Daily Archives: February 27, 2007
By Walter Jayawardhana
SIXTEEN MOSTLY US PRO-LTTE ORGANIZATIONS ISSUE STATEMENT ENDORSING TIGERS WILLINGNESS TO SECEDE
As the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked US Ambassador together with his Italian counterpart following their announcement blaming the Western nations for not being ready to make concessions at the cost of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity sixteen pro-LTTE Tamil organizations in the United States issued a joint statement echoing the LTTE statement that was issued by the terrorist group on the fifth anniversary of the tattered Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) declaring it would resume war.
The sixteen organizations mostly Ilankai Thamil Sangams have been mostly involved in fund raising activities for the LTTE or its front organizations.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and some of its front organizations are listed as foreign terrorist organizations by the US Department of State.
But the pro-LTTE US organizations have been emboldened by the Califoria judgement that allowed these organizations to collect humanitarian funds opposed to funds that would buy weapons for the same organizations.
The sixteen associations in this statement hailed the victory of the proxy party of the Tamil Tigers, the Tamil National Alliance that has been alleged to have achieved by all independent observers under armed intimidation of the LTTE and virtual ballot box stuffing at the 2004 elections as an expression of the free will of the Tamil people to bifurcation of Sri Lanka into two states.
The statement also has refused to consider the fact that 54 percent of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka have selected to live outside the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, the area the LTTE and its allies in the united States propose to carve out as a separate state from Sri Lanka.
The sixteen North American pro-LTTE organizations that issued the statement are as follows: Association of Tamil Americans, Carolina Tamil Americans, Center for Women’s Development and Rehabilitation – USA
Ilankai Tamil Sangam – California, Ilankai Tamil Sangam – Florida, Ilankai Tamil Sangam – USA, Ilankai Tamil Sangam – Vancouver-Portland – Washington, Midwest Tamil Sangam – Illinois, Ohio Tamil Association – Ohio
Tamil Heritage International – USA, Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation organization – California, World Tamil Organization – Illinois, World Tamil Coordinating Committee – USA, World Tamil Women Organization – USA.
By Walter Jayawardhana
AMERICAN AMBASSADOR AND HIS ITALIAN COUNTERPART INJURED IN A MORTAR ATTACK BY TAMIL TIGERS
The US ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert Blake and his Italian counter part Pio Mariani escaped with “slight” injuries when terrorists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked them when the helicopter they were traveling in a goodwill mission landed in the Eastern town of Batticaloa.
The mortar attack is considered the first time any foreign ambassador has been attack by Tamil Tigers in the country’s two decades old Tamil insurgency.
Last week the Tamil Tigers blamed the Western nations for trying to find out a solution for the Sri Lankan problem within the parameters of Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Rejecting the ceasefire, they said they would start the war to carve out a separate state for them.
A Sri Lanka government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who traveled with them said the ambassadors were injured when the mortars landed close to the helicopters they were traveling after the aircraft landed in Batticaloa, a main town in the country’s Eastern Province.
The Italian ambassador was immediately removed to the Batticaloa teaching hospital and Minister Samarasinghe said the injuries were slight. But the extent of the injuries were not explained immediately.
The Ministry of Defense said the attempt came from the Tamil Tigers whose terrorist group is banned in the United States and European Union.
Last week the the Tamil Tigers blamed the Western nations for seeking a solution for Sri Lanka restricted by concerns for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They vowed to fight to carve out a separate state from Sri Lanka.
The two ambassadors, accompanied by their staff and Sri Lankan officials, had traveled Tuesday morning to Batticaloa aboard two helicopters to attend a meeting about the development of the area, a hotbed of separatist violence.
“As their choppers landed mortars were fired by the Tigers,” said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a senior officer the Defense Ministry’s information section.
He said the diplomats had already gotten out of the helicopters when the mortars were fired. It was not immediately known how they sustained their injuries.
Seven Sri Lankan security personnel who were on the ground were also wounded, Rajapakse said.
Despite the attack the planned meeting started with all the ambassadors attending, Army spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said. The army has identified the areas the attack came he said. It’s an area controlled by the Tamil Tigers, he said.
By Walter Jayawardhana
FORMER CHIEF MINISTER JAYALALITHA JAYARAM BLAMES TAMIL NADU GOVERNMENT AND POLICE FOR FAILING TO CURB TAMIL TIGERS
Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu and General Secretary of opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader Jayalaitha Jayaram accused the Tamil Nadu Police and Chief Minister Karunanidhi for failing to take action to curb the actions of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Tamil Nadu.
She sought the intervention of the Central government in New Delhi to safeguard national security and said the intensified activities of the extremists and terrorist organizations have been made possible due to the prevailing situation in the state.
Jayalalitha Jeyaram said the recent seizures of weapons and ammunition off the Tamil Nadu coast were only tip of the iceberg and said there are reports that uninhabited islands off Ramesweram had been converted into arsenals of extremists and terrorists and terrorists are visiting Tamil Nadu very often.
Jayalalitha said besides smuggling the weapons and ammuniion at a large scale to Sri Lanka large stockpiles of arms have been created in the Tamil Nadu state.
She said if those terrorist activities are not immediately curbed those might result in raising demands, building intensified campaigns, holding conferences and bringing out publications in support of extremism and terrorism in the state of Tamil Nadu.
She said the stand of her party AIADMK is that while stressing the unity of the Tamils to find a solution to the issue, the extremist groups in the island should never be encouraged.
She said the government of India should strive for finding a solution to the Sri Lankan problem. She said the issues cannot be solved at all by arms struggles and her party was strongly opposed to the extremism and terrorism. Though some sections in Tamil Nadu argued that the LTTE should be supported for Tamil ethnic affinity, the AIADMK did not accept the theory, as it was of the view that such action would ultimately pave the way for the dawn of extremism and terrorism in the State, she said.
By Walter Jayawardhana
TISSA ATTANAYAKA CHALLENGES THE GOVERNMENT TO ABROGATE THE CONTROVERSIAL CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IF THEY COULD
At a meeting held at Polonnaruwa in the Norh Central Province of Sri Lanka, the main opposition in parliament, the United National Party challenged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to abrogate the Ceasefire Agreement his leader Ranil Wickremesinghe signed with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Attanayaka accused Rajapaksa of giving evasive answers regarding the CFA and charged his responses like, “ I don’t care there is a CFA or not,” kind of answers were not suitable for a leader of a country.
Attanayaka, a protégé of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is believed to be uttering his leader’s policy in various statements UNP reformists say.
The Norway brokered CFA was signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran without the approval of Sri Lanka’s parliament and Executive president of the country and has no value as a legal document, according to some experts, in law.
Both of them signed the document without seeing each other. At first it was believed that it was drafted by the Norwegians. But later it was revealed it was drafted by Eric Solheim, a Norwegian leftist with the help of LTTE’s advisor Anton Balasingham with a LTTE bias.
While the LTTE violated it more than six thousand times, entering Colombo to kill intelligence officers of the security forces, assassinating Tamil leaders with impunity, kidnapping Tamil children to be conscripted as child soldiers, smuggling in tons and tons of sophisticated weapons from Europe, Asia and India Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government did not retaliate trying not to break a word of the CFA. The LTTE’s open policy was not to get involved in the peace process and to leave the peace talks abruptly during the reign of Ranil Wickremesinghe abusing the CFA to achieve its separatist goals, while buying time. But the UNP policy was to be patient during all these violations.
The patience was described by a confidante of Ranil Wickremesinghe recently. A go between of the UNP and LTTE and UNP parliamentarian said the UNP never expected the killings and the bombings, the kidnappings and the murders of the opponents would completely stop by the CFA. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena the confidante of Ranil Wickremesinghe said the CFA was only a stepping stone and his party never expected those violations would come to a standstill. In brief the CFA, according to UNP, is a document that could be violated by the LTTE and for the sake of a greater peace in the horizon they had to tolerate all that.
The kind of retaliation by the Rajapaksa government in the case of the blockage of civilian irrigation water using military force was very much disliked by a UNP spokesman. The UNP represented by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said they boycotted the All Party Conference and emphasized his leader would not attend conferences to listen to war talks. But ironically Senaratne later joined the Rajapaksa government. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and Tissa Attanayaka more loyal to their leader call such retaliation mismanagement of the CFA signed on February 22 2002. They believe a peace environment should be created by the government despite the violations by the LTTE.
But the war this time was initiated at Mavil Aru and escalated by the LTTE. The government also violated the CFA. President Rajapaksa boldly called there were no LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka and chased out the LTTE from the Eastern Province except from few hideouts in the Thoppigala jungles in the Eastern Province.
There is no doubt CFA is dead despite the UNP has vowed to preserve it. It looks more like a stuffed mummy, a diplomat recently said. According to him there is no point in abrogating it. True, it has many defects. It was born that way. Some Norwegians like Erick Solheim is being hated as much as the the cruel Portuguese General who participated in the occupation of Sri Lanka in the 16th century, De Asevedo. He is being likened as an imperial agent, lacking any kind of impartiality, siding with the Tamil Tigers. But many diplomats say at better times if there is a congenial environment to peace CFA could be repaired and upholstered as a more comfortable vehicle to reach peace, after getting rid of its defects and Solheim, of course. Creating a new vehicle, which is the other choice could become a Herculean task, the diplomat said. That may be the reason why the government is not abrogating it, the diplomat said.
By Walter Jayawardhana
SRI LANKA’S CONSUL GENERAL IN LOS ANGELES SAYS TERRORIST GROUPS EXCHANGE TERROR TACTICS
The Consul General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles Jaliya Wickramasuriya told the monthly meeting of all Consul Generals in Los Angeles that one reason all civilized nations should be united against terrorism is because all terrorist Groups are united against all civilized nations in the world today.
He said, for instance many inventions of terror like suicide boats and suicide jackets by Sri Lanka’s most innovative terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in no time were transferred to Al Queda for a price although the two groups are not ideologically similar.
“That fact alone,” said Jaliya Wickramasuriya, “alarmingly indicate that all civilized nations represented by us should be united in fighting the common enemy of the 21st century – terrorism. “
Wickramasuriy told the representatives of many nations of the world who were meeting at a luncheon meeting hosted by the Japanese Consul General Kazuo Kodama that Sri Lanka has been attacked by some of the worst terrorists in the world similar to the ones who glaringly exposed themselves by the barbaric attack on 9/11.
Wickramasuriya said, the most innovative well-armed terrorist group has beeen hampering the progress of the country for the last two decades.
He said the vicious terrorist group is hell bent on dividing the small 25,000 square mile island and carve out a mono-ethnic Fascist regime.
“We are a parliamentary democracy. So, we have to take extra measures to protect human rights while fighting this terrorist menace that makes it more difficult,” he said.
He said the warm reception of the Consular Corps reminded him of his home, Sri Lanka, a very hospitable nation. He said back at home any visitor to even the poorest home would never be allowed to leave without being offered a warm cup of tea.
He said, “At home we greet any visitor on arrival or departure or anyone else with the traditional greeting – AYUBOWAN meaning may you live long. Likely, let me greet you by saying Ayubowan.”
Wickramasuriya made a special thanks to the Dean of the Consular Corps Roy G. Young for making the coordination among the Consul General’s a very comfortable one for all. He also presented a gold plated Tea chest to him on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka.
At the luncheon the Japanese Consul General Kazuo Kodama spoke on the Japanese foreign policy – Focus on East Asia. Invited special guest Dr. Jodi Finkel, Assistant Professor of Politlcal Sclence, Loyola Marymount University, delivering the keynote address spoke to the foreign envoys on “The Unintended Consequences of Limited Reforms -The rise of the new left in Latin Amelica” The Vice Dean C.G.Brasioli of Italy introduced the newly arrived Chefs de Poste Jaliya Wickramasuriya of Sri Lanka and Mohamed Abu Zafa of Bangladesh at the luncheon.
Pic by Wendy Wagner
(1) Jaliya Wickramasuriya speaking at the meeting
(2) Dean of the Consular Corps Roy G Young, Consul General of belize receiving a gold plated tea chest from Sri lanka Consul General jaliya Wickramasuriya