Friday, 16 January 2009

SLA suffers heavy casualties in Chilawatte general area

SLA troopers who are attempting to advance towards Chilawatte have been beaten back by the LTTE fighting formations. There are reports of heavy casualties flowing into Anuradhapuram Hospital, the hospital wards are at full capacity and the SLA has been forced to move several seriously injured SLA men to the main Colombo Hospital. SLAF attempted to provide close air support (CAS) using Mi-24 gunships to the SLA, however, the gunships were forced to abandon their missions in the face of intense and coordinated AA fire. The gunships unable to withstand AA fire later returned to base leaving SLA units exposed to HMG and mortar fire.
The SLA has claimed occupation of the entire Ira’naimadu tank, our Wanni sources report that this is a completely false claim. The SLA has only occupied the northern part of the tank which holds the sluice gate. The LTTE is firmly in control of the western part of the tank and boat squadrons are actively engaging the enemy. As reported earlier, LTTE has well fortified defences in Chalai and are eagery awaiting the 55th division, the LTTE military panel believes that the arrival of the 55th presents the best opportunity for the LTTE to harvest maximum number of SLA recruits.
The GoSL President is today reported to be attending a Bar Association meeting in the hill city of Kandy. Source have told EFT that the meeting was disrupted several times by urgent phone calls from Colombo who were relaying various ultimatums from the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary. EFT reported on these ultimatums yesterday.
Political sources believe that obbying by LTTE diplomats based abroad are bearing fruit. On the battlefield, the LTTE is regaining momentum after the earlier reported leadership conflicts were amicably resolved.
EFT

14 comments:

TamilskillTamils said...

blaaa blaaa blaaa...
punnakku for sakkili

Panhinda said...

/*
The LTTE is firmly in control of the western part of the tank and boat squadrons are actively engaging the enemy.
*/

i dunno but here army top photo taken from the western side. how is this possible if ltte is there?

unholy muck lying again i see.

Elara® said...

Panhinda,

Those photos of the tank are all photoshopped! All GoSL photos are photoshopped!

Lalith said...

57 found 6th Air strip

Situation

VP's pressure 135 89
VP's weight 147KG

Aiyamperumal 01 KM
ALANKULAM 01 KM
Ampalavanpokkanai 01 KM
Chalai 01 KM
Chilarattai 01 KM
Chu'ndikku'lam 00 KM --- 55 Captured on 14-01-09
Dharmapuram 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 13-01-09
IRANAIIRUPPAIKULAM 01 KM
IRANAMADU East 01 KM --- 57 Captured on 15-01-09
Kaddaikadu 01 KM --- 58 Captured on 15-01-09
KULAWEDDIDAL 01 KM
Kalmadu 01 KM
Ka'ndaava'lai 01 KM
KARUPPADDAMURIPPU 01 KM
Keridattadu 00 KM --- TF 4 Captured on 12-01-09
Kevil 00 KM --- 53 Captured on 11-01-09
KULAWEDDIDAL 01 KM
Mamulai 01 KM
Masar 01 KM
Mullativu 0.5 KM
Murusamoddai 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 12-01-09
Olumadu 01 KM
PALLEYADIRAKKAM 01 KM
PANDISUNDAN 01 KM
Periyakulam 01 KM
Pu'liyampokka'nai 01 KM
Puliyansekkaran 01 KM
Punnainiravi 01 KM
Puththukudirippu 01 KM
Ramanadhapuram 01 KM
Tanniyuttu 00 KM --- 59 Captured on 12-01-09
THADDAMODDAI 01 KM
Theravikulam 01 KM
Thonikal 01 KM
Udayankattukulam 01 KM
Vaddakkachchi 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 12-01-09
Vannankulam 01 KM
Vellamullivaikal 01 KM
Vellikandal 01 KM
Vishwamadu 01 KM --- 58 Captured on 15-01-09

VP's Asshole ?? KM

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

Mahen,

When you lie pls be careful. I'd recommend you to say something like "Pussyccats control the east side of the tank, as West fell long before east.

Oh you never grow up. When SLDF captured Pooneryn, you said that Pussycats will get back Nachchikudah.

Again I think you ought to refer to some map, buddy.

Mahen in Sri Lanka is more mythical than Alice in Wonderland.

Single said...

Mahen is smart : Becasue he picked the comment by Puran in DW with Heavy Causalties and writeback as casualties coming to Anuradahapura (From previous post he knows Puran talking causalties in A'pura).

Mahen is Stupid : He thinks it is 55 coming to Chali. We can confirm that it will be New TF with a Sea borne attack. Anyway they dont have to do much work but wait and see as your Mahvir's curshed from others. And you and your Intelligent DIaspora dont know what else is ready for your Mahavirs.

Mahen is Hillarious: About Indian and IC fairy tales. No body want to bet for a dying horse.

Though it is truly a tamil-film script, You are the only Pro-LTTE site that updates. Tamilnet now taking opnion after defeat, Accepting shrinking terriotory and talking just about India.

Peter said...

Updated

http://peterratna.wordpress.com

Damith said...

Dear Mahen,

I dont know how you justify your "so called source"???? any way you seems to be sweetly disposing bags of lies!!! any way soon your lies will be upon you..honting..

you dont have a relaiable ground source at all... but appear to have a fast internet......and playing time with it...any way ...good luck

Raptor said...

Daily Punnakku Friday 16th Jan 09

Provided by: Mahen

Provided for: Diaspora

Added artificial flavours: Peter Ponnadurai

Moshe Dyan said...

mahen,

harvesting is my word. it refers to killing Tamil Elamists (peaceful and violent) in large numbers.

it has no other meaning.

while calling others "chena boys" you use their words. no wonder the capital of Tamil homeland is Chena-nai (aka Chennai)!!!

Malagirava said...

Mahen is great! Coz,

He (?) is totally shameless. Some body else will be ashamed of continuing a blog after being labeled as stupid and liar.

Elara® said...

Single,

*Tamilnet now taking opnion after defeat*

TamilNet.com is a FAKE website run by GENOCIDAL™ Sinhaloid homophobes. They even have the audacity to talk about the LTTE going for a "democratic exercise"! Everybody knows that We Tamils do not know what democracy is and only worship Soorya Thevan Prabhakaran!

Our totally genuine TamilNet.Tv will soon publish a reply to the totally FAKE TamilNet.com's blatant attempt at IDEA COPYING GENOCIDE™! Await!

Lalith said...

LTTP widrew from Ramanadhapuram

Siuation right now as at 17-01-09

VP's Pressure 142 98
VP's weight 147 KG

Aiyamperumal 01 KM
ALANKULAM 01 KM
Ampalavanpokkanai 01 KM
Chalai 01 KM
Chilarattai 01 KM
Chu'ndikku'lam 00 KM --- 55 Captured on 14-01-09
Dharmapuram 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 13-01-09
IRANAIIRUPPAIKULAM 01 KM
IRANAMADU East 01 KM --- 57 Captured on 15-01-09
Kaddaikadu 01 KM --- 58 Captured on 15-01-09
KULAWEDDIDAL 01 KM
Kalmadu 01 KM
Ka'ndaava'lai 01 KM
KARUPPADDAMURIPPU 01 KM
Keridattadu 00 KM --- TF 4 Captured on 12-01-09
Kevil 00 KM --- 53 Captured on 11-01-09
KULAWEDDIDAL 01 KM
Mamulai 01 KM
Masar 01 KM
Mullativu 0.5 KM
Murusamoddai 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 12-01-09
Olumadu 01 KM
PALLEYADIRAKKAM 01 KM
PANDISUNDAN 01 KM
Periyakulam 01 KM
Pu'liyampokka'nai 01 KM
Puliyansekkaran 01 KM
Punnainiravi 01 KM
Puththukudirippu 01 KM
Ramanadhapuram 01 KM --- 57 Captured on 16-01-09
Tanniyuttu 00 KM --- 59 Captured on 12-01-09
THADDAMODDAI 01 KM
Theravikulam 01 KM
Thonikal 01 KM
Udayankattukulam 01 KM
Vaddakkachchi 00 KM --- 58 Captured on 12-01-09
Vannankulam 01 KM
Vellamullivaikal 01 KM
Vellikandal 01 KM
Vishwamadu 01 KM --- 58 Captured on 15-01-09

VP's Asshole ?? KM

ralagama said...

Amarasara Hot News Item : 2009.01.17 - 01 (09:25 +05:30)
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Intended Suicide Bloodbath in Wattala Averted
(16.01.2009 18:40 SLT - SL Army)
.
Commander Warns Against LTTE Infiltrating Attempts
(16.01.2009 17:35 SLT - SL Army)
.
MI-24 Helicopters raid LTTE gathering place - Kilinochchi
(16.01.2009 10:32 PM SLT - defence.lk)
.
Defence.lk - No.1 news portal in Sri Lanka
(16.01.2009 09:51 PM SLT - defence.lk)
.
Prabakaran no more in Vanni
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
UN Demands LTTE to Free Tamils
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
Indian Foreign Secretary commends Sri Lanka in combating terrorism
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
Sri Lanka a model for Third World – UNICEF
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
How "fair" is Sri Lanka's media ?
- by Shenali Waduge
(16.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
While withdrawing from Kilinochchi, 227 injured LTTE cadres shot and killed by Bahnu on the orders of Prabakaran
- by Ruwan Weerakoon from Colombo
(15.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)
.
x
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Intended Suicide Bloodbath in Wattala Averted
(16.01.2009 18:40 SLT - SL Army)

GAMPAHA : Secret preparations, hatched by infiltrated Tiger terrorists or their proxies for conduct of another suicide attack on COLOMBO – NEGOMBO main road were foiled late Friday (16.01.2009) afternoon when a garbage fire caused an accidental grenade explosion in a plot of land, close to the WATTALA Toyota vehicle showroom.

Initial reports confirmed that a garbage fire in the plot of land on ALWIS Lane, WATTALA has ignited and caused the blast of a grenade that had been either kept hidden or covered in the garbage dump.

But the troops immediately rushed there for investigations and further search was astonished to find a 05 kg heavy suicide jacket and another grenade kept carefully covered in the same plot, perhaps to be used at a given time.

The WATTALA Police with the support of the Army troops are conducting further searches in the area in order to nab those who had brought those terrorist devices to the area. Timely detection of the grenade and the suicide jackets was able to foil another pre-planned bloodbath on this main road once the signal was given by terrorists.
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Commander Warns Against LTTE Infiltrating Attempts
(16.01.2009 17:35 SLT - SL Army)

With the final phase of the menace of terrorism, now reaching its doom, owing to the string of humiliating LTTE defeats in the hands of heroic Wanni troops, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Friday (16.01.2009) morning undertook one more trip to meet his ground commanders and assess security developments in Wanni.

Lieutenant General Fonseka, fully conscious of possible consequences that might crop up with the onset of civilian exodus from all corners of the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu, Jaffna and Vavuniya districts seeking protection, instructed his ground commanders to take maximum measures against infiltrating attempts of Tiger terrorists into cleared areas and special centers for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as disguised civilians. Lieutenant General Fonseka further noted Tiger terrorists, as some of them practised in the east soon after its fall into Army hands, might apply the same tricks with the vicious intention of crippling normalcy in the south. Elaborate preparations and arrangements, now in place to receive thousands of fleeing terrorists in the next couple of days, were also taken up by the visiting Army Chief when he met his ground commanders at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters this morning (16.01.2009).

Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander Security Forces – Wanni (SFHQ-W), upon receipt of his Chief briefed him on the status quo at ground level as the humanitarian operation in the Wanni is entering its critical stage. Ground commanders attending the meeting offered the visiting Army Commander with comprehensive accounts in respective areas as regards their operations.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, highly impressed with the series of military gains in the north told the gathering that those achievements have already received plaudits for the entire organization from every corner of the world and the contemporary military history of Sri Lanka will certainly add a new leaf when the historical saga is re-written in Sri Lanka some day. He also highlighted the vital importance of the Jaffna – Colombo link-up in the aftermath of the re-opening of the A-9 Highway, thanks to the valour of untiring soldiers.

Stressing the need for sustained surveillance, vigil and precautionary measures, as the humanitarian operation enters its decisive phase, the visiting Army Chief paid his tribute to all ground commanders for their unfailing commitment, dedication and invaluable sacrifices and instructed them to maintain the momentum.
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TOP .
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MI-24 Helicopters raid LTTE gathering place - Kilinochchi
(16.01.2009 10:32 PM SLT - defence.lk)

Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopters has launched air support missions targeting LTTE gathering places observed east of Dharmapuram in Kilinochchi this afternoon (16.01.2009).



The air sorties were carried out around 02:45 PM and the target was located 04 Km east of Dharmapuram, air force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said speaking to defence.lk.

The target was hit accurately, spokesperson added.
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Defence.lk - No.1 news portal in Sri Lanka
(16.01.2009 09:51 PM SLT - defence.lk)

The Ministry of Defence official web portal www.defence.lk has become Sri Lanka 's most viewed web site, with an average daily hit rate of over 8.8 million, statistical data obtained over the past few months indicate.

According to latest analysis, the website has also become the most popular Sri Lankan news website at present. With the Sri Lankan Armed forces achieving their historic victory at Kilinochchi on 2 January 2009, the website received 13 million hits within a few hours, the highest number of hits ever received by a locally hosted website.

As another brainchild of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the website was launched in April 2006 to provide accurate and up to date news and views related to national defence matters. The mission given to the editorial board was to support the overall vision of the national leadership for the country's defence - to free the motherland from terrorism and to make it a place where the next generation can live without fear.

Sharing that noble vision, the website has been fighting an ideological battle with the anti Sri Lankan forces that are hell-bent to destroy the motherland during past 3 decades. Keeping to its motto - The Truth is the Best Propaganda, the website has been doing its best to defeat false propaganda perpetrated by anti Sri Lankan forces and also to rally local and international support to the noble vision of the national leadership.

The website expresses its gratitude to all our viewers and the others who helped us in many ways to come so far in the cyberspace. Also, we request all of you be with us in this final countdown to the "mission accomplished".

----------------------------------

• defence.lk : [English] - [Sinhala] - [Tamil]
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Prabakaran no more in Vanni
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

Colombo : Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran has fled the country. He is now remote controlling the war from outside Sri Lanka. As LTTE leader has deserted his cadres and ran away for his and his family’s safety, at present the moral of the Tiger cadres are very low. Sri Lankan Army source told Asian Tribune that Tigers will be routed completely within March 2009.

When Asian Tribune contacted Army source in the ground in Vanni, he told that when inquired the civilians coming to army sides for safety, almost all of them say that Prabakaran is not in Vanni. They say that he has vanished log stock and barrel, with his wife and two sons, after the Mahaveer’s day.

They speculated that he might be either in some coastal area in between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, or else in Penang, Malaysia. When asked why Malaysia, Army source said civilians are of the view that in Malaysia there are scores of hardcore LTTE supporters and many of them in the Penang state. In that state there a number of hardcore LTTErs in the state government and it would be easy for them to keep him in safe houses in Penang.

However, Sri Lankan Army sources told Asian Tribune that this report has to be confirmed.

When Asian Tribune asked if Prabhakaran is out of the country, then who is running the war?

The Army source told that there is no need for Prabakaran to be present in the war front. He has never been present in the war front in his life time they said.

The source who wished to remain anonymous said, “He must be running the show from outside, as he has done in the early part of 80s, when he was in Chennai. People who are running the show are those who know that they can’t flee from the country, so they have to go for the do or die attempt."

Visvamadu to Mullaitivu

According to Army source, on Thursday Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division commanded by Brigadier Shavendra Silva has captured Tharmapuram totally and on Friday basically they have almost entered Vismamadu. It is learnt that 58 Division is just 15 kilometers away from the sea and they are poised to march towards Mullaitivu to liberate it soon.

When asked about what happened to the arms and ammunitions of the fleeing LTTE cadres, Army source told that they are capturing everything.

The source said that yesterday they captured LTTE vehicles, but said that we don’t mention these things. "Things like these are happening on a daily basis, but we don’t mention them as those are not big things for us."

Pottu Amman and Soosai

When asked about the rumor whether LTTE’s intelligence chief Pottu Amman, and sea Tiger chief Soosai have surrendered, the Army source denied of any such surrender.

Army source further said, "No … no one has surrendered. We have captured some cadres. But so far not any senior cadres have surrendered. Names of those surrendered or captured are of no importance," he said. The source said that he can’t remember their names as there are so many of them.

Civilians are moving towards the Army control areas

Army source told that lot of civilians are returning to Army side on the basis of 400 to 500 daily and he said that we are expecting bigger influx soon. Arriving civilians say that they have been continuously harassed by the LTTE. They say that they have been forcefully taken away by the LTTE and have been forcing them to do manual works.

They said that LTTE used to forcefully remove their dresses and allow them to remain half-naked to prevent them from running away.

They said many women did not have saris to wear as they have been forcefully undress and allowed to remain with skirt and blouses to prevent them also from fleeing.

GA’s and Civilian population in Vanni

Army source said as of now LTTE is left with around 600 square kilometers of land. He assured that before the end of March 2009, the entire Vanni region would be liberated.

He said, out of the remaining land under LTTE control 30% of the area is covered with thick jungle, and the balance populated area.

Responding to another question, the Army source told Asian Tribune that I don’t believe in the number of population figures provided by the Government Agents. GA’s have been drawing ration for 250,000 to 300,000 people for the last so many years.

The Army source said that my personal guess is that there are no more than 100,000 people.

He said that we are waiting for the right time to sort this problem. Once we liberate the area from the clutches of the terrorists, then the Government can call the GA’s who have been in the regions since 1996 and inquire.

Therefore, he added that we should not jump the gun now. The day will come so that we can make the population census of Vanni and ask the GA’s for their reasons to have provided inflated population figures.
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UN Demands LTTE to Free Tamils
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

New York : The United Nations is increasingly concerned for the well-being of tens of thousands of civilians caught up in the conflict raging in the northern Vanni area of Sri Lanka.

"As fighting surrounds the areas towards which families have been displaced, and with few choices about where to move, they are increasingly susceptible to harm due to the fighting." Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in a statement.

"While they have had access to basic food, in large part due to the Government and the UN assistance transported through the lines of fighting," he said, "they have few, if any, reserves and the conditions of their basic shelter, water and sanitation are increasingly inadequate as many have been displaced multiple times over the last months, weeks and days."

In accordance with International Humanitarian Law, the United Nations calls upon the LTTE to allow civilians to be able to move freely to areas where they feel most secure and for the Government to receive newly displaced people according to internationally agreed principles,” stated Mr. Holmes, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

"In addition, the UN calls for civilians to be protected from the fighting and for civilians to continue to have access to basic humanitarian assistance."
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Indian Foreign Secretary commends Sri Lanka in combating terrorism
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

Colombo : Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon expressed lavishly his appreciation for the proactive role played by Sri Lanka both multilaterally and in the regional context in combating terrorism, and extended the unstinted support of the Indian government in this exercise.

He emphasised that concerted and collective international action is needed in combating the scourge of trans-national terror.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon who arrived in Colombo yesterday morning on a two-day visit, met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and other senior officials in Colombo. He is scheduled to meet Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse today in Kandy.

Secretary Menon when he met Minister Bogollagama briefed him on the current status of the investigation on the Mumbai terror attacks and indicated that India would continue to work closely with Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

Minister Bogollama warmly welcomed Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to Sri Lanka, and indicated that this visit is a reflection of India’s steadfast friendship with Sri Lanka as well as the maturity of the Indo-Lanka relationship.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministeralso indicated that as a country that has itself been the victim of terror which had proliferated with international links and support, Sri Lanka is well placed to understand the gravity of the threat of trans-national terrorism. He reiterated Sri Lanka’s support in combating terror at every level in order to secure a sustainable peace within the region.

Foreign Secretary Menon pointed out that India’s relations with Sri Lanka have reached "an unprecedented level of depth and quality today."

The Foreign Secretary further observed that it is during difficult times that the true quality of a friendship becomes most evident, and that the Indo-Lanka relationship is one such friendship that has effectively withstood the test of time and adversity.

Sri Lanka Minister extended the warm appreciation of the Sri Lankan government for the continued understanding of India on issues of mutual concern. Reiterating that the Sri Lankan government perceives the Indo-Lanka Accord as the key to seeking a political solution to the conflict, the Minister observed that the present juncture offers a window of opportunity to implement the Accord, given the decisive victories gained by the government in combating LTTE terror on all fronts.

In this context, he observed that the government is currently in the process of exploring several avenues of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Minister highlighted the government’s sincere commitment to evolving a broad-based and an inclusive peace process in order to achieve a durable peace, acceptable to all communities living in the island.

Foreign Secretary Menon expressed his appreciation of the sentiments expressed by Minister Bogollagama on the Indo-Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister Bogollagama and Secretary Menon agreed that a moment of political opportunity has been made available to Sri Lanka today to bring about an inclusive peace process with credible political representation by the Tamil people within the country’s democratic process.

Minister Bogollagama in this context thanked the Indian government for the humanitarian assistance extended during this period to further augment the steps being taken by the Sri Lankan government to ensure the welfare of civilians living in northern Sri Lanka. He welcomed continued humanitarian assistance by India to the affected people.

The Minister also reiterated Sri Lanka’s interest in cooperating with India on maritime security in the Indian Ocean, both bilaterally and within the framework of regional groupings such as BIMSTEC.

On Indo-Lanka economic relations several issues of mutual interest were discussed. Minister Bogollagama expressed Sri Lanka government’s satisfaction at the increase in bilateral trade within the framework of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement, and expressed the government’s desire to work closely with India in upgrading the bilateral FTA to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in the foreseeable future. The discussions also referred to the need to address Sri Lanka’s widening trade deficit with India in a meaningful manner.

The two sides discussed the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission which last met in 2005, and agreed to look at the possibility of convening the forthcoming session of the Joint Commission after May 2009. It was agreed to convene the sub-committees of the Joint Commission in the interim.

On the delimitation of the outer edge of the Indo-Lanka continental margin, the two sides agreed to further discuss attendant legal issues, and work closely in resolving outstanding issues, in a manner reflective of the close friendship existing between the two countries.

The two sides discussed progress within SAARC, including issues concerning the Standing Committee and the Council of Ministers sessions due to take place in Colombo shortly. The Minister observed that he looks forward to a successful outcome at the SAARC Council of Ministers Meeting that would bring on board many issues that concern the region. Secretary Menon in response pledged the fullest support of the Indian government to SAARC and observed that it looked forward to playing a constructive role in the forthcoming Council of Ministers Meeting.

Minister Bogollagama expressed his sincere appreciation of the role played by the Indian government in releasing Sri Lankan fishermen captured in the Indian waters, and for providing them with safe passage. He appreciated the cooperation and flexibility shown by the Indian government in this matter.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Foreign Secretary Menon informed Minister Bogollagama that India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee looked forward to an early visit to India by Minister Bogollagama. This invitation was welcomed by the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister.

Minister Bogollagama was assisted at the meeting by Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, Additional Secretary/Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and other senior officials. Foreign Secretary Menon was assisted by India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Alok Prasad, Joint Secretary/External Affairs T. S. Tirumurti, India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Vikram Misri and other senior officials.
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Sri Lanka a model for Third World – UNICEF
(17.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

Colombo : 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.

'Sri Lanka is a strong example of how the health and survival of mothers and their newborns are linked, and how many of the interventions that save new mothers' lives also benefit their infants,' the Report added.

The country’s efforts to empower and educate women together with providing essential heath services have been vital in saving the lives and mothers and infants.

According to the Report, "Sri Lanka has managed to halve its maternal mortality rate every six to 11 years by adopting sound strategies, allocating sufficient resources, providing free health care, making education for all a priority and having the political commitment to improve the health of mothers and children".

"In spite of decades of civil conflict and the devastating effects of the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka has 'the political commitment to improve the health of mothers and children'," said the report.

Between 1960 and 2005, the maternal mortality ratio fell from 340 to 44 per 100,000 live births. Since 1990 the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 32 per 1,000 live births to 13 per 1,000 in 2000. UNICEF has noted that Sri Lanka’s positive results are due in part to a considerable scaling up o essential health services for mothers and infants.

More than 95 per cent of births in Sri Lanka take place in hospitals with a doctor, skilled nurse or midwife in attendance. Immunisation coverage is almost universal at 99 per cent and rates of antenatal care are also high at 95 per cent.

“Measures to empower women through education, employment and social engagement have also had a positive impact on the health of mothers and children”.

According to the report, the maternal mortality ratio had dropped from 340 to 44 per 100,000 live births between 1960 and 2005. Since 1990, the under-five mortality rate has also dropped from 32 per 1,000 live births to 13 per 1,000 in 2000. More than half a million women worldwide die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications, including about 70,000 girls and young women aged 15 to 19. Since 1990, complications related to pregnancy and childbirth have killed an estimated 10 million women. The Report recommends that essential services be provided through health systems that integrate home, community, outreach and facility-based care.
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How "fair" is Sri Lanka's media ?
- by Shenali Waduge
(16.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

Media can be defined in many ways and for each of us it will have different and varying connotations. By and large what we aspire to gage from media is information leaving us to decide and derive at our own conclusions. Yet, most often media attempts to enlarge their "informative" mandate to coerce the readers or viewers to "buy into" their line of thinking and their views only. There is at present a massive surge to depict Sri Lanka as depriving media independence and media freedom. These are loose entities and without properly examining the actual scenarios there are bound to be misconceptions of the actual status quo.

Who exactly is a journalist? – someone who can write or someone attached to a newsprint publication, someone who has been working a day or two with a publication or someone who has been involved in news media for a number of years. There are once again varying versions of who a journalist actually is. Given the number of pressing issues taking place globally and locally some natural and most manmade, journalists have secured a gainful stake in the global information community. Their reporting has not only been looked forward to but their footage of happenings has led to a growing support base of people who have come to depend on their reporting. How "factual", how “true” these reports are needs to be explored.

In determining the status quo of the media in Sri Lanka it is essential to keep in mind that very few actually report fairly and many of us know who these “partial” and "impartial" reporters and their media houses are. For most journalists their profession is their bread and butter and therefore they must at all times follow the whiffs of the owners of the publication which eventually will help their rise in careers as well. At this stage it is essential that we do not forget that practically all the newsprint in Sri Lanka are aligned to a particular political party thus nullifying any claims of fair and impartial coverage.

The conflict in Sri Lanka was bound to attract all sorts of journalists and the people and the Government had to expect varied and & diverse reporting. Any Government cannot expect to have reports singing praise of its governance. However, when reporters are being tasked to report with bias it often creates a distance and leads to reporters hiding the truth or misleading the readers into accepting a totally different version. It eventually leads to skirmishes between those in Governance and the media reporting falsely. This has been a hallmark of reporting throughout Sri Lanka’s conflict. Much of the reporting itself is inconsistent as seen in the example below covering media deaths in the year 2007. "No media deaths in Sri Lanka in 2007" was the heading of a UNESCO statement (citing 53 journalists were killed internationally that year). However, that same year a report by the International Federation of Journalists issued a report citing 134 deaths and attributing 6 deaths in Sri Lanka. Reporters Without Borders says that 86 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed around the world in 2007. It is evident that there are many inconsistencies in the reporting and we must wonder who we ought to believe and why the numbers do not tally.

How do we benchmark the status given to the media in Sri Lanka – do we compare how journalists function in the west or do we keep to an Asian version of analysis. As we can see even the media coverage in the west is not without bias – often the owners of media houses dictate how a particular report should be channeled. Often the owners leave very little for "impartial" reporting. So in third world nations can we expect anything different? So long as media houses are owned and are run for profit there will always be the quest to "sell" news thus promoting writers to dig up "dirt" that often sells more quickly than good and impartial reporting. One of the dominating features of international and even local journalists of late is their sense of importance. Often one sees them demanding a special place for them at events, they whimper when they are asked to produce their National IDs and most often they think themselves the crusaders of virtuous reporting. We may recall various incidents in the past that give credence to this statement.

We know too well how the US journalists were deprived from covering Iraq throughout the two invasions by the US, yet the reports sided with the US administration and journalists chose to project to the US public of the need for a US invasion. Yet in all reports on Sri Lanka at the bottom of the article we can expect "independent reporting/coverage denied". If we wonder why the US has blocked more than 42 resolutions brought forward by the UN related to the Palestinian conflict it is because Israel is the undisputed ally of the US in the Middle East and if we still wonder why the US public remains pro-Israel all we need to do is count the Israeli owned US media corporations – 7 Israeli’s own the largest media corporations in the US - CBC, NBC, CBS, the Turner Broadcasting System, CNN, MTV, Universal Studios, MCA Records, Geffen Records, DGC Records, GRP Records, Rising Tide Records, Curb/Universal Records, and Interscope Records. If many of us feel that the UN is in the pocket of the US we need only count the three weeks that it took the UN Special Rappateur (Radhika Coomaraswamy) on Children to publicly condemn the atrocities taking place in Gaza leaving 300 dead children.

Unless people are wise and look back upon history, analyze the present with the past it is most likely that the public will be taken for a ride by most reporters who enjoy giving the information that will promote their line of thinking only.

The present situation in Sri Lanka is extremely interesting looking at different angles. Here we have a conflict which was fabricated into assuming an “ethnic” backlash by reporters of the past and kept alive by reporters of the present. How many of our reporters at the time came forward to deny any truth to this statement? How many reporters or new stations demanded that foreign media look at the high percentages of Tamils living amongst the Sinhalese, working amongst the Sinhalese, educating their children, employed in public and private sectors as well as running their own business establishments? How many of our reporters countered these false notions being projected internationally. The silence of our own reporters eventually led the world public to actually believe that Sri Lanka was suffering from an "ethnic hatred".

Having ruled for 30 years it took the 5th President of Sri Lanka to identify that Sri Lanka’s problems can only be solved after eliminating and nullifying LTTE terror. There is no need to change one’s political allegiance if it means to agree at least that this notion is correct. However, in Sri Lanka’s political climate one is expected to throw one’s hook and line with a particular political party which invariably means whether the party does right or wrong to approve their actions. This unfortunately has led many to accept blindly the irresponsible remarks by politicians and equally irresponsible reporting by sections of our local media. It is unfortunate that the media have not thought of Nation First.

Be that as it may we are well aware of the many factors that have enabled the LTTE to be given undue importance politically. If we accuse India of using the LTTE as a covert operation in Sri Lanka what can we say of President Premadasa’s handing over of arms to the LTTE or ordering 600 policemen to give themselves up to the LTTE to be killed in cold blood? If the world has condemned Sri Lanka for denying political power to the LTTE what can be said of President Chandrika offering the North to the LTTE leader for 10 years and finally Premier Wickremasinghe who even carved out parts of the North to the LTTE in a nonsensical Cease Fire Agreement. The undue coverage given to this document has blinded the reality and the truth and how many reporters have actually questioned the sanity of this document despite over 3000 recorded violations by the LTTE including the assassinations of two cabinet ministers?

Yet, even now there are many to bemoan the fact that the present Government should not have done away with the CFA and even the public who align themselves with the Opposition leader feel that the CFA was a masterpiece of Wickremasinghe eventually to corner the LTTE – can there really be any truth or any sanity to this claim when the LTTE made use of the Agreement to stock armed vehicles, sophisticated weaponry, procure arms etc quite openly with the Wickremasinghe Governments knowledge – why should the LTTE have stocked any weapons and why did the Wickremasinghe Government turn a blind eye to these happenings & most of all why did the media not highlight these and pressurize the Wickremaisnghe Government to do something about it? An Opposition Leader who has lost almost 20 elections doing a number on a dictator like Prabakaran is something very hard to believe!

Despite the Government propaganda the public by and large have come to accept that there are some incidents that lead them to believe that supporters of the LTTE will try all sorts of strategies and tactics to deny or delay the ultimate fate of the LTTE. We have had armed personnel being paid to divulge intelligence secrets – some of these led to the deaths of Parami Kulatunga and almost the loss of the present Army Commander, the public seem aware that even emissaries go beyond their mandate. Sri Lanka may recall how President Premadasa sent a shocked British High Commissioner packing for interfering in local governance. The present emissaries however seem to be overstepping their mandate as well and we have the Foreign Ministry calling for explanations from the German emissary.

In the most recent context we see back to back incidents that need closer examination - whether there is any truth in the Governments role or whether it could be a case of the wolf or the fox. Much of the campaigns across electronic media could not put any significant jolt to the military operations and the army’s advance to the North even India’s Tamil Nadu politicos have failed beyond sending some food convoys to the North.

For those who aspire to the story that the MTN studio incident was a Government involvement had plenty of coverage given to the story backed by foreign media claiming Sri Lanka is a dangerous place for the media to function in. It was an indirect way of pressurizing a Government that chose to ignore pressures to declare a ceasefire. Those who opine otherwise would ask why the Government would wish to sling mud upon itself especially at a time when it has captured Paranthan, Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass – these victories have greater coverage across Sri Lanka rather than a news station being attacked.

Those who prefer to balance the incidents may well do to firstly wonder why The MTN networks has not released its CCTV film to the police investigation team. The police also needs to look into how the tv station was able to carry out immediate coverage since new equipment was bought and placed in a new location & then wonder how far the insurance claim is likely to be as well.

The Opposition Alliance was quick to raise hue and cry forgetting their own period of governance when far from reporting the media had to be in hiding.

We can all recall the "beeshana" period in which Wickremasinghe was a prominent member of Parliament. The 89-90 period of Sri Lanka is something Sri Lanka’s media reporters have forgotten. The country was in darkness, people were scared to go to work, how many headless corpses lay on the road, how many Sinhalese youth lay burnt upon tyres – did the Human Rights Organizations even come forward to speak on behalf of these Sinhalese youth, did the UN issue a single statement to their families? Have the UNP forgotten Richard de Soysa, Sagarica Gomez – why did they have to die? The present set of JVP leaders were very much holding stewardship at the time – they may answer now why Themis Guruge was killed or why Premakeerthi de Alwis had to die before attempting to win votes just because they uphold democratic principles now! The former President Kumaratunge may also answer how many crimes her own security contingent would have committed before pointing fingers.

We then come to the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga – a scribe known for his courage, a scribe that exposed “truth” about the Government he was "opposed to". In this manner he was obviously more courageous than others but whether he accused or exposed those from the political party he belonged to is perhaps left for the readers to decide. There are many issues that come to mind when we think of his publication – the "gedara yana gamang" incident and other such "sexual" exposures remain very much constant in our minds. If we are to equate his death with the reasoning that his pen was silenced to deny the masses from knowing the truth – all we need do is to count how many reads his publication, how far a reach this publication has which will essentially be a bare minimal leaving aside Colombo’s elite but then that hardly makes up even 1% of the total population. So does the rural populace know Lasantha W, maybe not.

Yet, there were many to jump to the bandwagon that the perpetrators of the crime was none other than the Government which eventually led the funeral to be turned into a political circus and the slain body a perfect excuse to promote their own aspirations. Much like the Janaka Perera funeral, the emotional farewell was denied, the sanctimony of a funeral was galled into coconut throwing, burning leaflets, anti-Government protests….if the Western public has the opinion that freedom of speech and freedom of movement is denied in Sri Lanka here was a perfect example to show otherwise. "Sri Lanka set to bury anti-war editor" – AFP reported while many others preferred to share the notion that it was the Government who did it before any conclusive evidence had even come forth.

Many of us may even remember the occasion when a State Minister stampeding into the State TV station ended up all pink.

None of the protestors at Wickrematunga’s funeral were manhandled, none of the protestors were even silenced….they were allowed to go ahead with what they had planned thus leaving us to decide who could have best benefited by the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga and many of us do not want to think that Lasantha may have been an unnecessary victim to promote a dying cause that is likely to get defunct no sooner as Mullaitivu is captured and Prabakaran is no more.

What is most important at this juncture is that No One has Any Right to sniff the life out of another. It is essential that the truth exposes those who plan and execute these assassinationsand and murders using brainless souls who will pull the trigger for money. Lasantha Wikcramatunga nor any of the men and women whose lives have been cut short by the gun did not deserve to die. To the cruel minds who decide to eliminate people for their own gains their minds will eventually lead to their damnation.

Sri Lanka needless to say is at a very critical juncture. The country has managed to silence critics who have enjoyed projecting a "no military solution" but a "political solution" option – an adamant Government, excellent combination of strategies and innovative tactics by the three armed forces heads backed by vigilance of Sri Lanka’s police was able to unearth LTTE secret cells, secret links, LTTE hideouts etc and despite western nations at times refusing to even sell arms as well as pressure nations who supplied arms to Sri Lanka, the country was able to provide motivation to the armed forces whose commitment and goal has won back all the territory the previous Government wrote off as belonging to LTTE. Thus, all those who cried no military solution and all those who hyped figures of civilian casualties need only to look upon Gaza and feel ashamed. The accuracy of our Air Force has left zero-casualties if not can anyone show footage of electricity-denied Gaza hospitals where 1000 civilians have already died of which 300 are children.

The military success should eventually ask that the people accept leaders who will address their plight not the leaders who have lived in the comfort of Colombo and had done little to stop the LTTE of kidnapping their children to make them child soldiers or brainwashing their minds to hating the Sinhalese just to keep alive a dictators dream to rule a separate state and his cohorts to become rich through embezzlement & blackmail & their leaders a false sense of Leadership.

It is time for Sri Lanka’s reporters to open their eyes, review the realities and put country first though of course it is likely to affect them but we saw how seemingly courageous personalities like "deshapriya" eventually ended up shaming their own name publicly though many were of the opinion that he and others of his type stood for integrity. We can see clearly how those like him end up on payrolls of foreign establishments who seek to dislodge Governments they dislike.

Sri Lanka must look forward to a future where the media will look upon the rights of the public, report without prejudice, for the Government to govern without prejudice, for state institutions to function effectively and efficiently as we enter a period where we can begin to kick-start proper development throughout the nation that has been denied by different forces for over 30 years. More importantly to know who are friends are especially those that are foreign.

Let us all look forward to a better tomorrow.
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While withdrawing from Kilinochchi, 227 injured LTTE cadres shot and killed by Bahnu on the orders of Prabakaran
- by Ruwan Weerakoon from Colombo
(15.01.2009 - Asiantribune.com)

Colombo : When fleeing from Kilinochchi, on the orders of Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE, Bahnu one of the commanders shot and killed 227 wounded LTTE cadres who were languishing in the old Kilinochchi hospital.

According Sri Lankan Army sources, Krishnan one of the three LTTE cadres who were arrested told that as the Sri Lankan troops belonging to Brigade 58 Division was menacingly advancing into Kilinochchi and those 227 LTTE cadres were admitted in the hospital, because of the injuries they sustained and there was no way of moving them to a safe place.

This difficult situation was brought to the notice of Prabakaran for his instruction.

LTTE leader ordered Bahnu to shoot and kill all of them.

Accordingly all those 227 LTTE cadres who were in the hospital were lined up, shot and killed by Bahnu, Krishnan said.

Sri Lankan Army sources told that troops belonging to Army’s Brigade 58 Division arrested alive three LTTE cadres, between Vaddakathci and Dharmapuram area, located in the East of Kilinochchi, around 10.30 pm on 11th of this month.

At that time when the Army captured those three LTTE cadres, each of them were wearing necklace with cyanide capsules around their neck and were armed with T56 rifles, pistols and also had with them hand held radio sets . No sooner those hardcore carders were apprehended, they tried to bite their cyanide capsules, but soldiers were able to overpower them from biting those deadly cyanide, subdued, arrested and took them under custody.

According to the Defence sources, names of those three LTTE cadres are Yasodaram, Kishnan and Alex.

LTTE cadre Ysodaram, a senior member of LTTE and was from Imran Pandian Brigade. He was earlier attached to the LTTE Leader Prabakaran’s personal security division. He revealed, when questioned, that he was earlier involved in the surveillance works and information gatherings exclusively to the ears of Prabhakaran.

He added that due to security concerns, Prabakaran continues to keep on changing places of his stay and no one will be able to know where he will be at the next moment. He said that Prabakaran’s movement was always shrouded in secrecy.

He said Prabakaran dispatched him to the battle front because there was a dearth of trained cadres in the organization. He said at the moment according to his information Prabakran hides himself between Puthukuirrupu and Vishvamadu . He added that LTTE cadres guard this high security zone and civilians are prohibited to enter.

Krishanna is the second cader who was captured alive by the army. He said that before he arrived to Dharmapuram, he was in the Kilinochochi. He admitted that a large number of LTTE cadres died and wounded in the battle. He said prior to his departure, he told the Sri Lankan Army officers that he was in the Kilinochchi old hospital and LTTE left behind 227 wounded LTTE cadres, when they withdrew from Kilinochchii.

He said as the army was advancing into Kilinochchi, Prabakaran ordered Bahnu to kill all those 227 wounded cadres languishing in the hospital. Accordingly Bahnu shot and killed all of them before fleeing from Kilinochchi.
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