Thursday, April 17, 2008


China ready to expedite funding for Sri Lankan infrastructure

Associated Press, Thu April 17, 2008 08:51 EDT . COLOMBO, April 17 (Kyodo) China, which has already committed more than $700 million on infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka - , has promised to expedite these projects and then consider further projects proposed by Colombo, a senior cabinet minister just back from China said Thursday.

He said the ''body language'' in talks with the Chinese leadership had been ''excellent,'' with China deeply appreciative of Sri Lanka - 's support for the ''One-China'' policy and its goodwill in resisting Olympic protests.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama also accompanied Rajapakse for the Boao Forum.



HERE's an interesting article from The Hindu

Panic in LTTE over arms deal with Slovakia: Colombo
B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military on Wednesday claimed that at least 38 LTTE cadres and four soldiers were killed in fighting in the north while the Air Force said its jets bombed Tiger positions in the Muhamalai sector of Jaffna district.

According to a Defence Ministry statement, “counter-terrorist offensives” in the Jaffna and Wanni theatres killed 12 LTTE cadres and inured 8 others. On the Vavuniya front, troops engaged a terrorist bunker in the Navatkulama area with small arms and rocket propeller grenades (RPGs) last forenoon and claimed that two terrorists were killed, it said.

In another development, the government has claimed that there is “absolute panic” in LTTE circles over the “recent arms deal” with Slovakia. An Information Department report claimed that members of the Britain-based LTTE front organisation — British Tamil Forum (BTF) — protested in front of the Slovakian Embassy in London opposing the deal.

“A letter was handed over to Slovakian Diplomatic staff by Mr. Ivan Pedropillai a senior figure within the LTTE hierarchy in the United Kingdom and one of the LTTE’s main fundraisers who has generously funded most of the meetings organised by the BTF,” it said quoting unidentified sources.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


TORONTO, Canada, for many years a financil resources center for Tamil Tiger tribal racist terror in Sri Lanka, is turning a new leaf. On April 13th, Sri Lankans across the board, Sinhalese and Tamils alike joined together to celebrate the traditional New Year.

The event was organized by a democratic Canada based tamil organization and was attended by over 500 Sri Lankans.

The decline and fall of overseas based tamil racist terror, which harmed the Sri Lankan tamils more than anyone else, has begun.

Monday, April 14, 2008


SIGNS are increasing that Canada's patience with LTTE backed illegal activity including drugs, guns and human smuggling on their territory is coming to an end. Two years after raiding the Tamil Rehab Organization, a well known source of overseas funding for the Tamil Tigers, the Royal Canadian Mounties have completely sealed off the premises.

Similar action is being taken in various parts of Europe and the US considers the TRO to be a terror financing outfit.

WTM (World Tamil Movement)'s mouthpiece refused to comment to media fearing a leak, reports day.

"...The president of the WTM's Ontario branch, Sitta Sittampalam, also declined to comment yesterday. "I was asked by my lawyer not to reveal anything on this matter," he said. "I'm not in a position to divulge anything."

Sunday, April 13, 2008



MY doctor finally decided it was time to quit his practice and retire on a beach. He certainly should be able to do so, given the lucrative practice he's had for decades.

Getting introduced to my new doctor was an eye opener. Younger Dr. Schneider was not the typical mid-westerner to whom 'world' meant the landscape from Florida to California. He even knew that there was more to the world. He even had heard of Sri Lanka and had an idea of what has been going on there. His first questions after inquiring where I was from gave me an idea of how simplistically the average American defined events and people in their world.

Dr. Schnieder wanted to know whether I was a 'Tamil Tiger'. I told him I was from 'the other side'. To that he responded ' ah, so you are one of the good guys'.

As we discussed more about the conflict in Sri Lanka, it was almost amusing to note how he debated within himself whether or not to accept my insistence that not all Tamils are terrorists. I even brought out the argument that not all cholesterol is bad, in order to convince him how easy it is to mistake one for the other, and the absolute necessity for clear understanding of the issue prior to passing judgement.

Given the amount of effort I put into convincing him that all Tamils are not terrorists, here's hoping that at least one American has learnt that all societies cannot be categorized along the lines of good and bad based on the actions of a few.

Saturday, April 12, 2008



WHAT THE HELL? why can't they find someone who can write grammatically and know how to read numbers, to work as a reporter?

The Sri Lankan internet newspaper routinely refers to Intelligence services as 'intelligent'. To make matters even worse, its most recent publication refers to the purchase cost of the Mig-27 air craft acquired by the SLAF for approx SLRs 2.7 Mil each, as costing DOLLARS 25million.


When’ll mad killings end in Sri Lanka?
by Ameen Izzadeen

IN THE aftermath of the lucky escape of the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a bomb blast at a Brighton hotel in October 1984, the Provisional Irish Republican army issued a bold statement. "You were lucky this time. But remember, we only have to be lucky once." Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the latest victim of the Tamil Tiger terror, was lucky on January 8, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is using acts of terror as a means to achieve its separate state for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils, exploded a roadside bomb targeting a ministerial convoy. The minister who was killed in that blast was DM Dassanayake, who played little or no role in the fight against terrorism. Intelligence analysts said the actual target was Fernandopulle, who had been in the frontline of the government's political battle against the LTTE. It was he who had been defending the government in parliament as chief whip, since Mahinda Rajapaksa became president in 2005. A day prior to his death at a sports ground in Weliweriya in his Gampaha district constituency, Fernandopulle told a public rally at Kadawatha, also in his constituency, that even the ardent LTTE supporter from the rebel-held area could come to Colombo and chastise the government. "But leave alone the Sinhalese, could any Tamil living in the Tiger-controlled area say anything against the LTTE in public and live a day more?" he asked....



BBC Online 'misreported' sensationalizing as usual, a procurement of armaments by the Sri Lankan government from a European nation. This article has since been modified by BBC Online and the source of the information (Saferworld) reports as follows on this incident.

Obviously the BBC article now lacks a credible source.

" 11/04/2008
Saferworld and BBC news article

Saferworld was recently quoted in a BBC online article regarding the transfer of military rockets from Slovakia to Sri Lanka. We believe the original article was not a fair or accurate representation of the discussions between Saferworld and the BBC.

Saferworld contacted the BBC with its concerns, and the article has since been changed with all references to Saferworld removed..."


HERE's an interesting article by P.K Balachandran, which appears to point in the practical direction towards finding a durable solution for the terrorism issue in Sri Lanka.

A strategically planned Indian military-politico/economic initiative could see the LTTE heirarchy eliminated, the cadre pointed in the way of rehabilitation and civillian life and greater Indian involvement in the restructuring of Sri Lankan economy and infra-structure. While it would decisively benefit Sri Lanka, it would also allow India to effectively negate decades of Sino-Pak influence in Sri Lanka in a single and masterful stroke. India and Sri Lanka both would be irrational to miss out on this opportunity.

"...COLOMBO: The split in the anti-Indian political party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), may pave the way for greater Indian involvement in finding a solution to the vexed ethnic question in Sri Lanka, says Sri Lankan researcher Anupama M. Ranawana.

Writing in the latest issue of Groundviews Ranawana points out that the majority Sinhalese community have been very wary and disapproving of Western mediation, but have consistently welcomed Indian initiatives. “The situation has become more conducive to Indian involvement in the wake of the fractious split in the JVP, which has always been a strong critic of India, ” the author, who is attached to Colombo’s Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), says.With 11 of the 37 MPs of the JVP taking a moderate stance, the party’s anti-Indian plank is bound to be weakened. The JVP has consistently opposed India’s efforts to encourage the Rajapaksa government to devolve power to the minority Tamils. With the JVP’s voice weakened, the Sri Lankan public will take kindly to an Indian face on a foreign mediator, says Ranawana.Both Sri Lanka and India have high stakes in finding a political solution to the ethnic conflict, the author argues.

Sri Lanka is faced with a prospect of Western and Japanese economic sanctions because of the war and the consequent violation of human rights. Therefore, Sri Lanka needs to work towards a political settlement with an external third party mediator.“A strong armed third party must take control of the unstable situation,” Ranawana recommends. And India fills the bill.“India’s proximity to Sri Lanka and cultural similarities place her in a unique position to be the ideal mediator,” the researcher argues. “India, as a non-Western power, will have chances to advocate a political solution that is home grown.”President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already accepted the need for a pre-eminent Indian role, Ranawana points out. Rajapaksa has promised to “fully implement” the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, a devolution scheme enacted under India’s aegis in 1987 but never properly implemented.

The Sri Lankan author says that India will only gain by taking a greater role in Sri Lanka. Its status as the “leader” of the region will be fostered if it did. And as National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan’s recent remarks show, India is uneasy about the growing influence of China, Japan and Pakistan in Sri Lanka and sees the need to counter it.Furthermore, India has a growing economic stake in Sri Lanka to defend and build. In 2007, it exported $2.77 billion worth of goods to Sri Lanka, up from $510 million in 1999.

“For both India and Sri Lanka, Indian involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process is no longer an option to mull over on a sunny day; it has become a necessity,” Ranawana concludes..."


The LTTE is included in the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list published for the year by the US. A total of approx 44 groups hold the distinguished position, which makes them legitimate targets for US military action.

Released by the U.S. State Department, the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations has been prepared by the Washington-based Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) which continually monitors the activities of terrorist groups active around the world to identify potential targets.

The list also includes Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf Group, Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), Hamas, Palestine Liberation Front, Palestine Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The LTTE and its operatives this year began a covert operation to support and fund the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in the aftermath of a much publicized failure to bribe their way out of the terror group listing. A well planned and executed FBI sting operation netted teh LTTE operatives who attempted to bribe Federal officers to de-list the LTTE and also provide them with sophisticated arms to fight the Sri Lankan Defence Forces.

The Clinton campaign, which is suspected to have at least one prominant Tamil Tiger terror supporter amongst its ranks, decided to drop the funding from the group since they are 'currently listed as a terrorist group in the US'. Clinton is known to have made statements sympathetic towards the Tamil Tigers who have so far slaughtered over 70,000 people in Sri Lanka, assasinated Rajiv Gandhi and many others in India and continue to carry out a multitude of illegal and terrorist operations across the world. The LTTE has provided sophisticated weaponry and training to Al Quaida and other middle eastern terror groups, and continues to hold a contingent of child combatants in defiance of UN appeals for their release.


By N Sathya Moorthy

If the killing of Sri Lankan Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle brings to mind memories about the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, it's not without reason. Though the comparison may end there, given the different capabilities they possessed and the different roles that they had played while around, the two were possibly the last of the contemporary Tamils who became acceptable as leaders in their own right in and to the majority Sinhala polity in native Sri Lanka.

Both Kadirgamar and Fernandopulle made their names in the one-time 'Sinhala hard line' SLFP, that too when the party was in power. Long before Kadirgamar, you had the likes of Alfred Duraiappah, in turn the Tamil-speaking SLFP Mayor of Jaffna. It was his cold-blooded killing for being what he was that among others triggered the spiral of violence, and culminated in the ethnic war – both of which have continued for three-plus decades now.

Fernandopulle was the fifth Tamil member of the 225-member Sri Lankan Parliament to have been killed in just over two years. If Joseph Pararajasingam of the TNA fell victim at a 'Christmas Mass' killing in a Batticaloa church in 2005, UNP's Maheshwaran was similarly shot dead at the Ponnambalavaneswarar Kovil (temple) in Colombo on the morning of New Year Day this year. Natarajah Raviraj, also of the TNA, died on a Colombo road not far away from the Military Police Headquarters in November 2006 while more recently K. Sivanesan, his party colleague, was killed in a claymore mine blast inside LTTE's Kilinochchi heartland.

Fernandopulle had tested and tasted Fate not very long ago. He was believed to have been the real target when another Minister D.M. Dassanayake died in a blast in the Colombo suburb of Ja Ela while proceeding to Parliament only days after Maheswaran's killing in January. Considering that marathon runner K.A. Karunaratne and national athletics coach Lakshman de Alwis too died in the blast at Weliweriya along with Fernandopulle, the International Federation of Athletics Associations was right in condemning the dastardly attack that targeted a community athletic effort of the nature, to welcome the Sinhala and Tamil New Years.

Fernandopulle was one of the few members of Parliament in a Sinhala majority party able to converse in all three languages – Tamil, Sinhalese and English. Maybe it was all aimed at 'minority appeasement' of a rare variety, but the fact remained Fernandopulle was not only the Minister for Roads and Highways Development, a crucial portfolio in the Sri Lankan context, but was also the Chief Whip of the ruling combine in Parliament. Of equal significance was his role as the Treasurer of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), of which President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the supremo. You can't call them all crumbs.

Through all this Fernandopulle was in a rare position, which no other Tamil leader barring Lakshman Kadirgamar had enjoyed in recent times, it was not to be. Rather than putting such access of a Tamil leader to good use for the larger benefit of the community, his militant detractors have since removed him from the scene. It was also the case with Kadirgmar. It is now doubtful if yet another Tamil leader would come to play a dominant role in the majority Sinhala polity in the near future. Tamil Ministers, there are many, but ruling party treasurer's post, it is doubtful if any Tamil leader would come to occupy in either of the 'Sinhala majors', namely the SLFP and the UNP. Even then, it would be next to impossible for a Tamil to become the Chief Government Whip in Parliament in the near future.

It was no different in the case of Pararajasingam, Raviraj and Maheshwaran. Each one of them had carved a niche for himself in the Tamil polity and Sri Lankan society, for another Tamil to try slip into their shoes with ease and comfort. It would now take a new-generation moderate Tamil leader from the lower rungs of the Sinhala political establishment years and efforts before he could climb up the organisational ladder with similar comfort and rapidity as the slain leaders had done. Thanks to the killing, Fernandopulle's parliamentary seat too would now go to a Sinhala leader from the same party, not that it should hurt otherwise.

As is known, 'competitive killing' of Tamil leaders -- moderates and militants alike -- including Amirthalingam, Sabaratnam and Ketesh Loganathan, had had a similar effect. It was worse still in the case of the Tamil-speaking Muslim community – which first suffered at the hands of the LTTE, both in the North and the East alike, and more recently at the hands of the breakaway 'Karuna faction', re-christened politically as TMVP, since.

In the East, it is no more the case of the TMVP wanting to possess weapons in self-defence. Instead, it is more about one or the other Tamil group charging the TMVP with intimidation and elimination of fellow-Tamils. As far as the North is concerned, smaller Tamil groups like the EPDP too have not escaped the charge of Tamil-killing. It is another matter that EPDP leader Douglas Devananda may enter the 'Guinness Book of Records' for the number of attempts made on the life of a high-profile politician, who is now a Minister.

The less said about the Tamil polity, the better. So is the attitude of a section of the Tamil society in the country. They too have fallen for the dictum, "If you are not with us, you are against us." It is thus that the EPDP is not acceptable to many Tamils in the North, and the TMVP to their counterparts now in the East. To them, both are more violent and indiscriminate in their killings and are worse targets than the LTTE. To the other section of the Tamil society, whose numbers are unknown and whose voices are muted, the LTTE is the worst of them all. Yet, the fact remains that neither would accept the others as representatives of the Tamils, or at least of a miniscule section thereof.

It is no different in the case of moderate Tamil political forces like the TNA, TULF, EROS and EPRLF – the latter two having factions in the TNA on the one hand, and working with the decimated TULF, on the other. If some of them thought that going along with the majority Sinhala polity, either up to a point or beyond it, would be the best way to address the genuine concerns of the minority Tamil community, others, the stronger and larger ones, beg to differ. In doing so, each runs down the other more than anyone else.

Incidentally, leveraging electoral support for obtaining political rights was the line that parties representing the Malayaha Tamils first, and the Tamil-speaking Muslims later, adapted, in supporting one or the other of the 'southern Sinhala majors'. It is incidental that such an approach had minimised the losses and sufferings for the communities and constituencies concerned. Whether or not others follow such a course, they should have had no problems to leave those others to their ways and wisdom.

For the Tamils to assume a voice proportionate to their aspirations and concerns, they need to have their existing voices heard. Extinguishing them in the name of giving the community a greater voice is self-defeating, to say the least. With Tamils killing fellow Tamils in whatever name you can imagine, there may come a day when the vacuum could become too large to fill. There could then be no voice to be heard, either. After all, even in any 'Tamil homeland' of whatever kind, voices of dissent are inevitable, however stifled they could be. That is unless of course, the Tamils are heading for a leadership without a voice, or a voice without leadership – or, both


Indian and other military research indicate a state of 'stalemate' in the anti-terror effort. In the absence of reliable situation reports it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine realistic progress.

Stalemates are bad. Over time they prove to be bloody and endless. Initiative only will break a stalemate and tip the status quo.

When it comes to initiative, the tigers have historically proven superior and more decisive in their actions. This time, the govt will have to shake itself into proactive action if not to be caught napping and checkmated.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


THREE Sri Lankan soldiers from the UN peace keeping contingent recieved non-life threatening injuries when fired upon by an unknown gunman in a slum area of Haiti.

Sri Lanka currently maintains a contingent of approx 900 soldiers in Haiti under a UN peace keeping mandate. Our soldiers proved their mettle by disarming most of the bandit and armed groups in the area under their control within a short time of their deployment.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Post-conflict development: Efforts of a democracy

The Economist -

FOR a quarter of a century, Sri Lanka’s bloody ethnic conflict between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils has sputtered on, with periods of all-out war and low-intensity insurgency, ill-observed ceasefires and frequent terrorist atrocities.
It had become conventional wisdom that there was no military solution. The government could not be ousted and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which had brutally monopolised the Tamil struggle, could not be defeated.
That is still conventional wisdom outside Sri Lanka. But in Colombo, the scent of victory is in the air. The outside world’s efforts to persuade the government to pursue a peaceful solution are floundering.
Indeed, so confident is the government that its foreign minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, this week gave a speech in London entitled “Post-conflict development: Efforts of a democracy”.

More ...