8:41 AM

Ruling UPFA won Jaffna Municipality

Jaffna People have spoken. Ruling United People Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has won handsomely in the Jaffna Municipal Council election.

Out of the 23 seats in the Jaffna Municipality, UPFA won 13 seats, while Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK) also known as Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 8 seats, and Independent Group 1 and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) led by V. Anandasangaree won one seat each.

A Government spokesman said that all credits must go to Minister Douglas Devananda , who made the victory possible for the ruling UPFA.

In the meantime, in the elections for Vavuniya Urban Council, out of the 11 seats, Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK), won 5 seats, while Democratic People’s Liberation Front (PLOTE) 3, UPFA 2 and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 1 seat.

In the both elections, Opposition United National Party (UNP) has been completely routed.

8:37 AM

IGP’s action against Nipuna’s abductors awaited (Vas Gunawardena)

As the disciplinary control of the Police is under the IGP once again in the absence of the National Police Commission, authorities are watching to see what action Jayantha Wickramaratna will take against those responsible for the abduction and assault of a 22-year-old information technology student on Tuesday.

According to available evidence Nipuna Ramanayaka studying at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology was abducted as he was leaving the institution after sitting an examination on Tuesday afternoon by a group who came in the vehicle bearing registration GC-0343 belonging to the Police department.

The youth was later released by the Colombo Crimes Division office at Dematagoda (Vas Gunawardena) after being severely assaulted allegedly in a private house of a senior Police officer, stating it was a case of mistaken identity.
IGP Jayantha Wickramaratna contacted in this regard said he would take the necessary action according to the law of the land once he gets the official probe report into the case.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Ranjith Gunasekera asked about the IGP’s handpicked team probing into the case, said he was not aware of the details or when it would hand in its report.
Meanwhile Nipuna continues to receive treatment at the Colombo National Hospital.

The News-Lanka reliably learns that Nipuna has also been examined by the Judicial Medical Officer for possible institution of legal action against those responsible for the shameful assault.
Director of the National Hospital, Dr Hector Weerasinghe said the victim is being treated by surgeons, but he does not appear to require any surgery and that he had not suffered any permanent damage.

8:35 AM

KP sings about DPL, VIP links

Despite him being an internationally wanted fugitive, LTTE’s self-proclaimed leader since the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran, Selvarasa Pathmanathan has revealed shocking details about his continuing links with top officials of international organisations and ambassadors of leading Western nations serving in Colombo.

Since he was whisked to Colombo from Malaysia via Bangkok on Thursday night after a daring seize at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon, Selvarasa a.k.a. Kumaran Pathmanathan has been under interrogation at an undisclosed location in Colombo.

According to sources, he has also revealed details of Tiger leaders still hiding among civilians in IDP camps and about leaders who had managed to escape from those camps to India and Western countries.
As to details about the massive war chest of the organisation, placed by experts at billions of dollars, KP had claimed that he was not aware of those details as Prabhakaran had entrusted those functions to other people. But he has divulged information about his LTTE links in Western countries.

However, he has confessed that the bulk of the LTTE finances had come from Switzerland, followed by UK, South Africa, Australia and Canada.

Under intense questioning, he has also confessed to heading the organisation’s shipping, banking and arms dealing through a carefully selected special team.

Contrary to reports about India seeking KP’s extradition over his involvement in the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, highly placed government sources said, there had been no such requests so far and even if there are in the future, before acceding to any such requests, the LTTE’s new self-proclaimed leader would first have to face the judicial system here for the crimes he has committed against Sri Lanka.

Sleuths who are grilling him have yet to obtain information about Tiger weapon procurement details, its international links, payment procedures, and even its shipping network.

They are also said to be particularly interested in finding out details about all his movements in the last two months since the crushing of the organisation militarily in the Wanni, especially how he had made wide ranging links with the rival group that challenged his leadership role and then finally brought about a settlement with them last month, after protracted negotiations.

KP’s leadership was recognised indirectly in an official press release by the re-structured LTTE, which stated as follows:

“We, the Executive Committee of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, wish to officially let our beloved Tamil people and the international community know that Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who had been appointed as Head of International Relations by our National Leader, will lead us into the next steps of our freedom struggle according to the vision of our esteemed leader.”

Under the new unified dispensation, KP was to be “Thalaimai Seyalar” (Chief Secretary/Secretary General) and head of the organisation.

8:33 AM

IDPs camps running out of funds

Menik Farm camps which house over 250, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will soon be confronted with a massive crisis, as humanitarian agencies are allegedly running out of funds allocated for food supply, a local NGO source in Vavuniya said. Zone 3, where those who crossed over to the government controlled areas in the early stages of the conflict are kept, will be the first centre to be affected due to the scarcity of food, according to the source.

“NGOs are mandated to provide IDPs with food only for a particular period of time. Some donors have already stopped passing funds. So, although IDPs in Zone 3 are provided with dry rations, they no longer provide complimentary items,” the source said. Other zones will also soon be confronted with the same issue unless redemptive measures are taken, he said.
He confided that donors were generally reluctant to provide funding for food supplies. “They are more interested in engaging in the resettlement process”.

8:30 AM

Tamil parties in IDP racket

The IGP has alerted police chiefs in Vavuniya about a racket involving smuggling out IDPs from camps by operatives of several Tamil political parties.

In a confidential report sent to the DIG, Vavuniya, the IGP has implicated activists of Tamil political parties who laid down arms to join mainstream politics with smuggling civilians for exorbitant fees.

The claim has been confirmed by Vavuniya District TNA MP, S Kishor, who told this newspaper that he is aware that around 50,000 IDPs have escaped from welfare camps by paying money to these groups. He also said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been informed of the situation.

Sources revealed that amounts ranging from Rs.100, 000 to 10, 00000 have been paid to these groups by the Tamil IDPs for smuggling them out from welfare camps. In addition, Tamil political parties enlist these IDPs as new members and bring them out of the welfare camps.

DIG in charge of the Northern Province Nimal Lewke said “We are not still sure about the exact number of IDPs who escaped from the camps. Arrangements are being made to carry out a census on IDPs to check the figures”.

The DIG said that the lists of those who have passed away in camps and those who were released must be compared with documents at the Divisional Secretariat and then the number of those who have escaped can be identified”.