 2008, due to firing by the Sri Lanka Navy. A third fisherman is alleged to have suffered injuries in the same incident.

When reports of this nature are received, a rigorous procedure is instituted by Naval Headquarters in Colombo, in keeping with the firm resolve of the Government of Sri Lanka to deal in a humanitarian manner with fishermen apprehended in Sri Lankan waters. The procedure includes Naval Headquarters ascertaining from the Area Commands as to whether any vessels of the Navy were involved in operations in the area of the alleged incident, as per the reported date and time. The preliminary findings in this case are that there were no Naval units operating on the Sri Lanka side of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the area off Point Calimere on 11th July.

However, there was an incident that same night at 21.10 hours at a completely different location, namely approximately 8 NM East of Point Pedro when two Sri Lanka Navy fast attack craft deployed on a routine patrol detected on their radar, a boat moving in a suspicious manner at high speed of around 34 knots, The night vision cameras of the Navy vessels further discerned the suspicious craft as having the configuration of an LTTE low profile boat. The video pictures of the suspicious boat as recorded by the cameras are available with the Sri Lanka Navy, which it is willing to share with the Indian Naval authorities, along with other relevant information. When the suspect boat failed to respond to warnings to halt, the Naval craft were constrained to open fire.

It was not possible for the Navy vessels to assess the outcome of the action taken by them and accordingly the possibility of the suspect boat having continued on its northerly course cannot be ruled out. The attached map (Annex - I) provides the maritime location of the action taken by the Sri Lanka Navy vessels at 21.10 hours on 11th July. It is clear that the incident took place well within Sri Lankan territorial waters and around the sensitive area of Point Pedro, from where the LTTE Sea Tiger wing has frequently engaged in terrorist activities, including attacking cargo and passenger vessels operating to and from the Jaffna peninsula.

The following reasons substantiate the premise that there was no action by the Sri Lanka Navy in the vicinity off Point Calimere on 11th July 2008, despite the allegations aired via the media:

a) Sri Lanka Naval vessels operate only on the Sri Lankan side of the IMBL.

b) The Area Commands at all times control the operations of the Naval units deployed under them. The standing instructions issued to the Commanding Officers of all Naval craft include the need to treat crew of detected/apprehended fishing vessels in a humanitarian manner, There have also been several instances where pursuant to these instructions, Sri Lankan Naval craft have rendered assistance to Indian fishermen in distress, which has been publicly acknowledged and appreciated by those fishermen and their families.

c) Some of the media reports concerning the alleged incident off Point Calimere refer to over 20 bullet injuries on the body of one of the deceased. Such injuries can occur only through firing at point blank range from small arms. In the incident off Point Pedro, the two Naval craft had to engage from long range the suspicious boat due to its traveling at a high speed;

d) Yet another report on the alleged incident off Point Calimere referred to the wounded fisherman as having called his relatives on the mainland using his mobile phone. The coverage of mobile phones when used in the Palk Straits is invariably limited to national territorial waters. It is reiterated that Sri Lanka Naval units operate always within Sri Lankan territorial waters.

It is important to remain mindful that there is a track record of the LTTE attacking Indian fishermen. One such incident attested by the Press Release issued on 27th April 2007 by the Director General of Police of the State of Tamil Nadu, relates to the massacre of five Indian fishermen from Kanyakumari on 29th March 2007 by an LTTE vessel operating under the name "Maria", The possibility of the incident off Point Calimere having taken place due to similar LTTE action cannot be ruled out, especially because the following day (12th July) there were reports of Indian fishermen in the same waters having been manhandled and their nets cut.

The LTTE hopes to derive a double advantage by staging such attacks. Firstly, it seeks to place pressure on innocent fishermen to associate themselves with the nefarious activities of the Tigers. Secondly, it endeavours to falsely implicate the Sri Lanka Navy, with a view to damaging the excellent bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.

However, in view of the tragic loss of life of the two Indian fishermen, the Government of Sri Lanka is continuing its inquiries into this incident.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Two LTTE cadres surrender to Police - Uppuweli

Two LTTE cadres surrendered to the police station Uppuweli around 5.30 on Tuesday (July 15) evening. The surrendees told the police that they had escaped from an LTTE camp in the Kuchchaweli area.

Two surrendees have been identified as M.D. Mohan, aged 28, and B. Pardeepan, aged 22. Police said that both suspects were residents of Sampur area.

The surrendees further told the police that they had decided to surrender realizing the inevitable defeat that the terrorist outfit is going to suffer at the hands of the security forces. Also, they had expressed their desire to return their hometown now liberated from the LTTE terrorists.

Uppuweli police conducts further investigations.

Police Commandos uncover military items including jackets worn by suicide bombers - Batticaloa

Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel uncovered 8 x T-56 weapons, 3 jackets worn by suicide bombers, along with 2 x fake suicide kits and a solar panel during a search operation conducted in the Dangeliya area last evening (July 15).

Police conducts further investigations.

Two suspects arrested with two lorries containing contraband bound to LTTE - Vavuniya

Troops on duty at Omanthai check point arrested two individuals along with two lorries containing contraband on Tuesday (July 15) evening. Troops while checking vehicles found the items which were concealed under the roofs the vehicles. The Lorries were under the district secretary of Mulaitivu and were supposed to transport food items and grocery items to the non liberated areas.

The following items were found in two Lorries.

Lorry number - 47- 2511


Pen touch batteries - 8120

Olive Green uniforms clothes - 334m

Black clothes - 30m

40mm Thick Galvanize sheet - 6 (8'x4')

Lorry number - 26- 5416


40 mm GI sheet - 25 (8'x 4')

6 mm pokers - 510

Two were arrested with the equipments and police are conducting further inquires.

Anti-LTTE raids in Melbourne reports 'The Australian'

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested, at the request of the FBI, a director of a Melbourne business college believed to be linked to the Tigers over alleged terrorism offences in the US.

Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, 34, is expected to face extradition proceedings after his arrest on Monday when AFP agents raided homes and businesses around Melbourne, including the office of his Melbourne International College.

The raids were conducted at the request of the FBI, which has been cracking down on the fundraising activities in the US of members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

A spokesman for federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland yesterday confirmed the US had requested that Santhirarajah be detained.

"The man is wanted to face prosecution for alleged terrorism offences in the United States of America," the spokesman said. "As this is an ongoing law enforcement matter, it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of the case."

Santhirarajah appeared briefly in a Melbourne Magistrates court on Monday and was remanded in custody until next month.

As well as the city office of the college, AFP agents raided five properties and businesses in Narre Warren, Dandenong and Lysterfield.

It is understood police questioned some colleagues and business partners of Santhirarajah, but later released them.

Staff at the college yesterday refused to comment on the raids or Santhirarajah's arrest.

Neighbours of Santhirarajah in Narre Warren said they had noticed unusual activity in their street for some time. Diana Taylor said that in recent weeks she had seen people setting up what she thought was undercover surveillance.

Last year in unrelated proceedings, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York arrested the alleged US director of the Tigers.

At the time, the FBI accused Australia's Tamil community of helping fund terrorist attacks by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Two Melbourne men, allegedly linked to the Tigers, are awaiting trial over unrelated alleged terrorism-related offences. They were charged in 2006 with being members of a terrorist organisation, making funds available to a terrorist organisation and making an asset available to a proscribed entity.

Courtesy: The Australian

2 LTTE terrorists killed in Vavuniya

Troops forced into an LTTE bunker defence Tuesday (July 15) killing two terrorists at the Vavuniya battlefront in Navathkulama, at 9.15a.m. According to Army, two LTTE terrorists holding rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) were attacked head on.

According to security sources, troops after intense observation attacked the terrorists using small arms while those two LTTE terrorists were near the bunker. Those two Tiger terrorists were confirmed killed, Army further said.

Monday, July 14, 2008

'A carnivore's offer to be herbivorous'- Island Editorial

The best indication of a terrorist outfit's failure to get out of a cul-de-sac it fights its way into is an offer of a truce. When it is strong and cocky, it doesn't give a tinker's damn about peace; it unleashes hell on others. But, when it sees the writing on the wall, it waves an olive branch tied to a gun barrel hoping that its enemies would fall for the trick.

This exactly is what the LTTE is reported to have done. According to a statement attributed to LTTE political wing leader Nadesan, it has become amenable to a ceasefire all of a sudden! This has come as no surprise. A ceasefire is the only hope for the LTTE, which is being encircled in the Wanni. The history of its armed struggle shows it sues for peace every five or six years to gain a boost for its war effort.

Having carried out its first major attack on the military in 1983, the LTTE formally entered into a ceasefire with the Premadasa government in 1989 and their honeymoon lasted till June the following year. After the PA formed a government in 1994, the LTTE, having lost a part of the Eastern Province due to a military campaign by the Wijetunge government, lured the Kumaratunga government into accepting its offer of a truce, which it torpedoed in 1995 by sinking two naval gunboats in the Trincomalee harbour. Prabhakaran made peace overtures again in 2001 and signed a Norwegian drafted CFA with the UNF government the following year.

The last truce, unlike the previous ones which had lasted only a year or so, dragged on despite serious violations thereof by the LTTE for about five years. Its extraordinary life span was due to three factors: The post 9/11 anti-terror drive by the leading western nations and the attendant apprehension on the part of all terrorists groups the world over, the 2004 tsunami disaster, which had a heavy toll on the LTTE and, most of all, the benefits that accrued to the outfit from CFA such as some legitimacy for its macabre cause through peace talks held in foreign capitals, freedom of movement and opportunity for arms smuggling and infiltration.

The LTTE would still have been benefiting from its wish-granting CFA, while violating it with impunity, having scuttled peace talks in 2003 under the UNF government, unless the present regime had abrogated it officially last year after the LTTE plunged the country back into war in 2006 by capturing the Mavil Aru reservoir.

One may think war is the only means through which the LTTE has sought to achieve its goal of separation. But, 'peace', too, has become part of its strategy, as evident from the punctuation of its war effort by ceasefires.

Until 2006, the war had been fought according to the LTTE's time table. When it wanted war, governments responded militarily and when it sued for peace, governments naively reciprocated its peace offers. Thus, it was able to bring about a discontinuity in State military policy under successive governments. In 1989, the LTTE managed to make the Premadasa regime depart from JRJ government's and India's military campaign. In 1994/95, it succeeded in making the Kumaratunga government abandon the military strategy of the Wijetunga regime, which was doing something similar to what is being done by the Rajapaksa government at present -- liberating the East and moving northwards. (Ironically, the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is opposing war today, was chairing the National Security Council meetings under President D. B. Wijetunge!) In 2001, after the UNF's victory, the LTTE's peace overtures caused the Wickremesinghe government to bid farewell to its predecessor's war effort.

The present military campaign against the LTTE has become successful, as it is not being conducted according to the LTTE's timetable.

The LTTE at present is in the same predicament as the army in 1999, when the latter's camps fell like nine pins. Today, the LTTE camps have become fixed targets vis-…-vis a highly motivated and well-equipped army forging ahead on four fronts. The Tigers are badly cornered with their supply routes being blocked effectively. For the first time, they have lost control of the East and Jaffna at the same time and are facing an advancing army in the Wanni with the Air Force and the Navy on the offensive.

Until a few months ago, the LTTE boasted that the army was stretching its legs far too wide in the Wanni and it would learn a 'bloody lesson' in time to come. But, today theLTTE supporters have changed the tune. Now they are arguing that the LTTE cannot be wiped out, as it has the capability to survive as a typical guerrilla movement. They have chosen to ignore the fact that the LTTE no longer enjoys the support of the populace as manifest in the absence of volunteers to fight for it. It has had to forcibly recruit the young and the old alike as cannon fodder. As we pointed out in a previous comment, resentment of the people under the LTTE's jackboot is only too well known. This is what the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) the UTHR (J) has said about the public mood in the LTTE-held terrain: "Several LTTE leaders who deal with the people know the extent of resentment and the curses uttered out of their hearing. Instances of popular jubilation have also been reported when air force bombers hit an LTTE target. At a place 12 miles north of the frontline, a senior LTTE leader told some friends, `Should the Army advance this far, the people would rebel against us!" -- UTHR (J) Special Report No: 28, Dec. 04, 2007. Thus, it may be seen that conditions prevailing in the Wanni are far from favourable to the LTTE.

No wonder Prabhakaran has decided to swallow his pride and offer a truce. The only way the LTTE can break free from the mounting military pressure is to get a truce, regroup, rearm and make a comeback in the areas from which it has been banished, under the false pretext of doing 'political work'.

The LTTE demonstrated that it was not interested in peace making yet another time in 2003 by unilaterally walking away from peace talks while a robust peace process was in place with the UNF government pandering to Prabhakaran's whims and fancies.

The LTTE needs to be asked some questions as regards its truce offer: Is it willing to give up Eelam? Will it abandon its ISGA demand? Will it eschew violence and desist from truce violations? And is it amenable to a peace process to be conducted according to a timeframe with independent monitors?

Courtesy: The Island

An LTTE suicide cadre consumes cyanide - Wellawatta

A male LTTE suicide cadre, who was trying to commit suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill, is being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the National hospital Colombo.

The suspected LTTE suicide cadre had consumed cyanide at the time he was arrested by the special police investigation team in Wellawatta last evening, July 12.

11 LTTE terrorists killed - Mannar front

According to a military report received from the Mannar battlefront this evening (July 14) 11 terrorists were killed and 10 others wounded when the troops launched attacks targeting LTTE bunker defences in general area Karalmoddai in two separate occasions during the day hours today.

In the first attack launched around 8.25 a.m in Karalmoddai, ground troops confirmed 6 terrorists were killed while 4 suffered injuries. The other attack reported around 9.30 in the same area claimed 5 more LTTE cadres while injuring 6 others, the report said.

Army Olympic aspirants receive commander's blessing

Two sports stars of the Sri Lanka Army blessed with the opportunity of showing their talents in the Olympic arena obtained blessings of Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Monday (14) in his office at Army Headquarters before leaving for Beijing in the near future.

Staff Sergeant E.M. Senanayake of the 6th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment will represent the country in 50 m free shooting and 10 m air pistol firing while Corporal B.L. Nadeeka Lakmali of the 2nd Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps competes in jewelling throw.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka who offered his heartiest congratulations to the two soldiers for entering the world's highest sports event encouraged them to fly Army flag on behalf of the country as another Sri Lankan soldier did in Asian Cup cricket tournament recently.

Commander presented two Swiss-made weapons worth of Rs. 800,000/- to Staff Sergeant E.M. Senanayake to use at the Olympics and a cheque of Rs. 200,000 to Corporal B.L. Nadeeka Lakmali.
Courtesy - SL Army

Wanni operation continues; 19 terrorists killed, over 35 wounded

Security forces personnel engaged in offensive operation to liberate Wanni killed 19 LTTE terrorists and injured 20 more in yesterday's (July 13) clashes reported in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya fronts. 17 more terrorists reportedly either killed or wounded, the finalized report received from the forefront said.

In Jaffna theatre, an LTTE terrorist was killed when the troops attack at enemy bunker located in general area Ponnar, the report said.

In Vavuniya front, an LTTE terrorist was killed when the troops attack at terror bunker in general area Navathkulam. The bunker also destroyed due to the attack. Meanwhile, troops confronted with a group of LTTE terrorist in general area Parappukkal and intercepted radio communication it is revealed that one terrorist was killed while another 3 suffered injuries. Two soldiers suffered injuries exploding an anti-personnel mine and an IED in Ampaddankulam and Uluvaneri respectively. The victims were rushed to the Vavuniya hospital.

Separately, troops confronted with a group of LTTE terrorists while conducting the consolidating operations in newly liberated areas in Vavuniya front. The report said, a body of an LTTE cadre and Canter vehicle (Isuzu) left away by the fleeing terrorists, were also found while conducting a search operation in the area later.

Meanwhile, in the same front more clashes between LTTE terrorists and troops have been reported from Navvi area, according to the military report. 6 LTTE terrorists were killed while 5 others suffered injuries in these confrontations. One soldier also suffered due to LTTE's retaliation in the same area. 3 terrorists were killed and 2 others wounded in separate confrontation took place in general area Palaimoddai. 2 soldiers suffered injuries exploding terror IED in general area Veerapirayan in the same front. Separately, troops recovered 8 anti-personnel mines while conducting mine clearing operations in newly captured LTTE areas.

In Mannar front, troops found a anti-tank mine, 121 anti-personnel mines, and 16 hand grenades while conducting a search operation in general area Oddupallam, the report said. Meanwhile, 16 anti-personnel mines were also unearthed from the Puthukamam area, the report added.

In Welioya front, during the clashes reported in north of Janakapura and Kiriibbanwewa areas, by intercepted terror radio communication revealed that 7 terrorists were killed while 10 others wounded. 17 more terrorists were reportedly either killed or wounded, the report stated. One soldier suffered injuries exploding an anti-personnel mine in general area north of Janakapura, the report further stated.

Meanwhile, 58 anti-personnel mines were unearthed by the troops engaged in mine clearing operations launched in north of Janakapura area.

The Offensive operations to liberate Wanni region are continuing.

Family forced to feed LTTE terrorists nabbed- Valaichchenai

Troops deployed in the Aselapura, in Valaichchenai area have arrested a family along with a canter loaded with dry rations around 3.45 this morning (July 14). According to the police sources in Valaichchenai, the 3 adults- 2 males and one female and 3 children have been taken to the police.

The suspects have confessed that they were transporting the dry rations to the LTTE terrorist hiding in the jungles in the Punani area. Father of the family have told the police that his family was threaten by an LTTE cadre who had been an area resident before joining the LTTE, to supply rations to the LTTE cadres remaining in the area. Therefore, the suspect has opted transport the food risking lives of his wife and children using a hired vehicle, police said.

The said LTTE cadre had asked the family to unload the food items close to the 112 mile post on the Polonnaruwa - Batticaloa main road, police further said. The stock of food contains packets instant noodles , soft drinks, sugar , cheese , milk powder, biscuits and etc. police added.

Police conduct further investigations.

Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC welcomes new Chief

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC held a religious ceremony to welcome the newly arrived Ambassador designate, Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya on Saturday, July 12, 2008 at the Embassy premises. Mr. Wickramasuriya is the 15th Ambassador to represent the Government of Sri Lanka in Washington DC since its independence in 1948.

Multi- religious observances were carried out by dignitaries from Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian communities, who bestowed their blessings upon the Ambassador designate. Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayake Thero and Ven. Katugastota Uparathana Nayake Thero, representing the Washington Buddhist Vihara and the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton, respectively, invoked Buddhist prayers. Mr. Selvaraj from the Embassy led the Hindu Prayers on behalf of Mrs. Kanaga Ranganathan, Mr. Seyed Ali Moulana, the Islamic prayers and Dr. Gregory Fernandopulle, the Christian prayers.

The welcome speech was delivered by Ambassador Tissa Wijeratne - Deputy Chief of Mission, introducing the incoming Ambassador to the Sri Lankan diaspora in the United States.

The Ambassador designate, Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya emphasized in his speech that the support of members of the staff of the Embassy is essential to continue the work of the two countries in order to promote the image of Sri Lanka in the United States, and enhance trade ties between the two countries, for which, he also expected the fullest cooperation of the Sri Lankan expatriate community. He assured the attendees that he would continue the work which his predecessor Bernard Goonetilleke initiated, in addition to the work planned by him for the future.

The event was attended by the Embassy staff, representatives of Sri Lankan American organizations in the Greater Washington area, as well as representations from a number of other states across the US.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

APRC to resume sessions

The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) is to resume its session this week after a recess, its Chief and Minister Tissa Vitharana told reporters.

Vitharana said a Tamil minority party which won the recent elections in the Eastern Province had named its nominee to the APRC thereby permitting it to resume the sessions.

"The TMVP has named the Batticaloa Mayor Sivageetha Prabakaran as its nominee. We could now meet and discuss the rest of the issues", Vitharana said.

The TMVP or the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal is a breakaway faction of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Its Deputy Leader Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan became the Eastern Province's first Chief Minister in the election held on May 10.

Vitharana, who is also the Minister of Science and Technology said the APRC has finalised 90 per cent of the issues and the remaining 10 per cent of the issues could be thrashed out during the coming sessions.

The APRC came after President Mahinda Rajapaksa in early 2006 convened an all party panel to try and reach Southern political party consensus on the conflict in the North and East provinces.

Courtesy : Daily news

Police Commandos arrest LTTE cadre in Batticaloa

Police sources in Batticaloa said that the Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel had arrested an LTTE cadre in the Wellawali area last morning. According to the sources, a hand grenade, a camouflage uniform, and a dog tag bearing number 1141 were also found in the possession of the cadre.

STF handed over the suspect to the police for further investigations.

Army elites capture 2 LTTE bunkers; 7 terrorists killed in clashes in Mannar

Sri Lanka Army elites launched an attack at two well-fortified bunkers manned by LTTE terrorist in the Palaiveddnmoddai area, 7 km East of Vidattaltivu around 11.30 this morning (July 13), said the defence sources on the Mannar battlefront.

The soldiers have captured the two bunkers crushing down the fierce retaliation by the terrorist and later observed remains of 7 of LTTE cadres killed in the battle , the sources further said. Five bodies of the slain LTTE cadres have been recovered by the soldiers and action would be taken to hand them over to the LTTE through ICRC, the sources added.

More information will follow as the search operation is in progress.

Army Attacks LTTE defences South of Vidattaltivu; 7 terrorists killed

Troops operating under Task Force 1 attacked LTTE bunker defences located in the Karaimoddai and Periyavilankuli areas in the South of Vidattaltivu at several instances this morning (July 13), the defence sources said.

Troops commenced their assault by pounding a bunker compound located in the Periyavilankuli area, 2 km South of Vidattaltivu around 8.10 AM. Ground troops claimed 3 terrorists were killed in the incident.

Separately, troops attacked a fortified bunker line manned by LTTE terrorists in the Karaimoddai area at two instances. In the first attack that took place at 9.30 AM troops claimed 2 terrorists were killed and in the second one that took place at 10.45 AM troops claimed 2 more terrorist were killed. Also, in the same area a soldier suffered injuries due to an anti personnel mine explosion around 10.45 AM.

Wanni operation continues ; 13 terrorists killed yesterday's clashes

Reports released by the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) on yesterday's (July12) military operations in the Northern battlefronts indicate that 13 terrorist were killed, 25 others injured. Also, a soldier was killed and 7 others suffered injuries during these battles.

In the Wanni theatre of battle, troops continued to pound LTTE defences on the Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya warfronts during the course of the day.

On the Mannar front, troops operating under Task Force 1 had a series of clashes in the Puthukulama area during the daytime and claimed 16 terrorists were injured during these confrontations. One soldier suffered injuries during the same.

In the general area Sannarkulama , troops confronted with a group of terrorist around 11.30 last morning . Ground troops claimed 2 terrorists were killed and 4 others wounded during this incident while own suffered no casualties. Also, in the same area troops engaged in clearing operations removed 14 anti personnel (AP) mines and 4 booby traps.

Meanwhile, troops patrolling on the Mannar coast found a boat fitted with an out board mortar (OBM) left unattended in Ponnampiddi area last morning. Inside the boat, troops found 50 liters of Patrol and 50 liters of Diesel made ready to be transported to the terrorists.

On the Vavuniya front, troops attacked two terror bunkers located in the Palamodai area since last morning and claimed two bunkers and a 60mm mortar position were destroyed. According to the ground troops 3 terrorists were killed and 3 others were wounded in the these confrontations that lasted till the evening.

In the Navvi area, troops had three separate confrontations with the terrorist during the daytime. Ground troops claimed that 4 terrorists were killed and 5 others suffered injuries while one soldier was killed and two others suffered injuries during these clashes. Also, in the same area one soldier was injured due to an AP mine explosion during the morning hours.

Welioya battlefront remained most eventful as usual as troops moving towards Mullaittiuvu had daylong clashes with the terrorists in the Mulaithiuvu forest, North of Janakapura and Kiriibbanwewa areas. Ground troops claimed that 5 terrorists were killed and at least 15 others were injured while one soldier injured during these clashes. Also , two soldiers suffered injuries in an IED explosion occurred in the North of Janakapura area last morning.

Troops engaged in clearing operations removed 141 AP mines and 16 IEDs during day's operations.

In a separate clash reported from Kambiliyawa on last evening troops claimed a terrorist was killed. Earlier on Friday (July 11) troops found one T-56 riffle, 60 ammo, 1 radio communication set . 2 claymore bombs weighing 2.5 kg each, 3 RPG bombs, 1 hand grenade, along with other military wear during a search conducted in the same area.

Meanwhile in Jaffna Theater of battle, a soldier suffered injuries due to terrorist small arms fire in the Kilaly area last noon. Also , 2 terrorists suffered injuries in a confrontation occurred in the Nagarkovil area on the same day morning.

Limited offensives are being continued to liberate Wanni.

Related News: 12 LTTE terrorists killed, 19 wounded in Wanni battles

'Ready for talks if LTTE down weapons first' - President

He was not aware as yet of Indian diplomats arriving in Colombo for the SAARC Summit bringing their own security, however he saw nothing wrong in leaders of countries having their own security when they travel abroad, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Indian media yesterday (July 12).

He was answering questions regarding security for Indian delegates to the SAARC Summit in Colombo, at a press conference at Thirupathy in Andhra Pradesh, prior to his departure for Sri Lanka.

"I have my own security here. It is natural. Any leader who comes to another country will not just walk in there. They will bring their own security. We consider it our duty to look after their security while in Sri Lanka, but they also bring their own security. Every leader does that", the President said.

Answering a question about a statement by the LTTE's Political Wing leader, Nadesan, that the Government was not willing to reopen negotiations, President Rajapaksa said the government was ready even today.

"I am ready today. Let them keep their weapons down, because whenever they are weak they are ready for talks."

Asked about possible deadline for talks with the LTTE, President Rajapaksa said there was no deadline as it was up to the LTTE. "From my side, we are ready. Only, they must give up arms, and give up terrorism. You know the problems you have in your own country with terrorists and terrorist organisations."

"See what happened in Kabul. Terrorism strikes in Kabul, New York, London and Colombo. It is all the same. You cannot achieve anything through terrorism," he said. Asked whether he was interested in mediation, he said it should be possible to settle this matter by direct discussions: "We are all Sri Lankans, we are all brothers, whether we are from the North, East or South. Surely we can settle this by talking to each other".

President Rajapaksa explained in detail how the LTTE had been carrying out attacks on civilians, women and children, for more than 20 years, even when a Ceasefire Agreement was in place. He said that within two weeks of his election in November 2005, the LTTE had resumed violence that had gone on for months killing over 200 civilians and unarmed soldiers.

The government had sought negotiations in Geneva and Oslo, which were rejected by the LTTE. The current operation to defeat terrorism had begun only after the LTTE closed the Mavil Aru anicut in mid-2006 cutting off water for drinking and agriculture to more than 15,000 families. The LTTE had rejected the pleas of the government to open the anicut and give water to the people.

He said the LTTE had now been defeated in the East, where an election was held, and a former LTTE cadre, who had joined as child soldier when 15 years old, was now the elected Chief Minister.

On relationships with India, the President said there were very good relations between India and Sri Lanka. "India has always helped Sri Lanka, and now they are helping to train our people, our soldiers". The countries of the Indian sub-continent region were regularly exchanging intelligence and information of terrorism, he said.

Referring to allegations of the Sri Lankan Navy harassing Indian fishermen of Rameshwaram, President Rajapaksa said this was not so. He explained that fishing boats in large numbers came into this area from India, and the LTTE captured some of these boats and use them to transport weapons and explosives. The Sri Lanka Navy had to act against these move of the LTTE.

"You must remember that the LTTE killed one of the greatest leaders of India (Rajiv Gandhi) who tried to help the LTTE to come to negotiations. You must always remember that". He said that subject to correction, he had heard it said that he (Rajiv Gandhi) had offered to give his own bullet proof vest to the LTTE leader, when the latter had said he feared to return to Sri Lanka.

Courtesy : Sunday Observer