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.