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April 27, 2009

Apr 26-May 2:

More civilians killed and injured as fighting continues

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

At least 27 civilians were killed and 126 injured as fighting continued between the armed forces of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in areas of Karaithuraipatru AGA division in the Northern district of Mullaitheevu.

Dr. V. Shanmugarajah, displaced medical officer from Mullaitheevu hospital who is currently attached to the makeshift hospital in Mullivaaikkaal told the BBC “Thamilosai” that there were twenty-seven bodies lying at the premises by the evening of Friday May 1st. [dbsj]

AM 640 Audio and in Pictures: Toronto Tamil demonstration [TC]

Mullivaaikkaal Hospital hit as shelling continues

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

While there has been no Aerial bombardment , sporadic artillery and heavy mortar fire has continued in the tiny strip of territory in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in the Northern Mullaitheevu district on Wednesday April 29th 2009. [dbsj]

Hundreds of civilian casualties in 17 hour "blitzkrieg"

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Hundreds of civilian casualties were reported within the 10 sq km area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) due mainly to a 17 hour long heavy fire “blitzkrieg” conducted by the Armed forces of Sri Lanka. [dbsj]

Combined pre-dawn operation launched by Armed Forces

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Sri Lankan armed forces have launched a combined military operation in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Mullaitheevu district against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the early hours of the morning on Monday April 27th 2009. [dbsj]

Western PC Verdict: Sinhala “wave” for Govt Though Minorities voting against

by Kusal Perera

In a country where even local government and provincial elections are campaigned for on strictly "national issues" instead of development and other issues relevant to the local and provincial areas, the call for a vote in support of the Rajapaksa regime for eliminating "Tamil terrorism" was the centre stage of this WP elections as it was in all other previous PC elections. [TC]

Wretched of the Wanni earth break free of bondage

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Latest developments on the Wanni war front have brought much relief to all people yearning for the safety of entrapped civilians in the coastal strip of northern Mullaitivu district currently controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [dbsj]

"War on Terror" Discourse silences "Responsibility to Protect" Obligation

By James Traub

At this moment, at least 60,000 civilians trapped in a tiny strip of land along the northern coast of Sri Lanka are being deployed as human shields by the insurgent force known as the Tamil Tigers -- while artillery shells fired by the Sri Lankan army land indiscriminately among rebels and noncombatants alike. [TC]

April 19, 2009

Apr 19-25:

Fleeing the war zone and arriving at hospitals with horrific injuries and severe trauma

Assuming the worst for both Tamil and Sinhala innocents

by Kusal Perera

Over 100,000 Tamil civilians have crossed over to be in the "safety" of the SL government, says official sources. The 20 sq km "no fire zone" was bifurcated the day before and another 12 sq km had been taken over by the military, according to latest reports. The SL war against the Tamil Tigers will be concluded within 48 hours from now (23 April night) according to government propaganda. [TC]

The "human" costs of the "humanitarian" rescue operation

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Thousands of Entrapped Tamil civilians fled from areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on April 20th in the aftermath of a military operation by the Army that was successful in breaching tiger defences in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Northern Mullaitheevu district. [dbsj]

A mass slaughter of civilians will take place...And everyone knows it

Day of Reckoning in Sri Lanka
By Robert Templer

The Sri Lankan government has issued a deadline of noon tomorrow for the Tamil Tigers to surrender. [TC]

Protect Civilians in ‘Final’ Attack

An expected major attack following the Sri Lankan government’s “final warning” to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam underscores the need for heightened measures to minimize civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. [TC]

Fraudulent concept of a "fire-free, no-fire, safe zone"

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Nowadays there is a lot of media focus on the terms “Safe-Zone,” “fire-Free Zone,” and “No-Fire Zone” in the Northern mainland known as the Wanni. [dbsj]

Audio~Interview: With Karuna, Sri Lanka's 'Reconciliation Ministry' by The Economist

For a man charged to bring reconciliation to Sri Lanka, Minister Karua is certainly a divisive figure. As a guerilla commander he is alleged to have been responsible for serious crimes. As a politician, it is alarming as how quickly he's fallen out with his former LTTE comrade and political rival Pillaiyan, The Chief Minister of the East. [TC]  

Politics as continuation of war by other means

by Rajan Philips

If the war was a continuation of politics, what is to come after the war is over? That seems to be the political dead end that the government is now up against. [TC]

Sri Lanka:Non-existing Capitalist and Working Classes  and growing “Sinhalaisation”of Business Community

By Kusal Perera

What realy is wrong with Sri Lanka ? Where have we landed ourselves as a developing country after 61 years of independence ? And now, how fractured and beleaguered our "paradise" island is ? [TC]

Let not this silence on Sri Lanka by India and UN Security Council persist

by M.G. Devasahayam

An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in a 250 sq-km area which has come under intense fighting. The people have no safe area to take shelter and were unable to flee.[TC]

Sinhala supremacist war cannot create a Sri Lankan peace

by Tisaranee Gunasekara

The middle ground exists, even when it is unoccupied, ignored or denied. [TC]

How a British Journalist  was denied entry and deported from Sri Lanka

A First Person Account by Jeremy Page

The Sri Lankan immigration officer’s eyes narrowed as she swiped my passport at the international airport in Colombo last week. [TC]

Sri Lanka's national interest and security cannot be shaped by somebody else's ethnic lobbies

by Dayan Jayatilleke

We Sri Lankans have no excuse whatsoever. We have been forewarned. [TC]

Prabhakaran's eldest son, Charles Anthony is likely to be LTTE leader's successor

by P.C. Vinoj Kumar

One day in July 1987, in a plush room of a New Delhi hotel, an Indian diplomat was beginning to lose his temper at an intransigent young man. [TC]

Instead of "Sinhala" and "Tamil" when will we celebrate "Our Sri lankan" New Year?

by Capt. Elmo Jayawardena

The holidays are over and the Kavun Kokis smell is postponed for another year. We inherit again the usual "drudgery reality" of day to day life. [TC]

The Tamil diaspora: solidarities and realities

by Nirmala Rajasingam

The Sri Lankan Tamil community may not be the largest of the diaspora communities represented in London or other such greatly diverse cities around the world, but the numbers and conviction they have mobilised in recent days to highlight the plight of their brethren at home have been exceptional. [TC]

Mexico refuses to give legitimacy to the LTTE

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

Ambassador Claude Heller, the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations has accused Sri Lanka of inaccuracies in its statements emanating from the Foreign Ministry in Colombo.[TC]

April 10, 2009

Apr 12-18:

Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect urges UN Security Council action in Sri Lanka

We are writing to you as members of the Security Council because we believe that the very grave risk of mass atrocities compels the international community, and the Security Council specifically, to take measures to protect civilians, as states pledged to do when they adopted the “responsibility to protect” at the UN World Summit in 2005. [TC]

Sri Lankan Muslims and the politics of identity - I

by Izeth Hussain [TC]

Firm action against terrorism must be accompanied by political reform

by Rajiva Wijesinha

The decision of the government to declare a ceasefire over the New Year period has met with they type of reaction that suggests how difficult it is to achieve peace when so many influential and noisy international actors are full of destructive preconceptions. [TC]

Video: Inside the "safe" zone

Channel 4 News has obtained footage from inside the "safe" zone which shows what is said to be the aftermath of an artillery attack on people queuing for milk and food. [TC]

External intervention: How to avoid a re-play of events in 1987

by Dayan Jayatilleke

Will this Sinhala and Tamil New Year be the gateway to a new period of Sri Lanka’s history? [TC]

How flying the "Tiger" flag in Ottawa annoyed Canadian Foreign Ministry

by Kenneth Jackson, Sun Media

For a brief moment, Tamil-Canadian protesters nearly had one of their demands met when they pulled down their controversial tiger flags. [TC]

Civilians Wounded, Families Separated in Conflict Zone

An interview with MSF head of mission Annemarie Loof [TC]

Sri Lankan govt and LTTE must immediately agree to emergency evacuation of civilians

by Meenakshi Ganguly

After Sri Lankan army forces overran parts of the last stretch of territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on 1 April 2009, a statement from the defence ministry in Colombo announced that they had found the bodies of over seventy LTTE cadre. [TC]

Implementing tri-lingualism quickly is essential for national reconciliation in Sri Lanka

by Arjuna Hulugalle

"Language policy my main concern" said Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, A.K.A. Karuna Amman MP when he assumed office as Minister of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration. [TC]

Theepan of the LTTE: Heroic saga of a Northern Warrior

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Velayuthapillai Baheerathakumar alias Theepan was from Kandawalai in the Kilinochchi district. His family had its origins in the Thenmaratchy sector within the Jaffna peninsula. [dbsjeyaraj.com]

Tamils in Sri Lanka: Between the devil and the deep sea

by S Ratnajeevan H Hoole

INrecent US senate foreign relations committee hearings, testimony from Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the previous US ambassador to Colombo among others was heard. [TC]

Traumatised Tamils live in fear of new crackdown in Sri Lanka

by Annie Kelly

Last year, in a village in the east of Sri Lanka, Selvi Ratnarajah opened her door to find three masked men pointing guns at her face. [TC]

Time to Rewrite the Sri Lanka Agenda - Part II

By Col R Hariharan

President Rajapaksa promised of equity to the Tamil population after the eliminating the LTTE in the eastern province However the eastern province has not been a real model of democracy in action. [TC]

Commonwealth urged to pressure both sides and end humanitarian disaster in Sri Lanka

The Commonwealth and its members should use their combined diplomatic influence to press the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to cease attacks that violate the laws of war and end the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka’s northern Vanni region, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). [TC]

Waiting for 'Godot' that Prabhakaran promised

by Kusal Perera

There is much to talk about the post "present conflict", by what ever name one calls it. The LTTE political boss Nadesan refuses to accept the coming period as a "post – LTTE" period. Could it be "post Prabhakaran" then? [TC]

An opinion: Does Britain have a right to intervene in Sri Lanka?

by Prof. M Sornarajah

I have been asked by some British citizens of Tamil origin to give an opinion on the status of the British Government to intervene in the present humanitarian crisis caused in Sri Lanka by the shelling of safety zones declared by the Government of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka armed forces and the indiscriminate bombing of Tamil civilians. [TC]

Anandasangaree urges President to restrain armed forces

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) President Veerasingham Anandasangaree has in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse urged that the armed forces should not try to move in further into tiger controlled territory so as to prevent civilians being killed and injured. [TC]

Suicidal political action IV: LTTE Power & popular support

by Michael Roberts

My previous essays have scrutinised the factors and ingredients that directed suicidal action for political cause among Tamil peoples [TC]

Time to Rewrite the Sri Lanka Agenda I

Inconvenient questions answered

by Col R Hariharan [TC]

Call for journalists to be let into area where “a major humanitarian crisis” is unfolding with no media presence

Reporters Without Borders reminds the Sri Lankan government of its international undertakings as the media continue to be prevented from moving about freely in the north of the country, especially in the area where tens of thousands of Tamils are surrounded by the army. [TC]

Defence Ministry refuses to let 37 MP's visit IDP camps in Vavuniya

By Namini Wijedasa

The defence ministry has denied permission to a group of 37 parliamentarians to visit camps for internally displaced persons in Vavuniya, raising a vital question: Can a government prevent elected representatives of the people from travelling to any part of the country? [TC]

Cancer of racism needs to be cut out of Sinhala Society to win the peace

by Dushy Ranetunge in London

It will be written in the great book that as the new century dawned, a "demala" King Velu, ruled in the North from his capital in Kilinochchi. [TC]

It will be nonsense to think of eradicating the LTTE

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne

The government, while discarding all appeals for a ceasefire is hell bent on finishing the LTTE. [TC]

Sri Lanka-New dawn and new independence

By: Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

The stage is set for the elimination of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. [TC]

Anatomy of the LTTE military debacle at Aanandapuram

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization has experienced many major setbacks during the course of its 33 year old history.

Despite misgivings expressed on these occasions by prophets of doom, the movement has always managed to withstand these blows and continue on its politico-military journey. [dbsjeyaraj.com]

Colombo cannot survive by brute force says Krishna Iyer

Respected Indian Jurist , Krishna Iyer has issued a special message pertaining to the Sri Lankan situation. [TC]

Appeal on Sri Lanka by concerned South Asia citizens

Contents of Appeal from concerned citizens of South Asia to halt the mass murder of Sri Lankan Tamils in the Vanni Area of North Sri Lanka. [TC]

For many Tamils, Eelam has become a temporary rallying point

by Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge

Even as the streets of London swarm with demonstrators calling for Tamil Eelam – a Tamil nation – for justice and for a stop to the genocide, for many of them their anger stems from desperation. [TC]

‘A Ceasefire Is Needed To End The Genocide By Sri Lanka’s Army’

Even as the Sri Lankan army claims it is close to wiping out the LTTE, the rebel group’s political head, B Nadesan, rejects the assertion that the Tigers are about to be made extinct. [TC]

Video: Sri Lanka Ready for peace & Justice ?

Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka's president, announced the military was on the verge of wiping out the Tamil Tigers. Is Asia's longest-running civil war really near an end? And what are the human costs of the latest fighting? [TC]

April 04, 2009

Apr 5-11

UN Security Council Action Needed to Avert Humanitarian Catastrophe-HRW

Human Rights Watch called upon the United Nations Security Council to take urgent measures, including by sending a special envoy to Sri Lanka, to bring an end to violations of international humanitarian law by government forces and the LTTE. [TC]

Disgraceful" failure to identify those responsible for newspaper editor's murder three months ago

Reporters Without Borders has gathered information from various sources that supports the theory that the Sri Lankan authorities are blocking the investigation into the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga in Colombo on 8 January, exactly three months ago today. [TC]

Puthumaathalan hospital in "No fire zone" shelled: 20 dead, 300 injured

by Gethin Chamberlain

At least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 injured yesterday, Apr 8th when a hospital in the last area of Sri Lanka held by the Tamil Tigers was shelled in what one doctor described as the worst day of bloodshed since the start of the military campaign. [TC]

MIA v the Sri Lankan army

by Sean Michaels

MIA has found herself in the sights of the Sri Lankan army after backing a campaign to send food and medical supplies to the island nation. [TC]

"Vanangamann" ship is arrogant intrusion combined with provocation and diversionary intent

by Dayan Jayatilleka

Let me get this right. Two hundred and thirteen years since the first British colonial ships landed in Sri Lanka, a ship is setting sail from Britain, launched at an event with banners and posters (Vanangaman: [TC]

Suicidal political action III: Imperatives

by Michael Roberts

The LTTE, as we know, has fostered a sacrificial ideology as a vital force in their struggle for the liberation (cutantiram) of the Sri Lankan Tamil people, a just war in the view of a significant proportion of Tamils. [TC]

Top Tiger leaders killed in a major debacle for LTTE

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization suffered a terrible blow in the Aanandapuram area of Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division.

In what may very well be the defining moment of the on going war the tigers have lost a vast array of illustrious fighting commanders as well as large numbers of cadres in a single battle. [dbsj]

Video: Lankan groups clash in Melbourne

Remembering “Lassie Boy” on his 51st birthday

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sunday Leader”‘ founder Editor,Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge, who was assassinated on January 8th this year, would have celebrated his 51st birthday today (April 5th) if among the living.

For the first time in many years I will not be wishing Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge on his birthday. [dbsj]

Lester James Peries: Liberator of Sinhala Cinema

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Lester James Peries is the acknowledged pioneer of authentic Sinhala cinema. It was he who created an indigenous cinema in every sense of the term . It was he who first gained worldwide recognition for Sinhala cinema. [dbsj]

The  myth(s) about post-LTTE democracy and post-conflict political solution

By Kusal Perera

This war is riddled with many misnomers and many myths. In fact the whole history of the conflict is that. Some due to ignorant interventions in interpreting the conflict from both Sinhala and Tamil chauvinistic positions and some due to wily crafting of history by Sinhala and Tamil extremism over the past decades. [TC]

Remembering Lasantha: We Shall Fight for Freedom Like he Did

by Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge

On April 5th Lasantha would have been fifty-one years old. Slightly given to vanity, I suspect he may not have readily admitted it in public. [TC]

Suicidal political action-Part II: Ponnudurai Sivakumaran

by Prof. Michael Roberts

Within the Sri Lankan context the ‘invention’ of self-abnegating devotion for cause among the Sri Lankan Tamils was not the work of either Pirapāharan or the LTTE. [TC]

On the spot report from LTTE controlled Territory in the Wanni

by Lawrence Christy

ICRC is evacuating wounded and sick to Trincomalee by ship. At the same time International Community in general and ICRC in particular should put pressure on Sri Lankan government to stop shelling civilian targets and killing and wounding hundreds of civilians daily and allow sufficient food, medicines and non food items to be brought from the South. [TC]

David Miliband chastises Sri Lankan Government

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband has told the House of Commons that LTTE actions could not excuse the Sri Lankan government of failing to meet the higher standards expected of democratic governments in a conflict. [TC]

Why TNA should have gone to President's meeting

By M.S.M. Ayub

Tamil Tigers, the main stakeholders on the Tamil side in seeking power have been cornered in the battlefield and their total military annihilation is seemingly imminent. [TC]

President much wiser than us sentimental old anglophiles

by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Given my deep affection for all things British, I had been wondering for some time whether we had not been unfair to Des Browne, in refusing to accept him as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka. [TC]