Monthly Archives: January 2007
By Walter Jayawardhana
8 DEAD IN A CLAYMORE MINE ATTACK IN FRONT OF EASTERN UNIVERSITY IN SRI LANKA
Suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels exploded a claymore mine killing eight people in front of the Sri Lanka’s Eastern University January 31 Wednesday.
Defense Ministry said they detonated the mine targeting a bus carrying service personnel going home on leave. But a civilian was also killed in the explosion.
The explosion happened at 11.35 in the morning. Although the LTTE has been militarily defeated at many places in the Eastern Province. pockets of rebels still exist in the thick jungles.
Among the dead were three army soldiers, four policemen, and one civilian.
Twelve other people who were injured were rushed to the Batticaloa General Hospital.
Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, the Army spokesman said, "A Claymore (fragmentation mine) attack in front of the Eastern University in Batticaloa has blasted a bus carrying police personnel going on leave,"
The defense sources said terrorists of the LTTE had sprayed gun fire after the incident before fleeing.
The Eastern University was reopened only on January 29 after being closed following the kidnapping of the Vice Chancellor Professor Ravindranath about one month ago.
By Walter Jayawardhana
INTERPOL ISSUES AN OPEN WARRANT OF ARREST ON SEA TIGER BOSS SOOSAI ALIAS THILLAYAMPALAM
The arrest warrant issued on his real name, Thillayampalam Sivanesan has been put out on the backdrop of allegations by Sri Lanka’s Criminal investigations Department of the Police that he led attacks on naval vessels and civilians in June 2006.
Sea Tiger Cadres arrested at Kalpitiya and Pamunugama told the CID detectives that the foiled attempts by the Sea Tigers in June last year were specifically conducted under the instructions issued by the Soosai alias Thillayampalam Sivanesan.
Along with the LTTE’s intelligence Chief Shivashankar Pottuamman, Soosai is the senior most Tamil Tiger leader after Velupillai Prabhakaran. Though he constantly engages his troops against Sri Lankan civilian and military personnel Sri Lanka on October 18 2004 on humanitarian grounds facilitated a trip for him to go to Singapore to receive medical help. It is not exactly known where he took his treatment and for what ailment.
The Sea Tiger cadres arrested on June 17 2006 revealed to the CID that before they were engaged in some futile attacks on civilians they received instructions from Soosai exactly how to do it in some mock operations conducted in Mulathivu, the Sea Tiger headquarters.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department in Sri Lanka Asoka Wijetilleke informed these facts to the courts and the courts issued an open warrant for the arrest of Soosai that was instrumental in generating an international arrest warrant by the Interpol.
According to the arrest warrant, Thillayampalam Sivanesan alias Sera Osca alias Makkal Thilakam born on October 16, 1963 in Velvetithurai, Jaffna is holding Sri Lankan passport No.1365685 issued on October 18, 2004 and the national identity card no 632904037 V.
The Sea Tigers wing was established in 1984 during early years of the LTTE to smuggle personnel and equipment between LTTE bases in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna at a time when the Indian government was funding and arming the LTTE.
Since then under Soosai�s leadership it has become a formidable sea force destroying more than 30 Sri lankan naval vessels. In November 2006 Sea Tigers attacked the Cruise ship named Green Ocean carrying 300 civilians from Trincomalee to Jaffna. Last year Sea Tigers were also engaged in attacking a disabled Jordanian merchant vessel carrying rice from India to South Africa.
A suicide squad is also operating under Soosai, named Black Sea Tigers that damaged navy vessel Edithara on July 10 1990 and sank navy’s command ship Abhitha on May 4 1991.
One of their most daring accomplishments was the recapture of Mulativu in 1996. They also contributed very much to the capture of Elephant Pass.
For the last one year Sea Tigers have been greatly engaged in procuring arms from Tamil Nadu transporting across the narrow strait between the two countries. But an expedient Prime minister Man Mohan Singh has turned down repeated Sri Lankan requests to let Sri Lankan Navy engage in joint patrols with the Indian navy to keep the Sea Tigers in check.
By Walter Jayawardhana
NIMAL SIRIPALA DE SILVA ASKS DONOR NATIONS IN GALLE HOW COULD SRI LANKA PROCEED WHEN LTTE IS NOT READY TO NEGOTIATE
The World Bank website quoted Sri Lanka’s chief piece negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva as having told the donors concerned about war that without the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) agreeing for negotiations the country cannot proceed in peace negotiations.
The website said Sri Lanka’s Chief peace negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva dismissed donor concerns saying the government could not resume talks unless the Tigers agreed to negotiate
The website said Sri Lanka believes that donors should separate aid from the conflict and allow the administration to press ahead with its own economic agenda.
The website was reporting the happenings of the meeting of the representatives of the aid consortium that was held at Galle. Many VIP’s of the Sri Lanka government, including the Sri Lankan President attended the conference.
The world bank website also quoted its South Asia Vice President in contrast: “… The World Bank’s South Asia Vice President Praful Patel said the country’s future depended on ending the Tamil separatist conflict peacefully. "There is no way to politely skirt this issue,’ Patel said. ‘As a major development partner to Sri Lanka, the World Bank would be failing if we did not place the conflict front and center in our deliberations for it is this that constrains the country’s development and stands in the way of its tremendous potential.’ He warned that this year will be a difficult one for Sri Lanka unless the government addressed the issue of runaway inflation currently at over 19 percent. ‘If inflation continues at the current levels of nearly 20 percent, 2007 will not be a good year for the economy,’ Patel warned….He said the conflict must be resolved through dialogue and not violence….’
The World Bank website also reported warnings sounded against Sri Lanka in Galle: ‘Sri Lanka will lose millions of dollars unless it makes peace with Tamil separatists, diplomats and officials warned as the crucial review of aid entered its second day Tuesday. But the government appeared determined to resist pressure from international donors and lenders to link aid to progress in the island’s faltering peace efforts with Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The EU, a key backer of the Norwegian-led peace efforts… has also been critical of the government’s human rights record in the face of escalating fighting with Tamil rebels. Late last year Germany announced a halt in any new aid to Sri Lanka and asked others to follow suit. … The US … sent Ambassador Robert Blake, but he issued a warning to Sri Lanka against pursuing a military solution to the drawn-out Tamil separatist conflict. …’
But World bank website quoted Investment Promotion Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama as having said the country has clinched 4.5 billion dollars from the donors. The website said, ‘Sri LankaTuesday said it clinched up to $4.5 billion worth of aid pledges from international lenders and donors following a meeting in the southern coastal town of Galle.
Investment Promotions Minister Sarath Amunugama said donors pledged help to build roads, ports, coal power plants and highways during the final day of the two-day aid review meeting. ‘International donors expressed satisfaction at our economic track record and we have got commitments up to $4.5 billion this year,’ he told reporters. He did not specify a timeline and did not give details on the precise amounts promised by individual donors and lending institutions. The comments also came after donors warned Colombo that it could face a cut in assistance unless it made peace with Tamil Tigers. …"
By Walter Jayawardhana
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR FIVE LTTE TERRORISTS WHO BLUGEONED A TAMIL POLITICAL OPPONENT TO DEATH WHILE WORKING AS MIGRANT WORKERS IN QATAR
Five cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were sentenced to death in the Persian Gulf oil rich capital of Doha in Qatar for murdering a Tamil political opponent by bludgeoning his head with iron rods.
The person who was murdered is suspected to be a supporter of the Karuna faction who broke away from the LTTE years ago.
The five Sri Lankan terrorists were sentenced to death, including one in absentia, as they were found guilty of killing the compatriot in Doha last February. Originally from Sri Lanka many of them were migrant workers in Doha.
Four of the accused were nabbed immediately after the murder, while the fifth suspect, considered the mastermind, is believed to have come to Qatar shortly before the murder and left a few days later.
Quoting legal sources a local newspaper said Qatar would ask the Sri Lanka government to extradite him. The case will be automatically directed to the appeal court.
Qatar authorities believe the murder of Sri Lankan Tamil Manokaran, 25, was a case of "political assassination" as he was a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and later probably a member of its break away faction, of Karuna, the local newspaper said.
Manokaran, a native of Eravoor, near Batticaloa in Sri Lanka’s eastern province, succumbed to his wounds seven days after he was attacked at his labor camp on Street 49 in the Industrial Area, the reports said. The breakaway group’s leader Karuna hails from the same area.
The charge-sheet said the main suspect supplied his accomplices with iron bars and face masks to carry out the crime.
The fifth suspect, who lived in the next room, supplied the group with information about the victim’s movements while the third stood guard outside his room.
"The first, second and fourth accused sneaked into Manokaran’s room and repeatedly hit him on his head with an iron rod," the charge sheet said.
A police officer said the suspects failed to kill Manokaran outside his accommodation, so they decided to murder him inside his room.
"On the day of the incident, the unidentified suspect was monitoring the stairs to ensure that no one was around, while another one stood in the corridor. "The others went inside the victim’s room and hit him many times on his head while he was sleeping," the officer told the prosecution.
"Though two of his roommates woke up after the victim started to scream, they were forced to remain silent as the attackers threatened them," the witness said.
"The attackers stopped the assault only after they thought that the victim was dead," he said.
Iron bars, two gloves and two face masks were found in the car of the fourth suspect. The police dog, which sniffed the bars, led the investigating officials to the second suspect.
A Sri Lankan roommate of Manokaran, who was summoned as a witness, said that he saw three men, two of them near the victim�s bed and the third standing near his bed.
"I saw a man hitting the victim on his head with an iron bar. They threatened to kill me if I opened my mouth. They told me that they belonged to the Tamil Tigers and I knew they would not hesitate to kill their detractors," he said
.The witness said that one of attackers shone the beam of a torch in his face to prevent him from seeing them.
Another roommate of the victim corroborated his statement, the police said. The medical report said Manokaran sustained bleeding in the brain and fractures as a result of the attack
Tags: Sri Lanka
By Walter Jayawardhana
SRI LANKA’S 59TH INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS IN LOS ANGELES WILL HIGHLIGHT 2000 YEAR OLD CULTURE
A cultural show reflecting the tropical island’s more than 2000 year old culture will be the highlight of the independence celebration the Consulate General of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will be holding in Los Angeles.
A statement issued to the press said the Indian Ocean island’s 59th independence day celebrations will be held on Sunday 4th of February 2007 at the Japanese American National Museum at 369, East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 at 9.30 a.m.
Organizers said exotic dances belonging to both Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups and music peculiar to the island’s Moslem community will be featured in the variety entertainment that will be held before a distinguished gathering including the diplomatic corps of the metropolis.
A choreographer of the ancient school of Kandyan dancing Aruni Boteju who runs a professional Sri Lankan dancing school in Santa Barbara said her students of the school will be dancing to the rhythm of drums and songs of modern day Sri Lanka but reflecting ancient dancing methods. It will be a mixture of the ancient wisdom with modern talents Boteju further commented.
The production of Melanie Ranasinghe , another choreographer will depict more modern dancing forms of Sri Lanka.
Both choreographers will be presenting the cultural events on behalf of the Sri Lanka America Association.
Jagath Lakpriya, a male choreographer will be presenting more traditional dancing items by his theatre group called Saptha Bhumi, on behalf of the Sri Lanka Foundation. The dances will be of the famous Kandyan tradition. The group associated by Sarathchandra’s daughter Kisagothami Sarathchchandra is the current producers of Maname in North America.
The Sri Lankan Tamils who are having a rich dancing tradition influenced by "Bharatha Natyam" like kolattam will be also presenting two items at the variety entertainment, Tamil Association spokesman said.
The celebration will start by hoisting the national flag and singing the national anthem. Refreshments will be served and souvenirs will be distributed among the guests.
Tags: Sri Lanka