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February 28, 2009

Mar 1 - 7:

Desmond Tutu pleads for UN intervention in Sri Lanka [TC]

Vanni people in Great distress says Anandasangaree [TC]

Gotabhaya Rajapakse  and Sarath Fonseka  are similar to Velupillai Prabhakaran

By Maitree de Silva

In this article, my objective is to focus on a crucial area of Sri Lankan political life, where significant developments have taken place: military successes against the LTTE coupled with the development of a culture of ruthless impunity. This can be described as the result of a mixture of very dangerous elements [TC]

Why Sri Lankan cricket team was selected as terrorist target

by Shanaka Jayasekara

Many commentators have drawn the conclusion that the Sri Lankan cricket team was targeted by terrorists not because they were Sri Lankan, rather they were the only foreign sports team visiting Pakistan. [TC]

Urgently Evacuate Civilians, HRW says

The Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should immediately agree to a plan of action to allow civilians trapped in the Vanni to leave the conflict area, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Terrorist attack on Sri Lanka team in Lahore: Q & A

by B. Raman

I have received a number of questions from readers with reference to my article of March 3,2009, on the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. I answer some of them in this article. [TC]

Response to latest critique of Sri Lanka in London Telegraph

by Rajiva Wijesinha

The latest critique of Sri Lanka in the London Telegraph, in what is termed a blog by one of its Foreign Correspondents, Peter Foster, continues with misinformation based on what it terms a ‘veteran international aid worker’. [TC]

In Pakistan, India is emerging as prime suspect for Lahore Attack

by Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: Despite an early statement by the Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, that “the same people who carried out the Mumbai attacks are behind the attack in Lahore,” India is emerging as a prime suspect in the eyes of many Pakistanis. [TC]

Lahore attack on Lankan cricketers is tied up with South Asian geo-politics

By Kusal Perera

The news of the Lahore armed attack on Sri Lankan cricketers sent the Sinhala South into a momentary shock. It took a few seconds, if not minutes for most Southern Sri Lankans to ask each other faintly, “Why attack our cricketers?” And then they all got fired and were buzzing the news around, often with their own interpretations. Some thought it was a LTTE contract on SL. [TC]

Wanni civilians in Vavuniya talk about their tragic experiences

Written by: MSF in Asia

As heavy fighting continues in northern Sri Lanka, over 200,000 civilians remain trapped in the conflict in the Vanni region. [TC]

The Wanni Situation According to an UN Aid Worker

by Peter Foster

THE humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka deepens daily, with up to 200,000 (the Sri Lankan government says 100,000) civilians trapped in the conflict zone as Sri Lanka's armed forces attempt a final rout of the Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) in defiance of requests from India and others for a ceasefire. [TC]

People arriving in Wanni need medical care and counseling

Wounded, shocked and distressed. After having fled heavy fighting in the Vanni, people arriving in Vavuniya hospital need both medical care and counselling. Mental health officer Karen Stewart hears their stories. [TC]

Police repression unleashed against Sri Lankan university students

By Kapila Fernando

The response of the Sri Lankan government, the media, police and university authorities to clashes between rival student groups at Kelaniya University is a warning to young people and workers throughout the island of the methods being prepared to suppress unrest as the country's economic crisis deepens. [TC]

Raising awareness in US about Tamil suffering in Sri Lanka

Family members of Dr. Gerard and Suba Francis were largely spared from a tsunami that ravaged their native Sri Lanka in late December 2004, killing tens of thousands of people.

But the Vernon Township couple's worries are far from over, as a decades-old civil war that has ratcheted up in recent months poses an ever-increasing danger to their loved ones and their culture. [TC]

Displaced civilians traumatised

Thousands of civilians who fled fighting in northern Sri Lanka remain traumatised by their experience and anxious about their future, say aid workers. [TC]

HRW asks Lankan Govt to release or charge editor Vithyatharan

The Sri Lankan government should either free a longtime newspaper editor arrested on February 27, 2009, or charge him with a credible offense, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Sri Lanka is in Deep Crisis on Many Fronts

by Prof S Sivasegaram

Sri Lanka is in deep crisis on many fronts, and its politics is almost a total mess. Yet, its President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, elected by a whisker in November 2005, thanks to the boycott of the election by the Tamils in the North-East, after a last-minute call by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is the only Sri Lankan head of government to have grown in popularity since election. [TC]

Let not any country be misled by separatist propaganda

by S.L. Gunasekara

Having read in the newspapers and the Internet of a "Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Americans" as well as of a hearing about Sri Lanka in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee I pen these words on the subject so as to disabuse the minds of the American Legislators of the disinformation fed to them by the pro-LTTE lobby. [TC]

Assuming the LTTE finished is fantasy masquerading as fact

By Qadri Ismail

Che Guevara once said: “if you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are my comrade.”

The distillation of a lifetime of agitation, intervention, reflection, this statement, the opposite of a soundbite, pithily articulates ethics with politics. We’ve known, at least since Aristotle, that the two are inextricable, yet distinct. [TC]

A Tamil Standpoint in Sri Lanka

by Rajan Philips

In his book: Abiding by Sri Lanka, Qadri Ismail teases the eminent historian, K.M. de Silva, for the latter’s rendering of history that accounts for the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims contentiously co-existing but “finds no Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka”. [TC]

Search for Peace and the unanswered problems

By A.Rajasingam

Though it appears that the LTTE was cornered, the LTTE has once again proved that they are still active with the air raid in Colombo. [FI]

Is South Asia falling apart?

by Michael Binyon

In Sri Lanka, the police arrest of a Tamil editor attending a funeral came as government troops are on the brink of victory in the long-running war against Tamil Tiger separatists. [TC]

New global conventions needed to protect war affected communities

by Thrishantha Nanayakkara

On Feb. 9, an LTTE suicide bomber killed herself inside a crowded transit camp maintained by the government for displaced Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka [TC

Human Rights Watch Standard Bearers of Human Rights Extremism

by Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha

Human Rights Watch, standard bearers of what Michael Roberts has characterized as HRE – Human Rights Extremism – seems to have decided that it has a special relationship with me.

LTTE predator not protector of Tamil civilian population

by Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingham Sritharan

The LTTE’s treatment of civilians who came within its ambit calls for greater imagination and restraint in giving practical effect to the rules of war. [TC]

The  Dilemma of Balancing Humanitarian Concerns with Security Requisites

By Namini Wijedasa

As fighting rages further north, haggard civilians with tales of horror are continuing to stumble into Vavuniya. [TC]

February 22, 2009

Feb 22 - 28:

Sri Lanka must be Declared Rogue State and Economic Sanctions Applied

by Malarthamil

The international community is slowly waking up to the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka which is quite overdue for the last few months. [TC]

Statement by John Holmes to the UN Security Council

Briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka: Statement by John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator [TC]

UN Security Council to be briefed on Sri Lanka situation by Sir John Holmes [TC]

Stark contrast between Barack Obama and some "of our" leaders

by Prof. A.N.I. Ekanayake

Independent perceptive Sri Lankans whose rational judgment has not been impaired by jingoistic inebriation with good news from the war front, may be excused for having conflicting emotions while watching the passion and sincerity with which President Barak Obama addressed the joint session of Congress and Senate today (25th February), to the accompaniment of repeated standing ovations. [TC]

Arrests of Journalists and the value of dissent

by Shanie

Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian writer and activist, a leader of the minority Ogoni people, who was tried in a sham trial by the then military regime and hanged in 1995. He wrote this poignant poem for Zina, his daughter, shortly before his execution. This poem is included in an excellent series of booklets under the title ‘The Value of Dissent’ put out by the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka between 1991 and 2000. [TC]

Sri Lanka parlaying fight "against terror" as an incredible propaganda tool

Michael Freund wrote of the "unfair treatment" Israel gets in the international arena in the Jerusalem Post recently. His argument was that, "Sri Lanka's conflict, which has claimed twice as many lives as our (Israel's) foray into Gaza, has barely seemed to register on the international radar screen." [TC]

Controversy Over Arrest of Tamil Newspaper Editor

by Yohan Perera and Senaka de Silva

Controversy surrounded the arrest of Sudar Oli Editor N. Vidyadaran in Mount Lavinia last morning after police initially said, he was abducted by an unknown gang which had come in a white van. [TC]

Sambandan complains to Mahinda about Police interrogation

Trincomalee district Parliamentarian and head of Tamil National Alliance Parliamentary group, Rajavarothayam Sambandan has complained to President Mahinda Rajapakse about his being interrogated by the Police over views expressed by him at a press conference. [TC]

Maya 'MIA' Arulpragasam, Varnakulasingham Murugathasan and Dayan Jayatilleke

by Kath Noble

As I stood at my bedroom window looking out at the red tracers and searchlights crisscrossing the sky on Friday night, I wondered how things had come to such a point. [TC]

Sri Lankan refugees face open-ended detention in camps

By Simon Montlake

The camp's dry goods store opened only a day ago, but its windows are already greasy and smudged from the many faces pressed up against it. [TC]

HRW calls for UN Security Council discussion on Sri Lanka humanitarian situation

Just over a week ago I returned from Sri Lanka. I have to mention, first of all, that collecting information about the conflict and the situation of the internally displaced persons is extremely difficult. [TC]

Fasting for Sri Lankan Peace

Jessica Schieder of The Hoya, Georgetown University's newspaper on record since 1920 - interviews People for Equality and Relief in Sri Lanka's (PEARL) advocacy director Tasha Manoranjan: [TC]

Human tragedy continues in northern Sri Lanka

By Sarath Kumara

As fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continues in the northern Wanni region, the plight of civilians trapped in the war zone is worsening. [TC]

Responsibility Of International Community to Protect Tamil Civilians

by Prof. M Sornarajah

It has been reported that the Sri Lankan government has rejected the appointment of Mr. Des Brown by the British Government as an envoy to deal with issues arising from the persecution by the state of the Tamil population in the country. [TC]

Dr. Ellyn Shander: "We will never stop fighting for justice"

Full Text of Speech by Dr. Ellyn Shander at the “Tamils Against Genocide”, Washington DC rally, Feb 20, 2009: [TC]

Tamil National Movement must re-brand itself to advance its cause

by Aarvalan

The fasts, rallies, marches and human chains organised by the Tamil Diaspora has been aimed at informing the International Community (IC) of the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan government and urging the international community to stop the genocide of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Children trapped in Sri Lanka’s conflict

by James Elder

Sennappu had a split second, a moment, literally a heartbeat to throw her body around her 18-month-old daughter before the bomb landed. Her reactions were enough time to save the life of her baby girl. Sennappu was killed instantly. [TC]

The Day I Became a Tamil Again

by N.Chelvakumar

Why did I have to become a Tamil again? Don't get me wrong, I was always a Tamil. I was born a Tamil. My family, as far as I can trace back, was Tamil. [TC]

Sri Lankan Muslim bashing by Dr. Ramadoss of PMK

by M.S.Shah Jahan

"Pakistan’s ISI sleuths with Sri Lankan passports and members of Karuna faction had crossed over to India and were stationed in places such as Egmore, Kolhikode and Bangalore, targeting the supporters of Eelam Tamils. [TC]

Proposed Anti-Conversion Legislation: A Road to Therocracy

By, A.R.M. Imtiyaz

The anti conversion bill, introduced by the Buddhist Jathika Hele Urumaya (JHU) in 2004, was approved in January 2009, and thus Sri Lanka’s parliament is expected to vote on the bill either in February or March, depending on the impending re-occupation of the entire Northern region. [TC]

Performance of LTTE pilots was like the ghost visiting Fazackerley

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

The air raid by the LTTE that took place on Friday evening was an extraordinary event, with an added human interest inasmuch as it happened while the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights was entertaining Sir John Holmes to dinner. [TC]

The Tigers’ ticking time bomb

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Velupillai Prabhakaran is about to be defeated but he has left a time bomb hidden in plain sight which must be defused if he is not to wreak a posthumous revenge. [TC]

Sri Lanka's MIAs - present grief, future fear

By Mark Magnier

Reporting from Kuliyapitiya, Sri Lanka -- The white tattered strips line the main road to Kuliyapitiya, hanging off telephone poles and fence posts, each one signifying another funeral, another loss, another hole punched in the heart of a family [TC]

Plight of trapped civilians continues to worsen

by Shanie

The plight of the trapped civilians continues to worsen, despite denials by the contending parties. A few thousands have managed to limp away from the conflict zone and into government-controlled areas in the Vavunya district. [TC]

My trip to Vavunia IDP welfare centres

Dr Thaya Thiagarajah

Though I have been following the news about the war in Vanni, and the damages made to human lives and properties, I never thought it would be so bad until I went in person. [TC]

Protection of children must be the first priority - Radhika

The protection of civilians, especially children, must be the first priority in the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka and both sides must act accordingly,” said Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. [TC]

HRW: “War on the Displaced”

The Sri Lankan government should immediately cease its indiscriminate artillery attacks on civilians in the northern Vanni region and its policy of detaining displaced persons in internment camps, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. [TC]

Why Aravinda de Silva was the Best Batsman of All ?

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

For the first century of its existence, the Taj Mahal was unknown outside India. If there was a cricketing equivalent of this monument it would be Aravinda de Silva. For much of his career, Aravinda was not recognized abroad. The World Cup victory changed that, but not enough. [TC]

February 15, 2009

Feb 15 - 21:

First Take on LTTE Air raids on Colombo

By Col R Hariharan 

But unlike the LTTE's earlier six bombing raids this time the two aircraft did not return home. Both were shot down by the much maligned Sri Lankan air defence system got into action quickly on spotting the aircraft. [TC]

Only uninhabited island can provide beached for LTTE aircraft

by B. Raman

According to the LTTE version, the maximum number of casualties was in the Slave Island---two killed and 45 injured. Only six were injured in the attack on the SLAF establishment at Katunayake. [TC]

UNFPA: Caring for the Needs of Women Caught in Sri Lanka ’s Crisis

Women and girls caught up in the ongoing warfare in northern Sri Lanka are at grave risk. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is assisting civilians who have escaped the combat area but remains greatly concerned for the health and safety of the tens of thousands who remain, particularly those who are pregnant. [TC]

Tamil Expatriates Have Moral Responsibility To Make Peace Possible

by Col R Hariharan

Recently, there is a perceptible change in New Delhi as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. It is trying to clearly articulate what it can do and what it cannot. [TC]

Murugathasan Had Only Himself to Burn

by Sam Wood

His life had taken him from the northern tip of Sri Lanka to a pebble-dashed semi in north-west London and finally to a cold square in Geneva. But it is for his death that the 26-year-old Tamil, Murugathasan Varnakulasingham, is likely to be remembered. [TC]

Civilians caught between LTTE and Govt dying and getting injured in Wanni

By Rajan Hoole & Kopalasingham Sritharan

The focus now is rightly on the civilians in the Vanni dying and being injured, caught between the LTTE’s determination to use them as a buffer and as corpses in statistics, and a government intent on crushing the Tigers with the free use of heavy weapons. [TC]

Will there be a political solution after Government's military success?

by Jayadeva Uyangoda

With the impending total defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, this secessionist group will cease to be a political force in Sri Lanka. But will there be a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the aftermath of the government’s military success? [TC]

Children suffering the most in conflict - UNICEF

Report by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Just nine years old, Thevaki was trapped in the crossfire between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and barely escaped with her life. [TC]

Kohona says it’s best for MIA to stay with music

In an exclusive conversation, via satellite from Colombo, Sri Lanka, Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona responds to comments about the Sri Lankan government made by Oscar- and Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist M.I.A. during her recent appearance on the Tavis Smiley Show. [TC]

Narayana Murthy declines Sri Lanka offer to become IT advisor

Chief Mentor and Chairman of the Infosys Board N.R. Narayana Murthy, has declined the Sri Lankan government’s offer to be its IT adviser. In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mr. Murthy cited “personal reasons” for the decision, an Infosys release said. [TC]

New plea for Sri Lanka civilians

The UN and the Red Cross have renewed appeals to both sides in Sri Lanka's conflict to spare civilian lives. [TC]

MP3 Audio: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Interview with Sonali Samarasinghe-Wickramatunga

A little over a month ago, Lasantha Wickramatunga was on his way to work in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Who killed Lasantha Wickrematunge ? Mangala Samaraweera speaks out

by Peter Foster

Back to Sri Lanka today and a full interview with Sri Lanka's foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera who left the Sri Lankan government in February 2007 after falling out with the country's President, Mahinda Rajapakse. [TC]

Seven lessons to be drawn from the CP, NWP provincial council elections

by Prof. S.W.R. De. A. Samarasinghe

The big winners in the Central Provincial Council (CPC) elections and the North Western Provincial Council (NWP) elections just concluded were President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UPFA. [TC]

Religious leaders ask Secretary Clinton to assert U.S. influence in Sri Lanka

As the government of Sri Lanka presses its advantage against the insurgent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), U.S. religious leaders have expressed alarm that tens of thousands of innocent civilians are trapped in the cross fire. [TC]

More children victims of the conflict, says UNICEF

Full text of statement by UNICEF:

With a growing number of children being recruited by the LTTE and scores of children being killed or injured in fighting, UNICEF today expressed its gravest concerns for children, as Sri Lanka’s conflict enters a new phase. [TC]

Tamil journalist killed in bombardment amounting to "war crime"

Reporters Without Borders today expressed revulsion at the death of a Tamil journalist in a Sri Lankan Army bombardment on the north of the country, which it described as a "war crime". [TC]

With the apparent defeat of the LTTE 1976 Vaddukodai resolution laid to eternal rest

By Wilson Gnanadass

The military thrust against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and thereby weakening them, has certainly offered fresh options to the moderate Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka. [TC]

"Impossible to defend consolidation of Sinhala chauvinism"

By Ramachandra Guha

In a recent essay in the Economic and Political Weekly, the political scientist Neil DeVotta quotes a Sri Lankan Government Minister as saying: [TC]

Prabhakaran's Project of Separate Tamil State is Militarily Crushed

by Kusal Perera

A smiling Valentine was there for the UPFA on 14th February [TC]

Genocide in Sri Lanka

by Bruce Fein

The barrage of media reporting of the grim conflict in Sri Lanka has captured popular imagination, but has overlooked the grisly Sinhalese Buddhist genocide of innocent Hindu or Christian Tamil civilians by a US dual citizen and US green card holder. [TC]

Sinhala and Tamil Ancestors were  on this Island for 14,000 Years

By R. Wijewardene

The volume of information on the internet is genu-inely astounding. Of course not all, or even a small fraction of it, is true but a great deal of it is certainly interesting. [TC]

Prospect of winning real peace in war-torn Sri Lanka

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Government’s recent military success in the North has not negated the need for political solution to the national problem, though some Sinhala supremacists will continue to oppose any change that dilutes the existing power structure which ensures Sinhala hegemony over the entire island. [FI]

Minority fears can only be allayed through devolution and power sharing

by Shanie

"Laws-of-war violations by one side never justify violations by the other. The government and the LTTE appear to be holding a perverse contest to determine who can show the least concern for civilian protection." [TC]

Tamil nationalist movement must put politics in command

by Kumar David

The LTTE has lost game and set; whether it has lost the match as well, or can reincarnate as a successful guerrilla movement a second time, remains to be seen. [TC]

The middle way between recognition of reality and striving for balance

by Dayan Jayatilleka

How do we describe our country, Sri Lanka, and how is our country described by others? As an island in the Indian Ocean, just south of or off the Southern shores of India [TC]

It is not to late to rectify glaring errors that have decided our society

by Brendon Gooneratne

Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the youngest son of Gate Mudaliyar A. Ponnambalam. He was born on 14 September 1853, to a highly respected and very well-educated, professional family from Manipay. [FI]

Will Sri Lanka emerge itself as a totalitarian State

By A. Rajasingam

The threats made by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse to the foreign diplomats, journalists and to the international aid agencies of "dire consequences" has opened everyone's eyelids as to whether the suppression of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution has begun. [FI]

Sri Lanka plans to hold displaced Tamils in 'concentration camps'

By Dean Nelson

Officials have confirmed they will establish several "welfare villages" to house the estimated 200,000 Tamils displaced from their homes by the Sri Lankan army's "final offensive" against the LTTE's stronghold on the north of the Island. [TC]

The fate and freedom of Civilians caught up in war

A message, by the Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera Bishop of Colombo

Two recent incidents of violence unleashed against innocent and defenceless Tamil civilians by the LTTE must be condemned unreservedly by peace loving Sri Lankans of all communities. [FI]

February 06, 2009

Feb 8 - 14:

US Newspapers record "fasting for peace" by members of "People for Equality and Relief in Lanka" (PEARL)

On February 2nd, eight Americans began a fast, renouncing all food in support of civilians under attack in Sri Lanka. Their campaign for peace has received wide coverage in newspapers in Massachusetts, Texas, Missouri and North Carolina: [TC]

In Sri Lanka, Tamil women suffer the worst of war

In one of the biggest hospitals in Sri Lanka's north, many women patients wonder why they survived the fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the military that killed so many of their friends [TC]

Sinhala and Tamil realists must forge realistic compromise together

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Victory is within our grasp. The Tigers are about to be completely overthrown, the entire national territory re-unified. That victory will be definitive but not final, total and complete until the leadership cadre of the LTTE is hunted down and destroyed. No one must be allowed to “mediate” an end to the war, because that would deny us victory, provide the Tigers an exit and keep them intact as a player.[TC]

Lankan Govt. plans to detain Wanni IDP's in Vavuniya concentration camps for three years

by Jeremy page

Sri Lanka was accused yesterday of planning concentration camps to hold 200,000 ethnic Tamil refugees from its northeastern conflict zone for up to three years — and seeking funding for the project from Britain. [TC]

Call to protest against anti conversion bill

While attention in Sri Lanka and the world at large is focused primarily on the on going war in Northern Wanni against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the religious chauvinist Rajapakse regime has quietly embarked on a devious project to suppress freedom of religion in the Country. [TC]

Tamil people may have only two major options after LTTE's defeat

by Jayadeva Uyangoda

Endgame for the LTTE.” That is how the media described the Sri Lanka Army’s entry into Mullaithivu town, seemingly the last stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It is clear that the LTTE’s military backbone has been broken decisively by the advancing military forces of the Sri Lankan state. [TC]

For Some Sri Lankans, Dissonance in M.I.A.’s Music

By Thomas Fuller

To many Americans, Maya Arulpragasam, known as M.I.A., is the very pregnant rapper who gyrated across the stage at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

Yet in Sri Lanka, where she spent her childhood years, M.I.A. remains virtually unknown. And some who do know her work say she is an apologist for the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels fighting in the country’s long-running civil war. [TC]

Amnesty: Civilians paying the price in a war with no witnesses

Statement by Amnesty International:

More civilians are being killed in north-east Sri Lanka, as the fighting continues between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

At the beginning of a New Terror in Sri Lanka

by Chirosree Basu

Shortly after Sri Lanka’s 61st independence day celebrations on February 4 and his rousing speech on the occasion, President Mahinda Rajapakse was photographed intently watching a snake-charmer at an exhibition in Colombo. [TC]

Sri Lanka risks becoming next Zimbabwe, widow warns

by Randeep Ramesh

Sri Lanka is on the road to a "Zimbabwe-style dictatorship or rule by a military junta like that of Burma" committed to snuffing out dissent, according to the widow of Lasantha Wickrematunga, the crusading Sri Lankan editor who was shot dead last month. [TC]

Refugees eager to join LTTE

A number of youngsters in the refugee camps here prefer to go back to Sri Lanka and join the LTTE in the war instead of living in India ‘as slaves’. [TC]

India’s Sri Lanka Problem: Keeping the fingers crossed

By B. Raman

The success of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in inflicting a series of defeats on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since the middle of 2006 and in restoring the writ of the State over 95 per cent of the territory in the Tamil majority Eastern and Northern provinces, which was under the control of the LTTE, has been greeted in India with a mix of satisfaction and concern. [TC]

Sonali Samarasinghe: A widow on the run

by Andrew Buncombe

There had been previous incidents, threats and warnings scrawled in red paint. And on that very morning, when they had driven before work to the chemist's shop, two sinister-looking men on a large black motorbike raced past their car. Lasantha Wickrematunga, a newspaper editor, and his wife, Sonali Samarasinghe, were convinced they were being tailed. [TC]

BBC suspends FM broadcasts via Sri Lankan national broadcaster SLBC following “interference”

BBC World Service is suspending its FM programming to the Sri Lankan national broadcaster SLBC from Tuesday, February 10 due to deliberate interference of its broadcasts by the Sri Lankan network.BBC programmes and individual news reports in the English, Sinhala and Tamil languages have been blocked by SLBC and have not been broadcast to listeners in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Are they coming or, have they come ?

by Kusal Perera

It was one lazy Saturday morning, after the 61st Independence Day celebrations held under heavy security. I was online, reading President Rajapaksa's address to the nation from a bullet proof glass podium at the Galle face green, once a free and a casual expanse for any and all who flocked to Colombo. [TCP

What next for Sri Lanka? D.B.S. Jeyaraj'Colombo’s attitude to Tamil aspirations important'

Despite announcements by President Mahinda Rajapaksa of a political settlement after the Tigers are vanquished, the substance and unit of envisaged devolution does not seem adequate. [Indian Express]

Checkmate, thambi

by G Babu Jayakumar

There has been a flurry of speculation about his whereabouts, as Velupillai Prabhakaran remains elusive — not just to the advancing Sri Lankan troops but to an intrigued media too. [Indian Express]

LTTE ex-arms procurer “KP” made new global Tiger Chief

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj 

With the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) being cornered militarily in Northern Sri Lanka, there has been much speculation about the future of the movement that has been the determining force in Sri Lankan politics for more than two decades. [DM]

Demise of the Opposition and Sinhala future in nation building

By Kusal Perera

What should eventually happen, did happen. [TC]

Tamil People Crushed Between Rebels and  Military

By S.Ratnajeevan. H. Hoole

The 35-year Sri Lankan civil war has reached a critical point, with the government taking control of all major towns in its harsh war against the Tamil Tigers, who demand a separate state. The Sri Lankan government has achieved these massive territorial gains by not caring about the welfare of Tamil civilians in battle zones. [TC]

Warmongering Sinhala chauvinism is opium of the masses in Lanka

by Dr.Vickramabahu Karunaratne

I am thankful to Tissa and other organizers for making this event a reality. As a present day leader of the Sama Samajist movement which made a special contribution to the independence struggle, I have neither shame nor fear to step into this stage to speak of freedom. [TC]

The Curious Case of Ajantha Mendis

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is likely to win Oscars this year. In this film, Brad Pitt plays a man who was born old and becomes younger as he grows up. The Sri Lankan team is a real life version of Benjamin Button. [TC]

February 02, 2009

Feb 1 - 7:

Tamils: Yes We Can

By Arvalan

The Tamil Tigers (LTTE), who have been waging an armed liberation struggle to liberate the Tamil Homeland in the North East provinces of the Island of Sri Lanka has suffered unprecedented military debacles in the last few years and are on the back foot for the first time in their history spanning over 30 years. [TC]

Who is Lasantha ?, queries Gotabhaya

BBC correspondent Christopher Morris who was on special assignment in Sri Lanka left the country following hostile allegations made against him in the media by Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. [TC]

Govt, Tigers must declare temporary truce and open humanitarian corridors to get civilians out, aid in

The Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should immediately declare a temporary humanitarian truce and create humanitarian corridors, Amnesty International said today. [TC]

Strategic Miscalculation by the LTTE

By Shanaka Jayasekara

In recent history there is only one example of an absolute victory over a terrorist group, that too from South Asia. The Indian forces completely destroyed the Khalisntan terror groups in Operation Blue Star in 1984. Today the Khalistan terror groups are limited to a few diapora supporters in Canada, US and UK. [TC]

Is Sri Lanka marching towards an unknown destination

By A.Rajasingam

The root cause for the prevailing unsettled condition in Sri Lanka calls for remedial measures in a reasonable and justifiable manner. It is a fact that discrimination has played a vital role in all aspects paving way for uprising among aggrieved communities. [FI]

Sixty-One Years of Independence and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sri Lanka celebrates sixty-one years of Independence from Britain today. The country known then as Ceylon, obtained full freedom on February 4th 1948.

For any people free of colonial bondage this would be a day of joy and happiness.

But that is not so for the Tamils of Sri Lanka right now. [TC]

"War on Terror" has become license for state terror against minorities

By Rajan Hoole

The capture of Kilinochchi in late December and the Mullaitivu ‘command hub’ in late January by government forces marks another milestone in the unending saga of Tamil refugees.

From mid-2007, the bulk of the LTTE was confined to the Vanni, fighting in the last block of land under its control. [TC]

Tamils must sell something Sinhalese will be willing to buy at affordable price

By Dayan Jayatilleka

On this 61st Independence Day the country and its peoples face a complex challenge. It is complex because it consist of seemingly contradictory aspects and calls for apparently antinomian qualities. [TC]

Time has come for LTTE to end the war that it is not winning

by Col. R. Hariharan

The moment of truth appears to have arrived for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Its fall could not have been more dramatic; a few days ago a few thousand people of Jaffna, on whose behalf the LTTE says it is fighting, wanted it to release the civilian population held as a human shield in a small area in the northeastern corner of the Northern Province. [TC]

Cluster bomb strike on hospital is despicable

Amnesty International has denounced the reported use of cluster bombs in a civilian area by the Sri Lankan military as a serious violation of international humanitarian law. [FI]

Kill Them All ~ A Poem By A.R.M. Imtiyaz [TC]

US and UK call for a temporary no fire period in Northern Sri Lanka

The United States of America and United Kingdom made a joint appeal for a temporary no fire period in Sri Lanka to help besieged civilians move away from conflict - ridden areas in the North.

The appeal was issued by US secretary of State Hilary Clinton and UK Foreign affairs minister David Miliband.

The official presss release issued by the US state dept is given below: [TC]

Why am I setting myself on fire over the Eelam Tamil issue?

By Kumaresan Muthukumar

At a time when you are busy getting to work, I am pained that I have to meet you in this way. But there is no other way. My name is Muttukumar. I am a journalist. At present I am working in a newspaper in Chennai.Like you, I too have daily read the news reports and the internet of the daily killings of our fellow Tamils in Eelam. [TC]

Sri Lanka: Disregard for Civilian Safety Appalling

A Sri Lankan government statement that it is not responsible for the safety of civilians who remain in areas controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) indicates an appalling disregard for the well-being of the civilian population and is contrary to international law, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Terrorism developed because minorities felt discriminated against

by Rajiva Wijesinha

The 4th of February this year will be a very special occasion. It will mark the first occasion in about two decades when Sri Lankan sovereignty will extend over practically the whole country. [TC]

India and Sri Lanka in post LTTE scenario

By Pranay Sharma

It will never be easy to find closure in what has been 26 years of war. More so with an adversary as dedicated and deadly as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

Reminiscences: Serving with the Indian Army in Sri Lanka

By Col. R. Hariharan

Meet this Army officer. He is the man who killed our son,” the middle aged man pointed at me as he introduced me to his wife. My wife was shocked. But I knew his pain, so I was nonchalant. It happened in 1989 in my own home in Chennai. I knew them quite well in Jaffna. [TC]

Tamils Are Bodily Down But Undefeated In Spirit

by Elangai Naganathan

With the end of the war in sight Sinhala opinion on the next step of the Nationalities Question (or “ethnic issue”, if you will) is firming up. At best it is in favour of the implementation of the 13th Amendment with the Concurrent List being devolved without conditions. At worst it is for the unitary state intact and inviolate. [TC]

Letters from two priests on Wanni civilian predicament

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The continuing war in the Northern mainland known as Wanni has brought in its wake immense destruction of life, limb and property not to mention displacement and chaos. [dbsj]

Hospital hit by artillery, legitimate target says  Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa [TC]

ICRC maintains support for hospital hit by shelling

Interview with Monica Zanarelli, ICRC deputy head of operations for South Asia [TC]

Protect The Interests Of The Tamil People

Editorial published in "The Sunday Leader" of Feb 1st 2009 [FI]

How a Newspaper Editor was attacked in broad daylight

By Upali Tennakoon, Editor, Rivira

It was just another Friday for me. Like any other Friday, on Friday January 23 too I started my routine by getting up at 4:30 in the morning. As usual I started my morning exercises in the front garden. I do my walking also inside the garden. On that day, I felt a strange uneasiness in my mind. I did not know why, and I never told anyone about it. [TC]

Nagesh: Comedy King of Tamil Cinema

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

“Naghaichchuvai Mannan” (King of Comedy) Nagesh passed away in Chennai today (Jan 31st 2009).While eating breakfast he got chest pain and was taken to hospital where he breathed his last. Nagesh was 75. [dbsj]