10:21 PM

Capital of ELAM Country

Kilinochchi is now a 'ghost town' with the LTTE withdrawing all its offices, business establishments, hotels and media centres following the rapid advancement of the security forces towards the region from various directions in the Wanni, informed sources said. The LTTE had even abandoned its 'Peace Secretariat' and the adjoining buildings where most of the meetings with key figures of the international community had taken place with the LTTE's late political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan and its late theoretician Anton Balasingham, sources said.

The 'Peace Secretariat' of the outfit built with several millions of rupees was equipped with the latest communication facilities. The Secretariat was also furnished to international standards and Pulithevan, one of the lieutenants of Thamilselvan was the head of the Secretariat. The buildings put up by the LTTE in Kilinochchi for its political activities were built soon after the Norway mediated Ceasefire Agreement was signed in February 2002, the sources said.

According to sources the Norwegians had also helped the outfit financially to construct its new buildings in Kilinochchi for political activities. As the civilians began to move out from Kilinochchi, police stations, court houses and other administrative centres that had been set up by the LTTE collapsed with the outfit's henchmen running helter skelter in the region, the sources said.

Meanwhile, innocent civilians in the region are between the 'devil and the deep blue sea' struggling to escape from the clutches of the LTTE who have made them scapegoats for their final show down with the security forces.

Civilians have now moved towards the eastern direction from Kilinochchi to areas such as Akkarayan, Viswamadu and Puthukudiyiruppu which are located east of the A-9 highway. With the LTTE forcibly preventing civilians moving into Government controlled cleared areas, they would face severe hardships in getting essential supplies when the battle enters its final phase, the sources said.

4:28 PM

Bomd Blast Update

In y town, one civilian dies from LTTE suicide explosion short while ago. four policeman, three soldiers and two civilian injured..

4:20 PM

Bomb Blast

Bomb Blast Vavuniya town short while ago

4:10 PM

I’m not a thief,’’ says Edwin Ariyadasa,-- Who Believe You

The police investigating a massive financial fraud committed by a person who called himself Deshamanya Sakvithi Ranasinghe Sir are in a dilemma over the action to be taken against Edwin Ariyadasa, a prominent media personality who had functioned as the joint director of S. R. Property Sharing Investment (Private) Limited, set up by the suspected conman.

With the help of Ariyadasa, one of Sakvithi’s employees had visited `Temple Trees’ where he had the opportunity being photographed with the President, the sources said.

Ariyadasa has received a monthly payment of Rs. 100,000 for promoting the business interests of the suspect. The sources said that under an agreement the suspect had with Rupavahini, he conducted English classes on the national channel (Sunday afternoon at 3.30 p.m.). The agreement with Rupavahini followed his agreement with TNL to air English classes, the sources said

Ariyadasa told The News-Lanka that he too was deceived by Sakvithi Sir. Responding to our queries, he said that he received a monthly payment of Rs. 100,000 inclusive of a range of allowances.

"But I was never part his financial dealings," he said, acknowledging that his name had been exploited to entice depositors.

Ariyadasa had joined Sakvithi in April last year on the invitation of Lanka Jayawardene who had been with the Agriculture Department for a long period. "We met on April 18, 2007," Ariyadasa said, adding that he had received appointment as the Programme Director of IT Management Solution which was primarily responsible for promoting Sakvithi’s English training package.

"Believe me, I am not thief," the respected media personality said when The News-Lanka asked him whether he was fully aware of the exploitation of his name to dupe thousands of people.

According to him, Sakvithi through his contacts in the Army and the Health Ministry had the opportunity to market his English training course at training facilities for nurses and army bases at Weli Oya, Maduru Oya, Galkulama, Galkiriyagama, Nelunkulama, Minneriya and Polonnaruwa and many other areas.

"Both officers and men brought course material priced at Rs. 3,000," Ariyadasa said, adding that Sakvithi had at least 100 employees based at his head office. "It was a big operation and people I am sure were tempted by unprecedented interests offered," he said.

Asked about his visit to Temple Trees with K. B. Kesara, an executive with Sakvithi’s group, Ariyadasa said that the President had invited him on December 3 last year to felicitate him on his birthday.

"Kesara offered to take me to Temple Trees and he accompanied me to the meeting with the President." Ariyadasa failed to explain how the Sakvithi executive who offered to drop him at Temple Trees had managed to gain entry without being invited.

Ariyadasa said that Sakvithi was a monster who deceived him and destroyed his image.

Police headquarters yesterday said that over 800 complaints had been received by Saturday. Police said they weren’t in a position to estimate the total amount of money collected by the fraudster as complaints were being received even now.

The total number of depositors could be over 4,100, police said on the basis of the documents recovered from Sakvithi’s office. But now every one know who is Ariyadasa

3:25 PM

President to decide on pardoning SB after UN meeting

Presidential Advisor A.H.M. Azwer told The News-Lanka that the President will be giving considerable thought to pardoning Dissanayake, in deference to the request made by Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera last Tuesday (16).

“The final decision lies in the hands of the President, therefore, we have to wait and see what steps the President will be taking once he gets back to the country, since it’s a very sensitive case as Dissanayake was found guilty of contempt of court, unlike committing some other wrong,” Azwer added.

Meanwhile, UNP Parliamentarian and leading party rebel Johnston Fernando, said the President might not pardon Dissanayake since he is one of the strongmen in the UNP.

“It’s unlikely that Dissanayake will be pardoned, as the President knows that Dissanayake will not hesitate to expose the misdeeds of the government. Therefore, Rajapaksa might let the chance go by, showing a totally different scenario to the request made by the Mahanayake Thera,” Fernando asserted.

Fernando also said that lack of such strong politicians of the calibre of Dissanayake in Parliament, is reflected in the massive amount of corruption practiced by those in power, “People like S.B. Dissanayake have the ability to expose corrupt Ministers and government officials and intelligently challenge any bill which only favours the government’s henchmen. Therefore, the President will not take a chance in pardoning him,” he added.

2:20 PM

Norwegian ‘aid’ for Tiger bunkers

According to Military sources, the bund cum trench, unlike other LTTE defence lines that the forces overran earlier, is a tried and tested defensive system used by both the Indian and Pakistani armies against each other. To halt the advancing Army, the Tigers have built this formidable trench line for miles facing the south, using heavy equipment taken from the INGOs, while the Army and the Air Force were busy concentrating on engaging the enemy in earlier operations, to regain territory in their then immediate front. It had been built, first laying mines on its approaches, then a trench had been cut, especially to prevent crossing of armour and the earth removed from this trench had been used to build a bund above it to a height of eight to 10 feet. Inside the bund are also a series of bunkers, from which vantage the Tigers are able to mow down the advancing Army and call in artillery support, with their clear view of the advancing forces.

In hindsight, it can now be said that, had the Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, had spotted the massive defence line being constructed in advance, and got the MI-24 attack helicopters or the jets, to take out the heavy machinery engaged in building the network, much of this misery could have been avoided. It is easy for us to say this from the safety and comfort of Colombo now, but for the valiant forces fighting the most ruthless outfit on earth, with limited resources, in the heat of so many operations in their immediate front, it would have eluded them. Besides, the Norwegian People’s Aid only reported the removal of their heavy machinery long after the Tigers had done it.

8:53 AM

Sri Lanka Army to launch a full scale offensive in the Tiger-heartland shortly

Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said that Sri Lankan ground troops will attack Kilinochchi town from next week with the support of the Air Force.
Army Commander said this while addressing a book launch ceremony held at the National Library service board auditorium, in Colombo, yesterday.
He told the gatherings that at the moment troops were located four km from Kilinochchi town. He emphasized that after the capture of Kilinochchi, troops would search every nook and corner and eliminate terrorists.
“Once Kilinochchi is captured troops will advance towards Mullaitivu,” he said, adding that the morale and determination of the Sri Lanka troops was very high.
He made these comments when he and Air Force Commander Air Vice Marshal Roshan Goonetileke participated as chief guests at the launch of the 'Rivira' weekend Sinhala newspaper defence correspondent Tissa Ravindra’s third book titled "Battle in the Wanni."
The Air Force Commander addressed the audience and said the Air Force was receiving intelligence on the LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s hideouts.
Prabakaran change his location time to time but, one day we will bomb Prabhakaran’s bunker and destroy him and bring long lasting peace to Sri Lanka, Air Force Commander said.
He said further so far the Air Force has bombed and destroyed the LTTE’s military infrastructure and would continue bombing and destroying the Tiger military infrastructure.

7:55 AM

Docs launch token strike

Vauniya GH treats civilians including refugees and the injured security personnel
Contrary to claims by the Health Ministry, the Vavuniya General Hospital was not equipped to meet the challenging task of providing health care to thousands of people seeking refuge in government-held areas, GMOA spokesperson Dr. Upul Gunasekera said yesterday.
In a brief interview with News-Lanka, an angry Gunasekera said the medical staff of the premier health institution in the region struck work for four hours from 8 a. m. to 12 noon yesterday to pressure the Health Ministry to ensure adequate transport facilities to doctors serving there. He said that there had not been a breakdown of emergency services and medical facilities provided to the army.
Vavuniya remains a key medical facility for the army fighting on the Vanni front.
Due to the recent Defence Ministry directive to prohibit private vehicles from operating between Medawachchiya and Vavuniya and termination of train services northwards beyond Medawachchiya, the medical staff attached to government hospitals at Vavuniya and Mannar had been provided with two vehicles for their convenience, he said. Under this scheme, the Health Ministry had agreed to provide both vehicles and fuel to maintain uninterrupted services.
Commending Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for promptly facilitating the issue of a special pass for the medical staff to pass through the Medawachchiya checkpoint, Dr. Gunasekera accused the Health Ministry of turning a blind eye to their basic requirements.
Responding to our queries, he warned that unless the Health Ministry fully restored the transport services immediately, the GMOA would step up trade union action. "We’ll probably strike on Monday," he said, asserting it would be the responsibility of the government to ensure uninterrupted services at Vavuniya.
The official also accused the Health Ministry of failing to provide the required facilities to hospitals in the region even after President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally intervened on behalf of the army. He said the President had wanted the best possible care provided to army and police casualties but the Health Ministry and the Provincial administration had failed in their task.
He explained that the cold storage facilities at government hospitals at Vavuniya and Padaviya among other areas had been provided by the ICRC as pointed out by News-Lanka at a recent press conference chaired by Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. The Health Ministry was discussing grandiose plans while conveniently forgetting the need to provide essential services and take urgent measures to meet any eventuality in view of the Vanni battle.
He warned an unprecedented health crisis unless urgent steps were taken to strengthen facilities at hospitals to meet any eventuality. "We are struggling to meet the health requirement of both civilians and the army," he said, expressing concern over the absence of a cohesive policy to meet the army’s growing demand for enhanced medical facilities.
A spokesperson for the Vavuniya branch of the GMOA accused the Medical Superintendent of the Vavuniya hospital and the Regional Director of Health Services of allocating space in the newly built OPD and clinic complex outside the original plan. He said the GMOA wanted the ministerial intervention to correct the situation immediately.
He alleged the ministry of turning a Nelsonian eye to the deteriorating situation in the face of a major influx of internally displaced persons from LTTE-held area.
A Health Ministry spokesman told News-Lanka that a high level delegation would be sent to Vavuniya today to discuss the entire gamut of issues and take corrective measures.
Dr. (Mrs) P. Pasupathyrajah, medical superintendent and Dr. M. Mahendran, Regional Director of Health Services, Vavuniya, in a letter to President of the Vavuniya branch of the GMOA had explained the efforts taken by them to restore transport services. While appealing them to call off their trade union action, the two officials had emphasised the importance of a joint effort to run the hospital. Responding to the criticism over allocation of the newly built OPD and clinic complex, they said that allocation was done immediately to accommodate the Defence Ministry request for a suitable location for an Army Ward.

6:32 PM

Security News

Killinochchi town will come under army fire from next week, Army Commander say while speaking to media.

4:34 PM

Air Force Fighter jets pound terror positions

Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets pounded LTTE reinforcements detected in the Akkarayankulam area this afternoon (Sept 25).
Air Force spokesperson , Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara speaking defence.lk said that the air strike was taken at 2.20 PM targeting an LTTE gathering 1 Km North of Akkarayankulam Tank bund.

3:34 PM

troops getting closer to A-9 road from West

Battlefield reports received yesterday (Sept 24) indicate that troops operating in the Kilinochchi and North of Vavuniya fronts were further pushing their defence towards Jaffna-Kandy (A-9) road from west of Wanni. According to the defence sources in the front troops of 57 division were getting closer to Kokavil and troops of Task Force 2 are heading towards Mankulam.
Troops of Army 57 division attacked 2 terror bunkers situated in the west of Akkarayankulam last afternoon and confirmed both bunkers were destroyed. However, terror casualties in these incidents were not known.
Meanwhile, troops of Army Task Force 1, operating in the western half of the Kilinochchi front confronted with a group of terrorists in the Nachchikudha area last evening. 3 soldiers suffered injuries during this incident. Terror casualties were not known. On the same day afternoon, snipers deployed in the Nachchikudha forward area confirmed shooting down of one LTTE cadre.
In the Vannerikkulam area, troops confronted with a group of terrorists around 8 AM and claimed 4 terrorists were killed and at least 6 others were wounded. Later in the same day afternoon, troops attacked and captured an LTTE bunker located elsewhere. Intercepted terror radio transmission revealed 3 terrorists killed in the incident. Troops found a T-56 riffle along with 300 ammo and a radio communication set. Meanwhile, snipers deployed in the Vannerikkulam forward area confirmed shooting down of one LTTE cadre during morning hours.
Troops of Task Force 2 operating in the Vavuniya front had three separate confrontations with the terrorists in the Palamoddai area during the day and claimed 6 terrorists were killed. Also, troops found one T-56 weapon with 65 rounds, 3 RPG bombs, 3 hand grenades, and one pouch following one of the confrontations.
Meanwhile, troops of 56 division maintaining the active defence in the either side of the A-9 road in Omanthai attacked a terror bunker located in the Navatkulam area around 11 AM. Troops confirmed one terrorist was killed and the bunker was partially destroyed.
Troops of 59 division operating in the Mullaittivu front had daylong fighting in Andankulama forests reserve and claimed 5 terrorists were killed, 8 others wounded and 17 more were either killed or wounded. Also, 4 soldiers suffered injuries during these incidents.
Meanwhile on the Jaffna theatre of operation, troops maintaining active defence in the Muhamalai area attacked a groups of terrorists detected in the forward area around 10 last night. Troops found a body of an LTTE cadre during subsequent search. Later, intercepted terror radio transmissions revealed 2 terrorists were killed in the incident. One soldier was killed and another suffered injuries due to IED and AP mine explosions occurred elsewhere.
source: defence.lk

3:27 AM

More complaints against Sakwithi Ranasingha

Sri Lanka Police says number of complaints against renowned English teacher Sakwithi Ranasingha has rapidly risen. Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said that the number of complaints against the Ranasingha who is accused of fraud of over 5 billion rupees had risen up to 4220.

Ranasingha has been engaged not only in teaching English but also in the real estate business and owned unregistered finance company.

Over 4,400 people have invested in his financial organizations, which provided attractive interest rates to customers, according to the Police.

Police spokesman said that the Ranasinghe has reportedly fled the country taking his family with him. Extensive investigations are being conducted into the whereabouts of the accused.

12:25 AM

Indian Propagandist of the LTTE.

In an article published quite widely in the Indian press and also picked up by the Sri Lankan press on 12th September 2008, Mr. B Raman analyses the recent attack by the LTTE on the Sri Lankan army’s Northern base at Vavuniya(260 kms north of Colombo). The Article while admitting that the LTTE has lost badly in the war(what he terms as a war of attrition), his article seemed designed to prop up the credibility of the LTTE than to decipher what may have really happened from empirical evidence.

He says “Even after allowing for the usual exaggeration of the spokesman for the Armed forces….” He points out the conflicting nature of certain accounts given by the Armed forces at different times without appreciating the fact that when an attack takes place it take some time to asses the actual extent of the damage. Therefore the census and statistics of the damage may differ at different stages. He further states,

“While the Sri Lankan armed forces repeatedly exaggerate their success and play down their losses, the LTTE generally gives a factual account of the battles. Even if it does badly in the battles it does not try to cover its failures. This is one of the reasons for the high credibility enjoyed by the LTTE in the eyes of its cadres Tamil Diaspora and the Tamil population.” Mr Raman should know that the LTTE does not have to earn the credibility of the Tamil Diaspora, because the LTTE is the armed wing of the Tamil Diaspora that helps the Diaspora to stay and swell them abroad.

Then he goes on to give his commentary based on the LTTE version. In order to give credibility to the LTTE version he states ‘as confirmed by independent observer’ but he never discloses who these independent sources are. Further the statement that he attributes to the ‘Sri Lanka Navy spokesmen’ is not their in the Navy communiqué. Hence these are clear prejudicial reflections made by Indian, Tamil and non Tamil, journalists with the view to influence the average Indian reader.

In actual fact there is no glaring difference between the version of the LTTE and that of the Armed forces in the end analysis because the Armed forces have admitted that there was damage to the radar system and 11 army personals were killed. But the writer makes a case to say how reliable the LTTE version was. According to him the Armed Forces maintain that one of the two LTTE plains was shot over Mulaitivu area while the LTTE has denied it. And he makes a lot of circumstantial evidence to say why it is not possible. However the LTTE itself have now admitted in its Tamil.net website that one the aircrafts that was sent on the mission did not return and the wreckage was found at the crash site.

The Sri Lanka Air Force further highlighted in its investigation report that the reason why the approaching LTTE planes could not be detected by the radar was that the Radar the Indian Government ‘gifted’ to Sri Lankan was not capable of detecting the low altitude flying LTTE planes. The report further goes to point that this situation could have been averted had the Sri Lanka Air Force purchased the Chinese radar as was originally planned.

The prejudice in Mr. Raman’s article is so obvious that every time he refers to a success by the Sri Lankan armed forces he qualifies such success adding that ‘due to the modern equipment supplied by Pakistan and China’ while attributing the resisting and resilient qualities of the LTTE to ‘their dedication commitment and diligence.’ For him the attack was a ‘spectacular attack’. This prompts us to pose the question to Mr. Raman, whether he attributes the recent success of the Sri Lankan Cricket team (chosen from 19 million persons) against it’s Indian counterpart (chosen from 1.3 billion population), also to Chinese bats and balls used by the Sri Lankan team?

Mr. Raman is the Retd. Additional Secretary to the Cabinet secretariat of the Government of India and currently he is the Director Institute of Topical Studies Chennai.
The question the writer would wish to pose to Mr Raman and other such Indian writer who eulogies the LTTE and its truthfulness is that, could hey believe at least in50 % of what the LTTE says in its book “The Satanic Forces”. If so they have to admit that the Indian Forces, their own security forces, are the worst forces a country can have on this globe! Little do these journalists realize that buy attributing such credibility to the LTTE that have made no bones about its criminal and uncivilized tendencies they are questioning the reputation of the armed forces of their own country. Yes, the LTTE is honest, especially when they kill because, they really kill. The massacres of LTTE have always been spectacular, even that of Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

12:24 AM

Blood transfusion kits bought ten months before date of expiry

od transfusion kits, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, MP, said that he would bring this to the notice of the WHO.

Although the racket was initially believed to be confined to the National Blood Centre at Narahenpita, Jayawardena claimed that he had been able to gather enough evidence to suggest that the use of outdated kits was widespread.

In a brief interview with "News-Lanka", he said that he would meet the Resident Representative of the WHO based in Colombo today (22), to brief him of the situation. The Sri Lankan Health Minister is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the WHO.

Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva couldn’t simply wash his hands off this criminal negligence of responsibility on the part of the Health Ministry, the MP said. The interdiction of four personnel, including the director of the National Blood Centre wasn’t adequate, he said, emphasising the urgent need to conduct a comprehensive survey to ascertain the impact of the use of outdated blood transfusion kits on both blood donors and receivers.

The Gampaha District MP said that the Health Secretary, Dr. Athula Kahadaliyanage had ordered the interdiction of personnel on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Responding to our queries, he said the police were reluctant to investigate the incident as they believed the government was behind the racket. According to him, after receiving information of the involvement of an ambulance driver attached to the Kandy General Hospital in the racket, he had visited the Matale Police as the suspect lived there. "Matale Police were reluctant to act on my information. They wanted me to seek the assistance of the ASP in charge of the area," the MP said.

Referring to the recent admission by Police Chief Jayantha Wickremaratne that the public had lost confidence in the police, particularly its emergency services due to the lethargic attitude, the MP said that subsequently, on the ASP’s intervention, Matale police had searched the suspect’s home before declaring that there was nothing suspicious, the MP said. The MP who had accompanied the police, joined the search and quickly founds two bags full of pieces of blood transfusion kits. The recovery was made in the presence of the suspect’s son. Subsequently, the suspect had surrendered to Matale police and was remanded after being produced before a Magistrate.

The MP said that he had also received information to the effect that outdated kits were kept at the blood crosschecking lab of the Kandy General Hospital. "But I was unable to check the lab, as its keys were with a labourer as claimed by the Senior Medical Laboratory Technician," he said.

He said that outdated blood transfusion kits had been used on both donors and patients at many hospitals, including Kandy General, National Blood Centre, National Hospital, Anuradhapura and Kamburugamuwa in the Matara district.

A senior health ministry official said that Jayawardena shouldn’t seek political mileage by targeting the minister. Fielding questions, he said, he accused the National Blood Centre bosses of misleading the minister when the print and electronic media revealed the use of outdated kits. He said that the Bribery Commission had initiated an investigation while the Auditor General too, was conducting inquiries.

Both Jayawardena and the official admitted that the crux of the issue was the acquisition of a large stock of blood transfusion kits, which were just ten months short of being outdated. They said that the ministry could order stocks with a three year life time. The MP said that the ministry, after ordering an old stock which would have financially benefited the powers that be, had distributed them to hospitals.

7:13 PM

High Priest of Thirukoneswaram Temple shot and killed

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed the High Priest of the Thirukoneswaram Hindu Temple, Sivasri Kugarajah Kurukkal in Trincomalee yesterday around 6.PM, in the evening .
The incident reported to have taken place at the Vidyalayam Road, located in the heart of the port city of Trincomalee.
Two bullets struck on priest's head and according to police report he died instantly.The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), reported that the 43 year old priest was shot down while he was riding a motorbike around 6 pm, on 21st September.
Thirukoanesvaram Temple is located inside the Fort Frederick, where the Trincomalee Government Agent's office and the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army have been functioning.
Sivashri Kugaraja Kurrukal had been the High Priest of one of the oldest Saiva Temple, ThiruKonesvaram , for the last five years.
According to the Media Centre for National Security, the victim said to have been a highly respected personality among the Hindus as well as in the midst of the other religious communities living in the area, He had been maintaining a very cordial relationship with the law enforcement authorities in the district and had performed a great service in building peace and harmony among the different communities.
Police are conducting investigation on the death of the High Priest

7:48 AM

Norwegian ‘aid’ for Tiger bunkers

According to Military sources, the bund cum trench, unlike other LTTE defence lines that the forces overran earlier, is a tried and tested defensive system used by both the Indian and Pakistani armies against each other.

To halt the advancing Army, the Tigers have built this formidable trench line for miles facing the south, using heavy equipment taken from the INGOs, while the Army and the Air Force were busy concentrating on engaging the enemy in earlier operations, to regain territory in their then immediate front. It had been built, first laying mines on its approaches, then a trench had been cut, especially to prevent crossing of armour and the earth removed from this trench had been used to build a bund above it to a height of eight to 10 feet.

Inside the bund are also a series of bunkers, from which vantage the Tigers are able to mow down the advancing Army and call in artillery support, with their clear view of the advancing forces.

In hindsight, it can now be said that, had the Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, had spotted the massive defence line being constructed in advance, and got the MI-24 attack helicopters or the jets, to take out the heavy machinery engaged in building the network, much of this misery could have been avoided.

It is easy for us to say this from the safety and comfort of Colombo now, but for the valiant forces fighting the most ruthless outfit on earth, with limited resources, in the heat of so many operations in their immediate front, it would have eluded them. Besides, the Norwegian People’s Aid only reported the removal of their heavy machinery long after the Tigers had done it.

2:58 PM

LTTE explodes bus bomb targeting civilians

A bus bomb explosion was reported near the 'Horton place', Colombo a short while ago at around 1.50p.m.
According to available information, the bomb has exploded inside a public transportation bus(SLTB) plying from - Moratuwa - Mattakkuliya (Route No:155). No civilian fatalities were reported due to the explosion, Colombo National Hospital sources said, adding that 4 people have been admitted due to shock caused by the explosion.
Commuters are here advised to use alternative routes to avoid heavy traffic, Police said.
Passengers have immediately got-off the bus and reached safety distance after bomb fear raised of an unattended parcel inside the bus, our correspondent said citing civilian sources. "The bomb has exploded within minutes" the sources further said.

2:21 PM

Bomb explosion near Horton place --- Update

Explosion inside the a bus near horton Place roundabout Colombo after passengers evacuated. Three minor injerd and admit to natinal hospital

2:10 PM

Bomb explosion near Horton place

A bomb explosion was reported near the 'Horton place', Colombo a short while ago at around 1.50p.m. According to available information casualties are yet to be reported. Await more information.

8:02 AM

Canadian Tamil Diaspora meets Dr Palitha Kohona

An exclusive meeting with Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona was arranged by the Canadian Democratic Tamil Cultural Association at Scarborough Civic Centre. President of the Association, Dr. Rajendran, in his welcome speech, made reference to the problems of the Tamil Diaspora, which has been threatened and intimidated by the LTTE.

He also brought out that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) needs to address the problems of Tamils living in Sri Lanka and to find a solution acceptable to all communities living in Sri Lanka, within the framework of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

Dr. Kohona in his brief addres, said that the GoSL very clearly understands the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils and is taking all appropriate steps to find a amicable settlement to the Tamil issue. He also pointed out that we should also take account of this sensitive issue which has to get an approval from the majority community, so that it can be settled smoothly.

Dr. Kohona also said that the process for a settlement is on, and one should understand it needs time to settle a conflict that has been existing for 25 years. While referring to the Army’s advancement in the north, he said that the GoSL has taken every possible measure to avoid civilian causalities, which is also one of the reasons our military advance is so slow, just for the simple reason to safeguard its citizens.

He also noted that the Government followed the very same step in the Eastern province too and said that most of the displaced people in the East have returned and the rehabilitation process is in full swing.

After his speech, some of the participant raised questions about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, to which Dr. Kohona said that it was already in the Constitution and was only a matter of implementation.

He also said that very soon the north will be also cleared of terrorists, so that the people of the north will be able to enjoy the same freedom and democracy which their eastern and southern brothers and sisters enjoy now. Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto Bandula Jayasekara also participated in the event.

7:54 AM

Last Week Security.....

This week saw one of the most ferocious battles since the security forces started their campaign to regain the Wanni around mid last year.
The LTTE’s much anticipated counter strike was launched along their newly built trench line from the western coastal town Nachchikudah to the deep interior region Akkarayankulam, a fair distance of 18-20 km in length.

This trench line, which is mainly an earth bund of around 7-15 feet at certain places, was built in recent times with heavy machinery cutting across shrub jungles.

In a series of waves, the LTTE attacked personnel of the Army’s 58 and 57 Divisions last Wednesday in a battle that lasted 36 hours. The LTTE claimed to have killed up to 100 military personnel, while the military initially claimed that only nine soldiers were killed. However, with the LTTE claiming that they had recovered the bodies of 29 soldiers and posted pictures of the dead on pro-LTTE websites, the Army said that several soldiers had gone missing in the fierce confrontation.

It is likely that the LTTE used their most elite forces in the counter strike, in the form of the Imran Padiyan and Charles Anthony Brigades, reflecting the significance the Tigers have attached to this particular trench line. These two elite forces have not been utilised to their full capacity in previous battles with the Army, even in Mannar and Northern Vavuniya regions.

The Nachchikudah-Akkarayankulam trench line, though not impressive in any measure, compared to the more established forward defence lines (FDLs) of the LTTE in places like Omanthai and Muhamalai, has however proven to be a formidable barrier against the progress of the military. It has quite literally become a ‘last ditch’ effort by the LTTE to stall the Army juggernaut moving north into their heartland.
The Army’s 58 and 57 divisions, which are now entrenched mainly along this line, have two strategic choices, which the LTTE understands all too well.

One of the main overall objectives of the current military operation in the Wanni is to open up a supply route to the besieged Jaffna Peninsula, which has been cut off from the rest of the country since 1990 due to the Wanni being dominated by the LTTE.
Operation Jayasikuru, launched in May 1997 saw the security forces moving along the A-9 Road from Omanthai and after two years of fighting could only reach Mankulam before being called off.

This time around, the security forces have come within a matter of a couple of dozen kilometres of reaching that important objective – that is opening up a land route to Jaffna. One of the choices the military has, once it clears the LTTE’s Nachchikudah-Akkarayankulan defence line, is to move north along the A32 Road to Pooneryn. This would, for the first time in nearly two decades, open up a main supply route to Jaffna through the Sangupidy causeway. This maybe facilitated by another thrust from the security forces in Jaffna who have the option of taking the Pooneryn Peninsula through an amphibious landing.

As the Army found out the hard way in 1993, Pooneryn is not easily defended against a well-planned amphibious assault. On that occasion the LTTE overran the Army’s main base at Pooneryn killing over 1,000 soldiers and a Navy detachment in the Kilali Lagoon.

A total calamity was evaded only by reinforcements being landed on the northern tip of the Pooneryn Peninsula. What the Army did to save its men and bases in 1993 can be repeated to capture the important stretch of land this time around.

Though the above option of completely securing the A32 Road as a main supply route to Jaffna is most definitely on the minds of military planners, recent fighting has indicated that Kilinochchi, the de facto capital of the LTTE seems to be on the agenda as an immediate objective. Therefore, the second option available for the Army, if it manages to overpower the LTTE defence line from Nachchikudah to Akkarayankulam is to move north-east towards Kilinochchi.

This week also saw the 57 Division moving into the village Murikandi, just four kilometres south of Akkarayankulama Tank on September 4. Consolidation of this area will bring in vital LTTE installations in the Iranamadu and Kilinochchi regions well within artillery and in some cases even mortar range. Heading towards north-east from Akkarayankulam towards Kilinochchi will make the eventual march towards Pooneryn along the western coast easier, with the LTTE’s supply lines being disrupted.

Meanwhile, the Army has been making slow but steady progress along the Vellankulam-Mullaitivu Road. This artery cuts across the Wanni in a near perfect straight line, dissecting the region. This week the Army moved into the town of Mallavi, situated 12 km from the all important Mankulam Junction.

Troops attached to the 57 Division completely captured the Mallavi Town by Tuesday afternoon. It was last Sunday that troops attached to Seventh Sinha Regiment, under the command of Lt. Colonel Kithsiri Liyanage moved into Mallavi Town from the South of Mallavi, after reaching Mankulam-Vellankulam Road from the ninth mile post.

With the fall of Mallavi, defending Mankulam has become even more difficult for the LTTE. It was at Mankulam that the tables were turned against the Army by the Tigers in 1999 in the failed Jayasikuru operation, marking the northernmost point the Army had reached along the A9 in their quest to link up with Kilinochchi, which at the time, was under military control.

Both the Army and the LTTE know the importance of Mankulam. What needs to be seen is whether the Army will march head on to Mankulam along the Vellankulam-Mullaitivu Road or strategically manoeuvre around the town as it did on several occasions in the recent fighting when capturing well defended areas such as Vedithalativu and Thunukai.

However, at least for the moment, all eyes are focused further north on the Nachchikudah-Akkarayankulam trench line. Whether the Army will be able to smash through what is considered the last true outer perimeter defence line of Kilinochchi or whether the LTTE will be able to hold off the Army entering their de facto capital, we should be able to find out in the coming days and weeks.

7:52 AM

75 deserters have surrendered

About 75 deserters have surrendered themselves each day over the past week, according to the military.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told The Nation yesterday that, over 3,000 deserters had returned voluntarily, since the crackdown began a fortnight ago and that, they expected the remainder of 5,000-6,000 to return in the coming weeks.

Already, soldiers who have left the Army without leave, have been warned to surrender themselves to the nearest police station to avoid court martial. “If they are arrested, they can be given prison sentences ranging from one year and three months to one year and six months. Presently, 305 deserters who were presented in court, have been sentenced and 700 more cases are pending.” The surrendering time has no deadline and the deserters can continue to present themselves at their respective Regiments.

The arrests are being carried out under joint teams of Military and regular Police assisted by the Regional divisions. Even though deserters who surrender will not be court-martialed, they will, nonetheless, be meted “small punishments, once they return to their units, with rank holders being demoted.” Brigadier Nanayakkara insisted that the deserters do not smuggle their weapons out of barracks and, as such, there is no possibility that arms can filter to the underworld.

However, he emphasised that the return of deserters would not reduce the number of recruits and that the Stage Three Recruitment Drive that commenced in July and due to be completed at the end of this month, would see an addition of 8,000 troops into the Army. He stated that, currently, around 6,000 youths have been selected and interviews are ongoing for the remainder.

9:45 PM

Terror strikes Delhi

New Delhi (PTI): Terror struck the national capital on Saturday evening leaving at least seven people killed and over 50 injured in six near simultaneous blasts in a span of 17 minutes in three crowded market places.

Indian Mujahideen, shadow amalgam of banned SIMI and Lashker-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the serial blasts through an email sent to news organisations at almost same time when the blasts took place.

The first explosion rocked Gaffar market area of Karol Bagh in Central Delhi at 6.15 pm. The explosive was kept near a Maruti car. The impact of the blast was so severe that an auto was thrown up several feet.

This was followed by three blasts in Connaught Place area and two in Greater Kailash in South Delhi.

An unexploded explosive device was found at India Gate.

In Barakhamba Road, one of the bombs was suspected to be placed near Nirmal tower. The second blast in the CP took place near Gopal Das Bhavan. Both the buildings house private offices and banks. The third blast took place in central park.

In the GK-I blast, more than a dozen people were injured and ten shops were damaged in the explosion that took place at around 6:40 pm. The bombs were hidden in a dust bin.

Prelimnary examination of the blast site said that low intensity ammonium nitrate tied to integrated circuit had been used in almost all the serial blasts in the national capital.

7:25 AM

LTTE and Big Brother

According to news reports of the 10th of September 2008, our air force has said that the lack of 3D radar has put the country in jeopardy and they are bitter about India forcing us to install their 2D radar that cannot see the height of the aircraft above the ground. They bitterly complain that if they had 3D radar that the Chinese were willing to provide, but was vetoed by India they could have easily destroyed the LTTE aircraft after it landed at the end of its bombing mission. On the basis of the comments of the air force the only conclusion we can come to is that India was protecting the LTTE. That is what she did when our men were marooned in Jaffna and India refused to help us with multi-barrel rocket launchers. It was Pakistan who supplied us with the hardware that enabled our forces to regain their foothold in Jaffna so that we could eventually liquidate the LTTE.

Let me remind Mr. Narayanan that it was India that created the LTTE with the object of getting it to destabilize our country so that India could invade and at a convenient moment annex our country by proclamation but what Velupillai Prabakaran was made to understand was that India would invade, create Eelam and then go back. We will never forget the arrogant behavior of the Indians living in the West towards the Sri Lankans virtually telling us that we have been reduced to the level of colonial subjects of India.

The sudden make-believe realization that India had catapulted itself to the level of a colonial master intoxicated them and they treated Prabakaran with contempt after having made use of him. For that India paid the most humiliating price in front of the world when Prabakaran single handed defeated the third largest army in the world. Not satisfied with that, he went further and got the Indian Prime Minister killed. With all that India is still backing Prabakaran in the hope that one day in the future he will destabilize Sri Lanka and India will have another opportunity for another IPKF. India can live in eternal hope. We have no problems with that.

Mr. Narayanan should brace himself to the fact that our defence forces will soon disobey his orders and install Chinese 3D radar and dismantle the Indian radar. Without ordering us to buy Indian military hardware it may be an idea for India also to buy the superior Chinese 3D radar to defend herself not only against Pakistan but against China herself.

7:03 AM

INGO-LTTE unholy axis?

The response of several international Non Governmental Organizations (INGOs) to the request made by the government of Sri Lanka to cease all operations and remove all personnel from the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni has raised several questions. While some of the NGOs and INGOs followed suit after the decision made by the United Nations agencies to withdraw from Vanni, some INGOs, reportedly making very suspicious excuses regarding their resources.

These INGOs and NGOs say that the LTTE has ordered them to leave all their belongings when they depart from the area. In other words, the LTTE wants to use all the vehicles, transmission equipment and other properties of the INGOs for the battle against the advancing Sri Lankan forces.

This raises the 64 million dollar question whether there is a secret deal between these INGOs and the LTTE? There were many instances of INGO employees supplying various banned items to LTTE in the past. This has lead the Government to order all the INGOs to provide a list of vehicles and equipment in their officer in LTTE controlled areas to ensure that some items will not be handed over to the LTTE terrorists.

There are very strong allegations that the INGOs inside Tiger territory have given vehicles and various equipments to the LTTE. Now the question arises if the INGOs have already supplied some items to the LTTE and in order to cover up these nefarious activities, now they might inform the government that LTTE had ordered them to leave all their belongings behind?

Last week the first time United Nations has appealed to the LTTE to allow civilians to move out of the conflict zone and move into relief camps in government-controlled areas and allow free movement of the people wherever they wish to go. This is a clear endorsement of the UN that the ordinary Tamils are much safer and freer under the Government controlled areas than under LTTE.

"Any displaced person is entitled to freedom of movement according to international principles; they can move where and when they want, in search of safety and assistance" Neil Buhne, the UN Resident representative said in a public statement.

Despite UN’s appeal LTTE is stopping the innocent Tamil civilians trapped in Killinochchi from free movement with the sole intention to use them as cannon fodder when it comes to the final assault.

The terrorists also want to save the lives of the top LTTE hierarchy and they would like to keep the civilians with them until the last moment so that they could flee with the civilian exodus.

Terrorists also would like to get a few civilians killed by the army in the cross fire so that they can trumpet to the still gullible countries of international community, INGO’s and local NGO’s that Sri Lankan Government forces are killing innocent Tamil civilians and make a last desperate attempt to enforce a ceasefire.

The INGOs and NGOs have very close links with the LTTE activists and they always come to their defence. The moment some Tamil civilians die, the AI, HRW, INGO’s and NGO’s would shout from tree tops that innocent civilians are being killed. In any battle against terrorists, innocents too suffer and the international community is well aware of this. In Afghanistan on 22 August 2008 when the allied western forces bombed a village where Taliban forces were hiding, 78 innocent Afghanistan villagers were killed.

The INGOs and NGOs are yet to issue statements of condemnation of the latest killings of innocent civilians in hundreds in Afghanistan. But the moment a Tamil civilian is killed, they are sure to issue press releases and protest statements.

As the Government Spokesman Anura Yapa said on Thursday, the Government has treated its people, many who are forcibly kept in LTTE controlled areas, as citizens and it provided them with normal government services. He also assured that their safety is the responsibility of the government. This is the time the INGOs and NGOs should assist the government to look after the people in Vanni instead of assisting the LTTE by leaving their belongings for the terrorists to use against the military which is trying to rescue the civilians from the grip of the LTTE.

6:38 AM

2 Indians injured in Sri Lanka

Two Indian radar technicians were wounded when Tamil Tigers launched an air strike on the Sri Lankan military base in Vavuniya on Tuesday.

Source.the Hindu

But UNP MP palitha Range Bandara said Indian army in the sri lanka.

6:30 AM

LTTE terrorists kill seven farmers--- KUMANA

Suspected LTTE terrorists have murdered seven farmers of Atimale in Ampara last morning (Sept 11), police sources reveal.

According to the sources, civilians in Thahanattakanda area have found seven bodies (males) with gunshot injuries this afternoon and informed the police about the incident. Police during investigations have found 4 bodies lying on a tractor trailer with gunshot wounds caused by T-56 riffle and another 3 bodies on the tractor itself with pistol wounds.

Police suspect that a group of LTTE terrorists infiltrated into the jungle had carried out the massacre during morning hours. Further investigations are being continued .

6:24 AM

"Help to evict Sinhala Forces from Tamil Home Land"---TNA Parliamentary group

The Tamil National Alliance Parliamentary Group has urged the international community to help evict the Sinhala Forces from the Tamil Homeland and recognize the right for self-determination of the Tamils.

The statement released by the Parliamentary Group has strongly condemned the Government of Sri Lanka’s decision to call all NGOs and foreign aid workers to leave from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled areas (generally known as the Wanni).

The TNA Parliamentary Group said, "These Non Governmental Organizations and Agencies were helping the already many times internally displaced Tamil people. This demand for the aid agencies to leave comes at a juncture when the Government of Sri Lanka is indiscriminately bombing these already displaced people every day using its air force and artillery. It will be another blow to the already physically and psychologically affected people if these aid workers left the Wanni."

The statement went on to say, "These aid workers were helping rebuild life of people after the 2004 Tsunami, de-mining, humanitarian assistance to children affected by the war and other general humanitarian work. They were not involved in any major development work or building factories to assist large scale manufacturing. As they were performing humanitarian work with approval not just from the Government of Sri Lanka but from the LTTE as well, we feel leaving these helpless people at this juncture without seeking consent from both warring parties is inappropriate and irresponsible.

"People were displaced fearing for their lives and to secure relatively steady supply of food and medicines. These aid agencies should think and recognize their responsibilities before leaving these helpless people who are living under appalling conditions under tress and in temporary accommodations.

"Demanding people to leave their homes and to displace over and over again to secure safety, food and medicine is a breach of their human rights.

"This clearly demonstrates the insincerity, inhumane and the genocidal motives of the Sinhala State of Sri Lanka and its current government. We request the international community to recognize the ulterior motives of the government of Sri Lanka and to acknowledge that it is impossible to on the one hand unleash a genocidal war and on the other pretend to be acting in a humanitarian fashion.

We therefore demand the international community to help evict the Sinhala Forces from the Tamil Homeland and recognize the right for self-determination of the Tamils."

6:21 AM

Paris Hindus chose Ganesh pooja over LTTE diktat

Hindu devotees in their hundreds participated in the Ganesha pooja at the Hindu temple in Paris and broke thousands of coconuts as a part of ritual defying the orders issued by the Tamil Tigers 'not to waste money to break coconuts when the people in the north and east are displaced'.

The trustees of Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam denounced the Tamil Tigers for their attempts to interfere with Ganesha pooja from October 31 to September 3. Immediately after the temple authorities announced the schedule of Ganesha pooja, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) pasted posters in Tamil dominated La Chappelle area in Paris urging Hindu population to boycott the coconut pooja, which is an integral part of the Ganesha pooja.

"Instead of breaking coconuts for Ganesha pooja, donate the amount you spend for coconuts and for cleaning the Paris roads after the pooja for the special fund for displaced Tamils in the north and east," the LTTE poster urged. The poster carried photographs of previous year's Ganesha pooja and a crying child allegedly starving at a refugee camp. In this poster, the Ganesha pooja picture was cut across with an 'X' and it called on the Hindus to contribute funds to the Tamil Refugee Organisation (TRO). The poster urged the Hindus to see first about the current situation before thinking of salvation in future reincarnations.

"The LTTE poster is nothing but religious sacrilege," Vijayan Arumugan, a Hindu devote said. "The LTTE can raise funds at any other place, but not at the cost of a sacred Hindu ritual". He added that the Tamils have serious doubts in any case whether the funds collected by the TRO would go to the welfare of the displaced people.In the Kovil - breaking coconuts to fulfill vowsIn the Kovil - breaking coconuts to fulfill vows

The TRO (ORT France) is under investigation currently as the documents seized from 17 arrested LTTE cadres in France have revealed the close links between the LTTE and ORT France. The Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris urged the European Union to ban the TRO as it is a front organization of the LTTE.

6:16 AM

NCP doctors plan token strike

Over five hundred doctors in the North Central Province plan to go on a token strike on Wednesday (17) as they have not been paid their on call, availability and transport allowances for three months.

Government Medical Officers’ Association, spokesman, Dr. Upul Gunasekara said there was a ‘coup’ against the health services of the North Central province by the provincial council. "We have seen the lack of enthusiasm they show towards solving the issue,"he said.

The Doctors of the Anuradhapura General Hospital would join the token strike despite being paid the allowances, in support of their counterparts in other hospitals under the provincial government.

Only the doctors of the Anuradhapura General Hospital have been paid the allowances, as they come under the central government. The rest of the doctors in the district and the doctors serving in Polonnaruwa have not been paid the on call, availability and transport allowances. These doctors come under the provincial government

The Health Ministry too has shown little interest as they have not done their duty by the doctors of this province, he said. The Ministry on its part has failed to appreciate the service rendered by the doctors of the Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura districts.

They have ensured that there was no breakdown in the services provided by them during the war and have left no room for foreign NGO’s to send their doctors to take care of war casualties as is done in other war ravaged countries.

Gunasekara said the doctors would maintain emergency services but refrain from attending to OPD patients and warded patients.

However, if the provincial government and the ministry take steps to settle the issue by paying the allowances pending for three months, the doctors would gladly give up ideas of the token strike, he said.

10:44 AM

Security News 09/10/2008

Troops of the 57 Division, operating in general area Akkarayankulama in Mullaittiuvu, confronted a group of terrorists and subsequently recovered a LTTE terrorist body and few warlike items, Tuesday (Sep 9). A T-56 assault riffle, 01x I-com set, a motor cycle and few other accessories were also found by the troops during a search operation, according Wanni security sources.

Air Force jets engage LTTE’s main intelligence headquarters 1 km west of Kilinochchi at 6.45am, SLAF confirms target accurate-SLAF Spokesman

9:43 AM

Nepal experienced heavy monsoon rains--- Sri Lanka Helps

The Government of Sri Lanka as a mark of a solidarity with the people of Nepal has donated a sum of US$ 25,000 as relief assistance for victims of the recent floods. A cheque for this amount was handed over to Rt.Hon.Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of Nepal by Mr. Ranawaeera Banda, Charge d’ Affaires of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Kathmandu last Saturday (06 September 2008).

This token contribution for relief efforts in Nepal is a symbolic manifestation of Sri Lanka’s friendly and warm relations with the Government and people of Nepal as the flood victims begin to rebuild their lives.

Nepal experienced heavy monsoon rains last month displacing nearly 60,000 people in Sunsari District in the Eastern part of the country.

9:40 AM

INGOs asked to quit LTTE-held area

With major ground battles expected in the Vanni theatre in the coming weeks if not days, the government has advised all INGOs including the UN agencies and NGOs to quit the LTTE-held area.

Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that the government wanted them to set up a base in the security forces controlled area. Responding to queries raised at Tuesday's press conference at the Media Centre for National Security, he questioned the conduct of some INGOs and NGOs. He expressed concern over the possibility of the LTTE endangering the lives of local and expatriate staff.

The army is stepping up pressure on the LTTE with troops on one flank positioned at the southern edge of Akkarayankulam tank about 12 kilometres away from Kilinochchi. The government has said that it could no longer ensure the safety of aid workers in the LTTE-controlled area.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that Task Force I, Task Force II, 57 Division on the western flank and the 59 Division on the eastern flank were making steady progress.

In a brief statement issued Tuesday, UN mission in Colombo said that it was in the process of evaluating operations with a view to re-locating humanitarian staff. "A precise timetable for the complete withdrawal of all staff is yet to be determined, but relocations will begin this week," it said.

ICRC spokesperson Ms Sarasi Wijeratne last night said they were continuing operations in the area. Responding to our query she said the ICRC was not asked to vacate the area.

Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has briefed the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) of the government decision. The meeting took place on Monday (8) after Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa called for immediate relocation of INGOs and NGOs

Samarasinghe said that government was responsible for the safety and security of all INGO and NGO staff. Urging them to continue their relief, the minister reiterated the government's commitment to look after the displaced through District Secretaries as was done in Vakarai. The CCHA also appointed a committee to be chaired by Basil Rajapaksa, MP to discuss operational issues with the UN and INGOs.

10:09 AM

Five UNP MPs threaten to sit as independent

A group of five UNP Parliamentarians has decided to work as an independent group in Parliament if the party is not reorganized according to the proposals they have submitted to the leadership, UNP sources said yesterday (8).

The five UNP members demanded for party reforms and a change of policy at a recent working committee meeting of the UNP saying that the party had no future if it continued with its present policies.

They fear that the party reforms they sought may not take place.

A meeting of the UNP seniors to consider the proposals for reforms was scheduled for yesterday at Sirikotha, UNP headquarters. They were expected to draft a report at that meeting, sources said.

The draft report was to be presented at the Working Committee meeting to be held Thursday.

A spokesman for the group of five said they would await the report on party reforms and if their proposals were not to be implemented, they would agitate for them both in and outside Parliament and take to the streets.

He said the group will remain in the UNP but they will join other groups and parties to demand for democratic reforms.

10:06 AM

Major terror attack at Vavuniya

Latest military reports received from Vavuniya reveal that a major attack launched by LTTE terrorists at the security forces headquarters Wanni and Air Force Base Vavuniya early this morning (Sept 9) was completely foiled.

According to the reports, the terrorists launched a pre-dawn ground assault coordinated with artillery fire and an air raid with the intention of causing severe damage to the Air Force assets in the Vavuniya air base.

Defence sources in Vavuniya state, the terrorists launched artillery fire to the Army camp in order to prevent counter attack and directed their ground assault at the airbase. However, valiant soldiers moved forward amid heavy enemy artillery fire and crushed the terror ground assault completely. According to the available information 10 bodies of slain LTTE cadres have been found so far.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets intercepted two LTTE light aircraft fleeing after failed mission at Vavuniya Air force base and shot down one of the aircraft in the Mullaittivu skies.

10 soldiers laid down their lives and 15 others suffered injuries. One police constable was killed and 8 others sustained injuries due to the enemy artillery fire. Five Air Force personnel also suffered injuries.

9:05 AM

Tiger plane shot down

Sri Lanka Air Force plane shot down a Tiger small aircraft and successfully downed it. Reports revealed that the Sri Lankan Air force jets shot down a Tamil Tiger plane after the rebels launched a pre-dawn bombing raid on Vavuniya Security Forces Headquarters.

Sri Lanka Air Force Fighter jet conducted their First Air to Air Combat today morning in Mullativu sky and shot down Tiger Air Craft said Sri Lanka Air Force Commander Air Vice Marcel Roshan Gunathilake.

Today morning around 3.30 A.M., LTTE had fired artillery from east of A9 road to Vavuninya Security forces Headquarters at the same time they took off their air craft’s which was immediately indicated in the radar and Sri Lanka Air Force F7 fighter jet belongs to Squadron 5 took off from Kaatunayake and flew over Mullativu air and intercepted Tiger Air Craft and shot it down.

Air force information revealed that radar picked up three Tiger planes and soon after at least one bombed a military base in Vavuniya.

This is the seventh air raid by the Tigers since they began flying a small fleet of Czech-made Zlin-143 aircraft in March 2007.

The last Tiger air attack wounded 10 sailors after a bombing run on the strategic eastern port of Trincomalee in August.

9:01 AM

Monk discharged from remand

The Supreme Court yesterday discharged from remand custody, the Ven. Pannala Pragnaloka Thera, the Chief Priest of Welikadawatte Temple, Rajagiriya, who was remanded by the Supreme Court on September 1, for failing to answer its summons.

Counsel Prassanthalal de Alwis submitted to the Supreme Court a motion filed on behalf of Ven. Pannala Pragnaloka by a brother thero of the same temple, the Ven. Hikkgala Udayadhamma Thera asking for the release of the thera.

A letter dated September 7, 2008 attached to the motion said that the Ven. Pannala Pragnaloka Thera had been produced before the Magistrate on a complaint of sound pollution caused by the use of unauthorized amplifiers in the temple. The suspect had been told to appear before the Supreme Court, but the due date had not been clearly indicated.

Hence, Ven. Pragnaloka Thera, had been unable to answer summons of the Supreme Court, last Monday. The letter also said that Pragnaloka Thera had no knowledge about the group of monks who had come to Court last Monday and had failed to curtsy the judges when the judges came on the Bench. The letter said that the Ven. Pragnaloka Thera respected the law and respected the Court. The unauthorized amplifiers used in the temple will not be used in future. The Bench comprised the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva Justice Shirani Tilakawardene and Justice N. G. Amaratunga.

11:28 AM

SLBC slams BBC Tamil Osai for bias reporting

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Hudson Samarasinghe has taken exception to the recently aired two misleading reports in the BBC Tamil Osai radio program.

He said those reports were aired at the end of last month and were distorted versions aired to mislead.

In a letter send to Mr.Neil Curry, Head of the BBC in London, Mr.Samarasinghe quoted the following two news reports which were aired by the Tamil Osai - a Tamil language program of the BBC, in two different occasions.

On Sunday 31st August, the BBC journalist interviewed a spokesman from the LTTE , who claimed that over 40 Army soldiers have been killed by the LTTE in the Thunukkai and the Kilinochchi areas. He pointed out that the said Journalist has failed to check with the Government of Sri Lanka for the authenticity of the claims of the said LTTE spokesman.

Furthermore, two days ago the BBC journalist on the Tamil Osai program also quoted the LTTE spokesman’s report, which claimed that some civilians have been killed in attacks by the Sri Lanka Air force. This information was not verified from any other sources and was aired as a one-sided news version.

Mr.Samarasinghe drew the attention of the BBC management on those news reports and requested to refrain from broadcasting those types of misleading information through the government owned radio network – Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, which is used by the BBC to broadcast their daily programs to Sri Lanka.

"We have our own prestige and credibility. These reports damage the morale of the security forces, who are now at a critical juncture in the struggle to free Sri Lanka from the terrorists, he said.

Mr.Samarasinghe also requested to follow a high journalistic standards, which the BBC has maintained over many decades.

11:25 AM

52 terrorists killed,

Battles indicates 52 fatalities and 22 casualties to the terrorists. Also, 16 others were recorded as either killed or wounded. 7 soldiers laid down their lives, 3 missing in action while 21 others suffered injuries during these clashes, according to the reports.