8:13 AM

Sugandan Dase captuerd


Army takes conttrol of LTTE sugandan base north of Kiriibbanwewa in Mulathive , one of the "one four " base complex.


8:10 AM

Liberating the North is not far away

Addressing a rally on Saturday, in Anuradhapura in support of the United People's Freedom Alliance candidates contesting the North Western Provincial Council election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that no period in history since the time of King Parakramabahu the Great has seen a development drive as the present one launched by the Government.

The President also pledged that just as the East was liberated from the clutches of terrorists, so too will the last remaining strongholds of the LTTE, KIllinochchi and Mullaitivu, be liberated so that people living in those areas too can benefit from the Government's overall development strategy.

He further pointed out that what was happening in the North was nothing more nothing less than a humanitarian mission to reaffirm the right to life of all peoples, Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslims and others. He also praised the heroic efforts of the security forces, observing that they have already weakened considerably the strike capabilities of the LTTE and that theirs is a mission to recover a free and independent nation for all peoples.

The President urged Armed Forces personnel still on vacation, to report to their respective duties at their very earliest as their valuable and dedicated services were vitally and urgently required for their Motherland at this crucial juncture.

President Rajapaksa made this call when he addressed a mammoth rally in Anuradhapura, the first in a series of rallies, in support of the UPFA candidates contesting the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Council (PC) elections on August 23. President Rajapaksa lauded the great zeal and enthusiasm displayed by the disabled ‘war heroes’ in the Anuradhapura hospital, whom he had visited them that day.

“These ‘war heroes’ who were badly disabled were too willing to get back to the battlefront again, if they were discharged from the hospital. They were determined to fight the terrorists, tooth and nail, and capture Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu,” he said.

Roads, schools and other mega development projects such as the Norochcholai, Kothmale and Kerawalapitiya power projects and the Moragahakanda irrigation project among others, would be taken forward expeditiously. The spree of victories achieved by the Government would be further augmented by a definite and a landslide victory at the forthcoming PC elections of Sabaragamuwa and North Central on August 23.

“This would undoubtedly consolidate our Government, the Armed Forces and the people,” he added. The President noted that the farmer obtained a reasonable and high price for his paddy, and thereby given his due place. Nevertheless, he pointed out that when the farmer is benefited in this manner, obviously the consumer would experience a problem.

“So, there should be a ‘balancing act’, where both the farmer and the consumer is protected. We will ensure that both parties’ interests are taken into consideration”, he added. Refuting claims as reported in certain quarters of the media, that the President would also resort to a referendum, the President categorically ruled it out.

“I will never ever resort to ‘Kalageddi Sellama’ practice. I will hold the PC elections, followed by the Parliamentary elections. I will win that too. Everything is in the hands of the people whom we represent,” he said.

He added that the masses of ‘Raja rata’ had immense faith and trusted the UPFA government, and beyond any possible doubt, they would elect Berty Premalal Dissanayake as the Chief Minister of the North Central P.C.

7:09 AM

Indian Navy advises fishermen to fix GPS

In the context of firing Indian fishermen are coming under in the Indian ocean, the Indian Navy has advised that the fishermen should fix Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to avoid crossing the maritime boundary. It (GPS) is not very costly and is affordable, the naval advisory says. GPS provides the fastest and most accurate method to navigate, measure speed and determine location for fishermen.

The Tamil Nadu government is working on a pilot project to equip fishermen with country boats in Ramanathapuram district with handheld GPS devices.

The Naval advisory assumes significance as fishermen particularly of Rameswaram area went on a strike and received local political backing over alleged firing on their vessels by Sri Lanka Navy.

'They (Lankan Navy) never cross into our (Indian) territory", a senior naval officer based in Tamil Nadu was quoted as saying by India's premier news agency, PTI. The agency report which was widely covered said the Indian Naval officer, Commodore P E Van Halteren denied July 25 the allegations that the Sri Lankan Navy was straying into Indian waters and firing at Indian fishermen.

This certificate lends credence to reports that LTTE was targeting Indian fishermen with a view to divert attention from its own operations in the area.

Any how, as Halteren reportedly said, the fact of the matter is Indian fishermen sail too close to Sri Lankan maritime boundary, particularly at night with a view to have a better catch. And at night time it is difficult for Lanka navy to differentiate between fishermen and the LTTE, according to the Indian Naval official. So his advisory to the Indian fishermen is: 'It would be better if our fishermen do not cross the International Maritime Boundary Line and enter their (Lanka) territory'.

'If the fishermen carry GPS with them, it would warn them when they crossed the maritime boundary', Commodore Halteren was quoted as saying. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is easy to use and it is affordable, he said and suggested that awareness should be created among fishermen about its usage.

About 18,000 boats of various types are engaged in fishing, and it is not possible for the navy or coast guard to provide protection to every boat. The Naval official said this much when he remarked, 'It is very difficult for us to guard each and every fisherman when they venture into sea. Our duty is to just check whether any boat or ships are involved in any illegal activities. However, as an extra effort, we always warn our fishermen whenever they are very close to the boundary area'.

12:24 PM

SL to counter US Resolutions 1338

Sri Lanka is planning to launch a counterattack against the recent United States Resolution 1338, which calls for an international Human Rights (HR) monitoring mission to help maintain law and order in the embattled island. This is apart from several other demands, which include an end to the ongoing military onslaught and the culture of impunity in the face of growing HR violations.

Highly placed sources said that, Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry officials have already started to counter the recent Resolution tabled in the US Congress on Sri Lanka, and is hoping to approach US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee members to present the Sri Lankan government’s point of view on the recent Resolution against the island.

Despite attempts by the US Congress to impose the Resolutions, Foreign Ministry officials claimed that it was unlikely that there would be any ‘real’ impact on the country by the motions.
However, it is learnt that pro LTTE lobby groups and activists in the US, have received a significant boost from Resolution 1338, which urges the Sri Lankan government to pursue a political solution, rather than a military one, tabled in the US Congress , last week.

Resolution 1338 has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a powerful legislative body charged with oversight of US government policy concerning foreign relations issues.
The Nation learns that pro LTTE lobby groups have been working for months, campaigning for such a Resolution.
Pro LTTE groups such as “Tamils for Justice” have already declared that Resolution 1388 is a huge setback to the Sri Lankan Government.

Resolution 1388 on Sri Lanka, sponsored by Congressman Brad Sherman of California and co-sponsored by Congressmen Frank Pallon Jr. of New Jersey and Jerry Weller of Illinois, called on the United States Government and the international community to support a transition to sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, by encouraging an International HR Monitoring presence, protecting the work of civil society and media, facilitating access of humanitarian operations, and retaining democratic principles in which rule of law and justice pervades.

12:23 PM

LTTE terrorists use INGO vehicles

It is reliably learnt that the LTTE is using vehicles recently obtained from an International Non-Government Organization (INGO) operating in the North for its military operations in the North, and intends using them for disinformation activities, too.

Defence.lk, through reliable sources in Wanni, learns that the LTTE terrorists have obtained a large number of vehicles belonging to an INGO operating in the Kilinochchi district, for its use. According to our sources, the terrorists had obtained these vehicles from the office of an INGO named Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) in Kilinochchi, early this week.

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

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

10:53 AM

Vaiko seeks disqualification of Ganesan, Gingee

MDMK chief Vaiko is determined to 'teach' a lesson to his two rebel MPs, L Ganesan and Gingee N Ramachandran. He asked the Lok Sabha Speaker to disqualify them under the provisions of the Anti-defection law that has been on the statute since the Rajiv Gandhi days.

MDMK Party leader C Krishnan Friday formally submitted a 'formal request' to the Lok Sabha Secretariat saying that the law must be invoked to disqualify the two dissident MPs for defying party whip during the July 22 trust vote in the Manmohan government.

Krishnan filed the petition before the Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary. "When the party issued the direction to its MPs vote against the confidence motion, the voting of Ganesan and Ramachandran contrary to the direction of party attracted provisions of the Tenth Schedule and making them liable to be disqualified," C Krishnan said.

The two dissident MPs had revolted against the party leadership for aligning with AIADMK in the 2006 assembly polls and functioned independently after they were removed from the party posts. Ganesan and Gingee had also approached the Election Commission to declare their group as the real party. But the EC had recently ruled that the party led by Vaiko was the real MDMK.

1:26 PM

29 terrorists bodies found

Heavy ground battles were reported between troops and LTTE in general area North of Vavunikulam Tank, Southeast of Mallavi in Mullaittivu District as troops mounted intense retaliation thwarting an LTTE counter attack killing over 30 terrorists including a deputy of the 'Charles Anthony' band on Thursday (July 24) evening.

According to Wanni sources, fresh fighting broke out since last night till this morning(25), as troops have reportedly found 29 LTTE bodies scattered in the battle filed during subsequent search operations conducted. 'Pallawan' a deputy leader of the Charles Anthony band was also among the killed, military said citing intercepted LTTE communication.

Yesterday the 57 Division troops led by Major General Jagath Dias and Special Forces troops gained control over the Vavunikulam Tank bund and 10sq.km of adjacent area, killing over 25 terrorists. The valiant soldiers further advanced towards Mallavi crossing the Paliaru waterway, neutralizing remaining LTTE elements in the southwestern edge of the Vavunikulam Tank, our defence correspondent said.

"Banu a senior cadre was identified speaking over the LTTE communication circuits leading the LTTE offensive and have reportedly fled deeper into Kilinochchi unable to withstand the military onslaught.

Army continued to pound identified LTTE positions dispersing its offensive wave as infantrymen and Special Forces hunted down remaining terrorists inflicting heavy damages", defence sources said.

12:23 PM

Kankesanturai Cement Factory Reopen Soon

Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Industrial Development Kumara Welgama for the recommencement of Kankesanturai Cement Factory after selecting a suitable investor to form a joint venture with the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation (SLCC) and Lanka Cement Limited (LCL).

Two cement manufacturing plants belonging to two state owned enterprises manufacturing and dealing in the sale of cement namely the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation (SLCC) & Lanka Cement Limited (LCL) coming under the purview of Ministry of Industrial Development are located in the same premises in Kankesanturai.

Production and operation of these two factories was disrupted due to the conflict and remained closed since 1990. The premises of the two factories is located within the area controlled by security forces and is being currently used by the forces.

After the closure of the two factories SLCC and LCL have been supplying cement to the market with local purchases and retaining a reasonable margin as well. They have also made arrangements to import cement from the international market.

Though the two state owned enterprises should have ideally played a dominant role in supplying cement to the market, in reality these two institutions haven't been able to achieve their objectives mainly due to the fact that cement production hasn't been recommenced.

12:21 PM

Prabakaran targeted

Sri Lanka war weary troops have begun to lay siege of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, targeting a high valued crucially figure. In the meantime ‘News-Lanka’ reliably learnt that an untenable situation has arisen over the safety of Velupillai Prabakaran, the reclusive Leader of the Tamil separatists and terrorists outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the defensive arrangement to safeguard him turning out to be more and more porous and indefensible. V. Prabakaran - Days are numbered?V. Prabakaran - Days are numbered?

Defense spokesperson, Minister Keheliaya Rambukawella said, "So far by our successful operation in the North, LTTE is in a disarray and we found them very weak and their resistance might crumble at any time. According to our Intelligence report Prabakarn keeps on shifting from one bunker to another for his security. However, Sri Lankan forces are determined to capture him alive.

He said, "We learnt that Tamil diaspora are very much concerned about the safety of Prabakaran and they are frantically contacting Norway to safeguard him from the imminent capture by the Sri Lankan forces. Norwegians are trying to sprit him away to some safe haven in Africa most probably Eritrea.

He said, "We are not certain whether Norwegians might take him to Eritrea as earlier rumored, but the latest grapevine is that he will be taken out of Vanni to a most safest destination, probably in Africa.

While the Tamil diaspora have begun to show concern about the safety of Prabakaran, captains of Sri Lanka defense are showing interest in trying to arrest him alive to make him answerable for all crimes he was alleged to be responsible against humanity.

Dr. Keheliaya Rambukawella, Sri Lanka Governments Spokesperson on Defence and National Security said that Sri Lankan troops are getting closer and closer, inch by inch daily towards Prabakaran. He added that latest intelligence reports revealed that Tamil diaspora are pressing Prabakaran to leave the country for safety and Norway has been requested to make arrangement for sdafe refuge.

Minister Rambukawella said that the capture of Illupaikadai, the last bastion of the LTTE in the Northwest coast of the Mannar district has brought 95 percent of the district under the Government’s control.

He said that after the liberation of the East, seizing of Silavathurai on 02 September 2007, in the Mannar district sealed LTTE movements in Wilpattu National Park and in the border villages in the Puttalam District, has led the way for chasing out the LTTE out of the Mannar district.

He explained LTTE cadres were evicted from the coastal villages and Sri Lanka Navy will be in the future who would effectively monitor the sea movements of the Sea Tiger vessels in the Palk Bay.

Sri Lanka Navy believes once the North west border villages are taken back Latte’s smuggling activities from India would be halted. They also believed that once Tiger boats are effectively stopped in the Gulf Bay, complaints of Tamil Nadu fishermen would cease.

8:28 AM

12 terrorists killed, 30 injured

12 LTTE terrorists were killed and 30 others reported wounded Tuesday (July 22) when security forces pushed into LTTE defences in general area Murunkaiaddipiddi at the combined Mannar- Vavuniya front, MCNS reports.

According to the sources, troops have destroyed 5 LTTE bunkers during the multiple attacks launched between 12 noon and 3p.m., also recovering 4 LTTE bodies during subsequent search operations conducted in the area, located 5km Northeast of Iluppaikkadavai.

7:26 AM

Lady of Madhu has reached back to Madhu

The sacred statue of Our Lady of Madhu has reached the Bishop House in Mannar until its eventual journey back to the Madhu Church. It is obvious that efforts by Rev.Dr. Rayappu, Bishop of Mannar to make a case for keeping the statue away from Madhu has failed.The sacred statue of Our Lady of MadhuThe sacred statue of Our Lady of Madhu

Catholics in Italy especially in Napoli and Rome were sending petition to the Holy See and specially the Papal Nuncio in Colombo who always opposed the LTTE terrorists for having interceded in the matter and brought final victory for the Catholics in Sri Lanka. Catholics in Italy will assemble as a group and thank the Holy See for the intervention. They are planning to have a special mass with progressive Catholic Priests for answering their prayers.

The Asian Tribune received the following press release regarding the statue of the Madhu Statue:

The announcement made by Bishop of Mannar Rev. Dr. Rayappu that the Sacred Statue of Our Lady of Madhu has been temporarily brought by to the Bishop’s House, in Mannar today the 22nd of July is a final victory for Sri Lankan Catholics and especially for Sri Lankan Catholics in Italy.

The Catholics in Italy rejoiced when the Bishop of Mannar also announced that the Sacred Statue will be taken back to its original abode Madhu, when the situation becomes conducive after due penitential services according to the tradition and practice of the Catholic Church.

This announcement has at last borne fruition to the agitation of the Sri Lankan Catholics in Italy, to safeguard Madhu from the clutches of the LTTE terrorists. From the time Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa telephoned Ambassador in Italy Hemantha Warnakulasuriya requesting him to intervene in getting the statute of Our Lady Madhu , it was a tireless effort by the progressive Sri Lankan Catholic Community in Italy who urged the Pope to interfere in this issue.

Earlier Catholic Bishops Conference was making noises about declaring the Madhu Church as a ‘no peace zone’ and that the Army and the LTTE must vacate the holy place to return the Madhu Statue which was taken by Bishop Rayappu to Tiger controlled area giving credence to the belief that Catholic Shrine was safe in Thevanpidy, an area under the control of the Tigers and also informing the international community that there are two territories and two states.

But the Sri Lankan Catholic Community in Italy signed a petition requesting the Holy See to intervene to rid the holy sanctuary of Madhu from the LTTE. “Bishop Rayappu had to eat humble pie when he ostensibly on the orders of the Holy See made a pronouncement that the LTTE should leave the Sanctuary.

This was few days before the Petition to be handed over to the Holy See. This petition gathered international recognition and Italian Catholics joined the Sri Lankan patriotic Catholics in Italy.

After the LTTE vacated the church and was occupied by the Army, the church was handed over to the trustees; however, the Sri Lankan Ambassador was jolted when he met Sri Lankan Catholics in Napoli. He was questioned by a strong Catholic community why he has given up his cause to bring back the Madhu Statue to the Madhu Church.

In fact the Catholics castigated Bishop Rayappu statement that the Madhu feast will be held without the statue. The Napoli Catholics wanted the Ambassador to mediate and find a time with the Holy See to hand over a petition to the Holy Father requesting him to intercede and order Bishop Rayppu to bring the statue back.

As Mr. Warnakualsuriya is not the Ambassador to the Vatican, the petition and the request was forwarded to another Ambassador T.B. Maduwegedera, who is the Ambassador in Germany. He is the accredited representative to the Vatican.

Ambassador Maduwegedera requested yesterday morning the Vatican to give time on Thursday to hand over the Petition of the Catholics from Rome and Vatican.

On Tuesday July 22nd at 11 a.m. the Madhu Statue has reached the Bishop House in Mannar.

The talk and the action of the Bishop Rayappu is resented by many progressive Catholics in Italy. In fact in Padua where the biggest gathering of Catholics resides, protested the manner the Statue of Madhu was taken to Thevanapidy earlier. Strangely, the Catholic Bishops Conference who have been extolling the virtue of peace and giving the LTTE a easy ride to call for peace and commit war will have to do a lot explaining about the steps leading to the statue leaving Madhu.

However, the statue has been brought to Mannar without fulfilling any of the conditions imposed by the Bishops Conference or the dictates of Rayappu who seem to be above the other Bishops.

Now the Catholics in Italy especially in Napoli and Rome are changing their petition to thank the Holy See and specially the Papal Nuncio in Colombo who always opposed the Tamil Tigers for having interceded in the matter and at last brought final victory for the Catholics in Sri Lanka. Now they will assemble in a small group and thank the Holy See for the intervention. They are planning to have a special mass with progressive Catholic Priests for answering their prayer.

7:25 AM

JHU and NFF concerned over CEPA

The Jaathika Hela Urumaya has expressed serious concern over the proposed Indo-Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and conveyed the party's apprehensions to Minister G.L. Peiris. At a recent discussion with the minister, the Venerable Athureliye Ratana said that CEPA could turn out to be the same as SAPTA (South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement) or even worse.

He recalled that SAPTA brought no benefit to Sri Lanka. According to him its only outcome was that it enabled India export everything from the humble karapincha leaf to TATA buses and Maruti cars to Sri Lanka. He asked how is it possible for Sri Lankan products to compete with these.

Among the other participants in the discussion were JHU members Minister Champika Ranawaka, Udaya Gammanpila, Nishantha Warnasuriya and Anuruddha Pradeep.

National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa said that CEPA is bound to cause seriously harm to Sri Lanka. According to him the Indian authorities have consulted around 1000 Indian economists on CEPA. But in Sri Lanka's case it was the opposite, he alleged. Instead of consulting professionals attempts were being made to conceal the proposed agreement from Parliament and have it signed during the SAARC Summit after getting Cabinet approval. (It is however now understood that the agreement will not be signed on the sidelines of SAARC).

3:00 PM

Government rejects LTTE’s unilateral ceasefire offer

Sri Lanka Government rejected unilateral ceasefire offer by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the separatist Tamil Tiger outfit.

Responding to an oral question raised by Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa, in the floor of Sri Lanka parliament today, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the government does not response to this offer. He said a number of local and international allies try to stop operations against the rebels.

"At present government is defeating the terrorists .We never stop these operations," he said. A rebel statement said the Tigers would refrain from military action during the 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference but warned they would be forced to take "defensive action" if the island's military carried out any offensives against them.

The government sources further said, it had not received an official ceasefire notification from the rebels and expressed wariness about the move.

Meanwhile the head of the government peace secretariat, Rajiva Wijesinghe, said the government needs time to carefully consider the LTTE call for a ceasefire during the SAARC summit and will wait till it is officially communicated.

1:57 PM

22 LTTE suicide bombers killed in air raid

Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking to defence.lk said that 22 LTTE suicide bombers (Black Tigers ) were killed in the air raid carried out this morning (July 22) at the Uddayarkattukulam LTTE camp.

Citing Air Force intelligence sources , he said that the group of the slain LTTE cadres had been engaged in a rehearsal of a major suicide operation at the time of the air raid.

Air Force fighter jets launched an air strike targeting pre identified LTTE special operation training facility located Northeast of Uddayarkattukulam in the Mullaittiuvu district around 8.15a.m.

The Air Force sources said, targeted camp was providing training for LTTE cadres in special operations and in leadership for the terror leaders. Activities in the terror camp had a significant increase recently, the sources added.

1:29 PM

Pansiya Panas Jathakaya stories in online

The President describing the move as a historic one added that the Pansiya Panas Jathakaya was a text which portrays the life of the Bodhisatwa in the Sansara journey which could be adopted by any individual to carve out his life journey in the correct path.

Thus with the advent of present technical innovation such as the Internet presented viable mode to take the path of the Buddha to the future generation and all followers and non followers of Buddhism around the globe, the President observed during the event at Temple Trees Justify Fullyesterday morning.

The President also noted that Sri Lanka had recorded a 20per cent growth in the ICT literacy in recent times and also there was a lot of interest both locally and internationally today regarding Buddhism. He described the attempt as a timely move to address the world on Buddhism using the Internet.

ICTA Acting Chairman Prof. P.W. Epasinghe emphasized that IT should be used as a mode to promote Sri Lanka's national heritage in the global village. He emphasized that spiritual development was as important as physical development in today's context and that IT could be used as a viable mode of transmission.

The present initiative has been carried out by the ICTA on an idea mooted by President Rajapaksa. and could be accessed on the net by visiting www.jathakakatha.org

8:23 AM

EU MEPs' delegation arrived in Sri Lanka

EU Parliamentary Delegation is now in Sri Lanka . It is led by EU Parliamentarian Robert Evans , who was a British MP. Deputy Leader of the delegation Niranjan Deva Adithya , who is a Sri Lanka said the the MEPs delegation will meet Cabinet ministers, Political parties, Civil societies , Media and the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan.

During their six day stay in Sri Lanka, the delegation would discuss regarding GSP Plus status and several other issues with Sri Lankan authorities.

The GSP plus concession would enable Sri Lanka to export its ready made apparels, goods and products to the EU at reduced or exempted tax and duty levies. The European Parliamentary delegation will visit the Eastern Province to witness the political transformation taking place there and to meet with the new Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan.

The delegation headed by its Chairman Robert Evans, Socialist Group member of the UK, will include a cross section of the political groups and member states represented within the EU.

7:22 AM

Troops Liberate Illuppaikkadavai

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

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

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

7:21 AM

13 terrorists killed, anti air gun seized

Army Commandos in pursuit of the withdrawing terrorists along the Mannar- Pooneryn (A-32) road attacked a group of terrorist detected in the Murunkalyadippudi area 3 Km North of Iluppaikkaddavai around 12.10 this afternoon.

The Commandos confirmed that 13 terrorists were killed in this confrontation while many others suffered injuries. Also, they seized an anti air machine gun of 12.7mm caliber , a T-81 rifle and one radio communication set.

Clearing operations are being carried out in the area. Troops of Task Force 1 and Commando Brigade today captured the largest terrorist stronghold on the Northwestern coast of the Island at Iluppaikkaddavai. Following this victory troops are marching further northwards along the A-32 road.

8:12 AM

SL Air Force Attack to LTTE

According to military information, Sri Lanka Air force destroyed two LTTE boat today morning.

7:34 AM

Police after LTTE photo-journalist

The Colombo National Hospital police unit is looking for a photo-journalist of a leading electronic media organization who had hidden himself in a toilet of the Colombo National Hospital blood bank to photograph activities of the blood bank. Blood bank staff had arrested him, but he had escaped, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

A Health Ministry spokesman told 'News-Lanka' that when the intruder was caught by the blood bank staff he had told them that he had come to take some pictures in order to rectify a distorted news coverage by the media organization.

When asked him as to why he had come through the back door, the photojournalist had escaped from their grip, jumped over the wall of the hospital and escaped.

Dr. A. Manchnayaka of the blood bank had requested the staff complain to the National Hospital police unit.According to the doctors of the blood bank, a certain electronic media organization is trying to bring discredit to its functions.

7:11 AM

Lanka-UK talks on GSP plus

Lord Mark Malloch Brown, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK told Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama that his Government was sensitive to the issue of the extension of the GSP + and expressed hope that this preferential trading facility would be extended and outlined the areas which need to be addressed.

The two ministers met at the Minister Bogollagama’s official residence. Bogollagama highlighted the vital role of the GSP + facility as a mechanism to spread the development effort countrywide, especially in the Eastern Province.

Lord Brown visited Trincomalee prior to his meeting with Bogollagama. He acknowledged the achievements of the Sri Lankan Government in the field of human rights.

The two ministers also discussed Sri Lanka’s concerns on LTTE fund raising and propaganda activities in the UK. Bogollagama thanked the British Government for curbing LTTE activities and noted the ongoing legal process in respect of LTTE suspects who are under arrest.. Lord Brown’s attention was also drawn to the activities of the LTTE’s front organizations operating in the UK

7:08 AM

An Indian rescued by Sri Lanka Navy

An Indian national arrested in the mid-sea while escaping from the clutches of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was rescued by Sri Lanka Navy. Still the plight of three more Indian who were captured by the LTTE remains a mystery,

Indian national (aged 28) who had been incarcerated by LTTE and kept under their custody, had managed to escape and was rescued in mid-sea by the Sri Lanka Navy, while he was making an attempt to flee to India on a boat with seven other Sri Lankans, in the morning on 16th July.

According to Sri Lanka Navy sources, he had come to Sri Lanka on 10th January 2003, with three other Indian nationals holding Indian passports and had travelled to Kilinochchi with the hope of visiting some of their relatives.

But, denying their access to relatives, they had been arrested and questioned by the LTTE cadres, inflicting serious physical torture, and thereafter they had been made to shed physical labor. Whereabouts of the other three are not yet known.

He is said to be a resident in Madras, sources further say.However, about three months before, he had been assigned to work in a garage belonging to LTTE which paved way for him to escape.

6:50 AM

JHU to support govt. in PC polls

The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday decided to support the UPFA in the forthcoming provincial polls scheduled for August 23.

The party would not take the stage in support of candidates but would extend the fullest support to the ruling coalition ‘to defeat anti-national campaigns of the UNP and the JVP,’ General Secretary of the JHU, Omalpe Sobhitha Thera told The News-Lanka yesterday.

6:47 AM

Indian warships to shield PM during SAARC meet in Lanka

India is not taking any chances with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's security during his visit to Colombo for the SAARC summit early next month.

The Centre is planning to despatch three warships, including two frontline guided-missile destroyers, to Sri Lankan waters as security cover for the PM and his entourage from the much-feared LTTE.

With national security adviser M K Narayanan personally looking into the issue due to the "high threat perception" from the LTTE, hectic consultations are on between India and Sri Lanka to ensure fool-proof security arrangements. As the Tamil Tigers are known to use suicide bombers, there can be no room for mistakes.

With the LTTE having both air and naval wings, and even using trained deep-sea divers for underwater suicide missions, Indian experts obviously do not want to take any chances. What must also be weighing on the minds of the Indian agencies is the LTTE's success in using light aircraft to bomb a military airfield near Colombo without the radar detecting it.

Sources said the contingent of the Special Protection Group (SPG)—which provides "proximate security" to the PM—would be much larger this time as compared to the PM's other foreign visits. While the eight-day summit will begin on July 27, the PM will attend it only on the last two days.

Apart from Sri Lankan security personnel, security cover will be bolstered by the three Indian warships, including a Delhi-class destroyer and a Rajput-class destroyer, equipped with Sea King and Chetak helicopters.

"They will be geared to meet the entire spectrum of security requirements," said a source. The 6,900-tonne Delhi-class destroyer, with a 360-crew, for instance, is "a power-projection warship" capable of operating even in an NBC (nuclear-chemical-biological) environment, with a wide array of missiles and weapon systems.

There is even talk of IAF helicopters being deployed in the skies over Colombo for aerial surveillance of high-security zones like the Colombo Fort and Kolpetty areas, apart from strengthening the air defence cover around the summit.

The high-profile Indian armed presence is bound to attract some criticism in Sri Lanka. In fact, a section is already up in arms over the high costs of security, including hundreds of bullet-proof vehicles. Some nationalist groups are upset with reports that Indian security personnel will "swamp" Colombo when the PM is there.

Source: Time of India

6:40 AM

CMC Declares War

The Colombo Municipal Council has launched a rat control campaign in a bid to prevent an outbreak of leptospirosis, a rat borne disease. The campaign will be carried out in the areas surrounding the Colombo Port, the Borella market, Wanathamulla and the canal bank, the Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday.

The area demarcated is known as the city’s rat belt. The Council is using chemicals to destroy rats. Kariyawasam urged residents of these areas to refrain from throwing food and garbage on roads. Garbage is a fertile breeding ground for rats.

6:01 AM

Visa guidelines for UN, Int'l Organisations

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a set of guidelines to be followed for visa requests by UN and other International Organizations which have Status Agreements with the Government of Sri Lanka. The guidelines were circulated among all Heads of Organizations at a meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Monday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs functions as the principal line Ministry to the UN and other International Organizations which have concluded Status Agreements with the Government of Sri Lanka. Minister Bogollagama appreciated the important role played by the UN and International Organizations, in close partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka for many decades.

In recent years, the participation of these bodies in development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and disaster management work of the Government has increased.Taking into account the overall requirements of the Government, the new guidelines are intended to ensure the continuity of the functions carried out by these Organizations.

The Minister disclosed that the extensive inter-ministerial consultations which preceded the adoption of the guidelines were helpful in addressing internal co-ordination issues relevant to the process.Minister Bogollagama expressed confidence that, with the issuance of the updated guidelines, measures have been put in place to address outstanding issues related to visa matters in a mutually satisfactory manner.Neil Buhne, UNDP Resident Representative and Resident Co-ordinator appreciated the efforts made by the Foreign Ministry in resolving outstanding visa related issues.

This would enable the UN and other Organizations to perform their functions smoothly in partnership with the Government. Buhne also offered to cooperate with the Government in establishing relevant databases.

10:02 PM

Somawansa ,Tilvin send letter of demands to Wimal

JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and General Secretary Tilvin Silva sent letter of demands claming Rs.10 million each from NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa for violating copyright laws through his recently published book ( Naththa Wenuwata Aththa).

9:53 PM

Wanni Operation reaches decisive stage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: defence.lk

7:47 PM

Vidattaltivu Liberated

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

Soldiers of Task Force 1 yesterday commenced their march from the South from their initial locations- few hundreds meters short of Vidattaltivu terror defence, located 2 Km South of the town. According to the sources, troops approaching from the South led the main assault since last evening (July 15) and captured a 2.5km stretch of the LTTE Forward Defence .

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

Meanwhile, troops approaching from the East of Vidattaltivu cut off the Mannar - Poonaryn road at a location 2 Km North of Vidattaltivu this morning, besetting the terror stronghold from South, East and North. Later troops marched into the town and declared the area liberated after 21 years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Defence.lk

10:34 AM

30 terrorists killed

30 LTTE terrorists were reported killed and 26 others wounded Saturday (July 12), during confrontations ensued between troops and LTTE, at the Wanni and Northern battlefronts, MCNS reported. 2 soldiers laid their lives in the battles, while 7 other sustained injuries, security sources said.
According to the same sources, 18 terrorists were killed, 4 wounded at the Mannar front, while a soldier was also killed in the confrontations. Meanwhile, 2 terrorists received injuries at Jaffna in addition to an Army casualty.
In the Vavuniya battlefronts, 7 terrorists were killed and 8 injured, while military claimed a soldier killed and 3 others wounded in yesterday's fighting. In addition, troops claimed that 5 terrorists were reported killed 12 injured during skirmishes erupted between security forces and LTTE at the Welioya battlefront. 3 soldiers also received injuries in similar confrontations at the Welioya front, security sources further added.

9:44 AM

Amnesty International Friday LTTE attack

The Government of Sri Lanka and the Amnesty International expressed their condolence to the families of the bus attack victims who lost their lives in the terrorist attack at Buttala. Issuing a statement Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said it is barbaric attack targeting civilians.
The Amnesty International condemned the targeting of civilians in the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka and urged the concerned parties to abide by the international laws. In a news release, it listed a number of incidents, which has led to the deaths of innocent civilians in the recent past.

"These indiscriminate attacks are brutal. The victims are overwhelmingly people who are trying to go about their everyday lives; living in fear of attacks at any time, with the added untold suffering this brings to their relatives. The total disregard for the safety of civilians is completely indefensible," it said.

8:46 AM

TRC brings in rules for mobile and CDMA phones

In order to ensure public security, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) has issued a set of procedures that need to be adhered to when using mobile and CDMA telephones. Failure to follow the procedures would result in severe punishment under existing laws, the TRCSL said.
The following instructions have been issued in this connection:
Vendor Licenses:
In terms of the provisions of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act, No. 25 of 1991, as amended by the Act, No. 27 of 1996, no person shall by way of trade, manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, deal, transfer, hire, lease, demonstrate, maintain or repair any telecommunications apparatus, except under the authority of a licence issued by the Commission.
The public are hereby advised to purchase any telecommunication apparatus or to get any service from Vendors who have been authorized to do so.
SIM Cards
In future all mobile service providers, Dealers and Sub Dealers should check the photograph of the Identity Card of the subscriber whom the SIM Card is to be issued. SIM Cards should only be sold after ensuring the identity of the person according to the photograph of the identity card.
Further if any dealer feels the photograph appearing in the identity card is different from the present physical appearance, the SIM card and the connection should be issued only after obtaining a new certified photograph of the subscriber.
The subscriber who legally possesses the SIM Card should not allow any other person to use it.
If a subscriber with a legal SIM card requires to transfer it to another person, he/she should follow the procedure of obtaining a new mobile connection in cooperation with the respective mobile service provider.
Various corporate packages used presently by different institutions, under the name of those institutions should in future maintain those connections under their individual user's names.
The subscriber who carries a mobile telephone should keep with him a certified copy of the letter issued by the operator for inspection/identification to prove the ownership of the SIM Card.
The Ministry of Defense, Public Security, Law and Order is making arrangements to issue directions to armed forces, police, and other security institutions to carry out the following inspection check points under their purview.
(a) Evidence to prove that the respective SIM Card is allocated to the Subscriber by the relevant service provider. (This has to be checked with the certificate issued by the relevant Mobile Operator).

4:55 PM

Police post comes under LTTE attack

The Police roadblock near the Halmillawetiya junction in Kebettigollawa in Anuradhapura comes under an LTTE attack in early hours today, July 11.

According to the available information, a group of LTTE terrorists fired at the roadblock around 4.00 a.m and alert police personnel responded the enemy fire strongly.One Special Task Force personnel suffered injuries during the confrontation and rushed to the Anuradhapura hospital, sources said.

4:50 PM

National Sports Festival in Kilinochchi ?

President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured that the country will soon be able to stage the National Sports Festival in Kilinochchi when the region is liberated from the clutches of terrorism.

President made these remarks when he addressed the gathering after declaring open the 34th National Sports Festival at D.A. Rajapaksa Stadium in Beliatta. He also said that sports can bring about peace and prosperity to the country and his vision is to have sports complexes in every province if not every district of the country.

The National Sports Festival is Sri Lanka's main domestic mega sports event which includes 24 sports items organised by the Sri Lankan Sports ministry at a cost of Rs. 50 million.Three thousand sports persons from nine provinces are contesting at the sports event this year.

12:26 PM

LTTE open fire to bus

At least 4 civilians were killed and 26 others reported wounded when LTTE terrorists opened fire at a passenger bus plying from Monaragala towards Kataragama, at the 49th mile post along the Buttala-Kataragama main road, Friday (July 11), at around 10:15 a.m.

1:51 PM

8 LTTE terrorists killed

8 LTTE terrorists were killed and 10 wounded, Wednesday (July 9) as fighting continued throughout the day between troops and LTTE at Palamoddai, Vavuniya according to MCNS reports.
The confrontation broke out at 7:00 a.m., Wednesday and continued throughout the evening till 4, at Palamoddai, the sources said, adding that no damages were caused to own troops. Meanwhile, during subsequent search operations conducted in the area troops uncovered 682 T-56 ammunition rounds, 2 x hand grenades and few ration packets, MCNS further reported.

1:49 PM

A Tamil Father Commits Suicide in Court

Making a record as the first man to commit suicide in a British court a Sri Lankan Tamil by consuming poison on the dock at Isleworth Crown Court in London and took his life.

Anandakumar Rathnasabapathy (40) took a concoction made out of crushed sleeping tablets on the dock of the court when he was found guilty of assaulting his baby daughter and leaving her quadriplegic, epileptic and partially blind, an inquest held into his death was told.

The Sri Lankan Tamil's death is considered the first suicide inside a court room, although in 1904 a British mining tycoon named Whitaker Wright took his life in a toilet of a court room of the Old Bailey after he was convicted for fraud.

In the Isleworth Crown Court Rathnasabapathy was convicted for assaulting his three month old baby daughter and he had told his interpreter before that if he was found guilty he would swallow the fatal concoction which he carried in a coca-cola bottle and die.

8:19 AM

JVP loose Again

Minister Dullas Alahaperuma assured that public transport will operate as usual this morning despite the proposed trade union strike.The railway control room says all trains operated on schedule this morning despite the trade union strike. Hospital,University, Telecommunication, etc workers are repoted to work today morning

8:00 AM

Security News-10/07/2008

At least 10 LTTE terrorists were killed and 6 others reported wounded during separate clashes erupted between troops and LTTE, Wednesday (July 9) south of Vedithalthivu at the Mannar battlefront.According to reports, 6 terrorists were killed in general area Puliyankulama, when troops forced into 2 LTTE bunker defences with small arms and RCL fire at 6a.m.Separately, troops mounted similar attacks at 3 LTTE bunker defences located south of Vedithalthivu, as military reports confirmed killing 4 terrorists and injuring 6 others in the offensive lunched at around 6.45 a.m.

President of Sri Lanka and Commander-in-Chief, H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa, Tuesday (July 8) promoted the Asia Cup cricketing hero Ajantha Mendis from the rank of Sergeant in the SL Army to Second Lieutenant.

7:15 AM

A novel by a former LTTE child soldier

An English novel depicting the dreadful life of a child soldier under the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the torture inflicted upon him when he disagrees has been published.

India’s Random House has just published the English version of an original Tamil novel blowing the lid off the cruel practice of recruiting and engaging child soldiers in war penned by a former child soldier, himself.

The book has been hailed as "Unusual clarity coming from someone who picked up the gun at 15, had to leave his country before he was 20 and then spends the rest of his adult life as a refugee."Gorilla - Author: Shobasakthi. Translated by Anushiya Sivanarayanan
Written by the Tamil author, Sobashakti, in his early thirties, who was born as Anthony Jesuthasan, is a Tamil refugee now living in France, earning a living by doing odd jobs at fast food restaurants and working as a dish washer from time to time. The novel entitled "Gorilla" has been described as ‘auto-fiction” and as a memoir since it is based on his dreadful past as a child soldier of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.-one of the most ruthless Tamil terrorist groups in the world.

The young author has also written another novel, three collections of short stories, and most recently, a collection of non-fiction pieces.

The novel was originally written in Tamil seven years ago. Since the terrorist group LTTE and its sympathizers in India take great pains to censor or banish any art work written about Tamil child soldiers like in the case of the recently produced feature film “Prabhakaran”, the author admits it was with great fear that seven years ago he wrote Gorilla, about the cruel practice of kidnapping children for war against their will. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) kidnaps Tamil children from their homes, temple festivals, roads, playgrounds and the schools and imprisons them in abominable military garrisons depriving any access by their parents, at least to talk to them and putting them through rigorous military training and punishing them with beatings and death in the attempts of escape.

8:37 AM

Pongku Thamil in London

British Tamils Forum, the LTTE’s front organization in Britain is organizing the Pongku Thamil celebrations in London, to honour the demised 365 odd Black Tigers and to glorify the suicide cadres internationally. The event is planned to be held from 3pm to 7pm on 12 July.

According to a statement released by Suren Surendiran, the media spokesperson for the British Tamil Forum, LTTE’s front organization "has joined hands with many of other cultural and community organisations in the United Kingdom for ‘Pongku Thamil’ – a celebration of Tamil culture and arts."A Pongku Tamil FlierA Pongku Tamil Flier

It is learnt that after the closing down of the 'Tharishanam TV' in London, arrangements are now being made to allow free to air the pay channel 'Deepam TV' alleged to be LTTE funded, until the Pongku Thamil event is held in London.

'In the latest development, the Deepam television is giving explicit publicity for the LTTE’s Pongku Thamil function to be held in Roehampton in South London on 12 July 2008. Sources working at Deepem TV confirmed that arrangements have been made for the Deepam TV to telecast the event lively.'

In the meantime, the media spokesperson for British Tamil Forum anounced, "The focus of this year’s event is to show solidarity and support to the political aspirations of their compatriots back home and around the world." Spokesperson revealed that an estimated 25,000 British Tamils are expected to gather for this event.

But, according to an independent survey, Richardson Evans Playing Field located Roehampton Vale in South West London can hold a maximum of 5,000 people only. Sources told that "25,000(Terror Friendly) people expected to participate in an event" to glorify LTTE suicide cadres, is an exaggeration.

In recent times, Tamil expatriates are well aware that participating in such events is considered as aiding and abetting terrorist activities in a country where Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been proscribed as a terrorist’s organization.

Pongku Thamil Add

7:35 AM

Security News 09/07/2008

2 soldiers were killed and another reported wounded on Tuesday (July 8) at Arsadikulama in the Vavuniya battlefront when troops confronted with a group of terrorists at 1.35p.m.

According to the defence sources, troops advancing towards the area North of Janakapura came across this strong defensive position of the LTTE located about 10 km inside the jungle around 9.30 am.

Security forces personnel engaged in counter terrorist offensive operation inching further towards LTTE areas inflicting damages to the enemy. The finalized military report received from the battlefront said that 18 terrorists were killed while 29 others suffered injured.

Army snipers gunned down 3 LTTE terrorists in two separate areas in the Mannar front during day hours yesterday, July 08.

8:24 AM

Foreign Minister invites Pakistan Prime Minister to attend SAARC Summit

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama arrived in Pakistan on 2nd July to invite the Prime Minister of Pakistan on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo. The Minister handed over the invitations to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani , and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The Pakistan Prime Minister underlined the need for the Colombo Summit to focus on global issues such as energy and food crises which have severely affected the region and called for a comprehensive action plan to address them effectively. The Prime Minister said that he is looking forward to a very useful engagement in SAARC under the leadership of Sri Lanka.

The meeting between the two Foreign Ministers focused on a range of issues on SAARC and bilateral cooperation. Minister Bogollagama also paid a courtesy call on the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf.

Foreign Minister Bogollagama has already handed over the invitations from President Rajapaksa to the SAARC Heads of State of Government of India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. With his visit to the Maldives on 10th July, the Foreign Minister's customary visits to SAARC capitals for this purpose will be completed.

8:12 AM

Karuna and Pillaiyan - shirkers and movers of East

Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan, popularly called Pillaiyan told News-Lanka that Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias Karuna Amman contacted him after he arrived in Colombo on Thursday afternoon. He said that Karuna Amman, the former leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal was brought to Sri Lanka on an escorted service by the British police and handed over to the Sri Lanka Police.

In Sri Lanka, though Muralitharan was deported by the British immigration authorities, he was allowed to leave the airport without any let or hindrance. The Chief Minister of the Eastern Province told Asian Tribune that Muralitharan contacted him over the telephone and indicated his desire for a meeting. He also said that after returning back to Sri Lanka, it seems he has contacted almost everyone over the telephone.

7:23 AM

LTTE's Michael Base falls to Army

Troops operating under Army 59 division yesterday (July 4) captured an LTTE base called "Michael Base", said the defence sources on the Welioya front. According to the sources, the LTTE camp is one of the strategic satellite bases of the LTTE's main "One Four Base" Complex situated inside the Mulaithiuvu jungle.

Troops marching northwards in the Mulaithiuvu jungle from the area North of Janakapura made this capture after 3 days fierce fighting. Soldiers entered into the camp after beating off the enemy last morning and declared the area secured by afternoon. The structure of the base extends over 200 square meters that includes several underground defences. Troops believe at least 17 LTTE cadres were killed in this operation.

Earlier, soldiers of army 59 division captured the Munagam Base, the strategic transit base between LTTE's main bastions in Mulaithiuvu and the Southern parts of the country. The Michael Base is located about 7 Km from Janakapura, inside the jungle and about 3 Km northwards from the Munagam Base.

8:09 AM

Sri Lankan Envoy Barred from Israeli-Occupied Territories

Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN and chairman of the UN's Special Committee on Israeli Practices, was barred once again from entering the occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and Gaza.

He said the Israeli authorities prevented him and his three-member committee "from seeing the reality." As a result, he said, the Special Committee had to rely on consultations with witnesses to the "human symptoms developing among many of Gaza's children."

"Children see their fathers humiliated everyday and they are losing hope, it can lead to them turning to extremism," he told reporters at a press conference in Cairo. The other members of the committee are the UN ambassadors from Malaysia and Senegal.

While he warned of the immediate and long-term consequences of rising unemployment and poverty levels, fuel and electricity cuts, restrictions on the import of essential goods and restrictions on freedom of movement to and from Gaza, Kariyawasam was especially concerned about the children of Gaza.

7:07 AM

Three Special Police Teams For Investigation

Media representatives have alerted the British Government and multilateral organisations here to the latest physical attack on a Sri Lanka journalist by still unidentified assailants which also saw a local official of the British High Commission in Colombo injured.

It is understood that questions are to be raised with the British authorities about what the government expects to do about the violence which has now targeted, inadvertently or not, a Sri Lankan attached to the high commission in Colombo.

Meanwhile three special police teams have been directed to track down the assailants of the journalist and a local officer of the British High Commission in Colombo, presidential secretariat sources in Colombo said yesteeday

6:07 AM

Karuna deported back to Sri Lanka

Vinayagamoorthy alias Karuna Amman, Leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal was deported back to Sri Lanka yesterday. He arrived at the Katunayake International Airport on 03 July, around 3 PM.

His arrival to Colombo was confirmed by Azad Moulana, Coordinating Secretary to the Chief Minister of East Provincial Council, who revealed to press that Karuna contacted him over the telephone from the Katunayake airport.

Defence Spokesman and Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion, Keheliya Rambukwella, earlier said if Karuna returned the authorities would deal with him according to the law.

5:28 PM

Victor Perera the new Governor of the Northern Province

Retired Inspector General of Police Victor Perera was sworn in as the new Governor of the Northern Province, by Sri Lanka President by Mahinda Rajapakse, at a brief swearing in ceremony at the Temple Trees this morning. Lalith Weeratuna, Secretary to the Sri Lanka President was also associated in the ceremony.

This is the first time, a former head of the police department has been appointed as a Governor to a province.Victor Perera who was the 30th Inspector General Police joined the police service in 1974 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police and was promoted as IGP on 12 October 1976. He retired from service on 30 June 2008.

Subsequently on 01 July, Mahinda Rajapakse appointed Victor Perera as the first Governor of the Northern Province. He succeeds Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, Governor of the Eastern Province, who was also acting as the Governor of Northern province since 1 st January 2007, after North and Eastern provinces were demerged by a bench of five judges, headed by the Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva, who ruled that the temporary merger of the Northern Province with the eastern province “unconstitutional, illegal and invalid". The ruling was delivered on 16 October 2006. Since then Northern Province became a separate provincial entity.

4:26 PM

UNP still keeps secretly names of its Chief Ministerial candidates

The UPFA and the JVP are announced names of their Chief Ministerial Candidates but the United National Party is still not announced its Chief Ministerial Candidates and a party spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said names of their Chief Ministerial candidates are still kept secret due to the government pressure on their candidates.

However UNP General Secretary General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake m revealed that a team leader too has been appointed to each district: Gen. Janaka Perera, Anuradhapura; H.M. Donald, Polonnaruwa; A.A. Wijetunga, Ratnapura and Jayatilleke Podinilame, Kegalle. But he too has failed to disclose UNP’s chief minister candidates for the two provincial councils.

The UNP, SLMC and Western Province People’s Front have formed a common front to fight the elections under the Elephant symbol, Attanayake said.
Howeverl major political parties and independent groups are now engaged in final discussions on nominations for the Sabaragamuwa and North Central provincial council elections.

UPFA Chief Minister candidate for the North-central province is former Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake, while the Chief Minister candidate for Sabaragamuwa is former Chief Minister Mahipala Herath. Several political groups including the democratic group of the UNP are contesting under the UPFA.

General Secretary of the JVP Tylvin Silva said the party’s nomination list has been compiled. Former JVP parliamentarian Wasantha Samarasinghe is the JVP Chief Minister candidate for the North-central province and the JVP Chief Minister candidate for Sabaragamuwa is Chameera Koswatta.

3:27 PM

14 LTTE terrorists killed

At least 14 terrorists were killed and 12 injured in fighting ensued between troops and LTTE at the Wanni and Northern battle theatres on Wednesday (July 2), according to finalized military reports received.

At the Northern battlefront in Nagarkovil, 2 terrorists were believed either killed or wounded when troops attacked an LTTE bunker defence using rocket propelled grenade fire and small arms fire at around 7.45p.m.

Meanwhile, security forces deployed at the Vavuniya front continued advances into non-liberated territory yesterday as troops claimed killing 7 terrorists while injuring 5 others during the confrontations. According to security sources confrontation between troops and LTTE were reported from Vedamakilam, Uluvaneri general areas. Also, during a search operation conducted in general area Panichchamadu, troops recovered 20 anti-personnel mines (AP) and 5 hand grenades, security sources said. Separately, in general area Palaimoddai troops have removed 88 AP mines, and uncovered a haul of slam arms ammunitions during a search operation conducted.

9:04 AM

LTTE days numbered

Sri Lanka’s Army chief Sarath Fonseka said on Monday the LTTE had "lost the capability to fight as a conventional force" due to the relentless "overall military strategy" since August 2006.

In an interactive session with members of the Sri Lanka Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) at the Army Headquarters here, Lt. Gen. Fonseka said the Tigers would be reduced to nothing more than a "rag-tag terrorist outfit" in a year’s time.

He made the observation in response to questions on the assertion he made in December last year that the military would "wipe out" the LTTE by June 2008. Since August 2006, the military had killed an estimated 9,000 LTTE cadre , and lost 1,700 soldiers.

He attributed the success to "overall military strategy" of eliminating the Tiger cadres and the full backing of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now, the strategy is not about capturing territories, but eliminating LTTE cadres. "We do not just go for terrains, but we go for the kill. This is the difference between the military operations in the past and the present," he said.

When the current phase of war started in August 2006, the Tigers had a fighting force of 8,000. "As per the intelligence reports, the current cadre of the LTTE in the worst-case scenario is 5,000. Most of the new recruits in the past two years are underage conscripts," he said.

9:01 AM

500+ Sri Lankan defence officers will train in India this year

India is throwing open its elite defence institutions to over 500 Sri Lankan military officers and men of other ranks this year even as it advocates that Colombo should renew political efforts to end the bloody ethnic strife in the island.

The Sri Lankan defence personnel will receive training in prestigious institutions, ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra). In addition, they will undergoing specialised naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare in top defence training centres across the country, according to Indian Defence Ministry sources quoted in a report in The Times of India today.

However, the report does not say if this lot of military personnel coming to India for training in several army institutions is in addition to the one thousand Sri Lankan officers and soldiers who arrive every year for military training in various army, air force and naval training institutions across this country.

India has been training Sri Lankan military personnel regularly at least for the past four decades.

The report said the premier Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun, is going to be running two "special courses" in 2008-2009 for as many as 100 "gentlemen cadets" from Sri Lanka.

In addition, 39 Sri Lankan officers will undergo courses at College of Military Engineering at Pune, 15 in School of Artillery at Devlali, 29 in Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre at Ahmednagar, 25 in College of Materials Management at Jabalpur, 30 in Electronics and Mechanical Engineering School at Vadodara, 14 at Military College of Telecommunication Engineering at Mhow.

Every year, India trains soldiers from several countries, ranging from Maldives, Mauritius and Mongolia to Botswana, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. But the facilities extended to Sri Lanka are far more than those offered to defence personnel from any other country. In any given year, there are more Sri Lankan defence personnel than those from any other country in the various courses conducted by the Indian defence ministry.

8:24 AM

LTTE to hold Pongku Thamil event in London

Though Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam remains a proscribed Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United Kingdom, it is planning to hold ‘Pongku Thamil’ event in London to glorify Black Tiger suicide cadres and also to raise funds for its war chest. The LTTE is now arranging to hold Pongku Thamil events in all European capitals to promote its sagging popularity in the midst of the Tamil diaspora. The Pongku Thamil event is held to glorify the suicide cadres and also to raise funds for the war efforts against the Sri Lanka Government.

The Pongku Thamil event in London is to be held on 12 July at 3 p.m., at Richardson Evans playing field. Sources told that London LTTE organizers are holding Pongku Thamil event as a ruse to promote and glorify the Black Tigers who have given their lives as weapons in war.

However it is noted that governments in European countries seems to be very alert and monitoring very closely activities of the LTTE members in their respective countries. It was only on 18 June, Italian police arrested 33 LTTE cadres on suspicion of terrorist activities. The Metropolitan Police in the UK have made several arrests over the last few years since the UK Government banned the LTTE, the most high-profile of which was recent re-arrest of LTTE leader A.C Shanthan in Swindon on 06 May.

Recently on 22 June, London based Tharisanam Television; a major propaganda arm of the LTTE was removed from the Hot-Bird satellite platform on the request of the Sri Lanka Government. It is reliably learnt that UK’s Anti-Terrorism branch is presently investigating the organizers behind the event and expected to take appropriate action if necessary.

8:23 AM

U.S. Condemns Attack on British High Commission

The United States condemns the brutal and unprovoked attack on a member of the British High Commission staff and an official of the Sri Lankan Press Institute on June 30. We call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this crime swiftly to justice.

We are deeply concerned by a series of recent incidents involving members of the Sri Lankan media. A press that is free of intimidation is an essential component of any democracy.

We note the recent formation of a ministerial committee to ensure the independence of the media, inquire into complaints of harassment and death threats against media personnel and intervene where warranted, and hope this leads to a more conducive environment for the practice of journalism in Sri Lanka.

8:00 AM

Presidential escort chopper in emergency landing

Two helicopters had left for Arugam Bay from Colombo, transporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his entourage to the ceremonial opening of the reconstructed Arugam Bay bridge scheduled for yesterday afternoon.

Nanayakkara said the aircraft which developed mechanical problems was the helicopter which transported the Presidential aides.Police said that the Bell 412 had been hit by gunfire from LTTE when it was returning over the Kanjikudichchhciaru jungles and made an emergency landing in Pottuvil.

According to eyewitnesses the gunfire had hit the under carriage of the aircraft and fuel was leaking from the tank."Prior to President’s arrival in Pottuvil, the Tigers had fired seven rounds of mortars at the Sengamuwa STF camp but no damage was caused," a senior Police office said.

A team of investigators and engineers had left Colombo for Pottuvil at the tme this edition went to press.

7:22 AM

Troops recover 8 claymore mines

Security forces personnel acting on civilian information have recovered 8 claymore mines along with a pressure mine and 6 hand grenades during a search operation conducted in general area Ambalangodella, Madukanda in Vavuniya yesterday(June 01) at 8.30a.m.

The recovery included 6 claymore mines each weighing 5kgs, 2 claymore mines each weighing 15kgs and a pressure mine weighing 15Kgs, security sources said. According to defence sources, the mines were found hidden in house at Ambalangodella.