February 2009

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LTTE has used more than 7000 Children in Armed Conflict - UNICEF
Parents of over 7000 children had reported to UNICEF that their children were forcibly recruited by the LTTE for combat, said in a joint statement issued by UNICEF and Bureau of The Commissioner General of Rehabilitation yesterday. [Full Story]

Terrorism & Global Financial meltdown: twin challenges before SAARC today – President
“We need to re-double our efforts to combat this menace individually and collectively. [Full Story]

WPC polls on April 25
Election for the Western Provincial Council will be held on April 25, the Elections Commissioner’s Department said yesterday.
[Full Story]

Pause in military operations will give LTTE time to regroup, says Wall Street Journal
If the Sri Lankan government to suspend military operations heeding to the international pressure, the danger is that any let-up in the assault will give the Tigers time to regroup, thus extending the conflict and the civilian suffering even longer, said the Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday. [Full Story]

President reiterates Govt's cautious approach to avoid civilian casualties
President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated his Government's consistent stand in preventing collateral damage being caused to civilians in the final phase of the current military operations to defeat terrorism in the country during a courtesy call on him by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Upendra Yadav in Colombo yesterday. [Full Story]

France expresses interest to provide humanitarian assistance 
During a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday, French Foreign Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner expressed his happiness at the conflict in the North of Sri Lanka coming to a conclusion and inquired on how best humanitarian assistance could be extended by France. [Full Story]

US and SL create first Energy Efficient Lighting Center in South Asia
Sri Lanka will host the first energy efficient lighting Center of Excellence in South Asia with the funding assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). [Full Story]

Strengthen Tamil parents in efforts to end using children for armed conflict - President
“With this campaign, we will make sure that our fight to eradicate terrorism goes hand in hand, with the fight to free our children from being robots of terror. [Full Story]
 
Clear possibility of A9 reopening next month
After the military operations in which the armed forces consolidated power in the LTTE controlled areas, the A9 route is expected to reopen to the public next month, said defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. [Full Story]

Army recovers LTTE suicide bomb factory
Army personnel attached to the 58 Division recovered the LTTE sea tiger leader Susai's camp and suicide bomb manufacturing camp located in west of Puthukkudiyiruppu yesterday, (25). [Full Story]

Civilians slowing Sri Lanka advance: Defence Secretary
Sri Lanka's advance against Tamil Tiger rebels, now in its final stages, has been slowed considerably by the presence of civilians in the war zone, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said. [Full Story]

Conflict Is Over Terrorism Not Ethnicity- SL Ambassador to U.S
“Sri Lanka’s conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is to defeat terrorism and isn’t about Tamil ethnicity”, said Jaliya Wickramasuriya the country’s ambassador to the U.S. in a statement in Washington to coincide with a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the conflict. [Full Story]

President to launch National Campaign against use of Children in Armed Conflict
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will today (26) launch the Sri Lankan National Campaign against the Recruitment of Children for Use in Armed Conflict. [Full Story]
 
UN Under-Secretary General urges LTTE to free civilians
Wrapping up a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, The UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, [Full Story]

SAARC Foreign Ministers to meet in Colombo
The SAARC Council of Ministers represented by the Foreign Ministers of SAARC Member States will meet in Colombo on February 27-28 for its Inter-Summit Session. [Full Story]

Japan funds to improve health and livelihood of conflict affected communities
The Government of Japan through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects has provided a total of US$ 173,710 (approximately Rs 20 million) to three projects improve health and livelihoods of conflict affected communities in Batticaloa and Vavunniya and of plantation communities in Ratanapura. [Full Story]

Forced conscription led to LTTE's downfall : Tamil civilians
The LTTE's forced conscription of people to fight against Security Forces was the main reason behind its downfall, according to Tamil civilians housed in welfare centres. [Full Story]

LTTE's call for a ceasefire is absurd - Peace Secretariat Chief
It is absurd of the LTTE to respond merely by formally requesting what it has tried to promote for so long through its surrogates, [Full Story]

Sri Lanka welcomes EU’s call to the LTTE to lay down arms
The Government welcomes the European Union’s (EU) call to the LTTE to lay down its arms and renounce terrorism and violence once and for all, as contained in the European Union’s Council Conclusions on Sri Lanka of February 23.  [Full Story]
 
Ceasefire call hilarious - Defence spokesman
The LTTE's latest attempt to call for a truce and pleading for a ceasefire to the UN at a time when the outfit is all but defeated militarily is hilarious, said Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella. [Full Story]

LTTE cadres arrested in France for killing a French police officer
Police in France have arrested six Sri Lankan Tamils accused of killing a police officer in Paris, officials said. [Full Story]
 
Hope of bright future - President's Message for Maha Shiva Rathri
The Hindus in Sri Lanka join their co-religionists the world over, to celebrate Maha Shiva Rathri today, one of the most important festivals in the Hindu religious calendar. [Full Story]
 
Our main concern is safety of IDPs
President to Sir John Holmes
“Our main concern is the safety of the civilians that the LTTE is holding hostage for their human shield, and we are taking every precaution to ensure their safety," said President Rajapaksa to Sir John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs when they met at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. [Full Story]
 
Tamils fear peace talks with LTTE - Tamil rights activists
Sri Lankan Tamils are wary of any peace talks that will give oxygen to the LTTE, said two leading Tamil rights activists, adding that the need of the hour was to give security to the mass of civilians trapped in the conflict zone, IANS website reported today. [Full Story]

Army recovers LTTE underwater scooters
Army personnel attached to the 58 Division have found underwater scooters, diving kits, oxygen cylinders and many other diving equipments from west of Puthukudiyirippu area yesterday. [Full Story]

Emergency medical services launched in Jaffna
An emergency ambulance services and communications centre funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was opened on Wednesday (February 18). [Full Story]

Pranab's statement at Lok Sabha
Proof of Indo-Lanka best relations
The statement made by Pranab Mukherjee at the Lok Sabha is a testimony of excellent relations between India and Sri Lanka today and is much appreciated by the government of Sri Lanka said Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka maintains position on British Special Envoy
The Cabinet of Ministers met yesterday decided to maintain the earlier position taken by them with regard to the appointment of Des Browne, the British special envoy to Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Tamil refugees in TN to return home
Nine families of Tamil refugees, lodged in a camp Tamil Nadu since 2006, are returning to Sri Lanka as the conditions in the country have improved despite the ongoing military operations in the North. [Full Story]
 
Let trapped civilians move freely – UN Under- Secretary to LTTE
We want to see the population in LTTE held area able to leave the area freely, as they should be able to, and I call, upon the LTTE to enable them to move freely, which is part of humanitarian law, said Sir John Holmes, the United Nations Under-Secretary General speaking to the media today (Thursday 29). [Full Story]

Tamil people are part of Sri Lanka - Foreign Secretary to MIA
The Tamil people of this country are our people; they are our brothers and our sisters; they must live among us. I don’t think that there is a problem that the Sinhalese have with the Tamils. [Full Story]

WPC polls:
Nominations begin today
Nominations for the upcoming Provincial Council polls in the Western Province which began today(19) will end by 12 noon on February 26. [Full Story]

Civilians won’t be harassed - Govt
The Government strongly denied TNA MP Mr. R. Sampanthan statement that the government’s Military operations carried out with harassment to the civilians, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella Defence Spokesman at a media briefing held at the Media Center for National Security yesterday. [Full Story]

Govt sends food to civilians in Putumattalan
The Government yesterday dispatched 30 metric tonnes of foodstuffs to IDPs in Putumattalan with the help of ICRC. [Full Story]
 
FM briefs diplomatic community
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama called on the diplomatic corps who represent the international community to witness the complexities of the current ground situation in the North. [Full Story]

Lay down arms in interest of Tamil community – Mukherjee to LTTE
LTTE has done much damage to Tamil community, it should release all civilians and lay down arms for the interest of Tamil community, says External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. [Full Story]

Govt to probe NGO spending in North and East
With reasonable doubts emerging about monies from NGOs and other international organizations meant for public welfare in the North and East being used to fund terrorist activities of the LTTE, [Full Story]

Govt sends food to civilians in Mullaitivu
Government yesterday dispatched a consignment of food and medical supplies for the benefit of civilians in Mullaitivu on the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [Full Story]
 
LTTE has intensified forcible child recruitment - UNICEF
The LTTE has intensified forcible recruitment of civilians and that children as young as 14 years old are now being targeted, said UNICEF Office in Colombo today. [Full Story]

Civilian Safety is the top priority - Defence Secretary
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has highlighted that Sri Lanka's armed forces have been taking the maximum precautions to avoid civilian casualties in the on-going counter terrorist manoeuvre in the country's north.  [Full Story]

India will intervene if LTTE lays down arms - Chidambaram
If the LTTE laid down arms, India would intervene and arrange for a negotiated settlement to the ethnic issue, said Indian Union Minister P. Chidambaram addressing a public gathering organised by the Congress Party yesterday. [Full Story]

My people not exhibits – IDPs well cared for - President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated that he will never ever be prepared to display to the world his motherland or its people, as sympathy evoking exhibits. [Full Story]

Tigers killing civilians fleeing Sri Lanka war zone: UN
LTTE terrorists have prevented tens of thousands of civilians from leaving Sri Lanka's war zone and those trying to escape have been "shot and sometimes killed," the United Nations said Monday (16). [Full Story]
 
Election victory triumph of all who love Motherland - President
The victory of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the Central and North Western Provincial Council Election is a triumph of all those who love the Motherland, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement issued yesterday on the outcome of the polls. [Full Story]

Govt to resettle IDPs by year end – Minister Samarasinghe
The Government is making arrangements to the Internally Displaced Persons who are displaced due to the ongoing military operations in North before the end of the year, said Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe. [Full Story]

UPFA gets landslide win at Provincial Polls
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has swept the board in the elections to the Central and North Western Provincial Councils held Saturday.  [Full Story]
 
Murthy appointed International Advisor on IT
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appointed Mr. Narayana Murthy as International Advisor on Information Technology. [Full Story]

Year of English & IT
2009 - Year of Peace, Reconciliation and true Independence - President
2009 is our country’s Year of English and IT. With the liberation of our people from the clutches of terrorism which destroyed our country for more than 25 years, [Full Story]

Govt rejects unilateral appointment of Special Envoy
The Cabinet presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today rejected the unilateral appointment of a Special Envoy for Sri Lanka by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka welcomes US decision
The Government appreciated the US Government’s decision to designate the ‘Tamil Foundation’ as an organization extending support to LTTE and to freeze all its US assets. [Full Story]

Nun shot by LTTE
LTTE shot at a Catholic nun who is trying to cross over to the safe zone with civilians yesterday. [Full Story]

Dubai based venture to develop local computer manufacturing sector
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to EZY Infotech (Private) Limited to manufacture Personal Computers and Laptop under the brand name “EZY”, a BOI media release said. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka rejects Britain’s special envoy as intrusive and disrespectful
Sri Lanka has rejected British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's appointment of Des Browne, the former UK defence minister, as a special envoy here, as a unilateral move, intrusive and disrespectful to the country. [Full Story]
 
Security Forces declare new Safety Zone
The Army today declared a new 12-km long Safe Zone along the Western boundary of the Mullaitivu lagoon, effective from today afternoon, Media Center for National Security said. [Full Story]

Time for us to use knowledge of Northern children to rebuilt country - President
It is time for us to use the knowledge of Northern children to rebuild our country. [Full Story]

“Mischievous media reports have distorted the international perception of developments in North” - Ambassador Ariyasingha
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha has said, a series of mischievous reports filed over the past two weeks based on LTTE propaganda, had distorted the international perception of the ground situation in Northern Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

US Treasury freezes Tamil Foundation assets
The US Treasury on Wednesday decided to freeze the assets of Maryland based Tamil Foundation under Executive Order 13224. The Tamil Foundation is suspected to be a front organization of the LTTE. [Full Story]

Take courageous, just measures required to curb terrorism - Mahanayakes tell President
Four Mahanayake Theros yesterday told President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take courageous and just measures required to curb terrorism and other national issues. [Full Story]

Tigers must stop suppression of Tamil civilians - Colombo Bishop
Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo in a statement on the fate and freedom of civilians caught up in the war, unreservedly condemned the two recent incidents of violence unleashed against innocent and defenceless civilians by the LTTE. [Full Story]

"See LTTE for cold blooded murderers they are" - Human Rights Minister
"It was time the Tamil Diaspora saw the LTTE for what it is - a bunch of cold blooded murderers who would kill their own Tamil people to satisfy its lust for power on dominance" said Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe at a Media Briefing to Foreign Journalists on Tuesday (February 10). [Full Story]
 
The number of civilians coming to cleared areas increases to 2260
Despite the attack them yesterday civilians are crossing to the government controlled areas from the uncleared areas in Puthukudiruppu. [Full Story]

Don't Take Prabhakaran Lightly
Velupillai Prabhakaran and around 2,000 of his supporters are engaged in a desperate battle for survival with the Sri Lankan army… [Full Story]

BJP not for LTTE
The Party’s participation on Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement (SLTPM) is based on the understanding of “zero tolerance against violence on innocent Tamil civilians”, [Full Story]
 
Security Forces continue to receive civilians; ensure their safety
Security Forces whilst taking the necessary security precautions to ensure the safety of civilians who are crossing over to the cleared areas in Vanni would not relax the operation of receiving them, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights said. [Full Story]

LTTE kills 17 fleeing civilians
LTTE has fired at a group of civilians who are crossing over to the cleared areas in Udayarkattukulam killing 17 of them today, defence sources said. [Full Story]

"GoSL to be congratulated on prosecution of war against LTTE" says defence analyst
"The government of Sri Lanka and its President are to be congratulated on the prosecution of the war with the LTTE which has been accomplished with resolve and courage. [Full Story]

Defence Sec. tells intl. organizations to be mindful of the responsibility cast upon them
Some of the international agencies should be mindful of the responsibility cast on them in disseminating information to the world at large, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa during a meeting with the UN officials in Colombo yesterday. [Full Story]

LTTE suicide attack on IDP welfare centre kills 29
At least 29 people including 10 civilians and 19 Security Forces personnel were killed and 64 others including 40 civilians were injured when an LTTE woman suicide bomber blew herself at an IDP welfare centre, North of Visuamadu in Mullaittivu last morning. [Full Story]
 
UN apologizes for the comment on 'cluster bombs'
The United Nations yesterday apologized to the Government for their comments about the use of cluster bombs on the Pudukkudyirippu Government Hospital. [Full Story]

Child suicide bomber sent to Chalai army frontline
Sri Lanka Army sources said that the LTTE had sent a child suicide bomber to attack the Army 55 Division frontline yesterday. [Full Story]

Security forces bag Chalai
Security Forces yesterday took the full control of Visuamadu and the LTTE's last Sea Tiger base Chalai in the North of Mullaitivu, Military sources said. [Full Story]

Susanthika leaves the track
Sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe who won Sri Lanka's second Olympic medal announced her retirement from national and international events, yesterday. [Full Story]

You made Sri Lanka proud - President to Murali
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today sent a message of congratulations to Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan on his capturing 503 wickets in One Day International, reaching the world record for the highest number of ODI wickets. [Full Story]

Lay down arms, surrender - European Parliament tells LTTE
The European Parliament has called upon the LTTE to lay down their arms and participate in the democratic process. [Full Story]

No review to remove LTTE from terrorist organisation list - US
The US has said yesterday that there is no review or move to remove the LTTE from the list of terrorist organisations. [Full Story]

Foreign Minister endorses Co-Chairs' statement
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama appreciated the statement made by the Tokyo Co-Chairs who have recognized that the “international efforts to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed”. [Full Story]

No harassment to civilians in north – President tells UN Sec. Gen.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon that the current military operations to defeat terrorism in Sri Lanka would be carried out without harassment to the civilian population in the north. [Full Story]
 
All patients transferred to safer locations
All patients and the medical staff of Pudukkudyirippu Government Hospital have now been shifted to a safer location north of Pudukkudyrippu through the mediation of ICRC. [Full Story]

Lankan Army does not use lethal weapons against civilians
The Sri Lanka Army does not use lethal munitions against innocent civilians in their war against terror. Cluster bombs are banned in the UN convention and Sri Lanka being a party to this convention, respects these laws. [Full Story]

LTTE lost DMK sympathy long ago: Karunanidhi
DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday said the LTTE had lost the sympathies of the party way back in 1987 itself as its chief V. Prabhakaran was planning to adopt a dictatorial form of government in Tamil Eelam for which they were fighting, reported The Hindu yesterday. [Full Story]

India on alert against LTTE attacks
Rising anti-India anger on websites linked to the LTTE is causing concern in New Delhi, which has alerted Tamil Nadu and other Indian states to increase vigilance against a terror threat from the group. [Full Story]

Time has come for LTTE to end the war that it is not winning - Col. R. Hariharan
The LTTE has to come to terms with the reality all over the world now. The world has lost its patience with terrorism. Most nations consider the methods used by organisations like the LTTE to be terror tactics. That was one of the main reasons for the LTTE’s downslide in the present war. [Full Story]

LTTE plans to abduct Indian fishermen, boats
The LTTE is planning to abduct Tamil Nadu fishermen and hijack their boats to use them as shields against Sri Lankan forces, according to sources in the Indian Fisheries Department. [Full Story]
 
Short time before LTTE loses all areas in North
– Tokyo Co-Chairs
“International efforts to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed. There remains probably only a short period of time before the LTTE loses control of all areas in the North,” the Tokyo Co-Chairs of Sri Lanka’s Peace Process in a statement on the current developments in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Together for Peace & Prosperity
- President Obama
"Our governments together can work to foster peace, prosperity, and stability throughout Sri Lanka, states President Barack Obama of the United States in an Independence Day message of greetings to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [Full Story]

“Free from the shadow of terror, grasp the new opportunities before us” - President Rajapaksa on Freedom Day
“Today, we are a nation that has defeated a powerful enemy that stood before us. An enemy that we were told was invincible… [Full Story]

Be united as a single Nation - President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa called upon all people to be united as a single Nation in an undivided country, showing tolerance, trust and understanding that have been the foundation of the Nation throughout its glorious history. [Full Story]
 
Health Ministry instructs regional officials to move healthcare activities to No Fire Zone
Secretary of Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has informed all heads of Diplomatic Missions and ICRC in Sri Lanka that he has instructed Regional Directors of Health in Mullaitivu ...[Full Story]

Special school for displaced children
The Education Ministry officials have established a temporary school for the children who are living in the Manik Farm IDP camp in Vavuniya. [Full Story]

President requests clergy to return
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday requested members of the clergy in the North to return to Government controlled areas along with the trapped civilians as the Government has taken all measures to cater to their welfare. [Full Story]

Come to security of Safety Zone – Govt. urges all civilians
With the Security Forces now at the decisive stage of the operations to defeat terrorism, the Government has reiterated its call to all civilians held by the LTTE to break free from uncleared areas and enter the Safety Zone provided for their security. [Full Story]
 
President renews call for LTTE to surrender
President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday renewed his call for LTTE to surrender or face grave danger of being captured by the government troops. [Full Story]

Jaffna civilians stage massive protest against LTTE
People of Jaffna peninsula staged a massive protest campaign yesterday against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  [Full Story]

PC polls:
Postal voting begins tomorrow
Casting of postal votes for the upcoming Central and North Western provincial council election will commence, the Election Secretariat said. [Full Story]

UN Secretary General welcomes President’s announcement of safe passage for civilians
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon in a statement issued on January 30 welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement of safe passage to a secure environment for civilians who are kept as a human shield by the LTTE in the North. [Full Story]

New BOI venture to assemble vehicles
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to W T L Automobiles (Private) Limited for a project to assemble motor vehicles for the local market. [Full Story]

UN provided US $ 125m for Sri Lanka’s Development in 2008
The United Nations in Sri Lanka has provided US$125 million in development aid to Sri Lankans in 2008. [Full Story]
 
 
   
   

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