January 2009

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India lauds Sri Lanka's safe passage offer to Tamil civilians - Shiv Shankar Menon 
India Thursday lauded the Sri Lankan government's announcement of granting a safe passage to Tamil civilians trapped in the war-hit northern parts of the island nation and hoped that the conditions of civilians will improve in days to come. [Full Story]

President urges LTTE: Release civilians in 48 hours
President Mahinda Rajapaksa last evening (29) urged the LTTE to allow the free movement of civilians in the North to ensure their safety an security, with the Government’s assurance of a safe passage to a secure environment. [Full Story]
AP kills story on Mullaitivu casualties
The Associated Press (AP) pulled out the Colombo dateline news item issued yesterday referring to 300 civilians killed and more than a 1,000 injured in current fighting in the Mullaitivu area. [Full Story]

ICRC fails to note current ground realities in Sri Lanka says HR Ministry
The recent statement issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva fails to note current ground realities in Sri Lanka said the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights. [Full Story]

LTTE chief in London faces terror charges
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, allias "Shanthan," bought bomb-making equipment for the LTTE despite holding regular meetings with Special Branch, a London court has heard yesterday. [Full Story]
Hoax about dead and injured in Mullaitivu exposed
An “urgent appeal” doing the rounds in the media and diplomatic circles, UN and relief agencies, and as a widely distributed e-mail message referring to a “Human Catastrophe and Medical Emergency” in the Vanni, reporting the alleged deaths of more than 300 and injury to 1000 in Mullaitivu is found to be a total fabrication. [Full Story]

Accept the invitation to visit Sri Lanka - Swamy tells Karunanidhi
Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi should accept the invitation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit Jaffna and Wanni and appeal to the LTTE to release civilians, the Hindu reported today. [Full Story]

SAARC Energy Ministers to meet in Colombo
he Third Meeting of SAARC Energy Ministers will be held in Colombo on January 29 with the participation of all SAARC Member States, the SAARC Secretariat and the SAARC Energy Centre. [Full Story]

Military victories offer political opportunity for normalcy in North – President tells Mukherjee
The present military victories over the LTTE offer a political opportunity to restore life to normalcy in the North of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told visiting Indian Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee at discussions that took place last night (January 27) in Colombo. [Full Story]
LTTE must desist from firing from civilian areas
- US Ambassador
The LTTE must immediately desist from firing heavy weapons from areas within or near civilian concentrations. The Government must also resist the temptation to launch retaliatory shelling into areas populated by civilians,” stated U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake. [Full Story]

Two plead guilty in LTTE terrorism case in NY
NEW YORK: Two of four defendants pleaded guilty Monday to charges they tried to supply missiles and assault weapons to LTTE. [Full Story]

Game is up for LTTE says Hindu Editorial
The conventional military game is up for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or very nearly so. [Full Story]

India calls for ‘united action’ against terror
Two months after the Mumbai terrorist attack, India on Sunday urged the international community to take decisive and united action against the epi-centre of terrorism in the region, the IANS website reported. [Full Story]
Don’t station artillery among civilians - Jaffna Bishop to LTTE
“We are urgently requesting the Tamil Tigers not to station themselves among the people in the safety zone and fire their artillery – shells and rockets at the army. [Full Story]

President invites TN leaders to see the truth about Tamil people 
President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday invited Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa Jayaram to visit Jaffna and Vanni and personally appeal to LTTE to release the civilians held as human shield at gun point.  [Full Story]

Malaysia to interact with India on Prabakaran
Malaysia intends to liaise with Sri Lanka, India, and the Interpol for updating “intelligence” about the whereabouts of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran, the Hindu reported. [Full Story]

President wishes Indian PM a restful recovery
President Mahinda Rajapaksa wished Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a restful recovery after his heart surgery. [Full Story]

Indian authorities suspect Sea Tigers may have entered TN
Tamil Nadu Police has expressed doubts that the boat washed ashore at Rameswaram on Saturday with markings indicating that it was from Sri Lanka may have been used by LTTE Se Tiger cadres to enter Tamil Nadu. [Full Story]

We are all children of one mother says President addressing estate community
There has been a true renaissance and a further ray of hope to the estate community. [Full Story]

Army bags Mullaitivu bringing final victory closer
The Security Forces now engaged in the decisive battle against the LTTE in the North, made a significant victory and strategic gain as they captured the Mullaitivu town, to dominate the Mullaitivu District, yesterday (Jan 25). [Full Story]

UNICEF too calls on LTTE to release civilians
The best thing for the civilians trapped in Vanni is that the LTTE allows them to move freely and enter a safe area where they can receive appropriate support, said UNICEF on Friday (January 23). [Full Story]

“Impressed by conditions for IDPs in the North” – Yasushi Akashi
“In my visits to the facilities for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Vavuniya, accompanied by a lady Government Agent, who is a Tamil, I observed that the IDPs there were not as haggard as those we saw when we came to the East earlier. [Full Story]

Nugegoda flyover opened
The pre-fabricated flyover at Nugegoda to to reduce the existing traffic jam was opened on Friday (January 23). Construction work on the flyover was commenced in October last year and completed within three and half months.
[Full Story]
Shared interests in combating terrorism – President sends good wishes to Obama
Sri Lanka and the US share common democratic values and perspectives on a broad range of political issues, particularly in combating terrorism said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message of good wishes to Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. [Full Story]

Britain endorses Sri Lanka’s war on terror
The British government recognized the government of Sri Lanka’s need to root out terrorism. It also has a responsibility to safeguard the rights of all its citizens and adequately to address their political concerns, said the Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs on Sri Lanka, David Miliband.  [Full Story]
Free all children immediately - UN to LTTE
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict has urged the LTTE to allow all children and their families to move to safe areas away from the fighting. [Full Story]

Give safe passage to staff - UN warns LTTE
In a strongly worded statement the United Nations has called on the LTTE to immediately permit all UN staff and dependents to freely move from the Vanni, warning that denial of safe passage is a clear abrogation of their obligations under international humanitarian law. [Full Story]

BOI signs agreement for gas Power Plant in Kerawalapitiya
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) recently signed a US$ 600 million agreement with Alokha AB (Private) limited to set up a 488 MW gas Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya. [Full Story]

Malaysian police on alert for Tamil Tiger leader
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22, 2009 - Malaysia is on alert for Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the terrorist LTTE, who may have fled there as Sri Lankan troops surround his last remaining stronghold in Mullaitivu, in the North of the country. [Full Story]

New safe zone for trapped civilians in Mullaittivu
The Sri Lanka Army yesterday expanded the existing safe zone to facilitate civilian movement from the Wanni. [Full Story]
Looks like Prabakaran’s last battle –Indian Military Specialist
As the Sri Lanka security forces move in for what they promise to be the closing call on the Tigers, Prabakaran’s dream of a Tamil Eelam looks farther than ever before… [Full Story]
Intercity bus service to Jaffna
The Government has decided to initiate an intercity bus service from Colombo to Jaffna, shortly. [Full Story]

More facilities for IDPs
The Government is taking additional steps to provide suitable facilities to accommodate the IDPs coming to Government held areas in increasing numbers. [Full Story]
Inform the world of our progress to democracy – President to Sri Lanka Consuls
“It is time for you to inform the world of the progress we are making towards restoring democracy and freedom in the north, and counter the ill informed charges being made about the plight of the innocent Tamil people there,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing Sri Lanka’s Honorary Consuls abroad at a special meeting and working session for them organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [Full Story]

UN tells LTTE to release civilians held as human shield
The United Nations Friday (Jan 16) called on the LTTE to allow civilians in Sri Lanka’s northern Wanni region to move into government controlled areas without keeping them as a human shield in the face of military advance. [Full Story]

TN Police warns violent protesters of stern action
The Tamil Nadu police Sunday warned violent protesters of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) of stringent action, including detention under the National Security Act and shoot-at-sight orders, if they continued to damage public property to protest the so called plight of Sri Lankan Tamils. [Full Story]
Indo-Lanka relations never so warm and close
– Menon to President
The relations between India and Sri Lanka have never been so close, so warm and so deep, said Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon at his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Kandy this morning (17). [Full Story]
Defeating Terrorists
For all those who argue that there's no military solution for terrorism, we have two words: Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka a model for Third World – UNICEF
The UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children’s Report 2009, released yesterday, said Sri Lanka’s achievements in scaling up health services for mothers and infants and its success in slashing maternal and neonatal mortality rates has made the lower middle income country a model for other developing nations. [Full Story]

US govt assists to renovate schools and hospital in Eastern Province
The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Pacific Command yesterday commenced to renovate and expand five schools in Trincomalee District and one hospital and two schools in Batticaloa District. [Full Story]
Jaffna Peninsula liberated
The 55 Division of Sri Lanka Army last evening liberated Chundikulam, the landmass that links the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland. [Full Story]

“Be responsible” – President tells media
President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged media institutions to act with the greatest responsibility in reporting events at a time when there is considerable public attention drawn to the attack on the MTV/Sirasa TV station and the killing of the Editor of The Sunday Leader Mr. Lasantha Wickremetunga, ...  [Full Story]
Sri Lanka - good opportunity for Qatar Investors
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama urged Qatari participation in Sri Lanka's development process. Stating there are grand opportunities for the foreign business community to participate in the areas of trade, investment, tourism and petroleum exploration in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Happy Pongal with full freedom at hand - President
On this special day of hope, I am glad to assure all Hindus of Sri Lanka that the time for the liberation of their brothers and sisters in faith, who are also my own brothers and sisters as citizens of Sri Lanka is near at hand, as we strive to restore freedom and democracy in full measure to the North of our country. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka - LTTE war a lesson in use of force - Dr. Harsh V. Pant
Among the important operations to defeat terrorism in the world today, Sri Lanka’s moves to route the LTTE is a significant development, states Dr. Harsh V. Pant of King’s College London. [Full Story]

Govt. ready for Tamil exodus from Wanni
The Government yesterday (Jan 12) reiterated that it was fully prepared to handle the mass exodus of civilians from Wanni, and Vavuniya was being readied as a humanitarian assistance hub to cater to their needs. [Full Story]
TULF tells TNA: Save the innocent Tamils trapped in Vanni or quit Parliament
Tamil United Liberation Front President V. Anandasangaree in a statement called upon Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians to do their duty or honourably vacate their seats in Parliament. [Full Story]

Sri Lankan Tamils and LTTE cannot be equated: Brinda
CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat on Sunday said her party's concern about the Sri Lankan Tamils should not be misused by any force to support the outlawed LTTE, Press Trust of India reported. [Full Story]
Elephant Pass captured, A-9 opened - President
“By this evening our troops have completely freed the Elephant Pass area from the LTTE. [Full Story]

Opposition leader of Kotte MC arrested on suspicion of Sirasa attack
The Opposition Leader of the Kotte Municipal Council Suraj Jayasooriya was arrested today on suspicion of complicity on the attack on Sirara media complex, Maharagama Police said. [Full Story]

Seven killed in LTTE claymore attack in Morawewa
Seven persons including three Air Force personnel and four civilians were killed in an LTTE claymore mine attack in Morawewa this morning. [Full Story]

Lord Nesby commends Kilinochchi victory
The government’s capability of liberating Kilinochchi causing zero casualties to the civilians is commendable said Lord Nesby, Senior Member of House of Lord and Co- Chairman of all party parliamentary group for Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Security Forces liberate Pallai, Soranpattu
The 53 Division of Sri Lanka Army liberated the Pallai town yesterday. [Full Story]

FM reiterates govt’s commitment to a political solution
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasized that the Government does not believe in a military solution to address the genuine grievances of the minority communities in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]
Murder of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga
Heinous crime by forces of terror and criminality - President
“This heinous crime points to the grave dangers faced by the democratic social order of our country, and the existence of forces that will go to the furthest extremes in using terror and criminality to damage our social fabric and bring disrepute to the country,’ states President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the murder of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga, Editor of The Sunday Leader. [Full Story]

India will spare no effort to deal with terrorists – Indian PM
India will spare no effort to deal with terrorist and insurgent groups operating from neighbouring countries and are determined to put an end to terrorism sponsored from across the border with all the means at our command, said the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. [Full Story]

Govt bans LTTE
The Government yesterday proscribed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) effective midnight for using civilians as human shields in uncleared areas and endangering their lives, despite requests by the government to release them. [Full Story]
LTTE guns down and hangs fleeing civilians
LTTE has threatened civilians in the areas still held by it with death as traitors if any attempt made to flee. To prove they are serious of this threat they have displayed bodies of 3 civilians near the Ponnambalam Hospital. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka & Maldives to cooperate on admin reforms and fighting terror
Sri Lanka has assured President Nasheed of the Maldives of its readiness to provide assistance to the Maldives for the decentralization process of the local administration system, restructuring the public service and enhancing the capacity of the legal system and its human resources to implement the new Constitution with a view to promoting the rule of law. [Full Story]

US hopes fall of Kilinochchi will hasten end of conflict
The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka. We hope that this event will help hasten an end to the conflict, said a press release issued by the United States Embassy in Colombo yesterday.  [Full Story]
Govt condemns attack on Sirasa Media Complex
The Government strongly condemns the attack on the Sirasa media complex in Depanama, Pannipitiya, early this morning. [Full Story]

Ottawa must guard against fleeing LTTE leaders – National Post
The fall of Kilinochchi on Friday marks a crippling blow for the LTTE and it also poses an indirect security risk for Canada: As the LTTE is routed from the battlefield, Ottawa must guard against fleeing LTTE leaders seeking sanctuary among Canada's large Ontario-based community of expatriate Tamils said the National Post editorial. [Full Story]

French Eco-Tourism project to be set up in Madulkelle
A French venture entered in to an agreement with the Board of Investment Sri Lanka (BOI) to set up a novel boutique hotel project in Sri Lanka recently. [Full Story]
Tribute to our heroic forces
All government institutions conducted special programs today to pay their tribute to the heroic forces for their recent landmark victory over the Kilinochchi. [Full Story]

We give highest priority to civilian safety: President Rajapaksa
Post-Kilinochchi, President Mahinda Rajapaksa expects the Sri Lankan armed forces to make rapid advances and capture Elephant Pass, which controls access to the Jaffna Peninsula, and other key targets in a short while. [Full Story]

Indian marine suspect large infiltration of LTTE cadres after fall of Kilinochchi
As the Lankan forces entered the Tamil-Tiger strongholds in northern Lanka scattering away the rebels, Kerala’s marine security agencies fear a large number of suspected LTTE cadres have infiltrated the Indian shore via trawlers to discreetly engage themselves as workers in fishing trawlers off Kochi coast, the Express Buzz website said. [Full Story]

LTTE faces gravest crisis in three decades – Hindu editorial
After the fall of Kilinochchi, it is clear that the situation has developed to a point where no political bail-out package can help Prabhakaran’s organisation come out of its existential crisis — the gravest it has faced in three decades of armed struggle, said the Hindu editorial today. [Full Story]
Congress wants Prabhakaran handed over for Rajiv killing
Following the capture of Kilinochchi by Sri Lankan troops, India’s Congress Party has demanded that Sri Lanka extradite LTTE chief Prabhakaran, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, if he is nabbed in the army offensive, in what signals a strong stand ruling out any intervention under pressure from DMK. [Full Story]
Sri Lanka and Maldives
Further improvement of good relations
Sri Lanka and the Maldives looked forward to the further improvement of good relations between the two countries in several areas of activity, with importance being given to Sri Lankan assistance in the development of the structures and institutions of democracy in the Maldives. [Full Story]

Kilinochchi is captured – President tells the nation
“A short while ago, our brave and heroic troops have fully captured Kilinohchi that was considered the main bastion of the LTTE. [Full Story]

Maldivian President arrives
Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed arrived in Sri Lanka today (January 02) on a two-day official visit. [Full Story]

Troops enter Kilinochchi
The troops of Task Force 1 on an aggressive advance after the fall of the key Paranthan town and junction - on Monday (29th) have proceeded beyond Karadipokku junction and entered Kilinochchi town today (2nd). [Full Story]
LTTE associate arrested in Chennai
The ‘Q’ branch police of the Tamil Nadu Police on Tuesday arrested a 23-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil for helping the LTTE smuggle goods from Tamil Nadu, Times of India said. [Full Story]

PC polls on Feb. 14
Elections Department yesterday announced the elections for Central and North Central Provinces would be held on February 14. [Full Story]

India's anti-terror laws come into force
Anti-terror laws passed by Indian Parliament a fortnight back came into effect from today, Asian Tribune website said. National Investigative Agency (NIA) Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill became law as Indian President Pratibah Patil gave her assent to these legislations. [Full Story]

Paranthan captured
The Task Force 1 troops captured Paranthan LTTE garrison early this morning, following hours of bitter fighting, military sources said. [Full Story]

2009 - The dawn of a sustainable peace
– President
“We have great confidence that the determined path we have traversed so far will result in a sustainable peace to our country and people….It is my firm belief that when our nation crosses the threshold to victory it is the responsibility of us all to be united in safeguarding the future of our country,” states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his New Year Message to the nation. [Full Story]





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