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March 29, 2009

Mar 29-Apr 4

IDP's from Wanni: An eye-witness account from an N.G.O [TC]

Exit the Tiger, Enter the Dragon

by Dushy Ranetunge

The West wants a “humanitarian pause.”

Whenever anyone uses the word “humanitarian”, its like politicians kissing babies, its time to get worried. The word “humanitarian” is another word for “weapons of Mass destruction”. It smacks of an agenda, certainly not a “humanitarian” one. [TC]

Military victory must be securely guaranteed by victories in the international arena

by Dayan Jayatilleka

The Western world and the institutions it dominates are putting pressure on Sri Lanka , while the Tigers hold onto a large number of civilians and fire SAM missiles from the no-fire zone which we, the Sri Lankans, have unilaterally designated. [TC]

Red cross role in evacuating patients from besieged Wanni

Civilian "Human Shields" only weapon left for LTTE

by Nick Meo

The haunted eyes of the grandfather who had just escaped from the Tamil Tigers at their most furious betrayed the horror he had left behind him. "I want to live, not die, and that's why I have come here with my family," he said. [TC]

3. Tamils need to be more pragmatic and less Utopian

2. The ingrained short sightedness of Tamil leaders

1. What went wrong with the Tamil National struggle in Sri Lanka 1 by Victor Ivan [TC]

Wanni civilians and the humanitarian catastrophe

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

A “humanitarian catastrophe” is unfolding in what’s remaining of territory controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Also , there is the very real danger of the conflict escalating to a level where massive loss of human life and limb could occur. [click here to continue reading on dbsjeyaraj.com]

Back to blogging after a brief interlude

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj [dbsjeyaraj.com]

Prabhakaaran's son Charles Anthony injured in battle

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran’s eldest son , Charles Anthony has sustained injuries in the on going battle against the Armed forces of Sri Lanka. [TC]

CTC pleads for greater Canadian involvement in Sri Lanka to prevent catastrophic situation escalating

Statement by Canadian Tamil Congress to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs [TC]

Christian Human Rights activist  arrested at Katunayake

Mr. Santha Fernando (63) Executive Secretary Commission for Justice and Peace –National Christian Conference ( former Secretary APAY, member of IDC , APRRN and NCC Sri Lanka National Board member National YMCA) has been taken in to Custody at Colombo International Air Port on 27th march 2009. [TC]

Arundhati Roy is irresponsible and lame

by Indi.ca

Arundhati Roy has written an especially arrogant and irrelevant editorial in the Times of India. She makes sweeping statements condemning the government and Sri Lanka and prescribes the world to return like Jesus and somehow fix everything. [TC]

Shiva Pasupathy appeals to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Former Sri Lankan Attorney - General , Mr.Shiva Pasupathy has written to UN Human Rights High Commissioner Ms. Navanetham Pillay about the plight of Civilians in the Northern mainland of Sri Lanka. [TC]

Most pressing concern remains the safety and security of large number of civilains

by John Holmes

Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to brief members of the Council about the current humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Toronto's Global Medic Lands In Sri Lanka

Global Medic is a sort of Toronto-based version of the Red Cross. It doesn't matter where the world's trouble spots are, they respond with whatever help is needed. [TC]

Silence in India on the horrors of Sri Lanka war is inexcusable

by Arundhati Roy

Government of Sri Lanka is using the propaganda of the ‘war on terror’ as a fig leaf to commit unspeakable crimes against the Tamil people and is on the verge of committing what could end up being genocide, writes Indian writer Arundhati Roy, in The Times of India of Monday, March 30th, 2009: [TC]

The psycho - social condition of civilians in the Wanni war zone

by Dr.J.Sivamanoharan and Fr. S.Edmund Reginald

A very intensive and fierce war is currently being fought between the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, in Wanni in the North of Sri Lanka. [TC]

More challenges now for rebuilding battered Sri Lanka

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

The mere absence of the war that has destroyed many lives (more than 70,000 - no firm estimate is available), displaced tens of thousands of families from their habitats and inflicted untold suffering on virtually the entire population for more than two decades does not mean the return of lasting peace. [FI]

Building blocks needed for building a "new" Sri Lankan nation

by Kalyananada Godage

With the penultimate phase of the conflict now drawing to a close, it is indeed gratifying to note that the President has gone on record as stating that this country belongs to all of us, whether we be Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers, Parsis or Sindhis, all of whom have come to call this their home. [TC]

Human Rights Council 10th session ends without anticipated assault on Sri Lanka

by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

The tenth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva has come to a close without the anticipated assault on the Sri Lankan state. [TC]

Liberation war and the abhorrent violent culture

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

The prevailing violent culture or barbarism as seen from the recent midday abduction in front of St. Mary’s Girls College, Trincomalee on March 11 and subsequent brutal killing of the kidnapped 6-year old girl Varsha Jude Reggie is the direct result of the violent activities since the late 1970s following the civil riots and uprisings, which not only destroyed lives and property but also human values. [TC]

1st Asia Media Award for Press Freedom: In Memory of Lasantha Wickrematunge

By Lynette Lee Corporal'

Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge, widow of slain Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, would have wanted to be at a media conference here to accept an award on behalf of her late husband. But fresh threats to her life have prevented her from doing so. [TC]

US, China and the war in Sri Lanka

by Peter Symonds

Diplomatic skirmishing in the UN Security Council between the US and China over the war in Sri Lanka underscores their growing rivalry in every corner of the globe. [TC]

UK writer follows Lord  Rama's  footsteps  to Sri Lanka

by Lakshmi Kumaraswami

Martin Buckley embarked on many a train journey while travelling across India more than 25 years ago. [TC]

The moderate Muslim: An endangered species?

by Nazeeya Faarooq

There is an endangered species out there – strangely it is not an animal, or bird or plant but is in fact a human being - it is the moderate Muslim. [TC]

Presidential Secretariat Replies  to  TNA  Letter

The Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat has responded to the letter released by the Tamil National Alliance outlining reasons for turning down an invitation extended by President Mahinda Rajapakse. [TC]

March 21, 2009

Mar 22-28:

World Tamils Forum Conference  in London Reaffirms Tamils’ Aspirations

British Tamils Forum, assisted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T), hosted an international conference, titled "World Tamils Forum", on Thursday, 26 March 2009 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in London. [TC]

Pseudo-patriotism that claims this country belongs to Sinhala Buddhists

by Shanie

In a self-critique of the Muslim community. Nazeeya Faarooq has written a very thoughtful article lamenting the failure of moderate Muslims to speak out against the extremists within the community who are presenting a wrong picture of Muslims and Islam to the rest of the world. [TC]

End the War on civilians in Sri Lanka-Amnesty International

A briefing on the humanitarian crisis and lack of human rights protection

A human rights crisis is unfolding in Sri Lanka where tens of thousands of people are trapped in the middle of heavy fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in the north eastern Wanni region. [TC]

What is required urgently is humanitarian assistance to suffering people and an end to war

Letter to Senator John Kerry: by P.Shanthikumar [TC]

Senior Economist Says Credibility of Central Bank is Eroded

By Namini Wijedasa

A senior economist has warned that the Central Bank’s reactive, defensive and combative role in “talking up the economy” has eroded the credibility of the institution. [TC]

John Holmes of UN reiterates concern for trapped Sri Lankan civilians

The top United Nations relief official today repeated the world body’s concerns over the safety of civilians – numbering as high as 190,000 [TC]

Thousands of civilians under attack as fighting intensifies

Statement by Amnesty International

"The Sri Lankan government's attitude so far has been to seek international assistance while rejecting international standards or scrutiny" said Sam Zarifi. "The United Nations and donor government must ensure Sri Lanka acts on its obligations and ends the discrimination and suffering of the displaced people." [TC]

Tamil National Alliance declines President Rajapakse invitation to meet

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) comprising 22 Parliamentaans have declined the invitation extended by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse for a meeting. [TC]

Judicature act was part of re-arrangements accompanying new constitution of Sri Lanka

By R.T. Vignarajah

In Sri Lanka, the Judicature in its historical setting dates back to the period of ancient kings centuries before the Portuguese, Dutch and British occupations. [TC]

Keheliya Rambukwella and the assassins of Lasantha Wickrematunge

The wife of slain Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader, Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge in a letter to Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jayantha Wickremaratna last week, has asked that he record a statement from Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to ascertain the identity of her husband Lasantha Wickrematunge's assassins. [TC]

Srinithy Nandasekeran Honored with U.S. Embassy’s Women of Courage Award

U.S. Ambassador Blake recognized Magistrate Srinithy Nandasekaran on 24 March as a South Asian Regional Finalist for the Secretary of State's Women of Courage Award. [TC]

India has duty to use global influence to speak out on human rights-Navanethem Pillay

I would like to sincerely thank the Government of India for its kind hospitality during my visit, and the National Human Rights Commission for organising this important gathering. [TC]

Foreign policy in New Delhi does great disservice to Indian aspirations

by Harsh V. Pant

India is realizing it’s difficult to be out of the limelight after getting used to it. For the last eight years under the Bush Administration, India occupied a pride of place in the strategic calculus of the US. [TC]

Central Bank " Indifference " on Protecting  Interests of the Public

By Dr A.C.Visvalingam

About twenty years ago, a number of finance companies failed almost simultaneously. Even Mercantile Credit Ltd, which was very highly regarded at the time and was also one of the largest, not only failed to pay most of its depositors but went into oblivin, with all the shareholders moneys, too, going into a bottomless pit. [TC]

Responding to Growing International Concerns on the Eelam War

by Col R Hariharan

Is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) easing its rigid stand on talking peace in the last few days? It would seem so from the political head of the LTTE, Balasingam Nadesan’s e-mail interview published in the Sunday Times, London on March 22. He spoke of the insurgent group’s readiness for talks with the government “without pre-conditions.” [TC]

We must be hard on the Tigers as we are soft on the Tamils

By Dayan Jayatilleke

The eyes of the world are upon us. This means two things: Sri Lanka must not blink on the fundamentals, whatever the pressures brought to bear, while at one at the same time Sri Lanka must be open and flexible on that which is non-fundamental, tactical and secondary. [TC]

Racism, xenophobia lie at the root of many inter- and intra-state conflicts

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke [FI]

HRW: Letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sri Lanka's Emergency Support Loan Request

Based on our recent field research on the humanitarian situation in the northern Vanni area, we are deeply concerned that an emergency support loan for post-conflict resettlement will not achieve its intended objectives unless the Sri Lankan government takes serious steps to safeguard the rights of internally displaced persons and ensure an effective humanitarian response to the immediate conflict and post-conflict situations. [TC]

No Let-Up in Army Shelling of Civilians

by HRW

The Sri Lankan army, despite government denials, is indiscriminately shelling the “no-fire zone” in northern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today, citing new information from the region. More than 2,700 civilians have reportedly been killed over the last two months, and the number of casualties rises daily. [TC]

Senator John Kerry Urges Sri Lankan President to Protect Civilians

"I’m deeply troubled by the Sri Lankan government’s failure to protect its citizens from the ravages of a brutal campaign,” said Chairman Kerry. [TC] 

Rohitha Bogollagama and RAW - Indian Espionage Agency

Interesting information has been revealed in the Indian media about the “connection” between Sri Lankan Foreign affairs minister Rohitha Bogollagama and India’s espionage and intelligence agency the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). [TC]

Legendary American Jesuit Fr. Henry Miller Leaves Batticaloa for New Orleans

By Maura O’Connor

On a recent quiet afternoon as a breeze began to blow through the large windows of his office located in the attic of St. Michael's College, Father Henry Miller looked back on a life-time in Batticaloa. [TC]

Resentments in Sri Lanka Reflect Challenges to Peace

by Seth Mydans

If they won’t let us go back to our land, then cancel our citizenship and send us to another country,” said Chitharaval Somasundara, 55, who was once a farmer.

“For us Tamils, this is the way it is,” he said. “For Sinhalese this would not happen.” [TC]

Some aspects on the barriers to the Tamil cause

By A. Rajasingam

The Tamils all over the world are concerned of the plight of the innocent Tamils who are caught in the armed conflict. On one side the Government calls it has waged a war on the terrorists in order to rescue the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. On the other side the LTTE maintains the people are with them. [FI]

Tamil Canadian Legal professionals want Ottawa to invoke "Responsibility to protect" doctrine in Sri Lanka

Full Text of Letter to Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean Governor General of Canada: [TC]

Artillery pounds wounded Tamils trapped on beach

by Marie Colvin

A THOUSAND amputees were among the wounded and dying waiting to be rescued from a beach in northeast Sri Lanka yesterday, according to aid agencies. [TC]

Protect Civilians to Facilitate Long-term Peace

by Lisa Curtis and Nicholas Hamisevicz

The Sri Lankan army's recent military success against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is being diminished by international concern over the deteriorating human rights situation surrounding the fighting. [TC]

Who is a terrorist? confounding Canadian law

by Lesley Ciarula Taylor

At least some of the Tamils who rallied in downtown Toronto earlier this week consider the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a liberation movement, not a terrorist group, and their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, a freedom fighter. [TC]

With UNP becoming chauvinist minority votes in PC polls may go to left parties

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

All parties are eagerly looking forward to the provincial council elections. Anyone looking at these campaigns might conclude that all the parties are committed to the provincial councils and the devolution of power. [TC]

How Long Can India Especially Tamil Nadu Remain Silent About Sri Lanka?

By Prof. V. Suryanarayan

The Sri Lankan media prediction that the war against the Tigers will soon come to a successful conclusion has not happened. It is becoming a protracted struggle. What is more, the war is taking a heavy toll of innocent civilians, who are trapped between the ruthless army and inhuman Tigers. [TC]

Need for a paradigm shift in mindset of Tamil leaders and people

by a Tamil Patriot

During British colonial times from about mid nineteenth century to independence in 1948, Tamils from north and east enjoyed an advantage over other communities by having a large majority of government jobs. [TC]

Quo vadis, Tiger, Tiger?

By Namini Wijedasa

Will the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam soon retract their claws and slink away dejectedly after decades of bloody, mutinous warfare against the Sri Lankan state? Not really, say military and political analysts. [TC]

A profile of human rights and humanitarian issues in the Vanni and Vavuniya

Report by Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA):

This report focuses on the human rights and humanitarian situation resulting from the conflict in the North of Sri Lanka, between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), currently concentrated in the Mullaitivu District. [TC]

"White man" bashing is becoming hallmark of the Rajapakse presidency

by Dushy Ranetunge

If Indian bashing was a hallmark of the Premadasa Presidency, the "white man" bashing is a hallmark of the Rajapakse presidency. INGOs, human rights bodies, diplomats or anything else that moves which happens to be even remotely connected to the "white man" is fair game. [TC]

Governments must not only enforce rule of law but also adhere to it

by Shanie

Today, what our country needs are not apologists for the violators of human rights but men and women of courage who can stand up and speak out against violence and injustice to their fellow human beings, even to those they themselves disagree with.[TC]

Journalist Tissainayagam tells courts that he was forced to sign dictated "confession"

By Susitha R. Fernando

Detained journalist J. S. Tissainayagam said at one stage of his struggle against human rights violations he had also assisted the Organisation of Parents and Family Members of Disappeared (OPFMD). [TC]

Brother seeks answers in Sri Lanka arrest

by Stewart Bell

MARKHAM, Ont. -- Suba Nadesapillai has hardly slept for three weeks, not since the night he learned his younger brother, a prominent newspaper editor, had been forced into a white van in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Chile President Michelle Bachelet’s love for Tamils

It was Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet’s love for Tamils that made her to accept the honorary doctorate degree from the University of Madras, according to S. Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of the University. [TC]

How a cat named Rupee came to Calgary from Giritale

by Naomi Sanderson

We found her when we were on holiday in Sri Lanka. She came out of a pile of garbage on the roadside, running as quickly as her little legs could carry her. [TC]

D.S. de Silva may not last long as Sri Lankan cricket head

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

The cricket administration resembles that of a Latin American country in the 70s. [TC]

March 15, 2009

Mar 15-21:

U.N. Human Rights Council must convene special session on Sri Lanka

by Sunanda Deshapriya

The grave concern of the international community is not only limited to the current situation of civilians in northern Sri Lanka. The core problems of discrimination and impunity have been allowed to go unabated throughout the country in the past years. [TC]

Sri Lanka Is one of World's worst Perpetrators of Enforced Disappearances

by M.C.M.Iqbal

The modus operandi of the widespread abductions and disappearances we witness in Sri Lanka today is similar to what we saw in the late 1980s and early 1990s. President Rajapakse, who was a Member of Parliament then, was in the forefront of the struggle against these incidents. [TC]

How Singapore has unity and why Sri Lanka endless strife today

Thirty years ago, I launched this Speak Mandarin Campaign. Chinese students learn Mandarin in school. Unfortunately, they used to speak dialects among themselves and at home. [TC]

International community must end and prevent a slaughter

By Lakhdar Brahimi

The already severe humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka is on the brink of catastrophe. It will take the quick arrival of humanitarian relief and high-level international political muscle to bring the nightmarish situation to an end and prevent a slaughter. [TC]

Twin allegations against Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

By Kalana Senaratne

It was a curious and revolutionary decision taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this decision to appoint Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka as our Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, in 2007. [TC]

Sinhalese will raise both hands if asked to vote for elevating Tamil people

by Gomin Dayasri

Will you put up your hand to elevate the Tamil people or the Tamil politicians? Sinhalese will raise both hands with sincerity in favour of the Tamil people. Not merely raise hands; they will clap with both the hands in support. [TC]

Tiger flags flown at protest legal - Toronto Police

The display of Tamil Tiger flags during a protest by members of Toronto's Tamil community this week was legal, Toronto police said Wednesday, despite the fact the rebel group is banned in Canada as a terrorist organization. [TC]

ICRC continues to help civilians as crisis escalates [FI]

UNICEF urges ‘extraordinary efforts’ for children in Sri Lanka conflict zone [TC]

UN Human Rights Council urged to intercede on behalf of two detained journalists [FI]

Little hope of an enduring end to Sinhalese victimisation of Sri Lanka's Tamils

by Howard Debenham

On May day in 1993, Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa was in the back streets of Colombo, greeting supporters as they streamed into the capital for the day's festivities, when he was killed by a suicide bomb. [TC]

Will Tamils and Sinhalese "never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity?"

by Dayan Jayatilleka

What is the challenge? To reach the goal of victory and reunification while avoiding the traps set for Sri Lanka . What are these traps and what are our tasks? [TC]

For those who escape the Vanni region, there is nothing to do but wait - and worry about those left behind

Reported by Médecins Sans Frontières

During the first two weeks of March, relatively few people seem to have been able to flee from the Vanni region in Sri Lanka. [TC]

French judicial investigation into financing network of Tamil Tigers

By Jacques Follorou

The French Judiciary will be the first in Europe to look into the financing networks of the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Will Self Immolation bring solution to conflicts?

by M.S. Shah Jahan

"Thich Quang Duc self-immolated himself in protest of persecution of Buddhism in South Vietnam in 1963. I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. [TC]

Unlearning what Gunadasa Amarasekara taught us with a sense of gratitude

by Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Gunadasa Amarasekara turned 80 last year. In an attempt to re-evaluate him as a writer, his publisher has named this year "the year of revisiting Amarasekara". But Dr. Amarasekara is more than a writer. He is one of most influential and authentic intellectuals of our time. [TC]

Sri Lanka short-listed as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers

By Angilee Shah

The Sri Lankan government is on the cusp of achieving what once seemed impossible. [TC]

End of the road for Rajapakse incorporated also?

by Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan

While it is generally believed it is the end of the road for Prabakaran and the Tigers, many Lankan watchers believe equally the days of the Rajapakse regime appears to be numbered as well – economically and politically. [TC]

Internally displaced Jaffna Muslims have right to return and/or resettlement

by M. I. M. Mohideen

Muslims were living in more than 153 locations in fairly large numbers in the Jaffna District. Jaffna town had the largest concentration of nearly 90 percent of the total Muslims in the peninsula. Moor Street of Jaffna was an educational and cultural centre of the Muslims. [TC]

Stamford doctor lobbies for Sri Lankan minority group

by Vinti Singh

Every night after work, Ellyn Shander sits on her computer for hours, corresponding with people around the world and trying to save friends caught in a conflict between the government and rebel groups in Sri Lanka. [TC]

It Would Take a Long Time For The Sinhala South to Repent For What They Have Been Doing

By Kusal Perera

Far deep in the South, the Sinhala dominated Akuressa electorate in the Matara district with about 1,500 Muslims amongst a population of about 44,000 was completely shattered in a bloody orgy never before experienced and wholly undreamt of, just a week after the Buttala attack on security personnel in South Sri Lanka. [TC]

Wakeley Paul: A Gentleman to his fingertips

By Daya Perera

Itwas with deep regret that I heard of Wakeley’s death on March 9. Wakeley – a gentleman to his finger tips- had his early education at Royal College until his distinguished father Professor Milroy Paul sent him to England where he survived the final examination of the Inn’s of Court and returned to the then Ceylon with a degree and an English accent.[TC]

Prevailing vacum in credible Tamil political leadership

by Arjuna Ranawana

IN Sri Lanka's northeast, on a small sliver of land between the sea and two raging armies, some hundred thousand civilians are huddled under trees with little water, dwindling food supplies and no medical care. [TC]

Tragic fate of children in LTTE-controlled zone

by Gomin Dayasri

The look on the faces of those coming from the No Fire Zone (NFZ) tells the story. It is a story of children. Aged and haggard, look well beyond their age. [TC]

LTTE May be "Dead" in North - East after war  but "Alive" Elsewhere

by Austin Fernando

The sober and humanist approach is orchestrated in Sri Lanka according to the spokesperson’s preference. This is why we hear most politicians, bureaucrats, donors etc state that the intended path would focus on physical infratsruture development (e.g. roads, rail lines, harbors etc). [TC]

News Video: Hunting the Tigers

Amos Roberts reports from Sri Lanka, where the feared Tamil Tigers are surrounded in small pocket of the country and the government is moving in for the kill. [TC]

Genocide and Human Rights in Sri Lanka-Re-visited

by A.Rajasingam

Today the UN is burdened with the problem of genocide and terrorism which are inter-twined and complex. These problems exists in developing countries including some multi-racial countries. [FI]

Sri Lanka's choices: positive accommodation or partition of the island?

by Dr. A.R.M. Imtiyaz

Sri Lanka's ethnic civil war involving the two major ethnic groups, or for that matter the two nations - Tamil and Sinhala, seems to be moving toward an imbalanced politico-military conclusion, favoring the government led by Mahinda Rajapakse who came to power in 2005 by effectively employing anti-Tamil and anti-peace slogans. [TC]

A Humanitarian case for pressure on Sri Lankan Government

By Kusal Perera

A day or two ago, a friend who called me from Geneva to tell me what had happened at the Geneva hearing of the UN Human Rights Council last week, told me the Sri Lankan non State representatives from Colombo were asked, why they only pressure the government and don't pressure the LTTE to allow civilians to leave the war zone. [TC]

Carnage of last century shows Nationalism has produced few lasting winners

by Lionel Wijesiri

There are a number of lessons we could learn from history about the concept of nationalism. Let us go back and collect few of them. [TC]

Has India become irrelevant in region due to US-China relationship?

by David Soysa

Paradoxically the ever strong US Dollar of the rapidly melting US economy is enticing a new romance between the military superpower US and the economic superpower China. [TC]

Root causes of child soldier phenomenon an UN initiatives

by Radhika Coomaraswamy

Let me begin my talk to you today with a description of my visit to a Maoist army cantonment site in eastern Nepal in December. [TC]

The Lahore atrocity: Our cricketing Ambassadors

by Michael Roberts

Till recently Chaminda Vaas would have had fond recollections of the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore . He was in the squad that faced up to Aussie power during the World Cup Finals on 17 March 1996 and prevailed so magnificently. But on Tuesday 3rd March he was among the Sri Lankan cricketers who underwent a different type of ordeal and survived with fortitude and a good measure of luck. [TC]

March 06, 2009

Mar 8 - 14:

End game in Wanni war is getting longer to end

by Shanie

The end-game in the Vanni War is taking longer to end than expected. Earlier this year, towns and villages were being vacated and occupied even faster than the Peace Secretariat issuing polemical statements to counter-attack every criticism of the government’s operations vis-a-vis civilians. [TC]

Sri Lankan Army should not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone - Hillary Clinton

On March 13, Secretary Clinton called Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to express the United States’ deep concern over the deteriorating conditions and increasing loss of life occurring in the Government of Sri Lanka-designated “safe zone” in northern Sri Lanka. [TC]

Seven US Senators send letter to Hillary on Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis

Organized by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), seven U.S. Senators today wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, regarding their sharp concerns over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka as an estimated 150,000 civilians remain trapped in an area of intense combat between Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [TC]

Serious violations of international law committed in Sri Lanka conflict: UN human rights chief

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed her growing alarm Friday at the increasing number of civilians reported killed and injured in the conflict in northern Sri Lanka, and at the apparent ruthless disregard being shown for their safety. [TC]

Cornered Tigers - The LTTE evolves as guerrillas

by Shanaka Jayasekara

The Sri Lankan military has destroyed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a conventional military force. [TC]

US Legislators pen Secretary of State and Ambassador to UN on Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Rep. Moran sent letters, signed by 38 House Members, to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice urging the State Department to use all its leverage to press for emergency civilian relief, safe passage from the conflict zone, and political reconciliation between ethnic Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Three possible scenarios after military defeat of LTTE

by Ranjith Gunaratna

For more than three decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) has been endeavoring to weaken the democratically elected government in Sri Lanka. [TC]

In Pictures: 964 Civilian Casualties at Puthumaththalan makeshift hospital during the first 10 days of March

The office of RDHS further stated on Mar 12th: Almost all the cases were victims of intense shelling.[TC]

No US evacuation of Tamil civilians without a “permissive environment"

The US administration has “shelved evacuation of Tamils caught in LTTE areas”, according to a news report. The report on Rediff.com says, the evacuation will not take place “until there is that permissive environment" [TC]

We may all face terror at different times, it’s A South Asian Problem

by Sumathy Sivamohan

When I switched on the television and heard the Breaking News about the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket players in Lahore, I asked the person next to me, is it the LTTE? Why do I say this? [TC]

Great game around China’s Lanka yard: Why the teardrop island is catching the eye of America and India

By Sujan Dutta

The teardrop named Sri Lanka is threatening to light a fire in India’s backyard that New Delhi is hoping to douse by killing it with kindness. [TC]

14 killed and 43 injured in explosion near Godapitiya jumma mosque

The spirit of celebration and religious fervour was shattered when an explosion near the Jumma Mosque in Godapitiya, Akuressa yesterday killed 14 and injured 43. The attack at around 10 am was aimed at the high powered politicians attending a procession celebrating Milad-Un-Nabi, the birth of Prophet Mohommed at the mosque. [TC]

A.J. Canagaratna: Knowing an unsung-belatedly honoured critic

by K.S. Sivakumaran

It is gratifying to note that the late A. J. Canagaratna, a literary critic from the North has been appreciated by at least a few people in the South and by one or two in Thamilnadu, India, particularly when Historians of Lankan English Literature do not appear to have even heard of him. [TC]

The Anti-conversion Bill: Intended cure worse than the perceived sickness!

by Fr. Vimal Tirimanna

Conversion from one religion to another is nothing new, since all the major religions came here from outside. There have been religious conversions in Sri Lanka from ancient times. [TC]

London kills me

By Rajiva Wijesinha

A few years ago Hanif Kureishi made a film with the above title. It was not a success, unlike his two previous films which were sharpéy critical of Asian communities in Britain. [TC]

Are we being encircled globally just as we have encircled Tigers locally?

by Dayan Jayatilleka

“The political moment is always connected with changes to borders” [TC]

Increasing violence by Armed actors against women of North and East

As the world is celebrating international women’s day 2009 on the theme "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls", we the undersigned civil society organisations from Sri Lanka wish to highlight and express our deep concern at the increasing vulnerability of women, especially those living in the conflict affected areas to violence and brutality in the context of the ongoing conflict between the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and increasing militarization and societal violence in Sri Lanka. [TC]

The grid map of political opinion in Sri Lanka

by Dayan Jayatilleka

How do we classify Sri Lankan opinions and the opinions about Sri Lanka? One broad categorization would be between those who think that the Tigers are the problem and those who think the Tigers are the solution. [FI]

Hillary discusses Sri Lanka crisis with Foreign Secretary Menon

Unending nightmare of death and despair in Wanni

by Charu Lata Hogg

The scenes witnessed in the Vanni are devastating: Dead bodies of civilians lie strewn along dusty roads. Hospitals, playgrounds and houses stand ravaged by heavy artillery and rockets fired from multi-barrel launchers. [TC]

UN, USA and India must act now on humanitarian catastrophe in Wanni says ICG

The International Crisis Group has iwarned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in the Northern Wanni region of Sri Lanka and has urged Leaders of the UN, USA and India to act immediately.
[TC]

Commonwealth Runs Risk of Becoming Relic In Britain

by Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

March 9 was Commonwealth Day. To mark it, Queen Elizabeth was set to join 2,000 others at Westminster Abbey, London, for the U.K.’s largest multifaith observance. [FI

Why The Lahore Attack On SL Cricket Team Broke My Heart

By Sehrish Ejaz

I thought I was immune to tragedy. I thought I was used to death. I thought that having seen my country move from military authoritarianism to civilian dictatorship, past Kargil and Kashmir would be enough. [TC]

Mahinda Samarasinghe interviewed by Stephen Sackur for BBC "Hard Talk"

SS: Given your government’s intention to destroy the Tamil Tigers, is it safe to assume that the offensive continues unabated?

MS: Well, I must tell you very categorically that this humanitarian operation that we have launched is to liberate the civilians from the clutches of extreme terrorism. The fight is to eradicate terrorism and to liberate the civilians and give them a future within a democratic framework. [TC]

Ex-rebel commander sworn in as Sri Lanka minister

Former Tamil Tiger commander Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, well-known as Karuna Amman, Monday took oath before President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the minister of national integration, minutes after joining the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). [TC]

The river for Jaffna peninsula project

by Thiru Arumugam

The Jaffna Peninsula has an area of 1000 square km and has no rivers and is totally dependent on the annual rainfall of about 1270 mm, of which about 87% falls during the north-east monsoon from October to December, for recharge of the water table in the underground limestone aquifer. [TC]

"Painting the plight" campaign held in Chennai

Hundreds of artists and painters participated in a "Painting the plight" awareness campaign in Chennai on Saturday, March 7th. [TC]

Washington to sound out Menon on evacuation mission

By K.P. Nayar

The Obama administration will sound out foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Monday on India’s support for a US-led invasion of Sri Lanka to evacuate nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians trapped inside territory controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with precariously declining stocks of food or medicine. [TC]

War gets dangerously close for trapped civilians

By Col R Hariharan

The battlefronts of the Eelam War IV in Sri Lanka is dangerously getting close to civilians trapped in the war zone as well as the narrow strip of safety zone on the coast where some of them have taken refuge. [TC]

Internationel Women’s Day: What it means to Lankan women

By Carol Aloysius

Today is International Women’s Day. As millions of women across the globe, join hands to celebrate a day, set aside exclusively for them, it would perhaps be timely, for women in Sri Lanka, to evaluate the real significance of this day, in the context of their own lives- 61 years after Independence. [TC]

President Rajapakse called Lasantha Wickrematunge "Terrorist journalist" and "Kotiya (Tiger)

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Lasantha Wickrematunge faced his last moments at an unusual time at an unusual place. From the moment he left home the day he was murdered, he was aware that he was being tailed. He informed his friends of this fact on the phone. [TC]

Uzbeks, Afghans, Nigerians suspected in terror attack on cricketers

By Aslam Khan in Lahore

Commenting after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, the Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Kabul, Christopher Dell, said Pakistan posed a bigger security challenge to America and the world than Afghanistan. [TC]

Slumdog millionaire, Sir Jack Hobbs and the battle of the "Hindu" spinners

by Nirgunan Tiruchelvam

The horrific attack in Lahore has cast a pall of gloom. Cricket's future in the Indian subcontinent is in doubt. The attackers made use of the criminal negligence of the Pakistani authorities. They came within inches of killing cricketers. No special commandos guarded the team, who were not even provided with a bullet proof bus. [TC]

Bankers Who Bankroll An Endangered Species (aka Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka

by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Although the pretence for the solicitation of the aforementioned donation was to cover the expenses for “blown-up photographs of refugees, placards, banners, rally mega-phones, water bottles”, as usual the intent was bankrolling the dwindling species of their tribe back home. [TC]

The Lahore attack: South Asia’s tangled web gets knottier

by Rajan Philips

First, spare a thought for our cricketers just as it becomes clear that even cricket is not spared from violent attacks in South Asia. Sri Lankan cricketers playing on the international circuit are an awesome bunch. [TC]

Besieged Tigers in defiant politico-military "last stand"

By D.B.S. Jeyaraj

There was a time when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization controlled about 15,600 sq km of territory in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Today, the beleaguered tigers formally occupy  only  about 60 – 65 sq km area  in Mullaitheevu district.

Currently this tiger – controlled territory  consists of three sectors. A littoral strip of land of around 40 – 45 sq km  extending from Pokkanai in the North to Vattavaakal in the South is the primary sector  . This coastal strip is situated between two lagoons on one side and the Indian ocean on the other. [DM]

How united Ceylon became divided Sri Lanka? What next?

By Dr. S. Narapalasingam

Recently, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama told a news conference at the University of Madras, Chennai in reply to the question whether he approved the military action by the Buddhist rulers of Sri Lanka: [FI]

Will deterrent actions solve the Sri Lanka's political crisis

by A.Rajasingam

Democracy is a Western concept that was introduced by the British to Sri Lanka with good intention whereby all sections of the community could take part without any discrimination as to race, religion, language, etc. [FI]

Sri Lankan journalist's year of detention for reporting on the war

Saturday marks the first anniversary of the detention of Sri Lankan journalist and human rights activist, Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam. He was arrested for writing about the impact on civilians of the war in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Pakistan and the Attack On Sri Lankan Cricket Team.

by Kazi Anwarul Masud

It would, perhaps, be useful to recount a brief description of the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan. [TC]

In the Aftermath of Kamikaze attacks by Black Air Tigers

by Commodore R.S. Vasan

For quite some time the limited air assets of LTTE have been in the news and did create a sensation quite disproportionate to their capabilities. [TC]